Double Whammy by Gretchen Archer is the first book in the new “Davis Way” humorous mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, May 2013
Davis Way thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she lands a job as the fifth wheel on an elite security team at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. But once there, she runs straight into her ex-ex husband, a rigged slot machine, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth and it does not set her free—in fact, it lands her in the pokey.
Buried under a mistaken identity, unable to seek help from her family, her hot streak runs cold until her landlord Bradley Cole steps in. Make that her landlord, lawyer, and love interest. With his help, Davis must win this high stakes game before her luck runs out.
Oh my goodness, what a riot of laughter I had reading the adventures and escapades of Davis Way. Landing the perfect job, or so she thinks, puts her in situations that were both amusing and intriguing as I watched her achieve her goal, that is until one dastardly incident and then the real Davis Way with unlikely help proves that she’s tougher than she appears. Surrounded by an interesting cast of characters exploding with southern charm, this was a fun read full of snarky and witty banter (especially her internal dialogue) that kept me entertained as I quickly turn the pages in a book that I could not put down. This is a great debut and I can’t wait for the next book in this engagingly appealing series.
FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book, in hopes I would review it.
Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn is the first book in the new “Elliott Lisbon” humorous mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, April 2013
As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, South Carolina, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing more serious than retrieving a pilfered Pomeranian. Until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne’s reputation tanks, Jane’s headed to a jail cell, and Elliott’s sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town.
Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the deeper she digs to clear Jane’s name, the guiltier Jane looks. The closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation becomes: a brutal attack on her own suspect and the murder of a witness. With victims piling up faster than shells at a clambake, Elliott realizes she’s next on the killer’s list.
This is an engaging read that grabbed my attention from the start with Elliott’s desire to prove Jane’s innocence and to best the lead detective by being one step ahead and it’s those encounters that made for a fun read as Elli’s discreet inquiries landed her in one mishaps after another in the pursuit of a killer.
The author did a good job in delivering a well-written whodunit that was entertainingly pleasing. There were plenty of suspects that kept me guessing throughout most of this lighthearted drama and I loved how everything came together when I knew exactly who the killer was. Elliott is a wonderful character and I like the possibilities of more escapades with obtaining her PI license and handling discreet inquiries for her employer. The added bonus of sexy Nick is a plus and I would love to see that relationship blossom. With witty banter, a likable cast of characters and a visually appealing setting, this is a great start to what I hope is a long running series. Note: Board Stiff is a humorous mystery with a sprinkle of spicy language.
FTC Full Disclosure – I received a copy of this book from NetGalley with a request for a review.
Three Odd Balls by Cindy Blackburn is the third book in the “Cue Ball” mystery series. November 2012
A romantic vacation for…five? This wasn’t exactly what Jessie and Wilson had in mind when they planned their trip to the tropics. But the fun begins when Jessie’s delightfully spry mother, Wilson’s surfer dude son, and Jessie’s rabidly hyperactive New York agent decide to tag along. But what kind of trouble can these three oddest of odd balls possibly get into? Take a guess.
Jessie and Wilson never thought they would be involved in a murder on their Hawaiian holiday trip, but that’s when the fun begins as Tessie, Chris and Louise also head to the islands and what an exciting and hilarious story this was. The “heebies jeebies” had me cracking up throughout this delightfully engaging mystery, at one point laughing out loud on a crowded subway train. From Wilson’s attraction to Hawaiian apparel, from Chris teaching the *geezers* how to surf, from Tessie’s intuition, from Geeze Louise’s *first-times* and to Jessie’s fears, provided amusements as the team investigated the murder and subsequent mysterious happenings at Wakilulani Gardens. This is the best book in this series and I had a rollickingly fun time reading this book and I look forward to the next book in this terrifically amusing series.
Double Shot by Cindy Blackburn is the second book in the “Cue Ball” mystery series. October 2012
Jessie Hewitt thought her pool-hustling days were long gone. But when uber-hunky cop Wilson Rye asks her to go undercover to catch a killer, she jumps at the chance to return to a sleazy poolroom. Jessie is confident she can handle a double homicide, but the doubly-annoying Wilson Rye is another matter altogether. What’s he doing flirting with a woman half his age? Will Jessie have what it takes to deal with Tiffany La-Dee-Doo-Da Sass and solve the murders? Take a guess.
I had a blast reading this delightful story. Jessie and her friends are helping the police by going undercover at a local pool hall. The antics this quirky cast of characters gets into are hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it. The appearance by her mother had me cracking up and I hope we get to see more of her. This was a terrific read and I can’t wait to start the third book in this exciting series.
Saturday Night Cleaver by Karen Cantwell is the fourth book in the “Barbara Marr” murder mystery series. December 2012
Poor Barb. She just can’t stay out of trouble, no matter how hard she tries. But this time she has a good reason: family friend Colt Baron has gone missing. When soccer mom, Barbara Marr, and her ex-FBI husband, Howard, begin following clues in a search for their treasured pal, they find themselves crashing a rather racy sort of party – a soiree for swinging couples. Awkward. What they learn there is…interesting. But the question is, does the information lead them to Colt?
This book is a rip-roaring, laugh-a-minute, crack-me-up-to-the bone story that had me in stitches from beginning to end as Barbara gets involved in a calamity of situations. I especially love the witty and amusing dialogue that runs rampart through this as well as the relationship Barbara has with her friends and family. Kudos to Karen as this is one of the best book in this delightfully hilarious series.
Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich is the 19th book in the “Stephanie Plum” mystery series. Publisher: Bantam, November 2012
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.
After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.
The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . . .
This was a very entertaining read as Stephanie is on a trail of a missing hospital patient as she deals with threats coming from Ranger’s past, all to bring some money home. Stephanie, in her most usual way, handles it as she normally does with a few bumps along the way. I know I’m in for some good laughs while Stephanie and the gang are out pursuing their prey, from Lula’s quest for a meal, grandma’s desire to shoot off her gun, and from the two men in Stephanie’s life. This was a fun read and I can’t wait for the next book in this amusing series.
Playing With Poison by Cindy Blackburn is the first book in the new “Cue Ball” mystery series. September 2012
Pool shark Jessie Hewitt usually knows where the balls will fall and how the game will end. But when a body lands on her couch, and the cute cop in her kitchen accuses her of murder, even Jessie isn’t sure what will happen next. Playing With Poison is a cozy mystery with a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne.
This was a good read. I love the way the story flowed as it progressed from one scene to the next in that I could not put this book down. The author did a good job with the mystery keeping me guessing until nearly the end. Jessie is a strong protagonist who happened upon being an amateur sleuth and I loved how she handled that role and her ongoing conversations with Captain Rye was fun to watch. With a good supporting cast and the promise of more exciting time, I can’t wait to read Double Shot, the next book in this enjoyable debut series.