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The Cozy Chronicles: Amy Beth Arkawy’s Dead Silent

I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Amy Beth Arkawy’s Dead Silent as part of the Cozy Mystery Book Tours.

Dead Silent


Dead Silent is the second installment in the Eliza Gordon Soup Opera mysteries. I had planned on reading Killing Time, the first Eliza Gordon mystery, before reading and reviewing Dead Silent, but life somehow got in the way. It actually worked out, because I now don’t have to wait for the next book and can just go back to where it all started!


It’s summer time in Goodship, NY and the mercury isn’t the only thing that’s rising. Everyone in town is beside themselves trying to figure out who is behind The Goodship Grapevine, an anonymous website that has been revealing less-than-flattering (and at times less-than-legal) tidbits about the good people of Goodship.

If that wasn’t enough to turn up the heat in Goodship, Paul Hackett, WSHP’s resident shock jock, is found strangled to death with his own headphone cord. Scrawled on the window are in red lipstick are the letters, “V.O.S.” And what about “The Quiet,” a cult that’s been peppering the town with flyers in hopes of gaining more followers?

Eliza Gordon, one-time actress and proprietress of the Soup Opera, is determined to get answers. Unfortunately, her sleuthing is putting a strain on her budding romance with Police Chief Tom Santini. Can Eliza (and her trusty sidekick Midge) solve the mystery before things boil over?


There is something about mysteries set in small towns that make them especially cozy, and Dead Silent is no exception. I was especially impressed by the fact that there were multiple mysteries going on in such a small town, yet it never felt that there you were running out of suspects.

Having the book take place in a small town also allows you to really get to know the characters–and Goodship’s townspeople do not disappoint. They are a motley, lively bunch and you will want to be part of the Soup Opera crowd (you’ll also probably want some soup). Eliza is an extremely smart and likable heroine, and you will find yourself rooting for her not just to solve the mystery, but as she sorts through her relationships. I look forward to the next installment just to get to know her better.

Dead Silent was extremely fast-paced and the resolution almost snuck up on me. I actually read this book in one sitting; the plot really drew me in and I could not wait to find out if the two mysteries were connected. I also really enjoyed the fact that most of the information is given to you via conversations between characters, which made me feel like I was actually there and listening.

As I mentioned earlier, I am glad that I have not yet read Killing Time so I can just go right back to Goodship instead of having to wait for the next book. As Eliza herself says, “you never know just how interesting it might get.” I look forward to my next trip to Goodship.

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of the book as part of the book tour. This did not influence my review, and all opinions expressed are my own.


Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Skipped Posts

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to pop in and apologize for the recent silence on the blog. One of my favorite uncles passed away late last week and I just haven’t been up for posting. I’ll be back on Thursday with a new post.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and I want to take the time to thank all the service men and women–and their families–for all they sacrifice to make our lives safer.

See you Thursday.


Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


Cozy Chronicles: The Long Quiche Goodbye

I actually read A Long Quiche Goodbye a while ago, but decided to re-read it before continuing on with the rest of the series. The Long Quiche Goodbye is the first of Avery Aames’ Cheese Shop Mysteries:

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The other three books are, in order: Lost and Fondue, Clobbered by Camembert, and To Brie or not to Brie. But I’m getting ahead of myself…


Welcome to Providence, Ohio, home to Fromagerie Bessette and its proprietor, Charlotte Bessette. Exciting changes are afoot in the Cheese Shop (as Providence’s residents call the Fromagerie Bessette), including the addition of a wine annex and plans to sell gourmet goodies, artisanal breads, and gift items like olive wood-handled cheese knives from France. Unfortunately for Charlotte (and even more so for the victim), one of those beautiful knives ends up buried in someone’s chest not long after the last Travertine tile had been laid–and someone very near and dear to her is the prime suspect. Can Charlotte figure out the killer in time to save her beloved grandmother and The Cheese Shop?

The short version of my review: A Long Quiche Goodbye was as good a read the second time and I would highly recommend it to cozy fans. As I mentioned in a previous post, however, do not read this book on an empty stomach. Or if you don’t have any cheese in the house. It was all fun and games until I was reading on a Sunday morning and got to the part where Charlotte makes herself a breakfast of sourdough toast with Dalmatia fig spread with a thick slice of Perrin Haute-Savoie…and all I could do was stare sadly at my almost bare cheese drawer.

The Long Quiche Goodbye embodies cozy. Not only is the Cheese Shop cozy, but the town itself is cozy with an ice cream shop, a quilt shop, a Village Green–it’s the kind of place that makes me wish I lived in a small town.

I also love books where the setting becomes every bit a character as the people who inhabit its pages. I don’t think I’ll ever walk into another cheese shop and not expect it to look like Fromagerie Bessette the same way I expect every mystery bookstore to look like Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand, and every tea shop to look like Laura Childs’ Indigo Tea Shop.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was that even if Providence is a small town, there are enough suspects to keep you guessing. It’s not the kind of small town setting where you start with six suspects and three of them end up dead. There is also a good mix of long-time residents, newcomers, and visitors that keeps the novel from crossing from cozy into claustrophobic; I look forward to getting to know all the characters better as I read the subsequent books. Lastly, there is a nice surprise at the end that will make you want to read the next book ASAP.

I highly recommend A Long Quiche Goodbye, and look forward to Lost and Fondue.

On a related note, Avery Aames, writing under her real name Daryl Gerber Wood, is releasing Final Sentence, the first title in A Cookbook Nook series, in July. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, and am very excited to start another series.

Happy reading! Let me know what you’ve been reading–I’m always on the lookout for more books to read and authors to meet!

P.S. As I promised last week, I have been noodling around with a new section of the blog that will include A Long Quiche Goodbye. I will talk about that in a separate post–I need to iron out a few glitches. Hope you’re having a good week and see you again soon!

P.P.S. If you’re new to the blog, check out my previous post where I write about having the pleasure of meeting Avery Aames and Rochelle Staab (of the Mind for Murder series) at a recent book signing.


Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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As promised…text for Tuesday’s post!

On Tuesday I posted a few pictures from spending the day at Mysterious Galaxy’s 20th birthday celebration. As promised, here’s the text to go with the photos. 😉


I was fortunate enough to attend Avery Aames (Daryl Wood Gerber) and Rochelle Staab’s author presentation before their book signing (they were both so gracious). I had read A Long Quiche Goodbye a while back and was looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

The part I enjoyed the best was listening to them talk about how their books take shape and how readers have become so invested. I particularly enjoyed Avery’s story about having encountered numerous folks from Wisconsin wanting to know why The Cheese Shop Mysteries are set in Ohio.

I am looking forward to reading the Mind for Murder books. I picked up a copy of Who Do, Voodoo at the signing–I’m the kind of reader who likes to start with the first book in the series whenever possible.

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I was patient and waited to pick up Dead, White, and Blue from Mysterious Galaxy on Saturday instead of running out on Tuesday. I also bought two other “firsts”: Liz Lippeman’s Beef Stolen-Off and Victoria Hamilton’s A Deadly Grind. I’m going to have to upgrade my to-read bedside basket to a to-read bedside steamer trunk soon!

The rest of my weekend haul included all The Cheese Shop Mysteries and Lucy Burdette’s Topped Chef. I had loaned my copy of A Long Quiche Goodbye to a friend so I decided to just buy another copy.

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Trivia Time: As you know, I am a big Murder, She Wrote fan so you can imagine how tickled I was to find that Avery Aames (as Daryl Lynn Wood) was on the “Simon Says, Color Me Dead”).

I am two-thirds through my (re)reading of A Long Quiche Goodbye and Tuesday’s post will be my review along with a new section of the blog!

In honor of Throwback Thursday, what was your first book?

Gingin Exorcist

Have a good weekend, everyone! See you Tuesday!


Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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My weekend in pictures…

I spent this past Saturday at Mysterious Galaxy‘s 20th birthday celebration. Check out a few pictures I took…text to be provided on Thursday. 🙂


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See you in a few days!

P.S. I decided to reread Avery Aamess’ A Long Quiche Goodbye since it’s been a little while. So far, the book is as fun as I remember. I may use my review to introduce a new blog section I’ve been noodling with for a while. Oh, my copy The Bletchley Circle is in the mail!

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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Happy Thursday! Say Cheese (and Coffee)!

I was all set to blog about how sad I was to see The Bletchley Circle end when I saw this piece of awesomeness. Yes, ITV has renewed The Bletchley Circle for a second season!

Since my happy dance is definitely not fit for public consumption, I’ll link to George Takei‘s instead (since he just makes everything cooler).

I need to go and cross a few things off my to-do list so I can focus on the good stuff, like reading Lost and Fondue in preparation for picking up To Brie or Not to Brie this Saturday at Avery Aames’ book signing. I’m actually behind on this series, so I actually need to get Clobbered by Camembert as well.

If you’re a cheese lover, definitely check this series out. But not on an empty stomach. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉

In other non-mystery news, I discovered Caffe Calabria yesterday and I may need to move to North Park. I’m ashamed to admit we end up spending time in our neighborhood and have yet to explore a lot of San Diego. The person I was meeting with suggested we meet there and I am so glad we did. I brought home some of the El Salvador blend and it is amazing.

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Well, I’m awake! 😉 Have a good Thursday and see you soon!


Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Bonus Post: Carolyn Hart’s Dead, White, and Blue (her 50th release!)

I am a HUGE Carolyn Hart fan. HUGE. So you can just imagine how excited I was to contribute to Cozy Mystery Book Reviews’ post celebrating her 50th release, Dead, White, and Blue.

DWB Cover

(Photo is from the CMBR website.)

Here is the link to the post, which includes an interview with Carolyn herself. It’s also been so nice to read numerous comments about how she is as lovely as you imagine her to be from her books.

I reserved my copy of Dead, White, and Blue with plans to pick it up on Saturday during Mysterious Galaxy’s 20th birthday celebration, but I’m not making any bets as to whether I’m waiting that long. 😉

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Murder at Castle Rock and New Book Tuesday

A little while ago, I had the opportunity to read and review Anne Marie Stoddard’s Murder at Castle Rock as part of Cozy Mystery Book Reviews. Here is the link to my review on the CMBR page. Murder at Castle Rock is Anne Marie Stoddard’s first novel and I look forward to reading more of her work.

AMS Cover

(Photo taken from Anne Marie Stoddard’s website

If you are a cozy mystery fan haven’t already checked out CMBR’s page, you’re missing out on a wonderful community and resource–so make sure you do so ASAP!

I’ve been slowly getting into a blogging rhythm, so to speak. What I’ve found works for me is posting at the beginning and end of the work week. I’ll probably post on Monday/Tuesday and again on Thursday/Friday going forward. Weekends will be for me to find fun things to tell you about at the start of the week. 😉 Stay tuned for my final post on “The Bletchley Circle” (although I’m sure I’ll be referring to the show numerous time in future posts–I’m a little obsessed).

I’m going to spend the rest of the week speed-reading my way through Lost and Fondue, the second installment in Avery Aames’ Cheese Shop Mysteries. She will be signing at Mysterious Galaxy’s 20th birthday celebration this weekend and I will be buying her latest book then. We are going to make a day of it, as my husband is looking forward to the afternoon signings, which include John Scalzi and Vernor Vinge.

Lastly, it’s New Book Tuesday! I am particularly excited because Carolyn Hart’s Dead, White, and Blue (her 50th!) is being released today. The other books I’m hoping to pick up at Mysterious Galaxy this weekend are Victoria Thompson’s Murder in Chelsea (also being released today–I’m working on being more patient and waiting until Saturday 🙂 ) and Liz Lipperman’s Heard it Through the Grapevine. What new releases are you looking forward to?

See you at the end of the week!

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The Bletchley Circle: Episode Two and The Christie Caper

First of all, I apologize for the cobwebs gathering on this blog. Life and a bad cold (which I am still fighting, but one can only spend so much time sleeping before your brain starts to hurt) got in the way of blogging.

I watched the second episode of The Bletchley Circle with mixed emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this show and will be extremely sorry to see it end. (CONFESSION: I have the Blu-Ray on backorder.) I did, however, start seeing a few things I had feared would happen given the series’ short run.

I was extremely fascinated by the methods they used to figure out killer’s modus operandi and the location of the next victim and hoped to see more time spent on that in the second episode. The opening minutes, however, showed them already narrowing the field to seven suspects and then to three in short order. How I wish we had been allowed to see more of how they pieced together their conclusions.

The other thing I wish could see more of the individual characters’ development. It’s not surprising given the series’ short run, but I do wish we could see each character go beyond the broad brushstrokes: extremely smart Susan, worldly Millie, sweet Lucy, and capable Jean. It’s a testament to how well-written and well-acted The Bletchley Circle is that I find myself so invested after only two episodes. To see the series end after three weeks is like finding out those great women you just met at the coffee shop are moving away at the end of the week.

Since no blog entry would be complete without some fun trivia, did you know that Rachael Stirling, who plays Millie, is Diana Rigg’s daughter? Dame Rigg, of course, has had a long and illustrious career, but I will always, always love her for her portrayal of Arlena Stuart Marshall in the 1982 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun.

I suspect, however, that what I love most about The Bletchley Circle is that it is a story of women making their own space within the narrow space society has given them. My favorite image from that show is when they use bright red lipstick to trace the killer’s movements across the map. Red lipstick, a symbol of femininity, bleeding into the map, into the world. It mirrors what has happened in the two episodes we’ve seen so far: in the first episode, they spend most of their time indoors. In the second, they seem more part of the world. This show brings me back to a much-loved time in my life when I studied a similar group of women working to find their own voice and make their own space…but that will be for my final Bletchley Circle post. 😉

Before I end this post, I wanted to mention that I am currently re-reading Carolyn Hart’s The Christie Caper in preparation for her 50th release, Dead, White, and Blue. The Christie Caper is my favorite Hart book so I’ve read it numerous times. It actually (re)introduced me to mysteries and introduced me to cozy mysteries. I had been a huge Christie fan, but had fallen off the mystery wagon for a little while. I was trying to figure out where to start up again, when I spotted The Christie Caper on display. I picked it up, saw that it was a mystery set during a celebration of Christie’s 100th birthday, and well, you know the rest. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Dead, White, and Blue!

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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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My version of Throwback Thursday

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From a “Friends of the Library” sale in Gainesville, FL a few years ago. I love finding earlier editions of my favorite books, especially ones I read as a child. I had a blast finding “yellow spine” Nancy Drew books on eBay sometime ago, but that’s for another Thursday. 🙂

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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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