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 !!!