Elly Griffiths is also the author of the Dr. Ruth Galloway series,which is one of my favorites.
It’s 1965 in Brighton. Emma and Sam have set up their Detective Agency and have their first big case. Impresario Bert Billington is found dead. When the results return and they learn he was poisoned, his wife, Verity Malone, who was also a theater performer, hires Emma and Sam to find out who did this and keep her name out of it.
Lucky for Emma they have Max Mephisto on the inside to push for information. Interestingly he is in town filming Dracula along with Verity’s son, Seth.
There were so many people who looked guilty! You could tell they were all hiding something, but does that something have anything to do with the case? I am most definitely happy I was not an adult woman in the ’60s. I remember my mother reading The Feminine Mystique and finding it and reading it myself. I didn’t understand most of it,but I knew I did not want to be one of those wives.
I especially enjoyed when Emma would just pop her little boy on her hip and go interview suspects. Although eventually Edgar stepped up and pulled some weight.
I also enjoyed seeing Meg become bolder.
This is Cozy with a Bite! And I loved it!
NetGalley/ November 2nd, 2021 Mariner (formerly HMH)
Could a body found in a graveyard be linked to a tragic murder twenty-five years ago? Tish Tarragon is plunged into a new case when a fundraising dinner in the local church hall leads to a dark discovery.
Tish is back with another interesting catering event. Heroines of Literature. A fundraiser for St. Jude’s Episcopal Church. Things are humming along well when she notices a woman staring at her. Odd. But soon forgotten in the cleanup.
Walking home through the graveyard to lock up the hall, she literally stumbles over a body. A dead one.
The deceased has a fatal head wound and is lying on top of the Honeycutt plot. Daisy Honeycutt was murdered 25 years ago in a sensational case that shocked everyone.
The hunky Sheriff Reade is back and officially makes Tish a consultant! So off they go to solve a murder and find out why someone now wants this man dead. Could his reopening the case have something to do with it?
With twists and turns galore, I think this is the best one so far in the series. And oh that ending!
Very well done!
NetGalley/December 7th, 2021 by Severn House Publishers
Book Four in the Found Things Series finds our Xanthe still upset about Liam who was snatched in time by Mistress Flyte. She is determined to find a way to get him back in his own time and by her side.
I was thrilled that Xanthe gets to meet Elizabeth from Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter!
Out of the blue, she is summoned to a home where not one but three things are singing loudly to her. But which one will take her to Liam? The writing slope is definitely loud but the mourning brooch and a beautiful hat pin are vying for her attention.
, Unable to take all three, she chooses the writing slope and ends up in the home of a Time Stepper and Elizabeth! From there, things get very complicated. By finding Liam, Xanthe also finds out that Lydia may have stolen Liam, but it was for a good reason. There are Spinners who are using their gift to enrich themselves and others. They are a ruthless group that has plans for Liam to help make more money.
This was such a good one! Elizabeth crossing over to Xanthe and the story of her life with Erasmus intersects nicely with Lydia’s story. Which is a shocker. For this case, she needs to bring in the big gun. Harley! Oh my, what a time I had with Harley in Regency England!
Brackston’s vivid descriptions are spot on and her attention to detail is exceptional. I can honestly say this is my favorite Historical Fiction/Time-Slip Series.
NetGalley/November 16th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
There’s nothing Ruth Galloway hates more than amateur archaeologists, but when a group of them stumble upon Bronze Age artifacts alongside a dead body, she finds herself thrust into their midst—and into the crosshairs of a string of murders circling ever closer.
Book 13 in the Ruth Galloway Series
Ruth is back as head of the archaeology department at The University of North Norfolk. She’s still getting the hang of things as department head and her patience is being tried by David, the new guy, who has an abrasive personality. Ruth isn’t quite sure he knows his place.
When DCI Nelson asks her to meet him at the beach where some amateur detectorists (yes, that is how they describe themselves) who call themselves The Night Hawks have stumbled upon what looks to be Bronze Age artifacts on the beach along with a dead body washed ashore. No one seems to know him and Ruth is more interested in the future dig and what it will hold.
As they unearth the dig, they find another body. Holding a knife. But this guy hasn’t been in the land of the living for a very long time.
When the nighttime detectorists discover another murder of a couple who live at Black Dog Farm, a reference to the Black Shuck, a giant dog rumored to haunt the place. Bringing death to whoever sees him.
The people who lived there were a scientist and his wife. There are so many red herrings in here I was suspicious of everyone! These were some seriously disturbed adults. And they had a lot of secrets.
There are the children of the couple. Grown now. But odd as heck. And this David guy is always a step behind Ruth, who isn’t impressed with him.
This one was action-packed and as great as the others. Ruth is an admirable character. And who doesn’t love Nelson?
NetGalley/ June 29th, 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Chapters Bed and Breakfast in Beaufort, North Carolina is owned by former teacher, Charlotte Reed. The lovely old home is a draw for those who love to read and attend her special events with authors.
The author in question really wants nothing but some downtime but has agreed to a tea and a few small functions with a few of her fans who won a contest to meet her.
But when they all arrive Charlotte’s senses are tingling. Something isn’t quite right. And when the president of the fan club turns up dead in the harbor from a blow to the head, Charlotte and her spy neighbor Ellen work to find out who in Charlotte’s inn is a killer.
The first book in this series was good. This one had a lot of talking and the addition of Ellen and her ‘cousin’, took away a lot from Charlotte I thought. Plus, there was way too much softening of voices. I don’t plan on giving up on the series, but this one didn’t hold my attention.
In this outdoors thriller, the investigation of a bizarre wolf attack leads to evidence of murder, conspiracy, and shocking family secrets.
Things on the Iron Range of Minnesota are hard. The cold is hard, the terrain is hard and the men are extremely hard.
Sam Rivers ran from his family farm 20 years ago and changed his name and became a wildlife biologist specializing in wolves. He’s very well respected and has found peace working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He knows predators. He was raised by one.
Now he is getting cryptic e-mails from someone taunting him. But he’s not ever returning home. Until his father dies.
Which happens suddenly. Called a hunting accident, the old man has blown his head off. But as Sam decides to return to his hometown and he wants to see the old man dead and he needs to retrieve something his mother has kept hidden for him in her own house.
The time to face demons has come. The only problem is can he trust anyone in this town. So when a bizarre wolf attack happens in his fathers’ barn, things become very interesting.
I really enjoyed this book. Writing from a wildlife expert’s view. Looking at nature in an entirely different way. How it can nourish us and how it can kill us.
I’m very glad I read this one and can’t wait for the next one.
Carolyn Haines’s Independent Bones is the next novel in the series that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney.
It’s so good to be back in Zinnia, Mississippi, with PI Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner, Tinkie. Tinkie is at that I’m about to pop stage of pregnancy, which just makes me like her more. Her southern manners are slipping and as usual it’s hilarious.
Sarah Booth is at the new park that Harold donated and speaking is a woman Sarah Booth doesn’t know. Dr. Alala Diakos is a visiting professor who is at Ole Miss in Oxford for a year, working on a book and inciting men, as she demands women stand up for themselves and demand equal pay and rights. But this is Mississippi, where I don’t think we could vote until not that long ago. And these are some deeply southern bred men, who expect their women in the kitchen or cleaning the house.
One particularly loud man, Curtis, whose wife, Tansy is in the ER regularly because she doesn’t know her place. But try to get her to press charges and she will defend him like a momma bear. As the crowd gets fired up, Sarah discovers a rifle aimed at the speaker. Is it Curtis’s?
Sarah calls boyfriend Sheriff Coleman, who takes this seriously and offers the visiting professor police protection. But Alala isn’t interested in protection or men. And when Curtis is found dead, Alala shows up on Sarah Booth’s porch looking for help in proving her innocence. Only she’s not helping her case when it’s found that she threatened him in a bar. Nor does it look good when more than one man is dead and she is a suspect.
It’s always a good time with this crowd. Sarah Booth is a strong, female who by the way has a friend who happens to be a ghost. All the characters are fully developed by now and I always have a laugh at Tinkie, who may be giving birth in the yard.
Always a treat to pop over to South Cove and visit with Jill at Coffee, Books, and More. Jill and other businesses on Main Street celebrate any and every event. This time it’s a new business in town hosting a paint-and sip-event. Jill has never claimed to be an artist. But spending time with her guy and her friends sipping and chatting in between slapping paint on her canvas, makes her happy. Our detective isn’t the only one wondering about the couple drinking and fighting in front of God and everyone.
They are drunk and one of the other participants offers to take them back to their B and B. Problem solved.
Until the next morning when the woman is found dead in the painting studio. She isn’t from here and neither is her husband, so why kill her? And why the art studio? And at the same time Esmerelda is acting odd. Even for her.
What is up with her neighbor? Also, Jill is working on her BFF’s wedding and working at her busy store. Thinking Esmerelda must know something, Jill goes to work to figure out who killed the victim and why so she can get Esmerelda back to work at the police station and finish the wedding details.
Some of these business friends are beginning to look sketchy. And they are!
Always a fun time in South Cove. Ms. Cahoon knows what she is doing.
We are back at Cookin’ the Books Cafe’ with literary caterer Tish Tarragon and Celestine, her baker of the most heavenly foods.
Celestine has entered the very uppity Virginia Commonwealth Bake-Off but at the last minute is unable to attend. Although Tish isn’t sure she can measure up to her baker, she will jump in and try and at least win the prize money to help her friend.
Her entries sound lovely. And her final entry will be a Frangipane Cherry Pie. Keeping her fingers crossed, she shows up on the first day only to find out the last two contestants who baked a cherry pie died.
The rivalries in the baking world are legendary and even though this isn’t the Great British Bake-Off, one of the contestants is acting like a Royal. The winner of last year is about the most out of touch and ridiculous baker ever. Looking more like June Cleaver than Julia Child, she has a facade that is about to crack like an egg.
And it looks as if someone is out to shut down Tish’s chances on day one. As the shenanlgans progress Tish may not live to see who wins!
This is one of the funniest cozy series! And the laughs may come to an end before the festival!
Murder, wild shenanigans and visitors from afar may all take center stage at Hernia’s fourth Billy Goat Gruff Festival. It is after all the premier event of Hernia.
The festival has attracted visitors from all over the world and one of those would be Gabe’s sister, Miriam, who shows up from Australia and is staying at the inn.
While not as shocking as her only having one leg, murder is soon out doing that one. As if murder wasn’t enough for poor Magdalena, weird and off the charts odd things begin to happen as the festival kicks off. Magdalena needs to find a killer and quickly. And as she soon finds out the target may not be the festival after all.
This is such a funny, foody, quirky laugh out loud book. The characters are so memorable and I just never want the book to end.
NetGalley/Pub Date 04 May 2021 Cannongate Books/ Severn House