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Broadcast 4 Murder–mystery with lots of humor

Broadcast 4 Murder

by J.C. Eaton

Get ready to solve several mysteries, laughing your way through the pages of J.C. Eaton’s Broadcast 4 Murder. Sophie (aka “Kiddo” to her boss, “Phee” to her mother, and “Hon” to her boyfriend Marshall) gets pulled into a murder investigation when her mother discovers a dead body at the Sun City West radio station as she prepares to broadcast a show about cozy mysteries. As soon as Sophie’s mother enters the scene, the reader can expect demands on Sophie to nose around, daily phone calls, and wacky shenanigans as the residents of this Arizona senior community interact. Streetman, her mom’s chiweenie, gets a delightful starring role.

The first murder is not the last, and other crimes are discovered in the process of the investigation. Lots of characters are implicated as possible suspects, but they don’t appear to fit all the requirements—motive, means, and opportunity. These crimes are a puzzle to local detectives as well as the private investigators Sophie works with. She is not a private investigator; she is an accountant. In this book, however, she is able to do some informal forensic accounting along with on the ground sleuthing to catch some crooks. Broadcast 4 Murder is funny, has a complicated plot, and will keep you turning pages while you just don’t want it to end.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #7 in the Sophie Kimball Mystery Series, but you can enjoy this cozy mystery as a standalone. This husband/wife writing team does an excellent job of beginning the action simultaneously with providing pertinent details of the backstory. They never miss a beat.

Publication: October 27, 2020—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

“Someone misplaced an apostrophe on some boxes? That’s the trouble these days. Schools no longer teach the important things. They’re too busy with social skills and self-esteem building. How can anyone build self-esteem if they can’t write a decent sentence?”

“You don’t have to worry about social media. She doesn’t use it. She prefers yenta media. It’s faster and commands a larger audience.”

It played out during the entire week with more and more salient details every night. It was as if we had our own version of Telemundo, only instead of seasoned actors, we had greedy retirees.

Sell Low, Sweet Harriet–mid-winter estate sale

Sell Low, Sweet Harriet

by Sherry Harris

Sell Low, Sweet HarrietWhen Alicia Arbas was murdered, the Fitch Air Force Base community turned out in support, including Sarah Winston who only knew her in passing. To Sarah’s surprise, she is recruited by Pellner who works for the local Ellington Police Dept. and Special Agent Bristol, an investigator with the Air Force OSI, to keep her ears open to any talk around base that might help them solve Alicia’s murder.

As the ex-wife of an Air Force security officer, Sarah still volunteers at the base thrift store and has maintained some of her social contacts. She also has been involved in informally investigating other local crimes.

Sell Low, Sweet Harriet is a cozy mystery with lots of fascinating threads. Sarah has a garage/estate sale business and in this book is hired to sell off goods that belong to former CIA agents who recently passed away in a faulty gas line accident. The house is full of interesting items from their travels around the world. so while Sarah is involved in a murder investigation and a mid-winter estate sale, she is trying to pinpoint her feelings for District Attorney boyfriend Seth and help her friend and landlady Stella with her relationship with an enforcement officer whom Sarah has nicknamed “Awesome.” Mike Titone, a mobster has also complicated her life by moving into the other apartment on her floor—again.

This mystery moves quickly; the characters are interesting. I hated to get to the end although I enjoyed the surprise. I want to see this series continue, but I am a little concerned about the direction it may take. Sarah makes it clear that as time passes, she has fewer genuine connections to the Air Force base. I wonder if the author will continue to rely on these tenuous connections or focus on Sarah’s new relationships and her business. I like Sarah because, despite various personal digs and a betrayal, she takes the high road, never seeking revenge.

I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #8 in The Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries, but works quite well as a standalone.

  2. Includes tips for holding a winter garage sale.

Publication:  December 31, 2019—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

And every time someone opened the door the wind nipped at my ankles like an overenthusiastic puppy.

“It’s hard enough to feel judged when it’s just you, but then worrying about tanking your husband’s career too? It feels like you’re walking a minefield of rules no one gave you.”

Pellner’s expression didn’t change. He kept his cop face locked and loaded. I thought his dimples deepened just a bit, but his impassiveness was impressive.

Let’s Fake a Deal–murder in the Air Force

Let’s Fake a Deal

by Sherry Harris

Let's Fake a DealYou can get a fairly good look at life on a U.S. Air Force base from reading Let’s Fake a Deal by Sherry Harris. Details range from the Spouse’s Club (formerly known as the Officers’ Wives Club) with its social structure and infighting to the legal processes within the enlisted and officer ranks. Much of it is accepted as “that’s the way it is” and some if it, sexual harassment, for example, is undergoing a slow evolution.

Sarah Winston, ex-wife of an Air Force security police force commander, lives between two worlds with loosening connections to the military and strengthening bonds with her new family of friends in the town she stayed in after her divorce. She owns a garage sale business, helping others sort through the excess in their lives, and lives in a tiny apartment furnished with garage sale findings.

Let’s Fake a Deal finds a shocked Sarah being arrested for selling stolen goods at one of her sales. Not only could she be convicted of a felony, but she could also damage her boyfriend Seth’s political chances as a District Attorney. At the same time that Sarah tries to locate the mysterious “aw shucks” couple who set her up, in more ways than one, she is also investigating the murder of Major Blade whose body was found in her friend Michelle’s car. Michelle is an Air Force light colonel enduring an IG investigation, but does not even know what the charges are. The Air Force judicial system works in powerful and mysterious ways.

Ride along with Sarah in this rollercoaster of a tale that involves a lot of investigation and interviews along with some action and romance. I think you’ll like both Sarah and this cozy mystery.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #7 in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone. I have only read a few in the series and have no problem following the plot.

  2. The author includes a lot of acronyms that are common in military life, but she  also gives good explanations for them.

Publication:   July 30, 2019—Kensington

Memorable Lines:

Going to garage sales was like finding a good partner. You had to kiss a lot of frogs before you found a treasure.

“Purple looks great on you,” I said. Way better than envy green did on me.

Maybe poor in money, but rich in family and friends. Loved. Isn’t that all any of us really wanted?

A Good Day to Buy–crime at a garage sale?

A Good Day to Buy

by Sherry Harris

A Good Day to BuyHaving held exactly one unsuccessful garage sale and participated in one equally disappointing flea market, I approached reading the fourth book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Series with a modicum of trepidation. I concluded A Good Day to Buy with no increased enthusiasm for the process, but with a great deal of respect for the author, Sherry Harris, whose cozy mystery is outstanding.  The story centers around former Air Force wife Sarah Winston, and her ex-husband CJ, a police chief. There is a huge cast of characters, so many I had to refer back frequently. Normally I would find this distracting, but it was compensated for by a plot line that is complicated and intriguing. There are equal amounts of cerebral efforts and action as Sarah tries to solve a multi-layered crime that starts at one of her garage sales and spreads out to include military friends and her long-lost brother.

I’m glad I chose to read this book in spite of its theme. There are worthwhile garage sale tips at the end for those interested. The book was successful in making me want to read more books in the series even if I was not convinced that conducting a garage sale is a profitable effort for me.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #4 in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone

Publication:   April 25, 2017—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

I stuffed some of the plastic bags into another one. What was with these things? They multiplied like those Tribbles in a Star Trek episode. You have a couple because you might need them, then boom, they’re everywhere.

In a small town, stories spread faster than news of antiques at a garage sale.

I’d always made the best of our assignments because it was either that or be miserable for a few years.

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