by Mimi Granger
Murder of a Mail-Order Bride is the second book in A Love is Murder Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone if you did not read Death of a Red-Hot Rancher. We learn more about Lizzie in this book. The story is told from Lizzie's perspective which makes us privy to her thoughts. Lizzie is attracted to Max Alvarez, the local park ranger. He definitely consumes her thoughts (and her daydreams). There is chemistry between the pair. I can tell that the author wrote romance novels before embarking on cozy mysteries. The proportion of romance to mystery is out of balance (way too much romance). The mystery is straightforward with a dead woman and an amateur sleuth looking into the crime. The solution was obvious. There are pointed clues to help the reader solve the crime. The mystery did have some interesting bits and there was a unique clue. I do like how the more obscure clues lined up. Charmaine is an over-the-top character. She is one of those people who do not take no for an answer (she is quirky, dresses outlandishly). There are a couple of other off-beat characters in the story. There is humor sprinkled throughout. There is the requisite small town, charming shops, and a cute dog. I wanted to give this series another shot (which I did). I discovered that it is not the right fit for me. For those who enjoy quirky characters, first person point-of-view, a heaping helping of romance, silly humor, and a light mystery, then A Love is Murder Mysteries is for you. Murder of a Mail-Order Bride is a giddy tale with a surprise Russian bride, rapid wedding planning, a quarreling couple, train fanatics conference, curious clues, a butchered bride, and an electric connection.
by Meri Allen
Mint Chocolate Murder by Meri Allen is the second novel in An Ice Cream Shop Mysteries. It can be a standalone if you have not read The Rocky Road to Ruin. I like Riley Rhodes who is a former CIA librarian (and spy) who now managing Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop in Penniman, Connecticut. Riley creates ice cream flavors that have lines out the door at the ice cream shop. The setting of Moy Mull Castle is unique. An eccentric millionaire recreated a medieval castle in Connecticut. It was a hotel for a time. Maud has brought back the Scottish charm and the antiques found in the attic. The festival seemed like it was fun with plenty of delicious treats. I did feel the pacing was slow. We follow Riley through her day-to-day routine leading up to the festival. The author's detailed descriptions further bog down the story (do we have to know what each person is wearing along with hair color). xI am baffled as to how the title tied into the story. Mint chocolate ice cream is not a flavor mentioned in the book (pumpkin spice is mentioned several times). There are a number of characters in the story. It is challenging trying to keep track of all of them (just like in the first book). There are delectable ice cream flavors including the colorful unicorn ice cream (you will find yourself heading to the freezer for a pint). Mint Chocolate Murder is a colorful cozy with a fun fall festival, a modish ex-model, a disrespectful photographer, appetizing ice cream, a curious crime, a striking castle, and a sharp-eyed sleuthing librarian.
by Irene Christodoulou
Very nice work! PTSD in children and adolescents as well as the non traumatic medical history are taken into account in this book!
by Ph D Munro, Matthew J Maio, Mohamed B Nawaz, Govindarajan Ramu, Daniel J Zrymiak Roderick A
Purchased this book and never received. Not even an email
I found Sara Monday (or whatever the heck her name is) to be a most delightful narrator. Her always-positive outlook on life, which leads her astray on many occasions, may not be worthy of emulation, but it certainly is a lot more pleasant to read about than the whinings and complainings of some old Mrs. Grumpypants. Granted, Sara IS telling her life's story from the vantage point of a recently imposed prison sentence. But the tale she tells is nothing if not a joyous life's adventure, taking her from rags to riches to rags again, from domestic service to mistress with servants and back once more to the kitchen stove, from church door to prison door, all with cheerful acceptance. This novel is the first in a trilogy by Cary, each of which sheds light on the same story, each from a different vantage point.
by Lynn Cahoon
Wedding Bell Blues by Lynn Cahoon is the thirteenth A Tourist Trap Mystery. It can be read as a standalone since the author provides the main background details on Jill. Lynn Cahoon has a great writing style. It is casual and friendly. It makes her stories easy to read. I found Jill's behavior odd in this story. I would expect a newly engaged woman to be proudly showing off her engagement ring. Jill, though, keeps forgetting her ring at home. Jill seems to be hesitant regarding the engagement and making wedding plans. She talks it over with her best friend plus Jill and Greg spend a lot of time talking about the subject. Jill does not wish to set a wedding date or discuss her wedding dress (which needs to be ordered six to eight months in advance). Everyone seems happy for the engagement except Jill. I know Jill loves Greg, but I believe her past failed relationship is dampening her joy and giving her self-doubts. You can always tell when Jill is stressed because she heads for the sweets (stress eating). Jill's engagement dress sounded beautiful. The story consists of Jill working at the bookstore, reading, talking to her employees, running on the beach with her dog (Emma), eating, and watching television. The mystery was interesting. I liked that it was different. There are a couple of suspects along with misdirection. I loved that one of the suspects was Greg's ex-wife, Sherry. I wish the solution had not been so obvious. I was annoyed with Greg during the investigation. He tries to control Jill during murder investigations. Greg had police officers escort Jill home (not letting her detour), he had people from city hall drop by the store every half an hour on the mornings she worked alone, and he kept telling her to keep out of the investigation. I feel that by now Greg should be used to Jill investigating and he should have accepted it (maybe even welcome her insights). I would have liked a better wrap-up of the whodunit. I was left with a couple of unanswered questions. Deek, one of Jill's employees, has written a book and asks for Jill's critique. Jill is worried that an unscrupulous publisher will take advantage of him. Jill also does not want to lose Deek as an employee (which was mentioned a few times). Wedding Bell Blues is a South Cove cozy with pretty party dresses, a mysterious murder, an enjoyable engagement party, readying for the readathon, tasty treats, a publisher problem, and a safeguarding fiancé.
by Colleen Coble
Edge of Dusk by Colleen Coble is set in the same setting as Colleen Coble's Rock Harbor series. I thought Edge of Dusk was well-written with realistic, developed characters. I did feel that Taylor Moore's character needed more fleshing out. It is a suspenseful novel with plenty of action. I thought the author depicted the Upper Peninsula with her descriptive words. She also captured the atmosphere (the spookiness of the woods, the isolation of the camp, the depth of Lake Superior). I like the different storylines playing out in the book. The missing teen girls from nine years ago, hikers being found dead, someone in Annie's home, and a camper being attacked. I enjoyed following the clues that would allow me to identify the killer (I love solving mysteries). There are twists and unexpected details that keep everything interesting. I like the action and suspenseful moments. There is romance as well as Annie and Jon are flung together. The feelings are still there between them (very evident). Of course, there is the added complication of Annie's daughter, Kylie. I was a little disappointed with the ending. It was incomplete and we must wait for Dark of Night for answers. There was repetition of details throughout the story (two examples are that it has been nine years since Annie saw Jon and that Annie married Jon's best friend). There is one incident that I am surprised Annie did not figure out on her own or at least suspect. It seemed so obvious (I cannot say more because I do not want to spoil it for you). It will be interesting to see what happens next. We get to catch up with some of the key characters from the Rock Harbor series (Bree for example). Edge of Dusk is a compelling tale with a missing sister, a second chance romance, a precious puppy, a lethal killer, disturbing happenings, an adored daughter, and a fretful mother.
by Viola Shipman
The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman is about a woman's journey to learn more about her family's history. Sutton Douglas lost her mother to COVID. Her mother was the only family she had left or so she thought. Her mother refused to answer questions about her past except to say she lost everyone in a house fire. Sutton's mother leaves her a letter that sends her on a quest to learn more. Sutton gives up her job, sells her condo in Chicago, and moves to a resort town in Michigan. Sutton is feeling lost since her mother's death, and she is hoping that learning about the family's history will help her figure things out. I thought The Edge of Summer was well-written with developed characters. The pacing is slower than I prefer as Sutton deals with her grief, moves, and remembers special times with her mother. Anyone who has suffered a loss or was impacted by COVID will find some of the scenes difficult to read. The Edge of Summer is an emotional story. We join Sutton on her quest for information and, hopefully, to find a family member. We also get to see how Sutton and her mother, Miss Mabel, made it through challenging times. Sutton's mother provided her with wisdom that can help guide her throughout the rest of her life. Buttons are featured prominently in the story. I could understand Miss Mabel's fascination with buttons. There are some unique and beautiful buttons. They have an interesting history. There are good life lessons in this book. We get to see that a family can be more than people who are related to you by blood. You can create your own family that consists of those you love and who love you in return. The Edge of Summer is a story about secrets, grief, family, truth, acceptance, friendship, and romance. Pack your bag for your journey to lovely Lake Michigan in the touching tale The Edge of Summer.
by Tess Gerritsen
Listen to Me by Tess Gerritsen is the thirteenth novel in the Rizzoli and Isles series. I have not read any of the previous books in the series, but I have watched every episode of the television series. This knowledge allowed me to read Listen to Me. Listen to Me is an engaging story. The story is told from Amy, Angela, Maura, and Jane's point-of-view. It did take me a little bit of time to adjust to the alternating POV. It does allow readers to see things from each character's perspective. There are a couple of different storylines in the book. There is the murder of nurse, a nineteen-year-old hit by a car, a missing teen, and Angela Rizzoli is worried about her mysterious new neighbors. I enjoyed following the various stories and seeing how it all came together in the end. There are some twists along the way (some expected and other are not). The characters are realistic and developed. I enjoyed learning more about Jane Rizzoli, Angela Rizzoli, Barry Frost, and Maura Isles. Vince is out of town taking care of his sister, but we get to interact with him through phone conversations with Angela. The mystery was well-plotted. I thought it was cleverly done. I enjoyed the challenge (it was a fun whodunit to solve). There are good clues to help readers identify the guilty party. It was great how all the various parts came together. I thought there was a good reveal and wrap-up. Jane's mother, Angela is certainly a busy body. I would not want her in my neighborhood. She knows everybody's business (and if she does not, she will make it her mission to learn it). Angela is a spunky woman. I like that Angela is with Vince. I am glad that I picked up Listen to Me. It has good characters and a thought-out mystery that makes for an enjoyable reading experience. Listen to Me is an intriguing mystery with a hit-and-run misfortune, a curious stalker, a slain nurse, new neighbors, a meddlesome mother, baffling burglaries, an absent teen, a marvel of a medical examiner, and a dedicated detective.
by Linda Castillo
The Hidden One by Linda Castillo is the fourteenth novel in the Kate Burkholder series. It can be read as a standalone as the author provides Kate's background information for new readers. You will be missing out though if you do not read this series from the beginning. Kate travels from Painter's Mill, Ohio to Belleville, Pennsylvania where elders from an Amish community paid her a visit. Kate's first love, Jonas Bowman has been arrested for murder. Ananias Stoltzfus, the bishop of the community, disappeared eighteen years ago. His remains were found two months ago in a farmer's field along with a gun. The gun belongs to Jonas. Jonas and Ananias had been at odds at the time of the bishop's disappearance. Kate travels to Pennsylvania to see if she can prove Jonas' innocence. I thought The Hidden One was well-written with realistic, developed characters. I like that we get to learn more about Kate's past. I did miss Painter's Mill and Kate's significant other, John Tomasetti. I like how the author portrays the Amish people. We see them as they are (not sugarcoated). There are explanations for the way they live and how they do things. The mystery was intriguing (I love solving the mystery before the reveal) and well-plotted. It is a cold case which makes it more of a challenge. I liked all the action in the story. Someone did not want Kate to find out the truth. You can tell that they do not know Kate (she is tenacious). There are clues to help readers solve the crime (if you pay close attention). People were judging Jonas for his past actions and not the man he is now. There was one piece of the puzzle that gave me the answer to this clever mystery. I enjoyed the suspenseful reveal. The books ending was sweet. I enjoyed reading The Hidden One. This is one of my favorite books in the series. I am looking forward to Kate's next adventure. The Hidden One is a revealing suspense novel with a confusing cold case, an old love in jail, a beau's birthday, meaningful memories, perilous incidents, and one curious Kate.
by Christian Wiman
Christian Wiman is first and foremost a poet and, second, a man grappling with his own mortality in the form of a virulent type of cancer. As a fellow human being, I had no difficulty in understand Wiman's writing relating to his illness and its treatment and sharing the feelings they unleashed. It is the first of those characteristics, Wiman's poetic nature, that gave me the most difficulty and challenged me in following the trajectory of his spiritual quest. Wiman quotes Auden who described poetry as "the clear expression of mixed feelings." If that is so, then it is true that Wiman is a poet through and through because his spiritual ruminations are loaded with paradoxes. Yet, puzzled as I may have been when I pondered those especially paradoxical paragraphs, I respected and admired the work that Wiman put into searching for a faith for the 21st century. I am grateful that along with his fears and doubts, he shared his very personal insights, many of which were the result of his extensive study of luminaries in the fields of literature, art, philosophy, and religion. While this book provided no easy answers to my questions about faith and meaning, I feel my life has been enriched by having read and digested–at least partially–Wiman's beautiful meditation.
by J R R Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings is in my opinion the best story in the fantasy genre. The amount of detail that Tolkien pours into his work brings fictional characters, histories, and cultures to life. I have never read another book in this genre with the same level of craftsmanship.
by C S Lewis
CS Lewis and Tolkien are among my favorite authors. Among the books written by CS Lewis, I believe Mere Christianity to be the best. This book is excellent not only for the Christian exploring his/her faith but also for nonbelievers interested in theological or philosophical debate. I especially like that Lewis uses evidence outside of the Bible so that the book can connect to non Christians more easily. Lewis is certainly a brilliant writer and I believe that this book especially makes some interesting points. I would highly recommend Mere Christianity.
by Pamela Desmond Wright
Finding Her Amish Home by Pamela Desmond Wright is a heartwarming story. I thought Finding Her Amish Home was beautifully written with realistic, developed characters. I enjoyed getting to know Maddie Baum and Abram Mueller. We also get to meet Abram's extended family plus Wanetta Graff, Maddie's landlady. Abram is a kindhearted man with a beautiful soul. He is warm, understanding, patient, and generous. It was wonderful how he related to Josh, Maddie's nephew/son and helped him. We learn about Abram's past which actually helped to make him into the man he is today. The community of Humble, Wisconsin is a charming setting. There is a warm, welcoming Amish community. I liked how Englischers, and Amish come together on Saturday evenings in the park. This is a unique Amish book. It is not your traditional story. I enjoyed how the faith element was woven into the story. It is well-done without being preachy. Finding Her Amish Home has compassion, generosity, understanding, love, faith, patience, friendship, and family. All the elements work together to deliver an emotional, tender story. My favorite phrase from Finding Her Amish Home is, "The Lord warns that we will have tribulations. Not if, but when. And faith means knowing He will hold us close as we walk through the gloom and lead us back to the light." I look forward to more stories set in Humble, Wisconsin. Finding Her Amish Home is a warmhearted tale with a belligerent boy, a caring community, sociable skating, kinship in the park, welcome work, a terrifying trouble, and a generous God.
by Barbara Ross
Muddled Through by Barbara Ross takes us back to Busman's Harbor, Maine. Julia Snowden finds herself embroiled in another mystery courtesy of her sister, Livvie. Livvie works at Lupine Designs owned by Zoey Butterfield in the off season. Zoey is a potter who makes beautiful plates, cups, bowls, platters, and other related items. Julia gets a frantic call from her sister. She rushes down to the shop to find the place destroyed. Someone managed to get into the shop in the early hours and destroy the store's inventory. Zoey had been out collecting clay, so she was no in her apartment above the shop. The day after a raucous town meeting, Phinney Hardison is found dead in the basement of Lupine Design. Zoey is the prime suspect since it is her shop, she had access, and she had an altercation with the victim at the town meeting the previous evening. Zoey and Phinney were on opposite sides of pedestrian mall matter. Livvie asks Julia to investigate and prove Zoey's innocence. Julia has her work cut out for on this case. Muddled Through is the tenth A Maine Clambake Mystery. It can be read as a standalone since the necessary background information is provided. Barbara Ross has a casual writing style. It is friendly and engaging. It makes her stories easy to read. Julia Snowden is single after parting ways with Chris Durand. She has returned to her mother's home since Gus needed Julia's apartment for family. It is spring in Maine which means it is the muddy season. The mud and rain make it difficult to get around. You need to have sturdy wellies if you are going to be out and about. The town is in an uproar over the proposed pedestrian mall. Four blocks of Main Street would be blocked to road traffic on Friday and Saturday evening during July and August. Shops could set out their wares and restaurants could offer outdoor dining (a street festival vibe). Zoey Butterfield, a local potter and store owner, is in favor of the pedestrian mall. Phinney Hardison is not in favor of the mall or tourists. He still considers Zoey a flatlander. Phinney is found dead in Zoey's basement which leads to a major investigation. Julia is a curious person by nature. She likes to know the answers, so it does not take much persuasion to convince her to look into the crime. Julia asks questions, looks up information online, and searches for clues. The mystery becomes interesting in the second half of the book. I enjoyed following Julia as she gathered intel. I love solving whodunits. I had an inkling as to why a certain person committed the crime, but I was not completely sure until Julia uncovered the final clue. The reveal is suspenseful and suits the series. Julia is still trying to get over Chris Durand. Zoey gives her some good advice. It looks like there is a potential love interest or two for Julia (when she is ready). I enjoy the author's descriptions of Maine. It sounds like a beautiful area. I liked meeting Alice Rumsford (a local philanthropist). I hope we get to see more of her in the future. Muddled Through is a wicked fun time with messy mud, pulverized pottery, ardent debating, mall melee, a slain neighbor, key conundrum, a brilliant breakthrough, and a questioning Julia.
by Jennifer Hawkins
A Cold Nose for Murder by Jennifer Hawkins takes us back to Trevena, Cornwall where the owners of the Roundhead Pub are opening an old tunnel under their pub. It has been closed for forty years and they are going to renovate the area for an event space. When they break through the brick wall, they find a Black Lightning Motorcycle with a skeleton stuffed in the sidecar. The rare motorcycle belongs to Charles and David who thought the machine was stolen. The skeleton belongs to a former resident who disappeared at the same time as the motorcycle. It was believed that the victim had taken off for greener pastures. Th Emma and her trusty corgi, Oliver set out to discover the truth. A Cold Nose for Murder by Jennifer Hawkins is the third A Chatty Corgi Mystery. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series. I wanted to give this series one more chance. I have trouble with the author's writing style. It is not engaging or easy to read. I found myself struggling to get through each chapter (and there are so many). The author is a detail-oriented writer. The overly detailed descriptions bog down the story. We are introduced to quite a few characters in the beginning. It can be hard to keep them all straight along with their shops or jobs. I love Oliver, Emma's corgi. Emma and Oliver can talk to each other. Oliver's dialogue is delightful (I can just picture him sniffing for clues and eager to share what he learned with Emma) and I enjoyed the chapters from his point of view. He is a cutie. Oliver has a nose for clues. Emma is a mixed bag for me. The mystery was interesting. It goes throughout the book from beginning to end. I like the incorporation of the tunnel (who doesn't love an old smuggling tunnel). There are clues to help readers solve the crime (long before the reveal). Emma talks to people and gathers gossip in her tea shop. Oliver searches out clues using his sniffer and listening to conversations. I did not like how some of Emma's friends treated her in this book. They got nasty (how do you forgive that type of behavior). I can understand being under stress, but that is not an excuse to be rude (cruel, dismissive). There are many cozy moments in the story as people chat, shop, and eat. There is a lot of food consumed in the story along with numerous cups of tea. The cozy chapters outweigh those related to the mystery. I could not get into A Cold Nose Murder. The writing style is a turn off for me. A Code Nose of Murder is not my cup of tea, but it appeals to others (the beauty of books). I suggest you read a sample to judge for yourself. A Cold Nose for Murder is a cute Cornish cozy with a curious Corgi, countless cups of tea, a classic motorcycle with skeleton in the sidecar, delectable cakes, a tyrant named Reggie, and a prying tea shop proprietor.
by Jennifer J Chow
Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow is the debut of LA Night Market series. We meet Yale Yee who lives in Los Angeles, and her cousin, Celine who is visiting from Hong Kong. Yale's father asks the pair to run his stall at the Eastwood Village Night Market which will feature some items that Yale has wanted her father to add to the menu of the family restaurant. Yale will do the food and beverages while Celine will be in charge of marketing and decorations. After a bumpy start, the evening turns out to be a hit. As Yale is walking home, her cart hits an obstacle near the fountain. It turns out to be a dead woman. Yale later learns that the victim has visited their stall at the market and purchased a drink. Yale and Celine find themselves at the top of the suspect list because Celine added gold flakes to the drink (without letting Yale know). The two cousins must work together if they are going to clear their names and restore the reputation of the Yee family restaurant. I like the concept for Death by Bubble Tea. There are few cozy mysteries that feature people of Asian descent. There are mouthwatering food descriptions (I really need to find a good Chinese restaurant in my area). I was not a fan of either main character. Yale and Celine are opposites. Yale avoids technology while Celine posts pictures of food and drinks on Instagram. Celine likes fashionable clothes and high-end everything. Yale is happy to wear comfortable clothing and work in the local bookstore. Yale loves books which I can relate to, but she is also a bit of Debbie downer. She is still mourning the loss of her mother and feels that her mother's death was her fault. The reason why Celine had to depart Hong Kong was silly in my opinion. I did not feel it warranted banishment. The mystery had several suspects along with misdirection. The clues are subtle. You never know what detail might be important. The mystery can be solved before the reveal for those who are avid armchair sleuths. I liked that there was a complete wrap up. I did feel that the medical examiner should have been more on the ball. I know it is fiction, but there does need to be realism. Certain details did not track with the supposition. I was not a fan of Yale's old high school rival. He is an obnoxious jerk (Yale should have told his mother what he was doing). I found the pacing of Death by Bubble Tea to be slow courtesy of the overly detailed descriptions. I liked Yale's sweet father. He is a good man with a big heart. It was interesting learning about the night market. It sounds like quite a festival with the food, costumes, games, and socializing. Death by Bubble Tea was a mixed bag for me. Death by Bubble Tea is a culinary cozy with a brilliant beverage, night market magic, a poisoned ninja, a nasty nemesis, a determined detective, enticing nibbles, and a cold killer.
by Theo Houle Behe
I'm a Grade 3 teacher and wanted something different to teach my class next year. I like that this book is the exact the opposite of "rapid-fire" social media streams. There is no dialogue and big double-page scenes encourage children to (calmly) find the clues on the page to piece the whole story together. They'll need to use their imagination to fill in the gaps between each page - which is all great for comprehension and analysis. The story is nice, rich, simple and old-fashioned like comics in the 1940s. It does have a few more mature pages - like some dead soldiers - but nothing gory or graphic. Johnny Recruit is a good book and could be a very good learning tool for an older class. - Grade 5 or 6 probably.
by Ellie Alexander
Donut Disturb by Ellie Alexander is the 15th A Bakeshop Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series. I found Donut Disturb to be easy to read. I like the author's writing style. It is light and casual. Jules and Carlos have settled into their new home and are enjoying their time together. Both are busy but they make sure to make time for each other. I enjoyed learning more about Kerry. We finally learn about her background and why she is the way she is (totally makes sense now). There is plenty of baking and cooking. The food descriptions will have your mouth watering. Brett, a bass player with Heart Strings, ends up dead in a park storage area. Jules stumbles upon the scene. I found it odd the way Jules acted upon seeing the victim. This is not her first rodeo. By now, Jules should be used to seeing dead bodies (I do not expect her to be casual, but I did not expect her to act like this is the first time she has seen such a sight). I expected her to take note of the scene and any potential clues. I did not expect her to freeze up and go into shock. In fact, Jules seemed to freeze up frequently. Whenever she would end up alone with a suspect, she acted like they were going to attack her any second. Jules is a smart woman who has to think on her feet in the bakery. I expected her to be logical and no act like a scaredy cat. I could excuse it once, but it happened multiple times. There are several suspects in this whodunit along with a red herring or two. There are good clues to help readers solve the crime before the reveal. I enjoyed the lovely word depictions of Lithia Park. It is a lovely park, and I can see why the wedding took place in that location. Donut Disturb is an upbeat cozy mystery with an offender father, park nuptials, a stabbed bass player, the problematic Richard Lord, curious clues, delicious donuts, and a tricky takedown.
by Jessica R Patch
Her Darkest Secret by Jessica R. Patch is a Christian romantic suspense novel. The Nursery Rhyme Killer has been on the loose for over seventeen years. Only one victim has survived. FBI Special Agent Fiona Kelly escaped the killer's clutches, but her sister and her friends were not so lucky. Fiona tried to move forward with her life, but her determination to catch the Nursery Rhyme Killer ended her marriage. The serial killer is back, and he wants Fiona drawn back into his web. Fiona's ex-husband, FBI Special Agent Asa Kodiak is in charge of the new case. He must find a way to put aside his feelings so they can work together to catch this killer once and for all. The Nursery Rhyme Killer is watching them, and he has no intension of getting caught. He will use whatever weapons at his disposable to evade his captors and catch his prey: Fiona. When I read the blurb for Her Darkest Secret, I knew I had to get this book. I love dark suspenseful crime novels. The prologue was great and had me itching to read the complete story. Jessica R. Patch writes detailed descriptions. I felt that she provided too much information (driving to scene, getting out of car, closing door, walking up to crime scene, showing badge, ducking under crime scene tape, etc.). This amount of detail slows down the pacing of the story. The mystery was interesting. It was twisty and creepy. I enjoyed following the clues to see if I could identify the guilty party before the suspenseful reveal. There are some interesting and complex characters. We learn something surprising about one of them near the end. It had me wanting to know more about this person (will have to wait for A Cry in the Dark). The characters emotions were palpable and could be felt by the reader. I did feel that the romance element overshadowed the mystery at times. Christianity was woven into the story. It was subtle, but it was evident. I liked reading about Christian FBI agents. We get to see how the light ultimately triumphs over the evil darkness. The importance of faith and the power of prayer. Her Darkest Secret is a story about regret, faith, love, evil, hope, secrets, and redemption. Her Darkest Secret is a twisty romantic suspense with a crazed killer, a steadfast FBI agent, a fractured romance, baffling feelings, curious clues, and an unremitting manhunt.
by Danielle Steel
Suspects by Danielle Steel is an intriguing romantic suspense. The story is told from the point of view of Theodora "Theo" Morgan and Mike Andrews. Theo owns an online clothing company that is a success. She married an older Frenchman, and they had a son, Axel. Unfortunately, Theo's husband and son were kidnapped, and the case went sideways. The kidnappers killed both the husband and son leaving behind a devastated Theo. The case has yet to be solved and there are worries that the kidnappers will strike again since they only got half of the ransom. Mike Andrews is a CIA agent in New York. When Theo flies to New York to oversee the opening of a pop-up shop, Pierre de Vaumont is on the same plane. Pierre must be vetted before being allowed into New York which is how Mike becomes aware of Theo. Mike attends the opening of Theo's New York pop-up shop and there is an instant connection. Mike wants to protect Theo. The only way to keep her safe is to find the men who kidnapped her husband and son. I enjoyed Suspects. I thought it was well-written and engaging. I liked the characters. Theo is a smart woman with a head for business. She is also creative, hardworking, and down to earth. Mike is man with a good heart. He is also intelligent, strong, and a diligent worker. He has devoted his life to his career. I liked Mike's sister, Fiona. She is a lively character and added humor to the story. Suspects has tension, romance, drama, mystery, and intrigue. The second half of the story moves at a quick pace. I liked all the action. There is some repetition, a small amount of foul language, and there are intimate situations (just so you are aware). I found myself drawn into Suspects and quickly devoured it. I liked the descriptions of Paris and the fashions. I enjoyed reading Suspects and I look forward to Danielle Steel's next novel. Suspects is a gripping tale with crazed kidnappers, a keen CIA agent, a withdrawn widow, a creative sibling, a smarmy matchmaker, and a rare romance.
by Kari Bovee
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
I really loved this book! Sophia and Grace Mitchell were living on the streets as young girls because their parents were both killed in an accident. They were taken in by movie producer Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. When he found the two living on the streets near his theater. He gave them both a job and paid for everything for them growing up. In the meantime, Chet Riker finds himself in need of some work, so he asks Ziegfeld for work. That's where he met Grace, but she was too endebted to Ziegfeld to pursue anything with anyone. But then those circumstances change after some horrific happenings that leave one murdered and someone responsible. Join Grace and the gang in this awesome read by Kara Bovée.
This is one good read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Most of the characters were amazing, and I loved getting to know them as the story unfolds. Grace was my favorite of all, she had the sweetest caring personality. But on the other hand, I could hardly read about mob-boss Joe Marciano and his goonies, but the bad guys have to be there to create some action and irritate people to make the book better, don't they? There is so much much to this story, involving Marciano and some of the others I can't touch on it without giving part of the plot away, so you need to just read for yourself.
A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
by Amy Lillard
Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary by Amy Lillard is the debut of A Sunflower Café Mysteries. We meet Sissy Yoder and her Yorkshire terrier, Duke. They have traveled to Yoder, Kansas to help her aunt, Bethel who broke a leg. Bethel needs help running the Sunflower Café. Sissy is glad for an excuse to get away from Tulsa, Oklahoma after breaking up with her boyfriend and losing her apartment. Unfortunately, Sissy's fresh start begins with the murder of the local milk delivery driver in the back doorway of the Sunflower Café. Deputy Sheriff Earl Berry has Sissy at the top of his suspect list. The only way to clear her name is for Sissy to find the real culprit. I like Amy Lillard's casual writing style. It is welcoming and friendly. The pacing is leisurely and could have used an injection of caffeine. Sissy Yoder is a friendly character who has an adorable dog named Duke of York (aka Duke). We meet a cast of quirky characters as Sissy works in the café and investigates the mystery. I enjoyed the descriptions of Yoder. It sounds like a quaint small town that is a mixture of English and Amish. I thought Sissy's new home was clever and cute (I am not going to spoil it for you). The murder of the milkman happens early in the story. Sissy is the prime suspect even though she barely knew the man. There are several suspects since the milk delivery driver is the local lothario. There are few clues which makes it challenging for Sissy to solve. Sissy gets help from local reporter, Gavin. I wish the whodunit had been stronger and more complex. I also thought the mystery needed a better conclusion with any lingering questions answered. I kept hoping the bumbling deputy sheriff would find himself the next victim. In the end, Sissy finds the final piece of the puzzle and identifies the guilty party. Gavin Wainwright is a reporter for the Sunflower Express, the local underground newspaper. He helps Sissy with the mystery plus he is her new love interest. I did feel it was a little soon for a love interest since Sissy is still getting over her ex-boyfriend. I am hoping that the romance will progress slowly. I like Sissy's job as the syndicated advice columnist Aunt Bess. Aunt Bess is a sassy, know it all seventy-year-old grandmother (at least that is what everyone thinks). Aunt Bess is plain spoken with plenty of helpful advice (Sissy should take some of it herself). There are quotes from Aunt Bess at the beginning of each chapter. Of course, Sissy has to have a cover occupation because no one knows that she is Aunt Bess. The food descriptions will have your mouth watering especially for chocolate peanut butter pie. I enjoyed my first visit to Yoder, Kanas. I am curious what trouble Sissy will stumble upon next time. Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary is cute cozy with the delightful Duke, the grabby Bethel, the loving Lottie, the laid-up Lizzie, the bullying Earl Berry, the scrumptious chocolate peanut butter pie, the grinning Gavin, and a suspicious Sissy.
by Christine Hwang Panzer
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
This sweet little book is about Bunster during Easter holiday and how he finds all of his friends to celebrate. The short story is cute for little one to have someone read to them. The illustrations are by the author as well, which I think it fabulous. They are so colorful and fit the story well. Children will love looking at each page as the story is read to them. I encourage you to check out this cute little bunny book to read to the little one in your life.
A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.