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 crime....like 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 story....you 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 author....cool 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 fiancĂ© 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.

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LIST OF CHARACTERS

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