Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s on your bookshelf? September edition

September 16, 2022
woybs cohost

Exciting news! My good friend and co-host Joanne Tracey has a new book and I was honoured to be asked to read an advance copy. I’m a huge fan of Jo’s work (and no, not because she is my friend). I’ve even had her as a guest in Season 1 of the Women Living Well Podcast to discuss writing. You can listen to the podcast episode HERE.

Anyway let me introduce you to Philly Barker! This is Jo’s first foray into cozy crime and I absolutely loved Philly and her adventures. If I could give it a 6 star rating I would. It is definitely a genre I enjoy and if you love Midsommer Murders and the like you will love this book. I’ve told Jo there is definitely a television series to be made.

‘Midsommer Murders meets ‘Escape to the Country’ meets ‘Antique Roadshow’.
I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Philly Barker Investigates by Joanne Tracey. Jo is a friend of mine and I have enjoyed all of her books BUT Philly is her best! I’m delighted to see that Jo foray into cozy crime.

Set in the village of Chipwell, Philly Barker has an eye for antiques, the stories they tell and she doesn’t mind a good mystery to solve either. Working in the Chipwell Barn Antiques Centre along with 5 other dealers and her trusty canine side kick Balthazar, Philly turns investigator.

A delightful read, with fun characters who you love to sit with in Ginny’s cafe and enjoy a cuppa from some vintage china, whilst discussing and perusing the antique specialities on offer and their latest ‘find’.

It’s a 5-star rating from me. The story held my interest and I read the book in an afternoon. I love Philly and can’t wait for her next adventure. Will there also be a touch of romance for Philly???

We will have to wait and see.


You can preorder digital copies on all platforms – the links are here – and print copies will be available through your favourite online bookseller after publication.

I couldn’t put this book down and can’t wait until the next Philly Barker Investigates – no pressure Jo. Here are more books written by Jo for you to enjoy.

Angel Falls, Kirstin Hannah – My rating 3 stars

I’ve read several Kirstin Hannah books and enjoyed them. Her epic storytelling keeps me engaged with the story and characters.

Angel Falls was her debut book written in 2000. I can see the evolvement and maturity of her writing having read her later books before this one.

How would you feel if the love of your life had an accident, is in a coma, you discover that they have kept part of their life a secret and when they wake the have no memory of the life you have had together? They only remember the ‘love of their life’ and that isn’t you.

This book promised to be a page turner and to a certain point lived up to my expectations. However, I felt it ‘petered out’ in keeping me engaged.

Kristin explores the anguish of waiting and hoping for a loved one to recover, relationships and what love really means.

A good read especially for a debut novel but I felt something missing in the second half of the book.

Deadly Intent – A Reggie Da Costa Mystery – Laraine Stephens – My rating 5 stars

I was fortunate to receive an advance review copy of Deadly Intent by Laraine Stephens for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Recent flooding exposes a body in a box in a basement…….and so the mystery begins

I love Reggie da Costa such a colourful, flamboyant character in his designer suits and driving a flashy car. I was immediately taken to the 1920s and enjoyed this book immensely. The combination of Australian history combined with a murder mystery makes Deadly Intent a 5 star read.

As an Australian, I was interested to read the historical events during the time the book is set in the early 1920s. Reggie, crime journalist for The Argus, is on the trail of a good story and also to solve a murder with the help of Dotty Wright, a head teacher and with the opposite personality to Reggie, they make a good team. The story is fast paced and I read the book in one day, I couldn’t put it down. A couple of twists to add to the mystery as well.

What have you been reading lately? Why not join us at What’s On Your Bookshelf and share it with us? You can link up your post below.

What’s On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

What's on your bookshelf?

Donna, Jo, Debbie and I are delighted to co-host What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Up. To join us and share what you have been reading, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your book suggestions!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Happy Reading!

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Jo September 16, 2022 at 08:16

    Awwww you’ve made my day! There is another Philly on the way…and I’ll be seeking inspiration from this visit to Yorkshire…

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:18

      OOh I can’t wait. I love Philly and you are on a winner with her. xx

      • Reply Jo September 18, 2022 at 16:12

        Thank you x

  • Reply Debbie September 16, 2022 at 08:47

    Oh I also LOVE Jo’s books and your review here is brilliant Sue! I will be looking for the Reggie da Costa book asap. Thanks for being such a supportive co-host 🙂 xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:18

      I really enjoyed Reggie, Deb and I’ve reminded myself to see if there are any more in the series. xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections September 16, 2022 at 09:40

    Hi, Sue – I too love Jo Tracey’s book and agree that her latest one is 6 stars (out of 5)! Your review of Philly is spot-on — both here and on Goodreads. It made me wish that I had written it myself! 😀

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:19

      I’m so pleased Jo has written Philly, Donna. I truly believe this is a great genre for her and can’t wait for the next Philly to be written. There is definitely a television series in the making here! Thank you for your kind words about my review too – coming from you that means so much. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs September 16, 2022 at 10:02

    How lovely to read your review of your dear friend (and author) Jo Tracey’s book. I think you got up to more reading than I imagined you might in the month of a big house move. Maybe it was your retreat!! Thanks for the lovely link up, Sue, and I will be around to visit everyone’s posts today. Mine, as always, is not keeping to a format of a review…but I hope will be of interest. Denyse

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:21

      I love that you select books that you like Denyse and not be persuaded to just include Fiction. Reading is one of my escapes, Denyse so I made sure I took time out from unpacking boxes to enjoy my hobby. Jo is doing so well and I really want to promote her. Her latest book and Philly are certainly winners. x

  • Reply Toni Pike September 16, 2022 at 15:03

    Hi Sue, Joanne’s book sounds great, and love the cover – what a fabulous review. Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:21

      Thank you Toni, I really enjoy Jo’s books and Philly is a winner! x

  • Reply leannelc September 16, 2022 at 16:24

    What a lovely shout out to Jo and her books. I love that she’s stretching her wings and trying a slightly different genre this time around. She’s so clever!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:22

      Hi Leanne, Jo is so talented and I want to spread the word. I really enjoyed her foray into cozy crime and am looking forward to the next Philly adventure. x

  • Reply Janine September 16, 2022 at 21:20

    I’m looking forward to getting a copy of Jo’s new book when it comes out and the Reggie De Costa book sounds interesting too. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:23

      Hi Janine, I really enjoyed Reggie and especially as it was set in Melbourne. Jo certainly has a winner with Philly and I’m pleased she has taken the cozy crime path. I’m sure you will enjoy both books. x

  • Reply rawsonjl September 16, 2022 at 21:37

    I just pre-ordered Joanne’s book a few minutes ago and can’t wait to read it. I have really loved her books. I enjoy most of Kristin Hannah’s books but I don’t think I’ve read much of her earlier work.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:24

      Hi Joanne, you will love Philly! I’m sure Jo will be thrilled you have pre-ordered her book. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee September 17, 2022 at 06:52

    I didn’t realise Joanne Tracey was writing crime now too. Good for her! And so prolific!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:24

      Hi Lydia, Jo has done a great job writing her cozy crime and I’m sure everyone will love the character, Philly. x

  • Reply Erica/Erika September 17, 2022 at 08:21

    Hi Sue, I have Sept. 28th on my calendar to buy Jo’s book in the nick of time before our Fall camping trip. I love your sentence “if I could give it a 6 star rating…” I agree with you on all of Jo’s books, and I am extra looking forward to this one. I also enjoy Kristin Hannah’s books and I have not read “Angel Falls.” Good point on a debut novel. It is always fun to see what everyone is reading. Hope you are settling in and enjoying family and your new place.xx 💕

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:25

      Hi Erica, Jo has done a great job with Philly Barker and I’m sure you will enjoy her latest book. I stumbled upon ‘Angel Falls’ and didn’t realise it was Kristin Hannah’s first book. We are settling in and can’t believe we have been in our new home for 5 weeks! xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones September 17, 2022 at 08:28

    Hi Sue I’m looking forward to reading Jo’s new book, and more so after your review. I’m a Kristin Hannah fan but haven’t read Angel Falls. It’s now on my list. Thanks for including it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 18, 2022 at 07:26

      Hi Jennifer, I’m sure you will enjoy Jo’s foray into cozy crime and also Philly Barker herself. I stumbled upon Kristin Hannah’s first book and I will be interested to hear your thoughts if you read it. x

  • Reply September 2022 reads – Eat, Play, Live September 18, 2022 at 16:08

    […] On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). […]

  • Reply Janet Alcorn September 19, 2022 at 00:34

    I just added 2 more books to my impossibly long TBR list–thanks! I don’t think I could do Angel Falls though. A few years after my husband and I got married, he sustained a head injury, regained consciousness in the ER, and asked me if we were married. He’d forgotten the last 5 or so years of his life. At least he remembered who I was and that he loved me, but yeah, I don’t want to relive that gut punch.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric September 19, 2022 at 12:50

      Oh Janet I’m so sorry to hear your story and I can definitely understand that Angel Falls would be too close to home to read. xx

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.