Saturday 30 July 2016

Dying for Dinner Rolls, Murderous Muffins & Homicide by Hamlet (The Chubby Chicks Club Books 1-3) by Lois Lavrisa

Dying for Dinner Rolls (Chubby Chicks Club, #1)Murderous Muffins (Chubby Chicks Club, #2)
Homicide by Hamlet (The Chubby Chicks Club #3)

I am very glad that I waited until I read all three books in the Chubby Chicks Club Mystery Series by Lois Lavrisa before posting any reviews.  The books are between 155-165 pages long which makes for quick reading. And when you add the interesting story you are done before you know it....or want to be.  The books are centered around The Chubby Chicks Club which is really not a "club" or are they chubby chicks.  There are four "members" each very unique.  First you have Cat who is a happily married mom of two sets of twins and her family owns the Sunshine Market.  Bezu is a southern belle living in her generations old family home where the group always meets for dinner.  Annie Mae is a drama professor at the local University and lastly is Jose who is a bomb squad detective resembling Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
There was a 5th member, Lucy, but as you will see in Book One she isn't around long.
Another thing I loved about these books is that each book is written in a different narrative.  


She's been held at gunpoint, stuck in a burning dumpster, chased out of a grocery store, caught impersonating a police officer and almost run over by a wayward vehicle. How is that for a first day on the job as an amateur sleuth? Along with her friend Annie Mae, Cat investigates the brick-paved, oak-lined streets of Savannah to find their friend's murderer. To say the very least, it is not smooth sailing for these self appointed detectives. Will they catch the killer before the killer gets them? Or will their first case be their last? Find out in the first volume of the Chubby Chicks Club mystery series, Dying for Dinner Rolls which combines mystery, suspense, humor, and southern charm.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Cat has everything...a loving husband, 18 year old twin boys, 5 year old twin girls, a family business started by her parents years ago, a great mother and grandfather.  The only thing wrong in her life is that her father's murder has not been solved.  Her father was gunned down during a robbery at the store and the only "clue" was a crossword puzzle with a few incorrect words filled out in purple ink.  And now Chubby Chicks Club member Lucy is found murdered in her home and the police rule it a suicide.  Anyone who knew Lucy knows that there is no way she would take her own life.  With the unreluctant help of Annie Mae, Cat does some investigating into Lucy's death.  As they get closes to the killer, Cat begins to learn things about her father.   Is it possible she could solve BOTH cases ??


Bezu is a beautiful southern belle with gentile manners. But her problems are anything but. Deep in debt, she's illegally taken in a few lodgers. A sweet stripper and her bodybuilder boyfriend, an Asian man loudly learning English through pop music, and a mysterious stranger with the most amazing blue-green eyes -- and a secret. When one of them mysteriously dies and it looks like her muffins were the murder weapon, Bezu and her fellow Chubby Chicks Club member, Cat, must discover who the killer is before she ends up in jail...or worse. Will they succeed? Find out in Murderous Muffins, book two in the Chubby Chicks Club cozy mystery series.  (Summary vis Goodreads)

The Gordon family once owned half the town but the only 2 things that Bezu has left of her family is the family home and the pearl necklace that has been handed down from generations.  The house is falling apart, the taxes are past due and she needs money.  So she illegally takes in "tenants" but to everyone else they are relatives, very distant relatives.  But when Cat needs a place to stay for a few days and one of the tenants dies, poisoned by a muffin Bezu made, all hell breaks lose at the inn.  Bezu has to come clean to Cat and Jose, try to ward off advances by the Brazilan hottie who is staying there because he may be the killer and clear her name.  


Annie Mae has one last job to do before she retires from a thirty-year career in academia: one week of summer theater camp. A camp she has worked at for so many years she could do it with her eyes closed. Easy peasy. Until a team leader is murdered and all hell breaks loose as everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret. Will she find out the truth before she becomes the killer’s next victim? Or will death be her swan song?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Annie Mae loves the students and her job but it is time for her to retire and start the next chapter of her live.  And she will do that right after she leads a team of drama students in a week long summer theatre camp competition.  Her team has a winning streak that she would like to retire with, however, Priscilla Woodham, is also a team leader and the two of them do not get along !!  The first day Priscilla starts trouble questioning Annie Mae's "relationship" with one of the judges Professor Gill.  All Annie Mae wants to do is get through the week without any trouble.  Unfortunately nothing is that easy.  They find out that Bezu's ex-fiance, Dwight, is marrying Priscilla, Priscilla is found dead the evening of the first day, Professor Gill left a dinner party early and there is something about Priscilla's assistant that Annie Mae can't put her finger on.  Even though the police are hot on the case, Annie Mae and Bezu feel it is up to them to solve the case.  After all Annie Mae needs to know if her "friend" is innocent before she develops feelings for him.

As I said I really liked that each book was written in a different narrative.  First we got to ride along with Cat, then Bezu and finally Annie Mae.  I am so hoping that Book Four will be in Jose's narrative....that story should be a hoot !!!!

These books with fly off your TBR pile and on to your friends or back to the library quick !!!  I couldn't and didn't want to put them down !!!

Review's by Missi S.

Friday 22 July 2016

On the Chopping Block (A Callie's Kitchen Mystery, #1) by Jenny Kales

On the Chopping Block (A Callie's Kitchen Mystery, #1)

Building a small business has been murder, but Callie Costas didn’t expect to be confronted with an actual body. The 36-year-old Greek-American proprietor of “Callie's Kitchen,” a meals-from-scratch business in an idyllic small town, has been busy creating a post-divorce life for herself, her young daughter and her Yorkie, Koukla. After a lot of hard work (including staving off her father’s continual advice), she’s got the locals and tourists clamoring for her delicious Mediterranean dishes and Midwest comfort food classics. Recently, she’s started a budding romance with a fellow foodie, the wealthy owner and chef of Crystal Bay’s most popular bistro. 

However, success is as fleeting as one of Wisconsin’s glorious autumn days. As local businesses begin to shut down due to a slow economy, Callie is struggling not to become another statistic. A contest with a hefty cash prize seems like the perfect chance to fix her financial woes, until a shocking murder threatens not only her livelihood – but her life. 

When she’s targeted as a prime suspect by an attractive expat British detective, Callie’s situation becomes more delicate than her Greek egg-lemon soup. She’s got to find the killer and fast if she wants to protect her daughter, save her business and stay alive.  (Summary via Goodreads)

On the Chopping Block is Jenny Kales debut book and it is a doozie !!!  First in the Callie's Kitchen Mystery series and it will have you hooked and wanting more !!

Crystal Bay is such a quaint little town that you will wish you were a tourist enjoying the water, the restaurants, the shops and the people.

Callie who just happens to own Callie's Kitchen is dating Drew who happens to own another restaurant named, what else, Drew.  But when Callie goes to Drew's house for a dinner date, she finds him laying on the floor dead !!!  And no matter what she tells the police, specifically Detective Sands, she is their prime suspect !!  

In order to clear her name and attempt to win customers back, she does her own investigating.  Even though everyone from her overbearing father to her best friend Sam who is also her lawyer keeps telling her to stay out of it, her business and daughter need her NOT in jail.

This was a very enjoyable and mind catching book with a lot of worthy suspects.  But when it gets down to it, you cannot believe who is behind all of it ..... and why !!

Review by Missi S. 

Truffles and Troubles: Book 1 in The Chocolate Cafe Series by Valley Sams

Truffles and Troubles: Book 1 in The Chocolate Cafe Series

SUMMER PRESCOTT BOOKS announces the spectacular debut of mystery author, Valley Sams, who has written a masterpiece of Culinary Cozy perfection!!! 

Presenting: Truffles and Troubles - Book 1 of The Chocolate Cafe Series... 

After the death of her beloved grandfather, Catharine “Mac” Mackenzie opens a chocolate shop in her sleepy little New England bayside town with her best friend Sabrina. Things are going well for the daring duo, until Sabrina’s landlord, one of the wealthiest women in town, is murdered. Toss in a British detective with a wicked sense of humor, a shudder-worthy encounter with a childhood friend, and you’re in for a delectable mystery experience that’ll have you on the edge of your seat!   (Summary via Goodreads)

An amazing new series! Truffles and Troubles is book one in the Chocolate Cafe series by Valley Sams. I enjoyed the storyline and characters so much that I couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting and be warned that housework and cooking will not be done till you are finished. LOL It is a great mystery full of excitement and yummy Chocolate. A page turner not to miss. Already looking forward to book two.

Catherine Mackenzie (Mac) and her best friend Sabrina (Brie) have known each other for over 17 years. Brie owns the most delicious store in Mackenzie Bay, a Chocolate Shop! Brie calls herself "Wonka " when she is making her yummy surprises. 

Mac has come back to town because her beloved grandfather has died. He was her only guardian since her parents died. She has been helping Brie in her shop to keep herself busy. Things kinda get crazy in town when Victoria Dunleavy and her fiancé are found shot in Victoria's mansion. Mac can't help herself when it comes to a mystery. She calls herself Nancy Drew. Brie is not happy having her friend in harms way investigating. There is just no stopping her! She can't even be deterred by handsome Detective Louis Stocker who by the way has an English accent to drool over just like chocolate! 

Will Mac be able to stay out of the line of fire or will she have to be rescued before she is the next victim???

Review by Penny M.

Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery #5) by Isabella Alan

Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery #5)

Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock crosses wires with a killer in the latest from the national bestselling author of Murder, Plainly Read...

Spring has arrived in Holmes County and Angie couldn’t be happier. She’s got great friends, a thriving business, and is in the perfect relationship with Sheriff James Mitchell. The only thing raining on her parade is her mother drafting her into a massive home renovation project—and using their sudden mother/daughter bonding time to comment on Angie’s ticking biological clock.

The house’s repairs and upgrades between the Amish craftsmen and their Englisch counterparts are proceeding well until a tremendous shock comes to the workers when the electrician is found dead on site. With the sheriff suspecting foul play, it falls to Angie to root a killer out of the woodwork. . . .
   (Summary via Goodreads)

This is a great series. Murder Handcrafted is book five in An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series. It is a page turning, who dunit from start to finish and of course, Oliver, Dodger, and Petunia steal the show. I can't say enough about the characters and the plot in each of Isabella Alan's books. They are all thought out and full of twists and turns for her readers.

Angie Braddock, the owner of Running Stitch in Rolling Brook, Ohio is in the heart of Amish country. She loves it here along with her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff James Mitchell. But all things quiet must come to an end when her dad ends up hurting his back trying to do a DIY kitchen remodel. Angie's mom Daphne is not happy! She is worried about her husband and now her electrician is down for good! He is found dead in the backyard! Tons of secrets start coming out of the wood work about not only Grif the electrician but her best friend Jonah. Why would anyone in this small Amish town want to kill someone??? 

And how in the world is James going to keep Angie out of this investigation so close to home?
Some things should be left in the past or more people in the future may end up six feet under.

Review by Penny M.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Marshmallow Creme Killer: Book 7 in The INNcredibly Sweet Series by Summer Prescott

Marshmallow Creme Killer: Book 7 in The INNcredibly Sweet Series

If you’ve enjoyed the Frosted Love Series, you’ll love the continuing story of Missy, Chas and the gang after they’ve moved from Louisiana to Florida to run a B&B and cupcake shop.

Is Carla the Interior Decorator alive? Who is Spencer Bengal really? 

On the journey through The INNcredibly Sweet Series, you’ve had questions…this book provides the answers. You’ll be caught up in the ongoing adventures of Missy, Chas, Spencer and the rest of the gang as their story takes them to exotic locations and into scary situations. Find out the answer to many of the questions, that have kept you in suspense, in this latest installment of The INNcredibly Sweet Series, where lives and relationships will be changed forever.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Marshmallow Creme Killer book seven in The INNcredibly Sweet series is another winner. All I can say is hold on to your books because you are about to go on an incredible journey.

The delicacies that Missy makes at Cupcakes in Paradise sound so good you want to eat the pages. I was drooling over the marshmallow creme cupcakes.

There are a ton of things going on in this book. I can't say much but the gang is up to solving crimes. Chas gets an urgent call and has to leave to take care of some family business. That leaves Missy and her best friend Echo alone in Calgon, Florida but they look at it as pajama parties, good food, and canine entertainment. Then Missy and Echo realize their friend Carla is missing and turn to Detective Jim Reuben to help since Chas is out of town. This causes Missy and Echo to do some detective work on their own. This could mean trouble! 

Is Carla alive??? When will Chas be home? And finally who is Spencer really???

All of these questions get answered in this book. It's full of surprises and secrets! A page turner you will not want to miss.

Review by Penny M.

Capable of Murder (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery, #1) by Brian Kavanagh

Capable of Murder (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery, #1)

The old lady's body lay at the foot of the stairs. The police believe it was an accidental fall that killed great-aunt Jane. Young Australian Belinda Lawrence is convinced it was murder and when she inherits her great-aunt's ancient cottage and garden on the outskirts of Bath, England, she finds herself deep in a taut mystery surrounding her legacy.

A second vicious murder by a ruthless killer intensifies the tension and Belinda, now under threat herself, is befriended by two charming men: her neighbour Jacob and real estate agent Mark Sallinger. But can she trust them? And what interest has befuddled antique dealer Hazel Whitby in the cottage?  (Summary via Goodreads)

What a great new cozy mystery set in England. Capable of Murder is a Belinda Lawrence Murder mystery first in a new series. Really love the small English town and set of characters. Only problem is that in a small town people love to get into everyone's business. Belinda finds out quickly about small town life.

Belinda Lawrence is from Australia but is called to England because of a letter sent from her Great Aunt Jane. She goes to her house in the small town of Milford just outside of Bath only to find her dead! She is not totally convinced that she died from a fall like law enforcement keeps saying. She begins to try and find out information on her recluse Aunt. Belinda is shocked to find out that she is the only relative for her Aunt's house, land, and assets. She has a big decision to make, will she stay or go back to Australia?

This is where things get a bit more complicated. She meets not one but two very handsome men who seem to be vying for her attention. Are they trustworthy or are they just after her for her finances and much more??? Days after meeting her two callers her home is broken into and it appears that nothing is taken but someone sure was looking for something. Then when a second murder occurs in the small town Belinda realizes she maybe in great danger. 

Love the plot to this book as well as the Old English charm. So cozy up to a fire and sit back and be amazed at all the twists and turns coming your way.

Review by Penny M.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Maggie Dove: A Mystery by Susan Breen

Maggie Dove: A Mystery

Susan Breen introduces a charming new series heroine in this poignant and absorbing cozy mystery with a bite. Maggie Dove thinks everyone in her small Westchester County community knows everyone else’s secrets. Then murder comes to town.

When Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove finds her hateful next-door neighbor Marcus Bender lying dead under her beloved oak tree—the one he demanded she cut down—she figures the man dropped dead of a mean heart. But Marcus was murdered, and the prime suspect is a young man Maggie loves like a son. Peter Nelson was the worst of Maggie’s Sunday School students; he was also her late daughter’s fiancé, and he’s been a devoted friend to Maggie in the years since her daughter’s death.

Maggie can’t lose Peter, too. So she sets out to find the real murderer. To do that, she must move past the grief that has immobilized her all these years. She must probe the hidden corners of her little village on the Hudson River. And, when another death strikes even closer to home, Maggie must find the courage to defend the people and the town she loves—even if it kills her.
  (Summary via Goodreads)

This cozy is a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed the storyline and characters in the small town of West Chester, NY. Loved the undertones of hope and friendship above all else throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the Christian based themes that were cleverly placed in this story.

Maggie Dove hasn't had it easy. Her daughter passed away 20 years ago and she has been on hold since. She does have wonderful friends that are there to support her like Winifred who used to be her neighbor and Peter Nelson. Peter is the Assistant Chief of Police for the village of Darby-on-Hudson who was her daughters best friend and love of her life. Winifred her other friend now lives in a nursing facility due to progressive Parkinson's. They are always there to lend an ear. Especially since Maggie has Marcus Bender (Satan) as a neighbor. 

Marcus is out for one person and that is Maggie because her beloved Oak tree blocks his view of the Hudson River. She finds poison under the tree and goes to confront him. She has been a Sunday School teacher for 30 years but this man is pushing her buttons. After leaving his house she tries to stay awake to make sure he doesn't come back but sadly falls asleep. Next thing she knows she sees something under the tree and finds that it is Marcus DEAD!!! 

Things go from bad to worse when they find out he was poisoned! Who and why would someone do this? Peter is determined to help Maggie until things go topsy turvy and Peter becomes the prime suspect. Maggie will do anything for Peter because he has always been like a son to her. Will she be able to help before she becomes the next victim???

Review by Penny M.

Battered and Buttered Waffle (The Diner of the Dead, #2) by Carolyn Q. Hunter

Battered and Buttered Waffle (The Diner of the Dead, #2)

SUMMER PRESCOTT BOOKS is thrilled to present: Battered and Buttered Waffle - Book 2 in the Diner of the Dead Series!!!! 

Owning a diner in the small town of Haunted Falls has been a bit of a hair-raising experience for Sonja, and things go from bad to worse when a reality TV film crew comes to town. Wanting nothing more than to create her crisp, buttery waffles, Sonja find herself caught up once again in a murder investigation that leads to some decidedly “otherworldly” experiences.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I love this series! The characters are fun and exciting. The storyline just keeps getting better and better. The spooky storyline has me hooked. Not only do the waffles sound amazing the mystery is delicious too.

Sonja is preparing for the opening of the Waffle Diner and Eatery when some uninvited guests arrive. The Spook Show crew begin filming and Sonja is furious! The head guy, Spook was very rude to Sonja and that was just not going to fly. They were told to leave and end up at Mr Hinkley's farm to shoot the barn. Apparently it's a hot bed for paranormal happenings. Sonja tries to warn Mr Hinkley but she is too late. They all end up staying the night at the farmhouse because the road gets washed out. This just goes from bad to worse when one of the crew is found dead. 

There are a ton of twists that will have you on your toes. 

This is an amazing culinary/ paranormal cozy that will have you hooked from the start.

Review by Penny M.

Proposals and Poison (Wedding Planner Mysteries Book 3) by Rachelle J. Christensen

Proposals and Poison (Wedding Planner Mysteries Book 3) by [Christensen, Rachelle J.]

Love can be a very dangerous thing. 
At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson's involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble. But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.  (Summary via Amazon)

Proposals and Poisons is book three in The Wedding Planner Mysteries by Rachelle J. Christensen. I have loved this series from the very first book and have been anticipating this one. Loved it!!! If you are looking for a great clean, fun, romantic cozy mystery you have found your series. So much fun to read.

Adri is a wedding planner and she is the best around. She has tons of to-be-brides flocking to her. The only problem she seems to have is that she ends up in the middle of murder mysteries much to the dismay of her love interest, Luke Stetson. He happens to be a divorce attorney new to town. I know it just doesn't seem quite right to be in a relationship with a wedding planner as a divorce attorney? Who knew?

Loved this book with the dog themed wedding. Roof Roof! Awwww puppy love. But then her client ends up dead. Luke wants her to stay away from this murder but we all know Adri is a magnet for murder. She ends up smack dab in the middle of it. And they arrest someone but Adri is convinced it is not the right person. Now she must decide to fight for what she believes or stay clear? Who will win, the killer or the underdog?

Will this be the end of the wedding planner???

Review by Penny M.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Until Our Last Embrace (a Sharyn Howard mystery Book 4) by Joyce Lavene, Jim Lavene

Until Our Last Embrace (a Sharyn Howard mystery Book 4)

Sharyn is the third generation of Howards to be elected sheriff in the small town of Diamond Springs, North Carolina. She has her hands full when word of a bear attack throws the town in a tizzy, especially when a reporter prints a false story claiming that the bear was rabid. The victim was Darva Richmond, the sister-in-law to Beau Richmond, a man previously murdered. Her husband was suing his brother's widow over a large inheritance. While the mauling is tragic, no one initially suspects foul play until officers look beyond initial evidence. 
As clues are revealed, Darva's husband seems to be the logic suspect. But his bitter family also provides is also suspicious. Further, Darva's aunt, Miss Eleanore, arrives in town with her accusations. Contradictory reports of Darva's marriage add to the confusion as friends report that Darva and husband Donald were the perfect couple, yet family claims that they were always fighting and didn't sleep together. Donald was contesting his brother's will because it was changed during the last few months of Beau Richmond's life. Donald says he brother was stable enough to make out a new will that changed his heir from being his brother to being his new wife. Millions are at stake. 
In addition to a touchy investigation, Sharyn finds herself confronting a host of other problems. District Attorney Jack Winter is determined to express his romantic interest and doesn't hesitate to use political machinations for his own purposes. She also must find a date to attend her mother's engagement party, although her mother's marrying Senator Caison Talbot, a man Sharyn neither likes nor trusts. Her deputies seem to be fighting affairs of the heart that leave her short staffed. Further, because she doesn't see herself or her job as desirable, she's clueless in realizing her medical examiner is interested. To top it off, the dry cleaners dyed her uniforms blue.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE Diamond Springs and everything and everyone there !!!  If you haven't started reading the Sharon Howard Mystery series by Joyce and Jim Lavene, I highly recommend that you add it to your list.

I thought Book 3, The Last to Remember, was mind blowing BUT it is nothing compared to Until Our Last Embrace.  Until Our Last Embrace continues with the Richmond family.  In Book 3 Beau Richmond was murdered and his killer brought to justice but now in Book 4 we have his brother, Donald, and sister-in-law, Darva, in town to contest Beau's will.  Unfortunately before any of that can be resolved Darva is killed.  

To get away from the rest of the family, Donald and Darva go camping for a night only to have Darva attacked by a bear and killed.  But further investigation by the Sheriff and medical examiner, Nick show a different story !!  

As Sheriff Sharyn and her deputies work the case, the Sheriff is also dealing with the DA Jack Winters who wants take their "relationship" in a different directions.  Everyone is telling her to tread smoothly but her only focus is on being the Sheriff and solving cases and keeping Diamond Springs safe.  Her focus is so straight-lined that she can't even see how Nick feels about her...although everyone is hinting at it.  Would someone please lock the two of them in the interrogation room and not open the door until they are kissing ?

The Sharyn Howard Mystery series has it all....murder, mystery, twists, secrets, lies, love, family, friends, and so much more !!!  The ending will leave you breathless and turning the page for more even though you know that there isn't any....yet !

Review by Missi S. 

Monday 11 July 2016

The Last To Remember (Sharyn Howard Mystery #3) by Joyce Lavene, Jim Lavene

On one of the stormiest, busiest night of the year, a prominent businessman stumbles into the sheriff's office, confessing to a 40-year-old murder. Just a few hours later he's found hanging from the ceiling of the conference room. The district attorney is soon on the warpath and all the clues point to one man.
Sheriff Sharyn Howard begins to search for the key to unlock a secret shared by three men for forty years. A district court judge, a prominent businessman, and her own deputy, Ernie Watkins, believe that they were responsible for a child's death at the old Jefferson Training School for Boys when they were just teenagers.
But now someone is after all the men, and it's up to Sheriff Howard to unravel 40 years of cover-ups, blackmail, lies, and guilt. But with so many suspects and such little time, can she find the real killer before an innocent man is convicted of murder or before the real killer can stalk and kill his prey?  (Summary via Goodreads)

I am a HUGE fan of Joyce and Jim Lavene and I love the Sharyn Howard Mysteries series.  The third book, The Last To Remember, is awesome !!  (Like there was any doubt)
Sharyn Howard is the Sheriff in Diamond Springs and to say her job is rough is a major understatement.  The Last to Remember finds the Sheriff dealing with a 40 year old murder.  On the evening of a blizzard, remains of a young boy are found at the chapel of the old Boy's Training School.  Prominent businessman Beau Richmond comes into the station at the heart of the blizzard to confess to the crime.  Unfortunately before the Sheriff can find out more, Beau is found hanging in the conference room as what is thought to be a confession / suicide.  Beau left a note also stating that Walter Hamilton, a very respected Judge, played a part in the murder.  
As Sharyn and her deputies investigate they learn that Richmond was murdered....but by who ?  And in the Sheriff's office ?  The ADA Alan Michaelson is all over the Sheriff and her department to solve this case quickly !!  But when their prime suspect ends up with near death experiences, they are left out in the cold.....
I love everything about this series.  I enjoy the "relationship" between the Sheriff and the attractive medical examiner Nick.  The Sheriff has a strained relationship with her mother that most can relate to during some time in their life.  The dedicated deputies and Judy who mans the reception desk are every day people that again are relateable.
If you haven't started reading this series, all I can say is.... Why not ??

Review by Missi S.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Goodbye, Ms. Chips (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #12) by Dorothy Cannell

Goodbye, Ms. Chips by Dorothy Cannell

Ellie Haskell is invited back to her old boarding school, St Roberta's by her friend Dorcas, who became games mistress when Ms Chips retired. Headmistress Mrs Battle asks who has stolen the Loverly sports trophy. An apparent schoolgirl prank soon gives way to murder, and Ellie can now be the star pupil.  (Summary via Goodreads)

This was my first book written by Dorothy Cannell. I enjoyed it. 
It was a light easy read full of just enough twists and turns to throw you off the scent of the real killer and thief. 

Goodbye, Ms. Chips has Ellie going back to her old boarding school to try and solve the case of the missing trophy. She really had a hard time at boarding school and was not looking forward to going back especially seeing Headmistress Mrs. Battle! I don't know about you but I know I wouldn't want to go back to school especially if I had to meet up with the girl who bullied me! YIKES poor Ellie. At least she is able to feel like she can find some retribution and find the thief and killer. 

This book is definitely at an easy pace so it's not hard to keep up. I would have liked to have read the earlier books to find out more history on the character Ellie. 

Review by Penny M.

Saturday 9 July 2016

The Madness of Mercury (Zodiac Mystery #1) by Connie Di Marco

The Madness of Mercury by Connie Di Marco
San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti's life is turned upside down when she becomes the target of the city's newest cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet's Tabernacle. Driven out of her apartment in the midst of a disastrous Mercury retrograde period, she takes shelter with a client who's caring for two elderly aunts. One aunt appears stricken with dementia and the other has fallen under the spell of the Reverend Roy. To add to the confusion, a young man claiming to be a long lost nephew arrives. The longer he stays, the more dangerous things become. Is the young man truly a member of the family? Can astrology confirm that? Julia's not sure, but one thing she does know is that Mercury wasn't merely the messenger of the gods—he was a trickster and a liar as well.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Such a great start to a new cozy series. Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco is a fun, exciting, page turning adventure. All of the characters are well thought out and full of independent strong women. 

Julia Bonatti is starting over and is living in San Francisco where the fog rolls in everyday and she loves it. She is an astrologer and to supplement her income, works for the local paper doing a column called Ask Zodia. She has a new client, Dorothy who is a nurse and caregiver to her ailing aunts Eunice and Evandra Gamble. She is looking for advice on her love life when one of the aunts come to her and say that they are in danger! Julia looks into the charts and realizes things are not looking good. Things are lining up that could cause major problems. Then she gets a call to come back to the Gamble house only to find out that Luis, the aunts handyman is found dead??? Why would anyone want to kill Luis? 

On top of all of this she has some crazy followers of Reverend Roy and the Prophets Tabernacle picketing not only her and her house but her friend Cheryl who is the manager at the Mystic Eye. 

How is she going to get rid of these crazy followers before they do more damage than just to her and Cheryl's business?

Great and fun start to a new series! Look forward to book two. 

Review by Penny M.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Kitten Kaboodle (Zoe Donovan Mystery Book 20) by Kathi Daley

Kitten Kaboodle (Zoe Donovan Mystery Book 20)

Zak's honorary grandmother Nona decides to come to Ashton Falls for the summer. After arriving she meets and befriends an animal activist set on shutting down a kitten mill just outside of town. When the kitten mill owner is found dead on her barn floor, Nona becomes the prime suspect and Zoe sets out to prove her innocence. Kitten Kaboodle is chalked full of humor, surprises, and life changing events, as we discover who really framed Nona, the reason behind a visit from Zak’s mother, and Ellie’s shocking secret.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Kitten Kaboodle is book 20 in The Zoe Donovan series. Kathi Daley has done it again with a book filled with another great mystery. It is full of excitement, fun, and of course murder. I was so excited to see Nona back in town. Her character is a hoot and loves to tell it like it is with no filter. A woman after my own heart.

Zoe is in for quite an adventure when Nona shows up in town on her pink Harley. Not to mention Zak and the kids are out of town. Nona teams up with Aspen, an animal activist who is trying to shut down a kitten mill owner who is beyond cruel! Here comes the bad luck for Zoe when the owner of the kitten mill is found dead in her barn and Zoe has a box full of sick kittens show up at her doorstep??? 

Who killed Edna Leech and why? There are a ton of suspects and motives for Zoe to sort through. YIKES!

This is a must read series. Can't wait to find out what adventures await the gang next.

Review by Penny M.

Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver

Murder at the Mansion

Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .
It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder at the Mansion, book two in A Kelly Jackson Mystery, is a great read. Don't worry if you haven't read book one yet because the author does a great job so you don't feel behind. All of the characters are well developed and feel like they could be your neighbor. The plot is also very enjoyable and easy to follow. Love Kelly the manager at Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. She is a strong character with a big heart. 

Kelly is settling into her new position when she runs into a bit of trouble. She is told that she needs to catalog things at Ridley House which is a sister property. She ends up finding more than she bargained while cataloging. YIKES! She is also introduced to Margaret Hensley the manager of Redwood Heights who takes a bit to get used too. She is kinda like a cactus, full of thorns. Kelly meanwhile meets a guest at the facility named Sylvia who ends up being pushed down the stairs. Thank goodness she wasn't injured. Margaret doesn't buy it and thinks she is crazy. Next thing you know Kelly ends up finding Sylvia dead in her room stabbed with a hat pin. 

Who would want to kill Sylvia??? How did no one see the murderer when there is only one way out??? Things just aren't as they seem and Kelly finds out that everyone is not who they appear to be! 

This is a fast paced book with tons of twists and turns that will shock you. Love the excitement and intrigue on every page.

Reveiw by Penny M.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Devonshire Scream (A Tea Shop Mystery #17) by Laura Childs

Devonshire Scream (A Tea Shop Mystery #17)

The New York Times bestselling author of Ming Tea Murder serves up heists, homicides, and herbal blends in the latest in the Tea Shop mysteries.

Catering a high-class trunk show at Heart's Desire Jewelry is a shining achievement for Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop. After all, a slew of jewelers, museums, and private collectors will be there to showcase their wares and sip some of Theo's best blends. But just as Theo settles in to enjoy the fruits of her labor, the party is crashed by a gang of masked muggers who rob the precious gems and jewels on display. The thieves disappear almost as quickly as they arrived, leaving shattered glass, scattered gemstones, and a dead body in their wake. 

Although the last thing Theo wants is to get involved, she can't help but intercede when her dear friend Brooke, aunt of the victim and owner of Heart's Desire, begs for help in figuring out who committed the brutal burglary. Though the FBI believes this daring "smash and grab" is the work of an international gang of jewel thieves, Theo is convinced that the felon is someone much closer to home...  (Summary via Goodreads)

This was the first book of Laura Child's that I have had the pleasure of reading.  I am now a fan and look forward to reading more of her books !!

Even though this was the first book that I read in the Tea Shop Mystery series, it could have been the first in a series.  Devonshire Scream is the 17th book in the series and I was skeptical about reading it this far into the series.  But once I started reading it, I realized that I was wrong to think that.

Theodosia owns the Indigo Tea Shop which even if you are not a tea drinker they will find a tea you will like !  Haley and Drayton work at the Tea Shop and they are most adorable !!  Not to mention all of the people and friends that visit the shop and attend the special tea parties !!  I loved the way that Child's describes it all so that you feel that you are right there in the room.  I had the pleasure of attending a Mother's Day Tea years ago and it was nothing like one of Theo's Teas.

But tea isn't the only thing brewing in Devonshire Scream.  While attending a Jewelry Extravaganza at her friend Brooke's store, Heart's Desire, a smash and grab occurs.  A vehicle crashes into the store where a group of theives grab all of the jewelry in a matter of minutes leaving behind injured patrons, broken glass every where and Brooke's niece dead with a piece of glass in her neck.

While Brooke deals with the loss of her niece and store, Theo with the reluctant help of Drayton deal with trying to solve the case.  Although Theo has a nice list of suspects who she feels could have been a part of the "gang" of theives, you will be SHOCKED when the leader of the group is captured ! !

Who will solve the case first ?  Theo and Drayton, local Detective Tidwell, or the FBI's agents that were brought into town ??

I look forward to reading more books by Child's and hope you do also ! ! !

Review by Missi S.