Murder Has Nine Lives (A Jaine Austen Mystery #14) by Laura Levine

ll 9 lives

An ARC honest review for Kensington Books via NetGalley.

The 14th Jaine Austen mystery.

But my first taste of the wackily funny Jaine Austen and her fur ball cat Prozac.

And Prozac has won a coveted role for new ‘diet’ kitty cat commercial.  Only the creator of the new kitty diet food, after having a hissy fit where he threatens all present including Jaine, keels over dead!

The detectives make it known to Jaine that she was a suspect, and tell her not to leave town…only she is due to go to Hawaii with her parents.  She has to go on vacation.  She needs to find a the murderer.

This book is a laugh from start to finish.  With plenty of twists and turns, keeping you guessing right through to the end.  Well written and plotted.

This was my first in the Jaine Austen mysteries…but not the last!

5 Stars*****

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The future is looking bright for freelance writer Jaine Austen. She’s signed up for a new job, she’s looking forward to a tropical vacation, and her cat Prozac is slated to star in a major commercial. But when the claws come out behind the scenes, Jaine worries that murder might be the only thing to meow about. . .

A writer’s life is far from glamorous. Still, Jaine’s new gig to write an ad campaign for Toiletmasters’ new line of self-flushing toilets comes with a few perks–including a date with the president’s dreamy nephew. And with a much-needed trip to Maui on the horizon, it seems life couldn’t get any better–until her cat Prozac is tapped to star in a Skinny Kitty commercial. But Jaine never would have guessed the world of cat food could be quite so catty. . .

Jaine is nervous that Prozac won’t be able to take direction, but the finicky furball ditches her diva behavior for the camera, eating and napping on cue like a seasoned pro. But just as Jaine begins dreaming of fame and fortune, Skinny Kitty’s inventor drops dead on the set. Everyone is a suspect–including Jaine. And she’ll have to get her paws on the truth before the killer takes a swipe at another victim. . .

Murder from the Newsdesk (Crampton of The Chronicle Mystery) by Peter Bartram

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Seven short stories from Peter Bartram’s Colin Crampton of the Chronicle mystery series.

Engaging set of cozy short stories from the 1960’s Ace Crime reporter Colin Crampton of the Brighton Chronicle.

My first taste of the ‘Crampton of the Chronicle’ series.  Well written and plotted stories.

And quite enjoyable to read.

4 Stars****

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Murder from the Newsdesk
Seven Crampton of the Chronicle mystery stories
By Peter Bartram

Join Colin Crampton, ace crime reporter on the Evening Chronicle in 1960s Brighton, in seven more cozy crime mysteries.

The Mystery of the African Charity: Amateur sleuth Colin discovers greed – and a murder mystery – behind what looks like a good deed.

The Mystery of the Two Suitcases: Colin interrupts a romantic Valentine’s date with girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith to unravel a case where love will find a way.

The Mystery of the Single Red Sock: Colin’s act of heroism plunges him into the hunt for one of the most violent criminals he’s ever confronted.

The Mystery at the Beauregard Hotel: Colin investigates when two guests disappear unexpectedly in this humorous crime mystery.

The Mystery of the Precious Princess: Colin finds that it’s not only a dog’s life for the canines up at the Greyhound Racing stadium.

The Mystery of the Clothes on the Beach: in another cozy crime story, a local fisherman helps Colin land a surprising catch.

The Mystery of the Phantom Santa: Colin uncovers more than he bargained for when he goes in search of a front-page crime story with a Christmas theme.

This book of cozy mystery stories will keep you smiling to the very last page.

Miss Seeton Sings (Miss Seeton #4) by Heron Carvic

hc misses sings

An ARC honest review for Farrago Books via NetGalley.

The Foreign Office have gone and sent Miss Seeton out on a mission to crack a money laundering operation in Switzland, as they seem to think she is Scotland Yards top crack detective.

Scotland Yard know differently!

Forged £5.00 notes, missing paintings and murder are all in, an all-inclusive holiday for Miss Seeton.

Watch as all hell breaks loose when the ‘Battling Brolly’ is misguidedly left to roam Europe!

You will either love or hate the Miss Seeton mysteries.

I love them.

Heron Carvic’s parody on the elderly spinster detective.  Once you can get your head around the clever concept of Miss Seeton’s very illogical, but logical thinking.  And  the other players thoughts that they are having the wool pulled over their eyes.  The naïve Miss Seeton is a pure delight.

5 Stars*****

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When a flood of perfectly faked banknotes hits the market, retired art teacher Miss Emily Seeton, Scotland Yard’s famed ‘MissEss’, is chosen to investigate a respected Geneva bank. Somehow, the forger is also mixed up in the theft of valuable paintings, so it’s ‘set an artist to catch an artist’.

But Miss S. is new to air travel – surely the names Geneva and ‘Genova’ must be the same place? Bamboozling both the crooks and the police who vainly try to keep tabs on her, innocently humming the fraudsters’ musical password, she trips gaily along the dangerous trail.

Serene amidst every kind of skulduggery, this eccentric English spinster steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles, armed with nothing more than her sketchpad and umbrella!

 

 

Permed To Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery #1) by Nancy J. Cohen

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Authors audio copy in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you Nancy.

Narrated by Mary Ann Jacobs

First in The Bad Hair Day Mystery series.

Whoever thought having your hair done, could be murder!

And Marla Shore is having a really bad hair day, when old Mrs. Kravitz’s croaks in her salons shampoo chair.

Sassy Marla, finds that the very sexy Detective Dalton Vail seem to suspect her of doing the old lady in.  So Marla need to discover who really done it!  Having to wade through all the secrets and lies, isn’t going to be easy…especially as Marla has a secret that she doesn’t want revealed!

Marla finds that not everything is Cut ‘n’ Dyed!

This is a very good and funny mystery, well written, plotted.  And well narrated by Mary Ann.

5 Stars*****

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Sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when the old lady croaks in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer. Figuring she’d better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects.

The Cracked Spine (A ScottishBookshop Mystery #1) by Paige Shelton

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First in a New Series!

Delaney Nichols loses her job as a museum curator due to cut backs.  On answering an advertisement and then a phone interview, she takes a leap of faith and packs her bags and leaves Kansas for the heather strewn hills of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Cracked Spine is a renowned antiquarian bookshop, owned by Edwin MacAlister, her new boss.  Edwin is a member of a small secret group of people who buy items of interest to their Scottish heritage, and other items. But Delaney has a secret too…books or more like the characters in the books talk to her.

When a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays-goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, all in the first few days of Delaney’s arrival.

Can Delaney find the folio and a murderer?  Will the book voices help her, or have they gone silent…forever?

A great start to a new series.  With a really good set of characters, that will be interesting to follow in further books.  Well written and plotted.

Can not wait until the next book comes out!

5 Stars*****

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In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland, to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn’t know much about what she’s gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime.When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at the Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected.But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact-a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays-goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it’s connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.

An Address to Die For (A Maggie McDonald Mystery #1) by Mary Feliz

mf address die for

An ARC honest review for Lyrical Underground Books via NetGalley.

First in a New Series!

Maggie and Max McDonald, their 2 sons, 2 cats and dog Belle have picked up their roots and moved from a university town , where Max taught, to a small community in the hills of Silicon Valley, where he intends practicing what he taught his students.  And Maggie is going to re-set up her ‘Simplicity Itself Organizing Services’ from the house Max was brought up in by his Aunt Kay.

Moving is stressful in its self, but the stress level rises when you discover the house has been vandalised and that there is a dead body at the bottom of you basement stairs!

If that wasn’t bad enough, Max gets called away to the office in Bangalore, India.  Leaving Maggie and the boys to cope on their own.

Are the vandalism and death connected?  Someone doesn’t want the McDonalds in Orchard View.  But can Maggie’s organizing skills sort out the mess?

I really loved this book.  Well written and plotted, with a great set of characters.

5 Stars*****

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For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .

Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn’t confined to her clients’ closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she’s shocked to discover the house’s dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it’s the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large—exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can’t help but clean up . . .

Murder at the Mansion (A Kelly Jackson Mystery #2) by Janet Finsilver

jf murder mansion

An ARC honest review for Kensington Books via NetGalley.

The second Kelly Jackson mystery.

At Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss, who is selling the property.  He has asked Kelly to do an inventory.  The B & B is still in operation, and Kelly stumbles on the body of one of it’s guests…she’s been stabbed with a hat pin!

I have really liked both of Janet Finsilver’s Kelly Jackson mysteries.  They are enjoyable, light, well plotted and written, with a good set of main characters.

4 Stars****

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Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .

It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible. Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!

Grilled For Murder (Country Store Mysteries #2) by Maddie Day

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An ARC honest review for Kensington Books via NetGalley.

The second book in the Robbie Jordan, Country Store mysteries by Maddie Day, aka Edith Maxwell.

Erica Shermer is alternately obnoxious and flirtatious at a homecoming party held in Robbie’s store.  But when she is found dead the next day by cookware, all eyes are focused on Robbie’s friend Phil as the murderer.  And Robbie has a tall order to clear up the mess in her store and get Phil off a murder charge in the process.

I really enjoyed this book…so glad that I have brought the first one in this series, Flipped For Murder, to read.

4 Stars****

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Robbie Jordan may have had reservations about the murder victim, but she still needs to turn up the heat on a killer if she wants to keep her new restaurant open for business…

In the charming small town of South Lick, Indiana, Robbie has transformed a rundown country store into the runaway hit Pans ‘N Pancakes. But the most popular destination for miles around can also invite trouble. Erica Shermer may be the widow of handsome local lawyer Jim Shermer’s brother, but she doesn’t appear to be in mourning. At a homecoming party held in Robbie’s store, Erica is alternately obnoxious and flirtatious–even batting her eyelashes at Jim. When Erica turns up dead in the store the next morning, apparently clobbered with cookware, the police suspect Robbie’s friend Phil, who closed up after the party. To clear Phil and calm her customers, Robbie needs to step out from behind the counter and find the real killer in short order…

 

Murder Most Fowl (A Local Foods Mystery #4) by Edith Maxwell

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An ARC honest review for Kensington Books via NetGalley.

“Beware the ides of March” is the opening line in this, the fourth book in the Cam Flaherty – Local Foods mystery series.

There’s a killer in the hen house and Cam has to dig deep to solve this one.

Murder, blackmail, cover-ups, and seeds of the past, are all packed into this enjoyable, well written mystery.

4 Stars****

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Spring may be just around the corner, but a cold-blooded killer has put the big chill on the residents of Westbury, Massachusetts. It looks like organic farmer-turned-sleuth Cam Flaherty will have to set aside her seedlings for the time being as she tills the soil for clues in the mysterious death of a local poultry maven.

With the weather getting warmer, Cam should be spending her days pruning blueberry bushes and taking care of the new batch of chicks that just hatched. But murder knows no season. So when her fellow fowl-raiser Wayne Laitinen is found dead at his breakfast table one morning, Cam must put down her trimming shears and put on her crime-solving hat.

The kind-hearted chicken farmer didn’t have any enemies–or did he? A wealthy financier has been working hard to convince him to sell her his land, while a group of animal rights activists recently vandalized his property. Money troubles were threatening to sink his marriage. And a thirty-year-old scandal was driving a wedge between him and one of his oldest friends.

Murder, blackmail, cover-ups. There’s a fox in the hen house. But where? With some help from her off-again, on-again flame, police detective Pete Pappas, Cam will have to crack this case before Wayne’s killer flies the coop forever.

 

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon

hkd mr smith

An ARC honest review for Loveswept Books via NetGalley.

An explosive start to this M/M thriller.

Fisher Braun is good at keeping secrets as a covert paramilitary operative.  Even the one on him being gay and having a live-in boyfriend.

But when he comes home to find his place is trashed and the boyfriend kidnapped…it’s going to be hard to keep things undercover anymore.

Zach’s been taken, and with the help of his ops partner Nathan, he intends to get him back…at all costs.

A very enjoyable read.  Liked the interplay and tension  between the 3 main characters.

4 Stars****

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Secrets and seduction make for an explosive combination in HelenKay Dimon’s edgy, thrilling new series, which kicks off with a novel about two men who can handle any threat—except the one posed by desire.
 
Fisher Braun knows how to keep a secret. As a covert paramilitary operative, his job—and his life—depends on it. He’s at the top of his game, ready for action and always in control. No enemy has ever brought him to his knees, but one lover has: Zachary Allen, the man currently sharing his bed. The perfect package of brains and brawn, Zach is someone worth coming home to, and Fisher hates keeping him in the dark about what he does. But the lies keep Zach safe. Until the day Fisher loses everything. . . .

Zachary Allen is no innocent civilian. Although he plays the tech geek, in reality he’s deep undercover for the CIA. In a horrible twist of fate, the criminal enterprise he’s infiltrated has set its sights on the man whose touch drives him wild. Zach would do anything for Fisher—except blow his own cover. Now, in order to save him, Zach must betray him first. And he needs Fisher to trust him with all his heart if they want to make it out alive.