Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries #2)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Well-crafted plot filled with fun characters
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Yard sale as cover
Creative set up for book
Executed well




Arson, Stolen Painting, and Murder

While garage sales and shopping in general aren’t normally a theme I pick when it comes to cozies, I did give Sherry Harris’s debut a try last year, and I loved it.  In fact, I was anxious to read The Longest Yard Sale, the second in the series.  Now that I’ve read it, I can say it is just as good as the first.

For the last few months, Sarah Winston has been working hard organizing the Longest Yard Sale in New England to take place in and around Ellington, Massachusetts.  The main focus is on the town green, where various dealers and charity organizations have set up booths, but other people in town are hosting sales at their home that day.

Things are progressing wonderfully until a series of fires spring up outside of town, distracting the police.  That night, Sarah’s friend Carol discovers that the copy of a famous local painting she’d been commissioned to paint is missing.  That’s nothing compared to the next day when Carol returns to her shop on the town green to find the dead body of a stranger in her storeroom.  With the police focusing on Carol, Sarah begins to dig to figure out what happened and figure out who used her event as cover for crime.  What will she uncover?

Before I go any further, I do want to issue a warning – this book spoils a minor plot point from the previous book.  Since it involves Sarah’s personal life, there is no way around it, and there is still plenty of mystery to that first book.  However, if you want to go into that book knowing nothing about what will happen, by all means read it first.

That’s really not a hardship however, since both books in the series are great.  The characters are such fun you want to spend time with them.  Sarah is in her late 30’s, so she’s not a typical cozy heroine, but I appreciate that.  Still, she’s trying to deal with some interesting dilemmas in her personal life that make her very relatable.  We get to know Carol a little better in this book since she figures so much into the plot.  But my favorite characters by far are the owners of Sarah’s favorite Italian restaurant.  The suspects introduced in this book are just as real as the returning characters, and that helps you get caught up in the plot.

The plot is strong, with plenty of things happening to keep you turning pages.  There are also several sub-plots to keep your attention, and they tie into the story or theme for the book wonderfully. It really does all come together beautifully in the end.

Sarah’s trying to decide between two men in this book, and I also liked how that progressed.  In fact, I was actually cheering for something that happened at one point late in the book.  But with how that sub-plot ended, I’m now anxious for the next book to see what happens next.

Ellington is located next to the fictional Fitch Air Force Base, and once again that factors into the mystery.  It’s one aspect that really sets the series apart from many cozies I read.  Since Sherry Harris is an air force wife herself, I appreciate this picture of military life.

I found Sherry's books because of the group blog she is part of, Wicked Cozy Authors.  As a result, I really enjoyed a scene early on where she worked in references to the books the rest of the authors on the blog write.

This is a strong second mystery that will leave you wanting more.  Don’t let The Longest Yard Sale sit for too long before you pick it up.

Don't miss any deals!  Here are the rest of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

GIVEAWAY!

I'm also hosting a giveaway of this great new book.  The winner will get one copy, their choice electronic or paperback, of the book.  Paperback copies to a winner from the US only, please.

Just leave your name and e-mail address in the comments for your chance to win.

The contest will close at midnight on July 7th, and I will draw a winner later that day.

Good luck!

30 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of Ms. Harris's books yet, but have placed this series on my Amazon Wish List. Thank you for this opportunity to win one of her books.
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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  2. Can't wait to read this!!

    Peg ~~ phalley@woh.rr.com

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  3. Thanks for the opportunity!
    sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

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  4. Would love to win! Thanks! betty6931@fuse.net

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  5. Thanks for the review! I will have to look for the first in the series. And thanks for the chance to win this one!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  6. I appreciate the giveaway! Donna Gantt, jr_dj_gantt@juno.com

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  7. I'm not a fan of garage/yard sales but I love to read about them! Great review. Both on wishlist now. Thanks!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  8. I'd love to win...have read one before but forgot the name of the author as I am wont to do :( such good reads.
    Kathleen Bylsma h5apby@yahoo.com

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  9. Mary Marcincin mmarcincin@aol.com

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  10. Bonnijean Marley bonnijean.marley@gmail.com

    Sounds like a fun read.

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  11. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and can't wait to read The Longest Yard Sale. cking78503@aol.com

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  12. My TBR list just grew even more! Great review! Keeping my fingers crossed regarding the giveaway..

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  13. Would love to read this! Jeanie Dannheim, jeaniedannheim ( @) ymail(dot ) .com. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  14. Sounds like a GREAT read by a new author to me, thanks for chance to win a copy of the paperback!
    lynn lynn@tangledyarn.com

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  15. Sound like a great series and I love yard sales. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  16. I'm very excited about this series. I just picked up book #1 for my kindle. I used to be a garage sale junkie until I got too lazy to get up that early. I'd love to win #2 because u can tell by reviews that I will like the first one.
    bpwoodfield@gmail.com

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  17. Sounds like a good book!

    Jamie - tigermathteacher@gmail.com

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  18. Thank you for the giveaway! I enjoyed the first book in this series so look forward to reading this. dmskrug3 at Hotmail dot com.

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  19. This one is on my list!
    afarage (at) earthlink.net

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