Spoiler Space for Lavender’s Blue

If you’ve read the book and want to talk about it without spoiling it for others, here’s your space.

If you haven’t read the book and you don’t want to be spoiled, go away (she said, with love in her voice).

Have at it.

130 thoughts on “Spoiler Space for Lavender’s Blue

  1. I loved the book. I’ll cop to getting mixed up on who belonged to whom, but it wasn’t that hard to go back and do the “oh, yeah” thing. I loved the setting because it is so familiar and I could put myself right there on 52 and ride along. I’m also a sucker for diners.

      1. Slightly off topic, but are you planning to edit the sidebar on the right of this webpage in About the Author (change the last sentence from “lives in a cottage in New Jersey”… To “lives in Pennsylvania…”?
        I hope dachshunds and a large cat named Emily William are part of the inside scenery. Good luck with setting up a comfortable arrangement of the furnishings you had to move from one state to the other!

    1. I managed to find it after a false cast to the west of Cincinnati, following Vince’s drive home. (I’d got it in my head that Cincinnati was south along the river.) I always like tracking down locations. Used to have an old Rand McNally road atlas I bought from a remainder bookshop, but of course now it’s all on my iPad – with photographs.

  2. Hi Jenny,
    Apologies if you have already seen this post, but just in case you missed it, I’ve sent it again.
    Firstly, I loved Lavender’s Blue. I read it as soon as it arrived in my kindle app. It was a delight and can’t wait to read your next books.
    As I read my Ebook, I noticed a few inevitable typos which I highlighted and noted in the annotation function of my kindle app. (I made a guess at what I thought the word should be, hence all the ????). Some of the typos have been corrected already, and I’ve deleted them from my list, but here is the list of the typos that still need to be fixed.
    I’ve written enough assignment papers to know how elusive typos are, no matter how many times a written work is proofread. Again, I am so excited that more books are coming. Marie
    Chapter 11
    Highlight – Page 81 · Location 1178
    going stay
    Note –Going stay: going to stay ??
    Chapter 15
    Highlight– Page 104 · Location 1479
    to front of my mother’s little ranch house,
    Note –To front: to the front ??
    Chapter 19
    Highlight – Page 136 · Location 1896
    “So you’ll have stay two more days,”
    Note –Have to stay ?
    Chapter 27
    Highlight – Page 186 · Location 2530
    She bit into her burger with relish, and I wasn’t sure it because the burger was good or
    Note – It was because????
    Chapter 29
    Highlight– Page 210 · Location 2889
    I let me head fall back on the seat rest.
    Note –I let my head ???
    Chapter 32
    Highlight– Page 230 · Location 3158
    Office Cooper?”
    Note –Officer Cooper?
    Highlight – Page 231 · Location 3175
    Dumb son-a-bitch.”
    Note –Dumb son-of-a-bitch. ???
    Chapter 33
    Highlight – Page 238 · Location 3226
    and Lavender behind them looking beautiful and calm, bur not radiant.
    Note –But ???
    Chapter 42
    Highlight– Page 318 · Location 4300
    The she crawled up to the headboard,
    Note –Then ????
    Chapter 45
    Highlight– Page 330 · Location 4451
    Dave was half the man he used to.
    Note –used to be ???
    Chapter 50
    Highlight – Page 360 · Location 4857
    “So much to catch up on,” Anemone said, sound delighted,
    Note – sounding delighted ????
    Chapter 62
    Highlight – Page 416 · Location 5555
    I put the phone on speaker and stuck it in cup holder.
    Note – in the cup holder ???

    1. I saw some of those, too, but was not willing to stop and list them. Kudos to you. There were some egregious apostrophe problems, but most of it did not affect comprehension. I see this in many books. It’s very hard to proofread your own work!

      1. Even books that I’ve read and reread a dozen times, and have been read by my agent, my editor, multiple first readers, a copy editor, and a proof reader, STILL end up with the occasional typo. I swear, there is a typo gremlin that puts them there after the book goes to print.

        1. Back when I worked as a Technical Writer, before time pressure got bad, two people in the department would proofread the most recent work before it went out to the subject matter experts for review. (We fixed multiple typos before the next group of reviewers got the manual.) The experts would also find typos for us to fix, but I think you are right about typo gremlins since a typo (or more) showed up every time we went to print! I even took an extension class at the local University to improve my proofreading skills, and although it provided helpful tips like using a checklist for important terms and names, reading from back to front, and making multiple passes, the class material also provided many examples of how many different ways good work could go awry. I console myself with the thought that the work is better with the occasional typo than being a mass of typos with the rare good sentence…

    2. Hi Jenny,

      Feel free to delete this, but there were a couple of errors re the pearl necklace having a chain: pearls are strung on silk, chains would damage them. Sorry if I just missed a detail about the necklace not being a string of pearls!

      1. That was me thinking about murder methods and not pearls.
        I’ll see if Bob can fix that.

      2. Actually, they can be hung on a chain. I agree that it’s not ideal for the pearls, but at one point jewelry stores sold these kits where you bought one pearl on a chain and added to it for special occasions.

        Of course, this wasn’t fine jewelry, but it wasn’t glass either. A very expensive matched set would be on silk.

  3. It was so nice to be in Jenny Land again. I kept trying to slow down my reading to make it last longer, but the comfortable feeling of your words kept drawing me back into the story. I can’t wait for the next one. It’s a re-read for me for sure.

  4. I ended up staying up until 6 am reading this book so much of it is a blur, but I’ll reread it soon, hopefully at a more reasonable pace at time hahaha

    I really enjoyed that this was a longer book than usual (perhaps a perk of self-publishing?), and while I did get a bit confused about all the characters, I loved all the personalities and swirling/clashing motivations that I’ve come to identify as a Crusie trademark.

    I really enjoyed the arc with Liz’s mom where at first Liz couldn’t stand her, then started to feel for her and want to protect her and be closer to her, then realized what an awful thing she had done and set boundaries and conditions for their relationship moving forward to protect her own emotions and life. I also really liked Raina and her dynamic with Dave and Vince and the subarc of what Vince and Raina were going through in saying goodbye to Dave.

    I appreciated the insanity of Lavender asking Liz to be her maid of honor and then Liz saying (and insisting on) no because that’s just insane and asking for trouble since I feel like in other books it would be a plot point that the main character would feel obligated to help out or something (despite barely knowing Lavender) in order to prove she was over the groom or something ridiculous like that. I thought the threat of losing her $20,000 bonus was a much better motivation for getting involved, and sure, it felt nice to stick it to aunt ML, but she wasn’t going to do it just for that (from what I could tell). I like that Crusie heroines tend to know themselves and what they want and when they do, stand up for it. I get so sick of pushover heroines.

    I didn’t quite get how George could be the type of person who’d be so prejudiced against Liz for a dumb teenage prank but also be the type of person Vince respected and liked, especially after how much George craved to political pressure and sacrificed his police principles. I get the temptation of blaming all your misfortunes on a prank that immediately preceded said misfortunes, but I still think he was a pretty small and slimy person for most of the book. The reconciliation scene between him and Liz was good, though.

    I’m curious as to whether Liz & Molly’s relationship will change after the family revelations and ML going to jail. They were there for each other after the initial revelation, and I know Molly didn’t particularly like her own mother, but there might still be feelings of resentment or guilt towards Liz. I hope not, but it would be a reasonable reaction.

    I really liked the doppelganger comparison between Lavender and Liz, and I thought it really accentuated the differences you pointed out in a previous post, how Liz left and managed to get her own life, how she actually cared about Peri and the danger she was in, how she was full of life and could actually feel, how she had agency and control over her own life. I suppose Lavender had agency — she just made a decision to marry someone she despised to be a politician’s wife.

    The food at the Red Box had me drooling it sounded so good haha

    I thought Vince was a much more fleshed out hero than we’ve seen in previous collabs. I liked that we got a lot more thoughts and emotions from him this time, so we could see beyond the even-keeled and unflappable soldier we’ve had in past books.

    I really love Anemone and can’t wait to see how she features in the future. Truly a force to be reckoned with!

    I might be mistaken, but I think there was an inconsistency when Jill said she wasn’t fancy enough to be invited to the wedding but then in the next chapter was at the wedding.

    Anyway, thank you so much for the book! Really enjoyed reading your writing again!

    1. *pace and time

      Oh, and I also really enjoyed looking all the songs up on YouTube since I didn’t recognize most of them. They were all great, so thanks for introducing me to new music!

      1. The songs were new to me, too. But I did not want to take time to stop and look them up. Maybe an appendix with the lyrics would help that? Just a thought. Maybe Zoe and I are the only ones who did not relate to the music. The titles did help with a hint as to the content.

        1. You can’t reproduce song lyrics without permission. But I think listening to the songs makes more sense, anyway, if you’re curious.

      1. I am with Zoe on this one, I would love to proofread for you. (Sheer selfishness on my part if I get to read the book sooner rather than later.) I am fast even with the three passes, but I do slow down from my normal speed of about one hundred pages an hour. (Serendipity in action, reading a book or two daily for multiple decades is good practice for improving reading speed.) Taf

        1. I had a job proofreading and have experience. I would offer my help, too. This might be a case of too many cooks….

          1. I’m offering too. I manage a team of tech writers so I do a lot of proofreading. And you definitely wouldn’t be taking advantage of me – I’d get to read the books early!!

    2. re George: I was AMAZED the ‘Pens’=’Penis’ thing had never happened before. It’s obvious! This was not an original idea, and it having such an effect seemed disproportionate, so it took me a while to come around.

      1. A friend of mine actually did that down in Florida decades ago. I can’t remember if it was “Pens” but she definitely changed campaign posters to “penis.” She’s gone now so I can’t ask her, but I remember she did it with her high school age son.

    3. The one quibble I had earlier was that I didn’t get that Lavender and Skye were supposed out of the age range Liz would have known them at–I think I presumed they were around the same-ish age enough that Liz should have known them before, and was confused that she did not in a small town. If there’s an update for the typos or whatever, adding a wee bit of clarification there might be good.

      I do think getting Liz to be the MOH was a stretch (really, it’s Anemone being a quirky character who lives for small town drama so much that she moves there!), but probably went about as well as that could go for plausibility.

      I’m not sure what to make of George either, I think he might be a wee bit of a mixed bag. Not that bad of a guy in the end, but we all have our petty grudges at times. He improved by the end, for sure.

      1. I’m pretty sure that Lavender and Skye are about 10 years younger than the rest of the crew.

        1. Yes, but that’s not as immediately obvious as it could do with being. It made me start to question how big the town actually was. I’d assumed village size, since it only has one cafe and one bar, but there are far too many police for a village. Of course, US villages/small towns always seem to have a superabundance of police, plus a local newspaper; neither if which would be true in England. I live in a town of 15,500 people, with a pretty densely populated area around, and the police station has been closed for years. (I think the police still use it, but it’s not open to the public.)

        2. I’m also assuming that the Blue children did not go to school with the townies. Private school, finishing school?

    4. The descriptions about the food at the Red Box sounded so good…(A new category-Food porn:Dove ice cream bars or minis, dark chocolate, French fries, perfectly cooked steak, tomatoes fresh from the garden, fresh plums just off the tree…)

      It would be nice to find a Vince-like guy in San Diego, reading about great guys is fun, but there’s something to be said for actually getting to grab a good one. (I have fond memories of a guy who had a great sense of humor, was a good cook and shared kitchen space and tasks well for mutual efforts, and I met him in a dance class (he liked to dance and was a good leader-not heavy handed like some…) Too bad ill health took him too soon. My earlier list of desired traits was too short: intelligent, good sense of humor, willing to spend time with a somewhat eccentric female. On the advice of a therapist, I expanded the list to a full page, and the universe paid attention. (I did not think to specify many years of good health.) May be time for a new full page spec list-hmm?

        1. Congratulations, glad you got a good guy! I hope you can occasionally still dance together. We kept up the dance classes for quite a while, and they often had open dancing to practice after class. Sometimes it would involve a dance I had not learned yet, so if I was asked, I warned about my complete novice status. Some leaders actually did not mind my lack of knowledge, and I found out a lot about good leading technique from experiencing that.

          It also made clear how important a good frame was for each partner. One of the instructors had the partners switch roles so that followers had to lead, once the leaders were able to recognize the perils of too many turns, there was a lot less of turning being a default move!

          At least I have some wonderful memories. He originally lived in an apartment, so coming to my place and facing a medium to large garden was new to him. He was willing to offer help whether or not it matched his expertise. He was good with power tools, and trained me how to use the ones needed to build a deck at the Northern California Cabin. Safety goggles and no long loose sleeves and other tips really helped! Take care. Taf

  5. I really enjoyed it! It took me a while to get emotionally attached to anyone, but by the end was invested in Liz and Molly the most. I hope Molly features heavily in the next books, because what does a person do when your mom is a murderer and your best friend/cousin is your sister because your dad is a cheater?

    I like that Vince and Liz are really there for each other after so few days, but that they’re still picking their way to a relationship and acknowledging it’s just a start and only for a short time.

    The people did blend together, since there were so many of them for such a small town. Though I guess that’s part of the point- everyone knows everyone and has a history with everyone.

    I’m from a bit north of Cincinnati from a larger town with a university, but a lot of the same vibes, so it took me back to Ohio. Especially the humidity.

  6. I raced through this book, once I got started on it, so it will definitely be a reread to find out what I sped past. It reminds me a lot of Welcome to Temptation, with all the characters, and the seething hatred and jealousy, mixed with full-on hypocrisy and sick social climbing. It did take a while to warm up to Liz, because her back story came out gradually. I really came to like Vince! Wow! He has feelings, he has close friends, and he is a fairly mellow guy, for an Alpha. This is a wonderful improvement over the strong, silent, loner guys. Their relationship develops nicely, and it actually makes sense why they like each other so much, as different as they are

    I’m wondering how Dave managed to hide a gun and a syringe of poison in a hospital and a hospice inpatient unit? Maybe Vince did it for him? Either way, that was a stretch for me. An aide or a nurse would have come across that, eventually. I liked Rain a lot, and the relationship she and Vince have. I hope we’ll see more of her. I was sorry to see Dave “go”.

    Cash, the police chief, ML, and some of the other characters were meh for me. There’s always a Cash-type male in these towns. I, too have trouble reconciling the good reputation of the chief, and his grudge-carrying. He knows Liz, and that she does this water-carrying for her friends. I guess it adds to the avoidance Liz has for her home town.

    I thought the bears would be endearing, but they seem very sinister. I’m looking forward to finding out why, since they figure on the cover of one of the books. There’s something about the Tee shirts that we don’t know yet, too. And the diner fixation. It will all be explained.

    I loved Anemone, and look forward to seeing more of her. She comes in tangentially, but takes over so fast! She is a force, and it will be fun to learn more about where her impetus in life comes from.

    This book will be so good for women, who can follow Liz’s example in setting boundaries and standing up to family oppression. I was ready for her to get the hell out of dodge in the beginning because of that horrid relationship, but was glad when she stood up for herself, and mom capitulated. That was a very satisfying outcome.

    Liz’s protective feelings for Peri are wrenching, and it helps us understand why Liz is the way she is, never settling down and always moving. I loved that she brought the full force of her powers to “bear” to protect and befriend this child.

    I did not want to like Lavender, but she had some good qualities, and that she tried to reveal the truth before she was killed really redeemed her.

    I was surprised at how much I liked this book, since it moved pretty fast and had some really strange dynamics. Maybe that is why I liked it? It feels like many things were resolved, but enough were left hanging that we will want to read more about this town and these people.

    1. Agreed! I was also dying for Liz to escape Burney for the first half of the book, and then I slowly came around to why it might not be a terrible idea to stay, at least for a bit. I also agree that I wanted to dislike Lavender, and I still didn’t love her, but I respected the strength she showed when she did, and that she didn’t seem to hold things against Liz once she cleared up the misunderstandings and insecurities.

      Oh, I forgot to write before that I loved the gag of everyone a) knowing where Liz was at any point in time and b) constantly getting in and out of her car, against her will. That killed me XD

    2. I was very reminded of WTT, especially with the passive “I watched someone die” “murder” sort of thing again and the mayoral drama. I presume the mayoral drama will be more of a book 2-3 sort of thing?

    3. Oh yeah, I think Vince is my favorite Bob-dude character, or maybe he’s more of a mix of Jenny and Bob at this point? I really liked him.

    4. I got really hung up on what that would have been like for everyone else at the care facility if Dave had shot himself there. Not cool, dude.

      1. I am working under the assumption that the gun was a security blanket for Dave, a part of himself that it would hurt too much to lose, since he had a non-violent option ready and at hand. I didn’t assume he planned to use it on himself.

      2. I am rereading, and from their conversations I gather that they had an arrangement. That Vince would come in and use the syringe when Dave was ready for it. And Raina knew of it, but wasn’t getting involved. I think the gun was a backup, or maybe a comfort to have near. When Vince used the syringe, they had just had a cryptic exchange that indicated Dave was ready.

        1. Somehow I had the impression that Raina provided the syringe and contents but I think I misunderstood.
          I do think that’s why she is pushing Vince to visit Dave …

          1. As I’ve thought about it, I’m remembering when I witnessed an assisted suicide as a hospital chaplain. It was done with morphine, which depresses breathing. Dave would already have had it in his system, so not as noticeable in an autopsy, if there was one, and with his reduced weight, and poor prognosis, it would not have taken a lot. I think Raina would not dare compromise her position by providing it, but Vince probably has connections. Raina probably does know about it, though. Dave was waiting for those leaves to appear on the tree out his window, as the last thing he wanted to see. It’s touching that they were willing to give Dave that control.

  7. I loved it and a trip to Jenny and Bob Land was just what I needed this summer.

    I did want Liz to scream at Cash and George “For crying out loud – IT WAS HIGH SCHOOL!”. I certainly did several times, lol.

    I also kept waiting for the lug nuts (lugnuts?) to figure in some way. What shows up in the first few pages usually figures in at some point, but…maybe later?

    Ahhh, Anemone. I can not WAIT to see more of her! And Peri and the Scrubby Song. And Molly. 😀


    1. The lug nuts are a done deal, since her car is dead, now. I think that was just a way of showing Vince’s humanity, and connecting the two characters.

      1. And his preparedness / manliness. If you read Bob’s green beret / disaster books, he’s all about that and I’m guessing he also carries lug nuts in his car.

        1. A tire coming off could really ruin your day! Way back when my Mom was driving an early ’70’s VW Van, we heard a bit more clatter in front than normal, pulled off the road, took off the right hubcap, and found three lug nuts (with sheered off lug bolt inside). Got it towed to get it fixed, too scared to drive with barely attached tire. The rear tires were fine, so we put it in neutral, and the tow truck driver hoisted the front of the van.

          My theory at the time was that the new technique of using power tools to tighten the nuts meant they were just a bit too tight which caused the sheering off…

          1. I had a tire on my truck with a bubble that I hadn’t noticed, and it blew so bad that the mud flap and fender came off. That was scary! It was a back tire, so I could still steer, but it could have caused an accident.

          1. That blowout sounded scary Jan, glad you got through it OK!

            No one was hurt much when my sister Patti drove Dad’s overloaded station wagon with a homemade plywood roof rack and the front right tire blew. (All four tires were retreads, remember what a bad idea that was?) We fishtailed for a while, then the right front dug into the sand as we veered off the pavement. We were on the side of the car, then flipped to the roof, then finished further off the road as the station wagon finished back on its tires after a full roll.

            I ended up landing on my brother in the middle of the middle seat from being in the middle of the front seat. My elbows and knees probably bruised Don, but it was the flying peanut butter jar that gave him an impressive goose egg slightly to the side of the center of his forehead. Other than that and the metal ice chest that tweaked Dad’s knee as he was sleeping in the back of the car (next to his girlfriend), the seven of us were undamaged. The roof had a distinct lean to the right, and we had to pick out the remaining glass from the front window frame so that Dad could drive the car home to Corona (in California) from Kingman, Arizona. Dad wore goggles (in case we did not get all the glass) and looked like a slightly warped pilot in the days of early aviation.

            This trip was well after he and Mom divorced, and although he usually dated women his age or older, his girlfriend was three years older than I was. We attracted a bit more than the usual amount of attention when out and about sightseeing…

      2. I would have wondered if someone was trying to kill her earlier with the lug nuts (is that a thing that normally easily comes off cars? I think not?), but ML hadn’t been around Liz’s car at the time.

  8. For me that scene where Liz sets boundaries with her mum makes the book.
    I am just really sorry that Lavender had to die. I think she was redeemable.

      1. There was already Navy’s death but yes she had too.
        I suppose I prefer it when the person who dies is an all out villain that nobody will mourn.

    1. I expected to hate Lavender with a passion. It added weight to her death for me and to Liz’s guilt.

      I also liked that I could see what Liz saw in Cash when they were young. I got shades of Davy. I may need to listen to Faking it next…

        1. Davy was quite the hottie, and Phin and Sophie had sufficient hotness together to fog my glasses. I think Cash left me neutral because Liz was so done with being impressed by him. The Cinderella Deal had Linc (although the running was not a great idea) and Art Francis (the vet who took care of the dog (Jupiter), and “rat snacks” still makes me giggle. Alec Prentice in Trust Me on This was a charmer, and Anyone but You had charmers all over the place! Fred the potato chip stealing dog, Nina (Fred’s owner/Mom), Alex (hot guy who is hot for Nina), Charity, Max (who gives a great talk to Alex about when women hit their forties) and is hot too, and the Incredibra (an evil character that represents uplift), and I love the double chin description… Multiple re-reads all around and I did not list all the books. Character and great dialog all over the place…Taf

          1. I just appreciate that I can see why Liz made bad choices for him fifteen years ago. If he had been too much of an ass I would have wondered why she took the fall so many times.

  9. I kept looking for a body – other than Navy’s. The family tension seemed all too real and easily escapable, but everyone pushing for Navy’s ‘accidental death’ didn’t seem enough to make a mystery. And I really like the mystery parts of Jenny/Bob collabs. So now I’m hoping that the disappearing cash-as-motive-for-suicide and the Blue family financial mess will feature in the next books. Very glad to see the end of ML! I had her pegged as the villain early on, and wondered why it took everybody so long to get to the point of Lavender being mistaken from the back by the killer. Taking my time on my second read, and picking up all kinds of goodies. Love Raina and the sub thread of the long-term damage done by being posted to the wrong place, on land poisoned by gawd-knows-what. Can we get the next book out… this week?

    1. I feel like a lot of the book was about how small town perceptions get set in stone early and are hard to shake. Liz got pegged as local trouble, Cash got pegged as local boy made good and ML got interfering busybody which naturally involves a bit of nastiness “for their own good”. Liz’s mother got scatterbrained which concealed her alcoholism and her affair.
      I like how none of the characters really stay in their assigned roles (and how much Lavender subverts ice queen )

  10. So the more I think about the book the more I loved it.

    I really liked how Liz spelled out that it wasn’t ok to make Peri be strong and the way that Vince just went and fixed the dangerous curve side rail. It made both of them such likeable characters.

    I was expecting Anemone to be a rough difficult person and I love how she ends up being the mother Liz needs.

    I love how Liz loves her mom but still sets healthy boundaries .

    What I think might happen in the next two books, but didn’t happen here, is Liz getting angry at uncle dad staying with the evil aunt because Molly needed a father when Liz also needed one. After all the evil aunt apparently already knew who Liz’s father was as did others, and for that matter Liz was older than Molly so why didn’t he just acknowledge her as his kid when she was born? But that may all get addressed later.

    A few things that nagged at me:

    Why was Liz so convinced she could have saved Lavender? I think when she first said it she didn’t even know how Lavender
    died. Even knowing about survivor guilt it felt like an overreaction.

    How can Vince’s diner be on a flatbed that can be pulled out in case of flooding but still have electricity and, I assume, plumbing ?

    Why does Vince keep sitting on the edge of the dangerous break in the side rail —ok I have a thing about heights but it seemed unnecessary.

    I noted a few more typos.

    Chapter 11 “I would mean a lot to her” probably should be “It”

    Chapter 12 “woh” instead of “who”

    Chapter 41 “This is not wanted” probably should be “this is not what I wanted .”

    Chapter 46 “ you’re not responsible for whole damn world” probably needs a “the”

    Chapter 57 I think there shouldn’t be a Comma after “if he was afraid “

    Chapter 62 —this may be intentional because Peri is only 7 —should it be “that’s” instead of “that a bow tie”?

    Chapter 67 there should be a “the” after “wrecked Camry out”

    1. About Liz’s survivor guilt/sense of responsibility: it’s an eerie and unsettling feeling being the last person to see or have meaningful interaction with someone who dies unexpectedly, especially violently, and it lingers. Mine was a suicide. Even though I know that there were no signs pointing toward it, the suicide was precipitated by the possibility of a vile criminal act being made public, for the longest time I felt this niggling sensation that I should have somehow predicted it and stopped it. Humans are weird. We like to think that we have the power to control things that are completely beyond predicting.

    2. Liz swapping clothes made it possible for Lavender to escape, and therefore to die. That would’ve made me think “I could’ve saved her”.

  11. I really loved how this book felt like a real small town. I live in one and the gossip is almost incestuous, if you know what I mean. There is such a trend to glorify adorable little towns, but my experience of living in the shadows of empty factories is pretty bleak.

    But I also liked Burney, and that was nice too. There is hope for it.

    And I agree with someone above that Vince is my favorite male character from the collaborations. Shane’s deadpan personality really works in Agnes, sort of a control element when everyone is over the top all the time, but he was a tough nut to crack. I feel like the first person showcases Vince’s sense of humor.

    And I read Anemone’s voice as Dolly Parton. I’m not sure if she was from the south or if I just get strong Steel Magnolia vibes.

    I also appreciate the diversity shown in the cast. It’s nice to see people of color, even in Ohio.

    And Jimmy/ Jim. I am so glad he is getting saved too.

    1. I also liked the investigator/dragon guy in Wild Ride that the FMC ends up with. (Sorry, purring cat on my lap – can’t get up to refresh his name). And the Fun demon character was very charming.

      Whenever the cat gets up, I clearly must go reread “Wild Ride” and “Don’t Look Down”!

      1. Although I do think Jenny wrote them, and Bob wrote the FMC’s brother (in Wild Ride). Just thinking about charming characters….

  12. While I do not ordinarily laugh out loud at what I am reading, you totally had me at:

    “Kitty says she never calls Faye ‘Faye,’ she always calls her ‘Fay’….She says Faye knows.”

    I guffawed when I read it, and again two hours later when I remembered it.

    1. Came to make the same comment but with this quote..
      “What kind of girl do you think I am?” “I figure you’re a biter, maybe a scratcher.”
      Was reading in bed and woke the hubby up.

  13. It’s so much fun reading everyone’s comments about the mutual love of a book.

    I had a heck of a time keeping up with all the characters in the beginning, but I was reading in 10 minute increments and it’s the first book of a series. Lots of set up required.
    That said, it took me a few volumes of Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow to warm to the series and I they are an auto buy for me now.

    Anemone and Vince and Veronica…already added to my stable of favorite characters.

    It is wonderful to have a satisfying ending to a book and the comfort of knowing the next in the series will be available in a few weeks. I’ll have time to reread Lavender to catch what I missed.

    May Burney be the new Caerphilly that requires twice yearly updates for the next 25 years.

    1. I read the first Donna Andrews book when it came out and liked it at the start. I keep up with her books too, her Dad’s character is funny and appealing, Meg’s sweetie is very attractive and how they meet was a blast, the friends and other family members add a lot to the books. I also like that she is on the tall side herself and is a blacksmith with a notebook as a constant companion. Taf

  14. A genealogy chart would have been helpful. I was trying to figure out how the senator was actually related. I read fast, especially if I like like the book and then re-read them multiple times. Every time I find a paragraph i missed. ADD means always finding something new in something old.

    1. We actually can’t put a genealogy chart in the book. It would be a spoiler for the first one. And the third one.

  15. I loved it and read it almost straight through. I think a lot of my enjoyment has come from comparing it to Agnes and the Hitman and other Crusies. Are any of the others written in first person? This book is certainly darker and sadder than the others—difficult scenes/topics that aren’t mitigated by humor. But, hey, it’s been that kind of a decade for most people. I felt like this book wasn’t as tight in plot or prose as previous books, but I liked the space that left for pausing and thinking and feeling. This book sort of met me where I’m at in a lot of ways that I’m still thinking about.

  16. I loved everything about it , no complaints from me. Desperate for the next one ,not long to wait thank goodness. I pre ordered in Kindle ,but the cover was so impressive I had to get my hands on the paperback .I like my Kindle but you just can’t beat a proper book.

    1. I am (not so) patiently waiting for the next book too. When the characters and dialogue are so great it is hard to wait. I got the paperback, then went wild and got the hardback. (Bob – Would you like a hardcover copy? My treat if you let me know how to relay it to you.)

      Jenny gets really good cover artists for her books, see you can occasionally judge a book by its cover! (That cover remark also applies to the collaborations with Bob.) I love how Agnes looks on her cover. Taf

  17. I loved the book. It did take me a moment or five to get the people straight. I didn’t read it straight through, perhaps that was why. You know when you are reading a favourite author/duo and you can not wait to get into the story but have to stop before the characters are settling into a rhythm…that was me.

    ML was a villain immediately. Wasn’t sure if she was the murderer at first but the signs were there. There were clues which fit together.
    Liz and mother’s storyline v Margot Blue and Periwinkle was well done. I missed or didn’t remember Senator Amy Wilcox was Margot’s mother. Many vile things to come?
    Vince is likeable from the start. His motives were upright and a good guy. Fixing the guard rail, check.
    Liz is a woman of strong character.
    The Maid of Honor request was surprising. I have to reread what I missed.
    Cash is totally out for himself. Expecting a come to Jesus moment on the horizon.
    Can see how George held a grudge against Liz even though he was the adult in the room when Liz took the blame for campaign posters. His life went to hell in a hand basket and blamed Liz. Thought you must have had a laugh thinking up his last name and how one letter changes the optics.

    And, I loved that Magnolia was Liz’s middle name and the affectionate tone Vince used when saying it. Instant chemistry. An ode to Daisy?

    It was so satisfying to read something new from you and Bob. Thank you both.

    (I can’t read all night long any more. I read The Cinderella Deal straight through where I was all alone in a rented house on the north shore of Oahu with the surf pounding and a sliding door which didn’t quite catch, which I discovered the night before H arrived.)

  18. My favourite thing about the book was Liz. Simple but true. Loved that she was a grown-up, loved her humour, loved that she could be helpful to people without being a doormat and loved that she could set boundaries with her mother and still have a relationship with her.

    Vince was great – and my favourite Crusie guy is still Phin. I’ll always love him best. What’s not to adore about a guy who tells Davy that pool is the closest thing he’s got to a religion and that Davy should never ever throw a game to him again?

  19. Loved it. I have no useful comments other than Veronica rules. I too devoured it. It felt like a detective romance which was quite enjoyable. I know I should savor these but once I start reading I can’t stop.

  20. I liked LB a lot and plan to re-read once the next one lands, so it’s all refreshed. Liz & Vince may be my favorite Crusie couple – their behavior to each other works for me, and the fact that they speak of true things in an honest way.

    George: he’s my least favorite kind of small-towner. The Big Fish / Small Pond syndrome, wherein the pond is only kept filled by people he is therefore beholden to, and his behavior is thereby corrupted. And holding grudges for ridiculous lengths of time. And being so defined by a self-image formed, it seems, in late adolescence. “I Are This Guy Forever.”

    The thing about leaving a small town is, you change. People who don’t leave often find it very difficult to change. They often don’t recognize the desirability of changing while the world evolves around them. And they often don’t understand (can’t, or don’t choose to) the people who do leave (and who therefore change). So I understood George, because I have known George. I appreciated the bind he was in and I really appreciated that he also apologized to Liz. Because he was the grown-up, and it was literally his job to protect and serve EVERYBODY, and he failed.

    I opted not to log the typos etc but I did have a ‘where did it go’ moment when Liz’s car went over the cliff. She got out with her laptop, but the phone was docked (?) so it seems like the phone would be toast, but it’s a minor point and possibly the next book will explain.

    The other object-related query I had has potential to be a major spoiler but I am hella curious. The thing is, the pearls. Genuine, natural (even cultured) heirloom-quality matched pearls are not strung on wire; they are strung on (usually) silk cord, knotted between each pearl, because a pearl is a delicate and flaky object that does not bear up well to friction. Ironic, since they are created in response to friction. Also, the knots helps prevent loss of multiple pearls if the string should ever break. Anyway, I’m wondering if, given the financial chicanery elsewhere, the pearls not being genuine are a plot point.

    Next book cannot arrive soon enough! 🙂

    1. I screwed up the pearls. I was trying to make them strong enough to knock Lavender over, and I didn’t research.

          1. Navy embezzled? I got that he’d mismanaged the money, but he did it – IMO – under pressure and then couldn’t handle the mess made when Cash screwed it all up. Yikes!

          2. He took money from his sibs and daughter, but in Pink you find out why. Still illegal.

      1. A strand of properly strung pearls are quite hard to break. Silk is strong, especially with the knot between each pearl.

        1. As Bob pointed out, the knots would keep the pearls from spilling, and there goes our Clue. Argh.

    2. I’ve always had a similar problem with the long string of priceless pearls in Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion. Heroic Cazaril defeats an ambush by swinging them around his head, somehow breaking the necklace (with his thumb, if I recall correctly) and sending pearls flying in all directions around the castle courtyard. The bad guys stop attacking and scramble to grab them. Every time I read that scene I think yeah, no, because surely there would have been knots between each pearl. It doesn’t spoil the book for me. I love it and re-read regularly.

  21. I got the book in the mail last week, and it is so pretty! I want to read it right now, I REALLY do, but I’m in the midst of trying to finish my own WIP before the end of August and it’s throwing plot fireballs at me so I’m ducking and weaving (aka writing pages and then deleting them. Oh how fun…). I want to be able to focus and enjoy this book. So…I’m not reading these comments but wanted to jump in an say I will be all OVER reading everyone’s thoughts once I finally, finally get to read this book.

    Did I mention the cover is pretty? I love it.

  22. I can’t read the comments here yet because I’m still reading the book. But I want to say the combination of Jennie and Bob it’s really good. They complement each other perfectly. I love both takes and both vibes. Now I’m going back to the book. It was definitely worth the 12 year wait, thank you for finishing it.

  23. I read all the comments here and realized that my reading was different… maybe. To some extent, it couldn’t be. I have, after all, read every Crusie novel published as well as the collaborations. But I tried to read Lavender’s Blue cold, just for itself.

    Do I see the similarities between Burney and Temptation, or Burney and Tibbett, or Burney and Frog Point? Oh, yeah, especially when others point them out. But I read LB cold, not expecting anything but a good story, which it delivered. I’m looking forward to the rest of the Blue saga.

  24. I totally admit that I was thrown off when reading it the first time because I did remember a fair amount of a prior version that you put up a long time ago. I kept expecting things. Nonetheless I enjoyed it
    Very much. When I reread it without the false expectations I loved it. It made me happy and so few books do these days. Maybe some of the Liaden Universe books. I’m struggling otherwise. Anyway, I loved it. And don’t be discouraged by comments about typos. It’s the content that makes me come back for more. I was sad that I couldn’t get the 2nd book in time to read coming back from England. I was going to wait to read the 1st book today when flying back. That resolution lasted about 3 hours. I just couldn’t wait and I wasn’t disappointed

    1. It has changed a lot from the original. We should find some of the earlier stuff that got cut and post it.

      1. We cut two scenes for sure, one when Vince dropped Liz off at Porters in the beginning, and one at the Blue House for the fittings which is where Liz originally met the Blues instead of outside of JBs.

  25. I loved the book. I’m fascinated by everyone’s comments, especially about what bothered other readers. Those things didn’t bother me. At this point I don’t want to mention things that did bother me; after all, the next two books might change the way I look at the first. I prefer to think about the best part of all: Jenny is putting out new books for me to read! Yay!

  26. I loved the book. There was nothing significant enough to take me out of the story, fortunately.

    Once I went to a wedding with friends. There was a lovely flute song played by the bride’s friend. I really enjoyed it. Afterwards my companions were discussing all the mistakes she made and I was so glad I didn’t know enough to notice them.

    It’s funny because I am binge watching Virgin River in anticipation of the 5th season & I am being pulled out of the story constantly by the secrets and lies thing. If someone reveals something you know 100% the next words will be – don’t tell anyone. ARGH.

  27. I was so pleased that one of my favorite things from the original (chapters Jeremy posted back in the beginning) was still there – Vince holding his hand out to help Liz get back up the muddy bank, Liz looking at her hand and saying “mud” as a reason not to take it, but accepting his help anyway when he was in phased. Three sentences established for me that both of these people are considerate adults and makes me want to read on.

    I also liked Lavender a lot in the first version and was sad when Jenny said she would be the murder victim. This version of her made her much more satisfying as the murderee.

    Having read previous versions gave me expectations for the final result, so I was delighted to find that not only was it as entertaining as I expected, but a richer,deeper and more satisfying book than anticipated, and one I expect to be on my “reread many times” list.

  28. Loved the book. I actually work near the Walmart and District 3. One of the library branches in the area. I also have a favorite T-shirt that says “Everything is fine” with an armless picture of the black knight. Looking forward to the next.

      1. My son got it for me at Gen-con. He got me another that said “run away” with a bloody bunny on it.

  29. I finished it at midnight tonight. I love this so much more than Agnes and the hitman. I think you’ve got your writing styles melded together in a perfect way. I can’t wait for the next book. I have no criticisms to make. It was a wonderful read, and I enjoyed every minute of it. so many great lines so many great ploys. Loved people sliding into Liz’s car. Love Dave and Raina. I am so glad Peri is going to be living with Anemone and Liz for a while. And I want to thank you both for a wonderful experience. Also, nobody mentioned the little headings at the beginnings of the chapters. I love the design on those. I love the whole way the book was designed. And if I decide to self publish I want to use your people.

    1. Totally agree with you about the collaboration really working now, and Lavender’s Blue being a keeper – which the earlier ones weren’t, for me.

  30. I really struggled at the beginning, trying to keep track of who was who, but also because I found Burney and it’s citizens to be so mean. I was having trouble relating to anyone. And when Liz agreed to be the maid of honor I thought “Just no. That’s it, I’m done.” But I came back to it and got drawn in and then hooked. I laughed out loud at some of the dialogue and I cried about Dave. I would like to see what Uncle Day has to say for himself. Mostly what I liked about the book was Liz’s absolute unflinching honesty with everyone (including herself) about everything. It struck me as so brave and so real and had both strength and vulnerability to it, and I’m glad that Vince could step up to that and be the support she needed without dragging her down. I’m invested now, at least in Liz and Vince, and Molly, Rain, and Peri.

  31. Loved the book. I had trouble matching everyone at first, a genealogy page at the beginning would have been super helpful, but it did not stop my enjoyment of the story. I agree with some of the above comments that Vince is my favorite Bob character. The secondary story with Dave and Raina made him such a deeper, richer character. I did not even notice the pearl necklace chain vs silk thing because I’m a bit of a klutz and have caught my pants on a handrail trying to walk down the stairs and fell backwards before, so the idea that someone grabbing the necklace from behind as she was walking down would cause her to fall was spot on for me. I did not think I would like Lavender, but I did, and was sad because I knew she was not going to make it.

  32. I loved the story. I think someone else mentioned there were echoes of WTT which I enjoyed but Liz and Vince were still their own distinct characters. Had so much fun getting introduced to the town and the quirky characters- really excited that the plan is now for 3 more books after One in Vermillion.

    Liz may not want to know the story behind her mom, aunt, and uncle but I sure do. I am also looking forward to seeing where and what the other characters will be doing in the next set of stories.

    I thought I saw that all the stories would be released in hardcover around the same time as the ebook release dates- is that still the plan? Id love to splurge and get the entire series in hardcover. After years of reading on my kindle or phone I rediscovered the joy of a physical book.

    1. Yes. The hardcover and the trade pb will go live when the digital does. In about two weeks (she said, not sure of the date).

  33. I really enjoyed the whole book and was especially happy that it is nice and long- more time to spend in its world. I would love to spend more time in Temptation, and I did see some echoes here- Peri reminded me of Dillie and Anemone of a nicer version of Clea.

    The thought of growing up in a small town has always made me shudder. I grew up in a church community within a city, and that was bad enough. But experiencing it second-hand is great- you get all the gossip and back-stabbing and hugging vicariously.

    Liz turning out to be a Blue is a great twist, didn’t see that coming! I wonder how that will affect her standing in the community. I also wonder who will get knocked off in the sequels. Will Cash finally get his comeuppance?

  34. I have been thinking about the book, and I want to read it again, but I will jump in here. I really liked it. It did not seem longer or too confusing. Like some I reread the beginning because I got interupted when I had just started. I also got those echoes of WTT — car, approaching small quirky town.

    1 – I really loved being back in Jenny/Bob world. I also read some of the early drafts and I felt right at home. I particularly loved Veronica, remembering when the real Veronica came to Jenny’s. Dahling.

    2 – I thought the transitions between Liz and Vince chapters were pretty seamless. I also appreciated the deeper look into Vince.

    3 – Lavender’s murder came rather late for me, but it worked. What did not work for me was the way George did not just dislike Liz (for a childhood prank), but kept arresting her when there was no evidence that she was involved in the crime. Lavender was found in a pool of blood, Liz was guarded in a room in a poofy white wedding dress. How could she possibly have killed Lavender? There were some of the pearls (also covered in blood?) in her car. No trace of blood on the poofy white wedding dress. ??? Okay, part of this was because Vince had not shared all the evidence with George at the time that George stormed out to the diner and arrested Liz for the second time, but George just ended up looking like an idiot. And a crooked cop at that.

  35. Oh, I remembered my #4 – the music!!! Some of which I got from Jenny before, like Birdhouse in Your Soul, but since those original days I have gotten Alexa! All you need to do is ask her to play the song and there you go. Don’t even need a play list, although I might put one together. Also, she doesn’t always understand the request. I got Damien Jurado, who was not a bad result, nice soft pop singer voice. Not the person mentioned in the book, Jeanette Jurado of Expose.

    AND I appreciate a book written in chronological order. I am sort of sick of books jumping around time from past to present to different POV. Can you just tell us the story? I know that stories are not just chronological, because — backstory.

  36. SO glad you’re back! I smiled thru the entire book. Absolutely wonderful & can’t wait for Vermillion & Pink. Yay!!!

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