Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: MRS ODBODDY : And Then There Was a Tiger: A WWII Tale of Conflict and Carnivals, Turmoil and Tigers by Elaine Faber

Synopsis

While the ‘tiger of war’ rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy, ‘fights the war from the home front’. Her patriotic duties are interrupted when she is accused of the Wilkey’s Market burglary.

A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioner’s harvest fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. Accused again when counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival, and when the war bond money goes missing, Agnes sets out to restore her reputation and locate the money. Her attempts lead her into harm's way when she discovers a friend's betrayal and even more about carnival life than she bargained for.

Granddaughter Katherine's turbulent love triangle with a doctor and an FBI agent rivals Agnes’s own on-again, off-again relationship with Godfrey.

In Faber's latest novel, your favorite quirky character, Mrs. Odboddy, prevails against injustice and faces unexpected challenges . . . and then There Was a Tiger!

Review

Mrs. Odboddy is once again at her quirky best and following her own version of Murphy's Law. She's consistently at the right place at the wrong time, and it is not surprising she's the common denominator. Not enough evidence for an arrest but in a small town... Godfrey's return seems to be the bright spot and she is able to help with the war bond effort, and may just be cleared of the counterfeiting, until the old trench coat is donated and she tries to find it. 

This is a fun read with some surprises and unanswered questions - at least for Mrs. Odbuddy. The tiger is an added touch. So far, this is my favorite in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone mystery. If you haven't read the others though, you should get to know Mrs. Odboddy and Godfrey's stories first. 

Books in this series:


Friday, January 4, 2019

Book Review: SO ABOUT THE MONEY : Holly Price Mystery Series #1 by Cathy Perkins

Synopsis

When Holly Price trips over a friend's dead body while hiking, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. The verdict is murder--and Holly is the prime suspect. Of course, the fact that the sexy--and very pissed off--cop threatening to arrest her is JC Dimitrak, Holly's jilted ex-fiancé, doesn't help matters.

To protect her future, her business...and her heart...the intrepid forensic accountant must use all her considerable investigative skills to follow the money through an intricate web of shadow companies, while staying one step ahead of her ex-fiancé. She better solve the case before the real killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass...and the next dead body found beside the river is Holly's.


Review

Nothing seems to go right - her casual boyfriend Alex takes her for a hike, only he's really hunting pheasant and she's definitely not good enough for his mother. Then there's the dead body of her friend and Tim's wife accusing her of interfering with her life. And the detective in charge is her ex. She came home to help her mother, but her mother keeps flaking out on her. The one thing Holly has going for her is that she knows how to follow the money, not always staying on the straight and narrow. Somehow she can't seem to avoid JC though and has to worry about not only being a suspect but her re-awakened feelings for him. 

I liked Holly and her internal struggles over JC, his protectiveness and her angst. She's forced to deal with clients and personal relationships, possible corruption and infidelity, and the pulls of her small town and her prestigious position in Seattle. This is the first in the series and a good start. I'll be adding the next in the series to my TBR list.

The Holly Price Mystery Series
So About the Money 
Malbec Mayhem
Double Down
In It For the Money

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!


It's that time of the year once again - a time to reflect on the good and the not-so-good.  Overall, 2018 was a good year on all work levels - the day job and the writing. Lots of accomplishments for sure and hopefully more to come in 2019. 

On the plus side, publications in 2018 included: 
  • Malicious Mischief (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #4)
  • A New Place, Another Murder (Sheridan Hendley Mystery Series #1)
  • Foundations, Funny Business & Murder (Stacie Maroni Mystery Series #2)
Plans for 2019 include the next in each of those series... I suspect that will keep me busy (and out of trouble)!


At a more global level, the frequency of hate, violence and terrorism hasn't improved. As a year ago, with all the turmoil here at home and abroad, I will strive to:
  • Be more positive and thoughtful of others
  • Be an advocate and help out others as best I can
  • Remember to engage in random acts of kindness
  • Be respectful of others and their opinions, even when I disagree 
On a personal level, I can't avoid the tried and true:  Eat better, exercise more, lose weight... I'll add in there, take some time to relax.  And since I'm behind, catching up on the books I've read, but not yet reviewed. 

What about you? What will you be working on in 2019?

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: MARKED MASTERS : A Bodies of Art Mystery Book 2 by Ritter Ames


Synopsis

Laurel Beacham made working solo a personal success story and is known for her nerve, instincts, and ability to do whatever necessary to return each priceless masterpiece safely intact. As the world’s leading art recovery expert, she’s thwarted more heists than the average law enforcement professional. Museums applaud her skills. Thieves admire the cunning way she operates.

Her last job landed her the head position over the London branch of Beacham Foundation, but bringing one case to a close only opened a bigger one. More importantly, the new case inextricably ties her to Jack Hawkes, a man smart enough to be her equal but who keeps her trust meter firmly in the red zone. Trying to stop a rumored heist of the century, the pair leap headlong into a plot that gets more dangerous and illusive by the minute. The clock counts down as the bodies and forgeries stack up.

Review

Laurel is an art critic with a very interesting sideline - she reclaims stolen art but not through the usual channels. She much prefers to work alone, but she is forced to work with Jack, who infuriates her. He wants it all his way and that is an obvious trait she can take issue with, but she also has developed feelings for him. Laurel has some trust issues that are great for her job, but not so great for building relationships. And Jack is as slippery and cunning as can be.

Ames has created a complicated plot with twists and turns taking the reader from Florida to London and on to Florence. This could be read as a stand alone, however, there are references to the first in the series so you might want to start there. Bottom line? If you like other works by Ames, you will definitely like Marked Masters and likely the others in this series. 

The Bodies of Art Mystery Series by Ritter Ames:
COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES (#1)
MARKED MASTERS (#2)
ABSTRACT ALIASES (#3)
FATAL FORGERIES (#4)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Book Review: THE P.I. WHO FOUND CHRISTMAS : A Billie Bly Christmas Mystery by Don Weston

Synopsis

P.I. Billie Bly is stressed out.

Thieves are stealing Christmas Decorations in her neighborhood’s business district and a seven-year-old’s mother is missing. Her assistant, Angel’s, Christmas addiction is cluttering her home and when Angel’s loopy boyfriend begins poking his nose and other body parts into her business, something has to give.

The little girl is counting on Billie to find her mother and the police think her father is somehow involved.

She has five days to bring Christmas back for a young girl and learn who is stealing life sized Santa and Snowmen statues.

Review

Billie Bly doesn't really have time to figure out where   has disappeared, never mind whether it is voluntary or not. She has a bigger case and, as part of the business association, an investment in maintaining good relations to find the missing snowmen. After all, there was a lot of money invested in these decorations to light up the businesses. Billie enlists the help of a dog in training to check out her suspicions, at the same time trying to find the missing mother. In fact she gets the whole town involved in finding the missing women.

This was a fun, Christmas read. I like Billie Bly and her attitude.  This is the 4th in the series, but easily read as a stand alone. Short read, but lots of spirit.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Blog Tour & Review: NC-17 by Larissa Reinhart

Synopsis

#StillDetectiveing

As an ex-star of a hit teen detective show, Maizie Albright gets the youth demographic. Or so she thought. Now that she’s adulting, today’s kids make Maizie feel out of date. At least the youth she meets while doing community service at Black Pine’s exclusive healing resort, the Wellspring Center. When these teens aren’t vlogging their attempts to track down Big Foot, they’re trying to prove the Center is up to no good. Starting with the disappearance and possible murder of their not-as-young commander. A murder the police find as likely as Big Foot.

Maizie has her own suspicions about the new celebrity retreat. Particularly when she learns her ex-fiancé has been hired to run the Center. Kind of an issue when she thought Oliver was in prison. Kind of an issue when Nash, the man of her dreams, is out of commission.

Wait, not man of her dreams.
Boss of her fantasies. Professionally speaking, of course.

While Maizie’s helping adolescent Youtubers detect a disappearance, she’s wrangling her mother’s wedding, assuaging an overzealous probation officer, and struggling to keep Nash Security Solutions solvent. Conspiracy theories collide with real-life catastrophes beginning with murder and possibly ending with Maizie’s life.

Review

Maizie's running around in circles with her past, present, and wished for future with Nash keep colliding. Add in Lamar, donuts, and three teens who are in search of Big Foot and their missing friend, and Maizie's got a very long to do list. Maizie's attempt at investigating Chandler's disappearance and the bank bomber's accomplice, intersect in interesting ways with her probation officer, mandated therapy, and Oliver, who is the reason she's on probation to begin with - and her mother who is marrying her other ex-boyfriend. No wonder she keeps having panic attacks. 

It's hard to read this story and not feel for Maizie and her attempts to please Nash and find Chandler for the teens. This is well written and another fun read by Larissa Reinhart with interesting characters and tension that keeps the pace steady.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
About the Author

https://i1.wp.com/www.escapewithdollycas.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/closeup.jpeg?resize=213%2C320&ssl=1Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning author, Larissa Reinhart writes humorous mysteries and romantic comedies including the critically acclaimed Maizie Albright Star Detective, Cherry Tucker Mystery, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. Her works have been chosen as book club picks by Woman’s World Magazine and Hot Mystery Reviews.

Larissa’s family and dog, Biscuit, had been living in Japan, but once again call Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, LarissaReinhart.com, and join her newsletter for a free short story.

Author Links

Website: http://larissareinhart.com/

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/larissanewsletter

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLarissaReinhart/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larissareinhartwriter

Facebook fan/reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mysteryminions/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/larissareinhart

Amazon page: http://smarturl.it/LarissaReinhart

Bookbub page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/larissa-reinhart

Goodreads page: http://smarturl.it/LarissaGoodreads

Purchase Links

Kindle: http://smarturl.it/17Amazon

Nook: http://smarturl.it/17Nook

Kobo:http://smarturl.it/17Kobo

iBooks: http://smarturl.it/17iBooks

Other stores: books2read.com/NC17


Friday, December 7, 2018

Blog post & Review: ONE TASTE TOO MANY : A Sarah Blair Mystery by Debra H. Goldstein


SYNOPSIS

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired hometown she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant . . .


Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

Includes quick and easy recipes!


REVIEW:

Sarah's had a a lot of bumps in her life thus far and is starting over, back with her twin, Emily. She can't seem to escape her past and Emily becomes the suspect to Sarah's ex-husband's poisoning. There's lots of small town interactions and conflicts, some within the swanky restaurant where Emily is moving up. Sarah's doing her best to use her new investigative skills to help out her sister, both to prove her innocence and on stage. 

Emily and Sarah are twins, yet their personalities complement each other in many ways. Both are likeable in their own way; you can't help but pull for Sarah's new life to be successful, as well as Emily's. There are any number of suspects and some are being eliminated but then something else happens. In the end the silent and not so silent partners and connections come out with an unexpected killer. The story was well-written and enjoyable to read. This is the first in a new series and I look forward to reading more about Sarah.


FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Judge Debra H. Goldstein’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series debuts from Kensington Press debuts with One Taste Too Many. She also is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery and the 2012 IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Besides novels, Debra writes short stories. Her short story, The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017) is an Agatha Award Short Story Nominee. In addition to being the Sisters in Crime Guppy President, Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime board and is Vice-President of the Southeast Region of Mystery Writers of America.

Website http://www.debrahgoldstein.com 


Blog http://www.debrahgoldstein.com/blog

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DebraHGoldsteinAuthor/

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein 


Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/debra-h-goldstein-72473a11/

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4906340.Debra_H_Goldstein

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 3 – Book Babble – REVIEW
December 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf - CHARACTER GUEST POS
December 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 6 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW
December 7 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 7 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – StoreyBook Reviews - REVIEW
December 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 –A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous - REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 13 – MJB Reviewers - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 14 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
December 15 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW
December 15 – Socrates' Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 16 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
December 16 – Bibliophile Reviews - REVIEW, GUEST POST