Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #1) by Angie Fox

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When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with.

Ellis Wyatt is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity put an end to the disturbances. But soon Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms.

There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn’t above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?

*****

After ditching her ex on the eve of her wedding, when she found out that he had made an advance on her sister, also the many women he had been playing around with behind her back.

He and his mother send her the bill for $20,000 for a wedding reception that she only attended to throw the wedding cake in his face and throw her engagement ring at him…but missed him, hitting his brother Ellis instead.

Being Sugarland’s finest citizens, the Wyatt’s make Verity’s life a misery and unemployable.  Forcing her to put her family homestead up for sale to pay the bill.

She’ll do anything to save her family home…

A fun read from start to finish.

5 Stars*****

Death by Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery #2) by Alex Erickson

ae death teaARC honest review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

Mystery lovers have descended on Pine Hills for this year’s book club competition, to be held at Krissy Hancock’s bookstore café. But the killer in their midst seems determined to outwit all the armchair sleuths—and send Krissy to the remainder bin forever.
 
Just before two dueling book clubs are set to square off at Death by Coffee, one of the competitors turns up dead—bludgeoned with the silver teapot that was to serve as the prize. Suspicion immediately falls on Krissy, who was seen skulking around town in dark clothes on the night of the murder.

To clear her name and find the real killer, Krissy turns to an old flame, Officer Paul Dalton. But even Paul can’t ignore the trail of evidence that seems to point in her direction. And with Krissy’s personal nemesis, Officer John Buchannan, working overtime to pin the murder on her, it will take an amazing feat of detective work to close the book for good on an elusive killer. . .

*****

This is the second book in the ‘Bookstore Cafe’ mysteries.

I read the first in this series ‘Death by Coffee’, and I have to say that I wasn’t impressed.  Mainly that I couldn’t get on with the main character Krissy.  I found her too erratic, thoughtless and self-centred.

I was hoping that the second book would be better…hope diminished with reading the first few chapters.

The cover looks great.  The synopsis read ok.  But unfortunately I found the book lacking.

2 Stars**

The Body in the Landscape (A Cherry Tucker Mystery #5) by Larissa Reinhart

lr bodyARC honest review for Henery Press via Netgalley.

When Cherry Tucker’s invited to paint the winning portrait for Big Rack Lodge’s Hogzilla hunt, it seems like a paid vacation. Back home in Halo, a Hatfield-McCoy-style standoff builds between Luke and Cherry’s families. She’s ready for a weekend away, hobnobbing with rich and famous hunters, where she can forget her troubles and nobody knows her name.

As Georgia sunshine turns to bleak December rain, Cherry’s R&R goes MIA when she finds a body in the woods. While the police believe the local drunk took an accidental spill, Cherry has her doubts, particularly when a series of malicious pranks are targeted at the rifle toting contestants. With loyal companions at her side—sort-of-ex-husband Todd and a championship bayer named Buckshot—Cherry tracks suspects through a forest full of pitfalls and perils. And all the while, a killer’s stalking the hunt party with a bead on Cherry.

*****

This looked like a really fun book to read.  Unfortunately I stopped a third of the way through.

Firstly.  I put that down to having never read any of the previous 4 books in the Cherry Tucker series.  So I am lost on the characters back history…and there is a lot of threads of back history within the first third of the book that I read.  And it made my head spin and it was very confusing.

Secondly.  I couldn’t seem to gel with the main character Cherry Tucker.  If you are a Cherry Tucker fan, sorry, she’s probably a nice gal, but not for me!

It’s not the type of book that you pull off the shelf in the bookstore or library without having read all the previous books in the series.  There is just too much back history.

If you are first venturing on this series (and please do try it, just because I didn’t get on with it doesn’t mean that you won’t).   I suggest you start at the beginning of the series.

2 Stars**

 

 

 

 

Paint the Town Dead (Aurora Anderson Mysteries #2) by Sybil Johnson

sj paint deadARC honest review for Henery Press via Netgalley.

The Ocean Painting Society invites you to join the painting wave…

It’s June in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, the place computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson calls home. Decorative painters are flocking to the newly built Akaw hotel to attend the Ocean Painting Society’s inaugural convention.

During the week-long event, Rory plans on shopping the trade show floor, working in her mother’s booth, taking classes and connecting with other decorative painting fans. She doesn’t expect to witness her childhood friend collapse in class and die. When the police find no evidence of foul play, Rory embarks on her own investigation. Can she brush aside the lies to uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice?

*****

This is the second Aurora (Rory) Anderson mysteries, but the first one that I have read.

And I really enjoyed it, so much so that I’m going to get the first book ‘Fatal Brushstroke’ in the coming weeks!

The author has created a wonderful set of characters, that I would like to read more about.  Well plotted and written.  I will be putting Sybil Johnson’s Aurora Anderson’s mysteries onto my reading wishlist.

4 Stars****

Thread and Gone (Mainely Needlepoint #3) by Lea Wait

lw thread goneARC honest review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

When a priceless antique is stolen, murder unravels the peaceful seaside town of Haven Harbor, Maine…
 
Angie Curtis and her fellow Mainely Needlepointers know how to enjoy their holidays. But nothing grabs their attention like tying up loose threads. So when Mary Clough drops in on the group’s Fourth of July supper with a question about antique needlepoint she’s discovered in her family Colonial-era home, Angie and her ravelers are happy to look into the matter.

Their best guess is that the mystery piece may have been stitched by Mary, Queen of Scots, famous not just for losing her head, but also for her needlepointing. If they’re right, the piece would be extremely valuable. For safekeeping, Angie turns the piece over to her family lawyer, who places it in her office safe. But when the lawyer is found dead with the safe empty…

*****

The 3rd book in the Mainely needlepoint mysteries.

Beautifully written, researched and well plotted.  You can see her characters grow and blossom with each book written…that I want to join the Mainely Needlepointers! 😀

4 Star****

 

My Top 10 books of 2015

2015 has been a busy year for me reading wise, my Goodreads Challenge was to read 210 books…which I only just managed by the skin of my teeth!

The first half of the year was made up of audio books, physical books and a few kindle books…until Karen MacInerney introduced me to Netgalley for an ARC of Killer Jam, the first in her Dewberry Farm Mysteries.

Now I have that many books from Netaglley (and they just keep coming out, and yes, I really do have to try them all out! 😀 ), and a large stack of physical books for the Final Chapter Reading Group.  I don’t know which way to turn!  Thanks Karen! 😀

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So here are my top 10 books of 2015 and why.

  1. The Tournament – Matthew Reilly.  (ARC via Netgalley).                  After reading Matthew’s Kindle novella – Roger Ascham and the King’s Lost Girl (which was free on Amazon).  I was really pleased the he had written a full length book featuring Roger and young Princess Elizabeth (Bess, later to be Elizabeth I).  And I wasn’t disappointed.  Set in the Middle East, this page turner keeps you on tender hooks all the way through!  Can’t wait for Matthew to deliver another one to this series.

mr tournament

2.   Solomon Creed – Simon Toyne.  (ARC via Netgalley)

This one looked intriguing.  But I wasn’t quite sure about whether I would like it or not. The cover is just a black and white silhouette of a man, nothing more.

But this book was explosive from start to finish.  I just could not stop turning the pages!

And it looks like there is more to come of Solomon Creed.

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3.   A Case of Possession – KJ Charles – Kindle purchase.

After reading The Magpie Lord, book 1 of A Charm of Magpies Series (which btw is excellent!), I couldn’t wait to get hold of book 2!  It carries on the adventures of Lucien and Stephen and the magic in Victorian England.  I have also read books 2.5, 3 & the prequels…and had to stop, as I wouldn’t have anything to look forward too!

These books are m/m paranormal/mysteries.kjc possession

4.  The Impersonator – Mary Miley – Physical book.

The book cover and synopsis, intrigued me…and also it was going cheap at the time on Amazon. 😀

Set in the USA in the early 20’s.  A young vaudeville actress is asked to impersonate a missing heiress, to keep the fortune from falling into the hands of greedy relatives.  Beautifully written, with twists and turns throughout right till the end.  I think all the members of the Final Chapter have read this book and enjoyed it!  So much so, that I have just brought the next book in this series…Silent Murder, just waiting for it to arrive.mm impersonator

5.  Brighton Belle – Sara Sheridan – Physical book.

The first in the Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries.  I chose this for the Final Chapter Reading Groups monthly read, as the library had enough copies.

Set in Brighton in the early 1950’s.

In an attempt to put her past behind her, retired Secret Service agent Mirabelle Bevan takes a job at a debt collection agency run by the charismatic Big Ben McGuigan. But the mysterious case of Romana Laszlo brings Mirabelle back to her roots.

This series is well written and an enjoyable read.  And all members of the group, gave the thumbs up to the start of this series!ss brighton belle

6.  Smoke and Mirrors – Elly Griffiths – (DI Stephens & Max Mephisto series – book 2) – ARC via Netgalley. 

Brighton, 1951.  Pantomime season is in full swing on the snowy pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin. But Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. With fairy tales in the air, it’s not long before the press have found a nickname for the case: ‘Hansel and Gretel’.

Long anticipated and wasn’t disappointed.  Long may this series continue, as I really do enjoy these…I read this within 24 hours of getting it from Netgalley!  As I did when I won book 1, The Zig Zag Girl…from Goodreads.  I have now brought a copy for my collection, and its now being  passed around the other members of the Final Chapter Reading Group!   eg smoke

7.  A Fashionable Indulgence – KJ Charles – Book 1 of The Society of Gentlemen. – ARC, plus I won the audio download from KJ on her FB page.

Another m/m series from KJ Charles.  This one set in Regency London.  No magic in this series…but plenty of intrigue!  I have this and the second book – A Seditious Affair, in audio…narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies and well worth getting and listening to.  Available from Audible.  This lady can turn her writing hand to any era and make it come alive!kjc fashionable

8.  What Angels Fear – C S Harris – 1st in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. – Physical book.

Liked the cover and synopsis, but when it arrived I ended up with this cover! lol

Loved it!  This was the Regency version of ‘The Fugitive’ (well, I thought so!).  If you haven’t read any of the Sebastian St. Cyr books, do so…they are really, really Good!  This book has been passed around the Final Chapter group, and enjoyed by all.  Thumbs up!csharris what angels fear Nothing wrong with the cover…just that I liked the look of this one! lolcsharris what angels fear1

9.  Lowcountry Bordello – Susan M. Boyer – Book 4 Liz Talbot Mysteries. –  ARC from Susan M. Boyer via Netgalley.

Started laughing within the first few pages of this book.  Susan M. Boyer’s Liz Talbot mysteries are great, fun reads…and not to be missed.  Thank you Susan for selecting me as one of your advanced readers.smb lowcountry bordello

And finally…I have to include the lady who started me off in June on Netgalley.

10.  Killer Jam – Karen MacInerney – 1st in the Dewberry Farm mysteries.

This was a really Good start to a New Series.  Loved the characters that Karen has created for this series.  It’s well plotted and written…and well worth giving a go if you like ‘Cozy’ mysteries, as I do.

Karen also writes the ‘Grey Whale Inn Mysteries’…check them out!killerjam