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Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley
The Aquanaut by Dan Santat
Bleeding Hearts by Susan Wittig Albert
A Calculated Whisk by Victoria Hamilton
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Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator)
Death by Espresso by Alex Erickson
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Heartstopper: Volume Three by Alice Oseman
Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Komi Can't Communicate, Volume 2 by Tomohito Oda
Little Houses by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek (Illustrator)
My Dress-Up Darling, Volume 2 by Shinichi Fukuda
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 12 by Adachitoka
Really Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
Spy x Family, Volume 4 by Tatsuya Endo and Case Loe (translator)
Sweetness and Lightning, Volume 1 by Gido Amagakure and Adam Lensenmayer (Translator)
When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

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Bleeding Hearts: 08/24/22

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts by Susan Wittig Albert is the fourteenth book in the China Bayles mystery series. While her husband is in New Mexico on a case, China is investigating allegations that the local football coach can't keep his hands off teenage girls. She's then pulled into solve two murders.

Meanwhile, much like the more recent Really Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (2020), there's a B plot mystery. This time it's in the form of a missing quilt.

This series has always tied the mystery to an herb of some sort. While bleeding hearts are mentioned they don't feature as strongly as other herbs have. Rather they are tied up with an overall theme of hearts as this novel takes place around Valentine's day and also deals with the metaphoric broken heart of a mother.

After all of that, though, what will end up sticking with me is the prescience of the novel to cover the toxic masculinity of small town Texas. Here is framed against the obsession over football and the ways small towns will reward a winning coach regardless of his other actions. But the coach before coming to Pecan Springs was working in Uvalde. The book's climax features a high school shooting.

The fifteenth book is Spanish Dagger (2007).

Four stars

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