Review: The Sixth Victim by Tessa Harris

SixthVictim

Published May 30th 2017                                   by    Kensington Publishing Corporation

ISBN13: 9781496706546                                   Series: A Constance Piper Mystery #1

Rating:   4-1/2*

London’s East End,  1888     –    When Jack the Ripper roamed the streets London’s Whitechapel district had become the a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper.  No one was safe especially the women of the night who sold themselves.   Why even the young flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to the dread of being singled out by the Ripper even though she is more concerned with the strange feelings and dreams that seem to haunt her sanity.

During all this hullabaloo over Jack – clairvoyants were coming out of the walls claiming to have been contacted by the victims.  Constance’s mother is certain they’re real and wants to contact her dead husband in a seance.  Constance herself is beginning to think that she herself is having these powers.  Her dreams seem to be coming true, and she longs for her teacher and friend Miss Emily Tindall, but to all intents and purposes Miss Tindall seems to have disappeared.

***   Set in that turbulent time as Jack the Ripper roamed the streets of London, the author tells the tale of  the mood and terror the East Enders lived in while Jack roamed the streets, committing horrendous and brutally depicted slayings of the prostitutes that lived during that period.  However it brings to mind that possibly not all the grotesque murders were committed by Jack.

Told thru the eyes of Emily Tindall, and musings of others we examine the changes that were coming to life in Constance, who wasn’t quite able to understand the changes she was going through but was given glimpses of things that she knew she was meant to look into.   Not until a lady of means came to Constance asking her to help her find her missing sister did the messages Constance was receiving begin to make sense.

Bottom Line:  The mystery was actually quite good and even as I rather guessed at what was going on, I still had to read on to make sure my guesses were correct.  However, if the reader is expecting to discover the identity of Jack – this is not going to happen – that is still the mystery for the ages.

Marilyn Rondeau

 

 

Review: Mulch Ado About Murder by Edith Maxwell

Cam Flaherty is embarrassed to see her mother, Deb, protesting outside of Westbury’s newest hydroponics greenhouse. After all, Cam has contracted with Nicole Kingsbury, the owner of the greenhouse, to start some of the seedlings Nicole will use.  Unfortunately, Cam’s irritation soon turns to dismay when she finds Nicole dead. Even worse, the death isn’t accidental and now Deb is hiding secrets. Cam knows her mother isn’t guilty of murder… but can she prove it?

MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER is the fifth book in A Local Foods Mystery series but can easily be read as a standalone. Edith Maxwell does a great job at providing readers with enough background information to jump right in and thoroughly enjoy the story. However, each and every book in A Local Foods Mystery series is enjoyable so I suspect readers will find themselves wanting to read the rest of the series after getting a taste.

MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER provides us with some insight into Cam’s childhood as we get to know Cam’s parents, Deb and William. It took me a while to warm up to Cam’s parents, as Deb especially is quite secretive and almost cold at times. It’s easy to see why Cam’s Great-Uncle Albert and the farm are so important to Cam. Edith Maxwell does a wonderful job at bringing the storyline full circle, however, as Deb and William grew on me. In fact, I hope we see more of them in future books.

Edith Maxwell is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. I love the insight she gives into the ups and downs of an organic farmer’s life almost as much as I enjoy the mysteries themselves. However, it’s the wonderful characters and relationships that make A Local Foods Mystery series such a hit. MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER is yet another great entry into the series and I look forward to what the next installment has in store for us!

Review: Mother’s Day, Muffins, and Murder by Sara Rosett

Professional Organizer, mom, and regular school volunteer Ellie Avery has her hands full managing all of the end of the year activities for her two children. The annual Mother’s Day breakfast is always a nice treat, however, even if she has to deal with her only work competition, Gabrielle Matheson.  In an unexpected twist, Gabrielle swears she’s seen a dead body- and yet there isn’t one to find. Later, the body reappears and now everyone is mistrustful as no one knows why the murder occurred. The ending of a school year is always chaotic, but never as much as when a murder is involved. Can Ellie uncover the murderer while juggling both her job and the activities of her children?

How could I resist a book that features the end of the school year and murder? Sara Rosett perfectly captures the mayhem that ensues at the end of the school year. Ellie is a great heroine, balancing her inquisitive nature with a respect for the privacy of others. Ellie is a very likable character and I can’t wait to read the earlier mysteries in the series as I want to spend more time with Ellie!

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a professional organizer as the heroine but I quickly grew to enjoy the change from my usual culinary cozy mysteries. I love the Organizing Tips for PTA women featured at the end of many of the chapters as they give a glimpse into the incredible tasks that face parents who want to be successfully involved in their children’s schools. I particularly love that the tips recognize that saying no is a perfectly acceptable answer as well.

MOTHER’S DAY, MUFFINS, AND MURDER is the tenth book in the Ellie Avery Mystery series but it’s easy to jump right in and enjoy the story. I hadn’t read Sara Rosett before but I have now downloaded the first book to my Kindle and can’t wait to see what other troubles Ellie has had. Highly recommended!

*A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Scheduled to Death by Mary Feliz

scheduledtodeath

Maggie McDonald is a Certified Professional Organizer and she hopes the upcoming holiday event scheduled to occur at Professor Lincoln Sinclair’s home will jumpstart her business. Unfortunately, Maggie finds more than just disorganization in the professor’s home- she finds the dead body of Linc’s fiancée.  Evidence points to murder rather than an accident and now Maggie is determined to find the murderer. Will Maggie become a target in the process?

SCHEDULED TO DEATH is the second book in the Maggie McDonald Mystery series but can easily be read as a standalone. Mary Feliz does a marvelous job at introducing new readers to her characters and her world. I haven’t read the first book, ADDRESS TO DIE FOR, but have already added it to my ever-growing TBR list.

And oh the characters! I can’t help but love the vitriol directed at the aptly nicknamed “Detective Awful”.  I’m almost sorry we won’t get to see more of this over-the-top ridiculous menace, as he provides quite a bit of humor. Maggie is a great heroine, full of spunk and determination. I love her willingness to do the right thing, even when it involves helping others in the middle of the night. She’s fearless and organized, which is a deadly combination.

SCHEDULED TO DEATH is a fast paced, entertaining cozy mystery. Each chapter starts with a piece of organizing wisdom from Maggie before we set off on the next segment of our adventure. I can’t wait to see what Mary Feliz has in store next for Maggie and her friends. Easily recommended!

Review: Killing Thyme by Leslie Budewitz

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Pepper Reece’s hands are full, as she’s busy making her Spice Shop profitable. Pike Place Market offers lots of opportunities for collaboration and inspiration, but a recent newcomer to the Market is causing some division. Bonnie Clay’s pottery is exceptional, but what is her tie to Pepper’s mother? Pepper’s mother, Lena, won’t divulge her secrets, but did those secrets lead to murder?

KILLING THYME is the third book in Leslie Budewitz’s Spice Shop Mystery series, and each new book is just as charming as the prior books! KILLING THYME can easily be read as a standalone story, particularly since Leslie Budewitz provides us with a helpful “Market Roll Call” of all the various characters in her story. The first two books in the series focused more on Pepper’s immediate issues (both with her store and her love life) while KILLING THYME digs deeper into Pepper’s past.

I love the setting of KILLING THYME, as we see Pepper experimenting with various scrumptious sounding blends. Leslie Budewitz offers readers tantalizing recipes, even as Pepper samples other delightful wares in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. In fact, a large part of the appeal of the Spice Shop Mystery series is the delightful atmosphere Leslie Budewitz crafts for the readers. Her world is one I want to visit time and time again.

KILLING THYME is yet another fun installment in the Spice Shop Mystery series. Pepper’s feisty personality coupled with phenomenal world building make KILLING THYME and the rest of the Spice Shop Mystery series a definite hit. Easily recommended!

*Copy received from the author*

Review: The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio

TheReadaholicsAndTheGothicGala

It was supposed to be a “Celebration of Gothic Novels” but somehow it ended in murder instead. Amy-Faye Johnson is in charge of organizing all the events associated with the event, but the authors attending are proving to quite difficult.  Amy-Faye and the Readaholics set out to investigate. Does one of the visiting authors harbor a secret worth killing for?

I love Amy-Faye and the rest of the Readaholics so it was with great pleasure that I dived into THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA! Maud is still my favorite character as I love her quirky personality and ability to see conspiracies everywhere. I like that we get a bit more insight into her character and her history, as we meet some of her former college friends in THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA.

THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA is the third book in the Book Club Mystery series but can easily be read as a standalone. REBECCA is one of my all-time favorite classics, so I was thrilled to see the combination of a great series and a great classic. And oh, Laura DiSilverio does a magnificent job at weaving the classic story of REBECCA into the plotline of THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA! If you like gothic novels and mysteries, then you’re in for a real treat with this book!

*The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*