Santa’s Little Yelpers by David Rosenfelt

Santa’s Little Yelpers by David Rosenfelt

Andy Carpenter is a reluctant lawyer who keeps getting drawn back into the courtroom. Andy and his wife also run the Tara Foundation, an organization dedicated to rescuing dogs, so dogs are always at least tangential to the story (and the covers are adorable). The Tara Foundation has just received a mother Golden Retriever, and her eight puppies. Chris Myers, their newest worker, offers to foster them. Chris is a former lawyer who lost his practice when he was jailed for manslaughter. He claims to be innocent, but a witness lied. Now the witness wants to recant his false testimony, and Andy volunteers to help clear Chris's name. Of course, nothing is ever that easy and when the witness ends up dead, Chris is once again on trial. Grover Gardner is the narrator of this audiobook and he is perfect. Andy has a dry sense of humor, is self-deprecating and sarcastic, and Gardner captures his personality perfectly. The characters surrounding Andy...
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The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

I am a sucker for a country house Christmas murder mystery. Lily and her cousins have come to Endhouse for the annual Christmas game, but this time the grand prize is Endhouse itself. But Lily is there to find out the truth about what happened to her mom years ago. The Christmas Murder is a fun book. The riddles are given in the form of sonnets and they are rather clever. Of course, the group is snowed in and when the first person is killed, they can't reach the police by phone (the lines are down), by care (there is a tree down across the driveway), or by cellphone (they were confiscated at the beginning of the game so no one could cheat). It's a claustrophobic atmosphere where you can't trust anyone. Yes, the premise is a bit unrealistic and the killer obvious, but it kept me entertained throughout. It would make a good seasonal read. ...
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Heroes Ever Die by J. A. Crawford

Heroes Ever Die by J. A. Crawford

I thoroughly enjoyed Jove Brand Is Near Death, so was looking forward to Heroes Ever Die, the second in the Ken Allen series. And I'm happy to report it was just as fun. This time around, superheroes are our theme, both in comic books and movie franchises. Ken Allen is now officially a private investigator, but this time around he's still working for a friend, Ray Ford. We met Ray in the first book. He's a special effects expert- stunts, vehicles, gadgets, he does it all. But when a stunt goes wrong and someone dies, he turns to Ken to help clear his name. And outfits him with all the weaponry and vehicles he might need. This was a blast. Ken gets a chance to show off his intelligence and his martial arts skills. The dialogue is snappy and funny. The situations are over the top but in a good way. It's all a little ridiculous, funny, and action-filled, like the movies...
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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club is charming. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron meet weekly to hash out cold cases, happily figuring out who the killer was that the cops missed. Then the part owner/builder of The Coopers Chase Retirement Village is found bludgeoned to death, and the four are determined to try their hand at solving a current case. They just need an in with the cops - maybe that nice PC Donna de Freitas. It's fun to watch the four finagle their way into the case. They manipulate, coerce, and call in as many favors as they can in the search for who dunnit. The actual murder mystery itself was not as stellar as the cast. It was convoluted, with more than enough red herrings and false trails. I guess I adored the characters but wish the mystery had been a little tighter. ...
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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 by the Book edited by Martin Edwards

Murder by the Book edited by Martin Edwards

This collection of stories is tied together by books. There are crime novelists, collectors, and so forth, or sometimes it’s a case of some important information hiding within the pages of a book. It's a good batch, some familiar authors, some not so familiar, at least to me. We have traditional detective stories and others told through the eyes of the bad guy. I enjoyed the whole thing. There wasn't a real stand out to me, but there also weren't any that I disliked. And here's the list, in case you're interested. A Lesson in Crime - George Douglas Howard Cole and Margaret ColeTrent and the Ministering Angel - E. C. BentleyA Slice of Bad Luck - Nicholas BlakeThe Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts - S. C. RobertsMalice Domestic - Philip MacDonaldA Savage Game - A. A. MilneThe Clue in the Book - Julian SymonsThe Manuscript - Gladys MitchellA Man and His Mother-in-Law - Roy VickersGrey's Ghost - Michael InnesDear Mr....
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