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Search tags: 2016-reading-challenge
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review 2017-01-17 14:32
Kiss and Tell
Kiss & Tell - Luke Murphy

See this and all of my reviews at Mystereity Reviews

Tense, gritty, and thrilling!

With the death of her father…

Officer Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

…all hope of reconciliation is lost.

Not only does she feel the pressure from media and her boss to solve her first case, but Charlene must also deal with her father’s murderer, the “Celebrity Slayer,” a serial killer who enjoys baiting her with his knowledge of her life and routines.

Can a rookie detective work two high-profile cases and still keep her sanity?
-via Goodreads

I really enjoyed the taut atmosphere of the book. The fast paced plot with all the twists and turns cranked up the tension with each page, and didn't let up for a second, whipping through twists and turns that kept me just a litle unsure, a little on edge. Well done!

The multi-faceted plot wound together several crimes. From the murder of a well-connected UCLA professor from a powerful family to The Celebrity Slayer, a vicious serial killer working his way through Hollywood's B list actresses that may tie in to the murder of Charlene's father, a retired LAPD detective turned PI who was pursuing his own Celebrity Stalker case. With so much going on in the book, is was deftly plotted in a clear, organized way, very easy to follow and definitely a white-knuckle thrill ride. I have to say, the UCLA professor case was the most interesting to me, almost a locked room mystery because the suspects were apparent, but difficult to prove and with its own plot twist. And that alone would've made for a great book, but the Celebrity Slayer plot led up to an excellent surprise ending that kept me on the edge of my seat! Definitely one of those conclusions that I couldn't read fast enough.

Newly promoted to Homicide Detective, Charlene is a little thorny, a little vulnerable and very stubborn, but you just have to root for her. Although a tough, tenacious and diligent detective, she battles her own demons; her inability to work through her issues with her recently murdered father, a drinking problem and commitment issues with her boyfriend.

Overall, Kiss & Tell is an exceptional thriller and police procedural and I don't hesitate to recommend it to crime fiction fans.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review

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review 2017-01-17 14:30
Purr M for Murder
Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery - T.C. Lotempio

See this and all of my reviews at Mystereity Reviews

Sydney and her sister Kat run Friendly Paws, an animal shelter in Deer Park, North Carolina. The shelter has run into financial difficulties, so Sydney and Kat team up with a local coffee shop to host a Cat Cafe, all to benefit the shelter and to get some of the cats adopted. The only problem is that one of the townspeople, an influential property owner named Trowbridge Littleton, is determined to shut the Cat Cafe and the animal shelter down. Determined to change his mind, Sydney and Kat show up at his shop and discover him dead on the floor. Under suspicion and intent on saving the animal shelter from being closed, the sisters team up to find a killer.

Purr M for Murder is a cute and entertaining debut in a new series, there was a lot to like about it. The twisty and engaging plot kept me turning pages, and Toby the cat made for one adorable sleuthing sidekick. Likable characters, a quick pace, and a fantastic ending, complete with a big plot twist and an action-packed conclusion, all combined to make a thoroughly delightful and enjoyable story.

And I loved the cat cafe idea (this should be done everywhere, along with a doggy diner!)

Overall, Purr M for Murder is a fantastic start to a new series and will appeal to cat fanatics and cozy mystery fans looking to curl up with a purr-fectly charming tale.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for providing an advance copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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review 2017-01-07 05:49
Prose and Cons
Prose and Cons - Amanda Flower

See this and all of my reviews at Mystereity Reviews

I love this cute cozy series set in a small town near Niagara Falls. Being a WNY ex-pat, the setting is so familiar; a quaint town with its little shops, a wine festival, and of course, small town secrets.

In Prose and Cons, Violet and her grandmother are preparing for a Poe-try reading at Charming Books, complete with period costumes, to be held by the shop's writers group, The Red Inkers, during the wine festival in Cascade Springs. When Anastasia, one of the Red Inkers, is found dead in the shop, Violet uncovers the secret Anastasia was hiding and starts investigating, with the help of the magic tree at Charming Books.

This was a great read, every bit as good as the first. I love the world the author has created, with a colorful bunch of lovable characters and a magical bookshop, where the books choose you. I'd love to visit!

The well-crafted plot had a truly puzzling mystery and an exciting surprise ending that had me on the edge of my seat! I loved the novel manner of death, it's not one I see in mysteries very often, and made the plot that much more complex. Along with the mystery, Violet also meets a stranger who changes her life, and I look forward to seeing how that plays out in later books.

Overall, Prose and Cons and the Magical Bookshop series will cast its spell over any cozy mystery fan and is a welcome way to spend a few hours wrapped in its enchanting world.

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review 2017-01-07 05:47
The Cheltenham Square Murder
The Cheltenham Square Murder (British Library Crime Classics) - John Bude

See my full review at Mystereity Reviews

In the affluent neighborhood of Cheltenham Square, things aren't as harmonious as it seems. The ten houses are host to simmering rivalries, anger, and hatred that lead to a shocking death. Superintendent Meredith is visiting Cheltenham Square for a few days with his friend Barnet, and is quickly pressed into service to assist the local force in investigating the perplexing killing. With several obvious suspects, they begin to think that the killing was mistaken identity, particularly when the only witness to the crime is killed in the same fashion. Together, Meredith and Long set out to solve what appears to be an impossible crime.

I really enjoyed The Cheltenham Square Murder, it was an entertaining, complex mystery, with all the charm of 1930s England, the time when this book was written. With a quick pace and a baffling plot, this locked room mystery, set in a small square in England, has several obvious suspects with several good motives and iron-clad alibis. Combined with the bonhomie between Long and Meredith (no inter-departmental rivalry here!) it was an exceptionally delightful and intriguing read.

Overall, The Cheltenham Square Murder is an excellent classic mystery that will entrance and ensnare any fan of mysteries, particularly fans of classic mysteries.

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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review 2017-01-07 05:43
Scotland Yard's First Cases
Scotland Yard's First Cases - Joan Lock

See my full review at Mystereity Reviews

Scotland Yard's First Cases is more than a story about Victorian crimes, it's also a fascinating look at the beginnings of Scotland Yard and the first detectives to come aboard and pioneer the finest law enforcement agencies in UK. It highlights not only their fight to create a detective force, but also their struggles to modernize, deal with corruption in the ranks and to standardize crime cases across the UK. Their legacy is still lives today, as Scotland Yard is recognized world wide as one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the world.

I particularly enjoyed the focus on the methods of detection used, their abilities were admirable, considering the lack of technology and training. Really, it's a wonder that so many crimes were solved and the compelling cases highlighted in the book are a testament to their tenacity. The author's thorough research in the archives is apparent in the details, with each case presented in a concise but very entertaining manner and one story about the robbery of a stamp office was particularly amusing. Their legendary exploits even made it into literary works of the time, including stories by Charles Dickens.

Scotland Yard's First Cases is an entertaining first-rate history of one of the world's most prestigious and recognizable agencies in law enforcement and its captivating cases will appeal to fans of history and/or true crime.

Thank you to Endeavor Press and Netgalley for a copy of the book in return for my honest review

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