About the book Finding Comfort
Series: Comfort & Joy (Book 2)
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Contemporary / Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Fish Tales Publishing
Date of Publication: September 1, 2023
Number of Pages: 312 pages
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Even with all her experience, Gloria Bachman, retired banker and candy entrepreneur, didn’t see this coming.
Sweeties, the beloved Comfort chocolate shop, was ready for its cameo in advertising extraordinaire Jazzy Mezcal’s famous travel and food show! Comfort town folks had worked hard all summer to get their shops Hallmark-movie ready. On the eve of the TV crews overtaking the town, Gloria’s Chamber of Commerce welcome party gets drenched in a wicked rainstorm. Locals call it a “blue norther,” and a dreaded agent of change. Flooding seems like the worst of their problems until the celebrity TV host turns up dead.
In shock, Gloria’s friends turn to her to figure out who could be responsible for such a disaster. With the TV crew and guests in town for the 8th Street Market’s annual shopping event, suspects are endless. Reluctant to get involved, Gloria would much rather focus on the delicious romance with Mason Lassiter. And she would if a frenemy from Kerrville didn’t haunt her every step. Now as Gardner Rogers treads on her turf, everything feels suspicious.
With all eyes on Gloria to find the truth behind Jazzy Mezcal’s untimely death, she indulges her curiosity for problem solving while trying to disguise how unsure she is about the future with her boyfriend. Disruption in Mason’s world, mayhem in Comfort, and one epic chocolate disaster rouse Gloria to action and make her decide what’s worth fighting for. All she can say for sure, is that no one is finding any comfort in Comfort.
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About the Author, Kimberly Fish
Kimberly Fish has been a professional writer in marketing and media for over thirty years, with regular contributions to area newspapers and magazines. As an accidental historian, she wrote two novels, The Big Inch and Harmon General, both based on factual events in Longview, Texas that changed world history. Kimberly also offers a set of contemporary women’s fiction novels and novellas, based in the Texas Hill Country, that reveal her fascination with characters discovering their grit and sweet, second chances; all four of the novels have won distinguished awards. Finding Comfort is her latest novel, the second book in the Comfort and Joy Trilogy.
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I love visiting Comfort, Texas through Kimberly Fish’s books, and since the previous book in this series, Sweet Comfort, really resonated with me, I was excited to dive into the sequel. As ever, Fish’s storytelling does not disappoint. This novel is the perfect read for a crisp autumn evening, and since it starts in October and moves into the holiday season, it’s also a great way to escape from your relatives at Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas when family togetherness gets a little overwhelming.
Revisiting Gloria Bachman, banker cum candy store owner, was a wonderful reminder that those of us who are past our thirties and forties still have a lot of life, and that romance has no expiration date. Seeing her continue her relationship with Mason Lassiter was fantastic. These two are my endgame, as the kids say, and I’m rooting for them. That said, I love that their romance is a little rocky. It just makes them feel more like real people, with doubts and fears to work through.
But author Fish did not give us only a second-chance romance. Instead, this novel is the quintessence of cozy mysteries: adorable small town with charming shops – check, community of friends and relatives who all have opinions – check, charismatic outsider who may not be a villain but is definitely an antagonist (I’m looking at you Gardner Rogers), distraught father of the deceased – check. But while this book hits most of the genre’s familiar notes, there’s nothing formulaic about it. Every character in Finding Comfort feels like someone you know, and their lives are intertwined the way people who live in close communities really are.
What I always appreciate about Fish’s work, and is especially evident in this book, are the grace notes she adds to her work. She addresses some of the issues of aging – Will Wanda’s daughter convince her to move away from Comfort and give up some of her independence ? – without delicacy and care, and I found myself as intrigued by such side stories as I was with the main story.
I also love that Gloria has surrounded herself with a circle of women friends who laugh with her, cry with her, celebrate and mourn with her, and indulge her habit of sniffing out crime a little too much. It’s the richness of the world that Comfort, Texas represents that keeps me reading, and reading, the books set there.
One thing of note. While the story was perfectly paced and the characters well-drawn, there were more than the typical number of typos and grammar issues than I’m accustomed to seeing in published copies of any work – and especially in a Kimberly Fish novel. My heart goes out to her because these are things a proofreader or line editor should have fixed. I’ve never met Ms. Fish, but I can bet she’s less than pleased, and my heart goes out to her. I’m such a fast reader, and so good at closure, that my brain autocorrects most things for me, and they don’t detract from the reading experience. Slower readers may not be so lucky.
Despite this, I recommend this book, because everyone needs to find a little Comfort, and with this book, they will.
Goes well with: Ginger snaps, but not the commercial kind, and a cafe cortado.
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