Thursday, 13 December 2018

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder (Ryli Sinclair Mystery #3) by Jenna St. James

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder (Ryli Sinclair Mystery #3)

The madcap duo of Ryli and Aunt Shirley have teamed up for yet another heartily humorous adventure in the town of Granville in the latest rollicking tale by author Jenna St. James. 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Ryli Sinclair is in need of a front-page story for the Granville Gazette. Thankfully, it looks like Oak Grove Manor, the assisted living facility where Aunt Shirley lives, is just the hot bed of activity Ryli needs for a great story. Unfortunately, before Ryli can dig in too deep, Aunt Shirley is kicked out of the Manor for typical Aunt Shirley behavior. Now Ryli has no choice but to let Aunt Shirley stay with her. 
When the discovery of a dead body at the Manor leads to a murder investigation, there is a silver lining for Ryli. Aunt Shirley will be allowed back at Oak Grove Manor when the murder gets solved. Between being chased by killer Chihuahuas, jumping out of two-story windows, and getting schnockered with the old ladies across the hall, Ryli and Aunt Shirley must track down the killer before bodies start to pile up at Oak Grove Manor. Can Ryli and Aunt Shirley apprehend the killer and get Aunt Shirley back in the Manor, or will Aunt Shirley’s time be up…in more ways than one?     (Summary via Goodreads)

Ryli Sinclair is an amazing person !! She has to be to constantly have to deal with her great-aunt Shirley.  Ryli is the main character in the Ryli Sinclair Mystery series by Jenna St. James and she is always teaming up with her Aunt Shirley whether she wants to or not and whether she likes it or not !!   Either way it always ends up being very entertaining and always ends far.

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder is the third book in this series and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I read it within 24 hours.....once you start reading you will relax and get lost in the story and before you know it you will feel like you are riding along side Paige (Ryli's best friend and brother's wife) in the back seat of the Falcon.  Sorry Aunt Shirley will not let you ride in the front.  

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder introduces you to Oak Grove Manor, it's residents and workers.  Oak Grove Manor is the assisted living facility that Aunt Shirley was forced to move into when it was ruled that she couldn't be trusted to live alone any more.  Yes ruled by Ryli's boyfriend Garrett who is the Chief of Police.  However Aunt Shirley doesn't obey rules very well and gets "temporarily" kicked out of the Manor.   So Aunt Shirley moves in with Ryli and before anyone can fix Aunt Shirley's behavior for getting kicked out one of her neighbors is found dead !!  

Of course Ryli and Aunt Shirley have to get to the bottom of things even though Garrett constantly tells them to stay out of it.  Aunt Shirley and Ryli have different reasons for wanting to solve the case and even though Aunt Shirley drives her crazy, Ryli and her work good as a team when it comes to murder !!

I LOVED getting to know the residents at the Manor and always love hanging around Ryli and her crazy aunt....  St. James has written this series so well that its hard to believe they are not real.  When you finish reading any of these books, you will feel like you have a whole new set of friends and a new place to go visit.....even if its just sitting on your couch reading.

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #4) by Vicki Delany

A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #4)
Sherlockians will delight at the latest charming installment of national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned out museum—but a killer wants a piece of the auction.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately no one is inside, but it’s too late to save the museum’s priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street’s shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear

Cape Cod’s cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, owned by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne’s delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups—a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson’s. Gemma’s boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy’s killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago? 

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma’s methods and he isn’t happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet, Vicki Delany’s shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series by Vicki Delany !!!  The only thing that I don't like is that it is not real !!

A Scandal in Scarlet is the 4th book in this series and if you are like me and have read all four, then you are a true fan of Gemma, her boyfriend Ryan, her best friend Jayne and the rest of the crew and you are a lifetime resident of their quaint little town in Cape Cod.

Delany has such a knack of drawing the reader is so deep that you will feel like you are right there and a part of everything !!! And in A Scandal in Scarlet you are introduced to the rich and snobby members of 2 yacht clubs and not only is there a murder but two women are murdered and they are both linked by sharing a husband ( not at the same time of course ) !!!  

You cannot help but love the way Gemma thinks and works things out in her head.....even though Ryan who is a detective wishes she would just sell books and stay out of trouble.  But we all know that Gemma can do everything !!!  I wish I could figure things out like she does and she makes it look so easy !!

I HIGHLY recommend the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series.....there is no way for you to be disappointed.....well....only when you get to the end of the book and have to close it and return to your every day regular activities.  But I am sure that Delany will keep us entertained with more books in this series....I sure hope so !!!

Review by Missi S.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15) by Nancy J. Cohen

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15)
Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?

Recipes Included!
   (Summary via Goodreads)

One thing that I love about the Bad Hair Day Mystery series by Nancy J. Cohen is that the main character helps the police in solving the cases and they actually appreciate the help.  Usually in a cozy mystery the main character is an amatuer crime solver who takes on the "case" because they are closely involved or someone they love is involved and they want to clear the person's name.  Also by doing this they but heads with the lead detective and seem to "get in the way" more than help.  However that is not the case in the Bad Hair Day Mystery books.....

Marla is the main character and even though she owns a hair salon and day spa, she still finds time to help the local law enforcement agency with cases.  How can she not.....her husband is the lead detective and usually looks to Marla for insight.

One cannot help but fall in love with Marla and her husband Dalton and even his daughter Brianna.  Brianna has a way, like Marla, of getting into the cases and helps in a way only a teenager can help.  This is a very close, loving, and caring family who make you want to know everything about them.  

And boy does Cohen know how to tell a story !!!  And the way she twists and turns things and relates people and events will have you feeling like you are sitting in the kitchen with the Vail family hashing out the details.

I highly recommend this series to readers.  I especially cannot wait for the next book in this series as Trimmed to Death left you with a big secret revealed !!!

Review by Missi S.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Bloody Ham (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery #3) by Brian Kavanagh

Bloody Ham (a Belinda Lawrence Mystery)

The third adventure for Belinda and Hazel continuing the pace and humour that readers have come to acknowledge and appreciate. 
Excitement and tension begin on the first day of filming a Restoration drama on location at the historic Jacobean mansion, Ham House in Surrey when one of the leading players collapses and dies. With the death ruled non-accidental the director, producer and members of the cast are all suspects. 
An award winning Hollywood star is brought in to replace the dead actor and Belinda is employed as her stand-in. When another member of the crew is found stabbed to death, Belinda is forced to prove her innocence. In all this tumult, Belinda finds herself torn between her longtime English lover, Mark and the energetic and exuberant Australian, Brad she met again on a trip to Australia.  (Summary via Goodreads)

After reading books one through three of the Belinda Lawrence Mystery series I have to admit that the third book Bloody Ham is my far.

As Bloody Ham is the third book and I have read it and the previous two I have come to know and love Belinda and her friend Hazel.  I have grown to love the area as well.  However in Bloody Ham the reader is taken away from Belinda's adorable cottage and Hazel's antique business to the setting of a movie.  They are drawn to the movie set because some of Hazel's antiques are being used in some of the scenes.

Bloody Ham also takes the reader away from Belinda's love interest Mark who if you are a fan of the books, you are a fan of Mark and his commitment to Belinda.  We are, however, introduced to an old friend of Belinda's from Austrialia, Brad.  You cannot help by like Brad for reasons different than those of liking Mark.

So much to love about Bloody Ham and I haven't even mentioned murder yet !!

While on the set an actress dies and while at first they think it is an accident, Belinda and crew uncover that it is murder.  But before they can find out who actually committed the crime another member of the crew is found dead.  This time evidence points at Belinda !!!

If you haven't read any of these great books by Brian Kavanagh, I highly encourage you to do so !!!  There are so many things to fall in love with and enjoy !!  One thing is that these books are so easy to read, you can get lost for an afternoon and read an entire book !!  You can get lost in the book but not lose a lot of time !!!

I for one cannot wait to pick up the next book in this series.....especially as Kavanagh leaves Belinda with an answer to a very important question from Mark.... I NEED to know what she says !!!!

Review by Missi S.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Ghost Busting Mystery (Shady Hoosier Detective Agency #1) by Daisy Pettles

Ghost Busting Mystery (Shady Hoosier Detective Agency, #1)
When Dode Schneider, rattle-brained Indiana farmer, insists the abandoned Wyatt mansion is haunted by ghosts with big butts who dance in the apple orchard, Pawpaw County Sheriff Boots Gibson happily off-loads the crazy complaint to Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens, senior sleuths in training with the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency. Ruby Jane and Veenie, lifelong gal pals, aren’t afraid of the haunted Wyatt mansion, built by a con artist banker who rowed out of town on the flood waters of 1919, taking the town’s assets with him. The senior crime-cracking duo set out in their smoke-belching 1960 Impala to uncover the truth behind the century-old haunting legend only to find surprise evidence of long ago murder and mayhem. Along the way, Veenie and Ruby Jane chase down a missing drunk wiener dog, earn a lifetime supply of mystery meat sandwiches from Pokey’s Tavern, recover a stolen Harley, and uncover the startling truth about a long cursed buried treasure. The investigation, which involves con artists, bank robbers, and hillbilly hoodlums, doesn’t go smoothly, but Ruby Jane and Veenie, fueled by senior grit and a can-do attitude, engage in crime-cracking hijinks that will leave the reader rolling in laughter in this classic comic crime novel.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Ghost Busting Mystery by Daisy Pettles is so much FUN to read !!!  I loved it !!!  As this is the first book in the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency series, it sets the stage beautifully for future books !!  

You will fall in love with Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens, the main characters, instantly.  How can you not ?  They are pie eating, go-kart driving, crazy dressing senior citizens and they are "detectives".

In Ghost Busting Mystery when Dode Schneider contacts the agency regarding dancing ghosts in the apple orchard across the street at an old abandoned mansion, the girls rush out to see what is going on.  This takes them back years and years to an old town legendary story concerning a bank robbery, stolen gold, a young married couple and a con artist disappearing with the gold during the flood.  The ladies are introduced to a few shady characters who liven things up for a bit but they soon learn the truth about everything .....  and you do not want to miss out on any of it !!!  

While the ladies are working at solving a murder of a skeleton found in the abandoned mansion and uncover the truth regarding the stolen gold, they will have you not only on the edge of your seat but also holding your gut from laughing !!  This is one book you will thoroughly enjoy and Knobby Waters is a place you will want to visit if only it existed.  I know I would visit just for a piece of pie and a mystery meat sandwich......

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Forever Fudge (Candy-Coated #6) by Nancy CoCo

Forever Fudge
"Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery."--Barbara Allan

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .


It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie's help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie's bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head--with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge ma 
ker has to square off against a crazy killer--but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries

"It's probably best not to read this while you're too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen."
--The Oakland Tribune

"The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful."
--RT Book Reviews

"I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series."
--Fresh Fiction
    (Summary via Goodreads)

Forever Fudge is the first book in the Candy-Coated Mystery series by Nancy Coco that I have had the pleasure of reading.....and boy was it a pleasure !!!  

I fell instantly in love with everything about this book....from the main character Allie and her friends to her job owning a hotel and candy shop to it being on an island and even to the murders.....

Allie has it made !!  She owns a historic hotel that she inherited from her grandfather.  The hotel is on an island that she is quite familiar with as she grew up vacationing there.  Allie lives on the top floor of the hotel with her dog and cat and her best friend is staying there helping out.  Allie has 2 men that are smitten with her....Trent who is a rich businessman who spends most of his time in Chicago who she recently broke up with and a local cop Rex who she has grown to know quite well due to being involved in past criminal cases.

Even though this was the first book in this series that I have read and even though it is the 6th book in the series, I was completely at home by the end of the first chapter.  Coco has a way of making sure that the reader does not get lost at all in her story telling.  The story line was so much fun to read and get caught up almost feel like you are right there on the island.  And believe me, you will feel like that the entire time you are reading this book and even for a time after you finish reading.

I am not a fan for life of this series and look forward to reading the next book and I will even try to read the previous books.....anything to return to Mackinac Island.....

Review by Missi S.

Monday, 29 October 2018

The Hour of Death (Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery #2) by Jane Willan

The Hour of Death
Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn make sleuthing a work of art. But will they paint themselves into a corner when they investigate the Village Art Society president's death?

As Yuletide settles upon Gwenafwy Abbey, the rural Welsh convent's peace is shattered when Tiffany Reese, president of the Village Art Society, is found dead on the floor of the parish hall. Sister Agatha, whose interests lie more with reading and writing mystery stories than with making the abbey's world-renowned organic gouda, is not shy about inserting herself into the case. With the not-entirely-eager assistance of Father Selwyn, she begins her investigation.

Sister Agatha has no shortage of suspects to check off her naughty-or-nice list, until finally, Tiffany's half-brother, Kendrick Geddings, emerges as the prime suspect. There never was any love lost between Tiffany and Kendrick, and of late they had been locked in a vicious battle for control of the family estate. But if Sister Agatha thinks she has the case wrapped up, she'll have to think again.

As the days of Advent tick by, Sister Agatha is determined to crack the case by Christmas in The Hour of Death, Jane Willan's perfectly puzzling second Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Jane Willan has an amazing talent for story telling and capturing the readers attention as soon as you open the book and start reading.  And her originality is off the charts !!  A nun with a Father as her sidekick, a Reverend Mother who encourages one of her nuns to write a murder/mystery book and investigate murder for real, a group of nuns working together making Heavenly Gouda cheese......

The Hour of Death is the second book in the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn mystery series and hopefully you became a fan with the first book, The Shadow of Death.  If not, there is still plenty of time.  If there is one thing you take away from these books is that there is plenty of time to sit back and enjoy a good book with a cup of tea.  Although once you begin reading you may turn to coffee as you pick of speed with your reading.  You will get so caught up in the story that you won't want to put the book down.

It also amazes me how authors twist and turn stories taking every thing and bringing it together in the end.  Something so small can turn into something huge and when the realization of it hits the reader, you have to sit back and take it all in and then you have a mind-blowing moment !!!  That is what Willan does !!  

I was amazed and fell in love with all the characters in these books and love the setting and the atmosphere and look forward to more in this series.  I encourage everyone to read these books and get lost for a while .......  you will thank me !!!!

Review by Missi S.