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review 2016-04-10 17:26
Clouds in my Coffee
Clouds in My Coffee (The Country Club Murders) (Volume 3) - Julie Mulhern

This book has cemented my love for this series. In fact, this is now my favorite series from Henery Press. I have consistently liked the books in this series (minus a few annoying characters) and can't seem to read them fast enough.


Ellison is back and once again is in danger when someone seems bound and determined to kill her. That is definitely not something new to her. When she isn't narrowly avoiding being killed she also has to deal with more family drama as her Aunt Sis and her sister Marjorie come to town. Both of them have their own ulterior motives for coming back to town and Ellison is left to deal with them.


One of the things that I have loved most about this series is Ellison's sense of humor. It was not lacking in this installment. I always end up laughing like a mad woman while reading this series.


I really enjoyed getting to read about Ellison's family drama and the big family secret that is revealed in this one. Ellison's sister Marjorie was so annoying in this book and treated Ellison horribly so I was a teensy bit pleased at what happened with her at the club (does that make me a horrible person?). I loved that Aunt Sis came to town and brought a whole load off family drama and secrets with her. I loved getting to see Ellison's mom put in her place by Aunt Sis because she definitely deserved it at times. I hope to see more of Aunt Sis.


I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. This was my favorite one yet and I cannot wait to see what happens next. Thanks to Netgalley and Henery Press for the galley.

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review 2015-07-22 01:07
Guaranteed to Bleed
Guaranteed to Bleed - Julie Mulhern
Lesson learned—when making major life changes, don’t start with red lipstick.

I enjoyed the first book of this series so I was eager to read more about Ellison. To me Ellison is a likeable and relatable character (I especially enjoy her sense of humor) and it was just as interesting reading about her in this book as the first in the series. Ellison is back in this book from a European vacation with Grace and she finds herself back to finding dead bodies. Well to be fair she finds Bobby Lowell who is dying, so technically not dead, and he leaves her with a message to pass on to a mystery girl. Ellison makes it her mission to track down whoever that girl may be and let her know what Bobby said. This will once again lead her in the middle of a murder investigation.


I could read this series purely for Ellison's sense of humor and getting to read about her scary yet fierce mother. I am sad to say that in this book Ellison's daughter, Grace, was extremely annoying, almost to the point of ruining the book for me. I liked Grace in the first book but I could only take her whole whiny teenage girl routine for so long. There were times when I felt Ellison needed to slap some sense into her. I couldn't her enough of Hunter and Anarchy and really wish that Ellison would stop trying to avoid their attention.


The plot progressed nicely throughout the book pretty much until the end of the book. The ending felt like the book kind of just fizzled out. Something happens at the end that pretty much had nothing to do with the mystery and then the story wraps up a bit weakly. In regards to the mystery itself I suppose it wouldn't be all that hard to figure it out but I think the real mystery is why everything happened. 


This was overall a solid sequel to the first in the series. I am really looking forward to reading more of this series. Thanks to Netgalley and Henery Press for the galley.

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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 2015-05-06 13:21
Deadly Assets-Enjoyable second outing for Allison Campbell
Deadly Assets (An Allison Campbell Mystery Book 2) - Wendy Tyson

Allison Campbell, image consultant, and all her friends are back and they have an intriguing mystery on their hands.  Two clients of First Impressions image consulting have disappeared on the same trip with Vaughn, Allison's business manager.  While there doesn't seem to be any way it could be related to Allison and her business, it did happen on their watch and it will cause trouble for Vaughn if they aren't found.  One is a 60 year old Italian wine heiress and the other, an 18 year old rising pop star with seemingly nothing in common.

Allison, Vaughn and Mia, Allison's ex mother-in-law get begin trying to find these two women and the path just gets more murky and dangerous as they go.  There are dark family secrets, mob connections, mysterious private detectives and connections back to Italy.  I was sure I knew what was going on several different times but then was proven wrong. It's not an over-difficult mystery but it does have twists and turns along the way.  I enjoyed the plot and the characters very much.  The relationships between the main group of characters is one of the biggest strengths of this series so far.  I really can feel the bonds between them.  This is one of those books I looked forward to getting back to every time I had to set it down.

My only reason for not giving it the full five stars is that you do have to suspend disbelief a number of times.  As with most stories about amateur sleuths, I never can figure out why people answer their questions.  I wouldn't.  If a random person shows up at my door telling me they are investigating a disappearance, I'm not letting them in my house.  I'm shutting the door and calling the police. It's also hard to image a professional at the level Allison is shown to be could just take off from her business from days at a time to investigate these disappearances, much less be willing to spend all the money she spent on rental cars, hotels and new clothes. All that said, I still loved the story.

Interesting mystery, strong women, good inter-personal dynamics, just suspend your disbelief and enjoy the story.  I've already started on the third one.

This book was provided by Netgalley for review but my reviews always reflect my true feelings.

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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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