Review of If The Shoe Kills


If The Shoe Kills by Lynn Cahoon is the third book in A Tourist Trap Mystery series.  I have read all three in the series and I have enjoyed all three.

It is Thanksgiving time in South Cove, California.  The business community is participating in a work program where interns will help in their shops.  Many of them are not happy about this because they are afraid that the interns will be trouble makers and  delinquents.  And most of them do not like the man in charge, Ted.  He is unfriendly and obnoxious and only worries about himself.  Someone disliked him enough to kill him.

Jill Gardner owns a coffee shop and bookstore in town and she is also the business liaison with the city.  She is unfortunate enough to be the one who finds Ted’s body.  Although she did not like Ted, she cannot keep herself from investigating the murder.  Her boyfriend, Greg, who is a detective, wants her to stay out of it and leave the investigating to him.  But that is not something that Jill can do, so with the help of her friends, she sets out to solve the mystery.

Jill is also planning on hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner for her family and friends and she is stressing out about it.  She is also stressing out because Greg’s ex-girlfriend is back in town and trying to get him back.  And did I mention that her coffee shop/bookstore is hosting a children’s Christmas book party for the less fortunate children in the area?  Will she be able to juggle all of it or will everything come crashing down around her?

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  Since I have read all three books in the series, I can see the growth of all the main characters.  They are people that you can relate to and care about.  The friendships seem real and they are people I would like to know.

The mystery is carried on throughout the entire book.  There are many twists and turns and a lot of possible suspects to consider.  Although I was pretty sure who the killer was, I did not figure out the reason behind it.  There is a bit of surprise concerning the reason.

The writing style flows smoothly and this book was an easy read.  The writing was descriptive and I felt like I was right there watching the action instead of just reading about it.

I would recommend this book (and the other two in the series) to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy.  Although this book could be read as a stand-alone, to enjoy it even more you should read the first two books.  They are all very good and I’m glad that I found this author and series to enjoy.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review of The Burning Girl


The Burning Girl by Lisa Unger is the second book in The Whispers series.  This short story takes place ten years after Eloise discovers her psychic ability.  She is a partner in a detective agency and she has a mentor for her psychic abilities. Her daughter has moved away, and although she has two grandchildren, she does not see her remaining family very often. She continues to have psychic visions and she does her best to help people in need.  But it is definitely taking a toll on her mental and physical health.

I feel that the fact that this book took place ten years after the first book was detrimental to the story continuity.  The reader is not given enough information about how Eloise and her daughter came to terms with their tragedy and the new-found psychic ability.  I was so looking forward to reading about these things and I feel let down.  I know very little more than I did when I finished book one.

I am also confused about the “burning girl”.  It is never really explained what she wants and what her story is.  And there is an incidence in the story (I do not want to spoil other’s reading so I do not want to be specific) and I do not know if or how the “burning girl” is involved.  Although the girl is mentioned quite a lot in the story, no real information is given.    This is very disappointing to me.

Although I enjoyed The Whispers (book one) more than this book, I still enjoyed reading it.  I just wish that some of my questions from the first book were answered.  Hopefully they will be answered in the third book in the series, which I plan on reading.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold Pocket Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review of Spiraled


FBI Special Agent Ava McLane is walking through a mall after her yoga class when shots ring out.   Soon she finds herself hiding from a shooter with an injured teenager.  She does not have her gun and she cannot leave the injured teen, so she just has to wait for help to arrive and pray that she survives.  When she locks eyes with the shooter, she figures her life is over.

Detective Mason Callahan is called to the mass shooting to help with the investigation.  He does not know that his girlfriend, Ava, is inside where the danger is.  Once he learns this information, he is afraid that he will lose her forever.  So when he sees her being escorted out, he not only feels relief but also a steely determination to find out the reason behind the shootings.  Since the shooter committed suicide, he knows the who but not the why.

When another mass shooting from the past and a new shooting are all linked together, no one can figure out why these young men are attacking others and then killing themselves.  Why would three different young men open fire in public and then kill themselves?  This question must be answered before there is another killing spree.

Ava not only has to deal with the trauma of being a victim and trying to help with the investigation, she also has to deal with her twin sister.  Her sister, Jayne, has a history of mental health and dangerous behavior.  She knows how to push all the right buttons to upset Ava and cause Ava to feel tremendous guilt.  Ava feels as though her life is spiraling out of control and that is very close to shattering into a million pieces.  Mason does not know how to help Ava but he knows that if much more happens he will lose her.  And he cannot let that happen.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  I felt all of Ava’s anguish and struggles and my heart went out to her.  Mason is a strong stand-up guy who you cannot help but admire.  I really enjoyed reading about them and rooting for them.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very talented in both descriptive and suspenseful writing.  While reading I felt like I was there in the mall watching the shootings taking place.  The book started out with a bang (literally) and the tension and suspense never let up.  There are twists and turns and surprises that I did not see coming.  I really enjoyed that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted romantic suspense.  I have read other books by this author and I have loved them all.

I cannot wait for another book to be released by Kendra Elliot.  Do yourself a favor and  grab any of Kendra Elliot’s books, you will not be disappointed.

I received a free copy of Spiraled from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  If I could I would give this book more than five stars.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review of The Curse


In book two of the Seacliff High Mystery series, we find Alyson Prescott and her friends helping to prepare for the annual Haunted Hayride.  After two teens go missing, Alyson does not know if they ran away or met with foul play.  Beside the young adults missing, the props and decorations for the hay ride go missing.  Alyson does not know what is going on but she knows that something is not right.  Her and her friends want to try to figure out what has happened but it will not be an easy mystery to solve.

Kathi Daley continues to impress me with her character development.  She creates characters that you cannot help but like and want to learn more about.  They all seem realistic and three dimensional and in the second book you could see how they are growing.   In this book, we learn a little bit more about the circumstances that led to Alyson and her mother being placed in the Witness Protection Program.  We begin to see how it is taking a toll on both of them and how Alyson wishes for a normal life, one without lies and deception.

The mystery of where the missing teens are and who took them continues throughout the entire book.  There were twists and turns and many clues to figure out.  I enjoy that in a mystery book.  There is also a touch of paranormal in this book and I really enjoyed that aspect.  It was an unexpected surprise and added a lot to the story.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing.  Whether I was reading about the town or the school or the hayride, I felt like I was right there, involved in all the action.  The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick, easy read.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted mystery cozy.  This book is a great read for young and old alike.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  And if you have not read any of Kathi Daley’s books, do yourself a favor and start reading them soon.  You will not be disappointed.