Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Ladies Rewrite the Rules by Suzanne Allain (Mini – Review with Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Do you like romantic comedies?

I love romantic comedies, especially historical romantic comedies.  Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors who captures the Regency era in wonderful romantic comedies.  Lovers of Heyer will enjoy The Ladies Rewrite the Rules by Suzanne Allain. 

This story has great characters and a wonderful plot with a few different romances including an enemies-to-lover story and second chance romance.  Both tropes are my favorites.  I not only loved the main characters in this story, but I also loved the secondary characters. 

I also loved how the ladies rewrote the rules in this book.  Besides having a great story of female friendship, it shows a group of women who turn negative experiences into positive ones.  They don’t follow the rules of society, but they find what works best for them in life.

If you get a chance to read this book – I highly recommend it!

My full review of The Ladies Rewrite the Rules by Suzanne Allain will be posted on January 18, 2024.

Book Source:  Review copy from NetGalley as a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Jane and the Final Mystery by Stephanie Barron (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Do you have any favorite series that you have read all of the way through?  How did you feel when they ended?  I have loved reading the “Being a Jane Austen Mystery” series for the last twenty years. It was bittersweet reading the conclusion of this series.

It is the year 1817, the last year of author Jane Austen’s life, but she doesn’t know it.  She has been feeling more tired and weak as of late, but it is from unknown causes.  When the son of a good friend is accused of murder, Jane goes with her nephew Edward to Wincester to investigate the crime.  Once there, Jane discovers that the boarding school has a history of ill treatment of its pupils by other pupils.  Was young William Heathcote tormented so far that he took vengeance on his tormentor or are there other intrigues at play?

As I have been with the other books in the “ Being a Jane Austen Mystery,” I was instantly drawn into the story and Jane’s world.   Barron channels Jane Austen’s voice, personality, and the time period perfectly.  I loved getting to see her relationship with her friend Elizabeth as well as with her nephew Edward.  Edward will one day write her memoir.  I was horrified by the description of the treatment of the boys at the boarding school.   I also thought the discussion of speech impediments and how they were dealt with at the time was very interesting.

I also loved seeing terms I really know from Harry Potter, such as “prefect” pop up in the story.  As usual, Barron has great footnotes that describe the details or history of certain parts of the story.  The afterword does a great job of filling in even more historical details.

I quite like how the book ended on a hopeful note and not with the death of Jane Austen.  I am still sad to see this series end, but what a series has Stephanie Barron put together that can continue to be enjoyed.  I think it’s time for me to start the series over again.

Book Source:  Review copy from Soho Crime as a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: Jane and the Final Mystery

·       Series: Being a Jane Austen Mystery (Book 15)

·       Author: Stephanie Barron

·       Genre: Historical Mystery, Austenesque Fiction

·       Publisher: Soho Crime (October 24, 2023)

·       Length: (312) pages

·       Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-1641295055

·       Tour Dates: October 16 – 31, 2023



The final volume of the critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Jane Austen as amateur sleuth

March 1817: As winter turns to spring, Jane Austen’s health is in slow decline, and threatens to cease progress on her latest manuscript. But when her nephew Edward brings chilling news of a death at his former school, Winchester College, not even her debilitating ailment can keep Jane from seeking out the truth. Arthur Prendergast, a senior pupil at the prestigious all-boys’ boarding school, has been found dead in a culvert near the schoolgrounds—and in the pocket of his drenched waistcoat is an incriminating note penned by the young William Heathcote, the son of Jane’s dear friend Elizabeth. Winchester College is a world unto itself, with its own language and rites of passage, cruel hazing and dangerous pranks. Can Jane clear William’s name before her illness gets the better of her?
Over the course of fourteen previous novels in the critically acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series, Stephanie Barron has won the hearts of thousands of fans—crime fiction aficionados and Janeites alike—with her tricky plotting and breathtaking evocation of Austen’s voice. Now, she brings Jane’s final season—and final murder investigation—to brilliant, poignant life in this unforgettable conclusion.



  • “Poignant . . . Elicits deep emotion out of Jane’s struggles against her own mortality. This is a fitting send-off for a beautifully realized series.”— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
  • “Barron developed Jane’s narrative voice by reading Austen’s collected and published letters, and it is neither spoiler nor surprise to say that series readers will be sorry to say goodbye to Jane Austen, amateur sleuth.”— Booklist
  • "[Barron] has brilliantly combined authentic historical and biographical details with skillful plotting and a credible evocation of Austen’s wry, distinctive voice. She brings the English author’s final investigation to a poignant, unforgettable close. Fans of this historical series will not be disappointed.”— First Clue






Stephanie Barron is a graduate of Princeton and Stanford, where she received her Masters in History as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Humanities. Her novel, THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN (Ballantine, January 22, 2019) traces the turbulent career of Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's captivating American mother. Barron is perhaps best known for the critically acclaimed Jane Austen Mystery Series, in which the intrepid and witty author of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE details her secret detective career in Regency England. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Stephanie—who also writes under the name Francine Mathews—drew on her experience in the field of espionage for such novels as JACK 1939, which The New Yorker described as "the most deliciously high-concept thriller imaginable." She lives and works in Denver, CO.



Sunday, October 22, 2023

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie


Title:  Hallowe’en Party

Author:  Agatha Christie

Narrated by:  Hugh Fraser

Publisher: HarperAudio

Length: Approximately 6 hours and 27 minutes

Source: Checked out with Hoopla through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!


Do you like Halloween parties?  If so, do you dress up in a costume for a Halloween Party?

In Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie, a Halloween party for teenagers ends in the murder of Joyce, a young thirteen-year-old who stated at the party that she had witnessed a murder, but didn’t know it at the time.  Ariadne Oliver gets her friend, Detective Hercule Poirot to help to investigate the murder.  Who is the murderer and why did they commit this horrific crime?

I enjoyed how the action picked up in this novel once Poirot was on the scene and I was surprised by the ending as usual.  I didn’t like how Christie seemed to be trying to make the story modern by throwing in some modern slang and making the children seem wild and promiscuous.  I know it was 1969, but the way some of the twelve-year olds and their behavior were described at the party seemed like it should have been a party for seventeen-year-olds.  This story just seemed off and was not one of my favorites.  It may be because it was one of her later stories.

I read Hallowe’en Party as both my #ReadChristie2023 October selection and as part of the read along with #deesreads.  I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on the story.  I enjoyed reading it for the first time and feel ready to watch A Haunting in Venice, the new Hercule Poirot movie that is partly based on this novel.

Hugh Fraser was a great narrator.  I enjoyed how he was able to change his voice to be the distinct voice of all of the characters including children and even someone with a Scottish accent.  It was an enjoyable cozy mystery to listen to in an audiobook!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Secrets Beneath by Kimberley Woodhouse (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Have you ever discovered a buried fossil or other treasure?  I found a cool fossil in the St. Joseph River as a child . . . but I threw it back into the river!

Anna Lakeman works with her father, Peter, on paleontology digs of dinosaur bones.  Anna makes sketches of the digs.  When they discover dinosaur bones near their home, they become involved in the Bone Wars.  Anna has felt great sadness due to the loss of her true love, Joshua Ziegler.  He left for medical school and never returned or wrote.  When her father falls ill and Joshua returns, will Anna be able to navigate what life has thrown at her?

I enjoyed that this novel had it all:  well developed characters, romance, mystery, suspense, fascinating history on the Bone Wars.  I didn’t know much at all about the Bone Wars and how competitive they were on finding dinosaur bones in the American west.  I loved the note at the beginning of the novel where author Kimberley Woodhouse discussed how she came up with the idea for the book and talked to the granddaughter of a famous paleontologist, Earl Douglass.  In an author’s note in the back of the novel there is more information and set up for the rest of the books in this series.  I am looking forward to them!

The Secrets Beneath is a clean read and had Christian themes and wisdom woven throughout the novel.

This novel had a great opening line – “The garden – his garden – was alive with color today, while the inside of him was black as death.  Especially when he thought of his father.”

Book Source:  Review copy from Bethany House as a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: The Secrets Beneath

·       Series: Treasures of the Earth (Book 1)

·       Author: Kimberley Woodhouse

·       Genre: Historical Fiction, Western Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 26, 2023)

·       Length: (336) pages

·       Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-0764241680‎

·       Tour Dates: October 9 – October 23, 2023



Some secrets can only stay buried for so long. . . .

Anna Lakeman has spent her life working alongside her paleontologist father, drawing intricate sketches at every dig. When they find dinosaur bones near their home in Wyoming Territory, they're given the opportunity of a lifetime and are swiftly caught up in the competitive era of the Bone Wars. But after her father becomes sick and Joshua Ziegler, an old beau, returns for the summer, Anna's world is upended, and the practical, orderly life she has made for herself shatters.

Medical student Joshua Ziegler left his hometown to forget Anna, the one woman he truly loved and deeply hurt. But when he returns, time hasn't erased the feelings they've always had for each other. After Joshua's nephew goes missing—just like his sister did years ago—and Anna's job is threatened, tensions mount and dangerous secrets are unearthed.


  • “…a propulsive launch with plenty of fuel for future adventures.”— Publisher’s Weekly
  • "This book is full of intrigue and adventure, twists and turns…I highly recommend you pick up a copy and enjoy the journey."— Tracie Peterson, author of Pictures of the Heart
  • “Fans of Kimberley Woodhouse will rejoice in this launch to a unique and engaging new series."— Jocelyn Green, author of The Metropolitan Affair






Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in Colorado, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.



Thursday, October 12, 2023

Murder by Invitation Only by Colleen Cambridge (Bibliolifestyle Book Tour)


Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @kensingtonbooks for the review copy of Murder by Invitation Only by Collen Cambridge.

Have you been to any murder mystery parties?  They sound like a lot of fun to me, but I have not yet been to one.

An invitation to a murder has been received at Mallowan Hall, the home of Agatha Christie and her husband Max.  Agatha and Max are away from home, and they send their housekeeper and friend, Phyllida Bright to the nearby Beecham House to represent them at the party.  The guests are delighted when the “murder” takes place and set about finding clues . . . until they discover it is actually a real murder. Phyllida Bright is on the case.  Will she be able to discover the murderer?

I greatly enjoyed this cozy mystery.  This is the third book in the “Phyllida Bright Mystery” series and the first one I have read.  You can read it as a standalone novel.  Phyllida Bright is the main character of the story and I loved her.  She has a no-nonsense approach to life and solving mysteries which I enjoyed.  With the inspector away, she helps the local constable with interviewing the people who were in the room with the murder victim and were a part of the act.  She soon learns that they may all have had a reason to murder the victim, but who did it, and why?

Agatha Christie is only a minor character seen minimally in this novel.  I enjoyed that she was there in the background and that the locked room mystery was a nod to some of Christie’s works.  The small country town setting was wonderful, and I enjoyed getting to know the various characters.

This book was published on September 26, 2023.


Monday, October 9, 2023

Garden of the Midnights by Hannah Linder (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Do you like to pick apples yourself or do you like to buy them from the store?  Do you have any favorite fall activities that you enjoy doing?   My family has liked to pick apples together since my son Kile was one-year old.  He is now seventeen and we enjoyed one last apple picking together this weekend.  He’ll be off to college next fall.

William Kensley has recently inherited Rosenleigh Manor, but accidents seem to keep occurring that threaten his life.  He searches deep into his past to discover the truth of his birth and the secrets that endanger his life.  Isabella Gresham is a young debutante who is trying to determine if love can truly exist after witnessing her parents’ loveless marriage.  As William and Isabelle’s friendship builds, will they be able to rescue themselves and each other from peril?

I loved the characters of William and Isabella as well as all the side characters in this book.  I thought the story was very engaging and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to these two.  I loved the twists and turns as William learned of his true identity and place in the world.  I enjoyed that Isabella had a sixth sense about a seemingly perfect suitor, but unfortunately no one would listen to her. 

I appreciated the theme of forgiveness: “After all they had suffered.  All they had lost.  All the hurt that had been done to them by a husband who could have stayed and met their needs.  Why should she murmur of forgiveness at a time like this?”  William ponders forgiveness throughout the novel. 

I adore romantic suspense with a Gothic vibe, especially in the fall.  It feels like perfect reading for this time of year.  I also loved the Regency setting.  This reminded me of a Jane Austen story blended with a Bronte novel.

Garden of Midnights is a clean read.

I have enjoyed Hannah Linder’s previous novels and will definitely be reading more of her work!

Book Source:  Review copy from Barbour Publishing as a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: Garden of the Midnights

·       Author: Hannah Linder

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Suspense, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Barbour Books (October 1, 2023)

·       Length: (320) pages

·       Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-1636094380

·       Tour Dates: October 2 – 16, 2023



The accidents are not a matter of chance. They are deliberate. As English gentleman William Kensley becomes aware of the danger at Rosenleigh Manor, he pleads for the truth of his past from the only man he can trust—until that man is murdered. 
As the secrets unfold into scandal, William’s world is tipped into destitution, leaving him penniless and alone. His only comfort is in the constant friendship and love of Isabella Gresham. If he does not have their nonsense at the seashore, their laughter, their reckless adventures, has he anything at all?
He should have known that would be ripped from him too. When a hidden foe arises from their acquaintances and imperils Isabella’s life, William may be the only one willing to risk his life to rescue her. But even if he frees Isabella from her captors, will he still have to forsake her heart? 

Some sacrifice everything for love. Others sacrifice love for everything else. In this haunting tale of rigid social prejudices and heart-aching regrets, the greatest decision of their life will be determined in the garden of the midnights. 


  • “Hannah Linder's engrossing new novel is taut with life-and-death danger, twisty turns, and sweet, forbidden romance. Garden of the Midnights is sure to keep you up late turning pages!”— Julie Klassen, bestselling author of The Sisters of Sea View
  • “A uniquely atmospheric novel, Garden of the Midnights intrigues from page one and never lets up. Readers will be swept away in the mystery and romance, and find themselves cheering for William and Isabella as they fight for their happily ever after. Hannah Linder's newest is beautifully written and a wonderful fresh take on the genre. One not to be missed!”— Joanna Barker, author of A Heart Worth Stealing, A Game of Hearts, and Otherwise Engaged
  • "Unexpected twists and turns abound in this sweeping Regency suspense! Hannah Linder's writing is reminiscent of Austen, with fresh storytelling that will keep you on the edge of your seat."Kasey Stockton, author of I'm Not Charlotte Lucas and the Bradwell Brothers series






Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels filled with passion, secrets, and danger. She is a four-time Selah Award winner, a 2023 Carol Award semi-finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Also, Hannah is an international and multi-award-winning graphic designer who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestsellers. She is also a self-portrait photographer of historical fashion.

When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments―piano, guitar, ukulele, and banjolele―songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. Her next novel, The Girl from the Hidden Forest, is releasing on May 1, 2024.


Sunday, October 8, 2023

Book Feature: Murder Most Royal by SJ Bennett (Bibliolifestyle Book Tour)

Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks for the review copy of Murder Most Royal by SJ Bennett.

Do you have any favorite mystery series that you enjoy?  I have enjoyed the "Her Majesty the Queen Investigates" series in the past.  The stories are delightful and I love Queen Elizabeth II as a detective.  I am looking forward to reading this latest addition to the series!


Evidence that an aristocrat has gone missing—and was possibly murdered—near Sandringham House sets Queen Elizabeth II on the path to discover unsavory family secrets and much more in this new installment of the series the New York Times Book Review calls “sheer entertainment.”

Queen Elizabeth II is looking forward to a traditional Christmas gathering with her family in Sandringham when a shocking discovery interrupts holiday plans. A severed hand has been found—but even more unsettling, she recognizes the signet ring still attached to a finger. It belongs to a scion of the St Cyr family, her old friends from nearby Ladybridge Hall. Despite the personal connection, the Queen wants to leave the investigation to the police—that is, until newspapers drag her name into the matter.

As reporters speculate about the proximity of the crime to the Crown and the police fail to investigate a suspicious accident on her doorstep, Elizabeth quietly begins to mull over the mystery herself. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, she delves into the interlocking layers of fact and fiction surrounding the high-profile case. Someone in the quiet county of Norfolk seems to have a secret worth killing for, and the Queen is determined to find out who and what that is—even if that means discovering that someone in her close circle is a murderer.

This book was published on September 26, 2023.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Secrets of Still Waters Chasm by Patricia Crisafulli (TLC Book Tour)


What flowers are still in bloom in your area?  My coneflowers and brown-eyed susans are hanging on as well as my potted mums.  We have not had a freeze yet!

Gabriela Domenici and her boyfriend Daniel Red Deer are hiking in the wilderness of Still Waters Chasm in the State of New York when they come across a dead body and another dying person.  They try to administer first aid, but when it proves to be futile, they go to a higher area to call for help.  When they return, the two bodies and their canoe are missing.  Where did they go?  Was this a case of accidental poisoning or was it foul play?

This is the second book in the series following last year’s The Secrets of Ohnita Harbor.  It picks up after the conclusion of the first novel with Gabriela still struggling with her feelings from almost being killed.  She is also working on furthering her relationship with Daniel Red Deer while also keeping her outspoken mother Agnese out of her relationship.  I found her to be such a relatable character as she struggles with work, being a mother, and love.  Throw a mystery on top of it and no wonder she is stressed!  I also love that she is a librarian who does detective work as a hobby.

I really enjoyed this novel.  I loved the characters and the setting.  I loved returning to Ohnita Harbor and getting to spend more time with this cast of characters.  While this can be read as a stand alone novel, I recommend reading The Secrets of Ohnita Harbor first so that you can really get to know the characters.  The setting sounds very beautiful and makes me want to visit upper New York.

I liked the cozy mystery in this novel as well.  The mysterious deaths also involved fracking and an old plan for a ship.  I didn’t guess the ending and loved seeing all the pieces fall into place as the story progressed.  The ending was pretty fast paced, and I couldn’t stop reading too far into the night to see how it all wrapped up.

Book Source:  Review copy from Woodhall Press and author Patricia Crisafulli as a part of the TLC Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Monday, October 2, 2023

The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


What is the weather like by you?  I live in Northeast Wisconsin along Lake Michigan and should be enjoying cool fall weather, but instead we had an eighty-degree day today.  It’s hard to believe it’s October.  Living by Lake Michigan, I always wonder about the Lake District in England, which is the setting of The Legacy of Longdale Manor.

In 2012, Gwen Morris is a young art historian working for her Grandfather.  She has made a major mistake in an evaluation of a piece of art.  Her grandfather sends her away to the estate of a family friend, Longdale Manor, to appraise the pieces there.  The owner, Lilly Benderly hopes that the sale of household treasures will garner enough money to fix up the estate into a luxury hotel run by her grandson, David.  As she is assessing the household items, Gwen finds a 100-year-old journal and a carved shepherd’s staff that looks like one in a picture with her parents.  She knows nothing about her father and works to find answers.

In 1912, Charlotte Harper’s father has suddenly died.  Unfortunately, the family discovers at his death that they have no money and Charlotte discovers a secret about her father that she keeps to herself in order to not hurt her family.  The family is forced to sell their heavily mortgaged home and move to the sheep farm of Charlotte’s mother’s friend in hopes of being able to mend the relationship with Charlotte’s grandfather who owns the nearby Longdale Manor.  Will Charlotte find love with shepherd Ian Storey?

I love dual timelines and I enjoyed both of these stories equally.  I like how the stories were interconnected and brought together at the end.  I also enjoyed the love stories of both couples. 

This was a great inspirational book.  It was a unique and enjoyable book that discussed the faith journey of the main characters.  Both women were looking for God’s guidance in their lives as they looked to forgive past wrongs perpetrated by their fathers and move forward with their lives.  It was a story that included forgiveness, redemption, and second chances.  Those are all themes that I enjoy reading about.  It was also a clean read.

I enjoyed the author’s note at the end of the novel which explained some of the background historical events (the Keswick Convention) as well as the beauty of the England’s Lake District.  I really would love to visit the Lake District one day.

Overall, The Legacy of Longdale Manor is a gentle, faith-filled story that is a must-read novel.

Book Source:  Review copy from Bethany House as a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: The Legacy of Longdale Manor

·       Author: Carrie Turansky

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Dual Timeline Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 26, 2023)

·       Length: (352) pages

·       Format: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 

·       ISBN: 978-0764241055‎

·       Tour Dates: September 25 – October 9, 2023



Two women—a century apart—embark on a journey to healing, faith, forgiveness, and romance.

In 2012, art historian Gwen Morris travels to England's Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. While at Longdale Manor, she meets David Bradford--the owner's handsome grandson--who is desperate to save the crumbling estate by turning it into a luxury hotel. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd's staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she's left searching for answers.

In 1912, after her father's death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. She and her family travel to the Lake District to stay on a sheep farm, hoping eventually to find a home with Charlotte's grandfather at Longdale Manor, but old wounds and bitter regrets make it a difficult challenge. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again.



  • "This novel will stir your faith—and your desire to visit England's Lake District!" —Julie Klassen, bestselling author of The Sisters of Seaview
  • "Turansky opens the door of Longdale Manor and invites readers to explore the secrets hidden inside." —Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of Chateau of Secrets
  • "A beautiful book to warm and lift the heart." —Cathy Gohlke, Christy Hall of Fame author






Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of twenty-one inspirational novels and novellas and a winner of the Carol Award, the International Digital Award, and the HOLT Medallion. She loves traveling to England to research her Edwardian novels, including No Journey Too FarNo Ocean Too WideAcross the Blue, and the Edwardian Brides series. Her novels have been translated into several languages and have received starred reviews from Christianbook.com and Library Journal.