Friday, February 3, 2017

Reviews: The Fifth Petal, and Death at Wentwater Court

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title: The Fifth Petal
Author: Brunonia Barry
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Genre: Mystery/Psychological Suspense
Recommended If You Like: The Lace Reader, character-driven mysteries, mysteries with history, stories about Salem and the Witch Trials

The Book:

A suspicious death on Halloween may have ties to the infamous "Goddess Murders", also committed on a Halloween night decades ago, and still unsolved. Callie is the daughter of one of the Goddess victims, found at the crime scene traumatized but still alive. Now the new death has brought her back to Salem, where family secrets and old grudges are brought back to the surface.

What I Liked:

I really enjoyed Barry's The Lace Reader, and was excited to see she had come out with another book. This is a good mystery, with some excellent twists and turns. Barry uses flashbacks of memories to her advantage, creating a lot of suspense as Callie begins to remember what happened all those years ago.

I also really enjoyed how Barry made Salem its own character. The witch trials and their consequences still reverberate, and have a direct effect on what happens in the present.

Anything I Didn't Like?

The book moves a little slowly at parts. There are a lot of side story lines that, while interesting, do tend to slow down the pace.


I would recommend this read, especially if you read and enjoyed The Lace Reader. Barry brings an excellent mix of history and mystery to the table, with some fascinating characters and great twists.

Title: Death at Wentwater Court
Author: Carola Dunn
Publication Date: May 15, 1994
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended If You Like: mansion mysteries, family secrets, cozy mysteries

The Book:

The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple is a journalist, trying to make a life for herself outside her family When she is given the assignment to write about the family at Wentwater Court, it looks like it will simply be a routine assignment. But then a death occurs, and brings all the family secrets to light.

What I Liked:

Daisy is a really strong, fun, smart, and likable female character. She assists the police, and stands on her own two feet, contributing a lot to the investigation. The budding romance between her and the detective is a great and believable one.

I love mansion murder mysteries, and this is a good one. There are so many family secrets, and so many clues in the various rooms.

Anything I Didn't Like?

Before the actual murder, the book moves a little slowly. But once it picks up, it really gets going.


I can see this becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I definitely want to get my hands on the rest of the books.


  1. They both sound good but Death at Wentwater Court I believe is going on my list. :)

    1. It's a new favorite in the cozy mystery genre!