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3.9 out of 5
(83)
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Great cozy mystery!

    Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon is the first book in her new A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. Savannah Webb has spent the last few years in Seattle studying at the Pilchuck Glass School. She had to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida due to the passing of her father, John Webb. She was told that he had a heart attack which made no sense. Her father was in good shape and did not have a heart condition. Savannah enters the glass shop on Monday to sell the shop to her father’s longtime friend and co-worker, Hugh Trevor. When Hugh does not show up before the scheduled class, Savannah starts teaching it. Then Jacob Underwood, apprentice, enters the custom workshop and finds Hugh dead. The officer assigned the case (a blundering and incompetent idiot) does not believe it is a crime. Savannah cannot believe that two people from Webb’s Glass Shop died of a heart attack within days of each other. Then she finds a note that her father left for her. John Webb was a cryptographer during the Cold War and taught Savannah ciphers. He has left her clues to follow to find the person that killed him. With the help of her new friends Edward Morris (owns Queen’s Head Pub) and Amanda Blake (new assistant manager at Webb’s Glass Shop), Savannah sets out to find who hurt her father and Hugh Trevor. Will she be able to convince the police that they were murdered? Will they be able to find the murderer before he takes another victim? And why were those two people killed? I enjoyed Pane and Suffering. It was a fun book to read. It started out at a fast pace and just slowed down some in the middle. The books was easy and fun to read. I like the characters (Savannah, Edward, Amanda), the setting (St. Petersburg, Florida—I am about an hour or so from this city), and the ciphers (I really liked the ciphers probably because I like puzzles) as well as the geocaching. I have only seen one other cozy mystery use geocaching. I found the murder mystery to be a medium level mystery (though the author was clever). I was able to solve it before I was halfway through the book despite the authors attempt at misdirection. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. I give Pane and Suffering 4.25 out of 5 stars. I think Pane and Suffering is a very good start to a new mystery series. I received a complimentary copy of Pane and Suffering from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Glass, Ciphers and Murder in Florida

    I enjoyed this first book in the series. Savannah has returned home after her father's death. While there another body is discovered in her late father's glass shop. Her father has left her a series of clues indicating that the deaths are not natural. I liked the characters and the art glass background. The mystery is good and there are enough red herrings to make the mystery interesting. The cipher and puzzles also make the mystery interesting and different. I liked that even though the sleuth works on solving the mystery she also works with the police. This is a good solid first book and I am looking forword to reading the next book in the series. Enjoy I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Local Florida set in a favorable light

    I always stop and take a look at books set in my home state of Florida, especially ones set outside of Miami. This one is set in St. Petersburg, a city a mere 2 hour drive from my home; a city that I am familiar with. Of course, I had to take a closer look. I am so glad that I did. Savannah has come home after her father died of a heart attack. While she found it surprising that a man who trained for marathons and had no health complaints the last time they had spoken, she was in shock and just accepted this pronouncement. After all, she was just 2 weeks away from her debut showing in Seattle and had to deal with the sale of the family business, as well as settling her father's estate. Then her father's assistant and the man she was planning on selling the business to died of a heart attack as well. Two hearts in as many weeks? Savannah is her father's daughter, and she doesn't trust that much coincidence. Then she finds the message from her father telling her that if he is dead she's in danger as well. But does it have to do with the glass shop of his work as a cryptologist during World War II? Savannah has to find and follow the clues that he has left for her before the police arrest an innocent young man. There was a lot to take in during this first book by a new author besides glass making. Everything from Asperger's to geocaching to pet therapy dogs to craft beers. Throw in a set up for a possible romance later down the line, as well as some slightly questionable police procedures and it felt like the author might have set the bar a bit high when it comes time for the second novel. It will be interesting to see if she can pull it off. I enjoyed seeing my local Florida set in a favorable light and gave this book 4 stars. Thanks to Netgalley, Kensington and Great Escapes for the opportunity to read and review this book.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Pane and Suffering

    I received a copy in exchange for an honest review One of my goals for this year was to read more cozy mysteries so when I came across this cute looking cozy mystery on netgalley I hit request immediately. Unfortunately the best way to describe my opinion about this book is that it's just okay. Nothing really stood out or captured my attention. I did enjoy the book, but to me it fell a bit flat. Pane and Suffering has a fun and original setting in a glass shop, which I did like. Even though it's a cozy mystery I felt like we got little feel for the small town setting and the mystery didn't really work for me. I am still finding my way in this genre, but I felt that the mystery had more potential. The mystery started of pretty interesting with a close and personal death as the main character Savannah her father has died of a heart attack and then his best friend Hugh follows closely. Then Savannah finds out a hint that hints to the fact they have been murdered. I did like how Savannah notified the police and the police did actually do work on the case. Savannah also runs her own investigation following clues left by her father. From the start there are quite some possible suspects, but the mystery progresses very slow at first. Then towards the end of the book there as one hint, which might have been small, but for me immediately revealed the real killer. The whole explanation behind it felt a bit off. The pace didn't quite work and there didn't seem enough progression on the mystery, but beside that it didn't feel like much happened either. There was an interesting set-up with her now owning the glass shop and slowly getting more attached to it and the town, but I just didn't feel it. Savannah was an okay main character, I didn't really feel like we got to know her and because of that it was hard to connect to her or anyone else in this book for that matter. I felt we stayed very distant from the character, hearing what went on with them, but never really feeling the emotions. Beside that I thought it was a bit weird how Savannah basically runs around telling strangers she just met how her father was killed and sharing the hints he left her with them as well. In her situation I am sure I would be a lot of more scared and paranoid. It just felt like she trusted everyone a bit too easily, especially seeing how her father had just been murdered and the killer could be someone she knew. There is an attempt to build the small town setting, but while I liked what we saw, it never really came fully alive. the side characters were fun, but stayed pretty flat. There is an attempt at romance, but it never really progresses much and I didn't really feel their connection. The glass shop setting was interesting and original as a setting. There are two or so chapters from the point of view of a police detective, but I thought it had worked better if he had more chapters or wasn't there at all. Now it felt a bit off with how he only had two partly chapters. To summarize: Pane and Suffering was an enjoyable book, but I also had a lot of issues with it. My opinion on this book can best be described as okay. The plot and mystery progressed slowly and when a real hint was dropped I immediately figured out who the killer was. I wasn't really engaged in the mystery and in the last few chapter sit suddenly progresses a lot faster compared to the rest of the book. I thought the explanation of the killer and why he did it was a bit weird. The subplots didn't quite work for me or made me feel it. Savannah was an okay main character, but I never really connected or cared about her and I thought she trusted strangers a bit too easily. There is a small hint at romance, building the small town setting and the side character, but nothing really came alive for me. I did like the glass shop as setting. All in all this was an okay cozy mystery, nothing really stood out, but I did enjoy the read.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Stained Glass & Murder

    Interesting beginner information about stained glass and the processes involved in creating pieces of art that enhanced the story line. Intending to sell her Dad's Florida glass business to his long time friend and employee, Hugh Trevor, Savannah finds herself teaching beginner classes and reassessing her options when Hugh is found dead. Two heart attacks back to back can't be a coincidence. Young apprentice Jacob becomes the suspect when toxicology reports show John and Hugh were poisoned. Savannah knows this can't be right and is determined to find out who the killer is while deciding if she's selling the business or going back to Seattle to her glass blowing career there. This book has a lot going on in it so I look forward to the next installment featuring Savannah Webb and her supporting characters.
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