Saturday 30 March 2019

Veiled in Murder (Ryli Sinclair Mystery #5) by Jenna St. James


Veiled in Murder (Ryli Sinclair Mystery #5)

With her wedding only a few months away, Ryli is scrambling to make sure everything is in order. On her to-do list: Get measured for her wedding veil at the new fabric store in town, Quilter’s Paradise. But when Ryli and Aunt Shirley literally stumble over a body at the store, and whispers of corporate espionage arise, Hank convinces Ryli and Aunt Shirley to solve the case for the next big story in the Granville Gazette. 

An easy enough task…if Ryli wasn’t constantly getting beaten up by 90-year-old ladies in self-defense class, and Aunt Shirley wasn’t having to dodge Old Man Jenkins’s overtures around every corner. 

By the time Aunt Shirley finally puts the pieces together and figures out who the killer is, it may be too late for Ryli. Can Garrett, Old Man Jenkins, and Aunt Shirley work together to get Ryli to safety, or will the vow of ‘til death us do part’ take on a more sinister meaning for Ryli and Garrett?  (Summary via Goodreads)



Everytime I read a book in the Ryli Sinclair Mystery series I cannot help but love everything about this series a little more each time !!  I especially LOVE Aunt Shirley and her quirky appearance and her outlook on life.  And the relationship she has with Ryli is one to cherish and long for in your own life.  

Veiled in Murder is the fifth book in this series by Jenna St. James and Ryli and her fiance, Garrett, are beginning to plan their wedding.  Now this seems like it would be a romantic, loving, slightly stressful time for the bride and groom to be and that would be true IF this were a normal couple.  Unfortunately this is Ryli who attracts murder and mayhem and her fiance who is the Police Chief.  

While getting fitted for a veil Ryli and Aunt Shirley overhear things between a co-worker and the owner which seem off.  When the co-worker asks them to meet them the next morning to talk, they are more than happy to hear her out and help.  Unfortunately when they arrive at the store for the meeting, they find the employee stabbed to death.  Not wanting to step on Garrett's toes during the investigation but wanting to get the juicy details for Hank and the paper, Ryli and Aunt Shirley try to piece things together by talking to the employees at the store.

When Ryli gets summoned to the store after hours under false pretenses, it is Aunt Shirley that comes to her rescue !!!  But of course Aunt Shirley being the person that she is, comes barrelling in with the calvary to save the day !!  

St. James has such a knack for telling a captivating story and making the characters feel like more than just characters in a story, she makes YOU feel like you are a part of the family.  While Ryli and Aunt Shirley are working the paper and "solving" crimes, Ryli and Garrett are planning their wedding and their future together, and Ryli's brother, Matt, and his wife, Paige, are getting ready to extend their family as they await for Paige to give birth......and BOY, or GIRL, is there some big news on that front !!!!

I look forward to seeing what comes next in this series with the sixth book, Bachelorettes and Bodies, as the gang celebrate Ryli's last hurrah as a single lady and the party is all Aunt Shirley's doing !!!!


Review by Missi S.




  




Thursday 28 March 2019

Fields' Guide to Voodoo (Poppy Fields Adventures #3) by Julie Mulhern


Fields' Guide to Voodoo (Poppy Fields Adventures #3)

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

The pleasure of your company is requested at the most over-the-top wedding New Orleans has ever seen…

When Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret agent, agreed to be a bridesmaid, she anticipated gallons of Sazerac, memorable parties and handsome groomsmen. Instead, she’s dodging bullets.

Juggling wedding showers, exploding buildings, picnics, black magic, lunches in the Vieux Carré, and murder can be tough on a girl. Good thing Thor is there to escort her—until he disappears.

Poppy must outwit smugglers primed to flood the U.S. with a dangerous new drug (one Poppy knows all too well), save Thor, and get to the church on time. If she fails, she may end up dead. Or—worse—late to the wedding.
   (Summary via Goodreads)



I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies, especially the Captain America and Thor movies and characters.  Why, do you ask am I saying this when talking about the Poppy Fields Adventure series by Julie Mulhern ?  Because the main character, Poppy Fields, has a body guard/co-worker/boyfriend named Mark that looks like the character Thor and she calls him that throughout this series.....not to his face obviously but behind his back all the time and it is hilarious !!  That is one of the many reasons that I love this series.

Fields' Guide to Voodoo is the third book in this series and it is so much fun to read.  Poppy goes to New Orleans for a week-long wedding extravaganza for her college roommate and on the first night there while having drinks with the bride-to-be on the veranda of a hotel there is a car accident and men with guns chasing a man into the hotel.  Poppy tries to think nothing of it until she gets into Adele's car and the man that was being chased is hiding in the back seat !!!  Poppy's quick thinking gets her out of the jam but results in her shooting the bad guy to save a cop and putting her on the local detective's radar.

All Poppy wants to do is hang out with her friend in New Orleans and party all week with the wedding party and guests.  Unfortunately her secret boss sents Thor in to watch over her and pretend to be her boyfriend.  Now if you've read the previous two books in this series, you know that their relationship is borderline between co-workers and something else and if you are like me, you are rooting for the something else.  (If you haven't read these books, I highly recommend it !!!)  

And in Fields' Guide to Voodoo not only does Poppy have to come to Thor/Mark's rescue, she has to safe her ex-boyfriend Jake also.  And do this with tight skirts and killer high heels !!!

You cannot help but love the concept behind this series......ditzy, rich party girl, daughter of a famous actress, always getting in the spotlight for the wrong things secretly working as a secret agent and she hasn't even gone for basic training yet !!  And to make it more believable she owns a purse pup....a chihuahua that she adopted in the first book from the drug cartel......and you will love the conversations that Poppy and Consuela have.  I have cats and I know that they can talk to us ....when they want.

I am a huge fan of this series and I cannot wait for the fourth book in this series.  I was looking forward to the next book before I even finished this book but Mulhern ends the book in a way that will drive you crazy.....but in a good way..... I hope for Poppy's sake !!!!



Review by Missi S.






Wednesday 27 March 2019

Clubbed to Death (A Dead-End Job Mystery #7) by Elaine Viets


Clubbed to Death (A Dead-End Job Mystery Book 7)

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.

The Superior Club is where Fort Lauderdale’s wealthiest—and snobbiest—come to play. But for Helen Hawthorne, it’s all work and no play. As a customer care clerk, it’s her job to cater to the clients’ every little whim and take care of their every little problem.

But Helen has a very big problem of her own. After an acrimonious reunion with her ex-husband Rob, she ends up belting the bum in the mouth—which invites suspicion when Rob goes ominously missing. And when a club employee and a philandering member are found beaten to death with a golf club, the police assume Helen was the deadly duffer.

With her freedom—and yet another job—on the line, Helen has no choice but to prove that someone else at the high-class club is a low-down killer…

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 Goodreads)




The Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets is one of my favorite series.  Clubbed to Death is the seventh book in this series and even though there are 16 books in this series I am going to continue to read them in order.  There is something about reading books in a series in order, you get to know the characters and fall in love with them, or dislike them, you get to know the town and the area where everything takes place and you develop a strong feeling of belonging.  You are not just reading a book or a group of books, you are taking up residency, developing a bond.

And the Dead-End Job Mystery series is a great series to get lost in.  You are hanging out with the main character, Helen, at her apartment complex in Florida, next to the pool with her landlord, Margery, her boyfriend, Phil and her friend and neighbor Peggy and her parrot.  You get to watch the sunset while eating snacks and drinking cheap wine.   And you get to go with Helen to all her different dead-end jobs that she works to stay under the radar of her ex-husband, Rob, that she ran away from and will do whatever she can to not have to pay him one penny of her hard earned money.

Unfortunately for Helen nothing is easy and it seems that murder and death seem to follow her to whichever job she takes.  In Clubbed to Death Helen is working in the customer care office of an exclusive country club.  Even though she loves her co-workers and the view out of the office window, she does not like one of the bosses and all of the members of the club that call or show up to complain.  Helen knows what it is like to have money, her previous live with her ex-husband, Rob had the money and everything it came with and she does not miss any of it.  This job teaches Helen that valuable lesson.  Sadly she doesn't come to that conclusion until her one boss and a member end up dead and Helen is poisoned and left for dead........

With the help of Phil and Margery Helen again gets in the middle of the investigation and will not stop until she gets to the bottom of things...... And when Rob is reported missing and Helen is the last one to see him alive and his wife, The Black Widow, wants Helen to find out what is going on, you will not want to stop reading  !!!  So I recommend having a drink and a snack handy when you begin reading Clubbed to Death or any of the books in this series, you will not want to stop !!!


Review by Missi S.







Monday 25 March 2019

Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #3) by Libby Klein


Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #3)
Cape May, New Jersey, is the site of a big culinary competition--and the knives are out . . .

Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B--but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it's coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiance, Tim--and his condescending partner, Gigi--during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy's specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it's Poppy.

Things get heated quickly--especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim's accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy's cannoli--making her the chef suspect . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy's Kitchen!
  (Summary via Goodreads)



Restaurant Weeks are MURDER by Libby Klein is the third in her Poppy McAllister Mystery series and I have to admit that it is my favorite .... so far.  I have had the pleasure of reading all three of the books in this series and I am a huge fan of Poppy and her Aunt Ginny.  I have had the pleasure of watching Poppy grow and flourish.  Who would have thought that when Poppy returns to her hometown in the first book, Class Reunions are Murder, that she would stay and be about to open a Bed & Breakfast there and would have 2 guys fighting over her ??

Well that is where she is in Restaurant Weeks are MURDER and she is working along side Tim, her old high school boyfriend/fiance, in a Restaurant Week competition that is similar to a television show, Chopped, where the contestants have a certain amount of time to make a dish with items in a basket.  Unfortunately things do not run smoothly during the competition, one judge ends up dead, ingredients are mislabeled, equipment is sabotaged and Poppy's other love interest, Gia, comes into the competition mid-week to help his mother when one of her team members ends up with a serious burn.

Now we know Poppy always has a lot on her plate and it isn't always gluten-free and when she opens up the bed & breakfast to the judges when they have no where else to go, she may be biting off more than she can chew......

One thing I love about this series is Poppy's determination.  She will do whatever it takes to solve whatever case she stumbles across and when things hit close to home, she becomes more determined !!  
Another thing I love about this series is Poppy's Aunt Ginny.....you have to LOVE her quirky character and you never know what she has up her sleeve......
Another thing I love about this series is the ability that Klein possesses with keeping the reader engrossed in the story and turning the pages.....and in Restaurant Weeks are MURDER she ends the story in a way that will have the reader screaming for more !!!  Sadly we have to be patient and wait for the fourth book in this captivating series.........



Review by Missi S.




Sunday 17 March 2019

Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery (Kitty Couture Mystery #4) by Julie Chase


Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Julie Chase is back with her fourth delightful Kitty Couture mystery, perfect for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Blaize Clement.

With a pet pageant around the corner and a killer unleashed, Lacy will have to collar the culprit before the claws come out.

Lacy Marie Crocker can hardly believe it’s been a year since her return home to New Orleans. There hasn’t been a dull moment since opening her pet boutique last summer, and thanks to the popularity of Lacy’s organic pet treats, and the arrival of the National Pet Pageant, Lacy desperately needs some help before she is overrun by the demand for pupcakes and crinolines.

The entire Garden District seems to be counting the minutes until opening night of the pet pageant and everything is going spectacularly until Viktor Petrov, the pageant emcee takes a spill from the balcony during dress rehearsal. All signs points to murder and homicide detective Jack Oliver sets his eyes on Eva Little, one of Lacy’s committee sisters and the only other person on the balcony at the time of the fall, as the killer. But when it comes out that Viktor was notoriously rude, the doors blow wide open with potential suspects who could’ve wanted him dead.

Lacy’s determined to find the killer and exonerate Eva, but when Lacy receives a mysterious warning—a plush kitty from Lacy’s shop with its mouth crudely stitched over—it’s clear that she’s been found first. Full with killer recipes for your pet, Cat Got Your Crown is Julie Chase’s uproarious fourth Kitty Couture mystery.  (Summary via Goodreads)




I love Lacy ! I love Lacy's dad....and even her mom !  I love Lacy's job !!  I love the Garden District where Lacy grew up and returned home to to open up her Furry Godmother shop.....  In case you missed it... I love the Kitty Couture Mystery series by Julie Chase and I think that the latest Cat Got Your Crown is my favorite.....so far.

Cat Got Your Crown has Lacy, her mom, and a well organized committee gearing up for the National Pet Pageant to hit town.   This is an extensive, expensive pet competition and the pet owners do not take it lightly.  They soak a lot of money and time into their pets and competing....and someone will do anything for this event.....even kill !!!

While Lacy is running around checking costumes and helping accessorize the pets, Viktor, the emcee of the event falls from the balcony and dies.  And if that isn't bad enough when Lacy returns home that same evening, she receives a threat to stay out of the investigation.  It's like the killer knew beforehand that Lacy tends to get involved in those kinds of things.  But how is that possible ? Lacy, herself, didn't even know if Viktor was pushed or accidentally fell..... 

I LOVE returning to the Kitty Conture Mystery series and hanging out with Lacy, her friends and even her mom.  I love hanging out at the shop with Lacy and then going home with her and hanging out with her, Scarlet and Chase and I especially love watching her and Jack figure out their feelings for each other.  You get a true feeling of belonging when you read this amazing series by Chase.  And even though the story and all are still fresh in my memory, I am already looking forward to where we may go in the next book.....


Review by Missi S.







Thursday 14 March 2019

Something Read, Something Dead (Lighthouse Library Mystery #5) by Eva Gates


Something Read, Something Dead (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #5)
National bestselling author Eva Gates’s fifth Lighthouse Library mystery will carry fans of Miranda James and Jenn McKinlay to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson’s soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early ‘til-death-do-us-part.


Winter falls on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O'Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie's Cozy Bakery and her fiancé, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding.

But to their horror, Josie's imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the “Louisiana Mafia”: a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn't do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie's wedding, something grand and lavish—and paid for by Josie's parents, of course—that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom…and Jake doesn't seem entirely adverse to her attentions.

To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses—soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book in this fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.  (Summary via Goodreads)




When I read a book I read everthing...the dedication, the acknowledgements, the author's note, and, of course, the story.  And in the Author's Note section of Something Read Something Dead by Eva Gates she writes :  

"Within these books, the interior of the lighthouse is the product of my imagination.  I hope it is large enough for your imagination."

When we read a book we hope that our imagination takes off when reading the words ..... and in Something Read Something Dead that is exactly what happened when I read it !!  I now want to live within the library in my head....does that make sense ?  If you read this book it will make perfect sense !!


In the Lighthouse Library Mystery series you get to hang out with the main character, Lucy, and her family and friends.  And in Something Read Something Dead we get to meet more of her family as some of them come to town to help her cousin Josie with her wedding plans.  Even though Josie and her fiance Jake want to have a small wedding and most of their plans have already been set, her grandmother has different plans for them.  

And unfortunately Josie's cousin Mirabelle also has an agenda....maybe breaking up the couple or plan a wedding worthy of a king.....but before that can be decided Mirabelle ends up dead after the wedding shower held at the library !! 


And Lucy being the person that she is steps right in the middle of things and tries to make everyone happy and find out what really happened.  Unfortunately Lucy has a lot of things to deal with when the library develops a crack in the foundation leaving her and her co-workers scrambling to find donors to help fund the repairs.  Lucy and Charles (the library cat) have a lot riding on the repairs as the library is more than just a building with books, it is their home !!!


Gates amazing way with words opens your imagination as your read this book.....you feel like you are right there in the middle of the Outer Banks whether it is with Lucy at the library or Josie at the bakery or with her parents at their house, or Jake at his restaurant......you see them all so clearly in your mind.....and I can assure you that you will not want to leave !!!


The lighthouse that I have in my mind is an amazing place and I hope that the town will come together and help with the repairs because if the library closes and Lucy has to move that will leave such a big hole in my heart......



Review by Missi S.










Tuesday 12 March 2019

Sprinkled in Malice (Cookies & Chance Mystery #7) by Catherine Bruns



Sprinkled in Malice (Cookies & Chance Mystery #7)
From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes another deliciously deadly culinary mystery... 

Spring has officially arrived, and while the weather outside may still be frightful, Sally Muccio is feeling especially delightful as she prepares a homemade family dinner in honor of her husband’s birthday. Sal’s determined to make it an unforgettable night for Mike and even includes homemade fortune cookies like the ones her bakery serves, with messages personalized for each guest. 


The evening is memorable, but not as Sal had hoped, when Mike and a family friend find themselves in the middle of an armed robbery...and only one will make it out alive. It’s just the beginning of more grief for Sal, who soon discovers the robbery is related to a scheme that spells financial ruin for her family. Add in her morbid father’s book signing at the bakery complete with coffin shaped cookies, a sister who won’t stop eating them, and an accidental gig at a local strip club, and Sal once again finds herself in deep dough. Only this time, there may not be a way out... 


*Recipes Included!* 


The Cookies & Chance Mysteries: 

Tastes Like Murder (book #1) 
A Spot of Murder (short story in the "Killer Beach Reads" collection) 
Baked to Death (book #2) 
Burned to a Crisp (book #3) 
Frosted With Revenge (book #4) 
Silenced by Sugar (book #5) 
A Drizzle Before Dying (short story in the "Pushing Up Daisies" collection) 
Crumbled to Pieces (book #6) 
Sprinkled in Malice – book #7 

What critics are saying: 


"A fantastic cozy mystery!" 

—InD'Tale Magazine 

"I want to visit more with all of the quirky characters just to see what crazy and outrageous things they will do next!" 

—Fresh Fiction 

"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." 

—Cozy Mystery Book Reviews 



The Cookies and Chance Mystery series by Catherine Bruns should come with a warning label..... Readers should be warned that there may be times throughout this series you may unknowingly hold your breathe.  I know that while reading the latest in this series, Sprinkled in Malice, there were a few times that I had to stop and breathe.....

It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of this series.  I have read every book in this series and I feel like the Donovan's and the Muccio's are close neighbors.  I FEEL everything that they go through...the good, the bad and the scary !!  Reading this series is more to me than just reading a book.

And Bruns does not disappoint with Sprinkled in Malice.  If anything, I think she took this one over the bar !!  When I started reading this book, I knew it was going to be a good story. It starts off with Josie, Sally's best friend and business partner, questioning Sally.  And with Sally you know she is always up to something.  Even though she is just planning a family dinner to celebrate her husbands birthday with her cooking the entire meal, you know there is going to be more to it.   And boy was there !!!  Even though the complete extent of it doesn't come to light until the very last page everything in between is just as amazing !!! 

We all know that Sally doesn't have the best of luck and unfortunately in this book the bad luck happens to Mike....the good thing (??) is that it stays in the family.  And even though the unfortunate situation floors Mike in more ways than one, Sally is determined to lift him up and bring down the bad guys.....

I would LOVE to say more about the story and really give some spoilers away but that is not my style.  I will, however, insist that you pick up Sprinkled in Malice and read it.....and make sure you remember to breathe.....  I started reading this book holding my breathe and ended up crying at the end.....good tears I assure you !!!  Bruns will make you a fan and you will also feel like you gained a great family and wish that they were real !!!


Review by Missi S.

Monday 11 March 2019

Death of the Big Kahuna (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #6) by Catherine Bruns


Death of the Big Kahuna (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #6)
From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns, comes an Aloha Lagoon Mystery that proves sometimes paradise isn't all it's served up to be.

New to both Hawaii and the Aloha Lagoon Resort, Carrie Jorgenson has big dreams of stardom. But while she awaits fame and fortune, she's forced to accept a job waitressing at the resort's The Loco Moco Café. It isn't long before she discovers the dish on her new boss—also known to many as "The Big Kahuna." Hale Akamu is rich, handsome, repulsive...and dead. When Carrie discovers Hale's lifeless body, she's suddenly forced into yet another role—amateur sleuth. With everyone from Carrie to the saucy chef to the café's hot assistant manager under suspicion, Carrie needs to track a killer before she becomes his next main entrée!
**Recipes included!**


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 & Bloodshed (book #8)
Death of the Kona Man (book #9)
Lethal Tide (book #10)
Beachboy Murder (book #11)
Handbags & Homicide (book #12)
Tiaras & Terror (book #13)


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)



I LOVE the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series !!  Here you have a series where the books center around a resort in Hawaii but each book is written by a different author or authors and each book focuses on a different location around the resort with new people.

In Death of the Big Kahuna by Catherine Bruns we meet Carrie Jorgenson who moved to Hawaii to be with her boyfriend.  Carrie needs a job and applies at The Loco Moco Cafe and gets hired !!  Unfortunately for her before she can get the feel of the job, she finds her boss....dead !!  Obviously with her being new to the island and new to the job, Carrie isn't a suspect.....or is she ?  

Carrie cannot seem to catch a break.....new to the island needing a job which she finds but that turns out deadly.  Then she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her so she needs a place to live.  She doesn't have any friends until she starts working at The Loco Moco Cafe but with a killer on the loose, can she really trust her co-workers ?  

Carrie has a lot on her plate and finding the killer jumps to the top of her priority list.  Even though she doesn't know much, she knows she didn't do it and she really wants to like her co-workers, especially Keanu.......

I started reading Death of the Big Kahuna with my morning coffee and finished it just in time for dinner.  I could not put it down !!!  I love visiting the Aloha Lagoon Resort and meeting new people and seeing different places....even if I'm still sitting on the couch !!  And Catherine Bruns has such a way with her writing that she takes you to the far away place in your mind and opens the doors to your imagination....

I highly recommend this series.....no matter what book you start with, you will be a fan for all the others in the series !!


Review by Missi S.




Friday 8 March 2019

Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery #20) by Laura Childs



Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery #20)



Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO's soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO's personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques' dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia's dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
  (Summary via Goodreads)



If you ever question how much goes into writing a book, go to the back of Broken Bone China by Laura Childs and see the pages and pages of tips, recipes, and resources she lists.  And if that doesn't convince you, just try to grasp that Broken Bone China is the 20th book in her Tea Shop Mystery series .... Yikes !!!  And here we, the readers, just turn the pages and enjoy the story.  

And enjoy the story I did !!

I haven't had the pleasure of reading every book in this series but the ones that I have read, I have fallen in love with.  I love everything about the series.....from the main character Theodosia, her teashop, her employees and friends and I have to admit I really LOVE her tea making master Drayton to the interesting town they live in and, of course, to the murders that Theo and Drayton get in the middle of.  I love Drayton's spunk and Theo's determination !!  Between the two of them no one has a chance at escaping the law !!

But Childs provides so much more than just a story for the reader to pass the time.  She introduces the reader to some very lovable characters, a nice setting for the reader to escape to and an interesting murder to keep the reader on the edge of our seats.  These reasons alone are enough to convince even the stubborness of readers but if a reader needs more to entice....there are the easy and delicious recipes listed at the end of each book.  I know there are some in Broken Bone China that I will be trying.  Also Childs provides the reader with a little knowledge regarding the different tea "parties" that take place throughout the story.

I highly recommend picking up any of the books in this series and becoming a fan !!  You will not be disappointed !!

I will leave you with a quote from the book that I fell in love with from my favorite character, Drayton...
"May the angels protect us and the heaven accept us."



Review By Missi S.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Murder Likes It Hot (Downward Dog Mystery #6) by Tracy Weber


Murder Likes It Hot (Downward Dog Mystery #6)
Yogini and amateur sleuth Kate Davidson will need more than Warrior Pose to solve a murder and help homeless teens

Newly married yoga instructor Kate Davidson feels stuck in low-energy limbo, despite her high-energy life. She's trying to conceive a child, keep her studio afloat now that the ultra-cheap Some Like It Hot Yoga studio has opened across the street, and start a yoga program at a local resource center for homeless youth.

When a center employee is found dead, Kate sets aside her fertility and financial woes to delve into the world of teenage homelessness. While digging for clues with her German shepherd Bella, Kate discovers that family can be formed by bonds stronger than shared DNA, and she must defend it at all costs.

Praise:

"Gripping ... Those who like their cozies with a dark edge will be rewarded."--Publishers Weekly
   (Summary via Goodreads)




I am a HUGE fan of the Downward Dog Mystery series by Tracy Weber !!  Having read all but the first book in this series (not sure how I missed the first one....) I am an invested reader and feel like Kate (the main character) is a dear friend of mine.  I can tell you that Kate and her dog Bella hold a piece of my heart. I know, I know, I know that they are not real.....but if you read all of the books or even one of the books in this amazing series, you will know exactly what I mean !!!

In Murder Likes it Hot, the sixth book in the series, Kate and Michael are now a married couple trying to conceive a baby.  This is not an easy task for Kate due to medical issues. They are both running their businesses, Kate is running the yoga studio and Michael is running the pet store so they are beyond busy.  This doesn't stop Kate from helping out their long-time friend Sam.  She agrees to teach yoga at a center for homeless teens.  From the moment she takes the tour, she is drawn to one teen specifically.  Little does Kate know that this teen is going to change her and Michael's lives forever......

When the director of the center is found murdered and Rainbow, the teen Kate is drawn to, is the main suspect, Kate and gang work together to find the real killer and save Rainbow.  

Murder Likes it Hot is my favorite book in this series...... I love that Kate and Michael are now married and even though Kate always jumps head first into solving murders, she now has Michael jumping along with her.  I also love that her best friend, Rene, opened up her baby business right next door to Kate.  I always love when her mom, Dharma and Dale are involved.  You have to LOVE Dale with his overalls, baseball cap smelling like goats doing a 180 into lawyer-mode !!  And author Tracy Weber knows how to keep the reader flipping the pages reading as fast as they can.  

Weber draws the reader into the story and really sets the stage before the murder occurs.  The reader is allowed to reacquaint themselves with Kate and her life and gives the reader time to adjust to changes in Kate's life as well as introduce new characters.  So by the time that the unfortunate crime occurs, the reader is invested and now reads with a new purpose....to help Kate solve the murder !!!

The only thing I don't like about this series is when I'm done reading and have to wait for the next book.  Weber knows exactly how to end each book making the reader a dedicated fan wanting more.  And with Murder Likes it Hot readers will be counting the days until the next book to see what trouble Kate unfolds.......

I HIGHLY recommend the Downward Dog Mystery series by Tracy Weber.  Whatever book you pick up and start reading will make you a fan for the rest of the books !!!


Review by Missi S.

Monday 4 March 2019

Cookin' the Books by Amy Patricia Meade


Cookin' the Books
Letitia ‘Tish’ Tarragon has just moved to Hobson Glen and opened a new restaurant and catering business, Cookin’ the Books Cafe. So when her new landlord, Schulyer Thompson, recommends her to Binnie Broderick, the executive director of the local library, Tish is delighted. Binnie needs a last-minute caterer to create a literary inspired three-course dinner for the library’s annual fundraiser, one of the highlights of Hobson Glen’s social season.

But there’s a problem: Binnie Broderick is a notoriously difficult woman to please. And when she chokes to death from arsenic poisoning after dousing her main course in hot sauce, Tish suddenly finds herself fighting to save her business – and her reputation. It seems that very few of Hobson Glen’s residents escaped Binnie’s disapproval. But who would want her dead, and why?
   (Summary via Goodreads)



Cookin' The Books by Amy Patricia Meade is a cozy mystery like no other !!  The twist at the end will leave you with your mouth wide open and you completely in awe !!  But that's getting way ahead of myself....

Cookin' The Books introduces you to Letitia Tarragon but everyone calls her Tish and her two best friends Mary Jo and Jules.  Tish moved to Hobson Glen after her divorce and is in the process of opening up a restaurant and catering  business.  Unfortunately at her first catering gig, the person in charge of the fundraiser drops dead during the main course.  And to make matters even better, Tish feels that she has to "investigate" and find out who committed the crime in order to ensure that her business doesn't fail before it gets started.  And to make matters worse, if that is possible, another person ends up shot outside the church next to where Tish lives and works.

Two murders and free food will get Tish into everyone's house and personal business, some more than you could imagine.  But you don't have to imagine, just read Cookin' The Books and learn all about Hobson Glen, it's residents and history.......  You will enjoy the stories !!!



Review by Missi S.