Change of Heart by Jenna Bennett is the 6th book in the “Savannah Martin” mystery series. May 2013
It’s late February, just two months after Savannah Martin and Rafael Collier finally worked things out between them, and Rafe is already sneaking out of bed in the wee hours.
Catching fellow realtor Tim Briggs rinsing blood from his hands in the office sink makes for a welcome distraction, and when Tim disappears just as one of his clients is found dead in a nearby park, Savannah throws herself into the investigation with abandon.
But even the murder mystery taking place right under her nose can’t completely distract her from worrying about personal problems. Has Rafe changed his mind about their relationship, or is something else going on? And what are the chances of Savannah coming out of this latest debacle with her life – and her heart – intact?
I love this series. Savannah and Rafe is a perfect pairing with both trying to learn more about each other and themselves. In the meantime, murder comes between them and hits a bit too close to home for Savannah when her co-worker is involved. What follows is a pursuit that kept me turning the pages as quickly as I can to see what happens next. I love how Rafe surprises Savannah and the finale gives us so many possibilities that I can’t wait for the next book in this well-written and wonderful series. Jenna Bennett is a creative genius and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this couple.
Cooking Spirits by Joanne Pence is the 15th book in the “Angie Amalfi” mystery series. Publisher: Quail Hill Publishing, April 2013
Culinary queen Angie Amalfi has put aside her gourmet utensils to concentrate on planning her upcoming wedding to San Francisco homicide detective Paavo Smith. What could possibly go wrong?
Instead of the answer to her heart’s dreams, she scrambles to deal with wedding planners with bizarre ideas, wedding dresses that don’t flatter, squabbling relatives with hurt feelings, a long-suffering groom, and worries over where she and Paavo will live after the wedding. But all of that pales when Angie finds the perfect house for them, except for one little problem–the house may be haunted.
Many years ago, the newlyweds who lived in the house were murdered, and the case was never solved. While Angie pursues what happened to the couple who now may be haunting the house, Paavo obsesses over his own case involving the murder of unlikely lovers. The trail leads to ghosts, murders, unhappy families, and enough obnoxious wedding buttinskis to fill a graveyard. But when eerie happenings turn deadly, Angie fears she may be spirited away for good!
I have missed this series and I’m so glad it’s back. Angie is still Angie getting herself involved in a murder case, bur this time not Paavo’s when she discovers the truth about the previous tenants. Setting out to find answers, the situations Angie finds herself in with the help of Connie and Stan was hilarious. Meanwhile, Paavo is working his case and the one thing I missed most is Angie’s involvement in his case. The author did a good job with both mysteries, keeping it fresh and entertaining. Most of Angie’s family made an appearance and it was a delight to see them. This was a great read and I can’t wait to read the next book which I hope is the anticipated wedding of the century.
The Root Of All Trouble by Heather Webber is the 7th book in the “Nina Quinn” mystery series. Publisher: Blue Dandelion Press, April 2013
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS…
When a spring storm rolls through Freedom, Ohio, landscape designer Nina Quinn expects to get her hands dirty with the mess left behind.
But after high winds uproot a tree, revealing the corpse of a man inside its rotted hollow, Nina quickly realizes that cleaning up after Mother Nature’s fury is the least of her worries.
It soon becomes clear that there is no lack of suspects in the man’s untimely death. As a shady contractor and philanderer, he’d angered a lot of people before he disappeared, including some of Nina’s closest friends.
With the help of her police detective ex-husband, a mysterious coroner’s investigator, her formerly-felonious employees and her zany neighbors, Nina sets out to uncover a killer…before another victim ends up planted six feet under.
I love, love, love this book. Nina is back and this time she’s not alone. A murder, a long ago friend, an expectant sister and an ex-husband surrounds Nina in the latest case where a home remodeling goes wrong when a body is found.
This is a fun read that I enjoyed immensely. Nina is at her best when she is putting the pieces together to inch closer to the digging up a killer’s identity. This fast-paced and action-filled whodunit was both engaging and entertaining from beginning to end. Nina is a perfect heroine with her own vulnerabilities that has me rooting for her in all that she does. With a superb cast of eccentric characters and great dialogue, this is a must read for all Nina fans.
Smarty Bones by Carolyn Haines is the 13th book in the “Sarah Booth Delaney” m0ystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, May 2013
Professor Olive Twist has come to Zinnia, Mississippi to study a mysterious grave wherein lies the Lady in Red, a perfectly preserved and stunningly beautiful but unnamed and unclaimed body. Olive claims she can not only identify the corpse, she can also prove the woman’s scandalous role in the nation’s history. Olive takes it a step too far, though, when she starts connecting elite Zinnia families with the same scandal.
Dander up, Zinnia’s society ladies know only one way to handle Olive: they call on the private investigative services of Sarah Booth Delaney. But Olive’s real agenda is clear as Mississippi mud, and when Sarah Booth discovers a present-day dead body, she knows there’s more than just family pride and Southern heritage at stake. If she can’t find the murderer and fast, it might just be Sarah Booth’s life on the line next.
Carolyn Haines pulls out all the stops in Smarty Bones, the next charming, sassy, Southern-fried Sarah Booth Delaney mystery.
Oh man, what an amazing read that kept me riveted to the pages from beginning to an ending that brings possibilities. The author did a great job in developing this story and keeping me in suspense as Sarah gets close to identifying those responsible. The whole gang is here and with Sarah leading the way, this is one of the best books in this charmingly wonderful series.
You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa is the first book in the new “Italian Restaurant” mystery series. Publisher: Pocket Books, May 2013
At Miracolo Northern Italian restaurant, one can savor brilliantly seasoned veal saltimbocca, or luscious risotto alla milanese, but no cannoli. Never cannoli. Maria Pia Angelotta, the spirited seventy-six-year-old owner of the Philadelphia-area eatery that’s been in her family for four generations, has butted heads with her head chef over the cannoli ban more than once. And when the head chef is your own granddaughter, things can get a little heated.
Fortunately, Eve Angelotta knows how to handle what her nonna dishes out. But when Maria Pia’s boyfriend is found dead in Miracolo’s kitchen, bludgeoned by a marble mortar, the question arises: Can a woman this fiery and stubborn over cream-filled pastry be capable of murder?
The police seem to think so, and they put the elder Angelotta behind bars, while Eve, sexy neighborhood attorney Joe Beck, and the entire Miracolo family—parenti di sangue and otherwise—try every trick in the cookbook to unravel a tangle of lies and expose a killer.
This is a fun read where chef Eve has to do some fast cooking if she wants to clear her grandmother’s name and get her out of jail. Enlisting family and friends, this team will sift through all the clues to thaw out a killer.
I had such a good time reading this fast-paced and delightfully amusing whodunit. The mystery kept me guessing with its smattering of suspects and some twists that surprised me just before the killer was revealed. The antics and escapades Eve and her friends encountered in their search to free Maria Pia had me laughing. I love that the author took the time to develop this diverse cast of characters and I enjoyed their quirkiness which helped to get the job done. Eve is a great character and I can’t wait to learn more about her and her family. This is an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the next book in this engaging series.
Mayhem at the Orient Express by Kylie Logan is the first book in the new “League of Literary Ladies” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2013
Leave it to the ladies…
Most folks aren’t forced by court order to attend a library-book discussion group, but that’s just what happens to B and B proprietor and ex-Manhattanite Bea Cartwright, hippy cat lover Chandra Morrisey, and winery owner Kate Wilder after a small-town magistrate has had enough of their squabbling. South Bass, an island on Lake Erie, is home to an idyllic summer resort, but these three ladies keep disturbing the peace.
The initial book choice is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and that sets their mouths to watering. The Orient Express is the island’s newest Chinese restaurant. They might not agree about much, but the ladies all love the orange chicken on the menu. But their meal is spoiled when the restaurant’s owner, Peter Chan, has the bad fortune of getting murdered. Now, with Christie as their inspiration, the League of Literary Ladies has a real mystery to solve…if they can somehow catch a killer without killing each other first.
What a great concept. Three bickering women ordered to join a reading discussion book group and the first book they pick comes to life in their small island home of South Bass when they along with a fourth member find the body of their favorite restaurateur. A snowstorm keeps all the suspects in one place and the trio put on their sleuthing caps to expose a killer.
I love it. Kylie has created a wonderful new series with three strong and determined women who collectively make a great team, each keeping their own individuality. The writing was so good that once I started reading, I could not put this book down as I got caught up in the non-stop action between this eclectic cast of characters that was delightfully entertaining in their pursuit of a killer hiding in plain sight. The author did a good job with the mystery keeping me guessing with some interesting twists that I applaud especially the killer’s identity. This is an excellent beginning in this debut series and I can’t wait to see what literary road we’ll be traveling to next.
FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book, in hopes I would review it.
Looming Murder by Carol Ann Martin is the first book in the new “Weaving” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, June 2013
LOOM WITH A VIEW
Della Wright has come to peaceful and picturesque Briar Hollow, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to realize her lifelong dream of owning a weaving studio. To promote her new business, Dream Weavers, Della is offering weaving workshops for all levels of ability. In her first class, she meets half a dozen of the town’s colorful characters, who seem as eager to gossip as to learn how to work a loom.
But when a shady local businessman is found murdered, Briar Hollow suddenly appears a lot less idyllic. And when one of her weaving students is suspected of the crime, Della can’t help getting entangled in the investigation—with some help from her criminologist friend, Matthew. But can she weave together clues as well as she weaves together yarn—and stop a killer from striking again?
We are introduced to Della Wright whose recent move to Briar Hollow to open up her own small business is marred when one of her students is accused of murder. Believing in her heart that he is innocent, Della, despite warning from her friend stumbles upon clues that cast some negativity on her new neighbors. With help her friends, Della will have to untangle a few pieces of yarns before the binding is wound tight.
This is a great debut series. I love the tone and friendliness of the story. The mystery was good with plenty of suspects and a few twists to keep you caught up in the action throughout this lighthearted drama. Della is very likable as are her friends who are quirky with their own idiosyncrasies that make this delightfully charming. The author did a good job in keeping me vested in this nicely woven story and I look forward to the next book in this engaging series which is a great addition to the cozy genre.
FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book, in hopes I would review it.