Wednesday 27 June 2018

Just Murdered (A Dead-End Job Mystery Book 4) by Elaine Viets

Just Murdered (A Dead-End Job Mystery Book 4) by [Viets, Elaine]

From Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author Elaine Viets—the thrilling mystery series about one woman trying to make a living... while other people are making a killing.

After all she’s endured with her own marriage, divorce, and subsequent flight from alimony, Helen Hawthorne getting a job at Millicent’s Bridal Salon is ironic in the extreme. But the pay is in cash and that’s what matters for Helen to stay incognito.

But there’s no amount of cash worth having to deal with the abominable Kiki—a wealthy witch who’s lording it over her daughter’s wedding plans with the aim of making the day all about Kiki, not the bride. She also thinks her money makes her invulnerable…but she’s proven wrong when she’s found smothered to death with her daughter’s wedding dress. And worse, the cops seem to think Helen is responsible.

Now, Helen has to keep her identity secret and prove her innocence before the bride and groom read their wedding vows—and the police read Helen her rights…

Praise for the Dead-End Job Mysteries by Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author Elaine Viets

“A stubborn and intelligent heroine, a wonderful South Florida setting, and a cast of more-or-less lethal bimbos...I loved this book.”—Charlaine Harris
“Brave Viets preps by actually working the jobs she describes in loving and hilarious detail, giving her offbeat series a healthy balance between the banal and the bizarre.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Laugh-out-loud comedy with enough twists and turns to make it to the top of the mystery bestseller charts.” —Florida Today
“Fans of Janet Evanovich and Parnell Hall will appreciate Viets’s humor.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Wit, murder, and sunshine . . . it must be Florida. I love this new series.”—Nancy Pickard
“A heroine with a sense of humor and a gift for snappy dialogue.”—Jane Heller  (Summary via Amazon)

The Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets is one of my favorites !!!  Just Murdered is the fourth book in this series and I could not put it down !!!  (which can also be said about the previous three books)

Once you begin reading books in a series, you feel like you are visiting a friend when you get to others in that series.  Not only are you comfortable with the main character(s) and the setting but you feel like a part of it all !!  And the Dead-End Job Mystery series has the best storylines !!!  Each book introduces you to a new job that Helen begins working at to stay under the radar from her ex-husband and these jobs are a HOOT !!!  First its a high-end clothing shop, then a bookstore, followed by a telemarketing job and now in Just Murdered a bridal gown salon.

Not only are the jobs interesting and fun but once Helen clocks out for the day she returns to her apartment at the Coronado Tropic Apartments to hang out by the pool with her landlady and friends.  As you read these books, you will feel like a part of the group and a resident of the Coronado also.  

And let's not forget ...... murder.  There, of course, has to be a dead body in the mix and Helen has to be right there in the thick of it all.  But again as you get to know Helen you would expect nothing less of her.  

Yes I am talking like everything about the Dead-End Job Mystery series is real and that Helen is a real person..... Well I challenge you to read one of these books and tell me that you aren't drawn to Helen and feel like everything you are reading feels real.  You will get so engrossed in the story, you will not want to put in down and when you do finish one of the books, you will do whatever it takes to get your hands on the next one.......

I cannot wait to continue following Helen and crew and walk along side Helen in whatever dead-end job she takes next.......

Review by Missi S.

Monday 25 June 2018

The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4) by Eva Gates

The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4)
Halloween in North Carolina’s Outer Banks becomes seriously tricky when librarian Lucy Richardson stumbles across something extra unusual in the rare books section: a dead body.

Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce. Unfortunately, while the library is hosting a lecture on ghostly legends, Jay becomes one of the dearly departed in the rare books section. Now, it’s up to Lucy Richardson and her fellow librarians to bone up on their detective skills and discover who is responsible for this wicked Halloween homicide.

Meanwhile, very strange things are happening at the library—haunted horses are materializing in the marsh, the lights seem to have an eerie life of their own, and the tiny crew of a model ship appears to move around when no one is watching. Is Lucy at her wit’s end? Or can it be that the Bodie Island Lighthouse really is haunted?

With The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on everyone’s minds and ghoulish gossip on everyone’s lips, Lucy will need to separate the clues from the boos if she wants to crack this case without losing her head in The Spook in the Stacks, the delightful fourth in national bestseller Eva Gates’ Lighthouse Library mysteries. (Summary via Goodreads)

I want to live in a lighthouse !!  And you will too after you read The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates.  Or you will want to be Lucy, the main character in this series.

Lucy is a librarian who works at the Bodie Island Lighthouse and she also lives in an apartment at the top of the lighthouse.  The Lighthouse Library Mystery series is based on the library, Lucy and the things that surround them.

The Spook in the Stacks is the perfect title for this fourth book  in this series as the story is set around the week before Halloween and the spooky things that are happening......  Of course there is a murder and the murder takes place in the library.....but even that will not deter you away from liking Lucy and the library.  The person who is murdered is a very rich gentleman Jay Ruddle, who is visiting the library because he has a collection of historical documents that he is looking to house somewhere and the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library is on his list as potential candidates.  But before he can voice his decision, he is found murdered in the rare book room at the library......and Lucy is the one to find him !!!

Even though Lucy didn't know Jay that well as having just met him before he was murdered she cannot help but look into his death.  She is drawn to Jay's granddaughter Julia and wants to make sure justice is served and the murderer is found.  

There is so much to love in this series....from the library being in a lighthouse to the characters that work along side Lucy, to the mysterious things that are happening to the relationships of all the characters.  The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library is a place you would want to hang out in and the North Carolina Outer Banks is a place you would want to live in if given the chance....and Lucy is definitley someone you want in your corner if you were suspected of murder !!

Review by Missi S.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Date with Malice: A Samson and Delilah Mystery (Samson and Delilah Mysteries) by Julia Chapman

Date with Malice: A Samson and Delilah Mystery (Samson and Delilah Mysteries) by [Chapman, Julia]

Date with Malice is the second book in a delightful new English village mystery series by Julia Chapman, set in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.
When a pensioner turns up at the Dales Detective Agency and tells Samson O’Brien that someone in her old people’s home is trying to kill her, he dismisses her fears as the ramblings of a confused elderly lady. But after several disturbing incidents at Fellside Court, he begins to wonder if perhaps there is something malicious at the heart of the retirement community after all.
With Christmas around the corner, Samson is thrown into an investigation that will require all of his detective skills. He also needs the help of the tempestuous Delilah Metcalfe in order to infiltrate the local community, which Samson turned his back on so long ago. Against the background of a Yorkshire winter, Samson and Delilah must work together to uncover the malevolence that is threatening the lives of Bruncliffe’s senior citizens; a malevolence that will come perilously close to home.  (Summary via Amazon)

Date with Malice is the second book in the Samson & Delilah Mystery series by Julia Chapman and the first in the series that I have read.  And even though the series starts with Date with Death, I wasn't lacking anything when I started reading Date with Malice.  As soon as I started reading this book, I was drawn into the little village of Bruncliffe and it didn't take me long to realize that I was going to be a huge fan of Samson and Delilah !!

You will fall in love with Samson for his mysterious ways and the secrets that surround him.  You don't know what secrets there are but you are instantly intruged and want to know everything about him, why he left the home years ago and most importantly what made him return.  And Deliliah is a strong, independent hard working woman that you instantly admire and want to be around her as much as possible.....  Yes I know that these are both characters in a book but when you are reading Date with Malice, everything feels real.....

When you pick up a book to read you want to be drawn into the story, you want to relate to or like the characters, you want to escape your life and dive into another world and be entertained.  Date with Malice does all that and more.....the town will have you wishing you lived there, you will fall in love with all the residents, and when one of them ends up dead, you will want to do everything in your power to see that the mystery surrounding their death is solved....even if the only thing that you can do "to help" is read as fast as you can......

I was captivated from the beginning until the end and when an author ends a book as Chapman did with Date with Malice, there is NO way that the reader will not be longing for more.  I cannot wait until the next adventure that Samson and Delilah take ..... I will be right there along side them and Tolpuddle....

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Fields' Guide to Abduction: A Poppy Fields Adventure Book 1 (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern

Fields' Guide to Abduction: A Poppy Fields Adventure Book 1 (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what's better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she'll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself in this new series from the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. 

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief. 

Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress. I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man. 

That's a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week's relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out—math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body. 

“Poppy Fields is in a tough spot. People are dying at a statistically significant rate after interacting with her, starting with her ex-boyfriend. Now a drug cartel is chasing her, the police have taken her passport, and that beach vacation where she was supposed to chill out has turned into a nightmare. Action, humor, great characters, and an intriguing mystery, Mulhern has packed a lot into this excellent mystery. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy!” ~ Julie Moffett, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Lexi Carmichael Mysteries 

"The best book I've read this year!" ~ Gretchen Archer, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Davis Way Crime Capers.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Fields' Guide to Abduction by Julie Mulhern is a can't stop reading but don't want it to end kind of story !!  There is so much going on that captivates the reader and it is written so well that reading it is a breeze!  Which is a far cry from the story.....

When you begin reading Field's Guide to Abduction you are introduced to Poppy Fields who is a spoiled, rich, doesn't have to do anything daughter of a mega-star movie actress.  And when you first meet Poppy, she is hung over, naked in a hotel bathroom with an ex-boyfriend that she doesn't remember hooking up with.  But then everything changes when she leaves the bathroom and finds the ex-boyfriend is dead and she flies off to Mexico to attend a resort grand opening for a friend and more dead bodies pile up !!!

Poppy goes from a spoiled rich girl to a girl in the middle of a cartel drug war and she has to do everything in her power to stay alive and get back to the States.  The things that she ends up doing to survive will have every girl and woman wishing they were friends with Poppy and not for her money or her connections.

Mulhern has a great book in Fields' Guide to Abduction in so many ways....she captures your attention before you even finish reading Chapter 1, you will not want to put the book down even to go to the bathroom or fill your wineglass or coffee cup, she will have you on the edge of your seat during the entire middle of the story, you will have mixed emotions when you get to the end of the will be sad because you finished the book but the way that Mulhern ended the story gives the reader huge hope for the next book and the continuation of the amazing ride that she got you hooked on !!!

I know that when you finish reading this book, you will be right there along with me....a HUGE fan of Poppy Fields, Julie Mulhern and even Consuela.....and you will be watching for the next book in this series......

Review by Missi S.

Thursday 14 June 2018

The Embroidered Corpse (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery #2) by Brian Kavanagh

The Embroidered Corpse (a Belinda Lawrence Mystery)

Two startling murders that replicate the death of a mediaeval English king and the discovery of a mysterious ancient tapestry lead Belinda Lawrence and her associate Hazel Whitby into a vortex of suspense involving a bizarre religious cult, an enigmatic academic, a group of monks devoted to aggression and clues to a thrilling conspiracy nearly a thousand years old.
It is the murder of a local villager that ensnares Belinda and Hazel in this web of intrigue and as they follow up each clue they little realise that their own lives are in danger. Each perilous turn brings them closer to an electrifying climax and imminent death. Following on from Capable of Murder, this is the second in the Belinda Lawrence Mystery Series and continues the lively young Australian's adventures in England with the same degree of wicked humour and heart-stopping excitement.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

I fell in love with Belinda Lawrence in the first Belinda Lawrence Mystery book, Capable of Murder and couldn't wait to read the next installment in this series.  And let me tell you The Embroidered Corpse did NOT disappoint !!!

Brian Kavanagh knows how to capture the readers attention and holding it from the first page until the last word !!  And the twists, turns and secrets that unfold will have the reader turning pages as fast as they can.  There are so many things going on that keep the reader focused and you cannot help but fall in love with everything surrounding Belinda, her friends and the things that she stumbles across.

As I said I love Belinda....and I love her friends and her cottage and especially the situations that she gets into.  Who would think that attending an auction with her friend Hazel would lead her down a dark road involving an old tapestry ?  Well that is exactly what happens in The Embroidered Corpse and one's imagination cannot even begin to amount to the degree of storytelling that Kavanagh is quite capable of !!!  

I suggest that you don't even give it any thought other than to pick the book up and open it to begin reading an amazingly captivating and exciting journey...... I predict you will also become a fan of this series !!!

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Death and a Pot of Chowder (A Maine Murder Mystery #1) by Cornelia Kidd

Death and a Pot of Chowder (A Maine Murder Mystery #1)
Maine’s Quarry Island has a tight-knit community that’s built on a rock-solid foundation of family, tradition and hard work. But even on this small island, where everyone knows their neighbors, there are secrets that no one would dare to whisper. 

Anna Winslow, her husband Burt and their teenage son have deep roots on Quarry Island. Burt and his brother, Carl, are lobstermen, just like their father and grandfather before them. And while some things on the island never seem to change, Anna’s life is about to take some drastically unexpected turns. First, Anna discovers that she has a younger sister, Izzie Jordan. Then, on the day she drives to Portland to meet Izzie for the first time, Carl’s lobster boat is found abandoned and adrift. Later that evening, his corpse is discovered—but he didn’t drown. 

Whether it was an accident or murder, Carl’s sudden death has plunged Anna’s existence into deadly waters. Despite barely knowing one another and coming from very different backgrounds, Anna and Izzie unite to find the killer. With their family in crisis, the sisters strive to uncover the secrets hidden in Quarry Island—and, perhaps, the ones buried within their own hearts. 

Sure to be an intoxicating read for fans of Sarah Graves and Leslie Meier, Death and a Pot of Chowder is the first Maine Murder mystery by Cornelia Kidd.  (Summary via Goodreads)

What a great start to a new series !!!  Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd really sets the stage for an amazing and strong series !!

Living in New York, I grew up vacationing in New Hampshire and our family always took day trips into Maine. So with Death and a Pot of Chowder centered in Maine, I was already a fan but after reading it, I would have to say that I can honestly admit that I am a groupie !!  

Death and a Pot of Chowder is centered on an island which is so cool plus it focuses on one family.  Even though it is focused on one family, Anna, her husband, Burt and their son Jake, and the loss of Burt's brother, you are introduced to a sister Anna just finds out she has and everyone on the island are very close.  Some maybe too close.....but that makes the story even better !!!!

One thing I also loved with this book is that before each chapter Kidd provides the reader with a little history from books written back in the early ages such as this one that begins Chapter 6 :
     "Hospitality is an art as well as a virtue."  
       ---The Epicure's Year Book and Table Companion by Blanchard Jerrold.  
            London: Bradbury, Evans and Co., 1868.  

The sayings are fun little tidbits of how things occurred many, many years ago and some even can still be related to today. 

Death and a Pot of Chowder is a book you will fall in love with....from Anna and her family to the neighbors to the have love, commitment, secrets, old and new relationships, old and new friendships.......and it always helps when there's a murder to have a retired detective living next door !!!

For so many reasons I loved this book and look forward to reading as many Maine Murder Mystery books as Kidd can create......I'm sure you will agree when you finish reading Death and a Pot of Chowder.....

Review by Missi S. 

Friday 1 June 2018

For Sale By Killer (Cindy York #3) by Catherine Bruns

For Sale By Killer (Cindy York, #3)
From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes a delightfully deadly new Cindy York Mystery...

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Words for Cindy York to live by. The struggling real estate agent, full-time mother, and part-time sleuth has been having a tough winter and is desperate for a juicy commission. When she stumbles across a quaint mansion that's "For Sale by Owner," she can hardly believe her luck. Percy Rodgers is anxious to move and immediately hires Cindy as his agent. But when she shares the exciting news with boss and best bud, Jacques Forte, he tells her that Mr. Rodgers neighborhood is a dangerous place to play, since the man just served 20 years for murdering his wife. Before Cindy can axe the deal, she stumbles over another dead body inside the house and is swept up in family drama, resentment, and decade old secrets that someone will kill to keep. If Cindy isn’t careful, this may end up being one deal that really is to die for.

Cindy York Mysteries:
Killer Transaction – book #1
Priced to Kill – book #2
For Sale By Killer – book #3

What critics are saying:
"Lock up your house before you begin Killer Transaction. You'll want no interruptions once you start this fast-paced tale of murder, family issues, and competitive real estate sales. A quick, enjoyable read!"
—Nancy J. Cohen, bestselling author of the Bad Hair Day Mysteries
"Catherine Bruns closes the deal with this fantastic cozy. I loved everything about this story from the characters to the plot, the setting and the pace. I cannot wait to see what adventures Cindy gets up to next. If you enjoy your cozy with strong heroines and interesting circumstances this is a must read."
—Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick!

"Ms. Bruns is an excellent writer—her style was definitely to get out of the way and let this reader enjoy the experience."
—The Kindle Book Review
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Cindy York is someone to admire !!  She is a devoted mother....a loving wife....committed to her job as a real estate agent.....always there for her best friend....willing to go above and beyond for the people she loves not to mention helping those in need.

Cindy York is the main character in the Cindy York Mystery series written by Catherine Bruns and For Sale by Killer is the third book in this amazing series.  Cindy and her best friend/boss, Jacques are always there for each other and in For Sale by Killer you will see just how there for each other they are !!  Even though Cindy just gave birth to her fourth child and it was a C-section, that will not stop her from getting the listing on a million dollar Victorian mansion.  But nothing in her years of experience or training can prepare her for what happens .......

Before she can get a signature on paper to list the home for sale, she finds out that the owner is a convicted killer.  He insists that he did not kill his wife and Cindy believes him !!  While Cindy tries to sell the house, she finds herself looking for clues and trying to solve the murder.......  Even when it seems that Cindy doesn't have it together, she fools the reader and amazes us all. 

Bruns will have you captivated from the second you pick up For Sale by Killer until you read the last word.  And the way she spins the story with all the twists and turns will have you longing for more......

Review by Missi S.