Monthly Archives: December 2012

Beeline to Trouble by Hannah Reed

Beeline to TroubleBeeline to Trouble by Hannah Reed is the fourth book in the “Queen Bee” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, December 2012

Folks in Moraine, Wisconsin, are buzzing about the latest swarm of trouble humming around Story Fischer.

It’s a real buzz-kill when beekeeper Story Fischer gets a visit from her frantic sister. Now she has to help host a combative trio of professional food flavorists. Good thing the well-stocked shelves of Story’s grocery store, the Wild Clover, can provide the morning meal.

During a pre-lunch tour of Story’s hives, however, one of the guests is found dead. Just what Story needs only days after hunky boyfriend, Hunter Wallace, finally decided to move in. As if a dead body isn’t enough to put a damper on romance, Story becomes a prime suspect when the carrot juice she brought with the breakfast fixings is found to contain poison. Now it’s up to Story to comb through the evidence and find the real perpetrator before she ends up getting stung herself.

What a wonderful time I had reading about Story and her family in Moraine, Wisconsin. Story is on the case when both she and her sister becomes the prime suspect in the death of her sister’s guest. With her knack of uncovering clues, Story finds herself in a situation and what a moment that was. This was a great read that I could not put down as I had to know what happens next. The author did a good job in keeping me in suspense with the plot twists throughout this engaging drama. I enjoyed how we got to learn more about Story’s history as well as my one of my favorite characters, Patti. That one surprised me. Boasting a great cast and engaging dialogue, I look forward to more exciting adventures in this pleasantly appealing series. Bonus recipes are included.

What’s Cooking With Olivia Paras by Julie Hyzy

Working in the White House is never boring. As a matter of fact, I enjoy my job as Executive Chef there so much, I actually prefer working to taking a vacation. But this time, I need to get away. Gav and I have decided to fly back to Chicago to visit Mom and Nana. The time has finally come, I think, for my mom to tell me exactly what happened the night my father died.

My mom and grandmother haven’t ever met Gav before, but I’m sure they’ll like him. They have to. I’m finding myself quite caught up with this man, in way I’ve never experienced before.

We only plan to stay a few days and when we get back to Washington, D.C. I have a very special assignment. Even though I have a few days off, the First Lady asked me to come in to work with their son, Josh. He’s a wonderful little boy, and ever since we were kidnapped together, he and I have a special bond. I’m delighted to come in if it means working with that kid. He’s great.

In the kitchen, Bucky and Cyan are fine. Virgil is still an enormous pain in my backside. Doug, who has taken over the chief usher position (temporarily, please let it be temporarily!) now that Paul is gone, isn’t exactly helping matters. He and I seem to be on a collision course. And Sargeant…what can I say? Things are better with him lately. I wouldn’t go so far as to term our relationship “good,” but it is a little better. Facing death together will do that for you.

Back to the trip: Truth be told, I am a little nervous about approaching my mother to talk about my dad’s death. She’s been pointedly close-mouthed about it since it happened… and that was more than twenty-five years ago. Back then I was very young. No one told me anything. There’s no doubt that I could have found my father’s death certificate on my own, but my mother always begged me not to. That makes me believe there’s a lot more to this story. And that’s what FONDUING FATHERS is all about. I think it’s time I knew the truth, don’t you?


Meet the author
Julie Hyzy writes the White House Chef Mystery series as well as the Manor House Mysteries, the newest of which, Grace Among Thieves, came out in June. Julie saw one of her fondest wishes come true in January 2012, when she hit the New York Times Extended Bestseller list. Julie has three daughters, a patient husband, and lives in the Chicago area.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Saturday Night Cleaver by Karen Cantwell

Saturday Night CleaverSaturday Night Cleaver by Karen Cantwell is the fourth book in the “Barbara Marr” murder mystery series. Publisher: Boundless, December 2012

Poor Barb. She just can’t stay out of trouble, no matter how hard she tries. But this time she has a good reason: family friend Colt Baron has gone missing. When soccer mom, Barbara Marr, and her ex-FBI husband, Howard, begin following clues in a search for their treasured pal, they find themselves crashing a rather racy sort of party – a soiree for swinging couples. Awkward. What they learn there is…interesting. But the question is, does the information lead them to Colt?

This book is a rip-roaring, laugh-a-minute, crack-me-up-to-the bone story that had me in stitches from beginning to end as Barbara gets involved in a calamity of situations. I especially love the witty and amusing dialogue that runs rampart through this as well as the relationship Barbara has with her friends and family. Kudos to Karen as this is one of the best book in this delightfully hilarious series.

The Sunday Post – No. 5

SundayPost
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Year-to-date, I’ve read 230 books, an increase of 3% from last year; this does not include any re-reads.

Coming up this week

  • Ollie Parras (Fonduing Fathers, White House Chef #6) by Julie Hyzy
  • Alex Moreland (Murder for the Halibut, Clueless Cook #3) by Liz Lipperman
  • Beatrice Matthews (Scrapped, Cumberland Creek #2) by Mollie Cox Bryan

Books read

  • Extra Credit [Alison Bergeron #7] by Maggie Barbieri
  • Contingent on Approval (Savannah Martin #5.5) by Jenna Bennett
  • Scrapped [Cumberland Creek #2] by Mollie Cox Bryan
  • Saturday Night Cleaver [Barbara Marr #4] by Karen Cantwell
  • Read and Buried [Ashton Corners Book Club #2] by Erika Chase
  • A Deadly Row to Hoe [Homecrafting #6] by Cricket McRae
  • Kiki Lowenstein and Santa’s Helper by Joanna Campbell Slan

Last week’s haul

  • The Black List by Robin Burcell
  • Worth Lying For by Lisa Cheney and Lisa Craig
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Danger in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror by Stacy Juba
  • Rufus and Magic Run Amok by Marilyn Levinson
  • Troubled Sea by Jinx Schwartz
  • Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton
  • The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland by Barbara Silkstone
  • When Good Bras Go Bad by Gayle Trent

Monthly Posts

Contingent on Approval by Jenna Bennett

Continent on ApprovalContingent on Approval by Jenna Bennett is book #5.5 in the “Savannah Martin” mystery series. Publisher: Bente Gallagher, December 2012

It’s the morning after the events of A DONE DEAL, and Savannah is looking at Rafe Collier, a pair of fuzzy handcuffs, a economy sized box of condoms (one of which plays Christmas carols), and the rest of her life… but first, there’s Christmas dinner with the Martins to get through.

Between Margaret Anne at her most poisonous, the ugliest Christmas sweater the world has ever seen, and yet another engagement ring under the tree, Savannah has plenty to worry about, not the least of which is whether Rafe will still want to stick around after dessert.

This is an enjoyable short story with Savannah and Rafe as they spend Christmas in Sweetwater with the Martin family with presents awaiting them that put a smile on my face. I love this series and I’m so happy that their relationship is moving forward and I can’t wait to see what they get into next.

Deadly Row to Hoe by Cricket McRae

Deadly RowDeadly Row to Hoe by Cricket McRae is the seventh book in the “Home Crafting” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, November 2012

Harvest time in Cadyville, Washington, finds Sophie Mae Ambrose volunteering at the local organic farm—and trying to make a little sprout of her own with Barr, her police detective husband. A dead body found in the farm’s compost heap is enough to cast dark clouds over Sophie Mae’s sunny mood, and when Barr’s boss lets her know they need help identifying the body, a reluctant Sophie Mae presses her network of friends and neighbors into action. When a farmhand is found unconscious with a shovel-shaped bump on his head, Sophie Mae turns up the heat on their crop of suspects. If she and Barr don’t root out the killer, it’s only a matter of time before another victim is squashed.

This is a great read where the unexpected happens and Sophie Mae is helping the police in their efforts to nab a killer. The author did a good job in this page turning mystery that was hard to put down. As always, I adore this lovable cast of characters and I look forward to more adventures in Cadyville, Washington in this pleasantly appealing series.

Extra Credit by Maggie Barbieri

Extra CreditExtra Credit by Maggie Barbieri is the seventh book in the “Murder 101″ mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur, December 2012

Alison Bergeron has her doubts about hosting a birthday party for her twin stepdaughters, seeing as it’ll include all of her new husband’s ex-in-laws. Still, she’s a good sport, and everyone has a great time, especially the girls, who receive $10,000 from their estranged uncle, Chick.

The girls’ father, NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford, and Christine, his ex, think the gift is too much. When Crawford swings by Chick’s apartment to return it, he finds Chick dead, with roughly $250,000 stuffed in his mattress. The death is ruled a suicide, but Christine isn’t convinced, and even Alison can’t help but admit that there must be a lot more to Chick’s death than meets the eye.

Extra Credit, the latest in Maggie Barbieri’s stellar Murder 101 series, finds Alison and Bobby delving into family secrets they’d both rather leave untouched.

I really love this series and in particular this latest book in which Alison’s stepdaughter’s birthday party puts her in the middle of her husband’s ex-wife family drama when her long lost brother returns and later is found dead with oodles of money stashed under a mattress. A great book embroils you in the words on the page and that is what Maggie Barbieri does in this engaging romp as Alison becomes involved in yet another upside down world of amateur sleuthing. The action begins immediately and doesn’t let up until the end, in this fast-paced drama that kept me riveted to the pages, as I had to know what happens next and how our illustrious heroine gets out of the situations she seems to find herself caught up in. It’s always a great time well spent with this lovable cast of characters in this delightfully well-written series.