Sunday, 19 February 2017

Poison in the Heart (Stella O'Shaughnessy Series Book 1) by ST Englert

Poison in the Heart (Stella O'Shaughnessy Series Book 1) by [Englert, ST]

Stella O'Shaughnessy is a whip-smart but unambitious young woman with a penchant for Pinot Gris, thick cut potato chips, and taking life easy at her job as a personal assistant at Wren Shipping Consultancy. With no intent of breaking the glass ceiling anytime soon, Stella's primary day-to-day concern is what will be on television tonight and what delicious food her best friend Gary will serve for dinner.

Stella's routine life is disrupted when her sweet job turns out to be more than she bargained for. An innocent administrative error reveals that her simple secretarial tasks are a front for the delivery of covert goods and information for a secret trade agency called GRANADA. By mixing up a delivery, she has placed vials of deadly biological weapons in the hands of a defector agent intent on selling the poison to the highest bidder. 

How will Stella adjust to this new reality?
Will she be able to stop the vials trading hands before it's too late?

This is the first bite-size read in the Stella O'Shaughnessy series.  (Summary via Amazon)

Have an afternoon free ?  An evening staying in with a glass of wine and a bubble bath ?  Poison in the Heart is the perfect read.  How can you go wrong ?  It's a bite-size read after all.....

Sometimes you just don't have the time or really don't want to commit to a full size book.  And with Poison in the Heart you don't have to. Even though it is a very short story there is a lot going on.... And you don't feel like you are missing any thing.

You have Stella who has a very cushiony job in a shipping company.  Her boss is never in the office but he calls at the same time every day to dictate her duties.  That is until 2 of the packages that she had to send out were sent incorrectly.  That leads to an evening that will forever change her way of thinking on her job.  

Can Stella handle the demands that may come through the office ?  Does she even want to continue working there after an evening of breaking and entering, torture, biological weapons and murder ?  

Grab a copy of ST Englert's first bite-size Stella O'Shaughnessy mystery series to see what she decides.....

Review by Missi S.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Crepe Factor (A Scrapbooking Mystery #14) by Laura Childs, Terrie Farley Moran

Crepe Factor (A Scrapbooking Mystery #14)

The Winter Market in the French Quarter is in full swing, but murder isn’t taking a holiday in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Parchment and Old Lace...
The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a thrashing man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.
The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.
Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon...  (Summary via Goodreads)

Crepe Factor is the 14th book in Laura Childs Scrapbooking Mystery series and for someone who hasn't read any in that series, it felt like I was reading the first book.  I started reading and I was into the story immediately !!  I was worried there might be too much going on for me to follow let alone keep up with....  But my worry was for not....

Carmela owns a scrapbooking store in the heart of New Orleans and her best friend owns a voo doo store. Luckily the murder in this story doesn't happen in either of these places.  But it does occur at the Winter Market and the murdered victim falls to his death right in front of them !!  And Carmela's friend, Quigg, is the top suspect !!  Quigg begs Carmela to clear his name and even though she should say no, she is pulled in to the excitement.

But before anyone can solve the first murder, a second murder occurs and Carmela is right smack in the middle of everything.  This does not make her boyfriend happy at all....considering he's the top detective on the case !!

If you pick up Crepe Factor by Laura Childs, plan to go on a trip.... From window shopping in the French Quarter, to sipping wine and eating cavier at a charity event to cruising around the swamplands to checking out the street vendors.....There is never a dull moment !!  So grab yourself a mimosa, put some comfy clothes on and take a little trip with Carmela......

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam (Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries #6) by Alannah Rogers

The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam (Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries, #6)

When Abigail Freedman, Beatrice Young's sworn rival, approaches her with a case she's too curious not to take it on. As it turns out, Abby has a very modern romantic conundrum: her Internet boyfriend may be the love of her life ... or a scammer who wants to suck her bank account dry. 

It's up to the 62-year-old Cozy Cat Cafe owner and her three crime-solving cats to find this Romeo's identity. Too bad Hamish, Petunia, and Lucky can't help Bee with an even bigger problem: how to sort out her new feelings for ex-husband and best friend Matthew. 

No matter what happens, things are about to get romantic in Ashbrook, New Hampshire... 

This book will be 50% longer than previous Beatrice Young mysteries. 

The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam is the sixth book in the Beatrice Young cozy cat mystery series. These books can be read in any order but are extra delightful when enjoyed in sequence.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Beatrice Young Cozy Mystery series is a GREAT series to read.  As these stories are very short, they are easy to read.  However, even though they are shorter than other cozy books, there is nothing missing from them.  They still have an amazing group of characters you will fall in love with....  There are 3 cats that are extremely involved in the story......  The main character, Beatrice, owns her own cafe, has a sort of love interest, and works closely with the Sheriff who is also a friend.

In The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam Beatrice is hired by her competition, Abigail, to investigate a secret admirer she met through an online dating site.  In order for Beatrice to solve the case she has to set up her own profile and attract the same gentlemen.  

Unfortunately when they find out who the identity belongs to, they are completely shocked !!  I know I was and hope you are too !!!

If you have free time or need to fill an hour or so grab on of Alannah Roger's stories and get lost for a while.......

Review by Missi S.

Friday, 10 February 2017

A Measure of Murder: (A Sally Solari Mystery #2) by Leslie Karst

A Measure of Murder: A Sally Solari Mystery

Sally Solari is busy juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping Javier plan the autumn menu for the restaurant she’s just inherited, Gauguin. Complicating this already hectic schedule, Sally joins her ex-boyfriend Eric’s chorus, which is performing a newly discovered version of her favorite composition: the Mozart Requiem. But then, at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard--and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.

Now Sally's back on another murder case mixed in with a dash of revenge, a pinch of peril, and a suspicious stack of sheet music. And while tensions in the chorus heat up, so does the kitchen at Gauguin--set aflame right as Sally starts getting too close to the truth. Can Sally catch the killer before she’s burnt to a crisp, or will the case grow as cold as yesterday’s leftovers?

In a stew of suspects and restaurateurs, trouble boils over in the second in Leslie Karst’s tasty and tantalizing Sally Solari mystery series, A Measure of Murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)

A Measure of Murder by Leslie Karst is NOT your regular kind of cozy.  In A Measure of Murder when a member of the chorus is found dead in the courtyard having fallen from a second story window it is ruled an accident by the police. Sally doesn't believe it and neither does the girlfriend of the deceased because she asks Sally to look into it.  

In most cozy mystery series a person dies, the police start an investigation, as well as a friend or aquaintance of the deceased who knows very little about "police work".  The amateur sleuth usually gets themselves in too deep but at the same time solves the case.

However that is far from the case in this book.  As soon as Sally saw the way the deceased was laying after falling out of the second floor window she knew he didn't just fall.  Unfortunately when she mentioned this to the detective in charge of the case he had ruled it accidental and considered the case closed.

Even though Sally has just joined the chorus it didn't stop her from getting to know the others in the group as well as try to get information about the deceased.  

As you read A Measure of Murder you may find yourself more stressed over everything that Sally is doing....just joining the chorus while juggling time between two restaurants as well as training her replacement at her father's restaurant and learning the ropes at the one she recently inheritated.  

And boy when you get to the end of the story and find how who committed the crime, you will be super shocked ! !  I was completely wrong which is a good thing because I would have put an innocent person behind bars.......

Review by Missi S.

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Courtyard Corpse: A Cassie Hall Concierge Mystery by Sherry Lodge

The Courtyard Corpse: A Cassie Hall Concierge Mystery

Can down-to-earth Cassie Hall prove her skills when she lands a plum concierge job at the upscale Parkstone? After discovering the dead body of a professional golfer, and resident millionaire, Kip Ace in the crabapple tree courtyard, Cassie finds the residents’ demands are the least of her worries.

With less than a day to catch the killer Cassie must sort through the residents’ motives which have piled up quicker than rent checks on the 1st of the month. Soon, mysterious power outages, a missing lease, and a wine cellar mystery are par for the course.

Everything is off-kilter with the building on 24-hour lock-down. Can Cassie find the holes in the residents’ stories before it’s too late?
   (Summary via Goodreads)

A murder that takes place and is solved within 24 hours is amazing ! !  And the fact that the police didn't solve it is even better !!  And when it's the girlfriend of the police detective that solves the case...well even better ! !

Cassie, who works the front desk of a very upscale residence, is late to work and while doing her rounds comes across a body in the courtyard.  And when she gets closer and finds out its one of the tenants in the building she is shocked !!  Kip Ace is a professional golfer and an idol of Cassie's....or at least he was before he ended up dead in the courtyard.

While Cassie's boyfriend homicide detective Eric and crew are interviewing all of the residents during a mandatory 24-hour lock-in Cassie tries to keep the peace with everyone while secretly doing her own investigating.  And when she finds out she is the top suspect and her job in in jeopardy she steps up her game !!!

The Courtyard Corpse by Sherry Lodge is the first book in her Cassie Hall Concierge Mystery series and is a great book to start a series with.  Lodge doesn't beat around the bush, or in this case the crabapple tree, with the murder.  She captivates you instantly !!  You get to meet a handful of the colorful residents in this posh posh apartment complex while hanging out in the luxurious lobby.  

I, for one, cannot wait for the next book to see what more we can find out about the characters and see what case Cassie can help Eric solve.

To learn more about Lodge and her books, visit her website at

Review by Missi S

Monday, 30 January 2017

Murder on the Vine (A Sullivan Sisters Mystery Book 1) by Jenna St. James

Murder on the Vine (A Sullivan Sisters Mystery Book 1)

Jaycee Sullivan thought it was just another typical day when her pastry chef sister, Jax, asked her to help deliver chocolates to a local winery. However, the discovery of a dead body was anything but typical for Jaycee. Then when the new detective in town, Mike Connors, demands Jaycee keep her nose out of the investigation, she decides she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. After all, her sister’s baking reputation is on the line and the killer is still on the loose. With the help of Gramps, a retired Army colonel, her mom, and Tillie, a former trapeze artist and contortionist, Jaycee is on a mission to snag the killer before her sister’s reputation is forever tainted.  (Summary via Goodreads)

OMG ! ! !  A bookstore with a bar... A bookstore with a bar with  drinks and desserts that go together... One sister runs the bookstore/bar and the other makes the desserts.....  Sign me up ! ! !

Not only do the sisters work together but their Gramps works with them also !!!  And they have a the store !!!   Add a hunky detective, wineries and a contortionist throw a murder in the mix and you have a GREAT book to read !!

We met Jenna St. James with her Ryli Sinclair mysteries series.  Those books had the elderly great-aunt helping Ryli follow leads.  Now with her Sullivan Sisters mystery series we have Gramps along for the ride !!  Maybe down the road the 2 series will collide and a book will be born....How FUN would that be ?!?  But alas, I am getting ahead of myself.  

Murder on the Vine has everything you are looking for in a new series of cozies and it is so much fun reading.  While Jaycee tries to solve the murder of the manager of the winery her sister Jax just got hired to make chocolates for, she has to dodge the hunky detective running the show.  Taking her mother and new neighbor the contortionist Tillie around to other wineries to poke around doesn't provide the answers she is looking only gets the ladies drunk and sillier.  

I could tell you a lot more of whats in the book but in doing so it would be giving it all away and that wouldn't be fun.  I will say this..... You will LOVE the Sullivan family, the bookstore/bar, the story, the mystery and the romance...... and the desserts !!!

I, for one, cannot wait for the next book in this series.  Come on its a bar and a bookstore......

Review by Missi S.

Murder, Curlers, and Cream (Book 1 of the Valentine Beaumont Mysteries) by Arlene McFarlane

Murder, Curlers, and Cream (Book 1 of the Valentine Beaumont Mysteries)

Valentine Beaumont is a beautician with a problem. Not only has she got a meddling mother, a wacky staff, and a dying business, but now she’s got a dead client who was strangled while awaiting her facial. 

With business the way it is, combing through this mystery may be the only way to save her salon. Until a second murder, an explosion, a kidnapping, death threats, and the hard-nosed Detective Romero complicate things. But Valentine will do anything to untangle the crime. That’s if she can keep her tools of the trade in her bag, keep herself alive, and avoid falling for the tough detective. 

In the end, how hard can that be?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder, Curlers and Cream by Arlene McFarlane is the first book in her Valentine Beaumont Mystery series and it really gets you going !!!

I fell instantly in love with Valentine, her outfits, her employees and her life.  She owns a beauty salon which has a mortgage payment coming due and one of the regular clients is found dead.....strangled by a cord while waiting in one of the treatment rooms.

Even though her sister is on the police force, Valentine is not going to sit quietly looking pretty waiting for the police to find the killer.  Even when she buts heads with the sexy Detective working the case, she will do whatever it takes to solve the murder and get life back into her salon.

Murder, Curlers and Cream is full of interesting people that as you read you will wonder who did it and why ?  Sure Portia wasn't a very nice woman but did she deserve to be murdered ?  And in Valentine's shop ???

Put your beauty magazine down and pick this book up !!  You will want to keep up with Valentine and Detective Romero.......

Review by Missi S.