The Missing Housewife

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The Missing Housewife (Steven Wade Mystery #2) by Iris Wynne

When a women long believed dead is spotted in China by an old friend on holiday, it opens a real can of worms. If she is indeed the woman believed murdered, than her drug dealer has been falsely imprisoned and there is a dead body who’s identity still needs to be discovered.

With the sister of the accused pushing for involvement to free her brother, and the family of the “deceased” wanting the dead to remain dead, it turns out to be a real muddle.

With such uncertainty there is only one thing to do, hire someone who can look into the matter: a private investigator Steve Wade.

On the case!

Since Wade solved the case of “the missing mah jongg player”, he has become a hot commodity and is asked to check out the case. But is the deceased, Patricia, really alive, or is it just a look-a-like in China? And if she isn’t dead, who died in her place? Did the drug dealer murder this Jane Doe, or was it someone else?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, The Missing Mah Jongg Player, which gave me high expectations for the sequel. Wynne didn’t disappoint with a cleverly crafted mystery that takes murder into mistaken identity and even further into assassins and a cover up.

We also have a return of the characters we enjoyed from the first novel; such as the intelligent, imaginative, analytical, and methodical Steve Wade; Candy the stripper turned private investigator, who is still coming to terms with her insecurities and the shadow of the past; and sweet Sarah, Steve’s secretary, who finally gains confidence and the ability to assert herself.

The only problem I had with this novel was that the secondary characters were not as well done as in the first book. In The Missing Mah Jongg Player, the other mah jongg players created a more personal connection to our missing person causing the viewer to see her as a person rather than a “victim”. Their different personalities also balanced well with Wade’s logical approach.

All of you

In this book our new cast of characters were interesting and developed, but not as fun or colorful as in the first.

On a whole I enjoyed this novel and give it a four out of five stars.

For more Steven Wade Mysteries, go to The Missing Mah Jongg Player

For more novels centering around a disappearance, go to The Sign of the Four

For more mysteries with private investigators, go to C is for Corpse

For more mystery reviews, go to Triple Six

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A Dark and Stormy Knit

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A Dark and Stormy Knit (A Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #6) by Anne Canadeo

Since Silence of the Llamas, there have been a few changes with the Black Sheep Knitting Group. Valentine’s Day is looming and Maggie is deciding on what classes to teach. Phoebe has finally left Josh, as he hasn’t been treating her right for a while. And even though every citizen voted against it, the mayor has instituted meters in the downtown business area. All the merchants hate it, but are just as stuck as the tourists and shoppers.

Hate this.

Hate this.

But Maggie gets a surprise that morning when she finds all the meters covered in knitted kitty covers.  Yep the Knit Kat Graffiti Artists, (knitting protest artwork group) has struck again.

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Charlotte, Phoebe’s new artist friend from college, starts hanging out. Let’s hope this friendship doesn’t go south like Crystal in Knit, Purl, Die

HMMM

In fact Phoebe has become such great friends, they all go to the art gallery to see Charlotte’s work.

Double double yay

The group also decide to knit things for a homeless shelter to honor Valentine’s Day.

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The day of the art show, the whole gang head out to the college. They meet some professors, but then Charlotte gets a text from Quentin, her ex who won’t take no for an answer.

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She tries to flee, when Quentin comes crashing in. The girls try to help her, but Quentin comes through, knocking Phoebe out of the way.

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After that, no one knows where Charlotte is. They talk to the security guards, give statements; but then as they search everywhere they can’t find her.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

The next day Phoebe goes to Charlotte’s apartment to check on her and see if she is there. But then, finds a dead body.

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They call the police and start thinking that mybe it was the Knit Kat group. Charlotte was a member and Phoebe found her dead body covered in yarn, almost like some kind of a statement.

suspicious Hmm

After the cops look more into the murder, they discover that Phoebe was wrong. That isn’t Charlotte’s dead body but Beth Shelton, some one who looks like Charlotte from behind.

What?

So who killed her? Someone after Charlotte? Or Charlotte herself?

suspense

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So I didn’t really like this one as much as the other books.

horrible

Charlotte and the other characters were too new and didn’t have enough background as to who they were.

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Plus this mystery was extremely easy to solve.

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I think out of all the books in the series this one and A Stitch Before Dying are the weakest and the least interesting. Hopefully the next book will be better, I’m looking forward to it.

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more books with mistaken identity, go to Grime and Punishment

For more mystery reviews, go to Fool Moon

Grime and Punishment

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Grime and Punishment (Jane Jeffry #1) by Jill Churchill

Thoughts Before Reading:

So the first book I read in this series was From Here to Paternity. I got it for free from the library and hated it (more on that later). For some strange reason I thought I would give the first book a go to see if it was good, and when I read it, I loved it!

As you might have guessed, all the books in the series are reworking of famous films/literature. This one is of Crime and Punishment.

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The story is that widowed Jane Jeffry is doing a great job raising her kids. She has hidden from them the real reason dad was out that night when a car crashed into him, is there for her kids in carpooling, cooking, cleaning, supporting; but even supermoms need a little help.

seriously

She’s supported by her husbands life insurance and interests, letting her be a stay at home mom, and she can even afford a cleaning lady to come in. When her usual person retires, she and her best friend Shelley, the next-door-neighbor, manage to score the best cleaning lady in the neighborhood.

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On the day of the new cleaning lady’s fist day, it is also one of Shelley’s legendary PTA parties. Fed up with people always bringing the same thing, no main courses, and at least one poorly done meal, she now assigns each mother a specific dish, one they can drop off early in the day so everything is ready to go at meeting time. Everyone is used to this and Shelley just leaves her door open as she trusts her neighbors and the cleaning lady will be there.

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That day Jane stops by early to see Shelley, and finds out that their new cleaning lady called in sick. Replaced this morning by another cleaner, who from far away and behind, looks just like her.

weird

Jane and Shelley visit, when Jane realizes she forgot to make her dish. She helps some other ladies drop off food, cleans up from the morning, runs around doing errands and finding ingredients. When she has everything completed, she goes to drop off the salad, happy to have made it under the wire. When she gets home she gets a call from Shelley. It turns out the cleaning lady is dead

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The police come and start the investigation, one sexy detective paying Jane a lot of attention. In fact they all pay her a lot of attention, thinking she is highly suspect in the cleaning lady’s murder.

Murder

It soon is figured out that the murder meant to kill the original cleaning lady, Edith, rather than the replacement. It turns out Edith is very nosy, and her urge to snoop has netted her something big, and a death wish.

Jane is on the case to figure out who the killer is and clean up her neighborhood. Hopefully she can sweep up the answers before she is the next victim.

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Thoughts After Reading:

In some ways it was very similar to Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, the cleaning woman is nosy and discovers a real tidbit, being murdered for it; but in other ways it is very enjoyable. I loved it so much I had a hard time putting it down, eager to discover which suburbanite is the murderer and what really happened the night Jane’s husband died.

I encourage you to read it as it was fantastic. Yes:

cluelesstravistwothumbsup!

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For more mystery reviews, go to A Stitch Before Dying