Friday, 16 April 2021

The Sign of Death (A Victorian Book Club Mystery #2) by Callie Hutton

USA Today bestselling author Callie Hutton returns with her second Victorian Book Club mystery, in which Lady Amy and Lord William sleuth the death of a teetotaler who took a fatal dunk in the drink. 

Bath, England, 1891. Mr. James Harding was a lot of things--businessman, well-to-do, probable scoundrel--but a drinker he most assuredly was not. So when Harding is believed to have drunkenly fallen to his death into the icy River Avon, Lord William Wethington is immediately suspicious. Finding Lord William's name on a letter in the victim's pocket, the local constabulary summons William to identify the victim. Police detectives learn that William had been one of Harding's business clients--and undoubtedly not the only client the dead man had cheated. 
William entreats Lady Amy Lovell, a fellow member of the Mystery Book Club of Bath, to help him deduce what really happened to the late Mr. Harding. Lady Amy, a celebrated mystery author herself, once called on William to help her solve a real-life mystery, and now she fully intends to return the favor. But it won't be easy. 
Practically every one of Harding's many clients had ample reason to want to do him in. And there's precious little time to narrow down the list: William and Amy soon become prime suspects themselves when the police discover them ruffling through files in Harding's house. Lady Amy will have to be as clever as her characters if she's to save William from the gallows...and herself from Harding's real killer.   (Summary via Goodreads)



I love reading mystery books set back in time....a time when they didn't have computers or DNA or anything that makes solving crimes technical.  I enjoy reading how the police, detectives and the innocent parties being charged go about solving the murder.  And Callie Hutton knows how to keep the readers attention from the first page until the very last word in her Victorian Book Club Mystery series.

The Sign of Death is the second book in this series and main character Lord William finds out that his man of business, James Harding, is found dead in the river with his business card on him.  William tries to explain to the two detectives that he had nothing to do with the death but they do not believe him.  And after looking into things it is discovered that the deceased had forged William's name on investment documents and it appears that he was stealing from William.  William also soon learns that there is a list of people who Harding was either stealing from or blackmailing....

Knowing that there are more likely candidates for committing the crime William with the help of a close friend, Lady Amy, decide to look into his death when the detectives determine that William is their main suspect.  

The Sign of Death is more than just a cozy mystery..... While William and Amy are going around town trying to decreetly learn more about James and his life, they find that he wasn't a very nice guy and was blackmailing some people in town and a few of them belong to the book club that William and Amy attend every week.  Readers will also follow along with the story of Amy being a published mystery author under a different name, a name that people assume is a male.  And Amy has been keeping this secret because her father does not want people to know what she is doing.  Also in The Sign of Death William's mother decides to move in with him and Amy has to deal with her father and brother coming to stay with her for a whie due to business they have in town.  And Amy and her father are having some trouble with the publishing company that handles her books because they want her to attend a book fair at the same bookstore she attends her weekely book club meetings.

With everything going on readers cannot help but be drawn to the story to see how everything unfolds.  And boy oh boy when you get to the end, you will be flappergasted at the turn of events !!!  The way that Hutton orchestrates things is magical and I'm sure this series will be one that you will want to keep your eyes open for the next book so that you can return to see what trouble William and Amy can get into ......


Review by Missi M.


Monday, 12 April 2021

Dying in Style (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper #1) by Elaine Viets

Suburban single mom, Josie Marcus, loves being a secret shopper. But when she’s framed for the murder of a famous handbag designer, Josie discovers that secret sleuth might be a better fit…

Josie’s excited about her latest assignment: mystery shopping the stores of St. Louis’s premier handbag designer, Danessa Celedine. A stunning socialite who frequently makes headlines with her hot Russian lover, Serge, Danessa sells exquisite purses to the rich and famous for a small fortune. Unfortunately, the Celedine shops aren’t nearly as dazzling as their clientele and Josie’s negative report could kill a lucrative deal to sell the handbag empire. Danessa swears it will also cost Josie her career.

Businesses often live and die by Josie’s reviews, but when Danessa and Serge are found murdered, she’s suddenly linked to an actual homicide…as the chief suspect! Now, Josie will need all her secret shopper subterfuge to investigate the crimes, clear her name, and stop the killer from claiming another fashion victim.
   (Summary via Goodreads)


Dying in Style is the first book in the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper Mystery series by Elaine Viets and it sets the stage nicely for the series.  Main character Josie Marcus is a single mom to her 9 year-old daughter Amelia but she has a lot of help from her mother, Jane.  The three live is a duplex with Jane living above Josie and Amelia.  Josie's job as a mystery shopper allows her to work around her schedule mostly so that she can be there for her daughter.  Josie feels that she does a great job being fair to the places and the people that she is looking into until one job threatens everything !!

Josie is given the assignment to shop at three of the Danessa shops in three different malls.  This is a high end accessory store featuring very expensive purses made by a high profile member of society, Danessa Celedine.  Danessa is known for her purses as well as her donations to charities all over the St. Louis area.  She is also in the spotlight a lot because of her relationship with a Russian God by the name of Serge.  After Josie visits the three stores, she finds that none of them hold up to the high standard that they should and Danessa is in the middle of a deal to sell them for $50 million.  She warns her boss Harry before she sends in the reports that they are not good but he encourages her to send them as is.  The next day Josie is called into the office and confronted by Danessa herself.  Danessa claims that the reports are incorrect and wants them changed but Josie won't do it which leads to a heated argument with threats made.  

Before Josie can get another assignment Danessa and Serge are found dead....Serge at the house they shared and Danessa at one of the stores that Josie visited.  When her fingerprints are found at the store, the detectives in charge of the case do not believe her story.  Josie, with the help of her best friend, Alyce, decides she needs to find out who killed the power couple before her daughter loses her mom to jail.

I am a huge fan of Elaine Viets and I LOVED her Dead-End Job Mystery series and after reading this first book in this series, I am sure that I will be thoroughly engrossed in it.  Viets know how to put words to paper attracting readers and you cannot help but fall for the characters and want to see them get out of the messes they get into.


Review by Missi M.




  



Thursday, 1 April 2021

Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery #1) by Emmeline Duncan, Kelly Garrett

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers. . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end. . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)


Before you start reading Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan, jump to the recipes in the back and make yourself a drink.....you are going to want to have a nice tasty coffee while you read this book !!  Fresh Brewed Murder is the first book in this caffeine packed series and Duncan knows how to put the words to paper to keep the reader plugging along.....

In Fresh Brewed Murder main character Sage Caplin and her business partner and friend, Harley, are opening up Ground Rules, a food truck specializing in tasty coffee related drinks that Harley roasts the beans herself.  They are opening up their food cart in the Rail Yard, a lot owned by Sage's great-uncle Jimmy.  There are a handful of other food carts there and the people seem to welcome Sage and Harley into their little group.  Unfortunately a few days after they moved into the Rail Yard Sage shows up to work and finds a dead body in front of her cart.....and it is a guy that has been getting coffee from her.  It turns out that the man killed is the developer of the construction sight across the street from the Rail Yard and he had a bad experience with Sage's mother who Sage hasn't seen in over 10 years.   Sage also learns that Gabby, a homeless teenager that has been coming around the Rail Yard was the daughter of the deceased.

Sage has her hands full trying to make Ground Rules a success and now she has to prove to the detectives that she had nothing to do with the murder even if something from her food truck was the murder weapon.  She also wants to find the real killer to help Gabby have some closure.

Readers cannot help but love Fresh Brewed Murder !!  As soon as I started reading it I had no problem picturing everything in my head.  I could see the Rail Yard, Sage's house, Uncle Jimmy's bar, The Tav, and everything else as clear as a cloudless sunny day.  And the friendships and relationships will keep the reader turning the page....especially the love triangle Sage gets herself into.  And Duncan has set the stage quite nicely for future books in the series....there are so many directions Duncan can take the story and I, for one, cannot wait to see where the road leads Sage and her group......


Review by Missi M.


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Fashion, Rosé & Foul Play (Wine & Dine Mysteries #6) by Gemma Halliday

Emmy Oak has always been a fan of her best friend Ava's handmade silver jewelry. So when Ava gets a chance to showcase her pieces at a charity fashion show for Wine Country's elite, both women are thrilled. That is, until the model wearing Ava's custom emerald necklace is murdered after her runway walk and the gem is stolen! The theft of the expensive jewel means Ava could lose everything, including her shop, Silver Girl... unless Emmy can help her track down a killer and find the missing emerald!

While the enticing Detective Grant might be looking at the death as a burglary-gone-wrong, Emmy isn't so sure that's the case. The model's name was Gia Monroe, and Emmy quickly learns that she made her fair share of enemies in life. From the flamboyant designer overheard threatening her just before the fashion show, to her agent with a shady secret and a precarious hold on his talent, to an eccentric rival designer with a grudge, no one seems to be grieving Gia's death. And when Emmy discovers Gia may have had a mysterious stalker, she realizes any one of them could have murdered the model. Between running her small winery and navigating the catty world of high fashion, Emmy tries to stay one step ahead of the danger...before the killer strikes again!
   (Summary via Goodreads)


The Wine & Dine Mystery series by Gemma Halliday is a captivating series.  Readers cannot help but fall in love with this series and everything about it.  And with Fashion, Rose, & Foul Play being the sixth book in the series readers are invested and a part of the series.

In Fashion, Rose & Foul Play the story is centered around Ava who is main character Emmy's best friend.  Ava has her own shop Silver Girl which is a jewelry store full of her own custom made silver jewelry and she is trying to expand her business and get more recognition....which is exactly what the plan is when she is showcasing her pieces at a fashion show at a charity event at an exclusive country club.  At this event the models will be wearing her jewelry and the last model will be wearing her more expensive piece yet .....a necklace with a very big and expensive emerald on it.

Unfortunately right after the show when the models are changing and taking off the jewelry, the model wearing the emerald necklace is found dead in her dressing room....and the murder weapon is the necklace ...but the emerald is missing !!  

Of course Emmy and Ava cannot just sit pretty and wait for the cops to find the murderer and thief even if Detective Chris Grant is the detective on the case.  Emmy knows first hand how seriously Grant takes his cases and how dedicated to the job he is seeing as she has been involved in cases before and that is how they met and how they developed feelings for each other.  And even though Grant wants Emmy to be safe and not get hurt, she will run straight into danger for her best friend.

Fashion, Rose & Foul Play's storyline is such a HOOT !!  The characters involved in the modeling scene are a colorful bunch and it seems they have a lot of secrets and no one tells the truth.  This all makes for a great read but a hard case to solve.  And the road that the girls take to get to the end result is worse that the scariest rollercoaster.  And it is always fun when their "friend" David Allen tags along for the ride.  He always brings more life to the party .... sorry maybe bad choice of words there ??  

The Wine & Dine Mystery series is a great series to get lost in.  Readers will instantly fall in love with Emmy and her friends, the vineyard and surrounding area and even the murders will entice you.  Once you start reading you will wish you were there hanging around with the bunch.  But sitting on your couch with a glass of your favorite wine and a snack will be just as good !!!


Review by Missi M.

 

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Bert and Norah: Into the Light by Bernard Burgess

This third book in the Bert and Norah series is a mystifying two-part investigation by the team of B & N Investigations. The newly hired P.I. is sent to Montana to try to help a family understand and deal with the strange behavior exhibited by their young child. The newest investigator must determine if such behavior could be the result of an unknown abuse? Or something even more sinister? At the same time, Bert, Norah, and Missy contend with the harsh winter weather while miles away in Nebraska, contracted to go back in time on a case grown cold by passing years. A strange young man has asked them to find his mother who vanished when he was a teenager. The pain of her absence is as vivid to him now as when she failed to return home, and he must have closure if he is to find his suppressed memories and have a normal life. Complicated by confusing clues, personal agendas, a winter blizzard, and the passage of time, both cases are separately intertwined in the readers' minds, simultaneously and unrelated. Or are they?  (Summary via Goodreads)


Very seldomly do I want to jump to the last chapter or page in a book to see how it ends.  I consider myself a very patient person so when I am reading a book, I am contend to just read the words and let the story take me on it's journey.  However, I was tested to my limits while reading Bert and Norah : Into the Light.  Into the Light is the third book in this series by Bernard H. Burgess and when I read the previous books, I was fine reading them and going on the journey.  But boy, oh boy, did this third book test my limits !!  

In Into the Light B & N Investigations decides that they need to hire another private investigator to help with the cases they are receiving.  Since Bert and Norah had helped the Governor of Wyoming with a case, they have been seeing an increase in clients needing assistance.  They end up hiring Becky, a woman that Bert met during the Patterson case and he feels that she will be a perfect fit to the team.

With Becky joining B & N Investigators they are able to take on two cases.  Bert and Norah with the help of their canine Missy take on a cold case of a missing woman.  Her son is still looking for answers seven years after her disappearance.  Meanwhile Becky is jumping in with both feet when she takes on a case of a seven year old girl with abnormal behavior that is upsetting and the parents have no where else to turn.

So Bert and Norah are working their case in Nebraska and Becky is working her case in Montana and they keep in touch regularly with phone calls.  Bert and Norah soon find out with their case that they may be looking at two missing woman.  While they are doing their research they find out that another woman went missing in the same manner as they first one but there is a few years gap.  

It is always interesting to read about how Bert and Norah handle their cases with Norah's special abilities.  And when they bring Missy into the mix and readers get to see how her tracking helps the cases, it is always a page turner for sure.  And now that they have added Becky and she gets to go work another case, readers will enjoy working on multiple cases with the team.   

Burgess really knows how to keep the readers attention throughout the book and hold their attention until the explosive ending !!  There is no way that readers will ever see the ending coming and that makes for an awesome book and an amazing author.  I will admit that I was very nervous with this book.  I was halfway through the book and I really thought that Burgess was going to take B & N Investigations in a certain direction, which made me want to jump ahead, but I can breathe easier knowing that I was wrong.  And this is one instance that I will gladly admit being wrong.  You will just have to trust me because I will not admit where I thought the story was going because I do not want to put that in your head and also it will totally ruin things for you if I do.  Just know that the Bert & Norah books are a definite read and I HIGHLY recommend that you add them to you to be read pile....and maybe put them on the TOP !!!


Review by Missi M.



Saturday, 20 March 2021

Shucked Apart (Maine Clambake Mystery #9) by Barbara Ross

The Snowden Family Clambake Company has a beloved reputation in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Almost as famous is the sleuthing ability of proprietor Julia Snowden, which is why an oyster farmer seeks her out when she’s in trouble.

When Andie Greatorex is robbed of two buckets of oyster seed worth $35,000, she wonders if somebody’s trying to mussel her out of business. Could it be a rival oyster farmer, a steamed former employee, or a snooty summer resident who objects to her unsightly oyster cages floating on the beautiful Damariscotta River? There’s also a lobsterman who’s worried the farm’s expanding lease will encroach on his territory and Andie’s ex-partner, who may come to regret their split. Before Julia can make much headway in the investigation, Andie turns up dead, stabbed by a shucking knife. Now it’s up to Julia to set a trap for a cold and clammy killer . . .   (Summary via Goodreads) 


I am a fan of the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross and even though I haven't read all of them I feel that I know the Snowden family quite well and the series is more than just "books" to me.  So when I tell you that I had to stop and gather myself when I finished Shucked Apart, the ninth book in the series, BELIEVE ME.

In Shucked Apart the Snowden Family Clambake Company, as well as all of Busman Harbor, Maine, is getting ready for the summer season.  Even though Julia is confident that things are on track, she still has to hire the crew and finalize everything before they kick off the season.  So she really doesn't have time for her boyfriend, Chris, to throw a wrench into the mix.  Well Chris throws more at her than just a small wrench.  He introduces Julia to a member of his poker playing group, Andie, who owns an oyster business and she was just robbed of 2 buckets of oyster seed worth $35,000.  Andie is at the advantage of knowing more about Julia because Chris brags about her during their poker games, however, Julia had though when she heard the name Andie that she was a he.  While she gets over than fact quickly she finds that Andie is a very hard working motivated business woman and agrees to help her find out who robbed her of the oyster seed.  Unfortunately before she can come to any solid conclusion, Julia finds Andie in the water by the oyster farm dead with a knife stuck in her neck.

Julia knows that she should let the detectives in charge of the case handle the case but there are things that don't add up to her and she had helped them in the past so......  Luckily Julia knows Lieuteant Binder and Sergeant Flynn from Major Crimes so she can keep investigating....or is that unlucky for her ??  Either way she has a list of people that wanted Andie gone for various reasons, unfortunately one of them is her uncle Bob.  

Julia is pretty confident that her uncle had nothing to do with Andie's murder and robbery but she will not play favorites and will go where the investigation takes her even if she isn't "on the case" and should be helping her brother-in-law Sonny go through the piles of employee applications and concentrate on the family business.

Readers by now know that once Julia sets her mind on something she goes at it full throttle and in Shucked Apart that will be no different.  Readers cannot help but fall in love with her and her family, friends, community and even the story surrounding the murder is captivating.

When a reader reads a series and they read every book in that series, by the time they get to the ninth book they are a part of that series.  The people are your people, the town and the community are your town and community.  You have developed feelings and are invested and want the best for everyone.  So with that said.....when I got to the end of Shucked Apart I was flappergasted, shocked, and sad.  Ross takes something in the story and changes it...maybe forever.  Readers will not see it coming however they will be left in shock.  I don't know why Ross would do this but I am sure she has a very good reason for this and I look forward to the next book to see where she takes it.  


Review by Missi M.


Wednesday, 17 March 2021

The Disappearance of Emily (Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic #2) by Elizabeth Pantley

Hayden fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, but something is amiss. Then someone turns up dead, and there are too many other suspicious episodes to call them coincidences. All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away?

REVIEWS OF THE DESTINY FALLS SERIES

"A magical, delightful tale that held my attention." ~ Dru Ann, Dru's Book Musings

"A captivating read! I couldn't put it down." ~ Linda C., Goodreads

"I felt transported to Destiny Falls…now that I’ve finished, I miss it already." ~ Julie, One Book More

"A mix of unique characters, romance, mystery and magic.” ~ Charlene Q. Goodreads

"I had a fun time reading this one." ~ Lola, Lola's Reviews

"Just when I thought I knew who the killer was, BAM, a twist." ~ Leslie, Storeybook Reviews

"Really stretched my imagination!" ~ Betty, Reading is my Passion

"Funny, fluffy, far-fetched, and fabulous!" ~ Elza Reads

"Generously seasoned with sass, class, and a dose of spunk. Delish!" ~ Pages & Paws  (Summary via Goodreads)


Have you even been reading a book and go to turn the page to read more only to find out that you are at the end ?  You turn the page, or in my situation I hit the button on my kindle, and instead of there being another chapter, you are reading the Thanks for Reading page.  That is what happened when I was reading The Disappearance of Emily by Elizabeth Pantley.  This is the second book in the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series and WOW !!!

When I read the first book, Falling into Magic, I was swept into a magical and enchanting story and that is exactly what happened again with The Disappearance of Emily......only this time you would have thought I would have been better prepared.  But I wasn't.

In the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series readers are hanging around with main character Hayden Caldwell.  In the first book Hayden magically "falls through a mirror" and ends up in Destiny Falls at the Caldlwell Crest and is reunited with her father and older brother.  She also learns that she has grandparents, another brother and two sisters.  You will have fun reading about her getting to know her family and her new home....and a murder of course.

Well in The Disappearance of Emily Hayden is still getting use to her new home but she is learning to embrace the "magic" and is loving spending time with her new family and friends.  Unfortunately she is still struggling with not being able to see her best friend and business partner as well as her grandmother and great-grandmother.  Communication is tough and a lot of her emails and texts come back undeliverable.  

In The Disappearance of Emily Hayden is confronted by the captain of the ferry in town and is warned to be careful and requests that they meet in a few days.  Hayden has been confused by the ferry activity so she is looking forward to getting some answers but before they can meet, the captain is found on the ferry dead.  Hayden doesn't know what to do or who to tell because she is afraid something bad will happen to someone in her family.  She receives a box of paperwork from the captain and decides to go through it before telling anyone.....which ends up being a bad decision......

I would love to keep talking about this book and the first book but there is so much that readers need to read and experience on their own.  This is so much more than a Harry Potter wannabe....readers are going to want to look through their mirrors constantly in hopes of being whisked away to Destiny Falls.

The best advise that I can give you is to RUN to the store or your computer and get your copy of BOTH of these books and get to know Hayden, her family, and her town.....just be careful when you get near the end of the book, there really should be a warning !!!  Pantley knows EXACTLY how to keep readers reading !!!


Review by Missi M.


Monday, 15 March 2021

A Deadly Chapter (Castle Bookshop Mystery #3) by Essie Lang

Thousand Islands bookseller Shelby Cox is caught between a lethal rock and a hardheaded newcomer in Essie Lang's third Castle Bookshop mystery, a must-read for fans of Lorna Barrett and Vicki Delany. 

Wake up on a houseboat, moored in scenic Alexandria Bay, New York. Ride the gentle waves to work at quaint Bayside Books, where you spend your days supplying literature and conversation to the charming locals and seasonal tourists. Sounds pleasant, doesn't it? Except bookseller Shelby Cox has already sleuthed two murders from Bayside Books's home base on Blye Island, one of New York State's famed Thousand Islands. And this time, mayhem knocks right on Shelby's waterside door when she finds a body lodged between the side of her houseboat and the dock, his skull shattered.

The victim is no local, but Shelby can't shake the feeling she's seen him before. Twice, in fact--that's how many times he's dropped into Bayside Books asking about an enigmatic woman who lived on Blye Island many years before. The last time? The day before he was found. But the poor man obviously was killed elsewhere, so who brought him down to the bay, and why?

When the victim's daughter hits town demanding answers, Shelby takes the case, despite Police Chief Tekla Stone's usual reservations. But she uncovers more suspects than there are pages in War and Peace, and Shelby can expect no peace--except the peace of the grave--unless she can turn the page on this grisly mystery.  (Summary via Goodreads)


Readers cannot help but fall in love with the Castle Bookshop Mystery series by Essie Lang.  Three reasons are in the series name.....Castle.....Bookshop.....Mystery.  And when you add everything else into the mix, you are a goner !!  A Deadly Chapter is the third book in this series and whether you've read the previous two or this is your first book in the series, you are going to enjoy everything about it.  

In A Deadly Chapter readers are hanging around with main character Shelby Cox.  Shelby co-owns Bayside Books with her aunt Edie and they have 2 stores.  They have the main store in Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands and the other one, a smaller one in the castle on Blye Island.  Shelby runs the store in the castle, lives on a houseboat, has a boyfriend, Zach, who is a Coast Guard Investigator and currently away.  She also has a friend, Erica, who owns the Chocomania and supplies Shelby with caffeine so her life is full and reasonably content.  However she cannot help but seem to get in the middle of murder investigations.  But in A Deadly Chapter it is not her fault because the dead body came knocking on her door....okay well it was in the water and hitting her houseboat but still.

After Shelby discovers the body she does try to stay out of the investigation until she finds out she knows the deceased daughter, Hilary, and she asks for Shelby's help.  Turns out that the deceased, Nathan Miller, had been into the bookstore on a few occasions asking questions about a woman who may have moved to the area about 7 years prior.  While Shelby is helping Hilary look into her father's murder, she is confronted with two personal issues herself.  While she tries to stay focused on the murder investigation, these other two issues pop back into her head a lot.  

Readers will fall in love with Shelby instantly and it will amaze you how she is always willing to help anyone out....even when she has personal demons of her own to deal with.  Shelby's life will be one you could possible long for...living on a houseboat with her cat, working in a bookstore in a castle on an island, having to take a boat ride to get to work every day, having a friend who makes delicious drinks and chocolates, having a great boyfriend and aunt. Lang will draw you into the story effortlessly and you will be so captivated by her words that you will be lost to everything around you.


Review by Missi M.

 

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Poisoned Primrose (Motts Cold Case Mystery #1) by Dahlia Donovan

 

Meet Motts and the quirky cast of characters in her world. Poisoned Primrose is a quintessential cosy British mystery and an all-round fun story to throw yourself into.

Autistic, asexual, and almost forty, Pineapple “Motts” Mottley flees London with her cat and turtle to a quaint cottage in Cornwall. She craves the peace of life in a small village. The dead body buried in her garden isn’t quite what she had in mind, though.

Unable to resist her curiosity, she falls directly into a mess of trouble and runs head-first into the attractive detective inspector, Teo Herceg. She tries to balance her business with the investigation, but as the killer focuses on her, staying alive becomes trickier than advanced origami.

Will Motts survive the onslaught of murderously bad luck?

Can she solve the mystery before it all spins out of control and off a cliff ?   (Summary via Goodreads)


Poisoned Primrose by Dahlia Donovan is a very captivating story.  Poisoned Primrose is a cozy mystery but with a few very unique differences.  The first major difference is that the main character is different than most main characters in cozies in that she is autistic as well as asexual.  She is also very allergic to flowers so her source of income is making origami flower arrangements.  These differences make the story that much more interesting.

Pineapple Mottley is the main character but everyone calls her Motts.  Her mother named her Pineapple because that is all she ate when she was pregnant.  Motts is in her thirty's and was still living in London with her parents when she inherited a cottage in Cornwall from her aunt Daisy.  So she moves there will her turtle and her cat.  Fortunately she has close family and friends living nearby so she is not totally alone in this adventure.  Unfortunately shortly after moving in and getting unpacked she decides to dig in the garden and she digs up skeletal remains.  It is soon learned that the remains are from a woman who lived in the village but went missing some years ago.

Obviously Motts is drawn to the cold case seeing as the body was buried in her garden but she learns pretty quickly that there are people in town that wished the body had stayed buried.  Luckily Motts has her friends Vina and Nish and her cousin River to help her navigate around town asking questions....and there for her when things get too hard for her to process.

Readers will be drawn to Poisoned Primrose because there is a murder and it is a cold case but they will stay because they will be interested in Motts and want to see how she processes things.  Readers will love the relationships throughout especially the one between Motts and Detective Inspector Teo Herceg.  Mott and the Detective will learn they have more in common than they think and readers will want to be along for that ride.  Also Motts and her cat, Catcus, will have readers laughing out loud at their "conversations".  Who knew that the one word "meow" had so many meanings.  

Poisoned Primrose is a breath of fresh air after being cooped up after a long winter..... readers will be whisked away to this quaint little village and Motts' adorable cottage and garden and you will not want to leave....even after the murderer is caught.


Review by Missi M.




Wednesday, 10 March 2021

The Art of Murder (A Dead-End Job Mystery #15) by Elaine Viets

From the national bestselling author of Checked Out , Helen Hawthorne must pose as a painter at Fort Lauderdale’s famous Bonnet House Musuem to catch an artful killer . . .

The art world is a happening place—but a brush with death shouldn’t be in the picture. Unfortunately that’s just what happens to Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery. While touring gorgeous Bonnet House, a mansion-turned-museum, they observe a painting class and note an up-and-coming artist. When they later see her deadly end, Helen is hired to canvas the crime scene—undercover, of course. 
 
Sketchy suspects lurk in the victim’s bohemian past. Was the promising painter killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A rival using her artful wiles? With her husband Phil busy setting a trap for a gold thief, it’s up to Helen to paint this killer into a corner . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)



I have LOVED reading the Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets.  Hanging around the Coronado Tropics Apartments with main character Helen Hawthorne and watching her grow throughout this series has been such a treasure.  When the Dead-End Job Mystery series started Helen was on the run from her cheating lazy ex-husband.  She left him and vowed he would never see another penny from her even though the divorce judge "sentenced" her to pay him a portion of her earnings.  So she got an apartment in the Coronado Tropics Apartments and took dead-end jobs paying cash so that she could keep that vow.

Well throughout the series she became close to her landlady Margery and a few of the other tenants, especially her next door neighbor Phil who she eventually married and in the last few books in the series Helen and Phil opened up their own private investigating business, Coronado Investigations.

The series sadly concludes with the fifteenth book, The Art of Murder, and Viets does the series justice.  In The Art of Murder Helen and Phil are working on two separate cases.  While Helen and Margery are touring the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens they see the end of an art class being held and, of course, start talking to the teacher and students.  Helen decides to start taking the class and when they are walking out and one of the students gets sick and collapses, she knows that she has to find out more.  The next day Helen learns that the student, Annabel, who was an up and coming artist passed away.  One of the other students, Jenny, knows that she was murdered and hires Helen to find the killer.  While Helen is doing all this Phil is hired as a night security guard for a high rise condominium by the community association manager.  Someone is breaking into the penthouses of the buildings in the association and stealing gold coins.  

Both Helen and Phil have very interesting cases and readers know that they will solve both cases.  However the way they go about solving them is the reason readers cannot help turning the pages quickly and why they returned to this series whenever there was a new book to read.  Viets was able to find very interesting dead-end jobs for Helen to have and murders to solve pertaining to those jobs.  I was very happy when she took the book further by having Helen and Phil get married and open their own investigation service.  Readers cannot help but love their devotion to each other and the cases they take.

I am sorry that my lease is up with the Coronado Tropics Apartments and will miss Helen, Phil, Margery and Peggy and their nightly sunset salutes around the pool.  I will miss the cases and the jobs that Helen and Phil take to put some crafty characters behind bars.  I know that whenever I feel lonely for them, all I have to do is go back and open one of the books and they will welcome me with a drink by the pool......

Be sure to check back next month if you're a fan of Elaine's because I will be starting her Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series !!!

Review by Missi M.

The Dead-End Job Mystery series books in order are :

Shop Till You Drop
Murder Between the Covers
Dying to Call You
Just Murdered
Murder Unleashed
Murder with Reservations
Clubbed to Death
Killer Cuts
Half-Price Homicide
Pumped for Murder
Final Sail
Board Stiff
Catnapped !
Checked Out
The Art of Murder


Monday, 8 March 2021

Eat, Drink and Be Wary (A Cook-Off Mystery #4) by Devon Delaney

The New England Fall Food Fest has begun, and for competitive cook Sherry Oliveri, it’s a chance to take home a prize—and take down a killer . . . 

 
Sherry’s hoping her Savory Shrimp Lettuce Cups will impress the judges, and she’s invited her brother, Pep, to serve as her sous-chef. The good news is that she takes first place in her category, the bad news is that it’s easier to win when your toughest competition is dead . . .
 
After contestant Fitz Frye is found with a fishhook in his neck, Pep’s strange behavior doesn’t help his case when the police consider him top suspect. While Pep sits through a shakedown, Sherry searches near and far for the real culprit—before another deadly course is served . . .
 
Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!  (Summary via Goodreads)


The Cook-Off Mystery series by Devon Delaney should come with a warning label.....Read with caution and a snack !!  You are going to want to read carefully so you can stay on top of things as well as have a snack handy because you are going to be surrounded by food and killers !!

In Eat, Drink and Be Wary, the fourth book in this series, main character Sherry Oliveri and her visiting brother Pep are entered in a cooking competition at the New England Fall Food Fest.  The night before the competition all of the contestants are attending a cocktail party at the Augustin Inn where the majority of them are staying.  While attending the cocktail party Sherry sees her brother having a heated argument with one of the contestants.  The next day at the competition one of the cooking stations is empty and they learn later that it was Fitz Frye's station, the one arguing the night before with Pep.

Sherry doesn't want to even think that Pep could have killed Fitz but when Pep keeps disappearing and when he is present he is glued to his phone, she doesn't know what to think.  So she does what she seems to always do when someone is murdered and her family is in the police's radar, she looks into it.....

Eat, Drink and Be Wary has a nice collection of worthy killer candidates and the setting is perfect.  Delaney draws the reader into the story instantly and there is no way you can stop reading until you get to the end of the story and uncover all the juicy details.  Sherry and her family and friends will seem so real that you cannot help but want to see Sherry succeed in finding the killer.  And when the truth finally comes out as to Pep's detached behavior readers will be surprising emotional !!

I highly recommend grabbing your copy and a snack and digging in.  This is the perfect book to get you engrossed into while wearing your comfy clothes under your favorite blanket in the comfort of your living room.....


Review by Missi M.



 



Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano

End-of-life care—or assisted death

When her elderly patients start dying at home days after minor surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey wants to know why. The surgeon, not so much. "Old people die, that's what they do," is his response. When Kate presses, surgeon Charles Ricken places the blame squarely on her shoulders. Kate is currently on probation, and the chief of staff sides with the surgeon, leaving Kate to prove her innocence and save her own career. With her husband in a prolonged coma, it's all she has left.

Aided by her eccentric Great Aunt Irm, a precocious medical student, and the lawyer son of a victim, Kate launches her own unorthodox investigation of these unexpected deaths. As she comes closer to exposing the culprit's identity, she faces professional intimidation, threats to her life, a home invasion, and, tragically, the suspicious death of someone close to her. The stakes escalate to the breaking point when Kate, under violent duress, is forced to choose which of her loved ones to save—and which must be sacrificed.  (Summary via Amazon)


Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano is a nail biting, sitting on the edge of your seat, can't stop reading, holding your breath, on a rollercoaster ride kind of story.  Readers will experience a number of emotions while reading this story as well.  There will be times that you will be angry, then you feel sad, then you will be concerned, then angry again, sometimes maybe frustrated.  You may be confused at times only because you are angry and frustrated.  Euliano will have you and your emotions all over the place but the main thing is that you will be glued to your seat, eyes unable to move from the pages.......

In Fatal Intent readers are hanging out with main character Dr. Kate Downey.  Kate is an anesthesiologist and seems to love her job.  That is until patients that recently had surgery end up dying.  These patients had no problems during surgery and recovery and were sent home, however, within 2 days of the surgery they die.  And Jenn, one of Kate's medical students with a very bright future, is there for the end of one of the patients life.   When one of the family members of one of the deceased patients asks Kate to look at the records, there are things that do not make sense.  The three of them team up and with Kate's Aunt Irm assisting begin to look into things.  Little do they know the BIG can of worms that they are about to spill all over the place.

When the case becomes very personal to Kate, she will do whatever she can to bring the killer down !!  

Euliano's talent for grabbing readers attention immediately is off the charts !!  Once you open Fatal Intent everything around you will fade into nothingness and you will be powerless to do anything about it.  Once you start reader you will be along side this uncharacteristic group and need to know what is going on.  Readers cannot help but experience a number of emotions throughout this story.  You will be sad, you will be angry, you may even cry, or you might even scream out loud once or twice.....and all of that is okay.  That just means that Euliano did her job as an author.....a successful author.  I loved the journey she took me on, even though I wish there were a few things that happened didn't have to happen but that just makes it seem more real.  I cannot wait until there is another book and we can see where the story takes Kate and Aunt Irm......


Review by Missi M.




Friday, 26 February 2021

Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries #1) by Amanda Flower

 First in a new series!

Shiloh Bellamy cashed in her big city job and 401K to return home to Michigan to save the family farm, but turning Bellamy Farms into a sustainable, organic operation is no small feat. Especially when her new investor is found dead at the farmers market not long after the contract is signed, a contract that the whole town knows her father was wholeheartedly against.

Now, Shiloh must clear her family's name and track down the real killer before her farm dreams wilt before her very eyes. But with her father trying to stop any progress on his land, her cousin belittling her every effort, and the whole town believing her family at fault, Shiloh has to carry the investigation on her shoulders or risk all her dreams drying up before they begin.  (Summary via Goodreads)


Amanda Flower has another great start to a new series with Farm to Trouble, the first book in her Farm to Table Mystery series....and she ends it in such a way that readers will have to return to see what happens....but I'm getting ahead of myself.

In Farm to Trouble Shiloh Bellamy is returning to her hometown Cherry Glen Michigan to help her father on the farm.  Little does she know that the farm is in worse shape that her father let on and it is going to take a miracle to save it.  But Shiloh has taken the first step in obtaining an investor to help and can't wait to get started on turning the family farm into an organic farm with lots of possibilities.  Unfortunately Shiloh wasn't aware that the investor, Jefferson Crocker, and her father have a history and she soon learns that most of the town knows Crocker and it's not all good.  Before Shiloh can work things out she stumbles across a dead body at the famer's market and it is Crocker  !!!

Even though they is a long list of suspects the Chief of Police has his sights on Shiloh and her father.  Shiloh decides she needs to look into Crocker and his hold on the town and learn everything she can so that she can figure out who the real killer is before one of them gets arrested !!

Shiloh has a lot on her plate returning home.  She is adjusting to leaving the big city of LA and her busy job as a television producer to work the farm in the country.  She also left home shortly after losing her fiance Logan and her grandmother and there are people in town that think it was her fault that Logan died and won't be welcoming her with open arms.  When she sees how rundown the family farm is and how much work it is going to need and with the investor murdered and she didn't finalize the contract, she begins to question if coming home was the right thing to do. Before she can work everything out she needs to learn more about who killed Jefferson Crocker and take the heat off of her father and herself.

It always amazes me when I read a book and I wonder how authors can come up with the stories they write but Flower makes it look so effortless.  The words make the story come to life in the readers mind and you feel like you are right there along side Shiloh as she reconnects with her friends, family and hometown.  Readers will wish they could jump inside the book and be there in person. And the way Flower ends the story, leaving something unresolved, will guarantee that readers will be waiting "patiently" for the second book in this series and hopefully an answer ......


Review by Missi M.
 

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop (Beacon Bakeshop #1) by Darci Hannah

In the first of a new series, after Lindsey Bakeswell catches her celebrity chef fiance sizzling in the arms of another woman, Lindsey leaves big city Wall Street for small town Beacon Harbor, Michigan to pursue her own passion as a pastry baker--and gets mixed up in someone's sweet taste of revenge...

More interested in kneading dough than adding it up, Lindsey's breakup inspired her to set up the shop she always wanted in a place that always made her happy. She'd spent many childhood summers near this beach community and converting the old run-down lighthouse into a bakery cafe and home offers a perfect fresh start for Lindsey and her devoted Newfoundland dog, Wellington.

But not everyone in town has a sweet tooth. The preservation society won't have the lighthouse's history sugar coated by lattes and cakes--and a protest group crashes Lindsey's Memorial Day opening. Then her ex-fiance Jeffrey Plank and his girlfriend Mia Wong arrive to trash the place. In the ensuing chaos Mia chokes on a donut and dies.

An autopsy reveals cyanide in Mia's bloodstream and Lindsey is the police's prime suspect. To clear her name, she's going to need to combine ingredients found in the town's checkered past to uncover the identity of a desperate killer...
   (Summary via Goodreads)


Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah is the first book in her new Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series and it will capture readers attention hook, line and sinker !!  

Main character Lindsey Bakewell moves from New York City to the small lakeside town of Beacon Harbor, Michigan to get as far away from her cheating ex-fiance and his tart of a girlfriend as she possibly can.  She bought an abandoned, rundown lighthouse sight unseen except for pictures on the internet and works at turning it into a bakery and living quarters.  

Everything is ready to go and it is opening day and it seems that the whole town has turned up to support Lindsey and her new business, even some out of town unwelcome guests show up.  Lindsey's ex-fiance, Jeffrey and his tart, Mia, are in town for the grand opening and all eyes are on Mia as she storms in and makes a huge scene stealing peoples donuts and grabbing the latte out of Betty, the realtor's, hand.  Before anyone can control the chaos, Mia collapses on the front lawn.  Later when it is discovered that Mia died from poisoning, everyone looks at Lindsey as the murderer.

Lindsey along with her baking assistant, Dylan, her best friend from the city, Kennedy, and her sexy neighbor, Rory, start their own investigation into Mia's death.  Unfortunately when there is another murder Lindsey is arrested and taken in......

For a small town Beacon Harbor is loaded with secrets and Lindsey will have a hard time figuring out who she can trust and who she can't.  Readers will be shocked when the culprit is revealed and the story behind it all.  Readers will also enjoy reading and getting to know Lindsey and her new hometown and the people in it.  Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop is an excellent first book in a very strong series and I am confident that I will be returning to this little slice of heaven whenever there is a new book hot off the presses !!!!


Review by Missi M.




Friday, 19 February 2021

Wine Tastings Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #5) by Libby Klein

It's vintage Poppy McAllister when the gluten-free baker and B&B owner tries to solve a murder at a Cape May winery . . . 

When Poppy and Aunt Ginny agreed to host a Wine and Cheese Happy Hour for a tour group at their Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast on the Jersey Shore, they never anticipated such a sour bunch. Grumpy guest Vince Baker should be in a better mood--he's filthy rich and on his honeymoon with his much younger wife Sunny, who seems to dote on him almost as much as her high-spirited teacup Pomeranian, Tammy Faye Baker.

But the honeymoon is over when Vince drops dead the next day touring the Laughing Gull Winery. Turns out he's been poisoned, and it seems like everybody on the tour is hiding something. Now Poppy has to put her gluten-free baking on the back burner and bottle up her feelings for the two men in her life while she charges after a bitter killer with a lethal case of sour grapes . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy's Kitchen!

"Fans of Chopped will have fun juggling the complicated set of suspects and following a romantic triangle that has yet to be resolved."Goodreads)



Wine Tastings are Murder by Libby Klein is the fifth book in her Poppy McAllister Mystery series and with each new book in this series readers will fall deeper and deeper in love with it !!

In Wine Tastings are Murder Poppy McAllister moved back home to Cape May on the Jersey Shore and opened up the Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast and they are hosting a group that are in town for a wine tasting experience.  Unfortunately one of the guests is not going to make it through the first tasting at a local winery.  When her friend Kim asks her for help saving the winery's reputation Poppy jumps in.

Even though Poppy has her hands full with running the bed and breakfast, making desserts at one of her boyfriend's restaurants, baking sweets for her other boyfriend's cafe and trying to keep tabs on Aunt Ginny and her friends, she cannot help but do some snooping.....especially when her high school nemesis Amber who is now on the police force asks for her help as an informant. 

Poppy along with her close friend Sawyer, Aunt Ginny and friends will stop at nothing to help Sunny, the widow of the deceased, find out who killed Vince, her husband.  Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a clear path to finding out.  Even when all of the "suspects" are brought to the Butterfly House and are all under the same roof, Poppy has more questions than answers.  Amber has basically given Poppy the key to the city by including her as an informant but that doesn't seem to help at all.....

Readers will love this series and with every new book in it, you cannot help but fall in love.  Readers will receive papercuts on their hands from turning the pages so quickly and you will be powerless to stop reading.  However readers must be warned that the ending will be explosive !!  When Poppy uncovers the murderer and how they came to killing Vince, you will not be expecting it at all !!!  And Poppy will be forced to come to a decision regarding her love triangle and you will be shocked at the LAST sentence in the book......however Klein definitely knows how to keep her readers on the hook and counting days until they can return to Cape May.......


Review by Missi M.



Thursday, 18 February 2021

Smothered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery by G.P. Gottlieb

When the owner of the business next door is found dead in his Chicago office, Alene Baron is relieved. She's been suspicious of the food supplements he’s been selling, not to mention the smoothies he's been hawking, which are much inferior to the ones Alene sells at the Whipped and Sipped Café. Plus, Stanley Huff never cleaned up his garbage in their shared alley. As a shady businessman, Stanley had enemies, but now one of Alene's favorite employees is a suspect in his murder. And that employee is missing. 

Smothered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery includes 22 of the author's best, healthy and delicious recipes!   (Summary via Goodreads)



One thing readers will love when they read Smothered by G.P. Gottlieb is that there is a list of characters in the front of the book so that readers can turn to it whenever they need to check on a person.  And with this cast of characters you are going to want to make sure you know who is who and who is related to or knows who.

In Smothered readers are going to want to make sure they have a drink and a snack on hand because you are going to be spending a lot of time in the Whipped and Sipped Cafe where everything sounds delicious !!  You will be working along side Alene Baron, the owner of the cafe, as she navigates being a single mom to three kids, taking care of her elderly father, runs the cafe and tries to have a relationship with homicide detective Frank Shaw.  Unfortunately besides her having a busy life, Alene seems to get in the middle of a murder.  

When Kacey, an employee at the cafe, goes into the alley behind the cafe and screams, everyone comes running.  They find the door to the fitness center, Better Be Fit, open and the owner, Stanley lying on the floor.  It doesn't take long to realize that he's dead.  Alene  cannot help but continue to question everything about his death, especially because she knows Stanley's wife.  

When Alene's dad, Cal, ends up in the hospital and Stanley's widow, Sylvie, ends up in the room next to him Alene gets to know the family a little more than she would have liked.  Sadly everyone begins to look guilty in her eyes and when she learns one of her employees is related to the family and goes missing, she cannot stop from asking questions.  

Gottlieb sets the stage beautifully for readers and with providing the list of characters in the beginning, you have your own little cheat sheet of sorts.  And with all the twists and turns in Smothered you will be grateful to have the list so that you can keep track of everyone and check off those you believe are innocent.  However when the real killer is revealed I'm sure you will be as shocked as I was because I'm certain they weren't even on your radar.


Review by Missi M.


Saturday, 13 February 2021

Finished Off in Fondant (Courtney Archer #2) by Rosemarie Ross

Hosting a friendly competition reality cooking show could be the perfect career boost for Chef Courtney Archer--but when her co-host is found murdered, Courtney must work through layers of deception to find the real culprit.

Despite a few early hiccups, Courtney is thrilled with her starring role on The American Baking Battle, filmed at a grand resort in the Pocono Mountains. The icing on the cake? The new season has a wedding theme--complete with formalwear. But the first day on set, the producer seems to care more about profits than pastry--and the topper comes when her cohost Skylar falls ill. Little does she know things are about to end in tiers...

When a barely coherent, blood-covered Skylar is discovered at the doorway of his room, Courtney is horrified to walk inside and find a towering wedding cake--thoroughly smashed by the body of a woman in a bridal gown. Now suspicion is filling the studio and falling on Skylar, and Courtney has to look at coworkers and contestants, working through layers of deception to find the real culprit...
   (Summary via Goodreads)



Finished Off in Fondant by Rosemarie Ross is such a FUN read !!  Finished Off in Fondant is the second book in her Courtney Archer Mystery series and readers cannot help but fall in love !!

Finished Off in Fondant follows main character Courtney Archer as she is co-hosting The American Baking Battle and her friend Shannon is one of the judges.  The show is filmed at the Coal Castle Resort where her Cooking with the Farmer's Daughter show is also filmed.  While filming is going on everyone is staying at the resort which Courtney is quite familiar with having done it before.  Unfortunately a lot is going on with Courtney as she has decided to come clean to her viewing audience and tell the truth about her background.  After she tapes the truthful episode she cannot stop thinking about what that will do to the show, her fans, as well as everyone employed on the show, especially her producer and dear friend, Eric.  

Courtney doesn't have long to wallow in her self-pity because her co-host, Skylar, on the baking show returns to his room at the Castle to a dead body !!  Unfortunately he doesn'ty know how the deceased ended up in his room or who killed her.  Courtney knows that there is no way that he could have killed the woman even though he did have history with her.  Courtney cannot help but try to find out the real killer even if it makes everyone a suspect and gets Courtney in hot water !!

Readers will be drawn to the storyline immediately and you will feel like you are right there next to Courtney as she tapes the show and moves around the resort.  You will love the cast of characters from the celebrities to the contestants to the employees working around the resort.  Even though there is a long list of suspects for readers to chose from, you will still be in shock when the killer is revealed !!!



Review by Missi M.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Sabotage at Somerset: A charmingly fun paranormal cozy mystery (Oxford Key Mysteries Book 4) by Lynn Morrison

Nat has identified the evil menace stealing Oxford’s magic. Can she stop them before it is too late?

Natalie, Kate and Mathilde know who is wreaking havoc on Oxford’s magic. Now their challenge is to ensure they are brought to justice. When a film production comes to Oxford, it provides the group the chance to bait the perfect trap.

But the film set is plagued with problems from the moment it arrives. Equipment is damaged, scripts go missing and the lead actress is poisoned.

Nat and her friends will have to work fast if they want to salvage the production and trap the culprit.

There’s just one problem: Has the evil menace caught onto their plans or is someone else trying to sabotage the show?
   (Summary via Goodreads)


Every time I begin reading a book in the Oxford Key Mystery series by Lynn Morrison I am reminded of the Harry Potter series and every time I review a book in this series, I cannot help but say that.  Fans of the Harry Potter series will absolutely love this series .... and every new book in the series makes me love it more and more !!

Sabotage at Somerset is the fourth book in the Oxford Key Mystery series and by now, if you have read the previous books you are a fan and more importantly, you feel like you are a part of the group.  This series follows main character Natalie Payne as she begins her new job working in the colleges of Oxford as an event coordinator.  However her main focus and more important responsibility is to protect the magic that is within.  The magic and protecting it is a part of her being as her grandfather was also a prefect and worked at the college for years.  Along with 2 other prefects, Kate and Matilde, her pet wyvern, her boyfriend Edward and her friend Harry, they will face their greatest challenge in Sabotage at Somerset.

Nat's uncle Harold is coming to the colleges to film scenes for his historical period drama while Nat and her group are still working on resolving the problem with the magic to which they are getting closer to solving.  They now know the masterminds behind it, Oswald Beadle and Thomas Hobbes, one being a human and the other is an Eternal.  Nat with the help of her grandfather has summoned a lot of other Eternals within the colleges to help stand guard during the filming in case there is trouble.  Unfortunately Nat is drawn on a difference course when one of the members in the film is poisoned.  

In this series Nat always has a full plate with her regular job creating memorable ceremonies, trying to save the magic, hanging with her friends and boyfriend but in Sabotage at Somerset she may just have more than she can handle.....

Sabotage in Somerset is my FAVORITE book in this series....so far !!!  With it being the fourth book in the series readers are pretty familiar with the storyline and the characters and setting.  You will have come to love and hate certain people and you will want to see things through to the end as Nat and company does as well.  There will come a point in this book where you will be powerless to stop reading, the "magic" will have taken over your body and a spell will be cast for you to keep reading until you get to the end and you will be thankful for that.  The last 20 or so pages of this book will grip your emotions and take them for a rollercoaster ride !!  You will laugh, cry and be fearful almost all at the same time !!!

The Oxford Key Mystery series is a must read and you should really add them to your to be read pile because before you know it Post Mortem at Padua will be here and you are definitely going to want to be caught up !!!


Review by Missi M.