#Review : The Bodies in the Library (First Edition Library Mystery #1) by Marty Wingate

The Bodies in the Library (First Edition Library Mystery #1) by Marty Wingate
Publication Date: October 8th 2019
Publisher: Berkley/Penguin Random House
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Mystery
Pages: 333
Stars: ★★★★☆

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Hayley Burke’s fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society’s library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate.

Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling’s former secretary.

Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley’s ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight–an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House.

But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

The Bodies in the Library was interesting cozy murder mystery that revolved around Hayley’s job as curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition Society at Lady Fowling’s Middlebank House, turned into library containing vast collection of first edition books by women authors from Golden Age of Mystery. It was about fanfiction, maintaining and respecting the legacy, secrets, conflicts, and friendship.

Book was first person narrative. Hayley’s voice was relatable, fun and so very British. Like her, I also haven’t read Christie, Slayers or Daphne books, and similarly I feel so bad for not reading them now. I could see how she felt when her position as curator was questioned.

Hayley’s expertise was 19th century literature. She never read mystery novels, knew nothing about Miss Marple and Poirot. She was lucky to have this job. With job, she was given accommodation in same premises, a grand and beautiful Georgian house. Mrs. Woolger, former secretary and caretaker of society, also lived and worked at Middlebank and didn’t know about Hayley’s lack of knowledge about the Golden Age of Mysteries. She didn’t like Hayleys’ ideas ways of running things. They didn’t see eye to eye. So, Hayley’s constant fear of being taken as fraud and losing her dream job was palpable.

She worked hard to fulfil her job and to spread word about the society, she invited fanfiction writers to society’s library for weekly meet up, but when one of the writer’s dead body was found in the library, that ended up in jeopardizing her job and Society’s reputation.

No clues and many suspects, I was curious to know how Hayley was going to find the murderer. What made the idea even more exciting was, she knew nothing about investigation until she read Christie’s Miss Marple book, The Body in the Library. It was fun to see her growing interest in mysteries and she did wonderful job in gathering clues. We could see how armature she was, not asking questions so subtly, taking risks and not keeping an open mind.

Hayley was great throughout the book. I liked her passion and ideas. Her efforts to keep her job safe. Her relationship with her mother was lovely. I also enjoyed Hayley and Mrs.  Woolger contrasting nature in the book and how both could work together when it came to saving Society.

All characters, especially writers, were quirky and inetreting. Author did wonderful job with them. Their fanfiction ideas and stories were fun. It was entertaining to see them inquiring about murder. Each had lot of questions and advise for Sargent who was so frustrated within few days of murder. And did I tell you anything about that cat in the cover. All credit for discovering clues and mysterious things goes to him.

The romance in between murder mystery was sweet. Hayley’s conflicting emotions for Van Moffatt and Wyn Rundle added spice to story. Wyn was really exhausting and I wonder why she liked him in first place. Val was brilliant throughout the book. I didn’t appreciate Val’s behavior in first meeting. He looked a bit jealous but as I knew him more, I liked him better.

What I loved most in the book was modern day setting along with Golden age of Mystery. It created wonderful atmosphere. Description of Middlebank house, the First Edition Society, Bath was mesmerizing. It was interesting to know Lady Georgiana Fowling’s life and her passion. And book cannot be complete without Christie and other mystery writers’ characters.

Suspense was good. I couldn’t guess who the murderer was until last few chapters. And the motive was only cleared in last chapter. End was satisfying and lovely. I can’t wait to see what new mysteries awaits for Hayley in next books.

Why 4 stars-

Everything was perfect but that motive for murder ruined the fun.

Overall, it was promising first book in new series. Interesting writing, atmospheric setting, and cozy mystery makes this book perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and this genre.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book by the same author? Are you going to add it to TBR? Have read Miss Marple series or any book by the Golden Age of Mystery authors? Which is your favorite cozy mystery?

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Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews
Expected Publication Date
: May 7th 2019
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Read Date : May 6th 2019
Genre : Women’s Fiction / Mystery
Stars : ★ ★★ ★ ★ / 5

Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist. 

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews’ signature wit, heart, and charm.

Sunset Beach was women’s fiction filled that revolved around Drue’s life and two suspenseful mysteries she got invested on arriving at the Sunset Beach. A wonderful summer novel about cold-blooded murder, suffering of women in the male dominated fields, hotel management and their low ethics, domestic violence and some family drama and suspense. 

Drue was fabulous in whole book. She was 36 but I felt she was younger than that. At first she was complaining with life, because of her father, job, boyfriend and her injury that held her on the grounds away from her kite-boarding passion but as I read more she developed gradually and took grip of new life quite nicely. I liked the way she accepted Brice and Wendy’s marriage eventually, bonded with Jonah and Aliyah. She was natural in communication and investigation and I’m happy how she solved both cases.

All side characters were great. The team at Campbell firm, detective working on case, Jazmin’s family all made the book interesting.

First few chapters were character and plot building. We got to know about Drue’s childhood filled with hurt feeling because of abandonment by her father-Brice, now a rich lawyer running a law firm. When she met him after a long time at her mother’s funeral he offered her a job and a key to her grandparent’s cottage she inherited at Sunset Beach. Looking at her jobless, homeless and relationship-less situation, she took up her father’s offer and joined his firm where she received a unsavory surprise. She met her father’s third wife, Wendy, her ex-best friend when she was 15. Another surprise came pretty soon. Once she moved back to cottage, she found two intriguing cases that she instantly hooked to – 1) a missing case of local beauty, a forty years old unsolved case and 2) the case of woman brutally murdered at the Gulf Vista hotel, the case for which victim’s mother hired Drue’s dad’s firm 2 years back but she got penny as a result. As soon as Drue started nosing around to solve the case story took many interesting turns.

It was third person narrative with wonderful picturesque beach town, ideal cottage, perfect sunsets and detailed case descriptions. Writing was easy to follow with interesting pieces of puzzle that I could easily follow but hardly could guess the conclusion. It was wonderful to read the way Drue turned her damaged uninhabitable cottage into beautiful dream house.

Some chapters were written in past, 1976, that told the life story of Colleen, how she was connected to Brice and Jimmy, how she went missing, what actually happened to her, and how the police file of the case ended up in the attic of Drue’s cottage. I could guess some points in Collen case but the way chapters were represented made me question my own theory. All chapters related to this case were tense and made me nervous. The conclusion was totally unpredictable. I didn’t like the way things settled for Colleen and all characters related to her.

In Jazmin’s case, I couldn’t pinpoint anything. Whole thing at that Gulf Vista was fishy. I could feel why Drue was so invested in this case. Aliyah was such adorable girl and as a mother I could imagine how devastating Jazmin’s mother might be. I was shocked how hotel management remained impassive and obstructive from the very beginning. And when mystery finally unraveled, I felt outrageous.

Both case’s file records were narrated with minute details. In both the cases things would have not taken nasty turns only of characters decided to act differently. Elements of sleuthing, mysteries, family drama, little bit of romance along with the theme of domestic violence and mistreatment of female employees was perfectly balanced.

Oh and those events after climax were mind boggling. This part shocked me more than all that happened previously. End was satisfactory. I loved author’s dream beach house note and recipes that you could enjoy during your summer vacation at beach.

Overall, it was suspenseful, engrossing, women’s fiction with cozy mystery, a perfect beach novel with great characterization and plot. I definitely recommend this book to read on you summer vacation.

Author : Mary Kay Andrews

Purchase Link : St. Martin’s Press

*** Note: Many thanks to publisher for providing e-copy via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

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#Review #blogtour : The Golden Hour (Lady Evelyn Mystery #4) by Malia Zaidi @MaliaZaidi

Hello Readers! Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Golden Hour fourth in Lady Evelyn Mystery by Malia Zaidi, organized by damppebbles blog tours. Many thanks to Emma for tour invite and author for providing not just this but all previous books in series, in exchange for an honest review. Check out the book detail and my review in this post.

Book Details :

The Golden Hour (Lady Evelyn Mystery #4) by Malia Zaidi
Publication Date : March 26th 2019
Publisher : BookBaby
Read Date : April 17th 2019
Genre : Cozy Mystery / Historical Fiction
Pages : 398
Stars : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5

London 1927
 
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbour has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
 
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again. 

The Golden Hour was fourth cozy historical fiction in Lady Evelyn Mystery that was set in Scotland where Evelyn solve not just one but two murder mysteries. It was about jealousy, unrequited love, obsession, tragedy, dysfunctional family, betrayal, grief and trauma of child loss, struggle of veterans and finding a hope to live and love again.

Initial chapter narrated briefly on how Evelyn and loved ones faring in life- Briony’s baby and notorious kids, shocking change in aunt Agnes influenced by her new beau- Harold, Daniel’s sweet supporting nature. It was wonderful to meet them all together celebrating Evelyn’s graduation. But it ended with confusing and worrying phone call from her Scottish cousin and thus start the adventure in Scotland accompanied by Aunt Agnes.

Evelyn’s extended family was odd, distant from Evelyn and her aunt Agnes. There was huge rift among the members of the family. Every person had some issues. Iris’s children couldn’t cope with their own grieving mother. Teddy seemed okay but there was something he was hiding. Gemma was selfish and wrapped in her own cozy dreamy cocoon of bride-to-be. Lucy was not happy with Evelyn’s arrival and I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly they were afraid of by Iris’s involvement in Elderbrooke Park project. But Iris was ignorant and wrapped into her own dream project. In grieving her eldest son, she forgot to care for her other children. Martin looked only sane in that family. Even Tally and his aide were evasive about it. Whole affair looked controversial and weird even though the project was Nobel and Iris looked content and happy. And then suddenly, as usual, Evelyn stumbled upon murder. She needs to stop this you know. It felt more than coincidental finding dead body wherever she went. (She needs some religious practice to ward off the voodoo or some black magic, so that she could stop finding dead bodies wherever she went). Jokes apart, this time it seemed even harder to find culprit.

The setting was beautiful and loved thought-provoking plot and graceful writing. Again Evelyn’s voice gave life to the picturesque village setting, halls of Malmo Manor, gardens of Elderbrooke Park, valleys and mountains. Her monologues made me stop again and again to ponder over the situations, history and the mystery.

What I loved most was, history which was around recession, growth of manufacturing and machinery and decrease in human requirement, Societies’ criticism for veterans, their struggle for getting job. Evelyn’s philosophical musing over humanity, physical and psychological effects of war, contrast of city and village life, small community and their reservations, and on character’s nature were insightful.

Idea of Elderbrooke Park was remarkable but I could see the concerns of all characters except Iris. But mostly it was Nobel and I appreciated Iris’s wish and devotion to it which was in her best interest. I also agreed with Evelyn’s thought on it.

Another remarkable thing was Evelyn’s bond with her loved ones. And loved big and small development in all characters. Agnes and Evelyn’s relation improved to a great deal in this book, even after the discovery of the secret she and Iris were keeping. I enjoyed seeing different side of Agnes, enthusiastic, inquisitive, caring and supportive, a true aunt of amateur detective. Not just this but Evelyn’s bond with her cousins and Daniel also strengthened. Lucy became her second best friend whom she could confide to. Teddy developed and understood the need to move on. tragedy brought Iris’s family together once again. Oh, and finally Evelyn got some sense and started to think about Daniel and marriage seriously.

Back to mystery– Many secrets came to light at Malmo Manor- Secret of Evelyn’s family, what happened to Josslyn 6 years ago and why she was killed, Teddy’s secret, question of connection between Josslyn and Tilly’s murder, how Moore, Lester and Blckwood were linked to all the mysteries. Who have thought a little Folkland village will be filled with rumors, gossips, secrets and crimes!

This time, Evelyn was not alone in solving the mystery. There were helping hands and each comping up with juicy and exciting information that helped to gather the pieces of puzzle and drew a clear picture at the end. It was sad to see lively cheerful characters fall to tragedy, experience betrayal and succumb to crime and death.

So many characters, so many suspects, so many questions and questionable motive. Nothing was revealed until last 20% of the book. I must say twist and turn were better than previous installments. And when tangle of the mysteries were unraveled, it didn’t fail to surprise me. It took so long to solve the mystery and so many things happened in the book that when I reached the end I forgot what the prologue was! I know slow books does that but when I read it again it was really impressive. This was slow paced mystery. I’m not fan of slow books but it was so interesting that I’m ready ignore this minor setback.

Loved the end and epilogue. I wonder where Evelyn will go next and whose dead body she will stumble upon. Can’t wait to read many more adventure of Evelyn!

Overall, it was slow but compelling cozy mystery with history, philosophy and juicy gossips and family drama.

About Malia Zaidi:

Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

Social Media:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Purchase links for the first three books:

Amazon US: book 1 / book 2 / book 3
Amazon UK : book 1 / book 2 / book 3

Previous Books in Series:

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK OR THIS SERIES ALREADY ?
ARE YOU GOING TO ADD IT TO YOUR TBR?

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The Study of Silence (Lady Evelyn Mystery #3) by Malia Zaidi

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The Study of Silence (Lady Evelyn Mystery #3) by Malia Zaidi
Publication Date : February 27th 2018 
Publisher : Bookbaby
Read Date : April 2019
Genre : Historical Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Pages : 448
Stars : ★★★★★ /5

Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh’s, a women’s college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning, when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn’s own detriment?

The Study of Silence, third in Lady Evelyn Mystery was cozy historical fiction with new murder mystery and adventure of Evelyn in Oxford. It was about challenge women faced in 1920s, social differences and preconceptions, love, betrayal, abduction, mistreatment and abuse and murder.

Book Proceeded one year after Evelyn’s previous adventure in France, with arrival of Briony’s (Evelyn’s cousin) baby in the world of Evelyn who was currently completing last year of studies in Oxford. And as expected she stumble upon another murder in Oxford. Murder of her Professor Arthur Longfellow just the next day of dinner party she attended at his house. And thus the mystery of solving the murder and finding the culprit began.

Writing was exquisite. Loved the narration of Oxford, St, Hugh’s university, London city, Primrose cottage, and manor of Briony in Chesterton, Daniel’s and Dominic’s large houses was beautiful with minute description that gave the streets and all the houses a vivid picture.

I loved most was, the history around the class difference, etiquettes of Elite class and women’s position during 1920s. It elucidated how war became the catalyst of reducing sex differences, women’s rights, supporting education and independence of women, change in law and inclusion of women among jury and yet on contrary being less lenient to women accused for crime because of preconceptions and women laying less or no trust on police and court when mistreated. Evelyn’s voice was strong, thought provoking and insightful on human nature, prejudice of society and ugliness and beauty of world.

In this book we learn more about Briony’s family, and Daniel’s cousin and his frustrating position in his own company. Aunt Agnes was most surprising by her placid, cheerful and lively demeanor contrary to her rigid, stern Nature. Oh I didn’t expect the reason behind such sudden change. Evelyn encountered some lovely and some not so friendly people in Oxford. Cold, emotionless professor and unlikable classmates, insensitive and taciturn housemate gave her tough time. I never liked Olivia, even after knowing her history. I felt for Lily and Fiona. The past of Mr. Brown, Mrs. Warren, and Evelyn’s friendship with inspector Stanton was engaging.

Daniel was ever so charming gentleman. His concerns regarding Evelyn’s safety and yet giving in to her wishes, not pushing her for marriage and giving her freedom was admirable. Best moment was when he was showing his house that he built and decorated in accordance with Evelyn’s taste. He won my heart right then and there.

It was sweet to see Evelyn’s possessiveness for Daniel. I felt irritated for her denial to prospect of marriage proposal. Like Briony and her stern natured Aunt Agnes, I also think she is silly for not tying this beautiful relationship in strong bond. I understand her wish to give herself time and to decide her future, live independently but declaring engagement before marriage won’t hurt, right? This part of Evelyn’s Nature was complex and beyond comprehension. Anyway, I loved them together as a couple.

Evelyn was inquisitive creature. Smart, kind and empathetic with the same strong conscience but she developed with what she experienced in previous two books. We see a different side of Evelyn in her hometown. I liked her for her bravery and instincts that saved her friends. She was great listener that made people confide to her and unburden their worries.

When it came to mysteries, she was too nosy and reckless than previous books. Even after persistent warning from police and her loved ones, she kept putting herself in danger. This time murderer was one step ahead, watching all her moves even though she was not totally involved in the mystery like previous ones.

First 40% was new character intro, what old one did after previous mysteries, set up of the mystery, and drama related to secondary characters. As soon as I observed Longfellow’s look towards Evelyn, I knew something was not right with this man and then next he is dead. But who did it and why? Evelyn’s monologue and her curious questions matched mine all the time.

Number of suspects was not much. The members present on the morning of murder were questionable and I was surprised no one kept eye on each of them properly and things were assumed based on preconception and there wasn’t proper investigation on the character of Longfellow but I could see why people were unforthcoming after knowing the truth.

Tragedies happened in book were as interesting as Greek tragedies Evelyn was learning. The small dramas of missing Iona, illicit love, betrayal by friend, suicide attempt, watchful eyes in shadow and attack on Evelyn surrounded the main mystery which kept going round in circle until 80% of the book.

Climax was great. Since the discovery of mystery man at doorstep of Longfellow and attack on Evelyn, things started to turn interesting. I was not real shocked by revelation of real culprit but the way it was execute was brilliant. At the end I kept thinking how prologue fit with the story. I went back to it, read again and then I understood how smartly it was connected. End was satisfactory. Loved the epilogue. I hope she has some more sense in next book regarding her relationship.  

Overall, it was dramatic cozy murder mystery with engaging history , brilliant plot, developed character and vivid narration. It is best book and series for cozy mystery lovers.

Author: Malia Zaidi

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author via damppebbles blog tours, in exchange for an honest review. ***

PREVIOUS BOOK IN SERIES~
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A Darker Shore (Lady Evelyn Mystery #2) by Malia Zaidi

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A Darker Shore (Lady Evelyn Mystery #2) by Malia Zaidi
Publication Date : December 13th 2016
Publisher : Bookbaby
Read Date : April 1st 2019
Genre : Cozy Mystery / Historical Fiction
Pages : 383
Stars : ★★★★★ /5

1926: A year has passed since the events of “A Poisonous Journey” and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper. Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself? Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.

A Dark Shore was a cozy historical mystery that took protagonist Evelyn to a far shore, a foreign country to support her friend and love that turned to dark with mysterious death. It was about learning various aspect of humanity, post war trauma, coming out of grief and loss, and finding peace with past.

Evelyn was fabulous. She was developed character and yet learned more from the mysteries and aspects of humanity she encountered in this installment. She also realized her responsibility that she was ignoring till now. She was clever, wise, sensitive, inquisitive and well-mannered English lady and not at all a damsel. Her bravery and strength again surprised me. She had knack for communication, reading person and their emotions and best at judging the situation. I was impressed by Evelyn’s random act of kindness. She was great, I wouldn’t be so lenient to someone responsible for the worst deed. Yes, I would like to know why they did so but won’t feel pity like she felt. I bet, this can be her fatal flaw at some point in this series. Her view towards world and humanity was the best thing I like about her.

Daniel was charming. I got to know him and his past in first book but in this we know him more as a person, who he really was outside the shadow of his past. I liked him for strength and courage he showed throughout the book and when the time came he acted reasonably with conscience. At some point like Evelyn I thought he might not be same when all this will be over but he surprised me there.

All secondary characters were brilliant. I didn’t feel they were just side characters, they were as important as Evelyn and Daniel. What was best was, they all including main characters and their emotions felt real.

The title was so fitting. And I loved that cover.

Book started with an intriguing prologue from the past and life of Evelyn in Crete one year after the previous mystery. In this Evelyn embark on another journey and mystery in France along with Daniel when he received a mysterious letter about his late brother. Leaving behind the peace and beauty of Crete both traveled towards dark past of Daniel in France. Little they knew on reaching to Amiens they will tumble upon a dead body. And so the mystery of finding a reason behind death that looked like a planned murder and finding Daniel’s brother began.

Along with the many questions regarding these two mysteries there were another questions that worried Evelyn and so readers– how Daniel is going to face past; will Daniel be the same after finding about his brother; what will be the future of Evelyn and Daniel’s relationship; where they will go from here, to Crete or back to their homeland and responsibilities they were avoiding long.

I could see brief description from the first book here and there but you know Evelyn, Daniel, her cousin and their story best in first Book. So I advise to read this in order. Evelyn’s love for books makes her fascinating character to all readers. Her monologue were great to read that assessed situation well.

The story was written fabulously. I loved narration of some geographical and historical facts related to war in engaging tone of Evelyn. The culture and social beliefs and constitutions were in keeping with the era. Plot, history, characters and their characteristics, development, mystery and suspense everything was perfectly balanced.

Travel is not complete if you don’t meet people, make friends and learn about different cultures and place. Author made sure Evelyn experience it as well. She met some amusing people, explored wonderful places and learned about culture and history of the place. I feel like I have visited Amiens, interacted with people and tasted the delicacies myself along with her.

I liked relationship of Daniel and Evelyn. They were couple now but they gave each other enough space and both were happy not tying it in serious bond. The way they supported each other in all situations was remarkable. Evelyn traveling so far with Daniel, which was his journey not her, was something not all can do and that also ages ago in 1926 takes courage and will! I so admired her for that.

The theme of impact of WWI, wisdom of characters on humanity and life done well in this book again along with a new layers of loss, family drama, revenge and social prejudices. Insightful thought provoking lines in-between chapters made me stop for a while and ponder over characters emotions and their mind. It was hard not feel their sadness, anguish, inner turmoil that they faced in past and still facing in present.

Mystery of finding Henry was stretched without much hope or hint and somehow shadowed by death of their one and only clue. When all clues lead to dead end there came a mysterious letter that boost their hope and search. But it took unexpected turn at climax. Secrets of secondary characters, their life story and Evelyn and Daniel’s attempts of solving the problems made the book interesting. Their efforts of unburdening their present pain, sorrow and worry by bits of normal chats were welcoming relief.

Suspense and mystery was strong. When the climax came, the mystery was unveiled. It was shock. At some point I almost believed what Daniel felt and believed but nothing could prepare me from the shock. If I haven’t been sentimental with characters I might have guessed mystery related to Henry earlier but what came after that was unpredictable. I couldn’t imagine that person to be a murderer. It was bit gloomy with all the unexpected findings and untoward occurrence but was also hopeful of Daniel and Evelyn’s future.

Pace was little slow but I can ignore it as I really enjoyed the story. I can’t wait to read third book and see what new mystery is in store for them.

Overall, it was thought-provoking, engaging mystery with elegant writing and wonderful characters. I surely recommend this book for a cozy read.

Author: Malia Zaidi

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author via damppebbles blog tours, in exchange for an honest review. ***

Previous Book In Series~
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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK OR THIS SERIES ALREADY ?
ARE YOU GOING TO ADD IT TO YOUR TBR?

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