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review 2017-11-18 05:42
Grace to the Finish (Manor House Mystery, #8)
Grace to the Finish - Julie Hyzy

I always enjoy Julie Hyzy's mysteries; as a writer, she doesn't burn a series out with a spectacular book or two, with mediocrity dragging the remaining books down.  Her writing, character development and plotting are even and steady and her series' arcs are a slow burn, rather than a flash in the pan.


Grace to the Finish was actually slightly less about the murder mystery (although that was good too), than it was the resolution to a series long arc concerning her sister.  Hyzy's solution was clever, if a little bit convenient.  The actual mystery was ok, but less a puzzle for the reader to solve than the narrative of the mystery's solution.


With cozy series one can never be sure if the titles aren't a indication of the series' status, so Grace to the Finish could very well be the last book; if so, it ends in a pretty good place without a lot of loose threads left dangling.  But if there's a ninth book, I look forward to it with pleasure.


Book themes for Las Posadas:  Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico - Grace has to deal with her sister's return and a visit from her long absent Aunt.  These two are major players in the plot.


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review 2017-07-21 15:17
Grace to the Finish (Manor House Mystery #8) by Julie Hyzy
Grace to the Finish - Julie Hyzy



Author: Julie Hyzy

Title: Grace to the Finish

Series: Manor House Mystery

Cover Rating:

Book Rating:


Buy This Book:







Now that Grace Wheaton has officially been named heir to Bennett Marshfield's fortune, her usually busy schedule has become a juggling act. In addition to her duties at Marshfield Manor, she's bankrolling her roommates' refurbished wine shop, Amethyst Cellars. Grace is excited to check out the rustic space with Bruce and Scott. But that excitement turns to dismay when they stumble upon the body of the banker involved with the sale.

Grace wants to get to the bottom of this mystery quickly so that her friends' new venture isn't overshadowed by an unsolved murder, but she's got even more to balance when her troubled sister, Liza, is released from prison early. Liza's first stop is Marshfield Manor and her first priority is grabbing a bite of Bennett's fortune for herself. Grace has to keep her greedy sister at bay and catch a killer before her new life comes crashing down around her.






I loved Grace to the Finish, I loved the cover art, I loved the characters, the story, I pretty much loved it all which really kind of bums me out because now I want to start this series from the beginning and read it all the way through and I just found out that the author is bringing the series to an end. Sad way to meet such a great book is when its coming in on its last leg.

If you haven't read the previous books in this series the author makes it fairly easy to slip in and understand what's going on enough to be able to follow along without too many plot or character gaps which is always great but there is definitely story on both ends that I want to know more about.

Grace to the Finish is fun, its well written, its one of the best cozy mysteries I've read in a long while.






Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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review 2016-07-07 10:01
Grace Sees Red (Manor House Mystery, #7)
Grace Sees Red - Julie Hyzy

I always enjoy July Hyzy's writing and Grace Sees Red wasn't an exception, even if the mystery plot relied completely on the "friend in peril" trope.


The mystery in this one is the murder of an old cantankerous goat of a man at a very posh assisted living facility in a neighbouring town.  We learn about Grace's assistant's long-standing secret about where she spends her weekends at the same time we learn she's the number one suspect in the murder.    The basis for suspicion felt a bit weak to me from the start, and I've always thought Frances needed her ears boxed - the author takes cranky a bit too far to be loveable - but otherwise I love the characters, so it was easy enough to overlook.  I didn't figure out who the real bad guy was though, and I count that as a win.


Hyzy never goes the expected route with romantic interests so Grace is still a free agent and we are introduced to a new possible romance, one that has potential to be interesting.  So even though it looks from the last line of the book that we're going to be recycling a previous plot (the sister - she's back!), I'm still firmly on board for book 8.


(This book qualifies for the Book published in June, July or August of 2016 in Summer Book Bingo.)

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review 2016-01-11 11:24
Foreign Éclairs (White House Chef Mysteries, #9)
Foreign Éclairs - Julie Hyzy

The bad news is that this is the last book in what is a very, very well written cozy series.  There aren't enough good cozy series left out there and the loss of one is disappointing.  


The good news is that this was the author's decision and as such, this book is written with no loose ends and for that I am thankful.  It's bad enough to lose a good series, but for it to end abruptly, with stories half-told, is an insult on top of injury.


Hyzy doesn't own the copyright on this series or the characters, so while the story brings us to a good place for a series end, it's also left in an interesting place that allows for someone (Hyzy, one hopes, after obtaining copyright on what is arguably her own work) to someday bring Ollie and Gav back into the thick of things where they belong.


The plot is action packed, fast paced - almost a cozy thriller.  It's got a bit of an out-there plot like a thriller too, but it works within the confines of the world Hyzy has created from the first.  This isn't really a mystery at all; we always know who the perpetrators are and what they want; it's just a matter of what the solution will ultimately cost our MC.  The final part of the roller coaster plot was gripping and left me with a bit of an adrenaline rush.


Thank you, Julie Hyzy, for 9 wonderful adventures with Ollie. I'm gonna miss her and Gav, although I'll revisit them often in my re-reads.

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text 2016-01-08 06:56
TBR Thursday - January 8
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
Foreign Éclairs - Julie Hyzy
Copy Cap Murder - Jenn McKinlay
Daisies For Innocence - Bailey Cattrell
Sweet Pepper Hero - J.J. Cook
Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris - Graham Robb
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks
The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure - John Lloyd,John Mitchinson
My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs - Brian Switek

So I bought a few books this week.


I actually have 11, but I didn't want to create two posts, so I left off Essential Oils for a Clean and Healthy Home by Kasey Schwartz since I've already gone through it, noted which things to try first and reviewed it.


The first two are Folio editions of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  They match, although the cover images look different.  I'm feeling a Jane Austen re-read coming on soon.


New cozies arrived today:

Foreign Éclairs - Julie Hyzy:  I'm sad about this one.  I've just read a post from the author that this will be the last in this series.  She created it on a write-for-hire contract and over time she's begun to have a lot of struggles with the company who owns the copyright, so she's hanging up Oliie's whisks. I love this series and it's one of the few that I can say that about anymore.


Copy Cap Murder - Jenn McKinlay:  We'll see.


Daisies For Innocence - Bailey Cattrell:  A new one by an author whose work I've enjoyed in the past.


Sweet Pepper Hero - J.J. Cook:  Another one I'm sort of sad about.  Although maybe for no reason.  This is written by a husband/wife team and the wife half, Joyce Lavene, passed away this year.  It remains to be seen whether the series will continue.  I've had issues with earlier books, but I've had such a crush on the ghost in the book (in a non-creepy kind of way), Eric, that I find I can forgive a lot.


I usually do a cozy cull each year to whittle down the list of series I follow, but I think this year is going to be particularly brutal, as I've come to realise I'm reading a lot of books that don't really ring my bell; I used to do it willingly because buying online, it was hard to justify taking my chances on a new genre/subject I might not like.  Now thanks to BookLikes friends, I don't have to worry about running out of the good stuff; my stacks overfloweth with the good stuff.  I need to get some ALL of the crap cozies out of here and just keep the ones that are actually worth reading.


The last four were impulse/browsing purchases made at my local bookstore while MT was spending a gift voucher he got for Christmas (how does that work?  *I'm* the bookaholic and *he* gets the gift card?!?).

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb.  It just sounded good.


The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks has actually been on my "Maybe" shelf forever.  Saw it and bought it.


The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd: This promises to be amusing.  Hopefully the flap isn't lying.


My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs by Brian Switek:  Because who doesn't love dinosaurs?  And I've always been bitter about science renaming the Brontosaurus.  Ranks right up there with demoting Pluto.


Total books bought this week:  11

Total books read this week:  7

Total physical TBR: 188


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