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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Review: Revenge in Rubies (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #2) by A. M. Stuart

The binge reading continues with the second book in the Harriet Gordon series. I loved the first book so much that I downloaded the next two in the series and read them each in a day! This is a wonderful series and I cannot believe it took me this long to discover it—-ok rather not discover it since I have had the first book sitting on my shelf for a couple of years—-but read it!

There is so much to love in this series. Complex characters with their own unique stories and history, who don’t try to control or overly protect each other. They are independent and self assured without being arrogant. The setting is exotic and adds a lot of romanticism to the setting, plus gives readers a feeling of escapism, and last but not least the mysteries are top shelf! I always find myself wondering what’s going on and who the killer could possibly be!

If you love historical mysteries that are a little on the cozy side, you need to read the Harriet Gordon books. You will not be disappointed and no doubt longing for more—just like me! I know this book is only the second in the series but I feel like this series has the makings of a longer series. The characters have a lot of depth and the setting offers endless opportunity for exploration. Do NOT miss these books!

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Review: Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #1) by A. M. Stuart

I have had this book on my TBR shelf for A WHILE now. I randomly picked it up at a used bookstore forever ago and thought it sounded good. I liked that it was set in a different location than I was used to reading and perhaps might have a hint of adventure in ways that I haven’t experienced before in some ‘far east’ mystery books.

But like so many readers, I took it home and set it down on my bookshelf for another day. Every time I would go looking for something to read, I would pause at the title but then keep going in favor of another lady detective novel where I had known and loved already instead of picking up someone new. But then I was sitting at my sister in law’s house in Arizona desperate for something new to read and for some reason this book popped up on my Kindle App as recommended reading.

Not wanting to spend money on a dud, I downloaded a sample and it was clear from the very beginning that after three chapters I desperately needed the full book—-and the next three books in the series! I will admit that at first I was intimidated by the ‘glossary’ and cast of characters listed at the beginning. I was unfamiliar with many of the words and there seemed to be a lot of characters but I am glad I didn’t let that throw me off and instead it enriched the story for me!

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Review: The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2) by Ashley Weaver

This series captured my heart last year with it’s debut! I have read other books and series by Ashley Weaver but this is the series that has captured my attention the absolute most! After book one I was so eager to see what happened with Ellie next! Did she go back to safe cracking and stealing or did she keep on the straight and narrow?

I grabbed this book as soon as it was released and since it was on the shorter side (under 300 pages) I basically read it in one sitting—on my flight to Cabo. It was a super quick read and I found that the magic and allure of the book and characters didn’t change for me from book one to two and I am once again eagerly awaiting the next book in the series! If you are a historical mystery fan you need this book series. The first and second books are short and can be read in one or two sittings. I would recommend starting with the first book so you can enjoy all the character relationships rather than diving in with this one first.

But if you do decide to dive in with the second book and not start with the first one, not a huge big deal as the author keeps you fully abreast of events of the previous book and the character relationships. Ellie is a lovely modern character with wit and charm but also an edge. If you love authors like Anna Lee Huber and Deanna Raybourn then you will no doubt find a winner with Electra “Ellie” McDonnell!

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