Monday, May 31, 2021

Summer Nanny by Audrey J Cole

This is a suspense filled novella and every babysitter's nightmare. A masked intruder after the child, the son of a wealthy Seattle couple. Or is it something else? The theft of the multi-million dollar necklace? But when the knife wielding intruder comes after her, Bridgett fears for her own life.

This novella takes place in a single evening. It is full of action and suspense. Bridgett is happy to have the summer nanny job as it will help fund her graduate work at the University of Washington. But secrets from the past intrude and she must fight for her life.

This is a quick read and a good interlude in the Emerald City Thriller series. You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series: The Recipient and Inspired by Murder.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Audrey J Cole is a registered nurse and a USA Today bestselling author of thrillers set in Seattle. A Sequim native, Cole lived in Australia for five years before returning to the U.S. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. You can find out more at

Rainier Publishing, 100 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Written Off by Barbara Cornthwaite Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Written Off

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 2021

”Break a leg?”  They’ll be lucky if they don’t all break their necks!

After years of waiting, Katrina finally has her happily ever after. All is right with her world . . . until hate crimes begin happening in the charming college town of Wilkester. Even more disturbing is the fact that the perpetrator seems to be connected with the writing class Katrina teaches. How can she prevent her rosy visions of the future from turning into broken dreams?

Find out in this third book of the Wilkester Mysteries.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This mystery was a little different. The mystery is about who is doing acts of racism near a college campus. There is no murder and no suspense so this book is for the gentle reader who would like a plot centered on a hot issue in today's society but with no gruesome events. There is also much about Katrina's personal life and her upcoming wedding. The book seemed more about Katrina and her life than about a mystery.

The strength of this novel is the Christian viewpoint of the characters. Katrina and Todd are committed Christians and I like how Cornthwaite portrays their actions and Katrina's thoughts. Some of the discussions included were very interesting, such as the one about protests. Katrina notes she is for anything to decrease that particular sin (racism), as long as it's peaceful. But her friend, Kim counters that some protests call for destruction rather than repentance. (1038/3129) Interesting thoughts about the reason behind protests and what is hoped to be the result of them.

This cozy mystery did not have a compelling plot for me. I liked the earlier ones in the series more. I did enjoy the many references to literary works and the good character representation of Christians. This is definitely a book for readers who like a concentration on a character's life with a low key mystery and no bodies showing up.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

What Kind of Lessons Could a Mystery Possibly Teach Me?

It’s been a couple decades since I taught a college English class, and writing the Wilkester Mysteries with Professor Katrina Peters as the main character brought back happy memories of teaching. Not enough to want to go back to it—homeschooling my own kids is much more rewarding—but enough that I had to stop myself from writing much longer lectures into the stories! These are my first contemporary novels, and it was nice to write a story without the hours and hours of historical research I usually have to do. But whatever time period stories are set in, people feel the same emotions and have to learn the same spiritual lessons.

Katrina loves literature and can’t help seeing her own life as a story. The only problem is that she keeps thinking she knows what the Author is doing, and she has definite ideas about what the plot should be. She is not unlike myself: over and over I’ve thought I knew what God was doing in my life. And if He was short on ideas, I had quite a few that He was free to use! But He has rarely been doing what I thought He was, and for some reason He never seems to use my ideas about what could happen in my story.  Both Katrina and I need to learn the lesson that God’s wisdom is beyond ours, His storytelling is much deeper and richer than ours, and His plots are never predictable!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 31

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

April Hayman, Author, June 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 2

Losing the Busyness, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

CarpeDiem, June 3

Remembrancy, June 4

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, June 4

She Lives To Read, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 7

Inklings and notions, June 7

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 9

Blogging With Carol, June 9

For the Love of Literature, June 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 11

Joanne Markey, June 11

Through the Fire blogs, June 12

Mary Hake, June 12

deb's Book Review, June 13

Daysong Reflections, June 13

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Power Play by Rachel Dylan

This FBI/CIA romantic suspense novel is a little different in that the heroine, Vivian, is not an agent of one of those agencies. She is, in fact, an attorney at the State Department. She gets caught up in a dangerous operation, however, when she witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington DC. She becomes an essential person in the attempt to determine what happened and who is responsible.

There are two investigations going on by the combined task force. One deals with the death of the Egyptian ambassador and involves Vivian and her past work overseeing the transfer of prisoners, making sure the action was legal regarding international law. The other investigation deals with the death of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium. The two investigations are unrelated except the murders happening at the same dinner. The dual plots helped fill out the character roster and perhaps provided enough material for an entertaining novel when one plot would not have been sufficient.

There is suspense for Vivian as someone wants to either hurt her or kidnap her, related to her previous work in Egypt. There is some romance as she begins to have feelings for the hunk protecting her. One aspect of this plot I really liked was Vivian being asked to take part in a dangerous ploy to get information, something only a trained agent would normally do. That gave depth to Vivian's character and highlighted her bravery.

The other plot is a straightforward investigation and involves no suspense nor romance for the agents involved.

This is a good novel for readers who would appreciate a truly amateur individual being asked to participate in a high level ploy to gather information regarding international intrigue. It is the third book in the Capitol Intrigue series but since each book concentrates on a different character reads well on its own. There is a good representation of Christian faith included.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Rachel Dylan is an award-winning and best-selling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. She has practiced law for over a decade, including being a litigator at one of the nation's top law firms. Her Atlanta Justice series has won the Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and the FHL Reader's Choice Award. She and her husband live in Michigan. Photo credit: © Erika Aitken Photography.

Bethany House, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Are You Really OK? by Debra Fileta

I have read a number of self help books on well being. This one may very well be the best I've seen in a while. It is very informative and is written with compassion and insight.

Fileta covers all aspects of being, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical, because they all work together. She helps us investigate the influence from the past, how we understand our identity and relationships, identifies cognitive distortions, writes on trauma, and much more. I appreciate her strategy of calling us to awareness first, taking inventory, and then intentional living, giving practical ideas and strategies. She includes insightful and thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter. This is a book to work through, not just read. You'll need a journal or notebook as Fileta prescribes lots of writing.

One surprise for me was about emotions. Being in tune with our emotions is not something we are born knowing how to do. It is a skill we must learn. Fileta suggests using the tool of expressive writing as a practical way of developing the skill.

Fileta writes in a very personal way. She shares many of her own experiences, such as her struggle with depression and the trauma of a miscarriage. Her openness is encouraging, convincing this reader to be better at not hiding behind just saying I'm OK.

This is a book for Christians who are not afraid to get pushed out of their comfort zones. Fileta asks us to get out from under the facade and be honest with all aspects of our lives. She asks us to stop pretending because we are Christians and we are supposed to have it all together. If you are ready to get below that facade and work on your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health, grab a journal and get to work with this book.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 5/5.

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor and the author of True Love Dates. She is a popular speaker, challenging people to have a psychologically and spiritually healthy approach to relationships. She is the host of the podcast, Love + Relationships with Debra Fileta. She and her husband have four children and live in Lancaster, PA. You can find out more and follow her blog at

Harvest House, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Hell's Half Acre by Jackie Elliott

I enjoyed this murder mystery set on the east side of Vancouver Island, B.C. It is the second in a series but reads very well on its own. I was pleased with how Elliott wove backstory from the first novel into the second one. I read the first one but I appreciate refreshing my memory. (You can read my review of Coffin Cove here.)

Andi, a disgraced newspaper reporter who found a job in rural Coffin Cove is our heroine. Rather than being the sole lead, however, a number of the town's residents figure in solving the mystery of a murder, the body only recently found. Inspector Vega of the RCMP is back too. I appreciate the bit of romantic tension between the meddling Andi and the investigating Vega.

This novel delves into the past of Coffin Cove, once a bustling lumber and fishing town. The relationships and events from the past help Andi and others piece together a motive for the initial murder and the ones that follow. The mystery is not so cleverly constructed that readers cannot guess the culprit before revealed in the novel. The strength of this book is the depiction of the characters and the flavor of the town. There is a good amount of action too. Overall, it was a enjoyable novel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jackie Elliott is from the UK but now lives on Vancouver Island with her commercial fisherman husband.

Joffe Books, 274 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Be More Than a Christian, Be a Disciple Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Be More Than a Christian, Be a Disciple

Author: Pastor Oscar Walker

Genre: Christian Devotional

Release date: July 2020

Be More Than A Christian began as weekly devotional text messages to the members of Disciples Tabernacle Church with added thoughts of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and experiences of Pastor Oscar Walker.  Overtime, these devotional were transitioned to emails due to the abundance of information.  The devotions included in this book are revelations and illuminations given to Pastor Walker by the Holy Spirit.  These 52 devotions focus on 52 aspects of our journey with the Lord.  A thought and a devotion for each week of the year.  Pastor Walker believes devotions are mediation books. Something written in these devotions may lead you into prayer; however, the goal of this book is to lead you into meditation.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2).

One important problem among believers today who call themselves Christians is their poor witness in the world.  They present a weak commitment to living by the precepts and teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22-23).

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Walker provides fifty-two devotions. He generally includes many passages of Scripture in each devotion so this book might be a good one for Christians who do not have a regular Bible reading practice. Walker uses a variety of Bible translations, including the King James Version, something younger readers may find unusual.

Some of Walker's comments may have the potential of being misunderstood. An example is his use of Psalm 103:2-3 and declaring, “I have divine health. Forgiveness of all my sins and healing for all my diseases.” (345/1316) I think we need to remember that the Psalms are poetry and often utilize poetic devices such as hyperbole. What is a Christian to think, reading this, if they have an ailment God has not healed? Another example is, “When I'm righteous, I shall be blessed with long life.” (1005/1316) He quotes Psalm 90:9-10 which actually says it is by reason of strength that we would live to 80 years old. His comments could be problematic to those who have seen Christians die young. A wise Bible student once said that all Scripture is to us but not all Scripture is for us personally.

This is a relatively good collection of devotions on aspects of our walk with the Lord, especially for those who have not engaged in regular devotional reading.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Pastor Oscar Walker has been in ministry for over 30 years and is the founding pastor of Disciples Tabernacle Church in Houston, Texas. Prior to becoming a full-time pastor, Pastor Walker worked 35 years in the airline industry and for several years as a high school teacher.

Pastor Walker surrendered to the call of ministry in April 1997 and has been running for the Lord ever since. In 2000, Disciples Tabernacle Church was founded and has birthed ministries, such as Ministers Training College, to help equip leaders and ministers for ministry work. Pastor Walker’s call is to make disciples who continue to make other disciples following his influence and his primary ministry assignment is to teach God’s people how to have a personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Pastor Walker has been married to his wife, Joyce, for 54 years and has 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters, 2 grandsons, and 4 great granddaughters. His hobbies are auto mechanics, reading, gardening, and fishing. Now he tends to, “God’s garden”, and is a, “fisher of men.”

More from Oscar

Need to connect with God on a deeper level? Want to have a relationship with Christ that is beyond the surface level? Be More Than A Christian, Be A Disciple was born out a desire to help fellow believers develop a deeper relationship with Christ through studying His Word and applying biblical principles to our everyday lives. Originally, the devotions in the book were weekly devotionals sent to our church membership for encouragement throughout the week. Over the years, the devotionals became a path to grow in your relationship with Christ and now a book. Each month focuses on an aspect of your relationship with Christ and each week takes you step by step through how to mature in your belief and faith. From the beginning of the year, starting fresh and focusing on Christ, through the middle of the year learning about the power of prayer and trusting God, to the end of the year setting your eyes on your destiny, the devotions are meant to spur your fervor and thirst for knowledge about Christ. My prayer is this book inspires you to be more than a Christian but a devoted disciple of Christ.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 27

cats in the cradle blog, May 27

Lighthouse Academy Blog, May 28 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

deb's Book Review, May 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, June 2

CarpeDiem, June 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 5

Spoken from the Heart, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 7

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, June 8

Mary Hake, June 8

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Don't Miss Out by Jeannie Cunnion

Most Christians, at least the non-charismatic ones, tend to ignore the Holy Spirit. It may not be intentional, Cunnion observes, just lack of knowledge. She says one of the things that compelled her to write a book about the Spirit was “recognizing that most Christians acknowledge the existence of the Holy Spirit but avoid any experience of Him...” (185) It set her on a spiritual journey and she shares her insights in this book.

This is a good book for Christians desiring to experience all God has for us. Cunnion shares how she realized Jesus said the Spirit's presence was better for the disciples than His own. (23) She writes about discovering how to recognize the power of the Spirit within and living by it. She says understanding the Spirit's work is important because “...whatever God wants to say to us is conveyed through His Spirit.” (124)

Cunnion's book is a good one for understanding how the Spirit guides, how we can practice His presence, how we can stop from filling our lives with lesser things and more. I was especially struck by her exploration of the difference between being productive and being spiritually fruitful and God-glorifying. Insights like that one make this a good book for Christians young and old. She has a good, insightful discussion on the baptism of the Spirit too, identifying it with a felt experience. (Nothing scary for non-charismatic Christians.)

I appreciate this book. It is well written, sensible and anchored in Scripture. She has added good questions for reflection and response at the end of each chapter so this book would be good for personal devotions and group discussion.

Food for thought: “The extent to which we are willing to engage with the Spirit of God is the extent to which we will encounter the fullness of God.” (18)

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jeannie Cunnion is the author of several books on Christian living and is a frequent speaker at women's conferences and parenting events around the country. Her work has been featured in a number of media outlets. You can find out more at Photo © Meshali Mitchell

Bethany House, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Magna Carta of Humanity by Os Guinness

I have mixed feelings about this book. Because this is a book review and not a paper addressing all of the issues in the book, I will only consider the most important concerns I have about the book.

America is in a crisis of freedom, Guinness says. I appreciate his exploration of the concept of freedom. True freedom is not the freedom to pursue all desires and passions. True freedom requires responsibility. True freedom is “the power to do what we ought...” (158) It requires virtue and self-limitation.

Guinness presents “...the exodus as the precedent and pattern of Western freedom.” (19) The fundamental principles of the Exodus Revolution should be recognized as the Magna Carta of humanity. One of those principles is that man is created in the image of God. “Each individual human is exceptional.” (78) Evil, injustice and oppression “are always to be fought.” (78) I agree.

I have issue with one of his principles, however, that covenant people were equals before the law, in schooling and in worth. (94) Leviticus 27 is clear women were valued less than men. Women were not allowed education in that society. The true Sinai principle of the inequality of women bore fruit in America with women not being allowed to vote for over a century, nor be allowed to engage in higher education or even own property for decades after the nation's founding.

Another problem I find with using Sinai in relation to the founding of America is the role of God. Only the power of God was able to free the Israelites. “Without the intervention of God, there would have been no exodus...” (138) Can Sinai be related to America? God founded a theocracy. The Israelites were given specific instructions for religious action and belief. America was founded on the principle that a religion could not be established by law, nearly opposite the situation at Sinai. The religious aspects of Exodus and 1776 are very different and I think Guinness' argument falls flat.

Guinness defends the American experiment. He acknowledges the evil and hypocrisy of slavery but says if “acknowledged and corrected,” the founding documents stand clear and strong. (22) I was disappointed Guinness failed to recognize and address the repeated slaughter and disenfranchisement of Native Americans. Near the end of this book, Guinness identifies the serious work needed to acknowledge and correct that evil associated with America's founding.

Guinness is, in general, very critical of the progressive left. He does admit, however, that they have reason to be upset. “Many of the injustices and inequalities are genuine, and they require genuine resolution.” (209) It is in how they respond he finds error. At times, his attacks on the left are almost humorous. He writes, “...the attitude of the left is clear: if elections go the wrong way and investigations and impeachments also fail, what is left but assassination?” (35) Ah, but then his draft of this book went to the publisher before the 2020 election and the actions of January 6, 2021. How ironic.

Guinness' book is written in a scholarly fashion and is, perhaps, aimed at scholars rather than those who need to hear and heed his message. He quotes various scholars, historians and authors, people most Americans will not recognize nor care to hear about. He also makes reference to so many political movements and ideas, average Americans may become glassy eyed as they skim over sections of material. Guinness also relies heavily on the work of Rabbi Sacks, former chief rabbi of Great Britain, something evangelical Christians may find puzzling.

I agree with Guinness' conclusion. “For Sinai (and Calvary) America must make amends, and the very real sins must be confessed with very real repentance. But if this happens, the American experiment in freedom may be given a second chance and can then go forward both wiser and more humbly.” (233) Forgiveness is the next essential act to reconciliation and restoration. But, repentance must come first.

I appreciate Guinness' honesty at the role of Christians in creating the current anti-Christian feelings. “All too often, Christian behavior has flatly contradicted Christian beliefs.” (32) “Christians have betrayed their Lord, dishonored their faith and brought down attacks on their own heads...” (32) “Confession, the willingness to acknowledge our essential today.” (33) Will Christians take the first step of repentance?

All the evils of America, and Guinness admits to the evils from slavery to Vietnam, (basically the entire history of the nation), were egregiously evil. (234) But, he argues, they were contradictions to the ideals of America's founding. Those ideals “should be lifted high so that succeeding generations could aspire to achieve them more faithfully than their ancestors did...” (234)

From my observations of recent activities in the U.S., I would say the ball is in the court of the political right. Will leaders, those in political and religious power, repent of the egregious evils against the Blacks, Native Americans, the disenfranchised, and seek forgiveness and to make amends? Will a visionary leader call for a national acknowledgment of the sins and failures of the past and present and call to recommit to the principles of America's founding? (244) I am waiting.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Os Guinness (DPhil, Oxford) is the author or editor of more than thirty books. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he has addressed audiences worldwide from the British House of Commons to the U. S. Congress to the St. Petersburg Parliament. He is a senior fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and was the founder of Trinity Forum. He was born in China to missionary parents and expelled with many other foreigners in 1951. He traveled to England where he was educated and served as a freelance reporter with the BBC. He came to the U.S. in 1984 and has been a guest scholar or fellow at several institutions. He and his wife currently live in McLean, Virginia.

IVPress, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Satisfied by Alyssa Joy Bethke

This is a beautiful book. It's one you could place on your coffee table or a shelf convenient for frequent perusal. The photos by Jenna Strubhar are stunning. There are beautiful landscape photos and fun scenes of the Bethke family and friends. But the photos are only there to support insightful comments.

Bethke explores a number of themes in this book. Moving to Hawaii, for example, she writes of the struggle to find new women friends. She realized, “God is the only One who will ever fully satisfy our longing souls.” (10) She has a touching account of her miscarriage and the work of grief on her healing journey. She shares her thoughts on the power of music, the trap of comparison, dealing with fear, body image and identity, holy moments, consumerism and more.

This is a beautiful and insightful book for the young Christian. It provides an opportunity to stop and take a few moments to gaze at wonderful scenes and read encouraging comments on living life for Jesus. It would be especially attractive to women who love garden tea parties and luncheons where all the women wear dresses. Bethke has included some of her favorite recipes too.

Don't be intimidated by the family photos with beds all made and pillows strategically places, shelves and play areas tidy, kids with absolutely clean clothes, cleverly decorated rooms with no dust bunnies or dirty kitchen counters. While Bethke sometimes writes about the messes of life, none of them were allowed to be seen in the perfectly crafted photos.

You can find out more about the book and watch the book trailer here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Alyssa Joy Bethke is a mother of three children, Kinsley, Kannon, and Lucy, and a dog named Aslan. She and her husband, Jeff Bethke, live in Maui, and are bloggers, YouTubers, and hosts of The Real-Life podcast. Jeff and Alyssa are the New York Times bestselling authors of Jesus > Religion and It's Not What You Think and Love That Lasts. They are passionate about encouraging and strengthening families at a program that brings families together with the idea of becoming a team.

Worthy Books, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, May 21, 2021

Murder in Belgrave Square by Catherine Coles

I enjoyed this fourth book in the Tommy and Evelyn Christie Mystery series. While it builds on the previous novels in the series, it reads well on its own. It is set about a century ago in London, where Tommy and Evelyn are escaping all the aftermath of their solving murders at the estate. Even so, murder visits them when a man is found on their back doorstep stabbed to death.

Much of the plot centers around young women and how marriages are arranged for them. There is a good exploration of marrying for love rather than for financial support or place in society. There are also issues of family members not getting along and secrets from the past that have devastating consequences.

Another aspect of the plot deals with Tommy and Evelyn being childless. A newborn is found next to the murdered man and Evelyn gladly takes over her care. This is a touching part of the novel as we wonder how Evelyn will feel if the parents of the child will be identified and and the baby returned to their care.

I liked how the characters were drawn. Tommy is Lord Northmoor, having come into the title somewhat reluctantly and with a good sense of not using his entitlement to lord it over others. He and his wife investigate the unusual murder by listening to people and making good observations.

This is a good novella in the British cozy mystery genre.

You can read my reviews of the previous books in this series I have read: Murder at the Village Fete and Murder in the Churchyard.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Catherine Coles has been a legal secretary, a night carer, in a bar while completing a law degree, a family law practitioner, a childminder, a foster carer, a home carer, a receptionist, facilitating car deliveries for online customers, and a PA/HR Manager. Now she writes full time and lives in the north east of England. You can find out more at

Inspired Press Limited, 125 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Book Sirens. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)