We all have favorite authors we follow closely, anticipating their new book releases. It’s especially exciting when a new book in a series releases, and you can finally get resolution to the cliff hanger at the end of the previous book–or, if there was no cliff hanger, spend more time with your favorite characters. I thought it would be fun to share four of the books I’m looking forward to this fall.
Posted by Leah E. Good on October 7, 2016
Special Agent Serena Jones is trying to calm her jittery nerves following a painting recovery when she receives a panicked call from her best friend. Two valuable paintings are missing from the storage vault at the museum her friend works for. Serena dives headfirst into the mystery. Getting the paintings back to the museum turns out to be a tall order. The trail is months cold, and Serena has big distractions–like a stalker who might be trying to take her out and a slew of guys trying to impress her.
I purchased this book on a whim. Usually I dismiss anything art related, but I recently spent a week going to museums with a friend of mine who loves art. After several days of geek outs over Degas, Monet, and Van Gogh, I couldn’t help but noticed this book at a local homeschool conference. It took me a chapter or two to orient myself when I started reading. I don’t read a ton of mysteries, and at first I wasn’t sure what to make of Serena’s quirky commentary on life. Turns out, it’s Serena’s unique perspectives that make this story delightful. She’s tough without loosing her femininity, observant, and delightfully clueless about guys.
If you enjoy lighthearted, quirky, fast-paced mysteries, this is a no-brainer for your to-read list.
One of the galleries at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Stay tuned for an interview with author Sandra Orchard.
P.S. Please take time to pray for Sandra’s grandson who had a bad accident and is fighting for his life.
Posted by Leah E. Good on May 27, 2016
Young Julie is troubled by her mother’s death and her dislike for her new stepmother, who doesn’t want Julie around for the summer. Instead, Julie is being sent to live on an island with relatives she doesn’t know. To make matters worse, her first weeks don’t go well. Her uncle rarely shows his face, her aunt is plagued by anxiety, and her cousin seems to hate her. Julie begins to think her time on the island will be short lived.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking a step back from the intense, emotionally wringing tales of young adult, new adult, and adult fiction to enjoy the simple clarity of this middle grade story. The Mystery of the Indian Carvings is fast paced and perfect for it’s target audience. Tween readers will get a thrill of adventure and solid lessons about trusting God, just like I did when I read Repp’s Mik-Shrok series as a tween.
If you have younger siblings or are the parent of readers age 8-13, this is a great book to share with them.
Posted by Leah E. Good on December 12, 2015
Kitten has a startling secret and an important request. She knows how to write and would like a real name to replace ‘Kitten.’ Keith, the detective who took her in, takes an understandable several minutes to accept this dumbfounding fact about his adopted cat. After he recovers, he dubs her Mia. Soon, Mia has made herself a member of Keith’s detective team, assigning herself the roll of undercover spy. Someone is leaking private information to tabloids. It’s either the housekeeper, cook, maid, or maintenance man. Mia has her suspicious, but she doesn’t have long to prove them.
This is an adorable book for young readers who enjoy series like The Boxcar Children and The Pony Pals.
Posted by Leah E. Good on June 9, 2015
Ollie Chandler has his problems, but he’s a good detective. When a bizarre new homicide case comes up, he realizes that his shortcomings may have caused a bigger problem than he could ever imagine. The mystery leads him along a circuitous trail, causing him to suspect his closest friends…and even himself. Can he get to the bottom of the Palentine case without losing his life? Will he put his trust in Christ before it’s too late?
This was definitely my favorite book in the Ollie Chandler series. It’s totally different from the first two books and works well as a stand alone. I would call Deadline and Dominion issues fiction. Deception is definitely a full-out mystery. If you’re like me it will leave you guessing till the climax and wishing there was more after it ends. However, this IS NOT a book for younger readers. My recommended age range would be 16 and up because it covers some heavy issues like abortion, AIDS, racism, alcoholism, etc. It’s not emphasized as much in Deception, but it is there. This makes the book (and series) challenging and deep for older readers, but not the best choice for younger teens. 😉
Posted by Leah E. Good on October 25, 2013
At fourteen years old, Sherlock Holmes thinks he is facing a boring vacation in exile. His brother Mycroft sends him off live with his eccentric Aunt and Uncle and study beneath an American tutor named Amyus Crowe. Instead of boredom, he finds himself confronted with his first mystery, a new friend, and relentless enemies. Even if he manages to escape with his life, Sherlock’s life is changed forever.
In my personal opinion, the adventure element in this book (and book two of the series) far outweigh the mystery element. But, it’s Sherlock Holmes, and you can’t go wrong with Sherlock Holmes when you’re doing a mystery theme. Besides, 240 people classified it as a mystery on Goodreads, so we’re all good. 🙂 I really enjoyed the fast action of this story, and the glimpse of Sherlock as he might have been as a boy. I tend to doubt this version of young Sherlock is quite what all you BBC Sherlock fans imagine, but I bet you’d enjoy the book anyway. After all, the author is English and, judging from his author bio, seems to have a thing for BBC TV shows.
P.S. If the weird and slightly grotesque bother you, this book might not be for you. There’s nothing over the top, but it’s worth the warning.
What is your favorite Sherlock Holmes story, whether from the original books, old movies, BBC Sherlock, or side shoots like this.
Posted by Leah E. Good on October 18, 2013
The son of two lawyers, thirteen year old Theo Boone hopes to someday be a famous trial lawyer or great judge. He spends much of his free time at the courthouse, and his classmates come to him for legal advise when they or their families have trouble. Theo never imagines his mini law practice will put him in the middle of the biggest murder trial his town has seen in his lifetime.
I knew about this book/series for a while, but never felt much interest in it until I started working on my mystery parents guide. It turned out to be quite good. Theo has a slight crush on a grown-up lady, but she barely notices him. The plot centers around a murder trial, so I wouldn’t recommend it for very young kids, but children ten and up should be good. Also, the ending to this book doesn’t resolve the story (nor do the next two). I have the fourth book out from the library now.
Posted by Leah E. Good on October 11, 2013