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The Lost Traveller–a mysterious victim

The Lost Traveller

by Sheila Connolly

the lost travellerI was delighted to have an opportunity to get my first taste of Sheila Connolly’s mysteries as she has a number of books and series to her credit. I don’t usually start a series this far in (#7), but Connolly does a good job of introducing her characters. She starts The Lost Traveller off with a nervous American family, first time travelers abroad, visiting Sullivan’s Pub, giving the author a natural opportunity to explore the setting with the reader and present Maura, the American owner of the pub. The pace continues briskly as Maura, on lunch break, spots what appears to be a trash bag down a ravine on her property. It isn’t trash caught by a bridge pier, however, but something more ominous. Next we are introduced to the local gardaí (police). The plot pace moderates as Maura struggles with various types of issues—relationship, crime, business, and legal. It picks up again at the end with the resolution of some of those problems.

I enjoyed the Irish brogue and sprinkling of Irish words and names throughout. I learned more about Ireland and the Travellers, a sort of Irish version of gypsies, but they are not Romani. More information about the Travellers would have been welcome along with some character development of Peter, the father of the Traveller family that Maura meets. In fact, character development is a weak link in the book. For example, there are a group of men who frequent the pub and try to help Maura discover the identity of the victim and who murdered him. This group stands as a Greek chorus, with little revealed about any of them. They serve to reflect Maura’s progress involving the murder mystery. Although I am not thoroughly taken by the book, I enjoyed the intricacies of the plot well enough to try another book in the series.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #7 in the County Cork Mysteries, but works as a standalone.

Publication:   January 8, 2019—Crooked Lane Books

Memorable Lines:

Was she getting soft? She’d always been independent, mostly out of necessity. She hated to ask people for help, much less emotional support. Now she had someone in her life who offered both, although cautiously.

This was ridiculous: she was being bossed around by a child. Well, one who could definitely cook, and who knew more about computers than she did.

What had Ireland done to her? She’d gone soft. And, she realized, she kind of liked it.

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 #CHRISTMAS SPECIALS FROM JINX SCHWARTZ

Reblogged from Betty at IdahoBluebird50

idahobluebird50 MYSTERIES GALORE AND PHOTOS

THINK POSITIVE! HUGS!

This series has long been a favorite of mine. My reviews are here

https://idahobluebird50.com/2018/07/15/just-for-the-birds-by-jinx-schwartz/

https://idahobluebird50.com/2015/11/14/just-add-water-by-jinx-schwartz/

FROM JINX SCHWARTZ

“JUST FOR THE BIRDS will be FREE for the first time ever from DECEMBER 21–25, so grab a copy and tell your friends so they can meet Hetta and HER friends!”

JUST FOR THE BIRDS


BOOK # 10

FIRST LINES

“Chapter One YOU JUST KNOW it’s gonna be a crappy afternoon when you return from grocery shopping to find your boat’s deck crawling with armed men. Okay, so they were at least uniformed armed men, but the Mexican police?”

JUST ADD WATER

FROM JINX SCHWARTZ

“I have LOWERED THE PRICE OF JUST ADD WATER, (book #1) just .99 for December 24 & 25 so readers can share Hetta’s first adventure with their friends.”


BOOK # 1

FIRST LINES

“Prologue Tokyo

Hudson’s master plan was unraveling. His cleverly orchestrated year-long…

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Return of the Blackwell Brothers

 

blackwell_1

Join me as I fulfill a commitment to the five authors of the books in the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series to read and review the series by the end of 2018. The deadline is close, there is no penalty if I don’t achieve success, and it is a fun task I look forward to.

I have questions as I go into this reading. Will five different authors be able to maintain continuity in the plot? How much will the characters overlap? Will the authors try to maintain the same style or will they branch out on their own? I don’t ask these questions with one right answer in mind. I am open to watching the series play out according to the authors’ designs.

This series is from a line of Harlequin books called Heartwarming and they are advertised as “wholesome, tender romances.” I don’t appreciate steamy, erotic writing or psychological thrillers. I like books that are engaging, well-written, and within my comfort zone in regards to content and language. I will be looking at these books from that perspective as well as the usual—plot, characters, setting, pace, etc.

As always, thanks for reading my blog and sharing your opinions as well.

blackwell_2

Crime and Punctuation–super senior

Crime and Punctuation

by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Crime and PunctuationCrime and Punctuation features a retired Language Arts (English) teacher who decides to take up editing to fund the remodeling of the 110 year old home she lived in until she was seventeen. At age sixty-eight, newly widowed, Mikki returns from Maine to Lenape Hollow in New York’s Catskills and purchases the three story home of her childhood which has not been maintained properly.

Although Mikki intends for her business to mainly come through online sources, she is approached shortly after opening her enterprise by Tiffany, a young, enthusiastic, and well-funded new author. Mikki accepts her as a client and three days later there is a murder.

Lenape Hollow is a small town where news travels fast. Mikki finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation that involves old friends and enemies and brings up long forgotten memories. Tiffany’s book is fiction, but it is based on Mafia activity in the 1930’s. Her husband and his associates have been involved in some shady deals in the past and may be the models for some of the book’s unsavory characters. Crime and Punctuation is a good mystery with lots of suspects. It is not difficult to figure out who the murderer is, but it is fascinating to watch it play out. The book is well-paced and the main character Mikki is an interesting and likable character. Her honesty in her introspection is refreshing and not belabored. Mikki’s age is certainly older than the typical cozy mystery heroine, but that fact provides a different perspective that is interesting.

I have always enjoyed language, word study, and even grammar. Fresh out of college, I taught middle and high school English for a year while waiting for an elementary teaching position to open up. I was excited to teach, enjoyed the subject matter, and particularly related to the twelfth graders ready to embark on their next adventure in life. So in Mikki I find a kindred spirit with her references to the Oxford comma. Its use in Tiffany’s manuscript actually helped solve the case. On the other hand, I don’t think a reader needs to be obsessive about grammar to appreciate this latest mystery by Kaitlyn Dunnett.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #1 in the Deadly Edits Mystery Series

Publication:   May 29, 2018—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

I can dress in my best, freshly pressed and pristine, and within five minutes, I look as if I’ve slept in my clothes. Don’t even talk to me about scarves! No matter how I tie them, they just hang there, limp and unflattering, feedbag instead of fashionable.

Thunderclouds scudded into Van Heusen’s face so fast that I expected it to start raining at any moment. My uneasiness about being alone with him returned just as quickly.

“Excuse me. Is Mr. Onslow available?” The redhead looked up, mouth opening in a startled, lipstick-circled O and heavily mascaraed eyes widening. I wondered if my question had been too complicated for her.

Murder in the Locked Library–wonderful quotes…weak plot

Murder in the Locked Library

by Ellery Adams

Murder in the Locked LibraryI was prepared to love Murder in the Locked Library. I am a bibliophile! How could I not love a cozy mystery about books with a cover that beckons “Sit down and read a while.”? I am sorry to say the book plodded along until about three-fourths of the way through when something happened that totally engaged me. I won’t spoil the book by saying what that event was.

I loved all the literary references and quotes, and I gradually began to understand what the purpose of Storyton Lodge is. And therein lies the second problem: Murder in the Locked Library really, really, really should not be read as a standalone. I did searches within the book to find the first references to “Guardian” and “Fin” thinking I had overlooked their introduction. I even did an Internet search on the terms to see if I had missed references in popular culture. My searches were fruitless. With background knowledge from previous books, this one would have been more enjoyable, but that still doesn’t solve the problem of the first part of the book lacking interest. 

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #4 in the Book Retreat Mystery Series. It does not work well as a standalone.

Publication:  April 24, 2018—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

Even the pleasant cacophony in the kitchens—the thud of a cleaver striking wood, the hiss of steam, the rush of water, the scrape of metal against metal, and the endless dip and swell of voices as the staff chatted and bantered with each other—couldn’t distract Jane.

“We’re among our kind. We’re with book people. People who love everything about books. The history of books. The illustrations. The typography. The paper, covers, edges. The significance of an original manuscript or a signed copy. These people also understand the power of books. They understand how books can impact the world, one reader at a time. They respect the book, as we do.”

She believed they were dancing to his tune, and it was a tune without melody or rhyme. It was the steady tick of a metronome—a metaphor for all the time he’d invested in this scheme. And he wanted a return on his investment.

A Murder for the Books–mystery permeated with the love of books

A Murder for the Books

by Victoria Gilbert

A Murder for the BooksA Murder for the Books is the first book in the new Blue Ridge Library Mystery Series. Author Victoria Gilbert is obviously passionate about reading, writing, and libraries. Her main character, Amy, a former university librarian rebounding from a bad romance, moves to the town of Taylorsford to live with an aging but still feisty aunt. She puts her research skills to good use in attacking a mystery involving several local families, including her own. The murder of an elderly lady in the library’s archives draws her into this case which has intriguing connections to historical happenings in the town. This mystery has interesting characters, a complex plot, and good pacing. When the main “who done it” has resolution, the story continues with a surprise development and ending. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, set for publication in July.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: short discussion of possible paranormal activity, but certainly not a major factor in the book as the main character does not believe in it

Publication:   December 12, 2017—Crooked Lane Books

Memorable Lines:

The age of shushing librarians had gone out with card catalogs, despite what popular culture might portray.

“He was a canny old devil. He read the whole situation like words in a book in that one afternoon.”

I loved the smell of books. Although I appreciated the value of computers and online research, nothing could replace the magic of rows of books filling shelves.

FREE this Weekend! Better Blogging with Photography by Terri Webster Schrandt | The Beauty of Words

Free download of this book July 8-10. I snatched it to get some good ideas, but I also want to publicize it because, as a former technology teacher, I wanted to remind everyone that just because you can say “it is on the Internet” or “I found it on Google” about a photo doesn’t make it free. Although copyright laws have gotten way out of hand from the original intent, thanks in large part to the movie industry giants, they are still laws. In the case of photography the photographer does own the picture. I’d rather use my own work or find a public domain site than risk stealing someone else’s work. And there is always an option to purchase stock images. Happy Blogging!

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

In honor of my one year anniversary of the launch of my eBook Better Blogging with Photography, you can pick it up FREE, from July 8-10, in the Amazon Kindle store!

Better Blogging with Photography cover

As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts? Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts. This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post. After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!


Recently, I was pleased…

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