Devil's Bridge by Linda Fairstein

In this latest installment of the Alex Cooper series, the reader is given a jolt when Alex is apparently kidnapped and the story is reported through Mike Chapman's eyes.  

The bad guys are all still there and the good guys (Mike, Mercer and Vickee) are joined by others that have had smaller parts in the past.  Highlighted is the possibility of corruption around the DA's office but the big question is who has Alex?

Really enjoyed this as a change of pace for this series.


GENRE: Mystery
CHARACTERS: Alexandra Cooper, Mike Chapman, Mercer Wallace
Series/ Progress: Alexandra Cooper  17/17
DATE READ: July 25 - July 29
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


Stalked to Death by Sara Robbins

Veronika Mays, international bestselling romance author, is returning to the Aspen Valley Inn for her sister's wedding.  What they don't know is that she's bringing along a stalker with the intent to kill.

When Vernie arrives she realizes that her stalker is with her and is frightened that her sisters may be the next targets.  Fortunately, the groom is a homicide detective and is determined to make sure that he doesn't have to work on his honeymoon.

I love these characters from the Aspen Valley Inn series and am glad that they will have continued life in the Aspen Valley Sisters series.  The characters are fun and the descriptions of the scenery I can just about see in my mind.


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Vernie Mays, Lacey Washburn, Wyatt Graves, Tim Nelson, Jill Sanders
Series/ Progress: Aspen Valley Sisters 1/3
DATE READ: August 26 - August 27
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI , AlphaKit


The Recipe Box by Sandra Lee

Grace Holm-D'Angelo's world is unravelling - she is having trouble at work, her teenage daughter is in a rebellious mood, and her best friend has died of cancer.  Flying home for the funeral,  Grace is confronted by her mother.  They have been estranged ever since Grace found a startling fact about her mother inside the Recipe box.

Trying to improve her daughter's behavior, Grace leaves her daughter with her mother and heads back to her job in LA  but when she hears that Emma has disappeared she heads back to found her.

The story goes on with a new romance for Grace  and a decision to return to her hometown and try a change in her future.

The story seemed very predictable and the characters very two-dimensional.


GENRE: Fiction
CHARACTERS: Grace, Emma, Ken, Brian, Leeza, Lorraine
Series/ Progress:
DATE READ: July 24 - July 25
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, LILIES


The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett

Katie Bonner has a full plate - not only does she manage the Artisan Alley, but she's been tapped by an acquaintance to step in as the Maid of Honor (the wedding is a week away) with all the accompanying duties (favors, shower, etc.) but she also has to move and she hasn't found a new apartment yet.

When making a courtesy call on new neighbors who bought an old mansion that Katie had wanted to buy and turn into a B&B, she is allowed to help with the renovations and a smack with a mallet on the  wall reveals a skeleton within.

The ensuing escapades  related to the apartment search, wedding preparations and interviews with suspects carry the reader on a bumpy ride that entertains thoroughly.


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Katie Bonner, Janice Ryan, Rose Nash, Det. Davenport, Heather Winston, Jeremy Richards, Sylvia Donahue
Series/ Progress: Victoria Square mysteries 2/3
DATE READ: July 21 - July 24
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook stockpile


George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I by Miranda Carter

In the mid to late 19th century, it was thought that if a royal marriage was made between countries, that alliances would be forged and the European continent would be at peace.  So Queen Victoria with the numerous children that she had began marrying them off into other countries, however, things didn't work out as she planned.  Her daughter Victoria was married to the Prince of Prussia (one of the German states) but because of her strong English tendencies, she was never really accepted and her son, Wilhelm, the future Kaiser of  Germany was adamantly opposed to whatever his mother wanted.

Queen Victoria tried unsuccessful to influence German politics but because of long life of Wilhelm's grandfather and short life of his father, Wilhelm came to power early in life.  Some speculate that due to an accident at the time of his birth (he was trapped in the birth canal with one arm completely damaged and possible brain damage) Wilhelm had personality disorders which caused tantrums that last throughout his life  or it could be that he was simply spoiled as the heir and never learned  control.  English influence due to young Victoria's marriage never evolved.

Bertie, while Prince of Wales, was never allowed involvement in the government by Queen Victoria while she was alive.  He was a playboy and traveled extensively and used his charm in efforts to keep the peace in Europe.  When he finally came to throne, his relationship with his cousin Wilhelm was troubled.

Nicolas, the Tsarevich of Russia, wanted nothing to do with governing.  He never understood the plight of the serfs and felt it his due to rule even though he had very little education.

When these 3 lives collided in history with all pomp and protocol required of society of the time, they were unable to handle the changes happening in the world around them - mechanization, communication, war advancements, suffrage.  Though hey professed a desire for peace, they ultimately  part of the cause for escalation.


GENRE: History
CHARACTERS: George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II
DATE READ: July 3 - July 20
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Library Overdrive


Written in Stone by Ellery Adams

Olivia Limoges continues to expand as a character in this 4th installment of the Books by the Bay.  Olivia who formerly was totally reserved, never expressing any emotion (part of her upbringing) is learning to empathize with her friends and with newly discovered family.   

Olivia is summoned to the cabin of a witch who claims to have known her mother and there Olivia is tasked in stopping a wrong - with no details of what exactly that is.

Meanwhile, Michèl (Olivia's head chef) and Olivia were asked to be the judges at the Food Festival.  Afterward, Willis (Michel's assistant) dies suddenly from an apparent poisoning.  When Willis' sister seems to be suffering the same fate the next day, Olivia steps in quickly to prevent another murder.

The research and details that are woven throughout this mystery are astonishing and I can't wait for the next one!


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Olivia Limoges, Sawyer Rawlings, Talley Locklear, Judson Pace, Millay
Series/ Progress: Books by the Bay  4/7
DATE READ: July 17 - July 19
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook Stockpile 


Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinlay

Library  Lover's Mysteries just seem to be getting better.  In this installment, Lindsay, the librarian, is helping her friend Violet with a Shakespearean production at the community theater.  A friend of Violet's, a well-known actor agrees to a part but before the show goes on, he is carried away dying from poisoning and it wasn't the first attempt on his life.

Lindsay works to uncover who and why the actor was a target and the surprise ending was as dramatic as Shakespeare would have wanted.

Great fun!


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Lindsay Norris, Violet LaRue, Charlotte LaRue, Robbie Vine, Sully, Dylan Peet, Joanie Peet
Series/ Progress: Library Lover's 4/6
DATE READ: July 12 - July 16
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook Stockpile


The Tin Woodsman of Oz by L Frank Baum

This segment of the Oz books introduces us to Woot the Wanderer who ambles into the castle of the Tin Woodsman and after learning Nick Chopper's history asks whatever happened to he girl that he loved.  This sets the Tin Woodsman, the scarecrow and Woot off on an quest to locate the girl and make amends.

The adventures that the trio encounter show the reader new areas of Oz and more new characters.


GENRE: Classics
CHARACTERS: Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow, Woot the Wanderer, Nimmee Amee, Captain Fyter
Series/ Progress: Oz 12/15
DATE READ: July 9 - July 10
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook stockpile


Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames

Charlotte's cousin Matthew has a friend, Noelle, moving to Providence to manage a local winery, and temporarily moves in with Charlotte. Noelle shares a tour of the winery with them where Charlotte begins to suspect that the owner's daughter isn't happy about the new employee.   

Several days later, Noelle turns up dead and Charlotte feels that she needs to investigate into the murder.

Fun installment with twists and turns.


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
Series/ Progress: Cheese Shoppe 5/6
DATE READ: July 4 - July 8
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook stockpile


Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson

The Cahills - Amy and Dan - continue their quest to collect all the clues to the inheritance that their grandmother left them.  In this installment, their other relatives (Kabras, Holts, Madrigals) don't play as large a role, and we are introduced to Grandmother Grace's friend who is also looking for the treasure.


GENRE: Young Adult
CHARACTERS: Amy Cahill, Dan Cahill, Nellie Gomez, Theo Cotter, Hilary Vale, Alistar Oh
Series/ Progress: 39 Clues  4/39
DATE READ: July 4 - July 4
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Audio stockpile


The Last Word by Ellery Adams

Olivia Limoges has a lot on her plate - the opening of a new restaurant, helping her newly-discovered brother and his family get settled in their new home, and working on her own novel but she squeezes in an assist to her fellow writer-wannabe, Harris, to find a house to buy.  When Harris settles on an old fixer-upper, Olivia makes sure that he is the new owner by pushing through the sale before a famous writer can get it.

But the discoveries that are made as the renovations begin, add a new dark twist by revealing the history of a longtime member of the community. 

When the famous author is found dead literally eating his own words, Olivia works with Chief Rawlings to find out why.

I really like this series and Ellery Adams is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy writers.  Looking forward to the next one VERY soon!


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Olivia Limoges, Sawyer Rawlings, Harris Williams, Wheeler Ames, Raymond Hatcher, Nick Plumley
Series/ Progress: Books by the Bay 3/7
DATE READ: July 1 - July 3
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook stockpile

World War One: History in an Hour by Rupert Colley

This was a nice little book that gave an non-detailed look at the war, who battled who and how it affected the face of Europe - WWI caused the end of 4 dynasties - Germans(Prussian), Hapsburgs (Austria/Hungary), Ottomans (Turkey), and the Romanovs(Russians).  It was also the first war that was fought without "chivalry"  where  innocent women and children were killed with thought and non-military naval vessels were targeted.


GENRE: History
DATE READ: July 3 - July 3
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook stockpile


Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon

The mission wall on Jill Gardner's property is nearing approval by the historical society so to add another nudge  South Cove is hosting a Mission Run/Walk in it's honor.  But the people that should be handling the promotion seem to be lying down on the job.  A promoter is discovered dead under the body of one of the walkers that passed out. 

This murder not only spools Jill and Greg's vacation plans but could end up slaying the romance as well.

I love the characters and the setting.  Together they make this a series where I can't wait for the next one!


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Jill Gardner, Jackie Ekroth, Josh Thomas, Greg King, Rachel Fleur, Sandra Ashford, Ashford
Series/ Progress: A Tourist Trap Mystery  5/5
DATE READ: June 30 - July 1
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: NetGalley