THE SECRET, BOOK, & SCONE SOCIETY by Ellery Adams

(Kensington HC/November2017/978-1-4967-1237-0)

 

“Miracle Springs, NC, bookstore owner Nora Pennington does more than sell books. A librarian-turned-bibliotherapist, she helps people solve their problems by prescribing particular titles, while her friend Hester creates comfort scones, based on the feelings she gets from each person. But before Nora can assist a visiting businessman, the stranger ends up dead, pushed in front of a train. Nora doesn’t often trust other people, but knowing she needs to team up to find a killer, she turns to Hester and two other women for help. Together they form the Secret, Book & Scone Society. As they delve into the dead man’s dealings, they uncover his connections with a small group of land developers. They also share among themselves the secrets that dragged them into lonely, dark places and eventually brought them to Miracle Springs. The suspense intensifies as the investigation and the story of each woman’s life unfolds. VERDICT Adams (Killer Characters) launches an intriguing new mystery series, headed by four spirited amateur sleuths and touched with a hint of magical realism, which celebrates the power of books and women’s friendships. Adams’s many fans, readers of Sarah Addison Allen, and anyone who loves novels that revolve around books will savor this tasty treat.”- Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

 

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MURDER IN AN ENGLISH VILLAGE by Jessica Ellicott

(Kensington HC/November 2017/978-1-4967-1050-5)

 

“In 1920, American adventuress Beryl ¬Helliwell, in need of some peace and quiet, reads an ad from “a well-bred lady” requesting a lodger. It leads her to her old schoolmate Edwina Davenport, who is down on her luck in the hamlet of Walmsley Parva. To defray local rumors about Edwina and her reduced finances, Beryl informs the village gossip that the two women are secret agents. The next evening Edwina is attacked in her garden, and the friends realize this quiet village holds some deadly secrets. They start questioning the wartime disappearance of a land girl who worked on the local estate. When another former land girl dies, only Beryl and Edwina consider her death murder. This new cozy launch from Ellicott (a pen name for Jessica Estevao, author of Whispers Beyond the Veil) introduces a pair of delightful odd-couple amateur sleuths, a confident American adventuress and a ladylike British spinster. VERDICT With its strong sense of place and time in post–World War I England, this will be welcomed by fans of Frances Brody’s “Kate Shackleton” mysteries.”- Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

 

 

 

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THE PLOT IS MURDER by V.M. Burns

(Kensington TP/December 2017/978-1-4967-1181-6)

 

“Samantha Washington’s late husband always dreamed of opening a mystery bookstore in North Harbor, MI, but she really wanted to write a British cozy mystery. Now Samantha is doing both, writing at night and preparing to open Market Street Mysteries in the brownstone she bought after a legal battle with the shady realtor Clayton Parker. Her problems with Clayton come to a head when she finds his body in her backyard. Police believe Samantha had reasons to kill him, but her grandmother Nana Jo has other ideas. She and “the girls” from the retirement village team up with Samantha to uncover the truth. In alternating chapters, the plot of Samantha’s 1930s mystery unfolds. VERDICT This debut cleverly integrates a historical cozy within a contemporary mystery. In both story lines, the elder characters shine; they are refreshingly witty and robust, with formidable connections and investigative skills. Readers of Carolyn Hart and Vicki Delany will appreciate the lively seniors, the humor, and the bookstore environment.”- Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

 

 

 

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BETWEEN YOU AND ME by Jennifer Gracen

(Zebra MM/December 2017/978-1-4201-4528-1)

 

“Gracen gets better with every book, and with her fourth Harrison siblings contemporary (after Happily Ever After), she hits the emotional jackpot with a multilayered tale of a rich yet down-to-earth woman and an intelligent, caring man who can’t forgive himself for past mistakes. At a joyful Harrison Christmas celebration, Tess Harrison feels alone—her brothers are all married and have children, and she’s still single. She decides to have a baby on her own, heading to the family’s house in Aspen, Colo., to dodge unwanted questions. Meanwhile, after a disastrous divorce in New Orleans, Logan Carter goes home to Aspen, planning to take care of his dying mother and work as a house caretaker—one whose duties involve the Harrison house. Logan is honorable and generous, and he still blames himself for not saving more people during Hurricane Katrina. He’s got combustible chemistry with Tess but refuses to let himself fall for her. When Tess asks him to be her sperm donor, Logan is floored, and it changes their relationship forever. Gracen’s lyrical prose, combined with heartbreakingly perfect characterization and a stellar cast of supporting players, makes this one a keeper.” - Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

 

 

 

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