Murder on Valentine’s Day by P. Creeden

Murder on Valentine’s Day by P. Creeden

I have to assume that I'm not the only person out there who's perfect read for Valentine's Day includes a murder, right? "Murder on Valentine's Day" was a good choice. Emma, our amateur sleuth, is sent to the home of the richest person in town to pick up a cat, even though she tends to be allergic to them. I sympathize with her; I love cats but they make me sneeze and my eyes itch and swell. The cat's owner is dead, apparently of a heart attack, but of course it was actually murder. This is a short story, so we only have a couple suspects, but the author does a good job at planting the clues, even if the motive was a little weak for me. Emma manages to put the clues together, and convinces her dad, the sheriff, whose house he needs to search, but she does put herself in a bit of unnecessary danger. I like Emma. Like...
Read More
Murder on New Year’s Eve by P. Creeden

Murder on New Year’s Eve by P. Creeden

Murder on New Year's Eve was a fun, short mystery, perfect to start the year with. If you read the blurb above, you know it was murder, of course. Emily's youngish, 20, but her dad, who she has lived with since her parent's divorced when she was about 11, is the local sheriff, so she's been around crime scenes and cops most of her life. When she's helping solve the case, she's intelligent and observant. When she's working with her foster dog, a St. Bernard, she's patient and caring. When she's thinking about her crush, Colby, she seems like she's 13 and I want to roll my eyes, but maybe that's part of being 20 in a small town, shelter by a sheriff father. Given that it's only about 40 pages, I though the mystery was well done. There were enough clues and it was pretty clever. It wrapped a little quickly, but it had to. The characters were well-developed, we...
Read More

Double Deck the Halls by Gretchen Archer

I love reading holiday short stories and novellas, sometimes stand-alones and sometimes ones that fit into series that I may or may not have read. I haven't read any of Archer's Davis Way Crime Caper series, but if "Double Deck the Halls" is a good example of her style, I definitely want to give it a try. Granny Dee is the main character in this one, at the casino for the Winter Wonderland Senior Slot Tournament. I loved her. She is tough and funny and has a lot of life stories. The baddie is dressed up like an elf and is holding Bianca, the casino owner's wife, hostage, complete with a bomb strapped around her middle. Granny stumbles into the situation, but takes control. Bianca seems like she might be an interesting character, a bit snobby, but adores her kid and the interactions between her and Granny made me smile. It was laugh-out-loud funny, and I just liked the attitude of the story,...
Read More

A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire

So I love Mick and Casey McKee. I wish there were more stories in the series. They are a gunslingers in the old west, a young married couple. And I do mean young. She's maybe 17. He's the talker, she's the shooter and they make a great pair. This time around, the couple want to see singing at the local opera house. There's a cute story why, involving Casey's dad. Anyway, with these two nothing is ever simple. Just as they walk in to see who is warming up, there's a shot, apparently aimed at one of the women on stage. If the ladies are going to feel safe enough to perform, Mick and Casey need to figure what's going on and stop it. The mystery was good, for a short story. The actual shooter's identity is quickly established, but who hired him and why is the question. There are a couple clues and a nice, small list of suspects. Like I said, I...
Read More

The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle

I was going running/walking at the park the other night and didn't have anything to listen to. I found "The Boscombe Valley Mystery" on Audible's Mystery Channel and it was just the perfect length for how long I wanted to spend exercising. I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan forever, but I don't remember reading this one before. That doesn't necessarily mean I haven't though - I don't have the best memory. What seems like an open and shut case - James McCarthy killed his father - of course isn't and it's up to Sherlock Holmes to prove James' innocence. There's not much action, but we do see Holmes doing a thorough crime scene investigation, even making use of his knowledge of tobacco ash. I guessed who the killer was, although I didn't know all the ins and outs of why. For a short story, the motive is pretty complicated and I enjoyed the solution. Holmes softer side comes through a bit...
Read More

Short Stories – Audible Channels

I've been enjoying the new Audible Channels and have listened to several short stories recently. Most of them come from the Mystery Channel, of course. "The Sign of the Broken Sword" by G. K. Chesterton -  Features his famous characters Father Brown and former criminal Flambeau. In the center of the story is the mysterious death of General Sir Arthur St. Clare, who was hanged on a tree with his broken sword hung round his neck. The descriptions are excellent and Father Brown does a good job about telling us how he reaches his conclusion. "Too Many Have Lived" by Dashiell Hammet - One of only three Sam Spade short stories, this one involves a blackmailing poet, a seductive chanteuse, her rough-hewn stage-door-johnny, and, of course, murder. The story was interesting but I found the full cast performance a bit distracting. "If You Can't Stand the Heat" by Lawrence Block - Story about a dangerous woman. It's the first of the Kit Tolliver series and...
Read More