Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancée, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home... until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

This was a good, light comedic story. You really had to suspend belief for a lot of it though. For example, Agatha is supposed to be hiding because some unknown person is trying to kill her. However, she parades down the streets of New York with a pig on a leash. Matilda (the pig) was certainly an unusual character and brought a lot of laughter to the book, but we're supposed to believe that a woman knowing she is being hunted to be killed is going to go to all the trouble to put on a disguise and then go out with a pig as a pet.

I have to say I did like a couple of the characters - Mr. Blackheart and Mrs. Swanson were very endearing - and I would welcome a book about them in a heartbeat.

This book is actually the fourth in a series. I have not read any of the other books so I don't know if this one is just in the same vein or if the books build on each other.


My copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill

Argentine native Inspector Héctor Salgado is one of Barcelona's leading criminal detectives. After a stint on probation—he assaulted a suspect from a human-trafficking case—Salgado is back in the office and eager for something major.
      To his dismay, he's assigned to a routine accidental death instead: a college student fell from a balcony in one of Barcelona’s ritzier neighborhoods. But as Salgado pieces together details from the victim's the life, he realizes that his death was not all that simple: his teenage friends are clearly hiding something and drugs might be involved.  Salgado follows a trail that will lead him deep into the underbelly of Barcelona’s high society, where he’ll confront dangerous criminals, long-buried secrets, and, strangely, his own past. But Salgado thrives on pressure, and he lives for this kind of casedark, violent, and seemingly unsolvable.

As it turns out, the "routine, accidental death" is neither routine or, it seems, accidental. Stories don't add up. People seem to be hiding things. And Hector is not willing to let it go as accidental.

There are actually two deaths that seem accidental and seem to be tied together - but what is the link? Or is there a link?

Nice mystery with the two deaths colliding in an unexpected way. And I didn't see the solution to either of them coming!

This was not a book that I couldn't put down. But once put down, I kept picking it up because I wanted to get to the solution.

Good, solid book - if not a page turner. Be aware that there are some things not settled at the end. So if you can't let go of a story until it's completed - you'll need to continue the series.

For more info:


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries by Isabella Alan

The Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries start of with a great first book in Murder, Plain and Simple, where we get to know everyone and get the lay of the land as far as who knew who when, where businesses are located and who owns/works in them, etc. It's a great foundation book.

I love the setting and the characters and who doesn't love a good mystery? The second book was a great follow up. I can't wait for the next in the series.

From Murder, Plain and Simple

When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio.

With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch.

On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart.

With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems....

From Murder, Simply Stitched:

When Angela Braddock enters her quilts in an Amish auction, she never expects one of her neighbors to end up going, going, gone....

Angie is finding her niche as the new owner of her late aunt’s Amish quilt shop, Running Stitch. But as the summer is winding down, so is business. To bolster support for the shop, Angie decides to sell her quilts in the Rolling Brook Amish Auction, including some of her aunt’s most prized works.

The quilts promise to be a hit—but the gavel comes down on the lively event when Angie stumbles upon the body of township trustee Wanda Hunt behind a canning shed. The cause of death: a poisoned blueberry fry pie from Rachel Miller’s bakery table. Now Angie’s closest friend is a murder suspect. With Angie taking the lead, she and the other women of her aunt’s quilting circle set out to patch together the clues and stop a killer set on shredding the simple peace of Rolling Brook.

By book two, the characters all seem like old friends and they bring so much joy of a new story with them. Give these a try - you won't be disappointed.

Highly recommended.