Thursday, 6 August 2020

Twice Sold Murder (Second Treasures Mysteries #1) by Margaret Evans

Twice Sold Murder (Second Treasures Mysteries #1)
She’s back with an exciting new mystery series, Second Treasures. In the first volume, “Twice Sold Murder,” Margaret Evans takes us to the Mesabi Range in Minnesota, where Laura Keene returns to her hometown to dig into the past and solve the mystery of her parents’ deaths. What she finds, instead, are secrets buried in the goods of her thrift shop that entangle her in intrigue and danger, and only with the aid of an old friend and a mysterious cat does she have a chance to uncover what happened all those years ago.    (Summary via Goodreads)

I could not put Twice Sold Murder by Margaret Evans down.  Once I started reading about Laura Keene moving back to her hometown Raging Ford in Minnesota after leaving there 11 years ago when her parents died, I was HOOKED !!!

Laura Keene had left Raging Ford when she was young.  She moved to Maryland to live with her Aunt Rose after her parents were killed.  Now her aunt has also passed and she felt the pull to move back home.  She has a few reasons for moving back.  The main reason is to try and solve her parents murders.  

Laura moves back and opens up Second Treasures, a thrift shop, and she has a small apartment above the store.  The town of Raging Ford is a small, well organized and quirky town that is run by the Town Council which consists of the Kovac triplet brothers, and there are certain "rules" that must be followed.  One of the rules is that residents and friends can not rush to Laura, they have to run into her by chance.  Luckily there are a few of Laura's old friends that don't follow the rules. 

While Laura organizes and opens Second Treasures,  gets reacquainted with her friends and the town , she is drawn to an old cold case from a nearby town when 2 pieces of furniture that she acquired may have belonged to the family.  She also found a piece of paper in a drawer of one of the pieces that points her to an old Dear Abby letter in a magazine.  And when the furniture is stolen from the store with a message to Laura, her old childhood friend, Sergeant Connor Fitzpatrick, takes charge !!

Twice Sold Murder is the first book in the Second Treasures Mystery series and I cannot wait to dive into the next book Priced To Kill.  I love starting to read a series that has been around for a don't have to wait for the next book to be released.  You can finish one and grab the next one.  And I highly recommend reading this series.  There is so much to fall in love with and Evans keeps readers on their toes and totally engrossed in the story.

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler : Vienna's Sherlock Holmes by Balduin Groller

The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler : Vienna's Sherlock Holmes
The first important Teutonic sleuth. 
Ellery Queen 

Dagobert Trostler is the Sherlock Holmes of Vienna . . . with a twist. Like Holmes, he's the most famous private investigator in Vienna. Unlike Holmes, he's a bit of a party animal. While he loves a good mystery, he also loves good food, good company and a good time. He's a bon-vivant and right at home in the brilliant social scene of Vienna in the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 
These stories, written by Balduin Groller and published in Vienna between 1889 and 1910, are a glimpse into the sparkling, forgotten world of turn-of-the-century Vienna. Hugely popular in the German-speaking world, they are now available in English for the first time exclusively from Kazabo Publishing. If you love Sherlock Holmes, you need to read these stories! 

"The Fine Cigars"
"The Great Embezzlement"
"Anonymous Letters"
"An Arrest"
"The Cheat"
"The Mysterious Box"

"The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler" is the first in a series. Watch for The Memoirs of Dagobert Trostler and The Casebook of Dagobert Trostler.   (Summary via Goodreads)

If you have a free afternoon or you are just finishing a book and unsure what book you will open next, I recommend The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler : Vienna's Sherlock Holmes by Balduin Groller.  The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler is a book with six short stories in it.  You can take your time reading each story within a short time.  You can read them in order, which I did, or can pick them according to title of whatever looks most interesting given your current mood.

In the stories readers are introduced to Dagobert Trostler who investigates crime, small or large, personal or impersonal, and brings justice to those involved.  He likes to do it quietly, without scandal.  However he loves to tell the story of how he went about capturing the person who did wrong.

In most of the stories in this book, Dagobert is in the company of a dear friend and his wife, Andreas and Violet Grumbach, who have used his services on a number of occasions but who also love to hear him tell stories of other crimes he solved.

These stories are written during the turn of the century when times were a lot different than they are now.  In order to solve a crime, a person had to rely a lot on observation, conversations and wits.  And Dagobert does all of that quite nicely.  Reading the stories within this book will take readers back in time and allow you to just read the stories and get lost in what is going on.

Reading books allow readers to escape their life for a period of time and get lost in someone else's world and Groller does that splendidly.  While reading this book, you will escape to another time period and place and you may not want to close the book and return to your I encourage you to read slowly or at least try to....once you get lost in the story, you will be powerless to let go.

Review by Missi M.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Burglary at Barnard (Oxford Key Mysteries #2) by Lynn Morrison

Burglary at Barnard (Oxford Key Mysteries #2)
A dead body buried under a pile of ageing manuscripts. A secret chamber filled with a treasure-trove of books and paintings.

Nat returns to Oxford in January, this time based out of the historic halls of Barnard College. When she agrees to meet Mathilde in the college archives after hours, they hope to find information on the magic. They don’t expect to find a hidden chamber or stumble across another dead body.

Nat is scrambling to figure out if this is a crime of passion, a case of wrong place and wrong time, or whether something larger is a foot. Meanwhile, Mathilde and Kate are searching the hidden chamber for information on the magic’s origin. The last thing they need is Edward snooping around, wondering how the prefects are connected.

Can Nat satisfy Edward’s curiosity without revealing the existence of Oxford’s magic?

Can the prefects figure out how to restore Oxford’s magical border before someone else dies?
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Burglary at Barnard is the second book in the Oxford Key Mystery series by Lynn Morrison and I really, really, really want to spill the beans and tell you about a HUGE part of the story but if I do that , it will totally ruin reading the book and I am not like that.  But believe me when I say that I am biting my tongue as I type up my thoughts.

In Burglary at Barnard main character Natalie Payne doesn't even unpack her suitcase after returning from the holidays before meeting up with friend Mathilde where they stumble across a dead body.  They had planned to meet up in the archives in the  library to start looking into why they are having trouble with the magic that is within Oxford.  Nat, Mathilde and Kate work at the college and all have important "jobs" as prefects who can see all the magic within the walls and grounds of Oxford.  In the first book in this series, Murder at St. Margaret, they learn that there is a problem with the magic and they need to find out why that is.  That is why Nat and Mathilde are meeting at the library at night before the colleges re-open for the new semester.  Unfortunately finding the body of Barnard's Master's assistant and a secret chamber changes all their plans.

Luckily they are able to get assigned to catalog the contents in the hidden chamber which allows them to also look into the problem with the magic.  Unfortunately, Master Finch-Byron takes control over the murder investigation and assigns it to Edward Thomas who happens to be Nat's upstairs neighbor who she has a crush on and who she worked with on the previous case however him looking into the murder could cause complications for the women.

I am a huge fan of this series and if you are a Harry Potter fan, this is a must read for you,  I know I said it when I reviewed the first book but it bears saying again.   Harry Potter fans and any fans of magical books will love this series.  And each book draws the reader further into the story and the magic and with the explosive events that I really, really, really want to tell you about but can't you won't want the story to end.  I am already looking forward to the next book, Arson at the Ashmolean....especially with the last line in Burglary at Barnard.

Review by Missi M.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

20 Questions with ME !!!

Here you promised.  I couldn't ask authors to share some deep, dark secrets with us if I wasn't willing to get down and dirty also ..... well not really deep or dark and no one got dirty .... but you get what I'm saying.

1.  What is your favorite color ?  Pink

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?  Sunset....especially on the beach if possible.

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Coffee.  I only drink soda in the morning with my morning pills, stopped drinking it to lose weight.

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  Bed of Roses (with Christian Slater & Mary Stuart Masterson) Perfect love story and awesome sound track !!

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  It varies with my mood but usually just cheese or mushrooms and green peppers

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  Cake !!!

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  Wow this is a mean one....even I don't have a favorite.  My list would be Stuart Woods, Lawrence Block, Alyssa Maxwell, Catherine Bruns and anything published by Gemma Halliday !!! (but that list can change daily....)

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??  Chick flick all the way !!

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....   I love all furry, cuddly animals but have always had cats in my life.  Currently we have three.  Mine is Oliver, my husband has Reesie and my step-son has Scurry.

10.  Ideal vacation ?  Sadly I'm not a vacation happy person.  I hate having to try to figure out what I want to wear for a week or longer and packing it.  I hate leaving my cats.  I don't like sleeping some where else and being uncomfortable.  If I had to, gun to my head, pick, I'd say Ireland.  All the books that I've ever read located in Ireland, it sounds beautiful.  So I'd be very busy sightseeing and hopefully not missing home too much.   

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?  5 star hotel....or any hotel.  Have to have a bed and indoor plumbing.

12.  Favorite season and why ?   I use to love fall but since meeting my husband and moving in with him, we have an awesome yard so I'm all about summer.  Sitting in the gazebo or pool reading in the sun !!!  I've even been able to get tanned !!!

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  I'm afraid to admit what I'd afraid of in case someone wanted to use them against me.....

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  Candy and books !!

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  I didn't really have a favorite class until college and then it was every Psychology class I took.

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Gym / Phys. Ed.

17.  What movie have you seen more than once ?  Sweet Home Alabama... I owe the movie but if i see that it is on TV, I will watch it.

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)  Frozen Reesie peanut butter cups in the middle of the night

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?  Keanu Reeves, Josh Lucas, Jason fun just having one !!

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  Not a lot of people know that I have started writing 2 books.  I have outlines and some chapters written for both books but put them aside.  i would LOVE to some day be a publlshed author.  I think that authors are so cool and they are my version of celebrities.  The stories they come up with amaze me.  I don't have that level of talent as the two books I started are about my first marriage and my journey through life with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

It Cannoli Be Murder (Italian Chef Mysteries #2) by Catherine Bruns

It Cannoli Be Murder
It's time to serve some just desserts...

Six months after her husband's death, Tessa Esposito is hoping to drum up reservations for her restaurant's grand opening. And since a signing with bestselling author, Preston Rigotta, is sure to draw a crowd, Tessa agrees to cater her cousin's bookstore event--whipping up some of her famous Italian desserts. But the event soon takes a sour turn when Preston's publicist, an old high school rival, arrives and begins to whisk up their old grudges.

That night, a fight breaks out in front of the crowd, and it becomes clear there's bad blood in Harvest Park. And when the publicist is found dead on the bookstore floor the next morning, a stray cannolo at her side, Tessa knows who will be framed as the prime suspect.

To clear both her cousin's and her own name, Tessa must investigate the murder. But Preston's publicist has many secrets to hide, and in the end, the truth is bittersweet...

The second book in the Italian Chef Cozy Mystery series!   (Summary via Goodreads)

If you read the first book in the Italian Chef Mystery series, Penne Dreadful, by Catherine Bruns you were introduced to a very intense and slightly abnormal cozy mystery......the murder of main character Tessa Esposito's husband Dylan had already happened and she was trying to move forward with her life until she found out it wasn't an accident.  That was most likely the first cozy mystery that you read where you weren't a "witness" to the crime and you were dealing with the after effects.  And I'm sure you will agree that it was a nail biting, on the edge of your seat story.  Well welcome back !!!  It Cannoli Be Murder is the second book in this series and you will again be on the edge of your seat, turning the pages as fast as your eyes can read the words and your fingers can turn the pages.

Tessa is working on the final preparations for opening up her restaurant, Anything Pastable, which she is over the moon excited about.  And while she is getting ready her cousin, Gabby is hosting a book signing for a popular local author at her book store, Once Upon a Book and Tessa is making the desserts for the event.  During the event they run into Gabby's bully during high school, Daphne, who is working as the author's publicist.  They also meet the author's mean wife and quiet daughter.    

The morning after the book signing Tessa realizes she left her cell phone at the bookstore but when she gets to the bookstore not only does she find her phone but there are cannoli's on the floor and they are not the ones that she made....she follows the dropped cannoli's into the store and finds Daphne's body by the mystery section !!!

The list of suspects is long and sadly Tessa and Gabby are on the top of the list.  And to make matters worse, neither Gino, Gabby's brother or Lou, Gabby's boyfriend, both of which are on the police force can do anything involved with the case as it would be a conflict of interest.  Of course Tessa and Gabby are not going to sit around while their reputations and businesses are ruined.  They decide to look into things themselves.  Unfortunately someone does not want them to figure things out......

I am a huge fan of Catherine Bruns and her books....her Cookies & Chance Mystery series is my favorite and it's starting to look like the Italian Chef Mystery series is going to be my second.  I picked up It Cannoli Be Murder in the morning and was finished with it by 3 in the afternoon.  And I will say this....I was in complete shock when the case was solved and I also had a hard time reading the last chapter through my tears......Bruns knows how to grab at your emotions and have you invested in the story and the people.  By the time you get to the end of one of her books, you feel like a part of the family, the community and you feel everything !!!  That to me is an amazing talent and I am glad to be a part of the experience !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Monday, 27 July 2020

20 Questions with Authors : Catherine Bruns

Catherine Bruns is one of my favorite authors and her Cookies & Chance Mystery series is my absolute favorite.  There are 9 books in that series (so far) and every time I start reading the latest I feel like I am home visiting family, a dysfunctional family, but family none the less.  Also Catherine is a local (to me) author and I have had the pleasure of seeing her numerous times, at book signings, book workshops and other book related events and she is an amazing person.  Here are her books....

It Cannoli Be Murder
The Cookies & Chance Mystery series with 9 books (so far)

Tastes Like Murder
Baked to Death
Burned to a Crisp
Frosted with Revenge
Silenced by Sugar
Crumbled to Pieces
Sprinkled in Malice
Ginger Snapped to Death
Icing on the Casket
Formals, Fortune Cookies and Fraud (a short story)

The Cindy York Mystery series has 3 books (so far) :

Killer Transaction
Priced to Kill
For Sale by Killer

Her Italian Chef Mystery series has 2 books (so far) :

Penne Dreadful
It Cannoli be Murder

She has also contributed to the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series with 2 books :

Death of the Big Kahuna
Death of the Kona Man

She also has short stories published in the following books :

Killer Beach Reads
Pushing Up Daisies

Let's get to know her personally......

1.  What is your favorite color ?  Purple

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?   I'm not a morning person so I'd have to say sunset.

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Coffee with cream and sugar.

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  Fried Green Tomatoes.

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?   None. I'm boring, so just plain old cheese for me.

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  Do I really have to choose? I love both, but I'll go with cake. Cheesecake, specifically.

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?   I have so many that it's hard to narrow it down, but let's go with Sue Grafton, who I was lucky enough to meet once.

8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??   I hate horror movies. Definitely chick flicks.

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  Two cats, Spike and Harvard, and two dogs, Bubba and Lambeau. They are all boys, so that's a ratio of seven males to one female in my house.

10.  Ideal vacation ?   I'd love to go back to Hawaii.

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?   I need electricity and a comfortable bed so I'd say definitely a 5 star hotel.

12.  Favorite season and why ?   Fall. It's gorgeous in New York State at that time of year.

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....   Heights!

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  Books!

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  English/Creative Writing in high school. When I was in college, it was acting class.

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Algebra.

17.  What movie have you seem more than once ?   The Devil Wears Prada. I think I know almost every line.

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)   Lying by the pool with a good book. I don't get enough time to read these days.

19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?   Keanu Reeves

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  I always bag my own groceries. It was the first job I ever had so I guess I feel no one can do it as well as me, lol!

To learn more about Catherine and her boosk, go to :

Sunday, 26 July 2020

20 Questions with Authors : Bernard H. Burgess

Bernard H. Burgess is the author of the Bert and Nora series. There are 4 books (so far) in this series.
They are :
The Nickel Dime Murders
Into the Light
The Missing
Murder in the Ozarks

I will be reading this series and sharing my thoughts will you all soon but for now lets get to know Bernard personally......

1.  What is your favorite color ?  Red-orange

2.  Sunset or sunrise ?  Sunrise

3.  Coffee, tea or soda ?  Coffee

4.  What is your favorite movie ?  Last of the Dogmen

5.  What are your favorite toppings on pizza ?  Hamburger, pepperoni, tomato, peppers, olives, black olives, hot peppers

6.  Cake or pie ? What is your favorite ?  Pie

7.  Favorite author (besides yourself) ?  Jack London
8.  Horror movie or chick flick ??  Chick Flick

9.  Cat or dog person ? Do you have any ? If so, what and names please....  Dog! None now but have had many
10.  Ideal vacation ?   Country and small towns at a slow pace

11.  Camping or 5 star hotel ?   Camping

12.  Favorite season and why ?  Fall!  Clear days & cool nights. Changing leaves.

13.  Name ONE thing you are afraid of ....  Sinkholes

14.  Name ONE thing you cannot live without....  Milk

15.  What was your favorite subject in school ?  Science

16.  What was your least favorite subject in school ?  Chemistry

17.  What movie have you seen more than once ?  Braveheart. Last of the Dogmen. Eight Seconds. August Rush. Sully, The Da Vinci Code. Saving Private Ryan.

18.  What is your guilty pleasure ?  (Can't be an answer already given...)   Chocolate anything....
19.  Who is your celebrity crush ?  Salma Hayek

20.  Tell us something we don't know that you would like people to know about you ......  I started working when I was eight and have never really stopped.