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Monday, August 31, 2020

Thread and Dead (Apron Shop series #2) by Elizabeth Penney


Thread and Dead

Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by St. Martin's Press




Goodreads synopsis: 
Tragedy strikes in Thread and Dead, the second book in Elizabeth Penney's cozy mystery series--and now everyone in Blueberry Cove, Maine, is on pins and needles. . .

Iris Buckley is busier than ever this July, with the town's annual Lobster Festival fast approaching. In just a matter of days her apron shop Ruffles & Bows, will be jam-packed with tourists--and Iris's inventory is running low. Then Iris gets a call from Eleanor Brady, a wealthy, reclusive spinster who just happens to have trunks full of vintage fabrics. Would Iris like to come down to Eleanor's cottage estate Shorehaven and have a look?

Before long Iris is on the scene--and on the case. Turns out that Eleanor has rented Shorehaven to the handsome, charismatic environmentalist Dr. Lukas de Wilde and his flock of students. What begins as an apron-scouting endeavor soon morphs into a full-blown murder investigation when Dr. de Wilde's beautiful young teaching assistant turns up dead. Now it's up to Iris--along with her partner-in-love-and-crime Ian Stewart--to unravel the mystery before the Blueberry Cove killer strikes again.

***

4.5 stars

This is the second book in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney.

When I first heard about this concept for a mystery series, I was a bit skeptical. It is all based around an apron and linens shop called Ruffles & Bows. I guess I couldn’t fathom how such a shop would be sustainable nowadays. But the great stories the author puts out around this concept has just made me love the concept. I am a believer now. I even wonder if I could make my own apron to use at home while I cook.

This story follows Iris as she goes to visit an elderly citizen of Blueberry Cove named Eleanor who has started renting out rooms in her lavish mansion to some Ag related professors who are growing algae. Then one of them ends up dead and Ivy and her friends discover the body while rock climbing.

This story was pretty complex and there were a lot of variables to take into account. Just when I thought I had fingered the bad guy, I discovered I was wrong! I love following the action and suspense and seeing how it all washes out in the end.  I love how the cast keeps growing and we learn more and more about the citizens of Blueberry Cove and their rich history. Just a fun series to follow.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Murder, Take Two (Witch City Mystery #10) by Carol J. Perry


Murder, Take Two

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Kensington





Goodreads synopsis: 
When a copycat killer has reporter Lee Barrett brushing up on ancient history, it’s a test where failure could be lethal . . .

As a Salem, Massachusetts, native, WICH-TV field reporter and amateur sleuth Lee Barrett is well versed in the region’s lore. So when the murder of revered local professor Samuel Bond resembles a killing from almost two centuries ago, everyone is on edge. Especially assistant professor Cody McGinnis . . .

Not only did Cody have differences with Bond, he even taught a course on the historic murder. And when his fingerprints and ladder are found at the crime scene, the police are certain of his guilt. Cody’s family, however, believes otherwise and asks Lee for assistance. Now, with the help of her clairvoyant cat, O’Ryan, her tech-savvy librarian aunt and housemate Ibby, and Pete Mondello, her handsome detective beau, Lee will delve deeper than ever into Salem’s past—and into her own psychic gifts—to find the real killer—before someone else is history . . .colony.

***

4.5 stars

This is the tenth book in the Witch City Mystery series by Carol J. Perry.

A copy cat murder takes place in Salem and reporter, Lee Barrett is there to cover all the action. 

I really liked the story elements that used the old Parker Brother’s board game Clue to help uncover the killer. They also had the assistance of a tv host who was talented with tarot to led their advice which goes perfectly with the witchy Salem vibe. And Aunt Ibby and the other “Angels” were just a hoot too. Everybody had to get into the act to help solve this mystery.

The best part of this is the rich community vibe and the references to the tv shows and board games from the past. I always love when author’s put that kind of stuff into their stories. Just helps us resonate with the people more easily.

This is a series I want to dig more into. Love its vibe and cast. The mystery was pretty complex too and I always enjoy a good cat and mouse chase for a killer.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey


Our Dried Voices

Paperback, 234 pages
Published 2014 by Scribe Publishing Company





Goodreads synopsis: 
In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity.

Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence.

With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony.

***

3.5 stars

This book is different. It starts out a lot like those science fiction stories in the future where the population have no brain but are being sustained by an advanced technology that no one even knows about or even realizes is there. Then the accidents start happening and life starts to be disrupted for the citizens. Suddenly “heroes” emerge from the citizens. They sort of “wake up” from their numb slumber. This story mainly focuses on Samuel and Penny who make it their mission to help their society fix these broken technologies and Samuel discovers that life is way bigger and more complex than he ever imagined.


I though the book was good. Reminded me a lot of Logan’s Run in certain aspects. The story ended on a cliffhanger that I wish had been elaborated on more. I was invested in Samuel and Penny’s story and it sort of ended and then we got a history of the world and how it had come to be like that in the first place. Definitely a book to check out if you like science fiction.

The Takeover (The Miles High Club #2) by T.L. Swan


The Takeover

Kindle Edition, 477 pages
Published August 27th 2020 by Montlake




Goodreads synopsis: 
In bestselling author T L Swan’s second hot installment to the Miles High Club series, he’s sexy, rich, and her mortal enemy. Hate never felt so good.

I first met Tristan Miles at a meeting where he was trying to take over my late husband’s company.

He was powerful, arrogant, and infuriatingly gorgeous, and I hated him with every cell in my body. In the shock of the century, he called me three days later and asked me on a date.

I would rather die than date a man like him—though I do have to admit it was good for the ego. Turning him down was the highlight of my year.

Six months later, he was the guest speaker at a conference I attended in France.

Still arrogant and infuriating—but this time, surprisingly charming and witty.

When he looked at me, I got butterflies.

But I can’t go there.

He’s just a player in a hot suit, and I’m just a widow with three unruly sons.

I just need this conference to be over.

Because everybody knows that Tristan Miles always gets what he wants…and what he wants is me.

***

4.5 stars

This is the second book in the Miles High Club by TL Swan.

I will tell you one thing, you definitely get your money’s worth when you pick up a Swan romance. There is so much packed into this thing that is is like watching reality tv in real time. Prepare some Kleenex for the end though since these books always bring out the waterworks right before the conclusion. You get chocked up and teary-eyed since you become so invested in the relationship and them having their happily ever after.

This is a book about trust and knowing that what you feel is never wrong. 

Tristian Miles seems like the world’s biggest player when this starts. But this player has a heart or gold and has a mission to fix everyone that comes across his path. I really felt for Claire Anderson. She had to move on after her husband’s death with her three boys. I never thought she would finally see the light where Tristian was concerned. She loved him through most of the book but wasn’t willing to go farther and I really couldn’t figure out why. I liked how Fletcher summed it up in the end and that made the whole book come together for me.

Just one great read. A bit too long for my taste but it just gave me that much more juicy goodness.

If you like contemporary romance with a bit of intrgue, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Mums and Mayhem (A Magic Garden Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower


Mums and Mayhem

Hardcover
Published August 11th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books




Goodreads synopsis: 
A famous fiddler has been kilt. A magic garden's left to wilt. Does Fiona Knox's father hold the guilt? Will florist Fiona's blood be spilt?

World-famous fiddle player Barley McFee arrives in blustery Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for a grand homecoming concert organized by jeweler Bernice Brennan. Fiona Knox, owner of the Climbing Rose Flower Shop, is starting to regret volunteering to help with the concert. Bernice is an exacting taskmaster, and Fiona has enough tension dealing with her parents, who have traveled from Tennessee to visit Fi and her younger sister, Isla, and to reveal a secret about Fi's birth. But when Barley is found dead in his trailer during the concert's intermission, and his death is shockingly tied to Fiona's father, Fiona discovers there are more secrets surrounding her family than she realized.

Much to the chagrin of handsome Neil Craig, Chief Inspector of the County Aberdeen Police, Fiona delves into the case to clear her father's name. To make matters worse, Fiona learns that Duncreigan, the magical garden that she inherited from her godfather, is dying. At some point during the concert, someone broke into the garden and cut the centuries-old climbing rose--the source of the garden's magic--from the standing stone.

The stakes are higher than ever and Fiona could lose all that she's grown unless she's able to dispel this terrible curse and dig up the truth--fast.
***

4.5 stars

This is the third book in the A Magic Garden mystery series by Amanda Flower.

This was a very fun read! I enjoyed the magic garden even though it seemed to be dying for an unknown reason and Fiona had to ferret out the reason the magic had left the building, so to speak. Then when her parents come to visit, her father some how becomes the main suspect in the murder of a popular fiddle player who is in town for a concert. The mystery was very complex and there were a lot of suspects that had ties to town that were unknown when the book started. Loved the unfolding of it all.

There was so much detail in this that it made the whole story so fresh for me. I think I have read one other book in this series since the concept seems so familiar to me. Looking forward to diving more into this popular flower titled series and seeing what it has to offer me.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Accidental Target (Love Inspired Suspense) by Theresa Lynn Hall


Accidental Target
(Love Inspired Suspense)

ebook, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2020 by Love Inspired Suspense





Goodreads synopsis: 
On an icy road in the dead of night

what she sees might get her killed.

Allison Moore can’t deny what she sees—a lifeless hand sticking out of a tarp in the back of a crashed pickup truck. Seconds later, she’s on the run with a murderer on her heels. Nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted…except police sergeant Jackson Archer. But with someone set on silencing her, can Jackson keep his promise of protection?

***

4.5 stars

This is a book by Theresa Lynn Hall in the Love Inspired Suspense line by Harlequin Books.

This was a very exciting book. I enjoyed the back and forth drama between Allison Moore and police sergeant Jackson Archer. Allison thinks she is helping out a stranded motorist when what she finds is a disgruntled member of a crime family disposing of a dead body of a DEA agent. She accidentally gets a photo of this guy while trying to use the flashlight app on her phone. The man shoots at her and she speeds away not realizing what danger she is truly in. Even Sergeant Archer doesn’t grasp the intent of the man until a good way into the book.

Jackson had lost his wife, daughter and not yet born son to an accident years earlier and he is still reeling from that loss. It has kept him far away and angry at God. Allison helps him to refocus on something meaningful in his life. She becomes important to him very quickly.

I love how the story ended. The epilogue was a nice touch since we don’t usually get to see what happens after they fall in love. Great book. Looking forward to more from this author.

If you like romantic suspense, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Grave Prediction (Psychic Eye Mystery #14) by Victoria Laurie


A Grave Prediction

Hardcover, 306 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Berkley Books




Goodreads synopsis: 
In Victoria Laurie's latest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper learns that following the money often leads to murder....

When Abby is sent to Los Angeles to help train FBI officers to use their intuition, she encounters a case that only she can solve: a series of bank robberies in which the thieves made off with loads of cash but left no clues. Abby's sixth sense leads her team to a tract of land recently cleared for development, where she gets a vision of four buried bodies. However, a site search turns up only ancient bones and pottery from an American Indian tribe, which is enough to delay construction for years.

With a furious developer and dubious FBI agents on her back, Abby is losing credibility fast. But Abby's talent rarely leads her astray, and if the bodies aren't there yet, that means four deaths can still be stopped. She'll just have to dig a little deeper....

***

5 stars

This is the fourteenth book in the Psychic Eye mystery series by Victoria Laurie.

Wow! I just can’t get enough of this series. Probably my favorite series right now. It is totally my jam and filling a need in my heart!

Abby has both instant insights in this and also those insights that take a while to ferret out. Seems like the FBI is always wanting to test her abilities at every turn. But she makes a believer out of them. Love this underdog. She always makes a way an pulls through no matter the circumstance.

This starts out as a straight forward bank robbery case and it soon spirals out of control when Abby senses dead bodies not far from the latest bank robbery. I am pretty sure this case wouldn’t have been solved without Abby’s assistance. It was complex and completely entertaining. Love seeing her and Candice making teamwork look like a piece of cake.

Great series that I plan on reading more of. Highly recommended.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Howloween Murder (Melanie Travis #26) by Laurien Berenson


Howloween Murder

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Kensington




Goodreads synopsis: 
As the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, counts down to a spooky celebration on October 31st, a horrifying murder leaves Melanie Travis pawing for clues in a hair-raising game of trick-or-treat . . .

With just a few days left before Halloween, everyone at Howard Academy is anticipating the guaranteed sugar high they’ll experience from gorging on Harriet Bloom’s famous marshmallow puffs. The private school’s annual costume party revolves around the headmaster’s assistant and her seemingly supernatural batches of gooey goodies. So, it's a shock when Harriet’s elderly neighbor is suddenly found dead with the beloved dessert in his hand. In a snap, police start questioning whether Harriet modified her top-secret recipe to include a hefty dose of lethal poison . . .

Melanie knows her tenured colleague would never intentionally serve cyanide-laced puffs to a defenseless old man. But as explosive neighborhood gossip reveals a potential culprit, it also brings her closer to sealing her own doom. Because on an evening ruled by masked revelers, bizarre getups, and hidden identities, Halloween might just be the perfect opportunity for a cold-hearted killer to get away with murder once again—this time sending a nosy, unsuspecting sleuth to an early grave!

***

4.5 stars

This is the twenty-sixth book in the Melanie Travis mystery series by Laurien Berenson.

This was a pretty interesting mystery. I was fascinated by the relationship between Melanie and co-worker, Harriet. They had worked together for awhile but she had never learned the woman’s last name. The whole mystery surrounded a poisoning of a man who died by eating a marshmallow puff made by Harriet which was a Halloween staple in their town. Tracking down all the puffs Harriet had gifted was probably the best part of this. We got insight into so many characters due to this tactic.

The story was pretty complex when it all came down to it. I was surprised by how it all connected together. 

Great series that I plan on reading more of. Highly recommended.

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Murder at the PTA (Maya and Sandra Mystery #1) by Lee Hollis


Murder at the PTA
by Lee Hollis 

Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: September 29th 2020 by Kensington




Goodreads synopsis: 
First in a new series!

Someone is trying to turn Portland High into a school for scandal with a gossipy website called Dirty Laundry. The latest target of ruinous rumors is newly elected PTA president Sandra Wallage. After a heated meeting with outraged parents, Sandra runs into fellow school mom and private investigator Maya Kendrick, who's discovered the person behind the website. But when the women storm into the venomous gossip columnist’s office they find a lifeless body—along with a confession.

Although the police rule the death a suicide, Maya suspects an injured party hung the Dirty Laundry creator out to dry. Maya already has a PI partner—but she's pregnant, and sonograms and stakeouts tend to conflict. So when Sandra volunteers for a crash course in sleuthing, Maya accepts the help. But as these unlikely partners study the clues, a killer plans to teach them a lesson . . 

***

5 stars

This is the first book in the Maya and Sandra mystery series by Lee Hollis.

I have been waiting for a year to read this and I was not disappointed.

Okay, I have to admit that I am totally obsessed with this. This was one great read! There is so much juice in this that it literally overflowed with goodness.

Maya is the PI who is down to her last dime, used to work for the police force and has a moral compass that points true north. Sandra is the wife of a senator with two sons that I just fell in love with practically after she was introduced. What an amazing combo these two make.

The mystery here is very involved and the ultimate killer is someone you never see coming. What a great reveal! I can’t wait to see what is next in this series. I feel like this could be its own tv show sort of like Charlie’s Angels!

Highly recommended! Check this series starter for sure!

If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.