Death by a Whisker by T.C. LoTempio

death by a whisker

 

Story Outline:

Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

 

My Review:

Pen, paper and sleuthing cap in place, I settled in to read another book from my new favourite genre, Cozy Mysteries. Death By a Whisker, like all other cozy mystery books I have had the pleasure of reading, did not disappoint. With murder and cats, this book had a winning combination for me even before I had read one word.

With a cast of characters that all had motive and means for wanting Ulla dead, it was definitely not an easy task to work out who the killer could be. Alas, I was unable to guess who it was, although I did have several of the characters in my mind, none of them turned out to the one. Along with the interesting characters is a fast paced plot filled with lots of interesting twists. It will keep the reading engaged and eager to find out who was responsible for Ulla’s death and why. I think the author’s quirky method used by the killer was a stroke of genius.

Even though this is the second book in “A Cat Rescue Mystery” series it can definitely be read as a standalone story. The author added little bits of information referring to what happened in the first book. She does not give away the plot so the reader can go back to the first book and read it without knowing all the details. That to me was a clever idea on the part of the author. I for one will be reading the first one. I had planned to read it but with the little hints that were given, I am even more curious to read it now.
Thoroughly enjoyable, sure to be popular with fans of the cozy mysteries genre.

Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm by Rebecca Raisin

secrets at maple syrup farm

Story Outline:

Secrets…we all have them.

Clay’s inheritance of Maple Syrup Farm came at the perfect time. Leaving city life behind he headed for maple-tree surrounded Ashford, Connecticut. Getting the farm in working order again might be back-breaking work – but it seems to be the only way for Clay to finally forget about the girl who once broke his heart…

Lucy’s had enough of rules and the stress of planning her life down to the very last detail. Looking for an adventure she stumbles upon Maple Syrup Farm and its gorgeously gruff owner. This could be the perfect place to hide out…!

But the tranquillity and warmth of Maple Tree Farm is enough to heal even the most battered of hearts. There are very few problems in life that can’t be cheered up by maple syrup!

The new standalone novel from bestselling author of the Gingerbread Cafe trilogy and The Bookshop on the Corner, Rebecca Raisin.

 

My Review:

Like the previous book of Rebecca’s (The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées) that I had the pleasure of reading. This book was not just a story of budding romance but a book that captures the imagination and engages all your senses. I have never been a huge fan of romance in the past as it conjures up all sorts of images of heaving bosoms and manly protrusion, but it is not the case with this authors books. She writes her characters in such a way that the readers grow to love them as you get to know each of them.

I loved this book so much that I did not want it to end. My heart actually felt like it was going to break because I have to leave these characters behind. I truly wish that these people were real and the town of Ashford was an actual place. You do not just read Lucy’s story, you live it with her. Lucy’s adventure is one that will grab you by the heart and leave you wanting more. From her personal struggles being separated from her mother and wondering how she will make it through a whole year on her own. To finding a love she was not looking for and becoming part of a community that welcomed her with open arms. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry but more importantly, it will leave you feeling like Lucy, you have found friends for life.

Rebecca Raisin is a true master storyteller of the romance genre. Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm was a truly joyous experience I hope to repeat in the future.

The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées (The Little Paris Collection, #3) by Rebecca Raisin

rebecca raisin

 

Story Outline:

What is French for falling in love?
When Del leaves small-town America to compete in a perfume competition in Paris, she thinks it is just the next step on her five-year-plan. It’s an exciting opportunity. What started out as just a dream for Del and her twin sister is nearly in her grasp. If she wins this competition, they are on their way to opening their very own perfume boutique!

Arriving in Paris, watching the sun glinting off the Seine and wandering the Champs-Elysees, Del discovers the most perfect perfumery she’s ever seen. Yet, as the competition dawns Del realises that whilst she might have had the best nose in her small village, her competitors seem to know more than she could ever have dreamed. This competition isn’t going to be easy…

Del has the romance of Paris to sweep her away from her worries, but as the competition heats up, so does her desire for that which she cannot have! If only the dashing owner Sébastien didn’t smell so seductive, look so handsome and make her heart flutter like it never has before. They say love smells as sweet as a red rose in bloom, but Del would tell anyone that true love can’t be bottled – it’s beautiful and unique to everyone…even herself. With everything on the line for her future, can Del really let a little attraction get in the way of securing her dreams?

 

My Review:

Reviewed for NetGalley and HQ Digital

Due for publication 30th March 2018

Seeing as it is “the month of LOVE” I thought I would read books with a romantic touch to them. Rebecca Raisin’s book was the perfect way to start.

I have not read any of the authors books up to this point so I had no idea what to expect. What I discovered was an amazing heartfelt tale of loss, friendship and belief in your own abilities and finding the strength to change your life even when it feels you are making all the wrong decisions.

It is not just a tale about all those things, it is also a journey of the sensory kind, all the aroma’s Del’s experiences in the challenges set out for her make it a story not just for the eyes alone. I was so drawn in immediately to this adventure. I too could smell and see what Del could. There is nothing that pleases me more as a reader than to be able to connect to a character that way. It is also an emotional journey. Del had me laughing, crying and sometimes cringing.

The characters are bold, heartwarming and inspiring, I even had a soft spot for the not so nice Clementine who eventually showed her true colours when things didn’t go the way she planned. It is a rare thing for me to like a mean character but in this case, I did.

There are so many reasons you will fall in love with the story but I will let you find out for yourself. All I will say is once you read one Rebecca Raisin books you will want to read more.

Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude

death makes a prophet by john bude

 

Story Outline:

‘Small hostilities were growing; vague jealousies were gaining strength; and far off, wasn’t there a nebulous hint of approaching tragedy in the air?’

Welworth Garden City in the 1940s is a forward-thinking town where free spirits find a home-vegetarians, socialists, and an array of exotic religious groups. Chief among these are the Children of Osiris, led by the eccentric High Prophet, Eustace K. Mildmann. The cult is a seething hotbed of petty resentment, jealousy and dark secrets – which eventually lead to murder. The stage is set for one of Inspector Meredith’s most bizarre and exacting cases.

This witty crime novel by a writer on top form is a neglected classic of British crime fiction.

 

My Review:

Reviewed for Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press.

Death Makes a Prophet would have to be on of the best crime/murder mystery books I have read in a long time. Originally published in 1947 it is still a wonderful book in 2018. It will please any fan of the genre. Because of the era it was written in there were a few words that I had to look up their meaning, but this in no way detracted from the story.

I found the style in which the book was set out really interesting. It is told in two parts. Part one introduces the reader to the setting of the story and all of its intriguing characters. We learn their secrets and how they all connect to one another. Part two sees the introduction of the Inspector when he is called in to solve the deaths. There are as many motives as there are suspects, even the Inspector begins to think it might be unsolvable, that is until a vital piece of information surfaces in seemingly bizarre circumstances.

I managed to figure out who was responsible but not the motives for the killing, but for me, that is half the fun of reading murder mysteries, you think you have it all figured out but things are never as they seem.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. I have become a fan of Inspector Meredith and will be reading more books in the series.

The Hostess with the Ghostess (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #9) by E.J. Copperman

the hotess with the ghostess

 

Story Outline:

Things are never quiet for long at the Haunted Guesthouse. Right as Alison Kerby finally gets some peace, long-time deceased Paul Harrison’s recently murdered brother, Richard, shows up looking for the ghostly detective. But Paul has left for parts unknown months ago. The only thing is, she doesn’t know how to find him. And she’s going to need to because Richard’s isn’t the only murder still left unsolved.

As she searches for Paul, Alison discovers that Richard, who was a lawyer, was working a case about a woman accused of murdering her stepfather. It quickly becomes clear that Richard was getting too close to the truth, and was forcibly kept quiet. Now as Alison continues her investigation, she gets a creeping sensation that the murderer doesn’t appreciate her snooping around. And if she doesn’t stop, she’ll be next in The Hostess with the Ghostess, the witty and delightful follow-up to national bestselling author E. J. Copperman’s Spouse on Haunted Hill.

 

My Review:

Reviewed for Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books

Being a fan of cozy mysteries and ghosts I was pleased to receive this book for review.
Unfortunately, it fell short of the mark for me. Whilst I did enjoy the idea of the story I just found myself unable to related to any of the characters and I struggled with the style the author used to write the story. I felt for me there was too much engagement toward the reader. Instead of just letting the characters tell the story it felt the author intentionally added bracketed to add humour. I honestly believe that without the little anecdotes the story would flow more freely and the story would have been more enjoyable.

As for the story itself, it had all the makings a great cozy mystery; the characters were interesting and likeable and there was enough action to hold my interest and to keep reading to the end. As with all cozy mysteries, it was a bit of a puzzle to work out who the killer was and that is one thing I can not fault about the book. I love a good mystery and that part definitely did not disappoint.
If you like cozy mysteries then you might enjoy this one as well, just because it was not the book for me does not mean that someone else will not enjoy it.

Conversations with God Book 2: An Uncommon Dialogue by Neale Donald Walsch

conversations with god book 2

The conversation continues in book two only this time God has moved on to matters on a more global scale. He details his observations on how we as a planet could unify and make the world a much better place to live with the haves and the have-nots being brought closer together.

Whilst there are many themes explored that will make a lot of people scream NO in the loudest voice possible when you sit back and think on the ideas and observations made it does make a lot of sense. I have been thinking for years that we live in a “whats mine is mine” world for a very long time and God agrees. He won’t do anything to change it because it is up to us that have come here in this time to make the best of what we have so we can once again remember who we ultimately are.

Once again I have been left with a sense that there are many aspects of my life, not only my personal life but, my place in the world that I could change from how it currently is. God puts to us the big questions and it is ultimately up to us to answer them.

Great reading for those that want to look at the bigger picture and see a world outside of themselves. Looking forward to reading the third book.

The journey has started

cropped-daises1

 

The following posts involves my thoughts on God so if that does not interest you then keep scrolling

As some of you may know this year I have made it my choice to come back to the person I was in the past. The one that did not let people and the way they looked at life get me down.

I decided one way to help me was to stay away from politics of any kind. 15 days into the new year and that is still working for me, I see political based posts, news stories etc and instead of reading them and getting involved just skip right past.

The second way was to find my faith again. Now when I mean faith I do not mean going back to church or anything like that. I mean reconnecting with God in my own way. I started out by reading Conversations with God Book 1 by Neale Donald Walsch. I read two of his books in my twenties and they made sense to me. But like everyone in their twenties life happens and you put things as deep and confronting as your relationship with God on the back burner for another day. On re-reading the first one it all came back to me. His words made sense.

For someone who was born with a disability, I have had many different feeling about why am the way I am. I never blame anyone for my condition but I often think why me when the rest of my family can walk. The truth of it is I am the way I am because that is the way my soul wanted to live this life. Not because in a past life I was bad or anything remotely like that, my soul wanted it this way so it chose this way. My mind and my soul often battle with each other over a lot of things and this is another area I am working on.

Another aspect I found rather interesting in the book was relationships. We all have relationships whether they be family, romantic, friends, work. In the book, God states that we enter any relationship with an expectation that the other person will give us something. That is the incorrect motive for entering any relationship. We should enter a relationship not wanting something from someone else but instead find out what this relationship shows us about ourselves and how we grow whilst in these relationships.

It has been fascinating and thought provoking thus far. I debated whether to share this because that is a very personal thing for me to share but I thought even if one person gets something out of my thoughts then that can only be a good thing.