I've been wanting to read Bette Lee Crosby's books for quite some time. Have several on my Kindle and Bette was kind enough to send me a copy of Spare Change. Well, now I can't wait to get started. I just finished reading this short-but-sweet prequel in the Wyattsville series, A Home In Hopeful, and I fell in love with the characters right away.
Canasta Jones is an old woman recalling her younger years growing up on her Mama's farm in Hopeful, though times weren't always hopeful for Canasta and her family. As Canasta reflects, we learn how Hopeful came to be and, if you're paying attention, we also learn the meaning behind the title for Crosby's book, Spare Change. Canasta is a continuing character and I can't wait to learn more about her. Delightful.
A Home in Hopeful is part of Crosby's Wyattsville series that consists of the following four and a half books: (Books link back to Goodreads)
Spare Change (Wyattsville, #1)
In a small fishing village known as Whistler's Cove, Misty owns and operates her dream come true, a successful teahouse that caters to an artistic community. Every small village has that one popular hangout, a place for locals to mingle and gossip. Or commit murder. Unfortunately for the town meanie, Hillary Short, poison is today's teahouse special. The only question being asked is WHO served the deadly dish. Or in this case, tainted tomato juice.
This is a short introduction in a four book series that revolves around Whistler's Cove. A number of locals are introduced in the first book but none really stand out, other than the main character and teahouse owner, Misty Williams. She's a likeable lady and I enjoyed the teahouse setting. Seems like a quaint gathering spot in an artsy community. This novella took less than an hour to read. But, nothing really wowed me or endeared me to it's characters. Then again, I find it hard to critique a story that's under fifty pages. I totally appreciate an author that can set the scene, add suspense to a mystery, and quickly wrap it up in forty-eight pages. I've read plenty books that had less to say but tortured reader's minds for hundreds of unnecessary pages. The bottom line here is, while there was a fine mystery developing, I needed something more. Maybe a bit more humor that cozy mysteries are normally known for. I needed something that captured my imagination, that one thing that compels a reader on. I needed to be hooked, especially since the first book in a series is what catapults the reader to the next. I wanted that happy connection that just wasn't there. For that reason, I'm on the fence. Not bad but I'm not cozy. Should I investigate this mystery further or call it a wrap? Right now, that decision remains unsolved.
If you're interested in reading this easy cozy, it's available on Amazon for free.
Other books in the Whistler's Cove Mystery Series are:
(Book Two) Cozy Mysteries: A Well-Crafted Alibi
(Book Three) Cozy Mysteries: A Twist of the Craft Knife
(Book Four) Cozy Mysteries: Death at the Craft Fair
Loosely based on a reallife haunting, The Depot is a quick read but delivers chills. While the plot isn't all that original, this paranormal-murder-mystery is quite entertaining. I read it at night while sitting on my patio. Spooky enough to send me indoors after a couple of chapters. Liked it well enough to follow Detective Mark Waters into THE LIBRARY, where the story picks up six months later. DeSousa introduces Detective Waters in another book entitled THE PIT STOP. I've downloaded both and I actually got one for free. I'm not sure if the ebooks are still free but worth a check.
For more info, check out DeSousa's website. www.carmendesousa.com
She has many stories to choose from including paranormal and romantic suspense.