Category: Cosy Mystery

Book Review | “The Anatomist’s Wife” (#LadyDarby, No.1) by Anna Lee Huber

Posted Monday, 4 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: My local library has always been quite keenly astute on forthcoming releases by authors whose books wink at me from the card catalogue, whenever I am seeking a new read within a genre I happen to have a penchant attachment. Cosy mysteries have always been knitted into my heart, and although I honestly cannot remember exactly if the library purchased the Lady Darby book series off a request of mine OR if they were requested by another patron, all I can simply say is that I felt immeasurably blessed that the first two novels of the Lady Darby mysteries were at my library! I did make enquiries on behalf of this series to be continued to be added to the library as forthcoming titles release henceforth forward!

As this series is a part of a personal quest to read Serial Fiction Library Finds, I was not compensated for this review nor was I obliged to share my thoughts on behalf of this novel or the Lady Darby Mysteries.

On Cosy Historical Mysteries:

My blog has afforded me the wicked sweet pleasure of being enlightened and entranced by a new branch of literature my heart draws a breath of joy out of discovering: Cosy Historical Mysteries! I was always attracted to Cosy Mysteries, since I was quite young, as I grew up on Agatha Christie (as aforementioned on my review of The Monogram Murders), whose charm and grace in the telling of a story captured me for a lifetime. I readily read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys quite equally and wished I had found another sleuth who could have created a special niche of reading joy.

Cosies for me, have always been where my heart and mind are in sync to find solace in the pursuit of a mystery. There are times I attempt to read a bit of hard-boiled entrants to the Crime Fiction family, only to do an about-face and retreat back to the warmth and comfort of a Cosy.

Where I yield on this one note, is where my televised serials have led me to travel: Hart to Hart, Cagney & Lacey, Remington Steele, Banacek, Quincy, M.E., Crossing Jordan, McMillan & Wife, Mrs. Columbo, Columbo, Ironside, Perry Mason & the Movies; Due South, JAG, NCIS, NCIS:LA, NCIS: NOLA, Jesse Stone (starring Tom Selleck), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, Rizzoli & Isles, Ghost Whisperer, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Rosemary & Thyme, Sherlock (Series 1-2), Castle (Minus Series Finale), the Mentalist, Jane Doe, Diagnosis Murder, McBride, Mystery Woman, Dragnet, the Division, Nash Bridges, Walker, Texas Ranger, the Peacemakers, In the Heat of the Night, Murder, She Wrote, Numb3rs, Matlock, 1-800-the-Missing, For the People, the Nick & Nora movies, Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, and many more yet to disclose! As well as wanting to focus on watching: Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis & Endeavour; LA Law & Hawaii Five-O (original).

As you can well see, I am attracted to a hodgepodge of selections, but at the heart of all the series I mentioned is a solid story, a compelling lead character, and stories which touch your heart evermore. The added benefit by half is that most of these lovelies have quirky families stitched into the lead & supporting characters, of whom could not nearly function half as well without each other!

What draws me into the Cosy Historical section is the ability to take my love of murder mysteries and/or psychological suspense and wrap it inside of a historical setting! Until I blogged, I did not even realise how oft I duck inside a historical novel — across the multi-dimensional spectrum of offerings! Imagine my plumb surprise to realise then, that there is a whole curiously new section of Cosies out there waiting for me to discover them?

*For a listing of my favourite discoveries in Cosy Mysteries, see my review of See Also Murder

As I’ve been hoping to bring the #LadyDarby Mysteries to Jorie Loves A Story for two years, you could say I have found a way to bring them into the conscious of my readers by how I’ve etched in a working conversation about them on various posts or reviews. I had originally planned to begin reviewing these lovely novels in 2014, including during #HorrorOctober (a book blogosphere event that charmed me to join) except to say, most of my love for this series has lived through my Twitter feeds! I decided as a cross-celebration of the fifth Lady Darby novel to finally read through the entire series & share my thoughts with my readers who have been only been treated to a cursory glimpse of what gives me so much joy about this series prior to now!

You will happily find my thoughts about Lady Darby peppered throughout the following posts:

  • Death Sits Down to Dinner | in reference to my joy in what awaits me (see Review)
  • Claws of the Cat | in reference to grisly crime scenes (see Review)
  • The Masque of a Murderer | in reference of why I love Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • Inspector of the Dead | in reference to a particular style of Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs) | in reference to finding Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • Mist of Midnight | in reference to elements a similar style (see Review)
  • Keeping Kate | in reference of how Kate & Tyler reminded me of Lady Darby & Gage (see Review)
  • The Spoils of Avalon | on reflection of why I love Cosy Historical Mysteries (see Review)
  • #WWWeds No.7 | in reference of my excitement to get back into the series (see post)
  • Interview with Mary F. Burns | when I first started to compile a CHM List (see Interview)
  • Interview with R.J. Sullivan | in reference to smaller editions (see Interview)

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Book Review | “The Anatomist’s Wife” (#LadyDarby, No.1) by Anna Lee HuberThe Anatomist's Wife
Subtitle: A Lady Darby Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister's estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage-a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn't about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage's search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425253281

Also by this author: Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death, As Death Draws Near Book Blast (Series Notes), This Side of Murder

Series: Lady Darby Mysteries


Also in this series: Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Berkley Prime Crime

on 6th November, 2012

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

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The Lady Darby Mysteries:

The Anatomist’s Wife | No.1

Mortal Arts | No.2 | Synopsis

A Grave Matter | No.3 | Synopsis

A Study in Death | No.4 | Synopsis

A Pressing Engagement | No.4.5 (e-novella) | Synopsis

As Death Draws Near | No.5 | Synopsis | Happy #PubDay 5th of July, 2016

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

About Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mystery Series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her brothers and sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story, and she’s been writing ever since.

Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She now pens the award-winning Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing. Her debut novel, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a Daphne du Maurier Award and two 2013 RITA® Awards.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Indiana with her family, and when not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Serial Fiction Library Finds (Personal)
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Posted Monday, 4 July, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, Scotland, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Victorian era

Book Review | “See Also Deception” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.2) by Larry D. Sweazy

Posted Friday, 13 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary ARC copy of “See Also Deception” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I love reading the Marjorie Trumaine Mysteries:

Sweazy has a lovely tone of delivery inside his stories – especially in regards to See Also Murder, as he takes his time introducing his characters whilst giving you the strength of their lives up front. His gentle manner of allowing his characters to warm to you is what granted me the most joy in curling inside the novel – I could tell I was on the fringe of rallying behind Marjorie Trumaine straight out of the gate! His poetic glimpses of farm life in the Dakotas, of singling out moments of paused reflection were a delight to entreat inside because they earnestly told living truths about the lifestyle the Trumaine’s lived. I appreciated the way the novel started to become such an enjoyable feast of words, expressions and observational nuggets of the author’s impressions on behalf of his world.

Mr Sweazy injected such heartache inside his character’s heart, but he etched out the hard lines with feather kisses of hope and an underscored will to survive in the face of so much uncertainty. In the character Marjorie Trumaine he created the strength of a woman who was an equal to the natural environ of her home – the Dakotas have such fierce weather patterns, they alone can strengthen your resolve (or break it if your unable to deal with the influx of change on such a high frequency); but it’s how he’s given her something to focus on with an orderly task within the publishing industry that fused her will to her lifeline of hope that I felt was most fitting of all. It spoke to her true nature and to the spirit of the young girl she once was who found solace in stories.

To read the rest of my thoughts and what inspired me to read the #MarjorieTrumaineMysteries kindly read my review on behalf of the first novel in the series ‘See Also Murder’!

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Book Review | “See Also Deception” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.2) by Larry D. SweazySee Also Deception
Subtitle: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery
by Larry D. Sweazy
Source: Direct from Publisher

October 1964—just months after freelance indexer Marjorie Trumaine helped solve a series of murders in Dickinson, North Dakota, she is faced with another death that pulls her into an unwanted investigation. Calla Eltmore, the local librarian, is found dead at work and everyone considers it suicide. But Marjorie can’t believe that Calla would be capable of doing such a thing.

At Calla’s wake, Marjorie’s suspicions are further aroused when she notices something amiss in the open casket. But neither the sheriff nor the coroner are interested in her observation.

Despite pressing job commitments and the burden of caring for a husband in declining health, Marjorie recruits Deputy Guy Reinhardt to help her uncover the truth. What she finds is a labyrinth of secrets that she had no knowledge of— and threats from someone who will kill to keep these secrets hidden.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633881266

Also by this author: See Also Murder

Also in this series: See Also Murder


Genres: Amateur Detective, Book Indexing, Crime Fiction, Publishing Industry


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 244

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Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series:

Story Locale: A small town in North Dakota in 1964

Series Overview: Marjorie Trumaine, a freelance book indexer, uses her research skills and attention to detail to help the police solve crimes in rural North Dakota during the early 1960s.

See Also Murder | No.1 | review

See Also Deception | No.2 | Happy #PubDay! 10 May, 2016

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Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MarjorieTrumaineMysteries

About Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy is the author of See Also Murder, A Thousand Falling Crows, Escape from Hangtown, Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Devil’s Bones, The Cougar’s Prey, The Badger’s Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season.

He won the WWA Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013, and the 2011 and 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for the Josiah Wolfe series.

He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007, and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010, and won in 2011 for The Scorpion Trail. He has published over sixty nonfiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective: And 25 of the Year’s Finest Crime and Mystery Stories!; Boys’ Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies. He is member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), WWA (Western Writers of America), and WF (Western Fictioneers).

Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy
FYI: think Patrick Swayze when saying the author's name!

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Marjorie Trumaine: a survivor and a small towne heroine:

When it comes to fondly remembering what centred me most inside the footsteps of Marjorie Trumaine, I had to think directly on what makes her a survivor and a small towne heroine – Marjorie doesn’t shy away from difficulty, she walks straight through the eye of a tornado instead! She bolsters herself with courage she never knew she had such a well of depth to pull from as she navigates the changing tides of her small Dakota towne whilst attempting to find a footpath to settle herself upon which might bring her financial security for herself and her disabled husband Hank. She’s a character whose rooted to her farm, her community and the people who make her life well-lived and full of meaning. She cares about her fellow neighbours and has a long history of pride of her ancestral roots wherein her fortitude of strength can be readily foreshadowed out of the annals of her family’s living history.

Marjorie takes stock of things most might dismiss out of hand – she has a quick perception to recognise a visual clue waving itself in front of her eyes to alert her that something is not quite as it seems; thus giving her a bit of an edge on others who might not understand the truth they have yet to see for themselves. She’s not just a survivor of fate’s cruelty and the hardships of a farmer’s wife without the full use of the acres they have to spare but of life’s unexpected curves, which can test you well outside your point of return if you let them. She’s the type of heroine any small towne would rally behind because she seeks the truth in every situation and attempts to thwart her own prejudgements in exchange for re-assessing what is known by what she knows to be true herself. It’s a credit to what makes her uniquely genuine and a constant well of strength for the residents of Dickinson. Read More

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Posted Friday, 13 May, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Indexing, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Equality In Literature, Homestead Life, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Librarians & Library Staff, Library Catalogues & Databases, Prometheus Books, Publishing Industry & Trade, Small Towne USA, The Sixties, Upper Mid-West America, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “See Also Murder” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.1) by Larry D. Sweazy

Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “See Also Murder” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On what inspired me to read the Marjorie Trumaine Mysteries:

I had discovered See Also Deception was a Spring 2016 release on behalf of Seventh Street Books – mindful of the fact I have a preference for reading books in series straight from the beginning and/or in case of successive sequels, if I could soak inside the first novel, I could at least ascertain the direction of the series by first becoming acquainted with the lead character’s introduction. This is why I asked Seventh Street Books about receiving See Also Murder as a way to entreat inside See Also Deception. I wanted to understand the make-up of the series from a first-time reader’s perspective as well as become anchoured to the series straight from the gate of it’s origins.

I have a keen eye on for Mysteries – especially those which are told with a sophisticated edging rounding out their characters and where the conception of their settings are an equal match to the wit of the dialogue and/or the arc of the lead character’s life. I love finding mysteries so wickedly told by their creators, as to level out a joy in the discovery of a ‘new’ series to ache to read next.

I had a bit of luck finding a few serials prior to being a book blogger (*see my Short List below this review*, wherein those which are not linked through my blog were the pre-blog discoveries), but these past three years have yielded more joy in finding writers who are creating the Mysteries I love to champion to other readers! The ones where you feel so connected to the heart of their narratives, it’s hard to put them down – you forsake sleep and try to noodle out the hidden truths behind the crimes in step with the sleuths themselves – all the while caught up inside the joy of your first reading of a new Mystery series which stole your readerly heart.

This is why when I first discovered Seventh Street Books, I was so excited! And, I am finding I truly love the stories they are publishing and curating a list of new lovelies I am going to be continuously reading as each new release drops into sight! What wonderful joy for me!

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Notation on Cover Art Design: I love the simplicity of the cover – it eludes directly to Marjorie Trumaine’s personality, as she is focused on her duties as an indexer but she likes to find ways to use her keen skills of observation and deduction on the side. The clever bit is how the small droplets of blood carry over to the back jacket where just a small mattering of drops are around the ISBN code! I liked how the index card was used to ‘title’ the novel, as that is such a Marjorie thing to do! Also, the lined paper background to the back jacket felt quite fitting and the typewriter typography was brilliant!

Book Review | “See Also Murder” (A Marjorie Trumaine #Mystery, No.1) by Larry D. SweazySee Also Murder
Subtitle: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery
by Larry D. Sweazy
Source: Direct from Publisher

1964—Life on the North Dakota farm hasn’t always been easy for Marjorie Trumaine. She has begun working as a professional indexer to help with the bills—which have only gotten worse since the accident that left her husband, Hank, blind and paralyzed. When her nearest neighbors are murdered in their beds, though, Marjorie suddenly has to deal with new and terrifying problems.

Sheriff Hilo Jenkins brings her a strange amulet, found clutched in the hand of her murdered neighbor, and asks her to quietly find out what it is. Marjorie uses all the skills she has developed as an indexer to research the amulet and look into the murders, but as she closes in on the killer, and people around her continue to die, she realizes that the murderer is also closing in on her.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633880061

Also by this author: See Also Deception

Also in this series: See Also Deception


Genres: Amateur Detective, Book Indexing, Crime Fiction, Publishing Industry


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 5th May, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 253

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series:

Story Locale: A small town in North Dakota in 1964

Series Overview: Marjorie Trumaine, a freelance book indexer, uses her research skills and attention to detail to help the police solve crimes in rural North Dakota during the early 1960s.

See Also Murder | No.1

See Also Deception | No.2 | Book Synopsis on Riffle | Pub Date: 10 May, 2016

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MarjorieTrumaineMysteries

About Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy is the author of See Also Murder, A Thousand Falling Crows, Escape from Hangtown, Vengeance at Sundown, The Gila Wars, The Coyote Tracker, The Devil’s Bones, The Cougar’s Prey, The Badger’s Revenge, The Scorpion Trail, and The Rattlesnake Season.

He won the WWA Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013, and the 2011 and 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for the Josiah Wolfe series.

He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007, and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010, and won in 2011 for The Scorpion Trail. He has published over sixty nonfiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective: And 25 of the Year’s Finest Crime and Mystery Stories!; Boys’ Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies. He is member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), WWA (Western Writers of America), and WF (Western Fictioneers).

Photo Credit: Rose M. Sweazy
FYI: think Patrick Swayze when saying the author's name!

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Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Antique Jewelry, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Indexing, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Greek Mythology, Homestead Life, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Librarians & Library Staff, Library Catalogues & Databases, Life Shift, Prometheus Books, Publishing Industry & Trade, Small Towne USA, The Sixties, Upper Mid-West America, Vulgarity in Literature