Christmas Dessert Murder ~ Hannah Swensen #28 (by Joanne Fluke) … delicious recipes scattered throughout

This book is really a combination of two previously published books which I had already read. If I had realized that, I would not have chosen to read this one. To be honest, the Hannah Swensen books have lost their appeal to me. Because this is a compilation of two books, I will provide a review for each individually.

Christmas Caramel Murder ~ Hannah Swensen #20: Once again Hannah finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. This novella puts Hannah’s business partner, Lisa, as the primary suspect. There are shenanigans and Hannah will do her best to solve the crime. As the reader has come to expect, there are appetizing recipes included.

Christmas Cake Murder ~ Hannah Swensen #23: This book is a little different in that it takes you back in the past when Hannah is starting up The Cooke Jar. While anyone who has been reading the books in the Hannah Swensen series, you will be familiar with the majority of characters. However, there is the typical mystery that will appeal to you. And, of course, the delicious recipes are scattered throughout.

Just be aware that you are getting two previously published books when you start reading this one.

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

The Lions of Fifth Avenue (by Fiona Davis) … too many aspects to the book

I have really enjoyed books by Fiona Davis. However, this book just did not satisfy my love of historical fiction. I like dual timeline books, but this book felt so scattered to me. I could not connect with the main characters. The backdrop of the library was appealing and the historical facts were interesting. Essentially, there were too many aspects to this book that had a negative impact with me.

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

All the Lights Above Us (by M. B. Henry) … well-written story that weaves vivid description of the time period

I love historical fiction books that are set in WWII. The fact that this occurred over D-day was a different focus for me. The story shares the viewpoint of five women … all of whom have a very different aspect. I am awed by the research that the author did to write the book. The five women portrayed are displayed through their individual experiences … experiences that covered a myriad of emotions and situations. You will be exposed to amazing courage, atrocities, being dismissed and discouraged because they were women, fear, deception, etc. This is a well-written story that weaves a vivid description of the time period with the women who each played an amazing part. Put this book on your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier (by Sarah Bird) … interesting and unique view of the time period

This book was a different type of read for me. It was set during the great depression. I enjoyed reading about the dance marathons that occurred as a way to escape the real world. Plus it provided an opportunity to win cash as a prize. I was impressed with the amount of research the author did. While I did not care for the romantic side of the story and there were too many characters who appeared and then disappeared to never return, it was an interesting and unique view of that time period.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library ~ Lakeside Library #2 (by Holly Danvers) … great book to curl up with on a cold winter day

Give me a cozy mystery that involves a library and a lake and I am hooked. So I decided to give the Lakeside Library series a second change. The main characters, Rain and Julia, have an endearing friendship. They have a fun relationship that adds to the story. The conversations were a little stilted which took away from the book. However, the mystery is well done and has you guessing until the end. This is a good book to curl up with as you snuggle under a blanket on a cold winter day.

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

Beyond the Wire (by James Shipman) … emotionally moving story

My favorite genre of books to read is historical fiction … especially those set during WWII. I continue to be amazed at the horrors that excited during Hitler’s reign of terror. This particular book focuses on the concentration camp of Auschwitz and the story about the revolt that happened in 1944. You are also exposed to the atrocities that the prisoners endured … the way they were treated, the horrible things they endured, the lack of respect for humanity that the guards displayed. You are treated to the viewpoint of two very different SS officers. The story behind the revolt is emotionally moving, but some of the side storyline takes away from the credibility (Dieter’s willingess to join the uprising) and romantic situations.

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

When Ghosts Come Home (by Wiley Cash) … book worth diving into

Wiley Cash is a talented writer and his approach with a mystery in this book was well done. The time frame and location of the story was handled well. From the racial tensions spread through the pages to father-daughter relationship to the murder, this was an emotional journey. It was refreshing to read about an honest and highly principled character. The ending was rather abrupt, but the book is worth diving into and getting lost in the pages.

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

Closet Confidential ~ Charlotte Adams #4 (by Mary Jane Maffini) … entertaining characters

This was a fun cozy mystery. This book provides an interesting murder mystery as well as hints on how to organize and declutter your closets. The characters are entertaining and the mystery is well done. In fact, the author does a great job of keeping the reader guessing so you won’t be able to solve it easily.

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

Murder at the Lakeside Library ~ Lakeside Library #1 (by Holly Danvers) … not one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read

I really enjoy cozy mysteries and looked forward to reading this book. As in typical fashion, the main character sets out to solve the mystery. There were few characters but they were well developed and the relationships were entertaining. This was not one of the best cozy mysteries I have read and I probably will not continue with the series.

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

A Cup of Silver Linings ~ Dove Pond #2 (by Karen Hawkins) … an emotional read

This is an emotional read. So many feelings are explored … from the loss of a child, fears, and secrets with the potential to destroy a family. There are a lot of characters threaded throughout the pages and they are well developed. The mysticism aspect is my least favorite part of the book. But as the women’s self-discovery expands, their friendship evolves. That makes for a warm feeling.

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