The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black by Lisa Hall

Publication Date: September 21, 2023

Lily Jones is an English ex-pat in Hollywood looking for her big break. She’s working as a chambermaid at the Beverly Hills Hotel and cleaning the suite where an actress was killed in 1949 when she’s transported back in time to two weeks before the murder. Can Lily save Honey Black?

I as given this book by the Book Reviewer Book Club on Facebook in exchange for my review.


I love a good time travel read and you can win me over with Old Hollywood anytime. I went into The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black ready to be entertained and sure that I would like the novel. The prologue was great. We see the murder of Honey Black. Suspense is built. The promise of what is to come is undeniably sweet but the author does not carry through on that promise. What this reader was left with at the end was confusion. The ending felt abrupt as though the author had simply had enough of the writing process or the characters and was ready for it to be done.

Lily Jones is an English transplant in Hollywood in 2019 hoping for her big break. She’s working as a chambermaid at an iconic hotel where an actress was murdered in 1949 just as her career was set to take off and on the cusp of her 21st birthday. Lily is cleaning the suite where the murder took place when she’s transported to just 2 weeks before the murder. She hides in the bathroom as two women argue. The first what the heck moment for this reader is that Lily is, from the start, not a woman to pick up on context clues. She doesn’t recognize the actress, iconic in death (and also about whom she later claims to know everything available on the Wikipedia page), when she’s hiding behind the bathroom door watching her argue with her PA. This is the first of many times that Lily is simply quite slow to get what’s going on in the story. That’s great for the reader if those points are not obvious to them and we’re working through with the character but that’s just not the case in this novel

The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black does demonstrate a real sense of place in time. Lily notes the difference in her landscape and the difference in the appearance and demeanor of those around her. Lily has chance encounters with Golden Age Celebrities as she plods through the course of the narrative that seem natural. While there are some general history missteps, they are only off by a few years and not something the average reader will pick up on. 

Many authors would take the opportunity of this kind of narrative to appropriate a real life celebrity for one of their main characters and I appreciate that this author did not do that. Unless you use the character in a way that shows deep dive their history (i.e. Louise Brooks in “The Chaperone.”), it tends to come off as a little slanderous employing rumors that persisted either in their life or after their death. Hall avoids this completely by forming new characters based on archetypes that are, generally, pretty well fleshed out.  The stereotypes in The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black read more as the reason that we have these stereotypes than unrealistically lazy novel “casting.” Because of how well fleshed out the characters are, some readers may find Lily pretty unlikable. As mentioned, she’s pretty slow on the uptake and is mostly occupied with making hay while the sun shines (to use an expression of the day). Lily, for a lot of the narrative, seems to be unintentionally driving the plot. 

As a cozy mystery, The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black, is standard. There is a mystery that, if you’re nota regular reader of mystery, you maybe won’t figure out too early. If you are someone that likes classic star call backs like a hometown crowd loves a singer shouting their name, this is the book for you. They are, for the most part, brushes with fame. This is a cozy mystery and technically time travel but not in a sense in which there’s an struggle really to adjust so we miss the sweet sense of danger to the main character. As Historical Fiction, it’s simply not applicable to that category and you will be disappointed. 


Read an excerpt and buy The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black by Lisa Hall on

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The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Laura Lyons is a housewife in 1913 living with her family in an apartment in the New York Public Library where her husband is the superintendent. She enrolls in Columbia Journalism School and finds a new world outside of the library walls and herself where women have their own identity. When someone starts stealing rare books and her lifestyle is at risk, she has to make a choice.

Eighty years later, Laura’s granddaughter, Sadie, is hired as a curator at the New York Public Library. When rare books from an exhibit Sadie is setting up starts to go missing, Sadie starts to dig into the past and may not like what she finds.


Readers of my blog will know that I love historical fiction. I fully expected to be fangirling in this review when starting the book. The mystery, varied timelines, New York Public Library tie-in, sounds fascinating on paper. The paper on which it is fascinating is not the pages of this book. The Lions of Fifth Avenue is not the worst book I’ve ever read. It felt self-indulgent on the part of the author. Davis wanted this setting and timeline tie but the story and characters never really seemed to come together. This is the only book I’ve read by Fiona Davis so the rest of her books might be brilliant. Am I likely to find out? No. 

Continue reading The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Publication Date: September 3, 2019


Whose Body? by Dorothy L. SayersWhose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers is the first novel of the Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey series. Lord Peter is financially independent and has a special hobby; he solves murder cases. When an unknown dead body is found in Mr. Thipps’s bathtub, he is on the case. With the help of his butler-friend Bunter, a talented forensic and semi-professional photographer and his friend Charles Parker, who works for Scotland Yard, he sets out to solve this mystery.

Whose Body? was released in 1928 and, like many first novels of a series, the reader is introduced to a number of characters that reappear as the series continues. The protagonist, Lord Peter was born in 1890 and is a World War I veteran. In the series, he ages in real-time making him 28 years old at the time the first book was released.

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers is a procedural-police meets private-inspector investigation story that is told by Lord Peter and Scotland Yard inspector Parker. Therefore, readers have a great overview of all on-going investigations and can solve the crime along the way. Continue reading Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Desolate Garden by Daniel Kemp

Publication Date: September 23, 2017

The Desolate Garden by Daniel KempHarry Paterson’s father, Lord Elliot Paterson, is murdered and because he stands to inherit the title, Harry is the #1 suspect. Judith Meadows is assigned to stay with Harry during the investigation to keep him safe and also garner whatever information she can to help solve the case. Together they look into strange messages that Harry received from his father before his death regarding strange transactions at the family bank. Continue reading The Desolate Garden by Daniel Kemp

Stateline (Dan Reno Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave Stanton

Publication Date: January 4, 2014


Stateline (Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave SantonIn Stateline (Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave Santon, Dan Reno is hired by a powerful man to find his son’s killer. He soon finds cops on the take willing to do anything to stop him. Can Dan find the killer and manage to stay alive? Stateline is the sixth book in the Dan Reno series.

Continue reading Stateline (Dan Reno Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave Stanton

Dog Gone by Mike Faricy

Publication Date: July 1, 2015


IDog Gone by Mike Faricy n Dog Gone by Mike Faricy, P.I. Dev Haskell finds himself pet-sitting his new girlfriend’s dog, a golden retriever named Morton when she has to leave town for a family emergency. Through Morton, Dev meets Princess Anastasia, a standard poodle show dog looking to take top honors. When it becomes clear that someone is angling to keep Princess out of the contest, Dev goes to work to keep his canine friend’s love interest safe and healthy for her bid to win the crown. Dog Gone is the twelfth book in the Dev Haskell Private Inspector series.    Continue reading Dog Gone by Mike Faricy

Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno

Publication Date: March 30, 2012

Now available in audiobook format narrated by the fabulous Travis Henry Carter who fully embodies the douchy but likable Brett Cornell. Click here to check it out on Audible. Seriously, these books are funny and a call back to the kind of guy you don’t see much anymore. Give the Brett Cornell series a shot.

Review originally posted on June 9, 2012


Brett Always Wins by David D’AguannoIn Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno, private investigator and “Charter Member of Unscrupulous Bastards R Us” (Kindle location 1974), Brett Cornell, is a prime piece of all-American beef who has deemed instant gratification a way of life. He’s irresistible; just ask him; he’ll tell you. When a one-night stand calls to say that her husband is trying to kill her, Brett knows the real reason, she’s back for round two. Brett takes her case and finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery. Nothing the great Brett Cornell can’t handle.

Continue reading Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno

Pocketful of Bones by Julie Frayn

Publication Date: November 10, 2017


Pocketful of Bones by Julie FraynBetter World Book Challenge 2 – An Independently Published Book

Pocketful of Bones

In Pocketful of Bones by Julie Frayn, while trying to hide evidence, Finnegan MacGillivray finds a burial ground in the garden of the home he shares with his mother. He becomes obsessed with finding the secrets behind the bones and is forced to move away when his compulsion crosses several lines. When he returns many years later will Finnegan discover that he was living with a killer?   Continue reading Pocketful of Bones by Julie Frayn

Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D’Aguanno

Publication Date: February 6, 2012 (Audible version was released on December 12, 2017)


Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D'AguannoIn Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D’Aguanno, private investigator Brett Cornell is back and once again on the hot seat. A man with whom he had a very public punch-up is found dead and the bullet that killed him came from Brett’s gun. Can he find out who is setting him up before he’s locked up for good? Brett Aerobicizes is the second book in the Brett Cornell series.

Continue reading Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D’Aguanno

Need More Road by Stephen Jared

Publication Date: November 27, 2016


Need More Road by Stephen JaredIn Need More Road by Stephen Jared, Eddie is a 52-year-old loner living in Barstow, California in the 1950s. He spends the free time away from he has at his job in the bank watching movies. When Mary Rose comes into the bank looking like a movie star, Eddie finds her irresistible. He discovers that she and her father moved to the area after experiencing a windfall. As enchanted as he is by Mary Rose, when her father presents the idea of a bank heist, Eddie knows he needs to walk away. But can he just leave?   Continue reading Need More Road by Stephen Jared