Murder, She Reads

Mystery, Suspense, and Horror blog with a few added genres thrown in.

Bit annoyed at the MC in this one.

Death by Tea (A Bookstore Café Mystery) - Alex Erickson

Death by Tea is the second in the Bookstore Cafe mystery series and not my favorite. I felt the MC did to many stupid things and wanted to smack her.

 

Krissy named her bookstore cafe after one of her dad's books Death by Coffee and in doing so she had gained this mega fan who seems to go on and on about her dad. Krissy is not a fan of her droning about her father because she wants to be her own person (so then maybe you shouldn't name her store after one of his books??) :) Then one day she brings in a life size picture of Krissy's father and wants to  leave it their, but Krissy doesn't want it there. 

 

Then Krissy finds out that she is hosting a book club duel of some sorts and then one of the guys from the club is murdered in Death by Coffee, he was hit with a tea kettle. 

 

 

  • So Krissy sneaks into her own business to steal the life size pic of her dad. Finds out a man was killed there so lies about being there. Gets caught in a lie, still doesn't come clean about taking the life size pic, gets caught with it in her house. 
  • In anger hits the one cop who hates her gets thrown in jail, and still does stupid things.
  • Instead of telling Paul about her suspicions makes a full of herself in front of a bunch of people. 

So she was not my favorite character this go around. I really enjoyed Death by Coffee the first book, and I am hoping she gets a bit smarter in the third book but I just kep rolling my eyes with this one. :(

 

It has a really good mystery and I really didn't figure it out until pretty close to the reveal though I didn't know the why. 

 

Overall, it was okay but not great.

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.

Review of Still Life

Still Life - Louise Penny

First in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, Still Life was a really good mystery and I am so glad I have finally gave this series a try as I have wanted to for a long while. 

 

Chief Inspector Gamache and his team travel to Three Pines where Jane Neal has been killed and it looks to be suspicious as she was killed with an arrow. If it was a hunting accident why didn’t someone come forth, so now CI Gamache has to talk to the locals and try and figure out what might have happened.

 

Everyone just thinks it was a tragic hunting accident but CI Gamache thinks something else happened and works hard to get to he bottom of things. At the beginning of the story we get a sense that Three Pines was usually a pretty idyllic place to live, but not all is good anymore with some of the things that has been going on and not all the residents like each other, so it’s not as fantastic of a place as it use to be, so it allows for something else to happen.

 

I like CI Gamache and I like how he demands respect. When he told the older lady not to slam her cane down at him again, or something like that it made me laugh. He was willing to be suspended because he wouldn’t arrest a man he believed did not do it when he  boss wanted him too. He seems like a cop I would like.

 

There are a lot of red herrings in this book and it was really hard to figure out who done it and I never would have guessed who it was but I knew cause I watched the Acorn TV version of this book before I read it…lol. It’s what made me want to try this series.

 

I really enjoyed this book and I already have book two in my online library and will be getting to it soon!! If you like mysteries then I think you will enjoy this one.

Review of Pressed to Death

Pressed to Death (A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery) - Kirsten Weiss

Pressed to Death is the second in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum mystery series and I really liked it. It took me a little bit to refresh my mind of the characters but soon as it came rolling back I really got into the story.

 

It starts off with Laurel, the local cop who pretty much despises Maddie, asking about her haunted grape press that she had purchased from her collector, Herb. She is told that the owner is saying that it was stolen and that she stole it but she has a receipt that she bought it from the owners wife. Maddie is using the grape press as part of her display at the harvest festival and if she has to give it up then she will have nothing to display.

 

Then while helping her mom get things ready for the festival she finds a man dead in the grape stomping vat, and it happens to be Romeo the man who was accusing her of stealing the grape press. It also messes up her mother and the Ladies Aid's grape stomping event. It seems something has happened with the Ladies aid and they have had a split in the ranks and her mother wants her to help as she knows the new president will ask for her help. Something is brewing with her mother but she doesn't know what nor figures it out till the end.

 

Because her helper at the Museum is Romeo's son she figures she should go back to the Museum to let him go home and grieve but needs someone to watch her booth, so she makes a deal with the Visitor's center that she would help them decorate their room in the haunted house not knowing exactly what she got herself into! :)

 

Asking questions around town gets her into lots of trouble as normal and it also frustrates Laurel, but it seems Maddie is getting a little closer to Detective Slate which I didn't see coming. Although her relationship with Mason did take a very different turn that I didn't see coming, so not sure what I think of this development yet.

 

I did guess the killer but I wasn't sure of the motive till the end, so I enjoyed the mystery. I do love all the characters even Laurel!

 

It's a fun series with a slight paranormal element so if you don't mind that then go grab book one!

A good cozy read

Murder at the Mansion - Janet Finsilver

Renovations are going on over at the Redwood Cove B&B, so Kelly's boss has her putting up guest in a Victorian mansion he has since it's whale watching season. Kelly's in control of keeping track of the antique items but then she discovers a body and things take a different turn. 

Kelly is not real interested in looking for a killer but she hates that they think that Stevie could be blamed since they already think he might have been the one stealing things from the mansion, as well as one other person. So she does a little snooping and that leads her to finding some interesting things along the way. Someone doesn't want her snooping and tries to get rid of her so now the cops are trying to keep her safe as they try and catch the killer. 

Second book in the Kelly Jackson mysteries and I really enjoyed it. Kelly just wants to run her B&B but right now that is not happening so she tries to make the most of it. She doesn't really want to get involved in a murder investigation but at the same time she can't help but be a little curious about things going on. It has a great bunch of secondary characters and one of my favorites is the little boy Tommy, he is adorable. 

Overall, I think this is a fun series and if you are a fan of cozies you should check out this series!!

Review of Death by Coffee

Death by Coffee - Alex Erickson

Not sure why it took me so long to try this series and it was really cute and fun. 

 

Krissy and her friend Vicki thought it would be fun to open up a bookstore cafe and call it Death by Coffee, after one of her father's mystery books. It was cute until a man that just left her coffee shop ends up dead and then the words rang a bit too true. Though he didn't die by the coffee it still made her feel bad and it wasn't helping them get customers. 

 

So Krissy feels that she needs to try and figure things out and gets herself in a bit of trouble that started out with Paul, an officer taking her to the crime scene. Who takes a date to the crime scene! They both get arrested by a smug officer but Paul's mother is the police chief, so they didn't get in trouble. It does peak her interest in trying to solve the crime though and that gets her in a lot more trouble.

 

I like Krissy though she is sort of living in her father's shadow she is also trying to make something of herself with her bookstore cafe. There is a major fan of her fathers that comes into the cafe and it's pretty funny. Vicki is a bit of a worry wart but I can't blame her as they were not getting much traffic into their cafe at first. We don't really get to know her much in this first one but as a secondary character I am sure we will in the future.  I must say I didn't figure out the killer in this one so I really liked the mystery and thought it was done well. 

 

Overall I thought this was a good start to a cozy series and I am always a fan of bookstore and coffee themes so this is a great combination. :) If you love cozies you should try this one!

Good crafty book. :)

By Hook or by Crook - Betty Hechtman

It’s been awhile since I dipped into the Crochet Mysteries but it didn’t take long to remember Molly Pink and her gang of crafty crocheters.

 

While at a get together the crochet bunch was having a great time and never seen who dropped off a package in a paper bag until everyone was gone. Inside it contained a letter of remorse and a crocheted piece that contains clues. Clues that everyone thinks Molly can figure out because she is a pretty good sleuth.

 

They find out who it belongs to and when Molly goes to drop it off she finds the lady dead. She doesn’t want to be involved with another dead body nor does she want to deal with the female detective who can’t stand her because she is dating Barry another detective.

 

Molly and the gang go on some adventures trying to figure out what happened and what some of the pictures might mean on the crocheted piece. Molly of course gets herself in a heap of trouble and this time Barry is not around much to be of any help.

 

The pieces start falling into place when she realizes something about one of the crochet members and how it might have bearing on the mystery, but it also gets her in a spot of trouble.

 

I haven’t always been a huge fan of Molly Pink but I think she is kind of growing on me cause I really enjoyed this one and her misadventures.

There is a bit of trouble in romantic paradise and I am not sure how I feel about that, but guess I will have to see how things go.

 

I enjoyed the mystery and didn’t have a clue who the killer was but I like that. Great series for anyone who loves cozies and crafty themes.

Not what I thought it was going to be.

City of Lies (A Counterfeit Lady Novel) - Victoria Thompson

I am a huge fan of the Gaslight mysteries but I feel a bit like City of Lies lied to me as it's not a mystery at all but a historical romance.

 

Elizabeth Miles is  a grifter who was working a con with her brother when it goes horrible wrong. They conned the wrong man as Oscar Thornton is not a nice person, he is very ruthless. He has already caught her brother and his two goons are beating up on him and since there is no hope of her helping him she runs but Thornton sees her and sends his goons after her instead and she sees her only hope of escape in a group of women who are protesting for women's right to vote.

 

While in jail she meets a young woman named Anna and a older woman named Mrs. Bates who take to her rather quickly. Anna thinks Elizabeth is so bold and different and you can quickly see she wants to be like her and likes her more than Elizabeth realizes. Mrs. Bates son is a lawyer and when he finds out from David (Anna's brother) that things are not going well for the ladies he works with the ladies lawyer to try and figure things out.

 

The women were suppose to be sent to the jail in town but they didn't have room for them and they are sent to a workhouse where things are very nasty and it's very trying for them. Probably about half of the book has to do with Gabriel and the other lawyer trying to figure out where the ladies are and the ladies going on a hunger strike and making the government look bad if they don't get the ladies eating, so lots of women's movement stuff.

After they get out though Elizabeth finds out that she is not safe and has to come up with an elaborate plan to bring down Thorton that has to do with those she just met, mainly David. Gabriel is fascinated with Elizabeth and can't see why she wants to hang around with David and this is where the romance part falls in.

 

I liked Elizabeth and Mrs. Bates but I was not a fan of Anna. Elizabeth is a strong character and though she is a lot like her father there is a part of her that would like to be a real lady. I really liked Gabriel as he might not have been a huge fan of the movement but he never stood in the way of his mother or even made Elizabeth feel bad about anything. David is kind of wimpy but I think he was suppose to be. :)

 

It was all rather interested though I could do without some things as that is my preference in reading but I can't say that I was wowed by it and a bit disappointed as my expectation was higher and I wanted a mystery.

A decent read

Scary House - Sean Thomas Fisher

This was a pretty decent haunted house story and I grabbed this one up for free when it was on sale. It's now 2.99 so I got a good deal!

 

Three boys are looking for a haunted house, well at least Gavin is, the other two are not real thrilled about it. Gavin just got a new polaroid camera from his mom and he is wanting to find a ghost. 

 

None of the houses they have check out have been haunted but there was something about this house that felt different. Gavin talks Scotty and Pitcher into going inside and he soon wishes he never did as this one is really haunted and there is something evil inside that wants out. 

 

Everything in it was left just like it was in 1964 when it was said that a husband killed his wife and kid and then after their funeral hung himself. Pincher picks up the penny on the steps as they go in. They start looking in a photo album and see a picture of their bikes out by the tree and get really freaked out.  Then a realtor comes and he picks up a penny on the steps and the boys wonder how he could pick up the same penny. That penny is an interesting thing about this house.

 

It's the penny that starts their journey into trying to figure out the haunted house because of what it does and I can't say any more.

 

Scary house was a pretty scary house though I did feel like the author was taking a bit from King's It, but it was still good. I have never been a fan of books that go back and forth from present day to past and at one point I was really confused. It starts out with Gavin as an adult and the spirit is back and he calls those involved in what happened years ago, then it goes back to win it all happened.

 

I felt the ending was a little rushed and then it just ended and I was kind of like, that is it, it's done. Overall though I enjoyed reading it.

 

Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072NZ7F53/ref=x_gr_w_glide_ku?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=www.goodreads.com/book/show/35051155-scary-house&tag=x_gr_w_glide_ku-20

Halloween Bingo card update #6

I didn't think it would happen but I actually got 3 bingos and it happened almost all at once! I even read more books that I thought I would for this challenge. I probably won't get anymore for this challenge done so I am happy I got 17 read. :)

 

Review of Redneck

Redneck Volume 1: Deep in the Heart - Donny Cates

I have never read a book about redneck vampires so I thought this graphic novel was kind of fun.

 

It also shows that holding a grudge against a family only brings bad things.

 

The Bowmans love their family and their guns and they have a BBQ joint. They raise cows and drain the blood to drink and use the meat to make mighty fine BBQ.

 

The older siblings are getting tired of being hidden away, and decide to go to town but something horrible happens and brings their world crashing down.

 

Overall, it was an okay story but I felt like it was kind of a broad overview of the family and thought it might have more of the BBQ joint and that good ole boy feel but it didn't. Though I am curious as to what will happen with the family.

 

The illustrations were pretty good too.

 

Read for:

Review of High Moon

High Moon Vol. 1 - David Gallaher, Steve Ellis

This was a strange one and it also had me a bit confused at times but then I think it was suppose to as there was kind of a reveal close to the end but then it kept going and also there was a lot of men called Macgregor and that was confusing me...lol. I actually had to go back to the beginning and check some things out.

 

A town seems to be infested with some creatures and a mysterious man comes there looking for someone and lots of things happen and I can't say cause..um spoiler. :)

 

Overall, it was not a bad graphic novel but at the same time I felt I entered into the middle of something though it says vol. 1. Had some really cool graphic though! :) 

 

Using this one for:

Kind of disappointed. :(

Skitter - Ezekiel Boone

I enjoyed The Hatching but this one just really felt like a filler novel to get us to the last one where I am hoping some sort of action occurs because this was just freaking boring. We get glimpses at those people from the last book that are still alive and kicking plus some I didn't remember. 

 

The government is screwing over the people pretty much by pulling out their people and not letting the population know there is still something to be scared about. Then the President decides to pull some sort of thing and bans travel but I guess it's better than nuking them like China did. 

 

There is not even any spiders until about 65% in and then that wasn't even anything. Though the author does know how to leave us with a cliffy and the threat of those very spiders right at the end. So even though I didn't like this one much I will probably get Zero Day just to see what happens! 

 

Read this for Monsters cause you know flesh eating spiders (though they were only at the end and they did something horribly worst this time than just eating you!) 

 

What did I just read...lol.

Alone - Cyn Balog

This one comes out next month and well it was different.  I almost feel like I can't say a lot without giving to much away.

 

It's about a young girl and her family living in this isolated place, there is lots of snow. One day a group of teens get stranded and they invite them in and then things start getting strange. It takes almost to 60% for it to get real interesting but once that happens it's one wild ride and then the ending, it's like you have to read ending more than once to make sure you read it right and then you remember some things you read and it kind of clicks but at the same time you are like what did I just read...lol

 

It's being called the YA version of The Shining and it does have elements but at the same time not really must like it though some of the teens themselves mention the Shining and the overlook hotel.

 

Using this one for:

Not scary but not bad.

Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin

Rosemary's Baby is not very scary but it was pretty strange and I enjoyed it.

Rosemary and her husband were really wanting to get into the Bramford apartment complex and right when they had signed a lease on another apartment it becomes available and Rosemary begs her husband Guy to get them out of the lease and into the Bramford. Wrong move on her part! :)

 

Not real long after they had been living there they meet an old couple who really seems to take over their lives but Rosemary doesn't see it until it's to late. Rosemary doesn't see a lot of things till it's too late. I know I keep saying wake up woman!

 

It wasn't to long after they met the old couple that Guy gets his big break in acting and it seems he is on fire with his career and then Rosemary gets pregnant and that is when the old couple really become a bit obsessed with her and the care of her baby, they even get her to go to a doctor they recommend, give her  vitamin drinks, etc.

 

Like a lot of older horror it was more atmospheric than scary. The reader can see what his happening and is worried for Rosemary though she is a bit slow to realize what is happening. There was a few times I really wanted to scream at Rosemary for not catching onto things that were happening around her.

 

The ending is a little strange and well I don't know. I am not even sure what I was expecting. I do think I am glad that I read this one before seeing the movie and now I would like to watch the movie. (Seeing the movie ruined my enjoyment of The Exorcist novel).

 

I am reading this book called Paperbacks from Hell and it's the history of the horror industry from the 70's and 80's and the author says there was three books that really was a turning point for horror and those are The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and The Other. So I have one more to go and I will have all three read. :) Let me tell you this book is wreaking havoc on my TBR...lol.

 

Even though it's classed as horror I think I would put it as more suspense than horror, especially towards the end. I would recommend it to those who might like a little spooky suspense as it would be great for those who don't like to get to scared. I know a few of you out there...lol.

 

Read for:

Now I want an Eclair! :)

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery - Daryl Wood Gerber

   

Mimi Rousseau was lucky to have a man who believed in her abilities and became her benefactor and helped her launch her bistro and a inn that went with it. She really thinks of him as sort of a father figure and cares about him a lot.

 

The bistro is hosting its biggest affair as a TV personality and her husband is going to get married there and her guest are staying there as well. They were having an out-of-towner dinner for a few of Angelica’s and Lyle’s guest and Mimi wants it to all go well because Angelica is Bryan’s niece.

 

Things were going pretty good and then Angelica’s father shows up and causes a scene and then Mimi witnesses some interesting conversations between Bryan and some of the guest and by early morning Bryan is found dead. Mimi looks to be the most likely suspect because they find her phone summoning him though she swears she didn’t do it and often left her phone in the kitchen. It also doesn’t help that he left papers that in the event of his death Mimi’s debt was forgiven so she will not owe anything on the bistro.

 

The detective that is in charge went to school with Mimi and her friend Jo and doesn’t really think she did it but he can’t just dismiss things. Mimi must try and figure out what happened and since those with motives are still around and can’t go home she does a bit of snooping.

 

This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed it. I liked Mimi and thought she was really good at getting people to talk. I loved her friend Jo, especially when it came to how she handled Tyson. The poor guy has such a crush on her but she doesn’t seem to notice so when she jumps on him about proving her friend didn’t kill Bryan he always gets all flustered.

 

Since I knew who was getting killed from the blurb I went into this gathering up my suspects and by the end had it narrowed to two and one of them was the culprit. I just wasn’t sure which one until the reveal so I thought it was a good mystery.

 

If you are a fan of cozies then I think you will enjoy this one and it has a lot of yummy looking recipes in the back! Great for all who love foodie themes!

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