Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Review: Murder Makes Scents by: Christin Brecher

Title: Murder Makes Scents
Author: Chastin Brecher
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery Series #2
Format: e-book ARC (272 p.)
Source: NetGalley


Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .

My Thoughts:

As Stella and her mom Millie return home from a convention in Paris along with a murder it seems they may have brought trouble back with them.  Stella finds herself helping someone get to the bottom of a vial that shows up in Millie's stuff and when Millie winds up in the hospital the pressure is on Stella figure it out!  But will figure out the culprit or will her life be extinguished.

This book was tons of fun from Paris to Nantucket.  It was great to go back to Nantucket to see what everyone is up to and to see the relationship between Millie and Stella so much fun!  Can't wait to see what is next in the series!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Review: The Wright Sister by: Patty Dann

Title: The Wright Sister
Author: Patty Dann
Publisher: Harper Pernnial
Format: E-book ARC ( 218 p.) NetGalley


An epistolary novel of historical fiction that imagines the life of Katharine Wright and her relationship with her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the world's first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, establishing the Wright Brothers as world-renowned pioneers of flight. Known to far fewer people was their whip-smart and well-educated sister Katharine, a suffragette and early feminist.

After Wilbur passed away, Katharine lived with and took care of her increasingly reclusive brother Orville, who often turned to his more confident and supportive sister to help him through fame and fortune. But when Katharine became engaged to their mutual friend, Harry Haskell, Orville felt abandoned and betrayed. He smashed a pitcher of flowers against a wall and refused to attend the wedding or speak to Katharine or Harry. As the years went on, the siblings grew further and further apart.

In The Wright Sister, Patty Dann wonderfully imagines the blossoming of Katharine, revealed in her "Marriage Diary"--in which she emerges as a frank, vibrant, intellectually and socially engaged, sexually active woman coming into her own--and her one-sided correspondence with her estranged brother as she hopes to repair their fractured relationship. Even though she pictures "Orv" throwing her letters away, Katharine cannot contain her joie de vivre, her love of married life, her strong advocacy of the suffragette cause, or her abiding affection for her stubborn sibling as she fondly recalls their shared life.

An inspiring and poignant chronicle of feminism, family, and forgiveness, The Wright Sister is an unforgettable portrait of a woman, a sister of inventors, who found a way to reinvent herself.

My Thoughts: 

You say the name Wright and the first thing you think of is Orville and Wilbur Wright you don't realize they had a sister named Katharine who was with them every step of the journey with the aeroplane.  She helped them more than the world knows.

In this book we see Katharine talking about her life and in between are letters to Orville who stopped speaking to her when she wed Harry Haskell.  All the letters and chapters are from Katharine's point of view.  We the reader that is really aren't sure why they aren't talking it's a journey one woman goes on and her emotions everything from being desperate to talk to Orville to anger that he's not answering her.  

It was so beautifully written and the author really developed a great story even if it is one sided.  It was definitely well written without upsetting the history we know of the wright brothers.  Definitely a fabulous historical fiction book!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Review: The Queen's Accomplice by: Susan Elia MacNeal

Title: The Quuen's Accomplice
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Maggie Hope #6
Format: Paperback ( 368 p.) Personal Purchase


England, 1942. The Nazis relentless Blitz may have paused, but London s nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper s crimes. What s more, he s targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill s spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed the Blackout Beast. A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.

My Thoughts:

The blitz's have taken a break and someone has decided to try to emulate Jack the Ripper with young women who work for the SOE.  Maggie Hope is now working for the SOE and one of the agents has been compromised.  Maggie gets called to Downing Street to meet with a local Scotland Yard cop to figure out what is going on with the young women.  

Meanwhile Maggie's sister is with her father on a small release of 9 days to renounce the doctor and the death's they were performing when she is picked up by the underground and a German officer helps her escape by practically throwing her into a car.

Maggie also finds herself having tea with the Queen whose adamant in owing Maggie a favor she she need it at anytime.  This may come in handy to Maggie at some point.

This book had so much going on with different characters Sarah Sanderson is training for a trip to France and finds herself jealous of Maggie's relationship with Hugh even though they broke up and Hugh has his eyes on Sarah.  

I can't get over how the author weaves so many different stories into one book there is definitely a lot going on but it flows so smoothly that it works.  I have read other authors and it doesn't always flow the way it did here. 

Can't wait to read about Paris!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Review: Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by: Susan Elia MacNeal

Title: Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Maggie Hope #5
Format: Paperback ( 327 p.) Personal Purchase


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this riveting mystery from Susan Elia MacNeal, England’s most daring spy, Maggie Hope, travels across the pond to America, where a looming scandal poses a grave threat to the White House and the Allied cause.

December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States’ entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt’s inner circle—as ER herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.

My Thoughts:

This book follows Maggie and her fellow coworkers at 10 Downing street.  They are all headed to the good old USA at Christmastime.  Maggie and John are hoping to have some time together.  Pearl Harbor has been attacked and Winston Churchill is meeting with President Roosevelt to discuss the war.  Of course Eleanor is causing trouble with some of her causes and Maggie is stuck trying to keep the first lady safe.  Will Maggie succeed or will Eleanor step way out of line?

This book was fun as we got to see what the USA was like during the war.  I love this series with a mix of action, adventure, romance and historical fiction all rolled into one can't wait to see where this series is headed.

Review: The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit by: Krista Davis

Title: The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit
Author: Krista Davis
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Domestic Diva #14
Format: e-book ARC ( 304 p.)
Source: NetGalley


She's a young Martha Old Town Virginia!
New York Times bestselling author Krista Davis delights with the 14th in her enormously popular and completely charming Domestic Diva Mystery series, as entertaining maven Sophie Winston must cut to the core of another murder investigation when members of an international tour group begin dropping like flies all over Old Town, Virginia...

With Old Town's DIY Home Decorating Festival in full swing, Sophie's swamped, juggling a bumper crop of artisans, antique dealers, and decorators for the busy street fair. Still, when her best friend Nina suddenly needs a ride from the airport, Sophie is happy to help...until she sees Nina disembarking in a state of disarray. It's obvious the trip to Portugal soured somewhere along the way. But after one of Nina's traveling companions turns up murdered the following day, Sophie knows something is truly rotten...

Though the crime scene is staged to look like an accident, Sophie isn't fooled and peels off to conduct her own investigation. Her only clue is a strange image the victim scratched into the soil before dying. Could it point to a cryptic killer in Old Town? A bitter travel adversary? Or a cursed artifact smuggled back from the trip? As the mystery grows, so does the body count, and if Sophie doesn't pluck the murderer soon, her best friend may be the next to fall...

My Thoughts:

This book follows beloved Sophie Winston whose working a DIY festival and helping her friends when a local women winds up murdered.  Who would have wanted to kill Lark a resident of Old Town and why?  As other bodies pile up the pressure is on that Nina might be in trouble and Mars and Bernie decide to rally wound Sophie and Nina to keep them safe.  Who wanted to commit murder and why?  Was it related to a recent trip to Portugal?  Or something going on at home?

This book had so much going on between Sophie's mystery and Natasha's drama made you really wonder if Sophie would figure it out in time?  Si many twists and turns that you begin to wonder if Sophie will get to the bottom of it in time or will it be the mystery that gets away from her?  I am such a huge fan of Sophie Winston books they are great and realistic. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Review: The Prime Minister's Secret Agent by: Susan Elia MacNeal

Title: The Prime Minister's Secret Agent
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Maggie Hope #4
Format: Paperback ( 306 p.) Personal Purchase


For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door.
World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow—including one of Maggie’s dearest friends—Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it’s the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war—and indelibly shape Maggie’s fate.

My Thoughts:

Maggie Hope is recovering from her previous adventure in Scotland, when she learns of ballerina's being targeted by someone and Maggie thinks of her friend Sarah.  She rushes reluctantly to solve the issue with the ballerina's before Sarah is a target. Will she figure it out in time or will Sarah be next?

This book had so much going on for Maggie we see a darker side of her dealing with all she had been through plus seeing her go and help her friend.  This is a great series for anyone who loves reading about historical fiction especially during WWII.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Review: Sealed Off by: Barbara Ross


itle: Sealed Off
Author: Barbara Ross
Publisher: Kensinton
Series: Maine Clambake Mystery #8
Format: Paperback ( 246 p.) Personal Purchase


Early October is “winding down” time in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but there’s nothing relaxing about it for Julia Snowden. Between busloads of weekend leaf peepers at the Snowden Family Clambake and a gut renovation of the old mansion on Morrow Island, she’s keeping it all together with a potentially volatile skeleton crew—until one of them turns up dead under the firewood.

When the Russian demo team clearing out the mansion discovers a room that’s been sealed off for decades, Julia’s baffled as to its purpose and what secrets it might have held. Tensions are already simmering with the crew, but when one of the workers is found murdered, things come to a boil. With the discovery of another body—and a mysterious diary with Cyrillic text in the hidden room—the pressure’s on Julia to dig up a real killer fast. But she’ll have to sort through a pile of suspects, including ex-spouses, a spurned lover, and a recently released prisoner, to fish out one clammed-up killer.

My Thoughts:

Julia and her family are winding town their tours for the summer and are having relatives visit the old estate when a feud between Chris's brother Terry and a worker of Sonny's Jason but heads over a girl.  Have old feud's resurfaced?  When Jason winds up dead and Terry is on the hot seat!  We also learn more about Terry's past crime and whether he was wrong convicted.

We also learn more about workers who use to work on Morrow Island and what happened way back when which I loved learning about the workers and things they went through.  It was such a fun end of the summer mystery that I was captivated by the story and loved how it played out in the end!

Can't wait to see what is next in the clambake mysteries!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Review: To Coach A Killer by: Victoria Laurie

Title: To Coach A Killer
Author: Victoria Laurie
Publisher: Kensington
Series: The Life Coach Mysteries #2
Format: Hardcover (304 p.) Personal Purchase


Soaking up a luxurious new chapter alongside her saucy bestie, Cat Cooper plans on emerging as the premier life coach in East Hampton by summertime. All she has to do is survive an offseason replete with desolate beaches, slow business, and murder . . .

As the Hamptons drags through early spring, Cat's shot at becoming the toast of the town in time for Memorial Day is dwindling--and fast. The only client she can find has been housebound for decades and claims to be the victim of a devasting curse. Then there's the matter of Detective Shepherd's intense jealousy over Maks Grinkov, the handsome bad boy who approaches Cat with an unusual offer she can't stop thinking about. Havoc finally breaks loose when a string of murders rocks the coastal community, landing Maks on the hook as the culprit . . .

While the body count rises, Cat goes from life coaching to sleuthing for the truth about Maks's less-than-wholesome background. But after digging deeper, she questions if Detective Shepherd had an unwitting hand in a related homicide case after tangling with the wrong people. With a storm approaching shore and no one to trust, Cat and her sharp-tongued best friend, Gilley, must solve a client's curse and a series of violent deaths before a killer sends them all sailing to their doom . . . 

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Gilley and Cat as they are meeting their first new client who feels he is cursed and Cat is having trouble buying into the curse but using some techniques from Heath to help her client over come his fear and to hopefully rid the curse on him.

When Cat wants to help Det. Shepard solve the murder case of his wife.  She was murdered years ago and her murder happened while she was showing a house.  Who killed her and why?  Is it connected to the Angel of Death?  An assassin who gets paid after a job is completed.  Maks also uses Cat a few times in this which hurts her relationship with Shepard.  Will they ever fix their relationship?

This book was incredible with so much going on.  It was like a total rollercoaster ride which Ms. Laurie always takes her readers on when you open one of her books!  Can't wait to see what is next in the Hamptons!