A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

This is the second of the Ham Hill mysteries and, while it works as a stand-alone, you will definitely get to know the characters better by reading them in order. Adam is a pub owner and retired police officer and Imogene owns the local hotel. They are the main investigators, although this time around they have the help of a couple of friends, Steph, a reporter, and Dan, a painter. All four are competent and intelligent and each adds their own skills. Belinda is the main suspect in the death, and her desperate mother asks for Adam's help. The local authorities deem the death an accident due to lack of evidence, but the local chief inspector asks Adam to continue looking into the case, not convinced it wasn't murder. It turns out there are actually plenty of suspects, although no one has a really good motive. There are the investors who own the horse that Belinda rode. There are the grooms and...
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Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

I enjoyed Killing in a Koi Pond once I got through the first few chapters. Jessica arrives in South Carolina and is immediately surrounded by not so great people, aside from her friend Dolores who is a nice lady. Everyone else, including Dolores' husband, is a bully, or mean, or rude. And then Willis is killed that night. It was just too quick an introduction to the suspects and the murder happened too soon. Once I got settled in though, the story was fun. Jessica is the Jessica we've known for years, nosey, friendly, talkative. The other characters are fleshed out well, and several have reasons to want Willis dead, but you may guess who the killer is before Jessica's reveal. There were several twists, but to be honest, I enjoyed the characters more than the actual plot, but I think that's okay for a Murder, She Wrote book. ...
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Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton

Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton

I enjoy every visit to the Scottish Bookshop. Delaney and her friends, and her new husband, Tom, are just a lot of fun to spend time with. Delaney works at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, a book store/warehouse full of neat stuff. Delaney can't pass up Shelagh O'Conner's tresure hunt. First, a treasure hunt is right up her alley or close, since we're in Scotland. Second, Shelagh's library is fabulous. But when a man is killed and Shelagh is kidnapped, Delaney feels like finding the treasure may help them find Shelagh. So Delaney and her friends are working on deciphering the treasure hunt clues while trying to catch a killer and save Shelagh. All the characters are well-developed and engaging. Their interactions feel real and I like a.) that Delaney shares everything with the police and b.) that people are given the benefit of a doubt. Just because someone doesn't tell you something you think is important, doesn't mean they...
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Lie of the Needle by Cate Price

Lie of the Needle by Cate Price

Daisy Buchanan is the owner of Sometimes a Great Notion, a vintage sewing notion and antique shop. She is also intrigued with history and an active participant in her town's Historical Society. The ladies of the society have planned a fundraiser to raise money to help save an old farmhouse from a developer who wants to purchase it and the surrounding land. They are working on a Men of Millbury calendar that features men about town scantily clothed. All is going well until the photographer and a friend disappear. Daisy gets caught up in the mystery surrounding the disappearances, a mystery that soon becomes a murder investigation. This book is the 3rd in a series and I have not read the previous two, but I felt Price did a good job introducing Daisy and her family and friends. It worked fine as a stand-alone. The characters are just the right amount of quirky and I could picture the town...
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Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Ending is a fun sequel to Hollywood Homocide, but I think would work as a stand-alone too. Dayna Anderson, used to be an actress and is now working on becoming a private investigator. The story is told from her point of view. “You’d probably cast me in a group of black friends getting together for a fun vacation movie. I’d play the cute, annoyingly sweet girl currently dating the object of the main character’s affections.” It's award season in Hollywood and Dayna's boyfriend, Omari, is up for one of the biggest awards for television, the Silver Sphere Award. When Omari narrowly misses being the victim of a fatal mugging after a pre-party, Dayna is drawn into the case, hoping for the reward money. Turns out the publicist who was killed was also secretly Anani Miss, a celebrity gossip columnist who has spilled plenty of secrets. Dayna seems pretty casual, but she's determined and clever. The book is filled with...
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Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie

Parker Pyne is a bit unusual for a Christie detective. He is not a conventional detective, but a person who provides "happiness"; his ad in the paper says: "Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne." He's understands human behaviour, a bit like Miss Marple but with more statistics. With his acquired knowledge, he sets out to sell ‘happiness’ to people, in rather smart and surprising ways. He uses a mixture of fantasy, crime-solving, and psychology to resolve his clients' unhappiness. The stories are initially set in England. The later ones are set in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran where Parker Pyne while on holiday keeps finding new clients. I can't say I didn't enjoy Parker Pyne. Some of the stories are quite clever. I didn't love it however. ...
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