Monday, 18 September 2017

Hair Brained (Bad Hair Day Mystery #14) by Nancy J. Cohen


Hair Brained (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #14)
When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally—or Ken in the car with her—out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?  (Summary via Goodreads)

It is hard to believe that Hair Brained is the 14th book in Nancy J. Cohen's Bad Hair Day Mystery series.  I will admit I have not read all of the books in this series....but it doesn't matter !!  This is the 2nd book in the series that I have read and it reads like it could be a stand alone book.

In Hair Brained there is so much going on that you get lost in Marla and Dalton's lives instantly.  As they deal with the death of their good friend Ken, Ken's wife's injuries and caring for their newborn son Luke, you realize that they are doing exactly what you would in their situation.  As executors to their estates and guardians of Luke, they have a lot on their plates.  While Tally is still in a coma Marla and Dalton have to handle everything for Tally while she is in that state.  There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding what to do with Ken's insurance business as well as Tally's shop.  

Everything changes when they find out that Ken was responding to a work related matter and was run off the road intentionally.  As Dalton and Marla go in different directions investigating their friends death, Marla finds out that she doesn't really know her friend as well as she did.  But really .... How well do we know our friends ??  Marla realizes that there is a lot about her friend that she didn't know and hopes that Tally recovers so that she can learn the truth about some of the stuff that is uncovered.

As you are reading Hair Brained and riding along with Marla, you will begin to agree with her and her theories until you turn the page and something happens.  One minute you are sure that the accident was a result of something Ken did but then Marla finds out something relating to Tally and you begin to think that maybe Tally was the intended target........

So many great possibilities that you are always thinking and on your toes while reading this book.  And when you get to the end and everything is revealed....it will blow your mind !!!  I did not see that coming.....did you ??

Review by Missi S.




Friday, 15 September 2017

Cat Got Your Secrets (Kitty Couture Mystery #3) by Julie Chase


Cat Got Your Secrets (Kitty Couture Mystery, #3)
Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, she's busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle's bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene--and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father. It's up to Lacy to clear her dad's name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy's not the only one with bones in her closet. Time's running out in this deadly cat-and-mouse game in Cat Got Your Secrets, the delightfully funny third novel in Julie Chase's Kitty Couture mystery series, perfect for "all those feline fanciers who love to read Rita Mae Brown" (Suspense Magazine).   (Summary via Goodreads)

You know you are reading a good book when you are completely lost in the story and you haven't finished Chapter 1 yet.  If you've read the first 2 books in the Kitty Couture Mystery series by Julie Chase, you are already a member of the family.  If you haven't read any yet, what are you waiting for ??

Lacy Crocker lives in New Orleans and although she comes from money, she has worked hare for what she has.  She has her won home and her own business.  She owns Furry Godmother which is a pet bakery and pet accessory store.....and she makes everything herself !!  Even though the store keeps her more than busy, she always seems to end up in the middle of a police investigation.  This time is no different except this time the person of interest is her own father !!  Her dad was the last one to see the deceased alive and of course they had an arguement that was recorded on survelliance cameras. Now her father wouldn't hurt a fly, he's a successful vetenarian !! 

Lacy of course cannot let the good detective Jack Oliver handle the case on his own.  She has to investigate as well.  Even though Lacy has enough to keep her out of trouble being on the National Pet Pageant Welcoming Committee with her mother, running the shop, baking for the shop, making costumes, juggling two guys, she has to clear her dad's good name.

Okay back up.... 2 guys ?  Yes. Not only is there something brewing between Lacy and Jack but a friend from high school, Chase, has let his feelings known to Lacy.  Personally I love the dynamics between Lacy and Jack and think they would make a smashing couple but that is not up to me. (So Julie something for your to think about.....)

I LOVE this series !!  I love the Lacy and her family and their relationships.  I love seeing Lacy and her mother growing closer and understanding each other more.  Lacy's father is just a great dad and supports Lacy no matter what she does.  Lacy has a great best friend, an awesome job, lives in an entertaining area that is far from dull, she has the interest of 2 amazing men, a cat she takes to work..... It is such a treat to read these books and I encourage you to add them to your list if you haven't already.  You won't regret it !!

I cannot wait for more Kitty Couture Mystery books and hope they never stop !!!

Review by Missi S.


  

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Asking for Truffle (A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery #1) by Dorothy St. James


Asking for Truffle (A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery #1)

When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town's seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she's immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize--only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate. Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn's quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she's learning to love. Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.  (Summary via Goodreads)


I'm going to tell you that NO review or comments will do this book justice !  Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James is a MUST, MUST, MUST read !!  

The first sentence "The strange letter I'd received in the mail earlier today had me popping chocolate squares into my mouth as if they were candy." .....  Tell me that doesn't make you want to keep reading.  Here is an author with intrigue and humor and its only the first sentence !!  

And the main character....the girl is named Charity by a grandmother who hated that fact that her precious son got a girl pregnant in college and the girl took off leaving the baby, Charity, on their front steps.  So Charity who hates her name (Obviously !!) goes by her last name Penn.  

So this strange letter that she received in sentence one tells her that she won a trip to a chocolate store in a seaside town and cooking lessons at the candy store.  Are you in yet ??  Who wouldn't want to win a trip like that !!  But she, of course, is skeptical, not because of her upbringing but because she didn't enter the contest.  So her good friend Skinny, yes that's right another great nickname, offers to go to the seaside town and check it out for her.  Unfortunately he is killed in a vat of chocolate right after he leaves an exciting but mysterious message for Penn.  Penn has no other choice but to go there herself to check out the chocolate store and find out why Skinny was killed.

Have you packed your bags yet ??  Okay well once she gets to this rundown seasside town she meets a bunch of interesting people, 2 very attractive brothers, and the owner of the chocolate shop that insists that she take the cooking lessons.  She does, of course, take the lessons but because of her upbringing she is extremely skeptical.  After all she didn't enter the contest and her friend was killed in the store !!  

Once you start reading you will find it hard to stop.  And as you get into the story you will begin to think you know who killed Skinny but then you will turn the page and read something else that will change that thought.  St. James will have you reclined in the chair turning pages and keep you guessing all the way until the end....and isn't that what you want in a book ??

There is so much to love about this story.... the people, Penn's past, Penn's future, the 2 attractive brothers, the Chocolate Box, the quaint little seaside town, the chocolate, Penn's crazy and vicious dog.... And like I said no review will do it justice.....YOU have to read it for yourself !!!  

The only thing that you will not like is that it ends.....but hopefully it won't be long before there is a second book in this AMAZING series.

Review by Missi S.




Monday, 11 September 2017

Dead in the Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River #1) by Denise Swanson


Dead in the Water

The first book in a brand new series featuring New York Timesbestselling author Denise Swanson's beloved Scumble River setting and characters, Dead in the Water is a gripping mystery that won't let you go until you've turned the last page.

A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder--oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there's certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can't see how the community will ever recover--especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke's death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal's hit list?  (Summary via Goodreads)



Denise Swanson's new series beginning with Dead in the Water is a smash !!!  And I'm not just saying that because the town of Scumble River is dealing with tornado's and the after effects.  

You will fall in love with Skye and Wally and the love they have for each other and their community.  With Wally being the Chief of Police he has a lot to deal with regarding the tornado and then when a dead body is discovered it becomes over-whelming.  But before he can begin any kind of investigation, he is sent on an errand by the Mayor and kidnapped.

You can't help but worry about Skye as you read the story seeing as she is very pregnant, dealing with the tornado destroying her home and then not knowing where Wally is.  Her strength and determination are amazing.

Swanson also has the over-bearing mother, the unlikable mayor and an overly rich father.  Skye's mother, who also works as a dispatcher for the police, is like any mother when her daughter is pregnant.....or just a tad bit more but you can see that she only wants whats best for her daughter.  The Mayor, who is also Skye's uncle, on the other hand is a horrible person !!  With him there is instant hatred that you will have throughout the book.  Which is fine, there always has to be someone to dislike, even if its not the murderer.  And everyone wants a father or father-in-law like Carson, Wally's dad.  He is so rich that it is crazy but what he does with his money only makes you love him.

Not only does Swanson tell a great, mind catching story but the characters are so unique as well.  Even the motorcycle gang has loveable characters, if you can wrap your head around that.

Dead in the Water was extremely hard to put down.  You will want to continue reading to see what happens in Scumble River, who killed the councilman Zeke, and how Skye and Wally handle the tornado.  

It is clear when reading Dead in the Water that family and community mean everything to the people of Scumble River and the extent that a family member will do for their family is the difference between life and death.....

Review by Missi S.





Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Knit before Dying (Tangled Web Mystery #2) by Sadie Hartwell


A Knit before Dying

A new business might add some much-needed charm to downtown Dorset Falls—and draw tourists to Josie’s yarn shop. But when someone gets murdered, a close-knit community could come undone . . .
 
Shop owner Josie Blair is finally settling into the pace of living in Dorset Falls, Connecticut. Between running Miss Marple’s Knits, jumpstarting a blog, and handcrafting items with the help of her knitting pals, Josie’s too preoccupied to worry about her past in New York. And thanks to Lyndon and Harry, the owners of the brand new antique shop across the street, she has another project in her midst—repurposing a box of vintage crocheted doilies adorned with the most curious needlework . . . 
 
But before Josie can formally welcome her neighbors, she discovers Lyndon stabbed to death by a rusty old pair of sheep shears on the floor of his shop. Police have pinned Harry as the killer, but Josie isn’t so sure. Now, she’s lacing up for another homicide investigation—and no eyelet or stitch can go unexamined, lest she herself becomes ensnared in the criminal’s deadly design . . . 
 
INCLUDES ORIGINAL KNITTING PATTERNS!  (Summary via Goodreads)



The Tangled Web Mystery series should come with a warning.... You will NOT be able put the books down.  Before you pick up a book you will need to clear your schedule for the forseeable future.  You will get lost with Josie in Dorset Falls and will not want to leave....even when you finish the book.

Sadie Hartwell is an amazing author and her talent is amazing as well  !!  When you are reading her books, you will be taken away on a journey meeting some awesome people.

Josie Blair is just getting use to living in Dorset Falls with her grouchy Uncle Eb.  She is now the proud owner of her Aunt Cora's yarn store and she is about to be a landlady for an antique store opening up next door.  That is until one of the owners is murdered.  Josie has a way with secretly figuring things out. And she always seems to ask the right questions.  

When she is cleaning a box of doiles, one of the doiles is very different and she starts to wonder about who the owner could have been and what secrets the box holds.  It will amaze you how Hartwell can take a case from years ago and work it into the present time and how she involves Josie will knock your socks off !!!

I love Dorset Falls and everything and everyone there !!  I wish it were an actual place that I could visit.  But I'll take reading about it and enjoying my time between the covers of the book....

Review by Missi S.


Yarned and Dangerous (Tangled Web Mystery #1) by Sadie Hartwell


Yarned and Dangerous (Tangled Web Mystery, #1)
Time has not been kind to sleepy Dorset Falls, Connecticut, where an erstwhile resident is hoping to bring a tattered yarn shop back to life—but with a murderer on the loose, the whole town is in knots…
 
Josie Blair left Dorset Falls twelve years ago in hopes of making it big in New York City. But after earning an overpriced master’s degree and getting fired by a temperamental designer, she finds herself heading back to her hometown. Her great-uncle was injured in a car accident, and newly unemployed Josie is the only person available to take care of him. Uncle Eb’s wife didn’t survive the crash, so Josie is also tasked with selling the contents of her Aunt Cora’s yarn shop. But the needling ladies of the Charity Knitters Association pose a far bigger challenge than a shop full of scattered skeins…
 
Miss Marple Knits is one of the few businesses still open in the dreary downtown. Josie can’t imagine how it stayed open for so long, yet something about the cozy, resilient little shop appeals to her. But when one of the town’s most persnickety knitters turns up dead in a pile of cashmere yarn, Josie realizes there’s something truly twisted lurking beneath the town’s decaying fa├žade…  (Summary via Goodreads)


When you read a book, you want the story to take you away.  Well pack your bags ..... you are going to want to move to Dorset Falls !!

In Yarned and Dangerous, the first Tangled Web Mystery series, Sadie Hartwell takes you to Dorset Falls with Josie Blair.  Josie goes there to take care of her great-uncle Eb and to close Aunt Cora's yarn store.  As Josie tries to help Uncle Eb who has a cast on his leg from the car accident that killed Aunt Cora and before she can take inventory of the contents of the yarn store, she finds a woman dead in the storeroom.  It turns out to be one of the woman she recently met that was a member of the Charity Knitters Association.

With the help of another member of the Association she begins taking inventory of the store however her heart isn't into it.  And then some strange things start happening that make Josie wonder about the people in this small town.

Hartwell has made a great character out of Josie you cannot help but fall in love with her.  And you will even find a place for her grouchy Uncle Eb along with everyone else in town.  You will instantly want to have coffee at the general store and stroll along Main Street even though there aren't a lot of businesses on it.

Dorset Falls has something for everyone so find a comfy spot to sit, grab a beverage and a snack and settle in with Yarned and Dangerous.  I was so engrossed in the story that I read it in one day.  That is not required or recommended....take your time and rest assured.....there is a second book in the series, A Knit Before Dying and I am dying to read it !!!

Review by Missi S.



   

Monday, 28 August 2017

Cat Got Your Diamonds (Kitty Couture Mystery #1) by Julie Chase


Cat Got Your Diamonds (Kitty Couture Mystery #1)

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true--until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat's meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.  (Sumary via Goodreads)




I actually started this series on Book 2, Cat Got Your Cash, and I loved it so much I just had to read the one that started it all.  

Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase is the first book in the Kitty Couture Mystery series and this series is such a treat to read !!  It doesn't matter that I read the first two out of order because as soon as you start reading you are completely engrossed in the story.  Chase's writing makes it so easy to become a part of the story.   Your imagination takes off while you read and you can see everything that you are reading !!

You will fall in love with Lacy and want to work in her store.  She owns Furry Godmother which is a store that makes accessories and outfits for pets !!  And Lacy makes they all herself.  Imagine one of your favorite clothing stores and picture all the things in it are for pets to wear.....how fun is that !!!

You can also respect Julie in the way that even though she comes from money, she wants to handle the business without the help of her family money.  She is a very independent and determined woman .... and she can take care of herself.  Even when there is an intruder in her shop, someone is trying to scare her and the sexy Detective that all the women in town are drooling over is trying to protect her, she remains strong.  

You will appreciate the relationship she has with her parents.  And even though her mother comes from old money and has extravagant dinner parties, she is still a down to earth mother....most of the time.  And her father is like most fathers in that he wants his daughter to be happy.  They are there for her no matter what and as you read you can see the love that they all share.

And the ladies in town and the pets that they have that need attention from Lacy's store are a HOOT !!  I know dressing up dogs is no big deal, thats been done for a while.  But chickens and llamas ??  And there are rivals among the ladies and who can outdo who and which pets will have the best outfits !!  The ladies in town, including her own mother, are going to keep Lacy's store a float.

I am in love with this series and am very glad that Book 3, Cat Got Yoru Secrets is in my pile to read.  I cannot wait to see what Furry Godmother has in store next........

Review by Missi S.