Friday, April 3, 2020

Buried by Lynda La Plante

Good Day!  I hope all of you are surviving your enforced time at home.  There are so many resources available online for those who have children to homeschool.  I wish these resources had been available when I homeschooled my daughter.  You can take virtual trips of museums, download books and audiobooks for free (go to Audible), study guide are available from different publishers and so much more.  Let your fingers do the walking on Bing where you can earn points to purchase gift cards (5500 points gets you a $5 Amazon gift card). You can use those gift cards to purchase some reading material for yourself. Anchored Inn by Karen MacInerney is the 10th A Gray Whale Inn Mystery and is now out.  Daybreak by Vannetta Chapman is the third novel in the Cyber Division series.  It releases on April 6. 
Modern homes burn faster. Some say it's time to add sprinklers
Buried by Lynda La Plante has DC Jack Warr and his partner, Maggie have moved to London from Devon.  Jack has been assigned to the Serious Crime Squad under DCI Simon Ridley.  Jack has yet to find his niche in the police force.  Jack should have been a detective inspector by now.  He has the skills, but Jack lacks ambition.  Then comes along a case that excites him.  Rose Cottage in Aylesbury was set on fire.  Inside they found a body along with over a million pounds of burnt bank notes stolen from a train in 1995.  The robbers were never caught, and this is the first break they have had in the case.  Jack soon finds himself drawn into the criminal underworld searching for the robbers and the killer.  It seems that Jack has found his forte.  Jack needs to be careful because he could find himself breaking a few rules in his search for the truth.  
Crime scene / Police scene tape stock photo image
Buried by Lynda La Plante is the debut novel of DC Jack Warr series.  This is the author’s first new series in five years and Lynda La Plante is currently working on the script for Buried.  I found Buried to be well-written with complex characters and an intriguing crime.  DC Jack Warr and his partner, Maggie have moved to London.  The made the move because Maggie will have more opportunities in London to further her career as an orthopedic surgeon.  Jack’s career has been stagnant thanks to his lack of ambition and he has not found an area of police work that excites him.  DCI Simon Ridley decides to give Jack a chance and gives him a place in his Serious Crime Squad.  Then a case from Aylesbury is brought to the unit’s attention and Jack cannot wait to dive into the investigation.  When investigators were able to enter the remains of Rose Cottage, they found a body along with over a million pounds in burnt currency that is now obsolete.  The money was from the 1995 robbery of a train where over 30 million pounds were stolen.  Police never identified the robbers nor had any solid leads.  Jack is quick to dive into the case which takes him into the murky criminal world where a person can quickly find themselves breaking a few rules while searching for answers.  Jack is also dealing with the death of his adopted father who provides him with a file of information that will help him find information on his biological father.  Jack begins digging into the past and uncovers some surprising information.  I found the case to be interesting, though, I was disappointed that the answers are revealed as the book progresses instead of at the end.  One of the reasons I like to read mysteries is because I like solving the case.  The story plays out with flashbacks into the past revealing key details of the crime and about Jack.  Buried is a police procedural story involving the Serious Crime Squad which consists of DCI Ridley, DS Laura Wade, DC Anik Joshi, and DC Jack Warr.   There is intrigue, tricky characters, gangs, stolen money and much more.  It is a multifaceted novel with everything tying together into a cohesive whole.  The ending was unresolved (cliffhanger).  I wonder if the case will continue in the next DC Jack Warr novel.  I did like the epilogue.  I was confused, though, at times and felt I was missing something.   I did not know that this series ties into the Widows series by this author.  I believe it would have been beneficial if I had read Widows, Widow’s Revenge and She’s Out.  I do want you to know that there is foul language and  intimate innuendos (and comments) in this book.  Buried is a fascinating mystery with a flaming fire, police procedures, a by-the-book boss, clever criminals, and a conflicted character.  
Workshop where you can try your hand at being a CSI, Yorkshire An amazing half day workshop where you can try your hand at being a CSI.  Learn how to develop and identify fingerprints, cast footwear marks and how to process a crime before being dispatched to your very own scene to gather important evidence to help solve the crime of the day.
Buried will be out on April 7 and it is available from Amazon* (as well as other major retailers like Waterstone's, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo).  The Widows series consists of Widows, Widow's Revenge, and She's Out. You can find other novels by Lynda La Plante here.  I appreciate you reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am featuring The Spitfire Girl:  Over & Out by Fenella J. Miller.  It is the fourth novel in The Spitfire Girl series.  I hope you have a creative day.  We all need a creative outlet (gardening, baking, card making, interior design, etc.).  Here is a little book humor:  Friend--How long does it take you to fall in love?  Me--Oh, a couple of chapters usually.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday's Bride by Patricia Johns

Thursday's Bride
Welcome!  Are you looking for some new books to read while you are at home?  Here are some upcoming April releases.  Buried by Lynda La Plante is out April 7 with Deep Fried Revenge by Lynn CahoonShredding the Evidence by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 9th A Cookbook Nook Mystery and it releases on April 21.  Murder in the Storybook Cottage by Ellery Adams comes out April 28 along with Home to Stay by Loree Lough and Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn.  Which one of these books appeals to you?
Amish transportation for little ones, Sturgeon Missouri.
My Summary

Thursday’s Bride by Patricia Johns takes us to Abundance, Pennsylvania where Rosmanda Lapp, a recent widow, is grieving while adjusting to her new circumstances.  She is now a single mother of twin daughters and living with her in-laws.  Rosmanda is helping with the farm work, but her father-in-law, Stephen needs more assistance.  Stephen contacts his youngest son, Levi and asks him to return home.  Rosmanda blames Levi for the death of her husband and she has been unable to forgive him.  Levi has avoided the family farm for the last few years because he has not been able to get over his feelings for Rosmanda.  They courted before Wayne stole Rosmanda from Levi.  While Rosmanda is attracted to Levi, she knows that protecting her reputation is a priority.  Levi hopes that over time Rosmanda will see him a different light.  Then someone from Rosmanda’s past arrives in town and a secret she kept hidden may come to light.  Levi wants to protect Rosmanda from this threat.  Rosmanda will need courage and God if she is to get through this difficult situation.  She wants to find a way to earn money because Rosmanda feels she is a burden to her in laws.  Rosmanda knows that she will be expected to remarry, but she is not ready.  What does the future hold for Rosmanda and Levi?
Amish quilts
My Thoughts

Thursday’s Bride by Patricia Johns is a sweet, heartwarming Amish novel.  Rosmanda Lapp moved to Abundance, Pennsylvania from her hometown after a scandal ruined her chances at marriage.  She was attracted to the charming and rebellious Levi Lapp, but he was not the proper Amish man she came to marry.  When Levi’s older brother, Wayne proposes to Rosmanda, she accepts because he is a respectable Amish man (aka boring but kind).  Rosmanda is a now a widow with twin daughters who lives with her in laws.  Levi is needed to help with the farm work, so he returns home knowing that Rosmanda blames him for Wayne’s death.   Disagreements begin immediately, but they need to find a way to be friends for the sake of the family and their community.  There is a definite attraction between Levi and Rosmanda.  The sparks fly between them especially when they are disagreeing.  I thought Thursday’s Bride was well-written with developed characters.  The story is told from Levi and Rosmanda’s point-of-views.  It switches between them which allows readers to see things from each of their perspectives.  I always find that intriguing because men and women see things differently.  I liked the characters in this story.  They were fleshed out and brought to life which made them feel real to me.  We get to see what it is like for a widow to live with her in laws and the importance of community.  Rosmanda felt like she was a burden to the Lapps.  She wants to earn money, but it is not easy with twin girls to raise.  I enjoyed the description of Rosmanda’s beautiful mourning quilt.  After the death of a loved one, you want life to stop so you can grieve.  Unfortunately, the world continues moving.  Chores must be done, children taken care of, food prepared, and so much more.  You continue to grieve while trying to move through each day as we see with Rosmanda.  The Amish world is very different from our own.  They cannot just think about themselves when making a decision.  They must think how it will affect their community.  A reputation can easily be tarnished at a young age.  Levi and Rosmanda struggle to overcome the past and move forward with their lives.  Their interactions were electric at times.  I enjoyed following their journey in Thursday’s Bride.  The ending was special and left me smiling.  There is a preview of Patricia John’s next novel, Jeb’s Wife at the end.  Thursday’s Bride focuses on forgiveness, faith and second chances.  Patricia Johns provided an appealing Amish story that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.  Thursday’s Bride is a heartening Amish novel with toddling twins, a headstrong horse, a cute calf, secret sins, rapid rumors, and finding forgiveness.  
MID-MISSOURI OLD ORDER AMISH POPULATIONS SOAR and expand into new states and fight for their traditions, their lifes and their GOD and WIN ! | PROMISED LAND
Thursday's Bride is available from Amazon* and other major retailers.  Patricia Johns next novel is Jeb's Wife (not listed on Amazon yet).  You can find Patricia Johns other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow to share a book review with you (I am reading two books and I have not decided which one yet).  I hope you have a safe, happy and healthy day.  Before I depart. . . Why does an elephant use his trunk as a bookmark?  So he NOSE where he stopped reading!  Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
Amish child perhaps reading her "Best Friends" Mailbox Club Bible lesson!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Gone with the Whisker by Laurie Cass

Gone with the Whisker (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery #8)
Happy April.  I hope you are staying positive and safe as we adjust to our new normal.  Are you curious about the history of April Fools' Day?  Check out this site for more information.  The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep is out today.  I will be featuring it on April 18 as part of the Celebrate Lit Book Tour.  Dead on the Vine by Elle Brooke White is the debut of A Finn Family Farm Mystery series.  It will be out on April 7.  A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison is the debut novel in An Enchanted Bay Mystery series.  It releases on May 12. A Tea by the Sea Mystery series begins with Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany on July 28.  Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison comes out August 18.  It is the first book in An Island Sisters Mystery.   I am glad to see so many new cozy mysteries coming on the market.  
SLIC has published a report on the use and impact of mobile libraries throughout Scotland.
Gone with the Whisker by Laurie Cass has Minnie Hamilton busy with her bookmobile duties with her feline sidekick, Eddie in Chilson, Michigan.  Minnie is sharing her tiny houseboat with her niece, Katrina who is visiting for the summer.  The Fourth of July arrives which happens to be Minnie’s 35th birthday.  After a fun day with hiking and good food, Minnie, Rafe, Katrina, Aunt Frances and her new husband, Otto set out for the park to enjoy the fireworks.  After a spectacular light show, Katrina is leading the way home until she stumbles and then screams.  Katrina—excuse me, she wishes to go by Kate now—tripped over the body of Rex Stuhler, one of the bookmobile’s most loyal patrons.  Minnie just saw him two days ago at an alternate bookmobile stop.  Kate starts having nightmares.  She asks Minnie to find Rex’s killer. Minnie keeps the details on a whiteboard aboard her houseboat which encourages Kate to contribute her theories about the crime.  When another bookmobile patron ends up dead, Minnie believes the two cases are connected.  Can Minnie piece together the clues to solve this puzzling whodunit or will she end up the next victim leaving Eddie to find a new owner to provide his cuddles and kibble?
Paulding County (Ohio) Carnegie Library Bookmobile.
Gone with the Whisker by Laurie Cass is the 8th A Bookmobile Cat Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not read the prior books in the series or skipped a book or two.  Gone with the Whisker contains good writing with friendly characters in a charming small town.  Minnie Hamilton is happy to have her niece, Katrina—aka Kate—visiting for the summer.  She did not count on the teenage attitude nor Kate’s addiction to her phone.  Minnie is busy driving her bookmobile providing books and other materials to those who cannot make it to the library in town.  After enjoying a day celebrating the Fourth of July and her birthday, Minnie and her family are heading home.  Kate suddenly trips and then lets out a screech.  She stumbled upon bookmobile patron, Rex Stuhler who dead from a gunshot.  Minnie and her sidekick, Eddie begin delving into the case and providing helpful information to Detectives Wolverson and Inwood.  When a second bookmobile patron ends up dead, Minnie believes the cases are connected.  She needs to prove it and then find the killer so her niece will stop having nightmares.  Minnie comes up with several suspects and a variety of theories with the help of her niece, Kate.  I thought the mystery suited the town and relates to an ongoing problem in our country.  The whodunit can be solved before the tense conclusion (earlier if you are an avid reader of the genre).  I loved Eddie’s part in aiding Minnie.  It is cute how Minnie talks to Eddie and he responds with his adorable “mrr”.  Anyone who has cats can relate.  It is a good thing Eddie is around when Minnie needs him.  There are enjoyable cozy moments in the story as Minnie spends time with her family and friends.  The ending of Gone with the Whisker is special and will leave you smiling.  I am curious when Rafe will finish the house and who will end up winning the pool.  I believe everyone in town has placed a bet on the finish date.  Gone with the Whisker is a lighthearted cozy mystery with a fun feline, bundles of books, fabulous fireworks, tasty treats, a bustling bookmobile, and continuous construction.
Gone with the Whisker is available from Amazon* as well as other major booksellers.  You can find the other books in A Bookmobile Cat Mystery series here.  The first book in this series is Lending the Paw which is currently on sale (ebook version) for $1.99 (please check price before purchasing because prices change quickly on Amazon).  If you enjoy cozy mysteries that feature cats, you should check out A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series by Miranda James. Tomorrow I am sharing Thursday's Bride by Patricia Johns.  Thank you for dropping by today and reading my review.  I hope you have jubilant day.  For your amusement. . . I had plans to read a book about sinkholes, but they feel through!  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
"literature is my utopia." - helen keller
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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm

The Sunday Potluck Club (The Sunday Potluck Club, #1)
The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm has friends Amy, Hazel, Bridget and Nichole preparing for another funeral in Anchorage, Alaska.  Each one has had a parent suffer from cancer.  Three of them have lost a loved one to the dreadful disease.  Today is the funeral for Bridget’s sweet mother who requested that she be remembered with smiles not tears.  The four ladies meet each Sunday for a hot meal and friendship therapy.  They call their meetings the Sunday Potluck Club.  Amy is returning to her job on Monday after being off for the last year to take care of her mother and then grieve.  She is hoping that getting back to normal will help her with her grief.  A new girl in her classroom does not speak in class and keeps herself isolated.  Amy learns that the girl lost her mother recently to cancer.  Amy believes she is meant to help the child and reaches out to her father who has his own struggles. Bridget volunteers at the local animal shelter until the new semester begins and she can resume her veterinary studies.  She wants to get all the animals in the shelter adopted by Valentine’s Day which is in two weeks.  She comes up with a Valentine’s Day event and enlists her friends to help.  The ladies know that this is Bridget’s way of avoiding dealing with her grief and worry what will happen when she cracks.  But the ladies dive in to make this event a success.  They happily welcome the little girl and her father into their circle.  They all need to find a way to heal, find joy and continue living.  Will Bridget succeed with her goal?  Can Amy help the little girl and her father?  
Super Travel Pictures Ideas Photography Fun 62+ Ideas #travel #photography
The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm is a book of friendship, grief, love, unconditional love of animals and healing.  The beginning of the story is a little depressing, but the tone soon changes.  This is a story about people struggling with their grief which can be overwhelming.  Amy, Bridget, and Hazel became friends after meeting in the hospital cafeteria.  Each one had a parent going through chemotherapy.  Nichole is the fourth member of their group and is fortunate that her father’s cancer is in remission.  The four ladies meet each Sunday for a potluck meal and friendship therapy.  Amy is having a hard time handling her grief over the loss of her mother.  This is Amy’s third funeral in less than a year and it is wearing her down.  She is hoping that by returning to work, her life will return to normal.  Brigit just lost her mother and is handling her grief by keeping busy.  Brigit refuses to talk about her grief.  She becomes involved with the local animal shelter and becomes determined to make sure every dog is adopted by Valentine’s Day which is in two weeks.  The three friends get recruited to help Brigit pull off this massive endeavor.  Amy has a new girl in her second-grade class who has just moved to Anchorage with her father.  The child just lost her mother to cancer.  Amy notices the girl does not talk in class nor smile.  Amy wants to help the little girl and contacts the child’s father.  There is an instant spark of attraction between Amy and the father.  But there is an issue that prevents them from moving forward.  As Amy gets involved in activities, her grief lessens.  We follow Amy and Bridgit as the deal with their grief in their own way.  The Sunday Potluck Club is an uplifting story.  I enjoyed the Valentine’s Day event at the animal shelter.  It was a cute idea and a good way for people to interact with the animals (and help them find forever homes).  I would have liked more details on the characters as well as Anchorage.  It would have added more depth to the story.  There are several good lessons in this story.  That each person handles grief in their own way, you should be honest with your friends, and grief takes time.  I liked that the ladies were close friends and willing to help each other out at a moment’s notice.  People who are there for you no matter what are true friends.  The animals sounded like such cuties.  The author’s word imagery really brought them life.  You can tell that Melissa Storm has animals of her own from her descriptions.  The Sunday Potluck Club is an emotional novel with first class friends, agonizing grief, scrumptious potluck, furry friends,  fun forts, and a cold climate.
15 Dogs Waiting Patiently For You At Their Kissing Booths - I Can Has Cheezburger?
The Sunday Potluck Club is available from Amazon*.  The second book in The Sunday Potluck Club series is Wednesday Walks and Wags.  This story features Bridgit Moore and it will release on August 25.  Melissa Storm also writes humorous cozy mysteries under the pen name Molly Fitz.  The Pet Whisperer PI series features Angie Russo who can talk to cats and her pretentious cat, Octo-Cat.  The books in the series are available through Kindle Unlimited.  You can get two months free of Kindle Unlimited when you join the program (you can always cancel later if you do not like it).  You should give it a try.  Thank you for joining me today. Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Gone with A Whisker by Laurie Cass. It is the 8th novel in A Bookmobile Cat Mystery series. I hope that you have a positive day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
Field of Flowers #literaturelovers #bookslove #novels #reader #illustration #painting #booklovers #bookpaintings #bookart #ruralhouse #floralpainting #naturelovers
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Monday, March 30, 2020

The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb

The Darkness We Hide (The Undertaker's Daughter Book 3) by [Webb, Debra]
Good Day!  I hope you and your family are doing well while you are home bound.  In our county, they are going to online teaching for our students.  They are equipping the students with computers (if they do not have one) and a company is providing an internet connection for those students who do not have one at home.  The teachers have been undergoing training.  I was glad to see the school board take a proactive approach (worked this out while students were on spring break).  How are things in your neck of the woods?
Grisell Funeral Home - Sardis, OH - Funeral Homes on
A small town funeral home
The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb-- Dr. Rowan Dupont grew up in the family funeral home.  She has returned to Winchester, Tennessee and taken over the family business. Rowan is happy being back home and living with chief of police, Billy Brannigan.  She knows that serial killer Julian Addington is still out there and wonders when he will reappear.  Rowan is surprised at what she has learned about her family and wonders what other secrets there are about her ancestors.  Her friend and local coroner, Burt Johnston dies.  He sent a final text to Rowan stating that he had found something she needed to see.  Then she receives a call from Detective April Jones that FBI Agent Josh Dressler is missing.  The next day a body is found on the grave of Rowan’s mother.  It appears that Julian is at it again.  When Rowan goes to Burt’s house to get a suit, she finds a bulletin board with pictures and notes relating to Rowan.  Rowan needs to figure out what Burt had learned and see if it will help her stop Julian.  Rowan knows that Julian will be coming for her, but she worries that he will attack those close to her first.  She wants to end this torment once and for all.  This might be their only shot at taking out Julian.
blue blue eyes, i hate her
The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb is the third novel in The Undertaker’s Daughter series.  The author does provide a summary of what occurred in the earlier books in this series, but I believe it is better to read The Undertaker’s Daughter series in order (it makes more sense that way).  The beginning is a little slow, but the pace soon picks up.  The Darkness We Hide is a suspenseful novel with twists, turns and surprising revelations.  It is a dark tale with gruesome details that will have you cringing (that is a good thing).  I was put off, though, by the foul language (I find it offensive).  The Darkness We Hide is well written with developed, realistic characters.  I could feel the suspense and emotion in this twisty story.  The Darkness We Hide provides a thrilling conclusion to the series.  All the loose threads (there were so many) are tied up in this action-packed book.  You will find your mouth dropping open in disbelief during a certain scene. I was delighted with the satisfying epilogue.  I was amazed at the evil, warped characters in this story (this author has a vivid imagination).  There are also some truly kind individuals as well.  The Darkness We Hide is a dark and twisty suspense with surprising secrets, a perverse predator, a traitorous turncoat, a repugnant agent, and an upset undertaker.  
Ralph arrested Terry in front of hundreds of people.
The Darkness We Hide releases March 31.  You can pre-order from Amazon* so it will be on your Kindle when you wake up on release day (or have it delivered to your mailbox).  The other novels in The Undertaker's Daughter series are The Undertaker's Daughter (a novella), The Secrets We Bury (currently $1.99 on Amazon) and The Lies We Tell.  I also suggest checking out Debra Webb's A Winchester, Tennessee Thriller series. Tomorrow I am reviewing The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm.  It is the first book in The Sunday Potluck Club series.  By the way. . . What did the sketchbook say to the novel?  I'm drawing a blank!  I hope you have a safe and sane day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer

Murder at the Mena House (A Jane Wunderly Mystery Book 1) by [Neubauer, Erica Ruth]
Thank you for joining me today.  Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower is the 5th An Amish Candy Shop Mystery which comes out May 26.  Botched Butterscotch by Amanda Flower is An Amish Candy Shop Novella that will be out on April 28.  Lynn Cahoon introduced Kitchen Witch Mysteries with Chili Cauldron Curse on August 25.  One for the Books by Jenn McKinlay is the 11th A Library Lover's Mystery.  It releases on September 1, 2020.  Tea and Treachery by Vicki Delany is the debut of A Tea by the Sea Mystery series.  It is available for pre-order and it will release on July 28.  There are some fabulous new cozy mysteries coming out this year!  Which one appeals to you?
Tourism in Egypt 1800's
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer has Jane Wunderly in Egypt with her Aunt Millie in 1926.  Jane is looking forward to visiting the pyramids and other local treasures.  Jane is a World War I widow and is not looking for a new man in her life.  Millie, though, has a romantic streak and likes playing matchmaker.  The first evening at Mena House, Jane is enjoying cocktails with the other guests.  Aunt Millie sends the charming Mr. Redvers over to socialize with Jane.  Everyone is friendly except Anna Stainton who has no intention of sharing the limelight with Jane.  When Anna is found dead in her room, Jane is at the top of the suspect list.  Jane wants to clear her name as quickly as possible.  She does not believe prison in Egypt would suit her.  After Redvers catches her sneaking into Anna’s room, he works with Jane to solve the case.  When a second person is shot to death in a similar manner, Jane and Redvers dig to find out how the victims are connected.  When Jane gets too close for comfort, the killer attempts to thwart her sleuthing.  Will Jane be able to unravel the clues and reveal the killer?  Or will Jane end up entombed with the mummies?
Mercedes-Benz in front of the pyramids , Egypt. The photo was taken in 1926.
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is the debut of A Jane Wunderly Mystery series. This historical cozy mystery takes us back in time to 1926 (the Roaring Twenties) where prohibition is in full swing in the United States, dress lengths are shorter than ever, and women are bobbing their hair.  Jane Wunderly is traveling with her Aunt Millie to Egypt where Jane cannot wait to visit the pyramids.  They are staying at Mena House which has a golf course and a pool along with a variety of intriguing guests.  Aunt Millie is quick to send an eligible bachelor in Jane’s direction the first evening (much to Jane’s annoyance).  Jane was widowed at age twenty-two when her husband died in the Great War.  She is not interested in finding a new husband after her experience with the first one.  Jane must admit, though, that Mr. Redvers is enigmatic and dashing.  Alcohol flows freely in Egypt much to Aunt Millie’s delight.  Anna Stainton, a female guest, takes a dislike to Jane and is quick to cause discord between them.  When Anna is found shot in her room, Jane becomes Inspector Hamadi’s top suspect.  Jane sets out to prove her innocence and gets assistance from Redvers.  There are a variety of suspects in Anna’s death.  Jane follows each lead searching for the guilty party.  It depends on your sleuthing level whether you find this mystery a cinch or perplexing.  I did like that there was more than one mystery to solve which made the book more interesting.  I was unable to get into Murder at the Mena House.  I believe part of the problem was the first-person narrative.  Jane’s descriptions of her facial expressions were awkward, and I was unsure why she would describe her own expressions in the first place.  The author is a detail-oriented writer which does allow a reader to visualize the character and scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story.  I did enjoy the descriptions of the clothing and Egyptian sites.  I thought the author captured the time period especially with the attitudes and manners (an example is “I should have had security tackle her on the way out, but it seemed improper.”)  I wanted the book to have more action and a peppier pace.  I did like Jane Wunderly with her natural curiosity, the mysterious Redvers and the gregarious Aunt Millie.  Who knows where their adventures will take them next time!  Murder at the Mena House has murder, mystery and mayhem in Egypt.  
room with a view Mena House Hotel Cairo Egypt
Murder at the Mena House will be out on Tuesday, March 31.  It is available from Amazon* where you can pre-order it now.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I hope you are doing well during these unusual times.  Tomorrow I am sharing The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb.  It is the third novel in The Undertaker's Daughter series.  I hope that you have a noteworthy day.  Before I go. . .What do librarians take with them when they go fishing?  Bookworms! Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Girl in Hammock. Theodore Robinson (American, 1852-1896).
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly

Dead in the Doorway (House-Flipper Mystery #2)
Welcome!  I hope all of you staying safe and healthy.  Have You Seen Me? by Kate White releases on April 28 along with Murder in the Wine Country by Janet FinsilverSecrets of the Treasure King by Terry Ambrose comes out April 29.  To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid publishes on May 12 as well as A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette.  There are many new books coming out over the next couple of months (and I have requested too many once again).  
Set inside an ornate pillared stone porch, this elegant red front door and frame with part glazed panelling creates an impressive welcome. The vibrant paintwork is a bold finishing touch to this beautifully crafted Victorian door.
Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly has Whitney Whitaker and her cousin, Buck purchasing a home on Songbird Circle in Nashville, Tennessee to flip.  The owner recently passed away and her two sons sold it to them.  They do a walk through on Friday to make plans on how to proceed with updating the outdated abode.  The house is littered with items the heirs did not want which means additional work for the cousins.  Whitney arrives early on Saturday to begin the clean up and demoing process.  She is unable to get the front door to open.  She comes in through the garage to find a woman dead at the bottom of the stairs blocking the front door.  Whitney gets another surprise when a man in pajamas comes up the stairs from the lower level.  Dakota was not aware that his grandmother’s home had been sold and let himself in using the key in the frog on the front porch (change locks just moved up on the to do list).  At first it looks like the victim died from falling down the stairs.  Then Detective Collin Flynn shows up at Whitney’s home.  It seems that someone helped the deceased down the steps and Detective Flynn asks Whitney for her assistance. The victim is Nelda Dolan who lived across the street.  The residents of Songbird Lane are a tight knit bunch who have lived on the street for decades.  Whitney finds herself invited to the ladies Friday night poker game which gives her an opportunity to snoop.  She soon learns that Lillian Walsh, who owned Whitney’s latest flip, was an expert baker who won numerous blue ribbons.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Walsh took her recipes to the grave with her. The neighbors miss Lillian’s peach pie more than Nelda Dolan.   Could that be the reason Nelda was in the home?  Whitney continues to work on the flip while searching for clues.  What happens when the killer decides Whitney is too close for comfort?
Borrow from these before-and-afters and give the neighbors something to talk about
Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly is the second book in A House-Flipper Mystery series.  Dead in the Doorway can be read without having picked up Dead as a Doorknocker.  However, I recommend reading the cute debut of this series.  A House-Flipper Mystery series is similar to A Paw Enforcement series written by Diane Kelly with chapters from an animal’s point-of-view. Sawdust, Whitney’s cat, is cute and smart, and I like reading about his perspective on things.  I would like his chapters to have a wee bit more humor (I love Brigit’s snarky comments from A Paw Enforcement series).  I thought Dead in the Doorway contained good writing, steady pacing and friendly characters.  Whitney Whitaker works as property manager as well as a carpenter (for her uncle’s carpentry business).  Her true love, though, is flipping houses which she does with her cousin, Buck Whitaker.  They are both hoping for a better experience after the murder that happened in their first slip that prevented them from selling it (Whitney and two roommates are currently living in it).  Whitney arrives early on demo day to find a woman dead at the base of the stairs and the deceased owner’s grandson squatting in the house (that gets the blood pumping).  At first blush, it appears the victim fell down the steps during the night.  Unfortunately, Detective Collin Flynn soon informs Whitney that the victim did not fall on her own.  Whitney, who was going to snoop anyway, is thrilled when Detective Flynn asks for her assistance.  There are definite sparks flying between the detective and Whitney (and he is a cat lover too).  The mystery had a handful of suspects along with misdirection.  There are clues to aid a reader in solving the crime.  I would have preferred more sleuthing and less speculation.  There was too much conjecture for my liking (I ended up skimming through some of it because it was repetitive).  My favorite line from Dead in the Doorway is courtesy of Detective Flynn when he said, “You again?” when he sees Whitney at the crime scene. I did enjoy reading Dead in the Doorway, and I will be reading the next A House-Flipper Mystery with Whitney, Buck, Detective Flynn and Sawdust.    Dead in the Doorway is a purr-fect cozy mystery to cuddle up with in a comfy chair.
Classic Peach Pie - a vintage handwritten recipe card for Peach Pie.   #ClassicPeachPie #VintageRecipes #PeachPie #Peaches #Pie #Recipe #Vintage
Handwritten Recipe for Peach Pie
Dead in the Doorway will be out on March 31.  You can pre-order it from Amazon*.  Dead as a Doorknocker is also available from Amazon.  You can find Diane Kelly's A Paw Enforcement series here. Thank you for visiting today.  I will return tomorrow to share Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer.  I hope that you have a relaxing day.  By the way. . .How did you manage to get hit on the head by a book?  I only have my shelf to blame!  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Eating and reading, the best kind of mult-tasking!

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Light Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

Light Shines on Promise Lodge (Promise Lodge #5)
Happy Friday!  I hope all of you are staying safe and well.  I was very fortunate this week that my very kind and generous brother-in-law came over and changed our kitchen faucet.  Our old one has been leaking terribly for a year.  I was unable to do the job and I am so thankful that he did this for us.  No more leaks!  How are things going at your house?  
Holmes County Ohio
Light Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard opens with the wedding of Frances Lehman and Preacher Marlen Kurtz.  It is obvious to all present that the two are very much in love.  Annabelle Beachey has settled into Promise Lodge where she has started a sewing business.  She has become more confident and independent since her arrival thanks to the other ladies in the community.  Annabelle is shocked when Phineas, the husband who abandoned her, arrives during the wedding dinner.  He wants Annabelle to leave the Amish and relocate to Ohio where he has established his business.  Phineas is surprised at how Annabelle has changed especially at how she speaks up to him.  Cyrus Helmuth begins showing interest in Gloria Lehman.  She is unaware of the wager Cyrus has made with his brother, Jonathan.  The morning after the wedding, the town is surprised by the appearance of Bishop Clayton King who states he is there on behalf of the Council of Bishops.  He states that the council is concerned at how progressive Promise Lodge has become and Bishop Clayton sets out to make changes.  Bishop Clayton’s changes could ruin the community the group has built unless action is taken.  
Image result for amish women cooking pictures
Light Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard is the fifth novel in the Promise Lodge Series.  I do recommend reading the series in order.  It is the best way to understand the people and the community.  I enjoyed reading Light Shines on Promise Lodge, and I did not want this delightful story to end.  I thought it was well-written with steady pacing and a good flow.  The characters are developed as well as endearing and continue to grow as individuals.  All our favorites are back (Bishop Monroe, Christine, Preacher Amos Troyer, Gloria, Allen, Laura, etc.) plus we have the addition of Annabelle and Phineas Beachey.  Annabelle’s husband left her to become English.  She only knew he left because she caught him searching for her egg money.  After her brother-in-law took over the farm and made Annabelle feel like a charity case, she relocated to Promise Lodge.  Annabelle develops a backbone along with loving friends who care and support her.  Phineas is determined to stay, but he will need to change his ways if wants to win back his wife.  Cyrus Helmuth and his older brother, Jonathan make a wager that will end up causing hurt feelings.  Hopefully, the pair will do some maturing along the way and learn a life lesson or two.  Bishop Clayton King shows up at Promise Lodge claiming their community is too progressive.  He is intent on making changes.  Trouble has come to their peaceful community.  Light Shines on Promise Lodge was an interesting story with its various storylines.  I like how everything played out including the appearance of some special guests (I cannot say too much or it will spoil it for you).  I especially liked the mystery surrounding Bishop King.  I have enjoyed watching Gloria go from a girl chasing boys to a woman who manages the cabins and apartments at the lodge. There are recipes from the Promise Lodge kitchen at the end of the book.   Light Shines on Promise Lodge is a story about forgiveness, love, friendship, family, community and second chances.  Charlotte Hubbard is a storyteller of the highest caliber.  She weaves a tale that will capture and hold your attention from beginning to end.  I hope there will be many more stories in this charming series.  
12 Unique Amish Wedding Traditions
Light Shines on Promise Lodge releases on Tuesday, March 31.  It can be pre-ordered through Amazon.  You can find the other novels in the Promise Lodge Series here.  If you enjoy reading the Promise Lodge Series, I highly suggest reading Charlotte Hubbard's Simple Gifts series. Thank you for reading my review today.  I will be sharing my thoughts on Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly which is the second A House-Flipper Mystery.  I hope that you have an inspired day.  By the way. . .Why did words and punctuation end up in court?  To be sentenced!  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

susanne draws
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Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund

The Runaway Bride (The Bride Ships, #2)
Good Day!  I hope everyone is surviving this time of isolation.  It is a good opportunity to catch up on chores at home (or sit and read).  I collect vintage mystery series like Cherry Ames, Vicki Barr, Trixie Belden, and Beverly Gray.  I have been hunting for one book to complete the Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess series for year.  Whenever The Brass Idol Mystery is listed on Ebay, it is usually above my price point ($45 and up).  I had an alert set up and this week I found it for $12.99.  I was shocked and excited.  I went online and purchased it immediately.  Those of you who love books will understand my joy.  Now I just need a vintage Ski Nurse Mystery from the Cherry Ames series to complete that collection.  Here are some cozy mysteries that will be coming out this year.  Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan is the debut of An Alaskan Diner Mystery series.  It comes out May 5 and I will be featuring it on May 6 as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.  Thread and Dead by Elizabeth Penney releases August 25.  It is the second tale in The Apron Shop seriesGoodnight Moo by Mollie Cox Bryan also comes out August 25.  It is the second A Buttermilk Creek Mystery.  Murder Outside the Lines by Krista Davis is the third A Pen & Ink Mystery.  It releases on October 26.  All of these books are available for pre-order.  I enjoy waking up and discovering new books on my kindle on release day (I am a book nerd).  
Victoria, BC, incorporated as a city in 1862, population 85,792 (2016c), 80,017 (2011c). The capital of British Columbia, the City of Victoria is situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 100 km south of Vancouver. Occupying a peninsular site, Victoria is bordered by the Juan de Fuca and Haro straits. In addition, the Olympic Mountains lie to the south, the San Juan Islands to the east, and the fjord-like Saanich Inlet and richly forested Malahat Ridge and Sooke Hills to the wes...
Victoria, British Columbia 1862
The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund has Arabella Lawrence fleeing England aboard a bride ship Tynemouth for Victoria, British Columbia in September of 1862.  Upon Arabella’s arrival, she has men vying for her attention.  Two, though, are more ardent than the others.  Lt. Richard Drummond, a gentleman in the Navy, who would provide Arabella with a life like she was accustomed to in England.  Peter Kelly, the local baker, is working hard to make his business a success and to purchase land he has coveted.  Arabella would not have fine clothes nor servants.  The two men have history which adds tension as they compete for Arabella’s heart.  Peter and Richard have different views regarding the natives and how they should be treated.  Early one morning, Arabella discovers a native girl who is starving and ill.  She immediately takes the girl to Peter knowing he will help.  The more time Arabella spends with Peter, the more she is attracted to the charming baker.  But she cannot help hearing her stepmother’s voice in her head lecturing her on the proper way to behave and act.  Arabella also worries that the man she fled from in England has sent his servant to drag her back to England.  Which man will win Arabella’s affections?  Can Arabella get the courage to make the right decision?
1865 - A STREET IN VICTORIA Large and substantial stone and brick warehouses, well stocked with goods, line the upper part of the harbour on the town side. Between 1861 and 1862 alone, fifty-six brick buildings were erected and since that period, very rapid progress has been made in edifices of that character. Several spacious hotels, elegantly furnished, and supplied with every comfort which the most fastidious could wish, have been built.
Victoria 1865
The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund grabbed by attention from the very first page.  I have not yet had the opportunity to read The Reluctant Bride (I have moved it to the top of my pile).  I was glad that The Runaway Bride could be read as a standalone.  I thought the story was well-written with realistic, developed characters.  Arabella Lawrence has left England for a new life in British Columbia.  She fled England before her wedding to Mr. Major.  The match was arranged between her father and Mr. Major.  The man was old enough to be Arabella’s grandfather and his other wives only lived a couple of years after they were wed.  Arabella has had rigid rules drilled into her by a nasty stepmother.  She arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship and hopes to make an advantageous match that suits her position.  Lt. Richard Drummond is among the dignitaries greeting the ship and he is instantly taken with Arabella.  Peter Kelly, the local baker, meets Arabella the same day and knows she is the woman he wants to marry.  Two very different men with differing belief systems vying for Arabella’s attention.  Peter Kelly is a charmer from the very beginning.  I can see why Arabella was taken with him.  I could feel Arabella’s mind versus heart dilemma.  She knows she should marry someone of her social station, but Arabella is attracted to Pete.  She also feels she can talk to him and that he likes her despite her flaws.  The author showed the contrast between the two men as well as how society would perceive Arabella if she did not do as expected of her.  I thought Jody Hedlund captured the time period and how it felt to arrive in a new country on a bride ship.  These women had no idea what the area would be like or what type of men would be waiting for them.  I liked that none of the women were forced to marry.  They were allowed to take their time in finding the right life partner.  The author’s vivid descriptions brought the story alive for me.  I could visualize the scenery and the characters.  I felt I was in the canoe with Arabella as she saw the wildlife and traversed along the water to the native’s village.  Included in the story is a little girl who needs help.  Smallpox has infected the natives, and many were worried it would claim those in Victoria.  There are those who wished to help the natives and others who wanted to drive them away.   Why Arabella fled England is revealed a little bit at a time.  I do want to let readers know there is violence which will make you cringe.  My favorite phrase from The Runaway Bride is “If we’re living rightly before God and pleasing Him, then that’s all that matters.”  Christian values were beautifully incorporate into the story.  It is an integral part of The Runaway Bride.  I stayed up very late to finish this moving historical novel.  I am looking forward to reading the other books in The Bride Ships series.  The Runaway Bride is a touching story with a beguiling baker, fierce frays, a shocking sickness, rapid rumors, a spiteful soldier, and beautiful brides.
Victorian Wedding Dresses: 27 Stunning Vintage Photographs of Brides Before 1900 ~ vintage everyday
The Runaway Bride is available from Amazon* (Barnes & Noble, CBD, Kobo, Google Play and other booksellers) along with the other novels in The Bride Ships series.  The first novel in the series is The Reluctant BrideA Bride of Convenience is available for pre-order and releases on June 30. The fourth book in The Bride Ships series is Almost A Bride which comes out August 25.  I hope you find The Runaway Bride as enjoyable as I did.  Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of Light Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard. It is the fifth novel in The Promise Lodge series.  I hope you have a day filled with joy.  By the way. . .Why is Peter Pan always flying?  He neverlands! Please stay home if you do not need to go out.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
perugini, charles edward reading ||| fashion ||| sotheby's n09417lot866ffen
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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Death on the Page by Essie Lang

Death on the Page (Castle Bookshop Mystery #2)
Welcome!  I hope you and your family are staying healthy, safe and sane.  One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak releases on April 7 along with The Stolen Letter by Paige Shelton and The Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts RinehartMurder in the Storybook Cottage by Ellery Adams comes out April 28.  It is the sixth A Book Retreat Mystery.  I just love this book themed series.  Which one of these new books appeals to you?
Death on the Page by Essie Lang has true crime writer, Savannah Page visiting Bayside Books in Alexandria Bay, New York to celebrate her latest release.  Co-owner, Shelby Cox is surprised when she hears that the board of directors for Blye Castle are allowing Savannah to stay in a guest suite over the weekend.  It seems that Savannah wants to research the cold case involving prohibition era rum runner and mobster, Joe Cabana.  At the book signing, a woman confronts Savannah claiming the best-selling author stole her book idea which Savannah denies.  The next day, Savannah signs books at Bayside Books inside Blye Castle before enjoying her weekend inside the beautiful historic property.  Shelby arrives at work the next day to learn that Savannah is missing.  She is later found at the bottom of a staircase inside a secret passage that Shelby did not know exist which arouses her curiosity.  With her inquisitiveness stirred, Shelby begins making inquiries and snooping around the castle.  Shelby has additional duties since Aunt Edie is out of commission.  A cat tripped her up and she injured her knee falling down her back steps.  Will Shelby survive another investigation?
Most Beautiful Places to Visit in New York State You Don't Know About - Thrillist
Death on the Page by Essie Lang is the second novel in A Castle Bookshop Mystery series.  It can be a standalone if you have not read Trouble on the Books.  Shelby Cox co-owns Bayside Books in Alexandria Bay, New York with her aunt, Edie Cox.  They have an auxiliary location in Blye Castle on Blye Island which is one of the Thousand Islands.  It is the 35th anniversary of their bookstore and Savannah Page has agreed to do a signing of her latest true crime novel.  Savannah also got the board of directors of Blye Castle to allow her to stay at the castle over the weekend.  The author plans on researching Joe Cabana, a prohibition mobster, whose murder was never solved.  Shelby arrives to open the bookstore on Sunday to learn that Savannah is dead at the bottom of a staircase in a secret passage.  Shelby is curious about the secret passages and the author’s death, so she begins asking questions.  There are a variety of suspects from the castle’s caretaker to the author’s fiancĂ©.  Shelby asks questions of people involved in the case despite being told by her aunt, boyfriend and Chief Stone to stop being a nosey parker.  The mystery is straightforward, and readers will have no problem solving the whodunit before the solution is revealed.  When Shelby is not sleuthing, she is working at the bookstore, visiting friends or her aunt, spending time with Zach Griffin (the Coast Guard agent she is dating), or indulging in coffee at Chocomania. I wish the story had contained more action.  I found the pace to be on the slow side (for me).  I would like to see Shelby become more mature especially with regards to her relationship with Zach.  It would be nice is the author fleshed out the main characters (Erica, Matthew, Aunt Edie, Zach).  I also wanted more sleuthing at the castle.  I felt the author lost out on an opportunity   to make this an intriguing mystery with Shelby sneaking around the castle and finding clues in the secret passages.  The ending seemed abrupt and lacking in a solid conclusion to the mystery (I have questions).  Those readers who prefer more cozy than mystery will enjoy reading Death on the Page.  Death on the Page has secret stairs, chocolate coffee, pocketed objects, injured individuals, tricky thieves, and a cagey killer.
38 secret wine cellar ideas
Death on the Page can be obtained from Amazon* along with Trouble on the Books.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow to feature The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund.  It is the second novel in The Bride Ships series.  Now for a little book related joke. . .Why did Shakespeare always write in pen?  Because pencils were confusing to him.  2B or not 2B.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
Reading {108:365}
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