Murder, She Reads

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

A good series :)

Of Murder and Men (A Cat Latimer Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

Kat finally gets some answers about what happened to her ex-husband in this one. Great as usual!

 

It’s time for Kat to have another writer’s retreat but she is distracted and so is Shauna. Shauna has been spending more time with Kevin making Kat worried that she might decide not to work at the retreat anymore. Kat has also been going through a lot of Mathews old papers trying to figure out what was going on with the man she use to be married too. Even though she was divorced from him she still carried about him and he was the reason she has the nice big house she used for her retreats.

 

One moment Shauna was happy her and Kevin might get married then the next she was mad because he told her not to wear the ring. Then Kevin turns up dead and Seth remembers seeing Shauna with a box of rat poison, though they don’t really believe she would murder Kevin. Shauna knows she would make a good suspect. It seems though that she might not be the only one who has reasons for wanting him dead. His partner Paul seems to be a bit greedy and is one of the reasons he didn’t want Shauna wearing the ring because Paul didn’t want him giving her anything and knew things would be different if he got married. Kevin also has a couple of exes his first was a high school sweetheart and they have one child but he doesn’t really have a lot to do with him and the other is Paul’s sister Jade who has two kids by him.

 

Not only does Kat have to deal with this but she is also finding out more about her ex-husband and finding he has a few secrets that she didn’t have a clue about and finally finds out who killed her ex.

 

She gets a few warnings about leaving things alone and her Uncle and Seth doesn’t want her sleuthing but she does it anyway and gets in a bit of trouble along the way. 

 

I really like Kat and the gang in these novels and it has a really good mystery. I was leaning in the right direction when it came to who the killer was but I wasn’t exactly sure so it was fun to find out.

 

Can’t wait for a new one!!

It was fun to listen too.

Purrfect Murder - Nic Saint, Joe Hempel

I do believe this is the first cozy mystery that I have read where the cat is the narrator of the story!

 

Max is a cat who lives with Odelia a reporter for the Gazette and he is always listening in on what is going on around town and reporting back to Odelia. Yes, Odelia can talk to her cats, something about having a bit of witch in her family tree. Her grandmother could do the same thing.

 

There’s a new cat in town and he is causing trouble for Max, he is pushing his weight around because his owner is the new detective, Chase  and Brutus thinks that since his owner is a cop he rules. This doesn’t go well with Max but he has other things to figure out like who killed the bestselling author.

 

Odelia doesn’t get along with Chase at first and this suits Max just fine because he is afraid that if they like each other he will be stuck with Brutus. Chase isn’t use to small town life and gets mad when Odelia sticks her noise into his investigation but by the end of the book he gets use to it.

 

I really like Max and his gang, but Brutus seems to be a bit of a bully, so maybe he will charm me later. I like Odelia she is very persistent and won’t let up even if it makes Chase mad. I felt bad for Chase because he was accused of something he didn’t do which is why he had to move there. He seems like a really good guy under that crusty exterior.

 

This was a really fast listen so I am sure it would be a pretty fast read, it was a lot of fun and had a really good mystery.

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: http://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

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!!!

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!

Great ending!

By Rick Riordan: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5) - -Disney Hyperion Books for Children-

Wow, this last book in the series was packed full of action and so good! I mean it starts off fast and doesn't slow till the very end as the Campers take on Kronos.  There are a few disgruntled Campers who refuse to fight at first but everyone has their place and time in the battle.

 

Percy and his friend are doing their best to protect Manhattan where Olympus is because the gods are off fighting other battles which is what Kronos wants. Typhon is causing a huge storm over the midwest and that is where most of the gods are and to normal humans it just looks like a huge and deadly storm not a huge monster. 

 

Percy is worried about making the wrong decisions as everyone thinks he is the hero that will either let Olympus fall or he will save it. He has a lot on his shoulders but the ending was surprising and it was interesting to see what happens to everyone in the end. 

 

As much as I love Percy and Annabelle I think Tyson and Grover will be my favorites from this series! They both just make me laugh especially Tyson! He was so brave!!

 

I don't want to say a lot about what happened cause it would be horrible to spoil this really good book ending! So just know that I really enjoyed this series and if you haven't tried it yet you really should!! I can't wait to try some more of this author's series now that I got this one done. 

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. :)

 

Currently reading

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson