The President’s Daughter

The President’s Daughter by Mariah Stewart

Washington, D.C.

December 14, 1971

A beautiful woman walks down the street, prepared to meet someone, but instead of the meeting she is hit by a car and killed.

February 2002

Simon Keller is an investigative journalist who has been hired to write a memoir about the former President Graham Hayward; a great man with a stellar record. But as he starts digging he discovers the golden egg-the President had an affair that ended in tragedy and a baby.

Dina McDermott is an attractive and independent woman who owns her own landscaping business. She has lived a quiet life, one that is interrupted when Keller’s path leads him straight to her.

But with the revelation of Dina being the president’s secret daughter comes along a killer-one who is intent on finishing the job.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought everything with Simon was great. He was interesting, his tenacity in research, etc was fantastic. It all fell apart when the main character finds out about her true heritage. There it seemed that all the characters lost common sense and the end was too quickly sewn up.

I mean Dina was always portrayed as being smart, clever, etc but she acts SO DUMB! Her life is in DANGER and does she do anything to protect it? No she continues to “live her life the same way.”

I don’t recommend it.

For more investigative reporters, go to A Match of Wits

For more secret children, go to Death by Honeymoon

For more not in a series mysteries, go to Wuthering Heights

In other news, this is our 400th post!

For the 300th post, go to Candy from a Stranger

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A Match of Wits

A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction #4) by Jen Turano

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I am very unhappy with this book.

Ever since I read the first book in the Ladies of Distinction series, A Change of Fortune I adored Agatha. I thought she was amazing, witty, fun, adorable, etc. She is a women from high class as her father is a wealthy businessman, but refuses to be sold off like cattle to a wealthy man.

Instead she gets a job at a newspaper and writes under a male pseudonym, being an investigative reporter and trying to clean up the city along with giving a voice to those who are disenfranchised.

I was hoping the second book would be all about her, but instead we got Arabella. Initially I was upset and hurt, but A Most Peculiar Circumstance was a good story as we got to learn more about Theodore Wilde and Arabella.

Squeal!

Then we had book three which was about Felicia Murdock?! REALLY?!! We barely even heard of her in the other books, WHY DID SHE GET HER OWN STORY BEFORE AGATHA?!! I’d been waiting for Agatha! This book was awful too, really starting to deteriorate and going downhill.

Ugh!

And then we get this book. We get a book about Agatha that I’ve been waiting FOREVER for and is it good? NO it SUCKS. MAJORLY! WHAT WAS SHE THINKING? I MEAN COME ON!!!.

 So Zayne Beckett has been engaged to Helena for quite some time now and has finally left to join her in the West. Agatha, who has been in love with him since forever, was heartbroken, to see him go but resolved to move on with life.

It has been two years since then and Agatha has been forced to leave New York and travel as their has been multiple threats against her life. She is in Colorado, when to her surprise she comes across Zayne!

What?!

A single Zayne? He did not marry Helena? A dirty mining Zayne that is nothing like the debonair one that left New York? A drunk Zayne that no longer believes in God? And a wounded Zayne, he has a limp in one leg.

Agatha saves him from being robbed by a girl gang, and strikes up their acquaintance again. She finds out that Helena did not want to marry him after all, and he was injured trying to save her in an accident, she ditching him. The accident broke his leg and it was poorly reset, causing him to have a limp.

I hate my life!

Agatha learns all about gold mining from him, planning on doing a story, when they are attacked by the girl gang again. It turns out they want Zayne’s gold along with being assassins hired to hunt down and kill Agatha.

They all head back to New York, where Agatha plans on bringing Zayne back to God and for him to be the man he once was. Zayne on the other hand plots to match Agatha with a man that will keep her out of trouble. Which one will win this match of wits?

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

IT WAS AWFUL!!! This one was incredibly bad. Agatha was such a great character, but they made her incredibly dumb in this and she made horrible decisions. It was completely lackluster and I do not recommend it.

I mean she acted so stupid in everything, running off just asking to be killed. I mean really-you are an intelligent women. It is as of with each book she had a lobotomy.

It was just dumb and deteriorating into stupid stiff. I mean they add a pig sidekick. Really? Really? I hated it.

For more Ladies of Distinction, go to A Talent for Trouble

For more Jen Turano, go to A Most Peculiar Circumstance

For more investigative reporters, go to Conspiracy

For more Christian fiction, go to The Butterfly and the Violin

For more historical fiction, go to Weak Flesh

Conspiracy

“Conspiracy” by Harold Swanton from Murder by Experts

A reporter is in a bad mood. His girlfriend has been cheating on him and now he is being sent to a town that is clearly going to be flooded to report on it.

As he is driving to the town, he passes the girlfriend’s apartment and gets an idea. This flooding is definitely going to happen, and when it does this town is gone-washed away. Why not kill his girlfriend and let the river wash the body away?

He heads to the girlfriend’s apartment and does the deed, but as he is, the water comes and the building starts swaying. He becomes disorientated and then he realizes that there is a man that witnessed everything.

He runs after them, but both are stopped and knocked out by a telephone pole hitting the water.

When he wakes up, he is in a hospital having been rescued. And to his surprise the other man is also in the room-but blinded from the accident.

He feels he is in the clear, but then a women’s murdered body is found and the man remembers having witnessed a man killing a woman.

The reporter is given the task of taking him to get more of the story when it turns out the man is not blind-he faked the whole thing!

He has a gun and plans to kill the reporter as he murdered his wife and doesn’t want any witnesses.

Imagine the irony! Both having killed their women and worried about being witnessed!

This reporter isn’t going down and manages to drive his way out and getting the gun from him and shooting him. So now he’s got his girlfriend killed, a great story, and feels fine about having killed the man-or does he?

For more posts on reporters, go to Loose Screw

For more short stories, go to The Hitchhiker

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

Death by Honeymoon

Death by Honeymoon (Caribbean Murder Mystery #1) 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:

Cindy and Clint have just been married.

They decide to head out to Barbados for their honeymoon.

But instead of the high class side that are on the rougher, more rugged side as Clint prefers it for surfing. Things might not have gone well in the engagement, mainly his family hates her, but Cindy is so happy that this wedding marks the beginning of a new and long life.

But one morning, Cindy come down with food poisoning and stays in the room, planning on resting and meeting Clint on the beach in an hour. She accidentally oversleeps, and run down to the beach.

On the beach she finds Clint’s body. Death on their honeymoon.

Cindy returns to New York but can’t go back to her job investigating facts for a major newspaper. She can’t leave things alone as their turns out to be too many questions. First Clint’s family start accusing her of murder and threatening her and trying to control Clint’s stuff and his money.

Then it turns out that Clint was lying to her about some things. He said he went to a conference to talk on a paper, but went to a completely different city with a friend.

It turns out that he also has a child with an ex-girlfriend.

What?!

For Cindy the last straw is when her sister borrows her car and crashes due to cut brake lines, almost dying.

After that, Cindy heads back to the island to find out the answers to what really happened to her husband. But can Cindy navigate an island she knows little about and not only solve this case-but survive?

Thoughts After Reading:

I enjoyed this book.

At times Cindy seems a little plain and wooden but I thought it did well as a first novel in trying to capture your attention, develop characters, etc.

It is an interesting mystery and as the rest of the series was free, I’m interested to see if it stays good or goes downhill. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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

For more books that take place in the Caribbean, go to High Sea Adventure

For more island mysteries, go to Everbody Loved Roger Harlan

 

Loose Screw

Loose Screw (Dusty Deals Mystery #1) by Rae Davies

Thoughts Before Reading:

I received this book free in return for an honest review. I love Westerns and mysteries, so when I read the description I was all for it.

Plot Synopsis:

Lucy Mathews was a reporter for the Helena, Montana newspaper, but left because her editor thought she was a “wuss”. Lucy isn’t a coward, she just doesn’t like confrontation.

After leaving the newspaper, Lucy went into the antique business, having a western specialty store Dusty Deals. She leaves alone with her Alaskan Malamute, Kiska.

Recently, famous Helena pioneer Denton’s Deere’s objects have come up for auction. Lucy heads over and manages to score a box of pottery with an antique stoneware item hidden in, and a box of books she can easily resell.

The big ticket item is a Medicine Man outfit, that ends up in a bidding war. It is finally sold to an out-of-town dealer, James Crandall, for $40,000.

The next day, Crandall comes into the shop trying to buy some books on the Deere family. Lucy sells him a book and he is seen later arguing with the other bidders from the auction- a local dealer in Native American objects, Bill; and Andrew and Melaine Malone, out-of-town- dealers who are starting a Native American museum in Washington D.C.

Later that evening, Lucy is heading home with Kiska when she discovers a dead body by the dumpster, and not just any body-James Crandall.

Lucy calls the police and the newspaper (hey, once a reporter always a reporter). And finds herself caught up in the middle of a murder mystery with the Medicine Man suit missing except for a dried weasel.

To further complicate things, her old editor has asked her to come back and write a series of stories on the murder. Lucy finds herself investigating friends and prominent people in the community.

To make things evem harder on her, she has to try to work with Detective Peter Blake. Blake hates Lucy and never aids her in anything, always having made her life as a reporter tough. Things have gotten even more strained as Blake flits between making things hard and making a move on Lucy.

So now Lucy has to balance Dusty Deals, reporting, investigating, a police detective, her dog, a jazz festival, and someone coming after her.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a good story. I liked the characters and the concept.

At times I did wish Lucy was a bit more assertive, such as when her editor who is paying her nothing yells at her. I would have told him, heck no, I am not being paid you deal with it.

And it was pretty obvious at times who the villains were.

Otherwise, it was good and fun.

For more antique shop mysteries, go to Larceny and Old Lace

For more mysteries featuring a reporter, go to For Whom the Bluebell Tolls

For more Western mysteries, go to Paper Roses

For more mysteries, go to The Night Sister

For Whom the Bluebell Tolls

For whom the bluebell tolls

For Whom the Bluebell Tolls (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #2)

This is the sequel to Bloom and Doom. As I posted that book a while ago, let’s recap. In the first book, cousins Audrey Bloom and Olivia “Liv” Rose-Meyer; find their flower shop unwittingly involved in a murder. Audrey is trying to help an old friend call off a wedding to a wealthy man, offering her a job at the flower shop as she no longer will have an income. When said ex-fiancé is found stabbed to death by one of the flower shop tools given to the friend to help her practice, Audrey is on the case to clear her friend’s name.

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Time has passed since the first wedding and things at the flower shop are going well. Audrey has been dating Nick the baker, and that relationship is going well too. And to top it off; Audrey is closer to having enough money to purchase her grandmother’s cottage.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

But then a cloud comes over everything. Her ex-boyfriend, Brad, who left her for the city has come back to town.

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He’s not exactly back for Audrey, but works on the famous reality show Fix My Wedding. 

Wedding

Fix My Wedding is a show in which brides agree to go on air and submit to the all the wedding planners’, Gigi Welch and Gary Davoll, decisions as they create the perfect weddings: flowers, cake, dress, etc.

The place they were going to use for the wedding of a bride obsessed with bells falls through, so Brad told them about their old church with a beautiful bell; and now they are moving the event to Ramble, Virgina.

While the town happily opens up to the crew, others are not so happy. A bride from a wedding gone wrong, has come with a set of bridesmaids to protest the TV show.

And to make things even more difficult for Audrey, one of the show’s hosts, Gary, is an insufferable jerk and the bride a complete diva. Audrey soon finds herself regretting ever agreeing to be on the show.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

But when said jerky host dies, Audrey finds herself worried about more than flowers, as she has to figure out who the murderer is, before he can strike again. Especially as her ex-boyfriend is looking to be the one to hang for the crime.

While said ex was a complete jerk and moron, Audrey can’t stand to see him wrongly imprisoned. So she starts researching into the people surrounding the case and discovers that there is much more about these characters than meets the eye. Before Gary joined the show he was an investigative journalist who made many enemies. As Audrey tries to whittle down the suspects, she finds her love life also in turmoil, as she has to choose between the budding baker romance, or an old flame.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I really enjoyed this mystery, more than the first one as it was far more challenging. It not only had a great twist, but continued that small-town Southern charm introduced in the first book.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next novel in this series.

For more Bridal Bouquet Shop mysteries, go to Bloom and Doom

For more mysteries involving weddings, go to A Scandal in Bohemia

For more Southern mysteries, go to Death by Darjeeling

For more mystery reviews, go to This Pen for Hire

Miss Polly Had a Dolly

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Miss Polly Had a Dolly (Emma Frost #2) by Willow Rose

Thoughts Before Reading:

This was the first of the Emma Frost mysteries I ever read. While I enjoyed it, it is not for the faint of heart. Rose can write a strong story, but she can go way out there and deep down dark.

The format of these mysteries has to do with two to three story lines, that all connect at the end and provide the solution to the mystery. One has to do with the people involved or victims of the mystery; and the other Emma Frost and her family.

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So this title comes from the nursery rhyme, Miss Polly Had a Dolly.

Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.
So she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick.
The doctor came with his bag and his hat
And he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.
He looked at the dolly and he shook his head
And he said “Miss Polly, put her straight to bed!”
He wrote on a paper for some pills, pills, pills
“I’ll be back in the morning with my bill, bill, bill.”

The story begins in 1997 with Miss Polly and her little girl Nina. Six-year-old Nina is a beautiful blonde child, perfect. Her mother loves to dress her up like a doll and implements all kinds of rules to make sure she stays “perfect”.

This day Nina is not happy going to the park in her frou frou dress. She doesn’t like wearing them and wants to dress in pants like the other normal children but her mom won’t let her.

They are at the park and Nina is having a horrible time when she sees an ice cream truck. She goes up to it and is convinced to get inside. And when she is inside, there is no ice-cream.

In modern times of 2013, Emma Frost is at the signing of her newest book Itsy Bitsy Spider, all about the cannibal serial killer who turned out to be related to Emma. (I don’t want to spoil everything so check out my review, or read it yourself).

Life for Emma is going well as all is normal (although a few people are angry about the story coming out). Her father though has a surprise for her, a new girlfriend, Helle.

Meanwhile, the island of Fanø has been picked as the next place for the TV program, Shooting Star, the Danish version of American Idol or the X Factor. The host is Patrick an eccentric, out there type of guy. While he is a prima donna-interesting and stylish; he is also a serial killer, sewing doll bows into his kills. And he has just found his newest victim.

Emma is having a hard time coming to term with her father’s new girlfriend, Helle, who owns a doll shop. Even though her mother left a long time ago and she knows that they won’t get back together, it feels weird to her having him date. What makes it even more awkward, is when Emma asks Helle about her family, it turns out that her daughter went missing years ago. She was a beautiful blonde six-year old, playing at the park and said to have wandered off into the ocean.

Hmm…

Back in 1997, Miss Polly was distracted by a another parent talking to her. She finally is able to cut the conversation short, but her daughter is gone! She searches everywhere, but all she can find is her daughter’s dolly, Miss Jasmine.

In 2o13, Emma and Sophie are excited for Shooting Star. Two of Sophie’s kids are going to try out for the show, while Emma’s daughter Maya has been given permission to hang out around the set.

Meanwhile, Josephine Glydenstjerne, blonde, beautiful, and six years old; daughter of the Count and Countess of Denmark has finally managed to sneak away from her governess to go past the park to the beach. There she meets a lady with a dog. Besides the dog, the lady has a doll named Miss Jasmine. She invites Josephine to come to her place to see her other dolls that she makes, and Josephine decides to go.

Uh-oh

Back in 1997, Nina is thrown into a brothel. She has been caught up in a prostitution ring that takes blonde, beautiful children from Denmark and sends them to Eastern Europe to where they are in high demand. She lives her life there, depressed and confused thinking she was given up by her mother.  But when a friend is murdered in a sex act; Nina kills the man and decides to get out; making anyone who stands in her way pay for it. She grows to enjoy killing as it gives her power and control.

In 2013, Emma discovers that numerous blonde, six-year old children have disappeared from the ’90s- late 2000s. Most people thought they just wandered off to the ocean and drowned., but Emma can’t help wondering if there might be something else to it?

Meanwhile in her hacking, she discovers that the police are searching for the “Bowtie Serial Killer”. They believe the killer to be connected with the show, Shooting Stars, as the killings occur in areas where the show is taking auditions. Whether crew or a crazy fan, they are searching into who it could be.

I wonder…

Josephine has found herself in a Buffalo Bill-esque situation. Although instead of wanting her skin to make a suit, the lady who kidnapped her wants to use her to make a doll and add it to her collection.

Emma sets out to try and figure out who the killer is and whether it might be connected to the missing children. However, she unwittingly allows her daughter to attend the Shooting Star tryouts on her own. Maya just barely manages to miss being a bow tie victim the fist time, but then is invited backstage the next night for a close encounter with Patrick.

Nooo!

Patrick goes to Helle’s doll shop and attacks her, but is interrupted just in time. When they take Helle to the hospital, Emma knows she is connected to the mystery, but which one? Could she be the missing link that ties the disappearing girls and the bow tie killer? But then Helle lost her own child?

I wonder…

How does it connect? How will it end? Read to find out.

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Thoughts After Reading:

This book is probably the best written of her books in this series. There were a lot of twists and turns, and every time you think you had it figured out there was a new surprise.

Some parts were a little more graphic then I would like but that seems to be how Scandinavians like to write.

And not only was it a talented psychological thriller, but it also had a political agenda. I had never heard of the slave trade in Europe other than those who try to emigrate to America. But in here, Rose brings your attention to the sex slave trade throughout Europe, a very sad thing that more people need to pay attention to and try to change.

For more Emma Frost mysteries, go to The Itsy Bitsy Spider

For more mysteries with a serial killer, go to The Final Seven

For more characters fighting to save people from sex slavery, go to A Most Peculiar Circumstance

For more mysteries, go to Whistling in the Dark

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

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The Itsy Bitsy Spider (An Emma Frost Mystery #1) by Willow Rose

So I was first introduced to Willow Rose when I was checking out the site BookBub, and saw the book Miss Polly Had a Dolly (An Emma Frost Mystery #2) was on sale for free.

FREE!

It sounded good, although I have to admit when I read Emma Frost the first thing that popped in my head was the X-Men character. Even though this is not how Emma is described I am unable to get this image out of my head when reading.

So Willow Rose is a Danish writer, and not to rude or mean or anything (I’m part Danish myself), but I’ve noticed that Scandinavian writers tend to go real, real, dark in their writing. Something that won’t be for everyone.

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Synopsis:

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again

So the book begins with a flashback. A women, Astrid, is stuck in a bunker. She’s not mentally all there, emotionally abused by her mother, and all around disliked by everyone and herself. This makes her the perfect mark with a guy who pushes for more than just hanging out. Astrid is sixteen and has fallen for Christian, but is now pregnant and trapped underground.

Flash-forward to present day. So Emma Frost is a journalist, divorced, and mother of two. Her grandmother (father’s mother), who she has only met once has just died and left Emma her house on Fanø Island. Emma decides the change of pace will be good for them and three move, at the great displeasure of Emma’s father.

It is a cute little island that depends on tourism. A sweet and nice place to live. Emma picks up the keys to the house from the police officer Dan Toft and remarks how nice it will be to leave in a small-town place.

“You must not have much crime here on the island. Must be kind of nice, right?.”

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Famous last words

You notice that always happens. It is a nice quiet community; someone moves there or moves back and the next thing you know bodies are dropping and they are investigating.

Her daughter Maya feels the same as her grandfather, but Victor is pleased. Victor is Emma’s youngest and suffers from the doctors don’t quite know what. Some say aspergers, some autism, some say he just needs attention; all she knows is that he has some mental issues and she needs to do all she can to try to keep him on a schedule. He doesn’t like touching, not being in his room, likes trees, etc.

Meanwhile, a woman down the way has just been murdered. Attracted by the sirens, Emma tries to look into it, not receiving much; turns to a trick taught by an old boyfriend; hacking.

When she looks into the police reports, she discovers that the woman just wasn’t murdered; her heart and liver were also cut out. We are dealing with a cannibal.

Back in 1977, Astrid is pregnant but living okay in the bunker. Every so many months she runs out of the supplies and her captor delivers more. She also gives her magazines and information on being pregnant. Astrid goes through the whole 9 months and deliverers on her own. She gives birth to a boy she names Sebastian.

I have a baby!

Back in the present, Emma meets some neighbors, Sophia and Jack. She gets the lowdown on the island and discovers there is a church that controls the society on the island; once you are in you never can leave. Only a few manage to get out.

I’m scared.

Irene Justesen is the Danish Jane Fonda, known as the Queen of Fitness throughout the country. She is thought of as a success story as she started out poor but built a powerful company. However, she has lost most to her drinking; and can’t enjoy the wealth and success as she traded it for her daughter.

One night after she has been leading an exercise class, the killer comes for her. She tries to bribe the killer, but nothing works. He kills her, harvests her organs, and shoves a sweatband into her mouth after her death.

Victor is crying out in his sleep about spiders. Emma tries to calm him down, but all he will say is :

“Spider,’ he said. ‘Watch for the spider!”

Now I read up to book six in this series, before I started this blog and circled back to review. One thing I’ve noticed that they haven’t explained is that whatever Victor’s condition is, it gives him some type of ESP. He is able to give warnings and everything he says helps Emma and the police in solving this crimes.

Victor wants to sleep in Emma’s room; something strange and unlike him. When Emma asks him why, he tells her someone died in his room.

WHAT!

Meanwhile, Emma and Sophia have grown to be very good friends. They visit every week and it turns out that Sophia has a new boyfriend and is pregnant with her sixth child (all have different fathers.)

Emma continues to do research and discovers that the people who were all killed belonged to the same church.

Then something odd happens, Victor becomes really sick as it turns out he has been attacked by spiders when he was out in the backyard.

Back in the ’70s, Astrid is celebrating Sebastian’s birthday. Astrid has been careful, but it appears she went either ate too much, calculated wrong, or that the captor forgot to bring them food. They are running out, and even with Astrid giving up her meals and giving them to Sebastian there will soon be nothing. Something needs to happen or else they will be dead.

As Astrid grows weaker and weirded out by her son’s fascination with spiders, she makes Sebastian promise that if the bunker was opened at anytime; for him to run and escape.

Pastor Gotredsen, the minster of the church that controls the island, is very unhappy with the news of Irene’s death. Not because he liked her, but because he knows what this means. They are killing all involved and the minister is next. However, his ego chooses to ignore this and continues believing that he is going to only come out on top.

We also discover that this minister does not truly believe in what he is supposed to be preaching, as he is practicing every sin he is supposed to be against, and the leader of a human trafficking group.

The killer of course comes for the minister, adding one more to his nightly meals.

Emma does some more hacking and discovers that once again the organs were removed and a number two was marked on a wall. They all had numbers on the wall. Counting down to what? Or who?

Emma goes into Victor’s room and removes everything from the walls. As she looks closer at sites of the repainting, she can see that there was a five painted there. Her grandma was killed by this psychopath.

Back in the ’80s, Astrid continues to grow weaker, wondering when the food is coming. Up above she hears the sound of a siren…

Back in the present Emma’s dad is coming to visit. He has been lonely without his family, as after his wife took off for Spain with her lover, all he had was Emma and the kids.

Flashback to the ’80s, and Astrid dies from starvation. Sebastian is the only one left and has only one option left to survive. His mom.

In the present, Emma goes to dinner with Sophia and her chef boyfriend. They are having a great night until they discover what the meal is. Organs. Very fancy-schmancy; but could they possibly be the minister’s organs?

Back in the ’80s, Sebastian  has been alone and scared; his only comfort his pet spiders. One day he hears a sound from the doorway, creak. It opens up and in walks a beautiful blonde girl. She says hello and asks him to play. Sebastian refuses, remembering his mother’s words and taking off in a run. Meanwhile the little girl’s father calls to her, “Emma, where are you?”

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Thoughts After Reading

I thought this was a pretty good mystery. It was suspenseful, kept you guessing and had an intense resolution.

***Spoilers***

So a couple of things, how did Officer Dan pass his psych evaluation? He’s totally a psychopath.

Emma does one stupid thing over and over; she just goes off without telling anyone where she is going.

And how creepy that ending. Your half-brother was trying to rape his nephew, kill his sister, and kill his father. I would be utterly creeped out to see that I has an insane brother like that.

I felt so bad for the father. Impregnated a much younger girl knowing you took advantage of her age ad mental state; but then trying to do the right thing but it turns out your mom and her cronies locked her up in a bunker and lied saying she left. And then your sons tries to rape your grandson, kill his sister, and murder you! He’s gonna need a lot of therapy. That whole family will.

For more mysteries with investigative reporters, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more mysteries with psychics, go to The Final Seven

For more BookBub books, go to The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

For more mysteries, go to Apple Turnover Murder

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

Ready for the last Christmas mystery of this holiday season?

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Here we go!

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

A Most Peculiar Circumstance (Ladies of Distinction #2) by Jen Turano

In the last book we followed Lady Eliza Sumner as she disguised herself and tried to track down the people who stole her fortune. She ended up getting help where she least expected it from Agatha Watson, Zayne Beckett and his brother Hamilton.

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In this book we focus on Miss Arabella Beckett, Hamilton and Zayne’s sister. Arabella is a suffragette and travels all over America speaking and attending rallies, trying to bring awareness and change.

 She was on her way to such a rally when she splits ways from her traveling companion and heads off on her own. She comes upon a woman who is distraught over her daughter, Alice James, who ran away to be a mail order bride and Arabella promises to track her down.

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Unwittingly, Arabella stumbles into a sex slavery ring as Miss James’ letter was just a ploy. Arabella saves Miss James, but also finds herself causing the two to be jailed in a serious misunderstanding.

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A strange, but tall, dark, and handsome man comes for her.

It turns out to be private investigator, Theodore Wilder.

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Theodore was sent by Hamilton as he wanted his sister at the wedding and their mother, Gloria, was extremely worried about her.

After conferring with the police, Theodore manages to release the ladies, returning Alice to her home in Chicago and taking Arabella to New York.gotthis

The travel and bicker the whole way: Arabella trying to convince Theodore women’s suffrage is the way to go and Theodore trying to get Arabella to talk about anything else.

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When they returns home, Mrs. Beckett sets her sights on setting the two up, but then Theodore opens his mouth about his views on what women should do and they realize that this will not be a perfect match.

Theodore goes back to do some investigating into the situation and discovers that not only have all the suspects fled, but the law as well.

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Convinced  that the slavery people are after Arabella, and that it goes deeper into law enforcement Theodore sends people to watch and help, even though she doesn’t like it. He too, starts spending a lot of time with her to try and keep her safe, and in the process starts falling for her, and she him. But will their way of thinking keep them apart? Or can they compromise?

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Arabella is not one to stand on the sidelines and just let life happen, so she decides to do some research on her own and she desires to help women, especially prostitutes as she just had a glimpse into that world.

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Agatha hears about something going down on the docks, with ten prostitutes disappearing in a week. She decides this is perfect for a story, as she now works for the newspaper, although under an assumed name.

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She goes to her friend in the theater for costumes as she, Arabella, and Katherine Gibson (Theodore’s sister); as they prepare to out to the docks to pretend to be “women of the night” and get the scoop. Unfortunately, this ends with them jailed again, well for Katherine it is a first time.

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Meanwhile, it grows closer to Christmas and Theodore is more and more worried about the slavery ring and Arabella. He takes her to his grandfather’s place in the country to keep her and the other girls, the prostitutes, safe.

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But even there they aren’t safe. It turns out that not only are the slavery people after Arabella, there is even a more worse psychopath who wants her for his truly terrible Christmas Eve plans. Will they be able to save her in time? Or will this be a very unmerry Christmas?

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was pretty good. There were definite romantic fiction clichés, but the story was fun and so were the characters.

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It had some great twists and turns,

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But the end did copy Psycho a bit to much.

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I thought it wasn’t as good as the first book in the series. but is still a great companion piece and something I don’t mind reading again and again.

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For more on Ladies of Distinction novels, go to A Change of Fortune

For more Christmas mysteries, go to Murder Well Done

For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Witch Hunter’s Tale

For more undercover reporters, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more reviews, go to Plum Pudding Murder

Murder Well Done

Ready for another Christmas mystery?

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Let’s get started!

MurderWellDone

Murder Well-Done (Hemlock Falls #4) by Claudia Bishop

Thoughts Before Reading:

So after A Pinch of Poison, I didn’t really want to read another Hemlock Falls Mystery. But as I started it, I have to finish it!

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Plot Synopsis:

So since the last book there has been a lot of upheaval in Hemlock Falls. A lot of incumbents were pushed out of office, such as the justice Howie Murchison and the Sheriff Myles McHale. Their sheriff is the newcomer, none know, Frank Dorset; and the justice is Bernie Bristol a retired Xerox engineer from nearby Rochester.

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The town’s committee has been destroyed as the men and women of the town are fighting. So instead they have split into the all-male organization, S.O. A. P. Search for Our Authentic Primitive; and the all-female organization, H.O.W The Hemlock Organization for Women.

This is bad.

This is bad.

In the midst of this they are also hosting the wedding party, bachelorette party, bachelor party, wedding rehearsal, and wedding reception of ex-senator, embezzler, and criminal Al Santini and his fiancé Claire McIntosh, daughter of the rich plumbing king and mafioso on Christmas Eve.

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Al and Claire have caused issue after issue; changing the size of the wedding party, menu, etc. Besides that Santini’s attitude towards women and Claire’s constant whining is so annoying the Quilliam sisters regret ever agreeing to have them be here.

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And add to that Nora Cahill, investigative reporter, who is trying to get info on Santini and/or get a good story on the town.

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Then  it turns out Evan Blight is coming to stay at Hemlock Falls. He is the author of a book about going back to primitive ways and man power that has the Hemlock Falls men up in arms and started their organization.

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And then Claire’s crazy and intense grandmother, Tutti McIntosh arrives at the Inn. She believes she is a psychic and says that there will be three knocks and then death.

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But things start getting really weird when it turns out that the Sheriff and mayor have installed a secret camera in town to increase tickets and revenue.

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Quill gets caught with it, and Santini is the prosecuting attorney who is controlling the justice and sheriff and giving her a trumped up charge.

What?

And she has to spend the day in jail!

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When Santini comes to let her out on his “benevolence”, with Nora Cahill; Quill becomes so angry she smacks both in the face with her muddy boots.

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 But then Nora turns up dead!

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And the creepy, sexual harassing sheriff puts Quill in jail for it.

Aw...that sucks

Aw…that sucks

Quill goes to sleep but is woken up when she overhears Dorset trying to blackmail someone. It doesn’t go well as whoever was supposed to pay up, kills him instead and unlocks the cell, trying to frame Quill for murder.

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Quill has to solve this case before she gets put on trial for multiple homicide!

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Thoughts After Reading:

As I said before, I wasn’t really wanting to read any more in this series, but I’m glad I did as I loved it.

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I mean at first it wasn’t very good, and there were all these things that were silly or so different it felt like I was missing a book!

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However, as I continued reading it got better and better, making me read faster and faster to find out who the murderer could be.

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For more Hemlock Falls Mysteries, go to A Pinch of Poison

 For more Christmas mysteries, go to Plum Pudding Murder

For more wedding themed mysteries, go to Snagged

For more investigative reporters, go to The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder (Nellie Bly #1) by Carol McCleary

So this is a historical fiction mystery, with the main character being based on the real life reporter Nellie Bly.

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The year is 1889. The place, Paris France;  the capital of Europe. Paris is hosting the World’s Fair, having unveiled the Eiffel Tower, (at the time thought ugly but then became a permanent part of the skyline and one of the biggest tourist destinations.)

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But while people are celebrating man’s accomplishments, a serial killer stalks the area and a plague is striking Parisians by the thousands.

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Nellie Bly is convinced that both the killings and the epidemic are connected. She travels down to Paris to hunt this killer, “The Alchemist” as she calls him.

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Along her search, she enlists the help of Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde, and Louis Pasteur.

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Thoughts after Reading:

I bought this book a couple of years ago as the synopsis intrigued me. Historical fiction, mystery, some of my favorite literary writers. I thought it would be like Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery, but this book was horrible.

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I know it is supposed to be in the Victorian era, but having your main character be cold and emotionless isn’t endearing to the reader. It was horrible to get into and boring. I need my character to have character.

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Not only was Nelly bland, but she seemed so out of tune with her time period, not that she was from the future or past, but just as if she didn’t belong.

Not-Good

For me it fell flat.

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For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Harlot’s Tale

For more books featuring investigative reporters, go to A Change of Fortune

A Change of Fortune

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A Change of Fortune (Ladies of Distinction #1) by Jen Turano

We were first introduced to Lady Eliza Sumner in Gentlemen of Her Dreams as she attends a dinner banquet. This book, however, is her story.

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When Lady Eliza Sumner lost her father, fiancé, fortune, and faith; she decided she would track down the criminal who stole her wealth and make him pay.

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Pretending to be a governess, and hiding what she looks like with a disguise, she prepares to use this to infiltrate high society and catch the thief.

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Mr. Hamilton Beckett is a widower with two children, and also the “catch of the season”. He doesn’t wish to be constantly paraded in front of single women as they all hope to catch his fortune.

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However, he and Eliza cross paths when she is asked to participate in a banquet when a guest is unable to.

Hamilton finds himself going along with Eliza as he is after the same guy. Eliza doesn’t enjoy this as she doesn’t want his help, nor her employer’s daughter, Agatha. Agatha wants to be a newspaper reporter and is insistent on using her investigative skills to catch this thief.

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At first Eliza is intent on not trusting anyone, but when all try to help her and show their care for her; she starts wondering if maybe her plans aren’t the ones she needs to follow after all, maybe God has something better in mind.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I had read Gentlemen of Her Dreams and was not impressed. It was mostly the storyline of Gidget, just in historical fiction.

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However, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were a lot of fun and interesting.

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There were some really funny scenes when the girls are trying to break into the thief’s house, only to discover that the Beckett brothers are doing the same thing.

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It was a great read, I highly recommend it.

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For more historical fiction, go to The Italian Wife

For more investigative reporters, go to The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

For more reviews, go to No Limits

The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Yes I don’t usually post on Sundays, but as I just had the perfect book for this holiday I decided that I would post early.

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The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre (A Hatter’s Cove Gazette #1) by Elisabeth Crabtree

So I got this book off BookBub for free, and as anyone knows who uses the site, it’s kinda hit ot miss. Sometimes the free books you get are fantastic, and others rotters. I really loved this character and the story. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

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The Review:

Kat Archer is an investigative reporter.

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She was working in Miami at a newspaper, but after ten years began to get nostalgic. She decided to move back to her hometown of Hatter’s Cove, FL.

When she was 16 she interned at the Hatter’s Cove Gazette and had a major crush on one of the reporters, Hayden. Of course, as he was five years older, nothing happened between them.

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When Kat returned, she discovered that Hayden now owns the Gazette, but sadly it is in dire straits. It appears that someone else has opened up a newspaper in the town, and took almost all the reporters that worked ay the Gazette.

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While Kat was luckily able to get a job on the paper right away, she was unluckily given the Lifestyles section instead of the hard-hitting, investigative work she really wants. In the last three months she has covered every dog show, cat stories, bird expos, and reviewing the town’s restaurants.

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Sounds kind if sweet, huh? The cushy restaurant reviewer’s job? Well, Kat hates it. Apparently no one in her town that owns a restaurant can cook, causing her to get food poisoning, stale food, etc.

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The rest of the team is Rosie, sports extraordinaire and sports writer; Beatrice, cantankerous and a grumpity grump that does the crossword puzzle and other stories; and Simon, the new intern.

Today is Valentines Day, and Kat’s old family friend, Miss Dolly, has just switched from catering to opening up her own store: Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium. She especially asked for Kat, and how can she refuse.

Aw, how cute.

Aw, how cute.

She heads out, taking Simon along with her.

At the opening, Kat and Simon run into Evan, a reporter that jumped from the Gazette to the new newspaper, The Herald. He thinks he is God’s gift to women, and wants to date Kat. She is definitely a no on that.

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Then Benny comes, Simon’s nemesis, and starts taunting him again. This opening is raring to go.

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Dolly kicks Benny out as she can’t stand him after he messed up her catering business.

See ya!

See ya!

Dolly opens and the whole town seems to come, including Tiffany Wallace. Tiffany is a convicted killer.

What?

Six years ago on her 18th birthday, she killed her father, and she’s out now because her charge was knocked down from murder to manslaughter. Apparently she killed her father because he didn’t approve of her wanting to marry Benny Yates. He threatened to cut her off. It sucks for her, as she killed her father, she didn’t inherit any of his money.

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Vivian Wallace, Tiffany’s stepmother, is also there. She and Dolly had been in the catering business together, but Vivian made a mess of the fiance and the business closed, along with their friendship. Dolly went on and continued to thrive as she had talent, she also married Rich Fairchild, ex golf pro. Vivian’s business was utterly destroyed, but she managed to bag the wealthiest man in town.

Later that night Kat is planning on spending Valentine’s Day alone; but gets a call about some great information. Kat decides to follow the instructions and meet. When she arrives on the scene she finds Benny’s dead body…

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Right next to a bag of Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium bag. Later to be revealed as full of poisoned cookies.

Why was Benny calling Kat? What information did he have? And who killed him? Kat is on the case!

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Thoughts after reading:

I loved it.

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The mystery was great! I I thought I knew what was coming, but then that twist got right in there and showed me that there was still a bit I did not catch.

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I also really, really want Officer Luke and Kat to get together.

Please!

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For more mysteries featuring investigative reporters, go to the Thorns of Rosewood

For more reviews, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit