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Search tags: cozy-mysteries
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review 2017-12-13 03:38
An Author, Wife Swapping, Visiting Family and Murder
A Just Clause - Lorna Barrett A Just Clause - Lorna Barrett

Tricia is hosting an author book signing and the man is late. Before he arrives, Tricia's father shows up and he is not well received by his daughter's because, on his last visit, he stole from the other merchants and his own daughters. Angelica paid off all the money he owed and replaced all the items he stole. Tricia's place is being remodeled and neither daughter wants to put him up. Also, none of the other merchants want him in their place and he cannot get a room at any establishment in town either. Pixie's fiancee, Fred, feels sorry for Tricia and her dad and offers him his almost empty apartment to stay in. Before he can get there, he gets his face slapped by a woman at the signing, who also slaps the face of the author. Then she is found dead on the street, by Tricia and her sister. 


Tricia gets involved in finding the murderer because she wants to clear her father's name, even if his name is less than stellar. She and Angelica also want to bring their parents back together. 


So many things happen in this story and you learn more about the relationship between Tricia and Angelica. 


I have gotten a little out of order in the series and there are things that have happened in the other books that I am uncertain of how they came about. Things like Angelica's many businesses. How Tricia found about them, Bob killing Christopher. The cruise with the mother and father causing a huge split between the parents and Angelica and their mother. 


So I am going to go back and get the other books that I have missed and get caught up. 


This book was good and fun to read because I kept trying to figure out who did it and why. So it kept me guessing to the end. 

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review 2017-12-08 22:25
Death Comes to the School (Kurland St. Mary Mystery, #4)
Death Comes to the School - Catherine Lloyd

I caught a cold a few weeks ago that I thought I'd kicked to the curb after only 4 days, only to have it come raging back a week later in the form of a cough that will. not. die.  I've sounded like a barking seal for the last 8 days and yesterday, to add insult to injury, I got a skull cracking headache, too, leaving me feeling like every time I coughed I was going to end up like those people in the X-files, whose brains exploded out their ears.


So even though I have 3 other books currently going, I needed something very easy on both my brain and my eyes.  Death Comes to the School was a perfect fit with it's on-the-large-side-of-average typeface and it's very familiar backdrop and characters.  It allowed me to forget for a time about the icepack wrapped around my head and the cough lozenges that have stained my tongue purple (black elderberry). 


The story starts off 3 years after the last book;  why don't authors of series do this more often?  It makes everything that happens so much more believable; rather than have a village of death, you're backdrop is just a village where normal stuff happens.  Anyway, the murder happens fairly quickly, to a school teacher nobody liked, and it happens rather oddly, with a hat pin in her neck and a pen in her eye.  From this point, the author has a bit of fun twisting the character stereotypes of the time around and using them to her advantage.  The mystery plotting of the book is really very good, although the motivation tie-in at the end was a tad weak.


The character angst though, I could have done without.  I really like Robert and Lucy, both individually and together but this book ... this book turn them into cardboard cliches, all because Lucy has yet to produce an heir.  This is an historically accurate issue; childbirth was a treacherous business and entailments created situations where entire villages depended on one poor woman to produce a son.  I get that.  But the whole emotional miscommunication thing that bogged down this story was stupid; for two characters that talked and argued about everything incessantly in the first three books, the whole "doesn't she want me?" "he doesn't desire me anymore, I'm a failure" let's-not-talk thing was just annoying.  


There was more to like than not, though, and as a nice bonus, the book takes place during Christmas, so it was seasonal too!  This has been a solid series so far and I'm already looking forward to the next one, which will undoubtably continue to revolve around heirs and spares, but hopefully without all the silly angst.


Book themes for St. Martin’s Day: Read a book set  before the age of electricity. 



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review 2017-12-08 15:07
First Halloween in Wagtail, VA
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer - Krista Davis

Holly has just returned from renting her place near Washington, DC and packing all her stuff to return to the Wagtail Inn to help her Oma run the place. It is the first big event in the town and ghost hunters have come to town to search the town for ghosts. Mallory, a young woman who has spent time telling anyone who would listen that she was going to marry Mark, the author of a book on hauntings in Wagtail. She also flirts with all the men in the ghost hunter group. She is found by Holly, floating in a shallow pool near a haunted inn. Holly and Dave, the police officer assigned to Wagtail, don't believe she drowned on accident. 


There are many things happening while they try to find out the truth of the death of Mallory. 


This is book 2 of the series and I have not read this in order and while it may have been more cohesive, it was not necessary to read in order. It was a fun read and is definitely a Halloween themed story. 

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review 2017-12-03 16:14
Another Cozy Mystery with Recipes
Fudging the Books - Daryl Wood Gerber

This is Book 4 of the series and I have not read the other books. I just liked the name of this book and choose it first. As near as I can figure (I'll be reading the other books, too) it doesn't need to be read in order. 


The bookstore is decorated for Pirate Days (a town celebration) and hosting a chocolate cookbook book club meal and they bring in Coco, a local celebrity with her own cookbooks and her publisher, another local. They have a lot of fun and enjoy the night. When they finish, they go to have a drink at the local wine bar, Vines. They separate to go home or on dates and the next morning, early, Bailey is calling Jenna to come to Coco's home because Alison has been murdered and was found by Coco in her home. 


Cinnamon, the local police chief, asks Jenna to listen and let her know what she learns, but then takes it back because someone is making complaints and saying that the chief isn't able to find the murderer on her own. 


There are two cats, who are brought back and forth to the store because Jenna doesn't feel her cat should be left alone at any time. Bailey is bringing the cat her boyfriend back and forth because Jenna does that. 


Jenna keeps flashing back to her husband and his suicide, her life in the advertising agency. She keeps going off on wild goose chases trying to figure out who really is to blame for Alison's death. 


The story was okay and the recipes will be fun to try. I think leaving the cat either at home or at the store, quit hauling it back and forth and without a carrier. 

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review 2017-11-29 12:55
Agatha Christie Short Stories
The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories - Agatha Christie

This book contained 8 of Agatha Christie's short stories that had been published in magazines.


"The Edge"

"The Actress"

"While the Light Lasts"

"The House of Dreams"

"The Lonely God"

"Manx Gold"

"Within a Wall"

"The Mystery of the Spanish Chest"

"The Harlequin Tea Set"


I had started out trying to listen to the stories, but due to noise and time constraints, I just finally gave up on the listening and borrowed a Kindle copy of the book and read the stories for myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories. She wove such interesting stories and allowed the reader to go along with her and see if they come to the same conclusion.


I was able to go into the story and follow along with the line of reasoning of the main character and while not drawing the same conclusion, being close to the one that they were thinking. I was also charmed with the Hercule Poirot short story. This is my first time reading these short stories. It was nice to find them all in the same place. 


At the end of the book was a list of all the stories she wrote. I recommend this to anyone who wants a quick read and wants to experience the master without reading a whole book. 




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