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review 2018-05-07 15:22
Hearse and Buggy
Hearse and Buggy - Laura Bradford

This was a pretty good start to this series. Laura Bradford's writing style is engaging.  

 

This book is about Claire, a divorced woman who moves to the Amish country to open her own shop and live out her dream. In typical cozy mystery fashion, someone kicks it near her store and she is drawn into catching the murderer. There is a love triangle involving a local policeman. There are some interesting secondary characters. 

 

In other words, if you like cozy mysteries- this one doesn't break the mold...but it's also not half bad. 

 

 

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review 2018-01-18 13:48
Soupcon of Poison
A Soupçon of Poison: Kat Holloway Victorian Mysteries (Kat Holloway Below Stairs Mysteries) - Ashley Gardner,Jennifer Ashley

Author: Jennifer Ashley 

Series: Below Stair Mystery .5

Rating: 3.5 stars

 

This novella is the start to Jennifer Ashley's new historical mystery series.   

 

In case you don't know, Jennifer Ashley aka Ashley Gardner also writes The Captain Lacey Mysteries. I have raved about the Lacey mysteries since I began reading them a couple of years ago.

 

This new series, called the Below Stairs series, has been picked up by Berkeley and the first book Death Below Stairs came out on January 2nd of this year.

 

Death Below Stairs (A Below Stairs Mystery) by [Ashley, Jennifer]

 

I am excited to read it, especially after finishing this novella. In it, we meet Kat Holloway. She is a cook who becomes entangled in a mystery when her employer dies after eating a dinner she has prepared. Holloway sets about trying to clear her name. To help her, there is a young boy named James and his patron Daniel- a swoon-worthy addition to the cast and obvious love interest. Make no mistake, Daniel and his past are the true mystery here. I like how Ashley develops his character, dropping hints as to his background. I have an idea of what might be going on with him as he's definitely not what he appears to be, but I'm not sure and can't wait to read the first book to get more information. 

 

The mystery was decent - not her best after reading so many of the Lacey books, but it was a nice introduction to the characters and made me want more.

 

Recommend. 

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review 2017-10-29 14:13
A Sticky Inheritance
A Sticky Inheritance (Maple Syrup Mysteries) (Volume 1) - Emily James

Author: Emily James

Series: Maple Syrup Mysteries #1

Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Book BlurbWhen struggling criminal defense attorney Nicole Fitzhenry-Dawes inherits her uncle’s maple syrup farm in Michigan, she thinks it might be time for a career change—hopefully one that allows her to stay as far away from murderers and liars as possible.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

Her uncle’s suicide quickly begins to look like it wasn’t a suicide at all, but the chief of police is reluctant to investigate it as a murder and soil the reputation of his serene little tourist town. Nicole has no choice but to search for the killer on her own.

And as she closes in, she not only risks becoming the murderer’s next victim, but also starts to wonder if knowing the truth is ever worse than believing the lie...

 

Again, I hated this cover. It put me off reading this book - but I'm glad I gave it a chance.

 

This was a solid first in a series. What a gem. The writing was tight and flowed nicely. I've complained in the past that some cozy mysteries  lack depth. As a result, sometimes I can't fully engage with the story.  Not so here. Nicole is a solid main character- flawed and unsure of herself, but stubborn and determined once she finally sets her mind to it. You see the potential for growth.  

 

This tourist town has some interesting characters, but uh not very many women apparently as Nicole seems to mainly interact with men. Thus the half star ding. It was my one beef and one I didn't notice til the end.  I do want to see if the author remedies this in her next book. 

 

The romance was the weakest point. Not because of how it was written- that actually wasn't bad. But I made it almost halfway through the book excited cuz there was no love triangle and then... suddenly... there was. A weak one at that.  Sigh. 

 

There are other mysteries lurking in the background, the minor characters have some real history going on. I'm looking forward to answering some of the questions raised. 

 

I am cautiously optimistic about this series.  This is an above average cozy outting, so I would recommend.

 

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review 2017-10-28 14:28
And Then There Were Nuns
And Then There Were Nuns - Kylie Logan

Author: Kylie Logan

Series: League of Literary Ladies #4

Rating: 3 stars

 

Enjoyable read. This series is about a group of women who are forced to meet together for a book club as the result of a court order. I'm not going to ruin the first book by telling you how that comes to be, as that was part of the fun of reading the first in this mystery series.

 

This third book was nice addition. Naturally the women have become friends and spend their time solving mysteries on their island. Their camaraderie and quirkiness carries the book along nicely. I definitely liked the twisty ending. And the progress on the romance front was good to read -  I liked that things are moving along even though there are obstacles now in the way. 

 

Would definitely recommend this series so far, it's one of the stronger cozy mystery series out there. 

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review 2017-09-18 19:16
Murder Past Due
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

Couldn't use the computers for hours at work this morning. Waiting for the situation to resolve itself I had to kill time ... and used it to finish off this cozy mystery.

 

Not bad. A bit slow moving. The MC is male, a librarian named Charlie.  Unusual and refreshing. He owns a Maine Coon cat which is basically a HUGE cat according to the author. They mention the cat's size over and over again in case you missed the cat's name which is Diesel.  Though that got annoying, it did make me want to see one IRL. 

 

The mystery in which a celebrity from Charlie's town is killed, wasn't terribly hard to figure out. But being that everyone hated him - and I mean EVERYONE - there were plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. 

 

I wasn't thrilled by this book but I do want to read the next one. The series has a lot of potential and a depth to its characters that I enjoyed. If Ms. James continues to flesh out her characters, this series could be a keeper for me.

 

 

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