Two For The Road (also known as Gigi, Listening) by Chantal Guertin is a cute romantic comedy which takes place on a bus tour in England.
The main character, Gigi, took over her family’s small town bookstore after the sudden tragic death of her parents. Without giving too much of the story away, she ends up on a bus tour of England after seemingly falling in love with the voice narrating an audiobook, in an attempt to meet the man behind the voice.
Although I thought Gigi was a bit too obsessed with the voice in her audiobook, and got frustrated with her behaviour a few times, I really enjoyed this book. As we got to know Gigi, it became clear that there was more to her obsession than first appeared and it made her behaviour more understandable.
The cast of characters on the bus tour was fabulous. From tour guide Angus, to wannabe YouTube star Jenny, the array of characters was diverse, and they really made the story come alive for me.
I loved how the author blended a mix of humourous and emotional moments into this book. I always appreciate when an author can make me laugh out loud, and bring me to tears in the same book.
This was the first book by Chantal Guertin that I have read, but I will be checking out more of her titles.
Thanks to NetGalley and publishers Penguin Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen was different from most of the books I read. In fact, when it became available on my library holds list, I couldn’t even remember why I had added it. Other Birds is tagged on GoodReads as Magical Realism, and while there are some supernatural occurrences, they do not dominate the story.
The story was well written, and very character driven. The main character is Zoey, a teenage girl, about to start college and on her own for the first time. She moves into the apartment she inherited from her mother, which is located in a small complex filled with a rather motley set of characters.
Although the story is mainly shown from Zoey’s point of view, the point of view does change occasionally so that we get to see through the eyes of most of the characters at some point.
I found Other Birds to be a heartwarming story about a group of emotionally damaged people finding each other and making a found family. I’m very glad I read it and I’ll be checking out other books by this author.
I loved this book so much that I bought the ebook for my Kobo and am thinking of adding a hard copy to my bookshelf.
Near the end of 2022, I discovered the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman, and I was enchanted. The Elusive Mrx. Pollifax is book 3 in the series, and it is just as entertaining as the first two books.
Mrs Pollifax is a widow with grown children who just decided one day that she would pursue her dream of becoming a spy. If that sounds ridiculous, we’ll, it is, and so are some of the situations she finds herself in, but somehow she always manages to come out on top,.
In The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax, our heroine is on her way to Belgaria to deliver passports to underground connections so that they can get safely out of the country. In true Mrs. Pollifax fashion, she gathers new friends, while somehow escaping near death, all while making the reader laugh, and wonder just how she does it.
It’s difficult to believe that these books were written in the 1960s and 1970s, they stand up fairly well in my opinion.
I’ve really been enjoying this series and hope to read more of it.
Julia Seales’ debut novel, A Most Agreeable Murder is a unique blend of historical romantic comedy murder mystery. If that sounds over the top, well it is, and it’s so much fun!
Beatrice Steele is the eldest of three sisters, and has an unusual (and scandalous if anyone knew) interest in murder. Reading about and solving it, not committing it.
When the family attends the annual autumn ball all the talk is about the newcomer to Swampshire, eligible bachelor, Edmund Croaksworth, and his fortune. When Edmund drops dead at the ball, everyone is suspect, luckily there’s a (somewhat) famous detective, Inspector Vivek Drake, at the ball, and Beatrice is set to assist him. With a severe storm keeping everyone confined at Stabmork Park where the ball is taking place, and no way to send for immediate assistance, finding the killer is of paramount importance.
A Most Agreeable Murder had me laughing from page one. As soon as I saw the name of the town, Swampshire, I knew I was going to be in for a treat and I was not disappointed. Swampshire is a place of kooky characters, and equally strange and ridiculous phenomenon, such as killer squelch holes. This was just a ridiculous, fun read that I could not put down. Aside from the quirkiness of the characters, and the silly (but witty) banter, the mystery itself was well written and I didn’t guess who the culprit was (although I kind of hoped and was not disappointed).
A Most Agreeable Murder releases on June 27th 2023. If you love a good mystery, enjoy historical settings, and want a lighthearted, fun read, this book is definitely for you.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for providing an ARC copy for review.
The Body in the Back Garden is Mark Waddell’s debut novel, a cozy mystery set in Crescent Cove, Vancouver Island, Canada, and is the first book his new Crescent Cove Mysteries series.
Luke Tremblay arrives in Crescent Cove to deal with selling the cottage and antiques business that he inherited unexpectedly from the aunt with whom he spent many summers in his youth. The morning after arriving, he wakes to find the body of a man he’d had an altercation with the previous day, dead in the pond in his back yard.
It isn’t long before Luke is drawn into the mystery of the man’s death, and whether or not it relates to his aunt’s tragic death in a hit and run. Investigating the murder is Luke’s former friend, Jack Munro, now a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and in charge of the detachment in Crescent Cove. Jack is still upset with Luke because after Luke’s last summer in Crescent Cove as a teenager, his family disowned him after he revealed he was gay, and Luke never returned or kept in touch.
The Body in the Back Garden was a lovely cozy mystery. The setting in a small town on Vancouver Island was perfect. The characters in the town were diverse and interesting. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Luke and Jack develop as adults, even as they came to terms with the way they parted.
I am a big cozy mystery (or any mystery really) fan, and I was not able to figure out the culprit until very near the end of the book. This book was very entertaining, and I’m looking forward to reading more from the series.
The Body in the Back Garden releases on August 22 2023. If you love cozy mysteries, put it on your list!
Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an ARC for review.