It is unusual to come across a humorous cozy murder mystery with a dash of romance which ALSO includes a faith element, but Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney does just that. This book does not delve deeply into the faith idea, though the main character is rather faith driven. She is concerned about the possibility of others finding peace through prayer, praying for others and things she is going to do. There is discussion of going to church at multiple times through out the book.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a definite murder mystery, definitely some romance and a bit of humour too. There is even some tension as the entire thing is wrapped up. Dying to Read is the first book in The Cate KinKaid Files. Cate is working for her PI uncle as she is in between jobs, without a social life and experiencing what is one of the worst hair cuts possible. Everything blows up in her face when she takes on the job of determining if a specific woman lives at a specific address. From then on in it is all murder, confusion, and unique characters.
I found this book to be a fun and eventful read. A full novel at 321 pages it actually was a book you could sink your teeth in and a nice change after all of the novellas I have been coming across lately. I found that I did not solve the mystery too quickly, and even better some of the CHARACTERS were mysteries too!
Cate made me giggle and the book club ladies (seriously you have to read this to truly get a look at all the characters) added some spice and silly to the mix. The hunky man was a bit of a mystery wrapped in kindness and good timing and the ending was just as enjoyable as the middle and the beginning. I seriously hope the following books in the series are just as enjoyable and hope to find out myself! (In writing up this review I realize I HAVE read something else by this author and reviewed it, AND enjoyed it… check that out HERE)
I had an hour or so when I snuck outside to the hammock for some alone time while the kids played computers this evening. This happened to be just enough time to read the rather quick read that is Wilde Deception by Ruth Rowland. This is the second book in the Cosset Cove Cozy Mystery Series and was a free find on Amazon. I have not read the first in the series but I really did not find that it hurt my enjoyment of this short story any to have missed it.
I found a few grammar/spelling/word issues… the most jarring for me was the word draw instead of drawer which made me re-read the sentence. One discrpency that had me running to my google was when the author described the main character Charlotte Wilde (reporter and owner of the local small time newspaper, who was once a reporter in the big city) and her friends Clara and Abigail (aunts to…) and Amy to a New England Pot Roast. This is fine and dandy until she described the CHICKEN as being very tender… as far as I can tell anytime someone is talking about a pot roast it is BEEF. Not a major complaint but it did bother me enough to leave off reading the story long enough to see if I was right or wrong on my assumption before diving back in.
Wilde Deception does not have a big romantic theme to it, there are potential love interests as far as I can tell and the characters tease Charlotte about it a bit, but it is not necessary to the mystery. I did find I did not have (even in retrospect) enough information as I read along to solve this mystery. This is not a hindrance to me as I rarely try to figure out the who done it in advance, but for some could be a problem.
The other main character is a rather large Maine Coon cat called Barney who had a role in this story and apparently a rather major role in the previous tale.
The story is light and fast paced but enjoyable. I enjoyed this quick glimpse into the life of Charlotte Wilde. It was entertaining and humorous as well as still being a traditional cozy murder mystery. So if you have a nice block of time some sunny afternoon do give this a try. And if you read the first book – Wilde Murder do give me your opinion! Sad but true my current book budget is a big old ZERO so for now I will enjoy my freebies and continue my list of to purchase!
Right off the bat I have to say – I thoroughly enjoyed A Ghost for Christmas by J.D. Winters. This is the first book in the Destiny Bay Cozy Mysteries. It was a one afternoon read for me, but I honestly had a hard time putting it down. As seems to be a trend with a lot of these cozy mysteries, this one also includes a recipe – a Hawaiian one, for Chicken Hekka… and for once I may just be tempted to try it! (without the mushrooms as I seem to be semi allergic)
But, enough of that… back to the story itself. The main character – Mele Keahi is half Hawaiian, half Caucasian. Her father has passed away and her mother disappeared when she was quite young. This left her with her grandmother (who was Hawaiian) and her Aunt Bebe (the same). Having recently lost her job and had her relationship suddenly end, Mele has traveled to Destiny Bay to sort herself out and enjoy a vacation with her aunt. Cue body in the front yard and the mystery begins.
Mele has more issues than just a murder to cope with. As we learn in the early portion of the book she has also (at least as a teenager) been haunted, or at least seen the ghost of a man who she calls Dante. Why, she doesn’t know, but he is back.
Add into the mix a bit of Hawaiian flavour, a detective who seems to be both suspicious of Mele and flirtatious, neighbours and workers who have dubious motives and even more dubious alibis and that ever present hint of the paranormal and A Ghost for Christmas is a wonderful contemporary cozy read.
The Destiny Bay Cozy Mysteries series has great potential. I especially love that the main character, while “damaged” is still confident, she is who she is and is shaped by her past, but the future is an open book! One which I look forward to reading further!