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The Wolf at the Door

The Wolf at the Door (2019) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) “It’s a standing joke around the Trust that the real reason behind the coming-out was to combat the number of public indecency charges wolves rack up every year.” “You’ve got exactly twenty-seven hours and then I’m coming in there and trimming you down,” Park […]

Old Sins

Old Sins (2019) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) the real desire they felt for entering into that partnership, the official statement that they were a couple and intended to be until death they did part, kept being destroyed by the stress surrounding making arrangements. The two cars already present were at either end of the tarmacked […]

Lady Ambition’s Dilemma

Lady Ambition’s Dilemma (2024) Jane Steen (Lady Helena Investigates) Set in England in 1883. Lady Helena is approaching the end of her mourning period, following the death of her husband in 1881. Although she still misses Justin, she is ready to return to the world–and her growing feelings for Armand Fortier also need to be […]

Two Feet Under

Two Feet Under (2018) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) Grace had no time for television crime dramas and the way they played fast and loose with crime scenes and forensic matters. Shoddy procedures and the depiction of seemingly limitless budgets; both riled her. “God, that would be awful. They must be twitching each time the phone […]

Damaged Goods

Damaged Goods (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) The worst thing about Samir’s parents—worse than the cruelty, the manipulation, the toxicity—was the fact that Samir had loved them. You would think, with the number of awful things she’d done in her life, that they’d all blur together. But she remembered every desperate, acidic moment. Those two words […]

A Girl Like Her

A Girl Like Her (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) Avoiding conflict was his mode of operation. They’d taught him that at basic training, once they’d figured out his hair-trigger temper. Always avoid conflict. “No,” she interrupted. “But you don’t need to cook for me.” “I do,” he said calmly, “because if you die of malnutrition just […]

Paladin’s Hope

Paladin’s Hope (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) Galen is one of the broken paladins of the Saint of Steel. Like his brothers (and sisters) in arms, he works for the White Rat, and does his best to be helpful. He was one of the two paladins who survived Hollowbind, and the guilt sometimes […]

Paladin’s Strength

Paladin’s Strength (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) For some reason, every time Galen said”Boss” to Istvhan I kept thinking of Loiosh from Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series. “What are you afraid of, Boss?” “Shut up, Loiosh.” “What if she kills you, Boss?” called Galen. “Then either avenge me or put her in charge. […]

Speculations in Sin

Speculations in Sin (2024) Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway / Below Stairs Mystery) Set in London in 1883 Joanna–Kat’s best friend and the woman who keeps Grace, Joanna’s daughter, is in trouble. Her husband has been accused of embezzlement, and if he loses his job not only will Grace have nowhere to live, but Joanna and […]

Jury of One

Jury of One (2016) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) “I’ve run Sandra to ground, sir. He had her listed under ‘Booty girl’.” “Charming.” Robin’s impression of Hatton continued to plummet. “How attached was he to Beryl?” Anderson cut in. “Beryl?” Zandra laughed. “Oh, bless.” Robin narrowed his eyes and tried not to write “superior, supercilious cow.” […]

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake (2020) Juneau Black (A Shady Hollow Mystery) Orville Braun has decided to run for sheriff, and Vera’s boss, BW Stone, wants Vera to give the paper the inside scoop. But Vera has ethics and decides to consult the local lawyer for advice. “Ah, but now you have the important phrase on the advice […]

Cold Clay

Cold Clay (2017) Juneau Black (A Shady Hollow Mystery) Things have been returning to normal in Shadow Hollow–until a skeleton is discovered in Cold Clay Orchards during harvest. Vera Vixen manages to be there to catch all the details. “Whatever it is, Vera, remember that I’m the one they called. You can observe from a […]

Honey Mead Murder

Honey Mead Murder (2023) Dahlia Donovan (Honey Bear Cosy Mysteries) George Sheth keeps bees and provides honey to the local brewery for making mead. He also has a huge crush on the owner/manager, Murphy Baird. Ready and dressed for the day, George decided to do the mature adult thing. He’d put the problem off for […]

The Best Corpse for the Job

The Best Corpse for the Job (2014) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) Queer cozy mystery: a comforting reread. Note to self, three: Don’t even think about falling for him. Too complicated. (p. 46) Note to self, four: do not ignore note three. (p. 46) Note to self, five: Do not ignore note three. Remember? (p. 47) […]

Shady Hollow

Shady Hollow (2015) Juneau Black (A Shady Hollow Mystery) This is cozy mystery, set in a fantasy world with intelligent animals. The characters’ resemblances to real creatures, alive or cruelly murdered, is incidental indeed. For those who feel compelled to resolve this issue before continuing with the story, you may wish to think of the […]

Think of England

Think of England (2014) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1904 (Peakholme) had been an extraordinarily modern creation at that time, equipped with the very latest innovations, with running water in all the bathrooms, heated by hot-water radiators and illuminated throughout by electricity from his own hydroelectric generator. “It was a damned business. My company […]

Proper English

Proper English (2019) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1902 If Pat stayed, she would continue running Skirmidge House, and either she would resent Olivia for treating her as an upper servant, or Olivia would resent her for usurping her rights as head of the household Pat did not corset. She had had no mother […]

Paladin’s Grace

Paladin’s Grace (2020) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) The Rat’s priests fixed things that could be fixed, and when things were broken past all mending, they helped people pick up the pieces. “Gentlemen,” said Beartongue, “I forbid you to smash the Archon’s decor and try to duel with it.” “Yes, your holiness.” “I’ll have […]

The Missing Page

The Missing Page (2021) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in in England in 1947 “The letter from the solicitor said the uncle’s will stipulated that all legatees attend the reading at the family home in Cornwall or forfeit their bequest.” Leo’s eyebrows shot straight up. “Was it his uncle’s dying wish to reenact a […]

The Christmas Appeal

The Christmas Appeal (2023) Janice Hallett This story is written as a series of electronic messages and recordings and evidence. A retired DI has sent these bits of evidence to his former detectives to get their opinion and see what conclusions they come up with. In Lower Lockwood the Fairway Players have a yearly Christmas […]

The Last Drop of Hemlock

The Last Drop of Hemlock (2023) Katharine Schellman (Nightingale Mysteries) Set in New York City in 1924. Vivian enjoys her new job at the Nightingale–and even more enjoys making deliveries for the dress shop instead of sewing. But when Bea’s uncle, who had just started working at the Nightingale as a bouncer, is found dead […]

Hither, Page

Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in England in 1946. This story reminds me very much of an Agatha Christie, only with boinking. A combination of A Murder is Announced and The Moving Finger. None of the witnesses could suggest a possible motive, nor did any of them think Mrs. Hoggett had […]

Lady Odelia’s Secret

Lady Odelia’s Secret (2022) Jane Steen (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries) Set in England in 1882. As usual, I experienced the strange shock that it was my husband—my Justin—buried under the tall new monument, set apart within its own patch of closely scythed grass. “What do you think?” I asked my sister. “No railing?” She raised her […]

Ex Appeal

Ex Appeal (2022) Cathy Yardley (Ponto Beach Reunion) This follows Gouda Friends and one of the characters is the brother of Tam from that book, but you do not need to have read the previous books for this story. Vinh is very good at what he does–even though what he does isn’t especially good. Aimsley’s […]

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Two Wrongs Make a Right (2022) Chloe Liese (The Wilmot Sisters) I picked up my first book by Chloe Liese because it was highly rated and had a female main character with ASD. I’ve very much enjoyed every book of hers I’ve read since then, although I don’t read them one after another, because they […]

Mortal Follies

Mortal Follies (2023) Alexis Hall Set in alternate England in 1841. This isn’t just a story of love and curses and betrayal and hot springs and sacrifices. It’s a story of all those things told by the most unreliable of story tellers. I am that knavish sprite that frights the maidens of the villagery. I […]

Lady Helena Investigates

Lady Helena Investigates (2018) Jane Steen (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries) Set in England in 1881 It’s too early to make big decisions about your life. You must give yourself time to grieve, Baby. That’s why deepest mourning should be carried out with the mirrors covered, you know. You’re not supposed to be looking at yourself and […]

The Mistletoe Motive

The Mistletoe Motive (2021) Chloe Liese Gabriella Di Natale love Christmas. She also loves working in Bailey’s Bookshop, where she can recommend books (especially her favorite romances) to customers. But the store is in trouble. A chain is trying to put them out of business, so the Bailey’s hired another manager–one focused on business–to try […]

Stubbed Toes and Dating Woes

Stubbed Toes and Dating Woes (2023) Dahlia Donovan Niclas Ruiz loves his archeological work. He also has a huge crush on his brother’s best friend. Falk “Grizz” Evensen is content with his life. He has his own business (which he runs with the help of his best friend) and is successful. But his life is […]

Socially Orcward

Socially Orcward (2021) Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey (Adventures in Aguillon) Dave’s favorite thing is dragons. Especially his dragons. And he is thankful that his kings gave him a tower where he could raise and keep them. Simon Perrin doesn’t know how to do much, but his willing to try. What he does know, however, […]

Glass Tidings

Glass Tidings (2016) Amy Jo Cousins This story is full of little things. Then he changed his mind and gave the jeans a quick hand wash in the utility sink next to the dryer, unable to stand the thought of all that blood swishing around with Eddie’s clothes in the wash. Eddie didn’t trust anyone […]

Shelter in Garnet Run

Shelter in Garnet Run (2023) Roan Parrish (Garnet Run) We met River Mills in Best Laid Plans as one of the teens who hangs out in Rye’s derelict house, and again in Adam’s younger sibling in The Lights on Knockbridge Lane. Cassidy is an ethical taxidermist, often working with animals who were hit by cars. […]

A Holiday By Gaslight

A Holiday By Gaslight (2018) Mimi Matthews Set in England in 1861 Sophie’s father keeps improving their country estate–whether they have the funds to do so or not–so when wealthy manufacturer asks permission to court her, the family agrees. But despite wanting to help her family, Sophie also wants to be happy. Is it so […]

Last Call at the Nightingale

Last Call at the Nightingale (2022) Katharine Schellman (Nightingale Mysteries) Set in New York City in 1924 Vivian Kelly and her sister Florence are glad to have jobs, a roof over the heads, and food on the table (even if it isn’t always enough food). (W)orking at a dressmaker’s shop meant they both had to […]

Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense from the Golden Age of Detection

Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense from the Golden Age of Detection (2018) ‘Before Insulin’ by J.J. Connington (1936) ‘The Inverness Cape’ by Leo Bruce (1952) ‘Dark Waters’ by Freeman Wills Crofts (1953) ‘Linckes’ Great Case’ by Georgette Heyer (1923) ‘Calling James Braithwaite’ by Nicholas Blake (1940) ‘The Elusive Bullet’ by […]

Wolf Gone Wild

Wolf Gone Wild (2020) Juliette Cross (Stay a Spell) Mateo Cruz has been cursed. He doesn’t know by whom, and he doesn’t know why, but he hasn’t been able to shift for months and his wolf is almost impossible to control and won’t cease his randy and bloodthirsty thoughts. Evie Savoie helps her sisters run […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1862 He hadn’t chosen to become a doctor so that he could foretell the death of children. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them […]

A Christmas Dance

A Christmas Dance (2014) Alissa Johnson Miss Byerly did not feature in his matrimonial plans. Pity, really, that she wasn’t a bit softer. He’d spoken to her once or twice before and she seemed an intelligent sort, with an efficiency of speech and manner he appreciated. But he wasn’t in need of additional efficiency in […]

Rough Around the Hedges

Rough Around the Hedges (2023) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance) Vanessa Woodbridge and her sister defied their father–and paid the price when both were cut off. But Vanessa wants to go to school, but to do so she needs her father to verify her education–since she and her sister were both home schooled. He sighed. “You […]

A Little Too Familiar

A Little Too Familiar (2022) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance) Declan needs to get away. His sister has fallen in love with his ex-girlfriend, and since they were all living together, it’s mighty uncomfortable. So he’s leaving Portland for Seattle. Even after a century and a half of being in the open, the Uncanny still made […]

Mrs. Holloway’s Christmas Pudding

Mrs. Holloway’s Christmas Pudding (2023) Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries) Set in London in 1882 There have been two Mrs. Holloway novellas this year, and this one is focused more on Mrs. Holloway. It’s almost Christmas and everyone is getting ready for the holiday. We’d had an excess of the fruit, which Mrs. Bywater had […]

Secrets Typed in Blood

Secrets Typed in Blood (2022) Stephen Spotswood (Pentecost & Parker) Set in New York City in 1947 This is one of the books that I wanted to read, but couldn’t get myself in the mood for. So I went ahead and read it. First, I really hate the new covers. Well, hate is a strong […]

Board to Death

Board to Death (2023) Cj Connor (A Board Game Shop Mystery) After a failed marriage, Ben has returned home to Salt Lake City to help run his dad’s game store–which is currently making rent only because of their in-house cafe. Only two or three customers lingered around that area midday, as it was now. More […]

Murder on the Lamplight Express

Murder on the Lamplight Express (2023) Morgan Stang (The Lamplight Murder Mysteries) Like the previous book, this story is delightful. The sequel to Murder at Spindle Manor finds Isabeau Agarwal and her partner racing to catch a train. Literally, as they Isabeau received her orders to “ensure the safety of all passengers and crew until […]

The Mysterious Mr. Quin

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930) Agatha Christie The Passing of Mr. Quinn Grand Magazine (1923) The Shadow on the Glass Grand Magazine October (1923) At the ‘Bells and Motley’  A Man of Magic Grand Magazine (1925) The Sign in the Sky The Police Magazine (1925) / A Sign in the Sky Grand Magazine (1925) The […]

Muscle Cub

Muscle Cub (2023) Slade James (Bear Camp) Despite living nearby, Paul has never gone to Bear Camp. But he’s been single for awhile now, and isn’t getting any younger, so his friends convince him to take a weekend to help them celebrate their birthdays. What Paul doesn’t expect is Austin: young, handsome, and did he […]

The Last Devil to Die

The Last Devil to Die (2023) Richard Osman (Thursday Murder Club) TW: Dementia, Death of a recurring character, Grief The 4th (and most recent) Thursday Murder Club mystery finds Stephen succumbing to his battle with dementia. Stephen doesn’t always know who Bogdan is these days, but he likes his calmness. He fell asleep on Bogdan’s […]

So Shall You Reap

So Shall You Reap (2023) Donna Leon (Commissario Brunetti) This is the 32nd book in the Commissario Brunetti series. Like so many other characters in mysteries, Brunetti and his family have stopped aging, Chiara forever trapped as a young teen. Like the previous couple books, the mysteries are ok. The draw of this story remains […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1864 Jonas Grantham worked hard to rise above his beginnings and to become a doctor. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them and cared […]

A Power Unbound

A Power Unbound (2023) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England in 1909 The final book in the Last Binding Trilogy centers on Alston, Lord Hawthorn who has been arrogant and supercilious throughout the series, but here becomes Jack, and Alan, Alanzo Rossi, who met Alston, Maud, and Violet on the ship from America […]