Category: Mystery

“The Spring Cleaning Murders” by Dorothy Cannell

“The Spring Cleaning Murders” by Dorothy Cannell

Who would have thought that the time honored tradition of Spring Cleaning could end up in murder? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening in the quiet little community of Chitterton Fells. Ellie Haskell finds herself right in the middle of the mystery when she finds her new cleaner, Mrs. Large, dead in the study at the home of the Miller sisters. At the same time, her long time cleaner Mrs. Malloy has left town to care for her new grandchild, leaving Ellie at loose ends just as she is starting her spring cleaning. Then protestors show up at her husband’s restaurant and Jonas’s health seems to be declining. Adding to the confusion are her 3-year old twins, Tam and Abbey, who are very busy indeed. Will Ellie and the members of the C.F.C.W.A. be able to figure out who is killing off the cleaning women?

This is such a fun cozy mystery. The author has created a charming community, full of all kinds of characters. Ellie and Ben are a delightful married couple and the twins are adorable, if a little nerve-wracking at times. The story line had a lot of twists and turns and really kept me guessing. I really enjoyed how the author didn’t just tell the story of the mystery but also told the story of the daily lives of Ellie and Ben. I found that the book overall had a bit of a literary fiction feel because of this. This is the 7th book in the Ellie Haskell mysteries and I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for future installments. Pure delight is to be had here!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Gambrelli and the Prosecutor” by Laurence Giliotti

“Gambrelli and the Prosecutor” by Laurence Giliotti

Gambrelli is a Detective Inspector for the French police. He’s happily married and his children are grown. He’s a little bit irascible during an investigation but he tries to fair and thorough. When he receives a call informing him that he has been summoned to the Island of Q to investigate a murder, he wonders why since the island is not in his jurisdiction. Then he finds out that Prosecutor Bertrand has been arrested for the crime and he only trusts Gambrelli to investigate. Now the Prosecutor and Gambrelli have been at odds several times in the past so this could present some challenges. Nevertheless, the case is intriguing and Gambrelli approaches it with his usual eye to detail. Along the way he must deal with mistresses, a jealous sister, thugs and a smuggler, but Gambrelli always gets his man, or woman.

This is a fun story in the cozy mystery category. The action begins on the Island of Q and continues in Paris. Gambrelli is a wonderful character, very well developed and very likable. There is also a really nice supporting cast of junior detectives, difficult superiors, his endlessly patient wife and of course, the really bad villains. The story has some very interesting twists and will keep you guessing as to who the actual murderer is until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

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“Cruel Winter” by Sheila Connolly

“Cruel Winter” by Sheila Connolly

Maura, an American, has inherited a pub in a small town in rural Ireland. With the help of Mick and Jimmy, her employees, she has been figuring out how to be a pub owner and making friends in the community. Winter is moving in and Mick warns Maura that forecasters are predicting a major storm later that day. Maura scrounges up what supplies she can and prepares to wait the storm out at the pub. As the day progresses several other people wind up at the pub, including Diane, who 20 years previously had been accused of murder. Diane has never had a chance to tell her side of the story and as a way to pass the evening, Maura organizes everybody into a type of jury. When the storm breaks will they have new clues to this unsolved murder?

I really liked Maura and several of the other characters. The story line was creative and something different, what with the “locked room” with a suspected murderer in their presence. There was a nice mix of newcomers to the area and locals who were around when the crime happened. I felt like the first part of the book moved a little slow but once the trial portion of the story commenced the pace picked up. This book is part of the County Cork Series but it read just fine as a stand-alone. Overall, this was a nice story that will be appealing to cozy mystery readers.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“Elementary, She Read” by Vicki Delaney

“Elementary, She Read” by Vicki Delaney

Gemma is a Brit, who lives on Cape Cod and owns the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, where she sells all things remotely related to Sherlock. Jayne is her best friend and co-owner with Gemma of Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room next door. When Gemma finds a magazine, tucked into a bookshelf where it doesn’t belong, after her store closes, she has no idea that she will end up as the prime suspect in a murder. Gemma and Jayne try to return the magazine to its owner, who is staying at a local hotel, but find a dead body instead of a Sherlock fan. Then Gemma’s ex-boyfriend shows up as the detective-in-charge of the case and the story really kicks into high gear.

“Elementary, She Read” is a fun, cozy mystery. It is the first in a new series but. I found Gemma and Jayne to be delightful as best friends. Jayne is the extrovert to Gemma’s introvert but the two of them play off of each other in an enjoyable way. Ryan is perfect as the hunky ex. In this one, Ryan and Gemma aren’t quite sure what to do with each other or if they still have feelings, which adds a charming layer of complication to this story. The plotline has some surprising twists and moves along at a really good pace. This is a great reading choice for cozy mystery or Sherlock lovers and the length makes it a great day-at-the-beach read. Overall, a great addition to the genre.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating  4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“Deadly Alibi” by Leigh Russell

“Deadly Alibi” by Leigh Russell

This is book 9 in the DI Geraldine Steel series. In this installment, Geraldine is on the hunt for a murderer who left his victim in a trash bin outside a charity shop. The husband is the immediate suspect, but when his mistress disappears, Geraldine is not so sure that the obvious choice is the right answer. In the midst of this, her birth mother has died and Geraldine finds out she has a twin sister who is very needy. Trying to balance all this proves to be a great challenge.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series but I did not, while reading, have the sensation of having missed out on the backstory. The parts of the previous stories that you needed to understand this one were definitely there. I liked Geraldine as a detective but wasn’t quite as impressed with her as a person. She makes some choices in this story that felt out of character to me and made the story a little hard for me to believe. I’m sure that fans of this series will enjoy this episode but overall I didn’t find anything in this story that “wow-ed” me.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 3 star rating  3 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“Everything You Want Me to Be” by Mindy Mejia

“Everything You Want Me to Be” by Mindy Mejia

Hattie is 17 and has always felt like an outsider in her small hometown in Minnesota. She dreams of the day she graduates from high school and can run off to New York City. Her senior year begins and the school has a new English teacher, a young, married man, who will change her life forever. Peter and his wife have moved back to his wife’s hometown to care for his ailing mother-in-law, a woman who seems to hate him. As his wife becomes more and more involved with her mother’s care, Peter starts to feel like the odd man out, and he misses the vibrancy of their life in Minneapolis. Just a few weeks before graduation Hattie is found dead in an abandoned barn and suddenly the whole town suspects Peter. Will the local police chief be able to unravel the secrets of Hattie’s life and catch a murderer?

I found the mystery in this book to be a fascinating one with plenty of twists to keep you guessing. There is a lot of angst being worked out in this story. Both the teenage variety, as Hattie is straining against her small town life, and Peter’s more adult variety, as he struggles with a troubled marriage and a life that is not fulfilling to him. The author has done a great job in crafting her main characters in a way that makes them appealing to the reader and also draws the reader in to the story. “Everything You Want Me to Be” is a great story and should appeal to a broad range of readers. I highly recommend it!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“The Fifth Petal” by Brunonia Barry

“The Fifth Petal” by Brunonia Barry

I have just five words for you, my readers: You Must Read This Book! The Fifth Petal is a fascinating mystery involving witches and pirates and old oak trees. It all takes place in Salem, Massachusetts where questions seem to lurk around every corner. Rafferty is the local police chief, who took over the job just a few years after the infamous Goddess murders. He still feels the burden of the unsolved mystery, which occurred on Halloween. Years later, a young man dies on Halloween night and the same person was at the scene. Her name is Rose. Rose is a homeless woman who before the Goddess murders was a highly respected researcher. She was like a mother to the Goddesses and they lived in her home.

Callie is the center of this story. Her mother Olivia was one the Goddesses who was murdered. Rose was like an aunt to Callie and did more to raise her than her mother did. Callie was 5 when her mother was killed and she was at the scene when it happened. The murders left her with physical and emotional scars, and the trauma of the murders blocked out many of her memories of the time. After being taken in by nuns and shuffled arounds through foster homes, she becomes a music therapist. The nuns had told her Rose was dead, so imagine her shock when she sees Rose on the evening news being accused of the murder of a young man. Callie knows she must go to Rose but she cannot possibly foresee how meeting her again will change her life.

What did I like about this book? Everything! The characters in the story are loaded with personality and very likable. The story itself is loaded with twists and turns that keep the reader fully engaged. A lot of Salem history is cleverly incorporated and the descriptions immerse the reader in the place. There was nothing I didn’t like about this book, except that it left me wanting more. This is book 2 in a series and I can’t wait for news of book 3. I highly recommend you check this one out.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency” by Susan Breen

“Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency” by Susan Breen

Genre: Mystery

Maggie Dove is a lovely woman who has been trapped in grief for 20 years. Now she has opened a detective agency with two partners, Agnes and Helen, and she recapturing her life. Being a detective frequently challenges her comfort zone but she is determined to be a success. When a prodigal daughter returns home after 40 years and suddenly commits suicide, Maggie is hired by her sister to uncover the truth.

This story is filled with delightful characters. I felt like I could really relate to Maggie because she old enough to be retiring but instead she if forging a new life for herself. Agnes was a little tough for me to like at first because she can be moody, but she always has Maggie’s back and she grew on me as the story progressed. Helen is a single mother with a mysterious past and a rambunctious little boy who adopts Maggie as a grandmother. I liked how the author was able to integrate some personal life challenges of the characters into the overall story and do it in such a way that it felt natural and not forced. This story is book 2 in a series but does well as a stand-alone. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading future installments of this series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating  4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“A Killer Location” by Sarah T. Hobart

“A Killer Location” by Sarah T. Hobart

A Home Sweet Home Mystery

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Whoever said the real estate business could be murder must have visited the town of Arlinda. Fledgling agent Sam has her hands full when the bodies start stacking up, all somehow connected to an open house she hosted. When her boss is arrested for the murders and the license for the agency is temporarily pulled, Sam decides to use her time to do an investigation of her own. Along the way she meets a host of quirky characters and finds herself covered in dog hair.

I found this mystery to be a lot of fun. Sam is feisty and determined. Her slightly offbeat take on things makes her quite charming. I also really enjoyed the way that the author was able to capture the uniqueness of the Northern California community. Finally, the storyline had some really captivating twists and turns. This book is the second one in the series but there was enough backstory that the book works well on its own. “A Killer Location” is a great choice for mystery lovers!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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“The Hanover Square Affair” by Ashley Gardner

“The Hanover Square Affair” by Ashley Gardner

Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries #1

Genre: Mystery

In need of a good swoon? Then check out Captain Lacey! He’s a former military captain whose wounds have left him with a limp and without a steady income. But it may be his emotional wounds that are the hardest to live with. While out one day, he happens on an uprising in Hanover Square. After intervening he finds himself investigating the disappearance of two young women. His investigation will involve everyone from prostitutes to the trendsetting Lord Grenville.

As you probably guessed I have a little crush on Captain Lacey. I found his complexity to be especially appealing. The author did a great job in developing his character. Lacey is not just a military hero but also very human. His episodes of melancholia brought a humanness to a character that might otherwise be just a stereotype. The storyline of this mystery is also top-notch with lots of twisty bits to keep you guessing. “The Hanover Square Affair” is a wonderful start to this series which is now up to 12 books. I hope to read more soon!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating 4 stars!

Happy Reading!

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