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Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

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Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is a young adult novel written by Kelly Jones. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because it is set in the Regency era, one of my absolute favorite historical periods.

Annis Whitworth is a young woman whose life is thrown into upheaval by her father’s death. She did not know her father very well because he was often traveling, and his sudden death prompts many questions about his occupation. This event also seems to serve as the catalyst for Annis learning that she can sew “glamours” that transform garments and the person wearing them. Continue reading

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One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

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One of Us Is Lying is a young adult novel written by Karen M. McManus. I found it on the new release shelf at my town library.

Five teens walk into detention: Bronwyn is an academic overachiever, Addy is a pretty girl, Nate is a drug dealer, Cooper is a baseball star, and Simon is brooding and aloof. They are all there because they were caught with cell phones during class. There’s just one problem- the phones aren’t actually theirs and none of them have any idea what the phones are doing in their bags. They are a rather eclectic group, and don’t necessarily run in the same social circles. Being in detention for a something they didn’t actually do is the least of their concerns because by the end of detention, one of the five is dead. Continue reading

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Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

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Elsie Mae Has Something to Say is a middle grade novel written by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because we’ve read Cavanaugh’s last book- Just Like Me.

This book takes us back to the 1930s, and we are immediately introduced to Elsie Mae, a young girl living near the Okefenokee Swamp. The swamp is very dear to her heart; not only do her grandparents and uncles live there, but Elsie has spent the last several summers with her grandparents. As the story begins, Elsie Mae is mailing a letter to the White House because she has heard about a canal project that would cut right through her beloved swamp. Elsie Mae is determined to do something about this, and fervently hopes that her letter will reach President Roosevelt’s desk.

The summer starts out well enough- Elsie’s Uncle Owen presents her with a dog, something she has always wanted. Elsie is looking forward to spending the summer becoming acquainted with the dog, but she faces two obstacles: the arrival of her cousin Henry James (who wants to be a preacher when he grows up) and the news that there are no good hog bandits on the loose in the Okefenokee. Continue reading

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The Property of Lies by Marjorie Eccles

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The Property of Lies is the second book in Marjorie Eccles’ series of mystery books featuring Detective Herbert Reardon. It takes place a couple of years after the first book, Heirs and Assigns, and this book has our intrepid detective investigating a murder at a girls’ boarding school.

Coincidentally, Reardon’s wife has just accepted a position at the school because the last French teacher disappeared. Not too much later, the missing teacher’s body in a dilapidated corner of the property. Continue reading

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Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen

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Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is the first book in Tessa Arlen’s Lady Montfort mystery series.

Lady Montfort loves planning her annual summer party. She is happy to have her son home from Oxford, as well as his childhood friends. However, things take a nasty turn when her nephew Teddy is found dead- gruesomely murdered, it seems. Lady Montfort saw her son arguing with Teddy and even shoving him. She knows that her son is not capable of such a heinous crime, but she is also afraid that the investigation will lead back to him. Continue reading

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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

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I first heard about The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie in one of my message boards. The plot intrigued me, and so I sought out a copy via my library network. There was a wait list, but within days, I arrived at the top of the list and downloaded the book onto my Kindle.

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is the first book in Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies series. This Victorian romance features the titular Lord Ian, the younger brother of a duke. Lord Ian has quite a reputation- he spent much of his youth in a private asylum, and now as an adult, he enjoys collecting Chinese pottery. He proves to be a valuable asset to his oldest brother’s trade deals because he can recall entire conversations verbatim, even if the negotiations took place in another language.

As soon as Ian meets Beth, he is absolutely smitten. Beth also arrived at her present situation in a rather unconventional manner: after her pastor husband passed away, she served as the companion for a wealthy lady who left Beth a large inheritance. Beth has never met anyone like Ian, nor has she ever been pursued with the intensity in which Ian pursues her. Continue reading

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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first book in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series of mystery novels. I actually listened to this book awhile ago, but I fell behind with my reviews and did not have the opportunity to write a review until now.

Flavia de Luce is a precocious young girl who lives in a crumbling mansion with her father and sisters. Her two passions are chemistry and tormenting her sisters. One day, Flavia finds a dead bird with a rare stamp pinned on its beak. Not too long after that, she finds a dying man in the garden. Flavia knows that she can solve the case faster than the police, and she sets off on her trusty bike to delve into long-buried schoolboy secrets and the intense world of stamp collecting. Continue reading