Review of Penne Dreadful

Penne Dreadful
Italian Chef Mystery, Book #1
Catherine Bruns
5 Stars


Tomato sauce isn’t the only thing that runs red…

Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband’s fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa’s door, things just get worse. They’ve discovered Dylan’s death wasn’t an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?

With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it’s time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way back into the kitchen is to infiltrate Dylan’s favorite local pizza parlor, which also happens to be the last place he was seen before he died. But the anchovies aren’t the only thing that stink inside the small family business, and with suspects around every corner, Tessa finds that her husband’s many secrets might land her in hot water. (G00dreads)


The characters are well rounded and well developed. I enjoyed getting to meet Tessa and her cousins, Gabby and Gino. You can tell they are a close knit family and they would do anything for each other. When Tessa loses her husband, her cousins have to help her get over it, somehow. When Tessa finds out that her husband’s death may not have been an accident, she knows she has to find the person responsible before she can move on.

The writing style flows smoothly and it defines the characters very clearly by their actions and words. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning. I also think the author is very capable of portraying an Italian family and how much family means. This made for a very emotional ride but there is also humor. I think that must be very hard for an author to do.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. This author always delivers in her books.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.


New Releases For the Week Of July 28th, 2019–Part 3

Here is a list of some of the new releases for the week of July 28th, 2019. I am going to divide the list into 4 days because there are so very very many of them for the week. Today is the third day of my list for this week. Hope you find some selections for your weekly reading. Enjoy and happy reading.



A Friendly Little Murder: A Violet Carlyle Cozy Historical Mystery (The Violet Carlyle Mysteries Book 13) by [Byers, Beth]August 1925 

After a slew of cases for Jack, a new book, and a series of business meetings for Vi, and an excess of Violet’s stepmother for them both, Vi and Jack determine to flee to a lodge in the woods. A little fresh air, a ramble or two, afternoon naps, lingering mornings over a cup of Turkish coffee and perhaps all will be aright again.

Only one morning walk ends with a body and yet again, Violet, Jack, and their friends find themselves involved in a mysterious death. The main suspects for the killer are none other than the victim’s long-time friends. Just why do you turn on an old friend? And if you’ve done it once, will you do it again?

Book THIRTEEN in the Violet Carlyle Mysteries. Are you ready for the roaring twenties? You’ll love Vi, her patient husband Jack, her indulgent twin Vic, and their friends. For fans of Carola Dunn, Jacqueline Winspear, Georgette Heyer, and Lee Strauss. A light, cozy mystery with a fun peek into life in the life of a bright young thing. No swearing, graphic scenes, or cliffhangers.

The Violet Carlyle Mysteries
1- Murder & The Heir
2- Kennington House Murder
3- Murder at the Folly
4- A Merry Little Murder*
5- Murder Among the Roses
6- Murder in the Shallows
7- Gin & Murder
8- Obsidian Murder
9- Murder at the Ladies Club
10- Wedding Vows & Murder
11- A Jazzy Little Murder
12- Murder by Chocolate
13- A Friendly Little Murder
14- Murder by the Sea
15- Murder on All Hallows
16- Murder in the Shadows

*There are two short stories that fall between A Merry Little Murder and Murder Among the Roses. They are: New Year’s Madness and Valentine’s Madness.  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle














Dead Completely: An Afterlife Adventures Novel (A Paranormal Ghost Cozy Mystery Series Book 6) by [Robinson, Jordaina Sydney]Missing shoes, stolen paperclips and stalkers. Oh, what an afterlife!

Bridget finally gets her first assignment as an Independent Authority agent: The not-so-glamorous case of The Paperclip Theft. Regardless, she is determined to close the matter quickly and move on to something more challenging.

And then the dead dead body of the Afterlife Arrivals Commander topples out of the stationery cupboard.

Within hours she’s the front runner to replace him which places her neatly in the killer’s sights. She’s also the front runner in the pool of suspect who murdered him which unsurprisingly places her neatly in Detective Johnson’s sights.

With help from unexpected quarters and discovering some unsettling facts about the Independent Authority, Bridget has some big choices to make about her future… if she can dodge the killer and a prison sentence long enough to make them.  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle














Murder Under A Bad Moon: A 1930s Mona Moon Mystery Book 3 by [Keam, Abigail]


Mona Moon is not your typical young lady. She is a cartographer by trade, explorer by nature, and adventurer by heart. And she’s rich as Midas. There’s just one problem.
Some rich folk in the Kentucky Bluegrass don’t like Mona’s progressive programs for her employees and want to see her disgraced along with her new fangled ideas. So when Judge Garrett turns up dead on the Moon estates, they are beside themselves with glee until they start wondering if Judge Garrett was murdered just to frame Mona. And will one of them be next?
Mona’s reaction to all this hullaballoo? Bring it on!  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle















Josiah Reynolds Mysteries Box Set 4: Death By Malice, Death By Drama, Death By Stalking by [Keam, Abigail]Three Great Mysteries In One Package!

Death By Malice 10
Josiah Reynolds opened her front door to find her neighbor, Sandy Sloan, clutching her little dog, Georgie. “Hi Josiah. Sorry to bother you. Can you keep my dog for a couple of days while I check on my mother? She’s ill and needs help.” Josiah reluctantly said yes, not because she didn’t want to take care of the animal. She had plenty of room for a little dog like Georgie. She was reluctant because she knew Sandy’s mother couldn’t possibly be ill. Her mother was, in fact, dead. Josiah knew this because she had attended the woman’s funeral.
Why would Sandy tell such a lie? And a stupid lie at that. Was Sandy trying to signal she was in distress and needed help? Josiah had no way of knowing that in four hours, Sandy would disappear from the face of the earth, and no one–not, even Josiah, would be able to find her.

Death By Drama 11
Josiah joins an amateur thespian group that puts on plays in quirky places like public parks and crumbling antebellum mansions. It is a way to socialize, and Josiah feels lonely when her boyfriend Hunter stops calling. Since the new play is being staged at Hunter’s ancestral home Wickliffe Manor, Josiah sees this as a win-win situation. She gets to have fun and remind Hunter that she is still alive and kicking. Hint. Hint.
What could go wrong? Everything!
Hunter ignores the acting group including Josiah, and it doesn’t help when the leading lady, Madison Smythe, drops dead on Hunter’s antique Persian rug. To make matters worse, Franklin, Hunter’s brother, is arrested for her murder!
Josiah does the only thing she can. She sends an S.O.S. to her daughter Asa to investigate the murder. Asa must also discover why a love note from Hunter was found in the dead woman’s coat pocket. Josiah is ready for romance, but she doesn’t want to fall in love with a cheater . . . and possibly a murderer!

Death By Stalking 12
Josiah, Baby, her mastiff, and Lady Elsmere rush to the rescue of their neighbor, Rosie, who is being harassed by Gage Cagle, a mean, old stump of a man.
Lady Elsmere confronts Gage and has him thrown in jail for trying to extort money from Rosie. Glad to be rid of this loathsome man, Lady Elsmere, Josiah, and Rosie attend the Bluegrass Antique Auction and Ball. To their surprise, Gage shows up and boldly threatens Josiah, Rosie, and even Baby.
Dismissing Gage as nothing more than a loudmouth fussbucket, Josiah enjoys the ball until she stumbles upon Rosie covered in blood and standing over Gage’s near lifeless body. “I didn’t do this,” Rosie swears before fleeing, leaving Josiah trying to save the life of a man they both detest. While Josiah attempts to staunch Gage’s bleeding, she can’t help but wonder, if Rosie didn’t assault Gage, then who?  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle









Treacherous Seduction (Rockford Security Series Book 3) by [Dobbs, L. A. ]A brutal murder pits an innocent man against a killer in a manipulative game of cat and mouse that ends in a shocking twist.

Freedom tastes sweet to Chase Evans, especially after serving a five-year jail sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.  Aided by a new security job from his old Buddy Blake Rockford, he vows to stay out of trouble and get his life back on track … until he ends up accused of killing the very man he was assigned to protect on his first day on the job.

With the deck stacked against him and all the evidence pointing in his direction, Chase is desperate to find the real killer.  Help comes in the form of a surprising ally, Shelby Bryant, the daughter of the victim himself. But is she really trying to help, or is she part of the plan to frame him?

As the investigation follows a twisty trail, Chase’s bond with Shelby strengthens. Now he has a lot more to lose than just his freedom. But when the shocking truth is finally revealed, Chase is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice.

NOTE: This book was previously published with the same title under my pen name Lee Anne Jones.  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle, Paperback












All Too Familiar (Accidental Familiar Book 1) by [White, Belinda]A familiar is a life-long companion. Choose wisely.

It’s hard being the youngest in a family of witches known for their power. It’s even harder when that magical power has all but passed you by.

Still, I was doing okay for myself. I like to think I was proving to the rest of my family that magic wasn’t a requirement to living.

Then Aunt Opal became the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Wouldn’t you know it would happen right when everyone else in the family but me was out of town.

Now it’s up to me to prove her innocence, and a little magic could go a long way in helping me do that. My aunt’s been after me to get a familiar for quite a while now. They are known for helping a witch channel her power and even strengthen it.

So, want to or not, allergies or not, I did it. I went to an animal shelter and found my familiar. A cute little black kitty. The allergy medicine companies were going to love me.

But for some reason, this little guy didn’t make me sneeze. Kind of weird, actually. Not that I was complaining.

I just really wish I’d known more about him before I did the binding spell…

All Too Familiar is Book One of the Accidental Familiar Series. If you like light-hearted, clean mysteries with a Paranormal twist (otherwise known as Paranormal Cozy Mysteries), give it a read! You might just fall in love with the Gemstone Coven… and its witches!  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle, Paperback










In this pulse-pounding thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan journeys to Africa to help families torn apart by a violent attack deep in the jungle–but she may be putting herself in more danger than she knows.

A journalist shows up on Eve Duncan’s doorstep with a plea for help. Jill Cassidy has just come from a small African village with a heart wrenching story: half the villagers–many of them children–have been killed in a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers, the bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, the families desperately need Eve’s help to get closure and begin to heal.

But when Eve arrives in the remote jungle, she begins to suspect that Jill’s plea may have been a cover story for a deeper, more sinister plot. Isolated and unsure who she can trust, Eve finds herself stranded in an unstable country where violence threatens to break out again at any moment and with only her own instincts to rely on if she hopes to get home to her family alive . . .

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen is back with one of her most exhilarating and dangerous adventures yet in this “riveting” high-stakes thriller (Publishers Weekly).  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook










Her Detective Wolf: A Romantic Paranormal Mystery (Lone Dragons Book 5) by [Summerfield, Alice C.]Harassed by unknown assailants…
Mechanic Tessa Johnson is up to her neck in trouble, not that anyone believes her. Someone keeps breaking into her house, but nothing is stolen. People are following her. At least, she thinks that they are. And then there’s the corpse in her living room.

Aided by a werewolf with a wicked smirk…
When werewolf Ajax Mytaras stops to save a woman from being kidnapped, he finds the woman that he was made for, his soul mate. Even better, she comes with a mystery. Ajax appreciates that in a woman. As a man gifted with a big Greek family, there’s little enough of that in Ajax’s personal life.

And on the trail of a ruthless murderer.
Tessa and her roommate weren’t particularly close, but as a lightning dragon, Tessa can’t let her murder lie. And as a police detective, neither can Ajax. Together, they team up to find out what’s going on before there’s another murder – namely, Tessa’s.

A sizzling, full length romantic cozy paranormal mystery featuring a curvy dragon in a band and a sly, insatiably curious police detective, Her Detective Wolf is #5 in the Lone Dragon Series. Every book in the series is a complete and standalone novel, and they can be read in any order.

If you love your cozy paranormal mysteries or romantic mysteries infused with humor, magic, and action, then this is a werewolf and dragon shifter romance that you won’t want to miss! Scroll up and one-click today!  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle













What Lola Wants (A Lola Cruz Mystery Book 4) by [Bourbon, Melissa]The Sacramento Police Department has hired Camacho and Associates for one specific reason: They need Lola Cruz to go undercover at The Broadway, a salsa club suspected of running a prostitution ring.

She fits the description: Young, Latina, beautiful, and a PI.

But the secrets at the club go much deeper than anyone thought, and Lola finds herself embroiled in a dangerous game she may not be able to win.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

WHAT LOLA WANTS by Melissa Bourbon | A Henery Press Mystery. If you like one, you’ll probably like them all.   (Amazon)

Editions Available<  Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback














Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A HUNGARIAN TEA HOUSE MYSTERY Book 1) by [Buckley, Julia] Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie’s Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family’s Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop’s largest draws is Hana’s eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers’ cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends…

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved  Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered.  Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook














Tasteful (A Kate Redman Mystery Novella) by [Grace, Celina]Two ramblers make a grim discovery in their walk along the Cotsworld Way, just outside the market town of Abbeyford: a severed human foot by the side of the path. Detective Inspector Kate Redman takes on the case, which turns even more bizarre when a second human foot is found a few days later. Is it just a gory prank or does it tie in with the mysterious disappearance of a local girl?

Tasteful is a new novella in the bestselling Kate Redman Mysteries series, from crime writer Celina Grace, author of Hushabye and Fury.

Praise for Celina Grace from Amazon and Goodreads reviewers:

“The gradual crescendo of action and pace remorselessly increases…”

“Love Kate. She is human, does not always make good choices just like us.”

“At last, a mystery that delivers…I found this novel superb because I got all I needed to know and none of what I didn’t.”

“…a gripping detective story but the main character engages you, and as well as wanting to know how the mystery turns out you want to learn more about her too.”

“…amazing book, read it front to back in one visit, couldn`t help myself…”

“…the most enjoyable Kindle book I have so far read since the ‘low cost electronic revolution’ which has been sweeping my reading habits for the last couple of years! Thoroughly recommended.”

“This was my introduction to the author, and I’m so glad I discovered the book. Well-written and a real page turner.”

“I was awake till the early hours to finish it !! I really enjoyed it and the characters in it so I’m pleased I also have the sequel downloaded to read at some point. I know it should be great.”

“Attention to detail and great character building coupled with a mystery that keeps you guessing are all the ingredients that make me keep reading till the early hours of the morning.”

“Celina Grace has done it again, she compels you from page to page and chapter to chapter, a great, riveting read…”

“I found it difficult to put down and was completely distracted from all the other things I should have been doing with my time.”

“This is a great series that I couldn’t put down and grabbed the next book right away at 1 a.m. to keep reading.”  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle












Kickstart My Witch (Witch's Guide to Haunted Properties: Los Angeles: Mystery Book 1) by [Smith, Lotta]The accidental witch, a job interview to die for—or rather, a test that could get you killed.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

In book one of an exciting new paranormal series, author Lotta Smith introduces accidental witch Fiorentina “Fio” Valentine.

The Napa Valley native is desperately seeking work after yet another job goes up in smoke. Her third employer in a row has gone out of business, and her only lead for gainful employment comes from the familiar voice of her late great grandma Jane, who tells Fio in a dream to seek a position at one of the country’s largest real estate agencies, Quest Realty.

After a disastrous interview with prospective boss Jack Adams, and a run-in with the apparition of a former Quest employee, Fio is ready to give up the ghost and accept long-term unemployment, but Jack has other ideas. He tells Fio if she can spend the night in a haunted apartment and get to the bottom of a supernatural mystery, she just might be right for the job.

Can Fio face her fear and calm a restless spirit? Is she destined for a desk in the Haunted and Hexed Property management division, or will it be back to the want ads in the morning, assuming she survives the night?  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle














Rocco and the Echoes of War (Inspector Lucas Rocco) by [Magson, Adrian]FULLY REVISED NEW EDITION OF DEATH ON THE MARAIS

Praise for Adrian Magson:

“… a classic crime star in the making.” Daily Mail

“A gripping police procedural.” Eurocrime 

France, 1963.
It’s a time of great change in France, not least for Inspector Lucas Rocco. As part of a nationwide ‘initiative’ to broaden police operations, he finds himself moved from the Paris metropolis to a small village. His new patch might be rural, but it’s certainly not uneventful: on his first day, he finds a murdered woman wearing a Gestapo uniform lying in a British military cemetery.

When the body is removed by order of a magistrate from the police mortuary before Rocco can finish his investigation, he realises he’s up against a formidable enemy. An enemy who will go to any lengths – even murder – to stop his investigation.  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle















Ghostly Garlic (Pet Potions Mystery, 2) by [Diane, Ami]Murder is ruff, especially when the only witness to the crime has four paws and a nose for trouble.


When one of the Potion Masters Society’s own goes missing, Libby and Marge are on the case. Not only do they uncover the woman’s secret laboratory, but they also stumble across the missing potionist. The problem is, she’s invisible.

But before they can call Deputy Jackson, they must first figure out a way to reverse the potion or risk exposing their underground community.

As they investigate, they uncover more clues that reveal their fellow potionist’s death wasn’t natural. Good thing there is a witness in the form of a delightful dog named Max.

In their search for a killer, no stone is left unturned, and that includes dealing with the coalition set to dismantle the Potion Master Society.

This whodunnit will require all of the tools at Libby and Marge’s disposal, including the eyewitness pooch, a sharp wit, and a suitcase-handbag full of potions.

If you enjoy talking pets, floating potions, and lots of laughs, you will love this second book in the paranormal cozy mystery series: Pet Potions.  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle















Mrs. Morris and the Ghost (A Salem B&B Mystery Book 1) by [Wilton, Traci]


Charlene Morris knew Salem, Massachusetts had a spooky reputation. But when she decided to open her B&B there, she expected guests—not ghosts…

A grieving young widow, Charlene needed a new start—so she bought a historic mansion, sight unseen, and drove from Chicago to New England to start turning it into a bed-and-breakfast. On her first night in the house, she awakens to find a handsome man with startling blue eyes in her bedroom. Terror turns to utter disbelief when he politely introduces himself as Jack Strathmore—and explains that he used to live here—when he was alive. He firmly believes that someone pushed him down the stairs three years ago, and he won’t be able to leave until someone figures out who. If Charlene wants to get her business up and running in time for the Halloween tourist rush, and get this haunting houseguest out of the way, she’ll have to investigate. Though truth be told, this ghost is starting to grow on her . . .  (Amazon)

Editions Available:  Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook