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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.

Killer Green Tomatoes–building a family from a business

Killer Green Tomatoes

by Lynn Cahoon

Killer Green TomatoesAre the people biologically related to you your only family or can the people you choose to surround yourself with be another type of family? Angie, head chef and owner of the County Seat, tries to answer that question for herself and the reader in Killer Green Tomatoes. Lynn Cahoon’s latest work addresses this question along with several others.

Angie, somewhat of an introvert, finds herself surrounded with issues stemming from various relationships in her small community.  The kitchen and wait staff of County Seat are rocked by a death. The Basque community is selecting a new leader. A murder suspect disappears. Numerous women have conflicts with Angie because of small town gossip and jealousies. The sheriff doesn’t trust her. Even Mrs. Potter from across the street is ready to shake her walker at Angie. Felicia,  Angie’s best friend, and Ian, her boyfriend, are the two people she can count on.

Killer Green Tomatoes is a really good cozy mystery, and I highly recommend the series. I do have one issue with the book and that concern diminishes as the story progresses. Mrs. Potter comes to stay with Angie for a week, and Angie immediately finds excuses to leave the house because Mrs. Potter annoys her. Initially Mrs. Potter does nothing to cause that behavior on Angie’s part. Later there are some eyebrow raising incidents, but overall nothing to engender Angie’s behavior. It’s a week, for heaven’s sake, and the woman is physically independent! With Angie reconciling herself to the situation, the plot takes center stage and the reader is treated to a fun mystery.

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

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes:  #2 in the Farm-to-Fork Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone

Publication:   July 3, 2018—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)

Memorable Lines:

Family ties. They wrapped you up in emotions you didn’t even know were there.

Angie was an introvert, and having someone in her house all the time, well, it had been harder than she’d expected.

“There’s enough evil in the world that I can see and understand. I don’t have to go all underworld to be scared.”

The Bagel King–don’t fall on your tuckes!

The Bagel King

written by Andrew Larsen

Illustrated by Sandy Nichols

The Bagel KingThe Bagel King is a sweet story about a grandfather who goes to the bakery every Sunday morning, rain or shine, and buys bagels to share with his grandson Eli. Then Zaida’s (grandpa’s) three friends arrive at his apartment with their assisted walking devices for a Sunday morning bagel feast. All of that changes one Sunday when Zaida slips at at the bakery and has to rest for several weeks. All are discouraged but Eli saves the day by making the bagel run himself.

The story is simple and uncomplicated. It is a short picture book so there is no opportunity for character development. There is a mini glossary of sorts defining the five Yiddish words in the book and explaining two food words. The illustrations are my favorite part of the book. They have a little bit of a comic book style to them, are gentle, humorous, and reflect the mood of the characters very well. For me, it is a good read aloud, but not a book I would treasure and pass through the generations.

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

Rating: 4/5

Category: Children’s Fiction

Notes: Age Range: 5-6 years

Grade Level: P-2

Publication:  May 1, 2018—Kids Can Press

Uneasy Prey–preying on the elderly

Uneasy Prey

by Annette Dashofy

Uneasy PreyZoe Chambers is an EMT whose first call after being on medical leave for eight weeks is to the home of a ninety-two year old found lying at the bottom of the basement stairs. She says someone pushed her. Zoe involves her boyfriend Pete, who is police chief of Vance. The plot gets more involved as the police try to track down a white truck with no windows, Pete has to situate his father in an assisted living facility and Zoe has to find a new home for her horses.

Who wants to prey on elderly residents of small town Vance, Pennsylvania? They are frightened, losing their valuable possessions and potentially their lives. Uneasy Prey by Annette Dashofy is a cozy mystery that tries to answer this question, but opens the door to many more. This is a good read with several surprising twists as Zoe, Pete, and a cast of characters solve crimes and help others.

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.

Rating: 5/5

Category: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery

Notes: #6 in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone

Publication:   March 27, 2018—Henery Press

Memorable Lines:

“No, he’s not okay. He’s got Alzheimer’s. He’s never okay.”

…the resolve and underlying anger in Marcus’ eyes made Pete think there was more going on here than a simple brawl between two testosterone-driven teens with anger-management issues.

A familiar mop of short blonde hair…a flash of crimson…sent his heart plummeting. All he could hear was the echo of stillness inside his head and his chest.

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