Tuesday 31 July 2018

Death Over Easy (Country Store Mysteries #5) by Maddie Day

Death Over Easy (Country Store Mysteries #5)
Restaurateur Robbie Jordan is ready for the boost in business a local music festival brings to South Lick, Indiana, but the beloved event strikes a sour note when one of the musicians is murdered . . .
June’s annual Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival in neighboring Beanblossom is always a hit for Robbie’s country store and café, Pans ‘N Pancakes. This year, Robbie is even more excited, because she’s launching a new bed and breakfast above her shop. A few festival musicians will be among Robbie’s first guests, along with her father, Roberto, and his wife, Maria. But the celebration is cut short when a performer is found choked to death by a banjo string. Now all the banjo players are featured in a different kind of lineup. To clear their names, Robbie must pair up with an unexpected partner to pick at the clues and find the plucky killer before he can conduct an encore performance . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day and especially love Death Over Easy.  Death Over Easy is the fifth book in this series so if you are reading them in order, you are already in love with Robbie, her aunt Adele, her boyfriend Abe, her kitchen staff, the restaurant/vintage cookware store she owns and everything else in South Lick, Indiana.  However, as you know there is always more love to give around and in Death Over Easy Robbie has just welcomed the first guests to her new bed and breakfast !!!  She has been renovating the second floor of Pans 'N Pancakes so that she can have overnight guests and with a music festival going on in a neighboring town, now is the best time !!  And one of the rooms is being occupied by her father and his wife visiting from Italy.  We have met her namesake father, Roberto in previous books but only via email communications so to have him visiting, it is very exciting !!!

Yes I am writing this like I actually live in South Lick and Robbie is my friend.  Well if you read books and get lost in them like I do, they become a part of you while you are reading them and you actually do feel like you are there and a part of everything !!!  That is the definition of a good book !!  The defintion of a great book is when you are a reader that is dedicated to an author and their books in a series and cannot wait to get your hands on the latest book in that series and once you do, you cannot stop reading it !!
You know an author is great when you read their books and even after you finish the book, you carry the story and the chracters with you until the next book and then it is just like you are HOME...... its an amazing feeling and I truly hope that Maddie Day and her books become a part of your life because they are a treasure to behold........

Review by Missi S.

Monday 30 July 2018

A Soufflé of Suspicion (A French Bistro Mystery #2) by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Soufflé of Suspicion (A French Bistro Mystery #2)
The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents. 

Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned. 

Fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke will want a succulent second serving of A Soufflé of Suspicion, Daryl Wood Gerber’s appetizing second French Bistro mystery.  (Summary via Goodreads)

What's better than reading the first book in a series ? Reading the second book in the series...... A Souffle of Suspicion is the second book in the French Bistro Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber and it is better than the first one, A Deadly Eclair !!

The thing about reading books in a series is that after you have read the first book, when you start reading the other books in the series, you feel a sense of "home".  You are already familiar with the main character, her friends, family, and the town.  As soon as you start reading the book, you are already engrossed in the story.....you can sit back and get reaquainted with everyone.

Bistro Rousseau and Maison Rousseau are Mimi's prize possessions and when someone who works for her gets into trouble, she will do everything in her power to help them.  And with A Souffle of Suspicion there is a Sweet Treats Festival going on at the Maison Rousseau.  In A Souffle of Suspicion her head chef Camille's sister is found dead in Camille's kitchen.  Everyone knows that Camille wouldn't hurt a fly let alone her sister and with the week long festival taking place, there are a lot of different faces roaming the place.  Also Mimi seems to be able to get people talking....even though the local police don't like it.

I really love the French Bistro Mystery series and everything it has to offer.  I love getting engrossed in the story and letting Mimi and her group take me away to wine country........

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #1) by Dianne Freeman

A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery, #1)
In this exciting historical mystery debut set in Victorian England, a wealthy young widow encounters the pleasures—and scandalous pitfalls—of a London social season . . .

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. After an obligatory year spent mourning her philandering husband, Reggie, she puts aside her drab black gowns, leaving the countryside and her money-grubbing in-laws behind. With her young daughter in tow, Frances rents a home in Belgravia and prepares to welcome her sister, Lily, arriving from New York—for her first London season.

No sooner has Frances begun her new life than the ghosts of her old one make an unwelcome appearance. The Metropolitan police receive an anonymous letter implicating Frances in her husband’s death. Frances assures Inspector Delaney of her innocence, but she’s also keen to keep him from learning the scandalous circumstances of Reggie’s demise. As fate would have it, her dashing new neighbor, George Hazelton, is one of only two other people aware of the full story.

While busy with social engagements on Lily’s behalf, and worrying if Reggie really was murdered, Frances learns of mysterious burglaries plaguing London’s elite. The investigation brings death to her doorstep, and Frances rallies her wits, a circle of gossips, and the ever-chivalrous Mr. Hazelton to uncover the truth. A killer is in their midst, perhaps even among her sister’s suitors. And Frances must unmask the villain before Lily’s season—and their lives—come to a most unseemly end . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

A Lady's Guide to Etiquette & Murder......what a title !!  A title of a book is the most important first step in getting a readers attention.  If the title captures your eye, just imagine what the story will do.  And if you're still unsure after reading the title, turn the book over and you'll read....

"In this exciting historical mystery debut set in Victorian England, a wealthy young widow encounters the pleasures -- and scandalous pitfalls -- of a London social season...."

I am a huge fan of historical mysteries as well as books set in England so I could not wait to dive into this debut book by Dianne Freeman.

A Lady's Guide to Etiquette & Murder introduces you to Frances Price-Wynn who is at the end of the mourning period for her husband, Reggie.  Frances not only cannot stand to wear black any more but she cannot bear to live in the Harleigh Manor with her husband's brother and family any longer.

Before she can get completely comfortable in her new home, she finds out her new neighbor is her best friend Fiona's brother, George.  As this may seem good news, the two of them have a dark moment in their past surrounding her husbands death.  As they renew their friendship, Francis' sister, Lily, comes to stay with her to enjoy the London Season.  This means a lot of parties, dinners, and hopefully, courting by a wealthy suitor.

The London Season should be everything fun and exciting, unfortunately for Frances it is everything but.  While secretly investigating the three men interested in her sister, she unfolds a bigger secret people are willing to kill for.

Dianne Freeman sets the stage quite nicely in this debut book and with an ending that will open the door for many more adventures for Frances and her trusty crew.  I look forward to the next installment.

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Deadly Wipeout (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #3) by Beth Prentice

Deadly Wipeout (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #3)

From bestselling cozy mystery author Beth Prentice comes an Aloha Lagoon mystery that will leave you gasping for more... 

Samantha Reynolds had hoped that moving to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon would be the start of an exciting new life. Sure it may not be everything she had hoped for—she's living with her mom, has no job, no income, and absolutely no idea what to do next. But it's a start! Out of options, Samantha decides to take a job she's just a little under-qualified for—a children's surfing instructor at the Aloha Lagoon Resort. She can surf...she just doesn't know how to teach surfing. But that soon becomes the least of her worries. 

Throw in two dead bodies, two unexpected inheritances, and one hot bartender, and the heat in Aloha Lagoon has quickly turned up! Samantha just needs to figure out why her family is involved, control a group of preadolescent kids, keep her mom and brother out of jail, and get the hot bartender to notice her. It couldn't be that hard, could it? With the help of her new friend Alani and some of the quirky residents of Aloha Lagoon, she just may be able to pull it all off...and still keep everybody alive! 

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) 

Ukelele Deadly (book #7)
Bikinis and Bloodshed (book #8)
Death of the Kona Man (book #9)
Lethal Tide (book #10)
Beachboy Murder (book #11)
Handbags & Homicide (book #12)
Tiara's and Terror (book #13) coming October 2018 ! 
Photo Finished (book #7) coming soon! 

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! visit us at alohalagoonmysteries.com   (Summary via Goodreads)

I love visiting Aloha Lagoon !!  As soon as you start reading one of the books in this amazing series, you are completely lost in the resort, the people and murder !!!

Deadly Wipeout by Beth Prentice is the third book in this series and because the books are all written by different authors, you do not have to read the Aloha Lagoon Resort Mystery series book in order.

Deadly Wipeout follows Samantha who just moved from Sydney Australia to Hawaii.  She moves to Hawaii to live with her mother and twin brother, Luke.  Being new to the island and desperate for money, she applys for a job as a surf instructor for the resort and gets the job !!!  Unfortunately on her first day a dead body washes up in the waves knocking her for a loop.....even though she is new to the island and knows no one, that doesn't stop her from diving full force into the investigation when her mum is taken in for questioning !!  Come to find out the deceased was a resident at the nursing home that her mum and brother work at and had recently changed his will leaving her mum everything.  Things tumble downhill and spiral when another resident is found murdered and her brother is a suspect......Sam and her new friend, Alani, will do anything to prove their innocence.

You cannot help but fall in love with Sam and her nervous ways, especially when she is around the sexy bartender, Casey and for the rapidly growing friendship she is making with Alani.  And even though she is new to the area and doesn't know a lot of people, it doesn't stop her from he devotion to her family.

It is said that Prentice's "main wish is to write books you can sit back, relax with, and escape from your everyday life.....and ones that you walk away from with a smile !" and that is absolutely what she did with Deadly Wipeout.  I know I escaped while reading it and sure had a huge smile on my face when I finished.  You would think that after reading a great book like that would have the reader sad upon completion of it, but knowing that there are more books in the Aloha Lagoon Resort series to read, you know that the adventure will continue......

Review by Missi S.

Friday 6 July 2018

The Persian Always Meows Twice (A Cat Groomer Mystery #1) by Eileen Watkins

The Persian Always Meows Twice (A Cat Groomer Mystery #1)

Cat lovers are thrilled to welcome an expert groomer to the picturesque town of Chadwick. But scratch below the surface, and unmasking a killer becomes a game of cat and mouse . . .

Professional cat grooming isn't all fluff--when the fur starts flying, Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie's Comfy Cats, handles her feistiest four-legged clients with a caring touch and nerves of steel. While these qualities certainly help keep her business purring, they also come in handy when she makes a house call to her best client, millionaire George DeLeuw, and discovers his murdered body next to his newly orphaned Persian, Harpo.

To help the local police find the actual killer, Cassie begins her own investigation. But no one, from George's housekeeper to his vindictive ex-wife, is giving up clues. Not until Cassie is given permission to temporarily board Harpo does anyone show interest in the Persian's wellbeing. Someone is desperate to get their paws on Harpo before the feline helps untangle a felony. Are there deadly truths that a cat whisperer like Cassie can coax out? She needs to tread lightly and remember she gets one life, not nine. . . . 

"A delightful debut mystery. It's smart, well-plotted, and features a cast of characters--both human and feline--that I want to see more of. This book will be catnip for cat lovers."
--Laurien Berenson, author of Wagging through the Snow

"The purr-fect mystery to curl up with for a lovely cozy read, preferably with a cup of tea, cuddly cat optional but recommended." --Leslie Meier, author of Turkey Trot Murder  (Summary via Goodreads)

There is so much to LOVE about The Persian Always Meows Twice by Eileen Watkins......especially if you are a cat lover !!  Not only does Watkins tell you a captivating story but she also teaches you a thing or two about cats.  

The Persian Always Meows Twice sets the stage for a strong entertaining series.  In this first book in the Cat Groomer Mystery series you are introduced to Cassie McGlone who recently relocated to Chadwick leaving behind an abusive boyfriend and opens up her own cat grooming and boarding shop.  You will fall instantly in love with her and her 3 three cats.  You will love the shop and her apartment above the shop.  You will love her friend Dawn who also owns her own shop a few blocks away and add to the mix a handsome vetenerian and what more could you ask for ??  Oh wait....maybe a murder and Cassie finding the body and the murdered victim being her best customer who has a unique cat.....and you won't believe how many people want to get a hold of Harpo and why !!!  

Watkins knows how to keep your attention and will have you turning pages as fast as you can to see what unfolds in Cassie's life......but don't worry The Bengal Identity, the second book in this series, is within reach !!!  So go to your comfy spot, grab your kitty, a snack and settle back with Cassie and her crew.......

Review by Missi S.