Special Feature: Peril in Paris (Her Royal Spyness Mystery #16) by Rhys Bowen

How are we already at book 16 in this series?! I have only made it to like book 7 consecutively and then a few of the later ones in the series. All of the books are just so good and I have enjoyed this series so much over the years. It’s one of those book series that you can pick up and know that you are going to get a solid mystery with great characters! I have yet to read a disappointing one in this series! It’s like my go to comfort reading when I don’t know what else to read.

Sadly I couldn’t fit this one into my review schedule for this month, but I have this one queued up to read over winter break! Even though I have jumped around in this series, there have only been a few times where I felt like reading the other books in the series would have been useful, but overall I have been able to jump around with ease. But we are 16 books in to this series so naturally there are going to be established relationships and plot points that carry over within the larger series.

That said though, the author does a good job orientating readers within the story so you aren’t fully lost etc. I would say it’s relatively easy to jump around so if this one sounds good to you, then you should check it out even if you are a new reader. Now long time fans of the series will no doubt have this one on their radar! If you love cheeky historical mysteries this is an excellent series and I highly recommend this (and anything by Rhys Bowen really!) as a fun, cozy mystery with a sassy and smart heroine and a dashing hero!

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Review: Murder at the Serpentine Bridge (Wrexford and Sloane #6) by Andrea Penrose

I have really enjoyed this series from the very beginning. It has great characters that while perhaps not unique in their description (wealthy titled man turned detective), when you get right down to their characters they distinguish themselves for readers. Charlotte is the character who has changed the most throughout the series. Wrexford has remained fairly constant in his persona, but Charlotte’s changes have been exciting to watch.

Naturally when this come came up for review, I couldn’t pass it up. I am fully invested in watching the series continue to grow and am excited to see that more books will be forthcoming! If you are a fan of historical fiction novels, no doubt this series is on your radar and you have seen this stunning cover around the blog-o-verse or social media. The cover is truly stunning and the story inside is pretty good too!

This is a great series for fans of Anna Lee Huber, Deanna Raybourn, and Tasha Alexander. Smart heroine, broody male love interest, and of course a solid cozy historical mystery. While there was lots to love about this one, I am going to be curious to see how some of the plot lines are going to be addressed going forward. This book adds in an unexpected character that I am wondering how he will figure into the larger narrative down the road.

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Review: A Certain Darkness (Verity Kent #6) by Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is one of my most favorite historical mystery writers! I have read all of her books and called in love with her different characters and series. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to pick up a book and know that you are going to enjoy it. Perhaps some books more than others but overall, each of the books she has written have been entertaining, engaging and I have no problem escaping into them each time a new Huber book is released.

The Verity Kent series has been an interesting series for me. It’s a bit of a break in her usual style of heroine and historical setting. Her Lady Darby books are set in a different time period with the heroine being strong and independent but she still fits the traditional gender norms of the period that the book is set in. Her other series is a Gothic mystery series, also set in a similar period as the Lady Darby books. So reading the Verity Kent books takes us to a new time period, again with a heroine who fits the gender norms of the period but also stands out as brave and complex.

When series’ are in their early stages, it’s easier for readers to jump in without having to read the other books. But eventually, you reach a certain point where new readers miss larger parts of the story. For me, this is the book where this happened. This book opens with a back story already established from an earlier book and I would say if you are a new to the series, I would pause and go back to read the others first and then enjoy this one! If you are interested in the series, be sure to check my Instagram later today for a chance to win the entire set of this series!

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Special Feature: The Secret of Bow Lane (Kat Holloway #6) by Jennifer Ashley

I picked up the first book in this series when it very first came out and I was going through some major Downton Abbey withdraws! I loved the upstairs/downstairs elements of the story and thought it was a solid start to a new mystery series. But then I never really continued with the series. As with so many readers, there are so many books but not enough time and I got distracted by other series.

But this series hasn’t been far from my mind. Author, Jennifer Ashley, has written a number of romances (historical and some cowboy romances!) and also developed this beloved character in Kat Holloway. I am so happy to see that this series has continued and we are now at book six! Ashley adds elements of romance to the series and I recall it being an added bonus but not the focus of the series which is nice. If you love historical mysteries with a little bit of romance I think you will find a lot to enjoy with this series.

I had planned on reviewing this one but since I am behind in the series, I didn’t want that to sway my opinion of the book/series so I decided to do a feature instead. I am sure as with many series style books, the author does a good job keeping fans and new readers up to date on the principal characters and larger narrative, however this one sounded like one readers might want to have read the series for. It sounds like it will feature a character from Kat’s past which has been referenced in previous books. So I would imagine that reading the other books before this one would be helpful but perhaps not essential. At any rate this charming historical mystery series is out now and is certainly with checking out!

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Review: Evil in Emerald (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #3) by A. M. Stuart

I think it’s safe to say that I cannot WAIT for the next book in this series. I have devoured this series over the last week and have loved every single book and this one ended on quite the cliffhanger and I NEED the next book! The series has such wonderfully written characters and each one stands independently strong in the story. Meaning neither character is fully dependent on the other if that makes sense. Curran and Harriet are both strong leads and watching their friendship evolve through the series has been so great, they don’t need each other to shine but they choose each other which makes this series stand out for me.

I highly recommend reading this series in order, especially this book. This book draws on bits we explored in book two, so starting this book without reading the others would be a disservice and not do this book or characters justice. If you have been thinking about reading this series but haven’t decided if you should pull the trigger or not—-do it. I was on the fence when I picked up the book at a used bookstore and then forgot about it. I wasn’t sure, however I only regret that I didn’t read the books earlier. They have all been great so far and this one is no exception.

The setting of the books really adds so much to the story. The setting is almost its own character. I really feel like I am there in Singapore and experiencing the weather and culture just like Harriet and Curran. But it’s not so heavy on history and culture that it dominates the narrative. The author does a wonderful job incorporating the culture and history into the story without it being overpowering. Do not miss this series with all it’s goodness!

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