When a book keeps you on the treadmill for a double-length workout, you know you’ve found a winner! Terri L. Austin, my waistline thanks you for thisWhen a book keeps you on the treadmill for a double-length workout, you know you’ve found a winner! Terri L. Austin, my waistline thanks you for this fresh, funny mystery that had enough twists to keep me walking (and guessing) all the way to the breathless finale.
This first book in Austin’s debut series introduces Rose, a mixed-up twentysomething who thinks her life as a waitress/student is pretty dull. Then her closest friend goes missing and her world is flipped on end by shady characters and startling revelations about some of her hometown’s most prominent citizens.
With a fun, colorful supporting cast that includes Rose’s spunky, sassy boss (who says you can’t have adventures after 70?), and plenty of men vying for our heroine’s attention, this book definitely has something for everyone. Rose is smart and independent, and the contrast between her and her sister, who took the road her parents pointed her toward and lives a very comfortable life, adds a nice layer of family drama to the story.
Austin deftly sets Rose up as a “real” character who has refreshingly appropriate reactions to the crazy situation she’s thrown into. I really liked that Rose didn’t behave as though she knew she was the heroine in a thriller, but rather as most ordinary people would if they were thrust into such an extraordinary situation.
Witty dialogue and snappy writing keep the narrative moving right along, and I loved the fact that even when I thought I had it all figured out, there was one more surprise waiting that I really didn’t see coming. ...more
Y'ALL. There's a reason this book won a Daphne -- several reasons, actually. If you like fantastic, funny mysteries with a great cast of very real chaY'ALL. There's a reason this book won a Daphne -- several reasons, actually. If you like fantastic, funny mysteries with a great cast of very real characters, run -- don't walk -- to the nearest bookstore or amazon link and order a copy of LOWCOUNTRY BOIL.
I admit, I completely felt like Susan M. Boyer wrote a mystery just for little ol' me. The heroine is a smartassed PI who doesn't know how to listen to her well-meaning and over-protective big brother and has a healthy helping of hunky guys hanging around. Liz Talbot also happens to have a dog named Rhett, and affinities for the beach and Kenny Chesney. Oh, and a mamma who owns a cast iron skillet, makes mean deviled eggs, and loves Estee Lauder lipstick. Familiar, anyone who's ever met me?
But seriously -- this one is a keeper. Full of mystery, fun, food, and several twists that I never saw coming, it's the kind of book that compels you to read it in a single sitting. Witness, I am still in my PJs at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon, and that horrific grumbling is my stomach complaining that I've eaten nothing today because I was so engrossed in the goings-on in Stella Maris (which, by the by, I am so sad isn't an actual place, because I want to go there).
I'm off to make some chicken salad. You should be off to pre-order this book. In the interest of full disclosure, I read a pre-publication advance copy, but was under no obligation to review it or say nice things about it. It is an amazing read, though, and it'll be out in just 10 days, so go reserve it. You can thank me in 11 days.
When the local bad boy turns up dead in small town Georgia and his slightly kooky family wants a "coffin portrait," Cherry hoCherry Tucker is a hoot!
When the local bad boy turns up dead in small town Georgia and his slightly kooky family wants a "coffin portrait," Cherry hops-to hoping for a fat commission check. But she gets more than she bargained for when another victim turns up -- and then the killer starts after her.
Toss in a couple of sexy guys, a few laugh out loud redneck truths, and a mischievous goat, and Larissa Reinhart has one of the most rollicking mysteries I've read in years. Well done!
I can't wait to see what Cherry and Luke get themselves into next. ...more
This is the first novella anthology I've read in a long time, and it's a fast, fun read with great mysteries and funny characters. The authors did a gThis is the first novella anthology I've read in a long time, and it's a fast, fun read with great mysteries and funny characters. The authors did a great job of flowing the stories from one to the next, and the common thread of the luggage mix-up was great because it saved the reader from having to keep track of a common mystery from one story to the next.
I love Madison Night's savvy juxtaposed with her Doris Day innocence. Super character. This is the first I've read of Elli Lisbon, and I can't wait to see more of her. Nineteen layers of hand sanitizer = a girl after my own heart. I wasn't that way before I had children, but three stomach bugs in one winter can make anyone hate germs. Jaya reminds me of a stiletto wearing Indiana Jones, and her magician friend Sanjay is a great sidekick.
The settings were also all very well done, and very different, too, which was fun. The Doris Day hotel in the first story is a great, fun place to read about, and Lynn nails the small Texas town down to the emptying square and tent revivals. Scotland is one of those places I've always wanted to visit, and after reading Pandian's descriptions, I feel like I have, in a way.
I read an advance copy provided by the authors, but was under no obligation to offer anything but my honest opinion, which is exactly what you see here. I'm looking forward to more books with these characters!
No sophomore slump for Terri L. Austin! I loved the first book in the Rose Strickland series over the summer and was very excited to get an advance reNo sophomore slump for Terri L. Austin! I loved the first book in the Rose Strickland series over the summer and was very excited to get an advance reader copy of this one. I've read other series where the second book didn't live up to the first, but that was absolutely not the case here. Austin's characters are realistic and lively, and we get to know Rose and her crazy gang of friends better in this story, which throws our amateur sleuth into a new case on page one, when her friend is arrested for attempted murder. The small-town PD doesn't look for suspects, because they think they have the assailant in custody, so Rose and company have to find the real criminal and get Janelle home to her babies for Christmas.
What ensues is a mystery with plenty of twists and lots of suspects, and a few moments that made me put the book down because I was laughing too hard to see the page. I love mysteries that keep me guessing til the end, and I didn't have the bad guy pegged until Austin wanted me to.
I did receive an advance copy of this novel, but was under no obligation to review it or say nice things about it. ...more
What could be a more perfect summer read than a fast, funny ride around a vividly-drawn island community full of zany characters, all wrapped up in aWhat could be a more perfect summer read than a fast, funny ride around a vividly-drawn island community full of zany characters, all wrapped up in a boggling mystery? Yeah, I can't think of much better, either.
I read the Elli Lisbon story in the novella anthology OTHER PEOPLE'S BAGGAGE last year, and Elli and her hand sanitizer were even more fun this time around. I loved the atmosphere, the characters, the food (do not read this while you're hungry), and the mystery. Oh, and the men! Elli has two hunky guys in her life, and Nick and Matt were equally sexy in different ways. I can't wait to see who she ends up with!
I highly recommend this book for a day by the water (or by the fire, it will make you think of summer), and can't wait for the next Elli Lisbon mystery!...more
I was so excited to get an early peek at Double Whammy, and Gretchen Archer does not disappoint! I couldn't put this down—I read 90 percent of it in aI was so excited to get an early peek at Double Whammy, and Gretchen Archer does not disappoint! I couldn't put this down—I read 90 percent of it in a single day.
I've never been to a casino, but I feel like I've been to several now, thanks to Archer's vivid descriptions of Davis Way's sometimes opulent, sometimes laughable surroundings.
Double Whammy introduces us to Davis Way (great name!), a down-on-her luck former police officer from a teensy Alabama town who's trying to start over after divorcing the same rat fink for the second time. Davis thinks she's hit the jackpot when she lands a job at a luxury casino resort in Biloxi that comes with a beautiful suite, designer wardrobe, and a shoulder bag full of cash.
She learns quickly that everything at the Bellissimo is not what it seems, and the further she pokes into what's going on, the more trouble she gets into, finally landing herself in jail for a crime she didn't commit. Enter the hunky lawyer, and hang on for a rollercoaster of an ending that will keep you guessing until Archer wants you to know whodunit.
Davis is human, flawed, and lovable (and a little crazy, but in a fantastically endearing way) and I can't wait to see what comes next for her. Gretchen Archer is a name to watch for in mystery fiction. A fabulous, fun debut!
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy from the author, who asked for nothing but an honest review....more
As much as I enjoyed the first Cherry Tucker mystery, I liked this one more!
Our heroine has lost herself in her new relationship a bit, but when herAs much as I enjoyed the first Cherry Tucker mystery, I liked this one more!
Our heroine has lost herself in her new relationship a bit, but when her friend Eloise is poisoned at a Brunswick Stew cook off, Cherry shakes off her romantic haze and sets about finding out whodunnit so her friend's family won't have to wait and wonder.
STILL LIFE is packed with a zany cast of characters, most of whom return from PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY. Here, Shawna is more hateful, Todd is more sympathetic and sexier, and Cherry is funnier and more laughable. And I do have a soft spot for that goat.
The mystery had plenty of twists and turns, and kept me reading long after I should have been sleeping—and I didn't guess the culprit until the author wanted me to, which makes a good mystery for me.
Larissa Reinhart has a winner on her hands with this fresh, fun second outing. I can't wait to see what Cherry gets into next!
Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy by the author, who asked for nothing but an honest review....more
WOW. Just … wow. I grabbed this one as soon as it came out, because I love Barbieri’s Murder 101 series. This first Maeve Conlon book is a whole diffeWOW. Just … wow. I grabbed this one as soon as it came out, because I love Barbieri’s Murder 101 series. This first Maeve Conlon book is a whole different tone for this author. There’s still plenty of sly humor and wit, but the story itself is darker. Fantastically gripping and wonderfully written, it truly is a page-turner deserving of all the buzz it’s gotten.
I’m afraid to say anything about the plot for fear of spoiling it, but I will say this…the deeper you get into the layers of this story, the more shocking twists and revelations there are. I never saw the end coming, and I’m no slouch at figuring a mystery out before the final pages.
I can’t wait to see what Barbieri does next! ...more