Wednesday, December 27, 2023

{I've Been Reading} Public Anchovy #1

Public Anchovy #1 by Mindy Quigley

I had mixed feelings about the first two Deep Dish Mysteries, but after this one I'm completely hooked. It's a fast paced, extremely fun mystery that could only happen in this series. Delilah and her staff are catering a prohibition themed dinner party in a historic mansion when an unexpected death occurs and a storm hits, knocking out the power and blocking the roads, leaving everyone trapped in the dark with a killer. I don't want to spoil the plot, but starting with the original murder suspect, the night keeps getting wilder. It's probably a good idea to read the first two books before this one, if only so you'll understand why Delilah is living in a house owned by her pet cat, Butterball. 

Deep Fried Death by Maddie Day 

This is the eleventh in the Country Store Mysteries and, I think, the first I've read. (Others are available on Kindle Unlimited, so I'll be going back and catching up at some point soon.) The trouble starts when a dead body is discovered in Pans N Pancakes' entry in the annual outhouse races.  The victim owns a competing restaurant and of course we know that the protagonist, Robbie Jordan, is innocent, but there's no shortage of other suspects. It's a fast paced read, set mainly in the restaurant itself, and contains plenty of references to the other books in the series.

Sun Damage by Sabine Durant 

This wasn't at all what I expected based on the book's description. I enjoyed it, but first I had to double check that I hadn't opened the wrong title on my Kindle. The situation that the cover copy described does happen, eventually. The plot is a slow burn, with a setting and conflict that gradually pulled me in. The background of the woman who isn't who she claims to be kept me reading until the end. It's different than most of the domestic thrillers I read, a nice change of pace with lower stakes and more subtle drama. 

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

{I've Been Reading} Hanging by a Thread


Hanging by a Thread by Dorothy Howell

The shop owners of Hideaway Grove have been counting on an upcoming women's conference to boost their business. When the owner of a new bakery is found murdered, everyone in town starts to panic. It would be disastrous if the conference was cancelled... If the murder really was a mob execution, maybe everyone is in danger... What's the best way to carry a newly purchased handgun? Abbey's aunt Sarah has more to lose than most since it's her competitor who wound up dead. Now Abbey is trying clear her aunt's name, while also keeping her sewing studio afloat and filming a promotional video for the town and learning to sew poodle skirts in time for the conference luncheon.  This is a fast paced, fun mystery that's enjoyable if you don't try to take it too seriously and worry about the practical details. 

Disclosure -- The publishers have provided me with review copies. 

Thursday, December 07, 2023

{I've Been Reading}


The Paleontologist by Luke Dumas

Paleontologist Simon Nealy is setting uncomfortably into his new job at the Hawthorne Museum of Natural History, a facility on the edge of disaster. The dark halls, which are still closed due to the pandemic,  are stained with mildew and water damage. Badly stored fossils crumble under his hands. Almost all of the staff is working remotely and his only contact with them is through the spotty internet connection. A maintenance man warns him that if he hears noises after dark, not to go looking for what caused them. Simon came to the museum hoping to discover what happened to his six year old sister, who was taken from the insect hall decades earlier.  What he finds are impossible bloody footprints and the shadows of ancient creatures. This upernatural thriller. gets off to a slow start, but once the pace picks up, it's a wildly enjoyable ride.  

Dating Can Be Deadly by Amanda Flower 

I'm jumping into the Amish Matchmaker mysteries with the fifth book into the series. According to the author's note it's the fifteenth of her Amish books. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to view Millia's  lifestyle through her eyes. She has her hands full at the Holmes County Fair. Her nephew is exhibiting her two pet goats, a pair of ornery escape artists. Her (not Amish) best friend Lois is meeting up with a man she met online. Millie and several members of her quilting circle have entered quilts into the annual competition, but the judge is found dead in the quilt barn, a shredded quilt beneath her. The author captures the fun and chaos of the fair and has created a thoroughly entertaining mystery. It looks like I've got a lot of reading to do if I'm going to get caught up with Millie and her friends, and I look forward to it. 

The Neighbors We Want by Tim Lane

This was a different reading experience. The pace is absolutely frantic, but the plot moves at a snail's pace. My best guess is that the author was trying to capture the disjointed thought process of a sleep deprived stay at home dad and after a couple of chapters I was starting to follow it...but at the beginning I was completely lost. Adam is obsessed with the young woman who lives next door. His already strained marriage has become worse since his wife caught him looking from their window across to hers and he can't ignore the fact that he hasn't seen his young neighbor in days or that he saw her ex-boyfriend doing something extremely creepy and his truck has been sitting there the entire time. The plot leaps between characters and won't let you forget for an instant that it's set in Portland. It all ties together by the end, but at that point I didn't care what happened to anyone. 

Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant by Darci Hannah

Featuring a haunted lighthouse, a ghost hunting live stream that ends with the discovery of a very real body, and lots of pumpkin flavored baked goods, this cozy mystery should have been exactly what I was looking for, but I never got caught up in the fun. Clever plotting made the solution to the murder satisfying, but I'm not entirely sure if I want to read the rest of the series and spend more time with these characters. 

Diclosure -- The publishers have provided me with review copies. 


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