Thursday, February 09, 2023

{I've Been Reading} Of Manners and Murder

 Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings 

The first book in this new cozy series is absolutely delightful! The protagonist, Violet, is plunged into the action right along with the reader, learning that her aunt Adelia is a popular Agony Aunt, an anonymous writer who offers advice through a newspaper column. In that same conversation, she learns that Adelia is leaving for the Continent and expects Violet to take her place. When the first letter she opens is from a new bride fearing for her life, Violet sets off to offer advice in person, only to learn that the young woman is already dead. The book is fast paced and entertaining and, while I started to get an idea what the solution to the mystery would be, I didn't come close to solving it all. I can't wait to read more about these characters!

Wined and Died in New Orleans by Ellen Byron 

After some crates of what could be very valuable wine are discovered hidden at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, Ricki starts looking for ways to combine the upcoming auction with promotions for her vintage cookbook shop. Those bottles of wine could generate a small fortune, money that will definitely help the museum, and she's eager to help. Even if that means venturing back onto social media, something she's shied away from since her husband died while filming a prank video. News of the auction brings distant Charbonnet cousins to town, all hoping to claim what they see as their share of the windfall and seemingly willing to do anything to make that happen. 

I loved this one, with its quirky characters and the atmospheric backdrop of New Orleans. This murder mystery could only have happened at this museum with these people and I can't wait to see what happens to Ricki and her friends next. 

Such Pretty Flowers by K. L. Cerra 

Plagued with guilt about avoiding her brother's last few text messages and horrified by the details of his grisly suicide, Holly goes looking for explanations. Was her brother's enigmatic girlfriend somehow involved or had Dane experienced a psychotic break? Holly scrolls endlessly through Dane's messages and considers every detail of their last encounters, trying to figure out what actually happened. Maura is welcoming and supportive and almost before Holly realizes what's happening, she's moved into the gorgeous woman's apartment. The horror is absolutely claustrophobic and the author has a way of making things that don't seem like they should be scary work. The protagonist suffers from trypophobia, an aversion to clusters of small holes. When she first explains it and uses strawberries as an example of a sight that makes her uncomfortable, it seems silly. By the end of the book, descriptions had me squirming. 

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

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. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails