Tag Archives: mystery

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Book Review: Petals and Poison, by Jess Dylan

I won a paperback copy of Petals and Poison (by Jess Dylan) through Goodreads.

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Sierra Ravenswood has embraced her role as owner of Flower House floral shop and companion to her former boss’s pet, Gus the Corgi. Sierra’s team are enjoying their new jobs too. At least until everyone realizes their lack of experience might be contributing to their lack of customers . . .

Sierra decides they need a change in luck, so she creates a special window display featuring lucky bamboo and auspicious flowers. It seems the new arrangement has worked when the shop is flooded with customers the next day, including a van full of college students on a horticulture club field trip. Unfortunately, Sierra doesn’t notice that the students’ distracted professor has gone missing until Gus’s urgent barking leads her to the storeroom – and the body of the unfortunate professor.

With folks now referring to Flower House as “Poison House” and suspects galore, Sierra fears her new business is doomed before it has a chance to get off the ground. Determined to reverse course and see justice served, she sets out to solve the crime and change her luck once more.

The Flower House is no place for shrinking violets.

my review

I made a joke to my husband while reading Petals and Poisons that I’m quite capable of cozying up to a mystery now and again, but I really wish a ghost (or something) would show up. I am much more a fantasy reader than a cozy mystery reader. But I entered into Petals and Poisons with optimism. There’s a dog in it, after all.

In the end, I thought it was cute. I couldn’t guess, between the suspects, which would turn out to be the killer. And I liked the budding romantic subplot. However, I also found it odd that Sierra and crew were able to go about investigating, as they did, with no push-back from the actual police for interfering. I also thought the ending felt rush. It wrapped up so fast, once the killer was revealed. Further, I feel like Dylan allowed the reader to care about them, there at the end, and then just abandoned them to their fate. I wanted to know what happened to them and to hope there was a somewhat happy ending for them in the future. (I’ve actually written one in my head for them.)

All in all, I enjoyed it well enough for being outside my normal generic comfort zone. But hey, I maybe got my wish. There were some maybe ghosts.

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Other Reviews:

Petals and Poison by Jess Dylan

Bibliophile and Avid Reader: Petals and Poison, by Jess Dylan



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Book Review: A Sense of Danger, by Jennifer Estep

Late last year, Jennifer Estep‘s A Sense of Danger was featured on Sadie’s Spotlight’s Insta page and I ended up with a bonus copy of the book.

A SPY . . .

My name is Charlotte Locke, and I’m an analyst for Section 47, a secret government agency that tracks terrorists, criminals, and other paramortal bad guys who want to unleash their abilities on an unsuspecting mortal world. I have a magical form of synesthesia that senses danger and uncovers lies—making me a stealthy operative.

I’m trudging through another day when one of Section’s cleaners—assassins—takes an interest in me. I don’t need my synesthesia to realize that he is extremely dangerous and that he will do anything to achieve his goals—even if it means putting me in the line of fire.


I’m Desmond Percy, one of Section 47’s most lethal cleaners. I’m also a man on a mission, and I need Charlotte Locke’s skills to help me keep a promise, settle a score, and kill some extremely bad people.

Charlotte might not like me, but we’re stuck together until my mission is over. Still, the more time we spend together, the more I’m drawn to her. But at Section 47, you never know who you can trust—or who might want you dead.my review
There was nothing wrong with this. The writing is perfectly readable. The editing is pretty clean. It’s not full of plot-holes. I liked the characters well enough. But it’s also kinda bland. The heroine is a Mary Sue and the hero is exactly what you expect him to be and nothing more (a bit of a Marty Stew too). Section 47—the para-mortal version a governmental alphabet organization— isn’t anything more interesting than any other paranormal alphabet agency we’ve all read about. The plot is pretty easy to fallow and the villains easy to figure out. All of it was fine to read, enjoyable even. But also utterly forgettable.

I did appreciate that, being assassins, the characters have a little grey to them. But it’s all lip service, the reader doesn’t actually feel any of it. The romance is pretty light, culminating in one mostly fade-to-black sex scene toward the end of the book and a HFN conclusion. All of it is fine. But it’s also all kind of ‘meh’ too.

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Other Review:

A SENSE OF DANGER by Jennifer Estep-Dual Review & Giveaway


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Book Review & Giveaway: Last Blue Christmas, by Rose Prendeville

Last Blue Christmas, by Rose Prendeville was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight with R&R Tours. Included in the promo material was a copy of the book. And, honestly, I couldn’t remember if I promised just a spotlight or a book review. But as I happen to be doing a Christmas Reading Challenge at the moment, I decided I didn’t care and gave it a read either way.


The only case they haven’t cracked is how to be together.

Not on Officer Maggie Kyle’s Christmas bingo card:

• A homemade bomb in a bus station locker.
• A child, the prime suspect in the bombing.
• Her partner of ten years abandoning her to solve the case on her own.

Max St. James might be the worst cop in the world—or at least in Toronto:

• He fell in love with his partner.
• He’s the reason she never became a detective.
• He doesn’t much care who planted the bomb.

The IED’s blast ignites years of tension, sending Maggie and Max careening in opposite directions—but opposites still attract.

Can they find a way to come together to solve the case before another bomb goes off?

And will it mean another ten years sacrificing the future they want for the partnership they already have?

my review

I enjoyed this a lot. As I said, I read it as part of a Christmas Reading Challenge. But I’d call it more a book set during Christmastime than an actual Christmas book. I still enjoyed it a lot though.

I thought the characters felt very real and were quite likeable. I appreciated the diversity of the cast and some of the subtly portrayed social flaws. Let them be seen for what they are; all the better if an author can do so without feeling like they’re giving a social justice lecture.  Plus, the writing is clean and easily readable.

I did think that, as much as I like the children (and they were well written), they were surely too well behaved and angelic for two little boys who had been traumatized by their last few years of life. Additionally, I found the number of times the narrative was disrupted by the two main characters’ internal thoughts of the other…well, disruptive. There were just too many of them, certainly more than needed to make the point. Luckily this tapered of by the half-way mark.

On a side note—not really related to a review but related to me a reader—as someone who worked in Child and Family Services (what the book calls Child Aid) let me tell you that it is not AT ALL appreciated to purposefully wait until after-hours to call-in a child in need, if you’ve been holding that child since morning or early afternoon, not by the social worker or the eventual foster parent. Nope, not at all appreciated. LOL. But I do also 100% sympathize with Max’s concerns in calling.

All in all, I was impressed and will happily read another Prendeville book.

There also happens to be a giveaway running. For your chance to win a $50 Amazon e-Gift Card, click the link below!


Other Reviews:

Blog Tour Book Review – R&R Book Tours – Last Blue Christmas by Rose Prendeville – Available 1 December 2021

Come back tomorrow. I’ll be reviewing Christmas Lites II, a Christmas short story collection edited by Amy Eye.