Ever since I joined the Cozy Mystery group I've been discovering a whole new genre.
I was a big Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner fan when I wasEver since I joined the Cozy Mystery group I've been discovering a whole new genre.
I was a big Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner fan when I was growing up but in this past decade I've read very few mysteries and the ones I did were more thrillers or suspense novels.
This month book for discussion is Blaize Clement's Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter. This is the first book in the Dixie Hemingway series. Dixie is a Pet Sitter, she used to be a deputy in the Sheriff's Department but a personal tragedy lead her to leave the force and choose a job where she doesn't have to deal with people. She chooses to be a Pet Sitter, taking care of the animal while people are away on vacation.
On one of her visits to groom a cat she finds a dead man drowned in a cat bowl. She calls the police and tries to find the cat's owner who seems to have vanished. As she tries to contact her she finds herself more and more intrigued with the woman's life and the secrets she was keeping. She strucks a friendship with a young neighbour who also has some secrets of his own and soon another body is found.
Dixie can't stop herself from trying to know more about the situation, especially when she fast becames the target of malicious gossip for having found the bodies, and soon is adding up clues to find the truth.
I really liked Dixie. She is a woman which had to deal with loosing her husband and child and is now trying to get back on her feet after 3 years. Although she thinks she is doing fine a comment by one of the detectives makes her realise she has been hiding emotionally and she starts to reflect on that.
Then I really liked this small town atmosphere with the diner, the club... it seemed very real and with real people. No nosy old ladies here...
And especially I liked Dixie interaction with the animals - cats and dogs - and her reflections on each's personality. It was so much fun and the animals were really lovable.
All in all one of my favourite books so far in 2007, and A....more
really really enjoyed this book. It was funny, witty, had interesting characters and lots and lots of humour. I sure love these kind of books.
Sophie really really enjoyed this book. It was funny, witty, had interesting characters and lots and lots of humour. I sure love these kind of books.
Sophie Dempsey goes to Temptation with her sister Amy to help her shoot a movie. As soon as they arrive they are involved in a car accident and the rumours that they are shooting a porno movie start.
Enter the Mayor Phin Tucker to investigate the case as the members of the council want to approve an anti porn law. Sophie is not happy with him poking around since he is the kind of guy who hurt her when she was young. But Phin just doesn’t give up and in the middle of some very funny dialogues manages to convince her otherwise.
The council members, the movie’s actress and respective husband, Phin and Sophie’s families only contribute more to make this a very entertaining story. I think Sophie was a bit too devoted to her grown sister, always solving her problems for her but it really didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Phin was just great with his laid back attitude about being a mayor and how he really wanted was to shoot pool and dedicate himself to his bookstore.
There are two secondary romances and some mysteries to uncover not to mention a murder plot but all of them bring something funny to the story. This somewhat unusual small town is the perfect setting for this book.
My love of cozy mysteries has no end. Most of the books I read are actually very good (or I’ve been very lucky) and I just finished another good one tMy love of cozy mysteries has no end. Most of the books I read are actually very good (or I’ve been very lucky) and I just finished another good one today. One of the books in this series was set to be discussed at one of my groups and my friend Leya was so nice she sent me a copy of this one I couldn’t find anywhere.
In the Royal Oak suburb of Detroit, thirtysomething Abby Cooper lives a life that’s kind of like vanilla ice cream—good enough, but a little bland. Her work as a P.I—psychic intuitive—can be rewarding, but she feels like somehow she’s missing out on the hot fudge topping… Now she’s getting what she wished for—as one of her clients turns up dead and the clues start pointing in Abby’s direction. She just knows too many details about the murder for her own good. To make matters worse, the hot blind date she just met turns out to be the lead investigator on the case. And gorgeous Detective Dutch Rivers is convinced she’s a fraud. No matter how great her psychic abilities are, Abby isn’t completely sure she can solve this case. Unfortunately for her, though, the killer’s pretty convinced…
A Psychic intuitive is someone that receives information about the people she meets or just comes across. After years of trying to ignore her gift Abby Cooper decides to start a practice by giving psychic advance. She is quite successful being booked with several months in advance. I liked the down to earth approach to psychic abilities, how Abby’s reads always involved quite a bit of humour and how she didn’t read the same person more than twice a year so they wouldn’t decide their whole life’s based on her reads.
She’s having some trouble finding her Prince Charming so she decides to join an internet dating service where she meets Dutch. She feels the date went really well so when he doesn’t call her back she thinks she must have scared him by showing off her abilities and telling him that the case of a missing 4 year old that has been talked on the news is actually a murder case and the mother is to blame.
Although generally a nice person she can be cold and a bit rough on occasion especially if people ask for more reads than the 2 a year, 1 every 6 months, she thinks is right. This happens with one of her clients who is found murdered and Abby feels a bit responsible because maybe she could have given her some answers that could have prevented the murder.
In the mean time Dutch reveals himself to be a cop and although a bit suspicious at first ends up believing in Abby psychic talents and actually asks her for information on her client’s murder. Abby is a bit too bold when it comes to investigating, always believing she will be warned of there’s any danger, which unfortunately is not always so…
The book is more about Abby’s powers and her relationship with Dutch than it is about giving clues to solve the murder mystery. The killer is a surprise because there’s a lot of information only given in the end. However Laurie’s humour and characterization of Abby’s talents and way of life really convinced me I have to look for the others in this series.
Although I'm a big fan of Cornwell's Scarpetta series I had great trouble getting into this book.
Scarpetta goes back to Richmond after 5 years to helpAlthough I'm a big fan of Cornwell's Scarpetta series I had great trouble getting into this book.
Scarpetta goes back to Richmond after 5 years to help solve the case of a young girl found dead in her bed. She is called by the new Medical Examiner who reveals himself to be a less than competent man with a few skeletons in his closet. At the same time Benton is in Aspen trying to help a member of Lucy's team who was attacked in Lucy's house, having had to cancel the vacation plans he had with Scarpetta.
I think my main problem with this book is one that I have been feeling in the last books I read in this series. What I enjoyed the most was Kay's observations about life and people, her private life details like cooking or choosing the right wine, it gave the books a sort of an intimist feeling that I enjoyed very much, unfortunately that is absent here.
Then I never quite understood about the new medical Examiner - Dr Joel Marcus - what's his agenda, what is he hiding? There's some build up regarding his character in the beginning but then nothing. And Lucy keeps getting into to trouble and trusting/loving the wrong people. I have some trouble believing someone as smart as her, that has already been burned once by a sociopath lover would fall for that again. And asking Benton to solve her problems for her. I'm a bit annoyed with the Benton character, he is supposedly in love with Kay but he has pretended to be dead for a number of years leaving her to mourn and now he cancels a vacation to spend his time trying to help someone less than worthy, it seems everyone is important except for Scarpetta.
And the mystery about who was behind those deaths was a bit lost in the middle of all this. I never did understand the murder's motivation and there were too many loose ends that seemed to be important and were never tied up at the end. A C....more
Cold As Ice has been in my TBR pile for a while and this weekend I finally got around to read it. I just ordered Ice Blue so I thought it was the perfCold As Ice has been in my TBR pile for a while and this weekend I finally got around to read it. I just ordered Ice Blue so I thought it was the perfect timing.
Genevieve Spenser is a lawyer, she stop's by Harry Van Dorn's yacht - a known billionaire and philantropist - to have him sign some contracts. van Dorn is in fact a bad character and is preparing a series of terrorist acts and decides to make Genevieve his newest toy/victim and invites her to stay.
Van Dorn's assistant is Peter Jensen - on of the Committee's operatives - and is in fact preparing to close down V.D. murderous activities. Genevieve is thrown in the middle of a dangerous situation and Peter tries to keep her alive and safe.
For me the book has 2 different parts. In the first Genevieve is totally oblivious to V.D's true personality and while Peter tries to keep her alive she only thinks of attacking him and saving Harry Van Dorn. I think he should have made her aware of what was really happening. Genevieve also suffers a bit of the TSTL syndrome, she never shuts up and instead of cowering in fear of being threatened by international terrorists she is always trying to fight back and usually making things worse. At least in the second half she knows V.D is a bad guy...
I did love Peter! Here we have another strong hero melting at the sight of the right woman. he fights the attraction right from the beginning and tries to save her several times even if he almost gets killed for his efforts. Her starts as a true Ice Man using sex as a weapon - and he shows Genevieve exactly how he does that - but he changes throughout the book and becomes vulnerable to his emotions for her.
I didn't like Harry as a villain because he was a bit over the top. We are never really told what the committee did to stop his "Rule of Seven" terrorrist threats and we are never really made aware of his motivations except that he likes to torture people. He sounds more like a cartoon figure, releasing the children he is planning to murder because they smell bad...
This was a very solid B and now I'm looking forward to Takashi and Isobel's stories......more
Whenever I pick a Rachel Gibson book I always have high expectations. I’ve loved most of them because of her humorous scenes and her unique heroines.Whenever I pick a Rachel Gibson book I always have high expectations. I’ve loved most of them because of her humorous scenes and her unique heroines. I also like her small town settings and in this book that was no exception.
• Daisy Lee Monroe thought she'd brushed the dust of Lovett, Texas, off her high-heeled shoes years ago, but she's come back home only to find that little has changed. Her sister is still crazy, and her mom still has pink plastic flamingos in her front yard. And Jackson Lamott Parrish, the bad boy she'd left behind, is still so sexy it hurts. She'd like nothing better than to avoid this particular man, but she can't. Daisy has something to say to Jackson, and she's not going anywhere until he listens. Jackson learned his lesson about Daisy the hard way, and now the only word he's interested in hearing from Daisy's red lips is good-bye. But she's popping up everywhere, and he doesn't believe in coincidence. It seems the only way to keep her quiet is with his mouth, but kissing Daisy had once been his downfall. Is he strong enough to resist her now? Strong enough to watch her walk out of his life again? Is he strong enough to make her stay?
This is a secret baby plot. After 15 years Daisy comes back to the small town where she was raised to tell Jack that he is the father of her baby and not her deceased husband. I liked Jack and Daisy in equal measures. She seems nice enough but really should have told him the truth sooner and he, although the injured part, is too wild to be trustworthy. When I finished the book I was really happy with it and considered rating it an A, now that a few days have gone by I think is more of a B than an A. It missed the rollercoaster of emotions SEP so well delivers and that this plot easily could have.
I liked that Daisy is determined to tell him the truth despite his bad attitude towards her, that their son always knew the truth, that she realises she is still in love with him rather early in the action and their dialogues. Also the small town atmosphere where everyone knows everything and gossips about their neighbours is well developed.
I didn’t like Jack’s wild attitude. It seemed like only him was allowed to feel grief and heartache because of the past – like he didn’t up broke with Daisy, he was just confused and in mourning so it was okay. He also moved things too fast with Nathan, I understand wanting to make up for lost time but immediately deciding he is moving to Lovett was a bit too much, in the end he wasn’t that bad but I didn’t like those first decisions. Oh and I also didn’t like how they got involved before things are straightened out between them. He seemed like a love them and leave them kind of guy.
Having said that I think he got out of his anger of not knowing about Nathan pretty fast. If he was feeling as betrayed as he was saying than it seemed logical that he needed more time or some grand gesture from Daisy to get him out of it. Not just telling him to…
Despite all these flaws the banter between them and some of the funny scenes still maintain it in B range....more
I don’t know if it’s the setting but the truth is that I always find myself completely absorbed with stories set in the Louisiana bayous. And I reallyI don’t know if it’s the setting but the truth is that I always find myself completely absorbed with stories set in the Louisiana bayous. And I really wanted to read Hoag again after having enjoyed Dark Paradise so much. So one night this week I picked this one to read before bed time and the truth is that I just couldn’t stop and was kept awake half the night trying to finish it.
Laurel Chandler used to be a public prosecutor and after having lost a child abuse case she has a nervous breakdown and goes back home, to Bayou Breaux, to recuperate. She comes from a dysfunctional family and instead of staying with her mother she chooses to stay with her sister and aunt instead. Her sister particularly seems to have big problems rooted also in sexual abuse as a teenager. Also in town is Jack Boudreaux, a crime writer with a less than pristine past and a bad boy attitude that Laurel meets when she goes to confront him over his dog. She also antagonizes the local preacher who is trying to close one of the local bars. They meet and soon Laurel is seeing the good man in him and Jack is feeling protective towards her.
I must confess that I didn’t particularly like any of them. Laurel needed to grow a spine in what concerns her mother and definitely change her attitude towards her sister. Now Jack kept alternating being really bad with being really protective and I didn’t like the combination. Had the book been just about these two it might not have kept me awake but soon we discover that there’s a serial killer on the loose and someone is watching Laurel. The killer’s victims are all young women with a bad reputation and Laurel’s sister Savannah not only has one but she is bent on self destruction. I was quite curious about what Hoag was going to do with that character but I guess she chose the easy way. Either that or some people just don’t have a chance in life.
I think Hoag was particularly good at describing the swamps at night; she creates such a good atmosphere that whenever the scene change to the swamps I was immediately expecting something horrible to happen. She is also good at creating a suffocating atmosphere regarding the abuse Savannah endured and how she and Laurel always kept it a secret. You know something horrible is going to happen and you can’t stop regarding because you really want to know what it is. Hoag completely sucks you in and I must confess that my complaints with the story were all found after I read it and when I was sitting in front of the computer and trying to write this review, while I was reading it I was completely hooked.
The identity of the killer is slowly revealed so instead of a bit element of surprise you are left in doubt about whether he is going to succeed with Laurel or not. I found it an absorbing and intense read but with a really dark theme.
I was convinced that I had read the first two books in this trilogy when I picked up this one. But now it seems I only read the first one, Born in FirI was convinced that I had read the first two books in this trilogy when I picked up this one. But now it seems I only read the first one, Born in Fire, and I have yet Brianna's story to tackle.
Born in Shame brings us back to Ireland, one of Roberts favourite settings, and to the Concannon family. Shannon Bodine is Tom Concannon's illegitimate daughter, she is the fruit of a brief affair Tom had with an American woman and she has always believed the man her mother was married to was her real father. She is understandably upset when her mother, on her death bed, tells her the truth.
Maggie and Brianna, the heroines of book 1 and 2, already knew they had a sister and had hired a detective to find her. Although Shannon is not exactly in a sisterly mood towards people she doesn't recognise as her family she eventually decides to fly to Ireland and meet them. That is where she meets Murphy, the sister's neighbour who instantly falls in love with her.
Although this is supposedly a book about Shannon as the third sister I think Murphy really steals all the attention. He is a farmer, a poet, a musician, a romantic to the point that listing all his abilities and qualities might make a bit unreal and even boring. But in fact he is anything but. He is kind, loving, determined and while I understood Shannon's misgivings in giving it all up for love I couldn't help feeling she was a bit silly in almost letting him getting away. You just don't let it go when you feel that you've struck gold.
I did like Maggie a lot more as a secondary character even if she is still a bit of a tough cookie. Her mother is still the same disagreeable self and I'm not sure I believed her mellowing with Shannon's words, to tell the truth I don't even understood why they felt they had to tell her that Shannon was their sister, what she didn't know would not harm at this point and it definitely would have saved them a lot of unpleasantness.
So I think this made for a very agreeable story, not much conflict and I would definitely have preferred for them to get to know each other and only after fall in love instead of having Murphy being struck dumb just by looking at Shannon, but overall his personality more than made up for it.
I can't remember why I put this one in the TBR pile anymore but my guess is that it was because it is a mix of second chance at love / friends to loveI can't remember why I put this one in the TBR pile anymore but my guess is that it was because it is a mix of second chance at love / friends to lovers kind of story. After finishing it I am left with mixed feelings about it because I felt there were too many things happening at once.
Kate Bloom is a news anchor in a small Texas town; she has been in love with Jesse Chapman, now a famous golfer, since they were children. Jesse, however, did not feel he was good enough for Kate and has stayed away. Now he has returned to their hometown to do some serious thinking about his life. He arrives right when Kate is starting a new program to refresh her image and improve viewer ratings. After an almost disastrous live cooking program Kate's friend convinces them that he could stay in Kate's guest house and so they start spending time together.
I think my main problem was that, despite his attraction to Kate, Jesse had a lot of things to deal with that came up first than she did. He had to make peace with his past, with his brother, then he has to deal with an illegitimate kid and there's also the problem of what really happened in his latest golf tournament. Some of these things could have been solved if people talked to each other (or with a psychologist).
Kate seems like a nice, sensible woman but she keeps getting into trouble. Most of her programs are complete disasters, which somehow helps with the ratings but make her look like an idiot. Then her dealings with her friend Julia also seemed a bit surreal. It takes a skilled writer to make an idiot seem like a good heroine and I wasn't completely satisfied with how that was dealt with here. In the end it left me feeling it could have been a nice story but that it didn't fulfill my expectations.
Paradise Found is a contemporary romance. It's a genre that, although I enjoy, I seldom read and when I do it's usually authors I have enjoyed in theParadise Found is a contemporary romance. It's a genre that, although I enjoy, I seldom read and when I do it's usually authors I have enjoyed in the past like Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Rachel Gibson. But every once in a while someone recommends an author and that's how Campisi's books found their way into my TBR pile.
It's the story of Matt, a famous author although the way he is described it seems more like he is a super star, and Sara, a psychologist hired to help him come to term with the fact that he is blind after a ski accident. Matt doesn't really want a psychologist; he just wants to be left alone with his blindness. When Sara first comes to him he mistakes her for a prostitute which doesn't exactly help their relationship. Sara also has some baggage; she was abandoned by her husband while pregnant and eventually lost the baby. I thought giving her this tragic past was unnecessary, I would have preferred to focus only on the present relationship and fortunately Campisi doesn't keep reminding us of it at every turn.
Matt and Sara eventually build a relationship that while not exactly doctor / patient, is, on her side, an attempt to help him. But as they spend more time together the attraction between them grows and they eventually embark on a romantic relationship. I did like the part of two adults, with a past and one with a disability, getting to know each other and falling in love. Especially when Sara realises that Matt is not ready for a commitment and has to choose whether to continue with him in a situation she doesn't want or cut her losses and leave. However, I felt that while the potential was there the story never fulfilled it, it could have been a more intense read or a humourous one, the fact that it never really decides where to go and that it loses itself in the usual plot devices prevented it, in my opinion, from being a stand out read.