Daily Archives: May 4, 2014

Patchwork Peril by Lois Winston

Patchwork PerilPatchwork Peril by Lois Winston is the third mini-mystery in the “Anastasia Pollack Crafting” series. Publisher: Lois Winston, April 2014

After rescuing her elderly neighbor Rosalie’s quilts from a rainstorm, craft editor Anastasia Pollack discovers Rosalie unconscious at the bottom of her basement stairs. Rosalie’s estranged niece Jane flies east to care for her during her recovery, but Rosalie suspects her motives are less than altruistic and even accuses Jane of trying to kill her. Is Rosalie’s paranoia a result of her head injury, or is there something more to her accusations? And can Anastasia uncover the truth before it’s too late?

I love these mini-mysteries from Lois that keeps me up-to-date with the goings on in the life that is Anastasia. Anastasia is at it again and hilarity ensues in this well-crafted whodunit. I hope we continue to see more of these mini-mysteries or full –length novels.

Boiled Over by Barbara Ross

Boiled OverBoiled Over by Barbara Ross is the second book in the “Maine Clambake” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, May 2014

For Julia Snowden, the Founder’s Day summer celebration in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, means helping her family’s clambake company to prepare an authentic taste of New England seafood. Any Mainer will tell you that a real clambake needs wood for the fire . . . so why is there a foot sticking out of the oven?

The townspeople want to pin the murder of the RV park owner on Cabe Stone, a new employee of the Snowden Family Clambake Company–who bolted from the crime scene and disappeared. Julia knows having another murder associated with her family’s business is a recipe for disaster . . . but who is the killer? Cooking up a proper investigation doesn’t leave much time for the rest of Julia’s life, and this is one killer who’ll do anything to stop her from digging up clues.

This was a great read. The writing style is very comfortable with an easy flow from chapter to chapter. You get a taste of Maine as you move forward in this mystery. The author did a great job in pacing this drama filled with non-stop action as our heroine tries to do the right thing in clearing a man’s name, but also finding where her heart lies. The suspect list was full and I enjoyed watching it all played out as the list got shorter and shorter until the killer was revealed. Boasting an eclectic cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a wonderful Maine setting, this was a delectably appetizing whodunit that left me wanting more. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Julia and the gang in the next book in this delightfully charming light fare.

Catnapped by Elaine Viets

CatnappedCatnapped by Elaine Viets is the 13th book in the “Dead-End Job” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, May 2014

No more pussyfooting around! Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont have barely scratched the surface of the world of show cats when a cornered kitty kidnapper’s claws come out.

This show cat is a no-show.

The one thing celebrity Trish Barrymore and her no-account accountant husband, Mort, can agree on in their bitter divorce is shared cat custody. But when Mort is found brained by a mahogany cat tower, and Justine, their pedigreed Chartreux show cat, goes missing, Trish calls on Helen and Phil. Despite a ransom note from the catnapper, Trish is still the prime murder suspect in the eyes of the police. As they await the post-Mort-em, it’s up to Helen and Phil to find the feline filcher and let the cat out of the bag.

Discovering that Mort had some shady dealings within cat show circles, Helen goes undercover as an assistant for a woman who shows prizewinning Persians. But Phil is not buying Trish’s cat-that-swallowed-a-canary act—he thinks she might be staging the whole catnapping.

As Helen and Phil get deeper into a high-pressure world of primping, posing, and purring to collar a killer, they get caught up in a cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are literally life and death.

One of the things I like best about this series are the dead-end jobs that Helen takes and in their latest caper, Helen gets a job as a cat groomer when her client is jailed for murder and her prized cat is kidnapped. This was a very enjoyable read with an interesting subplot peaked my interest – the behind the scenes look at the preparation of what it takes to “show” a cat. This quickly became a page-turner as I had to know what happens next and the author did a good job in keeping me busy collecting clues in this well-defined whodunit. As always, it’s a fun ride when we get to see Margery, Peggy and even Pete as Helen and Phil enjoy their daily lives and respite at the Coronado Tropic Apartments.

FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.