Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books Read - November 2015

Adams, Ellery
  • Writing All Wrongs ***
Fiction.  Seventh in the Books by the Bay cozy mystery series.  Olivia and Rawlings are headed to Palmetto Island for a few days to celebrate their honeymoon.  The rest of the Bayside Book Writers group will then join them for the local festival celebrating pirates.  A film crew will be there promoting their pirate-themed TV show.  Olivia wakes in the middle of the night to hear the sound of a ship’s bell off in the distance.  She looks out her window to see a woman in white walking along the shore.  The next morning Olivia is walking her dog on the beach, when she suddenly sees the body of a woman dressed in white lying in the sand.

Allen, Conrad
  • Murder on the Lusitania ***
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series set on cruise ships around the world.  George Porter Dillman has been hired by the Cunard line to protect their interests on the Lusitania’s maiden voyage.  He makes himself well known to the other passengers, learning as much about them as he can.  His first case comes about when a disliked journalist is found dead in his cabin.

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Case of the Curious Curate ****
Fiction.  Thirteenth in the Agatha Raisin series.  A new curate has come to town and won over the hearts of many women.  Even Agatha is taken by him, though she thinks there is more to him than he is revealing.  After dining with him, she heads home, only to be woken up with the news that he had been murdered, and the chief suspect is none other than the vicar himself.  Mrs. Bloxby begs Agatha to investigate and prove her husband’s innocence.

  • The Day the Floods Came ***
Fiction.  Twelfth in the Agatha Raisin series.  James and Charles are gone, and Agatha is away on an island vacation.  A young couple she sees at the hotel are caught up in tragedy, when the wife is drowned, and the husband is accused of the murder.

  • The Deadly Dance ****
Fiction.  Fifteenth in the Agatha Raisin mystery series.  Agatha finally opens her own detective agency and hires her new next door neighbor, Emma, as another detective.  When Emma meets Charles, she sets her cap for him, but as he pays more attention to Agatha, Emma begins to have murderous thoughts toward her employer.

  • The Fairies of Fryfam ****
Fiction.  Tenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha rents a cottage in Fryfam, as she feels she needs a break from James Lacey.  Colorful lights in her garden that no one will talk about, make her wonder if there are fairies about.  At the big manor, a Stubbs painting has been stolen, then the owner is murdered, and Agatha and Charles begin investigating.

  • The Haunted House ***
Fiction.  Fourteenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  A woman in a neighboring town claims that her house is haunted, and Paul wrangles Agatha into investigating it.  What they find is not paranormal, just plain old murder.

  • Kissing Christmas Goodbye ****
Fiction.  Eighteenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha hires a young girl to work on the easy cases of lost pets, but Toni proves herself to be more capable than that.  An elderly woman tells Agatha that she thinks her family is trying to kill her, and after she does die, Toni assists Agatha in tracking down the killer. 

  • The Love from Hell ****
Fiction.  Eleventh in the Agatha Raisin mystery series.  Agatha and James have finally tied the knot, but the marriage it floundering.  James thinks Agatha is sleeping with Charles, and James is actually sleeping with Melissa, a newcomer to the village.  He has also been told that he has a brain tumor.  James is attacked and disappears, and Melissa is found dead.  Agatha and Charles try to solve both the murder and the disappearance.

  • Love, Lies and Liquor ***
Fiction.  Seventeenth in the Agatha Raisin series.  Agatha’s ex-husband, James, invites her for a holiday along the coast, and envisioning a lush tropical climate, Agatha packs her most romantic and skimpy outfits, only to find that they’re staying in a cold, dreary England seaside town.  James, who remembers the town as being fun and sunny, is also depressed at the reality.  While there, Agatha has an argument with another woman at the hotel who ends up murdered on the beach, strangled by Agatha’s scarf.

  • The Perfect Paragon ****
Fiction.  Sixteenth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha’s detective agency is doing good business when a young girl in the neighboring village disappears.  Agatha is determined  to find the girl and gets all of her crew working on the case.

Blake, Deborah
  • Veiled Magic *****
Fiction.  First in the Donata Santori urban fantasy series.  Donata works for the NYPD as a Witness Retrieval expert.  Her special witchy skills allow her to speak with the dead, and speaking with recently departed victims is one of the best ways to solve murders.  In this particular case, Donata speaks with the murderer who accidentally died trying to steal a painting that was being restored.  After he departs, Donata is surprised that the murdered art restorer who was working on the painting follows her home with a desperate cry for help.

Evanovich, Janet
  • Tricky Twenty-Two *****
Fiction.  Stephanie Plum works in bonds enforcement at her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office.  Lately she’s been co-habitating on and off with her boyfriend Morelli, a police detective.  He stuns her by dumping her without notice, but he can’t stay out of her life.  In the meantime, Stephanie calls upon Ranger, co-owner of an elite security company, to help her catch some of her FTAs, and her feelings for him are ramped up again.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • A Body to Spare *****
 Fiction.  Tenth in the Odelia Grey mystery series.  Odelia and her mom are waiting at the car wash for her car to be ready, when suddenly a scream rings out.  As everyone rushes toward the screamer, Odelia realizes he’s standing behind her car with the trunk open.  A trunk with a dead naked body in it.

  • Booby Trap *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Odelia Grey cozy series.  Odelia and Greg have finally tied the knot and set up housekeeping at Greg’s house in Seal Beach.  A serial killer is loose in the area, and a woman who believes the killer is her son asks Odelia for help in proving that it isn’t him.  With killings mounting up, Odelia is on overdrive trying to find out if the famous plastic surgeon is or is not the Blond Bomber.

  • Corpse on the Cob *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Odelia Grey cozy series.  Odelia has tracked down her estranged mother whom she hasn’t seen in 34 years.  Although Greg urges her to call Grace first, Odelia decides to fly to Massachusetts and surprise her instead.  At the autumn fair, Odelia searches for her mother, only to find her kneeling over a dead body.

  • Hell on Wheels ****
Fiction.  Ninth book in the Odelia Grey series.  Odelia and her husband, Greg, travel down to San Diego for a quad rugby tournament in which some of their friends are playing.  While they are there, a friend of theirs is on the court, when a member of the opposing team wheels up to him and whispers something.  A fight ensues, and when the other players are able to separate the two men, one of them lies dead on the floor.

  • Hide and Snoop *****
Fiction.  Seventh book in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia’s new boss, Erica, brought her 3-year-old niece, Lily, to work and foisted her off on Odelia all week.  At the end of the week, Erica brings the child’s clothes, toys, and car seat into Odelia’s office and announces that Lily is Odelia’s responsibility for the weekend.  Since Odelia needs her job, she takes Lily home with her, not knowing there is a price on Lily’s young head.

  • Love Bytes ****
Fiction.  Short story of a BBW who meets a man through a personal add on the Love Bytes website. 

  • Secondhand Stiff *****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Odelia Grey series.  Odelia’s mother has come for a Thanksgiving visit, and they all gather at Greg’s parents’ house for the feast.  Greg’s second cousin, Ina, is a troubled teen who finds herself accused of murder.  The family bands together to prove her innocence.

  • Thugs and Kisses ****
Fiction.  Third in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia’s boss, Mike Steele, has gone missing, and her firm assigns her the task of finding him.  While she and Greg are trying to work out the differences in their relationship, she attends her 30th high school reunion with her friend, detective Dev Frye.  While there, her old nemesis is shot, and she is high on the suspect list.

  • Too Big to Miss *****
Fiction.  First in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia is shocked when she hears that one of her good friends has killed herself, and she can’t believe that’s true.  At the memorial service, Odelia meets Greg Stevens, a fellow mourner and another of Sophie’s friends.  He doesn’t believe she committed suicide either, and the two join forces to try to learn the truth.

  • Twice as Dead *****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Odelia Grey mystery series.  Odelia’s half-brother, Clark, has come for a visit after retiring from his job as chief-of-police back home.  Odelia’s best friend, Zee, is hosting her daughter’s wedding at a private club, and she and Odelia have gone to the cloakroom for a minute to de-stress.  Somehow Odelia’s “curse” is once more in action, when they find another dead body sitting on the floor in the cloakroom.

Katz, Marcus and Tali Goodwin
  • The Tarot Shaman: Connect to Your Animal Spirits *
Non-fiction.  Instructions on using the tarot to connect with animal spirits.

Ventura, Varla
  • Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night: Facts, Fictions, and First-Hand Accounts ***

Non-fiction.  Historical look at legends of banshees, werewolves, and vampires.

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