Monday 27 February 2023

Charred A Whipped and Sipped Mystery G.P. Gottlieb

Alene Baron is dealing with frustrated employees, closed schools, and a homeless man who harasses customers outside the door of her café. Then, two dead bodies turn up in the burned remains of buildings owned by the husband of Alene’s best friend and pastry chef, Ruthie. Both bodies are wearing jackets that once belonged to Ruthie and crumbled in the pockets are the café’s distinctive wrappers. At the same time, Alene's uncle, a convicted felon, has resurfaced after disappearing for 22 years. It's all too much for the owner of the Whipped and Sipped Café.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Charred is the third book in the Whipped and Sipped Mystery series by G.P. Gottlieb and boy is it packed with entertainment !!!  

Gottlieb centers Charred around the time of the Coronavirus pandemic which hit main character Alene Baron hard as she is the owner of the Whipped and Sipped Cafe.  While Alene is trying to work the schedule so that her employees still work and have a paycheck, she is also learning how to schedule her three children's home schooling work and relying on her elderly father Cal to help.  Then her neighbor Kofi asks Arlene to drive him to a site of a recently burned building so that he could try and salvage things for his artwork.  Little did either of them know that Kofi was going to see a dead body and swear Alene to secrecy and not tell her boyfriend Frank who is a homicide detective.  When a second body is found Alene knows that she has to come clean and tell Frank.

Also in Charred Cal hears from him brother Finn who was involved in a bank robbery years ago, did his time, and then disappeared only to resurface and send money to family.  The money that was stolen during the robbery was never recovered and Cal doesn't know that he can believe or trust anything Finn tells him.

Gottlieb packs a lot into this third book Charred... murder, arson, identity theft, gambling, kidnapping, destrucion of property, tax evasion, uncovering a hidden basement under the cafe with tins with treasures in them, family drama, secrets, the pandemic, trying to stay healthy, learning how to live a new life in semi-quarantine....  Readers are going to have so much fun reading this story !!!  It is like nothing you have read previously and it grabs your attention instantly and you will not know what is going on around you as you get lost in this story.......

Friday 24 February 2023

In Farm's Way (Farm to Table Mysteries #3 ) by Amanda Flower

Even the best-laid plants can go awry...

After solving a murder and getting her organic farm ready to overwinter, Shiloh Bellamy still expects the next few months to be busy with repairs, spring planning, and networking with local businesses. She might even be able to broker a new partnership with Fields Brewery and its organic brewer's association. Well, she could if the owner wasn't found murdered at the county Ice Fishing Derby.

Once again, Shiloh gets tangled up in the investigation when the police ignore an entire crop of suspects to blame one of her friends. She'll have to dig deep to find the truth, reel in a killer, and convince her city-slicker pug to wear his winter boots. But with Bellamy Farm still struggling, can Shiloh spare the time to look into the town's fishy characters? Or will her dream farm be the next thing floating belly up?

USA Today bestselling Amanda Flower returns to the Farm to Table cozy mystery series with another exciting sleuthing adventure!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Shiloh Bellamy will do anything for family, friends, the family farm and even people she doesn't like or know.  That is just the way that she is and anyone who knows her would appreciate that about her.

Shiloh Bellamy is the main character in the Farm to Market Mystery series by Amanda Flower,   In this series Shiloh has moved back home to the family farm to help run the farm for her father.  Shiloh was away in LA for fifteen years working as a producer so moving back to Cherry Glen is a huge adjustment for her and her pug, Huckleberry....and it seems that getting in the middle of a murder investigation is also something she does now as well.  

In Farm's Way is the third book in this series and when Shiloh is asked by her best friend Kristy to look into the latest murder, she cannot say no, especially when Kristy's husband Kent is the top suspect.  In Farm's Way Kent's part-time job is as a bartender at Field's Brewing Company and Kent is in a competition to have a beer he brewed to be the official beer in the upcoming Cherry Festival.  Unfortunately he losses the competition and the following day Shiloh finds the owner of Field's Brewing Company, Wallace Fields, under the ice at the local ice fishing contest.  And when Kent is rumored to be the last one in contact with Wallace, the police put him at the top of the suspect list.

Shiloh will do anything to help people in her town, especially her best friend, so when Kristy wants her to look into Wallace's death, she dives right in.  Luckily for Kent she uncovers a lot of people who had reasons to dislike Wallace but not sure if the reasons are murder-worthy.  And because the murder site was in another town, now she has two Sheriff's telling her to leave the inestigation alone.

Reader will love the Farm to Table Mystery series !!  You will love Shiloh, her father, the friends and people of Cherry Glen as well as the businesses.  You will feel like you are right there along side Shiloh as she interacts with everyone ... you will want to have a blanket nearby seeing as in the book it is the middle of winter and freezing in Cherry Glen ... you will feel the cold coming off of the pages.  And when you get to the end of the book, you may find yourself cursing Flower for how she ended the story .... especially when you go to turn the page and realize that is how she ended this book.  All the more reason for you to be looking for the next book to see where she takes the story next.

Monday 20 February 2023

Fire and Ashes (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #2) by Elaine Viets

In the exclusive, gated enclave of Olympia Forest Estates, death investigator Angela Richman watches a mansion go up in a fiery blaze. With it, seventy-year-old financier Luther Delor, a drunken, bed-hopping rhinestone cowboy. Embroiled in a bitter divorce, Delor may have scandalized Chouteau Forest, but his murder has united it against the accused: Delor’s twenty-year-old girlfriend, Kendra Salvato, an “outsider.” With an engagement ring bigger than Chouteau County, she’s being railroaded straight to death row as a gold-digging killer.

All there is against Kendra is vicious gossip and anti-Mexican rage, and both are spreading like wildfire. Meanwhile, Angela is trying to douse the flames with forensic work that’s putting the Forest on edge. After all, facts could implicate one of their own. Now, sifting through the ashes of a vicious crime—and the guilty secrets of the privileged—only Angela can get to the truth, and prevent an innocent woman from getting burned.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Fire and Ashes is the second book in the Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets and it will kick up your adrenaline levels....  Brain Storm, the first book in this series introduces readers to Angela and her best friend Katie.  In this first book while Angela is recovering from having multiple strokes and being in a coma for a lengthy time, readers get to know her on a personal level and the way she works through situations in her death investigator job.  We also get to know Katie and their friendship.

In the second book Fire and Ashes you really get to see Angela and Katie in action and what they will do to solve a case.  And it doesn't hurt that Katie's boyfriend Monte is a powerful attorney.  In Fire and Ashes arsonists are targeting properties in the rich section called Forest Estates and when a fire results in the death of a very rich elderly member of the society, the police take no time at all arresting his very young Mexican fiancee Kendra.  

Angela knows Kendra, as well as everyone else in Forest Estates, as Kendra works at Killer Styles and does all the manicures.  Unfortunately Angela and Katie are the only ones that think Kendra is innocent and that the real arsonists are stil out there.

Angela, Katie, and Monte work together and in secret to prove Kendra's innocence and when her Kendra's father is also arrested and charged as an accessory to the fires, they know they have kick up their investigation to prove the police have the wrong people.

Luckily the team catches a break with an unlikely witness who will break the case wide open and give them everything they need to bring the real criminals down..... but they have to work fast so that no one else has to get hurt.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy Fire and Ashes as well as the first book, Brain Storm.  Brain Storm sets the stages for readers and Fire and Ashes takes you deeper into the lives of everyone involved.  I thought Brain Storm was going to be my favorite until I read Fire and Ashes.....I cannot wait to read the next book Ice Blonde.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Murder at an Irish Castle (An Irish Castle Mystery #1) by Ellie Brannigan

Fans of Hannah Dennison and Carlene O’Connor’s mysteries are in for a treat with Ellie Brannigan’s captivating debut cozy mystery, complete with a sharp and endearing protagonist.

Rodeo Drive bridalwear designer Rayne McGrath expected her thirtieth birthday to start with a power lunch and end with champagne, lobster, and a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé. Instead, flat-broke and busted, she’s on a plane to Ireland where she discovers that she’s inherited a run-down family castle. Uncle Nevin’s will contains a few caveats—for example, if Rayne doesn’t turn McGrath Castle around within a year, the entire village will be financially destroyed.

With the fate of the town in her hands, and rumors that Rayne’s uncle’s death wasn’t actually an accident, she can’t possibly go back to her old life in L.A. As the devastating truth about her uncle dawns on Rayne, it’s not just her reputation that’s on the line, it’s her life.

Featuring a sharp and endearing protagonist, a colorful and quirky locale, and replete with twists and turns befitting an old Irish village, the first in Brannigan’s mystery series transports us to a milieu as romantic as it is deadly.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Goosebumps !!  Throughout reading Murder at an Irish Castle you are going to experience moments when you will get goosebumps and it may not always be regarding Uncle Nevin's murder !!

Murder in an Irish Castle is the first book in the Irish Castle Mystery series by Ellie Brannigan and I have to say it is a HUGE hit !! Readers will fall in love immediately and the love will grow as you get deeper and deeper into the story.  And as you get to know Rayne and the rest of the characters, you will not want the story to end.

In Murder in an Irish Castle readers are introduced to Rayne McGrath who is just beginning to celebrate her thirtieth birthday in LA.  She has a triving bridal gown shop and business and her and her boyfriend / business partner are about to meet with investors.....or so she thought.  Unfortunately she finds out that Landon stole all the money and her completed wedding gowns and took off !!!  She also receives a phone call that her Uncle Nevin who lives in a castle in Ireland has died and she has been listed in the will and must go to Ireland for the reading.  When she gets to Ireland she learns that she has a cousin, Ciara, and the two of them have to work together for twelve months and bring the castle and the village back to life.  Unfortunately Rayne needs to return to LA to work on bringing her bridal shop back to life and cannot stay in Ireland for a whole year....that is crazy !!  

Luckily for Rayne she has her mother, Lauren, to help her work things out and she suggests that Rayne give the castle a chance and take the year to live in her father's old home and get to know the people and area.  She also tries to work with Ciara to solve her uncle's death.

Imagine....waking up one day and learning you have inherited a real life castle and have to live there for an entire year !!!  Readers will be glad that Rayne agrees to the terms and stays in the castle. And you will love the relationships, the ups and downs, and the people and solving Uncle Nevin's murder and will be shocked when the murderer is finally uncovered !!  Brannigan has opened this series up to amazing possibilities and I cannot wait to see where she is going to take the Castle and the people......

Friday 10 February 2023

Home Is Where the Murder Is (A Hometown Mystery Book 2) by Rosalie Spielman

Retired US Army officer Tessa Treslow has settled in with her Aunt Edna in her hometown of New Oslo, Idaho. After the disasters of the previous fall, Tessa and her family are back on their feet as they start a new dream venture: a vehicle restoration business, "BOSS—Band of Sisters Services, call the She-canics."

Tessa and the enticing local math teacher, Nick Hunt, are also working together to organize a charity run during the New Oslo Pioneer Days festival. All seems to be going well... until Tessa finds a dead body in the town park!

The murder victim is a stranger to their small town, who claimed that she was the illegitimate cousin of Tessa's best friend, Deputy Petunia "Freddie" Frederickson. The victim's bloody finger is pointing to a mark on the veterans' honor roll sign, circling the names of Freddie and her grandfather. Complicating matters, Freddie was witnessed in an altercation with the woman just before her death, and it was Freddie's knife found at the scene.

In order to help her best friend, Tessa and Aunt Edna search for the real identity of the victim. Was she actually a long-lost family member? Who would want her dead? And what was she doing in New Oslo? Tessa is determined to find out... even if the answers lead her straight into the crosshairs of a killer!  (Summary via Goodreads)

If you want to keep track of your list of suspects in Home Is Where the Murder Is you will need a pad and pencil.  Home Is Where the Murder Is is the second book in the Hometown Mystery series by Rosalie Spielman and she crafts a great tale with a nice long list of possible murder suspects.

In Home Is Where the Murder Is main character Tessa Treslow is thrown into a murder case when her best friend Freddie is looked at as a suspect....even though she is Deputy Freddie Fredrickson.  

The story starts with the town of New Oslo celebrating Pioneer Day with a race, pie auction and other festivities.  Tessa, her Aunt Edna, parents, sister and niece are also celebrating Tessa's grandmother's name being added to the Veterans' Honor Roll as a member of the "Rosie's", women who went to work in the factories while the men were away at war.  During this time some strangers show up in town claiming to be certain people, one of importance being a woman who says her grandmother and Freddie's grandfather had an affair while he was in France during the war.  

Freddie ends up at the top of the suspect list after being overheard saying she would kill the woman and she ends up dead with Freddie's knife sticking out of her....

Because Freddie is her best friend Tessa begins looking into the woman and her claims and who could have wanted her dead.  Little does she know that she is going to be opening up a huge web of lies and secrets....some hitting very close to home and her heart.

Readers will love reading this second book in the Hometown Mystery series and even if you haven't read the first book, Welcome Home To Murder, you will find yourself right at home with the town and everyone in it.  And when I say you will need paper and pencil to keep track of the suspect list, I am not kidding.  I highly suggest writing it in pencil because you will need to erase things as you get to know the suspects.  And Spielman knows how to keep your attention in focus with everything and she will blow your mind a few times.

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Dial M for Meow (A Bookshop Kitties Mystery Book 1) by Ruth J. Hartman

When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children's mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt's bookshop, instead of small town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn't so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt's name... before her story ends in tragedy!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Dial M for Meow is the first book in the Bookshop Kitties Mystery series by Ruth J. Hartman and she sets the stage beautifully ..... although she makes your heart stop a few times.....luckily there is a dreamy doctor nearby during those times.

In Dial M for Meow Christy Bailey along with her two famous cats, Milton and Pearl, have been invited by Christy's Aunt Betty to move to Green Meadow, Indiana and help her run Words To Read By, her bookstore.  Christy jumps at the chance seeing as she was experiencing a low in her life thanks to her cheating, stealing, lying ex-boyfriend.

Unfortunately when Christy and the cats show up, the bookstore is empty.  When they go upstairs to the apartment where Aunt Betty lives and Christy will be moving into, they find Aunt Betty unconscious on the floor, a woman dead with a letter opening as the weapon and blood on Aunt Betty's hands.  Aunt Betty doesn't remember anything and has a good sized lump on the back of her head to explain why.  

It is soon learned that the deceased woman is Nan Bittle and she insisted that she meet with Aunt Betty to discuss Wallace, Aunt Betty's boyfriend.  Unfortunately due to the bump on her head, Aunt Betty doesn't remember anything else.  So even though Christy is new to the area and only use to visit Green Meadow when she was a child, she decides to look into Nan's murder.  Luckily she doesn't have to do it alone when her old friend, Janie, is there to help...even if Christy doesn't want the help.

Since Christy writes mystery books with Milton and Pearl as the main characters, how hard can it be to solve a real case ?  Well seeing as the books she writes are for young children, it may not be as easy as she thinks.....and when she and Aunt Betty are alone back in the den of their apartment where the murder happened, it looks like there may be more murders in that room.... and the murderer isn't even close to who they suspected.

Reader will love Dial M for Murder and wish Green Meadows and the people and animals were real so that you could visit.  This is a town that you immediately envision in your mind and once you see it in your head, you will not want to leave.  And once the murder is solved, the town is perfect again.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

The Girl with the Dragonfruit Tattoo (Trouble in Paradise ! #3) by Carrie Doyle

Sometimes you have to rock the boat to catch a killer!

On the tropical island of Paraiso, Plum Lockhart has a new zest for life. Her villa rental company is growing like a weed, she's solved a couple of pesky murders, and things with her long-time crush are finally starting to heat up.

Plum does sometimes miss her sparkly life in the Big Apple, so she's thrilled when she gets an invite to dinner on the yacht, where she can mingle with famous singers, up-and-coming stars, society swans, and billionaires. After a few hours on the boat, Plum wonders what secrets are lurking beneath the surface.

Two days later, one of the servers from the yacht―a girl with a dragonfruit tattoo―washes up dead, and Plum's sweet bit of paradise quickly goes sour. As the ship prepares to set sail across the Caribbean, Plum hops onboard to investigate the case, undercover. But the best laid plans turn deadly as it becomes clear that everyone on the boat has a motive and Plum must sleuth out the killer before she becomes the next victim...  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Trouble in Paradise Mystery series by Carrie Doyle is a great series to get lost in !!  There is so much to fall in love with in this series !!  The Girl with the Dragonfruit Tattoo is the third book in this series so if you haven't started reading this series, you can catch up pretty quickly !

In The Girl with the Dragonfruit Tattoo main character Plum Lockhart is going to get herself in some hot water and this time she may be in way over her head.  

Plum moved to the tropical island of Paraiso and she eventually opened up her own business, Plum Lockhart Luxury Retreats and she is doing everything she can to make it a huge success.  She has also taken her relationship with Juan Kevin, the director of security for Las Frutas, to the next level and she would like to happily enjoy both.  Unfortunately murder always seems to happen and Plum seems to always get in the middle of it.  However this time is different when Captain Diaz asks her to go undercover.

Plum runs into her friend Ellen from her old life when she lived in New York City.  Ellen and her husband Joel are the guests on the yacht, Jackpot, of a former rapper turned businessman.  She also meets Lysette who works on the boat who after learning that Plum solved a few murders wishes to speak with her.  Unfortunately Plum brushes her off and finds out that they will never be able to have that conversation when Lysette is found dead.

When Captain Diaz learns that Plum knows people on the boat, he convinces her to take Ellen up on the invite to go with the group on a little trip.  There is an eclectic group of characters on the boat and as Plum digs into everybody and their background, she is thrown into a world that she knows nothing about anymore.  She use to be up on the celebrities when she worked for magazines in New York but she is flying, or shall we say sailing, blindly with this group.  And she doesn't know who to trust and who to keep at a distance.

The Trouble in Paradise series is so fun for getting yourself lost in....and the characters will become great friends in your head....and the best part is you will be in paradise without having to pack, take a plane, or leave your living room !!  I highly recommend getting yourself lost in this series......