Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Review for Santa Puppy

Santa Puppy
By:  Lynn Cahoon
Kensington Books – Lyrical Press
4 Stars

Jill Gardner and her friends are back in this holiday story of the Tourist Trap Mysteries series.  This time they are getting ready for their Christmas party which will include animals for adoption from the local animal shelter.  The gang goes to the shelter ahead of time to help wash the pets to get them all cleaned up for adoption.  While there, Jill falls in love with a dog named Baby.  His owner was found dead on the beach with Baby sitting by his side.  Jill seeks to find out more information about the owner in hopes of placing Baby into the right hands.

This book is a novella, and it is a quick, fun read.  It can easily be read in one setting.  There is not really any new character development of the main players in this series.  That works for this novella though, because the story centers around Baby, his owner, their story, and of course the true meaning of Christmas. There is a small, mystical element to the story that I found unnecessary but not distracting.  I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to those who love holiday stories and cozy mysteries.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Review for Deadly News

Deadly News
By:  Jody Holford
Kensington Books – Lyrical Underground
4 Stars

Molly Owns moves to Britton Bay, Oregon to start a new life after a cheating boyfriend.  She is hired as editor of the Britton Bay Bulletin.  Her job is to help return the paper to its former glory.  The paper has two writers on staff, Elizabeth and Vernon.  While Elizabeth seems willing to accept Molly, Vernon takes an instant dislike to her.  Molly butts heads with Vernon when she tells him to write a piece on a well-known local family.  Two days after she orders him to finish his story, he fails to returns to work.  Molly goes to his home and finds him dead.  She feels guilty about his death because she is certain his death has something to do with the story he was supposed to be writing.  The problem is that Vernon was simply not a nice person and so the list of possible suspects is long.  Molly finds, though, that she can’t keep out of the investigation until she has some answers.  Molly’s interference, however, leads to trouble for her.  Maybe too much trouble.

Deadly News is a great start to the Britton Bay mystery series.  The story takes place in a small, quiet town in coastal Oregon.  I immediately like Molly’s character and liked that she wasn’t portrayed as a shrinking violet.  She knows the steps that need to be taken to improve the paper and she immediately enacts changes even though she faces some opposition.  The rest of the book is flushed out with a great cast of characters that I look forward to getting to know better.  One person in particular catches Molly’s eye, Sam Aldrich.  Although Molly has avowed herself of men, she can’t seem to suppress her attraction to Sam.  Their budding romance provides a great subplot.  The main plot is unpredictable and refreshing.  I was kept guessing until the end.  Cozy mystery readers should definitely add this series to their TBR pile.  I know that I plan on following and reading this series.

Thanks to Net Galley and Kensington Press – Lyrical Underground for an ARC of this book.  #NetGalley #DeadlyNews

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Book Review for Yule Log Murder

Yule Log Murder
By:  Leslie Meier; Lee Hollis; Barbara Ross
Kensington Books
4 Stars

What a great set of Christmas cozy mysteries to start off the holiday season.  Although each of the stories is part of a series, they are very much stand alone stories.  In fact, I’ve never read a book from the Hayley Powell series or the Maine Clambake series, and I immensely liked them.  I plan on reading more books from all three authors.

Each of the stories provide a unique and interesting mystery.  The plots include the death of an assistant on a movie set, the death of the town bad boy, and the mysterious acts of a cantankerous old lady.  All have great plots and well developed characters. The endings were all very surprising.  And of course, each has a tie to Yule Logs.  At the end of each story you will find recipes for Christmas treats.  Yum!!! So light a fire in your fireplace, make a cup of hot chocolate, cuddle up on your couch with your favorite blanket, and grab your book and settle in for a great read.  When you are done, you will probably be in the mood to try your hand at one of the holiday recipes included in the book.

Anyone who enjoys holiday stories and cozy mysteries will enjoy this book.

Thanks to Net Galley and Kensington Books for an ARC of the book.  #NetGalley #TheYuleLog

Friday, November 2, 2018

Book Review for The Lady in the Cellar

The Lady in the Cellar
By:  Sinclair McGay
Quarto Publishing Group -  White Lion Publishing
4 Stars

By 1879 in London there were 14,000 homes that were licensed to rent rooms to lodgers.  The house at 4 Easton Square was one of those homes.  From the outside it looked like a reputable boarding house.  Inside, however, it was teeming with secrets.  One of those secrets was revealed on May 8th, 1879 when the family’s errand boy went down to the cellar to make room for a coal drop.  There he discovered a foot bone, and eventually a whole body was discovered.  The bones were found to be those of a former boarder, Matilda Hacker.  Scotland Yard was called in to try and solve the mystery.

This true crime mystery book was very captivating.  We are led through the murder mystery facts that were uncovered during research, and to a certain extent the author’s interpretations of them.  It was interesting to read about the techniques that the Victorian Era Scotland Yard detectives used to solve crimes.

I found myself absorbed in the plot and connected to the main participants.  The two main “sides” seemed to provide convincing arguments that the other committed the crime.  This isn’t a happy tale, and it was sad to see how the different real life people suffered because of this murder.  I found myself constantly pondering who committed the crime.  A crime the author does a superior job of telling.  This story will keep you entranced all the way to the end.  I think anyone who enjoys true crime mysteries will enjoy this book.

Thanks to Net Galley & Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion Publishing for an ARC of this book.  #NetGalley #TheLadyInTheCellar