A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley

A Dark and Twisting Path

Julia Buckley

When a dead body is discovered, Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion prove that the devious killer has something in mind for them.

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Writer's apprentice Lena London is happily working on a new collaboration with her idol and bestselling suspense novelist and friend Camilla Graham, but her joy is short-lived when a dark cloud descends upon the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana...

Lena's best friend, Allison, is in a panic. On a walk in the woods by her home, Allison discovers the body of her mail carrier, an argumentative man who recently had a falling out with Allison's husband. Lena quickly realizes that Allison has nothing to worry about as the murder weapon points to a different suspect altogether: Lena's embattled boyfriend, Sam West.

Sam was cleared of his wife's murder when she was found alive, and now someone is trying to make him look guilty again. Surveillance video of a break-in at his house shows a shadowy figure trying to incriminate him by stealing the weapon from his desk. Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion at Graham House prove that the devious killer has decided to write them into the plot.

Advance Galley Reviews

Interesting characters and good story flow. An entertaining who done it!

Lena's best friend, Allison, is in a panic. On a walk in the woods by her home, Allison discovers the body of her mail carrier, an argumentative man who recently had a falling out with Allison's husband. Lena quickly realizes that Allison has nothing to worry about as the murder weapon points to a different suspect altogether: Lena's embattled boyfriend, Sam West. Sam was cleared of his wife's murder when she was found alive, and now someone is trying to make him look guilty again. Surveillance video of a break-in at his house shows a shadowy figure trying to incriminate him by stealing the weapon from his desk. Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion at Graham House prove that the devious killer has decided to write them into the plot. I have to admit I used the canned blurb for this because I was afraid I would write something that would give away too much of the plot and ruin it for those who have not read it. I love this series, and the way it has developed from the first book. Lena has discovered her dream job, working with author Camilla, and she has found the love of her life in Sam. This book is character driven, with the multi-faceted characters adding to the tightly woven mystery, which is engaging. The relationships in this series are what have kept me coming back for more. They are old friends, and I can't wait to see what happens with them next. This series a perfect blend of mystery and romance, and has a wonderfully gothic feel to it. If you haven't started this series you have time to read the first three before the next one, Death Waits in the Dark, comes out. I highly recommend it. I read a digital ARC of this book through Penguin's First to Read Program.

I received an ARC from the publisher via the First to Read program. This book has content warnings for death, murder, on-page attempted murder, stalking, kidnapping (both adults and children), and violence. This is definitely one of the most enjoyable cozy mysteries I've read in a while! This isn't your typical "someone gets murdered so a friend tries to solve the mystery on their own" mystery book; it actually has quite a bit in common with a thriller. The character relationships in this book are complex, and though our main character, Lena, wants the mystery solved, she also in a sense wants to stay away from the mystery because she and her partner are in real danger because of it. The plot itself is rather complex, but not in a confusing way; though this book is the third in the series and reading the other two in order is recommended (especially by other readers), I had no problem following what was going on without reading the preceding books. This book also had a very nice "small town" feel to it. The sense of feeling like everyone is watching you, how word travels very quickly, and how unforgiving small town people who don't believe you can be felt incredibly real to me, and I loved this. The characters felt well-rounded and complex, even if they were side characters, and this part of the book was well done. (And the book gets bonus points for treating librarians like superheroes -- because we are.) Overall, this was a really good read. If you're looking for a new cozy mystery series to pick up, you might like this one! Final rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t realize this one was part of series so it took me a bit of time to get into it. What I read of it was decent but I was not able to finish.

Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley. However I completely ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to read this book. I was really looking forward to reading this book but life just got in the way.

Read as a stand-alone. There were enough references to previous events to pick up the story. A standard cozy mystery series, with a sudden uptick of deaths in a small town, lots of gossip, and plenty of people who are more than they seem. As well as a picturesque setting, a pair of cute dogs, and a demanding cat. Romance and murder are in the air. People have paired up in previous books, or are working on it in this one, while trying to piece together the mystery. There seem like a few possible suspects, but it's soon clear there's a conspiracy at work. The villain happened to be my least favorite kind, when it comes to motivation, which added to the unnecessary romantic angst knocked some points off for me. But the story moved along well, with plenty of clues strewn along the way, and all the moving pieces come together at the end.

This book was such a whirlwind of events. It captured me in the beginning, and left me a bit confused towards the middle/end. I would give this 3.5/5 stars

OK, I admit it. I picked A Dark and Twisting Path because of the title. I had no idea it was the third book in a series. No wonder I felt so much like a clueless furst time visitor to this town. Unfortunately the feeling of being an outsider in the book stayed with me throughout the book. I never felt comfortable with the characters and the plot. The wjole thing seemed contrived and the characters never really rang true for.me. I was surprised the book is classified as a cozy nystery because I felt like it didn't have the qualities I like in a cozy...just ordinary people who are working to run a small business and their friends and neihjbors wjo are just ordinary folks. I liked the udea of the famous author and Lena being her apprentice but in the end it didn't work for me. I like the dogs and the cat though. Thsnks First To Rrad fir the chance to resd this book. It was a good reading experience even though I ultimately didn't like it much.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. This is the third book in the series and, even though you can read this book as a standalone novel, I do feel that I missed out on some of the story by not reading the other two books first. The book does have a short summary to get you caught up on the basic details, though. I really enjoyed this book though. The story is engaging and the characters are interesting. I liked this book enough that I plan on buying the other two books and starting from the beginning of the series.

An entertaining cozy mystery complete with murder, romance, and some unfinished business from previous books in the series. Speaking of the series, I didn't feel like this one could easily be read as a standalone. We don't get much in the way of backstory and if you aren't familiar with the characters and everything that's happened so far, what little is given can be confusing. There are some issues with flow and continuity, most of which are minor but still a bit distracting. Despite that, the mystery here is interesting and fast paced.

First time I have read anything by this author. Enjoyable cozy mystery with interesting characters and an easy story to follow. Definitely will look at the previous books in this series to get a better grasp of everything up to this point. Still enjoyed reading it overall.

I loved Lena, Camille, and Sam. I had purchased the first book in the series, and read it so I was able to follow the storyline. I love small towns, busy bodies, and the gossip that can cause so many misunderstandings, and problems. Camille as a Mystery writer, and Lana as her assistant make quite the pair as amateur sleuths. Lena's love interest is Sam West, whose constantly being accused of a murder, since moving to the small town. Sam's being set up, and the predictable villain is revealed. Definitely a few surprises for the characters, but the guaranteed HEA, that I look for.

I now understand why the title is the name of the book. I've found this to be a very interesting mystery. There seems to be a lot going on & I could kept up with the story. I truely enjoyed this book. Now to read the first series, when it all beginned.

While I was pleased to have received an ARC for this book for an honest review, I did not enjoy reading it. Likely I would not have been so confused about the characters if I had read the other books, but this one is not good as a stand alone copy. Too much activity, too many characters, not enough explanations (Wait, too much description).

I loved this book. It was a little confusing at first because there is back story that is touched on since this is part of a series and I was unaware of that, however, some of that became clear as the story went on. The characters and plot were well developed and the mystery piece was very good and well written. It definitely wasn't an in your face solve and I appreciated that. I would probably read more from Julia Buckley in the future.

This was a fast paced and great installment in this series. We get to see Lena and Sam out in the open as forces (namely Nikon and his minions) work to threaten the community of Blue Lake. As always with this series there are definitely red herrings and you are never quite sure who is a good guy or the bad guy. This deals with the murder of a postman who argued recently with Allison's (Lena's best friend) husband John. Allison of course is thinking her husband will be the suspect but unfortunately the victim has also been stabbed by a letter opener that Lena gave Sam. There is the drama with Victoria monopolizing Sam's time and attempted abductions etc.. I love the relationship of Camilla and Lena and we get to meet Lena's Father and step-Mother. Loved this story and it comes to a quick dramatic conclusion. Hope this is the last of Nikon, however, not sure Blue Lake along with Lena and Sam are out of the blue yet. Think there are more twists and turns to be had. Looking forward to the next installment.

I enjoy cozy mysteries and was excited to get this advance copy. While I had not read the author's first two books in the series, I was able to get caught up, though I do feel compelled now to go back and read the first two to truly understand the characters. The book had its share of twists and turns, with most of the action and suspense heating up halfway in. Overall, it was a quick, but satisfying, read!

As a fan of cozy mysteries, this one has all the right elememts: small town, eccentric characters, an interesting protagonist. I enjoyed this book and did not predict any of the outcomes as there were multiple red herrings. My only criticism is everyone in Lena's life is so suppotive, loving, and helpful all the time that it felt like overkill. You can have a wonderful life but this is a level of perfection that took me out of the story. I enjoyed the book and the mystery within but I will probably not read the previous two novels in the series.

As I started to read this book I quickly realized that I had dropped into a story that was a continuation from another book (or two). Not to worry. The author does a good job of providing enough back story to be able to read this book as a stand alone. The story takes place in Blue Lake, Indiana where budding author, Lena London is working on a novel with her friend and collaborator, Camilla Graham. Lena's boyfriend, Sam West, was recently suspected in the murder of his ex-wife, but with Lena's help he is cleared. Lena is looking forward to spending quiet time with her boyfriend, when she receives a call from her best friend, Allison. Allison finds a murdered man in her back yard and the top suspect is Lena's boyfriend, Sam. The story twists through abduction, burglary and murder. Lena must find the answers to the puzzle to clear Sam. The author does a good job of providing clues for the reader without giving too much away. A good read on a lazy afternoon.

Lena London has just gotten back from a publicity tour with her mentor, Camilla, when a friend calls to say that she just discovered their mailman, dead. The police are called and find that the letter opener in the dead man's chest belongs to Lena's boyfriend, Sam. He had been suspected in his ex-wife's disappearance, but now that she was found unharmed, her baby was abducted. A fast moving cozy mystery with an array of friends and family, a Greek billionaire, sinister men, anonymous letters and red herrings, that finally end with a satisfying conclusion. Great read. Thank you, First-to-Read for this free e-copy of "A Dark and Twisting Path".

I felt fortunate to discover A Dark and Twisting Path, the third book in the series, A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery. The suspense began building about halfway through the book, and became very suspenseful near the three-quarter mark of the book. Lena was the writer’s apprentice, the main character who instinctively understood the criminal personalities of a Greek family. I did not need to read the previous two books of the series, because enough information was revealed in this book. It was a pleasure to find this mystery because it wasn’t too unrealistic or violent.

This isn't something I normally read. I'd call it a cozy mystery. It ran a little long for me, but I'm not into the romance side of this story.Other than that the set up and story line of the two writers makes for an interesting read.

This is the third book in the Writer’s Apprentice Mystery series and it completes a story arc that begins in A Dark & Stormy Night by Julia Buckley. (Hint: read these three, in order, for a richer reading experience) Lena London serves as apprentice to successful novelist Camila Graham in Blue Lake, Indiana. The two helped prove Sam West did not murder his wife Victoria when they found her living with billionaire Nikon Lazos and their child, Athena. Now, Nikon has kidnapped Athena and Victoria is prevailing upon Sam to help her find Athena while Sam and Lena are now a couple. Amid this, mailman Eddie Stack is found murdered, with Sam’s letter opener sticking out of his chest, after having a fight with John Branch, a friend of Lena’s. The red herrings, twists and distractions are plentiful. Camilla and Lena are starting work on a new book, set in Greece. Lena’s dad and his wife, Eric and Tabitha, come to Blue Lake for their first visit since Lena moved there for her job. Belinda, the local librarian whose research expertise helped Lena and Sam with important clues, is in and out of a relationship with local police detective Doug Heller. A new addition to the police department, Clifford Blake, keeps a close eye on Sam West. Ms. Buckley’s storytelling skills are amazing, and this riveting account is a terrific example. The author has created community populated with believable characters and relationships, authentic dialogue and, mostly, realistic situations. The pace is non-stop. Eager for the next installment.

Not having read any of the previous books in this series, I was confused trying to read “A Dark and Twisting Path” without knowing the back stories of the main characters. Aside from that, I had to force myself to read this cozy mystery that centers around mystery writers who stumble upon real-life mysteries. There’s nothing better in life than a great cozy, and this isn’t it. Thank you, First to Read, for the free galley in exchange for my honest review.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the story moves along at a good pace. This is a good mystery with a few twists and turns that kept my interested. I can’t wait to read more in the series.

When I won this book, I felt compelled to first go back and read the previous two entries in the series. So this is the third entry in the Writer's Apprentice series and the third that I've read in the past week. This series has many of the things I love in a cozy series, including a great setting and an attractive central theme. The central theme in this series is about writing mystery novels (and, of course, the writers find their own mysteries along the way). Those things work rather well here. I have, though, found that as I've read this series something bothers me. I think I've finally figured out what it is. It's not the contrived plots or the often stilted dialogue (I take that as something that often happens in cozy mysteries); instead, what bothers me about this series is the protagonist's charmed life. Everyone loves her, pretty much at first sight. She gets her one-of-a-kind dream job, her boss loves her, she lives in a beautiful McMansion by the lake, she gets the rich guy next door to fall in love with her, her family never has anything but encouragement for her (even when she's almost abducted or attacked--they're just happy that she's happy in her new home), she finds immediate professional success--I could go on, but you probably get my drift. I think in a cozy, I like to see the protagonist find good fortune, but I want to see her earn that good fortune. I want the protagonist to be life-like to some degree--I want to see that she (or he) has her own struggles and that she finds ways to overcome them. This protagonist and many of her supporting characters tend to wear on my nerves. Now, having said all of that, I will also say that the second half of the novel's plot picked up, resolving (at least for now) a mystery that has spanned all three of the first novels in this series. And I have every intention to keep reading--at least for the time being. Thanks to Penguin's First Reads for the chance to read this entry and for encouraging me to start on the whole series!

This is the third in this series and the first that I have read and that has impacted my opinion. As far as the writing and mystery - both on point. The mystery was actually really good, pulling in many periphery characters and joining story lines. My issue was with the character and story backgrounds/lead-ins. I realize I was starting with the third book but there was so little story development and character development that I actually questioned whether I was starting the book several chapters in. To say I was confused was an understatement. But, if you have read the others in the series this may well be a five start read for you.

I didn't realize this book was the third in the series. The first chapter didn't grab my attention. I was confused by all the characters. After that it was easier to follow the story line. Lots of twists and turns in the plot. The characters had many levels of connectivity. The book was an easy read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I didn't realize before reading this that it is part of a series. It stands alone well enough, but I feel like it would have been better emit the others had been read first to have more of a feel for the characters and the back story that led to this one. It never fully grabbed my attention - I felt like there was a lot of "fluff" to add pages without actually adding to the story. It wasn't terrible by any means, but it wasn't great either.

I really enjoyed this book. Unbeknownst to me I didn't realize this was the 3rd book in a series. The story was good and it kept me interested. Although, some parts of the book fell flat it was still a good read! I think I would have connected to the story more if I'd read the first two books. It's a good book on its own, but I really like to familiarize/connect myself with the characters & also with the authors style of writing. All in all, a good book!

This took me a little time to get into as it is the third in the series. I missed out on the character development so it was a little hard to get into. Once I got into it, it was well written and moved at a steady pace. I will have to look for the first two in the series.

Well written book. It kept me intersected. There were a lot of twists and turns, so I wanted to keep reading to find out the ending. Characters are well written, and likable.

A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley is an interesting mystery. This novel is actually third in a series but works fairly well as a standalone. There is a lot going on in this novel but I managed to follow it pretty well, despite not having read the previous installments. Lena and Sam work well as a romantic couple and their supporting cast are interesting and believable. Great plot twists. I could be persuaded to read more in this series. 3 out of 5 stars. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of Penguin's First to Read program. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.

It took me a few days to get into the story - I think I read the first chapter 5-6 times. There was no character development/backstory and I felt like I had started in the middle of a book. As others have already noted there were continuity errors, which I found ironic since Lena and Camilla were so diligent in proofreading their book. A couple of times I felt like part of the book must be missing because of the jump in time with no flow between. Once I got into the book I really enjoyed it though and thought it was a good mystery.

Once again, I started a book only to realize it was the third in the series and I hadn't read the first two books. I swear I am not doing this on purpose lol. I just need to pay closer attention when looking for things to read. A Dark and Twisting Path is the third in the A Writer's Apprentice Series and follows Lena London as she tries to continue writing with her mentor, Camilla, and figure out what is going on in Blue Lake. Who killed the mailman? And what does it have to do with her boyfriend, Sam West's ex-wife's child being kidnapped? Lots of mystery! While it stands up as its own book, you might understand the relationships and the backstory of the characters a little better if you read the previous books in the series. Let's get to the review. Synopsis: When a dead body is discovered, Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion prove that the devious killer has something in mind for them.   Writer's apprentice Lena London is happily working on a new collaboration with her idol and bestselling suspense novelist and friend Camilla Graham, but her joy is short-lived when a dark cloud descends upon the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana... Lena's best friend, Allison, is in a panic. On a walk in the woods by her home, Allison discovers the body of her mail carrier, an argumentative man who recently had a falling out with Allison's husband. Lena quickly realizes that Allison has nothing to worry about as the murder weapon points to a different suspect altogether: Lena's embattled boyfriend, Sam West.  Sam was cleared of his wife's murder when she was found alive, and now someone is trying to make him look guilty again. Surveillance video of a break-in at his house shows a shadowy figure trying to incriminate him by stealing the weapon from his desk. Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion at Graham House prove that the devious killer has decided to write them into the plot. Lena's life up to this point hasn't been lacking in drama. She is dating a man (Sam West) who was accused of murdering his ex-wife (Victoria), only to have Lena figure out that she was still alive but had run away with her lover. And then, once they found Victoria, her lover, Nikon Lazos, got pissed that she wanted to leave of her own accord (he was abusive), so he ends up stealing her child. Lots of drama! Now Lena thinks she can settle down and relax a bit. Yes, Victoria's baby is still missing, but that is for the proper authorities to figure out. Lena is looking forward to writing with Camilla and spending more time with Sam. As you can probably guess, that is not what happens. Lena gets a call from her best friend, Allison saying there is a dead man in her backyard. The man turns out to be the mailman, Eddie Stack. Allison's husband had just had a fight with him a few days before. Luckily, his innocence is proven right away, but the blame is soon turned to Sam.  GET READY FOR SPOILERS The Blue Lake's police investigate and soon find out that Sam had nothing to do with the murder either. While the knife the mailman was stabbed with was Sam's, his surveillance system soon shows them that it was stolen from his home. As the investigation goes on, Lena realizes she has started seeing some strange people in town. The two girls at the library who are too interested in Sam. The bearded man who she sees too many times for it to be a coincidence.  Welp, she turns out to be right. She's the protagonist is a cozy mystery story, of course she's right! The ultimate showdown comes when Allison calls Lena again, saying she has her next-door neighbor, Agatha, over and she would love to meet Sam and her. Lena had already been suspicious of Agatha, so before Sam and she go over to Allison's place, they do a little digging. And what do they find out? Agatha is the sister of the man who stole Victoria's baby. DUH DUH DUNNNN This news doesn't stop them from going to Allison's. They need to make sure she stays safe too. But when they get there, the trap is set and they are led right to Nikon Lazos. He has apparently been in town all this time. He greets them with a smarmy smirk on his face and a gun in his hand.  They have to use their wits and a bit of trickery to get out of the house alive and more than a few secrets will be uncovered before the story is over. No spoilers on this part, but one of the secrets was a complete surprise to me. I was like "WTF?!" while I was reading lol. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you look back at my past reviews, you'll see I have read some pretty depressing books this year and A Dark and Twisting Path, while dark in places, was a nice change. It is definitely a cozy mystery and being a writer myself, I really enjoyed that Lena and Camilla were working on a book during all the craziness that was happening in town. They had plenty of excuses and still found time to write!  The only issue I had was that there was a lot of moments of telling where showing would have been more effective. It could at times feel like the story was being explained to me rather than shown through the actions and conversations of the characters. I did enjoy Lena and Sam's relationship and how they always investigated things together. She was never on the sidelines because Sam wanted to "protect" her. I also really liked most of Lena's friends. They helped in the investigation and at times, provided a break from all the bad that was happening. I am giving A Dark and Twisting Path 3 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for a nice, cozy read without too much gore or violence, this book is definitely one you should check out. A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley comes out August 7, 2018. Thanks to First To Read and Berkley Books for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This is the third book in the series. While it can be read as a stand alone, I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read the first two.

I enjoyed this book very much. I only found a few errors that others may have already mentioned: the chicken salad sandwich on page 125 that turned into a burger on page 130; and water turning into iced tea several times. This is the first one I remember reading in the series and I feel that enough backstory was given that made this a good story without having read the priors. The characters were interesting and the plot had some good twists. A further proof to fix the food mistakes and this book will go from good to great! I will definitely be recommending it to others.

Great addition to the series. Looking forward to more excitement with Lena, Camilla, and company.

This is a very enjoyable book. I had not read any previous ones, but it didn't matter. I love the characters and the romance between Sam and Lena. The excerpts from the book Camilla and Lena are writing at the beginning of each chapter add to the story as you see how it ties into the story itself. I did see one mistake not caught by editing. Lena ordered a chicken salad croissant, but the next couple pages it turned into a burger when it mentioned her biting into it! And a few others as water into tea. A little distracting. Better editing certainly needed here. The storyline is good and it is a good cozy mystery. I hope they correct the errors before printing. I'd recommend it.

This book is my first exposure to this series and this author. Although the book is third in the series, it works okay as a stand alone even though the storyline is a clear continuation. The author does a good job of catching up the reader. I enjoyed this one. It is a quick, engaging read. I found most of the characters likeable although some of them tended to blur together. I recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries as well as fans of romantic suspense.

Once again, a great story and a perfect addition to the series! I love the twists and turns, trying to figure out the mystery! So many clues, some seeming to be pointless, but all leading to the absolutely perfect ending! I love this series so much and I cannot wait to see what else is in store! The setting is perfect, the characters and mystery so well written you feel like you are really part of the story.

Even though this is the 3rd book of the series, you do not have to have read the 1st to in order to follow this one. However, it may have helped to know the characters if they had been better developed in the earlier books. As presented in this book I neither liked nor disliked any of the characters. There are some issues with things (such as food or drink) suddenly becoming something else. Otherwise the book moved along well and it was well written.

A new to me series that makes me want to go back and read the rest. Lena is a writer living with her idol a famous novelist while working on projects together in a small town in the Midwest. Things have happened there in the past because what cozy town doesn't become the murder capital of the area when a series starts. The previous books have introduced a big bad with lingering effects in this book. Sam is the victim of previous frame ups by the big bad guy and the love interest of our heroine. A baby is missing kidnapped in a previous entry, but the real problem here is that a mailman is dead and Sam's possession looks to be the murder weapon. The requisite friendly policeman sees it for what it is, but is anyone quite who they seem? Fun characters and an interesting idea to play off the fictional world to create other works of fiction for Lena and her writing career.

This the third book in a series. I read the first one long enough ago that I only recall I didn’t like it much. I read the second one just a couple of weeks ago and was very annoyed that there was a cliff-hanger ending which I hate. However, I was sucked in enough to want to know what happened next. I can only say that I am relieved that this particular story arc is finished. I agree that there are a number of continuity errors. Especially glaring is the one about the time when the main character bought a certain gift for her boyfriend. Lena is a bit of a sap, Sam is relationship clueless and really I prefer the animals to most of the people in this series. I think it would be better if Camilla and her life were the focus rather than the younger person as is most common in this type of romance/mystery. I actually prefer this author’s other series but I recently read it is not being picked up by her publisher. Please Berkley, continue the Covered Dish series.

This is the 3rd book in a series by Julia Buckley. I did not read the first 2 books and I don't feel like I missed out on anything I should have known from not reading the first 2. With that said I though this was a good book. If you are the kind of reader that likes books like Nancy Drew or the television series Murder She Wrote, you will like this series. This was a very lite mystery with no intense situations like I'm used to in other books. It was a good beach read.

Thank you to First To Read and Penguin Books for the opportunity to read this galley. It is part of a series, but it isn't hard to get to know these characters. The write-up describes a far more sinister plot than what the reader will find. That said, I enjoyed the book. It is a real page turner in some places, just interesting in others. Lena is far too needy for me. There are a LOT of errors. Belinda orders water and sips her ice tea. Most of the errors have to do with food. Someone needs to proof this book again. Easy beach read.

Terrific cozy mystery! Lena is so kind and warmhearted and has such nice things to say about her family and friends. I really had a good time reading this book. This author has been on my to-read list for awhile and I'm so glad I found this wonderful series to enjoy!

At first I didn’t realize this was a series. As the story was beginning I found myself very confused and feeling like I jumped into the middle of a story. This book is a decent “murder mystery” story. If you really enjoy that genre, I think you would find this a fun read. There didn’t seem to be a lot of character development. Also there were a lot of continuity errors that made it hard for me to enjoy the story. I found myself flipping back and forth confused by statements the narrator made. One page she said she bought her boyfriend a gift on Valentines Day and the next page she says she bought it last month while the story was taking place in May. Several times I would turn the page and it seemed suddenly a lot of extra time had passed. There wasn’t a good flow. It made it seem like an awkward time jump was thrown in to try to make people more acquainted with one another. Overall it’s got okay bones to be a fun murder mystery, there’s a fun idea of two authors solving mysteries together, but in my opinion I think it needs some polishing. Reading this didn’t make me want to go back and read the other books in the series.

This was a great book! I have read the other books in the series and this one was my favorite! Can't wait for the next book in the series!

Great book! This story grabbed my interest right from the beginning and held it until the very end.

This is obviously part of a series. Wish I could have started with the first book. The characters are just names on a page. Hope they correct the part where the main character orders chicken salad but a page later bites into a burger. Not interested enough to read the other books. Wish I had those hours back.

I'm not sure what I think of this story. Maybe my problem is this is a new-to-me series and I haven't read the first two but I found there was just way too much going on, and I really couldn't get into this story.


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  • A Dark and Stormy Murder
  • Death in Dark Blue
  • Death Waits in the Dark
  • Cheddar Off Dead

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