Broken Heart Attack, James J. Cudney

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Title: Broken Heart Attack

Author: James J. Cudney ( Jay from This is My Truth Now)\

Pages: 272

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book two of the Braxton Campus Mysteries.

Published:  November 25th, 2018

Summary:

Braxton Hall is gearing up for the drama of the year- and I don’t just mean their production of King Lear!  Kellen is still getting used to being back home and working under a woman that obviously hates him and his family.  Emma has finally come down to be with him and he loves having his little girl, but she was delivered with a lot of unanswerable questions.  There are things in his past that could affect the future- and not all of them are willing to stay put in the past.  Then there’s Nana D- it isn’t enough that the outspoken senior is running for mayor, she also wants Kellen involved in the life of one of her friends Gwen.  The two are sure that there’s something fishy going on- Gwen’s family is trying to kill her!  Before he even has time to process this news, she’s dead and Nana D wants him on the case- regardless of the fact that he reminds everyone he isn’t a detective.  Could someone have seriously harmed an old woman, and why?  Suspects- and motives- abound, but can Kellen solve the mystery before his past catches up to him or the sheriff strangles him?

My thoughts:

           I could have sworn I did this review a week ago- sorry guys!  I read this a bit ago and loved it.  It has the great dialogue and character development I loved from the first one, and we are slowly watching each character grow.  Kellen is an interesting character, and I love watching him with Nana D and Emma.  The plot of this one was interesting and the book had a nice flow to it.  It’s one of those quick, fun reads that make me love this genre.  You know the ones- you find yourself turning page after page long after you should be asleep simply because you aren’t ready to let go.  Even with the weighty topics here (there has, after all, been a murder), there’s a good dose of sass and sarcasm I love.  I can easily see this as being a series that I will be reaching for often- I am already praying there’s a book three in the making, and you can bet I will be pre-ordering it.  For me this is a five star book- I highly recommend it.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content side, there’s some language and violence but it’s fairly tame.  I think that’s one of the things I loved about this one- like Ellery Adam’s books, Cudney doesn’t rely on sexual drama or shock value to sell books.  There’s romantic interest, but it’s not hyped up or thrown all over the place (this is an issue I often have with Janet Evanovich’s books and why I am still on the fence about the new Stephanie Plum book).  I would give this one a two.  General.svg

The book is out!  Have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

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The Whispered Word, Ellery Adams

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Title: The Whispered Word

Author: Ellery Adams

Pages: 244

Genre:  Cozy mystery

Is this book part of a series?  Yes, book #2 of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society.

Published:  November 27th, 2018

Summary:

          The town of Miracle Springs is still reeling from previous drama (book #1) and an economic slump.  When two newcomers drift in with a business that sells your stuff on the internet for you, it seems like a godsend.  Can the owners of Virtual Genie be trusted, though? 

Then there’s the matter of the young woman Nora found in her bookstore.  Abilene showed up one day dressed in a too-big house dress, flip-flops and a hospital ID band.  She can cook, create gorgeous displays and appraise jewelry and watches- what she can’t do is work more than the most basic technology or tell the girls where she came from.  They all have pasts, and they want to help this woman without asking too many questions.  She’s quickly accepted into Nora’s bookstore and Hester’s bakery, along with Virtual Genie, and is even able to rent out a studio apartment.  When the groups’ help, there’s every hope that her days on the run from her past are over.

But the death of a townswoman put that all aside.  Can they really trust the newcomers that come in just as one of their own dies?  When Amanda Fry’s son breezes into town to claim his mother’s book collection, there’s some drama and he, too ends up dead.  Can Nora and the girls figure out who the killer is and protect the town that has become their own?

My Thoughts:

              I loved this book!  The Secret, Book and Scone Society left me with an enormous author-crush.  I devoured as many of Adam’s books as I could get my hands on while waiting for this release.  In deed, every year I allow myself 10 must-have-or-I’ll-die books.  This one was on that list.  I love the characters: Nora, June, Estella and Hester.  They are so very different but their common thread- painful pasts- have brought them together.  These aren’t victims, they are strong resilient women that have seen things and are learning to deal with life, and to trust people, again.  Add Nora’s love of books and the quotes throughout the story and I am hooked.  I loved that I got to see the women grow here, and learned more about Hester.  I also really liked the time spent on other characters in the community and our new additions.  I felt like the character Abilene was done well.  The plot was really good and the writing had a nice even flow.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Five stars all the way!  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, there’s some language, light sexual content and violence.  I would give it a four.  Parental Guidance  I would still give it to my niece, but she’s sixteen now.

The book is out- have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

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Hope Never Dies, Andrew Shaffer

 

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Title: Hope Never Dies

Author: Andrew Shaffer

Pages: 304

Genre: mystery (slightly old time noir, slightly campy, all cozy), humor

Is this part of a series?  Lord…. I wish.  This seems to be a standalone novel but it has to be said…. I would buy book 2 *winks at Shaffer*

Published:  July 10th, 2018

Summary:

       We seem to poke fun at the things we love…. and the author loves the bromance between Obama and Biden.  Six months after the election finds the former vice president at loose ends and slightly salty about it.  He misses his BFF who seems to be doing fine without him.  When Obama’s appearance coincides with awful news- a friend of Joe’s has died suspiciously- it’s time for the two buddies to fall into a new role… amateur detectives!  Escaping the Secret Service, breaking into seedy hotels and engaging in a standoff against a biker gang…. it’s nothing the duo can’t handle, right?

My thoughts:

       First- this is a spoof.  It’s meant for fun and the characters aren’t necessarily perfect representations of their real life counterparts.  You can’t take this too seriously- that isn’t what this book is for.  It’s for those that loved the memes.  Or those that just need a good laugh.  It’s a great cozy mystery that kept me guessing, with great characters and a lot of witty dialogue.  I adored it!

I loved the portrayal of Biden- so loyal and caring.  Feeling his age but not wanting to give in to it.  Obama- the super-cool bro who just wants to help his friend and doesn’t know how to bridge the distance between them.  The relationship between them was really interesting.  For me, this is a five star book.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, there’s some language and violence.  Nothing too out there.  I give it a four.General.svg

Have you read the book?  What did you think?

Link to book:

Amazon

Kobo

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The Cats Came Back, Sofie Kelly

 

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Title: The Cats Came Back

Author: Sofie Kelly

Pages: 336

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book 10 of the Magical Cats Mystery series.

Publish Date: September 4th, 2018

Summary:

         The magical cats are back with their beloved librarian-owner Kathleen.  Their town is busy these days, getting ready for Roma’s wedding as well as the town’s music festival.  When a close friend and look-alike of one of the cabaret singers for the festival turns up dead, everyone is looking to Kathleen for answers- forget that it’s her boyfriend that’s the detective.  

Can Kathleen help solve this crime with the help of her sleuthing scamps without putting herself or her relationship in danger?

My thoughts:

           I love these stories!  This is a great cozy mystery series.  The characters are interesting and well developed, and I love how they interact with one another.  Owen and Hercules, the magical cats, are a great addition (due to where they came from each has a unique ability; Owen can turn invisible and Hercules can go through walls).  Each book in the series gives me a little more development with the characters as they continue to grow throughout.  I like that.

            A fast paced book with a good story line, this is just a good, fun read.  I give it a four.  I cannot wait for more!  normal star rating normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

        On the adult content scale, I wouldn’t rate it too high.  There is some language and violence, but as always it’s pretty tame.  I would let my niece read these.  Let’s give it a three.  General.svg

I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks!  first to read

The book comes out 9-4-18!  Are you ready?

Link to book:

Amazon  

Happy Reading,

Amber

Killer Characters, Ellery Adams

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Title:  Killer Characters

Author: Ellery Adams

Pages: 274

Is this part of a series?  Yes.  Book #8 of the Books By the Bay series.  It’s worth noting, also, that this is the end of the series.

Published:  May 2nd, 2017

Summary:

Laurel has spread herself thin for months.  Between her career and the boys she is also helping to care for Steve’s terminally ill mother.  When it comes to light that Steve was having an affair with Rachel’s Hospice nurse, Laurel looses it.  An impassioned threat, told in the heat of the moment, comes back to haunt her.

Stacy, the nurse in question is dead.  Who has more of a motive than the spurned wife?  Other evidence comes to light and Rawlings has no choice but to take his friend in.  To keep her friend safe Olivia will use every friend and resource at her disposal to find the real killer.  The deeper the writer’s dig, though, the crazier it becomes.  Missing jewelry, a theft ring, spurned lovers….. we go from having one suspect in a murder to a slew.  Can the crew put everything in order before it’s too late?

My thoughts:

You know that feeling, deep in your chest when you know you’re saying goodbye to characters and you just aren’t ready?  That’s how I feel.  I wasn’t ready for this series to end.  I want to see Millay flourish as an author.  I want to read more of the series she’s writing even if I only got snippets.  I want to read the stories Olivia is writing, and see Harris.  I loved this series- there was so much character growth and the description of Oyster Bay felt like home.

This particular book was harder for me.  Because of Laurel’s arrest the writers are torn between Rawlings and Harris who work for the police and can’t be involved, and Olivia and Millay both of which are going a little crazy.  It was hard to see them hurting, especially Rawlings.  I love that character.  Strong and understanding, he tried to power through an awful case while placating his wife and trying to be there for his friend without showing favoritism in front of the department.

I am a little torn up about this one.  For one, I hate Steve now more than ever and I kind of wish Laurel was harder on him.  One of the writers will fall, which we haven’t seen since book one.  I hated that.  Looking at the reviews I think a lot of people felt this one took too dark a turn; but it was still a fantastic read.  It simply wasn’t as quick nor as light as the others.  The series always dealt with heavy subjects and got a bit dark…. but they never left me feeling heavy until now.  In spite of…. or maybe because of… that, this is a five star book for me.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating\

On the adult content scale, there’s a lot of language and some violence.  I give it a four.  General.svg

The book is out, have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

Happy Reading,

Amber

 

Writing All Wrongs, Ellery Adams

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Title: Writing All Wrongs

Author: Ellery Adams

Pages:  274

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book #7 of the Books By the Bay series.

Published:  November 3rd, 2015

Summary:

Olivia and Rawlings are going on their Honey Moon as only they can.  A few days of peace, and then the other Writers are coming to the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival.  There will be story telling, walks, and above all the famous Silas Black from No Quarter.  Every one wants to talk to the writer and producer, and Harris is more than a bit star struck.

They soon find that crime doesn’t do holidays.  Someone wants Silas- and his plans for the coast- gone.  They begin by little things that bring the ghost stories to life.  Killing a white dear, igniting a ship.  But as time goes by, the stakes get higher.  A woman close to Black is drowned in a stolen dress.  When a friend is fingered for the crimes it is up to Olivia and the gang to make sure that the right man goes down.

My thoughts:

I love Rawlings, and I feel like he really had a great role here- not just as Olivia’s partner (who else would be able to work through her issues?) but as an assistant to the local police.  Each of the characters grew a lot, and I loved watching them as I always do.  I think that’s one of the things I love in this series, each character is different than how they began.  Olivia is softer, more caring.  Harris is more self assured, less afraid to be his genius self.  Laurel is learning how to balance family with her own ambitions.  Millay is a PUBLISHED WRITER!  I feel like I got to watch all of that happening through these seven books and that brought me closer to the characters.
This specific book was fantastic.  I loved the premise- Olivia and Rawlings not only going to a crime festival on their honeymoon but inviting the crew?  Who else would do that?  The book had a really good flow and the writing was gorgeous as always.  As a little gift we were given some of the lore of the area mixed into the story.  I do like that every book has a little extra something.  For me, this was a five star book.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale I give it a four.  There’s language, violence, and mild sexual content- mostly just conversations about it and innuendo.  Nothing over the top, which I rather like about this series.  General.svg

The book is out, have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

Happy Reading,

Amber

Lethal Letters, Ellery Adams

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Title: Lethal Letters

Author: Ellery Adams

Pages: 304

Genre: Cozy mystery

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book #6 of the Books by the Bay series.

Published:  November 4th, 2017

Summary:

With two weddings and a garden party for the Historical Society to plan, the town is buzzing.  A family trip to the beach leads Olivia and her niece Caitlyn found the body of a young woman on the beach.  Ruthie Holcomb led a sad life- taking on work to help her mother and having to meet with her best friend in private because their family didn’t approve.  Yet she was strong and artistic…. who could have wanted to harm her.

At the same time Michel is at a wedding venue with Olivia when men working on a remodel unearth a time capsule in the wall.  When the priest leaves them to grab Bellemy Drummond, head of the Historical Society, Olivia can’t resist one tiny peak.

On the grand unveiling, though, there’s a piece from the capsule missing.  Why?  Who would want to hide something?

Add to all this, Laurel in on a heavy case about drugs in Oyster Bay- how they are getting in and who is involved.  Things are heating up, and she just might have enough to make a strong story, and give the police the evidence they need.

Things are moving quickly for the writers as they move forward with their lives, and try to help a girl who just lost her best friend move on with hers.

My thoughts:

I loved the differences between how Michel saw his wedding and Olivia.  I was very glad to see both relationships moving forward.  Harris is back from Texas, stronger, and with a new companion… so good for him!  I liked him and Millay but it just was not going to work long term.  She has some issues she isn’t addressing yet.  As far as Ruthie and Stella go, I felt really bad for them.  They were each other’s rock- someone they could dream with.  I loved their story and the letters.

Also, Olivia has started writing something new and it sounds amazing.  I mean, I would read this IRL.  I kind of want to, if I am being honest.  I think that’s one thing I adore about this series- the extra snippets into that character’s writing.  Millay’s story sounds amazing too and I like that we are watching both the joy and the stress of getting a deal.

The plot was great, and the book had a really good flow to it.  The characters continue to grow.  Honestly, what’s not to love here?  Five stars!!!!  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, there’s language and some violence.  Nothing too major.  I would give it a four.  General.svg

The book is out, have you read it?

Link to book:

Amazon

Happy Reading,

Amber