Review: Purr M for Murder

purr-book

Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio

Sydney and her sister Kat run Friendly Paws, an animal shelter in Deer Park, North Carolina. The shelter has run into financial difficulties, so Sydney and Kat team up with a local coffee shop to host a Cat Cafe, all to benefit the shelter and to get some of the cats adopted. The only problem is that one of the townspeople, an influential property owner named Trowbridge Littleton, is determined to shut the Cat Cafe and the animal shelter down. Determined to change his mind, Sydney and Kat show up at his shop and discover him dead on the floor. Under suspicion and intent on saving the animal shelter from being closed, the sisters team up to find a killer.

Purr M for Murder is a cute and entertaining debut in a new series, there was a lot to like about it. The twisty and engaging plot kept me turning pages, and Toby the cat made for one adorable sleuthing sidekick. Likable characters, a quick pace, and a fantastic ending, complete with a big plot twist and an action-packed conclusion, all combined to make a thoroughly delightful and enjoyable story.

And I loved the cat cafe idea (this should be done everywhere, along with a doggy diner!)

Overall, Purr M for Murder is a fantastic start to a new series and will appeal to cat fanatics and cozy mystery fans looking to curl up with a purr-fectly charming tale.

Purr M for Murder is available at book retailers or online at  Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for providing an advance copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Series: Cat Rescue #1
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: Mar. 14, 2017
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 9781683310921
ASIN: B01N6P3WYP
Genre:Cozy Mystery
Reviewer:Tam (Mystereity Reviews)
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Review: Kiss & Tell

Kiss & Tell Luke MurphyKiss & Tell by Luke Murphy

Tense, gritty, and thrilling!

With the death of her father…

Officer Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

…all hope of reconciliation is lost.

Not only does she feel the pressure from media and her boss to solve her first case, but Charlene must also deal with her father’s murderer, the “Celebrity Slayer,” a serial killer who enjoys baiting her with his knowledge of her life and routines.

Can a rookie detective work two high-profile cases and still keep her sanity? -via Goodreads

I really enjoyed the taut atmosphere of the book. The fast paced plot with all the twists and turns cranked up the tension with each page, and didn’t let up for a second, whipping through twists and turns that kept me just a little unsure, a little on edge. Well done!

The multi-faceted plot wound together several crimes. From the murder of a well-connected UCLA professor from a powerful family to The Celebrity Slayer, a vicious serial killer working his way through Hollywood’s B list actresses that may tie in to the murder of Charlene’s father, a retired LAPD detective turned PI who was pursuing his own Celebrity Stalker case. With so much going on in the book, is was deftly plotted in a clear, organized way, very easy to follow and definitely a white-knuckle thrill ride. I have to say, the UCLA professor case was the most interesting to me, almost a locked room mystery because the suspects were apparent, but difficult to prove and with its own plot twist. And that alone would’ve made for a great book, but the Celebrity Slayer plot led up to an excellent surprise ending that kept me on the edge of my seat! Definitely one of those conclusions that I couldn’t read fast enough.

Newly promoted to Homicide Detective, Charlene is a little thorny, a little vulnerable and very stubborn, but you just have to root for her. Although a tough, tenacious and diligent detective, she battles her own demons; her inability to work through her issues with her recently murdered father, a drinking problem and commitment issues with her boyfriend.

Overall, Kiss & Tell is an exceptional thriller and police procedural and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to crime fiction fans.

Kiss & Tell is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review

Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Imajin Books
Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN:9781772230895
ASIN: B0104ZI59I
Genre:Thriller/Procedural
Reviewer:Mystereity Reviews

Review: Earthbound Wings

32494098Earthbound Wings by ReGina Welling

Waking up in strange places has become stock in trade for earthbound angel, Adriel. This time she has landed right in the middle of a crime scene where some guy who looks like a superhero wannabe gives her a hard time about her performance. The Powers That Be keep sending her on jobs without explanation and now she has to rescue her own guardian angel from the clutches of evil.-Via Goodreads

Another great adventure for Adriel and her friends, beginning with the very first page! First introduced in the excellent Psychic Seasons series, Adriel is adapting to a new existence on Earth, guiding guardian angels and combating darkness. When she lands in an alley right after a woman is killed, she has no choice but to team up with Leith, a man with apparent magical abilities who is bent on saving souls. Leith was a complex characters, I liked that you’re never quite convinced that he is who he says he is. The three fairies were a hoot, and I loved the carnival between worlds! The gripping plot led up to a thrilling ending that kept me on the edge of my seat! I can’t wait for the next book to come out to see what Adriel does next!

Combining action, mystery and a hint of romance into only 159 pages, Earthbound Wings is a satisfying read in a great series and I definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy a light mystery, captivating adventure and great characters.

Series: Earthbound #2
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publication Date:Oct 6, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN:9781539396055
ASIN:B01LY42Z5L
Genre:Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Mystereity Reviews

Review: Prose and Cons

29763534Prose and Cons by Amanda Flower

I love this cute cozy series set in a small town near Niagara Falls. Being a WNY ex-pat, the setting is so familiar; a quaint town with its little shops, a wine festival, and of course, small town secrets.

In Prose and Cons, Violet and her grandmother are preparing for a Poe-try reading at Charming Books, complete with period costumes, to be held by the shop’s writers group, The Red Inkers, during the wine festival in Cascade Springs. When Anastasia, one of the Red Inkers, is found dead in the shop, Violet uncovers the secret Anastasia was hiding and starts investigating, with the help of the magic tree at Charming Books.

This was a great read, every bit as good as the first. I love the world the author has created, with a colorful bunch of lovable characters and a magical bookshop, where the books choose you. I’d love to visit!

The well-crafted plot had a truly puzzling mystery and an exciting surprise ending that had me on the edge of my seat! I loved the novel manner of death, it’s not one I see in mysteries very often, and made the plot that much more complex. Along with the mystery, Violet also meets a stranger who changes her life, and I look forward to seeing how that plays out in later books.

Overall, Prose and Cons and the Magical Bookshop series will cast its spell over any cozy mystery fan and is a welcome way to spend a few hours wrapped in its enchanting world.

Prose and Cons is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series:Magical Bookshop #2
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Berkely
Publication Date: Dec. 06, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback/ePub
ISBN: 9780451477453
ASIN: B01CZCW300
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer:  Mystereity Reviews

Review: The Cheltenham Square Murder

31554917
The Cheltenham Square Murder by John Bude

There had come to his ears a strange, insidious sound – a faint zip, a loud click and long, drawn-out sigh from Cotton

In the affluent neighborhood of Cheltenham Square, things aren’t as harmonious as it seems. The ten houses are host to simmering rivalries, anger, and hatred that lead to a shocking death of one of the square’s inhabitants, Captain Cotton, is killed by an arrow to the head. Superintendent Meredith,  visiting Cheltenham Square for a few days with his friend Barnet, is quickly pressed into service to assist the local force in investigating the perplexing killing. With several obvious suspects, they begin to think that the killing was mistaken identity, particularly when the only witness to the crime is killed in the same fashion. Together, Meredith and Long set out to solve what appears to be an impossible crime.

I really enjoyed The Cheltenham Square Murder, it was an entertaining, complex mystery, with all the charm of 1930s England, the time when this book was written. With a quick pace and a baffling plot, this locked room mystery, set in a small square in England, has several obvious suspects with several good motives and iron-clad alibis. Combined with the bonhomie between Long and Meredith (no inter-departmental rivalry here!) it was an exceptionally delightful and intriguing read.

Overall, The Cheltenham Square Murder is an excellent classic mystery that will entrance and ensnare any fan of mysteries, particularly fans of classic mysteries.

The Cheltenham Square Murder, originally published in 1937, is being re-released as part of the British Library Crime Classics.  It will be available March 7, 2017 at book retailers.  Pre-order your copy on Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Series: Superintendent William Meredith #3
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Language: English
Formats:
Paperback
ISBN: 9781464206702
Genre:Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Scotland Yard’s First Cases

33389767Scotland Yard’s First Cases by Joan Lock

Scotland Yard’s First Cases is more than a story about Victorian crimes, it’s also a fascinating look at the beginnings of Scotland Yard and the first detectives to come aboard and pioneer the finest law enforcement agencies in UK. It highlights not only their fight to create a detective force, but also their struggles to modernize, deal with corruption in the ranks and to standardize crime cases across the UK. Their legacy is still lives today, as Scotland Yard is recognized world wide as one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the world.

I particularly enjoyed the focus on the methods of detection used, their abilities were admirable, considering the lack of technology and training. Really, it’s a wonder that so many crimes were solved and the compelling cases highlighted in the book are a testament to their tenacity. The author’s thorough research in the archives is apparent in the details, with each case presented in a concise but very entertaining manner and one story about the robbery of a stamp office was particularly amusing. One deteective surmised,

…in his experience, thieves engaged in such big operations tended to suffer from looseness of the bowels. One can imagine Superintendent Maybury’s bemusement when the man from the Yard set about looking for ‘deposits’ which might give them an idea how many men were involved.

I had a good giggle at that one, and it was interesting and satisfying to read how the Yard went on to solve that crime and all the other. Their legendary exploits even made it into literary works of the time, including stories by Charles Dickens.

Scotland Yard’s First Cases is an entertaining first-rate history of one of the world’s most prestigious and recognizable agencies in law enforcement and its captivating cases will appeal to fans of history and/or true crime.

Scotland Yard’s First Cases is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher:Endeavor Press
Publication Date: Dec 13, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Hardcover
ISBN:978070909125
ASIN: B01N7I8ETM
Genre: True crime, History
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: The Green Case

32318787
The Green Case by Diana Xarissa

It’s just after Christmas at Joan and Janet’s B&B in Doveby Dale. With few guests to keep the sisters busy, Janet has joined a womens’ group to make new friends in the area. One of the members wants to invite men to join the group, and they decide to have an introductory meeting with 2 prospective men, a retired investment banker and a retired antique dealer. After overhearing her friends’ conversations with these men, Janet becomes concerned that her friends are being duped out of their savings. Using her snooping skills, she starts asking questions, but can she prevent her friends from being fleeced?

This clean novella-length series proves you don’t need a murder to make a great mystery.The relaxed pace and gentle mystery makes it all so easy to get sucked into the world of Doveby Dale and its quirky citizens. It was adorable watching Janet navigating the world of dating, with not one but two beaus vying for her attention. I always knew Janet was a saucy little minx!

Overall, The Green Case is an enjoyable little story, so grab a cup of tea and curl up with it this afternoon!

Series:Markham Sisters #7
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publication Date: Dec 16, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle
ASIN: B01LWWM3Z9
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: A Killer Kebab

29759761A Killer Kebab by Susannah Hardy

With The Bonaparte House closed for the season and her mother in law gone for the winter, Georgie is looking forward to a relaxing winter; having a some long needed work done on the restaurant’s bathrooms, catching up on her reading and plans to throw a huge Thanksgiving dinner. After the contractors demolish the bathrooms, Georgie finds the body of James MacNamara, her divorce lawyer, dead on the floor, stabbed with a Kebab skewer! When Russ, the son of Georgie’s employee, falls under suspicion, Georgie puts aside her dislike for Russ, who has caused trouble for Georgie in the past, and starts investigating, uncovering several suspects with some very big motives to commit murder.

This is a cute cozy series, well written with great characters and intriguing plots and Killer Kebab is no different. With a well paced multi-dimensional plot that kept me turning pages, the book deftly juggles several storylines, including the murder, a mysterious illness at the resort owned by Georgie’s friend, and even the mystery of an original recipe for Thousand Island dressing, all sprinkled with a bit of humor. Although there was a lot going on in the book, it was all well plotted and easy to follow, and that’s what makes this series so enjoyable. But it was the shocking ending that really makes this a 5 star book. I dare you to read this and tell me that you saw the end coming. Go on! I dare you!

There’s some great recipes at the end of the book, and I’m going to try the Maple Walnut Sandies very soon, and the Tiropita (Greek Cheese Pie) sounds so easy (and so tasty!) I’ve got try it at some point.

Overall, Killer Kebab is an entertaining read to curl up with, and will keep you guessing until the very end.

Killer Kebab is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series: Greek To Me #3
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Berkely
Publication Date: Nov 1, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback/ePub
ISBN: 9780425271674
ASIN: B01BK0XCBW
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Prayer for the Dead

23445664Prayer for the Dead by James Oswald

‘You’re going to make it complicated again, aren’t you McLean?’

In Prayer for the Dead, Tony investigates the seemingly ritualistic murder of a reporter in the historic Gilmerton Caves in Edinburgh, Scotland. With no evidence left at the scene, the investigation flounders amid several more murders possibly related to the first and Tony finds he has no choice but to reluctantly team up with a colleague of the victim, Jo Dalgleish, herself an abrasive reporter who has caused Tony problems in the past. With very few clues, Tony sets out to connect the murders and find a killer.

I’ve been an avid fan of this series since I read Natural Causes back in 2012. Tony is an enigmatic main character; each book tantalizes with just a little bit more of his history and you never quite feel like you get to know him. That accomplishes two things for me; for one, it adds an element of unpredictability that keeps you just a little off balance, you can never get ahead of Tony. The second thing, of course, is it keeps me coming back for more. Add in the colorful cast of characters that makes up Tony’s “family” including Grumpy Bob, DC MacBride, DS Ritchie, Madame Rose and, of course, Mrs McCutcheon’s cat, and it’s easy to be drawn into McLean’s unique world where anything can happen.

The fast-paced plot blended a chameleon of a killer, possibly shifty developers and Madame Rose’s harassment into a twisty puzzle that kept me turning pages. I loved the plot twist at the end about the killer, and that moment when they went to the killer’s house? Creepy!

Overall, Prayer for the Dead is an entertaining and thrilling police procedural that will appeal to mystery fans. This book can be read as a standalone or as an entry into the series, but I recommend reading the series from the start, as there are some minor on-going plot threads that wind through the series.

Prayer for the Dead will be released February 7, 2016 at book retailers

Thank you to Crooked Lane and Netgalley for an advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Series: Inspector McLean #5
Rating:★★★★✰ 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4
Publisher: Crooked Lane
Publication Date: Feb 7, 2017
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback/ePub/Hardcover
ISBN: 9780718180195
ASIN:
Genre:Police procedural
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Aunt Bessie Knows

31192129Aunt Bessie Knows by Diana Xarissa

3…2….1….Happy New Murder!

It’s New Years Eve in Laxey and Bessie is spending the evening at Thie Yn Trae, where her friend Mary Quayle is hosting a party to ring in the new year. Mary’s daughter has invited her group of friends, including the beautiful Gennifer, who upsets many people after flirting outrageously with some of the men, including Hugh, whose girlfriend Grace is upset and angry when Hugh doesn’t rebuff Gennifer’s advances. When Gennifer is later found dead, everyone at the party is under suspcion. Can Bessie help catch a killer?

Aunt Bessie Knows is another delightful addition to the Aunt Bessie series. This one wasn’t difficult to figure out; while there were lots of suspects, there were only a few obvious ones. Inspector Anna Lambert also returns, much to the chagrin of Bessie and her friends, but her brilliant idea to stage an re-enactment of the party was the best part of the book. It reminded me of Clue, my all time favorite movie.

Overall, Aunt Bessie Knows was a fun read, and I always enjoy another visit to Laxey. This is a great series for cozy mystery fans who like a gentle read with a great atmosphere you can sink into and enjoy.

Aunt Bessie Knows is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series: Isle of Man #11
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publication Date: Oct 14, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 9781535404853
ASIN:B01IJCKOR4
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Murder Go Round

30340954Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry

3.5 Stars

After a “Storage Wars” type auction, Aunt Ibby and Lee bid on a locker full of boxes after Aunt Ibby thinks she sees some promising items. After winning the locker and hauling the contents home, they discover several historical items – and a mystery!

Isn’t that a cute cover?  I’m a sucker for cozies with a cat on the cover, and I love how it shows O’Ryan in the act of knocking over the Statue of Liberty.  And that carousel horse!  Just beautiful.

An enjoyable tale, this series always features original story lines, and Murder Go Round was no different. The intrigue kept me turning pages, and the sprinkle of Russian history added flavor (the descriptions of the Russian pastries, especially!) I loved Stasia, her colorful antics added a lot to the book. I hope she’s in later books, she was a real hoot.

Some elements in the book just didn’t do it for me, so I had to reduce my rating. I’m not going to outline them here; it would give too much away and perhaps (hopefully) those elements will be changed before the book is released.

Overall, this is a cute series, and the book was entertaining and enjoyable but not without a few issues.

Murder Go Round will be released  January 31, 2017.  Pre-order your copy at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley for providing an advance copy in return for my honest review.

Series: Witch City #4
Rating:★★★★✰ 3.5 stars
(Rounded up to 4 stars)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: Jan 31, 2017
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback/ePub
ISBN:9781496707154
ASIN:B01FBZXQ04
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Cruel Winter

31213483Cruel Winter by Sheila Connolly

Although spring is around the corner, winter isn’t giving up so easily in County Cork, and a blizzard strands Maura and several others at the pub, including a woman who was suspected in a murder 20 years ago. Unable to leave the pub, they all gather to pick apart every detail of the crime, revealing a decades old secret and new revelations that could bring a killer to justice.

This was an outstanding read with a fresh, original plot that drew me in and kept me turning pages. There’s no stumbling over a dead body here; instead, a cold case is poured over and debated. It was almost Agatha Christie-ish, simple, yet complex in a locked room setting.

The setting is quaint and inviting, a small Irish pub with a peat fire, a lively atmosphere, the regulars bellying up to the bar, the musicians cranking out Irish tunes, Rose in the kitchen cobbling together meals for everyone, and especially Ol’ Billy, in his usual chair by the fire. All well described and vivid, it’s not tough to envision the scene at Sullivan’s Pub.

Overall, Cruel Winter is an enjoyable escape, with an unconventional plot that will keep cozy mystery fans guessing with each page. This book can be read as a standalone, or as an entry into the series, but I recommend reading the whole series.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for an advance copy of the book in return for my honest review

Cruel Winter is available at book retailers or online at  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Series: County Cork #5
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Language: English
ISBN:9781683311003
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: For Whom the Bread Rolls

33179107For Whom the Bread Rolls by Sarah Fox

For Whom the Bread Rolls picks up where book 1 left off. Marley is having trouble with Ida, a vindictive former employee whose childish pranks are wearing thin. When Marley goes to Ida’s house to confront her, she finds Ida dead, bashed in the head by the lamp that she stole from Marley. Concerned that she’s a suspect in Ida’s murder and how that could impact her business, Marley starts snooping, uncovering no shortage of suspects and a flood of motives. Desperate to clear her name, Marley doesn’t waffle around and sets out to catch a killer.

One of the things that lure me in with cozy mysteries are the titles. For Whom the Bread Rolls gave me a smile and if I wasn’t already a big fan of this series, would definitely entice me to pick it up.

The great plot and steady pace kept me guessing, and that surprise ending crêpe’d up on me and it was over almost too fast. The plot was tricky with lots of misdirection to keep things interesting, and there was muffin that diminished how much I enjoyed this book.

All of these puns are bacon me hungry!

Part of what makes these books so enjoyable for me is the rich descriptions of the lush seaside setting.

“When I opened my bedroom window and drew in a deep breath of sea-scented air…”

*sigh*  It’s 14°F outside right now, I could do with some summer time sea-scented air right about now.

Along with the great setting, the engaging characters really enhance this book. I think my favorite person is Ivan and his glowering arm-folding (and tasty dishes!) and I liked seeing more of him in this book. and I hope for more in future books. Could there be a romance brewing with Lisa? I can’t wait to find out!

Sarah Fox has written another yummy Pancake House mystery guaranteed to keep cozy fans coming back for seconds.

For Whom the Bread Rolls is available at book retailers or online at Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thank you to Random House-Alibi and Netgalley for providing an advance copy in return for my honest review

Series: Pancake House #2
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Random House-Alibi
Publication Date:March 14, 2017
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub
ISBN:9780425285107
ASIN:B01HA4LF4I
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Cancelled by Murder

29613362Cancelled by Murder by Jean Flowers

After a powerful storm hits North Ashcot, Cassie’s friend, Daisy, is found dead underneath a tree branch. When it’s found that Daisy’s death was no accident, the victim’s husband, Cliff, enlists Cassie’s help investigating the murder.

The plot was convoluted, but not in a bad way! With deftly written misdirections and red herrings, it was easy to get turned around and doubt my instincts, and the surprising ending was satisfying and enjoyable.

One thing I like about this series is that a fascination and appreciation for history, especially postal history, is sprinkled throughout. It’s obvious the author has a real penchant for it, and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Overall, an enjoyable book and a great cozy mystery. This book can be read as a standalone, but the first book in the series is worth a read as well.

Cancelled by Murder is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series: Postmistress Mystery #2
Rating:Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: Sept 6, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub/Paperback
ISBN: 9780425279113
ASIN: B0191WS0Z4
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

New Release: Classical Feng Shui for Health, Beauty &Longevity

feng, shui, book, review, mystereity,Classical Feng Shui for Health, Beauty & Longevity: Transform Your Space to Enhance Well-Being in Body & Home by Denise Liotta Dennis

I’ve been interested in Feng Shui for a long time but never found a good, basic guide for understanding Feng Shui and applying it to my home and life. When I saw this book available on Netgalley, I hoped that this would be my gateway to understanding more about Feng Shui and I wasn’t disappointed.

The information on this book is very well organized and in-depth, with information not only on how natural formations can impact your life, but also the objects in your home. While I was aware that the direction your front door faces can have an impact on your life, I had no idea that where my stove or toilets were placed could have an impact as well.

Using the two types of Feng Shui (Eight Mansions and Flying Stars) and how to determine y I can apply the guidance to my house and hopefully make it more harmonious. Although I live in an apartment and I’m limited in any physical changes I can make, the book has many tips and suggestions to weaken or diminish any negative energies found in my home.

Of the two Feng Shui systems, the Eight Mansions was far easier to understand.  All the information is well laid out in terms a a true beginner like me can understand, but  it’s going to take some time to get a better understanding of Flying Stars and I look forward to studying it further.

Overall, an exceptional book for learning the basics of Feng Shui and I recommend it whether you’re a beginner looking for an introduction, or a practitioner looking for a strong reference book and would make a great gift.

Thank you to Llewellyn Publications and Netgalley for an advanced copy in return for an honest review

Classical Feng Shui for Health, Beauty & Longevity is available at book retailers or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Llewellyn
Release Date: December 8, 2016
Formats: Kindle, ePub, Paperback
Language: English
Genre: Non-Fiction, New Age
ISBN-13: 9780738749006
ASIN:B01APSXKHQ
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: The Royal Ghost

29501467The Royal Ghost by Linda Stratmann

It’s 1871 in Brighton and a scandalous account by 2 sisters claiming to have seen Prince George IV and his paramour In flagrante delicto at The Pavilion has shocked and upset many of the town’s citizens. Mina becomes aware that the account may be plagiarized, and begins to look into the matter. When Arthur Wallace Hope, comes to town ostensibly to promote a fund to find Dr. Livingstone in Africa, many of the townspeople are enamored by the charismatic Viscount. Mina suspects Hope’s intentions are not as benign as he would like her to believe. As she investigates both matters further, Mina finds that nothing is as it seems.

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but I have read one of the author’s other books (The Secret Poisoner, and I definitely recommend it!) and I really liked the writing style. I think what I enjoyed most about the book was the Victorian world the author has created, it’s evident how thoroughly the book was researched and the actions and reactions of the characters felt very realistic and vivid. I loved all the descriptions of the conjurors’ tricks, I would’ve loved to have seen that through Mina’s eyes. I had a real giggle at all the women who were scandalized by the thought of a dirty book and yet most of them had already read it, it was a testament to the hypocrisy of the Victorians and their attitudes towards sex, some of which still pervade today. There’s a lot about the topic of Spiritualism, and how the Victorian fascination with death and the afterlife led to charlatans and con artists taking advantage of those beliefs.

The Royal Ghost had a great plot that kept me guessing. I enjoyed watching Mina unravel the mystery behind An Encounter, and I was really surprised at the reveal at the end. While the riveting plot kept me turning pages, the great characters made it truly enjoyable. Mina is an intriguing heroine, with a body crippled by scoliosis that belies her sharp mind, quick wit and iron will. I loved this quote:

Rose, who was both general maidservant and personal maid to Louisa, had, despite the fact that heavy work of the house was assigned to a charlady, a great deal to complain about, but she did so wordlessly, at great volume.

It’s no surprise that she is underestimated, and it’s satisfying when she rises to the challenge. Arthur Wallace Hope makes an interesting foe; wholly fallible, it’s not difficult to understand his misguided enthusiasm in defending Spiritualism, and his zeal makes it easy to love-to-hate him. Mina’s tight-knit group of collaborators -brother Richard, Richard’s paramour, Nellie, and Dr. Hamid and his sister Anna – round out a great cast of characters.

This book can be read as a standalone -but- some of the plot threads in this book are a continuation of the previous book. Although the many references did not hamper my understanding of this book, I do feel that I would’ve gotten more out of this book if I had the context that the first book would’ve provided.

Overall, The Royal Ghost is an outstanding historical mystery, true to the era and a fascinating tour through Victorian times. This will appeal to mystery fans who enjoy a gas-light atmosphere and an intriguing Victorian plot.

The Secret Ghost will be released January 01, 2017.  Pre-order your copy at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Thank you to The History Press and Netgalley for an advance copy of The Royal Ghost. This review is my honest opinion.

Series: Mina Scarletti #2
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: The History Press
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2017
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback/ePub
ISBN: 9780750966290
ASIN: B01JTE6U92
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Reviewer:Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Dead Nasty

32866702Dead Nasty by Helen H. Durrant

When a girl’s body is found in a dustbin, a case that is eerily similar to the crimes of a serial killer recently released from prison, and Calladine’s instincts say that he’s the killer. But with an unshakable airtight alibi, Calladine is warned off of harassing him and Ruth tries to convince Calladine that it’s a copycat. When another girl is found killed in the same manner, and a third girl goes missing, Calladine and Ruth race to find a killer before any more young lives are lost.

Dead Nasty is the second book I’ve read in this series and I loved it as much as the last. Ruth and Calladine make a good team, with Calladine’s gut instincts and Ruth’s rational devil’s advocate mindset balance the pair and keep the investigation moving. The labyrinthine did-he-or-didn’t-he plot kept me second guessing myself with each page. The pace never slows, a nice little plot twist at the end and an unpredictable plot, made for one of those reads that keeps you off-balanced just enough that you can’t put it down.

Overall, another excellent book in the Calladine & Bayliss series, and I recommend it for fans of police procedurals or Brit crime fanatics.

Dead Nasty is available at book retailers or online at Amazon

Thank you to Joffee Books and Netgalley for a copy of the book in return for my honest review.

Series: Calladine & Bayliss #6
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Joffe Books
Publication Date: Nov. 5, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 9781911021896
ASIN: B01M9JRC13
Genre: Police Procedural
Reviewer:Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: 360 to Paradise

32033322360 to Paradise by Casey Marx

Equal parts exciting, poignant, thrilling and frustrating, 360 to Paradise is the 21st century’s Catcher in the Rye.

This was a captivating read! When I received a copy of this book to review, my first thought was that I was too far out of youth culture to get into it. I was so wrong! I was quickly absorbed into Cody’s world from the very first page. Cody is a kid with a lot of baggage; he never knew his real parents, grew up as a foster kid and has apparently never had anything in the way of a support structure. As a result, he’s had to find his own way in life and is doing a poor job of it. I spent half the book wanting to give the poor kid a hug and the other half wanting to give him a kick in the pants.

The plot was off like a shot right from the first page and follows 24 hours in Cody’s hedonistic life; drugs, sex, partying and all the trouble it brings. His best friend is pregnant, his drug dealer is after him and he risked all of his money on a last ditch attempt at finding his real father. As he makes his way through his day, Cody is forced to confront the reality of his situation and learns a lot of very hard lessons. And that’s the beauty of this story; it’s not a retelling of a day-in-the-life, it’s a heartbreaking look into one boy’s struggle as he comes of age.

Overall, 360 To Paradise is a stellar read that will captivate readers young and old.

360 to Paradise is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Rating:★★★★ 5 stars
Publication Date:
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 9780996745208
ASIN: B01LBFEMQ0
Genre: YA
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Behead Me

29284829Behead Me by Russell Atkinson

Retired FBI agent Cliff Knowles is hired by a company to investigate possible theft of proprietary industrial plans, an investigation that leads him to shady business dealings, danger, and even murder.

Before you ask, Behead Me refers to a word puzzle. No blood and guts here, Behead Me is an engaging and absorbing mystery that will quickly draw you in and keep you turning pages. Cliff is an unflappable investigator, and I enjoyed how his methodology was neatly laid out. This wasn’t one of those super-cop-hunches kind of solves, it was a realistic procedural, and I really enjoyed how Cliff ferreted out the smallest details and connected them to another case, and the presidential pardon sub-plot was heartwarming and added some human dimension to the story. Cliff’s geo-caching adventure in the desert and the high speed chase at the end added a lot of action kept me on the edge of my seat.

I haven’t read the other books in the series, so I can safely say that this book can be read as a standalone, or as an entry into the series. The few references to prior books were minor and didn’t cause any confusion.

Overall, Behead Me is an intriguing and fascinating read and I definitely recommend it for fans of mysteries and procedurals.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

Behead Me is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series: Cliff Knowles #6
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publication Date: February 23,2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 9781530039401
ASIN: B01C3QLX72
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: The Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series #1 + #2

I read the  first two books in the Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria series, and because they’re so short, I’m going to combine my reviews into one post.

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Pall Bearers and Pepperoni: Book 1 in The Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series by Patti Benning

Rating:★★★✰✰ 3 stars

Not long after her grandfather’s unexpected death, Eleanora moves back to Kittiport, Maine after a disastrous ending to her engagement and her job in Chicago to take over the family’s pizzeria. After reconnecting with Ben, a childhood sweetheart, Eleanora finds him dead behind the pizzeria. Under suspicion, Ellie knows it’s up to her to find a killer.

I enjoyed this book, a novella length mystery and the first in the new series. The pizza descriptions made me drool (if I had to read about gooey cheese one more time, I was going to call Dominos!) and the characters were likable and interesting.

I thought the plot had a lot of promise, and it was really getting good when BAM! murderer is caught. The ending was so abrupt, it was like the author suddenly got tired of writing the story and plopped an ending in there. It didn’t do the rest of the story justice and diminished my enjoyment.

Overall, a cute read but needs as much time taken on writing the ending as there was writing the rest of the book.

Pall Bearers and Pepperoni is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

32182224

Bacon Cheddar Murder: Book 2 in The Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series by Patti Benning

Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars

Late one night, Ellie’s best friend, Shannon, comes to her door terrified and covered in blood. She was in the woods to meet a source for a newspaper story, when a masked assailant shot the source. Shannon is under suspicion for the murder, and Ellie starts investigating to clear her name and uncovers someone willing to kill to protect their business.

I enjoyed this one much more than the last one. A big draw for me is the characters, they’re all a likable bunch, and, of course, the pizza (I would kill for one of those bacon cheddar pizzas.) The plot was well developed and had a lot of twists and turns that kept me guessing. Although it wrapped up quickly, it wasn’t nearly as abrupt as the ending in the last book.

Overall, another cute book in the Papa Picelli’s Pizzeria series, and a quick, enjoyable read that’s a perfect accompaniment to a large hand-tossed pepperoni with extra cheese.

Pall Bearers and Pepperoni is available at book retailers or online at Amazon

Series: Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria #1 + #2
Publisher: Summer Prescott Books
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)