Category: Mystery

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines

Posted September 13, 2017 by karenbaron in Animals, Cats, Cozy, Dogs, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn HainesSticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines
Published by Minotaur Books on May 16th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: Kindle

Private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends are celebrating New Year's Eve at the party of the year, a smashing Winter Garden party at the Prince Albert Hotel. It's a dazzling success...until Frangelica "Sister" McFee walks through the door. Sarah Booth knew Sister in college, before Sister became a bestselling author and moved to New York, and fame and fortune don't seem to have tempered her arrogance and cruelty.
Sister's latest book is a memoir about the death of her mother and brother many years ago. Now, a film about the book is in the works, and a film crew has descended upon Zinnia, Mississippi, to tell the complete tale. The film crew soon realizes there may be more to the story than meets the eye--or is told in Sister's memoir--and they hire Sarah Booth to discover the absolute truth about those deaths so many years ago. But Sarah Booth quickly realizes that someone is desperate to keep the truth hidden and will go to any lengths necessary to protect a long-held secret.
Carolyn Haines's next Sarah Booth Delaney novel, Sticks and Bones, is sure to delight series fans and newcomers alike.

Murder, mayhem, old money and family secrets. So fun.

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines is awesome, dahlink. I always find what Sarah Booth and Tinkie get messed up in will make me laugh.

I have read all the books in this series, they are all fabulous. I love Sunflower, Mississippi and the delta area where Sarah Booth lives. The culture and the people we meet through Sarah Booth’s adventures are extraordinary characters.

The mystery Sarah Booth and Tinkie are hired to solve this time really kept me guessing. I truly didn’t figure it out until almost end. Ms. Haines really kept me guessing. I actually dismissed the killer like three times in my head. The death of Son and Cleo McFee is a cold case that is brought up again by the release of a Sister McFee’s best-selling book, which was optioned into a movie deal. The movie production company has hired the ladies to find the truth.

I love the regular characters. Sarah Booth is feisty, stubborn, and brave. She will do anything for the people she loves. Tinkie is a petite, blond who the ability to make men bend to her will. They both run around with their pets, who create as much mischief as the two prying private eyes.

Sarah Booth seems to have decided on her beau finally. I kind of hoped that she might choose Harold, but Coleman and she have a great connection and they seem to be a good fit, too. I know that just making a choice will make Jitty happy.

The drama, lies, secrets, and dysfunction in this old money family is terrible. It is like the money has corrupted their entire beings. I love the way Ms. Haines incorporates all of this into the mystery and uses it to keep us guessing. Never underestimate what someone will do for money.

My rating is 5 stars, and I can’t wait for Sarah Booth and Tinkie’s next adventure. If you haven’t read any of the series you should definitely give it a shot.

**Sticks and Bones**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

About Carolyn Haines

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of over 70 books. She was the recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, as well as the “Best Amateur Sleuth” award by Romantic Times. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of.


Stormy Weather by Glen Ebisch

Posted September 7, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Fiction, Guest Post, Mystery, Review, Romance, Suspense, Thriller / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stormy Weather by Glen EbischStormy Weather by Glen Ebisch
Published by The Wild Rose Press on January 18th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 260
Format: Kindle
five-stars

When the body of Travis Lambert, senior meteorologist for a local television station, is found buried in a shallow grave next to the house of Stormy McCloud, junior meteorologist, things look bad for her. When the station hires Chance Malone to investigate the murder, her situation doesn’t improve. Malone is attractive, charming, and funny, all qualities that Stormy’s past experience with men has led her to avoid. It also doesn’t help that Stormy has little background or interest in religion, while Malone is the unusual private detective who has a Bible in his desk drawer rather than a bottle of scotch. When Stormy’s estranged mother appears on the scene, she also must decide whether to have a relationship with the woman who deserted her as a child. As the story proceeds, more is learned about the dark secrets of Travis’ life, and Stormy is forced to reconsider her view of men, her mother and her future.

The first thing that drew me in was the body being found in a big hole where a garage was supposed to be built that morning.  Then it turns out to be the daytime weather person……

My favorite character is Stormy McCloud the main character. She is a no-nonsense type of girl who doesn’t let her name get her down.  She might have issues in the relationship department due to her Mom taking off when she was young but she has major spunk.  She does whatever it takes to clear her name & won’t let Chance do much without her so she knows what is happening in the case at all times.

Chance Malone with ACME Investigations is awesome, too.  Everyone else is in it for how this situation (murder) will further their career or to cover up the murder.

I disliked Lieutenant Alan Green.  He seemed to be trying to blame the murder on Stormy just so he could close the case.  I understand the body was found in her yard but still – do your job.

My favorite part was when Malone attempts to rescue Stormy from Mr. Adams but she had already rescued herself.  I also loved when Stormy and Malone meet up with David to set him up to prove what he knew about the murder/missing stolen artifacts.

I absolutely loved hearing Stormy’s side and how she thinks everything through and comes to her own conclusions.

I loved all the scenarios of what Travis was killed for and why.  And why he was killed outside Stormy’s house. I actually figured out part of the mystery as to who the art thief was but not the killer since their relationship was hidden. I went through all different emotions – cringing, happy, skeptical, doubtful, relief.

The best quotes from the book are:

Chance Malone “Well, then you must know that the innocent sometimes end up in jail.”
Chance Malone “As the bible says sometimes the evil flourish like a green bay tree”

The author did a wonderful job, this was absolutely a page turner. I mean how could stolen artifacts and drugs not be something that someone would kill for? My rating is 5 stars. I loved it and would love to read more like this.  It took me a little to get into it but it’s really good!!

I was asked to read and review this book as a favor for Karen at the Baroness’ Book Trove and I am glad that I did. ~Melissa

five-stars

About Glen Ebisch

I have been a professor of philosophy for over thirty years. Most recently I retired from teaching at a small university in western Massachusetts. For much of that time I have also written mystery and suspense fiction, starting with books for young adults and moving on to writing for adults. I have had twenty-five books published, twelve of them in the last fifteen years as time has allowed me to write more. All are cozy in nature and suitable for any reader.

I live in western Massachusetts with my wife. My hobbies include reading (of course) and going to the gym. We also look forward to traveling to Maine and Cape May, New Jersey for our needed dose of the beach.


A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

Posted August 19, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Dogs, Ghosts, Guest Post, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Urban / 0 Comments

A Ghostly Light by Juliet BlackwellA Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell
Published by Berkley on June 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth... Dangerous tides ahead...  When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.   But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...

This lighthouse holds more than just light.

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell this is one of my favorite series. I truly love the mix of history, home renovation, paranormal, mystery and the quirkiness of San Francisco and the bay area.

The world that Ms. Blackwell has created by mixing fact and fiction is so believable. Honestly, I would like to hire Turner Construction just to be a little part of this world.

I really think that Mel is shining in this addition. It’s nice to see her with her new man Landon. She is so happy. She still has things to work on (such as her recent fear of heights0 but don’t we all. She is finally working through all of her jobs: ghost, construction or murder. Landon is extremely supportive. It’s so sweet.

Mel has two mysteries to solve: the recent murder that her friend has been accused of and the mystery of the lighthouse ghost. Ms. Blackwell does such a great job keeping the whole thing moving through the past, present and glimpses of the future.

I adored the lighthouse history that was included with the story. The treasure maps were so thoughtful. What a wonderful way to teach and entertain your child, so much better than handing them a cellphone to play with.

I found this quote online and thought it was such a great fit for this story. “Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” ~E.P. Whipple

My rating is 5 stars, of course. If you haven’t read the other books you should try the first book in the series, Home Renovation or you can just start with this one. I guarantee you will want more. Mel and her entourage are worth your time.

**A Ghostly Light**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Give up the Ghost gp

Posted August 18, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Give up the Ghost gpGive Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell
Published by NAL on December 1st 2015
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle
five-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Keeper of the Castle, San Francisco contractor and ghost whisperer Mel Turner must solve a murder mystery at a haunted mansion in the Pacific Heights...
San Francisco millionaire Andrew Stirling wants to sell his Victorian mansion, but ghostly music, the squeaking of a long-disappeared weathervane, and an angry ghost keep running off potential buyers. After a famous psychic is called in, she informs the Stirlings that their multi-million-dollar renovations to “update” the home have left its resident ghost extremely agitated. So contractor Mel Turner is engaged to track down and replace some of the original features of the house. 
But when the beautiful psychic is found stabbed, it appears someone had a very human motive for murder. Now Mel must use her ghost whispering gift to uncover the secrets of the haunted house on the hill, and her sleuthing skills to catch a killer.

Completely Spectacular!

Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell. I love this series. The cast of characters, the history, ghosts and of course the bay area. Juliet Blackwell nails the whole package together.

Mel Turner is wonderful, eccentric and knowledgeable. She has such a great personality. I loved the way she does what she wants to do. Only in San Francisco could a general contractor be a woman who shows up for work in sequins dresses and occasional feathers with steel toed work boots. It is great how she jumps in and gets the job done, whether it is helping a ghost, taking a wall down or putting in a window. She is so like her father. I like that she restores the homes instead of tearing them down or apart. She is like a ghost talking Rehab Addict.

In this addition to the series, Mel takes on a new project that starts out as one of her ghost helping clients, so murder is soon involved. Mel keeps asking questions until motives start to surface. We meet some new characters and some of the old return. Mel is different in this book, she doesn’t talk about running away to Paris, and she seems more accepting of her life as it is. Mel’s definitely fitting in her own skin now. Although she is still a workaholic, she seems to finally be over the ex and has an understanding of what she wants. Her Dad is sort of accepting of her ghost helping in the volume. Mel seems happy.

She has quite a collection of ghosts to assist this time. There is one ghost who cleans the kitchen when it is messy. Honestly, I think I would learn to get along with that ghost. In this book more so then before she has to jump through the living hoops to assist the ghosts. Mel meets the murder victims’ family, however this time she feels an unexpected pull towards the brother of the victim. Mel isn’t sure if she can trust her feelings as she doesn’t seem to know what she is doing with regards to this gentleman and her boyfriend is out of town (again) on business.

I think that Ms. Blackwell has created such a great world of rich characters and history. She makes it so easy to follow and has creative plots. I am giving this 5 Stars and completely recommended it. Such a wonderful cozy mystery.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

 

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five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Beyond Death by Deb McEwan

Posted August 6, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Death, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond Death by Deb McEwanBeyond Death (Afterlife, #1) by Deb McEwan
Published by Createspace on June 18th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 190
Format: ebook
four-stars

A DEAD WOMAN'S STORY
“With so many supernatural tales on the shelves it’s hard to find something genuinely original yet Beyond Death fits the description well, with author Deb McEwan bringing a distinctive new voice to this ever popular genre.” Book Viral
What really happens when we die? Twenty-something Claire Sylvester is about to find out. The morning after the best night of her life she is taken before her time.
Claire is suspended in her strange new world. She watches as the secret lives of those she loves unravels, and sadistic villains are punished on the road to their own personal hell.
All the while a higher authority ponders her ultimate fate.
More than Claire knows depends on her actions and those of the unlikely partner who accompanied her on her journey.
What will be her final destination?
Beyond Death - a supernatural thriller of love and loss, deceit and revenge, with a little romance and humour.

My take on this book:              Beyond Death by Deb McEwan is a pretty interesting read. What first caught my interest is the plot then the book cover. The plot was well-crafted and made me interested in reading the book. Since this book isn’t what I normally read and everyone who knows me and has read this blog knows that. I do know that this is bad to say but I also sometimes judge a book by its cover but not all the time. Anyways I’m giving this book a four-star rating because it did keep me entertained but it did have something keeping it from being five stars.

One of those things is how the first act seemed a bit choppy especially with introducing so many characters at first in the beginning and then not seeing them again until the middle act. She did have a lot of subplots going on and she did finish them all up which is a good thing. Ms. McEwan is a pretty good author and a bit of the book seemed like it still needed some work to truly be a good book. What I mean by that like she could have gone back to reread it and make sure that it flowed nicely with the rest of the book.

All the character in the book were very well developed and I liked them all. Even the ones that are evil because of how well developed they all are. I especially liked the transformations of Claire, Ken, and Ron. Claire because she did it the most. She died at a young age and has to go through with the fact that she isn’t alive anymore and that she needs to let go and forgive the people that she loves down on Earth. Ken also did the most as well. He was first introduced as a bad guy and then he died. He has been going through more of a tough time than Claire and Ron ever did since dying and he is hoping to redeem himself. Ron kind of did as well. The reason for that is because he is also trying to learn to let go and forgive the people that he loves down on Earth while trying to figure out if he should do a hard thing at the end of the book.

I do recommend this book to my more adult readers of this blog if they are interested in this book. Beyond Death is a good book and I am glad that the author contacted me to read it. I am also at this moment unsure if I will be reading the rest of this series.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

four-stars

About Deb McEwan

Following a career of over thirty years in the British Army, Deb and her husband moved to Cyprus to become weather refugees.

She’s written children’s books about Jason the penguin and Barry the reindeer and adult books about aliens, the afterlife, soldiers, and netball players.
The first book in the latest series ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ is set in nineteen seventies Britain. The second covers the early eighties and includes the Falklands War, service in Northern Ireland and (the former) West Germany. ‘Friends and Revenge’ is the third in the series, and takes a sinister turn of events.

‘Court Out (A Netball Girls’ Drama)’ is Deb’s latest book. Using netball as an escape from her miserable home life, Marsha Lawson is desperate to keep the past buried and to forge a brighter future. But she’s not the only one with secrets. When two players want revenge, a Tsunami of emotions is released at a tournament leaving destruction in its wake. As the wave starts spreading throughout the team, can Marsha and the others escape its deadly grasp, or will their emotional baggage pull them under, with devastating consequences for their families and team-mates? ‘Court Out’ will be published in August 2017.

Deb spends her time writing, avoiding housework and playing tour guide. She occasionally blogs about her books and (tongue in cheek) from Donut the dog’s point of view. She also tries – and mostly fails – to keep the pounds off.