Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a cozy mystery I highly enjoyed and a YA paranormal romance I LOVED.

Title: Deadly Summer
(Darling Investigations #1)
Author: Denise Grover Swank

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romance
First published: January 9th 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Finished reading: November 26th 2022
Pages: 362

“You’re too much of a stickler for the rules. Sometimes you’ve gotta break ’em.”


I first saw this series mentioned at Carla Loves To Read, and her review convinced me I needed to add Deadly Summer to my shelves. I loved the sound of the actress turned PI angle as well as the return to her hometown in Alabama, and it seemed like a fun read in general. And I have to say that I definitely ended up having a great time reading this story! It has the perfect balance of banter, romance and cozy mystery, with a healthy dose of danger and suspense thrown in as well; all the ingredients you need for a successful read. I clicked immediately with the writing style and tone, and combined with the fast pace and characters it was really easy to just keep turning those pages. I love that it isn’t just the fake PI stuff going on, but that Summer actually actively tries to solve the mystery behind Otto’s disappearance. Dixie makes for such a great second-in-command, and the dose of romance was just right for me. While I do have to confess that I guessed the identity of the person behind it all very early on, as a whole this didn’t make me enjoy the story less. This probably has a lot to do with the writing and character development, which kept me very much entertained. I can’t wait to read the second book ASAP!

Title: Prom Night In Purgatory
(Purgatory #2)
Author: Amy Harmon

Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
First published: August 12th 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace
Finished reading: November 26th 2022
Pages: 264

“Life had taught her that consequences were ugly and painful, and seldom worth the pleasure they had been bartered for.”


I kind of wanted to save this final Amy Harmon backlist title for a special occasion, but I really didn’t want to wait any longer to see what would happen to Maggie and Johnny after how things ended in the first book… So this is me not having any new Amy Harmon titles to look forward to anymore until her newest story publishes next year. Whoops?  Not that I’m regretting reading Prom Night In Purgatory though, because I loved it even more than the first book. A little warning: make sure to read these in order, both because there are major spoilers and you won’t fully understand what is going on otherwise. Prom Night In Purgatory starts out strong, and never falters afterwards. Both Maggie and Johnny already had a special place in my heart after book one, and this connection only became stronger in the sequel. There is a ‘proper’ time travel element this time around, taking the plot to the next dimension (literally). I really liked what it added to the plot, and both the fragility and uncertainty of the situation helped build up the suspense and intrigue. I also loved seeing the connection between Maggie and Johnny grow again, and the side characters only added more charm (I especially loved Lizzie!). This duology has once again proven that Amy Harmon can pick whatever genre she wants, and I will be here to read and love it even though it’s not usually my favorite genre. Eighteen books in and every single one has received at least 4 stars!

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