Author Archives: Iiiireader

Southern Gothic suspense/thriller

The Wife Upstairs

By: Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 4 of 5

This book is an interesting southern gothic suspense thriller. What it is not is a new take on Jane Eyre. The author uses the names of the main characters and touches on certain plot points of the Bronte classic but it is quite different.

I did not find the characters likable but I don’t think the author intended them to be. They are, however, enmeshed in a story that kept me reading. The first clue that I had this was not Jane Eyre redux was the language and that Jane was a bit of a kleptomaniac.

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What a great beginning to this series!

Lowcountry Boil (A Liz Talbot Mystery Book 1)

By: Susan M. Boyer

Rating: 5 of 5

I started this series on book #3. I liked it so well, I immediately purchased books 1 and 2, intending to read them to catch up on the backstory. Well, that didn’t happen. There was always something “new” to read and I forgot about these books. Until this week, that is.

I read this book as I was caught up on my reading list for the year. I am so glad that I did and I will be reading book 2 in the next week or two.

This book gives a whole new dimension to relationships and the past of characters that I had accepted without question. Now I now why some of the characters behave the way they do.

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Delightful and zany mystery series

Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)

By: Sarah Graves

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book in the Death by Chocolate mystery series. It is the second book by Sarah Graves that I have read and it is quite different. I didn’t know what to expect as the other book was more of a serious mystery.

I love well done mysteries that have a comic twist and this book is just such a book. I didn’t realize that it was a spin-off of an earlier series with the same characters. Having found out, I have picked up the first in that series as well.

Jake (Jacobia) Tiptree and her friend Ellie have moved on from renovating houses (old series) and are now co-owners in a newly opened bakery shop that features all sorts of chocolate baked goods. They are feeling their way and starting to gain clients when local pain, Matt Muldoon is found murdered in their bakery kitchen.

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A great start to a Regency murder mystery series

Murder on Black Swan Lane (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery Book 1)

By: Andrea Penrose

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve read books by this author before under the name of Andrea Pickens (traditional Regency novels) and have enjoyed them. My favorite type of book is still mystery, so to have my favorite genres put into one book is amazing.

This novel is not a romance novel, though there seems to be some type of attraction between the two main sleuths. At its heart, it is a good mystery. It reminds me somewhat of Holmesian deductive reasoning mixed with intuition.

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Fun Christmas mystery story

The Gift of the Magpie: A Meg Langslow Mystery

By: Donna Andrews

Rating: 4 of 5

I am a long-time fan of this series. I have always enjoyed the zany humor of the author. That being said, the just prior book was not nearly as funny as those that went before. This book shows a gentle humor and has promises of some craziness in the future.

In this story, Meg and crew are getting ready for Christmas and Michael’s one-man show of “A Christmas Carol”. Meg is also tasked with coordinating many Helping Hands for the Holidays projects. Since these projects have expanded beyond the needy and throughout the year, the task has grown exponentially greater. Just what Meg needs at the busy holiday season – more work!

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Great second book in this Amish cozy mystery series

Courting Can Be Killer (An Amish Matchmaker Mystery Book 2)

By: Amanda Flower

Rating: 5 of 5

It is such a pleasure to read the second book in this series, which is an off-shoot from the author’s Amish Candy Shop mysteries. In this series, an Amish matchmaker, Millie, and her Englischer friend, Lois, solve the whodunnits.

Millie is finally settled back in her old hometown of Harvest, Ohio. A young man, Ben, she knew from her years in Michigan has moved to town. He doesn’t have family, so Millie becomes his almost aunt.

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Good cozy mystery but lacks usual zany humor

The Falcon Always Wings Twice: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries Book 27

By: Donna Andrews

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve been a fan of this series from the very beginning (I recall Michael-what-waste fondly.) What drew me to the books was the author’s zany and ridiculous sense of humor.

This book is a good cozy mystery but it is missing the spark of that humor. I was glad to see Meg back at a Renaissance Fair and blacksmithing but, in the end, it didn’t compare well to other Fair books in the series. I still rank it four stars because it was still a good book. I enjoy cozy mysteries in general, so I recommend it for those who are likewise inclined.

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Laughed my way through this story

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Lowcountry Boughs of Holly (A Liz Talbot Mystery Book 10)

By: Susan M. Boyer

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a wonderfully zany cosy mystery series. The Talbot family is Southern crazy with so many delightful characters. From Liz to her Mamma, life is pretty much a laugh a minute.

This is another pivotal book in the series, with new characters and favorite ones as well. In the last book, guardian angel, Colleen was removed from working with Liz and Nate because she intervened in human affairs. It was really sad to see her go.

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Another great book in this mystery series

Outsider: A Novel of Suspense (Kate Burkholder Book 12)

By: Linda Castillo

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a series that I have enjoyed from book 1. Kate Burkholder is a former Amish who is now Chief of Police in the small town where she grew up. The crimes she solves both the Amish and the rest of the town. She can straddle the differences between the two communities and works hard to solve crimes, no matter who is responsible and who is the victim.

In this story, an Amish farmer comes across a car which is trapped in the snow. He then finds an almost dead woman, who turns out to be a link to Kate’s own past.

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A well-written Christmas mystery

A Christmas Resolution

By: Anne Perry

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book I have read in the author’s Monk series. While it is an offshoot and involves secondary characters in the series, it gave me a good idea of what the series might be like. I really liked it and will be reading the series from the beginning over time.

I enjoy Ms. Perry’s style of story-telling. She has an elegant way of turning a phrase and setting up a scene. This story does exactly that.

Celia Hooper is the wife of Detective John Hooper, who works for and with William Monk. Their marriage is fairly recent and they are still finding their way of living as a couple rather than the many years of being single.

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