Book Review – Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley

Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I am happy to say that I am still very much enjoying the Writer’s Apprentice Mystery novels by Julia Buckley. I will say that I liked the first novel, A Dark and Stormy Murder better, but I still enjoyed this second one, Death in Dark Blue.

The story continues from the first novel, continuing the struggle of Lena London and those who love her to solve the mystery of a disappeared woman. This novel has more romance, and the mystery becomes even more entangled. I won’t say anything more about the plot so as not to give the whole story away.

What I do wish is that this story involved more about books and the library that plays a bit of an integral part in this mystery – hopefully I will see more of that when I dive into the next novel. In any case, Buckley gives us a wonderful cast of characters, and a protagonist with determination and love for all of her friends and family.

I am excited to start reading the next book.



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Book Review – A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley

A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In A Dark and Stormy Murder Lena London travels to the small town of Blue Lake to work with her idol, the author Camilla Graham. However, Lena gets more than she bargained for when a murder occurs in the quiet town, and several mysteries -and perhaps a romance- begin to overlap and come apart around her.

When I went to read this book, I was expecting a stupid and fun mystery – what I got was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery that gave me vibes of Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables. Lena London has the dream job I wish I had, and the entire story kept me glued to the page as I eagerly read to find out what happens.
The cast of characters are simply wonderful, with the main crew being Lena and Camilla, a police officer, and a man guilty until proven innocent. Together these characters support each other as wholesomely as anyone can.

Julia Buckley’s writing is simple, and yet you feel like you are present for everything Lena is experiencing. No the writing is not so sophisticated, but any story that can leave me in suspense is a great story to me! I’ve already ordered the next two in the series, and I’m eager to get reading as this book ends on a sort of cliffhanger.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good mystery. I guarantee you will all wish you knew such characters!



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My Favorite Books About Books (so far)

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

This is a book that talks about all the weird and wonderful experiences booksellers have had with their customers. It will make you laugh to no end, and perhaps you will find some cool reads along the way! Or maybe even find out what not to read!

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

This graphic novel isn’t really about books, but it is about stories and the way stories shape us. A young man from the farthest reaches of the world travels far and wide from one adventure to another, telling stories of myth and folklore to those he meets. Each tale shows a bit of how each person and culture relates to the stories, and how the young man impacts those who he has met.

Tilly and the Book Wanderers by Anna James

Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co. #1)

This is a book about people who love to get lost in books. Literally. Tilly lives with her grandparents, who run the bookshop Pages & Co. Her whole life she has been surrounded by books. Then one day, she discovers that she and many others have the ability to travel within books. Tilly starts by traveling into her favorite stories like Anne of Green Gables, but soon finds that bookwandering can be tricky, and gets into some adventuresome trouble! Wouldn’t we all just love to have a short adventure inside a book?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

This is a book about the importance of books. In a dystopian world where books are banned, and anyone caught with them is either arrested or killed, we remember the importance of the written word. Our main character, a fireman (someone who burns books for a living), realizes there is nothing in the ignorance they’ve all been brainwashed to love. He starts to read the books he’s meant to burn, and his attitude towards books, to life even, changes.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop

If you need a remedy for a malady of the soul, this book is for you. A man works on a book barge, prescribing specific books for specific maladies of the customers that come to peruse. When the man, depressed at the loss of his love, realizes that his love has not been lost, merely misunderstood, goes on an adventure to discover the truth. On the way he meets new friends, and new books!

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)

Everyone likes a good mystery, but a mystery about a book? Even better. In this book we read about the life of a young man in Spain who’s sole mission is to find out everything he can about a book he found in the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”. The young man finds love and friendship on the way, but most importantly, he finds the truth.

These are my favorite books about books so far. I will update the list once I read more!

Book Review: Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett

Yule Be Dead (Victoria Square, #5)

Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Bartlett’s Yule Be Dead is a cute mystery centered around a farmer’s-market-type shopping center called “Artisans Alley” in the lovely Victoria Square. The protagonist, Katie Bonner, the boss of Artisans Alley, must deal with cranky vendors, shoplifters, the arrival of her mother-in-law, and on top of all that she finds herself entangled in a murder mystery. To deal with all Katie uses her unfailing wits and courage and the relationships she cultivates and grows.

While Yule Be Dead is labelled as a mystery, I would say that it is more of a slice-of-life drama novel with a mystery as one of the side plots. I do wish the murder mystery was more of an issue in the plot (and perhaps involved more than one murder).
There were a few issues I had with the writing style. Katie as a character has a lot of issues to deal with, and Bartlett does have her solve these issues, only to come back around again to question them. Usually when one has come up with a solution there should be little questioning to do, and I think if Bartlett cut some of that out the plot would feel a bit more concise and less in a loop. It also felt as if Bartlett had Katie find a problem in everything she faced, which is fair, she was having a bit of a time, especially in the face of murder. However, this pattern of writing makes the story lack some normalcy, and, again, it could have been a bit more concise. In addition, characters got angry at each other a lot, which felt quite repetitive.

Overall Yule Be Dead was a fun read for a mind that needs a break from a lot of effort (especially if it is like mine reading academic texts all day). And who wouldn’t want to read a cute mystery that takes place in a quaint little town?




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