Murder at Lambswool Farm
By: Sally Goldenbaum
Copyright: May 2016
Publisher: Obsidiium Mystery
Seaside Knitter Birdie Favazza has long loved knitting, but lately she’s taken on a new challenge—making a family farm operational again. With help from friends, Lambswool Farm is now up and running, with thriving crops and grazing sheep. In addition, the farm will host rustic, six-course prix fixe dinners plated by local chefs and served on a gorgeous restored harvest table, decorated to perfection with colorful knitted vegetables crafted by Izzy Chambers Perry, her aunt Nell, and the other Seaside Knitters.
But on the night of the first meal, everything spins out of control when one of the guests, Seaside Harbor’s family physician, is found dead on the property. It seems that behind Dr. Alan Hamilton’s friendly bedside manner was a man worth killing.
Soon the town is gossiping and pointing fingers at all possible suspects—including the women at Lambswool Farm. Now the Seaside Knitters must join together to uncover the truth in Dr. Hamilton’s complicated past—and restore peace to town and country alike.
I’ve read a number of Ms Goldenbaum’s books over the years and have enjoyed them all. This book reaches new heights in the way her characters act and how much effort they put into solving a mystery that involves the happiness of the entire community.
I haven’t done much blogging this last year or so but this book is bringing the words back into my fingers. The stranger who comes to town out of nowhere, who spends his time investigating the town and the people in it. The guileless way he appears to talk to people and make friends. All this and more make Murder at Lambswool Farm the BEST in the series. I strongly suggest reading it if you love mystery stories.
FTC Full Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library with no thought that I’d review it.
Author: Joseph Finder
Copyright: June 2015
When former investigative reporter Rick Hoffman loses his job, fiancée, and apartment, his only option is to move back into — and renovate — the home of his miserable youth, now empty and in decay since the stroke that put his father in a nursing home.
As Rick starts to pull apart the old house, he makes an electrifying discovery — millions of dollars hidden in the walls. It’s enough money to completely transform Rick’s life — and everything he thought he knew about his father. Yet the more of his father’s hidden past that Rick brings to light, the more dangerous his present becomes. Soon, he finds himself on the run from deadly enemies desperate to keep the past buried, and only solving the mystery of his father — a man who has been unable to communicate, comprehend, or care for himself for almost 20 years — will save Rick… if he can survive long enough to do it.
This is probably the most interesting and mind boggling book I’ve read in many years. I’d seen the blurb somewhere on line and immediately put it on hold at my local library. I’ve been reading it for almost a week and had trouble putting it down when there were other things I needed to be doing.
This is a story, a murder mystery, and an adventure. It all happens because a young man (Rick Hoffman) is “downsized” from his second career choice job (lots of glitz and money but no substance. He lost everything that he thought mattered to him and finds himself living in his old family home. The house is decrepit and in need of major repairs before he can sell it and have money to move on with.
His next door neighbor approaches him with an offer to do the repairs for a share of the sale. The next day he and this neighbor do some basic work tearing out a wall and Rick sees something hidden between the walls and at that moment his whole life is changed. Rick now wants to find out the truth about his father who has been in a nursing home for eighteen years after supposedly having a stroke. His research into his father’s life will lead him down a path full of danger and possible death.
If you read any book this year you need to make it this one.
FTC Full Disclosure: I took this book out of the Brooklyn Public Library
A Change in Altitude
By: Cindy Meyere
Copyright: July 2014
Publisher: Kensington Fiction
With local Maggie Stevens’ baby on the way–not to mention her wedding to Jameso Clark in the works–spring in Eureka promises to be a time of rebirth in more ways than one. To add to the excitement, and refill the town’s depleted coffers, Lucille, the mayor, has wooed a movie producer to Eureka, throwing folks into a tizzy–and inspiring some to reach for the stars. As if that weren’t enough, the bogus Lucky Lady mine the town partially sold turns out to really have gold in it–and possibly a ghost to boot. But with each silver lining, there seems to be a cloud. . .
With Eureka’s financial future at stake, Lucille will have to wrangle Lucky Lady’s greedy half-owner to regain control. Meanwhile, just as Jameso is getting comfortable with the imminent role of husband and father, his wayward sister, Sharon, comes to Eureka to escape a troubled marriage. Can the residents of Eureka find the courage to stand up to ghosts of all kinds and get their beloved town back on its feet in time to welcome their newest addition–and celebrate the gifts of spring. . .?
Spring is looking to be a very interesting time this year. The town is mostly broke, weddings are planned, and the Mayor is desperate to bring money into the town’s coffers. What must be done, what can be done?
This is a very tricky story to read and review. There are so many things going on at once that you need to take notes to know what the characters are doing and who they might be related to. Let’s start with Sharon. She is running for a husband who is a danger to her, her daughter Alina and lastly to himself. Sharon and Alina make a cross country escape in a car that might or might not make it. She is praying that her brother (who she hasn’t heard from in years) will be able to help them. Driving into town Sharon is met by another character who will be looking into her life Sergeant Josh Miller who pulls up behind her parked car to see if she needed any help.
Then we have her brother Jameso (AKA Jay Clarkson) who is getting married and his intended bride is pregnant…
So much is going on, and only 302 pages to fit it all into. This book starts out as if it would be a 500 pager but it will surprise you how quickly you will fall into the cadence of reading, and ignoring the world around you as you engage with the people of Eureka and their lives. I’ve probably left out a bunch of people who are going to make you want to slap them, or laugh at them.. but that’s my job as a reviewer. This book is an intriguing story and I honestly think you should beg, borrow or steal a copy to hide in your reading corner with.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.
Death on Eat Street
Author: J.J. Cook
Copyright: April 2014
Publisher: Berkeley Prime Crime
Zoe Chase always wanted to own her own restaurant—but first, she’ll have to serve up a heaping helping of meals on wheels, with a side of mystery…
When she’s once again passed over for a promotion at work, Zoe decides to take the big leap and go for her dream. She quits, gives up her fancy digs, and buys a fixer-upper diner in a shady part of town. To keep above water during the renovation, she buys a used food truck to serve the downtown and waterfront of Mobile, Alabama.
Zoe starts to dish out classic Southern food—but her specialty is her deep-fried biscuit bowls that blow traditional bread bowls away.
After a promising start, things start to go downhill faster than a food truck without brakes. First, someone tries to rob the cash register. Next, Zoe is threatened by the owner of a competing food truck for taking their spot. And when the owner ends up dead inside Zoe’s rolling restaurant, Zoe and her sole employee, Ollie, find themselves hopping out of the frying pan into the fryer. They need to find the real killer, before both of them get burned.
Zoe has reached her breaking point. Between a cheating boyfriend, being constantly passed over for promotion at work, and the most pushy mother in the world she’s had it! Zoe is going to reach for her dream of owning her own restaurant.
She buys a closed diner and does enough to bring the kitchen up to code. But to raise the money needed for a full refit and updating she decides to run a food truck to raise the money to finish her dream plan. It’s hard work and she’s fighting against all the established operators and the interference of family. After an argument with one of the other truck owners who park down by the police station she comes back to the restaurant and has another unending fight with her ex.
To make matters worse she is out of the truck for maybe half an hour and comes back to find a dead body wedged into her truck cab.
This is just the start of J.J. Cook’s new Biscuit Bowl Mystery series and if you want to know more about this first adventure you’re going to have to beg, borrow or steal a copy. I find that the mix of characters (her family and street people) make for a great read. I’m not handing out any spoilers. LOL
FTC Full Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the authors who only asked for a fair and impartial review.
Playing 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.
The Missing Dough
By: Chris Cavender
Copyright: December 2013
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?
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.