book round-ups, new releases

Recent releases

Time for another quick round up of some recent releases that I’ve read but not yet told you about…

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black*

This is possibly the most unusual book I’ve read in a while. It’s a small town cozy mystery, except that the residents of the small town are woodland creatures. Or at least creatures that you would find in a north American woodland. Apart from that, there are the usual staples of cozy crime – a local reporter (who is a fox), a bookshop (owned by a raven), police officers (who are bears) and a murder victim (a toad). Think Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime series, but more cozy crime than comic crime. I’m still not quite sure how the differing scales of the animals works – is it more Animals of Farthingwood or Arthur the Aardvark? – or how the interspecies relationships work, but I read it and enjoyed it and would happily read the next one. This is the first in a series that was originally published in 2015 but is now being republished by Vintage – this came out last week and the next one is out in early March and the third (and final so far) follows in April.

The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian

This is the long awaited sequel to Hither Page and came out at the end of January. James is called back to the house where he spent his childhood summers for the reading of a will and discovers that he may not know the whole truth about what happened the last summer that he spent there. It is basically a country house murder mystery, except that the murder happened decades ago. Part Agatha Christie, part cozy crime, part romance, you get to spend more time with Leo and James and get to know them better Side note: the reading of a will is always such a great device for a murder mystery. Anyway, this will work better if you’ve read the first book – which is why it didn’t get a slot of its own, but it is delightful, so I wanted to talk about it!

Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Smugglers Secret by Annabelle Sami*

This is the fourth book about Zaiba and her group of friends who investigate crimes. It’s the first one that I’ve read, but I love a middle grade mystery series – and I would say this would work best for the younger end of the age group – it’s got illustrations and the language is simpler so it’s more of a first chapter book than say Robin Stevens‘ books – and there’s no murder which means it works for younger kids too. It’s fun, a little unlikely in patches – adults accepting eleven year olds helping investigate stuff – but no less unlikely than some other stories in the genre. I loved the sections with Zaiba’s aunt in Pakistan and all the food references made me really hungry! It’s out now in paperback, with the ebook following next month. These are going on my list of books to suggest for younger children – although I think all of the people I regularly purchase for are too old for this now sadly.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*denotes that my copy came via Netgalley

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