Prologue to Murder & The Superfood Alchemy Cookbook

 

I received both these titles in exchange for fair reviews from NetGalley.

Prologue to Murder is book 2 in the A Beyond the Page Mystery Series.  In this series, Addie Greystone has returned to her family’s home and opened a book shop and is living in the family manse.  There is a lot of history with the Greystones and other founding families in the town and not all of it is positive.  This makes for some tension and creates some difficulties for Addie in fitting into life in the town.  A murder, hidden treasures, secret tunnels and maps, pirates, a nasty gossip columnist, and a couple of love triangles all add to the story.  There is quite a bit going on here with several characters appearing quite rapidly.   A fun, quick mystery read.

The Superfood Alchemy Cookbook is an extraordinarily beautifully photographed cookbook organized by the health effects that various superfoods have on the body, for example “Reducing Blockages…”  a chapter focused on Berries, Bell Peppers, Ginger, etc.  and  “Focusing and Calming..”  Blueberries, Coffee, Chocolate, etc. The recipes included are simple to follow and include easily sourced ingredients.  The book also includes sections on essential oils, kitchen equipment, and meditation.  A good cookbook for people who want address health issues with diet or simply include more superfoods in their diet.

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Thread on Arrival

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I received a free copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

Thread on Arrival is book 8 in the Mainely Needlepoint Series.  Trouble begins in the small community when Ike, a local man who lives in a run down garage on his property off the money he makes collecting bottles, is murdered.  Who could have murdered him and why?  Angie pokes her nose in, uncovering clues, looking for motives and for the identity of a young teen who seems to be the only suspect.    I have not read any earlier books in this series and so I was not  tuned in to any ongoing relationships or back-stories of the recurring characters.  I suspect I would have found the story line richer with that knowledge. I did guess the killer and the reason very early on, so I would have liked a little more subterfuge or some other red herrings.  Quick cozy mystery read.

Sifting Through Clues, The Hidden Corpse, No Grater Danger, & Awakened

 

I received a free copy of Sifting Through Clues from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.   This is number 8 in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber.  Crystal Cove is hosting a Book Club Bonanza Event and the town is being descended upon by hordes of book tourists.  Jenna Hart has stocked her Cookbook shop to the gills in preparation for the event.  She also is participating in a progressive dinner, house shopping,  and wedding planning, so quite busy.  A dead body in the midst of this hive of activity is the last thing she needs.  When a friend seems to be the most logical suspect, Jenna reluctantly investigates trying to clear her name.

Fun mystery with lots of suspects and clues.  There is a great deal going on in the book to keep the reader entertained and guessing up to the end.  A great read in this series!

The Hidden Corpse is the second book in a the A Food Blogger Mystery Series.  I really enjoyed the first one and picked up the second book right away.  In this book, an elderly neighbor of Hope’s dies in a house fire.  Hope feels guilty as she had seen evidence that the neighbor should not have been living alone.  The fire investigation reveals a second body in the house and this raises all kinds of questions, Was it murder? Was it arson?  Who was this other person?  Why were they there?  What starts as Hope investigating to ease her own mind turns into much more, involving several people from the town.  Well done mystery plot with plenty of clues and suspects for the reader to mull over.  The theme is fun and very timely.  A series I will be continuing to read.

No Grater Danger is book 7 in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series by Victoria Hamilton.  I have been reading this series for a while and continue to enjoy it.  In this installment, Jaymie is caught up in investigating several criminal acts against an elderly property holding member of the community.  There are plenty of people who might want to do her harm for various reasons and it is up to Jaymie to sort it all out.  The investigation is interspersed with domestic scenes from Jaymie’s home life with her new husband, Jakob,  and step child, Jocie.  There are changes afoot in the town, how will they effect Jaymie, her business and her husband, and his business.  Cozy mystery leaning more towards small town life as the series as progresses.  Fun, quick read.

Awakened was an impulse buy.  I found myself out with no book and needed something to read.   I liked the beginning, with the tension that was built and the pacing, but after the first half, it turned out to be not for me.  I was looking more for a horror stand alone and this is evidently the first in a series and is more about government conspiracy theories.  Probably right for someone, but not me.

 

 

The Uninvited Corpse

35610664  I just finished this new to me cozy with a food blogging theme.  It caught my eye, since I read a lot of food blogs I thought I’d find it fun and interesting.  The main character, Hope,  is a former mainstream publication writer, who left the big city to return home and now runs a homemaking/life style blog with a focus on cooking.  Hope is drawn into sleuthing when her sister Claire becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a rival real estate agent.  The chief of police Ethan is the resident hunk, who may or may not be a love interest or permanently in friend status.  There are lots of characters here, so many suspects to follow up on as the case develops, and the bodies multiply.  I really did enjoy this one and will read the next in the series.  Just a hint, read slowly in the beginning, many characters are introduced quickly – I had to go back and reread to get straight who was who.

Sorrow Bound & Violet Tendencies

Sorrow Bound is book 3 in the Aector McAvoy series by David Mark.  The Kindle English Mystery Club is reading the first this month, which I had already read, so I continued on with the series.  In this book Aector’s love for his wife and family are his greatest weakness and we are left not really knowing how this will all end.  There are a series of particularly gruesome murders that are connected to a man who is now so disabled he can’t possibly be committing them.  As Aector attempts to unwind the past events and the connections to the current victims, his wife Roisin, stumbles into the middle of a drug ring operation being investigated by compromised officer.  Very suspenseful read, I can’t wait for the next one.  I love the characters of Aector, Roisin, and his super Trish Pharaoh in the series.

Violet Tendencies, the second in the A Rose City Mystery series, is becoming one of my favorite series.  I love the Portland setting (I was born there) and the flower and wine shop theme.  In this installment, Britta and her Aunt Elin are getting ready for their part in the cities Rose Festival by creating a huge float for the parade.  A militant group of protesters are trying to stop the parade and lines are drawn with the police keeping order, until someone ends up dead, right on Britta and Elin’s float.  Plenty of suspects and possible motives to keep you guessing.  I really enjoyed this fun cozy mystery.

The Hanging Valley and Kill the Father

 

I’ve had Kill the Father on my Kindle for quite a while, but just got around to reading it.  The case surrounds a missing child, a murdered mother, and a father as the chief suspect.  The case seems too open and shut and the child has not appeared,  so a somewhat extraordinary expert is called on, a man who was himself an abducted child and  despite his obvious PTSD and various mental health issues now works on cases as a private investigator.  His partner in this endeavor is an officer on  leave herself after a case that went terribly wrong resulting in multiple deaths.  She is suffering physically and mentally from the effects of the bombing.  These two damaged individuals have to negotiate a treacherous case without being sure who they can trust.  This was well written and quite engaging.  I would just say that it needed some editing because it ran a little too long, over 500 pages is a bit long for a thriller, and about the last 100 I just wanted  to get to the resolution.

The Hanging Valley is book 4 in the Inspector Banks series.  In this book in the series, Banks travels to a picturesque community where a fells walker has found a faceless corpse on his hike. Obviously a murder, Banks soon uncovers links to a past murder that was never solved and a community member who disappeared without a trace.  There are  wealthy brother landowners, displaced farmers, newly landed recently divorced gentry, an unhappy wife and bully boy husband rounding out the cast in the community.  Very well written mystery, richly developed characters with a sense of despair that comes through, and an engaging story line.  I have many more to read in this long running series.

A Dark Redemption & The Blood Detective

These are both February reads for the English Kindle Mystery Club.  They are also both new to me authors.  A Dark Redemption, while set in London, has connections to Africa and the atrocities committed there under various uprisings and coups.    Jack Carrigan has his own history with Africa, which he’d rather forget, and now that he has to take charge of a case with an African victim it is bringing it all back for him.  The novel gives you glimpses in to the horror from Jack’s trip with his friends to Africa as a young man, interspersed with the current investigation.  Finally, connections and the killer are revealed.  A good first in a new series, I enjoyed this London based mystery with international connections.

The Blood Detective is a genealogy based mystery with the killer re-enacting an old crime.  DCI Foster recruits Nigel Barnes, a genealogist researcher to trace elements of the crime.  The crimes escalate as Barnes and Foster uncover more connections to the past and try to prevent more murders in the present.   This was well written and paced.  I have read other genealogy based mystery but did not enjoy them as much as this one.  Nigel is a great character and the story line was very compelling.   Would definitely read more by this author.