Book Review: ‘Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather’ (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery Book 3) by Heather Day Gilbert

When exotic pet–sitter Belinda Blake starts pecking at the details of a suspicious accident in her sleepy hometown, she inadvertently digs up a murder case that won’t be solved without ruffling a few feathers . . .
The moment Belinda arrives in Larches Corner, her Upstate New York hometown, she’s immediately recruited to care for a deceased friend’s flock of homing pigeons. But Belinda’s plans for a swift visit scatter after a local college student is mowed down in a malicious hit-and-run that has the whole town reeling.
At first, the gruesome demise of Jackson Hait appears to be a random tragedy. But Belinda quickly uncovers connections to a tight-knit group of friends and a similar death three years earlier . . . one that wasn’t as accidental as it seemed. Now, Belinda must pluck the truth from a tangled nest of lies before a cruel killer takes wing.
About Heather Day Gilbert
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘I couldn’t help that I was skilled in sniffing out mysterious deaths.’

Heather Gilbert is back with the third offering in her Exotic Pet-Sitter cozy mystery series. And she has outdone herself with this one, let me tell you!

Belinda Blake lives in Greenwich and babysits exotic pets like boa constrictors, wolves, and the like. She also is quite a dab hand at solving murders. This time, Belinda spends much of her time upstate at her parents’ home when, of course, there is a murder. And an unsolved murder from the past. And Belinda herself has some decisions to make in this book, which was part of the charm of the story. And let me tell you, I NEVER guessed the culprit! Never, ever would I have guessed that. This is my favorite of the series so far. I loved it so much! Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the Kensington Books/Lyrical Press for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are entirely my own.

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Book Review: ‘If For Any Reason’ by Courtney Walsh

Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

About Courtney Walsh

Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. She writes small town romance and women’s fiction while juggling the performing arts studio and youth theatre she owns and runs with her husband. If For Any Reason is her eleventh novel. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category, and her contemporary romance Just Let Go won the Carol Award in 2019.

A creative at heart, Courtney has also written two craft books and several full-length musicals. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children and a sometimes naughty Bernedoodle named Luna.

Connect with Courtney online at her website ( or on any of these social media platforms:

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My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘So much for believing God was really going to be there for her this time.’

After suffering a huge professional failure and going broke, Emily Ackerman comes back to the little Nantucket island she lived on as a child. Her grandfather has died and left her their cottage and she plans on renovating it and selling it. She discovers that her childhood friend, Hollis McGuire, is staying next door with his family. With his 12 year old daughter. Hollis’s baseball career has ended and he’s trying to connect with his daughter but not being very successful at it.

Soon Emily discovers shocking secrets about her mother’s fatal car accident 18 years ago but nobody will talk to her. Her world has just taken a nose dive and she keeps reading the series of letters her mother wrote to her when she was small. Can she get past all this and build a life for herself and stop running?

Courtney Walsh knows how to engage her readers’ hearts. Always has. I was rooting for Emily all through the book. And Hollis’s daughter Jolie is so precious. And Walsh made me want to visit Nantucket so much! Walsh takes us on a journey of love, heartbreak, faith and new beginnings. Recommended.

*My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions here are entirely my own.

Book Review: ‘The Brightest of Dreams’ (Canadian Crossings) by Susan Anne Mason

Quinten Aspinall is determined to fulfill a promise he made to his deceased father to keep his family together. To do so, he must travel to Canada to find his younger siblings, who were sent there as indentured workers while Quinn was away at war. He is also solicited by his employer to look for the man’s niece who ran off with a Canadian soldier. If Quinn can bring Julia back, he will receive his own tenant farm, enabling him to provide a home for his ailing mother and siblings.

Julia Holloway’s decision to come to Toronto has been met with disaster. When her uncle’s employee rescues her from a bad situation, she fears she can never repay Quinn’s kindness. So when he asks her to help find his sister, she agrees. Soon after, however, Julia receives some devastating news that changes everything.

Torn between reuniting his family and protecting Julia, will Quinn have to sacrifice his chance at happiness to finally keep his promise?
About Susan Anne Mason
Susan lives in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works part-time as a church secretary. She is a wife and the mother of two amazing kids, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In addition to writing, she likes to scrapbook and to research her family history on-line. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website

My Rating: 4 Stars!

After mustering out of the Great War and returning to his post as personal valet to a member of Britain’s aristocracy, Quinton Aspinall learns his mother is in the workhouse and his three siblings have been shipped to Canada to work there as indentured servants. He is determined to find them and bring them home so their family can be whole again. His employer agrees to Quinton going as long as he searches for and brings him his own wayward niece who has run off with a Canadian soldier, promising Quinton a free and clear tenant farm.

Julia Holloway’s dreams have been shattered after going to Canada with a soldier. Now she is working as a maid and her life is about to turn upside down again. She meets, quite by chance, Quinton, and agrees to help him find his siblings. As they start on the journey to reunite his family, they discover shocking truths about how these so called orphans have been treated.

Susan Anne Mason has given her readers a good lesson in history with a fact-based story of the many children shipped to Canada for a better life. Combined with her ability to tell a good story, this is a book to settle in with and enjoy.

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Book Review: ‘Cold Case Connection’ (Roughwater Ranch Cowboys) by Dana Mentink

About The Book

Hunting down old leads

puts a murderer on their trail.

Convinced his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, private investigator Sergio Ross is determined to catch her killer. But with all the clues hinting at a connection to another unsolved murder, he has to join forces with Helen Pike—a woman linked to both deaths—to find the truth. Can they follow the cold evidence trail to get justice…before they become the next victims?

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Let’s get something straight right now. I don’t want or need you involved in this investigation. Am I clear?’

Dana Mentink brings us another novel in her Roughwater Ranch series and it’s the best yet! I think. Each one she writes I feel is the best. But this one is great.

Fifteen years ago a high school girl was killed in a series of tunnels she and her friends were exploring. The case was never solved. Three years ago another woman is killed, one of the ones who helped explore the tunnel. Sergio Ross has come to town to find his sister’s killer. He is raising her two year old twins and is determined to get vengeance for her death. Helen is one of the ones who helped explore the tunnel and lives in town but Sergio holds her partly responsible for his sister’s death. Now someone is trying to kill Helen! What is happening? Why is this murderer still trying to kill everyone who was in that tunnel? It’s up to Sergio, Helen and Helen’s brothers to figure it out before anyone else dies.

Mentink once again proves her ability to write a great suspense novel here. I read it in just a few hours. Great characters, good plot and enough intrigue to keep your nose planted in the book till you’ve finished. Recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. The opinion here is my own.
Dana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.

Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, two ACFW Carol Awards as well as a Holt Medallion.

Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her via her website at

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: February 1, 2020
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