Thursday, November 19, 2015

Murder in the Mystery Suite - My Review

I just finished reading a lovely book called Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams.  Mystery novels are one of my favorite genres so this story was a perfect addition to my book collection. 

The setting takes place at Storyton Hall, which is a resort tucked away in picturesque Virginia.  The resort has been passed down from generation to generation, and the halls of Storyton hold a special secret that only the guardian knows about. 

From the beginning of the text, every character you meet and every store you visit in the town carry a literary name.  In fact, Ellery Adams must know her literature and detective stories well, because she references vintage and modern terms throughout the novel.  Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man films, Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon, the beloved English Detective Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie, and Hercule Poirot are a few of the names she includes in her book.  Of course literary greats, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Lewis Carroll are mentioned as well. 

Adams gives the most interesting names to the shops in Storyton too--Geppetto's Toy Shop, Cheshire Cat Pub, and The Potter's Shed.  Her vivid descriptions of each shop and the animated people who own them make for a delightful read.  

The main character Jane Steward, who is the manager of Storyton Hall, is a recent widow raising twin boys.  Her Aunt Octavius and Uncle Aloysius oversee the resort along with the help of a butler, librarian, chauffeur, housekeeper, and chef.  And each employee at Storyton holds a special job that is pivotal to the success of the resort running properly.  

With each turn of the page, the reader will discover that people and events are not always what they seem, and that there are many hidden secrets being kept from those that reside at Storyton Hall.  Even Jane herself is in for many surprises, as she learns more about her family heritage.  

If you love mysteries, I highly recommend this book.  You will be hooked from the first page to the last, and I am happy to report that the second book in this series came out in August.  I will be reviewing Murder in the Paperback Parlor later this year.  

Please let me know what you think of this novel in the comments below.  Happy reading!  

About The Book 

*Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…

*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.

About The Author

Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea.

Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia. Visit her website at:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hold Onto Every Moment

Do you ever take a moment to stop and think about life?  The life that you live, the moments that surround you, or even the life that others live?  Is there ever a time when you really notice nature, or the people that you come into contact with on a daily basis.

Earlier today, I ran to get a cup of coffee at McDonald's.  I didn't have a lot of time, so I decided to go through the drive-thru, and as always, I was pleasantly surprised by the workers that greeted me at each window.  Both women carried smiles, and were ready to serve me to the best of their ability.  Their level of care made me happier, and if I had been looking at my phone or thinking about all I had to do today, I would have missed out on a great blessing. 

This is what I am talking about--do you ever take the time to notice the little things in life?  Because these little things measure up to greater things in one's life.  A stranger's kindness, autumn colored leaves falling from a tree, a dog's bark in the distance, and a beautiful sunset--all of these moments are important.  It is imperative that we never take any of these moments for granted--small as they might seem. 

I don't want to be too solemn here, but with my own life experiences, I know how easily these moments can be taken away and how precious it is to be a part of normal everyday opportunities.  And that is exactly what they are--privileged opportunities.    

Not everyone will get the chance to hear a robin sing or take their dog for a walk.  Not everyone will get to buy a prom dress or walk down the aisle in a beautiful wedding gown.  Not everyone will have the honor of graduating from college in order to pursue an exciting career.  These possibilities seem quite normal, and you might think that everyone experiences these events.  But they don't.

Never take anything for granted and hold onto every moment. 

I say all of this because of various events I have witnessed recently.  Events that have caused me to stop and ponder what is really important in life.  It is not how much money you have or how successful you might be--it is the little things in life that people miss the most.  These are the memories that people want to relive.  In all honesty, no one really cares about the kind of car they drove when they were young.  They care about the best friend they once knew and for whatever reason lost touch with.  They care about different individuals who touched their life, and who helped shape who they are as adults.  In the end, it's all about people. 

So please take some time to notice the little things today.  Tell someone you love them.  And remember to grab hold of each moment in your life--don't let unimportant matters hold your attention anymore.  Focus on family, friends, and the simple pleasures that life brings us each day.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Books and Tea

This time of the year reminds me that is time to pull out the Christmas and Thanksgiving stories.  I love reading these types of novels throughout the year, but especially when the weather begins to turn crisp and cold.  Then it is the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book and cup of my favorite tea.

Recently, I ordered the novella collection entitled A Patchwork Christmas, and I am so excited to read this compilation of stories.  


I always love picking up these types of books throughout the year.  It is great way to read a variety of stories from several different authors.  I will let you know my thoughts about this book later this month.

As far as tea goes, my favorite this last month has been pumpkin tea.  I got a cup of pumpkin tea from Barnes an Noble the other week, and it was from the brand Harney and Sons.  I first tried this tea brand years ago at a local tea shop in loose leaf, but it is nice to know that they do have a tea bag version.  Of course, I had to pick up a box...or tin in this case.  

What holiday books do you enjoy reading?  What types of tea have been your favorite this past month?  Please let me know in the comments below.  Have a lovely day!