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

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First Line Friday: True Grit

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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One of the things I love about the bookish communities online is how we share our love of books and our discoveries of authors, whether it is a debut author, an established author, or one who is, for whatever reason, no longer publishing.  I also love how international the pool of readers and authors is in these communities.

On the recommendation of a librarian in Norway whose account I follow on Instagram (search for @booktomas if you want to follow him), I’ve checked out a library e-book of True Grit by Charles Portis.  First published in 1968 and adapted into a movie more than once, I’ve only seen the Kim Darby/John Wayne version, and I’m strongly considering re-watching it after I read the book.

Here is the first line:

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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…

First Line Friday: Deadly Treasures

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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Lady Alkmene’s father is playing matchmaker in the third Lady Alkmene Cosy Mystery, Deadly Treasures by Vivian Conroy.  As with the first two, I am primarily reading this during my half hour lunch breaks at work, and I can’t wait to see how Lady Alkmene and reporter Jake Dubois solve the murder her potential groom is arrested for.

Here is the first line:

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First Line Friday: The Weaver’s Daughter

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured book was sent to me for review purposes by Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild.  

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This week I’m featuring The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd, a Historical Romance with a prologue set some years prior to the main story and in which the  hero and heroine don’t quite meet.  Writing that makes me think of A Rebel Heart by Beth White, the book I featured two fridays ago, and while there are similarities, this is a completely different story.  Instead of the turmoil of the American South during the Reconstruction Era, today’s featured novel is set in England during the Industrial Revolution.

Here is the prologue’s first line:

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First Line Friday: Caught by Surprise

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is from a NetGalley e-galley and may not reflect the final version.

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Sometimes I don’t know how much I’ll love something until I read it.  In the case of the Apart From the Crowd series, I knew I’d enjoy the writing but I didn’t know how much I’d adore the so-nearly-awful-you-gotta-love-em names of her wallflower heroines:

Miss Wilhelmina Radcliff

Miss Permilia Griswold

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader

and now…

Miss Temperance Flowerdew

I’ve enjoyed this series so far, particularly the most recent entry, so I’m looking forward to reading Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano (available 7/31/18) very, very soon.  Here is the prologue’s first line:

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First Line Friday: A Rebel Heart

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.hoarding-books-button

Before I introduce today’s featured novel, a quick note regarding last week’s The Daisy Children by Sophia Grant (out 8/7/18 from William Morrow, won in a GoodReads giveaway – gotta mention it, federal rules and all):  I know about the trousers! They are not Katie’s and the way in which they are ridiculous is not their appearance.  I’ll be reviewing The Daisy Children very soon.

Now, on to this week’s selection: A Rebel Heart by Beth White,the first book in the new Daughtry House series.  Beth White has been a favorite author since I first read The Pelican Bride after impulsively ordering it from Book Outlet.  Luckily there weren’t many holds on the library’s e-book of A Rebel Heart, so I’m hoping to read it this month.

The main story is set in 1870, five years after the end of the American Civil War.  The prologue of A Rebel Heart, however, is set several years earlier.  Here is the prologue’s first line:

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