Monday 30 September 2019

Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery #1) by Vivian Conroy

Last Pen Standing (Stationery Shop Mystery #1)

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana's stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn't the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta's best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.   (Summary via Goodreads)

What an interesting imagination Vivian Conroy has.....her new series A Stationery Shop Mysteries is full of creative ideas.

In Last Pen Standing, the first book in the series, you meet Delta Douglas who moves to the hometown of her best friend from college.  Hazel lives in a small town in Montana, a town known for logging and gold mining, where she owns Wanted, a stationery store.  In Last Pen Standing we start off with Delta getting her inheritance from her grandmother, who is still alive, so that Delta can follow her dream and work with and design stationery.

However before Delta can learn everything there is to learn about co-owning the shop, and on the night of their first workshop together, a woman is murdered !!  Delta and Hazel are at The Lodge Hotel hosting the workshop while a big dinner dance is also taking place there that evening.  Right before they are preparing to leave The Lodge, Hazel's brother Finn tells them to call for help and that there is someone hurt in the bar area and he takes off.  Unfortunately the woman is not hurt but dead and Finn is taken away in handcuffs and when Hazel makes a fuss, she is taken into custody as well.

Delta is left to fend for herself but soon learns that in a small town, no one is ever alone.  The Paper Posse, a group of customers from the shop, take to modern technology and help Delta keep track of certain people throughout the small town.....sadly the list of suspects is a lot longer than one would think when living in a small town....

Last Pen Standing is such a treat to read.  Conroy kicks the imagination factor into high gear and her long list of suspects will have the reader puzzled until the end.....which isn't such a bad thing !!

Review by Missi M.

Friday 27 September 2019

Jealousy Filled Donuts (Deputy Donut Mystery #3) by Ginger Bolton

Jealousy Filled Donuts (Deputy Donut Mystery #3)

When a firecracker becomes a murder weapon, Emily Westhill pursues a killer with a short fuse ... 

It is a truth universally acknowledged--cops and donuts go together. Exhibit A: Deputy Donut Caf�, owned and operated by detective's widow Emily Westhill and her father-in-law, the retired police chief of Fallingbrook, Wisconsin. Named after Emily's adored and adorable tabby, the donut shop is a favorite among cops, firemen, and EMTs, as well as tourists and townspeople. So when Fallingbrook needs donuts for their Fourth of July picnic, Emily's shop gets deputized.

But a twisted killer has found another use for Emily's treats. At the picnic, a firecracker is hidden in a stack of raspberry-filled donuts and aimed at the unwitting queen of the festivities. When it explodes, she is killed. Having her jelly donuts involved puts Emily in a sticky situation, and when a shady shutterbug tries to frame her with incriminating photos, she finds herself in quite a jam. To preserve her freedom and her shop's reputation, Emily needs to solve this case--before the fuse-lighting felon goes off again ...

Praise for Goodbye Cruller World

"Food scenes tantalize with description of single-origin coffee as well as classic and trendy donuts--solid recipes included."
--Publishers Weekly  (Summary via Goodreads)

Jealousy Filled Donuts by Ginger Bolton is the third book in her Deputy Donut Mystery series and the first book in the series that I have had the pleasure of reading.  And even though I was reading the third book Bolton writes it like it feels like you are reading the first book or even a stand-alone book.  You catch on to everything going on immediately, she gives you enough back history so that you can be caught up to things that happened previously, and you are instantly in love with Emily, her friends, her donut shop, the donuts, her cat, and the storyline.

Emily Westhill, the main character, owns and runs a donut shop with her father-in-law, Tom.  Tom is a retired police chief and Emily use to be the dispatch operator so it only makes sense that they open up a donut shop and name it Deputy Donut and Emily has a cat named Deputy Donut (named before the store opened) and they organized the store so that Dep can roam through the office and tunnels so that she can keep watch on everything going on without getting cat hair everywhere and causing health code violations.

In Jealousy Filled Donuts the town is getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July with a day packed with festivities starting with a parade and ending with fireworks.  Unfortunately before the fireworks display ends someone gets hit by a handmade firecracker stuffed into some of Deputy Donuts donuts !!!  And to make everything worse the girl who is murdered was on the Fabulous Fourth Festivities Court and she was the Queen !!!

Because the Queen, a.k.a. Taylor, was murdered by products from her shop, Emily feels that she needs to look into her death.  And when a pesty photographer sends pictures to the newspaper making it look like she was the murderer, Emily kicks it into high gear........

There is so much to capture and keep the readers attention while reading Jealousy Filled Donuts.  You will love Emily and her cat, you will want to hang out with her and her friends, you will most definitely want to sit in the shop eating yummy donuts and drinking flavorful may even want to help her try to solve the murder........

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder (Countess of Harleigh Mystery #2) by Dianne Freeman

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #2)

How far will some go to safeguard a secret? In the latest novel in Dianne Freeman’s witty and delightful historical mystery series, the adventurous Countess Harleigh finds out . . .
Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth each year, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting—for birds or a second husband—and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns.

Instead, she’s immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight—along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society’s elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits?

Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all—but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she’ll soon find herself among them . . .
    (Summary via Goodreads)

Reading a novel set in the late 1800's is so relaxing....even if it is about blackmail, fraud and murder !!  A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman takes the reader back in time when life was simpler in a cell phones, men were total gentlemen, and gossip was strictly frowned upon.....but it also makes things like murder and blackmail a lot harder to solve.  Although Lady Harleigh tends to make it look easy to the reader.

Lady Harleigh is trying to prevent her sister, Lily,  from making the same mistake that she made by attempting to get her to hold off from announcing her engagement to Leo.  Even though she knows that they love each other and their relationship is nothing like that of Frances and her late husband but as it is her younger sister, she feels she must look out for her.  Unfortunately when her friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered in her own home, Frances' neighbor, George, looks to her to help go through paperwork to help solve her murder.   When they find out that Mary was writing the Miss Information gossip column for the local newspaper, their list of suspects becomes quite long as they decipher some of Mary's notes.....and then when another employee of the newspaper is found murdered in the office, it becomes very important to Frances to solve both murders !!

It is so fun to read stories written when times were simplier and there was less technology and solving cases of murder were more difficult due to lack of forensics and resources.  And time was different in that you had to send a note or take a carriage to visit someone and dropping in unexpectedly was frowned upon.   I thorough enjoy the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series because of all those things and so much more.  I encourage readers to pick this book up or the first book in the series, A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder, and take a journey back in time.......

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries #3) by Allison Brook (Pseudonym), Marilyn Levinson

Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #3)

Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin'. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her—and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library's resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered—run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece's killer, but that's no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook is the third book in her Haunted Library Mystery series and I am hooked !! 

Yes there is a ghost, a friendly ghost, a ghost that "is stuck" at the library, an elderly woman who use to work at the library until she died one night in the parking lot, a ghost that only main character Carrie and her young cousin can see, a ghost whose niece dies in Buried in the Stacks and Carrie is asked by the ghost, Evelyn, to look into her murder.......

Carrie and Dorothy do not get along, not that anyone really got along with Dorothy.  Dorothy was a very hard person to like, however, when she is run off the road and it is ruled murder, Carrie feels that she should at least look into her death.  Expecially when before Dorothy died she mentioned that someone was trying to kill her like they killed her aunt, that puts Carrie on high alert.

But Carrie is not an investigator or on the police force so she is limited in what she can do.  Also her job at the library keeps her pretty busy.  And she is trying to help a project that is working on renovating a rundown house so that the homeless population can have somewhere to go during the day.  They are currently hanging out at the library but that is causing tension with everyone.  

Little does Carrie know that there is more behind this project that is bad and corrupt and dangerous..... but dangerous to kill over ??  Even though Carrie says that she will not investigate she somehow gets pulled back in........

I love this series.  You cannot help but love Carrie and her life....even when murder is involved.  She is such a great person that we can all hope to have a "Carrie" in our own lives.  And the story draws the reader in and keeps your attention throughout the entire book.  You will be surprised at how quickly you reach the end......

Review by Missi M.

Monday 16 September 2019

Deep Dark Secrets by Joy Ann Ribar

Deep Dark Secrets

You’re invited to visit Deep Lakes, Wisconsin and meet a new friend, Francine “Frankie” Champagne. The 40-something owner of Bubble and Bake - bakery by day, wine lounge by night - Frankie is a spitfire pastry maker, vintner, and budding journalist.
Frankie finds herself on the perimeter of a suspicious death that upends the peaceful winter slumber in Deep Lakes when the local pastor is found dead inside his fishing shanty on Lake Loki. Frankie sticks her curious nose into the investigation, despite warnings from the local sheriff to leave it alone.  But she has something to prove, maybe to the newspaper editor who wouldn’t hire her as a reporter, maybe to herself as she searches for fulfillment. Regardless, her fierce independence won’t allow her to back down. Follow Frankie as she stumbles upon one discovery after another, trails potential suspects, and solves the case!  (Summary via ) 

Deep Dark Secrets is the first book in the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series by Joy Ann Ribar and after reading it I am moving to Deep Lakes and getting a job working for Frankie.  Frankie Champagne is the main character and boy is she one busssssy person !!!  Not only does she own and run Bubble and Bake, a bakery in the morning and a wine bar in the evening, makes the baked goods for the bakery with her partner and interns, grows the grapes and makes the wine for the wine bar, writes feature articles for the local newspaper, but she puts herself smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation !!

Frankie has a lot on her plate with just running Bubble and Bake and getting ready for Valentine's Day but when a local pastor is found dead in his ice shanty, Frankie's jounalistic senses kick into high gear and she finds herself questioning members of the church and checking out the scene of the crime.  

Deep Dark Secrets is such a fun book !!!  Not only will the reader love Frankie and her many jobs but they will love how she innocently investigates the murder.   And you cannot help but love that she has a good angel on one shoulder and a bad angel on the other and they are fireflies instead of angels and they argue back and forth.....that just adds originality to this series !!!  I highly recommend reading Deep Dark Secrets and I look forward to the next book in this series...... 

Review by Missi S.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Beachboy Murder (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #11) by Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens

Beachboy Murder (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #11)
From USA Today bestselling authors Sally J. Smith Jean Steffens comes deadly trouble on white sandy beaches...

Just as travel agent turned reluctant sleuth Gabby LeClair is starting to gain some of the Aloha spirit, a business consortium from Chicago breezes into the Aloha Lagoon resort and offers to buy her business. The offer is tempting...but so is hot helicopter pilot Rick Dawson, making it a difficult decision. One that becomes even more complicated when a dead body is discovered in Gabby's backyard, and she's suddenly thrust in the middle of a murder investigation!

The dead man is a former beachboy attendant from the island. But as Gabby and her friends quickly learn, his colorful past as a professional escort extends from Hawaii all the way to the women of Chicago—including those in the business consortium. With a trail of broken hearts—not to mention jealous rivals—leading up to the beachboy, Gabby tried to uncover just who had it in for the late lothario. Is the female of the species really more deadly than the male? Or has he scorned one too many women for some other man's liking? Gabby treads a fine line as she seeks the truth behind his shady past and comes face to face with a killer!

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)
Photo Finished (book #14)
Fatal Break (book #15)

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 say this every time I read a book in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series..... I LOVE returning to the Aloha Lagoon Resort and spending time with everyone there !!  And it rings true again after finishing Beachboy Murder by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens.

The Aloha Lagoon Mystery series, which is published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, is a unique series because every book in the series is written by different authors and each book focuses on a different part of the resort.  In Beachboy Murder we are hanging around with Gabby LeClair at her business, Gabby's Island Adventures.  Gabby's best friend from Chicago comes to the island with a group of co-workers looking to buy Gabby's business.....not that she is sure she wants to sell but will still listen to their offer.  However, before numbers can be discussed a dead body is found in Gabby's back yard.....literally !!

When the body is identified as a male "escort" from Chicago that grew up on the island and was well known on the island and with half of the group looking to buy Gabby's business, things get crazy pretty quick !!!  And when Gabby's best friend, Janet, is on the suspect list, Gabby decides she needs to help solve the murder before she does anything else  !!!

Male escorts......blackmail.....illegal card games.......powerful island helicopter pilots.... snorkeling.......tantalizing dinners........ all add up to a great getaway....and you don't have to leave the comforts of your own home !!!!

Pick up Beachboy Murder, or any and all of the books in the ALoha Lagoon Mystery series and spend some time with everyone on the will thank me for it !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Chocolate Covered Death (Wine & Dine Mysteries #2) by Gemma Halliday

Chocolate Covered Death (Wine & Dine Mysteries #2)

From #1 Amazon, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Gemma Halliday comes deliciously deadly decadence in wine country...

In order to boost her struggling family winery's reputation, Emmy Oak throws a Wine and Chocolate party for the Sonoma Valley elite--featuring her delicious drinks alongside her friend Leah's decadently chocolaty desserts. But when Leah's ex-husband's new trophy wife turns up dead after the party, the police paint Leah in the role of main suspect and the only thing anyone in town can talk about is the murder at the Chocolate Bar.

In order to save face and her friend, Emmy finds herself infiltrating high society and sorting among the catty and cantankerous for her killer. Did the victim's rare-wine brokering business have anything to do with it? Or was it the hot new golf pro at the club or the frenemy with a jealous streak? Or maybe her husband found a less messy way than divorce to end their short and unhappy marriage? Emmy isn't sure, but she knows a mysterious man in a cowboy had has something to do with it, and the deeper she digs, the more trouble seems to follow her. Between crashing the country club, dodging danger, and trying to stay one step ahead of the sexy Detective Christopher Grant, Emmy has her work cut out for her to catch a killer...before hers is the next death by chocolate!

**Simple and delicious recipes & affordable wine pairings included!**

"Ms. Halliday is the undisputed queen of the genre: she knows how to blend fashion, suspense, laughter, and romance in all the right doses."
Fresh Fiction

"Gemma has a natural flow to her writing, a vibrant, witty voice that makes you want to keep reading. 5 stars!"
Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

"Halliday is on top of her game!"

Wine & Dine Mysteries:
A Sip Before Dying - book #1
Chocolate Covered Death - book #2
Victim in the Vineyard - book #3, COMING in September!
Marriage, Merlot & Murder - book #4, COMING in January 2020!

Rating: This story does not contain any graphic violence, language, or sexual encounters. It's rating would be similar to PG-13 or what you would find on a Hallmark Channel movie or TV series.   (Summary via Goodreads)

The Wine & Dine Mystery series by Gemma Halliday could definitely be a movie on the Hallmark channel like it states in the book summary on Goodreads.  At the end of Chocolate Covered Death, the second book in this series, the main character Emmy Oak is recovering from a near death evening by lounging on the couch with Meg Ryan movies...... I could see Meg Ryan playing Emmy if it were a movie !!  (I wonder if Halliday was thinking the same thing when she was writing it......)

In Chocolate Covered Death Emmy and her friend, Leah, are working together on a chocolate and wine pairing event.  Emmy runs her family's winery and Leah owns a bakery, The Chocolate Bar, and they are combining Emmy's family wines with Leah's chocolate creations and they have an exclusive group of guests that they have invited to the event.  Unfortunately Leah's ex-husband's new trophy wife is there and by the end of the evening she is found by Emmy....dead in the alleyway.  Of course Leah is considered the main suspect.  Emmy and their other friend Ava know that there is no way that Leah would committ murder....she has her son Spence to think about.

Even though Emmy should be focused on running and showing a profit at the winery, she cannot let the police arrest her innocent with the help of Ava she does her own investigating.  This, of course, gets the attention of the detective on the case as well as the real killer.  Can she prove her theories to Detective Grant before the killer shuts her up for good ????

I love the Wine & Dine Mystery series by Gemma Halliday !!  The reader gets so captivated by the story that before you know it, you are at the end of the book and trying to catch your breath !!!  Even if you try to read slow and savor everything, you will find it hard to will savor everything there is to savor and you will be left with a satisfying feeling at the end and you will LOVE where Halliday leaves the reader with Emmy and Detective Grant........  You will be looking forward to book three for sure !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Monday 9 September 2019

Half-Price Homicide (A Dead-End Job Mystery #9) by Elaine Viets

Half-Price Homicide (A Dead-End Job Mystery Book 9)

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.

When Fort Lauderdale’s wealthiest want to discreetly trade their best barely-worn threads for cash, they bring it to Snapdragon’s Second Thoughts—which is where Helen Hawthorne finds herself selling the most chic second-hand clothing in Florida.

But the usual haggling turns homicidal when a particularly petty customer turns up dead—dangling by a darling Gucci scarf—and Helen's boss Vera is eyed as a suspect.

Helen knows Vera can drive a hard bargain but can’t believe Vera would resort to murder. And while she would like to help, a sudden tragedy forces Helen to return to St. Louis—where she has the chance to face the past she’s been running from.

Now, if Helen doesn’t quickly deal with her fugitive status—as well as her own fractious family—she won’t make it back home in time to prevent the police from making a very unfashionable arrest…

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)

Every time I read a Dead-End Job Mystery series book by Elaine Viets it becomes my new favorite book in that series !!  And Half-Price Homicide, the Ninth book in the series, does not disappoint.

If you are a fan of this series you cannot help by LOVE Helen Hawthorne and her unique way of surviving.... I love reading in every book how she caught her husband cheating on her and how she destroyed his SUV while he cowardly hide inside it after being caught, and how the court tried to award him with half of her future earnings so she left St. Louis and ended up in Florida living in a great apartment complex with amazing neighbors and taking dead-end jobs so that she can stay below the radar of the law.

And with every dead-end job she works she always gets in the middle of a murder investigation.  But luckily she has her fiance, Phil, who happens to be a private investigator so he can help her.  

In Half-Price Homicide Helen is again working in a dead-end job at a high-end second hand designer shop where Helen waits on customers trying to save money buying slightly worn designer clothes and dusts.  Except of course things go downhill pretty quick when one of the customers is found dead in a fitting room and there are only a few suspects.  While Helen deals with her mother nonresponsive in a nursing home, she also tries to figure out the clear her boss's name and, of course, her own.

But not everything is bleak......Helen and Phil have to go back to Helen's hometown to put her mother to rest (which yes is sad and bleak) but while they are there they meet with a few lawyers so that Helen can finally stop running from her ex-husband and her and Phil can finally get married and live happily ever after....or as close at that that Helen can get to !!!

Viets has a GREAT series in the Dead-End Job mystery series and I fall deeper in love with everything about this series.....I know you will also !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Murder at Crossways (Gilded Newport Mysteries #7) by Alyssa Maxwell

Murder at Crossways (Gilded Newport Mysteries #7)

In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fĂȘte of the Newport social season and discovers the party's over for a visiting prince . . .

The days are getting shorter as summer's end approaches, which means it's time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire railroad tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand "cottage," Crossways. The neocolonial mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor, and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.

As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in and attend the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince fails to appear. The next morning, he is found dead in the side garden at Crossways, making it clear a murderer crashed the party.

The prince has been stabbed in the same manner as another man, recently found on nearby Bailey's Beach—who strongly resembles Emma's half-brother Brady's father, presumed dead for nearly thirty years after a yachting mishap. As Emma investigates a connection between the two victims, she is joined on the hunt by Mamie Fish herself. But they must hurry—before the killer slips away like the fading summer . . .
   (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE returning to the Gilded Newport Mystery series written by Alyssa Maxwell.  Not only do you travel back in time but you are hanging around with Emma and her crazy lifestyle....which you wouldn't think during that time frame is but it might even be crazier !!

Maxwell knows how to attack the readers attention by the end of the first chapter.  Emma is spending a quiet day at the beach with friends and family but by the end of the chapter a body is found and Emma gets up close to and faints thinking it is her half brother Brady !!  Now we the devoted reader can only hope that Maxwell knows what she is doing if she is about to kill off someone that special in this series so all we can do is turn the page, hold out breath and read on.....and thankfully for us we do.  Because the dead victim is not Brady but someone who looks very much like him.

Before Emma can compile a list of people to talk to and questions to ask, while attending a Harvest Festival held by one of the elite group of Newport high society there is another murder !!!

We are use to Emma helping out the police, mainly Detective Jesse Whyte, when there is a crime in town but when the hostess of the party, Mrs. Fish, asks to assist Emma, one only knows how things will go !!  Mrs. Fish is one of the Four Hundred, a member of the elite, rich social group and her way of life is quite different from Emma and the interaction between the Four Hundred and someone like Emma is practically non-existent.  However the relationship of Mrs. Fish and Emma seems to work quite well on this case and I for one cannot wait to see if it survives after the case is solved......

Alyssa Maxwell is one of my favorite authors and I love travelling back to the 1800's with Emma and her family, friends and the surrounding Newport area.  I love going to the high-end parties with Emma while she is covering them for the newspaper and love it even more when there is a murder and Emma's investigative ways change course to track down a killer !!  Maxwell knows how to catch the readers attention at the very first chapter and keep you going throughout the entire story !!  Sometimes you may find yourself holding your breath longer than necessary or reading a little faster than normal but these are occupational hazards when reading.......

Review by Missi M.