New cozy mystery series about a sleuth who owns a gourmet organic cat food business

The Trouble with Murder (A Gourmet Cat Mystery Book 1)

By: Kathy Krevat

Rating: 5 of 5

Colbie Summers is a single parent with a young son. She has recently returned home to assist her ailing father after an estrangement that has lasted more than a decade.

The series is set in a fictitious small city outside of San Diego. Colbie has joined a group of of women who have small businesses in town.

She’s struggling to help her dad, get over her feelings of anger for the past, make sure her son is doing well, and delivering her neighbor’s chicken back to him. Yep, chicken. Charlie, the chicken, can get out of his pen and strut down the street ringing doorbells.

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A funny start to a new series

Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery Book 1)

By: Dana Dratch

Rating: 5 of 5

Alex Vlodnachek is the sleuth of this story. She was a reporter (at low pay) for many years. Just a few months ago, Alex left her newspaper job for a high-paying job in public relations. The PR firm she works for leaves a lot to be desired. They push their employees to work crazy hours and seem to fire them fairly quickly.

When the boss tries to “give” Alex to a client for a night, Alex chews him out in public and figures she is out of a job. When the boss turns up murdered, Alex becomes the number one suspect. People who were her work-friends turn against her and blame her as well.

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The annual fair and 4H is the setting for a murder mystery in the Zoe Chambers series

Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery Book 8)

By: Annette Dashofy

Rating: 4 of 5

The Zoe Chambers mystery series is serious and, at times, rather dark. Zoe Chambers is an EMT and deputy coroner in Vance Township, PA. Her boyfriend, Pete Adams, is the Police Chief for Vance Township.

Zoe is a country girl and has always been crazy about horses. Pete is a city boy and has had to learn more about the country life than he ever expected to by way of his job. They currently live in town, close to Pete’s job. Zoe has a run-down horse farm that is currently more of money pit than a home. She is able to stable her horse, Windstar, there while she slowly fixes it up.

The perspective of this book, as the previous ones in this series, alternates between Zoe and Pete. Their jobs necessarily cross over many times in the investigation of crimes.
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The last installment of the Jane Hawk thriller/suspense series

The Night Window: A Jane Hawk Novel

By: Dean Koontz

Rating: 5 of 5

I started this series with book 2 (of 4) and was enthralled. I read book 3 and then, recently, went back to read book 1 in preparation for this book. Book 4, “The Night Window”, is the final book in the Jane Hawk series. It is a psychological thriller filled with suspense about a near-future science fiction premise.

The book is set in our time and present a frightening look at what can happen when a group of individuals decides it can and will shape the future of the human race. They have decided that they know best. They can decide who wins and who loses and, more to the point, who can live.

Jane Hawk is ex-FBI. She has been on the run since shortly after her husband’s suicide in Book 1. She is trying to keep her young son safe and, at the same time, expose the frightening web of deceit and evil doings of those responsible for her husband’s death.

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Another fun (slightly paranormal) mystery in the Kenni Lowry Mystery series

Diggin’ Up The Dirt (A Kenni Lowry Mystery Book 7)

By: Tonya Kappes

Rating: 5 of 5

While paranormal is not usually a genre that I read, I make some forays into it when it involves a mystery and when the paranormal is not the focus of the book.

That is how I would classify the Kenni Lowry series. Mystery whodunnits that involve a ghost.

Kenni Lowry is the sheriff of Cottonwood, Kentucky. Her Poppa (grandfather) was the previous sheriff and passed away in office. Kenni has been sheriff for several years and midway through that time, her Poppa showed up (in ghostly form) to help her solve the first murder that occurred while she has been in office.

Since the, he shows up when murders occur. That is the case in this book. It also puts Kenni in the uncomfortable position of knowing a murder has occurred before the medical examiner concludes it.

She and her boyfriend, Finn, who is her deputy and the crew which generally solves the crimes. They have recently added a part time position for another deputy. In this story Kenni and the new deputy are the ones who are looking for the answers to the whodunnit. Kenni, by simply asking, finds out that Finn will someday want to be a sheriff. She is instantly on her guard that he wants her job.
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Fun to read stand-alone mystery

Sunset Beach: A Novel

By: Mary Kay Andrews

Rating: 5 of 5

It’s been a while since I read a book by Mary Kay Andrews. In the past, most of the books I have read by this author where fairly lengthy but funny rom-com novels. With “Sunset Beach”, while the fun and some romance is still present, the books focuses on solving not one but two mystery whodunnits.

As I was nearing the end of the book, I was hoping that this novel would be the start of a series featuring Drue and Zee as investigators for the law firm they both work for. There is an Epilogue which seems to doom this hope to failure; however, I think that Mary Kay Adrews could (and should) still consider doing a series featuring this intrepid and intelligent heroine.

The story is (mostly) about Drue. She has recently been injured doing a sport to which she had dedicated her life. She has also lost her job and is in fairly desperate straits. In walks her father with an offer. He wants her to come to work for his law firm which seems to be a bit of an ambulance chaser place.

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Fun mystery set in Chicago during the days of Prohibition

Murder Knocks Twice: A Mystery (Speakeasy Mysteries)

By: Susanna Calkins

Rating: 4 of 5

This is a mystery which is set in the roaring Twenties and is primarily situated in a speak-easy in Chicago. It is the first in a series.

Gina is a young woman who needs a job so that she can help her father who has increasingly been unable to make a living. Her friend tells her about a job in a speak-easy and suggests that Gina should apply for the job. Gina does and takes right to the work.

When a murder occurs, Gina is drawn to solve it because of who the victim is as well as having seen the crime.

The language is what we currently accept as that of the time. It is what I have seen from movies from the period and may very well be exactly how people spoke.

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Intriguing novel about the relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law

The Mother-in-Law: A Novel

By: Sally Hepworth

Rating: 4 of 5

When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be a suspenseful mystery. While there are elements of both, the novel is really more of a fictional literature style book. It explores the relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law.

The story is told from both points of view and is set both in the past and in the present with a small peak into the future at the end.

Lucy lost her mother when she was young and is thrilled at the prospect of having a mother-in-law to love and admire. Diana is definitely an admirable woman; however, she is not a person who it is easy to relate to – that is, unless you happen to be a recipient of her charity for unwed mothers.

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Great start to an excellent thriller/suspense series

The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense

By: Dean Koontz

Rating: 5 of 5

I started the Jane Hawk series with the second book and have read the third one as well. With the fourth, and final, book in the series due to come out in May, I decided this was the right time to back up and read the first book.

I’m glad that I did. While I didn’t need the book to jump right in, it did give me the background that I had to gleam as I went along in books 2 and 3.

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Second mystery novel in the new Daniel Pitt series by Anne Perry

Triple Jeopardy: A Daniel Pitt Novel

By: Anne Perry

Rating: 4 of 5

Daniel Pitt is a fairly new barrister and is somewhat shadowed by his famous father (Sir Thomas Pitt). Daniel wants to do his best and not have to resort to relying on his father. He is making his way at his new firm with the knowledge that he was hired because of his family and not just his own reputation.

This puts Daniel is a place of working very hard to do whatever is put in front of him no matter if it is to his taste or not.

His new brother-in-law arrives from the United States with a tale that puts Daniel on the spot in asking his boss to take on the case that is related to it. He does, but he assigns it to Daniel, who would prefer that anyone else take it on.

Still, he follows the clues, which seem to lead back to his client and yet, Daniel must defend him.

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