Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan (review)

murderattheflamingo_225_350_Book.2594.coverWith writing that was at times reminiscent of golden age mysteries, Rachel McMillan amuses, enchants, and leads the reader through a cozy mystery and adventure set in 1937 Boston full of interesting characters and an unlikely detective duo.

On finishing this first Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery, I had two thoughts Continue reading


Deadly Treasures by Vivian Conroy (quick review)

deadlytreasures_conroy_carinaThe third outing in the Lady Alkmene Callender Cosy Mystery series finds Alkmene on a jaunt out to an archaeological site to reacquaint herself with the son of the family she spend childhood summers with.  While this trip has been partially orchestrated by her father from abroad in hopes of making a match for Alkmene, she arrives to find her potential husband being arrested for murder.

Another country village setting, a new murder to investigate, and a family friend to exonerate, along with a new cast of characters all lend themselves to an interesting but somehow slightly lackluster adventure.  Perhaps Alkmene’s using the free trip offered by the Woolsbury patriarch with the intention of immediately scuttling any match between her and Duncan Woolsbury set the wrong tone, or perhaps it was the lack of well drawn secondary characters, or the preponderance of telling over showing that left this entry in the series, while still enjoyable, feeling a bit wanting and the story slightly unclear in retrospect.

Nevertheless, this was a pleasant way to spend a few work lunches and I am looking forward to reading the fourth and final book in the series, Fatal Masquerade, quite soon.  And though I’ve previously stated that I’m looking forward to a relationship developing between Alkmene and her reporter friend and investigative partner, Jake Dubois, I am now intrigued by the possibilities of Duncan, though he does have problematic aspects to his character.

Deadly Treasures by Vivian Conroy (Lady Alkemene Callender Cosy Mystery, #3) | Carina, 2016 | ebook, 163 pages

This review refers to a library e-book.  All opinions expressed are my own. And have I mentioned how much I love these covers?

E-book Description:

The third book in the Lady Alkmene Callender Mystery series Murder on the coast Lady Alkmene Callender has little interest in marriage, especially when her father is up to his matchmaking tricks, but when the opportunity arises to visit an archaeological dig she cannot resist. However, when she arrives to find her potential groom under arrest for murder Lady Alkmene begins to wonder if she isn’t in the right place at the right time. Putting her extensive sleuthing skills to good use, Lady Alkmene along with reporter Jake Dubois, starts to investigate hoping to uncover the real killer before she too ends up six feet under…

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber (review)

cottagebythesea_macomberA summer read, a beach read, a cozy up in the fall read – depending on when you read it, this fits all of those categories.  Debbie Macomber has taken inspiration from a very real tragedy that is still in the memory of many in the Pacific Northwest, myself included, and crafted the story of a woman’s struggle to go on after losing her entire family in a devastating landslide that occurred in Washington state. Continue reading

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep (novella review)

12daysatbleaklymanor_griepIt’s August, or as I’ve learned since becoming a book blogger, time for Christmas reading and reviewing to begin!  In advance of the second Once Upon a Dickens Christmas novella, due out in September, I decided to give the first of the series a try.

Now, I am admittedly not a fan of Dickens, so I do go into any Dickensian story with that prejudice.  Luckily for me, in the hands of Michelle Griep, this Dickensian novella is a treat. Continue reading

The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews (review)

Thematrimonialad_matthews_perfectlyproperpress copyI love a good mail order bride story, and let me tell you, this is a very good one and quite likely the best I’ve read this year. I downloaded the e-galley from NetGalley just so it would be ready when I had finished the books I already had in progress.  Deciding to just see how The Matrimonial Advertisement starts, since this might be my first mail order bride read set in England, I was quickly lost in the story and only set it down once I was halfway through and had exceeded my usual “I stayed up until 2am with this book” threshold, only to pick it up and read to the end the moment I arrived home from work the next day.

I appreciated the gothic and classic romance elements Continue reading

The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham (quick review)

thepromisebride_welbornwhitham_zebraI was happy to find that my library had an e-book copy of book one in the Montana Brides series after enjoying To Catch a Bride through NetGalley.  Though the novella is after The Promise Bride in the series, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is actually a prequel.

This is a mail order bride story with surprises, tension, danger, and a bride with an incredibly strong work ethic partly motivated by her mother’s lessons in social debts and a desire to keep everything even.  Couple her with a driven sheriff Continue reading

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (review)

swimminglessons_fullerWhen you find this letter, when you find the rest of them, don’t forget that you must destroy them all, tear them up, throw them away, burn them; don’t leave them for the girls to read. (p.281)

If you were to ask me what it is I enjoyed about Claire Fuller’s second novel, I would definitely say the writing.  For while her characters leave me all over the place in my feelings for them, and her stories lead me down the garden path into the mire of dysfunction and the twisted nature of relationships slowly revealed, I must attribute it Continue reading