The Curse of Morton Abbey by Clarissa Harwood – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

 Book Blurb:

The Curse of Morton Abbey by Clarissa HarwoodSolicitor Vaughan Springthorpe knows perfectly well that Sir Peter Spencer’s offer of employment seems too good to be true: he hires her sight unseen, offering a suspiciously large salary to prepare the sale of Morton Abbey, his crumbling Yorkshire estate. But few people in late-Victorian England will entrust their legal affairs to a woman, and Vaughan is desperate to prove herself.

Once at Morton, Vaughan discovers that someone is determined to drive her away. An intruder tries to enter her bedroom at night, gunshots are fired outside her window, and an eerie crying echoes from the uninhabited second floor. Even Netherton, the nearest village, seems odd: the picturesque houses and perfect-looking families are haunted by dark secrets connected to Morton Abbey itself.

To complete her work and solve the mystery at the heart of Morton, Vaughan needs the help of Joe Dixon, the handsome gardener, and Nicholas Spencer, her employer’s irascible invalid brother. But with her questions diverted, her progress thwarted, and her sleep disrupted by the crying, will Vaughan escape Morton Abbey with her sanity intact or be cursed by the secrets within?

His Review:

Her mother was incensed! How could her youngest daughter with a physical disability leave to be an assistant to the heir of Morton Abbey? Wouldn’t it be better for her to live with her sister and help with her older sister’s child rearing and other household tasks? Having been trained by her father though, Vaughn Springthorpe is no shrinking violet, and she has no intention of being a house servant the rest of her life despite her mother’s objections when she leaves for the new position.

The Curse of Morton Abbey by Clarissa HarwoodMorton Abbey is situated in a remote area of the moors. She caught the correct train only to discover there is no carriage or transportation waiting for her. Finally, an old worn horse drawn carriage arrived at the station to take her to the Abbey. No one seemed eager to assist her into the vehicle or encourage her to the property. Finally, they grudgingly assist her into the carriage and loaded her luggage.

Ms. Harwood spins a very descriptive yarn about the plight of a young lady at the turn of the 19th century into the 20th. Her description of the Abbey is depressing as the estate certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Shabby and showing disrepair, it seems the last place a young invalid should seek employment. The well-developed characters working in the Manor are less than welcoming. One would expect a more cordial welcome after the long journey.

They were expecting a young male solicitor, not an unlicensed young lady! Vaughn is very well qualified, however, being the product of on-the-job training by her father. Her employer, Sir Peter Spencer, is the eldest son and has gone through the family’s money and is looking to sell the property. His younger brother has a number of frailties and is sequestered in a part of the structure.

CE WilliamsI enjoyed the twists and turns of the characters as the story developed. The story moves quickly and held my interest throughout the book. Recommended! 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Gothic Romances, Gothic Romance, Gothic Fiction
ASIN: B097Q9TF46
Print Length: 361 pages
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: The Curse of Morton Abbey [Amazon] 
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Clarissa Harwood - authorThe Author: Clarissa Harwood is the author of three historical novels. Publishers Weekly called her first novel, IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS, “a rich debut.” Her second novel, BEAR NO MALICE, won the Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society, and Kirkus Reviews praised it as “a smart and highly civilized tale about love, temptation, and second chances.”

Clarissa holds a PhD in English Literature with a specialization in Nineteenth-Century British Literature. In addition to being a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Clarissa is a part-time university instructor and full-time grammar nerd who loves to explain the difference between restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, she currently lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and three neurotic cats.

To learn more, visit http://www.clarissaharwood.com

© CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Fatal Solutions (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery Book 3) by Becky Clark – #BookReview – #cozycrafts

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

1 ACROSS: HUMAN REMAINS

Fatal Solutions by Becky ClarkCreating crossword puzzles for the Chestnut Station Chronicle won’t allow Quinn Carr to quit her diner waitress job any time soon. But it does provide an outlet for her organizational OCD, and also lets her leave subtle hints for police chief Myron Chestnut, an avid puzzler, when his investigations need some direction. Some mysteries, though, leave even Quinn stumped—like the property deed she finds in her grandfather’s old desk. The document lists Quinn’s mother as the owner of some land on the outskirts of Chestnut Station, but Georgeanne refuses to discuss it.

8 LETTERS, STARTS WITH “S”

Quinn visits the site, located near a World War II Japanese internment camp that’s since been turned into a museum. There she unearths a weathered Japanese doll…and a skeleton. Before she can uncover a killer, she has to identify the victim. Was it an inmate trying to escape? A guard? Or someone closer to home? As Quinn fills in the blanks, she finds an unexpected link between her family and Chief Chestnut’s—one that could spell more deadly trouble…

My Review:

The third in the Crossword Puzzle Mystery series and these just keep getting better.

Fatal Solutions by Becky ClarkQuinn and her best friend Loma find an old skull on a piece of property that Quinn was checking out. The property is by a WWII Japanese Internment Camp in Colorado turned museum.

The author has created fully developed and very unique individuals and we get an additional perspective of the support characters as Quinn go about quietly trying to solve several puzzling problems. Who did the skull belong to? Why was it there? And what of the Daruma doll found nearby? Why does her mother deny the property?

I get a kick out of the imaginative, quirky characters Ms Clark has crafted—so real, including her mother with the outrageous food recipes, police chief Chestnut, and the old boys at the diner where Quinn waits tables. Now there’s a bunch to draw to!

Quinn struggles with several problems. First, she has OCD. Not just the kind where you straighten objects, or check something twice. I’m talking real, classic, debilitating OCD and she creates crossword puzzles for the local paper on the QT. Once she’s given a puzzle, such as the bones on the property her mother is denying, and the Daruma doll she is beyond compelled to answer the questions. The sessions with her therapist are always fun as well.

There is a strongly connected sense between she and the support characters. They know one another, like, appreciate, and enjoy each other. I enjoy the author’s wacky sense of humor and turn of phrase.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. (Crossword puzzles and her mom’s crazy recipes at the back.) I was also given the opportunity to read the first two and thoroughly enjoyed Punning With Scissors as well. Currently on pre-order and I recommend you do so.

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Lyrical Press
ASIN: B08Z65YYV3
Print Length: 208 pages
Publication Date:  November 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Becky Clark - authorThe Author: Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels, leaves, and deer, but not plastic bags. Those things are terrifying.

Readers say her books are “fast and thoroughly entertaining” with “witty humor and tight writing” and “humor laced with engaging characters” so you should “grab a cocktail and enjoy the ride.” They also say “Warning: You will laugh out loud. I’m not kidding,” and “If you like Janet Evanovich, you will like Becky Clark.”

Becky won the 1st place “Best in Category” Mystery & Mayhem Award from the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Fiction Can Be Murder, book one in the Mystery Writer’s Mystery series.

Visit http://www.BeckyClarkBooks.com for all kinds of fun. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to her “So Seldom It’s Shameful” newsletter. You’ll hear about new releases, get the chance to win fabulous prizes, find out about book promotions from her and others, read interviews from new-to-you authors, and more. (As you might have gleaned from the title, she won’t inundate your inbox, either.)

If you want to connect more often, join Becky’s Book Buddies on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/beckysbookbuddies/

Follow Becky Clark here on Amazon, on BookBub, and at Goodreads. If you enjoy her books, she’d swoon if you left a review. Yes, swoon.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Silent Witness: (Detective Amanda Steele Book 3) by Carolyn Arnold – #BookReview – #noircrime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldWhen the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.

Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.

With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?

Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.

Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?

His Review:

Brett, Angela and their daughter were in the wrong place at a bad time. How could their first family vacation turn out so wrong? Brett loved to take pictures but the pictures he took that fateful morning should not have happened. Frantically he had the women in his life hide in their master bedroom.

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldAmanda Steele is a first-rate detective who loves her job. One of the down sides of the job is investigating horrific crimes. Her working relationship with her office is basically great except for her boss. For some unknown reason her boss seems to hate her and puts her down every chance she gets

Investigating the murder scene Amanda notes they are a young couple with a child nearly the age of her own. The couple is killed by apparent professionals and the little girl is nowhere to be found. Was she staying with relatives or had she been away for a weekend with a friend? The child named Zoe is found in a storage ottoman in the dead couples’ bedroom.

The killings had occurred quickly and efficiently, but why? Thankfully her mothers’ last act was to hide the child in the ottoman. Terrified she did not make a sound and stayed totally still. The killers had overlooked her. Can Amanda keep the child safe while investigating the crime?

Ms. Arnold builds a strong case for methodical investigative tactics. Her heroine is hobbled by the responsibility to keep young Zoe safe while investigating the deaths. She is aggravated by the fact that the papers in their zeal to report sensational crimes mentioned that the child was the only one to escape the massacre.

This tale develops at a fast clip and I found it hard to put the book down. The total lack of compassion or sympathy toward the two victims and their daughter raised a deep wish for revenge against the killers. How can someone kill a young mother in the same room as their daughter with no worries about the future of the child?

Amanda had lost her own daughter in a tragic accident in which she also lost her husband! She is torn between placing the child in Child Protective Service and possibly adopting her. Zoe is her daughter’s age.

CE WilliamsThe book is compelling and I applaud the author for her skill in story telling. 5 stars – CE Williams

Certainly not the first book reviewed for this author. I also enjoyed a few of the last, including Book 1 of this series, The Little Grave. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Organized Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09236T3JF
Print Length: 324 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Silent Witness [Amazon]
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Carolyn Arnold - authorThe Author: CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Crossing Lines: A Spellbinding CIA Romantic Suspense Thriller by Adrienne Giordano – #BookReview – #domesticthrillers – #tuesdaybookblog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

 Book Blurb:

CIA operative Elizabeth Aiken is on her own. After a rescue operation in Venezuela goes south and her cover is blown, Elizabeth barely escapes the country with her life. Set adrift by the Agency and with a price on her head, she seeks out the only person who can help her disappear.

Viper.

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoUnfortunately, the devastatingly attractive former operative wants nothing to do with her or the cartel-backed Venezuelan president who wants her dead. Worse still, if Elizabeth’s not careful, she’ll end up losing her heart instead of watching her back…and there’s no room for mistakes with assassins hot on her trail.

Helping her could destroy everything he’s worked for.

  • Former Marine-turned-CIA operative.
  • Current bar owner.
  • All-around badass.

Shane “Viper” Quinn has spent years constructing the perfect cover, and he’s not about to sacrifice it for a woman he barely knows. Even if she is strong and beautiful and makes him long for sultry nights that could destroy his carefully crafted life.
Still, Shane is forced to fight his growing attraction to the fearsome ex-agent while keeping her in one piece. Elizabeth’s enemies are now his enemies—and they aren’t going to stop until everyone who stands against them is eliminated. Will having the deadly Viper by her side be enough to save her?

His Review:

Killing, even in self-defense, is not always an acceptable activity. When the father of the victim is the president of a South American country, running and anonymity is the only answer. Elizabeth Aiken has changed her name and gone underground. A world class assassin is on her trail with a large bounty for her demise. Once made, an operative is no longer useful and the CIA has left her on her own!

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoShane Quinn is an ex-CIA operative in basically the same position. He started a business in Chicago and is staying below the radar to survive. He takes a liking to Elizabeth and decides to help her. She is a small but hardly diminutive woman who has spent her life in self-supporting roles. Her dark eyes captivate this blue-eyed hunk of a man. Yes, he tries to shake her, but desperation keeps her around like a dirty shirt on a camping trip.

The South American dictator knew his son was a psychopathic killer and enjoyed torturing his captives, but is that any reason to kill him? One of his life’s goals is to capture this bitch and inflict a slow and painful death and running can only get an ex- agent so far. The paychecks are no longer coming from the government and Liz is on her own. Surely it is only a matter of time before her painful death will be gratifyingly completed.

The author builds a budding romance between Shane and Liz. Thrown together by the desperate need of the young woman and her Sir Galahad, this story is very entertaining and brisk. Shane tries every trick in the book to conceal Liz’s whereabouts and save her from a painful death. His background and history make this a very dangerous endeavor. Can he save her, be her knight in shining armor, and keep her alive?CE Williams

This well-developed story is very entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat–-or sofa. There are no dragging chapters and I feel this author will become one of your favorites as well. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Political Thrillers & Suspense, Women’s Adventure Fiction
Publisher: ALG Publishing
ASIN: B099X99MXY
Print Length: 376 pages
Publication Date: To be released September 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Crossing Lines [Amazon] 
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Adrienne Giordano - authorThe Author: Adrienne Giordano is a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty romantic suspense and mystery novels. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her ultimate supporter of a husband, sports-obsessed son and Elliot, a snuggle-happy rescue. Having grown up near the ocean, Adrienne enjoys paddleboarding, a nice float in a kayak and lounging on the beach with a good book. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com.

 

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

The Harp and the Rose: The Queenstown Series Book 3 by –#BookReview – #historicalfiction

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars
#1 Best Seller Historical British Fiction

Book Blurb:

Queenstown, County Cork. 1920

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerFor twenty-year-old Harp Devereaux, life should be idyllic. At university, she feels for the first time in her life that she belongs, her mother Rose is running the Cliff House as a successful business, and her childhood sweetheart JohnJoe is by her side, but the storm clouds of war grow ever darker.For eight hundred years Ireland has made numerous bids for her freedom but now, at last, liberation from British rule is tantalisingly close, if the men and women of the revolution can just hold on.
Harp, her family, and her friends find themselves in the thick of the fight, but the Crown Forces are not the only enemy. A sinister force from the past is lurking and will stop at nothing to exact his revenge.

My Review:

The third in the Queenstown series and it is a hard-hitting, high impact narrative that relates Ireland’s long struggle for freedom from the British in an entertaining novel that tells the continuing story of Harp Devereaux.

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerHarp and her mother Rose have turned the Cliff House mansion where her mother worked into a thriving B&B. Now at twenty, she has a special beau in JJ, along with characters from the previous entries to the series. She is currently home from university and working undercover with the Devlin sisters in aid of the freedom movement.

Harp has recently met Marianne, a young bride given to British General Beckett most recently from Shimla, India to help stamp out the IRA organization currently causing havoc across Ireland. Marianne was given to the much older Beckett by her family and she feels lost and alone and quickly forms a friendship with Harp.

Amazing how the author develops characters sure to mirror those of the time, fleshing them out, making them real, sympathetic. The stories are heart-felt, she is passionate about her Irish history and the love of her home in Cork shines through the prose. The novel is compelling, strongly engaging and hard to put down as the pace never waivers.

The climax developed into a most satisfying conclusion and certainly as this reader hoped, but there is an epilogue that sets up an unsettling scenario with Henry’s brother, Ralph, that is obviously to be a story for another time. ARGH! Ralph is a miserable person, a despot! This can’t be good!

I have read many books written by this prolific author, some as standalones, as well as other series: Robinswood, The Tour, and the Conor O’Shea series. The Star and the ShamrockReturn to RobinswoodTrials and Tribulations, and The Homecoming of Bubbles O’Leary. The latter was particularly poignant. Her characters are always engaging and relatable, the stories entertaining, and most unique in their plots and pacing.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: British & Irish Literary Fiction, Historical British Fiction, Historical Irish Fiction
ASIN: B096M8FXLV
Print Length: 217 pages
Publication Date: Just released August 23, 2021
Source: Author
Title Link: The Harp and the Rose [Amazon]

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author:  JEAN GRAINGER

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

[Truncated]…

My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four.

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning by Gail Ward Olmsted – #BookReview – #biographicalfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward OlmstedA marriage of convenience leads to a life of passion and purpose. A shared vision transforms the American landscape forever.

New York, 1858: Mary, a young widow with three children, agrees to marry her brother-in-law Frederick Law Olmsted, who is acting on his late brother’s deathbed plea to “not let Mary suffer.” But she craves more than a marriage of convenience and sets out to win her husband’s love. Beginning with Central Park in New York City, Mary joins Fred on his quest to create a ‘beating green heart’ in the center of every urban space.

Over the next 40 years, Fred is inspired to create dozens of city parks, private estates and public spaces with Mary at his side. Based upon real people and true events, this is the story of Mary’s journey and personal growth and the challenges inherent in loving a brilliant and ambitious man.

His Review:

Fredrick Law Olmstead is arguably the most famous and well-known landscape artist in the world. During his lifetime he was sought after around the world for his talented approach to landscape design. Central Park in New York City and the design of the Worlds Fair and Exposition in Chicago in the late 1800’s is among many shining examples of his work.

Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward OlmstedThis author has scraped away the accolades and achievements and made the artist into a more personal figure. His wife Mary and he had many decades of a happy marriage despite the loss of a number of offspring. Mary was the linch-pin which held together his myriad of accomplishments. She led the family through many heartbreaking episodes and was often a sounding board for family events.

Looking at the accomplishments of the Olmstead clan, tragedies often clouded and overshadowed the triumphs. Losing a daughter and three sons is a tragic example of the challenges faced by the family. One in particular is Charlotte who lost her way as an adult and spent most of her life in an asylum. Mary kept her wits and steered the family through all the heartbreaks.

The author illuminated the importance of a strong matriarch in this family enterprise. Mary made lifelong friends who helped her through the darkest of days when children were lost and the future looked the darkest. Mr. Olmsted helped to develop and enhance some of the nations most prized national parks including Yosemite. This particular chapter is very endearing.

CE WilliamsThe end result is a very endearing tale of a family with vision and purpose. Fredrick Law Olmstead and his sons and daughter helped to leave a family legacy of unparalleled significance. Anyone who visits the national parks and many city and/or regional parks owe the majesty and authenticity of the landscape to the tenacity of this family. Read this book and enjoy the enlightening adventure. 5 stars – CE Williams 

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Biographical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ISBN: ‎1684337216
ASIN: B0947331QQ
Print Length: 315 pages
Publication Date: July 29, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Landscape of a Marriage [Amazon]
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Gail Ward Olmsted - authorThe Author: [Gail Ward Olmsted] I enjoy writing about quirky, lovable women in search of their happy ever after! My newest title- Landscape of a Marriage, is historical fiction. It’s the story of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted told through the eyes of Mary, his wife of 44 years. Watch for it this summer!

A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. My favorite role is that of mom to two young adults and I enjoy reading, boating, knitting, music and traveling.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Striking Range: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A deadly secret is buried in the Colorado high country–and murder is only the beginning in the seventh gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

Striking Range by Margaret MizushimaHe was suspect number one–the man who tried to kill Deputy Mattie Cobb and may have killed her father thirty years earlier. But when Mattie and cold case detective Jim Hauck reach the Colorado state prison where they will finally get to interview him, he’s found dead in his cell. There’s only one clue: a map leading to Timber Creek and rugged Redstone Ridge.

Though she usually works with veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie’s K-9 partner Robo has just sired a litter of pups, who require special, time-consuming care at Cole’s clinic. Left to explore the map’s clue without him, Mattie and Robo journey into the burned forest surrounding Redstone Ridge. But before they can finish their search they’re called to help investigate the death of a young woman found in a campground filled with elk hunters. Identification of the deceased points to her having recently given birth, but the infant is nowhere to be found.

As a deadly storm descends upon the mountains, covering everything with a layer of ice and snow, Mattie and her team search for the missing newborn. The storm batters the area, taking its toll on the team and forcing the sheriff to call in reinforcements. When new evidence surfaces, they decide that finding the woman’s killer will lead them to her baby, making them even more desperate to solve the case.

Then Cole goes missing, stranded alone in the high country with a person that Mattie now suspects is the mastermind behind several murders, including her father’s. She and Robo take to the trail to find Cole–but the killer has a cold-blooded plan that threatens them all.

My Review:

I just love it when author Margaret Mizushima comes out with a new installment in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series. This is the seventh and my new favorite in the series.

Striking Range by Margaret MizushimaProtagonist Deputy Mattie Cobb is partnered with her canine, Robo. The little Colorado town of Timber Creek is small but situated on major north/south, east/west roads and gets their fair share of action—even up in God’s country, those gorgeous pine covered mountains.

Mattie is still trying to clear her father’s reputation as a dirty cop and think she’s finally going to talk to the one guy who could shed some light on what actually happened all those years ago. When she arrives with California Cold-Case Detective Jim Hauck to interview him, however, he is discovered deceased in his cell. They find a map he has left marking locations of his activities that will generate an excursion into the high country.

In the meantime, the multi-layered plot begins to ease into other experiences such as the birth of a litter of puppies that Robo has sired and the discovery of a young woman’s body who has just given birth. The newborn infant, however, is missing.

I have really come to love the support characters, including her boyfriend, veterinarian Cole Walker and his two daughters. I always get to learn more about canine behavior and their amazing relationship with their handlers (or owners), their intelligence, intuition, and empathetic natures.

The writing style always manages to grip the scene and describe it down to the nuances of body language, inflection, and personality. They come alive on the page, as does the scent of the mountains, the chill of the temperatures, and the wind as it slices sideways through the heavy winter clothing.

The fast-paced plot lines make for a compulsive read. It’s gripping and never waivers or sags in the middle or constantly repeat gains.

The police procedurals remain authentic, realistic, and the interpersonal dynamics believable. As always, suspenseful and artful storytelling, building the tension as it shifts the scenes.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley and these are my honest and unbiased opinions. I started the series with Hunting Hour (Book 3) but my last reviews were Hanging Falls and Tracking Game. This is one of my very favorite authors and series and I’m always happy to recommend. Currently on pre-order.

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Animal Mystery, Cozy Animal Mysteries, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
ASIN: B08PYR6FN9
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

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Margaret Mizushima - authorThe Author: Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, was elected the 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and is also a member of Northern Colorado Writers and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals. She can be found on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, Twitter @margmizu, Instagram at margmizu, and her website at http://www.margaretmizushima.com.

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