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Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia--until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . . After inheriting her uncle's Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky--smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest--Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia--until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . . After inheriting her uncle's Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky--smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest--Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking. To Miranda's delight, Paint & Shine is a total success--until someone kills the cook. As the town's outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she's moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say "white lightning" . . .


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Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia--until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . . After inheriting her uncle's Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky--smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest--Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia--until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . . After inheriting her uncle's Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky--smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest--Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking. To Miranda's delight, Paint & Shine is a total success--until someone kills the cook. As the town's outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she's moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say "white lightning" . . .

30 review for Still Knife Painting

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalia R

    3.5 stars Still Knife Painting is the first book in Cheryl Hollon's A Paint and Shine Mystery series. It follows Miranda Trent, who has recently moved from New York to eastern Kentucky after inheriting her uncle's farmhouse. She starts a business called Paint and Shine, where she takes tourists on a hike in the forest to paint, then back to her farmhouse for a home-cooked meal and a moonshine tasting. Many in the area are not fond of moonshine, including her cook, Mrs. Childers. When Mrs. Childer 3.5 stars Still Knife Painting is the first book in Cheryl Hollon's A Paint and Shine Mystery series. It follows Miranda Trent, who has recently moved from New York to eastern Kentucky after inheriting her uncle's farmhouse. She starts a business called Paint and Shine, where she takes tourists on a hike in the forest to paint, then back to her farmhouse for a home-cooked meal and a moonshine tasting. Many in the area are not fond of moonshine, including her cook, Mrs. Childers. When Mrs. Childers is found dead in Miranda's Kitchen, she immediately becomes the main suspect. With the help of a handsome forest ranger named Austin Morgan, Miranda is determined to clear her name and save her business. I thought this was a promising start to a new series. The premise is intriguing, and I loved the rural countryside setting and the side characters, including Austin and Doris Ann. However, I had mixed feelings about the main character, Miranda. For the most part, I thought she was hardworking, determined, and clearly passionate about her work, but her tendency to snap at people and her rude behavior at times made it hard for me to warm up to her. The mystery was cleverly plotted, with plenty of suspects and red herrings to throw readers off the scent. The killer's identity came as a surprise to me. Overall, this was a fun read. It didn't grab me as much as I would have liked but I'm definitely interested enough to continue on with the series. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    Still Knife Painting is a new series about Miranda Trent, who has inherited her Uncle’s homestead in Kentucky, in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest. She starts a unique business for tourists called Paint ’n Shine, providing a package which includes a scenic painting class, a Southern dinner, and a moonshine tasting. I was excited to read this because like the protagonist, Miranda, I lived elsewhere, but spent all my summers in the mountains with my relatives, who were Appalachian loca Still Knife Painting is a new series about Miranda Trent, who has inherited her Uncle’s homestead in Kentucky, in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest. She starts a unique business for tourists called Paint ’n Shine, providing a package which includes a scenic painting class, a Southern dinner, and a moonshine tasting. I was excited to read this because like the protagonist, Miranda, I lived elsewhere, but spent all my summers in the mountains with my relatives, who were Appalachian locals (in my case from the mountains of North Carolina). Unfortunately my expectations for this book fell far short. The main character Miranda is very unlikeable. Miranda is supposed to be from a local family, even though she has been living in New York, so she should have some empathy and understanding for the locals. Instead she looks down on them and is downright rude at times. Her thoughts are shown in italics, and are usually something mean about others. I really hated the approach of presenting her thoughts in italics, because whenever I saw italics coming up, I knew it was probably going to be something cruel or condescending. Then there were the ridiculous stereotypes presented in this book. When the Sheriff’s Deputy showed up and is described as a “Barney Fife,” I rolled my eyes back in my head. Then he passed out at a crime scene. Too cheesy. Too ridiculous. Mountain people are not stupid. They are not Barney Fife. The police do not pass out at the scene of a crime. I really wanted to put the book down at that point. In addition, she should have some understanding of the rich culture and traditions of the locals. Very little of that is brought forth. Instead she is rude, condescending, and standoffish with the locals. As someone whose families are locals, Miranda should at least have been sharing a lot more of the cultural stories and traditions of the area. Miranda is starting a business involving art, distilling moonshine, and cooking, but she doesn’t really spend much time tying that in with the rich history of each of these things in the mountains. We could have learned something in this book besides how the main character is annoyed and affronted by everyone and everything. A lot of potential was lost in this series. Her constant denigration of the locals really ticked me off. I know the locals in my mountain town to be loving, smart, resourceful, and talented. The book’s presentation of mountain locals as stupid, inconsiderate people who supposedly tried to limit Miranda’s art is really offensive. And by the way, young people are taught to say “yes Ma’am” and “Yes Sir” in the South. It’s automatic. This is not an “insider/outsider” thing and should not have annoyed Miranda. After spending all her summers in this area, she should have known this. Miranda spent a lot of time complaining about the insider/outsider perception in the mountains. Although there is some of that, nobody in any town anywhere is going to open up to a rude person who looks down on others. At the same time she is complaining about the insider/outsider perception, she complains that mountain people share too much of their personal lives with her! This is contradictory. There is no real strong cast of characters as there would be in a small town. Just another of many disappointments. None of the characters are memorable for me except Miranda, and that is only because of her horrible personality. What started out as a series with potential fell flat for me. I will not be interested in reading anymore of these books. I cannot find anything likable about the main character. I was excited to see a series set in the Appalachian Mountains. That excitement faded pretty quickly. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Miranda Trent is an artist. She loves the house she inherited from her uncle. It's right in the middle of Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. Her new business -- Paint & Shine -- caters to tourists. It mixes cultural adventure tour, painting class, fine dining and moonshine tasting into a unique experience for visitors to Red River Gorge. Things are going perfectly until.....the murder. This book is a promising start to a new cozy series! I enjoyed the characters, the setting and the premi Miranda Trent is an artist. She loves the house she inherited from her uncle. It's right in the middle of Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. Her new business -- Paint & Shine -- caters to tourists. It mixes cultural adventure tour, painting class, fine dining and moonshine tasting into a unique experience for visitors to Red River Gorge. Things are going perfectly until.....the murder. This book is a promising start to a new cozy series! I enjoyed the characters, the setting and the premise. A cultural adventure tour company that mixes art with local cuisine is an interesting premise! I wish Paint & Shine was a real business -- I would drive to Kentucky to join in! I think I would pass on the moonshine part -- but the rest sounded like a lot of fun (minus the dead body, of course). The mystery moved along at a good pace. There was a nice mix of character/setting development and sleuthing. There wasn't a long wait before the dead body appeared and things heated up for Miranda. Miranda is a strong person....an intelligent and capable main character. Fun, enjoyable cozy mystery...plus yummy recipes at the back of the book! I will definitely be reading more of this new series. Great start!! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Kensington. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  5. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    When Miranda Trent discovers she's been left her Uncle Gene's farmhouse and belongings in Eastern Kentucky, she's surprised as can be. But then she decides it can be an opportunity for her to start her own business, and not have to struggle to make it as an artist. She opens Paint & Shine, where people can learn to paint and then return to her farmhouse for an authentic country meal, accompanied by moonshine tastes for each course. However, not everyone is glad she's starting her business, since When Miranda Trent discovers she's been left her Uncle Gene's farmhouse and belongings in Eastern Kentucky, she's surprised as can be. But then she decides it can be an opportunity for her to start her own business, and not have to struggle to make it as an artist. She opens Paint & Shine, where people can learn to paint and then return to her farmhouse for an authentic country meal, accompanied by moonshine tastes for each course. However, not everyone is glad she's starting her business, since a lot of people are still against consuming alcohol in this town. The first outing seems to go well, with six customers who are enjoying it. But when they go back to the farmhouse, Miranda has an argument with one of the cooks, Mrs. Childers; and when Miranda goes to check on the meal a few minutes later, she finds the woman lying on her kitchen floor, stabbed with a butcher knife. Now Miranda's business is dwindling, and she's the main suspect in the murder. If she's going to survive -- and keep the farmhouse and land -- she needs to find out who killed the woman and why. But only if she can stay alive long enough to do so... This is the first in a new series, and I really enjoyed it. There were only a few things that bothered me, so I'll get those out of the way first. I would have liked to know why Miranda didn't confront the reporter after the newspaper came out, but she ignored it, which couldn't be a good thing in anyone's book; she didn't even mention it to Austin, which I thought she at least might have done. Then, she stated how Austin was going to stay at her place while a killer was on the loose, but we never saw any indication of this happening, so I'd like to know if he did or not. The first deputy who passed out seemed ridiculous -- if you're going to pass out seeing a dead body, you need to find another profession -- I can't even imagine an officer like that stopping people to give them tickets. I also didn't get the scene between Dan and Miranda when she grabbed at him; it seemed out of character for the person she was starting to be portrayed as, since she never acted this way and the comment he made shouldn't have set her off like that. But as Miranda states as how she's an introvert it didn't make sense; I am too, and I would never react this way to anyone. I also control my tongue a lot better, since I'd rather not draw attention to myself. Aside from that, I liked some of the secondary characters. Mrs. Hobb grew on me early even though she's not in the book much, and I hope to see more of her in the next one. I also like the idea that our protagonist isn't mooning over a police detective, which usually happens in most cozies. Since I realize this is the first in the series, hopefully there will be more character development of Miranda and the others in the next one. The plot is written well, and it's an interesting decision to make her an artist who will also offer moonshine from a local distillery instead of wine pairings. While I've never heard of this, that's probably because I'm a city girl through and through. We don't get a lot of descriptions of the countryside, but we do get some, and I look forward to learning more about the area in future books. While I guessed the murderer early on (I read a lot of mysteries), I enjoyed moving along with Miranda as she put the pieces together and discovered the reason for the murder. While it was sad, we can't ever decipher motives from a killer or the future victim that they face. Sad indeed, but believable just the same. I did like the ending and look forward to the next in the series. Recommended. I was given an advance copy from the author and publisher but this in no way influenced my review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I am a fan of the Webb Glass Shop Mystery series by this author so it was natural for me to take a chance on this first book in her new Paint and Shine Mystery series. I wasn't a bad start to this new series. I liked Miranda and the secondary cast of characters. Although, at times throughout the story they felt a little flat or one dimensional, so I would love to see more character development. The pace of the story was a bit slow and there were a few times where I felt the story dragged a bit. I am a fan of the Webb Glass Shop Mystery series by this author so it was natural for me to take a chance on this first book in her new Paint and Shine Mystery series. I wasn't a bad start to this new series. I liked Miranda and the secondary cast of characters. Although, at times throughout the story they felt a little flat or one dimensional, so I would love to see more character development. The pace of the story was a bit slow and there were a few times where I felt the story dragged a bit. However, it's a balancing act when writing the first book in a new series to provide the reader with the background of the characters but not too much. I think the setting was unique as well as the part of the story dealing with moonshine and Miranda's attempt to set up her own small-batch operations. The mystery was decent. I guessed the identity of the killer early but it took me a while to figure out the character's motive. That said, it didn't ruin the reading experience because 1) it's rare that I guess right and 2) usually when I'm confident it turns out I'm wrong. All in all, it was a solid start to a new series. I would like to see more character development and a quicker pace for the next book in the series. I voluntarily read a digital advanced review copy provided to me by the publisher Kensington through Netgalley. The opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon has classical portrait artist, Miranda making changes to her life. Miranda Trent has inherited her uncle’s farmhouse in Kentucky where she starts Paint & Shine. Paint & Shine involves a hike in the Daniel Boone National Forest to Lover’s Leap where they have a plein air painting class. Miranda then transports the group to her farmhouse for a Southern meal where each course is paired with moonshine. Her first group is a success until the cook, Mrs. Naomi Chil Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon has classical portrait artist, Miranda making changes to her life. Miranda Trent has inherited her uncle’s farmhouse in Kentucky where she starts Paint & Shine. Paint & Shine involves a hike in the Daniel Boone National Forest to Lover’s Leap where they have a plein air painting class. Miranda then transports the group to her farmhouse for a Southern meal where each course is paired with moonshine. Her first group is a success until the cook, Mrs. Naomi Childers turns up dead in the kitchen. When Miranda finds herself on the suspect list, she begins nosing around and asking questions. Miranda must evade the police and someone intent on burning down her farmhouse. Still Knife Painting is the debut of A Paint and Shine Mystery series. I like the premise of this new fetching cozy mystery series. The author took the time to introduce the characters and set the stage for the series. I enjoyed the rich descriptions of Kentucky and Miranda’s farmhouse (a Sears & Roebuck kit home). I had mixed feelings regarding Miranda. She was a hard worker and a determined woman who was passionate about her art and moonshine. She is an observant person which is helpful to the investigation. Miranda, though, could be snappish at times and a little rude. I must give her the benefit of the doubt since Miranda is starting a new business, found a dead woman in her kitchen, experiencing financial difficulties, and found herself a suspect in Naomi’s murder. I found myself liking her more at the end. Miranda is a flawed individual which makes her realistic along with the other characters in this cozy mystery. I just loved her adorable puppy, Sandy. There is humor sprinkled throughout the story and I just loved the Barney Fife references. The mystery was interesting with multiple suspects and subtle clues. I was able to identify the guilty party early in the story, but I had no clue as to why. I liked following Miranda as she asked questions and dug for clues. Wolfe County Sheriff Richard Larson and his wife, Felicia who is the county coroner are likeable characters. I appreciated that Miranda kept Sheriff Larson up to date. There is a rivalry between Sheriff Larson and Detective Otis E. Peterson from the Lexington Homicide Division. We learn why these two men are at odds with each other. There were some quirky characters like Doris Ann and Officer Gary Spenser. I liked learning about the area as well as the traditions of the people who live there. Southerners have their own way of doing things and gossip flows faster than syrup on hot pancakes. I thought Still Knife Painting was well-written and it moved along at a good pace. I was not a fan of the point-of-view switching from Miranda to other characters because it took me out of the story. I hope we get to learn more about the uncle’s will in the next book. The details were skimpy. Overall, I enjoyed Still Knife Painting and look forward to reading the next book. Still Knife Painting is an engaging new Southern cozy mystery with rampant rumors, plein air painting, cultural cuisine, a killer knife, a precious puppy, and merry moonshine.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    An intriguing new cozy mystery series has the main character, Miranda Trent, setting up a paint and sip excursion business in the remote farmhouse that her uncle left her in the hills of Kentucky. She has a limited amount of time to make a go of it and set up her own distillery or she loses her inheritance. Not everyone is happy that she is highlighting moonshine in her business and when the cook ends up dead in Miranda's kitchen all eyes are on her as the guilty party. I quite liked the premise An intriguing new cozy mystery series has the main character, Miranda Trent, setting up a paint and sip excursion business in the remote farmhouse that her uncle left her in the hills of Kentucky. She has a limited amount of time to make a go of it and set up her own distillery or she loses her inheritance. Not everyone is happy that she is highlighting moonshine in her business and when the cook ends up dead in Miranda's kitchen all eyes are on her as the guilty party. I quite liked the premise of the book and the characters of the book are quite well done. There were several loose threads that I am hoping the author intentionally left laying to pick up in the next book, but am surprised that the main character didn't address a few of them in this book especially as she was setting this character up as one who has a tendency to charge forward without thinking things through. It seemed odd that the character would allow the newspaper reporter to go unconfronted about the hatchet job she did or to at least bring it up to the brother who appears to be setting up to be Miranda's love interest. I'm definitely intrigued and curious to see how things develop in the next book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I really enjoyed all of the author's stained glass series so I was excited to read the first book in this series. Set in Eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent's business model of painting in the Daniel Boone forest, serving an authentic Southern meal and pairing each course with a moonshine provided by a local distiller is a complicated business plan relying on many external factors to be successful. I admired her grit and determination to continue on after the cook is found dead in the kitchen. She i I really enjoyed all of the author's stained glass series so I was excited to read the first book in this series. Set in Eastern Kentucky, Miranda Trent's business model of painting in the Daniel Boone forest, serving an authentic Southern meal and pairing each course with a moonshine provided by a local distiller is a complicated business plan relying on many external factors to be successful. I admired her grit and determination to continue on after the cook is found dead in the kitchen. She is doing her best to carry out the vision of her late uncle, who bequest the home and acreage to her. The pacing was a bit off at times and the feud between the law enforcement agencies seemed exaggerated . However, I was intrigued by the premise of the series and would definitely read the next book in the series. I also appreciated Ms. Hollon's introduction and sharing her childhood memories to the area. It made me more invested in the book because of that personal connection. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an ARC. My review is voluntary.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. I've enjoyed this author's other series and was excited to hear about this new series. I think this was a solid introduction to this new series, but it did feel very much like an introduction book as well and I hope the series gets even better from now onward now that we're introduced to the main character, location and some of the side characters. I liked the set-up for this one with the paintin I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it. I've enjoyed this author's other series and was excited to hear about this new series. I think this was a solid introduction to this new series, but it did feel very much like an introduction book as well and I hope the series gets even better from now onward now that we're introduced to the main character, location and some of the side characters. I liked the set-up for this one with the painting theme and rural location. The mystery didn't fully grip me and I wasn't as invested as i would've liked. There seemed to be plenty of suspects, but for some reason I managed to guess the murderer correctly from the start. The mystery felt pretty straightforward. There is some investigating, but there weren't as many twist and turns. There were some reveals I hadn't expected and I couldn't figure out the motive. The motive is something you only find out later in the book. I thought the mystery was a bit slow to progress as it was intermingled with the other aspects of this book and this is a first book in the series so it had a lot of introducing to do as well. I did like how Miranda, the main character, got involved in the mystery in a way that makes sense. Although the book did suffer from incompetent police agents a bit, which is a trope that i feel is a bit overdone. The county sheriff seemed competent enough, but the team from Lexington that got involved was pretty incompetent, so I am hoping we see more of the local sheriff and less from the Lexington people in future books. I liked getting to know Miranda. She seemed to care about the farmhouse and wanted to stay there and make her new business a success. I would like to get to know her a bit better, but so far I liked her. She was determined to clear her name and made the best of her business. She has an interesting mix of outsider and insider due to which she doesn't fully fit in yet, but does have some unique perspective on things. I hope to see more of her painting and her interest in moonshine in the future books as there wasn't as much of that in this book. I liked the idea of her culture tours and how she incorporated painting, eating and drinking in them. There are some side character we get introduced to in this book, some of them are clients and tourist from other parts. Some others are local characters and there are some that I expect to see more of in future books. I liked her budding friendship with Austin and even see the potential for a romance there. This book also had a nice rustic country feel and that small town feel. To summarize: This is a solid start to a new series. I liked the set-up for this series and the focus on painting and Miranda's new business. It did feel like a series starter or introduction read at times with how the stage is set for the rest of the series and I think/ hope future books are even better now that part is over. The pace and the mystery felt a bit slow at times. I also managed to guess the murderer correctly from the start and wasn't as invested in the mystery as I would've liked. I was curious about the motive as that's the one thing I couldn't pinpoint and that was a reveal I hadn't guessed. I did like how Miranda got involved in the mystery, but wasn't a fan of the incompetent police officers from Lexington. I liked what we saw of Miranda, the town and the side characters we met so far and I hope to see more of those in future books. I look forward to future books in the series!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary K

    Miranda Tolson left New York City and moved into the rustic farmhouse that she inherited from her Uncle. She has plans to establish a new tourist experience - Paint and Shine. It will combine painting in the Daniel Boone National Forest with a home cooked meal and a tasting of local moonshine. Unfortunately murder puts a damper on her grand opening. Mrs Childers is a powerful member of this close knit community. She continually argues with Miranda over her plan to serve shine. This makes Miranda Miranda Tolson left New York City and moved into the rustic farmhouse that she inherited from her Uncle. She has plans to establish a new tourist experience - Paint and Shine. It will combine painting in the Daniel Boone National Forest with a home cooked meal and a tasting of local moonshine. Unfortunately murder puts a damper on her grand opening. Mrs Childers is a powerful member of this close knit community. She continually argues with Miranda over her plan to serve shine. This makes Miranda the prime suspect when she's murdered. Since Miranda spent summers here and hopes it will help her track down the killer. I immediately felt a connection with her. She has spunk and determination. I liked that she won't give up on her dream. This small town has many well hidden secrets. I felt that they were the key to the murder. I hoped that Miranda could get to the truth. Austin, the local Park Ranger, is a valuable ally. He has heard so much gossip and knows all the family connections. History is important. The small town dynamic add realism to this story. Cheryl Hollon did a wonderful job writing this new series. I couldn't put this book down. The characters are a diverse group who express different points of view which gave me the complete picture of life here. It's rife with gossip and well hidden secrets. I'm anxiously awaiting the next book in this unique series. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I have read and enjoyed Cheryl Hollon's Webb's Glass Shop Mystery Series and was eager to read Still Knife Painting, the first book in her Paint and Shine Mysteries. In this book, Miranda Trent has inherited her uncle's Kentucky farmhouse. She has decided to begin a 3 hour cultural adventure business. She will provide a group painting class at a scenic overlook (Lover's Leap), with a traditional Southern dinner at her farmhouse and conclude with a moonshine lecture with samples presented by a di I have read and enjoyed Cheryl Hollon's Webb's Glass Shop Mystery Series and was eager to read Still Knife Painting, the first book in her Paint and Shine Mysteries. In this book, Miranda Trent has inherited her uncle's Kentucky farmhouse. She has decided to begin a 3 hour cultural adventure business. She will provide a group painting class at a scenic overlook (Lover's Leap), with a traditional Southern dinner at her farmhouse and conclude with a moonshine lecture with samples presented by a distillery owner. She figured that this was the quickest way to bring in revenue and pay taxes. She has hired Mrs. Childers and Mrs. Hobbs to do the cooking. Miranda's first group outing is going well until Mrs. Childers is discovered dead before the first course is even served! Knowing that the murder will affect her business, she sets out to figure out who the killer is! There are several possible suspects to talk to and she gets help from the local forest ranger, Austin Morgan. I like this new mystery's story line, characters, and Miranda's dog, Sandy. There are some surprises and the promises of more exciting adventures to come!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I enjoyed this start to the series. I liked the premise for the series, Miranda's tours sound like a lot of fun. What was especially fun for me is that this book isn't set too far from where I live so even though I haven't been quite to that area I was familiar with some of the more regional things and I will be picking up some Ale-8 this weekend at the grocery. The mystery kept me guessing and I was totally off on the motive. This book did seem a little rough around the edges, especially with s I enjoyed this start to the series. I liked the premise for the series, Miranda's tours sound like a lot of fun. What was especially fun for me is that this book isn't set too far from where I live so even though I haven't been quite to that area I was familiar with some of the more regional things and I will be picking up some Ale-8 this weekend at the grocery. The mystery kept me guessing and I was totally off on the motive. This book did seem a little rough around the edges, especially with some scene transitions. It also surprised me when everything had been from Miranda's point of view and all of a sudden I get a chapter from the sheriff's. All in all a lot of fun and I'd be happy to sign up for a Paint & Shine tour. Recipes are included at the end which I am always a fan of. The potato candy seems interesting and I might have to give it a try. There was also a character list at the end which I found odd to be at the end instead of the beginning.

  14. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    STILL KNIFE PAINTING, the first book in the Paint & Shine Mysteries by Cheryl Hollon, is a good start to a brand new series. The reader is introduced to the introverted protagonist, Miranda Trent, who is just starting up her new business, Paint and Shine. This cultural adventure tour combines scenic painting, a traditional Southern dinner at her farmhouse, and a moonshine lecture and tasting, which all sound like fabulous ideas! I love this new twist for a cozy mystery setting. I was intrigued t STILL KNIFE PAINTING, the first book in the Paint & Shine Mysteries by Cheryl Hollon, is a good start to a brand new series. The reader is introduced to the introverted protagonist, Miranda Trent, who is just starting up her new business, Paint and Shine. This cultural adventure tour combines scenic painting, a traditional Southern dinner at her farmhouse, and a moonshine lecture and tasting, which all sound like fabulous ideas! I love this new twist for a cozy mystery setting. I was intrigued that the location is set in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural Kentucky. The author captures the feeling of the rural isolation (often no cell phone service… I can’t imagine!), the beauty of the land (great for scenic painting), and the food and moonshine libations of the area. The author begins the book with a lovely acknowledgement indicating her parents grew up in the area that the book showcases and she spent her summers there visiting her grandparents. I was a little uncomfortable how several of the characters came across as bumpkins. Being a Southern California gal myself, I’m not familiar with Kentucky or the attitudes/beliefs of the rural residents but I would hope that her portrayal was simply an artistic exaggeration. As the mystery over who killed Miranda’s prickly Southern cook unfolds (even though the police rule that it was an accident) I enjoyed that Miranda uses her artistic abilities to record clues and her impressions of suspects. I also liked that she joins forces with Austin, the handsome park ranger and potential love interest, to solve the mystery. They work well together and he respects her talents and quest for justice. While I guessed early on who the culprit was (well, I wasn’t 100% sure) I had no idea what the motivation for murder was. Ms. Hollon pens some unique twists and adds in a couple subplots to keep the reader entertained. I was thrown a bit when the point of view switched from Miranda to the sheriff, and then switched again to the coroner (who happens to be the sheriff’s wife). The few switches are clearly marked with asterisks so I didn’t feel lost but it’s a technique that isn’t often used in cozy mysteries. On the plus side it does move the story along by providing information that Miranda, as the protagonist, wouldn’t have access to. The author wraps up the murder mystery with an exciting conclusion yet leaves the reader wanting to know more about what happens to Miranda and her fledgling business, which is the sign of a good read! There are plenty of mouthwatering recipes included at the back of the book and I especially love that the author also includes several moonshine cocktail recipes to pair with the dishes. I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Seraphia

    Still Knife Painting is the first book in Cheryl Hollon’s newest cozy mystery series. Prepare to be transported to eastern Kentucky where Miranda is embarking on the course to start her painting tourism business. She has high hopes and high expectations for herself. She needs things to go well so that she can build a moonshine still and keep the homestead she inherited. Things take a bad turn when her cook is found murdered and Miranda becomes the prime suspect. The bad thing about small towns? Still Knife Painting is the first book in Cheryl Hollon’s newest cozy mystery series. Prepare to be transported to eastern Kentucky where Miranda is embarking on the course to start her painting tourism business. She has high hopes and high expectations for herself. She needs things to go well so that she can build a moonshine still and keep the homestead she inherited. Things take a bad turn when her cook is found murdered and Miranda becomes the prime suspect. The bad thing about small towns? Everyone knows just about everything and Miranda’s arguments with her cook were something no one ignored and were quick to gossip about. Now, Miranda needs to find out the truth behind the murder and why it happened. Still Knife Painting is an engaging cozy mystery novel and I truly enjoyed the true to life characters and the amount of detail the author blends into this story. She also writes about some truly delicious dishes. There were moments of where I was either drooling or wanting to get into the kitchen to test a couple of them out for myself. Miranda comes off as being a soft character, but she does have a bit of a temper on her and it does flare to life when she’s pushed to the limit. The author creates an air of mystery not just with the murder, but with the mysterious happenings that continue at the house. Miranda is plagued with misfortune in the first one way and then another. You really begin to wonder if she’s going to be able to survive the proverbial storm that is swirling around her. Her business starts off okay, but she’s still worried about breaking even. Miranda is literally fighting an uphill battle. How was she to know how some of the “more important” locals would feel about moonshine? I’ll admit that I get annoyed a couple of times with the characters when they want to take such strong stands behind being against moonshine, but all I’m going to say is that each one has their own story and that they are revealed in the right moment. This story has lighthearted moments and then it has its tragic moments as well. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the reveal of the killer. I guess I wanted/expected something a bit more thrilling. I wanted there to be more of a big reveal. For readers who have read books by this author before then, I think that they will enjoy this new series. For readers who are looking for a new cozy mystery author to check out then, I think that this book will be a good fit with its delicious foods (and recipes included), hints of romance, and well-done descriptions of the gorgeous scenery. I am rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I’m looking forward to reading Miranda’s next engagement with mystery and danger.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Finding a new cozy mystery series always makes me happy. And to find one that incorporates a new hobby I’ve taken up (painting) and an alcohol (moonshine) I like to sample, well I reckon that makes me as happy as eating a Brown Betty! Who hasn’t dreamt of being left a big inheritance by a relative? And if it means you have to have a moonshine distillery up and running in 90 days, even better. We don’t get much of a feel for the town in Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon, but I’m sure that’ll Finding a new cozy mystery series always makes me happy. And to find one that incorporates a new hobby I’ve taken up (painting) and an alcohol (moonshine) I like to sample, well I reckon that makes me as happy as eating a Brown Betty! Who hasn’t dreamt of being left a big inheritance by a relative? And if it means you have to have a moonshine distillery up and running in 90 days, even better. We don’t get much of a feel for the town in Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon, but I’m sure that’ll be coming in future books in the Paint & Shine Mysteries. We do get wonderful descriptions of the house and all it’s out buildings, along with Lover’s Leap and the National Forest. I would enjoy living in her uncle’s house and can imagine all the animals and gardens I would have fun attending. Hollon does a fabulous job with the character descriptions, and the puppy, Sandy, is adorable. There is a potential love interest, although in this book it’s not a main focus at all, which is wonderful. It’s been awhile since I’ve read such animosity in regards to the police force in a cozy mystery. It was pretty heavy handed, but it involves high school rivalry and big city/country cops, so it doesn’t seem unbelievable. There were a few things I wish would have been explored more like the interview Miranda does and her reaction afterwards. It felt like it was just mentioned and then forgotten about. And the fight between the cops was solved, for the moment, with a cute look from Sandy. It’s a lovely thought, but felt like the book needed to be wrapped up, so this was an easy way to do so. But these little quirks will not keep me from visiting Kentucky again, along with Miranda, Sandy, and all of their friends. I highly recommend the Paint & Shine Mystery series, and y’all should go grab yourself a copy!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Loved this book! Really fun first-in-a-series read. Very enjoyable to read about a main character that has a different occupation than you normally read about. Fun to see a different setting, too and the way things are different for non-city folk. Great mystery. Lots of great side stories! Really enjoyed the history tie-in. The only thing missing was the spice cake recipe!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rekha

    I liked the concept of paint and moonshine. The setting is good and the events leading up to the murder is interesting. However, the people of red River Gorge seems to have trouble with everything Miranda does. Her microbrewery idea is not appreciated, her mum thinks the 'paint and shine' is going to be a flop show, her neighbours talk about how peaceful it was before her arrival (no murders before)... The only niggle I had with this story was the portrayal of our main character Miranda Trent. Sh I liked the concept of paint and moonshine. The setting is good and the events leading up to the murder is interesting. However, the people of red River Gorge seems to have trouble with everything Miranda does. Her microbrewery idea is not appreciated, her mum thinks the 'paint and shine' is going to be a flop show, her neighbours talk about how peaceful it was before her arrival (no murders before)... The only niggle I had with this story was the portrayal of our main character Miranda Trent. She's an introvert - okay, but it doesn't mean she cannot have control over her tongue or her actions! I wish Miranda was portrayed in a better light. Overall, this was an okay read. As a debut to the series, I was a little disappointed with the character development.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nora-adrienne

    An amazing first in a new series by Cheryl Hollon. My mother was an art teacher at the local Jr. College back in the day. She taught everything from charcoal to acetylene torch. I can't wait for the next book in the series to hit the shelves. It's gonna be a runaway success!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Miranda Trent used to spend summers with her uncle in Wolfe County, Kentucky and now she has inherited his home there. She has started a new business called Paint & Shine where clients can do a group painting in a scenic location then enjoy some Southern home-cooking, paired with a taste of moonshine. Not everyone is pleased with Miranda’s plans to open a distillery on the grounds, but that is a condition of her uncle’s will. When the cook she hired to help prepare the meals is killed in Miranda Miranda Trent used to spend summers with her uncle in Wolfe County, Kentucky and now she has inherited his home there. She has started a new business called Paint & Shine where clients can do a group painting in a scenic location then enjoy some Southern home-cooking, paired with a taste of moonshine. Not everyone is pleased with Miranda’s plans to open a distillery on the grounds, but that is a condition of her uncle’s will. When the cook she hired to help prepare the meals is killed in Miranda’s kitchen, Miranda becomes the local police detective’s prime suspect. To clear her name and save her fledgling business, Miranda starts her own investigation into who would have wanted to kill Mrs. Childers. I really like the books I have read in Hollon’s Webb Glass Shop series and was excited to see she had started a new series. The premise of this new series also got my attention. The main character, Miranda, is an artist who has started a new business to provide her clients the chance to paint, but instead of doing that in a studio she leads them on hikes to scenic locations in the area. It’s a little hard to believe she would then invite everyone to her home, but I like the idea of ending the day with authentic Southern cooking and moonshine. There are parts of the book I like, but overall I was disappointed. Part of this is because Miranda isn’t always easy to like. She says she is an introvert, but doesn’t act like one. She never seems hesitant to state her opinion and sometimes rudely lashes out at people. In addition, although I like the premise of her Paint & Shine business, the extra part about having to open a distillery to meet the conditions of her uncle’s will seems like too much. I like the forest ranger, Austin, who may end up being a love interest for Miranda. He is as calm and rational even when Miranda sometimes loses her temper. The investigation is complicated by a power struggle between the county sheriff and the local police. Lexington Police Detective Otis Peterson and Wolfe County Sheriff Richard Larson were high school rivals and now have a huge difference in opinion on the death of Mrs. Childers. This adds some conflict and gives Miranda even more of a reason to do some investigation on her own. What confuses things is there are a couple of chapters told from Sheriff Larson’s point-of-view. If there were more of those chapters and he and Miranda interacted more during the investigation, it would have made more sense. As it is, it just interrupted the pace of the story which was already on the slow side. I like that I was surprised when the identity of the murderer was revealed. The motive came a little bit out of nowhere for me and the ending was a bit rushed. However, most of the loose ends are explained by the end The unique premise of the book is backed up by recipes for moonshine cocktails and a selection of Southern dishes. Since I have enjoyed other books by this author, I would be willing to give a follow-up book in the series a try, but this book wasn’t my favorite by the author. I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Kensington. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kimmie

    "Still Knife Painting" by Cheryl Hollon is the first book in a new series, and it does not disappoint! First, the story is set in beautiful, mountainous Kentucky. The heroine, Miranda, has moved into her late uncle's home, which she has just inherited. An artist by trade, she starts a new business involving a scenic hike, an outdoor painting class at a striking overview, and a traditional southern meal combined with moonshine cocktail pairings. I loved all the descriptions of the area, as well a "Still Knife Painting" by Cheryl Hollon is the first book in a new series, and it does not disappoint! First, the story is set in beautiful, mountainous Kentucky. The heroine, Miranda, has moved into her late uncle's home, which she has just inherited. An artist by trade, she starts a new business involving a scenic hike, an outdoor painting class at a striking overview, and a traditional southern meal combined with moonshine cocktail pairings. I loved all the descriptions of the area, as well as the details about how to paint a landscape provided as Miranda taught her classes. A local ranger stops by during each class to share information about the area and answer questions; I learned a lot from that as well. Another thing I learned about was MOOONSHINE COCKTAILS! Growing up in an area with a plentiful supply of the beverage, I had never realized all the different things that could be done with it cocktail-wise. Recipes are included, and I'll definitely be trying some as soon as possible. (Southern food recipes are included as well.) Miranda as a character is a bit unique within the cozy genre. She is a bit of an introvert, and knows this about herself. I enjoyed watching her try to overcome this as she ran her business and investigated the murder. Unlike most cozy heroines, she's not always nice, either. She often snaps at people, or says things that are rude or inappropriate. Sometimes she is aware of this, sometimes not. She's a nice person overall, but I like the fact that she's not perfect and has areas of her personality to improve on as the series moves forward. These flaws make her seem more like a real person. I also appreciated the well-written mystery storyline. There are plenty of suspects, between the locals and the tourists who attend Miranda's "Paint and Shine" tours. It was interesting to observe Miranda trying to learn more about everyone to help solve the mystery. I liked the way she used her artistic talent and highly-observant nature to help in her investigation. Another unique aspect of this book is the rivalry between the local sheriff and his department vs. the "big city" law enforcement contingent from Lexington. I hope the issues between the two lead police characters are given even more attention in upcoming books. Unusual in a cozy, we also get to see part of the story from the point of view of law enforcement, making the police officers into real characters, not just caricatures. I enjoyed this perspective, and hope this feature continues going forward. I must also mention Miranda's adorable rescue puppy Sandy. The puppy antics are lots of fun, and I liked that Miranda actually thinks about what's best for Sandy when she heads out for various reasons. All in all, five out of five yummy slices of provolone!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Still Knife Painting, the first in a new series. Cheryl Hollon starts over with a new heroine in a new creative pursuit---from glass art in South Florida to painting and moonshine in the hills of Kentucky. Miranda Trent, the protagonist, is an artist who has spent time living in New York, but she has family roots in Kentucky. When her uncle dies, she inherits his cabin and decides to move Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Still Knife Painting, the first in a new series. Cheryl Hollon starts over with a new heroine in a new creative pursuit---from glass art in South Florida to painting and moonshine in the hills of Kentucky. Miranda Trent, the protagonist, is an artist who has spent time living in New York, but she has family roots in Kentucky. When her uncle dies, she inherits his cabin and decides to move back there and start a business venture. She offers a tourist cultural experience that combines a hike to a scenic overlook in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Lover's Leap), painting lessons, and a history lecture from a local park ranger, followed by a lunch of traditional local cuisine paired with authentic moonshine. Not everyone is on board with Miranda's plans to serve moonshine to her clients. In fact, one of her main detractors is Naomi Childers, head cook for the venture. And on the first day of operation, Naomi is found stabbed on the kitchen floor before lunch can be served. Because Miranda and Naomi had been overheard arguing frequently, Miranda is the main suspect. Except the police seem convinced that the death was an accident. Nevertheless, Miranda is determined to get justice for Mrs. Childers, prove that her death was murder, and find the real killer. Otherwise, her fledgling business will fail because of bad publicity. I found Miranda a bit abrasive and unsympathetic, and her motive for stepping into the role of amateur sleuth somewhat shaky, since the bumbling police write it off as an accident. And when the killer is revealed, the proof is not totally convincing. The story starts slowly; I was about 20% into it when the murder occurs. After that, the pacing picks up and the story structure is good. Miranda has a cute puppy and a potential love interest that can develop over the series. The book includes recipes. The author did a great job depicting the setting and the backwoods culture. Overall, I enjoyed the read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Still Knife Painting, the first in a new series. Cheryl Hollon starts over with a new heroine in a new creative pursuit---from glass art in South Florida to painting and moonshine in the hills of Kentucky. Miranda Trent, the protagonist, is an artist who has spent time living in New York, but she has family roots in Kentucky. When her uncle dies, she inherits his cabin and decides to move Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Still Knife Painting, the first in a new series. Cheryl Hollon starts over with a new heroine in a new creative pursuit---from glass art in South Florida to painting and moonshine in the hills of Kentucky. Miranda Trent, the protagonist, is an artist who has spent time living in New York, but she has family roots in Kentucky. When her uncle dies, she inherits his cabin and decides to move back there and start a business venture. She offers a tourist cultural experience that combines a hike to a scenic overlook in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Lover's Leap), painting lessons, and a history lecture from a local park ranger, followed by a lunch of traditional local cuisine paired with authentic moonshine. Not everyone is on board with Miranda's plans to serve moonshine to her clients. In fact, one of her main detractors is Naomi Childers, head cook for the venture. And on the first day of operation, Naomi is found stabbed on the kitchen floor before lunch can be served. Because Miranda and Naomi had been overheard arguing frequently, Miranda is the main suspect. Except the police seem convinced that the death was an accident. Nevertheless, Miranda is determined to get justice for Mrs. Childers, prove that her death was murder, and find the real killer. Otherwise, her fledgling business will fail because of bad publicity. I found Miranda a bit abrasive and unsympathetic, and her motive for stepping into the role of amateur sleuth somewhat shaky, since the bumbling police write it off as an accident. And when the killer is revealed, the proof is not totally convincing. The story starts slowly; I was about 20% into it when the murder occurs. After that, the pacing picks up and the story structure is good. Miranda has a cute puppy and a potential love interest that can develop over the series. The book includes recipes. The author did a great job depicting the setting and the backwoods culture. Overall, I enjoyed the read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abby Fabian

    Miranda's uncle died and left her the farm. Literally. Well, it's not exactly a farm, but it's close enough. Consequently, Miranda decides to leave her life in New York as an artist and move to Kentucky to begin a new business. While she didn't grow up with her uncle, she spent her summers with him and therefore has some ties to the area. Her dual familiarity with the area and her outsider-status being from New York play an important part throughout the story. Miranda needs cash and she needs i Miranda's uncle died and left her the farm. Literally. Well, it's not exactly a farm, but it's close enough. Consequently, Miranda decides to leave her life in New York as an artist and move to Kentucky to begin a new business. While she didn't grow up with her uncle, she spent her summers with him and therefore has some ties to the area. Her dual familiarity with the area and her outsider-status being from New York play an important part throughout the story. Miranda needs cash and she needs it quick if she wants to be able to keep her Uncle's house. She decides to start a business that includes what she knows and loves: art and moonshine. This was a rather unique theme for a cozy series that has the possibility of being really fun. Miranda is rather shy and knows it. Her inner dialogue reveals her discomfort as well as her willingness to overcome it. While the business is just getting off the ground, it felt a little too disorganized. I would have liked to have seen something that didn't appear to be so chaotic. That being said, she is just getting her bearings and adapting to this new life. To make matters worse for Miranda, her chef is killed right in the middle of her first tour. The local cops are challenged by the bigger city cops and that's when things get hairy. Apparently, the chief of police of the small town and the big city detective have some bad blood between them. This is further explored when the point of view flicks between the cops and Miranda throughout the book. While this did help illuminate the cops' relationship, it wasn't truly necessary and detracted from the story a bit. Luckily, Miranda has Austin, a local forest ranger, on her side. Any investigating done by Miranda is carried out with Austin right beside her. Their friendship is sweet and looks as though it has the potential to evolve into something more. I read an ARC of this book. I am voluntarily leaving a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Allison Collins

    “Still Knife Painting” is the first in a new series from author Cheryl Hollon, author of the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. I’ve been a fan of that series, so I was very excited to read this new book in the “A Paint and Shine” series. Artist Miranda Tolson has inherited her Uncle Gene’s house and land in Kentucky, so she’s moved from New York City to start a new business. Miranda grew up spending summers with her uncle in the beauty of the Red River Gorge area of Eastern Kentucky, so to showc “Still Knife Painting” is the first in a new series from author Cheryl Hollon, author of the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. I’ve been a fan of that series, so I was very excited to read this new book in the “A Paint and Shine” series. Artist Miranda Tolson has inherited her Uncle Gene’s house and land in Kentucky, so she’s moved from New York City to start a new business. Miranda grew up spending summers with her uncle in the beauty of the Red River Gorge area of Eastern Kentucky, so to showcase the area and her talents, she’s taking tourists on hiking expeditions to paint, then taking them to her home for a traditional Southern cuisine meal. And a highlight of that meal is pairing moonshine recipes with the various offerings. Miranda has faced some opposition to offering the drinks from the woman she hired to prepare the traditional southern recipes, which has led to several loud arguments, witnessed by the townsfolk. On the day of her very first tour, someone kills the cook in Miranda’s kitchen. To keep herself out of jail, and to keep her fledgling business afloat on a shoestring, Miranda begins to investigate which one of her tourists or the two local men onsite may have stuck a knife in her cook. This new series has a cast of fun, quirky characters, including Miranda’s rescue pup, Sandy. I enjoyed getting to know Miranda as she becomes reacquainted with the locals and trying to figure out whodunnit. I was kept guessing till the very end! The author has a strong voice for writing Cozy Mysteries, and I’ve been a fan of hers for years, so a new series is a welcome addition to her storytelling skills. The author also has a great way of writing about the setting, so it felt as if I was actually in the beautiful small town and woods in Eastern Kentucky. Best of all, included in the book are some of the mouthwatering recipes for moonshine cocktails and the food served in the story! I was thrilled to win an ARC of this new series, and am happy to leave an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 stars This is the first book in the A Paint and Shine mystery series by Cheryl Hollon. She is the author of the Webb’s Glass Shop mystery series. Miranda has inherited her uncle’s homestead where she is starting a Paint and Shine business. She will be doing painting classes along with food paired with specialty moonshine. While speaking with her cook, who changes her menu unexpectedly and tells Miranda of her displeasure with the moonshine connection, someone ends up killing the cook and chang 4.5 stars This is the first book in the A Paint and Shine mystery series by Cheryl Hollon. She is the author of the Webb’s Glass Shop mystery series. Miranda has inherited her uncle’s homestead where she is starting a Paint and Shine business. She will be doing painting classes along with food paired with specialty moonshine. While speaking with her cook, who changes her menu unexpectedly and tells Miranda of her displeasure with the moonshine connection, someone ends up killing the cook and changing all of Miranda’s plans. I enjoyed this new offering by Hollon. Her Webb’s Glass Shop series is one of the first cozy series I read when I got interested in the genre. At first, I thought this was a Webb book but quickly realized she had branched out into new territory. I thought the mystery was good and all the problems she had with the locals really added to the stress level of the story. This was easy to get into and it keeps you guessing all the way through. I look forward to reading more in this series. If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I really enjoyed this author's creative premise with this series kick-off and the rich, lush descriptions of the setting! This is also true for her other series, the glass shop mysteries, which also features an artist as the protagonist. I think she is really on to something here by having Miranda be a talented sketch artist - that could certainly be a handy skill for solving mysteries! The mystery also was very well-plotted, with lots of red herrings. I didn't guess the killer and thought the e I really enjoyed this author's creative premise with this series kick-off and the rich, lush descriptions of the setting! This is also true for her other series, the glass shop mysteries, which also features an artist as the protagonist. I think she is really on to something here by having Miranda be a talented sketch artist - that could certainly be a handy skill for solving mysteries! The mystery also was very well-plotted, with lots of red herrings. I didn't guess the killer and thought the ending was very satisfying as it all made sense and justice was served. However, the pace of this book was a bit slow and got off track at times, such as shifting perspective to the Sheriff or his wife at random points, which didn't really make sense to me. I also thought the rivalry between the Sheriff and Detective was unnecessary and could have been left out entirely without altering the story. I think like most series, this book is setting up a world of characters, relationships, and backstories that will serve as great fodder to draw upon for future more tightly crafted tales. A great series start!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is my first book by Ms. Hollen. The idea of a hiking, painting, eating tour sounds amazing! Obviously without someone dying halfway through. Though I am not sure how they were logistically able to fit it all in the time allowed, sans murder. While I overall enjoyed the story and the characters, I felt like the story itself was a bit of a mess, somewhat like the protagonist Miranda. She doesn't seem very organized or prepared to run a business and a good portion of the book was her figuring This is my first book by Ms. Hollen. The idea of a hiking, painting, eating tour sounds amazing! Obviously without someone dying halfway through. Though I am not sure how they were logistically able to fit it all in the time allowed, sans murder. While I overall enjoyed the story and the characters, I felt like the story itself was a bit of a mess, somewhat like the protagonist Miranda. She doesn't seem very organized or prepared to run a business and a good portion of the book was her figuring out things she should have done before starting. Was this just an introduction to her? Will we follow along as she becomes a better and more prepared businessperson? As for the story, a good friend or editor should have pointed out that at one point Miranda is thankful she doesn't have any clients scheduled for Monday but then goes to the hotel to meet clients. Little things like this can detract from the enjoyment of a story. Thanks to Cozy Mystery Review for a copy of the book. This review is my own opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kendrea Parsons

    Still Knife Painting is a decent start to a new cozy mystery series. It took a bit for me to warm up to the main character, Miranda. At times she was a little annoying in her thoughts and how she reacted to the older ladies not really liking the moonshine tasting part of her business. But I grew to like the character more as the story progressed. The supporting characters were ok, but I would've liked to get more information about them to make them seem more three-dimensional. As for the murder Still Knife Painting is a decent start to a new cozy mystery series. It took a bit for me to warm up to the main character, Miranda. At times she was a little annoying in her thoughts and how she reacted to the older ladies not really liking the moonshine tasting part of her business. But I grew to like the character more as the story progressed. The supporting characters were ok, but I would've liked to get more information about them to make them seem more three-dimensional. As for the murder mystery itself, I will say the author can definitely craft a very good mystery. I truly didn't guess who the killer was or why they did it. Afterward, of course, it made sense. I love it when a mystery author stumps me completely and Cheryl Hollon did just that. I'll read the next book in the series to see if the character development gets better. Hopefully it does because I like the premise of this series. Note: I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book from the author. All opinions are mine alone.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    I really liked the idea of someone doing trails, painting and Southern cooking as a type of adventure tour. I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with the trail idea or the moonshine tasting (I've tried it in Tennessee and don't care for it), but the painting sounds fun along with the authentic Southern meal. I liked Miranda a lot but at times, I wondered if she was thinking straight. Her little pup sounded adorable, and I liked the secondary characters of Austin (oh yeah!), Mrs. Hobb--and Sheriff Larson I really liked the idea of someone doing trails, painting and Southern cooking as a type of adventure tour. I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with the trail idea or the moonshine tasting (I've tried it in Tennessee and don't care for it), but the painting sounds fun along with the authentic Southern meal. I liked Miranda a lot but at times, I wondered if she was thinking straight. Her little pup sounded adorable, and I liked the secondary characters of Austin (oh yeah!), Mrs. Hobb--and Sheriff Larson grew on me after a little bit. I thought I guessed the killer but it was just another red herring. I kind of figured the showdown might happen when it did. It was short but very good. I always enjoy when there's a wrap-up at the end which in this book took place after the murdered woman's funeral. There was a little side mystery that got its answer at this time too. I'll definitely be interested in reading the next book. I think this idea has lots of potential, and what a great setting for lots of different mysteries.

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