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

Advertisements

Dying for a Date

18616483

Dying for a Date (Laurel McKay Mysteries #1)

Laurel McKay is a divorced mom of two. Laurel had been with her husband since high school and after his betrayal of leaving her for another woman, Laurel has found it difficult to trust or date again.

However, her best friend Liz convinced her try her hand at a matchmaking site, The Love Club, and get out there again.

Tonight is her first date. She heads out to the restaurant and meets up with Garrett, an accountant. He seems nice, although a little boring. Afterwards, Garrett walks Laurel to her car only for her to discover she left the keys and cell phone in the car.

She asks Garrett to borrow his phone, heading to his car. After she makes her call, Garrett attacks her, and Laurel grabs the first thing she can-his cell phone-and pops him in the nose.

Laurel leaves and heads back into the restaurant to await AAA, all the while bemoaning her date and feeling as if she never wants to date again.

She stops at a McDonalds for a coffee and heads home for the night. The next day she heads to the headquarters of The Love Club to let them know about Garrett. When she talks to the secretary she discovers that Garrett was murdered the night before, from being hit in the head.

Seriously?

Laurel is positive that her wap in the nose could not have killed him, but that doesn’t stop her from becoming a suspect.

Because she was his last date, and last planned meeting, Laurel has to come down for questioning. There she meets Detective Hunter; a very attractive, single dad, who’s daughter happened to have a scuffle with her son at their last soccer game. A very embarrassing moment as Laurel fought with him during that game, and now she has to hope he believes in her innocence.

Detective Hunter has an open mind and warns Laurel that she could have been killed and might still be on the hit list. Detective Bradford, Hunter’s partner, on the other hand, thinks Laurel is a stone cold killer and is set to prove it.

Laurel never wants to date again through The Love Club, but she has paid for the service and had already requested a few more dates. She decides to have a lunch date with a doctor named Jeremy. Jeremy is sweet, a tad bland, but Laurel decides to agree to another date to give him a chance.

Barbara Bingham, Laurel’s mother, is constantly trying to set her up with different guys. This time is no different as she has an agent from her company, Peter, is who she thinks is perfect for her daughter. When Laurel goes to pick her son up from his time with grandma, she meets Peter and sees that he is kind and sweetly entertaining her son.

Hmm…

Laurel’s ex comes back into the picture unexpectedly, and upsets everything. He tries to hint that they should get back together (as if) and tells her she needs to stop dating. Weird.

Laurel goes shopping for her upcoming date and prepares for it. Jeremy takes her to one of the fanciest restaurants and orders Dom Perignon champagne. They begin talking, when Jeremy gets a call. He leaves to answer it.

Laurel sits waiting, drinking, to pass the time. Every time she takes a drink, the waiter refills.  Soon Laurel is starting to feel a little sick and heads to the restrooms, stopping outside and spotting two gentlemen, one who looks like Jeremy. She then heads to the bathroom, pulling herself together and nodding off.

When she wakes she returns to her table only to see that the room is pretty deserted and everyone is occupied by the windows overlooking the river. When she questions what has happened it appears that someone drowned in the river. Laurel tries to find Jeremy, thinking that he might be down trying to help out. As she tries to find out more information she runs into Detective Hunter.

He questions what she is doing there and she tells him about her date and how he disappeared. She tells him that she won’t be seeing his rude self anymore in the future. Detective Hunter agrees, as Jeremy is dead.

Yes Laurel has had not one date die, but two. This puts her high on the suspect list, even though there is no clear motive. With Detective Bradford set on pinning the murders on her and Detective Hunter having no other options but to look at her as number one suspect.

Laurel decides to take matters into her own hands. She recruits her mother, best friend Liz, and coworker Stan to follow, research, and track down the killer before she finds herself wearing prison stripes.

So who could the killer be? Is it someone who doesn’t want Laurel to date? Such as her husband who was heard saying that he would kill anyone who was with her? Plus he as a contractor, so he has access to the weapons that killed the men.

Could it be her boss Earl? He is interested in her as more than just an employee and hates the fact that she is dating. To add to his creepy interest, he also has a file on Jeremy.

Hmm…

Could it be Jeremy’s partner in the practice? He is harsh, rude, and has a gambling addiction; embezzling funds from the company. Did he kill Jeremy to keep him from finding out?

Then Peter asks Laurel out. Is it safe for them? Or will there be a third dead body?

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

***Spoiler Alert***

Thoughts After Reading;

I thought it was it was cute and a good mystery. I had narrowed it down to two suspects, and while I guessed correctly who the real killer was there were several twists and turns which delighted me.

The only thing I didn’t like was that the author described every article of clothing that her main character wore, which I thought drew one out of the story.

I also didn’t like how the detectives focused solely on her as it seemed she had a good alibi. I mean with Garrett, there is the restaurant workers, AAA, McDonalds, etc; and with Jeremy the waiter and the women who came into the bathroom.

I really liked the conclusion. I thought the way they wrote Laurel’s mom saving the day was fun and just a great ending to the story.

For more mysteries with Serial Killers, go to Miss Polly Had a Dolly

For more mysteries with blind dates, go to Sunset Reads: William & Cristina

For more mystery reviews, go to The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

chocolatechipcookiemurder

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery #1)

So this is the first book in the series but not the first I read. I was introduced to the Hannah Swenson Mysteries by Apple Turnover Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery #13)And I am glad I did because if I read this book first, I probably would have quit the series.

IDon'tlikeit

Yeah this book was a clunker. I thought it was messy, the characters unrealistic, and the mystery too easy. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Somethings-fishy-here-GIF

So the book starts off by introducing us to Hannah Swenson. Hannah is in her 30s and was studying English Lit at school. While she was in the midst of going for her masters, she has a bad experience at school and her father dies.

well that's just great anchorman

She heads back to her small town, (Lake Eden, Minnesota) , to help her family out, starts a coffee and cookie shop, buys a condo, and adopts a huge orange cat. Things seem to be going good as she is building her business and life.

BigBangTheoryMyliferightnow

Her only thorn? Her mother’s constant drive to marry her off. She is constantly setting her up with men, the latest being the son of her best friend, Norman Rhodes D.D.S. Hannah has barely met him but is rude and judgmental toward him. She thinks he is a loser because he is a dentist and therefore must be obsessed with teeth. And he is horribly ugly because he is balding. How rude Hannah. Like you’re such a prize with your constant judging and criticizing people.

getoveryourself.gif

Besides just because he is a dentist doesn’t mean that’s all he thinks about. For real girl you need to give him credit that he is a person with actual thoughts and feelings rather than thinking he is the dentist from Little Shop of Horrors.

And it’s not like he wants to be balding or can control it. Jeez, girl! I’m sure he wishes he has a full head of hair too.

seriously

Anyways, it’s an average day for Hannah. She’s heading over to open her store and passes Ron LaSalle, a deliverer for the local dairy farm. Ron LaSalle is a loyal customer buying a box of cookies every morning.

Hannah also runs into her friend Claire, the owner of the fancy boutique shop and Hannah’s next-door business neighbor. Claire convinces Hannah to come over and shop for a dress, but Hannah doesn’t want to wear one. She is one of those cliché characters that hates dressing up/doesn’t realize how pretty they are/don’t understand why women act they way they do/etc. I’m really tired of that character and wish authors would stop writing it and do something new.

IDon'tlikeit

Andrea, Hannah’s sister, comes by and drops her daughter off with Hannah while she gets her hair done. Now this is where I have a huuuuuuuuuuge problem. Andrea’s daughter Tracey is great in the later books but in this one she is only four but conversing like a twelve year old! Now I’ve known a lot of four-year olds, and even the precocious ones DO NOT speak that well. I don’t think this author has been around real children if she writes her that focused and well-behaved.

notbelievingyouyeahright

Anyways, so Tracey saw Ron outside in his car and thinks it is weird. Hannah assumes that Ron is having car trouble and goes out to check when she discovers that he is dead!

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

And not just dead but:

Murder

Ron was shot in the head.

Hannah’s brother-in-law, Andrea’s husband, is a deputy with the Sheriff’s department and is heading up the investigation. He gets Hannah’s statement, and while they are discussing what happened, Hannah realizes something important. Ron was behind schedule. This is really odd as Ron was a stickler for being on time.

Very_Interesting250

Bill then asks Hannah to help with the investigation, as he wants to solve the case and get promoted to detective.

Now here is where I have a huge problem again. There’s no way as a law enforcement he would ask for help in his investigation from a civilian! Come on!

no-way-gif-gifs

And to be honest, if he can’t solve it than he doesn’t deserve the promotion.

stupid

He should be telling her not to investigate as she is a civilian.

Now I’m not saying that I do not want her to investigate, I love stories with amateurs, it’s just that there is no way a cop would ask a civilian for help. No way!

Its-Not-Going-to-Happen-Mean-Girls

Anyways, at a catering event at the school she discovers that when Ron dropped off the milk, he had a women with him. Apparently the school leaves coffee for him every morning, and when the secretary came to clean it up she found two cups, one of which had lipstick on it.

plotthickens

Hannah and Bill set out to track it down, with Hannah finding it being sold by an Avon-like woman. There she discovers that the lipstick belongs to Danielle Watson.

Hannah meets up with Danielle later and discovers that she is a gambler going to Gambler’s Anonymous and that Ron was her sponsor. She received a check from her stocks and headed over the casino, running into Ron who was passing out GA flyers. He got her out of there, following her home to make sure she was safe, and the two went to his apartment to talk and make sure she didn’t give in again. He got up late and took Danielle with him on his deliveries.

Hannah also finds out that Ron had a toothache and was going to the dentist that day. She calls around seeing who worked on him, ending up with Norman Rhodes. She tries to ask him questions, but he refuses as he wants to see her in person to discuss everything.

urkelgif interesting hmm

That afternoon Hannah finds herself being manipulated again, giving into Claire and purchasing the gown picked, planning on wearing it to the Woodley’s annual party.

So Hannah and Andrea head over to have lunch with Norman, Hannah planning on keeping his attention while Andrea snoops. Hannah discovers that Ron got his tooth taken care of , but even more interesting is that Norman is a funny, sweet, nice guy. She agrees to go with him to the Woodley party.

Hannah continues her investigations and discovers that Danielle’s husband Boyd has been dropping a lot of cash on glitzy gifts, too much for his job as a high school football coach. She also discovers that he was gone for the window of the murder. Could he be the killer?

mysteriousSuspiciousit'syou

Hannah and Lisa decide to go investigate the casino where Ron was passing out GA flyers as he got into a fight with a bouncer. While there we get this long rant on how stupid gambling is and how Hannah doesn’t understand the drive for it. Or the superstitions that people have. Another cliché as guess who wins the grand prize, her of course. I understand not liking gambling or believing that one should do it, but not understanding the draw? Come on, everyone knows what draws people in, is the hope for winning!

getoveryourself.gif

Then we get a flashback as Hannah reminisces about her and her sister’s lives growing up and how things changed when she went to college. Here is where we get the whole story of why Hannah left. She had a fling with her professor, only to discover that he didn’t love her but was actually engaged to be married, his fiancee walking in on them.

AAAAHHHHH

Hannah goes to the Woodley party and has a lot of fun with Norman. Unfortunately, Benton Woodley, son, heir, Andrea’s ex-boyfriend, and the bane of Hannah’s existence is back in town. He says he missed the small town experience and loves Lake Eden, but something is fishy to Hannah. He always hated being here before and swore never to come back.

That'sOdd

At the party, Hannah talks to the dairy secretary, Betty, to get more info on Ron and finds out that Max, the supervisor is missing. He was supposed to go to a convention and give a speech, but he never checked in and no one has seen or heard from him. Could Max have killed Ron for some reason and gone on the run?

urkelgif interesting hmm

Hannah mentions Max to Norman and discovers he can’t stand the guy. It turns out that Norman’s father, who was also a dentist, needed money to get improvements for his practice but all the banks turned him down. Max lent him the money, if the Rhodes put their house up for collateral. The Rhodes took the deal and when they were only one payment away from owning their house, Max called in the full loan. Luckily, Norman was able to get a loan from a bank, which he gave his parents, who paid Max. But clearly Max was a shark up to no good. But, is he a killer?

plotthickens

Hannah decides that of they can’t get the answers they need from Max, as no one can find him, that she is going to break into his house. Andrea comes with her and the two break into the garage first. There they find Max’s car, with everything needed for his trip to the convention. Odd, as that must mean he didn’t leave. They check his house but there is no sign of him. Hannah steals his keys and decides the two need to set out to check the dairy.

When they get to the dairy, they find nothing. Hannah has not given up yet and decides to check out the remains of the old dairy. The building was burned and rebuilt with only one section of the original left. They head over there and find Max…Dead

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

They also find his stash of loans. This means someone killed him over it, but who? And how is Ron connected? Did he see something? Did he walk in on them?

Uh-oh-dexter-9352138-275-155

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

I really didn’t enjoy this book at all. The characters were all bland and generic Midwestern clichés. The main character was annoying, judgmental, cocky, and rude.

Hate her that's so raven

The police were incompetent, but what made it really sad was that they knew they were incompetent. I mean it is funny to see them match wits when the police officer is arogant and totally missing something, or, as in Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple; over time and succesful stream of solved mysteries they realize that this is someone much smarter and one they should work with. But when someone is incompetent and knows it, asking for help to get PROMOTED when they clearly stated before that they were not ready as THEY CAN’T DO IT ON THEIR OWN BUT NEED HELP FROM AN ENGLISH LIT AND COOKIE BAKER (that’s right, she doesn’t even read mystery novels, or teach psychology, or do something slightly relevant) it is just sad, just sad indeed.

sadm strange pity toy story

The mystery was extremely obvious as to what they answer is. Now it is one thing if you have a mystery where it is easily solved, but the characters are fun and adorable so you don’t care. This was neither, it was just a disappointment. And the recipes weren’t all that intriguing either.

This one was a stinker, but some of the later ones are actually really good. I guess you just have to decide how invested do you want to get.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For the previous book review, go to The Emperor’s Edge

For more Midwestern mysteries, go to Fatally Frosted

While My Pretty One Knits

While My Pretty One Knits

 

While My Pretty One Knits (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #1) by Anne Canadeo

In this book we are introduced to the Black Sheep knitting group and its members. Maggie Messina is the leader, she was once a high school art teacher, but now is the owner of the knitting shop, Black Sheep. in Plum Harbor, Massachusetts. She was giving a class on knitting,  of which four women attended and became best friends. Of this group is newly divorced, graphic designer, Lucy Binger; yoga loving, health foodie, psychologist, Dana Haegar; multitasker, incredible cook, mother of five, real estate queen, Suzanne Cavanaugh; and the punk, funloving, and unconventional, assistant at the Black Sheep, Phoebe Meyer. The group gab, knit, and solve murders.

teamwork

The series are told in the viewpoint of Lucy Binger, the only member that is new to the area, having relocated to Plum Harbor from Boston after her divorce.

So in this book, Maggie is getting her shop ready for a big event. Her old high school student, Cara Newhouse, has become a real success. She went to art college, rediscovered knitting, has become a writer for Knitting Now!, and has written multiple books. She has agreed to come to Maggie’s shop and do a discussion and book signing.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

Lucy had been assisting Maggie for the big event, and when the two have finished rearranging furniture, they move on to their favorite thing, knitting!

KnittingNewYoga

They are soon joined by Savannah and Dana, and are waiting for Phoebe to start their group. The door opens and they expect to see Phoebe, but instead see…

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

Amanda Goran

Ahh-1

Amanda Goran is the owner of the other knitting shop in Plum Harbor, The Knitting Nest. Amanda Goran hates Maggie and is always trying to make things hard for her. She spreads lies and rumors about the shop, insults Maggie and her displays, and is an all around foul person to be around.

Hate her that's so raven

But today, Amanda acts different. She acts nice.

What'sHappening?BigBangTheory

She compliments Maggie, and even says she will be at the event early.

What?

And that’s not the only thing. She had her hair done, teeth whitened, and is wearing make-up. The expensive kind.

That'sOdd

She tells Maggie she is backing away from The Knitting Nest. This is strange as her shop was Amanda’s lifeblood. She was crazy for it, and even when it wasn’t doing well took on extra jobs to keep it afloat. She wants to back off?

somethingisnotright0

And that’s not all, where is she getting the money from if her shop does so poorly and she’s backing off? Everyone knows she is also in the  middle of a divorce. So where is the money coming from? Something is definitely up.

strange-things-are-afoot-at-the-circle-k-bill-and-ted-gif1

The next day, Lucy arrives early to help Maggie with any last minute things. She gets there at 8:55, arriving before Maggie does. Maggie went all out with mini quiche, muffins, berries, etc. The two quickly get everything set up. Cara enters, and Lucy hates her on sight. Although she can’t quite figure out why, jealous perhaps? Cara is a gorgeous blonde, and a little nervous about the whole event.

Soon there is no time to worry as the room is filled with guests. Everyone is there, except Amanda. Odd, as she said she would be there early. But perhaps something happened, or Amanda is planning on getting in late and causing problems.

movingOn

Cara begins her presentation when Suzanne barges in. Lucy is wondering what is going on, when Suzanne shouts that Amanda is dead.

thenannygasp

Maggie regains control of the group, and sets a moment aside to honor Amanda. She tells people they may leave but if they wish to stay, than Cara will continue. Amanda wasn’t very well-liked in the town as she is harsh and mean, but a few people leave saddened by her death.

The rest remain and Cara continues, although very poorly and flustered. After the presentation, they only thing people want to discuss is Amanda. How did she die? What happened? Although no one really knows the answer. Eventually everyone goes home, and continues with their life.

The next day Lucy walks downtown to talk to Maggie, and to try to find out more info on Amanda. She stops at the local diner, the Schooner, and discovers that it wasn’t an accidental death, but murder!

Murder

Someone bashed in Amanda’s head! The police think that it was a robbery gone wrong, but unfortunately have no leads.

Lucy heads to The Black Sheep and discovers that she isn’t the only one who thought they’s come to get more info. The rest of the group is there as well. Just as they are dishing, two cops, Detective Walsh and Detective Reyes come to question Maggie. They heard that Maggie and Amanda were rivals. Maggie tells them about how horrible Amanda was to her…but…it doesn’t sound like that. It sounds more like Maggie was crazy about Amanda and harassing her. Instead of the other way around.

thisisbad

The next day Dana, Savannah, and Lucy head out do morning yoga. Dana is a real enthusiast, while Suzanne and Lucy are just trying it out. Suzanne and Lucy are not really interested, or planning on coming back. Lucy speaks to the instructor and finds out that Amanda used to come, and was friends with the instructor. She saw a lot of changes in Amanda and suspects a new boyfriend. Why else would she be constantly going to Boston?

Very_Interesting250

The three head out to breakfast, when they stop and look at The Knitting Nest, which is right across from the yoga place. Just as they are about to leave, Lucy sees something through the window. She goes around the back to get a closer look, when she falls in the snow and the person who was in the building takes off. And without Lucy even getting a good look at who it was, height, weight, gender, hair color, etc.

They report it to the police and split their separate ways.

The next day Maggie and Lucy go to Amanda’s funeral. When they get there, they run into Amanda’s was soon-to-be ex-husband, Peter. At first he is heartbroken and melancholy, then the next minute giving a sales pitch to Maggie to buy The Knitting Nest stock.

somethingisnotright0

A day later, Maggie is bothered again by Peter to check out the stock and get it before he sends it to an auction house. Maggie decides to check it out and takes Lucy for support.

As the two check out the stock, they discover lots of stuff. Lucy also sees Amanda’s dogs, her dogs that she treated like children, but Peter is treating horribly. One of them is super friendly, but appears to be sick. Lucy feels so sorry for her that she adopts it and drops the dog off at the vet.

At the vet, Lucy meets the new veterinarian, the young, handsome Dr. Matt McDougal.

howyoudoing

The two hit it off, with Lucy unsure of whether or not it is harmless flirting or if he is really interested in her. For all she knows he could be married.

The group meet again and eat food, knit, and discuss the case. They discover that Peter has a gambling problem and will be inheriting a hefty insurance policy as the divorce wasn’t final.

The next day, Lucy returns to the vet and discovers that her dog, Tink ate something. They can’t tell what it is or get her to hack it out. So instead they will have to operate to remove it. Besides getting help for Tink, Lucy also finds out that the Doctor is in the middle of a divorce. Bonus for her.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

The next morning, Lucy heads over to The Black Sheep to pick up some dog sweaters Peter brought with the stock Maggie purchased. As she is looking for the box to give as a thank you to the vet, Cara shows up to talk to Maggie. The two look for buttons, while Lucy roots around the millions of boxes Peter brought.

Lucy finally finds it and heads over to the vet. Tink is ready and waiting, but the doctor is not. He’s in the middle of a surgery. A disappointed Lucy heads out, completely forgetting to drop off the sweaters. She releases Tink into her house and studies the information provided by the vet and the gross orange yarn specimen from Tink’s stomach. She decides to head over to The Black Sheep and show off her dog to Phoebe. As she heads over to the shop, she hears police sirens. When she gets there, she sees Maggie being arrested! Apparently the police received a tip about the murder weapon being in the store and found it, arresting Maggie for the murder of Amanda Goran.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

 

Now it’s up to The Black Sheep knitters to solve the case and clear Maggie’s good name!

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts after reading:

I loved this book.

cluelesstravistwothumbsup!

I thought the characters were amazing and relatable. It was nice to see a collection of such different people being friends.

Now even though I was able to solve the mystery early on, I still love it as it was written extremely well, with just the right amount of red herrings to throw you off the scent.

All ini all it was a fantastic read (as is the rest of the series) and you should definitely check it out.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more mysteries, go to Glazed Murder