I enjoy reading cozy mysteries and they make a great break between heavy historical fiction stories or some of the darkness that I find in thrillers. These two stories were fun and fit the bill perfectly. One is from a series that I enjoy, the other a debut in a new series.
Absence of Alice (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #9) by Sherry Harris, Hillary Huber (Narrator)
Published December 29th 2020 by Dreamscape Media, LLC, Kensington Publishing
5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I enjoy the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries and was happy to find out that Sherry Harris had written another one. Sarah continues with her Garage Sale business, but this book does not have any story on the base which has played a prominent part in the previous stories. Sarah’s latest client is Alice Krandle, who is planning on making a lot of money downsizing. Sarah is a bit apprehensive with this sale, but goes ahead anyway. Meanwhile, Sarah’s landlady and friend, Stella is kidnapped. For some reason, the kidnapper has contacted Sarah and has her doing all kinds or jobs for him, solving riddles and puzzles, or he will hurt or even kill Stella. Of course she can’t tell anyone, and that includes Stella’s boyfriend, a local detective. Who has kidnapped Stella and why are they contacting her? Should she so as she is told, and let the police know? Is she also in danger? All this is happening as she is supposed to act normal and conduct her business.
I enjoy the characters in this series and there are always a few new ones to add to the community. This story had more suspense in it than the others, as Sarah was not solving a murder, but trying to rescue her friend. Sarah is a great characters as she is smart, able to solve puzzles and riddles, has a lot of friends, is loyal and courageous. This was a very fast paced story as she is constantly moving from activity to activity while juggling everything that is going on. I really enjoyed this mystery and did not know who the culprit was at all. I was kept guessing from the start, and the ending tied everything together nicely. The reveal was surprising, but made sense and fit the story well. Overall, I was very pleased with this story and definitely recommend it to lovers of cozy mysteries. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Hillary Huber. Her voice is pleasant to listen to, using expression and tone to differentiate characters. The performance was well-paced and enjoyable.
Murder by Page One (Peach Coast Library Mystery #1) by Olivia Matthews, Janina (Narrator)
Published March 23rd 2021 by Hallmark Publishing, Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Peach Coast Library Mysteries is a new cozy mystery series published by Hallmark. Olivia Matthews is a new author to me, but I will check out her other books. This was a well written and plotted story to start off this series. This story finds Marvella (Marvey) recently moved from New York to small town Georgia to begin a new library job. Realizing that she has little to no chance of promotion in New York, she decides to try her luck at the Peach Coast Library. She has two wonderful friends that play a large part in the story, Jo, a local bookstore owner and Spence, the son of wealthy townspeople. When Jo is suspected of a murder in the storeroom of her store, Marvey realizes that she needs to do something as the police are not searching for other suspects. With Spence’s help, will they be able to prove Jo’s innocence.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. The three besties are wonderful characters and supportive of each other. The secondary characters are also great, even with a few quirks to make them interesting. I love the way the library staff and patrons rally around to help each other. Corrine, the supervisor at the library is a wonderful character and boss. I liked how she stood behind her employees and stood up to the mayor. The mystery is interesting with several suspects. I tried to figure out the mystery, but kept changing my mind. The reveal was well done, and tied together all the loose ends. I enjoyed this story and will watch for the next in this series. The narration by Janina Edwards was well done. Her expression, tone, voices and pacing were all well done. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers, and if you enjoy audiobooks, listen to this one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.