Killer Run (A Tourist Trap Mystery #5) by Lynn Cahoon

lc killer run

ARC honest review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

This is the first ‘Tourist Trap’ mystery that I have read, which is #5 in the series.  I do have the first 2 in the series, but like everything they are sat unread on the TBRP…time to dust them off and get at them!

I liked the fact that these books can be read in any order, and you are not sent off kilter with a lot of back story information, making you scrambling for the earlier books to find out what’s the hell’s going on.

Lynn has created a nice set of characters in the setting of South Cove, California.  Well written and plotted.

An enjoyable read.

A great addition to the ‘Cozy’ mysteries.

4 Stars****

*****

Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable…

The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever!

 

Dead March for Penelope Blow (Chief Inspector Littlejohn #17) by George Bellairs

gb dead blow

ARC honest review for Endeavour Press via Netgalley.

If you are looking for classic British detective series, then Endeavour Press have started republishing some of the Chief Inspector Littlejohn books by George Bellairs.

George Bellairs published more than 50 Chief Inspector Littlejohn books from the 1940’s to early 1980’s.

Miss Penelope Blow visits London with the primary reason of seeing Chief Inspector Littlejohn, but he is away and unavailable.  Within hours of returning to her home, she falls out of her bedroom window and dies.  The verdict is accidental death.  After returning, Littlejohn is made aware of Miss Blow’s visits and demise.  Littlejohn is almost sure that the verdict is incorrect, and goes to investigate.

These books are nice light reading, that have twists and turns throughout, that keep you guessing till the end.

4 Stars****

*****

The Blow’s old house stands proudly in post-war Nesbury.

But the building harbours strange secrets.

The owner, Mr William Blow, has left a financial mystery in the wake of his death.

When Miss Penelope becomes the latest member of the Blow family to die, it sparks one of Scotland Yard’s most complex investigations.

Who would kill Miss Penelope, a kind, Christian woman known best by Claplady, the local vicar, and Nesbury’s Salvation Army?

Was jealousy the cause of her death, or simply madness?

As Scotland Yard come under pressure to prosecute Miss Penelope’s killer, more witnesses crawl out of the woodwork to give their side of the story.

How many crimes must be committed before the mystery of the Blow family is finally solved?

 

 

 

Ether & Elephants (Gaslight Chronicles #8) By Cindy Spencer Pape

csp ether

ARC honest review for Carina Press via Netgalley.

This is the 8th book in the series.  And this is the second book in the series that I have read, the first being book 2 – Photographs & Phantoms.

I like the fact that each book is a stand alone, and can be read out of sequence.  These are books you can just pick up and just get lost within the story that the author has created, without having to backtrack to previous books to find out what is going on!  The author has artfully integrated back information within the story, without bogging the reader down.

These Steam Punk books are classed as YA (I think), and are full of adventure, intrigue, romance and some sex scenes.

They are well written, plotted and have full rounded characters.  And It was a really enjoyable read.

4 Stars****

*****

A Gaslight Chronicles Novel

Sir Thomas Devere and Eleanor Hadrian have loved each other most of their lives—but sometimes love doesn’t conquer all.

Their chance at happiness was ruined by Tom’s hasty marriage to someone else. Heartbroken, Nell left home, finding a new life as a teacher at a school for the blind. But when one of her supernaturally gifted students, Charlie, is kidnapped, Tom reappears and her worlds collide.

Tom claims he hasn’t seen his wife since the day of their marriage…yet he fears the missing student could be his son.

The deeper they dig, the more Tom and Nell discover: a deadly alchemist, more missing gifted children and long-suppressed feelings neither of them is ready for. A race on airship across England and India may lead them to answers—including a second chance at love—but only if all of British Society isn’t destroyed first.

 

The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #2) by Angie Fox

af skeleton

ARC honest review for Season Publishing via Netgalley.

Southern belle Verity Long is at it again, stumbling across dead bodies and ghosts!

This is the second outing in the ‘Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries’.  These books are fun, light entertaining romps through Sugarland’s elite…no matter whether they are alive or dead!

Angie Fox’s characters Southern charm will delight readers.  Well written and plotted, keeping you turning the pages right through to the crackling climax!

5 Stars*****

*****

From New York Times bestseller Angie Fox, the second book in the new Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries

A haunted library is no place for a girl who can see ghosts, but when Verity Long stumbles on a dead body in the middle of the main reading room, she has to believe someone…even a dead someone…must have witnessed the crime.

Her ghostly sidekick Frankie warns her to stay out of it. The very alive, very handsome deputy sheriff, Ellis Wydell, inadvertently places her directly in the middle of it. And her ex-fiancé, Ellis’s brother, is back with an agenda of his own.

Undaunted, Verity presses forward, uncovering scandalous secrets, long-forgotten ghosts, and a shocking trail of clues that places her directly in the path of a killer.*****

 

British Bulldog (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #4) by Sara Sheridan

ss bulldog

The fourth Mirabelle Bevan mystery.  Set in the locations of Brighton, London and Paris in 1954.

I love this series of mystery/suspense novels that Sara Sheridan has created, that start off in 1950’s Brighton, but can end up anywhere in the world…as this one did in Paris.

Always well written and well plotted.  They are pure enjoyment!

5 Stars*****

*****

British Bulldog sees Mirabelle on the trail of an RAF pilot who went missing during the war and mysteriously never came home. Her search takes her to Paris where she discovers an espionage operation smuggling secrets out of Russia. Her investigations also uncover some unwelcome truths about her wartime lover Jack and the true nature of his intelligence work in France. This is the fourth installment in Sara Sheridan’s best-selling cosy crime noir series featuring heroine Mirabelle Bevan.

Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years #2) by Brent Hartinger

bh barefootARC honest review for BK Books via Netgalley.

“There was no way moving to Los Angeles was going to make me give up my soul. After all, I’d already seen all the movies about Hollywood. I knew how things worked.”
Twenty-four year-old Russel Middebrook and his boyfriend have moved to Los Angeles so Russel can try to make it as a screenwriter.
Almost right away, in a forgotten old house off of Sunset Boulevard, Russel meets Isaac Brander, a once-famous film producer who is convinced he can turn Russel’s screenplay into a movie.
Russel knows that success can’t possibly come this easy. After all, most of Russel’s Los Angeles friends are so desperate to make it that it’s downright scary. His ex-boyfriend, Otto, is trying everything to become an actor, and Daniel, the sexy neighbor, doesn’t even need a casting couch to get naked.
So what’s the catch with Mr. Brander? Could it be that movies about Hollywood don’t tell the whole truth? But what does that mean for Russel’s soul?
Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams, a companion book to Brent Hartinger’s The Thing I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know, is a fast-paced, funny story about the price of fame in Hollywood: the hilarious lengths people will go to achieve it, and the touching secret to survival when things don’t work out exactly as planned.

*****

I believe this is part of a series of books about Russel Middlebrook, which I haven’t read any of the previous books.

Unfortunately I was bored by the end of the first chapter, then skimmed through a few more chapters…still nothing grabbed my attention.  After re-reading the synopsis, it sounds like the modern gay version of Sue Townsend’s ‘Diaries of Adrian Mole’ series here in the UK from 30 years ago.

I don’t know whether it was because it was all to do with LA LA land, where there are more wannabe’s per square inch all pushing to get into the spotlight…with 90% of them ending up parking cars or waiting tables, and very few getting what they went there for.  Or the fact that I found the main character very shallow and self-centred.

2 Stars**

Dearly Departed (Amy’s Travel Mystery #2) by Hy Conrad

hc dearlyARC honest review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

Fanny and Amy Abel, the dynamic mother-and-daughter owners of a NYC travel agency, have just booked their biggest trip yet. But with danger in the air, the itinerary may include murder…
Paisley MacGregor, a maid to the rich, made a dying request to send all of her wealthy employers on a first-class wake to spread her ashes around the world. Amy has her suspicions about these “mourners,” especially when one has a life-threatening “accident” at the first stop in Paris. And when a mysterious American stranger tagging along with the group has his ticket punched in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, Amy knows she may have a killer on her tour.
Who was this stranger, and what’s the connection to someone in her group? Digging for clues while continuing on with the trip is a lot for Amy to manage, especially when another mourner has a possibly fatal encounter with a Hawaiian volcano. Back in the States, Fanny and Amy start to piece together a secret worth killing for, but someone is hot on their trail, and ready to send them on a one-way trip—to the morgue!

*****

This is the second of Hy Conrad’s Amy’s Travel mysteries.  But this is the first one that I have read.  Book 1 – Toured to Death, is now on my ‘to buy list’!

I really liked the characters.  Fanny is in some way is ‘the mother from hell’…you know, the one that does and say things in public that makes you want to dig a big hole to hide in! 😀  Marcus reminds me a bit of Matt Bonner in ‘White Collar’, a man who can get you ‘in…and out’ of trouble.  And Amy, who’s indecisive up to the last minute, then when pushed…jumps!

A well written and plotted book, with plenty of twists and turns, that will keep you turning the pages.

5 Stars*****

 

Look Both Ways (Witch City Mystery #3) by Carol J. Perry

cjp lookARC honest review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

In Salem, Massachusetts, there are secret everywhere–even in the furniture. . .

When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history–it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place.

The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner’s unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer–before the next one to be shut up is her. . .

*****

The third book in the Witch City Mysteries…and another gem of a read.

I love this series.  From the well crafted characters and plots, to the nail biting endings!

I do hope that there are more to come in this series.

5 Stars*****

Murder in the Mews (Hercule Poirot #18) by Agatha Christie

ac murder mews

Three novellas comprise this collection of cases presented to the great Belgian detective: Murder in the Mews; The Incredible Theft; and Triangle at Rhodes.

*****

Murder in the Mews – A nice little mystery for Hercule Poirot to use his little grey cells on.  Is the air in the murder room a clue or a red herring?

The Incredible Theft – Is the inventor/designer mad or calculating?  And will Hercule Poirot solve the riddle?

Triangle at Rhodes – A love triangle that ends in murder.  Has Hercule Poirot seen all the clues?

3 delightful mysteries from the Queen of Crime.  Always nice to dip back into Agatha Christies Golden Age puzzles.

4 Stars****

 

 

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1) by M.C. Beaton

mcb ar quiche

Agatha has moved to a picture-book English village and wants to get in the swing. So she buys herself a quiche for the village quiche-making contest and is more than alarmed when it kills a judge. Hot on the trail of the poisoner, Agatha is fearless, all the while unaware, that she’s become the next victim….

*****

The first in the Agatha Raisin series…and the first one that I have read.

After putting all her time and energy into her career, Agatha is looking forward to early retirement in her dream cottage in the Cotswolds.

Agatha thinks integrating herself and becoming Top Dog in the village will be as easy as she bossed and bullied her way through most of her working life, but the dream and the reality are too different things for the long-term city dweller.

I first came upon Agatha Raisin years ago on hearing a Radio play…and must admit that I wasn’t impressed with the bossy, demanding Agatha…and shied away from the books, until it was chosen as a reader’s group read.

Since reading this first book, I realised that M. C. Beaton has created a character that is, although not loveable, is very much vulnerable and out of her depth in her new life away from everything she had been used to.  And I began to like her, and empathise with her…any change is never easy.

Will I go on to read any more of the Agatha Raisin books?  Probably. 🙂

4 Stars****