Sunday, October 25, 2020

My Bookish Mewings: 15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher / Mrs. Morris and the Ghost by Traci Wilton

Saturday morning, I was lounging in my backyard and enjoying a little sun. ~ Opening of 15 Minutes of Flame 

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery, #3) by Christin Brecher
Kensington, 2020
Crime Fiction/Cozy; 304 pgs
Source: From the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

15 Minutes of Flame is the first book in the Nantucket Candle Maker series featuring Stella Wright. This was a perfect reading choice given the Halloween season. Stella had agreed to help put together this year's annual Halloween fundraiser which will take place at an old creepy abandoned home in Nantucket. When she discovers the skeleton in a boarded up shack on the property, suddenly rumors of ghosts and murder take flight. 

As the police and historians look into the matter, Stella herself cannot help but be intrigued. Was the woman's death over 100 years ago related to a theft and possible suicide of the woman's best friend? What of the man they both loved? And then a more modern murder shakes everyone up--how could it be tied to the death of the woman found in the shack? Or is it?  The police and Stella have their hands full as they try to unravel the clues in this cozy mystery.

I enjoyed every minute of 15 Minutes of Flame. Author Christin Brecher had me from the first sentence. I felt right at home in Nantucket and enjoyed the descriptions of Stella's candles. I would love to browse her shop and pick up a few of her themed candles! Stella is a great character--smart and resourceful. I did question her judgement a couple of times, however (of which my husband got an earful--and I will likely be talking about for some time to come because it hit on one of my pet peeves). While I never felt I was lost or missing something by starting with the third book in the series, I do have to wonder if there is some history between Stella and Andy. I suspected just about everyone in the book at some point or another and felt the author did a good job of weaving the history of the island in while building up suspense and keeping the readers (and characters) on our toes. I definitely hope to read more in this series at some point.

Charlene Morris may be impulsive sometimes, but crazy she was not. ~ Opening from Mrs. Morris and the Ghost
Mrs. Morris and the Ghost (A Salem B&B Mystery #1) by Traci Wilton
Kensington, 2019
Crime Fiction/Cozy/Paranormal, 336 pgs  

A young widow wanting to make a fresh start leaves behind Chicago to open a bed and breakfast in Salem, Massachusetts. The estate is as beautiful as she expected, but what she didn't expect was a ghost. Dr. Jack Strathmore died three years before and has been haunting his house ever since. He begs Charlene for her help when he realizes she can see him--find his murderer, for he is sure he's been murdered despite the official report. 

I enjoyed my time in Salem, getting to know the characters and area just as Charlene did. Charlene is anxious to make it work--her new business and her new life. She misses her husband terribly, but finds Jack's charms hard to resist. And then there is the detective, Sam, whose interest in Charlene is obvious from the start. Charlene has her own gift for charming people--but her pointed questions about Jack's past stir up the ire of several of the town's residents.  Especially when someone else ends up dead. There are plenty of suspects and motives to go around, and while some secrets I suspected early on, it took me awhile to work out who was behind it all in the end. 

Traci Hall and Patrice Wilton writing as Traci Wilton have written an entertaining mystery. I enjoyed every minute of it. I cannot wait to see what Jack and Charlene's next mystery will entail--and to see what Silva is up to. Who can resist a cuddly cat? Not me, that's for sure. And oh, how much I would love to stay at Charlene's Bed and Breakfast!

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  1. You share all these fun cozy mysteries! I do need to read more of them.

    1. Elza - I've been turning to cozy mysteries a lot this year. :-)

  2. Both of the books sound very fun, but Mrs Morris and the Ghost feels especially appropriate for October!

  3. These both sound like fun cozies. :)

    1. Lark - They were fun. I seem to be having good luck with cozies as of late. Or maybe that's just the best fit for my reading mood recently.

  4. I really enjoyed 15 Minutes of Flame and like you wondered a bit about the history between Stella and Andy. It definitely felt like there was something there. Eventually I'll go back and read the other books! Mrs. Morris and the Ghost looks so fun! I love a Salem setting and of course I can't resist a cuddly cat.

    1. Katherine - I am glad you enjoyed 15 Minutes of Flame too. :-) I am looking forward to exploring both these series more.


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