An Unhappy Medium
by Dawn Eastman
I enjoyed the character of Clyde’s Aunt Vi who provides zombie makeup, meddling, and much comic relief. The best thing about An Unhappy Medium is that you will never guess whodunnit. I dare you to try!
~Sissy, Bubble Bath Books
Dawn Eastman scores again as we dive right back into the lives of the Fortune family in Crystal Haven.
~ MELISSA’S ECLECTIC BOOKSHELF
What a fun story. I love the paranormal element.
This is a really fun series with lots of humor without it getting too slapstick but manages to keep the mystery front and center. The Fortune family is definitely a family I want to get to know better!
~I Wish I Lived In a Library
This is my first book to read by this author but I will be going back and getting all her books. She is very gifted and the story was incredible.
I enjoyed this read. It was funny in the right places and suspenseful just when I needed it.
~A Chick Who Reads
This is a fun cozy mystery that had me staying up late just to finish it. I enjoyed going back to Crystal Haven to see what is up with Psychic Clyde and her crazy family.
~A. Holland Reads
Have you ever read a series that just made you happy just reading it? This is one of my happy place book series. I mean, here we are on book 4 and the books just keep getting better.
~Musings and Ramblings
This book really pulled me in from the start. I always enjoy Clyde and Mac, Clyde’s nephew Seth, the two dogs, and the whole psychic, eccentric Fortune family.
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard
I really love the paranormal aspect of this series, and how Clyde was coming into her own with her talents.
~A Chick Who Reads
An Unhappy Medium:
A Family Fortune Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Berkley (April 5, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B011IUSQXI
Psychic Clyde Fortune and her zany family are back in the fourth in the national bestselling series from the author of A Fright to the Death.
Former cop and novice psychic Clyde Fortune finds herself in a race for justice when a Zombie Fun Run turns deadly…
All of Crystal Haven, Michigan, is psyching up to participate in a Zombie Fun Run organized by Clyde’s nephew Seth, but Clyde is fretful about the undead festivities. For one thing, her sister, Grace, has unexpectedly returned to town after fifteen years. For another, Clyde has the nagging feeling that something is about to go wrong…
When one of the zombie runners is found murdered and then Grace disappears, Clyde realizes her grim premonition is dead-on. Now, she and her police detective boyfriend Mac must find a ghoulish murderer before someone points the finger at Grace. And when a tangled web of family secrets and old grudges combines with a mysterious case of stolen diamonds, even someone as quick-witted as Clyde might not be able to outrun a killer…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dawn Eastman lived in Michigan for many years, in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her family and one extremely bossy small dog. She is the national bestselling author of The Family Fortune Mystery Series, which features psychics, animal communication, quirky characters and murders.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: This is a series I really enjoy. I know you must think you hear me say that a lot. I’m a librarian and a total book geek. I manage to read on average around 400 books a year. And believe it or not the percentage of series that I consider “a must read” or a “go to read” when you are in one of those reading slumps is actually rather small. A Fortune Family Mystery is one of those series.
Ms. Eastman has created a delightful town – one I would like to visit someday – filled with some great characters. Of course, Clyde is my favorite, followed closely by Seth. They are dog lovers, so they are close to my heart. Clyde’s mother and her Aunt Vi are a tad annoying, but in that “you are my family and I love you any way” sort of way.
An Unhappy Medium is the fourth installment in the series. The books just keep getting better. The mystery is well plotted and does keep you working to solve it before Clyde does. But what I really like about this story is that we get to learn more about Crystal Haven and we also get more insight to Clyde’s family, especially her sister, Grace. Overall, this is a great, fun, fast paced read. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries. You can read this one as a stand alone, but I think you will find that you like the characters so much you will want to go back and start from the beginning.
Thanks to the author/publisher I have one print copy to give a way. Sorry – U.S. addresses only.
Leave a comment for the author, along with a way for me to contact you if you win. You have until midnight of April 17th.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour.
April 4 – Bubble Bath Books – Review, Giveaway
April 5 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Review, Giveaway
April 6 – fuonlyknew – Review, Giveaway
April 7 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – Review, Giveaway
April 8 – Texas Book-aholic – Review
April 9 – Girl Lost In a Book – Review, Giveaway
April 10 – A Holland Reads – Review, Character Interview, Giveaway
April 11 – Musings and Ramblings – Review, Giveaway
April 12 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
April 13 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Giveaway
April 14 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Giveaway
April 15 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
April 16 – Laura’s Interests – Review, Giveaway
April 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Character Interview
Braking For Bodies
by Duffy Brown
This fast-paced charming whodunit is sure to get you into the spring mode. The cast of characters are so welcoming and the story keeps you interested from the very first page.
~Shelley’s Book Case
As with every Duffy Brown book she has a way of weaving humor into her mystery and this one doesn’t disappoint I found myself laughing out loud more than once…
This one had a lot of twists and turns in it that kept me guessing till the very end, and let me tell you, the ending was a huge surprise.
~Melina’s Book Blog
A laugh riot from beginning to end. This is a cozy series you won’t want to miss.
With a fantastic plot that had me from page one, BRAKING FOR BODIES as a fast, funny mystery that had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation as well as laughing practically through the entire book!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
…sit back, relax and enjoy a great cozy mystery by one of the best in the genre right now.
~A Chick Who Reads
Braking for Bodies:
A Cycle Path Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (April 5, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B011IVP3ME
Evie Bloomfield puts the pedal to the metal—in the latest Cycle Path mystery from the national bestselling author of Geared for the Grave.
Moving from Los Angeles to small, picturesque Mackinac Island to work in a bike shop might seem crazy, but Evie knows it’s the best decision she’s ever made. That’s not to say she’s gotten rid of all her stress; after all, the upcoming Lilac Festival has everyone in town riding in circles.
But things really go downhill when a ferry full of tourists—including Evie’s friend Fiona’s former boss, the editor of a sleazy rag in LA—arrives on the island. No one knows why Peephole Perry came all the way to Mackinac, but things aren’t looking good for Fiona when Peep is found dead. Now Evie has to gear up and get a grip on the truth if she wants to clear her friend’s name…
About This Author
While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy Brown longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. Today she conjures up who-done-it stories for Berkley Prime Crime and has two series, the national bestselling Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysterieson Mackinac Island.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
My thoughts: This second book in the Cycle Path Mystery series was a delightful read. I have not yet read the first book (Geared for the Grave), but I was able to follow along easily. What I really enjoyed about this book was the upbeat and humorous tempo. Evie and Fiona remind me of Lucy and Ethel, but I’m not really sure which is which. They make a great team. The story is very engaging with plenty of twists and turns. I’ve been reading a lot of “heavy” books lately and this was a great change of pace. If you like light hearted mysteries, then I highly recommend that you grab a copy of this book.
Thanks to the author, I have a great tote bag to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment for the author (and a way to be contacted) by midnight of April 14th for a chance to win.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:
April 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight, Giveaway
April 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
April 5 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway
April 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
April 7 – fuonlyknew – Review, Giveaway
April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
April 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
April 10 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Giveaway
April 11 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Giveaway
April 12 – A Holland Reads – Review, Giveaway
April 12 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach – Review, Giveaway
April 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – Review, Giveaway
April 14 – Book Babble – Review
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda’s Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Book Beginnings on Fridays
“It’s a known fact that the most extraordinary moments in a person’s life come disguised as ordinary days.”
The Friday 56
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
“And then I felt a cold hand grab the neck of my hoodie and yank me backward. I screamed, and dropped the flashlight.”
Goodreads Summary: Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.
For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.
But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
The Skeleton Garden:
A Potting Shed Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Alibi (March 15, 2016)
USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series continues as expert gardener Pru Parke digs up a Nazi warplane—and a fresh murder.
Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.
Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.
Praise for Marty Wingate
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
“Classy, clever, and utterly charming . . . Brew a pot of tea and settle in with this immensely enjoyable mystery.”—Rosemary Harris, author of Pushing Up Daisies and The Bitches of Brooklyn, on The Garden Plot
“Put the kettle on and settle into a well-crafted village mystery with a delightful new sleuth.”—Connie Archer, bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave, on The Rhyme of the Magpie
About the Author
Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and theAmerican Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marty-Wingate/e/B001JS1AIS
FTC Disclosure: I received an advanced E-copy from the publisher via ChatterBox and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
My thoughts: The Potting Shed Mystery series is a new series for me. Though this is the 4th book in the series, it was easy to follow the story without having read any of the previous books.
I truly enjoyed this book and would like to read the others in the series. The characters are very likable, even curmudgeonly Simon. The pace is a bit slower than some mysteries, but it works very well for this story. I enjoyed how the story included events and information from WWII mixed in with current day events.
There was a touch of humor that added to the story as well. Sonia the duck and Pru’s attempts at cooking helped lighten the atmosphere quite a bit. I was able to “solve the mystery” before the end of the book, but it took me a bit longer than some mysteries do.
This was one of my Spring Break reads, a good choice for my leisure time reading. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys mysteries, English gardens, stories set in WWII.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:
March 15 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
March 16 – Queen of all She Reads – REVIEW
March 17 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
March 18 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – off
March 21 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 22 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
March 23 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
March 24 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 25 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
March 27 – off
March 28 – Student of Opinions – REVIEW
March 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
March 30 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
March 31 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW
I’ve signed up for another wonderful blogger swap with CG Swaps. This is one of my favorites: Books!
The objective is to send your partner a wonderful package including:
- 1 Book from your partner’s wishlist
- 1 Book you love and recommend they read
- 1 Other book of your choice
- Other book-related goodies
Does this sound like the swap for you? There’s still time to sign up. Head on over to CG Swaps by April 4th to sign up.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Goodreads Summary: Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.
My thoughts: I love Sara Pennypacker. So, when I heard she had a new book coming out and that it was already receiving some critical acclaim, I was very excited. I quickly ordered a copy for both myself and the school library. I chose it as my spring break read in consideration for my 2016-2017 Mock Newbery Club. The timing for reading it also coincided with the Goodreads Mock Newbery reading of the book.
I’m sad to say that I was very disappointed with the book. The story builds very slowly. I’m afraid that it doesn’t have the fast pace that would appeal to many of my students. Additionally, the characters were rather flat. Some of the reviewers have mentioned the anti-war message. I did notice that, but I didn’t think it was quite as overt as some of them have suggested. That’s a bit of a saving grace as I feel that such a message would be wasted on elementary students.
School Library Journal suggests this book for Grades 4-7 and Amazon suggests it for students as young as 3rd grade. I think it might appeal to the older students, perhaps middle school.
One of my current Book Detectives (4th & 5th Grade Mock Newbery Club) read it on her own. She’s an avid reader and only rated it an “Okay.” It saddens me to say this, but I’m afraid that I wasted some of my book budget on this book. I do hope that I’m wrong and that it turns out to be one of those books that appeals to my students but just doesn’t quite fit my interests.
It is my pleasure to welcome Cynthia Kuhn to the blog today.
“Library Magic” by Cynthia Kuhn
Libraries have always seemed like magical places. When I was growing up, ours was tucked into the corner of the town hall building, so we would need to walk past an office full of typists banging noisily on their keyboards and through two frosted glass doors in order to emerge in the hushed sanctuary of the library. Every time, as we moved farther inside, the old wooden floorboards would creak out a familiar welcome. The sun streamed through large, high windows, creating a lovely glow. And the shelves formed a string of cozy nooks all devoted to different topics, just waiting for us to wander in and make ourselves comfortable.
Story hour was one of my favorite things: we would listen to the librarian read stories, then do an activity, like singing “The Farmer in the Dell” while standing in a circle and holding hands until it was your turn to run around the outside of the circle (for some reason that I’ve forgotten now). Singing was followed by new-book-selection time. Bliss!
The checkout process was practically ceremonial. I was in awe of the librarians, who stood on a special platform above the rest of us. We would hand up our selections, and they would flip open the book, use a metal stamp to inscribe the due date onto a white piece of paper fastened inside, then stack the books neatly next to them. The repetitive process was mesmerizing: flip, stamp, stack; flip, stamp, stack; flip, stamp, stack. I very much wanted to give that stamper a try myself. (It remained a dream until fifth grade, when I played Marian the Librarian in our elementary school production of The Music Man, and they gave me a prop stamper! I may have stamped with a bit more enthusiasm than the part called for.)
From that time forward, any trip to any library has been a joy. Like so many other kindred spirits, I adore strolling through the library shelves and stumbling home with an armful of new books to read. That is my favorite kind of treasure hunt.
So of course I couldn’t wait to take my own children to the story hour at our local library. I didn’t know if it would be the same for them, but happily, they were as gleeful about the whole thing as I had been, especially since the librarians here added a puppet show to the proceedings! And although there are no metal due-date stampers anymore, putting your selections on the electronic pad to be recorded in the computer offers a fine place to pretend to be SpongeBob cooking Krabby Patties, according to my kids. And we all leave with new books to explore.
Yes, still magical.
Cynthia – you are a woman after my own heart. I swear it was like listening to someone describe my own first time experience in a library. I too agree that they are magical. And even more so today as I get to spend my days in an elementary school library full of children. I hope that some of my students will look back at their school library as fondly as you do.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Semester of Our Discontent
1st in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 5, 2016)
Paperback: 256 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01A7BH83S
English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer.
More attacks on professors follow, the only connection a curious symbol at each of the crime scenes. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Rather than earning an “A” for effort, she receives a threat featuring the mysterious emblem and must act quickly to avoid failing her assignment…and becoming the next victim.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cynthia Kuhn teaches and writes in Colorado. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She is the current president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and blogs with Mysteristas. Visit her at cynthiakuhn.net or @cynthiakuhn.
My thoughts: I loved this book. I’m so glad that it’s a series as I’m really looking forward to reading more about Lila McLean.
There are many reasons why I enjoyed this book so much. One reason is because the setting is an English Department at a fictional university in Colorado. I’m a Colorado resident and I have fond memories of my undergrad days as an English major. I enjoyed all the literary references, but to be honest, after reading about all the department politics and sexism (though that’s not saying this is the case at all universities) I’m glad I decided to become a librarian and not an English professor.
Lila is a great character. I liked the way she gracefully walks the tightrope of being the new kid on the block worried about tenure with standing up for her field of study. Cynthia Kuhn has created a well plotted mystery with interesting characters. There were so many twists and turns, I was kept guessing right up to the very end. This is one of the best debut novels I have read in a long time. I highly recommend that you add this new series to your reading list. Be sure to visit the other spots on the tour. Don’t forget to stop by the tour page to enter the drawing for a print or e-copy of this book and a $25 Amazon gift card.
March 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
March 14 – Leigh Anderson Romance – Guest Post
March 15 – Editing Pen – Guest Post
March 16 – Back Porchervations – Review
March 18 – Ashleyz Wonderland – Review
March 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,&, Sissy, Too! – Spotlight
March 19 – Tea and A Book – Review, Interview, Giveaway
March 19 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight
March 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
March 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
March 21 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
March 22 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
March 23 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Review
March 24 – The Girl with Book Lungs – Review
March 25 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
March 26 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
March 27 – Book Babble – Review