Monday 30 October 2023

Murder Uncorked (Cece Barton Mystery Book # 1) by Maddie Day

Raise a glass to Cece Barton, a widowed single mom and recent L.A. transplant to California wine country, who suddenly finds herself at the center of a murder investigation in this sparkling new mystery series from Agatha Award–winning and national bestselling author Maddie Day.

As the manager of Vino y Vida Wine Bar in Colinas, Cecelia “Cece” Barton’s first Alexander Valley harvest is a whirlwind of activity. Her twin sister, Allie Halstead, who owns a nearby Victorian bed & breakfast, is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. But Cece barely has a moment to enjoy her new home in between worrying about her estranged college-age daughter, juggling her responsibilities at the bar, and navigating the sticky politics of the local wine association. Just when it seems things can’t grow any more intense, Colinas is rocked by a murder within the wine community . . . and Cece is identified as a possible suspect!

With her reputation and her livelihood on the line—and the Sonoma County deputy sheriff breathing down her neck—Cece has no choice but to open up her own murder investigation. Tensions are already high in the valley, as a massive wildfire creeps toward Colinas, threatening homes, vineyards, and the vital tourist trade. And now, with a murderer on the loose, and Cece’s sleuthing exposing the valley’s bitterest old rivalries and secret new alliances, Colinas feels ready to pop! But with Allie’s help, Cece is determined to catch the killer and clear her name before everything she’s worked so hard for goes up in flames . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder Uncorked is the first book in Maddie Day's new series, the Cece Barton Mystery series.  However readers can learn how main character, CeCe Barton, was instrumental in solving a murder where her twin sister was the main suspect in the novella Murderous Mittens.  Murderous Mittens is the third novella in the holiday book Christmas Mittens Murders. The stories in that book all occur around the Christmas holiday and have mittens as a main denoninator.  Cece is visiting her twin sister and family in Colinas and with the help of a new friend solves the case.  This also leads CeCe to moving to Colinas and taking a job as a manager of a wine bar.

Now onto Murder Uncorked.....It is perfectly okay if you head right to reading this book and not the novella as Day brings you up to speed immediately.  

Main character CeCe is enjoying her new life in Colinas.  She has her adorable little cottage next to elderly Richard who she enjoys coffee or wine with, she is close to her sister and her twin boys, she has a nice job managing the Vino y Vida wine bar, she is making new friends and getting to know the area.

Unfortunately while working one night she overhears two gentlemen arguing at the bar.  She knows the one, Vincent Sardo, as they have been emailing each other regarding an event Vincent would like the wine bar to host and supply free wine for.  CeCe doesn't think the wine bar should supply the wine for free seeing as the organization is the Vineyard Valley Association.

When Allie, CeCe's twin sister, calls and tells her that Vincent Sardo was found dead in his apartment, her mind goes into overdrive .... and then the detective in charge of the case comes knocking on her door wanting to know about their relationship and wants copies of all of their correspondence, she again feels the need to solve the case .... this time to clear her name.

This case is not going to be easy to solve as it seems everyone that CeCe comes in contact with seems to have a reason to dislike Vincent and may have wanted his dead....including his wife, friends and the strange hot guy staying at the B & B that Allie owns.

I can already tell you that this is going to be a long running series for readers to get hooked on !!  Day knows how to hone into her craft and capture readers attention instantly and keep it engaged until the end of the story.  And she will always keep readers wanting more and more.....

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Cold Turkey (Tish Tarragon Book # 7) by Amy Patricia Meade

Tish Tarragon is catering for Hobson Glen's annual Turkey Trot, and soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly race to the finish line . . .

Literary caterer Tish Tarragon is looking forward to opening the new Cookin' the Books cafe the day after Thanksgiving, but before then she has the small matter of catering for the Thirty-First Annual Colonial Springs Turkey Trot, a highlight in the Hobson Glen calendar.

With her food stall ready to go, Tish, the spectators and participating 'trotters' are eagerly awaiting the starter's pistol when they are confronted with the sound of rifle shots from the woods. Deputy Mayor Behrens is dead. But was he really the intended target, or could it have been Tish's ex, Mayor Schuyler Thompson? As Tish and Reade investigate, it seems there are no shortage of residents with an axe to grind against the town council their controversial policies. Can Tish finish first in her race against the killer?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Cold Turkey is the seventh book in the Tish Tarragon Mystery series by Amy Patricia Meade and even though this is a cozy mystery and someone gets murdered, I want to shift things a bit first.

The Tish Tarragon Mystery series is a series that enhances the friendship and relationship components in the story.  Main character Tish Tarragon owns a literary cafe where everything is book related, from the decorations to the names of the food dishes.  She has two amazing women that work for her, Celestine is the amazing baker and Mary Jo (MJ) helps with everytrhing else.  Mary Jo and Tish went to college with Jules who is a television weatherman.  The three are inseparable and readers LOVE their relationship !!  Celestine lost her husband of over thirty years and has started hanging out with an old high school sweetheart, Daryl, to which her adult children are not happy about.  Tish is finally dating the Sheriff in town, Clemson Reade, after a rocky past.  Mary Jo has two children, Gregory who is away at college and Kayla who is still living at home and in high school.  Jules, in Cold Turkey, has a steady boyfriend, Maurice, who has an infant son, Cassius.  Readers will love the relationships and how they flow and overlap and everyone, for the most part, get along.

Now ..... onto the murder ....  In Cold Turkey the town of Hobson Glen is getting ready for Thanksgiving and the story starts with the annual Turkey Trot.   The Turkey Trot is being held in Colonial Springs which has a lot of paths for people to enjoy.  The Turkey Trot has been moved to the week before Thanksgiving so that the Rod and Gun Club could host their event that day.  Tish and Celestine are providing sandwiches and soup with all proceeds benefiting the local food pantry.  At the start of the race the Mayor, Tish's ex-boyfriend, and the Deputy Mayor will both run into the woods where the race is to begin. Unfortunately right after they enter the woods and are unseen by spectators, shots rings out and when Sheriff Reade gets to the scene, the Deputy Mayor, Royce Behrens, is found dead by gunshot wounds to the chest.

Unfortunately it is unclear as to if Behrens was the intended target or the Mayor.  It is no secret that the Mayor, Schuyler Thompson, wasn't like by some but it is all about politics and not many politicians are liked.  So Reade and his assistant Officer Clayton begin the investigation.  Luckily they have Tish along as a consultant for the department to help.  (As a side note it should be mentioned that Tish is working on re-opening her cafe in a new location after being evicted from her old location by the Mayor after they broke up ..... and no I do not believe that she is the murderer .... but you never know.)

As they investigate the case it is clear that Behrens wasn't a nice person, personally and professionally.  Reade, Clayton and Tish have a lot of people to talk to and try to eliminate from the suspect list ..... and try to determine what is truth and what is lies.  Luckily they are able to go home and over take-out food take with the rest of the group to bounce ideas and theories off of.

Meade knows how to spin a web and branch off from it .... especially with this murder.  There is no way for readers to determine who the guilty party is ... you will need to turn a room in your house over to this case, with every wall space used for notes which will branch off.  And when the case is solved and the guilty is taken away in handcuffs, you will be left scratching your head is disbelief !!!  I know I was .....

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Murders of a Feather (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries Book # 3) by Eileen Brady

It's February in the Hudson Valley and Oak Falls veterinarian Dr. Kate is once again up to her galoshes in corpses Hudson Valley winters can be brutal…and deadly!

Dr. Kate is once again on the case (not to mention thin ice) after discovering a young engaged couple frozen to death in the lake. To make matters worse, her temporary receptionist appears to have overdosed from a recreational sedative used at the animal hospital.

Kate barely has time to dread Valentine's Day (and the fact that she's alone on this holiday, once again) as the police investigation shows that all three fatalities are in fact homicides.  But who would want the young couple dead, just as they were embarking on a new life together? And who pumped the temp employee full of enough animal tranquilizers to drop an ox?

Kate doesn't know where to begin until she stumbles upon a connection between the three victims and decides she needs to investigate further. But will her investigation leave her any time to get to know the handsome large animal vet she's just met on a house call? And is the injured wild crow she's taken under her wing in fact an omen of more bad things to come?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murders of a Feather is the third book in the Dr. Kate Vet Mystery series by Eileen Brady and I sure hope that you are a fan ..... if not, I hope you will be soon !!!  There is a lot in this series for readers to fall in love with !!

In Murders of a Feather Dr. Kate and her assistant Mari are getting ready to work a whole week without their rock of an office manager, Cindy.  Cindy and her family which included Police Chief Bobby Garcia who is her brother-in-law are heading to Florida for a week.  Luckily Cindy has secured help from a friend.  Babs has worked in the animal hospital before as well as others so she was use to the way things worked.

Unfortunately while Dr. Kate and Mari were out on a house call, they noticed a man on the side of the road looking for help ..... he claimed to find a body in the woods.  So Dr. Kate and Mari, with their medical knowledge went to see if they could help the person.  Unfortunately the man was dead and when they looked around, they found another body trapped under the water on the nearby lake.

Then to make matters worst, when Dr. Kat and Mari return from being out on a house call they could not find, they find Babs dead in the surgery room ..... and it was not suicide like some thought. 

Dr. Kate being the person that she is starts asking about the couple and Babs. She learns that Alicia and Jose were engaged to be married soon.  Alicia and Jose did not deserve to die in the manner that they did and when Cindy and family returned from vacation, her brother-in-law deemed that they were murdered.  However it took a bit of convincing before Chief Garcia would agree about Babs.

Cindy is left mourning a close friend as well as seeing to Babs estate while a living relative is located.  Dr. Kate offers to help but also wants to find out who killed these three individuals.  So Dr. Kate talks to anyone willing to discuss the deceased as well as dives into their online presence .... sadly it is like not getting her anywhere.

Readers cannot help but feel pulled by this series.  You will love the characters, the town, the businesses and everything else involved.  You begin to feel like you belong there just like Dr. Kate and when you get to the end and hear the NEWS and bombshell that Brady gives readers, you will fall in love all over again !!!!

Sunday 8 October 2023

A Killer Market (Cindy York Mysteries Novella # 0.5) by Catherine Bruns

After spending years as a stay-at-home mom, Cindy York is excited to begin a new career in real estate and hopes to make a killing in the red-hot housing market.

But her first day on the job doesn’t go exactly as planned when she’s threatened with a gun and then makes a chilling discovery at a client’s home.

With new friend and fellow agent Jacques Forte by her side, Cindy decides to investigate the cold case on her own. But things aren’t what they appear, and the dynamic real estate duo quickly find themselves in too deep. If they aren't careful, they might find themselves six feet under as well!  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Cindy York Mystery series by Catherine Bruns consists of five books currently and in this series you follow main character Cindy York as she returns to the work place as a real estate agent and works along side her best friend Jacques Forte as they sell houses and solve murders.  This is a very addicting series to read and fall in love with.

A Killer Market is a novella which you can read in less than an hour if you choose to.  In A Killer Market you see how the series began with Cindy going to Hospitable Homes and being interviewed by the owner Donna Cushman.  While there Donna receives a call that someone would like to see a house that is listed with Hospitable Homes.  Unfortunately Donna is too busy so after Cindy signs the paperwork as a new hire, she is sent to the house for the showing.

Unfortunately the interested party does not show up but Cindy meets Jacques and they walk through the house and find a hidden room in the study and when they go in to look around they find a skeleton head.... the two become instant friends and decide to work together to find out what is behind the hidden room and who the shull head belongs to.

No matter if you have read all of the books in this series, a few, one, or just finding out about it, A Killer Market will provide you with the building blocks of the series and make you want to read more.  It is also nice seeing how it all began with Cindy and her real estate selling journey and how her and Jacques met.  As a fan of the series, you have to know that their initial meeting would be DRAMATIC .... 

Saturday 7 October 2023

RSVP To Murder (A Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery Book # 4) by Carol Pouliot

RSVP TO MURDER - A new twist on the English country house mystery.

Embarking on their most daring time-travel experiment to date, Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and his 21st-century partner-in-crime Olivia Watson travel to the Adirondack Mountains for a Christmas party at one of the legendary Great Camps. Their host, a wealthy New York publisher, has planned a weekend filled with holiday activities, but, as the last guest arrives, temperatures plummet, and a blizzard hits. Before long, the area is buried in snow, the roads are impassable, and the publisher is poisoned.

Unwilling to wait until the local police arrive, the victim’s widow convinces Steven to launch an unofficial investigation. Soon, a family member goes missing, and Steven and Olivia discover a second victim. Trapped with a killer, Steven and Olivia race against the clock before the murderer strikes again.  (Summary via Goodreads)

When you are a fan of a book series, you cannot wait for the latest book to be released....and when it does, you ignore life and everything around you so that you can dig into the new book.  And I cannot express how much waiting for the latest Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery book by Carol Pouliot was a nightmare !!  And then when I did have it in my possession, I had to still wait a bit because I had another book to finish.  But when I did finally open RSVP to Murder I was bouncing from 2014 to 1934 like a pro..... 

In RSVP to Murder Olivia, who lives in 2014 and Steven, who lives in 1934 are going to test their time traveling abilities drastically.  When they found out about each other and the house they both live in, but in different times, they found they could travel to the others time by holding hands and crossing the doorway of what is Olivia's bedroom.  Then they began to venture out into each other's lives and began spending the night with each other....hence the relationship grew.  Now in RSVP to Murder Steven has been invited to a Christmas party at a family friends camp.  They will be traveling farther than they have even dared and attempting to spend numerous nights in Steven's time.

Luckily for them it works and they have no trouble keeping Olivia in 1934 with Steven to enjoy the Christmas party with the Racine family.  Unfortunately on the first night there while signing Christmas carols around the piano, the head of the family, Gil, drops dead.  They soon learn that he was poisoned and his death is labeled a murder.  Sadly the weather has turned and they are stuck at the Great Camp in the Adirondacks with the Racine family, their few servants and a murderer.

Steven being out of his jurisdiction, called the death into the local police department but they are unable to get there until the roads are cleared and the weather turns.  So Margery, Gil's wife and now head of the family, asks Steven to investigate until the local police can arrive.  Steven with Olivia's help begins to interview everyone and look into Gil's death...... Steven also gets his partner, Will, back home to assist with things on his end.  However, without anyone's knowledge Will is looking into Olivia and what she had told them, thnking she is hiding something.....

So much is going on and you cannot help but LOVE it.  And to have the story centered in one place with all the characters trapped due to the weather adds to the drama.  And as you get to know the Racine family, you will be torn as to who you think the murderer is because you will begin to like everyone.  Lucky for you Steven and Olivia have to bring the murderer to justice and you just get to sit back and read about it.

I am a HUGE fan of the Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery series and the way that Pouliot thinks !!  I cannot imagine how she comes up with these stories and how she draws you in deeper and deeper and when you get to the end of RSVP to Murder there is no way that you won't be counting down the days until the fifth book in this series is released.....and I have the pleasure of being able to contact her and even see her in person a few times to make sure she stays on track.......

Thursday 5 October 2023

Overdue or Die (The Haunted Library Mysteries Book # 7) by Allison Brook

Carrie Singleton has a wedding to plan, a killer to catch, and a conspiracy to uncover in this charming seventh novel of Agatha Award-nominee Allison Brook’s Haunted Library mysteries.

Carrie Singleton has more than her fair share on her plate: her job at the Clover Ridge Library, preparing for her wedding to Dylan Avery, and hoping that the local art gallery doesn’t steal away one of her part-time employees. Her fiancĂ© Dylan accompanies her to the beautiful home of Victor Zalinka—art collector and successful businessman—to select paintings for an art show at the library. While Carrie muses that Victor's home would be the perfect wedding venue, Dylan spots a forgery among the paintings in Victor's collection.

Then Martha Mallory is found murdered in her art gallery. With the assistance of Evelyn, the library ghost; the resident cat, Smoky Joe; and the office manager of Dylan’s private investigation company, Carrie comes up with a suspect list long enough to rival the size of an encyclopedia. During her investigation, Carrie stumbles across a terrible truth: Martha’s murder was part of something far bigger and more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. And it all leads back to the art gallery.

How far will Carrie go to find the killer and uncover the truth? If the killer finds her first—will Carrie finally be taken out of circulation?  (Summary via Goodreads)

WOW !!  Overdue or Die by Allison Brook has so much going on that you will not want to stop reading it !!  Overdue or Die is the seventh book in the Haunted Library Mystery series and there is so much to love about this series !!  First you have main character Carrie Singleton who lives in an adorable cottage on the property where her fiance, Dylan, owns the main house.  Carrie has an adorable cat, Smoky Joe, that she is able to take with her to work.  Carrie has an adorable aunt and uncle that she and Dylan are very close to.  Carrie has an amazing job working at the Clover Ridge Library where she oversees and plans all the activities there and now that the newly renovated addition has been completed, they are gearing up for many more activities.  Carrie has two part-time assistants to help her and her best friend also works at the library....and she is visited by Evelyn, the library ghost.  Evelyn is stuck there but seems to be okay with that and she is there for Carrie to help her work through things going on in her life as well as the murder investigations she gets in the middle of.

In Overdue or Die Carrie's great-uncle Bosco is recovering from a heart attack and Carrie is very scared that she is going to lose him or her great-aunt Harriet....but Dylan is there to help her center herself so that she can focus on the things she has control planning her and Dylan's wedding !

Unfortunately Martha Mallory is murdered in her art gallery one night which shifts Carrie's attention.  Martha was close friends with Evelyn and when Evelyn asks for your help, you feel you cannot say no.  So Carrie begins to look into Martha's murder not knowing that she will be going down a dangerous road.  Martha was in the witness protection program until recently.  She helped put away a dangerous man.  So it is no wonder that he and his family are the first ones on the top of the suspect list.

Unfortunately as Carrie looks into Martha's death, someone else dies and she wonders if the two are connected.  And when a new friend, Victor, is taken in for questioning Carrie and Dylan are asked to prove his innocence.

There is a lot  more going on in Overdue or Die but I cannot tell you everything !!  I hope that I have given you enough enticing tidbits that you will go and grab your copy and dig in !!  I cannot say enough good things about this series, the town, the people, and everything else.....go grab your copy ASAP !!!!