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A Study in Murder
A Victorian Book Club Mystery, Book 1
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
A mystery author is charged with murder–and the plot thickens faster than anyone can turn the pages–in USA Today bestselling author Callie Hutton’s new series debut, perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ellery Adams.
Bath, England, 1890. Mystery author Lady Amy Lovell receives an anonymous letter containing shocking news: her fiancé, Mr. Ronald St. Vincent, has been dabbling in something illegal, which causes her to promptly break their engagement.
Two evenings later, as Lady Lovell awaits a visit from Lord William Wethington, fellow member of the Bath Mystery Book Club, her former fiancé makes an unexpected and most unwelcome appearance at her house. She promptly sends him to the library to cool his heels but later discovers the room seemingly empty–until she stumbles upon a dead Mr. St. Vincent with a knife in his chest.
Lord Wethington arrives to find Lady Amy screaming and sends for the police, but the Bobbies immediately assume that she is the killer. Desperate to clear her name, Lady Amy and Lord Wethington launch their own investigation–and stir up a hornet’s nest of suspects, from the gardener who served time in prison for murder to a vengeful woman who was spurned by St. Vincent before he proposed to Lady Amy.
Can they close the book on the case before the real killer gets away with murder?
A Study in Murder is a well written and entertaining start to the Victorian Book Club Mystery series.
Lady Amy Lovell is truly a character you can’t judge by her appearance. A lady by day and a secret mystery writer by night. Not really by night but you get my point. She is so much more than her time likes to accept from a woman. She has a passion for life and a love for reading. Her way of thinking outside the box gets her in a spot of trouble here and there. I love that she thought for herself and stood her ground. For a 1890’s woman of Bath, she’s not your typical woman of the time, she’s much more fun.
When Lady Amy ends her betrothment to Mr. Ronald St. Vincent after evidence is presented to her that he is taking part in some dealings that are rather unsavory Her biggest worry was what her father was going to say. Until two days later Mr. Saint Vincent shows up at her home unannounced and is found murdered In Lady Amy’s Home library. The investigators are naming Lady Amy as their number one suspect. Amy puts practical use to her research that she uses as a mystery writer, to uncover the mystery of who killed her ex fiancé.
Callie Hutton has a real winner with A Study in Murder. By nature I am a contemporary reader. However when I read the description for this book I was so intrigued I had to give it a shot, even with it being historical. The mystery itself Has all kinds of twists and turns and I’ll be honest I didn’t know the outcome until the end. The characters are a riot. There were some truly hysterical and laugh out loud moments that I didn’t expect to experience with a historical story. I loved the passion for reading itself within the pages of the story. As a reader that is something that I think we all enjoy seeing within characters in the books we read. I look forward to to seeing what Ms. Hutton has in store for Amy in the upcoming books in the Victorian Book Club Mystery series.
Dark KIngs Series, Book 17
Expected publication: June 30th 2020 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Flame is the next Dark Kings book in New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s series.
If she believed in destiny, she would believe they were meant for each other.
But that fire was put out long ago. . .
Living among the Dragon Kings, Cain has spent lifetimes learning to distrust both mortals and Fae. He is a warrior born—and every instinct demands that he fight to keep his own kind safe. But when a fringe member of the Dark Fae contacts the Kings with an urgent warning, Cain is torn for the first time. How can he trust this beautiful creature when resisting his primal attraction to her is battle enough?
Noreen is horrified by what her kind and the malevolent Others are planning for the Dragon Kings. Dark Fae or not, there are lines she will not cross—even if it means risking her life. But she never imagined that she would risk her heart until she meets Cain. She wants him with a soul-deep desire that frightens her…and endangers them both. Is saying goodbye to everything Noreen has ever known worth a love that will span time and realms?
It’s not everyday that the enemy reaches out, willing to give up vital information. Is it legit or is it set up? Is the truth a lie or is the lie the truth. The deception is layered thick and something epic is on the rise. Donna Grant builds the anticipation for the ending of the series while giving readers a jaw-dropping story with Flame.
Noreen is an other and a dark fae. Her story is twisted and plays a bigger part than she could have ever realized. She has been victimized just as badly as the Kong’s themselves have. Things with her are not as they seem. I liked how as Noreen learned her own personal truth she adapted quickly, using it as a strength to move forward, doing what is right. There were many times while reading Flame, I wanted to dislike her but in the end she was truly an extraordinary character.
Cain is the King of the Navy Blue Dragons and has been tasked with finding the enemy source who sent them information. At first sight of her Cain knows he is done. At the first touch of her, he knows she’s his mate. Trust comes hard for the kings, he found truth and trust within an other. He was gentle, genuine, kind and compassionate. Was he blindsided by love or are more layers of deception being uncovered. Cain goes wholeheartedly into something that broke his heart and then healed it too. He knew the dangers to himself and the kings and he dove in head first. I so loved that about Cain.
Wow! Donna Grant has taken readers on an epic journey over the years with her tales of the Dragon Kings. Flame is the latest chapter in the overall story bringing us closer to the end. Flame gives readers the story of Noreen and Cain. An unlikely pairing but one that seems to have proven enemies can make the best lovers. Noreen and Cain were smoldering together. Their passion was intimate and deep. Cain was a gentleman among dragons. Even when he was feeling betrayed and hurt he was never Malicious towards the source of the pain. Noreen cares deeply and no spell could change those feelings. The two seem to have been almost made for each other. Many questions that have been lingering have answers come to light within the pages of Flame. A few old friends make important and impactful visits and a missing one returns. We see the king of kings and away we’ve never seen him before and some of the sacrifices that have truly been made. Flame is a story that has a lot of revenge, lies and deceit. Within those pages we were also able to get a story of compassion and love. Being the next to the last book in a series so much information lies within these pages and I believe a few hints to finally give us an answer to the biggest question we’ve all been asking.
A Sprinkling of Murder
Daryl Wood Gerber
A Fairy Garden Mystery, Book 1
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .
Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she’s starting a book club tea.
But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .
A Sprinkling of Murder is an enchanting beginning to the magical new Fairy Garden Mystery.
Open Your Imagination is Courtney Kelly’s wonderfully popular fairy garden shop. A place that allows one to believe. Courtney is a charming woman who is creative and a bit nosy. With an ex cop for a father, a fairy on probation on her shoulder and a ragdoll cat in tow, Courtney will make you a believer in fairies without even trying. When a neighboring business owner is found dead In Courtney’s shop, she finds herself at the top of the suspect list and a non stop determination to find out who the real killer is. Maybe a little fairy magic is just what she needs.
A Sprinkling of Murder is a fun and whimsical cozy that will keep you thinking. The plot is a puzzle that seems like the pieces change as they are trying to fit in place. Courtney is a very likable character and I love that she carries her cat, Pixie, with her as if she were a dog. I love the way her mind thinks up scenarios and she tries to figure out if they are feasible or not. Courtney’s persistence never falters even though she’s a prime suspect. The mystery is just one of the great elements of the story. The setting is cozy and has plenty of charm. The love that we learn about the fairies as Courtney does. I love that there’s just enough paranormal to make you think but not so overwhelming that you can’t believe it.
Daryl Wood Gerber has a unique and entertaining beginning to her Fairy Garden Mystery series with A Sprinkling of Murder. I can’t want for the next magical mystery.
Wicked Ever After
Wicked & Devoted Series, Book 2
The exciting conclusion of One-Mile and Brea’s story!
He’s dangerous. She’s his—even if he scares her. But once he unravels her secrets, he’ll risk everything to claim her for good.
Sniper Pierce “One-Mile” Walker nearly had everything he ever wanted—until a fateful mission stripped it all away. Now an outcast, he’s forced to watch the off-limits beauty who stole his heart slip through his fingers. Left with nothing but revenge, he’s determined to defeat evil and win her back. But when he learns she’s planning a future without him, he vows he’ll break every rule and defy all odds to make her his again—forever.
Brea Bell was always a good girl…until Pierce Walker. Despite everyone’s warnings, she gave the rough warrior her body—and her heart. When she receives news that shatters her world, he devastates her by walking away. Terrified of losing all she’s ever known, Brea tucks away her dreams and commits to a “safe” future. Then Pierce appears in the dead of night, challenging and seducing her. Brea isn’t sure she can trust him…but she also can’t say no.
Angry and betrayed, he leaves to pursue vengeance, while her sins are exposed to the world, forcing her to fight painful battles. Can Brea and Pierce conquer the dangers that threaten their happily ever after…or will fate wrench them apart forever?
Wicked Ever After is the intense and emotional conclusion to Brea and One-Mile’s epic story.
Picking up right where Wicked As Sin left off. One-Mile drops a bomb of information then has to leave for a mission. Brea’s life is changing faster than she can blink. Emotions are high, life is intense and just when they think it may be leveling out another wave hits full force. I don’t think there could be two more opposite people then Brea and One-Mile. Yet they find a way to balance each other out perfectly. While both of them lead a life of service they do it from very opposite sides. One gives and the other takes yet they both try to make life for others a better place.
Brea finds herself within the pages of Wicked Ever After. I love that she found her voice, learned how to use it and was able to stand up for herself. One-Mile is an amazing gentleman disguised as someone who didn’t give a care in the world. Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side, but it just proves the perceptions and assumptions are not always fact.
Shayla Black continues to amaze me with the depth of emotion and The varying levels of intimacy that she gives us within her amazing stories. I am not a fan of duet type books and I really don’t care for cliffhangers. I have to give Ms. Black credit for not letting us readers hanging for too long and making the second part of the book just as engaging if not more than the first. Brea and One-Mile Have an intricate story that’s like an insane roller coaster ride. One minute you’re excited and the next your heart is about to jump out of your chest. The ride they take us one is not easy but we’ll worth it in the end.
The Stolen Letter
Scottish Bookshop Mystery, Book 5
New York Times bestselling author Paige Shelton returns with the next installment of The Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, The Stolen Letter
Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.
Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.
But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.
It’s not too often that you can find a book that encompasses many interests wrapped into one. Ms. Shelton gives us past and present queens, a rich dose of history, a bookstore filled with the unexpected and a mystery that will keep you on your toes. The Stolen Letter is an intricate story with a mystery within a mystery that was very much enjoyable.
Delaney Nichols it’s a very interesting character. I love the passion that she shows for her job. You can tell that it’s more than just a job for her, it’s a part of who she is. She’s smart, witty, a little bit nosy and doesn’t seem to know how to back down. She stands up for what she believes and then she cares about. I love the bookish Voices that pop into her head just when she needs to lead in the right direction. She’s still adjusting to being newly married yet her husband, Tom, is very supportive in all manners of what she does.
Delaney, along with the cast of characters that the series, and this book contain sure to give you laughs while trying to figure out the mystery of it all.
The Stolen Letter was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Ms. Shelton weaves a good plot but you can tell this is truly a character driven story. I love how she mixed history into this modern day story. I personally am a huge fan of paranormal and I loved that little touch added into the story. As I am just coming into the series at this book I found it easy to fall into place within The Cracked Spine(Love that name for a book shop by the way) and the colorful and charismatic people who work and frequent the shop. There are essentially two stories that intertwined within the pages of The Stolen Letter And a lot going on all at the same time yet every bit of it was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to going back and reading some of the earlier books in the series just because I enjoyed this one so much.
Deep Ops #2.5
As women, they’re fighting for their lives, and loves, once more . . .
When Meriwether Jones takes her young daughter and runs from trouble in L.A., that trouble follows. By the time Meri reaches Spokane, she’s out of gas, money, and ideas. Luckily, ex-cop Ian Brodie hires her to help him with his father’s farmhouse, and they seem like the answer to each other’s prayers. But Meri is keeping a dangerous secret—and Ian is in danger of losing his heart . . .
That secret explodes when Melanie Cassidy spots two men trying to kidnap a young boy she tutors and responds by ramming them with her car. The last thing she expects is for the man she once loved, Detective Gray Hawkins, to appear and rescue them both. Now she has no choice but to trust him as they investigate the truth about a conspiracy of dirty, drug trafficking cops—and the truth about their relationship . . .
After a rough youth, Michelle Peach was finally content in Portland—until two men broke into her home, threatened her, and sent her mentally unstable mom on a blackmail spree that Michelle has to stop. The last person Michelle wants to see is her ex, Evan Boldon, a former marine turned sheriff. But Evan misses the woman who walked away instead of letting him help years ago. This time he’s not asking permission; he’s going to put a stop to the trouble stalking Michelle and her friends—and win her heart for good.
What an amazing collection of stories. Anthologies are a great way to introduce readers to new authors and for those that are already fans get an extra treat with a short story. Each author brings their all with their story.
Each story is intense and suspenseful, yet sexy and romantic.
Against the Heart -Kat Martin
This may be my favorite of the three stories. A single mom on the run with her daughter and A son trying to help his father put his life back together. This one is sweet and tender, it hits the heart just right.
Shaken – Rebecca Zanetti
Whether it be a full length novel or a novella Ms. Zanetti knows how to catch the reader’s attention. Evan and Michelle rocked the pages hard. I love that they had a past and that made their chemistry so much more. Shaken in my opinion, was the hottest of the three stories.
Echoes of the Past – Alexandra Ivy
Ms. Ivy focuses a little more on the suspense and a little less on the romance. However she still gives us an intriguing and adventurous story.
Although each story does tie in with one another you do not have to read all of them to be able to enjoy them. However I highly recommend that you do as they do complete a story that is highly enjoyable.
Ever and Always Duet, Book 2
Holly has never been more scared in her life. She’s hoping that the bad guys attempting to bank off her realize—like she has—that her temporary husband doesn’t care for her as anything more than a way to cash in on his inheritance and amuse his roommates in the process.
Even if she makes it out alive, she won’t ever be whole. Not unless Trent, Lorenzo, and Owen suddenly decide that the stakes in the game they were playing are a lot steeper than can be paid for with money.
This time, they’re gambling everything on love.
Four Love is the conclusion of the Ever & Always Duet, and should be read following Four Money.
Jayne Rylon brought it all with the conclusion to the Ever and Always duet, Four Love.
Falling was the easy part, now comes the hard. Holly, Trent, Lorenzo and Owen have the attraction, chemistry and passion but figuring out all the feeling has some knots twisted and lingering doubt. Four Love is a journey in trust and discovery. A path that could be the brightest of blessings or the road paved in ruin. They may be a unit but they are still individuals within their group. With their new found emotions, navigating the waters is unfamiliar territory yet is a force they can’t seem to contend with. Owen, Lorenzo, Trent and Holly found a way to turn a crazy mess into something bigger than imagined.
Jayne Rylon concludes the Ever and Always duet, Four Love with a fast paced, draw you in, super hot and emotional read.
But could he also be a murderer? Jazzi married her gorgeous contractor Ansel—not his family. But somehow she keeps living with them. So she’s delighted to help Ansel’s brother Radley move out of their home and into his own place, in the same building as his work supervisor, Donovan. But when Donovan is shot and his apartment ransacked following an argument with Ansel and Radley’s older brother Bain, their sibling becomes a suspect—especially after his missing gun turns up as the murder weapon.Told not to leave town by Detective Gaff, big brother moves in with . . . Jazzi and Ansel. Now Jazzi needs to prove Bain’s no killer, not only to keep him out of jail—but to get him out of their house. What was the killer looking for in Donovan’s apartment? And what will happen to the next person who gets in the way?
A lighthearted and fun cozy mystery with extremely likable characters. The Body in the Apartment is my first forte into Judi Lynn’s writing and is very far from my last.
Jazzi is an awesome character, who can do just about anything. Not only can she hang drywall with the best of them, this woman can cook just about anything. She has a strong body and a strong mind yet cares above and beyond what friendship is and her sense of compassion is something that can’t be topped. Jazzi is one of those people that if she makes you a friend, you have become family. Even if that family drives her crazy, her loyalty is unwavering.
The Body in the Apartment finds House flipper Jazzi, her husband Ansel, and her cousin Jared In the middle of restoring a beautiful Victorian house while helping Ansel’s brother get a new start on his life when they stumble upon a murder that happens moments before. Getting mixed up in a murder is not something new to this trio but for me the way they go about it is exceptionally entertaining. Nothing like family drama to keep things interesting. What I found unique about this book was how the local cop enlisted Jazzi help and compassion with those that may be delicate to interview. This trio of characters along with their family and friends are extremely close and very nosy. Everyone seemed to know what was going on with everyone yet always seemed to help or support in any way they could.
The Body in the Apartment is a drama filled yet well written mystery with a good plot that keeps you thinking. I loved that Jazzi is always feeding everyone. You can definitely tell food is her thing and she loves sharing that with everyone. This book takes us from a gutted out it out house, to neighborhoods people have to be careful visiting to getting tangled with ex cons and making wedding cake. Ms. Lynn Has readers all over the place with this book and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
Southern Double Cross
A Southern B&B Mystery, Book 3
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?
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.