Book review: One for Sorrow by Joanne Tracey

Saturday, April 13, 2024 Permalink

I mentioned on Facebook when One for Sorrow by Joanne Tracey was released that it was kinda bittersweet as Jo and I were going to co-write this series. Though at the time it was going to be themed and titled around astrology with the murder or murderer each time reflecting a zodiac sign*. It didn’t pan out for a myriad of reasons, but mainly because Jo’s an excellent and prolific writer, whereas I’m lucky to keep up with reviews on this website. 

The fact that this book is dedicated to me (I know!!!) AND I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements will probably mean you’ll assume this review will be very biased. You’d be wrong but given reviewing (how we respond to / perceive anything) is subjective it doesn’t matter… but I bloody loved this book. It’s easily my favourite of Jo’s books. Some of that MAY be because I felt a kindredness with Clementine Carter (I was there for her birth, after all) but also because I liked the cast of characters surrounding her and the ‘mystery’ at the heart of this book was just the perfect mix of clue-following-and-secret-discovering. 

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Book review: Philly Barker Is On The Case by Joanne Tracey

Saturday, November 11, 2023 Permalink

Philly Barker Is On The Case by Joanne Tracey is the second in the series featuring antiques dealer (and ex-cop) Philly. We were introduced to her in Philly Barker Investigates, along with her ex-husband Stewart, her quirky friends and colleagues selling their wares at Chipwell Barn Antiques and almost-retired cop DI Robbie Dawkins with whom Philly’s established a friendship, but nothing more… at this stage anyway.

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Book review: Philly Barker Investigates by Joanne Tracey

Sunday, September 25, 2022 Permalink

I was weirdly nervous on going into this book. Almost reluctant even. Firstly because Jo Tracey is a friend of mine. We met online and now meet in person fairly regularly and she feels like my most kindred spirit in a writing / creative way. And then there’s the fact that I’ve had a sneak peek at this book already. Which meant this was a re-read and even though it was many months ago, I worried I’d struggle to re-read it so soon.

I needn’t have stressed though because I surprised myself by becoming incredibly absorbed in Philly’s world – reading most of it in a sitting, despite not planning to do so… and only putting it aside as it was getting late and I really needed to rescue my dinner from the oven.

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Book review: The Little Cafe by the Lake by Joanne Tracey

Thursday, November 11, 2021 Permalink

The Little Cafe by the Lake by Joanne Tracey is the latest in a series of interlinked books – set across Australia, New Zealand and England.

These books and Tracey’s strength continues to be the relatability of her characters and the ease of her storytelling. I also appreciate that she paints players in shades of grey. Here there’s an unwelcome visitor and – though it’d be tempting to paint them in a cast them as completely villainous – she resists the urge, which has been the case in her previous books. And it’s surprising to find ourselves feeling sympathy or empathy for those responsible for others’ pain.

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Book review: Escape to Curlew Cottage by Joanne Tracey

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Permalink

I’m always nervous when I read a book by someone I know. Let alone someone I see as a friend. Thankfully every time I read one of Joanne Tracey’s books I come away a little agog – that someone I know could create something like this. Something magical. Something that makes me care. And something that makes me cry.

Escape to Curlew Cottage is loosely linked to Wish You Were Here, which I read in 2016. I spent much of last year in my self-absorbed little bubble so missed two books Tracey released in 2020, but her warm style of writing, her development of very real and likeable characters and yarn-spinning ability was exactly as I remembered. Although I didn’t remember that until I started reading…. if you know what I mean.

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Book review: Happy Ever After by Joanne Tracey

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 Permalink

This is Joanne Tracey’s fourth book and a bit of a departure from her loosely linked series which are more centred around romance with lead characters in their 20s and 30s… although a couple of characters readers met in the last novel in that series (Wish You Were Here) appear briefly here – and I appreciated them dropping in and the sense of familiarity they brought with them.

And I know Tracey’s still working on the next books in that series, but recall her saying that this story (and these characters) popped into her head and she needed to commit them to paper before they disappeared and I’m certainly glad she did as this is my favourite of her books to date.

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Book review: Wish You Were Here by Joanne Tracey

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Permalink

Joanne (Jo) Tracey and I have been virtual blogging buddies for half a dozen years. We’ve not yet met in person but we’re the same age and have similar interests. Well… in that we both love reading and writing and have backgrounds in project management. Jo’s also a music-loving foodie and far more into hiking and travelling than yours truly.

But she feels like a close friend. Despite the not-having-met thing.

Wish You Were Here is Jo’s third book and – as an observer from afar – I can see the growth in her writing and character development with each new release. The thing that draws me to her blog (and her I guess) is a sense of familiarity in her writing: an informality that engages me and draws me in. And her books offer that same level of intimacy.

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Book review: Big Girls Don’t Cry by Joanne Tracey

Sunday, December 13, 2015 Permalink

When I reviewed Joanne Tracey’s first novel, Baby It’s You I mentioned that—though we’ve never met—I think of Jo as a kindred spirit… a virtual friend. Her blog is one of my must-reads and I picture her as a more evolved and high-achieving version of me, following through on many of the things I just talk about.

I guess it’s no wonder then I very much relate to her writing and her books… something which was even more evident in her latest release, Big Girls Don’t Cry.

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