Monday, November 20, 2017

The Body in the Casket: A Faith Fairchild Mystery by Katherine Hall Page

Faith is asked to cater a birthday party for an older man at his home.  He wants her to live in over the weekend for the party.  She's open to that and agrees.  Then he tells her the real reason he wants her there.  Someone sent him a casket and he thinks it's a death threat.  She can't argue about that...

William Morrow and Edelweiss shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Faith works with his butler getting everything set up and learning her duties.  She finds that the owner has invited everyone from his failed production.  It's an odd choice for a birthday but it's his choice.

Some of those invited die before they can get there.  One from natural causes, the other might have been an accident or suicide.  Faith is wondering how many others will die.

The birthday boy invites his cousin to fill in the blank spot and he drinks too much.  He's the next to die.  He was playing around in the desk drawer in the library and got bit by a poisonous snake someone had placed there.  It should have been the owner, not the cousin.  So now the murderer has to get more creative.

When the murderer is unmasked, I was surprised.  Everybody had reason to wish the owner dead, but the author adds a neat twist to the end.  It's a good thing that Faith followed her instincts.  It's what keeps her alive.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Accessories to Die For by Paula Paul

This story was set in Santa Fe.  I live in New Mexico, have visited Santa Fe and I know about their Old World charm.  I had to read this book.

Alibi and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Irene used to be an assistant district attorney in New York, but her mother has asked her to come home.  She's fearful of dying alone.  Irene's mother frustrates her but she understands her need for company.  She comes and she sets up a high end second hand store for recycled designer duds.  It's a successful business.  She hires a young man who charms the women who come in the store and is a great salesman.  

Juanita sits on the Plaza and sells her jewelry.  It's all made in the Indian way and is lovely to see.  She's friends with Irene.  Her son is missing and she's trying to find him.  She knows he needs her.  Then the cops charge him with murder and she gets even more desperate to save him.

You have drug trafficking, antique jewelry being stolen and sold in France at auctions, Indian versus American ideas of right and wrong, and Irene is in the middle.  She's conflicted because she knows she has to report some of what she's heard but she doesn't want to make things worse.  And her boyfriend is another attorney and he's representing the other side.  Then she finds out her mother was dating one of the killers.

You learn about the beautiful Indian jewelry, the different tribes, and how fragile life is when you live on the fringe.  You certainly won't be bored!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Somebody at the Door: British Library Crime Classics by Raymond Postgate

Gossip can kill.  If only people minded their own business and not everyone else's.

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

This story wanders around a bit.  You hear about other characters before you get to the meat of the story.  A man dies at home.  His wife finally calls the doctor.  The doctor isn't sure if the death was natural or not, so another doctor is called in.  The second doctor said someone had used mustard gas to kill him.  The unfortunate part of the tale is how many people hated him.  This man had no compassion for anyone.  No one was sparing any on him either.

The Inspector has to look at all those on the train with him to try to determine if he was infected then.  There are facts, there are coincidences and with so many that could be guilty, it's hard to nail down who was most motivated.  At the end, he finally does.  I was surprised.  Usually I have an idea of the murderer, but not in this story.  The writer weaves his magic and only shows his cards at the end.

This was a good mystery.  I like to see the older novels come to life again.  They are still good reads.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Chained: A Kate Turner DVM Mystery #3 by Eileen Brady

When Kate visits a dog owner to examine a cut on the dog, the owner shows her an old bone the dog brought home with him.  The tone changes when Kate tells her the bone is human...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Kate visits several homes to take care of their animals and she picks up gossip on the way.  When the body is identified as a high school student who disappeared ten years ago, his family asks her to look into it.  She takes some photos, finds out who is in the pictures and then she goes looking for them so she can ask nosy questions.  Her cop friend wants her to stop.  Her "once" boyfriend comes home from a dig in Africa and helps her investigate.

Between the stories she hears (someone has to be lying), the lack of evidence, and two men interested in her, she's not sure where she's going.

This was a good read.  I had no idea who the real villain was and Kate's savior that keeps her alive at the final confrontation was a surprise, too.  Now if she'll just pick her man, she'll have it made. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne is off for a holiday, taking her girls, her companion Dot and the dog, Molly.  They are going to do some swimming, eating out when they like, and just generally do some relaxing.  When they arrive at their destination, she finds that the staff that wasn't to meet her is gone.  The back door was open, their furniture is gone, and there's no note or no sign of them...

Poisoned Pen Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

They search the house and grounds but find no one.  Luckily Ruth has been learning to cook so she finds a cookbook in the library, buys supplies, and begins doing meals.  They met a fish boy on the way into town.  Three local lads were harassing him and Phryne put a stop to that.  They soon get a big fish as a thanks from the boy.

Phryne begins hiring local help.  She has good luck with the young boy and girl who join her staff.  She even finds some extra food to send home for the families.  She has a good heart even if she makes a bad enemy.

As they continue to wonder about the Johnson's, an old lady across the street dies.  Was it natural or not?  And why did the Johnson's furniture go to a company that said there was never an order for pickup?  What else did that trucking do?  And why are there rumors about a hidden pirate treasure?

This author always adds some strange content to her stories.  Odd people abound and Phryne has to make sense out of small hints and her own intuition.  The good news is that everything works out for the better at the end of the story.  The girls are maturing, the locals respect Phryne, and her boyfriend will be arriving shortly.  What more could you want?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Curtain: British Library Crime Classics by Alan Melville

The play was going well until the scheduled shooting ending up being too real...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 5th.

Inspector Wilson of Scotland is in the audience and he's quick to take action.  When they go to find the actor who fired the shot, he's hung himself in his dressing room.  Everyone is sure the case is already over.  One actor shoots another and then commits suicide.  But Inspector Wilson is not so sure.

I enjoyed reading about the relationship of Wilson and his son.  It was entertaining for him to see a bullet hole in the curtain and the location of the bullet and watch him create a totally different solution to the murder.

It was also fun at the end that the crime he and his son had pieced together was all pure fiction.  It's not often you see a Scotland Yard lad have to admit he was wrong.

This is an amusing read that shows you just how imaginative authors can be.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz is a thief, a very good one.  She smuggles things in that aren't allowed.  She has to know every nook and cranny of the bubble towns that have been created on the moon to do it.  She does.  Her father wishes she didn't do what she does but she's trying to earn enough money to buy a suit to work outside.  They're very expensive.  When she's offered a large sum of money to stop the harvesters that bring in rock, she says no at first.  But when she hears the money being offered, she changes her mind...

Crown Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

I read The Martian and this writer's words resonate with me.  He talks about impossible things (at least so far) and he makes it very believable.  His stories are full of suspense and huge challenges for the characters.  No matter how many pages there are in the story, you won't skip a thing and you'll be unwilling to put it down and do something else.  His stories are mesmerizing.

Jazz had enemies, friends, and some she's not sure of.  When she goes to do her dirty deed, she makes a mistake and suddenly she's on the run.  When she goes to visit the man that hired her, she finds him and his bodyguard dead.  She runs down the other man she met while at his house and when she breaks in his room, she finds the killer instead.  I told you, it's not boring.

This a conspiracy within a conspiracy and it takes a lot of questions and some brave action to try to save the world she lives in.  At the end, she makes another mistake and almost kills everyone on the planet.  Can she reverse this?

You'll keep reading until you know...