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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June Mystery Reviews

-New Berkley releases for the month of June!

These are first in a new series releases and each of them were really good. With in depth plots and characters that meshed very well together. I have an interest in the Amish though, so HEARSE AND BUGGY captured my attention and is a series I will be sure to follow. It has a different theme to it that is interesting and educational of the Amish lifestyle at the same time. I really liked it. THE AZALEA ASSAULT was equally as good, but more typical of the mystery cozies I read.

HEARSE AND BUGGY An Amish Mystery by Laura Bradford June 2012 release by Berkley ISBN:978-0-425-25131-7  Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher Rating: 4.0

THE AZALEA ASSAULT A Garden Society Mystery by Alyse Carlson June 2012 release by Berkley ISBN: 978-0-425-25130-0 Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher Rating: 3.0

GRACE AMONG THIEVES A Manor House Mystery by Julie Hyzy. June 2012 release by Berkley. ISBN: 978-0-425-25139-3. Reading GRACE AMONG THIEVES was like coming home. I love this series and the writing style of Julie Hyzy. There are always unexpected twists and details that are surprising. This one ends on an interesting note that makes you look forward to the next book. The characters are like family and the story line flows beautifuly. A great addition to the series. Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher Rating: 4.0

THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT A Domestic Diva Mystery by Krista Davis. June 2012 release by Berkley. ISBN: 978-0-425-25134-8.  Be prepared! When you pick up this book you will be going on a ride that has more twists and turns than a country road. With a few main themes going on, at times you will wonder if you are lost until things start falling into place. This series usually has great spunk but this one is a little lacking but still a nice read. Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher Rating: 3.0

THREADED FOR TROUBLE A Threadville Mystery by Janey Bolin. June 2012 release by Berkley. ISBN: 978-0-425-25132-4.  What a wonderful read! I was captured from the beginning and couldn't wait to see how everything was going to end up. Willow is a super sleuth and a great friend. If you like books that make you want to pull up a chair and feel like you are part of the action, get this one!Threadville is a hopping place to be. Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher Rating: 4.0

CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL A Fortune Teller Mystery by Kari Lee Townsend. June 2012 release by Berkley. ISBN: 978-0-425-25133-1. Psychic Sunshine Meadows has been cleared as a prime suspect and is eager to get back to life. Until her love interests ex girlfriend winds up missing and Sunny watches her last moments in her crystal ball. Now with her visions to go by, the police are able to find the body and are trying to piece together what happened. Little does Sunny know that she has put herself right in the line of fire. A wonderful paranormal mystery read. This series is solid and gives the reader an interesting and complicated read every time. Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher. Rating: 4.0

CAST ON, KILL OFF A Knitting Mystery by Maggie Sefton. A June 2012 release by Berkley. ISBN: 978-0-425-24759-4 Right when the happiest time in the knitter's group lives should be happening with a wedding in their midst, it is interuppted by a dead body. For a small town, a lot of people sure seem to end up in trouble! Though the victim's husband is the key suspect, Kelly Flynn cannot help herself but try to figure out what really happened before Megan's wedding is to take place. The victim, Zoe, has made a lot of enemies but the reader will be shocked to discover who really had it in for her. Although I was able to figure out who the killer was, the tale was interesting and the recipes and knitting patterns at the end were a great bonus. Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher Rating: 3.0

That is all of the June 2012 mystery reviews. I hope you find something that strikes your fancy! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Review: EVERGLADES by Petie McCarty

Petie McCarty
Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN: 10:1-61252-172-X
ISBN: 978-1-61252-172-5
May 2012
Contemporary Romance

Late! Kayli Heddon did not want to start her new assignment on the wrong foot and with the cold greeting she received this is definitely going to be a long day. And just when she thought things could not get worse, Clay Jameson, the Governor’s deputy chief appears. Kayli sincerely hopes that Governor Drake has not sent Clay to monitor her work photographing the conservation efforts underway in the Florida Everglades. Skye Landers is only on this tour because his cousin was needed elsewhere and asked Skye to fill in for him. Proud of his heritage, Skye decided that Kayli needs a private tour different from her planned itinerary. Things get a little close for comfort and before long the two find themselves in a sticky situation.

EVERGLADES is a story filled with a hot romance, shady politicians, murder and secrets, all the ingredients needed to make a great story!

Reviewed by Monica
Rating 4

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WINTER GARDEN by Adele Ashworth

Adele Ashworth
Avon Publishing
ISBN# 978-0-06-190589-6
June 2012
Historical Romance

Thomas Blackwood used to be handsome, with his life mostly superficial and boring. After a tragic accident, he's now maimed and working for the government undercover. Madeleine DuMais has been assigned with him to work a case in the small village of Winter Garden. Madeleine is surprised by how captivated by and attracted she is to Thomas, who is mysterious and alluring at the same time. Together they will try to infiltrate and bring down a local gentleman who is steeped in the opium trade there. Along the way, there is a powerful attraction that draws them together, which leads to some heated and very sexy scenes. Yet, when all is finally revealed, Madeleine will have to face her feelings of betrayal to come to terms with her situation.

WINTER GARDEN is not your cookie cutter "romance" novel. This is a complex, very erotic romance, with intricately woven threads of desire, deceit and danger. It has such palpable sexual tension and searing passion between Maddie and Thomas, it is super-charged hot! Filled with emotional longing and deep desires, it will leave readers breathless. The plot of the opium is a sideline to the very real character driven story between Thomas and Maddie. It has been on my keeper shelf since 2000 when it was first published and is still there. If this had been a new release, it would have made the "5" rating.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4.5

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Four new June releases

A June 2012 Berkley release is HOT BUTTON, A Button Box Mystery, by Kylie Logan (ISBN: 978-0-425-25135-5). Many of us have attended conferences either for fun or for work and button collector Josie Giancola is the chair for an international conference for button collectors. She has planned for everything but murder. When her key note speaker winds up dead in the hotel's linen room, all eyes are on Josie. This is when the real ride begins. Intertwining histories, old grudges, and surprise suspects will keep the reader entranced until the very end. An excellent summer time read that includes antique button collecting tips if this is an interest of yours. I give it a rating of 4.0.

Three Obsidian June releases are:

DEAD MAN WALTZING, A Ballroom Dance Mystery, by Ella Barrick (ISBN: 978-0-451-23734-7). This series is quick witted and clever. The main character, Stacy Graysin, is down to earth and gorgeous. When she finds out her ballroom instructor, Maurice, is a prime suspect in the death of Corinne Blakely, a grande dame of international ballroom dancing, and Maurice's ex wife, the whole dance world is in an uproar. In order to clear Maurice's name and protect her dance studio from further negative reviews, Stacy need to kick it up into overdrive. But with her tenacity and loyalty, no one will remain standing. Although I figured out who done it early on in the story line, it was still a charming story and the ending will leave you waiting for the next book to see what is going to ultimately unfold!
Rating: 3.0

QUILT OR INNOCENCE, A Southern Quilting Mystery, by Elizabeth Craig (ISBN: 978-0-451-23733-0). This is a first release of a new series. Retired folk art curator Beatrice Coleman knows everything there is about quilts except how to make them. She has moved to Dappled Hills, NC, to be closer to her daughter and has been asked to join a quilters club. But when she finds herself in the midst of a store closing and the landlord, Judith, dead, she may have bitten off more than she could chew. But her new townmates are depending on her expert eye for detail to help unweave the path of evil that has come over them all. But can she do it before her own life is on the line? This is a great debut for a new series about mystery and friendship. I look forward to the new release to see what this group of quilting women will get into next. The quilting tips are a huge bonus as well! Rating: 3.0

MONK: MR. MONK IS A MESS, An Original Mystery Novel, by Lee Goldberg (ISBN: 978-0-451-23687-6). Mr. Monk is a Mess is another great addition to the Monk series. When Monk and Natalie, his assistant, return to San Francisco, Natalie finds someone has been sleeping in her bed. And then got herself killed in her bathtub. And left stolen federal money under her mattress. Natalie needs Monk to help her out, but he is having trouble of his own. His brother's girlfriend is missing and wants Monk to help find her, since he cannot leave his house. As the body count continues to rise, it is clear that Yuki's disappearance is tied to the deaths, but they need to find out how, and fast. Thankfully, that is how Monk solves murders. Quickly. This is a typical Monk read with one surprising twist near the end. You won't want to miss it! Rating: 4.0

Stay tuned for some more great summertime mystery reads!
Kathy Fisher

Friday, June 01, 2012

I'm on a roll this Friday night and am posting one more review.  This book should not be missed!

Cindy Holby
Berkley Sensation
ISBN:  978-0-425-24841-6
May 2012

After I read this book, I just shook my head and wondered where Cindy Holby has been hiding!  This is one of the best historicals I’ve read this year and is the first in a new series about the small Colorado town of Angel’s End.  A tiny place, with a statue of an angel in the middle of the street, this community is populated by shop owners, ranchers, and a widow named Leah Findley.  The mother of a young son, she works in the local restaurant and has been designated to provide a room for the new minister, when he comes to town. 

Cade Gentry is a man on the run from a ruthless killer.  Wounded and nearly dead, he stumbles upon Timothy Key, the young minister on his way to Angel’s End.  When Timothy is shot and killed, Cade decides his only chance for survival is to assume the identity of the minister.  Cade ends up in Angel’s End, in Leah’s spare room and this is where the story gets very interesting. 

This book is simply amazing!  I could not put it down.  Fast paced and well plotted, it gives us a realistic view of the rustic and violent life faced by these early citizens of the west.  Yet, what comes through is the strength and courage of those who lived this life.  This novel has lots of colorful animals, hints of childhood trauma, and the effects of loss.  It has the power to evoke strong emotions in readers.  It receives my highest praise and I cannot wait for the next installment of this powerful new series.  Highly recommended for those who love western romance.

Reviewed by:  Jeri Neal
Rating:  4 1/2

Here's a May review of a terrific book!

Colorado Cattle Barons
Barbara Dunlop
Harlequin Desire #2158
ISBN:  978-0-373-73171-8
May 2012
Category Romance

This latest in a terrific series, this book tells the story of Zach Rainer, a self-made man who is CEO of a beer brewery and eager to get the water rights that will allow one of his beers to continue production.  Abigail Jacobs meets him one night in a local bar and they engage in the quintessential one night stand.  They have no idea of each other’s identity and are shocked when they encounter each other around the water rights issues. 

Abigail, who loves the business world, has reluctantly gone back to her family’s successful ranch to help her brother.  Not knowing who he is, she tells Zach much more than intended.  When he uses this information to get her help she is furious.  Yet, she cannot help the growing passion between them and soon the one night stand is much more intense.

This is a really well done category romance, filled with excellent character development, a well thought out plot, and hot romance between two likable characters.  I was very pleased at the high quality of this book.  You will get your monies worth on this one—kudos to Ms. Dunlop for a great novel. 

Reviewed by:  Jeri Neal
Rating:  4 ½