Friday, 15 December 2017

Cat-Eye Witness (A Klepto Cat Mystery #2) by Patricia Fry


Cat-Eye Witness (Klepto Cat Mystery, #2)

Savannah and Aunt Margaret open the old Forster home to the Hammond Cat Alliance for a fundraiser to help rehabilitate the abused horses rescued months earlier from the catnappers. Before the afternoon is over, the collected funds go missing and someone is murdered in an upstairs bedroom.
Suspicion surrounds Iris, a local waitress and Savannah’s new best friend. The only witness to the murder is Rags, Savannah’s cat. With the assistance of a cat psychic and Rags’s good friend, Charlotte (the young girl with Downs), the cat helps to “paw” the killer…but not before an attempt is made on Rags’s life. The case is solved only after Rags comes face-to-face with the killer for the second time.
Detective Craig Sledge is new to this book, as is Damon, Iris’s errant son. Sledge finds this to be one of the muddiest cases he has ever worked, with inconsistent clues and no apparent motive. He’s constantly surprised, perplexed and impressed by the cat’s uncanny ability to come up with clues he has missed. His fascination with the attractive Iris Clampton also mystifies the detective.
In this story, one of the rescued horses goes into labor and there’s a night of high drama at the ole corral as veterinarians Savannah and Michael work to save the foal. This experience renews Savannah’s deep interest in horses and riding, which ultimately serves to help her bond with a very important surprise character who finds his way into her life and Michael’s just as they prepare to say their wedding vows.

While Rags is the animal star, he isn’t the only animal featured in this story. Layla is back in all of her tangerine beauty. And Rags makes friends with Buffy, a perky almost Himalayan and the inseparable duo, Walter, an all black cat and his sidekick, Lexie, a charming afghan mix. Savannah’s new ride, Peaches, also debuts in this story. An incident with this mare adds another dimension to Savannah’s and Michael’s relationship. Can he hold her with open arms?

Some say this is a love story with a mystery in the background. And it’s a story of family and friendship as newlyweds Margaret and Max continue to be a meaningful part of Savannah’s and Michael’s world.  (Summary via Goodreads)



As soon as I finished the first book, Catnapped, in Patricia Fry's Klepto Cat Mystery series, I had to immediately start reading Cat-Eye Witness.  I wasn't ready to leave Savannah, Michael and all the other friends I had made in the first book.  In Catnapped you are introduced to everyone in town and you are just getting to know them and getting use to "being in a new environment" but once you start reading Cay-Eye Witness you are in love with everyone and beginning to feel like you belong there.

The characters that Fry writes about are people you will like, love and admire.  Most of them are friends, have things in common and will do whatever they can to help each other out.  And boy do some of them need extra help in Cat-Eye Witness !!!

Savannah has moved into her auntie's house and is working with Michael at his clinic after her aunt and Max got married at the end of the first book.  They are having a fundraiser at the house to raise money to help horses in need when the money raised is stolen and a man is found dead in an upstairs bedroom.  And if things couldn't get any worse, Savannah's new best friend Iris is looking like a top suspect, right up at the top of the list with her eldest son.  And yup...worse yet is that Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, is acting very strangely.  It is possible that Rags was witness to the murder and may even be able to identify the killer !!!

OMG I love these books !!!  The imagination and creative way Fry writes and keeps the reader interesting is such an amazing talent !!  I would have never imagined that a cat could identify a killer or help solve a crime but after reading these books, I think why not ?  Anything is possible.....

The Klepto Cat Mystery series is off the charts FUN to read !!  I am beginning to see why there are so many written in this series. And the way that Fry ends each book, there is NO doubt that I will continue reading these books.  I cannot wait for more......

Review by Missi S.










Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Catnapped (A Klepto Cat Mystery #1) by Patricia Fry


Catnapped (Klepto Cat Mystery #1)

When Savannah Jordan agrees to help her aunt while she recovers from a broken foot, she doesn’t expect to walk into a mystery, become part of a not-quite-legal surveillance team, be kidnapped by a deranged stranger and meet a steaming hot veterinarian. Beloved neighborhood cats are missing—the community can only guess at their fate—and Aunt Margaret’s life is being threatened. Is it because she has a clue to the missing cats or is it something more sinister?

If you like light mysteries with only a little terror, if you’re infatuated by interesting cats and if you love a love story, you must read this book.  (Summary via Goodreads)



Klepto Cat Mystery series where have you been ??  I cannot believe that this series has been out since 2013, has 23 books in this series and I have only just finished book one.  Catnapped is the first book in this series by Patricia Fry and it is a GREAT start to this series.

In Catnapped you walk into a cat loving community that is being threatened.  You meet Savannah who goes to stay with her aunt Margaret to help her out after she has an accident and breaks her foot.  Savannah, Vannie to her aunt, is a veterinarian technician who has a cat, Rags, who likes to "borrow" things.  Margaret, Auntie to Savannah, has a neighbor, Max, who has a facility next door where he rescues cats, takes in cats and treats them trying to adopt them out.  And there is also a hunky hot veterianarian, Doctor Mike, that is all kinds of yummy !!!

Unfortunately someone is threatening Auntie by leaving notes on her property and maybe, just maybe the fall she took wasn't an accident.  And if that isn't bad enough neighborhood cats are starting to disappear.  Someone is stealing family pets ?  Cats to be specific !!!

Auntie and Max belong to a cat alliance group and along with members of other cat related groups they devise a plan to look into the disappearance of the cats.  You will see that once Auntie gets an idea in her head, nothing will stop her....not even death threats and a broken foot !!!

One word that can be used to describe this book is.....devotion.  The devotion of the cat owner's to find their pets, the devotion of Vannie to her aunt, the devotion of the members of the different groups coming together to solve this case, and the devotion you begin to see between Vannie and Michael.

The only thing that you will have a hard time with when you read Catnapped is that it ends....and boy is the ending a GREAT ending.  But then you just have to remember what I said in the beginning of this review ---- There are 22 more books in this series.  So all you have to do is pick up Book two, Cat-Eye Witness and you are back hanging out with Auntie, Max, Vannie, Michael, Rags and the whole gang.....

Review by Missi S.










Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Of Murder and Men (Cat Latimer Mystery #3) by Lynn Cahoon



Of Murder and Men (Cat Latimer Mystery, #3)
Love is in the air in Aspen Hills, and it’s making a terrible mess of Cat Latimer’s writers’ retreat—especially when blood stains the plot . . .

Ever since her business partner, Shauna, fell for a wealthy landowner in town, Cat has been working double time to keep her writers’ retreat running. And with the January session almost underway, that spells trouble. As if scheduling mishaps aren’t disastrous enough, Shauna skips out on kitchen duties one morning, forcing Cat to serve unsuspecting guests store-bought muffins . . .

But best laid plans really go awry when Shauna discovers her beau missing from their bed. When his body later turns up in the horse barn, they quickly find out the victim’s scandalous lifestyle left many dying for revenge. While balancing an eccentric group of aspiring writers and a suspect list for the record books, Cat soon finds herself on the heels of a killer—and authoring her most deadly conclusion yet . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)



Okay so in the first book in the Cat Latimer Mystery series by Lynn Cahoon a guest of the writer's retreat was murdered and in the second book of the series someone from the town was murdered but a guest of the retreat was involved.  And in both of those books Cat was trying to wrap her head around her ex-husband Michael's death.  So in the third book, Of Murder and Men, it should be smooth sailing .....right ????

Well most everything with the guests for the retreat do run smoothly, actually pretty well.  Cat has a group of writer's that get along and have fun when they are not getting their word count in for the day.  And one of the guests, Shirley ( a retired Alaskan cop ) seems to be getting along very well with Uncle Pete....and providing her expert job experience looking into Michael's death.

Unfortunately death does hit the writer's retreat and it hits very close to home.  Shauna's very rich on/off boyfriend, Kevin, has finally made up his mind with their relationship and pops the question !!  But before she can decide what she wants to do he is found dead in the horse barn on his elaborate estate.  

When the cause of death is determined that he was poisoned and Shauna was the one to cook him his last meal, Uncle Peter has a lot of questions.  Even though everyone knows that Shauna wouldn't do anything to hurt anyone, Cat still feels the need to find out who did kill Kevin.

Cat always has her hands full running the writer's retreats but always makes time to help others out and when her best friend needs her, she will stop at nothing to be there for her.....

Of Murder and Men is my FAVORITE book so far in this series  !!  Not only are we really getting to know Cat, the business, the town and it's residents but we finally see closure in Michael's murder.  Even though there is closure, I'm sure that will not be the end of the Michael aspect of the books.  Especially seeing as Cat found out some things at the bank and through Dante, Michael's college friend who happens to be a member of a mob family.  I look forward to where Cahoon is going to take this part of the story.

There is so much to say about Of Murder and Men and Lynn Cahoon but as with a lot of my reviews, I really only want to give you the extra push needed for you to pick up the book and find out for yourself what is going on in the story.  I highly recommend that with the Cat Latimer series......there are so many things to love about Aspen Hills with only one thing to dislike.....that it's not a real place.  But hey it's a great place to visit with Cahoon and you don't have to leave the comfort of your couch.....

Review by Missi S.










Monday, 27 November 2017

Fatality by Firelight (Cat Latimer Mystery #2) by Lynn Cahoon



Fatality by Firelight (Cat Latimer Mystery, #2)
Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .
   (Summary via Goodreads)




Fatality by Firelight is the second book in the Cat Latimer Mystery book series by Lynn Cahoon and it is the second writer's retreat for Cat, Shauna and Seth.  Catherine Latimer was willed the big house in 
Colorado by her ex-husband Michael and with the help of her friend Shauna and her high school, current boyfriend, Seth she has turned it into a writer's retreat bed and breakfast.  For one week a month the house is opened up to authors who spend the week writing, visiting the college library, participating in seminars and receiving insights from Cat who is a published author.

On the first day of this retreat Cat and Seth take the guests on a skiing trip to the nearby resort.  While Cat and Seth are enjoying the day racing each other down the mountain, the guests have taken to the bar instead.  Christina, a romance author,  has caught the eye of local boy Tommy and the two have no problem showing some PDA at the resort.   Unfortunately Tommy is engaged to Brit, a bartender in town.  When Tommy is found stabbed to death in a hot tub at the resort and Christina was the last to see him alive and has Tommy's blood on her clothes, things at the retreat heat up !!


Luckily for Christina Cat's uncle Pete is the police chief and on top of everything and if he isn't Cat is....


Valuable Hemingway books are stolen from the library, mobster children are students at the college, Cat is trying to go through Michael's study for clues to his death and closure, they are trying to run a successful writer's retreat, and Cat wants to find out who killed Tommy and keep Christina safe.....All in a day's work for Cat and company.


You will instantly love Cat, Shauna and Seth !!  You will want to spend lots of time in the kitchen with the girls and sit on the couch in Cat's office on the third floor.  The relationships in the story between Cat and Shauna, Cat and Seth, the writing guests for the week are uniquely written and you will long for relationships like these.  

And I must mention the special hot chocolate and the food that Shauna prepares throughout the story....yummy !!  You will be so engrossed in reading this book, that you might find yourself smelling the chocolate.....

I am a HUGE fan of Lynn Cahoon and the Cat Latimer Mystery series and cannot wait to get lost in another of the writer's retreats........I know it's going to be a treat !!!!

Review by Missi S.







   








Monday, 20 November 2017

The Body on the T (Sgt. Windflower Mystery #2) by Mike Martin


The Body on the T (Sgt. Windflower Mystery, #2)
The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.

But this is just the beginning. There is also a devastating accident on the highway and another suspicious death to deal with. Throw in a rogue police officer and an international drug ring operating in the waters off the coast and Windflower’s peaceful world is turned upside down. This time Windflower’s adventures take him to the scenic town of Burin where Captain Cook once patrolled the waters looking for French mercenaries. And to historic St. John’s where he faces down an armed suspect on a parking garage rooftop in the midst of a busy downtown evening.

Along the way Windflower also continues to enjoy the food and home-style hospitality of this part of the world. Cod tongues, pan seared scallops and even figgy duff become part of his diet, and his long list of favourite foods. Windflower may be a long way from his Cree home in Northern Alberta but he has found a new place to love in the fog and mist of Newfoundland.  (Summary via Goodreads)



The Body on the T is the second book in the Sgt. Windflower mystery series and boy is it a GOOD one !!!  If you have read The Walker on the Cape, the first book in this series, you have met Windflower and have gotten to know him and his little town.  If not, that is okay.  Mike Martin brings you up to speed rather quickly....hee hee.

In The Body on the T you are introduced to a dead body right away....unfortunately who the person was is not known immediately as they have no identification or recoqnized as a local.  Before Windflower can identify the body, it is transferred out of his jurisdiction.  Windflower is also asked to leave Grand Bank for a few months to work on a case in Marystown that has to do with the Harvey Brenton case that we read about in the first book.

While Windflower is getting things ready in Grand Bank for his temporary move to Marystown, he has to suspend one of his Constables, Claude LaPierre, another body is found floating in the harbour and his girlfriend, Sheila, is in a head on collision.  One "good" thing is that they know that the body found floating is Roger Buffet, a heavy drinker who owed Brenton a lot of money.  

Windflower leaves everything in the capable hands of Corporal Eddie Tizzard who seems to know a little bit about everything which can be good and bad but he always seems to come out on top.  

Once Windflower is settled in Marystown he finds out that the dead body found on the T that was transferred is Jean-Marc Guibert who was working for Brenton but recruited by the drug enforcement team to provide inside intelligence and he also learns that LaPierre is involved in the drug distribution network and the case that Windflower was brought in for.

Windflower has a lot on his plate with the case and Sheila's accident.  Sheila is transferred to a hospital closer to Marystown which is good for Windflower, he is able to visit her daily.  

There is so much more that I could tell you about the case, Windflower, Sheila, Tizzard, LaPierre and the offer that Windflower gets later in the story (tiny spoiler) but to read it in it's fullest is the best way to do it !!

I will tell you that you will LOVE the growing relationship between Windflower and Sheila, you will wish you had Tizzard's energy and you will love the person that Windflower is, as a Mountie, a boyfriend, a friend, and as just a good human being.  And the devotion he has to the job and Sheila will warm your insides ......

So grab a cup of tea and a biscuit, settle in your comfy chair and take a little trip and hang out with Windflower and enjoy the ride.......

Review by Missi S.







Friday, 17 November 2017

A Deadly Éclair (A French Bistro Mystery #1) by Daryl Wood Gerber


A Deadly Éclair (A French Bistro Mystery, #1)

It's always been Mimi Rousseau's dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she's been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband's tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she's able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn's first wedding ever. 
The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan's half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners' dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an eclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan's will. 
Now it's up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Eclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.  (Summady via Goodreads)



A French Bistro Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber is going to be one of my favorite series !!  With her debut book, A Deadly Eclair, I have fallen in love with everything in the story !!  

You have Mimi who owns the bistro and inn where she runs the bistro and her best friend, Jo, manages the inn.   And all of this is possible because Bryan saw something promising in Mimi and invested in her dream.  Not only does Bryan see something special in Mimi he also wants to help her succeed.  It only seems fitting that the first wedding held at the inn is a famous talk show host to a well known jeweler.  The bride also happens to be the daughter of Bryan's half brother so that should help things run smoothly.  

Unfortunately things don't go as planned at the out-of-towners dinner gathering the night before the wedding and even worse when the bride goes out running early the next morning and finds Bryan dead on the patio of the bistro with an eclair stuffed in his mouth.  To make matters worse, if that is possible, Mimi is the main suspect when it is discovered that Bryan was lured there by a text message from her cell phone !!!

While Mimi tries to resume business as usual and keep all the wedding guests comfortable, she also questions everyone trying to solve Bryan's murder, clear her name, and keep her business afloat.

A Deadly Eclair has a wonderful cast of characters, some you fall in love with instantly.....like Mimi's best friend Jo who runs the inn effortlessly and is always there for Mimi no matter what.  You also will love the hostess, Heather, who has a thing for aliens but is more than capable of being the hostess with the mostest.  And there are also Sergeant Tyson Daly and the gardener Raymond who went to school with Mimi, Mimi's mother who owns a vineyard as well as Nash who sells wine and also has a crush on Mimi.

And let's not overlook that this ALL takes place in a wonderful place Napa Valley which is full of jazz music, gourmet food, lucious wine, refreshing gardens and mouth dropping artwork.....

My only recommendation before picking this book up to get lost in it is to grab a nice glass of wine, some cheese and crackers, a comfy blanket and settle back.....once you open up the book, you won't want to leave......


Review by Missi S.






Thursday, 16 November 2017

Much Ado About Murder (Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #3) by Elizabeth J. Duncan



Much Ado About Murder (Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #3)
Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company's steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright. 

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner's secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund's plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way? 

With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it's final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan's third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.  (Summary via Goodreads)


I might be a tad partial to Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan because it is A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery and I live in upstate New York.  But whatever reason you choose to read Much Ado About Murder, I am quite certain that you will love it !!


Even though this is the third book in the series and I haven't had the pleasure of reading the previous two, I was able to pick it up and breeze right through it.  As soon as I started reading, I was lost in the Catskills....  The story is so fun !!!  You have a theater company attached to a grand hotel with three bungalows and the bungalows are housed by the director of the current play, the main star of the current play and Charlotte, the costume designer and her police officer boyfriend.

Unfortunately the current Shakespeare play has trouble from the start with the director leaving abruptly and unable to return and then his replacement, Edmind, is found dead in his bungalow as a result of an apparent suicide.  But as they say in show business the show must go on so with a third director they continue with rehearsals.  

Charlotte and her friend Paula, who is on the board of directors for the theatre have a hard time accepting that Edmund would commit suicide.  He was very passionate about the play and the direction he was taking it, it just didn't fit that he would kill himself.

Charlotte and Paula dig into their own investigation and try to find out who killed Edmund and why.  But with a cast of over-eager actors and a very eager replacement director, how will they narrow down the list of suspects ???  

Much Ado About Murder was such a treat to read, Duncan has a way with her writing that you feel like you are right there walking along side Charlotte as she walks the paths along the grounds and you can almost taste the gin and tonic that she makes when she gets together with Paula.....

Review by Missi S.