Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Book Review: Absence of Alice by Sherry Harris (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries #9)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong story, real characters, page turner
Cons: All cons are absent
The Bottom Line:
Stella is missing
Sarah works alone to find
Another winner

Seeking Stella

I can never wait to read a new book by a favorite author.  However, I decided to save Absence of Alice, the newest Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery from Sherry Harris, for my final book of 2020.  I was hoping it would be a wonderful exclamation point to my reading of the year, and I was not disappointed.

It’s been almost two years since Sarah Winston started her garage sale business in Ellington, Massachusetts, a business she uses to help clients like Alice Krandle sell off their antiques.  Even when she does have a client like Alice, someone who thinks she can get more for her antiques than Sarah believes is realistic, Sarah still enjoys her work.

However, Sarah’s world is turned upside down from a phone call.  Someone has grabbed Sarah’s landlady and friend, Stella.  He is holding Stella hostage, and has a series of tasks that Sarah must do if she wants to see Stella again.  There are also the instructions.  Instructions like don’t go to the police and don’t tell Sarah’s boyfriend, Seth, about what is going on.  Can Sarah figure out who to trust?  Will she find Stella?

Honestly, I hadn’t read a teaser for this book before I started reading it, so when I realized what this book was going to be about, I was immediately hooked.  Yes, this book is part thriller and that makes the book a bit darker, but it is still a cozy.  Sarah may be racing to find her friend against overwhelming odds, but she is doing it surrounded by the characters and locations we have come to love.

Naturally, Sarah suspects that this is someone seeking revenge against her for one of her past cases.  As a result, there is some discussion of previous books in the series.  They are all vague enough that you should be okay if you jump in here.

However, I don’t recommend you jump in here.  Part of the reason this book works so well is the fact that we already know these characters and are invested in their relationships.  We get to see these relationships impacted by what Sarah goes through here, and I felt that part of the book was not only realistic but perfectly handled.

And yes, the plot is page turning addictive.  Did I really have to tell you that?  There are so many twists and turns, I had a hard time putting it down and easily read the book in two days while working and getting ready for Christmas.

Sarah Winston has yet to disappoint me with one of her adventures, and Absence of Alice is no exception.  Sherry Harris has once again penned a winner.  Fans will delight in the latest addition to the series.  If you haven’t met Sarah yet, fix that today.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

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