Saturday, May 27, 2023

Review: Death of a Wicked Witch by: Lee Hollis

Title: Death of A Wicked Witch
Author: Lee Hollis
Series: Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery #13
Publisher:  Kensington 
Source: Paperback ( 304 p.) Personal Purchase


Bar Harbor, Maine, is quieter in the off-season, but the population has just increased a bit with the arrival of Ted and Trudy Lancaster. Ted’s taking over for a retiring minister, and Trudy runs a food truck called Wicked ’Wiches. When she stops in at the Island Times office to place an ad, Hayley happily devours the sample sub Trudy offers—and the two become fast friends.
When Trudy tragically dies in her truck while catering a Halloween party, suspicion falls on a cranky, competitive caterer who’d made veiled threats to Trudy. But the case becomes more complicated when Hayley’s husband admits he’d seen someone dressed as a witch hurrying away from the food truck—not very helpful when countless women at the party wore the same costume. Now Hayley finds herself sandwiched between witches and witnesses as she considers a smorgasbord of suspects. If she finds the killer, she’ll be a local hero . . .

My Thoughts:

Hayley and Bruce and company are getting ready for Halloween when Hayley meets Trudy who runs a food truck and everyone soon is falling in love with her sandwiches.  When Trudy gets sick and winds up in the hospital people start to wonder if something is going on?  Then the minister whose about to leave starts acting really weird around Trudy Hayley wonders what is going on with the local priest.  

At a Halloween party where Trudy is serving her food someone else has decided to serve Trudy something.  Trudy winds up dead and people are wondering who killed her.  Was it her husband whom she was having problems with?  Or the local priest who was acting love struck around her or someone else?  

I love this series it's was one of the first one's I read I was so engaged in the writing style and it being told with Hayley and her friends who are fabulous.  They always crack me up like no tomorrow.  This one didn't disappoint especially as we got to see Gemma as a grown woman now instead of a teenager.  I can't wait to see what is next in this series!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Review: Doom with A View by: Victoria Laurie

Title: Doom with a View
Author: Victoria Laurie
Series: Psychic Eye Mystery #7
Publisher: Berkley
Source: e-book ( 314 p.) Personal Purchase


Business has been frustratingly slow for Abby who needs any new commission she can get, even if it means agreeing to a job with the FBI that puts her at the center of an internal political struggle between two powerful agents, one of whom is the flinty lead investigator and confirmed skeptic Brice Harrison.  Abby's skills are continually tested – along with her patience – as she works to convince Harrison that she's not only the real deal, but can help him locate three college teens who've mysteriously disappeared.

Abby's intuition tells her these are no random abductions—and foresees another victim being kidnapped. To get to the bottom of the case, she and Harrison will have to put their differences aside and work together to find the connection between the missing kids. And to do that, Abby will have to win Harrison over, while keeping her psychic eye wide open.

My Thoughts: 

Abby and Candice find themselves up against a hard skeptic who doesn't believe in intuitives regardless of how good they are. Abby finds herself getting flustered trying to prove that she is the real deal. Candice finds an instant dislike to Harrison. They spend most of their time being threatened with going to jail. And on four separate occasions being sent back to Michigan which apparently becomes a running gag. As every time you think they are going home they turn around and go back. In the end Abby ends up saving both Candice and Harrison when they need it the most, which turns the hard skeptic to her side.

Review: The Secret Life of Violet Grant by: Beatriz Williams

Title: The Secret Life of Violet Grant
Author: Beatriz Williams
Series: Schuyler Sisters #1
Publisher: G. P/ Putnam and Sons
Source: Hardcover ( 432 p.) Personal Purchase


Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale.

Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate d├ętente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.

My Thoughts: 

Sassy mouthed Vivian Schulyer goes to the Post Office to pick up a suitcase sent to her.  The suitcase isn't hers it's her aunt.  She decides the the help of the adorable Dr. Paul a customer at the Post Office as well to find out what she can about Violet Grant.

Violet Grant is an amazing scientist but naive in the world of romance so when her professor seduces her she thinks she's in love.  She's in for a lot more than she thinks and finds comfort in Lionel.  

This book had so much going on with the drama in. both  Vivian and Violet's life.  I loved it and found Vivian refreshing and funny at times.  Typical socialite of the 60's that is until she opens her mouth I love the freshness of just speaking her mind regardless of what others think.

Definitely worth checking out this series I think more a summer read then winter but still fun!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Review: Madame Pommery Creator of Brute Champagne by: Rebecca Rosenberg

Title: Madame Pommery: Creator of Brute Champagne
Author: Rebecca Rosenberg
Publisher: Lion Heart Publishing
Format: e-book ( 400 p.) Netgalley ARC


A Champagne Widows Novel
Champagne, France, 1860. Madame Pommery, an etiquette teacher and orphanage founder, loses her husband and is forced to support her family. With no experience, the forty-year-old widow decides to make champagne. Her unique vision is to change it from a sweet dessert beverage to a dry, crisp wine to be enjoyed anytime. When champagne makers refuse to teach her their craft, she forges ahead on her own and secretly begins the excavation of champagne caves under the Reims city dump.

Soon after, her son and her entire crew are conscripted to fight the Franco-Prussian war, leaving Madame Pommery alone to struggle with her champagne dreams. After Napoleon and a hundred thousand French troops are captured, the Prussians invaded France, and Prussian General Frederick Franz occupies Madame Pommery’s house as his army headquarters. Undaunted, Pommery uses her secret wine caves to hide the Francs-Tireurs, resistance fighters for France, while she plans to build a spectacular castle winery above the caves.

But when her former lover, a Scottish Baron, unexpectedly proposes marriage, Madame Pommery must choose between nobility and her passionate quest for fine champagne and the most beautiful winery in the world.

Based on a true story, Madame Pommery is a heroic novel about a mother and widow who fights the Prussians, the social class system, champagne patriarchs, and champagne tastes to create a champagne legacy.

My Thoughts:

This book follows recently widowed Madame Pommery who finds herself in need of money to keep them going she has two companies inherited by her late husband a winery and a wool company.  She decides to ditch the wool and focus all efforts on the winery.  But in a world where women are not dealt with alot can she survive?

She makes bold decisions that are unheard of in this time frame.  Changing wine to what we now know as Brute Champagne in a world where Champagne is sweet as heck. she decides to make it less sweet looking for a dryer Champagne.  

So much happens in this book and you feel pulled in wanting to see how everything plays out especially during a Napoleon France.  She is armed with her wits and a vision no could think would work.  I really enjoyed seeing what she accomplished especially during the time frame!

Anyone who likes historical novels based on things we have now like Brut will appreciate what this author has given us a heck of a story about a wonderful lady!