Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dying Breath

Dying Breath by Wendy Corsi Staub ~~ It's summer on the Jersey Shore. Children play on the beach. Husbands are off working in the city. And the surf echoes in the night. Here, in this perfect place, a serial killer has no worries in the world-except choosing the next victim.
Cam Hastings has come to Long Beach Island with her teenage daughter and the hope that maybe she can save her failed marriage. Cam has never stopped loving her husband Mike nor has she been able to outrun her flaws and demons-a vanished mother, a lost sister, and the ugly visions she has of missing children.
Now, Cam is about to step over the edge. For once, she will act on one of her visions-and then face the consequences. For a killer has just struck again. And for Cam, and the people she loves most, fear has come home for good.
Years ago Cam starts having ugly visions - usually those of a child being murdered - before they happen. Unfortunately there is nothing she can do to warn these children - and save their lives. For a while the visions seem to stop - until Cam becomes pregant again. This time she fears for her own daughters life because children who look just like her are disappearing. This is one ending you won't see coming. Looking back, there are a few subtle hints that no make sense, but you're too busy wanting to see how it ends to pick up on them until you're done reading. Another book featuring one of the characters in this book is coming out later this year/early next year - Dying Light. A

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Quicksand by Iris Johansen ~~ The action-packed 12th installment in bestseller Johansen's saga featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan (after Stalemate) is also a sequel of sorts to Pandora's Daughter, which chronicled the life of Megan Blair, an Atlanta physician with burgeoning psychic abilities. Intertwining the two disparate story lines intensifies both, as Johansen pits her two courageous female protagonists against a vicious serial killer who claims to have murdered Eve's seven-year-old daughter, Bonnie, years earlier. When Eve's love interest, Atlanta police lieutenant Joe Quinn, tracks down elusive child predator Henry Kistle to a small town in Illinois, Quinn alerts the local authorities and sets off a series of bloody events that lead Eve and Megan Blair to a remote area in the Okefenokee swamp where they'll either discover the whereabouts of Bonnie's body—or come face-to-face with a psychopath bent on killing and burying them all in unmarked graves. The adrenaline-fueled narrative will keep Johansen fans eagerly turning the pages.

This is one of her best to date. Vintage Eve Duncan. I couldn't put it down. A child serial killer taunts Eve into thinking he killed her beloved daughter Bonnie all those years ago. Eve, Joe & even Moltavno from South America are in on the hunt. Did Kistle really kill Bonnie or is he just playing with Eve? Joe continues to struggle with Eve's obsession of bringing Bonnie home. As much as he loves her, he doesn't know how much more of this search for her that he can take. The inclusion of Megan Plair from Pandora's Daughter adds an interseting twist to the story -- hold on for the last 2 pages!!!! A+

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One Wrong Step

But that's just what happens when Celie Wells has an encounter with her former husband, and he turns up dead an hour later. Now, after working hard to distance herself from his crooked ways and shady connections, she finds she's smack dab in the middle of his murder investigation. And it isn't just the police who have their eye on her, but an enraged drug lord who is seeking payback.The only person who seems to be on her side is old acquaintance John McAllister. But the sexy reporter has a nose for news, as well as a reputation as a playboy. Is he helping Celie out because he wants a story...or a one-night stand? She knows John's interest is potentially hazardous to her heart. But not accepting his help could put her life at even greater risk -- and she can't afford one wrong step.

The author brings back some minor characters from One Last Breath and makes them the "stars" of this book. Anyone who is a fan of romantic suspense books will love this one. The author grabs your attention right from the beginning and takes you on a fantastic ride. A+

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hooked On Murder

Hooked on Murder: A Crochet Mystery by Betty Hechtman ~~ When bookstore event coordinator Molly Pink stumbles across the dead body of a crochet group’s leader, her complicated past with the woman makes her a prime suspect.But while Molly’s fending off a detective with a personal grudge and navigating the pitfalls of crochet group politics, the real killer remains at large. And it’s up to her to catch the culprit—before she winds up in a tight knot.

A great start to a new series. Molly is a recent widow, witha new boyfriend a job she loves, just joined a crochet group making squares for an auction to benefit charitiy, and is the number one suspect in the murder of her dead husband's partner. The female detective assigned to the case has it out for Mary because she's dating a fellow detective - one she has her eye on. She'll do just about anything to get Mary arrested for murder. The author does a great job of steering you away from the read murderer. Looking forward to seeing what Mary and her crochet buddies will get mixed up in next. . A

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Vision of Murder

A Vision of Murder (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 3) by Victoria Laurie ~~ Professional psychic Abby Cooper has invested in a fixer-upper, hoping to make a killing in the real estate market. But a killing of another kind puts her plans awry, as the ghost of a murdered woman and some troublesome poltergeists lead her into a mystery that stretches all the way back to World War II.

Abby, Cat and Dave go into the real estate business together - buying run down houses and flipping them for a profit. Unfortunately the first home they buy is haunted. Abby must find out what that ghost wants and help her find a way to "cross over". Abby & Dutch are still going strong. I really like this series. Abby is a fun, lovable character who can't seem to stay out of trouble. A

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die

Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die: A Blackbird Sisters Mystery ~~ Nora Blackbird is no singing star, but she knows how to act like a diva, complete with the designer clothes and the little dog in her arms. But Nora is one thing most divas are not: she is broke. Determined to save the family manse outside Philadelphia, frittered away by her parents, Nora is forced (shudder) to get a job. As an assistant for fashion-writer Kitty Keough, she does grunt work for little recognition--such as covering the unveiling of the hot new "Brinker bra." After fighting the crowds for a seat, Nora is shocked to find that her sister Emma, supposedly in rehab, is the top bra model. She is even more shocked to return home and find her boss, Kitty, dead on her doorstep. It's perhaps not quite so shocking to learn that her "mobbed-up" boyfriend is the prime suspect.

It's been a while since I read the last Blackbird Sisters Mystery. I had forgotten how fun they are. Once again the Blackbird Sisters find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation - this time when the dead body of her boss Kitty is dumped on Nora's doorstep. Nora and Mike continue to see each, despite what every one else thinks. There was a nice little cliffhanger at the end - enough to make me not wait so long to read the next one ;) A

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Still Life With Murder

Still Life with Murder (Gilded Age Mysteries (Berkley)) by P. B. Ryan ~~ Boston 1868: The wealthy are enjoying the height of the Gilded Age--but not all are wealthy. As governess to the Hewitt family, Irish immigrant Nell Sweeney is sent to discover the truth behind the rumor that their son--thought to be killed in the Civil War--is still alive and in prison.

I'm a big fan of the Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery Series, so I was really looking forward to starting this series. I enjoyed it even more because it's set in Boston. It was interesting to see what was there in the 1800's and if it is still around now (The Charles Street Jail for example). This book didn't disappoint. I'm interested to see what other trouble Nell is going to find in the upcoming books. A

Friday, April 18, 2008

Carbs & Cadavers

Carbs and Cadavers: A Supper Club Mystery (A Supper Club Myster) by J. B. Stanley ~~ James "Professor Puff" Henry may as well have "loser" stamped on his forehead. Divorced, overweight, shy, and living at home, he relies on books and his favorite snack-cheese puffs-for sweet relief from his problems. A former English lit profesat William and Mary, he moves back to Quincy's Gap, a small Virginia town in the Shenandoah Valley, to take care of his recently-widowed father. To improve his social life and waistline, he joins a supper club for dieters who lovingly call themthe "Flab Five." Avoiding carbs is nearly impossible in this deep-fried potato-loving land, so a mysterious death in their small burg provides an effective, if disturbing, distraction. While dodging delectable temptations, Professor Henry and his fellow dieters work together to shed pounds and find the killer who has struck fear in this tight-knit community
J.B Stanley makes counting calories and watching carbs fun! This was a very light, enjoyable read. While I was able to figure out the "who done it" before it was revealed, I enjoyed having lead me there. The next book is already in the mini TBR pile. B+

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Friday Nights

Friday Nights: A Novel by Joanna Trollope ~~ When a British retiree invites two young single mothers from the neighborhood to her flat, a Friday night tradition begins. As their klatch widens, Trollope's memorable characters do more than just represent varying female predicaments: they develop as rich individuals who come to triumph over their pasts. Paula has a wary relationship with the married man who fathered their son, Toby: she must move on, yet stay in touch for Toby's sake. Struggling Lindsay was widowed before she gave birth, while her sister, Jules, is a careless aspiring nightclub DJ with a wild streak. Independent, put-together Blaise contrasts starkly with her often bedraggled business partner, Karen, who barely manages her role as mother and breadwinner. And then there is Eleanor, the catalyst for the gatherings, a no-nonsense older woman who, though full of wisdom and spunk, keeps her thoughts to herself unless asked. When a new man enters Paula's life, Trollope masterfully shows how work and romance can tip the scales in female friendships. The result is a careful and compelling examination of one man's insidious effect on a group of female friends, as memorable as it is readable

I had a hard time with this book. I'm not sure if it was the story itself or the author's writing style, but I found myself struggling to finish the book.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hold Tight

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben ~~ Parents will find this compulsive page-turner from Edgar-winner Coben (The Woods) particularly unnerving. A sadistic killer is at play in suburban Glen Rock, N.J., outside New York City, but somehow he's less frightening than the more mundane problems that send ordinary lives into chaos. How do you weigh a child's privacy against a parent's right to know? How do you differentiate normal teenage rebelliousness from out-of-control behavior? When and how do you intervene if suicidal signs appear? Other issues include single parenting; career versus family; marital honesty; and how much information you should share with a child at what age. Coben plucks each of these strings like a virtuoso as Mike and Tia Baye try to deal with the increasing withdrawal of their 16-year-old son, Adam, after a friend's suicide. A pair of brutal, seemingly senseless killings, punctuate the unfolding domestic troubles that ratchet up the tension and engulf the Baye family, their friends and neighbors in a web of increasing tragedy. The this could be me factor lends poignancy to the thrills and chills
Hands down, this is one of the top 3 books he has written. A+++++

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Poison Pen

Poison Pen: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery by Sheila Lowe ~~ Before her body was found floating in her Jacuzzi, publicist-to-the-stars Lindsey Alexander had few friends, but plenty of lovers. To her ex-friend-forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose-she was a ruthless, back-stabbing manipulator. But even Claudia is shocked by Lindsey's startling final note: "It was fun while it lasted!" It would be easier on the police-and Claudia-to write it off as suicide. But Claudia's instincts push her to investigate further, and she quickly finds herself entangled in a far darker scenario than she bargained for. Racing to identify a killer, Claudia soon has a price on her head-and unless she can read the handwriting on the wall, she will become the next victim.
Great book! Not a true cozy (it's got a little more gore, and a bit longer than usual) but a fantastic read. Claudia is determined to find out if her ex friend committed suicide or was murdered. Along the way, more bodies pile up as Claudia works with the police to figure out who is killing her friends and is now out to get her. I love how she weaves her "real life" knowledge of reading people's handwriting to figure out their personalities. It was very interesting to see how she explains what your handwriting says about you. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. A

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Murder Of A Sweet Old Lady

Murder of a Sweet Old Lady (Scumble River Mysteries, Book 2) by Denise Swanson ~~ Second in the delightful new Scumble River mystery series... When school pyschologist Skye Denison's beloved grandma is found dead in her bed, an autopsy proves it was murder. And Skye is determined to find out whodunit, even if the answer lies in the rotten roots of her own family tree.

Nothing has changed for Skye. The parents at her school still don't like her, her family still can't stand her, and she's once again determined to solve a murder. This time, the murder of her own grandmother. I'm so glad there are many more to come in this series for me to read. A

French Pressed

French Pressed: A Coffeehouse Mystery (Coffeehouse Mysteries) by Cleo Coyle ~~ Clare Cosi's daughter, Joy, is interning-and falling- for a top New York chef when his kitchen turns cutthroat, and Joy becomes a murder suspect. Clare knows she must catch the real killer-even if it lands her in the hottest water of her life.

Once again Clare gets caught up in a murder case. This time it involes her daughter Joy and she will stop at nothing to prove her innocence. In the meantime, eer ex-husband Matt wants her back and her new boyfriend Mike wants her in his bed. I know some people find this series on the "dark" side for cozies, but it's always been one of my favorites, and this is the best one yet. Keep them coming :) A+

Friday, April 11, 2008

At Wick's End

At Wicks End (Prime Crime Mysteries) by Tim Myers ~~ In the 1st book in the Candlemaking Mystery series, we meet Harrison Black, the new owner of At Wick's End, a candle shop in North Carolina. His great-aunt Belle has just died, and being her only relative, Harrison has inherited both the shop and the entire building in which it resides.
So I'm a little late in starting this series, but I'm so glad I have. I loved it. Harrison Black has been coasting along when he inherits his great-aunts shop. He's convinced her death was not an "accident" and sets out to find and trap the real killer. Great start to the series. On my way to order book 2. A

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Where Are You Now?

Where Are You Now?: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark ~~ Years ago, a college student named Charles ("Mack") MacKenzie walked out of his life for no apparent reason. Since then, once a year, he calls his mother to assure her that he's all right, and to ask her not to look for him. Now, Mack's younger sister, Carolyn, has decided to find him. Her search uncovers a lot of old secrets among the people closest to her, and someone is trying to prevent Carolyn from solving the mystery behind her brother's disappearance--by any means necessary....
Even though she's being threatened, Carolyn won't give up looking for her brother that has been missing for 10 years. Some of the secrets revealed might seem "life altering" to the person who holds them, but they're minor in the grand scheme of things. MHC does a great job of having leading you down one road, only to turn the corner and have an ending most won't see coming. Not one of her best books, in my opinion, but a solid read. B+

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye by E.C. Sheedy ~~ Fear...
She knew him only as the dark-eyed man, the one who put her in that dank basement. She was only nine years old when she stared into those eyes and understood that something unspeakable lived in them. Though she was saved at the last minute by an unlikely ally, she's never forgotten that fear. And fear has not forgotten her...
Now the woman who rescued April from that living hell long ago has disappeared, and it's no accident. Whoever came after her wants April--dead. April has one chance to save her guardian angel before it's too late. But to do that, she'll have to break the promise she swore she never would and contact the one man she knows she shouldn't...
Joe Worth's horoscope said he was in for trouble, but the woman sitting in his office is the kind of trouble any guy would welcome--mile-long legs, blond hair, gorgeous face. She's also scared. Very scared. Protecting people is Joe's business, but this time it's also personal: the woman April wants him to find is the mother who abandoned him. He can only say yes, and that could cost him. A stone-cold killer is out for vengeance--a man who will do anything to keep his dark, twisted past behind him. Anything.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Cluttered Corpse

The Cluttered Corpse (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries) by Mary Jane Maffini ~~ When Charlotte Adams agrees to help Emmy Lou Rheinbeck organize her stuffed animal collection, she never imagines she'll find herself fending off pranksters whose shenanigans lead to murder.

Poor Charlotte tries to help someone organize their overgrown collection of stuffed animals and once again ends up in the middle of a murder investigation. Fortunatley this time she doesn't end up in jail. But if her former BFF Pepper had anything to say about it - she would. The second book in this series was just as good as the first. A

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Shakedown by Joel Goldman ~~ The lives of three people collide over mass murder at a Kansas City residence that Special Agent Jack Davis has carefully staked out for weeks. Kate Scranton, whose job is spotting lies for high-priced courtroom lawyers, is convinced that mild-mannered Latrell Kelly knows something about the crime. But Latrell is hiding far more than Kate can guess. And with Jack half-blinded by an imploding personal life, and someone on his own side leaking crucial information, they're headed straight for the ultimate danger zone...
Fast paced and keeps you guessing to the end. What does the murder of 5 people in a crack house have to do with an undercover cop and the missing daughter of an FBI Agent? Towards the end I figured it out, but that still didn't stop the OMG factor while reading it and seeing how it all plays out. My only issue is that it can get a little confusing at the beginning as to who all the "smaller" players are, but once you really get into the book - you'll have no trouble keeping track of who's who. Great read. A

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose: A Mantra for Murder Mystery by Diana Killian ~~ Ever since her husband ditched her-for another man-A.J. hasn't exactly been on the road to inner peace. Then her yoga-guru aunt is found dead, and A.J.'s named the sole heir to her lucrative yoga studio-making her a multimillionaire, a prime suspect, and the killer's next target. First in a new series.

While dealing with the death of her beloved aunt and trying to find her kiler, AJ is also dealing with her former actress mother who she hasn't always had the best relationship, the woman who thought she was going to inherit her aunts yoga studio, an ex-husband who left her for another man and the most importantly the handsome detective assigned to the case! Well written and full of laughs - AJ and her hysterical supporting cast will have a lot to look forward to in upcoming books. A