Sweetheart Deal by Linda Joffe Hull is the third book in the “Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, November 2015
Now the star of her own reality show, The Family Frugalicious, Maddie Michaels heads south of the border with her family to cover bargain destination weddings at a swank, but budget friendly, Mexican resort. Things get a little too real when timeshare sales manager Alejandro Espinoza makes a play for Maddie one evening and ends up floating dead in the pool the next. Was it an accident or a preplanned part of the Mrs. Frugalicious storyline?
When the show’s producers extend the trip so she, her all-but-ex Frank, and the kids can investigate—not to mention get enough footage for a two-part, Emmy-worthy episode—Maddie fears she’s in way more agua caliente than she ever bargained for.
I like it. This was such a fun book to read where a reality show, timeshares, frugality tips and murder seems to collide and who is in the center of it all. . .well, Mrs Frugalicious herself when it is deemed that she and her family should try to investigate this murder as an amateur sleuth. And in doing so, we are taken on a fast-paced, action-filled drama with a variety of shenanigans perpetrated by those with something to hide that made this an entertaining read. The author did a great job in providing a slew of suspects and clues that took me in so many directions, all to the enjoyment of following along with Maddie and her family. Boasting a fun cast of characters, a nice setting location and engaging dialogue, this was a good read and I hope there are more exciting adventures with Maddie and her family.
Hickory Dickory Dock, Murder is on the Clock by Fran Rizer is the 7th book in the “Callie Parrish” mystery series. Publisher: Odyssey South Publishing
Mortuary cosmetician Callie Parrish doesn’t have time to sleuth the day before her father’s wedding though Jane’s accusation that Callie attracts murder like a magnet seems true. She finds a John Doe homicide victim.
Callie and Jane are terrified when they begin receiving threats from a man who knows Jane is telephone fantasy actress Roxanne and where she lives.
John Doe is identified–Loose Lucy’s ex-boyfriend. Callie is astonished to learn her brother Bill has hidden Lucy in the same house where he lives with his wife. The sheriff vows Bill is not a suspect, but he wants to talk to him. Instead of cooperating, Bill runs.
Callie is torn between protecting Jane and investigating the murder. She believes Jane is truly in danger, but she knows the only way to save Bill is to find the killer herself–though Callie doubts anyone can salvage her brother’s marriage.
This is such a fun series and I love the adventures that Callie finds herself involved in. This one is not of her doing but the way the author sets this mystery with several subplots up is quite engaging and entertaining. The quirky family that is the Parrish are all accounted for in this delightfully charming light drama. The mystery of who killed the victim was good because it could have been anyone, but yet the author chose to hid the killer in plain sight and did a good job at that. Callie as usual is her strong and independent self and a survivor. I really liked the ending in this book and I hope to see more of that situation in future books. This was a good read and I’m so happy that a new book in planned for 2016.
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Tagged Fran Rizer
Murder at Peacock Mansion by Judy Alter is the third book in the “Blue Plate Café” mystery series. Publisher: Alter Ego Publishing, November 2015
Arson, a bad beating, and a recluse who claims someone is trying to kill her all collide in this third Blue Plate Café Mystery with Kate Chambers.
Torn between trying to save David Clinkscales, her old boss and new lover, and curiosity about Edith Aldridge’s story of an attempt on her life, Kate has to remind herself she has a café to run. She nurses a morose David, whose spirit has been hurt as badly as his body, and tries to placate Mrs. Aldridge, who was once accused of murdering her husband but acquitted. One by one, Mrs. Aldridge’s stepchildren enter the picture. Is it coincidence that David is Edith Aldridge’s lawyer? Or that she seems to rely heavily on the private investigator David hires? First the peacocks die. . .and then the people. Everyone is in danger, and no one knows who to suspect.
The author did a great job in plotting this highly intriguing tale that captured my attention immediately, quickly becoming a page turner as I had to know what happens next. The mystery kept me guessing and I enjoyed the various red herrings that culminated in a surprising twist that I didn’t see coming, especially when everything played out and we knew who was behind it all. Kate is a great amateur sleuth who doesn’t go it alone, she has the aide of her lawyer boyfriend and the local police chief and together, this trio makes a great team. Boasting a good supporting cast and great dialogue, this was one of the best books in terrific series.
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Tagged Judy Alter
Five Spot by Cindy Blackburn is the fifth book in the “Cue Ball” humorously romantic mystery series. Publisher: Cindy Blackburn, November 2015
At long last! Jessie Hewitt is about to take her rightful spot in the Hall of Fame. No, not the one for pool sharks. This is the Romance Writers Hall of Fame. Jessie’s so excited she’s even convinced über-hunky cop Wilson Rye to tag along for the induction festivities. But things don’t go exactly as planned. How could a conference called Happily Ever After take such a wrong turn? Take a guess.
I love, love, love this fast-paced, action-packed and engagingly entertaining tale that pulled me in immediately and quickly became a page-turner because I did not want to put this down. Oh the hilarity that ensues causing me to laugh out loud while reading the antics and shenanigans of this quirky cast of characters with the ever wonderful Geeze Louise who brightens up every scene that she steals. As always I love the crime solving duo of Jessie and Wilson with the delightful appearance of Jessie’s mom, Tessie. The author did a great job in laying out the plot and mystery that kept me going in all kinds of direction with a surprising twist when the killer’s identity was reveal, that I did not see coming. Great job. I can’t wait for the next book in this, as Geeze Louise says, fantastical, fantastical, fantastical series.
Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin is the first book in the NEW “Miss Ruffles” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur, November 2015
Rich and flamboyant Honeybelle Hensley, the most colorful character in Mule Stop, Texas, dies a suspicious death and enrages the whole town by leaving her worldly fortune to the most undeserving recipient-her dog. The incorrigible Miss Ruffles is a Texas Cattle Cur, not a cuddly lapdog, and when Honeybelle was alive, Miss Ruffles liked nothing better than digging up Honeybelle’s famous rose garden after breakfast, chasing off the UPS man before lunch and terrorizing the many gentleman callers who came knocking at cocktail hour.
But now Miss Ruffles is in danger, and it’s up to Sunny McKillip, the unwilling dogsitter, to keep her safe. Sunny is new to Texas, and sometimes she feels as if she’s fallen into an alien world. If it isn’t the pistol-packing football fans and the sweet-talking, yet ruthless ladies of the garden club who confound her, it’s the rowdy rodeo hounds and the tobacco-spitting curmudgeon at Critter Control who have her buffaloed. With a killer on the loose and a cowboy lawyer keeping a suspicious eye on her every move, Sunny needs all the help she can get understanding how Texans think. There’s more to Honeybelle’s death than meets this Yankee’s eye, and Sunny has Miss Ruffles to protect, too. It’s a bucking bull ride of an adventure for Sunny, and if she’s not careful she might just get killed . . . or her heart lassoed.
What a fun book that grabbed my attention immediately and I couldn’t wait to see how this will all end. I liked how the story was presented quickly becoming a page turner as I had to know what happens next and boy was I amused along the way. The humor, the antics, the quirky cast of characters and just being in Texas kept me engaged in all facets in the telling of this fast-paced and action-filled drama. Sunny is a great character and Miss Ruffles just tickled my funny bone. I look forward to more adventures with Sunny and the gang.
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Tagged Nancy Martin