Category Archives: Books

My Musing ~ Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code GreyCode Grey by Clea Simon is the 9th book in the “Dulcie Schwartz” mystery series. Publisher: Severn House, August 2015

Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not and she sets out to prove it”

It’s spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can’t seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?

With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar s name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity and a new menace.

I found this book to be very engaging as the mystery taunted me with clues that were presented in a manner that grabbed my attention and kept hold of it until the last page was turned. The author did a wonderful job in creating a drama that intensified as the story played out with some clever plot twists that had me asking more questions and delving into the pages as I had to know how it was all going to turn out. A good mystery with paranormal elements, good dialogue and non-stop action made this an enjoyable reading pleasure.

My Musing ~ Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith

Drape ExpectationsDrape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith is the fourth book in the “Caprice De Luca” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, July 2015

Caprice De Luca’s former client and now friend Ace Richland–an 80’s rock star–asks her for a favor. Can she quickly stage his girlfriend’s house to sell? Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him! Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna’s southern charm can be turned on and off at will. Caprice agrees to stage Alanna’s Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace’s sake. But she soon learns Alanna doesn’t have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace’s comeback. However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes. With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna’s cat. In the midst of some of her own family upheaval–her uncle has moved in with her parents–she finds herself with a dilemma. Grant Weatherford, her brother’s law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her. Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family. She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice. Will her refresher self-defense course save her life? Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.

I like it. Once again Caprice gets draped into a murder investigation and that’s when this wonderful adventure takes hold of my attention. This whodunit had a nice pace and a comfortable tone that added to my reading pleasure. The mystery had me quickly turning the pages as the author had a way with presenting this story that put me right in the middle of all the action. I enjoyed watching how this all played out with some surprising twists and turns that eventually lead to the identity of the killer. Caprice is a fun character and I’m so happy a resolution was made in her personal relationship. This is a good mystery with a good plot, great cast of characters, engaging dialogue that entertained me throughout. I look forward to more exciting adventures with Caprice and her friends.

My Musing ~ A Dead Red Miracle by RP Dahlke

A Dead Red MiracleA Dead Red Miracle by RP Dahlke is the fifth book in the “Dead Red” mystery series. Publisher: Dead Bear Publishing, July 2015

Thinking to jump start their careers as private investigators in Wishbone, Arizona, cousins Lalla and Pearlie Bains buy into it with a local P.I.

But their nifty plan starts circling the drain when his unscrupulous business practices end in his untimely death and they discover that he’s been siphoning clients from their partnership.

With only a week before the state puts pulls the business license Lalla and Pearlie will have to corral a wall-climbing Apache ninja, pacify their former boss’s greedy ex-wives and nail a killer. Sure Lalla and Pearlie are in a really tight spot, but all they need is a miracle or two.

When we last visited Lalla, she gotten married and was now living in Arizona. Three years later, her and Pearlie’s dreams of owning their own private investigation business is in jeopardy when their partner is murdered and the only way to save their dream is to find his killer, not realizing more death will follow and what a great job the author did in the telling of this fast-paced and action-filled drama. I like how this was presented with an eclectic cast of characters and a mystery that kept me intrigued, especially when all the pieces came together as the author peppered the scenes with red herrings and some twists and turns to keep me glued to the pages as the puzzling case comes to an end. This was a great read and I enjoyed my time spent with Lalla, Pearlie, Caleb and their friends.

My Musing ~ Killing Secrets by Dianne Emley

Killing SecretsKilling Secrets by Dianne Emley is the fifth book in the “Nan Vining” mystery series. Publisher: Random House/Alibi, July 2015

For fans of Patricia Cornwell, Tana French, and Lisa Gardner comes a razor-sharp novel of suspense featuring Detective Nan Vining—a single mother whose worlds collide when her teenage daughter stumbles upon a grisly double homicide.

When she gets the call, Nan Vining responds as a mother first and a detective second. Her daughter, Emily, has made a gruesome discovery in a secluded section of a Pasadena park: a pretty, popular young teacher from Emily’s high school and a bright yet troubled transfer student—both dead and bloody in a copse of trees. But the crime scene isn’t the only thing that seems off to Detective Vining. There’s also the cocky classmate who was with Emily in the park—the boyfriend she never knew about. What else doesn’t she know about her daughter?

As she attempts to channel both her maternal and investigative instincts into one single point of focus, Vining’s superiors at the Pasadena Police Department are moving at lightning speed. Before the evidence has even been processed, the case is closed as a clear-cut murder/suicide: a disturbed teenager murders his teacher, then takes his own life. Vining doesn’t buy it. Now she’s chasing dangerous, powerful people with secrets they would kill for—and taking them down means risking her own flesh and blood.

It’s been five years since I’ve last seen Nan and this fast-paced and riveting drama picked up where it left when Nan’s daughter gets tangled in the death of her teacher and student. When Nan suspects something more sinister, her love for her daughter propels Nan to pull out all the stops to solve this murderous crime.

How I have missed Nan Vining. What a great story that is expertly written and completely had me enthralled in the telling of this suspenseful and intense drama that I could not put down, quickly becoming a page-turner. I loved the frenetic pacing in this action-packed story that had my adrenaline rising, especially the one scene that left me holding my breath in a life or death situation. The author did a great job in setting this dynamically gripping mystery where tantalizing secrets are exposed and the outcome leads to some surprising revelations. Nan is a great heroine and I love her determination in the pursuit of justice. I also enjoyed the interaction with her co-workers, not knowing who to trust but yet getting the job done and the relationship with her daughter. I’m so happy this series is back and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Nan in this terrific series.

My Musing ~ Double Mint by Gretchen Archer

Double MintDouble Mint by Gretchen Archer is the fourth book in the “Davis Way” caper mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, July 2015

It’s convention season at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino and Davis Way Cole barely notices. It’s hard to pay attention when you live in a Jambalaya Junkyard. But when Special Events Coordinator Holder Darby walks off the job just as five hundred Alabama bankers pour in the front door, Davis steps up.

Or would that be in? Definitely in. Davis steps in. It.

Not only has the convention director vanished, but a certain Bellissimo guest is missing. One who forgot to pack the million dollars he left in the bathtub. It looks like our redhead newlywed Super Secret Spy’s lazy summer is over when the Bellissimo vault is robbed. Can Davis connect the dots before it’s too late? Can she get her Taser gun back from Bianca Sanders? Will she be stuck with Eddie Crawford’s 1962 Cadillac forever? What Davis needs is a little faith. And a lot of luck.

DOUBLE MINT.
New money. Old sins. Back to jail. And a cat.
(A cat?)
Break the Bank.

Love it! Davis has made her Way in this delightfully entertaining tour de force. The author’s descriptive and creative narrative pulled me in immediately in this fun-filled and action-packed drama that quickly became a page turner as I could not put this book down until the last sentence was read. The latest caper has Davis on full alert scrambling to solve a puzzling and intricate case that had ties to a missing event planner, a banker’s convention, a mint load of loot, and winning slot machines and when it is all put together, I was on a dazzling and fast-paced ride that I did not want to come off. Hilarity ensued as antics after antics and escapades after escapades kept me constantly engaged as the mystery of who was doing what to whom took hold and came full circle with some surprising results. This is the best one yet in this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Davis and her friends.

My Musing ~ Perish in the Palm by Kari Lee Townsend

Perish in the PalmPerish in the Palm by Kari Lee Townsend is the fourth book in the “Sunny Meadows” mystery series. Publisher: The Story Vault, July 2015

Psychic Sunshine Meadows knows first-hand just how quickly a lifeline can be cut short.

Sunny’s life is finally on track. Her fortune-telling business in the quaint town of Divinity, New York is running smoothly, her parents have finally stopped interfering with her lovelife, and her boyfriend Detective Mitch Stone has moved in with her. But then her life derails, leaving the palm of her hand empty and her dreams just out of reach.

With Granny around and Sunny’s cat Mischievous Morty wreaking havoc, cohabitation with Mitch becomes nearly impossible. Then Sunny’s parents show up for her best friend’s wedding. Sunny’s future is put on hold when the innkeeper’s lifeline is literally cut short at the reception, and Sunny’s mother is named the prime suspect. Sunny must use her clairvoyant abilities to clear her mother’s name and take her life back in her own hands before the real killer gives a whole new meaning to ‘till death do us part. . .

Sunny is back and I’m so thrilled to continue her adventures in Divinity, New York. When her mother becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the local innkeeper, it will take all of Sunny’s skill-set with some help from her friends and her favorite police detective to clear her mother’s name.

What a fun read this was from the beginning to an absolute adoring ending. This fast-paced and action-filled whodunit kept me in tuned with all that was happening as this quickly became a page-turner that I couldn’t put down until the last line was read. The author’s presentation of this story kept me intrigued throughout with some surprising twists and turns that added to the enjoyment of this drama. It was fun watching Sunny narrow down the list even rejoicing until, once again, the author took it in another direction that I did not see coming. Good job! I enjoyed seeing the growth of the various characters in this series, starting with Mitch and ending with Morty, yes, Morty. Boasting a quirky and lovable cast of characters with engaging dialogue and a feel good atmosphere, this was one of the best book in this delightfully whimsical and charming series.

My Musing ~ Peaches and Scream by Susan Furlong

Peaches And ScreamPeaches and Scream by Susan Furlong is the first book in the NEW “Georgia Peach” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, July 2015

In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation.

To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harpers’ livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola’s juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees.

With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking.

I love it. This home-spun mystery blazes with southern charm throughout every scene from the quips at the beginning of each chapter to the dialogue that is downright friendly. Nola springs into action when her brother-in-law becomes the primary suspect when murder occurs on her family’s land. Believing in his innocence, Nola seeks someone among the townsfolk who had an ever stronger motive to kill.

This was a fun read that kept me engaged in all aspect of this enjoyable whodunit. The pacing was perfect and the ease in which the story was told felt so comfortable. The author did a great job in presenting this mystery with the perfect blend of suspense with a lovable cast of characters. I loved how the author set up the killer with a little bit of twist as the end, but all-in-all, it was a satisfactory solution. The writing was superb and the storyline had several subplots that catered to the overall telling of this drama that kept me glued to every nuance in this delightfully charming tale. Boasting a great ensemble led by Nola Mae Harper, who is surrounded by her family and BFF Hattie, I can see wonderful and exciting new adventures happening in Cays Mill, Georgia. This is a great addition to the cozy genre and I look forward to the next book in the series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog