Monday, May 31, 2021

"Chocolate Cake and Chaos" by Agatha Frost

When someone new arrives in town who has a bit of an unhappy history with Detective Inspector Barker, unfortunate things begin happening. First a funeral wreath is left on the doorstep of Barker's cottage addressed to him, then before long, another officer is found dead in that same spot.

It seems that someone wants Barker dead, and the obvious suspect is the recently released prisoner staying at the local Bed & Breakfast. But if it wasn't him, as the man claims, then who is it that seems to want Barker dead and why?

This was the fourth book in the series, and I enjoyed reading it every bit as much as I did the first three books. It was well written and the story was entertaining enough to make it hard to put down at night.

Anyone who has read and enjoyed the first 3 books in the series should also enjoy this one, as would anyone who enjoys reading cozy mysteries. I would say it's definitely worth giving it a try, even if you’re new to the series.

Monday, May 24, 2021

"Spinster Mail Order Bride
and her Conflicted Suitor"
by Florence Linnington

Vivian arrived in a small Texas town to meet the man she had been writing to after he’d answered her mail order bride ad. Unfortunately, no one was there to meet her when the stagecoach arrived. He was sent for, but the man who arrived to meet his future wife was not the man she had been writing. The ticket office had sent her to the wrong place!

And things only got more difficult from there, as the next stage coach out wouldn't be leaving for another week, meaning Vivian would need to find a way to afford a hotel room for the week and buy another ticket elsewhere.

David, who had expected a different woman to arrive in another month was less than pleased at the mixup. He had sought a mail order bride to make his very ill mother's possible last days happy, knowing her son would soon be married. He wound up coming to an agreement with Vivian to pretend to be his fiance and make his mother happy until the next stage coach will arrive to take Vivian elsewhere.

Again, as with all her other mail order bride stories, I found this one just as enjoyable as the others. This one has a few extra elements of conflict that arise within the situation than most of Ms Linnington's previous tales, but they only add to the excitement of seeing the two main characters overcome their pasts and try to learn to trust in their own feelings as well as those of another person. 

This is another good book for anyone who enjoys mail order bride stories or any of Ms. Linnington's previous books.

Monday, May 17, 2021

"The Love-Haight case Files"
by Jean Rabe and Donald J Bingle

In a world full of the unusual, Thomas Brock is a lawyer running a small law firm that specializes in protecting the rights of what have come to be known as OTs… or Other Than humans. And San Francisco is certainly full of them. But things are about to get more difficult and stranger for Thomas and Evelyn, the law student interning with his office, than anyone could have reasonably expected.

This was an amazing story. The surprises, as well as the parts that I could see coming, really kept me hooked and wanting more. I had a very hard time putting it down. If you like stories that focus on the unusual, paranormal beings, and well written plots in your fantasy tales, you'll very likely enjoy this book. 

The one thing I will warn you about is that the ending leads perfectly into a sequel, and if you enjoy this story as much as I did. You'll be looking forward as much as I am to the next book. If you enjoy tales of the paranormal and unusual, you won’t want to skip this one.

Monday, May 10, 2021

"Bully 4 Love: A Rather Odd Love Story,"
by Steven Paul Levia

Adolfus didn't know it, but his life would be forever changed when a woman named Livinia walked into his Adult Education class. The changes wouldn't come directly from or through her, though something about her presence seemed to bring about great change in those whose lives she touched.   

This was an unusual story. In the beginning, I wasn't sure what to make of it. It's isn't your typical romance story. (Livinia is a very happily married woman, and there is no physical, romantic, or emotional relationship between Afolfus & Livinia.) This book more truly explores the story of Adolfus & Livinia's husband Eugene. 

But again, it is not a physical or romantic love story between these two men, but more a story of how their lives intertwined throughout the years. The two had known each other as children, and while in the beginning they seemed destined to destroy one another's futures, instead it turns out that they are meant to be each other's saviors.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It brings you through the full range of human relationships. This book at times made me laugh and at other times made me cry. This is a contemporary tale that you really won't want to miss.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading deeply personal stories about how the simplest of things can be the catalyst to forever alter the course of someone's life.

Monday, May 3, 2021

"Doughnuts and Deception" by Agatha Frost

This third tale of Julia and her cake shop involves yet another series of murders, though this time they are not taking place inside the town of Peridale. The murders are happening in an old industrial park where Jessie had stayed while she was homeless. And with all those who are being killed being members of the homeless community, no one on the local police force seems to be taking it seriously or investigating the deaths.

Being who she is, Julia can't just ignore it like so many others have, and she finds herself doing what she can to help the people there as well as trying to figure out who the killer is, how people are being murdered, and why.

Like the first two books in this series, I enjoyed reading this story. It was entertaining and well written, holding my interest throughout the book. The clues to solving the mystery are there if you watch for them, but figuring out what is actually happening is part of what I enjoy when reading a good cozy mystery. And as has been the case with her other books in this series, the author did not disappoint me.

I believe anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries will find this book an enjoyable read. The characters were interesting as well as entertaining, and their actions easily imagined as taking place in many small communities. I myself will be continuing on with reading the 4th book in this series to see what happens next for the characters.

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...