Down in Flames

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Savannah Webb continues to have classes showing new and different glass techniques and this time her classes are introducing glass beading.  After one of her classes however, Savannah is horrified when the bartender/manager for her fiance's bar next door is run down in front of her shop and later dies.  Her autistic friend/employee, Jacob, is a witness and withdraws into silence.  Savannah needs to help Jacob and while trying to ease his trauma, she determines that this wasn't an  accident but murder.

I love the way that the author writes the characters with realistic issues and problems but also making them very likable.  I also really enjoy the background story at the glass shop.
Was this review helpful?
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

This is an exciting, enjoyable sixth offering in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series; it can be read as a standalone yet might be better appreciated if reading in the series. The characters are well-defined and very likable. The setting in St. Petersburg, FL is beautiful and the mystery intriguing.

Savannah and her fiancé have discussed setting a wedding date, but events in this novel lead her to continue to put it off. Edward, however, wants the date set soon so his parents can come from England, and her friends suggest that life is too short to wait. After the unexpected death of her father about a year ago, Savannah inherited the glass shop he started. She moved back from Seattle where her career in glasswork, especially blown glass, was taking off. The shop is growing due to expanded workspace and the opening of a studio for glass workers to rent spaces by the month.

Jacob is a teen her father had hired as an apprentice. He is talented enough to excel and loves what he does. He has autism and is high-functioning; his eye for detail and routine give him excellent talents to work patiently with glass restoration and to now, as a journeyman, oversee the studio. He has the help of his service dog, Suzy.

After students attending the new glass beadmaking class at Webb’s leave, Jacob also leaves with Suzy. Savannah hears a sickening series of sounds, including a scream, a thump, and the squeal of tires. Running out, she sees Jacob stock still, unspeaking, then runs to the figure lying in the street. It is Nicole, the manager and bartender at Edward’s pub, with an obvious head injury and twisted limbs. Later that night Nicole died during surgery, leaving behind her wife of little more than a year, brothers, and parents she has been estranged from since announcing her intention to marry Elizabeth. Jacob is mute. He will probably regain his ability to speak but his memory of the accident, of which he is the only witness, may not return.

Savannah has consulted for the police department in the past when mysteries or murders have affiliation with the arts in various forms. As there is no immediate artistic connection for Nicole, it is a relief of sorts as she has too many things on her plate for this investigation. The mother of her office manager, Amanda, is in hospice care, so she arranges for Amanda spend as much time with her mom as possible. She must arrange for someone to oversee the studio until Jacob can return to work.

Everybody has secrets, and Nicole was no exception. Amanda shared information about Nicole that indicates there is a possible artistic involvement, so Savannah is authorized a few hours on the case. When cleaning out her employee locker at the pub, she and Edward discover more evidence of a connection with art, solidified by another family member.

The characters are better defined in every offering of the series! I like Savannah and admire her business acumen and how she cares for her employees. Amanda’s mother Viola is a dear lady; I appreciate the empathy and concern the author demonstrates towards Viola and Amanda while Viola is in hospice. Jacob is one of my favorites; despite his health challenges, he continues to pursue what he enjoys. We see him make mature choices to proceed towards his recovery after the accident. He is an integral member of the Webb’s Glass team.

The plot has twists and turns that keeps the reader actively engaged with the story. I found myself making a list of my suspects. Challenges – more than usual – are involved with solving this murder due to the police department moving to a new building. I am with Detective Parker – gotta love working from those hard-copy files, especially when over the course of the move, records disappear from the server. I actually did figure out who the bad guy was, but definitely not why. That, to me, was the true surprise. I was saddened overall by Nicole’s family, showing how sometimes our primary family is one of our choosing rather than by birth. Overall, I was satisfied with the novel and the end and highly recommend this, and the series, to cozy mystery and glass craft lovers.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Was this review helpful?
Wow! Another great installment to the series! Savannah and Edward have lost a dear friend to a horrid hit and run that may not be the accident that everyone wants it to be! Excellent character development that stays true to the characters personalities yet allows each character growth in each book. I particularly like the growth that Jacob's character undergoes. I have an autistic nephew and have seen dramatic changes in his personality when a trigger gets flipped that allows him to develop further. I loved that touch in this book. The author really brings the characters to life which only enhances an already well written plot. I am absolutely giddy with anticipation for the next book and I have just finished this one!
Was this review helpful?
I love a good cozy and Cheryl Hollon delivers a great one in her novel, Down in Flames. Besides the good mystery, the art of glass blowing and glass beads is just fascinating. I love the main character and her beau, Edward. Great series!!
Was this review helpful?
Right from the beginning this book grabs the reader. One of the recurring characters is killed in front of Savannah's glass shop and Jacob is the only witness. This sends him into himself and he develops selective mutism. Savannah at first thinks that it was an accident, but then thinks that it might have been deliberate. On top of this Amanda's mother is in hospice and she is spending more time away from the glass shop. Savannah and Edward both have their hands full with running their businesses and Savannah has been hired as a consultant by the police department to help look into the death of their friend. Savannah is also teaching a new class on creating glass beads which is very interesting. There were so many twists in the story and I thought that I had figured out who was responsible for the accident, but I was wrong. I could not put this book down, but also didn't want it to end. A great addition to the Webb's Glass Shop series!

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from Kensington through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
This book is number 6th in the series. The author gives you enough of the details for you to understand and enjoy the book. This was a compelling read. It dealt with many social aspects. Jacob’s Asperger’s syndrome and it’s setbacks due to his witnessing a murder. It also brought to light the plight of those that are not heterosexuals in a predominantly heterosexual community. Thirdly, it dealt with grafitti artists. Hospice; loss of life, time management, setting priorities, taking care of yourself, retirement concerns, and love were well interwoven.

I think this is the best book so far in the series. I tip my hat to the author.
 
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from Netgalley and Kensington Books and these are my own opinions.
Was this review helpful?
My rating: 3 of 5 stars, I liked it.

Book 6 in the series.

While the story in this book could be a stand alone, there are so many personal turning points for the main characters in this book, I'd suggest not starting here.

I was glad to be back in St. Pete's with the whole group after the previous book in the series. As usual, the glass working information in the book was interesting. For me, the mystery took a backseat to all the personal issues of the main characters, and I was okay with that. This book is about growth, and is high on emotion.

The murder itself is charged with emotion, the victim being personally known to all of them. It comes off looking like an accident at first, but eventually it becomes apparent that the victim was targeted. After that, the mystery takes off, woven smoothly throughout all the other happenings in the book.

I enjoyed this book, and look forward to more from the Webb's bunch.
Was this review helpful?
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

A fantastic new addition to this adorable cozy mystery series! We catch back up with Savannah after the expansion of shop which allows her to start bead making class. I really enjoy how detailed these books get when it comes to the glass projects. This one is no exception as it teaches me even more. A mystery on top is just an added bonus though an intriguing one to say the least. Savannah does a stellar job at uncovering the clues prices it all together when it is all said and done. Her cast of helpers are a real hoot giving quite a splash of color to it all. Well written and captivating. Total must read. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fun series that always teaches me something new about the world of glass blowing. I enjoyed that Jacob, Savannah’s apprentice with high-functioning autism played a major role in this book and find it interesting how his character has developed. If you enjoy crafty cozy mysteries, you’re sure to enjoy this book.
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  I have enjoyed this series since the beginning and I like it more with each book.  I like it for the good mysteries.  Even more,  I like the way the characters have developed and grown.  Savannah herself is fascinating, as is the art of glass blowing.  I learn something new with each book.  But I love the way the author explores the relationships between some pretty complex characters, especially Jacob (and Suzy).
When he witnesses the hit and run that kills a friend, his autism goes into relapse and he stops talking.  Everyone is concerned how this will impact his future.  He has come such a long way from the withdrawn and awkward young man who was introduced to us first.  Then there is Amanda and her dying mother.  The way the story is told is both compassionate and honest.  These examples and more elevate this beyond a merely good cozy series. 
I enjoy the way the characters assist the law in finding the killer, not in an obtrusive or artificial way, but organically, using the skills that are appreciated by the police.  They are not in conflict.  They work together as a good team.  If you are new to the series, you can pick up the book and still follow along or you can go back to the beginning and read through.
Five purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

I'm always up for a cozy mystery, even if I haven't read the rest of the series. I did enjoy this one, but it didn't really feel like a cozy in some parts. Possibly because the murder victim didn't die straight away, and then Savannah was trusted by the police as a consultant with basically free reign. That's odd for a cozy, especially as normally they shy away from the violence of murder (odd as that sounds) In the end the motive felt a little flimsy as well, and rushed. I kind of wavered between three and four stars and ended up going one higher because there is nothing essentially wrong with this book, it just had small elements I didn't like. On the whole I like the setting and the characters, as well as the Glass shop so I'm willing to give this series/author another go.

Different for a cozy; perhaps you'd enjoy it more than I did? Four stars regardless.
Was this review helpful?
Down in Flames by Cheryl Hollon is another in the Webb's Glass Shop mystery series and is a totally enjoyable read as are all Hollon's books. Savannah is devastated when a hit and run driver hits, and ultimately kills, Nicole, the manager of her fiancé Edward's pub. The only read witness is Jacob, her high-functioning Autistic employee and it as thrown him into an episode of selective mutism. In addition, Edward is pressing her to set a wedding date; she is teaching a new class; and another of her employees has a mother in hospice, dying. Life for Savannah is complicated right now.

This is a pleasant series. Savannah is a good character, acting as a consultant for the local police, often finds herself embroiled in murder. This is no exception, although at first the hit and run appeared to be nothing more than a tragic accident. Hollon always managed interesting details, including glass, that round out her plots nicely, including humanizing the victim. There are the series' regulars, who readers have gotten to know through the series and there are always a variety of people who simply fill a role and appear only once. All of it makes the story more compelling. Like all cozy mysteries, Down in Flames is character driven with the mystery being a close second but not primary. Not a complicated read, but a compelling one, I recommend Down in Flames. 

I received a free ARC of Down in Flames. All opinions expressed herein are solely my own. #netgalley #downinflames
Was this review helpful?
Another wonderful installment in the Webb's Glass Shop Mysteries. Sydney has been able to expand her facilities and offerings at the shop. The new setups are barely installed in time for the newest class on making glass beads. The students are a mix of past students and new, but after the end of class a hit-and-run claims the life of her fianceé's restaurant manager. Sydney is able to use her art connections to consult in the police investigation. All in all, a fun mystery with extra sharply drawn characters, characters that have already become friends. I tore my way through this book, now I'm sad it's over.
Was this review helpful?
I received this ARC via Netgalley and Kensington Books, in return for an honest review.  I enjoyed this book, which surprised me a bit since the beginning was very much a tutorial on the craft of flame working glass, before transitioning into the crime.  From then on, the story was well written (so was the tutorial on glass work!) and the author's story development was good.  It's not the first book in this series and you're able to get into the story without the preceding series knowledge.  The protagonist owns a glass working shop that she inherited from her father.  She's engaged to the (Brit or NZ or Australian?) pub owner next door.  When someone is killed in front of their respective businesses, everyone in their tight group is impacted.  Some saw the death; others knew the deceased.  I truly appreciate the diversity of people represented in this book, including a young man who is on the high-functioning Asperger's scale and a woman who's mother is in hospice.  There's a great deal of life in these characters, in addition to those that directly propel the story forward.  The mystery plot line is well developed and well-told.  I recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
Down in Flames is the sixth book in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. The mystery in the story is self-contained, but I would recommend reading this series in order. The relationships between the characters and the character development over the previous books will allow you to enjoy this story so much more. Savannah Webb has her hands full. She has a new class going on and Amanda, her store manager and teacher of beginner classes is spending more time with her mother who is in hospice. This causes Savannah to be pulled in many directions, but when Nicole, her friend and the manager at her fiancé's pub next door is run down, things get even more dicey. Once again, Savannah is hired as a consultant and the investigation begins.

Savannah is a great protagonist. She is a well-developed character who is friendly, outgoing, helpful and relatable. Edward Morris, Savannah’s fiancé, is the perfect man for her. He is understanding, caring and works with Savannah when she is investigating. I love that he cooks when he is stressed and tried all kinds of crazy new recipes while dealing with trying to run his business after Nicole has been killed. Jacob is one of my favorite characters in this series. He is a high functioning autistic eighteen year old who has a support dog, Suzy. He is extremely observant and helps Savannah a lot when she is investigating. There are many other characters who are regulars in the series such as the quirky and eccentric Rosenberg twins, Officer Joy Williams and Detective Parker. There were a few instances where there was some discrimination toward homosexuality and I liked how this was handled in the story. It is at timely issue, as well as an important one. The artistic storyline was two-fold. There were the glass workshops which I always find interesting, but also the graffitti aspect with the contest and community it encompasses. The mystery and investigation take some time to get moving, but once it was determined that it was a murder, not an accident, then Savannah and Joy went full on. There were several suspects, at one time I had three different people in mind, plus a red herring or two. I did have my suspicions about the killer and that made the ending a bit anti-climactic for me, but that is my only concern. Overall, I enjoyed this story. The setting, the wonderful characters, the well-written plot, the mystery and mayhem as well as the art storylines all mesh together to form a great story. Thanks for another great entry into the Webb Glass Shop Mysteries, Cheryl Hollon.
Was this review helpful?
A highlight of Savannah's new glass bead workshop is a technique called flame-working, which requires the careful wielding of acetylene torches. Understandably, safety is a top priority. But as Savannah is ensuring her students' safety inside, a hit-and-run driver strikes down a pedestrian outside her shop.

The victim is Nicole Borawski, the bartender/manager at the Queen's Head Pub, owned by Savannah's boyfriend Edward. It quickly becomes clear that this was no random act of vehicular manslaughter. Now the glass shop owner is all fired up to get a bead on the driver--before someone else meets a dead end . . .

This was a short and cozy mystery, perfect for the recent rainy weather. I enjoyed the setting and overall themes, as well as how well-researched the glass-making techniques seem to be.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this mystery.  Enjoyed the setting and the characters.  Thank you Cheryl Hollon for this delightful mystery read.  Look forward to reading more.
Was this review helpful?
Down in Flames is the sixth book in Cheryl Hollon's "A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery" series.  I am a fan of glasswork and always enjoy learning from each book in the series.  The author includes details about flame working and glass beading which is fascinating.  Each book in the series features a different type of glasswork and I appreciate the author's time and effort in detail. i find this series very enjoyable with likeable charcters and a good sleuth.  Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC.  My opinion is my own.  I like the Florida setting which is always entertaining.  I have read the entire series and highly recommend each in series as a enjoyable reading experience with strong mysteries and fun charcters. 

In this next in series Savannah is investigating a fatal hit and run where a local man was murdered in front of her shop. She decides to investigate as she has solved murders in the past. Savannah's fiance is  assisting her in the investigation and gives her back up as needed.  They work closely with the police as Savannah is officially a police consultant and very well respected. 

She has a tight group of friends and employees that always provide details and research for her.   She has a employee / apprentice who is autistic and very detailed .  I love that the author features a person challenged with autism in this series as it is rare and appreciated .  I enjoy the cast of charcters and every one adds to the plot and sleuth.  The regular charcters have life events going on in this book and its a nice growth of the series. The sleuth was enjoyable with enough surprises to keep me guessing. I enjoyed reading this next in series and look forward to the next book. Savannah and her crew are always fun to return to and I love the glass work aspect of each book.   I highly recommend this next in series as a very enjoyable read for all who enjoy the arts, Florida and cozy mystery reading.
Was this review helpful?
Down in Flames is the sixth installment in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series.  While it can be read alone, I would recommend reading the series in order.  It will allow you to know the characters and their relationships (cast of characters at end of book).  Savannah has her hands full in Down in Flames with Nicole’s death, the new flameworking class, Amanda’s mother has been admitted to hospice so she is working part-time, Jacob has a setback after witnessing the hit-and-run that killed Nicole which leaves no one to run Webb’s Studio, Best Burger in the Burg competition and she is being pressured to set a wedding date.  Savannah is a delightful protagonist.   She is a well-developed character who is friendly, outgoing, and relatable.  Edward Morris, Savannah’s fiancé, is the perfect mate for her.  He is understanding and dives into the investigation’s with Savannah (he knows there is no stopping her).  Amanda Blake is going through a rough time.  Her mother, Viola, is in hospice so she knows her days are limited and wants to spend as much time with her as possible.  Jacob is a high functioning autistic eighteen year old who has a support dog, Suzy. The Rosenberg twins are always a delight.  I especially liked that we got to see more of Officer Joy Williams and Detective Parker.  The police moving into their new HQ provided several humorous moments.  I had to chuckle at Detective Parker’s office situation.  I had to agree with Detective Parker when he said the following about Savannah conducting an investigation “sometimes she lets her enthusiasm overcome good sense.”  I like how the author dealt with sensitive and timely topics (prejudice against LGBTQIA for example). The mystery takes a little bit of time to get started, but I did find it interesting as it delved into the graffiti community in St. Petersburg.  There are a variety of suspects plus a red herring or two.  I wish, though, it had been more of a challenge to identify the guilty party.  I live near St. Petersburg, which is the setting for this series, so I particularly enjoyed the local color.  It mentions area businesses (like Haslam’s), streets and sights.  The author described flameworking in an easy to understand fashion.  I enjoyed learning more about it (it has me exploring classes in my area).  I did tire of the repetition of certain information (Edward is Savannah’s fiance and case details are two examples).  There were a couple of unanswered questions at the end which I found frustrating.  However, those points did not detract from me having a pleasurable reading experience.  Down in Flames has manslaughter, mischief and mayhem wrapped up in one charming cozy mystery.
Was this review helpful?
This is #6 in the series and while it can be read as a stand alone a reader new to the series would get much more enjoyment from Down in Flames by reading them in order. The relationship between the hit and run victim and Jacob, the young man who witnessed the tragedy and Savannah has lots of depth when you know the history. But, even if you don't go back to the first book, you will be fine if you start with this one.
Savannah is branching out from her stained glass classes and teaching bead making. Jacob, a high functioning autistic young man, has become her apprentice, coming along well with help from his mother and Savannah and his service dog, Suzy. At the end of class, Jacob sees one of their friends, Nicole, the bartender at the restaurant owned by Savannah finance, Edward, killed in a hit and run accident that is later ruled a homicide. Jacob is so traumatized by the event that he has become mute, blocking it all from his mind. The police, who are also friends of Savannah, ask for her expertise in the local art world in investigating the case. One of the threads in the case involves graffiti plus Nicole was a friend. From past experience they also know that Savannah will snoop on her own if not included.
There are many levels to this mystery - family relationships, Autism, Savannah's store manager, Amanda and her dealing with her mother now in hospice care, same sex marriage and family tensions over it - add to the fact that Savannah is going to marry Edward but has yet to set a date. Some of the story is serious but it is softened by two of my favorite characters, the Rosenberg twins, Faith and Rachel. Dressed head to toe in pink and decorated with flamingos, they are such a sweet pair of senior citizens even though Faith lights one of the torches before the class can start and sets her pink sweater on fire. Still, they have been a fixture from book one, about 5 years by their guess, never missing a single class. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.
My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?