Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

thenshesource: personal copy
title: Then She Was Gone
author:Lisa Jewell
genre: crime thriller/mystery
published: April 17th 2018
pages: 359
first line: Laurel let herself into her daughter’s flat.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

my thoughts:
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is my first read of 2020. I happily kicked off my new reading year with a great crime thriller. This is my first foray into this author’s work and it won’t be my last.

The book centers around Laurel Mack whose daughter Ellie disappeared ten years ago. Since then Laurel’s marriage has ended, her other two children have moved out and she lives in a small apartment alone and works part time. When a few more clues are found concerning the case, Laurel finally tries to move on with her life. She meets a single dad named Floyd. He lives with his daughter Poppy.

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A Crafter Quilts a Crime (A Handcrafted Mystery #3) by Holly Quinn

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source: free ARC via NetGalley / Crooked Lane Books
title: A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
author: Holly Quinn
published: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
genre: cozy mystery
first line: Sammy Kane clutched the navy scarf closer to her neck, hoping to rebuff the frigid air threatening to penetrate any air pocket in her winter coat.

blurb:
Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.

my thoughts:
A Crafter Quilts a Crime is book 3 in author Holly Quinn’s A Handcrafted Mystery series. This was my last read for 2019.

In this installment Sammy Kane sets up a live mannequin display in her shop for the annual Fire & Ice event in her town. The event is a big deal and all the shop owners participate and the townspeople come out to see. Sammy sets up a live window display contest but one of the contestants, a quilter named Wanda Wadsworth, winds up dead in the display after being poisoned. Soon enough police discover Wanda’s husband is missing and this makes him a prime suspect in her murder. Sammy decides to do some investigating along with her sister Ellie and her cousin Heidi.

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Seed by Ania Ahlborn

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source: purchased
title: Seed
author: Ania Ahlborn / Twitter
published: July 17th 2012
genre: horror
pages: 241
first line: The Saturn’s engine rattled like a penny in an old tin can.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.

my thoughts:
After having read Brother by Ania Ahlborn this past October I knew I had to read more. I chose Seed because on reading the blurb it sounded terrifying . “Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back.”

Was it scary? Yes. I read this one in two sittings. This was just good old fashioned horror. The story centers on Jack Winter who grew up poor in backwoods Georgia and left home at a very young age. He has not been back home since. Jack is now married and works a day job and is a musician as a side job with his best friend Reagan.

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Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan

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source: free review copy via Library Thing/ Harper Collins
title: Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop
author: Jenny Colgan / Twitter
genre: Christmas fiction / Romance
published: November 7th 2013
pages: 341
first line: Lipton was quiet underneath the stars.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
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blurb:
Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish Delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She’s going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can’t wait. But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community, all of Rosie’s plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what’s best for the sweetshop also what’s best for Rosie?

my thoughts:
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan is a nice read mainly centering on family life during the holidays in a small town. Rosie Hopkins left her life as a registered nurse in the big city to move to a little village in Lipton and open up a candy shop. She lives with her boyfriend Stephen, who is a Mr. Darcy type. His mother is Lady Lipton and she lives in the large estate of Lipton Hall. She is cold towards Rosie. Rosie wants Stephen to propose and she wants to start a family with him, this is a biggie for her. She wonders if staying in small town Derbyshire with no family is worth it if she doesn’t ever marry and have a family of her own.

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Deadly Ride (Britton Bay #3) by Jody Holford

ride

source: NetGalley
title:Deadly Ride (A Britton Bay Mystery Book 3)
author: Jody Holford
genre: cozy mystery
pages: 217
first line: Molly Owens had a pretty strong grasp on vocabulary, but clearly she misunderstood the word chilly.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
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blurb:
Newspaper editor Molly Owens loves her new life—and her new man—in the beautiful seaside town of Britton Bay, Oregon. But when a car-show killer strikes, she needs to put the brakes on the culprit . . .

As editor-in-chief of the Britton Bay Bulletin, Molly steps in for a sick reporter to cover the Classic Car Crawl, an exhibit of vintage automobiles. Her main challenge is not being driven to distraction by the presence of her hunky boyfriend, Sam Alderich, a fellow car enthusiast whose auto shop is sponsoring the event. But when she and Sam discover the co-founder dead in his car, Molly quickly shifts gears to solve the murder.

With a showroom full of suspects—including the co-founder’s longtime partner, much-younger wife, enigmatic ex, and car owners with grudges and grievances—Molly soon starts to feel like she’s spinning her wheels. And after things take a turn for the worse, it’s all she can do to steer clear of trouble and stay out of a killer’s clutches . . .

my thoughts:
Deadly Ride is Book 3 in Jody Holford’s A Britton Bay Mystery series. How cute is the cover? The other book covers in this series can be found here and are also adorable.
The story centers around newspaper editor Molly Owens. There is a car show coming to the seaside town of Britton Bay and Molly is covering the story. While she’s at the show she meets a few people and contestants. However, she and her boyfriend Sam Alderich stumble upon a dead contestant at the end of the night. The cops are called in and there are a few suspects including the victim’s young widow, his ex-wife and fellow car owners who all have motive. Even though Sam wants Molly to stay safe and steer clear of the investigation she can’t help but get pulled in. This is not the first time she has stumbled upon a dead body.

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