Thanks to the university’s spring break, I got in some extra reading time this month! Here are the awesome books I read:
Dead as a Door Knocker by Diane Kelly
A House Flipping Mystery, Book 1
I “met” Diane Kelly when I invited her to speak to my local writers group about tax laws for authors. I then followed her on Facebook, and when I found she’d begun a cozy mystery series I had to check it out!
I love watching home improvement shows on TV, especially those which involve house-flipping. So when I saw this cozy mystery series by Diane Kelly, I had to check it out. Whitney is an ambitious young lady, and coming from a family of construction workers, she’s quite handy with building tools. She’s also studying for her real estate exam while working as a property manager for a real estate business. When she and her cousin Buck purchase a home with the intention of flipping it, the problems begin. First, faulty wiring causes a major fire. Then, the shady businessman they purchased the home from is found dead in the home’s garden, and Whitney’s a prime suspect. But she’s not about to take this lying down, and soon suspects are popping up all over. I enjoyed the mystery, although the short chapters from the cat’s point of view did nothing for me. Still, I’ll probably check out the next few books in the series.
Cutwork by Monica Ferris
Needlecraft Mystery, Book 7
Thanks to my local library, I’m able to continue reading but giving my eyes a rest from screens by reading print copies of this series set mainly in a needlework shop in frigid Minnesota. This time, Betsy is working at a local art fair when one of the artists is murdered in his own tent. The victim is a wood carver who was killed with his own knife, and all the money in his cash box is gone. A young boy known as a hoodlum is arrested, and the detective thinks he has an open and shut case, but Betsy isn’t so sure, and when the boy’s parents ask her to help, she starts asking questions. This was an interesting mystery with several subplots that may extend into the next book. I’m enjoying the minor characters as much as I like the way the mystery is solved.
In Good Company by Jen Turano
A Class of Their Own, Book 2
Last month, after I posted my Goodreads reviews here on the blog, a friend of mine told me she was reading and enjoying this historical romance. I found it at my local library and signed it out. Set in New York City, Newport (Rhode Island), and Boston in the 1880s, the protagonists are Millie, a delightfully curious young lady who’d been orphaned at a young age, and Everett, a wealthy businessman in need of a nanny. Of course, Everett has an evil fiancée who plans to ship the children off to boarding school, and Millie has to convince Everett not to do that. Even though much of it was predictable, I enjoyed this light romance, and when I discovered it was the second in a series, I went back to the library to get the first one. Hopefully, I’ll have it read before my next book review post.
Crewel Yule by Monica Ferris
Needlecraft Mystery, Book 8
Betsy and her needlecraft shop assistant Godwin are in Nashville for the annual Needlework Market. Jill, by chance, is in Nashville on police business. The three of them have dinner together, but an ice storm prevents Jill from returning to her own hotel. When a woman goes over a railing on the ninth floor atrium and falls to her death, Betsy and Jill start asking questions. The beginning of the book was a little disjointed, because there were several different points of view, and some began several days before the death, and some began a few hours before. There were also a few errors in the text that were a bit jarring. But the overall story was good, and I’ll be putting Book 9 on reserve at the library soon.
Win Place Show by Liz Crowe
Liz is an active fellow member of one of my author support groups. When she announced that she had a new romance set during the Kentucky Derby and that she needed people to read and review it, I volunteered.
Nate has inherited his family’s bourbon distillery, and thanks to innovations he and his brother Harrison have implemented the company has become the featured bourbon at the current year’s races. He’s anxious to see the company do well, but he’s more nervous about seeing his long-estranged childhood friend Lucy. Due to several bad decisions in their youth, Lucy moved away from her comfortable Louisville society family to study and work at the University of Michigan. For the past few years, Lucy has returned only for the Derby weekend, but Nate wants to make the relationship permanent.
This book is a whole lot spicier than those I write, but the main storyline was well done. I would have liked to read more about the actual race and the atmosphere at Churchill Downs, other than the fashions and drinks. The unexpected way that the couple’s conflict was resolved was refreshing.
I, too, enjoy,house-flipping shows, although I don’t get to see many anymore.My grandfather was a teacher in Italy, who, when he came to America, began ‘updating’ older houses,”flipping”. My mother never lived in a house without indoor plumbing, (when many around her did not .) We also h have an old friend, ( who is not old). He, too, was a teacher who began flipping houses.That is all he does now and he has literally made a fortune in Denver. It’s fascinating.
I haven’t read a Monic Ferris in a while, but need to pick her up again.
A long time ago I decided to ignore all things Derby-related; it works for me much more than trying to accept and be enthusiastic, (although I saw one short race at Churchill Downs and can understand why a person could get hooked.)
I enjoyed visiting Churchill Downs and soaking up the atmosphere. We had an awesome guide. One of my daughters has flipped a house and her sister-in-law is starting to do it in earnest. I love seeing the finished products, but it’s way too much work for me.
My wife enjoys those HGTV shows, but I don’t care for them, not one bit.
Several interesting titles here, but I think my favorite would be “Cutwork”.
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I can see why that description would appeal to you. Next month I’ll hopefully have a review of the newest mystery from our mutual friend Helena Dixon.
These all sound like good reads. I like the shows on HGTV when I don’t want anything to really think about. I’ll sometimes watch them when I’m having problems falling asleep.
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They are easy to watch aren’t they? Kind of predictable, really. I can’t imagine how people can be so fussy, though. I guess if you have enough to spend, you can get whatever you want.
They do sound awesome.
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So many books, so little time!