Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Murder at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery #1) by Holly Danvers


Book: Murder at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery #1)

Author: Holly Danvers

Release date (if applicable): July 13, 2021

Synopsis: Following the death of her not so faithful husband, Rain Wilmot has returned to her childhood home of Lofty Pines, Wisconsin to run the family library. All Rain wants to do is lay low and recover from what she has lived through. Unfortunately, the town has other plans for her. 

When real estate mogul, Thornton Hughes is found dead on the property of the library, eyes point to Rain's mother, Willow, with whom Thornton had spent a significant time with. 

As Rain digs deeper into the case, will she become the killer's next victim?

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: This was a light, but highly enjoyable read. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a cozy, but it is on that spectrum.. It is definitely the perfect beach read. While this is normally not my style of read, I do believe this is a series I would definitely continue when looking for something a bit lighter. 

The author developed her characters beautifully and the story flowed smoothly. I found it to be atmospheric perfect for a mystery without going overboard. 

This is the type of book that IndiePicks Magazine and Patomi Media Group was developed to highlight. 

Source: Crooked Lane Publishers via Netgalley

Would I recommend? Absolutely

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: First in Series

Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Ursulina (Shelby Lake Book 2) by Brian Freeman


Book: The Ursulina (Shelby Lake Book 2) 

Author: Brian Freeman

Release date (if applicable): June 24, 2021

Synopsis: Written as a prequel to The Deep, Deep Snow, The Ursulina tells the story of Rebecca Colder, a mother forced to make an excruciating decision while a mythical creature runs through the National Forest in Minnesota leaving bodies in its wake.

My rating: My first 10/5 Stars rating of 2021.

My opinion: Anyone who knows me, reads my blogs or anything having to do with my reading habits knows what a fan I am of Brian Freeman. He is my number one recommended living US mystery writer. I truly consider this gentleman to be one of top US living mystery writers currently. I have read every book he has written with the exception of the Jason Bourne series, and that is simply because I am not a fan of the genre.

Hands down, I consider The Ursulina to be the best book Brian Freeman has written to date. I have numerous reasons for making this claim. 

First, while The Ursulina was a murder mystery like all of his books are, it was so much more than that. Let me just say though, Brian nailed the mystery part that left such a shocking ending that I didn't see coming, I was giddy with surprise and felt it such a treat that I was unable to solve the mystery. Brian masterfully had woven the mystery throughout the book and threw in twists and curves that left me guessing until the end. This is pretty rare for me. I have even had a book or two of Brian's I was able to figure out the ending early in the book. 

That didn't make give it my first 10/5 Star book rating for 2021 though.

Brian writes from the perspective, emotion and insight of a female and mother with such perfection that if I didn't know Brian as an author, I would have sworn the book was written by a female writing under a pseudonym. That to me is not only talent, it is a craft. I have found only one other male author who has pulled this off well. Even Brian's book, The Deep, Deep Snow didn't have as deep an insight into the female psyche as this book did. 

Lastly, the book drew me into the character and had me so emotionally invested that I actually cried at the end. For an author to be able to do that, especially for a reader that devours books like Pez, that is phenomenal. In my forty plus years of reading, I can count on one hand the number of times that an author has pulled me in so deeply into the book. 

Source:  Owned Book (Audible Monthly Credit)

Would I recommend? Hell yes! Normally, I recommend readers read a series in order. I really think this book can stand alone. Do take the time to listen to The Deep, Deep Snow. It is a wonderful listen, as well. Please don't miss Brian's Jonathan Stride Series....SO GOOD!

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of series

Special notes: This book is currently available only through Audible.com as an Audible Original. My understanding is there will be a print version available at a later date. I really encourage the audiobook version. It really added to the reading experience.