*Angela’s furbaby, Max, barked.
Angela: (Angela looks down) You want to say hi to everybody, that’s it? He gets so jealous, I can’t talk to anybody but him. Okay, please turn on you. There we go. Okay. Okay, okay. Wants to join the conversation, this is Max.
Hi, everybody. Welcome to tonight’s cozy mystery book club live stream, as Max is trying to get to the computer. He just got groomed, so he looks like a puppy. I am so excited because these two amazing women have been a part of the cozy mystery book club for the longest time. I had to email Christine earlier, I went on your Twitter DM, and I saw one of the messages and it was dated 2019. It was from a while ago, like early 2019, and I’m going, oh my goodness, she has been a part of this club for a long time. So I’m very excited to introduce Micah and Christine. So yay, welcome.
Christine K: Thank you
Angela: Oh, my goodness. I’m trying to bribe the dog to be quiet with some of my blueberry muffin, so this is getting very, very sad. As soon as I’m out of, I don’t know if you guys can see, but yeah, as soon as I’m out of blueberry muffins for him, the barking might start again. So, and he’s not the parrot that you can just politely ask be quiet.
So, everyone’s oh, this is so cute. When everyone starts commenting, I love seeing the comments pop up. Oh my goodness, there’s already 16 people. Alicia, lady gizmo, Colleen, Renee, Summer. Mr. Shoes reads, she was a former guest host. Oh my gosh, they’re popping up faster than I can read them. Summer, Summer, whose name is also the name of our protagonist, because tonight is the little bookshop of murder by Maggie Blackburn.
Okay, what is her last name? It’s Molly Cox Brian, I know Molly Fox. I forgot the last name, Brian, but yeah, so it looks like everyone seemed to enjoy the book too. Stephanie, yes. Max is in the house, he knows it and he’s going to let you know he’s here. I was just saying before, he went to the groomers and he looks like a puppy right now because he has no extra fur, I always call it his fluff. He has no extra fluff and so he looks like a puppy and he’s so cute and he uses it, so hopefully he’ll be quiet. He can use it for the blueberry muffin and then we’ll be done.
So, before we went live, my two lovely guest hosts were saying that they enjoyed the books. You wanted to say hi, is that it? So again, tonight’s book, little bookshop of murder, and we have summer as a protagonist. We also have a summer in the book club, so that’s so cute, and then it’s set in North Carolina, and so why don’t we drive right in? So what did you enjoy about the book? Micah you want to start?
Micah: I loved that setting. I thought it was amazing. I just wanted to move to a beach and buy a bookstore. It was great, the walking on the sand every day and I mean, I could feel the sand in my toes and it was amazing. Now I want to read all the bookstore on the beach books and I can’t find it.
Angela: This is the first and only one right? There isn’t a sequel yet.
Micah: I think so, yes
Christine K: I think there is a second book coming out, either later this year or early next year.
Angela: Source books. Source books quick you guys, you have to get on that. They have to give us another one, because clearly people in this book club adored this book, it was so much fun to see how many, every comment was like, oh, I love this book. I’m having so much fun reading it. I mean, that is amazing. I love it when people comment like that. So clearly we need the sequel to this. So what did you enjoy, Christine? You mentioned you liked it too.
Micah: I tried to pre-order the next one, but it’s not out for a while.
Angela: You can’t even pre-order it yet. That means it’s not even in production yet. It’s so sad. So what was your favourite thing? Christine, what did you enjoy about the book?
Christine K: I really enjoyed the setting of the book. I think the bookstore on the beach, I really loved the bookstore on the beach.
Angela: I mean, I, we were just talking earlier, so the setting is just so cute. I love that it’s a beach town, but I also kind of love the fact that you got the bookstore there, but I’m kind of wondering if you’re the author and you’re going, oh, I’m going to be reading about an independent bookstore. I need to go visit them. I need to go visit the local beach town; I need to go do some research. This will be the best excuse to go visit little bookstores. I mean, she definitely captured the bookstore vibe. I don’t know if this is all from her imagination, but if it’s not, she definitely seemed to have those details of what you expect when you walk into that type of store.
So, I think I enjoyed the fact that it’s a bookstore on the beach, not just a beach, but it’s a bookstore on the beach, and then the title Beach Reads. That to me was the cozy mystery, the beachy reads title, that was so cute. Also, the Mermaid Pie book club was also another great title. So we have Beach Reads, with the Mermaid Pie bookclub. I don’t know why I laughed so much saying that, I got the biggest kick out of that.
Oh, comments. Yeah, so please comment away. I posted some comments before we went live. So yeah, every comment tonight counts towards our live stream giveaway, and again, so we have Sourcebooks, Poison pen press. They’re giving away a copy of pint of no return. So every comment is a giveaway entry tonight, so comment about what you liked about the book, what you want us to talk about? All the bookish stuff, all the bookish fun. As the comments keep popping up, there’s so many, I can’t even read them all.
Last time, I was going through the giveaway entries. Again, all the comments, giveaway entries. I was like, oh, I miss this amazing comment. I wish they gave us a shout out. So if I can’t read all the comments live, that’s why, so it doesn’t mean your comment is not awesome, it just means there’s a lot on the feed sometimes.
Yeah. So I just say Jill’s comment there, I have to admit too, this was also kind of a fun little, live vicariously for me because I haven’t been in a bookstore, a physical, actual bookstore since Covid probably happened. So I don’t know about y’all, but if this was getting to visit a bookstore in your own little safe quarantine sort of way. So I don’t know if you two felt that way, if everyone in the comments felt that way, but that was nice.
So what’d you guys think of summer? Did you love her or did you have to warm up to her? I mean, our protagonist, she wasn’t always the most relatable. So what did you guys think of her?
Micah: I did not like her at first
Angela: You didn’t like, yeah.
Christine K: She grew on me by the end of the book. At the beginning of the book, I was a little hesitant towards her.
Angela: I have to admit, at first, this book took a little while for me to warm up to. So if y’all are new to the club or I haven’t talked about this or you haven’t heard me mention it. I studied the romance genre and the readership, and so, having your protagonist bash the genre that you spend so much time promoting and enjoying and studying was very, very difficult. You know, our leading lady here Summer, the last name is Merriweather, so also very cozy mystery protagonists name. She does not like Beach Reads, aka the bookstore, because they only house books that you would read on the beach. So, the cozy mysteries, the romance novels, she was not a fan, and she was very vocal about that. She wasn’t just that he didn’t like it, she was very vocal about that. She wasn’t just a Shakespeare professor, you needed to know she loves Shakespeare and only the classics. So that was a little bit hard for me at times, I’m not going to lie.
Again, my dissertation, I started in 2015, 2016, it’s still going, and so this is a big part of my life and having someone be very anti romance and anti-fun reads was a little bit hard for me at times.
Micah: She was so vocal about that, like when the doctor she thought was talking down to her and she’s like, I will quote Shakespeare to you.
Angela: Yes. I love how Max is like, I agree. She was a book snob, how dare she, how dare she not love our cozies Oh, yeah. So yeah, you guys are saying that she seemed reserved. Okay. I love all the comments you start popping up like yep, I agree.
Oh, you never warmed up to her. Oh, interesting. I have to admit she kind of, what is it? The unlikable protagonist mold, those conversations pop up every so often, and I definitely think she might be on my list of that because, I think she took a risk as an author. I think she definitely, and I can tell that it paid off sometimes, but didn’t for other readers on good reads. I love you, I ran out of blueberry muffin to give him. It was like as soon as the blueberry muffin’s gone, the barking starts, because the readership that she’s against is the readership of the book.
So I was very intrigued and I wanted to kind of ask the author about this. I mean, this has been part of the discussion because the book itself is a cozy mystery, and yet our protagonist did not like cozy mysteries, my mind was blown. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen this for a cozy mystery, because usually the cozy mystery authors in the cozy mystery book or the cozy mystery reader in the Cozy mystery book. This woman didn’t like cozies, and this is a cozy, so thoughts?
Micah: Yeah, that turned around by the end, even towards her mother, because there was a lot of tension and conflict she talked about with her mom and then by the end of the book, she was like, maybe I’m more like her than I thought. I thought she had a lot of growth in the book.
Angela: Did you agree Christine?
Christine K: I do, like beginning of the book, I wasn’t really sure about her and you see as the book progresses and she gets written, learns to really, really likes the romance genre and all the books that her mom liked and you could see her getting to understanding her mother more as the book went on.
Angela: I love how the comments are popping up. Like, let me roll my eyes. It seems as if everyone’s on the same page with this. Yeah, it did take her very long time to change. That was the other thing too. Okay, so there’s so much fun when there’s a book club in a book, and it’s a book club talking about a book club. It’s very meta right now.
So, the Mermaid Pie book club, again, I laugh before I say the name. They were reading a romance novel for their book of the month and immediately, as she started reading the book, she started enjoying it and it took her a while to finish by the way. I noted that in my mind because when I start getting into a book, like I am just going to read it, she read it over a period of time. So I was very intrigued by the fact this woman is supposed to be a scholar and it took her a while to read the book, but that’s a side note, but she didn’t admit until the very end, even though she started reading this book very early on. So probably around here, she started reading the book and enjoying it, but she didn’t admit to like the last, what, five pages that she actually liked the book. It took her a long, long time to actually say, oh no, I liked the book. I’ll read the next book the author writes. Even if she was enjoying, she actually admitted it, that got to me a little bit.
Micah: And she had that steamy dream.
Angela: Yeah, so I’m trying to figure out how it has spoiler-y we want to get right off the bat, but we should talk about that, I don’t know, we’ll come back to this. We got to bookmark this because we find out something about his particular romance novel, and after we find out this reveal and I realized, wait a second, she had a dream about the male lead, I really cringed hard. Should we just, okay. I don’t think this ruins the book, because we’ll have to talk about the murder in a second anyway, but the book turns out to be based on the romance between her mother and father, and she had a steamy dream about the male lead of the romance novel. So, I closed the book a little bit and had to go take a little walk to Starbucks, because I didn’t know what to do with that fact for a little while. I still don’t.
Christine K: Yeah, that was a little weird, just how that came out.
Angela: I still have a little bit of a reaction, it’s cringey so bad. So again, there’s things about this character where you’re like, hold up. Ooh. Oh, people are still, the comments are popping up. Yeah, so, oh, so cute. You like the authors to take risks? Well, having her have her steamy dream about her father was definitely a risk, I’ll mention that one.
Okay. So other people are cringing too. That was horrible. Oh, you didn’t think about that, but now that I’m making you realize that, we’ve just ruined the whole book for you, because again, this wasn’t a huge part of the book, it was probably a couple sentences about how, oh yeah. I’m really enjoying the book. I’m going to bed thinking about it and I’m realizing, as soon as you think back, you’re like, wait a second. You were talking about how steamy, how hot.
Ooh. I mean, you also don’t want to think about like your parents having a romance novel, then thinking about that alone is kind of like, and then realizing you care about the male protagonists in a non-fatherly way, just takes it to a whole new creepy level, but again, she likes Shakespeare, so maybe that’s part of that I don’t know. Shakespeare had his own problems with what he wrote. I mean, Titus Andronicus wasn’t exactly, you know, anyway. Okay. So you liked it and didn’t love it. Again, I think a lot of it has to do with the protagonist, if you could get over her dislike of not Beach Reads, apparently max is just agreeing with everybody tonight he has so much to say about this.
Christine K: He’s very passionate about this book.
Angela: Okay yeah, so thank you. Shakespeare is not exactly you know, he wrote his comedies, but I mean, again, some of those things like Titus Andronicus were not exactly the most uplifting. I mean, calling Freud. I mean, you know, she didn’t know about James Pace, Shakespeare person,
Micah: I just love the fact that all these women were over 60, 70, and they were just so vocal about these romance books and liked cozies. She was like, I am not.
Angela: In the book club scene, Summer is thinking oh, this is a lot more intellectual based on what they were saying and their conversation, how it was progressing, and then all of a sudden, one of the elderly members was like, and that’s in the sex scene, it was so steamy. It was the elderly member of the group who said it first.
Micah: I’m not sure why, I kind of wanted to join a romance book club after that.
Angela: Hey, maybe I’ll get romantic as the heart back going. Well, what is it? The latest, oh, I’m going to totally, I have it around here somewhere. It’s about the nauticals. There’s a new cozy romantic comedy, so there’s a comedy romance out there that I know of, but definitely think the romance element here was interesting because again, this is something I studied and I think one of the things that Maggie Blackburn probably hit on really well here is that cozy mystery readers don’t always read romance, but romance readers will read cozy mysteries, and romance readers, I also think are kind of used to people having that, people looking down on it approach.
So you’re not exactly going to be off putting to people who are already used to it. It’s like, yeah, I’ve had that before. Again, I get annoyed with it, but I’m like, yeah, I’ve been dealing with people saying it’s low brow for years now. I’m used to it. So I think that was kind of clever, because cozy mystery readers are like, oh yeah, romance while other people will be like, oh yeah, maybe I should take a chance on it. So I will give her credit for that sort of readership dynamic.
Micah: I think she did a good job with that because there’s such a stigma against romance and nobody was embarrassed. They were just having a good time.
Angela: Well, our protagonist was the one with the stigmatization of the genre.
Micah: She doesn’t count, had issues. She was in love with her dad.
Angela: She was the one with the stigma, and blew my mind with that one. Again, most of your protagonists are the ones who were like, I love all the books, I love this, and she, our sleuther was the one against reading certain things
Micah: I mean, how are you going to be snobby against other books but okay with having steamy dreams about your father?
Angela: That might be the best comment of all time. I feel like you should get two giveaway entries with that comment, because that’s amazing. I have to admit guys
Micah: I mean, this kind of stuff probably happens a lot here
Angela: The older women were a hoot. Ooh, what is your favourite romance series that you would recommend to someone that isn’t into romance? Does it have to be a mystery or can I just start naming romance novels? Because I could do that for a while. I mean, I will admit, I love that there was a pride and prejudice reference, and the bird is named Mr. Darcy, I love that. I mean, I’m a total Mr. Darcy fan, I’ve read pride and prejudice so many times, it’s ridiculous.
Again, a lot of times. I lost count after like 20 something, so the bird being named Mr. Darcy. Pride and prejudice is a really good romance, but I always love for historical, I love Lorraine Heath, she is awesome. Beverly Jenkins is incredible. Eloise James was the author she was alluding to in the book. So, Eloise James is amazing. She is so incredibly talented and I’ve met her quite a few times and she’s always so sweet. I adore her, so there’s so many authors. Tessa Dare is wonderful for historical, Mia Sheridan has one of my favourite books, Archer’s voice, he’s a little cinnamon roll hero. I love him. So I can definitely post some romance works on Instagram and Twitter, if you’d like, because I have a lot for you.
There are a lot of good ones, again, I read everything. So her being against romance definitely was a little bit hard for me to take some time, because again, right now I just got so excited. Like, oh, there’s this book? There’s this book. I only read Shakespeare, I only read the classics. Also, Shakespeare was a playwright, he wasn’t a novelist. There’s a difference. Just saying, you’re a Shakespeare scholar, there’s a difference.
Again, my blood pressure goes up talking about it. Oh my gosh, yes. So the parrot was our cozy companion. I don’t think I’ve actually seen a parrot as a cozy companion in a cozy before. Yeah, the bird was your favourite character. There was one point when he was singing happy birthday, when he walked into the room with the doctor who just announced, oh yeah, your mother was murdered and then he’s comes in singing happy birthday. That made it a little bit more cozy, because that was a very dramatic moment. So I kind of needed that little oh yeah, don’t go into that depressive point, stay in the cozy mood. So that was good writing on her part, but it also made me love the bird a lot. Okay, everyone loves Mr. Darcy. I know, the bird was in mourning. I kind of love that she ended up sleeping with the bird in the bed.
Angela: I mean, I will admit too. I kind of thought when the bird was depressed, for some reason, I don’t know why I went to this, maybe it’s because I’ve seen a few episodes of monk that involved animals. Again, I’ve seen a lot of cozy mysteries, I’ve read a lot of cozy mysteries. I thought that maybe, the killer was going to kill the bird. Like oh, maybe the bird saw something and every time they see this killer, he freaks out and it’s going to make the killer uncomfortable and I got to get rid of the bird, but no, he just genuinely missed his owner, which was kind of cuter to me. I kind of appreciated that a little bit more.
Micah: I really liked the family dynamic too.
Angela: Yes, aunt Agatha and then there was cousin Piper and then niece, Mia
Angela: I was like, wait a second, we had a teenager in the book what was her name? Did you have a favourite of Agatha, Piper or Mia?
Micah: I kind of liked Agatha because she was a hot mess and I loved it.
Christine K: Yes. I always liked the eccentric characters, like the aunt. It’s always so fun to read about.
Micah: I want to be Sophia when I grow up of the Golden Girls. So I was totally down with Agatha all the way.
Angela: I just started watching the Golden Girls. Again, I watched it for the reruns, like a long, long time ago, but Hulu has the Golden Girls and I put it on the other day as it was folding laundry, she was the one that made me lose my mind laughing, because she has some of the best one-liners on that show.
Angela: And Agatha was a little Golden Girl-esque, I kind of got a little bit of that vibe from her.
Micah: I kind of wish the mom had been in the picture, because I could just see them living together and solving crimes, because the mom was just so hippy, you know what I mean?
Angela: Yeah, she was. Again, with the awkward moments, having that dream there, she talked about how she found her mother dancing naked on the beach one time.
Micah: Yes, all of them.
Angela: I would not want to see my mother doing that, and if I did, I would be like, okay, I’m just going to walk away now and pretend I never saw this. I’m never going to acknowledge this again, blackout, blackout, but she’s like, oh no, I ran in and saw my mother did this and her mother had a lot of lovers over the course of her life, and she also knew about that. It was very Gilmore girl-esque in that way, they shared everything.
Micah: There’s oversharing.
Angela: Crystal brought up exactly what was in my notes. I love that they didn’t leave her alone as the family. So, they went back to Hildy’s house with her and she wanted to spend the couch instead of in her room, so that was a free bed. So I believe it was Mia being in her room and Piper in her mother’s room, and I think Agatha might’ve been sleeping in the same bed with Piper, but they were all in the same place and then they all went to Piper’s house or Agatha’s house. So even after they got smoked out, because there was a house fire, again spoiler. They just stayed together, it was like a family unit. We don’t want to leave you alone, let’s go from here to here together. I was like, oh love her. Yup. Yup, she was. I would have loved to have seen the mother. I also have to admit, I was surprised she was our murder victim, in regards to this being a cozy mystery.
Micah: I know
Angela: Usually, the family is accused of being the murderer and you got to clear their name. Usually you don’t kill off the immediate family, especially in a first book. So that was kind of mind boggling to me because she’s dealing with the loss of her mother, that’s very depressing and she’s mourning and she’s traumatized, and the fact that they weren’t on good terms and she died, was very upsetting. So, I don’t know how else everyone interpreted that, but I’d love to know, because I was kind of surprised about that myself.
Micah: It was different.
Christine K: Yeah. It’s not like the typical cozy, where if they are accused. It was different and was another way the author took a risk.
Angela: I just saw Stephanie’s comment. The mother was your favourite character and she wasn’t even on the page. I mean, that’s exactly the case too, that’s also not typical of a cozy. Usually your favourite character is the one on the page, and then, I saw Coleen’s comment, we’re going to have to talk about Piper and also Poppy, again, that was kind of difficult for me for the first couple of pages.
I’m like, wait a second Piper versus Poppy, which is, who’s who, but I saw the comment that it’s not a typical cozy. I mean, there was some swearing in here and she dropped the, again, I never swear on YouTube, you know, fill in the blank, blank, blank, and I was like, wait a second. She dropped that, like what five times? I was kind of going hold up, that kind of took me out of it. Usually the only person who swears is the bad guy, but was there anything else that kind of popped out at you as not the typical cozy?
Micah: The swearing.
Angela: I guess Max agrees with you, because every time that you’re saying something, he’s like, I’m going to bark with her.
I mean, that’s also true about the mother. I don’t really remember any other cozy mystery I’ve read and I’ve read quite a few at this point, having someone danced naked in the beach or talk about like being a practicing with them, they’re the one accused of being a red herring or something. So I don’t know if that was trying to normalize differences in a good way, but I mean, that was also different. We also had a random psychic in the mix kind of saying she’s in danger and she was not the one being looked at as a murderer, but she was a psychic and it was okay.
Oh, okay, so. No, I was just saying like the needle point. Okay, so it’s not the first time you’ve seen it, but it is different for me. Okay. So was there anything else that kind of popped out as not the normal cozy aside for if there was something you’re like, oh, wait a second, not cozy?
Micah: She didn’t know who her father was, that’s not real common in the cozies, is it, to not know? I don’t think I’ve come across that.
Angela: I feel as if I have seen storylines about, oh my gosh, the Mary ghost in, she was looking for her mother and I’ve seen straight-line about looking for people, but I thought it was kind of interesting that we got the reveal at the end. I kind of thought this might be one of those, they have those kind of episodic, where it’s like, okay, we have our contained narrative for the course of the book, and then we have our overarching mystery. I kind of thought it was going to an overarching mystery, and then she gave us. I mean, I was very surprised that we found out who he was at the end.
Angela: I don’t now if you thought about that, but that kind of jumped out at me.
Christine K: I thought the mystery about who her father was, was going to somehow tied into the mystery of Hildy’s death, and I was completely off on that.
Angela: Oh, okay. The most unrealistic occurrence for you, was that Summer was kept in the hospital for two nights. Can we also talk about the random fact. I don’t know what paperwork you signed at the hospital for this, but like you’ve never had a church funeral because of something you signed at the hospital. I was confused about that.
Angela: Unfortunately, I’m a little too familiar with the funeral process, the parents have had to plan a few over the course of my life. I don’t know any paperwork you signed in the hospital that leads to a church funeral, I was also very confused about that. Oh
Micah: And why is she taking medication because she’s afraid of spiders? It’s like, I didn’t know there were people who weren’t afraid of spiders until I read this book.
Angela: Yeah. We got to talk about this fear of spiders.
Micah: She needs counseling and everything. She’s like, I will use my baby as a human shield if there’s a spider involved, like I’ll die for you, but I’m not taking out a spider and she’s in therapy and getting medicated and on a sabbatical from her job.
Angela: So, this is also something that I, again, I’m earning a PhD. I know academia, and I’m kind of glad that this was addressed at some point, because I didn’t buy the fact that it was just her reaction to spiders that put her in jeopardy with her job, that sounded completely bonkers to me. We find out, I mean, it’s probably not until the 60% mark we hear from the Dean, but for the first 60%, she’s talking about how a video of her was taken by a student, when some sort of science lab lost their spiders and they ended up in her classroom and she jumped up on the chair and on the desk and started screaming, because that’s a normal reaction.
And so she’s screaming about the spiders and her students are filming her, and somehow she thinks this is leading to put her job in jeopardy. I mean, what? Maybe this is like the me too movement thing, or relates to that in some way, but mostly the faculty that gets jeopardy it’s when you say something really inappropriate or creepy to a student. Your reaction to spiders is not going to get you kicked off the faculty.
Micah: Crystal Tea Knits says, that blanket and mask killed me, and I’m like, where can I get one?
Angela: She opened the door with the mask on with the doctor and he got scared. He didn’t know what that was.
Micah: It’s like she’s camping out in the Amazon or something, you’re on your mom’s couch.
Angela: What did you think, Christine? What did you think about the spiders?
Christine K: I just thought that was a weird storyline just from the beginning. I couldn’t even make sense of it, of how it fit into mystery. It just made no sense to me.
Angela: I’m not going to lie, I don’t like spiders. I don’t know if I would jump on a desk and scream, but I would probably be like, oh my gosh, get away from me, I would definitely react and have a physical response. I wouldn’t just be sitting there like yeah, come walk all over me, but she took that arachnophobia to a whole new level, and I was kind of curious a little bit. So I have a friend who who’s very scared of insects, insects, plural. So why is it just spiders, what about other creepy crawlies? She never really mentioned, it was just spiders as far as I could tell.
Micah: The fish in the fish tank made her think of spiders. Remember that part?
Angela: It wasn’t the fish that freaked her out, it was the fish in correlation to spiders. Again, just one instance, just one.
Angela: Oh my gosh. Yeah, so, other people are on that, I was kind of thinking that her fear of spiders was going to come up in another way, but I kind of guess that it kind of came back around, in regards to her not going down into basements because she was scared of spiders and to go find her aunt at the very end, she went into a basement. So it kind of came back around, but at the same time, I would have liked for there’d have been a spider on the stair and she was like, no, I’m going to keep going or oh, there’s a spider here, I’m going to persevere and go save aunt Agatha that’s awesome, I kind of wanted that a little bit.
Okay. So other people are agreeing, I have to admit, I’m kind of glad that the Dean was eventually elaborated on, oh wait no, it’s actually your attitude we have a problem with. Again, here is the unlikable heroine, because I was wondering about that. This was in my notes, I’m going to have to find the page. He mentioned about, I mean, She doesn’t pass her students. She said before about how they came to her with poor writing skills and reading skills, and she didn’t want to pass them just for the sake of passing them, but I’m kind of curious, what kind of grades she gave out, if a lot of her students are not passing this course.
So she also didn’t have office hours regularly and she didn’t like her fellow faculty members, so she wasn’t friendly with them. I mean, there was a lot of problems with how she was going around in this university, so kind of wanted to just touch on that a little bit.
Micah: She was definitely an elitist.
Angela: Even with her fellow faculty.
Micah: She’s like, I shutter at having open door policy with my students. It’s like, you’re a teacher.
Christine K: I was saying, you can’t be a teacher and not have office hours be available for your students.
Micah: They can’t read or write, aren’t you supposed to teach them that because you’re a teacher?
Christine K: Yes
Angela: I mean, I’m also kind of curious. So, again, I talk about cozy mysteries and romance novels, but I took a lot of English classes, I was an English minor as an undergrad and all my elective classes and a few of my major classes were English classes. So I took a Shakespeare on film class and in the syllabus, we had four texts, four of the Bard’s work to refer back to. So, she said she was a Shakespeare professor, but you can’t teach all of Shakespeare in a single college semester, what is your actual class? What are you actually teaching? Are you teaching one class on Romeo and Juliet? Are you teaching the comedies? Are you teaching one class that’s the tragedies? What are you teaching? I needed more information.
Micah: I just really enjoyed the book, because it was so different I guess, because she was so irritating, but she was very antisocial and she didn’t want to be bothered, but then at the end she kind of turned around a little bit.
Angela: Yep, it carried over. It’s also interesting.
Micah: She’s not a people person.
Christine K: No
Angela: I was like, the other academics though. She would say, and again, my mind was blown, just because you’re studying English and Shakespeare does not mean you’re going to be good at everything, just because you have a PhD does not mean you can accomplish this task, because you’d be like, oh I have a PhD, I can totally do this. Oh, I have a PhD, I know that, I can figure that out.
Micah: So, somebody asked how old Summer was, and that was another thing I discovered. The mom was 64, but she got pregnant when she was in college and Summer was 34, right?
Angela: Mhmm. The timeline was a little wonky. So I went over on Good reads and there were multiple comments where people are trying to figure out the ages because it didn’t make sense. So, that one might’ve slipped through the editing cracks, unfortunately. I didn’t really know myself.
Micah: Okay, because she would be in college for a long time.
Christine K: Yeah. This was a reread and I couldn’t figure it out the first time and was hoping to figure it out this time. It confused me.
Angela: That makes me feel better, because when people in Good reads posted that, because I myself was kind of going hey, wait a second.
Micah: It doesn’t make sense, yeah.
Angela: I’m also curious because she’d mentioned tenure, but she must’ve been on tenure track because again, she was concerned about losing her job and if you have tenure that’s not necessarily how things play out. So yeah, I was kind of wondering how old she was, as a protagonist too. I had a lot of questions with this read.
Ooh, what was this comment? Yeah, I kind of think as a writer, this was a really good moment of showing growth. I appreciated the fact that she did not stay that snobbish person. I also don’t think she ever should have been in academia because she clearly hated it. So, also realizing the fact that you should change your life goal is also kind of a big character growth moment, realizing that change is good.
Micah: So I listened to this on audible, and then I read the book and I do not remember anywhere in the book, it saying that Doris’s husband was a diabetic and it says in there, I know somebody told me that. Did anybody pick up on that, was that said to her?
Angela: I think so at the very, very beginning, because they mentioned he had liver failure at one point, and I think that was mentioned in this instance.
Christine K: Because I remember reading the book and it was only mentioned I think once
Angela: Yeah, it was a very quick.
Christine K: It was very brief.
Micah: Because I remembered them saying he was very sick, and then when she found out Posey had diabetes, like, do you need to be doing this, or you should be resting. She’s not bed-bound, she has high sugar.
Angela: This kind of flows into the murder mystery part of our cozy. So did you solve the murder? Because to me, this was obvious, this one I did not fall for any other red herrings. I was just kind of waiting for her to catch up in a way. Did you solve? you’re nodding.
Christine K: I figured out pretty early on in the book who it was¸ it was obvious.
Angela: There were a lot of clues. I also have to mention, I think my favourite clue was the bird not liking this particular person when they were in the house. Again, if the animal doesn’t like somebody, it’s that person.
Christine K: The animal is always a good judge of character.
Angela: It’s the first cozy, you’ve ever solved. Yay. Everyone’s solving the murder.
Micah: Yay, well, I think it helps when it says this person was the last one with the murder victim and everybody’s questioning that.
Angela: And then, she didn’t talk about it. It wasn’t just that she was the last person, she didn’t even talk about what the final moments were like. She refused to, on what, four occasions?
Micah: And that’s not suspicious at all.
Angela: Yes Jill, thank you, yeah. At one point I was kind of going okay, because even, Mia didn’t like her either, Mia was like oh, I hate her or I dislike her. I think she said she disliked our killer, what? Four times? Four or five times.
Yeah. I mean, thank you. This made me feel good about myself that I did solve it, because sometimes when I can’t solve it, I’m just like, I’m along for the ride. This one I knew, I was just waiting for our little sleuther to catch up.
Micah: Well, I was really proud of myself because I never solved any mysteries.
Angela: Yay, okay. I feel like we need to give ourselves little gold stars, we solved it.
Micah: Maybe that’s why I liked it so much is because I solved the mystery this time.
Angela: Okay, so Coleen, thank you. One of our red herrings, the English teacher who was also a player for the book club members. Can we talk about Henry for a minute? Okay, thoughts?
Christine K: It was definitely an interesting character, I’d say that.
Angela: Micah, would you like to elaborate on he’s an interesting character? Because you’re kind of making faces, like I have thoughts on him.
Micah: I just think he was such a whore. He dated everybody, and then his temper was ridiculous. He’s like yeah, I don’t have any money, but I still want to buy these books, and then the mom dies and she’s like don’t sell them to him, because apparently
Angela: She put that in her will.
Micah: I think he was trying to get with her too. He was just, wow.
Angela: I loved how Summer was curious. She sees a photo of Henry with the book club standing next to her mother and his arm is draped over her in a very romantic fashion, and he’s looking at her and she has to message her cousin, was he sleeping with my mother?
Angela: If you have to ask that question, clearly he’s giving you some weird vibes of some sort.
Micah: She’s old enough to be his mom, and I just think he would have done anything for those books.
Angela: I mean, I also want to, can we just talk about how expensive those books must be? I was making notes of this, because I saw one of Shakespeare’s first folios. There’s the Shakespeare museum in DC, which I haven’t been to in the longest time, because hashtag quarantine life, but I loved that place. I’ve been there a few times and those books are very rare and very hard to find, and she had a folio to give Summer. She had a first edition of Pride and Prejudice, and then other first editions of books. This bookstore must be bringing in a lot of money because those books are not cheap.
You would date Mr. Darcy, the parrot before Henry. Yeah, was he hitting on Summer? Because he kind of seemed to have, he brings her flowers. I mean, was he hitting on her? He was the teacher from pretty little liars. That is a really good comparison, except he would have known she was the creepy student, he would have known the scenario’s awkward.
Oh, you guys are talking about the mask. Oh yeah. So Henry. Yeah, I saw that comment. Yeah, because he kind of was giving the mom romantic vibes and then he was giving her a little flirty vibes.
Micah: And he was with Posey too, not Posey, Poppy.
Angela: Is that why Agatha hated him with the little looks?
Micah: I think he said he had dated Poppy.
Micah: That’s when she got warned off about him, I think.
Angela: Okay, because I knew Agatha did not like him and she made that abundantly clear, but I wanted Levi in the story, our sexy firefighter who believed her before anyone else about the murder.
Christine K: Yes.
Micah: I thought he was going to be a love interest, different from the cop, because usually it’s the cop they fall for, and then this time her ex father-in-law that hates her, and he also not want to do his job.
Angela: I wanted more Levi. Okay Christine, you were nodding like you wanted Levi time.
Christine K: I would have liked more Levi scenes in the book,
Angela: Can we get more Levi in book two, please? Thank you.
Christine K: Yes.
Angela: Yeah, we had a lot of cops with Ben, the former almost father-in-law who dislikes her. I would’ve liked our nice little firefighter who believed her to pop up, because we also don’t know how his investigation is going, we know he’s looking into it, but we don’t actually get to have moments where he’s checking in with her or if she bumps into him as she’s sleuthing. So there could have been some more Levi moments that occurred for me to be happy. Again, I like my romances.
Micah: I think the cop’s son is going to be a future plot line, like he’s going to be accused of murder and she’s going to have to clear his name.
Angela: I think I made a note, because I kind of would’ve liked, where was it? So I don’t know where it is, but I remember the note. I was waiting for her to run into Kash and his new wife and the kids, or run into the wife that she saw a photo of on Facebook or something. I kind of wanted that awkward encounter, I kind of needed closure for that. I don’t know if anyone else kind of felt that way, but again, with our unlikable heroine, she leaves this guy at the alter, she left him.
Micah: She could’ve handled that better.
Angela: No kidding. Okay, yeah. So this might be true too. She might not be ready for Levi and his awesomeness, because he has already kind of there for me. I don’t think he needed to have a lot of things to work on, but yeah, maybe that’s true. Okay, yeah. So maybe he’s a future love interest.
Micah: Even Agatha though he was good looking and verbalized that.
Angela: Yeah. Oh, so, okay. Other people were waiting for Kash too. I was waiting for Kash, but we kind of got to know him without actually meeting him. Again, maybe that’s the whole difference, not giving it the total cozy vibe, but I kind of wanted that awkward encounter because again, this is supposed to be a small town. You run into people in small towns in cozy’s, that’s what cozy mysteries are. Everyone has to be at the grocery store at the same time, they all have to be at the same place at the same time, that’s how this works.
Christine K: Yeah, I was expecting her to run into them and I was kind of surprised that she read didn’t.
Angela: You read the book twice, so twice you were waiting for her to run in, I wanted more mermaid stuff, because mermaid seemed important to the mom. I was like, maybe there’s going to be a town legend, that didn’t happen. I kind of was waiting for some more mermaid references, which was also a random thing to kind of throw out there, but I kind of wanted more mermaid stuff, because it seemed to be important to Hildy. Also, I kind of want that second floor of the bookshop, sounds awesome. Having the floor to ceiling windows, that sounds like the best bookstore in the world.
Micah: What’d you think about Rudy?
Angela: I didn’t fall for him as a red herring. Did you?
Micah: Not really
Christine K: No
Micah: But he would be so mad and then on his hands and knees looking for that stupid cat, he was in love with the bird.
Angela: Yeah, what was that? They just stared at each other through the glass. I kind of wanted there not to be a cat for some reason. I thought maybe he’d be looking for it. Like I kind of was waiting. So he goes, I’m looking for my granddaughter’s cat. I was waiting for one of the characters to be like, he doesn’t have a granddaughter, what are you talking about? I was kind of waiting for that in a way. For some reason I was waiting for there to be like an, oh, wait, hold up. Again, I never thought he would be the killer, I just thought maybe he was going to be a little bit creepy, but he wasn’t, he was actually legitimately looking for his granddaughter’s cat, like a good guy.
Oh, that would have been an awesome twist. You kept thinking her mom was a romance writer. It would have been really cool if she was the one who wrote that book that she was reading. Hey, someone else wanted the mermaid legend. Okay. So, oh. Yeah, I think even Summer asked if he was her dad, so even she was wondering. So, even Summer, waiting for her to figure it out with the rest of us, she was asking who else loved my mom, but my mom didn’t love back? And then Agatha, oh yeah that list is too long to name.
What are you talking about? This might be the quote. This is amazing, they were the romance. You nailed it. They were the romance of the book, I also was kind of waiting for, they mentioned a male yoga teacher, but when she went to the yoga place, it was a female teacher. So we never even found out about the whole male yoga teacher, potential interlude, that wasn’t there either.
Micah: I never heard of hot yoga until I read this book.
Angela: So when I was, I feel like I’ve aged drastically, and I’m like when I was younger, I used to do hot yoga and it is intense. So, I would not expect someone who was having heart problems to be in that class, so I will give her some sleuthing credit with that one. That was a good deduction. Although, I will admit they were terrible sleuthers, they were terrible. This is the reason why I say that. So aunt Agatha again, maybe this is just cause she’s quirky, I don’t know, but she sets up the plot of I’m going to mention, I am the proud owner of the first editions and she drops the plan in action, before she put in the cameras to follow through with the plan, and then the place gets robbed because the cart, horse, horse cart kind of mix that up there.
Micah: The plan worked.
Angela: We just weren’t able to catch the person. Christine you’re nodding, like yep.
Christine K: Yeah, they were not good sleuthers, the clues were in front of them the entire time.
Angela: As soon as they didn’t have the cameras in place, but she just announces to the world, I’m going okay, bad idea. Also again, random little reference here, but the first time Summer goes to the yoga studio, it was closed. You couldn’t call ahead to find out if it was open? I literally wrote that down in my notebook. Thank you for laughing, because I was really curious about that and I was also really curious, again, this book is really well written, so I don’t mean this is a bad thing, but I’ve never seen a sleuthing thing moment where they go somewhere and don’t find a clue. Maybe she just needed a break from other characters in the book because she goes, it’s closed and she comes back and I’m like, this is the scene.
Micah: I thought that kind of drag out a little at the end. Like, she goes somewhere and they’re away, she goes somewhere and the doctor was out of town, and then oh he has no signal. I’m like, just send a freaking email already.
Angela: Okay, thank you. Other people were catching this. Yes.
Micah: Everything is closed. It is the Winter season, but they’re all going to close shop early, so it’s fine.
Angela: The police chief. Yeah, she goes home and takes a nap then have a dream of her sexy father. Yeah, even the police chief, this wasn’t a historical cozy. You have a cell phone, find out if he’s in a meeting, find out when the place opens, because she’s texting people
Micah: She could send a text message
Angela: Yeah. Her phone has those capabilities we know that, and she has a PhD, she can figure things out as she’s telling us.
Micah: She studied Shakespeare, she can Google a business and see it’s hours. It’ll even tell you closed now, you don’t even have to be the math to figure out when it’s open, it’ll tell you.
Angela: I love that with Google, when you Google a store and then they show you the prime hours so you know when to avoid the crowds, I love Google, and they didn’t even say Google, It was just the search engine. We know she was on Google. Also, this was the thing that kept prolonging it for me, they didn’t have the top screening with the autopsy, and also how long does it take to do an autopsy? That was my other big, prolonging the narrative moment.
Micah: Well, they didn’t do them in town, so they had to send her out of town.
Angela: Yeah, but aren’t you supposed to put in the first, what? 36 hours or something I would think
Micah: Maybe sooner I would think.
Angela: Because again, read a lot of mystery novels. So when you try to figure out the poison or whatever caused the heart attack, or could look like a heart attack, I was really wondering about the autopsy because you’re supposed to, food continues to be digested for the first 36 hours after death, and then you can’t figure out what someone eats. So again, that granola bar was spiked with insulin, so if you did the autopsy and did that earlier, you kind of probably could have gotten a little bit of
Micah: It’s slightly scary that you know how long it takes your body to digest food after you die.
Angela: There’s an episode of Monk, where that is very, very important that I have seen multiple times. The episode involves them going to a restaurant that had a special cake with rose petals in it, and the guy literally kills someone else because he didn’t want the autopsy done in time for them to find the evidence in her stomach. So that is a very important moment, and that’s why I know that. So, ha ha
Micah: I just have never had to know that information, it’s good to know.
Angela: Well, even the heart attack, I was like, oh and Agatha got the reason one time they used rice, which is a plant. I know all these ways to kill people from reading these books, it’s really scary.
Micah: I have a new found respect for you, and you’re looking very pretty by the way tonight. So two, they only write romance.
Angela: You just reminded me. Again, I haven’t seen this show in the longest time, but also it does not end happily ever after for anything ever, Veronica Mars, one time they had to plan the perfect murder and I was like, oh, which cozy mystery could I use, or which mystery novel can you refer back to? Oh, what did Agatha Christie write?
Okay, all the comments are coming through. Yay, a true sleuther. hashtag true sleuther, that where we’ll go. You learned something new tonight. Yeah, they do those writing workshops when they have the forensics and they have the people come in with their specialties. Those are always fun workshops, because people will tell you things and you’re like, oh wait a second, that’s a good idea, and then you never do anything with it, but you still know random facts.
Micah: Crystal Tea Knits says, Angela, are you planning to off someone?
Angela: That’s another thing too with cozy mysteries, where I think I kind of struggled from the writerly perspective. I can’t even say to people when they cut in front of me in line, I can’t even say anything about that, or if you spilled hot coffee on me, I’d be like, oh my God, I’m so sorry I got in your way, I just can’t do it. So I’d have the biggest time, trying to frame someone for murder. I’m like oh, I don’t want to be mean, because they’re not really the murderer and this is a fictional character, and I’m worried about how they feel, and I created them. It takes a lot, yeah that’s a work in progress. No, you don’t have to worry.
Someone literally cut in front of me the other day for packages of the apartment building, didn’t say a word. I just looked at Max like, yeah, we’re just going to wait a few extra minutes, it’s fine. Oh, okay. So maybe that’s it. Yeah, they’re more low key about when they’re open and closed. Thank you for pointing that out. Also yeah, the granola bar, I’m kind of glad that she saw the granola bar and didn’t eat it because
Micah: It had cockroaches.
Angela: What was the note? oh my gosh. Oh, so we should probably mention how the brother came back into the book. So I was kind of curious about this before, because she’s in the bookshop, she needs this woman and she kind of takes in her physical appearance, which she hadn’t done until that point in the book. And so again, we see her interacting with other customers, but we don’t get their physical descriptions in the same way until this woman, and I was really curious about that, because clearly our writer decided that this was important to include. So we get her physical description and then she goes, oh, wait, you’re Summer, and I was waiting for her to kind of give that oh, I heard about what happened or, oh yeah, I’ve read your academic articles.
She never told her why she knew who she was. So I’m really glad that the brother kind of mentioned, you met my sister because I was wondering how she knew who Summer was without telling her, because that was kind of weird to me.
Angela: Yes, thank you. Okay. So other Angela agrees, the Angelas are in agreement. So I was really curious about that, why did she know she was?
Micah: I don’t understand how nobody knew who the father was, but the lady who wrote the book.
Angela: Yes. I’m also kind of curious because the people on the island or the area for the beach town, and they made a comment, how she came back from college pregnant, and the way it was kind of phrased, or at least the way I interpreted that phrasing was, she kind of left the state, she went away to college and then came back. She didn’t go anywhere, there was no away to come back, she went across town. I mean, unless you’re just staying at his place for a while and it was quarantine life, just staying in one place, never leaving. I mean, but at least they found his journal and she found out who her father was, also it’s really sad that both their parents died
Micah: Yes, and he knew apparently and chose not to tell her who he was
Angela: Maybe they’ll elaborate on this in book 2, but was he paying child support? Was he the one who funded the beach reads?
Micah: That’s how she got those books.
Angela: Oh, I also wanted to mention Marilyn the librarian, again, random in my notes, I love the fact that this librarian had floral tattoos. I don’t know why, but I thought she sounded awesome. I want to be friends with Marilyn.
Micah: Was she one of them dancing naked?
Angela: I know Gladys was, or Glad’s. Her name’s Gladys, you don’t need to take out one letter. You don’t need a new one. That’s one letter short. I don’t know why that bugged me. I don’t know why, but I mean, her friend group, in addition to the family was really cute because those were kind of, to me, similar kind of cozy dynamics, like you get your little communities. So she had her little family dynamic, but her family then kind of gets envelops into the group. So I thought that was really cute, so the bookstore was almost as if that was your community. It’s kind of like you started here in the bookstore and then branched out. I don’t know how to phrase it. That was your starting point of the community for me
Micah: I liked the friends dynamic for sure.
Angela: Christine you’ve read the book twice, what jumped out at you the second time that you didn’t notice the first time
Christine K: I feel like I have it in my notes here. It was more of the story with her fear of spiders, that stuff I kind of understood a little bit more the second time. I read them a year apart for two weeks, so there was some stuff I forgot, but then once I started reading again, I’m like yeah, this is old.
Angela: For me, if I read a book and a year passes, I kind of have a process where it’s like, I kind of, I don’t remember a book if I loved it or I hated it, but if I read a book and just totally forget about it, I know that I might’ve enjoyed it, but I just sort of forgot over time. I know it never angered me, that much I know.
I mean, I think I just got annoyed with the fact that she was like, I read classics. Oh, we didn’t really talk about Poppy. We got to talk about Poppy at the bookstore because I kind of felt bad for Poppy a little bit when she wanted to start bringing in classics, she kind of gave her a worried vibe of, oh yeah, I wanted to add a shelf or something with classics, and Poppy’s looking at her like, what’s going to happen to my bookstore? But she was a cute little character, did you like her?
Christine K: I did.
Angela: Hey Rose. Interesting supporting characters. I thought Poppy was really cute. I love that she cared about her boss and everybody in town loved Hildy. I mean, this woman must have been a saint, because she’s volunteering at the women’s shelter and she’s reading it in a totally different volunteer capacity. She’s reading to people who are ailing and unable to read themselves, and then she’s at the bookstore talking to everybody, doing everything. This woman is amazing, and I kind of feel badly that she wasn’t in contact with Summer, and I kind of didn’t know, or I didn’t know what to make of, is better way of phrasing it, about the kind of disconnect between the two, because clearly her daughter is so different than her, but her advice was to not run away from the viral video, and somehow that caused the rift between them. So I wasn’t really sure about the mother daughter dynamic. So what did you guys think?
Christine K: Well. I can never get on board with even reading about mother and daughter that don’t get along well, just because my mother and I were like best of friends. I think one of the things that bothered me most about the book was that she was just kind of putting off the romance books, because those were things her mother loved, she doesn’t like them. Whereas for me, my mother loved romance books, now that she’s gone, I can never get rid of any of her romance books. I’m too attached to them.
Angela: Yeah. Those are the words that she read. Those are the books that she spent her time with. I totally understand.
Christine K: Yeah
Micah: When she was reading that romance book and she found her mother’s notes, I just thought that was such a good subject because when my grandmother passed away, she kind of raised me, and I would find different things where she had just written, and you hold that so near and dear, and I thought that was really well done.
Angela: I was waiting for her to reference marginalia, which is what writing in the margins is. I mean, she has a PhD, she should know that. The lost art of marginalia. I love that that that was included in the book, because again, a lot of people read eBooks, but I write in my books when I read them, I underline, I put those notes and I love the fact that she said she got that from her mom and she didn’t even realize that, which I thought was great, and I love the bridge between her mom reading romance novels, reading the same way that she read Shakespeare, of oh, okay, you’re reading different things, but you’re still responding in very similar fashions. I kind of liked that, that they both had the same sort of reading attributes, even though they’re reading different texts themselves.
I kind of want her to put that book in a place of honor. I mean, put that in your safety deposit box, which we never find out what is in there by the way, except for the folio. She never opens that safety deposit box, but put the book away and cherish that. Oh, I didn’t realize Poppy was a single mom, I just saw that pop up, and then, oh yeah, book club members, they were so cute. They were at the bookstore before Summer was at the bookstore. They were already in packing and unloading, and they’re not even on the payroll, they’re not getting paid. They’re just there doing this.
Oh, this is interesting. You think Summer wanted to get out of her mother’s shadow. I mean, everyone loved her mom. Okay, that’s also the thing. Everyone loved her mom, nobody in her personal life really seemed to like Summer, until she came back home, and then the mother’s friends kind of like oh, you’re Hildy’s daughter, therefore our affection will transfer to you.
Oh, that’s a cute one. You would’ve liked if the murder was written. Ooh, that’s interesting. I mean, I was waiting for her to refer back to the line that was referenced about the builder and the description and why the mother was circling, writing certain things. So I’m glad we find out why she wrote certain things in the margins about her being her story, although, it kind of would have been interesting if she wrote little things in the margins about oh, it didn’t really happen like this, or oh, this would have been things to include. I’m kind of curious now, I want more of her writing in the margins descriptions. I mean, she could, this is just me. She could write that romance novel and I would buy it, and then I’d want to know at the end of the book, like these are the notes Hildy put. I would buy that book, just saying.
Yeah. So we didn’t really find out about any of her hometown friends, maybe this is coming up in book two, but if you’re going to your hometown, she didn’t really say, oh this is my old hangout or here’s where my BFF and I went.
Micah: She didn’t like anybody.
Christine K: Yeah, it seemed like her only friend was Piper.
Christine K: The only person she hung around with
Angela: Who was her cousin, who’s her blood relation and has to love her.
Micah: How do you rebel against a lady that dances naked with her friends?
Angela: I mean, her mom was so cute. I loved her mom, she sounded so awesome. She just seems so cool and have such a lowkey, loveable vibe, and her daughter was definitely 180 over here. So maybe by the end of the series, she’ll slowly start progressing and making her way back with the degrees. She’ll go from 180 to 170 and slowly start making your way back there. I don’t know if Summer’s going to be dancing on the beach naked, but maybe she’ll move from that 180 to like 90 degrees
Micah: And maybe the sequel, her and Agatha out there naked, in full nude.
Angela: She was not a big fan of relationships, that was for sure, especially men. I hope she gets closer with Levi though. I hope someone gets closer with Levi, even if it’s the cousin, someone needs to get with Levi because he’s too awesome to ignore, just saying. Just saying.
Okay, I think those are all my notes. So is there anything else about the book that jumped out at you guys? Please comment and tell if there’s something and you were like oh, wait a second. We didn’t talk about this character, this scene or the big review, we didn’t talk about this enough or something. Please comment, because I want to make sure we talk about what you want us to talk about, because this book had a lot to unpack, there’s a lot in this book. I kind of just looked at the cover.
Micah: What did you think of it?
Angela: I’m going to say four, four and a half stars, I think four and a half for me, because again, it took me a little while with the whole, she didn’t like romance novels, and it’s hard for me, that prejudice. I also kept waiting for Eloise James to get referenced, our Shakespearian romance scholar who is indirectly cited.
Micah: Is that the one who worked at Harvard?
Angela: She didn’t work at Harvard, she went to Harvard. That’s also an editing error there, which I noticed, because I know that. I’m sorry. She went to Harvard, she’s a tenured professor at Fordham university.
Angela: That was a mistake, hence me being generous saying four and a half, because I noticed those things.
Micah: What do you think Christine, how many stars did you give it?
Christine K: I gave it 3 and a half, only because it took me very long to get into the book and kind of warm up to Summer, and there were a couple issues that I had with the book, like the murderer being way too obvious.
Angela: Maybe I should just say four Micah.
Christine K: And the issues with everyone’s ages and the timeline, but I still enjoyed it. So It’s kind of in the middle, three and a half.
Angela: What did you rate it?
Micah: I gave it a four
Angela: You gave it a four.
Micah: The first time I read it, it was an audio book and I gave it a two, and then I took my time and re-read it, and I think after reading it the first time, it probably helped my rating, because then I wasn’t as mad because she did have some improvement.
Angela: Yeah. I mean, that’s true.
Micah: But I also, I haven’t studied Shakespeare and I didn’t know that that they got it wrong about that professor, so you picked up on more errors than I did.
Angela: Yeah. I mean, I’m also a very generous reviewer. I feel like there was something I saw on Twitter the other day and I think I retweeted it, it had to do with the fact with someone saying, they didn’t rate books based on content or classics. It’s on how they make you feel, and again, when you get engrossed in a book, I think I just sort of oh yeah, you’ve totally captivated my attention, I was here for that, but I did notice, and I did notice some of those errors with Eloise James, went to Harvard, she teaches at Fordham. So maybe for me that’s a little bit of, I don’t know if that falls to her as the writer, or if that’s an editing thing, but someone along the way let something slip through. So maybe I can be a proof-reader. I was like, if you ever have any romance proofing. Hello Hello, I’m here.
Micah: I know that stuff like that ruins it for me, I didn’t have that knowledge base, but I’ve never read anything by this author either, so I thought this was her first book. I’m like, the second one will be even better because she’ll get better.
Angela: I have not actually read anything else by her. I believe I have a couple of her books, but I haven’t read them. I think I have two of them, for her other name, Molly Cox Brian, but I haven’t read anything else by her. I think I have two of them somewhere, but they’re on my to be read list, but yeah, I was also kind of waiting for Eloise to get her due. It’s a fictitious book that they’re reading for book club, but there are other romance novels that could have been referenced, so I was kind of waiting for that as well with the woman with the billionaires. I’m going okay, tell me who these billionaires are for you and your billionaire sub genre that you’re loving or oh yeah, vampires are the favourites. Everyone is loving this book, Luther by Chrisley Cooler or everyone is living this by so-and-so. I was waiting for some actual published in real life titles to be kind of thrown in there. I would have loved that. I would have eaten that up.
Micah: Was it just me or was it weird that Henry was like the only man in the romance book club?
Angela: So, I was a member of the romance writers of America, DC chapter for two years, and then I just remained a member of the national organization, and I believe there were five men in total. Three of whom were there with their wives, and then the other two, they were members of the LGBTQ community. So I was kind of perplexed about Henry being a straight guy reading romance, and no one ever said anything about it. Here’s this character who clearly doesn’t mind talking about stigmatization and he would get stigmatized as a male romance reader, unless he was just part of the book club because he was looking for women. I mean, that seemed very possible because they were saying he’s making his way through the book club, but I was kind of surprised that nobody was giving him credit for just showing up to a romance book club as a guy, because I would’ve been like hey, good for you. Join the female fandom
Micah: Rose says it was a place for him to pick up women
Angela: Oh yeah, maybe it wasn’t intentional, maybe it was, but I noticed that right away, because I knew she went to, yeah. Again, she also didn’t mention her, so maybe that was something like oh, because Julia Quinn, I believe she went to, I want to say Yale. She was either accepted to Harvard or Yale medical school. Lisa ClearPass is a historical romance author, I’m pretty sure she went to an Ivy league. I mean, romance writers are very intelligent women. You’re Shakespearean scholar.
Micah: Remember that episode of murder she wrote, where Jessica went to the university and her daughter wrote the romance and then come to find out it was actually the mom doing it and she was, yeah
Angela: Yeah. I remember that because I’ve watched that episode multiple times for that very reason. I know that exactly. So, the episode opens with a male faculty member, because men are the only ones who get to talk about this apparently, like oh, this is the genre. So the male faculty member’s reading a passage from the romance novel and all the kids start making fun of it. I believe she’s a Dean, but one of the tenured prestigious female faculty members, who’s studying one particular classics author, ends up writing romance novels with the daughter who’s very outgoing and she opens up her coat and flashes and goes swimming and everything else, is the one pretending to be the romance writer, because that’s the image romance writers portray, but it’s actually the mom who said she wrote her first romance novel in a series like six weeks. And it sold way better than the book that took her two years to write and edit as an academic and it sold way better than the book that took her 2 years to write and edit as an academic. So romance writers make money, but yeah, she didn’t want the stigma. I remember that episode very, very well, and I got way too excited that you just referenced that.
Micah: They’re talking about her calling out Nora Roberts in the book.
Angela: Yes. The romance writer’s hall of fame, is called the Nora Roberts hall of fame. You do not diss the queen. You do not mess with Nora Roberts, she owns like 2 mountains.
Micah: I have never seen you so worked up about a book before.
Angela: You do not diss Nora Roberts.
Micah: You don’t diss Nora Roberts and know how long it takes to digest food after you die, I’m not the one. I don’t remember what the comment was for Nora Roberts, because I have never read her, sadly.
Angela: Well, even if you don’t read her, I just feel like as if you just got to acknowledge or give her credit for what she did for the genre. She was one of the faces that elevated it from the whole idea of, oh, it’s a body stripper and it has this perception, she became one of the faces who was very prolific, and again, she has like 400 books at this point.
Micah: Oh wow.
Angela: Or at least, I think it’s 200 something, and she has short stories and everything, this woman is amazing. She also write on her JD Robb for mysteries, which was also put it out, and I liked that in the book because that is a true fact, I agree with that one. So, she writes all these books and you just got to give her a credit for what she did for the romance genre, even if you don’t enjoy her stories, but you just got to give her credit, like yeah, you definitely helped elevate and draw attention and shine a light.
Micah: What did Summer say about her? Because I don’t remember that. I don’t want to cause you pain, if it’s too hard to talk about.
Angela: No, it was a comment about how, like oh, well she didn’t do Shakespeare did. Like, hello? She did a lot for romance genre, thank you very much. So yeah, Summer was very very sassy, when it came to Nora Roberts. You don’t diss the queen. I mean, she’s incredible. Again, even if you don’t read her, you just got to acknowledge what she did, and again, I also don’t think every romance writer, every book is for everyone. So again, I’m not going to lie, some of her books didn’t exactly resonate with me. I haven’t read all of them because hello, it’s a list of like what? Hundreds of books, but the ones that I have read, you just don’t diss Nora. You just don’t diss her, I mean, the woman owns two mountains she’s worth what? 400 million or something.
Micah: Wait, did she really own two mountains?
Micah: I thought you were being facetious.
Angela: No. She literally owns mountains
Micah: Well, why did I not start writing romance?
Angela: And then, Lifetime did a series of adaptations of her novels and she made bank from that, she made a lot of money from that, with the TV and everything else. She’s done very well for herself. She actually has her own bookstore in Maryland, and I swear she owns that town because everything is associated with her and her bookstore. It’s like Nora Roberts ville, it’s incredible.
Hey yes. Thank you. She does, she owns her own town. You got to give her the credit. What she’s done is incredible, even if you don’t want to be a fan of her books. I’ve only been to her bookstore once and someone actually said, and again, like who you like, read what you want. Someone said, oh, I actually came from one of the other authors. I’m not a big Nora reader, but I love that Nora put on this event. I’m like, yes, thank you, giving Nora credit even though she’s not your person. That’s all I ask, Summer. I get emotional when you diss my romance novels. Yes, thank you. Other people are jumping on the Nora bandwagon.
Micah: She’s got fans.
Angela: You don’t diss Nora. Yeah, so I thought it was really cute too, how you kind of got an old-school romance throwback with Hildy and Agatha swapping romance novels that their mothers had, because again, I think that sounded very much more of the bodice ripper age. That was more of that experience, and I love that, that you had that romance throwback in there. So I don’t know if she herself is a, obviously a very talented writer. I don’t know if she herself was a big romance reader or if she has romance reading friends, but she definitely captured a lot of the romantic elements, even if there was a Nora diss in there, maybe she just wanted to get me riled up. I don’t know.
Micah: I think this book was intentionally targeting the people who disrespect the romance genre, or shame people for reading that, because it was a really big point in the book. She really made it a point to make it, where you don’t have to be ashamed of it, I thought.
Angela: I just saw this comment pop-up. This is true, that movie Anonymous, there are a lot of people who says Shakespeare was not the person writing all those plays. Thank you. Yeah, nobody dissed her and Shakespeare. That was, again, got to love the romance community, the romance readers. They were very nice with her saying what she said, even though they didn’t agree, they didn’t bring down Shakespeare. Nobody ever threw him under the bus in this book, just saying. I’m starting to lose my voice a little bit.
Micah: This book put me in the mood to read a romance.
Angela: Yes, you’re getting converted.
Micah: I am. I haven’t been to contemporary romance that I haven’t read yet. I kind of been waiting for summer.
Angela: It’s like, you need your Beach Reads. I feel like you need a sign like, the Beach reads bookstore. Very Punny title
Micah: I bet you can find one on Etsy.
Angela: Well, I made the sleuther sign, I don’t know how much shows but I think I can make a sign. I’ve make quite a few signs with my cricket. Another project. Add that to the list. So was there anything else you guys wanted to touch on from the book, or anything else in general? Because clearly I.
Micah: We have to talk about the perfect murder.
Angela: I know, plan the perfect murder, that was the homework assignment for Veronica Mars. So I’m like yeah, you have to know how long it takes food for digesting, have to know about autopsies, have to know about the poisons for heart attacks. I mean, I was just waiting to find out what the poison was. I was like, oh, was it Erysimum, was it this, was it that? So, I was almost a little sad that it was just insulin. Oh my God, I was like oh Dang it, I wanted something like, oh she snuggled in something or of, she grew this in her backyard, because she was plotting this from the beginning. I kind of wanted a little bit of oh she’s vicious, instead of, oh stealing her dying husband insulin, maybe that’s why he died, because she was stealing his insulin for this.
Micah: Here’s the down point for me. She died from insulin and still nobody’s like hello, Doris was the last one with her, she’s a diabetic and we know she’s using insulin because she’s eating those sweet rolls all the time, cinnamon rolls, and everybody’s like, yeah, I don’t know what happened.
Angela: I will give Summer credit for sticking to her guns, because sometimes you’ll see characters or even just in real life, when other people are like, no, no, no, it’s fine. It’s this? You’re like, oh, okay. I guess I’ll let it go and move on. She did not move on, she knew her mother, she knew what was going on. She was not going to. let that go, so I have t to give her credit. She did her mother justice and Doris was completely batty. Her pink hair that matched her pink fingernails, that was my description when I wrote down , she has pink hair, and then, she’s the murderer.
Micah: I just don’t understand why she thought somebody wanted to steal her husband, because liver disease is not sexy. You’re yellow, you’re bloated, you’re vomiting. It’s a horrible way to go, and I don’t understand why she thinks that turns on Hildy, like, look at your yellow skin, want to go out Friday? I just don’t understand that.
Angela: I mean, he must’ve been lethargic and everything else, he probably wasn’t having anything with anyone.
Micah: And clearly in a coma, because he didn’t get his insulin
Angela: Yeah. She’s stealing his insulin, that’s why he died a week after Hildy because he’s still losing a lot of insulin that he needed, that’s why this happened. So technically, she killed her husband too. She was mad at him for the affair. Yeah, the motive. So I see Stephanie, yeah, it was almost as if I knew who the killer was, I was just waiting to find out why she killed her. That was kind of the big question for me, it wasn’t who the killer was, it was why did you do it? So I’m kind of glad, to me, maybe that was the mystery. Rewatch Bridgerton, new homework assignment
Micah: Everybody’s going to get off and start reading a romance.
Angela: Free Julia Quinn. She’s also an upcoming queen of romance, I think she’s definitely the revival of, yeah. Julia, Quinn’s incredible. So yeah insulin, that was a good murder weapon, I will give you that because you could have written that one off. A couple of people are mentioning insulin, like, yeah.
Micah: So how long does it take your body to absorb the insulin after you die, Angela?
Angela: I don’t know, that we can do Google. I will admit I loved how Summer’s like, I’m just going to look into what heart attacks look like. She just goes on Google and she’s going, something’s wrong here, she was murdered, because Google will tell you if something’s murder.
Micah: It will.
Angela: Also, web MD is great for diagnosing stuff. She just goes online and was like, yeah, it was a murder.
Micah: Victoria says, murderers are usually thinking clearly.
Angela: Yeah, that’s true. I was going to say, if anybody has any comments about the book, please comment now. Max agrees. I was going to say, so I posted pretty much all of the book club reminders on Twitter earlier today because I wanted to make sure I mentioned all of them, because I felt as if there were quite a few, plus, I wanted to give you all a chance to ask any questions, as Max is wanting his attention. Isn’t it cute when he gets groomed? He looks like a puppy.
So the giveaway for tonight is Pint of no return. Thank you source books, aka Poison Book Press, you guys are awesome. So one winner, all the comments, I will gather them, each one is an entry, I will select one winner and they will mail you your prize. Also, I shared some links over on Twitter for you. Again, I mentioned I posted this, but I shared the links too. So there’s a Google form you can fill out if you’d like to be featured on the official cozy mystery book club website, the Cozy mystery book club.com. I’m going to create a page featuring book club members. So if you’d like to be one of our featured book club members, please fill out the form and I will add you to the page, which I will reveal in probably, I’ll give myself at least two weeks to finish that, as I’m like, how long will this take me? But it will be unveiled in the coming weeks, let’s just go with that.
And the next cozy corner chat is going to be June 15th and there are 6 authors who are taking part. So from seven to nine on that Tuesday, June 15th, Tuesday, Twitter, they will be there for two hours to answer your cozy questions. So you can use the hashtag, hashtag cozy corner chat and tweet at them, and they will answer all of your cozy questions. They’re there to talk about their books, writing process, recent reads, whatever you ask them, and then our book for next month is Amanda Flower. Ta da, and I believe those are the top updates. Otherwise, I think everything is on Twitter. If you have any questions, please ask.
Ooh you already read it. So she’s like, so the book tonight that is a giveaway item is Victoria approved, I like it. Oh, someone is the commenting about the motive. Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed the last cozy corner chat. Yeah, I’m happy to start getting them back on, again we mentioned signs, I have one, hashtag I don’t know if you guys can see it here, hashtag cozy corner chat at cozy mystery club. So I’m really happy to get that going again. What I was thinking of doing is, so obviously the last Tuesday of the month is cozy mystery book club night, last Tuesday of the month, I just kind of block it out in my calendar and put stickers on it. So it makes me happy and smile, and so, I was thinking of making the second Tuesday of the month, hashtag cozy corner chat night.
So maybe I can do this on a regular basis if some cozy authors would like to take part in Twitter. So this will be an ongoing thing potentially, so if you’d like to be a featured cozy author, just let me know, and if you are a cozy mystery reader tell me who you want to contact or get on Twitter. If you’re like,I love so-and-so, please ask them to join the cozy corner chat. I’d be very happy to send an email, so just let me know. again, book club, tell me what you want, I will make it happen.
Oh, thank you. I’m glad you guys like it, that makes me happy. I already did the graphics and I love the graphics. Again, I always try and show you guys who’s the featured author. So I made the featured author, Twitter photo, and I think he came out really cute, because I put a little profile photos and the little circles on Canva, I love doing that. I have problems when I go on Canva, I’m like I want to make this the best I possibly can.
Hey, okay. We got more love interest in Pint of no return. So even though our sexy firefighter was not featured, there’s a love interest in the other book. Awe, you don’t get Twitter, Awe. Well, again, I kind of like doing things across platforms. So this one will be archived, I always keep the YouTube live stream archive, so if you can’t join us live, people can listen to it later, like a podcast or whatever they want to do, watch it. However they want to enjoy coziness. So I like doing things across platforms, just in case you can’t join YouTube, or again, if you don’t have an Instagram, but you have a Twitter or you have an Instagram, you don’t have Twitter, however it works, bringing coziness to you across platforms. So hopefully you can enjoy it on at least one, hopefully more, but yeah, I hope you can learn Twitter, if you can’t, I still think you can check out the hashtag and see what’s going on .I don’t think you need to be a member of Twitter to do that. So you have that option, but if anyone has any questions now is the time because my voice is going to give out.
Again, introvert life, I say this every month. My voice is not used to being used this often. So it’s like, why are you talking? Oh, thank you. I know, thank you guys for joining. I was so excited when, I’m so excited. I was just so happy, because you guys have been members of this book club for so long. I can talk to you live, you get to respond. It’s not just your little profile photo. Thank you for being a part of the club and thank you for joining tonight. You guys are so amazing.
Micah: It was so much fun, thank you.
Christine K: Thank you for having me, it was a lot of fun.
Angela: Oh, you guys are so sweet. Seriously, they have been awesome members of this book club. If you’re not already following them, you’ve probably actually read their comments, because I retweet them so often because they’re so awesome. I’m pretty sure I’m always, Christine. I’m pretty sure I always put her in the Instagram stories, I think I’m always like, oh and we’re resharing, oh we’re resharing. I think what was it? You got to love how Instagram, I make a face for even saying anything like ugh, because you commented on of the posts and I pinned it on Instagram and I moved it down. Like they unpinned it, I’m going, how dare you remove her, Instagram? I pinned her comment. I was like, wait a second, hold up, you’re not putting Christine down, we’re bringing this back up.
I got mad at Instagram, I was like, you don’t do this. I’m just like oh Instagram. I love them, I hope you guys do because they are so sweet, and so I was really happy that you guys were able to join tonight, as I get emotional.
Micah: Well, we love you, and I think you’re great. So, thank you for having us.
Angela: Thank you. I’m honoured you guys joined tonight and everyone in the comments, you guys are always so amazing. I’m so happy you guys, there’s clearly so much talk with this book. I’m so glad there was a lot of material to talk about, I’m glad you liked the story. I think it’s so fascinating that this heroine is a quote unquote unlikable protagonist, but she grew when you guys clearly had so many thoughts on her and the story. I mean, I’m glad, even though you all seem to solve this murder from the get-go, because you guys are sleuthers and you know how cozy mysteries work, hashtag cozy crew life. You guys still join the conversation, you read the book, and so I love that you guys join and comment and you guys all read the book, that’s so cool. We all read the book and enjoyed it together. So I can’t wait to see what you guys think of Farm to Trouble next month and there’s going to be coziness to enjoy throughout the month. Again, the voice is like, why are you still talking?
So I am so glad that you guys joined tonight and so much other coziness to enjoy. Please be sure to check the Twitter and Instagram, just in case whoever’s YouTube comment, I cannot find your channel or contact you through YouTube. Again, YouTube does not always show you how to contact, I don’t know what’s up with YouTube, but I cannot always contact you through YouTube. So please, please, please in the next couple of days, please check the Twitter and Instagram account. So that is my one final plea, because I want you to get the book if you win. If you win the book, I want you to get what you win, because one time I’m pretty sure it took me like three days to contact the winner. I had to go sleuthing for a sleuther, that’s what happened.
So please check Instagram. Oh, you guys are so sweet. Thank you for joining, all your comments. I’M like, great job. I love this, it says great job. Oh, you guys are so sweet. I’m glad you guys enjoyed it. So next month, I don’t know if you guys already have your copies, but Farm to trouble, Amanda Flower, please add to your to be read list, next book call, Wishlist, whatever. So hopefully, another entertaining live stream discussion will occur. So, thank you so much for joining. Do you guys want to say something before we sign off for the night?
Micah: Thank you guys, it was fun.
Christine K: I had a lot of fun, thank you.
Angela: Oh my gosh, you guys are so great. Thank you for joining and thank you for everyone for watching. Please continue to stay safe and healthy, and I hope you enjoy some more cozy mystery reads. Have a nice night.