Monday, July 19, 2021

"Shortbread and Sorrow" by Agatha Frost

When Julia's mother, Dot, wins a free 5 day trip to a spa & resort in Scotland for 3, Dot, Julia, and her sister Sue are off to enjoy a relaxing vacation  at a Scottish castle. But shortly after they arrive, the owner of the property is murdered. Naturally, Julia can't just sit back and leave things to the authorities to solve, she needs to try and figure out who killed him and why.

This was another fun cozy mystery involving the feisty baker from Peridale. This was the 5th book in the Peridale cafe series, and every bit as enjoyable as the first 4. It was a quick read and a fun one. The characters are just as amusing as they were in the first part of the series. 


Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries or any of the other books in this series would likely enjoy this book as well.

Monday, July 12, 2021

"A groom for Claire"
by Patricia PacJac Carroll

After losing her husband in a freak blizzard that had killed almost all of the men from the town of Last Chance, Claire, like most of the town's women, had placed an ad seeking a husband to come and help keep their town alive. Ethan Freemont was the librarian who had answered her letter.

He arrived on Christmas day, bringing gifts and much needed supplies that Claire had not asked for, but greatly appreciated nonetheless. But in her heart, Claire was not yet truly ready for a new husband so soon after losing her beloved  Thomas. Can she find a way to start over again with someone else? Or would it be better if he were to take her away from the farm to live in a city?


I have been enjoying this twist on the traditional mail order bride genre. It gives a unique perspective on a situation that many faced at one point. Marrying someone you had barely met is rare in today's world, yet at one point in our history it was all but a necessity to survive. This tale shows a great sensitivity towards both those who needed but didn't really want a new spouse, and those who wanted nothing more than to start a completely new life.


I think this book would appeal to anyone who enjoys mail order bride stories as well as to those seeking something similar but with a bit of a twist on the basic storyline. I have definitely been enjoying this series and am looking forward to reading more of the mail order husband tales.

Monday, July 5, 2021

"Castaways & Longer Days"
by Trixie Silvertale

It's time for the Summer Solstice festival in the town of Pin Harbor. The tourists are many, the floating Casino is operating on the lake, and Mitzy Moon is ready to enjoy the celebration just like everyone else in town. But things take an unfortunate turn when an unexpected tornado hits the lake, crashes through the boats, and into town.

During the devastation, the owner of the casino boat is killed, and Mitzy Moon is on the job, trying to solve the murder of a woman she doesn't really like.


Like the previous book in the series, I enjoyed this one. The characters are fun and amusing to read about. And seeing the town pull together to help each other get through this disaster was a great example of a small but very friendly town. Watching Mitzy  follow the clues in a puzzle that seems to be missing a few key pieces at times to try and catch the murderer all while dealing with continuing in her search for a way to free her "ghost ma" from the cursed gem trapping her spirit within it was well worth the short time it took to read this book.


The interplay between the characters was great. At times it reminded me of family & friends teasing each other while at the same time lifting them up when they needed a helping hand. All in all, it was a fun story with a great cast of characters.


Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist should enjoy this book, especially if you've enjoyed any of the other books in this series.


Monday, June 28, 2021

"Retribution" by S.L. Stacy

This was the 4th book in the Reborn series about the halfling children of Greek Gods of Olympus still living among humanity. There is a war going on that most of the human population are unaware of as they believe the gods to be only ancient myths.  But some among the Olympians feel they should be ruling Earth as well as Olympus.

The reason that most of humanity isn't aware of this is that the two dimensions have been protected by a barrier between the worlds, guarded by the descendants of Nike, goddess of victory. But now the barrier is failing, and like it or not a war that humanity is completely unprepared for is coming to Earth. Not all of the Olympians are seeking to take over earth, just as not all of the halflings are siding with humanity. Can Earth be kept safe and protected? Or will it become an extension of Olympus, once again ruled by those we know of as the Greek Gods of ancient history?


I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The story did not shy away from the harshness of being in a war, much less one that most weren't aware was even taking place until it fell right into their everyday lives. There were those who rose to become heroes as well as those who might be called traitors to one side or the other.


This was a complicated tale, with a number of twists and turns that added to its complexity. There were also quite a number of emotions that this story brings forth, as the reader can't help but feel for what the characters are facing and going through. I enjoyed it and I believe others will as well.


If you haven't yet read the first books in this series, I would strongly recommend starting at the beginning of the series as it will make much more sense than if you try starting here. But if you have already read the rest of the series, I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Just be warned that this is not a book meant for younger readers. The Greek Gods and their descendants were very sexual beings according to legend, and that is still quite true in this tale.

Monday, June 21, 2021

"Train to Colorado" by Florence Linnington

Margaret had lived with her mother, stepfather, and two young siblings for some time. It hadn't been a pleasant existence as her stepfather seemed to resent the financial burden of having her in the house after an accident had left her with a severe limp, making it impossible to find employment. After yet another unsuccessful day trying to find work, her stepfather informed her that she would be leaving the next day to marry a man she has never met in Stillwater, Colorado. She was not given a say in the decision,  but she realized she had no other options.

When she arrives in Stillwater, penniless and feeling lost, she discovers that the man she was sent to marry had given up on her & married someone else. What was she supposed to do now? Without the money to purchase a train ticket back home, and with the unlikelihood of her stepfather allowing her to stay there any longer, she needed to find another option. 


I felt this book was even better than the rest of the series so far. Margaret may start out seeming to be lost and scared, but she quickly proves that she is anything but weak or incapable of rising to a challenge. She has intelligence and bravery, and quickly proves herself to be a strong woman. 


While this book is not just her story, but also the story of William, the town's sheriff with a hidden past, I felt Margaret's tale was the strongest part of the book. Yes, there were the usual problems that came from misunderstandings, incorrect assumptions, and at times a lack of communication between the characters. But that seems to be a standard in all mail order bride stories. And as always, the book ends with the expected happy ending. It is the journey in getting there that made this book so enjoyable to me.


I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys mail order bride stories, romance, or simply a tale with a happy ending.


Monday, June 14, 2021

"Hairless Harassment" by Molly Fitz

Angie Russo is moving into her new home, which she had bought because of a promise made to Octo-Cat. It was the home that he had lived in with his previous owner until she had been murdered, and to him it was also the only place that would always truly be home to him.

But on moving day, the next door neighbor, a prominent & beloved senator is found dead, the victim of an apparent accident involving her two sphinx cats and a staircase. But was it really an accident or had the senator been murdered? And if so, who would do such a thing to someone so beloved by everyone and why?


This was the third book in the Pet Whisperer P.I. series. I enjoyed reading this cozy mystery immensely and had a difficult time putting it down to sleep at night. It was a fun and quick read, and my biggest complaint was that I wanted more!


The relationship between Octo-Cat & Angie is one that can be easily seen and understood by anyone who has ever been owned by a cat of their own, and I loved seeing the familiar behaviors between cat and human played out as clearly as I can see them enacted in my own house between each of our cats & their chosen human.


Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries involving animals who are also the main characters should enjoy this book. I know I definitely did and am looking forward to reading book 4 in the series.

Monday, June 7, 2021

"The Triumph of the Fairy Queen"
by Gemma Perfect

Elsie has again been captured and kidnapped by Hardy, the man who had sought to find a way to take her rightful place as the kingdom's ruler. Unfortunately, things hadn't gone as he’d planned, and now his intent remains unclear, as killing her will clearly not win him the crown. So what exactly is he planning on doing with her?


This was the third and final book in the Fairy Queen Trilogy, and in my opinion, the best of the three books. With all that Elsie had to face and overcome, I found myself in tears at several points. I also couldn't put this book down. It was a quick read, but a very good one. (There is a lot that I would like to say, but I’m afraid that it would spoil too much of the story for anyone who has not yet read it, and they deserve the chance to experience for themselves all the emotional ups and downs provided within this tale.)


This book and series is a great suggestion for anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy novels, with this one in particular for anyone who enjoys having their heartstrings tugged while reading.


"Shortbread and Sorrow" by Agatha Frost

When Julia's mother, Dot, wins a free 5 day trip to a spa & resort in Scotland for 3, Dot, Julia, and her sister Sue are off to e...