Friday, May 31, 2019

Arriving from Arkansas by Elisa Keyston

Arriving from Arkansas (The Pioneer Brides of Rattlesnake Ridge Book 1) by [Keyston , Elisa, Press, Sweet Promise]
It is hard to believe that this is the last day of May.  The month went by so quickly for me.  Bewitched and Betrothed by Juliet Blackwell releases on June 25.  It is the tenth novel in A Witchcraft Mystery series starring Lily Ivory.  I was fortunate to get a copy through First to Read (which, unfortunately, is being discontinued).  Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower also comes out June 25.  It is the fourth book in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series featuring Bailey King.  Is there a book you are looking forward to reading this summer?
Bewitched and Betrothed (Witchcraft Mystery Book 10) by [Blackwell, Juliet]
Arriving from Arkansas by Elisa Keyston takes readers back to August of 1870.  Josephine “Josie” Lane is traveling to Rattlesnake Ridge, Nevada where she has obtained a position as cook at Miss May’s boardinghouse.  This job will allow her to search for the silver vein her uncle had discovered before he became ill.  He wrote down everything in his journal for Josie and she is determined to find the mine to change her circumstances. 
 stage coach  what a ride

Jim Griffin is traveling on the same stagecoach as Josie and they chat while traveling.  He can tell that Josie is hiding a secret because he has one of his own.  Jim will be working as foreman at the lumber mill while he checks out a lead on the elusive fugitive, Ezra Boucher.  As a deputy U.S. Marshall, Jim has worked numerous assignments, but this one is personal.  Boucher killed Jim’s brother, Will and he has been hunting this killer for the last four years.  Josie is a distraction Jim cannot afford, but he cannot help but be drawn to her.  Circumstances keep putting Josie in Jim’s path and he is beginning to have thoughts of settling down with the blonde cook.  Unbeknownst to them, danger is lurking nearby.  Is there a happily ever after in their future?
The Pioneer Brides of Rattlesnake Ridge (6 Book Series) by  Keyston , Elisa Sweet Promise Press Catherine Bilson Christine Sterling Nan O'Berry Patricia PacJac Carroll Ramona Flightner
Arriving from Arkansas is a cute story and it had me smiling frequently while I read it.  I thought Arriving from Arkansas was well-written with realistic characters.  Josie and Jim have secrets which adds depth to the story.  I like that we have our heroes and our villains as is needed in a story set in this time period and locale.  Josie is an entertaining character and I liked her naivete (normal for a woman of her age and from a small town).  She is trying to improve her circumstances which I admire.  Jim is a dashing hero who wants justice for his murdered brother.  Mrs. Adeline Brown is a delightful woman.  She is a force of nature, but Adeline has people’s best interests in mind.  I like the two mysteries with Josie hunting for the silver and Jim looking for his brother’s killer.  It adds intrigue and complexity to the story.  There is humor in Arriving from Arkansas from Josie’s various antics.  I could relate to her burning the bread because she became engrossed in a book (I have had similar incidents).  My favorite phrase came from Reverend Brown who said “This world isn’t the whole story.  It’s just the pale prologue.”  I like that Arriving in Arkansas is a clean wholesome Christian novel that could be read by anyone from 13 to 103. I am eager to read the rest of the books in the Pioneer Brides of Rattlesnake Ridge.  Arriving from Arkansas is a charming historical novel with a lovely cook, a handsome deputy U.S. Marshall, a wily killer, a nosy journalist and a hidden silver mine. 
The Brides of the Big Valley: 3 Romances from a Unique Pennsylvania Amish Community by [Brunstetter, Wanda E., Brunstetter, Jean, Brunstetter, Richelle]
Arriving from Arkansas is available on Amazon and is on the Kindle Unlimited.  You can find a complete list of the books in Pioneer Brides of Rattlesnake Ridge series here. I will be sharing my review of The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Richelle Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter tomorrow.  Three Amish romances in one book.  I hope you have a lovely day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Il dolce far niente.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Amish Widow's Rescue by Rachel J. Good: Review & Giveaway

About the Book

The perfect family awaits…if only he’ll risk his heart.
Pregnant and recently widowed, Grace Fisher is determined to provide for her family on her own. Thankfully, her jam business is popular in her Amish community. But it’s difficult keeping up with her work, her farm chores, and her two mischievous children. Especially now that they’ve taken to idolizing their neighbor Elijah. While the handsome farmer is kind and generous, he seems intent on holding Grace and her little ones at a distance…
Elijah Beiler has always admired his neighbor Grace. So standing by while she struggles to support her family isn’t an option. Offering to take over her farm duties, Elijah is determined to help while remaining detached. He knows all too well that love only leads to heartbreak. Yet the more time he spends with Grace and her children, the harder he finds it to leave each day. But can Elijah overcome past hurts and open his heart to this ready-made family.  
”A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Timesbestselling author, on The Amish Teacher’s Gift

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The bestselling author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farms and attending family events. Rachel has more than 40 books in print or forthcoming for both children and adults under several pen names. Find out more about Rachel and her books at her website and by signing up for her newsletter.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House & Harlequin), Love & Promises (Hachette/Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and the forthcoming Unexpected Amish Blessings and Surprised by Love series (Kensington). She also has several anthologies in print as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Book.

More from Rachel

The story idea for The Amish Widow’s Secret came to me after I’d just finished reading stories to my Amish friend’s children to give her a little break. She was expecting a new baby, and while we sat in their kitchen enjoying a snack, her husband came in.
The tenderness in his eyes as they talked made my eyes well with tears. It was obvious how much they loved each other, and they both supported each other. A perfect companionship. Not everyone gets to experience that bond, that caring.
It made me wonder what she’d do without him, and the seeds of a story was born. I decided to explore how a widow would cope with a pregnancy and two children alone. In the Amish community, of course, no one is ever left on their own. Everyone chips in to help.
So, what if the handsome and reclusive bachelor next door felt obligated to help, but wanted to avoid getting involved? Would he eventually soften his heart toward children and love?
As I wrote, I wondered if Elijah Beiler could get over a previous heartbreak. He needed to face his past before he moved forward, so I gave him that opportunity. A surprise visit and unwelcome news force Elijah to rethink everything he believes about parenting and love. And about the person who destroyed his world. He also needs to face the bitterness he’s been harboring.
Sometimes learning more about the circumstances or reasons of the person who has hurt us causes us to see the whole situation in a new light, making it easier to let go of the hurt. That’s what happens to Elijah.
I hope his journey will encourage readers to consider the places in their lives where they’ve been holding onto pain and reevaluate those experiences in the light of God’s forgiveness and love. To write this story, I needed to do that too.
Luscious Blueberry Jam Recipe -This perfectly spreadable blueberry jam boasts a beautiful dark color with a sweet, seasonal flavor. —Karen Haen, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

My Summary

The Amish Widow’s Rescue by Rachel J. Wood is the third A Love & Promises Novel.  Grace Fisher has been married for four years to Melvin and they have two children with another on the way.  When Melvin passes away, Grace must rely on her jam business to support her family.  She finds it hard to take care of the house, farm chores, make jam and keep an eye on the children.  Grace appreciates her neighbor, Elijah Beiler helping with the farm chores, but she dislikes accepting help from others.  Levi is three years old and instantly takes to Elijah.  While Elijah is friendly, he tries to keep the Fisher family at arm’s length.  After her marriage to Melvin, Grace is reluctant to trust another man with her heart.

Elijah Beiler cannot stand by while Grace struggles to care of her family.  He volunteers to do the farm chores to help alleviate her load.  Elijah is a bachelor and plans to stay that way.  He knows that loving someone will only get your heart broken, but he admits that he is attracted to Grace and little Levi is hard to resist.  As he spends more time with Grace and her family, he begins to wonder about being with them full-time.  But then someone Elijah never thought he would see again enters his life and brings back the hurt and pain.  What does God have in store for Elijah and Grace?

Pennsylvania Dutch Featured Farm: Lapp Valley — Farm to Fork Fondo
My Thoughts 

The Amish Widow’s Rescue can be read alone if you have not read the previous novels in A Love & Promises series (but why not read all three of these charming books).  The Amish Widow’s Rescue is a moving story.  The story has depth and it is an emotional read.  Grace Fisher loved her husband, but Melvin changed after they married.  She did not like how Melvin treated her and the children.  Grace does not have time to wonder about what if’s, because she needs to earn money to support herself and the children.  Her jam making business has taken off and the orders keep pouring in especially after her niece, Miriam sets up a website.  Grace has trouble accepting help from others, but that is exactly what she needs.  Elijah steps in to help with the farm chores, but he wants to protect his heart from getting hurt.  It is hard with the lovely Grace nearby and little Levi who enjoys spending time with Elijah.  There are multiple storylines in the book (I do not want to say too much and spoil it for you).  I enjoyed this well-written story with its appealing characters.  I thought it was realistic, and it was interesting to learn more about the jam making business.  The Amish Widow’s Rescue is an engaging story that you will not want to put down once you start reading.  There are two phrases from The Amish Widow’s Rescue that I wanted to share.  The first is “if this is God’s will, He’ll help you work everything out”.  I find this to be very true.  “You should never let pride keep you from speaking what’s in your heart” is the second phrase.  How many of us are guilty of this one?  If you are looking for a heartfelt and complex Amish novel, then pick up The Amish Widow’s Rescue.  
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of autographed copies of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Big-City Amish, a copy of an Amish cookbook, and an authentic Amish headscarf.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  The first two books in A Love & Promises series are The Amish Teacher's Gift and The Amish Midwife's Secret.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope I have helped you find a new book to read.  I will be reviewing Arriving from Arkansas by Elisa Keyston tomorrow.  It is the first book in the Pioneer Brides of Rattlesnake Ridge series.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, May 28
Emily Yager, May 31
Bigreadersite, June 1
Vicky Sluiter, June 3
Mary Hake, June 8
EmpowerMoms, June 9
Genesis 5020, June 10

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Daughter's Truth by Laura Bradford

A Daughter's Truth

Hello!  Hairless Harassment by Molly Fitz comes out tomorrow.  It is the third installment in the humorous Pet Whisperer PI seriesRebekah's Quilt by Sara Harris also comes out tomorrow.  It is the first book in Rebekah's Keepsakes series.  Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner releases on June 4 with The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle (I wonder what mischief Brooklyn will get herself into this time).
Hairless Harassment (Pet Whisperer P.I. Book 3) by [Fitz, Molly, Press, Sweet Promise]
A Daughter’s Truth by Laura Bradford is about finding your place in life.  Emma Lapp is twenty-two years old today, and she is beginning the day as she has since she was seven years old.  She heads to the nearby cemetery to the grave of her deceased aunt, Ruby.  Emma’s birthday has been a day of sorrow for her mother and it is not celebrated like that of her siblings since Ruby died on the same day.  The one joy Emma derives from her birthday is seeing what trinket has been deposited at Ruby’s gravesite.  Every year someone has left an item.   This year she finds a beautiful gold locket which sends Emma on a journey into the English world to find answers.  Emma is shocked by what she learns, and it changes her entire world.  She is not sure where she fits in any longer and Emma seeks guidance from her friends and Miss Lottie. 
 Portrait of a Sister by [Bradford, Laura]
A Daughter’s Truth is an intriguing new Amish novel by Laura Bradford.  Emma Lapp feels that she is treated differently from her siblings and her birthday has always been one of sorrow.  On her twenty-second birthday, she discovers a clue that sends her on a search for answers.  I thought A Daughter’s Truth was well-written with realistic characters.  Emma has always tried to be a people pleaser, but this discovery changes her.  I liked how she sets out to find the truth.  Emma has a good friend in Mary Fisher who provided a different perspective for Emma.  Miss Lottie returns in this story and she provides Emma with a listening ear plus good advice.  It is always important to remember that there are two sides to every story.  Each individual sees things in a different way as we discover in A Daughter’s Truth.  I do wish the book had a quicker pace because I found it a little slow for my tastes.  Laura Bradford provides good descriptions to allow readers to visualize the scenes.  It was apparent that the author did her research into Amish life, traditions and customs.  I could feel the character’s emotions especially Emma’s.  It was an emotional time for all involved (I am being vague on purpose.  I do not want to spoil the story for you).  My favorite phrase from the book is “you should always be you”.   A Daughter’s Truth is about the search for the truth, familial relationships and being true to oneself. 
The Amish Widow's Rescue (Love and Promises Book 3) by [Good, Rachel J.]

Thank you for joining me today.  I am reviewing The Amish Widow's Rescue by Rachel J. Good tomorrow as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour.  It is the third book in the Love & Promises series.  I hope you have a peaceful day (we all need one of these).  Take care of yourself and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
40-Turhan Nacar-RESİMLER & RESSAMLAR... __________________________________________________ 🎨ATANASIJE POPOVIC (1885-1948)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hitches, Hideouts and Homicides by Tonya Kappes

Hitches, Hideouts, & Homicides: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 7 by [Kappes, Tonya]
A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery
Hitches, Hideouts and Homicide by Tonya Kappes takes us back to Normal, Kentucky.  Mae West is assisting Betts Hager in cleaning the Old Train Station Motel owned by Coke Ogden.  Coke transformed the old train station into a motel, and she is having a grand opening the next day along with a hoedown.  Before they depart, they witness Jay Russel, who teaches competition riding, chasing off a hiker with a gun.  It seems the man has been hanging around the stable.  The next day there are break-ins at Deter’s Feed-N-Seed and the Cookie Crumble Bakery.  Mae wonders if the hiker Jay ran off could be responsible.  The hoedown is a rousing success until the electricity goes out.  Coke asks Mae to see if she can spot the problem, and Mae ends up stumbling over Jay dead against the electrical fence (explains the power outage).  Mae wants answers and she is going to get them despite Hank telling her to keep her nose out of the investigation (not that Mae will listen).  There are rumors that Jay robbed the Normal Bank & Loan twenty years ago and the money is hidden in the stable.  There is plenty of gossip swirling around town, but it is hard to know what is real and what is fake.  Mae, with the aid of the Laundry Club, begins asking questions which helps her assemble a suspect list and gather clues.  Mae has her work cut out for her this time if she is to outwit the wily killer and get justice for Jay.
 Tonya Kappes
Hitches, Hideouts and Homicide is the seventh tale in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series.  I suggest reading the series in order as they build upon one another, but the book can be read alone.  Mae West is a strong woman who has taken her last asset and turned it around.  She continues to plow the profits back into the camp to attract tourists.  Mae is fortunate to have Dottie Swaggert as her friend and manager of Happy Trails Campground.  Mae also has her friends known as the Laundry Club.  They love helping Mae solve crimes (aka get into trouble), and they are there for each other in times of need.  Normal, Kentucky is a small Southern tourist town that sits alongside the Daniel Boone National Forest (it is a charming town).  They get hikers and campers visiting to take part in town events like the upcoming hoedown at the Old Train Station Motel for Coke Ogden’s grand opening.  Tonya Kappes has an engaging writing style.  It is down-to-earth which draws the reader right into the story.  The story proceeded at a snappy pace as Mae talks to various suspects and follows up on leads.  I liked the variety of fun loving characters from Dottie Swaggert to Abby Fawn.  Abby is having some self-assurance issues after a talk with Ty.  It leads to some zany behavior on her part, and, of course, she manages to drag Mae into it.  The mystery was intriguing with the multiple suspects and red herrings.  There is a twist or two to surprise readers.  I like the way the author tied a past event to the current murder (who doesn’t love a treasure hunt).  There are good clues to help readers solve the crime.  Hank, though, got on my nerves in this installment.  I did not like the way he talked to Mae and the way he handled information Mae gave him while visiting his parent’s (ungentlemanly).  Mae needs to think long and hard if Hank is the right man for her.  If you are looking for a fun loving Southern cozy mystery, then look no further than Hitches, Hideouts and Homicide.  Hitches, Hideouts and Homicide has two cute dogs, an unusual murder scene, missing money, a cranky detective, good friends, a hoedown, three robberies and one nosy campground owner. 
A Daughter's Truth by [Bradford, Laura]

Hitches, Hideouts and Homicide is available on Kindle Unlimited.  You can find a complete list of the books in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series here.  Thank you for reading my review.  Tomorrow I am featuring A Daughter's Truth by Laura Bradford.  I hope you have lively day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
118-Turhan Nacar-SALLY STORCH... __________________________________________________

Monday, May 27, 2019

Into the Frying Pan by Sarah Osborne

Into the Frying Pan (A Ditie Brown Mystery #2)
Happy Memorial Day!  A day for visiting with friends, swimming, barbeque, napping and honoring those that have died serving our country.  When I was younger, this was the day we spent at the cemetery taking care of the graves (cleaning off vines, planting flowers, etc.). Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard releases on July 9.  It is the first book in A Georgia B&B Mystery series.  Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly is the second novel in A Victorian Village Mystery series.  It also comes out on July 9.  The Pawful Truth by Miranda James comes out July 16 along with Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber.  My TBR list keeps getting longer.  What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?
The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 11) by [James, Miranda]
Into the Frying Pan by Sarah Osborne has readers sweltering in Atlanta, Georgia in July.  Ditie Brown has just returned home from the local pool with her two children, Lucie and Jason when her ex-boyfriend, Phil Brockton IV shows up in a Confederate uniform.  Phil invites Ditie to the Battle of Resaca reenactment the next day and mentions that several of her med school chums will be attendance.  Ditie agrees to attend despite Mason’s disapproval.  Ditie catches up with her medical school friends while watching the action.  The cannon goes off and when the smoke clears, they see that the cannon has exploded leaving Carl Thompson dead on the field of battle.  Is it a coincidence that the deceased happened to be Phil’s rival in school and is still causing problems for him?  Kathy Thompson learns of Ditie’s success in solving the last crime she was involved in and asks her to get justice for Carl.  As Ditie dives into the lives of her old med school mates, she uncovers rivalries, secrets and jealousies.  Past events may have played into the victim’s death.  At the Battle of Tunnel Hill the following weekend, another alum is shot down.  Which one of the suspects is taking out Ditie’s friends?  Ditie needs to identify the killer before she becomes the next target. 
A Ditie Brown Mystery
Into the Frying Pan is the second A Ditie Brown Mystery and it can be read as a standalone.  Ditie Brown finds herself embroiled in another mystery when one of her old medical school classmates dies at a Civil War reenactment.  She must also deal with jealousy from Mason Garrett, her detective boyfriend, when her old beau Phil Brockton IV comes to town.  There are multiple suspects who all had a reason for doing away with unlikeable Carl.  The murder was unique with the killer using an old cannon to dispose of the victim.  The second victim also died in an uncommon way.   It was interesting to learn about reenactments and the people who participate in them.  It is educational and a good way to allow children to learn about the Civil War.  Avid mystery readers will not find the whodunit challenging, but others will like the variety of suspects and misdirection.  I was not a fan of Mason’s jealousy which was featured throughout the whole story.  Ditie was not the strong, confident woman we saw in Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot.  She came across as weak and easily manipulated.  I do like Ditie’s interactions with the children.  She is sweet with them and I like how she is handling the loss of their mother.  Lucie is the highlight of the book.  She is a smart little girl with a sensitive soul.  I like how Lucie watched and took notes which helped solve the case.  There are recipes included for the dishes featured in the book.   Into the Frying Pan is a lively Southern cozy mystery with death, destruction and a deadly foe. 
Hitches, Hideouts, & Homicides: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 7 by [Kappes, Tonya]
Into the Frying Pan comes out on Tuesday, May 28.  I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.  Thank you for visiting today.  If you like my reviews, please consider following my blog (followers make a difference in the world of book reviewing).  I am sharing my thoughts on Hitches, Hideouts and Homicide by Tonya Kappes tomorrow.  It is the seventh tale in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series.  I hope you enjoy the day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Store at War by Joanna Toye

Hello!  I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday weekend.  Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches by Karen Rose Smith will be out on Tuesday, May 28 with Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox, The Amish Cookie Club by Sarah Price, and Sconed to Death by Lynn CahoonHitches, Hideouts and Homicide by Tonya Kappes also releases on May 28.  It is the seventh A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery and it has been optioned. Let us hope we soon see Mae West and friends on our television screens.
Hitches, Hideouts, & Homicides: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 7 by [Kappes, Tonya]

A Store at War by Joanna Toye takes us back in time to June of 1941.  Lily Collins is now fourteen years old and able to leave school to begin work.  She would love to continue with her education, but her family needs the additional income since her mother is raising three children on her own.  Lily gets a job at Marlow’s, a posh department store, as a junior in the Children’s Department.  On Lily’s first day, she manages to get in a scrape that puts her new position in jeopardy.  Thankfully, the situation works out for Lily.  She is taught her job by the sophisticated, Eileen Frobisher and makes friends with fellow Children’s junior, Gladys.  Lily also becomes friends with Jim Goodridge who is a salesman in Furniture and Household.  One day Jim stumbles upon a scheme being carried out by workers in the store and he shares the secret with Lily.  They know if they are to report what is happening, they need solid intel.  If word gets out what it is taking place at Marlow’s, the store would lose its reputation and possibly be shut down.  Lily is not about to let that happen.  In between air raids, bombings, work, and chores at home, Lily digs to get details on the illicit operation.  Will Lily and Jim succeed?  Join Lily on the new chapter of her life in A Store at War. 
Will be out on August 8 (according to Amazon)
A Store at War is a charming historical novel.  Lily Collins is fortunate to secure a position as a junior at Marlow’s, but it is a different type of environment for her.  She needs to think before she acts (that is going to be a challenge).  Lily also tends to speak her mind and is headstrong.  She makes friends with Gladys and Jim.  Jim stumbles upon a scheme and confides in Lily.  They want to find a way to stop the enterprise before it ruins Marlow’s.  I liked the various characters in the story, and we see that people put on appearances.  We do not know what is going on in their lives until we take the time to get to know an individual.  I thought A Store at War was nicely written and it proceeded at a gentle pace.  It was interesting to learn what happened when an air raid siren went off while one is shopping in a department store.  There were also a number of rules for shop assistants to follow (including appearance and proper etiquette).  They had to know their merchandise and where it was located.  We get a glimpse of what life was like during World War II in England (rationing, air raids, blackouts, bombings).  During and after the war, they had to make do and mend (new and used clothing were hard to come by).  We see at the end of the book that there is more to come.  I wonder what will happen in Wartime for the Shop Girls. 
Secrets in Store
Will be out on January 23, 2020 (according to Goodreads)
Thank you for joining me today.  I am sharing my review of Into the Frying Pan by Sarah Osborne tomorrow.  It is the second book in A Ditie Brown Mystery series.  I was fortunate to win a copy on Goodreads.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Codebook Murders by Leslie Nagel

The Codebook Murders:

The Oakwood Book Club Mystery Series
by Leslie Nagel

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Alibi (May 21, 2019)
Print Length: 250 pages

Amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter discovers a coded journal that could crack her small town’s most infamous cold case wide open in this charming cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.

As the owner of Old Hat Vintage Fashions, Charley Carpenter supplies retro apparel to the residents of Oakwood, Ohio, but she’s been known to set business aside to play detective when a mystery rears its head. And there’s no bigger mystery in Oakwood than the murder of Regan Fletcher—a case that’s haunted the town for decades.

Regan’s boyfriend, Carter, did time for the crime—until another man’s confession freed him. But did the “real killer” really do it? Or did Carter walk away with blood on his hands? When Charley stumbles on an old journal written in code, it only complicates the case by revealing a blackmail scheme that targeted dozens of Oakwood’s citizens, giving them all a motive for murder.
Now, with a spate of new suspects to pursue, plus a fresh murder and the abduction of her sleuthing partner, Charley must dig deeper still into the past—even as she risks being buried by her shadowy prey. Joining forces with Detective Marcus Trenault and the newly formed Oakwood Mystery Book Club, Charley turns to a classic whodunit for clues on catching a killer—before more lives are lost, and the truth dies with them.

Leslie Nagel’s delightful The Oakwood Mystery novels can be enjoyed together or separately:

About the Author

Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, “The Book Club Murders”, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son, and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

Author Links

Oakwood Mystery

My Book Summary

The Codebook Murders by Leslie Nagel returns us to Oakwood, Ohio.  Charley Carpenter is on her way home from the wine store, when the siren rings out notifying residents of a twister.  Charley sees Katie O’Malley walking in the rain, picks her up and heads for shelter at the nearby school complex.  Merritt Vance, the Oakwood High School janitor, hustles them into the underground tunnel just before the tornado touches down.  When Charley drops her phone, she discovers a backpack with a journal inside.  Charley later learns the book belonged to Regan Fletcher who was murdered in the late 1970s.  Regan’s death still plagues the town’s detectives.  Carter Magellan, Regan’s boyfriend, did time for the crime until another man confessed.  But then he recanted before passing away.  Charley is hoping Regan’s journal will provide clues that will finally solve this mystery, but first they must decode it.  With the able assistance of the Park Avenue Irregulars, they learn that Regan collected secrets and then exacted payment from her victims.  Charley along with the newly formed Oakwood Mystery Club set out to question their new list of suspects and solve this twisty whodunit.  Things get hairy when the journal is stolen, the Carpenter home is ransacked and one of Charley’s sleuthing partners disappears.  Charley intends to get answers once and for all so this crime can finally put to rest.
The Codebook Murders: The Oakwood Mystery Series (Oakwood Book Club Mystery 4) by [Nagel, Leslie]

My Thoughts

The Codebook Murders is the fourth novel in The Oakwood Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not read the previous books in this series.  Charley loves a good mystery and is looking forward to the first book club meeting of the Oakwood Mystery Club that evening.  Then a twister leaves devastation in its path and Charley finds herself with a real mystery on her hands.  She found the journal of Reagan Fletcher who was murdered forty years ago after the high school homecoming game.  The group is excited to solve the crime and are fortunate to get extensive records from reporter, Berkeley Dye.  The mystery was multifaceted with plenty of suspects and good clues.  New information keeps popping up during Charley’s investigation enhancing this complex conundrum.  The police do not mind that Charley and the gang dig into the case as long as they pass along any pertinent information.  I like the Nancy Drew references throughout the book including the mention of the old TV series (there was Hardy Boys show too).   There is a large cast of characters that include Charley, her boyfriend, her father, the father’s caretaker and his girlfriend, the book club plus their significant others, teachers, a janitor, neighbors, shopkeepers, police, and a couple of eager teens (whew).  I would have preferred a faster pace plus less duplication of case details and a smaller amount of speculation (these little tweaks would have elevated this cozy mystery).  The Codebook Murders has a special ending that will please readers.  My favorite phrase from the story is “. . . house isn’t a home unless there is love at its heart” (that is so sweet).  Cozy mystery readers will rejoice at the perplexing puzzle in The Codebook Murders. 
The Codebook Murders is available at Amazon, B&NKobo, and Google Play.  Thank you for joining me today. Please visit the other stops on the tour for author interviews, guest posts, spotlights and reviews (schedule below). I will be reviewing A Store at War by Joanna Toye.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you have a blissful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

May 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 20 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST


May 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

May 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

May 24 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 26 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW

May 27 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

May 28 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

May 30 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT  

May 31 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Elizabeth McKenna’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

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Malie Baehr