Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Book Review: Forgeries and Fatalities (Carmen De Luca Art Sleuth Mysteries Book 3) by Jennifer S. Alderson


About the Book

Carmen De Luca, an intrepid art sleuth with a passion for recovering lost masterpieces, is thrilled to be in Luxembourg chasing down another lead. Yet her keen eye for detail is put to the test when she gets wind of a devious plan to transport stolen masterpieces through Europe's free ports. 

When the trail leads to Italy, Carmen discovers that smuggling is just the tip of the brush, and someone is determined to silence anyone who gets too close to the truth. 

Will Carmen outsmart the cunning criminals and expose the murderer before she’s painted out of the picture—permanently? Find out in Forgeries and Fatalities, book three of the Carmen De Luca Art Sleuth Mysteries! 

Carmen De Luca Art Sleuth Mysteries
Collecting Can Be Murder 
A Statue To Die For 
Forgeries and Fatalities 
A Killer Inheritance 

Carmen's latest assignment has an interesting twist. She's attending an art auction - by invitation only - to see if the auction is a front for an art smuggling operation. The host/artist doesn't hide the fact that he recreates other artist's works. He signs them with his name. 

Carmen hits a few roadblocks right away. Her usual partner, Lady Sophie, and the one who gets the invitation is still laid up. Carmen's best friend Rhonda fit in fine on a previous job, but Rhonda's exuberant personality almost results in them both being kicked out. Lady Sophie, jealous of Rhonda, shows up as well, in a wheel chair. She wants Rhonda gone. Not able to keep either Lady Sophie or Rhonda under control, Carmen's on her own to find the connection - if there is one - to auctioning off his copies and art smuggling.

I've read and enjoyed the first two in the series, and this one did not disappoint. Although part of a series, each book is a different adventure in art history, art theft, and art smuggling. The personalities of Carmen, Lady Sophie, and Rhonda add to the tension, along with the errant interpol hottie. Readers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this book - actually the whole series. Book 4 is available on pre-order. I can't wait.

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 (From Amazon)

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, grew up in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she lived in Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. 

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning Zelda Richardson Mystery series, her Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, and her Carmen De Luca Art Sleuth Mysteries. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. 

When not writing, she can be found perusing a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Book Review: THE FAMILY MAN - A Rosedale Investigations Mystery by Lynn Farrell

The Family Man (Rosedale Investigations) 
Cozy Mystery 
4th in Series 
Setting – Tennessee 
Camel Press (January 9, 2024) 

About the Book

A woman approaches Rosedale Investigations to report her husband missing. Then another woman arrives to report her husband is missing. When the team sees the photographs of James Browning, they realize it’s the same guy; they have a bigamist on their hands. Detective Wayne Nichols locates Browning’s car at the local airport and learns the man’s been subpoenaed to provide evidence in the trial of a decade-old murder of a police officer-a shooting Browning witnessed. 

A second client, Hilary Broadchurch-Miller believes her brother, Grant, is being blackmailed by Aimee, his yoga instructor. He had earlier pledged to cover the cost of sending Hilary’s sons to college and she’s afraid he might renege on that promise. When Billy Jo interviews Aimee, she denies having an affair and is shocked when accused of blackmail. However, when Billy Jo checks the Venmo app, she discovers Grant has been giving Aimee money for two months. Something is definitely going on.

This one is a page-turner with two wives who don’t know about each other, a man who may or may not have a daughter, and a final 4th of July party where all the strands of the tale come together. 


The Rosedale Investigations is quite busy with multiple changes coming for those who follow the series. The focus, however, is on the two wives - one with a little boy, and one with a teen-aged daughter. After witnessing a crime, James Browning left his common law wife and daughter and moved. At the funeral of a cousin, he met the widow and her toddler son and they got married. Now, both families live in the same town and he's disappeared. Billy-Jo, Dori, and Wayne chase multiple leads to find him.

At the same time, Billy-Jo, still hoping to become partner, pursues the potential blackmail scheme or surprise daughter of Grant. Along with trying to establish possible paternity, Billy-Jo still has questions about how long it took PD to find her when he'd promised to take care of her. That's a third mystery that is revealed. 

The Family Man is an easy read with interesting mysteries, a diverse smattering of characters, and a plot that includes the members of Rosedale Investigations as well as their clients. The pace is steady and it can be read as a stand-alone - this is my first in the series - although The Family Man is the fourth. Still, I think it's always best to start at the beginning. If you like a cozy mystery with heartfelt moments, you'll enjoy this book.

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 

Lyn Farrell is the pen name of Lynda Farquhar the author of the Mae December Mystery series as well as the Rosedale Investigations series. 

She is a former Michigan State University professor in the College of Human Medicine, a mother, and a grandmother. 

She loves playing with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and is always on the lookout for her family artist grandfather’s (Eugene Iverd) paintings. He was a Saturday Evening Post cover artist. 

Author Links 

 Purchase Link 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024


Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year, hopefully with more peace, kindness, and tolerance.

As I reflect on 2023, I try to focus on the positive. For the most part, family and friends are in good health. Along with friends, my husband and I cruised to and through the first lock of the Panama Canal and later cruised Greece, Italy, and Malta. My husband and I visited family and friends in Virginia after not seeing them in 10 years. I met up with colleagues I hadn't seen in a while at conferences in Texas, and traveled to San Diego for Bouchercon. Most recently, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Nashville.

One thing, my husband and I have learned, with the passing of friends our age or younger, is that we don't want to procrastinate. I'm not a resolution maker, but we are working on our "bucket list" and planning more trips with family and friends in 2024. That includes Europe and Scandinavia, as well trips to the northeast and southeast to see friends and family.  A return trip to Nashville, both for Killer Nashville and Bouchercon, is penciled in as well.

Of course, I hope to read more, post more book reviews, write more books, and interact with readers and other authors all year long. Stay tuned!