Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Review: LIARS AND LUNATICS IN GOOSE PIMPLE JUNCTION : A Goose Pimple Junction Mystery Book 5 by Amy Metz

Synopsis

It’s election season, and there’s a new candidate in town. Virgil Pepper is determined to take the job from Goose Pimple Junction’s long-time mayor. Virgil is a charming and charismatic candidate but someone who will say anything (and mean none of it) to get what he wants. Three things top his list: to become mayor, to acquire Jackson Wright’s land, and to make Caledonia Culpepper one of his many conquests.

Wynona Baxter is back, and she’s a new woman. Now Daisy has a new identity, new life, and new business–ironically named Killer Cupcakes. But the town soon finds out that isn’t the only kind of killer in town. Book five of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series combines political hijinks, delicious cupcakes, Goose Juice moonshine, the ups and downs of finding true love, and, of course, murder.

It is said that “It’s a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what.” Lying in politics, lying for personal and professional gain, lying about an identity . . . What are the folks of Goose Pimple Junction willing to lie for . . . and what are they willing to die for?

Review

Anyone who enjoys small town politics and the personalities will enjoy this 5th in the Goose Pimple Junction series. Virgil Pepper is threatening the balance of years as he throws his name in for the upcoming mayoral election and woos Caledonia Culpepper. Only thanks to the town gossip, it becomes abundantly clear that Virgil isn't only wooing Caledonia but many others. Someone poisons the local moonshine and there's the new comer to town, Daisy Baker, and her delicious cupcakes - and not so pristine back story. Virgil is dead and there are many questions to be asked, and only some get answered. There is something for everyone in this very fun read.

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.



Monday, November 11, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: A LEGACY OF MURDER A Kate Hamilton Mystery by Connie Berry


Synopsis

American antique dealer Kate Hamilton's Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby...and a chain of murders.

It's Christmastime and antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is off to visit her daughter, Christine, in the quaint English village of Long Barston. Christine and her boyfriend, Tristan, work at stately-but-crumbling Finchley Hall. Touring the Elizabethan house and grounds, Kate is intrigued by the docent's tales of the Finchley Hoard, and the strange deaths surrounding the renowned treasure trove. But next to a small lake, Kate spies the body of a young woman, killed by a garden spade.

Nearly blind Lady Barbara, who lives at Finchley with her loyal butler, Mugg, persuades Kate to take over the murdered woman's work. Kate finds that a Burmese ruby has vanished from the legendary Blood-Red Ring, replaced by a lesser garnet. Were the theft and the woman's death connected?

Kate learns that Lady Barbara's son fled to Venezuela years before, suspected of murdering another young woman. The murder weapon belonged to an old gardener, who becomes the leading suspect. But is Lady Barbara's son back to kill again? When another body is found, the clues point toward Christine. It's up to Kate to clear her daughter's name in Connie Berry's second Kate Hamilton mystery, a treasure for fans of traditional British mysteries.

Review


A holiday timed mystery, there are many interesting characters, some not so likable, though Kate Hamilton is trying her best to get along with all of them, and suspiciously missing information. The setting is quaint and rich with history. This is the 2nd murder of someone planning to showcase the history of the Finchley Hoard, and now Kate is asked to take over the chore. Nobody really wants to answer all her questions and Lady Barbara has limited vision and Mugg gives the impression of her frailty. Most of the staff have long gone, but Mugg orchestrates appearances to keep Lady Barbara in the dark. And then there's yet another murder, and Kate's daughter might be implicated. This drives a stake between Kate and her would be male friend, the policeman in charge of the investigation.

This is a great story for fans of British mystery, rich with description. Kate is very thorough and dedicated, often dealing with conflictual feelings, not all of them specific to the Finchley Hoard or the ruby.

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 Connie Berry

Like her protagonist, Connie Berry was raised in the antiques trade. After teaching theology for twenty-five years, she took up writing mysteries featuring high-end antiques and the legacy of the past. Connie loves history, cute animals, travel with a hint of adventure, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable dog, Millie.

Author Links: Website –www.connieberry.com

Facebook Author@Facebook.com

Twitter @conniecberry

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18733373.Connie_Berry

Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Kobo


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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Blog Tour and Review: THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE : A Food Blogger Mystery by Debra Sennefelder


Synopsis

Food blogger Hope Early finds one item not on her scavenger hunt list—a dead husband . . .

Between developing her food blog, Hope at Home, and choosing low-cal recipes for a feature in Cooking Now! magazine, Hope has a full plate. Still, she’s never too busy to compete in a Jefferson, Connecticut, tradition—the town’s annual scavenger hunt.


But as she races with her team to check off the next item, Hope discovers a grisly surprise—the body of shady real estate developer Lionel Whitcomb, shot in a parking lot. His wife Elaine, who’s also in the hunt, gasps and nearly faints. But two other women on the scene cry out that their husband is dead.


It turns out this louse of a spouse was more than a little lax in legally divorcing his former wives. Did one of them put a bullet in the bigamist? Number one suspect and number three wife Elaine begs Hope to investigate. Now Hope is on a new kind of hunt—for a cold-hearted killer and triple widow-maker . . .


Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Review


Hope has a lot of things going on, from the opportunity to get back into a top foodie magazine, the network special she's developing recipes for, and her food blog that she has made successful. Add to that helping her sister recover from not being elected Mayor, her role in the annual scavenger hunt, and her own relationship. The dead husband was just one more thing. In between all of this, Hope is NOT investigating. 

The pace is steady and the intersections of characters across settings and how Hope is able to connect the dots is well done. And some of her creations definitely sound yummy. Those who enjoy cozy mysteries will not be disappointed - and you get recipes besides the killer!

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


Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:

WebsiteFacebookGoodreads

Purchase LinksAmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Blog Tour and Review: GALLIANO GOLD : Franki Amato Mysteries by Traci Andrighetti


Synopsis

It’s Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but PI Franki Amato has too many problems to celebrate. A proven Sicilian lemon tradition hasn’t landed her a proposal, so her nonna has amped up the meddling to get her married, and pronto. Franki’s also under pressure to solve the strange murder of a family friend’s nephew, Nick Pescatore, who was found on a Mississippi River steamboat rumored to be haunted. When the sinister old boat sets sail on an overnight gambling cruise, Franki goes undercover with a motley crew, including a Mark Twainophile captain with a murderous past and a slimy galley chef with a mobster brother, not to mention an ex-stripper landlady with a newfound career as a memoir writer and all-too public speaker. Franki has to figure out what missing Civil War gold, a playing card, and a mysterious woman on roller skates have to do with Nick’s death. If she doesn’t, it’s anchors aweigh for Franki — down to Davy Jones’ locker.

Review
No doubt about it, the characters make this story. Franki is dealing with lemons and no engagement with many doubts on that end when her nonna comes to visit and that's another whole ordeal, but why Franki is trying to solve Nick's murder, while ignoring that her nonna may beat her to the alter. Her mother, the rest of the Italian widows in mourning, the Twainophile, the ex-stripper, and the chef ... Then there's the rumored Galliano gold and the civil war stories. Enough to keep any reader engaged - and smiling, if not laughing. The pace is steady and it all comes together in the end. As with others in this series, a cozy mystery plus humor provides for a pleasant escape from everyday stress.

About Traci Andrighetti

Traci Andrighetti is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Franki Amato Mysteries and the Danger Cove Hair Salon Mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime — writing, that is. Her latest capers are teaching mystery writing for Savvy Authors and taking aspiring and established authors on intensive writing retreats to Italy with LemonLit.

Author Links 
Webpage: http://traciandrighetti.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TAndrighetti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7383577.Traci_Andrighetti

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/traci-andrighetti

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Traci-Andrighetti/e/B00GL3SN3G?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Purchase Links - Amazon

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Blog Tour and Review: THE ROOT OF MURDER (Lovers in Crime Mystery Book 4) by Lauren Carr


Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:
“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!” -Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” - Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews

Book Details:

Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!


Book Description:

Homicide Detective Cameron Gates learned long ago that there is no such thing as a typical murder case. Each mystery is special in its own right—especially for the family of the victim.The homicide of a successful executive, husband, and father seems open and shut when the murder weapon is found in his estranged son-in-law’s possession. The circumstantial evidence is so damning that when her step-son, J.J. Thornton, agrees to act as the defendant’s public defender, he assumes his first murder case will be a loss. Only the report of a missing husband proves that this case is not as open and shut as it seems. Strap on your seat belts for a wild ride in this mystery rooted in decades of deception that sprouts into murder.

Review:

The Gates and Thornton families are in for a wild ride with this one. Detectives and lawyers abound in the family tree from the eldest Thornton on down. And in the smallish town of Homicide Detective Cameron Gates, she and the rest of the Thornton family have history with most of the inhabitants, including the victim and the first person they think is the killer. Needless to say, this causes a lot of tension all around. 


When JJ is asked to defend the estranged son-in-law, he has mixed feelings. He believes in truth and the right for everyone to a defense - only he has negative history with the man from high school. The complications mount as JJ dated the daughter of the deceased in high school and now is engaged to someone else. His dating history becomes even more of an issue as other facts come out.

The pace is good and the tension is maintained or mounts throughout. This is a traditional mystery fraught with interpersonal conflicts. It can be read as a stand alone - the family relationships are sketched out for those not family with the Thorntons and the Faradays. As usual, Carr crafted an excellent mystery with unique dimensions and twists.

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.
Buy the Book:
Add to Goodreads

SERIES SPOTLIGHT

Fall in Love with These Other Lovers in Crime Mysteries:


Book Description: KILLER IN THE BAND


Summer of Love & Murder


Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the crosshairs of a murderer.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & NobleAdd to Goodreads


Book Description: REAL MURDER

When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly,
 the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”


Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl, who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff's deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost twenty years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & NobleAdd to Goodreads


Book Description: DEAD ON ICE

Dead on Ice is the first installment of Lauren Carr’s new series (Lovers in Crime) featuring Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton and Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates. 

Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too—because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & NobleAdd to Goodreads
Meet the author:
With over forty years of writing and publishing experience, international best-selling author Lauren Carr has played an active role in the revolution of independent authors.

While studying for her college degree in English and journalism, Lauren worked as an editor and layout design artist with the federal government in Washington, DC. It was there that Lauren learned the foundations necessary for book publishing.

Lauren’s debut mystery, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Awards. On the heels of that success, she accepted an offer from a traditional publisher for A Reunion to Die For.

When it came time to publish her third book, Lauren rejected offers from two traditional publishers, choosing instead to independently publish It’s Murder, My Son, which made it to #1 in sales on Amazon in cozy mysteries. She has never regretted her decision to become an independent author.

Realizing that she could use her experiences to help other writers achieve their dreams to become published authors, Lauren established Acorn Book Services, offering professional services to independent authors.

The international best-selling author of over twenty-five murder mysteries, Lauren has gone on dozens of virtual blog tours (most with iRead Book Tours!) and has seen first-hand that how an author publishes is irrelevant to success. The key is exposure to potential readers. Virtual blog tours are an excellent avenue for book promotion. Book spotlights, reviews, author guest posts and interviews are forever, unlike in-person book events, which become a memory as soon as they have finished.

With her vast experience, it seemed only natural for Lauren Carr to jump at the opportunity to join the iReads Book Tours team. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in West Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

You can usually find Lauren plotting her next murder mystery in her writer's studio on her mountaintop. Visit Lauren's website https://mysterylady.net/ to learn more about her murder mysteries, Acorn Book Services, and now iReads Book Tours!


Connect with the author:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:


BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 9 -  Rockin Book Reviews - review of The Root of Murder / guest post / 
  Lovers in Crime series spotlight / giveaway
Sept 9 - Working Mommy Journal - review The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 9 - Amy's Booket List - review The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 10 - The Quirky Romantic - review of The Root of Murder / author interview / giveaway
Sept 10 - Hall Ways Blog - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 10 - Life as Leels - review of Dead on Ice
Sept 11 - Literary Flits - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 11 - My Reading Journeys - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 12 - Elizabeth McKenna - Author - book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 12 -  A Fountain of Books - review of Dead on Ice 
Sept 12 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Killer in the Band (audible) / giveaway
Sept 13 - Words and Peace - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 16 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 16 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 16 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Sept 17 - Hall Ways Blog - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 17 -  Laura’s Interests - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 18 - Literary Flits - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway 
Sept 18 - Read and Review - book spotlight / guest post
Sept 18 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review of The Root of Murder / series spotlight
Sept 19 - #Redhead.with.Book - Lovers in Crime Series book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 19 - Life as Leels - review of Real Murder
Sept 20 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 20 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 23 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 23 - Christa Reads and Writes - review of The Root of Murder / series spotlight / giveaway
Sept 24 - Fundinmental - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 24  A Fountain of Books - review of The Real Murder 
Sept 25 - Library of Clean Reads - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 25  Laura’s Interests - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 26 - FUONLYKNEW - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Sept 26 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of The Root of Murder / guest post 
Sept 27 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 30 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Sept 30 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Sept 30 - Life as Leels - review of The Root of Murder
Sept 30 - 
Older & Smarter? - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 1 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Oct 1 - Dab of Darkness - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 2 - Literary Flits - review of Real Murder
Oct 3 - Books for Books - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Oct 3 -  My Reading Journeys - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 4 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 7 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 8 -  A Fountain of Books - review of Killer in the Band 
Oct 9 - I’m All About Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 9 - Kristin’s Novel Cafe - review of The Root of Murder
Oct 10 - Books for Books - review of Real Murder  / giveaway
Oct 10 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 10 - Locks, Hooks, and Books - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 11 - Pause for Tales - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 14 - Celtic Lady’s Reviews - Lovers in Crime series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 14 -  My Reading Journeys - review of The Root of Murder / guest post / giveaway
Oct 15 - Dab of Darkness - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 15 - Bound 4 Escape - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 16 - A Fountain of Books - review of The Root of Murder / author interview 
Oct 17 - Books for Books - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 18 - B for Bookreview - Lovers in Crime series book spotlight / author interview
Oct 21- 
Nighttime Reading Center - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 21 - Laura’s Interests - review of The Root of Murder / guest post / giveaway
Oct 22 - Dab of Darkness - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 22 - Books Are Love - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
Oct 23 - Books Are Love - review of Real Murder / giveaway
Oct 23 - Books for Books - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 24 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of The Root of Murder / series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 24 - Books Are Love - review of Killer in the Band / giveaway
Oct 25 - Jypsylynn  - review of The Root of Murder
Oct 25 - Adventurous Jessy - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 25 - Books Are Love - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway
Oct 25 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of The Root of Murder / giveaway

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Blog Tour & Book Review: A TANGLE IN THE VINES : A Calla Lily Mystery by Anna Celeste Burke



Synopsis

The curtain may fall on the Calla Lily Players' first season unless Lily and Austin can find a killer on the loose in California's wine country. Torrential rains threaten to put a damper on The Calla Lily Players’ first outdoor theater production. When the ground suddenly shifts, buried secrets revealed amid the tangled vines put the spotlight on murder. As Lily and Austin dig deeper into the mystery, the drama unfolds onstage and off. The race is on to find a killer before opening night.

Grab your copy of the second book in the Calla Lily Mystery series by USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Anna Celeste Burke and join the race! Recipes Included. Free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Review

The Calla Lily Players provide plenty of entertainment with their personalities and amateur sleuthing along with Lily. The discovery of the place where some one has been burying bodies, and indications that Lily may be next, has the police taking Lily and the young boy trying to catch the "Numbers Man" seriously - although they are a bit resistant. There are a lot of connections to be made and they unravel along with solving the disappearance of a teen years ago. 

Burke has put together a unique combination of characters, from the Players to the various enforcement types. And not to be forgotten, some young people, and a fire victim.  Usually in a mystery, there are too many suspects - this time it's been too many years and many people have died. Yet, the threat is in the present time. A puzzle with an interesting ending. If you like mysteries with not so obvious killers, you'll like this one. And then there is the romance growing between Lily and Austin. I can't wait for the next in the series. 
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 Anna Celeste Burke

An award-winning, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, I hope you’ll join me snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, and food—California style!

Life is an extravaganza! Figuring out how to hang tough and make the most of the wild ride is the challenge. On my way to Oahu, to join the rock musician and high school drop-out I had married in Tijuana, I was nabbed as a runaway. Eventually, the police let me go, but the rock band broke up.

Retired now, I’m still married to the same sweet guy and live with him near Palm Springs, California. I write the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set here in the Coachella Valley, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series set along California’s Central Coast, The Georgie Shaw Mystery series set in the OC, The Seaview Cottages Cozy Mystery Series set on the so-called American Riviera, just north of Santa Barbara, and The Calla Lily Mystery series where the murder and mayhem take place in California’s Wine Country. Won’t you join me? Sign up at: http://desertcitiesmystery.com.


Author Links

Website: https://www.desertcitiesmystery.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/annacelesteburke/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7553558.Anna_Celeste_Burke
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/anna-celeste-burke

Purchase Link - Amazon 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Book Review: THE ZOMBIE BALL : An Eli Marks Mystery #6 by John Gaspard

Synopsis

A Blast From the Past

Eli’s asked to perform his magic act at a swanky charity gala, The Zombie Ball– a former zombie pub crawl which has grown into an annual high-class social event. What begins as a typical stage show for Eli turns deadly when two of the evening’s sponsors are found murdered under truly unusual circumstances. Compounding this drama is the presence of Eli’s ex-wife and her new husband, Homicide Detective Fred Hutton. Under pressure to solve the crime before the 800 guests depart, Eli and his detective nemesis go head-to-head to uncover the bizarre clues that will unravel this macabre mystery.


Review

I'm not particularly keen on zombies, but other than some of the high class guests doing their best to dress like a zombie, there's no paranormal or undead. The Zombie Ball is a charity event to support research on children's diseases and has emerged as an annual fundraising event. And an opportunity for the CEO of Finley Pharmaceuticals to take a bow as the highest contributor. Only this year, his original partner, now rival and CEO of Harper Pharmaceuticals, is the highest contributor. That in itself creates tension as Stella and Roxanne work to make sure neither is  slighted. Their green rooms - fancy waiting rooms - have to be exactly furnished and stocked, same attention and ego massaging.

Eli Marks is a magician as was his father. He's divorced and still reeling from that, but like anyone in the business, you take the paying gig when it comes in. When the original magician bails on the Zombie Ball, Eli gets the call. This is an opportunity for him and hopefully will lead to additional hires in the future. He doesn't have the same clout as the two CEOs - Dave and Leo, or the other entertainer, Joey Dee an iconic comic and entertainer. Eli's green room is simple and not well stocked. Still he is thrilled to be the warm up for Joey, and excited to be there - until he runs into his ex-wife and her new husband. And then both CEOs are dead.

This was an engaging read from the magic to the tensions between characters, not the least of which are Deidre and her Homicide Detective husband. The pace is good, the suspects are all there, and then there is the finale and the killer. Eli nailed it - I didn't. Unknowingly, I started at the newest (6th) in the series. The good news? It is easily read as a stand alone. The bad news? I will have to go back and read the other five - I enjoyed it that much!  If you like soft-boiled or cozy mysteries, you'll enjoy this one, and a male sleuth was a nice change. But beware of filberts.

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.

Buy Links for the Eli Marks Series:

The Ambitious Card