Fatal Solutions (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery Book 3) by Becky Clark – #BookReview – #cozycrafts

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

1 ACROSS: HUMAN REMAINS

Fatal Solutions by Becky ClarkCreating crossword puzzles for the Chestnut Station Chronicle won’t allow Quinn Carr to quit her diner waitress job any time soon. But it does provide an outlet for her organizational OCD, and also lets her leave subtle hints for police chief Myron Chestnut, an avid puzzler, when his investigations need some direction. Some mysteries, though, leave even Quinn stumped—like the property deed she finds in her grandfather’s old desk. The document lists Quinn’s mother as the owner of some land on the outskirts of Chestnut Station, but Georgeanne refuses to discuss it.

8 LETTERS, STARTS WITH “S”

Quinn visits the site, located near a World War II Japanese internment camp that’s since been turned into a museum. There she unearths a weathered Japanese doll…and a skeleton. Before she can uncover a killer, she has to identify the victim. Was it an inmate trying to escape? A guard? Or someone closer to home? As Quinn fills in the blanks, she finds an unexpected link between her family and Chief Chestnut’s—one that could spell more deadly trouble…

My Review:

The third in the Crossword Puzzle Mystery series and these just keep getting better.

Fatal Solutions by Becky ClarkQuinn and her best friend Loma find an old skull on a piece of property that Quinn was checking out. The property is by a WWII Japanese Internment Camp in Colorado turned museum.

The author has created fully developed and very unique individuals and we get an additional perspective of the support characters as Quinn go about quietly trying to solve several puzzling problems. Who did the skull belong to? Why was it there? And what of the Daruma doll found nearby? Why does her mother deny the property?

I get a kick out of the imaginative, quirky characters Ms Clark has crafted—so real, including her mother with the outrageous food recipes, police chief Chestnut, and the old boys at the diner where Quinn waits tables. Now there’s a bunch to draw to!

Quinn struggles with several problems. First, she has OCD. Not just the kind where you straighten objects, or check something twice. I’m talking real, classic, debilitating OCD and she creates crossword puzzles for the local paper on the QT. Once she’s given a puzzle, such as the bones on the property her mother is denying, and the Daruma doll she is beyond compelled to answer the questions. The sessions with her therapist are always fun as well.

There is a strongly connected sense between she and the support characters. They know one another, like, appreciate, and enjoy each other. I enjoy the author’s wacky sense of humor and turn of phrase.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts. (Crossword puzzles and her mom’s crazy recipes at the back.) I was also given the opportunity to read the first two and thoroughly enjoyed Punning With Scissors as well. Currently on pre-order and I recommend you do so.

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Lyrical Press
ASIN: B08Z65YYV3
Print Length: 208 pages
Publication Date:  November 9, 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 Facebookhttps://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 V Williams

Hemlock for the Holidays (A Fine Art Mystery Book 3) by Paula Darnell –#BookReview – #cozycrafts

Book Blurb:

Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula DarnellAs Lonesome Valley kicks off the holiday season with its annual parade, artist Amanda Trent embraces the Christmas spirit, happy that her family will be coming to town to celebrate the season with her and her loyal pets, Laddie, a friendly golden retriever, and Mona Lisa, an independent calico cat.

Amanda has just one nagging concern: her art sales have stalled, so her checking account is starting to look a bit puny. Her financial woes pale, though, in comparison to her concern when several people eat carrot bars laced with hemlock at the high school’s arts and crafts fair, resulting in one unlucky man’s death. Was the poisoning an accident, or did someone with evil intent deliberately spike the sweet baked goods?

Leads the police follow don’t pan out until Amanda puts the puzzle together. But, sometimes, knowledge can be a dangerous thing. . . 

My Review:

Amanda Treat is getting ready for the Christmas season in Lonesome Valley. She is a fairly new resident, divorcée, and starving artist. She is expecting both her parents and her children for the holidays and looking forward to a high school arts and crafts fair, in which she participates with her co-op Roadrunner Gallery. A slump in her sales, she is sweating having enough income to get through the next couple of months.

Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula DarnellAmanda has a golden retriever named Laddie and a “mercurial” calico cat named Mona Lisa and interaction with her animals, their feeding, playing, and pet sitting is featured in the narrative as well as the struggles for sales of both her landscapes and pet portraits, with the mystery the other third of the novel. I’m thinking that was part of my problem with this one, the third in the series. My first.

Several high school students are poisoned at the art fair and a few days later there is a death, which becomes her focus when not dealing with the other two. I could not relate well to Amanda and felt few of the support characters stood out. Dialogue was awkward at times, but worse (for me) was the excessive description of minutia.

While the novel was well-plotted, I found the pace slow and had difficulty retaining interest. I just couldn’t get immersed sufficient to care which character was dog-sitting and I’m not a person looking for recipes at the end. Not a cozy for me, but I’m sure there are many who will enjoy.

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

Rosepoint Rating:  Three point Five Stars

3 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press
ASIN: B09645DYV5
Print Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: August 5, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Paula Darnell - authorThe Author: An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications.

She is the author of the cozy mystery series, DIY Diva Mysteries, and a historical mystery, The Six-Week Solution. Her new cozy mystery series, Fine Art Mysteries, is in the works for 2021.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Seven-Year Witch (Witch Way Librarian Mysteries) by Angela M Sanders –#BookReview – Witch & Wizard Mysteries – #TuesdayBookBlog

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else…”

Book Blurb:

Finding your feet in a new job isn’t always easy. That goes double for Josie Way, who’s settling in as Wilfred, Oregon’s, new librarian—and has just discovered she’s a witch. But will her fledgling powers be enough to save her from a spell of murder?

Seven-Year Witch by Angela M SandersWhile Josie develops her witchcraft with the help of letters left by her grandmother, there are other changes happening in her new hometown. A retreat center is being built at the old mill site, and rumor has it that the location is cursed. That piques Josie’s interest almost as much as Sam Wilfred, handsome FBI agent and descendent of the town’s founder . . .

When Sam’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Fiona, goes missing at the same time that a bloodied weapon is found, Josie enlists her witchy insight, and her cat familiar, to clear Sam’s name. But then the mill project’s architect is found dead, and it’s clear that someone has been drawing up a vicious plan. Now Josie will have to divine her way out of fatal mischief, before this deadly trouble turns
double . . .

My Review:

Book two of the series and you know in your heart I didn’t get to read Book one. However, as an introduction to Josie Way, I had no problem “catching up.” Josie is still getting established in Wilfred OR. It’s a little town excited over getting a new retreat center. Coincidentally, or maybe not, Sam Wilfred, a descendent of the town’s founder just moved back home. Josie has the hots for him, but he’s married, don’t you know—with a little one.

Seven-Year Witch by Angela M SandersJosie is a serious librarian, not just a bibliophile, she has a paranormal connection to the books and a deep love for the old mansion-converted library. Her paranormal ability is something she recently discovered and is exploring. She found letters from her grandmother that wrote of the art of witchcraft and full of caution has proceeded with both instructions and lessons.

Sam’s marriage is headed for divorce and the erstwhile wife suddenly disappears, making him the first person of interest. Of course she’ll look into it. He was a FBI profiler and works logically, steady, unemotionally when he can. She uses her abilities to gain clues.

It’s a cozy where no one cooks as they all congregate at Darla’s, the local café and rumor mill. There are a number of engaging characters, including her kitty, Rodney. There is high drama, perceived curses, twists, turns, and torment over the situation with Sam.

I found it entertaining, certainly holding my interest although one scene definitely pushes disbelieving boundaries. Sassy, smart, fun. It will be a series I’ll continue to read.

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: Witch & Wizard Mysteries, Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Books

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08P81P7NY

Print Length: 222 pages
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Angela M Sanders - authorThe Author: Angela M. Sanders worked for more than a decade as a congressional investigator before turning author. Her lack of success finding bathtub reading that was indulgent yet smart led her to write the Joanna Hayworth Vintage Clothing mysteries and The Booster Club capers, which center around a retirement home for petty criminals. Under the pen name Clover Tate, she also wrote three kite shop cozy mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The Witch Way Librarian series of cozy mysteries for Kensington debuts with Bait and Witch on December 29, 2020.

When she isn’t at her laptop, Angela is rummaging in thrift shops, lounging with a vintage detective novel, or pontificating about how to make the perfect martini.

Subscribe to Angela’s newsletter to stay on top of new releases as well as indulge in a taste of the world of her novels, including fashion advice from Edith Head, vintage cocktail recipes, Golden Age detective novel reviews, and more. http://www.angelamsanders.com

©2021 V Williams – V Williams

The Body in the Apartment (A Zazzi Zanders Mystery Book 4) by Judi Lynn – a #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

The Body In the Apartment by Judi LynnThe charming homes of River Bluffs, Indiana, make perfect projects for house-flipper Jazzi Zanders. Less charming is her hothead brother-in-law, who’s a bit of a fixer-upper himself.
But could he also be a murderer?

Jazzi married her gorgeous contractor Ansel—not his family. But somehow she keeps living with them. So she’s delighted to help Ansel’s brother Radley move out of their home and into his own place, in the same building as his work supervisor, Donovan. But when Donovan is shot and his apartment ransacked following an argument with Ansel and Radley’s older brother Bain, their sibling becomes a suspect—especially after his missing gun turns up as the murder weapon.

Told not to leave town by Detective Gaff, big brother moves in with . . . Jazzi and Ansel. Now Jazzi needs to prove Bain’s no killer, not only to keep him out of jail—but to get him out of their house. What was the killer looking for in Donovan’s apartment? And what will happen to the next person who gets in the way?

My Review:

Book 4 has Jazzi and Ansel happily married and seeing Radley, Ansel’s brother, moving to an apartment of his own. Unfortunately, Bain, their oldest brother comes to River Bluffs at the same time to retrieve Radley and drag him (kicking and screaming) back to the old farm. Having once fled, no way he’ll go back and he’s moving to the same complex where his co-worker Donovan lives. Unfortunately, Bain and Donovan quarrel and when Donovan is shot, and Bain’s gun is inexplicably missing, guess who looks like suspect numero uno? Of course, they know he didn’t do it, but can’t leave now.

The Body in the Apartment by Judi LynnSo now that they’ve inherited the temporary responsibility for Bain, he’s taking Radley’s bedroom but boredom overtakes and he asks to be included in the current house-flipping project, a Victorian somewhere between them and Jerod, Jazzi’s cousin and a big third of their rehabbing efforts. Jerod’s wife is soon to have their third baby, so an extra hand couldn’t hurt.

With the death of Donovan, Detective Gaff  (is the author having a little fun with the reader choosing that name?) once again calls upon Jazzi to help with his interviews and investigations gleaning leads where he can’t. (Where did he get his badge?)

In the meantime, her hands are full with helping on the fixer-upper, coordinating food and accommodations (their own home–rehabbed to allow for guests and parties) for her sister’s wedding, their usual Sunday dinners with the family, the extended family, and anyone else who wants an easy Sunday with great food. I’ve read three of the four in the series and always wonder where Jazzi gets the time to do any of the extensive food prep and cooking described, why they aren’t waiting for housing inspectors to pass their rehab work, or how long it took them to get the permit approvals to do some of the extensive removal of walls). Her gorgeous 6’5″ Viking, Ansel, is the General Contractor, if I remember correctly, but he has few subs. Okay, I’m still over-thinking it all and this is a cozy mystery.

And it is one low-key and well-plotted, easy-paced mystery. It’s not out to build tension, but tell a story. The main plot is cleverly tucked betwixt and between Jazzi’s life. She fits in a few interviews of her own and passes her intelligence to Gaff who in turn relays his discoveries back to her and between them, formulate theories. The perp isn’t hard to figure–pretty obvious early on.

So what is it that’s so compelling about the series? The characters, the location (Indiana, for heaven’s sake, and the reason we took a quick trip down to Logansport to check out the Trail–nice– but short), and the whole unique staging of house-flippers. Bain gradually goes from unlikeable character to one with new familial possibilities, extending Ansel’s side.

Yes! A series that I started with Book 1 (and thought I’d read them all–apparently not.) Still, although it might fill in a few blanks, this entry could very well act as a standalone if you haven’t read them all. The conclusion escalates into a gritty, heart-pounding climax. Then, as with any good cozy, soothes the heart rate, and dissolves all loose threads, quietly setting the stage for Book 5. And I’ll be looking forward to it.

I received this digital download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review (HOW’D I miss Book 3?). Recommended as a culinary cozy, but you know I don’t read these for the recipes…although one does look interesting.)

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Crafts and Hobbies Mystery, Cozy Culinary Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Press

  • ISBN-10:1516110234
  • ISBN-13:978-1516110230
  • ASIN: B07TT2RWQ5

Print Length: 204 pages
Publication Date: March 17, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Body in the Apartment (Amazon) 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4-stars

Judi Lynn - authorThe Author: [Judi Lynn] USA Today Best-selling author for The Body in the Attic.
When I started self-publishing, I wrote urban fantasy as Judith Post. Then my wonderful agent, Lauren Abramo, suggested I try to find a publisher by writing romance, and she was right. I sold my Mill Pond romances to Kensington’s Lyrical Press. After six romances, my equally wonderful editor, John Scognamiglio, asked if I’d like to try to write a mystery. Ironic, because I started writing–forever ago–by writing mystery short stories and selling them. I decided to write about a fixer-upper because my husband and I bought a 1920s small bungalow when we got married, and it needed lots of work. We’re still working on it. And cooking crept into the stories because I LOVE to cook and have friends over to eat supper with us. A lot of my passions have ended up in my books:)

[Goodreads] Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.

©2020 V Williams V Williams