Category Archives: ARC

Review: A Fatal Faberge by Ellery Adama and Parker Rigg

 

A Fatal Faberge

Ellery Adams 

Parker Riggs

Antiques & Collectibles Series, Book 8

185 pages

Beyond the Page (February 2, 2020)

 

 

A new book in the Antiques & Collectibles mystery series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ellery Adams and Parker Riggs!

In the world of antiques and collectibles, it helps to have a sharp eye for quality, a good ear for gossip, and a nose for murder . . .

In the grips of a cold and drab autumn, Collector’s Weekly reporter Molly Appleby is thrilled to be attending a festive black-tie fundraiser hosted by the very private Natasha Gordon, an heiress known for her charitable events and aversion to the limelight. It’s Molly first chance to see the stunning interior of the Gordon estate, but when a rare book dealer is pushed from a high window to his death, she’s confronted with a sight that’s become all too common for her. And despite the fact that the crude and pompous victim was roundly disliked by all who knew him and that any number of people may have wanted him dead, Molly agrees to look into the murder for his surviving son.

As the police go about their steady business of interviewing the dozens of people in attendance that night, Molly decides to look closer to home and begins questioning the staff and anyone else connected to the estate and the victim. More and more stories of the dead man’s troubled life and marriage begin to emerge, including a potentially lucrative deal that’s gone bust and an old Gordon family heirloom that’s gone missing—a rare jeweled Fabergé egg once owned by the Empress Alexandra of Russia.

When clues to the murderer’s identity begin to accumulate, so too do the threats to Molly, and she knows she’s getting close to the truth. But with a secret family history and an untold amount of money on the line, Molly knows she’ll need to tread carefully before she becomes the latest victim of a killer trying to cover their tracks . . .

“A wonderfully written, captivating cozy novel with likeable main characters and an interesting plot!” —Goodreads review on A Treacherous Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

A new to me series that delivered a very enjoyable cozy mystery. A Fatal Faberge is the eighth book in the Antiques and Collectible series by Parker Riggs and Ellery Adams. A murder mystery filled will twist and deception that sucks you in from the get go.

In this little Vermont town amateur sleuth Molly has given herself a reputation of being able to solve cases. She is like a cat, and curiosity gets the best of her. Sometimes even too much for her own good. She’s smart and witty with a great personality. I love the little nudges Molly‘s husband Matt, and her mother, give her to continue to get to the bottom of the mystery. Having the ear of the local detective is not a bad thing either.

A Fatal Fabergé is an engaging and enjoyable cozy read. A twisting plot that keeps you going as the secrets unhold. For a little Vermont town and an antiques writer things sure get shaken up in A Fatal Fabergé.

 

 

Review: Southern Double Cross by Caroline Fardig

 

Southern Double Cross

Caroline Fardig

A Southern B&B Mystery, Book 3

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Alibi

 

A fundraising party goes south in a delightful cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Southern Discomfort and the Java Jive novels

Quinn Bellandini is ready to get back to running her grandfather’s B&B in Savannah, Georgia, with her sister, Delilah—but first, she has to coordinate a fundraising event at the house of local philanthropists, with the help of her boyfriend, Tucker Heyward. Everything is running smoothly until Quinn’s friend, Pepper Fox, frantically calls her with the horrifying news that the lady of the house was found dead, and Pepper’s brother, who was working as a caterer, has been charged with her murder.

Pepper knows her brother didn’t commit the crime and asks Quinn, now a veteran detective with two solved murders under her belt, to prove his innocence. Quinn can’t bear to see her friend upset and enlists Delilah and Tucker to help investigate.

The invite list quickly turns into the suspect list as tensions mount and old feuds are brought to light. Could Quinn have hired the only catering company in Georgia that throws in a murder on the side?

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

Quinn and Delilah are a hoot!

When you are known around town as the solver of murders and your best friends brother is framed for murder he didn’t commit, Quinn can’t help but get her arm twisted into this mess that is as hot as the southern heat.

Quinn is a sweet southern girl with a knack for solving murders faster than the local police. She’s kind to the core with a quirkiness and spunk. She is a guitar player after all. I enjoyed the entertaining banter between Quinn and her sister Delilah. They are so different and that is part of what makes them so comical. Delilah will speak her mind and has a great knack for putting two and two together. Pepper is a hot mess with everything going on but even with her pushiness she’s a grateful and loyal friend. From rubbing noses with the elite to shady meet ups in dive bars and crazy stakeouts Quinn and Delilah walk with their head held high into craziness that their world seems destined to stumble upon.

Southern Double Cross is a fun and twisty cozy in the Southern B&B Series. This is my first read by Caroline Fardig. I enjoyed her fun and entertaining style of writing. A plot that hand me guessing and then double guessing myself. With so many suspects and a lot of personalities going around Quinn uses her good and not so good wits along with her southern charm to peel through the many layers of this mystery.

 

 

Review: In Cold Chamomile By Joy Avon

 

In Cold Chamomile 

Joy Avon

A Tea and Read Mystery, Book 3 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid’s arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf.

Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid’s arrows can be deadly when a Valentine’s Day soiree ends in murder.

Callie Aspen can’t think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine’s Day than her adopted hometown of Heart’s Harbor, Maine. When she’s not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy’s vintage tearoom, Callie’s adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine’s event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who’s slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance–one she’d hoped she’d never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead.

When Iphy’s old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn’t want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy’s anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie’s budding relationship with Ace–and, quite possibly, her own life.

Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Valentine’s Day brings more than hearts and roses when Callie finds herself steeping in a murder happens during a booktastic charity even.

Callie Aspen is unique in a few ways. She’s got a knack for getting things out of people yet you can tell there are times she feels guilty for digging in deeper than she should. Even drives her cop of a boyfriend batty with her sleuth thing. I personally just think he’s jealous because Callie is good at what she does. I liked how Callie would cut the conversation and excuse herself when she knew she was crossing the line yet hightailed it out of there before she did. In Cold Chamomile brings many changes in her life, along with a murder Callie can’t helped to be wrapped up in.

In Cold Chamomile is a Multi layered cozy mystery with a romance or two added in. Well develop characters with a vast array of personalities, charm and quarks that make them more relatable and fun. Joy Avon twisted and turned the plot, keeping readers guessing. While I had an idea of who, the why caught me by surprise. Callie and Iphy are a force, whether it be good or bad, these women will make you laugh. In Cold Chamomile is my first read of the A Tea and Read Mystery series and I felt like I was walking into a friend’s house for tea and entertainment. The characters definitely drive the story while the layered plot keeps pages flying.

 

 

Review: Sated in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

Sated in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan

Montgomery Ink: Bolder, Book 2

Paperback, 250 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Carrie Ann Ryan

The Montgomery Ink saga continues in a seductive romance where a runaway bride and two best friends might just take the chance of a lifetime.

Ethan Montgomery thought he had his life figured out until the moment he and his best friend met a woman in a wedding dress drinking wine out of a paper bag. He might work too many hours and always seems to put his family and friends first. Still, when he finally opens up to Holland and Lincoln, he may just get everything he’s ever wanted.

Holland Yeaton made a horrible mistake, and running out on her wedding seemed like the only thing to do at the time. Taking the next step of her life on her own won’t be easy, but now she has two sexy and bearded strangers to help her figure out exactly what she desires.

Lincoln McClard has loved his best friend for as long as he can remember. Only he’s never dared to do anything about it. Instead, he puts all of his sexual frustration into his art. As soon as he meets Holland, he realizes exactly why he waited for Ethan and what has been missing all along.

However, it’s not only the three of them in this tangled and steamy relationship. And if they aren’t careful, it won’t only be their feelings that get hurt…and broken.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Sated in emotions

Carrie Ann Ryan continues her emotional and hot Montgomery Ink: Boulder Series with Sated in Ink. Ethan Montgomery’s life changed forever that ordinary day he and his best friend Lincoln McClard went for a run. Sitting on a park bench, in a wedding dress with a bottle in hand and eyes the showed to the deepest layers of her soul, Ethan and Lincoln both knew things would never be the same. Holland was at her lowest of lows with two beautiful men stumbled upon a hot mess that her life has become. With her world feeling like everything was lost Holland learned what the heart of a Montgomery heart can do.

Hitting hard from page one, Sated in Ink is wrapped in a tangle of emotions, loss of inhibitions and a story of love. From an act of kindness that later leads to a friendship that becomes more. From first kisses Holland, Ethan and Lincoln embrace a passion that immediately forms an intimacy that is something way beyond casual. With inhibitions dropped the feelings at the forefront, Holland, Ethan and Lincoln learn there more if they allow themselves to have it.

I am pretty picky when it comes to the ménage reads that I enjoy. Carrie Ann Ryan nails the emotion, passion and compassion with Sated in Ink.

 

 

Review: Phantom Queen by Yasmine Galenorn

 

Phantom Queen

Yasmine Galenorn

Whisper Hollow Series, Book 3

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published January 27th 2020 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC

 

Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living, and the lake never gives up her dead…

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and I’m a spirit shaman. It’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people-and secrets-don’t always stay buried.

Veronica, Queen of the UnLiving, is causing trouble. When I request an audience with her, she tells me something big is coming, something that even the Hounds of Cú Chulainn fear. Now, Bryan and I must enlist the help of the dead in order to keep the spirit world from unwinding and to keep the Hounds from using the approaching disaster for their own ends.

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

A new darkness has wandered into Whisper Hollow just as Kerris has begun to settle nicely into her role as spirit shaman. Fast paced and action packed, unlikely alliances, and dark magic grab the reader from page one. The Phantom Queen is a page turner from beginning to end.

Kerris is becoming confident within her role of spirit showman. I love that she admits that there is still much for her to learn yet she is learning new things about who she is and what she does each day. I like the little things that you see within her friendship with Peggin. Yes we have got to know these characters in previous books but I feel like now that the series is set up we are really getting to see who these characters are. I love that Kerris understands the importance of relationships. Kerris is a very sweet and caring woman yet she can be as tough as any of the creatures that she comes across if need be. I really enjoyed the little intimacies shared by Bryan and Kerris. I also enjoyed getting to know the townspeople. They are a fun and interesting bunch that truly lend more to the story than what you think they would.

I’m so excited for Ms. Galenorn to continue the Whisper Hollow Series. The Phantom Queen was well worth the wait. Ms. Galenorn dazzles her readers with interesting characters, a good plot, great world building and a satisfying ending. Whisper Hollow is a dark and mysterious town but it also has a warmth that makes you feel like you’ve come home.

 

“I was given an Advance Reader Copy as a gift from author without obligation. I am providing an honest review.”

 

 

Audio Review: The Director’s Cut by Steve Higgs

The Director’s Cut

Steve Higgs

A Patricia Fisher Mystery, Book 3

Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published August 16th 2019

She’s over fifty, overweight, and in way over her head!

It’s well known that working in movies can be cutthroat, but no one expected that to be taken literally.

It’s party time on board the Aurelia! On the LA to Hawaii leg, a Hollywood film crew are shooting scenes for a new action movie and Barbie has been given a bit-part role. It’s all great fun and Patricia isn’t surprised when her cute, blonde friend attracts the attention of the handsome A-lister male lead.

But when he is found murdered in the upper deck pool and the killer leaves a message saying Barbie is next, it falls to Patricia to work out who the killer is.

With her trusted butler, Jermaine, good friend, Barbie, and lame-duck Shane Sussmann, an odd-looking film extra she befriended, Patricia will have plenty of help as she unravels the truth. The prime suspect has an ironclad alibi though and there is definitely something going on with the film’s beautiful female lead.

Will there be more bodies? Will the new deputy captain be of assistance this time? Will Jermaine be able to serve tea at four o’clock?

It’s going to take more than luck to solve this one. Can she survive The Director’s Cut?

 

4 Stars

 

A cutthroat, conniving, hiding in the shadows kind of mystery filled with humor and entertainment.

 

Director’s Cut is the third installment of the Patricia Fisher mysteries. On this leg, from Los Angeles to Hawaii, a film crew hops on board bringing excitement and murder. Patty along with her faithful butler, Jermaine and her best friend on the ship Barbie, get caught up in a hot mess of Hollywood proportions.

 

Patty is such a wonderful character. Starting life over on an around the world cruise is definitely the way to do it. Patty is observant, resourceful and willing to bend the rules just a little bit.  I love how she has befriended her Butler, Jermaine and allows him to dote on her even though she doesn’t feel she deserves it and Barbie. Her exercise obsessed friend, who lends a hand in many of the humorous parts of this novel.  The characters are as lively as they are lovely.  There’s lots of personality flowing right alongside the mystery of The Director’s Cut.

 

Director’s Cut is a fast paced, ever twisting plot, fun cozy read. The turns will keep readers guessing themselves throughout the entire read. Patty is smart and lively even if she jumps the gun from time to time.  She may not be a professional when it comes to solving crime, however she does quite a good job at figuring it out. From the interaction to the characters down to the who done it, The Director’s Cut Will keep you fully entertained.  I had the pleasure of enjoying the Director’s Cut as an audiobook. Narrator Katherine Anderson is amazing. She brings Patty to life with flair and charisma. Ms. Anderson’s performance earned an extra star on my review of this title.

Review: Dying to Cruise by Dawn Brookes

Dying to Cruise

Dawn Brookes

Alex Lee (Narrator)

A Rachel Prince Mystery, Book 4

Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Oakwood Publishing
The only thing worse than getting stuck aboard a cruise ship with a murderer, is discovering that your ex is on board…
A ruthless killer intent on revenge. Can Rachel get to the bottom of an intriguing mystery before it’s too late?.

Rachel Prince is drawn to investigate when the body of the leader of a Bucket List tour party is discovered in the library on the first day of her Antipodean cruise. Can this seemingly harmless group of elderly people have a killer among them?

Rachel thinks she is living the dream. Taking a cruise around Australia and New Zealand as a guest lecturer and meeting up again with her best friend, cruise ship nurse, Sarah. The scene is set for the holiday of a lifetime!

Difficulties abound for everyone when an interim chief of security causes countless problems and appears to take an intense dislike of Sarah. Not trusting the new chief to get to the bottom of the murder, Rachel investigates on her own, soon discovering that the dead woman from the Bucket List tour party had been receiving anonymous threatening emails. To make matters infinitely worse, Rachel’s ex turns up on board, and things start to go horribly wrong.

The cruise ship sleuth needs to work fast to find out if one of the gentle elders on the bucket list tour is a murderer while avoiding her ex like the plague.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Rachel is back at sea for another adventure that could only happen to her in Dying to Cruise.

 

Rachel is aboard the Coral Queen to teach a self defense class and for some fun and relaxation but she has once again found herself in the mindless of a murder.  When Florence, travel director for the Bucket List group, dies suddenly, Rachel finds herself in the thick of it again. With Rachel’s charming nature and humorous cast of friends weave readers with their witty banter and smile worthy antics through the twist and turns of Dying to Cruise.

 

I have enjoyed every story in the Rachel Prince Mysteries Series thus far. Dying to Cruise is a fantastic addition to this fun and entertaining series. Rachel is a top notch character with a lot of drive and will. I love how she has developed over the course of the series.  Ms. Brooke balances the humor and suspense nicely giving read a fun. It makes you think read. Dying to Cruise is a quick paced, keep you guessing, laugh out loud cozy read. Narrator Alex Lee truly brings these amazing characters to life. Giving that extra that makes a good story great.

 

 

Review: Shadow Silence by Yasmine Galenorn

 

 

Shadow Silence

Yasmine Galenorn

Whisper Hollow Series, Book 2

Publisher: Nightqueen Enterprises LLC; 2 edition (January 20, 2020)

 

Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living, and the lake never gives up her dead…

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and I’m a spirit shaman. It’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people-and secrets-don’t always stay buried.

My best friend Peggin finds herself under a curse after she is almost taken by the Lady of the Lake. As Bryan-my guardian and mate-and I work to break the hex, we stumble over a dark and violent mystery from the past. One the Hounds of Cú Chulainn will do anything to stop us from bringing to light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Shadow Silence is an outstanding experience in paranormal romance. Yasmine Galenorn masterfully builds worlds that you can’t help but to get lost in.

 

The second installment of the Whisper Hollow Series continues to entrance readers into a place where anything could be and is lurking.  Ms. Galenorn paints a vivid picture of the danger and magic that lay within Kerris path. I love that Kerris learns as she goes. She’s become so much stronger within a book. She takes her roll on fully and gives herself to her fate. Kerris’ friends are her family and the bonds are deep with her chosen few. Loyal and more powerful than she realizes, Kerris becomes more interesting with each book.

 

Shadow Silence finds Peggin at the fingertips of danger known as the lady of the lake. Shadow spirits all over town and dark magic at play. Kerris learns that sometimes you just have to wait for things to happen before you can do anything about it. The main plot arc continues to thicken, the suspense builds and not everyone is whom they seem to be. And I can see many things that could happen just from the events of Shadow Silence.

 

Ms. Galenorn would building and attention to detail is like none other. Shadow Silence, like most of Ms. Galenorn’s work, is based in mythology, legend and lore with her unique twist that gives the reader a new or different perspective. Shadow Silence is quick moving, dark magical, adventure.

 

 

Review: A View to a Kilt by Kaitlyn Dunnett

A View to a Kilt

Kaitlyn Dunnett

Liss MacMrimmon Mysteries, Book 13

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington

A series of blizzards have kept tourists away from Moosetookalook, Maine, and shoppers out of Liss MacCrimmon’s Scottish Emporium. But as warmer weather brings promises of tartan sales and new faces, melting snow reveals cold-blooded murder . . .

Liss has suddenly found herself in charge of the March Madness Mud Season Sale, a town-wide celebration created to boost the local economy during the slushy weeks of early spring. With businesses ailing after a rough winter, the pressure is on to make this year’s effort the can’t-miss-event of the season. But before Liss can get her hands dirty, her husband makes a horrifying discovery. There’s a dead man on their property, and he didn’t die of natural causes . . .

Stunned by the murder mystery developing in her own backyard, Liss receives another shock. The victim is identified as Charlie MacCrimmon, an uncle believed to have died eleven years before Liss was born. No one has seen or heard from Charlie since he went off to fight in Vietnam. What secrets could he have been hiding for so many years, and who would want to kill a man long thought to be dead?

Enlisting the help of her family, Liss uncovers more questions than answers as she delves into her uncle’s murky past. One thing is clear—before he met his end, Uncle Charlie was desperately trying to warn her about something sinister. And unless Liss can soon track down a maniacal criminal as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster, she just might be the next MacCrimmon to disappear . . .

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Liss seems to find herself tangled into trouble whether she is trying or not. She’s a fun and strong woman that has a caring streak that runs deep. Lover of cats and amateur sleuth, she will make you laugh while getting the information she wants.  She’s a small town girl will a mind that thinks outside the box. A wonderful main character.

 

A View to a Kilt was a fun cozy read. Ms. Dunnett keeps the reader going with a well developed, keep you thinking plot.  You can tell this was part of a long going series, however new readers like myself are easily about to jump right in and not feel lost. I love when the town or setting of the book is almost like a character. Moosetookalook is an interesting town with personality and flair.  The residents are even more so. Small towns are always full of secrets and sometimes they end up in your own backyard. The backyard is Liss’ this time and hits close to home. From the quaintness of the town, to the colorful personalities of the people within it, to a plot that spins an excellent tale, Ms. Dunnett’s A View to a Kilt was a one sit read for me.

 

 

 

Review: Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday

Mermaid Inn

Jenny Holiday

Matchmaker Bay Series, Book 1

Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Forever

Escape to Matchmaker Bay in this hilarious and heartwarming second chance romance from the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly).

Eve Abbott has a problem-actually, make that a lot of problems. And they’re all going to get worse the moment her toes hit the sand in Matchmaker Bay. Once a blissful summer escape, now the tiny town just reminds Eve of loss. Inheriting her aunt’s beloved Mermaid Inn is the only reason Eve is coming back. She’s definitely not ready to handle nosy neighbors, extensive renovations, or the discovery that a certain heartbreaker still lives down the street…

Police Chief Sawyer Collins always does the right thing, even when it costs him everything. Like Evie. He’s spent the past ten years trying to forget her–to forget how right she felt in his arms, to forget the pain in her eyes the day she left. The last thing he expects is to see her back in town or to find that the spark between them is as strong as ever. Sawyer knows this is his only chance to prove that his feelings have always been real… before Eve turns tail and leaves for good.

Includes the bonus novella Meant to Be by Alison Bliss!

 

 

 

4 Stars

Librarian Eve Abbott is determined and a bit angry. Upon inheriting her aunt’s home all those things she left in Matchmaker Bay are brought to the surface putting her determination to sell the house in high gear. Due to a stipulation in the will, Eve now finds herself stuck in the last place she what’s to be. In the proximity of the last person she wants to be around in a town full of meddling people who think it’s their job to match make.

 

Mermaid Inn is a sweet second chance romance. Eve was an amazing heroine. Life through her A curveball and she went with it. Her character develops so much from the beginning to the end of the book it was like watching a new flower blossom. I love that she decided to take her fears head-on, push through the bad parts, and was able to overcome. Eve pushed herself on many levels throughout this book and I think that’s part of why I enjoyed her so much. Sawyer was noble in his thoughts but his execution pretty much sucked. I love the reasons he did what he did but like a man if they would just learn to talk things would be different.  I also enjoyed the tenderness that he had for Eve. They were truly a couple that was meant to be.

 

A charming lakeside town in Canada sets the stage for a fun and heartwarming second chance at love in Mermaid Inn.  Eve and Sawyer take a slow dance around the attraction and chemistry they share. They are truly a wonderful couple together. The lake scenes with Sawyer and Eve are some of my favorites of the book. They show trust and caring along with determination and Hope. Jenny Holiday spin a wonderful tale of second chance love.