Book Review: Bearly Departed

Synopsis

Thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life as a manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. There is Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval and making her feel like she is not worth consulting.

Unfortunately, someone has left Will’s dead body inside the factory. Now Sasha hot-tempered Uncle Ross is suspected of murdering him.  Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth.

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Nice book, to many characters in it though, but I did like the premise of the bear making factory in the story.  Sasha is a good character.  However it is a good start to a fun series.

Book Review: Black Sheep Mysteries

Black Sheep Mysteries by Anne Canadeo    

The Black Sheep Knitting shop of Plum Harbor, Massachusetts is owned by Maggie Screenshot 2017-09-06 14.34.41Messina who leads her fellow knitters in some amateur detecting. Each book contains a fun mystery solve among friends, recipes and a knitting pattern.  On this day, this blog will review the following books:

  • 1 .  A Stitch Before Dying (Gallery, 2010)
  • 2 .  Till Death Do Us Part (Gallery, 2012)
  • 3.    A Dark and Stormy Knit (Simon and Schuster, 2014)

A Stitch Before Dying

Synopsis:

The third mystery in Anne Canadeo’s winning Black Sheep Knitting series, featuring a group of  five friend who have a knack for knitting—and sScreenshot 2017-09-06 14.34.41olving crimes…

Maggie Messina, owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, has been invited to give knitting workshops at a Berkshires spa resort, she manages to negotiate a cottage that fits all five of the Black Sheep for what promises to be a weekend of knitting bliss. But while the friends are expert at counting stitches, they haven’t counted on murder.

Guests and staff at the Crystal Lake Inn are as varied as a mixed bag of yarn, but most colorful is certainly the owner, charismatic self-help guru and former psychiatrist Dr. Max Flemming. The doctor may have told all in a revealing autobiography, but from his ex-wife to the widow of his former business partner—both employees at the inn—Max seems mired in shad­ows from his past. And when a killer strikes during a mountaintop retreat, the Black Sheep wonder what the good doctor might be hiding. Now who is going to be the victim of the third murder?

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This book was a good read!  Although I have to admit I don’t how they (five women) shared one cottage during this time.  Yes they are friends but really?  The book was my favorite to date. I enjoyed the storyline, the location, the familiar characters mixed with the new ones and it was a good solid story.
The Hotel is owned by a former Psychiatrist, Dr. Max Flemming. His is a sad story indeed. He wrote a book about his trials and re-birth as a holistic follower. Maggie finds she is teaching classes such as ‘Random Knitting” and “Mindful Knitting”, which were actually very interesting concepts.  In addition New Age knitting there were other’ practices that the women found good for their body, by going on various hikes and receiving body treatments. Maggie finds herself liking the classes.

The only glitch is Dr. Max is murdered!

Till Death Due Us PurlScreenshot 2017-09-07 15.44.13

Synopsis

The fourth in this wonderful knitting mystery series that  features Maggie Messina and her close circle of knitting-club friends, who must unravel another murder in their cozy coastal town of Plum Harbor, Massachusetts.

The Black Sheep Knitters new project is helping a bride-to-be knit shawls for her upcoming wedding. Days after the ceremony, the groom dies in a freak accident. As the knitters comfort the family, many secrets and betrayals—both business and romantic—are revealed. When the groom’s body turns up after the funeral in a motel room, dead again, the newlywed widow is the prime suspect, The Black Sheep must prove her innocence and find the real killer among a large circle of family, friends, and foes.  

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I have read a majority of the black sheep knitting mysteries. Some I have really enjoyed and other not as much, but all the books are well written.  I really like the bond that the women have together. That bond is what really makes this series come together.  They are all different except that they love to knit.

A Dark & Stormy Knit

Synopsis

In the sixth novel in the series the Black Sheep Knitters must work to solve the mystery of the disappearance of their friend—and figure out who is trying to kill her before it’s too late.

Curiosity Killed the Cat 

Knitting graffiti, in Plum Harbor? Maggie Messina doubts it could ever happen in her quiet village. Until the new parking meters on Main Street are found covered with cat-faced cozies. In the dark of night, the mysterious Knit Kats have struck again! The infamous gang of stitching graffiti artists are totally harmless, and their pranks all in good fun. Or so Maggie and her friends think. Until a yarn-covered corpse is discovered a few days later—the tangles identical to Knit Kat handiwork.

These threads of evidence should be easy to follow. But the clever Knit Kats hide behind a website and secret identities. The murderer could be anyone. A familiar face in town, even a copy Kat.

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This book is the sixth in the Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series. The series features the support and friendship of members of the knitting group, with Maggie Messina as owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, and plots with plenty of suspense and satisfying conclusions. A Dark and Stormy Night lives up to its title: it’s a bit “dark,” owing to the phantom group of “graffiti knitters” who appear initially to be involved in the crime. It’s quite a contemporary theme for a knitting mystery, and in this way it is quite original.

Anne Canadeo is a wonderful writer. She consistently comes up with very original and unique themes for her stories.

 

 

Book Review: Cirak’s Daughter

Cirak’s Daughter by Charlotte MacLeod

Synopsis

Nineteen year old Jenny Cirak has moved  into her DAd’s house under an assumed name. However, she didn’t really know her Dad, which is one of the reasons she has moved to Meldrum, Rhode Island to figure out her Dad.  Why did he leave her everything ?  Why is he dead?

Unfortunately one person does not want her to know the answers to these questions.

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I do like Charlotte MacLeod as an author.  I had thought it would be a little better, but I can’t say it was bad.  I think you should read it an decide for yourself.

 

 

 

A New Book in the Tourist Trap Series

killer partyKiller Party by Lynn Cahoon

Synopsis

A gang of old high school friends meet in South Cove, California for bachelor party.  Jill Gardner is attending as the guest of her boyfriend Greg, her new live in boyfriend and roommate.

After a few months of living with her boyfriend Greg, Jill is still getting used to sharing such close quarters, and now she is getting to know a group of his high school friends. Greg and his college pals celebrate their buddy’s upcoming wedding, right up until the time the groom to be is found floating facedown in the pool,  Jill is getting to know her boyfriend’s friends better than she thought she would as she investigates who killed Greg’s friends.

Meanwhile, Jill’s aunt is acting a bit strange, especially since the doctors want her to come in for some tests.  Not to mention Aunt Jackie isn’t sure about the new employee, either.  So much going on and you won’t guess who the killer is!  I”m not going to tell, either

Book Review  and 4.8 stars

I liked the story!  I think the whole series is great!  This story seems to be more about tying up some loose ends and setting us up for some interesting happenings in the future.  Check it out, you will love it!!

A Story to Kill

A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon

lynn cahoon 4Synopsis

Cat Latimer, a former English professor,  is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited. She has turned it into a bed and breakfast.  It was an  extremley interesting surprise, because it is from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway!
The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and the guest from the first retreat are arriving.  One of them is bestselling author Tom Cook who is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.

Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. However, her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?

A Cat Latimer Mystery by Lynn Cahoon

Fatality by Fireplace

Synopsis

Cat Latimer inherited her home from her ex-husband and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast.  She plays host to writers who utilize her home as a retreat.

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, and before long,  Christina, romance novelist is  warming up next to a  local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Unfortunately, the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill. Not to mention a mystery concerning her former marriage is unraveling and causing her some issues.

Book Review and 4.2 stars

It is a good read, however, Ms. Cahoon is a bit stodgy with the details of Cat’s former marriage.  I am really anxious to find out more about her former husband and what is going on.  At the same time, I hope it, whatever it is, does not interfere with her relationship with Seth.  Time will tell!!

An Aurora Anderson Mystery Series by Sybil Johnson

 

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This is Sybil Johnson,  She is the author of an Aurora Anderson Mystery Series.

Synopsis

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Aurora is a computer programmer who works out of her house in Vista Beach.  The house is from her Grandma. Aurora seems to get into more trouble when she is helping her mother out.

Fatal Brushstroke  (#1)

Aurora finds a dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep, plus a sheriff who blames her DNA…suspicion has fallen on her.

Computer programmer and tole painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t  live in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.

The body—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet is quite dead and in her garden.  Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend seminars, and although she likes tole painting, she will not go through another unpleasant experience with this particular teacher.  Now that Hester is dead, evidence piles up against Rory, (which the Sheriff is more than willing to help build the frame) she begins a journey to identify the killer and clear her name.

Book Review 4 . 3 stars

The whole time I read this book I kept thinking I need to read the book that come first in this series.  The first book in this series is Fatal Brushstroke.  However, once I got past that point I really enjoyed the book and throughly recommend it as a good read.

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

Paint the Town Dead (#2)

Synopsis

Aurora (Rory) Anderson, a computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast, live in the city of Vista Beach.  It is June and decorative painters are heading to the newly built Akaw hotel to attend the Ocean Painting Society’s inaugural convention. Rory is there to help her mother with her booth as well as get together with old friends.

Rory’s old friend, unfortunately, witnesses her childhood friend collapse in class and die. Rory embarks on her own investigation on her own investigation when everyone but her thinks the her friend’s death is not an accident

Book Review plus 4.6 stars

The story was good and it was sad because her new homocide friend has a girlfriend.  Rory does her best to get over that fact and make friends with this new girl.  However, the death of her friend puts a damper on the process.  This was a good book and I learned something new.  It is a wonderful read!

A Palette for Murder (#3)

Synopsis

Aurora (Rory) Anderson, a computer and tole painting crafter live in Vista Beach, which is currently experiencing high temperatures are hard on everyone. The high temperature hit the homeless population, especially hard. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. The local air conditioner companies have waitlist for everyone who wants cool air in their home.  In addition, there are a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns and no one understands how they are gaining entrance.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body, who is homeless, just a few doors down. Suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter,  she turns to Rory for help and help discover the truth before the police try her for murder.  As Rory investigates she finds more and more information, but the final ending is the biggest twist of all.

Book Review plus 4.8

This book had a great twist that I didn’t quite understand until the very end of the story.  I KNOW people will like the story and we will all wait for the next book in this series.

This ARC was given me by the publisher via Netgalley.

A Cora Crafts Mystery by Mollie Cox Bryan (Review of Books)

Synopsis

This series is a craft retreat mystery series which is set in Gap, North Carolina (not a real place).  The main characters, Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr plus daughter, are transplants who are setting up a new life for themselves.  Actually, they are doing what they love and making a living. 

Death Among the DoiliesEath Among The Coilies

Synopsis

This is the first book in the series of “A Cora Crafts Mystery” .  Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr (and her daughter) are starting over.  Cora worked in a woman’s shelter which caused her to have a stress related condition.  Jane is getting over a violent relationship, while raising her daughter in a new environment.  They are transforming a Victorian estate into a craft retreat business. Unfortunately, their first retreat includes a murder where Jane’s fingerprints are found at the crime scene. Not to mention the fact that they are not popular among the regular town folk.  This is not a great start to their business.

A Book Review (4. 5 stars)

What I really like this about this book was Cora.  I can relate to Cora’s stress related condition, I have a chronic illness that reacts to stress.  If I don’t have my medicine handy or I don’t take it regularly plus water, I am in a great deal of pain.  This retreat plus Cora’s blogging really intrigue me and gave me pointers on my blog plus really increased my desire to get out of the classroom. 

Anyway, the book was great, I stayed up and read the book cover to cover. The book is a page turner, the concept is great.  Also, I liked the fact that it was realistic measure of how people could solve a mystery and run a business at the same time.  Wonderful read!

No Charm Intended

SynopsisNo Charm intended

This is the second book in the series “A Cora Crafts Mystery”.  Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr (plus daughter) are hosting a “wildcrafting” retreat.  However, Jane’s nanny (Gracie) has disappeared and their technology is going haywire.  The guests are going on Nature hikes in order to find things for their crafts and Jane is teaching them how to make charms.  Gracie’s boyfriend is the chief person of interest and as a result has been kicked out of his home.  The ladies take him in and proceed to uncover clues in order to locate Gracie.

A Book Review (4.3)

I wasn’t as excited about this book as I was with the first book.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book, I just wish more time was spent on the wildcrafting part of the story. I know it is a cozy mystery, not a cozy crafting story, but the information about the wildcrafting was good and I liked it.  Also, the technology that was incorporated into the story wasn’t that new for me, I just didn’t like all of the drugs incorporated into the story.  It was bit over the top for me.  Once again, I LIKED THE STORY, HENCE THE STARS.  You should read it!!!!

Macrame Murder

Macrame MurderThis is the next book in the series!! Can’t wait to review it!!!

MTW Book Reviews #12, #13, and #14

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I was given an ARC from Henery Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of all of Ritter Ames’ books. In addition, during the week of Mystery Thriller Week I will be posting an interview of the author.

Counterfeit Conspiracies (A Bodies of Art Mystery Book #1) by Ritter Ames

Synopsis

This is Ritter Ames first book in her Bodies of Art Series and was a fascinating read for me.

Laurel Beacham, who is the main character,  is an art recovery expert. She knows how identify and put together an art piece that would put any art thief to shame.  Laurel was born in the lap of luxury, but her father lost the fortune due to gambling anscreen-shot-2017-01-25-at-11-33-27-pm-1d drinking.  She works for the Beacham Foundation because she loves art and feels the need for it to be returned to its rightful owners. This assignment has not gone according to plan since her boss called off her vacation and sent her on this disastrous mission. While she is on assignment, Jack Hawke’s appears and some more opportune moments and helps her get out of some tough situations.

My Opinion and Rating 4.2

This book was a great read and is a real page turner.  I’m not sure about Jack, he just seemed to a little out their for me, but the plot was fast paced with some adventure, murder, guns blazing and some interest characters.  The characters, Laurel and Jack were fun to read about and it will be interesting to see how they develop.  In addition, there was Nico who assists Laurel in her recovery cases. He is definitely a tech genius that provides tools for Laurel as well as transportation.

Marked Masters (A Bodies of Art Mystery Book #2) by Ritter Ames

Synopsisscreen-shot-2017-01-25-at-11-33-27-pm

In Ritter Ames’ second book in the A Bodies of Art Mystery Book,  Laurel has been promoted to the head position of the London branch and has solved a case, but she can begin to enjoy her  success before she is  involved in a much larger case WITH the enigmatic Jack Hawkes as her partner.   The   action in Marked Masters made it impossible to put down for long as the characters and excitement provide the reader with lots of reason to continue reading this wonder full book.  I highly recommend it!

My Opinion and Rating 4.5

I liked this book a little better as is evident by the rating, but that doesn’t mean the first book wasn’t good.  I enjoyed both books and sincerely encourage individuals to read the series as it continues to develop. The main item I liked was that laurel can take care of herself and while it is nice to have Jack around, Laurel knows how to handle herself.

Abstract Alias (A Bodies of Art Mystery Book #3) by Ritter Ames

Synopsis

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-11-33-34-pmLaurel Beachum and  her team are still on the trail of a mega art heist, but the suspects are nowhere to be found.  After a while, during a New Year’s Eve celebration in London, two of  the suspects shows up  at the party.  The suspect also find Laurel and Jack in the crowd within minutes of the other, and now a chain of events take them from  London to Florence and eventually ending in Cologne.  Instead of trying to find the missing art, suddenly the case include a rash of forgeries, deaths and a kidnapping.

The characters of Laurel and Jack are developed more in this story and we find out more about their background and families.  It is very interesting.

My Opinion and Rating 4.6

This book is a real page turner and will keep you up late at night because of the surprises that Ms. Ames places   at some very interesting places in the story. This book s a wonderfully written,  a fast paced mystery that will grab and hold your attention.   While the first two books in this series are well written, entertaining reads, this one provides a lot of background information.  I strongly encourage you to read all of this series!!

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