A few mini-reviews of some mysteries I have read over the past few weeks. They are all different, but enjoyable. A Place to Land is an atmospheric, southern mystery dealing with family secrets, The Bullet That Missed is a group of seniors that solve cold cases, and The Vanishing Type is a Cozy Mystery with a bit of a magical realism. I listened all three on audio, and they were all very well done pulling me into the story even more with the narration.

A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton, Brittany Pressley (Narrator)

Published October 4th 2022 by Harper Muse on Brilliance Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Place to Land is a Southern Mystery, a story of family and secrets as well as Women’s Fiction. Sisters, Violet and Trudy Figg have lived together for the last 40 years. Something happened that caused Trudy to lose her voice, and Violet is now her protector. Trudy is an artist, making sculptues from found objects, while Violet runs the art shop and monitors bird activity up and down the water. Maya has been alone since her grandmother died. At only eighteen years old, she heads to Sugar Bend after seeing a flyer in a gas station window. She feels pulled towards Two Sisters Gallery. Meanwhile when a boat rises to the top of Little River, it seems that secrets, thought long buried are now coming to the surface. The sisters must come clean, in order to save themselves and keep their new found family with Maya, intact.

This was a beautifully written story with a wonderful southern atmosphere, family relationships and secrets. The story builds slowly, but as secrets and clues are revealed, it picks up its pace. I did figure out what happened before the reveal, but I didn’t lose interest in the story. This is a dual timeline story told in alternating POVs of present day and the 1970’s through the 1980’s. I liked the main characters and found them well developed. There are several themes in this book that may be hard for some people to read. There is addiction, abuse, family relationships, keeping promises, forgiveness, found family, compassion, secrets and love. I really enjoy Lauren K. Denton’s writing, it is so descriptive, you feel like you are there. This is a story that I recommend to anyone who enjoys a good Southern Mystery and stories of family. The audiobook was narrated by Brittany Pressley. She does a wonderful job with the story, giving voice to the characters and adding atmosphere to the story. I recommend this one in either format.

The Bullet That Missed (Thursday Murder Club #3) by Richard Osman, Fiona Shaw (Narrator)

Published September 20th 2022 by Penguin Audio

The Bullet That Missed is the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series and I think it is the best one so far. The Murder Club live in a retirement complex, Cooper’s Chase and they have quite a list of special skills. Elizabeth is a former M15 operative with a lot of connections and background knowledge, Joyce is a former nurse, calm and nonchalant and excellent at solving puzzles, Ibrahim is a retired psychiatrist who can read body language and catch the slightest twitch and Ron is a retired union leader and a man known for getting things done. There are others that have joined them along the way, specifically Bogdan who we met in the last books. The group is trying to solve a ten year old murder of a young journalist who supposedly committed suicide by driving over a cliff, but her body has never been found. At the same time, Elizabeth has had an “encounter” with a man they are calling “The Viking”. He has a proposition for Elizabeth which does not give her an easy choice, kill someone The Viking wants dead, or he will kill her and one of her friends.

This book is fast paced and kept me listening throughout the day wanting to know what was going to happen. First, I want to join the Thursday Murder Club. This group are amazing. Not only are they smart and solve these crimes, but they are so much fun, with something happening all the time. Even though it seems there is a lot going on, everything fits together smoothly. The characters are well developed and even the new additions to the story have personalities including TV stars, money launderers and ex-KGB colonels. I loved the writing and plot of this story. It is a wonderful popcorn story and I would loved to see these books made into a series or movies. Of course they are able to save Elizabeth, solve the cold case and catch a drug kingpin along the way. I highly recommend this one. The narration by Fiona Shaw is wonderful. I find I have to listen carefully and at normal speed due to accents, but that is just an FYI, not a complaint.

The Vanishing Type (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #5) by Ellery Adams, Cris Dukehart (Narrator) 

Published April 26th 2022 by Tantor Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nora Pennington is the owner of Miracle Books in Miracle Springs, North Carolina. The store is extremely busy with the cold January temperatures and Nora is busy with her bibliotherapy sessions. Nora’s friend, Deputy Andrews has asked her to help plan a wedding proposal, so she arranges a special screening of Little Women, a movie that Hester loves. Before the event, Nora notices that someone is vandalizing all the store’s copies of The Scarlet Letter, slicing the pages where Hester Prynne’s name is mentioned. What most people don’t know is that Hester had a child years ago and gave the baby up for adoption. She has felt so guilty that she hasn’t told Jasper, her future husband. When a man is found dead on a hiking trail outside of town with a rare copy of a different book, The Secret, Book and Scone Society go to work and uncover a connection to Hester’s past. Not only is her secret at stake, but maybe her life.

I really enjoy this series and its touch of magic. I suggest you read this series in order to get the full character development and friendships, but each book has a self-contained mystery and can be read as a standalone. Each of the ladies has a special touch to help people who need it. They have all been through something in their past that gives them an understanding of others. Even Sheldon, the newest employee at Miracle Books gets in on the act when solving a mystery or crime. In this story, Nora has to do a lot of research and stitch together the clues she finds and more books are found to tie to the murder. I had no idea who the culprit was and enjoyed the story as Nora and her friends solve the crime and have to get out of a dangerous situation before the final, exciting ending. This is a well written and plotted story, which I highly recommend. There is a bit of magic, a mystery, friendship, secrets and romance. Cris Dukehart has been the narrator of this series and once again, I enjoyed her performance.