Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon

Pleating for Mercy is the story of descendants of Butch Cassidy, all of whom have a special power.  For instance, Harlow's grandmother is a goat whisper and her mother can make plants grow and grow and grow and grow.  Harlow, on the other hand, has not yet found her talent. 

A designer in New York, Harlow moves home to Bliss, Texas, when her great-grandmother dies and leaves her home to Harlow.  She takes it as a sign that this is the time for her to open a design studio.  Her first customer is a childhood friend whose wedding is in two week and the bridal shop where she ordered her dress has packed up and left town, taking her money with them. 

The bride and bridesmaid come for their fittings and before Harlow can even start to sew, one of the bridesmaids is murdered out by Harlow's front gate.   The bride is one of the prime suspects and Harlow takes it upon herself to try to sort out what happened. 

Of course there is a hint of the romance that may blossom in future episode and Harlow discovers her hidden talent. 

This is a great start for a new cozy series.  The cast of characters are fun and interesting.  There's a little bit of SW history thrown in to the mix.  I'm looking forward to picking up books two and three. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Root of all Trouble by Heather Webber

I read all of the Nina Quinn series years ago and was a little sad when Heather Webber (Blake) abandoned Nina to write other series. Even though I love all of Heather's characters, Nina was my favorite. Then, because good things come to those who wait (and stalk on Facebook), a new Nina Quinn showed up available for my Nook.

Nina Quinn is a master gardener who transforms yards while the owners are gone for the day. She hires ex-cons recommended by her parole officer cousin and they are all a loyal family. As a favor to her across the street friends, Nina plans to re-do their backyard until a tree falls down in a storm and a body falls out. Nina is sure that her cop ex-husband has arrested the wrong person and sets out to figure out the mystery.

Thrown into the mix is the new coroner who looks just like the first boy Nina liked, a boy whose whole family died in a small airplane crash when he was just 15. 

I recommend that you read all of this series in order. The characters are just that, characters and the mysteries are not that easy to solve.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay

Red Velvet Revenge is the fourth book in the cupcake bakery series and in this installment, they take the cupcakes on the road.

When Melanie and Angie get the opportunity to escape the heat of summer by selling their cupcakes at the Juniper Pass rodeo, they jump at the chance.  After retrofitting Oz's new cupcake van, Mel, Angie, Tate, Oz, and Marty accept the invitation of Slim Hazard to join his legendary annual rodeo.  The rodeo starts with a parade, where someone shoots Slim in the shoulder.  While the local sheriff is investigating what is thought to be a stray bullet, the rodeo star is found murdered. 

I really like this series.  The character are not perfect and act like real people,  I love that the author set this mystery "on the road", as I always question just how many murders and murderers can a small town harbor. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly

Kathleen Paulson is the head librarian at the Mayville Heights city library.  She has recently concluded supervising a complete rehab of the building and the library is thriving.   In between refurbishing the library, she and her cats solve murders, this is the third since she arrived in town.

In Cat Trick, Mike Glazer is back in town after a leaving Mayville when his brother died in a car accident.  Mike is the owner of a company that sells vacation packages and the town in hoping he will put Mayville on their list of places to see. When Kathleen stumbles upon Mike’s body in a demonstration tent on the boardwalk, she decides to do a little investigating of her own.  Unfortunately, Detective Marcus Gordon, would rather she stayed out of it and investigating on her own could jeopardize their almost relationship.

Kathleen does try to keep Marcus in the loop, but her two pushy magical cats sometimes make that very hard.

I like Sofie Kelly's books and quirky characters, I like cats, books, and 6' 4" good looking detectives.  I'm not all that fond of cats that talk to people and solve crimes.  I would like this series a bit more if there was less cat finding clues and more people interaction, but that's just me.   Still it's a really good cozy mystery. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Bride's House by Sandra Dallas

I love Sandra Dallas' books.  Not only do they entertain me, keep me interested, and make me not want to stop reading, they also make me want to learn more about the places, people, time periods, and items.  In The Bride's House, I found myself Googling Molybdenum at 1:00 a.m.  Maybe I'm the only one who has never heard of molybdenum, but if you don't know what it is, it makes steel more steely.  But I digress.

The Bride's House is the story of 16 year old Nealie Bent, who in 1880 runs away from an abusive father and ends up in the mining town of Georgetown, Colorado. Nealie loves being on her own and away from her father and is working and living  in a boarding house where her job is feeding the men who work in the mines.   At the boarding house Nealie meets, and is courted by two men; a miner named Charlie Dumas, and Will Spaulding, a young man sent by his wealthy grandfather to learn the business from the ground up.  '

Nealie's daughter, Pearl, falls in love with a young man who does not have the approval of her father.  He sabotages their plan to marry and sends Pearl's suitor away and lets Pearl think that he bought him off.  Pearl's relationship with her father flounders, but she is strong and when she gets a second chance at happiness, she jumps at it.

In 1950, 18 year old Susan is spending the summer at The Bride's House and falls in love with Joe. As time goes on she learns first hand of the strength of the women who came before her and the lies and secrets hidden at The Bride's House

Monday, April 1, 2013

Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington

I always like a mystery where the characters aren't 20 somethings (oh when did I get so old), and in this new series Lila Watkins (mystery solver) is 45, her soon to be love interest/cop is in his 50s, and they are both vital  and there's a spark almost immediately..

Lila is a survivor, on the day she gets laid off from her job at the local newspaper, she makes one phone call and gets a job as the intern for a small publishing company.  Unfortunately, on her first day at work a homeless man is found murdered in the lobby while Lila is out getting coffee.  Then her son and his friends drive her car onto the football field at the high school and wreck the car and the field.

So what does Lila do?  She decides to sell her house to pay for the damages and moves in with her mother the next day.  Say what?  Seriously? 

I think this could be a great series, but hopefully the next one will have more continuity and make more sense.  I want to like them, but these characters do really stupid things and aren't very believable.