Cover Image: Still Life and Death

Still Life and Death

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Member Reviews

Marvelous plot with memorable characters.  So sad that this is the last in the series.  
Many thanks to Hallmark Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Tracy Gardner has hit a homerun with her Shepherd Sisters series.  After reading the first two books in this series, I was excited to be able to read Still Life and Death to find out what was in store for these characters in their future.  As the story opened, Skylar is trying to balance her life with two young children and a career, Sydney is enmeshed in her dog grooming business while trying to determine where her relationship with Finn is headed and Savanna has added teaching adult painting classes at the local florist's shop, remodeling her new home and deepening her connection to Aiden and Mollie by helping to get Mollie to her afterschool activities.  We are also introduced to the uncles of the Shepherd sisters as they have moved to town to be closer to their daughter who is attending a local college.

Soon the sisters become embroiled in a new murder when their Uncle Max comes across the body of his boss, florist Libby Kent.  Although he is quickly ruled out as a suspect, the mystery surrounding the death has the sisters once again helping the police out by looking for clues to the motives and suspects involved.

The author has done an excellent job of continuing to include and build on the small town connections that were developed in the earlier books in this series which leads the reader to develop a strong emotional connection to the characters and their lives in a way that makes you wish you were there to help them through the emotional crises that arise as a result of the twists that the plot takes.  Within the plotline, the author has also created very believable situations to lead to several potential motives and suspects which makes the final revelation of actual culprit and motive a surprise that rattles the entire town.  In terms of the relationship side for the Shepherd sisters, the author has done a good job of portraying them each in a different place emotionally where they are able to help each other work out their respective feelings while not overstepping the bounds of sisterhood.  Although it appears that this may be the last book in this series, I am glad that the author has left it somewhat open ended to leave room for the sisters to return with future stories as their families expand and change.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Still Life and Death by Tracy Gardner is the 3rd book in A Shepherd Sisters Mystery series, and a very enjoyable book.  This book is published by Hallmark, and one of my favorite television channels is the Hallmark mystery.  I love how the sisters come together to find the real killer, very entertaining.  I will be reading the first book in the series, Out of the Picture, soon and looking forward to the next book in the series.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries, that involve sisters, I highly recommend this book.  
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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What a great addition to the cozy mystery genre. I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next installment.
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This is book 3 in the Shepherd Sisters series and I hate to see it end.  The ladies are happily settled in Carson and are delighted when Uncle Max and Uncle Freddie move to town.  Savannah, Skyler and Sydney are all involved in business community and things are going smoothly.  Then Uncle Max becomes a suspect in the murder of his boss at the flower shop.  Lots of intrigue as the sisters work to prove Uncle Max isn't the killer.  Happy endings for all the family.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Release Date: August 10 2021


Savanna, Sydney and Skylar are thrilled when their uncle max and uncle Freddie move into town and start working at Libby’s blooms, but when Uncle Max finds a body the sisters set out to prove his innocence. 

This is the third in the #shepardsisters series. I have read the first two and highly recommended doing so. This series is so much fun. This would be an amazing @hallmarkmovie series!!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

#stilllifeanddeath #sheppardsistersmystery #bookstagram #cozymysteryseries #netgalleyreads #hallmark
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Still Life and Death by Tracy Gardener is a Hallmark publication murder mystery. This is the first time I've read any of Gardener's books and it proved to be intriguing.

The Shephard sisters, Savanna, Skylar and Sydney live in Carson Michigan. The murder of their friend Libby has them looking for clues as to who the murderer is. And, in this close knit community, why was Libby murdered in the first place?

I sometimes found it a little hard to keep up with which sister was involved. But the story line was interesting and even though this is not my usual genre, it was a fun read with lots of suspects to examine. Savanna and Aiden's romance blossomed throughout the story. The mystery kept me guessing to the end.

Thank you NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing for providing an ebook to read. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Still Life and Death, the third book in Tracy Gardner’s Shepherd Sisters Mystery series, offers an engaging mystery, endearing characters, and more than a little romance.   It is light and entertaining, and the audio narration by Karissa Vacker is a decided plus.  Although this is the third book in the series, it references past events so that it can be read as a standalone.

In this installment, suspicion falls on Savanna Shepherd’s Uncle Max when his boss and local florist, Libby Kent, is murdered.  Although Libby is a beloved figure in the community, it turns out that there are several people with motive to kill her.  And what about the previously extinct violet that somehow Libby has managed to resurrect?  Is there a connection?  With plenty of suspects and an intriguing number of clues, Savanna is poised to clear Max’s name.

Overall, I liked the novel.  The writing was crisp and clear, and the characters were very sympathetic.  I especially liked Savanna and Max, whose predicament was very relatable.  The mystery itself was straightforward, with sufficient clues to be interesting.  However, I do feel the mystery suffered in comparison to those in the previous two books in the series.  Don’t get me wrong, the mystery was good, it was just overshadowed by the romance elements. Certainly, as Savanna is the main character, the focus on her romance with Aidan Gallagher is appropriate, but an inordinate amount of time was also spent on sister Sydney’s romance with Finn.  (I did read that this may be the last book in the series (and I sincerely hope not) so this might have been the motivation for such an emphasis.)  However, I feel this caused some potentially intriguing clues and elements to be overlooked.  For example, the recultivation of the extinct flower is a missed opportunity.  The author could have capitalized on this interesting subplot by weaving it into the main mystery plotline.  Finally, a word of caution for those listening to audio -- the trio of names, Skylar, Savanna, and Sydney became confusing at times.  It is easiest to keep track of them by reference to their professions (which were luckily mentioned throughout the book).

Still Life and Death is an entertaining and heartwarming novel that wraps up the Shepherd Sisters trilogy.  And, as an added plus, it includes a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Brownies that sounds delicious!  

Note: I received an ARC of Still Life and Death from NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing. The above is my honest review.
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A murder of a beloved businesswoman puts Savanna on the case! A great interplay between characters and o absolutely love the evolving relationships of the Shepherd sisters!
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I enjoy this series and this one did not disappoint.  The Shepherd sister have never let a murder stop them and once again they are out to solve the case.

The characters are fun, quirky and I like the way the relationships are evolving.  The mystery was well-written and fun to read.  I look forward to more in this series.
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A good mystery. Loved reading more about Savannah and her sisters. Interesting part about the extinct plant! 
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance e-copy of this book!
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We bid a fond farewell to the Shepherd sisters, but not before they solve one last crime and provide us with a tasty brownie recipe! This book, like the other two, can be read as stand‑alone but isn’t it so much more fun to have the backstory and character development. The three sisters make not only an amazing sleuthing team but are also the textbook cozy supportive family that one comes to expect from this genre. The story developed nicely with plenty of clues and plenty of distractions with an ending that had me in happy tears. Which disappeared as I devoured the wonderfully chocolaty brownies made using the recipe at the end of the book.
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I absolutely love anything Hallmark so when I saw this book was offered by Hallmark publishing I had to read it. I love cozy mysteries that involve sisters, a dog, and romance - this book had it all. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the sisters and Aiden too. Run (don't walk) to read this one. It will not disappoint!  

Thanks NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Still Life and Death, book 3 in the Shepherd Sisters series, finds Savanna Shepherd and her sisters Skylar and Sydney investigating the death of Libby, owner of the flower shop where the Shepherd sister's Uncle Max works.  The murder appears to be a "locked room" mystery and the finger is pointed at Uncle Max.  Savanna pieces together some of the puzzle and the list of suspects grows when several neighboring business owners and Libby's own family members are added to the mix.

With this book we see the further development of the relationships between Savanna and Aidan, and Sydney and Finn.  The Sunday dinners are continued and the Shepherd family finally gets to meet Aidan and his daughter Mollie.  Savanna worries about the school where she teaches finding out about her relationship with Aidan, the parent of a student, Skylar struggles with returning to work full-time after maternity leave, and Sydney struggles with the loss of her friend Libby.  Lots of hominess in the midst of the murder, much of which you can easily get lost in and forget there is a murder!

The book is well written, characters continue to develop, the setting continues to develop and a clearer picture of Carson emerges.  It is difficult to figure out who did murder Libby and the eventual reveal of the murderer is a bit of a surprise.

I think this book could be read as a standalone but do believe some of the nuances and conversations might make more sense if the reader had read the previous books in the series.  Whether you've read books 1 and 2 or not, I would recommend you read book 3!
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My first book in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  The characters were thoroughly entertaining and the mystery well plotted.  It was a great read on the drive to Texas.
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I love this series and was happy to catch up with the sisters and travel to Carson.
It's a heartwarming, entertaining and engrossing cozy mystery that kept me reading and guessing.
The romance is sweet and the mystery is solid.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Loved this book! I always love a good easy read mystery, and the Hallmark Mysteries are always just that! They include a little bit of romance, include multiple suspects, but always give you a little bit of extra info to help you feel smart and figure it out early on just to see how the plot builds. I'd recommend this read to anyone who likes Cozy Mysteries! This is a part of a series but not needed to be read in order to understand the book!
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This is the 3rd book in the Shepard Sisters mysteries.  I love them!  I happened upon the first two books purely by chance.  When I was able to read this third installment, I jumped at the chance.  I love the family dynamics in this series.  I love different occupations of each sister but how close they are to each other and to their parents.  This mystery was very well written and interesting with twists.  I've never been to Lake Michigan but the descriptions make it sound like a wonderful place.  And with a couple of dogs thrown in, how could you go wrong?  If you have not read this series, I highly recommend it.  I hope there are many more to come.....and soon!
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Tracy Gardner brings us back to visit Savanna and her sisters.  They are glad when Uncle Max and Aunt Freddie return to Carson and he ends up working in town at Libby's Blooms.  When Uncle Max walks into work one day, he finds a dead body.  Unfortunately, it looks like an inside job.  Also, Savanna is worried how it looks when she starts dating local doctor Aidan Gallager whose daughter is in her class.

Tracy Gardner's Shepherd Sisters series brings us another case to solve and time to spend with the three sisters.  Will they be able to solve the case or will they only hinder the investigation?  Is Savanna too worried, and will this affect her relationship?  I enjoyed reading about Savanna and her sisters and it was nice to catch up with them.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing for this privilege.
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Still Life and Death is the third Shepherd Sisters cozy mystery/romance by Tracy Gardner. Released 10th Aug 2021 by Hallmark, it's 280 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately; it makes it so easy to find information with the search function. 

This is a very light cozy mystery with very strong romance elements written around a trio of sisters and a small town murder mystery. There are several disparate threads: who killed the florist who was growing out an extinct violet, what skullduggery is going on with the dance school next door, and will Sydney figure out her relationship with Finn the medical life-flight crew member or is their unstable relationship doomed?

There are a fair number of really over-the-top plot elements which found my cynical self rolling my eyes. There are also some developments which are more or less left hanging at the denouement (like the violet - unlikely scenario to say the absolute very least). Savanna (she's the one dating the world renowned cardiac surgeon) does some amateur sleuthing and could easily have gotten herself killed since she's constantly going off on her own steam and not cooperating very well with local law enforcement. The denouement and resolution were a little matchy-matchy tied up with a bow for me personally, but readers who really love HEA and HFN endings will find a lot to like here. 

The unabridged audiobook version is narrated by Karissa Vacker and has a run time of 8 hours, 25 minutes. She has a very clear and well modulated voice - but - (and it's a big but), she has one voice for all the female characters and one for all the male. It's (as far as I can tell) her own (nasal Texas twang and all), with a deeper gravelly tone. I wasn't sure I could listen to the audiobook, but I did get used to it after a half an hour or so. The sound / production quality is very high.

This would be a good choice for readers who really love HEA/HFN family style romance novels heavy on the romance. The language is squeaky clean and there's only implied (off page) consensual sexual content between adults in a stable relationship. No on-page smut at all; there are a few fairly chaste kisses. Very little blood and no gore with the murder mystery plot elements. It would make a good very light beach or coffee shop read. 

Three stars for the audiobook version, three and a half for the print version. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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