ALL-TIME FAVORITE SHEET CAKES & SLAB PIES by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

All-Time Favorite Sheet Cakes  Slab Pies: Easy to Make, Easy to Serve

Who isn’t a fan of sheet cakes? Simple to make and serve and everyone gets a good ratio of cake and frosting. I myself make a mean Rum Cake Sheetcake. As I was looking in my library I saw this and quickly grabbed it. Slab pies? What is this?

Well it’s genius! Instead of having to make 3 pies for Thanksgiving, I made one slab pie and it was a huge hit. I doubt if I will ever make pie any other way after discovering these scrumptious recipes!

Bacon-Peanut Butter Cake with Maple Buttercream. Imagine those flavors! And there is more! 100 recipes of sheetcake, slab pies, cheesecakes, coffee cakes and even gluten-free goodies!  The Blueberry Buckle that I made with wild Maine blueberries was to die for! Warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, heaven on a plate.

This is one I will definitely be buying for myself!

 

 

the summer retreat by Sheila Roberts

The Summer Retreat

When Celeste Jones finds out her year-long boyfriend is a liar and a cheat, she packs up her swimsuit and heads to Moonlight Harbor to spend some time with her sister, Jenna.
There were some interesting characters in this one. It was a bit to rambling for me and I kept having to go back and see who was who. A first for DNF.
NetGalley/April 23rd 2019 by MIRA

LITTLE DARLINGS by MELANIE GOLDING

Little Darlings

A  tale inspired by a fairy tale we heard a lot growing up. Changelings. A horrid topic for any mother but a deliciously wicked and creepy idea for a fairy tale! Or is it more than a fairy tale?

Lauren Tranter has given birth to twin boys and is exhausted and unsure of even how to feed them. Her husband, who I disliked immediately, seems to think she will be fine by her self and leaves her there alone with the tiny twins, Morgan and Riley to figure it out.

Lauren knows she isn’t crazy when she calls 911 to say someone is trying to steal her babies. Lauren knows what she saw. A slimy hag of a woman trying to switch her eel like babies for Laurens healthy children. And from the way she speaks, this isn’t the first time.

Lauren is living in fear someone will steal the boys and the husband is definitely acting sketchy so she is pretty much alone. A month goes by and finally she takes the boys to the park. She only closed her eyes for a second and they were gone. And the babies they find look like Morgan and Riley but Lauren knows the truth. These weird little things are not her children and she isn’t going to let it go until someone believes her.

The decision she makes could be deadly and will she have the courage to do what must be done to get her children back?

I loved this book. The characters were described so well you could easily imagine every one of them. Even the weird little changelings!

Well Done!

Netgalley/ Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

 

CARDINAL SIN by J.R.RIPLEY

cardinalsin

I can hardly believe this is the 9th Bird Lover’s Mystery!

Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms will need help from her fine-feathered friends when an uncommon bird sighting plunges her into a hornet’s nest of black magic and murder most foul . . . 

Amy is enjoying a little down time in her shop Birds & Bees. Things are slow until a woman comes in looking to purchase some bees. After helping her out with that information, the woman introduces herself as Yvonne Rice, a new face in Ruby Lake. Exotic and intriguing, Amy accepts her dinner invitation after seeing a photo Yvonne took in her yard of a rare yellow cardinal. Bringing as her plus 1 Kim.

While Amy has gotten an appropriate house warming gift, Kim has decided to re-gift the Lord of Death statue that neither of them wants. As Yvonne brings out a Ouija Board and has most of them on board to have a go, a mysterious message pops us. I. Am. Murdered.

Confused and a little bothered by the odd folks living around the pond, Amy is just starting to dig into Yvonne when the poor woman is found dead in her home. While there is an escaped convict in the area, this looks very suspicious, as do all the residents there.

Or is there some VooDoo going on with the Lord of Death? No matter, Amy is on the case and she isn’t letting anyone tell her no.

This series has grown so much over time. I used to think of Amy as rather a dull character,easily duped and not standing up for herself. Now, you better take this gal seriously! You hear that Ex-Amy??

The characters, the birds, the entire town of Ruby Lake is looking really good to me right now!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ Kensington  Lyrical Underground May 14, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

THE Jean Harlow BOMBSHELL by Mollie Cox Bryan

The Jean Harlow Bombshell (A Classic Star Biography Mystery #1)

First in a new series

Charlotte Donovan wants to be a writer. She’s spent years as assistant to Justine Turner, world -famous biographer of the stars of yesteryear. Justine is eccentric and secretive so when she calls Charlotte and asks her to meet to discuss an emergency with her work in progress, a biography of Jean Harlow, Charlotte is surprised.

Unfortunately before she can tell Charlotte exactly what is going on she is dead. Right there at the booth. Did someone just murder her boss in broad daylight? It looks that way. Moving into Justine’s apartment to try to finish the book before the deadline, Charlotte feels like she is being watched. Followed by a woman who looks exactly like Jean Harlow.

When people start coming out of the woodwork looking for the famous Harlow ring, Charlotte may be next on the list of dead writers.

Charlotte is an interesting character. She suffers from Lyme Disease and sees herself as an amateur sleuth. She pushes herself and there is a lot of mystery surrounding her father and her obsession with hot cops. On one hand I thought she was a bit too sickly to be running all over town trying to find a killer. On the other I was wondering about her odd sex life. It just didn’t seem to fit with her character.

This one left me with more questions than answers to be honest. I’m sure once the editing is complete the story will come together

Netgalley/Midnight Ink

 

 

 

 

A DEADLY FEAST by LUCY BURDETTE

 

 

A Key West Food Critic Mystery #9

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s intrepid food critic Hayley Snow must sniff out a killer in the ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

Key Zest Magazine’s delightful food critic, Hayley Snow is busy trying to meet her deadline, help with Thanksgiving prep and getting married to hot cop Nathan. She needs to get this one seafood tasting tour over and then she can concentrate on her wedding.

But when one of the ladies drops dead on the tour, Hayley’s friend, Analise asks her to help find out what killed her. There were a few restaurants on the tour and a few reputations could be at risk if it was poisoning.

At the same time, Nathan is on a big case and keeps cancelling on her. What could be more important than the wedding? And where is he??

Great characters, a foodie mystery and a locale to die for, this series just keeps getting better and the food is 5 star drool worthy! Are there recipes? Of course!

I hope  you enjoy this series as much as I have.

Netgalley/May 7th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

 

DEVIL’S FJORD by DAVID HEWSON

Devil's Fjord

I really wanted to read this book. I love the author’s Nic Costa series and I was not disappointed in this Faroe Islands Mystery!

In a small, dying village Tristan Haraldsen and wife Elsebeth are looking forward to living in the small fishing village of Djevulsfjord, a rather remote place

Tristan has taken the job of District Sheriff which doesn’t demand a lot. First up on the job list is overseeing the rules of the Grind. A whale hunt. For generations the villagers have depended on the meat from the whales to see them through the winter.

This time two boys go missing and the small, isolated village is shook. As Tristan investigates the disappearance of the brothers he finds out they are not the first young men who have just disappeared on Vagar.

Tristan is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. But this charming little fishing village has some ugly secrets and aren’t anxious to make Tristan’s job any easier.

This tale hit me in a few spots. I’m Norwegian and I’ve heard the stories of the grind. I am not in favor of it. The characters were developed well , the description of the area was easily pictured in my mind. This one had it all. The good, the bad and the very ugly.

But that ending….

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 01, 2019  SevernHouse

 

PRISONER OF MIDNIGHT by BARBARA HAMBLY

Prisoner of Midnight (James Asher, #8)

James Asher #8

Lydia and James are back with our favorite vampire Don Simon Ysidro. While James is off being a spy at the front, Lydia is boarding a luxury liner from Paris, headed to America. All she knows is that Simon is in trouble, in pain and she must help him. Then maybe kill him. But first she must find him.

Her working theory is that someone is using him and keeping him under their thrall. That someone being an obnoxious, unscrupulous American, industrialist Spencer Cochran and his henchmen. Known for making striking workers disappear among other unsavory acts.

James is trying as hard as he can to get her information on the drug that is being used on the vampire. Even going so far as to knock on the Paris vampires door for help.

When children begin dying on the ship, time is of the essence to save not only the passengers, but also Simon.  Who she really does not want to kill, but will she?

This is one of my favorite series. Historical Fiction with Vampires. What could be better?

Very Well Done!

NetGalley Reviews/ Severn House May 01, 2019

 

 

SILENT FOOTSTEPS by JO BANNISTER

Silent Footsteps

A Hazel Best and Gabriel Ash Mystery

When Constable Hazel Best stops a confrontation between a local gang member and a harmless looking fellow on the train, a chain of events ends with bodies and everyone she loves in danger.

As she begins finding things on her doorstep, she at first believes she may have a secret admirer. Her full attention isn’t on the flowers and chocolates, as Trucker, the local gang member is found dead. As Hazel tries to find a link between the dead boy and then a dead journalist, it’s beginning to look like the secret admirer may have taken that next leap to stalker. And when Ash is brutally beaten and warned to stay away from Hazel while at the same time Saturday shows up again, Hazel is determined to find the culprit. But it may cost her life.

I love the characters in this book. They aren’t perfect. Bad things have happened to them And one is a talking dog. But they are a family in the truest definition of the word.

Very Well Done

NetGalley/ May 1st 2019 by Severn House Publishers

Bonavere Howl by Caitlin Galway

Bonavere Howl

Set in the 50’s in the French Quarter, the Fayette sisters have never lived anywhere else. While their parents come off as aloof and not very parental. The youngest sister, 13-year-old Bonavere or Bonnie is very close to both of her sisters, especially Connie.

There are hints of insanity in the family and this being New Orleans, anything is possible. Ghosts, voodoo, swamps and crazy eyed girls found lost in the woods. When Connie asks Bonnie to hold on to a special necklace for her, it is the last time anyone sees her. While no one seems overly concerned, Bonnie is determined to find out what happened to her sister.

Racism was going strong and it helped no one that Bonnie’s best friend, Saul is black. When Bonnie asks for his help he can’t say no. Even if it means putting his own family in danger. The police aren’t helping and the adults aren’t helping so off they go to the swamp for answers.

The descriptions of the city were spot on. As was the racism. It seemed unfinished however. There were things that happened with other characters but little information on their motives and parts of it at the end didn’t seem believable.

NetGalley/May 1st 2019 by Guernica Editions