Not a bad mystery. I did like the ending - it totally took me by surprise, which is not easy to do since I've been a mystery fan since...well, never mNot a bad mystery. I did like the ending - it totally took me by surprise, which is not easy to do since I've been a mystery fan since...well, never mind. Let's just say a long time. Very well done in that department.
This could have been so much better, though. This is the 2nd in a series and already seems to want to ride on the coattails of the first. The character of main suspect Fiona, for instance, is supposed to be beloved on Mackinac Island. Yet we are not given anything to tell us why she is so loved. If we're supposed to remember from the first book - sorry, even though I read it, I don't recall Fiona's love factor. And if I hadn't read the first book, I should have been able to understand the characters as if this were a stand-alone. Capiche? Angelo would appreciate that. He would also appreciate being presented with more depth here.
There is such a lot of promise in this book that isn't delivered, as if the author wrote this in a hurry. But enough is delivered that I can give it 3 stars. I'm hoping that with the next book, "enough" is not enough. Capiche?...more
It's been a long time since I've disliked a book this much. I was intrigued by the fact that the mystery took place in a department store, since my fiIt's been a long time since I've disliked a book this much. I was intrigued by the fact that the mystery took place in a department store, since my first job was part-time in a department store when I was 16. However, my intrigue was quickly replaced by disbelief and the desire to delete the thing from my Nook.
Haley is probably the most unlikable character I've seen, ever. It's fine to have an unlikable character, but at least delve into her inner workings a bit so we can understand why she is so shallow, self-involved, and irresponsible. And at least surround her with characters who have slightly more life than paper dolls.
When Haley ducked down behind a clothes rack so she wouldn't have to assist a customer, then tried duck-walking to another area when the customer came too near - I think that was supposed to be funny. It wasn't. I had more of a sense of responsibility when I was 16 than this so-called adult. She didn't seem to feel much of a shock when she found her co-worker's body. Worse, neither did anyone else. I get that he wasn't likable guy, but finding a murdered man at work should cause some shock waves, at the very least.
At the end, an effort was made to make Haley grow up a bit, but it was too little, too late. I snorted aloud when Haley defended lowly store clerks to her snooty mom. Really, Haley? All of a sudden you feel camaraderie with people that you had been looking down on yourself? Also, it's hard to believe she got away with all the insubordination she gave her supervisors. I don't understand why she wasn't fired. It's not as if she were so indispensable.
The only reason I kept reading is because the author does have talent and managed to keep me grudgingly wanting to see what happened next, despite my intense dislike of Haley. Unfortunately, there was too much lazy writing (especially when it came to characterization). Even though I'm mildly curious about the cliffhanger at the end, I won't be reading any more of this series....more
An excellent second entry to the series. Holly Miller is getting more defined as a character, as are the other regulars. I love Twinkletoes the kittenAn excellent second entry to the series. Holly Miller is getting more defined as a character, as are the other regulars. I love Twinkletoes the kitten but I wish there was more emphasis on her kitten-ality while she is still a kid - because she is going to grow up to be a cat pretty quickly, right? And some opportunities for kitten mischief will have been lost. I suspect the author is more of a dog lover.
But that's OK. This was a fun read. The mystery is less convoluted than in the first book, and I took every opportunity to pick up this book and get a fix. This is going to be a great series if it continues to grow and develop!...more
Despite the hideously cutesy, unlikely name of the town, Wagtail (ugh!), I want to live there. A whole town that caters to pets? Heck, yeah! When canDespite the hideously cutesy, unlikely name of the town, Wagtail (ugh!), I want to live there. A whole town that caters to pets? Heck, yeah! When can I move? Of course, there is the little matter of the murders.
Holly Miller isn't a lovable heroine, but she's not unlikable either. I like them in the middle like that. She was a fundraiser in Washington D.C., thus the harder edge, but that makes her more realistic in a setting where she could really go over the top with the cutesy (and believe me, the town's name is more than enough of that).
The one clunker for me was the evil former schoolmate/store owner who throws away Holly's dog's (we all know she's going to keep the stray dog, right?) GPS tracking collar, takes the dog to the back door, and pinches her so she runs away. There was little explanation given as to why this woman would be so hateful that she'd do such a thing. Unless she's Charles Manson's secret granddaughter, I'm not buying it.
Still, this was overall a fun read and kept me turning the pages! ...more
A woman with the unlikely nickname of Foxtrot is the personal assistant to an eccentric, elderly rich lady who loves to throw parties that bring togetA woman with the unlikely nickname of Foxtrot is the personal assistant to an eccentric, elderly rich lady who loves to throw parties that bring together everyone from rock stars to scientists. There is also a zoo and a pet cemetery on the property. So maybe Foxtrot shouldn't have been surprised when her long-dead cat and a mysterious shape-shifting dog nose their way into her life - communicating with her telepathically. It appears that Foxtrot has a natural gift for something that the animals won't pinpoint, but it has to do with preventing a murder that will endanger the pet cemetery.
I've found that cozy mysteries of the paranormal variety can be a bit on the iffy side for me. I've felt that some authors have pulled it off and others haven't (strictly in my own tastes). So I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this one. However, it involved a cat, so...
I really enjoyed reading this. It's different from other paranormal copies I've read. We get to meet many of the animals who have passed from this world. Some of it is achingly touching (like Topsy the elephant), and some of reads as if it were the results of a mind experiment in Timothy Leary's lab. Still, Foxtrot and her human compatriots were so well characterized that I actually felt a reality bonding it all together. Oh, yes, and the mystery itself was good, too. The solution didn't shock me, but I found the resolution to be delicious.
I'd like to see more of this series. I'm intrigued!...more
Easily the best cozy mystery I've read this year (and I've gotten my hands on a surprising number of really good ones since 2016 started!). The newlywEasily the best cozy mystery I've read this year (and I've gotten my hands on a surprising number of really good ones since 2016 started!). The newlyweds, plus-sized Southern belle Savannah Reid and her Yankee groom Dirk Coulter, are still getting used to sharing a space when murder intrudes. There is a lot going on, between the murder, the relationships between all of the involved parties, and the solution of the mystery, but the author handles it deftly and makes us care. The scene in which Savannah discovers all too late that her new hubby has left the toilet seat up...that would seem a scenario as old as the West Virginia mountains, but the author wrote it in such an entertaining way that I was literally screaming with laughter. My neighbors were probably ready to call the police, or the rescue squad. And then there was the car accident scene, which had me crying like the proverbial baby. All in all, this is a book that every cozy fan must read....more
I've read at least one of the earlier books in the series and liked it. I'm not sure why I didn't keep up with the series, but I will need to remedy tI've read at least one of the earlier books in the series and liked it. I'm not sure why I didn't keep up with the series, but I will need to remedy that. This entry, #18, stands well on its own but now I want more of plus-sized private detective Savannah Reid and her cantankerous (but smitten) new police detective husband. This story finds them on their honeymoon on an island off the coast of California. Unfortunately, even in this paradise, they can't escape stumbling into a murder case.
This is a fun romp, with richly drawn characters, vivid background, and humor that had me laughing out loud. At the end is a preview of the next book in the series, which I'm going to go put on my Amazon wish list right now. I won't make the mistake of losing track of Savannah's adventures again!...more
The first in a series. I enjoyed this tremendously. The ending leans to the far-fetched side, in my opinion, but other than that I enjoyed the colorfuThe first in a series. I enjoyed this tremendously. The ending leans to the far-fetched side, in my opinion, but other than that I enjoyed the colorful world of the Greek restaurant and the well-defined characters. Will definitely be reading the rest of the series!...more
I have to admit that I bought this book purely because the title is a play on a Duran Duran song. It's the 11th in the Coffee House cozy mystery serieI have to admit that I bought this book purely because the title is a play on a Duran Duran song. It's the 11th in the Coffee House cozy mystery series, which I haven't read - and besides, I hate coming in in the middle of a series. (I'm not all that fond of cutesy titles, either, but hey...Duran Duran).
So I wasn't sure what to expect of this book featuring coffee house manager Clare Cosi. It was a nice surprise to find myself drawn into Clare's world. Quite befitting that a story surrounding a Greenwich Village coffeehouse would also be surrounded by a variety of colorful characters, such as Clare's globetrotting ex-husband/business partner, and her new rival Kaylie the Kupcake Kween.
As well as fun characterization, this gem of a book also contains a solution to the mystery that is perfectly plausible and that I never guessed at. I am definitely interested in reading more of this series....more
An engaging mystery written by a very talented author. I loved his skills with the Asperger's child and the information he taught us while still givinAn engaging mystery written by a very talented author. I loved his skills with the Asperger's child and the information he taught us while still giving a wonderfully-written mystery. I've read a few of Jeffrey Cohen's stories before and already knew he is awesome, so it was no surprise that I love this!...more