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In the Bag by Emery Harper

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In the Bag by Emery Harper In the Bag by Emery Harper
Series: Celeste Eagan Mysteries #2
Published by Carina Press on January 30, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary Mystery
Pages: 242
Format: eARC
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Life as the principal actress at the Peytonville Playhouse is all I ever thought it'd be—and more. I'm practically living the bohemian dream, until my BFF Levi finds a dead body on his property. And is swiftly arrested for murder.


Detective Shaw Muldoon is my almost-but-not-quite-there-yet beau. He knows me. He knows Levi. He knows neither of us is capable of something so heinous. And he knows that despite his strict orders to leave the case with the professionals, I'll launch my own investigation to clear Levi's name.


One more gruesome murder: check.

A dubious bakery owner who's taken a fancy to me: check.

This season's "it" handbag practically falling into my lap: check.

Levi's up the creek if I don't uncover the truth…but my investigation has put me firmly in the murderer's sights.

Life in danger: check.

I didn’t read the first in the series, but I picked up In the Bag based on the blurb. I like mysteries and this one sounded fun. I chose well.

The cast of characters is great. Celeste is the lead and is a blast. she’s funny, caring, has a tendency to get herself into potential danger, but who can blame her? Her best friend’s the main suspect in a murder investigation. Speaking of Levi, I like him. He’s got his own troubles, but still has time to give out advice, for better or worse. Celeste’s dad’s in town and adds to the confusion. There’s also a bookie whose interest in Celeste is obvious, and a little creepy.

The plotline was good. There are enough suspects, but not too many. The clues tie together pretty well. For me though, the enjoyment was in the characters and the situations they get themselves into, no necessarily the whodunnit.

I was not a big fan of Celeste’s “relationship” with Muldoon. Yeah, he’s a busy detective and he’s got some issues, but I don’t know. He gives her just enough to keep her holding on, but not enough for it to actually go anywhere. Hopefully, that situation will get a little resolution next time around, but otherwise she should just dump him. Of course, seeing how much often she seem to “visit” the police station, maybe she doesn’t want to end up on his bad side. Especially with how little credit being on his good side seems to get her.

Overall, a fun, light read – a good mystery with quirky characters and a touch of romance.

About Emery Harper

Born in Alaska, relocated, reared and still residing in North Texas, Emery started writing at a very young age—pretty much before she knew what writing was. She’s always had stories running around in her brain—doesn’t everyone?!? She penned several short stories, poems and one attempt at a novel when she was still a teen, but it wasn’t until she was pregnant with #4 boy-child that she seriously developed her manuscript chops.

A little murder, mayhem and maybe a twist and turn keep her plenty occupied in her make-believe worlds, though she is often grounded quickly from any one of the four boy-childs who live in her casa along with the man-child who’s been her personal hero for over twenty years.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Mailbox Monday – 1/9

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

Ebooks

All of my new books this week came via NetGalley. I did get a gift card for Barnes and Noble for Christmas, but I haven’t used it yet.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders
Series: Sam Clair #3
Published by Minotaur Books on February 21, 2017
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
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Normally sharp-witted, book editor Sam Clair stumbles through a post-launch party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. But before the Nurofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson and an odd, unidentified body.

By the time the grizzly news breaks that the fire has claimed another victim, Sam is already hot in pursuit. Armed once again with her biting commentary, her boyfriend Inspector Jake Field, and her stalwart Goth assistant, Sam must track down the murderer and face a pair from Thugs ‘R’ Us in this uproariously funny and fast-paced mystery in this critically acclaimed series from New York Times bestseller Judith Flanders.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9The Wizard of Death by Richard Forrest
Series: Lyon and Bea Wentworth #2
Published by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road on August 16, 2016 (first published July 1, 1978)
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 198
Format: eBook
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On a sunny afternoon in Murphysville, Connecticut, the village green of the charming suburb is filled with voters who have come for a glimpse of Randolph Llewyn. Everyone’s attention is locked on the stage as state senator Bea Wentworth introduces the candidate for governor—everyone, that is, but Bea’s husband, Lyon, who is daydreaming of a title for his latest children’s book. Lyon snaps back to attention, however, when a sniper’s bullet cuts Randolph down as he takes the stage.

A second bullet misses, but the damage is done. As the crowd erupts in panic, Lyon spots the assassin fleeing on a motorcycle. With police chief Rocco Herbert, Lyon gives chase, but the killer gets away. Only then does Lyon think of Bea, who is shaken, but unharmed. But when he learns that Bea was also a target, the mild-mannered children’s book author must find the courage to hunt an assassin before he strikes again.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9In the Bag by Emery Harper
Series: Celeste Eagan Mysteries #2
Published by Carina Press on January 30, 2017
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 242
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon
Add on Goodreads

Life as the principal actress at the Peytonville Playhouse is all I ever thought it'd be—and more. I'm practically living the bohemian dream, until my BFF Levi finds a dead body on his property. And is swiftly arrested for murder.


Detective Shaw Muldoon is my almost-but-not-quite-there-yet beau. He knows me. He knows Levi. He knows neither of us is capable of something so heinous. And he knows that despite his strict orders to leave the case with the professionals, I'll launch my own investigation to clear Levi's name.

One more gruesome murder: check.

A dubious bakery owner who's taken a fancy to me: check.

This season's "it" handbag practically falling into my lap: check.

Levi's up the creek if I don't uncover the truth…but my investigation has put me firmly in the murderer's sights.

Life in danger: check.

Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey

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Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on November 21, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Pages: 110
Format: eARC
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After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she'll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh's best friend broke Croy Dawson's heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh's fault. They've never liked each other, but Croy isn't cruel: he'd never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn't expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn't expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can't escape the truth: he can't walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…

Holiday with a Twist is just a sweet, feel-good Christmas romance. It’s light and fun and a perfect seasonal read for me. Leigh keeping her breakup and quitting her job a secret from her family is silly, but in all honesty I like when the “issue” between the two main characters in a romance isn’t a big deal that takes a lot to overcome. Croy and Leigh were friends forever, even if they haven’t talked to each other in years, and I like how they settle back in to the friendship. They’re a good couple. They know each other well, good and bad, and still fall in love. This is a novella, so the attraction is almost instant and the relationship evolve quickly, but I bought it.

Holiday with a Twist is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Love that! I don’t have to worry if it’ll work out or not, they promise it will. When I need a light romance, I tend to turn toward Carina Press – maybe that’s why. I’ll probably be picking up more of Shannon Stacey’s books. That’s another reason I like novellas, they let you try new authors without a huge commitment.

About Shannon Stacey

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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