Review of Murder Wears White

30138561Synopsis:

Mallory Shepard s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .”

Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania are almost complete. But what Mallory didn t plan on is the bride s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.

Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . .

Praise for “Engaged in Death”

“”

I had great fun reading the adventures of nouveau sleuth Mallory Shepard as she wrangles corpses, kittens, and a cheating fiance in this charming debut mystery. Laura Levine, author of “Murder Has Nine Lives”  (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well rounded and well developed.  Mallory is a hard worker who has big dreams for her B&B .  I felt that at times, Mallory came off as someone who was indecisive and I felt like she really did not grow much from book one to book two.  That is only my opinion and other readers may not feel the same way as I do at all.  Her sister, Rachel, is a fun woman who enjoys helping her sister.  I really enjoyed the interaction between the two of them.  Their bickering and banter provided a lot of humor to the story.  

The writing style flows smoothly.   The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all of the action taking place around me.  I really enjoyed that.  

The mystery was carried on well throughout the entire book and with so many suspects to consider and clues interspersed through the book, it was not an easy mystery to solve.  I felt like there were a few too many storylines going on in the book at one time.  I wish that the book only focused on one or two of them and used the other ones in future books. Again this is only my opinion and others may not feel the same way.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  Although I liked the first book a little better, I still enjoyed this one and I am looking forward to reading 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.

New Releases For The Week Of January 29th, 2017 Part 2

Here is a list of some of the new releases for the week of January 29th, 2017.  Since there were so many this week, I am going to divide them between today and tomorrow.  Hope you find some selections for your weekly reading.  Enjoy and happy reading.

 

33947420The truth always comes with a price…

Former lawyer Nicole Fitzhenry-Dawes has finally settled in to her new home in Fair Haven, and her first maple syrup season is upon them. It’s not going as smoothly as she’d hoped.

Their sap lines keep springing leaks, and as if that wasn’t enough, Nicole finds their groom-mechanic, Noah, apparently trampled in one of the horse stalls.

Fair Haven’s interim police chief is ready to declare it an accident, but Nicole believes otherwise. With Noah in a coma, she’s determined to figure out who wanted to kill him before the perpetrator can return and finish the job.

But whoever attempted to kill Noah has other ideas and is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Nicole from discovering the truth-even destroy Sugarwood and the man Nicole loves.

Almost Sleighed is the third book in Emily James’ Maple Syrup Mysteries. If you love small-town settings, quirky characters, and a dollop of romance, then you’ll want to buy this amateur sleuth mystery series today!  (Goodreads)

33670526Vacations are supposed to be relaxing right? That’s what Vinnie Esposito thinks, until she spies a dead mobster bobbing in the water at her feet while she’s sipping her morning coffee.

All Vinnie Esposito wants is a leisurely get-away on Block Island with her best friend Lola Trapezi. Lola has been going through a rough time since she found out that she isn’t a real Trapezi, but the product of an illicit affair between her mother and a notorious mobster.

Vinnie is determined to support her friend no matter what, but when Vinnie stumbles across more dead mob guys, not even her ex-boyfriend, State Trooper Marcus Richmond, nor her friend, FBI Agent Aaron Grant, can keep her out of the hot seat with the Block Island authorities. And when Lola’s mobster-father shows up, everything goes from bad to deadly. Can Vinnie get off the island unscathed, or will she end up deader than dead?  (Goodreads)

33360706Angela’s not out of the woods yet…

When a woman is found dead in the forest outside Willow Bay, apparently attacked by a bear, local veterinarian – and witch – Angela Martin is asked for her expertise. By all accounts the woman looks like a bear attack victim, but Angela just knows something feels off.

Unfortunately, when the woman’s death is declared accidental, Angela knows she’s the only person who can find the real killer and stop a murderer on the loose – and stop the newfound fear of bears that’s Willow Bay by storm.

Meanwhile, Angela’s been trying to avoid Matt Smith, who blames her for ruining his real estate deal, and what on earth is Bee up to, sneaking out of the house all the time?

When trouble comes to Willow Bay, things are never as simple as they seem…

A Grizzly Discovery is the fifth book in the Willow Bay Witches series of paranormal cozy mysteries. It’s a full-length novel full of funny and sarcastic best friends, a touch of magic, a snarky talking cat and a little bit of romance.  (Goodreads)

30259043Mystery Awaits on the Mysterious Yorkshire Moors
At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a BrontE hero. There have been several worrisome incidents out on the moor–property destroyed, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered–and worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church.
Drew’s friend is obviously smitten with his bride of eight months, though it’s hard to imagine what she sees in the awkward man. Drew can’t help wondering if her affections lie more with the man’s money and estate, while her romantic interests focus on their fiery Welsh gamekeeper. As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what is really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.
  (Goodreads)

33512844Pippa Worthy runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.

Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.  (Goodreads)

32936277**Now in development for a TV movie!**
From bestselling cozy mystery author Traci Andrighetti comes a boxed set of three laugh-out-loud mysteries featuring New Orleans’ private eye, Franki Amato! This boxed set includes the first three, full length novels in the bestselling Franki Amato Mysteries series, including:Limoncello Yellow (book #1)
Francesca “Franki” Amato is a tough-talking rookie cop in Austin, Texas—until an unfortunate 911 call involving her boyfriend, Vince, and a German female wrestler convinces her once and for all that she just isn’t cut out for a life on the police force. So Franki makes the snap decision to move to New Orleans to work at her friend Veronica’s detective agency, Private Chicks, Inc. But Franki’s hopes for a more stable life are soon dashed when Private Chicks is hired by the prime suspect in a murder case to find out what really happened to a beautiful young boutique manager who was found strangled to death with a cheap yellow scarf.

Prosecco Pink (book #2)
For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” She’s the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home. Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing…and a haunted plantation home.

Amaretto Amber (book #3)
For her thirtieth birthday, P.I. Franki Amato has to investigate a surreal strip club homicide—with her sixtyish ex-stripper landlady. to her troubles, she has to figure out what a missing amber pendant and a mysterious amaretto bottle have to do with the murder, not to mention why she’s being followed.

Franki Amato Mysteries:
Limoncello Yellow (book #1)
Prosecco Pink (book #2)
Rosolio Red (holiday short story)
Amaretto Amber (book #3)  (Goodreads)

33897347In 1905, the great Henry James arrives in Northampton, Massachusetts, to deliver a lecture to the local literati. He is feted in a grand style—and so is the Englishman impersonating him.

In the meantime, a vacationing Harry Reese has stumbled upon a body marinating in an abandoned canal bed. But rather than report the corpse, Harry decides to use it to distract his wife Emmie from her own literary ambitions. Then the body vanishes. Twice.

These two plots, each sufficiently ludicrous in its own right, coalesce to produce a truly remarkable book, one that dares to answer the age-old question: can a man drown in his blancmange?

For more information on the series, please visit: HarryReeseMysteries.com  (Goodreads)

Sweet Deception (Jamie Fisher Mysteries Book 1) by [Ridley, S. P.]Deception, Lies, and Murder!

When veteran movie director Gilbert Payne returns to his home state to headline a film festival, Jamie Fisher and her mother are asked to cater the opening night appreciation dinner.

But celebration quickly turns to mourning when Gilbert is found dead. To make matters worse, Jamie’s father is the prime suspect.

Despite several warnings from a boisterous police detective, Jamie launches her own investigation and uncovers alarming details about her family. Will the Fishers crumble under the weight of their own dysfunction or will the shocking discoveries bring Jamie closer to identifying the real killer?

Sweet Deception is the first book in the Jamie Fisher Mystery Series.  (Amazon)

 

 

New Releases For The Week Of January 29th, 2017 Part 1

Here is a list of some of the new releases for the week of January 29th, 2017.  Since there were so many this week, I am going to divide them between today and tomorrow.  Hope you find some selections for your weekly reading.  Enjoy and happy reading.

 

30138558Highly original and great fun. A triumph of imagination with twists and turns to delight readers. New York Times bestseller Carolyn Hart

A killer takes a spin through Salem . . .

Lee Barrett has agreed to attend a storage auction with Aunt Ibby even though she suspects the forgotten rooms will yield more junk than treasure. Her skepticism vanishes once the two win a bid on an overlooked locker and uncover a trove of beautiful curiosities, including a stunning wooden carousel horse with gentle eyes and fading paint. But just before Lee leaves the fairground relic at a local repair shop, the sight of a silver samovar awakens her psychic abilities and conjures visions of murder.
Lee prays the intrusive ESP episode was just a glimpse into the past until her policeman boyfriend reports a dead man outside the repair shop. Apparently, the unknown victim had been hot on Lee s trail since the auction. And with the horse found dismantled, it looks like he was up to no good. What s the story behind the antique equine, and could a strange bubblegum-chewing woman with fiery hair have something to do with the crime? Guided by her gift and O Ryan, her wise tabby cat, Lee s set on catching the murderer . . . before she s sent on the darkest ride of her life.
Praise for The Witch City Mysteries
Perfectly relaxing and readable. Kirkus Reviews
This rewarding paranormal cozy series debut will have Victoria Laurie fans lining up to follow. Library Journal
[A]n entertaining story that keeps readers guessing until the very twisted and eerie end. RT Book Reviews
  (Goodreads)
30138561Mallory Shepard s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .”
Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania are almost complete. But what Mallory didn t plan on is the bride s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.
Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . .
Praise for “Engaged in Death”
“”
I had great fun reading the adventures of nouveau sleuth Mallory Shepard as she wrangles corpses, kittens, and a cheating fiance in this charming debut mystery. Laura Levine, author of “Murder Has Nine Lives”
 (Goodreads)

32853164“Johnson paints characters with a folksy charm that makes them feel like family…Color me a fan!” – Diane Vallere, Author of the Material Witness, Style & Error, and Madison Night Mysteries

“Rory is definitely a quirky character; she has the ability to draw the readers in so that they want to follow her through her adventures.” – Suspense Magazine

A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…

Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, craft and hobby mysteries (Goodreads)

29939297Keeley Carpenter has found her center. After returning to Befrey, the traditional English village she called home ten years ago, she’s opened her dream yoga café, which doubles as both a yoga studio and a delicious vegetarian café. Even better, Keeley is dating handsome Detective Ben Taylor, and things are beginning to look serious.

Too bad things never seem to run smoothly for long. Eager to get involved with the local community, Keeley sets up a booth at the annual Belfrey Arts Festival, along with her nemesis, fellow small business owner Raquel. Preparing herself to play nice, she’s shocked when Raquel’s boyfriend, Town Mayor Gerald, is found dead after a public spat. Despite Ben’s strict warnings to stay out of it, Keeley isn’t going to let an innocent woman take the blame for the murder—even if it is glamorous, spoiled Raquel.

Now Keeley must balance a precarious murder investigation with the demands of her growing business and now-strained relationship. But when the killer takes a personal interest in Keeley, can she find the culprit before she gets bent out of shape? Charming and delicious, this cozy follow up to Downward Facing Death features recipes from Keeley’s café and is perfect for fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs. (Goodreads)

33638829State troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly are finally going to get their storybook wedding—sailing on an ocean liner to a castle in the English countryside! But when an Icelandic volcano scrambles flights all over the world, they must find alternate routes to the altar—separately.

Donnelly meets Sandler Birkin, a globetrotting courier who specializes in carrying rare artifacts and diplomatic pouches. He pulls a few strings to get Donnelly to the ship on time and then accompanies him across the Atlantic. Donnelly returns the favor by helping to find Sandler’s long-lost first love, Trevor Hendricks. Trevor’s controlling, homophobic parents have brought him to Europe for a radical treatment to cure him of his homosexuality—and his love for Sandler.

Brandt, meanwhile, finagles his way around the globe with the help of Kerry Mercer, a sales executive whose spirit of adventure leads her to accompany him on his improvised journey. However, sharing hotel rooms with her presents a problem for Brandt who, despite being about to marry a man, still finds her attractive.

Once Brandt and Donnelly are reunited, they band together with Kerry and Sandler to plot Trevor’s rescue. But doing so might mean missing their own wedding. (Goodreads)

33533363FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND

Hell has unleashed a demon – and he’s coming for you…

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend?

There’s a nationwide manhunt underway but the trail has gone cold and fear spreads like a virus. Ryan and his team must find The Hacker before he takes another life – but are they too late?

The clock is ticking…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.  (Goodreads)

30981668After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?  (Goodreads)

34032606Warm breezes, tropical seas, a handsome new husband? What more could a girl dream of?

When newlyweds Laurel McKay and Tom Hunter embark on their honeymoon cruise, they look forward to sunny days exploring the Caribbean islands and intimate evenings together. Their dream quickly goes “poof,” when Laurel’s family decides to tag along and their romantic duet turns into a party of eight.

The first night on the ship, Laurel witnesses someone going overboard. But no one is reported missing, and the chief of security gives Laurel’s sighting the same credibility as an alien landing.

After a series of diamond thefts, Laurel discovers that suspicious shipmates are as plentiful as calories on this cruise. When a murder occurs, and a family member becomes the top suspect, Laurel is determined to unmask the killer before her dream honeymoon becomes a nautical nightmare.  (Goodreads)

Review of A Merciful Death

A Merciful Death

Mercy Kilpatrick, Book #1

Kendra Elliot

5 Stars

29978776Synopsis:

FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout… (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  Mercy is one tough lady.  She has had a rough childhood and she left home many years ago.  But she was able to make something of herself and she is one tough FBI agent.  When she is on a case, she does not back down and she will do whatever it takes to solve the case.  Truman, the police chief, also has a past that he is trying to overcome.  For him, the killings are personal because his uncle has been murdered.  He will do anything to find the killer and bring justice for his uncle’s death.  He knows that teaming up with Mercy will improve his chances immensely.  I enjoyed the interactions between Mercy and Truman, and we got more of an insight into their personalities through these interactions.  The secondary characters were also well developed and add another dimension to the story.

The writing styles flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book, I felt like I was seeing things through the eyes of a bystander.  The mystery was carried on well throughout the book and there were enough red herrings thrown in that I kept changing my mind about the murders.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted romantic suspense.  I have read many books by this author and they have all been top notch.  She is at the top of my list as a must read author.

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

Review of Flash

Flash

Dogleg Island Mystery, Book #1

Donna Ball

5+ Stars

25256363Synopsis:

The first in a powerful new series from the author of THE RAINE STOCKTON DOG MYSTERIES…

Almost two years ago the sleepy little community of Dogleg Island was the scene of one of the most brutal crimes in Florida history. The only eye witnesses were a border collie puppy and a police officer. Since that time Flash has grown from a puppy into a vital part of the Dogleg Island Police Department, and has lived happily with the two people who rescued him on that horrible night: Deputy Sheriff Ryan Grady and Police Chief Aggie Malone.

Now the trial of the century is about to begin. The defendant, accused of slaughtering his parents in their beach home, maintains his innocence. Aggie and Ryan, the top witnesses for the prosecution, are convinced he is lying. But only Flash knows the truth.

And with another murder to solve, a tangle of conflicting evidence to sort out, and a brutal storm on the way, the truth may come too late… for all of them. (Goodreads)

Review:

First off, I have to say that every book I have read by this author has been fantastic.  And Flash was no different.  It has everything I look for when reading a mystery: exceptional characters, great setting, superb mystery and intense suspense.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  Aggie is a strong woman who has been through a lot.  She does not want to admit anything scares her, but she has fears like everyone does.  She has a lot of problems to deal with, both mentally and physically, but she nevers give up.  Ryan is a hard worker who is loyal to his friends, especially Aggie.  They get along well and even when they argued, you could tell they really care about each other.  They make a good pair and I enjoyed getting to know them and spend time with them. But Flash was my favorite character in the book.  He was smart, loyal and loving.  He seems to know what Aggie is feeling and thinking at all times.  He knows his number one job is to keep her happy and safe.  I really enjoyed that he has a point of view in this book and I knew what he was thinking.  You can tell that the author has a special bond with dogs, it was evident throughout the whole story.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book, I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place around me.  I felt like could hop on a plane and go visit Dogleg Island (but I want to make sure the weather is okay).  Her description of the hurricane had me listening for the emergency sirens to start blaring.   

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read.  The mystery is carried on well throughout the book and it was difficult to solve.  I liked the way a crime from the past was connected with a present day crime.  There were enough suspects to consider and enough clues thrown in that even the most experienced armchair detective would have difficulty figuring it out.  The suspense kept building and building and I was nervous turning the pages because of what might happen.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted mystery.  The combination of great characters, a great setting and a great mystery makes this book a must read.   

Review of The Iced Princess

The Iced Princess

Snow Globe Mystery, Book #2

Christine Husom

5 Stars

25220505Synopsis:

The national bestselling author of Snow Way Out returns with more sparkling snow globes and cold-blooded murder…

It’s that time of the year again—the Christmas rush is about to begin, and curio shop owner Camryn Brooks and her BFF, coffee shop owner Alice “Pinky” Nelson, need to hire additional help. Their former high-school classmate, Molly Dalton, is not exactly who they had in mind. Has the rich socialite worked a day in her life? But Molly practically begs for the job.

On her first day, Molly seems to be in her own little world, and Cami worries that her new employee may flake out. The problem turns out to be far worse than that when Cami discovers Molly dead in the back of the shop, after drinking a poisoned cup of coffee. Soon there is an avalanche of suspects as Cami starts shoveling through the clues—including a shattered snow globe of Marilyn Monroe. Now Cami will have to venture out of her safety zone before the pathological poisoner stirs up more trouble…

Snow globe-making projects and tips included! (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Cami and Pinky.  They are good friends and they would do almost anything for each other.  I like reading about their conversations and fun antics and they felt like realistic characters to me.   I liked the mix of old characters from the previous book and new characters that we meet for this book. The secondary characters added a lot to the story.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and I love the setting of the curio shop.  All of the snow globes gave the story a whimsical feeling and I think this is a great setting for a cozy mystery.  I could picture all of the snow globes and the scenes they depicted and that made me smile.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The mystery is carried on throughout the entire book.  There were enough suspects to consider and clues tossed in to make it nearly impossible to solve.  That is what I look for in a mystery.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I have read the first book in the series (which I liked) and now I am looking forward to reading the next one.

Giveaway Winners

 

The winners of the Catherine Bruns Book Giveaway are Shelia Golding and Paula Staton.  Congratulations and enjoy the book.. Let me know what your email address is so Catherine knows where to send it.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and commented, I appreciate it.  And a big thank you to Catherine for allowing me to do the giveaway.

Review and Giveaway of Death of the Big Kahuna

Death of the Big Kahuna

Aloha Lagoon Mysteries, Book # 6

Catherine Bruns

5 Stars

32504474Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns, comes an Aloha Lagoon Mystery that proves sometimes paradise isn’t all it’s served up to be.

New to both Hawaii and the Aloha Lagoon Resort, Carrie Jorgenson has big dreams of stardom. But while she awaits fame and fortune, she’s forced to accept a job waitressing at the resort’s The Loco Moco Café. It isn’t long before she discovers the dish on her new boss—also known to many as “The Big Kahuna.” Hale Akamu is rich, handsome, repulsive…and dead. When Carrie discovers Hale’s lifeless body, she’s suddenly forced into yet another role—amateur sleuth. With everyone from Carrie to the saucy chef to the café’s hot assistant manager under suspicion, Carrie needs to track a killer before she becomes his next main entrée!

**Recipes included!**

The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:

Ukulele Murder (book #1)

Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2)

Deadly Wipeout (book #3)

Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4)

Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5)

Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6)

Photo Finished (book #7) coming soon!

About Aloha Lagoon:

There’s trouble in paradise…

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii’s hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere…and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we’re certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget! (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well rounded and well developed.  Carrie is a hard working young women who has not had a good family life but she tries not to let that define her.  I liked the way she tried to always stay positive.  She has not been very successful in the romance department but things may be changing for her in a positive way.  Keanu  is a great guy and is a hard worker.  I enjoyed reading about the interactions between the two.  I liked getting to know them better and learning about them as people and what made them act the way they did.  I thought the secondary characters also added a lot to the story.

The mystery was carried on well throughout the book.  There were plenty of suspects to consider and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the killer was revealed at the end.  And I thought the killer was a good choice.  There was enough suspense and tension to keep me turning pages well into the night, when I should have been sleeping.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book, I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place and listening in on conversations.  I felt like I could almost taste some of the food that they served in the cafe.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well plotted cozy mystery.  If you like great characters, great description and a great mystery, then you do not want to miss this book.  I was already a fan of this author, this book is just one more reason why.

 

About The Author:

Catherine Bruns

 

 

Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in Upstate New York with a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons and an assortment of cats and dogs. She holds a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. Catherine also writes the Cindy York Mysteries and coming in January 2017, the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries.

 

 

 

 

Also written by Catherine Bruns:

Cookies & Chance Mysteries:

Tastes Like Murder

Baked To Death

Burned To A Crisp

 

Cindy York Mysteries:

Killer Transaction

Prices To Kill

 

 

Catherine Bruns has graciously offered to give away 1 free kindle copy of Death of the Big Kahuna to two lucky winners.  To be eligible to win one of the two free copies, leave a comment on my blog.  I will randomly choose a winner around 9:00 PM EST.  (Only comments on my blog will be counted, not on my Facebook page).  Be sure and leave an email address so I can reach the lucky winners.    For anyone who is so inclined, please become a follower of my blog.  Thanks for stopping by, good luck and enjoy the book.

I would like to thank Catherine for providing the prizes for the giveaway and for writing such great books.

Review of Eggnog Murder

28814307Synopsis:

With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .

EGGNOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER

When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.

DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS

Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

NOGGED OFF by BARBARA ROSS

Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yultide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . . (Goodreads)
Review:

This book is a three story collection of Christmas stories that takes place in Maine.  One story is Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, another is Death By Eggnog by Lee Hollis and the third is Nogged Off by Barbara Ross.  Having read two of the three authors before, I figured I was in for a treat reading this book.  And I was right.

Although all three stories are more like novellas than a full length book, I still felt like the stories were worth the time they took me to read.  All three had delightful characters, great descriptions, and mysteries worth solving.

If you are fans of these authors, you will be happy to see your favorite characters and will like spending more time with them.  If these are new-to-you authors, this is a good way to be introduced to them and check out their writing style.  Either way, this is a book that you should check out.

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.

Susan Bernhardt’s A Manhattan Murder Mystery

Are you looking for something to read during the long winter days?  A book to curl up with under a warm blanket or beside the roaring fire?   Look no further than Susan Bernhard’s A Manhattan Murder Mystery.  If you have read any of her books, you know that she creates characters that are so life like, you will consider them friends.  And her mysteries are top notch.  So you do yourself a favor, get a copy of this book, sit back and relax (and stay warm) and enjoy.

 

32273780Irina Curtius, a retired ballet dancer living on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, runs a ballet studio for young children. Recently, she has been watching her younger and otherwise healthy neighbor, Stephen Kramer, become ill over time. When Stephen travels for business, his health always seems to improve dramatically after he has been away, but only temporarily. Within days of returning home, his health begins to deteriorate again. On top of that, Stephen has added stress due to problems he is having with his wife and his irate live-in sister-in-law. Sadly, Stephen’s last bout with his mysterious illness has proven to be fatal. Unsatisfied with the official explanation and in order to deliver justice for her friend and neighbor, Irina sets out to uncover the truth and prove that Stephen was indeed murdered.

It won’t be easy, though. A former lover from Irina’s college days at NYU has suddenly reinserted himself into her life, wanting to pick up where they left off. Additionally, a mysterious newcomer arrives in Irina’s neighborhood and he now seems to be shadowing Irina, appearing everywhere she goes. The story that unfolds, interwoven in the everyday lives of Irina and her social circle, highlights the unpredictability of life, the best and worst of humanity, and the powerful bonds that drive people together (and apart). (Goodreads)

About The Author:

Author of The Ginseng Conspiracy

I’m an author living in northern Wisconsin. Like Kay Driscoll, in my cozy mystery series, I’m a retired public health nurse who volunteers at her local free clinic. An avid reader of mysteries, I’m a member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. and the Wisconsin Writers Association. My published works include: The Ginseng Conspiracy (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 1), Murder Under the Tree (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 2), Murder by Fireworks (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 3), “October 31st”, “Midsummer”, and “John and Madeline.”

My town in northern Wisconsin was an inspiration for the quaint setting of my novels. Ninety-five percent of American ginseng is grown in Wisconsin. I live with my husband, William, and have two sons who are both married and also live in Wisconsin.

When not writing, I love to travel, bicycle, kayak, and create culinary magic in my kitchen. I work in stained-glass, daydream in my organic garden, stay up late reading mysteries, and eat lots of chocolate.

Susan’s blog is at www.susanbernhardt.com  (Goodreads)

 

My Review:

A Manhattan Murder Mystery
An Irina Curtius Mystery
Susan Bernhardt
5 Stars+

The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional.  The author knows how to create characters that the reader can care about, cheer for, worry about and want to get know better.  I wanted to spend more time with Irina, maybe have her over for tea and scones.  I also enjoyed the other characters in the book and liked the interactions between them all.

There is more than one mystery in this book. One is what happened to Stephen, was it a natural death or was it suicide, as the authorities believe?  The other is the mystery of a stranger that has appeared in Irina’s life.  She sees him everywhere and does not who he is or what he wants with her.  And the third mystery is why an old boyfriend has reappeared in her life.  Does he just want to rekindle their romance or does he have another motive?

While reading this book, I felt like I was watching a classic murder mystery movie.  It reminded of the classic Alfred Hitchcock movies that I always love watching.  All of the plotlines are expertly woven together and so detailed that it is hard to catch your breath when reading this book (this is a great thing).  

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place around me.  I have never been to New york, but I felt like I was there, seeing the neighborhoods and apartment buildings and all the sights and sounds that the city has to offer.  I felt like I was on a mini-vacation while reading this book.  

If you’ve read any other books by this author, you know that she loves to describe food in great detail.  Do not read this book without a few snacks nearby because you will be hungry from reading about so many delicious foods and beverages.  This just adds another layer to the greatness of this book, in my opinion.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted, well plotted, character and action driven cozy mystery.  I would also recommend reading the Kay Driscoll Mystery series, written by this author.  In my opinion, she is an author not to be missed.     


 

Other Books Written By Susan Bernhardt:

31812701On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner’s report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls. With her new friends, the free-spirited herbalist Deirdre and the untamed modern woman Elizabeth, Kay discusses new clues over tea and pastries at Sweet Marissa’s Patisserie, their crime-fighting headquarters. As Kay gets closer to the heart of the conspiracy, additional murders happen in quick succession. Before long, Kay learns that the villains are gunning for her, too. Phil, her musically talented but preoccupied husband, determined to keep her safe, withholds from her the one thing she needs most: the truth. (Goodreads)

 

33216524While Kay attends a Christmas tea at Hawthorne Hills Retirement Home, a beloved caretaker dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts. When the official coroner’s report rules the cause of death to be accidental, a small group of residents suspect foul play and call upon Kay to investigate. Kay uncovers sinister plots of fraud, revenge, and corruption at the Home. During this season of peace on earth, good will to men, additional murders occur. Despite multiple attempts on her life, and with the support once again of her best friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, Kay continues her quest for bringing justice for the victims. Kay’s first Christmas in Sudbury Falls is an unforgettable one, with equal amounts of celebration and danger. Tis the season to be sleuthing! (Goodreads)

 

 

27279455Wedding bells are in the air, and so is murder.

Kay Driscoll’s son’s wedding reception for two hundred guests is in her backyard. As if that wasn’t enough, a precocious and troubled twelve-year-old is foisted on her two days before the wedding. When the happy day arrives, one of the guests disrupts the event and is asked to leave: a womanizing member of Kay’s book club.

A few days later, after a Fourth of July fireworks show, he is found dead on the beach. Kay and her ever-present friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, investigate the death, which at first is declared a suicide. They believe this is a cover-up and go about to prove their theory, an arduous task because the potential suspects are many,  and few (if any) will regret the victim’s death.                                                                          (Goodreads)