Posted in June 2020 Owl Treats, Reviews, thriller

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

5 Hoots


This book left me on the edge of my seat! Everything was far from what it seemed to be.

I can honestly say that I am so happy that I borrowed this book! At first I thought we were going to get another version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” (not that there is anything wrong with that) but this book was so much more! The book isn’t just about an Architect who seduces vulnerable women, this book goes deeper than that. You have Emma whose part of the story is always titled “then” and Jane who is the “now”. Both of these women have had a trauma in their lives that make them agree to move into  a house created by Edward Monkford.  Jane was robbed and sexually assaulted and Jane had a stillborn baby girl. These  things are the reason these women are drawn to this strange house. By strange I mean that in order to live in this home they had to fill out a bunch of questions that might get them to the next phase, get approved for an interview with Edward Monkford, and agree to hundreds of rules in order to live there.

Once living there the house would record all of their daily data etc etc, Imagine a smart home on steroids. What really got my attention was when Edward started making passes at Jane and then finding out that everything he did with her he did with Emma. Then throw in that both of these women looked exactly like his dead wife, and you start getting this really uneasy feeling about Edward. What made it even more curious is when Emma’s ex-boyfriend approaches Jane at the home and tells Jane that Emma died in that house and that he believed Edward had something to do with it. Jane starts to wonder about Edward and what really happened with Emma. Was he involved in her death? Was it an accident? Was it suicide? The answer is far darker than you can imagine.

Seriously, the author did an amazing job weaving together Emma and Jane’s stories together. You start off seeing slight similarities between how Edward treats both Emma and Jane, but immediately you see that these two women are actually very different. Jane seemed to be a strong woman dealing with sorrow and Emma seemed like a broken woman who needed something more. But the thing is, the person they begin as are not who they actually who they are. There are several times when you think you have something figured out only to have rug pulled out from under you.

There was just so much that I loved about the way this book was written. Before each chapter you got to see the questions that both women had to fill out in order to  live in this home and I found myself thinking about my own answers and wondering what Edward would have chosen. This helped to start painting a dark feel to this book and it revealed a darker current under the surface of Edward. With each chapter you found out a little bit more about Edward and his bizarre relationship with Emma and how he was trying to replicate that relationship with Jane. But you would not find out the truth of what was going on until the very end. Overall, this book was a wonderful mixture of mystery and suspense without the need to start a new series. I definitely recommend you give it a read.

Posted in Reviews

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

3.75 Hoots

A reimagining of Scooby Doo by for a adult audience.

All of the characters in the book have the feel of the original characters, but of course they are a lot more edgy. You had Peter (aka Fred) the leader, Kerri (aka Velma) the brains, Andrea “Andy” (aka Daphne), Nate (Shaggy), and Tim (the great grandson of Sean aka Scooby). The book starts off with the newspaper clipping if the Scooby gang (yeah, no matter what that is how I am going to refer to them) and a crime they solved in 1977. Then we are taken 13 years into the future where the masked villain is at his parole hearing. The way this transition was done was pretty brilliant. They allow the bad guy parole and he goes to a bar where he is confronted by Andy (Daphne) and she kicks his butt and then makes him admit that there was more out there that night 13 years ago.

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Posted in cozy mystery, Reviews

The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams

5 Hoots

Fast paced. Captivating. The book left me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

It is no secret that I adore this series! I find it so comforting to read about these 4 women, the friendship they created, and the lives they lead in this little town. When I found out that I was receiving an ARC copy from Netgalley I was floored. I really thought I would have to wait to find out what was next for the Secret, Book, & Scone Society (SBSS). Luckily, the netgalley gods threw me a bone!

In this installment we are back in Miracle Spring when the rain just would not give up but neither would the tourists. There were so many new people in town that the books and shelf enhancers were just flying off Nora’s bookshelves. Of course, she needed to go to the flea market to try to replenish her store’s shelves and that is where she will meet someone who she will not soon forget…especially since she finds their dead body a few days later.

Obviously, I do not want to give much away about the book since it comes out the 28th but yes there is a murder…and Nora is determined to help find out the truth. That is what I love about this series, Nora doesn’t get involved in solving these murders because she wants to be an amateur PI, she does it because she genuinely cares. Her friends are the same way too. They put care packages together for families that they know are struggling or for the young widow. These women are the reason that I love this series so much. I wish they were real. But enough of that…back to the book!

In this book we get to meet a new group of characters, so it is not surprising that some of them become suspects. And thanks to these characters another mystery was added on top of that of the murder…the mystery of a secret diary found in the town’s inn. It might sound like there are a couple of weird things going on but Adams tied them together seamlessly. With every page you are given clue after clue tying everything together, but just when you think you solved the murder bam! something else pops up. Questions like who is white t shirt guy, what is red bird, and is the inn tied into it really just leave you guessing. The answers to each of these questions lead to a wonderful conclusion!

Overall, I loved this book! It is absolutely Owl’s Book Nest approved! It kept me guessing, introduced us to new friends (Sheldon is amazing), and gave you an ending that was very surprising and sweet. Plus, it gave Miracle Books a new face lift and hope for more books to come. If you are looking for a mystery that will leave you guessing, this is the book for you!