Monday 27 February 2017

Bed and Breakfast and Murder (Fiona Fleming #1) by Patti Larsen

Bed and Breakfast and Murder (Fiona Fleming #1)

I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.

Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.

"At what point," I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, "did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?"

Fiona Fleming hasn't lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother's death grants her a new chance--inheriting Petunia's, Iris Fleming's bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she's drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)

If you are looking for a new cozy mystery series, the Fiona Fleming Mysteries is exactly what you are looking for.  Patti Larsen will have you mezmerized from the first page to the last....

The main character, Fiona, moves back to her home town when she inherits the Bed & Breakfast her grandmother owned.  However only a few weeks into owning the B & B, she is delivered papers stating that her grandmother signed over ownership to a Construction company and she is given 48 hours to vacant.  Before she can even process this new information the owner of the Construction company is found dead in the koi pond in Fiona's backyard.  Seeing as Fiona's dad is the retired Sheriff of the town, she tries to solve the case.  Unfortunately Fiona is  unsure of her father's innocence.

While running the B & B Fiona tries to find out who killed Pete and why in her backyard.  And why would her grandmother sign over ownership of the B & B after it was willed to Fiona.  As Fiona tries to get answers for all her questions, she uncovers a lot more than she bargained for.......  And when all the questions are answered, you will be blowed away at who was actually the mastermind of it all !!!

Review by Missi S. 

Saturday 25 February 2017

Facials Can Be Fatal (Bad Hair Day Mystery #13) by Nancy J. Cohen

Facials Can Be Fatal (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #13)

During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, was a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society. Marla’s stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val’s demise might put a crimp in their plans. Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the suspects. As she learns more about Val, she realizes the benefactress might have stumbled onto secrets others would kill to keep. She’d better prepare for a body count that has nothing to do with hot stone massages and everything to do with murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Pirates, hidden treasures, secret identities, murder..... Book 13 in Nancy J. Cohen's Bad Hair Day Mystery series has that and a whole lot more !!

As this is the 13th book in the series and the first one that I have read, I was worried that I may have a difficult time following the story....  But I worried for nothing.  As soon as I started reading and getting to know Marla I felt like I have known her forever.  This is the first cozy mystery that I've read where the main character is married to the sexy detective on the case and I love that !!  Now I realize that the series didn't start off that way and Cohen orchestrated that through her story telling and I love the path that she takes the reader on.  I only wish I had time to go back and read the first 12 books.

Marla, who owns a hair salon and day spa, has a customer die while receiving a facial.  The customer, they learn has a allergy to latex and therefore was murdered !!  Marla wants to solve the case and insure that the salon doesn't lose business over this.  Unfortunately when more deaths occur, the suspect list grows and grows.  There are too many possibilities and leads to follow.  And as the holidays are fast approaching Marla is determined to have the case solved so they can all enjoy the holidays and start the new year off murder/crime free !!  Is Marla hoping for too much ?  

If you've read any or all of the previous books in this series, you know that the Bad Hair Day Mystery series books are captivating and exciting.  If you haven't read any, what are you waiting for.......
It only took reading one book for me to become a fan. What about you ?

Review by Missi S.

Sunday 19 February 2017

Poison in the Heart (Stella O'Shaughnessy Series Book 1) by ST Englert

Poison in the Heart (Stella O'Shaughnessy Series Book 1) by [Englert, ST]

Stella O'Shaughnessy is a whip-smart but unambitious young woman with a penchant for Pinot Gris, thick cut potato chips, and taking life easy at her job as a personal assistant at Wren Shipping Consultancy. With no intent of breaking the glass ceiling anytime soon, Stella's primary day-to-day concern is what will be on television tonight and what delicious food her best friend Gary will serve for dinner.

Stella's routine life is disrupted when her sweet job turns out to be more than she bargained for. An innocent administrative error reveals that her simple secretarial tasks are a front for the delivery of covert goods and information for a secret trade agency called GRANADA. By mixing up a delivery, she has placed vials of deadly biological weapons in the hands of a defector agent intent on selling the poison to the highest bidder. 

How will Stella adjust to this new reality?
Will she be able to stop the vials trading hands before it's too late?

This is the first bite-size read in the Stella O'Shaughnessy series.  (Summary via Amazon)

Have an afternoon free ?  An evening staying in with a glass of wine and a bubble bath ?  Poison in the Heart is the perfect read.  How can you go wrong ?  It's a bite-size read after all.....

Sometimes you just don't have the time or really don't want to commit to a full size book.  And with Poison in the Heart you don't have to. Even though it is a very short story there is a lot going on.... And you don't feel like you are missing any thing.

You have Stella who has a very cushiony job in a shipping company.  Her boss is never in the office but he calls at the same time every day to dictate her duties.  That is until 2 of the packages that she had to send out were sent incorrectly.  That leads to an evening that will forever change her way of thinking on her job.  

Can Stella handle the demands that may come through the office ?  Does she even want to continue working there after an evening of breaking and entering, torture, biological weapons and murder ?  

Grab a copy of ST Englert's first bite-size Stella O'Shaughnessy mystery series to see what she decides.....

Review by Missi S.

Thursday 16 February 2017

Crepe Factor (A Scrapbooking Mystery #14) by Laura Childs, Terrie Farley Moran

Crepe Factor (A Scrapbooking Mystery #14)

The Winter Market in the French Quarter is in full swing, but murder isn’t taking a holiday in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Parchment and Old Lace...
The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a thrashing man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.
The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.
Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon...  (Summary via Goodreads)

Crepe Factor is the 14th book in Laura Childs Scrapbooking Mystery series and for someone who hasn't read any in that series, it felt like I was reading the first book.  I started reading and I was into the story immediately !!  I was worried there might be too much going on for me to follow let alone keep up with....  But my worry was for not....

Carmela owns a scrapbooking store in the heart of New Orleans and her best friend owns a voo doo store. Luckily the murder in this story doesn't happen in either of these places.  But it does occur at the Winter Market and the murdered victim falls to his death right in front of them !!  And Carmela's friend, Quigg, is the top suspect !!  Quigg begs Carmela to clear his name and even though she should say no, she is pulled in to the excitement.

But before anyone can solve the first murder, a second murder occurs and Carmela is right smack in the middle of everything.  This does not make her boyfriend happy at all....considering he's the top detective on the case !!

If you pick up Crepe Factor by Laura Childs, plan to go on a trip.... From window shopping in the French Quarter, to sipping wine and eating cavier at a charity event to cruising around the swamplands to checking out the street vendors.....There is never a dull moment !!  So grab yourself a mimosa, put some comfy clothes on and take a little trip with Carmela......

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam (Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries #6) by Alannah Rogers

The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam (Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries, #6)

When Abigail Freedman, Beatrice Young's sworn rival, approaches her with a case she's too curious not to take it on. As it turns out, Abby has a very modern romantic conundrum: her Internet boyfriend may be the love of her life ... or a scammer who wants to suck her bank account dry. 

It's up to the 62-year-old Cozy Cat Cafe owner and her three crime-solving cats to find this Romeo's identity. Too bad Hamish, Petunia, and Lucky can't help Bee with an even bigger problem: how to sort out her new feelings for ex-husband and best friend Matthew. 

No matter what happens, things are about to get romantic in Ashbrook, New Hampshire... 

This book will be 50% longer than previous Beatrice Young mysteries. 

The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam is the sixth book in the Beatrice Young cozy cat mystery series. These books can be read in any order but are extra delightful when enjoyed in sequence.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Beatrice Young Cozy Mystery series is a GREAT series to read.  As these stories are very short, they are easy to read.  However, even though they are shorter than other cozy books, there is nothing missing from them.  They still have an amazing group of characters you will fall in love with....  There are 3 cats that are extremely involved in the story......  The main character, Beatrice, owns her own cafe, has a sort of love interest, and works closely with the Sheriff who is also a friend.

In The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam Beatrice is hired by her competition, Abigail, to investigate a secret admirer she met through an online dating site.  In order for Beatrice to solve the case she has to set up her own profile and attract the same gentlemen.  

Unfortunately when they find out who the identity belongs to, they are completely shocked !!  I know I was and hope you are too !!!

If you have free time or need to fill an hour or so grab on of Alannah Roger's stories and get lost for a while.......

Review by Missi S.

Friday 10 February 2017

A Measure of Murder: (A Sally Solari Mystery #2) by Leslie Karst

A Measure of Murder: A Sally Solari Mystery

Sally Solari is busy juggling work at her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s, and helping Javier plan the autumn menu for the restaurant she’s just inherited, Gauguin. Complicating this already hectic schedule, Sally joins her ex-boyfriend Eric’s chorus, which is performing a newly discovered version of her favorite composition: the Mozart Requiem. But then, at the first rehearsal, a tenor falls to his death on the church courtyard--and his soprano girlfriend is sure it wasn’t an accident.

Now Sally's back on another murder case mixed in with a dash of revenge, a pinch of peril, and a suspicious stack of sheet music. And while tensions in the chorus heat up, so does the kitchen at Gauguin--set aflame right as Sally starts getting too close to the truth. Can Sally catch the killer before she’s burnt to a crisp, or will the case grow as cold as yesterday’s leftovers?

In a stew of suspects and restaurateurs, trouble boils over in the second in Leslie Karst’s tasty and tantalizing Sally Solari mystery series, A Measure of Murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)

A Measure of Murder by Leslie Karst is NOT your regular kind of cozy.  In A Measure of Murder when a member of the chorus is found dead in the courtyard having fallen from a second story window it is ruled an accident by the police. Sally doesn't believe it and neither does the girlfriend of the deceased because she asks Sally to look into it.  

In most cozy mystery series a person dies, the police start an investigation, as well as a friend or aquaintance of the deceased who knows very little about "police work".  The amateur sleuth usually gets themselves in too deep but at the same time solves the case.

However that is far from the case in this book.  As soon as Sally saw the way the deceased was laying after falling out of the second floor window she knew he didn't just fall.  Unfortunately when she mentioned this to the detective in charge of the case he had ruled it accidental and considered the case closed.

Even though Sally has just joined the chorus it didn't stop her from getting to know the others in the group as well as try to get information about the deceased.  

As you read A Measure of Murder you may find yourself more stressed over everything that Sally is doing....just joining the chorus while juggling time between two restaurants as well as training her replacement at her father's restaurant and learning the ropes at the one she recently inheritated.  

And boy when you get to the end of the story and find how who committed the crime, you will be super shocked ! !  I was completely wrong which is a good thing because I would have put an innocent person behind bars.......

Review by Missi S.

Monday 6 February 2017

The Courtyard Corpse: A Cassie Hall Concierge Mystery by Sherry Lodge

The Courtyard Corpse: A Cassie Hall Concierge Mystery

Can down-to-earth Cassie Hall prove her skills when she lands a plum concierge job at the upscale Parkstone? After discovering the dead body of a professional golfer, and resident millionaire, Kip Ace in the crabapple tree courtyard, Cassie finds the residents’ demands are the least of her worries.

With less than a day to catch the killer Cassie must sort through the residents’ motives which have piled up quicker than rent checks on the 1st of the month. Soon, mysterious power outages, a missing lease, and a wine cellar mystery are par for the course.

Everything is off-kilter with the building on 24-hour lock-down. Can Cassie find the holes in the residents’ stories before it’s too late?
   (Summary via Goodreads)

A murder that takes place and is solved within 24 hours is amazing ! !  And the fact that the police didn't solve it is even better !!  And when it's the girlfriend of the police detective that solves the case...well even better ! !

Cassie, who works the front desk of a very upscale residence, is late to work and while doing her rounds comes across a body in the courtyard.  And when she gets closer and finds out its one of the tenants in the building she is shocked !!  Kip Ace is a professional golfer and an idol of Cassie's....or at least he was before he ended up dead in the courtyard.

While Cassie's boyfriend homicide detective Eric and crew are interviewing all of the residents during a mandatory 24-hour lock-in Cassie tries to keep the peace with everyone while secretly doing her own investigating.  And when she finds out she is the top suspect and her job in in jeopardy she steps up her game !!!

The Courtyard Corpse by Sherry Lodge is the first book in her Cassie Hall Concierge Mystery series and is a great book to start a series with.  Lodge doesn't beat around the bush, or in this case the crabapple tree, with the murder.  She captivates you instantly !!  You get to meet a handful of the colorful residents in this posh posh apartment complex while hanging out in the luxurious lobby.  

I, for one, cannot wait for the next book to see what more we can find out about the characters and see what case Cassie can help Eric solve.

To learn more about Lodge and her books, visit her website at

Review by Missi S