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by Maia Chance
Bad Housekeeping is a fairly typical cozy mystery that will keep you laughing and shaking your head in dismay as Agnes, recently dumped by her professor boyfriend, and Effie, her quirky great aunt, drive from adventure to misadventure in a “borrowed” Cadillac. This is a fun read, not intended to shake your world or be a realistic portrayal of anything. It is a great diversion as a summer beach read or a session curled up on the couch.
Agnes, freshly returned to her Dad’s home, has literally the clothes on her back. Effie gives her a job helping save the condemned Stagecoach Inn. Agnes stumbles over a body at the inn, precipitating a murder investigation and leading to the uncovering of lots of personal secrets in the little town of Naneda.
The plot clips along at a good pace with some twists and turns as the story develops. The characters are predictable in a comfortable sort of way with a stuffy ex-fiancé and an old high school flame with boy-next-door kind of appeal. The police hover in the background, but all of the successful investigation is done by Agnes. While this book is not destined for number one on the New York Times best seller list, it will provide a good afternoon’s entertainment.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #1 in the new Agnes and Effie Mystery Series
Publication: June 13, 2017—Crooked Lane Books
Maybe salvaging a wreck of a building is a metaphor for salvaging the wreckage of our own lives. It’s like we’re telling ourselves, See? It can be done. It’s never too late. I’m not sure if it’s tragic or inspirational.
I tried not to notice Otis’s tanned biceps. Yes, I know, women may have evolved to be attracted to muscles as a way to select mates with better survival odds. But this is the twenty-first century. The wise thing these days is to find a little nerd like Bill Gates if you’re interested in survival odds.
“I cannot believe you’re wearing poor little dead animals,” I said. “It’s vintage, darling. Vintage fur doesn’t count. These little animals have been dead since the Nixon administration.”
Ivy Get Your Gun
by Cindy Brown
With Ivy Get Your Gun, don’t expect a suspenseful thriller with a philosophical bent. Look for a fun cozy mystery with lots of humor. Ivy Meadows is a medium level actress who also works as an apprentice private investigator in her Uncle Bob’s office. Being a part of both worlds opens up opportunities for the author to explore more diverse plot threads as Ivy engages with people she knows from both arenas. A third dimension is added as Ivy deals with the consequences of a youthful mistake, her difficult family relationships, and a blossoming romance.
Mystery is the priority of this book as Ivy combines her theatrical skills with her admittedly too naive and trusting nature. She goes undercover to play Western characters in a melodrama at Gold Bug Gulch, getting involved with some interesting but dangerous personalities. The short chapters and fast pace will have you flying through this book. Even when I knew I had to put it down, I couldn’t resist a peek at the next page!
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Mystery, General Fiction (Adult)
- #4 in The Ivy Meadows Mystery Series, but worked great as a standalone
- Includes information contrasting Annie Oakley in the musical Annie Get Your Gun and the historical Annie Oakley
Publication: May 16, 2017—Henery Press
We ate in silence for a minute. Or I did. Frank chewed his Fritos noisily, with his mouth open. I got the feeling he’d lived alone for a long time.
Uncle Bob had taught me that most drives could be put down to power or passion. Power included money, prestige, and the need to one-up someone. Passion covered revenge, sex, and love.
Theater had been my safe place ever since Cody’s accident. A place I could relax and be myself, which seems odd considering that I was always playing a role onstage.