Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: Loving Eleanor by: Susan Wittig Albert

Title: Loving Eleanor
Author: Susan Wittig Albert
Publisher: Persevero Press
Pages: 250
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1932 campaign, the two women become deeply involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship documented by 3300 letters. 

Set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War, Loving Eleanor reveals Eleanor Roosevelt as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation's First Lady. Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see, celebrating the depth and durability of women's love.

My Thoughts:

This book starts out with Lorena Hickok more commonly known as Hick who learns of Eleanor Roosevelt's death and is heartbroken.  She has someone take her to the grave sight and leave flowers for Eleanor.  Not wanting any part of the media circus that ensues at the funeral.  Then someone tells her that she should write a memoir about her time with the First Lady.  It would accompany letters shared between the two women should they ever be released.

Hick met Eleanor for the first time in 1928 when she was sent to cover the Democratic Ticket which was a big deal back then especially for a woman.  But Hick was no ordinary woman in the slightest!  This book spans a four term president and after wards.  We learn so much about the relationship between Hick and Eleanor the people they meet and interact with as well as their own relationship. 

This was such a journey to go on reading about the past and things that happened.  I thought it was well written and so intriguing to learn about these two women who seem very larger than life.  In a time where women are still suppose to be quiet and well mannered here are women who are very much involved in their own causes and not just cooking in the kitchen.  Which I found refreshing to read about their passions and desires!
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Review: Tall Tail by: Rita Mae Brown

Title: Tall Tail
Author: Rita Mae Brown
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Mrs. Murphy #25
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library & NetGalley


In this fast-paced mystery by Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and her animal friends seek to solve a whodunit rooted in eighteenth-century Virginia—uncovering a shocking secret that refuses to stay buried.


At any moment a perfect summer day in Crozet, Virginia—nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains—might turn stormy and tempestuous, as Harry knows too well when a squall suddenly sweeps in. In a blink, Harry’s pickup nearly collides with a careening red car that then swerves into a ditch. Harry recognizes the dead driver slumped over the vehicle’s steering wheel: Barbara Leader was nurse and confidante to former Virginia governor Sam Holloway.

Though Barbara’s death is ruled a heart attack, dissenting opinions abound. After all, she was the picture of health, which gives Harry and her four-legged companions pause. A baffling break-in at a local business leads Harry to further suspect that a person with malevolent intent lurks just out of sight: Something evil is afoot.

As it happens, Barbara died in the shadow of the local cemetery’s statue of the Avenging Angel. Just below that imposing funereal monument lie the remains of one Francisco Selisse, brutally murdered in 1784. Harry’s present-day sleuthing draws her back to Virginia’s slave-holding past and the hunt for Selisse’s killer. Now it’s up to Harry and her furry detectives—Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tee Tucker—to expose the bitter truth, even if it means staring into the unforgiving eyes of history and cornering a callous killer poised to pounce.

My Thoughts: 

This book finds Harry involved in a car accident narrowly missing herself and watching as Barbara Leader winds up dead.  Harry has trouble buying the explanation of the death.  Then the book goes back to the 17 hundreds which shows the story of a family who are helping a couple escape from a family after a brutal murder of the husband of the household.  This book goes back and forth as we learn what happened way back when and what is currently going on!

I really enjoyed this story it was fun to go back in time and be caught up in the present as well.  It was definitely a worthwhile adventure to go on!  I especially loved when the animals added their opinions it was too cute!
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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Review: Eggs in A Casket by: Laura Child

Title: Eggs in a Casket
Author: Laura Child
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Cackleberry Club #5
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library


The ladies of the Cackleberry Club are always ready to serve—whether they’re cooking up breakfast or sniffing out a bad egg.

While Petra handles the breakfast rush at the Cackleberry Club, the cafĂ©’s other two owners, Suzanne and Toni, head to Memorial Cemetery to help prepare for its 150th anniversary celebration. But as they search the winding paths for the historical society tent, they discover something else out of place: the body of ex-prison warden Lester Drummond lying facedown in someone else’s freshly dug grave.

In the small town of Kindred, everyone knows everyone, and Lester was no exception. Suzanne knew him as the creepy guy who made unwanted advances on her friend Missy Langston. But now it appears the man was hiding a few secrets…and at least one of them was worth killing for.

As the case cracks open, there are plenty of suspects to consider—from recent parolees to Missy herself, who Suzanne and Toni saw speeding away just before they found the body. Now, with a cemetery celebration in the offing, and the local authorities in over their heads, it’s up to the Cackleberry Club to unscramble the clues and clear their friend’s name.

Recipes Included!

My Thoughts: 

In this book Toni and Suzanne stumble on a dead body while bringing somethings out to a historical society event.  What they didn't count on was a dead body.  Lester Drummond the victim was also a warden at the jail so there are no shortage of victims!  Can Suzanne figure it out in time?  Or will the murderer get away free?

This was a great story and can totally be read as a standalone as well as part of a series.  A lovely adventure to go on where you meet different people in town and learn more about them as well as solving a murder!  Can't wait to see what is next!
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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Interview: Janet Finsilver author of Murder at The Mushroom Festival

Recently I had a chance to sit down and talk with Janet Finsilver author of Kelly Jackson mysteries!  Her latest book is Murder at the Mushroom Festival!

What genre do you write?

In the mystery world they are called cozies. I prefer to call them safe whodunits. What I mean by that is there is no graphic violence and the main characters will always survive to return in the next book. They might get roughed up a bit, but they won’t get killed. You can enjoy them knowing you’ll get to encounter them again in the next book.

How did you come to write whodunit books?

I love mysteries. I like the classic authors like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Rex Stout. They didn’t have to put a torture scene or descriptive violence in their books to attract readers. Murder She Wrote was a favorite show. Put those together and I write the Kelly Jackson mystery series. 

What is your favorite character to write about? 

I really don’t have a favorite. I love them all and that’s why I continue to write the books. Kelly is my protagonist, so I write about her the most. She was raised on a Wyoming cattle and horse ranch, and it’s been fun fleshing out her background and writing about her family. I enjoy my crime-solving senior citizens, the Silver Sentinels, who all have very different personalities.

Do you have a favorite villain in any of your books?  One that stood out more than others?

No, not really. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to share it because that would be a “spoiler.” In thrillers you often know very quickly who the villain is. Cozies aren’t that way.

Who inspires your books?

The writers I mentioned earlier along with many others as well as Murder She Wrote. I want people to have a fun read, an interesting mystery, and a place and a group of characters they want to return to again and again.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I do all the chores that I’ve neglected when I’m writing! I’m also beginning to train my young dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback, in agility.

Do you have any new books coming out or books you want to share here?

Murder at the Mushroom Festival comes out April 17, 2018. There is a mushroom hunting contest and the theft of logs worth a lot of money because of their unique characteristics. The dog in this book is Max, short for Maximillian. He’s a mix but think goldendoodle. He is trained to find mushrooms and is also a diabetic alert dog. 

What was one of your dreams when you were a child?

I wanted to have a horse. I have been fortunate enough to have had two in my life. I continue to ride western whenever I have the opportunity.

Do you have a favorite drink?

I have two drinks I really enjoy. I love really cold Pelligrino sparkling water in the morning. A cup a day of strong black coffee provides my other favorite beverage. 

If you were stuck on a deserted island and could take three things with you what would they be?

My husband and my two dogs. They’d all be carrying food and water…so they’d be a bundle of “three things.” I hope this still fits in the perimeters of the answer! 

Of course it fits within the question!

Thank you for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions I myself am an avid fan of Murder She Wrote so I really like that she influenced your books as well!

Thank you for taking the time to do this!

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review: The Bordeaux Betrayal by: Ellen Crosby

Title: The Bordeaux Betrayal
Author: Ellen Crosby
Publisher: Scribner
Series: A Wine Country Mysteries #3
Pages: 370
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library


Ellen Crosby's third tale of suspense set amid the vines of Virginia wine country involves a two-hundred-year-old bottle of Bordeaux that Thomas Jefferson may have purchased for George Washington and is turning out to be a wine to die for.
It has been a year since Lucie Montgomery took over running her family vineyard at the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The Bordeaux Betrayal now sweeps her into a mystery that began more than two centuries ago in France and ends in murder not far from Montgomery Estate Vineyard.

When author and historian Valerie Beauvais turns up dead the night after a verbal brawl with a noted wine critic on the grounds of Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, Lucie is certain Valerie's death is related to something she knew concerning the authenticity of the priceless Washington Bordeaux.

As Lucie and her eccentric winemaker Quinn Santori bring in the last grapes of the season, Quinn's controversial past becomes intertwined with the murder and the rare wine, testing the bonds of their increasingly close relationship. New neighbors challenge Lucie for allowing a century-old hunting club to use her land for foxhunting; Mick Dunne, Lucie's ex-lover, comes back into her life; and her beloved French grandfather makes an unexpected visit that will rekindle painful memories some would prefer to forget.

As Lucie investigates the shadowy history of the Washington wine, she uncovers a web of deceit and betrayal and a long-forgotten scandal that affects not only the international wine world but her own as well.

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Lucie Montgomery who is getting ready for an auction of Washington's wine that was never received.  Many seem to want this bottle of wine, which for Lucie means more money for kids that really need it.  When Valerie tells Lucie she wants to tell her the history of this bottle of wine Lucie reluctantly waits to see what Valerie has to say but when she's a no show Lucie goes looking for her and finds her car flipped upside down with a very dead Valerie inside.  Who killed Valerie and why?  

Lucie's also having company in her french grandfather Luc is in town and adding to the great story that is told.  Also we see what is going on with Quinn who seems to be all over the place,  and dealing with an ex-wife he'd rather forget.  As well as Dominique who is now un-engaged as she and her boyfriend broke up.  Joe the ex of Dominique has been spotted around Valerie did he have something to do with her death?

There is so much going on and the story involves history of Jefferson and Washington as well as current times.  I really enjoyed it  Ellen Crosby is like a fine wine getting better all the time!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: The Chardonnay Charade by: Ellen Crosby

Title: The Chardonnay Charade
Author: Ellen Crosby
Publisher: Scribner
Series: A Wine Country Mystery #2
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library


Facing a freak late-May frost that threatens to kill the grapes in her vineyard, Lucie Montgomery hires a helicopter to fly over the vines — in total darkness — stirring up the Arctic air on the ground so the fruit will not freeze. But her luck in salvaging the harvest runs out when she discovers the body of Georgia Greenwood, a controversial political candidate, lying near the fields. Georgia’s husband Ross — Lucie’s friend and doctor — immediately falls under suspicion. To make matters worse, Ross, a renowned collector of Civil War documents, has just discovered a letter that seems to prove Confederate President Jefferson Davis had prior knowledge of the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. In the small town of Atoka, Virginia – proud home to Mosby’s Rangers, a legendary Confederate guerrilla company led by Colonel John Singleton Mosby, the “Gray Ghost” — the news is a bombshell.

Three years ago Ross saved Lucie’s life after she was involved in a near-fatal car crash. Now she intends to return the favor and prove Ross’s innocence. As the search for Georgia’s killer escalates, Lucie crosses swords with her attractive but cantankerous winemaker, Quinn Santori, and confronts her own unwelcome feelings of jealousy over his new romance and job prospects. Her worries about her kid sister’s out-of-control drinking and a second vineyard-related death further ratchet up the tension. Even though Lucie believes in vino veritas — in wine there is truth — the path to uncovering a murderer involves making a heartbreaking decision that will alter the lives of those she loves.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the wine mysteries in this one Lucie is dealing with a dead body at the vineyard along with her sister Mimi is out of control.  When Georgia Greenwood is found dead by Lucie who has no idea why Georgia is there add to the fact that Randy their local worker at the vineyard is missing!  Who killed Georgia and why?  What happened to Randy and will Lucie get anywhere with her younger sister?

This book was everywhere between the death of Georgia and how that impacts everyone who wanted to kill her.  As Lucie digs she learns more and more about Georgia and her marriage to Ross the doctor who helped Lucie after her car accident.  Then there was the relationship between Lucie and her sister who is going down a very dangerous road.  Will Lucie and Eli be able to rally around and help her or is she totally out of control!
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Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: A High-End Finish by: Kate Carlisle

Title: A High-End Finish


In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed....

Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.

Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Shannon Hammer whose having a bad day dating wise when she goes on a date with Jerry Saxton who turns out to be a world class jerk.  When Jerry ends up killed and Shannon finds the body the heat is on to clear her name.  As the bodies pile up the only thing in common are Shannon's pink tools.  Who is committing murders?  And why frame Shannon?

We also meet Mac Sullivan a author of mystery books in this story and the heat is on.  As Shannon investigates she learns more and more about the mysterious Mac and why he's chosen Lighthouse Cove to move to. 

Can't wait to see what is next in this series!
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review: Title Wave by: Lorna Barrett

Title: Title Wave
Author: Lorna Barrett
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Booktown Mystery #10
Pages: 320
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for a pleasure cruise, but they’re going to need their life jackets because a murderer has also booked passage—in Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling series.

While her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, decide to book a cruise for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in Adirondack chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays.

But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of his fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

My Thoughts:

This book follows fellow residents of Booktown who are on a cruise ship meeting with various authors.  What no one counted on was murder to follow Tricia.  When an author E.M winds up dead and Tricia finds the body no one else seems to think it's murder but Tricia has her concerns.  Will Tricia figure it out in time?  Or will the murderer get away with it?

I love this series it's fun to see what Tricia and Angelica are up too.  This one was great because it brought in other characters we have seen and get to see what they are up to now.  We also watch Tricia getting little anonymous gifts from someone mysterious?  Could the mystery be good or bad?

The odd part about this book was the situation with Tricia and Angelica's parents while their dad was happy to see them their mother was back to treating Tricia like crap for a long time ago incident.  We see Tricia manage it best she can.  We also learn more about the family history of the Miles girls.
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Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Rockets' Red Glare by: Lynn Cahoon

Title: Rockets' Red Glare
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Kensington
Series: A Tourist Trap Mystery #9.5
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


 As sunny South Cove, California, gears up for their annual Fourth of July celebrations, a local murder threatens to kill the fireworks . . .
South Cove’s local businesses are up in arms after volunteer fire chief Barry Gleason threatens to shut down anyone who doesn’t comply with the fire code. But when Barry schedules a training burn in an old abandoned barn, he is the only one who doesn't come out alive. Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—smells murder in the ashes. She’ll have to work quickly to nab a killer with a short fuse—or else everyone’s holiday will end with a fizzle . . .

My Thoughts:

South Cove is getting ready for the fourth of July celebrations and Barry Gleason is going around checking out businesses to see they are up to code.  Instead of this going smoothly he has stirred some fireworks of his own with threatening to close shops before the holiday.  When a fire breaks out and Barry winds up dead Jill finds the whole thing suspicious and is determined to investigate to find out what's up.  Will she figure it out in time?  Or will the fireworks explode in her face?

This book was cute and fun to read as a novella it showed Jill investigating a murder and learning more about resident's of South Cove.  Really was a fun 4th of July novella for anyone looking for a cute adventure for the holiday season!
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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Review: How The Finch Stole Christmas! by: Donna Andrews

Title: How The Finch Stole Christmas!
Author: Donna Andrews
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Meg Langslow #22
Pages: 278
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley


Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?

How the Finch Stole Christmas! is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere with its gut-bustingly funny mystery.

My Thoughts:

This book follows Meg and her husband Michael whose been working with a very difficult actor to put on A Christmas Carol which is making the Ebeneezer a saint compared to the actor named Malcolm Haver they are trying to keep sober and in line.  Meg also finds herself knee deep in finches and can't figure out why other than her grandfather trying to foster finches all over town!  When a local renter Johnny Willimer winds up dead and no idea what happened Meg finds herself more questions than answers!  Will they figured who killed the renter and why?  Will the play go on without a problem or will it get worse?

I loved this series granted I had read one previous book I really need to catch up.  Meg and Michael have their hands full with so much going on.  I liked the banter between certain characters at time made me laugh.  Such an enjoyable adventure to go on it was such fun and really was a great mystery as well!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Review: Downfall by: J.A. Jance

Title: Downfall
Author: J.A. Jance
Publisher: William Morrow
Series: Joanna Brady #17
Pages: 382
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher


Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady returns in this outstanding new mystery set in the beautiful desert country of the Southwest.

With a baby on the way, her mother and stepfather recently slain, a re-election campaign looming, and a daughter heading off for college, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full when a puzzling new case hits her department, demanding every resource she has at her disposal.

Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small nearby peak, referred to by Bisbee locals as Geronimo. What’s the connection between these two women? Is this a case of murder/suicide or is it a double homicide? And if someone else is responsible, is it possible that the perpetrator may, even now, be on the hunt for another victim?

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Joanna Brady very shortly after the novella which followed the death of her parents.  In this one Joanna is still preparing for their funeral along with a double homicide of two women who seem to have nothing in common.  Futher search leads them to a local school teacher who was one of the victims Susan seems to have more secrets than Jessica Fletcher has murders in town.  In the course of the investigation Joanna learns more about those involved with Susan the more possible suspects appear!

I enjoyed reading this book one of the authors I read early on in my book life.  I was addicted to J.P Beaumont and after reading the novella about Joanna and Alli I was hooked and can't wait to see where the books lead next.  This one kept me going late into the night wondering who the killer was and watching Joanna solve the crime!
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