Monday, May 9, 2022

Review: Cold Clay (Shady Hollow #2) by Juneau Black

About the Book (From Goodreads)
The past won’t stay buried…

Deep in the forest is a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony. Moose and mice, owls and bears, and many more call Shady Hollow home.

When autumn comes to the village, thoughts turn to harvest time and the glorious feasts ahead. But in a far corner of Cold Clay Orchards, a rabbit reaps a more grisly crop: the bones of a moose.

Soon enough, the owner of Joe’s Mug is dragged out of his coffeeshop to the police station to answer questions about the long-ago night his wife disappeared. Joe always said she walked out, but now it looks more like murder.

Foxy reporter Vera Vixen can’t believe gentle Joe is a killer. She sets out to find the truth before Shady Hollow loses its favorite coffee-slinger. To get to the bottom of the matter, she has to dig into the past, and into the many secrets her neighbors would rather leave buried forever…


This is such a fun series. Shady Hollow is a charming place filled with wonderful, vibrant characters. I didn't enjoy this story quite as much as the first one. For some reason, that tends to happen to me with sequels. I guess my expectations are always just a little off. That's not to say this was a bad book, though. I had a lot of fun with it. I just felt like it was missing some of that special and enchanting spark from the first one.

In the first book, I wondered what the deal was with Joe's wife. Where was she? What made her leave? Well, come to find out, she was murdered! Joe's looking like the prime suspect, but this gentle giant couldn't possibly be capable of such violence, could he? I did figure out the killer pretty early on, but the motive remained elusive for quite some time.

I'll definitely be checking out the next book. I'm invested in these characters' lives and am curious about what crime will pop up next. I recommend this series to people looking for a slower paced, whimsical mystery.



  1. Sometimes sequels just aren't as good as the first book. And whimsical seems like the perfect word to describe these mysteries. :)

    1. Yeah, sometimes it's hard to capture the magic of the first book in the next one. :)