JaneReads

Avid reader, of mostly mysteries, especially cozies, and romantic suspense.

Occasional blogger and reviewer.

More at janereads2.blogspot.com

That's Not My Suitcase

That's Not My Suitcase - Laina Turner That's Not My Suitcase by Laina Turner is a fun, quick read. I couldn't put it down, and finished That's Not My Suitcase in one day!

As That's Not My Suitcase begins, the novel is all Chick Lit. Sterling's divorce has just become final. Sterling's best friend convinces her to take some time for herself, because Sterling deserves it and needs it. So off she goes, for a week at a resort in Bimini. Unfortunately, Sterling's two suitcases go to Washington Dulles Airport.

Sterling has no make-up and no toiletries. She had to buy shorts and a T-shirt — over-priced, tacky, and ill-fitting — at the resort gift shop. She can't just hide out in her room, though, because she's starving. Sterling wears her new clothes to the resort restaurant, and meets a man, one who's available, no less. Talk about bad timing; he's tall, dark, and handsome, and she's "looking like a train wreck." But wonder of wonders, he wants to see her again!

Sterling's suitcases finally make it to Bimini. As you may have guessed from the title, when Sterling opens one of the suitcases, she realizes That's Not My Suitcase.

At this point, That's Not My Suitcase goes into Cozy Mystery Mode. Sterling thinks she's being followed when she goes into town. Her room is ransacked. There are several possible suspects to choose from, and red herrings to eliminate. There is danger and suspense, with a thrilling climax.

There are new friendships for Sterling, and a possibility of romance — back to Chick Lit. I wasn't ready for the book to end. I wanted to read more about Sterling and ???? !

I recommend That's Not My Suitcase by Laina Turner to all Cozy Mystery fans, as well as fans of Chick Lit. It would make a fantastic Beach Read! If you're new to Cozies, this would be a great introduction to the genre.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of That's Not My Suitcase in exchange for my honest review.

Originally published on my blog at http://alturl.com/q66t4

The Case of the Killer Divorce (A Jamie Quinn Mystery)

The Case of the Killer Divorce (A Jamie Quinn Mystery) - Barbara Venkataraman Wonderful ending!

A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery

A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery - Ellie Alexander I just read a really good book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.

A Batter of Life and Death, a cozy culinary mystery, is the second book in the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander. [FYI — Book 3, On Thin Icing, will be released on December 29, 2015, and is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.] I reviewed the first book in the series, Meet Your Baker, here.

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander is a really good, really fun read! I couldn't put it down, and finished A Batter of Life and Death in one day!

Jules, her mother Helen, and the other employees — Andy, Sterling, and Stephanie — are all returning in this novel, for more baking and pastry adventures in Torte. Ashland townsfolk also returning from Meet Your Baker include Lance, Thomas, Police Chief Doug (aka The Professor), and Richard Lord.

In addition to the mystery of who killed Chef Marco, Jules is trying to figure out two other things.

1- How can Torte get the extra money needed to repair one of their two industrial ovens? (It's been broken since July.)
2- And what to do about Carlos, her currently estranged husband? (Read more about him in Meet Your Baker.)

RE: Chef Marco's murder — I was surprised by whodunit. I hadn't suspected him/her until Jules realized that he/she was the perp. Did you figure it out before we did?

Oh, and after solving the case, Jules utters these words: "My crime-solving days are behind me, Mom. Now it's going to be back to baking." Tune in to On Thin Icing to see if she keeps this promise. [I'm hoping she doesn't, or else that Icing won't have much flavor!]

Jules' other problems are left unresolved [and to be continued in the next book(s) in the series, I'm sure!]:
1- Torte's brand-new catering business is successful — Lance is their first customer, and he loved everything Torte did for his end-of-theatre-season party — but it will still take a while to get the funds to upgrade the oven.
2- Jules and Carlos had agreed to separate until the next year. It's only October, so she has over two months to wait. And while she's waiting, she's thinking about Thomas, her high-school flame....
The only thing I could compare the two men to was pastry. Thomas was like a soft oatmeal cookie, served warm from the oven with a chewy center. Carlos was like cherries jubilee, flaming hot on the outside. Once the flame burned out, what was left?


Since A Batter of Life and Death is a Culinary Mystery, it contains seven recipes from Torte and the Take the Cake contestants. The recipes include Torte Chili, Amaretto Dream Cookies, and Pumpkin Cream Latte. (Hungry yet?)

I really enjoyed A Batter of Life and Death and highly recommend it to all Cozy Mystery fans, especially to fans of the Culinary sub-genre. If you're new to Cozies, this would be a great introduction to the genre.


Note: I received a complimentary copy of A Batter of Life and Death in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Originally published on my blog Jane Reads here.

The Case of the Dotty Dowager: A cosy mystery set in Wales

The Case of the Dotty Dowager: A cosy mystery set in Wales - Cathy Ace I just read an amazing book recently, y'all — The Case of the Dotty Dowager: A cosy mystery set in Wales by Cathy Ace. Let me tell you a little about it.

The Case of the Dotty Dowager is the first book in a new series, the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. WISE is an acronym for the nationalities of the four Enquiry Agents — Welsh, Irish, Scots, and English. By the way, for those of y'all unfamiliar with the term, my Kindle's trusty Oxford Dictionary of English informs me that Enquiry Agent is a British term for private detective. [This Kindle dictionary has come in handy when I read books set in the UK and Australia, so I can translate English to US English!]

From the very first page of The Case of the Dotty Dowager, I was immediately caught up in the mystery and couldn't stop turning the pages. The story is told in third person from multiple points of view, which I enjoyed and found to be an interesting technique for keeping my attention.

I really like the four women of WISE. They are different ages (20s, 30s, 50s, 60s), nationalities and ethnicities, are from different backgrounds, and have different work experiences prior to forming WISE. They work very well together despite, or perhaps because of, these differences.

I also really like the allegedly-dotty dowager, Lady Althea. She is a Monty Python fan, with a great sense of humor. (Her son Henry, and her Lady's Maid Aide, not so much.)
'She hasn't always been a maid, have you, Jennifer?' said Althea quietly.
'You mean aide, Your Grace,' replied Jennifer.
'Do I?' responded the dowager.

Henry had never understood his mother's love for, and fascination with, the entire canon of those Monty Python chaps. He didn't think they were even slightly amusing. Whenever he dared to mention this fact, his mother would tell him he'd been given a sense of humor bypass immediately after she'd given birth to him....
I like Henry anyway, despite his lack of appreciation for all things Monty.

I think you'll like Henry also, and his mother Althea, and the WISE women — Carol, Christine, Mavis, and Annie — and all the other characters (except the despicable evil-doers, of course) created by Author Cathy Ace in her wonderful new cozy mystery The Case of the Dotty Dowager: A cosy mystery set in Wales. The second book in the series, The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer: A cosy mystery set in Wales, is available for pre-order from Amazon US and will be released on February 1, 2016.


Note: I received a complimentary copy of The Case of the Dotty Dowager in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Originally published on my blog Jane Reads here.

The Violet Crow (A Bruno X Psychic Detective Mystery, #1)

The Violet Crow (A Bruno X Psychic Detective Mystery, #1) - Michael Sheldon You're in for a really good, fun mystery! Bruno is a genuine psychic, whose visions are instrumental in solving the mysteries of The Violet Crow. The unknown girl's murder is just the beginning. The Violet Crow was a compelling page-turner, because I was so eager to find out what happened next and, of course, whodunit. I had my suspicions, but wasn't positive until the end.

And as for the why-dunit, I was totally blown away. I would have never guessed it in a million years! How about you?

I am looking forward to reading about Bruno's further exploits. There will be at least two more novels in the Bruno X Psychic Detective Mystery series: The Louse and The Philly Dog.

I recommend this one, y'all. If you like detective mysteries, I think you'll really like The Violet Crow.


Note: I received a complimentary copy of The Violet Crow in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Originally published on my blog Jane Reads here.

A Season for Killing Blondes

A Season for Killing Blondes - Joanne Guidoccio
I read a really good book, y'all — A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio. Let me tell you a little about it.
 
A Season for Killing Blondes is a cozy mystery starring Gilda Greco, a former school teacher, who is changing careers four months after winning a $19 million lottery jackpot. As the book opens, Gilda is about to have an Open House to kick off her new career counseling office in Sudbury, Ontario, to help other Baby Boomers re-evaluate or change careers. Her mother, Aunt Amelia, Uncle Paolo, and cousin Sofia are all quite involved in the planning stage of the Open House; in fact, at times they're taking over! 

Reading about how involved Gilda's rather pushy Italian family is in her new office was one of my favorite things about A Season for Killing Blondes. Here is one example:
But my mother and Aunt Amelia were adamant. The open house for my new career counseling office needed a proper launch, one that could only be achieved with pastries from a Sicilian bakery.
Oh, speaking of bakery.... This is a culinary cozy, so there are eight dessert recipes included, for Pineapple Cheesecake, Blueberry Cheesecake, Blueberry Muffins, Banana Muffins, Sponge Cake, Zucchini Cake, Ice Cream Roll, and Tiramisù. I haven't tried any yet, but they all sound scrumptious!

Here's another favorite quote about Gilda's family (and those pastries again):
Even with a dead body in a Dumpster, thousands of euros of pastries wasting away, and policemen swarming about, my mother and aunt could still indulge in their favorite hobby — trying to find me another husband.
I liked A Season for Killing Blondes, and I think you will also. You'll learn the answers to these burning questions: 
• When Gilda was advised to get legal representation, after being framed for murder, why did she decide to conduct her own investigation?
• What other amateur sleuth helps her with the investigation?
• After Gilda won the lottery, who are the others whose lives were changed, plus how and why?
• What does Carlo have in mind for himself and Gilda, after all of this is over?  Hmm??
• And what's with all the double names????
I am looking forward to reading more of Author Joanne Guidoccio's books in the series — #2, Too Many Women in the Room, and #3, A Different Kind of Reunion. I really enjoyed A Season for Killing Blondes, and hereby award it Four Kitties! 
 
 
Note:  I received a complimentary copy of A Season for Killing Blondes in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
 

Gone and Done It by Maggie Toussaint

Gone and Done It - Maggie Toussaint
I just read a really good book, y'all — Gone and Done It, Book 1 in the Dreamwalker series. Let me tell you why I like it.
 
I was immediately engrossed in the action of Gone and Done It, told by Baxley Powell. In the first chapter, I enjoyed Baxley's interaction with two good old boys (she also thinks of them as "bozos"), as she speaks with them "using small words" to make sure they understand her. She's quite relieved when they leave, so that she can finish planting the cherry tree in peace — until she finds the skull, at the bottom  
of the hole — which is how the chapter ends.
["And then what happened?", you may be asking yourself.   READ THE BOOK!
 
Because Baxley reveals details gradually, I felt compelled to keep reading so I could find out what different references meant. For example, here is the third paragraph of the book:
God, I was so tired of pretending everything was fine. Between bureaucratic red tape, enhanced sensory perceptions, and the odd jobs I worked, I felt decades older than my twenty-eight years.  
What bureaucratic red tape is she entangled in? How are her sensory perceptions enhanced, and how does she experience them? How odd are her jobs? 
(And just what is a Dreamwalker, anyway?)
 
To find out the answers to these questions, and others that arise because of the enjoyable plot twists and turns along the way, READ THE BOOK.  
 

Gone and Done It by Maggie Toussaint has

  • Original premise
  • Kick-ass heroine ‒ relatable, genuine, with a little snark thrown in
  • Fast-paced and fun style
  • Good worldbuilding ‒ a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business
  • Great climax
  • Great ending, that hints of a mystery to be resolved in future book(s) 
 
I really enjoyed Gone and Done It, and am looking forward to reading the sequel, Bubba Done It.
 
Four kitties out of five.
 
Stay tuned for my Blog Tour Review of Bubba Done It on May 27, 2015 — 
same cat time, same cat channel.
 
 
 
[This post was originally published here on my blog.]
 

Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson

book cover

 

I read a really good book recently, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it. 

Moving Violation, a cozy mystery by Melanie Jackson, is the first of 22 books in her Chloe Boston Mystery series. Chloe has wanted to be a police officer since childhood, partially because her father was the police chief — but mostly due to her crush on Adam-12 star Kent McCord. (I shared that crush, incidentally. I just wasn't inspired to go into law enforcement.) 

 

More recently, Chloe has specifically wanted to be a detective, but her inability to lift 100 pounds means that she will have to settle for being a traffic and parking enforcement officer (aka meter maid). As you will see, when you READ THE BOOK, she is a better detective than the department's actual detectives!


A few of the main characters are Chloe, of course; the new police chief, Randy Wallace; Alex Lincoln, new in town, with Paul Newman eyes; and Chloe's co-worker in parking enforcement, Jef­frey Lit­tle. These people are all well-written, so that I feel I really know them, and like them. The secondary characters are believable, and likable for the most part (except for a few that are Chloe's nemeses). 

 

The scenes when Chloe meets Chief Wallace, and when she encounters Alex, are some of my favorites — really hilarious! You will enjoy them, when you (say it with me) READ THE BOOK!

 

Author Melanie Jackson wrote some very humorous passages for her characters, especially Chloe, since she is the narrator of the book. Here are some of my favorites:

 

● I eventually found what I was looking for. It was a shriek alarm, which was the most dangerous weapon the force could legally assign to me. And I had to attend half a Saturday class to get it.    

 

● [To overcome shyness, I have] ... begun to loosen up and meet peo­ple. I have so­cial in­ter­ac­tions, whether I like them or not.

 

For in­stance, one day about a year ago, I began hug­ging peo­ple at the local farm­ers’ mar­ket. I know, this sounds crazy, but it’s re­ally quite nice. While oth­ers sell farm-fresh pro­duce and apple cider all around me, I stand with my church brethren An­drew and Mar­cie and give away hugs for free. The process in­volves stand­ing, awk­wardly, while hold­ing a sign that says “Free Hugs” ….

 

● The hair­style was new. Clearly she had walked into Cuts, Col­ors & Curls, held up the head of the Medusa and said, “Gimme one of these or some­one gets hurt!” Noth­ing else could ex­plain why Clara Bren­nan had done some­thing so mean to a client.

 

● Mar­cie was right. He had a nice smile and a set of blue eyes that didn’t be­long run­ning loose in a small town where the fe­male quarry was largely un­so­phis­ti­cated and apt to be struck with moral blind­ness when con­fronted with any­thing that daz­zling. It would be a pub­lic ser­vice for me to take him in.

 

Well, I hope I've convinced you. Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson is a great read! There are several mysteries to be solved, which Chloe does quite well. (The chief's reaction to her solving the crimes is great!) I look forward to getting to know the main characters better, in the books to come. This is the first Chloe Boston book that I've read, and I'm eager to read the other 21 in the series!

 

I really enjoyed reading Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson, and award it Four Kitties out of five! I recommend it to all Cozy Mystery fans. 

 

Note:  I received a complimentary copy of Moving Violation in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

 

 

Originally published on my blog Jane Reads.

Stiff Penalty

Stiff Penalty (A Mattie Winston Mystery Book 6) - Annelise Ryan

I just finished reading an amazing book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.

Stiff Penalty, a cozy mystery by Annelise Ryan, is the sixth book in her Mattie Winston series. In case you are new to this great series, here is the series synopsis from Mattie's website:

Mattie Winston, RN, is a wryly cynical, politically incorrect, inherently nosy O.R. nurse who lives in the small Wisconsin town of Sorenson, a place where gossip is a valued commodity, brats are something you eat, and machismo is measured by the throw capacity of your snowblower. When Mattie catches her surgeon husband in an empty operating room late one night with a coworker who is “vying for the title of head nurse,” Mattie quits her hospital job and her marriage, and goes to work for her gay best friend: medical examiner, Izzy Rybarceski.

Embarrassed and angered by her husband’s philandering antics, Mattie works hard to restore some semblance of normalcy to her life, but death — and a host of quirky characters — keep getting in the way. And then there’s Detective Hunky… er… Hurley, the tall, dark haired, blue-eyed hunk of man meat who makes her hormones flare like a sunspot whenever he’s around.

Mattie’s very first case involves the murder of her husband’s paramour, and soon both she and her husband end up high on the suspect list. Can she redeem herself, clear her name, and find the real killer in time to keep herself from ending up on the autopsy table? You betcha!

 

If you are new to the series, I recommend that you start at the beginning with Working Stiff, rather than with Stiff PenaltyStiff Penalty can be read as a stand-alone, but Ms Ryan had to include enough back-story details from previous books, so that the plot makes sense. These details will be spoilers, when the earlier books are then read. (Oh, and by the way, even though Mattie is working for the Medical Examiner, there's nothing really gory described in the books, so they're safe for the squeamish.)

I love this book! I wanted to give it Six Kitties, but my scale only goes up to five. I need a new scale!

I love this book! But it's hard to put the reasons into words without including spoilers. Well, here goes.... Mattie is one of my favorite fictional characters. I would love to have her as a friend. I like her snarky sense of humor and her witty come-backs. Hurley is great, also. [If only these books were illustrated! Sigh...] From the beginning, these two have had great chemistry together.

 

Here is a quote illustrating Mattie's sense of humor:

...I haven't colored my hair in five months. I've got roots longer than Alex Haley's.

 

And here, Hurley's and Mattie's:

"I can deal with your hormones, Winston. Hormones are nothing. I handle killers for a living, remember?"

That made me smile, although I'm not sure he fully understood the potential damage out-of-control female hormones can do.

 

The secondary characters are well-written, too. There are some notable changes in several of the secondary characters, from previous books to Stiff Penalty. I was glad to see that two characters, whose personalities were somewhat unpleasant in earlier books, have made noticeable and welcome changes for the better in Stiff Penalty. I was not pleased (but not really surprised) to see that another character has had a personality change for the worse, and is now acting like a snot. [Who? Read the books!]

Stiff Penalty is a fun read, a quick read because I was eager to find out what would happen next for Mattie and Hurley. Most of the book is a series of flashbacks, told by Mattie to her doctor, as they discuss these earlier events. There is a wonderful climactic ending! I love this book!

One of my (many!) favorite scenes is early in the book, when Mattie and Izzy are conversing. Mattie is telling Izzy who she thinks is driving the car that's been following her, and Izzy thinks she is answering a totally different question. It's literally LOL funny, so -WARNING- don't be out in public when you get to that part!

I almost forgot about the mystery of Derrick Ames's murder. Mattie has a lot of investigating to do for this case, and she and I were surprised by whodunit.

And FYI, y'all, the next book, Stiff Competition, Book 7, is coming soon! I can't wait!!

Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan is a wonderful read that has earned Five Stars! I love this book, and recommend Stiff Penalty and the Mattie Winston Mysteries to all Cozy Mystery fans.


Note: I received a complimentary copy of Stiff Penalty in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


Originally published on my blog at Jane Reads.

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities (A Happy Hoofers Mystery) - Mary McHugh

I just finished reading a really good book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities, a cozy mystery by Mary McHugh, is the second book in her Happy Hoofers series. The series is about five friends who form a tap-dancing group — at first, just as a fun way to exercise. Their group, the Happy Hoofers, has become so good that they have been hired to entertain travelers on a cruise through Russia (Book 1, Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses) and now on a train tour of Spain. What a great way to see the sights! (Well, except for the murders that they seem to attract on their trips. Is Jessica Fletcher one of the Happy Hoofers?)

The Happy Hoofers consist of Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini. Each book is narrated by a different woman. Gini narrates Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities, and gives photo tips, since she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.

Oh, and by the way — the Happy Hoofers are all in their 50s. They seem to be taking George Burns' advice to heart: “You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.” The women are quite likable, and are described very realistically.

Mary Louise loves to cook, and she's the one responsible for the recipes in the Happy Hoofer books. The meals included in the group's tour packages are always fabulous (well, almost always — see Book 1 for the exception!) and Mary Louise asks the chefs for recipes, so she can prepare the same dishes at home. Thanks, Mary Louise! I haven't tried any yet, but they are all very tempting.

I liked reading about the camaraderie of the five friends, and their sightseeing in Spain, just as much as trying to figure out whodunit. I had my suspicions about a certain character, who did turn out to be the murderer. This in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the book. In fact, the identity of the murderer becomes known to our heroines — they just can't prove it at first. This was an unusual plot twist, one which I enjoyed.

The final chapter consists of a summation of the Hoofers' activities after their train trip, concluding with

 ...when she [Tina] got an offer for us to dance on the Bateau Mouche, she couldn't resist. Vive la France!               
I changed my mind about ....

Want to come along?

 

I like this teaser for the next book, so that I know what to look forward to!

And speaking of the next book, Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets will be published in August 2015, and is available now for pre-order at Amazon!

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities is a lot of fun, a great read that has earned Four Stars! I really enjoyed it, and recommend Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities to Cozy Mystery fans — armchair travelers, especially, will enjoy touring northern Spain on a luxury train with the Happy Hoofers.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities from the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.


Originally published on my blog at Jane Reads.

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities - Mary McHugh I just finished reading a really good book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities, a cozy mystery by Mary McHugh, is the second book in her Happy Hoofers series. The series is about five friends who form a tap-dancing group — at first, just as a fun way to exercise. Their group, the Happy Hoofers, has become so good that they have been hired to entertain travelers on a cruise through Russia (Book 1, [b:Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses|20702347|Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses|Mary McHugh|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1397436898s/20702347.jpg|40022195]) and now on a train tour of Spain. What a great way to see the sights! (Well, except for the murders that they seem to attract on their trips. Is Jessica Fletcher one of the Happy Hoofers?)

The Happy Hoofers consist of Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini. Each book is narrated by a different woman. Gini narrates Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities, and gives photo tips, since she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.

Oh, and by the way — the Happy Hoofers are all in their 50s. They seem to be taking George Burns' advice to heart: “You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.” The women are quite likable, and are described very realistically.

Mary Louise loves to cook, and she's the one responsible for the recipes in the Happy Hoofer books. The meals included in the group's tour packages are always fabulous (well, almost always — see Book 1 for the exception!) and Mary Louise asks the chefs for recipes, so she can prepare the same dishes at home. Thanks, Mary Louise! I haven't tried any yet, but they are all very tempting.

I liked reading about the camaraderie of the five friends, and their sightseeing in Spain, just as much as trying to figure out whodunit. I had my suspicions about a certain character, who did turn out to be the murderer. This in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the book. In fact, the identity of the murderer becomes known to our heroines — they just can't prove it at first. This was an unusual plot twist, one which I enjoyed.

The final chapter consists of a summation of the Hoofers' activities after their train trip, concluding with
...when she [Tina] got an offer for us to dance on the Bateau Mouche, she couldn't resist. Vive la France!
I changed my mind about ....
Want to come along?
I like this teaser for the next book, so that I know what to look forward to!

And speaking of the next book, [b:Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets|22891459|Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets|Mary McHugh|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1422215589s/22891459.jpg|42461537] will be published in August 2015, and is available now for pre-order at Amazon!

Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities is a lot of fun, a great read that has earned Four Stars! I really enjoyed it, and recommend Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities to Cozy Mystery fans — armchair travelers, especially, will enjoy touring northern Spain on a luxury train with the Happy Hoofers.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities from the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.


Originally published on my blog at Jane Reads.

Southwest of Love and Murder

Southwest of Love and Murder - Brenda Whiteside

Southwest of Love and Murder, by Brenda Whiteside, is a romantic suspense novel about Phoebe, a suspense novelist who, in the guise of doing some research on ranching for her next book, is looking for romance by 

Getting away from the city, spending time on a ranch with a handsome — no, a damned sexy cowboy....

Phoebe's romantic research with her cowboy Mason is going well (except he prefers the term rancher), until she realizes that she has been followed by a stalker from the city to the country. The book's point of view alternates between Phoebe, Mason, and her stalker (whose identity is not revealed to the reader, until Phoebe becomes aware that she is being stalked). At this point, the book transitions from a romance with mystery and just a touch of suspense, to a suspenseful mystery with a side of romance.

No matter whether the romance or the suspense is predominating at the moment, the result is a very good read. I recommend this one, y'all — if you like romance, and suspense, I think you'll really like Southwest of Love and Murder.

Southwest of Love and Murder received Four Kitties from Jane Reads Blog. I really enjoyed it!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Southwest of Love and Murder from the author and Goddess Fish Book Tours, in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.


This review was originally published on Jane Reads.  

Southwest of Love and Murder (The Love and Murder Series Book 2)

Southwest of Love and Murder (The Love and Murder Series Book 2) - Brenda Whiteside I just read a really good book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.

Southwest of Love and Murder, by Brenda Whiteside, is a romantic suspense novel about Phoebe, a suspense novelist who, in the guise of doing some research on ranching for her next book, is looking for romance by
Getting away from the city, spending time on a ranch with a handsome — no, a damned sexy cowboy....
Phoebe's romantic research with her cowboy Mason is going well (except he prefers the term rancher), until she realizes that she has been followed by a stalker from the city to the country. The book's point of view alternates between Phoebe, Mason, and her stalker (whose identity is not revealed to the reader, until Phoebe becomes aware that she is being stalked). At this point, the book transitions from a romance with mystery and just a touch of suspense, to a suspenseful mystery with a side of romance.

No matter whether the romance or the suspense is predominating at the moment, the result is a very good read. I recommend this one, y'all — if you like romance, and suspense, I think you'll really like Southwest of Love and Murder.

Southwest of Love and Murder received Four Kitties from Jane Reads Blog. I really enjoyed it!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Southwest of Love and Murder from the author and Goddess Fish Book Tours, in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.


This review was originally published on Jane Reads.

INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Mystery, #6) (The Sydney Rye Series)

INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Mystery, #6) (The Sydney Rye Series) - Emily Kimelman I read a really good book recently, y'all. I can’t begin to tell how much I enjoyed this book! Let me tell you a little about it. Inviting Fire, the sixth book in the Sydney Rye series by Emily Kimelman, takes up right where The Devil's Breath ends.

I liked the growth in Sydney's character, that began in The Devil's Breath. She is learning that justice can be obtained through non-lethal methods. For example, Sydney is beginning to realize that, if a murder is avenged by another murder, two wrongs don't make a right.

I also liked the presence of people from previous books, especially Merl, Mulberry, and Dan. I felt like I was visiting with old friends. There are also several new characters who are welcome additions to the series as well.

It's possible to read Inviting Fire as a stand-alone, but then you'd miss out on the complete back-story of all of the characters. I recommend that you begin the series with Unleashed, and read the books in order. As Emily states in her Bio, her books contain violence, dirty language, and sex; therefore, they are NOT for children. She makes a point at the end of each book to ask the reader to mention that fact in his/her review.

So, for adult readers who are okay with violence, dirty language, and sex, and who want to read a really good suspense / thriller noir mystery, I highly recommend Inviting Fire! I look forward to the next Sydney Rye book by Emily Kimelman!


Note: I received a complimentary copy of Inviting Fire in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

My review was originally published on my blog at Jane Reads.

Gypsy Hunted

Gypsy Hunted - Andrea Drew I read a good book recently, y'all. Let me tell you a little about it. Gypsy Hunted is a psychic mystery suspense/thriller, book one in the Gypsy Shields series. The action in the book is told from multiple points of view, including that of Gypsy's hunter. The reader knows his/her identity, so the case is only a whodunit for the police. (There is also a secondary mystery, a true whodunit, involving the confidential police reports taken by the first victim.) Gypsy's POV is told in first person; the others' in third person.

Here are just of few of the reasons I enjoyed reading Gypsy Hunted. I like Gypsy herself, because she is such a strong character, with a very strong willpower. By sheer determination and much practice, she recovers her speech ability and fine motor skills much sooner than the doctors had expected, within days of the accident, instead of it taking weeks as usual. Other favorite characters are Connor, blind date / detective in charge of the case, and Gypsy's niece Renee, a precocious 13-year-old who shares a psychic connection with her aunt. This connection proves to be crucial to the case.

I like how the relationship between Gypsy and her younger sister Leah changes during the novel. In the opening scene, as she is walking to the restaurant to meet her blind date, Gypsy reflects on the irony that one of her most favorite people in the world, her niece Renee, is the daughter of one of her least favorite people, Leah. As young children, the sisters were close - until Gypsy's puberty began. This closeness was torn asunder by Gypsy's hormonal bombardment, parental favoritism, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings by both sisters. An unexpected and quite positive result of Gypsy's accident is their reconciliation, following their first real heart-to-heart talk in many years.

I enjoyed reading Gypsy Hunted by Andrea Drew. I look forward to reading more about Gypsy - and, hopefully, Connor, Leah, and Renee - in Gypsy Cradle and Gypsy Curse.


Note: I received a complimentary copy of Gypsy Hunted from the author
and Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tours in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.

My review was originally published on my blog at Jane Reads.

For Everything A Season, by Sharon Pape

For Everything A Season - Sharon Pape

For Everything A Season, by Sharon Pape, a paranormal mystery with a bit of romance, is a Kindle re-release of her first novel (known then as Ghostfire). It was originally published by PocketBooks, condensed by Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed), and well reviewed in Publishers' Weekly.

I really enjoyed For Everything A Season! I've been a big fan of Gothic Mysteries for years, and this book is a great addition to the genre.

For Everything A Season is set in Rachael Crossing, Massachusetts. Manhattan resident Deborah Colby has come to tiny Rachael Crossing for the summer, to work as a day-camp counselor. The only rental house available is believed to be "haunted" by the residents of Rachael Crossing. They try to keep this belief a secret from Deborah, but she begins to get suspicious when none of the residents will set foot in her house. 

The book opens with five chapters set in 1692 Rachael Crossing, alternating one-by-one with Chapters One through Five set in 1982. The rest of the book occurs in 1982, until the final chapter, which occurs in 2022. These time slips added a lot to my reading enjoyment.

I recommend For Everything A Season to all mystery fans, especially to ones who love Gothic Mysteries written by authors such as Barbara Michaels. For Everything A Season, by Sharon Pape, rates Four out of Five Kitties from Jane Reads — I really enjoyed it! 

 


Note: I received a complimentary copy of For Everything A Season from the author, with no expectation of a positive review.

{Originally published on my blog at www.JaneReads2.blogspot.com }

Source: http://For Everything A Season, by Sharon Pape, a paranormal mystery with a bit of romance, is a Kindle re-release of her first novel (known then as Ghostfire). It was originally published by PocketBooks, condensed by Redbook magazine (the first paperback

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