Thursday, June 02, 2011

Recent Mysteries

My summer is a bit busy at present. DH had another visit to the hospital last week due to some complications. I think they are still from the last surgery, but nobody really knows. DS is finally getting over his complications from the oral surgery this spring. He's been through 3 rounds of antibiotic, and still had notable swelling, but the vitamin C (and time) we went to afterward seem to be working at last. Thanks to the early heat wave, I have had to replace our old gauze caftans recently for the ladies of the house. Gauze cotton is the absolute best for beating the heat, but, like many good things, it doesn't last.

I have fit in a few mysteries, and since I promised to list and review at least 12 for that reading resolution thingy (note the sidebar button), here are the reviews I have written since the last time. :)

Crewel World by Monica Ferris (reading now)
[from Amazon] When Betsy's sister is murdered in her own needlecraft store, Betsy takes over the shop and the investigation. But to find the murderer, she'll have to put together a list of motives and suspects to figure out this killer's pattern of crime -

Pick Your Poison by Leean Sweeney ~ 4/5 stars ~ finished May 24, 2011
(Yellow Rose Mystery 1)
Some things I really, really liked about this mystery and its main characters, and some I didn't -  like the way the heroine betrays the trust of her brother-in-law, reflexively fibs, and the way she responds to her sleazy ex.  Crazy number of coincidences too, but it all works out in the end.

A Wedding to Die For by Leean Sweeney ~ 4/5 stars ~ finished May 25, 2011
(Yellow Rose Mystery 2)
Our heroine from Pick Your Poison decides to start a specialized PI business, helping adopted kids find their original parents. Her client invites her to help with the wedding, and claims to be keeping her work a secret - but several of the family already know about it. Its hardly surprising that the adoptive family has some issues after learning of the effort, given the skeletons in their corporate closet, but which of them killed the father of the bride?

The heroine behaves far better in this edition, but the family members she investigates are a pretty big downer. Well written, but not entirely a favorite.

A Deadly Cliche by Ellery Adams  ~ 5/5 stars ~ finished May 23, 2011
(Books by the Bay 2)
Pretty heavy emotional baggage for a cozy mystery, but very well written :)

Olivia is still in a state of personal transition since the last book. She is unsure of her current relationship with the gregarious bookseller, unsure of her feelings for the police chief, and how to handle her increasing closeness with her fellow writers/friends. Into all of this personal questing comes a tropical system, a suspicious letter saying her long lost father is still alive but declining quickly- please send money- and a serial killer/burglar that threatens one of her friends. In a way, Olivia welcomes the challenges these mysteries present (she's not especially worried about the storm.) They allow her room to breathe and stay involved while she tries to decide which way she will move on with her life.

Trouble in Spades by Heather Webber ~ 5/5 stars ~ finished May 5, 2011
(Nina Quinn 2)
Very hectic, but definitely amusing. The main villains of the piece were fairly obvious, but how the story would play out was anything but! Nina's entire clan prepares for her sister's wedding, while trying to solve the fishy disappearance of the groom. Meantime, Nina and her son assist the effort to find the granny panty bandit at loose in their neighborhood.

Busybody by M.C. Beaton ~ 5/5 stars ~ finished April 28, 2011
(Agatha Raisin 21)
Brilliant! Agatha attends a Ladies function for the parish that ends with the murder of an overly officious bureaucrat who has been ruining everyone's traditional plans for Christmas. Several other attempted and successful murders (including - possibly- an elderly beagle) may or may not be related, but with Agatha's talented crew of detectives and friends around, nothing can go unsolved for long.

Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck ~2/5 stars ~ finished April 18, 2011
(Donut Shop 1)
This mystery didn't mesh for me. I never really believed in the characters' interactions or the situation. The heroine didn't seem real. Her actions didn't seem to make sense if you took the situation at face value. It didn't seem badly written exactly, but I just couldn't get into it!

I seriously disliked some of this book's vibes, but as I am unsure as to whether they were intended, I won't go into those undertones here. Besides, any book that paints a 'vicious gossip' as a reliable source of information loses points with me right off.

The Plot That Thickened by P.G. Wodehouse ~ 3/5 stars ~ finished May 12, 2011
 Not one of Wodehouse's best, but good fun just the same. If you ignore when the book is supposed to be taking place (supposed to be the late 60's, but reads like the 20/30's), and the cultural mistakes (the Americans aren't very American at all), it reads just fine. ;)

Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman ~ 5/5 stars ~ finished April 4, 2011
(Haunted Guesthouse 1)
Surprisingly good paranormal mystery. Alison buys a house to fix up and use as a guesthouse but the previous owner (Maxie) and the PI she hired have other plans. They want her to solve their murder, which was passed off as suicide. The killer wants Alison to find the historic deed to the place, which was allegedly signed by George Washington. & Alison just wants her life to be sane again. lol  Its a fun romp of a mystery. Well worth your time!

An Uninvited Ghost by E.J. Copperman ~ 5/5 stars ~ finished April 17, 2011
(Haunted Guesthouse 2)
Improbably busy, ghost-filled fun! Alison is now trying to get her inn off the ground with the help of two unexpected offers. One from a tour group catering to ghost-hunting seniors fills most of her hours and rooms with certified eccentrics. The second offer is from the producer handling four foul-mouthed 'youths' from a cable 'reality' show (plus crew, makeup, extra lights, and emotional baggage.) During a televised seance, a last minute guest is murdered and Alison has her hands full trying to juggle her regular duties and solve the crime. Thank goodness she has help from beyond...

A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett ~ 5/5 stars ~ March 25, 2011
A definite page-turner! I didn't guess the killer or the reason. Honestly, the bigger mystery was what was going to happen with the Artisans group, Katie Bonner etc. It will be interesting to see where events lead for these characters.

Carbs and Cadavers by J.B Stanley ~ 5/5 stars ~ finished March 24, 2011
1st book in the supper club series. Surprisingly deep! I picked out the villain early on but not entirely the motive. Well worth your time :) Its great to see these everyday people working toward their personal goals while inspiring those around them. :D

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