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Search tags: 3rd-in-a-series
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review 2015-05-07 21:02
Dying Brand-Good mystery with likeable characters
Dying Brand - Wendy Tyson

I'm really enjoying these mysteries from Wendy Tyson.  They are not quite cozy so they aren't overly sweet like some series have become but they aren't hard-boiled.  Somewhere in between.  I like the tone and style.  This series is becoming a comfort read for me.

Allison Campbell is really just recovering from her last outing (I do like the continuity in the series) when she gets a call from the wife of an ex-boyfriend.  He's been murdered and she blames Allison.  Allison hadn't seen him years but the wife doesn't want to believe that.  The murder really doesn't have anything to do with Allison and the police don't think she's involved but when compromising pictures of the old relationship start arriving, she has to find out what happened.  As usual, her Vaughn, her business manager and Mia, her ex-mother in law get involved in the case also.  Thomas Svengetti, the ex-federal agent is back from the last book like I assumed he would be.  The mystery is good and I didn't figure it out until about the same time Allison did. Tyson does a very good job of drawing the settings for the story.  While it's not an atmospheric novel, you can clearly picture each location. 

There is a lot of growth and development in the characters.  Allison and Jason make some decisions, as does Mia.  Allison still puts herself in stupid situations but somehow that isn't bothering me in this series as much as in some. As with the last book, you have to suspend disbelief a bit.  She spends an awful lot of time and money investigating the mystery while running a prestigious business. 

I really like these characters.  They are smart (most of the time!) and compassionate and they have realistic relationships.  I'll be in for the next one Ms. Tyson writes.

Book provided by Netgalley but my reviews are always my honest thoughts.

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review 2015-05-03 00:46
Bridges Burned-Great mystery, too much angst
Bridges Burned - Annette Dashofy

The first book in this series was very good though it went a few places that I was uncomfortable with.  The second book was wonderful!  The plot line was good, the characters were real, the mystery was puzzling, the whole things was just the kind of contemporary mystery I love.  I was really look forward to this one.  Once again the plot was good and the mystery was well-crafted but the characters!  I wanted to slap them over and over and really, I don't think Zoe acted like herself at all.  I hope the fourth book in this series will return her to her right mind and I will be impatiently waiting for it.

Zoe and Pete sure looked like they were getting together at the end of the last book and this one starts with them seeing where that's going to go.  They get a call to a house that has had a gas explosion and have to stop the husband from running back into the house as it burns to rescue his wife who dies in the explosion.  He has a 10 year old daughter, Maddie,  and Zoe can feel Maddie's pain, having lost her father at a young age and suggests that the dad and daughter move in with her at her farm.  Obviously, Pete isn't going to like this since the dad is a murder suspect.  Zoe has so many TSTL moments that I was wondering if it was the same character from the previous book.  Much angst results from Zoe and Pete's differences over the suspect.

The mystery had nice twists and turns.  The characters except for Pete and Zoe moments of idiocy were superb.  I love the style of writing.  Please just pass on the romantic angst next time and I'll be a happy camper.

Book provided by Netgalley but I always give my honest opinion. 

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review 2015-02-17 14:45
With Vics You Get Eggroll-As much fun as it sounds
With Vics You Get Eggroll - Diane Vallere

With Vics You Get Eggroll continues the fun and the good quality of writing that I've enjoyed in the first two books of this series. It also gives us growth and development of the characters.  That's a pretty good thing in the world of today's cozy mysteries.  It's a win with me.

Madison Night, the ultimate Doris Day fan and mid-century modern designer, barely has time to recover from her last detective adventure when women start being abducted in the Dallas area someone is try to implicate her friend and potential love interest, Detective Tex Allen  in the crimes.  Tex takes a leave of absence from the police so that he won't hinder the investigation but, of course he is determined to find the killer and, of course, Madison is determined to help him.  She's also in the middle of a job, restoring a Cliff May home to its original mid-century appearance.  I'm a huge fan of mid-century modern so I looked up Cliff May homes on google and wow!  They are gorgeous!  And probably much easier to heat than my big ol' Victorian.  Anyway, because cozies are nothing without coincidence, Madison's client becomes a victim of the kidnapper.  It has a satisfying ending with plenty of clues along the way.  I figured it out the same time Madison did.

The love triangle gets settled and that can only be a good thing!

(spoiler show)



I think the characters in this series are really solid compared to some of the fluffier cozy series out there.  They don't feel cardboard, they feel flesh and blood.  Madison has a lot of introspection in this book and a lot of character growth.  That the author manages to do that in a fun mystery is fairly rare. 

I always want to go find a Doris Day movie as soon as I finish a book in this series.  As long as the author keeps writing them, I'll keep reading them.

Book provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-01-03 19:04
Small Town Spin-The real deal
Small Town Spin - LynDee Walker

I’m sold on LynDee Walker and Nichelle Clarke. This series is the real thing. It’s fun and entertaining while being a very solid mystery. A new favorite series worth my time and money! I just ordered the first book in the series because it was the only one I didn’t have and I can’t wait to see how this all started. But, time to stop gushing and start reviewing.

 

Nichelle, the crime and court reporter for the Richmond Telegraph, is a little out of her regular beat when the sports columnist asks her to cover the death of his friend’s son which is presumed to be a suicide. The friend just happens to be one the most famous football players in the country and he doesn’t think his son committed suicide. Neither does Nichelle.

 

This story takes Nichelle out of Richmond to a small town on an island so the suspect pool is pretty small. Unfortunately, this also means it’s a tight-knit group that really don’t want strangers poking around in their business. High school sporting ambitions, locally made moonshine and a closed-mouth sheriff all contribute to Nichelle’s suspicions. As with the last book, it’s a clever mystery that isn’t immediately apparent but clues are scattered throughout the book if you can find them.

 

Joey and Kyle are both still in the story and her relationship with each heats up quite a bit in this book but not enough to offend anyone’s sensibilities. I do need the author to wrap up this triangle pretty soon. They both contribute to Nichelle’s investigations, however, and are integral to the plot.

 

The newsroom politics at the newspaper get dicier. Her nemesis, Shelby, is in rare form. I enjoy these parts of the story that are about the day-to-day work of a newspaper reporter. We also find out some of Nichelle’s backstory with her mom which gives more depth to her character.

 

If you haven’t read the other books in this series, you can read this as a stand-alone and you will enjoy it. It will most likely want you to get the rest of the series. It’s a fairly quick read but in that good way that makes you wish there was more because you don’t want to leave these people.

 

I received this book from Netgalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review it.

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review 2014-11-10 13:07
If the Shoe Kills-Just as fun as the first two in the series
If the Shoe Kills - Lynn Cahoon

Our third visit to South Cove is as fun as the first two. Jill and her fun cast of friends and family are back and it's time for the holidays. South Cove is set to begin its holiday festivities when two things intervene. The mayor and a murder.

The mayor has made two decisions that don't sit well with everyone. He's given his wife the job of coordinating the festivities, which Darla from the winery has always done, and he's agreed for the town to participate in a program of giving work experience to clients of a social service agency. Neither of these sit well with the business owners, including Jill. When murder is the result of this second decision, of course Jill gets pulled right into the middle of it.

I love holiday settings. This one covers both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love a romance that isn't filled with angst. Jill and Greg provide this. I like a good mystery that isn't immediately apparent but does have clues. The location is fun and the cast of characters are interesting and fairly realistic. This is just fun escapist reading and I think this one reads a little quicker than the other two have. I have to say I do love the covers for this series.  I'm a sucker for a good cover.

I do hope the resident psychic stays extremely minor (which she has so far) or goes away and I do think Greg, who is the police detective, needs to quit sharing quite so much with Jill. Those two issues are minor and don't affect my enjoyment of the story. I'll be very excited when a fourth book in this series comes out.

I received this book from Netgalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review it.

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