Netgalley Review: Looking for Laura

Hello Everyone,

Title: Looking For Laura

Author: Ellen Shapiro

Series: Book One

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Indies United Publishing House

Page Count: 400

Book Summary:

Like most private investigators, Tracey Marks is just trying to pay off the mountain of bills that never seem to stop. So when a client hands her $5000 to find his missing wife, she jumps at the opportunity. Although it’s her first missing-persons case, she really does need the money and charges ahead into the investigation.

But things quickly go sideways, and the more answers she gets, the more questions that arise. Everyone seems to be holding back, or even outright lying…and even the missing woman has a sketchy past. As Tracey digs in deeper and deeper, she finds herself drawn into a web of deceit. With warning signs everywhere, will Tracey even live long enough to cash the check?

My Thoughts:

This was a smooth read, quick, simple and easy. Though our main character would beg to differ for it being her first missing persons case, I flew through the pages rapidly, eager to see how Tracy would solve the mystery. I’m pleased to say that I liked this one, with it being written by a woman who was a private eye herself, this was a new favorite, with plenty of mystery, action, and a lot of fun.

As a cozy mystery fan, I felt that this was well handled. I enjoyed the atmospheric writing, and the suspenseful buildup was great too. Tracy was a real, likable character, and I’m happy to add that there’s a sequel called Secrets Can Kill, that I definitely hope to snag. The mystery wrapped up nicely and I have a new favorite author to stalk. Highly recommend for fans of cozy mysteries.

My Rating:

⭐ ⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Cozy Mysteries: Top Five Female Sleuths

Hello Everyone,

I have always been an admirer of crime fiction. Ever since my teens when I first stumbled upon Sherlock Holmes, I was in love with crime solving. But I wanted a female detective. I wanted to see women taking on the case. Sure I knew about Nancy Drew, but I had yet to discover the pleasures of Miss Marple by Agatha Christie, let alone all the others. Here’s a collection of my top female detectives in crime!:

First is the delightful Miss Marple:

I searched around on Google and found that the first Miss Marple books were actually short stories published back in 1927… quite a long time ago, or so it feels to me. I have barely begun to read these delightful tales of murder and mayhem but I am forever going out of my way to collect all things Agatha Christie. I so far have a tiny collection of six books but I’m happy to keep it growing next year. Miss Marple is set in the 1950’s and Interestingly her age is never mentioned in the series according to google, and I hope to eventually confirm that.

Second Favorite Woman Detective:

Miss Peabody is another detective that I became absolutely enthralled with. I first read Crocodiles on the Sandbank a few years ago and am waiting for a binge read of the rest of the series, after-of course-rereading the first book. The first book came out in 1975, and was the start of a long historical mystery series. The Author, Elizabeth Peters, is a pseudonym of Barbara Louise Mertz, and she also has another author name of Barbara Michaels. I have many Barbara Michaels books, though sadly only a few of the Elizabeth Peters. I’m hopeful to eventually collect all of them. The Amelia Peabody character is a Victorian lady who is quite smart, brave, and warm hearted as well as open minded. The first book was quite a fast read and I will eventually make my way through the rest of the series soon as I get my hands on them.

My Third Favorite Detective:

I discovered Maisie Dobbs about past the time I discovered Miss Marple. I enjoy both women solving crimes. Ms. Dobbs is set in between the years 1910 and 1929, and is quite entertaining. I love the writing and the characters grow on you from the start. As I’ve only read the first book (same with every series it seems) I can’t say much except there’s expected to be another new one of this series this coming year by March 22, 2022 called A Sunlit Weapon. I desperately need to catch up on the series but it seems as though I have far to much to read!

My Forth Favorite Sleuth:

Told in diary format, these delightful novels are fun, fast, and I am actually almost caught up on the series! The main character is a woman named George, who is 34 in line to the throne of England. Set during the year 1932, London. There’s all sorts of humor in these books and they never fail to entertain. I hope to own the whole set on day, but I will be content enough that a new book, book number fifteen (I’m on book twelve) is already out and titled God Rest Ye, Royal Gentleman and I cannot wait to be all caught up!

And finally…

M.C. Beaton is another author I’ve found and adore in reading her Agatha Raisin mysteries. They’re fun, witty, and quite clever at times. I love her writing and there are currently 31 books in the series. I believe I’ve only read a maybe six of them so far but I like these as well as her Hamish character who has his own series. I still hope to collect these books along with all the others.

~•~•~•~•~

Well there you have it. Those are my top five favorite women detectives. I’d love if you have suggestions of your own favorites, or if you shared any here that you loved a lot. If you want more exposure on a series I’d be happy to make another post about it. There’s probably going to be a lot of cozy mysteries along with thrillers and the like shared on my blog. If you have any suggestions please comment below.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review + Novella: Chili Cauldron Curse

ChiliNovella

Hello friends,

Chili Cauldron Curse by Lynn Cahoon is a delightful novella of witchiness, cozy murder mystery, and cooking all wrapped up in one. I don’t believe that I’ve read anything by this author before, but a short mystery from Kensington Publishers sounded like just the thing to read.

The story takes place with a chili cook off. Mia, our main character, runs the event in terms of cleaning up a food bank for her grandmother, whose a practicing Wiccan. Magic runs in the family, however Mia’s not near as powerful as her grams, though she tries. When she volunteers to assist in running the food bank to help feed the poor, with the chili cook off upcoming as an event, she doesn’t bargain on finding a dead body right before the event’s set to take place…the body belonging to Dorian Alexander, who happens to be her grandmother’s boyfriend.

Threats abound, magic occurs, and cats get inhabited by ghosts in this delightful cozy mystery. This was a fun paranormal mystery, with a spark of potential romance sideplot that was interesting to me as well. With a recipe in back for chili that I’m intrigued in trying one day during the winter holidays, I highly recommend this novella for those in the mood for a fun, light hearted read. I’m pleased to give this five stars, and I’m definitely going to keep reading more from this author in the future.

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Time for Murder is Meow

Time for Murder

Title: The Time for Murder is Meow
Author: T.C. LoTempio
Series: Book 1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Page Count: ?
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3/5 stars
Review Word Count: 300
Notes:

~*~

This was a quick enough read for me, read over the space of a day and a half. While the plot was interesting, the middle sagged a bit with not enough to keep me interested in the story overall, and admittedly I skimmed a bit towards the end. It wasn’t one of my favorite cozy mysteries ever, but it was still entertaining enough to read on through to the very end. I doubt that I’ll continue with the series, however. The animals were all fun to read, and the characters definitely had their own interesting points in regards to the plot. While I’ve seen some of the tricks pulled before in solving the mystery and therefore figured out the killer about halfway through the book, it was still a reasonable written novel that’s the first in a series.

Enjoyable, and would recommend to new cozy mystery fans. Therefore, I’m giving this a 3.5/5 stars, and I feel that anyone who likes ‘the cat who’ series would enjoy this one.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Death Comes to Dartmoor

Death Comes to Dartmoor

Title: Death Comes to Dartmoor
Author: Vivian Conroy
Series: Book 2 of the Merriweather and Royston Mysteries
Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Thriller
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Netgalley Read, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: Second in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone! It does reference things from book one that had me confused, but only towards the very end of the book, and a couple of things from the start of it. Otherwise, book one doesn’t have to be read at all to read this one.

Death Comes to Dartmoor has strong vibes of Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens in way of dark vibes and mysterious creatures that are killing girls left and right in the middle of the night. With plenty of deaths, the villagers are frightened and turn mob-like, causing much trouble amongst the small village of Dartmoor. There’s lots of action, adventure, and near death experiences for our characters from beginning to end of this book, with mysteries aplenty as well. Who killed the girls? Why would someone pin the blame on an old man? And what of the connection to their friends?

This was an enthralling read that had me from beginning to end, and I found myself rapidly turning page after page, attempting to guess who it was that killed them. I was right about the killer but wrong about the reasons, so the author gets bonus points for that as well.

If you like dark mysteries that are spooky, and full of atmospheric death scenes, I highly recommend you reading this series. It’s got something for everyone, and while long the payout is definitely well worth it!

4/5 stars!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review: Penne Dreadful

Penne Dreadful

Title: Penne Dreadful
Author: Catherine Burns
Series: Book 1 of the Italian Chef Mystery Series
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Page Count: 500
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Type of Book: Netgalley Read, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes: A wonderful start to a new mystery series that will surely leave readers hungry for more!

I should start this off with a warning to readers: don’t read this book without snacks nearby. Especially tasty snacks. Because this book has described food that made me hungry and craving pasta for lunch (which I successfully had while reading this book!) and it’s description of food is definitely on par with a lot of chefs that I’ve met who know what they’re talking about when they talk about food. The type of food in this book is my favorite kind too-pizza, pasta, and many other things besides (except for eggplant. Blagh.)

This was a fun, yet depressing at times, mystery book. There was a murder, plenty of suspects, an overly helpful cat, another murder, several attempted murders, blackmail, robbery, and even a happy ending. This book was a non-stop action ride from beginning to end, and I spent two days flying through the pages wanting to know who would was the killer. I was half right in my guess, but forgot several factors, and was therefore still taken by surprise at the end. Clever of the author to do so!

I highly recommend this author’s book. It’s very fun, it’s a quick read, and it’s definitely one to be added to my shelves at home. Her writing is flawless, and her characters are realistic and entertaining each with their own secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end.

5/5 stars!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: A Spell for Murder

A Spell for Murder

Title: A Spell for Murder
Author: Clea Simmon
Series: book 1
Genre: Mystery (Cozy)
Publisher: Polis Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars

This is a cozy mystery book that’s seemingly told from the cats point of view. Need I say more? Well, apparently I must for this to be a full length review that’s more than a hundred words, so here goes.

{“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.

Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?

-As seen on Goodreads}

I loved the cats. I loved how accurate they were described in their behavior, I loved the humor and feel-goodness of it all. It was a perfect read, and I hope to be able to continue the series soon. I really liked the whole mystery set up too, and I can honestly say that there are very few books that I’ve read where the cats are the ones to go on the case to solve a mystery. I think this will be one of my favorites. Especially with the magical elements, the witches, and the dark atmosphere throughout the book itself.

If you like cozy mysteries featuring cats, then this book will definitely be to your liking. It’s fun, it’s clever, and it’s thoroughly magical. 5/5 stars for a an excellent first read from a new author, and I definitely look forward to getting to the rest of the series!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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