Daily Archives: August 3, 2014

WEEKLY ROUND-UP: No. 31

Weekly Roundup* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This past weekend I attended the Deadly Ink Mystery IMG_0806conference held in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This is the fourth conference I’ve attended thus far this year and the smallest which makes for a more intimate conference and more one-on-one time to spend with the authors. Donald Bain and Renee Paley-Bain were the guest of honors and Donna Andrews was the toastmaster. The panels that I’ve attended were very informative with interesting tidbits into the mystery genre.

Later we had a buffet-style lunch where we made our own Caesar salad and sandwich (your choice of meat and toppings) as well as potato chips and chocolate chip cookies to fill out the rest of your lunch. There was also tuna fish salad and as assortment of vegetables to enjoy as well.

IMG_0822Then we had the second half of panels, again, all were informative and interesting. Then we had several hours of break time before attending the Gala Awards and Murder Mystery Dinner which was entertaining with the theater performance that gave me some chuckles as they presented their act of who killed victim.

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This week’s guest on dru’s book musings

August 4: A Little Night Murder by Nancy Martin
August 5: Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams
August 6: Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Moran
August 7: Death of a Crabby Cook by Penny Pike
August 8: The Cat, The Vagabond and The Victim by Leann Sweeney
August 9: Cozy Food edited by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Last week’s guest on dru’s book musings

Recent contest winners

  • Silence of the Lamb’s Wool by Betty Hechtman – Barb W.
  • Maple Mayhem by Jessie Crockett – Linda K.
  • Pies & Peril by Janel Gradowski – Rita Q.
  • Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton – Kimberlee G.
  • The Cat Sitter’s Nine Lives by John Clement – Beverly G.

At The Request Of…For Review

  • Expedition Indigo by Stacy Allen
  • Hard Return by J. Carson Black
  • Wouldn’t It Be Deadly by D. E. Ireland

Reading Round-Up

  • July 2014: 25 books
    • 12 cozy mysteries
    • 9 suspense/thriller
    • 4 traditional mysteries
  • Year to Date: 145 books

Follow dru’s book musing on Facebook for posting about discounted books, giveaways and some of my reading musings.

The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews

The Good The Bad and the EmusThe Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews is the 17th book in the “Meg Langslow” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur, July 2014

Life will never be the same for Meg Langslow after family secrets are revealed, introducing a whole new layer of intrigue in Donna Andrews’s beloved series.

Meg’s long-lost paternal grandfather, Dr. Blake, has hired Stanley Denton to find her grandmother Cordelia. Dr. Blake was reunited with his family when he saw Meg’s picture—she’s a dead ringer for Cordelia—and now Stanley has found a trail to his long-lost love in a small town less than an hour’s drive away. He convinces Meg to come with him to meet her, but unfortunately, the woman they meet is Cordelia’s cousin—Cordelia died several years ago, and the cousin suspects she was murdered by her long-time neighbor.

Stanley and Meg agree to help track down the killer and get justice for Cordelia. Grandfather even has perfect cover–he will come to stage a rescue of the feral emus and ostriches (escaped from an abandoned farm) that infest this town. He dashes off to organize the rescue—which will, of course, involve most of Meg’s family and friends in Caerphilly. But then, the evil neighbor is murdered, and not only Cordelia’s cousin but also the entire contingent of emu-rescuers, who have had conflict with the neighbor, are suspects. Only Meg and the cousin—who seems to share a lot of telling traits with Meg—can find the real killer and clear the air in The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, the newest beverage-spittingly funny installment in this uproarious series from the one-and-only Donna Andrews.

I really love this series and I’m so glad that there are hundreds, or maybe thousands of birds left for Donna to incorporate in this delightfully amusing saga that involves Meg and her eccentrically quirky family. I enjoyed every aspect of this light whodunit, from the comfortable tone, to the interaction between the characters, the feral emus, the mystery that pulled me along from the beginning and to the wonderful newly found relative who is as spunky as Meg. I always have a good time reading this series and I look forward to the next book in this fabulously terrific series.

Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton

Muffin But MurderMuffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton is the second book in the “Merry Muffin” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, July 2014

Merry’s career as a New York City stylist has crumbled, but her passion for muffins has helped her rise upstate in Autumn Vale. Everyone in town loves the tasty treats. Still, she would like to return to her glamorous life. Besides, the upkeep of Wynter Castle is expensive, and Merry’s cup isn’t exactly overflowing.

So in order to bring some prospective buyers into the mix, Merry whisks together a spooky soiree and decorates the castle with dashes of fabric and a sprinkling of spider webs. Friends new and old are invited, and everyone has a blast. But as the revelers empty out, Merry notices one partygoer who isn’t leaving—or breathing. Now Merry must hurry to unmask a killer before her perfect plans turn into a recipe for disaster.

I liked it. Merry and her friends are back with her still trying to sell the inherited castle. When a party ends with a dead body and her friend becomes the prime suspect, Merry will do what is necessary to clear his name. This was very enjoyable and I love the camaraderie between the friends including the new ones that surrounds this great cast of characters. The mystery was good and I found this both engaging and entertaining. I can’t wait for the next book in this pleasantly appealing series.

Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman

be careful what you witch forBe Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman is the second book in the “Family Fortune” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, July 2014

The highlight of this year’s fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend, Diana, leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.

Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.

I love this series and the eccentrically quirky cast of characters that reside in Crystal Haven. Clyde is pulled into another investigation with the assistance from her family that will give you a chuckle or two. The author did a good job with the pace and flow of the mystery that made it both enjoyable and entertaining. A great read and I can’t wait for the next book in this delightfully charming series.