Having read the “Christmas” volume in this series, and spotting the characters who would feature in the next two (the business names are subtitles for each book), I couldn’t resist picking up these two to read and finish the set (meaning that Jane Linfoot with her 2/4 Christmas titles in her series will have to wait until next Christmas – there’s only a certain amount of reading a girl can do!). I’m really glad I collected the set as they’re lovely reads which are obviously well-researched, with loads of nuggets of information and detail about life on the Isles of Scilly, even if, as Ashley makes clear in both these volumes, the actual islands she sets the three books on aren’t actual Scilly Isles.

Phillipa Ashley – “Spring on the Little Cornish Isles: The Flower Farm”

(February 2019)

In this second volume we follow Maisie’s best friend Jess, who, in the first section which overlaps with the action in “Christmas”, finds her life falls apart when her boyfriend Adam goes AWOL from her life and then the islands. We catch up with her a few months later, trying to hold things together for the sake of the family flower farm, and there’s her twin brother, Will, too, who is trying to ignore the fact that he’s falling for the flower farm’s new seasonal worker, Gaby. Gaby meanwhile has arrived at the ends of he earth to run away from painful memories, and to indulge her love of poetry and flowers – though she’s a great character, strong and resourceful and a hard worker. Lots of detail about how the flower farm works makes this a nice satisfying read.

Phillipa Ashley – “Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio”

(February 2019)

This one is set slightly apart from the characters of the other two, although they do pop up from time to time. We join Poppy, who comes to take over the Starfish Studio, originally planning to come with her boyfriend, but now alone. The studio is in a far worse state than she remembered, and owner Archie is on the mainland after a fall, so it falls to his grandson Jake and ‘friend’ (or more) Fen to help her sort things out. Jake’s distracted by his own loss a few years ago but warms to the island again, Fen and the other artists are great characters and they’re all aided/impeded by an excellent cat (there is mild peril at one point but he’s OK). A nice round-up to the series, with even unruly dog Basil meeting his match, and lovely detail of how community life in the islands works.

You can find my reviews of Phillipa Ashley’s “Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles” here and of her other Cornwall books here. I enjoyed seeing her thank her blogging readers for sharing about her books in the Acknowledgements to this one.