Posts Tagged ‘murder’

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (read by Johanna Parker)

cover art from Dead Ever After

cover art from Dead Ever After

The conclusion to the Sookie Stackhouse series was a very interesting.

I enjoyed listening to this book.

The maneuverings of the vampires.  The jealousy of Eric.  The confusion of Sam, brought back from the dead with special elfin magic.  Demons and pacts with the devil.  A death in town that is blamed on Sookie who through the bail hearings and investigation finds out who her friends are.  This story has so many twists and turns that it is hard to find out where exactly you are in the whole book.  You almost need a flow chart.  It wrapped up many of the characters quite nicely — leaving it so that we had a nice feeling of resolution and though we may not liked how things turned out, it made a certain amount of sense.

It holds a logic and sense of continuity that holds to the authors beliefs and follow the story line of the series.

It is hard for an author who has a successful series to hold firm to the thought that this is a good time to end.  I give Charlaine Harris credit for having the fortitude to do that now.


Editorial Reviews


“The Sookie Stackhouse series seamlessly mixes sensuality, violence, and humor.”—Boulder Weekly

“Harris’s creation offers a magical and mysterious twist on traditional vampire stories.”—Houston Chronicle

“What sucked me in? Definitely the books’ oddly charming, often funny mix of the mundane and the absurd. And the chills and thrills in boudoirs and various locales around the South aren’t too bad either.”—The Seattle Times



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Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones ISBN 9781250001542

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

cover art from Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

I have written the reviews for the previous two books in the series and this third one has not disappointed.  Charley has a missing case that she is trying to investigate between cups of coffee.  She refuses to allow herself to fall asleep because every time she sleeps Reyes visits her and he isn’t happy.  So she has kept herself awake for 13 days and sometimes is acting even more loopy than usual.

In amongst her grim reaper activities, ghost whispering, and investigating — she has been told that she is going to cause the death of a friend and going to get a guardian.  So she is looking around wondering which friend is going to die for her mistakes.

She responds to her sister’s text message only to discover herself kidnapped by the elusive Reyes in the flesh.  This leads to a whole cat and mouse chase with Marshall’s police officers and bad guys.

As usual — a great funny adventure.  I recommend this series to anyone who likes a laugh.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Charlotte “Charlie” Davidson hasn’t slept for 13 days. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow appears and takes her on a sensual adventure. The problem is, private investigator Charlie is the Grim Reaper, the portal to the good afterlife, and Reyes, son of Satan, is the portal to hell. Reyes is furious that Charlie has bound his corporeal body to his spirit, so for her, their surprise sexual encounters are not only exciting but also a bit terrifying. The saga of the unlikely lovers continues in the same sassy style as Jones’ first two books, First Grave on the Right (2011) and Second Grave on the Left (2011). With Misery, her aptly named Jeep; a 13-year-old ghost spy; a parade of undead clients; and, of course, the silent, elderly Chinese spirit who lives in the corner of her living room, Charlie continues to fascinate. Readers will be dying to know where the fourth grave is. –Shelley Mosley –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Who Wrote the Book of Death by Steve Liskow ISBN 978-1467996082

Who Wrote the Book of Death?

cover art from Who Wrote the Book of Death? by Steve Liskow

Zach Barnes used to be a police officer in a Connecticut city.  He was forced into retirement after his wife’s death caused him to behave poorly in a stressed situation.  Since then he has tracked job applicant back round checks and divorcees.  Until he answered a phone call from Taliesyn Holroyd, romance novelist, saying she needs round the clock protection because she has received death threats.

Taliesyn is currently living with her “fact checker” – Jim.  He won the lottery a few years ago and has a house in town a few blocks down from the hospital and the other member of the book team is the web manager, Molly.

Zach looks into many things — the premise of the new story, angry ex-husbands and possible enemies.  He calls in help from his brilliant college friend Svet and his old colleague at the police station, Art.

The characters are very realistic and the movement is fast paced.  Everyone has a secret which adds to the story nicely and the book is one which is hard to lay down.

Though this book took a long time to get to the top of my ‘to read’ pile, I am very glad it got there.  I can’t wait to the next adventure of this detective.

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The Corpse Wore Tartan (Liss MacCrimmon Scottish Mysteries) by Kaitlyn Dunnett  ISBN 978-0758238795

Corpse Wore Tartan by Kaitlyn Dunnett

cover art from Corpse Wore Tartan by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Kaitlyn Dunnett has a great series that is based in a small rural town in Maine and Liss who was a professional Scottish dancer until an injury stopped her career.  Liss returned home and became a business partner with her aunt running a Scottish specialty shop and life seems to be continuing in an agreeable way.  She has renewed friendships with people from her youth and become a member of the small business association.  What more could anyone ask for?

Well a blizzard arriving during the Burns Night Dinner can definitely pack a wallop.  Burns Night is an annual ceremony held in January to commemorate Robert Burns, a famous Scottish poet (think “Auld Lang Syne”) and eat turnips, Cock a Leekie Soup, and (of course) Haggis.  A Scottish Society has taken over much of the local hotel and some of their very eccentric members are making life difficult for the hotel workers and local police.

Many incidents from insurance fraud to murder take place when the electricity is down and the generator is only strong enough to keep the kitchen and water running.  This is a great read and I would encourage readers who enjoy cozy mysteries and Scottish heritage.  It is a fun series.


Book Description

Publication Date: October 26, 2010 | Series: Liss Maccrimmon Scottish Mysteries
Can there be such a thing as too many men in kilts? Normally Liss MacCrimmon, proprietor of Moosetookalook, Maine’s one and only Scottish Emporium, would say no. But that’s before one of them turns out to be murderous…The bagpipes are blaring at The Spruces, Moosetookalook’s finest hotel, reopened just in time to host the Burns Night Supper, an annual celebration of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robert Burns. In the midst of the long Maine winter, the festivities are just the thing to give the hotel a much needed boost – and to bring fresh business to Liss’ shop. But when the Scottish Heritage Appreciation Society arrives on the scene, they bring more than a hunger for haggis and a passion for plaid. The quarrelsome group harbors their share of long held grudges, and the animosity only grows as the whiskey flows. Then a fierce blizzard hits, trapping everyone – angry Scotsmen, hapless hotel staff, and Liss herself – inside. It’s a situation with all the makings for mayhem, and sure enough, it isn’t long before a body is discovered, face down in a storage room, covered in tartan – and blood. Lucky for Liss, she’s got some good friends alongside her to help sort out the facts: local police officer Sherri Willett, and Dan Ruskin, the man who’s got Liss all tied up in Celtic knots. But they’ll have to work fast, before another body goes as cold as the snowstorm keeping them cooped up with a killer.

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The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen ISBN 9780345497604

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

cover art from The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

This was an excellent book for I liked Julia Hamill who is recently divorced and trying to pull her life together in current time and while she is digging in her garden trying to use up energy and tire herself out, she comes across a body.  In swoops Dr Maura Isles and a professor of local history who determine that this was not a recent homicide.  So after a brief encounter with her neighbor she gets a mysterious phone call from an 89 year old man in Maine who is a relative of the homes previous owner.

They determined that the body is from the 1830’s and that leads to many weekends of the great paper chase.  Julia goes up to Maine for visits for he is the current owner of all family letters and journals and the body in her garden somehow connects to serial murders by the ‘West End Reaper’.

In this book we learn more about ‘resurrectionists’ than anyone really wants to learn and we see some of the down and dirty of immigrant Boston.  Rose Connolly is attending her sister Aurnia at the hospital for her lying in and when Aurnia dies — she takes custody of her niece.  In the time before infant formula, she needs to find a job so she can hire a wet nurse to care for Meggie while she also tries to determine why she is being hunted.  This is a book full of information regarding early Boston and American medical history.  I thought it was another great Tess Gerritsen novel.


From Kirkus reviews …

“An old mystery is crossed with a modern story in the latest from Gerritsen (The Mephisto Club, 2006, etc.).Julia Hamill, newly divorced and still smarting, purchases an old house outside Boston. Determined to dig a garden, she instead finds the bones of a long-dead woman–the apparent victim of murder–which starts her on a journey to ferret out the story behind her death. Julia connects with Henry, a no-nonsense 89-year-old with boxes of documents that once belonged to the now-deceased previous owner of Julia’s home. The two discover a mystery dating back to the 1830s. At the heart of it is a baby named Meggie, born to the beautiful but doomed Irish chambermaid, Aurnia. Married to a man who cares nothing for her, Aurnia lays dying in a maternity ward with her sister, Rose, at her side. Rose, a spirited 17-year-old, takes Meggie to protect her from Aurnia’s husband, but soon finds herself the target of a bizarre manhunt. Someone is after the child–and Rose, as well, because she witnessed a horrifying murder. The body count piles up as Rose struggles to remain free of those who would take Meggie from her. Meanwhile, a young medical student becomes the chief suspect of the West End Reaper killings when he stumbles onto another terrible homicide. Although he fights the prospect, eventually he and Rose join forces to solve the murders and protect the baby at the heart of the mysterious deaths. Readers with delicate stomachs may find Gerritsen’s graphic descriptions of corpse dissection hard to take, but the story, which digs up a dark Boston of times long past, entices readers to keep turning pages long after their bedtimes.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

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It Takes A Witch: the first wishcraft mystery by Heather Blake  ISBN 9780451235527

It Takes a Witch: the first wishcraft mystery by Heather Blake

cover art from It Takes a Witch: the first wishcraft mystery by Heather Blake

Darcy Merriweather and her sister Harper have recently moved from Ohio to the Enchanted Village in Salem, MA to live with their Aunt Ve.  They just discovered that they are “wishcrafters” (witches who can grant wishes) and have decided to help their aunt with the family business.  They both need a new start and here was one handed to them on the proverbial platter.

“As You Wish”, Aunt Ve’s business is, to mortal eyes, a business that helps with all tasks from finding wombat pinata’s to dressing up as tooth fairy’s for a child’s first tooth.  They help clean out apartment’s and deliver packages.  It is the magical part that gets very complicated for their mother who was a wishcrafter died when they were young and they were not trained in the ways of the craft so all of a sudden they are learning all about family history and the do’s and don’ts of magic and it is a really funny experience.

The Enchanted Village is part mortal and part magical and their are bakecrafters, lawcrafters, and spellcrafters.  There seems to be a pickpocket in town and so the business association has hired a private investigator to help find the pickpocket and while that meeting is happening and Darcy and Harper are being introduced to everyone — a murder takes place in the back alley.

This is a fun story with lots of characters who are truly characters!  I eagerly look forward to the next one to come out for I can easily say it will be another fun romp to the Enchanted Village!

Book Description

Publication Date: January 3, 2012 | Series: Wishcraft Mystery (Book 1)
Darcy Merriweather has just discovered she hails from a long line of Wishcrafters-witches with the power to cast spells by making a wish. She’s come to Enchanted Village to learn her trade but finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation…

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Organize Your Corpses: death is never tidy by Mary Jane Maffini ISBN 978-0425215807

Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini

cover art from Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini

Organize Your Corpses: death is never tidy by Mary Jane Maffini was a great read.  Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer who has returned to the small town where she grew up after a messy split with her fiance.  She is renting an apartment from an old friend who has convinced her to adopt two dachshunds and is trying to get her to adopt a third.

An old teacher whom everyone refers to as Hellfire Henley, has recently inherited an old house that was owned by a hoarder and fallen into disrepair.  She calls Charlotte to help her find some “very important documents” and help her shovel out the old family home.  Charlotte dutifully goes home and writes up an estimate and a contract and returns to the home to find Hellfire Henley crushed under a fallen beam and piles of old moldy newspapers.

This book is fun and twisty with lots of vibrant characters and enough questions to keep you guessing.  The book says “organizing tips included!” — but even us unorganized people won’t be too upset by them for they are little quotations that start a chapter and allude to something coming up: for example, “Never place a large object over a smaller one…”

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