book review/Books/fiction/crime fiction
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How many dogs are there?

Double Dog Dare Book Cover Double Dog Dare
Davis Way Crime Caper
Gretchen Archer
Fiction, humour, literary fiction, cosy, mystery
Henery Press
March 20, 2018
274

Hot diggety dog, the fur is flying in USA TODAY bestselling author Gretchen Archer's latest. It's not just good, it's "Best in Show!" - Janet Evanovich Problem #1: Bootsy Howard Davis Way Cole lives a (relatively) quiet, (somewhat) simple, and (completely) witch-free life with her husband and twin daughters on the 29th floor of the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Until Bootsy Howard shows up demanding a million dollars. Problem #2: Princess Smucker What was marketing thinking when they booked the Southern Canine Association's annual dog show at the Bellissimo? And what was Davis thinking when she agreed to let a dog stay with her? For a week? In her home? The home where she lives a (fairly) quiet, (reasonably) simple, and (totally) manicotti-free life? Problem #3: Leverette Urleen, MD The last thing Davis needs is an unsolicited house call from Pine Apple, Alabama's latest excuse for a doctor. But since he's there, considering she has a dead body on ice, she might as well have him determine the cause of death. Which he doesn't. Nor is he any help finding the body when Davis loses it. On top of all that, he won't leave, further disrupting Davis's (more or less) quiet, (to a certain degree) simple, and (utterly) seersucker-free life. A life that's about to go to the dogs. Unless Davis can learn a few new tricks. Fast. Guaranteed woofs, the best thing since the bone, take Double Dog Dare for a walk and you're sure to unleash a treat. - - - - - - - - - - - - - DOUBLE DOG DARE by Gretchen Archer - A Henery Press Mystery. If you like one, you'll probably like them all.

A comic caper!

I ended reading this book with an ear-worm – from Vree’s prayers and hymns….! I also giggled my way through the last half of the book – as things got more and more ridiculous! I giggled with the story not against it.

This is book 7 in this series and even though I’v e not read any of the previous stories, I didn’t need to. I met and understood all the characters and their backgrounds as they appeared and interacted.

A fun, lively, humorous story. Not heavy reading but good for an afternoon sunning oneself on the beach or in the garden.

I want to read book 8 and see what these crazy gals get up to next!

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Don’t read – it’s gone

Read and Gone Book Cover Read and Gone
Haunted Library
Allison Brook
female sleuths, mystery, crime fiction
Crooked Lane Books
(27 Sept. 2018)

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier? The second charming Haunted Library mystery by Allison Brook, Read and Gone will be a delight for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Leslie Meier.

I thought that this book lacked both humour and pace.

I had hoped from the mention of a Haunted Library that it would be more ghostly and not less – this ghost was very tame – as were all the characters. I should have realised what ‘charming’ meant in the book’s description…

A book too cosy for me as I only managed 26% and got bored. Sorry Alison.

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Bones and yet more

Bones to Pick Book Cover Bones to Pick
Brie Hooker Mystery
Linda Lovely
Cosy, mystery, female sleuth, murder
Henery Press
(24 Oct. 2017)

Living on a farm with four hundred goats and a cantankerous carnivore isn’t among vegan chef Brie Hooker’s list of lifetime ambitions. But she can’t walk away from her Aunt Eva, who needs help operating her dairy.

Once she calls her aunt’s goat farm home, grisly discoveries offer ample inducements for Brie to employ her entire vocabulary of cheese-and-meat curses. The troubles begin when the farm’s pot-bellied pig unearths the skull of Eva’s husband, who disappeared years back. The sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva. He doesn’t reckon on Brie’s resolve to prove her aunt’s innocence. Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won’t stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve

Small towns are incestuous. And in the Southern USA have too many guns, too much testosterone meaning too much bad temper, and not mention greed.

Greed because there are few ways to make legitimate and ‘good’ living, and because laziness and greed are partners in crime. The easy way to make money is often preferred.

So here we find, with the local law enforcement barely trained and exhibiting the above characteristics, and often chose because of (family) relationships, we find the very first statement to be true.

Thus the law officers are liable to take short cuts and easy solutions.

A nicely written mystery, but I’m sorry, even as a vegetarian myself I wasn’t converted to being a vegan – how could you give up goat milk and cheese living on a goat farm? Never, if the recipes offered were samples – I did check out veganism after reading this book but again wasn’t converted. And the vegans I have known always seem to be less than healthy as it is very difficult to balance the nutrients.

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Cosy and Comfortable at the Cafe

Summer at the Cosy Cottage Cafe Book Cover Summer at the Cosy Cottage Cafe
A feel-good second-chance romance
Rachel Griffiths
romance, cosy, romantic comedy
Kindle

Allie Jones loves her cosy cottage café in the picturesque village of Heatherlea. She has her independence, two grown-up children and two cute cats. Life is settled and she thinks she's happy.

Author Chris Monroe has it all. Critical success, a luxurious London apartment, and the kind of jet-set lifestyle most people dream of. But something's missing.

When a family bereavement throws these two old friends together, they begin to question the true meaning of happiness.

Love is in the air, but do Allie and Chris have room in their hands-on lives for more than a summer fling?

As cosy and comfortable a read as the name implies, with a second chance romance that goes well. For a wet day, in front of the fire, with a warm blanket and a cat on your lap.

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An Xmas away from home

Evacuee's Christmas Book Cover Evacuee's Christmas
Katie King
Fiction. literature, historical, family sagas
HQ
19 Oct. 2017

 heart-warming story of friendship and family during the first Christmas of World War Two.

Autumn 1939 and London prepares to evacuate its young. In No 5 Jubilee Street, Bermondsey, ten-year-old Connie is determined to show her parents that she’s a brave girl and can look after her twin brother, Jessie. She won’t cry, not while anyone’s watching.

In the crisp Yorkshire Dales, Connie and Jessie are billeted to a rambling vicarage. Kindly but chaotic, Reverend Braithwaite is determined to keep his London charges on the straight and narrow, but the twins soon find adventures of their own. As autumn turns to winter, Connie’s dearest wish is that war will end and they will be home for Christmas. But this Christmas Eve there will be an unexpected arrival…

A timely reminder of how primitive maternal medicine was in the 1940s – and how costly before the NHS, and thus we have the reluctance to seek medical help even when clearly necessary.

I loved the fact that both sides – the Yorkshire people and the Londoners – thought that the other was speaking a foreign language. Such broad dialects have now largely disappeared and you rarely hear a true Cockney, let alone broad Yorkshire with its old English/Viking words being used.

Funnily enough, I have just read an article suggesting that there are some good words in English we can use that have gone out of fashion –  and another suggesting that we can br broaden our language by using some foreign words that have meanings in one word that take us several to try and describe! However, some of these words are very difficult to pronounce eg those from the Inuit language!

One thing that I hadn’t realised about WW2 was that the Govt had suggested – firmly – that all pets be euthanized, to save food of course.

I felt that the childrens’ behaviour as described was very believable, and overall found this a heart-warming, cosy story with a good possibility of follow-up books. After all, who wouldn’t want to know what happens about the abusive but absent husband and the doctor’s romance…

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