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Playing With Poison

(Cue Ball Mysteries #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,872 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Pool shark Jessie Hewitt usually knows where the balls will fall and how the game will end. But when a body lands on her couch, and the cute cop in her kitchen accuses her of murder, even Jessie isn't sure what will happen next.

Playing With Poison is a cozy mystery with a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne.
Kindle Edition, 251 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,872 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Start your review of Playing With Poison (Cue Ball Mysteries, #1)
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Playing With Poison by Cindy Blackburn is the first book in the cozy Cue Ball Mysteries series. Each book of this series will feature it's on mystery to be solved so they can be read as a standalone if choosing to do so. 

This series features Jessie Hewitt who has a bit of a double dose of quirkiness to her as a cozy characters. Jessie grew up learning to shoot pool and can take the best of them when challenged to a game but she also makes her living as a romance novelist under a pen name. 

This book was my first ever cozy mystery . I was trying to choose a book for a challenge . I had a few option and decided to read the book with the most interesting first sentence.

And this was it :“Going bra shopping at age fifty-two gives new meaning to the phrase fallen woman,”I announced as I gazed at my reflection.
(p. 1). Kindle Edition.

The mystery was really good ,I couldn't tell who was the killer so I had to finish it in one sitting to find out who the killer was . I liked the humor I la
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun start to this cozy mystery series! I enjoyed the main character's sense of humor. I would recommend it and its free with kindle unlimited. ...more

Let me start by clearing up what took several pages and a murder for me to get to. Jessica (Jessie) Hewitt, AKA Adele Nightingale, is not as the synopsis would have you believe a pool shark she is a historical romance writer and if the plot of her current story, which is intermittently laid out throughout the book, is anything to go by shes not a very good one. But don't worry the actually story in Playing with poison is well written.

Jessie donned
Brenda H
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don’t often read cozy mysteries but I needed one for a challenge and this one sounded like it would be entertaining and interesting. It was.

Playing With Poison by Cindy Blackburn is the first book in the Cue Ball Mysteries series. The main character, Jessica Hewitt, is a romance writer by the name of Adele Nightingale. She is sitting at home working on her latest novel when her neighbor (Candy Poppe!)’s boyfriend shows up at her door and proceeds to die on her couch. When the lead homicide det
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great mystery. I just love Jessica Hewitt, she is the bomb. She definitely has it all together. Well, maybe she does drink a little to much champagne, I mean, whose drink of choice is usually champagne. But oh well, she is still great, and she got the job done. This book is also filled with other great, funny, eccentric characters, that Cindy makes you feel like you know personally. And if you like animals, there is also a great kitty cat in this book.

Her neighbor, Candy Poppe's, fian
Caitlyn Santi
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars!

First let me just say that I didn't hate this book, it wasn't really my cup of tea but it wasn't horrible either!
The mystery was interesting, although some things didn't really seem believable (At least to me!), but I did enjoy the ending!

This book has a bit of bad language, and (Although this book is clean) I also didn't like that the main character was an author of steamy romance novels, although to be fair, I was aware before I started this book that I was reading a mainstream stor
Mrs. Garen L. Herd
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good read

Cute, funny, and a pretty fast read. Loved the heroine, not just because she was close to my age, but, also because she is a plucky, smart mouth, pool shark. The hero is funny, sarcastic, and can't control "his woman". Recommend for a fast, fun read.
Gretchen Archer
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. There's a freedom in the writing, such a refreshing heroine, and, of course, Candy's funeral outfit. Yay, Cindy Blackburn! ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
So 3 stars is a little on the high side. Basically, the story line was okay. However, it took way to long to get to the actual story. Jessie is a fifty plus, divorced writer of historical romances. When her friend's fiancé shows up at her apartment one evening and proceeds to die on her couch, she and the police detective are on the hunt for the murderer. Ending was decent. However, if I read the word "whimpered" one more time, I may have started whimpering myself! LOL. ...more
Sage Knightly
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: btb20
Fun and quick read:)
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Let me start by clearing up what took several pages and a murder for me to get to. Jessica (Jessie) Hewitt AKA Adele Nightingale is not as the synopsis would have you believe a pool shark she is a historical romance writer and if the plot of her current story, which is intermittently laid out threw out the book, is anything to go by shes not a very good one. But don't worry the actual story in Playing with Poison is well written.

Jessie dawned in her writing attire, a blue bra under a white men'
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy
Cozy mysteries are not one I usually reach for, but I wanted something light to read and Playing with Poison came to me at the right time, so I decided to give it a try.

Jessie Hewitt’s young neighbor, Candy Poppe, is not at home, so her fiancé Stanley goes upstairs to Jessie’s condo. When Jessie opens the door, Stanley enters her apartment, falls on her couch, and dies. Enter lead detective Captain Wilson Rye and his partner Lieutenant Russell Densmore, investing officers for the town of Claren
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
I received a copy of this book for free for a book tour in exchange of my honest opinion

When her younger friend's boyfriend stumbles into Jessie's apartment and dies on her couch the pool shark now romance novel writer is suddenly accused of murder by a cute cop. Now it's up to Jessie to find the real murderer and shake the blame of her...

Oh gosh this is the most amusing cozy mystery I have read in quiet a while. Jessie Hewitt is a middle-aged romance writer, so her historical romances are boug
Roy Murry
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review of
Playing with Poison
By Cindy Blackburn

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

The one behind the eight ball has the ability to end the game when playing straight pool or for you Europeans pocket billiards. In Playing with Poison, the sleuth protagonist Jessie has the ability to end the game on a positive note by calling the right pocket.

However, she is put behind the eight ball, figuratively speaking, when a friend’s lover stumbles into her apartment unannounced. He says Jessie’s friend’s name and d
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
sie Hewitt is a fifty two year old divorced single woman who writes romance novels, loves her roof top garden, cat snowflake and plays a mean game of pool. One day her neighbors boyfriend falls dead on her couch and she is accused of murder by a handsome cop a few years younger than her.

Play with poison had me laugh as Jessie was writing her romance novels while trying to keep her neighbor and friend Candy Poppe out of jail for the murder of her boyfriend. Even with the topic of murder the autho
Kim Reads (Read Your Writes Book Reviews)
Reviewed by Gemini
for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

Playing with Poison is the first Cozy Mystery that I have ever read. Compared to the Romantic Suspense books that I have been enjoying over the past few weeks, this was not as intriguing. It could be argued that my comparisons were unfair and I can respect that. Needless to say, this cozy mystery was just too Murder She Wrote for me.

Playing with Poison is the story of Historical Romance Writer Jessica Hewitt. She has the unfortunate luck of ha
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best-selling author and pool shark Jessie Hewitt is beyond shocked when her neighbor’s fiancé winds up dead on her couch. To make matters worse, she’s the prime suspect in the murder. As the cops confiscate her couch as part of their investigation, Jessie takes matters into her own hands. She has no intentions for going down for a murder she didn’t commit.

Jessie soon discovers that there were a few people who wanted the guy dead, including his fiancé who happens to be a good friend of Jessie’s.
Brooke Blogs
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun cozy mystery! Jessie Hewitt, steamy romance author and pool player extraordinaire, was an enjoyable character who made me laugh. She is accused of murdering her neighbor’s boyfriend when he stumbles into her apartment and promptly dies on the couch. Jessie is perplexed and flat-out annoyed when Detective Wilson Rye informs her she’s the prime suspect. It is wonderful to see the tension build between them, and you can just tell they drive each other crazy…in bad ways and in go ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jessie Hewitt writes sexy romance novels. She is divorced, has a very old Porsche and lives in a loft with a roof garden. She is very smart and capable.

Jessie is loyal and will do anything for a friend. At the present her anything for a friend is finding out who murdered a guy who deserved killing.

This is a fun book. Stan, the murder victim, is not a nice man. And the people who are suspected of murder are first Jessie and then one of her good friends. So naturally, Jessie will have to find the
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Jessie Hewitt is a pool shark that usually can run the table and knows where the balls will fall. She had no idea that a body would fall on her couch or that a cop would show up in her kitchen and accuse her of murder. How is she going to get out of this mess?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Best first line ever: “Going bra shopping at age fifty-two gives new meaning to the phrase fallen woman,” I announced as I gazed at my reflection.

I knew I was going to like Jessie right away! She is smart and fun and I wo
Tammy J Rizzo
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was expecting a fun, light-hearted romp of a murder mystery, but what I actually got was much more than that! I got to meet some wonderful characters, and not simply the main character and her friends and associates! She is a romance writer, and I got to meet the characters SHE was writing about, as well! Her life is just going along like normal, when her downstairs neighbor's fiance shows up at her door and dies on her couch! Add a suspicious homicide detective who believes she was fooling ar ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I fell in love with this new series from the first sentence. Why? I laughed aloud. Books with humor are priceless if done well. The main character, Jessie Hewitt, is a 52 year old woman, possessing many talents. When the fiancé of her best friend, Candy, walks in and dies on her sofa, Jessie is geared to add a new talent to her repertoire, that of homicide detective.

The humor is found throughout this mystery. Also, there is romance. Not only with the attraction between the real homicide detecti
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A witty, fun mystery!
I read / listened to this book in audio format via Anytime I can grab a book in audio version I do as it always adds a dimension of emotions, fun, suspense & thrills. Always has proper pronunciations and accents thus adding to the book more like listening to a movie!
This is a book about a Historical Romance novelist who gets a visitor that dies on her couch! She knew the visitor as a friends boyfriend & instantly becomes a suspect for murder. With the help o
Darcia Helle
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a fun, light read. We have a little bit of mystery, a lot of humor, and memorable characters. The book has the feel of an outlandish sitcom.

I absolutely loved Jessie's character. She's smart, independent, sassy, and funny. A few of the other characters stretched credibility a bit, particularly Candy, but I didn't much care because they made me laugh.

I also enjoyed the setting. The local bar has a kind of "Cheers" feel, with all the regulars and the bartenders knowing them all by name.

Namitha Varma
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a good, fun read. A breezy mystery with the right amount of humour and romance. I especially liked the story within the story format, albeit at a smaller scale, which suggests the consciousness of the writer, reminding us all the time that we are reading a story, after all.
"Fantastical" as the storyline was, it wasn't impossible, like Psmith says (unusual versus impossible), and if the unusual gives us a lot of fun, who wants to question it, eh?
The language and the turn of phrases were
Karen B.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first in this cozy series

Meet Jessica Hewitt whose good friend's fiancee entered her apartment, fell on her sofa and died. And of course Jessica is suspected of his murder by the handsome Captain Rye. Well of course I could have told you she wasn't guilty; she has a cat named Snowflake. But Jessie has to set out to find out who the real killer is. Her investigation into Stanley's Mulder leads her to a variety of sources, all the while trying to finish writing her next romance novel and avoid
Kerry Reis
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-version
Jessie Hewitt, writer of sexy hot romance novels under the suggestive pseudonym Adelé Nightingale and a recent divorcee who lost the home to hubby, is trying to finish her current novel in her third floor loft apartment when the somewhat shady boyfriend of her young downstairs neighbor appears at her door, collapses on her couch while crying out his girlfriend's name and dies from poisoning. As the police focuses on her and her friend as potential suspects and a local TV reporter begins to hound ...more
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a pleasant surprise. I got this one as a kindle freebie and I really enjoyed reading it.
I loved that the main character was a 52 year-old woman instead of the typical twenty-something that makes everything so predictable. Besides the murder part of the plot, I loved the "romantic" side of it because it was never too cheesy or distracting from the main storyline, which was the murder. Captain Rye was an excellent counterpart for the driven Jessie. He is smart, handsome and caring, and I hope
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book made me laugh from the very first sentence. The main character writes trashy romance novels for a living, is fiercely loyal to her friends, was raised by a pool shark dad, and drinks champagne everyday because everyday without her ex is one worth celebrating. Although I had an inkling who the murderer was fairly early on (and I turned out to be right) I never did figure out the motive. This was a totally entertaining, quick read.
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Cue Ball Mysteries (6 books)
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36 likes · 11 comments
“What? Why didn’t tell me?” Rye grinned. “By that point I was ninety percent certain you weren’t a murderer. Call me foolish, but I kind of wanted to keep it that way.” “Believe it or not, I haven’t fantasized about killing my ex for months.” 1 likes
“Take your mind off it, Captain.” “You’re one to talk. From what I can tell, you make a living putting people’s minds on it.” “There’s more to my books than the sex, you know?” I actually said this with a straight face. “But then again, how would you know? Since, as you say, you only read the good parts.” “Twice.” 0 likes
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