Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by @DavidAhernWriter ~ #CozyMystery with a #Paranormal Twist

Author: David Ahern

Published: April 2018 by Malin Press

Category: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal, Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Book Review

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

Derry O’Donnell aka Madam Tulip, society fortune teller, has a habit of getting herself into situations she would much prefer to avoid.

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A Clerical Error (The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries #3) by @newwrites 1930s #HistFic reviewed for #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: J New

Published: January 2018 by Phantom Press

Category: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal, Book Review

Ella Bridges faces her most challenging investigation so far when the vicar dies suddenly at the May Day Fete. But with evidence scarce and her personal life unravelling in ways she could never have imagined, she misses vital clues in the investigation. 

This is the third book in the cozy mystery series set in the 1930’s, featuring Ella Bridges and her ghost cat, Phantom. Ella’s life has taken a very unexpected turn. Having believed her husband, John, had died two years ago, she now knows that to be false after a telephone call out of the blue and a conversation with the Home Secretary. With the help of her Uncle Albert, Ella finally learns the truth about John and his activities. Her housekeeper, Mrs Shaw, also proves not to be who, or what, she had claimed. A visit with her Aunt Margaret goes someway to helping Ella to absorb the shocks, put her feelings of anger and distress in perspective and restore her composure.

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The Curse of Arundel Hall (The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries #2) by @newwrites ~ 1930’s #HistFic #FridayReads

Author: J. New

Published: January 2017 by Phantom Press

Category: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Book Review

One ghost, one murder, one hundred years apart. But are they connected? 

Ella has discovered a secret room in The Yellow Cottage, but with it comes a ghost. Who was she? And how did she die? Ella needs to find the answers before either of them can find peace. But suddenly things take a nasty turn for the worse. 

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An Accidental Murder (The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries Bk 1) by @newwrites #Paranormal Cozy #Mystery #FridayReads

Author: J. New

Published: March 2015 by Phantom Press

Category: Paranormal, Cozy Mystery, Historical Fiction, Book Review

Young widow, Isobella Bridges discovered and fell in love with The Yellow Cottage as a child. Many years later she returned to the Island, discovered it was for sale and bought it on a whim. Or so she thought. 

She had no idea at the time how much it would change her life, nor that it was yet to reveal all it’s secrets. Ones that even Ella couldn’t imagine.

Ella Bridges, a young widow whose husband’s death was surrounded in rather strange circumstances, has recently moved into her new home, known locally as The Yellow Cottage, on Linhay Island. She’d spent her childhood summer holidays on the island and during the time the family spent there Ella saw and fell in love with the cottage. A short prequel which can be obtained free by signing up to the author’s group delves deeper into Ella’s time spent holidaying on the island and how she came to buy the cottage.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ To Helen Back (A River Road Mystery #1) by @SuzMcBrideBooks #Audiobook #CozyMystery

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This week I’m revisiting To Helen Back, an audiobook narrated by Joyce Bean. It was released by Harper Audio in 2015.

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Cooking Up Crime by Harriet Steel @harrietsteel1 ~ available on @instafreebie ~ cozy crime meets sci-fi

Harriet Steel, author of the series of books featuring Shanti de Silva, set in 1930’s Ceylon, has a new book available through Instafreebie. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, all you need to do is sign up for Harriet’s newsletter and the book is yours.

Cooking Up Crime ~ cozy crime meets sci-fi in this light-hearted tale of revenge, reading and cakes.

Far ahead in the twenty-second century, libraries as we know them are a thing of the past. In this brave new world, they’ve been replaced by audio-visual pods that deliver a full sensory experience, so much safer that all those germ-ridden bundles of paper people used to read. But to the despair of Jane, who’s worked in a library for thirty years, some borrowers aren’t as grateful as they should be. Her dissatisfaction increases when glamorous Sarah is appointed manager over her head.  Surely, the job should have been Jane’s?  Then she discovers that Sarah has a dark secret. It’s payback time…

Offstage in Nuala (Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 3) by @harrietsteel1 #Historical Fiction set in Ceylon #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: Harriet Steel

Kindle Edition

Category: Historical Fiction, Cosy Mystery, Book Review

In this third instalment of The Inspector de Silva Mysteries, there’s great excitement when a professional theatre company comes to Nuala. However matters take a dark turn when the company’s actor manager is murdered. Inspector de Silva has a new case to solve and he has to consider some very unpalatable motives for the crime. He will need all his persistence, coupled with his wife, Jane’s, invaluable help to unmask the villain of the piece.

I’m enjoying this very entertaining and colourful series very much and it was lovely to get reacquainted with the engaging and genteel Inspector Shanti de Silva and his charming wife, Jane. Not to mention Sergeant Prasanna and Constable Nadar. De Silva met Jane in Colombo, where he began his career as a police officer, and Jane was a governess. When they married, De Silva was offered and accepted the position of Inspector in the much more pleasant and quieter small hill town of Nuala.

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The Betrayal (Guernsey Novels Book 6) by Anne Allen #BookReview for #RBRT @AnneAllen21 #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Anne Allen

Published: October 2017 by Sarnia Press

Category: Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Crime, Book Review

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…

1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return. 

1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.

A story set in two different time periods, beginning in 1940s Guernsey when Teresa Bichard has been persuaded to leave Guernsey with her baby daughter, due to the expected invasion by the German army. Her husband Leo, is staying to look after the business and valuable items belonging to the family.

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Murder at the Riverbend Retirement Resort by @StanSchatt #Cozy #MurderMystery #SundayBlogShare

  • Author: Stan Schatt
  • Published: July 2017 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
  • Category: Cozy Murder/Mystery, Book Review, Books, Reading

When a very disagreeable resident of the exclusive River Bend Retirement Resort is murdered, bestselling mystery writer Miriam Lipsky has to find the real killer to save her dear friend from prison. She finds the retirement home seethes with intrigue, passion, and jealousy. To make matters worse, it’s hard to distinguish what residents actually saw from what they imagined. 

A  50-something Jewish widow, living with her daughter Francine and Ben, her ten-year old autistic grandson, Miriam Lipsky can’t help feeling proud of her three published mystery novels. After her womanizing husband died, Miriam seized the opportunity for a fresh start and moved to River Bend, Arizona. Now, after seven years and with the help of a literary agent who believed in her, she had made the Amazon best seller list with her fictional detective, Romeo Winston. Continue reading

The Secrets of Villa Rosso by @LinnBHalton #Competition #TuesdayBookBlog @BrookCottageBks

Genre: Cosy mystery/romance

Release Date:21 July 2017

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

Book links ~ KoboAmazon UK | Amazon US

My Review

The story begins in the present as Ellie and Josh celebrate their nineteenth wedding anniversary. Her best friend and boss, Livvie, is hosting a party in their honour. When Ellie picks up Livvie’s ornamental crystal ball she sees a surreal image which gives her chills as she wonders what it signifies. Although it’s reputed to have belonged to a famous medium, no-one else has seen anything in the crystal and Livvie is sure it doesn’t work.  Continue reading

Dark Clouds Over Nuala by Harriet Steel #HistFic @harrietsteel1 #RBRT #FridayReads 1930s Ceylon

  • Author: Harriet Steel
  • Published: May 2017 by Stane Street Press
  • Category: Cozy Murder/Mystery, Historical Fiction, Book Review, Books, Reading

Set in Ceylon in the 1930s, this second book in the Inspector de Silva Mysteries offers another colourful, relaxing read as the arrival in the hill town of Nuala of the heir to an English earldom signals more trouble for the hapless Inspector de Silva and a new mystery to solve. Throw in a mega-rich Romanian count, his glamorous countess and an enigmatic British army officer and the scene is set for an entertaining mystery. 

Inspector Shanti de Silva and his English wife, Jane, were attending Nuala’s very fashionable horse racing event, the Empire Cup, along with the assistant government agent, Archie Clutterbuck and his wife, Florence. William and Lady Caroline Petrie, were also in attendance with visiting family. The Wynne-Talbots, Ralph and Helen, were on their way from Australia, via Ceylon, to England to visit Ralph’s grandfather. Ralph is in line for the title of the 14th Earl of Axford and as his grandfather is not in the best of health, it seems he may inherit the title sooner rather than later. Continue reading

Murder at the Bridge (Exham on Sea Mysteries 5) by @francesevesham #FridayReads #novella

  • Author: Frances Evesham
  • Published: June 2017 on Kindle
  • Category: Cozy Murder/Mystery, Book Review, Books, Reading

It’s summer, the sun’s shining, and Libby Forest is celebrating her son’s country wedding in Somerset, surrounded by friends. What could possibly go wrong?

Taking a moment to relax in the marquee after her son, Robert’s wedding to Sarah, Libby Forrest has a strange conversation with Belinda, the bride’s mother, which is interrupted by an unnerving man in a kaftan, causing Libby to prickle with discomfort and Belinda to make a hasty exit. Libby’s innate curiosity is aroused but before she could process her thoughts she is dismayed to hear an altercation break out over a supposedly stolen ring.  Continue reading

Still Waters (Sandhamn Murders Book 1) by Viveca Sten #Nordic #Crime #FridayReads

  • Audiobook Review
  • Author: Viveca Sten
  • Translation by Marlaine Delargy
  • Performed by Angela Dawe
  • Released: October 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Nordic, Murder, Mystery

On a hot July morning on Sweden’s idyllic vacation island of Sandhamn, a man takes his dog for a walk and makes a gruesome discovery: a body, tangled in fishing net, has washed ashore.

A great opening scene begins the story which is set on Sandhamn, a popular summer retreat and one of the islands in the Stockholm Archipelago. Inspector Thomas Andreasson, with the violent crime unit in Nacka Municipality, is called out to Sandhamn when a body washes up on the beach. The deceased man is eventually identified as Krister Berggren, who lived on the mainland and has been missing for quite a while. The death looks like an accident initially but when another body is found and turns out to be Krister’s cousin, Kicki Berggren, a murder investigation is launched.  Continue reading

Murder at the Cathedral (An Exham on Sea Mystery #4) by @FrancesEvesham #FridayReads #cozy murder/mystery

  • Author: Frances Evesham
  • Published: February 2016 by AinsleyAssociates
  • Category: Cozy Murder Mystery

The respectable ladies of the Knitters’ Guild plan a surprise for the cathedral city. The surprise isn’t meant to include murder…

Libby Forrest and her friend Angela Miles are enjoying coffee and a chat in Wells Cathedral café. Angela is a volunteer guide at the cathedral. They are unintentionally witnessing an argument between Libby’s lodger, Mandy and her boyfriend, Steve who is Angela’s nephew. As Mandy storms out Angela’s phone rings. There’s been a murder…..

Giles Temple, a historian, has been researching at the cathedral library and was found that morning by Dr Phillips, the librarian. Libby is determined not to involve herself in another investigation. She is busy organising her son’s wedding, her own business and her plans to set up a private investigation service with Max Ramshore. Not only that, she had found herself agreeing to marry Max as well and was getting cold feet about giving up her independence.  Continue reading

The Skeletons of Birkbury by @DianaJFebry #Murder #Mystery in the Cotswolds #FridayReads

  • 61etjg0qvilAuthor: Diana J Febry
  • Published: May 2012 by Wings ePress, Inc.
  • Category: Murder, Mystery
  • four-half-stars

Twenty years ago no connection was made between the disappearance of a girl from Cheltenham and a fatal car accident in the small village of Birkbury. But that changes when the body is found buried in Birkbury and there are two further car accidents and a local girl goes missing.

On the strength of reading and enjoying Who Killed Vivien Morse? a little while ago, I added The Skeletons of Birkbury, the first in the series and Diana J Febry’s debut novel, to my reading list. And I wasn’t disappointed. The setting, in a rural village location, was realistically described with the horse and farming community. A great mix of diverse and representational characters add to the appeal, from the ‘gentry’ to the older more civil, sometimes nosey, salt of the earth villagers, although they can appear quite uncooperative at times. Continue reading

Self-Serve Murder (Death by Cupcake #3) by D.E. Haggerty #RBRT #SundayBlogShare #CozyMystery @denaehaggerty

  • 32715636Author: D.E. Haggerty
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Cozy Murder/Mystery
  • four-stars

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer.

As well as being a grad student and working part time at the local youth centre, Kristie Larson helps out as a barista at Callie’s Cakes. When she finds herself in bed one morning with a man she doesn’t know, and soon realises is dead, dazed and shocked she calls her best friend Anna.  Kristie has no memory of the previous night, the man or how he ended up at her house, much less in her bed. She and her two friends, Callie and Anna, and their police detective boyfriends, Logan and Ben, begin to unravel the mystery and find out more than they bargained for.  Continue reading

Trouble In Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 1) by Harriet Steel #RBRT Set in 1930s Ceylon

  • 51jn2a-wpblAuthor: Harriet Steel
  • Published: August 2016 by Stane Street Press
  • Category: Mystery, Historical
  • four-stars

When Inspector Shanti de Silva moves with his English wife Jane to his new post in the sleepy hill town of Nuala he anticipates a more restful life than police work in the big city entails.

The story is set in 1930’s Ceylon when it was still a British colony.  Inspector Shanti de Silva has left the big, bustling city of Colombo behind with no regrets. He and his English wife, Jane, an ex governess, have settled in the much more peaceful town of Nuala where de Silva runs the local police station with the aid of Sergeant Prasanna and Constable Nadar. Continue reading

Murder on the Tor: A Cozy Murder/Mystery by @FrancesEvesham #bookreview for #RBRT #FridayReads

  • torAuthor: Frances Evesham
  • Published: May 2016 by AinsleyAssociates
  • Category: Cozy Murder Mystery
  • four-half-stars

A silent child, a necklace of amber beads, and a body on Glastonbury Tor add up to more cosy crime in the third Exham on Sea Mystery. 

If you’ve been following the Exham on Sea Mysteries you’ll know that Libby Forest always manages, however rashly, to be in the thick of the action. This story is no exception. About to walk up Glastonbury Tor with Bear, the huge Carpathian sheepdog, who now belongs to handsome and still secretive Max Ramshore. Before Libby and Bear could begin their walk a heavy mist falls, obscuring the Tor. As Bear disappears into the mist Libby hears a howl. Reluctantly following Bear she eventually breaks through the mist into bright sunshine and sees a young girl who disappears as Libby turns to speak to her. With a frightened Bear and an Amber necklace, which Libby finds in the muddy ground, she makes her way back down the Tor. Nearing the bottom of the hill, Libby sees Detective Sergeant Joe Ramshore, Max’s son, along with several other policemen. They’d had a call about a dead man on the Tor. Continue reading

Murder On The Levels ~ #CosyMystery by @ FrancesEvesham #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Murder on the levelsAuthor: Frances Evesham
  • Published: February 2016 by AinsleyAssociates
  • Category: Cosy Mystery
  • four-stars

Love cosy crime, murder mysteries, clever animals and chocolate? Don’t miss Murder on the Levels, the second Exham on Sea mystery, set in a seaside town in Somerset. 
Two cyclists die on the Somerset Levels, and the Exham bakery gets the blame. Libby Forest runs into danger as she sets out to solve the mystery, save the bakery and rescue her career, helped by Bear, the enormous Carpathian Sheepdog, Fuzzy, an aloof marmalade cat and the handsome, secretive Max Ramshore. 

Burnham on Sea LighthouseThe second book in this cozy mystery series set in the Somerset seaside town of Exham on Sea. Since helping to solve the murder of a local girl made good the year before, things have been pretty quiet for Libby Forest. That was all about to change. Libby and her goth lodger, Mandy, work for Frank at Wolf the Bread’s bakery and the cycling club have left their sandwiches in the bakery van. Frank asks Libby to take the packages out to the cyclists on the Somerset Levels.  Continue reading

To Helen Back ~ A River Road Mystery #1

  • ToHelenBackAudiobook
  • Author: Susan McBride
  • Performed by Joyce Bean
  • Released: October 2015 by Harper Audio
  • Category: Cozy Mystery
  • four-stars

In this fun and sassy new mystery, USA Today best-selling author Susan McBride introduces us to Helen Evans, a modern-day Miss Marple who must expose a murderer in a town full of suspects! 

When Milton Grone turns up dead in tiny River Bend, Illinois, nearly all the would-be suspects have the perfect alibi: attending Thursday night’s town meeting. And as Milton was hardly beloved, plenty of folks had a reason to do him in.

Though most of River Bend would rather reward the killer than hang him, Sheriff Biddle’s not about to let this one go – and neither is Helen Evans. With a penchant for puzzles and an ear for innuendo, Helen quickly fingers the culprit before Biddle puts the wrong suspect in jail.

Milton Grone is widely disliked, if not actively hated, by the residents of the small town of River Bend, Illinois. His treatment of ex-wife Delilah, and new, much younger wife Shotsie leaves a lot to be desired. He wants nothing to do with his and Delilah’s two sons and refuses to pay alimony. He’s miserly and penny-pinching despite being quite well off. Grone’s next door neighbour, Felicity Timmons, bears the brunt of his boorish behaviour and harassment. He’s also coming under fire from most of the residents for selling land, which was promised to the townspeople, to developers who want to build a water park. Continue reading

The Body On The T ~ Sergeant Windflower #2

  • BodyontheTAuthor: Mike Martin
  • Kindle Edition
  • Published: September 2013 by Baico Publishing
  • Category: Murder, Mystery
  • four-stars

The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.

Sergeant Winston Windflower’s peaceful days and straightforward police work ‘dodging moose and reckless teens’ comes to an end when an unidentified body is washed up on the shore of the interestingly named ’T’ near Grand Bank. As he and Corporal Eddie Tizzard begin their investigation it’s soon apparent the case is much more involved than first thought, especially when thousands of dollars are found sewn into the dead man’s jacket lining. And to make matters worse Windflower has to suspend one of his officers. On the plus side his relationship with Sheila from the Mug-Up café has progressed and they are a solid couple.

Windflower is recruited by Inspector Arsenault of Marystown for temporary special assignment to his drug task force team to stop a huge drug running operation. The situation is further complicated by the discovery of a second body which points to a continuation of the drug related crimes in the first book. Windflower leaves Tizzard in charge on Grand Bank while he works out of Marystown. If all that wasn’t enough Windflower has to divide his time in order to manage a critical situation in his personal life.

RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower had lived in this small Newfoundland community on the east coast of Canada for a little over three years. He had grown to like the rugged coastline and its hardy and sometimes quirky people who were reluctant to embrace outsiders. But Windflower had managed to win most of them over through his friendly form of community policing but even more so because he got things done. People still remembered him as the one who ended the criminal empire of Harvey Brenton and even though he was a Cree from Northern Alberta they had almost adopted him as one of their own.

There are several short references to the first book that only add to the story and don’t confuse or detract, if you haven’t already read The Walker on the Cape.

I like Windflower as a protagonist very much and although there was a little more mention of his native Cree culture and traditions I felt these could have played a bigger part, perhaps more so than knowing what he ate for every meal. I did enjoy the setting very much, and the vivid scenic descriptions of the area. Also the fact that Windflower is enjoying his job running the RCMP division in Grand Bank and has become an integral part of the community.

The narrative itself is very straightforward making for an easy read. The police procedural develops at steady pace, along the lines of a cozy mystery. I love the cover image, it looks like a photograph and makes me want to visit.

Book links ~ Amazon US Amazon UK