Help me choose my final Snakes and Ladders Read:
Rooted in Deceit by Wendy Tyson: It’s no summer vacation for environmental-lawyer-turned-farmer Megan Sawyer when a high-end yoga retreat opens in the next town over. But when up-and-coming artist and her ex-best friend Thana Moore is strangled in the back of her car, Megan is once again thrust into solving the latest mystery in Winsome.
Megan has no interest in the new retreat, but then the detectives on the case discover her father’s wife Sylvia had an explosive argument with Thana hours earlier, and the murder weapon is a scarf that looks suspiciously like Sylvia’s. Worse, Maria, the wife of Washington Acres Cafe’s superior-yet-grumpy cook, Alvaro, was fired after being suspected of destroying one of Thana’s paintings. Would Maria kill her out of revenge? Despite her attitude, would Sylvia truly be guilty of murder?
Megan must dive into her past to find Thana’s killer, even if she doesn’t like what she may find out about herself. If she doesn’t uncover the truth in time, will this idyllic Winsome summer turn into a nightmare.
Uncorking a Lie by Nadine Nettmann: It was the kind of invitation sommelier Katie Stillwell had only dreamed about: a dinner party at the Sonoma mansion of famed wine collector Paul Rafferty to celebrate a rare bottle. Everyone enjoys drinking the $19,000 wine, but Katie realizes it's not the vintage listed on the label.
When she confides in Mr. Rafferty, he asks her to investigate, and she soon discovers the deception goes beyond money—it includes an accidental death that might just be murder. As Katie falls deeper into the world of counterfeit wine, she learns everything is at stake...even her life.
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente: A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented–something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the great galactic civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix–part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Species far and wide compete in feats of song, dance and/or whatever facsimile of these can be performed by various creatures who may or may not possess, in the traditional sense, feet, mouths, larynxes, or faces. And if a new species should wish to be counted among the high and the mighty, if a new planet has produced some savage group of animals, machines, or algae that claim to be, against all odds, sentient? Well, then they will have to compete. And if they fail? Sudden extermination for their entire species.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny–they must sing.
Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes have been chosen to represent their planet on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of Earth lies in their ability to rock.
Murder a la Mocha by Sandra Balzo Uncommon Grounds coffeehouse owner Maggy Thorsen is full of good intentions when she attempts to return Mocha, a lost chihuahua who jumped out in front of her car, to her owners. But a trip to the Satterwite's house and meeting their dog-sitter give Maggy a bad feeling... and leads to an even worse discovery. Can she solve another deadly puzzle?