Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Last Weekend by Laura DiSilverio

That Last Weekend by Laura DiSilverio has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. Okay, I know that roller coasters don't really have twists and turns as much as they have ups and downs, but I can't think of anything twisty. Anyway, the author is going to keep you guessing until the last chapter (no peaking).

The premise of The Last Weekend is five college friends who meet yearly until one weekend one of the women (Evangeline) is pushed off a fifth floor balcony and the police can't figure out who among the four is guilty. That was the last weekend all of them were together.

Ten years later, an invitation arrives for each of the women and all four decide to attend. Laurel, now a judge, wants to attend to try to solve the crime, Dawn is an artist who has just not found her audience and feels like a failure. Geneva, a therapist who took some time out after college to get her act together and get on the right track, is happily married and eight months pregnant. Ellie just sent her twins off to college and is feeling a bit like a failure and ready to try something new. All of them have a reason to have pushed Evangeline, but all of them declare their innocence.

I have enjoyed all of the series that this author has published. My favorite is The Mall Cop series and I wish there had been more. This is the first standalone book I have read by Laura DiSilverio I have read. It is excellent, with more layers than I thought possible. Just when you think you have it all figured out, she throws in another twist, an angle I hadn't considered.

I look forward to the next book by Laura DiSilverio. I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley, this review is my opinion.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Finding Southern Comfort by Barbara Lohr

In Finding Southern Comfort the story revolves around Harper Kirkpatrick, a young woman who gets deserted by the her boyfriend of four years when he moves to California. Unable to make the rent and at loose ends, she takes a job as a party planner for kids parties. When the slimy Rizzo sends her out to dance at a bachelor party, she tries to suck it up and dance, but is so out of her element. The home (mansion) owner sends her packing, but unfortunately her car won't start and he finds her in the driveway the next morning. He is not amused.

When Harper finds an advertisement for a nanny, she applies and is granted an interview, turns out the dad is Cameron Bennett, a single fathers, who was also the bachelor party host. His four year old daughter has emotional problems and a severe eating disorder. Harper gets the job.

I liked the characters, except Kimmie and I don't think I'm supposed to like her. I loved that the premise of the story is unusual and watching Bella bloom from a shy little girl in frilly dresses who will only eat baby cereal, into a rambunctious four year old. I liked Connie and Jack who run the house for Cameron. I also like Harper and Cameron.

What I didn't like so much is the quick wrap up at the end of the book. It just seems like there could be a bit more.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Deadly Brew by Karen MacInerney

Deadly Brew is the most recent installment in the Dewberry Farms mystery series by Karen MacInerney and the inside is as perfect as the cover. While all of the books in the series can definitely be read by themselves, the whole series is great and the characters grow with each book.

In Deadly Brew all is not right in Buttercup, Texas. Lucy's well has run dry, her crops desperately need to be watered, and there is no rain in sight. Add to that the man who has just opened a big game hunting farm is murdered at the Fall Festival and Lucy and Tobias (Lucy's veterinary boyfriend) are first on the scene. Can you say suspects? When Serafine, the owner of the Honeyed Moon Mead Winery is arrested for the murder, Lucy knows she must try to uncover the truth, because the bumbling sheriff figures he has arrested someone and the investigation is over.

The Dewberry Farms series is the third (and most recent) series by Karen MacInerney and I like reading all three. The characters in each are as different as possible from each other, but they are all well written, likable, and inquisitive. They are people you would expect to run into at the grocery store or over the backyard fence, who just happen to have a knack for solving crimes.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Take A Chance by Natalie Ann

Natalie Ann writes feel good books about people who aren't really ready to take a chance on love and then they meet "the one".  In Take a Chance the two characters knew each other as children when Rene and her brother visited their really cool grandmother in Lake Placid.
Rene was a book reading, clumsy, shy young girl with a little crush on Cole.  When Rene attends her brother's wedding (Second Chance) she meets, and accepts a job with Dr. Max Hamilton (Give Me A Chance) and moves to Lake Placid.  On her first day at the clinic, she slides off the icy road and is rescued by Cole, Deputy Sheriff and twin brother of Celeste (Our Chance).  Cole did not have the easiest time growing up and is rather closed off.  His father was a stern sheriff who never left the house without telling Cole he was "the man of the house" and that he must take care of his mother and sister.  The tone his father set and their last conversation weighed heavily on Cole as an adult.  Somehow the author gets them dating and into a relationship.

I look forward to all of Natalie Ann's books. She writes about regular people, the kind you meet in your doctor's office, the grocery store, and at your local police department.  Even though all of the books are stand-alone, the characters from books one through three are there in the background so you can keep up with them. 

I enjoyed getting to know Rene and Cole through Natalie Ann's words.  Of all of this author's series (this is series number three) Rene and Cole have the most unique road to happiness.

I received an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.  This is my opinion and review. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Murder Wears Mittens

Murder Wears Mittens by Sally Goldenbaum is the latest addition to her Seaside Knitters Society mysteries and it is definitely a winner. It kept me guessing from beginning to end, even the wrap up was a mystery.

In this book Izzy's knitting shop and Izzy and her friends (Cass, Birdy, and Nell) are working with the community to knit hats, socks, and mittens (along with a few scarves) for those in need. When Cass runs across a young boy and his dog in the laundromat one very rainy evening, she can't stop looking until she is able to return the school uniform he dropped. When the group finally locate the family, they find Cass' aunt Sister Fiona is a champion of the family and that the mother is not home. A murder, a nosy reporter, a shocking will, and many great meals to discuss the events, knit, and solve the crimes.

As with all of her books the author weaves the story without letting on who the guilty party will turn out to be. The characters are well drawn, as you would expect after eleven books (this is number twelve) but not tiring. There are the four main women, their spouses/boyfriend, family members, community leaders, etc., etc., etc., but there is also a cast of characters in the front of the book. Murder Wears Mittens is as enjoyable as Death by Cashmere, the first in the series.