Another random library find win BIG TIME. In fact, though this is not the first book in the series by author Tracy Kiely, but the SECOND book, I found that I fell right into loving the characters. Murder on the Bride’s Side pulls its inspiration from a favourite author of mine – Jane Austen. Specifically the book Sense and Sensibility (and the movies are mentioned as well). The other lucky library find in this series… Murder Most Austen (the 4th installation) also pulls from the same inspirational waters.
What I love about the characters is they are all truly characters… Our main protagonist is Elizabeth Parker who is absolutely infatuated with all things Jane Austen. She is fulfilling the role of maid of honour for her best friend Bridget who is getting married. This brings her to the home of Bridget’s grandmother Elsie who lives in a rather palatial mansion. With a family of people who do not always get along Elizabeth is simply expecting in fighting… not the murder of one of the least likable family members.
There is the boyfriend (past bully) Peter, Chloe the wedding planner and potentially old flame of boyfriend and a family of people you either love or would love to hate. You get to go along with Elizabeth and find the solution to not only the murder but a host of questionable goings on in the great house. What I love about this story is that the main character is a babbler… she loves to think and chatter and you have to laugh along with her as she thinks outrageous things and sometimes lets them slip out.
There are plenty of wonderful Jane Austen quotes included along with a touch of romance… a good mystery and a wedding to boot. Murder on the Bride’s Side is a great cozy mystery in what I am sure will be an amazing series. Definitely a book to check out!
I could not resist the combination of a free download AND a recommendation on the front cover by the very first author I ever met in person as a teenager… Janette Oke. Waiting for Summer’s Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a historical Christian romance based in Kansas at the time of covered wagons and small towns.
Summer is a newly widowed woman from Boston who lost her family (husband and children) to illness on their way out west to find their own farming land. Feeling abandoned and having lost her faith in God and the people around her Summer is at a loss as to what to do. Return to Boston and her inlaws who disowned her husband when they chose to leave it all and head east or her brother and his wife who saw her as a burden or stay and try and make a life where she could visit the graves of her beloved children.
Peter and his son Thomas live with Peter’s deceased wife’s grandmother on their settlement just out of town. Alone but for the 3 of them, Thomas had fallen and injured himself badly enough that he could not make the ride to school. This leads to a change in Summer’s circumstances as this traditional Mennonite man is in need of a learned woman to teach his son until he can return to school.
Having dealt with his own questions in regards to faith and God’s will Peter and his family are the perfect catalyst for healing and restoring of faith and perhaps a little love along the way? The town’s own insecurities are examined as we learn more about how persecuted people were coming from Russia and Germany. German Mennonites came to the United States to find the freedom to express their faith, and in turn feared outsiders and persecution. With a mix of English and Low German this is a lovely romantic journey of faith and growth.
If you enjoy a sweet Christian message and characters you can truly fall in love with and care about Waiting for Summer’s Return is the book for you! As a fan of Janette Oke as a younger reader this brings me right back to my original faith based reading!