Owl Be Home for Christmas
October 22nd, 2019 by diane92345

Meg is helping her Grandfather run Owl Fest 2019 at the Caerphilly Inn at Christmas. When its 200 ornithologist guests are stranded by a snowstorm, one of the most cantankerous and least-loved professors is killed. Time for Meg to step in, with help of her extensive family, to solve the mystery in Owl Be Home for Christmas, the twenty-sixth entry in the Meg Langslow cozy mystery series.

I absolutely love this series. While this entry doesn’t involve the nuclear family dynamic as much as earlier entries, I still love returning to visit Meg’s crazy extended family. The new characters from ornithology were interesting. Each had a real personality and fit well into Meg’s humorous world. The mystery was solid and I enjoyed the twist at the end. Overall, Owl Be Home for Christmas is one of my personal favorites. 5 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Humor, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Read and Buried
October 16th, 2019 by diane92345

Read and Buried:
A Lighthouse Library Mystery
by Eva Gates

Character Guest Post

Into the Center of the Earth

By Lucy Richardson from the Lighthouse Library Series by Eva Gates

My employment contract says “other duties as assigned”.

I guess descending toward the center of the earth qualifies.  Although I’d rather it didn’t.

Let me explain. The Bodie Island Lighthouse, in which our library is situated is old and in need of repair.  After a lot of fund-raising (as described in Something Read Something Dead) the library community came up with the needed funds and work began.

Work was well underway and all progressing well when suddenly… it wasn’t.

Deep in the earth at the base of the lighthouse tower, the crew found a tin box.  Just a box (thank heavens they didn’t find a skeleton or old bones) but it is a potentially historical relic, after all it wasn’t put there yesterday.  So someone from the library had to go down and get it.

Bertie James, our director, refused outright. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her face quite that shade of pale. It seems she’s severely claustrophobic. Who knew?

In her panic. Bertie turned to the closest person, shoved the hard hat at her, and ordered her to descend into the pit in her place

That closest person just happened to be me.  Conscious of my interrupted performance review, I reluctantly did as I’d been asked. It wasn’t too awful. I didn’t care for the sense of the earth closing around me, but Zack went ahead of me and we didn’t have too far to go.  We got the box and carried it up.  Now we’ll all troop into the library to open it and see what we have. It might be quite exciting. We don’t know if the box was deliberately buried there or someone dropped it and didn’t care enough to go in after it.

I only hope whatever it is it doesn’t lead to another murder at the Lighthouse Library.

Don’t forget to read my review of this book here and enter the giveaway for one signed hardcover copy of Read and Buried below!

About Read and Buried


Read and Buried: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 15, 2019)
Hardcover: 325 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643852337
ISBN-13: 978-1643852331
Digital ASIN: B07P9MQV3F

Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can’t crack its code, she may end up read and buried.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library’s foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.

The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library–the map and the coded page are missing.

Lucy’s nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing Jeremy–or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she’s forced to do what she vowed not to do–get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.

About Eva Gates

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 7 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

October 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Sapphyria’s Books

October 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

October 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 9 – eBook Addicts – RECIPE POST

October 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

October 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

October 10 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

October 11 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

October 11 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

October 12 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 14 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 15 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 15 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 16 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 17 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW

October 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

October 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 18 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 18 – Reading Authors – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Book Tour, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Read and Buried
October 15th, 2019 by diane92345

“Don’t worry. I promise to stay completely out of it this time.” are the last words spoken by Assistant Librarian Lucy in Read and Buried before she gets involved up to her neck in the mystery and murder.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library is being renovated to shore up its crumbling foundation. Workmen find an old tin box buried under the lighthouse. In it is an old, but unimportant, fishwife’s diary. Hidden within the diary’s pages is a map and a coded legend to decipher the map. Before anyone can solve the puzzle, a break-in occurs, the map and legend are stolen, and someone is killed in the library.

In Read and Buried, there are two mysteries. Who killed the victim and why? Plus where or to what does the coded map lead? Is there a connection between the library’s book club book, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and the coded map?

I love the Lighthouse Library mysteries. The characters are like friends and family now. I read each book to catch up on their lives. The mysteries in this book were especially challenging. There were many red herrings in plain sight but the real perpetrator can be found with enough investigative skill. Overall, an excellent addition to an excellent series. I’m already looking forward to the next one. 5 stars!

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review. Stay tuned for a guest post tomorrow on my blog with amateur sleuth, Lucy Richardson from this series. See what she really thinks of her job!

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Bloody Genius
October 7th, 2019 by diane92345

Virgil Flowers is back! His girlfriend Frankie is very pregnant with twins. He doesn’t appreciate having to bring in the hay on her farm. And, oh, he’s investigating a murder of a venerated Professor who likes to argue. The Professor is a genius who has been hit in the head—a Bloody Genius, get it?

The change of setting allows Virgil to be a fish out of water at the University of Minnesota. The reader shares his surprise about how seriously academics take small issues. Could one of the scuff-ups have led to the Professor’s murder? Or could it be his three former wives, his girlfriends, his estranged daughter, his drug dealing, his blackmailing, or something else? Truly, this guy is a winner!

I love that F*cking Flowers. His story is the best part of Bloody Genius. I also liked the pairing of Virgil with a police officer who actually appreciates his help. The mystery was good too. I totally missed the “hidden-in-plain-sight” clue that unravels the case. I like that in a book so I get to be as surprised as the author intended but can clearly see the hints in hindsight. If you like humorous police procedurals that use as little actual procedure as possible, you too will love that effing Flowers. 5 stars!

Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking
September 30th, 2019 by diane92345

It’s December in Massachusetts in the latest adventure of Sid the animated skeleton where The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking in anticipation of Christmas morning.

When Bryon, teenager Madison’s Akita, finds a human femur, it is no surprise. After all, their family has an animated skeleton named Sid living in their attic. Her mother, Georgia, quickly agrees to go with Madison to give the bone back to Sid and apologize. However, when they talk to Sid, he quickly informs them that he isn’t missing a bone. Realizing the bone is from a stranger, they call the police. The skeleton’s identity leads the police to suspect one of Georgia’s fellow adjunct professors. Georgia decides to solve the crime with the help of Sid’s head.

It is a credit to the author that you don’t have a minute of doubt with any of the paranormal aspects of Sid’s very existence. An animated skeleton who help solves mysteries by hiding his head and a cell phone in Georgia’s Day of the Dead bucket bag? It sounds absurd but somehow works. I’ve read at least three of the six cozy mysteries in this series including the first two books but The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking is fine as a standalone mystery. However, beware the genuine characters and laugh-out-loud humor of the series will draw you in quickly. You will soon be quietly stalking your library, bookstore, or Amazon account looking for the entire series. If you like cozy mysteries, you can’t miss this excellent book. 5 stars!

Thanks to Diversion Books and NetGalley for granting my wish for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Paranormal Tagged with: , ,

Land of Wolves
September 17th, 2019 by diane92345

Sheriff Walt Longmire is back home in Wyoming and deep in the Land of Wolves, both the four and the two-legged kind.

Walt is still suffering both mentally and physically from his horrendous trip to Mexico in his last book, Depth of Winter (my review is here). He continues to have body aches, which slows down his investigation of a Chilean sheep herder’s murder. More disturbing are the fugues where his brain shuts off for several minutes and his body remains staring into space. And who, or what, is the gigantic wolf that only appears to him? The townspeople want to kill it but Walt’s buddy Henry Standing Bear is convinced it is a reincarnated shaman sent to help Longmire.

It seems like a relaxing trip home when I read a Longmire book. Relationships begun many books ago continue to morph and grow. As Walt ages, he gets even more philosophical. Is he really ready for retirement? Can he create a bridge back to his family after their terrible Mexican ordeal? I can’t overemphasize the importance of reading this series in order. If you do start with Land of Wolves, you will find an enthralling police procedural but will miss many of the subtle reflections on the nature of life. 4 stars!

Thanks to Viking and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Killer in the Choir
September 4th, 2019 by diane92345

Small town life in Fettering will never be boring as long as there may be a Killer in the Choir.

Leonard, a retired and rich industrialist, is dead. Did he fall down the stairs or was he pushed? His daughter, Alice, thinks her stepmother, Heather, did it for money. After all, Heather had just convinced Leonard to change his will to leave everything to her. And nothing to Alice. Two local busybodies, Carole and Jude, decide to investigate.

Killer in the Choir is a perfectly serviceable cozy mystery set in a quaint English village. Unfortunately, it is hard not to compare it to earlier, better, entries in the series. However, this one is a good way to spend a few hours. 3 stars.

Thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

The Missing Ones
September 1st, 2019 by diane92345

The Missing Ones are young children missing from a touristy island in Maine. Damaged heroine Hester Thursby is unwilling dragged into the case by a cryptic text by long-missing best friend Daphne.

In the excellent Little Comfort (here is my 5-star review), the first book in this series, three-year-old Kate is left behind by Hester’s best friend, Daphne. Hester is still seriously disturbed by the events in the first book. She clearly has PTSD and won’t let Kate leave her side even to go to preschool. However, when she receives a text from Daphne asking for her help, Hester sets off to help her. Hester decides not to tell her boyfriend Morgan, who is Daphne’s twin, and takes now four-year-old Kate with her to the Maine island where four-year-old children are turning up missing. Again, Hester is having anxiety issues. She is obviously not thinking like the shrewd Harvard librarian or missing person investigator she was in the first book.

While I miss the smart Hester from Little Comfort, it is realistic that she would have PTSD from the horrific events she has gone through. It is also rare and refreshing to see an adverse reaction from a mystery character. I believe this is the first time I have seen it relate so directly to a previous plot.

The mystery itself incorporates many modern themes like homelessness, the opioid crisis, and a small town’s reaction to both. The atmosphere of gloom and fear relating to the looming hurricane and the missing children feels almost like a character within the book. My only complaint is that the pacing is more like literary fiction than a mystery or thriller. It takes a while to get to the meat of the plot. This may be in part because Little Comfort aftermath is such a big part of this book that the author has to describe it fully. I’m not sure. But as a standalone, I would rate it four stars. I think it would be much better for your reading enjoyment to read Little Comfort first. I previously rated that book as 5 out 5 stars so you are in for a treat.

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Wonton Terror
August 30th, 2019 by diane92345

There is Wonton Terror when the Wonton on Wheels food truck explodes at the first Asian Night Market in Cleveland.

Lana Lee is now managing her parent’s restaurant, the Ho-Lee Noodle House. While promoting the restaurant at Market night, her parent’s old friend, Ronnie, is killed in the explosion. When the police decide it was caused by a bomb, Lana decides to investigate to ease her anxiety. But there are so many suspects…

It’s always fun to return to the world of Lana Lee. Her family life intervenes once again in her amateur detective work. In Wonton Terror, Lana’s Aunt Grace is coming to visit her sister, Lana’s mother. The two sisters get along just as badly as Lana and her own sister, Anna May, do.

This particular cozy mystery was a bit too easy to solve. But the book was still fun to read due to the engaging characters and a light comedic feel. If you want a pleasant cozy read with an underlying humorous take on sibling rivalry, this is a good choice. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Old Bones
August 21st, 2019 by diane92345

Parallel stories of the work of a new FBI Agent and the search for the Lost Camp of the Donner Party drive the engaging thriller, Old Bones.

Probationary FBI Agent Corrie Swanson is looking into a grave robbery and a recent death as her first real case. She believes there is a connection between the grave robbing and the recent deaths and missing status of the victim’s other family members. Is there a vendetta against the Parkins family? At the same time, Nora and Clive are running an archaeological expedition searching for the Lost Camp of the Donner Party.

I really enjoyed Old Bones. Corrie is a spin-off from these authors’ Pendergast series. It is hard not to compare this book to those excellent ones. Honestly, I don’t think that is fair. This book is captivating and gripping on its own merits. If you like female-led thrillers or have an interest in archaeology, you are in for a treat. 4 stars!

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Twisted at the Root
August 15th, 2019 by diane92345

Gideon is brutally murdered in his own home in Twisted at the Root.

The only person at home at the time is Gideon’s husband, Rashad. Rashad insists in his innocence but is found guilty at trial. When additional evidence is found four years later, Rashad is retried. He asks for his original attorney, Ray, to defend him again. After accepting, Ray hires his PI daughter, Jane, to find the real killer.

Twisted at the Root disappointed me. I didn’t find the characters engaging. The pacing seemed slow. It might be because this is the first I’ve read in this ongoing series. If so, I wouldn’t recommend this book as a good entry point. However, if you are already a series fan you will probably enjoy this one too. 3 stars.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Terns of Endearment
August 12th, 2019 by diane92345

Terns of Endearment brings the whole Meg Langslow crew aboard a cruise ship to Bermuda where both murder and secrets abound!

When called upon to be a wildlife lecturer, Meg’s grandfather Dr. Blake brings the whole family along on the questionably run Pastime cruise line. The ship’s crew is disorganized and unfriendly. The ship itself is falling apart. When Meg meets a group of authors, she learns they suspect another writer, Desiree, of plagiarism and causing a friend’s suicide. When Desiree disappears, presumed drowned, Meg and her family investigate. But there is more than one mystery aboard this cruise.

I can’t believe we are up to the 25th Meg Langslow mystery. Having read them all, I feel like part of the Langslow family now. My favorite character continues to be Meg’s curmudgeonly grandfather so it is nice to see him away from the house and spreading his large quantity of wildlife knowledge. While reading previous books in the series will increase your enjoyment, you can easily begin right here.

An enjoyable day or two joining the Langslow extended family on a cruise is a pleasant way to spend your time. It would be a perfect beach read. 4 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Labyrinth
July 31st, 2019 by diane92345

Two seemingly unrelated cases enliven Labyrinth, the 23rd entry in the FBI Thriller series.

Agent Sherlock hits a running man with her car while caroming around after being struck herself by an SUV running a red light. Waking up in the hospital, she can’t remember her name or recognize her family. Blood found on her car is linked to a missing CIA Analyst. Where did the obviously hurt man go after the accident? More importantly, who or what was he running from?

In rural Gaffer’s Ridge, FBI Agent Griffin Hammersmith is taking a vacation trying to forget his recent break-up with his fiancée Anna and a particularly bizarre recent case with Agent Savich. He hears someone’s thoughts, who is in danger. Carson DeSilva is trapped with a man who, she psychically believes, has already brutally killed three missing teenagers. Once free with the killer Rafer Bodine trapped, Griffin calls the police. But will he and Carson get justice when the Sheriff poo-poos their claim and states his nephew, Rafer, is an upstanding citizen—not a serial killer.

Agents Savich and Sherlock continue to bring original plots to their books. The amnesia throws a wrench into their relationship but you feel nothing could bring them down for long.

There is a lot going on here but the author does a good job keeping all the subplots boiling. Usually, one plot is the main one leaving the others as kind of a filler you have to rush through to get back to the interesting story. That didn’t happen in Labyrinth. All the plots were compelling. I read the book in one sitting. It is a great addition to the FBI Thriller series. 4 stars!

Thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Toxic Toffee
July 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

Bailey, Aiden, and the rest of the village of Harvest Ohio return in Toxic Toffee, the fourth in the Amish Candy Shop cozy mystery series.

It’s a week before Easter when the village’s self-appointed marketer, Margot, convinces chocolatier Bailey to make a six foot toffee bunny for the town square. Margot had also arranged for Stephen Raber to bring several rabbits to form a petting zoo. Stephen has a pet bunny named Puff that he treats like a child. When Stephen drops dead on the square, most assume it was his weak heart. However, the coroner determines he was poisoned by a piece of toffee that contained Lily of the Valley. When Stephen’s son Eli asks for Bailey to investigate, he also drops off Puff. How can she refuse either request?

It always seems like I’m catching up with old friends when I’m reading a book in this series. In Toxic Toffee, Bailey reaches even deeper into Amish culture by attending a quilting circle, talking to a matchmaker, and discovering how people who leave the faith survive in the modern world.

The mystery was great. The murderer’s identity was a complete surprise to me. Overall, another great book in an excellent series. 4.5 stars!

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , , ,

The Sentence is Death
June 4th, 2019 by diane92345

Richard Pryce is killed with an expensive wine bottle. The killer writes 182 in green paint on the wall. Those are not the most extraordinary points in The Sentence is Death.

Anthony Horowitz, the fictional writer, written by the real Anthony Horowitz, the author of this book, is working with freelance Detective Daniel Hawthorne again. Horowitz does have a contractual obligation for two more books of 80,000 words each. His attitude is to get the book done so he can go back to working on (the real British television show) Foyle’s War.

Back to the murder. Pryce is a celebrity divorce lawyer working on a 10 million pound settlement. His client’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Akira Anno, threatens to kill Pryce with a wine bottle loudly in a restaurant. Awkward for her when he is found dead by the same method less than 24 hours later.

The Sentence is Murder is another riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma from bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. All I can say is don’t piss the real Mr. Horowitz off. He can obviously plot a murder that no one will solve.

I went into this book looking for the most unlikely suspect who had opportunity. However, I failed to identify the murderer before either Hawthorne or fictional Horowitz. There are really three mysteries here. I feel slightly better because I was able to solve the two smaller ones. For anyone who enjoys mysteries especially golden age or older stories, you can’t go wrong picking this book up. It has no spoilers for the first in the series so they can be read in any order. Highly recommended with a rating of 5 stars! I can’t wait for the third in the planned trilogy.

Thanks to Harper Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Night Window
May 15th, 2019 by diane92345

It’s time for Jane Hawk to finally get some payback for her husband’s death and so much more in Night Window.

The Techno-Arcadians have chased former FBI Agent Jane Hawk through four books already. Jane is trying to bring to light a massive conspiracy of billionaires. The Arcadians inserted a nanobot into Jane’s husband’s brain. When activated, he was forced to kill himself. In previous books, the nanobots were used to create both assassins and sex slaves.

Protecting her young son Travis is Jane’s highest priority as well proving her husband’s innocence. However, Jane’s ultimate goal is to expose the Arcadian’s evil plan to the public. This time she has some help from a former colleague, computer hacker Vikram.

I have been lucky enough to acquire the entire Jane Hawk series as Advanced Reader Copies. While Night Window can be read as a standalone, it is rather like reading the last chapter in a book. You would be cheating yourself out of a suspenseful ride. The conclusion is definitely worth the wait.

The author’s writing style is not for everyone. Mr. Koontz has never met an adjective he didn’t like. While effective in horror, it feels rather out of place in a thriller. It does rather slow down the pace. However, the use of such detailed imagery intensifies the atmosphere and allows a closer connection with the series’ characters. The plot, over the entire series, is engaging enough to compel the reader through each book.

Overall, an excellent conclusion to an outstanding series. 5 stars! Now, please Mr. Koontz, write another excellent paranormal thriller like Watchers.

Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,