‘Berried in the Past’ by Peg Cochran/A Review

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran
Book 5 in ‘Cranberry Cove’ series
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Length: 200 pages
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: March 24, 2020

Synopsis:
On a night of heavy snow and bitter cold, newlyweds Monica and Greg are comfortably nestled before a warm fire when they’re roused by a late-night knock at the door. Surprised to find a troubled and confused woman on the doorstep, Monica is even more shocked when the woman vacantly utters that someone is trying to kill her. Sensing distress but not danger, Monica decides to help this mysterious woman, but her clouded recollections yield little—until she dredges up memories of her sister and a nearby home, where they find the woman’s sister, dead.

Unable to deny her own curiosity or the woman’s request for help, Monica begins digging into the suspicious death, only to discover a murky family history of valuable land, a bullying brother, an unscrupulous real estate developer, and endless rumors of good deeds met with bad blood. And when the trail of the killer begins to turn cold, Monica realizes that while the family wants to bury their sister, someone is out to bury the clues—and if Monica’s not careful, to bury her as well.

My Thoughts:

**I received Berried in the Past through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review**

The past few days placed me in a mood where I longed for a story to help me escape the complicated times the world is currently experiencing. I found that story in Berried in the Past! This told the story of Monica Albertson, a small-town baker in Cranberry Cove (a village set in Michigan). Monica sets out to solve the murder of Marta Bakker, after her sister unexpectedly appears at her doorstep one night. Everyone who Monica meets has an explanation (and possibly a motive) for the woman’s death!

My interest was held from beginning to end, since I was curious to see how the mystery of Marta’s death would be solved. The side characters (and the conflicts that added on to the tale) kept things very interesting as well!

This book is the fifth installment of the Cranberry Cove series, but you don’t need to read the previous books to catch up on the goings-on in this small town. While I was relieved to discover that fact, I plan on picking up one of the earlier books in the series to learn how Monica’s relationship with the townspeople solidified!

The book was also filled with mouth-watering treats and baked goods. There are some recipes in the back of the novel which I’m very interested in trying out this week (I enjoyed reading about the Cranberry Orange Cake)!

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran is sure to bring that escape from the crazy times happening in our world. You won’t be disappointed!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry/A Review

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Length: 362 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 3, 2020
ARC acquired through publisher

Synopsis:
It’s 1989, and the Danvers High School Women’s Field Hockey team is staring down another losing season. But things start to look up when the team’s goalie discovers a book that will change both the course of the season as well as each player’s life.
FACT: In 1692, a handful of young girls, interested in divining the nature of their futures, brought devastating consequences to what was then known as Salem Village. FACT: Three hundred years later, Salem Village is now the Town of Danvers, and these teen girls are just as wily and original as their ancestors. If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then Boston’s north shore is about to discover what lengths eleven teen girls will go to win a state championship, uncovering their true selves and bucking convention along the way. We Ride Upon Sticks and Are There Presently presents a portrait of teen girl-dom in all its furious messiness, from big hair to Heathers to coming into one’s glorious own despite society’s stale notions of femininity.

My Thoughts:

When I first heard about We Ride Upon Sticks, I was immediately drawn towards the plot of a women’s hockey team thriving under the influence of supernatural power. The fact that the story is set right in the heart of a region rich in witchcraft added on to my interest in the tale. I’m so thankful for Pantheon Books for providing me with an ARC of this book!

We Ride Upon Sticks follows the lows and steady rise of the Danvers High School Falcons, an all-female hockey team suffering struggles until some supernatural help befalls on these women one summer. The triumphs the team experiences are sudden, but these women are also handling the pressures of senior year in high school. The friendships and dramas that befall girls approaching the crossroads of adulthood can bring about its own stresses. Each of the women described in We Ride Upon Sticks fit the mold of an ‘It Girl’, ‘The Leader’, ‘The Mousey-yet-assertive’ types that we’ve all seen in our high school days. Ushering in an extra dose of supernatural, ‘witchy’ abilities bring about unexpected surprises that takes us for a ride as the story progresses.

We Ride Upon Sticks is set in the 1980s, which I very much appreciated! I love reading historical fiction tales, and while I was just a child in the 80s, many of the references brought a smile to my face (I loved ‘The Bangles’ and ‘Duran Duran’ musical references, to name a few!). The tension in the story was also presented in the style reminiscent to 1980s storytelling (I can only describe it as events take place in a slow-but-steady pace, keeping me focused!

I enjoyed We Ride Upon Sticks, as it exemplifies the power of women coming together to survive and thrive while enduring the trials of adolescence, and having supernatural abilities on your side. If you love stories rich in female friendship with a hint of magic, then this is the book for you!

Rating: 4/5 Stars