Publisher: NAL

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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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.


Gone With the Witch by Heather Blake

Posted June 15, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance, Rural, Series, Witches, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

Gone With the Witch by Heather BlakeGone With the Witch by Heather Blake
Series: A Wishcraft Mystery #6
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by NAL on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: Kindle
five-stars

The national bestselling author of Some Like It Witchy returns as wish-granting witch Darcy Merriweather is put to the test after murder takes first prize at a pet show. . . .  Darcy and her dog Missy are determined to put their best foot forward at the Enchanted Village’s annual Pawsitively Enchanted pet contest. She’s happy to lend a hand when the show’s organizer hires Darcy to keep an eye on things among growing suspicions that someone is sabotaging the event. But Darcy’s quest for justice is thrown off the scent when her lead suspect is found dead at the competition.   As if a murder weren’t bad enough, someone begins snatching up prize-winning pets right from under their owners’ noses. Darcy is determined to protect the pampered participants at whatever cost. But she’ll have to work fast to sniff out the thief before she becomes the next victim of a killer determined to stop her dead in her tracks...

My take on this book:              Gone With the Witch by Heather Blake was such an awesome book. It had me thinking of who the Elder could be, who murdered Natasha, who was stealing the animals from the contest, and a bunch of other questions.

This book starts off with Darcy taking the job for “As You Wish,” her business now and right off the bat Darcy has a bad feeling about this assignment. From the beginning of this book Darcy has been on a whirlwind of emotions about the case and about everything else around her.

I don’t really want to reveal too much about what happens in this book but it’s really good. I am happy to say that in this book we finally find out who the Elder is. I’m not going to say as the author doesn’t want anything like that to be spoiled for anyone that has yet to read the book. Happy guessing, unless you find the clues like a member of the Mystery, Inc. team.

I love the enchanted village that this series is set in. The town square where most things happen is so picturesque, the small town heart if you know what I mean. The shops and the characters that live there are so great.

I am happy to say that my rating for this book is five stars as it was that glamorous. Ms. Blake also has set up what might happen in the next book, The Witch and the Dead, which will be released in October of this year.  If you can’t wait for the next Wishcraft Mystery, check out Ms. Blake’s other series the Magic Potions Mysteries.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

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About Heather Blake

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She’s a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, bake (mostly cookies), and occasionally leave the house to travel to the beautiful mountains in the northeast. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book.


Chocolate Falcon Fraud GP

Posted December 27, 2015 by karenbaron in Cozy, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

Chocolate Falcon Fraud GPThe Chocolate Falcon Fraud by JoAnna Carl
Series: A Chocoholic Mystery #15
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by NAL on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Cozy, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 229
Format: Kindle
five-stars

From the bestselling author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse, it’s murder, my sweet, for a chocolatier whose love of old crime films plunges her into a real-life murder where the motives aren’t so black and white…   The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolate noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn’t prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. Now he says he’s only in Warner Pier to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest.   Jeff may now be a college grad, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less naïve than the kid Lee had to bail out of trouble earlier. There are all those strange phone calls, a girlfriend who’s secretly on Jeff’s tail, and a pack of suspicious-sounding acquaintances right out of Dashiell Hammett. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee’s feet when she opens the front door – just like in the movie.   Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer’s increasingly convincing murder plot…  Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!

My Thoughts:         Wonderfully written! 5 chocolate stars for this one…

I love the whole noir film convention. I have never even heard of anything like that but how fun would that be? Completely, dressing in costumes from the 40s, the fedoras, the hair styles, the drinks, the accents, very cool. Warner Pier has some fabulous ideas for tourism.

Lee is pretty funny, she always seems to find trouble or it seeks her out. She and her Aunt Nettie are both so curious. They just can’t sit back and let the police figure it out.

When Lee’s ex-stepson, Jeff shows up and disappears in the same day Lee is extremely worried. Then his friend, Tess shows up and she doesn’t know where Jeff is either. Lee knows there is foul pay involved. So, Lee and Aunt Nettie take off from the chocolate company and follow a few clues. Aunt Nettie has a keen eye for details that even Lee doesn’t see. The two of them are hilarious as they meet character after character from the Maltese Falcon movie. It is a good thing that Nettie is married to the police chief and Lee’s husband has such patience otherwise these ladies wouldn’t only have lots of explaining to do.

I find the characters so believable. The mixture of the Michigan and Texas characteristics are so true to life. Lee has some pretty neat quirks, using a close but different word when she is stressed, being tall, scared of trees and clumsy at time.

I found the way this story follows the Maltese Falcon movie and book to be extremely fitting with just enough change and chocolate to keep it going. You can always count on Ms. Carl to have a nice plot with lots of twists. I always like the research Ms. Carl does and little facts included in the book, be it the facts within the plot or the chocolate facts & recipes Ms. Carl adds in (well, fudge in this book). She makes it fun and exciting with quick wit.

I honestly can’t believe that this is the 15th book. It is such a delightful series, the perfect cozy mysteries. If you haven’t read these books yet start with the first one The Chocolate Cat Caper, and you will be hooked and craving chocolates (both are good things).

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

If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out BaronessBookTrove.com.

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About JoAnna Carl

JoAnna Carl and Eve K. Sandstrom both write mystery novels relying on regional settings for atmosphere, background and clues.

JoAnna writes about the shores of Lake Michigan and has been reviewed in Michigan newspapers as a “regional writer.”

Eve writes about Southwest Oklahoma and once won an award for the best book of the year with an Oklahoma setting.

It’s no particular secret that Eve and JoAnna occupy the same body.

Talk about your split personalities!


A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell

A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell

My take on this book:: CAUTION!! THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ ANY SPOILERS PLEASE STOP READING NOW! IF YOU DO WANT TO READ SPOILERS CONTINUE ON! I WON’T ALWAYS HAVE SPOILERS THOUGH!! Lily Ivory is back in another great book from Juliet Blackwell. This time we are dealing with […]


Some Like It Witchy by Heather Blake

Some Like It Witchy by Heather Blake

My take on this book: CAUTION!! THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ ANY SPOILERS PLEASE STOP READING NOW! IF YOU DO WANT TO READ SPOILERS CONTINUE ON! I WON’T ALWAYS HAVE SPOILERS THOUGH!! This book has been one of those one where you want read it but you have had […]