Sunday 25 November 2018

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15) by Nancy J. Cohen

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15)
Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?

Recipes Included!
   (Summary via Goodreads)

One thing that I love about the Bad Hair Day Mystery series by Nancy J. Cohen is that the main character helps the police in solving the cases and they actually appreciate the help.  Usually in a cozy mystery the main character is an amatuer crime solver who takes on the "case" because they are closely involved or someone they love is involved and they want to clear the person's name.  Also by doing this they but heads with the lead detective and seem to "get in the way" more than help.  However that is not the case in the Bad Hair Day Mystery books.....

Marla is the main character and even though she owns a hair salon and day spa, she still finds time to help the local law enforcement agency with cases.  How can she not.....her husband is the lead detective and usually looks to Marla for insight.

One cannot help but fall in love with Marla and her husband Dalton and even his daughter Brianna.  Brianna has a way, like Marla, of getting into the cases and helps in a way only a teenager can help.  This is a very close, loving, and caring family who make you want to know everything about them.  

And boy does Cohen know how to tell a story !!!  And the way she twists and turns things and relates people and events will have you feeling like you are sitting in the kitchen with the Vail family hashing out the details.

I highly recommend this series to readers.  I especially cannot wait for the next book in this series as Trimmed to Death left you with a big secret revealed !!!

Review by Missi S.

Monday 19 November 2018

Bloody Ham (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery #3) by Brian Kavanagh

Bloody Ham (a Belinda Lawrence Mystery)

The third adventure for Belinda and Hazel continuing the pace and humour that readers have come to acknowledge and appreciate. 
Excitement and tension begin on the first day of filming a Restoration drama on location at the historic Jacobean mansion, Ham House in Surrey when one of the leading players collapses and dies. With the death ruled non-accidental the director, producer and members of the cast are all suspects. 
An award winning Hollywood star is brought in to replace the dead actor and Belinda is employed as her stand-in. When another member of the crew is found stabbed to death, Belinda is forced to prove her innocence. In all this tumult, Belinda finds herself torn between her longtime English lover, Mark and the energetic and exuberant Australian, Brad she met again on a trip to Australia.  (Summary via Goodreads)

After reading books one through three of the Belinda Lawrence Mystery series I have to admit that the third book Bloody Ham is my far.

As Bloody Ham is the third book and I have read it and the previous two I have come to know and love Belinda and her friend Hazel.  I have grown to love the area as well.  However in Bloody Ham the reader is taken away from Belinda's adorable cottage and Hazel's antique business to the setting of a movie.  They are drawn to the movie set because some of Hazel's antiques are being used in some of the scenes.

Bloody Ham also takes the reader away from Belinda's love interest Mark who if you are a fan of the books, you are a fan of Mark and his commitment to Belinda.  We are, however, introduced to an old friend of Belinda's from Austrialia, Brad.  You cannot help by like Brad for reasons different than those of liking Mark.

So much to love about Bloody Ham and I haven't even mentioned murder yet !!

While on the set an actress dies and while at first they think it is an accident, Belinda and crew uncover that it is murder.  But before they can find out who actually committed the crime another member of the crew is found dead.  This time evidence points at Belinda !!!

If you haven't read any of these great books by Brian Kavanagh, I highly encourage you to do so !!!  There are so many things to fall in love with and enjoy !!  One thing is that these books are so easy to read, you can get lost for an afternoon and read an entire book !!  You can get lost in the book but not lose a lot of time !!!

I for one cannot wait to pick up the next book in this series.....especially as Kavanagh leaves Belinda with an answer to a very important question from Mark.... I NEED to know what she says !!!!

Review by Missi S.

Friday 16 November 2018

Ghost Busting Mystery (Shady Hoosier Detective Agency #1) by Daisy Pettles

Ghost Busting Mystery (Shady Hoosier Detective Agency, #1)
When Dode Schneider, rattle-brained Indiana farmer, insists the abandoned Wyatt mansion is haunted by ghosts with big butts who dance in the apple orchard, Pawpaw County Sheriff Boots Gibson happily off-loads the crazy complaint to Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens, senior sleuths in training with the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency. Ruby Jane and Veenie, lifelong gal pals, aren’t afraid of the haunted Wyatt mansion, built by a con artist banker who rowed out of town on the flood waters of 1919, taking the town’s assets with him. The senior crime-cracking duo set out in their smoke-belching 1960 Impala to uncover the truth behind the century-old haunting legend only to find surprise evidence of long ago murder and mayhem. Along the way, Veenie and Ruby Jane chase down a missing drunk wiener dog, earn a lifetime supply of mystery meat sandwiches from Pokey’s Tavern, recover a stolen Harley, and uncover the startling truth about a long cursed buried treasure. The investigation, which involves con artists, bank robbers, and hillbilly hoodlums, doesn’t go smoothly, but Ruby Jane and Veenie, fueled by senior grit and a can-do attitude, engage in crime-cracking hijinks that will leave the reader rolling in laughter in this classic comic crime novel.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Ghost Busting Mystery by Daisy Pettles is so much FUN to read !!!  I loved it !!!  As this is the first book in the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency series, it sets the stage beautifully for future books !!  

You will fall in love with Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens, the main characters, instantly.  How can you not ?  They are pie eating, go-kart driving, crazy dressing senior citizens and they are "detectives".

In Ghost Busting Mystery when Dode Schneider contacts the agency regarding dancing ghosts in the apple orchard across the street at an old abandoned mansion, the girls rush out to see what is going on.  This takes them back years and years to an old town legendary story concerning a bank robbery, stolen gold, a young married couple and a con artist disappearing with the gold during the flood.  The ladies are introduced to a few shady characters who liven things up for a bit but they soon learn the truth about everything .....  and you do not want to miss out on any of it !!!  

While the ladies are working at solving a murder of a skeleton found in the abandoned mansion and uncover the truth regarding the stolen gold, they will have you not only on the edge of your seat but also holding your gut from laughing !!  This is one book you will thoroughly enjoy and Knobby Waters is a place you will want to visit if only it existed.  I know I would visit just for a piece of pie and a mystery meat sandwich......

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Forever Fudge (Candy-Coated #6) by Nancy CoCo

Forever Fudge
"Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery."--Barbara Allan

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .


It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie's help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie's bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head--with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge ma 
ker has to square off against a crazy killer--but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries

"It's probably best not to read this while you're too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen."
--The Oakland Tribune

"The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful."
--RT Book Reviews

"I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series."
--Fresh Fiction
    (Summary via Goodreads)

Forever Fudge is the first book in the Candy-Coated Mystery series by Nancy Coco that I have had the pleasure of reading.....and boy was it a pleasure !!!  

I fell instantly in love with everything about this book....from the main character Allie and her friends to her job owning a hotel and candy shop to it being on an island and even to the murders.....

Allie has it made !!  She owns a historic hotel that she inherited from her grandfather.  The hotel is on an island that she is quite familiar with as she grew up vacationing there.  Allie lives on the top floor of the hotel with her dog and cat and her best friend is staying there helping out.  Allie has 2 men that are smitten with her....Trent who is a rich businessman who spends most of his time in Chicago who she recently broke up with and a local cop Rex who she has grown to know quite well due to being involved in past criminal cases.

Even though this was the first book in this series that I have read and even though it is the 6th book in the series, I was completely at home by the end of the first chapter.  Coco has a way of making sure that the reader does not get lost at all in her story telling.  The story line was so much fun to read and get caught up almost feel like you are right there on the island.  And believe me, you will feel like that the entire time you are reading this book and even for a time after you finish reading.

I am not a fan for life of this series and look forward to reading the next book and I will even try to read the previous books.....anything to return to Mackinac Island.....

Review by Missi S.