ARC Review: A Dark and Twisting Path (A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery #3) by Julia Buckley

Image of book cover from Goodreads
Image of book cover from Goodreads

Title: A Dark and Twisting Path (A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery #3)

Author: Julia Buckley

Category: Adult Mystery

Publisher/Date: Berkley Books/31 July 2018

Edition: eARC

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36601854-a-dark-and-twisting-path

Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Dark-Twisting-Writers-Apprentice-Mystery-ebook/dp/B077CRJ71C/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-dark-and-twisting-path-julia-buckley/1127456867?ean=9780425282625#/

Writer’s apprentice Lena London is happily working on a new collaboration with her idol and bestselling suspense novelist and friend Camilla Graham, but her joy is short-lived when a dark cloud descends upon the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana…

Lena’s best friend, Allison, is in a panic. On a walk in the woods by her home, Allison discovers the body of her mail carrier, an argumentative man who recently had a falling out with Allison’s husband. Lena quickly realizes that Allison has nothing to worry about as the murder weapon points to a different suspect altogether: Lena’s embattled boyfriend, Sam West.

Sam was cleared of his wife’s murder when she was found alive, and now someone is trying to make him look guilty again. Surveillance video of a break-in at his house shows a shadowy figure trying to incriminate him by stealing the weapon from his desk. Lena and Camilla work on a suspect list, but a threatening note and a violent intrusion at Graham House prove that the devious killer has decided to write them into the plot.

I received an ARC from the publisher via the First to Read program. This book has content warnings for death, murder, on-page attempted murder, stalking, kidnapping (both adults and children), and violence.

This is definitely one of the most enjoyable cozy mysteries I’ve read in a while! This isn’t your typical “someone gets murdered so a friend tries to solve the mystery on their own” mystery book; it actually has quite a bit in common with a thriller. The character relationships in this book are complex, and though our main character, Lena, wants the mystery solved, she also in a sense wants to stay away from the mystery because she and her partner are in real danger because of it. The plot itself is rather complex, but not in a confusing way; though this book is the third in the series and reading the other two in order is recommended (especially by other readers), I had no problem following what was going on without reading the preceding books.

This book also had a very nice “small town” feel to it. The sense of feeling like everyone is watching you, how word travels very quickly, and how unforgiving small town people who don’t believe you can be felt incredibly real to me, and I loved this. The characters felt well-rounded and complex, even if they were side characters, and this part of the book was well done. (And the book gets bonus points for treating librarians like superheroes — because we are.)

Overall, this was a really good read. If you’re looking for a new cozy mystery series to pick up, you might like this one!

Final rating: 4 of 5 stars

August Wrap-up!

I am tired! I haven’t felt like blogging too much this last month, and I’ve tried not to pressure myself into it because I had a lot going on. I still got lots of reading, done, though!

Reads for August

Here’s all I read in August:

A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley (ARC) — 4 of 5 stars

Stunning by Sara Shepard — 2 of 5 stars

How to Be Miserable by Randy J. Paterson — 4 of 5 stars

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert — 5 of 5 stars

Burned by Sara Shepard — 2 of 5 stars

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer — 4 of 5 stars

Crushed by Sara Shepard — 2 of 5 stars

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham — 2 of 5 stars

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (ARC) — 5 of 5 stars — review here!

Deadly by Sara Shepard — 2 of 5 stars

Archie: Volume One by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish — 4 of 5 stars

Toxic by Sara Shepard — 1 of 5 stars

Wicca’s Charm by Catherine Edwards Sanders — 1 of 5 stars

Vicious by Sara Shepard — 2 of 5 stars

This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson — 4 of 5 stars

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (ARC) — 5 of 5 stars

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman — 5 of 5 stars

The Librarian’s Book of Quotes by Tatyana Eckstrand — 5 of 5 stars

Dream Country by Shannon Gibney (ARC) — 4 of 5 stars

How to Speak Cat by Aline Alexander Newman (ARC) — 4.5 of 5 stars

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre (ARC) — 4 of 5 stars

 

Reading stats:

  • Number of books read: 21
  • Number of nonfiction books: 7
  • Number of ARCs: 6
  • Number of books by marginalized authors: ~4
  • Number of library books: 8
  • Number of books that WEREN’T part of my monthly TBR: 1

I did a REALLY good job of sticking to my TBR this month! The only book that wasn’t on my TBR that I read was a book I preordered, so I’m okay with this. I AM frustrated at how sticking so close to my TBR this month caused me to read so few books by marginalized authors. I do recognize that by having a large chunk of my reading dedicated to #SummerOfPLL I already set myself up to read fewer marginalized authors, and I’m also seeing that the library books I’m picking up are also pretty white, abled, and non-queer. Maybe this is why I felt like I enjoyed fewer books overall that I read this month than I usually do. I’ll need to be more aware of this in the future.

On The Personal Side…

I’m still exercising more, which is nice. My pool is shutting down for maintenance for the next three weeks, which sucks, but I’m so far still planning to go back after they reopen late in September. I’ve also been zooming through levels in Pokémon Go, although I stopped to do a raid on a city lawn and my Fitbit lost a fight with a sprinkler earlier in the month so I had to get a new one… I love this weather right now, and I’m really going to miss it when it’s gone.

I have a driving test scheduled at the DMV for the day after my birthday this month! If all goes well, I SHOULD get my license and I’ll be able to actually use my car to go get groceries! That’s all I want. To be able to drive to the grocery store and back. That’s it. That’s all I need.

#ARCAugust was a bit of a bust, so I’ll be moving quite a bit of ARCs on my TBR over to my September TBR. I decided that I’m going to try to keep having a TBR each month for a while just to see how it goes. I’ll have a post up about my September TBR pretty soon.

Also, if you like my content, there are new ways in which you can support me now!

The best way to support me is by becoming a Patron on my new Patreon page! My Patrons will be receiving lots of bookish and cat-related content from me and my cat, Coco, so please check it out! We really appreciate it!
https://www.patreon.com/librarybenni

If you’d prefer one-time or occasional donations, that’s okay too! I have both a Ko-fi and a Paypal.me set up, and you are welcome to use either, if you wish! (I have a rather large vet bill coming up for Coco next month, so a little extra help would be VERY appreciated.)
http://ko-fi.com/librarybenni
http://paypal.me/librarybenni

Rather support me with items rather than with cash? I have an Amazon wishlist, too! There are both fun things and necessities on this list, and I’d love to receive any of them!
http://a.co/arrvEe3

The last couple months have been kind of rough, so I really appreciate any support I can get!

How was your August? Any fun plans for September? Let’s talk in the comments!