The Lacemaker’s Secret

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The Lacemaker’s Secret (Chloe Ellefson #9) by Kathleen Ernst

Curator Chloe heads to Green Bay to consult on the restoration of an old Belgian-American farmhouse. When she arrives, she can’t help but check out a historic summer kitchen – and discovers a dead body in the bake oven! Alongside the the bake oven mystery is the tale of Seraphine, a Belgian immigrant skilled in art of making lace. The hardships she faced forging a new life in Wisconsin in the mid 1800s provided a background for the events in the modern day mystery.

I can think of 2 authors off the top of my head who wreck me with their books and #1 is Kathleen Ernst. I just know this review won’t do the book justice, it’s so hard for me to detail why this book was so remarkable without giving away what makes it so remarkable! The author’s ability to weave an emotionally haunting old-world story with a gripping modern day mystery is hypnotic! Just like Memory of Muskets, it will stay with me for a long, long time. Seraphine’s strength in the face of such adversity and heartbreak was inspiring and the very detailed descriptions brings it all to life. It’s one thing to read about life in earlier times, but the events are narrated so vividly, it’s like being there.

There was a lot packed into this book without feeling burdensome or overwhelming, from Roelke’s struggles to Seraphine’s heartbreak to Chloe’s tenacious investigating, and the lessons are all the same; strength, faith, and family will help you through any hardship. There’s no better message for anyone to take away from this and I think it’s what sets this series apart from so many others; that it effortlessly entertains, thrills and inspires.

Oh dear, now I’m waxing poetic but really, this was an excellent 5 star read that kept me glued to the pages. Can’t wait for the next one!

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Review: Murder in Mayfair

mayfair

Murder in Mayfair by D.M. Quincy

Murder in Mayfair is an excellent debut historical cozy, with a labyrinthine plot that pulls you deep into their Georgian era world from the very first page. It was so easy to lose myself in the world the author created, from the picturesque English countryside to London’s dirty streets, the attention to period detail was adept without weighing down the story. This was the kind of book where the characters become almost like familiar friends, from the enigmatic Lilliana to the brilliant Thea to the dashing and witty Atlas Catesby (that name, right? I feel like I need a jaunty cat named Atlas Catesby.) and the suspenseful plot kept me turning pages well into the night.

Overall, Murder in Mayfair is a lovely introduction to the world of Atlas Catesby, with a taut, suspenseful plot with many twists and turns, a charming early 1800s setting and riveting characters it will definitely be a series to watch for.