Category Archives: Review

Review of books

My Musing ~ Double Up by Gretchen Archer

Double Up by Gretchen Archer is the sixth book in the “Davis Way Crime Caper” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, March 21, 2017

double-upOn behalf of USA TODAY bestselling author Gretchen Archer and the entire Henery Press crew, welcome aboard flight DOUBLE UP. Fasten your seatbelts for non-stop action as stiff competition blows into town and the resulting turbulence threatens to take down the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Super Secret Spy Davis Way Cole, who lives on the twenty-ninth floor of the hotel with her CEO husband and newborn twins, takes it hard. If the casino goes belly up, she won’t be a stay-at-home mom because she won’t have a home. Not to mention her husband won’t have a job.

Davis can’t find a way to stop the inevitable end of the Bellissimo life she loves until her ex-ex-mother-in-law shows up, unexpected and definitely uninvited. Davis makes the best of a bad Bea Crawford situation and recruits her for a little corporate espionage work, which would’ve been great, had Bea not turned out to be the world’s worst spy.

Ever.

Seatbacks and tray tables in their upright positions as we prepare for a bumpy ride with babies, bankruptcies, besties, and shrimp. (Shrimp?)

Enjoy your flight.

Gretchen Archer has done it again. She has delivered another dynamite mystery where nothing is left to the imagination when shrimp is involved. Davis has to work her way through a caper and it’s with her tenacity and determination that sets the stage for this deliriously amusing tale that only Davis Way Cole can be featured.

The strength of the narrative embraced me as the tempo of this page turning drama reached its crescendo knocking me off my feet with the non-stop action that kept me immersed in all that was happening in this fast-moving drama. The author did a brilliant job in capturing the essence of all the players and the roles they played in this wild ride that soared as the stakes got higher and higher. Expertly written with engaging dialogue and a great cast of characters, this is the best and now my favorite book in this terrific series and I can’t wait to see where Davis and the gang take me next.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Musing ~ The Silence of the Flans by Laura Bradford

The Silence of the Flans by Laura Bradford is the second book in the “Emergency Dessert Squad” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, March 2017

The second delectable Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery from the national bestselling author of Éclair and Present Danger.

Baker Winnie Johnson does her best work when the heat is on. As owner of the Emergency Dessert Squad, she has a deft touch in the kitchen and a soft spot for lost causes. So when her business professor beau, Jay Morgan, expresses misgivings over having to fail one of his fourth-year students, Winnie cooks up a sweet solution.

She’ll offer an extra credit opportunity in exchange for a little help with her growing business. But when her protégé’s first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to burn Winnie’s business to a crisp. Now the entrepreneur-turned-detective must uncover the ingredients behind a recipe for murder before she crumbles under pressure. . .

Recipes included

This was a fun book to read and I love the camaraderie between Winnie, Mr. Nelson and Bridget. In the latest caper, a young woman dies after eating one of Winnie’s dessert and with her trusted friends, they begin an investigation to clear her name when it looks like Winnie is the prime suspect and what follows is a fun jaunt in search of a killer.

I love this author’s writing style where it has a comfortable tone, a nice flow and enough intrigue that delivers a satisfying whodunit. There were a sufficient number of suspects and clues that kept me in tuned to all that was happening and I especially like how Winnie handled processing it all. I had a good time watching how it all came together with each character’s role playing a pivotal part in exposing the killer’s identity. Bonus to me was the relationship between Jay, Caroline and Winnie. This was a great read and I look forward to more adventures with Winnie and her friends in this delectably appealing series.

My Musing ~ Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson

Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson is the second book in the “Greenhouse” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, March 2017

Megan Sawyer should be shouting from the barn roof. Washington Acres survived its first year, the café has become a hotspot for locals, and Winsome’s sexy Scottish veterinarian is making house calls–only not for the animals. But as summer slips into fall and Winsome prepares for its grand Oktoberfest celebration, beer isn’t the only thing brewing.

When the town’s pub owner is killed in a freak accident, Megan suspects something sinister is afoot in Winsome–but no one is listening. As nights grow longer and temperatures chill, Megan must plow through Winsome’s fixation with autumn festivities to harvest the truth–before another dead body marks the season.

It’s Oktoberfest celebration when murder strikes the small town of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Who is behind this and other mishaps is what’s on Megan’s mind when she starts asking questions, only to uncover a plot that could destroy everything she has garnered.

I love it. There is just something in the way this book is written that pulls me in and then it becomes about what is happening in this small town. The narrative is descriptively appealing putting me in the middle of all the action and the dialogue is engaging keeping me in tuned in all that is being said. The author sets the staging for this whodunit that captures the essence of the characters and their roles that are portrayed in the telling of this tale. The mystery was intriguing with so many things going on like . . . who committed the murder? . . . what underlying factors are present? . . . who is the mystery person? . . . what is the story behind Megan’s mother leaving? All are catalyst to the outcome in this well-developed drama that have me begging for more adventures with Megan and her friends. This was a very enjoyable read and I can’t wait to see where we go next in this delightfully endearing series.

My Musing ~ Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio

Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio is the first book in the NEW “Cat Rescue” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, March 14, 2017

purr-m-for-murderSydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

Delightfully clever and charming, Purr M for Murder, the first in a new series from nationally bestselling author T. C. LoTempio, will leave readers clawing for more.

Sydney with help from an unlikely source begins an investigation to clear her sister’s name when she becomes the prime suspect. I love books that completely have me engrossed in all aspects from the introduction of the characters to the murder to the interactions with secondary players to the list of suspects with much stronger motives to clues sprinkled throughout and the possibility of a blossoming relationship all enhanced the telling of this intriguing tale. The narrative kept me glued to the pages as it visually placed me alongside Sydney as she traversed the littered path in a finale worthy of this satisfying multi-plot story. With an adorable and likable cast of characters that also included Toby, engaging dialogue and the purrfect backdrop of Deer Park, North Carolina, this fast-paced whodunit was charmingly delightful. This is an excellent read and a great addition to the cozy mystery genre.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

Recognition

Mentioned in the March/April 2017 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. . .


Mentioned in Top 10 Cozy Mystery Blogs by A Cozy Experience


Dru, owner of dru’s book musing, to receive the 2017 MWA Raven Award at the Mystery Writers of America’s annual Edgars Award banquet