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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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13 03, 2017

Review: The Rage of Plum Blossoms by Christine M. Whitehead

By | March 13th, 2017|Categories: Action & Adventure, Amateur Sleuths, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

rage of plum blossoms book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

“Plum blossoms don’t just persevere: they bloom. I could almost hear Jordan saying, “Quinnie, don’t accept what is if you don’t believe in it. Get mad!”…And so we four had become a militia of plum blossoms. We bloomed when we were expected only to endure.”

I really enjoyed reading this book. It drew me in from the very first page, and continued to captivate me throughout. The pace was perfect, the writing was beautiful, and the story was a compelling mystery–a genre I don’t typically read, but very much enjoyed.

8 03, 2017

Review: Something Buried, Something Blue by Wendy Corsi Staub

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Genre Fiction, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

something buried something blue book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

“Living in Lily Dale is like playing an endless game of telephone with a paranormal spin.” I had to laugh when I read that sentence on page 261 out of the 287 pages of Something Buried, Something Blue, as it perfectly encapsulates this entire story.

The community of Lily Dale is a real place, located In Chautauqua County, in western New York, 25 or so miles northeast of the Chautauqua Institution and 11 miles south of Dunkirk, on the shores of Lake Erie.

4 03, 2017

Review: Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

By | March 4th, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Rating:

cat got your diamonds book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

After a slightly screwball, cutesy-poo beginning – the first 100 pages or so – the story settles down into a decent who-dun-it. After several false starts, by the end, they get the right guy! And thank goodness for that! Of course, in the meantime, Lacy Marie Crocker and Detective Jack Oliver will have gone through half-a-dozen other possibles, but no real harm done.

Lacy is one of the new breed of heroine–with money behind her, she’s determined to do it all on-her-own, which doesn’t always bring the desired result. As a consequence, she’s constantly scrabbling for new clients for her exclusive new shop: Furry Godmother, a pet boutique and organic treat bakery. (The book also includes recipes for some of the treats.)

3 02, 2017

Review: Trigger Yappy by Diana Orgain

By | February 3rd, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

trigger yappy book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It’s no secret that I love to read cozy mystery novels. Usually, they’re rather sensible in nature, and frequently have a strong female lead in an unusual setting. Unfortunately, this series lost its common sense somewhere along the way, and all the little ankle-biters running around must have discouraged any retrievers from at least trying to find it!  It’s entirely too cutesy-poo for me, as nearly all the characters act like hyped up grade-schoolers!

Most of the dogs have a lot more common sense than their humans! Having lived there some years ago, I realize that Californians can sometimes be a bit over the top, but really! 

29 01, 2017

Review: Ill Met by Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan

By | January 29th, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Series|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Rating:

ill met by murder book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Murder, romance, theater, doggies, humor–what more could I ask for in a mystery novel? Not much. Elizabeth J. Duncan has created a dandy premise and put it in a mostly-reasonable location, with characters you just can’t help but like and thus care about a what happens to them. The perfect ensemble, to my mind.

But if you’re not a theater-buff, not to fret, that part of it isn’t at all overdone. And neither is the romance. What there is, though, is a delightful, not-well-known location, and a cast of characters that are multi-faceted enough to keep you interested in what is happening to them.

22 01, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Minor Deception by Nupur Tustin

By | January 22nd, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Giveaways, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

a minor deception book coverPlease join Nupur Tustin, author of A Minor Deception, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Enter to win a copy of the book below!

Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

What a charmer! I really wanted to enjoy A Minor Deception before ever even opening it! As a classical music person all my life, any book that appreciates that art form is special to me.

But this one went beyond a good many of them, in cleverly utilizing the music as part of the scenery, so to speak. It is honest in its presentation, and since Franz Josef Haydn – the principal ‘detective’ in this story – is known as the father of both string quartets and symphonies, there are a lot of potential episodes waiting to be unveiled.

18 12, 2016

Review: Death Among Rubies by R.J. Koreto

By | December 18th, 2016|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Rating:

death among rubies book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

R.J. Koreto’s first book, Death on the Sapphire, established a dangerous precedent. It was SO enjoyable, it prompted one to wonder–would he be able to maintain that level of excellence in future books? I am more than delighted to say YES!!! He could and did with Death Among Rubies, a new mystery featuring the independent, intrepid and intelligent Lady Frances Ffolkes, and her trusty (also intelligent!) maid, June Mallow.

One could almost believe the author lived during those early years of the twentieth Century, so real is his interpretation of it. There were very few women of the Lady Frances type in these years, but she is very real in these books.

23 11, 2016

Review: A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

By | November 23rd, 2016|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

killer ball at honeychurch hall book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

Well, give me a hot toddy and call me gobsmacked! I have found my favorite author for cozy mysteries to date! You know…the type of author to come out with a book that you totally get engrossed in for hours on end? This is exactly what happened to me as I began A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison.

The plot of this dreadful tale involves antique dealer Kat Stanford, her mother Iris, and her many “friends” at her new home, Honeychurch Hall. I use that term loosely because some pretend to be chummy but when things get tough, not everyone remains her friend. When she stumbles upon the body of a young woman, found dead in a private hide, she wants to follow the clues and pursue the killer. But when the evidence starts pointing towards her relatives, will she still continue the search?

27 10, 2016

Review: Wedding Bell Blues by Ruth Moose

By | October 27th, 2016|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Comedy, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Series|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

wedding bell blues book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Southern small town girl returns home after a broken romance in her second home location in the North. Okay, we can understand that. Beth McKenzie returns to Littleboro after the grandmother who’d raised her – Mama Alice – fell down the basement stairs and never recovered. Beth decided to make the family home into a B & B – The Dixie Dew – and after serious renovations (thanks to her new-found, romantic, contractor-friend Scott) she opens for business. Her devoted second in command is Ida Plum Duckett, and seemingly no conversation between them is complete without a mention of Mama Alice.

In the first book of this series, her first guest dies suddenly. Wedding Bell Blues is the second in the series, and we’re being set up for it to happen again.