It is Thursday, January 12, 1888, and the Dakota Territory and Nebraska are experiencing what they call a “warm” winter day. Every one leaves woolens at home for light coats and shawls. Enjoying a day to let everything breathe and air out. As the morning turns to afternoon an ominous dark cloud moves across the prairie bringing a dangerous blizzard with it. The prairie teachers have a decision to make: send the students home and pray they make it before it gets too bad or keep them at the school and pray they have enough fuel to heat the schoolhouse.
I first heard about this blizzard through the children’s I Survive series and became interested. When I realized Melanie Benjamin was releasing a book on the event I could not wait to request it from my local library. I was not disappointed. My interest was piqued from page one. I did not want to put the book down. The decision the prairie teachers had to make was not an easy one. A literal “between a rock and hard place” decision.
Benjamin did a great job in making you feel what each character was thinking, feeling, and experiencing. A must-read for historical fiction fans.
Pages: 320 (book) or 8 hours and 23 minutes (audiobook)
Publisher: Berkley (book)/Dreamscape Media LLC (audiobook)
Published: December 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Hoopla via Public Library
As Suzanne is getting her hair dyed she smells smoke. At first, she thought a customer in the salon hair was on fire but she quickly realizes that the County Services building next door was on fire. She soon learns that the fire was intentionally set and a friend of Petra’s was killed. Can Suzanne find the arsonist before she becomes scorched?
Overall, I enjoyed book six of the Cackleberry Club. My biggest issue was with Petra. She was very unlikable. She was bossy and grouchy. It could have been because her friend was murdered or maybe I am just now noticing her bossiness.
It was interesting to learn the history behind scorched eggs and to learn in current times we call them scotch eggs. I have never had one and the next time we go to our local Irish restaurant I will have to try one.
Scorched Eggs is a solid addition to the series with a beautiful surprise at the end.
Winter has its grip on Kindred and the Cackleberry Club is focusing on the annual Fire and Ice Festival. That is until Suzanne finds the local banker beheaded behind the cafe. Can the Cackleberry Club solve the murder before they find themselves on ice?
I am finding myself getting hooked on this series. I can’t wait to see what Suzanne, Petra, and Toni are up to. The beheading of the local banker threw me for a loop as I believe it is the first time I’ve read about a beheading in a cozy. There was very little gore but it made for interesting reading.
Stake and Eggs was a fast-paced read that kept my interest. There was plenty of red-herrings to keep me guessing. Along the way there plenty of laughs when it comes to Toni’s husband Junior. As frustrating as he can be he brings some good laughs.
I highly recommend this series to fans of culinary cozy mysteries. Recipes are included.
It’s Halloween time in Miracle Springs, NC. A time for festivals, pumpkins, and trick-or-treating. Although it appears there are more tricks than treats happening. A local mom group has made it their passion to target all shops that do not meet their strong moral code. Unfortunately, Nora’s bookstore has made that list along with a new shop specializing in CBD oil. Before the CBD shop can celebrate its opening both the owner and her daughter have been murdered. Can Nora book the murder into the local jail before becoming the next victim?
Please tell me I am not the only reader who purposely slowed their reading pace down in order to stay in Miracle Springs longer. This series has been a joy to read even though it tackles some very tough and series issues. Nora feels like a friend and I really want to meet her.
Ink and Shadows made me cry and leap for joy before the end of Chapter 3. I suffer from fibromyalgia and very few people get it. They like to shake their head and murmur what they think is the correct murmurs but you can look in their face and see the scorn of disbelief. EA got it! She made me feel seen and understood. She got the days where getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other is all you can do. She got the days that even someone breathing on you brings you to your knees. Thank you, EA for Sheldon’s character.
I would think you could pick up this series at any point and fall right into the story but you really should read from the beginning. I suggest this series to anyone I can get to listen to me. It is one I can re-read and never get tired of reading.
Another top ten for me!
Warnings: witchcraft, murder, out of wedlock pregnancy, slight cursing, a hint of sex
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington Books, through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
Source: Recorded Books via Hoopla via Public Library
Join Kirra and Reef as they work the Iditarod. Kirra’s uncle disappears during a leg of the race and Kirra and Reef join forces to find him. Danger lurks around every corner. Can they survive the cold to find a loved one?
Sabotages is the fifth and last book in the Alaskan Courage series. A series I found exciting to read. Following the McKennas as they find love amidst danger made for good reading. I liked how the author waited until the last book to tackle the hardest of the siblings, Reef. He had the most to gain but he had to want it.
As with each book, Sabotaged is a clean Christian suspense. Easy to read. All five books are also available on Hoopla from your local library if they participate.
Follow along with six-year-old Lily as she navigates learning the importance of watching her younger siblings, the first day of school, and making friends (some nice and others not so nice). She will have you laughing and feeling compassion at any moment.
I have always been fascinated by the Amish and getting to read about their life from a child’s point of view was refreshing and interesting. I like how the series is based on the real-life adventures of Mary Ann Kinsinger.
My favorite scene in the book is when Lily’s Grandma Miller shows her how to make the Lily of the Valley flower change colors and compares it to the making of friends. A wonderful lesson for kids and adults.
Life with Lily is a perfect read-aloud book for your younger kids especially those interested in the Amish life.
Are two murders, a dogfighting ring, and a prison break all related? Leave it to the ladies of The Cackleberry Club to figure out just in time for the town to have fun at the Halloween party.
This is a series I have dabbled in for several years and really enjoy. I am always left with the wish I could hop in the car and visit The Cackleberry Club for some breakfast and leave with a book or three. Who knows I might even take time to learn knitting.
As with most cozies, Bedeviled Eggs is a clean read with no cursing and no violent murder scenes. There is an allusion to sex between an unmarried couple.
A solid read leaving me wanting to grab the next book.
Roarke has convinced Eve to take a night off and attend a live theater production but unfortunately, before the final curtain, it turns into a night of work. The lead actor was killed live on stage. Will Eve find the killer or will the killer exit stage left ready for the next production?
I started this series many years ago with my mom. She bought the first book solely based on the fact it was written by Nora Roberts alter ego. With her recent passing in 2020, I decided to start reading the series again in order to feel closer to her. At one time I thought 2059 was a lifetime away and now it is closer than I want to admit.
Witness in Death held my attention and I did not guess the killer until the big reveal. I am still trying to figure out which clues I missed. I am liking how we are getting more of Eve’s background and seeing a softer side of Eve with Peabody, Nadine, and Dr. Mira. Eve is still one tough cookie but she does have a heart.
Warnings: Incest, Rape, Sexual Scenes, and Cursing