The Cyanide Ghost

The Cyanide Ghost (Mina Scarletti #6)
by Linda Stratmann

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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I absolutely love this series. In fact, I love it so much that it’s an automatic 4 stars, but this one I’ll give 5. I’ve been reading this series right along and this one ranks up there as the most satisfyingly and compelling of them all thus far.

So much to love about this one; Mr. Beckler is still around and this time he’s attempting to produce spirit photographs and is successful when he captures one during a portrait session for a young woman from a wealthy family. Mina’s suspicions are aroused further when it’s revealed that Mr. Beckler has been taking photos of the gravesites of prominent people in the community, showing the ghostly occupant clearly standing next to their grave. Despite her reluctance to encounter the creepy Mr. Beckler and the brash Arthur Wallace Hope (who we’ve met in previous books and has vowed to silence her skepticism) Mina mounts a covert investigation to learn the truth.

I’ve always been fascinated by the subject of ghosts and Spiritualism and the obviously well researched story line kept me glued to the book, watching Mina wade through the mire until she finds the truth. I loved all of the twists and turns in this one, and really enjoyed watching Mina (with brother Richard’s help) re-enact some situations that occurred and how she uncovered the truth. The comeuppance received by one character very worthy of a comeuppance was so gratifying that I nearly clapped, made for such a gratifying ending that left me wanting more.

Another fantastic entry in the Mina Scarletti series and one I definitely recommend for people who enjoy solidly written historical fiction and ghost stories.

Thank you very much to Netgalley and Sapere Books for the advance copy to read and review.

Published February 23rd 2021 by Sapere Books

Into the Sweet Hereafter

Into the Sweet Hereafter
(Vintage Sweets Mysteries #3)
by Kaye George

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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It wasn’t until I started reading this that I realized this was book 3 and I haven’t read the other 2 books. So I would say it would’ve helped a bit to read the earlier books, but only to help understand and “know” the characters, but it didn’t hinder being able to follow along with the events in this book.

But all that aside, this was an enjoyable and light cozy mystery. I enjoyed the plot; smuggling and burglary isn’t one I usually see in a cozy, so it was a nice change and added lots of intrigue. The change in viewpoints wasn’t confusing at all, I didn’t find it difficult to switch between Tally and Yo, as it was very well delinated and the “tone” did change well enough that you could tell them apart.

What I liked best is you knew the who but not the how, so it was great fun following Yolanda and Tilly as they followed the clues and the ending made for a satisfying read.

I’ll go back and read the first two books at some point, and I’m looking forward to spending more time in Fredricksburg, TX with the gang.

Thank you to Netgalley, Lyrical Press and Kensington Books for an advance copy to read and review.

Published March 9th 2021 by Lyrical Press

Carbs & Cadavers

Carbs & Cadavers (A Supper Club Mystery #1)
by Ellery Adams

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I completely forgot I didn’t finish this. I put it away one night before bed just before the end (didn’t want to miss the good stuff) and then forgot to finish it. Never fear, it’s done!

I loved this book! I loved that the main character is a man, and not only that, a very human and realistic man. I don’t see that often in cozy mysteries, so I liked the change of pace. It’s not hard to like and empathize with James, trying to grieve for his mother and help his elderly father while starting a new job at the library. I also loved how he was drawn in to the Flab Five supper club and the other four members are likeable and easy to relate to. I liked (and related to) Lucy the most because I also have a weakness for frosting. In fact, I have a can of frosting in my kitchen right now for the spice cake I’m making for Easter dinner tomorrow and it’s taking all of my willpower not to crack it open and feast. Should’ve bought 2, I guess. Enough with my Roomba of Thought (as an ADHD’er I don’t get the luxury of a train of thought, I’ve only got a chaotic and wandering Roomba of Thought) anyway, back to the review:

As for the plot, it was a cracker. On the day of the biggest high school football game, Brinkley causes a scene at the diner and is found dead the next day at the bakery. Lucy, who has been trying to work her way into being a police officer, has been shut out from the Old Boys Network working the case. Together with the rest of the Flab Five, they start investigating over diet friendly supper club meals. With no shortage of suspects who would be happy to see Brinkley dead, the story winds its way through the clues and leads before finally leading them to the culprit. I admit, it came as a surprise, and it was only at the end that the motive became clear. And that’s why I think I enjoyed the book as much as I did, this wasn’t one of my usual cozy mysteries where I pick out who did it pretty early on. I admit, I had no inkling.

Overall, an excellent mystery and I look forward to diving into the other books as soon as I clear my Currently Reading list.

Published February 19th 2018 by Beyond the Page