The Lost: A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery by Jeffrey B Burton – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton

Book Blurb:

The Lost is the next mystery from author Jeffrey B. Burton starring an extraordinary cadaver dog and her handler.

The Lost by Jeffrey B BurtonGlencoe, Illinois: A home invasion turned kidnapping at the mansion of billionaire financier Kenneth J. Druckman brings Mason “Mace” Reid and his cadaver dog, Vira, to this wealthy northern suburb of Chicago. Druckman was assaulted, left behind while his wife and young daughter were taken for ransom.

Brought to the scene by the FBI, Reid specializes in human remains detection, and Vira is the star of his pack of cadaver dogs he’s dubbed The Finders. After Vira finds the dead body of the mother, former supermodel Calley Kurtz, everyone is on high alert to find Druckman’s missing daughter before the five-year-old disappears forever. But the trail Vira finds on the property’s dense woodlands leads right back to Druckman himself.

With the help of Detective Kippy Gimm, Reid and Vira must race against the clock. Nothing is as it appears to be . . . and the red herrings could be lethal.

My Review:

I passed the Lassie level dog books as I got older and these days I look for working dog books. This series does the trick for HRD (human remains detection) dogs. The various abilities of dogs and their bonded relationships with their handlers hold an endless fascination for me. And Vira, the cadaver dog in this series is almost on a paranormal level with her handler, Mace Reid.

The Lost by Jeffrey B BurtonIn this series entry, a financier’s wife and daughter go missing and Mace is called in by the FBI. Vira finds the body of the mother, alright, but when everyone else is supplying theories about the little girl or who killed the mother, Vira disappears back to the mansion.

Mace lives outside of Chicago and has worked with the Chicago Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies before. His budding romantic interest is Detective Kippy Gimm. I gotta say, theirs is a unique relationship, but…whatever.

Anyway, Mace gets to work on this one, keeping most of the other dogs in his pack at bay, the GSD and Maggie May both now on permanent disability (all in the line of duty).

There are lots of twists and turns, Vira (Elvira) not getting the accolade she deserves. If only she could speak. Well, she does, but it’s still in Canine-ese and Mace isn’t quite the brainiac Vira is, although he does have his moments.

There are some well-developed personalities here, human as well as canine, each with their own signature and I enjoy the humorous aspect of Mace’s persona. The well-plotted narrative gets complex—nothing is ever simple—and the surprise in the conclusion caught me off-guard. I enjoy getting some down-low on each of the dogs, their specific roles. The race to find the little girl is truly a matter of beating the clock with themes that go beyond abduction.

It’s a fast-paced mystery, filled with the flawed Mace growing a bit with each episode. I was fortunate to begin with Book 1-The Finders and Book 2-The Keepers and have enjoyed each, although with background and flashbacks this might well be read as a standalone.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review; no bias, just my honest thoughts. This one currently on pre-order and I’m looking for Book 4.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B09CNFDZ9P
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Jeffrey B Burton - authorThe Author: Jeffrey B. Burton was born in Long Beach, California, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received his BA in Journalism at the University of Minnesota. THE FINDERS, the first in Burton’s K-9 mystery series, came out in June of 2020 (St. Martin’s Press). THE KEEPERS, the second in his K-9 series, came out in June of 2021. And THE LOST comes out in June of 2022.

Novels in Burton’s Agent Drew Cady mystery series include: THE CHESSMAN (MacAdam/Cage, 2012; paperback Harlequin Suspense, 2015), THE LYNCHPIN (MP Publishing, 2015), and THE EULOGIST (The Permanent Press, 2017). His short stories have appeared in dozens of magazines.

Jeff is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Horror Writers Association. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, daughter, an irate Pomeranian named Lucy, and a goofball/sweetheart of a Beagle named Milo.

Visit http://www.jeffreybburton.com to see more about Jeff’s novels and short stories.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Déjà Boo: A Chantilly Adair Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series Book 6 by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson – #BookReview – #cozymystery

Book Blurb:

Déjà Boo by Carolyn Ridder AspensonSometimes, an innocent person is convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. And sometimes, after the real guilty person dies, they fess up.

To me…

Because I can communicate with the dead.

I try hard to help the restless dead find closure. And usually, I succeed. But this time my detective boyfriend is throwing a wrench into my efforts. I might be able to take the word of a dead guy, but the police sure can’t.

And as always, things don’t turn out as planned. Now I’m stuck in the middle of a double murder—one from the past—and one from now.

Because someone doesn’t want me to discover the truth…and it looks like they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure this secret stays in the grave!

My Review:

Well, phooey, coming late to the party again, starting with Book 6, and perhaps this is one series best begun from the beginning. Chantilly Adair can see (and sometimes hear) ghosts since she took a bad fall. She’s been helping those who contact her when they are stuck in limbo until something pertaining to their death is resolved. True to many cozy mysteries, her boyfriend Jack is a Castleberry police detective although in this case he has a new boss not hot to listen to his detective’s leads from a girlfriend’s ghost.

Déjà Boo by Carolyn Ridder AspensonIn this episode, she is told by a ghost that he is responsible for the death of someone that saw another taking blame and is now sitting in jail for the crime. Trying to take on the mystery of the ghost to set things right, another murder occurs that she is sure is linked to the old case. Of course, she is repeatedly told by her boyfriend to stay out of it. Which she doesn’t.

I usually enjoy some paranormal in mysteries, particularly cozy mysteries, but in this case had a problem with Chantilly’s attitude and never really did warm up to her. She apparently works at the local (Castleberry) historical society and has a number of pertinent contacts. Nor did I find the plot to be a barn-burner. There are numerous characters and flipping between the old case and new had my head spinning trying to remember similar names and relationships and not caring too much if I didn’t.

The author, however, does have an interesting writing style and I know the series is popular. I did note two interesting quotables, especially the first I can totally relate to:

“Del has a hard time letting other people do what she believes she does best.”

“People like you think the sun comes up just to hear you crow.” [ha! Now that’s funny!]

So there is a sprinkling of humor and the conclusion here was drawn quickly and neatly. No doubt her followers will enjoy this one; it just wasn’t my cup of cozy tea.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystery Series, Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B092MS48ND
Print Length: 178 pages
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
 
Title Link: Déjà Boo [Amazon]

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson - authorThe Author: USA Today Bestselling author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson writes cozy mysteries and thrillers featuring strong female leads. Her stories shine through her dialogue, which readers have praised for being realistic and compelling. Her first novel, Unfinished Business, An Angela Panther Mystery was a Reader’s Favorite finalist and reached the top 100 Kindle books sold on Amazon.

Prior to writing fiction, Carolyn was a freelance journalist covering local and national affairs in the metro Atlanta area.

Now an empty-nester, Carolyn lives in the North Georgia mountains with her husband, two Pit Bull-Boxer mix dogs and a cantankerous cat. You’ll often find her at a local coffee shop people watching and listening while she writes her next novel.

Like and chat with Carolyn on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carolynridderaspensonauthor

Find Carolyn on BookBub at Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

Visit Carolyn’s website and sign up for her newsletter at carolynridderaspenson.com

Follow Carolyn at CarolynRidderAspenson on Instagram

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Cure for What Ales You: A Sloan Krause Mystery (Book 5) by Ellie Alexander –#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie AlexanderAfter a long cold winter, spring is beginning to bloom in the alpine village of Leavenworth, Washington, where craft brewer Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are putting the finishing touches on their bright and refreshing Lemon Kiss ale. They’ll be debuting their new line at the Maifest celebration, which will bring visitors from near and far to dance around the Maipole and shop at the outdoor flower markets.

Despite the festive spirit in the air, Sloan is brewing over her past. She’s spent months following leads that have turned into dead ends. But when she spots a woman who strongly resembles Marianne—a long lost contact who may be her only connection to piecing together her story—she hopes that things might be taking a turn in her favor. That hope is quickly smashed when Marianne is involved in the murder of a local housekeeper. To make matters worse, Marianne issues a dire warning that Sloan and her entire family are in danger. If Sloan can’t figure out who the killer is and what happened in her past, she won’t find any hoppy endings.

My Review:

The fifth in the Sloan Krause Mystery series, I’ve been captivated by the characters, the little town of Leavenworth WA, the incredible story of craft beers and I’ve greatly enjoyed them all.

The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie AlexanderSloan Krause is a partner in a start-up craft brewery with partner Garrett. They are excited to introduce their new spring time release, Lemon Kiss, just in time for the annual Maifest parade and the onslaught of the tourists who enjoy the quaint Bavarian-esque village in the heart of the Northern Cascades. Besides people, there will be tons of flowers, lights, German foods, music, and craft beers. Nitro’s biggest competition is Der Keller in which she also owns a small share—with the family of her soon to be ex.

Sloan is a foster child and has only had glimpses of her birth background, but in this entry to the series, an aunt makes herself known with the plea that Sloan and her extended family may be in grave danger and need to flee. A sub-plot occurs in which the body of a maid turns up that either may or may not be related to the unknown dangerous person.

The mystery curls around the development of the festival, the costumes, sights and sounds of such a picturesque village that the reader feels the need to visit in person. I’m not a beer person, but some of the recipes even sound good to me.

The series, however, fully revolves around the characters who have grown so real they are developing a need to stay in touch. Sloan has grown but is beginning to have feelings for her business partner. I’m still loving the Krause family, the mom and pop who envelope her as their own daughter, Hans (the brother-in-law), and even the soon to be ex—rooting for he and Sloan to get back together. The characters are amazing.

In the meantime, Sloan is working on who killed the hotel housekeeper, thinking there might be a link while trying to keep her son and the others safe. The aunt comes off as being a bit touched—or maybe Sloan really IS in all that danger? We are finally getting the low-down on Sloan’s background and I was having a tough time swallowing it for most of the narrative. (Still am.)

The conclusion wraps up the whodunits and once the can of worms is opened spills a lot of secrets and history. Okay. But…love the series, just not thrilled with the wrap up of this one.

I’ve read this series as well as a couple in the Bakeshop Mystery series, but keep coming back to this series, including Without a Brew, Beyond a Reasonable Stout, and The Pint of No Return. Sloan has come a long way and the prose is sweet. I suppose you could read as a standalone, but then you might wonder how she got to this point in her life and you’d be missing the build-up. Wanna take an armchair vacation? I recommend this series, currently on pre-order.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Cozy Culinary Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: ‎ 1250781450
ASIN: B08R2KKS1Z
Print Length: 280 pages
Publication Date:  October 5, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Ellie Alexander - authorThe Author: ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses and breweries nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails of Southern Oregon and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. She is the author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series and the Sloan Krause Mysteries. Follow her on social media to learn more about her books, see her recipe videos, and participate in fun giveaways!

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her here:

Website: https://www.elliealexander.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/elliealexanderauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@elliealexanderauthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ellielovesbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elliealexanderauthor

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Punning with Scissors (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery Book by Becky Clark – #BookReview – #cozymystery – #TuesdayBookBlog

“Don’t bring problems, bring solutions.” 

Book Blurb:

1 DOWN: A PERSON OF INTEREST
 
Punning with Scissors by Becky ClarkQuinn Carr has been quietly creating crosswords for the Chestnut Station Chronicle in her small Colorado town since she was in high school, but she has yet to solve the puzzle of how to make a living from her passion. So she lives with her parents and works at the local diner, catering to regulars like The Retireds, a charming if cantankerous crew of elderly men. The most recent member to join the group is a recently retired tailor, the unfortunately named Hugh Pugh.
 
4-LETTER WORD FOR “IMPALE”
 
But Hugh’s misfortune dramatically increases when he’s arrested for stabbing his husband with a pair of fabric shears. With a cryptic crossword clue left at the crime scene, Quinn seems tailor-made for solving this murder. The local police may be determined to pin the crime on the kindly tailor, but Quinn will use her penchant for puzzles and what her therapist calls her “obsessive coping mechanism” to get the clues to line up and catch the real culprit—before the killer boxes her in. . . .

My Review:

An OCD breakdown is responsible for Quinn Carr returning to her parents home in rural Colorado, where she has established herself as a waitress at the local diner owned by Jake. There she caters to an eclectic group of patrons, one of whom is “The Retireds.”

“How many vegans does it take to eat a piece of bacon?” Without waiting for an answer, he said, “Just one, if nobody’s looking.”

Punning with Scissors by Becky ClarkHer position there gives her ample opportunity to exercise her OCD proclivities, arranging condiments, cleaning, and straightening objects. Her form of OCD is serious, an anxiety disorder, and she is seeing a therapist to help her tame the OCD monster.

Quinn is also a professional, albeit closet, cruciverbalist—creating puzzles for the local Chestnut Station Chronicle–something she prefers kept quiet. She has used this skill in the past to send subliminal messages to the local police captain of Chestnut Station when she becomes involved in the murder that has the newest member of the Retireds landed in the slammer.

Following the arrest of Hugh, she has taken on the care of Virginia Wolf, his dog also known as Gin, and her care almost sends her into overload. The police chief, of course, is sure he has his man and, of course, Quinn knows he didn’t do it and takes on the investigation as well as the care of his home.

I started this series with Book 1, unusual for me I know, but was left scratching my head a few times. First, creating a puzzle requires an extremely clever word smith and second, I had no idea how serious OCD could be, often referring to my straightening things as my OCD. Not even close. But I did enjoy this book for the mystery and the characters whether or not I could really connect with Quinn. Also, loved the wit and sense of humor encased in this cozy.

“Don’t meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and delicious with ketchup.”

“…people food is for people, not dogs who think they’re people.”

I like the support characters—all are well developed (her mother’s recipes a hoot) including her boyfriend Rico (her police connection), the mystery (cloaked within the mysteries of the OCD), the clues, investigation, and puzzling scenes. Gees! Sounded like a lot of mathematics were involved and, no surprise there, also not one of my strong suits!

In Book 2, Quinn has graduated into a slightly more astute woman sleuth, tending to be more methodical while obsessive. The narrative is a well-plotted and paced mystery. While I found Book 1 a bit disjointed, novel two of the series was smoother and I could get into the puzzling aspect, unique to a cozy mystery, I’m sure. If you didn’t start with Book 1, no prob—Book 2 could be read as a standalone. Don’t read by rote; don’t read while watching TV or knitting; this cozy requires a thinking cap. Come prepared with yours.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my unbiased opinions. Pre-order is now available.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Lyrical Press

  • ASIN : B08FXTDJST

Print Length: 205 pages
Publication Date: To be released May 11, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Becky Clark - authorThe Author: Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels, leaves, and deer, but not plastic bags. Those things are terrifying.

Readers say her books are “fast and thoroughly entertaining” with “witty humor and tight writing” and “humor laced with engaging characters” so you should “grab a cocktail and enjoy the ride.” They also say “Warning: You will laugh out loud. I’m not kidding,” and “If you like Janet Evanovich, you will like Becky Clark.”

Becky won the 1st place “Best in Category” Mystery & Mayhem Award from the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Fiction Can Be Murder, book one in the Mystery Writer’s Mystery series.

Visit http://www.BeckyClarkBooks.com for all kinds of fun. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to her “So Seldom It’s Shameful” newsletter. You’ll hear about new releases, get the chance to win fabulous prizes, find out about book promotions from her and others, read interviews from new-to-you authors, and more. (As you might have gleaned from the title, she won’t inundate your inbox, either.)

If you want to connect more often, join Becky’s Book Buddies on Facebook … https://www.facebook.com/groups/beckysbookbuddies/

Follow Becky Clark here on Amazon, on BookBub, and at Goodreads. If you enjoy her books, she’d swoon if you left a review. Yes, swoon.

©2021 V Williams

Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery Book 12) by Annelise Ryan – a #BookReview – #mystery

#1 New Release in Doctors & Medicine Humor

Book Blurb:

In Sorenson, Wisconsin, a local bigshot is found with a pool cue through the heart—and Mattie Winston must untangle a web of lies to sink a killer . . .
 
Dead Even by Annelise RyanIn her previous career as a nurse, Mattie Winston’s job was to keep death at bay. Now, as a medicolegal investigator, she’s required to study death intimately—to figure out causes and timing, and help deduce whether it was natural or suspicious.

In the case of Montgomery “Monty” Dixon, a well-to-do Realtor, there can be little doubt: Broken pool cues do not embed themselves. Monty’s body is found in the game room of his lavish house, the walls adorned with photos of Monty and various celebrities. But as Mattie and husband Steve Hurley, a homicide detective, both know, money and connections can’t protect anyone from a killer.

The first suspect is Monty’s wife, Summer, who claims to have been at a cooking class at the time. When that alibi is served up as a fake, Summer moves to the top of the suspects list, but is soon joined by Monty’s ne’er-do-well son, Sawyer, who has racked up gambling debts he hoped his dad would pay off. Monty’s twin brother is engaging in shady financial deals. An affair, a Ponzi scheme, a disputed inheritance . . . there are as many motives as suspects, and soon Mattie and Hurley have turned up other, possibly related deaths.

Balancing a high-profile case with the demands of their increasingly stressful household isn’t easy. It’ll take all of Mattie’s skill—along with a lucky break or two—to stop a killer from racking up another victim . . .

My Review:

This Wisconsin nurse has turned her medical knowledge into the position of a medicolegal investigator with the coroner’s office. As her husband, police detective Steve Hurley, is in law enforcement, they find themselves being called out from time to time to the same scene. And that’s what happens in this episode of the series.

Dead Even by Annelise RyanThe victim in this case is a local successful real estate agent, found with a broken pool cue through his chest. His family dynamic is a strained one, blended, and as the investigation proceeds, opens into a complex and well-plotted narrative.

Mattie Winston has sustained a lot of changes in her life including the son they share, his daughter, and their new house. Their disparate schedules and the strain of the household has put a strain on Mattie, separate and in addition to their jobs. It’s a familiar strain—shared by most mothers dealing with multiple responsibilities—let alone a high powered job and apparently it’s time to make another change.

In the meantime, Mattie and Steve are interviewing possible candidates to help clean the house (a big load off), while dealing with three-year old Matthew and his unique personality as well as the household animals.

I enjoy Mattie’s close circle of family and friends, many of whom pitch in for the care of Matthew. Most of the support characters are well developed and lend to the vision of a real collage of persons intricately involved. Steve is a great character and Mattie is learning how to better handle her own volatile reactions to their interpersonal relationship.

Sprinkled liberally throughout are some of the more humorous aspects of dealing with her family and business associates in a realistic life situation. It’s a well paced novel, the characters engaging and thoroughly entertaining.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my unbiased opinions.

Rosepoint Rating: 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Doctors & Medicine Humor, Lawyers & Criminals Humor, #Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Books

  • ASIN : B08CBMX13V

Print Length: 308 pages
Publication Date: To be released March 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Annelise RyanThe Author: Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit http://www.mattiewinston.com

©2021 V Williams

Puzzling Ink (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery Book 1) by Becky Clark – a #BookReview – #cozymystery

“She wanted her words to come out standard Times New Roman, but was pretty sure they ended up being Comic Sans.” 

Book Blurb:

1 DOWN: DEATH BY HOMICIDE
 
Puzzling Ink by Becky ClarkQuinn Carr wishes her life could be more like a crossword puzzle: neat, orderly, and perfectly arranged. At least her passion for puzzles, flair for words—and mild case of OCD—have landed her a gig creating crosswords for the local paper. But if she ever hopes to move out of her parents’ house, she can’t give up her day job as a waitress. She needs the tips. But when a customer ends up dead at her table—face down in biscuits and gravy—Quinn needs to get a clue to find whodunit . . .
 
6 LETTERS, STARTS WITH “M”
 
It turns out that solving a murder is a lot harder than a creating a crossword. Quinn has plenty of suspects—up, down, and across.  One of them is her boss, the owner of the diner who shares a culinary past with the victim. Two of them are ex-wives, her boss’s and the victim’s. A third complication is the Chief of Police who refuses to allow much investigation, preferring the pretense their town has no crime. To solve this mystery, Quinn has to think outside the boxes—before the killer gets the last word . . .

My Review:

Hmmm, okay. Puzzling Ink starts a new series for Becky Clark and it still has me trying to decide what to think about it. Not my first novel by Becky Clark and I usually enjoy her wry, witty writing style.

Puzzling Ink by Becky ClarkProtagonist Quinn Carr has returned home to Chestnut Station after she failed to progress in a police academy in Denver. She has been diagnosed with a mild case of OCD (and associated depression), but holy moly—if this is mild I hate to think what full blown obsessive-compulsive disorder is like. She has recently began waitressing at a diner and on the side creates crossword puzzles for the local paper. Her best friend from childhood, Rico, apparently encouraged her to try for the academy, but I can’t imagine a more unsuitable candidate. The author has given the MC several interesting support characters along with parents who are quirky and endearing.

Unfortunately, on a night when she find herself alone in the diner (the boss man off on a fundraising catering job), one of two remaining customers is discovered dead. Jake, owner of the diner ends up in jail for his murder. This is the first where I have difficulty—she’s crazy over the top to support him and prove him innocent, taking on single-handedly the cooking and waitressing of the diner. She’s worried about his wrath when he discovers she’s not doing well in the diner (huh?) and scared she’ll lose the job (double huh?).

The reader is introduced to her OCD side almost immediately, and that theme repeats—not just in nervous gestures or activities—but constantly reminded of being OCD. It’s a serious disorder. It is some time into the book before the reader is treated to the mechanics of creating a crossword puzzle and some time after that that she actually uses the device to promote a theory. And I must admit—the mechanics of the crossword puzzle is amazing (professional cruciverbalists)—I had no idea…it’s no simple process. (But did you know there’s an app for that?)

In her investigation and interviews, she tends to be a bit scattered. Definitely a real novice amateur sleuth. Quinn is fleshed to the degree of her OCD symptoms—lining up objects squarely, color coding. The mystery takes a back seat to the quandary of the anxiety disorder. Although well-plotted, the pacing was a bit erratic and Quinn not a protagonist with whom I could connect. The conclusion sorta snuck in and was not one that could have been guessed.

I read and enjoyed Fiction Can Be Murder back in March, 2018 and for the most part enjoyed this one to the extent I’ll read the second. Recommended for crossword puzzle fans and cozy mystery fans.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Cozy Mysteries
Publisher: Lyrical Press

  • ASIN : B085LTVY49

Print Length: 227 pages
Publication Date: November
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Becky Clark - authorThe Author: Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels, leaves, and deer, but not plastic bags. Those things are terrifying.

Readers say her books are “fast and thoroughly entertaining” with “witty humor and tight writing” and “humor laced with engaging characters” so you should “grab a cocktail and enjoy the ride.” They also say “Warning: You will laugh out loud. I’m not kidding,” and “If you like Janet Evanovich, you will like Becky Clark.”

Visit http://www.BeckyClarkBooks.com for all kinds of fun. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to her “So Seldom It’s Shameful” newsletter. You’ll hear about new releases, get the chance to win fabulous prizes, find out about book promotions from her and others, read interviews from new-to-you authors, and more. (As you might have gleaned from the title, she won’t inundate your inbox, either.)

If you want to connect more often, join Becky’s Book Buddies at Facebook … https://www.facebook.com/groups/beckysbookbuddies/

Follow Becky Clark here on Amazon, on BookBub, and at Goodreads. If you enjoy her books, she’d swoon if you left a review. Yes, swoon.

©2929 V Williams V Williams

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery Book 5) by Tina Kashian – a #BookReview – #cozymystery

Book Blurb:

Not even her impending nuptials can keep Lucy Berberian, manager of her family-owned Kebab Kitchen, from the Jersey Shore’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. But her dive into the icy ocean is especially chilling when she finds a fellow swimmer doing the dead man’s float—for real . . .
 
Who would kill a man in cold blood during Ocean Crest, New Jersey’s most popular winter event? When Lucy learns the victim is Deacon Spooner, the reception hall owner who turned up his nose—and his price—at her wedding plans, she can’t help wondering who 
wouldn’t kill the pompous caterer . . .

Perhaps the culprit is the wedding cake baker whose career Deacon nearly destroyed? Or the angry bride whose reception he ruined? With her maid of honor, Katie, busily planning Lucy’s wedding without her, Lucy will have to get to the bottom of this cold-hearted business in time for Kebab Kitchen’s mouthwatering Christmas celebration—and before her hometown’s holiday spirit washes out to sea . . .

My Review:

Not my first go-round with this author and series, and while it would function just fine as a standalone, I started remembering Lucy the protagonist and her support characters. My favorite is always Katie, her BFF, and in this entry to the series pushing Lucy to proceed with her engagement and wedding plans. Lucy has obstinately dug in and refused to budge.

Visiting a possible venue, the owner is seriously rude (to potential clients??!) that she crosses that one off immediately. However, as she’s embroiled in the Polar Bear Plunge, she and Katie brave their way in and leaving the water discover said nasty venue owner on the sand and not moving. She’s not been the only person he was rude to and universally disliked. (Beyond me how he could stay in business.)

One of the universally abused is her friend Susan, owner of the bakery Susie’s Cuties. Having had a run-in or two with the deceased and also in the same frigid water at the same time, the local detective has decided she’s numero uno suspect. You know the drill.

While the quest to clear her friend becomes a driving force, Katie is still busy pushing the wedding bell blues; venue, cake, dress, food, music, photographer…although I must hand it to Katie, she is up front with helping Lucy in her pursuit of the real killer (yes, shh! he was held underwater).

It is a well-plotted book but I had a difficult time getting into the mystery when it slogged along just under the wedding plans and her reticence of making the engagement announcement or wrestling with her qualms of marriage to Azad. He seems like a nice enough guy, hard worker, successful chef in her parents restaurant. Personally, I think that’s a done deal.

The parents and their loving bickering is par for the course. The kitty is a personality as well as her rather nosy landlady. There is naturally a lot of foodie talk—most of it sounded yummy. I was sorry to see revealed in the conclusion the one I suspected but hoped it wasn’t. Also chagrined to see the reason behind the mayhem. Really? I also read One Feta in the Grave but think I actually enjoyed it more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Three point Five of Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Amateur Sleuth, Cozy Culinary Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington

  • ASIN : B082WR6DMT

Print Length: 293 pages
Publication Date: To be released September 29, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Tina Kashian - authorThe Author: Tina Kashian, previously published as Tina Gabrielle, is an Amazon bestselling author, an attorney, and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks and on the B&N bestseller’s list. Please visit her website at http://www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter free contests, and more!

You can also find Tina at:
Facebook: facebook.com/TinaKashianAuthor
Instagram: instagram.com/tinakashian
Twitter: @TinaKashian1
Website: http://www.tinakashian.com

©2020 V Williams V Williams

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