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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review - Chime and Punishment

I reviewed the debut novel in this new series, Just Killing Time (click here), 2nd book Clock and Dagger (click here) and had a guest post from the author (click here).  It has the running theme of a clock shop and all things fine clocks.  Check out this addition to the series.

Author: Julianne Holmes

Copyright: August 2017 (Berkley) 304 pgs

Series: 3rd in Clock Shop Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Characters: Ruth Clagan, expert clock maker and owner of Cog & Sprocket

Setting: Modern day, Orchard Massachusetts (Berkshires)

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the book cover: "Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town's beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she’s returned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she’s determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager Kim Gray.

A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fund-raiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower’s bell, putting an end to all the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and it includes some of Ruth’s nearest and dearest.

Time's a-wastin’ as Ruth tries to solve another murder in her beloved Orchard while keeping the gears clicking on her dream project."

Ruth is back and gearing up for the clock tower to finish restorations and have a celebration opening.  She is an every-woman who notices details and connects dots.  
Ben Clover, the romantic interest, is distracted by his ex-wife's manipulations.  Jeff Paisley, the by-the-book Chief of Police is put in the difficult position of having to officially question his Nancy (his girlfriend's mother).  This is probably my favorite cop portrayal in any of the cozy's I have read. 
Becket, who has been a thorn in Ruth's back side since book one has a few surprises.  Caroline, the step-grandmother is present but not much page time.  Of course, Bezel, the shop cat deserves a mention since he gets a spotlight in the story.  

The setting is a standard small town with the standard enclave of shops but you get more of the history of the City Hall which added to the overall feel of the town.  Pacing keeps steady with the sub plots of dealing with ex-partners for both Ben and Ruth.  

The plot is solid cozy mystery with several suspects, all of whom you don't want to be the killer.  The killer reveal was tame, but works since all the suspects were "nice" people.

I enjoyed my return to Orchard.  It feels like visiting good friends and the story is entertaining.  Win-win.

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

In case you missed it, Random House bought Penguin (who publishes a whole lot of cozy mysteries) and has decided they will stop publishing a significant number of the series in their lineup.  

Not only is this short-sighted, those authors can become independently published authors and take their readership with them!  But it is bad news for fans.  

Here is a list I understand is verified of what series are on the chopping block at this point:

Penguin Random House
Avery Aames - Cheese Shop mysteries

Ellery Adams - Book Retreat and Charmed Pie Shoppe.  May be moving to new publisher for Book Retreat.

Beverly Allen - Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (not renewed) Now writing Vintage Toyshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane as Barbara Early.

Janet Bolin - Threadville Mysteries

Melissa Bourbon -Magical Dressmaking.  Is thinking of self publishing but not anytime soon.  Source: Author's FB page.

Jacklyn Brady - Piece of Cake mysteries

Lucy Burdette - Key West Food Critic series

Amanda Carmack - Kate Haywood Elizabethan mysteries

Maia Chance - Fairy Tale Fatal

Erika Chase - Ashton Corners 

Peg Cochran - Gourmet DeLite

Laura DiSilverio - Mall Cop

Monica Ferris - Betsy Devonshire Needlework series.  Is shopping for new publisher and has plans for future books.

Christy Fifield - Haunted Souvenir.    Owns rights, plans to self-publish. 

Shelley Freydont - Celebration Bay

Eva Gates - Lighthouse Library  (not renewed, possibly still hope). Is writing the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series for Crooked Lane under the name Vicki Delany. The year-Round-Christmas series by Vicki Delany is still continuing with Berkley. 

Kaye George/Janet Cantrell - Fat Cat mysteries (work for hire, cannot be continued by the author.)

Rosie Genova - Italian Kitchen mysteries

Victoria Hamilton - Vintage Kitchen mysteries (she is continuing the series with another publisher, ebook only.)

Mary Ellen Hughes - Pickled and Preserved mysteries. (She is starting a new series, the Keepsake and Collectibles mysteries, with Midnight Ink.)

Sue Ann Jaffarian - Ghost of Granny Apples. (plans to write more and self pub.)

Annie Knox -  Pet Boutique

Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) Nut Shop Series

Meg London - Sweet Nothings Lingerie

Molly MacRae -- Haunted Yarn Shop  (plans to continue the series)

Leigh Perry - Family Skeleton.  Shopping for a new publisher. UPDATE - Sid Lives!!   Leigh has found a new publisher for the Family Skeleton series! 9/14/16

Cate Price - Deadly Notions

Paige Shelton -  Farmer's Market and Country Cooking School

Christine Wenger - Comfort Foods Mysteries (NAL, which was merged into Berkley); is considering self-publishing.

FIVE STAR (Gale Cengage)
Five Star has dropped their entire mystery lineup. 
Nancy Cohen - Bad Hair Day
Maggie Toussaint - Dreamwalker Mysteries 
Susan Van Kirk- Endurance Mysteries

Limitless Publishing
A E H Veenman -  Marjorie Gardens Mysteries (Limitless Publishing)
Anna Loan-Wilsey - Hattie Davish

Macmillan / St. Martin's Press 

D.E. Ireland - Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins  (switching publishers)

If you would like to keep informed with news of this development, join the Facebook group "Save Our Cozies" (click here).  This group was formed to centralize efforts to persuade Penguin Random House to reconsider their decision to cull their cozy mystery offerings. It also offers a place for authors to update their fans on future plans.

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Vicki Delany said...

Hi, just wanted to let you know that the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates (ie me!) is going to be continued by Crooked Lane Books. It was a work for hire, but the nice people at Penguin gave the rights to me. The Spook in the Stacks will be out in spring 2018.

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