Archive for Mystery Books

Kellye Garrett Writes Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending by Kelley Garrett

General Introduction

Kellye Garrett has done it again. I didn’t think she could out-do her first book, but sure enough, she handled it with no problem.

Again, she had me laughing out loud in places where people stare if you make a peep. But it was so worth it.

The Review

The Characters

Dayna Anderson has grown quickly in this series. How in the world is she trying to fake people into believing she is a PI? Because she’s a former actress, that’s why. She created a persona that can be cracked, but she knows how to talk her way out of it. She is what this diyhomegoddess would want to be like.

Omari Grant has made a name for himself in this one. He is becoming a stronger character, with just enough wit, self-centeredness, and strength to play second fiddle to Dayna, instead of the standard cozy, which makes the romance connection part of the investigative team. Good for you Kellye Garrett!

Aubrey Adams-Parker acts like the PI who wants anonymity. He’s definitely no LT. Colombo, he’s more of an invisible man, who figures things out, but no one seems to know he’s the one who did it.

Danya’s besties, Sienna and Emme are becoming stronger in this particular book. We are getting more information into what their particular skills are. And I like it.

The secondary characters are definitely an interesting crew. Each one is totally different from the other. And what you anticipate them to do is not what happens on the page. Damn those twists!

I love these characters!

The Setting Descriptions

I love the way Kellye Garrett describes the scenes. You can tell she’s been there. There’s nothing made up here, unless she’s creating a fake company. The sounds of the city are right. The reactions of people are right.

When it comes to the Hollywood parties, you get transported to the place, and forget you are reading. I can feel the presence of the snobs, the gawkers, the photographers, the clothes.

And SWAG (Stuff We All Get), playing an integral part in the story, is amazing. I’ve seen articles about SWAG, she’s not making up what goes in those bags!

The Dialogue

The dialogue is funny as hell. Things coming from the characters’ mouths are not expected. The banter is quick and witty. What the characters say to get out of their situations is funny, especially if it doesn’t get the expected reaction from another character.

The Pace

The pace of the story is almost near perfect. There are breathers, and yet there are parts where it gets intense. Nothing seems in the wrong part of the book. There is no jumping around, wondering, “wait, how did we get here?”

This is an art that authors need to learn, and Kellye Garrett learned quickly.

The Plot

The plot is well done. It moves along, and the subplots in place don’t detract from the main story. But the subplots feel like they belong there, they aren’t there just to add words to the novel. She uses the characters in innovative ways to move the plot along. You think they are stuck in situations, and all of a sudden they are out, and it makes sense how they get out.

There are red herrings galore, and yet there are clues that make you wonder what is real and what is a plant.

Let me tell you, I knew who the killer was from the get go. I knew I had it. I never changed my mind throughout the entire story, like I usually do. And then about 8 pages from the end of the book, she revealed the killer. And damn, I was totally wrong! The killer made sense once the reveal was complete, but I honestly thought I had it!

Kellye Garrett Author Information

Kellye Garrett is a professional writer for television shows, so she knows how to put things to paper for people to visualize. You can read about her writings and lives here. A quick review of her first book I did is here.

Her first book won 4 awards in 2018, and nominated for two others. Amazing! I can’t wait to see what awards she gets with the second book.

She’s written two books so far:

  • Hollywood Homocide – August 2017
  • Hollywood Ending – August 2018

And Voila

And there you have it. Definitely a woman to watch, and laugh with. 5 out of 5 stars for this book!

Amanda Flower – Assaulted Caramel

Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower

General Introduction

Amanda Flower is a fun writer to read. This book was well written, but there were a few quirks. It is worth getting the second in the series to give it a try.

I did try one of the recipes. It was a failure because I used the wrong style of caramel. Maybe I read the recipe wrong, but I think if there is something like that in the recipe, maybe brand names are necessary?

Anyway, about the review

The Characters

The characters were interesting in a good way. I don’t know who close the author is to Amish individuals, but as a Pennsylvanian, I felt they were pretty darn spot on. The one thing I thought was unusual was them not being allowed at the wedding. I understood that the MOB didn’t want them there, but I was actually expecting them to mention their lack of vanity and picture issues as a problem.

I did feel the “English” characters were a little flat, a little predictable. But maybe because this is the first book, and I don’t feel like I quite know them yet. 

The Setting Descriptions

The setting was quaint, real, and I could picture it, especially as the story progressed toward the finale.

The Dialogue

This was a bit of a struggle, because of two different worlds being portrayed. I didn’t seem to mind it, but I’m used to it. I can’t speak for those who don’t know the Pennsylvania Dutch society.

The Pace

The right amount of action versus breathing time. It almost seemed natural, because the kind of place this was set in. I think too much action would have ruined the setting.

The Plot

There were plenty of twists and turns. Good red herrings. I didn’t come close to guessing the killer. But once all the clues were explained, it made total sense. And bravo to the author for not having any ‘hidden clues’. 

Amanda Flower Author Information

Amanda Flower has been around for a while, doing multiple series. This shows her as versatile. Look her up, you just might find something you like.

Writing as AMANDA FLOWER

Amish Sweetshop Mystery Series

  • Assaulted Caramel – September 2017
  • Lethal Licorice – February 2018
  • Premeditated Peppermint – September 2018
  • Criminally Cocoa – February 2019
  • Toxic Toffee – June 2019

Amanda Flower also has these series

  • Appleseed Creek Mystery Series
  • Andi Boggs Series
  • India Hayes Mystery Series
  • Living History Museum Mystery Series
  • Magical Bookshop Mystery Series

Standalone book

  • Novella in AMISH CHRISTMAS AT NORTH STAR

And, Writing as ISABELLA ALAN

  • The Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series

You can find more about Amanda Flower here.

Debra Sennefelder Writes The Uninvited Corpse

Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder Writes Her First Mystery

General Information

Debra Sennefelder, I don’t know what to say. I love this title. And a story about a blogger? How fun is that for a career in a cozy mystery? They always say there’s no new story in the word, just your own twist on something done before. And this is definitely a new twist.

But you know? This character is a food blogger, kind of like this diyhomegoddess. However, Debra Sennefelder puts recipes as inserts, just like all the other culinary mysteries. What if she were to do hints on how to do a blog as her inserts? Just a thought.

The Review

The Characters

There are quite a few characters in this story, and it is a bit hard to keep them all in my head. But the physical descriptions of the characters were vividly done. I will be talking about just the repeating characters here.

I liked the way Hope Early thought about her professional life. She is strong, sure of her self, and a take charge kind of gal. But in her personal life? I’m not so sure about that. I don’t know if that is what was intended, but Hope seems a bit wishy-washy about dealing with feelings. I felt like there wasn’t enough investment in Hope. And her snooping skills seemed a little off. Like she was being way too pushy for someone just starting out.

Read more

Daryl Wood Gerber Writes Final Sentence

Daryl Wood Gerber Final Sentence

General Introduction

This is the first in the series. It is well written, but I expect nothing less from Daryl Wood Gerber. This is one I had trouble putting down. I make her recipes, and nothing disappoints yet.

The Review

The Characters

All the characters I could see as real people. I didn’t feel there was anything truly cookie cutter here.

Jenna is stressed out by her past, and it shows in the story, without writing a lot of backstory.

A lot of fun secondary characters are added to the mix, creating mayhem and confusion. The reader gets involved, roots for someone to be the killer or be innocent, and yet no one upstaged anyone else.

The Setting Descriptions

I got an overview of the town setting, but would have liked a bit more detail, or a bit of moving around, so I could visualize a map of it. I bet this comes together as the series progresses.

The Dialogue

The dialogue is well done. I didn’t have trouble figuring out who said what, and you could envision the characters with just how they talked. Awesome!

The Pace

Lots of action happens. Prepare for a thrilling ride with lots of breath holding. A cozy mystery? Fast paced with excitement? A bit much. I loved it though. Maybe it could have used a few slow down moments?

The Plot

Uber clues and red herrings. The foodie aspect of the story came through, but wasn’t overpowering. I figure out the killer, but not until right before the big reveal. That was a shock for me, as I NEVER figure Daryl Wood Gerber killers!

Daryl Wood Gerber Author Information

This gal has been around for it seems like forever, but she ain’t that old! Any diyhomegoddess who loves food will love all her books. You can find out more about Daryl Wood Gerber here.

As Daryl Wood Gerber:

The Cookbook Nook Series

  • Final Sentence – August 2013
  • Inherit the Word – March 2014
  • Stirring the Pot – October 2014
  • Fudging the Books – August 2015
  • Grilling the Subject – August 2016
  • Press the Issue – February 2018
  • Wreath Between the Lines – November 2018

The French Bistro Series

  • A Deadly Eclair – November 2017
  • A Soufflé of Suspicion – June 2018

As Avery Aames

A Cheese Shop Mystery Series

  • The Long Quiche Goodbye – July 2010
  • Lost and Fondue – July 2011
  • Clobbered by Camembert – February 2013
  • To Brie or Not to Brie – February 2013
  • Days of Wine and Roquefort – February 2014
  • As Gouda as Dead – February 2015
  • For Cheddar or Worse – February 2016

And Voila!

I’ve never read a Daryl Wood Gerber book I didn’t absolutely love!

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