Friday, December 14, 2018

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery #7)

Author:  Barbara Ross
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781496717948
Kensington Publishing
304 Pages
$7.99; $6.99 Amazon
December 18, 2018

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It's summertime in Busman's Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy - or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake's supply.  Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick's decision.  But which one of them was angry enough to kill?  

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion.  When Julia urges him to reconsider, she's the last to see him alive - except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake.  As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America.  They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party - or see this season's clam harvest dry up for good.

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Julia Snowden runs her family's clambake business, and the end of summer is near.  But one morning everything is delayed for the funeral of a local, Heloise 'Lou' Herrickson, a woman who was generous and loved by all who knew her.  But the funeral takes a turn when Lou's heir, Bartholomew Frick, shows up late and doesn't speak to anyone, then leaves just as quickly when the service is over.

But what really causes problems is when Frick closes off the beach and road access in front of Herrickson House, angering the townspeople.  The beach has been used daily by clammers who make their living, beachcombers, including one who lives in a nearby cottage, and the occasional tourist who stay in a small home next to the lighthouse. 

When Julia goes to talk to Frick she comes across the housekeeper who has quit rather than work for him, and her attempts at getting him to open the beach again are fruitless.  But she learns later that day that Frick has been found dead, murdered, and she might have been one of the last people to see him alive.

When she's asked by the Snugg sisters, who run a bed and breakfast across the street from her home, to help the housekeeper, Ida, prove her innocence if needed, she can't say no.  But things get complicated sooner than later when her boyfriend Chris has secrets of his own, and it starts to affect their life.  He also asks for Julia's help in something, but she needs more information before she's willing to commit herself.  But Chris isn't so willing to share, and it causes problems.

Now Julia has to help find a killer before someone is wrongfully accused and she doesn't realize just how complicated her life will become.  Will she find a link that will lead her to the truth, or will it be too late and the wrong person will be convicted?

Once again Ms. Ross has given us an intriguing mystery to be unraveled, because that is exactly what we must do.  Take the tapestry she has woven and unravel it, thread by thread, to find the truth hidden inside.  It is an engaging tale that manages to take each piece and connect them seamlessly, with the reader discovering the connections one by one, the same as Julia.  While there are plenty of 'aha!' moments, it is indeed a pleasure to watch her as she takes each one and puts the puzzle together, coming to a satisfying conclusion.

This was a highly enjoyable read, and I applaud Ms. Ross on a story that is both delightful and believable.  We learn more about Chris's past and why he is the person he is, which, as a subplot, brings compassion and understanding to the narrative.  The characters are convincing, and the descriptions of the clambake make you want to experience it firsthand.

At the last, I was sorry to see the story end.  It kept me reading throughout the night, captured in the mystery.  This is the seventh book in the series, and quite as good as the others; I hope to see it continue on for a good long while.  Highly recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Steamed-Open-Maine-Clambake-Mystery/dp/1496717945/ref=

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2626564413

More on Barbara Ross's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/r/barbara-ross/

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Crewel and Unusual (A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #6)

Author:  Molly MacRae
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781643130088; 9781515938675
Pegasus Books
272 Pages
$25.95; $24.99; $22.73 Amazon
January 1, 2019

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Yarn shop owner Kath Rutledge is looking forward to the grand opening of the Blue Plum Vault, a co-op of small shops on Main Street.  But in the week before the grand opening, Kath and her needlework group, TGIF (Thank Goodness It's Fiber), hear rumors of an unpleasant rivalry developing between two of the new shopkeepers.  Nervie Bales and Belinda Moyer declare each other's embroidery patterns and antique embroidered linens fakes, copies - and stolen goods.  Kath is caught in the middle when she's asked to use her textile expertise to decide if there's any truth to the accusations.

Then, the day before the grand opening, an exquisite tablecloth that Kath has fallen in love with - the pride of Belinda's shop - is found cut to shreds.  Belinda accuses Nervie of the outrage, but Nervie has an airtight alibi: she was at Kath's shop, the Weaver's Cat, teaching a crewel embroidery class.

Despite worries over the rivalry and vandalism, the opening is a success - until Belinda is found dead, stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors from the Weaver's Cat.  Geneva, the ghost who haunts Kath's store, claims she saw the murderer leaving the scene of the crime.  But the ghost is the ultimate unreliable witness -- only Kath and her shop manager can see or hear her.  That means it's up to Kath, TGIF, and especially Geneva the ghost to solve the crime before the killer cuts another life short.

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Kath Rutledge is looking forward to visiting the Blue Plum Vault, a former bank that is now home to small shops on Main Street.  When she receives a visit from the Spivey twins, Mercy and Shirley, they tell her she needs to visit one of the shops because the owner has a magnificent embroidered table runner.  Kath, owner of the Weaver's Cat, can't resist.  When she finally sees it, she is enamored, but when the owner, Belinda Moyer, allows her to view and even more precious treasure - a tablecloth - Kath is in awe.  While Belinda hurriedly tucks it away, she lets Kath know it will be for sale.  However, Nervie Bales declares it's a fake, even though Kath knows better.  But when the shops all open, she hears a scream from Belinda and arrives to find the tablecloth cut to shreds.  Soon after, even the shreds disappear and no one knows where.

Then Belinda's body is found - by Geneva the ghost, no less - and Kath is wondering if Nervie hated her enough to kill her.  When she isn't getting any information from Deputy Cole Dunbar, she figures it's up to her and her TGIF group of knitters to flush out a killer.  But they soon learn that the recent murder of Gar Brown and Belinda might be connected.  Who would want to kill two people - one of them new to town and one of them a respected resident - and why?  What did they know that someone else didn't want them to tell?  How does the destroyed tablecloth fit in?  With a slew of suspects and ghostly Geneva offering up her own ideas, Kath tries to corner a killer who's killed twice before - and might try for a third...

I'm very fond of this series with its gloomy ghost Geneva, who resides at Kath's shop and even though she only remembers bits and pieces about her past, she has a very real presence.  Kath has even come along in the fact that she sort of likes having Geneva around.  The only other person who can see her is Ardis, retired schoolteacher and part-time worker at the Cat, who's a descendant of Geneva's family.

While Kath at first gets interested because of the destroyed tablecloth, she soon figures out that there's more to what's going on, but it seems that not only are the people who have shops at the co-op suspects, but maybe even a few people around town.  We watch as they conference and sift through clues, trying to decide motives and eliminating people along the way.  It's a fun process to be part of, and I enjoyed reading about their deductions.

While there isn't a lot about any of the characters in this book, insofar as to their lives aside from investigating, it doesn't seem important somehow.  The only thing that bothered me, just a little, was the fact of Kath and Joe's non-relationship.  I get that she's concerned with her shop and that he loves fishing; and they sleuth a little (long with the others, but they don't really do anything together.  There was one nice moment when you knew Joe had feelings for her, (and that involved Geneva) but that was it.  I think as the series proceeds (and I am so glad that it's been revived) I would at least like to see them progress.  (Not that I want this to turn into a romance series).

Aside from that, and as I stated, it was minor, I felt that while the book started slow, it picked up considerably and the mystery was done well.  There were a couple of interesting subplots going on, and the Spivey sisters are as annoying as always, but all in all, it was a delightful read.

When the killer was discovered and the reason why, I thought it all came together nicely in the end.  I had a good time trying to figure it out along with Kath, and it was worth the wait.  In the end, a nice cozy to read on a chilly evening.  There's even a nice recipe for Pear and Ginger Scones in the back, if you like to cook (I do).  I look forward to the next in the series.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Crewel-Unusual-Haunted-Yarn-Mystery/dp/1643130080/ref

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2617863444

More on Molly MacRae's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/m/molly-macrae/

Monday, November 26, 2018

Murder at the Palace (A Movie Palace Mystery #1)

Author:  Margaret Dumas
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781635114638; 9781635114632
Henery Press Publishing
266 Pages
$31.95; $15.95, $$4.99 Amazon
February 12, 2019

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Welcome to the Palace movie theater!  Now Showing:  Philandering husbands, ghostly sidekicks, and a murder or two.

When Nora Paige's movie-star husband leaves her for his latest co-star, she flees Hollywood to take refuge in San Francisco at the Palace, an historic movie theater that shows the classic films she loves.  There she finds a band of misfit film buffs who care about movies (almost) as much as she does.

 She also finds some shady financial dealings and the body of a murdered stranger.

Oh, and then there's Trixie, the lively ghost of a 1930's usherette who appears only to Nora and has a lot to catch up on.  With the help of her new ghostly friend, can Nora catch the killer before there's another murder at the Palace?

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First off, I'm going to state that I am a huge classic film fan.  There isn't one I haven't seen, I own thousands of them myself, hundreds of biographies of actors from silent film right through the Golden Age of Hollywood (including those on directors, producers, studios and genres).  I don't even watch newer films (aside from Christmas TV flicks) and haven't been to the theater in years.  They just don't compare in either quality nor acting.  (Oh, to have another Humphrey Bogart!)  In fact, when I first read the list that Kate had left behind - Win, M, Lace, Sorry, Gas - I knew exactly what it was and its meaning.  Therefore, I was able to piece everything together easily.

Having said that (as a heads up, of course) I was excited to read this book.  Anyone who's a classic film buff would feel the same as I do, if only to read the many references strewn about.  And trust me, there are many.

When Nora Paige's marriage implodes she finds herself at a loss.  What is the ex-wife of a famous actor to do, when her life has been centered on her husband?  As his unpaid manager and I-know-where-everything-is-and-what-to-do-about-that person, she's at odds and ends and feeling pretty sorry for herself.  Luckily, she has a best friend who knows exactly what to do:  She installs Nora as manager of her San Francisco classic movie theater, whose last manager, Kate, was killed in a tragic accident.

But while Nora is willing to take over, and most of the employees are fine with having her, the projectionist isn't.  Marty is a big guy who thinks he should have been manager, that because he loves the theater and knows more than anyone about classic film, he was the logical choice.  What Marty doesn't know is that Kate probably has a greater knowledge than him, and she's not letting on, which keeps him at arm's length.

But when Nora goes to get ice in the basement since their upstairs ice maker isn't working, she comes across something frozen that doesn't belong there: a body of a man.  When it appears that he died around the same time as Kate, Nora gets as suspicious as Marty that Kate's death might not have been an accident.  The dead man is identified as Raul Acosta, but his connection to Kate isn't apparent.  It's also apparent - at least to Nora and Marty - that this was no accident.  Then there actually is an accident - Nora, trying to fix a light fixture, gets hit by it instead and blacks out.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it) when she wakens, not only is she surrounded by employees, but by one she's never seen - a young woman in an usher's costume.

When the woman tells Nora her name is Trixie and that she's a ghost, Nora resists until she's given evidence that she can't refute, even if she still doesn't want to believe it.  Then a man shows up insisting that he was working on a film festival with Kate, Nora needs to figure out if he's telling the truth; Raul's brother shows up telling her he wants to find out who killed Raul, Kate's best friend Monica is definitely mysterious, and Nora is feeling overwhelmed.

But it's not long before being overwhelmed takes second place to feeling threatened, and Nora finds herself smack into the middle of a modern day real life murder mystery...and doesn't know if she'll survive long enough to figure it out.  If she doesn't get things right, and soon, she might be the next accident just waiting to happen...

I have to tell you that I absolutely loved this book.  I will also tell you - for those who aren't movie buffs - that there are a lot of film references, so you may find yourself heading to the nearest computer to look everything up (I do suggest watching the films, though; you'll enjoy yourself immensely and see what real films are).

The mystery is tight and the writing done well, the story line is plausible and the characters likable.  Marty was a hoot; even though he's anti-social, he loves the old theater and everything that comes with it, and you can tell that even though he's not happy he wasn't chosen manager, he's beginning to like Nora.

Nora is a solid character, and her personal insecurities make her a real person.  While I think (and hope) she'll grow a real backbone, she manages to keep her own within the story line, and that's important.  I do like Trixie; she gives just enough paranormal without going over the top, and seems a little unsure of herself every now and then.  The other characters fall into place exactly where they're supposed to, and the enigmatic Hector Acosta is quite an intriguing character who has more facets than a diamond.  I look forward to seeing more of him in future books.

There were plenty of red herrings in the story and it even seemed like a scavenger hunt at times, which made for part of the fun of it.  Weaving classic film plots with the search for the reason for Kate and Raul's death seemed not only natural, it was delightful to follow and made me almost wish I was right along with the rest of them, offering up my opinions on what everyone was looking for.

The only thing I didn't understand is why Nora didn't share with Marty the fact that she knew so much about classic film.  If she had, he might have seen a kindred soul in her, and it really didn't make sense that she didn't.  In the end, Kate's resolution of the problem was most ingenious indeed, and I loved every minute of it.  There was only one thing I didn't care for, and while I won't state what exactly it was as it is too much of a spoiler, (it's a personal peeve I have).  Anyway, aside from this, I can't state enough how much I was captivated by this book and hope to see more in the future.  Highly recommended.

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-at-Palace-Margaret-Dumas/dp/1635114667/ref

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2606736770

More on Margaret Dumas's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/d/margaret-dumas/

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Cold Brew Killing (An All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery #3)

Author:  Lena Gregory
Genre:   Mystery

Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781516104673
Lyrical Underground
265 Pages
$5.99 Amazon
November 6, 2018

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Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café.  Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities.  But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something's very wrong.  Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold.  When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight - a dead body in the open freezer.  But the ice cream man's troubles are just beginning.  The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface.  Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice...

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Gia Morelli's life is starting to come together.  After moving to Florida and opening a café she's managing to eke out a decent living, has made some good friends, and even started a relationship with Detective Hunter Quinn, who's acting captain of the local police force.  Little does she know trouble is brewing: there's a heated mayoral race between Ron Parker and Mitch Anderson, and while it seems it's just another campaign, little does she know it goes far deeper than she or anyone else thinks.

One morning her part-time waitress Willow is preparing to leave with her mother Skyla when two strangers enter the café for breakfast, and while leaving, the wife recognizes Skyla.  She seems startled to see them, and though Gia wants to know why, she lets the subject drop.  It's also apparent that Skyla dislikes Mitch Anderson, but won't say why, and no one presses the issue.  However, Gia knows Skyla has things she's not saying, and she wonders why.

The next day, Trevor Barnes, who owns an ice cream shop down the street and is one of Gia's best friends, enters the shop while as a ghost and in a panic.  He insists there's a dead body in his walk-in freezer, and he doesn't know how it got there.  When it's discovered that the dead man is Ron Parker, and that Trevor has a past with him, he's suspected of the murder.  But Gia knows Trevor, and she knows he couldn't kill anyone.  While she thinks the police aren't looking hard enough, she wants to find out who wanted the man dead.  She also wants to know why, after Ron's death, Skyla seems to have withdrawn into herself, but no one can get close enough to find out.

But once she begins to learn a little more about Ron's past and his history with Mitch, she realizes that there are secrets someone wants to keep hidden, and if she doesn't find out the rest of the story, it might be too late for everyone involved...

This is the third book in the series, and a very good entry indeed.  While I somehow missed the second book after having read the first, the author doesn't reference things that occurred, so you don't feel like you're missing things along the way.

That being said, I liked the way the mystery was written.  While the body is discovered almost immediately (as it should be), the clues are hidden well throughout, and pieces of the story are gleaned from each character involved, leading us to the truth.  And what a truth it is; ugly, sad, and destruction of lives that never should have been.  Unfortunately, such are the truths of life.

In this book, we learn a little bit more about Trevor and Harley's pasts and that of her friend Sybil who haunts the woods near Gia's home.  It's things I don't believe anyone anticipated, but interesting nonetheless.  We also have Gia and Hunt finding their way in their new-ish relationship, even if there are bumps in that path, and it's handled nicely and quite believable.  With this new knowledge at hand, I fully expect the future books to be even more engaging.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the story, including the various subplots woven within, and the fact that they didn't detract from the tale by unwarranted drama.  There were plenty of twists and turns, and enough intrigue to keep you reading throughout in one sitting.

When Gia finds out the truth of the matter (and we know she will) it all came together nicely and the ending was satisfying, giving us a hint of what is to come in future books while finding closure for some of the characters in this one.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Killing-All-Day-Breakfast-Mystery-ebook/dp/B079R5Y14L/ref

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2593251428

More on Lena Gregory's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/g/lena-gregory/

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Eggs on Ice (A Cackleberry Club Mystery Book 8)

Author:  Laura Childs
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780425281727; 9781974918188
Berkley Publishing (Dreamscape Audio)
304 Pages
$17.10; $19.49; $12.99 Amazon
December 4, 2018

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Some say that casting crusty attorney Allen Sharpe as Scrooge in the Kindred Players production of "A Christmas Carol" is just playing to type.  He's not the most beloved man in town.  In fact, you'd have a dickens of a time finding someone who liked him.  Still it's a shock when the Ghost of Christmas Past stabs him during the first rehearsal.  Suzanne, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club Café, Kindred's favorite combination diner, craft store and bookshop, chases the murderer out of the building and loses him in the alley.

As the days pass the list of suspects grows longer.  Is it the disgruntled partner?  The former secretary whom Sharpe sexually harassed?  Or is it fellow owner of the Cackleberry Club, Toni's almost ex-husband, Junior?  The women of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he can add another victim to his Christmas list.

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Suzanne, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club Café, in Kindred, Minnesota, is part of a theater group putting on A Christmas Carol.  But when their Scrooge - attorney Allen Sharpe - is murdered by the Ghost of Christmas Past (or someone pretending to be so), it's a race to find a murderer that no one has seen.  When she's later approached by a young woman named Amber who's asking for help, she's surprised.  It seems Suzanne's friend has sent Amber to her because she's the one that Sheriff Doogie has in mind for the murder, but Amber insists she's innocent.

Suzanne doesn't know her at all, and wants to believe the best, but she isn't sure.  Still, with her curious nature she can't help but wonder who not only killed Allen, but threatened her with the same knife.  So she sets about looking into the investigation herself, even enlisting the help of her friend Toni.  But then the stakes are raised at a seemingly harmless endeavor, and now Suzanne knows she's also on the killer's radar.  But can Doogie - or Suzanne - find a killer before he manages to finish her off?...

This is the eighth book in the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, so there isn't a lot of background on the characters for those who haven't read the previous in the series, but there is enough explanation as the book progresses that it shouldn't leave anyone in the dark, either.

While I knew the identity of the killer early on I was interested to find out how Suzanne would come to the same conclusion.  The clues weren't overt, but they weren't hidden, either.  There wasn't tons of action involved, it was basically Suzanne going about her daily life and asking questions in the process.  She's not invasive, and is never get-up-in-your-face about it, which I enjoyed.

She does have her own ideas about the killer and several suspects, yet when she tries to veer away from Doogie's insistence that Amber might very well be the killer, something sort of pulls her back in that direction, which confuses her.

Add to this the fact that Toni's almost-ex-husband Junior has had his trailer blown up and now he's temporarily living with her; while he's pretty much a neer-do-well with the brains of a squirrel (and I'm giving him too much credit here as squirrels can be intelligent), but his heart is always in the right place.  It's an interesting subplot.  There was also a few things that seemed odd at best - a fashion show at a Christmas tea?  Who would do that?  What about women who don't care for fashion (like myself) but would rather just have a nice tea - I would find it out of place and distracting from what is supposed to be a seasonal event.

In the end, there was a bit of suspenseful action which was nice, and it gave the tale a little oomph that was needed.  When all came together I felt that it was rather pat, since we weren't given any explanation of why things happened the way they did; and I would have liked to have an extra chapter to explain everything; it felt rushed to me  (I have put the major spoiler on Goodreads where it is hidden; I did not feel the need to also put it here).  All in all, a decent entry in the series.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Eggs-Ice-Cackleberry-Club-Mystery/dp/0425281728/ref

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2580632545

More on Laura Childs's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/c/laura-childs/

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Body in the Attic

Author:  Judi Lynn
Genre:  Mystery

Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781516108398
Lyrical Underground
218 Pages
$15.00; $3.99 Amazon
November 27, 2018

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House-flipper Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod have found their latest project.  The property, formerly owned by the late Cal Juniper, is filled with debris that must be cleared before the real renovation begins.  But a trip to the attic reveals something more disturbing than forgotten garbage - a skeleton wearing a locket and rings that Jazzi recognizes...

Tests confirm that the bones belong to Jazzi's Aunt Lynda, who everyone assumed moved to New York years ago after breaking up with Cal.  Soon enough, the whole family is involved, sifting through memories and rumors as they try to piece together what really happened to Lynda - and the baby she gave up for adoption.  In between investigating and remodeling, Jazzi is falling for the old house's charms - and for her gorgeous contractor, Ansel.  But with surprises lurking in every crook and nanny, a killer might be waiting to demolish her dreams for good...

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Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod are house flippers.  They've just acquired an old Victorian previously owned by the estate of Cal Juniper, who was once engaged to Jazzi's aunt Lynda.  But Lynda disappeared shortly after the engagement, and everyone thought she met someone else in New York and just never returned.

But while attempting to remove items from the attic, Jerod opens a trunk and they find Lynda's remains inside.  Now the question has to be asked: what was she doing up there, who put her there, and was Cal in any way responsible?  But as they start digging into the mystery, what they find out is there are people who loved Lynda and some who hated her; but finding out who killed her isn't going to be easy - not even for the police.  Then when another mystery presents itself that's tied to Lynda, Jazzi knows somebody is hiding something - but how far are they willing to go to keep their secret?

This is the first book I have read by this author (she usually writes romances, and I'm not super fond of the genre) and I have to say that I was impressed.  Yes, of course, being the type of book she's written previously, there is quite a touch of romance involved (had to say it for those who think there's too much) but it never overshadows the mystery involved, and that's a good thing.

I liked the idea that this protagonist is a house flipper (unusual for a cozy) and she didn't run back home with her tail between her legs because her previous relationship soured (although she's already home, she's not moping about it but has moved on).  She's got a good business going, has money in the bank, and while she's interested in Ansel, who works with them, she's keeping that information to herself since he's involved with someone.

Back to the mystery - I liked the premise of the entire thing.  A relative whom everyone thought ran off didn't, and then they had to figure out who knew her 'when' and who wanted her dead but left her body in a trunk in the attic of the man she was to marry.  Then when the second murder is revealed, it only adds to the first question because it deepens the mystery and gives us something else to look at.  Quite a conundrum, and quite delightful to decipher.

I also found the fact that while in reality the police detective probably wouldn't have involved Jazzi in the case, he was likable enough and reacted well with her; neither one was offensive nor pushy, and I can see them becoming friends over time.  It seemed to work somehow and I was able to overcome this detail.  To tell the truth, I loved the fact that the detective wasn't hateful and that there wasn't an 'evil nemesis' in this book as I find both of those distracting from a mystery.

In the end, when everything started coming together it all did so nicely, and while there were no hair-raising moments, it didn't seem to matter.  The story was written well enough that I enjoyed the tale and I look forward to the next in the series.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Attic-Judi-Lynn/dp/1516108396/ref

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2577178737

More on Judi Lynn's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/l/judi-lynn/

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Doughnuts

Author:  Lara Ferroni
Genre:  Cooking

Hardcover; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781632171252
Sasquatch Books
208 Pages
$12.99; $9.99 Amazon
September 25, 2018

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There's nothing quite like a fresh doughnut!  With instructions written for home cooks, this book makes it easy to create doughnuts in your own kitchen.

Be prepared to be tempted by favorite classics like old-fashioned sour cream, maple-bacon bars, or red velvet, and new delights such as pineapple fritters, dulce de leche, and rainbow cake.  There are also variations for vegan and gluten-free versions in this expanded edition, now with 30 new recipes.  Your family and friends will not be disappointed!

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Since I love to cook and bake, and have made doughnuts in the past, I thought I'd look and see if this book has anything new.  Not only does it have what's listed above, but there are also recipes for doughnuts that are gluten-free (although I have to admit I haven't made those).  But it's there for those who haven't been able to find recipes before.

To tell the truth, yes, it's easier to just go and purchase doughnuts from a store; but you're going to get ones that have tons of preservatives in them and there's no guarantee that you won't find ones that don't taste like what they are - out of a box.  While many of these recipes take time and effort, the end result is you're going to get a very nice doughnut indeed with great taste.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Doughnuts-Simple-Delicious-Recipes-Make/dp/1632171252?crid=

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2573238623

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery #7)

Author:  Barbara Ross Genre:  Mystery Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book ISBN #:  9781496717948 Kensington Publishing 304 Pages $7.9...