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review 2017-11-14 20:51
I came away with questions
Murder in the Courthouse: A Hailey Dean ... Murder in the Courthouse: A Hailey Dean Mystery (The Hailey Dean Series) - Nancy Grace

While the story was a good one, there were areas where you knew that the deaths were all connected, but you couldn't be certain of how. I really wanted to know how she got her things back so many times when she walked away leaving them someplace or in one case where she is forced in front of a bus, her items go flying out into the street, but no where does it say that they survived being flung out (possibly run over), it just mentions that they were left or flung. I know silly things, but given that they had information on them for the court case and Ms. Grace makes a point of saying how everything for the case is on her Ipad and Iphone and her papers. 

 

The book also seemed a bit autobiographical at times and also fictional at others. I was interested in this book compared to the movie version that had been shown on Hallmark. This book has some like the movie, but not much. I know that I will probably read the other books by Nancy Grace. 

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review 2017-11-13 16:49
Death of a Squire
Death of a Squire - Maureen Ash

Back again - after a long break! - with some of the books I've been reading. And, yes, I'm still into the medieval period ...

 

(The second Templar Knight Mystery) Lincoln, autumn, 1200 AD

 

'He's nowt but a lad,' said Talli. 'Looks to be no more than fifteen or sixteen. And from the way he's been trussed, he didn't string himself up there. Why would anyone bring a youngster like that out here and hang him?'

'I don't know and I don't care,' Fulcher replied. 'I'm going to forget I ever saw him and if you two have any sense in your addled pates you'll do the same.'

Laden with their booty, the three men made haste down the track towards the stream that had been the destination of the deer thay had killed. In its water the poachers would place their steps until they were well away from the scene of their crime so that any dogs used to track them would lose their telltale scent and the smell of the deer's blood. Above them a slight breeze rattled the dry branches of the oak and the body swayed slightly, then moved a little more as the first of the crows landed on the bright thatch of hair that topped the corpse's head. Twisted under the noose, caught by the violence of the tightening rope, was the boy's cap, the colourful peacock's feather that had once jauntily adorned it now hanging crushed and bedraggled. As the crows began their feast, it was loosened and fluttered slowly to the ground.

 

This is the second book in the series and I haven't read the first, but that wasn't a problem. You are soon put in the picture. An ex-Templar, Sir Bascot de Marins, is living at Lincoln Castle. He had already solved one murder for the castellan, Lady Nicolaa, (the first book) and now when another nysterious death occurs she turns to him again.

 

A young man, a squire, has been hanged deep in the forest. He was trussed up, so it cannot have been suicide. Nicolaa's husband, the Sheriff, a rather stupid man interested only in hunting who leaves all his more boring duties to her, wants to blame it on poachers or outlaws, easy scapegoats, but the boy's dagger and fine clothing were not stolen, so Nicolaa and de Marins think that unlikely.

 

It turns out that the squire, Hubert de Tornay, was an unpleasant boy. No one could stand him and no one is sorry he is dead. There are many potential suspects. What worries Nicolaa, though, is that the boy had apparently been claiming to know details of a conspiracy against the king. In the year 1200, "Bad King John" was still new to the throne and many felt that the king should really be John's nephew Arthur, a boy who lived in France. What was worse, King John himself was on his way to Lincoln to meet there with King William of Scotland. The murderer had to be found before King John's arrival for John was a suspicious and vindictive man.

 

The squire was also a notorious woman-chaser, so there are girls involved. He had had a rendez-vous in the forest with a village girl that night. But he had been seen riding into the forest with a woman from the city up behind him on the horse. Or had he? Were the villagers lying?

 

De Matins questions a charcoal burner and his sons who live in that part of the forest. The next day they are brutally murdered. Then his servant, Gianni, disappears – kidnapped. Gianni was a starving street-kid de Marins had picked on his travels, and had now grown very fond of. Was the kidnapper also the murderer of the squire and the charcoal-burner's family?

 

It is exciting and well-written, and seems historically accurate. I am certainly going to read the first book in the series, The Alehouse Murders, as soon as I can get hold of a copy. I also want to know what will happen in the third book. At the end of this one, de Marins is faced with a difficult choice: to return to the Order of the Templars and full obedience, or to renounce all his ties with them and cease to call himself a Templar. What will he do?

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review 2017-11-02 21:30
Mulch Ado about Murder (Local Foods Mystery) - Edith Maxwell

Spring has arrived in Westbury, Massachusetts and it finds organic farmer Cam Flaherty dealing with her parents unexpected visit and worrying about her crops. While making a flat delivery Cam discovers the body of Nicole Kingsbury,the owner of the new hydroponics greenhouse. One of the suspects in the murder is Cam's own mother Deb who was leading a protest against the greenhouse that morning and was seen inside the greenhouse. With the help of her father Will Cam finds herself helping with the investigation to clear her mother;s name. I got an advanced copy of this book from netgalley.com

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review 2017-11-02 19:57
Turkey Trot Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery) - Leslie Meier

Lucy Stone is back and she finds herself involved with not one, not two, but three mysteries. While out running by Blueberry Pond with her dog, Lucy discovers the body of Alison Franklin under the thin ice. Lucy doesn't believe that her death was drug related as the police would have people believe so she starts looking into Alison's personal life and her family. At the same time a well known Hispanic TV chef Rey Rodriguez moves to Tinker Cove to open a new restaurant on the wharf, which has some of the townsfolk turning against the chef and the new restaurant for moving into their space. Shortly after Alison's death her father Ed is found inside his car shot to death during a small group demonstration against Rey for opening a restaurant. The prime suspect fot Ed's death is Matt Rey's son. Shortly after Ed's murder Rey's restaurant is firebombed while Lucy's husband Bill is inside doing construction work. Lucy finds herself dealing with the family emergency, while trying to figure out how the three crimes are related and who committed them and why. Leslie Meier writes characters that are so well individualized that they keep you guessing about who the culprits of the crimes are, and what their true motives are. I got an advanced copy of this book from netgalley.com and Kensington Books.

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review 2017-11-01 11:49
Murder with Recipes
A Catered Murder (Mystery with Recipes, No. 1) - Isis Crawford

I'll start with I loved the recipes. I did make copies of the cake recipe. My kids loved it. This was the first book in the series and there were moments where I felt like looking at the end to see who did it. Lots of suspects, lots of "sisterly" nonsense and just seemed longer than it needed to be. I did continue and it was a pretty good story. I am going to try another book from the series and see how I feel after it. 

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