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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: Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #1) by Leslie Meier

book review mistletoe murder leslie meier
Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #1) by Leslie Meier is the first book in a series and was first published in 1991. The book is about mom of three Lucy Stone preparing for Christmas and working the night shift at a mail order company. If that isn't enough, when Lucy takes a moment to get some fresh air, she finds one of the owners of the company she works for dead in his car.

This cozy mystery is the perfect book to read while on vacation because it is an easy read, and it draws you in from the very beginning of the story. It also makes you feel like you're part of the Tinker's Cove community. I definitely was put in the Christmas mood . . . too bad it isn't Christmas time. This was the third book I've read in the series . . . I've read them out of order, but I plan on reading the rest of the books in order from this point on. I am just in love with this series!

There isn't too much I can say that's negative about Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #1) by Leslie Meier with the exception of the main character's cat was murdered, and Lucy didn't seem too terribly upset about it. This bothered me as I am an animal lover, especially one of cats. To top things off, it was never really explained why the cat was killed. I kept expecting there to be a connection somewhere further on in the book, but there really wasn't with the exception of another character killing his dog. This bothered me as well. I just don't like reading about animals dying, even though it is just fiction.

Even with the couple of negative things, I gave Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #1) by Leslie Meier four out of five stars, and I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy cozy mysteries. If you enjoyed this book, I recommend reading Death of a Kitchen Diva (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, #1) by Lee Hollis.

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