My Husband’s Wife

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

So I was checking this book into the library and as I flipped through the pages to see if there was any damage, I read a bit and then of course had to check it out myself.

bookreaddon'tneedsleepneedanswers

So the book is told in two points of views. It starts in 2000, when Lily and Ed MacDonald have just married. Lily is a solicitor with a past she longs to run far away from, remaking herself.

makeup

New me!

Ed is an artist that seemed romantic and kind-but controlling, narcissist, and in love with another woman.

jerk-gif

They are very, very unhappy.

Guy you suck!

And to make things worse Lily’s job moves her to working with criminals as she goes to do an appeal for a Joe Thomas, convicted for murdering his girlfriend. Lily is working long hours, which annoys Ed, and to make things even worse- Lily feels something for this enigmatic man.

colonelhastingsgoodlord

Four doors down lives nine-year old Carla Cavoletti and her mother. Her mother is tiny and beautiful and a mistress to Larry. They moved from Italy to get away from something and Carla hates being here. All the kids pick on her, she is different, and she has no friends.

marilynmonroesadlifesucksbadendfuzzyend

One day she comes home early, injured, and her mother is out. The teacher is going to force her to go back when Lily comes home and agrees to watch her. Carla loves spending time with Lily and Ed-Lily who is kind and helpful and Ed who sketches her, making her feel beautiful and a star.

pretty beautiful

Soon every Sunday she is staying with them, as her mother works on the weekend. Lily likes having her there, a child to buffer the fights between her and Ed and take their minds of their woes.

144887-146683

But things change when Lily finds out a horrible secret her husband has kept from her-and when she stumbles and reveals another, Carla and her mother’s life changes too.

ohnostarter

15 years later Carla returns to England a beautiful, svelte, law student. She and her mother have been living under the thumb of her grandfather and she has returned to England to make Larry, Lily, and Ed pay for what became of her life.

revenge

She inserts herself into the MacDonald life and intends to turn it all on its head.

piratelaugh

Then Ed is murdered…

WhoDoneIt?

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

The first few chapters moved slow and I almost stopped reading but then it sucked me in and I had to finish it!

Cantstopreadingupallnight

I wouldn’t say this is a good book, but very intriguing. Ooch! What an ending!

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more mysteries with artists, go to The Blood Stained Pavement

For more mysteries, go to The Case of the Goblin Pearls

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

***Spoiler Alert!***

So I’m not as tongue-in-cheek as the author and I’m just going to say the truth. This story is about three women:

Nellie:

First we have Nellie, a regular girl who scores the perfect man in Richard Thompson. He’s wealthy, handsome, caring, compassionate-her savior when all is low. Everything is perfect…except that Nellie is afraid she will damage it and send him scurrying.

Also she gets weird hang ups calls, feels as if someone is following her, etc, Is she in danger? Is not all as it seems? Or is she just crazy?

Hmm…

Vanessa:

Second we have Vanessa, Richard’s former wife. She can’t let him go, as she doesn’t want him to hurt another. She details the Hyde side of Richard. His anger, his constant demands, his fighting, blaming, etc. He ruined her life and she will do all she can to keep him from doing it to another.

Emma:

The third woman, Richard’s new fiancée; Emma, who Vanessa wants to help. She has her own dark secrets and hidden face under the masque of sweetness, innocence, and naivety.

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

While Richard is an abusive two-faced man, the Dr. Jekyll persona he shows to everyone, and his hidden Hyde side he only shows to her-Vanessa also has two faces. There is the strong, determined, learned Vanessa-and then her nervous, compromising, submissive side, Nellie.

What?!

Yes these two women are actually the same person.

I thought this was a very well written novel and captures your attention right away.

While it was a great read, it was hard for me to read as what she describes is what I experienced with my husband. one month in our marriage and I was done with his Dr. Jekyll and Hyde life-never knowing which way he will be, trying all you can do to make him not mad, and living with his Dark side.

Thankfully, my divorce was finalized October 24th and I am now legally single. I wish, like Vanessa, I had never met him and never let him into my life-at least all is done and I can move forward.

For more abusive relationships, go to The Enemy We Know

For more not in a series mysteries, go to The Woman in the Movie Star Dress

For more stalkers, go to The House on Foster Hill

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

The Enemy We Know

The Enemy We Know (A Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery) by Donna White Glaser

Letty Whittaker is a psychologist and recovering alcoholic, trying to help others. One of her patients “Carrie” and her discussed a plan to get away from her abusive husband.

When “Carrie” takes off, her abusive husband, Wayne, comes to the clinic and threatens her, fleeing when the police come-Letty just barely being able to be okay.

Oh no!

But now-Wayne claims that Letty attacked him and she’s being disciplined as there is no “proof” of her story.

Letty starts to fall into despair, when to make things worse-gross and cruel gifts keep coming her way. Wayne finds out about her alcoholism and threatens to reveal it to her boses and have her lose her license.

Then Wayne is found murdered and Letty is the prime suspect!

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was awful.

Ugh!

The clinic turned on Letty saying she made it up-believing the crazy guy who is need of help for his domestic violence over their trained psychologist?

Seriously!

And to top that off-her coworker was worried about her and snuck in the back of the cubicle and overheard everything! Why doesn’t she say something?

And then they have the guy who threatened her come back every week. Who are these people?

Plus Letty needed some real help. Seriously.

DO NOT READ!!!!!!

For more reviews, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

Given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Wuthering Heights

So this year it has been really hard to find Christmas themed mysteries. I’m starting off with this one as it does have a ghost and mystery of what happened, the main character wanting to know more and the whole story. It also has a Christmas scene in it, so it counts.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I know it is unusual but there is a Christmas scene so it does count!

I love Wuthering Heights, it has always been one of my favorite books. I used to be in love with Heathcliff.

So the book has one of the best beginnings ever. A man, Mr. Lockwood, has been renting a house in the country as he wants to get away from everyone and everything.

However, he realizes that the hermit life is not cut out for him. He visits with his landlord, finding him hospitable, if a little brusque. He decides to surprise him one day and visit and finds his host angry-the house Wuthering Heights to be very unhappy. Mr. Heathcliff is angry, there is a Mrs. Catherine Heathcliff who is also angry and says she is a witch, Haerton Earnshaw who is an illiterate Neanderthal, and Joseph a grumpy hand. The snow keeps him from leaving and he has to stay the night.

Mr. Lockwood is goes to a room no one uses, it has been untouched for years. He finds himself unable to fall asleep and stays up reading a diary by Catherine Earnshaw, who lived in that room. Then we have one of the spookiest, chillingest, best writings:

I heard distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard, also, the fir bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to the right cause: but it annoyed me so much, that I resolved to silence it, if possible; and, I thought, I rose and endeavoured to unhasp the casement. The hook was soldered into the staple: a circumstance observed by me when awake, but forgotten. ‘I must stop it, nevertheless!’ I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in—let me in!’ ‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. ‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of Linton? I had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton) ‘I’m come home: I’d lost my way on the moor!’ As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child’s face looking through the window. Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, ‘Let me in!’ and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear. ‘How can I!’ I said at length. ‘Let me go, if you want me to let you in!’ The fingers relaxed, I snatched mine through the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable prayer. I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter of an hour; yet, the instant I listened again, there was the doleful cry moaning on! ‘Begone!’ I shouted. ‘I’ll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years.’ ‘It is twenty years,’ mourned the voice: ‘twenty years. I’ve been a waif for twenty years!’ Thereat began a feeble scratching outside, and the pile of books moved as if thrust forward. I tried to jump up; but could not stir a limb; and so yelled aloud, in a frenzy of fright. To my confusion, I discovered the yell was not ideal: hasty footsteps approached my chamber door; somebody pushed it open, with a vigorous hand, and a light glimmered through the squares at the top of the bed. I sat shuddering yet, and wiping the perspiration from my forehead: the intruder appeared to hesitate, and muttered to himself. At last, he said, in a half-whisper, plainly not expecting an answer, ‘Is any one here?’ I considered it best to confess my presence; for I knew Heathcliff’s accents, and feared he might search further, if I kept quiet. With this intention, I turned and opened the panels. I shall not soon forget the effect my action produced.

Heathcliff stood near the entrance, in his shirt and trousers; with a candle dripping over his fingers, and his face as white as the wall behind him. The first creak of the oak startled him like an electric shock: the light leaped from his hold to a distance of some feet, and his agitation was so extreme, that he could hardly pick it up.

‘It is only your guest, sir,’ I called out, desirous to spare him the humiliation of exposing his cowardice further. ‘I had the misfortune to scream in my sleep, owing to a frightful nightmare. I’m sorry I disturbed you.’

A ghost of Catherine Earnshaw Linton.

Mr. Lockwood heads home and falls ill. He questions the housekeeper Nelly about Heathcliff and she tells them the story:

So Mrs. Earnshaw died years ago and left the gentry Mr. Earnshaw with a son, Hindley, and daughter, Catherine. Mr. Earnshaw was very abusive and so are his children-wild-like the weather on the moors.

They are like storms

Nelly lived in the house as well, taken in by Mr. Earnshaw. One day everyone’s life changed when Mr. Earnshaw returned home with a boy! A curly-hair, dark-skin (most likely Spanish, Italian, or Russian) and raises him with the family. He hates his own son and lifts up Heathcliff. 

Nelly, Hindley, and Catherine all hate him on sight. They pinch, hurt, annoy, accuse, etc.; him-although Catherine ends up growing to like him. Soon Catherine and Heathcliff are thick as thieves and never want to spend any time apart from each other.

Mr. Earnshaw dies, and Hindley becomes the head of the household. He abuses both his sister and Heathcliff, taking no interest at all in how they are raised. Catherine is a gentry daughter, a lady, but she is actually more like a wild animal-no instruction in becoming a lady.

Hindley marries a very simple. childlike woman who dies in childbirth. He then hates his son, becomes an alcoholic, and is even more abusive.

Oh no!

Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship is changed when one day she gets injured and taken in by the Linton family. There she learns how to pretend to be ladylike-still wild and crazy and abusive when things aren’t her way. 

Even though she loves Heathcliff she will not marry him. She will not chain herself to a man who has no family, no last name, he can’t do or become anything. She marries Edgar Linton and Heathcliff runs away. 

When he returns years later he comes to get his revenge on all-He will take Wuthering Heights and his son from the high and mighty Hindley, get revenge and hurt Edgar, and lastly-break Catherine’s heart like she broke his…

Thoughts After Reading:

So Wuthering Heights is a book about passion, not just passion but unbridled passion. All these characters do whatever feels right to them, without thinking of what may come with their actions or the price they or other will pay for their passion.

Often the Bronte’s books are compared with Jane Austen’s. Austen’s books take place more inside sitting rooms, while the Bronte’s on the moors. The Bronte’s are much darker than Austen work’s playing with similar themes but much deeper.

The term wuthering means decaying, blustery, turbulent, etc-the personalities being wuthering as much as the house, and as wild as the moors they reside.

I have always loved this book, but it was hard to read as what I had gone through with my husband. He abused me in many ways, like Heathcliff and Catherine do to each other and others. I understand how Heathcliff feels-with no last name and known family-he is essentially without a social security card and has no way of really doing anything. However, because he is hurt he then hurts others-and no matter what happened to him that behavior is never okay.

Cathy is just as abusive and very conniving. With her brother as her guardian she knows she will meet no one and grabs at Edgar to get away-bringing pain and destruction and heartbreak to him.

“Edgar Linton, as multitudes have been before, and will be after him. was infatuated: and believed himself to be the happiest man alive on the day he led her to Gimmerton Chapel…”

I know how that feels, and how it feels to discover you are 100% wrong and the person you married crazy. After the abuse I suffered from my husband I defintely do not sympathize with Heathcliff as much as I do Mr. Rochester. I too married a crazy person who tried to kill me.

It still is a good story and one I recommend reading in your lifetime.

Now a while back I reviewed The Madwoman Upstairs, by Catherine Lowell, she says that the only reason that the abusive horrible Mr. Earnshaw would adopt Heathcliff and treat him good was because he was his illegitimate son-making the reason why Catherine won’t marry Heathcliff because of incest. But I don’t believe it is true. Mr. Earnshaw “adopts” Nelly and brings her into his home. If he did that and treated her well and she is of no relation, why not Heathcliff? Plus he probably likes the savageness of Heathcliff, as it made him think of himself more than his “pansy” son.

Boom

Still a worthwhile read with so many great quotes-still a favorite no matter what, just not while I’m healing.

For more on Wuthering Heights go to,The Madwoman Upstairs

For more classic literature, go to The Sign of the Four

For more Christmas mysteries, go to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

For more ghosts, go to Christina’s Ghost

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Dying for Chocolate

1917139

Dying for Chocolate (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #2) by Diane Mott Davidson

Thoughts Before Reading:

So it has been a while since I have reviewed A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery. Let’s review!

So Goldy was in an abusive marriage and left her husband, John Richard, gynecologist. He’s rich but hates giving her any money. In the last book, Catering to Nobody, her ex-father-in-law was poisoned while she was catering an event. This caused her catering to be closed down and her to be on the case. While investigating, she also caught the eye of police Officer Tom Shultz.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Plot Summary:

So a lot has changed since Halloween night when Goldy solved her first case and brought her catering business back.

So John Richard has been driving by the house constantly, and with his temper it is better to be safe than sorry, so Goldy took a position with her best friend Marla’s sister, Adele Farquhar and her husband General Bo.

They hired Goldy to be their live in cook, and she can continue to cater as well. Arch is also starting school at the elite Elk Park Prep. While it is expensive, it does provide a much better education and Arch needed to go somewhere else after the impropriety and death of his last teacher.

His past teacher…

While Goldy is still seeing Officer Tom Shultz, but she has also started a relationship with her old flame Dr. Phillip Miller, a local psychiatrist.

Goldy gets asked to meet with Phillip’s sister, Elizabeth, before Goldy does a catering event and Elizabeth questions her about Phillip. “You know, you know, you know…” But Goldy doesn’t know. What could be troubling her that Goldy should know?

After the catering, Goldy has a date with Phillip. She follows him to the cafe they were going to, but Phillip starts driving extremely fast down the snow covered hill. Goldy tries to help him, but then a bus comes and there is a huge crash. Phillip’s dead.

Officer Tom Shultz comes and helps Goldy, questioning her and calming her down. When Goldy questions how he got there so fast. It turns out he was heading up the mountain as they had just received a call:

You gotta come help me, I live in Aspen Meadow Country Club. You gotta come help me, my life’s in danger.”

The person hung up before they could get any more information.

Tom takes Goldy home amd asks about her employers. General Bo is kind of weird. He was this big deal in the army and was forced to retire. He still writes papers and does experiments on fighting terrorism and C4, and lots of dangerous stuff like that.

Julian is the boy on scholarship that is living with Anne and General Bo. He comes from a family that owns a small candy shop. He is studying to be a doctor and ever since Goldy has come he has been horribly rude and mean to her. He likes Arch though and helps him out.

Julian was seeing Dr. Phillip and now with his death seems to be lashing out even more.

Later, the officers come to question Goldy. It turns out that Phillip has just come from the eye doctor and Goldy thinks that maybe it has something to it. The police question her on whether she or Elizabeth killed him.

Seriously, again?

To make things even better, John Richard comes and starts blaming everything bad in his life on Goldy, threatening her. Luckily General Bo comes on the scene and dispatches him. He may be off, but he cares at least.

To top that off, someone is writing horrible reviews about her food, not even addressing things properly (obviously this food critic knows nothing about food), and because of it someone is suing her for stealing their name (they are the Three Bears Catering Service), and she has just found out that Phillip was seeing another woman.

What?!

The other woman, Weezie Harrington, is the same one that Goldie is going to cater today.

She wants a “love dinner” to bring back the “spice”; but her husband has enough “spice” he just wants to share it with every woman who isn’t his wife. He tries with Goldy, but she is not having that at all.

Goldie doesn’t try to investigate Phillip’s death, but when she discovers that the police are looking more at her than trying to find the “real killer” and she is attacked while having lunch, she decides that it is it. She is on the case.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was really good. Once again Davidson hit it out of the park.

I liked how Arch and Tom’s relationship grew. So cute how he taught Tom his secret code for when he is in trouble.

I did’t like her dating Phillip. What is wrong with her? I mean Officer Schulz is fantastic. I knew Phillip was a jerk, and then when it was discovered that he was doing a paper on her and dating to experiment/work with her.

I knew Julian was angry because he wanted to cook. It was obvious. And that as sweet to see their relationship grow and now he will be her assistant.

So the whole secret baby, I thought it was Marla. The way she talked about their relationship and the big age difference, I totally thought that Marla was really her baby. but then when they started talking about Julian’s birth parents, I knew it was Julian.

And I didn;t see that the father was Brian or that Adele was psychotic. That ending cliffhanger when they kidnap Arch was thrilling. I won’t ruin it, check it out for yourself.

Read it today!

For more Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more mysteries involving caterers, go to A Taste of Fame

For more mystery reviews, go to Emilie and the Sky World

Sunset Reads: William & Cristina

29539224

Sunset Reads: William & Cristina (Sunset Reads #1) by D.C. Triana

Since the death of her mentor and surrogate mother and having been publicly dumped by her boyfriend; romance novelist Cristina Cruz has had a hard time writing a new book.

Romance is hard to imagine when your life feels bleaker than bleak.

To add to her pain and frustration, the new owner of Sunset Reads, her publishing company, and son of her mentor, William Jameson, is back in New York City and trying to completely make over the company from top to bottom. This includes demanding a new novel from Cristina, and insulting the few pages she has written. Cristina cannot believe that his mother ever thought these two were meant to be and plotted to put them together. With all this drama and pain it appears the only thing she has to look forward to is an attractive blind date, set up by one of her best friends.

William Jameson has not had the easiest life. It started with watching his mother throw her life into turmoil when she married an abusive man, Christopher. After spending years of him also being emotionally and physically abused by the man, he left home. He at first joined the military, later achieving his business degree in England, and even having a short stint as a novelist under a pseudonym. Now he is back in New York for good and eager to take over his mother’s company, revolutionize it, and carry on her legacy. He clashes with many of the employees and writers; none as bad as with Cristina Cruz; as he prepares to march the company into the modern world. He hasn’t really been in a relationship since the death of his fiancé, but is interested in this blind date his neighbor is setting him up with.

Both are shocked to find themselves paired with each other; Cristina deciding that she will do all she can to avoid the man as much as possible; while William is just as determined to pursue her. But whatever each other’s feelings are, they soon find out that they are going to be tied in ways they never would have expected. William’s mother set up a very tricky will in order to cut out her abusive ex-husband Christopher, who provided the original start up capitol and owns a percentage of the company. With her death her shares are divided between William and Cristina, making them both major owners in the company; and forcing the two to spend a lot of time together in reinventing Sunset Reads.

But the most interesting clause of the will, is that if William was to have a child all of the stock that William’s ex-stepfather was given would revert to that child.

Christopher is enraged when he discovers all the particulars and sets out to destroy William, the company, and whoever stands in his way for power. William finds himself making some hard choices. Should he peruse Cristina, the love of his life, subsequently endangering her? And if he does pursue her will Cristina only think it is because he wants to have a child and cut out his ex-stepfather? Or should he give up in his pursuit and allow the woman he loves to live a safe life with another man?

I wonder…

Thoughts After Reading:

I have to admit this book really surprised me. At first I thought it was just going to be another clichéd romance novel that would be dull in it’s predictability. Instead I found myself enjoying the way the author D.C. Triana wrote these characters; their traits coming off as more as comfortable rather than feeling overdone.

I also really enjoyed reading about the publishing world and the other side of writing. As one who knows very little about the path a novel travels from written idea to being out in stores; I thought it was fascinating the information presented in this novel, taking it in a completely different direction then most.

I also enjoyed the suspenseful aspects of this novel. From reading the description I never thought that it would take such a mysterious and thrilling turn as William and Cristina find themselves threatened and having to outwit a cunning adversary. It made it rather hard to stop reading as the reader becomes entangled in trying to find out if they will overcome such a ruthless person and his plots.

I’d have to give this book a four out of five stars to reward its interesting characters, different perspectives, and the ability to surprise the reader.

For more mysteries revolving around romance novelists, go to Murder at Oklahoma

For more mystery reviews, go to Miss Polly Had a Dolly

A Taste of Fame

Atasteoffame

A Taste of Fame (Potluck Catering Club #2) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

So some of you might be wondering where is the review for book one? Well there is no review for book one.

What?

The first book isn’t a mystery but a Christian novel that chronicles the lives of six women who change from a potluck prayer group to a catering group. Each member has different issues in their lives, as they grow in friendship and through trials. I wanted to skip it, but as I can’t completely do that without confusing you, I’ll give you a bite.

gotthis

The potluck group was started by Evangeline and grew to have five other members; Vonnie, Goldie, Lizzie, Donna, and Lisa Leann. The women go through trials, tribulations, prayer, and delicious food.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Synopsis:

So since the hiccups of the first novel, the women have had a successful time with their catering business in their hometown. But things are about to change.

change

Lisa Leann’s son came to visit, and decided to film them for his media class. It turns out that he also used the footage to enter them in the reality show, The Great Party Showdown.

ohnoyoudidn't

Even though most don’t want to participate, they signed a contract and have to, besides that the church could really use the money they win.

We are so happy for you

We are so happy for you

They win their first challenge of catering a special event in the community, creating a 1930s Animal Crackers themed party.

elphantinmypjsshot

And now the ladies are off to New York.

Yay!

Yay!

Evangeline has adapted to married life with her long time crush, Sheriff Vernon Vesey. She has even developed a better relationship with her stepdaughter, Donna, who has previously hated her. Her biggest issue, she and Lisa Leann are going into the city to do preliminary research, will she survive spending time with the Texan she can’t stand?

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Lisa Leann’s old affair came back to bite her in the last book. She admitted everything to her husband, but while he agreed to work on their marriage; he has been cold and silent. When Lisa Leann has to leave, Henry gives her an ultimatum: stay with him and they will stay together or leave and that will be the end.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

Vonnie is a little unsure about being in the city, but happy that her son David will be joining her. Vonnie was married when she moved to California to a Latina man. He died in Vietnam and Vonnie went into labor. Knocked out by grief and drugs; her mother told her that her son died and Vonnie signed the release papers, unknowingly signing her son’s adoption papers. When David surprised her by knocking on her door and revealing everything, Vonnie felt blessed to have her child back and loves every moment she has with him.

love

As they prepare for their next challenges, continuing the movie theme they find a few things they did not expect. They are doing very well, but a few things seem to be going wrong. Almost as if someone is sabotaging them.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But which team?

HMMM

Lizzie is enjoying the break and opportunity to visit New York as she has had a lot on her plate. In the last book she had her mother’s Alzheimer growing worse, her youngest daughter’s wedding to plan, her son and his family moving in with her when he lost his job, and her husband being injured. But when she helps a deaf couple find their lost handbag, she discovers one of the production assistants for the show on a date with a contestant. She reads their lips and sees that the assistant has “everything arranged.” Is the contest rigged from on high? And if so, what can Lizzie do to stop it?

badfeeling

Donna is feeling pressure from all sides. In high school Donna and Wade dated, and she became pregnant. She lost the baby and Wade began drinking. Now 12 years later, Donna is a deputy and Wade is sober and taking care of his nephew Peter, the boy being the same age as their boy would have been. Donna is considering getting back with him, but then there is David who is crazy about her and wants to start a new relationship.

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

But now there are the paparazzo hounding her, a Cajun cook trying to start a relationship; all the while Donna being on two cases. First looking to see if her tip about Pete’s mom fleeing her abusive husband for New York to be true, and second who the saboteur is.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Goldie and her husband Jack have had a rocky relationship. Jack had been cheating on Goldie since they first got together, due to his compulsion for sex. They’ve been in counseling, and with the help, Jack has been able to master his compulsion. However, Jack’s health has been bothering him, and when he has to have surgery Goldie leaves the competition to fly out to be by his side. Will she make it in time? Will Jack survive?

Aw...

Aw…

How will the potluckers be able to win this whole thing down a player and with a saboteur on the loose? Time to pray.

dearlordhelpme

 

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was pretty good. The story was fun and interesting and I thought the development of the characters was great.

likeit

I loved the idea of the movie themed parties from An Affair to Remember, King Kong, and Guys and Dolls; defintely the theme direction I would have gone in.

You_know_thats_right

The only thing I thought was dumb was that Deputy Sheriff Donna was kind of dim about a few things. She starts investigating Bubba, the Cajun chef, as the potential saboteur and when he tells her she probably mistook his cousin Bordeaux who looks just like him.

really?

What a joke. Come on how could you not see through that.

seriously

There were a few other times when it would have been easy to see through things but she didn’t.

Idon'tthinkso Idontseeit

But otherwise, I thought it was a good read and think it is worth a read. 🙂

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more caterer mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more Christian novels, go to A Change of Fortune

For more sabotage mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more mystery reviews, go to The October Game

Catering to Nobody

269746

Catering to Nobody (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #1) by Diane Mott Davidson

So I was first introduced to this mystery series when I scored a free copy of Chopping Spree. One day I was going to eat dinner alone when I realized I forgot the book I had been reading. I searched my car for something to read when I came upon Chopping Spree. I started reading it and became hooked! I then decided it was time to start at the beginning.

So this book takes place on Halloween, making it perfect to review in October.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Plot Synopsis:

Goldy has had a hard time of it lately.

BigBangTheoryMyliferightnow

After she and her abusive/cheating husband divorced; she discovered that even though he makes plenty of money he still hates parting with it. Instead of relying on his childcare payments (most of which never come) Goldy started her own catering business.

cookingfood

It hasn’t been easy, but Goldy has been working hard making a name for herself in Aspen, Colorado.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

However, things have gotten grimmer as her son Arch’s favorite teacher just committed suicide. And Goldy is the one in charge of catering the wake.

Aw...

Aw…

But she does have some good in her life. Pomeroy, is a good friend, and her honey supplier. And she has her best friend Marla, one of her husband’s, John Richard’s, previous wives.

friend

She’s supposed to have an assistant, who gets a free room for helping cook, but the girl, Patty Sue isn’t very smart and can’t do anything without making a mess or destroying what she is doing.

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

All Patty seems to do is see Goldy’s ex-father-in-law, Dr. Fritz. Supposedly she suffers from some severe medical problem and Fritz is the only one who can treat him. His wife, Goldy’s ex-mother-in-law asked if she would be willing to assist Patty. And Goldy being incredibly kind, agreed.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

So Goldie works hard catering, her business subsidized by cleaning homes, and trying to do a great job with her horrible ex-husband and family there.

From my sister blog janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

Except she drinks espresso.

But then something happens that destroys everything. Her father-in-law drinks poisoned coffee at one of her events!

AAAAHHHHH

Because of that her catering business is shut down.

luke-noooo-o

But Goldie won’t let that go without a fight. She sets out to prove she wasn’t the one poisoning Fritz.

don'tneedsleepneedanswers

Along the way, she starts to come across some information that makes her question whether the teacher, Laura, actually committed suicide or if she was murdered.

Murder

To further heat this up, Officer Tom Shultz has taken an interest in Goldie and hopes to cook up some romance.

urkelgif interesting hmm

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved it.

loveitSupernatural

I thought the characters were great and enjoyable.

ilikeyou

The mystery wonderful.

oooh 101 Dalmations

And I can’t wait to read the next one.

ReadTimeandPlaceforBooksMyhandnow

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more caterers who start investigating a murder, go to Cherry Cheesecake Murder

For more suicides as covers for murder, go to Cookie Dough or Die

For more poisonings, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more mystery reviews, go to The Girl on the Train

Death on Demand

Deathondemand

Death on Demand (Death on Demand #1) by Carolyn G. Hart

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I started this series with the book Deadly Valentine (Death on Demand #6) when I picked up an autographed copy at a library book sale. I love book sales.

new-books

I really enjoyed that book and decided to start the series from the beginning, and let me tell you I wasn’t disappointed with it. While at times it may be predictable the character and stories always leave me coming back for more.

wantyouyes

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Plot Synopsis:

So the book starts off strong with our murderer listing out the items they need to kill their intended victim:

1 Pair of Doctor’s Rubber Gloves

1 Spool of Black Extra-Strong Button-and-Carpet Thread

A Handful of Assorted Keys

Clear Fingernail Polish

Polish Remover

1 Dart

And just one more, the most important of all…

suspense

We can’t reveal that just yet. The murderer needs a little more mystery.

mystery

So Annie Laurence inherited the mystery bookstore, Death on Demand on Broward’s Rock, when her uncle died a few months ago.

Aw...

Aw…

Annie loves the store, as she has always been a book lover and mystery aficionado.

doNothingbutRead.49 PM

She loves everything about the bookstore, except this upcoming Sunday. There are quite a few writers who reside on Broward’s Rock, south Carolina, giving Annie the idea to create a writer’s night in which they take turns lecturing or planing a program.

badfeeling

It had been going well until mean, nasty Elliot Morgan dropped a bomb that he was going to blow apart the next meeting with his new book, all about the famous writers living on the island. Why does he have to go and ruin everything?

Really Mike?

WHY!

To further her anxiety, her old boyfriend is on his way.

BigBangTheoryMyliferightnow

Annie met Max Darling after college when she was trying to strike it big on stage in New York. She was an actress, while Max was one of the producers. Max Darling is from an extremely wealthy family, so wealthy that he doesn’t need to work. Annie left him as she felt it wouldn’t work out as she was born in a lower economic scale and was only able to go to college on a scholarship.

thisisbad

Max however is not one to give up on something he believes in and has tracked her down to Boward’s Rock using his charm, wit, and acting abilities.

Smirkity smirk smirk

That day the store is closed, but Annie goes in for some inventory to settle her nerves as she contemplates what will happen tonight.

Tonight will be horrible!

Tonight will be horrible!

Max decides to stay that night and assist Annie with her writer’s group. The writers all enter in at their own pace. Captain Mac is a retired cop who moved to Broward’s Rock and was a friend of Annie’s uncle. He’s also been a big help to Annie after her Uncle Amos’ death. He’s not a writer, but participates in giving insight into police procedure and criminal experience.

1944: Dana Andrews puts the spotlight on Gene Tierney during the interrogation scene of the film noir, 'Laura', directed by Otto Preminger.

Emma Clyde is a mystery queen, and author of the famous Marigold Mystery Series.

tumblr_ng4wawgxLN1s2wio8o1_500

Janis and Jeff Farley; Jeff the writer of children books while Janis is the illustrator.

Fritz Hemphill who does green beret shoot ’em up war books.

gunshooting

Kelly Rizzo who did psychological thrillers.

Sorry but I don't think so.

And Elliot bringing up the rear.

Hate him.

Hate him.

Just then Harriet Edelman comes in bursting with news that the vet Jill Kearney was murdered the night before.

thenannygasp

She went in to look on an animal recovering from a procedure and interrupted a robbery. She was smacked in the head and because of her thin skull, died from it.

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

Suddenly Elliot announces his newest non-fiction book. Titles Criminal Minds, all about the horrible, scandalous things done by the authors who reside here on Broward’s Rock.

ohnoyoudidn't

Just then the lights go out, a scream rings, and when the lights come on Elliot dead by a poison dart.

thenannygasp

Chief Frank Saulter believes that Annie is the murderer, having first killed her uncle for her inheritance and then Elliot when he threatened to reveal it all in his book.

Not-Good

With Annie racing against the clock, it is up to her and Max to do some private detecting to figure out who the real killer is.

watchundercoverSecretAgent_0116_SteveWeigl.jpg.644x651_q100

As they start looking into what dirt Elliot had on the bunch this is what they find out.

  • Captain Mac admits that he was involved in a paternity suit.
  • Annie tells Max how she helped a friend escape a bad marriage and save their child by having the friend be admitted to a hospital under her name and give the baby up for adoption.
  • Kelly has had crimes of animal killing following her all over. She says her sister is the one that does it and she is just protecting her, but is that the truth?
  • Hal Douglas’ wife disappeared. Many believe he killed her, but he insists that he is innocent.
  • Harriet supposedly stole a story and printed it under her own name.
  • Jeff beats Janis.
  • Emma’s husband was cheating on her and then just happened to “fall overboard”.

Who is the killer? And will Annie figure it out before he strikes again? Or worse, she is put on trial for murder.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts after reading:

So I love this book and the way Carolygn G. Hart writes the characters. Annie and Max are just fantastic!

fantastic

Annie is not only lovable but intelligent and able to out the pieces together quite nicely.

likeit

I also love how sweet Max is and how he stays in the end to open his “private detective agency that isn’t a private detective agency.”

you'recute

*Spoiler Alert*

I only have two issues with the book:

  1. If Max has so much money, why didn’t they just buy a laptop to read Elliot’s disk instead of sneaking into Elliot’s house and Annie getting injured. You think that would be much easier for them right?
  2. I figured the mystery out really early on. Her uncle died and was investigating two places, where guess what Captiain Mac was the only person involved with one of them. I mean, come on. A paternity suit, you know it had to more than that Annie. Also, how could a police officer retire and afford an expensive house like he does. It’s obvious he’s dirty.

its-so-obvious-captain-obvious

But to tell the truth I really didn’t care about either one as I just loved the characters and decided to read the whole series.

And as I love this series you will be seeing a lot more reviews on them in the future!

wantyouyes

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more books from library book sales, go to A is for Alibi

For more mystery reviews, go to A Pinch of Poison

 

A Dash of Death

Dash of Death

Dash of Death (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #2) by Claudia Bishop

The is the second book in the Hemlock Falls Mysteries. In the first book, A Taste for Murder, we are introduced to the Quilliam sisters. Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident.

thenannygasp

Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path of life.

change

In the first book, the sisters find themselves having to battle unruly guests, deal with the town’s Historic Days festival, and complexities of trying to fit in in a small town. To make matters worse: someone is sabotaging the inn, a murder occurs, Quill’s friend flees and is accused, Meg is poisoned, and much more.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

Now in book two, A Dash of Death. the sisters have cemented themselves a bit more into country life. Both have recovered from near misses in their last adventure, and are looking forward to the future. Unfortunately, the inn has not quite recovered as they are in need of a boost in guests and money. The group thinks they have found their salvation in TV sensation Helena Houndswood, star and creator of the show, It’s a Beautiful Life. Sadly for them, she turns out to have a major ego and becomes a huge headache for all parties.

getoveryourself.gif

But she is good for business. Her show has just run a million dollar prize competition, a china plate design, of which the winner is from Hemlock Falls. She decides to hold the whole show at the Quilliam’s inn. When news of this spreads, business starts booming for the sisters with all kinds of calls coming in.

But all is not rosy. It turns out that instead of one winner, there are five. All are blue-collar women and workers at the local paint factory. And all five are nowhere near what Helena views as classy. In fact she would rather they decline and remain anonymous than set foot on being her show.

When the winners start disappearing and having “accidental” deaths, Quill starts investigating as to who could be behind it all. Is it the jealous and abusive husband of one of the women? Could one of the women be getting rid of the others in order to increase her share? Could Helena be getting rid of them so they won’t “taint” her “beautiful” show? Or is someone else behind all this?

Quill starts searching for the truth, but finds herself joining the ranks of the hunted.

KeepCalmSleuthOn

mystery-clipart-Open-Book

So I really enjoyed this book. It is better than the original as that one moved a tad slow, (it had more introductions to the characters and such). This one is the complete opposite as it is constantly moving, with ever-occuring action. It is an amazing mystery with so many twists and turns that you find it impossible to put down, the need to know the answer consuming you. And the end result it worth every bit. I highly encourage any mystery lover to check this out!!!

books-border-black-and-white

For more Hemlock Falls, go to A Taste for Murder