Monday, July 15, 2019

Book #Review ~ Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mystery by Dianne Ascroft ~ @DianneAscroft #CozyMystery

Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mystery by Dianne Ascroft


Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries Prequel Novella 
Independently Published 
April 28, 2019
Paperback: 126 pages 
ISBN-10: 1096163373 ISBN-13: 978-1096163374 
Digital ASIN: B07R4GQWQN

Purchase Links:


Barnes and Noble


About the Book:

Out of Options is a prequel novella to the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series, and introduces Lois Stone and her companions, Raggs and Ribbons, a pair of perceptive calico cats.

A dry district, a shocking secret, a missing person. When Lois Stone’s friend, Beth Darrow, arranges to meet her to reveal an astonishing discovery, Lois’s curiosity is piqued. Then Beth doesn’t keep their lunch date and Lois becomes worried. What has happened to her friend?

Middle-aged widow Lois is settling into life on her own in her neighbourhood and in the library where she works, and she is just about coping with her fear of strangers after her husband was mugged and died in the park at the end of their street. But her quiet existence is rocked when her friend and fellow local historical society researcher, Beth, arranges to meet her to reveal an exciting and shocking discovery she has made about the history of prohibition in West Toronto Junction, the last dry area in Toronto, and then goes missing before she can share her secret with Lois. There isn’t any proof that Beth is missing so the police won’t actively search for her. Only Lois and Beth’s niece Amy are convinced that Beth’s disappearance is very out of character, and they are worried about her. Where has Beth gone? Is she in danger? And, if she is, who might want to harm her and why? Lois knows she must find the answers to these questions fast if she wants to help and protect her friend.

And so begins a weekend of skulking in the park, apple and cinnamon pancakes, familiar faces staring out of old newspapers, calico cats, shadows on the windowpane, and more than one person who might want Beth to disappear from the quiet, leafy streets of the historic and staunchly dry West Toronto Junction neighbourhood.

My Review:

Out of Options follows the life of Lois Stone, a widow still trying to adjust to her new norm. Her mind always strays to her husband and his unsolved mugging that led to his death but she's determined to overcome her fears of the park where he died and her overall fear of strangers. She's part of the local historical society and it helps to keep her busy. When her fellow historian, Beth, misses their lunch date and doesn't respond to phone calls, Lois becomes worried. It's not like Beth to ditch her plans and when Lois learns of several other plans Beth either cancelled or didn't show up for, she knows there's a problem.

Lois goes out of her way, and stretches the bounds of her fears, to figure out what happened to Beth. Beth doesn't have enemies but she did tell Lois she has something exciting to share with her about the a priest and prohibition. She went missing shortly after telling Lois that tidbit. Out of Options is a quick read with interesting characters and creative mystery. I did have the mystery figured out early on but I wasn't sure of the reason why. I enjoyed the path taken to the end of the mystery.

Out of Options is a good start to Dianne Ascroft's Centry Cottage Cozy Mystery series. The novella also contains a short story about the mugging and death of Lois' husband, as well. This story sets up the reasons behind Lois' fears.

My Rating:


  1. Thanks for taking the time to read and review Out of Options, Sapphyria. I really appreciate it.