Copy Cap Murder

25361859Copy Cap Murder by Jenn McKinlay

Guy Fawkes Day, mayhem and murder.  All in a day’s work for the gals at Mim’s Whims hat shop!

Book 4 of The Hat Shop mystery series, Copy Cap Murder has the Mim’s Whims women  attending a Guy Fawkes party at a house owned by Harry Harrison’s boss.  After an altercation, one of Harry Harrison’s co-workers is found dead and Ginger Scarlett sets out to prove Harrison’s innocence.

I dived into this right after finishing At The Drop Of A Hat, and there was a lot to likeThe plot was very well done, I don’t think I ever had a firm suspect in mind, and the culprit was a surprise.  With that being said, the ending was too far-fetched and improbable for me to give it 5 stars.    I did like that this book revealed a little more about Harrison’s and Viv’s pasts.  Considering what an integral part of the story they are,  there hasn’t been much detail on them up until now,  and the characters are  one-dimensional.  Also a shame, since the charming characters make the series as good as it is.

Overall, a great read and I’m already looking forward to the next in the series.

Copy Cap Murder is available at any book shop.  Order your copy from Amazon

 

Review: At the Drop of a Hat

22738620At the Drop of a Hat by Jenn McKinlay

At the Drop of a Hat is book 3 of The Hat Shop series.  Scarlett and cousin Vivian meet a young woman, Ariana, who brings them an old Mim’s Whims hat that she wants repaired so that she can wear it to her wedding.  When Ariana is arrested for her boss’s murder, Scarlett and Vivian work to prove the woman’s innocence.

This series would make a great drinking game; every time Scarlett’s face turns flaming red, take a shot.  Every time the names “Harry” and “Ginger” are used, take a shot.   Every time Harrison makes Scarlett weak in the knees take a shot.   Meanwhile, I guarantee you’ll be passed out drunk by chapter 3.

Out of all the books I’ve read in this series, I like this one the best.  The plot was really well done, I couldn’t put the book down!  While the moaning about the no-dating rule is grating on my last nerve, it really didn’t feel like a big part of this book (like it was in the previous books.)   The bombshell at the end was enough to make me immediately start the next in the series, though, so I will say that despite Scarlett and Viv acting like a couple of immature teenagers, I am hooked on this series.

Overall, very entertaining, engrossing and enjoyable.  (I love alliteration.  It fills me with joy)

At the Drop of a Hat is available wherever books are sold.  Pick up a copy at Amazon

Review: Trouble at Pelican Penthouse

29849307Trouble at Pelican Penthouse by Minnie Crockwell

If you don’t have the time to drive an RV around the country solving murders, then this is the series for you.  (But also if you like short cozy mysteries and/or 18th century ghost crushes)
This is the 10th book in the Will Travel for Trouble series, in which Minnie drives her RV around the country with Ben, her 18th century ghostly companion, and finds murder at every stop. In Trouble at Pelican Penthouse, Minnie rents a beach house on the Gulf coast for a week because all the RV parks in the area are full.  Minnie uncovers evidence of illegal shark fishing and soon after, a man is found dead.  Can Minnie solve the mystery?

One of the best things about this series is that they’re so short that they can be read in an hour or 2 but don’t sacrifice quality. I love the richness of the setting, how well the characters are drawn; and an intricate plot with  lots of red herrings and plot twists to keep you guessing.

Overall, this is another great entry in an already great series and one I recommend to anyone looking for a quick read or who enjoys cozy mysteries.

Trouble at Pelican Penthouse is available only on Kindle or Kindle Apps.  Pick up a copy at Amazon

 

Review: Strange History

26196336Strange History by  Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Strange History is a collection of historical trivia that will leave you laughing.  I’ve already had several occasion to reference the fact about the day it rained geese in Canada

I love books like this where every page is a something new waiting to be discovered. I found it hard to put the book down and even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. Inside, you can find historical facts encompassing everything from the longest unassisted solo cow flight in recorded history to historical facts about famous figures, to the treasures one can find digging up old privies (I fully expect Outhouse Detectives to be a series on the History Channel sometime in the near future.)

Strange History is a fascinating, entertaining and side-splitting read that will stay with you for a long time.  At the very least, you’ll never look at an Olympic torch relay the same way again.

This book would make a great gift for any trivia or history buff.

Strange History  is available at book retailers or online at  Amazon

Review: Who Killed The Ghost In The Library

 22881600Who Killed The Ghost In The Library by Teresa Lee Watson

Cam Shaw is a ghostwriter looking for a new gig when she gets a note requesting a meeting at an old manor outside of town.  When she gets there, she discovers her client is an actual ghost – and he wants to know who murdered him 60 years ago.

Pretty good for the first in a new series.  The plot was top-notch; once I dived into the book, I was hooked.  While I figured out the who about halfway through the book, I stayed for the why.

So why only a 4 star rating?  For one, the action in the book was a little far-fetched.  Lots of cars getting blown up and, one of my biggest pet peeves, the use of a silencer. (Note to all current or future authors: you cannot silence a gunshot, even if you put a pillow in front of it. Stop using this plot device in books.)   There were also too many TSTL moments and I’m sorry, no cop would let his civilian girlfriend into interrogations or into crime scenes with them.  No. Just no. Stop this, please.

Even with all that, it was still a great read and a promising start to a new series.

 

Who Killed the Ghost in the Library is available only on Kindle or Kindle apps at Amazon.  Get your copy today!

 

Review: Project Smoke

25810687Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen

Perfect gift for anyone in your life who loves to barbecue!

I’m a cooking show junkie, and Steven Raichlen’s shows on PBS (Barbecue University, Primal Grill and Project Smoke) are some of my favorites.  I love his straightforward, easy to understand style and his enthusiasm for all things grilling is infectious.

The Project Smoke cookbook is no different.  There’s a lot of information packed into this book, including tips on selecting the right woods, the equipment and tools you will need, and  recipes and tips for smoking all kinds of meats, fish, poultry, vegetables and even cocktails!  I plan on trying many of the recipes this summer.  I especially want to try the made-from-scratch bacon,  and my stepdad has been wanting to smoke a brisket for ages. The smoked potato salad looks like a pretty good side dish to go with it. Can’t wait to try it!

The only thing that would make this book better is if it was scratch and sniff.  Can you imagine?

I can’t wait for this book to come out so I can buy a hard copy.  I have a feeling this book will be well used in my family for many years to come.

 

Project Smoke is available at any book retailer,  or buy the Kindle version for Amazon

 

Review: Death of a Mad Hatter

18667885Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay

Book 2 of The Hat Shop Mystery series has Mim’s Whims hat shop creating hats for a client’s Alice In Wonderland themed tea party.  When the client’s son turns up dead amid family tension over an inheritance.  Scarlett and the gang must find a mad as a hatter killer.

The plot was quite good, but it was overshadowed by the schmaltzy, almost forced, romantic tension between the MC and the token hunky guy.   I thought the investigation was a little far-fetched, (let’s visit a funeral home to find clues!)  but overall, I enjoyed it.

I loved the theme of an Alice In Wonderland party!  I wish I could get Viv to make hats for my family and friends!The only big gripe I have is the dialogue and vernacular between characters.  I’m sorry, but you can’t insert things like “codswallop” into a person’s dialogue and expect that will make them sound British.  And, in this book, it doesn’t.  The British people sound like they’re more American than the American is.  It just puts me off, more so than the MC’s immaturity, the love-triangle-that-isn’t and the cheesy will-they-or-won’t-they romance.

 

Death of a Mad Hatter is available anywhere books are sold, or at Amazon  Pick up a copy today!

 

Review: The Donaldson Case

28413063The Donaldson Case by Diana Xarissa

Janet and Joan are back investigating mysteries in the latest Markham Sisters novella.  In The Donaldson Case, can they find the evidence to clear their neighbor’s name?

I remember when I read the last book in this series, The Chalmers Case, that I felt it lacked focus and rambled a lot.   I’m happy to say this one was a lot better; just one main mystery and one small mystery, all told succinctly and without filler.  And that’s what I enjoy about this series; the fact that a well-written mystery doesn’t need a dead body, a lot of characters and and an excess of plot threads.

This book is only available on Kindle or Kindle apps and it’s a steal at only 99 cents at Amazon!  Pick up your copy today.

 

Review: Tea Cups and Carnage

27236953Tea Cups and Carnage by Lynn Cahoon

Gorgeous seaside locale, great characters and plots that will keep you turning pages. Tea Cups and Carnage is the seventh book in the excellent Tourist Trap Mystery series and is a must read for any cozy mystery fan.

There’s a new shop owner in town, Texas beauty queen Kathi is set to open Tea Hee, a shop specializing in custom teas and tea sets. South Cove is just entering the tourist season with a beach festival weekend when a man is found dead in a motel just outside of town.  Kathi and her sister Ivy are under suspicion and Jill works to clear them and find the real murderer.

First of all, I really liked Kathi.  I think she’d be a great sidekick and BFF for Jill, unlike Darla, who just pumps her for information to report in her small newspaper, and Amy, who is kind of annoying.  So I have high hopes that there is more of Kathi as the series goes along.

This series never disappoints, and this book was no different.  There were several plots woven into the story, so the pace never let up.  From the missing money to the mysterious sister to the murder, there was always something going on.  I enjoyed that some of the minor characters were fleshed out a little more; it was nice that more dimension was added to the characters that frequently pop up in the series.

Also, whatever happened with the old mission?  In the last few books, it has merited little or no mention.

Overall, another great addition to a great series. This book can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the whole series because it’s hard not to fall in love with South Cove.

Tea Cups and Carnage will be out June 7th.  You can pre-order the book at Amazon

The Skeleton Garden

26143415The Skeleton Garden: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate

The Skeleton Garden, book 4 in the Potting Shed Mystery series, has Pru Parke and new husband Christopher living at Greenoaks for a year and investigating the discovery of a skeleton buried next to a downed WWII German plane and another body found at the site days later.

I loved the historical mystery; I read a book with a similar storyline last year and I like mixing the past and present in one story. While I figured out the old mystery pretty quickly, the second, more recent murder of who killed prodigal son, Jack, at the site of the plane burial was much more intricate.

Introduced into the story is Christopher’s 17 year old nephew, who is sent by his parents to stay at Greenoaks as punishment for hacking into someone’s email. At first, Orlando is a typical surly teen, but quickly grows to enjoy the gardening work Pru and brother Simon set him to do. Although the character wasn’t given a lot of dimension, it was still easy to relate to him (who doesn’t know a surly teen?) and he turned into a likable kid.

All in all, an enjoyable plot with several dimensions and easy to settle in to. I thought it moved slower than the other books, but the relationships between the characters made up for it.

Fully enjoyable, it was a great read and definitely a great addition to an already great series.

The Skeleton Garden is available in book stores and on Amazon