Fangs But No Fangs

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Fangs But No Fangs by Sholly Fisch

Fangs But No Fangs is a graphic novel and a collection of “minute mysteries”, short mysteries that are, typically, easily solvable.

Read it today!

Read it today!

Mystery #1: The gang is threatened by a vampire, Count Hemoglobin, in a Haunted House. Fred doesn’t believe he is actually one. How does he know?

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Mystery #2Shaggy is attacked by a skunk and Velma shares the story of Aniwye, a giant skunk that hunts people.

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Mystery #3At a museum one of the portrait’s ghost comes out scaring everyone. When people come back to the museum they discover the painting is stolen. Daphne thinks it is the owner of the museum who stole it, how does she know?

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Mystery 4: Fred is competing in a mini-gold tournament but is distracted by a recent theft of pearls. Meanwhile a werewolf or golf-wolf is attacking the park trying to shut down the tournament. The mystery gang is on the case.

from janeaustenrunsmyife.wordpress.com

from janeaustenrunsmyife.wordpress.com

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a cute children’s book with easily solvable, fun mysteries.

likeit

Good choice for any kid you know who is a mystery or Scooby-Doo fan.

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For more young adult books, go to The Princess Plot

For more on vampires, go to Grave Peril

For more werewolves, go to Fool Moon

For more mysteries, go to Bloom and Doom

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Orange Chocolate Cake

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Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

When I read Bloom and DoomAudrey goes to visit her grandmother’s best friend, Mrs. June. While there, she is served Orange Chocolate Cake. When I read that, I was intrigued and decided to make it. The book however, did not carry a recipe so as I  read several recipes to find the one that sounded the best, and chose this one.

This recipe comes from Trisha’s Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life by Trisha Yearwood, on the Food Network website.

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Ingredients for Orange-Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed Orange Juice, plus 2 tablespoons finely grated zest
  • 2/3 Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 cup Confectioners/Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Orange Juice

Directions:

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the softened butter and 1 tablespoon of the cocoa to make a thick paste.
  3. Use this paste to paint the inside of the pan. Set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and remaining 1/2 cup cocoa and mix until blended.
  5. Add the orange juice, yogurt, vinegar and vanilla and mix until just combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Fold in the orange zest.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 45 minutes.
  8. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the chocolate glaze: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together.
  10. Whisk in the orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a good consistency to drizzle.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

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chocolatecake

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Thoughts After Baking:

This cake was pretty amazing.

joker-yum

It was more of a spice cake then chocolate and was fantastic.

fantastic

The only thing that went weird was the frosting. It was super dryso I had to add vanilla extract. I think the glaze from the Applesauce Cake would be better.

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For more cake recipes, go to King Arthur Carrot Cake or Cupcakes

For more chocolate recipes, go to No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

For more dessert recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more Food Network recipes, go to Garden Pasta Salad with Bocconcini

For more recipes, go to Basil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

Bloom and Doom

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Bloom and Doom (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #1) by Beverly Allen

Audrey Bloom and her cousin Olivia have opened up a bridal shop in their hometown of Ramble.

Double double yay

What makes their shop stand out from others is that they specialize in the meaning of flowers. Once something that crucially studied in the Victorian era but has died out today; the Bloom cousins have decided to bring it back.

Meaning-of-Flowers

After a newspaper interview declares that the Bloom sisters have a 100% success rate in their marriages, they are chosen to do the flowers for two big weddings. The first being the wedding of the Mayor’s only daughter to her sweetheart, and the second being Jenny Whitney with the most eligible man inn town, Derek Rawling.

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Jenny and Audrey used to be friends back in the day; garage sale buddies, hanging out every Saturday. One day Jenny dropped her, lost weight, and joined the popular crowd; sayonara Audrey.

See ya!

See ya!

But as Jenny comes into the shop to choose her flowers, Audrey notices that she is not as excited and unlike most brides doesn’t have a single idea what she wants in a bouquet. Strange.

Very suspicious

Very suspicious

Even weirder, as her mother is the one making the decisions, they pick flowers that mean forsaken and other bad omen type flora. Doesn’t look good one bit.

Not-Good

A few days later Jenny calls Audrey canceling everything she ordered. She has decided that she will not be getting married after all as she doesn’t really love Derek, but instead was just seeing him because her mother wanted her to. She isn’t sure what she will do next with her life as she hasn’t been trained in anything, besides the early days when before her dad died when they owned a restaurant.

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

Audrey takes pity on her and offers her a trial job working at the shop.

gotthis

Jenny tries but sucks at cutting and trimming the flowers. While everyone else thinks it is a bad idea, Audrey gives her a bag with the floral scissors to practice at home.

Meanwhile, every day the new bakery owner, Nick, has been coming in to purchase flowers. Audrey thinks he is pretty cute, but since her fiancé jilted her for a “more interesting” New York City, she has been wary. However, maybe this guy…

Very fishy

Maybe.

The next day, Derek is found dead.

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He was discovered in his car, murdered with the floral scissors. The police arrest Jenny as they believe that she killed him.

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Now Audrey, is eager to prove her friend is innocent; armed by her cousin, the new baker, and the rest of the floral staff.

gotthis

To make matters even worse, Chief Bixby is in charge of the investigation, and he hates the Bloom cousins. Not only did he arrest Jenny but he is also trying to pin the murder on Blooms as well.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I really enjoyed this mystery. I thought the characters were fun, the knowledge of the flowers were actually interesting, and I was eager to read more.

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However, there were a few things I didn’t like. Like Bixby trying to pin everything on the Bloom cousins because of his allergy to flowers?

really?

Or when he confiscates every set of scissors because the murder weapon is a set of floral scissors. Why? It make no sense? He already had the murder weapon in his possession.

seriously

But otherwise it was a great read. I’m ready for the sequel.

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For more Southern Mysteries, go to Sew Deadly

For more books revolving around Weddings, go to ‘Til Death Do Us Purl

For more mystery reviews, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

 

Basil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

Pasta Noodles

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This recipe comes from Real Simple magazine, issue June 2011.

It sounded fantastic so I couldn’t wait to make it.

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz Spaghetti
  • 3 Large Beefsteak Tomatoes (about 1.5 lbs), each cut into 4 slices
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 8 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 Cup of grated Parmesan (1 oz), plus more for serving
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup of torn Fresh Basil Leaves, plus more for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat broiler.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to pot.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Season with the salt and black pepper.
  5. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the slices with the mozzarella and Parmesan.
  6. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 3-5 mins.
  7. In a small saucepan, warm the oil with the garlic and red pepper over medium heat, until fragrant (about 1-2 mins.)
  8. Add the contents of the saucepan; along with the basil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper to the pasta and toss to combine.
  9. Serve topped with the tomatoes, basil, and shaved Parmesan cheese.

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Basil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved it. I thought it was absolutely delicious with just the right taste of spice.

fantastic

My parents thought it was too spicy and would prefer no red pepper. But I thought it was just perfect and can’t wait to make it again.

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For more pasta recipes, go to Broken Lasagna with Zucchini-Tomato Sauce

For more Real Simple Magazine recipes, go to White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

For more recipes, go to No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

The Postman Always Purls Twice

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The Postman Always Purls Twice (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #7) by Anne Canadeo

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I had just finished reading Murder in Mohair, but it seemed slightly weird and off like I was missing something.

Interesting

It wasn’t until I added the book to my Goodreads that I realized Murder in Mohair was book #8, not 7.

What?

Weirdly enough my library didn’t have book 7. They had all of them, except that one. I had to Inter-Library Loan it (ILL)

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Plot Synopsis:

A movie crew has descended upon Plum Harbor.

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Yes Hollywood has come a-knocking as it wants to film the newest thriller starring the famous actress Jennifer Todd, and hunky leading man, Heath O’Hara.

thenannygasp

The knitting group find themselves thrust into the middle as Suzanne is a location scout for the film and Maggie ends up becoming a character consultant for Jennifer.

wow

Thing seem to be going well as the group finds themselves invited to parties and spending time with their favorite actors.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

However, there seems to be a dark cloud looming over the production. Sabotage keeps occurring, and in one case Jennifer is almost killed by a falling light.

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The knitters start investigating what is going on when things take an even creepier turn.

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It appears someone is stalking Jennifer, as she is sent creepy flowers by a secret admirer.

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When Jennifer’s husband and the director Nick Pullman is badly poisoned, the knitters become even more suspicious and continue their investigation into what is going on in the set.

Very fishy

Very fishy

But soon things become even more serious when Heath O’Hara is found dead, his drink poisoned too.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

When Jennifer is arrested and believed to be the murderer; the knitters step up their game to clear their new friend’s name.

gotthis

But it won’t be easy. This group has more triangles and issues than Twin Peaks;  as betrayal, adultery, ambition, etc. abound.

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Will the knitters solve the case before the crew heads back to Los Angeles? Or have they met their match?

HMMM

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I did not like this book.

IDon'tlikeit

I thought it was horribly written and that the mystery was lackluster.

horrible

First the title bothered me as it didn’t connect with the mystery at all. It just seemed cheap.

Come on, guys. You didn't even clean up?

Come on, guys. You didn’t even clean up?

The story was kind of boring.

NO emotion = BORING!

Cannadeo lead you in one direction the whole book and then in the last few pages had a character become the exposition fairy giving you all the information to solve it in a minute.

Unlike the other books there was no buildup or development.

Really Anne?

Really Anne?

Definitely so bad it is on the level of A Stitch Before Dying. I hope the future books are much better.

Please!

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit

For more mysteries that revolve around making a movie, go to Cherry Cheesecake Murder

For more on poisoning, go to A Pinch of Poison

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to A Stitch Before Dying

 

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

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Thoughts Before Baking:

So it has been HOT!

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I mean in the 100-110 degree range of hot.

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Yeah, not fun. Not fun at all.

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So of course I didn’t want to turn the oven on, but I wanted cookies! My alternative? This recipe.

Double double yay

This recipe comes from FOOD.com. I picked it primarily because it said “No Bake” in the title.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Cups of Oats (I use Quakers or the Walgreens Nice! Brand)
  • 1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter

Directions:

  1. Boil the sugar, milk, cocoa, vanilla, and butter on the stove.
  2. Once boiled, remove from heat.
  3. Place in a bowl and add the oats and peanut butter.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
  6. Let cool, and then enjoy.

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So I had a picture for these cookies but I accidentally deleted it.

oopsmybad

I thought these cookies were fantastic! They were absolutely delicious and I ate way more than I should have.

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I definitely will be making these again, especially if this heat wave continues.

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For more cookie recipes, go to Mini Lemon Pancake Cookies

For more FOOD.com recipes, go to Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

For more dessert recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more recipes, go to White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

Ticker

Ticker

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

So this book is a science-fiction/mystery/historical fiction/steam punk story. Penny Farthing had a heart problem and nearly dies. Calvin Warwick, a brilliant surgeon and her sister’s boyfriend, creates a clockwork heart to keep her alive, a Ticker.

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This Tin Man-esque type creation has turned Penny into the first of the “Augmented”, altered humans. Ultimately, a cyborg.

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However, things have changed. Warwick has been killing people in order to create the perfect heart, one that will be even more perfect and able to continue Penny’s life. Since then Warwick has been imprisoned and today will be sentenced for the crimes he committed.

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Penny, her brother Nic, and her parents are preparing to go down the courthouse; but Penny is running late to meet them at their family’s factory. Penny is even further derailed when her friend, baker, and brother’s girlfriend; Violet messages her that she is baking her favorite sweets. Penny heads over there before she goes back on track.

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Penny hurries over, almost being hit by some other means of transportation. When she arrives at the factory she in for one heck of a surprise. A bomb.

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In the aftermath, Penny discovers that Nic was not in the building, and her parents went on ahead. Penny immediately uses her RiPA messaging system to let them know the two are okay, but hears nothing from them.

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Nic’s old friend Sebastian Stirling; rich, playboy, and businessman arrives to help out They head over to their house where they discover it has been ransacked and a ransom note left behind. They must give up all the Augmentation research or the parents will be killed.

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It is now up to them to find the parents before Warwick kills them.

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Thoughts After Reading:

It was pretty good although there was quite a bit not covered in this. Such as the history of the area, the time it takes place in, how this society works.

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I didn’t like Marcus, the soldier that helps them, and didn’t want him as Penny’s romantic lead.

IDon'tlikeit

Instead I liked Sebastian Stirling I don’t know why they made him evil.

Really Mike?

Whatever.

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For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more not in a series mysteries, go The Book of Madness and Cures

For more reviews, go to Sew Deadly

White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

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Thoughts Before Cooking:

I read this soup in Real Simple magazine November 2015 issue. It sounded so good that I decided to make it.

I know some of you might think it is too hot to be having soup, but I love it and could eat it anytime throughout the year.

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After I bought the ingredients I noticed this little rating system at the top of the page.

[  ] Quick Cooking

[  ] Healthy Pick

[X] Freezable

[  ] Big Batch

[  ] Slow Cooker

[X] One Pot

[  ] Whole-Grain

[X] Vegetarian

[  ] Gluten Free

That’s nice to know.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 48-oz [6 cups] of Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 28-oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup of Pearl Barley, rinsed
  • 4 Cups of Kale, stems discarded and the leaves cut into strips.
  • 1 15-oz can of Cannellini Beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 Cup of Shaved Parmesan Cheese, plus more for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender (about 8-10 minutes).
  4. Add the broth and tomatoes (with their juice) and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the barley, reduce heat, and simmer until the barley is tender.
  6. Add the kale and beans and cook until the greens are wilted and the beans are heated through (about 3-5 minutes).
  7. Stir in Parmesan Cheese.
  8. Serve soup drizzled with olive oil, top with cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

The recipe says that it serves four, but it makes enough for 5-6 people.

wow

It was very tasty and filling. I loved it.

joker-yum

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For more Real Simple Magazine recipes, go to Brussels Sprouts, Turkey Sausage, & Pesto Pizza Casserole

For more soup recipes, go to Ratatouille

For more vegetarian recipes, go to Garden Pasta Salad with Bocconcini

Sew Deadly

SewDeadly

Sew Deadly (A Southern Sewing Circle #1) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Victoria “Tori” Sinclair has just moved from Chicago to small town Sweet Briar, South Carolina to be the town’s new librarian.

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It is a huge change for her, but after her last relationship tanked, her fiancé cheating on her during their engagement party, she needed to get out and far away.

moveon

Tori is eager to run her own library, being full of ideas,

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but she is definitely going to be faced with some serious issues. She is from the North (a Yankee), was not born in Sweet Briar, and has just ousted one of the town’s favorite people when she was hired to become the new librarian.

badfeeling

Tori visits with some of the town folk, Leona a more recent addition to the town and the antique shop owner; and Georgina the mayor. While Georgina and Tori are talking, they discuss sewing, and Tori is invited to join the sewing circle. Seems like things are going great.

fantastic

But not quite. Someone is sabotaging her, stealing the lightbulbs on her porch, giving her a flat, and the former librarian is going around talking smack about her.

thisisbad

While the sewing meeting starts off to a shaky start, the former librarian boycotting; and Tori not bringing a baked good like she is supposed

oopsmybad

When she shares her ideas of starting a children’s room in the library, everyone jumps in promising to make dress up clothes for the kids.

wow

Just when things look like they are going up, Tori falls into another pitfall. Her appointment book was swiped and she finds herself unprepared for Mr. Wentworth’s third grade class’ usual appointment of story time and craft. Luckily she manages to think her way out and come up with a butter making idea. As the kids are working hard, Tori talkes to Miles Wentworth, single, tall, dark, and handsome.

Smirkity smirk smirk

Smirkity smirk smirk

The next sewing circle doesn’t go as well as the first. Former librarian Dixie Dunn came and is trying to get everyone against Tori. Luckily the move the conversation to Miles and discuss the sad state of his singlehood since he became a widower, along wit the beauty queen, recently moved back resident, Tiffany Ann. Tiffany Ann was always obsessed with Miles ever since she was 12 and he was her tutor. She doesn’t care about the 13 year difference but promised she would marry him.

Obsessed

Obsessed

After a lot of hard work, Tori has finally cleaned out the storage room set for the new children’s corner. Nina, her assistant, has to leave but Tori is determined to finish cleaning everything for the board meeting and show off where she wants everything to be. As she heads to the dumpster to toss in the final pieces she’s cleaned out, all her plans change. In the dumpster is the body of Tiffany Ann.

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

Now the police investigator stupidly believes that Tori killed her, in her anger of becoming part of a love triangle, no one will talk to her, and Tori has to solve this mystery before whoever kills again and causes her to be run out of town.

dearlordhelpme

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I thought this book was pretty good.

likeit

I liked the characters of the book and felt it was interesting. The only thing I don’t like is the way they make the police investigator so incompetent.

Really Mike?

Ugh.

I hate when they do that in mystery novels. Why would they choose Tori when she has no reason to kill Miles? There is no love triangle, no hatred, no revenge, no money, etc.

seriously

There is bound to have been someone else in the town, but instead of making the character intelligent, she makes him like the one in Bloom and Doom, incredibly incompetent.

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For more love triangles, go to Cream Puff Murder

For more on May Vanderbilt, go to A is for Alibi

For book reviews, go to A Study in Scarlet