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When Nashville reporter Ruth Townsend’s job and marriage both end abruptly, she decides to take an early retirement and focus on reviving her hometown newspaper. While reconnecting with a high school friend over lunch she gets embroiled in a neighborhood death. The sheriff and the victim’s family are convinced that it was suicide and refuse to investigate further. But a shattered teacup and a hidden diary lead Ruth to a very different conclusion.

As she digs deeper, she discovers that even sleepy mountain towns like Thistlewood have secrets waiting to be unearthed. Can Ruth solve the mystery of who killed Edith Morton before she or someone she loves becomes the next obituary in the Thistlewood Star?
Previously published as Jessa Archer.

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Fly Girl’s Review

So Rysa has been pretty busy since the Delphi Revolution finished up last year. She’s been co-writing with Caleb Amsel a few cozy mysteries and doing some speculative fiction. I haven’t read any of the speculative fiction yet, but I did get this cozy mystery off my TBR pile.

If you like cozy mysteries, but want something a little different, I think this fits the bill. There is a precocious bear that plays a decent sized roll in this book, which gives us some laughs. That is very different from anything I’ve read by Rysa. I’ve never seen funny from her before. I really liked it.

This story is about starting over and building a life for yourself after great strains have been given up either in death or by legal ease. Ruth is building a new life for herself without the security blankets of her husband and her job. She decides she’s going to get the paper back up and running that she first worked at as a kid. With some perseverance she believes she can bring it back to life. In actuality she realizes unless she can give the town a good headline she won’t be able to make the sales she needs. Lucky for her she gets a scoop on a murder right next door to her BFF.

–So maybe it isn’t her lucky day, but she doesn’t really know that until she’s knee deep in solving the case.

The paper’s previous owner had this cute quirk where a different type (font as we call them now) was chosen for the obituary of each person. Once the font was used in an obituary it wasn’t used again. Since it was such a small town the type would be selected based on the kind of person the departed was. I found this really cool and made me look at my fonts and think about which one I’d like used for my obituary.

The dearly departed’s son it turns out was trying to recreate his life after his mother died. He was her caregiver and it doesn’t sound like she was very easy to deal with or kind. So who could blame him for maybe killing her…turns out there were lots of people who felt she needed to go. Ruth delves into all their lives and digs up way too much dirt. This puts her and her family in danger. She uses her smarts to out smart the killer in the end, which we expect.

There is a little romance in this series for both Ruth and her daughter who begins to spend more and more time with her Mom now that her Dad is out of the picture. I haven’t read the rest of the series, but I’m sure she will give Ruth and her daughter a HEA eventually.

I’m giving this a 4 of 5 propellers for her breakout in cozy mystery it worked well. The story held together and I wasn’t even sure who the killer was up until nearly the end. That makes it a winner in my book.

4 of 5 Propellers


Need more? Here is the rest of the series!

Palatino for the Painter Seance in Franklin Gothic Courier to the Stars

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C. Rysa Walker is the pen name Rysa adopts when she’s in the mood to tackle mysteries that are a little more grounded in reality than her various science fiction and fantasy series. Caleb Amsel is often her partner in crime for the Thistlewood Star Mysteries.

RYSA WALKER is the author of the bestselling CHRONOS Files series. Timebound, the first book in the series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The CHRONOS Files has sold nearly half a million copies since 2013 and has been translated into fourteen languages.

In addition to speculative fiction, she writes mysteries as C. Rysa Walker, occasionally in collaboration with author Caleb Amsel.

Rysa currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two youngest sons, and a hyperactive golden retriever. When not working on the next installment in her CHRONOS Files universe, she watches shows where travelers boldly go to galaxies far away, or reads about magical creatures and superheroes from alternate timelines.