Daily Archives: June 1, 2014

The Outsmarting of Criminals by Steven Rigolosi

The Outsmarting of CriminalsThe Outsmarting of Criminals by Steven Rigolosi is the first book in the “Miss Felicity Prim” mystery series. Publisher: Ransom Note Press, March 2014

After being mugged in New York City, Miss Felicity Prim decides to leave the big city and purchase a home in the country, where she will be safe from the dangerous criminals who call New York home. A devoted reader of crime fiction, Miss Prim believes that her reading experiences have given her the skills required to become an amateur sleuth in her new home of Greenfield, Connecticut. She gets her chance to prove her mettle when she finds a corpse in her basement. As Miss Prim searches for the victim’s identity and killer, she finds her father’s old journals, which create a crisis in her family. Meanwhile, Miss Prim’s young friend, Dolly, has become involved in a dangerous situation and needs Miss Prim’s help. Can Miss Prim, with her insights into human behavior and her steadfast refusal to rely on forensics and databases (which she considers the crutches of lazy investigators), save the day and bring everything to a happy resolution? Of course she can.

Steve has written a delightfully charming whodunit with colorful characters and wittily engaging banter. The mystery had a strong plot that kept me guessing with a slew of suspects and some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I especially loved seeing titles of books I read within the pages of this tome. Some humor and misfortune rounded out this wonderful drama and I and I can’t wait to see what road Miss Prim takes in her next adventures.

My Musing ~ Murder on the Hoof by Kathryn O’Sullivan

Murder on the HoofMurder on the Hoof by Kathryn O’Sullivan is the second book in the “Colleen McCabe” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, May 2014

It’s mid-August in the Outer Banks village of Corolla in North Carolina and Fire Chief Colleen McCabe is conducting rookie training and spending increasingly more time with her best friend, Sheriff Bill Dorman. The wild horses have been relocated to the sanctuary, and the town is occupied with the upcoming local theatre production. All is right with the world. But when a member of the acting troupe is found dead in the dunes after an emergency training exercise and Bill’s ex-fiancée arrives in town, Colleen knows trouble is back with a vengeance.

Then a second member of the theatre company is discovered dead at the Whalehead Club, and Colleen is forced to put aside her feelings about her relationship with Bill and work with him to uncover who is murdering the thespians and why. She discovers as much drama offstage as on and quickly finds herself swept up in the intrigue of the theatre company and struggling to keep her men at the firehouse focused. As the danger mounts, Bill warns her off the investigation. Despite his warning, and to her own peril, Colleen is determined to stop the killer before he or she strikes again.

In her sequel to Foal Play, Kathryn O’Sullivan delivers more laughs and mayhem with charming characters mystery readers will love getting to know.

I love it! This was an evenly-paced drama with a comfortable tone that was hard to put down as this light and airy tome quickly became a page turner. Who wanted them dead? Are the two connected? One killer? Two killers? Step inside this wonderfully executed story where the residents are a friendly and eclectic group of people who will delight you with their interaction and dialogue between one another. The author did a great job in keeping me mystified by the murders with plenty of suspects and some surprising twists that added to this whodunit. With Colleen and Bill on the case, things hit a bit too close for comfort for Colleen, and it will take a village to bring a murderer to justice. Colleen is a fun character holding court over a group of male firefighters and Bill is the local sheriff who enjoys a “best friend” status that only they see. I can’t wait to see what new adventures await Colleen, Bill and their friends in the next book in this delightfully engaging series.

Scrappy Summer by Mollie Cox Bryan

Scrappy SummerScrappy Summer by Mollie Cox Bryan is the first novella in the “Cumberland Creek” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, May 2014

Summer’s in full swing, and it’s time once again for the Cumberland Creek County Fair Pie Competition. DeeAnn Fields just knows this is her year to finally win with her brilliant apple green chili pie. But after the judges take one bite and spit it back out, ordering DeeAnn to leave at once, she’s baffled as to what went wrong. . .until she discovers someone sabotaged her pie.

Banding together to find out who hated DeeAnn enough to ruin her chances of winning, the ladies of the Cumberland Scrapbook Crop scrap their summer plans to get to the bottom of this mystery so that they can return to what they do best–cropping and crafting!

As always, it is fun to visit the scrapbooking women from Cumberland Creek and this time a mystery surrounds the pie that DeeAnn submitted for the pie-baking contest. Discovering what happened to her pie turns into a surprising twist of events, but the biggest surprise is when the winner is announced. This was very delightfully charming novella and a great interlude before the next book in the Cumberland Creek series which the author teases us with the first chapter.

Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman

Ruin FallsRuin Falls by Jenny Milchman is the follow-up to her critically acclaimed Cover of Snow. Publisher: Ballantine Books, April 2014

In a suspenseful follow-up to her critically acclaimed Cover of Snow, Jenny Milchman ratchets up the tension with this edge-of-your-seat story of a mother determined to find her missing children.

Liz Daniels has every reason to be happy about setting off on a rare family vacation, leaving behind her remote home in the Adirondack Mountains for a while. Instead, she feels uneasy. Her children, eight-year-old Reid and six-year-old Ally, have met their paternal grandparents only a handful of times. But Liz’s husband, Paul, has decided that, despite a strained relationship with his mother and father, they should visit the farm in western New York where he spent his childhood.

On their way to the farm, the family stops at a hotel for the night. In the morning, when Liz goes to check on her sleeping children, all her anxiety comes roaring back: Ally and Reed are nowhere to be found. Blind panic slides into ice-cold terror as the hours tick by without anyone finding a trace of the kids. Soon, Paul and Liz are being interviewed by police, an Amber Alert is issued, and detectives are called in.

Frantic worry and helplessness threaten to overtake Liz’s mind—but in a sudden, gut-wrenching instant she realizes that it was no stranger who slipped into the hotel room that night. Someone she trusted completely has betrayed her. Though she knows that Ally and Reid are safe, Liz will stop at nothing to find them and get them back. From her guarded in-laws’ unwelcoming farmhouse to the deep woods of her own hometown, Liz follows the threads of a terrible secret to uncover a hidden world created from dreams and haunted by nightmares.

Wow! In this telling novel, the author took me on a frightening journey for a mom whose one goal is to get her kids back safely. This fast-paced and action filled drama immediately pulled me in from the beginning to an ending that culminated in a climatic conclusion. The author did a great job in building up the suspenseful nature in each adrenaline rushed and heart-pounding scene peppered with twists and turns in this riveting tale that was hard to put down. Overall, this was a great read with a diverse cast of characters in this wickedly, devious thriller.

Booty Bones by Carolyn Haines

Booty BonesBooty Bones by Carolyn Haines is the 14th book in the “Sarah Booth Delaney” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, May 2014

Sarah Booth Delaney’s fiancé, Graf Milieu, has become depressed while recovering from a severe leg injury, but Sarah Booth knows just how to help him heal. She’s arranged a romantic getaway for the two of them at a lovely beach cottage on Dauphin Island off the Gulf Coast. On the first day of their island adventure, they take a historical tour led by Angela Trotter, a young woman well-versed in local lore, including rumors of pirate treasure hidden somewhere on the island. In fact, Angela confides to Sarah Booth and Graf that her father, a sailor and treasure hunter, was murdered just when he thought he was closing in on the treasure.

Angela’s convinced that the wrong man was imprisoned for her father’s murder, and against Sarah Booth’s better judgment, she manages to persuade her to take on the case. But Sarah Booth soon realizes that there’s much more going on than meets the eye. With untold amounts of treasure offering plenty of motive for murder and a fiancé falling deeper into depression, Sarah Booth’s peaceful island vacation is quickly spinning out of control.

In Booty Bones, Carolyn Haines will once again delight readers with her trademark blend of clever plotting, witty prose, and Southern charm.

Oh my, I simply adore this series, which gets better and better with each new release. This books oozes with southern charm that is delightfully entertaining and engaging. Sarah Booth is at her best when both her personal and professional lives are intertwined when she tries to do the right thing and we are taken on a ride filled with so much emotion, I wanted to go inside this book and grab hold and never let her go. Some surprising twists in this character-driven mystery made this book hard to put down and quickly became a page-turner, as I had to know what happens next. Revelations here and there put a spin on this tantalizing whodunit with a conclusion that have me yearning for more tales with Sarah Booth and her friends.