Reader Friday

Patricia Bradley Book Review 39 Comments

This week I read Sandra Orchard’s Over Maya Dead Body, and this is a book you won’t want to miss!

But you don’t want to read this book without reading the first two, Another Day Another Dali and A Fool and His Monet!

Here are the reviews I wrote for each:

Another Day Another Dali

I love, love this story by Sandra Orchard and hated for the story to end, but am so happy there are two more books to come.

Her character, Serena Jones, is quirky and I love watching the two men in her life vying for her attention. And Aunt Martha. I want to be her when I grow up. I mean, Kung-fu moves!

The story starts with a bang–almost literally and the mystery never lets up with Orchard sprinkling clues to the murderer’s identity. There are plenty of red herrings and it wasn’t until the end that the reader finds out which clues are red herring and which are real. Having just spent time in the part of St. Louis that the story takes place made reading about the area doubly enjoyable.

Orchard created a mood of nostalgia for me–for a time where family counts and everyone is looking out for each other. All in all a good read! I started reading one afternoon and didn’t put it down until I finished. While I received a copy of the book from the publisher, I will buy a copy for my sister for Christmas! And the teaser at the back of the book makes it hard to wait for the next book!



Now for A Fool and His Monet.

Sandra Orchard had me at the title, A Fool & His Monet, and she kept me with an intriguing art theft, a quirky FBI agent with the two men still vying for her attention, and a mother who wants grandchildren. Readers who love a good mystery with a dash of romance will devour this book and want more.

And now for Over Maya Dead Body.

Back cover copy:

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn’t take a vacation, and she’s soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.

When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications–and even a secret or two?

Award-winning author Sandra Orchard keeps readers guessing with this fast-paced mystery laced with romance.

I loved this book! But then I loved the first two in the series as well. The mystery kept me guessing with plenty of suspects and then there was the romance between that really heated up in this book-Would she choose Nate or Tanner? And Aunt Martha is a hoot. I STILL want to be Aunt Martha when I grow up!

Sandra Orchard has created a really great heroine in Serena Jones and given her a wonderful cast of characters to play against. I hope she continues Serena’s story in the future. The last chapter certainly hints at that possibility!

Okay Friday Readers, for July, I’m giving away my copy of Over Maya Dead Body on the condition you’ve read the other two. If not, I’ll give away whichever one you haven’t read. How’s that? My copy of the print book if you live in the Continental US; digital if you live outside the Continental US. I have both! 🙂

Leave a comment and tell me one or even two of your favorite series–excluding my series (know you’d all list it. 😉 ). There are quite a few GREAT series out there to choose from.

And before I forget, the June winner is: Caryl Kane!

Comments 39

  1. Paula

    Don’t get me started! There are too many to choose just two! My favorite at the moment is Roseanna White’s Ladies of the Manor. All of Sarah Sundin. I can’t stop! Jessica Dotta and Beth White. If I must, I must– stop that is. ( yours is up there, too).

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  2. Edward Arrington

    Pat, did you really mean to say in the first paragraph of your review of Over Maya Dead Body: “…then there was the romance between Nate and Tanner that really heated up…”? I understand what you are saying but I have read and reviewed all three books. I really enjoyed the series and concur with you that there should be another. In fact, I stated that in my review of the third book. Besides yours and Sandra’s series, I am enjoying the current series by Terri Blackstock, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason to name a few more.

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      1. Edward Arrington

        You’re welcome. I just can’t seem to avoid proofreading everything. Sometimes I find that I should have proofread my own work more closely. 🙂

  3. Janet Sketchley

    Okay, dutifully excluding your books and also excluding the Serena Jones series (because we wouldn’t be commenting if we didn’t like it!) but sticking with the mystery/suspense theme: Heather Day Gilbert’s Murder in the Mountains series and Emily James’ Maple Syrup Mysteries are the others on top of my list. But please don’t enter me in the draw, since I’m already reading book 3 and have read the first two. Definitely a fun series. I love the humour, and yes, Aunt Martha is great.

    1. Sandra Orchard

      Ooh, I’ll have to check out the maple syrup series. I’d toyed with the idea of doing one myself a couple of years ago when my daughter worked at a maple syrup farm. 🙂

      1. Janet Sketchley

        Atlantic and Central Canadians, and New Englanders, love our maple syrup… my husband has been known to joke that it’s a breakfast drink. Funny how our families’ and friends’ employment and activities can become writing research 🙂

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  4. Arletta

    I love Hillary Manton Lodge’s “Together at the Table” series. Also Mary Jane Hathaway’s “Jane Austen takes the South” series is a favourite. (And of course, Sandra, this series is right up there!)

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  5. Jackie Smith

    I have enjoyed Deborah Raney’s series and will receive #5 soon in the mail (Home at last)….so am excited about that!
    I have read some of Sandra’s older books, but not these you mentioned. I MUST correct that ’cause I do love her books!

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  6. Lynda Angeline Bertulli

    Right now I am reading Babbling Brook Naked poker club mystery. Written by Ann Warner. there are so many funny quotes from the 80 year old is just one of them “Seems the more wrinkled the skin, the less color matters.” And “Eddie is not nice, but he’s very good looking, which I’m sure prevents many women from recognizing he’s pond scum.”

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  7. Heidi Robbins

    I love this series and can’t wait to read Over Maya Dead Body! Some of my other favorite series are The Christiansen Family series by Susan May Warren, the Jonquil Brothers series by Sarah M. Eden, and the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey.

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  8. Trixi

    The book I just got done reading is Denise Hunter’s latest book “Sweetbrair Cottage”. Talk about a page-turner…wow! Best emotionally packed book I’ve read for a while. I’m still coming down off of it two days later!

    Favorite series: Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series! Character driven fiction, thrilling suspense, heart pounding romance and faith-filled stories 🙂 Another awesome series: Roseanna White’s Ladies of the Manor series. You’re right Patricia, it’s hard to nail down just one or two great series books! 🙂

    I have not read this series by Sandra, so I’d start with the first book, of course! Thanks for the review and giveaway chance!

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  9. Trixi

    Oh Patricia, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It will definitely stir your heart. She deals with some pretty significant and raw issues in life with grace and mercy. I won’t spoil it for you. It’s the kind of story that will stick with you for a while! I’ll be leaving my review for it today, even though I finished it a couple of days ago. It was an intense read for me.
    If you like the kind of stories that tug at your heart and emotions, I’d recommend one that I read in the latter part of last year. It’s called Stars in the Grass by Ann Marie Stewart, and I believe it’s her debut novel if I remember correctly. Wow, it’s powerful! I love a deeply emotionally read that engages all my senses. It’s the kind that sticks with you a while 🙂

    I hope you do have time to read these books. I think you’ll enjoy them!

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      1. Trixi

        No I haven’t YET, though it’s on my radar…lol! And the other one “A Sparrow in Terezin”. So many good books to read, so little time….lol!!

  10. Jordann

    It’s always so hard to pick a favorite series, but I would have to say that the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey, A Class of Their Own by Jen Turano and the Summer Harbor series by Denise Hunter are some of my favorites! I enjoyed the Port Astor series and am looking forward to finishing this series as as well! 🙂

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  11. Caryl Kane

    I have A Fool and His Monet in my TBR. On of my favorite series is The Zion Chronicles by Brock and Brodie Thoene.

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  12. Amanda

    The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers because they are the books that won me to Christian Fiction. I also really enjoyed Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series.

    A Fool and His Monet is on my bookshelf but I haven’t read it because I need to buy book #1. 🙂

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      Patricia Bradley

      Amanda, I love Dani’s books but I think I’m one of the few people who hasn’t read Francine’s books…must remedy that. And if your name is drawn at the end of the month, you have your choice of one of Sandra’s other books in the series.

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