Review: Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon

Posted March 15, 2016 by Lola in Coyer, Mystery, Review / 12 Comments


Shards of MurderShards of Murder (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #2)
by Cheryl Hollon

When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind…

As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor.

But when Megan doesn’t show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman’s dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far…

My Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

The first book was enjoyable enough that I decided to give the second book a try and I have to say I enjoyed this one a lot more. I got more of a feel for the characters and as I already knew everyone I got easier into this book. I had a lot of fun reading this book and finished it in a few days. The pace was well done and enough things happened to keep me interested. The ending did feel a bit rushed though and things suddenly got wrapped up very quickly. There’s a plot line surrounding Rooney that didn’t got wrapped up and I was a bit disappointed about that as I enjoyed that sub plot.

The mystery was very well done, up until the end. There were lots of clues and investigating and things happening and changing. It was a bit unbelievable how Savannah did her own investigation and the police was more or less okay with it, but I didn’t mind too much as I did enjoy how much she was involved with solving the mystery and it made for an interesting read. I liked how they kept track of everything and also kept the reader updated that way on all the latest developments. I didn’t guess who the murderer was and it was a nice twist at the end, but I also thought there could’ve been a few more hints in that direction. Looking back there are a few small hints, but I would’ve liked a bit more. But overall the mystery was written very engaging.

I am enjoying reading more about the glass shop and glass making, it’s interesting and adds a fun touch to the book. Savannah is also developing the glass shop more, branching out in new directions and I liked seeing how Amanda found her place working in the shop as well. I did feel like sometimes there was a bit too much focus on the mystery and I wondered if they got any work done at all and we don’t really see where Jacob is working on besides the mystery.

I got a bit more of a feel for the characters in this book and I liked the subplot involving Rooney, Savannah her puppy and how she trained him. Then there is her relationship with the side characters, mostly Jacob, Amanda and Edward, and how they all work together to solve the mystery. I felt like I got a bit more of a feel for their personalities in this book. There are also some new characters we meet and I liked the art festival plot line and how the murder tied around that. It did bother me a bit that Savannah hid something from her friends as I thought that was a bit unnecessary.

There’s a hint of a romance, but Savannah keeps saying she isn’t ready for a relationship. And suddenly at the end it jumps forward, which seemed a bit rushed, just like the whole ending. I would’ve liked to see it explored a bit more instead of going from a hint to more in hardly any time at al.

To summarize: I really enjoyed this book and thought it was better than the first book. I felt like I got easier into this book and I enjoyed the strong focus on the mystery, while it might have been a bit unbelievable at times I really enjoyed it. The mystery moves along nicely, with enough progress and updates on the progress. It kept my attention and I finished this book in a few days. The characters got a bit more developed in this book I liked seeing the four of them work together to solve the mystery. There are also some new side characters we meet. And there’s a hint of romance, that at the end suddenly seems to turn into more, which felt a bit rushed, but we’ll see how that continues in the next book. The ending and how the mystery got wrapped up also felt a bit rushed, but overall this was a great sequel and I am looking forward to the next book in this series.



Have you recently read a series where you enjoyed the second book more than the first?

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12 responses to “Review: Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon

    • That’s one the things I love about cozies too :). It’s so fun to have the murder mystery on one hand and then a fun hobby or job at the other hand. The glass making aspect and the glass shop were really interesting and it almost makes me wish I could take a few glass lessons myself. It’s obvious the author knows a lot about glass to, which makes it even more fun 🙂

    • It’s interesting to see how that goes with series, either they start good and keep getting better or start a bit meh and improve after that or they start good and then get worse as the series progress or they keep around the same level of enjoyment with a few really good books. I don’t read a lot of very long series, I find them daunting.

    • I am glad I continued the series, the first book was just okay, but this one was good. And indeed it’s a good thing when a series improves as it continues. I hope you’ll try a cozy mystery one day, I really like the genre. And I think they have quite some cozy mysteries in audiobook format as well ;).

  1. I love the sound of this one. I’ve always been enamored with the process of glass making, so I’m going to have to check this out. Sorry it felt a bit rushed at the end, I’ve noticed that several cozy mysteries are starting to feel rushed at the end.

    With cozy mysteries, I often find that I enjoy the second book better because it seems to have a more rounded feel to it. In the first book, the author is usually too busy trying to establish the characters that it can feel a bit slow and draggy. With the second, it normally focuses more on the storyline and doesn’t have that information dump feel like the first.
    Angela @Simply Angela recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday {33}: Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly HarperMy Profile

    • Yes it seems to be a trend in cozy mysteries to wrap things up hurriedly at the end, while I would like a bit more time for things to get wrapped up.

      The glass classes and glass making process was so interesting! I’ve visited a few glass museums once while on vacation and have a small glass penguin standing around somewhere. I wish I could take lessons at the glass shop in this book, it sounds so fun!

      Yes with this series that’s exactly what happened the first book just felt slightly off with the author establishing everything and now things are on it’s place and the book felt a lot smoother. It does make me hopefully for a few other series where I gave the first book a 3 star, that those sequels might be better as well.

  2. I love it when the second book in a series is even better than the first! I can’t think of any series where that’s happened to me recently but I’m sure it has at some point. 🙂 You’re really making me want to delve into cozy mysteries, Lola. It’s a genre I’ve stayed away from for some reason but reading your reviews and seeing how much you enjoy them is making me rethink my stance. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Middle Grade Review ~ Listening for Lucca ~ Suzanne LaFleurMy Profile

    • It’s hard to think of any other example than this one form the top of my head as well, but it’s definitely fun when a second book is better than the first.
      I hope you’ll give cozy mysteries a try once! I stayed away from the genre for a long time too and then last year made it my goal to try some and now I am hooked. I really am enjoying them. There are some really fun ones out there. I like how cozy mysteries have a mystery without the gore or gruesome details, but with the mystery. And learning about new things, like glass making in this book, is fun too.

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