Monday, September 26, 2022

"Scones & Tombstones" by Trixie Silvertale

Halloween in Pin Cherry Harbor this year is sure to be amazing. Mitzy Moon has arranged for a very impressive haunted house event  in order to raise funds for the local animal shelter & pet cemetery. And just before the soft opening of the haunted house, a famous cookbook author is scheduled to debut her newest book at Mitzy's bookshop. 

But things rarely go as planned, and in this case that means the author winding up dead with her body hidden in one of the haunted house exhibits. Unsurprisingly, it's Mitzy who first notices the very real corpse on display, and thus winding up involved in trying to solve another murder.

As with the other books in this series that I've had the pleasure to read, I really enjoyed this one. The various twists and turns in the story kept me guessing throughout and I can honestly say that there's a spot in this book where I was tearing up more than just a little. (I'd tell you about it, but that would be a huge spoiler. But trust me, you’ll know it when you read it.)

So if you've enjoyed any of the other books in this series, be sure to grab a copy of this one. I don't think you'll be disappointed. And while you'd also likely enjoy it even if you haven't read any of the previous books in the series, I can honestly say that I think you'll enjoy it even more if you read at least a few of the earlier books first. (Mainly so that you can understand some of the background information as well as learning more about the characters in this series.)

Monday, September 19, 2022

"Heartless" written by Gail carriger,
read by Emily Gray

It appears that the only solution to keep the vampires from killing Alexia, was to allow the vampire, Lord Akeldama, to adopt her baby after it was born. This was not a solution that Alexia particularly liked, but it was the only thing that would keep them all safe and alive. So Alexia & her husband bought the house next door to Lord Akeldama so that she could always be near her child. They also made arrangements with him whereby she & Connell would turn one of Lord Akeldama's closets into a room where they would secretly live so that she could have some say in the raising of her baby.

Add to all of that a ghostly warning about a threat to the queen & you have a very busy and chaotic remainder of Alexia’s pregnancy.

I listened to this as an audiobook rather than read it. The narrator once again did an excellent job of differentiating the voices and manner of speaking so that there was never any confusion about which character was talking. I enjoyed listening to this book a great deal and would assume that as a book to read it would be just as enjoyable. Anyone who has read (or listened to) the previous books in this series will want to continue on and read this one as well. I know that I enjoyed it.

Monday, September 12, 2022

“Spinster Bride for the Gold Miner”
by Florence Linnington

Blue, the woman who owns and runs the town saloon in Clear Hollow, has just lost her mother and is now on her own. She’s been essentially on her own for most of her life, but the death of her mother has really hit her hard. Add to that how busy things have gotten in town lately with all the new prospectors trying to find gold and strike it rich, and she almost has more than she can handle to deal with at the moment. Business has certainly picked up at the Saloon lately, and besides being the owner, she is the only employee, making it very difficult to keep up with all the new customers.

Thomas is a new arrival in town, seeking to strike it rich, just like so many others. He soon seems to become infatuated with the slightly older than himself woman who dresses in men’s clothing and runs the saloon. Being a friendly and talkative sort, he soon makes himself useful at the saloon as well as befriending a pair of prospectors panning for gold in the river.

I enjoyed this story. It, like the most recent books by Ms. Linnington, has broken slightly from the standard format of many mail order bride books. Yes, it follows the usual storyline involving two strangers meeting and developing a relationship while learning to trust each other. In this case, it does not begin with a marriage between strangers, but allows them to develop and grow towards each other. I find that I like this change as it allows for more character and story development throughout the book. And like her previous books, I can count on this one to continue to offer me a happy and “feelgood” ending to the story. 

I believe that anyone who has enjoyed any of Ms. Linnington’s previous books will also enjoy this one. Also anyone who enjoys mail order (or not quite mail order) bride stories or who is simply looking for a book with a happy ending that will make them smile should give this one a try. I believe it to be one of Ms. Linnington’s best books so far.

Monday, September 5, 2022

"The taming of the broom" by Erin Johnson

Laidey is a relatively new witch who works in the Swept Away broom shop and who isn't willing to try casting spells herself. She's got a crush on the Pirate Captain Bruce, whom she's become good friends with. So when after a public fight with the pirate Lysander lands Bruce in the sheriff's prison on the same day that someone murders Bruce's friend Freddy, Laidey needs to help find the murderer before the lazy sheriff decides to lay the blame on Bruce instead of bothering to find the real killer.

This was a nice little cozy mystery involving pirates, magic, a cursed renaissance faire, and enough fun to keep me entertained throughout the story. The author did an excellent job writing this one. I found the reasons why Laidey refuses to learn how to use magic both very understandable as well as amusing. (You'll have to read the book yourself if you want to know why.)

Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with Shakespeare references, renaissance faires, magic, and even a vampire should enjoy this book. And if you've read the previous books in this series, you won't want to skip this one either. It’s a quick read but a lot of fun and very enjoyable. (And I’m highly amused by the Shakespeare pun in the book’s title of not only this one, but each of the previous books.)

Monday, August 29, 2022

"The Mountain Man's wife"
by Florence Linnington

Travis has returned to a long empty house after he had gotten word that his father had died several years earlier, leaving him everything. He'd been happy with his roaming lifestyle, but now is realizing how lonely he is and has begun thinking that having a wife to come home to would be nice. And when he meets a woman named Ruby, he seems to think that maybe he has found her.

Ruby lives with her brother, who refuses to listen to her advice. She knows that the soil on their land is unable to grow anything, but her brother refuses to give up or accept help or advice from anyone. So when she gets the opportunity to marry a man who actually listens to her and is willing to take her advice, she agrees and marries him right away.

This is a sweet story that focuses on love in several forms. The expected conflict is not between Travis and Ruby, who are well suited to each other. Instead, the conflict in this book comes from a gang that comes to town looking for two young children who have run away. Though clearly there is more to that story.

This was one of Ms. Linnington's best tales so far. It doesn't follow the usual plotline of a mail order bride story, and that only managed to increase my enjoyment of it. If you've enjoyed any of Ms. Linnington's other books, please don't skip this one. It's an enjoyable story that just might tug a bit at your heartstrings a bit.

Monday, August 22, 2022

"Tw'elf Knight" by Nova Nelson

As the four Knights were reading for their first joust of the morning at the magical renaissance fair they had each been cursed to remain in forever, the body of a female elf is found in the stables. She appears to have fallen through the roof, though when and how was a mystery as no one had seen or heard it happen, though it had clearly been a recent death. Now, Sir Olivia seeks to solve this murder, even if it seems to implicate the man who she had begun to develop feelings for.

This was the fifth book in the magical renaissance fair mysteries. I found it to be quite entertaining and very fun to read. There were a number or unexpected twists that added to the difficulty for Olivia to find the truth and the murderer. This story builds on the earlier books in the series and continues to amuse me with the antics of several of the characters. Pax the dove, in particular, who used to be the wings of an angel kept me snickering at his misbehaving nature. 

I enjoyed this book just as much as the rest of the series. I believe that anyone who has read any.of the other books in this series or who enjoys cozy mysteries, fantasy stories, or renaissance faires would enjoy this book as much as I did. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

"Blameless" written by Gail Carriger,
read by Emily Gray

Alexia has been thrown out by her husband after he assumes that there is no way that he could be the father of her baby due to his being a werewolf. And once the news that her husband believes her to have been unfaithful spreads, her family also tells her to leave their home. And having lost the protection of the Woolsey werewolf pack, the vampires begin in earnest to try and have her killed. It can only be assumed that they know something about the child she carries that no one else does, and for some reason it causes them to want to destroy her unborn child, and they will do everything they can to make that happen.

I enjoyed listening to the audiobook version of this book. The narrator, as with the previous two books, did an excellent job of differentiating between each of the characters, allowing no accidental confusion as to which character is speaking at any point in the story. The only real complaint that I have is that there seems to be unusually long pauses between the segments of this story. Several were long enough that I had to  check to make sure my book was still actually playing and not become paused somehow.

But that issue aside, it was a good story and I feel that this is an audiobook that should appeal to anyone who has either read or listened to the previous books in the series. It should also appeal to those who enjoy vampire and werewolf stories, and in particular to those who enjoy a bit of steampunk.

"Scones & Tombstones" by Trixie Silvertale

Halloween in Pin Cherry Harbor this year is sure to be amazing. Mitzy Moon has arranged for a very impressive haunted house event  in order ...