Monday, 22 May 2017

Death in the Abstract (Katherine Sullivan Mysteries #2) by Emily Barnes

Death in the Abstract: A Katherine Sullivan Mystery

Retired police chief Katherine Sullivan moved away from Edina, Minnesota to feed her artistic soul in New Mexico. But when she receives an urgent call, her serenity is shattered. Nathan Walker, her best friend and former colleague from her days on the police force, is missing and his crew of security experts hasn’t seen him in days. Now it’s up to Katherine to fly home and track him down.

Meanwhile, Edina is reeling from the murder of a local woman, which looks more and more like it could have a connection to Nathan's disappearance. And as Katherine digs deeper into the investigation, locating Nathan’s abandoned car and compiling a list of potential kidnappers, another body is found--and Katherine fears time is running out for her friend.

Finding herself reluctantly pulled into a new case, Katherine must set aside her artistic pursuits and tear herself away from her darling grandchildren in order to save her best friend in Death in the Abstract, the compelling sequel to Emily Barnes' The Fine Art of Murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)

It started with 4, Katherine, Sully, Nathan and Terry.  They were brought together when Sully and Nathan were partners on the force. Sadly Sully was killed while on the job and Terry lost her battle with cancer.  Now it was 2, Katherine and Nathan.  When Katherine retired from the force and moved away, she still kept in touch with Nathan.  So when she received a call and the caller ID said it was Nathan there was no reason to be alarmed.  That is until she answered the call and it wasn't Nathan on the other end.

It was Rosie, one of Nathan's employees, on the other end.  They were calling Katherine to tell her Nathan was missing !!  The last time they spoke to their boss was on Friday.....3 days ago.  They needed help anad they knew Katherine would be there as soon as possible to help find him.

Interesting tidbit of information....Nathan owned a security and survelliance business since leaving the force.

As soon as Katherine got into town, her focus was on finding Nathan.  She even had to play nice with the current Chief of Police who wasn't a fan of her's.  A missing person was not a priority to him when they had a murder and a killer to catch.  Katherine worked with Nathan's crew going through files and re-visiting the appointments he had on Friday.

After meeting with Nathan's appointments, Katherine isn't left with much to go on.  One residence from that day doesn't feel right so she returns with one of the crew.  When they find the door ajar, they venture inside just in time to see someone running out the back door.  They also hear banging coming from upstairs.  When they investigate they find Nathan gagged and tied up !!!

Unfortunately that isn't the end !!  As they continue to investigate why Nathan was kidnapped in the first place, another person is killed.  Does that have anything to do with Nathan's kidnapping  or the other death ?  

Emily Barnes introduces the reader to an assortment of characters and storylines that twist and turn and possibly all end up at the same place.  In Death in the Abstract you will find yourself drawn into the story and your heart rate may speed up at times....but its all good.  Trust me you'll see !!!

Review by Missi S.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Pugs, Thugs, and Murder (Pet Shop Mystery #6) by Susie Gayle

Pugs, Thugs, and Murder (Pet Shop Mysteries #6)

Pet shop owner and hesitant novice investigator Will Sullivan is headed south, for the warm sunny beaches of North Carolina. With his girlfriend Sarah, his dog Rowdy, and their three-pawed kitten Basket, they hope to escape the troubles of Seaview Rock, even if just for a little while, swapping it for the charming shore-side town of Angler Cove. But soon after arriving, Rowdy digs up a human bone from the sand of their private stretch of beach. What was supposed to be a romantic getaway becomes an exploration into a three-year-old cold case involving twin cops, jilted lovers, and one chubby pug.  (Summary via Goodreads)

This is the first book in The Pet Shop mysteries that I have read. It is book six and I plan to go back and read the first five. I loved this book! 

Fast paced read with great characters. Fell head over heels for Rowdy, Will's dog that really really likes to dig. The secondary characters, especially Diego are well written. His restaurant sounds so good! Mexican food rocks.

Unfortunately Will and Sarah, his girlfriend are getting away for a vacation but things don't go as planned. They end up in the middle of another murder mystery. Can they enjoy their time away from Seaview Rock or will Angler Cove bury them in the sand???

Review by Penny M.

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Convenient Cadaver (Grandma Bertha Solving Murders Book 1) by Matt Ferraz

The Convenient Cadaver (Grandma Bertha Solving Murders Book 1)
When Grandma Bertha moved to her son’s place, she brought along three dogs, several cases of beer and many, many horror film DVDs. While her daughter-in-law insists on the idea of sending Grandma Bertha to a retirement home, a dead girl appears near the house, shot three times in the back. Many years ago, Grandma Bertha let a murderer escape for not trusting in her own detective abilities. Now, armed with her wit and wisdom, she decides to solve that crime before the police. Could this crazy dog lady be a threat to a cold-blooded killer? And for how long can the family stand that situation?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Wow !!  What a hoot !!  I don't know about you but I love when a cozy mystery has an older person solving the a grandmother. 

 Matt Ferraz introduces us to Grandma Bertha in his book The Convenient Cadaver and you cannot help but love her !!  

Grandma Bertha lives in a remodeled garden shed in her son's backyard along with her three dogs.  She has an okay life there.  She has her beer and her collection of horror movies.  She is able to see her grandson Stu often.  The only bad thing is that her daughter-in-law, Lydia, things she belongs in a retirement home.  And Grandma Bertha getting "involved" in a murder that happened right on the other side of the wall in the alley helps strengthens Lydia's case.

Grandma Bertha won't let it go..... The murdered victim is the young daughter of Todd's boss and it looks like the crime scene was staged in the alley on purpose.  Grandma Bertha is very interested in finding the killer.....especially when her family is threatened.   It seems that the police are actually listening to what she has to say....which is very rare.   

Can Grandma Bertha solve the murder ?  Can she show Todd and Lydia that she can take care of herself ?  
Just cause a person is old doesn't mean that they can't do what they want....even if it is solving a murder.....or two.  Grandma Bertha proves that !!!

There is so much to like and love in this can't help but fall in love with Grandma Bertha and want to see her succeed.  And you also cannot help but dislike Lydia throughout most of the book....which is okay.  Every book needs a villian or two.  

I look forward to the next Grandma Bertha adventure.....Ferraz ends the story on a very interesting note and Grandma Bertha is already digging her toes in the crime scene....

Review by Missi S.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Edited Out (Mysterious Detective #2) by E.J. Copperman

Edited Out (Mysterious Detective #2)

Mystery author Rachel Goldman is getting used to the idea that her fictional creation Duffy Madison has somehow taken flesh-and-blood form and is investigating missing person cases not far from where Rachel lives. Wait. No. She’s not getting used to it at all, and the presence of this real-life Duffy is making her current manuscript—what’s the word?—lousy.

So she doesn’t want to see Duffy—the living one—at all. To make matters worse, when he shows up at her door and insists on talking to her, it’s about the one thing she doesn’t want to do: Find a missing person. But the man Duffy seeks this time around might be able to solve Rachel’s problem. He might just be the man Duffy was before he became Duffy five years ago. The only problem is she could be letting Duffy lead her into danger yet again…

Entertaining and witty, the second in E.J. Copperman's Mysterious Detective Mystery series Edited Out will delight his fans, both new and old.  (Summary via Goodreads)

A lot of mystery authors write books in a series using a handful of the same characters.  In Edited Out that is no exception but it is in a unique way.....  In Edited Out the main character, Rachel, is herself a mystery right ?  But it gets even better !  It seems that the main character in her series, Duffy Madison, exists.  Unfortunately that is not a good thing for Rachel.  For one thing it makes writing about a fictional character hard when they are "alive".  And it gets even better because Duffy only remembers the last five years of his life which just happens to be when Rachel starting writing about him.

When Duffy approaches Rachel and asks for help finding a missing person, Rachel wants to say no.  She is having enough of a hard time meeting her 1,000 words a day quota, let alone help him.  But when he tells her the missing person, Damien Mosley, could actually be him because Damien died 5 years ago, she finds herself driving to the town Damien lived.

As confusing as this all sounds, it is actually easy to follow and you get lost in the story immediately.  E.J. Copperman keeps the reader entertained form the first word to the last, even gets you to chuckle some and holding your breath in parts.....  It is such a FUN read !!  I encourage all readers to hang around with Rachel and Duffy for a bit.....

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Thread and Gone (Mainely Needlepoint #3) by Lea Wait

Thread and Gone

When a priceless antique is stolen, murder unravels the peaceful seaside town of Haven Harbor, Maine…
Angie Curtis and her fellow Mainely Needlepointers know how to enjoy their holidays. But nothing grabs their attention like tying up loose threads. So when Mary Clough drops in on the group’s Fourth of July supper with a question about antique needlepoint she’s discovered in her family Colonial-era home, Angie and her ravelers are happy to look into the matter.
Their best guess is that the mystery piece may have been stitched by Mary, Queen of Scots, famous not just for losing her head, but also for her needlepointing. If they’re right, the piece would be extremely valuable. For safekeeping, Angie turns the piece over to her family lawyer, who places it in her office safe. But when the lawyer is found dead with the safe  (Summary via Goodreads)

I really enjoyed book three in the Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series. I have enjoyed the other two in the series and feel that each can be read alone if you haven't read the earlier ones. One of the reasons I love these books is the history and samples at the beginning of each chapter. The author is great about who,where,and when each were done. I used to cross stitch with my mom as a young girl and enjoy it. I am also a huge history nut and loved the Mary,Queen of Scots and Marie Antionette references throughout the book. I could read about them all day.

The story line in this book had me so intrigued. Besides the history in this book I also loved the characters and theme of family and traditions. You can't put a value on family.
You have the needle pointers at the Fourth of July yearly Maine celebration. This is the first one in 10 years that Angie has been too. She has a dinner party with everyone except Gram of course who is on her honeymoon with Tom. Everything is going great until she has a knock at her door. There on her doorstep are Mary Clough and Rob Trask her fiancé asking about a piece of needle point found in the attic of her parents house that she is trying to clean out. This gets the attention of some of her needle point friends who come and look at the amazing piece. Both Sarah and Ruth think this piece could date back hundreds of years and be very valuable. This peaks the interest of Rob who I have to add I don't like. He seems to only be about the money and value of everything instead of the family value and tradition. Mary is wanting to keep a lot because she has lost both of her parents and wants to keep a piece of them. Really don't know how these two are going to make it??? Everyone agrees that they should put the needlepoint in a safe place while they are researching. They decide to put it in Lenora's office safe which happens to be in her house. Lenora is a lawyer that handles wills, estates, and divorces. Meanwhile Rob is blabbing all over Haven Harbor how valuable this needlepoint could be and that he wants to sell it to buy a boat. But wait, isn't it Mary's? YEAH! Rob and a "friend " end up going to see the needlepoint the next day only to find Lenora dead in her office and the safe cleaned out! Angie feels bad not only because Lenora is dead but she promised Mary it would be safe. Angie and her needlepoint friends begin not only doing research on the needlepoint but investigate why someone would kill Lenora??? Will Angie be able to stay out of the investigation or will she become the next victim? 

I loved this book and found it easy to follow especially if you are a history buff. 

Review by Penny M.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Cut: A Medical Murder Mystery by Amy S. Peele

Cut: A Medical Murder Mystery by [Peele, Amy S.]

While the federal government is launching a national investigation on the -equity- of organ distribution, a female tech CEO flies across the country to get a liver transplant. Soon, well-respected transplant nurse Sarah Golden and her best friend, Jackie, find themselves tangled up in an intense plot to uncover the answer to the question on everyone's mind: Can you buy your way up to the top of the waiting list? Their pursuit of justice brings them to Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago--a sometimes fun, sometimes dangerous roller coaster ride from which they barely escape with their lives.  (Summary via Goodreads)

You couldn't ask for a better debut book by Amy S. Peele.  Her Medical Murder Mystery, Cut, will have you reading well over your bedtime !!

You follow Sarah Golden from Miami to San Francisco and back to Miami but it's no vacation.  While finishing her contract in Miami as a traveling nurse for the organ transplant department one of the patients rubs her the wrong way.  She tries to put it out of her mind so she can concentrate on planning a trup to Cuba with her best friend Jackie.  Unfortunately the patient, Amanda, lives in San Francisco and is best friends with the head of the department that she just took a job with.

Sarah cannot shake the feeling that Amanda didn't receive her liver through the proper channels and she knows that Amanda's boyfriend, Sergio had something to do with it.  But while her and Jackie are "investigating", they are threatened..... 

Sarah has to make a quick decision whether to pursue the case or let it go.  After all is it really worth her and Jackie's lives ??  Is one organ donation case going to change things ?

Amy Peele opens your eyes on the organ distribution field and everything that pertains to it.  It amazes me when authors write a story that has a lot of research and fact finding involved.  The reader doesn't always think about it...we just read and enjoy the story.  But as Peele has been an RN for many years and her field of choice was organ donation and transplantation, you can rest assure that you will walk away with some knowledge as well as a good story !!!

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Easter Escapade (Zoe Donovan Mystery #24) by Kathi Daley

Easter Escapade (Zoe Donovan Mystery #24)

In the first ever crossover episode, Zak and Zoe join forces with Hawaiian visitors Luke and Lani, to find out who killed a historian visiting Ashton Falls in order to find a treasure map left by his grandfather a hundred years earlier. Meanwhile, Ellie and Levi move in with Zak and Zoe while the boathouse is being renovated and Alex helps Ellie prepare the nursery for baby Eli who is due to be born any day. Throw in some humor and Easter fun and you have a Zak and Zoe crossover mystery.   (Summary via Goodreads)

This is the first crossover book by Kathi Daley and it is amazing, full of adventure and a dead body of course. It was so much fun to see the characters from the different series meet up and join forces to solve a mystery. It was great how Kathi Daley put each characters personalities into the story and was able to intertwine them with each other.

First of all I don't know how Luke got Lani on vacation and away from her beloved Hawaii. He did it and thus begins a new friendship with Zak and Zoe. Zoe meets Lani while she is pulling a body out of the water. Dead! They become instant friends and cohorts in crime solving. They along with their other halfs have to solve a mystery about a historian ending up dead while visiting Ashton Falls looking for a 100 year old treasure map??? Throw in Zoe being overwhelmed by Ellie and Levi moving in with them, the baby coming any day, construction on the boathouse, animals galore, and Elli's mood swings not to mention Easter coming and you have fun, adventure, and stress rolled into one.

Review by Penny M. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Sanctuary by T.M. Brown

Sanctuary by [Brown, T.M.]

Sanctuary introduces newly retired publishing executive, Theo Phillips, and his wife, Liddy, to the time-lost South Georgia town of Shiloh. They leave the shadows of Atlanta and move into a quaint home of notoriety. While making new friends, they discover twenty-first-century challenges threaten the town’s laid-back lifestyle. Theo's interest in a memorial launches him into investigating tragic events that have left Shiloh unsettled. Theo and Liddy’s retirement dreams take a turn that could unravel both them and the idyllic life they and many others look for in Shiloh.  (Summary via Amazon)

This is a story about a husband and wife, Theo and Liddy, who move to a small town and become a part of something greater than they ever could have imagined.  As soon as they arrive they are drawn to a statute of a young man in the Town Square.  Curiousity and Theo's journalistic background draw him to this statute and its background.  As soon as he learns there are unanswered questions regarding the statute, the old City Hall building and a group of kids they've met, Theo digs in to learn what he can.

Shiloh is a town you want to live in, you want to have neighbors like Theo and Liddy and you want to have friends like they have.  In Shiloh everybody knows everything, people help others even if they are strangers, and there's a calm thoughout the town.

Theo and Liddy fit right in immediately.  They are soon involved in the church, Theo is going to write some articles for the local paper, and they even have Thanksgiving with the Mayor.  They are making friends fast and getting involved in everything but is it going to be to much ?  As Theo digs into the fire that burned down the old City Hall building that killed Jesse, will the outcome spark new flames ?  

I LOVED Sanctuary by T, M. Brown and I highly encourage you to read it !!!  I am even going to help you out by providing you with a list of the characters.  As you will see with some of the names, you can become confused very quickly..... AND I don't want that to prevent you from reading the AMAZING story......

Review by Missi S.



Theo and Liddy Phillips

Barb and Bubba Patterson - own and run the Shiloh Motel and BBQ

Nick Arians - Realtor and brother to Joe Arians
Joe Arians - lawyer, wife Melissa, twin 8 year old girls

Betty Priestly - owned house Theo and Liddy bought, husband was Zack, son John (in jail), great aunt of Jessie.

John Priestly - Betty's son, John's cousin, in jail for embezzlement of school fund

Harold Archer - Mayor
Hal Archer - Harold's son, Utilities Department Director
Hank Archer - Harold's son, runs family business, married to Megan
Phillip Archer - Harold's youngest son

Megan Archer - works for Mayor, married to Hank

Jessie Masterson - Marie's son, killed in fire at City Hall while saving the Mayor's sons Hal and Hank, John's cousin

Marie Masterson - Jessie's mother, lives on farm

Larry Scriber - owns newspaper, married to Martha, has daughter, Mary
Martha Scriber - married to Larry, works with Larry 
Mary Scriber- Larry and Martha's daughter, works at newspaper office

Pastor Arnie Wright - Pastor at local church
Judy Wright - Pastor's wife

Tim - paperboy

Sam Simmons - married to Susanna
Susanna Simmons - married to Sam, works for Joe Arians
Jeannie Simmons - Sam and Susanna's daughter, works for Nick Arians
Pete and Andy Slimmons - Sam and Susanna's sons, help out at the farm

Zeb Adams - owns Adams Feed & Hardware
Jay and Jim Abrams - Zeb's sons, help out in family store and at the farm


Monday, 24 April 2017

Mission Impawsible (Paws and Claws Mystery, #4) by Krista Davis

Mission Impawsible by Krista Davis

From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Murder Most Howl "comes another Paws & Claws mystery...
In the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia, there's no love lost when Holly Miller meets her match in a murderer...
Holly and her grandmother, Oma, are working their tails off to prepare the Sugar Maple Inn for an upcoming matchmaking event for pet owners. While Holly has no interest in pairing up, Oma plans on playing Cupid and finding someone to warm her reluctant granddaughter's heart.
Unfortunately, one man Holly does meet is cold, dead cold, and he has a personal letter from Oma in his pocket. As suspicion is cast over the inn's guests, Holly, with the help of her furry friends, Trixie the Jack Russell and Twinkletoes the cat, must fetch the real killer, or she may soon have a date in court.
Includes delicious recipes for owners and pets!"
   (Summary via Goodreads)

I absolutely love this series! 
All of Krista Davis Paws and Claws mysteries grab you from the first page to the last. I do have to admit that this one is my favorite so far because of the Animal Attraction Matchmaking event going on at Wagtail. Pet lovers rejoice! I wish Wagtail, Virginia was a real place because all the characters are so colorful and friendly. 
Krista puts it all in her mysteries, of course you have a mysterious mystery, a dead body, and it keeps you on your toes throughout. You won't want to put it down especially with love in the air. I'm sure you will be surprised that Oma is trying really hard to match Holly up at this event. Is it in the cards for Holly or will she be the only single at the matchmaking event weekend? Or will she become so wrapped up in the mystery that she becomes the main suspect???
You will not be able to put this wonderful installment down in The Paws and Claws mysteries. Don't forget to check out the great pet friendly recipes out at the end of the book.

Review by Penny M.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Weave a Murderous Web (Jane Larson Novels) by Anne Rothman-Hicks, Ken Hicks

Weave a Murderous Web

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support. 

Jane's discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous. 

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.  (Summary via Goodreads)

You couldn't ask for a better title than Weave a Murderous Web for Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks book.  The story that they tell is a maze of people and situations that seem to interlock all of the characters.....some of which do not unravel until the explosive end.  

The story begins with a friend asking a friend for help...something as simple and innocent as that one favor will set the ball in motion.  Jane, at the time, does not know how that one favor asked by her friend, Francine, will lead her down a road of drugs, murder, lies, and money.

But Jane doesn't stop, even when her own life is threatened and she seems to be getting deeper and deeper into the web.  It also becomes clear to her that she doesn't know who she can trust or believe.  Even those closest to her are questionable......

Weave a Murderous Web will have you on the edge of your seat and may cause papercuts from turning the pages to quickly.  But it will all be worth it in the end.....I hope you will be as shocked as I was.

Review by Missi S.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Cat Got Your Cash (Kitty Couture Mystery #2) by Julie Chase

Cat Got Your Cash (Kitty Couture Mystery #2)

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats--and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie's family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie's fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie--if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Cat Got Your Cash is the second book in Julie Chase's Kitty Couture Mystery series and it was such a fun read.  First off you have Lacy who owns a pet fashion and treats shop on a busy fun street in New Orleans.  She brings her cat Penelope to work every day so that she can ride the robot vacuum cleaner.  Long time employee to the family, Imogene, has a quirky hobby of freeing spirits and getting rid of bad mojo.  Then you have the hunky police detective, Jack, her best friend, Scarlet, and her loving but annoying mother.

And the story !!!  Lacy has a meeting with fashion designer, Anne Lane, who she admires.  She is hoping that they can work together on a line of clothes.  Unfortunately when she gets to Lane's house, she finds her dead !!  Lacy then finds herself convincing Lane's attorney to allow her to care for her two Siamese kittens, Cashmere and Cotton.

Lacy has no idea how special these kittens are and the length that someone would go to get them.  When her house is broken into she has to find some where safe for Cashmere and Cotton and solve Anne's murder.  The suspect list is long but with the "help" from her friend the detective she knows that she can crack the case.  But can she solve it before someone else dies ?  

I LOVE books like this.  The storyline is so unique and fun !!!  Even though there is a murder and a case needs to be solved, Chase has a special way of gliding the reader through the story.

The only bad thing that I can say is I wish I had read the first book in this series.  Oh don't get me wrong... I will read it as well as any more Chase writes.  There is too much to like to not be a devoted fan !!!

Review by Missi S.  

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Kale to the Queen (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #1) by Nell Hampton

Kale to the Queen (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #1)
Chef Carrie Ann Cole is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime--an assignment as the new Personal Chef to the Royal Family at Kensington Palace. But no sooner has Carrie Ann touched down across the pond and donned her apron than a dead body crops up beneath the royal kale beds.

With one assistant dead and the other soon under suspicion for his murder, Carrie Ann is scrambling to keep her kitchen up and running. Not to mention she gets off to an immediate bad start with the tempestuous Royal Chef Butterbottom, who has a bitter taste in his mouth since the prestigious position in the Royal Family's kitchen was given to an "over-privileged, under-educated American chef."

But the Royal Family's appetites wait for no one, and Carrie Ann must solve the murder and still get supper on the table on time--even with the annoyingly handsome Head of Security Ian Gordon tracking her every move like an MI6 agent. Suspects abound as an American chef adds a bit of spice to the traditional royal household in the first in Nell Hampton's charming and tasty Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series, Kale to the Queen.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Kale to the Queen is the first book in the Kensington Place Chef Mystery series by Nell Hampton and boy is it a GREAT start !!!

Carrie is hired to be the personal family chef for the Duke and Dutchess and thier children.  This is a great opportunity for her and she cannot wait to get started.  Unfortunately on her second day of employement she comes across one of her assistants murdered in the greenhouse adjacent to her kitchen.  Still recovering from jet leg and trying to get around the humongous  palace, Carrie has her hands full.  But when her other assistant is arrested for the murder, she makes it her job to find the real killer.  This,  however, is not an easy task as she has just arrived in London and doesn't know anyone especially someone that would want to murder her assistant.

Kale to the Queen has a very colorful and lovable group of characters......there is the Royal Chef Butterbottom who is in charge of the Royal families event meals who dislikes all Americans and there is the Head of Security Ian Gordon who is very charming and don't get me started on the hunky gardener....

Pick up Kale to the Queen and let Nell Hampton take you on a trip across the don't need to pack or get a pass port...just pick a comfy place to sit, grab a cup of tea and a cookie and open up your mind.....You will be glad you did !!!

I can tell you this.....I cannot wait for the next installment of the Kensington Palace Chef Mystery series !!  

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Southern Fried (Kenni Lowry #2) by Tonya Kappes

Southern Fried (Kenni Lowry Mystery #2)

In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried… 

After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding. 

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I was so excited when book two in this series came out because it is absolutely wonderful to read. Who could resist Cottonwood, Kentucky and all of it's quirky, fun characters, even the dead one. 

Another member of the town is found dead and again leaves Kenni, her ghostly grandfather Poppa, and her hunky sheriff "friend " Finn to find the clues and solve this mystery before they are deep fried.

This is a wonderful series filled with adventure, a ghost, and of course some romance. This is a hard book to put down. Looking forward to book three.

Review by Penny M.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Fixin' To Die (Kenni Lowry #1) by Tonya Kappes

Fixin' To Die (Kenni Lowry #1)

Kenni Lowry likes to think the zero crime rate in Cottonwood, Kentucky is due to her being sheriff, but she quickly discovers the ghost of her grandfather, the town’s previous sheriff, has been scaring off any would-be criminals since she was elected. When the town’s most beloved doctor is found murdered on the very same day as a jewelry store robbery, and a mysterious symbol ties the crime scenes together, Kenni must satisfy her hankerin’ for justice by nabbing the culprits. 

With the help of her Poppa, a lone deputy, and an annoyingly cute, too-big-for-his-britches State Reserve officer, Kenni must solve both cases and prove to the whole town, and herself, that she’s worth her salt before time runs out.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Cottonwood, Kentucky population is small and quiet with little to no crime, what more could you ask for??? Now Sheriff Kenni Lowry thought the same thing until the town Dr is murdered! The town is in an uproar and wants this murder solved yesterday. They decide to bring in a very handsome Reserve Officer named Finn who quite frankly is annoying Kenni. She doesn't want anyone to know that she is feeling overwhelmed. Then the jewelry store in town is robbed and Kenni is convinced they are connected especially thanks to her grandfathers ghost whispering in her ear. Poppa was the Sheriff for years before he pasted.

Kenni wants to prove not only to herself but the town that she is able to bring a killer to justice.

This is the first book in a new series by Tonya Kappes. I am a good ole southern gal myself and love the town and characters of Cottonwood, Kentucky. Looking forward to more in this new series.

Review by Penny M.

Friday, 7 April 2017

A Woof of Murder (Pet Shop Mystery #8) by Susie Gayle

A Woof of Murder (Pet Shop Mysteries #8)

With the blackmail scandal over and behind him, life in Seaview Rock is pretty good for pet shop owner Will Sullivan—that is, until a town council member is struck by a car in broad daylight, and Will is given reason to believe it was no accident. He and his friends will have to find the culprit, while at the same time trying to keep their secret under wraps, one that would shake the town to its very core. To make matters even more challenging, Sarah’s family is in town for a visit—an overly critical mother and a younger brother with a criminal history. No matter what happens, one thing is for sure: life in Seaview Rock will never be the same.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Exciting, fun read. Love the adventures of Will, Sarah, and Karen as well as the other characters in Seaview Rock.

Just when they thought the scandal was behind them they end up finding out that the past may not be done with them. YIKES! And wouldn't you know poor Sarah is overwhelmed by her mother's visit that maybe the worst thing that occurs in Seaview, even compared to murder! The devil may come to mind? 

Secrets on top of secrets are abound in book eight. This is a great installment in The Pet Shop Mystery series.

Review by Penny M.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Death Crashes the Party (A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery #1) by Vickie Fee

Death Crashes the Party

In the quirky, close-knit town of Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay has a knack for throwing Southern-style soirées, from diamonds-and-denim to black tie affairs, and her best friend Di Souther mixes a mean daiquiri. While planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for high maintenance clients, Liv inconveniently discovers a corpse in the freezer and turns her attention from fabulous fêtes to finding a murderer. Together, Liv and Di follow a trail of sinister secrets in their sweet little town that leads them from drug smugglers to a Civil War battlefield, and just when they think they're whistling Dixie, Liv and Di will find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of the least likely killer of all. . .  .  (Summary via Goodreads)

This book is a great start to a new series. It is set in a little town called Dixie in Tennessee. Love the down home small town feel. You start out getting to know Liv who is the owner of Liv 4 Fun a party planning business. She is getting ready for Mr and Mrs Erdman's 40th wedding anniversary party where she has Mrs Erdman wanting elegant southern charm and Mr Erdman wanting men dressed as bootleggers with moonshine. Yes, you guessed it Liv has her hands full with this party. One of the must have decorations for Mrs Erdman are ice sculptures. So she bought a freezer to put them in prior to the party. They went to check on the size when they found two dead bodies, one on ice and the other in a garbage bag. This is only the start of Liv's bad luck. The police find a connection to her father in laws trucking company, McKay's trucking. This puts everyone on edge and things go down hill from there. 

Liv and her friend Di are on a mission to find the real killer or killers and save McKay's trucking. Will they be able to save themselves from trouble should be the real question???
These characters in Dixie are a hoot.

 I loved the southern charm and close knit family ties. Loved the humor along the way too. At times I was laughing out loud. The story line was well written and kept a steady pace. I really liked the fact that Liv was married. Not many cozies have a main character who is married and I loved how they interacted. The author brought out the close knit southern family, can't beat it. The characters were all great. Can't wait to get to know them better as the series progresses.

Review by Penny M.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Hand Tossed Murder (Papa Pacelli's Pizzeria #8) by Patti Benning

Hand Tossed Murder (Papa Pacelli's Pizzeria Series Book 8)

With the weather starting to warm up and spring approaching, Eleanora Pacelli is busy finalizing her plans for another renovation to Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria, but she ends up having to put her plans on hold temporarily to prepare for a week-long visit by some family friends.
When Chuck and Kat Norman first arrive, the older couple don’t seem to be anything but the nice and normal people that Ellie expected. It isn’t until the first body turns up that she realizes that the couple might not be exactly what they seem. As the sheriff does everything in his power to track down the killer, Ellie and her grandmother have to come to terms with the fact that one of their friends might just be the prime suspect in a double homicide.  (Summary via Goodreads)

This book is more than just great pizza! It is packed full of murder and mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep you coming back for more.

These characters are wonderful and well written. It is very family oriented which I love. Ann Pancelli is the grandmother to Elli who now owns and runs her grandfathers pizzeria after his death. Ann is a strong woman who has given Elli a great role model after her past life in the city was a mess. She is now thriving in Kittiport, Maine and ready to renovate the pizzeria again to bring even more business to the family owned pizzeria. Elli and her handsome sheriff boyfriend Russell seem to have everything on track even with the occasional murder/mystery. 

Ann let's Elli know that they will be having some old friends staying with them for a few weeks. Elli is really excited for her grandmother since she is alone after her grandfather passed except for bunny Ellie's adorable dog and Marlow the talking parrot. Which by the way may play a big role in the upcoming mystery way beyond Elli and Nonna may realize. 
After the arrival of Nonna's friends people seem to be dropping like flies by a mysterious murderer. 

Are Nonna and Elli harboring murderers or is it just coincidence???
They all become involved in the mystery to find out who killed two people in the small town. 

The ending of this book had me fooled. Can't wait for book nine.

Review by Penny M.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A Winter's Tail (Whales and Tails #11) by Kathi Daley

A Winter's Tail (Whales and Tails #11)

Three secrets, first revealed in Grimm's Furry Tail, A Tale of Two Tabbies, and The Cat of Christmas Present, collide in a single horrific moment that leaves one person dead and one fighting for their life. This fast paced cozy mystery will have you glued to the page as Cait and Cody join forces with a cat named Moirai in a race against time to track down a killer.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Five star plus read! I have read all of the books in The Whales and Tails series and love everyone. This one especially keeps you on your toes. From the first page Kathi Daley has you wanting to not stop till the end.

This series and its characters are a perfect mix of friendship, lose, love and mystery that will have you guessing "Who did it" till the end. I love a great mystery that I can't solve till the end. She definitely challenged me. 

If you haven't picked up this series yet you are missing out. A true Cozy mystery you will enjoy.

Review by Penny M.

When the Grits Hit the Fan (Country Store Mysteries #3) by Maddie Day

When the Grits Hit the Fan (Country Store Mysteries, #3)

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Oh how I LOVE hanging out with Robbie at Pans 'N Pancakes....even if there is a killer running loose around town.  Robbie always has her hands full with the restaurant especially when a death occurs in town and she is the one that found the body !!!

Robbie and her friend Lou go snowshoeing around the lake and while crossing over the lake, Robbie happens to look into an iced over ice fishing hole and sees the face of Professor Stilton.  He was just in the restaurant the night before with a group from the Sociology Department from the nearby university.  Now its no secret that he wasn't well liked but to push him into a cold lake ??

Of course being the puzzle solver that she is, Robbie cannot help but show interest in the case...especially when some of the "suspects" are people she knows.  And telling the detective in charge of the case that they are innocent doesn't go over too well for her.  

As well as being a puzzle solver, Robbie is great with multi-tasking.  While she preps for the morning rush or tears down walls upstairs of the restaurant, she allows her brain to wonder and ponder.....  But while working on the upstairs she comes across some items that were hidden in the walls as well as a secret tunnel that leads to the barn.  She talks to Jo, the previous owner of the building who actually lived upstairs about the items.  Jo does confirm that she put the items in the walls many years ago.  Now Jo is also the mother-in-law of Professor Stilton whiich means her daughter also lived upstairs of the restaurant when she was a teenager.  

When Robbie comes across a built in cabinet with a doll and a diary, everything comes together.  All she has to do is get the evidence to the police before her and Abe become 2 more victims.

I just LOVE how Maddie Day writes the Country Store Mystery series.  There are times while you are reading that everything is going nice and smooth but turn the page and as quick as that things take a drastic turn and you are on the edge of your seat holding your breath !!!  And did I mention how AWESOME Robbie is ??  This girl has got it together....even when she doesn't think so !!

When the Grits Hit the Fan is the 3rd book in this delicious series.  What are you waiting for ?  If you haven't dropped into South Lick for a visit, better hurry up...... you don't want to be left behind !!!

Review by Missi S.

***  Maddie Day is also known as Edith Maxwell.  Check out her and her books at    (Tell her Missi sent ya !!) ***