Friday, 15 December 2017

Cat-Eye Witness (A Klepto Cat Mystery #2) by Patricia Fry


Cat-Eye Witness (Klepto Cat Mystery, #2)

Savannah and Aunt Margaret open the old Forster home to the Hammond Cat Alliance for a fundraiser to help rehabilitate the abused horses rescued months earlier from the catnappers. Before the afternoon is over, the collected funds go missing and someone is murdered in an upstairs bedroom.
Suspicion surrounds Iris, a local waitress and Savannah’s new best friend. The only witness to the murder is Rags, Savannah’s cat. With the assistance of a cat psychic and Rags’s good friend, Charlotte (the young girl with Downs), the cat helps to “paw” the killer…but not before an attempt is made on Rags’s life. The case is solved only after Rags comes face-to-face with the killer for the second time.
Detective Craig Sledge is new to this book, as is Damon, Iris’s errant son. Sledge finds this to be one of the muddiest cases he has ever worked, with inconsistent clues and no apparent motive. He’s constantly surprised, perplexed and impressed by the cat’s uncanny ability to come up with clues he has missed. His fascination with the attractive Iris Clampton also mystifies the detective.
In this story, one of the rescued horses goes into labor and there’s a night of high drama at the ole corral as veterinarians Savannah and Michael work to save the foal. This experience renews Savannah’s deep interest in horses and riding, which ultimately serves to help her bond with a very important surprise character who finds his way into her life and Michael’s just as they prepare to say their wedding vows.

While Rags is the animal star, he isn’t the only animal featured in this story. Layla is back in all of her tangerine beauty. And Rags makes friends with Buffy, a perky almost Himalayan and the inseparable duo, Walter, an all black cat and his sidekick, Lexie, a charming afghan mix. Savannah’s new ride, Peaches, also debuts in this story. An incident with this mare adds another dimension to Savannah’s and Michael’s relationship. Can he hold her with open arms?

Some say this is a love story with a mystery in the background. And it’s a story of family and friendship as newlyweds Margaret and Max continue to be a meaningful part of Savannah’s and Michael’s world.  (Summary via Goodreads)



As soon as I finished the first book, Catnapped, in Patricia Fry's Klepto Cat Mystery series, I had to immediately start reading Cat-Eye Witness.  I wasn't ready to leave Savannah, Michael and all the other friends I had made in the first book.  In Catnapped you are introduced to everyone in town and you are just getting to know them and getting use to "being in a new environment" but once you start reading Cay-Eye Witness you are in love with everyone and beginning to feel like you belong there.

The characters that Fry writes about are people you will like, love and admire.  Most of them are friends, have things in common and will do whatever they can to help each other out.  And boy do some of them need extra help in Cat-Eye Witness !!!

Savannah has moved into her auntie's house and is working with Michael at his clinic after her aunt and Max got married at the end of the first book.  They are having a fundraiser at the house to raise money to help horses in need when the money raised is stolen and a man is found dead in an upstairs bedroom.  And if things couldn't get any worse, Savannah's new best friend Iris is looking like a top suspect, right up at the top of the list with her eldest son.  And yup...worse yet is that Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, is acting very strangely.  It is possible that Rags was witness to the murder and may even be able to identify the killer !!!

OMG I love these books !!!  The imagination and creative way Fry writes and keeps the reader interesting is such an amazing talent !!  I would have never imagined that a cat could identify a killer or help solve a crime but after reading these books, I think why not ?  Anything is possible.....

The Klepto Cat Mystery series is off the charts FUN to read !!  I am beginning to see why there are so many written in this series. And the way that Fry ends each book, there is NO doubt that I will continue reading these books.  I cannot wait for more......

Review by Missi S.










Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Catnapped (A Klepto Cat Mystery #1) by Patricia Fry


Catnapped (Klepto Cat Mystery #1)

When Savannah Jordan agrees to help her aunt while she recovers from a broken foot, she doesn’t expect to walk into a mystery, become part of a not-quite-legal surveillance team, be kidnapped by a deranged stranger and meet a steaming hot veterinarian. Beloved neighborhood cats are missing—the community can only guess at their fate—and Aunt Margaret’s life is being threatened. Is it because she has a clue to the missing cats or is it something more sinister?

If you like light mysteries with only a little terror, if you’re infatuated by interesting cats and if you love a love story, you must read this book.  (Summary via Goodreads)



Klepto Cat Mystery series where have you been ??  I cannot believe that this series has been out since 2013, has 23 books in this series and I have only just finished book one.  Catnapped is the first book in this series by Patricia Fry and it is a GREAT start to this series.

In Catnapped you walk into a cat loving community that is being threatened.  You meet Savannah who goes to stay with her aunt Margaret to help her out after she has an accident and breaks her foot.  Savannah, Vannie to her aunt, is a veterinarian technician who has a cat, Rags, who likes to "borrow" things.  Margaret, Auntie to Savannah, has a neighbor, Max, who has a facility next door where he rescues cats, takes in cats and treats them trying to adopt them out.  And there is also a hunky hot veterianarian, Doctor Mike, that is all kinds of yummy !!!

Unfortunately someone is threatening Auntie by leaving notes on her property and maybe, just maybe the fall she took wasn't an accident.  And if that isn't bad enough neighborhood cats are starting to disappear.  Someone is stealing family pets ?  Cats to be specific !!!

Auntie and Max belong to a cat alliance group and along with members of other cat related groups they devise a plan to look into the disappearance of the cats.  You will see that once Auntie gets an idea in her head, nothing will stop her....not even death threats and a broken foot !!!

One word that can be used to describe this book is.....devotion.  The devotion of the cat owner's to find their pets, the devotion of Vannie to her aunt, the devotion of the members of the different groups coming together to solve this case, and the devotion you begin to see between Vannie and Michael.

The only thing that you will have a hard time with when you read Catnapped is that it ends....and boy is the ending a GREAT ending.  But then you just have to remember what I said in the beginning of this review ---- There are 22 more books in this series.  So all you have to do is pick up Book two, Cat-Eye Witness and you are back hanging out with Auntie, Max, Vannie, Michael, Rags and the whole gang.....

Review by Missi S.










Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Of Murder and Men (Cat Latimer Mystery #3) by Lynn Cahoon



Of Murder and Men (Cat Latimer Mystery, #3)
Love is in the air in Aspen Hills, and it’s making a terrible mess of Cat Latimer’s writers’ retreat—especially when blood stains the plot . . .

Ever since her business partner, Shauna, fell for a wealthy landowner in town, Cat has been working double time to keep her writers’ retreat running. And with the January session almost underway, that spells trouble. As if scheduling mishaps aren’t disastrous enough, Shauna skips out on kitchen duties one morning, forcing Cat to serve unsuspecting guests store-bought muffins . . .

But best laid plans really go awry when Shauna discovers her beau missing from their bed. When his body later turns up in the horse barn, they quickly find out the victim’s scandalous lifestyle left many dying for revenge. While balancing an eccentric group of aspiring writers and a suspect list for the record books, Cat soon finds herself on the heels of a killer—and authoring her most deadly conclusion yet . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)



Okay so in the first book in the Cat Latimer Mystery series by Lynn Cahoon a guest of the writer's retreat was murdered and in the second book of the series someone from the town was murdered but a guest of the retreat was involved.  And in both of those books Cat was trying to wrap her head around her ex-husband Michael's death.  So in the third book, Of Murder and Men, it should be smooth sailing .....right ????

Well most everything with the guests for the retreat do run smoothly, actually pretty well.  Cat has a group of writer's that get along and have fun when they are not getting their word count in for the day.  And one of the guests, Shirley ( a retired Alaskan cop ) seems to be getting along very well with Uncle Pete....and providing her expert job experience looking into Michael's death.

Unfortunately death does hit the writer's retreat and it hits very close to home.  Shauna's very rich on/off boyfriend, Kevin, has finally made up his mind with their relationship and pops the question !!  But before she can decide what she wants to do he is found dead in the horse barn on his elaborate estate.  

When the cause of death is determined that he was poisoned and Shauna was the one to cook him his last meal, Uncle Peter has a lot of questions.  Even though everyone knows that Shauna wouldn't do anything to hurt anyone, Cat still feels the need to find out who did kill Kevin.

Cat always has her hands full running the writer's retreats but always makes time to help others out and when her best friend needs her, she will stop at nothing to be there for her.....

Of Murder and Men is my FAVORITE book so far in this series  !!  Not only are we really getting to know Cat, the business, the town and it's residents but we finally see closure in Michael's murder.  Even though there is closure, I'm sure that will not be the end of the Michael aspect of the books.  Especially seeing as Cat found out some things at the bank and through Dante, Michael's college friend who happens to be a member of a mob family.  I look forward to where Cahoon is going to take this part of the story.

There is so much to say about Of Murder and Men and Lynn Cahoon but as with a lot of my reviews, I really only want to give you the extra push needed for you to pick up the book and find out for yourself what is going on in the story.  I highly recommend that with the Cat Latimer series......there are so many things to love about Aspen Hills with only one thing to dislike.....that it's not a real place.  But hey it's a great place to visit with Cahoon and you don't have to leave the comfort of your couch.....

Review by Missi S.










Monday, 27 November 2017

Fatality by Firelight (Cat Latimer Mystery #2) by Lynn Cahoon



Fatality by Firelight (Cat Latimer Mystery, #2)
Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .
   (Summary via Goodreads)




Fatality by Firelight is the second book in the Cat Latimer Mystery book series by Lynn Cahoon and it is the second writer's retreat for Cat, Shauna and Seth.  Catherine Latimer was willed the big house in 
Colorado by her ex-husband Michael and with the help of her friend Shauna and her high school, current boyfriend, Seth she has turned it into a writer's retreat bed and breakfast.  For one week a month the house is opened up to authors who spend the week writing, visiting the college library, participating in seminars and receiving insights from Cat who is a published author.

On the first day of this retreat Cat and Seth take the guests on a skiing trip to the nearby resort.  While Cat and Seth are enjoying the day racing each other down the mountain, the guests have taken to the bar instead.  Christina, a romance author,  has caught the eye of local boy Tommy and the two have no problem showing some PDA at the resort.   Unfortunately Tommy is engaged to Brit, a bartender in town.  When Tommy is found stabbed to death in a hot tub at the resort and Christina was the last to see him alive and has Tommy's blood on her clothes, things at the retreat heat up !!


Luckily for Christina Cat's uncle Pete is the police chief and on top of everything and if he isn't Cat is....


Valuable Hemingway books are stolen from the library, mobster children are students at the college, Cat is trying to go through Michael's study for clues to his death and closure, they are trying to run a successful writer's retreat, and Cat wants to find out who killed Tommy and keep Christina safe.....All in a day's work for Cat and company.


You will instantly love Cat, Shauna and Seth !!  You will want to spend lots of time in the kitchen with the girls and sit on the couch in Cat's office on the third floor.  The relationships in the story between Cat and Shauna, Cat and Seth, the writing guests for the week are uniquely written and you will long for relationships like these.  

And I must mention the special hot chocolate and the food that Shauna prepares throughout the story....yummy !!  You will be so engrossed in reading this book, that you might find yourself smelling the chocolate.....

I am a HUGE fan of Lynn Cahoon and the Cat Latimer Mystery series and cannot wait to get lost in another of the writer's retreats........I know it's going to be a treat !!!!

Review by Missi S.







   








Monday, 20 November 2017

The Body on the T (Sgt. Windflower Mystery #2) by Mike Martin


The Body on the T (Sgt. Windflower Mystery, #2)
The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.

But this is just the beginning. There is also a devastating accident on the highway and another suspicious death to deal with. Throw in a rogue police officer and an international drug ring operating in the waters off the coast and Windflower’s peaceful world is turned upside down. This time Windflower’s adventures take him to the scenic town of Burin where Captain Cook once patrolled the waters looking for French mercenaries. And to historic St. John’s where he faces down an armed suspect on a parking garage rooftop in the midst of a busy downtown evening.

Along the way Windflower also continues to enjoy the food and home-style hospitality of this part of the world. Cod tongues, pan seared scallops and even figgy duff become part of his diet, and his long list of favourite foods. Windflower may be a long way from his Cree home in Northern Alberta but he has found a new place to love in the fog and mist of Newfoundland.  (Summary via Goodreads)



The Body on the T is the second book in the Sgt. Windflower mystery series and boy is it a GOOD one !!!  If you have read The Walker on the Cape, the first book in this series, you have met Windflower and have gotten to know him and his little town.  If not, that is okay.  Mike Martin brings you up to speed rather quickly....hee hee.

In The Body on the T you are introduced to a dead body right away....unfortunately who the person was is not known immediately as they have no identification or recoqnized as a local.  Before Windflower can identify the body, it is transferred out of his jurisdiction.  Windflower is also asked to leave Grand Bank for a few months to work on a case in Marystown that has to do with the Harvey Brenton case that we read about in the first book.

While Windflower is getting things ready in Grand Bank for his temporary move to Marystown, he has to suspend one of his Constables, Claude LaPierre, another body is found floating in the harbour and his girlfriend, Sheila, is in a head on collision.  One "good" thing is that they know that the body found floating is Roger Buffet, a heavy drinker who owed Brenton a lot of money.  

Windflower leaves everything in the capable hands of Corporal Eddie Tizzard who seems to know a little bit about everything which can be good and bad but he always seems to come out on top.  

Once Windflower is settled in Marystown he finds out that the dead body found on the T that was transferred is Jean-Marc Guibert who was working for Brenton but recruited by the drug enforcement team to provide inside intelligence and he also learns that LaPierre is involved in the drug distribution network and the case that Windflower was brought in for.

Windflower has a lot on his plate with the case and Sheila's accident.  Sheila is transferred to a hospital closer to Marystown which is good for Windflower, he is able to visit her daily.  

There is so much more that I could tell you about the case, Windflower, Sheila, Tizzard, LaPierre and the offer that Windflower gets later in the story (tiny spoiler) but to read it in it's fullest is the best way to do it !!

I will tell you that you will LOVE the growing relationship between Windflower and Sheila, you will wish you had Tizzard's energy and you will love the person that Windflower is, as a Mountie, a boyfriend, a friend, and as just a good human being.  And the devotion he has to the job and Sheila will warm your insides ......

So grab a cup of tea and a biscuit, settle in your comfy chair and take a little trip and hang out with Windflower and enjoy the ride.......

Review by Missi S.







Friday, 17 November 2017

A Deadly Éclair (A French Bistro Mystery #1) by Daryl Wood Gerber


A Deadly Éclair (A French Bistro Mystery, #1)

It's always been Mimi Rousseau's dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she's been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband's tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she's able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn's first wedding ever. 
The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan's half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners' dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an eclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan's will. 
Now it's up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Eclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.  (Summady via Goodreads)



A French Bistro Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber is going to be one of my favorite series !!  With her debut book, A Deadly Eclair, I have fallen in love with everything in the story !!  

You have Mimi who owns the bistro and inn where she runs the bistro and her best friend, Jo, manages the inn.   And all of this is possible because Bryan saw something promising in Mimi and invested in her dream.  Not only does Bryan see something special in Mimi he also wants to help her succeed.  It only seems fitting that the first wedding held at the inn is a famous talk show host to a well known jeweler.  The bride also happens to be the daughter of Bryan's half brother so that should help things run smoothly.  

Unfortunately things don't go as planned at the out-of-towners dinner gathering the night before the wedding and even worse when the bride goes out running early the next morning and finds Bryan dead on the patio of the bistro with an eclair stuffed in his mouth.  To make matters worse, if that is possible, Mimi is the main suspect when it is discovered that Bryan was lured there by a text message from her cell phone !!!

While Mimi tries to resume business as usual and keep all the wedding guests comfortable, she also questions everyone trying to solve Bryan's murder, clear her name, and keep her business afloat.

A Deadly Eclair has a wonderful cast of characters, some you fall in love with instantly.....like Mimi's best friend Jo who runs the inn effortlessly and is always there for Mimi no matter what.  You also will love the hostess, Heather, who has a thing for aliens but is more than capable of being the hostess with the mostest.  And there are also Sergeant Tyson Daly and the gardener Raymond who went to school with Mimi, Mimi's mother who owns a vineyard as well as Nash who sells wine and also has a crush on Mimi.

And let's not overlook that this ALL takes place in a wonderful place Napa Valley which is full of jazz music, gourmet food, lucious wine, refreshing gardens and mouth dropping artwork.....

My only recommendation before picking this book up to get lost in it is to grab a nice glass of wine, some cheese and crackers, a comfy blanket and settle back.....once you open up the book, you won't want to leave......


Review by Missi S.






Thursday, 16 November 2017

Much Ado About Murder (Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #3) by Elizabeth J. Duncan



Much Ado About Murder (Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #3)
Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company's steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright. 

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner's secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund's plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way? 

With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it's final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan's third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)


I might be a tad partial to Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan because it is A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery and I live in upstate New York.  But whatever reason you choose to read Much Ado About Murder, I am quite certain that you will love it !!


Even though this is the third book in the series and I haven't had the pleasure of reading the previous two, I was able to pick it up and breeze right through it.  As soon as I started reading, I was lost in the Catskills....  The story is so fun !!!  You have a theater company attached to a grand hotel with three bungalows and the bungalows are housed by the director of the current play, the main star of the current play and Charlotte, the costume designer and her police officer boyfriend.

Unfortunately the current Shakespeare play has trouble from the start with the director leaving abruptly and unable to return and then his replacement, Edmind, is found dead in his bungalow as a result of an apparent suicide.  But as they say in show business the show must go on so with a third director they continue with rehearsals.  

Charlotte and her friend Paula, who is on the board of directors for the theatre have a hard time accepting that Edmund would commit suicide.  He was very passionate about the play and the direction he was taking it, it just didn't fit that he would kill himself.

Charlotte and Paula dig into their own investigation and try to find out who killed Edmund and why.  But with a cast of over-eager actors and a very eager replacement director, how will they narrow down the list of suspects ???  

Much Ado About Murder was such a treat to read, Duncan has a way with her writing that you feel like you are right there walking along side Charlotte as she walks the paths along the grounds and you can almost taste the gin and tonic that she makes when she gets together with Paula.....

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Dead of Winter (Lily Dale Mystery #3) by Wendy Corsi Staub


Dead of Winter (Lily Dale Mystery, #3 & Lily Dale, #7)
Just as a murderer dumps his corpse into the lake across Valley View in Lily Dale, Bella Jordan happens to be at her window, not quite realizing what she's seeing. Unbeknownst to her, the killer spots her silhouette and prowls straight to her door. That is, until he's interrupted by a black cat. A superstitious gambler, he takes off, but Bella's seen too much, and he vows to return. 

Jiffy Arden, a neighborhood kid looking for the black cat and stumbling across the killer, begins to have premonitions of being kidnapped during the season's first snowstorm. Sure enough, when it strikes, he vanishes, never arriving home from the bus stop. While her son, Max, believes Jiffy has been kidnapped, Bella is convinced he's just wandered off as he typically does... until a body shows up in the lake. 

Now everyone is pulling out all the stops to find the missing child, identify the victim, and collar the killer. And fast, because he's coming for Bella next in Dead of Winter  (Summary via Goodreads)




I could not stop reading this book !!!!  As soon as I started reading Dead of Winter by Wendy Corsi Staub I was hooked !!!  Even though this is the third book in the Lily Dale Mystery series and the first one that I read, it didn't matter.  I was introduced to everyone in town like it was the first book.  Staub's writing allows the reader to pick up the book and before you even finish the first chapter you are at home in this little lakeside community with all its wacky residents !!

The main character focus is on Bella and her young son Max as they are new to Lily Dale (yes Lily Dale is the name of the area , it's not the name of a character).  Bella and Max moved there recently after her husband passed away and she ends up running the Valley View Manor on the lake.  They were brought to the Valley View Manor by Chance (a cat) and ended up staying.

One unique thing about Dead of Winter is that Lily Dale is full of spiritualists.  Most of Bella's neighbors are mediums that see and talk to the dead..... even her son's 6 year old best friend, Jiffy.  This doesn't give the reader a "spooky" feeling because the way that it is written is comical at times and, well, the rest just seems to make sense.

Don't get me wrong....there is a murder in the middle of the night and the killer dumps the victim over a rowboat in the lake....and Bella is caught looking out the window by the killer....and Jiffy just happens to run into the killer outside the Valley View Manor......and the victim just happens to be from a very impressive gang of theives.....and to make it all even better Lily Dale is hit with a tremendous snowstorm....

OMG I want to read it again !!!  That's how good Dead of Winter is !!  I sat on my couch reading it from start to finish !!  Once you get to a certain point in the story (I won't tell you where...) you CANNOT put the book down.....you can't !!  I challenge you to try !!  Believe me when you get to that point, and you will know it when you get there, you mind as well cancel whatever you had planned for the rest of the day.

Dead of Winter is set in a very interesting lakeside community with such interesting people .... I could go on and on regarding the residents, dead and alive, but you should read it for yourself !!

After reading Dead of Winter, I can tell you that I will be going back and reading the rest of the Lily Dale series......

Review by Missi S.






  







Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Walker on the Cape (Sgt. Windfower Mystery #1) by Mike Martin


The Walker on the Cape (Sgt. Windflower Mystery, #1)

A man's body is found in a small fishing community on the East Coast. First, everyone thinks it's a heart attack or stroke but then it's discovered that he was poisoned. Who would do this and why? Finding that out falls to Winston Windflower and his side-kick Eddie Tizzard. Along the way, they discover there are many more secrets hidden in this small community and powerful people who want to keep it that way.  (Summary via Goodreads)

EPIC FINISH !!!

The Walker on the Cape by Mike Martin is the first in his Sgt. Windflower Mystery series and it starts the series off epically !!!

One of the things that I love about this book and this series is that it is set in Canada.  It is always interesting to read stories set in other areas from your own so that you can learn about those areas as you read a good story.  Even the simply differences like calling a police officer Constable and reading how everyone drinks tea instead of coffee are nice touches in a book.

In the Walker on the Cape you meet Sergeant Winston Windflower who lives in a small community that is shook by the death of Elias Martin.  Elias Martin is an elderly man who, since his wife's death, has kept to himself.  When he is found on the Cape by two hikers, his death is ruled suspicious after the police find evidence at his residence.  Who would want to kill Martin ?  

Windflower's investigation leads him to a very powerful and corrupt businessman, Harvey Brenton whose wife, Marge, was Martin's girlfriend many years ago.  But when Brenton is shot to death and Marge and Martin's nephew, James both admit to the crime, Windflower has more questions than answers.....

There are many characters and relationships that you will love to read about and follow in this series.  I for one cannot wait to dig into the next book and ride along with Windflower.....

Review by Missi S.




Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Twelve Slays of Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1) by Jacqueline Frost


Twelve Slays of Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1)

When Holly White's fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime--exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly's family tree farm. 
When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly's father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn't help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost's jolly series debut.  (Summary via Goodreads)


There is SO much about Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost to LOVE....unless you are the Grinch that is !!

First you are in a town called Mistletoe hainging out at a tree farm, Reindeer Games, with Holly White and her cat Cindy Lou Who....have I grabbed your interest yet ??

How about Holly moves back home a few weeks before Christmas when Reindeer Games is in full Christmas mode?  It's like you can smell all the yumy treats her mom is making.

Yes I almost forgot there is a murder that occurs and the victim happens to be a "Grinch" herself.  Even though Margaret is the President of the Mistletoe Historical Society, she is a thorn in everyone's side.  And when Holly finds her dead body on a sleigh on the property and the murder weapon is a stake used to mark trees on the farm, Holly buts heads with the town Sheriff trying to solve the case and save her family's legacy.

It doesn't matter where you are and what time of the year it is when you read Twelve Slays of Christmas (I was on the beach in Florida in October),  it is guaranteed to put you in the holiday season.  You will be longing for cocoa and snickledoodles in no time.

Like I said there is so much to like within this story....It is sure to put you in a good mood.  Even with the murder and the town on edge, there is a determined Sheriff who will do everything he can to protect his town and find justice.

The relationships in the story will draw at your heartstrings....from Holly and her parents to the friendships Holly has with old family friend Cookie and re-acquainted school friend Caroline, the way the entire town sticks together and let's not forget the new sparkly relationship between Holly and the Sheriff.

I am a HUGE fan of Jacqueline Frost and her other series Kitty Couture Mysteries written as Julie Chase.  I look forward to more installments of Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries.  I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve.....

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Interview with Author Julie Chase / Jacqueline Frost / Julie Anne Lindsey

Jacqueline Frost....aka Julie Chase....aka Julie Anne Lindsey....is an AMAZING author and I have the pleasure of sharing her with you. If you go to her website http://juliechasebooks.com/ she is described as :" a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world."

If you have read ANY of her books, you would agree that she has changed the world with her writing, even if it was just while you read the book and it was only your world that was impacted. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading one of her books, maybe you will after your get to know her a little bit. I recently had the pleasure of talking to her (via computer sadly) after I read her latest book Twelve Slays of Christmas under her latest pen name Jacqueline Frost.

Twelve Slays of Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1)

How long does it take to write a book ?  I’m a very dedicated outliner, so I spend about 10 days creating a detailed outline that includes all the twists and turns I need to make a great mystery. Then it’s time to write!  Using the outline as my guide and reference, I write a chapter a day and have a finished novel 28 days later. My total timeframe with time-off for family fun, weekends and life is about 6-8 weeks, concept to completion.

Why do you write under 2 different names ? I actually write under a few different names, and each is for a different reason. For example, I write my own cozy mystery ideas for Crooked Lane Books as Julie Chase, but when Crooked Lane had a fun idea for a cozy series set on a tree farm in New England, they needed a writer. They also needed a complete manuscript in about six weeks and knew I was a quick writer, so they gave my agent a call, and voila! Jacqueline Frost was born. I’ve also written as myself, Julie Anne Lindsey, and I have 6 romantic suspense titles under contract with Harlequin Intrigue which will release in 2018 & 2019. Using my real name for those will keep my cozy readers from picking up a Harlequin novel and being disappointed when the content isn’t what they’d grown accustom to expecting from me.  

Additionally, I have a new cozy series starting with Sourcebooks next summer that will be released under yet another name. Sometimes publishers request new pen names to distinguish their series from another. Sometimes it’s a marketing call. I’m just thankful to have the offers, so I keep on typing. Ohhhh and that new series information is still under wraps for now, so you’ve heard about it here first!
How do you balance them ? So far, that’s been pretty easy. I’m very open about being Julie Chase, Jacqueline Frost and Julie Anne Lindsey. And in truth, I might not be either of those names one day soon. If Crooked Lane doesn’t ask me to write anymore Kitty Couture books, for example, then Julie Chase will be no more. And the Christmas Tree Farm mysteries was Crooked Lane’s idea, so another author may be Jacqueline in the future. The only thing that never changes in this industry is the fact that it keeps changing.

Do you have a writing work schedule ?  Absolutely! I write every weekday from 9am (when I get home from driving my son to a special STEM high school, 40 minutes away) until 2pm when I have to leave to pick him up. I also take my laptop to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, cross country, gymnastics and tuba lessons, then I sit in the parking lot and write. On a tight deadline, I also write from 10pm – midnight, set my alarm to tell me to stop writing and go to bed, then I get up at 5am and write until 6:30 when I have to wake the kids for school. Every little bit of time helps.

What do you like to do when not writing ?  Read. I’m a voracious reader. And I also watch a ton of TV shows that refill my brain with wonderful “what ifs.” I slip away with friends for lunch or coffee when I can, and I love to clean and organize anything I can get my hands on. But it seems that no matter what I’m doing physically, my mind is always working on a new story plot or way to make my current manuscript more fun.
Cat Got Your Secrets (Kitty Couture Mystery, #3)

How do you balance life as a writer and life as a wife/mother ? I don’t. I can’t. I spend an inordinate amount of time telling people I am only ONE person. I cannot duplicate or split myself. I can only do my best, and that’s got to be enough because it’s all I’ve got. I like to think I’m teaching my kids the value of hard work and tenacity and showing them that sometimes we have to make tough decisions about how we spend our time. Like money, there is only so much we have to work with. I put my family first whenever I can, but there have also been times the lesson has been: Mommy matters too. And they’ve simply had to wait.

Do you read ? YES !

If so, what kind of books do you read ? I read a wide variety thanks to a book club I started about a year ago. Each woman chooses the book for one month, so we get a variety of genres and a chance to know one another better through our selections. We’ve read a little bit of everything this year, but **My** personal favorites have always been young adult, cozy mystery and romance. If a book can make me laugh, it’s an instant favorite.

Favorite author ? Janet Evanovich. Hands down. No question.

What book are you reading now ?  Right now, I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for book club. I’m listening to Pretend You Don’t See Her by Mary Higgins Clark on my commute back and forth to my teen’s high school, and I’m also reading In the Arms of the Enemy (a Harlequin Intrigue) by Carol Ericson.

What inspires you ? People. I am desperately interested in human relationships, our unique reactions to identical circumstances and the general dynamics of groups. I especially have a heart for women, and writing allows me to reach ladies I couldn’t have otherwise and (hopefully) through my books, I can give them a small reprieve from the busyness of their lives. I always try to make my readers. I know that somedays those smiles can be hard to come by.

Does your family read your books ?  My parents and my mother-in-law read every page. My husband and kids have never picked one up.

When and why did you begin writing ?  I began writing in 2010 when I needed a break from my life. I was a sleep deprived mother of a newborn who did not sleep, a potty-training toddler who had zero interest in the potty, and a homeschooling kindergartener who preferred to stick his pencils up his nose rather than to learn to write with them. I needed a break, and writing seemed like a fun way for someone like me to get a little time to herself. I had no idea then what it would one day become.

What inspired you to write your first book ?  I read a novel during that same time frame (from my last answer) that gave me a much needed break from the demands of my life. It took me away to another world, and when I came back, I felt like I could handle things better. I started looking forward to my next chance to read. When I finished that novel, I knew I wanted to do that for someone else. So, I asked Google, “How do I write a book?” And I’ve been at it ever since.

Julie Chase
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider your mentor ? Janet Evanovich. She’s the reason I write.

Out of the author names that you write under, do you have a favorite ?  Yes.
If so, why ?  I like writing the Julie Chase books best because after finishing three titles in the Kitty Couture Mysteries, Lacy and her gang have become very real and important to me. I miss them now that the publisher has decided not to publish more. I miss “visiting” New Orleans and dropping in on Lacy’s mother, dreaming up the misadventures of the Lama Mamas and Jazzy Chicks, and the sweetly developing romance between Lacy and Jack.

Your new series is a Christmas series, how fun was that to write ?   I LOVED it. I’m a Christmas fanatic, so I got to live out my ultimate dream of being part of an entire town who loves Christmas.

Is Christmas your vacation holiday ? Yes !

What is your favorite holiday tradition ? Every year since our kids were small, we’ve invited all the grandparents over the night after Thanksgiving for hot chocolate and cookies. Then, the kids and grandparents decorate our tree. I put it up and add the lights the day before Thanksgiving, but we wait until Friday night to decorate. I sit back, put on the music and watch my kids making priceless memories with their grandparents. The photos I’ve taken over the years are so special, and now that we’ve lost one of the dear grandpas, it makes me all the more thankful that we have those memories to cherish.

Your other series, A Kitty Couture series, is all about cats and dogs and the love their owners have for them.  You must be an animal lover.....are you a cat person ? dog person ? Other ?  Do you have pets now ?  If so, what ?
I see the Kitty Couture Mysteries as more about the people than the pets, but that’s probably just how my mind works. Lacy caters to a pet-loving customer base, true, but her job is just a side-note to the main story arcs, which revolve around Lacy and her deep love for family, friends and New Orleans.

As for my pets, I currently have a goldfish named Fishy who is very excited to see me every morning when I delivery the fishy flakes from heaven. My son is allergic to cats, so I have another 5 years or so before I can get a kitty back in my life, and while we puppy sit for relatives when they go on vacation, our family is on the run more than we’re home, so this season of life seems like an unfair time to have a dog.
What question do you wish someone would ask about your books that nobody has ? I honestly can’t think of a thing! You get a brownie for this question, because I am rarely caught without words!

Is there anything you would like to share with your readers ? I always want to tell my readers Thank you. You might not realize it, but you make my dream possible. Every time you buy one of my books, review it, recommend it to someone else or borrow it from a library, you are telling this industry that I am worthy of another contract. Without you, dear reader, my life would be vastly different. Your grace and generosity keeps me writing, chasing my dream, showing my kids they really can do anything they put their heart and soul into, and believing in impossible things to come. THANK YOU !!



Wow !!! Isn't she great ? Such a down to earth person and didn't you just love her Christmas tradition ? Even during an interview it is like she is telling a story....made you the reader feel emotions.... That is what a GREAT author does, they make the reader feel and gives us something to think about even after we finish reading the book.

As I said in the beginning we spoke after I read Twelve Slays of Christmas written as Jacqueline Frost. I had the pleasure of reading that while sitting on the beach in Florida and even though it was 90 degrees, I still felt Christmas all around me. I look forward to more books in The Christmas Tree Farm Mystery Series and I hope that she will be the one writing them. Tomorrow I will be posting my review on Twelve Slays of Christmas so come back and meet Holly White, her cat Cindy Lou Who and the rest of Mistletoe.....

Check her and her books out at : http://juliechasebooks.com/


Interview by Missi S.