Archive for Mystery Books

Debra Sennefelder Writes Murder Wears A Little Black Dress

Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder Has Murder and the LBD on Her Mind!

General Introduction

Debra Sennefelder did a great job with this first installment in the Resale Boutique series. I liked this better than her food blogger series, which you can read about here. Kelly is trying to put her life back together. On Long Island of all places! Seems like a typical small town who doesn’t like it when one of their own leaves for big city and comes back with their tail between their legs. A ‘thrift’ store may have some crazy people who would kill for a specific item, but no one would expect the bodies to keep piling up over one dress! Didn’t seem to lucky going back to Lucky Cove, did it?

The Review

The Characters

  • Kelly is a fun character. She’s tough and yet scared. Smart yet unsure. And annoyed because of the inheritance of a cat. She definitely has the attitude of someone from the big city. She needs to learn to tone down her attitude a bit, else she will be driven out of town!
  • Gabe and Pepper are quite a pair. You’d never guess they were related the way they both treated their friend. They definitely don’t see her the same way. Pepper definitely is a great older broad who is set in her ways, and has no problems telling others that she is the way she is, and won’t change just for them. And Gabe is a sweetheart of a guy. I hope Debra Sennefelder sticks with him the way I think she is going. Please keep it friends, no romance, thank you very much.
  • Liv I would like to get to know a bit better. She was there for many of the key scenes, but I didn’t quite get a feel for her.
  • The best (or worst) are her relatives, Ralph and Summer. Some pretty cruel people here. Not ones you want in your family, but you know they do exist, it’s a matter of whether you deal with them or not. You know, their character personalities kind of fit their names. Go figure!
  • The minor (or story specific characters) I felt were well developed, and there weren’t so many that readers would get confused.

The Setting Descriptions

I liked the setting descriptions. They were well paced out, not too full as to skip over them, but enough detail that you could envision them.

I want to find this consignment boutique! I liked how Debra Sennefelder described the shop by what was happening in the shop, not just giving us a description.

Again, like with many authors, I wish I could get more of a vision of the entire town.

The Dialogue

I liked the banter here. The characters felt like they had their own voices. And they had their own brains. Not everyone was thinking the same, like some writers do. It was fun to see the arguments happen. And the panic happen. And poor Kelly with her concerns about her future, and fighting with everyone about it.

The Pace

There was a good roller coaster ride going on here. There was tension and yet breathers. Many of the chapters had those last sentences where you just had to read another one. There were times I didn’t want to put the book down to go to bed. And I have to admit, I did take a bit longer lunch break than usual to keep reading.

The writing was smooth. I felt the backstory sprinkled throughout was well placed. I didn’t see real confusion with Kelly’s history. Every time I felt like I had a question, boom! There was the answer.

The Plot

There was so much murder going on, I don’t see how Debra Sennefelder kept all the clues and red herrings straight. They were all there, for sure, but oh man! 

Not sure about the subplots, though. I don’t know if they should all be resolved because it’s a series or not. But with no subplots really left as cliffhangers, I’m not sure if it will keep other readers waiting for the next book.

I have to admit, at one point I did consider the actual killer, but immediately dismissed it as stupid. Like it didn’t make sense. There’s no way it could have happened that way. But it did! And it was explained well, so it was no longer stupid. Nice job!

Debra Sennfelder Author Information

Do you want to know more about Debra Sennfelder? Check out her website here. She moves pretty fast too on coming up with new ideas, trying to create two series at the same time.

The Food Blogger Series

  • The Uninvited Corpse – March 2018
  • The Hidden Corpse – March 2019

Resale Boutique Mysteries

  • Murder Wears A Little Black Dress – January 2019

The Verdict

I give Debra Sennefelder a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not a 5 yet, but I think her writing has improved rather quickly, else she’s just really into this particular concept. I eagerly await the next installment.

Lena Gregory Writes A Cold Brew Killing

Lena Gregory

General Information

Lena Gregory Kills the Diner Scene

Lena Gregory is definitely a prolific writer, and a quirk at the same time. The story was interesting. It’s a cute idea. The poor cold brew taste no one wants to try! Oh my!

It is a cute story, like the original cozy mysteries. Lots of comedy and antics, some of which maybe a bit over the top. But it is a fun read for this diyhomegoddess.

The Review

The Characters

The characters were well developed. Fun guys and gals. Not too many characters in this story. I liked how the backstory was tossed in. Especially at odd times, not the classic, but when you least expect it. It made it more memorable.

Lots of characters, but there weren’t any thrown in for filler sake, or to just add as a red herring. All were needed.

Gia seemed a bit of a wild horse here. Some very silly actions to try to find the killer. They were fun, but not sure if they should be in here. You’d think with all these adventures, she’d get in some serious trouble. Maybe she did in the prior books, and I just don’t know about them.

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Shari Randall Writes Curses, Boiled Again!

Curses, Boiled Again by Shari Randall

General Introduction

Shari Randall has come up with a fun book here. There’s no such thing as a brand new book idea, just putting your own spin on an idea already out there. This author does it in spades. A restaurant, a food festival, and reality television? I’ve seen plenty of combinations for two of these, but all three? Not too many at all.

The one thing missing from this book is a lobster roll recipe. I got to find one, since this book made me hungry for one!

The Review

The Characters

Allie Larkin is a fun character. I automatically felt for her with the injury crushing her dreams for the moment. She is fully developed, and I enjoyed her bit of a scatterbrained attempt at solving the murder. She feels more realistic that way.

I love Aunt Gully, because she is a feisty broad. And she’s caring of others. The right personality for a restaurant.

The sister Lorel is one I love to hate. She seems too perfect for me, too put together, has no clue the insecurities she creates. Reminds me of my own sister. Doesn’t everyone have one of these in the family? I hope in the sequel she gets accused of the murder! Sorry Shari!

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Leslie Karst Writes A Measure of Murder

General Introduction

A Measure of Murder

Another cozy mystery that has cooking as a subplot! I love it! And it’s got great humor. And well written.

Sally tries out for a chorus singing one of Mozart’s famous pieces. Something she always wanted to sing. On top of running a restaurant left to her by an aunt. And helping run her father’s family restaurant. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the two restaurants are not similar, one is more casual, one is more sophisticated. And on top of this, she gets involved in a murder. Again. And I tried THE SPAGHETTI CARBONARA RECIPE, which was wonderful!

Anyway, about the review.

The Characters

Sally is a woman of middle age, who is going through what most women of middle age go through. Leslie Karst was smart and didn’t gloss over it. It became part of her character, like it should. 

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