Friday, May 27, 2022

Missing Pieces - A Review

 



Missing Pieces



“Elvis Has Left the Building” by Cynthia Hickey 

“The Puzzle King” by Linda Baten Johnson 

“A Puzzling Weekend” by Teresa Ives Lilly 

“Puzzle Me This” by Janice Thompson

A Review

The publisher has brought together four different faith-based cozy mysteries all centered on the theme of Jigsaw puzzles. Each was enjoyable and provided a few hours of fun reading.

For this reader the most enjoyable story was Janice Thompson’s “Puzzle Me This”. Set in the annual Camden Jigsaw Puzzle Show, Mariah was opening a new business - selling Jigsaw puzzles - but it seemed like it would be a failure from the start. First were the gunshots heard throughout the Camden Opera House, home to the show; then came the dead body found near Mariah’s booth; the first night ended with the missing, i.e. stolen, “Grindle Point '' antique puzzle valued at over $2500. That puzzle was the key to Mariah’s future success and now it was gone.

Mariah, working with other shop owners and Detective Casey Durham of the Camden PD, would follow (stumble on) clues which would lead to the guilty party. The clues not only guided Mariah and her friends, but they also provided tantalizing breadcrumbs for the reader, leading to a very satisfying conclusion. This final story, and the book, gets five stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



Monday, May 23, 2022

The Diva Says Cheesecake - A Review

 




The Diva Says

Cheesecake



By

Krista Davis


Do you like cheeecake? Do you like cozy mysteries? If the answer to these two questions is “Yes”, then you will likely enjoy this book.

Tate Bodoin has died. Sophie Winston, owner of Old Town’s most well-known cheesecake store, had found the body. Now Sophie was a suspect. To clear her name she would need to “help” find the real culprit.

Besides being a very readable cozy, the author also includes excerpts from two local advice columnists within the story and some tasty recipes (both cheesecake and more) at the end of the book. This reader would not try them all, but several are eye-catching and worth considering for a future treat. Between the cozy and the recipes, I give this book four stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

A Disturbing Nature - A Review

                                                   A Disturbing Nature



by

Brian Lebeau

A Review

Though I was looking forward to reviewing this book, I found myself discouraged as I read. The discouragement began with the lengthy “Acknowledgments” (3 pages). This was followed by a one page “Author’s Note”. The author’s note seems mostly unnecessary in that it focuses on the setting and timing of the novel - elements clearly covered within the body of the book.


The book itself was more a set of character studies than mystery - this reader found himself quickly losing interest. The well-written story may be of interest to some, but I can only give the book two-stars.

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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Buried In A Good Book - A Review

 



Buried In

A Good Book



by

Tamara Berry

A Review


Sometimes an author does it exactly right. Tamara Berry has done just that. With the right amount of humor, the right amount of suspense, the right amount of romance, and the right amount of clues, Ms. Berry has put together a perfect cozy mystery.

Famous mystery writer, Tess Harrow, has come home for a change of pace with her teenage daughter to Northern Washington - Bigfoot country. She is struggling with her divorce, writer’s block, and teenage angst - would she survive the summer? Before the end of her first day home, she has to deal with body parts (literally) raining down on their temporary home.

As the back-page book blurb says, “... solving a real crime is a lot more difficult than writing about it …” Tess, her daughter, the local sheriff, and the town librarian, would have their hands full as they deal with an evil criminal, suspicious characters, and their own relationships. Here’s hoping for more in the series, the book receives five stars,
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



Friday, April 29, 2022

Killer in the Court - A Review

 



Murder She Wrote:
Killer on the Court



by

Jessica Fletcher
Terrie Farley Moran

A Review

Jessica Fletcher is visiting her nephew, Grady, his wife, Donna, and son, Frank. It is supposed to be a relaxing break at the beach in Rockaway NY. And it is until Donna discovers her boss’s body lying on a tennis court - her boss’s dead body.

Though there is some initial suspicion that the Fletcher clan may have been involved. That is quickly resolved, but then it falls on Jessica working with the NYPD to eliminate the suspects and identify the guilty party.

The result is a relaxing cozy mystery that moves quickly to a satisfying conclusion. It did leave this reader with two concerns. First, Frank is the most well-behaved, well-mannered, ten-year-old I have ever met - somewhat uncharacteristic for a young man his age. Second, the book’s resolution comes about unexpectedly with few hints provided to the reader as to the guilty party. Even with those flaws, the book was an enjoyable story and well-worth four stars I am giving it.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



Friday, April 22, 2022

Fatal Code - A Review

 



Fatal Code



by

Natalie Walters

A Review

The space race meets Los Alamos meets pseudocode in this modern faith-based thriller. Theoretical physicist, retired Iowa State professor, and grandfather of Elinor Mitchell has died - the book opens with his funeral. Unbeknownst to Elinor Mitchell, her grandfather has left behind the secrets to a decade old, unfinished, experiment from Los Alamos NM. Elinor had her own secret projects as well. And there were Russian, Chinese, and Industrial spies willing to kill for both.

Into the middle of this steps Kekoa Young, an Hawaiian cyber-expert working with SNAP, a defense contractor assigned to monitor the deepest secrets within the US and other Western governments. His current assignment is to build a relationship with Elinor to determine her commitment to the secrets she has access to - and the evidence suggests she is not as committed as she needs to be.

While most of the story takes place along the streets and areas around Washington DC, the story ends with a distant trip to Hawaii. It will be a difficult journey from the streets of the nation’s capital to the beaches of Hawaii - one that will threaten the lives of both Elinor and Keoka as well as their colleagues.

The book provided the suspense and thrills needed for a few Spring evenings. It deserves the five-star review I am giving it.

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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



A Margin for Murder - A Review

 



A Margin for Murder



Lauren Elliott


A Review

What do you get when you mix a used bookstore owner, a dying library, and a crooked mayor? You get a dead body and a wrecked bookmobile inside a cozy mystery with a twist.

Add a biased cop and a romantic triangle and things get interesting really quick. Lauren Elliott has written an interest-holding story that takes the reader through the different communities of Cape Cod where we meet a world famous author as well as a number of eccentric characters that make the Cape home.

I could not put this five-star cozy down and recommend it to anyone looking for good clean fun and murder.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.