A good second book in this funny mystery series

Scared Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries Book 2) 

By: Annelise Ryan

Rating: 4 of 5

This is the second in the Mattie Winston mystery series. I started this series way out of order by reading a book much later in the series. I have now purchased all of the older books and am really enjoying them. The books all build off one another and reading them in order helps me to understand how the characters have grown over time.

“Scared Stiff” is a good read. It suffers a bit in comparison with the first book in the series. That book was unexpected and made me laugh my head off. This book continues in the same vein (perhaps a little too much like the first book.)
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A short glimpse into the life of a secondary Country Club character

Diamond Girl (A Country Club Murder Short)

By: Julie Mulhern

Rating: 5 of 5

Aggie DeLucci is Ellison Russell’s housekeeper. She came aboard after a series of unusual murders that were plaguing her new employer.

It helped that Aggie had previously been an assistant private detective whose husband (a detective) passed away years ago. Aggie was put in place by Hunter Tafft, Ellison’s lawyer and would-be boyfriend. Aggie keeps house but also keeps an eye on Ellison and her daughter.

Simply put, she’s the type of friend you would call if you needed to hide a body.

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A new mystery by Elly Griffiths with a supernatural element

The Stranger Diaries

By: Elly Griffiths

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve read other books by Elly Griffiths and those have been fairly straightforward mysteries and were novels in a series. With “The Stranger Diaries”, the book may be stand-alone or it may be the beginning of a series involving the police in this small town.

In either case, the story is more than a mystery. It has elements of supernatural (very, very slight) and, more importantly, it is a study in human behavior. How people interact with each other and how they truly think about the other when they are alone with their diary.

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Funny mystery with a serious subject deal with with sensitivity

Dead of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery Book 10)

By: Annelise Ryan

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a series that I have been reading out of order. So far, before this book, I have read #7 and then #1. After reading this book, I’ll be reading the rest of the books. However, I highly suggest reading the books in order as the author gives spoilers in this book for early books in the series. I solved the issue by skipping the paragraphs that dealt with earlier whodunnits.

The dialog and characters are funny as are a lot of the happenings. What is not funny and is dealt with seriously is the subject of human trafficking and the grief of those who are victims of it.
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One of my favorite mystery novels by Mary Stewart

The Ivy Tree

By: Mary Stewart

Rating: 5 of 5

I first read this book years ago as a teenager. I read it again about ten years ago. I recently gave away all of my old paperback books as my pulmonologist told me digital books were my future.

When I went looking to find some of my old favorites on my Kindle, I came across Mary Stewart. I purchased a number of her books and the first one I re-read was “The Ivy Tree”.

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A great start to a funny mystery series of ten books thus far

Working Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries Book 1)

By: Annelise Ryan

Rating: 5 of 5

I started this series by reading book number 7. I enjoyed it thoroughly but realized that I wanted to start the series at the beginning.

“Working Stiff” is the first book in the Mattie Winston series. Mattie has just discovered that her husband isn’t the man that she thought he was. Unfortunately, what woke her up was an incident that happened at work. She was so uncomfortable with her co-workers talking about her (she was an OR nurse and her husband a surgeon), that she quit her job and found a new one.

The new job is as an assistant to the medical examiner. The work is somewhat close to what she was used to but in many ways, worlds apart.

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A feel good novel with a heroine with some OCD issues

I Owe You One: A Novel

By: Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 4 of 5

Fixie Farr is a young woman who works in the family business (retail store). She and her mother more than carry their own weight since her father died years before. His motto was “Family first” and Fixie tries to adhere to it, though her siblings are a bit of a trial.

Neither her brother nor her sister seem to have the same work ethic. Brother Jake is busy making posh deals that seem more like pie in the sky than anything concrete and meaningful. Sister Nicole is into appearances over substance and has a fixation on yoga and Instagram.

Fixie does the works and fixes things that her siblings and co-workers at the family business cause to “break”. When her mother leaves for a vacation, she leaves all three in charge with their uncle to keep things running. Without her mother’s vote, Fixie has to keep things from coming unglued.

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First entry in a new series by Julie Mulhern

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (The Poppy Fields Adventures Book 1)

By: Julie Mulhern 

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve enjoyed Julie Mulhern’s Country Club murders mysteries. When I saw that she had started a new series, I bought the first one without a moment’s hesitation.

I’m glad that I did, though the subject matter is quite different. It is still a mystery series and is funny as a hoot. However, this series is set present day versus the 1970s.

Because of the change in time, a lot of modern thinking is to be found in the book versus that of the society around fifty years ago.

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Transitional book in the Flavia de Luce series – perhaps the beginning the Arthur W. Dogger & Associates stories

The Golden Tresses of the Dead: A Flavia de Luce Novel

By: Alan Bradley

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve enjoyed every book that I have read in the series. I was captivated by the character of Flavia de Luce right from the very first. Her character has grown considerably even though she is still only twelve years old.

She is still working with her poisons which continue to captivate her but she is also actively solving mysteries as part of the Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations group (of two – Dogger and herself.) With the maturing of the group, there has been a change in how the mysteries are being solved.

Dogger has emerged as a kind of Sherlock Holmes type character. He seems to the the individual who comes up with conclusions while Flavia is more of a Watson type who has access to her laboratory for testing bits and pieces for poison, et al. She sits in admiration as Dogger states the case, proposes action, and comes up with solutions. He also seems to know the chemical essentials of what Flavia will be testing, so Flavia is relegated to almost a technician status.

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Another laugh out loud entry is this cozy mystery series

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders Book 8)

By: Julie Mulhern

Rating: 5 of 5

I have read and enjoyed every single book in this mystery series. I enjoy it so much, I recommend it whenever I can. As far as cozy mystery series go, I don’t know if you can do better.

The series is set in Kansas City during the 1970’s. The characters are part of the upper crust, country club herd.

Ellison Russell is our sleuth extraordinaire. While she is part of the country club group by birth, she is busy trying to break out and make a life of her own. Well, except it is pretty nice to have the money and the house and the… you name it. She also has a teenage daughter who is as flip as you can imagine.

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