Good Day! Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke is one of my favorite books and it is the fortieth anniversary of its release. You can enter the Love Comes Softly 40th Anniversary Giveaway here. Good Luck! The 40th Anniversary edition from Bethany House is available on Amazon. There is a limited edition hardcover edition available with bonus content and signed by the author. It is available for purchase here.
Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy takes readers to Tundish, Montana where Delta Douglas has become the new co-owner of Wanted, a stationery shop. Delta’s best friend, Hazel established Wanted in an old western sheriff’s office complete with jail cells. Delta has dreamed of opening a stationery shop and creating her own line of products featuring her drawings. On Friday evening, Hazel and Delta host a workshop called Glitter Galore at the Lodge Hotel which is having its annual gold miners’ party. The group has a good time creating glittering works of art and drinking their mocktails. But then a guest is found dead on the floor of the bar. Rosalyn Taylor, the manager of the Lodge Hotel, is quick to point fingers and pass along rumors to the town’s law enforcement. Finn, Hazel’s brother, is arrested by Sheriff West and he decides to hold Hazel in as well. Delta enlists the help of former officer, Jonas Nord along with his sidekick, Spud plus the Paper Posse to ferret out the truth. Delta is not going to the let the impossible Sheriff West railroad her best friend, but she did not count on the threatening notes penned by the killer. Can they pin down the killer before he decides to make Delta his next victim?
Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy is the first book in A Stationery Shop Mystery series. Delta Douglas had been working as a graphic designer at an ad agency until she received a sizable check from her Gran on her thirtieth birthday. It allowed her to make her dream come true of owning a stationery shop where she can use her sketches to create a line of products. Delta invests in her best friend’s shop, Wanted in Tundish, Montana (the town with a heart of gold). While Delta is prepared for the creative aspects of the job, she seems to be lacking in business knowledge (or even how to run a cash register). When a dead body is found at Lodge Hotel, Sheriff West is quick to arrest Hazel’s brother, Finn. He also has Hazel spend the night in the jail because she lied. Sheriff West is portrayed as a small town know-it-all who seems to take rumors as fact (and plays fast and loose with the law). There are several viable suspects and I love how the author led us down the wrong path a time or two. Jonas Nord, a wildlife photographer and ex-cop, is drafted by Delta to help clear Hazel and Finn. Jonas is accompanied by Spud, a former K-9 dog, who has a good sniffer. Delta is also aided by the Paper Posse which is a group of crafters who live and work in town with Wild West nicknames (like Calamity Jane). I wish the author had taken the time to give us Delta’s background so we could get to know her. There are tidbits dropped here and there, but I wanted a more solid history so I could get to know Delta. We are also lacking details on Tundish and the Paper Posse. While reading Last Pen Standing you will need to suspend your disbelief now and then (an example is holding someone in jail overnight because they lied). My mother claimed I was overthinking things (maybe), so I will let you form your own opinion. There were some slow sections that I found myself speed reading to get through. Last Pen Standing has an interesting idea with a stationery shop housed in an old west type jail. I found Jonas to be a likeable character along with Mrs. Cassidy who runs the Paper Posse. I hope we learn more about Delta in the next book along with creating a line of products based on her designs. Last Pen Standing is a satisfying debut cozy mystery with endearing erasers, a villainous victim, glistening glitter, rogue rumors, a senseless sheriff and a determined designer.
Last Pen Standing can be purchased through Amazon (Amazon UK). Who doesn't love going into a stationery shop? Notebooks, pens, washi tape, pencils, erasers and so much more. I cannot resist beautiful notebooks and unique pens. Thank you for stopping by today. Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book tour for The Garden Club Murder by Amy Patricia Meade. It is the second A Tish Tarragon Mystery. May you have a gleeful day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader