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SEEDS OF REVENGE: A Green House Mystery (Book #3) ~Wendy Tyson

Monday, November 13th, 2017

SEEDS OF REVENGE is the third book about Megan Sawyer’s small town of Winsome, Pennsylvania.  Megan has left being an environmental lawyer to come home and manage her family farm, the small store and café, and start her life over again.  Her husband was killed in Afghanistan and she needed to do something else. The story begins as she is heading home from Philadelphia where she has been trying to sell her micro-greens to restaurants and she is plowing through the first snowstorm of the season.

In her sturdy truck, Megan picks up a young woman who is having car trouble and so is trying to walk to town. Rebecca Fox is starting a new business and is going to live with her Aunt.    The Fox family is about to have a reunion as arranged by the Aunt and this is not a happy experience and Megan is drawn into the fray when Rebecca’s father is murdered.

Apparently this small town has experienced two other murders and Megan has been very helpful in finding the truth, even when her farm is implicated.  She is definitely a very clever and intelligent person.  She has lots of family drama to unravel of her own and I think there will be another book or two until everything is revealed.

The story is full of lots of small town connections and folksy family events as the reader is in the lead up to Christmas.  We can enjoy the family members and the caroling parties and also the Great Aunt who writes mystery novels.  4 of her books are about revenge murders and are playing an important role in this particular story.

We are also treated to some interesting food treats and a daring amount of Holiday Cookies.

ABOUT WENDY TYSON

“Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives on a micro-farm with her husband, sons, and two dogs. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.”  (PR SHEET)

This book was sent to me as an advanced copy for review by: Larissa Ackerman, Claire McKinneyPR, LLC

It was a good read and I know a number of my readers will enjoy reading all three books.  A nice little romance is blooming and the characters are interesting and you just might find them next door.   A delightful read and a good escape that I can recommend.

Related:
Thief’s Mark
A Beautiful Poison
Fudge and Jury

THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER: A Southern Romance and Historic Mystery Novel ~Linda Goodnight

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER is certainly a wonderful beach read and I tucked it into my gear for a long weekend of wave watching and page turning.  I am not a great fan of Southern Romance and yet Goodnight’s characters are quite real and not so sticky sweet and the historic mystery was a nice glimpse into the reconstruction period after the Civil War.  (It did not omit that slavery was an issue – thank goodness for that)

About the Author:

“NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.” (TLC book tours page)

Linda Goodnight Web:
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THE INNKEEPER’s SISTER is also about recovery after a child has been abducted and how life goes on years later.  Two sisters have purchased an old orchard and have refurbished with skill the house into a stunning bed and breakfast.  This gives them purpose and vision and keeps Julie moving ahead and making new plans.  For Valerie it is not so important to her and she understands the value of the endeavor, but she longed to be a professional dancer and now she cannot move ahead in that direction.  She has started using alcohol to cope with her secrets and continue to hide.

Grayson Blake is a developer and he and his brother find old landmarks to refurbish and turn into 5 star restaurants.   He has come to Honey Ridge and Old Peach Orchard to revitalize an old Mill and develop a new destination restaurant.  The new construction is halted because a pile of bones has been discovered in the basement of the mill near the water wheel.   Grayson stays at the bed and breakfast and reconnects with a high school friend.  Together they find old sheet music that is actually a code that leads to some answers about the mystery and the history of the farm.

The Civil War elements of the story expose the new possibilities for the former slaves and share the details of the farm’s own love story and the role of the house as a hospital for soldiers.  Very interesting.

Over the years of reviewing books, I have read another of Linda Goodnight’s stories and thought it was quite good.  There is a caring quality to the stories and some down to earth good solutions to problems.  Time does not heal all wounds but it is certainly part of the recovery process.

I think many folks will enjoy this story and the gentle touch of the author.

Related:
The Rain Sparrow
Becalmed
Where We Fall

BETRAYAL AT IGA: A Murder –Suspense Story ~Susan Spann

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

I truly enjoyed this story from cover to cover and it was the perfect beach read while I was away from my computer at home.  I actually did not read any of the promo material that came with the book from TLC Book Tours; nope I just tucked it onto my Kindle and headed out for the beach.   From the cover I thought someone was going to be stabbed with an exotic dagger at a local grocery store.  Wow was I wrong and I have to laugh out loudly at myself.

I was in for quite the treat actually.  It was an history story about a period in Japanese history when there were huge tensions among the clans and someone was trying to take control through clan manipulation and deceit.  The story contained incredible details of this period of time, including descriptions of wall mounted scrolls and the placement of flowers and food.

How did these ancient times find the answers to murders and mysteries?  There were no computers or cells phones and lots of trickery and mythology to weave around.  What a complex and intricate telling of a period of time that teaches us history in a most delightful fashion.

From the Promo Materials – I should have read first! :

“Autumn, 1565: After fleeing Kyoto, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo take refuge with Hiro’s ninja clan in the mountains of Iga province. But when an ambassador from the rival Koga clan is murdered during peace negotiations, Hiro and Father Mateo must find the killer in time to prevent a war between the ninja clans.

“With every suspect a trained assassin, and the evidence incriminating Hiro’s commander, the infamous ninja Hattori Hanzo, but also Hiro’s mother and his former lover, the detectives must struggle to find the truth in a village where deceit is a cultivated art. As tensions rise, the killer strikes again, and Hiro finds himself forced to choose between his family and his honor.”

What a great read and I want to highly recommend it to you but don’t expect to end up at the grocery story, the tea comes with a great deal of ceremony!

“Susan Spann is a transactional publishing attorney and the author of the Shinobi Mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. Her debut novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University, where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture. Her hobbies include cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses. “ (From TLC website)

Susan Spann Website
Susan Spann Facebook
Susan Spann Twitter

Related reading:
Fog Island Mountain
A Tale For The Time Being
The Worthington Wife

FUDGE AND JURY: A Bakeshop Mystery ~Ellie Alexander

Monday, January 16th, 2017

“A delectable tale of murder and intrigue…This bakeshop mystery is a real page-turner, and we look forward to other in the series, just as tasty.” (Portland Book Review)

FUDGE AND JURY finds us in Ashland, Oregon in the most marvelous Bakery one can imagine, which is located just down the street from the Historic Ashland Springs Tower Hotel and the Shakespearian Festival Campus.   Ashland is one of the favorite sites on my list of best places to visit even though I have never seen a play or the Festival in my visits.  I have stayed at the Ashland Springs Hotel and eaten at the pubs after strolling through the wonderful downtown with its marvelous shops and lovely people.  Ashland is also known for it’s snow and ski adventures.

Juliet has moved back to her hometown with a broken heart.  She left Ashland to go to culinary school and then worked on a series of cruise ships where she met her husband Carlos, another chef, who omitted that he had a son and the discovery, was an undoing.   Our lead character has come home to TORTE her parent’s bakery; now run by her mom alone they are busy preparing for the March Chocolate Festival, the biggest Chocolate event in the Pacific Northwest.  The bakery is also getting a kitchen remodel with new ovens arriving and lots of painting and inventory.  Hands are busy and the rain is raining heavy and hard.

“Food is an expression of art and love.”

The book is part of a series and Alexander includes incredible descriptions of textures and smells of the lovely baking, coffee, and chocolate wafting through the building.  There is a cozy feeling to the whole adventure.  There is also a relationship theme to the story.  The workers at TORTE form an interesting group and community; it is evident that there is respect for each other and a joy in their efforts. They each experience the town’s citizens and good people as worthy of respect. At the chocolate festival, Juliet and her mother are encouraging to the other participants and assist the new entrants in their efforts.  It is this caring cooperative spirit that attaches to Juliet’s curiosity and questioning and assists in developing the solution to the murder!

This is a gentle read with some interesting problems to solve and certainly makes one want to read the next in the series and to eat some lovely food, especially chocolate.  Ellie Alexander has created a delightful read with FUDGE AND JURY.

A TLC Book Tours Book

“Ellie Alexander writes the bestselling Bakeshop Mystery series for St. Martin’s Press, set in the Shakespearean town of Ashland, Oregon and featuring a romantic, artisan pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw.

Ellie is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.”

Ellie Alexander Twitter 
Ellie Alexander Facebook

Related:
The Garden Plot
The Skeleton Garden
The Last Camellia