Tuesday 29 December 2020

Hit and Mist (Silicon Valley Mystery #4) by Marc Jedel


He is determined to prove his friend innocent of homicide. He may make things worse ... 

When Marty's surfer-dude pal is arrested for murder, he must squeeze his amateur sleuthing into his packed schedule. With his high-tech job busier than ever and his nieces' antics sidetracking him, Marty is ready for a Thanksgiving holiday. All he has to do is solve two murders. But if he can't even convince his sister to bake his favorite chocolate pie, how can he hope to save his friend?

With the help of his girlfriend, some wacky coworkers and Buddy the rambunctious Labrador, Marty sets out to disprove the ironclad evidence. But as the suspect list blossoms out of control, his bumbling efforts might lead him into problems faster than a failing hard drive.

Can he clear his friend's name before he's blown to bits?

Hit and Mist is the fourth book in the riotous Silicon Valley cozy mystery series but can be read standalone. If you like your murder cases twisty, your suspect lists long, and your detectives clueless, then you'll love Marc Jedel's humorous murder adventure.

Buy Hit and Mist to stumble onto the truth today!  (Summary via Goodreads)

If you are a fan of the Silicon Valley Mystery series by Marc Jedel, the fourth book, Hit and Mist, will grab you immediately !!

In Hit and Mist Marty's close friend, Starbuck's barista Brody is in trouble and even his boyfriend Sergeant Mace Jackson cannot help him !!  It seems that Brody is in the wrong place at the wrong time.....twice !!  First when Marty and his girlfriend, Meghan, are attending a kickboxing class at her gym, the instructor Gabriela goes outside after the class and gets killed by a bomb and Brody happens to be there taking his break from work.  Then the next day when Marty and Meghan go on a kayaking trip to take their minds off of Gabriela's death, they come into contact with another dead body floating in the water....and Brody being arrested for it.

Of course Marty wants to help prove Brody's innocence and he has this crazy idea that he is the police department's secret weapon and helps solve cases.  But with Mace being sidelined due to his relationship with Brody, Marty is on his own.  

Clearly by accident Marty finds out that the new COO at his company is the grieving widow of Gabriela and he and Meghan find out that Gabriela was still using the garden shed at her old house so he begins to form a plan on how to get him to confess to the murders.  

As readers soon realize Marty is very lucky when it comes to "solving" cases.  Marty usually has little to no idea what he is doing but he somehow does uncover the guilty party and bring justice to the victims and their families.  No matter how he does it, readers love the way he goes about doing it !!  And the relationships he has with his family, girlfriend, co-workers and friends will have readers laughing out loud and loving every minute of the story !!  

If you haven't gotten lost in this series, I highly recommend putting it on your "To be read" list..... and let Marty, Rover and crew take you for an enjoyable ride !!!

Review by Missi M.

Saturday 26 December 2020

Murder at an Irish Christmas (Irish Village Mystery #6) by Carlene O'Connor


The O'Sullivan clan of County Cork, Ireland, are back to investigate another case of murder--this time at Christmas!

Garda Siobhan O'Sullivan's holiday plans hit a sour note when murder rearranges the yuletide carols into unexpected eulogies...

This December in Kilbane, if you're planning to warm up with a cuppa tea at Naomi's Bistro, you may have a bit of a wait--the entire O'Sullivan brood has gone off to West Cork to spend the holidays with brother James's fiance Elise's family, including her grandfather, the famous orchestral conductor Enda Elliot. Siobhan is so happy for James and Elise but also quietly disappointed that she must put her own wedding to fellow garda Macdara Flannery on hold. Mac will have to join them later, so he can spend part of the holidays with his mam.

When the O'Sullivans learn everyone will choose a name from a hat to buy a music-related Christmas gift for someone else at the gathering, it seems like their greatest concern--until the cantankerous conductor is discovered crushed under a ninety-pound harp in a local concert hall.

With the extended family--including Enda's much-younger new wife Leah, a virtuoso violinist--suspected in his murder, it's up to Siobhan to ensure the guilty party faces the music. But as a snowstorm strands both families in a lavish farmhouse on a cliff, Siobhan had better pick up the tempo--before the killer orchestrates another untimely demise...
   (Summary via Goodreads)

In Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O'Connor, main character Siobhan O'Sullivan just wants to enjoy the holiday with her brothers and sisters and get to know her brother James' fiance and her family.  The last thing she wants to do is get herself in the middle of a murder investigation.  Unfortunately that is exactly what happens and she cannot help but drag her fiance Detective Sergeant Macdara Flannery into it as well.

Siobhan and her siblings are spending Christmas in West Cork with James' fiance Elise and her family as well as attending a concert orchestrated by Elise's famous grandfather, Enda Elliot.  They arrive in town early so that they can enjoy the holiday and get to know everyone....except they won't be able to met Elise's grandfather because he is found at the mill, the place where the concert is to be held, dead on the floor with a harp on top of him.  Siobhan tries really hard to stay out of the investigation but when she feels that the Garda in charge is looking at the wrong person for the crime, she knows that she has to step in.  And her fiance Detective Sergeant Flannery comes to town with his mother in tow and gets assigned the case.

Siobhan and Dara find they have a tough job ahead of them when they realize everyone has secrets and no one is telling the truth.  Luckily Siobhan has an idea of who is behind Enda's death but proving that will be difficult to do.

Readers will be engrossed in this sixth book in the Irish Village Mystery series immediately.  You cannot help but fall in love with the characters and the setting.  O'Connor will have readers settling back in their comfy spot with their favorite drink and snack and putting the "Do Not Disturb" sign in front of them....they will not want to be interrupted once they get going in the story.

Review by Missi M.

Saturday 19 December 2020

Christmas in Newfoundland — Memories and Mysteries: A Sgt. Windflower Book (The Sgt. Windflower Mysteries) by Mike Martin


From the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mysteries comes "Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries," a welcome addition to the Sgt. Windflower family of books. 
Christmas in Newfoundland is a special time. In the depths of long winter nights memories are made and stories are told. Of Christmas by candlelight and horse and buggy rides to church. Of shopping on Water Street in St. John’s before malls and the Internet. 
In later years, Sgt. Windflower came to work and then to stay in the quiet town of Grand Bank by the Atlantic Ocean where the salt air froze in the wind and the Mounties were welcomed to warm themselves by every fire. 
Come and warm yourself by the fire and hear their stories. Some memories and some mysteries. Enjoy some holiday time with Sgt. Windflower and all the familiar characters that you’d come to know and love. Good food, good friends and always another chair at the table.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Christmas in Newfoundland by Mike Martin is a nice and quick holiday read.  It consists of 10 short stories that have to do with Christmas, it could be a memory of family traditions from when the author was a child or a story centered around his Sgt. Windflower characters.  And in between the stories you will find a picture which was drawn by a member of the Visual Arts Program at Canterbury High School in Ottawa. The pictures really give life to the stories.

There were 2 stories that stuck out to me and stayed with me.  The first story that I really related to was Christmas Lights.  I really related to that story because I truly love seeing all the different lights and displayed around my hometown.  We always drive around town a few times and have one street in particular that every house on it is decorated in full.  We also have a Christmas tree that has a lot of colorful selections so that we are constantly changing the colors and settings.  I loved reading about the authors recollection of Christmas lights and the importance and impact they have on him.  The second story that I thoroughly loved was the one immediately following Christmas Lights, Tizzard's Christmas Dream.  I am a huge fan of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries and love the characters in this series, especially Tizzard.  He has developed a special place in my heart and to read about the impact the holiday season and the people close to him had on him after he experienced a tramatic accident, really spoke to me.  Even though he is not a real person, Martin gave him life in that story.

Christmas in Newfoundland can be read quickly or slowly....however you chose to read it.  I highly recommend reading it and getting lost in the Christmas spirit.  Martin will have you reminising about some of your old family traditions and may even give you ideas of new things to try and make new in your life.  Whatever reason you pick up this book to read, I hope that it makes you smile and appreciate the little things as well as the big things in your life.

Review by Missi M.

** Even though a murder does not occur in the Christmas in Newfoundland book by Mike Martin, I am sharing my thoughts on this blog because I have read and shared my thoughts on all his books in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series and some of the stories in this book are about Sgt. Windflower, his town and people.  So if you are a fan or not of Windflower you will enjoy this book and who doesn't like Christmas ??  **

Friday 18 December 2020

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover´s Mystery #1) by Tara Lush


Barista Lana Lewis's sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.

When Lana Lewis' best -- and most difficult -- employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café's chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil's Beach, Lana's normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio "Fab" Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he's found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana's café, she becomes the prime suspect.
Even the island's handsome police chief isn't quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn't the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.
With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana's prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship -- or will she come to a bitter end?  (Summary via Goodreads)

After losing her job and finding out her husband is cheating on her with someone a lot younger, Lana Lewis moves back home to Devil's Beach in Florida and takes over running the family coffeehouse in Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush.  While Lana is getting use to leading a slower lifestyle, she finds her employee and friend Fab dead in the alley behind the store.  Her old journalistic lifestyle kicks in and she finds herself looking into Fab's death.  Even though the police may be leaning towards suicide or an accidental death, Lana is not totally convinced.

Due to Fab's being a playboy and sleeping with practically every single woman in Devil's Beach and even some that aren't single, Lana has a long list of likely suspects.... starting with Fab's current girlfriend, Paige.  Paige and Lana went to high school together but were never friends and with Paige and her father owning the only other coffeehouse in town, there is a lot of tension between them.  Unfortunately there is a very long list of likely candidates that would have wanted Fab out of the picture.

Lana is determined to find out the story behind Fab's death especially seeing as they had a very heated and public argument earlier in the day.....and she is determined to prove to Police Chief Noah Garcia that she is innocent.

Lush will captures readers attention immediately and you will feel like you were swept away and are in Devil's Beach enjoying the weather and the company.  Readers will be just as interested in solving the case as Lana is.  And you will be powerless to stop rooting for Lana and Noah to hook up.  Readers will love the relationships among Lana and her father as well as with Erica.  You will feel like you are also drinking a nice latte or espresso and sitting and enjoying the sun.....the setting is written so well and quite believable !!

I thoroughly enjoyed escaping to Devil's Beach....even if it were only in my mind and I look forward to the next time I can open the next book in the Coffee Lover's Mystery series.

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 10 December 2020

Saving Tuna Street by Nancy Nau Sullivan


Blanche “Bang” Murninghan is a part-time journalist with writer’s block and a penchant for walking the beach on her beloved Santa Maria Island. Gran left her a cabin on Tuna Street, and she’s got her friends and family--her itinerant cousin, Jack, and Cap, a lovable old fisherman who coddles her like a grandfather, and her friend, Liza, a realtor who looks like she emerged from central casting. All is well. Until the land-grabbing goons arrive from Chicago. Blanche finds herself in a tailspin, flabbergasted that so many things can go so wrong, so fast. Her friend, Bob Blankenship, Liza’s partner, is found murdered in the parking lot of the marina, and she suspects the slick, handsome land developer Sergi Langstrom and his company of chaos are behind it all. Blanche keeps digging. All the way to hell. The goons, it seems, are a front for a drug cartel.The harder Blanche pushes against the source of trouble, the more she is sucked into the vortex of greed, murder, drug runners, and kidnapping (hers). The appearance of the mysterious Haasi, a tiny Native American with glossy braids and dark eyes, complicates things, and it’s a good thing. She appears and disappears but always ends up at Blanche’s side. They all keep getting closer to the sources of the spurious land development and the murder and the drug running. Who can look away? It’s like watching a hurricane, which, literally, comes straight for Tuna Street.   (Summary via Goodreads)

I fell in love instantly when I started reading Saving Tuna Street by Nancy Nau Sullivan.  The setting for Saving Tuna Street is Santa Maria Island in Florida.  The place doesn't actual exist but it is a reflection of Anna Maria Island which I know pretty well seeing as I go there when I visit my mom.

In Saving Tuna Street Blanche is trying to save her street, Tuna Street, her home, her island as well as try to solve a murder .... oh and stay alive.  Developers are trying to move into one section of the island which includes Tuna Street to build big mansions and shopping centers.  Everyone is up in arms over this including realtor and friend Bob Blankenship who states at the town meeting that the developers would get the required permits over his dead body.  Sadly the next day Bob is found in his car in the parking lot with his neck broken.  Bob's business partner and Blanche's best friend Liza is torn up over it and wants to see justice for Bob.  

Blanche cannot seem to catch a break when Hurricane Wilma hits the island and does a lot of damage to her cabin.  Luckily for her she can move in with dear Cappy who is like a grandfather to her and her cousin Jack.

Blanche works part-time for the Island Times newspaper so she starts writing serious articles about the developers and the bad that they will be doing to the island if what they are proposing goes through.  Unfortunately Blanche does not know that her cousin Jack who lives in Chicago is involved with the same developing people and what they are really involved in.

When Blanche ends up hurt and Jack comes clean on his involvement with everything, Blanche teams up with Liza and Haasi, her new found cousin, and go against Police Chief Duncan's warning to stay out of it.  They have to save their island and find out who killed Bob....no matter what !!!

Readers will be swept away in this book... powerless to stop reading !  You will be so into the story that you will feel the heat from the sun and feel like you have sand in your toes.  You will not want to leave Tuna Street.  But luckily you won't have to be gone long because this is the first book in the series and Sullivan teases of plenty more adventures to be had with Blanche.

Review by Missi M.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Christmas Card Murder (Lucy Stone #26.5) by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, & Peggy Ehrhart

Join bestselling authors Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and Peggy Ehrhart for a collection of the coziest Christmas capers! Everyone dreams of a picture-perfect small-town Christmas, but when murder is in the cards, some holiday greetings are addressed to kill... 

In the midst of holiday home renovations, Lucy Stone accidentally unwraps a murder mystery decades in the making when she discovers an old Christmas card with a nasty message belonging to one of her farmhouse's previous residents. The case may be colder than a New England Christmas, but Lucy's determined to sort it out before Santa comes to town.

The Island Times Christmas soiree gets off to a scroogey start when Hayley Powell, Mona Barnes, and Rosana Moretti receive a Christmas card from the town flirt, Carol Waterman, who threatens to run off with one of their husbands! The ladies chalk it up to an imprudent prank...until they find Carol mistletoe-up under her tree... 


Slay bells ring when the body of Arborville High School's beloved art teacher (and annual Christmas card designer), Karma Karling, is discovered on the first day of the Holiday Craft Fair. Now, Pamela Paterson and the Knit and Nibble crew must swap swatching for sleuthing in order to put a Christmas killer on ice.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Christmas Card Murder is actually a book consisting of three short stories written by three amazing authors.  All of these stories are obviously Christmas themed.  I will give you a brief, mini review of each story below.

CHRISTMAS CARD MURDER by Leslie Meier  .....  In Ticker's Cove, a little seaside town in Maine, Lucy and her husband are tearing down a wall upstairs to make their master bedroom bigger.  While doing this they find a Christmas card that was hidden inside the wall and it has a very unChristmas-like message hoping the recipient rots in hell.  It is only signed with the initials G.B.  This leads Lucy down the rabbit hole as she tries to find out the story behind this.  Seeing as she is a reporter for the local newspaper, the Pennysaver, she knows how to dig up facts.  

Christmas Card Murder will have readers enjoying this little tale and how Lucy goes about finding out the truth behind the card....and it will warm your heart a little when the mystery behind the card is resolved.  And just in time for Lucy and her family to hang the stockings to await Santa's arrival.

DEATH OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Lee Hollis  .....  Death of a Christmas Carol was a very quick read for me !!  As soon as I started reading I was hooked and read it in one sitting !!

When Death of A Christmas Carol starts Hayley, one of her best friends Mona and her boss's wife Rosana are getting things ready for the office Christmas party.  They are having fun getting ready and keeping Mona from sneaking into the cheesecake when another co-worker David comes into the office and gives the three ladies a joint Christmas card from his much older girlfriend, Carol Waterman.  Unfortunately Carol is not well liked by the three and when they see what she wrote on the inside it confirms their feelings.  Carol states that she is leaving town with one of their husbands !!  When all three husbands show up late to the party and all have lame excuses, the ladies let their imaginations run wild.  Sadly when they go to Carol's house the next day to confront her, they find her strangled under the Christmas tree !!

Hollis will have readers turning the pages faster than Santa comes down the chimney trying to find out the truth and who killed Carol.  There will be two big shocks when you get to the end and you will never see them coming !!!

DEATH OF A CHRISTMAS CARD CRAFTER by Peggy Ehrhart  .....  Pamela and Bettina are working at the annual Holiday Craft Fair selling their knitting creations and those of their Knit and Nibble knitting group when the event is suspended due to a death at the Christmas tree lot outside.  When they find out that the deceased victim is a teacher of Pamela's daughter Penny from when she was in high school, they are in shock.  But they get an even bigger shock when they find out she was murdered and a dear friend of their's is arrested.  The two decide that they have to look into her death and possibly prove their friend's innocence.....

Death of a Christmas Card Crafter is another fun and quick read.  The storyline and the atmosphere will have readers settling in for the good read.  The way Ehrhart brings the story full circle will amaze readers and also insures that they will be looking into other books she has written.

Christmas Card Murder is the perfect book to pick up during this holiday season.  Each story can be read in one sitting or if you're just taking a small break from holiday preparations, you can read them over time.  However you chose to read them, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did !!

Review by Missi M.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Arson at the Ashmolean (Oxford Key Mysteries #3) by Lynn Morrison


When the smoke clears, a man lies dead and a young woman looks to blame.

The fire in the Ashmolean’s archives reveals itself to be a cover-up for the real crime: dozens of valuables are missing from the shelves. Unfortunately, security guard Andrei Radu dies from smoke inhalation, elevating the crime to a homicide.

DI Robinson, Oxford’s leading detective, is determined to see the guilty prosecuted. A witness puts Kate’s young assistant Francie at the scene. She claims to be innocent but DI Robinson isn’t convinced.

Nat and her friends know the likely perpetrator is the person behind the problems with the magic. Can they save Francie from going down for a crime she didn’t commit?
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Books in the Oxford Key Mystery series by Lynn Morrison should come with a warning label !!  There should be a warning that you will not expect the books to end with such a dramatic cliff hanger !!  I thought after reading Burglary at Barnard with the way Morrison left the readers with such a big open ending,  I would have been prepared when I started reading Arson at the Ashmolean.....but that wasn't the case at all !!

When readers got to the end of reading Burglary at Barnard they learn that the Ashmolean museum is on fire.... but first I must back track.....

In the Oxford Key Mystery series readers are hanging out with Natalie, Kate, Mathilde, Harry, Edward, H the wyvern, Bartie and Nat's grandfather.  Natalie, Kate and Mathilde are prefects and they work at the colleges inside Oxford and oversee the magic within.  Harry  is the assistant to the Principal at St. Margaret College and she became close to Nat when Nat started as Head of Ceremonies for Oxford and Edward is Natalie's boyfriend and they are both able to see and experience the magic with Nat's help.  Bartie and Nat's grandfather are Externals and they are among a large group that oversee and protect the magic.  However we know from the first two books in this series that someone is messing with the magic and shifting the boundaries of the force field.

Okay that provides you with an insight into this series ...... now Arson at the Ashmolean, the third book in this series, we pick up right where Morrison left off in the second book with the group learning about the fire at the museum.  Luckily the fire is contained and nothing valuable is lost however Andrei, the security guard, is found dead in the storage area where the fire originated.

Nat and her group are still trying to figure out what is wrong with the magical boundaries and who is too blame for this but when Kate's assistant is arrested for the fire and murder of Andrei, they decide to investigate this knowing that she is innocent.

Nat always seems to have a lot on her plate and in this book, that is still the case.  Not only is she working on her next ceremonial event, the magical problems, now the fire and murder but she has to leave the flat she has been living in since arriving at her new job.  She was provided the flat for 6 months and that timeframe is coming to an end.  Readers will enjoy the flat hunting she and Mathilde go on and the result of her living problem.

I have said it before and I will say it again..... If you are a Harry Potter fan, the Oxford Key Mystery series is a must for you to read !!  You will thoroughly LOVE the people, magic and the setting !!  There are times that you will crack up laughing while you read about Nat and the trouble H gets her in and you will curse yourself at turning the pages so slowly and wish you had a spell of magic that could turn them for you.

I highly recommend reading this series and will take this time to warn readers...... especially with Arson at the Ashmolean.....the ending will shock you .... because it will leave you turning the page to read more and there will not be another page or chapter....just the description for the next book in the series.  If that isn't a sure way to make you look forward to the next book, I don't know what else an author can do.  You will have to get the next book to answer the opened questions you will have..... BRILLIANT !!!

Review by Missi M.