Waiting For — Wednesday: CACKLE by Rachel Harrison

A weekly post to highlight an upcoming book or new release that I’m looking forward to reading. This week’s pick is…



CACKLE
by Rachel Harrison
Release Date: October 5, 2021

A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true, from the author of The Return.
 
All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.  
 
Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?


I’m not even sure what to expect with this book, but the second I saw the cover I knew I had to get my hands on it. Is CACKLE suspense? Humor? Horror? Contemporary fiction? All I know is that I’m thrilled to have been approved on NetGalley to read it!

It’s never too early to plan your Fall/Halloween reading. What’s on your list? — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Where is your favorite place to read during the summer?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. This week’s topic is…


Where is your favorite place to read during the summer?

Inside where it’s cool. I always think I’m going to sit outside with my new reader sunglasses and read, read, read! Then I get out there, and bugs, heat, and sunburn become an issue fast, lol. In the spring and fall, I do like to sit on my front stoop and read while it’s in the shade. What about you?

Join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments or create your own post on your blog. Head over to That’s What I’m Talking About for more details! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Welcome to our Mad Tea Party!

Hello! I’m glad you could join us for the Mad Tea Party hosted by Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist. When I was little, I thought Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was scary. The Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat? Too creepy. Of course, now I love creepy and mysterious things. All quotes below are from Lewis Carroll’s wonderful book!

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”

If you’ve never been here before, I’ll quickly introduce myself. My name is Diana, and I’ve been blogging about books for a long time. So, of course, my tea party will also be a book club meeting, and we’ll be talking about one of my favorite cozy series, the Hungarian Tea House Mysteries, written by Julia Buckley.

The covers of these books are absolutely adorable! I was excited to find that I had a matching Sarah Wilkins mug for each book.

• Afternoon Tea Party •

Before we get started, we need the perfect tea-inspired essential oil blend for ambiance. I found one on the Diffuser Blends site called Afternoon Tea Party. Roman chamomile, lemon, and cinnamon bark. Smells amazing!

It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not.”

• Let your imagination grow •

DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY | Tea | Whole Grain Blueberry Muffin

Hungarian folklore, European high tea, and just a touch of the paranormal come together to make DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY a delightful start to this series!

Three generations of the Horvath/Keller family run Maggie’s Tea House in suburban Chicago. Hana, her mother Maggie, and grandmother Juliana are shaken when a guest is poisoned to death at one of their events. With a murderer on the loose and their business in danger, Hana is willing to help Detective Erik Wolf with his investigation and do a bit of sleuthing on her own.

The Hungarian history, culture, and myths blended throughout this book made for an enjoyable and unique cozy mystery. I also loved the budding romance between Hana and Erik.

“I suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the great question is ‘What?’” — Alice

• Take a sip, turn a page •

DEATH OF A WANDERING WOLF | Tea | Jarlsberg cheese & pecans

In book two of the Hungarian Tea House Mystery series, Hana Keller gets more than she bargained for at a yard sale, when the seller, a local artist, is murdered shortly after Hana scores some too-good-to-be-true deals. Hana uses her developing psychic ability and smarts to unlock the secrets in his paintings. Will his art reveal the identity of his killer?

I enjoyed this complex murder mystery that continues to explore Hungarian culture and folklore. It was lovely seeing Hana and Detective Erik Wolf’s relationship grow closer, and the introduction of Erik’s sisters was a lot of fun. I hope they become regulars in future books. Hana and her family are wonderful characters who make this an engaging series.

“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter. “It’s very easy to take more than nothing.”

• Read & Grow •

DEATH ON THE NIGHT OF LOST LIZZARDS | Tea | Chocolate chip pecan cookies

The third book in this charming series finds Hana busy at her family’s tea house during the bustling Christmas season, but it’s not all comfort and joy. Hana’s psychic gifts turn out to be useful when a Hungarian professor and artifact collector is murdered. With Maggie’s Tea House hosting Prof. Balog’s memorial, Hana and Erik are able to discover many possible suspects with reasons to resent the deceased man, but who among them was angry enough to kill?

DEATH ON THE NIGHT OF LOST LIZARDS was beautifully written with descriptions of snow, Christmas traditions, familial bonds, and amazing Hungarian antiques. What a lovely magical atmosphere for this puzzling mystery.

“I do wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much!” — Alice

Thanks so much for stopping by my book club tea party. I hope I sparked your interest in this delightful cozy series. Please hop over to Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist to check out her beautiful post and find links to the other partiers.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the first two books in this series from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.

Waiting For — Wednesday: THE BOOK OF COLD CASES by Simone St. James

A weekly post to highlight an upcoming book or new release that I’m looking forward to reading. This week’s pick is…



THE BOOK OF COLD CASES
by Simone St. James
Release Date: Mar 15, 2022

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect—a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases—a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?


How can I wait until next March for this book? I am a HUGE fan of Simone St. James. Even if I get a copy from NetGalley, I’ll still have to buy the hardcover for my shelf. Do you enjoy suspense novels with a touch of the paranormal? — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Tell Me Something Tuesday: What authors have you recently discovered and loved?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. This week’s topic is…


What authors have you recently discovered and loved?

Several! I’m going to define this question as meaning authors in the last year (July ’20 – July ’21) that I hadn’t heard of before, or that I’d heard of but hadn’t read. (I know some of them have been around for many years!) Here’s my list:

Click on the author’s name to visit their Goodreads page. Do we share any favorites?

Join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments or create your own post on your blog. Head over to That’s What I’m Talking About for more details! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪