Bake Offed by Maya Corrigan

Number 8 in the Five-Ingredient Mystery Series

When the Deadly Desserts bake-off lives up to its name, Val and Granddad turn up the heat on a killer . . .

Cafe Manager Val and her grandfather are looking forward to the Maryland Mystery Fan Fest. Grandpa will be competing in a fun dessert competition where the cooks must pretend to be the cook for a famous detective. He gets Nero Wolf, whose chef, Fritz is proving a challenge for him until he finds a goldmine in the attic!

His competition seems a bit sketchy, especially when they pick up their packets and someone has slipped a note inside warning them about Cynthia Sweet. She isn’t anyone’s favorite person, but could she be a saboteur? Grandpa is sure she stole his idea for Five-Ingredient recipes in the local paper.

But her bad behavior comes to an end when she is found dead in her room. Now they must get to the bottom of things before more people end up dead.

I love this series. Humor, good cooking, and a mystery to solve!


 NetGalley/ November 29, 2022, Kensington/ Kensington Cozies
 

The LINDBERGH NANNY by MARIAH FREDERICKS

Blending fact and fiction, the author introduces us to the Nanny. The nanny of the most famous kidnapped child in America at the time Charles Lindbergh was shining bright and everyone wanted to see the famous baby.

Ready to move house and have some privacy, the Lindberghs hire Betty Gow. Betty is still trying to get used to America. Hailing from Scotland, she is determined to do well and succeed in this strange country. She is a bit naive and that will get her into a lot of trouble.

Betty finds the Lindbergh household odd, to say the least. Some of the rules Mr. Lindbergh had were bordering on cruelty. As well as his views on Hitler. They are not what she expected at all. Dodging photographers hiding in the bushes trying to get a picture of the baby. People are really nuts about this.

And when the baby disappears it’s the nanny who becomes infamous. Blamed and shunned, she returns to her home in Scotland until the day a man is charged and she must testify in court.

There really was a Betty Gow and a lot of this comes from her as well as impeccable research! I have always thought that the Lindberghs were sympathetic people. I don’t think that now. He was rather an ogre and bigot. She was jumpy and afraid of him. I don’t think either of them actually wanted a baby.

I loved this book. A different look at the story we’ve all been led to believe.

NetGalley/November 15, 2022, St. Martin’s Press


The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang

This is a YA, magical realism, fantasy story that is a bit of a mystery as well.

Nora Wilder is coming unglued. Wandering at night, looking for something, forgetting who she is sometimes. Her two daughters, Zadie, and Finn know something is wrong, but Finn is young and Zadie doesn’t share her concerns about their mother until the day Nora walks down the driveway and leaves. No news, no notes, nothing for five years.

Finn was taken in by a great foster family and is now graduating high school. What she wants is to find her mother, but she can’t tell her parents and she isn’t sure Zadie will help her.

Zadie should have seen her mother’s leaving earlier. After all, she is a psychic. But she didn’t and now she doesn’t want anything to do with her gift. Shoving it way down until Jess persuades her to help track her mother. Jess has her own gift. Memories. She can feel memories in a place, so if her mother has been there, she will be able to tell.

They set on a road trip beginning with the old campground their mother took them to before. It’s there that Zadie begins to notice that Jess is disappearing into a sleepwalking state at night. Leaving in the middle of the night and scaring Zadie to death.

Jess feels these echoes and hears a song about a bird and she knows these memories belong to Nora. As they go from place to place, Zadie is worried that Jess has whatever their mother had. Maybe she should stop this now and send Jess home before there is no more Jess.

This is a YA fantasy, magical realism story of things we don’t understand, and the powerful pull of family.

I enjoyed it!

NetGalley/ November 15th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





THE LAST PARTY by CLARE MACKINTOSH

At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

So many layers to unpack with this one. It’s New Year’s Day and Ffion Morgan is looking at a dead body and a lot of suspects.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd is entertaining the neighbors and townsfolk on Mirror Lake. His vacation houses seem to be popular with the rich and not so much with the town folk. With everyone drinking champagne, who would guess that Rhys would end up floating dead in the lake.

There are so many secrets in this one. It is a small town but that means her neighbors are also suspects.

I am not sure any of these folks know what the truth is. And it turns out the question should be who did not kill him

This author is so good at red herrings and twisting us up in a really good tale!

NetGalley/November 8th, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark

NEVER NAME THE DEAD by D.M.ROWELL

Old grudges, tribal traditions, and outside influences collide for a Kiowa woman as forces threaten her family, her tribe, and the land of her ancestors, in this own-voices debut perfect for fans of Winter Counts.

Mae is a long way from home. Fresh out of college and making a name for herself in Silicon Valley. Having left home a decade ago, she might not have gone back if her grandfather, James Sawpole hadn’t left her a mysterious voice message that he needed her now. And that is how Mae ended up on a plane headed for Oklahoma. Outside of Lawton, the land has always been Kiowa and Mae never felt as though she fit in. Her hair wasn’t stick straight, it was unruly and curly. Not like the traditional features of her cousin Denny.

She may have had a bad feeling about things, but she is only at the airport and already things are odd. Where is her Grandfather? And why are so many of the leaders there? Something is not right. And after a circuitous route to town, she is even more suspicious. These people she has known her entire life are acting very strange. And that’s before she finds a dead body.

Illegal fracking is messing up the groundwater and the tribal lands. Greedy oil developers hoodwinking people out of their land. And people in their own tribe sell off their ancestor’s artifacts. One, in particular, is the Jefferson Peace Medal. Stolen from the museum with only one suspect. Her Grandfather.

But just exactly where is he? Setting out into the Wildlife Refuge, Mae is determined to find out the truth and find her grandfather. But this story is complicated and this vision quest may kill her as well.

I live in Oklahoma and reading this was an honor.

NetGalley/ November 08, 2022 Crooked Lane Books




WE ARE THE LIGHT by MATTHEW QUICK

Matthew Quick has a gift for telling a story.

Our main guy here is Lucas. Lucas lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania. This is a town ripped apart by a horrible tragedy. While Lucas is hailed as a hero, he doesn’t see himself as one. He has lost his wife. Rather she is dead but still visits faithfully. She is an angel now and Lucas can’t very well go around saying that. Instead, he writes to his Jungian analyst, Karl.

Although Karl doesn’t answer the letters are revealing and cathartic. Then he finds a boy living in his backyard. Eli is eighteen and has no one. He isn’t a favorite in town but Lucas and Eli form a bond that could heal the entire town.

This is a beautiful story of resilience and the beauty of art as well its healing powers. Guardian angels are truly among us.

NetGalley/ November 1st 2022, by Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster

Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins

Marlowe Banks is a mess. With a MFA that has landed her a few good jobs in New York and one not-so-good job that has her doubting herself. She wants to design costumes. She is really good at it too.

But after a bad review and facing the fact that she really doesn’t love her fiance’ and gives back that ring and runs to the west coast. Facing student loan debt, critical parents and a demanding boss, she is not in the mood for any movie set romance.

But when a costume mix-up lands her in front of the camera, shy Marlowe is suddenly front and center in la-la-land.

A light and fun story of following one’s own star and putting friendship above a roll in the hay. It was a good read.

NetGalley/ October 25, 2022, St. Martin’s Press

THE BOYS FROM BILOXI by JOHN GRISHAM

I have been a fan of this author for a very long time. I lived here for many years. Until Katrina. I recognize quite a few players in this one, John! I’m delighted to have had a sneak peek at this excellent look at the past.

Grisham is in a unique position to write this story. He knew all the players. Most people hear Biloxi and think of Kessler Air Force Base or the CBs. Those things came first. And as always, crime soon followed. While the seafood industry brought so many people to work on the coast, it also brought people looking to take advantage. It was always known which people had connections and which did not. I won’t mention names.

Back in the day, the Dixie Mafia ran the coast. But it was pretty organized for a loose organization. While many boasted of being members, the real members stayed quiet.

In this tale, two friends grow up to be on different sides of the law. One is determined to clean up the crime and make his name. The other is just as determined to continue being “The Boss”. How will they end up? Well, you will have to read it but I can tell you it is a saga. The characters are brilliant and the story rings true.

I loved the characters in this book! It’s a great read!

NetGalley/ Doubleday 10/18/2022

DISTANT THUNDER by STUART WOODS

Stone Barrington #63

With 63 of these completed, is Stone getting predictable? In this one, he sure is in some trouble.

I have been the biggest fan of the adventures of this character. Unfortunately, it’s getting to the point where the character has become a caricature of who he was.

Stone helps rich women. Their boyfriend/husband comes for him. He beds the same three women and always lands with his feet on the ground.

It was a nice read as a day in the life of Stone Barrington, but a mystery it was not.

NetGalley/  October 11th, 2022 G.P. Putnam

This was his last book. We shall miss him.

LITTLE EVE by CATRIONA WARD

She’s back! The author who held us all in suspense with The Last House on Needless Street! With another wickedly delightful tale of horror, we could never imagine. I admire that in an author!

And she does not disappoint either!


“A great day is upon us. He is coming. The world will be washed away.”

Off the wild coast of Scotland, a group is preparing for the end of the world and the rebirth as well.

Of course, he is a crazy cult leader. He calls himself the keeper of the Adder, who will rise from the sea and will bestow his powers on one of the followers.

Altnaharra is off the coast and entry and exits depend on the tides. They are cut off from the world and believe everything they are told. And they are told some seriously insane stuff!

All of them, all women and young girls, except for Abel, who the Father never wanted anyway, want the honor. Most of all Eve. And then she meets CI Black. He comes to investigate a murder and is taken with Eve. He tries to warn her, to take her away, but she is brainwashed and drugged as well. They do what they are told and it is seriously messed up.

Soon Eve is questioning things. Why is she here? Where is her mother? Are they all going to die? But Eve is a clever girl and has a plan. Brutal, but it’s a plan to get out of here alive. Maimed, but alive.

The ending I did not see coming and that makes this a winner for me!

NetGalley/October 11th, 2022 by Tor Nightfire