Genre: Cozy

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.


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.


Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver

Posted August 3, 2017 by karenbaron in Audiobook, Cozy, Dogs, Review / 1 Comment

Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet FinsilverMurder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver, Reba Buhr
Series: Kelly Jackson Mystery #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Narrator: Reba Buhr
Published by Tantor Audio on March 21st 2017
Genres: Cozy
Format: Audible Audiobook
four-stars

If it weren't for the fact that she's replacing a dead man, Kelly Jackson would love her new job managing the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast on the coast of Northern California. But Bob Phillips did plunge off the cliff to his death, and Kelly's starting to think it may not have been an accident. Bob's retired friends-The "Silver Sentinels"-are also on the case, especially when Kelly is attacked . . . and another body turns up. Kelly has her hands full with overseeing the B&B's annual Taste of Chocolate and Wine Festival, but she's also closing in on the killer . . . who's ready to send Kelly on her own permanent vacation.

Redwoods, the ocean, great food, fine wine and murder…what more could a girl want?

Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver is witty and fun. I think she did a great job with the mystery. Her red herrings were superb. She did a wonderful job of introducing the northern coast of California. I grew up there and love the portrayal of the locals and the use of local culture and crimes.

Kelly Jackson is the temporary manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. She is our typical noisy busybody sleuth. She is there to replace the previous manager who fell from the coastal cliffs. Or did he? Kelly and a group of senior citizens investigate his death. They may have found more than they were looking for. Kelly is extremely nice and seems to be a very hard worker. She seemed kind of lost at the beginning of the story, but she feels truer to herself by the end. I love that she wears a cowboy hat and has a slight accent.

Ms. Finsilver’s descriptions of the cliffs, ocean, and fog were excellent. She even made me home sick a few times. I think I would like to visit the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. 🙂

I enjoyed the story. The narration by Reba Buhr was lovely. I loved the accents that she added and the way she brought the suspense to life was wonderful. I will look for other books narrated by her on Audible.

My rating is 4 stars, I love the story and narration but alas I hate when I figure out the bad guy in the first quarter of the book. It is a great read and I will look for the 2nd book in this series.

 **Where to find Murder at Redwood Cove **

** Goodreads **

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

four-stars

About Reba Buhr

Reba Buhr grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Los Angeles, working in theater, film, and television. She has degrees from Occidental College in theater and classical voice. Reba began recording audiobooks in 2012 and has turned her love for performance into a passion for narrating characters that jump off the page.

Reba is an accomplished voice actor and has lent her voice to many commercials, video games, and animated projects, including Popples and Knights of Sidonia for Netflix, Toonami’s Hunter x Hunter, and Zagtoon’s Zak Storm.

Her theater credits include Stage Door (Terry Randall), The Count of Monte Cristo (Mercedes), Boeing Boeing, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally), Kiss Me Kate (Bianca), Les Miserables (Cosette), and Princess Jasmine in Aladdin!: A Musical Spectacular at the Disneyland Resort.

About Janet Finsilver

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, became available on June 7, 2016. The third book, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE, is scheduled to be out on March 14, 2017.

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!


Madam Tulip by David Ahern

Posted December 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, New Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Series / 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.

Madam Tulip by David AhernMadam Tulip by David Ahern
Series: Madam Tulip #1
Series Rating: five-stars
on April 3rd 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 308
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs
Out-of-work actress Derry O'Donnell is talented, professional, just a little psychic... and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madame Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. But at her first fortune-telling gig - a celebrity charity weekend in a luxurious castle - a famous rap artist mysteriously dies.
As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of fashion, millionaires, horses and cocaine, she must race to save her best friend from jail and a supermodel from being murdered. Her efforts threaten to destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.
Fans of humorous mystery writers Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen will love Madam Tulip.
Madame Tulip is the first in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

My take on this book:              Wow! Madam Tulip by David Ahern is such a great read. From the moment I started reading the plot summary of this book in an email sent to me by the author I was hooked. This book was most definitely an awesome read for anyone that is into books like this one. This is a book that is funny, has a touch of romance, paranormal/supernatural points, and mystery.

What I liked about this book was not only because it’s different from what I normally read and it’s also refreshing and delightful. Derry O’Donnell had to find a way to stay in Ireland to do her acting career while her mom wants her to be more of an adult. Apparently, Derry is more like her father than what her mom thinks most of the time. The book kept me entertained which is something that I always like about a book. That is to be entertained and feel like I’m experiencing everything that the writer is saying with the characters while it was being written.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this book. Some of the words didn’t make any sense to me but then again it is written by a Scottish/Ireland writer so that right there can happen. Thankfully though that didn’t put me off with this book and I was still able to stay connected within the book while I looked it up.

Madam Tulip by David Ahern is an awesome book and I believe the next two books will be just as wonderful as this first one is. I am giving this book a five stars rating. I am also going to be recommending this book to anyone that likes books in these genres.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

** Where to find this book **

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five-stars

About David Ahern

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate and taught in major Universities but could never explain to his granny why he didn’t own a stethoscope.

Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director, and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

For no particular reason, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip wasn’t his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. The second in the Madam Tulip series, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, was published in autumn 2016. He is now writing the third Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.