Blog Tour – Treble at the Jam Fest – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.

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4.5 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Treble at the Jam Fest by Leslie Budewitz! Treble at the Jam Fest is the fourth book in the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz and it’s just as good, if not better than the three before it!

I apologize for the delay, I got my dates mixed up and thought this post was to go up tomorrow, the 11th!

Book Cover: Treble at the Jam Fest - A Food Lovers' Village Mystery by Leslie Budewitz - background has a country music stage with guitars, double bass, and drum set - Foreground has a table with jam for sale, a pitcher of lemonade and two cats sitting on the ground

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Synopsis

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

line of canning jars on a shelf - cans of fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and apples. Vegetable jars like peas and squash.
© Graphic Garden

Review

I really enjoyed this latest installment of the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series. I love the main characters anyway. I find that even tho’ Erin can’t stop herself from asking questions and talking to people and getting herself in danger, she’s not doing things haphazardly. She thinks about what she’s doing and if she thinks it’s going to be dangerous, she gets someone to go with her most of the time. Adam’s wonderful and I enjoyed meeting his friend, Tanner, in this book. I hope we’re able to see more of him!

The settings in these books always make me think that maybe I want to move to Montana. Then I come to my senses and remember that I’m very much at home right here in Michigan! The settings are always exquisitely described and yet, they’re not overly flowery descriptions. They’re just right for the series.

The plot line moved along steadily and was fun. I enjoyed both the mystery plot and the sub-plot in this installment. I did not know who the villain really was until the end when it was revealed. I had wondered about the person a couple of times, but I was never certain. The prose flowed well and everything was well-written.

I highly recommend this book and the rest of the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz. Read them all, you’ll not be disappointed!

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this title. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

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Thank you for joining me today on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Treble at the Jam Fest by Leslie Budewitz! Click on the banner below to be taken to the tour page where you can find links to the rest of the sites on the tour!

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Strange Fruit – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars

Strange Fruit by Gary Golio (author) and Charlotte Riley-Webb (Illustrator) is an absolutely wonderful picture book about Billie Holiday’s famous song with the same title.

*** UPDATE: I’m happy to report that I have since seen a copy of the physical book and the font used and the size of the words is much easier to read that way! Yay! ***

Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday & the Power of a Protest Song by Gary Golio (author) and Charlotte Riley-Webb (illustrator) book cover - Brilliantly colored painting with Billie Holiday singing and being accompanied by musicians

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Line of music - 2/4 tempo with 1 flat and several accidentals in the music

Brief Synopsis

This picture book for older readers tells the story of how the racism protest song “Strange Fruit” came into being in 1939. This is also the story of two outsiders – Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants – whose combined talents created a truly unforgettable song. (Source: Goodreads)

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Review

The first thing you notice in this book are the illustrations. They are vibrant and seemingly leap from the pages. They’re sort of brash and crazy, but they’re absolutely beautiful and just right for this book. I’m not sure of the medium. They appear to be either oil paint or pastels. Perhaps even oil pastels. Whatever was used, the broad strokes and vibrant colors combine just perfectly.

The story line of the book is well told and moves along at a decent pace. The prose is well written and it’s definitely a story that deserves to be, even needs to be told. It’s not a real nice story as far as “happy ever after” and making you smile all the way through, but it’s a needed story and a well written one. It will make you think. It may cause difficult discussions between you and any children you read it with, but it’s an important story to tell and an important piece of history (and unfortunately, to a point, part of current events as well) that needs to be discussed.

The only reason this picture book did not get 5 stars from me is because I felt that at times, the text was difficult to read because of the vibrant illustrations and the small font used. Now, I did read this book as an eBook and not in print format. Perhaps it is easier to read the text in the print format. Other than that small issue, this book is phenomenal and I highly recommend it to everyone. Those who are fans of Billie Holiday will certainly appreciate it, but I believe that it’s a great book for everyone, not just those who are fans.

*** I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

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About the Author and Illustrator

Gary Golio is an artist and acclaimed picture book author. His Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow was a New York Times bestseller.

Charlotte Riley-Webb, a professional visual artist with a career that spans more than 40 years, resides in the Atlanta area.

Line of musical instruments including violin, trumpet, and flute