Category Archives: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Another wonderful Meg Langslow mystery

Owl Be Home for Christmas: A Meg Langslow Mystery

By: Donna Andrews

Rating: 5 of 5

It’s hard to believe that this is the twenty-six Meg Langslow mystery. One would think that such a long-running series might be running a tad low or at least out of bird puns on titles.

Neither of those are true of this series. Each book is funnier than the last. The bird puns continue apace and give a clue as to the story. This is one of my favorite series and I have read it faithfully since the first book was published.

In this story, Meg and family are snowbound at the Caerphilly Inn along with 200 plus ornithologists who are attending a scientific conference about owls that Meg’s grandfather is hosting.

There are many discussions about various owls, which you might be thinking would be kind of dry. However, when people are passionate about their subject, they can come to fisticuffs with those who disagree with them.

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A funny mystery set in a Lighthouse which is also a library

Read and Buried: A Lighthouse Library Mystery

By: Eva Gates

Rating: 5 of 5

For many readers of this series, I am sure that this book is a fun visit to a bunch of old friends. For me, it was the first book in the series that I have read. It was easy to read stand-alone but, by the end of it, I purchased the first book in the series, so I can read through them all in order.

Lucy Richardson is a librarian at the Lighthouse Library in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The historic lighthouse has developed series issues and is being fixed. During the excavation of the ground around the Lighthouse, a old tin is discovered. What is discovered in the tin sets in motion this whodunnit.

Lucy and her boyfriend, Connor (who just happens to be mayor) come across the body of an annoying member of the historical society. Unfortunately, that body is located in the business office of the Lighthouse and is deemed a murder.

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A roller-coaster ride of a mystery novel!

A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels Book 18)

By: Deborah Crombie

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book I have read in this series. After starting it, I realized there were previous books but I was able to easily read this book stand-alone. It just made me want to go back to the beginning and start with book number one, which I have since purchased.

The story is set in the Cotswolds, where husband and wife police duo, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, have been invited along with their children to spend a relaxing weekend, along with co-worker, Doug Cullen, as a guest of another co-worker. That co-worker, Melody Talbot, turns out to be from a family that is quite wealthy as well as powerful.

The story begins with an introduction to Viv, a chef who is to cater a luncheon for Melody’s mother. She has been hiding her light at a small pub that she co-owns, rather than spending her time making a name for herself in London. She wants to spend more time with her daughter, Grace, who is eleven years old.

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Not my favorite book in this series

Thanksgiving in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 10)

By: Kathi Daley

Rating: 3 of 5

I’ll start off by saying that I have been a real fan of this series. For some reason, though, in this book, the author has changed her style tremendously.

Instead of action, there is a lot of talk. A whole lot of talk. Rather than sleuthing, it seems that TJ talks to her boyfriend Kyle, to the police friend Roy, and to just about everyone else about what happened and what her various pet theory of the moment is.

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An impulsive and emotional sleuth but a funny twist on a whodunnit

Not A Creature Was Stirring (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery Book 1)

By: Christina Freeburn

Rating: 3.5 of 5

I’ve read other books by this author, so I thought I would take a chance on reading this new series. I love Christmas and Christmas-themed books, so a book about a Christmas crafter seemed like a natural fit for me. In many ways it was but, on the whole, I would rate it as a 3.5.

The plot and the dialog of the story are very appealing. What is a little less appealing is the main character, Merry Winters. While I like facets of her quite well, she seems to be out of control emotionally (lots of tears.)

Another less appealing aspect of Merry is her inability to stop herself from doing things that put her at risk. When she is told not to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar, she’ll be doing it shortly.

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A Christmas mystery with a host of great recipes

The Candy Cane Caper (Cozy Culinary Mystery Book 13)

By: Josi S. Kilpack

Rating: 5 of 5

When I first started reading this book, I had no idea it was part of a series, let alone the 13th book of that series. It can absolutely be read stand-alone. However, was I read it, I was hooked and will go back and read the rest of the series from the beginning.

This is not a murder mystery. It is solving a theft whodunnit. While I had some idea of who might have been involved, I was surprised by the total resolution.

Sadie Hoffmiller is the sleuth in this book. Her best friend, Mary, is much older (at 94) and is in hospice and not expected to live through Christmas.

Sadie helps Mary decorate her last Christmas tree. Mary is unable to see but get feel her ornaments, which turn out to be antiques that are extremely valuable. When some of the ornaments turn up missing, Sadie decides she must solve the case and get those ornaments back without Mary knowing they were ever gone.

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Jaine Austen finds a romance writing gig and murder and mayhem soon follow

Death of a Gigolo (A Jaine Austen Mystery)

By: Laura Levine

Rating: 4 of 5

This is a long-running mystery series about a would-be writer who has to scrounge writing jobs to make a living.

In this entry in the series, Jaine has found a writing gig in a genre that is different that what she is used to. In addition to that, Jaine is getting back together with her ex-husband, much to the chagrin of her friends.

The writing gig is to co-write a romance novel with a very rich woman. It turns out that co-writing is a stretch of the term as Jaine seems to be writing it on her own.

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Another great mystery in the new Granny Reid mystery series

Murder in the Corn Maze (A Granny Reid Mystery Book 2)

By: G. A. McKevett

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve just been introduced to this talented author. I have read the first book in this series and am going backwards to read the series from which this is a spin-off. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading her books and will be looking forward to more books in this series.

While this book can be read stand-alone, I highly recommend reading the first book in this series so you can understand how Stella Reid got custody of her seven grandchildren and the backyard of many of the characters.

In this story, The Reid family is part of the Halloween parade and contest. From there, they move on to the Halloween Maze at the home of the richest family in McGill, Georgia. While only the oldest actually go into the maze with Stella, they still manage to get lost. In trying to find a way out, the eldest grandchild finds a particularly gruesome skeleton that turns out to be real and not merely a Halloween scary prop.

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Granny Reid is on the case in this first book in a spin-off mystery series

Murder in Her Stocking (A Granny Reid Mystery Book 1)

By: G. A. McKevett

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a spin-off of a long-running and popular mystery series. I haven’t read the original series (but I will having already bought several of the first ones after I read this book.) I noted that the very beginning and the very end of this book contains potential spoilers for individuals like me, who have not read the first series.

Granny is a granny; however, in this series she is known as Stella Reid. Stella lives for the days when she has her seven grandchildren with her. It doesn’t happen too often as she and her daughter-in-law do not have a good relationship.

The grandchildren are living a hard life and their father, Stella’s son, has all but abandoned them. Their mother is a drunk and a bit of a floozy, going so far as to bring her male friends home with her.

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A great new start to a pre-World War II mystery series set in Europe

Death in Focus: An Elena Standish Novel

By: Anne Perry

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a story set in pre-World War II Europe. There is a debate about Hitler is a good thing for Germany or if he is a horrible individual who will bring death and destruction to Europe once again. Since looking back at history gives us twenty-twenty vision, we know now that Hitler was the latter.

This story is about a young woman, Elena Standish, who originally worked for the British government. However, she was duped and it resulted in her changing professions. She is now a photographer and is trying to make a name for herself.

This story not only introduces Elena but also various members of her family. There are many surprises with regards to those individuals and what they have done in the past and are still doing at the time this story is set.

Elena ends up finding out for herself just how serious things are beginning to take shape in Germany. She begins to take her stance and find her way once again.

I’m looking forward to reading more in this series. The author touched on many things that were heartbreaking and, at the same time, was able to write a compelling mystery as well.

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