Tuesday 29 October 2019

A Twist of Fortune (Sgt. Windflower Mystery #4) by Mike Martin

A Twist of Fortune (Sgt. Windflower Mystery, #4)

The small town of Grand Bank in southeast Newfoundland, at the very eastern tip of Canada is in crisis. Their largest employer and a link to the glorious past, the fish plant is closing. Sgt. Winston Windflower’s personal life is also in crisis since his longtime girlfriend, Sheila Hillier is leading a community protest to try and stop the closure. It may be too late for the fish plant, but is it too late for Windflower and Sheila?
If that wasn’t enough, they are being buried in snow and an epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is creating major problems for people and the police who patrol the area. An accidental death on a snow-covered highway leads only to more questions and more problems for Sgt. Windflower and the RCMP to resolve.
A Twist of Fortune is the fourth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series and it continues the adventures of Sgt. Windflower as he tries to solve crime and experience the joy and the sadness of life in a small Newfoundland community. Follow along as he feels the sometimes bitter taste of an east coast winter and the unique culinary delights of this part of the world. This story is like the weather in Newfoundland. It can twist and turn at any time.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I could hang out with Sgt. Winston Windflower all day and night !!  I just LOVE the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series by Mike Martin and look forward to getting lost in these books.

A Twist of Fortune is the fourth book in this captivating series and as soon as you read the FIRST paragraph you will be HOOKED .... especially if you have been reading the books in order.  By the time you get to this fourth book, you are a fan of Windflower, his little town and his friends and family but when you begin reading A Twist of Fortune that may all change !!  Windflower's girlfriend, Sheila, is arrested !!!  In the first paragraph !!!  What the heck is Mike Martin thinking !?!?!  Okay calm down...you have to breath and keep reading.....  

After all, that is just the tip of the iceburg in this strong installment in the series.  Yes Sheila is arrested but she does it all for her beloved community.... but on a different note and completely having nothing to do with Sheila an accident during a snowstorm results in a dead driver which is just the beginning of a long list of problems for Windflower and his team.  

While they deal with snowstorm after snowstorm, they have a case of 2 dead bodies, drugs, blackmail, lies, cover-ups and more...... and then the town of Grand Bank deals with a horrible loss that will leave the town saddened beyond belief but maybe Sheila will be able to lift up her beloved town and make it stronger !!

Windflower and Sheila make a dynamic duo and I look forward to seeing where Martin takes them and their town.  With the two of them working together anything is possible !!!  

I love getting lost in these books....by now I feel like a member of the community and I have my own seat at the Mug-Up and even though I don't play chess or drink scotch, I want to when I read these books.  Martin GRABS the reader with the first paragraph in this latest installment and you will not want to loosen that grib until you read the very last word !!  

Review by Missi M.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Read and Buried (Lighthouse Library Mystery #6) by Eva Gates

Read and Buried (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #6)

Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can't crack its code, she may end up read and buried. 

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library's foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.

The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library--the map and the coded page are missing.

Lucy's nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing ssJeremy--or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she's forced to do what she vowed not to do--get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.   (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE visiting Nags Head, North Carolina....in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series books that is !!  And the main character, Lucy Richardson, is someone I would love to hang out with.

The Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates is a great series !!  It is set in Nags Head, North Carolina, the town is a tourist town but the main focus is the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.  The library where Lucy works and lives is in the lighthouse and there is always a lot going on there !!  

In the sixth book in this series, Read and Buried, there is a construction crew working on the foundation of the lighthouse and they dig up an old box containing a diary, map and a piece of paper with letters that make no sense.  The library group decide that the paper is actually a coded message and half the town tries to solve the code.  Unfortunately someone breaks into the library to take another peek at the map and paper but ends up dead and the pages missing !!

Lucy cannot help but "look" into what the coded message means, if anything.  Even though she tells everyone that she is not "investigating" the murder, she finds herself asking questions and getting in the way.....well that wouldn't be Lucy if she didn't.

I LOVE that this series is set in a tourist town....it takes me back to my childhood vacations at the ocean.  And I love that Lucy lives in the top of the lighthouse....I can only imagine how cool that is !!!  Even though Gates points out at the end of every book in this series that the lighthouse is a "product of her imagination", I  can see the lighthouse, the library and Lucy's apartment in my imagination as well now and I thank her for that !!!

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Homicide by Horse Show (Creature Comforts #2) by Arlene Kay

Homicide by Horse Show (Creature Comforts #2)

Leathersmith Persephone “Perri” Morgan makes the kind of beautiful custom leashes and saddles that make wealthy dog and horse show lovers swoon—until murder strides onto the course . . .
When Perri’s BFF Babette hosts a meeting of Fairfax County’s affluent animal lovers to save a local horse rescue farm, the agenda gets sidetracked by the discovery of a corpse in the master bedroom. Everyone present is a suspect, including Perri’s main squeeze, Wing Pruett—Washington, DC’s sexiest reporter.
While Perri scours local horse and dog shows hoping to unmask the killer, she uncovers bad manners, infidelity, and low-level crime in her hunt for the killer—but what she can’t find are grounds for murder. When the killer strikes again and she gets a warning to stop her sleuthing, Perri has to muster all her training—and all her allies, human and animal alike—to make it out of the ring alive.
Praise for Arlene Kay’s Boston Uncommons Mysteries
“Reminiscent of the comedy-mystery movies of the thirties…An entertaining first entry into the Boston Uncommons Mystery series.” —New York Journal of Books on Swann Dive
“Highly entertaining . . . I can't wait for the next book in the series!” —Jaye Roycraft, author of Rainscape  (Summary via Goodreads)

You don't know whether to feel sorry for Perri Morgan or admire her.  Perri is the main character in the Creature Comforts Mystery series by Arlene Kay and on the one hand you feel for her because she lost her fiance, someone she loved dearly and someone that she is having a hard time getting over....but then on the other hand she has the attention of Wing Pruett who is a sexy and attentive reporter who clearly has strong feelings for her.

But lets back up a bit.... You may think that the Creature Comfort series is a romance series but it is far from that.  Mystery is the main dish being served up here with a side of romance.

Perri is a leathersmith who makes items for dogs and horses and sells them independently as well as at dog and horse shows.  Perri has a love for animals and will never be far from her two dogs that also serve as her bodyguards.  She leaves her loving cat and tempermental goat at home....

Besides being a devoted animal lover and craftswoman, Perri is also a true friend and will do pretty much anything for her best friend Babette.....and in Homicide by Horse Show, the second book in this series, she will be going above and beyond the definition of friendship while she "investigate" the murder of Babette's assistant who is murdered in Babette's bedroom right before a meeting at Babette's house.  The meeting is for a small group of people who are getting together to talk about fundraising for a rescue horse farm that may be closed and the land sold.  Perri and Babette think that this group of people is the answer they are looking for in order to save the farm....little did they know that one of them is quite possibly a murderer as well !!!

Finding out who killed Ethel, Babette's assistant, is going to be tougher than anyone thought when they find out that they did not know this person at all !!  And when they find out that people were being blackmailed and secrets begin to come out, the suspect list gets longer and the reasons why become scarier !!!

Kay knows how to captures the readers attention and continue her grip throughout the entire book.  She has just the right amounts of mystery, mayhem, friendship, love and yes lust thrown in there to entice all senses of the readers brain.......

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Two Bites Too Many (Sarah Blair Mystery #2) by Debra H. Goldstein

Two Bites Too Many (Sarah Blair Mystery #2)

Far from a domestic goddess, Sarah Blair would rather catch bad guys than slave over a hot stove. But when a dangerous murder boils over in Wheaton, Alabama, catching the killer means leaving her comfort zone ...

Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her modest law firm receptionist job and--if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts--lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end ...

When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily's business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands--the Blair girls' sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block?

Includes quick and easy recipes!

"This smart cozy--full of heart and humor and surprises--has everything a mystery lover could ask for."
--Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of Trust Me   (Summary via Goodreads)

I thought things were intense when Sarah's twin sister Emily was accused of murder in One Taste Too Many, the first book in the Sarah Blair Mystery series by Debra H. Goldstein but when their mother is accused of murder in the second book.....OH BOY !!!!

Two Bites Too Many has Sarah trying to prove the innocence of one of her family members again !!  When Maybelle, Sarah and Emily's mother, is the last one to see the president of the bank alive, the chief of police places her at the top of the suspect list.   This puts Sarah is a very compromising position because she can not sit quietly and wait for the police to come to their senses.  And when Sarah's neighbor is attacked and Sarah and Maybelle are the ones to find him, Sarah will do whatever it takes to clear her mother's name.

Goldstein knows how to capture the readers attention immediately and she knows what to say, or write in this case, to keep the reader turning the page.  First Sarah's twin sister is accused of murder in the first book, then their mom in the second book, I can only imagine what is next for this family......Will Sarah find herself the next suspect of a murder ?? Is it bad of me to say that I hope so !!  Come on, you know she wouldn't do that even to her worse enemy....but to see her solve the case....yeah I'm ALL for that !!!

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 10 October 2019

Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery (Whipped and Sipped Mysteries Book 1) by G. P. Gottlieb

Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery (Whipped and Sipped Mysteries Book 1)

Alene Baron is the proud owner of Whipped and Sipped, a cafĂ© that offers healthful, delectable food and drinks. Her life consists of dreaming up new recipes, raising her three children, and arguing with her ex-husband--until her neighbor and close friend is murdered. She imagines nearly everyone she knows as a possible suspect. After a second attack, Alene is determined to find the true killer … before she, or her family, become targets. 

About the author: 
Already known for her imaginative baking and fabulous dinners, G.P. Gottlieb began writing throughout her varied career. After recovering from breast cancer, she turned to writing in earnest, melding her two loves, nourishment for mind and body in recipe-laced murder mysteries. She is also the host of New Books in Literature, a podcast of the New Books Network.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Not many people can say that they are doing what they love....but Alene Baron can say exactly that.  Alene is the main character in Battered : A Whipped and Sipped Mystery by G.P. Gottlieb.  She grew up working in Whipped and Sipped, a cafe owned by a dear friend of the family Gary.  And when Gary was ready to retire he sold it to Alene for a very good price.  Now she runs it with her best friend from college Ruthie.

Now don't go thinking Alene has a great life....because she does and she doesn't.  After her marriage broke up, Alene and her three kids moved back in with her father in the condo she grew up in.  Her father is not 100% healthy so moving back helps all of them.  Unfortunately Alene still has to deal with her ex-husband but some things you have to overlook.

When one of the neighbors finds Gary dead in her dining room, Alene jumps in with both feet to try to solve his murder.  Unfortunately she becomes suspicious of everyone and finds it hard to fiqure out....lucky for her the attractive detective assigned to the case is someone she met years ago.  He was extremely helpful back then so she knows he will be focused on Gary's murder but when he takes one of Gary's kids into custody, Alene begins to question his ability's to see right and wrong......

While Alene tries to keep some kind of normalcy in the cafe and her house, she cannot help but try to solve Gary's murder by finding the actual murderer.......not even knowing just how close this person actual is to everything......

Gottlieb has a winner with Battered : A Whipped and Sipped Mystery.  I could not put it down.  You cannot help but love Alene and the loving character that she is.  And the employees at the cafe and friends in her fathers building are a great bunch of people as well....even her ex-husband will grow on you, and not in a fungus kind of way.  I highly encourage readers to read this book.....you will enjoy hanging out with everyone !!! 

Review by Missi M.

Sunday 6 October 2019

Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery #16) by Laura Childs, Terrie Farley Moran

Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery #16)
A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Timesbestselling author Laura Childs. 

It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon's body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They're shocked beyond belief--and now Mimi, Devon's little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?   (Summary via Goodreads)

Reading a book in the Scrapbooking Mystery series by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran is always a treat....to say the least !!  First you have this series set in New Orleans and you are right in the middle of all the fun in the French Quarter, second you are hanging around with 2 best friends, Carmela and Ava, that are always getting in the middle of trouble, thirdly you have Carmela always testing the boundaries of her relationship with her fiance Detective Edgar Babcock, and lastly there is always a murder with Carmela and Ava caught in the middle of all the action !!!

And Mumbo Gumbo Murder, the sixteenth book in this series, is loaded with great fun and scary situations !!!  While Detective Edgar tries to get Carmela to think seriously about their upcoming wedding, like set a date or something, one of Carmela's dear friends is murdered....and Carmela and Ava happen to be right outside the store when it all goes down.  They try to save Devon after they rush in and see what happened but are unsuccessful.  Not only does Carmela lose a dear friend but she takes his dog, Mimi, in thinking that she may be able to sniff out the guilty party.

Childs and Moran provide the reader with such detailed descriptions of the fun surrounding the French Quarter and New Orleans that you will feel like you are right there in the thick of things.  They also provide the reader with some colorful characters that could be the suspects to the murder.  They also provide the reader with enough excitement to keep you tingling after your finish reading Mumbi Gumbo Murder.

On a ten star rating scale, I would give this book and this series a 14 !!  And I would give the authors a 16....to be able to get to the sixteenth book in a series and still be able to keep it fresh, exciting and leave the reader longing for more....WELL DONE !!!

Review by Missi M.

Friday 4 October 2019

The Garden Club Murder (Tish Tarragon #2) by Amy Patricia Meade

The Garden Club Murder

Literary caterer Letitia 'Tish' Tarragon is preparing her English Secret Garden-themed luncheon for Coleton Creek's annual garden club awards, but when she is taken on a tour of some of the top contenders with the garden club's president, Jim Ainsley, Tish is surprised at how seriously the residents take the awards - and how desperate they are to win. Wealthy, retired businessman Sloane Shackleford has won the coveted best garden category five years in a row, but he and his Bichon Frise, Biscuit, are universally despised. When Sloane's bludgeoned body is discovered in his pristine garden, Tish soon learns that he was disliked for reasons that go beyond his green fingers. Have the hotly contested awards brought out a competitive and murderous streak in one of the residents?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Oh Amy what have you done ??  

The Garden Club Murder is the second book in her Tish Tarragon Mystery series and the way she ends the story, the reader is left longing for the next book !!  That is exactly what the reader wants out of the author and Amy Patricia Mead does NOT disappoint !!!!

In The Garden Club Murder Tish and crew are preparing for a luncheon at Coleton Creek.  Coleton Creek is a retirement community that is holding their annual garden club competition and Tish has been hired to serve the food for the awards luncheon.  In the middle of being introduced to the contestants and viewing their gardens, Tish and her hosts come across one of the residents dead in his garden.  And to make matters worse, he is the resident that has won the competition the past 5 years.....and there is a long list of people who wouldn't be upset if he lost....but his life ??

The Garden Club Murder captures the readers attention immediately and holds its grip until the last sentence and that sentence will tighten its hold having the reader longing for the next book in the series.  I, for one, did not need that last sentence to know that I will be back to visit Tish and her crew but that last sentence does make me want the next book to hurry up and get published !!  Meade knows exactly how to keep fans on their toes !!!

Review by Missi M.