Friday, 17 September 2021

Striking Range (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #7) by Margaret Mizushima

A deadly secret is buried in the Colorado high country--and murder is only the beginning in the seventh gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima's Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

He was suspect number one--the man who tried to kill Deputy Mattie Cobb and may have killed her father thirty years earlier. But when Mattie and cold case detective Jim Hauck reach the Colorado state prison where they will finally get to interview him, he's found dead in his cell. There's only one clue: a map leading to Timber Creek and rugged Redstone Ridge.

Though she usually works with veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie's K-9 partner Robo has just sired a litter of pups, who require special, time-consuming care at Cole's clinic. Left to explore the map's clue without him, Mattie and Robo journey into the burned forest surrounding Redstone Ridge. But before they can finish their search they're called to help investigate the death of a young woman found in a campground filled with elk hunters. Identification of the deceased points to her having recently given birth, but the infant is nowhere to be found.

As a deadly storm descends upon the mountains, covering everything with a layer of ice and snow, Mattie and her team search for the missing newborn. The storm batters the area, taking its toll on the team and forcing the sheriff to call in reinforcements. When new evidence surfaces, they decide that finding the woman's killer will lead them to her baby, making them even more desperate to solve the case.

Then Cole goes missing, stranded alone in the high country with a person that Mattie now suspects is the mastermind behind several murders, including her father's. She and Robo take to the trail to find Cole--but the killer has a cold-blooded plan that threatens them all.   (Summary via Goodreads)


Normally when you read a cozy mystery and there are animals involved, they are cute, cuddly, and if they help solve the case, it is mostly by accident or luck.  However, in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series by Margaret Mizushima, the animal character is one of the main characters and even though Robo is cute and cuddly, he is trained to bring down the bad guys.  Robo is a German shepherd and well trained in the field and works specifically with his partner, Deputy Mattie Cobb in the K-9 department in Timber Creek County in Colorado.  

In Striking Range, the seventh book in this series, the story starts with Mattie visiting another jail where she is meeting another detective, Detective Hauck, who specializes in cold cases and they are going to interview John Cobb who killed Mattie's brother and tried to kill her.  They are hoping to get some answers from him regarding Mattie's fathers death which happened thirty years ago.  Unfortunately before they can interview the inmate, he is found dead in his cell and the case of death looks to be a drug overdose.  This provides more questions than answers and sends Mattie, Robo, Detective Hauck, and her department in Timber Creek up the mountain where she was held hostage but escaped......

While the group is imvestigating the site where Mattie was held looking for answers, they also have a dead body found in a campground in town.  It is identified as a pregnant woman that was just at Mattie's boyfriend's animal clinic but she is no longer pregnant at the campsite.  Mattie, Robo and another detective Stella are racing the clock trying to solve her murder and find the baby......little do they know the web they are about to walk into.  

Mizushima has such a talent in drawing the reader into the story immediately and keeping you focused on everything going on until you reach the end of the book and can breathe again.  I highly recommend this series and know that you will instantly fall in love with everything and everyone involved.


Review by Missi M.



Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Murder at Wakehurst (Gilded Newport Mysteries #9) by Alyssa Maxwell

In the autumnal chill of Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, journalist Emma Cross discovers an instance of cold-blooded murder on the grounds of a mansion... 

Following the death of her uncle, Cornelius Vanderbilt, in September 1899, a somber Emma is in no mood for one of Newport's extravagant parties. But to keep Vanderbilt's reckless son Neily out of trouble, she agrees to accompany him to an Elizabethan fete on the lavish grounds of Wakehurst, the Ochre Point cottage modeled after an English palace, owned by Anglophile James Van Alen.

Held in Wakehurst's English-style gardens, the festivities will include a swordplay demonstration, an archery competition, scenes from Shakespeare's plays, and even a joust. As Emma wanders the grounds distracted by grief, she overhears a fierce argument between a man and a woman behind a tall hedge. As the joust begins, she's drawn by the barking of Van Alen's dogs and finds a man on the ground, an arrow through his chest.

The victim is one of the 400's most influential members, Judge Clayton Schuyler. Could one of the countless criminals he'd imprisoned over the years have returned to seek revenge--or could one of his own family members have targeted him? With the help of her beau Derrick Andrews and Detective Jesse Whyte, Emma begins to learn the judge was not the straight arrow he appeared to be. As their investigation leads them in ever-widening circles, Emma will have to score a bull's eye to stop the killer from taking another life...
   (Summary via Goodreads)



You would think that reading a book based in the 1800's things would be so much simpler.....except when it comes to murder and trying to solve the case.  However main character Emma Cross in the Gilded Newport Mystery series doesn't make things easy and even though she is a reporter, she cannot help but get herself in the middle of trying to solving a murder ..... especially when she's the one to come across the dead body.

In Murder at Wakehurst, the ninth book in this amazing series by Alyssa Maxwell, Emma and her family have just laid her Uncle Cornelius to rest and are in the mourning period.  But her cousin Neily who has been on the outs with his father and family for years wants to go to a party and when his wife, Grace, asks Emma to go, she finds it hard to decline.  Grace is worried about Neily's behavior and knows that if Emma is there, they can keep an eye on him.  Unfortunately Emma didn't know that she would stumble across a dead body which is the body of Judge Clayton Schuyler a member of the Four Hundred.

But the worse fright for Emma is when Detective Gifford Myers shows up to investigate the murder instead of Emma's friend, Detective Jesse Whyte and she is told that Detective Myers has been assigned homicide because Emma and Jesse "working" together to solve crimes were not good for the department.  Luckily Jesse did not get fired but has been demoted and is assigned a robbery case that may be tied to the murder as well.

No matter what people say Emma cannot help but ask questions, that is what makes her a great reporter and why her boss and "boyfriend" Derrick Andrews allows her the freedom to follow stories wherever they take her....even if it could be dangerous.

Emma doesn't know how close she is to the actual murderer when she is questioning people of interest until it is almost too late.  Emma's list of suspects seems to grow daily and she is unable to confidently remove anyone from the list and instead finds the list growing.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy Murder as Wakehurst as well as the previous books in this series and they will instantly love Emma and  everyone around her.  And her relationships, personal and business, with Derek will tug at your heartstrings.   And Maxwell's ability to sweep the reader back in time and make you feel like you are there experiencing everything and seeing everything through Emma's eyes is out of this world !!  



Review by Missi M.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Double Chocolate Cookie Murder (A Cook-Off Mystery #5) by Devon Delaney

Sherry Oliveri is used to competing in cook-offs, but this time she's serving as a judge. The upside is that she gets to taste all the contestants' cookies. The downside is that one of the bakers will wind up dead...

It's the long Thanksgiving weekend, and between cooking for her family and working her dad's store for Black Friday, Sherry has a full plate. Next, she has to judge the big cookie contest--and among the many entrants is her old high school home ec teacher, Mr. Currier.

For old time's sake, Sherry invites him over for dinner, although sadly, the reunion will be short-lived. The next day, the prizes at the bake-off go missing--and later turn up at the marina, along with her ex-teacher's body. Now Sherry has to find out who would do such a thing...

Includes Recipes from Sherry's Kitchen!  (Summary via Amazon)



The Cook-Off Mystery series by Devon Delaney is a very tasty treat of a series.  Readers will be glued to their seats wrestling with continuing reading the story or getting up to get a tasty treat to eat....I highly recommend getting something to eat before you sit down to indulge yourself in the story.....

In Double Chocolate Cookie Mystery, the fifth book in this series, main character Sherry Oliveri has her hands full as always.  It is the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and she is one of three judges in the Story for Glory Cookie Bake-off.  Usually Sherry is on the other side of the judging table where she is in her element but she was asked to judge this contest and seeing as baking isn't her cup of tea, she is taking her first time as judge very seriously.  And when she runs into Crosby Currier Banks, an old teacher from high school who is entered in the contest, she invites him for Thanksgiving leftovers the night before the contest and tells him that she cannot be persuaded with his story.  Unfortunately shortly after losing the contest Crosby is found dead at the marina.

After Sherry meets Crosby's ex-wife Rachel, she is persuaded to look into his death.  Little did she know that Crosby's death will lead her to the 20 year old fire at the marina where his father was the dockmaster.  Sherry learns more than she ever thought she would about the devastating fire and Crosby's family but none of it provides answers, instead she is left with more questions.

Readers will enjoy the way that Delaney twists the story from the past into the present and how it affected so many people.  Readers will also love Sherry, her family, friends and her busy, chaotic life.  But like I said in the beginning.....have a tasty snack on hand because once you start reading you will be powerless to stop.



Review by Missi M.
 

Saturday, 28 August 2021

A Hex for Danger (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #2) by Esme Addison

The annual Mermaid Festival is the setting for Esme Addison's sunny-yet-sinister second Enchanted Bay mystery, perfect for fans of Heather Blake and Bailey Cates. 

The small town of Bellamy Bay has its share of skeletons in its closet, but it isn't used to bodies turning up in the local history museum. After all, this coastal North Carolina town is much like any other...except, of course, for the mermaids.

Helping to run the family business, an herbal apothecary while keeping her supernatural secret hidden is no easy feat for water witch Aleksandra Daniels. But somehow she's still found time to help her friend Celeste, who has her own Caribbean mermaid heritage plan the annual Mermaid Festival. As fun-seekers throng the beaches, Alex gets to know and is intrigued by renowned artist Neve Ryland, who's in town to decorate the local park with a mermaid-themed mural. Celeste, however, is less enamored with the artist, as Neve has been spending entirely too much one-on-one time with her boyfriend Jasper, director of Bellamy Bay's history museum. Then, a reception for Neve ends abruptly when the artist is found dead in his office.

The police investigation nets Celeste who asks Alex to find the true culprit. With the help of her magically-inclined aunt and cousins, Alex dives in to clear her friends name. But there was more to Neve Ryland than met the eye...and Alex fears she may be in way too deep. Will she catch the crook or be next on the hook?
   (Summary via Goodreads)



Mermaids ???  What ???  

The Enchanted Bay Mystery series by Esme Addison is a very unique cozy mystery series and I'm going to do my best to tell you about it without giving away the magical secrets !!

A Hex for Danger is the second book in this series and the coastal town of Bellamy Bay in North Carolina is gearing up for it's annual Mermaid Festival and one person Aleksandra "Alex" Daniels and her family cannot wait.  Alex just recently moved to Bellamy Bay, her mother's hometown, after her father passed away and she was looking for a change and quieter life.  Until recently she was living in Manhattan working as a risk analyst for a big company but she needed to be around people who loved her and even though her mother was gone also, she knew her aunt and cousins would welcome her with open arms.  Which they did and now Alex  is living with her aunt Lidia and cousin Minka and working with them in the family shop Botanika which specializes in herbal apothecracy.  Alex is also learning more about her background and that her mother's side of the family are descendants from a real mermaid and that they possess certain powers and abilities.  

In  A Hex for Danger Neve Ryland who is a remarkable artist comes to town to paint a mural for the festival.  However before the festival fully kicks off, Neve is found dead in an office at the museum during a reception.  And when it is ruled murder Alex's friend, Celeste is taken in for questioning.  Unfortunately the police seem to only have eyes on Celeste as the murderer because it was her boyfriend Jasper's office and Celeste was very jealous of Jasper and Neve's working together.  Alex knows that Celeste would never hurt someone no matter what the situation is and decides to try to clear her name.  Did I forget to mention that Alex's boyfriend is a detective on the police force and assigned to the case ?  And also Alex's other cousin, Kamila is also on the police force as as officer. 

Not only are the police looking into Neve's murder but they have the death of a male that looks to be an accidental overdose whose wife is convinced that he was murdered.  And after Alex meets the wife, she is talked into looking into that case as well.

There is a lot going on in this story and the way that Addison intertwines the stories will have readers wishing they had some mermaid magic and could turn the pages faster.....but you will want to take your time reading every word so that you do not miss anything ..... especially when you get to the last few chapters....there is a lot of things that will blow your human mind !!!!



Review by Missi M.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

A Scone of Contention (Key West Food Critic Mystery #11) by Lucy Burdette

A murderer's out to spoil Hayley's honeymoon in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette's eleventh Key West Food Critic Mystery. 

Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow and her groom, police detective Nathan Bransford, thought Scotland was the ideal destination for two newlyweds. That was before they learned they'd be sharing their trip with Nathan's crotchety mother, his sister, and his brother in law, who seem to have conspired to keep the couple apart. Worse, the trip takes a deadly Tartan turn when Hayley watches a man falls to his death from the famous Falkirk Wheel.

No one in Vera's party claims to know the victim, Joseph Booth--but Hayley suspects otherwise. She is troubled to add to the suspect list her mother-in-law's elderly pal, Gloria, who insisted she'd been poisoned when she doubled over with pain after the salad course at the previous night's dinner. The next day, she felt well enough to join her colleagues and Hayley for a boat ride on the Wheel, high above the Forth and Clyde canals.

To clear Miss Gloria's name, Hayley visits the dead man's home, hunting for clues while enjoying Booth's mother's prize-winning cinnamon scones. What she finds troubles her more than ever--the killer may be someone very close to her heart.

Can Hayley, her mother-in-law, and Miss Gloria solve the mystery, or will the killer get away Scot free?  (Summary via Goodreads)



No matter which book in the Key West Food Critic Mystery series by Lucy Burdette you pick up there are two things that you can be guaranteed.....you are going to fall in love with the series and you are going to be hungry the whole time you are reading.

In the Key West Food Critic Mystery series main character Hayley Snow lives on a houseboat on Houseboat Row in Key West in Florida.  Until recently she lived with Miss Gloria but after she married Detective Nathan Bransford they renovated and moved into the houseboat next door.  Hayley works for Key Zest Magazine as a food critic tasting foods and checking out restaurants and writing about them.  She has a pretty good life with all that as well as her mother and her husband Sam live nearby and they are all close.  The only downside of Lucy's life is that she always seems to get involved in a murder case....or maybe that is more on the downside of Nathan's life.

In the eleventh book in the series, A Scone of Contention Hayley and Nathan are going on a sort of honeymoon to visit Nathan's sister Vera in Scotland.  I say sort of honeymoon because Miss Gloria and Nathan's mother, Helen, are also going on the trip.

Unfortunately a lot is going to happen.....right before they leave on their trip Hayley's close friend and another houseboat neighbor Ray has a mishap and gets arrested.  His wife Connie who Hayley has know forever is beside herself and Ray isn't talking.  Then when Hayley and crew get to Scotland they find out that Vera is working on a book with a few people and there is a lot of tension surrounding their work.  On their first night there while attending a dinner party with the group that is working on the book, one of the attendees falls ill and it is believed to be from the food.  There are more mishaps while the group goes touring Scotland and the group try to finalize parts of their book.....

Readers will enjoy reading about Hayley and friends traveling to Scotland and getting to know Nathan's family more.  You will also love reading about the food that they are served and will be thankful when you get to the back of the book to the recipe section.  Burdette has such a knack of drawing you into the story so that you will feel like you are right there along side Hayley as she enjoys her honeymoon....and you don't even have to pack, get your passport ready or leave the comfort of your living room.  You will be a fan of this series and will enjoy watching Hayley grow and experience and embrace life.



Review by Missi M.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales (Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic #3) by Elizabeth Pantley

A magic mirror. An enchanted world. A mysterious story-telling ghost. A hilarious, perpetually annoyed witch. A smart, sassy cat. A mystery of finding a dead body . . . of someone who was already dead. Visit Destiny Falls and escape to a great time.

A mysterious old man keeps popping up to tell Hayden a series of tall tales. Who is he? And is he actually glowing? Are his stories fiction, or is he telling her the history of her family, the enchanted islands, and the witch? And why did a dead body show up . . . of someone who was already dead? Can Hayden and her quirky sidekick, Latifa unscramble this mystery?

Hayden’s adventures in the magical world of Destiny Falls continue in this gripping story that answers your questions about the mysterious world she entered through a mirror in book one, Falling into Magic. We learn more about her missing mother, whose story begins in book two, The Disappearance of Emily. 


“I. Can’t. Even! Elizabeth Pantley, amazingly, magically, has outdone herself once again! The mystery, magic, carefully and delicately woven story and history held me captive!” ~ Georgeanne, Goodreads

“I absolutely LOVE book 3 of this series! An intriguing story... So many new twists and turns!” ~ Linda, Goodreads

Reviews for The Destiny Falls Series

"A captivating read! I couldn't put it down." ~ Goodreads

"My favorite series in the whole wide world." ~ Elza Reads

"Will blow you away!" ~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

"A mix of unique characters, romance, mystery, and magic.” ~ Goodreads

"Just when I thought I knew who the killer was, BAM, a twist." ~ Leslie, Storeybook Reviews


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books are published in over twenty languages. She is also the author of the popular Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the mother of four and Nana to one. She hopes you have as much fun reading the Destiny Falls books as she enjoys writing them. Visit her & sign up for her mailing list at nocrysolution.com.    (Summary via Goodreads)


The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales is the third book in the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series by Elizabeth Pantley and even though you don't have to read the previous books, I highly recommend it.  There is so much with this series that I'd love for you to have the complete picture.

In this series we are introduced to Hayden who fell through a magical mirror and ended up in a place called Destiny Falls where she is introduced to a whole family she never knew existed.  She was raised by her grandmother and great-grandmother after her father and brother went missing and her mother ran away.  But after she falls through the mirror she is reunited with her father and brother as well as her paternal grandparents, two half-sisters, a half-brother and a fairy tale estate and town.....but there is a dark side that she is pulled toward that is beyond dangerous.  

In The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales, book three, Hayden is still getting to know her new family and the town they live in and she is enjoying everything about it....except for finding dead bodies.  For some unknown reason it seems she is always tied to a dead body and the story behind it and in this book, that is again the same thing,

While Hayden and her friend Olivia are out on a hike they come across what they think is a jacket in the bushes but it turns out to be a dead body.....but this particular body was thought to be dead a month ago but it looks like the body in front of them only recently died.  Once it is confirmed that the body is indeed Kerbie Gomez, that leaves everyone scrambling to find out what happened.  Kerbie had been convicted on a murder and was believed to be in police custody and being transported somewhere when the car went over a cliff and caught on fire.  Even though his body wasn't recovered, there was no way anyone could have survived....or so they thought.

Luckily Hayden runs the Destiny Falls Observer which allows her to be in on the investigations....which she would do even if she wasn't allowed.  She cannot seem to leave the investigations to the professionals.

In the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series there is good magic and bad magic.  Destiny Falls and its citizens consist of good and there is an island called Gladstone which is thought to be where the bad magic lives.  In The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales Hayden receives a letter presumably from her mother and it says that she did not run away like everyone thought but she was taken to reside at Gladstone and she has been trying to leave to get to Hayden but there is a power that keeps her away.

While Hayden and crew are trying to figure out Kerbie's story, Hayden tells her family about the letter from her mother and they try to find out if it is indeed from her mother.  Hayden loves her family and will do whatever she can to reunite them all.....even if it is dangerous !!

Readers cannot help but fall in love with Hayden and Destiny Falls and want to move there with her.  You will love how the estate and the rooms change to accommodate the situation, that her cat and her can communicate with each other, the love the family has for each other and the town and all the businesses Hayden visits.  

There is so much that I can continue to tell you about this series, the people, the town, the magic, the storyline and the secrets but that will take away from you grabbing your copies and start reading.  Once you open one of the books in this series, you will be taken to a magical place, with a touch of danger, and a lot of secrets to discover and like Hayden, you will NOT want it to end !!!


Review by Missi M.




 

Friday, 13 August 2021

Bert and Norah: Murder in the Ozarks (The Bert and Norah Mysteries Book 4) by Bernard Burgess

Cases have slowed for B & N Investigations during the summer of 2018. With their new investigator, Becky, returned from a Montana case, Bert and Norah accept a case in Arkansas, a cold case of a woman, Annabel Leery, missing without a trace for two years. With coywolf tracking and companion animal, Missy, sharing rides between the two vehicles, the team travels to Mountain View, Arkansas, a small community situated in the Ozark Mountains. Thus, begins the search for clues, a search which even takes the team from a theory of sasquatch abduction to the obscure trail of a mysterious man. Piecing the clues together, and aided by Norah's psychic insights and Becky's interview skills, the team finally gets the break they were looking for. The break in the case, though, requires that they pack up and leave Arkansas, on a trail which none of them could have forseen, except perhaps Norah. Her glimpses of the future show the grave dangers they must face if they're to have any chance of finding out what happened to Annie. The team have to call upon all their abilities as they undertake a surveillance wrought with challenge and threat. Will the murder in the Ozarks be revealed? Will the personal feelings among the team survive the case of Annabel Leery? Or will they be torn apart by the stresses?  (Summary via Amazon)


In the Bert and Norah Mystery series by Bernard Burgess, Bert and Norah have always worked well together....which is easy for them as they are husband and wife, have had a great life together, raised 2 daughters, are grandparents and Norah's spirit, since her death, has been linked to Bert and they continue as a married couple except in the physical sense.  Luckily Bert has the ability as a medium to see people's spirits which is helpful in their business, B & N Investigators.  Recently they have added an employee, Becky Thompson, who is becoming more than just an employee.

In the fourth book in this series, Bert and Norah : Murder in the Ozarks B & N Investigators are hired to look into the mysterious disappearance of Annabel Leery who walked out of her front door in Mountain View, Arkansas one morning and was never seen again.  She has been missing for two years and her family, mainly the nephew she raised since he was a baby, want to know what happened to her.

So Bert, Norah, Becky and their canine coywolf Missy pack up in Cody, Wyoming and head to Mountain View Arkansas to begin their case.  They had no idea that this case would get very confusing and lead them to Texas and a secluded and potentially dangerous ranch.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy this book as well as the other books in this series.  Burgess puts the words to paper so that they read fluently and your eyes will take them in quickly.  There is no way that the reader will not be captive to the story and everything going on.  Burgess even throws a "love triangle" in the mix as Bert and Becky struggle with their growing feelings.  Even though Norah loves and is connected to Bert, she knows that he needs more than she can give him and she is ready for Bert to move forward.....she just has some convincing to do.  Readers will enjoy that storyline and may even get emotional at times.  And the story behind Annabel's disappearance and what the investigators uncover will totally shock readers !!

I highly recommend grabbing your copy of Bert and Norah : Murder in the Ozarks as well as the previous three books.....they are a read you will be glad you read !!


Review by Missi M.