Short and Tall Tales: Moose County Legends (Cat Who Short Stories) – Lillian Jackson Braun

Having long been a fan of Lillian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who mysteries, I was pleased to finally find this book on the library shelf. I discovered these fantastic stories about 20 years ago (or more) and have read all of them; most more than once.

Short and Tall Tales cover image

Jim Qwilleran is a journalist who moved to Moose County, 100 miles north of everywhere, after receiving a windfall of money from a benefactor. He and his two Siamese cats, KoKo and YumYum, solve mysteries all over Moose County and its adjoining counties. The characters through all 20+ books quickly become familiar friends you want to spend the day with.

This set of short stories is based on tales from local residents about some of the long-held beliefs and superstitions that have made Moose County what it is. I read this book in about an hour, and it is a great addition to any nightstand for some quick reading before sleep!

Are you familiar with the Cat Who Mysteries? How did you like them?

You can find this story here: Short and Tall Tales: Moose County Legends

One Foot in the Grove (Olive Grove Mystery Book 1) – Kelly Lane

I found this book sitting on the end of the library aisle, waiting to be sorted. I love cozy mysteries and this one did not disappoint. I also got the second book, and the third one is due to be released this March.

One Foot in the Grove cover image

I read both of these books in about a 24-hour period! I now have a vested interest in the life of a fictional character. I have to say, it has been a while since I’ve had that, or had to wait for the next book in a series to be released.

The story takes place in Abundance, Georgia, and is full of Southern charm, as well as recipes at the end.

Eva Knox returns to Abundance after being gone for 18 years. She left her fiancé at the alter and never looked back. Her return has several residents running the gossip mill in overdrive, none too happy about her return.

Taking on the job of PR manager for her father’s olive plantation and olive oil business keeps Eva and her two sisters going non-stop. The dead body she trips over, as well as her own personal issues she is working through will keep you turning the pages on this mystery! She needs to convince the town detective that she did not kill anyone, which leads to her own investigation, along with the help of local sheriff and ex-fiancé Buck Tanner.

I am so glad I spied this book on the sorting shelf, and cannot wait until the next one comes out!

Sweet Masterpiece: A Sweet’s Sweets Bakery Mystery (Book 1) – Connie Shelton

What a fun book! It took me a little bit to get into it, but once I did I could not stop reading! It was easy to read, with great characters and a story line that keeps the pages turning.

Sweet's Sweets cover image

Samantha Sweet breaks into houses for a living. Legally, of course. Well; most of the time. She works for the USDA cleaning out houses that have been foreclosed on. She also sells baked goods out of her house while she saves enough money to open her own bakery.

The first house we find her at has a dying old woman who gives her an empty box, and tells her it is important that she take it. The woman dies, which brings the police, and Beau, into Sam’s life. The second house finds a grave in the backyard, and that is where the adventure really begins.

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but this is a book that I highly recommend! I was very pleased to see there are several in this series, and will be starting on book 2 shortly.

I found book one on Amazon for free in eBook format, and you can find it here: Sweet Masterpiece Book on Amazon

If you’ve read any of this series I would love to hear what you thought about it!

Deadly Gamble – Connie Shelton

This is book #1 of the Charlie Parker Mysteries. I randomly came upon it while searching through books on Amazon.

Deadly Gamble Cover Image

Charlie Parker is an accountant who shares office space with her brother, who is a private investigator. While her brother is out of town, she decides to take on a case for her ex-best friend (the best friend who married her fiancé), and a missing watch turns into a murder investigation.

I loved the idea of this story, but I could not finish it. There were so many plot holes that I could not handle it any more. I literally spent as much time rereading to see if I missed something, as I spent actually reading it the first time around.

On page 12 she talks about using her inheritance to help open the business with her brother. What inheritance? Who left her money? Why was her brother not left money? Yes, I get it could have been a husband that died, friend, etc. But come to find out later, it was her parents. The same exact parents as her brother. But we don’t know what her brother did with his money.

Another plot hole? Her part time secretary asks who was just in the office. Charlie states “A friend from school but you wouldn’t know her and there is a good reason why.” End of conversation. A bit further ahead, Charlie and her secretary are deep in discussion about this ex-friend and all the horrible things she did, but she hasn’t yet told the secretary any of this.

Minor issues? Maybe. But when I am engrossed in a story, and all the sudden read something that has me saying…. “Well where in the hell did that come from?”… I go back rereading what I read only to see I did not miss any information; it was never there.

So there you have it. I see there are several books in this series, and I hope this issue was due to it being a first book.

If you’ve read this series and love it please let me know!

The Innocence of Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton

I likely would have never found these charming stories if not for my habit of binge watching British television shows on NetFlix (Bless you NetFlix!).

The Innocence of Father Brown cover image

After going through the entire series of Midsomer Murders, Rosemary and Thyme, and Keeping Up With Appearances, it was time to give Father Brown a try.

A quirky Catholic Priest with a close circle of a couple of friends to help him with his sleuthing, or as the local DCI sees it, his butting in, Father Brown solves the crime while granting forgiveness to those who desperately need it.

Anyhow, back to the book.

This book is filled with several short stories. They are of course written in the fashion of the late 1800’s/early 1900’s (when G.K. Chesterton lived), so it can be a bit jarring for some when you have been reading current novels. I personally love reading older books like this, and after you get through the first couple of pages, you have a firm feel of the style of writing and it becomes much easier to read.

Mostly murderous, these stories are a quick read and most have you guessing right until the very end. I was a bit surprised and the graphic details for a book from this time, but it is certainly nothing I haven’t seen before. This would be a great book to keep on your nightstand!

Have you read (or seen) Father Brown before?

Two Days Only!

My Autumn Book box is now on sale for $20.00 for the next two days! I need to make room for my Christmas supplies, and want to get these moving! There are things to read, eat, drink, and wear, as well as a couple other handmade gifts!

Thanks for taking the time to look! Autumn Book Box!

The Ghost Chronicles – Marlo Berliner

The Ghost Chronicles Cover Image

Michael Andrews has his very promising young life cut short just as he is about to graduate high school. We get to journey with him as he learns how to live in the afterlife, continues to visit his family and girlfriend, and meets others like him in the afterlife. Except for his father, who died well before Michael. Did his father go to Heaven?

He has many questions, but is not getting the answers he wants. Why didn’t he cross over? Do people really go to Heaven, and is there a Heaven? Michael meets Sarah, who also suffered an early death. The two teenagers grow close, even though they have been warned of the dangers of a relationship.

To make matters worse, Michael is being chased by demons who are after his soul. He does not know why they are after him, but it becomes clear that someone he met knows more than they are telling. Can he find the answers he so desperately wants, and keep himself and Sarah safe as well?

You can visit the author’s website here: Marlo Berliner Website

 

 

Night Mask – William W. Johnstone

Well, I know for a fact I have never read this horror story by Mr. Johnstone. When I bought it, I noticed many of the reviews discussed the high level of violence and depravity in the story. I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. It was right in line with most of the other horror novels he had written. I am guessing that those reviewers have likely not read anywhere near as many of Mr. Johnstone’s horror novels as I have.

Night Mask Cover Image

It is a rather lengthy story, but it certainly engages you right from the get-go and keeps those pages turning. I will not get into too many details since it really is quite graphic, and I always try to avoid spoilers whenever possible.

The main thing to remember about these stories is that they were written before there were computers in every home, DVD players, and cell phones. It is definitely part of the charm of why I enjoy these books.

Lani and Leo are police officers who are put on a case that will change their lives. What seems like one gruesome incident is just the tip of the iceberg. They are about to discover a killing club that has been active for decades.

As more and more bodies are discovered, more help gets brought in to assist the two officers. They soon realize there are people everywhere whom they should not trust, even in their own department.

Someone is using the local radio station to introduce subliminal messages to the listeners, who in turn fall under the control of a very evil pair of twins. What begins in one small town takes you from the East Coast to the West Coast, with a body count so high, it is the worst in history.

There are many characters involved in the story, so you definitely need to pay attention to all the different angles going on. In the end, it all comes full circle, and everything is tied together.

Definitely an intense read, but well worth the efforts!

If You Could Have Dinner With an Author?

Before I post my author, and I will tell you, I was arguing with myself for days; if you could have dinner with one author, living or not, who would it be?

I am expecting some familiar names, and please do not let that stop you from posting, because I would honestly love to have dinner with JK Rowling, Stephen King (hold the meal), or Mr. Patterson.

I would have loved to have had a face-to-face with Mr. William W. Johnstone, whom stoked my fire for writing when I wrote to him as a young teenager, obsessed with his books, and he replied, and we had a friendly relationship for several years.

That book right there; Sweet Dreams, put me on the path to loving books for the rest of my life!

And now I have a personal library in my house, and I am constantly hunting for the books I loved as a child. Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators? They are gold now, because I cannot find a single one under $30.00, and my local library does not even carry them anymore 😦

So about that dinner…..who is it?