Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney

Book 1 in McCourtney's Cate Kincade File series.

I have read McCourtney's Ivy Malone series a few years ago and enjoyed them immensely, so felt certain this book would be worth reading. It was.  McCourtney has a quirky sense of humor that comes out in her books without overshadowing the plot. 

In Dying to Read, Cate Kincade is after a fresh start and as part of this change, she is working for her uncle, who is a Private Investigator.  A simple assignment to locate a woman for her family, turns into a tangled mess when Cate finds a dead body (not the woman she was after). Determined to leave the murder alone and stay of the search for Willow, Cate finds herself tripping over clues left and right and unable to stop her mind from "supposing". This job was to be temporary.. just something to do until the right career came along.. but maybe, just maybe this is the right career.  

Now if only Cate can discover did the killing and why... before getting herself killed in the process!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Secretly Smitten by Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Kristen Billerbeck & Diann Hunt

This is the 2nd book set in the town of Smitten, Vermont.  Book 1 was released last year and was a fun read.  Check out my review of it.. Smitten

So when I found out there was a second book, I popped it on my Kindle and started to read. Secretly Smitten picks up where Smitten left off.  Like book 1, Secretly Smitten is a collection of 4 novellas each connected but each focusing on a different resident of Smitten.  

From the discovery of a set of old dog tags in an attic to the hiring of a new city manager, sisters Tess, Claire and Zoe have their hands full.  Add into the mix their mother and a handsome visitor and the plot thickens!  Romance and secrets abound as this group tries to piece together the past while moving into the future.

Loved this one as much as the first and would hope to visit Smitten, Vermont again!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Deadly Business (Maid for Order Bk 1) by Susette Williams

A cute cozy mystery.  Bailey has inherited a cleaning business from a grandfather she never knew. She knew he existed, but was estranged from her dad. So it seems odd to now own his business and home. As Bailey is learning the business and trying to learn more about her family, she learns a few things that put her in danger.

After finding one of her employees dead at a job site and quickly becoming a suspect, Bailey starts digging deeper as she helps others clean up their messes.  Unfortunately one mess leads to another and Bailey soon finds in line to be the next victim.

Detective Max Wellington's life was a lot easier before Bailey popped into the picture. Now he spends his time trying to find a killer and keep Bailey out of trouble before it is too late.

Very fun read.. will definitely be on the look out for book #2.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mail-Order Murder by Leslie Meier

I have seen  Lucy Stone mysteries on several friends' Goodreads list, so decided I needed to check them out. This is book 1 in a long series of books by Meier featuring Lucy Stone as sort of a younger Jessica Fletcher.

In Mail-Order, Lucy (who live in Maine) is married to Bill and has 3 young children. She works part time taking telephone orders at Country Cousins where people all over the world order items ranging from hand-knit sweaters to orthopedic back cushions and every thing in between. The pay isn't great, but the hours work into the Stone's schedule allowing Lucy to be home with her kids in the day and Bill there at night.

Christmas is fast approaching and Lucy is busy buying gifts and preparing for the onslaught of family, so finding a dead body is the last thing on her mind.  But find one she does... her boss, Sam Miller, has evidently committed suicide by carbon monoxide in his car. But the police soon learn that it is not suicide, but murder and Lucy's love of mysteries and natural curiosity take over.

Mail-Order is a neat and tidy little cozy mystery with a bit of a twist at the end, but one that the reader begins to see before it hits... but not too early on. There is a bit of language throughout the book, not as much as a typical sitcom these days (keep in mind this was written in 1991). I enjoyed it, but cannot say I am hooked. In some odd way it was a downer.. the town, the people, their lives seem so depressing.. dismal and while life is not all roses and sunshine, a bit of light and hope would be nice.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Match Made in Heaven by Colleen Coble

I have read other books by Coble, so when this popped up in a Kindle Bargains list it caught my eye. Add to it that the male lead is an architect and I am hooked. (I am married to an architect)  This is one of Coble's older novellas that is now available in digital form.. fairly quick to read and very fun.

Callie is an interior designer who is tired of guys being more interested in her money than in her.  How can she know for sure their "love" in genuine.  Her grandmother, the family matchmaker, tricks her into a one more date... with an architect! The last thing Callie wants is to date someone in the business, but she has to admit there is an attraction between her and Nick.

That attraction soon turns to rivalry as Callie is hired by one of Nick's clients. Their visions for the client's home are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum and an all out "I'm in charge" tug of war begins. Not the way to start a relationship!

Fun and entertaining read.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Beauty to Die For: A Spa Mystery by Kim Alexis and Mindy Starns Clark

Clark's Million Dollar Mysteries is one of my favorite mysteries series.. and I thoroughly enjoyed her Smart Chicks Mysteries, so as soon as I saw her name on this book I snatched it up!  Then I realized I knew the other author.. Kim Alexis.. she was once a super model... which totally fits since this new series is set in the world of beauty and glamor.

Juliette Taylor was a supermodel.. but she walked away from it all while on top to start a new career creating her own line of beauty products for spas and salons.  She and her partner head to a glamorous spa for a weekend pampering Christian women who give more of themselves than to themselves.

But as in all good mysteries there's a surprise (or two) along the way... former rival in the modeling world, an old flame and a dead body to start.. and Juliette's product may be the murder weapon.

Determined to clear her name and stop a killer, Juliette takes matters in her own hand and places herself in harms way.

This is a lovely cozy mystery.  I did have an inkling of whodunit but not until late into the book.. and the why took a bit longer to figure out.  There is plenty of intrigue and twists to keep the reader happy with a splash of romance tossed in for good measure.

Looking forward to book 2 in the series.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meet Me at The Well by Virelle Kidder

Ever feel like your sinking into a deep dark hole... like life is swallowing you up and there is no where to run? Virelle Kidder understands and she can tell you how to not only survive, but thrive.

Meet Me At the Well is Kidder's story of a year straight from the depths and then a series of events that could only have been orchestrated by God to provide a new start... a fresh perspective... release.

He wants to do the same for you.  Grab this month long devotional read, your Bible, a journal and pen, then dive in one day at a time and let God (through Kidder) speak new life and peace into your stress-filled existence.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Plain Death by Amanda Flower

Appleseed Creek Mystery - Book 1

I enjoy Amish fiction... I love cozy mysteries.. this combines them both and did it well.  Chloe Humphreys moves to Appleseed Creek to work at the local college to head up their technology services department.  Just a stepping stone to get some experience and time on her resume before moving on to bigger and better things.

Then she meets Becky, a teen who has just left her Amish family and has no where to live. Then Becky's brother, also ex-Amish, shows up. And so begins Choe's entanglement with the Amish folk of Applecreek.  Add a perceived accident that leaves the Bishop dead, a murder attempt, some destructive vandalism to the Amish farms, a ruthless developer and some angry folks on both side.. with Chloe somehow stuck right in the middle... and you have the mix for  intrigue, mystery and a hint of romance along the way.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading others in the series.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo

Book 1 of the Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series.  A cute book.. honestly not the best mystery I have read, but not the worst.  A bit weak in plot and characters.  But still entertaining. And I already have book 2 in my to read stack.

There are several series out there that center around groups of knitters... the Seaside Knitters series by Sally Goldenbaum and the Knitting Mysteries by Maggie Sefton are 2 I love. I have reviewed books from each here (search the tags for Mystery and Knitting) Given my like of these series and my love of cozy mysteries, I was drawn to this book.

The Black Sheep Knitters are a group of ladies who are very diverse in lifestyle but connected through their love of knitting and their love of Maggie Messina's shop.. Black Sheep Knitting (hence the name of the group and the series).

Everyone is excited about an upcoming workshop with a celebrity knitter and the shop is all a buzz as Maggie tries to get everything just right for the event.  Even her competitor, Amanda Goran, owner of Knitting Nest, is looking forward to attending. Maggie is shocked that she will come and more shocked at her friendly attitude.

But as the case in most mysteries, tragedy strikes.. in the form of Amanda being found dead the morning of the event and Maggie becomes the prime suspect.  The Black Sheep Knitters rally round Maggie and set out to find the real killer and clear Maggie's name.