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Monday, January 30, 2012

A few other January reads

Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

IT TAKES A WITCH is the first Wishcraft Mystery by Heather Blake. This is a great new series about witches and commoners. It is lighthearted and yet provides a solid mystery with a twist. This series is different than other mystery series that have a touch of paranormal. Definitely one to pick up and continue to read. Enjoyable and interesting.

Obsidian Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-451-23552-7 Rating: 3.0

A CLAUSE FOR MURDER by Jill Shure is a mystery full of drama. A nice alternate to the predictable mystery reads, Jill writes a book full of strong women, lust, and mayhem. Perfect combinations for a nice, quick read. The characters have a tension that sizzles off the pages whether it is through hot sex, or jealousy. A good by the fire read.

Jill Shure 2010 release ISBN: 978-0982-4105-30 Rating: 3.0

ROYAL PAINS Sick Rich by D.P. Lyle is a story based on the US Network Television Series. Dr. Hank Lawson is now a concierge doctor to the rich and famous in the Hamptons. When local kids start cropping up with weird symptoms indicative of drug abuse, Hank is intriqued. And determined to get to the root of the issue without losing either any patients, or his patience. A typical ROYAL PAINS book that is fast paced, interesting, laced with medical issues and complicated relationships.

Obsidian Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-451-23553-4 Rating: 4.0

AN APPETITE FOR MURDER A Key West Food Critic Mystery is the first in a new series. A fast paced book with solid characters, a fabulous setting, and interesting plot. I can't wait to read the next one in this series! Hayley Snow followed her soul mate to Key West only to be dumped a few weeks later. She applies for a job as a food critic which is the perfect job for her, but her boss is the woman who stole her boyfriend from her. Hayley cannot picture things getting worse until her new boss ends up dead and she is the prime suspect. This book makes you want to plan a trip to Key West and try out the yummy restaurants and recipes as well as bask in the sun.

Obsidian Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-451-23551-0 Rating: 4.0

Time to reveal some January new releases!

If you are looking for some winter time reads, although our weather has not been very wintery, I have a few for you to look up!~
Reviews submitted by: Kathy Fisher

AFFAIRS OF STEAK by Julie Hyzy is another addition to the A White House Chef Mystery series and it is very tasty! White House chef, Olivia Paras, finds herself in a sticky situation once again. How she always ends up finding the roasted bodies, she will never know, but they seem to turn up right when she does not need them to, especially when she is working with her arch nemesis, Peter Sargeant. These dead bodies put a person spin on Peter's life though when the one person who may have saw who done it is Peter's unstable brother. An great read that is as filling as the recipes included.
Berkley Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-425-24583-5 Rating: 3.0

DIE JOB A Southern Beauty Shop Mystery by Lila Dare has fun beauty tips and tricks included with the weaving mystery. When the local Georgia town mansion is said to be haunted, Rachel Whitley, a high school senior, thinks it is fake. But when a classmate ends up sprawled where the infamous owner of the home died, she no longer thinks so. This tale is as twisting as an old country road. The plot thickens in the right spots and leaves you amazed in others. This one will be a great addition to the series where Southern women put on their thinking caps and save the day.

Berkley Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-425-24588-0 Rating: 4.0

MONK Mr. Monk On Patrol has the intricate mystery tidbits that the readers come to expect with MONK story lines. In this one, Sharon, Monk's old assistant comes to ask Monk for help in New Jersey where she now lives with the former SFPD lieutenant Randy Disher. When Disher finds himself suddenly the mayor, really bad things begin to happen. Monk needs to work the case quickly or he may be going back home in a body bag. This story is written in the excellent caliber that the readers have come to expect from Lee Goldberg.

Obsidian Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-451-23561-9 Rating: 4.0

PLAN BEE A Queen Bee Mystery by Hannah Reed is a quirky mystery read that endears you to the characters immediately. Written in a small town setting, there isn't anything that Story Fischer can do that the townsfolk won't know about. Especially if it involves her bees. During the annual Harmony Festival is no exception. And when Story litterally stumbles upon a dead body in the cemetary, now the buzz has shifted away from her bees, and to murder. An interesting tale that will keep you entertained from the beginning to end.

Berkley Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-425-24621-4 Rating: 4.0

IF FRIED CHICKEN COULD FLY A Country Cooking School Mystery is the first in a new series that is bound to bring a lot of fans. This one also includes delicious recipes as well. Paige Shelton has another winner on her hands. At Gram's Country Cooking School, Betts and Gram are helping students prepare dishes for a cookoff when they discover the body of the local theater's owner in the supply room. Betts has to clear Gram's name, keep the school going, and dig into Broken Rope's rich history with the help of an unexpected visitor. The characters flow like old friends, the story line has a neat twist, and I can't wait to read the next one to see what happens next!

Berkley Jan 2012 release ISBN: 978-0-425-24585-9 Rating: 3.0

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Few More December Release Reads

YOU MIGHT AS WELL DIE is An Algonquin Round Table Mystery release written by J.J. Murphy. A fast paced historical mystery focused around a group of writers, in which Dorothy Parker is a member of. She always seems to be the brunt end of horrendous mysteries that need to be solved, but who better equipped to do it than newspaper writers? The twists and turns with the early 1920's music playing in your head brings about a nice flavor for Murphy's series. And of course, Dot Parker is a sassy slueth who takes nothing from her male counterparts so that always brings a grin or two. (ISBN: 978-0-451-23532-9 Obsidian Dec 2011 Rating: 3.0)

A COOKIE BEFORE DYING is a new release in A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery written by Virginia Lowell. Olivia Greyson is the owner of The Gingerbread House which specializes in cookies. She is taunted by the store owner on the opposite side who owns The Vegtable Plate that sugar is bad for people and her store should close. Although there is no love lost between these women, when Livie finds Charlene's veggie shop broken into, she is on the case. Especially when later she finds the body of the man she saw flee Charlen's store. This winding tale of how two people can build a friendship through adversity would be completely touching, if not for Virginia Lowell's hilarious writing style and incidents that occur as Livie is trying her best to be a secret sleuth. A nice read about friends, neighbors, and how far we really will go to solve a good mystery.
(ISBN:978-0-425-24501-9 Berkley December 2011 Rating: 3.0)

THE LAST WORD by Ellery Adams is a new release in A Books By The Bay Mystery series. This series is like an old shoe. Comfortable and easy to slip into the small town of Oyster Bay. Olivia Limoges and the Bayside Book Writers feel like old friends whether you have read all of the series, or are beginning with this one. Olivia is a terrific sleuth, and someone you would want on your side as you go through trials or triumphs. The pages of this story will fly by! An excellent sit by the fire, curled up, and not to be disturbed read!
(ISBN:978-0-425-24500-2 Berkley Dec 2012 release Rating: 4.0)

THE COCOA CONSPIRACY was written by Andrea Penrose and is a new addition to the A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery series. It is a high paced, breath holding, dark of night historical mystery that will have you constantly checking around each corner before you walk on. Arianna is a smart and fiesty heroine that makes you want to grab the edge of her skirts in order to not miss one thing that she sees. An interesting read on politics, chocolate, love, and the internal desire to know the whole truth. You will not be able to put this one down.
(ISBN: 978-0-451-23531-2 Obsidian Dec 2011 Rating: 4.0)

CROPS AND ROBBERS is a new A Farmer's Market Mystery written by Paige Shelton. Someone is headed out to do a killing and it's not at the farmers market. And it's not Becca Robins, although it is someone who had been mean to her, and it is at her farm. Still, Becca is not one to sit back on her preserves and let someone tell her she did it when she knows she didn't. And she is not one to listen when the going gets, well, sticky either. Becca is a normal woman who finds herself in the most inopportune situations. This time, her mom is in it too. So she has to work double time to make sure they both don't end up in a double cooker! This is a read that reminds us that summer is coming with it's fragrant breezes of fresh farm food and farmers selling their wares. A nice addition to your winter reading stack.
(ISBN: 978-0-425-24499-9 December 2011 Berkley release Rating: 3.0)

FOUL PLAY AT FOUR is A Lois Meade Mystery written by Ann Purser. Lois Meade is a mother, a housecleaner, and a secret super slueth in the dead of night. When a client needs some extra TLC, Lois is ready for the job. Until other robberies occur, even to her own daughter's store! And then when Lois' husband gets hit in the head when he stops to check on one of her clients, Lois knows there is something amiss underfoot. Never one to let the dust settle, Lois is on the case. But she has to be very careful to make sure she isn't the next one to be hit in the head and hidden in a back barn left for dead. This read takes you a few steps back into time on a spinning path that will make you shake your head in disbelief. A fun read and a good addition to the series.
(ISBN:978-0-425-24359-6 Berkley Dec 2011 release Rating: 3.0)

Friday, January 13, 2012

New December Releases

Since the holidays are over and we can all snuggle down with some good books through the rest of the winter season, I would like to share with you a few December releases in the Mystery department.

A SPIRITED GIFT was written by Joyce and Jim Lvene. It is a new release in the A Missing Pieces Mystery series. Revisiting Dae, O'Donnell, the mayor of Duck, NC is like visiting an old friend. This series is nice in that you can pick it up wherever and not feel lost. Each book gives a different piece of Dae, but none build on each other so the reader feels great just jumping in. And jump in you must! This series is lively with great characters that mesh well together and the plot is always interesting. If you have ever lived near or in a coastal town, you will love this one! (ISBN: 978-0-425-24502-6 Dec 2011 release by Berkley Rating:4.0)

A PLAY OF HERESY was written by Margaret Frazer and is an addition to A Joliffe The Player Mystery. This one is a little slow at first if you do not know all of the characters. But once you get a feel for the story line which is based in 1438, the plot because to flow quickly. Writing back in time is difficult due to realistic historical components that must be followed and Margaret Frazer does a fabulous job at doing this. Joliffe is involved in two extravagant plays. One with his fellow players he helps direct, but the other he is a player in. The group is mismatched and the director and Joliffe must make them all pull together before show time. When one of the players is murdered, Joliffe wonders if it was purely an accident, or related to the upheaval of silent heretics that want to destroy the church. He must find the answer without putting his own life, or livelyhood, on the line. A wonderful read!
(ISBN: 978-0-425-24347-3 Dec. 2011 release by Berkley Rating: 4.0)

THREADBARE is A Needlecraft Mystery written by Monica Ferris. When you live in a small town, you do not expect to have many homeless people, let alone wind up finding them dead. But that is what happens in Excelsior, Minnesota. One of the homeless women had a will sewn into her belongings bequething everything to her niece Emily, who is a member of the Monday Brunch at Betsy Devonshire's Crewel World needlework shop. That is what prompts Betsy to begin sluething again. Putting together all of the facts is dangerous work and she has to wind it all together quickly before the killer strikes out again! Not only does this book give you a winding plot to follow, it also includes free embroidery patterns. A score either way!!!
(ISBN:978-0-425-24358-9 Dec 2011 release by Berkley Rating: 3.0)