Panthers Play for Keeps is a Sure Winner

Panthers Play For KeepsPanthers Play for Keeps
By: Clea Simon
Copyright: April 2014
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

When Pru Marlowe takes a dog for a walk, she doesn’t expect to find a body. But Spot, a service dog in training, has too good a nose not to lead her to the remains of the beautiful young woman, and despite her own best instincts, Pru can’t avoid getting involved. The young woman seems to have been mauled by a wild cat – and Pru knows there have been no pumas in the Berkshire woods for years. And while Wallis, Pru’s curmudgeonly tabby, seems fixated on the idea of a killer cat, Spot has been sending strange signals to Pru’s own heightened senses, suggesting that the violent death was something more than a tragic accident. As motives multiply, a cougar of a different sort sets her eyes on Pru’s sometime lover, and another woman disappears. With panther panic growing, Pru may have to put aside her own issues – and her own ideas of domesticity – to solve a savage mystery.


Pru has found a new source of income and is now training a service dog for someone who will be losing his sight totally over the next few weeks. While out on a training session in a nearby wooded area Spot finds the body of a young woman who appears to have been attacked by a wild animal.
This time out Pru is dealing not only with a dog who is being trained, but the foster home that Spot is living in while training and the family that he will eventually be caring for. The cast of characters here are as varied as much as their hidden secrets. Not only do they have secrets that they share but also secrets from each other.
Pru has to work her way through a jungle of problems as the bodies begin to pile up and also deal with her personal life and her connection to the Detective in charge. She must learn to listen to Wallace, Spot and a host of other pets.
I’ll say it again, each new adventure in this series gets deeper and more intense as the author carries her creations to new heights of angst and anxiety. I highly recommend that you read this book. Beg, borrow or steal a copy, just read it and enjoy.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher who only requested a fair and impartial review.

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May 2014 Books

Week of May 1st. – 9th

Her Perfect Mate – X-Ops #1 – Paige Tyler
The Goodbye Witch – A Wishcraft Mystery #4 – Heather Blake
Slightly Spellbound – Southern Witch # 4 – Kimberly Frost
Alien Collective – Alien #9 – Gini Koch
Fire Kin – The Half-Light City #4 – M.J. Scott
The Unforgiven – League of the Dark Swan #2 – Alyssa Day
The Pickled Piper – Pickled and Preserved Mystery #1 – Mary Ellen Hughes
Boiled Over – A Main Clambake Mystery #2 – Barbara Ross
It Happened One Wedding – Julie James
The One – A Selection Novel – A Fairy Tale Romance – Kierra Cass
The Cat, the Vagabond and the Victim – Cats in Trouble #5 – Leeann Sweeney *
Catnapped! – A Dead End Job Mystery #12 – Elaine Viets *
A Dollhouse to Die For – Cate Price *
Fleur de Lies – Passport to Peril #9 – Maddy Hunter *
Angora Alibi – Seaside Knitters Mystery #7 – Sally Goldenbaum *
The Goodbye Witch – Wishcraft Mystery #4 – Heather Blake *
Death of a Mad Hatter – Hat Shop Mystery #2 – Jenn McKinlay *
Murder Gone A-Rye – A Baker’s Treat Mystery – Nancy J. Parra *
Jailhouse Glock – A Dead Sister Talking Mystery #2 – Liz Lipperman *
Midnight Crossroad – 1st in a new trilogy – Charlaine Harris *
Thunder Struck – Weather Witch #3 – Shannon Delany *
Last Licks – Sunny & Shadow Mystery #3 – Claire Donally *
Murder in Marino – Seaside Knitters Mystery #8 – Sally Goldenbaum *
Death at the Door – A Death on Demand Mystery – Carolyn Hart *
Chantress Alchemy – Amy Butler Greenfield *
Unexpected – Lori Foster
Frankenstorm- A Novel – Ray Garton
Boiled Over – A Main Clambake Mystery #2 – Barbara Ross

Week of May 12th

Odin’s Ravens – The Blackwell Pages – K.L. Armstrong/ M.A. Marr
Obsidian Curse – Stacy Justice #5 – Barbra Annino

Week of May 19th

Against the Dawn – A Shaede Assassin Novel – Amanda Bonilla *
Booty Bones – Sara Booth Delaney #14 – Carolyn Haines *

Call of the Siren – A Demons of Infernum Novel – Rosalie Lario

Week of May 26th

Jail House Crock – Dead Sister Talking #2 – Liz Lipperman
Catnapped – Dead End Job – Elaine Viets
Banishing the Dark – Arcadia Bell Novel #4 – Jenn Bennett
The Immortal Crown – An Age of X Novel #2 – Richelle Mead
Til Dirt do us Part – Local Foods Mystery #2 – Edith Maxwell
Skin Game – Dresden Files #15 – Jim Butcher *
City of Heavenly Fire – Mortal Instruments #6 – Cassandra Clare *
Hunt the Darkness – Guardians of Eternity #11 – Alexandra Ivy
Down by the River – A Smokey Mountain Novel – Lin Stepp
Death in Saratoga Springs – A Gilded Age Mystery – Charles O’Brien
The Right Thing – A Novel of Friendship – Amy Conner
Against the Wild – The Brodies of Alaska – Kat Martin


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Grey Howl is a Classic Mystery Read

Grey HowlGrey Howl
By: Clea Simon
Copyright: March 2014
Publisher: Severn House

A prestigious literature conference is convening in Cambridge and Dulcie Schwartz is the university liaison for the event, meeting and greeting some of the finest minds in her field.

But events do not run according to plan when one scholar’s presentation is sabotaged while another visiting professor disappears. As Dulcie and her boyfriend Chris struggle to solve problems and soothe egos, a strange apparition starts to haunt the bi-annual event. And even Mr Gray, the ghost of Dulcie’s late, great cat,,appears to be overwhelmed, leaving Dulcie to manage an increasingly backstabbing crew of professional rivals, one of whom may be a killer.

Dulcie’s life feels like it’s spinning out of control. She is going to be presenting a paper at the conference taking place at her university so of course the department chair has decided that she also has to be in charge of taking care of everything else also. Meeting the visiting scholars, making sure they have what they need while still trying to have a life of her own is in a word daunting.
Things start going sideways when one of the scholars asks for help retrieving the file that supposedly contained her notes for her presentation, and claiming that someone has sabotaged her computer. Finding out that everyone in the visiting group has a past that crossed lines over the years (and also having affairs with each other) is making it difficult for her to keep them in line.
Add in some possible poisonings, a dead body, and once again being seen as a person of interest by the police is making Dulcie wonder why she ever let her boss push her into being liaison to the visiting trouble makers.
Clea Simon, in each succeeding book in this series is proving that she is up there with the greats. Her stories bring to mind authors like Dame Agatha Christie, John Sandford and J.J. Marric. Her ability to juggle so many people and multiple crossing plots make her books a genuine pleasure to read, collect and share with friends.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher who only asked for a fair and impartial review.

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April’s New Book Releases as I see it

April 2014


Week of April 1st

Ghost of a Gamble – Granny Apple #4 – Sue Ann Jaffarian

A Killing Notion – Magical Dressmaking #5 – Melissa Bourbon

Sugar and Iced – A Cupcake Bakery Mystery #6 – Jenn McKinlay

Stone Cold – Broken Magic #2 – Devon Monk

The Whole Cat and Caboodle – A Second Chance Cat Mystery #1 – Sofie Ryan

A Bat in the Belfry – A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery – Sarah Graves

Magical Misfire – A Southern Witch e-Novel – Kimberly Frost

Circle of Desire – Damask Circle #3 – Keri Arthur

Drowning in Fire – The Elementals #3 – Hanna Martine

Marked – A Mindspace Investigations Novel #3 – Alex Hughes

Death on Eat Street – Biscuit Bowl Food Truck #1 – J.J. Cook

The Day he Kissed Her – A Bad Boys of Crystal Lake Novel – Juliana Stone *

Under Stone Cold – A Constable Molly Smith Novel – Vickie Delaney

A Biscuit, A Casket – Gourmet Pet Food Mystery #2 – Liz Mugavero *

A Second Helping of Murder – Comfort Food Mystery #2 – Christine Wenger *

Bloom and Doom – A Bouquet Shop Mystery #1– Beverly Allen *

Uncertain Glory – Lea Wait *

Death Comes Quickly – China Bayles #22 – Susan Wittig-Albert *

A Roux of Revenge – Soup Lover’s Mystery #3 – Connie Archer *

Forget Me Not – Quilting Mystery – Fern Michaels *

Antiques Chop


Week of April 7th

Sea of Shadows – Age of Legends #1 – Kelley Armstrong

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3 – Laini Taylor *

Pack of Strays – Fangborn #2 – Dana Cameron *

Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover – Miss Julia Mystery – Ann B. Ross *


Week of April 14th.


Hanging by a Hair – Bad Hair Day #11 – Nancy J. Cohen

Guidebook to Murder – eBook – A Tourist Trap Mystery – Lynn Cahoon

Apart at the Seams – Cobble Court Quilt Mystery #6 – Marie Bostwick

Dances with Demons – Phoenix Chronicles Novella – Lora Handeland


Week of April 28th

How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) – Love at Stake #15 – Kerrelyn Sparks

Apart at the Seams – Cobbled Court Novel #6 – Marie Bostwick

The Taking – Kimberly Derting *

Half Moon Harbor – The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove #2 – Donna Kaufman  

Once Bitten, Twice Burned: A Phoenix Fire Novel – Cynthia Eden  

Antiques Con – A Tran & Treasures Mystery – Barbara Allan  

Dead Giveaway – Joanne Fluke     

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Playing with Fire is One Hot Read

Playing With FirePlaying with Fire

By: J.J. Cook

Copyright: January 2014

Publisher: Berkeley Prime Crime


Fire Chief Stella Griffin is working to solve the mysterious death of her predecessor, Eric Gamlyn—who also haunts her cabin. Yet the more she learns, the more burning questions she must answer. Just as Stella thinks she has a lead from Deputy Chum, someone snuffs her hopes—and the lawman.

Adding fuel to the fire, Stella’s parents soon arrive—with her ex-boyfriend—hoping to persuade her to return to Chicago. Now Stella is torn between the life she left behind and uncovering what happened to her ghostly friend. But she’d better think fast or more than her investigation could go up in flames.

Stella is being pulled from all sides. She needs to find out who murdered her predecessor and keep her parents at bay at the same time.  A retiring deputy visiting her with information he’d kept quiet about for years, exhuming the old chief’s body to find out who’s buried in the grave, and deciding whether to go back to Chicago are all weighing heavily on her.  On top of that her parents show up with her ex in tow to bring her home is really putting the cherry on top.

This second book in the Sweet Pepper series is bringing a lot of the storyline together in one book. I read this book with a sense of wonder and joy and pieces started to fall into place and the author’s talent takes us on a magical journey. I highly recommend this series to all lovers of cozies with a touch of the supernatural.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author who only requested that I write a fair and honest review.


Filed under book reviews, Mystery, Paranormal Cozy

Death of an Irish Diva is a Killer Read

Death of an Irish Diva Mech.inddDeath of an Irish Diva

Author: Mollie Cox Bryan

Copyright: February 2014

Publisher: Kensington Mystery


Spring is in the air, but the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop hardly have time to stop and smell the roses. Not when famed Irish dancer Emily McGlashen is found murdered in her studio just after the St. Patrick’s Day parade–and one of the Crop’s own members is the prime suspect. Vera’s dance studio may have suffered when Emily waltzed into town, but the croppers know she’s not a vengeful murderer. Lucky for her, co-scrapbooker Annie is a freelance reporter eager to vindicate her friend. What she discovers is a puzzling labyrinth of secrets that only add question marks to Emily’s murder. Just when it seems they’ve run out of clues, an antique scrapbook turns up and points the croppers in the right direction–and brings them face to face with a killer more twisted than a Celtic knot…

What do you do when your friend’s property is found near a dead person, and she becomes the main “person of interest” to the police?  You call out the troops and find out who really killed the Diva from Hell.  Emily McGlashen came into Cumberland Creek and opened up her Irish Dance Studio. After which she started courting Vera’s students left and right. Poor Vera has had to rent out her house (to make the mortgage payments) and move into the small apartment over her studio.

Her friend Annie picks up the gauntlet and heads out to turn over every rock till she finds out just who this Emily really is and why she was killed (other than for being a totally disagreeable person)and bring the real killer to justice.

Mollie Cox Bryan has written two other books in this series but in my opinion this is the most daring and involved mystery to date.  The number of possible suspects and the fact that Emily was so well hated make this journey to justice extremely tortuous.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher who only asks for a fair and impartial review.

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The Missing Dough Will Thrill Your Taste Buds


The Missing DoughThe Missing Dough

By: Chris Cavender

Copyright:  December 2013

Publisher: Kensington

Maddy’s ex-husband, Grant Whitmore, has come back to Timber Ridge, North Carolina claiming he wants to patch things up. It’s soon evident that he has another motive altogether—Grant’s late mother left Maddy something in her will. Maddy refuses to sign the quitclaim that Grant brought with him, despite his threats. But Grant won’t be threatening anyone much longer, for later that night, his body is discovered near the Founder’s Day festival.

Matters are complicated even further when Grant’s sister shows up, accusing Maddy and her fiancé of having a part in the murder. As Eleanor and Maddy investigate, they find a great many people who might want to see Grant dead. But can they unearth the culprit before false accusations burn their reputations to a crisp?

My review:

Just when you think you can enjoy a quiet evening out with your sister and the guys the fly in the ointment appears.  Maddy’s ex shows up to cause trouble.  Supposedly he claims he wants her back, but she puts an end to that quickly. Grant then informs her that his mother had died and that Maddy was named in the will. He tries to get her to sign a quitclaim and she again tells him to take a hike.  But that’s not the end of the trouble when he shows up dead and Eleanor and Maddy have to find the real killer to keep their boyfriends out of jail.

Next layer of aggravation for the girls is the appearance of Maddy’s ex sister in law who accuses Maddy and her fiancé of her brother’s murder.  Mix in another layer which includes gangsters and threats and you have the most outrageous and interesting story yet in the Pizza Lovers Mystery series.

I highly recommend this book and all the previous ones as a great series to follow and own.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publishers who only requested a fair and impartial review.

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