Bound by Murder review

This is the third book in the Antique Bookshop Mysteries by Laura Gail Black. These characters and the setting are just about as cozy of a cozy mystery as you’ll find! As you’ll see in my review I didn’t get a chance to read/review the second book but I do intend to go back and read it. I really loved this one and remember liking the first one a lot too! Can’t wait to see how Keith and Jenna’s story continues!

#CrookedLaneBooks  #LauraGailBlack

My Goodreads review:

Bound by Murder (Antique Bookshop Mystery #3)Bound by Murder by Laura Gail Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some reason, I never got around to reading book 2 of this series, but I did read the first book in 2020. Everything as far as characters started coming back to me, and I love how Rita’s taken Jenna under her wing like a mom or big sister. Add Keith to that (they had a few ups and downs in here but nothing that can’t be remedied!) along with a new friend and business owner named Shelby, and you’ve got an unstoppably cozy quartet of friends. I loved how they all talked about the case and supported each other, mainly the ladies since Keith most of the time couldn’t talk about it.

Oh there was the funniest part when the subject of Det. Sutter came up. I know he really had it in for Jenna in the first book, but he was so close to retirement in a couple weeks, he didn’t dare step outta line. It was hilarious what Keith told him he’d make him do if he pulled anything like wrongly accusing people. I’m pretty sure Jenna might want a frow row seat to that if it happened!

Now I really have this need to go back and read the second book because that sweet little Eddy pup stole my heart and I want to know his whole story. The author did a great job of catching readers up but not to the point of being repetitive or letting any spoilers out. If you’ve read neither first or second books, I think you’d enjoy this, although I do recommend at least reading the first book to get a firsthand experience of just what a jerk Sutter was as well as how Keith and Jenna got together and Jenna’s friendship with Rita started. Another great character was Jenna’s employee Mason who’d come a super long way from the first book! He was so cute with the girl Lily he wanted to date!

I started suspecting whodunit eventually and wow what a showdown! Even little Eddy pup got in on it. I can’t wait for the next book, so in the meantime, I’m definitely planning to read that second book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Fatal Booking review

This is the third book in the A Book Lover’s Mysteries series by Victoria Gilbert, who also writes another fave series, The Blue Ridge Library Mysteries. I love how her characters are smart and likable yet realistic. She’s great making you love the good guys and very good at hiding who the baddies are! In either series, I feel like I’m visiting old friends, and I can’t wait for the Book Lover’s series to continue!

#CrookedLaneBooks #VictoriaGilbert

My Goodreads review:

A Fatal Booking (Booklover's B&B Mystery #3)A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It seems like the third book of any newer series, at least to me, is the magical number of after having read the first two books, you really feel a strong connection to the characters because their roles and sometimes secrets are already established. I just felt like this was the book where I was going back to visit some old friends. I absolutely love Ellen’s character and now with Gavin as a possible dating interest for Charlotte, the three seemed unstoppable as far as murder investigations. I really like Amber Johnson too, the detective who’s learned to take things that Charlotte and Ellen tell her very seriously. She’s respectful of them, has a decent appreciation of joking and is never purposely mean. Bookstore owner Julie makes a great bestie for Charlotte since she hears all the good gossip when there’s a case.

With a houseful of suspects and no clear leads, Charlotte was getting as tired as the police were of nothing turning up. Gavin did help a lot once he was back since he had resources he could tap into from his agent’s job. I hadn’t actually suspected the one whodunit, and the showdown was a real nail biter especially for Charlotte and Ellen!

The ending party as they’d done in previous books was fun and wrapped up the case along with a few cool announcements. I can’t wait to read the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Ink and Shadows review

This is the fourth book in the Secret, Book and Scone Society series by another of my favorite cozy writers, Ellery Adams. The series is much more than a cozy mystery as it tells the story of some really awesome friends who came together as women who were a bit broken with secrets they’d never told anyone else. They formed a book club, but they’ve been known to have emergency meetings if anyone in the town needs help, particularly one of their own or someone they’ve taken under their wing.

Nora’s extreme love of books helps her in just about every situation. I’d be proud to call any of these women a friend! Oh yes, and their new friend Sheldon too. He’s pretty cool!

My Goodreads review:

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #4)Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great to catch up with Nora and her friends again. I’ve absolutely loved Sheldon’s character since he came on board as Nora’s friend and employee. There was lots of intrigue which made me want to keep reading, but there’s always some lighthearted moments especially now that they have Sheldon as a new friend.

The murder mystery wasn’t so much of a whodunit but “when will the killer strike next” and how they’d go about catching said killer. The showdown was really awesome, and finally Nora felt like her friend was at peace. Nora and Jed had a little rough patch along the way, but I think they’ll be fine. As always, I look forward to the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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For Whom the Book Tolls review

This is the first book in a new series called Antique Book Shop mysteries by Laura Gail Black, and I think she’s definitely got a hit on her hands with the series. I felt like Jenna and Rita were my old friends by the time the book ended, and I really can’t wait to read the next book. I hope Jenna eventually gets a dog or cat for the bookshop. At least in my opinion, I’ve enjoyed cozies about bookstores that have pets.

My Goodreads review:

For Whom the Book Tolls: An Antique Bookshop MysteryFor Whom the Book Tolls: An Antique Bookshop Mystery by Laura Gail Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this new mystery! It’s a great concept for a cozy and pretty much everything I want in a cozy mystery as well. Rita was such a great new friend for Jenna and so was Mason, the young guy she hired for the shop who used to work for her Uncle Paul. I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to come to a new town all hopeful to reconnect with a fun and goofy uncle just to find him dead.

This of course put Jenna in the cross hairs of an ambitious detective who wanted to wrap up the murder in a nice neat package. His partner wasn’t downright mean like this guy was, so that was a definite plus for Jenna. I loved how she and Rita got along together, and once Mason joined them, they made quite the trio of friends. I definitely hope Keith makes the trio a foursome!

I hadn’t completely committed myself to guessing who did it, but it honestly didn’t surprise me much. The showdown was pretty exciting, and if I was Jenna, I’d be thanking my guardian angel for the help that arrived! I really enjoyed how the book went on a little more after the showdown and explanation. At that point, it was important to me because it showed how Jenna had cemented her friendship with new people in this new town. I’m so anxious now to read the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Killer Plot–review

This is the first book in the Books by the Bay series by one of my favorite authors, Ellery Adams. It has that same book coma quality that her Supper Club and Secret, Book & Scone Society has and deals with people who need some sort of healing, whether it’s physical or emotional or a little of both. I love the group of friends in this writers’ group, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series!

The lighthouse pictured is Bodie Island Lighthouse, found on Google using the “licensed for reuse” prompt. It made me think of what Olivia’s lighthouse cottage might look like.

My Goodreads review:

A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #1)A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first in another awesome series by this author. I love the other series I’ve read in so far, and this was not a disappointment. It reminded me a lot of the friends in her Supper Club mysteries. I liked that Olivia wasn’t a typical protagonist. She was very different in that she was actually rich and owned a lot of property in the town of Oyster Bay, NC.

Olivia Limoges wasn’t a stranger to the gossip and snarky comments that seemed to go with her name around town, but one day after hearing some ladies at the grocery talking about her not giving back to the town, she decided to do something about that. With a little nudge from her friend Dixie who worked at her husband Grumpy’s Diner, Olivia became a member of a local writers’ group, and she wanted to do something nice for them by having her lighthouse cottage renovated. After the murder of one of their own, the group became amateur sleuths as well as writers doing critiques for each other.

I had definitely not guessed who the killer was. I loved how it went down, even Haviland, Olivia’s well-trained and intelligent poodle got to play a small part in going after the killer. He was such a cool dog–it was great how polite he was and how he seemed to know what his human needed. While trying to find the killer, Haviland was used to scare Olivia off the case.

Like some of Ms. Adams’ other series, this wasn’t only a story about a murder mystery, but it was people becoming friends and helping each other heal whether physically or emotionally, getting involved and actually interested in one another’s lives. I love that about a series, because when the perp is caught, you get to have more of the story. I enjoy being able to hear the full reason behind the crimes committed and that everyone involved is safely locked up. Olivia herself had been in need of personal healing, and I think getting to know the others in the group and taking a vested interest in them gave her that human connection that she’d been lacking. She and her friends grew a lot just from their meeting to several weeks later when everyone was enjoying the July 4th fireworks. Olivia found out it wasn’t just enough to shell out money to her town, but giving of herself was important too, and it made her feel very much alive again.

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The Whispered Word–review

Ellery Adams has done it again with her second book in the Secret, Book and Scone Society. She really has a way of making the reader care so much about the people in the story that the murders (yes, multiple!) are still important, but as a reader, you just want to find out more about the characters and are interested in their lives, their growth from the brokenness that brought them all together.

The Society started with four women who were damaged and each had a secret that they ended up telling to their new group of friends. Now they are fast friends and even Nora, who usually didn’t like being around anyone, loves to be in the company of her friends–and even the man she’s interested in. They continue to need each other’s kindness and support, but they give back to the community as well. All I can keep saying is, this book is amazing and you just have to experience this series for yourself!

My Goodreads review:

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #2)The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m so glad the two books in this series didn’t end right after the killer was caught and brought to justice. With these characters, there is always just so much more to be learned and time to be spent with them. I love how this book ended after the showdown. There was absolutely no disappointment here! I hadn’t seen this killer coming at all!

At the end of the Secret, Book and Scone Society, a girl had shown up at Miracle Books after Nora had put up a Help Wanted sign. This book started right up telling about her and how she was a huge help to Nora, but moreso to Hester, since she was an accomplished baker. The girl called herself Abilene, and she continued to be a mystery. The four friends realized she was running from something or someone. When three murders struck within just a few weeks, Nora couldn’t help but wonder if their new friend had some connection to them. There was also a new business in town, one that took valuables on consignment. Nora couldn’t help but be suspicious of that as well, since their town had just undergone an economic crisis and people were anxious to sell items they had just to keep food on their tables.

It was great visiting with these four friends again. The interim sheriff was a breath of fresh air compared to the old one and it was sweet that Nora and Jed were becoming a lot closer. I enjoyed the little side stories of Nora doing her bibliotherapy for people. For any book clubs wanting to have a discussion on this book, there are some questions in the back that the author has provided. I have a book hangover now…not sure when I’ll want to start another one, this one was that amazing.

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