A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison

A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison

Alex Daniels has settled into Bellamy Bay well and is helping out at the family herbal apothecary. Her aunt and cousins have welcomed her with open arms, and she is immersed in her mermaid heritage, learning her skills and unearthing talents. Everyone in town is looking forward to the Mermail Festival. As part of the festival, Neve Ryland, a mural artist, is invited to paint and unveil a mural for the visitors' center. Shortly after the unveiling, Neve is found murdered. Once again, Detective Jack Frazier, Alex's boyfriend, has settled on a person Alex is close to as the main suspect. Honestly, I'm not sure what Alex sees in Jack. We never see them having fun together, just eating and grumping at each other about the cases. He keeps secrets from her, doesn't take her opinions seriously, and looks down on her family business. Granted, Alex is keeping secrets too, but I don't think Jack would believe her if she...
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A Beach House to Die For by K. C. Ames

A Beach House to Die For by K. C. Ames

When Dana Kirkpatrick inherits a Costa Rican beach house from her uncle, the newly divorced woman decides to leave her old life behind and move to Costa Rica. Unfortunately, her cousin, Roy, and his wife are contesting the will. Then Roy is killed, and Dana's the main suspect. A Beach House to Die for was like a mini-vacation. It was sunny and relaxed and the foods sounded delicious, but I think the howler monkeys might drive me crazy. Most of the locals were friendly and helpful. Dana was a good lead character. She's friendly and nice, but pushy enough to get answers. The mystery was fine. I didn't guess who the killer was but probably should have. This was a fun, light read, which is what I expect from a cozy. It has a fabulous setting, quirky characters, a potential love interest, and even a cat. ...
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A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

A Spell for Trouble is the first in the Enchanted Bay Mystery series featuring former risk assessor, Alex Daniels. After quitting her job in New York, Alex accepts an offer to visit her Bellamy Bay relatives whom she hasn't seen in many years. Alex is welcomed into the family with open arms and soon joins her Aunt Lidia and cousin, Minka, working at their apothecary shop. But when a troublesome customer is found dead, Lidia is arrested for the murder. Alex is determined to find out who the killer is and prove Lidia’s innocence. Bellamy Bay is a wonderful oceanside setting and the characters are charming. I loved how the author incorporated Alex's family's Polish heritage into the story. The magic was woven into the plot well and it was nice to learn about how the magic worked and the rules around it along with Alex. A Spell for Trouble was fun. The killer wasn't a surprise, but getting there was entertaining....
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The Birdcage Murders by Karen Baugh Menuhin

The Birdcage Murders by Karen Baugh Menuhin

A man was killed at a dinner at Brundals, a private men's club in London. Lennox happens to be a member although he hasn't been there for years, so Scotland Yard asks him and retired Inspector Swift to go to the club and be the Yard's eyes and ears. Swift is delighted to be working with the Yard again, and while Lennox is a little leery of spying at first, the case soon captures his attention. I have read a lot of mysteries, but I think this may be the first I've come across with this particular method of murder. It's dreadful and very upper-crust. It turns out that all of the people in the dining room when the murder occurred are connected to an unsolved case from 12 years ago when several people were killed when a birdcage automaton exploded. This is the 8th in the series and by now we know Lennox, Swift, and the crew well. I always...
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The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

Mossa is an investigator who is in charge of a missing persons case. Or maybe it's a suicide. Or murder. Any which way, a man disappeared from a sparsely populated platform at the edge of the colonized portion of Giant (Jupiter). Turns out the man was on faculty at the University at Valdegeld, as is Mossa's former girlfriend from her college years, Pleiti. So of course, Mossa reconnects with Pleiti and asks for her help. The world was interesting. Humans ruined Earth, so they colonized Jupiter. I liked that it had almost a gaslamp feel. Yes, they're living on platforms above a surfaceless planet, but our characters bundle up against the cold, walk through the swirling storm, have tea and scones on a regular basis. I liked Mossa and Pleiti and their slowly rebuilding relationship. Mossa is our Holmes, brilliant, but a bit emotionally distant and not one to share her theories. Pleite, our narrator and Watson, is loyal and resourceful. I...
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Death of a Messenger by Robert McCaw

Death of a Messenger by Robert McCaw

I picked up Death of a Messenger because I needed a book set in Hawaii for one of the reading challenges I'm doing. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. It's a good mystery and I learned a lot about Hawaiian history and culture. Hawaiian Detective Koa Kane is called to investigate a grisly murder – a mutilated body discovered in a lava tube at an army training area. The victim is difficult to identify and bears disturbing marks indicating an ancient ritual sacrifice. Further investigation uncovers an unknown archaeological site nearby and leads Kane to wonder if the victim had stumbled across a rare historical secret people will kill to protect. The plot is complicated in a good way. There are several convincing suspects including black market dealers, astronomers, and amateur archeologists, in the case, and enough clues and red herrings to keep the reader, and detective, on their toes. The pace was a bit uneven, but...
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