Tuesday, 30 May 2023

All That Glitters (A Sgt. Windflower Mystery Book 13) by Mike Martin

Sergeant Winston Windflower is moving on to a new chapter of his life, no longer an RCMP officer but now a Community Safety Officer in the small community of Grand Bank, Newfoundland.

But when a body is found in the bed and breakfast he co-owns, diamonds are found in the body’s digestive system, and then Windflower’s friend Dr. Sanjay, who was given the diamonds for safekeeping, is kidnapped, it’s clear that crime has returned once more to Grand Bank.
Windflower finds himself back in the thick of it, helping his newly promoted friend, RCMP Corporal Eddie Tizzard, track down a ruthless diamond smuggler who will stop at nothing — kidnapping, even murder — to pull off his dirty business.
This is another finely spun Windflower mystery that contrasts suspense and tension with the joys of friendship, family, and gratitude.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I hope you have been reading the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series since the beginning but if you haven't, that is okay, it just gives you more books to add to your to be read pile and another great author to follow.

All That Glitters is the thirteenth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series and Windflower is trying to slow his life down.  He has left his job as Sergeant of the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has accepted a job as a Community Safety Officer.  He will be working along side his best friend's wife.  Eddie Tizzard and Carrie Evanchuk worked for Windflower and both have continued elsewhere but Carrie will be back to work with Windflower.  And Windflower's right hand gal, Betsy, will again be working her magic looking after everything in the office.

Unfortunately Windflower is being pulled back in when a dead body is discovered at the Bed and Breakfast that Windflower and his wife Sheila run.  And things get even worse when Dr. Sanjay does the autopsy and finds the cause of death to be interanl bleeding from tears caused by a bag of diamonds breaking in the deceased stomach.  And when Dr. Sanjay is kidnapped Windflower steps up to work along side Eddie as Eddie has recently been appointed as Inspector when the new Inspector dies after an accident.

Things are a lot different for Windflower and Eddie as Windflower was Eddie's boss before he changed positions and the two do not get much time to figure things out before they are thrown into the case.....but both men will do whatever it takes to save Sanjay as well as catch the criminals.

Martin, as always, will have readers on the edge of their seats reading this latest installment in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.  The characters in the books come alive in your mind and you will wish they were real and you could tag along.....but reading the book and jumping into the story will be exciting enough.  Martin has always been able to open readers mind and capture your imagination and run with it.  I cannot get enough of this series and LOVE where Martin takes the story.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Viviana Valentine Goes Up River (Girl Friday #2) by Emily J. Edwards

1950, New York. Viviana Valentine–Girl Friday turned partner to New York’s top investigator, Tommy Fortuna–is drawn into a sordid new case when Buster Beacon, a wealthy man of science, beckons them to a party at his mansion north of the city. There, Buster entertains blue-blooded friends as well as investors keen to make a dollar on the many advancements made in his home laboratory, but he’s been hearing strange noises in the night coming from his expansive estate, and he doesn’t know who to trust.

Once Viviana and Tommy arrive, the party is snowed in. And suddenly, there is a dead body and nowhere to hide. Who killed the disguised federal agent in their midst? And how have details from the top-secret lab become public? Once chomping at the bit to be brought into this mysterious life, Viviana wonders if she’s ready for the risks that come with the territory—risks that rise treacherously high as the killer targets the next victim.

Set in the gritty, noir world of 1950 New York City, Emily J. Edwards’s Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River packs all the elements mystery fans love: an irresistibly clever protagonist, a posh cast of heroes and villains, and a murder case that could defy even the most seasoned investigator.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Readers fell in love with Viviana and Tommy in Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man by Emily J. Edwards, the first book in the Girl Friday Mystery series and now you will fall head over heels in love with them again in the second book, Viviana Valentine Goes Up River.

In Viviana Valentine Goes Up River Viviana and Tommy are going to a mansion out of the city when they are hired by a rich scientist to come and stay as guests undercover.  Buster Beacon has been hearing strange and scary noises in his big house and wants to get to the bottom of them.  So Tommy and Viviana are invited along with a group of other guests for a weekend party.  Viviana and Tommy are undercover as an engaged couple but will be investigating the sounds.  Tommy has also brought in another person undercover so that they can work together to solve the case.

Unfortunately the party ends up getting snowed in and one of the group becomes ill.  It is soon learned that the gentlemen was poisoned and will die soon.  This ignites a fire under Tommy and Viviana to find out who is the murderer and why they killed him.

Even though Viviana and Tommy are not into science and technology, they jump into this case aggressively and posing as an engaged couple staying in the same room helps with their communication and they soon realize how comfortable they are with each other.

Readers cannot help but love this series and Edwards knows how to end the story leaving the reader wanting more....but we have to be patient and wait for the next book in the series.  And seeing how she left this second book, I can only imagine where things will go next and I am excited  !!!

Thursday, 18 May 2023

A Novel Disguise (A Lady Librarian Mystery Book 1) by Samantha Larsen

When Miss Tiffany Woodall assumes the identity of her half-brother after his death, she realizes she isn’t the only one with a secret to hide in this historical series debut, perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn and Sherry Thomas.

1784 London. Miss Tiffany Woodall didn’t murder her half-brother, but she did bury him in the back garden so that she could keep her cottage. Now, the confirmed spinster has to pretend to be Uriah and fulfill his duties as the Duke of Beaufort’s librarian while searching Astwell Palace for Uriah’s missing diamond pin, the only thing of value they own. Her ruse is almost up when she is discovered by Mr. Samir Lathrop, the local bookseller, who tries to save her from drowning while she's actually just washing up in a lake after burying her brother.

Her plan is going by the book, until the rector proposes marriage and she starts to develop feelings for Mr. Lathrop. But when her childhood friend, Tess, comes to visit, Tiffany quickly realizes her secret isn’t the only one hidden within these walls. The body of a servant is found, along with a collection of stolen items, and someone else grows mysteriously ill. Can Tiffany solve these mysteries without her own disguise being discovered? If not, she’ll lose her cottage and possibly her life.  (Summary via Goodreads)

WOW !!!!  A Novel Disguise, the first book in the new series A Lady Librarian Mystery series by Samantha Larsen is a CRAZY fun read !!!

In A Novel Disguise main character Tiffany Woodall finds herself in a very bad place.  She keeps house for her half-brother Uriah.  The half-siblings are the only family each of them has left unfortunately there is no love there between them.  Uriah looks down at Tiffany but allows her to stay with him in the cottage he has because of his job as librarian for the Duke of Beaufort in his personal library.  Tiffany keeps house for Uriah but she could never live on her own as women during that time had very little rights.

After Tiffany finds Uriah in bed dead after being violently ill, she comes up with a plan so that she can keep the cottage.....but if discovered she could lose everything.  Tiffany is able to dress up in her half-brother's clothes and goes to the Duke's estate and resumes Uriah's duties as librarian.  Luckily no one realizes it is Tiffany and not Uriah....but she is always on her toes and afraid of being discovered.

Tiffany really enjoys the library and loves sitting in the quiet room getting lost in the books and the stories.  Unfortunately when the lady's maid for the Duchess is found dead in her quarters in the same manner as Uriah and it is concluded that she was poisoned, Tiffany wonders if Uriah had been poisoned also and it wasn't just his usual stomach issues ?

Tiffany finds things getting more and more difficult as she tries to be both herself and her brother as well as try to look into the two deaths.  Tiffany comes up with a plan to be able to make things easier for herself but she will have to give up herself completely in order to stay in the cottage and job that she loves......

Readers will love A Novel Disguise !! You immediately fall in love with Tiffany and everything that she does to keep her cottage.  Everything in this debut book will make you a fan and have you looking forward to Tiffany's next adventure.

Friday, 5 May 2023

Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man (Girl Friday #1) by Emily J. Edwards

Life as a secretary in New York just got tougher when Viviana Valentine's boss winds up dead in this debut historical mystery, perfect for fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Frances Brody.

New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine is Girl Friday to the city’s top private investigator, Tommy Fortuna. The clients can be frustrating, and none more maddening than fabulously wealthy Tallmadge Blackstone, who demands Tommy tail his daughter, Tallulah, and find out why she won’t marry his business partner, a man forty years her senior. Sounds like an open-and-shut case for a P.I. known for busting up organized crime—but the next day, Viviana opens the office to find Tommy M.I.A. and a lifeless body on the floor.

The cops swoop in and Detective Jake Lawson issues a warrant for Tommy’s arrest. Desperate to clear Tommy’s name, Viviana takes on the Blackstone case herself. When she goes out for a night on the town with the heiress, she begins to learn the secrets behind Tallulah’s life and loves—and discovers that the body in the office is none other than Tallulah’s betrothed. Meanwhile, Lawson is itching to solve his murder case, and continues harassing Viviana for answers—until she’s the victim of an attack by a group of goons hooked up with a gangster named Santino Napolitano, a.k.a. Tino the Conderoga. Tino’s connected to the death of Tommy’s brother, and now he’s trying to get to Tommy through Viviana.

But Tommy’s still missing, and Tino is still out for blood. As Viviana digs into the dirty history of the Blackstone empire, she suddenly realizes the true danger at hand. Now, it’s up to her to find her missing boss and make sure she doesn’t turn up D.O.A.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Viviana Valentine definitely gets her man and more in the first book in Emily J. Edwards debut book in her Girl Friday Mystery series !!

In Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man we are introduced to Viviana Valentine who is a secretary for a private investigator, Tommy, in the 1950's in New York City.  Viviana lives in a boarding house for women, loves her housemates, her boss, her city and her job !!  Unfortunately Viviana may be in over her head when she gets to the office one day and finds an unconscious unknown man in Tommy's office and her boss no where to be found .... and this is just after Tommy took on a new case following around the young daughter of a millionaire who specializes in diamonds.  

Tally Blackstone's father has arranged for her to marry his business partner who happens to be old enough to be her grandfather !!  Tommy is hired to follow her around in order to obtain blackmail information to insure that the marriage happens.  Unfortunately Tommy disappears, Viviana finds the unknown man in the office and she has become friendly with Tally by accident.

While Viviana tries to locate Tommy she also begins her own investigation into the unknown man and who he is plus she looks into the Blackstone's and their lives.  But someone doesn't want Viviana to solve the case when they break into the house and attack her as they flee the house.  This brings one of her least favorite people into the picture, Detective Jake Lawson. 

Even though Lawson decides to provide around the clock protection for Viviana and her roommates, the girls still find time to help her investigate the cases.  But Viviana may have bitten off more than she can handle when the cops can't even provide the protection required.

Readers will love this book and the story !!!  The way that Edwards writes the scenes will have readers feeling like they are reading a black and white film....you can hear and see everything and you will love it !!!  I high recommend adding this book to your to be read pile !!


Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Short-Circuited in Charlotte (Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery #2) by Amy Patricia Meade

The next installment in Amy Patricia Meade’s Vermont series takes classic mystery high-tech!

When US Forest Ranger, Nick Buckley, is invited to the Creator’s Cavalcade to present his employer’s environmental initiatives, his wife, Stella, sees the science and technology driven event – which takes place on the grounds of a luxurious nineteenth century estate – as a holiday from the drudgeries of new homeownership and small-town life. However, when the Cavalcade’s Founder and Director, Philip Morehouse, is found dead in his bed of an apparent heart attack and the inventor of geodesic yurt housing is discovered bludgeoned to death, it quickly becomes apparent that this will be a working weekend for both Buckleys.

With a cast of characters that includes a Steampunk designer, a robotics engineer, an Italian fiber optic artist, a recycled materials percussionist, a glass-blowing anatomist, and a French chef who is a master of molecular gastronomy, it’s clear that everyone at the Cavalcade possessed both the brains and technological know-how to make Morehouse’s death seem accidental. But did they? Was Morehouse’s death due to an ongoing heart issue or something far more sinister? And how could his death be linked to the brutal bludgeoning of a man who sought to use his creation to shelter the homeless?

Only by embracing her inner “geek” can Stella solve the mystery behind both men’s unfortunate demises. But can she do so before the killer strikes again? And, more importantly, can she do so before the Cavalcade’s all-vegan menu drives burger-loving Nick to drastic measures?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Amy Patricia Meade set the stage nicely with the first book in the Pret' Near Perfect Mystery series, Well-Offed in Vermont.  She introduced us to Stella and Nick Buckley who had packed up their lives and moved from fast paced New York to the quieter lifestyle of Vermont.....or so they thought.  Unfortunately shortly after arriving in their new home, they found a dead body in their well.  Stella, not having a job any more took it upon herself to solve the case.

Fast forward to the second book in this series, Short-Circuited in Charlotte....Nick and Stella are going to Charlotte for a weekend for Nick's job.  Nick works for the U.S. Forest Services and they are going to the Creators' Cavalcade where they are participating in the art and technology festival.  They will be staying in the main house along with a selection of other participants.  Unfortunately on the morning that the festival is suppose to kick off, Philip Morehouse is found dead in his bed and shortly after that another partricipant who decided to stay in his tent on the festival grounds overnight is found stabbed to death.

Even though Stella and Nick just met everyone, Stella is again drawn to the case and when Morehouse's fiancee, Meagan, asks Stella to look into the deaths Stella gladly agrees.  The local police feel that Morehouse possibly died from natural causes even though he recently received a clean bill of health from his doctor.  Meagan doesn't agree with their assessment.

So Stella takes it upon herself, with gentle nudging from Nick and Meagan and casually talks to everyone that is staying in the house and the few employees that were present.  However before Stella can get any headway in the investigation she finds Morehouse's step-son, Mark, knocked out outside on a path.....

Stella needs to step it up if she is going to solve the murders and Mark's attack before someone else gets hurt or killed.  Unfortunately some people are not telling the truth and there are secrets some are trying desperately to keep covered up.

Readers will love these books. You get to meet Nick and Stella and their new home, town and its residents in the first book and then you are whisked away to an entire different place with a whole new cast of characters.  Meade is definitely making sure readers do not get bored and are kept on their toes.   And if the ending of Short-Circuited in Charlotte is any indication, we will again be traveling with Nick and Stella in the next installment.....and I cannot wait !!!!

Thursday, 27 April 2023

Champagne, Sunrise, & Dead Guys (Gianna Mancini Mysteries # 9) by Jennifer Fischetto

From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Fischetto comes another scary-good Gianna Mancini mystery!

Gianna Mancini has a knack for finding dead bodies...which is convenient since she can communicate with the dearly departed. However there are some occasions where she wishes the gift didn't follow. For example—dinner with her family at a posh restaurant where Gianna has a special announcement to celebrate. But when a trip to the ladies room results in Gianna discovering food critic Tamara Evans stabbed to death, the dream of a ghost-free night is dashed.

Tamara turns out to be a first class snob, and Gianna decides she has no reason to get involved with this recently departed soul. That is until her homicide detective brother asks her for assistance with her special gift in finding Tamara's killer. With an angry ex-husband, a young smitten bartender, a grouchy restaurateur Tamara gave a scathing review to, and even some of Gianna’s family members all making the suspect list, pinning down the culprit is not going to be as easy as she hopes.

And when Gianna’s snooping goes too far, will the killer determine that this is Gianna’s last course?

What critics are saying about the Gianna Mancini Mysteries:

"Brilliant! Jennifer Fischetto has spun an entertaining tale."
~ Kings River Life Magazine

"Quirky but oh so fun cozy mystery. If you like your cozy mysteries on the humorous side, then look no further!"
~ Fresh Fiction

"Jennifer Fischetto serves up a delicious cozy mystery with this fun ghost story. If you are a fan of the genre this is a fun read that will leave you with a smile."
~ Night Owl Reviews    (Summary via Goodreads)

I cannot believe that Champagne, Sunrise & Dead Guys is the first book of Jennifer Fischetto's that I have read .... and her Gianna Mancini Mystery series has nine books in the series !!!  Well even though this is the first book in this nine book series that I have read, I was not lost at all !!  I was able to get into the story immediately and I was totally a member of Gianna's family instantly !

In Champagne, Sunrise, & Dead Guys Gianna and her boyfriend Julian get engaged .... and if that doesn't get readers interested immediately then....  when they gather all of Gianna's family together to share this wonderful news, a woman is murdered !!!  Gianna excuses herself to go to the ladies room and walks in just as the woman's spirit leaves her earthly body.   Oh yeah a big part in this series is that Gianna can talk to and see the recently deceased and kind of helps them move onto the next phase of their afterlife....which involved the big walk in freezer in the deli that Gianna's parents own.

One good thing with this series is that Gianna doesn't keep the ghost seeing thing to herself.  Her entire family, along with Julian, know that she sees dead people and helps them.  And her brother Enzo is a detective for the police department so that can get wierd.

So in this latest book Tamara Evans is stabbed to death in the bathroom of The Epicurean which is the restaurant that her ex-husband owns.  Tamara's ex-husband, Roberto, is also a "client" of Julian's.  I think in this series Julian's job is more secretive that what Gianna does.  Julian is a private investigator who does some things that could be placed in the gray area of a black and white setting.  

So while Gianna tries to work with Tamara to see who would have wanted to stab a food critic and the ex-wife of a restaurant owner, Julian decides to work his angle and see what he can uncover.

Unfortunately Tamara is clueless as to who would want her dead and isn't completely honest with Gianna so Gianna has to do some gray area digging of her own.  Then she finds her cousin is in town because her husband wanted space and moved in with his friend in town.  Not only is Claudia in town but her husband, Henry, is a bartender at The Epicurean with his longtime friend, Heath.  

Gianna has a long list of suspects as well as getting engaged and having anxiety over that so she isn't thinking clearly about anything !!  Luckily she has a very understanding and patient fiance and a ghost that is kind of being helpful.

Readers will love this series no matter which book you start with.  I thoroughly loved this ninth book in the series and can only imagine how much fun the previous books were.  It has been a while since I've read a book involving ghosts and murder and I have to say I missed it.  Thank you Jennifer for bringing me back around to the paranormal fun !!!


Tuesday, 25 April 2023

A Star Is Dead (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #4) by Elaine Viets

Hollywood diva Jessica Gray is on the last leg of her one-woman show when she suffers a sudden and fatal illness . . . but Angela Richman thinks there's more to it.

"Ageless" Hollywood diva Jessica Gray is finishing the last leg of her one-woman show in St Louis, Missouri, and the nearby town of Chouteau Forest is dazzled. During the show she humiliates three homeless women onstage, fires her entourage - not for the first time - and makes a bitter enemy of the town's powerful patriarch.

After she collapses at an after-show party and is rushed to the hospital, she ignores the advice of her doctors and discharges herself in order to return to LA. On the way to the airport she suffers a deadly coughing fit. It was poison. When Angela Richman's friend, Mario, is arrested for the murder and faces the death penalty, she is compelled to investigate.

With so many grudges held against the actress and Mario's life on the line, the stakes are higher than ever.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets is a great series to get lost into.  Readers cannot help but fall in love with Angela Richman, her job, her friends, and the cases she handles and the ones that she inserts herself into.....and in A Star Is Dead Angela gets herself deep into a death investigation.

In the fourth book in this series A Star Is Dead Hollywood Superstar Jessica Gray is performing her one-woman show in St. Louis and Angela is invited to the show by her very talented hairdresser, Mario.  Mario is over the moon excited that he has been chosen to do Jessica's hair for the show.  Little does Angela know that Jessica is a horrible person.  But she soon learns that when Jessica parades three homeless women onto the stage and treats them poorly.  

Angela wants nothing to do with the "superstar" but Mario talks her into going with him to the after party at the home of Reggie Du Pres, the center of the exclusive neighborhood called the Forest.  While at the party Jessica becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital.  At the hospital she is surrounded by Mario and three of Jessica's assistants.  Jessica signs herself out of the hospital because she cannot wait to get out of the hick town but on the way to the airport she becomes very sick and they turn the limo around and take her back to the hospital.  Unfortunately Jessica is pronounced dead and it is being ruled murder.  Luckily Mario had called Angela and the entire episode was recorded on Angela's phone.  But her phone was dropped and she wasn't able to recover the video ..... and Angela's least favorite detective is on the case and arrests Mario for Jessica's murder.

Angela knows that Mario did not kill Jessica and decides to look into the murder.  Unfortunately it turns out that none of Jessica's assistants liked her very much and it seems they all have reasons to want her out of their lives.....but were they willing to murder her ??

Readers cannot help but love this series.  To follow around Angela and see her at her job, a death investigator is very interesting and provides great entertainment.  And it seems there are always deaths to investigate in the Forest.  Readers will love, and hate, the characters in these stories and you will want to grab the next book as soon as you finish the current one you are reading.