Tuesday, 30 May 2023

All That Glitters (A Sgt. Windflower Mystery Book 13) by Mike Martin

Sergeant Winston Windflower is moving on to a new chapter of his life, no longer an RCMP officer but now a Community Safety Officer in the small community of Grand Bank, Newfoundland.

But when a body is found in the bed and breakfast he co-owns, diamonds are found in the body’s digestive system, and then Windflower’s friend Dr. Sanjay, who was given the diamonds for safekeeping, is kidnapped, it’s clear that crime has returned once more to Grand Bank.
Windflower finds himself back in the thick of it, helping his newly promoted friend, RCMP Corporal Eddie Tizzard, track down a ruthless diamond smuggler who will stop at nothing — kidnapping, even murder — to pull off his dirty business.
This is another finely spun Windflower mystery that contrasts suspense and tension with the joys of friendship, family, and gratitude.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I hope you have been reading the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series since the beginning but if you haven't, that is okay, it just gives you more books to add to your to be read pile and another great author to follow.

All That Glitters is the thirteenth book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series and Windflower is trying to slow his life down.  He has left his job as Sergeant of the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has accepted a job as a Community Safety Officer.  He will be working along side his best friend's wife.  Eddie Tizzard and Carrie Evanchuk worked for Windflower and both have continued elsewhere but Carrie will be back to work with Windflower.  And Windflower's right hand gal, Betsy, will again be working her magic looking after everything in the office.

Unfortunately Windflower is being pulled back in when a dead body is discovered at the Bed and Breakfast that Windflower and his wife Sheila run.  And things get even worse when Dr. Sanjay does the autopsy and finds the cause of death to be interanl bleeding from tears caused by a bag of diamonds breaking in the deceased stomach.  And when Dr. Sanjay is kidnapped Windflower steps up to work along side Eddie as Eddie has recently been appointed as Inspector when the new Inspector dies after an accident.

Things are a lot different for Windflower and Eddie as Windflower was Eddie's boss before he changed positions and the two do not get much time to figure things out before they are thrown into the case.....but both men will do whatever it takes to save Sanjay as well as catch the criminals.

Martin, as always, will have readers on the edge of their seats reading this latest installment in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.  The characters in the books come alive in your mind and you will wish they were real and you could tag along.....but reading the book and jumping into the story will be exciting enough.  Martin has always been able to open readers mind and capture your imagination and run with it.  I cannot get enough of this series and LOVE where Martin takes the story.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Viviana Valentine Goes Up River (Girl Friday #2) by Emily J. Edwards

1950, New York. Viviana Valentine–Girl Friday turned partner to New York’s top investigator, Tommy Fortuna–is drawn into a sordid new case when Buster Beacon, a wealthy man of science, beckons them to a party at his mansion north of the city. There, Buster entertains blue-blooded friends as well as investors keen to make a dollar on the many advancements made in his home laboratory, but he’s been hearing strange noises in the night coming from his expansive estate, and he doesn’t know who to trust.

Once Viviana and Tommy arrive, the party is snowed in. And suddenly, there is a dead body and nowhere to hide. Who killed the disguised federal agent in their midst? And how have details from the top-secret lab become public? Once chomping at the bit to be brought into this mysterious life, Viviana wonders if she’s ready for the risks that come with the territory—risks that rise treacherously high as the killer targets the next victim.

Set in the gritty, noir world of 1950 New York City, Emily J. Edwards’s Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River packs all the elements mystery fans love: an irresistibly clever protagonist, a posh cast of heroes and villains, and a murder case that could defy even the most seasoned investigator.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Readers fell in love with Viviana and Tommy in Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man by Emily J. Edwards, the first book in the Girl Friday Mystery series and now you will fall head over heels in love with them again in the second book, Viviana Valentine Goes Up River.

In Viviana Valentine Goes Up River Viviana and Tommy are going to a mansion out of the city when they are hired by a rich scientist to come and stay as guests undercover.  Buster Beacon has been hearing strange and scary noises in his big house and wants to get to the bottom of them.  So Tommy and Viviana are invited along with a group of other guests for a weekend party.  Viviana and Tommy are undercover as an engaged couple but will be investigating the sounds.  Tommy has also brought in another person undercover so that they can work together to solve the case.

Unfortunately the party ends up getting snowed in and one of the group becomes ill.  It is soon learned that the gentlemen was poisoned and will die soon.  This ignites a fire under Tommy and Viviana to find out who is the murderer and why they killed him.

Even though Viviana and Tommy are not into science and technology, they jump into this case aggressively and posing as an engaged couple staying in the same room helps with their communication and they soon realize how comfortable they are with each other.

Readers cannot help but love this series and Edwards knows how to end the story leaving the reader wanting more....but we have to be patient and wait for the next book in the series.  And seeing how she left this second book, I can only imagine where things will go next and I am excited  !!!

Thursday, 18 May 2023

A Novel Disguise (A Lady Librarian Mystery Book 1) by Samantha Larsen

When Miss Tiffany Woodall assumes the identity of her half-brother after his death, she realizes she isn’t the only one with a secret to hide in this historical series debut, perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn and Sherry Thomas.

1784 London. Miss Tiffany Woodall didn’t murder her half-brother, but she did bury him in the back garden so that she could keep her cottage. Now, the confirmed spinster has to pretend to be Uriah and fulfill his duties as the Duke of Beaufort’s librarian while searching Astwell Palace for Uriah’s missing diamond pin, the only thing of value they own. Her ruse is almost up when she is discovered by Mr. Samir Lathrop, the local bookseller, who tries to save her from drowning while she's actually just washing up in a lake after burying her brother.

Her plan is going by the book, until the rector proposes marriage and she starts to develop feelings for Mr. Lathrop. But when her childhood friend, Tess, comes to visit, Tiffany quickly realizes her secret isn’t the only one hidden within these walls. The body of a servant is found, along with a collection of stolen items, and someone else grows mysteriously ill. Can Tiffany solve these mysteries without her own disguise being discovered? If not, she’ll lose her cottage and possibly her life.  (Summary via Goodreads)

WOW !!!!  A Novel Disguise, the first book in the new series A Lady Librarian Mystery series by Samantha Larsen is a CRAZY fun read !!!

In A Novel Disguise main character Tiffany Woodall finds herself in a very bad place.  She keeps house for her half-brother Uriah.  The half-siblings are the only family each of them has left unfortunately there is no love there between them.  Uriah looks down at Tiffany but allows her to stay with him in the cottage he has because of his job as librarian for the Duke of Beaufort in his personal library.  Tiffany keeps house for Uriah but she could never live on her own as women during that time had very little rights.

After Tiffany finds Uriah in bed dead after being violently ill, she comes up with a plan so that she can keep the cottage.....but if discovered she could lose everything.  Tiffany is able to dress up in her half-brother's clothes and goes to the Duke's estate and resumes Uriah's duties as librarian.  Luckily no one realizes it is Tiffany and not Uriah....but she is always on her toes and afraid of being discovered.

Tiffany really enjoys the library and loves sitting in the quiet room getting lost in the books and the stories.  Unfortunately when the lady's maid for the Duchess is found dead in her quarters in the same manner as Uriah and it is concluded that she was poisoned, Tiffany wonders if Uriah had been poisoned also and it wasn't just his usual stomach issues ?

Tiffany finds things getting more and more difficult as she tries to be both herself and her brother as well as try to look into the two deaths.  Tiffany comes up with a plan to be able to make things easier for herself but she will have to give up herself completely in order to stay in the cottage and job that she loves......

Readers will love A Novel Disguise !! You immediately fall in love with Tiffany and everything that she does to keep her cottage.  Everything in this debut book will make you a fan and have you looking forward to Tiffany's next adventure.

Friday, 5 May 2023

Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man (Girl Friday #1) by Emily J. Edwards

Life as a secretary in New York just got tougher when Viviana Valentine's boss winds up dead in this debut historical mystery, perfect for fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Frances Brody.

New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine is Girl Friday to the city’s top private investigator, Tommy Fortuna. The clients can be frustrating, and none more maddening than fabulously wealthy Tallmadge Blackstone, who demands Tommy tail his daughter, Tallulah, and find out why she won’t marry his business partner, a man forty years her senior. Sounds like an open-and-shut case for a P.I. known for busting up organized crime—but the next day, Viviana opens the office to find Tommy M.I.A. and a lifeless body on the floor.

The cops swoop in and Detective Jake Lawson issues a warrant for Tommy’s arrest. Desperate to clear Tommy’s name, Viviana takes on the Blackstone case herself. When she goes out for a night on the town with the heiress, she begins to learn the secrets behind Tallulah’s life and loves—and discovers that the body in the office is none other than Tallulah’s betrothed. Meanwhile, Lawson is itching to solve his murder case, and continues harassing Viviana for answers—until she’s the victim of an attack by a group of goons hooked up with a gangster named Santino Napolitano, a.k.a. Tino the Conderoga. Tino’s connected to the death of Tommy’s brother, and now he’s trying to get to Tommy through Viviana.

But Tommy’s still missing, and Tino is still out for blood. As Viviana digs into the dirty history of the Blackstone empire, she suddenly realizes the true danger at hand. Now, it’s up to her to find her missing boss and make sure she doesn’t turn up D.O.A.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Viviana Valentine definitely gets her man and more in the first book in Emily J. Edwards debut book in her Girl Friday Mystery series !!

In Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man we are introduced to Viviana Valentine who is a secretary for a private investigator, Tommy, in the 1950's in New York City.  Viviana lives in a boarding house for women, loves her housemates, her boss, her city and her job !!  Unfortunately Viviana may be in over her head when she gets to the office one day and finds an unconscious unknown man in Tommy's office and her boss no where to be found .... and this is just after Tommy took on a new case following around the young daughter of a millionaire who specializes in diamonds.  

Tally Blackstone's father has arranged for her to marry his business partner who happens to be old enough to be her grandfather !!  Tommy is hired to follow her around in order to obtain blackmail information to insure that the marriage happens.  Unfortunately Tommy disappears, Viviana finds the unknown man in the office and she has become friendly with Tally by accident.

While Viviana tries to locate Tommy she also begins her own investigation into the unknown man and who he is plus she looks into the Blackstone's and their lives.  But someone doesn't want Viviana to solve the case when they break into the house and attack her as they flee the house.  This brings one of her least favorite people into the picture, Detective Jake Lawson. 

Even though Lawson decides to provide around the clock protection for Viviana and her roommates, the girls still find time to help her investigate the cases.  But Viviana may have bitten off more than she can handle when the cops can't even provide the protection required.

Readers will love this book and the story !!!  The way that Edwards writes the scenes will have readers feeling like they are reading a black and white film....you can hear and see everything and you will love it !!!  I high recommend adding this book to your to be read pile !!


Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Short-Circuited in Charlotte (Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery #2) by Amy Patricia Meade

The next installment in Amy Patricia Meade’s Vermont series takes classic mystery high-tech!

When US Forest Ranger, Nick Buckley, is invited to the Creator’s Cavalcade to present his employer’s environmental initiatives, his wife, Stella, sees the science and technology driven event – which takes place on the grounds of a luxurious nineteenth century estate – as a holiday from the drudgeries of new homeownership and small-town life. However, when the Cavalcade’s Founder and Director, Philip Morehouse, is found dead in his bed of an apparent heart attack and the inventor of geodesic yurt housing is discovered bludgeoned to death, it quickly becomes apparent that this will be a working weekend for both Buckleys.

With a cast of characters that includes a Steampunk designer, a robotics engineer, an Italian fiber optic artist, a recycled materials percussionist, a glass-blowing anatomist, and a French chef who is a master of molecular gastronomy, it’s clear that everyone at the Cavalcade possessed both the brains and technological know-how to make Morehouse’s death seem accidental. But did they? Was Morehouse’s death due to an ongoing heart issue or something far more sinister? And how could his death be linked to the brutal bludgeoning of a man who sought to use his creation to shelter the homeless?

Only by embracing her inner “geek” can Stella solve the mystery behind both men’s unfortunate demises. But can she do so before the killer strikes again? And, more importantly, can she do so before the Cavalcade’s all-vegan menu drives burger-loving Nick to drastic measures?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Amy Patricia Meade set the stage nicely with the first book in the Pret' Near Perfect Mystery series, Well-Offed in Vermont.  She introduced us to Stella and Nick Buckley who had packed up their lives and moved from fast paced New York to the quieter lifestyle of Vermont.....or so they thought.  Unfortunately shortly after arriving in their new home, they found a dead body in their well.  Stella, not having a job any more took it upon herself to solve the case.

Fast forward to the second book in this series, Short-Circuited in Charlotte....Nick and Stella are going to Charlotte for a weekend for Nick's job.  Nick works for the U.S. Forest Services and they are going to the Creators' Cavalcade where they are participating in the art and technology festival.  They will be staying in the main house along with a selection of other participants.  Unfortunately on the morning that the festival is suppose to kick off, Philip Morehouse is found dead in his bed and shortly after that another partricipant who decided to stay in his tent on the festival grounds overnight is found stabbed to death.

Even though Stella and Nick just met everyone, Stella is again drawn to the case and when Morehouse's fiancee, Meagan, asks Stella to look into the deaths Stella gladly agrees.  The local police feel that Morehouse possibly died from natural causes even though he recently received a clean bill of health from his doctor.  Meagan doesn't agree with their assessment.

So Stella takes it upon herself, with gentle nudging from Nick and Meagan and casually talks to everyone that is staying in the house and the few employees that were present.  However before Stella can get any headway in the investigation she finds Morehouse's step-son, Mark, knocked out outside on a path.....

Stella needs to step it up if she is going to solve the murders and Mark's attack before someone else gets hurt or killed.  Unfortunately some people are not telling the truth and there are secrets some are trying desperately to keep covered up.

Readers will love these books. You get to meet Nick and Stella and their new home, town and its residents in the first book and then you are whisked away to an entire different place with a whole new cast of characters.  Meade is definitely making sure readers do not get bored and are kept on their toes.   And if the ending of Short-Circuited in Charlotte is any indication, we will again be traveling with Nick and Stella in the next installment.....and I cannot wait !!!!

Thursday, 27 April 2023

Champagne, Sunrise, & Dead Guys (Gianna Mancini Mysteries # 9) by Jennifer Fischetto

From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Fischetto comes another scary-good Gianna Mancini mystery!

Gianna Mancini has a knack for finding dead bodies...which is convenient since she can communicate with the dearly departed. However there are some occasions where she wishes the gift didn't follow. For example—dinner with her family at a posh restaurant where Gianna has a special announcement to celebrate. But when a trip to the ladies room results in Gianna discovering food critic Tamara Evans stabbed to death, the dream of a ghost-free night is dashed.

Tamara turns out to be a first class snob, and Gianna decides she has no reason to get involved with this recently departed soul. That is until her homicide detective brother asks her for assistance with her special gift in finding Tamara's killer. With an angry ex-husband, a young smitten bartender, a grouchy restaurateur Tamara gave a scathing review to, and even some of Gianna’s family members all making the suspect list, pinning down the culprit is not going to be as easy as she hopes.

And when Gianna’s snooping goes too far, will the killer determine that this is Gianna’s last course?

What critics are saying about the Gianna Mancini Mysteries:

"Brilliant! Jennifer Fischetto has spun an entertaining tale."
~ Kings River Life Magazine

"Quirky but oh so fun cozy mystery. If you like your cozy mysteries on the humorous side, then look no further!"
~ Fresh Fiction

"Jennifer Fischetto serves up a delicious cozy mystery with this fun ghost story. If you are a fan of the genre this is a fun read that will leave you with a smile."
~ Night Owl Reviews    (Summary via Goodreads)

I cannot believe that Champagne, Sunrise & Dead Guys is the first book of Jennifer Fischetto's that I have read .... and her Gianna Mancini Mystery series has nine books in the series !!!  Well even though this is the first book in this nine book series that I have read, I was not lost at all !!  I was able to get into the story immediately and I was totally a member of Gianna's family instantly !

In Champagne, Sunrise, & Dead Guys Gianna and her boyfriend Julian get engaged .... and if that doesn't get readers interested immediately then....  when they gather all of Gianna's family together to share this wonderful news, a woman is murdered !!!  Gianna excuses herself to go to the ladies room and walks in just as the woman's spirit leaves her earthly body.   Oh yeah a big part in this series is that Gianna can talk to and see the recently deceased and kind of helps them move onto the next phase of their afterlife....which involved the big walk in freezer in the deli that Gianna's parents own.

One good thing with this series is that Gianna doesn't keep the ghost seeing thing to herself.  Her entire family, along with Julian, know that she sees dead people and helps them.  And her brother Enzo is a detective for the police department so that can get wierd.

So in this latest book Tamara Evans is stabbed to death in the bathroom of The Epicurean which is the restaurant that her ex-husband owns.  Tamara's ex-husband, Roberto, is also a "client" of Julian's.  I think in this series Julian's job is more secretive that what Gianna does.  Julian is a private investigator who does some things that could be placed in the gray area of a black and white setting.  

So while Gianna tries to work with Tamara to see who would have wanted to stab a food critic and the ex-wife of a restaurant owner, Julian decides to work his angle and see what he can uncover.

Unfortunately Tamara is clueless as to who would want her dead and isn't completely honest with Gianna so Gianna has to do some gray area digging of her own.  Then she finds her cousin is in town because her husband wanted space and moved in with his friend in town.  Not only is Claudia in town but her husband, Henry, is a bartender at The Epicurean with his longtime friend, Heath.  

Gianna has a long list of suspects as well as getting engaged and having anxiety over that so she isn't thinking clearly about anything !!  Luckily she has a very understanding and patient fiance and a ghost that is kind of being helpful.

Readers will love this series no matter which book you start with.  I thoroughly loved this ninth book in the series and can only imagine how much fun the previous books were.  It has been a while since I've read a book involving ghosts and murder and I have to say I missed it.  Thank you Jennifer for bringing me back around to the paranormal fun !!!


Tuesday, 25 April 2023

A Star Is Dead (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #4) by Elaine Viets

Hollywood diva Jessica Gray is on the last leg of her one-woman show when she suffers a sudden and fatal illness . . . but Angela Richman thinks there's more to it.

"Ageless" Hollywood diva Jessica Gray is finishing the last leg of her one-woman show in St Louis, Missouri, and the nearby town of Chouteau Forest is dazzled. During the show she humiliates three homeless women onstage, fires her entourage - not for the first time - and makes a bitter enemy of the town's powerful patriarch.

After she collapses at an after-show party and is rushed to the hospital, she ignores the advice of her doctors and discharges herself in order to return to LA. On the way to the airport she suffers a deadly coughing fit. It was poison. When Angela Richman's friend, Mario, is arrested for the murder and faces the death penalty, she is compelled to investigate.

With so many grudges held against the actress and Mario's life on the line, the stakes are higher than ever.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets is a great series to get lost into.  Readers cannot help but fall in love with Angela Richman, her job, her friends, and the cases she handles and the ones that she inserts herself into.....and in A Star Is Dead Angela gets herself deep into a death investigation.

In the fourth book in this series A Star Is Dead Hollywood Superstar Jessica Gray is performing her one-woman show in St. Louis and Angela is invited to the show by her very talented hairdresser, Mario.  Mario is over the moon excited that he has been chosen to do Jessica's hair for the show.  Little does Angela know that Jessica is a horrible person.  But she soon learns that when Jessica parades three homeless women onto the stage and treats them poorly.  

Angela wants nothing to do with the "superstar" but Mario talks her into going with him to the after party at the home of Reggie Du Pres, the center of the exclusive neighborhood called the Forest.  While at the party Jessica becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital.  At the hospital she is surrounded by Mario and three of Jessica's assistants.  Jessica signs herself out of the hospital because she cannot wait to get out of the hick town but on the way to the airport she becomes very sick and they turn the limo around and take her back to the hospital.  Unfortunately Jessica is pronounced dead and it is being ruled murder.  Luckily Mario had called Angela and the entire episode was recorded on Angela's phone.  But her phone was dropped and she wasn't able to recover the video ..... and Angela's least favorite detective is on the case and arrests Mario for Jessica's murder.

Angela knows that Mario did not kill Jessica and decides to look into the murder.  Unfortunately it turns out that none of Jessica's assistants liked her very much and it seems they all have reasons to want her out of their lives.....but were they willing to murder her ??

Readers cannot help but love this series.  To follow around Angela and see her at her job, a death investigator is very interesting and provides great entertainment.  And it seems there are always deaths to investigate in the Forest.  Readers will love, and hate, the characters in these stories and you will want to grab the next book as soon as you finish the current one you are reading.

Sunday, 23 April 2023

An American in Scotland ( A Scottish Isle Mystery #1) by Lucy Connelly

The small idyllic town of Sea Isle, Scotland, harbors some dark secrets, and Dr. Emilia McRoy is determined to uncover all of them—no matter what the diagnosis in this charming cozy, sure to enchant fans of Sheila Connolly and Charlene O’Connor.

Sea Isle was supposed to be the fresh start Dr. Emilia McRoy dreamed of. Far from the busy emergency room across the Atlantic in Seattle, she hoped to settle down and begin this new chapter as a small-town doctor to the quirky residents who immediately welcomed her. When she stumbles across a dead body, she starts to think that she may not be as Scot free of the drama and intrigue as she initially thought.

Emilia soon learns she has bigger issues at hand. It starts with realizing she’ll work closely with the less than helpful local constable, Laird Ewan Campbell. Her luck continues when she discovers that part of her new responsibilities includes being the coroner for the very body she found. Finally, when the body goes missing before she can even begin the autopsy, Emilia must convince the townspeople that a crime did, in fact, occur. The deeper she digs into the picturesque town, the more suspicious she becomes. And then there are her sleep issues. It may be due to the ever-growing list of suspects, a number of threatening letters, or the surprise visitor who breaks into her house at night. But she’s never backed down before, and she doesn’t intend to start now.

Someone doesn’t want this doctor to treat the ailments of Sea Isle, but Emilia McRoy is determined to find the murderer before they kilt again.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I can tell you that Lucy Connelly and her Scottish Isle Mystery series is going to be a HUGE hit !!  And this series is only just starting with the first book recently released !!!  An American in Scotland does a great job introducing the characters, the setting and presenting the story to readers....there is no way you won't love it !!

In An American in Scotland main character Dr. Emilia McRoy has just uprooted herself and moved from Seattle to Sea Isle in Scotland !!!  In Seattle she was an Emergency Room doctor and was getting burned out with the work plus she felt that she needed a change in her life so she accepted a job as a doctor for the town of Sea Isle.  One reason that she decided to take the leap was that she did an ancestry test and found she had some Scottish in her so she wanted to look in to that while she was there.

Little did Dr. Em know that the town and the people were going to grow on her immediately and her office and living quarters ..... she was working and living in an old church that was turned into a state of the art medical center...with secret doors and everything !!    

However on her first night in her new home, she stubbles upon a dead body and it just so happens to be Smithy who she had a little confrontation with a few hours before.  And she also learns that one of her duties as the town doctor is to be perform autopsies.  Unfortunately when she goes to perform the autopsy the following morning Smithy is gone !!!

Dr. Em feels that as doctor/coroner it is her duty to look into Smithy's death even though there is no body. She doesn't feel too comfortable with the local constable and even has him on her list of suspects !!  Dr. Em instantly develops friendships with a few of the townspeople and they begin their own investigation.

Dr. Em thought that moving to this little town would be a slower pace and she would have more time to herself....but someone has been murdered, their body stolen from the autopsy room, she is receiving threatening notes, and is finding it hard to trust the local constable.......

Readers will fall in LOVE with this story !!  Connelly has a way with her words that as soon as you start reading An American in Scotland you will see everything clearly in your mind and you will want to start packing your own bags so that you can get there as soon as you can.  Some authors have a knack with opening up the readers imagination immediately and Connelly is one of them.  I cannot wait for future books so that we can hang around with Dr. Em, her friends and her adorable town !!!!

Thursday, 20 April 2023

Four Leaf Cleaver (Country Store Mystery #11) by Maddie Day

In the latest Country Store Mystery by Agatha and Macavity Award-winning author Maddie Day, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day in South Lick, Indiana! But a holiday cooking competition at Pans ’N Pancakes is put on the back-burner when a killer strikes…

There’s no mistaking Saint Patrick’s Day at Pans ’N Pancakes. Robbie may only be Irish by marriage to Abe O’Neill, but the shelves of vintage cookware in her southern Indiana store are draped with glittery shamrocks and Kelly-green garlands and her restaurant is serving shepherd’s pie and Guinness Beer brownies. The big event, however, is a televised cooking competition to be filmed on site.

Unfortunately, someone’s luck has run out. Before the cameras start rolling, tough-as-nails producer Tara O’Hara Moore is found upstairs in her B&B room, bludgeoned apparently by the heavy hilt of a cleaver left by her side. Now, not only does Robbie have a store full of festive decorations, she’s got a store full of suspects . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Four Leaf Cleaver is the eleventh book in the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day and it will keep you more energized than the Energizer Bunny.  

In Four Leaf Cleaver main character Robbie Jordan-O'Neill has agreed to let a cooking competition be taped in her Pans 'N Pancakes country store.  Unfortunately the morning of the taping of the show the host of the show, Tara O'Hara Moore is found murdered in her room in the upstairs bed and breakfast when she doesn't show up to get the show started.

And because the show and the murder were all happening in her building, Robbie feels that she must look into the woman's murder.  Unfortunately Robbie doesn't know anybody involved as the show wasn't based in South Lick.  Even though she doesn't know the participants and the employees involved in it, she still has the internet, help from friends, her knack for questioning people and a slight in with the police investigating the case.

Four Leaf Cleaver is a very fast paced story and you will be surprised when you get to the end of the book and how involved you were in the story.  Maddie has an amazing talent in keeping you on point and following the words and turning the pages swiftly.....and the little news that she shares at the end of the story will have readers longing for the next book to see where the story takes Robbie and her husband Abe.

Batter Off Dead (Country Store Mystery #10) by Maddie Day

In South Lick, Indiana, fine foods and classic cookware can be found at Robbie Jordan’s Pans ’N Pancakes. Unfortunately, her country store also seems to stock up on murder…

Robbie and her new husband Abe O’Neill are enjoying a summer evening in the park with fellow townsfolk excited for some Friday night fireworks. In attendance are senior residents from Jupiter Springs Assisted Living including Grant Bird, father to South Lick’s very own Police Lieutenant Buck Bird. Despite his blindness, Grant is a member of his group home’s knitting circle, spending quality time with some lovely ladies.

But when the lightshow ends, one of the knitters who sat with Grant is found dead, a puncture wound in her neck. The poor woman’s death echoes that of Buck’s mother and Grant's wife—an unsolved homicide. To help find the killer, Robbie’s going to have to untangle the knotty relationships deep in the victim’s past…  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day is one of my favorite series.  You cannot help but fall in love with the town of South Lick, the businesses, especially Pans 'N Pancakes, and the people, especially Robbie Jordan.  The Country Store Mystery series has quite a few books in the series so you have a lot to love no matter what book you read.

Batter Off Dead is the tenth book in the series and Robbie, as always, has her hands full !!  Not only is she running her very successful country store, eatery and bed and breakfast, Pans 'N Pancakes, she is a recent newlywed and she not only finds herself looking into the latest homicide but it looks like a cold case has caught her attention.

While Robbie and her husband Abe are enjoying the Friday night firework display in the local park, an elderly woman is stabbed to death.  Robbie, as is her way, gets herself in the middle of the investigation.  She learns that the victim is Vi Perkell and she is the love interest of Police Lieutenant Buck Birds father, Grant.  Vi and Grant where at the park on a bus from the Juniper Springs Assisted Living facility where they live.  Robbie is drawn to Grant immediately and learns that Grant's wife, Buck's mother, was killed years ago almost in the same setting and the same way and her case was never solved.

Robbie loves to solve a puzzle and two murders committed in the same way some years apart is one she is itching to solve.  Just through talking to Grant and some of Vi's friends, she learns that a group they were all involved in, Stitch and Bitch, was more than just what the name entails.

Readers are going to fall in love with this series immediately !!  You will want to move to South Lick or at least reserve a room at Robbie's bed and breakfast.  You are going to want to meet everyone and learn everything you can about them and their adorable little town.  Once you get there, you will find it hard to leave....even if there is a murderer running loose around town. 

Saturday, 8 April 2023

Death and Croissants (Follet Valley Mysteries #1) by Ian Moore

Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it.

One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance.

Richard remains a dazed passenger in the case until things become really serious and someone murders Ava Gardner, one of his beloved hens ... and you don’t mess with a fellow’s hens!

Unputdownable mystery set in rural France, by TV/radio regular and bestselling author Ian Moore – perfect for fans of Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club, Julia Chapman, or M.C. Beaton.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Death and Croissants by Ian Moore was released in 2021 in the UK and just recently released in the United States....and it was worth the wait !!

In Death and Croissants readers are introduced to main character Richard Ainsworth.  Richard runs a bed and breakfast in the Loire Valley.  He has a quiet, simple life running the bed and breakfast, tending to his chickens and watching movies from his vast collection.  Unfortnately everything changes and his world is turned upside down when a guest goes missing leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wall and his bloody, broken glasses in the trash.  Before Richard can wrap his head around the missing guest another guest Valerie d'Orcay shows up and draws him into her crafy web of investigating.

Richard doesn't want to have anything to do with investigating the missing guest but he cannot help but be drawn to Valerie and her mysterious ways....even though he catches her in lie after lie.  However, everything changes when one of his chickens is murdered !!!  Richard decides to help Valerie look into the missing guest not knowing what they are getting into !!

Readers will love Death and Croissants and the characters.  Unfortunately you may find yourself as lost as Richard is in what Valerie has up her sleeve.....but you will also be like Richard and unable to stop yourself from following them down the rabbit hole and when everything is finally revealed in the end, you will be totally flappergasted !!!

Friday, 31 March 2023

With Option to Kill (Cindy York Mysteries #5) by Catherine Bruns

You can choose your friends, but you sure can’t choose your relatives.

It’s been a busy year for real estate agent Cindy York. She’s excited to be making a killing at selling houses and is in the middle of planning a surprise 50th birthday party for her husband, Greg. If this wasn’t enough to deal with, Greg’s younger sister Annette, who's been estranged from the family for 20 years, makes an unexpected visit to celebrate the event. Annette asks Cindy for help finding a house to rent. She claims to want to know her loved ones again, but Cindy suspects the woman is hiding something.

When Annette’s troubled past catches up with her in a hurry and leaves an innocent bystander dead, Cindy must step in and find a killer. But if Cindy can't close this deal quickly, someone she loves will pay the ultimate price.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Catherine Bruns makes it so easy to talk about her books, whether it is the Cookies & Chance Mystery series, her Italian Chef Mystery series, one of her contributions to the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series or her Cindy York Mystery series, you are never without words !!  

With Options to Kill, the fifth book in her Cindy York Mystery series, readers will again be on the edge of their seats !!  

In With Options to Kill main character Cindy York is working on a surprise 50th birthday party for her husband Greg and she is enjoying the planning as her oldest daughter Darcy is helping her.  Soon all the talk in the household will be about Darcy's wedding the following year so this time spent with her is a huge deal for Cindy.  Unfortunately Greg's sister Annette shows up out of the blue and weasels her way into Greg's heart again.  Annette left town twenty years ago with Darcy's best friend's husband never to be heard from again....until now.  Cindy doesn't trust Annette or anything she says but she agrees to help her find an apartment.  And she does from a nice elderly gentlemen looking to rent his downstairs apartment.  Unfortunately on the first night that Annette is there, someone shoots through the window killing him.  So Greg insists that Annette stay with them until she finds another place to live.

It doesn't take Cindy long to find out that everything that Annette has been telling them is a lie and with the help of her best friend and boss, Jacques, they look into Annette's past and try to find out the truth.  But when someone close to Cindy is attacked and Annette does nothing to help, Cindy is determined to solve the case....and bring the truth out !!

It is no lie that I love Catherine Bruns and her Cookies & Chance series is my ultimate favorite but any book that she writes is going to be a great story !!  And With Options to Kill is no different !!!  And the way that Bruns spins the web of her stories will drive readers into a crazed state of mind....in a good way obviously !!!   You will feel like you are a part of the story and the characters will become real to you and you will LOVE every moment that you are inside the book.  

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Star Tangled Murder (Bad Hair Day Mystery #18) by Nancy J. Cohen

Hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband get tangled up in murder when their Fourth of July visit to a living history village ends with a bang—and a body.

Salon owner Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk.

As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?

In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing might blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she’ll become the next victim. Recipes Included!

“Another delightful installment ... Star Tangled Murder finds Marla facing more changes in her life as she investigates a murder that connects to history while she balances motherhood, the salon, and sleuthing.” Readers' Favorite.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Star Tangled Murder is the EIGHTEENTH book in the Bad Hair Day Mystery series by Nancy J. Cohen.......EIGHTEENTH !!!  I haven't had the pleasure of reading all of the books in this series, I have kind of bounced from reading the second book in the series to going straight to the fifteenth and reading from there.  I know that there was a lot that was missed by not reading all of the books in this series but I can tell you that you can catch up pretty quickly.  If you have read all of these amazing books, that is awesome and I am a bit envious.

In Star Tangled Murder there is a lot going on !!  Marla who owns a hair salon and day spa is looking to cut back her hours so that she has more time to devote to her family.  Marla's husband Dalton is a homicide detective and just a few months shy of retiring.  And Dalton's daughter, Brianna, is getting ready to leave the nest and go to college in Boston.

Unfortunately while Marla and Dalton are on an outing to Pioneer Village to see an enactment of a battle that started the Second Seminole War, someone is murdered and it becomes Dalton's case.  And there is a great group of volunteers on the suspect list but will anyone come out of character to be of any help to Dalton ?  Marla decides to help Dalton in this case so that she can be sure his retirement goes smoothly....but who is kidding who ?  Marla always gets in the middle of the investigations with or without Dalton's approval.  And Dalton is going to need it with this case...especially when someone else from Pioneer Village ends up murdered.

Readers cannot help but love this series and I would say with EIGHTEEN books in the series, there are a lot of fans !!  And now with Dalton retiring and changing to a less stressful job and Marla cutting back hours at the salon, things have to be much quieter for them.....but knowing Cohen I can only imagine what will happen next....and I am sure readers are going to love it !!!

Sunday, 26 March 2023

Ice Blonde (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #3) by Elaine Viets

The last thing Chouteau County death investigator Angela Richman wants to do during the holidays is her job. So it’s with some trepidation that she agrees to help the desperate Mr. and Mrs. LaRouche when they show up on her doorstep.

Their daughter Juliet is missing. She was last seen leaving a high school party just before midnight, and they’d like Angela’s help getting their trusted local detectives involved. The officer assigned to the case—Chouteau newcomer Det. Jace Budewitz—is far too blunt and impolite for their liking. And with the weather murderously cold, they can’t bear the thought that their little princess is in the harsh winter wilderness.

Discreetly investigating Juliet’s disappearance, Angela finds herself struggling to break through the silence from the rich teenagers who knew Juliet and their infuriatingly detached parents. She also discovers that their vicious bias against the local working class has cast a shadow over the case.

The more she digs, the less Angela can comprehend the lengths the one percent will go to protect their own. Angela must work quickly as she searches for answers with the acute awareness that Juliet LaRouche edges closer to becoming just a memory…  (Summary via Goodreads)

Ice Blonde is the third book in the Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets.  Even though because of its size it is considered a novella, this story is full of entertainment.  Ice Blonde is 154 pages long and the story that Viets tells will have you thinking it is a full length book.

In Ice Blonde main character Angela Richman is approached by one of the wealthy families in her neighborhood called the Forest.  The LaRouche's sixteen year old daughter did not return home after attending a party held by a prominent family.  Juliet was not dressed for the weather and her parents were worried.  This situation is not in Angela's wheelhouse as she is contacted when there is a dead body and currently that was not the case with Juliet.

A very large search party was quickly organized and while everyone was out looking for Juliet in the freezing cold temperatures, Angela was talking to Juliet's friends to see if she could find Juliet alive.  Juliet's one friend, Daisy, believes that Juliet is just at one of her hiding places and doesn't take Angela seriously....that is until they have visited all of Juliet's hiding places and come up empty.

Unfortunately Juliet is found dead in a shallow creek and it will take at least two days for her body to thaw so that Angela's friend, Katie, can perform the autopsy.  Once the autopsy is completed the cause of death will be a shock to everyone !!

As I stated earlier even though Ice Blonde is considered a novella, the story is jammed packed with an exciting story.  Readers will be on the edge of their seats while they read this latest book.   

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

A Midsummer Night's Scheme (Bookbinding Mystery #2) by Harper Kincaid

All the world's a stage, but it may be curtains for bookbinder Quinn Caine’s brother if she can't bring the lights down on an actor's killer, in this mystery perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Kate Carlisle.

Just when everything is returning to the calm that Quinn Caine and her sidekicks, Ruff Barker Ginsburg and Sister Daria, are used to in their beloved town of Vienna, a Broadway star crash-lands into their peace and quiet. Former ‘player’, Chad Frivole, is Vienna’s prodigal son—the once notorious lothario has returned a Broadway star, ready to make a different kind of mark on his hometown.

Not everyone is celebrating the Tony-award-winner’s return. Chad’s a triple threat—with a cast of characters lining up to seek their revenge on him. So, when he turns up dead in his car, trapped with a sack full of snakes, Quinn can’t say she’s surprised—but promises handsome detective Aiden Harrington that she’s staying out of this local mystery.

That is, until someone starts threatening her brother’s life. It’s true, Sebastian ‘Bash’ Caine used to be a womanizer, just like Chad. And the killer doesn’t seem to care that he’s not that man anymore. Bash Caine is in the killer’s sights, and unless Quinn and her crew can find the killer in time, whoever it is will drag her brother into his final act on this mortal coil.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I fell in LOVE with To Kill a Mocking Girl, the first book in the Bookbinding Mystery series by Harper Kincaid !!  Not only was it a great cozy mystery but it had a love story that was off the charts electric !!!  That was until now with the second book in this series out !!!  The second book A Midsummer Night's Scheme again has a great mystery with a very unique and scary cause of death but the love angle in this book blows it out of the water !!

In To Kill a Mocking Girl main character Quinn Caine and Detective Aiden Harrington are doing the dance while solving a murder....and yeah it's not uncommon for a main character to fall for the detective while dealing with the murder that the main character is in the middle of.....however, Kincaid makes the reader FEEL the relationship !!   And in A Midsummer Night's Scheme the love story is a little more complex because it involves Quinn's cousin who is in the middle of becoming a nun !!  But when a certain gentlemen whose sister is the main suspect in the murder of Chad, a local who became a Broadway actor but has come home to start a theater company in his hometown shows interested in Sister Daria, things get complicated.

Sister Daris, previously known as Elizabeth, had her heart broken years ago and was completely lost until she decided to become a nun.  Now she is a few years into her work at becoming a nun and Lucas has her feeling things that she never thought she would feel again.  And Sister Daria is trying to stay as far away from him as she can but no matter what she does, there he is.  And when Quinn's brother is threatened Quinn, Sister Daria and Lucas work together to find out who the killer is.

One other unique aspect of this story is that Chad is murdered when someone put a bunch of posionous snakes in his car and jimmied the doors so they would not open.  And Quinn's brother Bash and his fiance Rachel return home to find deadly spiders and a threatening note..... you have to give it to Kincaid for coming up with crazy and strange murder techniques.  I can only imagine what will unravel in the next book in this series....because there is no way that you will not be looking forward to it because Kincaid leaves readers hanging with Sister Daria and Lucas and if they will take it to the next level or Lucas will be sent packing.  

The Bookbinding Mystery series is a great series to get lost in.  There is so much that readers will love !!  And Kincaid knows how to keep the story fresh and interesting on so many levels !!!


Friday, 17 March 2023

The Haunted Lost Rose (Charlotte's Voices of Mystery Book 1) by C.L. Bauer

Some secrets should stay hidden. If they come to light, darkness could weaken even the strongest of families.

Real estate agent Charlotte O'Donohue never looks forward to Mondays. Usually, a couple cups of coffee will fix her mood, but today an unexpected voice directs her to a dead body. She's going to need a bigger cup, and it better be caffeinated!

When the dead body happens to be your client, the scandal could jeopardize her brother's business, but Charlotte is more worried about a mysterious stranger who decides she's the number one suspect. He seems familiar and dangerous. He knows she has a secret, and Charlotte will do anything to keep the truth from him. How could he possibly understand that she can hear the dead?

Ghostly whispers from a spirit who haunts the large Kansas City mansion warns of more danger to come for Charlotte, her family, and for the stranger. But as Charlotte discovers a key to one mystery, another one appears...one that could reveal more than a murderer but a long-forbidden love.

The haunted and the living seem to be conspiring against the spunky real estate agent, throwing her into a love of her own that shakes her to the core.

When long hidden secrets expose lost loves, two intertwined families are placed in jeopardy in Charlotte's Voices of Mystery.

The first in a series blending romance, suspense, a little haunting, strangers to friends, and enemies to...we'll have to see.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I could not put The Haunted Lost Rose by C.L. Bauer down !!  I easily could have read it in one day but wanted to make it last a little so I read it in two days.  The Haunted Lost Rose has so much....romance, family, suspense, murder, ghosts, and mystery.

In The Haunted Lost Rose the story mainly follows two characters, Charlotte and Max.  Max was a friend of the family and best friends with Charlotte's brother Tom when they were kids.  Charlotte had a kid crush on Max when they were kids and when he comes back to town years later, the crush develops deeper.

Charlotte works for Tom selling real estate and they get the old Taylor Club property to sell.  They have a customer interested, the Martin's, but when Charlotte finds Mr. Martin dead in the house while doing one final walk through and she is at the top of the suspect list , things aren't looking good for her.  And to make matters worse, Max shows up in town as a grown up and his job is a federal attorney and he sets sights on Charlotte .... in a bad way.  It doesn't look like her father who is a retired Judge or either of her law enforcement brothers can help.

Unfortunately Charlotte is drawn to the Taylor Club by a ghost.  She can hear and talk to some ghosts like her mother and brother as well as someone named Rose.  She can only hear Rose when she is inside the Taylor Club and  what she gets are kind of like clues which draw her in deeper.  Then she meets Gio who is connected to Rose and they try to help each other.

These are just a few of the things going on in this story.  I could keep going and tell you some of the other situations and stories but if I did that it is just taking you away from digging into the book sooner.  I can guarentee that you will thoroughly enjoy this book and when you get to the end, you will be glad that Bauer has provided you with a hint of where the second book will be heading.  Bauer has ended The Haunted Lost Rose in a way to ensure that readers will be looking forward to the next book.  


Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Well-Offed in Vermont (Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery #1) by Amy Patricia Meade

Turning over a new leaf in bucolic Vermont, Stella and Nick Buckley soon discover that country life comes with its own special kind of pleasures—and perils . . .

Leaving New York City behind for the rustic farmhouse they bought in rural Vermont, Stella and Nick Buckley discover that small-town life isn’t nearly as quiet and peaceful as they might have hoped. No sooner do the two arrive at their new home than they find a dead body in a well on their property, and they’re quickly exiled to a primitive campsite when the sheriff seals off the crime scene.

As if no electricity, no running water, and leaf-peeping tourists weren’t bad enough, the duo must also contend with an endless variety of quirky and eccentric locals. Quickly realizing that the only way they’ll get back into their farmhouse is to solve the murder themselves, the two dig deep into the life of the victim, who’d racked up more than a few enemies. And while they may never be able to shed their city-folk reputation, Stella and Nick just might nab a cunning killer before he can strike again . . . (Summary via Goodreads)

In Well-Offed in Vermont by Amy Patricia Meade Stella and Nick Buckley are moving from New York City to Vermont.  Nick has finally landed his dream job working for the Forestry Service in the field and not behind a desk.  Unfortunately before they can unpack the moving van and settle into their new farmhouse, they find that the water is red which results in them discovering a dead body in their well.  This means that their new home is now a crime scene and they are homeless.  Luckily one of the locals, Alma, shows up to offer a welcome basket and offers them her brother's hunting camp.  

They learn that the deceased man in their well is Allen Weston, the owner of Weston Wells and Pumps and he was shot by a hunting rifle.  If was first thought to be an accident but Sheriff Charlie Mills determines it as murder seeing as he was shot three times. 

Even though Stella and Nick are new to the area and do not know anyone, they decide that if that want to move into their new home, they must solve Weston's murder.  Unfortunately everyone they meet seems to have a reason to want Weston dead.  And when someone else is murdered in the exact same manner, they begin to wonder if they should turn the moving van around and head back to New York City where it is safer.

 Well-Offed in Vermont is the first book in the Pret'Near Perfect Mystery series and readers will enjoy getting to know Windsor County in Vermont and its residents and the businesses.  Meade sets readers up in this book allowing you to get acquainted with everything and makes you eager to see what will happen next once Stella and Nick have settled in and can start to enjoy their new lives....even though you can be certain that there will be more bumps in their future.....and I'm not just talking about their dirt driveway......