Category Archives: Review

Review of books

My Musing ~ Frosted With Revenge by Catherine Bruns

Frosted With Revenge by Catherine Bruns is the fourth book in the “Cookies & Chance” mystery series. Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing, April 25, 2017

Sally Muccio’s walk down the aisle might be her last.

The some-time amateur sleuth and full-time bakery owner is finally marrying the man of her dreams. But during a last minute taste testing of their wedding cake, Sally and her fiancé are witnesses—and almost victims!—of a random shooting. At least they think it’s random, until an original fortune cookie message proves otherwise. Is someone after Sally? And why does the mysterious shooter want to ice the baker? Sal tries to proceed with caution, but when someone close to her is attacked, all bets are off. She’ll do whatever it takes to bring this monster to justice, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.

Can Sal make it to the church on time. . .and alive?

Recipes Included!

I enjoyed the latest adventures with Sally Muccio and her family. Planning a wedding should be easy, but it’s not when there is a target on her back. Sally does what Sally does best and that is looking for the person who wants her dead.

This is a fast-paced and light hearted whodunit that kept me engaged throughout the telling of this tale. The mystery was nicely done, keeping me glued to the pages as I had to know what happened next. The suspect pool was small but the author enjoyed teasing me with clues here and there that every time I thought I had a handle on the killer, she changed direction all to the betterment of this drama. The narrative was visually appealing, putting me in the middle of all the action and I enjoyed the antics of her eccentric family, especially her death-loving father and her model mother. Rounding out the cast was her grandmother, sister, her best friend and the man she planned to marry. This was the best book in the series thus far and I’m so happy that more books with this cast of characters are coming.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.

My Musing ~ No Charm Intended by Mollie Cox Bryan

No Charm Intended by Mollie Cox Bryan is the second book in the “Cora Crafts” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, April 28, 2017

Settling into her new life and career in small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, Cora Chevalier is preparing to host a “wildcrafting” retreat at her Victorian home. But a specter hangs over the venture when beloved local nanny Gracie Wyke goes missing. Amidst leading their guests in nature hikes, rock painting and making clay charms, Cora and her business partner, Jane, team up with Gracie’s boyfriend, Paul, to launch their own investigation into her disappearance when the local police prove unhelpful.

Cora and her crafters take Paul in, believing he is in danger and not the suspect police have made him out to be. However as they uncover new clues and a body turns up at a local abandoned amusement park, Cora and Jane begin to question their decision. With more questions than answers arising, is Cora crafty enough to untangle a knot that could put an innocent in jail—and permanently destroy her reputation?

Once again, Mollie has written a wonderful story where the narrative immediately placed me in the middle of all the action. The tone and writing style was very comfortable making it an entertaining read. This evenly paced drama was well written and I enjoyed how the multi-plot mystery was presented with each character playing a pivotal role in how this was going to end. The author knows how to tease a reader with positioning some of the cast as likely suspects and throwing in clues to keep me intrigued in all that was happening. I also like how the author used the retreat guests as additional sleuths in the book…that was fun. This was a delightfully charming read and I look forward to the next adventures with Cora, Jane and their friends.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher.

My Musing ~ Every Body on Deck by G.A. McKevett

Every Body on Deck by G.A. McKevett is the 22nd book in the “Savannah Reid” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, April 25, 2017

Plus-sized P.I. Savannah Reid has no problem mixing business with pleasure—especially if that means a free trip while on the job. But when a gruesome murder rocks the boat, Savannah may finally be in over her head. . .

Nothing satisfies Savannah’s soul like nabbing bad guys—except maybe indulging in a juicy novel. So when famed mystery writer Natasha Van Cleef invites the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency on an Alaskan cruise in exchange for some personal protection, Savannah is instantly onboard with the idea. The voyage goes smoothly—at least, until Natasha and her husband flee the ship without explanation and get killed in a suspiciously explosive crash . . .

Awash in regret, Savannah and the MM crew won’t return home to San Carmelita until they expose whoever caused the fatal “accident.” But Savannah and her team have their work cut out for them when they discover that Natasha’s life was far more dramatic than any of her bestsellers. Not only was her marriage and literary career splattered with bad blood, but the author also had a crazed fan tracking her every move. With suspects and clues flooding in by the boatful, it’s all hands on deck as Savannah rushes to seize the murderer before she lands herself in hot water next . . .

I love this series. G.A. continually delivers an engaging and entertaining drama that I devour from the moment I turn the first page. True to form, Savannah is on a hunt for the murderer of her favorite author and Alaska won’t know what hit them until the killer is apprehended.

The comfortable tone and writing style made it easy to follow the drama unfolding as each chapter took me deeper into the story with earned insights and the added bonus of comedic verbiage. The suspect list was small, but what the author did was create a plethora of scenarios that kept me wanting to know what happened next and boy was I rewarded with each turn of the page, especially that twist that enhanced the telling of this tale. The visually appealing narrative put me in the middle of all the action with the team and I enjoyed watching it all played out as each character’s role was pivotal in the outcome of this brilliantly executed whodunit. This is by far, the best and my favorite story in this most endearing series and I look forward to more adventures with Savannah, Dirk and the gang.

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

My Musing ~ Golden Prey by John Sandford

Golden Prey by John Sandford is the 27th book in the “Prey” suspense series. Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, April 25, 2017

The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport. Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.

And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.

John Sandford knows how to keep me occupied while reading the latest exploits of Lucas Davenport by taking him out of his usual situation and expanding his world in his new job as a U.S. Marshal. This story pulled me in immediately and I fell in love once again with Lucas as he took on this new role with doing what he does best and that is “hunt.” There’s a little give and take in his new assignment and the author does a great job of letting it percolate with narrative that had me sitting closely by the bodies and calamity rears its ugly head. The fast-paced, action-packed, and riveting drama kept me involved in all that was happening and the warning at the end. . .pure Lucas influenced. Love this book and look forward to more good times with Lucas and his associates.

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

My Musing ~ Day of Secrets by Daryl Gerber Wood

Day of Secrets by Daryl Gerber Wood is the author’s second suspense novel. Publisher: Chucklin Inc, April 28, 2017

Can Chase Day discover why his family is a target before an unknown enemy destroys him?

At the age of five, Chase Day became an orphan. For thirty-one years, after a rebellious youth, he did his best to build a normal life—first as a Naval Officer and then as a history professor at a boutique Bay Area college. But now all that changes when he finds his mother, whom he thought had died in a fire, dying from a gunshot wound. In her last breath, she urges him to locate and protect the father he never knew. Where has his father been? Why has he never made contact? And, most critically, why does he need protection? In his search for the truth, Chase will learn the meaning of friendship and family and suffer the heart-wrenching pain of betrayal.

This is a suspense driven, non-stop action from beginning to end. The frenetic pacing kept me enthralled in all facets as the narrative gently ripped how well each scene took me to another plane where I couldn’t put this book down until I knew who was doing what to whom. With strategically placed twists and turns, this nail biter of a plot all came to screeching junction when the facts played out and our hero was granted his answers. This is a roller coaster of a ride that had my heart palpitating with each turn bringing me to a complete stop that I didn’t want to get off.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the author.