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The Coloring Crook

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Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color! Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She's working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore's weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color! Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She's working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore's weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member is more vibrant than Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly likes to say she was blessed with beauty and cursed with lousy husbands, but at least she has a grown daughter and a stunning brownstone to show for it! When Dolly's love of garage sales results in her showing up at Color Me Read with a rare book in hand, Florrie is astounded. The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was first published in 1760. An original copy would be worth a fortune--and someone else knows it. That same evening, Florrie finds Dolly dead on the floor of her apartment, a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. As Florrie delves into Dolly's past and her personal effects, she discovers a skeleton in the closet--literally--and a whole lot of shady suspects. One of them is an expert in the fine art of murder, but can Florrie draw the right conclusion?


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Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color! Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She's working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore's weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color! Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She's working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore's weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member is more vibrant than Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly likes to say she was blessed with beauty and cursed with lousy husbands, but at least she has a grown daughter and a stunning brownstone to show for it! When Dolly's love of garage sales results in her showing up at Color Me Read with a rare book in hand, Florrie is astounded. The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was first published in 1760. An original copy would be worth a fortune--and someone else knows it. That same evening, Florrie finds Dolly dead on the floor of her apartment, a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. As Florrie delves into Dolly's past and her personal effects, she discovers a skeleton in the closet--literally--and a whole lot of shady suspects. One of them is an expert in the fine art of murder, but can Florrie draw the right conclusion?

30 review for The Coloring Crook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second book in the cozy Pen & Ink Mysteries series. This series has the unique set up of the protagonist being an artist who draws adult coloring books so to celebrate that the publisher has made the cover of hard copies a drawing to be colored in by the reader. Each book in this series does have it’s own contained mystery to be solved so books may be read out of order if choosing. There of course is character building carried over story to story though s The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second book in the cozy Pen & Ink Mysteries series. This series has the unique set up of the protagonist being an artist who draws adult coloring books so to celebrate that the publisher has made the cover of hard copies a drawing to be colored in by the reader. Each book in this series does have it’s own contained mystery to be solved so books may be read out of order if choosing. There of course is character building carried over story to story though so reading in order is always the best option. In the first book readers were introduced to Florrie Fox who by day manages the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. and in her off time draws for adult coloring books. Florrie has settled into her new life and has even started a new romance. The bookstore has been booming and Florrie has made plenty of friends with the bookstore’s coloring club. One of the club’s members shows up with a rare find that would be worth a fortune but when she’s found dead the next day Florrie suspects foul play and will do anything to find out what happened to her friend. The Pen & Ink Mysteries have returned readers to the unique and wonderful characters and setting from the first book of the series. As much as I loved the creativity of the cover of the books the stories inside have also been fun to read too. There’s again plenty of suspects to keep a reader guessing through the mystery to go along with the fun setting and characters so I’ll be sure to be back to this series in the future. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Florrie Fox is happy. She is working a Color Me Read where she has started a coloring book club. She looks over and sees coloring books she has created on the shelves. She is working on one now featuring beautiful gardens. Her relationship with Sergeant Eric Jonquille is entering a new phase, and she has settled in nicely to her boss John Maxwell’s guest house. In The Coloring Crook, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the coloring book group, takes Florrie to an estate sale. Later Do Dollycas’s Thoughts Florrie Fox is happy. She is working a Color Me Read where she has started a coloring book club. She looks over and sees coloring books she has created on the shelves. She is working on one now featuring beautiful gardens. Her relationship with Sergeant Eric Jonquille is entering a new phase, and she has settled in nicely to her boss John Maxwell’s guest house. In The Coloring Crook, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the coloring book group, takes Florrie to an estate sale. Later Dolly comes into the bookstore showing off one of her purchases. A very rare coloring book, which Florrie does her best to authenticate. This book could be worth a fortune. Dolly makes a HUGE mistake by touting her amazing purchase on social media. People start coming out of the woodwork wanting to buy this book, including the woman who sold the book at the estate sale. Florrie stops by Dolly’s home after work and finds poor Dolly on the floor dead with a piece of a page of the 1760 coloring book in her hand. The rest of the book is missing. The police believe she died of natural causes but Florrie believes it was clearly murder. She feels responsible for not warning Dolly to keep her prize safe and secret until it could be sold through a reputable party. She decides to do a little sleuthing on her own and she makes some surprising discoveries. She also has compiled a good list of suspects. When the police finally get on board she thinks their suspect is being set up. She must be right because now she has a target on her back. Because we share a name, this Dolly immediately had a soft spot for Dolly Cavanaugh. We have a few things in common but I am very close to my children and have one wonderful husband. I do like a good garage sale find and am enjoying the adult coloring book craze. I was sorry she had to be the victim but I loved that story the evolved from her death. The book had a perfect pace and was well-written. The characters were very engaging and developed. The author has taken the core characters in a very pleasing direction. The story was complex with more than one mystery to solve. Ms. Davis did take a few legal sidesteps with no will being produced or read while Dolly’s daughter started disposing of her mother’s belongings and was giving tenants notice because she was selling the house very quickly. The case was still open and one new discovery should have stopped her actions in their tracks. That aside I truly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next book. The author informs readers that the coloring book referenced in her story, The Florist is real and that one of the copies is at the Peter F. Raven Library/Missouri Botanical Gardens. So short of a lengthy road trip I just had to look the book up online and found several pages. You can check out pictures here. I love reading fiction stories where I can learn something too. This book can be read on its own but I recommend starting with Color Me Murder. Both books have covers ready for you to color.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    The Georgetown bookstore Florrie Fox manages has added a weekly coloring group, and Florrie has enjoyed getting to know the regulars. One of them, Dolly Cavanaugh, also enjoys bargain hunting at estate sales, and one week she comes in excited about her latest find, a copy of The Florist, a rare adult coloring book from the 1700's. However, later that night, Florrie finds Dolly dead with a corner of a piece of paper in her hand. That's all that can be found of book Dolly just bought. As secrets b The Georgetown bookstore Florrie Fox manages has added a weekly coloring group, and Florrie has enjoyed getting to know the regulars. One of them, Dolly Cavanaugh, also enjoys bargain hunting at estate sales, and one week she comes in excited about her latest find, a copy of The Florist, a rare adult coloring book from the 1700's. However, later that night, Florrie finds Dolly dead with a corner of a piece of paper in her hand. That's all that can be found of book Dolly just bought. As secrets begin to come to light, Florrie is left to wonder how well she really knew Dolly. Was the book the motive for Dolly's murder? Or did a secret from her past catch up with her? I was charmed by the first in the series, and I enjoyed this one just as much. The setting may be a neighborhood in the Washington DC area, but by sticking to the neighborhood, it still feels like a traditional cozy setting. And what a setting! I'd love to spend hours browsing in this bookstore. Florrie is a great lead character, and she heads up a cast of equally fun characters. It's hard to picture most of them as killers, in fact. The plot is filled with twists and complications. I began to suspect a few things, but I still had huge gaps I hadn’t figured out before I got to the end. I do feel the ending was a bit rushed, and a few things got glossed over as a result, but that's my only issue with the book. As with the first, the cover can be colored, and there are five recipes at the end. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis was a light, easy read, just what I needed after a rather intense week. It is filled with easy to like characters, a charming setting and several mysteries to untangle. The primary mystery revolves around who killed Dolly, and as the story progresses the other mysteries begin to surface. This is the classic definition of a cozy mystery. There is a murder, with little emphasis on blood, guts and gore. The primary protagonist is Florrie, bookstore manager, with The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis was a light, easy read, just what I needed after a rather intense week. It is filled with easy to like characters, a charming setting and several mysteries to untangle. The primary mystery revolves around who killed Dolly, and as the story progresses the other mysteries begin to surface. This is the classic definition of a cozy mystery. There is a murder, with little emphasis on blood, guts and gore. The primary protagonist is Florrie, bookstore manager, with help and encouragement from her policeman boyfriend and a group of friends who gather at the bookstore for regular coloring sessions. I enjoyed getting to know the various characters and reading about a bookstore where I might like to spend time. There are a few recipes included in this book, which you will also find in Krista Davis’ Domestic Divas series. In this series, one of Florrie’s stress reliefs is baking and after the book some of these are included. They look interesting and might appeal to someone who wanted to try some new dessert recipes. While the characters and setting were entertaining, I found the overall story to be a little contrived. The way almost everyone in the book is revealed to be connected to someone else in the book as well as the murder victim was a bit unrealistic. Still, it was entertaining to read, and easy to not concentrate on how unlikely all the connections would be in real life. It is a book of fiction, and as such is entertaining when you want to give your brain something it doesn’t have to work hard to resolve. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light, relaxing read. This is the second book in a series, but is totally self-contained and I did not feel at a disadvantage because I hadn’t read the first in the series. If you’re looking for lots of tension and some serious crime fighting this book may not be for you. It is a perfect addition, however, for the dedicated cozy reader. My thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an Advance Digital Copy. The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chatting About

    Florrie Fox manages a bookstore in Washington, D.C. and is an adult coloring book artist. When her friend Dolly shows her a rare first edition coloring book she found at an estate sale, Florrie unwittingly becomes a target when the estate wants the valuable book back plus international buyers seek to find the book, also. Dolly hid her precious find before someone killed her. More than one mystery is skillfully blended into this plot and the pace is steady and absorbing. The author has outdone her Florrie Fox manages a bookstore in Washington, D.C. and is an adult coloring book artist. When her friend Dolly shows her a rare first edition coloring book she found at an estate sale, Florrie unwittingly becomes a target when the estate wants the valuable book back plus international buyers seek to find the book, also. Dolly hid her precious find before someone killed her. More than one mystery is skillfully blended into this plot and the pace is steady and absorbing. The author has outdone herself inserting mysterious characters into the storyline at different points making you wonder ‘who on earth is this person’ before nicely connecting all the dots at the end. The cast of characters, whether good ones or not-so-good ones, are each enjoyable in their given roles. Delicious recipes to try at end of book. I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cochrill

    Great cast of characters. The mystery is well paced. I've really enjoyed this series so far! Great cast of characters. The mystery is well paced. I've really enjoyed this series so far!

  7. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second book in the Pen & Ink series and was a entertaining addition to this series. Florrie attends an estate sale with her sister and friends/patrons of the bookstore. Although she finds nothing of interest to her she does meet a sleazy young man who maligns books. However, one of the patrons does find a rare book at the sale but before she can do little than celebrate her great find she is killed. With Ms. Davis writing I felt like I was with Florrie ev The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second book in the Pen & Ink series and was a entertaining addition to this series. Florrie attends an estate sale with her sister and friends/patrons of the bookstore. Although she finds nothing of interest to her she does meet a sleazy young man who maligns books. However, one of the patrons does find a rare book at the sale but before she can do little than celebrate her great find she is killed. With Ms. Davis writing I felt like I was with Florrie every step of the way as she attempted to find out who had killed her friend and stolen the book. The pace of the plot was quick, plenty of suspects and a reveal that was shocking. I did feel that the ending was rushed as it seemed like everything was brought to light within the last couple of chapters. All in all it was an enjoyable read and I definitely want to read the next one. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second A Pen & Ink Mystery. Florrie Fox is the manager of Color Me Read, a bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She also creates adult coloring books in her spare time. Dolly Cavanaugh is introducing Florrie to estate sales and how you can sometimes find a diamond in the rough especially at sale run by Percy McAllister. Florrie leaves Dolly browsing while she hurries off to work. At the Hues, Brews and Clues Coloring Club later that day, Dolly shows The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second A Pen & Ink Mystery. Florrie Fox is the manager of Color Me Read, a bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She also creates adult coloring books in her spare time. Dolly Cavanaugh is introducing Florrie to estate sales and how you can sometimes find a diamond in the rough especially at sale run by Percy McAllister. Florrie leaves Dolly browsing while she hurries off to work. At the Hues, Brews and Clues Coloring Club later that day, Dolly shows Florrie the wonderful find she uncovered. Dolly discovered a rare copy of The Florist, the earliest known coloring book which was published in 1760. As far as Florrie can tell, it is an original. Dolly left her purse at the store and requested that Florrie drop it off on her way home. Florrie finds Dolly dead in her apartment clutching a piece of The Florist in her hand and sees someone fleeing out the back. Dolly posted the news of her find on social media and people are anxious to obtain the rare book which has now disappeared. When Dolly’s daughter asks Florrie to evaluate her book collection, and Florrie stumbles upon a skeleton hidden behind a bookcase in the attic. Zsazsa Rosca becomes the prime suspect in Dolly’s murder, and Florrie knows someone is setting her up. Florrie studies the case and digs into Dolly’s past hoping to uncover some clues. Can Florrie prove Zsazsa’s innocence? Who is the skeleton in the closet? The Coloring Crook can be read alone if you have not had time to pick up Color Me Murder. There is a colorful cast of characters in this series that aid Florrie in solving the crimes and in running the bookstore. I like that Florrie creates adult coloring books and that sketching helps her think through the crimes. The various mysteries in The coloring Crook are woven together into one entertaining cozy mystery. While the older murder has a complete resolution at the end, I felt the Dolly’s whodunit was not explained completely. I thought it unrealistic that Dolly’s daughter would be able to dispose of her belonging before the crime had been solved (the will had not been read nor probated). The Coloring Crook is well-written with steady pacing and developed characters. There are a number of characters and it can be hard to keep them all straight. The coloring club for adults is a clever addition and the benefits of coloring is explained (helps stress). There are many delightful cozy moments in The Coloring Crook. Florrie’s romance with Eric is progressing nicely and they have something humorous in common. I am giving The Coloring Crook 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). There are recipes at the end for some of the delectable delights whipped up in the book. Krista Davis has infused The Coloring Crook with engaging characters, a charming bookstore, a cute cat, mouthwatering food, coloring, friendship, murder, books, romance and mayhem. I look forward to returning to Color Me Read and Georgetown in the next A Pen & Ink Mystery.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Florrie is working at a bookstore, having a romance and working on her adult coloring book. A friend brings the earliest know adult coloring book into the store and is later killed over it. Her disagreeable daughter wants Florrie to help her go through the books her mother had. Florrie finds a body in the wall, with several mishaps happening. This was a good book, it did seem to take a long time to wrap up the case though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Florrie Fox works at a bookstore called Color Me Read in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. One of her neighbors who loves to go to garage and yard sales buys a coloring book at an estate sale. Dolly then brings the book to Florrie for authentication but before it can be properly valued, Dolly is found dead in her apartment and the book is missing. Florrie sets out to find the missing book and the killer. The plot was good and the mystery was multi-layered. Several characters had family secrets, which Florrie Fox works at a bookstore called Color Me Read in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. One of her neighbors who loves to go to garage and yard sales buys a coloring book at an estate sale. Dolly then brings the book to Florrie for authentication but before it can be properly valued, Dolly is found dead in her apartment and the book is missing. Florrie sets out to find the missing book and the killer. The plot was good and the mystery was multi-layered. Several characters had family secrets, which kept me interested. I really didn't care for the overall pacing of the book; there were too many characters and potential suspects to juggle. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an advance digital copy of the book. My review is voluntary.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    The Coloring Crook is the second book in the Pen & Ink Mystery series and I loved it just as much as the first one. Florrie is such a friendly and down to earth character that it makes me feel calm, relaxed and happy to solve the mystery with her. It follows a common theme with the setting being a book store but there is so much more to it that it is a lot different than other book store mysteries and feels fresh and interesting. A great plot with twists and some fun family secrets make for great The Coloring Crook is the second book in the Pen & Ink Mystery series and I loved it just as much as the first one. Florrie is such a friendly and down to earth character that it makes me feel calm, relaxed and happy to solve the mystery with her. It follows a common theme with the setting being a book store but there is so much more to it that it is a lot different than other book store mysteries and feels fresh and interesting. A great plot with twists and some fun family secrets make for great entertainment. I highly recommend this excellent story and series to any cozy mystery lover. I requested this book from NetGalley and am thankful that Kensington and the author provided me with an advance copy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is the second book in the Pen and Ink series by Krista Davis. I now need to go back and read the first book in this series. I totally enjoyed the story and the charming characters. This mystery had me guessing until the end how all the pieces fit together. I loved the bookstore setting. So many secrets and a skeleton , with twists and turns. Love the concept of being able to color the book cover, as I enjoy adult coloring books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second book in the Pen & Ink series and was a entertaining addition to this series. Florrie attends an estate sale with her sister and friends/patrons of the bookstore. Although she finds nothing of interest to her she does meet a sleazy young man who maligns books. However, one of the patrons does find a rare book at the sale but before she can do little than celebrate her great find she is killed. With Ms. Davis writing I felt like I was with Florrie ev The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the second book in the Pen & Ink series and was a entertaining addition to this series. Florrie attends an estate sale with her sister and friends/patrons of the bookstore. Although she finds nothing of interest to her she does meet a sleazy young man who maligns books. However, one of the patrons does find a rare book at the sale but before she can do little than celebrate her great find she is killed. With Ms. Davis writing I felt like I was with Florrie every step of the way as she attempted to find out who had killed her friend and stolen the book. The pace of the plot was quick, plenty of suspects and a reveal that was shocking. I did feel that the ending was rushed as it seemed like everything was brought to light within the last couple of chapters. All in all it was an enjoyable read and I definitely want to read the next one. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the second book in the pen and ink series. Florrie is the manager of Color Me Read. Her friend Dolly picks up a rare coloring book at an estate sale. Once Florrie told Dolly how valuable the book was, Dolly hid it. Soon after she is murdered . I really liked the mystery . There were many twists and turns. Each of the side characters were fun and fit in perfectly with the story. I can't wait for the next book . I received this book from net galley in exchange for a honest review . This is the second book in the pen and ink series. Florrie is the manager of Color Me Read. Her friend Dolly picks up a rare coloring book at an estate sale. Once Florrie told Dolly how valuable the book was, Dolly hid it. Soon after she is murdered . I really liked the mystery . There were many twists and turns. Each of the side characters were fun and fit in perfectly with the story. I can't wait for the next book . I received this book from net galley in exchange for a honest review .

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    The Coloring Crook is the second book in the Pen and Ink Mysteries series. Florrie Fox is still enjoying the home that her boss, Professor John Maxwell is renting her at a very affordable price and managing his bookstore, Color Me Read. Florrie has recently started a coloring group called Hues, Brews, and Clues. One morning, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the group, comes into Color Me Read all excited. She had just come from an estate sale where she had purchased a coloring book that appeared to be The Coloring Crook is the second book in the Pen and Ink Mysteries series. Florrie Fox is still enjoying the home that her boss, Professor John Maxwell is renting her at a very affordable price and managing his bookstore, Color Me Read. Florrie has recently started a coloring group called Hues, Brews, and Clues. One morning, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the group, comes into Color Me Read all excited. She had just come from an estate sale where she had purchased a coloring book that appeared to be very old. Florrie examined the book and was sure that it was the first known coloring book called The Florist published in the 1700’s, and could be priceless. Later, as Florrie is closing Color Me Read, she notices that Dolly had left her purse and decides to drop it off at Dolly’s home. When she arrives, instead of finding a very happy Dolly, she finds a very dead Dolly and clutched in her fingertips is a small piece of paper that Florrie feels was torn from The Florist. A day or two later Dolly’s estranged daughter, Maisie, arrives and wants to get her mother’s estate settled as soon as possible. Florrie offers to come back and help Maisie clear out her mother’s effects and to hopefully find some clues as to who the killer might be. What she doesn’t expect to find is another dead body. She was clearing some bookshelves in the attic when she finds the skeletal remains of a human behind the bookcase. Florrie with help of her police detective, Eric Jonquille, and some of her friends from the bookstore set off to find the killer of Dolly and find out, if possible, who the skeleton was. This is a great follow-up to the first book in the series, Color Me Murder. The book is well-plotted written and has an interesting cast of characters. Delicious recipes are also included with the book. I will be watching for the next book in this interesting series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    The Coloring Crook is the second book in Krista Davis’ Pen & Ink Mysteries series. The storyline is well plotted and fast-paced, the delightful characters are well developed, the twists and turns, and red herrings, kept me turning the pages. Ms. Davis’ writing style is very descriptive and makes the reader feel as if they are experiencing everything first hand. There are plenty of suspects, multiple mysteries, and reveal was surprising. Florrie Fox is the manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in The Coloring Crook is the second book in Krista Davis’ Pen & Ink Mysteries series. The storyline is well plotted and fast-paced, the delightful characters are well developed, the twists and turns, and red herrings, kept me turning the pages. Ms. Davis’ writing style is very descriptive and makes the reader feel as if they are experiencing everything first hand. There are plenty of suspects, multiple mysteries, and reveal was surprising. Florrie Fox is the manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Washington, DC and enjoys creating adult coloring books. She lives in the carriage house on her boss, Professor John Maxwell’s, estate, has an adorable tabby cat named Peaches who often accompanies her to the bookstore, and is dating Sergeant Eric Jonquille. While attending an estate sale, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the bookstore's weekly coloring club, Hues, Brews, and Clues, comes across a rare coloring book, The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was published circa 1760. Percy McAllister, the estate sale manager, priced the book incorrectly and Lucianne Dumont says it was sold by mistake and wants it back. Florrie and her sister, Veronica, find Dolly dead on the floor of her home, with what Florrie suspects is a corner of one of the coloring book pages clutched in her hand. The authorities originally believe Dolly suffered a heart attack, but it’s soon determined that she was poisoned. Everyone loved Dolly, who had been married four times, is survived by her estranged daughter, Maisie. At Maisie’s request, Florrie is going through Dolly’s book collection to determine if any were valuable and help her decide what to do with them. While sorting the books in the attic, Florrie discovers a skeleton hidden behind a walled-in bookcase. Florrie is drawn into multiple mysteries and wants to find out who killed her friend, stole the book, and, if possible, the identity of the skeleton was, as well solve a couple of other mysteries. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    The Pen & Ink series is such a great series and The Coloring Crook is suspenseful and interesting addition to the series. Florrie Fox, a coloring book artist, is manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. She lives in a lovely carriage house on the estate of her boss and bookstore owner, Professor John Maxwell. Sergeant Eric Jonquille and Florrie became romantically involved in the first story and it comes in handy to have a policeman for a boyfriend when The Pen & Ink series is such a great series and The Coloring Crook is suspenseful and interesting addition to the series. Florrie Fox, a coloring book artist, is manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. She lives in a lovely carriage house on the estate of her boss and bookstore owner, Professor John Maxwell. Sergeant Eric Jonquille and Florrie became romantically involved in the first story and it comes in handy to have a policeman for a boyfriend when one comes across dead bodies from time to time. When Florrie and her sister, Veronica, who also works at the bookstore with Florrie, drop off a store patron's purse that she left at the shop they discover her body. Dolly had just discovered a rare coloring book at a yard/estate sale and was so excited that the book would bring her financial woes to an end, she posted it on Facebook. The whole group of coloring book club members at the bookstore knew about her find. But the coloring book is missing and maybe the killer took the book when he/she killed Dolly. There is a large group of people who are interested in the book and could have gotten to Dolly. She turned her large home into several apartments so maybe one of them could have killed her. Edgar, a grad student, is not who he said he is. There are a couple of strange men who keep showing up around the area. Many of the people in the story have secrets. Can Florrie, Eric and the gang find the killer? This is a delightful mystery that is multi-layered with different issues going on that we don't see until the end. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a complimentary ARC from Kensington Publishing through NetGalley. All the thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This is such a fun series! This is book #2, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone or as an introduction to the series. Main character Florrie is an artist, a coloring book creator, and works in a book store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. She also has a knack for getting involved in suspicious deaths and is honing her sleuthing skills to help solve them. In The Coloring Crook, an extremely rare, very old coloring book is discovered and quickly vanishes, at the same time o This is such a fun series! This is book #2, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone or as an introduction to the series. Main character Florrie is an artist, a coloring book creator, and works in a book store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. She also has a knack for getting involved in suspicious deaths and is honing her sleuthing skills to help solve them. In The Coloring Crook, an extremely rare, very old coloring book is discovered and quickly vanishes, at the same time one of Florrie's friends is unexpectedly found dead. Florrie's compelled to find out what happened to hear friend, the rare book, and some missing, valuable art once owned by her boss' family. This story has several layers of mystery and some really strong suspects and motives, which kept me reading late into the night. It's well-written and the conclusion is very satisfying and complete. I love the characters in this book, including Florrie, her boss Professor Maxwell, his butler Mr. Dubois, and Florrie's boyfriend, police sergeant Eric. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a great mystery (or two or three)! I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the 2nd book in the Pen & Ink Mystery series, and I loved it. Ms. Davis is one of my favorite authors, so I was really excited to read this book. Florrie works at Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. And she also draws and sells adult color books, she is presently working on a book with gardens. Florrie lives in her boss's, Professor Maxwell, guest house rent free, and is settling nicely. When Florrie's friend, Dorthy buys a valuable book a The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is the 2nd book in the Pen & Ink Mystery series, and I loved it. Ms. Davis is one of my favorite authors, so I was really excited to read this book. Florrie works at Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. And she also draws and sells adult color books, she is presently working on a book with gardens. Florrie lives in her boss's, Professor Maxwell, guest house rent free, and is settling nicely. When Florrie's friend, Dorthy buys a valuable book at an estate sale, and word gets out, she is murdered. There are a lot of twists and turns, laughs, and of course murder. I strongly recommend this book for all cozy mystery lovers, I can not wait for Florrie's next adventure.  I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Brown

    Not a bad story but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. Florrie's sister is annoying and I'm really not liking her character at all. I do like the other characters though and can't wait to see where this series goes! Not a bad story but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. Florrie's sister is annoying and I'm really not liking her character at all. I do like the other characters though and can't wait to see where this series goes!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Molane

    I am a fan of Krista Davis. I have read all of her books. However, the Pen & Ink Mysteries Series is a bit flat in my opinion. It is still entertaining, but I am missing the magic of her previous stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    This was another fun cozy murder mystery by Krista Davis! I absolutely loved the first book in this series and this one was really good as well. With a large amount of sequels we find it not as exhilarating as the first and this was the case with this novel but I would still recommend this book and am excited to see what the author comes out with next!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. For the first 2/3 of the book I fully intended to give it five stars. The book flowed well, the chapters were just the right length, the plot moved along without any slow patches, the characters were interesting. I was thinking that this was the perfect light weight cozy mystery. And then the whole thing just falls apart into nothing. The clues that you would normally not understand upon first reading but later come back and say “oh yeah I forgot about that” were, instead, so obvious that there For the first 2/3 of the book I fully intended to give it five stars. The book flowed well, the chapters were just the right length, the plot moved along without any slow patches, the characters were interesting. I was thinking that this was the perfect light weight cozy mystery. And then the whole thing just falls apart into nothing. The clues that you would normally not understand upon first reading but later come back and say “oh yeah I forgot about that” were, instead, so obvious that there was very little mystery to the many side mysteries. When the book finally ended I was not sure who the murderer was. I had to go back and re-read the last few chapters. There was one harebrained conjecture about what might’ve happened and who might’ve done what that would have explained a plastic bag being where it was. According to this wild stretch of the imagination, Percy and Maisie did it. On my first reading I was thinking “wow, they’re really reaching here for some explanation“. Then on page 251 it mentions that the police questioned Percy but had to let him go because they “didn’t have anything” on him or on Maisie. There’s no additional information on that storyline until page 267 which begins “Now that Maisie, Olivia, and Priss were in jail...”. Absolutely No information about what, if any, evidence was found against them, how that evidence may have been obtained, or how they responded when they were accused of the murder. Just a statement that it was a done deal. I was disappointed in this dissipation into nothingness of a tome that had started out to be a very good book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    First off, thanks to #NetGalley and #Kensington books for the chance to read this one. I am woefully behind in getting my thought posted! I may have mentioned in other venues that Ms. Davis is probably my very favorite cozy writer...this book did nothing to change that opinion. This is her 3rd ongoing series and has also become a favorite with just 2 books, so far. Florrie is a delightful character. She truly feels for others, especially her friends and family. In this one her friend, Dolly, who First off, thanks to #NetGalley and #Kensington books for the chance to read this one. I am woefully behind in getting my thought posted! I may have mentioned in other venues that Ms. Davis is probably my very favorite cozy writer...this book did nothing to change that opinion. This is her 3rd ongoing series and has also become a favorite with just 2 books, so far. Florrie is a delightful character. She truly feels for others, especially her friends and family. In this one her friend, Dolly, who has a love of thrift shops and estate sales, finally comes across a real treasure. The copy of The Florist, the first known coloring book, that she finds is worth a fortune. Unfortunately, she can't keep her find a secret and pays for it with her life. Florrie is sure the scrap of paper found in Dolly's hand is from the book. So, whodunnit? People start to come out of the woodwork, including an estranged daughter. Great story with some yummy sounding recipes at the end! HIGHLY Recommended!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Too many characters. Florrie manages a bookstore in Georgetown, which is a terrific area of DC which is not well used at all in this second installment in a series-but you can read it as a standalone. I'm still wondering where that bakery is and I'd like to know what restaurant overlooks the Georgetown flea market. MPD is similarly not well served. I appreciate that Eric is the love interest but....In any event, the mystery involving a valuable book of 60 drawings which leads to murder is, I thi Too many characters. Florrie manages a bookstore in Georgetown, which is a terrific area of DC which is not well used at all in this second installment in a series-but you can read it as a standalone. I'm still wondering where that bakery is and I'd like to know what restaurant overlooks the Georgetown flea market. MPD is similarly not well served. I appreciate that Eric is the love interest but....In any event, the mystery involving a valuable book of 60 drawings which leads to murder is, I think, overly complicated by some details and not enough of others. I'm all for recipes at the end of cozies and these look good but Florrie's baking is only mentioned in passing so the addition seemed forced. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Sorry but this is a pass for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This is the second book in the Pen and Ink Mystery series. I enjoyed this story, but it wasn't my favorite. It was very confusing and the end seemed unbelievable. Maybe it's just me, but it didn't seem very realistic. I am curious about the first book and will be purchasing it to read because while this one missed some marks for me, it was enjoyable and worth a read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy. This is the second book in the Pen and Ink Mystery series. I enjoyed this story, but it wasn't my favorite. It was very confusing and the end seemed unbelievable. Maybe it's just me, but it didn't seem very realistic. I am curious about the first book and will be purchasing it to read because while this one missed some marks for me, it was enjoyable and worth a read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This the second book in the Pen & Ink Mysteries and I think I enjoyed this one more than the first. Florrie Fox continues to manage The Georgetown bookstore by day and design adult coloring books by night. She has made friends with several members of the weekly coloring group, especially Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly has struggled to make ends meet since her last husband was killed, so she enjoys bargain hunting at estate sales. When she finds a rare copy of "The Florist", an adult coloring book from t This the second book in the Pen & Ink Mysteries and I think I enjoyed this one more than the first. Florrie Fox continues to manage The Georgetown bookstore by day and design adult coloring books by night. She has made friends with several members of the weekly coloring group, especially Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly has struggled to make ends meet since her last husband was killed, so she enjoys bargain hunting at estate sales. When she finds a rare copy of "The Florist", an adult coloring book from the 1700's she is interested in finding out what it is worth. That doesn't happen, as she is found dead shortly after with a small piece of the book in her hand, the book itself, missing. Florrie, wondering what happened to her friend as well as worried about what will happen to her tenants, begins to investigate. As secrets begin to come to light, Florrie is left to wonder how well she really knew Dolly. Was The Florist the motive for Dolly's murder, or did a secret from her past catch up with her? Florrie is a great main character. She loves her job, her home and her friends. Going to an estate sale with Dolly and her friends is a fun way to spend the day and learn all about the bargain hunters who attend as well as those who curate the sales. As more characters are added to the mix, the plot of this story picks up and there are twists that I did not expect. Could a daughter kill her own mother, even if they were estranged? Who is the mysterious man claiming to be looking for his father? Why is someone following Florrie? There were so many red herrings that I changed my mind about the killer so often I was getting dizzy. When it all came together at the end, I felt satisfied, but thought the ending was a bit too fast and furious. I would have liked a few more details. This was a fun mystery and I do recommend it to cozy mystery lovers, especially fans of Krista Davis. Of course, if you love adult coloring books, you will want to purchase a physical copy of this book so you can color the cover and don't forget to check out the recipes at the end. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    This was a very good read and a good second book in this new series by Krista Davis. I really enjoyed the first one of this series and was very excited to get this one as well from NetGalley to read. The characters are a lot of fun and this mystery was very good and also very sad in many aspects. I did guess who the killer was, but only because they were truly very suspicious. There are plenty of red herrings which makes it fun and a second mystery that was a little harder to uncover. And even t This was a very good read and a good second book in this new series by Krista Davis. I really enjoyed the first one of this series and was very excited to get this one as well from NetGalley to read. The characters are a lot of fun and this mystery was very good and also very sad in many aspects. I did guess who the killer was, but only because they were truly very suspicious. There are plenty of red herrings which makes it fun and a second mystery that was a little harder to uncover. And even though the killer is revealed, there truly was no happy ending in this one; well, there is a little happy ending, but not like other cozies that I have read. I cannot go into details as I don't believe in spoilers, but there was a definite undercurrent of sadness throughout this whole book. I really like Florrie a lot. She is a unique main character - she is happy to be mostly single [she and Eric have only been dating a month and I think she still is unsure about why he is even with her], she is independent and she loves her life. She is a talented artist and a good manager, and even though her younger sister doesn't think so at times, she IS a good sister. It is her independence that I really enjoy and that fact that she doesn't need to rely on a man or her new boyfriend to get things done. It is becoming rare in the cozy world to have a main character like that and so I adore Krista Davis for giving us a great character like Florrie. I only have one complaint about this book - the reveal was...odd? It didn't even really feel like a reveal and I have to wonder if something was left out because this was an ARC? It was very uneven and choppy and when I got done I was still unsure if I had really read the reveal or not. I knew I had gotten the right person pegged, but it still was very uneven and choppy and I was a bit confused at the end. And after sleeping on it, I am still a bit confused. At least the killer was caught; I guess that is all that matters! Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    “The Coloring Crook” earns 5/5 Packs of Crayons…Clever and Entertaining! Coloring is not just for kids anymore! Krista Davis has penned a delightful cozy centered around the friendship and foibles of a group of coloring enthusiasts who just happen upon…murder mysteries. Florrie Fox manages the Color Me Read bookshop, designs coloring books, and leads a weekly club in the very rewarding hobby of “coloring.” Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the coloring group, is also keen on yard sales and thrilled du “The Coloring Crook” earns 5/5 Packs of Crayons…Clever and Entertaining! Coloring is not just for kids anymore! Krista Davis has penned a delightful cozy centered around the friendship and foibles of a group of coloring enthusiasts who just happen upon…murder mysteries. Florrie Fox manages the Color Me Read bookshop, designs coloring books, and leads a weekly club in the very rewarding hobby of “coloring.” Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the coloring group, is also keen on yard sales and thrilled during one of her searches to get an extraordinaire deal on the find of the century: a copy of “The Florist,” a coloring book published in 1760, worth more than a lifetime supply of crayons for sure! But Florrie finds Dolly dead and the coloring book missing putting Florrie in conflict with law enforcement and on the trail of a thief and a killer. The mystery is very engaging with several lines of questioning and twists and turns in the murder investigation, but it’s the discovery of issues in Dolly’s past, including the mystery behind the bookcase, that adds to the drama. Krista’s writing style compliments the first-person narrative sharing Florrie’s “I” perspective, inner thought, vivid descriptions, and entertaining banter. Print book lovers will enjoy the real coloring opportunities, but us eBookers can enjoy the delicious easy-to-follow recipes: Salted Chocolate Brownies, Coconut Cupcakes, Blueberry Cake with Pecan Streusel, Mini Cheesecakes, and Killer Cocktail! Don't overlook reading the “Acknowledgements” and “Epigraph” offering a few tidbits, background, and quote from “The Compleat Gentleman” (1622). "Disclosure: I received an ARC. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Florrie Fox is the manager of Color Me Read in Georgetown, Washington D.C. Life is going well for her, with a new relationship and her work on an adult coloring book of gardens. She also runs the bookstore's weekly coloring club. When club member Dolly Cavanaugh shows up one day with a rare coloring book, Floorie is amazed. But whens he goes to Dolly's house that evening she finds Dolly dead on the floor, with a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. Florrie tries to figure out what Florrie Fox is the manager of Color Me Read in Georgetown, Washington D.C. Life is going well for her, with a new relationship and her work on an adult coloring book of gardens. She also runs the bookstore's weekly coloring club. When club member Dolly Cavanaugh shows up one day with a rare coloring book, Floorie is amazed. But whens he goes to Dolly's house that evening she finds Dolly dead on the floor, with a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. Florrie tries to figure out what happens, and she examines Dolly's past, which includes an actual skeleton in her closet. Can Florrie get to the bottom of things before it's too late? They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but in this case, you can. The cover of this book is intriguing, and I could stare at it for hours. There is the added bonus that you can color it and add your own special flair to it. But the story inside the cover is even more intriguing. I love the setting. I could see myself spending hours inside this bookstore, curled up with a pile of books around me, trying to figure out which ones to take home. The characters are fully drawn, and they added great color to the story. The story itself is deftly plotted and keeps the reader engaged. There is the added bonus that I didn't figure out whodunit until the reveal, which makes me love a book all the more. All in all this story has everything a reader is looking for. I can't wait to see what happens next at Color Me Read.

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