Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The Bengal Identity (A Cat Groomer Mystery #2) by Eileen Watkins

The Bengal Identity (A Cat Groomer Mystery #2)
Everyone knows a leopard can't change its spots. But can a thief hide the spots on a catnapped Bengal? Groomer Cassie McGlone is about to find out . . .

With no ID for his pet, an agitated young man shows up at Cassie's Comfy Cats claiming his house has burned down and he needs to board his big, brown cat, Ayesha. But after a bath washes dye out of the cat's coat and reveals beautiful spots, Cassie suspects the exotic-looking feline may in fact be a valuable Bengal show cat, possibly stolen. At the same time, there are rumored sightings of a "wild cat" in the hills of Chadwick, New Jersey. Could there be a connection?

When Ayesha's alleged owner turns up dead, it looks like whoever wants the beautiful Bengal is not pussyfooting around. Working with the police, Cassie and her staff need to be careful not to reveal the purloined purebred's whereabouts while they discreetly make inquiries to cat breeders to find her real owners. But after a break-in attempt rattles Cassie's cage, it's clear someone let the cat out of the bag. And when a second body is found, it's up to Cassie to spot the killer, who may be grooming her to be the next victim . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Bengal Identity is the second book in Eileen Watkins' Cat Groomer Mystery series and it is just as CATivating as the first one.  You don't have to be a cat lover to enjoy this series as there are a lot of things to capture your attention.

Cassie McGlone, the main character, owns her own little business, Cassie's Comfy Cats, where she grooms cats as well as boards cats for people going on vacation or what not.  She has a spunky assistant, Sarah, who doesn't let her age deter her at all.  And if things can't get any better, Cassie is dating the local veterinarian, Mark.  And her best friend, Dawn, is also a business owner, owning her own shop down the street from Cassie called Nature's Way.

Something I love about the Cat Groomer Mystery series is that there are very strong, independent business women in the stories.  And in The Bengal Identity you can only grow to love Cassie and Dawn more.

Cassie will do whatever she can for her friends and loved ones as well as the cats she owns and cares for and in the Bengal Identity rescues.....

When an exotic cat is brought in "disguised" and the owner acts in a questionable manner, Sarah and Cassie are immediately on edge.  And after they give the cat a bath and find out that the cat has been dyed to cover up it's true colors and identity and the cat proves to be a well trained cat, they begin to suspect more to the story.  Especially after they hear of a hit and run accident and the victim is identified as the man who dropped the cat off, Cassie feels that she has to do whatever she can to protect the cat and find out it's true identity and owners.

The Bengal Identity will capture your attention immediately and you will not want to put it down until you also know the story behind Ayesha and know that she is home safe and sound with her real family.  Watkins knows how to dangle the toy in front of you to keep you playing the game.....She also provides the reader with some good insights into cats and the rescuing side of the hoarding aspects.  It is an amazing thing that the organizations do for the animals.

I have always been an animal lover, cats especially, but if you're not, Watkins will help you become one.....

Review by Missi S.

Monday, 18 February 2019

The Homicide Magnet (Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, #2) by Matt Ferraz

The Homicide Magnet (Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, #2)

Want a beach body? Kill somebody and dump the body on the beach!

A holiday by the sea turns into a nightmare after a man is found dead. Thankfully, Grandma Bertha is on the case. Accompanied by her dogs, powered by her beer and armed with her knitting needles, the old lady is known as The Homicide Magnet, for always being around when people get killed. Now she has to prevent the murder of a millionaire in the hands of his diabolical wife, decipher a most unusual clue and dig the past to solve a crime that left deep scars in a girl’s mind and body.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

The Homicide Magnet by Matt Ferraz is like reading 4 books in one !!!  As you travel along side Grandma Bertha as her and the doggies see the world, you also get to help her help people.  Even though you are reading the story of Grandma Bertha traveling, every where she goes she solves a crime.  And with each of these places and crimes, it is like you are reading a whole new book.

First you are at the beach with Grandma Bertha in Heart Shaped Murder.  There she is walking along the beach with the doggies and she is confronted by Winifred whose boyfriend has falled and broken his leg.  Unfortunately by the time they get back to where he was he is dead and not by natural causes.  And this is just after his father was murdered !!  Grandma Bertha can tell when things aren't what they seem and she also feels for people...especially ones who are being wronged.  Needless to say Grandma Bertha takes Winifred under her wing and helps solve two murders before she moves on in her travels.

Then Grandma Bertha meets Antoinette and Richard Wood in A Matter of Wife and Death and knows instantly that there is something seriously wrong in that relationship.  She meets them at the hotel but when they leave Richard invites her back to their house.....mansion actually.  Antoinette is not happy with that turn of events as she is trying to kill her husband so she can be a rich widow.  Of course with Grandma Bertha around that cannot happen.  Before Antoinette can compile a plan to kill both Grandma Bertha and Richard, Grandma Bertha outsmarts her.......

After making sure Richard is safe Grandma Bertha again moves on......  In A Study in Brown Grandma Bertha sees a couple on the street and can tell immediately by watching them for a few minutes that there is something serious wrong.  Unfortunately before she can figure it out, they enter their apartment building and moments later a car accident occurs and shots are fired inside the building....leaving the wife dead.  Grandma Bertha tries to figure out if the accident and the shooting are connected and if the husband is actually innocent for trying to shoot a burglar or guilty of shooting his wife......

Then we go with Grandma Bertha to visit an old friend, Marina, in Captured on Canvas.  Marina  has a party to unveil a painting she did.  It's a portrait of her mother but one of her guests sees something completely different.....leaving Grandma Bertha wondering if there is more to what the girl saw.....

Grandma Bertha has a way of friending people and getting them to reveil things they might not have told to anyone before.  She makes you feel loved and comfortable.  If you were wronged, she will do whatever she can to right that fact.  If you are innocent, she will do whatever she can to prove that fact.  If you are guilty.....beware !!!  Grandma Bertha may seem like an old lady who likes to drink and knit and take naps at the most inappropriate times, but do NOT underestimate her at all !!!!

The Homicide Magnet was sure a treat to read.  It was one book but four wonderful stories included.  Grandma Bertha is definitely someone you want on your side, and age is just a number to her !!  She is capable of solving any case and when she is done, she has made some amazing friends for life.

Review by Missi S.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

A Murderous Marriage (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #4) by Alyssa Maxwell

A Murderous Marriage (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #4)
Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, are preparing for a wedding, but it may not be the happy occasion everyone hopes for . . .

Since the Great War, some family fortunes have suffered, including those of the Renshaws. Despite being the granddaughter of an earl, Julia Renshaw is under pressure to marry for money—and has settled for Gilbert Townsend, a viscount and a wealthy industrialist. He is decades older than Julia, and it’s clear to her sister Phoebe—and to Eva, who has been like a surrogate mother to the girls—that this is not a love match. Nevertheless, the wedding takes place—and in a hurry.

At the reception aboard the groom’s yacht, there appears to be tension between Gil and several guests: his best man, a fellow veteran of the Boer War; his grouchy spinster sister; and his current heir, a nervous young cousin named Ernest. The bride is also less than pleased when she discovers that her honeymoon will be more crowded than expected—with Gil’s pretty secretary, among others, coming along.

That very night, Julia pounds on her sister’s door, brandishing a bandaged hand and reporting a hot-tempered outburst on her new husband’s part. Julia is feeling doubt and regret about her hasty decision, but returns to the boat. Then the next morning, before the yacht can depart the harbor, Gil’s body is found in the water below—and Phoebe and Eva must discover who pushed him over . . . before the Renshaws’ social standing is irreparably stained by Julia’s arrest for his murder . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Wow !!  Nothing can prepare you for what A Murderous Marriage has in store for the reader.  Alyssa Maxwell is effortlessly able to send the reader back in time with her words.....  As soon as you open the book and begin reading, you feel like you just got out of a time machine and are back in the year 1920 where you would think things would be much easier and the stress factor would be low.  But that is not the case when you hang around the Renshaw family.

In A Murderous Marriage you begin the story preparing for the eldest daughter Julia's wedding. She is to marry a viscount who is quite a number of years older than her.  And even though the family wonders if this is the right thing for her to do, Lady Julia is determined to marry him.

Unfortunately in the middle of the night, the wedding night, Julia shows up at her sisters hotel room with a cut on her hand wondering if she did the right thing after her and her new husband had a fight.  However once she calms down she realizes that she is being silly and returns to the yacht to her husband and her commitment.  In the morning the groom is found washed up to shore causing the police to arrest Lady Julia and detain the remaining wedding guests to their hotel.

Lady Phoebe and her maid Eva know that there is no way that Lady Julia would have thrown her new husband overboard regardless of their fighting but it looks like the police only have eyes on her for the crime.  

Lady Phoebe and Eva will do whatever it takes to prove Lady Julia's innocence, even if they have to cross some lines to do that.  And the hotel is full of suspects from Gil's sister and brother to his best friend from the war to his too friendly secretary.

Maxwell will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what trouble the ladies are going to get in to and what secrets they will uncover and as you get closer to the end of the story, your heart will be racing as you turn the pages..........

Review by Missi S.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Fields' Guide to Assassins (Poppy Fields Adventures #2) by Julie Mulhern

Fields' Guide to Assassins (Poppy Fields Adventures #2)
Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, accompanies her A-list mother to Paris, and why not? It’s PARIS!

What her mother doesn’t know is Poppy’s on assignment. Her mission? To help bankrupt a drug cartel. To do that, she must access encrypted account numbers, evade a drug lord with a grudge, dodge a Russian oligarch, and align herself with a man who looks like a Norse god. Oh, and there’s that plot—the one to launch a massive attack on the City of Lights.

If Poppy’s not careful, La Vie en Rose might just turn funereal black.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

I couldn't put Fields' Guide to Assassins by Julie Mulhern down !!  I just LOVE Poppy !!!  Here you have a "spoiled rich girl" whose mom just happens to be a famous actress but underneath it all, she (Poppy that is...) is anything but what everyone thinks she is.

And we get to hang out in Paris with Poppy and her mom !!!  While her mom is there filming a movie, Poppy is there to meet a private banker and uncover secrets she doesn't even know that she is seeking.  Poppy is trying to make the world a better place by bringing bad guys to justice, unfortunately not very many people know this and the ones that do don't believe that she can and are trying to keep her safe.  Luckily for everyone concerned, Poppy is getting good at her job....or lucky, depends on who you ask.

While in Paris Poppy is assigned a bodyguard that looks like Thor....she confuses the two quite often which will have the reader laughing out loud.  Poppy and Mark seem to work well together and it's a good thing because not only is the leader of a drug cartel still after her ( You have to read Fields' Guide to Abduction ) but it seems that half of Paris is as well.  

Poppy and Mark leave a pile of dead men throughout Paris but Poppy will do whatever it takes when there are terrorist threats on landmarks in the area and one of them is where her mother is shooting her latest film.  Even though her and her mother have a strained relationship, they come together when it counts !!!

I fell in love with the first book in the Poppy Fields Adventure series and this second one just added to the love !!  I could not put it down, there was so much excitement and hidden gems of humor that had me tearing through the pages.  I was slightly disappointed when I finished but knowing the third book is coming out soon, helped lessen the pain......

Review by Missi S.

Also .....   Pick up your FREE copy of the first book in the series, Fields' Guide to Abduction.....below are the links.  Dont MISS out on this AWESOME book !!!!

Amazon - http://bit.ly/PoppyFields1
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/PoppyFields1bn
iTunes - http://bit.ly/1PoppyFields
Kobo - http://bit.ly/PoppyFields1kobo

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A Canterbury Crime (The Belinda Lawrence Mystery Series Book 4) by Brian Kavanagh

A Canterbury Crime (The Belinda Lawrence Mystery Series Book 4)
The ancient walled city of Canterbury has held many secrets over the centuries but none more mysterious than the death of Professor de Gray. 

Called in to evaluate the contents of his Tudor Manor House, Belinda and Hazel are confronted with a number of suspects who would benefit from the book the Professor was about to publish; a book he promised would re-write the history of St Thomas Becket who was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170. 

Confirming the Professor was murdered proves to be a challenge and, gradually, as they get to know those associated with the Manor House, Belinda and Hazel discover another murder and an intricate web of secrets that leads them to life-threatening danger and finally to the killer, in this fourth book of the series  (Summary via Goodreads)

I love the Belinda Lawrence Mystery series by Brian Kavanagh.  There is so much to love !!!  The books in this series are quick reads.  If you want to get lost for an afternoon or day, pick up one of these books and you will be swept away.

A Canterbury Crime is the fourth book in this series and I can honestly say that this one BLEW MY MIND !!  I have read this one as well as the previous three but this one was completely mind blowing !!  The twist at the end along with some secrets that get uncovered will leave you in a state of complete awe !!!

I just love Belinda and her relationship with Hazel and the work that they do together which in A Canterbury Crime takes them to a mansion with a lot of old secrets.  The owner who recently passed was working on a book regarding a horrible death that happened many, many years ago and before he could finish the book and have it published, he died.  Belinda and Hazel are asked to go through the big house and catalog all the belongings and provide a price for what each item is worth.  While doing so, as is their characters, they want to find the missing chapter of the book that is causing everyone around the author to act suspiciously.

If you read A Canterbury Crime, which I highly recommend, you will get to a part of the story where you will NOT be able to put it down.  Kavanagh will have you so lost in the story that it will be impossible to close the book until you have completed the story.  Secrets will be told and things will start to make sense and you will want to see everything to the end.  You will be so lost that you will feel like you are sitting along side Belinda as things are uncovered.....

I recommend getting lost in the Belinda Lawrence series, you can easily get lost in the story but the trips are quick....you will go on a journey far, far away while still in the comforts of home......

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Bones Behind the Wheel (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #10) by E.J. Copperman

Bones Behind the Wheel: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery (Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries)
Barry Award-winning author E. J. Copperman is back with the tenth hilarious installment in his national bestselling Haunted Guesthouse mysteries.

Haunted Guesthouse proprietress Alison Kerby and her ghostly guest detective, Paul, “auto” know better than to dig into the case of a long-buried sedan and its now-skeletal driver. 

Innkeeper Alison Kerby is determined to keep her mind, body, and soul focused on bringing high-spirited hospitality to her lodgers at the Haunted Guesthouse. She simply has no time for any more murder investigations, no matter what Paul Harrison, her resident ghost detective, says. 

But this time, the mystery comes looking for Alison. Workers unearth a 1977 Lincoln Continental buried in the sand behind Alison’s guesthouse—and they discover a skeleton still belted in behind the steering wheel. 

Paul, of course, is on the cold case—to the extent that a ghostly gumshoe can be—but Alison is still determined not to do the incorporeal investigator’s legwork. Not this time. But her new husband Josh is intrigued, and he offers to help Paul poke into the case of the cold Continental. Uh-oh…has Josh caught the investigation bug? It’s a harsh wake-up call for a harried businesswoman who’d thought she’d told the detective life to hit the road. 

What can go wrong? How about everything? As Alison dodges stray bullets, discovers a gun in the guesthouse, and reluctantly probes a decades-old murder that turns out to be shockingly relevant even today, her specter inspector tries to keep her spirits up. But as she searches for the key to unlock the case, is Alison headed for her final check-out? Make a reservation to find out in Bones Behind the Wheel, the tenth fun-filled Haunted Guesthouse mystery from national bestselling author E. J. Copperman.  (Summary via Goodreads)

A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series by E.J. Copperman is a very interesting series.  You have Alison Kerby running an inn on the Jersey shore which you would think is completely normal until you learn that ghosts live there and people actually go there to partake in that experience......

Alison has the fortunate (or unfortunate at times) ability to see and communicate with ghosts.  And along with herself, her new husband Josh, and her daughter, Melissa, who are all living, she also has three ghosts and a dog ghost living there.  Melissa can also see and communicate with the ghosts, unfortunately Josh cannot.  

However in Bones Behind the Wheel, the tenth book in this series, Josh becomes involved in the latest case that occurs in the backyard, and he is able to communicate with Paul, one of the resident ghosts via texting.   

There is so much to love within this series......  I love the fact that Alison, Melissa and Alison's mother communicate with the ghosts and Josh cannot.  I love that Josh tries so hard to be involved in things and when he is finally able to communicate with Paul via texting he is like a 5 year-old on Christmas Eve.  I love that Paul can talk to other ghosts through the Ghosternet and love Maxie's high energy even though she's a ghost.

Copperman takes a 40 year-old, cold case and makes it HOT !!  I love the twists and turns in the story with all the characters past and present and how they loop together.  I love the relationships between the living and the ghosts.  I love the setting, an inn on the beach, and the fact that people come to the inn to witness the shows that the ghosts put on.  I love that Melissa has a pet dog that is a ghost.  I love the innocence of Josh and how it is Alison that is the one trying to protect everyone.  I love, love, love it all !!!  And I think you will also.......

Review by Missi S.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Mele Kalikimaka Murder (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #5) by Aimee Gilchrist

Mele Kalikimaka Murder (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #5)
From bestselling cozy mystery author Aimee Gilchrist comes a holiday Aloha Lagoon Mystery of ho, ho, homicide!

The only thing that Aloha Lagoon Resort manager Charlotte Conner hates more than her employees working on "island time" is Christmas. It isn't just the over commercialized tripe, but it's also the fact that once-upon-a-time her Christmas would-be wedding went up in spectacular flames. Now she has to share the hated Hawaiian holiday with her twin sister (the one responsible for Charlotte's ruined vows), Alexander Cho (the one currently responsible for destroying Charlotte's peace of mind and libido), and the body of one very dead assistant. Aloha Lagoon's police department can't find anyone else with a better motive for killing Charlotte's assistant than Charlotte herself, so now it's up to her, Alex, and her irritatingly ever-present twin to hunt down the real murderer before Charlotte spends her Christmas in a jail cell for a Mele Kalikimurder she didn't commit. This is one holly-jolly holiday that just might end up deadly!  (Summary via Goodreads)

A Hallmark Channel Christmas movie meets a Law and Order episode....that is how it feels when you read Mele Kalikimaka Murder by Aimee Gilchrist.

Mele Kalikimaka Murder is the fifth book in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series and one thing about this series that is great is that even though they are part of a series, you don't have to read them in order.  The only thing they have in common is that they all center around the Aloha Lagoon Resort in Hawaii.  They also have some overlapping characters, like Detective Ray.  

In Mele Kalkimaka you are staying at the Aloha Lagoon Resort and hanging around with the temporary manager, Charlotte.  She is there after the previous manager passes away to get it back in order and then she will move on.  While she is there she is trying very hard to not fall in love with the island and her second in command, Alex.  

When her assistant, Mallory, is found murdered, Charlotte has some hard facts to address.  As she comes to terms with realizing she didn't know her assistant as well as she should have, she twin sister, Georgie, shows up at the resort.  All of this is happening during the week before Christmas while the resort and the town gear up for days of festivities.  Charlotte and Georgie aren't on very good terms currently and Charlotte is trying real hard to keep her feelings for Alex in check while the three of them try to find out what got Mallory killed.

Even though there is a strong romantic aspect to this story, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  There is nothing wrong with a book having more storylines to follow and that is exactly what Mele Kalikimaka Murder gives the reader.  Not only are you following Charlotte around the island trying to find out why Mallory was murdered so she can tell her parents something, you are following Charlotte and Alex into quiet, empty offices while she fights her emotions, and you are also sitting along side her as she works out things with her twin sister.  There is a lot to absorb while reading this book......it will keep you entertained while on the edge of your seat.

I love the Aloha Lagoon Resort Mystery series and cannot wait until I get back to the island for the next mystery.......

Review by Missi S.