Monday, 19 October 2020

Roses, Wine & Murder: In the City of Steeples by Rose Young

Vineyards, gardens, fine wine and food pairings delight… 
yet, in this case, death disturbs all tranquility! 
Roxanne Samson, a sweet and sensible gardening expert is being targeted after a wealthy wine connoisseur is found dead in her city garden. Soon her friend, Georgi Algarve, a flamboyant wine aficionado and manager of the Vinho Verde wine bar, realizes both their lives are in serious danger. While trying to discover the murderer in their own haphazard way, the endearing duo, weave their way deeper into trouble when a deadly game of blackmail is played. 
New London’s prominent detective, Dan Morrison, juggles multiple suspects and a Long Island widow, as a maniac’s malevolence snakes through the City of Steeples. While Fire Chief Samson does his best to manage his concern for his wife Roxanne, his crew is called to attend to another unresponsive victim. 
Struggling to manage the escalating situation, Detective Morrison’s pressure is compounded when the President decides to give a speech at the Coast Guard Academy. Needing to solve the case quickly, Morrison presses for more evidence and finds a new perspective from the enigmatic medical examiner, Dr. Angela Storm. 
When suspicions arise, about an incognito killer traveling across Long Island Sound, Ferry Captain Matthew Griswold, assists with the twisting, turning investigation by putting his crew on high alert. 
In between all the mayhem, wine dinners are hosted by Georgi at the Vinho Verde wine bar and we all learn a little more about him than we anticipated. Roxanne tries to relieve her stress, by whipping her garden into shape, and researching poisonous plants which she finds out, are the killer’s forte. 
Roses, Wine & Murder is a thrilling madcap adventure laced with New England history, scenic vineyards, and some Coast Guard action. This is a modern-day murder mystery that will entertain with plenty of flair and foul play. 

Received 5 STARS by Readers' Favorites Reviewers! 
“The story combines aspects from different genres — thriller, historical, mystery, and crime fiction — and pulls the reader into an intriguing world. Roses, Wine & Murder has a beautiful setting, a gripping plot, and readers can’t resist the wonderful pacing. It’s one of the most entertaining books I have read in this genre this year.” Arya Fomonyuy - Reviewer for Readers’ Favorite - 5 STARS 


“The picturesque setting, coupled with the gripping plot, with wine dinners, poisonous plants, and a gritty investigation make this story a memorable one. …an exciting read, intelligently plotted and accomplished to a masterly finish. A must-read from one of today’s best storytellers.” Divine Zape - Reviewer for Readers’ Favorite - 5 STARS 

“Georgi and Roxanne, are a dazzling pair, playing well off each other with complementing personalities. There's a sharp wit, humor, and intelligence in Young's writing that will easily charm you. …a fun ride, funny and compelling, with a complex mystery of threads that slowly come together in a satisfying conclusion.” Liz Konkel - Reviewer for Readers’ Favorite - 5 STARS 


“Roses, Wine & Murder - In the City of Steeples has a little of everything for readers; New England vineyards, gardening, mystery, intrigue, friendship, crazy escapades, and is truly a book worth reading.” Trudi LoPreto - Reviewer for Readers’ Favorite - 5 STARS   (Summary via Goodreads)


Before you start reading Roses, Wine, & Murder by Rose Young, you are going to want to have a snack handy and a glass of wine closer....maybe the whole bottle.

Roses, Wine & Murder teams up two unlikely people, a gardener and a wine aficionado, to work together to solve a murder.  Roxanne Samson is married to the Fire Chief and she is on the New London Beautification Committee where she tends to gardens and flowerbeds around New London making the area even prettier.  It is while tending to one of the gardens that she comes across the body of a wealthy wine connoisseur.  Georgi Algarve manages the Vinho Verde Wine Bar and is a part owner.  The deceased man Roxanne found in the garden is Mitch Stockman, the owner of the wine bar and he and Georgi were quite close.  Roxanne and Georgi know each other because Roxanne tends to the flower boxes at Vinho Verde.

When Roxanne is mugged and Georgi is attacked they decide to work together to find out who killed Mitch and why.  The attacker seems to think that Roxanne has something that was left at the crime scene and this person will do whatever it takes to retrieve it.  Unfortunately the two have no idea what that is.

Roses, Wine & Murder takes the reader down the back road into wine country and the dark paths that a killer has traveled.  Little do the two know the danger that they are heading into and the craziness behind the killer.  This person will do whatever it takes to retrieve the item that was misplaced....but again Roxanne and Georgi do not know what they are looking for.  They do, however, uncover information that proves that they are in way over their heads and that there is a lot more to this case than they realize.......

Young has written a very captivating and descriptive story....so descriptive that readers will feel like they can smell the flowers, taste the wine and feel the sea breeze.  Luckily we don't have to feel Georgi's anxiety as well....

Even though they are an unlikely pairing, they work well together and help solve the case and all is well....until readers get to the page after the story ends and we see that Georgi is going to get right in the middle of things again in Young's next book in this series.  Hopefully he leans on Roxanne again ......


Review by Missi M. 

 


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

On Borrowed Crime (Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #1) by Kate Young

 

A shoe-in read for fans of Ellery Adams and Kate Carlisle, On Borrowed Crime is the first in Kate Young's new Georgia-set, sweet tea filled, Jane Doe Book Club mysteries.

The Jane Doe book club enjoys guessing whodunit, but when murder happens in their midst, they discover solving crimes isn't fun and games...

Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle's private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she's always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla's front door.

Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol's heart condition, the coroner rules Carol's death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla's best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend's name, and to not allow Carol to become one of the club's studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer's next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.   (Summary via Goodreads)


The first book in the Jane Doe Book Club Mystery series, On Borrowed Crime, by Kate Young is EXPLOSIVE !!  Young sets the stage beautifully for this series and she leaves the reader wanting more !!

Lyla Moody seems to have her life in order.  She lives in a townhouse right next door to her best friend Melanie.  She is working towards her dream job....currently working as a receptionist for her uncle Calvin who owns Cousins Investigative Services.....but really wants to be a partner and help solve crimes.  She belongs to a book club, The Jane Doe Book Club and obviously they read murder mysteries and talk about them in length.  She has loving if not overprotective parents and her Gran and her have a solid relationship.

Lyla's life is heading in the direction that she wants until she returns home and finds a suitcase at her front door and her ex-boyfriend and her not so nice cousin moving in practically next door.  Lyla thinks that the suitcase belongs to Melanie because Melanie is on her way home from vacation and her luggage went missing.  Unfortunately when they open the suitcase the next morning, they find the body of one of the Jane Doe Book Club ladies, Carol Timms.  Carol was a huge fan of Jane Doe cases and had recently forwarded some cases and a map of a stretch of road not far from where they live that was the dumping grounds for some bodies.  Carol's husband, Judge David Timms, hires Lyla's uncle to find out who killed Carol and with him out of town in Atlanta working a case, Calvin allows Lyla to do some work on the case as long as she's careful.

As Lyla looks into Carol's recent behavior, she finds out that Carol was a patient of her father's (he is a psychologist) and was dealing with a lot of paranoia.  Lyla tries to keep a level head while working the case however when Melanie is questioned and then Kevin (her ex-boyfriend living next door) gets arrested, she begins to wonder if the police are doing their job or just looking for the first person they can blame the murder on.  Lyla, unfortunately also dated the Chief of Police before and they never resolved their issues so Lyla can't help but wonder about him.....and the is Judge pushing to solve his wife's murder which adds to her concern.

I would love to keep writing about On Borrowed Crime and tell you every juicy detail but that wouldn't be any fun for you.  I highly recommend getting a copy of this book and going to a quiet corner and settling in.  I will tell you this......you will get to a point in the story that you will be powerless to stop reading.  You will have to keep reading to see how things end or get resolved.  I was thoroughly engrossed in this book and cannot wait until the second book comes out so I can see what trouble Lyla has to face.


Review by Missi M.



Monday, 12 October 2020

Peachy Scream (Georgia B&B #2) by Anna Gerard


Peachy Scream (Georgia B&B  #2)
To die or not to die? Georgia B&B proprietor Nina Fleet struts and frets to bring the curtain down on a Shakespearean actor's killer.

It's nothing short of inevitable that Cymbeline, GA, hosts an annual Shakespeare festival. But stage-struck Nina Fleet is about to learn that putting on an amateur theatrical production can be murder. Nina's anticipating showbiz glamour and glitz when a community Shakespearean troupe arrives for a two-week stay at her B&B. But the lights dim when she learns the company's director is her nemesis, struggling actor Harry Westcott--who still claims to be the rightful heir to Nina's elegant Queen Anne home.

Meanwhile, the troupe members are not content to leave the drama upon the stage. Accusations of infidelity and financial malfeasance make a shambles of rehearsals. And then, two days into the troupe's stay, the lead actor is found dead in Nina's formal Shakespeare garden. Murder most foul!

Worse, it seems every member of the amateur troupe has a motive--including wealthy construction company owner Marvin Jeffers, who seems to have a personal interest in Nina. But when the sheriff arrests the supposed boyfriend of the slain actor's widow, Nina suspects that the wrong troupe member is in jail. She and her trusty Australian Shepherd, Matilda, join forces (none too happily) with Harry to sleuth out the murder plot.

Will they find the real killer before someone else shuffles off this mortal coil? Find out in Anna Gerard's delightful second Georgia B&B mystery.   (Summary via Goodreads)



Where to start ?  Peachy Scream is the second book in the Georgia B&B Mystery series by Anna Gerard and it is as explosive with excitement as the first book, Peach Clobbered.  Readers will be unable to put Peachy Scream down.

Main character Nina Fleet is the owner of The Fleet House Bed and Breakfast and she is getting ready for her next guests to arrive......a community Shakespearean troupe that will be staying at the B & B for two weeks as they prepare for the annual Shakespeare festival.  The group will be performing the play Hamlet during the festival.  If that isn't enough for Nina to deal with the director of the group is Harry Westcott.  Harry's great-aunt was the previous owner of the Fleet House and Harry thinks that it should have been given to him even though there was no legal mention of that.   Nina and Harry decide to call a truse regarding that so that they can focus on the members of the troupe and the play.  

Before the group can begin their first practice their lead actor is found dead in the bushes in the garden.  At first glance it looks like he may have died of natural causes until Nina finds the champagne flute he was drinking out of with some residue in it that shouldn't be there.  

Nina and Harry decide to work together to try to solve his murder but the B & B is full of suspicious characters and its seems like most of them had a history with the deceased and it wasn't all good.

Gerard easily drags the reader into this story and one cannot help but get lost in it.  Readers will feel like they are an additional guest at the Fleet House and even though they are sitting in their comfy spot in their home, they will be so engrossed in the tale they will feel like they are in Cymbeline, GA.

The Georgia B&B Mystery series is a great series to escape into.  Readers do not have to pack or sleep in unknown surroundings but they will feel like they are and may even wish they were......



Review by Missi M.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Fatal Break (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #15) by Beth Prentice


Samantha Reynolds' life in Aloha Lagoon feels like it's finally smooth sailing. She’s settled into her job as the resorts' surf instructor for children, things are looking good with her boyfriend Casey, and she has an amazing BFF in the local surf shop owner, Alani.

But when a storm hits Aloha Lagoon, Alani’s past comes back to haunt her, and Sam finds her bestie standing over the dead body of her wayward ex-boyfriend. While Sam knows Alani is innocent, the local
police aren't so easily convinced, and Sam realizes it's up to her to clear Alani's name and find the real killer before her friend ends up behind bars. Why was Alani's ex back in town? What was he doing in Alani’s shop after hours? And who is the mysterious raven-haired woman in his life and what does she have to do with it all? Sam is determined to find out...only can she do it before the real killer catches her? Or will Sam’s time in Aloha Lagoon come to a sticky end?   (Summary via Goodreads)

The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:
Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2)
Deadly Wipeout (book #3)
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4)
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5)
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6)
Ukulele Deadly (book #7)
Bikinis Bloodshed (book #8)
Death of the Kona Man (book #9)
Lethal Tide (book #10)
Beachboy Murder (book #11)
Handbags & Homicide (book #12)
Tiaras & Terror (book #13)

Photo Finished(book #14)
Fatal Break (book #15)

About Aloha Lagoon:

There's trouble in paradise...
Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii's hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere...and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we're certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget!


I LOVE any time I can escape into the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.  This series is unique in that the books are written by several different authors but they all focus on the Aloha Lagoon Resort which is located on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.  The books center around the resort but focus on different employees or friends and always have a murder that needs to be solved....sooner than later !!!

Fatal Break by Beth Prentice is the fifteenth book in this series and this is the third book that Prentice has written for the series so hopefully you are already familiar with Sam, her twin brother Luke and their friends.  If not, that's okay because once you start reading Fatal Break, you will become a fan instantly.

Sam lives with her twin brother, Luke, and their mother on the island.  Sam has her dream job at the resort teaching surfing lessons to children.  Luke works at The Lava Pot where he is the head cook and Sam's boyfriend, Casey, is the sexiest bartender around !!  Sam's best friend Alani whose family owns a surf shop is also Luke's girlfriend.

One night while hanging out at The Lava Pot Alani gets a shock...someone is there looking for her ex-boyfriend.  Her ex-boyfriend, Nathan, had conned her and her family out of a lot of money saying that he planned to take Alani on a dream vacation.  Unfortunately he took the money and left the island.  When Alani found out he might be back, all she can think about is the money he stole from her family and wanting to get it back.  But when Sam finds Alani standing over his body holding a paddle in her surf shop, it is clear that her family will not be getting any money from him.  And when Alani is arrested for his murder, everyone has bigger worries to take care of.

Sam will do anything for her family and friends and tracking down a murderer is top of the list in Fatal Break.  Finding out why Nathan returned to the island may be difficult to uncover with him dead but when they find out that Alani wasn't the only woman on the island that he conned out of money, the list of suspects grows.  Also Alani's old best friend, Abigail, also shows back up on the island at the same time as Nathan and Sam cannot help but wonder if there is more to the story.

Sam knows that Detective Ray Kahoalani is always on "island time" and she wishes that she could be on it also but with Alani arrested for a murder that she knows she didn't commit, she needs to step it up and solve the case......sadly the suspect list gets longer and longer as she looks into Nathan's past.....

Readers will fall in love with this series instantly and no matter what book you pick up and start, you will be adding the rest on your to be read list.  Any time that you can escape to the Aloha Lagoon Resort and the island, you will do it....and the best part is that you don't have to pack a suitcase.  You can stay in your pj's if you wish....so grab a snack and a drink and sit back and get on island time.....


Review by Missi M.




Wednesday, 7 October 2020

A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery (Lighthouse Library Mystery #7) by Eva Gates

When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale. 

It's summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James's college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what's scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn't much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she'll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she's left high and dry...and right in the killer's crosshairs.  (Summary via Goodreads)


A Death Long Overdue by Eva Gates is the seventh book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series and after reading any of the books in this series, you will want to live in a lighthouse. 

Main character Lucy Richardson is lucky in that she lives on the top floor of a lighthouse and she works in the library that is on the three lower levels in the lighthouse.  She lives in Nags Head in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where her aunt and uncle and cousin live and where she spent her summers when she was younger.  She is also dating the Mayor of Nags Head and she takes care of the library cat, Charles.....and she somehow gets in the middle of murder cases in the area and helps the police solve them.

In A Death Long Overdue Lucy and her co-workers are getting the library ready for a fortieth reunion of the first day of undergrad studies for their boss, Bertie, and her classmates.  They have planned an entire weekend of events with it kicking off at the lighthouse library with drinks and snacks and they are unveiling a display of items showing the history of libraries.  Besides members of her undergrad class Bertie decided to invite Helena who was the library director before she took it over and who she found out was going to be in the area during the weekend.  Unfortunately after some of the group decided to take a walk through the marsh and down the boardwalk by the library at the end of the welcome event, Helena, ends up floating in the water.  It is soon concluded that she was murdered but who would have killed her ? No one really knew her and those that did hadn't seen her in years.....

No matter how much Lucy protests she ends up getting involved in the investigation.  And when an old book that was taken out of circulation years ago but Lucy brought back to the library to show the old way of keeping track of who took the book out and when, ends up missing, a cold case is brought into the mix.  It seems that years ago an expensive necklace was stolen from a house during a wild party and the person rumored to have stolen it, also took out this book around the same time and when Helena looked at the book during the party she showed emotion when she read his name..... this leads Lucy to look into that case as well as try to find out who killed Helena.  Could the two cases somehow be connected ??  Well if they are, readers know that Lucy will be able to figure it all out !!!

The Lighthouse Library Mystery series will give you goosebumps !!!  In this seventh book readers will experience good and spooky goosebumps !!  If you are a fan of this series, I don't have to say much to convince you to continue reading it.  However if you haven't read any of the books in this series, I highly encourage you to start !!  Once you open a book in this series, Gates will open your imagination and you will feel like you are right there in the lighthouse...... you will develop a clear picture of what it all looks like .....just don't read the Author's Note in the back where she admits that the real Bodie Island Lighthouse isn't big enough to house everything she writes about......let the image in your mind stay the way you imagined !!!


Review by Missi M.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Fire, Fog and Water (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries #8) by Mike Martin

 Sergeant Winston Windflower and his trusty crew at the Grand Bank detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have more than a few mysteries on their hands. Windflower suspects that the three cases—a homicide, a near-homicide and a fire on Coronation Street—are somehow connected, but how is proving difficult to determine, especially now that he must battle his unusually cranky mood, the never-ending winter that has gripped the coastal region of Newfoundland and his new, power-hungry boss.

In Fire, Fog and Water, award-winning author Mike Martin is true to form, retaining the light crime genre for which he is known while delving into the most perplexing social issues of our time, including mental health, addictions and workplace harassment. Windflower must not only solve the drug-and-death crimes that threaten the otherwise tranquil lives of Grand Bank’s residents, he must resolve his own internal conflicts before they consume him as surely as the blaze that engulfed the house on Coronation Street.  (Summary via Goodreads)


The only thing you won't like about the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries is the weather.....but that's okay, the characters in the book don't like it very much either.

I have had the pleasure of reading all the books in this series and I can honestly say that I am a HUGE fan of the series and author Mike Martin.  Now when I open one of the books, it's more than just reading a books, it's taking a vacation and visiting with family and friends.... and with every new book in the series you grow with them.

In Fire, Fog and Water, the eighth book in this series, not only does Sgt. Winston Windflower have a lot on his plate at work but his Corporal and good friend, Edward Tizzard is dealing with a lot of things as well.  Windflower and Tizzard have both grown a lot throughout this series but in Fire, Fog and Water, their inner strength will be tested to the limit.

As with the other books in this series, Windflower has a lot going on with work...being in charge of the Grand Bank detachment of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is a job he takes very seriously.  Keeping his town and people safe is what he lives for.  However, his wife, Sheila and their daughter, Amelia Louise, is what he breathes for.

In Fire, Fog and Water while out for a run on a trail with his dog Lady, Windflower stumbles, falls and lands next to a rolled up carpet with a dead body in it.  This will take him and his employees down a twisted road involving drugs, more death, fire and bad decisions.  All of this is nothing that Windflower and his detachment cannot handle but when a huge problem develops within the RCMP involving Tizzard and his fiance Carrie Evanchuk, this may be the straw that breaks the camels back !!!

I have probably said this before but it rings true with every book I read in this series but I can sit and read about Windflower shuffling paperwork around at work and going home to his wife, daughter and pets and having dinner and walking around town.  I don't need all the excitement that the RCMP brings to the table.....don't get me wrong, I'm not going to turn away when reading about it.  It's just that the way Martin writes allowing your mind to open, you can see everything clearer than some of Windflowers dreams.  And the picture you see is one you will want to hold on to as long as you can.......


Review by Missi M.





Friday, 2 October 2020

A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder by Jessica Thompson

 

A wedding caterer, a florist…and a dash of poison.

“Wow, this dough is sexy!”

As their wedded bliss starts to show signs of serious strain, Violet and her new husband, Jake, put their feelings aside to focus on catering a wedding that could make or break her career.

When murder ruins the rehearsal dinner, and her sister, Greta, the florist, becomes the prime suspect, Violet risks everything to clear her – and still deliver the beautiful wedding her new friend deserves.

But will she be in time before the killer dishes out seconds?

A Caterer’s Guide to Love & Murder takes you on a culinary journey you won’t forget!  (Summary via Goodreads)


I couldn't put A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder by Jessica Thompson down !!  You start reading and you're getting to know main character Violet and her husband Jake while they are preparing food in their studio apartment for an upcoming weekend long wedding event.  Violet is working on making a name for herself with her catering business and this job can put her name on the right lists.  Her sister, Greta, is also working the wedding by providing all the flowers through her floral business.  Both sisters have a lot riding on this event and the death of a family member during the rehearsal dinner party doesn't fit into those plans.

With Jake being a military-themed mystery writer and his best friend, "Don" newly promoted to detective, it just makes sense that Violet act as a spy during the rest of the scheduled weekend celebrations.  Little does she know that she has her work cut out for her.  She will do whatever it takes especially when her sister gets arrested for the murder.  Violet knows that her sister would not kill anyone and she vows to find the killer.  

A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder has a great main character in Violet, her OCD with neatness and her quirkiness with messes and cleaning up will amuse readers as she struggles to catch a murderer.  Readers will get lost in the story immediately and will not want to stop reading until you know who the killer is....and you will be shocked when you realize that they were right there under Violet's nose all along !!!

I look forward to where Thompson takes this series.  She has set the stage beautifully with so many possibilities on where things will go for Violet, Jake and even Don and I'm sure Violet's catering business is going to blossom after this wedding experience !!!


Review by Missi M.