I’m thrilled to be back on the blog tour for Cold Clay, the second volume in the Shady Hollow series. You may remember the first one from the blog tour a little while ago – see here – and this second murder mystery in a town full of woodland creatures is just as delightful as the last. Happy UK publication day to Cold Clay!
Many thanks to Ollie at Hodder for sending me a review copy and having me on the tour. All opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 03/03/2022
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: In the woodland community of Shady Hollow, you’ll discover a secret. Moose and mice, owls and bears live side by side in civilised harmony. The town has a coffee shop and a bookshop, a haberdasher and a bank. Life is peaceful, until a skeleton is found buried deep under an apple tree. Danger has returned to Shady Hollow.
Ace reporter Vera Vixen only wants a good news story as harvest time arrives with the promise of glorious feasts ahead. But the discovery of the body casts a darker shadow. Soon enough, the coffeeshop’s owner is being dragged down to the police station. Vera can’t believe gentle Joe the moose is a killer. To get to the bottom of the matter, she will have to dig into the secrets her neighbours would rather leave buried forever… (from Hodder)
OPINIONS: These books are just so delightful. They are wholesome murder mysteries for the entire family, books that feel like a cosy blanket and a warm hug on a cold day. Classic detective stories – where the amateur sleuth Vera Vixen is a step ahead of the local law enforcement – set in a small community of quirky characters, depicted through archetypal woodland animals. They are short, compelling and absolutely lovely – while also being some of the most unique books I’ve read. I don’t think I’d ever expected to fall for a series full of talking animals aimed at adults! But hey, I’m here for the bonkers books.
This second installment has Vera dive into a cold case when a moose skeleton is found. I loved how there was much character development from the first book for those who are reading the series in publication order, but in a manner that allows both books to stand on their own as well. And the focus around the coffeeshop is just lovely and makes it even more comforting (any other coffeeshop AU fans out there?). It’s of course not deep literature, but fantastic escapism, and Vera Vixen is a lovely leading lady, tenacious but also personable.
I am really looking forward to seeing where the third (and final) book, Mirror Lake, takes us and all of the inhabitants of Shady Hollow. If you’re intrigued, you can add Cold Clay to your Goodreads here, and order a copy via Bookshop here and the first book, Shady Hollow here (affiliate links).