At first I didn’t get the authors choice of book cover art. Then I started reading the book. Aha! Quilting. Hence the title and the cover. I’m sure alAt first I didn’t get the authors choice of book cover art. Then I started reading the book. Aha! Quilting. Hence the title and the cover. I’m sure all of you quilters caught it right away. How clever.
I often learn some fun trivia when reading cozies. Do you know why a cowboy tips his hat with his finger? It’s to show he means no harm. With his gun hand busy, he can’t shoot ya.
Now, this wouldn’t be a cozy mystery without a little murder. That’s where Bea comes in.
A bit on the other side of 60, Bea hasn’t slowed down a bit. Especially when someone she knows is murdered and she might have been able to save her.
She’s got a few solved cases under her belt, much to the chagrin of Detective Hawkins. Her success rate seems to have cooled any chance of a relationship between them.
That’s okay. There’s another man that makes her heart go pitter patter. Except there’s a bit of a sticky widget to get around, as they have some awkward connections between them.
Even though Bea is a bit older than me, I had a connection with her. I’m no spring chicken myself and have often wondered if I really wanted a significant other in my life. Someone I’d have to care about, worry about, have under my feet. Like Bea, I enjoy watching the shows I want, when I want. If I choose to let the housework slip a bit, there’s no one to complain. I can do whatever I want in my home and no one is underfoot.
But then, like Bea, I worry about my twilight years. Do I want to be alone, with no one to care about or for me? Perhaps there’s someone out there who will help her make up her mind.
Aside from murder and romance, Bea also has to contend with a shady realtor and a surprise from her past. Someone is back in town. Someone she tickled the daisies with many, many years ago. He’s stirring the pot and about to make a mess of all of her hard work.
Something is off in Pecan Valley and Bea ends up right in the thick of things. She might have made herself a target in more ways than one.
For being an older woman, Bea sure kept her wits about her, and her intuition was spot on. It was such a joy to get to know her. And there were plenty of mysteries to go around. The author had me turning the pages, dropping hints, and keeping me wondering. One of those books that keeps you reading without pause, right up to the end.
There are several things I look for in a cozy. Let me break these down for you.
The cover. It must be colorful and fun and have something to do with thThere are several things I look for in a cozy. Let me break these down for you.
The cover. It must be colorful and fun and have something to do with the story. The cover for Threads Of Evidence is all of those things. It’s fun, colorful and a bit spooky. Showing the antiques, the needle point, and the candle gives it a haunted atmosphere.
The title. The title is quirky and leads right into the theme of this one.
The mystery. This has more than one. I had fun reading how they connected and didn’t have clue until near the end. Then, I was wrong. You have a cold case, the accidental death or murder of a young girl in the 70s. And the attempted murder of a new resident in the town of Haven Harbor, Maine.
The town. I like small towns. Haven Harbor, Maine is just that. The author painted a pretty picture with her words and I felt comfortable there, despite the dark deeds occurring.
The characters and their names.
I’ll talk about names first. I like it when names are used that are popular in the area the story takes place. Some are quite unusual and fun to try to pronounce in my head. You get plenty in this cast.
About those characters themselves. I’m huge on character driven stories and like to have several to love and loathe. There are so many in this book, I can’t possibly pick a favorite.
Angie’s return home is anything but uneventful. She lands a job appraising the contents of Aurora, a long abandoned and fallen to ruin mansion. Doesn’t every town have one of these? She’s quickly drawn into the cold case of a young girl’s possible murder. Her previous job working for a private investigator help her in this case. She’s good at sniffing out clues and handling the local police. Let’s just hope her curiosity, like a cat’s, doesn’t require she needs nine lives.
There’s the famous actress, Skye West, who along with her handsome son, Patrick,(possible love interest for Angie?) purchased the aging mansion and are fixing it up. I believe there is more to the purchase than that. Perhaps another mystery to explore?
I could go on, but then I’d be telling you half of the story.
I read this one fairly quickly. The writing flowed easily, the characters were engaging and distinct, and the mysteries had me hooked. I needed to solve them for myself.
I was also fascinated with the old mansion. I used to spend summers with my best friend at her father’s place. He had this small cabin in the middle of nowhere. We’d find these overgrown roads and drive down them to see where they went. We found many old houses in various states of decay. Being careful, we explored them. I found a lot of interesting stuff, and often wondered about the previous owners. Why did they abandon the house and leave their stuff behind? Did something tragic happen? I often thought I felt a presence lingering. Pretty sure it was my over active imagination.
What fun it must have been for these characters to go through that old mansion. Discovering it’s past, uncovering it’s secrets.
A fun cozy, with all the material to make me happy.
Andie Parker needs a job . She’ll take anything. Do anything, for Nick. So upon someone’s urging, she applies at a Fortune 500 company. She’s the lastAndie Parker needs a job . She’ll take anything. Do anything, for Nick. So upon someone’s urging, she applies at a Fortune 500 company. She’s the last of twenty girls to apply. Figuring she has no chance, she still stays for the interview. She’d do anything for Nick.
Her name is called. She’s greeted by the owner, Zachary Drake. He’s impeccably dressed and very handsome, but there’s a coldness in his eyes. He rocks her back on her heels with his offer and she quickly goes for her Mace.
This was my first laugh out loud moment. Taylor had me giggling when Andy pulled out her pepper spray. She was so ready to use it.
Zachary, a powerful and very rich man, is used to women falling at his feet. He’s in for a shock with Andie. Yet, she’d do anything for Nick.
After some hemming and hawing, Andie accepts the job. She has no other choice.
I don’t know what it is about Taylor Dean’s books. I’m not much into romance, yet her books captivate me. Perhaps it’s her characters.
Andie and Zach are both so genuine. They have flaws, insecurities. And these cause strong heart ache for both of them.
Both are determined, ready to do whatever it takes to obtain their goals. This also causes some turbulent times.
And both are lonely, in need of a shoulder to lean on, someone to trust. But how do you trust someone you hardly know? Trust them with something so personal, so dear?
This is where Taylor truly shines. She gives you living breathing characters. Ones so real, so full of foibles. You become connected to know them. Feel their joys, pains, and fears. Laugh with them. Worry about them. And yes, cry with and for them.
I knew going into For Nick that I’d need some tissues close by. I almost cried several times. Then, I reached a scene that touched me so deeply. As I was reading, my vision blurred, I could hardly read through the tears welling up in my eyes. As they streamed down my face, I paused, reached for a tissue, and got a hold of my emotions. I wondered if Taylor cried for her characters.
Andie and Zach might not have been looking for love, but love had a way of finding them.
A beautiful love story. I ‘felt’ every bit of it.
I was gifted a copy of this book for my honest review....more
So here we are, back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky. And yes, Emma Lee still sees and hears ghosts. It’s a side affect of having a giant plastic Santa falSo here we are, back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky. And yes, Emma Lee still sees and hears ghosts. It’s a side affect of having a giant plastic Santa fall on her and knock her out cold.
Her doctor calls it ‘funeral trauma’, not believing she really communicates with ghosts. Appropriate name as she and her sister run Eternal Slumber Funeral Home.
Emma is shocked and pleased to run into Cephus Hardy. He just up and vanished 5 years ago, leaving his wife and daughter to fend for themselves. It’s only after Doc Clyde starts talking to her that she realizes Cephus is a ghost. Drat, now Doc will tell her grandmother, Zula Fae, and soon the whole town will know she still suffers from funeral trauma.
Cephus tells her he didn’t abandon his family. Says he never left Sleepy Hollow. Adamant that he was murdered. But, he can’t tell her where his body is or who killed him. Emma Lee takes this info to her boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry. Yep, they are now officially boyfriend and girlfriend.
There’s not much to go on, but Jack Henry starts digging. So does Emma Lee, much to his consternation. With two murder cases under her belt, Emma dives back in with no regard to danger. Business as usual, think Jack Henry.
You never know who you;re going to meet in this series. each book introduces new characters, new ghosts. They all have such fun names.
In the south, lots of people go by their first and middle name. You’ll be bumping into Zula Fae again. Emma’s grandmother is following through on her plans to run for mayor, and she’s taking her campaign to a whole new level. She’s such a pistol.
There’s also Mable Claire, Beulah Paige, Hettie Bell, and Cheryl Lynne. to mention a few more. I keep waiting for a Bubba to pop up.
So, the skinny is, someone murdered Cephus. Emma Lee has to solve the case, the whole town thinks she’s still whacko, and her granny is taxing her last nerve. So much fun.
About twenty-five percent into the book, I found my first clue. But, knowing this author, I couldn’t count on that leading me anywhere but down the garden path. So I pressed on, and tripped over a few more clues. Yep, they led all over the place.
I’ll leave you here. Don’t want to spoil anything. Grab it. Read it. Find out for yourself who did what. A good thing is, you don’t have to have read the other books to jump into this series. The author fills you in on past events quickly and in just the right places.
I received this book from Edelweiss for my honest review....more
What a great read. There’s so much action and intrigue. And the zombies are sporting a new twist too.
It’s raining buckets and not letting up. FloodingWhat a great read. There’s so much action and intrigue. And the zombies are sporting a new twist too.
It’s raining buckets and not letting up. Flooding is a huge concern. The command post and the city are separated by an increasingly deep flow of water.
Some zombies fall in the raging current and soldiers are sent out to retrieve. Why, you wonder? Because zombies have rights too. You can’t go around juts killing them anymore. They’re contained and fed Z rations and this keeps them calm and easier to control.
Control? Yes, they can be trained. Not a guarantee they won’t turn on you, but it seems to be working.
Even the totally dead are utilized. The soldiers fear this because, if killed, they’re taken and reanimated as Z Troopers and put back into service. Some reward for KIA, eh?
As the tanks and armored vehicles roll out, they’ll have to contend with not killing zombies, avoiding gangs of roving living out to take what’s theirs, and one strange zombie who has a particular interest in them.
I have to say this. I’m always looking for a new zombie twist, and there are several in this book. Intelligent zombies? That doesn’t sound so good. Zombie Troopers? I guess if they can take orders, they’d come in handy. A rogue zombie on a mission? Not good at all. And the feral zombies? They’re more like what you’d expect. That’s not good either. Then there are the zombies that are carrying drugs. Yep, the drug carrying mules still have the drugs in their stomachs and enterprising humans want those. Seems to me it would be easier to just kill them all. But zombies are protected. They have rights now.
The soldiers are armed with non lethal rounds in their weapons. Sometimes, they use real bullets and take some zombies down. If they kill one, they’re fined and often spend time in the brig. WTF? I told you this was different.
The mission to retrieve the fallen zombies takes a new turn and it all goes FUBAR in a torrent, just like the rain that keeps falling, falling.
What a rush this was. I didn’t realize it was the second book in the series until I received the book, but that didn’t stop me from catching on to past events and settling in with the characters quickly.
There are some fun illustrations included in the book. I always like that. And I want to mention the title. There’s more than one meaning to it and its important to me that the title connects to the story inside.
Nonstop action and obstacles to overcome make this story fly. I’m looking forward to the next mission.
They say the holidays are no longer celebrated because of the zombie apocalypse.
Try telling that to Dawn. All she wants is to bring a little bit of noThey say the holidays are no longer celebrated because of the zombie apocalypse.
Try telling that to Dawn. All she wants is to bring a little bit of normalcy into their lives. To remind them they are human, that they are still alive, that there is hope.
Guns and knife in hand, Dawn sets off to the grocery store to see if she can find a turkey. I know, this sounds nuts. But people get desperate for the old days, the easy days.
As Dawn stumbles over dead bodies and crashed, abandoned vehicles, she inevitably runs across some shufflers. She takes care of them coldly, efficiently. This is the new way of life.
Meanwhile, back at the safe place, George is handed a note by another survivor in their group. It appears Dawn has left to get food. Fool girl. Doesn’t she know there are zombies out there. What is so important she’d risk this by herself?
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but somehow the author had me feeling the warmth of Thanksgiving. Even As Dawn and George fought off the ravenous zombies that want them for dinner.
Dawn’s fierce determination has me adding her to my list of top female protagonists. She’s not going to stop until she finds that bird!
And George is just as determined. Determined to find Dawn and get her safely back where she belongs. All limbs attached. I liked how his initial frustration turned to alpha male, to lover, as he set out to find her.
I had my fingers and toes crossed for these two. The ending was not set in stone just because it’s Thanksgiving. Maybe the zombies got a nice dinner. Nobody told them they don’t celebrate the holiday.
We now know we are not alone. Our first contact with aliens is a friendly one. Good thing too, as the next ones to visit are on a mission to destroy oWe now know we are not alone. Our first contact with aliens is a friendly one. Good thing too, as the next ones to visit are on a mission to destroy our way of life. To erase us from existence.
Teaming up with our new friends is a necessity. We’ll need their help, their technology, if we hope to have even the slightest chance to repel the invaders.
The authors own experience flying an Apache Attack Helicopter in combat lends realism to the scenes. Especially when Captain Jake Giard has to pull some extraordinary maneuvers to evade the alien spaceships.
Jake has a lot of baggage. The loss of his best friend in a flight training session is traumatic enough. Then, the blame is laid on his shoulders.
Blending science fiction with apocalyptic scenarios, the author keeps you sharp and on edge, just like the characters. You’ll have a front row seat in the jets, almost feel your stomach flip flop with the g- forces.
The friendly aliens have some surprises, some secrets, which, when shared, shed a whole new light on humanity and our origins.
And the not so friendly aliens, the ones trying to take over our planet and annihilate us, they have some nasty tricks up their sleeves.
Lots of action, and, as with any type of military action story, lots of acronyms. Don’t worry about those. The author explains them and you catch on pretty quickly. I feel they add a certain amount of genuineness to the story.
Looking for some exciting science fiction and post apocalyptic hellish adventure. Check this book out!
It’s Three Days To Forever. The countdown has begun. Will it be Til Death Do Us Part or Rest In Peace?
It’s three days until Mac Faraday and ArIt’s Three Days To Forever. The countdown has begun. Will it be Til Death Do Us Part or Rest In Peace?
It’s three days until Mac Faraday and Archie Monday tie the knot. Family and guests are arriving at the fabulous Spencer Inn, owned by Mac.
A stalker sends a picture to Mac. It shows the man with his arm around Archie and says, “I was this close.”
The stalker ends up dead, stabbed multiple times with a knife engraved with the Spencer Inn’s initials. Mac becomes a suspect.
While in contact with the police at the scene of the crime, Mac, along with Joshua, his best man, Agnes, his soon to be mother-in-law, and Gnarly, his faithful German Shepherd, come under attack as a hit squad shoots up the place.
Joshua is shot but they all make it out alive and escape to a safe house.
And Archie’s spitting mad about the hair-do she got at the salon. Not what she wanted at all, and too late to change it before the wedding. I must tell you, she’s not being shallow. She doesn’t know about the attack yet.
Time to figure out who attacked and why. Did stalker, Russell Dooley, now dead, hire the hit men? He was out for revenge after Mac got his wife locked up in prison. Once she learned her last appeal failed and she’d never get out, she killed herself. Dooley blamed it all on Mac and swore revenge on him and those he loved.
Or could it be something to do with Joshua? He has a lot of secrets. Really big ones.
Or could it be something else?
The men scramble to solve the mystery while the women scramble to keep their men in line and at their appointed destinations on time.
Ah, it’s the wedding day.
I wonder if it will happen. Will their be wedding crashers, with big guns?
That I can’t share with you. You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Wow. what a rollercoaster this was. Stalkers, black-ops, terrorists. Global connections keep you guessing as to who is doing what and why.
The character list is vast. A description of each one is provided at the beginning of the book. After reading each one, I quickly became familiar with their names and the story flew.
Aside from the violent parts of the book, there’s plenty of humor, romance, and fun pets. Especially fun is the furry Monique.
I had no idea when I started reading this book that it was the 9th book in the series, and had no trouble at all following the plots and connecting with the characters. I’ve put a face to most of them and now I want to go back to the beginning and see how they all first connected.
Lauren Carr has a few other mystery series with characters you’ll recognize. All of her books are stand alone reads so feel free to jump in anywhere you like.
I’m sure you’ve read the thrilling excerpt for this book already. There’s no way I can describe this book any better.
I can say that, while this isn’tI’m sure you’ve read the thrilling excerpt for this book already. There’s no way I can describe this book any better.
I can say that, while this isn’t the first book in this series, I jumped right in and had no problems following it.
Being a fan of character driven stories, I found some strong ones here.
The main protagonist, Lance Underphal, isn’t your typical one. He’s no longer in his fifties, has a bad heart, and is still grieving over the loss of his beloved wife, who visits him from time to time..
He has met a new woman, one who might help fill that gaping hole, give him another chance at love. But first he has to solve a case. One that’s rife with unsavory characters. From deadly bikers, to corrupt police, Lance will need some friends if he’s to catch a killer and survive despite the bad odds.
The paranormal elements had me fascinated. There’s more than one ghost haunting Lance. He’s a psychic and not surprised by that. If only some of them didn’t scare the crap out of him. They aren’t all pretty and glowing when they appear, and some have their own agendas, dark ones.
The writing is excellent. I came really close to seeing the movie as I read it. Vivid detail and imagination put me in the thick of it. I got creeped out in several places. Especially at a nasty, run down house. The author didn’t hold my hand. He made me smell the awful stench of the place. Hear the scurrying of thousands of roaches. Feel the evil presence fouling it.
There’s such a great bunch of characters too. Aside from Lance and his ghostly wife, Sonja, there’s his new love interest, Callie. She’s no shrinking violet and has her own little paranormal talents.
Then there’s Lance’s friend, Detective Frank Salmon. He’s stoic yet fierce when his friends are threatened. Reminds me Hodges from Criminal Minds. Doesn’t say much and rarely smiles unless he’s around his wife, Lacey. She’s a nurturer with lots of patience.
Can’t forget Jake Jacobs, a federal private investigator. He’s a huge bear of a man and I could just picture him and his lady friend, Laura. She’s a bit older, sassy, and such a tiny thing. I had such fun with these two.
Things get so much worse for Lance. It appears he’s being accused of the negligent death of his wife by her sister and she’s also suing him.
The bad things keep on coming and Lance just hopes his heart can take it.
I got thrills and chills, plenty of mystery, and more than one plot to follow. All made for an excellent read. You can bet I’ll be going back to the beginning of this series now.
I’ve been reading this series for years and finished reading the last two books, Bone Bed and Dust, just in time for Flesh And Blood.
This is one of thI’ve been reading this series for years and finished reading the last two books, Bone Bed and Dust, just in time for Flesh And Blood.
This is one of those series that never gets old. Some people might see that there are 22 books and not want to start them. Don’t let that number turn you off. You’ll be wanting more new ones after you taste these.
It’s a beautiful morning. The charcoal is almost ready for Kay to start grilling, Benton is reading the newspaper, and in just a few hours they’ll be flying to Florida for her birthday. Until…
Good thing these two understand that their jobs aren’t 5 to 9. They’re always on call. So when the phone rings, Kay packs her crime scene bag and heads off to a murder. Benton, in the meantime, has a few things to take care of too. First is what’s up with the copper coins on their patio wall? Who left them? What do they mean? And the reflection he spotted in the woods, could it be a sniper?
Looks like Florida will have to wait.
If I was asked what I liked most about this book, I’d be stumped. The plot is filled with suspense. Copper coins, a terrorist, a serial sniper, and a possible stalker. Lots to keep you guessing.
Then there’s the characters. I love Kay and Benton. From the very first book, I wanted these two to be together. Lots of cases and lots of secrets kept them apart for a long time. Even though they’re married now, they still have a spicy relationship. There’s never a dull moment with them, whether working or just being together.
About Detective Pete Merino. Pete’s one of those surly, my way or the highway guys. He worked with Kay until he was lured back to police work. He still acts like they’re working together. He’ll call and say he’s got a case and he’s on his way, so be ready when he gets there. It works, since Kay usually gets called to the same crime scenes he does. It’s fun to see them fall into the comfortable working relationship. She anticipates him, kind of knows what he’s going to do or say before he does it. And ditto for Pete.
And last but certainly not least is Lucy, Kay’s niece. She’s a technical geek, one of the best, likes to drive fast cars, and flies a helicopter. Kay and Lucy are like mother and daughter, or siblings. They squabble, they worry, they rely on each other. And they always have each others back.
All of these characters are dear to my heart. I cross my fingers when I read each new book, hoping they get through it in one piece. All of them have went to the dark side, and some barely made it out.
This is a story about a sixteen year old girl. She wants what everyone wants. To fit in. To find her place. But being a teen, she’s dealing with all oThis is a story about a sixteen year old girl. She wants what everyone wants. To fit in. To find her place. But being a teen, she’s dealing with all of that angst, those hormones. Being bullied at school, responsible for her insane grandmother, and clashing with her mother have Syd all torn up inside.
She must find herself. Discover what she wants. She thinks she doesn’t wanted her magic. Doesn’t want to be a witch. And she keeps her demon half locked down inside her. All of this frustration and anger find a way out sometimes, like a pot boiling over.
It seems like every time Syd makes up with her mother, something else happens and she’s screaming how much she hates her, the family, the coven, her powers, and witches. She wants out and doesn’t want to wait until she’s 18 to give up her power.
After a huge blow out with her mother, Syd’s dad is waiting for her. When she enters the basement, both of her parents are there, but her uncle butts into the family meeting. He insists they stop lying to Syd. Tell her the truth. She needs to get control of her demon now more than ever.
Syd’s never whiney. She grows strong as she learns more, faces herself and her demon. Embraces her power. The author keeps her in character, genuine and believable. She’s a teenager and stays one, showing her growth, her confusion, her determination, and her doubts.
As the end of the book drew near, I became worried. I couldn’t see how it would all work out. I was worried, afraid for the characters.
The very first sentence in the last chapter is to telling and true. I wish I could share it with you, but you’ll see what I mean when you read it. So insightful. So powerful. As strong as the characters and magic displayed in this book.
I don’t read a lot of fairy tale retellings, so I figured it was time to do just that. And how could I resist a retelling of Cinderella, taking placeI don’t read a lot of fairy tale retellings, so I figured it was time to do just that. And how could I resist a retelling of Cinderella, taking place after World War I, with zombies! Yep, zombies.
Now, the zombies don’t dominate the story. They are there, lurking in the background, threatening to burst onto the scene at any given time. Sometimes, they do. And that’s where Ella opens up a can of whoop ass.
Ella didn’t ask to be the town’s protector, executioner. She was kind of forced into it. Her and that katana she wielded so well. And that’s just one role she’d been forced into.
She didn’t blame her father for getting married again. She wanted him happy. She didn’t blame him when he came home from war catatonic. She hoped for and watched for him to recover.
She did blame her evil step-mother and two spoiled step-sisters. They relegated her to maid service, whipping her when she didn’t do something right or fast enough. Ella almost relished having to go slay a zombie or two.
Her world changes when she runs into tall, dark, and handsome. Seth, the Duke, is so far out of her league, but her heart wants what it wants. And that’s Seth.
Can Ella have a happy ever after? Or will her evil step family spoil her plans? Will Seth want a lowly maid ? Or will he want one of the snotty step-sisters? And can he see her as a protector, not a killer?
All of my questions are answered, and in such fun and delightful ways. Ella is no lightweight and she has some awesome friends who love and support her.
Seth, weighed down by responsibility, by proper appearances, steps into the shoes assigned to him with strength and fortitude.
And then there’s the zombie thing. The author offered a fresh take on them. I didn’t quite see where she was heading until the end. Very interesting.
I stayed up late and then got up early so I could finish this book and find out what happened. Such a fun retelling.
I enjoy watching shows about flipping houses. It’s fun to watch the transformation from ugly to fantastic. If I had the money, I’d do some myself.
My lI enjoy watching shows about flipping houses. It’s fun to watch the transformation from ugly to fantastic. If I had the money, I’d do some myself.
My luck I’d wind up in the same fix as Julie and Brad Evans.
They’re starting to get the hang of the flipping thing. Buy low, fix it up, sell for a nice profit. But Brad has his misgivings about the one Julie has her heart set on. It’s a monstrous undertaking and he’s getting bad vibes from the old mansion, Hemmings House.
Julie loves it, sees only the potential, and wants to turn it into a bed and breakfast. Brad caves and now he has to get his crew together and get the stinking trash hauled out of the place.
Weird things start happening. Doors open and shut on their own. Cold spots occur throughout the place. And Brad and the crew are being affected by the atmosphere. Something angry is rubbing off on them.
All the makings for a scary good haunted house story, right? The author delivers, giving you things that go bump in the night. You’ll meet these ghostly inhabitants and get to know their stories. I engaged with the ghosts as well as Julie and Brad and came to worry about all of them.
Welcome to Hemmings House. Where anything can happen, and does.
I won this book in a giveaway. What a great read....more
It’s supposed to be kind of their practice honeymoon. Soon to be married, Dan entices his fiancee Elaine to spend some time with him in tropical FloriIt’s supposed to be kind of their practice honeymoon. Soon to be married, Dan entices his fiancee Elaine to spend some time with him in tropical Florida. He works an an investigator for United Life and Casualty. They have a case he needs to check out. Five prized dogs were lost in a fire at the Greyhound Racing Park. Things look all in order and Dan can steal some quality time with Elaine. Should be an easy wrap.
That is until Elaine stumbles upon a stray dog while taking a walk and the dog has a clue in it’s mouth.
I was drawn to this book because of the Greyhound racing. I live in Alabama and we don’t have horse racing, which I love. I was introduced to the Mobile Greyhound Racing Club and found it just as fun and exciting. I was an amateur and chose my bets by catchy names for the dogs. Never did win much but I loved watching those elegant, sleek dogs chase that rabbit.
I did enjoy the characters. Each had their own mysteries. Dan had to determine if the insurance company should pay off on the fire and the lost greyhounds. Elaine was getting her P.I. license and working a case for her mother-in law, Maggie. And Maggie was worried that her new fiance, Stanley, might be someone other than he who says he is.
In an area renowned for ex mobsters provided with new identities from the witness protection agency, who knows who Stanley really is. About to uproot herself and move to Palm Beach, Maggie wants to make sure she doesn’t have a rotten apple from the barrel.
And lets not forget Fucher. What a sweetie. He’s a bit slow but loves the dogs and taking care of them, especially his beloved Sadie. An employee at the track, he’s the perfect patsy for the cops to arrest. It’s not just arson either. Kennel owner, Jackson Sanchez, was found stabbed to death with the word thief carved into his forehead. Could Fucher have done it? He recently came into a lot of money and perhaps he loaned some to Jackson , and he wasn’t paying it back?
The police believe they have their man and are content to look no further.
Mystery upon mystery, the plot is afoot. I was kept on my toes, for sure. The author had me going in circles and, until the smoke cleared, I had no idea who the true culprit or culprits were.
First I want to mention that this is the third book in this series. Don’t let that stop you from reading this out of order. The author smoothly providFirst I want to mention that this is the third book in this series. Don’t let that stop you from reading this out of order. The author smoothly provided back story in the right places without slowing down the story and I easily became familiar with the characters and previous events.
Now to the book. How could I pass this up? A cozy mystery with the main character being a successful mystery writer.
Victoria Rienzi, or Vic, returned to Oceanside on the Jersey shore a few months ago. She’s trying to write the next book in her mystery series while working in the families Italian restaurant, Casa Lido.
The restaurant is preparing for it’s 70th anniversary, but it’s not looking to good. A storm is barreling down on New Jersey. Vic’s grandmother, Nonna, isn’t going to let a little ole hurricane ruin the outdoor dining and festivities. When the winds begin to bluster and the rain starts to fall, everyone is hustled inside to continue the celebration.
Like all hurricanes, it blows through and the morning is bright and clear. There’s lots of power outages along with some damage, but it looks like everyone came through it okay. Until they find the body.
Stinky Pete, the resident homeless man, is found dead at the historical carousel ride on the boardwalk. He was last seen after he stumbled into the restaurant celebration. Nonna gave him some food and water and guided away from the guests, sending him on his way.
Vic isn’t convinced it’s an accidental drowning and she just can’t help herself. She has to stick her nose in the investigation, drawing Nonna’s wrath. It’s not the first time Casa Lido has been at the center of a murder investigation.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the research. The research done by the characters. Vic and her sister-in-law, Sophie, dig deep and stumble upon a connection to Vic’s great uncle, Roberto. He was the black sheep in the family and thought to have died in Italy a long time ago.
They make a list of suspects and the list keeps growing. I tell you, these ladies left no one off that list.
And I have to hand it to Vic. I don’t know how she kept going. A deadline is looming on her new release, and she needs to get cracking on the next book. She ‘s dealing with issues at the restaurant and at home due to lack of electricity. And she’s having to work alongside the man who broke her heart and sent her running away many years ago.
Vic is persistent and starts asking questions, angering some people and setting herself up as a target.
Love lost and found, people who want to keep their skeletons in their closets, and a possible mob connection kept this mystery rushing forward and kept me on my toes, right along with Vic. That, and her Nonna, who brooks no slacking and no nonsense.
Good clean fun with lots of laughs and some intense scenes as the mystery unravels. Everything you need for a good cozy read.