Getting cozy with romance

Wrapping up a very mysterious March with a thriller and some cozy mysteries!

An empty town and a documentary bring five 20-somethings into danger in an attempt to discover the truth in “The Lost Village” by Camila Stein.

Alice has made the documentary on “the Lost Village” her dream project. Her grandmother came from the town originally, but had moved out long before every one of the townspeople had just…disappeared. Food still in pantries, belongings on the shelves. A dead woman found in the town square and a newborn found in the school are the only signs of a body and life, respectively. No one knows what happened to the baby — adopted out to a family — and no one knows what really happened to the town. Alice wants to solve the mystery. Very quickly, things get weird, one of the members of the crew gets hurt and then disappears. Then their truck is blown up. Is someone or something out in the darkness watching them?

With flashbacks to what happened then in between what is happening now, the author blends masterful suspense and tension into the story that’s a bit Wicker Man meets Roanoke. It’s a chilling story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

“The Lost Village” is published by St. Martin’s Press.


Just in time for Easter is a cozy mystery involving bunnies in “Hop ‘Til You Drop” by J.M. Griffin.

Jules owns a rabbit rescue and rehabilitation farm in New Hampshire called Fur Bridge Farm, and loves her bunnies. She’s volunteered for her town’s Easter egg hunt, and brings along her rabbit, Bun, who just so happens to also be telepathic.

Telepathic rabbits may come in handy as during the egg hiding the body of unpleasant Della is found surrounded by eggs. But Bun isn’t the only rabbit as Jules sees a two-legged rabbit running away (Easter Bunny no!) Who is in the costume? Were they the murderer or did they just happen upon the scene too? Jules and Bun are determined to crack this case.

In this cute and funny cozy mystery, there are plenty of wacky hijinks — how can there not be with a telepathic bunny — to entertain readers. It’s a treat.

“Hop ‘Til You Drop” is published by Kensington.


A new cozy series is kicked off in “Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop” by Darci Hannah.

Lindsey is getting over a breakup by opening a bakery cafe in an old lighthouse in the small beach community she summered in as a child. She thinks it’s a perfect solution for her broken heart and gives the town something new.

Except the preservation society isn’t thrilled about the historic lighthouse getting a makeover — a protest group shows up on her opening day, along with her ex and his new girlfriend! And somehow, new girlfriend Mia chokes to death on a donut. When cyanide is discovered in her bloodstream, Lindsey is suspect number one. How is she going to prove she didn’t do it and keep her business afloat?

This is a great start to a new series with plenty of sweets, a charming setting and a mystery to keep readers guessing.

“Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop” is published by Kensingotn.


Taking a break from all the thrills and chills with some romance as well this week!

A woman revisits her past through an ex in “Everything After” by Jill Santopolo.

Emily lost her music career and her also musician boyfriend Rob 15 years ago. She hasn’t thought about it much, and is now a psychologist at a college and married to a wonderful doctor husband named Ezra. When a tragedy in her current life echoes her past and Emily hears a song on the radio that sounds familiar, she is visited by the ghosts of her past. Did she give up too much? Who is she meant to be and who is she meant to be with? She must question everything once more to find a future and the happiness she wants.

A story of the decisions we make and the course our lives take, this is a thoughtful story that gives a proper ending.

“Everything After” is published by Putnam.


A bookmobile is the setting for romance in the start of this new series from a very popular writer in “A Perfect Amish Romance” by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Sarah Anne Miller, a bookmobile librarian, takes her books out to various areas in Berlin coming into contact with several Amish readers, including Aaron, who although Amish, wants to get his GED in order to advance at work. His family, already fearful Aaron will follow in his older brother’s footsteps, is against anymore education than the Amish schoolhouse of his youth gave him. When Aaron asks Sarah Anne for some extra books to study, she does one better and sets him up with a tutor, Kayla, an Amish girl from a more progressive sect. Kayla had her heart broken by her ex boyfriend who decided she was too busy with her mother’s sickness and then death to be a good girlfriend and is now busy trying to help take care of her father, who is depressed and possible gotten fired from work. While Kayla and Aaron might have some romance blossoming, will their families — who have some other romance drama going on — approve?

The matchmaker being a bookmobile librarian — with some secrets of her own — is a new twist and I enjoyed all of the characters, who were very realistically drawn, they seemed like real people you want to have a happy ending.

“A Perfect Amish Romance is published by Gallery Books.


Three novellas bring the joy of a new birth and a new relationship into the mix with stories from three popular genre authors in “Amish Midwives” by Amy Clipston, Shelley Shepard Gray and Kelly Long.

In “Bundles of Blessing” by Amy Clipston, a widowed midwife has given up on having her own family, but is shocked when her ex-boyfriend Aidan returns to town. With his own troubles in the past, it seems a romance isn’t likely, but can two old flames rekindle?

In “A Midwife for Susie” by Shelley Shepard Gray, Joanna walked away from midwifery after a tragedy and has kept to herself, even avoiding her old friend Dwight. When his sister is pregnant and he seeks her out, she must decide if she will take a chance on both herself and him to overcome past pain.

In “Christmas Cradles” by Kelly Long, Anna is kept busy on Christmas night with a lot of unexpected deliveries, and the help of a handsome man that she never expected.

All three stories are a comforting read that would go perfect with a quilt and a cup of tea.

“Amish Midwives” is published by Zondervan.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.


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