Sunday 30 July 2023

Mischief Nights are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery Book # 8) by Libby Klein

Gluten-free baker Poppy McAllister and her aunt Ginny were prepared for some pranks as the annual Mischief Night approached. But they weren’t prepared for a murder at their B&B . . .

Poppy is none too pleased when her B&B is coerced into participating in the Cape May Haunted Dinners Tour during Halloween season. Though her knack for finding dead bodies has given the place a spooky reputation, the Murder House is a completely undeserved nickname. At least it used to be . . .

While Poppy wrangles with some guests who can’t stop squabbling with each other—including a paranormal researcher, a very quirky pet psychic who freaks out her portly Persian, and an undercover tabloid reporter eager to catch her staff in a lie—one of them winds up facedown in a plate of tiramisu. And now she has bigger worries than getting her house TP’d . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Usually after reading a book I have no problem sitting down to write a review of my thoughts.  However after reading Mischief Nights are Murder, author Libby Klein has me flabbergasted and completely speechless.  I have read the previous seven books in her Poppy McAllister Mystery series and have never had a problem writing up my thoughts.....until book eight !!

With Mischief Nights are Murder being the eighth book in this series and having read all the books in the series so far you can say that I am quite familiar with the storylines and the characters so you would think it would be like writing a letter to a friend or family member about my town and friends and the goings on within ....... but Klein is a master in her field and continues to stump me.

In Mischief Nights are Murder main character Poppy and her Aunt Ginny are getting ready for Halloween at their Bed and Breakfast in Cape May.  And this Halloween their Bed and Breakfast, The Butterfly House, will be participating in the Cape May Haunted Dinner Tour.  And if that isn't bad enough Poppy's boyfriend Gia's mother breaks her hip and her restaurant, Mia Famiglia, cannot function without a worthy chef.  So even though Poppy is spread pretty thin with running the B&B, keeping track of her aunt and her group of crazy old ladies, working the Haunted Dinner Tour and baking for Gia's coffeeshop, she grabs an apron and crosses enemy lines and helps out in the kitchen at Mia Familia.

Unfortunately at her first night of the Haunted Dinner Tour in her B&B, one of the guests dies during the dinner and once again Poppy is trying to figure out who the killer is when it is determined that he was poisoned.  Unfortunately everyone at the dinner, including Poppy's new employee, Kenny, seems to be hiding something and no one is willing to talk to Poppy and help her uncover the killer.

Readers will be on the edge of their seats reading this latest installment in this amazing series.  There is nothing in this series that readers won't will want to be immediate friends with Poppy and want to hang out with her every day, murder or not.  Cape May will be a town you will want to vacation in or even live in and the businesses and shops will pull you and your money in....if it were all real.  Sadly they are not but luckily you can open one of the books in the series and you are immediately there !!!

Tuesday 25 July 2023

All That Glitters Isn't Old (Whit and Whiskers Mystery Book # 3) by Gabby Allan

The bubbly fun of a rom-com meets the irresistible quirkiness of a cozy mystery in this buoyant new rom-cozy set off the coast of Southern California. It’s the perfect vacation spot for those who want to get away from it all. Unfortunately for Santa Catalina boat tour guide Whitney Dagner and her chonky cat Whiskers, it’s also the perfect vacation spot for people who want to get away with murder…

"A purrrfect mystery to curl up with!" - Modern Cat

When she’s not piloting a glass bottom boat, showing the sights to tourists, Whit sells seashells by the seashore—among many other sea and sand souvenirs—to help keep her family shop, Nautically Yours, afloat. It’s a far cry from her corporate climbing ladder life in Los Angeles, but Whit and her frisky feline, Whiskers, love calling Catalina home and being close to family. Especially Whit’s grandmother Goldy, a fun and feisty senior who always marched to the beat of a different drum.

In her youth, Goldy was an item with a Catalina catch named Darren. But it was actually a ruse to fool Darren’s parents who wouldn’t have accepted his preference for men. Eventually, he left the island and chose the life—and life-partner—he wanted for himself. Back in town for his mother’s funeral, Darren takes the opportunity to heal his open wounds, and settle some scores.

In a surprise to the residents, Darren produced a documentary about the history of Catalina, and has arranged a premiere screening in the local theater. But his film career is cut short when his partner’s dead body is discovered the night before the opening. Rumors swirl about Darren’s past, along with his partner’s—and the things they’ve done—giving a lot of folks a lot of motives. Now, it’s up to Whit and her boyfriend policeman to catch a killer, and uncover just how much Grandma Goldy knows about the back door deals tied to Darren’s past . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Whit and Whiskers Mystery series by Gabby Allan is a great series to get lost into.  This series is set on the island of Catalina which is off the coast of California.  The island is so small that residents get around on golf carts and everyone is on island time all the time....except when there is a murder !!

All That Glitters Isn't Old is the third book in this series and main character Whitney should be working in her touristy seaside shop, Dame of the Sea, or helping her brother Nick run the Nautically Yours, their glass bottomed tour boat, not helping an old friend of her grandmothers ... especially because he doesn't seem to want to help.

Darren, an old boyfriend of Goldy's returns to the island to attend his mother's funeral.  While Darren and his boyfriend, Jericho, are there, they have arranged to show a film  in the local theater that they were working on.  Unfortunately when a group of them are at the theater setting up, Jericho drops to his death from the rafters.

Goldy insists that Whit find the killer because she knows that Darren did not kill Jericho.  Whit isn't so sure that he is innocent and whenever she tries to talk to Darren, he is not willing to help.  While Whit tries to look into Jericho's murder, her relationships with those closest to her are put to the test and the new police Captain doesn't want her anywhere near the case..... that is until he comes to her with an offer.  

So it seems Whit has an in with Captain Ray but an out with all of the suspects.  But she does not give up ... even when the case turns into something out of an Indiana Jones movie and then all she wants to do is grab a shovel and start digging.......

Thursday 13 July 2023

Hidden Beneath (Maine Clambake Mystery Book # 11) by Barbara Ross

Serving up mouthwatering shellfish, the Snowden Family Clambake has become a beloved institution in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. But when new clues rise to the surface five years after the disappearance of Julia Snowden’ s mother’s friend, the family business shifts to sleuthing . . .

Julia and her mother, Jacqueline, have come to the exclusive summer colony of Chipmunk Island to attend a memorial service for Jacqueline’s old friend Ginny, who’s been officially declared dead half a decade after she went out for her daily swim in the harbor and was never seen again. But something seems fishy at the service—especially with the ladies of the Wednesday Club. As Julia and Jacqueline begin looking into Ginny’s cold case, a present-day murder stirs the pot, and mother and daughter must dive into the deep end to get to the bottom of both mysteries . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

I am a huge fan of Barbara Ross and her Maine Clambake Mystery series and hope that you are also.   If not, I highly encourage you to look into adding this series to your to-be-read list.  There are eleven books in the series so far so you will be spending a lot of time with main character Julia Snowden and her family and friends and you will love it.  You get to see how Julia grows and changes as well as her family and the Snowden Family Clambake business.

In Hidden Beneath,  the eleventh book in this series, we get to learn more about Jacqueline and her childhood.  Jacqueline is Julia and Livvie's mother.  When Jacqueline was younger she attended boarding school where she met Ginny.  They became close friends and while Jacqueline would spend her summers on Morrow Island where the clambake's were held, Ginny summered on another island close by, Chipmunk Island.  Jacqueline would spend a lot of time during the summers on Chipmunk Island with Ginny and her group of friends.  These friends later become members of the Wednesday Club taking it over from their mothers.

Jacqueline hasn't had anything to do with Ginny, her friends or Chipmunk Island in years as life seemed to get in the way as she raised Julia and Livvie and worked on the clambake business.  Then out of the blue after Ginny has been missing for over five years, she is officially declared dead and the Wednesday Club ladies are holding a memorial service for Ginny.  Before Jacqueline can recover from the shock of the memorial service, she learns that she is the personal representative to Ginny's will.  While Julia and Jacqueline are going through Ginny's house on Chipmunk Island and her condo in Portland, they find the journal's that she kept for almost her entire life.

Jacqueline isn't sure that she believes that Ginny drown because Ginny had sent her an email shortly before she went missing but Jacqueline hadn't responded.  Now she wonders why Ginny was reaching out to her after all those years.  Julia being the investigating nosey person that she is starts reading the journals to see if she can find some answers.....unfortunately she develops more questions than answers and then there is another death on Chipmunk Island .......

Readers cannot help but thoroughly enjoy this series and you will want to pack a bag and head to Busman's Harbor and stay for a while.  Luckily you can spend as much time as you want with this series in the luxury of your own living room without the hassle of packing and driving.  Time will escape you while you have the books open.  I am confident that the Maine Clambake Mystery series and the Snowden family will become favorites of yours like they are to me. 


Wednesday 5 July 2023

Final Cut by Marjorie McCown

Perfect for fans of Elle Cosimano and Nita Prose, when Hollywood costumer Joey Jessop stumbles across a dead body near the set of a big budget movie, she must find ways to protect her career—and herself—before it's too late.

Joey Jessop enjoys working behind the scenes. As key costumer for the next epic superhero movie, her role is to make others look good while staying out of the spotlight. That means making sure to be professional around Eli Logan, her ex and the First Assistant Director, and Courtney Lisle, Eli's newest love interest and the Second Assistant Director. But this isn't a problem for Joey—especially when the movie is shooting at a gorgeous Malibu location.

All of that changes when Joey finds Courtney's dead body on the first day of principal photography and she soon becomes the primary suspect. When the press takes hold of the story and social media begins to run with it, Joey watches her well-ordered life behind the scenes become front and center for all to see. But that isn't even the worst of it. In the midst of this newfound and unfortunate stardom, she must also contend with the reckless behavior of the movie's predatory director and producer, Marcus Pray, who seems driven to continue his practice of making another blockbuster hit while making sure his crew endures a toxic and potentially lethal work environment. As a result, Joey finds herself embattled both personally and professionally.

With tensions building on set and a murder investigation looming over her life and future, Joey takes it upon herself to clear her name. Will she be able to expose the truth before it's a wrap?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Final Cut by Marjorie McCown is a fun and unique story.  Final Cut draws the reader into the magical world behind the making of a movie and you get to hang around while main character Joey Jessop does more than just work on the costumes for an up and coming super hero movie in the making.

In Final Cut Joey Jessop is a woman in love with her life.  She has a nice, small house on the beach, a job that keeps her on her toes and always doing something different.....unfortunately she never thought that one new thing would be a suspect in a real life murder !!

While on the set of her latest movie set, Joey has to work along side her ex-boyfriend Eli and his new girlfriend, Courtney.  Even though Joey is totally over Eli and their relationship, she doesn't like seeing show affection toward each other, that makes it difficult to work with them.  So Joey decides to be the adult and address the situation with Courtney so that they can put it behind them and focus on their jobs.  Unfortunately after the first day of shooting, Joey is on the beach behind the set they were filming and finds Courtney's body

Even though Joey wants nothing to do with Courtney's murder, she cannot help but dwell on it.  And when she pays her condolences to Courtney's twin brother, Caleb, he provides more information that makes Joey wonder who could have killed her.  And the director/producer of the movie is making the set very uncomfortable for the females working there.  And Joey knows that she should do or say something but doesn't know who to tell or if it would even matter because money talks in Hollywood and Marcus Pray has a lot of it.

Readers will love Final Cut !!  McCown will have you loving the movie set life with all the drama and the murder just adds to the organized chaos !!  Joey Jessop is a character that you will want to be friends with immediately and you will totally want to hang with her on her patio and follow along on the set.