Their reunion just became a crime scene . . .
Five former college friends reunite over the summer break and English professor June Moody isn’t exactly thrilled about going.
Her oldest friend and enemy Sadie, is hosting a girls’ weekend baby shower at her massive estate where she lives with June’s old crush, now Sadie’s husband, and Sadie’s pregnant cousin Amy, who she has always looked after.
Things are tense and there is a very uncomfortable feeling to the entire group. The husband is living in the lake house and the cousin living in the guest house and the gardener is living in a yurt.
After a night of drinking and revisiting old grudges, the morning finds them with no memory of what happened. The house is destroyed. There is blood on the landing. And Sadie is gone.
Everyone is a suspect and with memories sketchy, the suspense was palpable. The women were all pretty horrible and everyone is lying. I think we all knew who did what early on.
As a character, June was my least favorite. I just did not care for her. But the story will leave you wondering how well you know the people you call friends.
NetGalley/June 9th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
Book One of A Victorian Book Club Mystery
Lady Amy Lovell writes mysteries. In England. In the 1890s. Her father isn’t happy about that and wishes she would use a different name at least.
The tale begins in Bath, England where Amy has received a letter from a mystery person telling her that her fiance’, Ronald St. Vincent, has been engaging in some disturbing and illegal activities. She immediately breaks off the engagement.
A few days later as Amy is awaiting the arrival of a fellow book club member, Lord William, who should show up at her door but the recently ex-fiance’. She has him sent to the library but when she enters all she sees is his dead body with a knife in it.
As Lord William arrives to find a screaming Amy, the police also arrive and promptly suspect her of murder.
Now she and her friend will have to try and find out who did the deed before Amy goes to the gallows!
I enjoyed this first book in what I hope will be a series. It started slow but was soon going well. The characters were well done. Historical Fiction Cozy Mysteries are the best! You learn so much while you try and solve the mystery.
NetGalley/ May 12th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
Bookbinding Mystery #1
The first book in a new series is always exciting. This one takes place in Vienna, Virginia.
Quinn Caine is happy to be home in Vienna. She has been teaching overseas for a bit and is now working as a bookbinder in her family business Prose and Scones. She’s happy to be home, but not everyone is happy to see her. Old rivalries never seem to die. But this one turns up dead.
The characters are really well done. Her cousin, the nun, is a hoot. And of course, there is a hunky love interest. There were some really good twists and turns and some screw-ups, but Quinn and her friends are my next go-to cozy!
NetGalley/ May 12th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
Bookmobile Mystery #3
Two wrongful accusations have librarian Cleo Watkins and her loved ones booked for trouble.
It’s always a fun time going to Catalpa Springs, Georgia, to visit librarian Cleo Watkins and her friends. And they are all here and quivering with excitement to be at the Georgia Antiquarian Book Society Event. Cleo’s beau Henry will be there with a booth. Henry is a bookseller and restorer and is very well respected in his field.
Everyone is looking forward to seeing old books, manuscripts and hoping to find a treasure or two.
Unfortunately not all book people are in love with books, but money. And there are some unscrupulous dealers at this event that catch Cleo’s eye right away! Is the bookplate in a dealer’s trash one from a book her cousin Dot owns? A first edition Gone With The Wind?
Someone in town is scamming people out of their priceless treasures. Also, unfortunately, the book scout who she has accused is found dead behind Henry’s shop with death by bookbinding hammer!
Who in the world is setting up her friends? It’s obvious to Cleo that the police are headed in the wrong direction so she has no choice but to check out the evidence and find a killer. And as usual her cat, Rhett Butler, will be assisting!
Being a Georgia girl with my own first copy of GWTW, this book was so much fun. The characters are clever and funny and most are way over 50, which makes it all the more fun!! Who doesn’t love bookmobiles and cozy mysteries?
NetGalley/ May 12th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
Shea O’Conner is a twenty-three-year-old cop in Buffalo, a regular patrol officer, who looks more like a teenager than an adult, and, who is still recovering emotionally and physically from the wounds inflicted by a sadistic killer in a case none of her co-workers even know about.
When she is asked to go undercover at a small college in a town where three freshmen mysteriously disappeared over Christmas. The three girls had last been seen at a party and had left together. Cell phones, purses, even coats are still in the living room. But the girls are gone and the trail is cold. With a new last name and an ‘uncle’ as the Chief of Police of Kelly’s Falls, Shea enrolls in school and starts embracing her new role as a college student.
There were a lot of secrets in this little town. And someone has no problem killing to keep them that way. While Shea is getting in with the students and families of the girls, she also is aware of someone watching her. And the closer she gets the more danger she is in.
Will she make it out of this one alive? I really enjoyed this one. Just goes to show, you don’t really know anyone.
NetGalley/ April 7th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
A Handcrafted Mystery #3
Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.
In snow-covered Heartsford, Wisconsin, folks are snuggled in quilts trying to stay warm. But with the annual Fire and Ice event the next day, even the brutal weather won’t keep everyone in town from participating.
Samantha Kane is hoping to boost business at her store, Community Crafts.
Wanting to stand out, Sammy has a brainstorm for her front window display. Living mannequins with their crafts! So far Wanda is looking the part. Sitting in the front window with her quilt square in her lap, she hasn’t moved a muscle.
That could have something to do with the fact that she is dead. Yes, dead, right in the front window of Sammy’s store. Much to the chagrin of Detective Lam, Sammy and her sister and cousin have reformed the S.H.E. club. No case too cold or too dangerous for them to stick their little noses in.
With clues all around them, and bad things bubbling under the surface, this may be the one time they can’t craft a happy ending!
NetGalley/ February 11th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery #4
Blue Ridge library director Amy Webber learns it wasn’t all peace and love among the “flower children” when a corpse is unearthed on the grounds of a 1960s commune.
Welcome back to Taylorsford! In particular, the library and its director, Amy Webber and her dear friend Sunny, the only two actual employees of the small library.
Amy is actively not planning her future wedding to Richard and Sunny is running for mayor. As Amy is listening to more unsolicited advice about her nuptials, Sunny receives a phone call from her grandparents, Carla and P.J., telling her a digging company has found a full skeleton on their farm! Carla and her husband have an organic farm and in the ’60s for a short while had a commune.
Amy knows this kind of publicity will ruin her friends’ chances at the mayor’s job, so of course, she does what Amy does best. Research. Snooping. Asking questions that could put them all in danger. Because someone wasn’t so hippy happy back then it would seem!
We definitely found out some things we did not know about some of the flower children from the old commune, who are living right there in town! Not all of them, but the main players it would seem.
There are a lot of surprises in this one and I most definitely did not finger the correct suspect! Did you?
NetGalley/ January 7th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…
It’s 1991 and Heather, her best friend Becca and their two other friends are obsessed with serial killers, and all things macabre.
Becca is the storyteller of the group and comes up with some seriously scary tales. But the one keeps coming back. The Red Lady. Once a witch murdered by her own town while not one of her friends speaks up for her. Revenge quickly follows with the entire town dying.
Becca believes the story and even makes a believer out of Rachel and Gia, the other girls in the Dead Girls Club. But Heather is sure there is no such thing. Until something happens and she begins to doubt herself and Becca.
With Becca believing all she needs is her best friends help her to prove the Red Lady is real, Heather swears to help her. And then Becca is dead and Heather will never be the same.
Fast forward 30 years and strange things are happening. Heather is sure she is being followed. When half of a BFF necklace shows up in the mail, Heather is sure of one thing. Someone knows what she did. Someone knows she killed her best friend and now they are coming for her.
This was a ghost story in the best way! A group of young girls, obsessed with Stephen King and Ted Bundy equally, mess with magic and a long-dead witch when the real horror is much closer and alive than they know.
I love a good ghost tale! And this one I read in 3 hours even eating dinner while reading. I had to know what was real and what wasn’t. And I never saw that ending coming at all! I suspected everyone and all for good reasons, but wow, that ending!
NetGalley/December 10th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
Lighthouse Library Mystery #6
When we last left Lucy and The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, Lucy and Bertie were thinking of ways to raise money to repair the foundation. Now the work is not far from completion. The Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. Quite apt with the huge equipment digging all around the library and way down.
Things are humming along when the foreman comes running in demanding Bertie and Lucy follow him to the dig site. They have found something and no one is touching it until they see it. Buried treasure? Civil War relics? They find a box. Inside, a small diary with nothing inside but the tides and the weather for each day. Oh! And 2 pages that have fallen out. One is a marked map with numbers on it and one sheet looks like something written in code.
Everyone from Louise Jane to Diane and Curtis are fighting to see the papers and Bertie is even fending off the other historians who are planning a Settler’s Day soon on the grounds. One in particular. One who wants what he wants now. And when he is found dead in Bertie’s office and the map and coded paper are missing, everyone is intent on cracking the code and finding treasure.
There was a really nice subplot concerning The Freedman’s Colony and the new development the city is fighting. I really enjoyed the history lesson.
Lucy tried so hard not to stick her pert little nose in things but we all know her better than that. But this time she may end up on the wrong side of history! Unless her arch-nemesis can save the day!
I love this series. A lighthouse and a library? And Charles the library cat? Cuteness overload.
NetGalley/ October 8th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
A Kate Hamilton Mystery #2
Kate Hamilton is back in the UK. This time our intrepid antique dealer from America is here to visit her daughter, the headstrong Christine, where she is serving an internship at Finchley Hall located in Long Barston.
With an empty room in the converted stables, Kate is happy to be here spending time with her daughter and with her boyfriend, DI Tom Mallory, whom we met in the first mystery.
Touring the rather neglected home and grounds, they find a young woman’s body at the edge of the lake. Dead. And this isn’t the first time a body has been found there. This particular body, however, is heading up the enormous task of inventorying the large collections that have been part of the family for generations. Including the rare ruby ring.
An odd household, to be sure, Mugg, the butler/everything else and one cook/maid/housekeeper, along with Lady Barbara. Elderly and with very poor vision, she depends on Mugg for everything.
There were several other plotlines and the bodies are still falling, when Kate’s own daughter is hauled into the station and questioned about the latest one.
I really don’t want to spoil any of the fun in this book. The characters are great fun and I can’t wait for Kate to be back in the UK!
Netgalley/ October 8th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books