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review 2018-04-24 22:34
Stork Raving Mad
Stork Raving Mad - Donna Andrews

Meg is on the last of her pregnancy with twins. She and Michael had decided that while the twins are fraternal, they don't want to find out the last great mystery until they are born. She has a room set up for them and spends a lot of time resting, but her house is full to the brim with her brother, Rob, and cousin, Rose, that Michael calls borders since they have lived with them for so long in the 3rd-floor rooms. They are housing her grandfather, Dr. Blake because there are no rooms at the inn (the hotel that he always stays at). With this, they are also housing about 2 dozen drama students and about half a dozen of Rob's student interns. The reason they have so many in their home is that the school's boiler has broken and the Shiffley's won't fix the boiler until they are paid the half a million they are already owed for work they have already completed at the college. This is contentious and to top all of this off, two people from the college have shown up to state they are not allowing a show to happen and they are refusing to allow a student who has done all his paperwork for his doctoral thesis to continue with the work that he has completed already. 

 

They are so foul and hated that it is no surprise that one of them has been found dead in the library of the house and there are so many suspects available for the chief to try to wade through. Poor Meg, being so big in her final months (she is 8 1/2 months along) just wants to find places to sit and rest and keeps finding out information for the chief to help him solve the mystery. 

 

The only thing I didn't like (spoiler alert) is that at the end of the story they say she has gone into labor and is being taken to the hospital, but they don't say what she has (boys, girls or boy/girl) or their names and you have to wait for the next book (or find and read the next book). 

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review 2018-04-23 15:29
The Luckiest Woman Ever
The Luckiest Woman Ever (Molly Sutton Mysteries) (Volume 2) - Nell Goddin

At the local fine dining restaurant, Molly eavesdrops on a wealthy old woman's not-very-happy birthday party. Known throughout the village for being contemptuous and unlikable, her assembled partygoers look less than thrilled to be there. At the end of the evening, Molly finds the woman lying dead on the bathroom floor and it's determined that the woman died from cyanide poisoning. Molly, having witnessed the whole evening, begins to investigate (which is a good thing, since the local police chief isn't very good at solving murders.) What she uncovers is decades of secrets, lies and a rage that has simmered for decades.

 

This is quickly shaping up to be a favorite series, I'm really enjoying Molly's adventures in France. This one introduced some new characters that I hope will be returning. And the victim! While a nasty character you love to hate is common in books, this one really takes the cake. She was gleefully hurtful, thoroughly vile, and mercilessly horrible and yet I still loved her antics (or maybe I was just waiting for the moment she paid for it, I don't know. But what a delightfully rotten character!

 

Really, if I wasn't so wholly caught up in the story, I probably would've figured out the clues, but no, it all just flew past me. Lots of red herrings threw me off track and the pace was perfect to keep me turning pages. The ending was a lot better than the first book; I was riveted, watching it all unfold. This was a thoroughly enjoyable cozy read, perfect to curl up with, especially if you have a croissant and a glass of fine wine.

 

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review 2018-04-23 06:39
A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats, #9)
A Tale of Two Kitties - Sofie Kelly

A solid mystery in a solid series.  Nothing spectacular but a setting and characters you can  lose yourself in and amongst for a quick read when you're looking for a light mystery that's rife with strong friendships and small town charm.

 

The mystery plotting is solid, or maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention; in retrospect I should have seen straight away what went over my head while I was reading.  

 

Oddly, though I (of course) really like the cats, Owen and Hercules, I find myself more enchanted by their everyday cat antics (Owen's love for Fred the Funky Chicken catnip treats and his hatred of Barry Manilow music, for example), than any of their magical feats.  I don't think cats need the supernatural leg up to make them the stars, although I do wish Kelly would delve more into their origins and what's going on at Wisteria Hill.

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review 2018-04-22 15:44
The Lord of the Wings
Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries) - Donna Andrews

The town of Caerphilly, VA is hosting a Halloween event that is family friendly during daylight hours and for adults during the evening hours. Randall Shiffley hired a young woman, Lydia, to run the event and Meg was volunteered to lead the Goblin Brigade. The Goblin Brigade is the nickname for the liaisons between the police and tourists and the locals. But Meg is being run ragged, still putting out fires all over the place. Dr. Smoot's house/haunted house/museum was broken into, but nothing appeared to have been taken. People are causing trouble at Dr. Blake's zoo and a body is found. It seems that someone started a LARPers version scavenger hunt where you have a certain amount of time to find and send in proof and then you get a new list. As the event continues more things begin to happen and then Lydia disappears as the Smoot House is set on fire, Smoot is found injured and another body is found. Is she a victim, an accomplice or just not involved. 

 

I love having these books play as I drive as my kids are almost always with me and they start giggling over silly things that are read, i.e. the Ravens saying, "Nevermore," "Doom, doom," or "Room Service." Another was the pun of a coat of arms (a coat with extra arms all doing things). I love to hear them giggling or laughing and as they are teens these times are few and far between. 

 

This book is also part of series and thankfully this series does not need to be read in order. 

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review 2018-04-22 00:10
Hen of the Baskervilles
Hen of the Baskervilles - Donna Andrews

It is the second year of the UnFair and Meg is the Deputy Director and she and her volunteers are sleeping in the tents for the animals and she is woken up to the shock that someone has stolen some Heritage Chickens. As the fair is progressing many people are causing problems, Janette is hassling people to sell her their heritage animals, someone is destroying other people's entries into the different categories (pumpkin, quilt, etc) and Janette is trying to make Meg let her play her music so loud that people run from them. 

 

The other winemakers band together to get Janette out of the tent, because of her behavior and her bad ways with others. New rules are created to deal with certain problems, others are strictly enforced, but then the next night, her married boyfriend ends up being shot in the parking lot and the Clay County Sheriff and the Caerphilly Chief come to an agreement where one of the Clay County Deputies is to help with the work, but the Caerphilly Department can take the lead, but the deputy assigned has rubbed many the wrong way. As they continue to search to find who murdered the man and who is stealing chickens and destroying property. 

 

My kids were chuckling over some of the things that happened in the story and it was a fun story. So improbable, but fun. 

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