Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Retired detective Guiseppe Bianchi is visiting with family on the Southern coast of England, when a local child is found dead, probably not an accident. Guiseppe can't stop himself from thinking about the case. He teams up with his niece, reporter Christina Rossi, to do their own investigating, sharing information with the police as they go. It's the 1960s, at a time when ‘stranger danger’ was becoming part of the national consciousness, and that fear is woven into the story. Guiseppe is charming, but sad. This open-ended vacation may be good for him. Christina is smart, but has a lot on her plate and lacks confidence in her own skills. They make a good team. I listened to the audio and thought the narrator did a fine job. The characters were well-distinguished and his tone fit the seriousness of the crime. The plot was put together well. It's not a quick moving mystery, but I enjoyed the pace. The characters...
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Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency, was a sweet, fun book to read with a cup of hot chocolate or my favorite coffee, cinnamon sugar cookie, which just returned to store shelves for the season. I love a good holiday romance and this one hit all the right notes. We have a lovely, snowy setting, happy couples, Christmas trees, cookies, and mulled wine. This is the third in the series and starts right in with the lead-up to Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas wedding. This is first I've read and it did take me a little while to feel comfortable with who the characters are and their relationships to each other. Once I got to know them, though, it's a fabulous group, fun to spend time with. Lexie is, temporarily, a wedding planner, and she wants this wedding to be perfect. I loved all of the activities leading up to the wedding party, like decorating Christmas trees and making gingerbread creations....
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The Forger and the Thief by Kirsten McKenzie

The Forger and the Thief by Kirsten McKenzie

The setting of The Forger and the Thief is fascinating in and of itself. In 1966 Florence was hit with the most devastating flood in centuries, and as a result 101people died and countless works of art and literature were destroyed. Five strangers are in Florence, each for their own reasons: an abused wife fleeing her husband, an aspiring artist looking for a family heirloom stolen during WWII, a disgraced man in town for the wedding of the woman he loves to another man, an easily overlooked museum cleaner warped by family tragedy, and a cop on the way out. Each is introduced in short chapters at the beginning of the book and it's a bit much all at one, lots of characters, lots of motivations. It was a bit confusing, especially when none of them were interacting with each other yet. And the river is a character too, vengeful and strong. The characters, for the most part, are not...
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Killing the Story by Joan Livingston

Killing the Story by Joan Livingston

Isabel Long is a former journalist who now works as a private investigator. Both jobs play to her strengths; she's curious, tenacious, tough, and determined. This is the first of the series that I've read, but it worked fine as a stand alone. Isabel is hired to investigate the death of a local newspaper editor whose death was originally ruled an accident. I liked Isabel. She's older than most of the main characters in mysteries I read, especially the women. She's probably in her late 60s, has silver hair, but she's smart and funny and attractive. Her mom is her sidekick and the interactions between the two are well-done. They have a close relationship but they both realize the other is strong and smart and capable. Isabel doesn't have to hide anything from her. Isabel has a boyfriend who manages to worry about her without being over-protective. There are several reasons to believe that Estelle's death was not an accident...
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Who Killed Patrick? by Syl Waters

Who Killed Patrick? by Syl Waters

I will admit, I don't pay a lot of attention to authors' websites. I include links at the bottom of my posts, but really don't spend much time looking at them. I stopped by Syl Waters' as I was getting this post ready and her blog caught my attention. Who Killed Patrick? takes place on the island of Fuerteventura, a place I had never hear of but that Waters clearly loves. On her blog, she has several posts talking about the island, but she also has a funny one about a discussion she had with her mom. The sidekick in the book is a guinea pig, which her mom seemed to think made it a children's book until Waters told her about how many bones a guinea pig has. Apparently her mom decided that the guinea pig was not actually much smaller than a chihuahua, the critter companion in a mystery her mom had read recently so maybe it was...
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A Village Murder by Frances Evesham

A Village Murder by Frances Evesham

Amber asked me the other day why I read so many British books. I have a tendency to read bits of books that I find funny or interesting out loud and apparently a lot of them have had British slang/terms lately. I don't have an answer to that question, at least as far as current mystery writers go. I'm a huge fan of Golden Age mysteries, and most of those are British. I guess, I probably am drawn to books set in the present that have the same feeling, as A Village Murder certainly does. A local businessman and town councillor has died and following his funeral, his daughter, Imogene, discovers the corpse of her soon-to-be-ex-husband in the greenhouse. She, of course, is the main suspect. Happily, her new friend and neighbor, is a former detective and believes she's innocent. Between the two of them, they dig up some clues and talk to several other folks who might have had reason...
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