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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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Filed under book reviews, Cozy Mystery, Women Mystery Authors

Lee Hollis Has a Sure Winner in Death of a Coupon Clipper

Death of a Coupon ClipperDeath of a Coupon Clipper

By: Lee Hollis

Copyright: July 2013

Publisher: Kensington Mystery

From Publisher’s Blurb

Hayley Powell, food and cocktails columnist for Bar Harbor’s Island Times, is. . .well, kind of broke. So when she’s selected for that extreme coupon-clipping reality game show coming to town. . .. . . she’s thrilled, especially when her competition is nasty nurse Candace Culpepper. But when Haley stumbles across a face-down-in-the-snow Candace–scissors gleaming between her shoulders–she knows the next thing she’ll be selected for will probably be a police line-up.

Meanwhile, though Hayley’s BFF Mona was only joking about “taking Candace out,” Bruce Linney, the Island Times crime reporter, definitely isn’t laughing. And what about the smarmy, cold-hearted host of the show, Drew Nickerson, who may have been having a steamy affair with the intentionally-iced nurse? Hayley needs to cut to the chase and find the killer. Everything may hinge on a stray coupon, but Hayley better keep her eyes on the real grand prize: staying out of permanent cold storage! 


People say that having bad luck is better than no luck at all. Right now Hayley is not too sure about that.  After an interesting day at the paper (her boss Sal’s wife is away and he’s incapable of caring for himself) she drives herself home carefully taking care on the icy roads.  Upon arriving home she pulls into her garage and steps out of the car and was about to step into the house when she heard this awful sound, creaking and groaning. She looked up to see her garage rood starting to buckle.  She barely makes it to safety when the roof collapses totaling her car.

Continuing in this vein Hayley goes into the house only to find that her ancient heating system has given up the ghost. After spending the night in the cold she called her go to guy who gave her the estimate on replacing the old boiler and she nearly has a heart attack. No way can she afford this or the repair to the garage. She needs to find a way to get money fast.  Needing some shopping therapy she visits the supermarket and overhears a conversation about an upcoming reality game show being taped in town. Of course it was her lifelong enemy who she overhears as she pretends not to have heard anything.

Hayley moves in with her brother temporarily and signs up for the contest, little knowing that her biggest competitor is about to be “clipped” not only from the competition but this world. 

Want to know more? Beg, borrow, or steal a copy of Death of a Coupon Clipper and spend an afternoon enjoying a great story.

About the author: (from the publisher’s site)

Lee Hollis is the pen name for a brother and sister writing team. Rick Copp is a veteran film and television writer/producer and also the author of two other mystery novel series. He lives in Palm Springs, California. Holly Simason is an award winning food and cocktails columnist for the Mount Desert Islander newspaper in Bar Harbor, Maine, where she resides.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received an  ARC of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and impartial review.

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Antiques Disposal is a Fantastic Southern Cozy

Antiques Disposal

By Barbara Allan

Copyright May 2012

Publisher Kensington Books


Autumn has descended on Serenity, that quiet, cozy town nestled in the crook of the mighty Mississippi River—or, one might say, with crooks. For the rain and fog have also brought an undercurrent of chaos—and it’s not just because the fall colors clash alarmingly with Vivian Borne’s pantsuits. The only remedy is a trash ‘n’ treasures shopping spree. But the Bornes are about to get more than they bargained for…
Brandy Borne and her suspiciously well-informed mother, Vivian, have the winning bid on an abandoned storage unit’s “mystery” contents, which they discover includes a vintage cornet. But when they arrive to claim the rest of their loot, the space is empty—except for the recently stowed body of Big Jim Bob, Vivian’s tipster—a.k.a. former flame. Only one thing is certain: someone has definitely put the “rage” in storage!

Murder turns to mayhem when an intruder steals into the Borne home, tries to mete out some ruff justice to Brandy’s ferociously fluffy shih tzu, Sushi, and makes off with the cornet. But why is the horn worth killing for? Clues soon lead the sleuthing Borne duo to the next stashed victim—and some of Serenity’s juiciest secrets. Now Brandy and Mother will have to play a perilous game of cat-and-mouse droppings to catch the corpse-hoarding killer before it’s time to blow “Taps” for all concerned…


Brandy’s mother, Vivian is ready to do the storage unit auctions.  She’s got a hot tip on one from a former “flame” (who comes off as rather shifty)and rushes them out to get there early.  After greeting Big Jim Bob, and checking in… they wait for the storage unit’s locks to be clipped and the assembled bidders to take turns inspecting it visually from outside the opened gate.

Vivian, who thinks there is something valuable in the mix, bids it up.  Surprisingly she is the winner and goes to pay her money and check out the unit.  After packing Brandy’s big Buick with everything that would fit, they head home with their booty.  After a short discussion Brandy has some lunch and then she and her sister rejoin Vivian to look at what they bought.  In one of the boxes they find a Cornet (smaller then a trumpet) and Vivian decides that it is worth some money and has Brandy bring it out to lock in their garage storage area.

That is the beginning of an adventure that leads to multiple deaths and problems for Brandy and Vivian.  They have unwittingly been sucked into a plot that crosses state lines and involves secrets in places they never wanted to be searching.


I love Brandy and Vivian’s adventures.  Viv is a classic piece of work, and Brandy is the long suffering daughter.  I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and recommend it to all lovers of Southern Cozies.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received the ARC of this book from the publisher, who only asked for a fair and impartial review.


Filed under book reviews, Cozy Mystery

The Wedding You’ll Never Forget – Bagpipes, Brides, and Homicides

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book to preview and review. It is definitely a Beach Book, and a Summer Vacation take along. You wont be sorry you bought it. 


Bagpipes, Brides, and Homicides

By Kaitlyn Dunnett

Copyright August 2012

Publisher Kensington


Moosetookalook, Maine, has never seen so many bare legs walking its streets. It could only mean one thing: the Western Maine Highland Games are in town for the weekend. But instead of wondering who’ll win the hammer throw, everyone’s asking who got kilt…

Even if Liss MacCrimmon, soon to be Mrs. Dan Ruskin, spends her days running the Moosetookalook Scottish Emporium, all she wants is a simple white wedding as she walks down the aisle accompanied by her father. When it comes to weddings, however, her mother, Vi, has another idea about tradition. Instead of white, Vi sees tartan, tartan, and more tartan.

What bonnie luck then that Liss and Dan’s wedding is scheduled on the same weekend as the Western Maine Highland Games. What could make a nuptial weekend more memorable than a hammer throw or medieval reenactment group to go along with the tossing of the bouquet? How about a charming college professor found slashed to death by his own reproduction of a broadsword?

But who’d go medieval on a professor, no matter how nutty? Turns out the deceased had plenty of enemies, including a line of female conquests stretching back to the dark ages, a band of picketers protesting his historically questionable theories, and a strapping collegiate with a howdy-doody smile. And topping the suspect list is Liss’s own father, Donald “Mac” MacCrimmon!

As much as Liss tries to keep her fingers out of the sleuthing cake, she finds herself again dead center of a Moosetookalook murder mystery. If Liss doesn’t solve this one, and quick, she might never say “I do,” let alone “’til death do us part.” 


Liss is a very nervous bride to be. It’s not just the plans for the wedding (which her mother wants to take over), it’s also finding a dress (which her mom has already designed in  her head), keeping up with her online sales, and spending quality time with her fiancé.  On top of all that she’s got another murder to solve so that the nuptials can take place on schedule.

Why is Liss involved in another murder you might ask… well her dad’s under suspicion of killing a college professor that his wife once had an affair with.  Don’t you just love it when your past comes back to bite you in the butt?

All Liss wanted was a romantic Church Wedding, something that was simple and elegant.  I totally loved the book and the fact that the romance between Liss and Dan is there to be seen, and even the love between her parents. All in all this is a great summer read for anyone looking for a cozy to take along to the beach or on summer vacation.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher who only asked for a fair review in return.

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Filed under Advanced Sneak Peak, book reviews, Cozy Mystery

The Simmons Sisters are the Dynamic Duo of Longley NY

A Catered St. Patrick’s Day

By Isis Crawford

Copyright February 2012

Publisher Kensington Publishing


Gastronomical dream team Bernie and Libby Simmons wade into a Celtic knot of malice and mayhem when a St. Patrick’s celebration goes terribly wrong…

To most of the people of little Longely, New York, St. Paddy’s Day means good food, great music, and plenty of Guinness. But when the lifeless body of Mike Sweeney floats to the top of a vat of green beer, it looks like the luck o’ the Irish has just run out.

Unfortunately for the Simmons sisters, the number one suspect is related to one of their very best catering customers, the pampered and powerful Bree Nottingham. When Bree visits A Little Taste of Heaven to beseech them to clear her nephew’s name, they just can’t say no.

But the more information Bernie and Libby stir up, the more Duncan Nottingham looks like a killer. Known for his hot temper and love of the drink, Duncan and the deceased were both part of the Corned Beef and Cabbage Club, a group with more buried history than the Emerald Isle. And each member—especially Duncan—had a motive to sing Sweeney his last Irish lullaby. A motive they don’t want anyone revealing.

For Bernie and Libby, the situation is deadly and in danger of boiling over. And they can’t count on good old Saint Pat to drive out the snake in their midst…they’ll have to do it themselves, before a murderer strikes again.

The Dynamic Duo of Bernie and Libby Simmons are well known in their hometown of Little Longley, New York. It was a little after 9 am one morning and Bernie and Libby were working in their shop kitchen rolling out pie dough for sale and special orders.  They were thinking how quiet things had been lately with no crimes to get involved in and even things in the shop were running smoothly.  Too bad this wasn’t going to last.

When Bernie’s cell phone rang and she looked at the caller ID she was surprised when the call was from her boyfriend Brandon. Brandon should have been in bed already after working the late shift at RJ’s a local bar. With no explanations he insists that the sisters come and meet him at the back of the bar.  When they arrive he explains that he found a dead body in the barrel of green beer that had been ordered for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

The body is identified as Mike Sweeney, a member of the Corned Beef and Cabbage Club.  Brandon told them a story about the past evenings events featuring Mike Sweeney being forcibly removed from the premises after he attempted to crack the barrel and “taste” the beer.

Bree Nottingham, the local bigwig in the real estate business asks them to meet with her in their apartment. She needs to talk to them. Her nephew Duncan (a member of the Corned Beef and Cabbage Club) is arrested for the murder and she offers to pay for their help. All the evidence found points to Duncan being the guilty party and Bree says she just knows he’s innocent.  She tells them that she wants to hire them to investigate the case and prove his innocence.  They are shocked when she hands them a check for a five figure amount, and finally agree to help her.

It appears that at every turn the Dynamic Duo are going to be hitting their heads against a wall as they find nothing that will help Duncan’s case.

This mystery is well written, and the characters are all three dimensional. Even the peripheral people they run into appear to be there for specific reasons and the story just flows so smoothly you’ll be surprised to find yourself at the end of the book and the truth will out.

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


Filed under Cozy Mystery