Ann Cleeves: The Raging Storm

Two Rivers #3

Ann Cleeves goes from strength to strength.  The third novel in her Matthew Venn series finds Matthew investigating a crime in a village he’d visited as a child. The book opens with the raging storm of the title, and no one is better than Ann Cleeves at setting the stage using nature as a backdrop.  The coastal town where the story takes place gets a “callout” – the volunteer coast guard heads out to see what’s up with an abandoned boat in the middle of a storm.  They find the boat, and inside, the body of a man. read more

Traci Wilton: Mrs. Morris and the Wolfman

Salem B & B #7

Mrs. Morris and the Wolfman is Traci Wilton’s seventh book in her Salem, Massachusetts, B&B mystery series. In it, we follow Charlene Morris as she endeavors to unravel the mysterious death at the newly renovated town theater. While Charlene primarily runs a B&B and spends most of her time focusing on the happiness of her guests and the well-being of her family, she is always happy to try and help her community. Especially with the additional help of her B&B’s friendly resident ghost and former physician, Jack. Eternity is a long time for someone to haunt a place, and Jack has happily taken up crime solving to pass the time, but he’s also dedicated to trying to keep Mrs. Morris safe. With ghostly Jack at the B&B, Detective Sam Holden, and her metaphorically adopted teenage assistant and friend Avery, Charlene never finds herself wanting for support in her adventures. read more

October Book Club: The Sun Down Motel

Join us for our October Book Club on Sunday, October 15 at 2 p.m. and on zoom on Wednesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James.  Message us on facebook or email us at store (at) for details on the in person meeting or for a zoom link.  All are welcome!  St. James is a great pick for October as she’s one of the best ghost story writers around.  Books are available for purchase on this website on our online store page.

Here’s a link to my original review, as well as the publisher’s description: The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls. read more

Christin Brecher: Mugshots of Manhattan

Snapshot of NYC #2

Christin Brecher’s second book in her Snapshot of NYC mystery series, Mugshots of Manhattan, has photographer Liv Spyers tossed into the high drama, high energy world of pop stars. She’s managed to score an assignment as the only photographer allowed at, and behind the scenes of, Grammy Award-winning pop star Bisa at a massive event. Concerts and a movie release revolving around Bisa’s new songs is the event of the century. The whole city has Bisa madness, and Liv is excited to be along for the ride. But the life of stars turns out to be more dramatic and dangerous than anyone could have predicted. Bisa’s estranged sister Anna crashes the party, and leaves a whirlwind of chaos and potential PR nightmares in her wake. After experiencing Anna’s rather dynamic personality up close, the last thing Liv expects is to find her dead. read more

Donna Andrews: Birder She Wrote

Meg Lanslow #33

I am very excited to be able to review Donna Andrews thirty-third book, Birder She Wrote. Since I started reading cozies I have always been drawn in by the adventures of Meg Langslow and her quirky and endearing family. Birder She Wrote hits on a theme any and all can relate to: irritating neighbors. Meg’s own are so infamous in Caerphilly they have their own nick name: NIMBY, which stands for “not in my back yard.” As the Mayor’s part time assistant of special projects, Meg finds herself directly in the path of the NIMBYS often. What makes them particularly difficult is that they moved to the countryside without understanding at all what living in a rural area really meant. Or that the others who lived there are farmers, which means many a sight, smell, and sound that did not exactly meet with the NIMBY’s idyllic view of what living in the country should be. read more

Alyssa Maxwell: Murder at the Elms

Gilded Newport #11

Murder at the Elms is the eleventh book in Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Newport series, featuring intrepid newspaper reporter Emma Cross, who solves mysteries among Newport’s elite.  Emma is a poor relation of the Vanderbilts, so she is intimately familiar with the high society of Newport, while at the same time having sympathy for the working class.  This is the first book I had read in the series, so I don’t know the details of Emma’s life and upbringing, but from the hints that are given in this novel, it sounds like her branch of the family fell on hard times, and she grew up in an area of Newport that was relatively far from the Gilded Age mansions.  When this book begins, in 1901, she is newly married to newspaper heir Derrick Andrews, and together they own the Newport Messenger.  From what I gather, Derrick’s family objected to his marrying her, I assume because she was a poor relation.  But at the same time some of the working-class people among whom she grew up have rejected her because of her wealthy relations.  So, Emma has a foot in both worlds, without really feeling a part of either. read more

Kirsty Manning: The Paris Mystery

Charlotte James #1

Following a massive upheaval in her life, Charlotte “Charlie” James moves to 1938 Paris to take a new job at The Times as a correspondent. Kirsty Manning’s debut novel, The Paris Mysteryfollows Charlie as she gets settled in the city of love. With help from her new glamorous friend, the paper’s receptionist Violet, Charlie puts on a glittering dress and sets out to make friends with Lady Eleanor Ashworth.

Lady Ashworth is a philanthropic, wealthy woman, whose main interest is in making things beautiful. She and her husband, Lord Ashworth, a British blueblood, run with a crowd of the French elite, including military men, designers, and financiers. Charlie’s first assignment is covering one of Lady Ashworth’s lavish parties, a circus themed affair for the cream of society. But things don’t go as planned, and a rich but unpleasant investor turns up dead. read more

September Book Club: A is for Alibi

We’ve been reading classics for book club lately, recently checking out Robert B. Parker’s The Godwulf Manuscript and Tony Hillerman’s Dance Hall of the Dead.  On Sunday, September 17 at 2 p.m. we’ll meet in person, and on Wednesday, September 20 at 7 p.m. we’ll meet on zoom.  Message us on facebook or twitter for a zoom link, or email us at store (at)  We’ll be reading Sue Grafton’s groundbreaking and beloved classic, A is for Alibi, published in 1982.  Contemporary review from Kirkus: read more

Rhys Bowen: The Paris Assignment

Rhys Bowen is one of the best in the biz when it comes to narrative – I think her closest peer may be Harlan Coben.  With both writers, picking up one of their books means you will be subsumed by exquisite storytelling that’s impossible to look away from. Rhys Bowen trends more toward historical fiction rather than Coben’s domestic suspense model, so if that’s your jam, you can’t go wrong nabbing a copy of her latest book, The Paris Assignment.

The story begins in 1931 Paris, when young Sorbonne students Madeline Grant and Giles Martin meet.  Madeline is shy and sheltered, and Giles, the son of French nobility, is at home in Paris.  Madeline, at the Sorbonne for a semester away from her English college, hadn’t even dared to leave her hostel when Giles scoops her up and introduces her to the world of coffee shops, politics, friends, and fine food.  Well, you may guess where this is going – it’s 1931, but – it’s Paris! – and before long Madeline is pregnant.  Giles marries her, despite being disowned by his family, and the only support they have left is Madeline’s elderly French aunt. read more

Jessica Ellicott: Murder at a London Finishing School

Beryl & Edwina #7

Jessica Ellicott’s seventh book in her Beryl and Edwina post WWI series, Murder at a London Finishing School, takes the titular heroines on a tour of their past. Both attended Miss Dupont’s Finishing school – it’s where they met – but neither had the best time of their lives there. Daring Beryl was far from suited to the stuffy conventions of the place, and shy Edwina was often homesick. The two were pretty unlikely to ever attend a reunion, pay a nostalgic visit, or, as neither have children, send a daughter of their own to the school. read more