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The Gingerbread House–Christmasy picture book
The Gingerbread House
by Laura Gia West
Do you like gingerbread? Laura Gia West has cooked up a sweet treat with her rhyming tale of The Gingerbread House. You’ll want to read it aloud to enjoy the rhymes. There were a few places that seemed a little forced and not as predictable as I would like to see in a children’s book. It also had a font feature at the beginning of some lines that made reading difficult for me, so I’m sure it would give trouble to a younger reader. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and fun, and I think children would enjoy reading this picture book with their favorite grown-up, especially during the Christmas season.
I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction
Publication: November 1, 2020—Victory Editing NetGalley Coop
Death by Auction–fun event turns deadly
Death by Auction
by Alexis Morgan
Abby McCree is new to Snowberry Creek, but wants to contribute to her community, so she spearheads a fundraiser in support of a local veterans’ group. It is a fun bachelor/bachelorette auction which will be followed in a few weeks by a World War II era dance. Well, it would be fun if Abby had not discovered her celebrity Master of Ceremony’s dead body and if her boyfriend’s ex-wife hadn’t made a surprise visit to Snowberry Creek.
Abby is not happy to be in the middle of this mess, but she responds in her usual hospitable manner to the unwelcome ex-wife whom she privately calls “the barnacle.” With her never ending stash of muffins and cookies tucked away in the freezer, she even feeds the law enforcement officers who show up on her doorstep.
The story, which varies in mood from humorous to serious, moves quickly. As much as I wanted to know who committed the crime, I still didn’t want the book to end. From adventures at a biker bar to the joys of having her boyfriend’s ex-wife, who is one of the suspects, as a houseguest, the plot has a high energy level. The characters’ interactions are interesting. I’d love to join Abby at her kitchen table for a chat and the chance to pet Zeke, her slobbery ninety pound mastiff mix who is a good companion for her because of his intimidating size and his abilities in judging character. Abby is astute in her investigations and instrumental in solving the crime. All in all, Alexis Morgan’s Death by Auction is a very satisfying cozy mystery.
I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #3 in the Abby McCree Mystery Series, but would be excellent as a standalone
Publication: May 26, 2020—Kensington
They settled in at the table while Zeke parked himself between them in case someone dropped food on the floor that would require an emergency cleanup. He was good about things like that.
“I’ve learned never to underestimate your total inability to stay out of trouble, but also every guilty thought you have flashes across your face like it’s a billboard.”
Mount St. Helens had nothing on the eruption Abby could sense brewing in Tripp. His fists were clenched so tightly that his knuckles stood out in stark relief. One wrong word at this point, and she had no doubt he would go ballistic.
Past Due for Murder–complications and resolutions
Past Due for Murder
by Victoria Gilbert
Amy, a library director, juggles many roles from hosting special events to encourage community involvement to maintaining an archive to preserve local history. In Victoria Gilbert’s Past Due for Murder, Amy finds herself in the middle of a myriad of questions. Some are personal and others extend to the community: Why is her boyfriend Richard acting differently and lying? What happened to the missing student Lacey? Why does graduate student Trish hate Lacey so deeply? Did Charles, Amy’s ex-boyfriend, steal another professor’s ideas and why is he back in town? Is there blackmail going on at Clarion University? Who would be motivated so strongly that they would commit murder? As Amy discovers the answers to some questions, more arise and they form a tangled mess which gets unraveled in the end. This cozy mystery is a page turner you won’t want to miss.
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.
Notes: # 3 in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery Series, but works as a standalone.
Publication: February 22, 2019—Crooked Lane Books
I thanked her and went back to compiling statistics from our integrated library system. It was a part of my job that I hated, which made it a perfect match for my mood.
I stared at him, struck by the knowledge that his polished appearance couldn’t hide his true nature. He was obviously someone who always had to be right, who’d always demand blind obedience from his family and friends. In short, he was a bully, and no amount of tailoring and expensive haircuts or handcrafted shoes could hide that truth.
“Time don’t change who you are, just what you look like.”