The Body from the Past (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #5)

The Body from the Past (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #5)
by Judi Lynn

50003717Finally able to jump into this newest book in the Jazzi Zanders series after choosing to catch up on the first four after getting this one on Netgalley.

Jazzi, Jerod and Ansel have snagged a great deal on a fixer upper in Merlot. While beginning the process of emptying the house to prepare it for renovation, they find a locked bedroom, shut away since the former resident, a recently graduated high school girl, fell to her death during her graduation party when she was pushed off a second floor balcony, a murder that was never solved and in small town Merlot, rumors abounded ever since.

First off, it’s a known fact that a secret locked room is a quick way to suck me into a book. I loved how the journals introduced and narrated Jessica and her tragic life. Without it, she would’ve been just words on a page, instead it brought her back to life. There was no shortage of suspects, including a few who were right up there on the list because of how odious they were but in the end, the killer was unmasked and what a twisted tale it was.

Part of the draw of these books is watching (well, reading) the gang as they renovate houses; what design choices they make (both good and bad. Still not over the yellow brick house with the red metal roof and green door in the last book) and all the different houses they find. So, I enjoyed Ansel and Jazzi’s vision of turning their basement into a playroom/man cave/spare sleeping space for guests. Truly enviable! Their family gatherings sound like such a warm, lively parties, with good food and lots of fun. Enviable!

Overall, a solid addition to a series that continues to grow and satisfy. Can’t wait for the next!

Release Date: September 22, 2020

The Body in the Gravel (Jazzi Zanders #3)

The Body in the Gravel (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #3)
by Judi Lynn

43426272. sy475 Jazzi, Jerod and Ansel are onto a new flip, a 3 story brick house in need of extensive renovation; just the sort of job the gang does best. The foundation is sinking, so the crew builds forms and calls their cement contractor Darby for a delivery. Darby is a prickly sort who doesn’t get along well with others and has a heated argument with Thane about Darby’s missing wife and son. When Darby’s dead body is delivered in a load of gravel, Jazzi teams up with Detective Gaff to find a killer.

Ok, first I have to get this off my chest. They put a red tin roof and a green door on a yellow brick house? Sounds like Caillou’s house. Yeeesh.

But enough about design choices, I really enjoyed the plot on this one and it feels like the series has hit its stride. I really enjoyed the plot, there were lots of suspects so likable, I was rooting for them to be innocent. When the killer was finally revealed, I was surprised. I mean, I knew one of them did it but the one that did wasn’t high on my suspect list.

Overall, an enjoyable read capped off with a sweet wedding and now onto book 4 so I can read the latest I got on Netgalley.

Murder’s No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker #1)

Murder’s No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker #1)
by Christin Brecher

42118422This is the first book in this series and only the second one I’ve read and I have to say, this author excels at keeping the reader in the dark about whodunit until the final pages. Obfuscation is the word of the day with this author! It’s rare that I find a book where I have no idea, not even a suspicion, whodunit. So this book ranks high just for that.

Stella is helping her heavily pregnant best friend Emily with the high society wedding and her role is to create a unity candle for the bride and groom. But when the bride’s uncle is found dead, bludgeoned with the unity candle, and the hotel’s bartender is arrested, Stella smells a rat and sets out to find the real killer.

There was so much to love about this book, from unrequited love to murder to candle scents to cats. Although the quick pace kept the plot moving, it was neither rushed nor confusing. I found myself reading late into the evening because I just had to keep going to find out more. So easy to get lost in this book! By the time I got through the exciting ending, I was at the edge of my seat and the subterfuge continued right up to the end with many surprise twists and turns.

I’m not sure why I didn’t hear about this series when it came out, but I’m glad I found it. This will definitely be a must read series for me and I look forward to many more.

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker #3)

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #3)
by Christin BrecherĀ 

49085292While setting up a Girl Scouts haunted house, Stella stumbles across an old skeleton entombed in the chimney of an old chandlery behind the house. Soon, police discover the bones are very old and call in an expert named Solder and his assistant Leigh to determine the age and origin of the remains. It comes to light that the victim is one Patience Cooper, who, as legend has it, was robbed of a collection of money raised to invest in merchant ships and then disappeared.

While researching the unfortunate victim in the chimney, another related case comes up of a friend of Patience who killed herself by jumping down a well, An expedition is formed to descend into the well, where another skeleton is found, clutching a map indicating the location of a treasure. When a tree suddenly falls over, trapping Leigh in its branches, Solder is found dead, strangled and bludgeoned. Can Stella untangle the threads of an old mystery while finding a modern day killer?

I found this on Netgalley and although this is the third book in the series, it’s my first entry and you can bet I’ll be reading the first two ASAP. I can safely say this can be read as a standalone or as an entry into the series, as it doesn’t seem like many details from previous books are present, or if they are, are adequately explained.

I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the book from the first page! Great, engaging characters, a romantic setting at seaside Nantucket and an intriguing mystery spanning generations. What more could anyone ask for? I totally admit I had no idea whatsoever whodunit, the culprit was neatly hidden very well until the dramatic reveal at the end.

I did feel that the historical mystery wasn’t tied up as well as the modern mystery, as what happened to the “treasure” and what was found at the location really wasn’t explained or even brought up again. That would be my one gripe. Where is my happily ever after for Patience’s treasure?

Overall, this was one excellent read and you can bet it’ll be on my list of ones to follow eagerly for each new installment.

Release Date: August 25, 2020