Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Books Read June 2014

Aames, Avery
  • The Long Quiche Goodbye
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series centered around a cheese shop in Providence, Ohio.  Charlotte Bessette and her cousin, Matthew, run Fromagerie Bessette and the attached wine shop.  Her grandmother is the town mayor, and with the next election coming up soon, stakes are raised as her grandmother’s rival begins casting aspersions on the mayor.  What could be worse than her grandmother being accused of murder?  

Abbott, Victoria
  • The Sayers Swindle 
Fiction.  Second in a cozy mystery series starring Jordan, who works as an assistant to the most hated woman in town.  Vera Van Alst’s Dorothy L. Sayers’ collection has been stolen, and it’s Jordan’s job to recover it.  One that leads her into all kinds of trouble.

Andrews, V.C.
  • Flowers in The Attic
Fiction.  First in the Dollanganger series.  Corrine and Chris are living a wonderful life with their four precious children.  Flaxen-haired and blue-eyed, the neighbors call them the Dresden Dolls.  When the police come to tell Corrine that her husband has been killed, she panics and flees back to her childhood home, a home that she’d been banished from years ago.

  • Petals on The Wind
Fiction.  Second in the Dollanganger series.  The children have escaped and try to rebuild their lives with the help of Paul Sheffield, a doctor who takes them in.  Catherine is eaten up by hate and the need for revenge against the mother that treated them so badly, but Chris wants to put the past behind them and move forward.  Carrie, who suffered so badly, struggles to make friends in their new home.

  • If There Be Thorns
Fiction.  Third in the Dollanganger series.  Life has changed for Cathy and Chris.  Paul, Bart and Julian are dead.  Chris has moved the family to Northern California, where he works as a physician.  Jory, Julian’s son, is growing up kind and healthy, but his half-brother, Bart, lives inside his own fears and hatred.  Jory knows there is a secret that haunts his mother and step-father, but he is also afraid of learning the truth.  A mysterious veiled woman rebuilds the mansion next door, and Bart can’t resist finding out more about her.  He finds much more than he expected.

  • Seeds of Yesterday 
Fiction.  Fourth in the Dollanganger series.  Cathy, Chris and their children have returned to Foxworth Manor, which Bart has inherited from his grandmother.  The Sheffields plan only to spend a few weeks there before moving to Hawai’i, but tragedy strikes, putting their plans on hold indefinitely.  A surprise guest awaits them at Foxworth, a long-lost brother of Corrine who had been thought dead.  He moves in with a fanatical religious zeal that he learned from his parents, and Cathy is worried that he wields too much power over Bart.

  • Garden of Shadows
Fiction.  Fifth and final book of the Dollanganger series.  This prologue tells the story of Olivia Foxworth, how she met Malcolm Foxworth and became the mistress of Foxworth Hall.  Though she expected to have a warm and loving marriage, she suffered through many disappointments and heartaches with few moments of joy to see her through.

Bradbury, Ray
  • Zen in the Art of Writing
Non-fiction.  Collection of his essays having to do with his writing process.

Childs, Laura
  • Steeped in Evil
Fiction.  Fifteenth book in the Tea Shop cozy mystery series set in Charleston, SC.  Theodosia and Drayton are invited to a local winery for a wine tasting.  As the oak barrel for the winery’s newest creation is being opened, a slight accident causes the barrel to tip over revealing an even greater sensation...a dead body.

Christie, Agatha
  • The ABC Murders
Fiction.  Captain Hastings is back from Argentina on business and to visit with his good friend Hercule Poirot, who has recently retired from solving mysteries.  A letter arrives address to Poirot and announcing a murder that will take place an Andover, where someone whose name begins with A shall be the victim.  It’s the beginning of a series of murders that follow the alphabet, and time is running out for Poirot to find the killer.

Cohen, Nancy J
  • Permed to Death 
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series set in Florida and starring Marla Shore, proprietor of the Cut ‘N Dry beauty salon.  As if dealing with a vindictive ex-husband and his equally annoying girlfriend isn’t enough, Marla begins the day working on her nemesis, Bertha, a wealthy older woman for whom blackmail is a pastime.  When Bertha demands a cup of coffee while waiting for her perm to set, Marla fixes it with Bertha’s special cache of powdered creamer.  A few minutes later, when Marla returns from the back room, she finds Bertha dead in the chair, her coffee cup in pieces on the floor.

Evanovich, Janet
  • Top Secret Twenty-One
Fiction.  Stephanie Plum works as a bond enforcement agent in her cousin Vinny’s bail bonds office.  She also moonlights with Rangeman, a high-tech, high-end security company.  Along with Lula, she has to figure out who is killing members of a poker game, who keeps bombing Randy Briggs’ apartment, and how to help Ranger stop a Russian terrorist.

Fifield, Christy
  • Murder Hooks a Mermaid 
Fiction.  Second book in a paranormal cozy mystery series set in the Florida panhandle.  Glory Martine owns Southern Treasures, a souvenir shop in the small fishing town of Keyhole Bay.  Her friend, Karen, needs Glory’s help in trying to get Karen’s ex-brother-in-law out of jail, but his troubles are just beginning when murder charges are added, and Glory and her friends, along with the help of her deceased Uncle Louis in the form of her parrot, must scramble to solve the case before danger comes for them. 

George, Anne
  • Murder on a Bad Hair Day
Fiction.  Second book in a cozy mystery series set in Alabama.  Two sisters in their 60’s attend an art show gathering where Mary Alice introduces Patricia Anne to the owner of the gallery.  The next day, they find out that the owner has been found dead of an apparent heart attack, but that diagnosis is altered when digitalis is found in her system, a drug she doesn’t take.

Golden, Karen
  • The Cats that Surfed the Web 
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series that begins in New York and ends up in Indiana.  Katz Kendell’s great aunt died and left her a fortune, a gorgeous old house, and a cat.  The stipulation is that Katz has to move into the house and take care of the cat.  With the sudden loss of her job, there’s nothing left for her in New York, so she heads west with her three cats to start a new that begins with a murder.

Harris, Charlaine
  • Shakespeare’s Christmas 
Fiction.  Third in the Lily Bard cozy mystery series set in Arkansas.  Lily’s sister is getting married, and Lily needs to reconcile with her family in order to attend the wedding.  When her significant other, Jake, follows her to town,  he tells her that he’s working on a kidnapping case and is looking for a young girl.  The man that Lily’s sister, Verana, is about to marry has a young daughter of the right age and coloring, and it’s up to Lily to figure out if her sister is about to marry a kidnapper.

Herr, Michael A.
  • Is “Chicken Skin” A Local Delicacy?
Fiction.  A second collection of stories about the locals on Kaua’i staged around Primo’s Bar.  

Hoffman, Alice
  • The Museum of Extraordinary Things
Fiction.  Odd and depressing story of two people who grew up with strange lives who finally find each other, as a lotus that rises out of the mud.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • Baited Blood
Fiction.  Second in the Madison Rose Vampire cozy series.  Madison is living with the Dedhams, working for the California Vampire Council and attending college classes.  It keeps her busy, though she gets lonely for human contact.  Early one morning after an all-night Council meeting, she walks outside to relax before heading up to bed when she finds a body floating in the pool, a body with a stake through the heart.

  • Murder in Vein
Fiction.  First in a paranormal cozy mystery set in California.  Madison Rose is a full-time waitress and part-time college student with no family.  Coming out of the foster care system, she’s been working hard to find her place in the world.  One night changes her entire life, when she’s kidnapped and beaten and in her dizzy haze, watches as her attacker is attacked by a creature in black, one that changes everything.

Landis, Jill Marie
  • Two to Mango

Fiction.  Second in the Tiki Goddess series.  Things are back to normal, as normal as they can be, at the Tiki Goddess bar.  The Hula Maidens are quarreling, Sophie is tending bar, and Em is trying to make sure the bar brings in more money than it sends out.  Roland, the hunky fire dancing detective asks Em for help in trying to solve two murders that nobody believes have happened.  As part of the ruse, she needs to convince the Hula Maidens to enter a hula competition, one that they did very poorly in several years ago, so Em has to work to talk them into it.

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