Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction

Kennie and the baddies

Fixin to Die Book Cover Fixin to Die
Kenni Lowry Mysteries
Tonya Kappes
cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), humorous murder mysteries, book club recommendations, amateur sleuth books, Southern humor, small town, paranormal mysteries.
Henery Press
17th March 2016

Kenni Lowry likes to think the zero crime rate in Cottonwood, Kentucky is due to her being sheriff, but she quickly discovers the ghost of her grandfather, the town’s previous sheriff, has been scaring off any would-be criminals since she was elected. When the town’s most beloved doctor is found murdered on the very same day as a jewelry store robbery, and a mysterious symbol ties the crime scenes together, Kenni must satisfy her hankerin’ for justice by nabbing the culprits. With the help of her poppa, a lone deputy, and an annoyingly cute, too-big-for-his-britches State Reserve officer, Kenni must solve both cases and prove to the whole town, and herself, that she’s worth her salt before time runs out.


So Kenni takes over her grandfather’s post as Sheriff in a ‘podunk’ town – Cottonwood, in Kentucky, after completing her law enforcement training and his death.

All is quiet for 2 years until Doc Walton is murdered.  There are just 2 doctors in town so the loss of one, one that has been around for many many years, is keenly felt.  Also keenly felt is the loss of a Deputy Sheriff and only the Gaoler to help out. Kenni calls in help from the State Reserve Office and Finn Vincent comes on the scene to assist.

And then there is a robbery in the jewellery store and maybe, just maybe a ghost.

A fun book, not too serious in details but lost of gossip flying around the various characters and their ‘clubs’.

I did find out a few things about eating in Kentucky.

There is something called a Chess Bar – which turns out to be made from yellow cake mix (I checked and this is likely to be a Victoria Sponge to us Brits), with a pecan crust and topped with a cream cheese filing. The recipes I looked up all used packaged ingredients!

And then there is the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich. This appears to be a variant of our Welsh Rarebit. An open faced sandwich with turkey and bacon covered with a mornay sauce – or grated cheese – and baked until crisp and brown.

And finally, it seems some people still play Euchre – which is a card game that was popular in the 18th and 19th century.


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Books/book review/fiction/Romance

What happens at Xmas is quite a Cracker

A Christmas Cracker Book Cover A Christmas Cracker
Trisha Ashley
romance, cozy, humour
Harper Collins

This Christmas is about to go off with a bang!

Things can’t possibly get worse for Tabby. Framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she suddenly finds herself without a job. Then to make matters worse, Tabby’s boyfriend dumps her and gives her cat away to a shelter.

But rescue comes in the form of kindly Mercy. A master of saving waifs and strays, Mercy wants Tabby to breathe new flair into her ailing cracker business. Together, they’ll save Marwood’s Magical Christmas Crackers.

But someone has other ideas. Mercy’s nephew Randal thinks Tabby’s a fraudster. Stubborn, difficult and very attractive, her future depends upon winning him round. But it’s that time of the year when miracles really can happen. Standing under the mistletoe, Tabby’s Christmas is set to be one that she will never forget . . .

This is in the cozy women's fiction romance genre - and well done indeed. It is not a suspense novel and there are no murders or supernatural happenings, but a lovely warm story of generosity.

The animals are fun but please please don't encourage people to feed the ducks bread. This is seriously bad for them. In fact a recent BBC blog said:

Experts warn that feeding ducks bread is not just bad for the bird's health - it can damage entire ecosystems, says Justin Parkinson.

Throwing crumbs of stale bread in a pond or river is a ritual of family days out dating back to at least the 19th Century. Ducks vie with geese, swans, moorhens, sometimes gulls, for their fill.

It's long been recognised that a bread-rich diet - particularly processed white bread - can cause wildfowl to become ill and, in some cases, deformed. Now conservationists are warning that undigested bread sinking and rotting can create wider havoc.

The Canal and River Trust says that it can encourage bacteria and algae which can poison other species as well as attracting vermin.

Rotting bread exacerbates naturally occurring surface algae - which can give off toxins damaging to fish populations and create a stench for humans - by releasing more nitrates and phosphates. It also denies sunlight to underwater plants. And the bread eaten by birds creates more faeces, which has the same effect.

The nutrients can also encourage filamentous algae, which grow upwards from the bottom in chains or threads. The algae can slow down river flows, further deadening the environment.

Now you might think that I am being rather picky here focusing in on just this one aspect but it annoys and upsets me to see people doing something that is going to harm animals when they think they are doing something good. Not good for the poor childrens' psyche at all.

I found that I wanted to keep reading the story as there several twists and turns, but no murders, no supernatural happenings, just a heart warming story,

I was pleased too that the Quaker attitudes to criminality and to their workers was highlighted as this is forgotten all too often now Cadbury's, Fry's and Rowntree's and the banks Barclays and Lloyds are no longer run by them. Perhaps we should look back at some of these principles and see just how far from them some of our current business leaders have gone - see Phillip Green for instance.

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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction

Disorder comes from Crafts?

Crafting Disorder Book Cover Crafting Disorder
Ponderosa Pines Cozy Mystery book 2
Regina Welling, Erin Lyn

Best friends Chloe LaRue and EV Torrence already have their hands full pursuing a blackmailer who is attempting to sabotage their beloved community of Ponderosa Pines. Now, with items mysteriously disappearing all over town, and their romantic relationships becoming increasingly complicated, the last thing they need is a rash of Yeti sightings. What’s really lurking in the Pines, and will either woman open up and let a man into her heart?


Ponderosa Pines was once a commune. It was set up by a small number of families to live in a light and eco-friendly way, living off the local land as far as possible.

No longer a commune it still has a small number of people who are the core of the community and whose families were part of the original settlement. As a result some of them are consulted before the local police or other authorities when strange things start happening around the town.

In this book the inhabitants are still trying to find the blackmailer from book 1 and thus if you haven’t read book 1 you can get confused. Then a strange series of thefts occur and someone sights a Yeti! Or a creature that somehow doesn’t look quite human.

This is an idealised backwoods community – there are lots of love tangle and eccentric characters. This is also the town you really wouldn’t want to live in as everyone knows everything about you.

Fairly standard cozy mystery with it all working out in the end and without too much strength of writing. An easy read.


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Books/book review/fiction/Romance/crime fiction

Vengeance is mine!

With a Vengeance Book Cover With a Vengeance
Zoe Chambers Mystery
Annette Dashofy
crime, thriller, suspense, cozy
Henery Press
May 3, 2016

"So polished, so intriguing, and so darn good." - Donnell Ann Bell, Bestselling Author of Buried Agendas

Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County's EMS and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders, Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines, but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends. At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun, a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty, placing herself--and Pete--firmly in the gunman's crosshairs.

So many people who could want vengeance. So many guns. So many people who were crack shots with said guns.

So the plot for this story has twists and turns as more people who cold want vengeance is this rural USA area, come to light, but the true killer is still not found.

This book is the 4th in a series but can still be read as a stand-alone. I hadn’t read the previous 3 book and found I could follow the plot and  story-line quite well.

A nice story on the cozy side of suspense and tension. You just know it will all end up happily (enough) for the two main characters.

Given for review by NetGalley.

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Books/book review/crime fiction

An Island and some (red) herrings

Murder on the Half Shell Book Cover Murder on the Half Shell
Shawn Reilly Simmons
February 23, 2016

This nicely woven drama once again gave us an insight into catering (what a hard job) while keeping me intrigued in a mystery with some twisty currents that was hard to put down. With a nice island flavor, a nice puzzling mystery and a great cast of characters, this was a very enjoyable read.” – Dru’s Book Musings “The writing is fun, quirky and engaging. The character development between the lead character and her love interest is well done and believable. This book has several of my favorite things at the forefront: movies, murder, and food prep.” – Goodreads Filming a movie on a sunny Florida beach may seem like working in paradise, but dealing with the brutal heat, a difficult director and a leading lady with a serious aversion to seafood makes for a challenging task for Penelope Sutherland and her Red Carpet Catering crew. After two girls go missing during a raucous beach party thrown by the movie's director, the cast and crew fall out of favor with the Andrea Island locals. When a flashy celebrity chef is accused of the crime, Penelope Sutherland steps in to help her former culinary school instructor find the truth. Surrounded by suspicious locals with a history all their own, Penelope uncovers clues from the past that reveal an undercurrent of evil amid the magnificent sandy beaches. Related subjects include: women sleuths, cozy mysteries, amateur sleuth books, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, culinary mysteries.

The second book in the series about Red Carpet Catering and Penelope.

Arlena is on set on a Florida island and Penelope is, of course, providing the movie catering services.

inexplicably, waitresses start to go missing and Penelope gets concerned and decides to find out what is going on. The waitresses are (rather) young local girls, best friends and Penelope feels responsible for them. And just what part in the mystery does her old culinary tutor play? And what part of his history back in the time of her college days is he hiding? And why? And is it relevant to the disappearance of these girls? Should she be suspicious of him? Or is he being set up?

As with good cozies there are the Miss Marple red herrings and twists that bring this out of the 3 star and into 3.5. I find it difficult to give a cozy a 4 star though.

ARC honest review for Henery Press via NetGalley

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