THE CURSE OF THE CHERRY PIE by AMY PATRICIA MEADE

The Curse of the Cherry Pie

A Tish Tarragon Mystery

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!

Always a good tale with Tish!

NetGalley/ May 4, 2021 Severn House

FLAT WHITE by SANDRA BALZO (A Maggy Thorson Mystery)

Flat White

Coffee and romance – the perfect way to warm a freezing winter at Uncommon Grounds! Until Maggy Thorsen’s new barista’s beau turns up on the doorstep, bringing a deadly chill with him…

We are back in Wisconsin with Maggy and her partner Sarah at their coffee shop, Uncommon Grounds. Amy is taking a vacation so the ladies have asked their neighbor, Christy to fill in as barista. Between her cleaning obsession and her talking about her new beau, Barry, they could have probably done the job themselves.

Christy is an odd duck. Her last beau was in prison but this time she jumped into the online dating scene. And she believes her love life is about to improve vastly. The girls are skeptical at best until she lets them know that Barry is coming to town! To bring her a gift.

On the day he is due to show up, there is an awful snowstorm (remember this is Wisconsin) and while they may not have many customers, Harold has parked the snowplow at the top of the street and is in need of not coffee, but the bathroom. STAT!

Alas, the love of Christy’s life is about to be as dead as a doorknob. As Barry crosses over to the coffee shop, the snowplow suddenly roars to life, or is that the storm? Before you can breathe, Barry is flat and white. And Christy is in shock.

As Maggy tries to help Christy, things just get worse. A wife, a lying friend and secrets come out of the storm.

I love this series. Mainly because of Sarah! I tell you that woman has the smartest mouth, and I adore her! I went around telling everyone I knew about Flat White, just so I could tell them how the man died. Clever language and mysterious characters abound in this new mystery at Uncommon Grounds.

NetGalley/ May 4th, 2021 by Severn House Publishers



SCOT ON THE ROCKS by CATRIONA McPHERSON

Scot on the Rocks

A Last Ditch Mystery #3

What is our favorite Scot up to now?

The town is up in arms after the bronze statue of Mama Cuento is stolen. And on Valentine’s Day! While everyone is scratching their heads over how such a large statue could just be gone, someone finds one bronze toe and a ransom note. Give them what they want or the other nine toes will follow.

As if that wasn’t enough, Bran turns up. Bran being the ex-husband of Lexy for all of five minutes before he went back to his Brandee. So there is no love lost there. He gives her a pitiful story of Brandee being kidnapped, along with one fake fingernail and a sketchy ransom note.

A very odd coincidence? Or is there a serial kidnapper on the loose?

Does she even want to find Brandee? Probably not.

Lexy is still getting used to the language, which is always funny and her band of merry (okay, some not so merry) helpers are determined to find out who did what and why?!

This series is so funny. But also it’s about fitting in, this group of crime solvers are all a bit outside of the norm and that only makes them more lovable.

What in the world will happen next?

Well Done!

NetGalley Review/ February 2nd. 2021 by Severn House Publishers






THE MOLTEN CITY by Chris Nickson

Molten City (A Tom Harper Mystery Book 8) by [Chris Nickson]

Detective Superintendent Tom Harper senses trouble ahead when the prime minister plans a visit. Can he keep law and order on the streets while also uncovering the truth behind a missing child?

Detective Superintendent Tom Harper has a bad feeling about the Prime Minister making a stop in Leeds. It’s September of 1908 and everyone is on edge. Whether it’s the Suffragettes or the massive amount of unemployed men, Tom has a feeling this is not going to turn out well.

As if that isn’t enough, someone has dropped him a letter claiming that a young boy, Andrew, was stolen from his family fourteen years prior. Looking into the case he finds very little in the file. In the middle of trying to hold off a riot over the Prime Ministers visit, he is also in the middle of a child abduction ring and some of the people involved do not intend to be captured.

Will Tom get things under control before the entire city goes up in smoke?

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ Severn House July 7, 2020

 

 

 

STAKE by KEVIN J.ANDERSON

Stake by [Kevin J. Anderson]

Vampire hunter or serial killer? That depends on whether vampires exist . . .

Simon Helsing (not his real name) does believe. He has proof. And one by one he is staking them out. Literally.

Since a near-death experience in Bosnia years ago, he has tried to warn people about the dreaded lampir.Β Not many people believe him, but he keeps on killing them. They all work at night. That seems to be his main piece of evidence. He is also a contributor to the online chatroom HideTruth.

HideTruth is the brainchild of Lexi Tarada. She wants to believe and is looking for proof of the unexplained. There are some nutjobs on there, but Simon reaches out to her with proof that vampires are real.

The police have bodies and no belief in vampires. Detective Carrow is sure Simon is a serial killer. When the Vampire King (in Simon’s mind) throws his annual gala, it seems a good time for Lexi, Carrow, and Simon to come together. But not all of them are coming out alive.

This felt rushed to me and the ending was abrupt and left me with a lot of questions.

 

NetGalley/ Severn House

 

 

THE RED RED SNOW by CARO RAMSAY

The Red, Red Snow (Anderson & Costello #11)

Anderson and Costello #11

Called to investigate the bloodstained aftermath of an eventful Christmas party, detectives Anderson & Costello discover that the holiday season can be anything but merry.

The good detectives are back! Everything is crowded during the Christmas Ice Show. And when a seemingly random husband and father is stabbed in a crowded food court, there are no witnesses, no clues, and no idea who would do such a thing.

When a week later they are called out to a holiday cottage in a fairly remote glen in the highlands, they find two bodies. One inside and one outside. Whoever the killer was, there is no evidence of them. Not even a snowprint.

Anderson is glad enough to jump in as he has more problems than a man should have at home. And his partner has her own issues.

Full of superstition and family squabbles, the characters are really well done and the old tale of greed, superstitious nonsense, and stone-cold murder was very well done!

NetGalley/ June 2nd, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

THE LADY OF THE LAKE BY PETER GUTTRIDGE

The Lady of the Lake

When a body is found in a lake belonging to Nimue Grace, a reclusive actress, DI Sarah Gilchrist and her partner DS Bellamy Heap are on the case.

The dead man, Major Rabbitt was not well-liked by any stretch of the imagination. He was a pig. His ex hated him, his business rivals hated him. And no one said it but I’m pretty sure his own kids did not like him.

There was a lot going on here. There were so many suspects I had no idea who the killer was. At one point I thought it was an ostrich. Yes. Or the drug dealer. Or the ex. And on and on!Β  That gets extra points because I didn’t guess right at all!!

Good Job!

NetGalley/March 3rd, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

 

 

 

DEATH with DOSTOEVSKY by KATHERINE BOLGER HYDE

Death with Dostoevsky (Crime with the Classics Book 4)

A Crime with the Classics Mystery #4

Professor Emily Cavanaugh is back at Bede College, not as a Professor, but on sabbatical and trying to work on her book on Dostoevsky.

On her first day in the library, Emily runs into a former student, Daniel Razumov, and his girlfriend Sveta. Daniel is also researching Dostoevsky but from a different point of view than Emily. Emily has always thought Daniel was one of her more promising students, but he seems unwell and distracted.

Emily’s new brother, Oscar is here as well as Richard McClintock, the sketchy chair of her division. And the fabulous Marguerite, one of my favorites!

When Emily finds out the reason for Daniel’s misery, she confronts fellow professor Taylor Curzon. Taylor is a predator and a very unlikeable person! Taylor could care less about what Emily or anyone else has to say about her shady behavior. She has dirt on everyone and uses it as a weapon.

But someone is tired of her wicked games and soon her job is open! Emily finds her dead on the floor of her office. And the shady people start coming out of the woodwork.

There was no shortage of suspects in this one. Some pretty nasty folks. But also some new characters! Luke’s nephew, Colin, also a cop and Oscar’s girlfriend Lauren.

When Daniel is arrested for the crime, Emily will try her best to figure out who the real killer is. Hopefully, before he/she realizes that Emily is on to them.

Another great one from this author. Always a pleasure and there is always something to learn!

Well Done!

NetGalley/ Severn House Release December 03,2019

 

 

TRAP LANE by STELLA CAMERON

Trap Lane (Alex Duggins Mystery, #6)

An Alex Duggins Mystery #6

Alex and her friends are back! Alex owns the popular pub, The Black Dog, with her mysterious but reliable manager, Hugh Rhys. Alex trusts Hugh completely.

But when Neve Rhys, as well as Sonia Quillam, arrives, Alex is seeing a side of Hugh she hasn’t seen before. Secretive, angry and even more closed-lip than usual.

Hugh has asked Sam, the locksmith, to change all the locks at Green Friday, after the last debacle and when Sam returns to tell Hugh and Alex that the door was open and there are blood and glass everywhere, they head over to investigate.

Are they looking for a missing injured person or is this a murder with no body?

After the police find Mr. Quillam dead in a pond on Hugh’s property, all eyes are on him.

Alex is torn between keeping Hugh safe and out of jail and being properly honest with the local police.

So many mysteries in this one! Bodies keep popping up and people keep disappearing and then popping up again. Everyone is keeping secrets and that is not helping Alex.

She is determined to find out what is going on and who is a killer!

This is a favorite series of mine. I was with them up until the end. Which was abrupt and confusing. I even asked a friend to read the last chapter and he kept trying to turn the Kindle page too. What was that all about?

NetGalley/Severn House October 1st, 2019 by Creme de La Crime

 

 

SEASON of DARKNESS by CORA HARRISON

Season of Darkness (A Gaslight Mystery #1)

First in the Gaslight Mystery Series

Cora Harrison is one of my favorite authors. Her Reverand Mother series is wonderful reading!

In this new Historical Fiction Series, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins have teamed up to try and solve the murder of a young servant girl named Isabella Gordon. Isabella is one of the young ladies that Dicken’s charities had tried to help. Unfortunately, Isabella wasn’t a rule follower and she along with her friend, Sisena, moved on to work in a lodging house owned by a friend of Dickens. An American who supposedly made his fortune in gold.

Feeling a strong sense of responsibility to find her killer, Dickens, Collins, and Sisena are looking for clues. Was she blackmailing someone? Is the killer in the house? Will Sisena get greedy and go for the money herself?

I enjoyed the true parts tucked in with the mystery. Since this is the first in a series, I will say that I did not enjoy this one as much as her other series. But we’ll see where she goes with it!

NetGalley/ Severn House July 01, 2019