Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Trick or Deceit by Shelley Freydont

Title: Trick or Deceit
 Author: Shelley Freydont
 Series: Book 4 A Celebration Bay Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for Review From Publisher
 Star Rating: 3 out of 5
 Reviewed by: Tina

 In Celebration Bay, a family friendly destination town they take holidays very seriously. It's hard not to imagine the picturesque beauty with the small town setting. Halloween is one holiday that holds no exception. There's a haunted house competition in Celebration Bay, three finalists are vying for the winners prize of ten thousand dollars with the new community center receiving the rest of the proceeds.

 Liv Montgomery is a event coordonator for Celebration Bay, may be in over her head when she invited her friend, Jon Preston who is a director of development for a company that provides funding for projects like the building of the community center. Liv is hoping to receive a grant from Jon's company for the funding of the new community center.

 The first place winner is crowned. "The Museum of Yankee Horrors" but the owner, Barry's celebration is short lived when his haunted house is vandalized. When the body of Lucille, the contest judge is found with a bruise on her head and is found by the coroner to be strangled to death on the property of "The Museum of Yankee Horrors". Jon, surprizingly in a twisted turn of events becomes a suspect. Not far behind when the second runner up, Ernie Bolton and his "Monster Mansion" who may have it in for Barry and his "Museum of Yankee Horrors"

 This time of year reading a Halloween themed cozy mystery is what I was in the mood for, to get myself in the Halloween spirit. Trick or Deceit has all the makings of a perfect Halloween mystery with haunted houses, cats, witches inhabiting and running a business in the town and a crime fighting dog named, Whiskey who happened to a favorite of mine.

 The one downfall I had was the very slow pace of the story. It was making me lose interest very quickly, it took me a few more days than normal to finish because the story was not as exciting. At first the characters seemed very one demintional to me but I loved the small town gossip and rumor mill and the extra marital affairs that made it more interesting and the characters seem more like real, flawed people.

FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Shelley Freydont Online: http://www.shelleyfreydont.com/
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: The Man Who Fell from the Sky By Margaret Coel

Title: The Man Who Fell From The Sky
 Author: Margaret Coel
 Series: Book 19 A Wind River Reservation Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
 Format: Hardcover
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Star Rating: 4.5 out 5
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 When Robert Walking Bear's body is found by a father and son going a on a fishing trip questions are raised on the circumstances of his death. Although initially thought of as a suicide then an accident someone won't let him rest. A so-called anonymous witness making accusations of murder sets the FBI on a wild goose chase.

 Not willing to come forward or give any details the anonymous witness keeps contacting Vicki Holden, an Arapaho lawyer and Father John, the mission priest. All the while Robert's widow Ruth just wants to bury him and move on with her grieving process. As it unfolds questions arise regarding Butch Cassidy's buried treasure. Robert supposedly had the original map drawn by Cassidy himself and on numerous occasions went to the mountains on his own for days at a time searching.

 Although most believe the map is a fake once the moccasin telegraph gets wind it is a murder everything comes into question. Robert's cousins all become suspect even his cousin Cutter that recently moved home from Oklahoma. Cutter who is quite taken by Vicki starts to court her but she also has competition as Ruth has seemed to latch onto him as well for support in the wake of her husband's death.

 As both women struggle with Robert's death in both ways they can always count on Cutter. While all this is going on the community also has to deal with a documentary film crew that will do anything to enhance their production and want to implement the murder into the film. Wanting to capture a piece of history that still impacts modern day society. In the end this piece of history truly does have a modern day impact on many lives.

 I love reading stories and watching movies/TV shows (Eg. Longimire) that capture the modern day struggles and friendships between people that live on the reservations and law enforcement. It is what drawn me to the series, although I am not much of a western fan, I loved how the author balanced the past with present, bringing you into two worlds just not one. This story boasted some memorable characters.

 I especially identified with Ruth, sort of lost in a relationship, straddling grief and new found freedom, trying to be strong but falling miserably apart and trying to latch onto someone that makes you feel anything positive then what you are feeling. And then there is Cutter, I call him the smooth operator, the perfect man but no one is that perfect. I got to know Vicki more with tidbits of her back story she is a great example of a strong female lead. Oh and there is Walks-on, gotta love him too. I look forward to the next book in the series.

FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Margaret Coel Online: http://www.margaretcoel.com/
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Review/ Book Giveaway: Night of the White Buffalo by Margaret Coel

Title: Night Of The White Buffalo
 Author: Margaret Coel
 Series: Book 18 A Wind River Reservation Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from publisher
 Star Rating: 4.5 out 5
 Reviewed by : Marlene
 When a white buffalo calf is born it is a sign that the creator is with us, a sign of hope and connection. When the white buffalo is born and news quickly spreads thousands of people of all colors and origins start flocking to the Broken Buffalo ranch. With this blessing also comes a lot of attention, attention the current owner needs to keep a steady eye on.

 Along with this blessing, there seems to be a lot of trouble surrounding the ranch, reservation and nearby highways. Someone has been taking shots at cowboys on the highway but when Dennis Carey, owner of the Broken Buffalo ranch ends up being a victim of this, his wife Sheila has to take on the responsibility for the ranch as well as the white buffalo calf. Although Sheila is a tough woman she still seems to be coming apart. Soon a local Arapaho lawyer, Vicki Holden and a mission priest, Father John find links between missing ranch hands and the shots taken at vehicles on the highway.

 After some digging and asking to many questions they find that all the trouble they have been having in their small but fragile community can be led back to one place, the one place that is now serving as the communities centre, the Broken Buffalo ranch.

 I really enjoyed this story, I loved how you were given multiple story lines and they soon started to converge on each other. This is the first Wind River Mystery I have read. I know there has been quite a few books written before and sometimes I can feel reluctant to start a series so late in its inception due to all the history formed with the story and characters but Ms. Coel did a great job of reintroducing her characters, it's a book that could be read as a stand alone and you wouldn't feel lost by all the history that is built up.

 Father John and Vicki Holden, the two main characters of the book are good wholesome people. We need more of them in our world. I enjoyed reading about them and how much they cared and what they did for the community around them. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Man Who Fell From The Sky. Please look for my review tomorrow.

FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Margaret Coel Online: http://www.margaretcoel.com/
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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Book Review/ Book Giveaway: Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates



Title: Booked for Trouble
 Author: Eva Gates
 Series : Book 2 Lighthouse Library Mystery
 Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received For Review from Publisher
 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  Reviewed by: Tina

 If you are a fan of touching stories about mothers and daughters with books and libraries and a cat named Charlie in a so-called haunted lighthouse then Booked for Trouble is for you. I was not prepared for what awaited me once I started reading this book and I finished this book with more of an appreciation for my mother. I would have never thought a mystery would have such a impact on me personally but it did.

 Lucy is a librarian at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, that in itself being a beautiful and picturesque setting if not only by made by the cover of this book but just imagine it for yourself  as I did reading.  It made Booked for Trouble seem more real, like a movie playing in my head. Lucy loves her life at the library and would not trade it for the world with the library book club, the library cat, Charles and two men that are important to the town vying for her affections.

 Lucy's mother, Suzanne, a debutante, comes to visit, and Lucy suspects this is no ordinary visit. Lucy seems to think her mother is acting strangely, displaying odd behavior but can't quite figure out why. She really wants Lucy  head back to live in their home to their hometown of Boston to be with her ex-fiance that she is not in love with but Lucy being happy where she is in her heart does not want to go back but like most mothers and daughters Lucy lets her mother have her say.

 While checking into the hotel Suzanne, witnessed by almost the entire hotel and Lucy and the manager of the hotel, George. Suzanne has an argument with a former classmate, Karen Kivas and it seems that Karen knows something about Suzanne's past that she does not want to be let out but what is heard by everyone. Soon after the argument Karen is found dead outside the library by a blow to the head, Suzanne shoots up to the top of the police's suspect list. When it does not seem to Lucy that that police are looking at anyone else that could have done this, Lucy needs to save her mother before she has to check out of Bodie Island, and out of Lucy and their families lives and into a prison.

 This is a new favorite series for me, Life in a library in a lighthouse,  a cat, a relatable and engaging amateur sleuth with an intriguing , supporting cast of characters that also make this mystery great and a murder with a mother and daughter story mixed in that touches the heart.  The setting of this story brings out the true meaning of a cozy mystery. I am looking forward to reading and reviewing the next book in this series, Reading up a Storm in April 2016.

 FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Eva Gates online: vickidelany.com
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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: The Marsh Madness by Victoria Abbott

 Title: The Marsh Madness
 Author: Victoria Abbott
 Series: Book 4 A Book Collector Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating: 3.75 out of 5
 Reviewed by Marlene


Jordan Bingham has finally settled after the tremulous events that happened last fall and believes her life is finally back on track. Everything is going well, her job for Miss Vera Van Alst, her relationship with Office Tyler “Smiley” Dekker, her friends and family by her side.

 When Miss Van Alst receives an invitation to buy a set of Dame Ngaio Marsh books from Chadwick Kauffman at his country home, Summerlea nothing could be better. Jordan and Miss Van Alst and Uncle Kev to are invited for a luncheon to discuss and finalize the deal.

 Soon after Kauffman turns up murdered. Being spotted as the last people to leave the home Vera, Jordan and Kev become the sole suspects in the case. As the investigation unfolds Jordan finds herself on her own to find out who the real killer is and all the accomplices to go with him. No one is who they seem even the victim. She finds herself on the outside of the law and facing the murderer himself in the original crime scene.

The story was very emotion driven and poor Jordan kept coming up against walls and dead ends. It made for a great read. As always I love Jordan and (even) Vera too. Their relationship is growing and you can see Vera's character evolving in each book.

 FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Victoria Abbott Online: victoria-abbott.com
Follow Author Victoria Abbott on Twitter: @AbbottMysteries
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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch

 Title: Black Cat Crossing
 Author: Kay Finch
 Series: Book 1 A Bad Luck Cat Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
 Genre: Cozy Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Star Rating: Five stars
 Reviewed by : Tina


Sabrina Tate has dreams like I do of being a writer.After a failed job in a law firm in Houston, Texas she moves to Lavender, Texas to write "The Great American Novel" and help her aunt Rowe with her vacation rental business because of her aunt's broken leg. "Around the World Cottages", with each cottage named and decorated after a country that Aunt Rowe has visited, an aspect I loved.

The whole town seems suspicious of what is known as the "Bad Luck Cat" making his way across the town and residents are in fear of the cat crossing their path and bringing them bad luck but not Sabrina. On the contrary, she has never been superstitious of anything supernatural except maybe the lady that owns the antique store who thinks Sabrina is a witch and not just because of her name.

The "Bad Luck Cat" leads Sabrina to the discovery of a dead body and it turns out to be Aunt Rowe's deadbeat cousin, Bobby Joe Flowers, he had a list of enemies a mile long and loved the women. Not so good for Aunt Rowe is that she and Bobby fought before his death and now Aunt Rowe has become a number one suspect in his murder. Bobby has claimed  to be her brother making Aunt Rowe furious.

Sabrina on on the other hand is in a dilemma, with a appointment with a famous agent to talk about her book and helping prove her aunt Rowe is innocent and attending to her new friend a "Bad Luck Cat" Sabrina names "Hitchcock" who Sabrina can't help but come to love. Hitchcock is on the case along with Sabrina, clawing at the bit to find a killer before Sabrina's luck runs out.

I loved Sabrina from the first page, It's so great to be able to relate to a character and we seem a lot alike with our love for writing and certain "Bad Luck Cats". Sabrina has this determined attitude that I find is also a trait we share. Sabrina is a great ameteur sleuth. Hitchcock and Sabrina make a perfect human and feline crime fighting pair and this was a great beginning to a series.

 Hitchcock will become a fan favorite  with his sneakiness and determination to get out of Sabrina's cottage to find more clues. Kay Finch's writing is fast paced, exciting and the story is engaging. Black Cat Crossing is a fun thrill ride with a "Bad Luck Cat" that becomes Sabrina's   good luck charm.


FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and review are our own and our reviews are honest.

Author Kay Finch Online; kayfinch.com
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LEGAL

All reviews are copyrighted by Tina Diamond and Marlene Patterson. Tina Diamond's reviews also appear at Amazon.com and Goodreads.com.

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