Saturday, May 28, 2016

Review: Antiques Fate by: Barbara Allan

Title: Antiques Fate
Author: Barbara Allan
Publisher: Kensington
Series: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery #10
Pages: 256
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


"Well-drawn characters…fun to read." --Booklist

Brandy Borne's exceedingly eccentric mother, Vivian, has been invited to perform her one-woman interpretation of "the Scottish play" (sometimes called Macbeth)--with different hats for different characters--at the neighboring town of Old York's annual fĂȘte. The weekend festival celebrates the quaint village's English flavor. Brandy, sensing a possible theatrical disaster, and savvy shih tzu Sushi, sensing possible doggy treats, tag along with the scene-stealing septuagenarian.

As soon as they arrive in the cozy hamlet, tragedy strikes: the theater owner drops dead onstage while giving Vivian the grand tour. That wasn't in the script and before they know it, Brandy and Vivian are entangled in a progressively perilous murder plot. Besides the cream teas and Chippendale chairs, it seems there are skeletons lurking among Old York's charming pubs and enticing antiques stalls …

When a second victim turns up mysteriously murdered, the dynamic duo knows they've got to step into the spotlight. But the remorseless killer seems to be well rehearsed for the Borne girls…and won't leave even the smallest detail of their demise to fĂȘte!

Don't miss Brandy Borne's tips on antiques fairs!

My Thoughts:

In this book Vivian takes Brandy to a small town where she is performing a version of Macbeth when they arrive in this sleepy town very quickly they find the theater owner killed while Brandy and Vivian are meeting with her.  Now it's up to the antique duo to find out what is going on in this small town but not everything is as it appears.  The town council seems to be fighting everything with it always a deadlock with some who want to move up in the times to those who want to keep the town looking old and vintage.  Could that be the cause behind the death?  Did the owner really die of a medication issue or was it something more sinister?  Will Vivian and Brandy figure it out in time or will Vivian wind up curtains?

 On the day Vivian is set to make her performance the fete is having all sorts of activities including a parade and a raffle for alcohol.  When a local museum manager winds up winning a bottle of alcohol and a bottle of death.  Vivian and Brandy wondering whose killing people off?  Is it to divert attention off of the previous murder or is someone trying to sway the council? 

There are no shortage of possible suspects from the trustee's to residents of the small town someone is out to kill people but why?  Can Vivian and Brandy figure it out in time or will they come up short of time?  I really enjoy reading the different prospective s between Brandy and Vivian and read as they eliminate the suspects one person at a time!  Can't wait to see what is next for these feisty ladies!
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: The Longest Yard Sale by: Sherry Harris

Title: The Longest Yard Sale
Author: Sherry Harris
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #2
Pages: 344
Purchase Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks



When Sarah Winston turns Ellington, Massachusetts, into New England’s largest garage sale for a day, it’s the small town’s biggest event since the start of the Revolutionary War—but without the bloodshed. That is, until a valuable painting goes missing…and the lifeless body of an Air Force officer is found in Carol Carson’s painting studio, his face perfectly framed with the murder weapon—a metal picture frame.

IS ANOTHER MAN’S CLOVER Sarah is mad as heck that someone used her town-wide garage sale to commit a crime—and frame her good friend Carol. She is definitely on this case…but it’s not easy rummaging through increasingly strange clues that point to cheating spouses, downright dirty investment schemes—even the mob. And Sarah will have to be very careful if she wants to live to bargain another day…

Author Bio:

Sherry Harris, author of the Agatha Award nominated Best First Novel Tagged for Death, started
bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series. Sherry is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and is the president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Interview: Killer Cocktail by: Tracy Kiely

What genre do you write?

I write (I hope) humorous, traditional mysteries.

How did you come to write mystery genre?

I grew up reading cozy mysteries; Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, Joan Hess, and Dorothy Cannell were all staples on my bookshelf. When I first started writing my own mystery, I naturally gravitated toward that genre. My first series (the Elizabeth Parker Mysteries) were definitely cozies. They featured an amateur sleuth and focused on various themes from Jane Austen’s novel. The Nic and Nigel Martini books are technically not cozies, as Nic is an ex-detective, but they are similar in that the violence is muted and “off-page,” and the tone is light-hearted.

Who is your favorite character to write about?

I have two favorite characters. The first is Nic Martini. She’s an ex-detective who is now married to a wealthy (former) jetsetter. I enjoy writing about Nic’s reactions to the extremes of her in-laws compared with her own blue-collar upbringing, as well as the banter between her and Nigel. Besides Nic, I love writing about Skippy, Nic and Nigel’s bullmastiff. Although he is only a dog, he serves as a major character in the books. I think that anyone who owns a dog can understand that they have very definite personalities and make their presence known. 

Who inspires your books?

My books were inspired by Dashiell Hammett’s book, The Thin Man, and the subsequent movies of the same name. The book/movies feature the Nick and Nora Charles, a wealthy, elegant couple who solve mysteries while sipping a seemingly never-ending supply of cocktails. He is a former NYC Detective and she is a wealthy socialite, and together they own a wire-fox-terrier named Asta. In my books, Nic(ole) is the ex-detective, and Nigel is the wealthy playboy. Rather than a small dog named Asta, Nic and Nigel own Skippy, an enormous Bullmastiff. (For those of you who are fans of the movies, Skippy was the real name of the dog who played Asta.)

What do you do when you’re not writing?
When not writing, I do a seemingly endless supply of laundry. I have three lovely children all of whom seem to believe that if an article of clothing slips off the hanger, it instantly becomes dirty. I have found winter coats and sweaters in their laundry baskets in the middle of August. Second on the list, is loading/unloading the dishwasher. Again, my three (lovely) children are to blame. They seem to view the dishwasher as an updated version of Pin-the-Tail-On-the-Donkey. They will place their dirty dishes near the dishwasher, but never actually in it. Once those tasks are crossed off the list, I love to read mysteries, watch old movies (especially Hitchcock’s), and sail.

If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?
Can I take a waterproof cell phone, seaworthy raft, and tent? If not, I guess I’d take a copy of Pride and Prejudice, North-by-Northwest, and a toothbrush. I saw Castaway. I would not be good with having to yank out an abscessed tooth.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: To Catch A Treat by: Linda O. Johnston

Title: To Catch a Treat
Author: Linda O. Johnston
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Pages: 312
Format: e-book ARC
Source: GEBT & NetGalley


When a Dog-Snatching Scheme Leads to Murder, Carrie Must Sniff Out the Truth

Carrie Kennersly, veterinary technician and owner of the Barkery and Biscuits bake shop, agrees to a day of hiking with her brother Neal—mostly because she wants to meet and critique his latest romantic interest, Janelle Blaystone. But instead of judging her, Carrie feels only sympathy for Janelle, whose beloved black Labrador, Go, was recently dognapped.

Janelle thinks the culprit is Ada Arnist, a wealthy homeowner spotted at the dog park where Go was stolen. Soon after Janelle confronts Ada, though, the woman is found dead. With Janelle and Neal on the suspect list, Carrie must solve the mystery before the police bark up the wrong tree.

My Thoughts:

This book follows Vet Technician and Owner of the dog bakery and regular bakery as she is spending time with her brother with her boyfriend Reed to meet her brother Neal's latest girlfriend Janelle Blaystone who Carrie and Reed found out had her Goliath called Go for short had been dognapped.  Carrie can't imagine such a thing.  She finds Janelle doesn't like to talk about it.

I love going back to this series reading about Reed, Neal, Carrie and Neal's new girlfriend.  In this book Neal's new girlfriend is mourning her missing dog and is ecstatic when her dog is returned to her by way of Carrie but that is short lived when Ada winds up dead after having a argument with Janelle Neal's new squeeze.  Did Janelle kill Ada or has Ada made more enemies?  Such a great adventure.  Can't wait to see what is next after this great adventure!
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Friday, May 13, 2016

Review: Clouds in My Coffee by: Julie Mulhern

Title: Clouds In My Coffee
Author: Julie Mulhern
Publisher: Henery Press
Series: The Country Club Murders #3
Pages: 256
Format: e-book ARC
Source: GEBT & NetGalley


USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR "A sparkling comedy of errors tucked inside a clever mystery. I loved it!" - Susan M. Boyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Bordello When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors' party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she's shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again? Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee... 

My Thoughts: 

Clouds in My Coffee follow the story of Ellison Russell who has been hosting her Aunt Sis and her sister who shows up at her doorstep.  While out at a dinner theater things turn crazy at dinner time when a mouse is running loose in the theater, add to that someone tries to kill Ellison at a benefactor's party by dropping a bust statue on her which she is saved by Ken also known as Kinky.  The next morning someone throws a Molotov cocktail into her house and takes a shot at Ellison.  Ellison can't figure out who is trying to kill her and why and now she has Detective Jones protecting her whether she likes it or not!  If only she could figure out why someone is gunning for her literally?

I love this story as it takes place in the seventies and not currently or way historically but a different time.  As the story progresses you can't help but think Ellison is definitely on someone's hit list when in reality the truth is something totally different can Ellison figure it out and time?  Add to that trying to figure out why Ellison's sister Margi and her aunt Sis is in town?  There seems to be alot going on hopefully Ellison can get to the bottom of it before her time is up!
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Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: Death of A Bacon Heiress by: Lee Hollis

Title: Death of A Bacon Heiress
Author: Lee Hollis
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Halley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery #7
Pages: 320
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


For food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell, becoming a local culinary celebrity opens lots of doors. Unfortunately, one leads straight to cold-blooded murder…

When Hayley is invited to do a cooking demo on one of daytime's most popular talk shows, it's a welcome distraction from her empty nest blues. And the newfound fame certainly has its perks--especially when Olivia Redmond, the posh bacon heiress of Redmond Meats, offers Hayley a writing gig with a juicy paycheck.

But Hayley's good fortune fizzles fast. The heiress is found dead with her pet pot-bellied pig, Pork Chop, squealing bloody murder beside her body, and clogged arteries aren't to blame. It turns out Olivia's inherited a wealth of enemies over the years, and as Hayley trims the fat off a mounting list of suspects, it's clear that being rich and hot-tempered can be a recipe for disaster…

My Thoughts:

This book follows Haley Powell as she gets called to the television talk show The Chat to share a bacon themed recipes.  There she meets Olivia Redmond who is the heiress to Redmond Meats who has been offering the small town all sorts of meats over time.  It's not long until Olivia winds up dead and it's up to Hailey to figure it out she even finds her having trouble not seeing Aaron as much as she use too but Hailey finds herself occupied with helping run the local paper.  When Olivia invites Hailey to write a blog on the Redmond Meats website about various bacon recipes.  When the Bacon Heiress winds up dead it's up to Hailey to figure out what happened.

I love going back and seeing how people are doing especially her brother Randy and his wife Sergio the local police chief.  Such a great adventure to go on and was good to see what was up with Aaron and it also created some mystery with another man.  Could Hailey have found Mr. Right in fornt of her and not know it?  And who killed Olivia and how does it connect with a missing scientist?  Or do the local fisherman have it right and it's really a government secret?  This and much more are revealed in this great mystery!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: Demise in Denim by: Duffy Brown

Title: Demise in Denim
Author: Duffy Brown
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Consignment Shop Mystery #4
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Duffy Brown Street Team


It’s springtime in Savannah, Georgia, in the newest Consignment Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of Pearls and Poison. The azaleas and magnolias are in bloom—and Walker Boone is on the run. . .

When Reagan Summerside turned the first floor of her old Victorian home into a consignment shop, she never imagined she’d be harboring a fugitive in her attic. But after a dead man is found in a bathtub and local lawyer Walker Boone is accused of doing the dirty deed, she suddenly has a new houseguest.

Having the lawyer who took her to the cleaners in her divorce settlement—and who has been getting under her skin ever since—in close proximity is enough to drive Reagan to distraction. For the sake of her sanity—and Walker’s freedom—they need to put their heads together to find out who is trying to get the lawyer out of the picture . . .

My Thoughts:

This book began in the novella Dead Man Walker where Boone's long abandoned Daddy is found dead in his bathtub and someone is doing their best to point the finger and the illegitimate son Walker.  Reagan may have had her differences with Boone when he represented her no good ex-husband but she is determined to find out who is screwing with Boone.  She even goes so far as to switch his sweet ride with her scooter. 

There are such a long list of suspects, there is Boone's brother who seems adamant that Boone did the dead and needs to be jailed and keeps harassing Reagan over it. There is Mason Dixon whose trying to buy up a local theater and inn even though Boone's daddy left the inn to Boone.  Every time Reagan thinks she has someone who could have committed the crime she ends up clearing them.  Add to the fact people are periodically sending her messages in food from Boone.  Who had it in for Boone's father and why?

I love going back to Savannah and reading about what everyone is up to and this time it was no different with Reagan investigating why someone is out to frame Boone.  Reagan really has to drag through various suspects and even at the end didn't have it figured out only Boone figured it out in the end.  It was great to hear about Kiki, Reagan, her momma and their various friends.  Definitely can't wait to see what is the next for the group!

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

BOTM: Fat Cat Takes The Cake by: Janet Cantrell

Title: Fat Cat Takes The Cake
Author: Janet Cantrell
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 304
Series: A Fat Cat Mystery #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


When their former classmate Richard “Dickie” Byrd throws a high school reunion to gather support for his mayoral campaign, it drums up some not-so-sweet memories for dessert shop proprietor Chase Oliver and her friend Julie Larson. Julie would rather not reconnect with Ron North, the creepy kid who had a crush on her back in the day. His social graces haven’t exactly improved with age, but is he creepy enough to kill?

The next day, Chase is in the park testing a new cat harness for Quincy, who quickly proves that he cannot be leashed. But when his escape leads Chase to Ron’s body, the police wonder who else got away. Now, with Julie suspected of murder, Chase must prove her innocence before the real killer plans another fatal reunion.