Review of Sky High


Single mom and rookie P.I. Nicki Valentine rarely gets time off, so attending a wedding with her superhot colleague Dean sounds dreamy. But things turn nightmarish when the groom — a soon-to-be transplant donor — disappears, and Nicki and Dean commit to a partnership they never planned.

25880279Together, they examine the groom’s unfulfilled promises, including one to his mom, a psychic medium with an unusual health need. As family secrets emerge, Nicki must face questions about her late husband, whose long-ago betrayal still threatens to cloud her judgment.

With support from her pole-dancing best friend, her always-on-call family, and the loves of her life (her two kids — and possibly Dean), Nicki must uncover the groom’s demons while conquering her own. (Goodreads)


Nicki Valentine is a new private investigator who is still getting her feet wet with her career.  She really likes her job:  she loves having flexible hours (so she can manage to spend time with her children), she met her sorta boyfriend, Dean, when she was going to investigating school and she feels like she makes a difference when she catches the bad guy.  But when she attends a wedding with Dean, she is happy to know she will get a break from her job for a little while.  Little does she know that instead of seeing a beautiful wedding, she will be hired for the toughest case of her career.  

The groom never shows up on his wedding day, and no one can find him.  His fiance, family and friends all say that he would not have disappeared voluntarily.  Besides being madly in love with his fiance, he is scheduled to be a “donor” for a life saving procedure for his mom.  When the groom’s father wants to hire Nicki and Dean to find his son, and offers a huge amount of money to ensure they will agree to take it, they do.  With only a few clues and  little to go on, they have their work cut out for them.   

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick, easy and fun read.  The author is able to expertly combine mystery, suspense, humor, light paranormal and family drama to create a book that is hard to put down.  I found myself laughing every few pages reading about Nicki’s thoughts and actions.  Two of my favorite scenes are when Nicki is making popcorn in her hotel room and her pole dancing lesson.  

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  Nicki is the perfect protagonist.  She is witty, funny, hardworking, dedicated and relentless.  She is also an overprotective mother, a great friend and big hearted.  She has self doubts about her appearance, her mothering skills and her investigating skills.  She has anger towards her late husband who cheated on her before his death.  She has both positive and negative traits, which made her seem even more human to me.  I like the fact that she is a mother and she is always trying to do the best she can for her children.  This is a nice twist on the normal cozy mystery where the heroine is younger and single.  This brought an added layer to the story.  The secondary characters are all great and the interaction between them all is so realistic.  I would love to be able to call them all my friends.

I found the plot unique and the mystery was carried on throughout the entire book.  There are enough twists and turns and suspects to keep the reader guessing.  I thought I had it figured out a few times but I was wrong.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery with lots of humor and great characters.  I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next and what crazy thing Nicki would think or say.  But I also wanted to stop reading because I did not want this fantastic book to end.  I am sad that the book ended because now I have to wait until the next book is written and released.  I hope the author is a fast writer.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I can honestly say that I loved this book and if I could I would give it more than five stars.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Henery Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review of Karma’s A Killer


When Seattle yoga teacher Kate Davidson agrees to teach doga (yoga for dogs) at a fundraiser for a local animal rescue, she believes the only damage will be to her reputation. But a few downward-facing dogs are the least of Kate’s problems when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning.

25906193The police arrest a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother and charge her with murder. To prove her innocence, Kate, boyfriend Michael, and German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them. All while discovering that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like hOMe. (Goodreads)


Kate Davidson loves being a yoga instructor and she loves offering different types of classes at her yoga studio.  She enjoys helping people to discover the benefits of yoga, whether they are pregnant or older or new to the yoga world.  But she has never held a yoga class for dogs.  When she agrees to teach doga at an animal rescue fundraiser, she can now add that to her resume.  She is not sure how to engage the dogs and help them, but since she agreed to do the class, she is determined to do her best.  But during the event, a fire and a drowning take place and her worries about the doga class take a backseat to these other concerns.  

When the police make an arrest she is relieved that the case has been solved without her getting involved.  That is until she learns that the woman that has been accused claims to be her mother.  Kate does not know what has her most concerned: that the woman is her mom or that her mom is a killer.  Now Kate has to investigate the crime and try to clear her mother, if she is innocent.  And if her mom is guilty, well, Kate cannot even bear to think that way.  She, along with help from her boyfriend, Michael, her best friend Rene, and her German Shepherd, Bella, set out to find the killer and hopefully prove her mother’s innocent.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  Kate is one of my favorite protagonists.  She is feisty, witty, sarcastic and hilarious.  She is also kind hearted, loyal, insecure and an animal lover.  She will do anything to help those she cares about and loves.  She loves Bella with all her heart and does not think twice about doing whatever is needed to keep Bella healthy and happy.  As an animal lover, this is something very special.  I so wish that I knew Kate in real life because I would definitely be friends with her.  The other characters are just as likable and add a lot to the story.  I love reading about the interactions between all the characters.

I think this book is my favorite of the series.  That is saying something about how good this book is because I really loved the first two books.  I think the thing I liked so much about this book is learning about Kate’s past and meeting her mother.  Kate has such mixed emotions about finding out that her mother is alive and well.  She is angry and finds it hard to let go of that anger, but she is also excited about the prospect of getting to know her mother.  This made her seem so real to me.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy enjoyable read.  This book has a little bit of everything.  There is mystery, suspense, humor, friendship and many heartfelt moments.  I found myself laughing out loud every few pages.  The things that Kate says and thinks are so funny.  The doga session (with a bunny in attendance) and the pigeon drama were two of my favorite parts and I found them hysterical.  But there are so many funny moments in this book.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery with lovable characters.  If I could I would give this book ten stars, that is how much I enjoyed it.  This author is a great addition to the cozy genre and one of my favorites.  

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  And I can honestly say I loved this book so much.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Midnight Ink for the opportunity to read and review this book.  

Review of Criminal Confections


Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they’re irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .

22245473Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It’s thrilling work but rarely dangerous–until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed Lemaître resort spa in San Francisco.

Adrienne Dowling’s heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in Lemaître Chocolates’ new line. Hayden can’t believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won’t just be satisfying–it might save her life. . .  (Goodreads)


Hayden Mundy Moore knows chocolate inside and out.  She has made it her career and she is very good at her job.  She is a consultant to companies around the world on all things chocolate.  When she finds herself at a resort spa in San Francisco,  planning on sharing her expertise, she expects it will be like every other place that she helps.  Boy, was she wrong.  Someone she knows dies, apparently from an overdose of an ingredient found in the chocolate.  Hayden does not believe this and decides that the authorities are wrong.  She and her friend, Danny, who is a security specialist, decide they need to investigate to find the truth.  And when their snooping leads them to believe that it may been Hayden who was the intended victim, they know they have to step up their investigation and find the culprit,  before it is too late and Hayden is history.

Since this is the first book in the series, there is a lot of information to learn about the characters.  I think the characters are well rounded and well developed and I cannot wait to see how they grow in future books.  

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very knowledgeable about chocolate and there are many facts about it that I did not know.  At times I felt like maybe there was a little too much information and I found myself skimming some pages.  That is only my opinion, and other readers may enjoy all the information given.  The point of view is first person, and this is not my favorite way to read a story.  Again, that is my opinion and others may enjoy that perspective.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I will warn you though, do not go shopping while reading this book.  If you do you may find yourself buying all the chocolate in the store.  I will definitely read the next book in the series.

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.

Book Giveaway from Laurien Berenson

Laurien Berenson       

Just two days left to enter the drawing for a signed ARC of Melanie Travis Canine Mystery #18 THE BARK BEFORE CHRISTMAS! All you have to do to be eligible to win is “like” my Author Page by noon (EDT) on Saturday August 29th. I’ll be giving away 3 ARCs and I will post the winners’ names on both my Author page and my personal page that afternoon. Good luck everyone!

Laurien Berenson's photo.

Between her boisterous sons and a house full of Poodles, there’s never a dull moment for Melanie Travis. But no matter how hectic life gets, she can always pick up the scent of a howling good mystery–and she’ll stop at nothing to dig up the truth. . .

It’s summer in Connecticut, and Melanie’s life has become an endless string of dog shows, soccer camp, and the antics of her energetic toddler. She hardly has time to pay much attention to her Aunt Peg’s new protégé, Nick Walden, a self-proclaimed “dog whisperer” with an uncanny gift for decoding dog-speak. The well-heeled dog owners of Fairfield County are lapping up his alleged talents, anxious to discover exactly what their pampered pets are thinking–that is until the pooches start spilling their secrets.

When Nick is discovered dead in his home, his sister Claire enlists Melanie to help track down the killer. Now, as she juggles the demands of marriage and motherhood–not to mention her six beloved Poodles–Melanie can scarcely even begin to nose through the growing list of suspects. But just when she thinks she’s barking up the wrong tree, she’ll find herself face to face with a purebred murderer. . .

A Book To Die For

. It’s on sale for 99 cents this week.

From a review by the HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER, Grady Harp

The real pleasure of jumping into this mystery is the manner in which Richard Houston writes. Think Garrison Keillor’s `A Prairie Home Companion’, a dab of Mark Twain, and a dollop of John Grisham – marinate out in nature, and out comes Houston’s style. Not bad ingredients for an author on the rise.

Jake Martin is not your ordinary sleuth. He’s an ordinary guy with an extraordinary dog. This time the story takes place in the foothills of Denver. Jake is accused of manslaughter and he has to prove the accident was really murder. Along the way he encounters a poaching ring and falls in love with a beautiful game warden. The characters are memorable and the plot is multi-layered. It keeps the reader guessing who dun-it until the very end.


The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt

As Halloween is drawing near…Curl up with a killer. THE GINSENG CONSPIRACY – A Halloween cozy mystery –

Two Wonderful 5 Star Reviews – Looking Forward to More in This Series – A fabulous first novel and beginning to a mystery series. Kay and her friends Deirdre and Elizabeth are fascinating characters. The three of them have very different personalities, and they balance each other out well. All of the other characters in the story were also well-written and fleshed out, so that all of their actions seemed to make sense and fit their personalities.

The mystery starts almost immediately, and it twists and turns all the way through the book. There is constant action, and suspects abound. When the identity of the murderer is revealed, it is a complete surprise.

The story is set in the fall, around Halloween, so now would be a good time to pick it up and give it a try. However, it is certainly worth reading at any time of year.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A real page turner – It was hard to put this book down, and the fast pace did not diminish the rich descriptions of place or characters. The town and its characters really came to life and their development did not seem rushed or forced, as in some mysteries I’ve read. Living in a small town myself, I almost felt like the story could have happened here. Except we don’t have villains around here — or do we?

Susan Bernhardt's photo.

The Seacliff High Boxed Set Books 1-3 is on sale for $.99 for a limited time.

The Seacliff High Boxed Set Books 1-3 is on sale for $.99 for a limited time.
Three mysteries for “teens” from 13 – 113.…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

That’s 609 pages of mystery goodness for one low price.

The Secret:
Alyson Prescott moves to Cutters Cove, Oregon, after being placed, along with her mother, in the witness protection program. In her previous life, Alyson was an A-list heiress with the excitement of a trend setting lifestyle and the security of old money. After witnessing a murder executed by two members of a powerful gang family, she is forced to leave her old life behind and become a middle class girl, living in a middle class town. Alyson struggles with the duplicity in her life as she strives to reconcile her new life with the old.
In the first book in the series, The Secret, Alyson and her mother buy a dilapidated old mansion on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Alyson soon finds that the house holds a secret that only the recently deceased resident of the property seems to know the answer to. Alyson and the new friends she meets at Seacliff High, set out to find the answer to a fifty-year old mystery that will reveal a trail of murder, embezzlement, lies, and deception. As the journey intensifies, friendships are forged that will last a lifetime.

The Curse:
In book two of the series, two Seacliff High students turn up missing just days before Halloween. The police believe that they have simply run away, but when strange and unexplained things begin to happen at the annual Haunted Hayride, Alyson begins to suspect there may be more going on than the adults in town would like to believe. After they the props and decorations for the annual event turn up missing, Alyson and the gang decide to look into the case of the missing students. Could the two events be connected? And what about the symbol found splattered in blood in the barn where the annual Halloween party is to take place? Could it be connected to the gypsy curse that most believe to be simply a legend?

Book two in the series will also begin to reveal Alyson’s past and the reason for her inclusion in witness protection.

The Relic:
When a long dead ghost leads Alyson to a treasure map days before Thanksgiving, she enlists the help of her friends to follow the clues. As they dig into the century old mystery, they discover a legend regarding a relic that many believe once possessed life sustaining power.

The search for the relic leads Alyson and the gang deep into the system of caverns that exists beneath the small town of Cutter’s Cove. They face huge obstacles and must overcome personal fears to follow the clues they find along the way.

Meanwhile, Alyson tells Mac the truth about her past. She reveals the reason she is involved with witness protection and the danger she continues to live with every day of her life.…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

Kathi Daley's photo.