Book #Reviews! @JoanHallWrites @harmony_kent @WendyWrites1 @judypost

I have had a month of fabulous reading and want to share the cream of the crop!

Blurb:

Bounty hunters come to Muddy River to capture its amiable bartender, Derek Fang, Raven Black, a demon and the town’s enforcer, warns them off because the vampire hasn’t committed any crime. But a succubus who was Derek’s lover centuries ago has finally found him and wants him back–enough to pay big money to whoever brings him to her–alive.

MY REVIEW:

This is book 5 in the Muddy River Mystery series and although I haven’t read the other books in the series, I was not at all lost reading this segment of the story. Muddy River is a town inhabited solely by supernatural characters. Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Shapeshifters, and Demons make up the population. In this segment of the story, Derek, a Vampire is hunted by a succubus who wants him back as her plaything and will stop at nothing to get him. I love how the town comes together to protect one of their own. I won’t give away the plot but will say the story is a page-turner and a quick read. If you love paranormal activity, believable characters, and plenty of action, you will love this story! Great world-building!

Blurb:

When celebrated international purse designer, Katherine Watson, hosts a gala for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day’s headline to read: ‘Murder at the Gala Premiere.’ But after a dead body is found during the event, that’s exactly what happened. Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner, Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they’ll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer’s next knock off.

MY REVIEW:

This story is a well-written whodunit mystery that also includes some fascinating history about purses. When Katherine, a world-famous purse designer, comes back to her hometown of Bayside to establish a purse museum in their old victorian family home, things could not go more awry. Her best friend, the mayor of the small town, is murdered at the museum’s opening gala. The list of suspects is long and Katherine doesn’t trust the police to find the real murderer. So, she begins her own investigation which leads her into danger more than once. Policeman, Jason and his K-9 Hobbs become an integral part of the story along with many other characters. I loved Katherine’s eccentric mother, Moonjava. She embodied the sixties hippy image and although she came across as being flighty, when it counted the most, she stepped up to the plate. Katherine’s grandmother was another unforgettable character. So who murdered Brenda? Her husband, Russ? A pushy reporter? Someone on the City Council? A crime novelist? The list grows as Katherine digs deeper into discovering the identity of the killer. If you love a cozy mystery with bits of humor thrown in, you will enjoy this story. The author did a great job of keeping the identity of the murderer hidden until the end of the book.

Blurb:

Dream home or damned home?

Ruth Hazelton is over the moon when her husband Lee agrees with the nineteenth-century Victorian in Madeira, New Mexico, is the perfect home for them. While he starts his new job as police chief, she sets about unpacking and decorating.

But it’s not long before Ruth needs more. She becomes a fixture in the community, making time for everyone, volunteering, hosting events—she’s every bit the social butterfly her husband is not. Through her friendships, she learns several former residents of her home met with untimely deaths. If she were superstitious, she might fear a curse, but such nonsense doesn’t faze her.

Until the unthinkable happens.

Now, as the end of Ruth’s life draws near, she must find a way to convey her message and stop the cycle to prevent anyone else from suffering in the house of sorrow.

MY REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed this short story and wanted it to continue. It all starts with a beautiful one-hundred-year-old Victorian home in a small town in northern New Mexico. I fell in love with the town, the people, and the house in this introduction to the Madeira Legends series. This close-knit community has everything you’d expect to find in a small town, from friendly neighbors, to children who play on the streets until after dark, to mystery and intrigue. And the house is the center of attention.
Ruth Hazleton and her husband Lee move to Madeira after Lee lands the job as Chief of Police. I really related to Ruth’s character. She is friendly, outgoing, and caring. She is the lady that bakes cookies for the neighborhood children, organizes Easter egg hunts, and decorates for every holiday. Set in the sixties, the author weaves historical events throughout this short story, from the Kennedy assassinations to the first Apollo landing on the moon and the break-up of The Beatles. She makes the story believable along with the characters and the mystery surrounding the old house. Could the house truly be cursed? I cannot wait to find out! I enjoyed that the author put the first chapter from the first novel in the series at the end of this short story. It whets my appetite for more. I highly recommend this if you love a good mystery set in a believable small town with unforgettable characters.

Blurb:

It’s so remote out here. Anything could happen …

A missed phone call in the night is all it takes.

When Carole’s 18-year-old son goes missing, she breaks into Jayden’s laptop to try to understand his life.

All too soon, Carole discovers just how little she knew her boy.

And when one lead after another dead-ends, the distraught mother has to face the unthinkable.

Sucked into a sticky web of deceit and lies, nothing is as it seems.

When your life turns inside out and upside down, who would you trust?

MY REVIEW:

Talk about a nail-biter! This story begins with some backstory that is essential to what happens as the main story begins. Carole lost her husband, Harvey, to cancer. That left only her and their son, Jayden. As the story begins, Carole is texting with eighteen-year-old Jayden about when he’ll be home. Even though he’s of age, she still worries. After all, he is her entire world. She makes the mistake of taking sleeping pills with wine before going to bed that night. She missed the calls and frantic text from her son. And, he never made it home. Guilt-ridden and terrified, she searches everywhere for him and comes up empty-handed. Finally, she involves law enforcement. The author not only shows this mother’s terror, but she also places you right inside it with her. I sat with Carole as she scrolls through page after page of social media looking for any clues as to where Jayden might be. As she continues her frantic search, she is mortified to realize she knows little of her son’s life. She’s been so locked into her years of grief that she’s shut him out. I won’t go into details, but over a period of five days, Carole moves from one horrific moment and event to the next. The only thing keeping her going is her favorite Macchiato coffee and knowing in her heart that her son is still alive somewhere. I was on the edge of my seat through this entire story and devoured it as fast as possible just to find out what happened. Talk about a shock! If you love a psychological roller-coaster and don’t have a weak heart, I highly recommend this story! While the numerous scenes of Carole sitting at her table and making yet another coffee became repetitious, it was not enough to deter me from finding out the ending to this tale. It depicts a parent’s worst nightmare in a visual and emotive way.

I only post 4 and 5 star reviews. I highly recommend any or ALL of these books!

92 thoughts on “Book #Reviews! @JoanHallWrites @harmony_kent @WendyWrites1 @judypost

  1. Love your reading list and your reviews Jan. I’ve added a few more to my TBR. And just saw your other post on Rick’s memorial, and Sue’s moving words. So relatable. Beautiful pictures too. Both our beloved men robbed the cradle, lol. I snatched a copy of Sue’s quote. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the reviews, Debby, and added a few more to your TBR list. I’m glad you snatched Sue’s quote. It really spoke to me. Yes, both our men robbed the cradle, and boy did they have fun! I love the good memories. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hugs!

      Like

      1. Oh yes, I need to get through this very difficult part before I can begin going over memories. One day, one hour at a time. 🙂 xx

        Like

  2. You’ve been quite busy, Jan. I remember that I have The Vanished Boy waiting for me, and I think I recently picked up Joan’s book too. Even though I read every night before I go to bed, sometimes it just isn’t enough. Oh well, a nice problem to have.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Pete. I do love to read and it is what I do every night before going to sleep. I don’t watch much TV, if any. I’d much rather read a good book. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have to second Harmony’s sentiment – I hope The Vanished Boy doesn’t keep you awake at night. It’s a nail-biter!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The only one of these I haven’t read is Kat out of the Bag, and that sounds great.
    I loved all of the others and agree with your fantastic reviews. Congratulations to all the authors. Great reviews, Jan!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks so much for the review, Jan! I haven’t written a new Muddy River for a while and I’m beginning to miss my supernaturals. Good luck to Joan and Harmony with their books, and much luck with the second book in your series, that comes out this year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Judi! Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to going back and reading more of the Muddy River series. Book 5 was an excellent story. Thank you for your good wishes for the new book coming out!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi, Judi! Thank you for your awesome and generous offer. I will definitely take you up on that with the new release. I don’t have a date yet, but it is with the editor and the cover designer. I’ll definitely give you a shout!! Thanks!!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. A wonderful assortment, Jan! I greatly enjoyed Vanished and House of Sorrows, and need to catch up on the muddy River series. Kat out of the Bag sounds interesting, I’ll have to check it out.
    Great reviews!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Excellent reviews, Jan. These all sound good, but I have been hearing some great things about “House of Sorrow” and “The Vanished Boy” and have them in my sights. Congratulations to all these authors. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great reviews, Jan 🙂 I read and loved Vanished Boy, and House of Sorrow. I have Judi Lynn’s series on my TBR list, and look forward to reading it. You have me intrigued with Out of the Bag!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for the great reviews, Jan. They all sound wonderful but two of these books really caught my interest and will add to my now overflowing tbr list. I love a good mystery and it sounds like any of these would fit the bill. I have to give a shout-out to Wendy for such a creative title!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Maura Beth. I’m glad a couple of the titles caught your attention. I totally understand about an overflowing TBR list. 🙂 I agree with you in your shout-out to Wendy. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi,
    Thank you for presenting your reviews of the books. The one that intrigued me the most was House of Sorrow by Joan Hall. Although all the reviews sound like the books are good reads, I enjoyed the mystery that you described in
    House of Sorrow. the most.
    Take care.
    Shalom alleichen

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thank you so much for your wonderful review of House of Sorrow, Jan. I’m delighted you enjoyed the book. I’ve read The Vanished Boy. I didn’t want to put it down. The other books sound intriguing as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you about The Vanished boy, Joan. I just had to see what happened to Jayden! 🙂 And I loved House of Sorrow. What a great way to introduce a series. Sort of like a prologue but not. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Great book reviews, Jan. And I’m so thrilled you enjoyed The Vanished Boy so much. Sounds like you’ve had some great reading lately. I loved House of Sorrow and will have to take a look at the others. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure, Harmony! I loved all of these books and am happy to share my thoughts. I agree about House of Sorrow. It was such a good introduction to the new series! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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