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Monday, June 18, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: A Magical Match (A Witchcraft Mystery #9) by Juliet Blackwell


A Magical Match (A Witchcraft Mystery #9)
by Juliet Blackwell (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Berkley Books


Goodreads synopsis:
Witch and vintage store owner Lily Ivory faces her most difficult mystery to date with a case of mistaken identity that hits close to home...

Lily Ivory and her friends are planning a 1950s-themed brunch to benefit the local women's shelter. When a figure from her past shows up unannounced, threatening her unless she returns something that belonged to him, Lily's fiancé, Sailor, steps in to defend her. After the same man is found dead later that day, Sailor is the primary suspect. He swears he's innocent, but multiple witnesses ID him as the perpetrator of the assault. Lily vows to clear his name...only she's not sure where to start with the mounting evidence against him.

When she sees Sailor in the neighborhood despite knowing he's in jail, Lily starts to wonder if there could be a doppelganger in San Francisco. When she's not busy helping customers find matching outfits for the upcoming event, searching for a vintage wedding dress for her own nuptials, and dealing with an ill-timed magical cold, Lily begins to suspect one of her magical foes is targeting her loved ones in an attempt to weaken her.


***

2 stars

The was murder most difficult for me. Couldn’t get into it. Nothing flowed. I assume that I had to read the previous 8 books to make anything make any sense to me. 

Not a fan. Won’t pick up this author again.


I bought this book with my own money.

BOOK REVIEW: Pine Lake by Amanda Stevens


Pine Lake
by Amanda Stevens (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Harlequin Intrigue



Goodreads synopsis:
SLEEPWALKING WITH DANGER The murder of security expert Jack King's girlfriend has haunted him for fifteen years. Returning to Pine Lake, Texas, where the townsfolk still consider him suspect, might not be the smartest move, but a killer seems to be holding up a mirror to his past. The same witness to this new murder was also present the night Jack's girlfriend dieds...but both times, she was sound asleep...Sleepwalking has gotten Olive Belmont into some sticky situations. Being the witness to both murders may have put her on the killer's list. Even so, she doesn't think the killer is Jack and is willing to help him. But will putting his past to rest ease her mind or leave her with even greater nightmares?


***

4 stars

Jack pretty much gets duped into coming back to his hometown to get closure on an old murder he had originally been charged with. And you know how small towns are… they still think he is guilty even though he was not charged with the murder in the end.

I found a few of the situations a little “out there” in the “ hard to believe” category but the story was good, the characters were interesting and the whodunit kept me entertained for most of the book.

Definitely check this one out.


I bought this book with my own money.

BOOK REVIEW: Off the Grid Christmas by Mary Ellen Porter


Off the Grid Christmas
by Mary Ellen Porter (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Love Inspired Suspense




Goodreads synopsis:
When computer expert Arden DeMarco hacks secret files and discovers evidence of treason, a price is put on her head. What started as a mission to help a friend is now a fight for her life with assassins and the FBI tracking her down. There's no time to get distracted by her brother's best friend, Kane Walker, but the security expert promised Arden's family he'd bring her safely home for the holidays. Instead they're dodging bullets—and fighting their growing feelings—while Arden races to break the encryption and find out what's hidden in the files she stole. But as they're hunted by armed henchmen determined to make sure those secrets are never uncovered, keeping Arden safe is the only Christmas gift that matters…


***

4 stars

Arden has the FBI after her. And she is stubborn. She won’t let anyone help her. The only reason Kane gets a foot in the door is that he is in the right place at the right time to assist her.

She has the proof that could put some people away for a long time. So, needless to say, they don’t want her telling on them.

A lot of running around going on in this one. I did do my fair share of  skimming but the book was good, solid. Definitely worth the read. Check it out.


I bought this book with my own money.

BOOK REVIEW: Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman


Death by Didgeridoo (Jamie Quinn Mystery #1)
by Barbara Venkataraman (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 111 pages
Published (first published November 22nd 2013)



Goodreads synopsis:
Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It's up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it's too late. It doesn't help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn't commit


***

3 stars

I finished this book in April and hadn’t gotten around to putting in a review until now. And frankly, I cannot remember anything that happened. I even read the other reviews and nothing was ringing a bell for me. I feel bad for the author that it wasn’t memorable for me. But then again, maybe it says more about me than it does about her.

I rarely give three stars so there must have been something lacking here.

BUT …It is a free book in her series so don’t let my review stop you from checking it out. 


Book one in the series was FREE on Amazon Kindle.

BOOK REVIEW: Area 51: The Mission by Bob Mayer


The Mission (Area 51 #3)
by Bob Mayer (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by 47North (first published January 1st 1999)



Goodreads synopsis:
Book 3 in the Area 51 series
The bubonic plague was a trial run. Ebola was a dress rehearsal. The real destruction begins now, and, if the Airlia are successful, the result will be total annihilation of the human race…
Deep in the Amazon rain forest, villagers are falling to an unseen enemy—a brutal virus that inflicts plague-like symptoms and certain death. There’s no cure for this Black Death, only the threat of imminent worldwide contagion. And the source, it seems, is not organic.
Scientist Lisa Duncan and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte suspect the Airlia. Now that Area 51 has been exposed and a fleet of the aliens’ warships destroyed, the virus could be the Airlia’s last weapon. Duncan and Turcotte believe the source of the virus—and possibly their salvation—may lie with a mysterious place called the Mission, where they hope to give humankind a chance at survival. But the battle has only begun…


***

4 stars

The movie about Area 51 continues where the previous book ended. Nothing is wrapped up. The world is still in danger and it looks like the alien agenda is winning.

I can’t really comment too much. It is such an ongoing thing that saying this section is good or that section is good would never cover it all. Lots going on in this story. Lots of characters. I am listening to it on my Kindle and doing it that way helps me keep the multiple storylines straight.

Lots of books to go in the series so I don’t see the drama ending very soon. I will definitely delve into the next book in the series when I get a craving for sci-fi.


I bought this book with my own money.

BOOK REVIEW: Death by Eggnog by Alex Erickson


Death by Eggnog (Bookstore Cafe Mystery #5)
by Alex Erickson (Goodreads Author)

Paperback, 295 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation


Goodreads synopsis:
Krissy Hancock is staying in her adopted hometown of Pine Hills, Ohio, for Christmas this year--and she even has a whole week off from her combination bookstore-cafe. But a killer is about to dampen her spirits . . .

Unfortunately, Krissy's been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn't all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects.

Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she'll have to finish wrapping up this case .

***

4 stars

Every time I read an Alex Erickson book I am not disappointed. 

Krissy wants to spend the holiday with her dad, but dad has found a lady and any normal holiday plans have been nixed. THEN… Krissy gets volunteered into being in the play and she is not very excited about it. But the theater does seem  to grow on her.

Her ex-boyfriend makes an appearance too. Somehow he is also in the play. Ugh! He seems like such a smarmy person. First he likes one lady and then does a 180 and wants her again. Sheesh! At one point he also become a main suspect and he about loses his cookies. She feels obliged to find out how her ex was not involved once he becomes the person of interest.

I found this whodunit harder to figure out since there seemed to be so many suspects.

This series is  on my “not to be missed” list. So check it out.


I bought this book with my own money.

Friday, June 15, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas Amnesia (Callahan Confidential #3) by Laura Scott


Christmas Amnesia (Callahan Confidential #3)
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Love Inspired Suspense




Goodreads synopsis:
Assaulted a week before a high-profile drug trafficking trial, assistant district attorney Madison Callahan narrowly escapes death…but suffers amnesia. Now, when she can't recall the identity of her attacker, everyone is suspect—except the handsome policeman who saved her. Officer Noah Sinclair will do anything to bring the mob-connected drug trafficker to justice, including providing personal protection to Madison—the sister of the partner he nearly got killed. But helping her regain her memory may end their unlikely alliance because once she remembers him, Noah might be the last man she'll want to rely on. As the trial looms and with the assailant dead set on ensuring that Madison doesn't survive to see Christmas, it'll take everything Noah's got to keep Madison alive.

***

4 stars

When Madison loses her memory on the eve of one of her biggest cases, her old friend, Noah takes charge of her recover. He is a police officer but not in great standing with the family due to past history. Even with that thwarting him mentally, he knows he has to keep Madison safe.

This story was good and it keeps your interest until the end. It is also a fast read if you are looking for something to read through in an afternoon. The Love Inspired Suspense has never disappointed me yet. Try it out for yourself.


I bought this book with my own money.

Dead to the Last Drop (Coffeehouse Mystery #15) by Cleo Coyle


Dead to the Last Drop (Coffeehouse Mystery #15)
by Cleo Coyle (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Berkley (first published December 1st 2015)




Goodreads synopsis:
When the White House asks coffeehouse manager and master roaster Clare Cosi to consult on a Rose Garden Wedding, she uncovers long-simmering secrets that threaten to boil over...

Clare’s Washington visit is off to a graceful start, when she lands a housesitting job in a Georgetown mansion and is invited to work on the Smithsonian’s salute to coffee in America. Unfortunately, her new Village Blend DC is struggling—until its second floor Jazz Space attracts a high-profile fan in the daughter of the President. But as Clare’s stock rises, she learns a stark lesson: Washington can be murder.

First a State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President’s daughter goes missing. After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYPD detective boyfriend. Branded an enemy of the state, she must uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end.

***

4 stars

Cleo Coyle and her Coffeehouse Mystery series is one that I think you all should definitely try out. I have enjoyed all I have read so far.

This story is about the President’s daughter singing the blues/jazz in the Washington Coffeehouse Clare is trying to help bring more business. She has a lot to deal with in this story besides jus solving the murder. If it isn’t one thing it is another. But the overwhelming amount of story shoved into this book doesn’t make the reading of it overwhelming. It is as smooth as one of Clare’s gourmet coffee drinks.

At some point in the book… Clare is on the run… the prez daughter disappears… the head cook sabotages the coffeehouse when he gets fired…. a man dies in the coffeehouse kitchen… I mean, really a LOT of good stuff in this title.

I don’t want to give anything away so just go out and buy it. You won’t be disappointed.


I bought this book with my own money.

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas Caramel Murder (Hannah Swensen #20) By Joanne Fluke


Christmas Caramel Murder (Hannah Swensen #20)
by Joanne Fluke (Goodreads Author)
ebook, 204 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Kensington



Goodreads synopsis:
Christmas normally descends on Lake Eden, Minnesota, as gently as reindeer alighting on a rooftop—but this yuletide season the only thing coming down Hannah Swensen’s chimney is a case of murder . . .

The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa’s husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates’ Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow—wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list. Soon after the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues even harder to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays . . . 

Includes Over a Dozen Holiday Recipes from The Cookie Jar!

***

4 stars

If you say the name Hannah Swensen, I would have to say that I am definitely a fan. I love the world Fluke has created. It just makes me happy to dive into each title. I think I own them all by now.

This title wasn’t very big but it had a great story for the Christmas holiday.

Santa has been murdered and it is up to Hannah to find out whodunit since her friend, Lisa’s husband is suspect number one! 

Don't want to give anything away on this one. Just check it out. It is quick read.

All around great stuff. You definitely won’t be disappointed.


I bought this book with my own money.

BOOK REVIEW: The Agent's Covert Affair (To Protect and Serve #7) By Karen Anders


The Agent's Covert Affair (To Protect and Serve #7)
by Karen Anders (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Harlequin Romantic Suspense



Goodreads synopsis:
HE'S GUARDING HER EVERY MOVE...Private detective Emma St. John doesn't care about military jurisdiction. Her JAG lawyer sister is critically injured--and Emma's baby nephew, Matthew, has been abducted by a vicious drug lord. She is determined to navigate through lethal cartel country to rescue the baby, no matter what. But she's stuck with a mysterious NCIS special agent riding shotgun...and Derrick Gunn is proving to be the kind of determined, cool-headed help she can't shake.Staying strictly mission-oriented keeps Derrick alive--and alone. But all bets are off as he and beautiful, independent Emma fight to stay steps ahead of their enemies. Her resourcefulness and courage ignite desire he's willing to go through hell to keep. But love and survival are never guaranteed..

***

3 stars

I had a hard time getting into the story of Emma and Derrick. I know a lot of intro paragraphs are supposed to throw you off guard or put you straight into the action. But I think not knowing what was going on made this book hard to figure out. The back and forth banter about Emma’s sister that missing had me confused. I couldn’t figure out who the heroine was in the beginning.

The characters were interesting and I thought the action aspect of the book was very good. But I didn’t find myself invested in “wanting” to read it and get it finished. I drug my feet with this one and was happy when it was finally over so I could move on to my next book in my TBR pile.

If you like suspense, Harlequin Romantic Suspense is a great place to start and they have a lot of titles you can add to your mystery/suspense library.


I bought this book with my own money.