Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review: Key Lime Pie Murder

Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #9)
Key Lime Pie Murder
Joanne Fluke


Hannah Swensen owner of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden Minnesota has been asked to stand in as a judge at a baked goods competition at the county fair. She is enjoying her task sampling and judging cakes and pies until she finds a body at the fairgrounds late one night. Unfortunately, that body belongs to another judge in the baking competition. Willa Sunquist, a teacher's assistant hasn't been back in town long, but Hannah has a feeling that Willa was spooked by something or someone she noticed at the fairgrounds while they were sampling baked goods. Hannah is determined to find out who at the fairgrounds is responsible for Willa's death. She will have the help of her family and friends and also from her two male suitors, Mike and Norman.

Key Lime Pie Murder is another installment in the Hannah Swensen series, where Hannah is not only determined to catch a killer but also determined to find the winner of Lake Edens best-baked goodies. And just so the reader doesn't leave this book feeling hungry, the author has included many of the recipes of the winning entries. For those who enjoy a lighthearted cozy mystery, this is one for you.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Review: The Other Woman

The Other Woman
The Other Woman
Sandie Jones

Emily thinks she found her Mr. Right. Adam is the man she never expected to meet much less fall in love with. Frankly, she couldn't be happier, until she meets his mother, Pammie. Emily can do nothing right in Pammie's eyes. Emily can't stand the way Pammie is kind to her in front of others but cruel and manipulative when alone. Eventually, the toxic relationship between the two starts to take a toll on Emily. Nevertheless, she decides to soldier on as she plans for her perfect wedding. Of course, if Pammie has anything to do with it, the marriage isn't going to happen.

When Emily thinks she's had enough of the insufferable family dynamics, she finds she hasn't begun to understand what lies behind the complex relations of her fiance's family. She may have misjudged things right from the start.

This fascinating story about tangled relations was one I couldn't put down. Every page made me wonder about Emily. What did she want, how she was going to get it and, was worth it? As the cover of this book promised, the ending was one I hadn't seen coming. Jones has managed to craft an intricate story that is not only well written and suspenseful but full of ups and downs. Which makes The Other Woman a book I would highly recommend if you like an unexpected end.

Thanks to Minotaur Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Review: Adventure at Simba Hill


The Adventure at Simba Hill (Kari + Lucas Mysteries, #3)
Adventure at Simba Hill
Susan Runholt

Lucas and Kari are two 14-year-old friends and amateur sleuths from Minnesota, who get the chance to travel to Kenya with Kari's uncle. Uncle Geoff is an archaeologist studying ancient artifacts at a place known as Simba Hill. While he is working the girls will have the opportunity to go on safari and at some point visit the archaeological site and see more of Uncle Geoff's work.

Once they arrive, they learn from a colleague of Uncle Geoff that there has been trouble at the excavation site. When the driver at the game park and lodge where Lucas and Kari are staying is accused of the crime, the girls decide to investigate further, hoping to uncover the real culprit.

Adventure at Simba Hill is an excellent book for the young reader. It's full of fun and adventure, with good descriptions of Kenya, its people, culture, and environment. Kari and Lucas make this a memorable tale and one that young readers with interest in travel and adventure are sure to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review: Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back
B.A. Paris

Finn's girlfriend Layla disappeared a decade ago in France at a roadside rest area. At the time he told the police he was in the restroom and when he returned to his car she had vanished. But, this wasn't exactly the truth. Nevertheless, Layla was never found. Now Finn has a new life but when he decides to get married the past starts to catch up with him with signs and clues that Layla may still be alive.

Bring Me Back is a riveting story from start to finish. I couldn't imagine how it would turn out until I got to the end. Alternating between the past and the present and between Finn's story and Layla's this book is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This author knows how to tell a story, and I can't wait to find time for her other two books, Behind Closed Doors and The Break Down.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: A Sorrowful Sanctuary

A Sorrowful Sanctuary (Lane Winslow #5)

A Sorrowful Sanctuary
Iona Whishaw


It's 1947, and Lane Winslow is enjoying her summer in the small town of Nelson in British Columbia. She spends her days visiting neighbors and joining them at the beach. The relaxed atmosphere changes when a young man is found severely injured in a rowboat at the shore. No one knows who he is or where he came from and when he later dies, Lane and her friend Inspector Darling still have no clue about his murder. When another young man, Carl, who lives just outside the town is reported missing by his mother both Lane and the police wonder if there is a connection between the two men. As if this weren't enough to unsettle a small town, several robberies have been reported in the area, and residents are starting to feel a little unnerved.

Instead of relaxing at the beach, Lane decides to spend her time trying to help Inspector Darling and his team to find out who the mystery man is and why he was murdered. Hopefully, they will be able to find the other missing man before it's too late. Whishaw has provided readers with another satisfying mystery with A Sorrowful Sanctuary her fifth in the Lane Winslow series. I became a fan after reading the fourth book It Begins with Betrayal. I enjoy the fact that Lane is a character who knows her mind and likes to take action when she can. Although occasionally and especially in this latest story she and Inspector Darling seem to be at a turning point in their relationship which has her a little out of her comfort zone. I can't wait to read another installment.

Thanks to Touchstone Editions for allowing me to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review: Campaign Widows


Campaign Widows
Campaign Widows
Aimee Agresti

This fun story follows a group of characters who work in Washington D.C. as journalists, campaigners, and socialites. The main character Cady has recently relocated to D.C. to be with her boyfriend, Jackson. The only problem, he's hardly ever around. Instead, he's with his boss out on the presidential campaign trail which leaves Cady mostly alone. Luckily, it doesn't take her long to meet new friends, not least of which is Birdie a local socialite, known for her great parties. She will be a useful ally for Cady to have as she tries to navigate her way through the cities array of prominent residents while she works for one of the cities morning television programs. When Cady finds that she has access to a potential first lady who isn't too keen to have the job her career takes off. And as she tries to work out her relationship with Jackson she relies on friends to keep her going when he isn't around.

Campaign Widows was a delight to read. It was fun, lighthearted and full of lively characters. So, if your tired of the current political scene let Agresti whisk you away to a more entertaining one.

Thanks to Graydon House Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review: Social Creature


Social Creature
Social Creature
Tara Isabella Burton

As soon as Lavinia meets Louise, it's like a train wreck waiting to happen. Lavinia leads a charmed New York life full of friends, parties and all the excitement one expects from a socialite. In fact, it seems like she has it all. The only thing missing is a best friend, which Lavinia finds when she encounters Louise, who has come to tutor Cordelia, Lavinia's little sister. Louise couldn't be more different, whereas she works two or three jobs to pay the rent on her subsidized rental unit and struggles to make ends meet, Lavinia doesn't work at all, nor does she study at the moment, plus she lives in her parents' fabulous apartment.

It isn't long before Lavinia convinces Louise to move in, but it's a move that leaves Louise more and more dependent on Lavinia and her goodwill, which ultimately depends on her moods. As soon as we think we have Lavinia pegged for the toxic, ego-fueled needy friend in the relationship, something happens and we realize that Louise isn't the long-suffering friend we thought she was. In fact, with the use of social media, she deceives all her friends,which were Lavinia's friends, to begin with, until one day it all falls apart.

Burton has created a page-turner of a book that has received a lot of attention recently. This one is dark but addictive, the kind of story that pulls you along at break neck speed, to the very last page. I can't wait to see what comes next from this author.

Thanks to Double Day for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.