An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly

226687731 This is the third in the County Cork Mystery series by Sheila Connolly.  In this series, Maura is a novice pub owner and an American ex-pat, who inherited a pub in Ireland.  This series does a great job at immersing the reader in the setting, developing a great sense of place.  The mystery  in this book revolves around Irish music and musicians and the importance of it in Irish culture.  The recurring characters of Bridget, Billy, Mick, Rose, and Sean are all here again and are becoming more fully developed as the series progresses.  There is the start of romantic developments in this book as well as the murder mystery and the Irish music storyline.  The storylines work well together and make this a very satisfying read.  This is truly  a series that gets better and better!

White Colander Crime by Victoria Hamilton

24611568 The second book of today’s readathon, White Colander Crime by Victoria Hamilton is book 5 in the A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.  This book in the series is set at Christmas time, so there is a holiday theme to it.  The secondary storyline involves Jakob and Jaymie’s romance that develops nicely building on the previous book.  The murder plot begins when Jaymie stumbles upon the body and her boss’s son is accused.  Attempting to clear his name leads to exposing other crimes putting Jaymie and Valetta in danger.  There was a lot going on in White Colander Crime,  between the holiday theme, the romance and the intertwined crimes. so the focus was not on the Vintage Kitchen theme as much as it had been in earlier books.   Definitely a bit darker than the earlier books in the series as well.  A well done mystery that shows growth and development that should occur with a series over time.

A Timely Vision

7620279  Read A Timely Vision by Joyce and Jim Lavene as my first book for the Hooked on Books 24 hour Readathon.   In this series opener, Dae O’Connell the mayor of her small beach front town and small business owner , has a psychic talent for finding lost or missing objects.  Her quest for a missing object actually leads to a dead body and plunges her into the murder investigation.  Along the way , she deals with a common criminal, a related cold case and a shady real estate developer all with the help of a couple of romantic interests.  I enjoyed this and found it to be a good set up for a cozy series with a paranormal element.

As a side note, Joyce and Jim Lavene were a husband and wife cozy writing team. responsible for a large number of popular cozy series over the years.  Joyce passed away last October and I believe that Jim is continuing writing.