Book Reviews by Mae Clair: The Body in the Buick, The Wreck of the Lanternfish, Searching for Home @judypost @Virgilante @JillWeatherholt

Striped kitten lying on open book, eyeglasses resting on pages. Book and kitten on white blanket

Hello, and thanks for joining me for my first book review post of 2022. It will take me a few posts to catch up with the books and novellas I’ve read this month. Today, I’ve got three five-star reads in a variety of genres. To prevent the post from being too long, I won’t be sharing blurbs, but I encourage you to click on the Amazon link to explore the blurb and other reviews. Happy

The Body in the Buick
by Judi Lynn
Jazzi Zanders #8

This is another great entry into an entertaining series. All the main characters are back, including the growing and extended roster of secondary characters and friends. Jazzi and Ansel are expecting a baby and Ansel moves into father-to-be protective mode when it comes to Jazzi. That doesn’t stop her from becoming involved in investigating another murder when the body of mechanic turns up in a Buick. At the same time, she and Ansel, along with their house-flipping partner, Jerod, are working on converting a barn to a residential property. And, of course, there are the usual big family dinners each Sunday, complete with a cast of characters I have grown to love.

I was surprised that one murder eventually led to three which broadened the list of suspects. The reason and motive were also a surprise. As always, the writing is breezy, and Jazzi and Ansel are a fun pair. I always enjoy their interactions and the relationship they have. It was fun seeing Ansel trying to come up with the perfect baby name. I’ve spent so much time with these characters over eight books, I feel like they are family. Judi Lynn really has something special going with this series and I highly recommend it to fans of cozies.


The Wreck of the Lanternfish
by C. S. Boyack
Lanterfish #3

I’ve followed this series from the start, so the ending is somewhat bittersweet. I’m going to miss these characters. I’ve been through numerous sea battles with them, have been swept up in warring factions, confronted by exploding monks, and a bevy of creatures from dangerous to intriguing, each and every one a fantastical invention of the author’s creative mind.

This time around core characters are split, each group engaging in separate strategies while caught up in the war between the Hollish and the Prelonians. The Palumbo’s are still running cons (this time along with the help of an older woman posing as Camilla’s mother), Serang, now a general, is in the thick of the fighting, and James Cuttler risks everything to make Lanternfish seaworthy again. The action is non-stop, with all three plot arcs merging perfectly at the end. I grew particularly fond of the Palumbo’s during this third novel, and who knew I would develop such a soft spot for a snubhorn? (If you don’t know what a snubhorn is, you’re missing out on something special—and truly bizarre).

James is a clever, fair captain who rises to circumstance and finds himself in a surprising new role by the end of the book. Of all the characters, he remains my favorite. For fans of the series, the root monsters are back. I especially loved the section when a group in search of papers “and other crap” receive names—always a fun event.

Boyack deftly mixes dollops of humor into the story, to offset the political maneuvering and battle scenes. Underneath the bigger picture, this is also a tale about relationships. Of special note, I love the father/son relationship between James and Mule and how that wraps at the end. The title sits a little heavy on my heart, but the way in which Boyack addresses what becomes of each character (even the root monsters and Serang’s Fu dogs) left me thoroughly satisfied. Wreck of the Lanternfish is a fantastic conclusion for an engaging series. Bravo to the author!


Searching for Home
by Jill Weatherholt
Love Inspired Inspirational Romance

What a heart-warming story! I fell in love with the characters immediately.

A physical therapist, Meg has inherited a B&B and become guardian to her two nieces and nephew—triplets of her sister who took off and left her children behind. The children’s father did the same, abandoning them before his wife did.

Meg and Luke were a couple back in high school, but then he took off to find fame in the rodeo circuit, believing he had to prove himself before he could ask her to marry him.

My heart broke for these kids, especially for Tucker, who felt he was somehow responsible. Enter “Cowboy Luke” who has returned to his hometown to heal from an injury, never realizing his PT is going to be Meg.

What follows is a mix of misunderstandings, plus a beautiful path about learning to forgive, and making family where you find it. Luke is such a strong father figure, and he has a heart of gold. Meg is selfless, constantly putting the kids before herself, all the while managing a plethora of potential problems and hurt.

I read this book in one day, I was so caught up in the story. There is heartache and joy, an adorable puppy, a fun rodeo experience, a scary venture at a river, and a wonderful HEA at the end that left me with a big ‘ole sloppy grin. I’ve read several of the author’s books, but this one is my favorite to date. I especially loved the epilogue, which shared an extra glimpse into how everything wrapped up for these charming characters. A true gem!


Have you read any of these? Hopefully, I’ve tempted you to add to your TBR yet again. Starting today, I hope to return to one review post per week. I’m glad to roll out that commitment with these three wonderful authors.

65 thoughts on “Book Reviews by Mae Clair: The Body in the Buick, The Wreck of the Lanternfish, Searching for Home @judypost @Virgilante @JillWeatherholt

  1. Good collection, Mae! I loved the reviews, have only read Jill’s but completely agree with your sentiment’s. I can’t imagine the sadness as a child of having two parents reject you. This may be fiction, but I’m sure somewhere in the world, it is happening.


  2. Mae, a fantastic selection of books and excellent book reviews! I’ve read all of Jill’s other books and you’ve just reminded me I am in for a treat with her latest! Aww … it is always a bittersweet moment coming to the end of a series and I feel for you as you’ve finished ‘The Wreck of the Lanternfish’. Thank you for the lovely introduction to Judi Lynn and I’ll check out her book too. Great shares and congratulations to all the authors! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Annika. I know you will love Jill’s latest. It’s my favorite of hers too date, although there are still a few I need to read from earlier in the series. And Lanternfish and Judi’s latest Jazzi/Ansel story were so engaging, too. I’ve had some truly enjoyable hours reading lately!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always love your reviews, Mae, and thanks so much for including mine in your post. I was sad to see The Lanternfish series conclude, too. And you’re right. Craig even got me to love a snubhorn. Who knew? I have a soft spot for books with kids in them. Jill’s romance sounds perfect for February and Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent reviews, Mae! I totally agree with your take on The Wreck Of The Lanternfish. Craig did a superb job of wrapping up the series! Your reviews piqued my interest in the other two. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fabulous reviews Mae. Jill’s book caught my attention, as her heart-warming style of writing appeals to me. Boyack’s books are wildly imaginative, I’ve tried to read one of them. Congratulations to all three authors.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mae, thanks so much for pointing out these books. How rewarding it is to find a series you love and know is going to deliver, especially a cozy series, and I appreciate that the ending to Boyack’s series is bittersweet– you’ll miss those guys. Kudos and best wishes to the three authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank for that wonderful comment, Flossie. I do already miss the Lanternfish crew. Craig pulled off a mammoth undertaking with all those characters. And Judi’s series is always entertaining, as is Jill’s work. I had some lovely days reading with these three novels!


  7. Three stellar reviews, Mae. Thanks so much for introducing me to Judi Lynn’s series. It sounds delightful. I enjoy breezy fun couples. I’ve read the first Lanternfish novel and now I’m eager to get going on the series. And Jill’s books are always sweet and heartwarming. Kudos to all three authors for the great reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Diana. Sorry I’m late responding to your comment. I was really waaaay behind the 8-ball last week. All three of these were fun reads, and all different in their unique ways. Glad to hear you are already familiar with Lanternfish and Jill’s work. Judi’s always delivers a great tale as well. Wishing you happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed reading your reviews, Mae! Thank you for introducing me to Judi Lynn. Craig’s books are always interesting. I just finished Jill’s book, halfway wrote the review, and started reading 20% of another book. I better finished writing the review first. Congratulations to the three talented authors.

    Liked by 1 person

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