Book Notes Review A Limited Edition Murder by Lauren Elliott

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for a free copy of the e-book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Book cover for A Limited Edition Murder

A Limited Edition Murder

Book 10 in the Beyond The Page Mystery series
by Lauren Elliott

Publisher’s Summary

While in England, a first edition of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights leads bookstore owner Addie Greyborne to a murder on the moors . . .

Although enjoying her extended stay working at Second Chance Books and Bindery in West Yorkshire, Addie still feels adrift—far from home, her friends, and her own beloved bookstore, Beyond the Page Books and Curios. The engagement party of her dear friend, Tony, at Milton Manor promises to be a joyful distraction. But there’s an ill wind blowing at the estate: When Tony presents his fiancé with a special copy of Wuthering Heights as an engagement gift, the lord of the manor insists the book was stolen from his library . . .

Things go from troubling to tragic when Addie takes her Yorkipoo, Pippi, out for a walk on the moors and stumbles across the body of a young woman. When the police suspect Tony of foul play, Addie vows to get to the bottom of what’s going on. But it’s a twisted, treacherous path to the truth and Addie will need to watch her every step . . .

 

My Thoughts

For A Limited Edition Murder, Addie Greyborne is living in England. Moving her to England adds new characters and new settings to the series. When the book starts, Addie has been in England for a year. She’s planning on returning home to Massachusetts after the engagement party of her good friend, Tony. She’s having mixed emotions about leaving England. She has a job she enjoys, and she’s made solid friendships she isn’t sure she’s ready to leave.
It’s a conflict that carries throughout the book—does she stay in England or return to Massachusetts?
One thing that is the same. Even in England, Addie finds herself caught up in a murder. She discovers a body on the moors, and she recognizes the woman from Tony’s engagement party from the night before. The investigation brings her into contact with Detective Inspector Noah Parker, former London Metropolitan Police detective. Sparks of irritation fly as they try to solve the murder.

I loved this book. I’ve read all the books in the series, and A Limited Edition Murder is the best book yet. The new British characters are well-written. The mystery is complicated and kept me guessing. A cold case is thrown into the mix, further complicating the story. And the ending! I’m already eager to read the next book in the series.

5/5 stars.

Lauren Elliott’s website

 

Other books in the series

Publisher’s Info

Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Genre: FICTION / MYSTERY & DETECTIVE / WOMEN SLEUTHS
Pages: 320
Pub date: 5/21/24
ISBN: 9781496735195

 

 

Book Notes Review: Four Alarm Homicide by Diane Kelly

Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Four Alarm Homicide

House Flipper Series #6
by Diane Kelly

Publisher’s Summary

The sixth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, TN—where the real estate market is to die for. 
Some properties are too hot to handle…
Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck are hot for a historical property that has just come on the market—a fire station in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood that was built nearly a century ago.
The cousins have just begun the interior demolition work at the fire station when Joanna Hartzell, who lives in a townhouse around the corner, comes by with a plea for help. Joanna owns the right half of her building, which she proudly maintains in perfect condition, while the left side falls into disrepair: the seven adult children who inherited it years ago refuse to lift a finger on repairs. Never one to turn down a challenge, Whitney and Buck manage to acquire the rundown townhouse—though it turns out Joanna is only one of the many neighbors interested in buying the property once they’ve worked their magic.
Then Joanna shows up at the fire station confused and rambling, then collapses, never to recover. Alarm bells go off for Whitney: she suspects something—and someone—evil could be the real cause. Can she and Collin put the clues together and smoke out a killer?

My Thoughts

Four Alarm Homicide is a quick read. House flipper and bride-to-be Whitney Whitaker must solve a murder while trying to finish rehabbing an old fire station and a townhouse. She’s more than up to all three tasks. But she asks so many questions, she comes under suspicion herself. Now she needs to clear her name and finish the fire station in time for her wedding.
This is the first book I’ve read in this series, and I wasn’t lost. The plot kept me guessing, and the murderer’s identity caught me by surprise. The clues were all there, but I didn’t put them altogether. Well-done.
4/5 stars.

Read an excerpt here.

Diane Kelly’s website

Publishing Info

Imprint Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 304
On Sale: 04/23/2024
ISBN: 9781250816085

Book Notes Review “Murder of an Amish Bridegroom” by Patricia Johns

Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Murder of an Amish Bridegroom

An Amish Seamstress Mystery
by Patricia Johns

Publisher’s Summary

The quiet Amish lifestyle isn’t all that it seems in this debut cozy mystery series, for fans of Amanda Flower and Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Petunia Yoder is Blueberry, Pennsylvania’s youngest old maid, at twenty-two years of age, and completely unmarriageable. But she’s determined to celebrate her friends’ weddings with joy and a full heart. Unfortunately, Petunia’s best friend, Eden Beiler, is playing a dangerous game with a man who is ruining her reputation.
Ike Smoker is the community’s iceman—the one who cuts, stores, and sells the ice—and when Petunia discovers him dead with an ice pick in his chest, Eden is found on the scene with blood on her hands. Homicide detective Asher Nate is new to the area, and he has a challenge on his hands. The Amish community sticks close together, and he doesn’t understand the subtleties and nuances of the clues he uncovers. He needs an Amish interpreter, and he asks Petunia if she’ll help. In a bid to keep her best friend out of prison, she agrees.
The community is filled with people who had good reason to hate Ike Smoker, especially as Petunia and Asher begin to uncover his secrets. Was someone trying to protect their family’s reputation? Or to exact revenge for a sin buried deep in the past?

My Thoughts

Patricia Yoder is the antithesis of the ideal Amish woman. She can’t cook, speaks her mind, and asks a lot of questions. She’s dubbed the youngest old maid in her Amish community, and no Amish man in his right mind would consider her for his wife. Patricia seems to have accepted this with a sense of humor. But the characteristics that alienate her in the Amish community are ideal as a detective investigating a murder. She teams up with Detective Asher Nate as a liaison between the detective and her Amish community. But her best friend, Eden Beiler, is accused of killing Ike Smoker, and her liaison role becomes secondary to her goal of clearing Eden’s name.
The mystery has several solid suspects. I had a suspicion of the murderer’s identity, but the misdirections kept me guessing.
Overall, this is a quick, entertaining read. 3.5/5

Patricia Johns’ website

 

Publisher’s Info

Hardcover: $29.99
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781639105328

Book Notes Review: Death in the Details by Katie Tietjen

Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an ecopy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Book cover of woman's gloved hands holding a miniature chair

 

Death in the Details
by Katie Tietjen

Publisher’s Summary

 

Inspired by the real-life mother of forensic science, Frances Glessner Lee, and featuring a whip-smart, intrepid sleuth in post-WWII Vermont, this debut historical mystery will appeal to fans of Victoria Thompson and Rhys Bowen.

Maple Bishop is ready to put WWII and the grief of losing her husband, Bill, behind her. But when she discovers that Bill left her penniless, Maple realizes she could lose her Vermont home next and sets out to make money the only way she knows how: by selling her intricately crafted dollhouses. Business is off to a good start—until Maple discovers her first customer dead, his body hanging precariously in his own barn.

Something about the supposed suicide rubs Maple the wrong way, but local authorities brush off her concerns. Determined to help them see “what’s big in what’s small,” Maple turns to what she knows best, painstakingly recreating the gruesome scene in miniature: death in a nutshell.

With the help of a rookie officer named Kenny, Maple uses her macabre miniature to dig into the dark undercurrents of her sleepy town, where everyone seems to have a secret—and a grudge. But when her nosy neighbor goes missing and she herself becomes a suspect, it’ll be up to Maple to find the devil in the details—and put him behind bars.

Drawing inspiration from true crime and offering readers a smartly plotted puzzle of a mystery, Death in the Details is a stunning series debut.

 

My Thoughts

Characters

I liked the characters-Mapel Bishop is the main character. She’s a widow that finds out her husband’s death leaves her destitute. A lawyer by training, she can’t find a job in her field because she’s a woman (the year is 1946), living in a small town in Vermont. She’s determined to make it on her own, but the only thing she can do is build dollhouses and the miniatures to make them lifelike. Then she discovers a body hanging from the rafters. Tiny details bother her, and she can’t ignore them because Maple has a strong sense of right and wrong, and a strong desire to see justice done. She’s a strong female character with a history of defeating the odds. She also has a prickly side to her, and it constantly alienates those around her, except for Charlotte.

Charlotte is her best friend. She has her hands full with three boys, and running diner with her husband, but she’s always there for Maple. Ginger Comstock is a thorn in Maple’s side.

Mystery

Maple finds a body hanging in a barn when she goes to deliver a dollhouse. She disagrees with the coroner’s ruling of suicide because small details bother her. She’s determined to find the truth. Kenny, one of the deputies, becomes her ally to find out the truth. The mystery kept me guessing until the end.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading Death in the Details. The characters are lively and engaging.
Mapel Bishop, the main character, grows and changes throughout the novel. Watching her grow from a widow with what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles to a self-confident business owner. I was also drawn in by Mapel’s hobby of building dollhouses and furnishing them with miniatures she constructs herself. I’ve always found dollhouses and miniatures interesting, and this book didn’t disappoint. There is also humor throughout the book, which is always a plus.

The mystery kept me guessing throughout the book. The historical details also drew me into the novel. Overall, this debut novel is well-written, with complex characters, dollhouses and miniatures, and a mystery that kept me guessing until the reveal. I ordered a physical copy, and if there are more in this series, I will be reading them.
5/5 stars.

Publishing Info

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Hardcover | $29.99
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Pub date: Apr 09, 2024
Pages: 288

ISBN 9781639107186

Book Notes Review “The Poison Pen” by Paige Shelton

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

The Poison Pen

Book 9 in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series
by Paige Shelton

Publisher’s summary

The Poison Pen, the ninth installment in the Scottish Bookshop series by Paige Shelton, set in a specialty bookstore in Edinburgh called The Cracked Spine.
Edinburgh is mourning recent the death of Queen Elizabeth II when Bookseller Delaney Nichols’s boss comes to her with a most unusual assignment. An old friend of his, living in an estate in the village of Roslin, has found what could be a priceless relic on her property, and Delaney is tasked with investigating. Could Jolie possibly have an item of breathtaking Scottish historical significance in her possession? But when Delaney arrives at Jolie’s estate, she is greeted by a legal team with a vested interest in the property. Jolie manages to remove the interlopers, but as they’re examining the priceless item, they hear a scream, and meet a much less welcome discovery: a body.
As Delaney digs deeper, she discovers Jolie’s own fascinating history. Jolie’s mother had long claimed that her daughter was the rightful heir to the throne, not Elizabeth II, because of an affair she claimed to have with King Edward VIII. The only evidence, however, is in the form of a purported journal that one of Edward’s secretaries kept. The puzzles become more confusing when a connection is uncovered between this far-fetched story and the murdered man. Delaney will have to read between the lines to put together the pieces…or become history herself.

My Thoughts

Characters

There is a robust cast of characters. Delaney Nichols is a Kansas transplant living in Scotland. She’s now part of a solid group of friends in Edinburgh and has married one of the local pub owners. But she still struggles a bit with things like driving direction/feeling like she’s driving on the wrong side of the road. She’s also successfully solved several local murders.
Jolie Lannister is a close friend of Delaney’s boss. A hoarder, she lives in the old family estate, which has seen better days. She’s a flamboyant character and fun to read.
Bowie Berry is Jolie’s attorney. She’s pushy, over-bearing, annoying, and may or may not have her client’s best interest at heart.
Elias is Delaney’s co-investigator in this book. A cab driver, he and his wife have become close friends of Delaney. He becomes involved when an old friend is accused of murder.
The rest of the characters are well-rounded and a solid group of friends.

Mystery

An old sword goes missing. What is its history? Is it as old as Delaney suspects? Is it worth killing for? Is Jolie the illegitimate daughter of Edward VIII, as her mother claimed? And why did someone have to die? It’s a twisty path to the truth.

Overall thoughts
The Poison Pen is a quick read. The characters are well-written, with plenty of conflict to add interest. The mystery isn’t easily solved, and that is a good thing. The only issue I had was with one of the characters and how easily he seemed to have gotten an important job. I don’t want to give away any more because of spoilers. 

4/5 stars

Paige Shelton’s website

Publishing Info

Publisher Imprint: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
Pub date: 4/9/24
ISBN: 9781250890603