INDEPENDENT BONES by CAROLYN HAINES

Independent Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

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.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 18th, 2021 by Minotaur Books





DEADLY EDITIONS by PAIGE SHELTON

Deadly Editions (Scottish Bookshop Mystery)

A Scottish Bookshop Mystery #6

Edinburgh bookseller, Delaney Nichols, is at the Cracked Spine Bookshop working hard as usual, when a mysterious person in a cloak brings her a note. The note is from good old Shelaigh O’Connor, who at age 70 is still causing trouble. This time Shelaigh has come up with a treasure hunt.

A treasure hunt that will net the winner a first edition of The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson! And that’s not all, the winner also gets her entire library and some cash. Delaney is definitely in the race.

After their first meeting of the group of treasure hunters, Edinburgh finds itself with several home invasions. Some look a lot like Shelaigh’s previous tricks. When they find a man dead, a man Shelaigh knew, people are suspicious. Until Shelaigh herself goes missing.

Is this part of the game? A red herring? Or has a killer taken her out of the game permanently? And could Delaney be his next target?

This is such a good series. I really enjoy the characters and the setting.

NetGalley/ April 6th, 2021 by Minotaur Books






LINEAGE MOST LETHAL by S.C.PERKINS

Lineage Most Lethal (Ancestry Detective #2)

Ancestry Detective Mystery 2

Welcome to the second book in this series about Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster.

Lucy is crazy busy trying to wrap up a project for Pippa Sutton of Sutton Hotel fame. After months of work, she is ready to present her results to Pippa and the rest of the Sutton family. And it’s just a week before New Year’s Eve.

After a day of research, she comes back to the hotel but before she reaches the steps a man stumbles towards her and shoves something in her hands before dropping dead. Whispering a cryptic message to “keep them safe”.

Looking at her hand she sees it is a Mont Blanc pen and while her grandfather is a collector Lucy doesn’t understand what the man meant, so she calls in grandpa and all of a sudden Lucy is wondering what in the world she has gotten herself into!

After speaking with him, things get very interesting! And Lucy isn’t sure who her grandpa is anymore, but boy is he interesting!

A really good mystery here. Spies, murder, an old vendetta based on a lie. It’s all here! Enjoy!

NetGalley/ July 21st, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

THE HALF SISTER by SANDIE JONES

The Half Sister

Kate and Lauren are sisters who have nothing in common on the surface. One is career-oriented and seems to live a glamourous and carefree life with her husband while the other is married to a jerk with kids and an unhappy life.

But on Sunday they all sit at their recently widowed mother’s home for dinner. They are all still grieving. Kate was especially close to her father while Lauren has always been closer to their mother, Rose.

What no one knows is Kate has been trying for years to conceive a baby. And Lauren would just as soon leave her husband and escape her life.

All of that is the backdrop for the one Sunday dinner when there is a knock at the door and a woman stands there asking for their father. Who she says is her father as well. It seems she has uploaded her DNA and found a match with Lauren. But has she? Can they believe anything she says?

These sisters could have avoided all of this if any of them had bothered to talk to each other. But secrets are what families do. And sometimes they are what blows your world apart. And everyone in this book is keeping secrets!

There were some issues I had with the DNA thing, but overall it was a good mystery!

NetGalley/ June 16th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

LITTLE SECRETS by JENNIFER HILLIER

Little Secrets

From the author of Jar of Hearts comes this edge of your seat, domestic suspense thriller of a story!

Marin and Derek are living the perfect life. College love and two driven people. Marin owns a very successful chain of hair salons and Derek owns his own business as well. Money isn’t something they think about. They even have a perfectly lovely little boy, Sebastian.

But in the blink of an eye, Sebastian disappears from his mother’s hand and is gone. The video surveillance shows him happily walking out with a Santa.

Cut forward a year and you wouldn’t know this is the same woman. The leads are dead, no one seems to be looking for her child. She goes to therapy, a group of people with little in common except for the fact their children are all missing.

Marin has secretly hired a PI, Vanessa, to try and find Sebastian. What she finds is evidence of an affair Derek is having with some young tart.

Marin has been sleepwalking through life until now. Now she is clearheaded and out for blood! Who is this younger woman?

Kenzie is a graduate student and aspiring artist. She is famous. On IG. Derek isn’t her first rich catch. But Marin intends to make sure he is the last. Marin may not be able to do anything about her son, but Kenzie is one problem that she can deal with.

With help from a dear college friend, she finds someone to take care of that issue, only to find out Kenzie may know something about her son! And Derek isn’t exactly innocent either.

This book was like jumping into the deep end of the pool. No build-up, no ramping up gradually, nope, not at all. There were really good characters here. Slimy, yes, but good. People I didn’t want to like but did so grudgingly. People who were just like me and yet did not see what was right in front of their eyes.

I can say I was properly scared to death and I can’t wait to go back and savor it slowly this time!

 

NetGalley/  April 21st, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

Hid from Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Hid from Our Eyes

A Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

It’s been quite a few years since we were left hanging by the last book. And I am not one bit upset. It was worth the wait. And we are all grateful.

Clare is one of my favorite characters. She’s a former helicopter pilot and is now an Episcopal  Priest with a newborn baby and a Police Chief husband. These characters are deeply flawed and that is why I love them.

The setting is Miller’s Kill in upstate New York. The story is told in the year 1952, 1972, and now.

In 1952 the police chief was Harry McNeil. Called to an odd crime scene where he finds a dead young woman in a party dress. No shoes, no purse, no stockings, no obvious cause of death. With little to go on, it seemed like there was little done.

In 1972, Jack Liddle is Chief and is called to a crime scene with the exact same set of circumstances, in the same place. He remembers the first girl and the only thing different is this time they may have a suspect. Russ Van Alstyne found the body. Recently home from the war in Vietnam and still angry and confused, he is quickly the first suspect. But there is no evidence to support anyone being a person of interest.

Present Day. Russ is now the police chief and gets the call. Another young lady has been found in the same place. Dead, in a party dress and nothing else. The pressure is on for the crime to be solved. Especially since the town residents are getting ready to vote on keeping the police force or not.

While Clare is trying to juggle motherhood, the priesthood, her church, and breastfeeding, she still has time to do some digging into the case. And she does just that.

This one was very twisty and just when I thought I knew who the bad person was, I did not! And of course, we have a cliffhanger. And I love it!

Thank you, Julia!

NetGalley/  April 7th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

WHAT ROSE FORGOT BY NEVADA BARR

What Rose Forgot

In the New York Times, bestselling author Nevada Barr’s gripping standalone, a grandmother in her sixties emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in her worst nightmare 

Rose Dennis has always been quirky if that is what you call a woman who takes astral journeys and paints wild paintings that sell for big money. She married Harley later in life and when he died she was all of a sudden crazy.

But it takes Rose the entire book to figure out why. She wakes up from a drug-induced fog after suffering a severe case of the flu only to find out she is in some kind of mental institution. It’s really a Memory Care Unit for people with early-onset dementia or full Alzheimers. But why is she here? Now that the drugs keeping her compliant are out of her system and she has no intention of taking any more. Especially after hearing voices in the hall outside of her room saying she won’t last out the week.

Rose is a very self-sufficient woman. It doesn’t take long for her to sneak out and disappear into the woods. Unfortunately, she is found rather quickly and returned.

This only makes her more determined to get out and find out who put her here. So she’s faking taking her meds and stockpiling them. After a daring escape, she ends up back at her house. Just as she is doubting her own sanity, a man breaks into her house trying to kill her.  Okay, so not crazy. But how is she going to prove that? And what about all of the other people left behind. Are they just drugged too?

Along with her 13-year-old granddaughter, Mel and her reclusive, cat-obsessed sister, Marion, who by the way is NOT a hacker (right) and Mel’s friend Royal they are determined to find out the truth. Is someone killing people for profit? And could Mel and Rose be next? Who is willing to kill to get their hands on Rose’s millions?

I thought this was a really good read. The characters were interesting and fun. I’ve seen some reviews talking about Rose and an elderly woman climbing a roof. First, 68 is not elderly. 88 may be elderly but the lady I box with is 68 and she can get on her roof and install new shingles!

Well Done!

NetGalley/September 17th, 2019 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LONG CALL by ANN CLEEVES

The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)

(Two Rivers, #1)

Blurb:

For the first time in 20 years, Ann Cleeves—international bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—embarks on a gripping new series.
In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

My Take:

Ann Cleeves is a favorite of mine. I love the Vera and Shetland series! And I can tell this one is going to be good.

The story opens with Detective Matthew Venn standing outside of a chapel where his father’s funeral is taking place. He doesn’t go in. He would not be welcome. He left the Brethren and married his love, Jonothan.

As he is leaving he receives word of a body found on a nearby beach. A man no one knows has been stabbed. The only clue is a tattoo on his neck of an albatross.

The more Matthews team investigates, the more frustrated they become. Someone is lying and when girls from the Woodyard Day Centre for people with special needs start to go missing, Matthew is afraid he will have to hand over the case as his husband runs Woodyard.

He is also about to have his past return with a shocking twist!

I really enjoyed all of the little subplots in this story. The subject matter was handled so well. I look forward to more of this series!

NetGalley/September 3rd, 2019 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly

Killer in the Carriage House (Victorian Village Mysteries #2)

The Second in the Victorian Village Mystery Series

Kate Hamilton is back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Staying at the dead Cordelia’s B and B. Trying to save the town and its history from going under. The only thing that ever made money in the town was a shovel factory that has long closed. It as well as the fantastic Barton Mansion were left to the city to be sold.

As Kate gets ready to get down to business and find out where Barton’s money came from and go through all of his documents, people start popping up asking questions, about the research and what she has found. And when one of them turns up dead in the library things get dicey.

I have enjoyed this author’s works before however, this one was pretty flat. Kate isn’t a likable character.  All of the characters seemed flat. Although the historical parts were interesting the people were not.

NetGalley/ July 9th, 2019 by Minotaur Books

WHEREVER SHE GOES by Kelley Armstrong

Wherever She Goes

“Few crimes are reported as quickly as a snatched kid.”

Kelley Armstrong is a favorite of mine. Her Watcher Series and her urban fantasy books are really well done!

I wasn’t fully on board right away with this one. At first, we didn’t have enough information about her and her husband and daughter for me to decide if she was a wimp or nuts. Turns out she is neither.

When Aubrey is having playtime at the park with Charlotte, she meets a young woman and her son. Aubrey is very observant. The woman is young, with what looks like old track marks on her arms. While Aubrey is chatting with her son, the young lady moves away and begins speaking angrily in Russian to someone on a cell.  How odd, she thinks.

The next time she goes to the park, she looks for the young lady and doesn’t find her. But she is sure that the little boy running towards the parking lot is her son. And from his screams for help, she is positive he is being kidnapped.

The police don’t believe her. No one believes her. Which had me thinking. Why? Why are all the moms at the park treating her like a pariah? What don’t we know? And there is.

Some of it was heartbreaking, some of it was secrets and lies, but in the end, she has to answer the question. How far do you go to protect someone else’s child?

There were numerous subplots going on her as well. Which muddied the waters a bit.

All in all, it was a good read.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ June 25th, 2019 by Minotaur Books