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text 2017-11-24 19:29
First three books free today 11/24/17
Rose Hill Mystery Series Three-Book Collection: Books 1-3 - Pamela Grandstaff

I read the first of these and wasn't overly impressed (review here) but others may like it, so I thought I'd offer the link since all three are free today, at least in the U.S.

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review 2017-09-30 00:02
POP-UP TRUCK AND PERIL by Harper Lin
Pop-Up Truck and Peril (The Pink Cupcake... Pop-Up Truck and Peril (The Pink Cupcake Mysteries Book 5) - Harper Lin

A secretary is murdered at Master Ketchup where Christine, Amelia's best friend works.  Christine is afraid that the murderer meant to kill her as Danielle, the secretary, was temporarily assigned to Christine's marketing department. She asks Amelia to move her cupcake truck to outside Master Ketchup so she could investigate the murder.  Dan, of course, has asked Amelia to stay out of the murder investigation.

 

I enjoyed this story.  John's wedding plans are heating up and people are getting upset over those plans.  Amelia supports her children no matter what.  Dan is fitting very well in Amelia's and the kids' lives.  I liked that the murder was fit into the daily lives of the characters involved but that it was only a part of their lives.  We get more of who they are and their relationships with each other.  I figured out who the murderer was and why (unusual for me.} 

 

I look forward to more in this series.

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review 2017-09-29 23:24
A CROISSANT TO DIE FOR by Rachel White
A Croissant to Die For… (A Jenna Dubois ... A Croissant to Die For… (A Jenna Dubois Mystery) - Rachel White

First book in the Jenna Dubois Mystery series.  Verena Mason is murdered in Jenna's patisserie shop's kitchen.  The cops think it is her but when Verena's Uncle Ray dies at her funeral they have to change their minds.

 

I liked Jenna and her regulars.  They are fun.  The story kept me intrigued and wanting more.  It needed a little fleshing out to be totally believable but I want to read more of the series.  I did not figure it and needed the explanation at the end. 

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review 2017-07-02 17:12
A Rustle of Silk
Rustle of Silk, A: A new forensic mystery series set in Stuart England (A Gabriel Taverner Mystery) - Alys Clare

A Rustle of Silk is ... OK, I guess.

 

It's 1603, Elizabeth I is dead and England awaits the arrival of their new king, James VI of Scotland, who will be James I of England.  Meanwhile, Gabriel Taverner, a former sailor in the Royal Navy, and now a doctor (he claims to be a physician, but knows more about surgery), is trying to set up a practice in his old home town.  Someone's leaving him vile little "presents" of dead animals on his doorstep, and they don't suspect a cat.

 

And then a man is found dead.  It turns out to be his brother-in-law, a silk merchant.  Was it suicide, or murder?

 

The prose style and characterization were good. 

 

On the other hand, the mystery didn't make much sense at a certain level, and we had a villain with talking disease.  (No cat in his lap this time, though!)  Taverner seemingly can't decide if he's a physician or a surgeon, which were two very different jobs in the period, performed by different people of different experiences and social ranks.  (A physician learned his craft at a university, and observed clients and made prescriptions.  He might inspect their urine, but physical interaction with patients' bodies was usually limited to bleeding them due to an "inbalance in the humors."  A surgeon, on the other hand, was of a lower class in society, did not need to go to a university, and had the practical experience of removing limbs, with more or less success.  Physicians were far more respected than surgeons, who often did double duty as barbers.)

 

Also, the occasional word choice struck me as non-period ("opportunist" would not be in use for some 200 or 250 years after this is set), and in the understandable desire to avoid info dumping, Clare has Taverner unaware of some things he really should have known, despite having been 15 years at sea.  (In particular, that suicides could not receive a decent Christian burial in a churchyard.)

 

I might read another in the series, but I doubt I'd go out looking for one in particular.

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review 2017-07-01 01:54
TANGLED UP IN BREW by Joyce Tremel
Tangled Up in Brew - Joyce Tremel
  Max and Jake are in a brew and burger contest at the local beer festival. One of the judges is murdered and Jake is suspected. Max looks for clues as does her dad.

I did not figure it out until it was explained at the end. The story was good. I love the references to the different Pittsburgh neighborhoods. I enjoy these characters and look forward to reading more of them
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