Category Archives: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

A new cozy mystery series set in an candy shop in Amish country

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 1)

By: Amanda Flower

Rating: 5 of 5

Bailey King is about to become the head chocolatier at JP Chocolates in New York City. She rushes to Harvest, Ohio, when she receives word that her grandfather is very ill. By the time she arrives, he has left the hospital and she comes across him standing on the sidewalk in front of the candy shop he runs with her grandmother.

The thing is, both her grandfather and grandmother are Amish and Bailey certainly is not. Notwithstanding that, Bailey learned her love of making candy and working with chocolate in her grandparents shop, Swissmen Sweets.

Just as she arrives, her grandfather is embroiled in a heated discussion with a man who is trying to buy Swissmen Sweets. Her grandfather says no and, before the discussion ends, crumples to the sidewalk.

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A great new murder mystery series set in post World War II London, England

The Right Sort of Man

By: Allison Montclair 

Rating: 5 of 5

Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge are two survivors of World War II England. They come from different backgrounds (though they knew each other slightly before the war.) The are trying to find their way after the war has shattered the futures they envisioned for themselves.

They come together to make new lives for themselves. Iris is looking for a way to forget her past and settle into a safer life. Gwendolyn is a war widow and is struggling to prove that she can support her young son and wrest control of his future from his father’s family.

The come up with The Right Sort of Marriage. It is a modern marriage bureau and promises its prospective clients that they will help them find a mate who is the perfect one for them. They are doing okay but they do have an individual who collects payment when it is not forthcoming. This is one of the funnier parts of an amusing tale.

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A murder mystery series revolving around a group of intrepid quilters

A Patchwork of Clues (Queen Bees Quilt Shop Book 1)

By: Sally Goldenbaum

Rating: 4 of 5

“A Patchwork of Clues” is a new murder mystery series which involves a group of quilters who meet at the Queen Bees Quilt Shop. It is an ensemble cast though Portia Paltrow (aka Po), is the central character in many ways. To be honest, I keep thinking of Kung Fu Panda, each time I read her name and it was a bit distracting!

As with most book series which a large group of characters, much of the first book is spent introducing each character and how they relate to one another rather than in the actual whodunnit. The plot of the mystery was interesting but I would have liked it fleshed out a bit more. I expect that future books will give more details.

A murder occurs right outside their favorite store and, for a time, the quilters have to meet at Po’s home. While there, they decide they must solve the murder and remove suspicion from the quilt show owner.

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Second novel in a gourmet organic cat food murder mystery series

The Trouble with Truth (A Gourmet Cat Mystery Book 2)

By: Kathy Krevat

Rating: 4 of 5

Colbie Summers is the owner of Meowio Batali gourmet, organic cat food. She is also the mother of Elliot, who is a 12 year old who wants to be a theatrical star.

Colbie started her cat good business when her cat, Trouble, had digestive problems. The business has grown and she now has a great contract with a San Diego based store. Her product is set to launch with a big splash, including lots of media coverage.

While she is going busy (and slightly crazy with work), a murder occurs for which one of her part time employees is targeted as the murderer. Colbie is called on to figure out the murder because her friend needs help.

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Second book in this oh, so funny mystery series

Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery Book 2)

By: Dana Dratch

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the second book in the Red Herring Mystery series. I recommend reading the first book first, not only for continuity but also so you can laugh yourself silly.

I often wonder at how, with so many books written, an author can find an unusual take on cozy mysteries and to do so with a crazy sense of humor. I still don’t understand it but Dana Dratch has the method down pat.

In this book our sleuth, Alex Vlodnachek (aka Red because of her red hair), has started to settle down into a routine. Her brother, Nick, has moved in to save money while he jump starts his new bakery business. His dog, Lucy, has settled in, too, though she still raises a lot of havoc.

Alex works hard to keep the mortgage paid and food and other necessities of life up to date. She uses her PR skills to find writing gigs. She also finds time to visit with her new boyfriend, Ian, who owns the B&B across the street.

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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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