Bless Her Little Dead Heart – Miranda James

5/5 Annoying Family Members

Originally published on Goodreads on December 15, 2014.

On The Back:

With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne’er-do-well adult children not far behind.

Rosabelle’s selfish offspring are desperate to discover what’s in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance. Suddenly caught up in a deadly tangle of duplicitous suspects and deep-fried motives, it will take all of the sisters’ Southern charm to catch a decidedly ill-mannered killer…

My Thoughts:

What a great start to a series. I loved this book and if James’ other books are anything like this one then I’ll soon be a huge fan.

I loved the the two main characters, Dickce and An’gel, I loved their perspective from an older persona and I loved their sense of humor. I also loved Benjy, I really hope we see more of him as the series progresses.

The setting left a little to be desired, though. I felt that the bottom floor and the garage apartment of the house were very well described, yet the second and third floors and the outside of the house were barely described.

I loved that the main characters rarely left the house, it added a sense of foreboding to the whole mystery and it had a And Then There Were None feel to it.

Another downpoint, however, was the fact that some characters didn’t seem scared that they were in the same house with a murderer. Most of the characters just seemed to accept it and go on, when I felt that if this really happened people would freak out.

Overall a great start to a new series and an amazing book. I hope James will continue this series.

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Meow If It’s Murder – T.C. Lotempio

2/5 Loaves of Bread

On The Back:

Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…

Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.

My Thoughts:

I must say, I had high expectation going into this book, but I was let down. It could be because it’s the first book of a series, but it really didn’t do anything for me.

To start off, the beginning of this book automatically had me hating the protagonist, Nora. She was rude and unlikable, who knows why Nick decided to live wit her after her rudeness to him at the beginning. The detective she meets with also strikes me as rude and arrogant, though both characters slowly become better, it takes awhile.

Another downfall was the inconsistency in the voice of the author throughout the book. Some of the things that Nora thinks sharply contradicts how the rest of the books are portrayed, and the protagonist’s internal thoughts weren’t very well developed, in my eyes.

There was good parts in this book, however. Most of the supporting characters, along with Nick, were very likeable. I fell in love with them. The plot itself was also great, tying many different things into one mystery.

Overall an okay book, not what I had expected but I still may pick up the next book, if another one comes out.

Off Kilter – Hannah Reed

5/5 grazing sheep

Originally published on Goodreads on December 02, 2014.

On the Back:

After the recent death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, thirty-something Eden Elliott is seriously in need of a fresh start. At the urging of her best friend, bestselling author Ami Pederson, Eden decides to embark on an open-ended trip to the picturesque village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands, to do some hands-on research for a book of her own. But almost as soon as Eden arrives in the quaint town, she gets caught up in a very real drama…

The town’s sheep shearer is found murdered—clipped with his own shears—and the locals suspect Vicki MacBride, an outsider whose father’s recent death left her the surprise heir to his lucrative sheep farm. Eden refuses to believe the affable heiress is a murderer, but can she prove that someone is out to frame her new friend before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror?

My Thoughts:

At first I was worried, as I always am, to start a new series, but this book was simply astounding. Hannah Reed not only made believable characters but she made me feel like I was in Scotland along with the heroine. The mystery was perfect, I had an inkling of who it was going to be but had no clue as to why that person killed the victim until the end of the book. Another positive point for me was the fact that unlike other mysteries the “love-interests” in this book overall created a very minor theme, most of the book was dedicated to the mystery and setting the stage for the mystery. Overall an enjoyable experience and I will definitely be looking out for more in this series!

The Whole Cat and Caboodle – Sofie Ryan

4/5 Teacup Herb Gardens

Originally published on Goodreads on December 22, 2014

On the Back:

Sarah Grayson is the happy proprietor of Second Chance, a charming shop in the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. At the shop, she sells used items that she has lovingly refurbished and repurposed. But her favorite pet project so far has been adopting a stray cat she names Elvis.

Elvis has seen nine lives—and then some. The big black cat with a scar across his nose turned up at a local bar when the band was playing the King of Rock and Roll’s music and hopped in Sarah’s truck. Since then, he’s been her constant companion and the furry favorite of everyone who comes into the store.

But when Sarah’s elderly friend Maddie is found with the body of a dead man in her garden, the kindly old lady becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Even Sarah’s old high school flame, investigator Nick Elliot, seems convinced that Maddie was up to no good. So it’s up to Sarah and Elvis to clear her friend’s name and make sure the real murderer doesn’t get a second chance.

My Thoughts:

What a great beginning to a new series! Sophie Ryan created a wonderful setting and group of characters that is sure to become a favorite of many people. I loved the vivid detail she used when describing the setting and characters, and I loved the way the mystery fit. I guessed the killer a bit before the end and I felt the end was a bit rushed (hence the 4 star rating) but overall this was a quick, light read.

I loved the main characters, especially Rose, Liz, and Charlotte. They all seemed real, I could picture my grandma doing somthing like they did. I also liked Mac, he was a strong, caring character that I hope we see more of in the next books.

The setting was wonderful I wish I could go to Second Chance and pick up a mini herb garden or a tub chair. I loved “vibes” that the town gave off throughout the author’s writings.

However, I felt that the ending was very rushed, one second Sarah says she had a plan and the next the murderer is caught. I felt that the story would’ve benefited from a slightly longer ending to explain more. I did, however, love the very end after the killer had been caught. I felt that it left a great opening for more books without leaving a cliffhanger.

Overall a great start to a new series and I hope that I’ll be going back to North Harbor soon!

Knit One, Kill Two – Maggie Sefton

5/5 Balls of Yarn

Originally published on Goodreads on December 24, 2014.

From the Back:

Despite the fact that her aunt was an expert knitter, Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair knitting needles she liked — until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt’s murder. — Kelly Flynn would be the first to admit her life in Washington, D.C., is a little on the dull side. But coming back to Colorado for her beloved aunt’s funeral wasn’t the kind of excitement she was seeking. The police are convinced that her Aunt Helen’s death was the result of a burglary gone bad, but for the accountant in Kelly, things just aren’t adding up. After all, why would her sensible, sixty-eight-year-old aunt borrow $20,000 just days before her death? With the help of the knitting regulars at House of Lambspun, Kelly’s about to get a few lessons in cranking out a sumptuously colored scarf — and in luring a killer out of hiding…

My Thoughts:

I admit, at first I was wary of reading this book, I’m not into knitting or anything like that, but I must say that I was completely wrong. This book was a quick, fast read that kept me wanting more.

The assorted cast of characters were entertaining and left me laughing out loud at times. I loved the fact that the victims weren’t hated, in fact, they were loved by most people, which was a nice twist on the typical mystery. The murder was a great mystery, filled with twists and turns, and in the end the killer genuinely surprised me.

The setting was also wonderfully described. I could clearly picture the town of Fort Connor and the knitting shop.

Overall a pleasant, quick read, that I would easily recommend!