Wednesday 31 January 2018

Frosted with Revenge (Cookies & Chance Mystery #4) by Catherine Bruns


Frosted with Revenge (Cookies & Chance Mystery #4)
Sally Muccio’s walk down the aisle might be her last.
The some-time amateur sleuth and full-time bakery owner is finally marrying the man of her dreams. But during a last minute taste testing of their wedding cake, Sally and her fiancé are witnesses—and almost victims!—of a random shooting. At least they think it’s random, until an original fortune cookie message proves otherwise. Is someone after Sally? And why does the mysterious shooter want to ice the baker? Sal tries to proceed with caution, but when someone close to her is attacked, all bets are off. She'll do whatever it takes to bring this monster to justice, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.
Can Sal make it to the church on time…and alive?  (Summary via Goodreads)




If you aren't a fan of Catherine Bruns and her Cookies and Chance Mystery series....what are you waiting for ???  Sally and Mike are getting married and you won't want to miss their big day !!  

Frosted with Revenge is the fourth book in this series and if you have been reading them from the first one, you are totally in love with Sally, Mike and the rest of the crew.  And you are well invested in their lives and you will not be able to resist the urge to continue reading until the last page.

Sally and Mike are getting married but as they are planning their big day someone else has other plans for Sally.....like wanting her dead !!!  Now you know that Sally can take care of herself but in Frosted with Revenge she is pushed to her limits !!  And it all starts when her and Mike are at the bakery for the taste testing for their wedding cake ( I know....why isn't her best friend and partner in the cookie shop Josie making the cake ?? ).  As Mike is outside taking a phone call another bride-to-be stands in front of Sally in the window and is shot !!  So instead of the week before their wedding being a happy time for them, they are forced to change all their plans and try to find out who wants Sally dead before someone else gets killed.

The Cookies and Chance Mystery series is more than just a series....it's a family !!  Once you read the first book, you are hooked and feel like a member of the crazy Muccio family.  So when you do get to Frosted with Revenge, make sure you are somewhere comfortable with a box of tissues because you will not be able to hold in the emotions that arise !!

Review by Missi S.






Monday 29 January 2018

The Hostess with the Ghostess (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #9) by E.J. Copperman



The Hostess with the Ghostess (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #9)
Things are never quiet for long at the Haunted Guesthouse. Right as Alison Kerby finally gets some peace, long-time deceased Paul Harrison’s recently murdered brother, Richard, shows up looking for the ghostly detective. But Paul has left for parts unknown months ago. The only thing is, she doesn’t know how to find him. And she’s going to need to because Richard’s isn’t the only murder still left unsolved.

As she searches for Paul, Alison discovers that Richard, who was a lawyer, was working a case about a woman accused of murdering her stepfather. It quickly becomes clear that Richard was getting too close to the truth, and was forcibly kept quiet. Now as Alison continues her investigation, she gets a creeping sensation that the murderer doesn’t appreciate her snooping around. And if she doesn’t stop, she’ll be next in The Hostess with the Ghostess, the witty and delightful follow-up to national bestselling author E. J. Copperman’s Spouse on Haunted Hill.  (Summary via Goodreads)



I'm on the fence when it comes to books with ghosts....not sure how I feel about them but after reading The Hostess with the Ghostess by E.J. Copperman I think I'm leaning over the fence now.   The Hostess with the Ghostess is the ninth book in the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series and although it is the first one that I have had the pleasure of reading I was thoroughly entertained from the first page to the last.  

It always amazes me the talent and imagination that authors have and Copperman is way off the charts with imagination !!!  

In this series you meet Alison Kerby and hang out in her big house on the Jersey shore.  She has turned the house into a haunted guesthouse where a few of her resident ghosts put shows on throughout the visit.  Alison lives there with her husband who can't see the ghosts and her teenage daughter, Melissa, who can see them.  There are 3 ghosts living there and Alison's mother and father (who is a ghost) visit regularly.  Alison's mom can also see and communicate with the ghosts.  One of the resident ghosts, Paul, encouraged Alison to get her private investigators license so that she can investigate murders with Paul's assistance.  

In The Hostess with the Ghostess Paul's brother is murdered while working on a case and shows up at the Haunted Guesthouse looking for Paul.  This leads you down a FUN road with the crew working the case.....  It is fun because you will not believe the things that the ghosts are capable of doing (may just be in this series but it's a hoot !!) and fun reading the interactions among the ghosts and the living individuals who can see them and those that cannot !!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am sorry it has taken this long to read a book in it.  I can assure you that I will be looking for more opportunities to go to the Haunted Guesthouse.....maybe stay for a spell (no, they don't do spells but you will be under a trance while reading them....)

Review by Missi S.
  

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Many a Twist (County Cork #6) by Sheila Connolly


Many a Twist (County Cork #6)

Pub owner Maura Donovan hasn’t seen her mother for over twenty years, so when she suddenly shows up in Maura’s pub, Maura’s not sure what to expect. Her mother is trying to find a life for herself back home and has taken up a position working with the new owners of the Crann Mor hotel just outside Skibbereen. Until her new boss is found dead in the gardens, dumped down the hillside behind the hotel.

Now, trying to rekindle the relationship they’ve lost, Maura must investigate in order to clear her mother’s name. It’s not so easy though, as long-time residents of County Cork, including the families of her employee Mick, and the family of the deceased hotel owner, have bottled deep dark family secrets not meant to be uncorked. And someone will kill to keep them that way.

How far would you go to protect your family? Maura tests the age-old question in Many a Twist, the charming and atmospheric sixth County Cork mystery from New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly.  (Summary via Goodreads)


Many a Twist is the sixth book in Sheila Connolly's County Cork Mystery series and the second book in this series that I have read.  I just love these books !!  They are set in a little town in Ireland and focus around Maura Donovan.  Maura grew up in Boston but when her grandmother passed away, Maura found herself going to Ireland where she inherited a house and a pub.  She decided to stay there and run the pub and see how things went.  I, for one, am glad she did !!

Connolly has a unique talent in taking a person sitting on their couch in Albany, New York and transporting them to a little country town in Ireland.  As I read the book, I cannot help but read it with an "Ireland" accent....and how fun is that !!!  While you are reading the book, you will feel like you are right there in the pub with Maura and her crew.  

Many a Twist brings Maura's long lost mother back into her life when the company her mom works for purchases a grand hotel in the area.  But before Maura is reunited with her mom, the owner of the hotel is found dead on the grounds of the hotel.  When her mother, Helen, is taken into the police station she refuses to talk to them until she talks to Maura.  Maura hasn't seen or spoken to her mother in over 20 years when her mother left her with her grandmother.....before Maura can even process this, she feels she must find out how the owner of the hotel, John Bryne, died and if her mother had anything to do with it.  Luckily Maura knows the gardai (police) having helped them solve cases in the past and with owning a pub she knows a lot of people.....which helps a lot !!

Many a Twist is a very good title for this latest installment of this series.  Not only are there twists in the case with John Bryne's death and with Maura's mother showing up in Ireland but there are some interesting twists in Maura's personal and professional lives as well.  Connolly definitely knows how to keep the reader turning the pages.....After reading Many a Twist I don't know if I want to have a cuppa tea or a pint.....

Review by Missi S.  



Tuesday 9 January 2018

Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #7) by Leslie Langtry


Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #7)

From USA Today bestselling author Leslie Langtry comes the next Nani Johnson adventure in paradise...

Ukulele player Nani Johnson is just starting to put the past behind her and settle in on Kauai with her loveable but crazy Mom, her hot new boyfriend, and regular gigs at both the Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel and the Aloha Lagoon Resort. But unfortunately her island life proves anything but relaxing when a man carrying ID that says he's from Nani's hometown dies in front of her. Now it looks like Nani and her mother are the main suspects.

Things go from bad to bleak in paradise as Nani’s mom starts acting even odder than usual, there’s a mutiny involving snakes at the Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel, and more bodies inconveniently pop up near Nani. Can Nani stay out of jail long enough to unmask the real killer…or will the police pin it all on her?

The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:
Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2)
Deadly Wipeout (book #3)
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4)
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5)
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6)
Ukulele Deadly (book #7)
Bikinis and Bloodshed (book #8)
Death of the Kona Man (book #9)
Lethal Tide (book #10)

About Aloha Lagoon:
There's trouble in paradise...
Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii's hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere...and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we're certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget!  (Summary via Goodreads)



Not one ....or even two murders but three !!!  And Nani Johnson is found standing over ALL three of them !!!  Wow Leslie Langtry sure knows how to bring the heat to the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series !!  

Ukulele Deadly by Leslie Langtry is the seventh book in this series and even though I am not reading them in order, I am not missing a thing !!  

In Ukulele Deadly you are hanging around with Nani Johnson.  She plays the ukulele, teaches lessons, plays at the Aloha Lagoon Resort and the Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel, hangs out with her boyfriend Nick and trys to keep tabs on her somewhat crazy mother.  Her life on the island is not paradise but to her it is pretty nice !!  That is until one night she is walking back to her car after picking up dinner from the Loco Moco Cafe and comes across a man lying on the ground behind her car.  Within seconds the man dies and Nani seems to be the main suspect.  And when they find out the deceased is from her hometown in Kansas, it's almost an open and shut case.  

Lucky for Nani she calls her cousin Andy who still lives in Kansas to see if he may know the deceased man whose ID says he is Ed Hopper.  Fortunately Andy does know him and he is still alive and is the new police office in town.   

Andy and Ed hop on a plane see what is going on and try to find out who the deceased "Ed Hopper" really is.  When a singer who works with Nani is the second person killed and again Nani is standing over the body, she decides to look into these deaths.  So along with Nick, her friend Binny and her cousin, Nani tries to solve the murders and clear her name.....which isn't easy considering everyone on the island seem to think its cool and she's even been given nicknames and someone is selling t-shirts.....

You cannot help but continue to fall in love with Aloha Lagoon, the island and the residents and workers even if people are dying.... because you know that when you get to the end of one of these books, the murders will be solved and you will have made new friends and your stay at Aloha Lagoon Resort will be extended when you pick up another in this series...... 

Review by Missi S.

Friday 5 January 2018

A Devious Death (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #3) by Alyssa Maxwell


A Devious Death (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery, #3)
In the sobering yet hopeful years following the First World War, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, find their summer plans marred by an instance of murder . . .
 
Phoebe and her sister Julia are eager for a summer getaway at High Head Lodge, the newly purchased estate of their cousin Regina. But they are not the only houseguests. Regina's odd friend, Olive, is far from friendly, and Regina's mother and brother—bitter over the unequal distribution of her father's inheritance—have descended on the house to confront Regina.
 
In addition to the family tension, Eva is increasingly suspicious of Lady Julia's new maid. She questions Miss Stanley's loyalty and integrity, wondering why she left her former employer so suddenly. And why does Regina seem ill at ease around the maid, as if they were previously acquainted? Everyone, it appears, is on edge.
 
But things go from tense to tragic when their hostess meets an untimely end—mysteriously murdered in her bed with no signs of struggle. Now, with suspects in every room, Lady Phoebe and Eva must uncover secrets hidden behind closed doors—before a killer ensures they never leave High Head Lodge . . . alive.  (Summary via Goodreads)



It always amazes me how much research goes into a fictional story.  I use to just read a book, enjoy the story and leave it at that.  But now when I read a book, I not only enjoy the story but appreciate the hard work that the author put into the story to ensure that it captures the reader's attention.  After all an author's goal is to tell an interesting story, one that will mesmerize the reader and if the author is lucky the story will stay with the reader even after the last word is read and the book is closed.

And Alyssa Maxwell had mastered that !!!  A Devious Death is the third book in her Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery series and with each book, I grow to love Lady Phoebe and her Lady's Maid Eva more and more !!  

There is so much to love with these stories....the relationships among the main characters Lady Phoebe, her Lady's Maid Eva, Miles who is the Constable always on the job, and Lady Phoebe's older sister Julia.  Of course other people are always introduced in the books as with A Devious Death.....Lady Phoebe and Lady Julia go to their cousin Regina's new home to help her with ideas for redecorating the huge estate.  Only to have the rest of Regina's family show up unannounced claiming that Regina owes them money because she was named the only heir to her father's estate.

There ends up more questions than answers when Regina is found murdered and her "friend" Olive is the one to find her.  Everyone is under suspicion, even Regina's mother and brother, and then when another person is murdered and a couple show up who aren't who they claim to be no one is safe....but no one can leave either.....per the Constable's orders.

Every time I read an Alyssa Maxwell novel I end up reading a remarkable story as well as learning a thing or two.....  There within again I must applaud Maxwell and all other authors for all the work that they put into a story just so that I, a reader, can get lost for a while.....

Review by Missi S.







Thursday 4 January 2018

Death of the Kona Man (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #9) by Catherine Bruns


Death of the Kona Man (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #9)
There's trouble in paradise...the multi-author Aloha Lagoon Mysteries series dishes the dirt on all the murder, mystery, and madcap mayhem in Aloha Lagoon. Told from the points of view of several different women who live and work in Aloha Lagoon, there is never a dull moment. Enjoy their laughter, love, and intriguing investigations—island style!

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next deadly delicious Carrie Jorgenson adventure in paradise... 

Carrie Jorgenson is living the dream in Hawaii. She has a steady job as a waitress at the Loco Moco Café, a hot new love interest in her manager, and the curtain’s about to rise on her role in a local theater production. But when she's asked to deliver food to a guest at the Aloha Lagoon resort—who then drops dead!—her dreams quickly become the stuff of nightmares. 

World renowned food critic Randolph Cremshaw has no shortage of enemies. He's rude, patronizing, and famous for his one-star reviews. After the coffee Carrie delivers is discovered to have been poisoned, she and the café quickly rise to the top of the suspects list. A jealous co-worker, thefts at the restaurant, and a performance that threatens to blow up in Carrie's face only make things worse. With an already full plate, Carrie is also forced into making a decision that may change everything for her. But this all pales in comparison when she comes face to face with Randolph's killer and what might be the final curtain call…of her life.   (Summary via Goodreads)



Death of the Kona Man by Catherine Bruns is the 9th book in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series.  Each book in this series is written by a different author.  You can pick up any of these books and get to know all about the island and the people who live, work, play .....and maybe die there !!

In Death of the Kona Man you hang around with Carrie Jorgenson.  Carrie is someone that you will instantly like.  She followed her boyfriend to Hawaii from Vermont but ended up single when she caught him cheating.  That's okay.....she's in HAWAII !!!  She works at the Loco Moco Cafe, which is an ocean front cafe in the Aloha Lagoon resort, she also has a role in the local theater production of Little Women and she has a new boyfriend.  

The Loco Moco is visited by a famous food critic, Randolph Cremshaw, who sits in Carrie's section.  Unfortunately someone put hot sauce in the ketchup containers and the food critic ends up with his mouth on fired and storms out.  The critic trashes the cafe on his blog so the owners agree to provide free food for him in order to save the cafe's reputation.  Unfortunately (again) when Carrie delivers his breakfast the coffee is cold so he sends her back to get fresh hot coffee.  When she returns with the hot coffee, the critic is on the floor foaming at the mouth....and not in a good way !!!

 Even though there are a lot of people who disliked Randolph and probably wanted him dead, the Loco Moco and Carrie are on the top of the suspect list.  The owners don't care much for Carrie already because she is dating their son, Keanu, and this new development does not help matters any.

While continuing to work at the cafe, go to rehearsals and performance at the theater Carrie does some investigating of her own.  She knows that she did not kill Randolph and no one in the cafe would either but who on the island would ?  

As she investigates she finds out Randolph and his brother Richard went to college with Jeff who owns and is the director at the theater as well as Howie who is a Hollywood producer who is on the island.  Randolph also has a daughter on the island that he wanted nothing with as well has his wife who was having an affair with his brother.  

There are so many people that could have killed Randolph but when Carrie uncovers some things from his college days ......

Oh I can't tell you any more.... I mean I could but I really think you should read for yourself.  
Gemma Halliday Publishing has done an AMAZING job putting together this series and the authors writing it.  There is also a website that you can visit to better aquaint yourself with the people and places as you read the series.  

Death of the Kona Man was the first book in the series that I have read but I guarantee that I will be going back and reading the rest of them.  I didn't want to leave Aloha Lagoon.  In her writing Catherine Bruns takes you away.... not only does she take you to paradise where there is a murder but she takes you down lovers' lane also........

Get to know Aloha Lagoon :   http://www.gemmahalliday.com/Aloha_Lagoon/books.html


Review by Missi S.