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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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

Girl Jacked (A Jack Stratton Book) by Christopher Greyson

Publication Date: August 1, 2013


Girl Jacked (A Jack Stratton Book) by Christopher GreysonIn Girl Jacked (A Jack Stratton Book) by Christopher Greyson, officer Jack Stratton’s foster sister, Michelle, is missing. The police believe she just decided to leave but their foster mother, Aunt Haddie, knows that she wouldn’t take off without letting her know. Haddie knows that Jack is that one person that will find Michelle at all costs. Girl Jacked (A Jack Stratton Book) is the first novel in the Jack Stratton series.  Continue reading Girl Jacked (A Jack Stratton Book) by Christopher Greyson

Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mystery Book) by Leslie Langtry

Publication Date: April 11, 2017


Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mystery Book) by Leslie LangtryIn Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mystery Book) by Leslie Langtry, Nani Johnson is settling into her life in Hawaii playing the ukulele for events. When she goes to pick up food for a last-minute dinner, a man dies behind her car. Turns out, the man is from the same super-small Kansas town that Nani and her ultra-nutty mom left a few years before. As the body count climbs and Nani and her mom hit the suspect list, can she solve the mystery of the murders before she finds herself playing ukulele behind bars for the rest of her life? Ukulele Deadly is the seventh book in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series. Continue reading Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mystery Book) by Leslie Langtry

The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery by J.B. Lynn

Publication Date: May 15, 2014


The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery by J.B. LynnIn The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery by J.B. Lynn, Tom Hanlon is a private investigator. As a favor to his elderly neighbor, he takes her dog out for some exercise and meets Armani Vazquez, an eccentric matchmaker who wants to set him up with his prime suspect in a serious crime, Jane Bly and her aptly named foster dog, Calamity. While Tom is looking for his thief will Jane steal his heart? The Mutt and the Matchmaker is the first book in the Matchmaker Mystery series. Continue reading The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery by J.B. Lynn

Murder on the Page (A Harley Hill Mystery) by Kennedy Chase

Publication Date: October 2, 2016


Murder on the Page (A Harley Hill Mystery) by Kennedy ChaseIn Murder on the Page (A Harley Hill Mystery) by Kennedy Chase, Harley Hill and her agency partner, Cordelia, are hired to find a diary written by John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. When their search leads them to a dead body, they find themselves thrust into the English underworld and into a plot that could end the monarchy. Murder on the Page is the second book in the Harley Hill Mystery series. Continue reading Murder on the Page (A Harley Hill Mystery) by Kennedy Chase

Rabid Reader’s Valentine’s Day book recommendations

Over the past years, we reviewed tons of romance, chick-lit and cozy mystery books and we would like to take the opportunity to present and share some book reviews for Valentine’s day 2017. This is just a short list of books that readers may enjoy. Don’t forget to check out our other book reviews. Check out our romance, chick-lit and cozy mystery reviews.



Veronica Scott, science fiction, romance and a U.S. Today best-selling author, released Trapped on Talonque last year. Be sure to check out the latest review of the Sector series.




A classic everyone that enjoys adventure mixed with romance will like A Kiss at Kilhali by the New York Times best-selling author, Ruth Harris.




If you are into romantic suspense, try out The Rigid Rules by Christina Thompson. Readers with a passion for mysteries that contain elements of romance novels will enjoy Thompson’s Chemical Attraction series.




If you’re a fan of romance, particularly Regency, try out Sense and Sensuality by Alicia Quigley. This is a well-polished novel Quigley’s characters are witty, fast and wonderfully framed.




Andrea Weir’s A Foolish Consistency is a high-octane drama piece that gives readers the impression they are reading a real-life story. If you love reading romance novels with lots of ups and downs, this is the book for you.




Readers that have a knack for typical cozy mystery books should check out Hide nor Hair by Jo-Anne Lamon Reccoppa. The story takes place in New Jersey and contains everything that makes up a great cozy mystery. Also, check out the review of the first book, New Math is Murder.



Another cozy mystery series worth reading is Chef Maurice Series by J.A. Lang. If you are seeking a culinarian cozy mystery series with a dash of humor, be sure to check out Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle. You won’t be disappointed.




Romancing Mister Bridgerton by the New York Times best-selling author Julia Quinn, is a fun and interesting historical story. This book is the fourth one in a series. If you love Regency novels, be sure not to miss out on this series.




Playing Charlie Cool is a charming romance novel and the third book in the Trager Family Secrets series by the best-selling author, Laurie Boris. A smooth flow, great writing, clever plotting and wonderfully, fleshed-out characters make this book endearing to read.




What would a romantic recommendation reading list be without the author Ellie Campbell? In Meddling With Murder Cathy O’Farrell and her band of Crouch End crazies from Looking for La La are finally back. Cozy mystery readers that are looking for a book with beautifully ridiculous plot elements and a touch of humor will not want to pass up on this series.

A Puzzle to Be Named Later (Puzzle Lady Mysteries) by Parnell Hall

On December 15, 2020; author Parnell Hall died from complications related to the COVID 19 Virus. We at Rabid Readers Reviews extend our sympathy to his family, friends and fans (in which we include ourselves). He is truly missed.

Publication Date: January 17, 2017


A Puzzle to Be Named Later: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall

Puzzle Lady, Cora Felton, is thrilled when baseball player, Matt Greystone, has just been traded to her favourite team invites her to a pool party and she gets to meet Derek Jeter. Of course, when people die and she is called upon to solve a puzzle to solve the case; things gets complicated. 

A Puzzle to be Named Later is the 18th book in the Puzzle Lady Series.



The Puzzle Lady series is a cozy mystery that really doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Parnell Hall, has developed the characters of Cora and her niece, Sherry, naturally over time. If you started in Book 1, by Book 18 you’ve seen a pretty consistent relationship between them, natural change and growth in their lives and know what to expect. That isn’t to say that these novels don’t stand on their own. If we’re honest, because there are no blanks to be filled in with who they are hanging on for the series, we know someone like Cora – headstrong, loads of vices, a bit reckless and never able to admit she might be wrong. She may sound like someone you don’t want to get to know but the humanity Hall lends her character makes her easy to love. And in A Puzzle to be Named Later, as in most books, Cora’s natural curiosity, bullheaded pushiness and sometimes just general luck lead her to be in the middle of just about everything that happens in her little corner of New England.

I’m not even a little bit of a baseball fan and while, it does seem like Hall wrote Cora with someone of his own interests (as the old adage goes, “write what you know”). A Puzzle to be Named Later is a murder mystery. Because the victims died at his party/were found near his home, he is the #1 suspect so Cora is eager to clear him to save her beloved Yankees. There is ALWAYS a puzzle in the mystery. In the case of A Puzzle to be Named Later, the main suspect’s wife gives Cora a puzzle to solve when they return to his hometown so that he can heal after breaking his arm. Readers know that Cora, the Puzzle Lady, is not a puzzle person and the panic it brings with puzzles involved in every story (everyone thinks she’s a puzzle phenom but it’s actually her niece, Sherry, who isn’t always going to cooperate with her) is pretty funny.

The brilliance of Hall’s writing is in his characters and not the construction of the mystery. You may see the ending coming or may not but I assure you, the trip there will be funny. One of my favourite elements is seeing Cora’s influence on Sherry’s toddler daughter. The Puzzle Lady Series is naturally interspersed with crossword puzzles which I never do but I know a lot of readers, like my Dad, enjoy. My Dad loves baseball and really enjoyed this book. He liked the short chapters that make it easy to put down and pick up again. 

Hall, after 18 books in this series (more at the time of this writing) and with another couple series under his belt, is a polished professional. The flow of his writing is engaging and the banter quick, witty and worthy of Lorelai from Gilmore Girls. The Puzzle Lady series is one you will either love or hate; there’s no in between.

Look, these are tough times. I work in an essential business so have still been going to work everyday but lots of us are still at home and (hopefully) suspending our social lives giving us lots of time to read. If you need sunshine in this dreary day, try Parnell Hall, he won’t let you down.


Read an excerpt and buy A Puzzle to Be Named Later (Puzzle Lady Mysteries) by Parnell Hall on

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About Parnell Hall
For more information about Parnell Hall visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, FacebookYouTube and Twitter @parnellhall. Series readers can track his books on FictFact.

Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson

Publication Date: August 26, 2008


Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott DavidsonIn Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson, caterer Goldy Schultz is setting up for a library holiday brunch when she thinks she sees Sandee Brisbane, the woman that killed her husband, in the stacks. The catch is that up until that moment, Goldy and everyone else thought that Sandee was dead. When a former D.A. is found dead, Goldy is pulled into a murder mystery that seems focused on sweet revenge. Sweet Revenge is a mystery novel that includes ten recipes.

Continue reading Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson