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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: St. Patrick's Day Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #14) by Leslie Meier

book review st patricks day murder leslie meier

In Tinker's Cove, Maine, the dead body of grizzled barkeep, Dan Malone, is found in the town's harbor. Reporter Lucy Stone takes it upon herself to learn more about Malone and who might want him dead and suspects local musician Dave Reilly and local contractor Brian Donohue. While the gossip mill going wild, Dylan Malone, Dan's younger brother, arrives in town to help direct the local church's St. Patrick's Day annual play, which compounds everything in Leslie Meier's St. Patrick's Day Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #14).

What can I say about this novel? I love it! Leslie Meier has definitely hooked me on this series, and I can't wait to read the other books in the series. The characters are likable, with a few exceptions of course, and the storyline is engaging. And, I honestly have to say, I didn't figure out the murderer. I had quite a few wrong guesses! I've been reading this series out of order, but that hasn't really detracted from anything, and I think I'm going to start reading the rest of the books in order.

There weren't really too many negative things that I could say about St. Patrick's Day Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #14). I found one typo where the incorrect character's name was used, which made me reread several lines over and over to see if I read it incorrectly. I didn't. And, even though this book was published in 2008, it surprised me that the main character, Lucy Stone, used a Rolodex to look up a phone number at work instead of just looking it up on the internet.

Four out of five stars is what I gave Leslie Meier's St. Patrick's Day Murder, and I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series. If you enjoyed this book, I'd recommend Spellcast (Maggie Graham, #1) by Barbara Ashford.


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