Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books Read - December 2015

Bassett, JoAnn
  • Livin’ Lahaina Loca ****
Fiction.  Second in the Islands of Aloha cozy mystery series starring Pali Moon, wedding planner extraordinaire.  The biggest wedding Pali has scheduled for the whole year is coming up in a week when one of the bridesmaids disappears.  Her long red ponytail is left in Pali’s back seat, and Pali realizes it isn’t a case of a party girl gone missing.

Battista, Jeannette
  • Leopard Moon *****
Fiction.  First in the Moon shapeshifter series.  Kess is on the run from her family and her brother’s dark desire.  She stops in a small town in North Carolina to work for awhile and build up her savings for when she’d need to run again.  But she’s not the only shifter in town and soon finds herself up a tree trying to escape from a pack of werewolves.

Blackwell, Juliet
  • Give Up the Ghost *****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Haunted Home Renovation paranormal cozy mystery series.  Mel has been hired to re-renovate a mansion that was already renovated by another contractor into a modern monstrosity.  The problem is that the home is haunted, and the current owner wants to sell it, but the ghost keeps scaring off potential buyers.  The owner believes if Mel can restore some of the original elements of the house, the ghost will be appeased.

Cook, J.J.
  • Fat Tuesday Fricassee ****
Fiction.  First in the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck cozy series.  Zoe Chase owns the Biscuit Bowl food truck with dreams of opening her own restaurant someday.  Her father has been elected King Felix during the carnival season, and Zoe accompanies him to all the balls thrown by his secret society.  At the last ball of the season, Zoe finds a dead body, and suddenly she and her family are being threatened.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Moon Swept *****
Fiction.  Collection of short stories detailing the sisters’ first loves.  Camille and Shamas, Menolly and Keris, and Delilah and Chase.

Harrison, Thea
  • Dragon Bound *****
Fiction.  First in the Elder Races urban fantasy.  Pia lives as quietly as she can, staying out of trouble, keeping a low profile.  When her ex-boyfriend blackmails her to steal from a dragon’s hoard, she knows that she’s put her life at risk, as well as her great secret.  When Dragos finds out that someone has invaded his hoard, he’s headed out to catch the thief and kill her.  When he does catch up to her, their lives are both in danger.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary *****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Ghost of Granny Apples cozy series.  An offshoot book starring PI Jeremiah Jones who looks into the disappearance of a woman on Skid Row as a favor for a friend.

Lavene, Joyce & Jim
  • Looking for Mr. Good Witch ***
Fiction.  Second in the Retired Witches series.  More witches are being killed in the Wilmington area, but only young male witches.  The council has informed the ladies that they need to find out who the murderer is, their quest takes them to meet the Bone Man, who will only help them if they agree to find his wife and return her to him.

  • Spell Booked ***
Fiction.  Three elderly witches are nearing the end of their power and are looking for new recruits for their coven.  They have their eyes on a young librarian who has a lot of raw energy, but she’s unaware that she is a witch, and they can’t exactly walk up to her and tell her.  They’re also dealing with the thefts  of magical items in the witching community, not to mention a few witch death.

MacInerney, Karen 
  • Beads of Doubt (w/Barbara Burnett Smith) ***
Fiction.  Second book in the beading series begun by Barbara Burnett Smith.  Kitzi Camden is an ex-senator who lives in a mansion in Austin, which is owned by a family corporation.  She is notified by her cousin’s attorney that her residence is being challenged by the corporation, and she and her mother might have to move out of the Manse.  While she is trying to solve that problem, her cousin’s partner in the firm is murdered, and Kitzi needs to find out if the two situations are related.

  • Berried to the Hilt *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Gray Whale Inn series.  Business is slow, so Natalie is pleased to have two groups of people staying at the inn.  One is from the University of Maine, and the other is from a company from Florida.  Both are invested in pulling up treasure from a sunken ship near Cranberry Island.  Their rivalry, though, might cost someone his or her life.

  • Blueberry Blues *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Gray Whale Inn series.  Short story of a clambake that went wrong when several islanders got sick after eating Nat’s blueberry pies.  Luckily for her, a photographer got a picture of the culprit.

  • Brush with Death *****
Fiction.  Sixth book in the Gray Whale Inn cozy mystery series.  Nat’s niece, Gwen, is getting ready for her first art show, and two famous artists are arriving to spend time on the island.  Gwen’s mentor, Fernand, throws a party for one of the artists, but the next day Nat finds him at home.  Alone. Dead.

  • A Dash of Midnight ****
Fiction.  Collection of three cozy mysteries.

  • Dead and Berried *****
Fiction.  Second in the Gray Whale Inn cozy mystery series set on Cranberry Island.  Natalie and her best friend, Charlene, are on the outs, because Natalie doesn’t fully trust Charlene’s boyfriend, the new, and very handsome, priest in town.  Keeping busy at the inn is helping Nat keep her mind off best friend problems, but as the laundry piles up, she wonders where her helper, Polly, has been for the past two days.  It’s not usual for her to miss a day without calling in, so Nat sets off on her bike to ride to Polly’s  house near the bog.  What she finds devastates her.

  • Death Runs Adrift *****
Fiction.  Seventh in the Gray Whale Inn mystery series.  Nat and John are planning a Florida wedding, and John’s mother, Catherine, is living in their carriage house.  Nat has been gathering blueberries for one of her delectable desserts, when she sees a skiff floating in the water.  When she approaches it to haul it back to shore, she’s shocked to find a dead body in it.

  • Howling at the Moon *****
Fiction.  First in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf fantasy series.  Sophie Garou is a busy auditor with a handsome attorney boyfriend and a gorgeous best friend Lindsey.  Her life is busy...and complicated.  Unlike most women, her mother is a witch, and her father, who abandoned them when Sophie was a baby, is a werewolf.  Four times a year Sophie goes into hiding to turn into a wolf.  Things become even more complicated when a love potion that her mother sells a local politician ends up killing him, and she is charged with murder.  Sophie and Lindsey work together to find the real killer.

  • Killer Jam ****
Fiction.  First in the Dewberry Farm cozy series set in Buttercup, TX.  Lucy has left her job as an investigative reporter to return to her grandmother’s old farm to see if she can make a living homesteading.  Even though she visited with her grandmother as a child, Lucy is viewed as an outsider in the small town when she is the prime suspect in a murder.

  • Leader of the Pack *****
Fiction.  Third in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf series.  Sophie hasn’t seen her father in twenty-eight years, so when he walks into her office, she is suspicious.  He says he wants her to join him in the Paris pack, but she wants no part of it.  But she can’t refuse to help him when he is accused of murdering another werewolf.  Punishment if he is found guilty will be death, and Sophie is determined to have him set free.

  • Mother’s Day Out ****
Fiction.  First in the Margie Peterson cozy  mystery series set in Austin, TX.  Margie is a full-time mother and part-time PI-in-training.  While working on a case of infidelity, she follows the target to a gay bar, where she gets involved in a drag queen contest.  During a quick break to the ladies’ room, she finds one of the other contestants...dead.

  • Murder Most Maine *****
Fiction.  Third in the Gray Whale Inn series.  The inn is hosting a weight-loss retreat, but Nat is dismayed to find that one of the leaders is an old flame of John’s, and they seem to be making up for lost time.  The other leader, Dirk, is jealous of the time Vanessa is spending with James, but nothing is more shocking than him being murdered, and James being named as a suspect.

  • On the Prowl *****
Fiction.  Second in the Tales of an Urban Werewolf series.  Sophie has landed a big client for her auditing firm, but during her first meeting with Mark, she senses that he is interested in more than just a business relationship, and with the current situation of her relationship with boyfriend Heath up in the air, Sophie is sorely tempted.  Unfortunately, the Houston pack is now aware of her existence and sends her an email requiring her presence at a meeting.  She wants to negotiate a deal allowing her to remain in Austin in exchange for some tax and audit advice, but the pack leaders have something much more dangerous in mind.

  • Pumpkin Pied *****
Fiction.  Short story in the Gray Whale Inn series.  Cranberry Island is getting ready for the harvest festival, but spirits are low, since it seems that this will be their last one.  The owner of the land has passed away, and her children are selling it to a rich mainland family who want to build a large home there.  If only there’s some way the islanders can prevent that from happening.

McRae, Cricket
  • Deadly Row to Hoe ****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Home Crafting cozy mystery series set in Washington.  Sophie Mae is hard at work at the local co-op, when she hears her best friend scream for help.  Sophie rushes to her side only to find Meghan staring at the compost pile.  She doesn’t understand what’s wrong until her friend points to the boot sticking out of the bottom of the pile.

Sharp, Deborah
  • Mama Does Time ****

Fiction.  First in the Mace Bauer cozy mystery series set in Florida.  Mace and her sisters have their hands full keeping track of Mama, and the night Mama calls Mace to say that she was at the jail, because a body had been found in the trunk of her car only adds to Mace’s stress.  The family bands together to solve the mystery, as Mace comes up against the gruff new detective in town.

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