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On Spine of Death

Tamara Berry's latest in the By The Book Mysteries was one of my most anticipated fall releases. And I loved it!

I adore this series! It is funny, quirky, fresh, and wildly entertaining. Tess Harrow is a thriller writer who has relocated to her grandfather's old rustic cabin in the Washington woods with her teenage daughter Gertrude. She has decided to renovate her grandfather's old hardware store and turn it into a bookstore when old bones are found onsite, and rumors start that her grandfather was a killer. Tess is on the case to clear her grandfather's name; Gertrude starts working at the morgue, Tess's horror writer friend arrives, and the local sheriff, who happens to resemble Tess's fictional detective, finds himself trying to conduct his own investigation amid the chaos.

Like the first book in the series, this slightly edgy cozy mystery was an addictive read with a twisty plot. Berry's writing is sharp and witty. The characters are fantastic, as is the dialogue. A solidly plotted and humorous whodunnit, there is never a dull moment. One of my faves of 2022, I highly recommend this series, and I look forward to book 3, as Tamara Berry has become a must-read for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My steep was Blackberry Maple Waffle black tea from The Necessitieas with a splash of milk.


"In 'Keystone Kops'–style scenes set around the morgue, a muddy mountain, and the hardware store, bones and books disappear and reappear...[On Spine of Death] is a quirky story for those who enjoy funny cozies."—Library Journal

Bestselling author Tess Harrow and her teenage daughter Gertrude have decided to make Winthrop their home. Their cabin is fixed up and now they're turning to the family hardware store that Tess inherited from her late grandfather into the town's first independent bookstore.

But when renovations unearth bones from a cold case and send them toppling—literally—onto Tess's head, the work comes to a grinding halt. With the whole town convinced that her grandfather was a serial killer, Tess has to call in a fellow horror author for reinforcements. Together, they'll come up with a perfect story to make all the clues fit...and solve a mystery more than thirty years in the making.

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