Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian

Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian

Is it any wonder I enjoyed Under Lock & Skeleton Key? It's a locked room mystery, more or less, with delicious descriptions of food, multiple secret rooms and staircases, and even a family curse. Tempest comes from a magic family- even if none of them are currently performing. The family construction business does keep up the tradition though - it's all about creating hidden rooms, secret staircases, and the like. The misdirection theme runs throughout the book, almost too repetitively. The mystery itself is well done. The whodunnit didn't surprise me exactly and I was glad of a certain twist near the end. This is one of those books that's more about the how, which was actually pretty simple in the end, but I didn't put the pieces together. I like Tempest and her family. They are interesting and charming and feel real in their concerns. Her friends make a great team too and I hope we see more of...
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Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews

Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews

Murder Out of Character is the second in the Peach Coast Library series, but the first I've read. I thought it did a good job of letting me get to know the characters and giving me enough background to feel comfortable. Marvey is still getting used to her new life in Peach Coast, Georgia, and her job as the library's Director of Community Engagement. Marvey comes across a list at a library fundraising event that has four names on it. The first is a murder victim, the second recently passed away, the third lives in Peach Coast and the fourth is her friend, Spence. Honestly, I'm still a little confused about why the killer had a list and then managed to drop it, but at least Marvey brings it to the police's attention. Marvey does always keep the detectives on the case informed, even if they don't appreciate her "help." Marvey is likable and I understood her reason for needing to figure out...
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The Burning Pages by Paige Shelton

The Burning Pages by Paige Shelton

The Burning Pages is the 7th in the Scottish Bookshop series and I think you need to have read at least a few of the others to really enjoy this one. It relies a lot on you caring about the characters and having a feel for the backstories. Yes, everyone is introduced and explanations given, but it's not the same as growing to know them from the first book. As you read in the blurb above, Hamlet is the prime suspect in a murder case, so of course, Delaney is determined to prove he didn't do it, a task made more difficult when Hamlet disappears. As always, I liked Delaney. She's caring and loyal and usually has at least a decent reason to be investigating. She also has a good relationship with Inspector Winters and shares information better than a lot of amateur detectives. Her friends and coworkers are the requisite quirky, protective bunch. The plot of the book flows well and does...
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A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford

A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford

I love Emma's idea for a business - well actually her friend's idea, but it's Emma's business. She's a friend for hire, someone to go to the gym with or take to a party. When one of her clients dies at an open mic night, Emma takes on the role of (very reluctant) amateur sleuth. Thankfully, she has some help - an elderly woman she has tea with once a week and a nurse who has paid her to be a gym buddy. I like how the three women work together and combine sleuthing with real life activities. We are immediately given a list of 4 suspects, a list put together by the dead man himself. Each of the four had a good reason for hating the dead man - a writer who was determined to bring all the town's corruption to light. The clues and red herrings were placed well. I liked the three main characters. Emma is sweet and honestly...
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Murder at the Mansions by Sara Rosett

Murder at the Mansions by Sara Rosett

It appears that there has been a murder in Olive's building and it seems highly likely that someone on her floor is dead. The trouble is that there is no body and no one seems to be missing. Olive's friend, Minerva, is not one to imagine things though. She's practical and intelligent and she saw a foot sticking out of the end of a wrapped rug, so Olive takes the case and together they are determined to get to the truth. Murder at the Mansions is a fun little mystery. Olive is smart and clever as always. I liked that it was set in her building which has a nice variety of people and their pets living in it. We get to meet some new characters, but Jasper is still around and I like their relationship. He helps her out, but she is definitely the one solving the case and the romance doesn't take over the book. I really like this series....
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A Killer Sundae by Abby Collette

A Killer Sundae by Abby Collette

A Killer Sundae might be my favorite of the series so far, which is good since I wasn't thrilled with the first two. The only reason I picked this up is because it was immediately available to download from the library and I didn't hate the others. This time around a local reporter, and old high school classmate of Win's, has been killed. Win reluctantly becomes involved, mostly at the insistence of her friends - she has a bit of a reputation by now. The plot was well done, with plenty of suspects and several twists - and some delicious-sounding ice cream flavors. There's also a mystery involving that seemed a little silly for Win to get so obsessed over. Win is smart and caring. Her friends were a little more realistic this time, and I love how loyal and helpful her family is. It's a good bunch of characters, and I feel like I should enjoy them more than I do. I...
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