A wonderful start to a fantastic series

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Book 1)

By: Laurie R. King

Rating: 5 of 5

I started reading this series at about book ten. I decided to go back and read the first of the books, beginning with this, the first one. What a wonderful way to start the series!

In this story, Mary Russell is fifteen years old when she, literally, stumbles over Sherlock Holmes, who is in his fifties. He has retired to a country cottage and is spending his time raising bees.

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Such a delight to find this book available again

The Cuckoo in Spring

By: Elizabeth Cadell

Rating: 5 of 5

I have been a fan of Elizabeth Cadell for decades. It was very difficult to find her books as they went out of print long ago. I was very happy to find that they were available again in ebook format. Even more so to find that they were available in audio format as well.

I read this book several times over the years, so I decided to listen to it this time. I have to admit it gave me even more of an appreciate for the late author’s talent. I also bought the ebook to switch back and forth as time allowed.

In this story, a rather spoilt young man is tricked into going off to evaluate a old miser’s painting collection. While there, he meets a young woman who is absolutely delightful but things go amiss and he finds himself not being indulged this time.

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Heartwarming Christmas tale

The Christmas Table: A Novel (Christmas Hope Book 11)

By: Donna VanLiere

Rating: 5 of 5

I have read several other books in this series. While it is a series, it can absolutely be read stand-alone. The books are lightly interconnected, with backstories of some of the individuals. It took reading a bit of it for me to actually remember the prior books and their plots.

This is a Christmas table that interconnects two times and the struggles that individuals are and have been going through. The tale of the past is woven into that of the present with a set of recipe cards and a handmade table. How the stories converge surprised me and delighted me as well.

The recipes, themselves are lovely and the introductions to them are exceptional reading. I had a wonderful time reading through them and plan to try some myself.

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Sweet and funny Christmas romance

Christmas Charms

By: Teri Wilson

Rating: 5 of 5

I had never read a novel by Teri Wilson before nor had I seen the movie that this book is based on. So, I read it with no preconceived notion and was wonderfully entertained.

The story is about Ashley, a small town girl, who just can’t wait to get to New York City. She thinks her life is perfect as she works for the most prestigious jewelry store and has a boyfriend who she thinks is about to propose. Add to that, she is going to Paris for the holidays.

Things fall apart and she heads home to lick her wounds and get ready to go back to work. The train ride back home is uneventful except for an interesting stranger and the discovery of an antique charm bracelet on her arm when she awakens from a nap.

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Another great whodunnit in this series

A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery

By: Eva Gates

Rating: 5 of 5

I greatly enjoy reading this series. Lucy Richardson is a librarian at the Lighthouse Library in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She has been making her residence in small apartment that is actually in the library.

Bertie, who is the director in charge of the Library, has invited her starting college class from years ago to have a reunion in town, including events at the library.

There is a wide variety of current and former librarians that meet, including the nasty former director of the self-same library.

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A fun cozy mystery with great recipes

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery Book 4)

By: Debra Sennefelder

Rating: 5 of 5

I have read number three in this series and have purchased one and two to read while waiting for book five to be written. I love the blogging aspect of the book as it is a wealth of information. The recipes are outstanding and are presented tongue in cheek.

Hope Early is a food blogger. Her blog, Hope at Home, combines food blogging with DIY projects around her old farmhouse. The farmhouse is in need of almost complete renovation, so she is always busy between cooking, videoing, and renovating.

She has grown her blog enough to be able to have a part time assist with some of the time consuming tasks (posting, social media and more.)

Hope has a cute cat that she talks to as if it can hear and understand. That is one of the things I enjoy so much about these books.

Hope also has free time to investigate the murder of an old friend. She was tasked by the victim’s sister to help find the murderer and to solve a decades old mystery.

Hope jumps in and find that others don’t appreciate her snooping. Someone is out to get Hope as she gets closer and closer to solving both the murder and the mystery.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.

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Another great Nancy Naigle Christmas story

A Heartfelt Christmas Promise

By: Nancy Naigle

Rating: 5 of 5

I always look for books by Ms. Naigle. I know that they will be heartwarming and believable. She has a knack of putting a story together with great characters, amusing situations and bringing the story to such a satisfying end.

In this story, Vanessa Larkin works in a cutthroat industry. Her company acquires other companies. They then decide what to keep, what to sell and what to close down.

Vanessa is top at the game and should be heading to one of two great cities to work over Christmas. She is looking forward to Paris, but at the last minute, she is sent to a small town in North Carolina. To say she is not happy is putting it mildly.

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Beware of strangers bearing gifts

Gingerdead Man (A Five-Ingredient Mystery Book 7)

By: Maya Corrigan

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the second book in this series that I have read. The first one was book six and I have so enjoyed both books, I have purchased several of the earlier stories in the series.

Val Deniston and her Grandad share a Victorian home. They have shared a bit of part time sleuthing as well. While Val is the manager of the Cool Down Cafe at the local fitness center, she is also branching out into catering.

Their town, Bayport, Maryland is hosting a Christmas fete that is based on Charles Dickens. People are encouraged to dress as one of the characters in his various stories.

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Fun and clean traditional Regency Romance

Poor Caroline

By: Elizabeth Mansfield

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve recently been reading Regency Romances, both older and newer published novels. This is an older book that has been recently been published as an ebook. I had read other Elizabeth Mansfield books years ago but this is one that I had not read before.

The book is funny and has a cast of characters that keep bringing you back to it. Caroline Whitlow is a proud young woman. She has always been so. She can’t take “charity” from anyone. The problem is, she doesn’t always understand that what she sees as charity is, in fact, simple kindness.

She and her two younger brothers move out from the home they have been living in for twelve years when the new heir is coming home.

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Wonderfully suspenseful mystery

Don’t Look for Me: A Novel

By: Wendy Walker

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book I have read by this author and it certainly will not be the last. The story was filled with both mystery and suspense.

Molly Clarke has been having trouble with the members of her family. One fateful night, she walked away from the life that was giving her grief. Well, that is what the note she left behind says.

Her husband is willing to believe she meant it but her daughter wants to investigate her mother’s disappearance. It might be because of the guilt that she feels but it might also be because she simply does not believe it. Her younger brother is on her side as well, but he has much to feel guilty about, too.

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