Friday, November 18, 2011

REVIEW: Pie A La Murder by Melinda Wells

Della Carmichael owns a local cooking school and is the star of a cable cooking show. Her boyfriend, Nicholas, tells her out of the blue that he has an 18-year-old daughter, Celeste. He hasn't seen her since she was a baby and she now wants to come live with him. Celeste wants to be an actress. She arranges to have a photo shoot with a celebrity photographer who tries to exploit her. When he is found murdered, Nicholas is a prime suspect. Della must clear his name and stay alive as she becomes the target of the real killer. While doing this she deals with not only Celeste, a surly teenager, but Tanis, Nicholas' ex-wife, and the Prince she plans to marry. And if that isn't enough, she has to organize a baking contest for charity.

This is a series I love to read. The author does such a great job of creating believable characters and plotting out a story I can see happening. There are plenty of red herrings and twists and turns to keep you guessing until the killer is revealed. I love the cooking theme. The recipes included in the book sound very good. I hope to try some one day. This is a series I enjoy receiving the next book to read. I highly recommend this book!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fiber & Brimstone by Laura Childs

Halloween in New Orleans. What could be better? Carmela and Ava are building a monster puppet for the Monsters and Mayhem Torchlight Parade and stumble upon the body of Brett Fowler.

Jekyl, Carmela's good friend, is a prime suspect because he argued with Brett shortly before his body was discovered. Carmela is convinced someone is framing Jekyl. Brett ran a ponzi scheme and owed Jekyl money. He wasn't the only person Brett owed. Suspects abound. Carmela and Ava set out to discover the real murderer. Can they do so without being the next victims?

Even though I've never been to New Orleans, I love reading books set there. This is one of my favorite cozy series. I feel as if I've been there after reading the books in this series. I love Carmela and Ava and the predicaments they find themselves in. I like the setting of her scrapbooking store and reading about the various projects.

Carmela is such a fun character. Ava is definitely a quirky character. The setting and Halloween really add to this cozy. The author does such a great job of plotting out the story that I didn't know who the killer was ahead. Made me want to keep turning the page.

I highly recommend this book and the complete series.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

REVIEW: Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend

This is the first in a new cozy mystery series, A Fortune Teller Mystery series.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters are fun. The location was great. It was well written and kept me interested throughout.

Sunny has decided to make it on her own as a psychic. She buys an ancient Victorian house in Divinity, New York. She soon finds out the old house comes with a cat who just appears at the strangest times.

Sunny reads tea leaves and gives a reading to the librarian, seeing her death. She informs the police. Too late. She becomes the prime suspect.

Soon the chief pairs her up with Detective Mitch Stone to solve the murder. While they investigate the murder, sparks begin to fly between them. Can they find the killer and keep Sunny save? Can an unbeliever and a believer find love together?

I'm not into paranormal books unless they are on the light side. This is and it is a fun cozy to read. If you're looking for a serious mystery, this might not be for you. On the other hand, if you like to laugh when reading a mystery and want something light but that will hold your interest, I highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading the next one.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James

Casey Calhoun is an assistant gardener at the White House. The First Lady brought her in to make gardening at the White House more organic. While preparing the grounds for the annual Easter Egg Roll she is creating her plan to present to the Grounds Committee regarding her new organic ideas.

Weeding one of the park's gardens, she is attacked from behind and ends up face down in the garden. She notices some broken limbs on a tree while explaining what happened to a Secret Service Agent. She goes over to investigate and discovers a dead woman stuffed into a trash can.
She begins looking into the case and trying to discover the killer. Can she do so without putting herself in danger and not losing her job?

I really enjoyed this book. It is a fun, light cozy read. I have lived in D.C., so I love mysteries set around and in the White House. I hope there will be many more escapades with Casey Calhoun. She's a very likeable character and the other characters make for a believable story. The author did a great job of plotting and setting the scene.

I highly recommend this book!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Betrayal of Trust by J. A. Jance

I have been reading J. A. Jance for many years. I started reading her J. P. Beaumont series. Then I read her Joanna Brady series and now her Ali Reynolds series. I like all three. This book is the latest in the J. P. Beaumont series. I enjoyed it. I can see the growth of the writer through this series. Also J. P. has gone through a lot of personal growth and I like that. I like him much better now than in his earlier novels.

A video is discovered with a snuff film. At first it seems to be a childish game. Then the girl ends up dead. It was on the phone of the Washington State governor's grandson. The boy has a troubled past and swears he's never seen the girl before.

J. P. Beaumont and his partner (and wife) Mel Soames begin investigating. They follow the path of corruption to its end, hopefully before more innocent young lives are lost.

I thought the author did a great job with such a tough subject, especially with minors involved. She got across the seriousness of everything without having to be morbid or go into too many details. I found it hard to put this book down, as I do with most of her books. It will keep you wanting to find out who did it. I did not guess the perpetrators before they were uncovered.

I highly recommend this book and all three of her mystery series.

Dawn Dowdle

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Working Stiff by Annelise Ryan

Mattie Winston caught her husband, Dr. David Winston, in a compromising situation with nurse Karen Owenby. She quit her job and moved out. Her best friend, Izzy, offered her a place to stay and a job as deputy coroner. Her first homicide turns out to be Nurse Karen. Even though she saw David in a heated argument with her the night before, she refuses to believe he could be a killer. She is soon investigating the murder and putting herself in danger.

This is the second in the series but the first one I've read. I really enjoyed the characters and their interaction. The author did a great job at creating characters the reader cares about and a plot that keeps you wondering who the killer can be until it is revealed. I look forward to reading many more in this series. Great job!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Retirement Homes are Murder by Mike Befeler

I really enjoyed this book. I don't know why I didn't read it sooner! I can't wait to read the other two in this series. The main character wakes up and doesn't know where he is. Turns out he moved into a retirement home the day before. He has short-term memory loss every time he sleeps. It's hilarious. The author did a fabulous job setting up this book. The characters are fabulous. HIGHLY recommend!!!! Let me know what you think if you read this book.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some cozies I've read

Here are some great cozies I read recently:

Dying to be Thin by Kathryn Lilley

This is the first book in this series and the first I'd read. I will be reading more! It's a great series. I really liked Kate, the protagonist. The author did a great job with the plot and creating believable characters and a story-line to interest readers. Highly Recommend!

Murder, She Wrote A Question of Murder by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain

This is one of my favorite series. Having seen the TV show, I can picture the story as I read it. This one was set at a writers' conference. Lots of fun and great characters. Highly Recommend!

Murder on the Menu by Miranda Bliss

I always enjoy culinary cozy mysteries. This series is a lot of fun. Annie and Eve have joined Jim, Annie's on-again, off-again boyfriend, in running his new restaurant. As long as Annie doesn't have to cook, it's safe. Whenever they're involved in murder, you can expect a lot to happen. I really enjoy this series and plan to read more! Highly Recommend!

One Grave Less by Beverly Connor

While this is NOT a cozy, this is one of my favorite series. I find myself unable to stop reading. She writes a series with lots of action and twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. I love the characters and the setting. Can't wait to read more!!!! Highly Recommend!

Dipped, Stripped, and Dead by Elise Hyatt

This is the first in a new cozy series. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more. The protagonist refinishes furniture. I liked the characters and thought the author did a good job plotting the mystery. Recommend and can't wait to read more.

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

LOVE this series set at the White House. It's another great culinary cozy series. The protagonist is the head chef at the White House. In this book, there is some competition for her job. There's another a new first family. This one has children. I devour these books and can't wait for the next one. Highly Recommend!

Vi Agra Falls by Mary Daheim

This is another favorite cozy series. Judith and her cousin Rennie are always getting themselves into trouble. This book centers around Judith's husband Joe's first wife Vivian. She's moved into their neighborhood and has turned it upside down. Always enjoy these books. Highly Recommend!

Malice in Miniature by Margaret Grace

This is another favorite cozy series! I am always intrigued by all the miniatures that are created. I wish I had the patience and time. Enjoy reading about it, though. Great characters and always well plotted out! Can't wait to read the next one! Highly Recommend!