Saturday 30 July 2022

Death on a Platter (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper #7) by Elaine Viets

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus digs into another meaty murder investigation when a local restaurant owner is charged with picking off a problem customer…

Josie is getting a taste of St. Louis’s foodie scene—Travel America Guided Tours just hired her to test area restaurants for an upcoming package. Their list includes Tillie’s Off the Hill, a classic Italian joint owned by Tillie Minnelli, a former classmate of Josie’s mother. It should be a pretty sweet gig, but the assignment quickly turns sour when an unruly customer dies after eating Tillie’s special sauce.

While detectives move to put Tillie on ice for murder, Josie’s mom implores Josie to whip up another amateur investigation. The case has more secret ingredients than anyone anticipated: a jilted lover, a greedy real estate developer, and even a disgruntled employee. But there’s no time for Josie to savor all the possibilities, she must skewer the culinary killer before someone else is served a final course. (Summary via Amazon)

Death on a Platter by Elaine Viets is the seventh book in her Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Mystery series and it is one of my favorites.  Once you begin reading books in a series, you tend to fall in love with the people and the town and everything else involved so with Death on a Platter being the seventh book and I have read the previous six, it's no surprise that I'm in love and hooked !!!

In Death on a Platter main character Josie Marcus gets a good mystery shopping job. She has to mystery shop restaurants for a food tour that is going to be in her area, St. Louis.  Of course Josie is excited because she loves food !!  She also gets her mother on board when one of the restaurants she has to visit is Tillie's Off the Hill which happens to be the restaurant of Jane's childhood friend.  Luckily when Josie and Jane go there, they have a fairly good experience.  The food is great, visiting with Tillie was great, however the clientele was not so great.  Tillie had words with one of her regulars, Clay, for being so drunk and disruptive that she has to call the police.  

Josie goes back to Tillie's Off the Hill with her best friend Alyce and unfortunately their experience is worse when again Clay is there and being disruptive.  Tiller is overheard threatening Clay and when he requests hotter sauce, she gives him sauce so hot he ends up having to go to the hospital.  Unfortunately Clay dies and Tillie is arrested for his murder.

Jane is so distraught that she insists that Josie do what she can to find out who killed Clay because she knows that Tillie didn't do it.  EVen though Josie has "helped" solve murders in the past doesn't make her a professional in that field but she tells her mom she will do what she can.

Unfortunately Jane has a man in her life, Ted, that really cares for her and doesn't want her getting involved and getting hurt or worse....killed.  So she now has to consider his feelings as well as her own, her daughters and her mothers.....unfortunately she is in a tug-of-war trying to please everyone.

Readers will become fans of the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Mystery series and will totally flip with the way Viets ends Death on a Platter !!  You will want to rush to get the next book, Murder is a Piece of Cake, to see where things are heading for Josie and her crew.....I know I am excited and looking forward to digging in.....

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Murder Spills the Tea (Tea by the Sea Mysteries #3) by Vicki Delany

The country's hottest TV cooking show is coming to Cape Cod. And against her better judgment, Lily Roberts is entering America Bakes! with her charming tearoom, Tea by the Sea! Filming is already proving disruptive, closing the tearoom during Lily's busiest season. But tensions really bubble over when infamous bad-boy chef and celebrity judge, Tommy Greene, loses his temper with Lily's staff, resulting in an on-camera blowout with Cheryl Wainwright. Just as Lily thinks the competition can't get more bitter, Tommy is found dead in Tea by the Sea's kitchen . . . murdered with Lily's rolling pin.

Suspicion immediately falls on Cheryl, but the temperamental star has racked up plenty of culinary clashes in the past, both on- and off-screen. And nearly anyone associated with Tommy or the show could be the killer: be it one of Lily's fierce competitors, a member of the beleaguered film crew, or even one of Tommy's fellow judges--struggling cookbook maven, Claudia D'Angelo or beauty contest winner, Scarlet McIntosh. Now, while she's baking up a storm for the show, Lily must also whip up an impromptu investigation . . . before the murderer rolls someone else away.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder Spills the Tea by Vicki Delany is full of likely suspects.... as you get deeper into the story, your list will continue to grow.

Murder Spills the Tea is the third book in Delany's Tea by the Sea Mystery series and even though this is the first book in this series that I have read, I was completely hooked immediately.  Murder Spills the Tea reads like a stand alone book and readers will be captivated instantly.

In Murder Spills the Tea Lily Roberts who runs the Tea by the Sea tearoom and her grandmother Rose who owns and runs the Victoria-on-Sea bed and breakfast are getting ready to host members of the baking reality television show America Bakes!.  They are both excited and nervous as Lily is also competing on the show against a bakery in town.  Some of the members of the cast and crew will be staying at the Victoria-on-Sea.

Unfortunately the first day of taping the show, one of the judges, Tommy, causes a scene tripping one of the waitresses, Marybeth, at the tearoom and her mother, Cheryl, who also works there has some words with Tommy even threatening him.....and it's all on tape !!!  And when Tommy ends up dead the next morning, it doesn't take long for the detectives to take Cheryl in for questioning.

Lily and her friend and neighbor, Bernie, cannot stop thinking about the murder and want to prove Cheryl's innocence but that might not be easy.  After talking to the other judges and members of the crew of America Bakes!, they cannot be sure of anyone's innocence or guilt.  They want to believe that it was someone from the cast and crew or an outsider all together, unfortunately there are residents in town that could also have done the deed.

Lily just wants everyone associated with America Bakes!  to leave and move on to their next segment and leave everyone alone in Cape Cod.....but the show is in limbo while the higher ups decide if they want to continue filming this episode.  Lily decides that she is going to stay out of the investigation .... that is until the gardener for the bed and breakfast is attacked !  Lily devises a plan and thinks she knows who the guilty party is, she just has to stay safe and alive long enough to tell Detective Redmond.....

Readers will want to jump inside Murder Spills the Tea and reserve a room at Victoria-on-Sea and stay there as long as they can...even if there is a murderer roaming around town.  Delany's expertly written words will have your imagination opening up so wide that you will feel like you are right there along side everyone in the tearoom and you will wish you could partake in the tea and goodies !!!!

Review by Missi M.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Shifting and Shenanigans (Magical Mystery Book Club #1) by Elizabeth Pantley

Paige and her adventurous Aunt Glo inherit a country inn from eccentric GeeGee. They pack up and hit the road, arriving at the charming place they both loved since childhood. Finally! They can get into the secret room in the basement that GeeGee kept locked! They discover it’s a wonderful library filled to the brim with mystery books. But more than the room was a secret – it’s a magical place that houses enchanted books. Paige and Glo find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a murder mystery, along with a motley group of book club friends. The club will need to work together to solve the case in order to get out of the book and back to their home.   (Summary via Goodreads)

I am at a loss of words....not because I don't know what to say about Shifting and Shenanigans by Elizabeth's just the opposite except if I say too much, it will give everything away !!!  I wish I could just say.....GO READ THE BOOK !!!  But alas....I cannot.

If you have read Pantley's Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series you know that she is all about magical aspects in her writing so you won't be surprised when you read the first book in her new series, the Magical Mystery Book Club series .....

In Shifting and Shenanigans main characters Paige and her Aunt Glo inherited a country inn from Paige's great-grandmother, Glo's grandmother.  Even though it is a sad loss, GeeGee states in her will that she does not want them to have a pity party but to celebrate her life and enjoy their lives.  Seeing as Paige has just finalized her divorce and Aunt Glo is always up for anything, they sell some of their belongings and move themselves and what they kept to the Snapdragon Inn......little do they know what they are getting themselves into.

One place they were never allowed was the basement where the secret library is but now that they are owners, they venture to the basement to finally see the two story beautiful library with a talking cat named Frank.  Yes you read that correctly.  Upon meeting Frank and getting a tour of the secret library, he informs them that they are now the keepers of the library as well as hosts for the book club.  They are to gather 6 other people who are willing to participate in the book club. Luckily for them one of the people who answer their ad is Zelda who was a member of GeeGee's past book clubs so she can help them with getting started.

After they have found their 6 other participants, they gather in the secret library to pick the first book for them to read.  The library is shelved with all cozy mysteries and as they go around searching for a book to bring to the group to pick, they find that there are 8 copies of each book and they are tied together.  Once they all gather their choices, they are to read the blurb on the back and then decide.  Unfortunately the book that Paige picked doesn't have a blurb on the back so she starts to read the first page.....and before they know it the library is filled with smoke and they are somehow transported inside the book !!!  After the smoke clears and they go upstairs, they realize they are no longer in Cascade Valley....they are still in the inn however.  Luckily for them Zelda has done this many times with GeeGee so she is able to inform them as to what is going on.  Because Paige read from the inside of the book, it transported them to the town that the book is based in and in order to get out of the book and back home, the murder has to be solved.

So Page, Aunt Glo, Zelda, Frank and the other members of the book group decide to go around town getting to know the area as well as the people.....unfortunately they don't get very far when they find a neighbor naked and dead in a cage.  The group finds themselves actually enjoying their time in this little town and getting to know the people while trying to solve the murder.......but readers will never see what author Pantley has in store for the small innocent group !!!  

While reading Shifting and Shenanigans readers will be able to overlook and accept quite a bit while reading....a talking cat, sure what not.  Secret magical library, sure okay.  Being transported inside a cozy mystery and having to solve a murder, sure okay why not.......but what follows in the story....well, I don't want to say anymore, you really need to read it for yourself.  Pantley has a crazy, fun imagination and the way she writes her stories is a special talent.  Readers will love reading this first book in her new series and I, for one, cannot wait to see where the book club goes next......

Review by Missi M.


Monday 18 July 2022

A Poisonous Page (Sweet Fiction Bookshop #2) by Kitt Crowe

Kitt Crowe's second Sweet Fiction Bookshop mystery whips up an array of intriguing suspects and motives into a diabolically deft read, perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Joanne Fluke.

It’s summer festival time in Confection, Oregon, and that means a barrage of tourists making cash registers ring at Sweet Fiction Bookshop. But what should be bookseller Lexi’s most lucrative time of year turns disturbing when a member of the chamber of commerce suddenly dies of a heart attack. Not entirely unexpected—considering her family history—but it’s a different story when another chamber member dies just one week later…also, presumably, of natural causes.

Something about this doesn’t read right to Lexi. And it gets more unfathomable when her friend Dash—who dated both women—stands accused of murder! With Cookie, her lovable border collie mix, at her side and countless volumes of inspiration on her shelves, Lexi opens the book on another perplexing case. Who could have murdered two prominent townspeople without leaving even a hint of evidence on the scene? And why is an irksome-but-intriguing detective always seeming to catch her and Cookie working the case?

Lexi’s Confection Rose-colored glasses come off when she learns of thorny discussions among the council members, involving a string of secretive real estate transactions. Enlisting her faithful fellow members of the Macaroon Book Club, Lexi sets out to bind the clues together and clear Dash’s name. But if she can’t devise a clever trap for the real killer, she may soon end up with a very unhappily ever after of her own.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

I missed out reading the first book in the Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mystery series, Digging Up Trouble, but am a true fan with the second book, A Poisonous Page.  Author Kitt Crowe will pull readers into the sweet town of Confection, Oregon and you will never want to leave !!

In A Poisonous Page main character Lexi Jones is still recovering from solving her neighbors murder and breaking her arm so when two members of her community die, she jumps right to murder.  Luckily the medical examiner rules them as a heart attack for the first one and simply old age for the second one so everyone can relax....even though it is difficult for Lexi to do.  But when a third person is found dead in her friend Dash's backyard and there is blood under the body, there is no mistaking it for murder......and when the police take Dash in and arrest him, Lexi knows that she has to step up and prove his innocence.

Unfortunately Lexi and Detective Chad Berg butt heads so her getting involved will surely ruffle his feathers.  Luckily for her she has her book club, the Macaroon's on her side and they will stop at nothing to help Lexi.  Sadly when the first death, Marilyn, and the third death, Rachel, are confirmed as ex's of Dash's, his stay locked up at the police department may be longer than anyone would like.  

Lexi, along with her trusty canine, Cookie and supportive book club and friends dive deep into Marilyn and Rachel's history trying to find the common denominator and killer......but they always seem to be a step behind..... And when Lexi ends up face to face with the killer, her time may be limited.....unless Cookie can come to the rescue again.....

There is so much to love with A Poisonous Page....the town and all the sweet names of the streets and businesses....some street names are Peppermint Way, Lemon Loop, Cinnamon Avenue, and businesses like Sweet Fiction, Taffy Toys, the Ripe Raisin and Cookie Crumbles.  The friendships and relationships and the fact that eveyone looks after each other are great aspects in a story.....Lexi has an Uncle Elvis !!!  And the chemistry between Lexi and Detective Berg is sizzling and will have you wanting more.....

Review by Missi M.

Saturday 16 July 2022

The Christmas Fair Killer (Tish Tarragon #3) by Amy Patricia Meade

Christmas, cookies and a corpse: Tish Tarragon is drawn into a deadly puzzle when a young actress is murdered at the Hobson Glen Holiday Fair. Literary caterer Letitia 'Tish' Tarragon has pulled out all the stops for her booth at the Hobson Glen Holiday Fair, theming her appetising offerings around the festive performances by the Williamsburg Theatre Group. But when Tish meets the cast, she is surprised by the hostility between members of the allegedly close-knit troupe, centred around their star actress, the beautiful, talented yet mysterious ingenuine, Jenny Inkpen. Determined to spread some Christmas cheer, Tish volunteers to deliver breakfast to the eight actors, but is horrified to discover Jenny dead in her trailer the next morning. As Tish attempts to find out more about the group's leading lady, she soon uncovers lies, jealousy and a series of shocking secrets. Can Tish expose a cold-blooded killer before the fair is over?  (Summary via Goodreads)

I don't even know where to begin with The Christmas Fair Killer by Amy Patricia Meade.  The Christmas Fair Killer is the third book in her Tish Tarragon Mystery series and it will blow your mind !!  The way Meade writes this series will have your brain going in circles and you will love it !!

In The Christmas Fair Killer main character Tish Tarragon has a food booth at the Hobson Glen Holiday Fair.  During the festival the Williamsburg Theatre Group will be there performing a few shows daily, and Tish has made entrees and named them to coordinate with the performances....and people are eating them up !!  Tish is also providing the members of the theatre group with breakfast and offers to deliver them to their campers in the campgroup area at the festival.  Unfortunately the first morning of delivering breakfast she finds one of the actors dead in her trailer.....  

Tish convinces Sheriff Reade to let her talk to the members of the theatre group as she has already gotten to know them a little.  Plus it would be easier for her to obtain information from them as they would feel more comfortable talking with her rather than be interrogated by the police.  As Tish talks to the members she learns a lot of "secrets" and doesn't really know what to make of them.  It turns out that the list of suspects continues to grow the more she learns......

I would love to tell readers more about Jenny Inkpen, the actress that was murdered, but I feel that if I say much more, it's going to give too much away and I really feel that readers need the "wow" factor like I experienced.  Not only does the storyline surrounding the victim have a lot of twists and turns but Meade leaves the readers with a personal storyline with a HUGE surprise.....and I, for one, didn't see it coming and not sure I like it ......but we will see what happens with the next book in the series......

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Muddled Through (Maine Clambake Mystery #10) by Barbara Ross

Mud season takes on a whole new meaning in the coastal town of Busman's Harbor, Maine, when local business owners sling dirt at one another in a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall. Vandalism is one thing, but murder means Julia Snowden of the Snowden Family Clambake steps in to clean up the case . . .

When Julia spots police cars in front of Lupine Design, she races over. Her sister Livvie works there as a potter. Livvie is unharmed but surrounded by smashed up pottery. The police find the owner Zoey Butterfield digging clay by a nearby bay, but she has no idea who would target her store. Zoey is a vocal advocate for turning four blocks of Main Street into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends. Other shop owners, including her next-door neighbor, are vehemently opposed. Could a small-town fight provoke such destruction? When a murder follows the break-in, it's up to Julia to dig through the secrets and lies to uncover the truth . . .   (Summary via Goodreads)

Muddled Through is the tenth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross and the books just get better and better as you get deeper into the series.

In Muddled Through it is springtime in Busman's Harbor which means it is down time for most of the residents and businesses.  That is all but a few included a fairly new business, Lupine Designs.  Main character Julia Snowden's sister Livvie works at Lupine Designs in the offseason when the Snowden Family Clambake is closed.  Julia and her ex-boyfriend Chris use to live above Gus's restaurant and in the offseason they would run it so Gus could have time off......unfortunately this is the first year that they are not doing that as Julia broke up with Chris and Gus needed the studio apartment above the restaurant for family so Julia is back living in her old bedroom in the family house residing with her mom.

There are some changes occurring in Busman's Harbor and one of the things that the townspeople cannot agree on is a pedestrian mall that will run during the summer on weekends.  Some people are adamant about not having the pedestrian mall and are very vocal at a town meeting.  After the town meeting Lupine Designs is vandalized and fingers are pointed towards Phinney Hardison seeing as his business is in the same building and they share the basement.....and there is no secret that Phinney and Zoey, the owner of Lupine Designs do not get along.....and when he is found murdered in the middle of the night in the shared basement, the only suspect the police are looking at is Zoey.

When Livvie askis Julia to help prove Zoey's innocence, she has no idea what that entails.  As Julia gets to know Zoey, she realizes that she likes her and can see them as becoming close friends....but is Zoey guilty with keeping secrets like Chris was ......

Julia has no idea that Zoey's past plays a huge part in what is happening currently and as she digs in, she may just bury herself and Zoey......

Readers will LOVE this series !!!  The town of Busman's Harbor is one you will want to visit regularly.  You will love the people and the shops and the will have no problem overlooking the murders that occur because you know Julia will be looking into them and you know she won't stop until the guilty party is arrested !!!

Review by Missi M.


Sunday 10 July 2022

Murder at the Wedding (Modern Midwife Mysteries, #1) by Christine Knapp

Birth, death, mayhem, and murder…..

Maeve O’Reilly Kensington loves her job as a nurse-midwife at Creighton Memorial Hospital in the quintessential New England seaside town of Langford. Nothing could bring her more pleasure than helping women usher new life into the world... except possibly having a child of her own with her husband, Will. In the meantime, she's happy to celebrate the families of those she treats, and content to support her husband in his newly formed catering business.

However when Creighton Memorial's Chief Obstetrician suddenly drops dead at his daughter’s extravagant wedding reception, catered by Will, Maeve's two worlds collide in the worst possible way. Suddenly murder is on the menu, and Maeve is desperate to help her husband and find out who killed the doctor.
With the help of her wealthy, acerbic sister Meg and quick-witted Boston Irish mother, Maeve sets out to solve a murder and clear her husband's name. Can she stay one step ahead of the killer? Or will they strike again... this time closer to home?   (Summary via Goodreads)

Main character Maeve O'Reilly Kensington  has her hands full and then some in Murder at the Wedding by Christine Knapp.  Murder at the Wedding is the first book in Knapp's Modern Midwife Mystery series and it is so full of great people and interesting storylines that you will breeze through reading it.

In Murder at the Wedding, as the title suggests Maeve is attending the wedding of the daughter of the Chief Obstetrician at the hospital that Maeve works as a midwife.  Not only are there a lot of important people attending this wedding but Maeve's husband, Will, is catering the event.  Sadly the wedding doesn't go as planned for anyone, except maybe the killer, when Dr. Whitaker drops dead after giving a toast.  This unfortunately adds a lot of stress to Maeve as her husband is losing scheduled events after word gets out that he catered the event where someone died and there are a lot of changes happening at the hospital that affect Maeve, her co-workers and her midwife department.

Even though Maeve's brother Patrick is a police officer Maeve and her sister Meg decide to do some investigating of their own......even though Maeve has other things she should be worried about and focusing working on getting pregnant or starting fertility measures.....

The sisters are drawn in more when Will doesn't receive payment for the wedding and someone else in the Whitaker family is attacked and things start escalating at the hospital and Maeve's department.  The two sisters cannot sit by and allow things to continue without trying to solve the murder.

Readers will fall in love with this series immediately !!  You cannot help by love Maeve and her family, her job and the department and Will and even his stuffy family.  You will love the dynamics and the structure of the hospital and the families and the relationships among everyone are great as well.  There is nowhere else you would rather be then hanging with Maeve.  Also at the beginning of every chapter Knapp provides a little tidbit of information regarding pregnancy and midwife procedures that you may go away learning something as well.

I highly encourage and suggest you grab your copy of Murder at the Wedding and getting lost for a while.

Review by Missi M.

Saturday 9 July 2022

Welcome Home to Murder (Hometown Mysteries, #1) by Rosalie Spielman

Tessa Treslow never wanted a small town life. As soon as she graduated high school, she happily escaped her tiny town to join the U.S. Army, leaving New Oslo, Idaho, population 852, firmly behind her. Twenty years later, the hometown hero is finally ready to come back—even if she has just a visit with loved ones in mind while her family is hoping to convince her to stay for good.

With her fawn boxer dog, Vince, in tow, Tessa falls into the unsettlingly familiar small town life, helping out in her family's general store and her feisty Aunt Edna's auto body shop. But her peaceful homecoming is suddenly shattered when the dead body of a crooked con man turns up in her aunt's shop, and the police have some serious questions for the family. To make matters worse, the sheriff in charge just happens to be Tessa's ex-boyfriend... and things did not end well between them all those years ago. When it comes out that the con man was trying to get his hands on the family business, Tessa knows they're in trouble.

With her family in danger of being dragged away in handcuffs, Tessa becomes a woman on a mission to find the con man's killer. Between a slew of suspects, a meandering moose, and a handsome newcomer with his eye on Tessa, she has her work cut out for her. But when the killer changes tactics—putting everything her family holds dear in jeopardy—Tessa begins to realize what home really means to her. Can she be the hero for her hometown once again... before it's too late?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Welcome Home to Murder by Rosalie Spielman is the debut book in her Hometown Mysteries series and she knows how to set the stage is done flawlessly and you will be ready to move to New Oslo, Idaho and settle into small town living....even if main character Tessa Treslow isn't sure if she's staying or going.

In Welcome Home to Murder Tessa is returning home after a 20-year career in the Army.  She is also returning home to help her parents and aunt clean and go through her grandmother's house....even though her Aunt Edna lives there, they still need to clean out things.  Tessa is all for helping the family and when, on the night of her return, a dead body is found under a car in Aunt Edna's garage, she is all about finding out who did it.  She especially wants to find the killer when the local sheriff has Aunt Edna on the top of his suspect list.  Tessa cannot help but think he is still holding a grudge towards Tessa as they were dating when she left to join the Army.

As the story progresses there are more things that happen that point to Aunt Edna as the guilty party....although no one in town believes that she or anyone related to her would kill someone, things are not looking good for her.

Readers will fall in love with Welcome Home to Murder and will enjoy that the story reflects on a member of the military and how life affects them and those around them.  You will also fall in love with New Oslo and its residents and businesses.  You will want to pack a bag and jump in your car and head there as fast as you can.

Review by Missi M.


Monday 4 July 2022

A Sinister Service (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #6) by Alyssa Maxwell

A trip to Staffordshire for Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, leads to murder in a famed pottery works...

Following the devastation of the Great War, England's noble class takes comfort in honoring tradition. To celebrate their grandparents' wedding anniversary, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her siblings travel to Staffordshire to commission a china service bearing the Wroxly coat of arms from the venerated Crown Lily Potteries, a favorite of Queen Mary.

The two leading designers at the illustrious china manufacturer offer competing patterns. But when one of them is found dead—his body crushed in a grinding pan and his design pattern book missing—his rival is immediately suspected. The police are also suspicious of the dead designer's resentful young son, a schoolmate of Phoebe's fifteen-year-old brother Fox. When Fox gets involved to help his friend, Phoebe begins to investigate the rival artist.

At the same time, Eva is enlisted to go undercover at the works so she can gain the confidence of the female employees, who are only allowed to paint, not design, which may have led to a grudge against the victim. Pursuing a killer who has no compunction about using a kiln as a coffin, Phoebe and Eva take their lives into their hands to discover the shattering truth . . .   (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE traveling back in time with Alyssa Maxwell as my tour guide, interpreter, and voice for the characters.  The books in her series always grab your attention immediately and you are taken back in time to a simpler time that always has some murder and mayhem involved.

In A Sinister Service, the sixth book in Maxwell's A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery series, main characters Phoebe and Eva, Phoebe's lady's maid are leaving Foxwood Hall and traveling to Staffordshire.  They are traveling with Phoebe's older sister Julia with her lady's maid, Hetta, as well are younger siblings, Amelia and Fox.  They are going to be staying at Lyndale Park, the estate of Lady Julia's late husband.  Unfortunately they do not know if Julia owns the property yet as her late husband's will has not been read yet and will not be read until Julia gives birth to the child she conceived on their wedding night shortly before he was murdered....but that is another book and story that hopefully you have read already.  

Okay back to A Sinister Service.... the siblings are in Staffordshire to visit one of the many china making factories, Crown Lily Potteries, to discuss designing a china pattern and order china for their grandparents upcoming anniversary.

While at Crown Lily Potteries receiving a tour of the factory, the group comes across an old school mate of Fox's.  Trent Mercer had been taken out of the school that he attended with Fox to go work with his father at Crown Lily.  His father is head of the design department and designs a lot of the patterns for the company and wants Trent to follow in his footsteps so he was working at the factory and learning the business.  

Unfortunately when the siblings return to the factory for a second meeting to finalize their custom order, Mr. Mercer does not show up for their meeting.  Soon after they find out the reason for his absence....he was murdered in another part of the factory.  And the bad news doesn't end there....Trent is arrested for his dad's murder.

Fox insists that his friend is innocent and Phoebe and Eva are inclined to agree, however, they need proof in order to make the police look elsewhere.  So Eva kind of goes undercover in the painting department pretending that she may be looking to leave her job as a lady's maid and work in a factory.  Phoebe also does her part by questioning anyone that will give her time.....but as they get closer to the truth, they put themselves right in the line of danger and they may not be able to save themselves in time !!!

Maxwell grabs your attention immediately and you will feel like you are standing along side the duo as they investigate this new murder and try to prove Trent's innocence.  You cannot help but turn the pages as fast as you can so that you can see what happens at every turn.  Once you read one of the books in the A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery series, you will be a fan for life .... I guarantee it !!

Review by Missi M.