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Safe as Houses

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Liz Ryerson believes that Hillcrest Village, her Toronto neighbourhood, is quaint and quiet, but stumbling over a corpse while walking her dog dissolves that illusion for good. When she realizes that she actually knew the dead man, a real estate broker who appraised the building she coowns with her philandering ex-husband, she becomes obsessed with solving the crime. The m ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 23rd 2015 by Cormorant Books (first published May 1st 2015)
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3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Lauren Davis
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, a lovely book! I can see why it remains a favorite with booksellers and readers alike. Beautifully written, perfectly paced, with delightful characters and just the right amount of mystery and twisty plot. Recommended. Enjoy.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Recently I’ve traveled to Iceland, Victorian England, the no-too-distant-future New York City and a small town in Virginia – all without leaving my house. That’s part of the adventure of reading. But sometimes it’s a treat to stay closer to home so I like to pick up a book that takes place in a familiar city and neighborhood. Such was the case with “Safe as Houses”, set in the Hillcrest Village area of Toronto. Hillcrest Village is a well-established neighborhood of larger homes, high real estat ...more
Deborah Serravalle
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Brief Synopsis

While walking in her dog, Jasper, in Toronto’s Hillcrest Village, indie book store owner, Liz Ryerson, stumbles upon a corpse. Liz soon discovers the murdered man is, James Scott, a realtor who recently gave her an appraisal on the building she co-owns with her playboy ex-husband, Adam.

Liz’s complex but predictable life is suddenly in upheaval: Adam is leaving on an extended trip with his beautiful, young lover, Laura; her daughter, Samantha, has taken up with a “bad boy” and is
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is not really a mystery at all, despite the cover stating it is. Main character Liz Ryerson owns a small bookstore in Toronto, living one floor above it while her ex-husband lives on the third floor. She stumbles upon a dead body in Wychwood Park and becomes obsessed with finding the killer - someone has been murdered in the neighbourhood and she must get to the bottom of it. Amazingly, she and her elderly friend Max (a retired Classics professor) do solve the crime, but their investig ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
It was good, not great. Liz Ryerson, the main protagonist, is a bit self-absorbed and the prose is a bit overly wordy at times (albeit this may be intentional) thus making her difficult to like, but I found I just began to come around to her by the end. And although the film is framed as a murder mystery, the murder mystery is probably only the focus 60% of the time while the rest is focused on the issues in Liz's life (which are only tenuously related at times).
If you're looking for the perfect combination of 'cozy mystery' and women's fiction, then "Safe as houses" might just be for you!

Set in the Hillcrest Village area of Toronto, the novel features as protagonist a former librarian turned bookshop owner, Elizabeth (Liz) Ryerson.

Liz is a divorced mother of twin teenagers in their senior year of high school. She lives 'over the shop' in the flat above her treasured bookshop called "Outside of a dog". The only fly in the ointment is that her ex-husband
Carole Giangrande
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This engaging page-turner kept me surprised and entertained during a flight delay - what better recommendation is there? Seriously, whether or not you're a mystery fan, Safe As Houses is a great read anywhere. It has so many pleasing components — Liz, a bookish dog-walker turned sleuth when her hound sniffs out a dead body in one of Toronto's most genteel parks; Sammy, her fractious teenaged kid who can't cope with her boring mom; Maxime, an elegant French Classics professor and Roman-antiquity ...more
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess it was an OK read because I finished it but I wasn't overly impressed by it. I don't know in what genre this book fits because the mystery turns out to be a minor element in the story, which itself is pretty vague, and the book is most definitely not a police procedural. It's mostly a lot of whiny self doubt and worry over a bunch of family and personal matters by an insecure middle aged divorcee with two modern teenagers with a bit of a very subtle hint at a possible romantic link. The ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
An unconventional mystery, well written with many layered nuances of the frailties of families and human relationships, and with alternating stories of the victim, realtor James Scott, and of Liz, who had met him and found his body and wanted to know what happened. I suspect there will be more books about Liz, the former librarian and now bookseller, with the advent of Max, the retired Classics professor, into both helping solve mysteries and buying into the bookstore.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this easy to read novel which seems more focused on the family relationships than the mystery itself although that was interesting. The story is interspersed with chapters dealing with the victim's early life to help explain the situation. A fun light read.
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Oct 13, 2018
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Aug 23, 2015
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Susan Glickman grew up in Montréal and speaks both English and French. She started out as a dance and drama major at Tufts University in Boston, migrated to Greece for a year of amateur archaeology and professional tanning, and ended up with a double first in English from Oxford University. She finally returned to Canada in 1977, after answering phones and weeding through the slush pile for Sidgwi ...more
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