Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Books Read March 2014

Adams, Alina
  • Murder on Ice 
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery about ice skating.  Bex, a news researcher acts as referee between a married couple and former Olympic champions who now work as announcers.  All of their bickering about fair and unfair voting among the ice skating judges raises the stakes when one of the judges is found dead.

Allen, Sarah Addison
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon 
Fiction.  Magical tale of two women living in a small North Carolina town.  The younger one, just seventeen, has just lost her mother and come back to her mother’s hometown to live with the grandfather she never knew she had.  The other woman was born and raised in the town and returned only to sell off her father’s restaurant after his death then planned on moving back to Baltimore.

  • The Sugar Queen 
Fiction.  Josey Cirrini lives in a big, elegant house with her domineering mother.  Her family is wealthy and well-thought of by the townsfolk.  Josey should be happy, but she spends most of her time alone in her room with a secret stash of sweets hidden in her closet.  One day she opens the door to find something else in her closet, or rather, someone else.

  • The Firefly Dance
Fiction.  Collection of short stories written by four authors, anchored by the last story by Sarah Addison Allen.  The other three authors are Phyllis Schieber, Kathryn Magendie and Augusta Trobaugh.

Bell, James Scott
  • Plot & Structure 
Non-fiction.  One in the Write Great Fiction series.  Excellent, easy to read, and clear suggestions on crafting a novel.

Bishop, Erzabet
  • Beltane Fires
Fiction.  Novella about a woman’s journey to a Beltane celebration after the breakup of her relationship.  While everyone else is enjoying the festivities in the fields, she feels lonely...until she takes a walk and meets The Forest Lord.

Blackwell, Juliet
  • Home for the Haunting 
Fiction.  Mel Turner is volunteering as house captain for Neighbors Together, building a ramp for a wheelchair-bound man.  She’s distracted by the ghostly faces peering at her from the house next door...a house she comes to find out is known in the neighborhood as The Murder House.

Blake, Heather
  • The Good, the Bad and the Witchy 
Fiction.  3rd in the paranormal cozy mystery series that takes place in Enchanted Village near Salem, Massachusetts.  The village, populated by a variety of Crafters, is a magical place to visit, but for some it can be downright deadly.

Boneham, Sheila Webster
  • The Money Bird 
Fiction.  2nd in the cozy mystery seres about an animal photographer/dog trainer who finds something unusual in the viewfinder of her camera while photographing water dog training.  What is a rare parrot doing in the Indiana countryside?  The mystery deepens as a fellow photographer is found dead in the vicinity.

Carl, JoAnne
  • The Chocolate Cat Caper
Fiction.  1st in a cozy mystery series set in Michigan.  After running away from her marriage, former trophy wife, Lee, finds herself working at her aunt Nettie’s chocolate shop.  A delivery she makes to the home of a much disliked lawyer sets her right in the path of a murder.   

Castle, Angela
  • The Purrfect Plan 
Fiction.  Shapeshifter erotica set in Australia.  Storm Wellington wants a baby in the worst way, but she has no interest in a relationship, so she travels to Black Town to find a man for the night.  Unbeknownst to her, Black Town is Australia’s shifter town, populated by cat shifters and led by the alpha male, River Black.  Storm first has her eyes set on his twin brother, but the moment she sees River walk into the bar, they only have eyes for each other.

Charles, L.J.
  • The Knowing 
Fiction.  Nia’s visions have happened during the last snowstorm of the past three years.  In each vision, she sees through a murderer’s eyes as he hunts and down kills his victims.  It’s early spring, and the last snowstorm has been predicted.  In her panic to stop the visions and the murders, she escapes the North Dakotan winter to fly to sunny Hawai’i.  Unfortunately, the murderer is already there.

Cohen, Nancy J.
  • Writing the Cozy Mystery
Non-fiction.  Short book on the craft of writing cozies.

Dunning, John
  • Booked to Die 
Fiction.  First in the Cliff Janeway cozy mystery series set in Denver, Colorado.  Janeway is a police detective called to investigate the murder of a local man who is well known in the booktrade business.  Janeway’s own interest and expertise in the book business comes in play as he learns that he and the victim have mutual acquaintances, complicating the investigation.

Evans, Christy
  • Sink Trap 
Fiction.  Georgiana Neverall had to give up her high-tech high-stress job in San Francisco and move back home to Oregon.  Surprisingly, she’s found a new career as a plumber’s assistant.  While trying to unclog a sink in a house being renovated before sale, she finds an antique broach that looks very familiar, and she knows the owner treasured it very much.  She wants to return the broach, but the owner has mysteriously disappeared.

Fluke, Joanne
  • Blackberry Pie Murder 
Fiction.  21st in the cozy mystery series set in Lake Eden, Minnesota where Hannah Swensen owns The Cookie Jar.  A thunderstorm is raging as she drives her business partner back to work from the auto body shop where Lisa has left her car to be worked on.  Nervous to take the highway back to town in the deluge, Hannah makes the decision to stay another route, one that leads her directly into danger.

Gaarder, Jostein
  • The Orange Girl 
Fiction.  15-year-old Georg Roed is given a letter written to him by his father, the father who had died 11 years ago.  In it, his father tells a magical story of how he met the elusive Orange Girl, and where their journey led.

Gustainis, Justin
  • Evil Ways 
Fiction.  Children are begin murdered again, this time for a very particular purpose.  Black versus white magic comes into play as Libby and Quentin gather their resources and allies to fight the darkest kind of magic, one that calls upon the Demon Lord, Himself.

Hall, Parnell
  • A Clue for the Puzzle Lady
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series that combines crossword puzzles with mysteries.  Sherry Carter is a puzzle constructor, but unable to get anyone to buy her puzzles, she created the persona of The Puzzle Lady, a gentile, kindly little old woman, with her aunt, Cora Felton, as “The Puzzle Lady”.  Unfortunately, Cora is an unabashed alcoholic, whose habits her niece is constantly trying to hide from the public.  A girl is found dead in the local cemetery with what appears to be a puzzle clue in her pocket.  The police chief asks The Puzzle Lady to help him solve the case.

Herman, Julie Wray
  • Three Dirty Women and the Garden of Death
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery trilogy set in the South starring three friends who run a landscaping company together.  Unfortunately, during one job, they dig up the body of the soon-to-be ex-husband of one of the women.

Jenkins, Suzanne
  • Dream Lover
Fiction.  The life of a woman who believes she has the perfect marriage is rocked to the core when her husband dies on a train of a heart attack, and it's found that he has AIDS.  As if that weren't enough for her to deal with, she finds out that she is also infected with the disease AND that her husband has had a dozen long-term mistresses, some affairs lasting over twenty years.  In trying to deal with all of these body blows, she decides to get to know the woman and one man who shared her husband's life for so many years.  The story is told from the point of view of each of the participants in the story.

Kimberly, Alice
  • The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library 
Fiction.  3rd in the paranormal cozy mystery series.  Penelope and her aunt Sadie are offered a chance to pick up a collection of rare books from the home of Sadie’s long lost love.  He insists that they pick up the books that day, and Pen and Sadie drive through a wicked rainstorm to reach the dilapidated mansion that looks like a set of a horror movie.  Along for the ride is Pen’s friend and confidante, the ghost of the long dead PI who haunts her bookstore.

Norman, Michael
  • Skeleton Picnic
Fiction.  Second in the BLM Ranger J.D. Books series.  Rolly and Abby Rogers are pot hunters, illegally digging up ancient grave and village sites in Utah and selling the artifacts for money.  During one excavation, they find themselves in trouble, and it’s up to J.D. Books to find out what happened to them. 

Parker, Kate
  • The Vanishing Thief 
Fiction.  First in a Victorian-era cozy mystery series set in London, England.  The proprietor of an antiquarian bookshop fights her own demons as she works with the Archivist Society to help people solve mysteries.  Along the way, she meets up with a dashing and dangerous duke, but can’t make up her mind whether he’s trying to help her or if he is actually the villain.

Sanford, Roxane Tepfer
  • The Girl in the Lighthouse
Fiction.  Post-Civil War era mystery involving a young girl who grows up as the daughter of a lighthouse keeper on remote islands off the coast of Maine.  She knows her parents are keeping secrets from her, secrets of their family that she wants to uncover.  One tragedy leads to another until she meets the grandmother she never knew existed, and the love of a man spoils, launching her into even more dangerous and dire circumstances.

Tope, Rebecca
  • A Cotswold Killing 

Fiction.  Thea Osbourne has her first job at housesitting in the small Cotswold village of Duntisbourne Abbots.  After a very stressful year since her husband’s death, she’s hoping that the three-week assignment will bring her out of her doldrums and help her adjust to life as a single woman.  Accompanied by her spaniel, Hepzibah, she sets off with high hopes of a peaceful trip.  That peace is immediately shattered when she is woken from a deep sleep by a scream.

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