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review 2016-05-02 03:22
A Fool & His Monet by Sandra Orchard
A Fool and His Monet (Serena Jones Mysteries) - Sandra Orchard

Serena Jones is the youngest member of the FBI Art Crime Unit. She is on her first undercover assignment as the novel begins, and what could be a serious and seriously boring story is anything but. Serena is smart, a bit sassy, claustrophobic, and a great choice for narrator. She's a knowledgeable and capable agent, who is surprising bad at keeping the details of her life, and work, from her friends and family. And that is part of what makes this mystery so much fun.


The central mystery begins when a friend asks Serena to take on the investigation of two paintings missing from a local St. Louis museum. A case "colder than Buffalo" (p.27), that has her interviewing the museum staff and participating in the funniest chase scene I've ever read.


A secondary mystery is one that I am sure will be a thread through the series, the murder of Serena's grandfather and theft of his painting. Another thread will undoubtedly be Serena's romantic prospects, her family's meddling in them, and possibly her slow descent into being a bit of a cat-lady.  I liked the touch of having her parents be British and I adored her Aunt Martha, a feisty old lady who just can't keep out of the case.


This is a fast paced story, with just enough danger (she will keep going into unsavory places) and a nice dose of humor. This can easily be read as a romance, since there are plenty of attractive and willing male characters swarming around, but it is definitely a mystery. As a reader who used to read a lot of mysteries, I was mostly kept guessing, but once solved, everything made sense. All good things, and all a lot of fun.


Recommended if you enjoy light mystery, romance, and a fun narrator. I was a little apprehensive about picking a straight mystery to read, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I raced through it, wanting to know what would happen next and wanting to learn more about her building superintendent and a certain senior FBI agent... I stopped reading a couple of popular mystery series quite a few years ago, partly because they were dragging on so long and partly because of some of the "romantic" content. No worries here, if you like a fun, clean mystery story. I'm looking forward to the second book, Another Day, Another Dali due out from Revell in October. Such fun titles!


Can I say it one more time? Fun!


This review refers to a copy I received for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. This review was previously published on my WordPress blog, with the addition of two small quotes, at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-YJ

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review 2015-08-03 19:25
Desperate Measures
Desperate Measures: A Novel (Port Aster Secrets) - Sandra Orchard


Title: Desperate Measures
Author: Sandra Orchard
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Series: Port Aster Secrets # 3
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"Desperate Measures" by Sandra Orchard

What I liked about this novel...

"Desperate Measures" by Sandra Orchard was this author's 'Port Aster Secrets #3' and ...I love this suspenseful mystery read that kept my interest from the beginning to the very end. I will say to probably better understand some of what went on in this series it would be a good idea to read the first two novels [Deadly Devotion and on to Blind Trust]. But since I didn't I will say that the mystery of it all starts from the very beginning as your attention will be grabbed quickly as this 'series centers around a mysterious plant[miracle plant] that supposedly has miraculous properties.' As the story goes on we find Kate's father was involved in this the plant situation and from here this author will bring to the reader a good mystery read that will unravel the rest of this series to the reader.

This was quite a interesting read about Detective Tom Parker and Kate Adams, who was a herbal research scientist. I loved how this author was able to give the reader a mystery with a lots of conspiracy that was non stopped action in this trilogy. The author's writing will have you guessing you know the answer but later finding out you didn't have that clue with all of the twist and turns that will be presented to the reader. You will be wondering...[Who are the good guy and the bad ones?] The lead heroine Kate really knew her job which I found her research work was very fascinating to read about and then their was the detective Tom. We find the detective is trying to solve this mystery too that surrounds Kate which will give us quite an interesting read. I don't know but to me there seemed to be something missing from these two[Tom & Kate]..sometimes I thought these two were clueless...but in the end maybe they really deserved each other in all of there tense romantic moments where you will be left wondering will these two ever learn that they really care for each other?

Be ready for a read of suspense, mystery, action and even some humor. There will be some well developed, defined, well portrayed and believable characters that will keep the details[secrets]that will be brought out to the reader with a very riveting conclusion for the reader. Now, this is where I say I don't want to say any more other than you must pick up this read "Desperate Measures" to see how it will all come out. I found it was one good read.

Needless to say once I started reading I was not able to put down with a plot that moves so very smoothly...with intriguing scenes and all of my questions were all answered in the end from this well written novel.

I received a copy through NOR in exchange for an honest review.
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url 2015-07-20 21:07
Desperate Measures
Desperate Measures: A Novel (Port Aster Secrets) - Sandra Orchard

coming soon

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review 2014-07-18 08:05
Deadly Devotion
Deadly Devotion - Sandra Orchard Title: Deadly Devotion (Port Aster Secrets #1) Author: Sandra Orchard Pages: 384 Year: 2013 Publisher: Revell Sandra Orchard has written a truly intriguing novel that begins a series called “Port Aster Secrets”. Tom, formerly with the FBI, has returned home to be with his recently widowed father. Is there more to his past than anyone knows? Edward, if he really is named Edward, is supposed to be a victim’s nephew. Daisy is a special lady who has lived her whole life in Post Aster, who takes a special interest in Kate bringing her under her wing to learn about herbs and the Lord. Daisy is the victim who though knowing much about herbs, is supposed to have died from drinking the wrong herbal tea. The case was closed by the town’s Chief of Police who has a father with a soiled past, but Kate just can’t accept the coroner’s ruling. Kate decides she will do her own sleuthing to ferret out the killer while being maid of honor for her roommate. These are just a few of the ingredients Sandra places to the captures reader’s imagination and interest right from the start. On top of that, Daisy’s choice of who is to inherit her estate leads the police to focus on just two people. Hank, the town Chief of Police isn’t exactly acting like he wants to dig up the truth. Tom and Hank are constantly wondering about the other’s guilt or innocence even though they grew up together. Sometimes mysteries can seem like they follow the same formula, but here is a new series that draws questions as to how the mystery will be solved. There are a plethora of turns along with suspicions regarding the real cause of Daisy’s death plastered on the front page news in the small town where everybody knows everybody else’s life story. It was so enjoyable to watch the chemistry between Kate and Tom grows plus the constant tension of whether to trust each other or not. The other characters in the novel add more color to the story some of whom make figuring out the real culprit interesting. I really enjoyed reading this novel as it used a different method to do away with the victim than I had ever read of before. Most people are aware of herbs around that are sold in various places in different consistencies. People appreciate flowers that are nice to look at, but some can be deadly. I couldn’t put the novel down and I await with eager anticipation the next installment in this series! Pick this novel up and enjoy it. The story was fun to read, exciting and challenging to figure out! My rating is 5 stars. Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/. Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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review 2013-05-04 00:00
Critical Condition (Love Inspired Suspense)
Critical Condition - Sandra Orchard I don't typically read faith-based books, so this was an interesting departure for me. I really enjoyed Zach because he was the typical protector I look for in a hero, but he also had a softness and vulnerability to his character that felt authentic. I also enjoyed the medical element of this book which was also a first for me.
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