Category Archives: Books

books I’ve read – not all of them are listed here, only those I’ve done reviews of

My Musing ~ Bridges Burned by Annette Dashofy

Bridges BurnedBridges Burned by Annette Dashofy is the third book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, April 2015

Paramedic Zoe Chambers is used to saving lives, but when she stops a man from running into a raging inferno in a futile attempt to rescue his wife, Zoe finds herself drawn to him, and even more so to his ten-year-old daughter. She invites them both to live at the farm while the grieving widower picks up the pieces of his life.

Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams, of course, is not happy with this setup, especially when he finds evidence implicating Zoe’s new houseguest in murder times two. When Zoe ignores Pete’s dire warnings, she runs the very real chance of burning one too many bridges, losing everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

This was a great read and I just loved watching Zoe and Pete do their best in their respective job, yet struggle in their personal life and what a tangled mess it becomes when Zoe and Pete are on the opposite sides in the murder investigation and she invites the suspect into her home.

This fast-paced drama had everything: a burning mystery that kept me engaged in all aspect of solving the crime; personal flare-ups between the two main protagonists that yearned to be uncorked; and a well-rounded action-packed tale that was cascaded into an explosive finish worthy of the book’s title. The author did a great job in keeping me in the story’s clutches and with baited breath, watching it all play out in the end. This book is the best one yet in this terrific series and I’m so happy there will be more adventures with Zoe and her friends.

My Musing ~ Lemon Pies and Little White Lies by Ellery Adams

Lemon Pies and Little White LiesLemon Pies and Little White Lies by Ellery Adams is the fourth book in the “Charmed Pie Shoppe” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2015

After Pecan Pies and Homicides comes another tangy slice of life—and death—in a charmed, and charming, small town.

Ella Mae LeFaye’s Charmed Pie Shoppe has become a phenomenon beyond her wildest dreams, providing the enchanted town of Havenwood, Georgia, with spellbinding desserts and magical pies. Her personal life is also heating up as she takes on the responsibilities of leadership within her magical community. In fact, the only thing weighing her down is the fact that handsome Hugh Dylan won’t return her calls.

Still, when Havenwood is rocked by a series of mysterious deaths, Ella Mae must put romantic longings aside—especially when she realizes that the mystical symbols left at each crime scene are dangerously personal. Now she will have to whip up all her supernatural skills to uncover a killer out to settle an ancient score—before the murderer devastates everything Ella Mae is determined to protect.

This is another gem in the Ellery Adams arsenal of mystery loving books, which warms the cockles of my heart, always leaving me in comfort. Ellery has done it again by delivering a dynamic story where the relationship between Ella Mae, her family, her friends and the *special* people of Havenwood takes center stage, this while trying to solve the murder and the threat on her family. I really enjoyed the flow of this drama and how every scene, every dialogue, every action leads up for the climatic showdown that Ella Mae must face. Everyone is back in this character-driven and delightfully charming tale and I can’t wait to see what new opportunities and adventures will present itself to Ella Mae and the people of Havenwood in the next book in this wonderfully terrific series.

My Musing ~ Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Wedding DuressWedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey is the 10th book in the “Southern Sewing Circle” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley, April 2015

Librarian Tori Sinclair is tying the knot—as long as a murder doesn’t unravel her plans. . .

Tori is ecstatic to become Mrs. Milo Wentworth in a few days, but she has a lot to do before she sashays down the aisle. Favors need to be sewn, vows need to be written—and a mystifying murder needs to be solved.

When Beatrice, a fellow member of the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle, learns that her former nanny took a fatal fall in her new employers’ home, she suspects the death was not an accident. Now Tori’s spending her last days as a single woman untangling rumors and stitching together motives to find a killer. But can she nab a murderer and make it to the church on time?

I love it. As her upcoming wedding approaches, things should be harmonious for Tori, that is, until tension erupts among the women in her bridal party and the murder involving a visiting nanny. Tori is on the case with help from her friends and an unlikely source whose help points Tori in the right direction to unstitch a killer.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from the beginning to a satisfying ending. I love the comfortable tone and pacing of this light-hearted whodunit that was easy to follow. The author is very adept at pulling me in and making me feel like I’m part of all the action as I eagerly awaited the wedding ceremony. The mystery was well crafted and it was fun watching all the pieces, bit by bit, fall into place and even I was surprised at the killer’s identity. This character-driven drama evokes a variety of emotions that brings this delightfully charming tale into my heart to stay. This is by far the best book in the series and I look forward to the new adventures that await Tori, Milo and their friends.

My Musing ~ Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer

Lowcountry BoneyardLowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer is the third book in the “Liz Talbot” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, April 2015

Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.

But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.

Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

Secrets abound in this telling tale of family dysfunction of which once you open a can of worms, you can’t go back and the resulting nature leads to the inevitable as Liz and Nate discover in this provocative drama that had my heart palpitating as I had to know how this will all end. From beginning to end, this book captured the soul of the chase and the triumph of justice’s reign. Liz is the gutsy heroine who leads this drama and with guidance from an angel, we see her strengths and determination in all that she does. This brilliantly executed and well defined mystery left me mesmerized by all things Southern in one fell swoop. Boasting a superb cast of characters, engaging conversations, a feel good atmosphere and all-around entertaining whodunit, this is the best book yet in this wonderfully charming series.

My Musing ~ The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio

The Readaholics and the Falcon FiascoThe Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio is the first book in the new “Book Club” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, April 2015

Amy-Faye Johnson’s book club, the Readaholics, enjoys guessing whodunit in mysteries like The Maltese Falcon. But when a murder happens in their midst, they discover that solving crimes is harder that reading about them.

Amy-Faye has always loved her idyllic Rocky Mountain town of Heaven, Colorado. Her event-planning business is thriving, her fellow book-obsessed Readaholics are great, and her parents live only a few blocks away. But lately her hometown has felt a little less heavenly. First, she agrees to plan a wedding without realizing the groom is her ex-boyfriend. Then, Ivy, one of her fellow Readaholics, dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances.

The police rule Ivy’s death a suicide by poisoning, but Amy-Faye and the remaining Readaholics suspect foul play. Amy-Faye soon discovers that Ivy was hiding dangerous secrets—and making deadly enemies. Taking a page from her favorite literary sleuths, Amy-Faye is determined to find the real killer and close the book on this case. But finding the truth could spell her own ending.

This was a very enjoyable debut novel featuring Amy-Faye and her friends. When a friend dies unexpectedly, Amy-Faye does not believe that it was a case of suicide, but rather murder and it is her strong conviction that forces the handsome detective to look more into her friend’s death. The author did a great job in presenting this evenly paced mystery that quickly became a page-turner as the unfolding drama was hard to put down. The ensemble cast of characters, each with their own unique style, meshed wonderfully in their efforts to help Amy-Faye and her pursuit of finding the truth. This was a good mystery and I enjoyed how it all played out with the apprehension of the killer. Amy-Faye is very likable and I applauded at the action she took towards one of the event she was hosting. This is a welcomed addition to the cozy genre and I look forward to more adventures with Amy-Faye and her friends.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

My Musing ~ Threads of Deceit by Mae Fox and Jan Fields

Threads of DeceitThreads of Deceit by Mae Fox and Jan Fields is the first book in the new “Vineyard Quilt” mystery series. Publisher: Annie’s, April 2015

Former antiquities bounty hunter, Julie Ellis, is on the run, trying to stay one stiletto step ahead of her past. She accepts a position as manager of the Quilt Haus Inn in Missouri wine country, thinking it the perfect place to keep a low profile and start a new, less-dangerous career. It is—until Daniel Franklin walks through the door and asks for a room.

Daniel claims he’s come to Straussberg in search of a famous sunken ship that he believes is buried in a nearby farm field. Julie finds the handsome historian’s story odd at best, but when a dead body is discovered at the proposed dig site, it becomes clear somebody else believes the theory and doesn’t want the ship or its secrets exposed. Who in the town would possibly care about the old shipwreck? As frightening things start to happen at the inn—all seemingly connected to the hunt for the missing ship—Julie and her quilting friends must unearth the truth before someone else is buried.

I like it. More than a sunken ship is discovered when a dead body is found and seeking some excitement Julie plays amateur sleuth and uncovers a whole lot of holes let to be dug up. I love the writing style and the comfortable tone in this whodunit that was enjoyable. The author has a way with the written word that let me play along with the characters. The mystery was good as it kept me closely watching all the action as one-by-one the suspect list was narrowed to a few with some twists that caught me unawares. Julie is very likable as is her BFF Hannah. She is surrounded by Millie who may have sporadic appearances, Shirley who I adore, Inga who just needed the right moment and of course I hope we get to see more of Daniel. This was a fun read and I can’t wait to read Pattern of Betrayal, the next book in this delightfully charming debut series. Bonus quilt pattern is included.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

My Musing ~ The Cat Sitter’s Whiskers by John Clement

The Cat Sitters WhiskersThe Cat Sitter’s Whiskers by John Clement is the 10th book in the “Dixie Hemingway” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur, March 2015

Set in the sleepy beach-side town of Siesta Key, Florida, THE CAT SITTER’S WHISKERS catches up with Dixie as she heads off for work one morning in the dimly lit hours before sunrise.

Her very first client of the morning is Barney Feldman, a Maine coon cat with a reputation for mischief who’s guarding his vacationing owner’s valuable collection of decidedly creepy antique masks. But someone’s hiding in the house when she arrives, and they sneak up and knock her out cold. When the cops arrive at the house, there’s just one problem: no one has broken in and nothing is missing.

Searching for answers, Dixie soon finds herself hopelessly trapped in a murky world of black market antiques, dark-hearted secrets, and murderous revenge. . . a mystery only she can solve.

I love it. This was a fun read that I enjoyed from beginning to end. The tone of this light-hearted whodunit was very comfortable and I liked how nicely the story flowed. The author has a way with the written words that pulled me in and I felt like I was part of all the action, standing right next to Dixie. The mystery was well done and kept me turning the pages to see what happens next. I like the portrayal of Dixie as very determined and when she is threatened, step aside, because nothing will stop her. This was a delightfully entertaining and I look forward to the next book in the series.