Book Review: Where the Light Shines Through by Kathleen Bailey

Posted December 6, 2021 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, Kathleen Bailey, mystery/suspense / 6 Comments

An Olivia Penn Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Rhino Publishing LLC
RELEASE DATE: November 30, 2021
PAGES: 330

Castle meets Clue in this fun, fast-paced, fresh take on the cozy mystery.

Olivia’s syndicated advice column is about solving problems … not murders. But when she returns to her hometown of Apple Station in Virginia to visit her dad, she has five days to expose a killer or fall prey as the next victim.

Olivia had planned for a week of rest and relaxation before her move to New York for a promotion and a chance to pursue her publishing dreams. Within hours of arriving home, her world changes forever with the death of someone dear. A promise to a grieving mother leads her to uncover secrets from the past that put her life in danger, leaving her at a crossroads. Does she risk investigating further or settle for the security of the life that awaits? Will she chase after what she thinks she wants or listen to what her heart needs?

With the support of friends and family, a tenuous alliance with the lead police detective, and the bravery of an intrepid beagle, she races to protect her dad, rescue an unlikely ally, and bring a murderer to justice.

When all seems lost, will Olivia summon the strength and courage she needs to see where the light shines through?

Join the journey in the first novel of The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. If you grew up reading Nancy Drew, you’ll love this cozy mystery that entertains with heart and humor amid a charming cast of characters set in a small Southern town.

Escape to enjoy a captivating, heartwarming story that will inspire you to be the hero of your own life.


I was drawn to Where the Light Shines Through by the cover and the premise, and while I don’t think that ‘Castle meets Clue’ really applies after reading it, this story was thoroughly enjoyable in its own right!

Olivia is on the cusp of a lot of changes as she heads home from DC for a brief visit with her father. Still recovering from a recent break-up, she’s also about to leave the safety of her comfort zone and take a big career promotion in New York. Yet, when one of her best friends is murdered shortly after Olivia’s arrival in Apple Station, Virginia, those five days at home turn into an investigation that may change her trajectory. I really liked Olivia and her father (and his adorable beagle puppy), as well as Olivia’s friends and various residents of Apple Station. Particularly Floyd and Dorothy who made me chuckle every time Olivia encountered them – they were both sweet, as well as entertaining, and they really added the ‘cozy’ to this mystery. I also adored Sophia’s family and the generational warmth they exuded. (Olivia’s editor, on the hand, got on my last nerve lol)

The mystery is smartly-drawn, with great suspense & plenty of suspects. I loved how the author described it as “Names were not an endangered species” (in the context of who might be trying to hurt Olivia). On that note, the writing is beautifully descriptive and engaging, and while it might get a bit wordy at times I never felt that it distracted from the overall flow of the story. I enjoyed trying to solve this murder mystery along with Olivia, and I also loved the romantic sparks between her and swoony Detective Hills!! Looking forward to seeing where that leads in future books.

Bottom Line: Where the Light Shines Through by Kathleen Bailey is charming from beginning to end. The engaging writing voice instantly draws you into the story and keeps you glued to the page, with plenty of chances to grin and a hint of romance too. Olivia is a protagonist who is exceptionally easy to like, and the mystery is intriguing and smartly written. Make sure this one is on your TBR list!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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Kathleen Bailey is the author of Where the Light Shines Through, the first novel in The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. She writes mysteries with heart and humor that keep to the traditional and cozy sides of crime. Kathleen has degrees in English, psychology, and physical therapy. She previously worked as a pediatric physical therapist for over twenty years with children who have special needs. She now spends her days obsessively plotting and sleuthing in Virginia. When she is not incognito, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and the James River Writers.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Where the Light Shines Through by Kathleen Bailey.

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6 responses to “Book Review: Where the Light Shines Through by Kathleen Bailey

  1. Gloria A

    The cover draws me in….love it. The whole premise sounds great. Gotta love anything with a beagle. My favorite dog.

  2. Hi Gloria!
    I love the cover too! And let’s talk beagles … cute and spunky … yes, please! Thanks so much for checking out my book and Carrie’s review! Happy reading!

  3. Hi Carrie!
    Thanks so much for your very kind review and for allowing me to share some time with your readers today! BTW, my TBR just grew after reading some of your other reviews for recommended books! Love it!

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