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review 2014-04-01 00:00
That Old Black Magic
That Old Black Magic - Mary Jane Clark Cake decorator/ aspiring actress Piper Donavan is back in That Old Black Magic. This time around, she has traveled to New Orleans to work with a world famous baker and bake a cake for a wedding. Of course, someone is murdered and Piper can't help but stumble into the mystery. I did like this mystery and the killer took me by surprise. I liked how Piper put it together this time. As in her other books, the list of suspects is long and filled with many who could definitely have done it!

I have to admit to not really loving this series in the beginning. It has definitely gotten better over the 4 books in the series. I have enjoyed seeing Piper grow as both a person and a detective. She still has some TSTL moments, but they make the story that much more entertaining. One of the things that I loved about this book was how Piper is still feeling the after effects of the previous case. Particularly in the claustrophobia and insomnia. For me it made Piper more realistic since I think a lot of people would have some PTSD after being poisoned and almost dying. I feel like in a lot of mystery series, once the case is solved the main character moves on and it's almost like the danger in the book before never happened.

My only two complaints were the pop culture references. Those drive me crazy! Having real actor names thrown into a fiction book really throw me off. The part about Piper acting in a movie with Channing Tatum had me rolling my eyes. Not a big deal, just a personal preference. I also want more Jack! This relationship needs to move forward. I look forward to the next book, hopefully with more Jack and Piper together!
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review 2014-01-23 00:00
That Old Black Magic
That Old Black Magic - Mary Jane Clark
For someone like me who has never read this author, you may find her style of writing confusing, the large amounts of characters and red herrings annoying and the main character Piper, silly and naïve. For those of you who like this very sweet form of cozy mystery, you will most likely love this novel AND if you follow this author you will love this book!

I will say that the author did do a very good job of deflecting the reader from figuring out who done it. I don’t think there was even the barest whisper of a hint as to who committed the three murders and tried for a possible fourth.

There are many very short chapters and I found that somewhat annoying, but it sure made it easy for me to put down this book, as I got bored with it. Unfortunately this happened all too frequently for my taste.

I found the story tepid, the fact that Piper is a cake decorator AND an actress is a little too much to swallow in this particular instance and there are to many plot lines that didn’t seem to have enough closure for my taste. *ARC SUPPLIED BY PUBLISHER*
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review 2014-01-06 22:17
A fluffy, fun mystery in my favorite genre
Footprints in the Sand: A Piper Donovan Mystery (Piper Donovan Mysteries) - Mary Jane Clark

Piper Donovan, aspiring actress, is headed to Florida to be the maid-of-honor in her cousin's wedding and to help her mom bake the wedding cake.  When she arrives, she find that one of the bridesmaids has disappeared and no one has seen her for three days.  This is just the first of a string of unfortunate events that seem to be plaguing this wedding.  The beautiful Sarasota beach setting seems to be covering a dark secret and Piper is determined to find out what it is so her cousin's wedding won't be ruined.  There are plenty of suspects, interesting characters,lovely settings and sea turtles. In fact, a great beach read!

American Cozy Mysteries (don't know if that's an official genre but it is to me!) is my favorite genre and this is a fun, fluffy example. There is the involvement of the  Amish community which I know appeals to many readers. Footprints in the Sand is the third mystery in the Piper Donovan series and the first one I've read but that doesn't seem to be a problem.  It was fine as a stand-alone mystery. It's a quick read that makes me want to find the first two in the series.

I received this book from as a Goodreads giveaway and I appreciated the chance to read and review it.

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review 2013-07-07 00:00
To Have and to Kill - Mary Jane Clark Cozy mystery, and fine for what it is. Overly simplistic at times and occasionally too cutesy. An easy read, and relative short. This isn't my genre so I can't comment more than that, but fans of cozy mysteries may enjoy it.
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review 2013-04-18 00:00
To Have and to Kill (Wedding Cake Myster... To Have and to Kill (Wedding Cake Mystery, #1) - Mary Jane Clark Do you like to see an episode of ”Murder She wrote”?

Do you like to see one of the million different “cake shows”?

If you just said yes (or just nodded your head) you will probably also like this book.

It really is a ‘chick-lit’ edition of a one hour crime/mystery TV show.

The story evolves around Piper who is an ‘out-of-work’ actress. One of her friends is getting married, and suddenly people around her start dying, and oh no, its so scary!

Which would probably be the thought a somewhat ‘normal’ person has in such a situation.

But not our Piper.. no.. She’s perfect, so of course she doesn’t freak out. She wants to help, you guys!

Piper is one of those who are not only beautiful – the long blond hair with blue eyes - kind of beautiful – she’s also smart and funny. She never misses her ‘bikram’ yoga classes, she knows her karate, how to change tires, CPR, and so on.. Piper is perfect in such a way, that when she realizes her mother is going blind she doesn’t say: “Oh no, my Mom is going blind!” No, that’s not good enough.. She says: “Oh no, my mom has macular degeneration!

Because really, who doesn’t say that? o_O

All this is why I didn’t like Piper (which may make me a bitch) but honestly, as a reader, you don’t wanna read about this perfect example of a person, while you skipped going to the gym again..


There are murders and cakes.

2 stars.
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