In Vicki Delaney’s author bio, she says that she loves writing “cozy mysteries”. I’ve never heard that term before, but I get the genre and have read many. Thanks to Delaney, I will now be incorporating that term!
In Elementary, She Read, Gemma Doyle runs the local Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and finds a hidden but valuable magazine copy. Realizing that someone may have been hiding it from someone else, she and her tea room side-kick Jayne, track down the owner. Unfortunately, they find a dead body instead. Old money, inheritances, and old grievances are all part of their investigation.
This was a fun book with a great setting.
Read April 2019
Gordon Korman’s Restart was a great book to read with the 4th graders. Its about a middle-schooler who falls off his roof and gets amnesia. The kid he becomes is vastly different than the kid he was before. This prompted great discussions about bullying, social structures within schools, being cool, and following your own interests.
Read October 2018
Bloodstains with Bronte is the second Katherine Bolger Hyde novel that I’ve read, and that she’s written. I like her style and quirkiness. I don’t think they’ll win any mystery awards, but they are well written with a homey feel.
Now Emily Cavanaugh has moved to the Oregon coast to remodel her inherited home into a writer’s retreat. In the process, a young man with predatory past ends up dead. Cavanaugh sees literary suspects and love interests everywhere.
Again I enjoyed the novel references throughout but there was some religious anti-LGBTQ but love the person that I found a little questionable and hope that these characters grow enlightened in the next novel, or I may need to question my acceptance of small town quaint.
Quick, enjoyable read.
Read July 2018
I read Claire Messud’s The Burning Girl awhile ago, and it didn’t really stick with me. I liked it at the time and there’s a lot of good scenes with Julia and Cassie as they grow and grow apart from middle school to high school. Many of the scenes made me cringe thinking back on my own adolescence and loosing friendships over big and little things. But the end of the novel made me so sad about how people can hide things and even looking back, you can’t know for sure what was happening.
Read October 2018
Jessica Fellowes uses the real life Mitford sisters in her The Mitford Murders, where Louisa Cannon escapes her terrible fate and becomes a servant at the Mitfords estate. She befriends the eldest daughter, Nancy, who is obsessed with a relative of Florence Nightingale’s murder.
I enjoyed the novel with the different classes on post-WWI British society.
Read August 2018, forgot to document.
Kate Ellis’s The Mermaid’s Scream tells the story of secrets, cover-ups, and murders that mimic a story from 100+ years ago. Archaeologists and historians help put the pieces together for an old crime and exonerate an ancestor of the new owner of a manor, as well help DI Wesley Peterson figure out the clues in a current murder investigation.
It was a little slow going at first, but eventually the twists were pretty interesting. It was a little neat how things matched up, but it was surprising.
Read August 2018
Saints for All Occasions tells the story of two sisters who left Ireland for more opportunity in the New World. J. Courtney Sullivan isn’t afraid to show the ugly side of being seen as proper and what people will do to protect themselves from public scorn, Nora and Theresa felt obligations to one another that built resentment and separation. The Catholic church and their belief about illegitimate children changed both sisters’ lives.
Nora remained in Boston, married, and raised a family. Theresa cut ties, moved to NYC and eventually became a nun. All affected by a youthful “mistake”.
Sullivan gets into families and rips them apart so we can see it for what they are. Everyone trying to right by others, but the secrecy can do nothing but bring pain.
Read August 2018