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Fluffy Coffee

Clouds in My Coffee Book Cover Clouds in My Coffee
Julie Mulhern
Fiction
Henery Press
May 10, 2016
256

"Mulhern's lively, witty sequel to The Deep End finds Kansas City, Mo., socialite Ellison Russell reluctantly attending a high school football game...There she stumbles on a dying teenage boy covered in blood, who asks that she tell his girlfriend that he loves her. Ellison determines to learn the girlfriend's identity and deliver the message, plus find the boy's killer...If that's not enough for one day, an unknown man turns up shot to death in her garden. Cozy fans will eagerly await Ellison's further adventures." - Publishers Weekly on Guaranteed to BleedWhen Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors' party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she's shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again? Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee...

A gentle cosy but lots of fun murder – attempted and accidental and bungled – mystery set amongst tyhe gentility of the Southern gentry. Country Club members all.

The calm surface of life in 1974 hiding a seething roiling boil of jealousy, infidelity, kinks, blackmail and much more with hidden emotions and sniping and snarking. Especially amongst the women. Who had little else to do as with housekeepers, cooks, nannies and cleaners, their time was spent on nails, hair and being bitchy at the club. Sly writing style shows this set off to their worst….

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And the snow piles up

Snow Country Lane Book Cover Snow Country Lane
Tim McAndrews Prosecutor
Sarah Vail
mysteries, suspense, crime thriller
Archway
March 2, 2020
378

Tim McAndrews has been through a lot. Still a top prosecutor in Seattle, his near-perfect case record has been unjustly tarnished by a self-defense shooting. Because of it, he fears his career as an assistant district attorney is doomed to go nowhere. It's not all bad, though. Legendary FBI Profiler, Elias Cain has offered Tim a job with his team. As he weighs his options for the future, Tim is fortified by the fact that he saved his wife and lover, the beautiful Daniela St. Clair, from death. Tim takes a much-needed ski vacation with his wife and best friends to the Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. When a young girl is abducted in front of the resort, Tim is drawn into the intrigue. This girl isn't the only child in danger. Once the police finish their investigation, he will be assigned the prosecution's case where two six-year-old twin boys were abducted and murdered. Rainbow-colored duct tape Tim finds in the snow may be the one clue that ties these kidnappings together. Tim's vacation is put on hold when his friend, Elias Cain, negotiates with the Seattle DA to loan Tim to his profiling team for the kidnapping investigation. As their research unfolds, Tim and his friends realize that they are chasing down a child trafficking ring that's like an octopus with tentacles reaching everywhere. To take down this monster, Tim might have to put his life on the line-again.

When I started reading this book, I hadn’t realised that it was book 2 in a series about Tim McAndrew. But actually it didn’t matter. It stood alone well and the author drew out the character of Tim so that his background was well explained. And that of Daniela too.

In this novel the suspense is well carried forward. Just how many children have been abducted? and what for? Your suspicions are well founded when the twin boys are dropped off outside the hospital’s doors. But who is doing this? And why? And why doesn’t the profile, the FBI have drawn up seem to apply?

Profiling is an art as well as a science it seems and Tim understands both even though he hasn’t yet been formally trained and his emotions are well expressed.

I was invested in the kidnappings and the chases and whether the children would be safe and whether Tim would catch his man. The writing was concise and well expressed and kept you wondering. As the reader you knew of some of the story that Tim didn’t but not enough to guess who the real villains were – but I did have suspicions which proved correct.

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Sea Side Sea Shore

The Body on the shore: Book Cover The Body on the shore:
DCI Craig Gillard #2
Nick Louth
Crime Fiction, police procedurals, mystery
Canelo
September 3, 2018
330

A killer is at work in the commuter belt. DCI Gillard needs answers, fast... Promising architect Peter Young is shot dead at his desk. DCI Craig Gillard is quickly on the scene, looking at what appears to be a brutal and highly professional hit. Two weeks later, on the Lincolnshire coast, another body is found on a windswept beach. The man cannot be identified, but sports a curious brand, burned into his neck. Gillard is plunged into a case without answers, finding himself up against dark and mysterious forces. This time lives are on the line, children's lives - and his own. Written at breakneck pace with a jaw-dropping twist you won’t see coming, The Body on the Shore is perfect for fans of Robert Bryndza and Mark Billingham.

Louth is always a 4 star read with plenty of twists and turns in his stories. Well plotted. 
DCI Craig Gillard continues to impress as a well drawn character. 
Looking forward to Book 5 in April.

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Where did she go?

The Vanished Bride Book Cover The Vanished Bride
Bella Ellis
Female sleuths, historical fiction, bisexual erotic fiction
Hodder & Stoughton
November 7, 2019
352

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered. The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

The idea of this book is great, but somehow, for me, the execution didn’t work. I found the Bronte girls 2 dimensional and the gypsy too stereotypical.

I didn’t manage to finish the book.

There is one good statement however, one which many of these historical genre novels emphasise, that women were considered property and thus the authorities – who were all men, and of which there few enough, were not bothered to investigate fully, if at all. Detectives were just coming in in London at this time and not further afield.

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Rural Indiana has fun?

Baby Daddy Mystery Book Cover Baby Daddy Mystery
Shady Hoosier Detective Agency Series, Book 2
Daisy Pettles
Hot Pants Press, LLC
(30 Nov. 2018)

It's spring in Pawpaw County, Indiana. Everyone has a bad case of hanky-panky pants. Senior sleuths Ruby Jane (RJ) Waskom and Veenie Goens are on the run, chasing down cheating heart jezebels and shaking child support out of deadbeat baby daddies. Love takes a peculiar turn when a prominent local dentist turns up dead, dressed like a scarecrow, on the porch of his father's mistress’s home in Hound Holler. When a gigged body floats up at the White River Boat and Gun Club, Sassy Smith, senior cougar, is arrested for the murder. RJ bemoans that no one in Pawpaw County can keep their pants on or their skirts down as her grown daughter, Joyce, begs for help chasing down her philandering husband. The romantic mysteries come to a surprise head as the senior sleuths outrun shotgun showers to close in on the answers at the Moon Glo Motor Lodge, the Original Home of Hillbilly Hanky Panky. Veenie and RJ have to buy an extra case of Bengay and a buttload of BBs just to keep up with the romantic misadventures in this humorous crime classic.

In HillBilly country there is nothing to do – it seems – but to have sex – with everyone and sometimes anything that comes along. And as the local population is limited and stable, and they can’t be bothered to travel far for entertainment, genes are very limited and very shared! Which is so not a good thing. Everyone is related to everyone else, whether they know it or not.

I enjoyed the storyline of older PIs basically investigating through gossip – which was very easy to entertain. Secrets were very hard to keep in this very inbred community.

And the eccentricities of life in rural Indiana were fascinating, as was the language and what they were prepared to eat. A diet very lacking in fruit, fish and vegetables it seems.

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