Thursday, February 02, 2023

{I've Been Reading} Cheddar Late than Dead


Cheddar Late than Dead by Linda Reilly 

Well, now I've got to buy some glazed donuts so I can try recreating the grilled cheese confections that Carly and her friends whipped up for the ill-fated bridal shower that launches her into a third murder investigation. 

Catering isn't one of the services that Carly's eatery offers, but when a former classmate has to make last minute changes to a bridal shower, she lets herself get talked into it. The sandwiches are a hit, but the event ends in tragedy when the groom-to-be is poisoned. With an entertaining mystery element and plenty of characters to suspect, this series is always fun and always leaves me craving grilled cheese. 

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel 

Cousins Maeve and Andrea spent their early childhood in a cult, then lost contact with one another. Many years later, Maeve takes one of those mail order DNA tests and the two find each other again. quickly rekindling their friendship. 

The brief glimpses this book provides of the Motherhood Collective, the cult where Andrew and Maeve were raised, are absolutely chilling. It's not the same cookie cutter cult I've come to expect from this kind of book, it's something else entirely. Then there's Andrea's wildly successful wellness company with it's AI baby dolls intended to help prepare women for motherhood. This book delivered so much more than I was expecting -- I can't wait to read more by the author. 

Death a Sketch by Cheryl Hollon

I'm not at all interested in moonshine. Despite that, I've loved all three books in the Paint and Shine mystery series, even the details about the distillery. Miranda is working to reach her goals before a deadline and the teambuilding company retreat for a sporting goods company will definitely help her reach it, if she can pull it off. The executive in charge seems determined to pit his employees against one another. Members of the winning team will get promotions. The losing team will be fired. Not even a murder is enough to change that plan and Miranda can't afford to cancel so she'll have to find the killer and keep the rest of her clients safe. I really enjoyed the setting and characters. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

{I've Been Reading} The Hiking Trip

The Hiking Trip by Jenny Blackhurst

It's been twenty years since a British backpacker vanished from a Canadian hiking trail. Laura has tried to put the memories of what happened behind her, but news stories announcing that human remains have been found have her fearing what other secrets might be revealed. Then someone starts targeting her family. The story shifts between the days on the hiking trail, snippets of news reports, and what's happening to Laura now. Cliff hangers kept me turning pages without making me feel manipulated by the author. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

The Nightmare Man by J. H. Markert

Bestsellinig horror author Ben Bookman creates nightmares. When bodies are found in a barn, hanging in cocoons that have been stitched from corn husks, the crime is a near perfect imitation of her newest book, The Scarecrow. Someone is bringing the horror to life...but it gets a lot worse from there. What's going on at the Blackwood estate is SO much worse. The history and folklore made this one really intriguing and it's just the right kind of creepy.  

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, January 05, 2023

{I've Been Reading} The Stay at Home Mother


The Stay-at-Home Mother by Nicole Trope 

Two mothers become friends, but neither is exactly what she seems to be. I enjoy domestic thrillers that involve motherhood and this kept me turning pages the whole way through.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting - that scene from the book's description doesn't happen until the very end - but it was an entertaining, fast paced read. 

Disclosure -- This post contains affiliate links. The publishers provided me with advance review copies. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

{I've Been Reading} Vinyl Resting Place


Vinyl Resting Place by Olivia Blacke 

The three Jessup sisters are filled with optimism for their new record store. Even finding a dead body in the supply closet in the middle of their grand opening party isn't enough to make them give up their dream -- but then their uncle is arrested on suspicion of murder and skips bail. If they can't find him and prove his innocence, he'll lose his freedom and they'll lose the store. 

The first Record Shop Mystery is full of likeable characters and the mystery was complex enough to keep me guessing until the end. I look forward to spending more time with these characters in future books. 

Breathless by Amy McCulloch

To get an interview with heroic climber Charles McVeigh, Cecily Wong is going to have to summit the eighth highest mountain in the world with him. She desperately needs the story, but she's gotten into trouble on far easier climbs than this one. Then a member of their party dies under odd circumstances. And another dies. Accidents happen high in the mountains, especially in the "death zone," but Cecily is starting to fear her fellow climbers, not just the dangerous terrain. This book is absolutely chilling, both because the mountain itself is so dangerous and the characters seem to have secrets they'd go to great lengths to protect. According to the notes at the end, the author has actually climbed the mountain herself. I imagine that's why the setting is so vivid. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links.


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