Review: Steamed Open

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery #7)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross is an interesting cozy mystery. One that takes place in Maine. A lot of people require access for their livelihood. And it appears that the heir of a deceased town member is blocking it off. All the citizens are angry. But who would kill out of anger? There are many suspects and the murder is one that I wouldn’t have guessed. I liked that it was not predictable like most murder mysteries are.

Barbara Ross creates a tale that sweeps readers into a family like community in Maine. Everyone knows each other. However, one them is about to become a killer. The question of how well do we really know the people in our area pops into mind. One woman works to solve the case. Her family owned business relies heavily on access to clams. And the events lead to a chill that never leaves. One person is killed and another is spared. Mystery, intrigue, and entertaining characters made Steamed Open a good read. I did not read the previous novels in the series and was able to follow along just fine. Overall, it was well-written.

Review: Severed by VL Towler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Louisiana parish of Nakadee, a typical town of Creoles, Cajuns, Blacks, and Whites, is more interested in its annual Hot Sauce Festival than in the lives of two eccentric celebrity writers living in the “Hollykook” house. Dr. Lula Logan, a Northerner teaching forensic anthropology at the local university—and researching the stories buried in the graves of local slaves—is reluctantly drawn into an investigation by her ex-boyfriend, a detective, regarding a severed finger left at the Police Department. As the investigation expands, she is caught up in a romantic tug-of-war with an enigmatic U.S. Congressman who turns her liberal worldview upside down. She is also thrust into the lives of the town’s colorful suspects, including a head-turning Confederate-sympathizing college student, a precocious wanna-be- rapper, and a scholarly handyman.

Everybody is connected in Nakadee, which leads to intriguing alliances among the rich, not so rich, and those on their way to being important. When the crimes become a murder investigation, Lula discovers that small towns like Nakadee are not always what they seem, and sometimes hide very big secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Severed by VL Towler is  the perfect book to reading during this month (March). This novel features a black educated woman who is plunged into a big murder investigation. From politics to the crazy locals, Dr. Lula and her ex-boyfriend will have their hands full. The cultural aspects of the different characters inside this fictional town was fun to read. Louisiana is the best place for this kind of chaos and murder to happen. It felt real. A lot of racial issues were brought into this story. Blacks versus whites etc. and the danger is enough to cause a sense of fear… chills running down my back. Here, unlike most stories a black person is behind the danger…and Dr. Lula will find her life in danger. Survival, forensics, and chasing after a killer kept me entertained. I cannot wait to see what happens next. Overall, the plot was good (3.5-stars), the intrigue and suspense (4-stars each), the characterization is spot on (5-stars).

Review: Pancakes and Corpses

Synopsis:

Soon to be divorced Julia South never expected to be caught up in solving a murder, until she discovered the body of her cafe’s most awkward customer. With a new smug Detective Inspector in town who underestimates her every move, Julia makes it her mission to discover the real murderer, before her village friends are dragged into the frame, and more bodies are discovered.
A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe owning female amateur sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Pancakes and Corpses: A Peridale Cafe Mystery by Agatha Frost is an exciting new series. I love the main character, Julia. She’s a divorced women returning back to her hometown. Here, in Peridale, Julia is baking. Baking is her passion. But then, her cakes go missing…and a dead customer turns up…which then, catches the unwanted attention of the new detective. Something about him, puts Julia off in more than one way. 

I’ve read a few other book witinnthis series before this one, and I was easily able to follow along. The mystery in each book is different and thrilling to follow. Julia is the best baker. Her hometown, Peridale, is small but sets forth a variety of interesting characters. Intriguing, fun, hilarious, sweet, and sometimes deadly. Pancakes and Corpses is a must read for all. Action, adventure, and a murder case to solve. I couldn’t stop reading it. Agatha Frost is a talented writer. Her pages flew by fast.  

Review: Walleye Junction

 

Synopsis:

When outspoken radio talk show host Philip Long is kidnapped and murdered, Detective Macy Greeley leaves her young son in the care of her mother and heads up to remote Walleye Junction, Montana to take charge of the investigation. It is initially believed that Long’s murder is the result of a controversial radio show he’s done on the rise of far-right militias in the state. Within days, the two kidnappers are found dead following a massive heroin overdose, and the authorities are hopeful the investigation is finished. But there are too many discrepancies for Macy to settle for obvious answers. The kidnapper’s bodies have been moved, their son is on the run and a series of anonymous emails point investigators toward the murky world of prescription painkiller abuse. Macy soon finds herself immersed in small town intrigues as she races to find who’s really responsible for Philip Long’s murder.

Meanwhile, Philip Long’s daughter Emma is dealing with her own problems. It’s been twelve years since she left Walleye Junction after her best friend died from a drug overdose. Emma finds that little in Walleye Junction has changed in her absence. She is also becoming increasingly uneasy as the familiar surroundings stir up memories that are best forgotten.

With Walleye Junction, a taut, propulsive mystery, Karin Salvalaggio will once again grip readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Walleye Junction by Karin Salvalaggio has everything that readers look forward to within a thrilling mystery. This is Karin’s third novel and it automatically plunges readers deep into the dark plot that has past events tied to the danger at hand. Murder, suspicion, and danger compel readers forward in the exciting tale. Fast-paced and well-written, Walleye Junction was the first novel I have read by the talented writer, Karin Salvalaggio.

Walleye Junction is a small town, where four murders take place. A controversial radio talk show man is found dead. Then two kidnappers are also found dead. A woman dies from being overdosed. What starts off to be something related to the talk show turns out to be much more deadly and more serious than authorities would like. Kidnapping, murder, and drugs. There is enough action to keep readers interested from the beginning to the end. Karin Salvalaggio creates an emotional journey that is easy to connect with on every level. Her characters’ stories within this one are quite impressive. Somehow they all connect and make for an explosive yet haunting read.  As I read Walleye Junction, I was constantly on the edge of my chair wondering what happens next. The words created a shadow…where readers could feel and experience everything first hand yet not know what to expect. The dialogue is just as great as the non-dialogue parts. The characters’ personalities and dramas pop off the pages. The ending…left me hanging. I can’t wait to see what happens next in another masterpiece by Karin Salvalaggio. Overall, I highly recommend this crime fiction to readers everywhere.

 

 

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