Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Assault and Pepper

The one great thing about cozies (as I'm sure I've said before!) is that no matter where your interests
lie, there's a cozy series to meet that interest. I seem to lean toward culinary cozies, not because I'm a big foodie, but more because I get a vicarious pleasure reading about amateur sleuths who also cook real food. I'm even inspired to experiment with new recipes.

Anyway, I just finished reading Assault and Pepper, the new Spice Shop series by Leslie Budewitz (author of the Food Lovers' Village series) and really enjoyed the experience.

Here's the lowdown:
After a recent divorce and sudden unemployment, Pepper Reece is  making a new life for herself as the owner of a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market. Life is good until one morning when one of the local street people, a man known as "Doc," is found dead on her doorstep and one of Pepper's employees is arrested for murder.

This well-plotted mystery is set against the fascinating backdrop of Seattle and blends together all the savory and sweet sensory flavors of the Pike Place Market (if you've ever visited there, you'll know what I mean!). In addition to the delicious recipes Ms. Budewitz includes in the book, each chapter starts out with interesting bit of spice trivia or quote.

Assault and Pepper satisfied my three main criteria for an enjoyable cozy: 1. a witty page-turner; 2. it made me want to go back to Seattle and the Pike Place Market; and 3. learn something new. So if you'd like to get out of your processed food rut and add some much needed spice to your life, give this mystery a whirl.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Thanks for the Book Suggestion

Nan from Torrance, CA offers this recommendation:

I'm reading Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck. I recommend it for three reasons: I can certainly relate to the characters-- they feel real. Also, it's unique and it's a page-turner. It is sort of -- not subtle enough-- to be wonderful. But it's fun. Maybe it's cozy?

Invisible Ellen:  Overweight, socially challenged, and bearing a facial scar, Ellen Homes is content to live under the radar, keeping herself to herself. A night custodian at the local Costco, she spends her days sleeping in her tiny apartment. A lonely existence, but she's content. When Ellen witnesses an attempted mugging, she taps into her well of resolve and chases away the bad guy. As a result she becomes friends with the victim, a young blind woman. After their brush with crime, the two are determined to help those in need. They become involved in a number of situations, including uncovering an international crime ring at Costco.

What have you read lately?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chet and Bernie on the Case

Fans of Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie series will be sitting up and begging for this new treat! The dynamic duo's eighth outing is an exciting and captivating read. When Bernie's elderly neighbor, Mr. Parsons, gets in trouble for having an illegally transplanted saguaro cactus in his possession, the detective and his canine partner leap into action. What started out as a favor for a friend, quickly escalates to murder, cop corruption, and a cold kidnapping case.

The tale is narrated by Chet and his doggy stream of consciousness is a real kick. Quinn is certainly in tune with the canine thought processes. I thoroughly enjoyed Chet's perspective on perps and capturing bad guys. His point-on observations add a quirky sense of humor to the proceedings.

It doesn't matter if you're new to Chet and Bernie's adventures. Quinn drops enough clues to past books so that you can catch up on the friends and family members who inhabit Bernie Little's life. The series is fun to read and now I'll have to go back and catch up. If you'd like more on author Spencer Quinn, check out his website at www.spencequinn.com.

I'd also like to give a big thumbs up to Quinn for his gentle conservation reminder. Living in drought-ridden California, I don't know how often I've wanted to make a comment  to a neighbor habitually watering his "golf course-like," luxurious green lawn. Thank you, Bernie!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Love cozies?

Here's a nice selection of cozy mysteries due to be released in August. Check them out!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Special Christmas Special of BBC Sherlock Announced

Steven Moffat, executive producer of BBC's Sherlock, announced A Victorian Sherlock Christmas special to the fans at Comic-Con yesterday. A sneak peek  shown before the panel started showed Sherlock in his original 19th century garb and setting.

The BBC released a first look of Benedicct Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman dressed in the traditional tweeds and Watson sporting a handlebar moustache.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Mysteries for July

Fans of Linwood Barclay will be happy to know his latest thriller is out July 28th. If you are in the Los Angeles area, Barclay will be doing a talk and booksigning at the Burbank Public Library on July 29th. Check it out here.
  • One Way or Another by Elizabeth Adler
  • Lord of the Wings [Meg Langslow] by Donna Andrews
  • The Redeemers [Quinn Colson] by Ace Atkins
  • Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
  • Badlands by C.J. Box
  • A Necessary End by Holly Brown
  • Green Hell [Jack Taylor] by Ken Bruen
  • After the Storm [Kate Burkholder] by Linda Castillo
  • Nemesis [Dillon [Savich & Lacey Sherlock] by Catherine Coulter
  • Deadly Election [Flavia Albia] by Lindsey Davis
  • Cold Frame by P.T. Deutermann
  • The Bad Actor by Glen Ebisch
  • Open Grave [Ann Lindell] by Kjell Eriksson
  • The Confessors’ Club [Dek Elstrom] by Jack Fredrickson
  • Believe No One [Nick Fennimore & Kate Simms] by A.D. Garrett
  • Wired [Buchanans] by Julie Garwood
  • Elimination [Dev Conrad] by Ed Gorman
  • Noontime Follies [Jake Hines] by Elizabeth Gunn
  • Vanishing Games [Ghostman] by Roger Hobbs
  • A Study in Death [Lady Darby] by Anna Lee Huber
  • The Naked Eye [Kendra Michaels] by Iris & Roy Johansen
  • The Swede [Ernst Grip] by Robert Karjel
  • Silent Creed [Ryder Creed] by Alex Kava
  • The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka
  • Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica                       
  • Sense of Deception [Psychic Eye] by Victoria Laurie
  • House Rivals[Joe DeMarco] by Mike Lawson
  • Signal [Sam Dryden] by Patrick Lee
  • Dexter Is Dead [Dexter] by Jeff Lindsay
  • Down Among the Dead Men [Peter Diamond] by Peter Lovesey
  • Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell
  • The Joy of Killing by Harry N. MacLean
  • The Devil’s Bag Man [Jess Galvan] by Adam Mansbach
  • Taking Pity [Aector McAvoy] by David Mark
  • The Blooding [Matthew Hawkwood] by James McGee 
  • Sleeping Dogs [Spike Sanguinetti] by Thomas Mogford
  • Brush Back [V.I. Warshawski] by Sara Paretsky
  • The Fraud [Carter Ross] by Brad Parks
  • Scents and Sensibility [Chet & Bernie] by Spencer Quinn
  • Speaking in Bones [Temperance Brennan] by Kathy Reichs
  • The Bone Labyrinth [Sigma Force] by James Rollins
  • Who Let the Dog Out? [Andy Carpenter] by David Rosenfelt
  • Hair of the Dog [Dan Mahoney] by Susan Slater
  • Flask of the Drunken Master [Shinobi] by Susan Spann
  • Those Girls by Chevy Stevens
  • The Devil’s Share [Crissa Stone] by Wallace Stroby
  • Code of Conduct [Scot Harvath] by Brad Thor
  • Empty Houses [Kate Waters] by Betsy Thornton
  • The Devil’s Seal [Sister Fidelma] by Peter Tremayne 
  • Naked Greed [Stone Barrington] by Stuart Woods
  • French Concession by Xiao Bai

Friday, June 26, 2015

And you thought it was safe to go into the library!

If you love libraries as I do, CHECKED OUT is the perfect summertime read. It's the 14th outing of Elaine Viets' "Dead-End Job" series featuring Helen Hawthorne. The first line of the book gives you a clue to the madcap adventure to come:

"I need your help," Elizabeth Cateman Kinglsey said. "My late father misplaced a million dollars in a library book. I want it back."

As Helen goes undercover as a library volunteer to find the missing masterpiece and solve the case, her husband Phil risks serious sun-damaged skin in order to track down a stolen necklace and golf cart for another wealthy client. This is a fast-paced read full of laughs and wacky characters, all taking place in the tropical south Florida setting.

Fans of Viets' series, will really enjoy this one. For some reason I hadn't read any of her books before, but picked this one up because of the library angle. After working in a library for most of my life, I have to say that Viets really is dead-on when it comes to library life. As she does for all her Dead-End Job novels, Elaine got some practical experience on the job. She volunteered at her local library as part of her research for CHECKED OUT.

Now that I've discovered the entertaining books of Elaine Viets, I feel a binge read coming on this weekend. But rather than going back and starting at the beginning, I'm hopscotching around. I'm currently reading MURDER BETWEEN THE COVERS which takes place in a bookstore. Another winner!

Find out more at Elaine Viets website.