Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery #1)
Will this paper trail run cold?As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana's stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn't the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta's best friend is suspected of the crime.Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.

Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery #1) Details

TitleLast Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery #1)
Author
ReleaseSep 24th, 2019
PublisherPoisoned Pen Press
ISBN-139781492684039
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery #1) Review

  • Mischenko
    January 1, 1970
    Delta has been gifted a sum of money from her grandmother, and what better way to spend it than following her dreams to finally own a stationary shop. After teaming up with her friend Hazel at her shop, Wanted, in Tundish, Montana, Delta couldn’t be happier. Together they plan a crafting workshop at a local hotel, and on the night of the big event, one of the guests is murdered on the premises.This murder becomes a mystery. Who would do this? Was there a brawl? An affair? There are multiple susp Delta has been gifted a sum of money from her grandmother, and what better way to spend it than following her dreams to finally own a stationary shop. After teaming up with her friend Hazel at her shop, Wanted, in Tundish, Montana, Delta couldn’t be happier. Together they plan a crafting workshop at a local hotel, and on the night of the big event, one of the guests is murdered on the premises.This murder becomes a mystery. Who would do this? Was there a brawl? An affair? There are multiple suspects in question, but authorities have no idea who the real perpetrator is. Delta becomes a detective along with others including the Paper Posse and an adorable canine to help solve the case.I was attracted to the old, wild-west town setting right away and this just felt like the perfect book to be reading this time of year. The writing is descriptive and flows nicely, the story is interesting and keeps your attention, but I did find it drawn out in a few spots and even unbelievable at times. It didn’t bother me that much for it was easy to stay absorbed in the story. The author has a way of making you think one way, when it’s really not the case at all. These twists made up for other semi-predictable parts. The book turned out to be a fairly quick read too.As far as characters, I’d have to say Delta (the main character) was my absolute favorite. She’s such a good friend–determined to get to the bottom of this crime one way or another to help Hazel and her brother Finn. She’s strong, independent, and also loves dogs, so she’s likable from the get go. There was an urge for certain characters to connect, and while it didn’t work out that way, maybe in future installments it’ll happen. There wasn’t much backstory shared for many of the characters in the story, but with this being the first book of the series, I hope to learn more about them in future installments as well.Overall, Last Pen Standing was an enjoyable cozy mystery. I’ll admit that this isn’t my favorite genre, and it was a bit predictable, but I’m inspired to read more.4****I’d like to thank the publisher, author, and Goodreads for sharing this book in a giveaway that I recently won. This is my own, honest review of the book.You can also see this review @www.readrantrockandroll.com
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Delta Douglas joined her good friend Hazel as the co-owner of the stationery shop Wanted, in the small Montana town of Tundish. She was excited, as when her gran had gifted her some money, it had enabled Delta to follow the dream she’d had for as long as she could remember. Wanted was filled with imaginative and exquisite stationery items which she was determined to add to using her own artwork, sketches and designs.The night of a crafting workshop at Taylor’s Lodge, there was also a party in a Delta Douglas joined her good friend Hazel as the co-owner of the stationery shop Wanted, in the small Montana town of Tundish. She was excited, as when her gran had gifted her some money, it had enabled Delta to follow the dream she’d had for as long as she could remember. Wanted was filled with imaginative and exquisite stationery items which she was determined to add to using her own artwork, sketches and designs.The night of a crafting workshop at Taylor’s Lodge, there was also a party in a separate section of the hotel. As the evening wore on and the guests mingled and drank, Delta and Hazel continued their workshop. But the discovery of a dead body in the bar toward the end of the evening cast a shadow over everyone there. And when the sheriff arrived with his deputies, Delta’s shock was worsened by his suspicion of Hazel. Delta and Jonas Nord, along with his retired K9, Spud, quickly began investigating the murder. But would they manage to find the culprit? There were many suspects at the hotel – who really did the deed? Last Pen Standing is the 1st is a new series, Stationery Shop Mystery, by Vivian Conroy and I quite enjoyed it. It was light and entertaining; there were plenty of twists and misdirections and it was a fun cozy mystery. Recommended.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Natalia Ramlal
    January 1, 1970
    Delta Douglas is thrilled to be the new co-owner of a stationery shop with her best friend, Hazel. However, on her first night in her new hometown, a guest is murdered at the hotel where they are hosting a crafting workshop. The police immediately arrest Hazel's brother, Finn, who was seen behaving suspiciously at the crime scene. Hazel tries her best to protect her brother which results in her also being arrested. With the help of her new friends, Delta is determined to solve the murder and get Delta Douglas is thrilled to be the new co-owner of a stationery shop with her best friend, Hazel. However, on her first night in her new hometown, a guest is murdered at the hotel where they are hosting a crafting workshop. The police immediately arrest Hazel's brother, Finn, who was seen behaving suspiciously at the crime scene. Hazel tries her best to protect her brother which results in her also being arrested. With the help of her new friends, Delta is determined to solve the murder and get her friend out of jail. This was a wonderful introduction to a new series. It was an entertaining, easy to read cozy set in a charming old Western town in Montana. The characters are fun and unique. I really liked the Paper Posse ladies and hope to see more of them in the second book. The mystery is well crafted and filled with suspense and red herrings. I look forward to reading future books in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for approving me for this ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Linda 📚
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a fan of stationery, pens, ink stamps, cards, and journals, so I knew this book would appeal to me. The gorgeous cover had me at Hello! I liked the concept for the setup of this debut cozy series and enjoyed the rural autumn descriptions in the foothills of Washington State.Protagonist Delta Douglas uses a monetary gift from her Gran to purchase co-ownership in a stationery shop run by her friend, Hazel. Delta and Hazel present a craft workshop at a local hotel owned by the Taylor family on I’m a fan of stationery, pens, ink stamps, cards, and journals, so I knew this book would appeal to me. The gorgeous cover had me at Hello! I liked the concept for the setup of this debut cozy series and enjoyed the rural autumn descriptions in the foothills of Washington State.Protagonist Delta Douglas uses a monetary gift from her Gran to purchase co-ownership in a stationery shop run by her friend, Hazel. Delta and Hazel present a craft workshop at a local hotel owned by the Taylor family on the same night a gold miners party is being held. When a murder occurs, it becomes apparent that the Taylor family is in turmoil and that nearly all members have problems which may, or may not be, connected to the victim. Several times during the story, I found my attention wandering after some far-fetched actions by one of the characters (the sheriff, for example, and how he handled suspects). By the time the author glues all the clues together at the end, the killer reveal didn’t surprise me, and left me feeling a bit let down. My review is 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4 stars.I reviewed an unedited digital ARC provided by NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an honest review. Thank you.
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  • Lisa Ks Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    LAST PEN STANDING was a well plotted mystery. I'll be on the watch for more from author Vivian Conroy.
  • Dawn Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I requested this book simply because my friend [who is new to the cozy genre] told me I should and because it was about a stationary shop. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love things in the stationary department. In fact, most people I know steer me clear of that area in ANY store because once there [much like a bookstore], I am a lost cause. I am glad to say that this book, much like most of my beloved stationary, did not [mostly] disappoint. What I liked/loved about this book: *Delta. She I requested this book simply because my friend [who is new to the cozy genre] told me I should and because it was about a stationary shop. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love things in the stationary department. In fact, most people I know steer me clear of that area in ANY store because once there [much like a bookstore], I am a lost cause. I am glad to say that this book, much like most of my beloved stationary, did not [mostly] disappoint. What I liked/loved about this book: *Delta. She is a great main character. She has a complicated past, but not one that is so beyond the stretch of imagination that it is unbelievable. She is a kind person [who LOVES dogs. Bonus points there] and is willing to dive in and get done what needs to get done when the going gets tough. I never felt she was trying to undermine the moronic sheriff [more on HIM later], she was just trying to save her friend and her friends brother. She also is NOT a swooner, nor does she think she "needs a man to complete her" like so many cozies make their main characters now. *Delta and Jonas are friends. There is no "tension, friction, side-glances, etc etc" that are so popular in the trope now - NOT all women need a man in their life and most women don't need a man to solve all their problems. I am not a man-hater so just keep your venom to yourself. I just believe not every woman needs or wants a man to "save" her. And the relationship [regardless of where it leads] with Jonas is very refreshing. *The killer is also very believable. ;-) *The side characters are a hoot. The town is fun and new. The stationary shop is a stationary lover's dream come true. I SO wish there was a shop like this somewhere. I would be their biggest customer. It has the great small-town vibe, warts [I live in a small town. Gossip is RAMPANT and is even worse now with the internet] and all. What I DID NOT like [because very few books are perfect] *The formatting of the book. I am hoping that because this was an ARC that it will be fixed, but it was wonky and tough to figure out who was talking at times and where chapter breaks were. *The Sheriff. Really? R E A L L Y? Why are all sheriff's either stupid, tough-as-nails and proceed as with blinders on [and alienate everyone they come across] or so good looking that everyone is swooning and you KNOW that he is now going to be the love interest of the MC? I have come across several really well written sheriff's so I know it can be done, but they seem few and far between. I can only hope this one loses reelection and someone who is better written comes into play [hint hint hint]. *Hazel. She is not really someone I would want to be best friends with or someone I would want to go into business with. I cannot say more without spoilers, but I can say that I am not a fan of her and am glad she is not the MC. *Delta going off with Jonas. WHO goes off with an almost perfect stranger just because your friend says he is okay and you know he was a former cop. Former cops can be killers. BAD FORM DELTA. Those are all really nitpicky things in reality and not nearly enough to keep me from reading a second one [in fact, I sure hope she is writing #2 because I want that one ASAP!! LOL] - this was simply a delightful book and I am glad to have found a new series!! Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    Delta Douglas is thrilled when her grandmother gives her the money to do whatever she wants with her life. It’s an easy choice for Delta. She goes into business with her best friend, Hazel, who owns a stationery shop called WANTED. Delta always loved crafting and a stationery shop is the perfect outlet for her. She moves to the small town of Tundish, Montana where the shop is located.Delta immediately joins Hazel in giving a crafting workshop in a local hotel. Everything is going wonderful until Delta Douglas is thrilled when her grandmother gives her the money to do whatever she wants with her life. It’s an easy choice for Delta. She goes into business with her best friend, Hazel, who owns a stationery shop called WANTED. Delta always loved crafting and a stationery shop is the perfect outlet for her. She moves to the small town of Tundish, Montana where the shop is located.Delta immediately joins Hazel in giving a crafting workshop in a local hotel. Everything is going wonderful until they discover a dead body in the bar. Hazel and her brother, Finn, are immediately considered prime suspects and tossed into jail. It’s up to Delta to prove their innocence. Otherwise, her dream of opening a stationery shop will be over before it gets started. Nobody wants to have anything to do with a shop that’s involved in a murder investigation.This is the first book in the Stationery Shop Mystery series and what a great start to a new series. The characters are quirky and are perfect to give a cozy atmosphere. It's also fun that it's situated in a stationery shop. That's a bit different than other cozy mystery settings.I liked Delta from the start. The author gives her a great supporting cast with a potential romance, a cuddly dog, and a group of potential amateur sleuths calling themselves the Paper Posse. The storyline moved at a fast pace giving us many possible suspects. I was surprised at who the culprit turned out to be. I enjoyed spending some time in Tundish Montana and I’m looking forward to another visit back there soon.FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Jammin Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this first entry in a new cozy mystery series. It's set in Montana, where one of the MCs. Delta Douglas, has decided to quit her job and use the money her grandmother gave her to buy-in to a stationary shop with her best friend from college. When she arrives, she joins her friend and co-owner Hazel in running a crafting workshop at a local lodge. There is a murder at the lodge and her friend's brother Finn is I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this first entry in a new cozy mystery series. It's set in Montana, where one of the MCs. Delta Douglas, has decided to quit her job and use the money her grandmother gave her to buy-in to a stationary shop with her best friend from college. When she arrives, she joins her friend and co-owner Hazel in running a crafting workshop at a local lodge. There is a murder at the lodge and her friend's brother Finn is accused of the crime. Delta works with a local retired policeman turned tour guide to try to find the real killer. Really fun characters and setting.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a huge fan of Vivian Conroy's cozy mysteries, they're fun. This is the beginning of a new series by her. We meet Delta, who inherits money from her grandma, and decides to co-own a stationary shop with her best friend, Hazel. When Delta moves to the small town in Montana, she immediately falls in love with her new store, Wanted, and can't believe her dreams are coming true. However, things turn quickly when at a crafting evening she and Hazel find a woman dead in the bar. From there, Hazel e I'm a huge fan of Vivian Conroy's cozy mysteries, they're fun. This is the beginning of a new series by her. We meet Delta, who inherits money from her grandma, and decides to co-own a stationary shop with her best friend, Hazel. When Delta moves to the small town in Montana, she immediately falls in love with her new store, Wanted, and can't believe her dreams are coming true. However, things turn quickly when at a crafting evening she and Hazel find a woman dead in the bar. From there, Hazel ends up in jail and Delta begins investigating to clear Hazel's name and find out who the killer is. Along the way, she leans on help through her new friends in the Paper Posse, and an ex-cop. I liked Conroy's newest mystery. I liked the unique characters and the small town setting in Montana. I can't wait to see what Delta does next.*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • LORI CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsDelta Douglas has come to Tundish, Montana to follow her dreams. Her grandmother has gifted her inheritance early so she can go into business with her best friend Hazel as co-owner of a stationary store set up in an old sheriff’s office, complete with jail cells. Hazel has fittingly named the store WANTED. Delta’s plans include developing her own line of crafting supplies and products.Delta arrives in town just in time to help Hazel host a workshop at The Lodge Hotel. The hote Dollycas’s ThoughtsDelta Douglas has come to Tundish, Montana to follow her dreams. Her grandmother has gifted her inheritance early so she can go into business with her best friend Hazel as co-owner of a stationary store set up in an old sheriff’s office, complete with jail cells. Hazel has fittingly named the store WANTED. Delta’s plans include developing her own line of crafting supplies and products.Delta arrives in town just in time to help Hazel host a workshop at The Lodge Hotel. The hotel is a busy place with a huge party in the ballroom while the WANTED workshop takes place in a large conference room. The hotel manager is adamant the two groups remain separate clearly favoring the well to do guests attending the party. One of the exclusive guests apparently didn’t get the memo because she wanders into the workshop clearly taken with the crafts especially some very special notebooks. She asks that they are set aside for her until she can return to pay for them.The workshop ends without the woman returning so Delta and Hazel decide to leave the notebooks at the front desk. Before they can leave the building they learn someone has been murdered. Hazel and Delta find themselves wrapped up in the chaos and the crush of people as the police arrive. The police pay special attention to Hazel and her brother Finn, who is employed by the hotel and involved with the owner’s daughter. In fact, the siblings are quickly loaded into police cars and taken in for questioning.Not sure what has really happened Delta enlists the help of the ladies from the workshop, also known as the Paper Posse. They are familiar with the town and its residents but she can get away with being the new girl in town to ask some pointed questions too. She knows she is on the right track when she receives her first threat.___Welcome to Tundish, Montana. The author introduces readers to a vast number of characters keeping each one unique and memorable. Delta Douglas in a talented artist ready to make her break into the world. She and Hazel were college roommates then quickly became best friends. Hazel was not fully truthful with Delta on a very important topic and that gave me pause. We also meet Jonas Nord, a retired Detective, and his dog Spud also retired from law enforcement. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, the opposite of the police chief who just wants to arrest someone. There is a large number of supporting characters, mostly the owners, staff, and guests at the hotel. People with secrets make fabulous suspects.I really didn’t have a favorite character in this story, they are just too new. But I am looking forward to the next book to get to know them better. I especially want to get to know that Paper Posse better, they seem to be a very interesting group.I love where this story takes place. A wild-west town that tourists love to visit. I am not sure yet if I have a complete picture of the stationery store in my head yet. Hazel has tried to keep the sheriff’s office intact as much as possible while displaying some artifacts to show the town’s history while also displaying all the goods for sale in a way to draw her customer in and entice them to make a purchase. The hotel was easy for me to envision and I would love to visit the gold mining museum.The mystery had its share of twists and turns to keep those pages turning. The flow dipped a few times though and some of the characters actions were a little out there, but the author pasted everything together for a satisfactory ending.The first book in a series is always a heavy lift because readers need to meet the characters and learn their place, get to know the setting, and still demand a mystery we can tear apart and wrap back together all within a set number of pages. In my opinion, the author does a great job of that in this debut novel of this series.Last Pen Standing gives this series a strong start. I am excited to see what Ms. Convoy comes up with next.
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  • Peggy R
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book in a new series and the first book I've read by this author. I like the premise and was interested in the fact that the protagonist was the co-owner of a stationery store. Unfortunately, it was very hard for me to engage in the story and the characters. I found the characters to be a bit flat and the plot to drag a bit in sections. I also felt that some of the actions of the characters were unbelievable. Yes, in cozy mysteries sometimes we suspend belief to make some situa This is the first book in a new series and the first book I've read by this author. I like the premise and was interested in the fact that the protagonist was the co-owner of a stationery store. Unfortunately, it was very hard for me to engage in the story and the characters. I found the characters to be a bit flat and the plot to drag a bit in sections. I also felt that some of the actions of the characters were unbelievable. Yes, in cozy mysteries sometimes we suspend belief to make some situations work, but in this instance, it was much too unrealistic for me.I wanted to like this book but I just could never become invested in the story or in the characters. I will not be continuing with this series as it is just not for me.I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars
  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    A solid start to a new cozy series! This one is set in a stationery shop in Montana. Delta Douglas has used the money her grandmother gave her to buy into a stationery store with her best friend from college, Hazel. Their place is full of gold mine themes and is housed in a former sheriff's building/jail. Someone is murdered at a local hotel on the night Delta and Hazel are running a workshop in a conference room. When Hazel ends up behind bars, Delta starts investigating to clear her friend's n A solid start to a new cozy series! This one is set in a stationery shop in Montana. Delta Douglas has used the money her grandmother gave her to buy into a stationery store with her best friend from college, Hazel. Their place is full of gold mine themes and is housed in a former sheriff's building/jail. Someone is murdered at a local hotel on the night Delta and Hazel are running a workshop in a conference room. When Hazel ends up behind bars, Delta starts investigating to clear her friend's name. It's so great to catch the first in a new series when it's actually published! This is a good mystery with likable characters. However, there's too much about investigating and not enough about the town or the characters. I don't feel like I really know Delta and don't know Hazel at all. A bit more about their day-to-day life, outside of the mystery, would have been great. I will definitely read any future books in this series. #NetGalley #Reviewathon#LastPenStanding
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  • Nora-adrienne
    January 1, 1970
    It was a fun read, and the only reason it took so long is that I own my copy and was reading it between ALL the library books I kept ordering.
  • Kirsti
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!This was fun! Who knew that Stationery could be a cozy theme? But oddly it works, and this time around we have a sleuth who actually really investigates. Delta actively involves herself in the investigation and the police are on the back foot the whole time. It helps that she befriends a former policeman early, so she has access to ideas that she might not otherwise.I loved the obvious yet not so obvious suspect, and the w Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!This was fun! Who knew that Stationery could be a cozy theme? But oddly it works, and this time around we have a sleuth who actually really investigates. Delta actively involves herself in the investigation and the police are on the back foot the whole time. It helps that she befriends a former policeman early, so she has access to ideas that she might not otherwise.I loved the obvious yet not so obvious suspect, and the whole investigation. This is only the first book, so the series has more room to grow and really put down roots; I hope the Grandma puts in an appearance in future books! This is definitely a cozy to keep on your radar. Five stars.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy is the first book in A Stationery Shop Mystery series. Delta Douglas had been working as a graphic designer at an ad agency until she received a sizable check from her Gran on her thirtieth birthday. It allowed her to make her dream come true of owning a stationery shop where she can use her sketches to create a line of products. Delta invests in her best friend’s shop, Wanted in Tundish, Montana (the town with a heart of gold). While Delta is prepared for the Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy is the first book in A Stationery Shop Mystery series. Delta Douglas had been working as a graphic designer at an ad agency until she received a sizable check from her Gran on her thirtieth birthday. It allowed her to make her dream come true of owning a stationery shop where she can use her sketches to create a line of products. Delta invests in her best friend’s shop, Wanted in Tundish, Montana (the town with a heart of gold). While Delta is prepared for the creative aspects of the job, she seems to be lacking in business knowledge (or even how to run a cash register). When a dead body is found at Lodge Hotel, Sheriff West is quick to arrest Hazel’s brother, Finn. He also has Hazel spend the night in the jail because she lied. Sheriff West is portrayed as a small town know-it-all who seems to take rumors as fact (and plays fast and loose with the law). There are several viable suspects and I love how the author led us down the wrong path a time or two. Jonas Nord, a wildlife photographer and ex-cop, is drafted by Delta to help clear Hazel and Finn. Jonas is accompanied by Spud, a former K-9 dog, who has a good sniffer. Delta is also aided by the Paper Posse which is a group of crafters who live and work in town with Wild West nicknames (like Calamity Jane). I wish the author had taken the time to give us Delta’s background so we could get to know her. There are tidbits dropped here and there, but I wanted a more solid history so I could get to know Delta. We are also lacking details on Tundish and the Paper Posse. While reading Last Pen Standing you will need to suspend your disbelief now and then (an example is holding someone in jail overnight because they lied). My mother claimed I was overthinking things (maybe), so I will let you form your own opinion. There were some slow sections that I found myself speed reading to get through. Last Pen Standing has an interesting idea with a stationery shop housed in an old west type jail. I found Jonas to be a likeable character along with Mrs. Cassidy who runs the Paper Posse. I hope we learn more about Delta in the next book along with creating a line of products based on her designs. Last Pen Standing is a satisfying debut cozy mystery with endearing erasers, a villainous victim, glistening glitter, rogue rumors, a senseless sheriff and a determined designer.
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  • The Cozy Review
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Stationery Shop Mystery - Book 1Author: Vivian ConroyGenre: Cozy Mystery/Craft/HobbyPublisher: Poisoned Pen PressPage Count: 288 Publishing Date: September 24, 2019 From Poisoned Pen Press comes a new cozy mystery series “Stationery Shop Mystery “ Last Pen Standing by author Vivian Conroy. This book is a nice start to a new series that will grab the reader’s interest. The stationary business is captivating and unusual, which should keep readers, especially crafters, enthusiastic, and hap Series: Stationery Shop Mystery - Book 1Author: Vivian ConroyGenre: Cozy Mystery/Craft/HobbyPublisher: Poisoned Pen PressPage Count: 288 Publishing Date: September 24, 2019 From Poisoned Pen Press comes a new cozy mystery series “Stationery Shop Mystery “ Last Pen Standing by author Vivian Conroy. This book is a nice start to a new series that will grab the reader’s interest. The stationary business is captivating and unusual, which should keep readers, especially crafters, enthusiastic, and happy.Delta is a great character to start a new cozy mystery series. She is filled with hope for the future. She cares deeply for her friends and family, and she wants to be herself, creative, and at peace. There is little to dislike about Delta. Other characters, such as Hazel and Jonas, are noteworthy. I hope we get to learn more about them as the series progresses. I would also love to find out more about Gran.The location of Montana should be a splendid backdrop for this cozy mystery series. The town of Tundish is where a mining state of mind is alive and well, rich with history, and filled with a future of charming descriptiveness that will have readers craving a look at an old west mining town.The victim, suspects, and law enforcement are memorable. The victim is not someone readers will empathize with. But most of the suspects and the killer will have readers on edge and worried about their favorite character. It's easy to like almost all of them, including the murderer, it would be nice if they remain in the series to keep Delta on her toes.Overall, this book is a good start for a new cozy mystery series. That is not to say that I didn’t find fault with Last Pen Standing. I felt that the story needed more and better information regarding the background of the main characters. Some of the situations that Delta gets into were not entirely believable. To top it off, I had a real issue with the local sheriff. In general, law enforcement, even in a very remote and small-town would never arrest someone based on the evidence presented at the time of the murder. Due to the aforementioned issues, I can’t give this book five stars. However, I look forward to seeing the characters and the situations expand in future volumes.
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    Delta moves to Tundish to become a partner with her friend Hazel at a stationary store. When a murder takes place at a hotel where they’re hosting a crafting class, Hazel and her brother, Finn, become the prime suspects. Delta, along with former police officer Jonas, and the Paper Posse (those who attend crafting events held by the stationary store), take it upon themselves to try to figure out who really committed the crime.I liked the story, but I found it dragged on in places. I also had a ha Delta moves to Tundish to become a partner with her friend Hazel at a stationary store. When a murder takes place at a hotel where they’re hosting a crafting class, Hazel and her brother, Finn, become the prime suspects. Delta, along with former police officer Jonas, and the Paper Posse (those who attend crafting events held by the stationary store), take it upon themselves to try to figure out who really committed the crime.I liked the story, but I found it dragged on in places. I also had a hard time buying that the police chief would arrest two people without having any real evidence, and that he would refuse to accept the fact that someone else could be guilty. It was also a little hard to buy that strangers would open up to Delta the way they did.Overall, I thought it was a decent book. The mystery was handled well, I just had issues with how some of the characters were portrayed. Still, I think that readers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this one. **A copy was provided via NetGalley to voluntarily review**
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    2 starsSo boring. I couldn't finish it. I had such high hopes for this book and it is an utter snoozer.
  • Cynthia Moore
    January 1, 1970
    Delta receives a monetary gift from her grandmother that she then uses to buy into a partnership of a store with her friend in a tourist town in Montana. She just gets to town and immediately there is a murder at the lodge during a party. Her friend Hazel is arrested along with Hazel's brother, for the murder. I found the story to be stilted and stiff. The characters were either stereotypes or interchangable. I honestly had a hard time remembering which was Delta and which was Hazel. None of the Delta receives a monetary gift from her grandmother that she then uses to buy into a partnership of a store with her friend in a tourist town in Montana. She just gets to town and immediately there is a murder at the lodge during a party. Her friend Hazel is arrested along with Hazel's brother, for the murder. I found the story to be stilted and stiff. The characters were either stereotypes or interchangable. I honestly had a hard time remembering which was Delta and which was Hazel. None of them are particularly interesting. Hazel and her brother are arrested so fast that is it unbelievable. Many of the situations that they characters are involved in are unbelievable.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsThis is the first book in the Stationery Shop Mystery series by Vivian Conroy.I was excited to find yet another series I want to follow. This story was just fun. I loved the outlaw take on the town’s image and how the stationery shop was called WANTED. I feel like I need Clue-like pack of cards with their photos in order to keep track of the Paper Posse and all their nicknames verses their real names, where they work, what their gossip expertise is, etc. There was a terrific grapevine i 4.5 StarsThis is the first book in the Stationery Shop Mystery series by Vivian Conroy.I was excited to find yet another series I want to follow. This story was just fun. I loved the outlaw take on the town’s image and how the stationery shop was called WANTED. I feel like I need Clue-like pack of cards with their photos in order to keep track of the Paper Posse and all their nicknames verses their real names, where they work, what their gossip expertise is, etc. There was a terrific grapevine in this town which seemed to be the leading help when trying to uncover a murderer.The author fooled me while introducing Ray Taylor at the very beginning. I thought for sure he was the male lead. Then later discovered that role went to Jonas Nord, wildlife photographer and former police officer. I wonder where the romantic interests will lead in future books since I wasn’t quite convinced of anyone’s true romantic intensions by the end. My favorite part had to be the paper posse and how they joined together to help Delta solve the crime. I wonder if the author plans to have featured paper crafting exercises or tips in future books. It might be cool to have a craft-along.When Delta’s best friend, Hazel and her brother both get fingered for the crime, we know that this will spur our spunky crafting maven into action to discover the truth and bring her friends back hoe safe and sound. Lots of interesting characters in this and I look forward to reading more books in this series! Such a fun ride! Cozy mystery fans better saddle up and 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.
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  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book in a new series by this talented author. It features Delta Douglas as the lynchpin of the investigation into the death of a guest at the local hotel. Her grandmother decided to give Delta most of her inheritance whilst she is still alive, hoping to see who Delta will use the money to follow her dreams. Delta has gone into partnership with her friend, owning and running a stationery shop in Tundish, Montana.When she moved to the small town location, she never dreamed that s This is the first book in a new series by this talented author. It features Delta Douglas as the lynchpin of the investigation into the death of a guest at the local hotel. Her grandmother decided to give Delta most of her inheritance whilst she is still alive, hoping to see who Delta will use the money to follow her dreams. Delta has gone into partnership with her friend, owning and running a stationery shop in Tundish, Montana.When she moved to the small town location, she never dreamed that someone would be killed or that her partner would be arrested as part of the investigation. Determined to prove her partner is innocent and to bring the real murderer to justice, Delta embarks on investigating just what happened. As she does so, she uncovers secrets, lies and danger. She is helped by the Paper Posse, an ex-policeman and a retired K9 officer, Spud. It is a story filled with intrigue, a great read. I can't wait to read more in this series in future to discover just what happens in this close knit community and to see if romance will develop between Delta and someone in this story.I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.
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  • Grace J Reviewerlady
    January 1, 1970
    I have read a fair amount of 'cosy' mysteries over the years; I'm happy to say this one is different altogether!Delta Douglas has packed up and moved to Tundish, Montana, having become part owner of a stationery shop - with a difference. As well as stocking all manner of paper craft goodies, there are also workshops to encourage their customers to make full use of the materials available. Arriving in time for the first evening workshop, Delta is shocked when a dead body is discovered at a nearby I have read a fair amount of 'cosy' mysteries over the years; I'm happy to say this one is different altogether!Delta Douglas has packed up and moved to Tundish, Montana, having become part owner of a stationery shop - with a difference. As well as stocking all manner of paper craft goodies, there are also workshops to encourage their customers to make full use of the materials available. Arriving in time for the first evening workshop, Delta is shocked when a dead body is discovered at a nearby glittering event and, as her new partner is under suspicion, she cannot stop herself from investigating .. with a little help from her new friend Jonas and his dog.As I've come to expect from the author, this is a well-plotted tale with plenty of characters and, yes, suspects a-plenty! With a whole town to get acquainted with there are a great mix of characters to meet, each with their own idiosyncrasies. Set in a picturesque locations, I can see there will be lots of scope to expand this series. As you would expect, there are plenty of lighter moments and I just adored the nicknames of the 'Paper Posse'. The store is quirky and easily imaginable from the descriptions, and I'm already looking forward to the next in series. Nothing to complain about here, and I can find no reason not to award this one a full house of stars, with a recommendation to all lovers of good cosy mysteries to add this one to their list without delay!
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy is the 1st book in the Stationery Shop Mystery series. Delta Douglas is excited to be a co-owner of a stationery shop with her best friend Hazel. At Delta's first workshop class given at a high end hotel, a women is found dead, and Hazel and her brother are arrested. Delta is determined to find the real killer, and clear Hazel's name. The mystery was full of twists and turns, and is fast paced and has well developed characters and plot. I look forward to readin Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy is the 1st book in the Stationery Shop Mystery series. Delta Douglas is excited to be a co-owner of a stationery shop with her best friend Hazel. At Delta's first workshop class given at a high end hotel, a women is found dead, and Hazel and her brother are arrested. Delta is determined to find the real killer, and clear Hazel's name. The mystery was full of twists and turns, and is fast paced and has well developed characters and plot. I look forward to reading more books by this author, and can't wait for the next one in the series. I highly recommend this book for who love cozy mystery books. I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Poison Pen Press. Thank you.
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  • Mystica
    January 1, 1970
    It is an idyllic story. You use your inheritance to set up a partnership in an idyllic village background to do what you love to do. This was the beginning of Delta's dream to set up a paper craft business in association with her best friend in an area which was a village but also a tourist destination.They never expected to find on the their first day of their much anticipated workshop, a body of a well known figure murdered whilst a full scale party was going on, and that her friend's brother It is an idyllic story. You use your inheritance to set up a partnership in an idyllic village background to do what you love to do. This was the beginning of Delta's dream to set up a paper craft business in association with her best friend in an area which was a village but also a tourist destination.They never expected to find on the their first day of their much anticipated workshop, a body of a well known figure murdered whilst a full scale party was going on, and that her friend's brother seems to be implicated upto his neck in the whole thing. Her friend Hazel trying her best to protect her brother and not divulging very much does not help the scenario and she ends up getting arrested too. It is now upto Delta to try to figure out who had to gain by the death and by a series of elimination work out who was responsible. With a Chief Constable who is more obstructive than helpful, and not wanting assistance of any kind Delta battles it alone with the help of Jonas an ex cop himself unpopular with the local police. Complicated plots and characters abound but with all the hallmarks of a good cozy mystery murder this is a good one.
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  • Joy
    January 1, 1970
    Notebooks and erasers and Washi tape, oh my. Add some heartfelt characters who are easy to get behind, and we have a series opener that avoids the canned feeling of so many cozy mysteries. The chapters in this one are a bit long, and the reveal feels drawn out a bit past the suspense point, becoming almost anticlimactic. Nevertheless, Delta, Hazel, Jonas, and Spud have become friends that I look forward to following for a long time.
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  • Nancy Baker
    January 1, 1970
    A strong start to a new series. Delta Douglas moves to Tundish, Montana to live her life's dream of producing her own line of stationery products while also being a co-owner of a stationery shop. Immediately things go from "glitter to murder" and now Delta needs to help clear her friend and her friend's brother from bogus charges. I look forward to getting to know the characters better in future books. Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for an ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Fred
    January 1, 1970
    Last Pen Standing is the first book in the A Stationery Shop Mystery series.Delta Douglas’s lifetime dream is to take the many, many sketches she has made over the years and have them reproduced on various stationery items. Her Gran has decided to give Delta her inheritance now so Delta can buy a share in her best friend, Hazel, a stationery store in Tundish, Montana, and Gran can watch Delta’s dream come true.The evening of Delta’s arrival, Hazel suggests that they go to the Lodge Hotel. The ho Last Pen Standing is the first book in the A Stationery Shop Mystery series.Delta Douglas’s lifetime dream is to take the many, many sketches she has made over the years and have them reproduced on various stationery items. Her Gran has decided to give Delta her inheritance now so Delta can buy a share in her best friend, Hazel, a stationery store in Tundish, Montana, and Gran can watch Delta’s dream come true.The evening of Delta’s arrival, Hazel suggests that they go to the Lodge Hotel. The hotel is having their annual gold miners party and Hazel wants Delta to check out the hotel for future craft classes that their stationery store, Wanted, could sponsor there. While checking out the rooms, Delta overhears a rather vocal argument between two ladies one of whom she recognizes. Later as they are in the lobby, Hazel’s brother Finn comes out the bar saying that there is a dead woman in the bar.The sheriff soon arrests Finn in the later and holds Hazel in jail for trying to cover-up for Finn. Delta is anxious to clear her friends and starts to investigate. She is soon joined by Jonas a retired K-9 police officer and an interesting group of women who are friends of Hazel who now calls themselves the Paper Posse.I found this to be a very interesting beginning to the new series. I thought it is well-written and plotted with interesting characters and plenty of red herrings that kept me guessing to the end. I’m looking forward to learning more about some of the characters.I will be watching for the next book in this interesting series.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Last Pen Standing is the debut of the Stationery Shop Mystery series featuring Delta Douglas and set in the small, former gold mining town of Tundish, Montana. Using a monetary gift from her grandmother Delta purchases half of Wanted, a stationery/crafting shop housed in the old Sheriff's office. Giving up her job in Cheyenne, Wyoming, relocates to Tundish and moves in with old college roommate and now business partner, Hazel.On her first night in town Delta and Hazel host a crafting workshop at Last Pen Standing is the debut of the Stationery Shop Mystery series featuring Delta Douglas and set in the small, former gold mining town of Tundish, Montana. Using a monetary gift from her grandmother Delta purchases half of Wanted, a stationery/crafting shop housed in the old Sheriff's office. Giving up her job in Cheyenne, Wyoming, relocates to Tundish and moves in with old college roommate and now business partner, Hazel.On her first night in town Delta and Hazel host a crafting workshop at the swanky Lodge Hotel. The annual gold miner's party is also going on that evening in a separate section of the hotel and Rosalyn Taylor the hotel manager, is adamant that the crafters stay away from the exclusive guests. The workshop winds down and as Delta and Hazel make their way through the lobby they are approached by Hazel's brother Finn, who says there has been an accident in the bar and they need to get help. The ladies look in the dark room and discover the body of one of the hotel guests dead on the floor.The local police immediately arrest Finn, who Delta learns has a troubled past, and then Hazel who they think is covering for her brother. Determined not to lose the money that she's just invested into her new career, Delta joins forces with members of the Paper Posse and retired detective Jonas Nord and his K-9 partner Spud to clear her friends name.A somewhat disjointed plot involving locals and out of towners, blackmail and adultery. It was a little far fetched that a newcomer could question people and have them confide their secrets and while the ladies of the Paper Posse are mentioned quite a bit in the beginning they fade into the background and I would like to have gotten to know them a little better (honestly some of the ladies were a little more interesting than the main characters). I'll read the second in the series with the hope that the character development continues to grow and I'll get to spend more time with the lovable Spud.I received an advanced copy of Last Pen Standing from NetGalley via Sourcebooks. While not required to write a review I am happy to offer my honest opinion.
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  • Jerri Cachero
    January 1, 1970
    A new to me author that I enjoyed! I love to read crafting mysteries and this paper craft store setting was a fun read!Delta and her friend Hazel are co-owners of Wanted, a charming paper crafts store located in the old sheriff's jail in Tundish, Montana, a tourist town located in the old West. After Delta moves to the town a murder occurs and Hazel and her brother Finn become prime suspects. Now Delta has to prove them innocent or lose her friend and dream of owning a store forever.The descript A new to me author that I enjoyed! I love to read crafting mysteries and this paper craft store setting was a fun read!Delta and her friend Hazel are co-owners of Wanted, a charming paper crafts store located in the old sheriff's jail in Tundish, Montana, a tourist town located in the old West. After Delta moves to the town a murder occurs and Hazel and her brother Finn become prime suspects. Now Delta has to prove them innocent or lose her friend and dream of owning a store forever.The description of the store, town and it's citizens was charming. Like all small towns, there's always something going on under the surface! Delta is determined to solve the murder and get her friend & dream back. I enjoyed the interaction between the characters and while there is a little romance, it's not overwhelming. I'm looking forward to the next visit to Wanted!I received an ARC, from NetGalley for a fair and honest review of this book.
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