Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Final Day of Cozy Mystery Week - and an English-flavored mystery with badgers, and apples, and owls...oh my!

Today is the final day of my “Cozy Mystery Week,” and what a week it has been! I hope that readers have enjoyed meeting new mystery authors, and learning about new books.

I so appreciate everyone who stopped by, especially the authors who so graciously lent their time and talents to make this week such a success.

And for everyone who left a comment – thank you for all the kind words! I’ll be drawing a name from the comments, and announcing the winner of the “Cozy Mystery” basket on Friday.

And now, for the final cozy mystery review of the week (but certainly not the last cozy mystery review ever!), I’m proud to present “The Tale of Applebeck Orchard,” the latest in Susan Wittig Albert’s “Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter.”

Review of “The Tale of Applebeck Orchard”

Oh to live in a simpler day and time! When all folks had to worry about was if the Vicar were about to get married, if the crops would be good this year or if the ferry would ever arrive on schedule.

In Susan Wittig Albert’s latest installment of her Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series, “The Tale of Applebeck Orchard,” pre-World War I England seems to be a paradise of calmness and serenity. Sure there are rumblings of a possible war and the country is getting used to a new monarch. But for the people (and the animals) of the Land Between The Lakes, nothing is more urgent than the fact that the Applebeck footpath between Near and Far Sawry has been barricaded by its owner with no thought for anyone in the community.

Grouchy ol’ Mr. Harmsworth owns Applebeck Orchard, where a public path has existed for years for the townsfolk to cut a few steps off their journeys. After a suspicious fire takes one of Harmsworth’s haystacks, the farmer immediately jumps to conclusions that the perpetrator is one of the many who cross his land, and he shuts the way off permanently. But reliable witnesses beg to differ, saying the fire was caused by the ghost who haunts Applebeck Orchard, bringing bad tidings to the town. It’s up to Beatrix, her friends and neighbors, and a few of the town’s reliable and clever animals to solve the mystery and to see that the path is reopened once again.

Meanwhile, as the village folks dither on about the footpath, Bosworth Badger has a problem of his own to solve. His heir to the Badger Badge of Authority has gone missing and he must find a replacement fairly soon, as he isn’t getting any younger. To his, and others, surprise the likely candidate turns out to be the very smart Hyacinth Badger. Could she be the first female to hold the badge of honor?

In a delightful and unique fashion, Susan Wittig Albert brings a sense of joy mixed with a dash of suspense in her cozy mysteries set in the time of beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter.
Incorporating the voice of the narrator who tells the tale in a comfortable and friendly fashion, as well as the voices of the village cats, dogs, and horses, Albert spins an intriguing yarn that Miss Potter herself would be proud of. “The Tale of Applebeck Orchard” is the sixth title in this series, and each one is more delightful than the last.

About the Author:

Susan Wittig Albert is a prolific writer, well known for her China Bayles herbal mystery series, as well as the Victorian-era Robin Paige mysteries that she co-writes with her husband, Bill Albert. She also has several non-fiction books to her credit, including her latest memoir, “Together Alone,” which was released this month from the University of Texas Press.

Albert’s “Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter,” feature the beloved children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter and her life as a lady farmer in England’s Lake District.

Albert resides in the Hill Country of Texas, where she is busy gardening and working on a new mystery series!

For more information on Susan's books and projects, check out her website at http://www.susanalbert.com/


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love the premise of this series! And the setting provides a wonderful escape for those of us who are tired of the fast-paced world.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Petty Witter said...

How very British!

Joanne said...

I have a Robin Page mystery on my TBR list right now! Can't wait to give her books a try. I love English settings.

Sue Bump said...

Read the Cottage Tales series and you will find yourself wanting to know more about the author and start collecting all of her books. If you buy just one, start with her latest, Together, Alone, about living on, with, and of the land. You don't have to live in Texas to appreciate Susan's knowledge and sharing of nature from pre-historic times to projecting the future with current global warming.
Sue Heard Bump

Jenners said...

Before I started blogging, I had never heard of "cozy mysteries" but they just sound so delightful and soothing in a way. I loved your review of this book ... it seems to combine a lot of down to earth and "magical realism" aspects.

Jennifer said...

What a fantastic setting with a twist of the beloved Beatrix Potter mixed in. I have enjoyed your reviews and my TBR list continues to grow! Thank you!

Donna R. said...

I first discovered Susan Albert through her China Bayles mysteries, then the Cottage Tales, and (since I tend to like doing things backwards) am now working my way through the Victorian-era mysteries she co-wrote with her husband. I also have China Bayles book of Days, and a couple of her other non-fiction works, and am looking forward to reading Applebeck Orchard and Together Alone. Susan is a prolific writer who knows how to develop well-rounded characters, intriguing plots, and make you feel that, were you to visit these places, you'd easily recognize them from her descriptions and feel right at home.

Dani said...

Sharon, how have I been missing your blog? Nice! And a good review of Susan's book, too. Will go leave your link at FB and Twitter right now.



Nece said...

Wow, first visit to your blog, and I am impressed. Thanks, Susan for the heads up, and thank you, Sharon for the excellent review of Applebeck Orchard!

The books that I have read in this series so far (first three) are heartwarming and compelling. I can't wait to get to this one!!


Janel said...

Sounds like a fun series. I'm sure Beatrix makes a great cozy character.

I'm sorry to see the week come to an end!

Louise Zaagsma said...

I so enjoy everything that Susan has written...have most of the books now that are inn paperback. Thanks...hugs

Shel said...

Love Susan's books, ALL of them.

Anonymous said...

I have read nearly all of the China Bayles series, but have not yet read any of the Cottage Tales. I got the first in the series at the library yesterday. I want to read them in order.

Joyce S.

Sheila Deeth said...

I'd never heard of these. They sound really delightful!

resakov said...

I love this site and would love to link it with my own blog. Please do keep up with your reviews of Susan W. Albert and other cozy mystery authors' books as many of us, especially myself, value your thoughtful comments.

Carolyn Stearns Storyteller said...

Life with animals is about the rythems of seasons, days and full moon nights. Susan has found a way to give that to those who rush through life, slow down to enjoy a good read like hers it is almost as therapeutic as spending time with the creatures themselves.

Debbie Brown said...

Susan Wittig Albert's books are always good reading. Love her China Bayles series, too.

Pam Schroeder said...

I love Susan Wittig Albert. Have read all of her China Bayles series. Have gone to hear her speak at a local library. Read her blogs and Facebook. I love her character development. PAM

Anonymous said...

WOW, what a treat! This is my first visit to your blog Sharon.
Thanks Susan for posting this link on Facebook.
I LOVE cozy mystery series. You get to really know the characters, time and place. I love the China Bayles series as well as the Cottage Tales series. I want to read Susan's new book on love, marriage and home.
Thanks to both of you Sharon and Susan.

susan259 said...

Such a fan of both Susan and Beatrix...thanks for a lovely post. (And basket of goodies!)

Tim said...

Very nice blog, and I have been a fan of Susan since i first read thyme of death. Great work.

Neas Nuttiness said...

Thank you so much - I didn't know that this one had come out. I've read all the others in the Cottage Tales series (and I think, all of the China Bayles series), and now I can't wait to get my hands on the Tale of Appelbeck Orchard!

I've really enjoyed this week...I wish that you would continue for the rest of the month!

Book Bird Dog said...

I've read some of Wittig Albert, but not this one. Very nice basket of goodies!

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying every minute of Applebeck Orchard and when I finish that, my next book is Alone, Together. Thank you, Susan, for providing a wealth of rich reading. Thank you, Sharon, for your amazing blog.


luckydylan said...

Nice review. I think this may be my favorite in the series. Hmmm, may have to go back and reread them to make sure.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I just stopped in to see what you were reading and see i won something! Wow - and it looks wonderful! :) You made my morning!!!