Synopsis

When chemist Grace O’Leary finds a book of magic spells hidden in her Aunt Lucy’s run-down magic shop, the scientist in her itches to try them out. She mixes up a batch of love potions as a joke, and has to face the consequences when they actually seem to work.

Her dream of becoming a professor is in peril, and time is running out to finish research for her dissertation. She can’t handle any more distractions, but the magic shop is on the verge of closing, her aunt has become forgetful and confused, and a handsome reporter named Dario Fontana keeps sniffing around for a story. The last thing she needs is for him to find out about the love potions and expose her as fraud, but she begins to trust him, and the sizzling chemistry between them is soon too powerful to deny.

With her personal and professional life in chaos, and her budding relationship with Dario in jeopardy, Grace is faced with a difficult choice. Fixing what is broken means going against every logical bone in her body. Can Grace learn to silence her scientific brain long enough to accept the truth about magic…and also about herself?

 

My review

This is most definitely a romcom with a difference! I actually think I’d call it a romp-com as it’s a romp of a book with lots of fun and sparkle!
It’s not always easy to mix magic with cozy mystery because fans of one might object to the inclusion of the other element but it works really well here. The author herself is magic as she writes in a wonderful, light and light-hearted way. Her style is friendly and welcoming and it makes it so hard to put the book down!
The characters are all slightly eccentric, which makes them that much more fascinating and delightful – apart from the baddies, of course. They’re just fascinating.
The plot is ingeniously original and fresh. A super book.

Find the book in your Amazon store. Available on Kindle Unlimited.

Synopsis

It’s Spring in Pawpaw County, Indiana. Everybody has a bad case of hanky-panky pants. Senior sleuths Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens are on the run, chasing down cheating heart Jezebels and shaking child support out of deadbeat baby daddies.

Everybody in the small town of Knobby Waters knows Avonelle Ollis, cantankerous President of the First National Bank. After Avonelle’s husband, esteemed dentist William Apple, passes away, she receives a child support letter from a self-proclaimed mistress. Suspicious, she hires Ruby Jane and Veenie, of the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency, to determine if her late husband was a philandering baby daddy.

The case seems simple until Avonelle’s son, Bromley, heir to his father’s dental empire, and well-known king of the Pawpaw County Hanky Panky Husbands Club, pops up dead in a scarecrow costume. No sooner does the crime-cracking duo get sucked into solving Bromley’s death than Fussy Jones, Commander of the White River Boat and Gun Club, is found with a gig in his chest, literally dead in the water.

When a mysterious new Romeo rolls into town and begins seducing the ladies out at Leisure Hills Retirement Village Veenie’s father, Pappy Sneed, calls for help to retain his reputation as an oldster stud puppy. Ruby Jane bemoans that no one in Pawpaw County can keep their pants on or their skirts down as her own grown daughter, Joyce, begs for help chasing down her philandering husband.

The mounting romantic mysteries come to a surprise head as the senior sleuths outrun shotgun showers to close in on the answers at the Moon Glow Motor Lodge, the Original Home of Hillbilly Hanky Panky. Veenie and Ruby Jane have to buy an extra case of Ben Gay and a buttload of BBs just to keep up with the romantic excitement in this humorous crime classic.

 

My review

Well, this book is an absolute hoot. It’s brilliant, packed full of wit, comedy and delightfully eccentric characters.
Ruby Jane and Veenie are private investigators working for Harry Shades, whose inability to resist women means he’s temporarily had to leave town. The two mature ladies therefore take on a case concerning the Apple family – or rather, cases. They throw themselves into their duties with energy and determination, and whilst their means might be a little unconventional they’re certainly effective.

The plot bubbles with cleverness, with just the right amount of craziness, and as I’ve mentioned the people we meet in the pages of this novel are wonderful, whether it’s wonderfully awful or wonderfully genuine. The humour dances off the pages and it’s impossible not to chuckle as you absorb this madcap, exciting and entertaining story.

 

Published by Hot Pants Press, priced from €2.99 (Kindle)

 

Synopsis

They say every dog has his day.

Well, today I’ve certainly had mine.

Hey, I’m Albertus Eagle and it turns out I’m an unwitting pet detective. I haven’t always been such a successful legal beagle, but when I’m confronted with a case that is so personal I can’t ignore it, I discover I have a passion for finding those who don’t want to be found.

Cleo the cat. Well, she came along for the ride too.

So, sure I’ve had my day today, but not in the sense of being past my prime. To the contrary, the fun is just starting. And I am buzzing with a new purpose, mixed with a tiny amount of vindictive elation.

Why?

Because, I’ve not only found myself a new home after the untimely demise of my previous owner, but I’ve also made amends with the cat. It turns out she’s not that bad, really.

On top of that though, and this is what really sends shivers racing all the way down my spine to my paws, is that we’ve fingered a killer.

How?

Because you humans, you underestimate us animals. And while you go about your business ignoring our very existence, the cat and I are listening and taking notes.

This is the first full length novel in the Albertus Eagle detective beagle series of animal cozy mysteries, starring Albertus Eagle, and his two sidekicks, Cleo the cat and Bella Schuhmann, the smart human who actually understands him. In this wonderful full length book packed with humour and satire, we see the world of murder and intrigue set up through the eyes of a loyal dog turned amateur sleuth.

 

My review

Well, this is certainly a book with a difference! It’s a lively cosy mystery with a dog as the sleuth. In the cosy genre, there’s generally a dog or other pet animal in the mix somewhere, but they don’t often take centre stage. Albertus, or Albie for short, is our hero.

We generally associate talking animals with children’s literature or films, but when done well, as in this book, such characters are successful when aimed at an adult audience. There’s a tongue in cheek tone, but also some very sharp, to-the-point observations about our less-than-perfect human ways. Our canine companions don’t miss much, it seems.

They may have four paws, in most cases, but the characters we meet are rounded and convincing and with very distinct personalities. They’re a talented bunch too. Cleo the cat and Albie make for a formidable crime-fighting team. The plot is clever and interesting, and will keep you guessing to the end.

If you like a lively read from a whole new perspective, then this book will brighten your day. It certainly did mine!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NP9VVXK

US  – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NP9VVXK  

Author Bio – Chloe Grace is the cozy mystery pen name for romantic mystery author, Karen Botha. While she doesn’t understand animals quite as well as Bella in the Albertus Eagle Detective Beagle cozy mysteries, she does chat along to her rescue dog, Shadow, pretty much all day.

And she’s sure that he chats back.

Chloe lives with Shadow and her hubby in a small outpost of London city—funnily enough it’s a little like where Bella and Albie live. As a family they like to go on walks in the local woods and throw a tennis ball until their respective arms ache, which is usually before Shadow shows any hint of exhaustion.

While her first romance novels were inspired by true life events, the Albertus Eagle series are complete imagination – although her conversations with Shadow can’t be ignored.

Social Media Links –

SIGN UP FOR MAILING LIST – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/jgeib0362x
VISIT HER WEBSITE – http://www.karenbotha.com/meet-karen/chloe-grace-cozy-mysteries/
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/ChloeGraceMysteries/?modal=admin_todo_tour
INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/karenbothaauthor

This tour has been organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. I’m unable to load all the tour-related graphics and author pic due to who knows what reason, but I’m still working on it!

Synopsis

Mina Scarletti is invited to ancient Hollow House to investigate reports of ghostly occurrences.

A determined sceptic, Mina’s main concern is for Kitty, whose health appears to be dramatically sinking under the strain of all that is going on.

With the help of her trusted adviser, Dr Hamid, and her lively friend, Nell, Mina must get to the heart of the mystery.

Have the maids merely been frightening themselves with tales of the macabre? Is there a rational explanation for what is being reported?

Or will Mina be forced to admit to the presence of a ghost in Hollow House?

 

My review

This book is part of the Mina Scarletti Mystery Series, one that I wish I’d discovered earlier since this novel is absolutely delightful. It works as a standalone but I’ve no doubt there will be added richness if you follow the series from the start.

The book is set in the Victorian era and that’s obvious at once from the clever use of language. Both the way the characters speak and the author’s own narrative reflect this, but never overdo it! An air of genteelness comes over well, and there’s also a hint of frustration on the part of the female characters who are rather constrained by their times. Our heroine Mina is also constrained physically by her scoliosis, but, as with the social mores of the time, this doesn’t affect her sharp mind and intelligence.

Kitty, a friend of a friend of Mina’s, has recently married and gone to live in Hollow House with her new, much older husband Mr Honeyacre. However, there are strange goings-on and whilst Kitty is largely sceptical, her servants are becoming worked up over the presence of ghosts. Mina has a track record in routing out fake spiritual mediums, and so she’s the ideal person to visit and work out what’s actually happening.

And she does, and it’s all thoroughly entertaining! Mina is also a novelist writing under the male pseudonym of Robert Neil, so we get to see not only Mina but also Robert at work. His version of events is a little different from what Mina experiences. This clever touch adds even more sparkle to this lively, interesting and very enjoyable cosy mystery. Definitely one to read.

Published by Sapere Books. Available at http://getbook.at/HollowHouse

 

Rough And Deadly

Everyone knows Abe Compton’s Headbender cider is as rough as a cider can get. But is it deadly?

When self-styled ‘lady of the manor’, Margot Duckett-Trimble, announces she wouldn’t be seen dead drinking the stuff, who could have foreseen that, only a few days later, she’d be found, face down, in a vat of it?

Kat Latcham’s no stranger to murder. Indeed, the once ‘sleepy’ Somerset village of Much Winchmoor is fast gaining a reputation as the murder capital of the West Country and is ‘as sleepy as a kid on Christmas Eve’ when it’s discovered there’s a murderer running loose in the community again.

Kat has known Abe all her life, and she is sure that, although he had motive, he didn’t kill Margot. But as she investigates, the murderer strikes again. And the closer Kat gets to finding out who the real killer is, the closer to danger she becomes.

This second Much Winchmoor mystery is once again spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance – plus a cast of colourful characters, including a manic little dog called Prescott whose bite is definitely worse than his bark.

 

My review

This is a very entertaining and lively cosy mystery, but there is a more menacing thread of violence running through it too. However, the two elements of serious but slightly town-in-cheek murder and the secondary one of more realistic threat work well together in this author’s hands.

This is the second book about Kat, who’s moved back home after her city career crumbles. She does odd jobs and some reporting around Much Winchmoor, and keeps tuned in to all the gossip in her mother’s hair salon. However, don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book (Murder Served Cold) since this one works fine as a standalone. You quickly pick up all you need to know as the author deftly weaves in the essentials without them being intrusive.

Kat does tend to blunder in rather naively, but with the best of intentions. Fortunately there’s usually someone with a bit more sense to keep an eye on her! She’s a larger-than-life, lovely character, who takes life’s problems on the chin (work, mother and car troubles mainly) and never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. She’s helped and hindered by the eccentric and colourful residents of the village, both human and canine.

The writing flows and the plot is clever. This is the sort of book you just can’t put down once you start reading because it’s so enjoyable in every way.

Purchase Link

https://mybook.to/roughanddeadly

About the author

Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years that she discovered to her surprise that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.

Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke. She started out writing fiction for women’s magazines (and still does) but has recently branched out into longer fiction. She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazines, Writers’ Forum.

But, as with the best of dreams, she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into reading ‘the play what she wrote’.

Social Media Links –

Facebook.   https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author

Blog. paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Twitter. @paulawilliams44

Website.  paulawilliamswriter.co.uk

 

 

Synopsis

Crime always leaves a stain…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika.  When Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly.

 

Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. But with the evidence against Sarika mounting and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin.

 

Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye.

 

My review

From the witty title on the cover to the unexpected ending, this is a delightfully energetic, crisp book that keeps you thoroughly entertained.

Cleaner Lena is a very likeable, go-ahead kind of heroine. As a settled immigrant, still something of an outsider, she thus casts a sharper, more critical and occasionally merciless eye on her surroundings. She also comes across hints of discrimination, which adds authenticity. She deals tactfully and resourcefully with all and any obstacles she faces.

Lena’s cousin, the person whom Lena delegated to lock up the art gallery, becomes the prime suspect for a valuable painting’s disappearance. The gallery manager, who should have been the one to take responsibility for its security, seems only too relieved to have a scapegoat, especially a ‘foreign’ one. Everyone is quite happy to jump on board with him so Lena has her work cut out to find out the truth.

Despite the seriousness of a few issues touched up by having an expat heroine, there is plenty of humour, wit and quirky cleverness in this novel. The plot is swift-moving and well thought out, and our cast of characters is irresistibly fascinating. The book serves up everything you want from a cosy mystery, and a little more in terms of its fresh approach with this particular heroine.

Really excellent and enjoyable.

 

Purchase Link – amzn.to/2VWJ3ZD 

About the author

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. A Clean Canvas is the second book in the Lena Szarka mystery series about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective.

Social Media Links –

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy

www.elizabethmundy.com

Please enter the giveaway!

Giveaway to Win a Winsor & Newton pocket sized Watercolour set and a signed copy of A Clean Canvas. UK Only

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494215/?

Synopsis

Isabel Long is a bit banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer who once terrorized her. Gary is convinced his brother didn’t jump off a bridge known for suicides. Somebody pushed him.

Gary’s brother was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.

The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarized his brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.

As a journalist, Isabel did regular meetups with her sources for stories. She called it checking the traps. She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.

 

My review

Isabel and her mother are back in action, even though Isabel is still recovering from the last escapade. Her new case is an apparent suicide, and, as we both hope and expect there’s a lot more than initially meets the eye in this investigation. The wonderful ‘Old Farts’ are an invaluable help with their wisdom, nosiness and constructivce cantankerounsess!

The action is brisk and entertaining, the dialogue wonderful and the cast of characters is truly fascinating. Everyone we meet is rounded, and flawed, and as such makes for very convincing company.

There’s plenty of dry humour and excitement, but also a lot of tension and lurking danger. Isabel does tend to go in at the deep end head first without always thinking far enough ahead. However, you have to admire her courage and determination.

Jack is back, adding a touch of romance to the story, as well as a strong and sensible presence to counter the feistiness of Isabela and Maria.

The plot is interesting and original, with some super twists and turns along the way.

Truly enjoyable, fabulous writing. More to come I hope!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Checking-Traps-Isabel-Long-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07NDFKS59

US – https://www.amazon.com/Checking-Traps-Isabel-Long-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07NDFKS59

 

Author Bio

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Checking the Traps, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the third in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first two are Chasing the Case and Redneck’s Revenge.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long mystery series.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.joanlivingston.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JoanLivingstonAuthor/

Twitter: @joanlivingston 

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/JoanLivingston_Author

Goodreads: www.Goodreads.com/Joan_Livingston

 

My review

When Addie turns up at the hairdresser’s for a special early-morning appointment, she finds her friend Gwen distracted and decidedly chilly, not the usual way for her to be at all. And then after Gwen disappears out back to take a delivery, but is absent for a rather a long time, Addie goes to investigate and finds her friend dead. This so isn’t good.

Addie is obviously at the heart of the enquiries. And heart is the right word since dishy Detective Jonah makes her heart do crazy things.  This also isn’t good because she has a sweet and loving boyfriend, Noah.

Addie decides to investigate her friend’s murder, despite knowing that neither Jonah nor Noah will approve. Her loyal friend Grey gives a helping hand. We get all the misunderstandings, blunders and breakthroughs, both accidental and otherwise, that we expect to find in a light-hearted cozy like this one. And of course there’s that frisson of complicated romance running through.

This is a fast-paced, quick read that is totally delightful. Characters, settings and situations are beautifully created for us to immerse ourselves in. There’s lots of witty repartee and oodles of tongue in cheek humour.

Although the second in a series, the book works fine as a standalone, although, like me, you’ll be impatient for the next book when you’ve finished this one.

The book is available at all Amazon stores. Buy yours here: https://amzn.to/2XqJpZf

 

‘In Peppermint Peril’ is an ingeniously crafted mystery that’s a real treat to read. 

Our heroine, Callie Aspen, has returned to her home town of Heart’s Harbor, to help out Aunt Iphy. Callie is a historical tour guide by profession, but she’s hit a quiet time so she’s happy to help her aunt organise a mystery party at which there will be a puzzle cake based on a Brother Cadfael mystery. There’s to be a big event at the party, with overtones of Agatha Christie, but it’s overshadowed by first an apparent theft and then a real murder.

Callie immediately gets involved in trying to solve the murder. She’s shocked by what’s happened, especially as it means some of her family might end up in gaol. It also helps her stop thinking too much about what might have been if she’d taken different decisions in the past. There’s a definite hint of bittersweet about this novel.

There’s a hint of romance too. Police Office Falk and Callie get off on the wrong foot to start with, but as they get to know each other, an attraction develops. Will it come to anything? We’ll have to wait and see…

There’s some insightful portrayals of relationships, both family and marital, and of the hierarchy in a small town. There’s a lot going in in this cosy mystery, which is quite a bit deeper than most.

There’s more to come in the series, and that’s really good news.

Buy the book here: https://amzn.to/2KUe7Us

Published by Crooked Lane Books. Kindle edition available from 7 December 2018.

Synopsis

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.

A Hollow Sky is the second Alex Ripley Mystery.

 

My review

A Hollow Sky is a thoughtful and thought-provoking mystery with a definitely unsettling undercurrent of menace. It unrolls slowly to begin with, but as it gains momentum it really begins to sweep you along as the tension mounts. This is the result of excellent, careful writing.

As well as the mystery involving comatose Megan and a cast of scarily obdurate and arrogant people adhering to somewhat extreme religious beliefs, there is a personal interest story line involving Alex  Ripley, who is an intriguing and complex character. She’s certainly courageous and determined and I wouldn’t want her on my trail!

The setting in the close-knit village is almost claustrophobic, exactly as the author intends. I mentioned that feeling of menace earlier, and it lurks. stagnating in every corner. Alex comes in like a breath of fresh air, but will she be enough to recharge the oppressive atmosphere and chase the evil away?

In summary, an excellent, absorbing, slightly disconcerting mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the end.

The book is the second in a series but works fine as a standalone, and is an enticing introduction to this author.

 

Purchase Link

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

Direct from Red Dog Presshttps://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

 

Author Bio

Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

Social Media Links –  

www.facebook.com/mseancoleman.author

www.twitter.com/mseancoleman

Giveaway to win paperback copies of The Cuckoo Wood and A Hollow Sky, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494165/