Posted in Cozy, mystery, suspense on October 4, 2011

Today I’m reading Mind over Murderby Allison Kinglsey which is the pseudonym for Kate Kingsbury or Doreen Roberts Hight.  She even writes under the name Rebecca Kent.  Whew, talk about your multiple personalities!

Cousins and best friends, Clara and Stephanie Quinn run The Raven’s Nest Bookstore, where people go to find their most coveted reads. But they have no idea it’s the psychically-gifted Clara who’s reading them…

The bookstore has made an enemy of the town crier, Ana Jordon, who claims that the store’s occult collection is “poisoning” the town’s youth. Meanwhile, the store’s number-one employee, Molly, has made no secret of her anger over Ana’s antics. So when Ana is found dead, killed by the bust of Edgar Allen Poe sculpted by Molly, the evidence is stacked against her. And Clara must rely on her gift to make sense of this senseless murder…

So the teaser comes from page 161

Her first thought was that she was about to die. Hot on the heels of that thought came the determined vow to live, no matter what it took.

ooooh, I’m not this far yet but boy that has me intrigued about the book!  I am about half way through and it is pretty good and while there is the “Quinn Sense” it isn’t an overt psychic ability and Clara has shut out the voices for awhile so it is taking her awhile to get used to them again.

Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

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Posted in cooking, Cozy, library on September 19, 2011

Ok, so this book I didn’t get in my mailbox but it was delivered to my house via my book club group.  We will bring books to swap that we can’t trade on the various book swap sites.

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

From the back of the book:

Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine, Inc.  According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the psychic ability to help couples find true love.  Trouble is, Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can do is find lost objects.  What good is that in the matchmaking world?  You’d be surprised. In a big city like Boston, love is a mystery – and Lucy’s upstairs neighbor, Sean Donahue, is a hot private eye whose job is murder.  With a little luck, she can help solve the perfect crime and find her own perfect match – with Sean.

I am also expecting this one sometime this week – Books can be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay.  This is a new series called the Library Lover’s Mysteries and if you go to Jenn’s website you can read the first chapter.  Jenn also writes a series called the Cupcake Mysteries and those are good too so check out Sprinkle with Murder and Buttercream Bump Off

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Posted in Cozy, Tuesday on September 13, 2011

I got this from Carrie at In the Hammock who got it from Miz B at Should be Reading

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

The book I’m reading is one that I mentioned last week (but just not getting around to starting) Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon.  So far the book is a good one!

pg 112

“Whoa.  I’m not a plumber, I’m a – “
The pipes moaned again, louder this time.

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Posted in Cozy, mailbox, mystery on September 8, 2011

There are various blogs I like to read and get suggestions of books to read…sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes this is a bad thing.  Actually the only reason why it is bad is because my TBR list grows by leaps and bounds and from when I used to have maybe 25 books I now have around 400 books plus about 200 e-books on my Kindle and about 400 e-books on my Sony E-Reader.  I’m not sure when I will get through all of these!  But I am finding new authors and genres that grab my attention.

While visiting one of the said blogs I saw this question and it made me think about what my answer would be and I’m not sure that I have a single answer! 

The Question: Do you have a Book Soul-Mate? Who is it and why? 

 

Recently in my mailbox, this book showed up: Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon (aka Misa Ramirez) which is the first in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series.  I haven’t cracked the spine yet but here is a synopsis of the book for you.  Maybe it will whet your appetite and you will want to get your own copy!

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But soon after she opens Buttons & Bows, a custom dressmaking boutique in the turn-of-the-century farmhouse she inherited, Harlow begins to feel an inexplicable presence…

One of her first clients is her old friend Josie, who needs a gown for her upcoming wedding. But when Josie’s boss turns up dead, it starts to look as if the bride-to-be may be wearing handcuffs instead of a veil. Suddenly Josie needs a lot more from Harlow than hemming a dress. Can Harlow find the real killer—with a little help from beyond?

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Posted in cooking, Cozy, mystery, New York on August 31, 2011

Once I finish Lost and Fondue I will be starting on Murder by Mocha by Cleo CoyleMurder by Mocha is the 10th in the Coffee House series.

From the dust jacket:

Clare Cosi, manager and head barista of the landmark Village Blend coffeehouse, can brew a beverage to die for.  But can she stir up some evidence against a bitter killer who has gone loco for mocha?

Clare’s Village Blend beans are being used to creatte a new java love potion: a “Mocha Magic Coffee” billed as an aphrodisiac.  Clare may even try some on her boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn – when he’s off duty, of course….

The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite’s Village, one of the Web’s most popular online communities for women.  But the launch party ends on a sour note when one of the Web site’s editors if found dead.

When more of the Web site’s Sisters of Aphrodite start to die, Clare is convinced someone wants the coffee’s secret formula – and is willing to kill to get it.  Clare isn’t about to spill the benas, but will she be next on the hit list?

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Posted in Cozy, reading on August 29, 2011

It was a great weekend, but maybe not one for reading.  Took me several days to read the book by Lee Harris and that is something I normally knock out in a day. 

On Friday I got another book in my mailbox.  Another cozy, Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames.  This is the second in the Cheese Shop Mystery series. The first is The Long Quiche Goodbye.

From the back of the book:

Charlotte Bessette – proprietor of Providence, Ohio’s, charming Cheese Shop – is busy catering a fund-raiser for her best friend, Meredith.  In addition to gourmet fondues, Charlotte is serving an array of delicious cheeses and delightful wines – the perfect complement to the setting of the wine tasting party, a once abandoned winery.  But not everyone is happy, for the winery has long been a source of local legends about hidden treasures – and buried bodies.

When a fresh body is found in the wine cellar and Meredith’s niece, Quinn, becomes the chief suspect, Charlotte trades in her fondue fork for a flashlight to prove the case against Quinn has more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese.  But as Charlotte’s sleuthing starts to turn up the truth, the killer starts to turn up the heat.

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Posted in Cozy, mystery, soap opera on November 23, 2010

Author Mary Jane Clark is probably best known for her suspense series featuring Eliza Blake, co-anchor for KEY news.  She has branched out and created a pseudo cozy series called the Wedding Cake Mysteries.  It might be more of a cozy than I think, but compared to others it didn’t see as “light” as other cozy series…doesn’t mean it is a bad book, just on a different level which is to be expected based on the other series that MJC writes.

Synopsis:

To Have and To Kill features Piper Donovan, a struggling actress with no immediate prospects and a recently broken engagement. Reluctantly, she moves back in with her parents to take stock of her life. Piper steps tentatively into the family bakery business, and finds herself agreeing to create the wedding cake for the acclaimed star of a daytime television drama. But soon deadly things start happening around the bride-to-be and it seems that somebody is ruthlessly determined to stop the wedding.

With the help of her former neighbor, Jack, a handsome FBI agent with a soft spot for the gorgeous cake-maker, Piper moves closer to the truth. As she narrows in on a suspect, Piper realizes that it’s hotter in the kitchen than she may be able to handle…

Review:

I have read most of MJC’s other books in the Key Series and have really enjoyed the books so I was interested to see what her foray into the cozy realm would produce.  While I mentioned a few minor things before, I thought this book was a great start.  The characters were real and dealt with many life issues (money, love, desperation, etc).  The story line was intriguing and truly kept me guessing as to who the killer was in the book.  I kept going back and forth between a few characters only to be proven wrong in the end.  That is the sign of a good book when I can’t figure out whodoneit!  I’ll also be curious to see what path Piper chooses in her life…if she continues acting (or at least auditioning) or focuses a little more on her mom’s bakery.

This is definitely a series to watch, I think it could rival some of the other cozy series in the market.

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Posted in Cozy, Florida on November 10, 2010

A few months ago I reviewed the first book in the Sherri Travis series called Margarita Nights by author Phyllis Smallman.  The book showed promise for a new series set in Florida so I decided to check out the next two books in the series, Sex in a Sidecar and A Brewski for the Old Man.  The following synopsis are from the author’s website.

Sex in a Sidecar

Florida has two seasons. The rainy season brings hurricanes, the dry season delivers tourists – both can be nasty.

Sherri Travis is tending bar at the Bath and Tennis Club where two women have been murdered. A rich socialite, who comes in daily for her quota of side-cars, decides to commit suicide by being the next victim,but first she has to decide who the murderer is.

Sherri pours the drinks and listens to the stories, trying to make sense of it all.

A Brewski for the Old Man

The story of the return to Jacaranda of Ray John Leenders, the man who abused Sherri when she was a child. Back in town he’s living with a woman who has a young daughter. Sherri doesn’t want to get involved; it’s none of her business – except, except – she knows the woman and her daughter and it’s impossible to stay uninvolved.

Review:

These two books were a fairly quick and easy read.  It continues the life of Sherri but since she received an insurance settlement from the death of her husband in the first book, she is able to purchase the bar she worked at, Sunset, with another investor, Clay who also happens to be her love interest. 

I know that these are a cozy mysteries but sometimes I wonder how these characters get themselves into so much trouble!  Granted most of the time she isn’t looking for that trouble but manages to find her anyway.

I was surprised that despite everything that has happened in the first two books and how Sherri has managed to solve or help solve these crimes that Detective Styles always seems to think she is involved more than she really is and automatically thinks she had something to do with the death  of John Ray in the third book.  Hasn’t he learned anything yet?  Or is he just looking for an excuse to get close to Sherri?  Granted there is a lot of circumstantial evidence but we all know you can’t make assumptions.

If you enjoyed Margarita Nights you will enjoy these next two installments.  The pace is quick and the cast of characters which follows each book will keep you hopping trying to decide who can or cannot be trusted.

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Posted in Cozy, New York on August 4, 2010

Before Elise Warner started her writing career you could find her on Broadway, working with National Companies and in clubs as an actress, singer and stage manager.  She has even written a play which won Theatre Guinevere’s “Guinny Award”.  After that she started writing for various magazines but this is her first novel.

Scene Stealer features Miss Augusta Weidenmaier, a retired school teacher who is caught up on the case of a kidnapped child, an actor in fact, and feels that she must help the police solve this crime.  She does this putting her self in harms way a time or two, and as expected of a school teacher, a rap or two on the knuckles of some not some helpful characters.

When I first started reading this book I wasn’t sure what to expect, in fact, I wasn’t even aware that this was the author’s first novel.  The story started off with Augusta noticing a child on the bus and as a former schoolteacher knew that something wasn’t quite right.  The child looked scared and the man he was with was a bit scary himself.  She departs the bus to try and follow the pair to see if she can help the child.  In the back of her mind she recognizes the child but does not realize he is an actor for a local fast food chain until his disappearance is publicized in the media.  Then she realizes what she saw could help find Kevin and bring him back to his mother.  She doesn’t realize the danger that she ends up putting herself in to until it is too late. 

I was beginning to wonder why someone would want to read this book if the kidnapper was going to be revealed so early in the book.  But imagine mysurprise when the obvious wasn’t as obvious as you might think.  It was a nice twist that I wasn’t expecting and pulled me back in to the story wondering how it was going to end.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars and if the author decides to make this a series, I will definitely check out the second installment.

Posted in Cozy, mystery, Washington DC on August 4, 2010

Julie Moffet is a published author and this is her first venture into mystery/suspense and she has the background for this type of novel.  She has a degree in political science and speaks several foreign languages mentioned in this book, so what she writes about she knows and understands.

Lexi Carmichael works for the NSA and is a “Geek Extraordinare” by excelling in math and computer skills.  Lexi is a woman after my own heart with her addiction to chocolate and her favorite stop is Dunkin Donuts.  Helping Lexi out in the book are the Zimmerman twins, Elvis and Xavier, who are even bigger geeks who have taken their computer skills from the NSA to the private sector.  There is also Slash, who no one knows his real name, who works for NSA, the Vatican and who knows what other government body.  The last is Finn, a lawyer and heir apparant to a winery in Ireland.  All of these characters come together to help Basia, Lexi’s best friend, who puts herself in the middle of an international incident simply because of some documents that she translated.

I would give this book 3 1/2 stars.  The book was good but some parts seemed a little longer than necessary.  Plus I would get confused between the two guys named Al-something and who was the Saudi prince and who was the terrorist.  That aside, I enjoyed the storyline and Lexi’s interactions with the twins, Slash and Finn.  For someone who is supposedly “plain” (the character’s words) she has 3 men that are attracted to her so perhaps she did inherit some of her mother’s beauty.  Lexi also gets a taste of what it is like to be a field agent since she decides to do some things her own way, which was probably a good move because the situation could have ended differently had she not involved herself because of Basia.

I believe this book is to become a series and if it is, I will definitely give the 2nd book a chance because it could turn into an interesting series.