Murder by the Sea (by Kathleen Bridge) … delightful cozy mystery

I love the By the Sea mystery series. The books are full of wonderful characters and a murder mystery threaded throughout. The author does an amazing job of sprinkling clues along the way that have you guessing who is guilty of murder.

I am enamored with Aunt Amelia, Chef Pierre, and the myriad of animals who live at the Indialantic By the Sea. The setting, the characters, the relationships, and the mystery are the perfect recipe for a delightful cozy mystery.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lyrical Underground for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I’m ready for the next adventure by the sea!

A Killing by the Sea (by Kathleen Bridge) … a delightful cast of characters

What a wonderful group of characters! They are so well developed and you feel like you know each one personally. Aunt Amelia and her sidekick macaw, Barnacle Bob, are so entertaining. I enjoyed all of the references to various TV shows and commercials that Aunt Amelia appeared in over the years. And then you factor in a murder mystery and you are in for a delightful read.

The relationships between the various characters are varied…budding romance, friendships, family, frenemies, jealousy…a little bit of everything. And such wonderful pets are scattered throughout. I want to move to the Indialantic By the Sea and live with this amazing group of people.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lyrical Underground for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Things My Son Needs to Know about the World (by Fredrik Backman) … spend an afternoon chuckling with this delightful book

This was a delightful read. I found myself laughing out loud frequently. And it didn’t matter if I was curled up in my recliner at home, in the doctor’s office waiting to be seen, or dining in a restaurant. It was that entertaining that I couldn’t stifle the laughter.

I hope Fredrik Backman’s children will grow up appreciating their father’s talent, self-effacing sense of humor, and his gentle humility.

This is a wonderful and quick read that I highly recommend to readers…especially if you have…or have had…young children. You will be treated to a fun afternoon getting a glimpse into the author and his familyu.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Dragonfly (by Leila Meacham) … WWII story of extreme bravery

I am a huge fan of books that take place during WWII and the Holocaust. Leila Meacham’s story is one that will have you traveling to Paris during the Nazi invasion. The five main characters are so real that you feel as if you know them personally. The author’s tale of courage, dedication, love, loss, fear, and selflessness will touch the reader deeply.

While the events occur during the time of atrocities committed by Hitler’s regime, you are not inundated by the graphic details as in many WWII books. You get a taste of the horrors but you really have more of a sense of fear and trepidation that the five young people experienced during their time serving as spies while living and working side-by-side with the enemy.

There are no words that do justice in describing the bravery of these individuals, as well as countless others, who were willing to sacrifice themselves to stop the evil that was spreading throughout Europe. And I truly believe there were Nazi officers and staff members who did what they could internally, at great risk to themselves, to stop Hitler’s reign. They may have initially been taken in by his mesmerizing speeches and his ability to promote achievements that he claimed as his own. But they eventually realized the charismatic leader was pure evil. Their willingness to thwart the Führer’s efforts were self-sacrificing.

I appreciated the information the author provided at the beginning of the book (details about characters, etc.). And she provided a few details at the beginning of each chapter so that you knew which character was highlighted. With so many points of view, this was extremely helpful.

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

I was drawn in the from the beginning and had trouble putting the book down. I didn’t want to stop reading!

The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals (by Becky Mandelbaum) … human relationships that run the gamut

This was a good book. And whether or not you are a Trump supporter, the reactions of the characters when he wins the election are entertaining. And if you are an animal lover, the story will tug at your heart.

But the main focus are the relationships between the humans. And they run the gamut. You’ll laugh, cry, cringe, moan in exasperation. The characters are well developed and their personalities are very different which keeps things interesting.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Hip Flask and Hanging (by Rodney Strong) … I love the Silvermoon Retirement Village

I love Alice and her cohorts at the Silvermoon Retirement Village. She is a spunky 97-year-old former con artist. Alice is feisty and keeps you chuckling. The dual timeline aspect was interesting and the author did a great job making the transition smoothly.

The characters are well developed and are so entertaining. I am in love with this series and wish I could find a retirement facility with such interesting individuals. Sign me up for a room!

Thank you to the author and LoreQuinn Publishing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I can’t wait for the next visit with Alice and her friends…and enemies.

The Light Over London (by Julia Kelly) … good WWII dual timeline book

I love WWII stories as well as dual timeline books. When a book combines both, it’s even better! The one complaint I have is that this was promoted as being “reminiscent” of “Lilac Girls” and “The Nightingale.” While both books are set in WWII, that is where the similarity ends. I would have probably chosen to read the book anyway. But the misrepresentation left a bad taste in my mouth.

I did enjoy the book. It was a “lite” historical romance story where there is mystery, personal trauma, and romance. There is not a lot of the ugliness and horrors that occurred during the Nazi invasion. The focus was more on relationships during the past and present. There are some surprises, so it satisfies the reader who enjoys the random twists and turns. The characters are well developed and you will develop strong feelings about them.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Perfect Girls (by Alison James) … action and edge-of-your-seat adventure

I have enjoyed the books in the Detective Rachel Price series. The books are full of action and an edge-of-your-seat adventure. You are drawn into the story from the beginning and anxiously wait for Prince to solve the case. While some of the police procedures are unbelievable, Rachel Prince’s dedication and determination are admirable. It confirms that there are law enforcement officers who truly care that justice is served.

Relationships are developed, while others start showing some difficulties. Though does that mean that Mark and Rachel’s working relationship may grow into something else? We shall see.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookoutre for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I am looking forward to the next adventure with Detective Prince!