Death by the Book – Julianna Deering

Book 2 in the Drew Farthering Mystery series was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more! It’s the Summer of 1932, and if Drew was planning on a quiet go of it so he could spend time with Ms. Madeline Parker, he was mistaken. Add in Madeline’s dear Aunt Ruth, and Drew has definitely got his hands full.

Death by the Book Cover Image
I absolutely love this cover!

The first murder happens to be the Farthering family solicitor whom Drew had a meeting with. The hatpin and Shakespearian note stuck in his chest has Drew, Madeline, and Nick scrambling to figure out what the meaning, and motive might be. As the bodies start stacking up in what the townspeople begin calling the Hatpin Murders, Drew is doing his best to win over Aunt Ruth, before she manages to get Madeline on a plane and take her from Drew forever.

The twists and turns in the story will keep you turning pages until the killer is revealed. This story was a great follow-up to the first book, Rules of Murder. I am halfway through book number 3, and these books are definitely going to be added to my home library!

You can find Julianna’s web page here: Julianna Deering

You can purchase these fantastic stories here: Julianna on Amazon

Rules of Murder – Julianna Deering

This is the first book in the Drew Farthering Mystery Series. I randomly came across these books doing what I so often do at my local library; walk down random aisles looking at titles and book covers until something grabs my attention. This book cover definitely grabbed my attention. I knew as soon as I saw it that I was looking at a classic mystery novel such as the ones I would find at yard sales growing up and make my Mom buy for me.

Rules of Murder cover image
How amazing is this cover?!

This book was found in the Christian Fiction section of my library, but it is in no way overtly religious (not that I would mind, I like those books as well!), but there is mention of God, and going to Church, and the like. It is set in the 1930’s in Britain (another bonus for me!) and the story as a whole was just good, clean, fun!

Drew Farthering lives at the Farthering Estate, the house that controls the town, if-you-will. Think Downton Abbey. He lives with his mother and step-father, their Butler Dennison, and Mrs. Devon, the head maid, amongst other staff. Nick Dennison, son of butler Dennison, is the best friend of Drew, and a frequent visitor of the estate.

When Drew’s step-father, Mr. Parker, announces that his niece and 2 of her friends will be arriving for a stay from America, Drew is excited for some new company. Madeline Parker and her friends arrive at the estate, and the adventure begins. Two murders need to be solved, Drew is doing his best to focus on the cases at hand, all while wooing Ms. Madeline.

This is a clean written story, like you would expect in cozy mysteries set in today’s timeframe. It is great fun, taking you back to a time when things were simpler, except for solving a murder, that is. That was not simpler. There were no cell phones, no internet, no ballistics studies, and the like.

I’m skipping the spoilers as I always do; but I cannot recommend this book enough! I am almost done with book two and will be reviewing that soon!

What cozy are you enjoying right now?

The Begonia Bribe – Alyse Carlson

Book 2 in the Garden Society Mystery series.

the begonia bribe cover image

This was a great follow-up to The Azalea Assault. Cam (Camellia) Harris is now tasked with managing the Little Miss Begonia Pageant being held in one of Roanoke’s nicest parks. Cam runs into one of her least favorite people from high school, Mindy, and Cam’s best friend Annie likes her even less. Cam never expected she would get so wrapped up into Mindy’s personal life, but there she is, right in the middle.

Cam once again gets her reporter boyfriend Rob, as well as Annie, caught up in a murder investigation. Annie’s boyfriend, and Rob’s best friend Jake, Police officer in Roanoke, keeps trying his best to get Cam to mind her own business. Cam just seems to always be one step ahead of him.

There are many characters intertwined in this story, from past and present, and again you do not see it coming. The storyline is great, and the characters are well rounded and you really feel for them. Can Cam figure out who the murderer is before more lives are ruined?

I am looking for some new cozy series to read while Michigan is officially closed, so let me know your favorites!

The Azalea Assault – Alyse Carlson

This is the first of three cozy mysteries in the Garden Society Mystery series. As the 3rd one was written in 2014, I do not expect there to be others. Truly a shame ☹

the azalea assault cover image

Cam Harris is the PR person for the Roanoke Garden Society, and gardening has never been more dangerous. When the nationally celebrated Garden Delights magazine agrees to come to Roanoke to feature Roanoke’s best gardens, Cam is tasked with making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

With the help of her best friend Annie, and her boyfriend Rob, she soon finds herself in the middle of a bunch of suspects who had motive to kill the star photographer. Now she not only needs to find another photographer, she also needs to keep her sister Petunia and brother-in-law Nick on the right side of the law, as they soon become the main suspects.

There are a lot of characters wrapped up in this book, but they all have their place in the story, and it flows smoothly from one chapter to the next. If you have read many cozies (such as I have), you sometimes can see what is coming next. This story keeps you guessing to the end.

There are descriptions of many different plants, but not much on the side of actual gardening tips (which I wasn’t expecting).

Here in Michigan right now we are wrapped in the middle of a polar vortex, and literally the whole state is shut down. Which means I took tomorrow off from work, so I have plenty of time to finish book three, write review number two, and do some writing for my own cozy mystery book number 1!

You can learn more about Alyse here: Alyse Carlson – Penguin Random House

Are you trapped inside too? What are you reading to get you by?

Double Fudge Brownie Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery– Joanne Fluke

It has been quite a while since I have read one of the Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanne Fluke. They are all titled with fun food references, such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1), Carrot Cake Murder (book 10), and Raspberry Danish Murder (book 22). I am currently reading book 19, The Wedding Cake Murder. The Double Fudge Brownie Murder that I am reviewing here is book 18.

Double Fudge Brownie Cover Image

Although I know I have not read all of the books up to book 19 that I am on now, I would say by looking at all of the covers and titles, I have read about 14 or 15 over the years. Hannah Swensen owns a bakery, and is the classic cozy-mystery heroine whom solves the murder case in each story. These books are significantly longer than most cozy mysteries, and they also contain several wonderful recipes throughout the story.

Hannah has her mother and two sisters in her life, a fluffy orange and white tomcat, as well as her assistant at her bakery; Lisa. She has two men in her life throughout this series, Norman and Mike. Both love her, she loves them, and they are obviously aware of the other being in Hannah’s life. Traditional to a cozy mystery, there is no swearing, graphic murder scenes, or sexual innuendos or unbearable scenes to read through.

I will not go into too many details on this story, in order to avoid spoilers, but Hannah and her sisters are helping their mother get married, and they all enjoy a trip to Las Vegas for the nuptials. What Hannah does not know, is that she is in for her own surprise in Las Vegas. This helps to keep her in positive spirits as she knows when she returns home she has to go to trial for an involuntary manslaughter charge from an accident she had (I am guessing in the book immediately before this, that I have not read). Finding the Judge who is going to try the case bludgeoned to death with his own gavel gives Hannah a lot more to worry about!

You can find all of the book titles here: Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke

I highly recommend all of the Hannah Swensen mysteries! Have you read any of the Hannah Swensen mysteries?

It’s Time To Put Down The Iron…

…and pick up the pen!

I have been investing a lot of time trying to make my Etsy store better; with bookish gifts for everyone. It has also kept me from writing my 2 books.

I will admit first and foremost; I am afraid to finish these books; only to be told they are rubbish. So I bide my time doing any number of other things in order to leave them sit in my files; rotting and angry because they have a story to tell.

My poor characters want to be heard; and I continue to silence them. It is time to give them the recognition they deserve; because if I do not speak for them; no one will.

What keeps you from writing?

 

 

I Really Never Went Anywhere…

…but it has been a helluva few weeks for me.

I am still writing, and reading. I am currently taking the week off from work because my youngest, my last high school freshman, has major pre-band-camp practices all week.

I know I don’t usually get too personal here, but I am pretty sure my followers know I am a single Mom of four daughters.

Last Thursday; I put my 2nd oldest, my 20 year old, on a plane to move to Colorado. All my girls and I were able to have a last night together and a sleep-over at my oldest daughters house, and I had a panic attack as soon as I walked in her apartment. It’s been a long time since I slept somewhere other than my bed, but we swam, hit 3 different drive-thru restaurants so we could all get what we wanted to eat, and played Mario Cart for hours.

my girls 8-3-18

My anxiety had been 150% this week coming up to her leaving, and I thought it would stop once she got there; but it has not…

So I’ve been working on stuff for my Etsy store.

Not impressed….

Christmas Ornaments 12018-08-06 16.54.41

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Yes; I had a problem with the first W

Still working on the book boxes; trying to get the 3-D effect on the paint.

I haven’t given up on my cozy mysteries; but I have Stephen King’s Outsiders, and Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s The President is Missing. I officially got the diagnosis that my Nook has died; and honestly, I don’t care about the books, but I am really pissed about my Townspeople who are dying in my app….

As soon as I get caught up on Castle Rock, Shameless, and the Kardashians, I will be right on it!