The Gun Also Rises (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #6)

The Gun Also Rises (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #6)

by Sherry Harris

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Overview

TO RECOVER A PRICELESS MANUSCRIPT . . .
 
A wealthy widow has asked Sarah Winston to sell her massive collection of mysteries through her garage sale business. While sorting through piles of books stashed in the woman's attic, Sarah is amazed to discover a case of lost Hemingway stories, stolen from a train in Paris back in 1922. How did they end up in Belle Winthrop Granville's attic in Ellington, Massachusetts, almost one hundred years later?
 
WILL SARAH HAVE TO PAY WITH HER LIFE?
 
Before Sarah can get any answers, Belle is assaulted, the case is stolen, a maid is killed, and Sarah herself is dodging bullets. And when rumors spread that Belle has a limited edition of The Sun Also Rises in her house, Sarah is soon mixed up with a mobster, the fanatical League of Literary Treasure Hunters, and a hard-to-read rare book dealer. With someone willing to kill for the Hemingway, Sarah has to race to catch the culprit—or the bell may toll for her . . .
 
Praise for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries
 
“There’s a lot going on in this charming mystery, and it all works . . . Well written and executed, this is a definite winner.”— RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars on All Murders Final!
 
“Full of garage-sale tips…amusing. A solid choice for fans of Jane K. Cleland’s Josie Prescott Antique Mystery series.”
Library Journal on Tagged for Death
 
“A slam dunk for those who love antiques and garage sales . . .surprising twists and turns.”— Kirkus Reviews on A Good Day to Buy

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496716972
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Series: Sarah W. Garage Sale Series , #6
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 26,041
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Sherry Harris is the author of Agatha Award-nominated Best First Novel Tagged for Death, as well as The Longest Yard Sale, All Murders Final!; A Good Day to Buy, and I Know What You Bid Last Summer in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series. Sherry started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry combined her love of garage sales, her life as an Air Force spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for this series. Sherry is an independent editor for fiction and nonfiction writers, a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime New England, and Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter. She blogs with New England mystery writers at WickedCozyAuthors.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

A drop of sweat rolled down my back as I rang the doorbell of the mansion. I wanted to blame it on the hot sun pummeling my shoulders, but it was nerves. As I listened to the deep gong echoing inside the house, I thought, for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. I didn't know the rest of the poem, only that Hemingway used it for a title, or why the lines swirled through my head. They sure sounded ominous.

I'd been summoned here via a thick cream envelope delivered by a messenger yesterday at noon. The card inside read:

Mrs. Belle Winthrop Granville, III Requests the presence of Miss Sarah Winston at 10:00 a.m., July 25

It was impossible to refuse such an invitation. Okay, so I could have, but curiosity would have killed me if I did. I'd been running a garage sale business for over a year and a half, here in Ellington, Massachusetts. But I'd never worked for someone as wealthy as Belle Winthrop Granville, III. Miss Belle, as she was called around town, which was a very Southern thing to do for a bunch of Yankees, was a legend in Ellington. I couldn't imagine how she'd even heard about me. Or that she needed me to do a garage sale for her.

But I knew about Miss Belle. In fact, everyone in Ellington knew her story because who didn't love a good love story? She was from an elite Alabama family. She'd met Sebastian Winthrop Granville, III at spring break in Key West in the early sixties. Sebastian was from a wealthy Boston Brahmin family. Both families were dead set against the union, but the two snuck off and married. They were like Romeo and Juliet without the entire star- crossed business.

The story went that Miss Belle had brought her Southern hospitality up north as a young bride, but never won over Sebastian's family. To escape the cold disapproval, Miss Belle and Sebastian moved to Ellington, where Sebastian opened a bank and made his own fortune. This all happened in the sixties, long before I'd landed in Massachusetts three years ago when I was thirty-six.

I stared at the door, willing it to open. I was beginning to feel twitchy, which wasn't a good way to make a first impression. When it finally swung open, a twenty-something woman in a black knee-length dress with a crisp white apron stood there. For a moment, I wondered if I'd been invited to a costume party and that I should have worn something other than my blue and white sundress. "Hi, I'm Sarah Winston. Mrs. Winthrop Granville is expecting me."

"Yes, ma'am, follow me."

I detected a bit of a Boston accent in her voice. We trekked across what seemed like miles of marble flooring, under chandeliers, and past a staircase that would suit Tara from Gone With the Wind. She led me to a room with a massive desk near tall windows lined with dark green velvet curtains. For a moment, I wondered if I was on the set of a remake of Gone With the Wind.

"I'll go get Mrs. Winthrop Granville," the maid said.

"Thank you." I turned slowly around after she left. The room was two stories high and filled floor to ceiling with shelves of books. There were two library ladders and a small balcony. It was a reader's dream room. Except for a lack of comfy chairs.

"How do you like my library?"

I turned at the sound of the soft voice with a Southern accent, where the word my sounded like mah and the word library was drawled out from three syllables to about five. A petite woman with silver hair twisted into a neat bun stood behind me. "Mrs. Winthrop Granville," I said. I recognized her from photographs in the newspaper. "It's an amazing room."

"If you are going to work with me, please call me Belle," she said. She wore a twinset that looked like Chanel and tan slacks. A scarf draped gracefully around her neck.

I was going to work with her? She really wanted to have a garage sale?

Miss Belle laughed. "You look flabbergasted."

"Trying to keep my emotions from showing isn't my strongest suit. It's why I rarely play poker. Apparently, I don't have just one tell, I have a multitude of them. What did you have in mind?"

"Let's sit," Miss Belle said. "Would you like me to have Kay get you something to drink? Tea or a Coke?" She gestured to the maid, who stood in the doorway of the room.

"No, I'm fine, thank you." The idea of having someone wait on me had always made me slightly uncomfortable.

Miss Belle sat in a leather chair behind a desk that almost dwarfed her and gestured for me to sit across from her in an equally massive chair. She ran a hand across the smooth mahogany of the desk. "This was my Sebastian's desk. He loved this silly thing. It's ridiculously big, don't you think?"

"It's lovely." What else could I say?

"It was his grandfather's. One of the few things he wanted from his family when we moved to Ellington in the sixties." She sighed. "But I'm guessing you are wondering why I've asked you here."

Boy, was I. I nodded. I realized I'd crossed my legs at my ankles, had my hands folded neatly in my lap, and sat more erect than usual, like I was in the presence of a VIP.

"It's time to do some downsizing."

I didn't realize rich people worried about downsizing too.

"We never had children, so there's no one to leave all of our things to. Although a few pieces will be returned to Sebastian's nieces and nephews." She wrinkled her nose on the last bit.

"I'm not sure I'm the person to do a sale for you." I hated turning away business, but… "I think you need Sotheby's, not me."

"Oh, dear. I'm not being clear at all. It's my massive book collection. I want to put together a sale to raise money for the Ellington Free Library."

I craned my head around the room. The books were all bound in leather, some looked old, most looked valuable. I had no expertise with old or rare books. I didn't even know anyone who did. "I don't think I'm qualified to do that."

Miss Belle looked surprised. "Oh, not these books." She waved her hand around. "I have an expert coming in to deal with them."

"What books, then?" I asked.

Miss Belle's cheeks reddened. "I'm addicted to mysteries. Come with me."

CHAPTER 2

"Nothing wrong with that. I love them myself."

Miss Belle smiled. I followed her down the hall and into an office. This one was a smaller-scale version of the first. Tall windows, a smaller desk with graceful curved legs, and paperback books everywhere, on shelves, on end tables, even some stacked on the floor. A bunch of hardbacks were on the shelves too. I spotted a complete set of Sue Grafton books, all the Louise Penny's Armand Gamache novels, and books by Sara Paretesky. This room had several comfy chairs to sit in with a good book.

"I don't bring everyone in here," she said, "but you don't seem like the judgmental type." She took a quick glance at me, and I gave her my best nonjudgmental smile. "Some people look down on mysteries, you know."

I may be a lot of things, but snooty wasn't one of them. Besides, who wouldn't love mysteries?

"There's everything from Agatha Christie to Trixie Beldon to Donna Andrews in here," she said.

"I think I could handle this," I said.

"This isn't all of it," Miss Belle said. "Follow me, please."

We climbed the curving staircase to the second floor. Halls led off on either side with the plushest, longest Oriental rugs I'd ever seen. Their reds glowed against the dark paneling.

"There's another staircase at the end of this hall" — she gestured to her left — "but we'll go up here."

She opened one of the multiple closed doors and we climbed another set of stairs. The rug on this floor wasn't as plush but looked much loved. In the center of the hall, Miss Belle opened a door to a steep set of stairs to an attic. The big house was very quiet. I could hear Kay vacuuming somewhere on another floor.

The attic was as clean or cleaner than my apartment. Not a cobweb or mouse to be seen. To the left was a room with large windows spaced evenly around the room and plenty of lighting from fixtures in the ceiling. It certainly wasn't like most attics I'd been in, with low-sloped ceilings, a light bulb on a string, and rickety stairs leading up to it.

Miss Belle showed me around the room. We passed what looked to me like a treasure trove of antiques: an old radio, a gramophone, and an ice chest. I would have loved to linger and explore. For a small woman, Miss Belle could move quickly, and I hurried to keep up with her.

We arrived at a small hall with three closed doors. "Kay, my maid and housekeeper, lives up here. It's her choice. There are plenty of rooms on the second and third floor."

She opened the door that was straight ahead of us. The hinges squeaked just a little, and Miss Belle frowned. It made me realize again how very quiet this house was. This room had dress dummies, suitcases, trunks, shelves of books, and boxes with books spilling out of them. I spotted a box of Nancy Drew books and another of Bobbsey Twins.

Miss Belle shook her head. "I should have parted with some of these long ago. It's silly keeping them up here, where only I can read them. And it's a bit of a mess. I'm not sure what's in the trunks and suitcases. Probably more books." Miss Belle looked me over. "Are you up to the task?"

"Can I just poke about for a bit before I answer?" I asked.

"Very sensible. Of course. There's a bathroom just outside to the left. Kay's room is on the right. Stop by the study before you leave."

"Okay." I watched as Miss Belle left. When she was out of sight, I turned back to the scene before me. Books, glorious books.

* * *

I found a box full of Agatha Christie's books, including my favorite, And Then There Were None, and a trunk filled with Mary Stewart, Phyllis A. Whitney, and Victoria Holt books, which my mom loved. I flipped through a few of them but had to stop myself, more than once, from sitting down to read. None of them were first editions, but this might be the best project I'd ever had.

I spent about fifteen minutes poking around in Miss Belle's attic before I headed back downstairs. I heard voices coming from the library, so I knocked lightly on the open door before going in. Miss Belle stood next to an older man in a black suit who wasn't much taller than her and at least an inch shorter than my five-six.

"Sarah, let me introduce you to Roger Mervine. He's an old friend and a rare book dealer from Boston."

Roger strode over to me and took my hand. For a minute, I thought he was going to kiss it with his waxed, mustachioed mouth. But he shook it instead. Vigorously. "Belle tells me you'll be handling the lesser books."

Lesser books? Yeesh.

"And of course I'll be here to answer any of your questions should you find something rare or valuable."

I managed to maintain a pleasant expression. "That hasn't been decided yet." If I had to work with this guy around, I wasn't sure I wanted to. Although I'd come down here with every intention of saying yes.

"Oh, Roger, don't be such a snob," Miss Belle said. "He's harmless, really. Roger has a fabulous bookstore on Beacon Hill in Boston."

Beacon Hill was a neighborhood full of beautiful brick row houses, exclusive shops, and restaurants north of Boston Common, America's first public park, and the Public Garden, the first public botanical garden in America. It was a world for John Kerry and the Kennedys and Seth Anderson's family, but this was no time to think about Seth. Good grief, now I was starting to sound like Scarlett O'Hara. He had caused me a lot of heartache and I'd done the same to him. I shook it off. "I've been in your shop. Mervine's Rare and Unusual Books?"

He did a slight bow instead of saying yes. His thick white hair swept forward, momentarily covering his face. It was hard to peg his age, but I'd guess somewhere north of sixty-five. Geez, it was like he was playing the role of lord of the manor. Roger probably had a smoking jacket and crystal decanters full of port at home. He'd probably never tasted a fluffernutter, my favorite sandwich, in his life. Although if he was connected to Belle, he might really be a lord of a manor somewhere, or at least the American equivalent of one. When he raised his head, his light brown eyes had a bit of a twinkle in them.

"So delighted you've been in. Did you purchase anything?" he asked.

I almost said no to be ornery. "Several things. My father was thrilled with a history of coastal California I gave him for Christmas one year. Also a book with early California maps. They were beautiful." I'd grown up in Pacific Grove, California, which was sandwiched between the more famous Monterey and Carmel. My parents still lived there.

"Wonderful. It's the best part of having the store, knowing that the books end up in the hands of someone who loves them. I must be off. Sarah, I hope we'll meet again, and Belle, enchanté as usual." He swept out of the room as if he was exiting stage left.

"Sorry about that," Belle said. "I was hoping to have you on board before you met Roger. He's always overly assertive when you first meet him, but then he's just a big old teddy bear."

"I don't scare that easily," I said. That might not be true, but if I said it out loud often enough, maybe it would be.

"Good. That's what I heard, and that you're clever."

Oh, dear. People had been getting the craziest ideas about me since I'd helped solve a few murders. "Don't believe everything you've heard."

"I did a lot of checking before reaching out to you. After all, you will be in my home all day for some length of time going through my treasured things. I had to find someone trustworthy."

"How did you hear about me?"

"Other than the newspapers? I asked around. I know your friends the DiNapolis, among others."

Angelo and Rosalie DiNapoli owned DiNapoli's Roast Beef and Pizza, my favorite place to eat in Ellington. They had become my extended family since I'd moved to the area.

Belle clasped her hands together. "Back to my books. What do you think?"

"I'd like to do it. If I find things I can't easily price, I can look them up."

"Or you can ask Roger."

"Yes, of course." Over my dead body. I explained to Belle that I'd have to work on an hourly fee basis. I hated charging someone when they were doing something for charity, but I'd recently done an event for the school board for free. I was still trying to recoup the money I'd lost by turning away other paying jobs during that project. I also had another charity function in the works.

"No problem," Belle said. "When can you start?"

I pulled out my phone and checked out my calendar. "I could come by for a couple of hours in the morning, if that works for you."

"Of course it does. Thank you so much. This is going to be wonderful."

* * *

At noon, I sat across a table from Stella, my landlady and friend, at DiNapoli's. We were sharing my favorite bianco pizza, a white pizza with four cheeses, Angelo's secret garlic sauce, and basil, and sipping a nice cabernet sauvignon. I kind of missed the days when DiNapoli's didn't have a liquor license and would sneak me wine in a plastic kiddie cup with a lid and a straw.

"How is practice going?" I asked Stella. She taught voice classes at Berklee College of Music, private lessons at home, and had a minor role in a fall production of The Phantom of the Opera.

"Good. The cast is fantastic. The director has a clear vision. So far, it's been amazing."

"I hope it stays that way," I said.

"They asked me to be the understudy for the lead role, Christine." Stella's dark green eyes were wide with excitement. And her olive skin was a bit flushed.

"That's wonderful news. Now we just have to figure out how to get rid of the lead actress. I could wish her good luck instead of saying break a leg." It was a theater superstition not to tell an actor good luck.

"No. I'm content with my role. It's been so long since I've been in anything professionally. I'm fine with this." Stella had toured Europe with an opera ten years ago, when she was in her twenties. "What about you?"

I picked up a second slice of pizza. The piece was about the size of my head. Angelo didn't believe in small slices. He thought it threw off the toppings-to-crust ratio. The cheese dripped over the edges as I slid it onto my plate.

"I have a new job I'm excited about."

"For who?" Stella asked.

"Belle Winthrop Granville. She has an enormous collection of mystery books she wants to sell and then donate the money to the Ellington Library."

"Miss Belle? Wow. How did you manage that?"

"She found me," I said. "Her house is amazing. Right out of a magazine. And her attic. It's a treasure trove. I wish I had time to explore it all."

"Let me know if you need any help. I'd love to see her house."

"That would be fun. I may just need an assistant for a day or two."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Gun Also Rises"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Sherry Harris.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Gun Also Rises 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
Boy, I really loved the setting Sarah Winston finds herself in--an attic filled with mystery books that Belle Winthrop Granville has collected over the years. This is one of my favorites so far in the series, they just keep getting better and better. The fact that the proceeds of the sale will go to the library is fantastic, but Sarah stumbles across a small valise with what looks like papers from Ernest Hemingway. The story of the lost train case back in the 20's helped frame the caper and murder Sarah finds herself involved in this time. Sarah, now divorced, is still active with the nearby base and is also helping with a fundraiser to bring a serviceman's dog home to him. Just when you think there is too much going on, there isn't at all. It read quickly and smoothly to an intriguing end, lots of red herrings worthy of the attic mystery books.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
I love garage sales/yard sales. Well, I love the thought of them. I don’t love getting up early in the morning to go to them or prepare for them. So, I live vicariously through the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries. (And I don’t have to be afraid of finding a dead body or getting myself killed. ) I have adored this series since the first book. I won’t lie, I didn’t really care for the character of Sarah Winston at first. For some reason I just didn’t click with her. But I have become quite fond of her as the series has advanced. A fabulous story, THE GUN ALSO RISES is packed cover to cover with mystery, excitement, and just plain great writing. It’s a fast-moving book which made it hard to tare myself away from it. It truly shows without a doubt author Sherry Harris knows what it takes to keep her readers coming back for more. As wonderful as she writes, it’s safe to say you’ll never see one of this author’s books at a garage sale. Note: When I write a review of a series book, I always go back and read my reviews of past book(s) in the series. I want to make sure I don’t repeat myself. When I did so for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries, I saw that everything I wanted to say about THE GUN ALSO RISES I had already said in those past reviews. I chose to write them in this review anyway, because they still hold true.
4GranJan More than 1 year ago
Cozy Garage Sale Mystery in Massachusetts This is the first of this series that I have read. I know that I will binge read this entire series soon. There is nothing to complain about here and everything to love! I made a living from estate sales for many years so this is very familiar to me. The setting for the story is just aces. The plot is exceptional and contains some fun twists. I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Gun Also Rises is a busy novel. Sarah has a full plate as she deals with missing manuscripts, her brother, a murder, preparing for a very special sale to help a veteran bring his dog to America, pricing Miss Belle’s mystery collection, evading the literary treasure hunters, hunting down the rare Hemingway book and trying not to be the killer’s next victim. The Gun Also Rises can be read as a standalone if you have not read any of the previous A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries. I find Sarah’s garage sale business interesting. She never knows what treasures she will find. I wanted to buy all the books in Miss Belle’s fictional attic. I found The Gun Also Rises to be easy to read with steady pacing throughout most of the book (a little slow in the middle). I loved all the mystery novels mentioned throughout the book (Trixie Belden and Agatha Christie are just two examples) as well as the details on Louisa May Alcott and historical sites that people can visit. There are also some clever Gone with the Wind references. The murder of Kay and the missing manuscripts leads readers on a merry chase as we follow the clues to figure out who is behind these appalling deeds. I do wish it had been harder to identify the guilty parties, and I was unsatisfied with the ending (spoilers). I was glad to see a move forward in Seth and Sarah’s romantic life. Sarah’s ex-husband has left town (finally) and Sarah can finally move forward romantically with her life. I appreciated the author highlighting the role of military spouses and the support they need when their significant other is serving overseas. There is also a storyline about a veteran suffering from PTSD who is missing the dog he had in Iraq. Sara is organizing a sale to help unite the man with his beloved canine. Readers will find themselves laughing at Sarah’s various escapades. Buckle your seatbelt for a humorous and fast paced romp with Sarah in The Gun Also Rises.
VWilliams More than 1 year ago
A garage sale mystery is definitely something new for me in the cozy genre and a storyline about books? Yes, please! Rare books; exceedingly rare books, one of which is by famous author--Ernest Hemingway. This book spelled fun from the beginning! I really enjoyed the author's writing style--just enough snark to keep it kicky but respectable. Protagonist Sarah Winston is involved in a fundraiser to bring home a war dog that is vital to the mental health of a recently returned veteran suffering from PTSD. Also, Sarah is invited to set up, catalog, and sell a massive collection of books at widow Belle Winthrop Granville's mansion. There are real collector's items in the main library downstairs, including first edition, leather-bound rare and semi-rare books. While sifting through the "lesser" books in the attic which includes decades of paperbacks, Sarah discovers a case of original manuscripts by Hemingway. However, the case is immediately stolen and in chasing the thief Sarah is almost taken out by a wayward branch--another of which killed the maid who grabbed the case. Rumors are flying about a limited, signed edition of The Sun Also Rises after Sarah finds a receipt for the missing book also secreted in the attic. That sets off a league of crazed treasure hunters, media frenzy, a big guy who insists on following her, and visits to one of the local mob bosses. I'm liking Sarah. She really knows how to go about pursuing bargains! And Seth has piqued my interest. Ellington gives me peeks into Boston and secondary characters are engaging and meld a fine connection to the protagonist. I also appreciated the inside scoop on the role of military wives, particularly those with a ranked spouse. The well-plotted narrative moves at a good pace and keeps interest through to the conclusion. I'm hooked and looking forward to the next in this series! I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any looking for a unique perspective into cozy mysteries with a sassy, independent, and capable protagonist as well as the inside scoop on garage sales and our veterans. 4.5/5 stars
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
This is my first foray into the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries but it won’t be my last. While this is the 6th book in the series (a 7th is coming in July!), it can be read as a standalone with minimal difficulty. The mystery and my opinion of Sarah and her cast of supporting characters was not affected by my not having read the 1st five books BUT I think I would have been more invested in some of the backstories and the dash of romance had I been reading them from the beginning. The writing is steady-paced and warm, easily drawing you in to the story. It doesn’t hurt either that this plot centers around rare books and beloved mystery classics. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers – bookworms (especially those who are armchair detectives at heart) will find much to love as they explore Miss Belle’s house with Sarah. The clever mystery kept me guessing all the way to the end, and the author did a great job of creating empathy for Sarah’s plight on the part of readers. Tension stays high throughout – from the murder, the missing manuscripts, the press, and not knowing who Sarah can trust. Bottom Line: There’s more to this cozy series than meets the eye. Sarah Winston is an amiable heroine who has earned the grudging respect of the local police force, as well as the entire community. Her engaging personality is layered and multi-dimensional, allowing for a military spouse/PTSD subplot that draws attention to a not-often talked about struggle. Additionally, the books that grace the pages of this novel (by way of Miss Belle’s vast collection) will warm every avid reader’s heart and have them reaching fondly for beloved favorites or browsing just a little longer next time at the used bookstore (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
This is my first foray into the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries but it won’t be my last. While this is the 6th book in the series (a 7th is coming in July!), it can be read as a standalone with minimal difficulty. The mystery and my opinion of Sarah and her cast of supporting characters was not affected by my not having read the 1st five books BUT I think I would have been more invested in some of the backstories and the dash of romance had I been reading them from the beginning. The writing is steady-paced and warm, easily drawing you in to the story. It doesn’t hurt either that this plot centers around rare books and beloved mystery classics. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers – bookworms (especially those who are armchair detectives at heart) will find much to love as they explore Miss Belle’s house with Sarah. The clever mystery kept me guessing all the way to the end, and the author did a great job of creating empathy for Sarah’s plight on the part of readers. Tension stays high throughout – from the murder, the missing manuscripts, the press, and not knowing who Sarah can trust. Bottom Line: There’s more to this cozy series than meets the eye. Sarah Winston is an amiable heroine who has earned the grudging respect of the local police force, as well as the entire community. Her engaging personality is layered and multi-dimensional, allowing for a military spouse/PTSD subplot that draws attention to a not-often talked about struggle. Additionally, the books that grace the pages of this novel (by way of Miss Belle’s vast collection) will warm every avid reader’s heart and have them reaching fondly for beloved favorites or browsing just a little longer next time at the used bookstore (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries and I think I liked this one the most. There was a lot of action, information about families of Service Men/Women, family relationships, kleptomania, and of course a wonderful mystery. You would never think that arranging garage sales and other charity sales events could lead to trouble, but if you have read any books in this series, you know that Sarah Winston finds herself in the middle of murder, mayhem and crime quite often. This book finds Sarah being hired by a rich widow, Belle Winthrop Granville III, to catalogue and price her hundreds of mystery novels to sell as a fundraiser for the local library. While in the attic, going through boxes, suitcases and valises, she glimpses several envelopes. When she peeks into them, she realizes she has come across the find of the century in the literary world, "The Missing Hemingway Manuscripts". Now this alone, piqued my interest. After reading "The Paris Wife" about Hadley Richardson, Hemingway's wife, I was aware that this was an actual event (the loss of the manuscripts). I was looking forward to seeing how Sherry Harris was going to handle this. Well, she did it well. Not only do the manuscripts go missing again, but there is also a search for a first edition "The Sun Also Rises". When Belle's maid, ends up dead and the manuscripts missing, Sarah becomes an overnight media sensation. Sarah is one of my favourite main characters. Besides constantly stumbling over dead bodies in a small town, she is a very real character. Over the six books in this series, she has grown so much. She has had to make a new life for herself and has done a great job of that in Ellington, Massachusetts, with a career and wonderful friends. The secondary characters help round out the story as they play an important role in every story. I especially love the DiNapolis and their restaurant. From James, Carol, Pellner, Stella, Awesome, Tony and of course Seth, we are all privy to the lives of those in this community. The mystery in this book was well done with twists and turns throughout the plot. The identity of the killer and/or thief kept me guessing until the reveal. I was surprised by the culprits and thought the mystery was tied up nicely. There was a humorous element in the story with the League of Literary Treasure Hunters on the prowl, which had me smiling as I read. I am looking forward to what is next for Sarah Winston and her friends, and definitely recommend this book and series to all cozy mystery lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts History and mystery collide as Sherry Harris gives her spin on the missing papers of Ernest Hemingway lost in 1922. Garage Sale pro Sarah Winston is hired to help get Belle Winthrop Granville book collection ready for sale. As she is cataloging the vast collection she makes a shocking discovery. A case filled with what appears to be Hemingway’s lost manuscripts. Before the papers can be verified they are stolen and Granville’s maid is killed and shots are fired at Sarah. The events lead to rumors that a rare edition of The Sun Also Rises is also hidden on the premises bringing the League of Literary Treasure Hunters, a rare book dealer, and the press to Ellington, Massachusetts. Sarah is forced out of her home and knows the only way for things to get back to normal is to find the killer before more bodies fall including hers. This has become one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love spending time with Sarah as she chases all around town for her garage sales and murder investigations. Her life has been in flux with her divorce, moving off the base, getting her business off the ground and trying to start life over as a single woman. He ex has now left the state so her personal life can move forward with Seth and that made me very happy. In addition to her huge project for Belle Winthrop Granville and finding a thief and a killer, Sarah is organizing a fundraiser to help a soldier bring a dog he adopted in Afghanistan to the states. He has been suffering PTSD since his last deployment and his friends and family feel bringing this dog home may make things easier. The connection of Sarah to the Air Force Base and the awareness the author brings to military life and strife is a treasured part of all the books in this series. As a military wife herself her depictions are believable. The characters Ms. Harris brings to life leap off the pages. She gives us people to root for along with the questionable suspects. Sarah and her friends are all engaging and relatable. They have a camaraderie that is refreshing. They always have her back. I loved the way the author brought Hemingway history into the story. The League of Literary Treasure Hunters were an interesting crew that didn’t give up. They truly took over the town and made Sarah’s life miserable. I really felt bad for her. I loved her unstoppable energy though in her quest to find the papers and the killer. Her perseverance had no bounds. Sarah Winston is a fantastic protagonist. This story is a wonderful addition to the series. I can’t wait for the next installment. Let’s Fake A Deal will be released July 30.
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
As a cozy mystery lover, I am a big fan of author Sherry Harris. In, The Gun Also Rises, Sarah Winston is called in to inventory a large book collection for a library fund-raiser. Sarah is astounded to find stolen Hemingway stories in the lot. The owner of the lost manuscripts is assaulted and robbed and the individual who did it is found murdered. Suddenly mobsters, a rare books dealer and a nosy League of Literary Treasure Hunters appear on the scene. Hemmingway’s words, “courage is grace under pressure,” become all too real for Sarah as she tracks down the culprit amongst the chaos. The Gun Also Rises kept me turning the pages. I highly recommend this book and the entire series.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
small-business, Massachusetts, cozy-mystery, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, law-enforcement Two of my favorite things: murder mystery and garage sales! Good mystery plot filled in with sleuth's personal history and adjustments (like divorce, no longer an Air Force wife, previous murder involvements, and knowing a mob guy). The publisher's blurb is pretty good at gaining reader interest, but the book is better than that. Sure, there are the expected twists and red herrings, but the characters alone would save the day if that was necessary. Loved it! Now I have to go find more by this author! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Sarah Winston has been hired to organize a book sale for Mrs. Belle Winthrop Granville, III, focusing on Belle's massive mystery collection. But sandwiched in between the Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie, and Ann Cleeves books, she finds what appears to be the Hemingway manuscripts that went miss from a train in Paris in the 1920's. Belle is just as shocked to see them as Sarah is. But a couple of hours later, Belle has been attacked, the manuscripts are missing, and someone is dead. What has Sarah stumbled into this time? Once again, we are treated to a fabulous mystery that is more treasure hunt than strict cozy murder mystery. Not that I'm complaining in the slightest. The pace never slows down as we jump from one thing to another as Sarah tries to figure out what happened before her life spins even further out of control. We don't see as much of some of the series regulars, but we do get to see more of others, and I liked how relationships were growing here. Naturally, the book is filled with well-developed new characters. The mentions of various mystery books made me smile. The sub-plots involving the air force base were really well done and once again spotlighted some of the real issues those who sacrifice so much for this country go through, both those serving and their families. This is a strong entry in a series that keeps getting better.
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
I had an internal struggle while reading this book. Half of me wanted to devour it and satisfy the mystery-solving part of my brain. The other half of me wanted to savor it, reading it slowly to make it last longer. The first half won, and I found myself at the end of the story way too quickly! I enjoyed my visit with Sarah and her friends in her adopted home of Ellington, MA. In The Gun Also Rises, Sarah has taken on a job to prepare part of a client's personal library to sell. Sarah ends up embroiled in a mystery involving some extremely valuable items, a hoard of literary treasure hunters, and two old-money Boston households. The conclusion was satisfying, and left me a combination of floored, happy, and content. If you haven't read any books in this series, you can certainly read this book as a stand-alone, but I always recommend starting from the beginning and read along as the characters develop. This is a great series for any mystery lover! I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
Chatting-About-Cozies More than 1 year ago
“The Gun Also Rises” features a clever mystery, engaging characters, and a top-notch creative plot. Sarah Winston is asked to inventory a massive mystery book collection for a wealthy widow to benefit a fundraiser for the local library. Sarah finds much more than a bargain in the attic when she unpacks several priceless manuscripts written by Ernest Hemingway. As the story begins to unfold, past misdeeds join ongoing deceptions, and a sudden death occurs. Author Sherry Harris never disappoints with her strong, witty writing voice and her ability to use the surprise effect just when you think you have it all figured out! The history of the missing manuscripts and a copy of “The Sun Also Rises” by Hemingway is very interesting and woven seamlessly into the plot. The regular cast of characters in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series are some of my all-time favorites plus some new, quirky characters are introduced in book six. Protagonist, Sarah Winston, is independent, fiesty, and practically fearless in her search for treasures. I loved this story, you’ll love this story, and I highly recommend this entire cozy series! I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Sarah Winston is hired to pack up and price books for a library sale by a wealthy local. But as Sarah is going through the books, she comes across an older trunk with long lost writings from Ernest Hemingway. After leaving the find with the home owner, Miss Belle is knocked down by her housekeeper who runs off with the case of Papa’s works. But no sooner did the housekeeper run off with the goods, when she is found dead in the woods behind the house. To add more icing to the literary cake, it looks like there is a copy of The Sun Also rises that should be in the house somewhere. With the books and murder, Sarah isn’t quite sure who to trust and no one seems to know where the book or case of writings is. But will Sarah be able to identify the murderer before she someone closes the chapter on Sarah’s life? I have read a few other boosk in this series and each one is better than the last one. Solid character development and a story that keeps you thinking and wondering who done it until close to the end. A great read and fantastic setting for this series.