Genre: Historical Thriller Suspense

A #CrimeFicFridays Book Spotlight | feat. the Historical Suspense novels by Karen Odden with a light of joy on “A Trace of Deceit”

Posted Friday, 2 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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Acquired Book By:

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

Thankfully as I had to take a hiatus from Scribd, my regional library uses CloudLibrary for part of their audiobooks and I was able to listen to “A Lady in the Smoke” and “A Dangerous Duet” via their audiobook catalogue. I was not obligated to share my opinions and thoughts on behalf of the audiobooks and choose to share them for my own edification as well as continuing to share my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Trace of Deceit” direct from the publisher William Morrow in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I  was expecting to be celebrating the fact I had listened to the first two novels in this series whilst I had read the third! And, yet, that isn’t quite how my hours with this series unfolded – courtesy of a towering stack of my chronic migraines & a slew of medical emergencies affecting my parents throughout the Summer  & most especially during September – hence why I am one of the champions of October and Autumn’s fierce grip which is happily starting us out right into a new Season!

Rather than admitting I lost the hours I needed to proper dive into this series, I took it up as a bit of a challenge the night before this was meant to go ‘live’ as they say! I happily found the audiobooks were available to borrow via CloudLibrary, whilst I had music queued and ready on Spotify for when I settled into the print edition of A Trace of Deceit. I was thankful for the bookmark the author mailed to me – it was one of those lovely chunky ones which has a lot of girth and height? I *love!* being surprised with bookmarks and this one was enscribed which was especially kind and sweet to receive. Therefore, as I started to become acquainted with the Victorian Mysteries I was surprised by what I was finding inside them and how each narrator approached the stories differently.

I felt it best to present my reactions as I was listening and reading the stories themselves (per my usual) and let each of you decide if this is a series you can chase after yourself and/or if something I’ve shared or said might help you decide if another series might be a better fit for you too. This is one reason why I love being a book blogger as we each help the other find the stories we might not otherwise have ‘met’.

This #CrimeFicFridays I am showcasing my introduction into the Victorian Mysteries by Karen Odden. Each forthcoming #CrimeFicFriday might be a similar showcase and spotlight and/or it could feature a full review of a Crime Fiction novel I’ve recently read whilst I might also host an author and showcase their story and/or series, too. It is a feature which constantly is in flux and whenever I feel creatively inspired to share a portion of my pursuit of finding Crime Fiction novelists and narrators I love discovering – you’ll see this feature presenting itself with new posts!

Lest I mention I’ve renamed this feature from [#CrimeFicFriday] to [#CrimeFicFridays] as for whichever reason the latter comes more readily to my mind than the former? Same showcases, same featured selections but with a new twist of a name and a fancy new banner! I felt it only fitting that I debut the banner for this featured showcase alongside the debut of my #2PagePreview banner, as well! Both are full features here on Jorie Loves A Story but they needed their own identity, too.

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A #CrimeFicFridays Book Spotlight | feat. the Historical Suspense novels by Karen Odden with a light of joy on “A Trace of Deceit”A Trace of Deceit
by Karen Odden
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

From the author of A Dangerous Duet comes the next book in her Victorian mystery series, this time following a daring female painter and the Scotland Yard detective who is investigating her brother’s suspicious death.

A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder…

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.

As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062796622

Published by William Morrow

on 17th December, 2019

Pages: 416

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The Victorian Mysteries by Karen Odden:

A Lady in the Smoke (book one)

A Dangerous Duet (book two)

A Trace of Deceit (book three)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

Available Formats: P.S. Edition Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistoricalMystery or #HistoricalMysteries
+ #VictorianMysteries and #HFVBTBlogTours

About Karen Odden

Karen Odden

Karen Odden received her Ph.D. in English literature from New York University and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays and chapters to books and journals, including Studies in the Novel, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and Victorian Crime, Madness, and Sensation; she has written introductions for Barnes and Noble editions of books by Dickens and Trollope; and she edited for the academic journal Victorian Literature and Culture.

She freely admits she might be more at home in nineteenth-century London than today, especially when she tries to do anything complicated on her iPhone. Her first novel, A Lady in the Smoke, was a USA Today bestseller and won the New Mexico-Arizona 2016 Book Award for e-Book Fiction. Her second novel, A Dangerous Duet, about a young pianist who stumbles on a notorious crime ring while playing in a Soho music hall in 1870s London, won the New Mexico-Arizona 2019 Book Award for Best Historical Fiction. A Trace of Deceit is her third novel. She resides in Arizona with her family and a ridiculously cute beagle named Rosy.

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Posted Friday, 2 October, 2020 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #CrimeFicFridays, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Book Spotlight | “The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts” by Jenetta James

Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I had already made my selections to read during #AustenInAugust for this year as I’ve been trying to make good on my promise to myself to re-engage with the stories I’ve attempted to read in the past but fell a bit short of finishing; hence why I have a book blogger’s backlogue.

For this particular event – I was looking forward to Adam @ Roof Beam Reader hosting this as it was an event he hosted for quite awhile before he had to take a hiatus from it. This year, as I was contemplating hosting a homage to his event, I learnt there was another event a month before August in July – simply called ‘#JaneAustenJuly’ which originates via booktube. I’ve decided to move my Austen reads into July to walk alongside my INSPY reads for a readathon I love participating in for INSPY Lit.

You might be curious why I am broaching this whilst hosting Ms James? The reason is because I originally crossed paths with the author when she first contacted me about “Suddenly Mrs Darcy” – this is one of the stories I desire to finally enjoy start to finish during #JaneAustenJuly as it was one story which was left unfinished in [2016]. I’ve been attempting to get back into reading Jane Austen ever since however, the past several years haven’t quite been kind to me as most of my regular readers know as [2017] was the year my father recovered from his stroke whilst [2018/19] were the years where my own health afflictions took over my life.

In [2019] I had the pleasure of listening to “Rational Creatures” – a collection of Jane Austen inspired after canon short stories – an anthology which also features Jenetta James. Shortly thereafter I had the chance to receive the anthology “Yuletide”. It is this second anthology I didn’t get the chance to feature on Jorie Loves A Story due to health afflictions and other issues which arose after I received the collection. I’ll be showcasing both “Yuletide” and “Suddenly Mrs Darcy” this July as I walk back into my readings of Jane Austen as I also slated to read “Mansfield Park” and “Northanger Abbey”.

This Summer whilst re-organising my readerly life, I saw the announcement for this lovely story and knew I wanted to help promote it. I still stand behind what initially drew me into wanting to read Ms James’ stories – there is something quite marvelous about the kinds of stories she’s writing and I dearly cannot wait to reconnect with one from her past next month!

Today I am celebrating her latest release and look forward to hearing from my readers if this is an author whose on your own radar to be read and/or if this is the first time you’ve heard of Jenetta James and the collective works she has currently published? Grab a cuppa of your favourite brew and get to know a bit more about this lovely new release!

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Book Spotlight | “The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts” by Jenetta JamesThe Memory House
Subtitle: A Love Story in Two Acts
by Jenetta James

A house in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods is home to secrets, mysteries, and two love stories spanning two centuries.

In 1859, independent-minded Kitty Cathcart dreams of escaping Veronica Gardens but her father’s determination to marry her off to a rich man of his choosing forces her to seek happiness and find her own voice by other means. And then the handsome but poor Alex Faraday walks through the front doors.

In 2019, Oxford-educated Josie Minton never dreamt of living in a house as grand as Veronica Gardens, but the nanny’s quarters are a perfect fit for a young woman in need of a job. Wealthy financier James Cavendish and his twin girls quickly find her indispensable to their happiness, but Josie is still searching for her future.

Then the great house reveals the first of its secrets, and the tragedy and romance of one era are brought into sharp relief with another.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08BFG6LJ4

Published by Quills and Quartos Publishing

on 10th August, 2020

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Published by: Quills and Quartos Publishing (@QuillsQuartos)

The following stories by Jenetta James are being re-released:

Suddenly Mrs Darcy

The Elizabeth Papers

Lover’s Knot

Available Formats: This is a Digital First release.

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #TheMemoryHouse, #JenettaJames and #HFVBTBlogTours

About Jenetta James

Jenetta James

Jenetta James is a lawyer, writer, mother and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego.

She is the author of “Suddenly Mrs Darcy”, “The Elizabeth Papers” and “Lover’s Knot” as well as a contributor to The Quill Ink series of anthologies, “The Darcy Monologues”, “Dangerous to know”, “Rational Creatures” and “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl”.

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Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Book Spotlight | “Of Darkness and Light” (Soli Hansen Mysteries, Book One) by Heidi Eljarbo

Posted Tuesday, 2 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Similar to why I had to change my post yesterday, I was just as excited to host an interview for this blog tour when I first signed on to host the author and her story – however, whilst I was in the throes of co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder (see also Post) for our 3rd Year of celebrating the fantastical throughout May, I was also succumbing to wicked horrid seasonal allergies which truly upturnt my world for the month. Somehow I managed to forget to finish my questions for the author in time for my tour stop and requested to change it to a spotlight as this is an author I’ve been intrigued about reading for quite a long while now.

You might remember my announcements for #WitchAThon this past March?

I had planned to read & review “Catching A Witch” by this author during the readathon for #WitchyReads – however, this was the month my parents both ended up in the ER and my reading life took a bit of a hiatus along with losing a bit of interest in blogging. Sometimes the crises of life can divert our attention and we have to hug close to family and faith to get through them. It took me until #WyrdAndWonder to finally find the joy again in both reading & blogging – as the event helped reset my focus and renewed my joy of diving into stories. Until Wyrd And Wonder – I’ve been struggling since last Autumn to have that same kind of joyfulness I experienced whilst reading “Christmas Once Again”.

You’ll be finding my #WitchyReads are coming to Jorie Loves A Story this June – as I’m co-hosting a new event with Armed with a Book (@_armedwithabook) which focuses on our #ReviewReads (more details soon!).

Today, I want to talk about this new Historical Mystery series and why this series caught my attention as much as Ms Eljarbo’s “Catching A Witch”.

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Book Spotlight | “Of Darkness and Light” (Soli Hansen Mysteries, Book One) by Heidi EljarboOf Darkness and Light
by Heidi Eljarbo

In this first book of a new historical mystery series, a young art historian faces a tough choice in German-occupied Norway.

Oslo, 1944. Soli Hansen’s passion for art history is and always has been a way of life for her. While she spends her days working in an art shop, WWII is taking its toll on everyone. Apprehensive of the consequences, Soli avoids becoming entangled in the war resistance efforts. She closes her eyes in hopes the enemy will retreat and leave her beautiful country for good.

But when a woman is found dead in the alley alongside the art shop and a painting from the last auction goes missing, Soli is thrown into the thickest of the fray involving both Nazi art theft and the Norwegian resistance.

Once Soli finds her courage, there’s no turning back. Her personal life is turned upside-down with danger, lies, spying, and an incredible discovery.

In this dual timeline novel, Heidi Eljarbo paints a vivid picture of what people are willing to do in desperate times. With unforgettable characters and rich historical details, Of Darkness and Light will keep the reader mesmerized until the last satisfying page.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, Katherine Neville, and Kate Mosse.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9798639681653

on 2nd May, 2020

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #HistoricalThriller and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Heidi Eljarbo

Heidi Eljarbo

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.

After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren–so far–in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.

Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

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Posted Tuesday, 2 June, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “A Nest of Vipers” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.2) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry [an audiobook I began during #FraterfestRAT]

Posted Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

By hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks in particular). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library via Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I began to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Through hosting with Audiobookworm Promotions, I crossed paths with Mr Urry, as my first audiobook review was for “The Cryptic Lines” – a story I listened to at least four times, as I was simply captivated by both the story and the narrator! This was back in [2016] and in this small frame of time, Mr Urry has remained my favourite narrator of Suspense – although my short-list now includes Moira Quirk (of Anna Blanc series) and Alison Campbell (of Kay Hunter series) – as well as the other lovely narrators I mentioned in this tweet s/o of narrator appreciation!

In early 2018, Mr Urry approached me about considering his titles for review – I was able to select which titles interested me, even though I think he knew I was keen on hearing the next installment of this particular series (Ruritanian Rogues) as I enjoyed the first story and was interested in seeing what the next chapter would reveal. In regards to my second choice, I wanted to try a different kind of Suspense story which was slightly unique in concept and plot direction which is why I selected “The Tesla Gate”. This marks my first review working directly with Mr Urry – as I have three planned to be featured during #SpooktasticReads Year II with a fourth following suit in early November.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Nest of Vipers” from the narrator Jake Urry in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I loved about ‘A Looming of Vultures’:

aside from my obvious appreciation of: Storry & Urry!

It surprises me not, this story begins with a dash of prose – of poetic insinuation to set the tone of the story yet to be told. Storry has a curiously instinctive way of placing you exactly where you need to be at the beginning of his stories – of enveloping you in the ominously unknown setting you’ve not yet had a proper glimpse of but one you can feel is lurking there – slightly shadowed and held back from your direct observation; lingering a bit to give you a fuller breadth of why this story needs to be one you must hear. He builds the curiosity by slowly shifting your perspective into his world-view – combined with the gentle nudging by Urry, to guide you within these realms, whose voice is as alluring and addictive as your favourite actor whose transformation confirms the role he’s taken on – the stage is magnificently set for your immersion.

There is a metaphoric overlay about vultures – of their creature specific personalities and how they appear in the sky, as their flights are of particular choosing – where only their motivations for going where they go is not as well known to those who observe them. They seek their own way, of choosing to visit certain places for specific reasons – whether to eat what was left behind for them to consume (as they were scavengers; part of the team of the nature’s world band of undertakers) or whether their presence was needed for something else entirely. They had keen minds, nothing escaped their attention, where their olfactory senses were intensively attuned to their environment.

With reasons to avoid human encampments – it was curious to find one such creature was more daringly moving in circles of closeness to where the humans were already gathered. His patience was part of his fortitude, his mannerisms held their own truths but his eyes drank in everything moving in front of him; to be dissected for what it would yield for his own means of enjoyment.

There are a lot of layers to this story – as you peer into each of them, you start to see things differently than what you first hear the first time round. However, having said this – one of the joys is observing the thief – the gull this person has at keeping their promises to carry out their plans, but also, how passionate they are in being able to carry off whatever they deem is worthy of their time. One of my favourite scenes was actually a moment where the thief was nearly found out – because it showed the other side of thieving – of how close one can become to being caught! Mind you, this person is so blinded by their pursuit of what they want – they can’t process any other observation on their actions!

I truly loved how Storry makes this an immersive experience for the reader – you get to feel guided a bit by how he’s setting everything up to be followed in direct pursuit of his characters, but there are moments where even the characters themselves are not as certain about where they are going – as they have to move through their setting as if visiting it for the first time, to navigate themselves out of it. There is a particular moment where you felt most intrigued for how little elements are knitted into the background each step of the way, as there are remnants of the historical era of this story here and there; little touches of grounding you in a time-line which makes sense for the general awareness of ‘when’ we’ve been transported.

And, in regards to Mr Urry’s narration:

This is dearly theatrical because you get caught up in the height of how each character is presented – they are so very well attuned to their distinct personalities, you can listen to how they are dimensionally being portrayed. In this kind of performance it is easier to alight inside the narrative because you can see each of the characters in turn, their voices altering between each other and this never sounds like a novel being voiced by one narrator. The joyful bit is unravelling the plot through what your listening too – as Mr Urry gives such depth to everyone he’s portraying as it automatically thickens the plot because your feeling your way through the story the same way you do as your reading a book in print. This is why I love listening to how he narrates his stories!

-quoted from my review of A Looming of Vultures

I still lament: I’m addictive to listening to Urry’s voice and I am musefully happy to see what Mr Storry is going to write next because his stories are a brilliant match to Urry’s narration.

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#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “A Nest of Vipers” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.2) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry [an audiobook I began during #FraterfestRAT]A Nest of Vipers
Subtitle: Ruritanian Rogues, Volume Two
by Richard Storry
Source: Direct from narrator
Narrator: Jake Urry

A string of unexplained, gruesome deaths brings fear and uncertainty to the streets of Ruritania’s capital.

And it could not have happened at a worse time. The planned visit by the Vice Chancellor of Jermania to commence peace talks is thrown into jeopardy. Will all the preparation for the negotiations come to nothing? Will the brutal war between the two nations escalate once again?

Meanwhile, the spate of thefts from wealthy homes continues. Who is responsible? And how can they be stopped?

And who is the mysterious figure who continually gains illegal access to the city apothecary?

With many conflicting and intertwining agendas, this proud and noble city faces the very real danger of becoming a nest of vipers.

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Suspense


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B078WXYG4G

Also by this author: The Cryptic Lines, A Looming of Vultures

Also in this series: A Looming of Vultures


Published by Self Published

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours 5 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Cryptic Publications

Ruritanian Rogues series:

A Looming of Vultures by Richard Storry (audiobook)A Nest of Vipers by Richard Storry (audiobook version)A Shroud of Darkness by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry (audiobook)

A Looming of Vultures | Book One
(see also Review)

A Nest of Vipers | Book Two

A Shroud of Darkness | Book Three

A Betrayal Of Trust | Book Four

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Indie Author, Self-Published Author