Sounds Like a Plan by Pamela Samuels Young and Dwayne Alexander Smith

Sounds Like a Plan by Pamela Samuels Young and Dwayne Alexander Smith

Mackenzie and Jackson are private investigators hired to investigate a missing person case. The first person to find the missing woman gets the reward. The two end up working together, a partnership with tension and plenty of sparks. The book alternates between Jackson's and Mackenzie's point of view, allowing us to know how each is thinking and feeling about the case and about each other. Jackson is determined and can be charming, but is a bit sexist. He also makes at least one offensive joke, if nor more. A joke that could have been left out without any harming the plot or character development at all. Mackenzie is smart and headstrong. They make a good team. The plot is a little over the top. We've got top-notch hackers, hired killers and a kidnapper, but it's fun in an action movie kind of way. The wrap-up to the mystery is a bit quick, but I honestly didn't see it coming. ...
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The Highgate Cemetery Murder by Irina Shapiro

The Highgate Cemetery Murder by Irina Shapiro

The Highgate Cemetery Murder opens with the discovery of the gruesome murder a young woman on the morning of All Saints’ Day, 1858, who is displayed on a cross in Highgate Cemetery with a pig’s heart around her neck. A journalist who may have witnessed the crime falls under the wheels of an omnibus and is killed. Gemma Tate, a nurse recently returned from the Crimea, is the sister of the journalist and doesn’t believe his death was an accident. Sebastian Bell is the police officer assigned to investigate the murder of the young woman victim in the cemetery. Soon the two begin working together against Bell's better judgement to solve the two suspicious deaths. This book is a little darker than what I usually read. The details around the murder really are horrific. And this is not a romanticized Victorian London; it's dirty, grim, and harsh for many that live there. The author shows us the prejudices, class distinctions, and...
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Once Upon a Murder by Samantha Larsen

Once Upon a Murder by Samantha Larsen

I enjoyed the first of the Lady Librarian mysteries, A Novel Disguise. Tiffany was interesting and bold and determined. Her relationship with Samir was fun. I wasn't quite as enamored by Once Upon a Murder. Tiffany is fairly happily employed as the librarian for the Duchess of Beaufort. It all goes awry when she finds the frozen dead body of former footman Mr. Bernard Coram just outside her cottage. Tiffany is quickly cleared as a suspect, but Samir, Tiffany's friend and love interest, is arrested. The mystery was well-done, with several suspects and enough clues to lead Tiffany in the right direction. The characters are great, whether they're likable or not. But, I don't need to hear about Tiffany's cramps or her longing for children. I'd rather not have children or baby's in my mysteries and in this one, I found them a distraction rather than adding value to the book. Yes, the kids added some humor, but I'd rather have the...
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Rhythm and Clues by Olivia Blacke

Rhythm and Clues by Olivia Blacke

Rhythm and Clues is the third Record Shop Mystery, featuring sisters Tansey, Maggie, and Juni, owners of Sip and Spin Records, a coffee and record shop in a small town near Austin, Texas. The shop is barely making a profit, but the sisters have been approached by a potential investor. The investor, Zach, and his partner invite Juni and Beau, a local cop to a hockey game, but later that night, Zach is killed during a major storm, found dead in a car that wrecked outside of the record shop. Juni, of course, can't help getting involved in the case. I enjoy spending time with Juni and her sisters. They each have their own personalities and they work together well. The setup worked well. The storm flooded parts of town, made some roads impassable, and knocked out the power. The killer is stuck in town. Juni has several suspects, with clues that point in different directions. The plot flows well and...
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A Killer Romance by Maggie Blackburn

A Killer Romance by Maggie Blackburn

A Killer Romance is the third book in the Beach Read series, but the first I've read. Summer Merriweather owns the Beach Reads bookstore which she inherited along with her cottage from her mother, Hildy. A Killer Romance begins with Summer tripping and twisting her ankle. Because of this, she does not even get to meet the guest speaker for the Valentine's Day Festival before the woman is murdered. The mystery, the characters, and the dialogue are all good. Summer's parrot is adorable. For me though, there was just too much talk about the covid pandemic and how life on the island was changed. Also, I understand that Summer was in pain from her ankle, but there was too much emphasis on pain relief pills for me. I just got annoyed. And there were several characters' reactions that just didn't feel realistic. And I felt like the whodunnit relied too much on stereotypes. Overall, I was disappointed. I listened to the audio....
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Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

I read the first book featuring Ernest Cunningham, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, last year but apparently never wrote a review. I totally enjoyed it and its gimmick worked well, which is why I picked up #2, Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect. I don't typically like meta elements in mysteries, but I like how aware Ernest, our first-person narrator is. He knows the rules of his genre and often references us as the reader and what we might be expecting from his sequel. This time around, Ernest is a guest speaker at the 50th Australian Mystery Writers Society festival, which is taking place on a train. Of course, one of the authors is murdered and Ernest decides to investigate - and write his second book. This book is funny and almost too clever. The characters are an interesting bunch, with plenty of secrets and more history than one might expect. Ernest is still witty and self-conscious. The plot...
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