Saturday, July 31, 2021

Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman

Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman Banner

Silence in the Library

by Katharine Schellman

July 12 - August 6, 2021 Tour


Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman

Regency widow Lily Adler didn't expect to find a corpse when visiting a family friend. Now it's up to her to discover the killer in the charming second installment in the Lily Adler mysteries.

Regency widow Lily Adler has finally settled into her new London life when her semi-estranged father arrives unexpectedly, intending to stay with her while he recovers from an illness. Hounded by his disapproval, Lily is drawn into spending time with Lady Wyatt, the new wife of an old family friend. Lily barely knows Lady Wyatt. But she and her husband, Sir Charles, seem as happy as any newly married couple until the morning Lily arrives to find the house in an uproar and Sir Charles dead.

All signs indicate that he tripped and struck his head late at night. But when Bow Street constable Simon Page is called to the scene, he suspects foul play. And it isn't long before Lily stumbles on evidence that Sir Charles was, indeed, murdered.

Mr. Page was there when Lily caught her first murderer, and he trusts her insight into the world of London's upper class. With the help of Captain Jack Hartley, they piece together the reasons that Sir Charles's family might have wanted him dead. But anyone who might have profited from the old man's death seems to have an alibi... until Lily receives a mysterious summons to speak with one of the Wyatts' maids, only to find the young woman dead when she arrives.

Mr. Page believes the surviving family members are hiding the key to the death of both Sir Charles and the maid. To uncover the truth, Lily must convince the father who doesn't trust or respect her to help catch his friend's killer before anyone else in the Wyatt household dies.

Praise for Silence in the Library:

“Schellman’s gracefully written whodunit is equally a tale of 19th-century female empowerment and societal conventions…More than a clever murder puzzle, this is an immersion in a bygone era.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“The fast-paced, engrossing story has a climactic confrontation worthy of Rex Stout or Agatha Christie.”
Library Journal, starred review

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: July 13th 2021
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 1643857045 (ISBN13: 9781643857046)
Series: Lily Adler Mystery #2 | The Lily Adler series are stand alone mysteries but even more fabulous if read in sequence
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Given the way she hadn’t hesitated to interfere in the Wyatt family’s affairs, Lily expected Lady Wyatt to politely rescind her invitation to ride the next morning. But she had insisted, saying her arm was sure to be better by morning. So after breakfast, Lily instructed Anna to lay out her riding habit.

Though she had forgone her usual routine of breakfasting in her own room and instructed Mrs. Carstairs to lay breakfast in the parlor, Lily hadn’t seen any sign of her father. She didn’t mind. If she couldn’t be cozy while she dined, she was at least happy to be alone. And it gave her the opportunity to go over the week’s menus with her housekeeper and offer several suggestions for managing her father’s requests while he was with them.

“And do you know how long might that be, Mrs. Adler?” Mrs. Carstairs asked carefully. “Mr. Branson was unable to say when I spoke to him last night.”

Lily pursed her lips. “For as long as he needs, Mrs. Carstairs. Or as long as I can bear his company. My record on that score is fifteen years, however, so let us hope it will not come to that.”

The housekeeper wisely didn’t say anything else.

Lily’s pleasant solitude lasted until she was making her way back upstairs to change, when she found her path blocked by her father’s belligerent frame. Unwell he might be, but George Pierce was still a solid, imposing man, and Lily had to remind herself to square her shoulders and meet his scowl with a smile as he did his best to tower over her from the step above.

“Good morning, Father.”

He didn’t return the greeting. “I am going to breakfast,” he announced, eyebrows raised.

Lily waited for a moment and then, when no more information was forthcoming, nodded. “I hope you enjoy it. Mrs. Carstairs is an excellent cook.”

He sniffed. “And I assume your excessively early rising is an attempt to avoid my company?”

“It is past nine o’clock, father,” Lily said. “Hardly excessive. And I have an appointment this morning, so if you will excuse me—”

“What is your appointment?”

He couldn’t curtail or dictate what she did with her time, Lily reminded herself. Even if having him in her home left her feeling as if her independence were being slowly stripped away once more, in practical terms he had no say in her life anymore. Answering his question was only polite. “An engagement with a friend—”

“That sailor again, I assume?”

Lily took a deep breath. “Captain Hartley was also invited, but no, the engagement is to ride with Lady Wyatt this morning. Which I assume you would approve of?” Seeing that she had momentarily surprised him into silence, she took the opportunity to push past her father. “You would like her, I think. She is charming and elegant.”

“And her husband’s a fool for marrying again,” Mr. Pierce grumbled, but Lily was already heading down the hall and didn’t answer.

Jack was coming just before ten to escort her to the Wyatts’ house, and Lily was in a hurry to dress and escape her father once again. Her room was empty when she walked in, but Anna had laid out her riding habit on the bed, pressed and ready, its military-style buttons glinting in the morning light amid folds of emerald-green fabric.

Lily stared at it without moving. She had forgotten that her habit wasn’t suitable to wear when she was in mourning.

She was still staring when Anna returned, the freshly brushed riding hat in her hands. When she saw Lily’s posture, Anna paused.

“You don’t have another, I’m afraid,” she said gently.

Lily nodded, unable to speak. One hand reached out to brush the heavy fabric of the habit; the other clenched a fold of the gray dress she wore. She had stopped wearing colors even before Freddy died—in those last months of his illness, she had traded all her pretty dresses for drab gowns more suited to nursing an invalid who would never recover. And even after full mourning was complete, she had lingered in the muted shades of half mourning long past when anyone would have required it of her, even Freddy’s own family. Laying aside the visual reminders of her grief felt too much like leaving behind her marriage.

But that had meant more than two years of sorrow. And in the last few months, since she had come to London and taken control of her life once more, something had shifted inside her.

“Yes, thank you, Anna,” Lily said quietly, her voice catching a little. She cleared her throat and said, more firmly, “I will wear this one.”


She managed to leave the house without encountering her father again. When her butler, Carstairs, sent word that Captain Hartley was waiting in the front hall, Lily felt a pang of anxiety. Jack had loved Freddy like a brother. And he had never given any indication that he thought her mourning had gone on long enough.

Jack was in the middle of removing his hat, and his hand stilled at the brim as he caught sight of her. Even Carstairs fell still as they watched her come down the stairs, the heavy folds of her green skirts buttoned up on one side to allow her to walk freely and a single dyed- green feather curling over the brim of her hat and flirting with her brown curls.

Lily felt exposed as she descended the final few steps, though she was bolstered by the approval that softened Carstairs’s smile. She had never considered herself a shy person, but she could barely meet Jack’s eyes as she crossed the hall to give him her hand.

For a moment neither of them spoke, and when she raised her gaze at last, Lily thought she saw the captain blinking something from the corner of his eye. “That was Freddy’s favorite color,” he said at last, his voice catching.

Lily nodded. “I know.”

Jack’s jaw tightened for a moment as he swallowed. But he smiled. “Well done, Lily,” he said quietly. “Good for you.”


There was a lightness between them as they made the quick journey to Wimpole Street. As Jack waved down a hack carriage and handed her in, Lily found herself laughing at all of his quips or droll pieces of gossip, even the ones she normally would have chastised him for repeating. And Jack kept glancing at her out of the corner of his eye.

“Do I look that dreadful?” Lily asked at last as he handed her down from the carriage in front of the Wyatts’ home.

“Quite the opposite,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck as he released her hand. “Did you know, you are actually quite pretty?”

“You mean you did not find me pretty before?”

“I think I had forgotten to consider it one way or another,” Jack admitted, grinning. “What a shame everyone has left London already; you would cause quite a sensation.”

Lily shook her head. “I know full well I am not handsome enough for that.”

“Surprise can cause as much of a sensation as admiration,” Jack pointed out.

“Captain!” Lily exclaimed in mock indignation. “You were supposed to argue with me!”

They continued bantering as they mounted the steps to Sir Charles’s townhouse, only to fall silent and exchange a puzzled glance as they realized that the door was half-open, the sounds of raised voices echoing from within.

Lily glanced at Jack, an uneasy sensation beginning to curl in the pit of her stomach. “Should we knock?”

He shrugged and did so, rapping firmly on the wood of the door. There was no response, but it swung open a little more. After hesitating a moment, Lily bit her lip and said, “Well, we ought to at least make sure Lady Wyatt knows we’ve come. If it is no longer convenient to ride, she can certainly tell us to leave.”

“And you were already happy to interfere yesterday,” Jack pointed out, though she could hear the unease lurking beneath his playful tone. “We might as well do it again.”

“Very true.” Lily pushed the door the rest of the way open and strode in, Jack following close behind.

The front hall was empty, but they could still hear voices not far away, now low and urgent, and the sound of quiet crying from somewhere just out of sight. The uneasy feeling began to spread through Lily’s chest and arms, and she reached out her hand in blind anxiety. She was relieved to feel Jack take it and press it reassuringly into the crook of his arm.

She had just decided that they should leave after all when quick steps echoed down the stairs. A moment later Frank Wyatt came rushing down, checking himself at the bottom as he stared at them in surprise.

His face was pale and his eyes red as he gaped at them, his easy manner vanished. “Lily? And Captain . . . I’ve quite forgot your name. You must excuse . . . what are you doing here?”

“The door was open, and no one answered our knock,” Lily said, feeling a little ashamed of their hastiness in entering. “I apologize, Frank; we did not mean to intrude, but we had an appointment to ride with Lady Wyatt this morning. Is everyone well?”

“Is everyone . . . No. No.” Frank gripped the banister with one hand, his knuckles white. “I am afraid that Lady Wyatt will not be able to ride today. My father . . .” He swallowed. “My father has died.”

Lily stared at him, unable to make sense of his words. They had seen Sir Charles just the day before. If he had seemed a little older and weaker than she remembered, he had still been utterly vital and alive. “Died? But . . . how?”

“In point of fact,” a new voice said quietly from behind them. “It seems Sir Charles Wyatt has been killed.”


Excerpt from Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman. Copyright 2021 by Katharine Schellman. Reproduced with permission from Katharine Schellman. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Katharine Schellman

Katharine Schellman is a former actor, one-time political consultant, and currently the author of the Lily Adler Mysteries. A graduate of the College of William & Mary, Katharine currently lives and writes in the mountains of Virginia in the company of her family and the many houseplants she keeps accidentally murdering.

Find her online:
BookBub - @KatharineSchellman
Instagram - @katharinewrites
Twitter - @katharinewrites
Facebook - @katharineschellman


Tour Participants:

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The giveaway runs July 12 through August 8, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

SPOTLIGHT of Cold Consequences by David Rohlfing




Small-town detective Sasha Frank returns in the prequel to “Deliberate Duplicity”


Gritty, twisted novel unravels a complicated mystery stemming from a drug deal in the Midwest.


David Rohlfing | July 27, 2021 | River Grove Books | Mystery

Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-63299-388-5



Rohlfing has the police procedural formula down pat… impeccably staged investigative scenes guarantee satisfaction to any aficionado of police detective mysteries.”– BookLife, by Publisher’s Weekly



Ashley Cummins, the granddaughter of a powerful judge, is unexpectedly shot while buying drugs from her dealer late one night on a city street. 

As detective Sasha Frank investigates her murder, all of his possible suspects start showing up dead or missing. Who is behind the killings? 

As pressure builds on Sasha to solve the case, he uncovers new information that begins to unravel a complicated web of evidence–will Sasha be able to prove who the killer is and take down the person responsible for the murders? 

"Cold Consequences" is the exciting second book in David Rohlfing’s Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series. It serves as a prequel to Rohlfing’s "Deliberate Duplicity." 

Fans of the mystery-thriller genre will love this gripping new tale. Full of exciting twists and turns, readers won’t be able to put the book down as Sasha pursues every lead to find the killer.



After a long career in business that gave him the opportunity to travel to all but one continent and countless countries around the globe, David decided to write his first novel, “Deliberate Duplicity.” 


He lives in Illinois with his wife. When he’s not writing, he spends as much time as possible with his wife and family and working on his golf game. 


Cold Consequences” is the second book in the Detective Sasha Frank Series. To learn more about David’s work, please visit


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

A trip to Europe with my sister to deliver letters to people Grandmother knew?  

How could Grandmother Violet do this to us?  Why couldn't she just mail the letters?

Madeleine and Clara have not gotten along for most of their lives and most definitely not for the past year.

Going on this trip will be more work than fun trying to get along with each other, but they boarded the Queen Mary, headed to Paris, Amiens, Venice, and Vienna to deliver letters to people from their grandmother's  past.

THREE WORDS FOR GOODBYE is such a delightful read. 

It will sweep you away to Pre-WWII Europe with all its charm and danger as we follow the two sisters from one city to the next re-living where their grandmother visited and connecting with people she met.

You will melt into the book with Ms. Gaynor’s and Ms. Webb’s writing and fall in love with the characters.

This one is NOT to be missed if you are a fan of these authors and historical fiction.

This book is a beautiful, heartwarming tale of secrets kept, forgiveness, regrets, and making choices.

And that gorgeous cover has you diving right in. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Widows of Champagne by Renee Ryan

Three generations of widowed women taking care of the vineyards of Chateau Fouche-Leblanc. 

Gabrielle is the youngest of the women and the most responsible for keeping the vineyard alive, but she knows the Germans have been occupying European countries and knows France won't be spared.

Gabrielle knows she must somehow keep the best champagne from falling into the hands of the Germans.  She builds a concealed wall to hide her best stock in hopes it will not be discovered.

Her mother, Helene, and her grandmother are concerned about the occupations, but they have another secret to keep.

Finding out the Germans had invaded France was bad enough, but when one arrives at the Chateau's door and demands to live there with the women is even worse.

We follow the women as they endure the German occupation of France and their home and struggle to save their champagne legacy.

Gabrielle was my favorite because of her resilience and efforts.

Helene was cool but calculating, and she was desperately trying to protect and save her family and her secret.

Josephine, the matriarch, was likable and tough, and I felt sorry for her because of her memory issues, but her diary is what helped protect her family since it told what she had seen and forgotten.

The fierceness of this family and the vineyard owners all over Reims to protect their vineyards, their champagne, and their country was very evident.

Fans of France during WWII, strong women, champagne and how it's made won't want to miss this marvelously written, pull-you-in story line.

Ms. Ryan's writing style is engaging and quickly captures your attention.

THE WIDOWS OF CHAMPAGNE is a beautiful read with true-to-life characters and marvelous descriptions of what the French people and these women endured and fought for.

A fantastic read as you feel the terror, the love, and the strength of each woman.

Be sure it is in your reading list.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley and a print by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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Monday, July 26, 2021

Spotlight of The Alchemy Thief by R. A. Denny




Pirates & Puritans - July 16

THE ALCHEMY THIEF is a sweeping tale of hope and resilience that spans the Atlantic from New England to Morocco during the Golden Age of Piracy.

*****Wow!  This book stole my heart.

*****The historical details are so interesting and well researched! I couldn't put it down and highly recommend it!

*****Peri and Daniel are delightful characters. Quite a fun book, and very well written.

*****I ended up enjoying this book. A lot. I’m a big fan of GOOD historical fiction, and this book is certainly that.

*****I can only imagine the amount of research this took. Huge kudos to R.A. Denny



When the secrets of the past threaten to destroy the future.

A tale of hope, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of a woman, this sweeping epic spans the Atlantic from New England to Morocco during the Age of Exploration.

2019: A young woman finds a relic engraved with a mysterious symbol off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. Terrorists in Morocco steal a 17th-century book engraved with the same symbol. As the woman struggles to unravel the secrets behind the symbol, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined.

1657: Transported back in time, she meets the alchemist, John Winthrop, Jr., who is plotting to lure the greatest scientific minds to the New World. But the more she learns, the more she fears for the lives of the loved ones she left behind.

In a stunning twist of fate, a modern terrorist has traveled into the past where he has become a Barbary Corsair. He has plans of his own. And he will stop at nothing to succeed.



R.A. Denny is the author of two historical fiction and five fantasy novels.  Readers have described her books as deep, spirited, and imaginative.

R.A. Denny started writing epic novels when, after watching the first Hobbit movie, she began excitedly spouting off information about C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s writer’s group called the Inklings. One of her sons commented, “We could do that.” She laughed. Then he turned it into a challenge. Her unexpected journey had begun.

For several years, she continued her day job as a criminal prosecutor and escaped by night to the world of the Tzoladian Empire. Then she decided to just do what she loved.

After completing her five-book epic fantasy series, Tales of Tzoladia, which reflects her love of ancient history, she began writing Pirates and Puritans, a historical fiction/time travel series based in 17th-century New England and Morocco.

R.A. received her law degree from Duke University.  Her interests include history, nature, and games. When she’s not writing, she enjoys horseback riding, swimming, and kayaking. She has two wonderful sons who share her interest in creative projects, one adorable grandson, and another due any day.

An adventurous traveler, R.A. enjoys swimming, kayaking, and horseback riding.  She delights in pursuing creative projects with her two adult sons and playing with her two young grandsons.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Saturday, July 24, 2021

PROMPT: Wine Tasting


Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt: WINE TASTING




Friday, July 23, 2021

PROMPT: Lighthouse

Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt:  LIGHTHOUSE

Love, mystery, secrets, betrayal, ghosts, letters, smugglers, Scottish history and life in the 1800's.

LOVED this book.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

PROMPT: Hammock Day


Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt: HAMMOCK DAY

Her family's cottage about to be sold?

If you need a positive, uplifting read, THE SUMMER COTTAGE should be your next read.  

It is a huge, emotional hug....LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

PROMPT: Castle


Thanks to these Litsy folks for today’s prompt:




Today’s Prompt:   CASTLE




Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

Friends living together, friends meeting on commutes to work, marital affairs, and now a missing friend and Jaime is the last one to see Kit alive.

We follow Jaime and Clare, Kit and Melia, and Gretchen, and Steve as we hear background information on all characters and their current shenanigans.

Everyone seems to be friendly, but some might be too friendly. We find out Jaime and Melia are having an affair.  No one seems to know, but the police do when they are questioning Jaime.

There is a lot to absorb about each character, and when Kit goes missing you definitely can't figure out what's going on with each of them. 
Can any of the characters trust each other? I wouldn’t have trusted any of them.
Just who is the other passenger who seems to be a witness to the fact that Jaime and Kit were in an argument before they left the commuter boat.

This book truly dragged for me, and I couldn't really connect with any of the characters.....they all were unlikable.

The story line was very confusing as well, but I do have to say the ending twist and the revelations were brilliant. 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley and in print in exchange for an honest review.


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Monday, July 19, 2021

The Lights of Sugarberry Cove by Heather Webber

This book is as sweet as the name Sugarberry Cove with characters that are just as sweet and lovable.

Leala and Sadie’s mother, Susannah, still owned Sugarberry Cove Bed and Breakfast but it was falling apart along with their mother. 

When Susannah had a heart attack, the girls came back to help but found everything in disrepair even though there were guests staying there.

Wallpaper was peeling off the walls, the windows were filthy, and their mother was getting close to financial troubles.

Both girls who hadn’t been that close in years decided to help spruce up the place.  Working together also helped bring them closer, but their mother hadn’t changed from the aloof woman  that she was.

You will warm to the things happening and enjoy the stories behind the Festival of Lights that happens each year.  The Water Lantern Festival is the big draw for Sugarberry Cove, and it has magical powers.

THE LIGHTS OF SUGARBERRY COVE has lovely characters and a setting you would definitely want to visit.

Anyone who needs a light read that will lift your spirits will enjoy this book.

It will also have you take a look at your life choices and know they can always be changed.  

A lovely, sweet read. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.