Daily Archives: June 15, 2014

Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper

Tempest in a TeapotTempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper is the first book in the new “Teapot Collector” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2014

Tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is the charming town of Gracious Grove, where time moves slowly, gossip spreads quickly, and the scones are to die for.

When her fashionable Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor retreats to her grandmother’s cozy shop, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse, where serenity is steeped to perfection in one of her many antique teapots. The last thing Sophie expects is a bustling calendar of teahouse events, like her old friend Cissy Peterson’s upcoming bridal shower.

Not everyone is pleased with the bride-to-be’s choice of venue—like Cissy’s grandmother, who owns a competing establishment, La Belle Epoque, and has held a long-simmering grudge against Rose for stealing her beau sixty years ago. Tensions reach a boiling point when Cissy’s fiancé’s mother dies while sampling scones at La Belle Epoque. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list.

I enjoyed this nicely developed whodunit that had me quickly turning the pages as I had to know who was doing what to whom. The pace was very comfortable and I love how each chapter flowed into one another. The author did a good job with the mystery keeping me guessing throughout most of this story with plenty of suspects and there were a few surprising twists that I didn’t see coming. Sophie is very likable and I love that she’s come back; more different from when she left several years ago…the hint of what was back then as opposed to what is now was a recurring theme throughout this light drama. Boasting a diverse cast of secondary characters, who I can’t wait to know more about, and good dialogue, I’m looking forward to the next book in this fresh new cozy series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Scene of the ClimbScene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley is the first book in the new “Pacific Northwest” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, June 2014

Portland, Oregon, is the perfect fit for someone like Meg Reed. It’s a city with a small town feel, where she can crash on the couch of her best friend Jill, now that she’s graduated from journalism school.

But a girl needs a job, so Meg bluffs her way into writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel’s Rest–a two-thousand-foot peak–to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can’t imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate. And if the climbing doesn’t kill her, a murderer just might.

This was a fun read that was hard to put down. Meg is my kind of girl and I love her tenacity when it comes to figuring out who the murderer was. The author did a great job in keeping me engaged in all facets of this wonderful book from the introduction of Meg, to the staging of the murder, to watching Meg dig for the clues and to that moment when I knew who the killer was. Meg is very likable and I love her sense of comfort and devil may care attitude. This was a terrific read and I can’t wait to see what adventure awaits Meg.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

Engaged in Murder by Nancy J. Parra

Engaged in MurderEngaged in Murder by Nancy J. Parra is the first book in the new “Perfect Proposals” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2014

There’s no planning for murder…

Event planner Pepper Pomeroy is making the most of her current unemployment by arranging a surprise for her sister, Felicity. Warren, Felicity’s boyfriend, plans to lure his lovely lady into a private jet, propose, and whisk her away on a romantic vacation. He just needs Pepper to handle all the fine details in order to make it the perfect proposal—and it is. Everything goes so well when Warren pops the question that he suggests Pepper do this sort of thing professionally.

But before she can get her new business off the ground, there are some disturbing questions. Like who’s the dead guy Pepper finds in the ladies’ room of the jet hangar? Is it possible Felicity’s high-flying fiancé has been hiding more than the engagement ring? Pepper’s not married to the idea of having a criminal in the family, so in order to protect her sister, she takes off in pursuit of a killer.

Being at the wrong place puts Pepper on the trail of a murderer when her sister’s fiancé is arrested. What follows is a wonderfully crafted light whodunit filled with a mystery that fueled my interest with every page that I turned. The pace was comfortable and the action was non-stop as our heroine took all opportunities possible to expose a killer. The author did a great job in setting this drama up with plenty of suspects and it was fun watching how it all played out. I like Pepper is and I hope we get to see more of her and her blossoming professional business and prospering relationship. This was a great debut novel that grabbed my attention immediately from the beginning and kept its hold even when I turned the last page. I can’t wait to see what exciting new adventures Pepper will take us on in the next book in this pleasantly appealing series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

July 2014 Books

Week of July 1
Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett – Booktown #8
A Vision in Velvet by Juliet Blackwell – Witchcraft #6
Crime Rib by Leslie Budewitz – Food Lover’s Village #2
Tailing A Tabby by Laurie Cass – Bookmobile Cat #2
Some Enchanted Éclair by Bailey Cates – Magical Bakery #4

Maple Mayhem by Jessie Crockett – Sugar Grove #2
Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman – Family Fortune #2
Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton – Merry Muffin #2
Silence of the Lamb’s Wool by Betty Hechtman – Yarn Retreat #2
Grace Against The Clock by Julie Hyzy – Manor House #5

Fatal Fortune by Victoria Laurie – Psychic Eye #12
Cookies and Scream by Virginia Lowell – Cookie Cutter Shop #5
I’ll Gotten Panes by Jennifer McAndrews – Stained Glass #1
Death Takes a Ride by Lorena McCourtney – Cate Kinkaid Files #3
The Death of Pie by Tamar Myers – Pennsylvania Dutch #19
To Kill a Matzo Ball by Delia Rosen – Deadly Deli #5

Supreme Justice by Max Allan Collins
Three Dragons Doomed by Keith Donnelly – Donald Youngblood #5
The Night Searchers by Marcia Muller – Sharon McCone #31
Don’t Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams – Keye Street #3

Week of July 6
The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews – Meg Langslow #17
The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo – Kate Burkholder #6
The Cat Sitter’s Nine Lives by Blaize & John Clement – Dixie Hemingway #9
Power Play by Catherine Coulter – FBI #18
Pies & Peril by Janet Gradowski – Culinary Competition #1
The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day
The White Magic Five & Dime by Steve Hockensmith – Tarot #1

Week of July 13
Margaret Truman’s Undiplomatic Murder by Donald Bain – Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes #2
Shots Fired: Stories from Joe Pickett Country by C.J. Box
Cut and Thrust by Stuart Woods – Stone Barrington #30

Week of July 20
Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance – Joanna Brady #16
Doghouse by L.A. Kornetsky – Gin and Tonic #3
Deadly Assets by Wendy Tyson – Allison Campbell #2
Blessed are the Meek by Kristi Belcamino – Gabriella Giovanni #2

Week of July 27
Beach Bags And Burglaries by Dorothy Howell – Haley Randolph #9
Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs by Diane Kelly – Tara Holloway #7
Mad as Helen by Susan McBride – River Road #2
The Perfect Stranger by Wendy Corsi Staub
Mission to Murder by Lynn Cahoon – Tourist Trap #2

Death in Perspective by Larissa Reinhart

Death in PerspectiveDeath in Perspective by Larissa Reinhart is the fourth book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, June 2014

The curtain rises on Cherry Tucker’s debut as a high school set designer at the posh Peerless Day Academy. Cherry’s been hired for an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but the drama director is hoping Cherry can also turn the spotlight on a malicious social media bully who’s sending poisonous texts to the faculty. The director’s got his own drama to hide, and the phantom texter seems eager to spill school secrets. When the principal’s secretary commits suicide, Cherry suspects foul play.

Deputy Luke Harper is ready to return as Cherry’s leading man. He’s eager to assist in finding the phantom culprit, but Cherry fears family secrets may doom them to the role of star-crossed lovers. Offstage, Cherry’s searching for her missing brother whose vendetta might doom Cherry and Deputy Luke Harper as star-crossed lovers. With the bully waiting for a murderous encore and her own family skeletons to hide, Cherry scrambles to find her brother and the mysterious texter before the phantom decides it’s curtains for Cherry and forces her to take a final bow.

I love, love, love this book. Cherry is at it again in her pursuit of justice when her new boss asks her to help expose the identity of the anonymous texter and because Cherry is Cherry, she is determined to prove the recent deaths are in fact, murder.

The author really has a handle on her lead protagonist and it shows in the delivery of this wonderfully designed plot that was hard to put down. The idiosyncrasies of the characters are played out beautifully in the situation that they find themselves and you don’t want to stop for a moment until the drama ends. Cherry is a quirky spitfire that lights the match that sets her little town on fire. With a laugh here and a laugh there, I enjoyed this whodunit and I’m eager to see what happens next in the adventures of Cherry Tucker and the residents of Halo, Georgia.