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Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1)

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Julia needed a new start. The unexpected death of her favorite aunt sends Julia to the artist town of Grand Marais. There she starts to weave tattered threads into a new tapestry while rediscovering her love of sketching and running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is just starting to go right when a mysterious package arrives bearing an antique letter opener a Julia needed a new start. The unexpected death of her favorite aunt sends Julia to the artist town of Grand Marais. There she starts to weave tattered threads into a new tapestry while rediscovering her love of sketching and running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is just starting to go right when a mysterious package arrives bearing an antique letter opener arrives. Julia's natural curiosity is piqued but before she can untangle the mystery it's found embedded in Tom Peterson's chest. The tapestry of her new life begins to unravel as she is named a prime suspect. Now, left with few clues and a past not willing to let her go, Julia works to solve the mystery and the murder. Infidelity through time and a curse that only she can break - once she figures out how.


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Julia needed a new start. The unexpected death of her favorite aunt sends Julia to the artist town of Grand Marais. There she starts to weave tattered threads into a new tapestry while rediscovering her love of sketching and running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is just starting to go right when a mysterious package arrives bearing an antique letter opener a Julia needed a new start. The unexpected death of her favorite aunt sends Julia to the artist town of Grand Marais. There she starts to weave tattered threads into a new tapestry while rediscovering her love of sketching and running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is just starting to go right when a mysterious package arrives bearing an antique letter opener arrives. Julia's natural curiosity is piqued but before she can untangle the mystery it's found embedded in Tom Peterson's chest. The tapestry of her new life begins to unravel as she is named a prime suspect. Now, left with few clues and a past not willing to let her go, Julia works to solve the mystery and the murder. Infidelity through time and a curse that only she can break - once she figures out how.

30 review for Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Beach

    I really loved reading this cozy mystery! Not only could I relate to Julia, at times I felt like she was me. I was engrossed in the story from the beginning, and I really loved the setting and the overall vibe. The antique shop, the small town by the lake...it sets a great scene, and I can imagine that it's what the town is really like. I look forward to reading more from Anne Willow and can't wait for book 2! I really loved reading this cozy mystery! Not only could I relate to Julia, at times I felt like she was me. I was engrossed in the story from the beginning, and I really loved the setting and the overall vibe. The antique shop, the small town by the lake...it sets a great scene, and I can imagine that it's what the town is really like. I look forward to reading more from Anne Willow and can't wait for book 2!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica LeVault

    Broken Promises by Anne Willow is a story of mystery and broken hearts. As you read through the story, you can feel the fear and anger through each person. We find several women in the same predicament but see that they handle the situation differently. You can picture the little antique shop and town so clearly with Anne’s description that it’s like you’re there. This book is so well written that once you start you just won’t be able to put it down. This story is good for all ages from preteen Broken Promises by Anne Willow is a story of mystery and broken hearts. As you read through the story, you can feel the fear and anger through each person. We find several women in the same predicament but see that they handle the situation differently. You can picture the little antique shop and town so clearly with Anne’s description that it’s like you’re there. This book is so well written that once you start you just won’t be able to put it down. This story is good for all ages from preteen to adult anytime of the year.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    I loved this mystery novel with a little bit of supernatural thrown in. Anne Willow has a great talent for writing and provided lots of twists, the story is full of surprises. The setting in this book is so lovingly described you can feel in the writing that the place is close to the authors heart. This is a simple and perfect story to enjoy over a relaxing weekend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Goulding

    Reviewing on behalf of Amo's Book Corner. Julia's marriage with Graham is falling apart - he's a serial cheat and a liar! When her Aunt Sadie dies, Julia moves into her old flat in Grand Marias and takes on her business. Although this gives her the separation from Graham that she needs, it also gives her much more than she bargained for. Not long after moving to the small town, a couple of the locals are murdered. But who is the killer? As Julia doesn't know anyone all that well and with a number Reviewing on behalf of Amo's Book Corner. Julia's marriage with Graham is falling apart - he's a serial cheat and a liar! When her Aunt Sadie dies, Julia moves into her old flat in Grand Marias and takes on her business. Although this gives her the separation from Graham that she needs, it also gives her much more than she bargained for. Not long after moving to the small town, a couple of the locals are murdered. But who is the killer? As Julia doesn't know anyone all that well and with a number of people who might be responsible, this is one hell of a mystery! Julia takes it upon herself to delve further to see what she can find out, but is she playing with fire? Is the meddling putting her own life in danger? As the story plays out, it becomes clear that some 'ghosts' can't be laid to rest if there is unfinished business, so how exactly will it end? This book is great for anyone who likes to curl up with a cozy mystery. Throughout the book I found myself questioning the many responsibilities of who the killer is and my opinion changed multiple times. It certainly kept me gripped to the very end! Very entertaining and a light-hearted mystery, I enjoyed this book so much that I am giving it a rating of 5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I found this to be a fun, light read and a good start to a new series. I really enjoyed our main character, Julia.  She seemed very well-rounded, complex, and even grew a bit of a spine in this book, which is good because while I, myself, am not the greatest at standing up for myself, I like the heroines in the books I read to be strong. While she did take some risks in this book, they were thought out and not just off-the-cuff, who cares about the risk, moments. Also a good thing because I reall I found this to be a fun, light read and a good start to a new series. I really enjoyed our main character, Julia.  She seemed very well-rounded, complex, and even grew a bit of a spine in this book, which is good because while I, myself, am not the greatest at standing up for myself, I like the heroines in the books I read to be strong. While she did take some risks in this book, they were thought out and not just off-the-cuff, who cares about the risk, moments. Also a good thing because I really hate heroes or heroines who are "too stupid to live" and are reckless with their sleuthing. The setting seemed nice. I will admit to being slightly confused at first. I missed the little detail that we were in Minnesota. Michigan (where I live) also has a Grand Marais and it's also on the shore of Lake Superior. However, it's nowhere near Thunder Bay like the one in Minnesota so when I read that people were passing through on their way to Thunder Bay, I knew I'd missed something. I like the town and the store. For the most part I was able to imagine the settings. A tiny bit more detail would've been nice, but I'd rather an author err on the side of too little detail rather than too much. The plot line was well-written and moved along at a decent pace. I did have some idea of the villain fairly early in the book, but the rest of the story kept me intrigued, so it didn't really spoil it to know so early. All in all, it was a fun read and I'd recommend it to cozy mystery lovers. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Great read, loved the mystery behind it. Who knew that you could touch an object and feel the anger or love from it? Julia doing what she loves best, sketching and selling old things. Come across a mystery only her Grandma could tell her. However her grandma has passed. When a mysterious letter arrives with a trinket of sorts, Julia is thrown. She doesn't know who the sender is until it's to late. With things going on with her Ex husband, and now her shop. Julia finds her life tipped upside down. S Great read, loved the mystery behind it. Who knew that you could touch an object and feel the anger or love from it? Julia doing what she loves best, sketching and selling old things. Come across a mystery only her Grandma could tell her. However her grandma has passed. When a mysterious letter arrives with a trinket of sorts, Julia is thrown. She doesn't know who the sender is until it's to late. With things going on with her Ex husband, and now her shop. Julia finds her life tipped upside down. She doesn't know who did what, but she does know she didn't do it. Obliviously!! When the truth about the trinket comes to light, along with a few other things. Julia finally figures out who is who and who done it! Done what?? Well you have to read the book because I don't want to spoil it for you. If you like mystery then you'll want to read this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brigid Helyg

    Broken Promises was a fun read. I loved having the historical tale within the modern mystery. It added another layer from traditional murder mysteries. I wish it had been longer, but since it's the first in a series, I'm looking forward to getting to know Grand Marais and the characters living there in future books. Broken Promises was a fun read. I loved having the historical tale within the modern mystery. It added another layer from traditional murder mysteries. I wish it had been longer, but since it's the first in a series, I'm looking forward to getting to know Grand Marais and the characters living there in future books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    CHERYL YEAGER

    Julis The story was well written. Had a some surprised in it including the killer. I liked the setting of the story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Black Swan

    Julia is a decent enough woman, separated from her husband, who had arrived a few months earlier to the town of Grand Marais in Minnesota to take a breather and run her deceased Aunt Sadie’s antique shop there that this book series is named after (Past Imperfect). Well, she has gotten to know some of the folks of this new location on the shores of Lake Superior ranging from waitresses at a popular coffee shop and a teenager she hires by the name of Lucy to assist her with operating Past Imperfec Julia is a decent enough woman, separated from her husband, who had arrived a few months earlier to the town of Grand Marais in Minnesota to take a breather and run her deceased Aunt Sadie’s antique shop there that this book series is named after (Past Imperfect). Well, she has gotten to know some of the folks of this new location on the shores of Lake Superior ranging from waitresses at a popular coffee shop and a teenager she hires by the name of Lucy to assist her with operating Past Imperfect. On the first few pages of the book, Julia receives an antique item from a friend of her aunt’s in France that soon becomes the murder weapon of a crime that the leads the local police to suspect Julia as the one who committed the crime. That’s all I can reveal in this review for this mystery book because it is just so simple but enjoyable because it made me think about YA thrillers of the 90s but that this book is an adult read. I found the story to be in comparison to an 80s movie I watched as a kid about a mirror that was cursed and therefore wreaked havoc in the life of its new owner, a character played by the Soap Opera actress Susan Lucci. Julia is I think in her early forties because she’s mature and understanding of Lucy’s teenage issues as if she’s her mother. She has a pet cat named King Henry that is just so adorable and makes me want to have a pet cat around the house. Julia is also very delicate and is very against her husband Graham because she discovered him cheating on her with one of his interns at his workplace. The mystery in this book is who the real killer is and what his or her motive could be. I have to confide in you that I already knew who the killer was from the clues that Julia considered as she went on a mission to find out who it is before the police take her to jail and before any more people get hurt. Aside from the main plot of this book, I was fascinated by Julia’s antique shop and found out a few things about them from this book. The fact that Julia and her Aunt Sadie would go on shopping quests in antique shops across the country for special items and to finding out the histories of these items is just so brilliant! That’s the element of this book that I came to like so much. The unique world of antique shops! All in all, I would recommend this book to the reader that loves a quick story before the day is over. I think those who are stay-at-home moms and pops would come to savor the old-fashioned feel that this book contains. I felt a tinge of Nancy Drew in this book, the vintage Nancy Drew that is. I also think this book is safe for young readers because there is absolutely zero foul language and zero obscenities in it. I started and finished this book in just one day! I know I will definitely look out for the second book in this series because I liked this story so much that I think I am ready for a second dose of this antique shop and its owner Julia! Good day everyone!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Book Blast

    With the combination of historical facts and significant research, it was fascinating to read this story. With humorous verses, accurate representations, and her prose are of the times. Writings like this story, are incredibly uncommon. The story kept me interested and had me reaching for Google to verify the dates in question. Fact or spun-fiction? How it was written together, was brilliant. The topic itself too is something to note of true American history. To only suggest this book would fall With the combination of historical facts and significant research, it was fascinating to read this story. With humorous verses, accurate representations, and her prose are of the times. Writings like this story, are incredibly uncommon. The story kept me interested and had me reaching for Google to verify the dates in question. Fact or spun-fiction? How it was written together, was brilliant. The topic itself too is something to note of true American history. To only suggest this book would fall flat, adamant encouragement is what I am prepared to do.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    4 Stars! A great cozy mystery with a paranomal twist! Anne Willow gives us an interesting mystery peppered with engaging characters, a backdrop that is almost a character on its own and a nice little supernatural twist. The book kept me interested from start to finish and just when I thought I had it figured out another twist was thrown in the mix. It left me wanting more of Grand Marais in hopefully future books!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘the mystery around an unexpected package always brought out childish curiosity…’ Minnesota author Anne Willow lives in the locale of her debut book – the north shore of Lake Superior near the story’s Grand Marais. Anne takes advantage of her knowledge of the area in painting a picturesque small town that serves as point of reverie and a site for murder! The quality of the prose is nostalgic, even in the opening lines: ‘Julia tapped ‘Save’, closing her spreadsheet with a satisfied smile. Leaning b ‘the mystery around an unexpected package always brought out childish curiosity…’ Minnesota author Anne Willow lives in the locale of her debut book – the north shore of Lake Superior near the story’s Grand Marais. Anne takes advantage of her knowledge of the area in painting a picturesque small town that serves as point of reverie and a site for murder! The quality of the prose is nostalgic, even in the opening lines: ‘Julia tapped ‘Save’, closing her spreadsheet with a satisfied smile. Leaning back in the well-worn, floral-patterned desk chair, her sapphire-blue eyes fell on the silver frame to her right. Collecting it, she sighed. “Well, we did it, Aunt Sadie. Two months and the shop is still going strong.” Her finger traced the older woman’s face in the picture. Julia shared the same copper hair as her favorite aunt, though without the silvery gray streaks. Kissing the picture with a fingertip, Julia returned the frame to the desk. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Though, I’d rather have you.” Beyond hair and eye color, Julia also shared her aunt’s love of the past. When Julia was just a young girl, she would venture off with her aunt to auctions and estate sales looking for bits of treasure. Sadie didn’t have the antique shop then, but she enjoyed connecting with the past through items they found. With each fin, Sadie made up a story, bringing the objects’ mysterious past to life….’ There are more seeds of the mystery that forms this fine book in the opening lines, but that comes gradually and is well presented. A tale of a young lady in a new setting who nurtures her artistic preferences, runs the Past Imperfect antique shop, and comes across an antique letter opener that later is found in the chest of townsman. The mystery of the letter opener and the murder serve as the plot of this novel, and in Anne’s sure hands it is well revealed. For a debut novel this is a strong work. Yes, there is room for growth and polish, but the moods and character building are in fine hands – suggesting that Anne Willow has a solid future in writing. And since this is titled Book 1, there appears to be the possibility of a series. Worth reading on a winter evening - and worth watching a young artist’s growth.

  13. 4 out of 5

    joan johnston

    Good read This book kept me on my toes until the. The book ended to soon. I was looking for more pages but it was over. I hate books that have no ending.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chapter Adapter

    I urge fans of mystery novels to pick up a copy of Broken Promises by Anne Willow. Julia is starting again in a new town after her husband's infidelity. Working in the beautiful antique shop, Past Imperfect, Julia begins to feel renewed. Then she is accused of a shocking crime she didn't commit and life spirals out of control. Can the ghost of her Aunt Sadie guide her in the right direction? Who is the real culprit? You will be kept guessing right up until the end. Anne Willow creates such a viv I urge fans of mystery novels to pick up a copy of Broken Promises by Anne Willow. Julia is starting again in a new town after her husband's infidelity. Working in the beautiful antique shop, Past Imperfect, Julia begins to feel renewed. Then she is accused of a shocking crime she didn't commit and life spirals out of control. Can the ghost of her Aunt Sadie guide her in the right direction? Who is the real culprit? You will be kept guessing right up until the end. Anne Willow creates such a vivid and beautiful picture of the town Grand Marias, so it wasn't a surprise to read in her biography that she is fond of the place herself. She writes with such love and passion, you can really conjure up the scenery in your mind. Furthermore, Willow has created a really great female lead in Julia Crawford – she is strong yet troubled, which made her easy to relate to. Bring on book two, so I can continue with Julia's story and find out if the supernatural curse is truly broken?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emerson

    This book is the perfect cozy mystery read. From the aesthetic of the little town and the antique shop to the eclectic cast of characters involved in the story. Julia is such an intriguing character to follow. She is intelligent, hardworking, and loving. But she also holds some mystery, a past she is running away from. I was pulled in to the story within the first few pages and found it incredibly hard to put the book down. The mystery is intriguing and kept me guessing from beginning to end. Th This book is the perfect cozy mystery read. From the aesthetic of the little town and the antique shop to the eclectic cast of characters involved in the story. Julia is such an intriguing character to follow. She is intelligent, hardworking, and loving. But she also holds some mystery, a past she is running away from. I was pulled in to the story within the first few pages and found it incredibly hard to put the book down. The mystery is intriguing and kept me guessing from beginning to end. The book is cleverly written and a joy to read. I would highly recommend this book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lust for Lit

    I decided to reach for '' Broken Promises'' by Anne Willow. As I wanted a nice, quick read and pleasant story. I have to admit I got exactly what I was expecting for and furthermore I got a dose of an interesting mystery- crime story as well. The only thing I didn't like about this book it's too short. However I am hoping for the second part of the series. I decided to reach for '' Broken Promises'' by Anne Willow. As I wanted a nice, quick read and pleasant story. I have to admit I got exactly what I was expecting for and furthermore I got a dose of an interesting mystery- crime story as well. The only thing I didn't like about this book it's too short. However I am hoping for the second part of the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    CGY Reviews

    Such a great start to a series! The book has a bit of everything: emotions, love gone wrong (Julia’s husband), paranormal elements, murder, and a mystery. The writing is solid with very few issues (and they don’t stand out or detract from the story), and the underlying element is sound. I would say that the mystery part could have unraveled with a bit more surprise and twists, but the rest of the book makes it well-worth the read. This is certainly a story of renewals and new beginnings, with a l Such a great start to a series! The book has a bit of everything: emotions, love gone wrong (Julia’s husband), paranormal elements, murder, and a mystery. The writing is solid with very few issues (and they don’t stand out or detract from the story), and the underlying element is sound. I would say that the mystery part could have unraveled with a bit more surprise and twists, but the rest of the book makes it well-worth the read. This is certainly a story of renewals and new beginnings, with a lesson that every new start has its problems (the grass isn’t always greener, after all), but as long as you persist everything will work out. In this story we follow Julia, who flees from her cheating husband. She starts anew just to find herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Her deceased aunt comes through to help her through it, albeit with a lot of questions and uncertainty on Julia’s part. Though the story is not without flaws, you can really feel the passion behind the story here, I’d definitely read the next story in this series!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Absolute Lit

    Julia's much needed fresh start is coming together better than she expected. Her new home has reignited old passions and is finally settling into a life that is comfortable. A delivery of a letter opener to the antique store she works in suddenly changes everything once it is found embedded in a man's chest and Julia finds herself a prime suspect for murder. Can Julia prove her innocence and find the real murderer? Or will her mysterious past catch up to her? 'Broken Promises' by Anne Willow is a Julia's much needed fresh start is coming together better than she expected. Her new home has reignited old passions and is finally settling into a life that is comfortable. A delivery of a letter opener to the antique store she works in suddenly changes everything once it is found embedded in a man's chest and Julia finds herself a prime suspect for murder. Can Julia prove her innocence and find the real murderer? Or will her mysterious past catch up to her? 'Broken Promises' by Anne Willow is a fast-paced read, and at just over 100 pages it was the perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon in the park. The plot was so intriguing and I was pleasantly surprised with the paranormal elements, I was drawn in from the first few pages, and the writing style had a dreamy quality that was completely enveloping. I empathised quickly with protagonist Julia, a woman trying to escape demons of the past, and was really rooting for her in her journey for the truth. I am very much looking forward to reading the next instalment of the 'Past Imperfect Mystery' series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Valery

    Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1) by Anne Willow is a cozy mystery that will not only entertain, but you will learn a little about antiques in the process. This mystery features Julie, a likable young woman who has taken over her Aunt's antique shop "Past Imperfect" in a small, cozy town. Julie is escaping a somewhat troubled relationship, and taking over the shop seems to be just what she needs to start over. The author does a great job of describing the shop, the town and the tow Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1) by Anne Willow is a cozy mystery that will not only entertain, but you will learn a little about antiques in the process. This mystery features Julie, a likable young woman who has taken over her Aunt's antique shop "Past Imperfect" in a small, cozy town. Julie is escaping a somewhat troubled relationship, and taking over the shop seems to be just what she needs to start over. The author does a great job of describing the shop, the town and the townspeople. Julie seems to fit in just fine until she becomes a prime suspect in a murder case. Unfortunately for her, the victim was killed with an antique letter opener,and one that Julie is familiar with. Now she must figure out what exactly happened. This is a well rounded mystery, with a touch of the warm and cozy, curses of the past, and some history. Overall, a satisfying read that will appeal to a broad audience of readers. Highly recommend for a light reading diversion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    Broken Promises by Anne Willow Story starts out with Julia and she runs her aunts antique treasure shop now that she's dead. MN love hearing of the lake and the surrounding areas where there are festivals... Lucy works for her part time and knows her job. Emily her friend, has had problems with her spouse and he ends up dead one morning. Julia is questioned as her prints are on the letter opener....Julia follows clues as she discovers them and hopes she won't get caught. Julia is now the suspect as Broken Promises by Anne Willow Story starts out with Julia and she runs her aunts antique treasure shop now that she's dead. MN love hearing of the lake and the surrounding areas where there are festivals... Lucy works for her part time and knows her job. Emily her friend, has had problems with her spouse and he ends up dead one morning. Julia is questioned as her prints are on the letter opener....Julia follows clues as she discovers them and hopes she won't get caught. Julia is now the suspect as another is now dead. Missing keys explain a few things but who has access to them now? Like hearing about the details of Julia and her aunt and their similarities that not all know about. Fun read for me and can't wait to read more from this author. Amazing who did the killings and why, didn't see it coming! Author bio included and links to connect to the author are included. Very easy to follow along, characters and the story. I received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    What a great read! This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down and was up all night. I love Julia and all the exciting things that were going on around her. You don't want to miss reading this book! What a great read! This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down and was up all night. I love Julia and all the exciting things that were going on around her. You don't want to miss reading this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Biblio Fish

    Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1) by Anne Willow is a cozy mystery that will not only entertain, but you will learn a little about antiques in the process. This mystery features Julie, a likable young woman who has taken over her Aunt's antique shop "Past Imperfect" in a small, cozy town. Julie is escaping a somewhat troubled relationship, and taking over the shop seems to be just what she needs to start over. The author does a great job of describing the shop, the town and the tow Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1) by Anne Willow is a cozy mystery that will not only entertain, but you will learn a little about antiques in the process. This mystery features Julie, a likable young woman who has taken over her Aunt's antique shop "Past Imperfect" in a small, cozy town. Julie is escaping a somewhat troubled relationship, and taking over the shop seems to be just what she needs to start over. The author does a great job of describing the shop, the town and the townspeople. Julie seems to fit in just fine until she becomes a prime suspect in a murder case. Unfortunately for her, the victim was killed with an antique letter opener,and one that Julie is familiar with. Now she must figure out what exactly happened. This is a well rounded mystery, with a touch of the warm and cozy, curses of the past, and some history. Overall, a satisfying read that will appeal to a broad audience of readers. Highly recommend for a light reading diversion.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Lynn

    It's like the saying goes 'Don't judge a book by it's cover.' I kind of hate to say it but I did do just that. I learned when I interviewed the author Anne Willow that the cover photo was one her husband took. I liked the cover and the photo but I just wasn't sure it captured the essence of the story. Now if I had read that excerpt I would have been picking this one up for sure while wondering if Jack becomes a 'friend'. If you were like me and skipped over Broken Promises give it another chance. It's like the saying goes 'Don't judge a book by it's cover.' I kind of hate to say it but I did do just that. I learned when I interviewed the author Anne Willow that the cover photo was one her husband took. I liked the cover and the photo but I just wasn't sure it captured the essence of the story. Now if I had read that excerpt I would have been picking this one up for sure while wondering if Jack becomes a 'friend'. If you were like me and skipped over Broken Promises give it another chance. You'll find a charming and interesting town. A just as charming leading lady and a good ole mystery that just might keep you guessing. I enjoyed journeying along with Julia as she tries to start over and make a new life after a broken marriage. Things don't turn out as simple and easy as she had hoped when she moved to the small quiet town of Gran Marais. No one expects such a quaint little town to end up being the location of mystery and murder. Broken Promises is a great read and a fun beginning that promises a great series. If you enjoy cozy mysteries check it out!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pegboard

    Broken Promises by Anne Willow is a mystery read with paranormal woven within the story. Julia moves to Grand Marais to settle her aunt's estate. While there she realizes how oppressive and controlling her husband had become and decides she wants out of her marriage. His cheating ways and lies have gone too far. Julia's unforgiving heart will be tested when a cursed antique is delivered to her aunt's shop. Does she have it in herself to forgive when this artifact hunts those who seek vengeance? Broken Promises by Anne Willow is a mystery read with paranormal woven within the story. Julia moves to Grand Marais to settle her aunt's estate. While there she realizes how oppressive and controlling her husband had become and decides she wants out of her marriage. His cheating ways and lies have gone too far. Julia's unforgiving heart will be tested when a cursed antique is delivered to her aunt's shop. Does she have it in herself to forgive when this artifact hunts those who seek vengeance? I found Broken Promises intriguing when Julia discovers the paranormal world she lives in. Anne Willow slowly unfolds the mission of the cursed artifact and the part it will play in the murders. It was easy to narrow down the couple of people who could have been the killers, but the author kept the "why" until the end. The beginning of the book was vague about the death of the aunt and how Julia came to be in Grand Marais. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and feel Anne Willow found a niche she can build upon.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine_45

    A great mystery with a paranormal spin. I thought the storyline was really unique and full of twists I didn't see coming. The book was very well written making the plot flow really nicely and every bit of the story was easily envisioned because of this, the landscape was described especially beautifully. I really enjoyed the ending and it was quite unexpected. A great mystery with a paranormal spin. I thought the storyline was really unique and full of twists I didn't see coming. The book was very well written making the plot flow really nicely and every bit of the story was easily envisioned because of this, the landscape was described especially beautifully. I really enjoyed the ending and it was quite unexpected.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bluebird

    Broken Promises I found to be an enjoyable relaxing read. The story was very riveting and caught me by surprise a number of times, especially the ending. I thought the way the location was described was so wonderful and created such a vivid image in my mind. The characters were great and I especially found Julia to be very likeable. I will definitely be looking out for more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ZoeL

    I found Broken Promises to be a straight forward, easy read, but with many unexpected twists and turns. I hadn't really realised the story would take a slightly paranormal direction but I actually found this to be really entertaining and it only increased my enjoyment of the book. Overall, I found the story intriguing and very well written; the characters were great. Definitely 5 stars from me. I found Broken Promises to be a straight forward, easy read, but with many unexpected twists and turns. I hadn't really realised the story would take a slightly paranormal direction but I actually found this to be really entertaining and it only increased my enjoyment of the book. Overall, I found the story intriguing and very well written; the characters were great. Definitely 5 stars from me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    Broken Promises Inheriting an antique shop, Past Imperfect, from her favorite aunt gives Julia Crawford a reason and motivation to walk away from her adulterous husband, Graham. With barely enough time to be considered a resident and accepted into the touristy art community of Grand Marais on the shores of Lake Superior, Julia is the prime suspect in a murder investigation. The story was at twenty-five percent by the time the murder occurred, so I looked forward to a slow-build in the investigatio Broken Promises Inheriting an antique shop, Past Imperfect, from her favorite aunt gives Julia Crawford a reason and motivation to walk away from her adulterous husband, Graham. With barely enough time to be considered a resident and accepted into the touristy art community of Grand Marais on the shores of Lake Superior, Julia is the prime suspect in a murder investigation. The story was at twenty-five percent by the time the murder occurred, so I looked forward to a slow-build in the investigation. Without giving away spoilers, I can say the “investigation” was a letdown for me. Small town law enforcement is sometimes painted as backward and ill-equipped, but Sheriff Jack Barrett was portrayed as more than capable and crime scenes were processed using forensic science. Which is why I couldn’t understand why Julia was ever a suspect simply because her fingerprints were the only prints on the murder weapon. It belonged to her. And why was she the only one to question why her prints were not found anywhere else at the crime scene? It was just one of several puzzling items for me. The spouse is always suspect number one. The wife was at the police station at the same time as Julia, but where was she during the murder? Who discovered the body? Why would Julia murder a man she didn’t know in a place she’d never been to? I figured out who the killer was but read on in hopes of a smoking gun or plot twist. I didn’t get either. The supernatural element was intriguing (and heartbreaking), but even it fizzled out for me before the end. I feel Aunt Sadie should have provided more details or given Julia more guidance, especially when dealing with curses and possession. I understood Elizabeth’s pain and Thomas got no less than what he deserved, but the resolution left me lukewarm. Lucy and Sandy were good supporting characters, but much like Julia, they seemed to contradict themselves in every other scene. Graham Crawford…ugh! It was annoying Julia had to remind herself of his true character and how badly he treated her to stand her ground. Granted, she was a woman in transition, but none of her memories or internal thoughts of Graham warranted him having any kind of pull or power over Julia. Grammar and editing issues are minor. But while I don’t need dialogue tags in every sentence, conversations ran together and at times it was difficult to know who was speaking. I appreciate good scene description but getting through some paragraphs was exhausting with the number of adjectives used. I didn’t fully connect with Broken Promises, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recommend it. Other readers may enjoy its simple, laid-back delivery and uncomplicated storyline. As it is book 1 in the Past Imperfect series, we haven’t heard the last from Julia Crawford and the residents of Grand Marais. I would read the next book to see how the series progresses. Enjoy!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luis Humberto Molinar Márquez

    [English review + Reseña en español] Broken promises (past imperfect mystery book 1), by Anne Willow. Published by Between the Lines Publishing. 2018. 259 pages. Genres: Supernatural Mystery / Detectives / Female Protagonists Julia has inherited Aunt Sadie's antique shop, and has found in Grand Marais (an artists’ town by Lake Superior), a new home and reasons to want to break with the past. The reception of a package containing an antique letter opener, and the subsequent death of a man from the [English review + Reseña en español] Broken promises (past imperfect mystery book 1), by Anne Willow. Published by Between the Lines Publishing. 2018. 259 pages. Genres: Supernatural Mystery / Detectives / Female Protagonists Julia has inherited Aunt Sadie's antique shop, and has found in Grand Marais (an artists’ town by Lake Superior), a new home and reasons to want to break with the past. The reception of a package containing an antique letter opener, and the subsequent death of a man from the community, will target Julia as a homicide suspect and will force her to initiate a double investigation to clear her name and clarify the history of the mysterious letter opener. During the investigation, she will discover the details of an old curse and a family secret that will change her life forever. The first part of the book addresses the genre of mystery with a rather classic style, wrapping and adding characters in an enigma that revolves little by little like a noria. The language is clear enough, and the secondary characters, rather simple, accurately perform their task, giving Julia's character dimension and humanity. Exactly halfway through the book, when the narrative seemed most rational, a new idea is presented: Julia has not only inherited her aunt's business, but also the ability to perceive certain energy that’s been impregnated unto objects. From that point on, the comparison with a certain television character who speaks with the dead to unravel the mysteries that bind them to the world of the living, seemed inevitable to me, and sincerely, I felt disenchanted by the turn that the story suffered. I think that I would have enjoyed the book much more without the supernatural component, which somehow directed things towards an ending that turned predictable, a bit loose and not very original. ----------- Broken Promises (Past Imperfect Mystery Book 1), por Anne Willow. Publicada por Between the Lines Publishing. 2018. 259 páginas. Géneros: Misterio sobrenatural / Detectives / Protagonistas femeninos Julia ha heredado la tienda de antigüedades de su tía Sadie y ha encontrado en Grand Marais, un pueblo de artistas a orillas del Lago Superior, un nuevo hogar y razones suficientes para querer romper con el pasado. La recepción de un paquete que contiene un abrecartas antiguo, y la muerte subsecuente de un hombre de la comunidad, harán que Julia sea señalada como presunta culpable de homicidio, y que se vea obligada a iniciar una investigación doble para limpiar su nombre y esclarecer la historia del misterioso abrecartas. Durante su investigación, descubrirá los detalles de una vieja maldición y un secreto de familia que cambiará su vida para siempre. La primera parte del libro aborda el género del misterio con un estilo más bien clásico, envolviendo y añadiendo personajes en un enigma que avanza poco a poco como una noria. El lenguaje es suficientemente claro y los personajes secundarios, más bien sencillos, desempeñan adecuadamente su tarea, dotando de dimensión y humanidad al personaje de Julia. Exactamente a medio libro, cuando la narración parecía de lo más racional, se introduce la idea de que Julia no sólo ha heredado el negocio de su tía, sino también la habilidad de percibir cierta energía impregnada en los objetos. A partir de ese punto, la comparación con cierto personaje de televisión que habla con los muertos para desentrañar los misterios que los atan al mundo de los vivos me pareció inevitable, y sinceramente me desencantó el giro que tomó la historia. Creo que hubiera disfrutado mucho más el libro sin el componente sobrenatural, que fue llevando las cosas hacia un desenlace que me pareció predecible, un poco flojo y no muy original.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    interesting I thought the ending was really good, the story has a lot of twists and turns, and I wasn’t sure what tO expect I am really glad I checked out this book. And look forward to reading more from this writer.

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