Book Review: On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry

Posted November 30, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 42 Comments

On Spine of Death
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: By the Book Mysteries #2
by Tamara Berry
Publication Date November 27, 2022
Published by Poisoned Pen Press
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Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Cozy / General
Pages: 408
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Don't miss the second installment of this gripping and funny bookish cozy mystery series by Tamara Berry! This case isn't just cold, it's practically frozen shut...

In the aftermath of solving their first murder, bestselling author Tess Harrow and her teenage daughter Gertrude have decided to stay in Winthrop permanently. Now that they've made some updates to their cabin in the woods, they're turning to the family hardware store that Tess inherited and converting it into the town's first independent bookstore. But when renovations unearth bones from a cold case and send them toppling--literally--onto Tess's head, the work comes to a grinding halt. With the whole town convinced that her grandfather was a serial killer, Tess has to call in a fellow horror author for reinforcements. Together, they'll come up with a perfect story to make all the clues fit...and solve a mystery more than thirty years in the making.

On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry is the second book in her funny, and popular By the Book Mysteries series, a delightful cozy mystery series.  I loved the first book in the series, Buried in Good Book, and I found this second book in the series even better than the first one.  

Story Recap: 

Bestselling author Tess Harlow and her daughter Gertrude have decided to stay in the cabin Tess inherited from her Grandfather.  Now, she’s going to work on her grandfather’s dilapidated hardware store and turn it into an independent bookstore.  During the renovation of the hardware store, some old human bones rain down, literally on Tess’s head.  In order to save her grandfather’s reputation, Tess and Gertrude work together to find the killer.   

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun ride.  I enjoyed the first book in the series, and think this second book is even better.  The characters just get better and better.  I love that Tess’s fifteen year old daughter, Gertrude, decides to work in a morgue and learn the business of death.  I love all the unexpected twists and turns and once again, I could not figure out who the killer was until the very end.  

I was never bored reading the book, as there was action from the very first page, but we still got to know Tess, Gertrude and Sherrif Boyd much better.  

My only negative?  I have to wait too long for the next book! 


I highly recommend On Spine of Death to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Tamara Berry

Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture.

She also writes romances under the pennames Lucy Gilmore and Tamara Morgan.

42 responses to “Book Review: On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry

  1. Oh, you just reminded me I saw the first book up on a special deal on Chirp! I’ll go and buy it now. Nice to hear the second book is even better!

  2. This book is not next in my queue, but I think I am going to push it up. I just don’t think I can wait any longer. The first one was really good, and it sounds like the second is full of surprises. Gertrude working in a morgue???🤪🤣 Great review, Wendy!

  3. Bones raining down on one’s head– in real life, I’d probably run away screaming, but in cosy mystery land, that does sound a good start. Seems a really fun series and one I’d enjoy 🙂

    • Yes! You’re right, I would be long gone and would probably never set foot in the hardware store again! Thank you, Mallika!

  4. Joanna @ TheGeekishBrunette

    Great review, Wendy! I’m happy you enjoyed this one too I can’t wait for more!

  5. This does sound like a fun read. Bones in the hardware store – I think that would freak me out. But I like th idea of converting it to a bookstore! Excellent review!