I Love You More

I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

Picasso Lane is 12 years old when her father is murdered at their summer beach house. Her mother Diana is the chief suspect until the police find the biggest surprise of their lives-Mr. Lane had two other wives.

flabergastedshockedwowwhatreally

But is it a surprise? The women say they had no knowledge of each other, they had never met-but Picasso remembers them coming to the house-being a part of a “women’s committee”.

urkelgif interesting hmm

Hmm…

Apparently they all planned the murder, but then backed out. Or did they? Did one of them do it?

HMMM

Hmm…

As the police investigate-Picasso tries to make sense of it all. Who was her father, what does this mean? Which lady did him in? Or was it all three?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I decided to read this because it reminded me of this movie I saw years ago on Masterpiece Mystery. Same scenario of the women teaming up to kill their husband, wanting to back out, and then you trying to figure who did it. However, I did not care for this book.

IDon'tlikeit

I think the author was trying to be like Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird and use a child protagonist who is beyond their years but the style didn’t agree with me. For me, it was just too weird how intelligent and advanced Picasso was for a twelve-year old. And it wasn’t written as she is thinking of the past, but living in the past. As I said, I didn’t care for this book.

bahmehscrooge

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For more mysteries with “secret families”, go to Death by Marriage

For more mystery reviews, go to The Fever

 

An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Thoughts Before Reading:

So when this book was published, I saw it constantly on Goodreads. They had a ton of book trailers, and every time I went on the site, the page would “load” and then play it.

So when I saw it at the Library, I was stoked to read it!

It sort of is a play on And Then There Were Nonestrangers all stuck, snowed in at a resort, and then they start dropping like flies. Which one is the killer-or is there a stranger in the resort?

Hmm…

Plot Synopsis:

Our mystery is set at the Catskills, a beautiful, remote resort.

Gwen Delaney is in Communications. She has never been able to move forward from witnessing a rape in college, and the guilt of doing nothing about it. She studied journalism, but as she could not tell truth, went a different route. Her idea was to bring her friend Riley, to the secluded resort, but now isn’t sure it is such a great idea. Could there be more to her than a sweet, innocent girl-could she have a dark side?

Hmm…

Riley Shuter was always the confident, brash, drop dead gorgeous girl who people loved/hated-but since she has been overseas in Iraq-she is not the same woman. She has severe PTSD, drinks far too much, and is acting strange. Could she have finally cracked?

David Paley is a defense attorney, who is taking a leave of absence. His wife was murdered, with many believing him to have done it. He was acquitted, but is he a murderer? Could someone have known something and he had to silence them?

Lauren Day and Ian Beeton are traveling for a romantic getaway. At first the two corroborate each other’s stories, but then it turns out that they aren’t each other’s perfect alibi. In fact, there are a lot that the two don’t know about each other-could one have a secret they’d kill for?

Beverly Sullivan had planned this romantic getaway for her and her husband Henry only to find out that he has a mistress. He wants the relationship to be over, but Beverly doesn’t. Could this have been a plot to stay together? To further separate? Or could this news have caused one to crack?

Dana Hart is from a poor family, but did all she could to catch a wealthy man. Matthew Hutchinson is that man, except he won’t marry her. The two have a fight-could it have been the last straw-could one have killed?

Candice White is a writer, escaping her duties of taking care of her elderly mother, to work on her book. She is very observant, watching everyone. Could she have seen something, or could there be more to her as well?

Hmmm…?

Which one, which one-or is there an unknown, “unwanted”, guest killing. Will they find out before they are all dead.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was very well written. WE only know bits and pieces of each character-essentially having no clue as to who could possibly be the killer. It was so well written, but as we neared the end I began to get worried.

Everything was great up until the end. The characters, the tension, the buildup, the suspense-but then the cops finally come, are there for a little bit, and all is solved.

I know, right?

The only problem with giving us so little about the characters it felt as if in the end it was too quickly sewn up.

The last few pages she wrapped everything up very quickly which threw off the pacing and, in my opinion, weakened it.

Very distressing as the rest if the book was fantastic.

For more mysteries not in a series, go to Pieces of Her

For more romantic getaways that turn to murder, go to Murder on Ice

 

An Anonymous Girl

 An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

So if you have been falling me on Instagram you would know that last weekend I was reading this book and forgot it at the library where I work.

I had to wait until Tuesday in order to get it and finish it.

So I really enjoyed The Wife Between Us, and when I saw this book, just had to check it out.

Jessica Farris is a makeup artist. She came to New York City with the dream of being a makeup artist to Broadway.

But after an encounter with a certain director, she has given that dream up. Instead she makes a living working for BeautyBuzz-doing up older ladies on their nights out, graduations, weddings, etc. Every day is a struggle to pay the bills and send money home to her family.

One day everything changes when she overhears a client talking to her friend about a morality study. They have to take a “morality test” and then they get paid $500. The client, Taylor, is a total party girl who cares very little about school and doesn’t want to get up at 9 in the morning. She decides to blow it off. All Jessica can think is $500 and she wants to go.

I totally was clicked in at this point as the same thing happened to me. I once at University saw a study in which they paid $20 and I went, I wanted that money.

So the next day, Jessica pretends to be a college student, dressing down to look early twenties instead of late. She comes in and lies to the assistant, telling him that Taylor couldn’t come and she came in to take her place. She fills out the paperwork and enters a room with a laptop. Answering the questions posed on it.

She answers very vague at first but is told to give more information-deeper. Jessica does and begins to enjoy unloading to someone she doesn’t see or will see again. Jessica leaves and goes on about her day.

Dr. Shields knows Jessica lied to be in a morality test as Taylor called to cancel. She’s intrigued by Jessica as who lies in a morality test and then answers the questions truthfully?

She looks to be perfect for the real test. This whole thing was a ruse in order to select the perfect girl for Dr. Shield’s real plan. A test of her husband’s fidelity.

Hmmm…?

Jessica receives an email asking if she wants to be a part of an extension of the study, compensated very nicely for her time. Jessica just hears those dollar signs and is in. But what she doesn’t know is that she is thrust inside a giant tangled web between husband and wife.

Will Jessica survive? Or will she be torn apart by this couple?

Thoughts After Reading:

I figured out the mystery about the other patient early on, but I found the book extremely compelling. There is something about a character who you don’t know how honest they are with you, the reader, that keeps you reading.

For more about Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, go to The Wife Between Us

For more Not in a Series mysteries, go to Dark Places

For more with cheating husbands, go to Death by Marriage

Death by Marriage

Death By Marriage (Caribbean Murder Mystery #3) by Jaden Skye

Thoughts Before Reading:

I received this book free from BookBub an amazing site that you can get free ebooks from. You know me and free things.

Since the last book and solving the last case, Cindy and Mattheus have formed a detective team together. He is all logistics and contacts, she can put people at ease and get information the police and others can’t get.

They get called into Saint Thomas to investigate a case of a prominent lawyer who was found dead in a back alley. There is a hurricane coming, and the police are looking to close the case quickly, focusing on his wife who no one likes. Cindy doesn’t think she is guilty and wants to help her, even though her personality makes it hard to want to help.

As they try to adapt to working with each other and creating this new team, they discover there is a lot more to this case than meets the eye. Gambling, vendettas, multiple enemies, mistresses-even his own kid doesn’t even like him.

But then the real shocker-it turns out that the lawyer had another family. Kendra and her daughter were the second family, on another island was his first wife and son Paul-same age as Kendra’s daughter.

This adds a whole new dimension. Did the wives know? Did the kids know? Who killed him? One of them? Two? Or is that a red herring and it was someone else?

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

It was an okay book. The plot was similar to the previous one and the writing and characters were not good. But it did have a great twist in the end.

For more Caribbean Murder Mysteries, go to Death by Divorce

For more by Jaden Skye, go to Death by Honeymoon

For more BookBub, go to This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies

For more cheating husbands, go to Run Run As Fast As You Can

Death by Divorce

Death by Divorce (Caribbean Murder Mystery #2) by Jaden Skye

Thoughts Before Reading:

I received this book free from BookBub an amazing site that you can get free ebooks from. You know me and free things.

Plot Synopsis:

So Cindy Blaine has solved the death of her husband in Death by HoneymoonCindy is lost at what to do next with her life when she is called by an old school friend Dalia who’s husband has gone missing.

Understanding how her friend feels, unsure that she can solve this crime too, she still heads down to Grenada. There she teams up with police detective Mattheus and sets out to solve the disappearance.

This is a tricky case as Ames was very unfaithful and would leave for weeks at a time, could he have left Dalia for another woman, like he did the wife before?

It also turns out that while Ames is very rich and lives a high life, most of his money has come from Dalia-who has refused to fund him any longer.

Oh

There is much more than meets the eye with drugs, deception, and a complex web of lies and other lives.

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

This was a good follow-up novel. The mystery and characters were very interesting with some good twists and turns.

The combination of Cindy’s inexperience but emotional clarity, matched with Mattheus’ weary experience and logical thinking was great. I thought it was a good read sans all the awful spelling mistakes.

For more Caribbean Murder Mysteries, go to Death by Honeymoon

For more BookBub books, go to This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies

For more cheating husbands, go to Run Run As Fast As You Can

For more mysteries involving disappearances, go to The Night Sister

For more investigative reporters, go to Loose Screw

Run Run As Fast As You Can

runrunasfastasyoucan

Run Run As Fast As You Can (Emma Frost Mystery #3) by Willow Rose

Thoughts Before Reading:

So a quick note for those who have never read Willow Rose’s work. In her Emma Frost mysteries, she likes to switch between modern day (2013) and something that occurred in the past; in the end the two winding together to resolution. To help with the confusion, I will put this:

In the post whenever we change times.

She also goes way out there. So these mysteries are not for the faint of heart.

Plot Synopsis:

Run, run, run as fast as you can.
You’ll never catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.
I ran from the baker and his wife too.
You’ll never catch me, not any of you.

So this novel begins in 2013 when Simone Beaumont, mother of nine month old baby is heading out to her mother’s group. She is about to take her baby out of the car for the event they are doing, when she is kidnapped.

Ten years earlier, Thomas lives across the street from his love, Ellen. She doesn’t know he exists as he is a stalker, but of course in his mind every look, motion, thing she does is a symbol for their growing love. He sends her notes and flowers; but one day things change. A man comes to the door and kisses Ellen.

Emma has just returned from Eastern Europe and barely recovered from her recent escapade: girls being sold into the sex trade, a TV show host being a crazed psychopath, and a woman making dolls out of human flesh to fill the loss of her daughter’s disappearance. She has been helping Officer Morton search for the surviving girls from the sex ring in the hopes of reuniting them with their parents. On these trips, she has gotten very close to Officer Morton, the two deciding to to date when they have a free moment.

Smirkity smirk smirk

Lisa, is also a member of Simone’s mother group. She is a germophobe, control freak, and sociopath. She’s been having a lot of anger problems, and when a plumber doesn’t follow her plan and makes her furious, she kills him, cuts him up, and serves him for dinner.

Meanwhile, Simone has woken up, but finds herself trapped in a room full of bats. Her captor let’s her out, but warns her to run as fast as she can; chasing after her with a shotgun.

Back in 2003, Ellen has become very serious about the man she is dating, the two about to be married. But this won’t stop Thomas, he has decided to up his game in hopes of winning his love back.

Sophia, Emma’s friend and neighbor, stops by Emma’s house to let her know the news about Simone. She wants Emma to use her investigative skills to find out what is going on. Sophia thinks that Simone’s husband might be behind the disappearance as they recently fought. He is a police officer, so Sophia thinks that if he did do it the cops won’t do anything about it.

In 2005, Ellen is married and having a baby, but Thomas has not given up. He watches her, sends flowers, gifts, etc.

Always watching

In modern times, they find Simone’s body in her car, shot in the back several times.

What?!

Meanwhile, Lisa has decided she will run for mayor of Fanø Island. Even though others laugh and such at her, it only makes her more angry and determined.

In 2009, Thomas is watching Ellen and her husband fight over the gifts and flowers sent by Thomas. They don’t notice the kids playing outside and when their daughter’s jump rope gets stuck on a tree and starts to choke her; Thomas sees it and runs across the street to help her. When he does Ellen and her husband are grateful…until they realize he is the stalker.

Lisa goes to see Simone’s husband Tim and bring him some food to comfort him. Tim lets out that they were fighting because one of the secretaries at work kissed him. Lisa figures out which one did it and sets out to get rid if her as she enjoys the thrill of killing.

Susanne is taken next and found in the same predicament. Stuck with bats, released and told to run as fast as she can.

Back in 2009, Ellen and her husband call the police. They detain Thomas as the family move away, forever lost to Thomas.

See ya!

One more of the women in the mothers group is killed and they start putting the pieces together. Who is killing them and why?

How does Thomas connect to the whole thing?

Hmm…

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Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t like this.

The two stories didn’t really connect well.

This doesn’t really make sense.

I also thought the Lisa character was weird and her story also made zero sense. Didn’t they match up the fork she used to kill the mayor with the one she killed Thomas with? I mean there would be blood from both murders on it.

I know seriously.

This one is one that I would definitely not waste your time on. The next one is worse (to be, ugh, reviewed in the future)

For more Emma Frost mysteries, go to Miss Polly Had a Dolly

For more kidnapping, go to Death Threads

For more mysteries featuring stalkers, go to The Shadow Hunter

For more mystery reviews, go to Secrets Can Kill

Catering to Nobody

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

For more mystery reviews, go to A Pinch of Poison