Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Death by a Honeybee (a Josiah Reynolds Mystery #1) by Abigail Keam

author  Abigail Keam
review based on Kindle

 I really enjoyed this book by Abigail Keam , sharp, witty, and dedicated to her bees; as a former beekeeper, I also not only self-involved into the mystery of the death of this beekeeper, but also learned some new things I didn't know before. With such a shocking death, one might wonder how in the world anyone will be able to get to the bottom of this crime, if, indeed, it is a crime. I loved the character of Josiah and also of Matt the upcoming lawyer, his partner Franklin provided a combination of humor and good advice. Not so much the unhelpful Taffy and Nancy. But back to the bees. Who killed Richard Pidgeon? Or was it an accident, a heart attack? There are so many angry honeybees around him who would be able to tell. Nothing will calm them for some time.

Josiah, owner of this land and a most vigilant beekeeper has not been lucky in love. She also seems to be thrown into chaos of the wealthy kind, she has it (mostly when married to Barron), then she doesn't (mostly when he married #2 wife). Of course this probably has more to do with her losses with her lawyer fees and other similar matters trying to keep on top of arrest for this crime she didn't commit. Though she loves the home her husband Brannon had built, when they came to a place in their lives when their interests drift apart, divorce rears its ugly head yet she reveals that she never had closure, and then he died leaving behind his first wife Josiah and daughter, he leaves little else, which may be causing someone they knew, or maybe #2 wife simmering with the idea he was been murdered and by Josiah? Life in this town is like a chess game!

There are a lot of characters in this book, and each has a reason to be included. Everyone from "Daffy" Taffy to Officer O'nan, a vindictive piece of work. Every year there is a honey competition at the Farmers' Market and there appears to be a very tight race between Richard and Josiah to win in previous years, casting suspicion on Josiah, especially since the very dead Richard was found in one of her hives. Definitely a quirky murder, if that is what it is, but why at Josiah's? Now Josiah is the number one suspect for the murder of Richard, this before murder has yet to be proven. What Josiah learns is that everyone has suspicions, and she won't be allowed to communicate with her friends and others in town until her name is cleared. The more I read the more there appeared to be issues between people, but also others appear to be strong and honest. It's a complicated town, though a portion of the population seems to be well-off financially, others are in need, and of course there are the renowned Kentucky horses to also make you either rich or poor. It's curious how much transferring of funds and/or properties goes on in this town, and why? There also seems to be a number of people with allergies: asthma, bee stings, (maybe that famous bluegrass of Kentucky causes Josiah's breathing problems?)

I gained so many memories with the movie game that Josiah & Matt played often, sometimes joined with Franklin it was so much fun. Old movie quotes from old stars and even a dance taken from Dick Clark's TV Dance show in the late '50s and '60s. If you like movies and stars from either side of the 1940s, you'll enjoy all these references (maybe even play along), I did. This book was an unexpected pleasure to read, even with the deaths. I love new discoveries! I enjoyed every minute! Thank you Abigail Keam for an enjoyable reading day!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Dying Words (A Ghostwriter Mystery #4) by C.A. Larmer

author C.A.Larmer
reviewed from Kindle

This is the first book by C.A. Larmer I've read and it was certainly entertaining and mysterious. Roxy is a ghostwriter and she has recently finished up with a photo to insert in the more or less textbook/memoir she has been working on for billionaire Sir Wolfgang Bergman. Surprisingly, the photo almost takes on a life of its own. What can possibly be so important or so damaging in that photo to be such a contentious issue. Sure, everyone seems to be looking at something or someone else, but why?

Is the photo revealing something that Bernie is so desperately trying to convey to the family with his dying words with ""?

Roxy has her hands full with trying to help Bernie's daughter Sondra who certainly is very focused on what she imagines must be a fortune. Finding a copy of the photo and studying it tells them nothing of importance, and therein lies the mystery. This is a mystery that no one wants to talk about, a mystery that seems to turn around every time Roxy gets close, but Bernie's daughter is definitely not going to give up, not at all! Even as the people in the photo begin dying off or are killed off. Roxy, with her good friend Gilda, a policewoman, make no headway. They figure Sir Wolfgang has the answer, and maybe he does, at least part of it. The mysteries will take you down the garden path, so to speak, but so much happened in Indonesia with the survey group that nothing seems clear. Clearly, everyone knew something about this mystery, but with all the deaths and murders, no one seems to know it all. This was a good mystery, one that didn't want to be solved, and I really enjoyed the book.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Unsent Letters by Daralyse Lyons

author Daralyse Lyons
published e-book by Imajin Books (2018)

This book is probably the closest to a true love story as I've ever read.
Strangely, parts of it are very close to my own life and I'm sure other romantics would feel the same way. I wonder how many readers will have  been through some of this story themselves; the love and passion alive and finally getting themselves where they needed to be. This book is amazing! To me, it felt very real, the discovery by family members of the letters that tell the story. It is a beautiful love story, never independently known, but the flow was wonderful. It took a bit of focus at times to realize again that these letters were never sent, beautiful as they were. A whole lifetime of wonderful, loving letters. I thought the premise was insightful and well-thought out. It reminded me of the letters my mother still has from WWII between herself and my dad. I remember her condensing them into a complete story for the 5 of us, me and my brothers, leaving out the "personal" parts. Now after reading Unsent Letters, I can only think of them like the letters never sent.

Daralyse Lyons has given us a book that is personal, thoughtful, filled with love and hope. I was gripped by it, read right through to 3:30 a.m. and even reread some parts. I think the story is remarkable in its continuity and honesty. I am so thankful for the connection of the family/families, especially considering other familial changes and understanding. Honest and real. A true love story.  

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon

author Jana DeLeon
review from Kindle

Well, I'm almost sure Longshot refers to a weapon, when I first saw the title I thought it referred to a drink. Sure. But this book turned out to be so humorous I was completely taken in, especially since it combines two different military operations and a lot of secrets. What can you do when your best assassin ends up on a worldwide hit list? Naturally the first thing would be to make her disappear, at least for a certain length of time. Where better? The Louisiana bayou, perfect if you don't become the meal of an alligator!

Fortune is a personal assassin who has blown her cover. Her new identity "Sandy-Sue Morrow" is obviously about as opposite as possible to her own. When Fortune learns where she will be, how will she ever be able to play that one out? Initiative? Improvisation? She will be the doppleganger as Sandy-Sue, who is a librarian, knitter (well, that could come in handy), and former beauty queen who also happens to be the niece of Fortune's boss...what? This will not be a new appointment, this is strictly to have her off the grid until she is no longer in danger from the arms dealers' hit list. This book is full of quirky citizens and rules, the town is named Sinful, yet Sundays have their own quirky regulations for a surprising reason. The Sinful Ladies Society is comprised of Seniors; one might say they are still living in the '60s but some are very capable, surprisingly versatile, and definitely your accustomed "little old ladies".

I loved this book, full of adventure, murder, mystery, and some very good friends, the essence of quirkiness, even elderly as they are. What a surprise to learn their history! This book is fun, different, and what's with the deputy who keeps popping up out of nowhere? With so much going on one might wonder how anything gets accomplished, and for that matter does anything get accomplished? This is a read that will take you on unusual adventures just by being there. I can hardly wait to read more by Jana Deleon.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Witches and Wine ( A Paranormal Cozy Mystery)(California Witching Book 1)

written by Samantha Silver with Megan Marple
reviewed from Kindle

 Every so often I like to read a cozy in between other perhaps not-so-cozy books. Let's face it, I'll read almost any genre but not quite all, I have my limits. I enjoy paranormal cozies and this one hit the spot.

What do you say when somebody tells you that you are a witch, yes that is the right word, our heroine is a witch and she will soon be making some sweeping changes in her life. For instance, she is currently working in a no-future job at a car lot, when a lovely woman, Barbara, a complete stranger to her tells her she is a witch. Surprised that she didn't know she was "different" we learn that she was in fact witchy parents to help her understand odd things about herself. Already I'm enjoying this book. This girl's life is about to become bizarre. Taylor is happy to leave her job and is on her way with Barbara to Rosemary Creek to live and learn. How does she come to meet this lovely woman with so much confidence in Taylor that she even offers her to share her own daughter Karen's suite? Interesting story, an event that Barbara witnesses. Taylor has just saved someone's life but is not even aware of what she has done. There are a lot of interesting things that occur that Taylor is in control of...or almost in control. She is constantly shocked at what she herself is doing. There will be a lot of twists and turns as the two girls try to solve a mystery with witchcraft while Karen's mother is being held for the murder of her ex-husband. Will witchcraft and magic win out?

I enjoyed the humour of this story. I enjoyed the camaraderie between the two girls Karen and Taylor, and the secrets they each had. Oh, yes, Taylor most definitely is a witch. She wants to be a veterinarian. Since her "specialty" is healing, what could be better than to work with animal rescue?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Blue Water Hues: an Ashley Grant Mystery by Vicki Delany

written by Vicki Delany
A Rapid Reads Orca Book, advance reading copy (ARC) 

Well, this book certainly starts with an attention-getter! A very new, very high class inn is up in smoke. That got my attention. What is going on with this beautiful resort in such an amazing location? It's a good thing the newly located Canadian, Ashley Grant, is a paramedic and already on the job. Ashley has just moved from Toronto, Ontario to Victoria and Albert Islands in the Caribbean, what an adjustment! Fortunately the country is outfitted with a firefighter, an ambulance driver and a police office, in other words, your standard very small country or county town service people, because they are going to be utilizing all three in this book. In the meantime, though discovered to be arson, the fire was quickly contained, mostly smoke, and the resort is mostly open. Yet, why arson? What could be the reason, or the attempt in the first place. Is there yet more going on in this the story?

This is the second Ashley Grant Mystery, I'll sure try to read the first, I suspect it would be quite different. But back to the Caribbean and the fire, it doesn't take long for Ashley to be asking questions with a death from the fire and a puzzling second death that evening, which oddly appears related...or is it? Will there be more? Well, maybe a near-miss, possibly attempted murder.

I enjoy the interactions with the local people especially in small locations. Often there will be some opinionated, some caring, some murderous. It surprises me that Ashley has so many phobias yet goes to live where she will find herself trying to avoid them. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for her move, to get past her phobias. I enjoyed this book, so descriptive, making me long for a trip to the Caribbean.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The B-Team: The Case of the Angry First Wife

by Melodie Campbell
an Orca Rapid Reads

 Another fun "family" mystery by Melodie Campbell. Reading a book by Melodie is complete enjoyment. How she can stuff so much fun in a Rapid-Read book is amazing to me. A little different from her previous comic villains, but a part of the same family, that of Gina Gallo et al, the "vigilantes", namely Kitty, Ritz, Dino and Del are determined to do justice to the wronged, in this case return a stolen necklace to its rightful owner. Still something always seems to go awry and in this book the rightful owner is more likely the unrightful owner. The usual "family" business and connections, plus another entry to romance carries on with Del as does in the Gina Gallo books. I love these quick but very complete books by Melodie! This review is based on an Advance Reading Copy (ARC).