“Divorced single mom Mandy Meadows scrapes by working as a barista and receiving payments from her cousin, Ryan, who rents her basement apartment. At night, she and her teenage daughter Vellum run a successful home business creating journaling content on their popular social media channels.
But Mandy’s carefully organized world is about to come crashing down. While filming their latest journaling tutorial, Mandy and Vellum hear a loud noise on the basement stairs, and Mandy is horrified to find Ryan dead on the landing. The police quickly start to treat the death as a murder – with Mandy and Vellum as chief suspects. Why would someone murder Ryan? Determined to clear their names and find Ryan’s killer, Mandy soon discovers he wasn’t the man she thought he was …” – Amazon
One of the reasons I enjoy reading cozies is because it’s a great way to learn about new hobbies, cultures, or foods. I wanted to read Journaled to Death by Heather Redmond because I know journaling is really popular right now, if all the photos I see on Instagram is any indication. I’ve tried journaling my thoughts in the past but it only lasts for a month or two before I stop, but I’m in awe of all the great artwork and lettering people are doing.
Journaled to Death is the first book in The Journaling Mysteries, and one of the things that I think Redmond did a fantastic job writing was the relationships between the women in the book. Mandy and Vellum’s interactions feel so real, and I love the strong female vibe I feel between Mandy and her mom, and Mandy and her neighbor, Linda. Mandy also has a strange relationship with one of the nurses, Reese, who works at the hospital where Mandy is a barista. It starts off tense, but I’m interested to see it blossom in future books.
There are kind of two mysteries in this book, but they blend together. You have who killed Ryan, which I saw coming about half way through, but it was still enjoyable. And then you have one of the doctor’s being a jerk and weird things happening at the coffee house. I thought it was going to go one direction that way, but it went a different way and combined perfectly with the main mystery.
I was annoyed with Mandy at times in regards to her lack of backbone. She’s a single mother who gets income through her online journaling business, Mandy’s Plan, and she works in the coffee house at the hospital. Mandy’s job starts accusing her of stealing money, daring to disrespect of doctor (even though she really isn’t), trying to sabotage a doctor, and getting some nurses sick. I would have been looking for a new job after being accused of stealing! I hope after having solved a murder case and almost dying she has more moxy in future books. 🙂
And then, of course, we have the romantic aspect. I have a feeling there will be two different men via for her attention in future books. It might become really hot or really awkward since one of them is living with her by the end of the book!
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