Tuesday 18 June 2024

The Diva Goes Overboard (A Domestic Diva Mystery Book # 17) by Krista Davis

New York Times bestselling author Krista Davis returns with a delicious new Domestic Diva Mystery set in Alexandria, Virginia’s charming Old Town neighborhood and featuring entertaining guru Sophie Winston, who loves hosting and event planning but prefers to keep things simple–if only she could…

In Old Town Alexandria’s unlikeliest match, Natasha Smith’s free-spirited mother, Wanda, is engaged to notoriously pompous antiques dealer, Orson Chatsworth—leaving Natasha to plan the entire wedding, beginning with an elaborate engagement party. For the extravagant affair, Natasha splurges on trendy food boards created by rising social media star, Stella St. James. The sumptuous boards go way beyond basic cheese and crackers, as Stella dazzles guests with picture-worthy butter boards, dessert boards, and even doughnut boards. Just as Natasha planned, the food is to die for—until someone actually does.

When the groom collapses, it seems as if a heart attack is to blame. Then guests discover Orson was poisoned, and suddenly Stella’s bespoke boards look a lot less appealing. But with an event this big, the spread of suspects is sure to be impressive. Could Orson’s killer be a jilted ex-lover? A money hungry relative? A bitter former business partner? When even Sophie is not above suspicion, she knows it’s time to get on board and scrape together an investigation of her own . . . before murder becomes the town’s next trend.

Includes delicious recipes, fabulous decorating tips, and easy entertaining hacks!  (Summary via Goodreads)

With The Diva Goes Overboard being the seventeenth book in the Domestic Diva Mystery series by Krista Davis I know there are a lot of fans !!  I, sadly, have not read all of the books in this series but the ones that I have read, I have enjoyed them tremendously.  And no matter what book you pick up you will become a fan immediately !!

In The Diva Goes Overboard there is a lot going on in Old Town and main character Sophie is right in the middle of all it !!  It starts when Sophie and her best friend and neighbor Nina attend the engagement party of Wanda and Orson and Orson collapses and later dies at the hospital.  This is right after he asked Sophie to meet with him at his antique store because he has something to discuss with her.  Now Sophie has no idea what he would have wanted to talk to her about.  

Sophie cannot help but wonder if Orson was murdered ... and it looks like others believe the same thing, including the deceased groom !!  Sophie and Nina are contacted by Orson's lawyer requesting their presence when the will is read and they are shocked at why !!! They watch a video of Orson speaking to everyone in a video that he recorded before his death and no one can understand how Orson could will his antique store to Sophie !!  

Once Sophie gets the keys to the store and is there looking around, she discovers a secret room that Orson had an office in .... and in the top drawer she finds an envelope addressed to her.  In the letter he insists that he has been murdered and asks Sophie to find his murderer.  So Sophie gets her rat pack together, Nina, Mars (her ex-husband) and friend Bernie, and they decide to work together to solve Orson's murder.  Unfortunately before they can come up with anything concrete there is another death and they have a lot of things to work out.

There is so much more that I could talk about but I really think that that is enough to get you going to want to read The Diva Goes Overboard and the rest of the books in this series.  Davis knows what she is doing with this series and you cannot help but love it !!  No matter if this is the first book in the series that you have read or it's the seventeenth, you will be engrossed and love it !!!

Friday 14 June 2024

Bluegrass Homicide (A Bourbon B&B Mystery Book # 2) by Gin Jones

From USA Today bestselling author Gin Jones comes a southern tale of murder and deceit...

The Three Sisters B&B in the heart of Kentucky's bourbon country is starting to flourish—thanks to the hard work of Jess Walker and her two sisters, Em and CJ.

With a big auction coming up at the horse farm next door to the B&B, there's an overflow crowd at both properties. And while the sisters may love the full rooms, the workload is enough that the middle sister, Em, sneaks away for a much needed break with the horse she boards at the farm. Only instead of her horse, what she finds in the stall is the dead body of the farm's beloved vet!

The incompetent sheriff assumes it was a tragic accident, but the sisters have trouble believing it...even before the victim's new, handsome young partner arrives and insists it was murder. Em, Jess, and CJ vow to find the truth, no matter what it may take.Together they uncover a variety of likely suspects, including the farm's manager, a B&B guest, and a horse buyer who was banned from the auction. Before long, it's not just a miscarriage of justice to worry about, but the imminent danger of another Bluegrass Homicide, this time at the B&B.

"Gin’s writing style and wonderful characters made an entertaining page-turner."
~ Kings River Life Magazine

"Readers will thoroughly love reading 
My Old Kentucky Homicide. You will want to move into the B&B so that you can be a part of the experience. Jones knows how to paint the picture for readers so that you will feel like you are right there with the guests sitting on the front porch or the veranda."
~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews (Summary via Goodreads)

Hopefully readers read and fell in love with My Old Kentucky Homicide, the first book in the Bourbon B&B Mystery series by Gin Jones .... but if you didn't you will after reading Bluegrass Homicide, the second book in the series.

This series is about three sisters that own a bed and breakfast and solve murders.  Jess recently moved back home to help her younger sisters, CJ and Em, run the The Three Sisters B&B and they are still trying to navigate working together as well as helping each other with their personal lives.  CJ has a lot on her plate with her autistic son, Noah and Em needs to start living life again.  And Jess would really like to continue her law practice and set up a small office and wouldn't mind getting to know Reed, also a business owner, better.

The Three Sisters B&B has a big weekend planned with helping their neighbor Daye and his Rackhouse Saddlebreds with housing guests and providing meals as well as stream the annual fall auction.  Unfortuantely before the overnight guests start to arrive, Jess receives a text from Em who went to the stables to visit her horse Joe, that she was going to be late to return.  She found the local vet, Dr. Cannon, dead in Joe's stall.

The local sheriff wants to rule the death accidental and be done with it.  However, the sisters know some things that dispute that and when they talk with Doc's partner, Daniel, they are more convinced Doc Cannon did not die of natural causes.

It doesn't take Jess long to convince Deputy Shurette that it is murder but he can only do so much and can only provide the sisters a few days to stall the sheriff.  So with Jess leading the way the sisters talk to everyone they can establishing alibis and learning everything they can about Doc Cannon and his life and practice and who would want to kill him and why.

The Bourbon B&B Mystery series is a great series to read.  There is so much to love about this series, the place, the people, the relationships, the struggles and even the murder that need to be solved will grab your attention .... and even after you close the book for the last time, you will already be thinking of when the next book will be released so you can head back to the B&B and hang out with the sisters again.

Thursday 13 June 2024

The Stranger in the Library (Lighthouse Library Mystery Book # 11) by Eva Gates

Outer Banks librarian Lucy is working on an art show at the library when paintings–and people–start to go missing, in this 11th Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.

When a traveling show of impressionist art comes to Nags Head, North Carolina, librarian Lucy and the staff at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library are inspired to create an educational display about art history. Their launch of the display is a huge success, but the morning after, they discover that a reproduction of a famous painting has gone missing.

No one knows why anyone would bother stealing the picture is of no value–the real, priceless painting is under lock and key at the art show itself. Lucy gets an invite to the glitzy opening night for the real show, where she notices unusual tension among the show’s organizers. Then, the man scheduled to give the welcoming speech fails to arrive, and a party-goer is discovered drowned in a fish pond.

Meanwhile, Louise Jane is totally captivated by Tom Reilly, a handsome, charming art dealer lurking at the edges of the receptions on both nights. Tom slipped away from the party early, and he cannot be located by the police. Who, Lucy asks, is Tom Reilly, the shadowy figure threatening to break Louise Jane’s heart?

Something is afoot in Nags Head, and it’s up to Lucy and her friends to get to the bottom of it before it’s not just paintings being framed. (Summary via Goodreads)

The Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates is one of my favorite and with eleven books in the series, there is a lot to love !!
The Stranger in the Library, the eleventh book, has two mysteries for main character Lucy Richardson McNeil to solve and surprisingly Police Detective Sam Watson actually asks Lucy for her help with one of them.
Lucy and her library are holding an art show on a small level while across town there is a more elaborate and expensive showing of impressionist art at the Granger House.  The show at the Granger House has brought a lot of people to Nags Head and luckily for Lucy and the library some come to their show.
Unfortunately after the first show at the library, they find an empty spot on the wall.  This spot held a picture that has been in Louise Jane's family for a long time and only has sentimental value to her family.  Then across town one of the people that traveled with the show at Granger House is found floating in a small pond on the property.  And Lucy, her cousin Josie, and Louise Jane are the ones to find him.
Detective Sam has a lot on his plate trying to find a killer.  There are a lot of factors in his way and the list of suspects aren't easy people to deal with.  And Lucy and Louise Jane have a mystery on their hands when the painting is returned but the backing has been cut....
Readers cannot help but love this series.  Reading and picturing a lighthouse with a full library, breakroom, offices, and an apartment at the very top is entertaining enough on it's own, then add the murder and library mystery and you are hooked !!!  And I haven't even mentioned the relationships and friendships throughout the book .... you will love them as well !!!  I highly recommend grabbing your copy and diving in !!!

Saturday 8 June 2024

Star Struck (A Hollywood Mystery Book # 2) by Marjorie McCown

Perfect for fans of Elle Cosimano and Kellye Garrett, in this second Hollywood Mystery, film costumer Joey Jessop discovers that Hollywood buries its secrets deep when a superstar’s assistant turns up dead.

Costumer Joey Jessop is working on a movie set in 1930s Hollywood and starring two of the world’s biggest stars. The male lead is also a dedicated social activist, and the female lead, Gillian Best, is known for her lifestyle brand. After a hit-and-run near the set, Joey realizes that the car involved belongs to Gillian, and she begins to wonder if the actress has more to hide than her Botox appointments.

Her suspicions deepen when Gillian’s personal assistant Rita vows to get revenge for Gillian replacing her and is found dead shortly after. Gillian quickly labels Rita’s death a suicide, and the police seem to agree–but Joey isn’t so sure.

With the police standing aside, it’s up to Joey to dig up the truth–but Hollywood stars know how to keep their secrets close, and a woman like Gillian Best won’t take kindly to someone sniffing around her affairs. Joey is certain that Gillian has something to hide–and she’s determined to find out what.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Star Struck is the second book in the Hollywood Mystery series by Marjorie McCown and even though I fell in love with the first book, Final Cut, I have to say Star Struck blew me away !!

In Star Struck main character Joey Jessop has returned to her job as a costumer for movies after suffering a horrible ordeal (you can read all about it in Final Cut) and it will get rocky quick !!  While working on movies sets is stressful enough, Joey witnesses a hit and run accident and cannot help but feel for the victim as she saw her mistreated just recently.  And when Joey sees the personal manager of one of the tops stars of the movies by the car involved, she wonders what is going on.

Joey has enough on her plate with the movie and now they are changing the sequence order of filming meaning that they need to push on getting a lot of costumes ready ahead of the previous schedule.  And to make matters even worse, Gregory, who contacted Joey for this movie had to rush back to the UK for a family emergency leaving her and Bill, the costume supervisor, to handle all the costumes and getting the actors fitted perfectly.

And, of course, even though that is enough to drive anyone crazy, Joey still feels bad about the hit and run victim and wants to find some justice for her but the movie must go on .... But when Joey and another employee are at Gillian's, the female main character's house for a fitting, they witness a bizarre scene between Gillian, her daughter and others.  This will prompt Joey to again stick her nose into things and readers will be in for a crazy ride !!!

Readers will love this story, as well as the first, and I am sure all future books in this series.  No matter what is thrown at Joey, even if she gets knocked down, she always manages to get up and keep fighting and readers cannot help but cheer her on !!!

I cannot stress it enough .... GO GET YOUR COPY AND START READING !!!  You will want to thank me ... but that is not necessary !!

Sunday 19 May 2024

A Case for the Ladies (A Dot and Amelia Mystery Book # 1) by Maddie Day

Amid Prohibition, Irish gangs, the KKK, and rampant mistreatment of immigrant women, intrepid private investigator Dorothy Henderson and her pal Amelia Earhart seek justice for several murdered young women in 1926 Boston. As tensions mount, the sleuths, along with their reporter friend Jeanette and Dot’s maiden aunt Etta. experience their own mistreatment at the hand of society and wonder who they can really trust.

This novel brings a pre-fame Amelia Earhart to life in 1926, when she lived in a Boston suburb and worked as a teacher and social worker at a settlement house founded to help immigrant women. After Amelia meets fictional lady PI Dot Henderson, and more than one young immigrant woman is found murdered, the two put their heads together to seek justice for the less powerful. Meanwhile, Etta Rogers, a founder of the settlement house and a Wellesley professor, works with reporter Jeanette Colby to investigate the Irish gangs who are not only running illicit liquor but also seeking to take over the settlement house real estate.

"This book is a triumph on so many levels! From the excitement of our foremothers stepping out of their traditional roles, to the exhilaration of early plane flight, to tackling tough subjects such as immigration, bigotry, and crime gang rivalries in 1920s Boston, Maddie Day paints a stunning portrait of one of America's most dynamic periods."—Alyssa Maxwell, author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries

"The courage of women and the power of friendship are at the heart of this inspiring and beautifully researched mystery set in 1926 Boston. Three intrepid women, investigator Dot Henderson, reporter Jeanette Colby, and a young pilot named Amelia Earhart band together to find out who is killing the immigrant women of the city. A timely and deeply moving page turner."—Mariah Fredericks, author of The Lindbergh Nanny

“Maddie Day brings the light and shadow of prohibition-era Boston to life through the story of three determined young women seeking justice. The crime, historical detail, and engaging characters make for a compelling read.”—Dianne Freeman, author of the award-winning Countess of Harleigh mysteries.

"Maddie Day’s tale — in which she imagines an alternate and crime-solving reality for a pre-fame Amelia Earhart — is as much fun as a ride in one of Earhart's planes! Day's heroine Dot Henderson, visiting from California, detects around a well-drawn 1920s Boston with an appealing circle of friends, including the famous aviatrix. Fans of historical fiction will love this women-focused mystery."—Sarah Stewart Taylor, author of Amelia This Broad Ocean, and the Maggie D'arcy series

“Written with unmistakable affection, A Case for the Ladies warmly envelopes readers in 1920s Boston.”—Jessica Ellicott  (Summary via Goodreads)

A Case for the Ladies is the first book in the Dot and Amelia Mystery series written by Maddie Day.  This is a different kind of story for Maddie to write and she executed it beautifully.

In A Case for the Ladies Dorothy Henderson, also known as Dot is visiting her aunt Etta in Boston.  While there she becomes fast friends with Amelia Earhart who is just beginning her flying experience and Jeanette Colby who is a photographer and jounalist.  The three begin investigating together when there are a number of immigrant young women murdered in the area.  And Dot finds out that one of the murdered girls is the niece of her aunt's housekeeper and the girl was only nineteen years old .... this drives her to use her private investigating skills and jump right into the cases.

Unfortunately before they can get anywhere with the cases, there are more deaths including a close male friend of Jeanette's.  The three women soon learn that there are two main gangs that control the areas and are fighting for territory.  Why they are targeting immigrant young women is a puzzle to them.  Plus trying to get anyone to identify any of the men in the gangs is becoming impossible.

Before they know it they find themselves in way over their heads when Amelia is kidnapped and Dot needs to find her.  Also there is something going on with Jeanette but she is being too secretive about it ....

Fans of Edith Maxwell and Maddie Day will instantly fall in love with this new story.  Just when you think you know an author, they throw a new and different book out there for fans to devour !!  Maddie definitely keeps readers on their toes with this story.  And hopefully future books will be just as entertaining !!!  And knowing Maddie as we do, future books will be just as good, if not better !!!!

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Cornered at the Corral (Ghost Town Mysteries Book # 4) by Jamie L. Adams

From author Jamie L. Adams comes a cozy mystery with a western twist!

Lily Cranston is basking in the fruits of her labor and enjoying the idyllic life of Grady, California. As the hard-working manager of the Calico Rock Mine and Ghost Town attraction, she's found success, and she's even rekindled a romance with her high school crush. However, when a scuffle disrupts the tranquility of the annual town festival, little does she realize that another tragedy looms.

A body is found in the river, and Lily is unexpectedly drawn into a web of secrets. An invitation to tea from the town historiaByrden and family friend, Irene Fletcher, presents a secret mission: protect the matriarch's grandson from being blamed for a crime he did not commit. Lily must navigate the conflicts of a century-old family feud, but when she stumbles on a secret meant to stay buried, the real killer has no choice but to try to silence her for good.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Cornered at the Corral is the fourth book in the Ghost Town Mystery series by Jamie L. Adams and boy is this series FUN !!!

In Cornered at the Corral Lily and friends and family are celebrating Homesteader's Day in their town of Grady. Unfortunately after a fight breaks out between two families, it puts a dark cloud over the celebration.  The two people fighting are Chase Fletcher and Jeremy Byrde who are distant cousins and their family feud goes back many years.  Their feud is compared to the Hatfields and the McCoys feud.

Sadly when Lily and her boyfriend Cody are walking the grounds during the clean up after the event, they come across a dead body ... Jeremy Byrde.  And it only gets worse from there when it is determined that he was murdered.

When Lily goes to tea at Irene Fletcher's the next day, she is asked to look into the death because Irene knows that the police are going to look at Chase as the main suspect ... and she knows her grandson wouldn't kill anyone.  Seeing as Mrs. Fletcher is from one of the founding families of Grady and the town historian, Lily agrees to see what she can find out. This will not go well with her brother-in-law Jack who is the county sheriff or her CSI boyfriend, Cody.  And her sister's Ava and Pat probably won't be too happy but Lily can probably convince her sisters to help.

I could read the Ghost Town Mystery series just for the Calico Rock Mine and Ghost Town happenings.  And I would be fine hanging around with Lily as she manages the place or even Ava who portrays a schoolteacher there.  But the murders and Lily's involvement are always fun to read also.  You cannot go wrong when you pick up any of the books in this series !!

Saturday 11 May 2024

Torn Asunder (Clambake Mystery Book # 12) by Barbara Ross

A short boat ride from Busman’s Harbor, Maine, Morrow Island is a perfect spot for a wedding—and a Snowden Family Clambake. Julia Snowden is busy organizing both—until a mysterious wedding crasher drops dead amid the festivities . . .

Julia’s best friend and business partner, Zoey, is about to marry her policeman boyfriend. Of course, a gorgeous white wedding dress shouldn’t be within fifty yards of a plate of buttery lobster—so that treat is reserved for the rehearsal dinner. Julia is a little worried about the timing, though, as she works around a predicted storm.

When a guest falls to the floor dead, it turns out that no one seems to know who he is, despite the fact that he’s been actively mingling and handing out business cards. And when an injection mark is spotted on his neck, it’s clear this wasn’t caused by a shellfish allergy. Now, as the weather deteriorates and a small group is stranded on the island with the body—and the killer—Julia starts interrogating staff, family members, and Zoey’s artist friends to find out who turned the clambake into a crime scene . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Wow !!  I cannot tell you how sad I am after reading Torn Asunder, the twelveth and FINAL book in the Clambake Mystery Book series written by Barbara Ross.  This series has been a part of my life for so long, I loved opening up the newest book and spending time with Julia, her family and friends at Busman's Harbor and Morrow Island.  I'm not a fan of lobster or clam chowder but that didn't matter when the book was opened.  These people became my family and I loved them all.  When Julia and Chris broke up, I didn't think I could go on, let alone write a review.  I was actually very upset with Barbara and couldn't understand why she would do that ... I would learn later that she had a different plan all along or maybe she just thought of it quickly while her fingers danced across the keyboard.  It is not for me to question what goes on in an author's mind ... I have quite a few authors I consider friends and well you learn to overlook some things and have patience.

With Torn Asunder Barbara is going to have the series go off with a big bang !!!  The very first wedding will be held at the newly renovated and remodeled Windsholme Mansion and it is Julia's best friend Zoey marrying Julia's longtime childhood friend and cop Jamie.  Everything is going to be perfect !!!  I cannot believe I typed that without laughing ... of course something is going to go wrong !!  And it happens after the wedding reheasal during the cocktail party.  An uninvited gentlemen collapses and dies.  And no one knows who he is but a lot of people are lying !!  Fortunately Zoey and Jamie are safe as neither of them knew him and they are telling the truth.

Luckily Julia's boyfriend Tom is there so he and Jamie take control of the situation and start talking to everyone who is staying overnight at the mansion.  Unfortunately they believe that the deceased was injected in the neck with some kind of poison and that is what killed him and that dear reader is murder !!  

Readers will love the story and Barbara ends the series beautifully by having the last chapter being five years later and you get to know where the characters end up, sadly some have died, but most are still alive and well ... and there are new additions running around Morrow Island !!

I sincerely hope that you have taken this journey with me and love this series as much as I have and if you are just reading about this series, please go and read all of the books so that you can love them as much as I have.  Julia and her family and friends will always have a place in my heart and I know that I can go back and visit them whenever I want.  That is one reason I love books ... even though you close the books, everything stays with you and you can always go back and open them again.

Barbara .... I wish you happiness on your retirement journey and hope you and your family make lots and lots of fun and interesting memories.  THANK YOU for sharing your talent and stories with all us readers.  I, for one, have enjoyed every minute spent in one of your books.  And know that if you ever want to put "pen to paper", your devoted readers would love that as well !!!!!   No, I'm not crying, you are.  Xoxo