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review 2018-01-22 19:50
The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan
The Doll House - Phoebe Morgan

"The house surrounds us. I feel like it’s watching me."

This book isn’t really about a dollhouse. Nor is it about creepy dolls. It’s about family secrets and I love those almost as much as creepy dolls so I was good with that. Unfortunately, I guessed the biggest secret way too early and you probably will too.

Sisters Corrine and Ashley are being watched/stalked/terrorized by a third person without their knowledge. Corrine starts to catch on when someone begins leaving pieces of her old childhood dollhouse where she can find them. Everyone else thinks she’s starting to go a little mad. She’s always been a little jumpy, anxiety ridden and seen faces in windows that have spooked her. Recently, she’s been desperately trying to have a child through IVF and this is the conclusion her friends and family jump to – bunch of jerks. Ashley, the sister, has her hands full with a secretive husband who is spending far too much time at work, a baby who won’t stop screaming and who won’t sleep, a teen headed for trouble and mouth-breather phone calls. I felt for poor Ashley. Had I been in her position I might’ve got behind the wheel and just kept on driving . . . 

The heart of this story rests on its day to day family dramas so if you’re not into all of that you may find things a little slow going. I have to admit that I found it a struggle at times and too slow moving and I typically love this sort of thing. This is not a fast paced thriller, by any means. The stressful atmosphere is almost claustrophobic and there’s an underlying sense of dread but discovering that I was right about the “why” behind the big secret with still many pages left, took a lot of the thrill away for me. I was oh-so-wrong about the who though and I enjoyed that tasty little surprise.

This is a nice debut but it wasn’t quite compelling enough to grab and hold my attention, nor did I ever get fully emotionally invested in the characters. I’m giving it a three for those reasons.


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review 2017-12-30 18:14
Early eARC review. It's a good one too!
Death Below Stairs - Jennifer Ashley

Not read this author before but I can tell she is a historical romance writer and I am really glad that she dipped into the mystery genre. I love historical mysteries but they are sometimes hit or miss and this one was a huge hit. :)

 

Kat Holloway has taken new employment as a cook for Lord Rankin and she had only been their for one day when she wakes to find her assistant cook dead. The night before she had just told her that she would watch out for her and help her be a good cook so now she feels bad and wants to know what happened. Her first instincts is to contact a friend of hers Daniel.

 

She likes Daniel but she also doesn't trust him fully because he has done some things she is not happy with and she has seen him wear gentleman's clothing as well as feel comfortable being a day laborer. He will not explain himself but she knows he knows a lot of things and wants him to help her find out what has happened. He gets himself hired to work there so they can work on it together.

 

Lady Cynthia who is a bit unconventional and the sister-in-law to Lord Rankin also wants to find out what happened and she helps a little bit.  I really like her and feel a bit sorry for her as she doesn't seem to have any marriage prospects so she does her unconventional things, but there is a guy who kind of likes her but like Daniel I am not sure what he really does for a living though he is still lower class so not sure if she would see him as a love interest.

I really like the characters in this story as Kat has a bit of spunk for a cook and pretty good at figuring things out although I was amazed at how much time she spent away from the kitchen and got away with it. Daniel is probably my favorite character and I am so intrigued by him because he sounds pretty swoon worthy but you don't know what he does for a living. At times he wears gentleman's attire and can talk like a gent and then you wears workmans cloths and talks with the slang. He seems to be able to tell the police what to do and was very intent on saving the Queen from trouble, so who is this man of mystery? I am thinking a spy or detective of some sort I guess I shall have to wait and see just like Kat. :)

 

The author does a great job with the mystery and keeps you guessing a bit on who it might have been that killed the young lady that even though the thought crossed my mind on who I thought might have done it, I didn't keep it there so it wasn't a huge surprise but the reason behind it was a bit.

 

I really enjoyed this historical mystery and can't wait to get the next one to read so I highly recommend it.

Source: www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399585516/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399585516&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
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review 2017-12-22 23:14
I read out of order! But it was okay...lol
Eaves of Destruction - Kate Carlisle

So I broke my rule with this one and grabbed it anyway because I really wanted to try one and I have seen the movies on Hallmark several times. So I figured besides a few changes that I might be able to make it through okay without having read book one. I was right things went pretty good. There are some differences but I felt that the main characters flow pretty much the same on paper and in the shows.

 

In this one it’s about time for the Home and Garden tour and everyone seems to want to have something done to their home so they can win the prize. One of those people is Petsy and man she is totally rude! Shannon would probably back away from taking the job if her father wasn’t friends with Petsy’s husband, who is a really nice man. To make matters worse the town’s building inspector seems to have it out for Shannon and is always trying to find a way to slow down her work. He seems to thrive on it, but then he is found dead and there is a huge list of suspects.

 

Shannon and her crew could be considered at the top of the list but she really hopes that one of her guys didn’t do it. Shannon also gains a new crew member, Amanda, as they needed another good carpenter since they have been so busy. Shannon and Amanda hit it off really well but she has a secret of her own.

 

I really like the characters in this series and it was really easy to get wrapped up in everything and never felt like I missed something because I didn’t start at the beginning of the series. I think a lot is because I knew a bit about it from the movie on Hallmark though some things were different. I really like the relationship between Shannon and Mac and Shannon and her crew of workers. It just makes for a great story.

 

It has a really good mystery too and the author throws you off some and I really wasn’t sure who done it. I had suspicions but at the same time I was still never really sure. I can’t wait to read another one!!!

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review 2017-12-20 17:12
Really been enjoying the Christmas cozies! :)
Thread the Halls (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery) - Lea Wait

This one was a little different than the others from this series but I enjoyed it.

 

Angie just wants to have a normal Christmas as it will be the first one since she came back home, but it seems fate has other plans. Her boyfriend’s mother Skye, an actress, is coming home with her crew as they are having some problems on set. She wants everything decorated, catered and all sorts of extravagant things done for Christmas by the time she gets there and for while she is there. Patrick is stressing out a bit and ask Angie and her needlepointers for help. This was not the plans that Angie had for the days leading up to Christmas.

 

Then one of the actors ends up dead and chaos of the holidays ensues plus trying to figure out why anyone would want to kill Paul. Then Patrick, Angie’s boyfriend is poisoned and then Angie is under suspicion for the murder. It’s not turning out to be a very merry Christmas the way Angie had hoped.

 

I really like Angie and the gang of needlepointers they are a pretty cool lot. Even though Skye can be a bit extravagant as she is an actress she can also be pretty cool and I really like Patrick too. It just has a great cast of characters.

 

The motive for what was happening I couldn’t figure out though I guessed who had done it pretty early on, I just was baffled as to why and there was a little surprise that caught me off guard towards the very end it kind of went along with a bit of the storyline with the screenwriters. 

 

I have really been enjoying the holiday cozies this year and this was another good one!

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review 2017-12-03 20:09
I really like this series!!
Body on the Bayou - Ellen Byron

  

I am not sure why I never got around to this one because I loved the first one and this one was just as fun as the first one!!

 

Maggie works as a tour guide  at the Doucet and also helps her family run their B&B. Not to long ago they thought their B&B might not make it after three dead guest, but they have survived. Now if Maggie can survive her fellow tour guide’s wedding as she is like the bridezilla of the century.

 

Maggie pretty much got the job of Maid of Honor by default as in nobody else wanted to do it and now she has figured out why because Vanessa pons everything on her. She is always adding to her list of Maid of Honor duties to the point that Maggie was about to her to find someone else.

 

When Vanessa’s cousin shows up she ponds her on Maggie so they have to put up with Ginger and her two assistants as she is a interior designer. She also seems to be one of those that isn’t afraid to sue you over anything or making it up. Van warns Maggie to check her stairs, and it didn’t take long for Maggie to decide she was not a fan of Ginger. Then Ginger ends up dead and there are a lot of suspects.

 

The new interim police chief (Rufus got himself in trouble and put on suspension) seems to have it out for anyone and everyone. When he realizes that Bo, a detective, is friendly with Maggie he takes him off the case. This puts a lot of pressure on the police as even though they are good men, they are not detectives. So Maggie starts snooping around a bit trying to figure out more about Ginger and Bo does some work on it too with a friend in Texas, as that is where Ginger was from.

 

I really liked the storyline with this series that involves Bo’s little boy as he is autistic and a really good painter. He has selective mutism which just means he decided to quit talking and things that happen with him is just so sweet. I also love the puppies and kittens and well just everything is great. I really like Maggie and and her whole family. Her grandmother is a lot of fun! Very southern and kind of old fashioned but at the same time very ornery. I really felt sorry for her and how things have been going with Bo, they kind of have to keep things secret because Rufus hates Maggie and he would not be happy with his cousin dating a Crozat.

 

This has a really good mystery though I did figure it out. I couldn’t figure out exactly why the person did it until Maggie figured it out.

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