Tuesday 25 February 2020

A Long Ways from Home (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries #5) by Mike Martin

A Long Ways from Home (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries #5)
A weekend visit to picturesque Newfoundland by a large crew of outlaw bikers leaves behind another mess for Sgt. Windflower to clean up. This time he's facing violence, murder, mystery and intrigue. This adventure has Windflower questioning everything he thought he knew. There are troubles on the home front, cutbacks in the policing budget, old friends leaving and new ones not quite here yet. Windflower is seeking to find answers in territory that is both dangerous and unfamiliar.
This instalment in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series has our hero dashing all over the beautiful little island of Newfoundland. Along the way he never wavers in his pursuit of justice. But he stills tries to find a way to enjoy the natural beauty that lays all around him, and to bring out the best from everybody he meets.
A Long Ways from Home is about more than just homicides or the dirty dealings of outlaw bikers. It is also about helping people and communities face up to and overcome new and very difficult challenges. Windflower relies on his friends and allies, including some four-legged ones, to help him and them find the answers. He also discovers that we are never really alone, even when we are a long ways from home.  (Summary via Goodreads)

If you are a fan of Stuart Woods and his Stone Barrington series, you will surely love The Sgt. Windflower Mystery series by Mike Martin.  His main character, Sgt. Winston Windflower, is a take charge, in control, strong man like Stone Barrington.  The only real difference in the two men is that Barrington is a lady's man and Windflower is a one-lady man.

In A Long Ways from Home, the fifth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series, Windflower has to go out of town for a case leaving his future wife Sheila, the Mayor of Grand Bank, to work on wedding plans.  Windflower has to go to Grand Falls to head an investigation into a double homicide.  The bodies were discovered after a visit from a motorcycle gang.  While Windflower is working on that case, Sheila's cousin, who was coming into town for a visit turns into a missing person's case when her motorcycle is found.

Both cases will have the reader on the edge of their seats and when it looks like the two may be connected, things get more intense for Windflower and Sheila.  

I love hanging out with Windflower and love his structured and choatic life.  I love his relationship with Sheila and his community and a quiet night hanging out with them can be enlightening.  I love how Windflower is so commanding and at ease and can get the job done.  I even like walking the foggy neighborhood with him and his dog, Lady.  His dreams, smudging and connections to nature just add to the depth of his character.  

Mike Martin can write a very captivating tale and you never know where he and Windflower are heading but you, as the reader, know that you want to ride Shotgun.......

I highly recommend this series and the good thing is that you don't even need your passport to hang out in Canada with them all........and you don't have to worry about fog and rain.

Review by Missi M.

Sunday 23 February 2020

Handbags & Homicide (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #12) by Anne Marie Stoddard

Handbags & Homicide (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #12)
From USA Today bestselling author Anne Marie Stoddard comes another fabulously fashionable mystery in paradise...
Kaley Kalua is ecstatic when her best friend announces that she’s getting married and bringing the pre-wedding celebration to Aloha Lagoon! As the maid of honor, Kaley can't wait to see her bride-to-be bestie, Emma—that is, until Emma shows up on the island with a few unwelcome faces in her wedding party, including Kaley’s cheating ex-husband, Bryan, one of his former mistresses, and his new girlfriend! To make matters worse, Kaley’s current relationship with the resort's hot lifeguard is on the rocks, and her
brand new handbag goes missing after a wild night celebrating Emma’s bachelorette party.

But things go from bad to downright deadly when Bryan’s girlfriend is found the next day, dead and buried in a shallow grave on the resort beach—along with Kaley’s missing bag! The police seem convinced that Kaley is involved in the woman’s untimely death. In order to prove her innocence and save Emma’s wedding weekend, Kaley must do a little investigating of her own. Did her arrogant ex-husband kill his own girlfriend? Or did the jealous other woman commit the crime? The deeper Kaley digs in her pursuit of the truth, the more secrets and lies she uncovers. It soon becomes clear that someone doesn’t want Kaley to air their dirty laundry. If she isn’t careful, she may not live to see her friend walk down the aisle.

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)

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 returning to the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.  The books in this series are all written around the Aloha Lagoon Resort which is along the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.  These books all have 2 things in common : first they all center around the resort meaning that the main character works in or around the resort and secondly there is going to be a dead body, or two.

In Handbags & Homicide written by Anne Marie Stoddard, the twelveth book in the series, we are hanging around with Kaley Kalua.  Kaley left the island for a while when she was married to a famous football player but returned home after she caught him cheating.  Now she works at her aunt's boutique, reconnected with a childhood friend, Noa, who is now her boyfriend, has some great friends and gets to wake up in paradise everyday !!  She couldn't be happier.....until her best friend from her old life calls announcing that she is getting married to the football player Kaley and her ex set her up with and she wants Kaley to be her maid of honor and the bride and friends are coming to the island for the bachlorette party.  Kaley thinks it is going to be a weekend full of drunken fun until not only does Emma, the bride show up but the two cheerleaders Kaley caught with her husband as well as the groom and his groomsmen which includes Kaley's ex Bryan !!!

Kaley decides to take the high road with the help of her good friend on the island Jamie and goes forward with the bachorlette plans until one of the cheerleaders, Valentina, is missing and Kaley stumbles on her body on the beach......oh and did I mention that Valencia and Bryan are/were an item ???  

Not only does Kaley stumble over Valentina's body but its her new pocketbook around Valentina's neck.....Kaley steps into high gear to prove her innocence but while doing so, she throws her ex under the bus.....  Kaley takes it upon herself to try to figure out who killed Valentina but in doing so, the suspect list grows and pretty soon she is questioning everyone in the bridal party.....including the bride !!!

I love getting lost in this series....while you read these books you feel like you are right there with everyone enjoying paradise .... while safely sitting on your couch away from harm.  This is one series that I cannot turn the pages fast enough and even though I cannot wait to get to the end to find out what is going on, I am slightly disappointed when I do get to the end and realize that I am sitting on my couch far, far away from paradise !!!

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

'Twas the Week After Christmas (Season's Change Book 1) by Mark Justice

'Twas the Week After Christmas (Season's Change Book 1) by [Justice, Mark]
When Abbie Price finds herself suddenly out of a job, she moves back to her home town of Juniper, Ohio, surrounded and supported by her friends and family.A series of unexplained packages pulls Abbie into a mystery that intimately touches the lives of everyone around her. With the New Year’s Nosh less than a week away, Abbie is determined to unravel the truth behind the mysterious packages and discovers herself on a journey toward acceptance, healing, and hope.  (Summary via Amazon)

'Twas the Week After Christmas by Mark Justice is the first book in his Season's Change Mystery series.  'Twas the Week After Christmas is very different from your regular cozy mystery in that there is no death.....and that is pretty much the only difference.......

'Twas the Week After Christmas you are hanging out with main character, Abbie Price, who just lost her job and moved back to her hometown on Christmas night.  Everyone in Juniper, Ohio is like family.  It is a nice, small, loving town and the week after Christmas everyone is still in the Christmas mood and gearing up for the New Year's Eve celebration, The New Year's Nosh.

Abbie is helping her grandmother in the family candy store while she figures out what her next move is after losing her job.  They are getting ready to make their famous fudge for the Nosh....unfortunately they do not get their chocolate order but instead a mysterious wooden box with exotic spices show up.
And that is not the only mysterious box showing up around town.  Each box is very specific to the individual receiving it and forces the recipricant to think outside the box..... (pun intended)

Abbie and friends try to find out who is leaving the boxes and the only "clue" they have to follow are some curious looking footsteps......

'Twas the Week After Christmas is the perfect cozy to get lost in when you really just want a feel good cozy story.  You have a great town that you are sure to want to visit and Juniper is full of great people that you want to hang around with and Sugar's Diner is the perfect place to do it at !!  And the author leaves the reader longing for more......

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 13 February 2020

Deadly Cost of Goods (Book 5 in Second Treasures Mysteries) by Margaret Evans

Deadly Cost of Goods
In Vol. 5 of Margaret Evans's Second Treasures Mysteries, a box of old books in Laura Keene's shop contains a clue that draws her to a ghostly, boarded-up library, where a young teenage girl disappeared decades ago. Where others have given up on this cold case, Laura is determined to find the connection between her murdered parents and the missing child.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Deadly Cost of Goods by Margaret Evans is the fifth book in her Second Treasures Mystery series and unfortunately the first one in this series that I have read.  There are some things that are lost to a reader if you haven't read the previous ones but the main focus in Deadly Cost of Goods will grab the reader....

Main character Laura Keene runs a second hand store in her hometown.  She moved away with her aunt after her parents were killed but has recently moved back and has her own business, a great group of old friends, is involved in her town and is dating the police Sargeant......oh and there's a cat in her store that only she can see !!!

In Deadly Cost of Goods Laura and the town are gearing up for Heritage Week and they have a committee for everything and Laura seems to be in the center of it all.  Not only does Laura have a lot going on running her business and planning things for Heritage Week but she also is very interested in an old cold case of a 13 year old girl that was last seen at the old town library.  The old library has long been boarded up and a new library built but Laura is drawn to the old library and when she goes through old boxes of books and finds the dead girls library card, it sends her on a quest to find answers......

Deadly Cost of Goods is a very interesting tale and like I said there are some backstories that I'm sure if I read the previous books, I would be spot on !  If I get some free time I know what books I will read because I want to know everything about Laura and how she got where she got.....and I am ready for the next installment of Second Treasures Mysteries because the way Evans leaves the reader, you really have no choice but to be a devoted fan....

Review by Missi M.

Sunday 9 February 2020

Sealed Off (Maine Clambake Mystery #8) by Barbara Ross

Sealed Off (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #8)
Early October is “winding down” time in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but there’s nothing relaxing about it for Julia Snowden. Between busloads of weekend leaf peepers at the Snowden Family Clambake and a gut renovation of the old mansion on Morrow Island, she’s keeping it all together with a potentially volatile skeleton crew—until one of them turns up dead under the firewood.
When the Russian demo team clearing out the mansion discovers a room that’s been sealed off for decades, Julia’s baffled as to its purpose and what secrets it might have held. Tensions are already simmering with the crew, but when one of the workers is found murdered, things come to a boil. With the discovery of another body—and a mysterious diary with Cyrillic text in the hidden room—the pressure’s on Julia to dig up a real killer fast. But she’ll have to sort through a pile of suspects, including ex-spouses, a spurned lover, and a recently released prisoner, to fish out one clammed-up killer.   (Summary via Goodreads)

I love getting lost in a good book, especially when they are part of a series and you've read the previous books and that is exactly how it was for me reading Sealed Off by Barbara Ross.

Sealed Off is the eighth book in Ross's Maine Clambake Mystery series and the reader cannot help but love hanging around with main character, Julia Snowden.  Julia is a very, very busy person running her family clambake business along with her sister, brother-in-law and mother but add a dead body and Julia turns into a super hero on steroids !!

Julia and her family are at the end of the season and trying to get through the last 2 weeks of clambakes before closing for the winter unfortunately 2 of their employees get into a fight at the end of one of the bakes and the next day one of them is found dead.....and three of the employees didnt show up for work....one of them being the brother of Julia's boyfriend.

Sealed Off is full of secrets, some recent and some many, many years in the past....with Julia taking charge of finding out everything she can.  Ross has a great knack of grabbing the readers attention as soon as you open up the book and keeps you chargin through until the very last page.  You cannot help but love Julia, her family, the clambake business, all the secrets and the way Julia finds out everything she can.  You cannot help but love her devotion to her family, friends and her town, her determination to ensure everyone is safe, and the way she makes it look so easy !!!  I totally enjoy the time I spend with Julia in Busman's Harbor and look forward to my next visit.......

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Final Sail (A Dead-End Job Mystery #11) by Elaine Viets

Final Sail (A Dead-End Job Mystery Book 11)
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.

As one half of Coronado Investigations in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Helen Hawthorne is working full time alongside her handsome hubby Phil. And after the surprising number of murders Helen helped solve while earning low pay on off the books jobs, anything else should be smooth sailing, right?

Unfortunately, Helen’s unique work history also makes her a natural for undercover work—and in this case that means she’s going right back to scrubbing and cleaning while acting as a “yacht stewardess” to catch some smugglers. And even more annoying is the fact that Phil must stay on shore to figure out if a wealthy man has fallen victim to his gold-digging trophy wife.

But after a member of the yacht crew disappears, Helen’s case quickly goes from simple smuggling to maritime murder. And if she doesn’t find out who pitched the man overboard, she might end up lost at sea herself…

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)

I love getting lost in the Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets.... and with every book in the series, the reader gets to go on some great adventures with main character Helen Hawthorne.  And in Final Sail, the eleventh book in this series we are going on a cruise !!!

Helen and Phil got married and are partners in their private investigation business, Coronado Investigations, and in Final Sail they have two cases and Helen has to go undercover on a private yacht !!  But that's not all....she also gets ordained online as a minister for the other case that Phil and her are working on.

Final Sail will have the reader turning the pages almost faster than they can read the words.....it is so fun reading this series to see what trouble Helen is going to get into and even funner reading how she gets out of it.   I love that she is finally getting her past in order and moving forward with Phil even with her ex-husband Rob "in the shadows" and love that Helen and Phil are working together and living at the Coronado Tropics Apartments and continue to hang out with the crew there.  Viets knows how to keep the reader's interest whether they are picking up the first book in this series or like me, the eleventh !!!

Review by Missi M.