Posted in Reviews

Review and Blog Tour for Larceny At the Library, A Washington Whodunit, by Colleen J. Shogan

***5-stars

As a librarian and a pet lover, there were two things I liked most about this book — the setting (the murder takes place in the Library of Congress) and the dog (Clarence). The mystery and human characters were top-notch, too. The plot was equally absorbing as we join amateur sleuth Kit Marshall on her fifth adventure where she attempts to solve the murder of Gustav Gaffney, the Assistant Librarian of Congress, who was found dead the morning after the preview of a special exhibit containing the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night of his murder at Ford Theater. Gaffney’s killer is suspected of having also stolen some of the objects from this exhibit, but Kit has another theory and sets out to prove it.

I loved the way Shogan describes the Library of Congress and other D.C. buildings. It was almost like taking a tour of Washington. I was also surprised by the twist at the end. I highly recommend this fun cozy mystery.

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

About Larceny at the Library


Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 9781603818353
ASIN: B0863MN6TP

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/cshogan276

Website – www.colleenshogan.com

GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/cshogan276

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

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July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

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July 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 17 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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July 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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July 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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July 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

July 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

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July 26 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

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Review: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures Book 1) by Lydia Sherrer

Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures Book 1) by Lydia Sherrer

**** 4 stars

This is a fun book written in an unconventional style. The author refers to the three short stories that comprise the novel as “episodes.” Two of them are told from Lily Singer, the main character’s, point of view. Lily is a librarian . . . and a wizard. She also has a cat, Sir Kipling, who doesn’t play much of a role in this book but seems to play a big one in the second which is previewed at the back. Lily’s co-hort, Sebastian, who narrates the other tale is a witch. Together they solve various mysteries such as recovering a stolen magic tool from Sebastian’s family that has caused a time loop in a nearby town. If you enjoy a mix of magic, fantasy, and comedy that features likable characters, this is the book for you.

About the Author (from her Amazon Author Page)

Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of snark-filled fantasy, Lydia Sherrer thrives on creating characters and worlds you love to love, and hate to leave. She subsists on liberal amounts of dark chocolate and tea, and hates sleep because it keeps her from writing. Due to the tireless efforts of her fire-spinning gamer husband and her two overlords, er cats, she remains sane and even occasionally remembers to leave the house. Though she graduated with a dual BA in Chinese and Arabic, after traveling the world she came home to Louisville, KY and decided to stay there.

Lydia is not just out to write good books, but to make the world a better place, one story at a time. Her goal is to write with purpose, inspiring others to dig deep into the life they’ve been given and to dream big, because the world is built on dreams. Get a free book to start your Lydia Sherrer library by subscribing to her newsletter at http://www.lydiasherrer.com/subscribe

For more information about the author, series, and much more, check Lydia’s website at: https://lydiasherrer.com/

You can also connect with Lydia at the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/lydiasherrerauthor/

@LydiaSherrer

Amazon Author Page

Posted in Reviews

Review for The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

As a librarian, I’m able to get ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) of forthcoming novels. Here’s my review of The Last Wife, a psychological thriller, by Karen Hamilton. It will keep you turning the page. It releases July 7 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

****4 stars

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Marie is a photographer. She catches things in the photos she shoots including the wonderful life she thinks her friend Nina leads and which she’d like to have. But it’s true that you need to be careful what you wish for,. When Nina dies leaving two young kids and a husband, Marie grabs her chance at making Nina’s life her own. But after becoming pregnant and marrying Stuart, Marie discovers some secrets her friend Nina was hiding. One of them involves the death of Marie’s lover that happened while she, Nina, and a group of friends spent a holiday abroad in college.

This twisty, psychological thriller keeps you turning the pages as more secrets and lies are revealed until Marie learns the truth about Charlie’s death years ago and that the perfect life Nina led was far from perfect.

Karen Hamilton, courtesy of her website, Karenhamiltonwriter.com

About the Author

(from her website: https://karenhamiltonwriter.com)

I caught the travel bug after an early childhood spent abroad (Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy) and have worked as cabin crew for a major airline. In 2006, my husband and I put down roots in Hampshire and four years ago, I gave up flying to raise our three sons and concentrate on my writing. Now that they are a little older, I’ve begun travelling again (as and when it’s possible) and enjoy exploring places through their fresh eyes.

The Perfect Girlfriend was my first novel, released March 2018. It is a psychological thriller about a sociopathic flight attendant, Juliette Price. The book is rooted in my work experience, but not autobiographical! I realised early on in my flying career, that the moment I changed out of uniform, I became anonymous. It made me think about the identities behind uniforms and work personas and became an idea that would later help create my protagonist.

The Last Wife is my second novel. It is mainly set in the New Forest (an area I love and where I spend a lot of time) and is due out summer 2020. Marie Langham takes over over her dead friend’s life, only to discover that she didn’t know her friend, Nina, as well as she thought. Nina’s secret past now threatens Marie. Many things sparked the themes for this book including my interest in psychotherapy, and another, my fascination with how well we can ever truly know someone.

I’m currently working on my third novel, a thriller which features worldwide travel, murder and mystery.

Social Media Links: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KJHAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenHamiltonWriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenhamiltonauthor/

Posted in Reviews

Review for The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

As a librarian, I’m able to get ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) of forthcoming novels. I saw this one on a LibraryReads Book Buzz and couldn’t resist checking it out for obvious reasons. Here’s my review of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig releasing this September. You’ve got to put this one on your TBR list. It’s incredible. It is also available for pre-order on Amazon.

*****5-stars

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY

Everyone has regrets. We all wish we could do over some things in our past, take other paths, make different decisions. But for Nora Seed, the chance to change her life comes when she decides to end it. Caught between life and death after attempting suicide, Nora lands in a library that contains the books of all the lives she could’ve lived had she made other choices. This library, the Midnight Library, is staffed by Mrs. Elm, her childhood school librarian, who directs Nora to select a book and try out a life that she might find more fulfilling. As Nora samples these different existences, she marries the man she left two days before her wedding; travels to the Arctic to explore the polar region; performs internationally with a hit band; becomes an Olympic swimming champion, and much more but will she find the life that has true meaning for her or be whisked back to the Midnight Library for another “book?”

I couldn’t put this novel down despite the fact that I had a feeling about the ending. What I liked most, besides the symbolism of the library and the books of lives, was the point the author made about how an action we take today, no matter how small or insignificant-seeming, may have a large effect on what happens to us and the people we love tomorrow.

Posted in Authors, Reviews

Review of Love and Ruin, A Historical Fiction Novel of Ernest Hemigway’s Third Wife, Martha Gellhorn, by Paula McLain

****4-stars

Popular historical fiction novelist, Paul McLain, who previously wrote about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife in The Paris Wife, tells the story of Hemingway’s third wife, Martha “Marty” Gellhorn. This book, however, isn’t just a love story. It is also a war story because we follow Marty who, after writing an unsuccessfully-reviewed novel, finds her niche as a war correspondent covering the news for Colliers with her famous husband as her rival.

Marty is courageous, driven, and determined to document the atrocities of the several wars she’s lived through including World War II. While devoted to Ernest, she needs to make her own name among journalists.

I found this novel a riveting, fast-paced, and interesting look at the horrors of war and the personal glimpses into the life of one of America’s most famous novelist. As a writer myself, I related to Marty’s struggle making a name for herself in a competitive field that, at that time, was predominated by male authors. I highly recommend this read to those interested in history, biographies, and realistic fiction.

Paula McLain’s photo from her website

About the Author: From Paula’s website:

Paula McLain is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels, The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun. She now introduces her latest title, Love and Ruin.

Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress–before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996.

She is the author of The Paris Wife, a New York Times and international bestseller, which has been published in thirty-four languages. The recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is also the author of two collections of poetry; a memoir, Like Family, Growing up in Other People’s Houses; and a first novel, A Ticket to Ride. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

Connect with Paula on

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Website

Posted in Reviews

Review and Blog Tour for R.I.P. in Reykjavik by A.R. Kennedy

R.I.P. in Reykjavík*****5-stars

This second book of the Traveler Cozy Mystery series takes Naomi to Iceland with her mother. I found this book both funny and informative. It was a great break from my current quarantine and makes wonderful armchair travel reading. While never having traveled to Iceland or considered going there, the details included about the sights made me think about future possibilities. I also learned some Icelandic words that were listed at the beginning of each chapter and within the story. I enjoyed A.R. Kennedy’s descriptions of Snorkeling in crystal clear water, observing geyser eruptions, watching rainbows over waterfalls, horseback riding Icelandic horses, and viewing puffins on a boat tour — all this while Naomi and her mother secretly investigate the death of a man on his honeymoon with his family.

As Naomi mingles with this odd group of tourists, she discovers that something’s rotten in Denmark or Reykjavik, as the case may be. She starts to suspect that the groom’s death during a snorkeling expedition might be murder. The bride’s parents are divorced but haven’t told the bride yet. The groom’s best man is pretending to be gay. The tour guide is acting strange. The Maid of Honor is more upset by the groom’s death than the bride. The bride might be sleeping with someone else, and Naomi’s mother might be sleeping with the bride’s father.

Dealing with her mother and discussing the case with her sister Charlotte via Facetime, Naomi also finds the opportunity to sightsee and look for romance in the way of a bartender her mother calls Thor with whom she begins visualizing Icelandic grandchildren.

When the mystery is solved with a twist that Naomi figures out and the killer is caught, Naomi and her mother bid farewell to Iceland, having grown a little closer. I look forward to the next Traveler Mystery trip to Australia and hope to also read the first one, Sleuth on Safari, that takes Naomi and her sister Charlotte to Africa.

Check out the blog tour and giveaway for R.I.P. in Rykjavik below:

R.I.P. in Reykjavík: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
by A R Kennedy

About R.I.P. in Reykjavík

R.I.P. in Reykjavík: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Independently Published (May 19, 2020)
Print Length: 149 pages
Digital ASIN: B08477CQTR

Traveling with your family can be murder.
One wedding party + one estranged mother = another vacation that goes array for Naomi.

Naomi is off on another international vacation. She thinks traveling with her mother will be the most difficult part of her trip until she meets the rest of the tour group—a wedding party. It only gets worse when she finds the groom dead. Everyone’s a suspect on her Icelandic tour of this stunning country.

About A. R. Kennedy

A.R. KENNEDY

A. R. Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.

Author Links

Website Amazon Facebook Twitter GoodreadsBookBub

Purchase Link – Amazon

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May 5 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

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May 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST

May 6 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 7 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 8 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW

May 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 9 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

May 10 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHTS

May 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

May 11 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

May 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 12 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 13 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

May 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 15 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW

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Review of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

*****5-stars

At the library where I work, this book has been requested on a long waiting list. I decided to find out why. Now I know. The story follows nature lover, Catherine “Kya,” who grows up alone in the 1950’s in the North Carolina Marshland after her siblings and mother leave, and her father, the cause of their departure, eventually disappears.

Avoiding the townspeople and the truant officer who tries to take her to school after she’s taunted and teased by the other children, she makes one friend, Tate, who teaches her to read and shares her love of nature. As the two grow, they fall in love, but Tate leaves to go to college. The events that occur when he doesn’t keep his promise to return to her, set off a chain of events that result with Kya accused of the murder of a man whose family is well known in the town.

There is much more to this story that features themes of prejudice and abuse but also the beauty of nature and the enduring quality of love and friendship. One addition that I especially enjoyed was the brief appearance of the court cat, Sunday Justice.

Don’t miss this read that will keep you turning the pages and also has a surprising twist at the end.

About the Author (information and photo from her website)

Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa including Cry of the Kalahari.

She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in NatureThe African Journal of Ecology, and many others.

She currently lives in Idaho. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

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Posted in Reviews

Review of The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

***4-stars

As a librarian, I like to read new authors. I’ve heard good things about Fiona Davis from patrons and thought I’d give one of her books a try. This is the first I’ve read but not the last. The novel focuses on two women, Art teacher and artist Clara Darden whose story takes place during the 1920’s and Virginia Clay, a divorced woman in the 1970’s, who finds work at Grand Central Terminal in New York City and discovers the remnants of an art school hidden within its walls. When she locates a watercolor by an unknown artist, she begins a search that leads her into a mystery involving Clara Darden and the battle to save Grand Central. Along the way, she develops the courage to overcome her fears about her own deficiencies that include the removal of one of her breasts during cancer surgery. I enjoyed the way the story moved back and forth between the two women, and I was surprised by the twist at the end. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Davis’ books.

About the Author

(from her website: https://fionadavis.net):

F  I  O  N  A   began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater.

After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. Fiona’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

She’s a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City.

Connect with her on her social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FionaDavisAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FionaJDavis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fionajdavis/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14903705.Fiona_Davis

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Reviews

Review of Kitty Confidential, Pet Whisperer P.I. #1 by Molly Fitz

*****5-stars

Kitty Confidential is the first book of the Pet Whisperer P.I. cozy mystery series. It introduces Angie Russo, the proud holder of seven Associate Degrees who lives in the small town of Blueberry Bay, Maine. When Angie accepts a temp job as a paralegal, she experiences an electric shock when turning on the office coffee machine. This shock somehow renders her with the ability to hear what a tabby cat with the long moniker Octavius Maxwell Ricardo Edmund Frederick Fulton says. The cat, whom she nicknames Octo-Cat, enlists her help to solve his human’s murder. This is a fun, quick read with Octo-Cat stealing the show with his catitude. Cat lovers and cozy mystery fans will enjoy this book. I look forward to continuing the series.

About the Author

While USA Today bestselling author Molly Fitz can’t technically talk to animals, she and her doggie best friend, Sky Princess, have deep and very animated conversations as they navigate their days. Add to that, five more dogs, a snarky feline, comedian husband, and diva daughter, and you can pretty much imagine how life looks at the Casa de Fitz.

Molly lives in a house on a high hill in the Michigan woods and occasionally ventures out for good food, great coffee, or to meet new animal friends.

Check out her social media links and website where you can find out how to chat with Octo-Cat and join her mailing list:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollyFitzMysteries/

Facebook reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CatsDogsBooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollymysteries/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Molly-Fitz/e/B07N96W9G5/

Website: https://mollymysteries.com/

Love on the Rocks is the latest book in the Cobble Cove series by Debbie De Louise. I’ve read the previous books, and you can see all my reviews on her dedicated author page. Let’s drive into the review for the newest one… Love on the Rocks by Debbie De Louise My rating: 5 of…

via Book Review: Love on the Rocks by Debbie De Louise — This Is My Truth Now

Book Review: Love on the Rocks by Debbie De Louise — This Is My Truth Now