Friday, 3 April 2020

Murder at the Taffy Shop (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #2) by Maddie Day

Murder at the Taffy Shop (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery, #2)

Cape Cod bicycle shop owner Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida and her mystery book club find a certain accusation of murder quite the stretch . . .

When your mother is an astrologist and your dad is a minister, you learn to keep an open mind. Which is just what Mac loves to do—exercise her mind by puzzling out fictional clues in the mystery novels she reads and discusses with her Cozy Capers Book Group.

But now Mac’s friend Gin has found herself in a sticky situation. After wealthy genealogist Beverly Ruchart is found dead outside Gin’s taffy shop, the candy maker becomes a person of interest. When it’s revealed that Beverly was poisoned the night Gin brought a box of taffy to a dinner party at Beverly’s house, she’s bumped to the top of the suspects list. It’s up to Mac and her Cozy Capers crime solvers to unwrap this real-life mystery. But this time they might have bitten off more than they can chew . ... (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder at the Taffy Shop is the second book in Edith Maxwell's Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery series and this series is a HIT !!!

The reader cannot help but love main character Mac Almeida, her job, her friends and her town.....and her pet, Bella, who is a parrot and a big part of Mac's life.  Mac owns a bike shop where she sells bike merchandise, repairs bikes and rents bikes out.  She has a mechanic, Orlean, and her brother, Derrick, works for her.  She owns a little house behind the shop.  Her best friend, Gin, owns a candy store on Main Street, they go walking most mornings before their busy days start, they belong to a book club that reads cozy mysteries and in Murder at the Taffy Shop, Mac and Gin discover a dead body on the sidewalk next to Gin's candy store.  

When they realize the deceased is Mac's parents neighbor and Gin's boyfriends ex mother-in-law, they become curious.  And the night before Gin and her boyfriend, Eli, were at a dinner party hosted by the deceased and it seems no one in town really liked her.....but to murder her ??

Even though they know they should leave the detecting to the police, Mac, Gin and their book club members decide that it wouldn't hurt to look into a few people to see if they can find the killer before the police.  After all they are just trying to make their quaint little touristy town safe. 

I love this series....there is so much to love !!  Once you start reading you feel like you are a member of the community and feel like you are there !! Maxwell has such a knack with her writing that your imagination wakens as you read the story.  And having a parrot in the story is a nice treat from the normal cat and dog side kicks....don't get me wrong I still love cats and dogs but with Bella.....well I'll let you see why a parrot is the best choice in this story.

Review by Missi M.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Death on the Page (Castle Bookshop Mystery #2) by Essie Lang

Death on the Page (Castle Bookshop Mystery #2)
Thousand Islands bookstore owner Shelby Cox sleuths the slaying of a true-crime writer who may have learned too much about a murder case that should have stayed shut.

There are a thousand stories in New York's scenic Thousand Islands, and Bayside Books co-owner Shelby Cox stocks them all. But lately, the Blye Island bookseller's life is more about investigation than inventory. True-crime writer Savannah Page caps off two successful signings at Bayside Books with a night in Blye Castle. She's there to research Joe Cabana, a colorful Prohibition-era mobster who owned the castle--until he was found dead in the island Grotto.

But crime becomes all too true for Savannah. Her body turns up the next morning, in a secret passage at the bottom of the stairs. The last thing Shelby Cox wants is to sleuth another murder, but she's intrigued about how a killer could have reached the island after hours. She's not at a lack for suspects either. It could have been anyone from Savannah's fiancĂ©, Liam Kennelly, who argued with her the evening before, to island caretaker Matthew Kessler, recently cleared of his wife's murder. Can Shelby keep regular store hours, elude the police chief, and assemble the clues into a hard-bound case without getting permanently shelved?  (Summary via Goodreads)

When I started reading Death on the Page by Essie Lang I was instantly in love.  You cannot help but love Shelby Cox and her life.  The girl lives on a houseboat with a cat !!  She works in a bookstore in a castle on an island !!  

Shelby Cox and her aunt co-own two bookstores in the Thousand Island area, one on Blye Island in a castle and the other is in town.  Shelby works mostly at the bookstore on Blye Island unless something big is going on at the main store which in Death on the Page there is.  Both stores are having a true crime author do a book signing for her latest book and the signings are on a Friday night at the main store and Saturday afternoon at the other store.  True Crime author Savannah Page is also going to spend the night at the castle to do research for her latest cold case project after the signings.

Shelby gets pulled into the case when the author has gone missing on the morning after she spends the night at the castle.  When she is discovered at the bottom of some steep stairs in a hidden passageway, Shelby's curiosity gets the better of her.  And no matter what everyone says, she cannot stay out of it....especially when people of interest keep crossing her path.

While you are reading Death on the Page, Lang's style of writing opens the reader's imagination and you can see everything so clearly that you will wish you were actually with Shelby on the houseboat and at the castle bookstore. You will, however, be glad you are safely on your couch in your own home when she gets too close to the killer......

I highly recommend this book.  There are so many things to fall in love with and I for one cannot wait until the next installment of the Castle Bookshop Mystery series.....

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Sleuth on Safari (A Traveler Cozy Mystery #1) by A.R. Kennedy

Sleuth on Safari (A Traveler Cozy Mystery #1)

A bargain deal on a safari + one dead body = An adventure no one could plan for.

Naomi and her estranged sister are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. Naomi thinks traveling with her sister will be the worst part of her African safari until she finds one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, dead. She gets more adventure than she bargained for when she starts investigating what she thinks is murder but the luxury lodge says was a tragic accident. She only has a few vacation days, and a few game drives, to find the killer.    (Summary via Goodreads)

Sleuth on Safari by A.R. Kennedy was so fun to read !!  

In Sleuth on Safari we are heading on safari with Naomi and her sister Charlotte and a group of other strangers, however, by the end of the trip we will know some more than we wish we did !!!

While Charlotte relaxes reading her medical books and attends all of the scheduled activities, Naomi has other things on her mind when one of the other guests is found dead in his room on the second day and Naomi is the one to find him !! Everyone else seems to accept that Dr. Higgins was killed by hyenas but things don't add up to Naomi.  

Naomi goes about the safari watching everyone, guests and employees, at the lodge trying to figure out who among them could be the killer.  This isn't an easy task considering she doesn't know any of them and there doesn't seem to be a reason why someone would have killed Dr. Higgins other than he was a grumpy man and no one liked him.  Also you cannot roam around the area without a member of the staff to ensure your safety from the animals that may be lurking.

It looks like someone is going to get away with murder as the safari trip winds down and everyone is getting ready to depart back to their normal lives until someone lets something slip and Naomi is right there to catch the killers mistake !!!!

I loved reading this first book in the Traveler Cozy Mystery series and cannot wait until the next trip that Naomi goes on.....  I highly encourage readers to take the plunge and dive into Sleuth on will feel like you are actually in Africa with all the cool animals around you.....however, you will be complete safe at home on your couch !!!

Review by Missi M.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #2) by Christin Brecher

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #2)

Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Who would have thought that a murder in Paris would have an impact in Nantucket ??  But that is exactly what happens in Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher.  Murder Makes Scents is the second book in her Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series and I was a fan after reading the first book in the series, Murder's No Votive Confidence.

In Murder Makes Scents main character Stella Wright is in Paris with her mom, Millie, at a perfume industry conference where Millie is doing a panel.  Right before they are leaving they witness a gentleman die right in front of them.....with a knife in his back !!!

Little do they know but that murder is going to follow them to their little island town.  Strange things start to happen and Stella goes on high alert and when she confronts someone she thinks is a bag guy but turns out to be a special agent looking for a special vial containing a very important scent they think Millie has, things get more intense.  Add to that a lot of strangers hanging around Stella and Millie, Stella doesn't know who to trust and who to suspect.

Of course Stella isn't going to trust anyone including her friend Andy who happens to be a police officer making it very hard for her to figure things out.  Then her mother gets into an accident landing her in the hospital and the special agent that is suppose to protect them ends up dead, Stella does what she does second best.....first is her ability to make heavenly scented candles.  

The reader cannot get enough of Stella, her family, her friends and her little town.  You will want to run to your room and start packing for a visit.  Luckily Brecher has a knack with her writing allowing the reader to open thier imagination and sit back and get lost in this book.  And you are never in any kind of danger what-so-ever !!!

Review by Missi M.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Serf and Turf (Silicon Valley Mystery #3) by Marc Jedel

Serf and Turf (Silicon Valley Mystery #3)
He's afraid of losing his girlfriend. But maybe he should be more concerned about the dead body she's crying over?

Marty Golden can barely string a voicemail message together, let alone keep up with his new love. This quirky uncle's hectic Silicon Valley lifestyle needs a reboot when a youth league soccer game becomes a murder scene. And nothing can stop him from donning his amateur sleuth uniform when he discovers his sweetheart used to have quite a thing for the dead guy ...

With a not-so-helpful paw from Buddy the Labrador, he does his best to sniff out a long list of possible suspects. But between gossipy soccer moms and the costume-clad members of a Renaissance Faire, Marty's theories fall harder than a jousted knight.

Can Marty solve the case before the trail and his new flame grow cold?
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Serf and Turf by Marc Jedel is the third book in his Silicon Valley Mystery series and I am a huge fan !!  You don't have to read the previous books in this series but I high recommend it !!

You cannot help but fall in love with main character Marty Golden.  He's devoted to his sister and nieces, he has an interesting job as a software engineer working for a start-up company that runs driverless cars, he is fumbling through his new relationship with his girlfriend Meghan, and he loves to daydream that he has a top secret relationship with the police and he helps them solve murders.  Well he kinda does solve the case but even he doesn't fully understand how he does it.

In Serf and Turf the case is even more personal when his girlfriend, Meghan, knows the deceased and she asks Marty to help her find out who did it.  Once Marty gets the green light or even a hint of the go ahead, he sees "red" and charges full force ahead.  This could be good or bad but when it involves Marty we know it's going to be bad before it gets good.....and we wouldn't want it any other way !!

In the Silicon Valley Mystery series Marty gets in trouble with everybody....his sister, his nieces, his girlfriend, anyone he suspects to be guilty, anyone he talks to, his co-workers and especially Seargeant Mace Johnson who Marty bothers constantly !!!  Even though Marty rubs everyone the wrong way and he doesn't always ask the right questions and listen to the answers, he always gets to the bottom of things.

Readers are going to fall in love with Marty and the Silicon Valley Mystery series and love getting lost in this series.  I highly recommend hanging around with Marty, he will have you on the edge of your seat !!!

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Chutes and Ladder (Silicon Valley Mystery #2) by Marc Jedel

Chutes and Ladder (Silicon Valley Mystery #2)
When a camping trip uncovers a murder, this amateur sleuth is stuck putting out the fire …
Marty Golden enjoys time with his nieces, but he wanted to spend the weekend with his new girlfriend — not chaperone a Girl Scout camping trip. Once he stumbles upon the corpse of a friend in the woods, the outdoors adventure becomes an open-air disaster. When the police label it an accidental death, the meticulous Marty vows to investigate the murder. After all, it’s poor manners to let your friend’s death go unsolved.
On the hunt for clues the cops ignored, Marty uncovers a disturbing connection to himself. And as he digs deeper, a misbehaving pup, a kooky cousin, and a maniacal ninja put his survival skills to the test.
Will Marty unravel the mystery before the killer, or his imagination, gets to him?  (Summary via Goodreads)

You have to love Marty's devotion !  Marty Golden is the main character in the Silicon Valley Mystery series by Marc Jedel, he is a software engineer working for a company that has driverless cars.  It's like a taxi company except you place an order for a ride on the Rover app and a car comes to your location and takes you where you want to go and its all computerized.....but that's not the best part of Marty's life....Marty has this overactive imagination and his mind wonders at the most inappropriate times getting him in hot water at times.
In Chutes and Ladder, the second book in this series, Marty gets roped into taking his one niece to an overnight camping trip for the Girl Scouts after his sister hurts her ankle and is unable to go.  Lucky for Marty he doesn't have to spend the night in the woods with a bunch of girls because he is sent on a rock finding errand and stumbles over a dead body !!  Unfortunately Marty discovers that he knows the deceased.  Larry is one of his poker playing buddies and also an engineer.  
In the first book in this series, Uncle and Ants, we got to see how Marty's mind works and we met Sergeant Mace Jackson who Marty has on speed dial and thinks that he and Mace are a team.  Well that fun continues in Chutes and Ladder when Marty, again, gets involved and won't stop.  And when his cousin Samantha's friend dies after a skydiving accident, Marty knows there is something up and will stop at nothing to do what HE thinks he does best and do some "investigating"......  
You will LOVE the way Marty's mind works and how he "justifies" what he is doing for the police.  You cannot help but want to continue reading to see what is going to happen next because you know if it involves Marty, you are not going to want to miss it !!  And even though it is a book and you are reading it, you won't be able to stop yourself from reading one more page or one more chapter until you are at the end and can sit back and breath again ....because Marty will have you sitting on the edge of your seat holding your breathe hoping things work out !!!

Review by Missi M.


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Uncle and Ants (Silicon Valley Mystery #1) by Marc Jedel

Uncle and Ants (Silicon Valley Mystery #1)
Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime?

When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be done. 

Too bad this quirky, fashion-backward uncle isn’t exactly hero material.

Convinced his sister is in mortal danger, this amateur sleuth follows clues to an oddball array of suspects. Armed with nothing but an eye for detail and powers of self-delusion, Marty tangles with gangsters, a cantankerous school secretary, and a perplexing woman he can’t help but fall for. Glitches in his investigation seem like a piece of cake compared to dinner-prep and bedtime stories with his two precocious, pre-teen nieces.

Can Marty catch the culprit, save his sister, and get his life back in order before he gets unplugged ?  (Summary via Goodreads)

You cannot help but get lost in Uncle and Ants by Marc Jedel.  Uncle and Ants is the first book in his Silicon Valley Mystery series and it is a hit from the first chapter !!!

Main character Marty Golden is a software engineer working for Rover, a company that provides rides for people. It's like a taxi service except that the car is programmed to drive and doesn't have an actual person driving the car.  His life is kinda simple and boring until he gets a call that his sister was in a car accident.  A drone crashed into an ice cream truck and his sister's car was involved.  Marty goes to the hospital to check on his sister but there is some confusion when he goes to the wrong room (wrong name on the door?).  When he finally locates his sister, he is introduced to a cop but before he can find out much about his sister, the accident and her condition, the school where his two nieces goes calls him to pick them up.

Marty thinks something isn't right with his sister's accident and when he goes back to the hospital to find out more concerning her condition, he finds out that the woman in the room that has his sister's name on the door was found murdered.  This makes Marty even more concerned and believes that someone wants his sister dead.  Unfortunately he has NO idea why.  His sister and nieces have only been in town a few months and his sister works in human resources so he cannot understand why someone would want to harm her.

Marty takes it upon himself to look into her accident and goes through her computer and phone and starts by talking to everyone that she met with recently.  Things get worse when his sister's apartment is broken into and one of the people that she met with had their apartment broken into also.

Marty will do whatever it takes to keep his sister and nieces save....even if it means he may have to lie, cheat and break the law.....

Readers will love getting lost in Uncle and Ants.  You will love the way Marty mishandles every situation he gets into while keeping his nieces safe.  You will be on the edge of your seat at times, laughing at times, and maybe holding your breath also.  I "betcha" you will love it and want to jump right into the second book in this series, Chutes and Ladders.  I KNOW I am !!

Review by Missi M.