Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.
“Will keep you guessing to the end!” —Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author
“A kaleidoscope of perfection, with a feisty heroine, exquisite plot and master storytelling.” —Liz Mugavero, author of the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"They call it The Enigma," said Savannah Webb as she stared up at the dark blue glass structure ballooning out of the Dali Museum.
It stood proud against the warm evening light on the calm waters of Tampa Bay. The square concrete structure contrasted with the huge geodesic bulbous glass windows that oozed from the front of the building around to the other side. It fired the evening with an air of anticipation for a surrealistic experience.
"The building is as much an exhibit as anything inside." Savannah's balance wobbled and she quickly grabbed the arm of her boyfriend Edward Morris. She hadn't worn heels this high since, well, since high school. It was taking a little longer than she expected to find a comfortable stride.
Edward folded her hand securely into the crook of his arm. He lifted his chin as they approached the entrance. He wore the tux his parents had bought him when he'd graduated from University. It had been a good investment. One of the many advantages of growing up British — elegance and frugality traveled comfortably hand in hand.
Savannah relaxed and her balance returned. "Thanks for the arm. Pitching onto the concrete in a face splat is not the way I want to be remembered at this reception."
Edward squeezed her hand. "I'm the lucky one. You look spectacular."
Savannah smiled. Her dress choices had been small. As the owner of the venerable family-owned Webb's Glass Shop, her wardrobe was basically logo shirts with comfortable slacks or jeans. Luckily, this little black dress fit like it was born to party. Using bits of red, orange, and cobalt blue, she had created a statement necklace of kilnformed glass medallions with a matching pair of small button earrings. She had also created a barrette that she'd clipped into her black curly hair.
"The building opened on January 11th, 2011. It's apparently an auspicious date that adds up to a lucky number seven. I wouldn't know, but the museum has been incredibly successful. So, who can say whether that choice was lucky or predisposed to shower the museum with good fortune? Not me."
"It looks like a bunker," said Edward.
"Well, with such a valuable collection inside, eighteen-inch-thick hurricane-proof walls seem like the minimum precaution. I love it — perfectly Dali."
Edward handed the invitation to the uniformed security guard at the members-only reception desk. A name tag declared him to be Lucas Brown, Security Manager. "Thank you for attending the opening reception for our special exhibition." He looked at his display monitor and picked up a bright red Tyvek wristband. "Welcome, Miss Savannah Webb of Webb's Glass Shop." He peeled off the backing and circled it around her left wrist. He looked back at his monitor. "And Mr. Edward Morris, owner of Queen's Head Pub, guest of Ms. Webb." He fastened an orange band around Edward's wrist.
Lucas waved a hand to his left. "Refreshments are being served in the café. The exhibit is on the third floor and the celebrated artist is receiving invited guests in the Community Room. That's the large room behind and to the right of the Gala café." The monitor beeped a message, which he bent over to read. Then he leaned over to Savannah's ear. "You are most particularly requested to meet the artist." He straightened back up. "Make your way through the gift shop and you'll find the circular stairway to the right of the café. The elevators are just beyond the stairway. Please enjoy yourselves!" He smiled briefly and turned to the next guest.
They walked through the extensive gift shop to the café. Edward flagged down a server holding a tray of bubbly flutes. He grabbed two. "Here, luv." He handed her a flute. "I know you love champagne."
Savannah smiled. They clinked glasses and sipped. She licked her lips, then smiled. "Delicious. That's an excellent vintage. They're not stinting on the caliber of the refreshments." She looked at Edward's puzzled frown over the rim of her flute. "It's pretty common to get cheap eats at these exhibits. The artists usually have to buy everything."
They each took a skewer of grilled shrimp from another of the many servers.
"Scrumptious." She grabbed his hand. "Come around to the outside. There's something back there I think you'll appreciate."
They took a left at the café and exited the building through two sets of double doors onto an outdoor space populated by Dali-inspired sculptures. The most prominent was a giant up-curled black mustache with a space in the center for posing.
Savannah pulled on Edward's hand and stopped at an opening in the hedges at the far back of the property. "This is it."
"Is this a maze?" He looked at the entrance with his arms out wide as if to hug the world. "I love them."
"I know. I can't believe you didn't know this was here." She smiled and stepped into the graveled pathway on her tiptoes to prevent her heels from sinking into the sandy soil below the thin layer of gravel. "Come on. The party can wait a few minutes."
It took less than five minutes of curving loops and whirls to make their way to the central circle of the maze. Edward pulled her into his arms for a warm kiss. "Thank you. I enjoyed my surprise."
"I know these things are popular in Europe, but pretty rare here." She had given him a key to her house last month. Since her father's murder, she was finding it hard to commit to a permanent live-in relationship. "We need to get —" She screeched and began to fall. Edward caught her around the waist and lifted her up to extract her heels from the soft ground.
"Those delicious shoes are a hazard to your ankles in this footing. I'll have you back in a jiff."
"No need." Savannah wiggled herself out of his grasp and carefully onto the path. "I think I stepped on something. I'm fine now." She straightened her dress and looked down on the path. "There it is. That's what tripped me." She bent and picked up a cardboard hamburger container. "This is a strange place to eat fast food. Who would do something like this? I'll put it in the trash can inside."
"Speaking of inside, we need to get going," said Edward.
They returned to the building, and Savannah tossed the wrapper into the first waste can she saw. They replaced their empty flutes with fresh champagne then climbed the white spiral stairway to the third floor and entered the main exhibit hall reserved for visiting collections. A ten-foot-tall freestanding banner announced the exhibit with a picture of Dennis Lansing beside a tall, bloodred, heart-shaped vessel etched with scribbled writing and images of lilacs and daffodils.
Edward stood in front of the banner. "What an unusual combination. My mother is fascinated with the Victorian secret language of flowers. She would know what they mean."
"That's a thing?" asked Savannah. "Really? Explain."
He grimaced. "Ugh! Mum gave me this lecture frequently. She couldn't fathom that I might not be interested. You might as well have the short version. History relates that during the reign of Queen Victoria, the language of flowers was as important to people as being well dressed. For example, the recognizable scent of a specific flower sent its own unique message. Flowers adorned almost everything ... hair, clothing, jewelry, gowns, men's lapels, home décor and china, and stationery, to name a few. A young man could either please or displease a lady by his gift of flowers. They had a silent meaning of their very own, and could 'say' what was not dared to be spoken."
The exhibit space was filled with about thirty glass vessels, each resting on a tall white pillar standing about four feet high. Overhead track lighting illuminated the glass from several angles to show off the deep colors and highlight the intricate etchings. Savannah tucked her hand into Edward's arm as they walked slowly through the exhibit. It seemed a little intrusive to overhear the quiet crowd admiring and commenting on Dennis's skill and talent.
When they were approaching the last of the pieces, Savannah saw a familiar-looking fiftyish woman in a plain black cotton shirtwaist standing in front of the large red glass vessel. "Mrs. Lansing? Do you remember me? I'm Savannah Webb. I knew Dennis from St. Petersburg High School."
"My goodness. Yes, I remember you." The small lady's bright blue eyes lit up her warm smile. She grasped Savannah's hand with both of hers. "Savannah, it's wonderful to see you here. I do so wish that things had worked out differently between you and Dennis. It would have made such a difference." Her phone pinged from within a pearl evening bag. She slipped it out and her face stiffened. "Oh, excuse me. I should have been downstairs by now. I've dawdled among the display pieces for too long, again. Dennis's wife will be annoyed." She left and they watched her hurrying down the spiral staircase.
Edward tilted his head and raised his eyebrows. "I am beginning to suspect that you have a certain history with this artist. Am I right?
"Yes, but it was a long time ago. I was a freshman in high school. We dated for a few weeks."
"So, here in the States, as a freshman, you would have been about fourteen?"
"Yes, I was fourteen. It was at the very beginning of the school year. It will be nice to catch up with him and his career." She leaned in closer to look at the red vessel that was featured in all the promotional materials advertising the exhibit. It contained an etched image of a note in rounded loopy handwriting. Savannah straightened up quickly. That was her handwriting! Dennis had included one of her childish love notes in his featured artwork. She felt a warm flush grow from her throat to her ears.
"What's wrong?" Edward slipped an arm around her waist. "Has the champagne gone to your head already?"
She ran a hand through her curls and smiled weakly. "Yes, that must be it. I've only had two small glasses. We'd better do our meet and greet before I become insensible."
"That's not likely. You're too strong minded for that."
They left the gallery and made their way to the ground floor.
Savannah slipped her hand through Edward's arm. "I think we'd better get into the receiving line. I want to tell Dennis how much I enjoyed his exhibit and how much I appreciate his support of my etching class."
Edward placed his hand over hers and they walked to the entrance of the community room. The chatter from inside was spilling out into the hallway. There were only a few people in line.
"Savannah! Savannah Webb, is that you?" said a trim man with a red cummerbund and matching red bowtie in an expertly fitted tux. "I haven't seen you since I graduated. You'd just finished freshman ... maybe sophomore year. It's Charles." He shook her free hand like a pump handle. He stepped back and looked her up and down. "You've grown up. Definitely up." He smiled. "I'm still on the short side. You remember me. Don't you? I'm Charles King."
Savannah scanned the craggy face and tried to age it back ten years. Nothing. "I don't seem to recall."
"I was a friend of our famous artist here. I used to see you at Webb's Glass Shop when your dad was running that apprentice program. Surely, you remember?" Savannah smiled and shook her head. "I'm trying. I think I remember a Chuck, but he was ... well, he was a big guy."
"Absolutely me. I was a big guy back then. Huge. Obese, even. Yeah. "He patted his slim waist with both hands. "I got that fixed when I decided to go into politics." He turned to Edward and pumped his hand while slapping him on the shoulder. "So, you're the lucky one who has captured our lovely Savannah's heart. I'm Charles King, your state representative up in Tallahassee. Yep, I'm a local boy done good. I hear good things about Queen's Head Pub. Nice to meet you. Too bad you can't vote. I have an election coming up soon. Are you going to apply for citizenship?"
Savannah snapped her fingers. "I've got it! You were a couple years ahead of me. I remember now that you were a close friend of Dennis's." She turned to Edward. "Dad and I attended the commencement ceremony that year because of that apprentice program that Dad established."
"Good girl!" Charles looked behind them and nodded to another guest. "I'll come by the shop to see you this week. It'll be good to catch up. Excuse me, I must speak to a major party supporter over there." He disappeared in a half run to greet a man and wife in elegant evening wear.
Savannah shuddered. "Ugh. I remember now that he was exactly that overbearing when he was our student council president. It was a testament to his persuasive powers that we would elect the fat boy over the football star."
"I know. Politically incorrect," said Savannah. "But he was quite the organizer. Ugh! Will high school ever be over? I didn't like it at the time, and I have few fond memories."
"Wise girl." Edward immediately responded with, "Oops, sorry. I didn't mean to call you a girl. I know that makes you angry ... but in my defense, everyone does it."
Savannah's voice tightened. "It doesn't make it right. I'm no one's girl. I'm a woman fully grown." She tapped a pointed finger into his chest. With her three-inch heels, she stood taller than their equal six-foot height and she was enjoying the temporary advantage. "Remember that."
"Sorry, sorry, sorry." Edward chuckled. "Remember, I'm still a work in progress. British girls — young women, I mean — are quite different. They seem to be on a suicide mission to be more like bad lads for rude behavior. I am sorry."
Savannah closed her eyes then opened them again. "You're forgiven. I'm sorry for being so prickly. I'm glad that you know that about me." She downed the rest of her champagne and Edward placed both flutes on the tray of the nearest server passing by.
"Let's get in line to meet Dennis. I think he'll recognize me. I haven't seen him since graduation either."
"Same year as State Congressman Hot Air?" "Funny, funny. You know I've watched that television program, MP Minutes on BBC America. You Brits have some clowns, too. Both our countries appear to lack for any kind of qualified political leadership, let alone a true visionary. An absence of ethics and brains seems to be the perfect formula to be a successful politician. That certainly describes Chuck."
A tap on her arm caused Savannah to turn to see Betty Lansing standing at her elbow smiling up to her. "Savannah, I didn't mean to be so abrupt in the exhibit hall upstairs. I'm glad we can talk a bit more. You have bloomed into a beautiful woman. I remember your father fondly. In fact, we were good friends while Dennis was in the apprentice program, but after Dennis graduated, your dad and I drifted apart. He was so focused on you and his glass business, I didn't have a chance."
Savannah eyed Edward and mouthed help. She turned back and took the woman's hand in both of hers. "Of course, I remember your visits. You talked to my dad for hours about Dennis's progress. Dennis was one of the first students to turn his life around." She turned to Edward. "This is my friend, Edward Morris. He owns the restaurant pub next door to the glass shop. You remember that old gas station? It was converted about ten years ago into a bar. Edward added a commercial kitchen and a passel of talented chefs."
Betty's eyes narrowed. "Yes, I think I recall, but my memory isn't as good as it used to be and I don't really get about very much now. Anyway, I'll let you young folks be. It was nice to see you." She turned away back toward the Gala café.
"I remember her exactly like that — nice — and then she would disappear."
"So I'm a 'friend'?" Edward air quoted the word friend.
"Please, don't read anything into what I say. I've had the dreaded second glass of champagne. It whips my words into a swirling mess. Beer doesn't do that to me. I need to stick to beer."
"Fat chance," said Edward. "Relax. Enjoy this."
They joined the short reception line to greet the featured artist of the new glass exhibition. Dennis Lansing wasn't wearing a tuxedo. Instead, he wore a unique Dali-like navy silk suit with an outlandish tie and beside him stood a woman dressed as a perfect replica of Dali's wife Gala.
Gala was famous for wearing the latest avant-garde couture designs to the eclectic performances that Dali arranged for the display of his latest paintings. It spoke of an incredibly confident persona to pull off the Gala impression so well.
The line moved quickly. Most of the attendees seemed to be sponsors and Dali Museum members with no real connection to the artist.
Excerpted from "Etched in Tears"
Copyright © 2017 Cheryl Hollon.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Etched in Tears is an engaging book that includes a mystery and fascinating information about the craft of glass etching. It centers on Savannah Webb, owner of Webb's Glass Shop and Webb's Glass Studio, who is hired by the St. Petersburg, Florida Police Department as a consultant on the murder of Dennis Lansing, a glass artist who was an apprentice at Savannah's late father's glass shop (as well as her first high school boyfriend), at his exhibition at the famous Dali Museum. The title wonderfully describes the atmosphere of the book where Savannah finds herself at a bit of a crossroads between making her father's business her own, an old high school love, and her current boyfriend, Edward. The mystery of Dennis Lansing's death is intricate and certainly kept me guessing and re-guessing as I progressed through the book. Cheryl Hollon has brought back characters from the earlier books in this series, introduced some new ones, and they are all well-written and integral to the story. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the Dali Museum, and the beautiful cover illustration. I found my reading of this book went very quickly, as I tried to guess the "who's" and "why's" of the mystery, and the ending was very satisfying. Although this book is the fourth in the Webb's Glass Shop Mysteries, it can definitely stand on its own, and does not contain any spoilers to the earlier books. Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the author, and all the above thoughts and opinions are my own.
Etched in Tears by Cheryl Hollon is the fourth book in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. Savannah Webb is attending the opening of Dennis Lansing’s show at the Dali Museum with her boyfriend, Edward Morris. They barely get to greet the artist when he is whisked away by the museum director, Gina Wilkins. The next day Savannah is visited by Officer Joy Williams and discovers that Dennis was found murdered outside the Dali Museum with a letter from her deceased father, John Webb in his pocket. Dennis’ mother, Betty requests that Savannah discover the identity of her son’s killer. Savannah has her hands full with the shop, studio, and a special order for the Vinoy Hotel. But, Dennis was her first boyfriend. So, with the help of her friends, Savannah cracks down to uncover Dennis’ killer. Will an old fear hinder Savannah in capturing the culprit? Etched in Tears may be the fourth book in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series, but it can be read alone. Everything the reader needs to know is in the book. I found the mystery to be easy to read, nicely written and to have a good pace/flow. The author has a lovely writing style that enables to read to become immersed into the story. It was fascinating to read about various methods of glass etching (sand etching sounds messy). I enjoy the characters in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. They are entertaining and I like how they interact (and work together). I was happy to see Savannah and Jacob develop (personal growth) in Etched in Tears. I am giving Etched in Tears 4 out of 5 stars. The mystery was interesting, and I believe many readers will not immediately figure out the murderer’s identity. I particularly liked how the clues were incorporated into the story (working with the theme of the book). It was clever how she incorporated the enigma machine (such a fascinating instrument). It is interesting to read a book that is set nearby and I appreciate how the author incorporated local history. The author’s description of Dali’s green bench brought it to life in my mind. I have to admit to chuckling over a particular sentence regarding politicians (political leadership) in our country (spot on). I am eager to read more books in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series.
Enjoyed the storyline and the characters. I would recommend this book and the author..
Savannah's first boyfriend, Dennis Lansing, is having his own show at the museum but before they get a chance to talk, Dennis is whisked away by the museum director. The next thing Savannah knows is that Dennis has been found murdered in the museum garden. The police dept. asks Savannah to help with the art interface of the investigation and the more Savannah looks at Dennis' art, the more she is drawn to the apprentice program that her father had run and which Dennis had been a member. The mystery and characters are well drawn and the solution evident if the reader picks up all the clues, but the clues are well hidden. Looking forward to the next one!
Cheryl Hollon’s Etched in Tears Savannah Webb’s first boyfriend and kiss is having a showing of his glass works at the Dali Museum. Dennis Lansing had been one of the first in a group of apprentices in a program her father had started for troubled teenagers back in their high school days. Dennis did his apprenticeship with Mr Webb in the glass shop then went on to become a notable glass artist. Following his show, Dennis is found dead on a bench in the museum’s garden. Was his death due to his poor health or did something sinister happen? In Dennis’s pocket was a letter to Savannah’s father. Therefore Savannah is hired as a consultant. The characters were well defined, realistic and relatable. There were a variety of suspects making the plot intriguing. Murder, homeless vets, past lives uncovered, clues hidden in glass, trust funds, code breaking, complications with Edward, Snowy, the cat and Rooney, the dog plus interesting twists and turns, humor and a touch of romance to the story. Learning about the glass-blowing techniques will hold your interest. There is a glossary at the end of the book that helps with the terms and explanations of the techniques used through the book. This is book # 4 in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. It can be read as a stand alone. I volunteered to read Etched in Tears. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read this book. My opinion is my own.
This is an excellent addition to the Webb's Glass Shop series! It is wonderful to see the growth in Savannah and Jacob and I can see a lot of potential for them in future books. I also enjoy the secondary characters and how each of them has strengths that they bring to help solve the murder. In this book Savannah's first boyfriend is found dead after his big opening night exhibit at the Dali Museum and at first it is unclear whether it is from natural causes or if it is a murder. I like the natural progression of the mystery as well as the descriptions of the classes and projects involving Webb's Glass Shop. This book was very entertaining and kept me interested in the outcome of the murder. I can't wait to see what happens next for Savannah and her friends! I would like to thank Cheryl Hollon and the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for a copy of this book. This did not have any bearing on my review.
Etched in Tears is the fourth book in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series by Cheryl Hollon. I have read them all, but you can read this book as a stand alone. Savannah Webb is attending the opening of Dennis Lansing’s show at the Dali Museum with her boyfriend, Edward Morris. Savannah received the invitation because she and Dennis had dated in high school. He was also one of the first apprentices in the program started by her father to help troubled youth. They do not get much time to visit at the opening, but have arranged for a lunch as well as a visit to one of her etching classes. Dennis has found a way to etch notes and letters into his projects. Unfortunately before they meet again, Dennis is found dead in the garden of the museum. The police as Savannah for help when they find a letter from her deceased father in Dennis' pocket. She has a lot going on with a special order, issues with Edward wanting to move their relationship to the next level, a problem with her taxes as well as her classes and studio, but Dennis was her first boyfriend. So, with the help of her friends, Savannah takes the time to investigate and finally go through her father's old records. Will they find the culprit? How does an enigma machine play into this story? Will Savannah and Edward be able to ride out the latest turmoil in their relationship? Once again I flew through this story. Cheryl Hollon writes a mystery that is interesting, has a great plot and is easy to read. Her descriptions of the art work (i.e. the Green Bench at the museum), the museum itself, the methods used in her classes etc. enabled you to picture what she was talking about. The characters are such great friends and so well developed, it seems like I know them by now. I love how the character of Jacob (he has aspergers) is trying new things and feeling more confident with the glass shop, his customer service and working with others. Savannah and Edward's relationship is easy to relate to. Again, it is not rushed and he is able to understand her hesitation, although he is not giving up. The mystery itself was not the easiest to solve. I did figure it out before the reveal, but I really liked how the clues were dealt in the story and how the use of glass was so important to the mystery. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers as well as those who are interested in glass art and who live or visit in the St. Petersburg area. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Etched In Tears is the fourth in the Webb's Glass Shop series by Cheryl Hollon. It was fun to visit with Savannah and her friends at the glass shop once more. She and her British neighborhood pub owner/boyfriend, Edward Morris, are in the uncomfortable stage of taking the next step in their relationship-uncomfortable in that he's ready to take the next step but she isn't quite there. They attend a gala at the Dali Museum celebrating a glass exhibit of her first boyfriend, Dennis Lansing. Dennis was an apprentice working with her father while Savannah and Dennis were in high school. The apprentice program was started in part by John, Savannah's dad, for troubled teens. The teens spent part of the day at school and worked the rest of the day under business people mentoring them-people like John. Dennis was in a gang that was into drugs and other activities. But he turned his life around and was an up and coming star in the glass arts community. He was, that is, until he was found dead in the garden of the museum the morning after the gala. Savannah is asked by the police detectives Parker and Williams to consult on the investigation because of her experience in the glass business and knack for solving murders. So once more the gang that includes glass shop manager, Amanda, apprentice Jacob, Edward and Savannah set out with the police to find who killed Dennis. Could it be a former gang member? Maybe his unhappy wife? The evasive museum director? A homeless person sleeping in the garden? Or a member of the museum security? Maybe a clue can be found in John's employee files of apprentices that he hired. But, once more, they have to decode the files because John always put things in code because he was paranoid of who might get hold of them. This is another great mystery to solve with lots of interesting information about the glass arts. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Etched In Tears is the fourth book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. Another exciting story for this excellent and informative series. Savannah is excited that she and Edward a gala event at the Dali Museum for the up and coming glass artist, Dennis Lansing. She had had one date with Dennis when they were in high school but had lost contact with him shortly thereafter. Dennis was one of the first in Savannah’s father’s apprentice program which formed to take at-risk teens and turn them into responsible citizens. Just as Savannah and Edward are being introduced to Lansing, Gina Wilkins, the director of the museum, whisk him away to meet with a State Representative, Charles King. Just before he was whisked away, Dennis told Savannah that he had something to show her, but she didn’t get to see what it might be. The next morning Savannah get a phone call from Det. Joy Williams asking Savannah to meet her and Det. Parker at the museum as the dead body of Dennis has been found on a bench in the garden of the museum. The police want to know her connection with the deceased as in a pocket he had a letter from Savannah’s father. As Savannah has helped Parker and Williams with other cases that center around her area of expertise, they ask that she once again work as a consultant with the case of Dennis Lansing. There seems to be no shortage of suspects as Savannah, Edward her assistant Amanda and her young apprentice, Jacob begins the search for the killer. What seems to be the most difficult task is given to Jacob who has the uncanny ability to reason through difficult tasks and make it seem so simple. Mr. Webb used an enigma machine to code sensitive/confidential material. The personnel records have all been encoded and Jacob needs to learn what code was used so they can be decoded and possibly help lead to the killer. In the meantime, Amanda, Edward, and Savannah will be looking into why Gina Wilkins is so afraid to share a list of people at the gala and tapes from the security cameras for the museum. They are also looking to Chief of Security Lucas Brown who seems to bend over backward to help the police. They begin to wonder if he wants to find out how much the police know or is just being overly helpful. Lansing wife will also come under close scrutiny as she doesn’t seem to be all that upset that her husband is dead. Hollon once again provides the reader with a well-plotted and told story with an interesting cast of characters. The author has also provided a glossary of terms for those readers who might be unfamiliar with etching in glass. Eagerly awaiting the next book in this enjoyable and informative series.
I received a free copy of this book through netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. Etched in tears is the fourth book in the Webb's Glass Shop Mystery series. I really enjoyed the first 3 books and was eager to dive back into this series. Etched in tears was a great installment in this series. It had a good mystery, we see the familiar characters again and it was just all around a great read. Etched in Tears starts with an art exhibition that Savannah is attending, not long afterward the artist is found dead. Savannah knew him and because of the art connection she is asked to consult for the police. The mystery was very well done. At first it seemed difficult to really make sure who was a suspect in this case. Then slowly more people became possible suspects. Eventually I decided on who I thought was the suspect and I was happy when my guess turned out to be correct. I liked how the mystery progressed and how everyone was involved in solving it. We not only get the point of view of Savannah, but also some chapters from the police officers their point of view. I think this really added something and I liked getting to know those characters a bit better as well. It's fun how Savannah works closely together with the police and it's obvious the police are also doing their work. They nicely complement each other with Savannah focusing on the art angle and the police doing a lot of the rest. I am really happy the police seem so competent in this series and do their part in the investigation as well. It's great to spend some time with all the by now familiar characters again. Jacob, Amanda and Edward all are present again and I liked how they all helped with the mystery. It's a great group to read about, with each having their own personality and we see them develop a bit as well as the series progresses. There's also a side plot line about the shop and classes going on as well and it was all nicely woven together. There is enough focus on the mystery, but we also get a feel for how things are going with the store. The romance between Savannah and Edward also progresses and they hit a bit of struggle in their relationship. While the romance is a pretty minor side plot line, I do like seeing it progress and develop in each book. I felt their struggles and troubles were realistic and I also liked it never got blown up or led to much drama. I liked it when a romance is part of a cozy mystery like this. Edward and Savannah make for a nice couple. To summarize: all in all this was another great read in this series and I was sad when I reached the end. The mystery was a good one. At first it focused mainly on the investigation and then slowly more and more suspects popped up. I eventually guessed who the murderer was and it turned out I was correct. The mystery progressed in a way that kept you guessing with more clues slowly surfacing. I liked seeing this familiar group of side characters again. The chapters from the police officers their point of view were a nice addition. I also liked how the romance made for a nice side plot line and their struggles felt realistic. It was a great read and this is easily one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I am already looking forward to the next book!
Etched in Tears by Cheryl Hollon is a fantastic addition to the series. Savannah Webb is getting more interesting in each book and I enjoy watching her come out of her shell. Having her first boyfriend back in town for an art exhibit should be an exciting time for Savannah. Sadly it turns gruesome when Dennis Lansing is found dead, either by natural causes or foul play. Savannah struggles with her feelings and this prompts the the students and friends of Webb's Glass Shop to put their heads together and find the truth. Dennis was an apprentice at the glass shop a few years back, so Savannah and her friends begin digging into the past, a task which turns out to be more difficult than it seems. Before they can begin to unravel the secrets, they have to decode all the apprentice files, not an easy job since John Webb was a master cryptographer. Relying mostly on Jacob, her apprentice, to work out the codes, Savannah and her boyfriend Edward must work quickly to uncover the truth. Fans of this series will be delighted in the fast paced mystery which releases on November 28th. I voluntarily read and ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.