B is for Burglar

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B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone Mystery #2) by Sue Grafton

Kinsey has recovered from her shooting experience in the previous novel and is back in business. Never knowing what adventure the next client will take her on.

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Beverly Danziger is looking for her sister, Elaine Boldt, in order to have a document signed so they can get their inheritance. It is only a few thousand dollars, but until they can get the signature no one is getting anything. Beverly wishes for Kinsey to track down the sister, one no one has seen in months.

On the case!

On the case!

Yes, it is very strange as she typically heads off to Florida, but no one has seen or heard of her.

She just disappeared.

She just disappeared.

Supposedly, Elaine is renting her apartment out to her friend Pat Usher, but Kinsey senses something is fishy about her.

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As Kinsey continues to investigate it turns out that a neighbor was murdered and that no one actually saw Elaine leave. They saw her $12000 mink go into a taxi, but was she wearing it?

Something is not right!

It is looking more and more to Kinsey that someone killed Elaine and pretended to be her? But who?

HMMM

Kinsey also meets Detective Jonah Robb, who works Missing Persons. She’s attracted to him, but he’s in a complicated relationship with his estranged wife. Will things work out for them? Or should she stay far away?

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Thoughts After Reading:

The end was fantastic.

fantastic

The killer was a real psycho!

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I loved it.

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For more Kinsey Millhone mysteries, go to A is for Alibi

For more mysteries with private investigators, go to Snagged

For more mysteries featuring a female private investigator, go to Decked

For more mysteries on disappearences, go to The Girl on the Train

Key Lime Pie Murder

Key lime pie murder

Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #9)

It’s summertime in Lake Eden, and that means that it is time for the Tri-County Fair!

Double double yay

As always there are loads of events, games, rides, and food booths. Hannah was planning on only suppling cookies to a booth, The Cookie Nook, but when a friend becomes sick, Hannah steps in to take her place.

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Yep, this year Hannah will be judging the bake-off; sampling all kinds of bread, cookies, pies, and more. She’s not in this alone, as the other two judges are home economics teacher, Pam, and instructional aide, Willa.

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In fact the whole Swensen family is taking part in the fair this year: Hannah’s mother Delores is running a dunk tank for the Lake Eden Historical Society;  Andrea, entering the mother-daughter beauty pageant with her daughter Tracey; and Hannah’s youngest sister Michelle is trying for the Tri-County Queen.

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What starts out as good eats, fun times, rodeo ramblings, and a quest to eat a deep-fried chocolate bar turns sour when Willa is murdered.

Murder

Now Hannah is on the case, trying to discover who is behind this killing.

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Did it have something to do with the robbery of the Rodeo entry fees? Was it someone who was upset with Willa disqualifying them from the Tri-County Queen contest? Could it have been someone who was upset that Willa gave them poor reviews on their baked good, causing them to win nothing and destroy their reputation as best cook? Was it a student flunked by Willa? Or was it someone unknown?

Sad but true.

Hannah soon realizes that she knows very little about who Willa is and her past. Why did she travel all over the United States, working in Washington, California, and Florida? Why did she break up with her fiancé two months ago? Why did she have her hair done and purchase a new outfit, when she had very little money?

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As Hannah starts looking into this crime, she discovers that she needs to watch her step, or else she might meet the same fate as Willa did.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

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Thoughts After Reading:

Now I thought the title, Key Lime Pie Murder, was a stretch. There is hardly any Key Lime pie in the book, just the one case when they sample it for the fair.

seriously

And to add to it, Hannah never even made a Key Lime pie, nor does she add it to her shop’s menu, like in Lemon Meringue Murderwhich would tie the book together. Instead, I felt that since the book failed to revolve around any dessert, a rarity, they just picked one they thought sounded good (which didn’t).

I don't think so.

I don’t think so.

The story itself was good, and the mystery interesting as we have to figure out why someone would have killed Willa. I think that it was easily solved, but in a good way, rather than feeling lazy or stupid.

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The only qualm I have with Hannah in this book is that she really seems to use Norman a lot, and he takes it like a doormat.

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I think that out of all the books, this one shows how right her boyfriend Norman is for her, than her other boyfriend Mike. Mike is too controlling, in the sense that he is a cop and cannot allow vigilanteism, not to mention the ego-burst of having your girlfriend be better at solving these crimes. The opposite of this is Norman, who doesn’t care about her investigating as he enjoys jumping in with her. He also is amazingly sweet in how he takes care of her cat, treating it as if it was Hannah’s sick baby. In fact, in this book more than any other, I could see Norman and Hannah happily married, a Tommy and Tuppence of the midwest.

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For more Hannah Swensen Mysteries, go to Cherry Cheesecake Murder

For more book reviews, go to A Change of Fortune

Lane Changes

Lane Changes

Lane Changes (P.I. Cassie Cruise #1)

Lane Changes, by S. L. Ellis, is the first novel in the Cassie Cruise, private investigator series. After a major blow up on reality TV, Cassie Cruise left the city she grew up in Michigan,  for a small town, in a supposedly no crime area, Florida.

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She spends her days trying to run her recently bought tattoo parlor, along with working a few cases on the side; such as finding her neighbor’s biological father.

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As she is settling into this new life, her car is torched. And that’s not all; in the trunk a body is discovered. Cassie is on the case to discover who the body is and why her car was chosen. And that’s not all she is investigating. Cassie’s neighbor suddenly does not want to meet her father, does not want Cassie anywhere near her, and has a complete shift in personality. Cassie decides to do what she does best, and discover the truth behind these questions.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I have to be honest and say that I did not care for this book. I am a huge mystery fan and when I read the synopsis I thought that this would be an instant hit, however, it was the complete opposite. I had many problems with this book, starting with the main character. Cassie, to me, is very unlikeable. Instead of coming off tough and in charge, Cassie’s character is mean, judgmental, abrupt, rude, and selfish.

Hate her that's so raven

 

As the main character and narrator, one has to have some redeeming qualities to endear them to the reader, none of which were exhibited until the very end when a friend’s illness was revealed.

Another issue I have with this book is that it is the first in the series, yet we are dropped into her life and given very little back story into our character and her friends. As a reader I often felt lost, confused, and a bit angry at the lack of information.

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We are teased with bits of why she moved and snippets of her family’s dynamics, but they are introduced too far into the story for my taste, leaving me very frustrated. Cassie’s fiancé, Vince, is mentioned multiple times throughout the story, but hardly even exhibited in it. We have no clue how long they have been together, when they met, whether he followed her from Michigan to Florida or met her in Florida; essentially there is no substance to their relationship. When he is constantly attending to Cassie’s neighbor’s needs instead of her own, we as a reader have no standard on which to judge him or view him. Is he a cad cheating on her? Or is he a very helpful person and this behavior is typical? Instead Vince feels as if he is just a prop for Cassie and not a real character.

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The same goes for Cassie’s best friend Janice, who is given more involvement, but the same lack of history, personality, and chemistry.

The mystery itself was a bit strange as well. It starts with the burning car and charred body, but has very little to do with it. Cassie is hardly questioned at all about the event and we never hear of the police making any headway into solving it. In fact, Cassie does not even really look into the burning car.

What?

 

I know, a cheap exploitation. Instead the mystery is mostly about the neighbor; Cassie’s search for the biological father and her looking into the strange personality changes. I will say that the mystery surrounding her neighbor was interesting and written in a captivating way.

For me this book was not a perfect match and I would personally give it one out of five stars.

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For more mystery book reviews, go to A Dash of Death (Hemlock Falls #2)