Chicks On The Case Book Reviews

Chicks on the case

Chicks On The Case Mystery Reviews

I’ve been reading some new mystery series these last few months. I found a wonderful blog Chicks On The Case, where six fairly new mystery authors gathered to start a blog, taking turns writing posts, sharing histories, sharing sidebars, interviewing other authors and sometimes bloggers, and generally having fun. I love reading their blog, posting a new article 3 times a week. You can find their blog here.

They all got together last year at Malice Domestic for the awards ceremony. I wish I’d been there.

So let me introduce you to a mess load of authors, the chicks on the case crew, chicks to us fans, all within the first few years of publication. This in no way reflects their individual personalities, it’s just titles I gave them based on their books and characters. I love all the chicks on the case!

Let’s Start With The N00b ChicK

HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE (A Detective by Day Mystery)

By Kellye Garrett

4 of 5 stars


Read this fast paced novel, now!

Talk about your reading you can’t put down. I started it this morning, and finished it in less one day.

Let’s get to the scoop.

The characters were all well developed. Except for Aubrey. I wish I knew more about him. But with the ending, he’s not going anywhere, so stay tuned for more. I can’t decide if I like Dayna Anderson or Sienna Hayes better. Dayna is the main character, and a bit of a power player, with just enough uncertainty to make her real. But Sienna… what a fun character. Her personality is the one friend you have in your life that makes things way too wacky. Come on, we all have one of those, right?

The descriptions were out in full force. They made me feel like I was in LA. Not the LA we all read about, the living in the real world LA.

The red herrings and clues were planted everywhere. I was wishing I could see the author’s chart of everything, to see how she made all the twists and turns in the story. Keep in mind, there wasn’t a single clue or red herring not needed. They all fit, and kept me guessing! I had no clue who was the killer until the reveal, because of all the planted clues and red herrings and Dayna’s guessing game. Nice job!

Dialogue was funny as all get out! I caught myself laughing out loud.

It moved extremely fast. Like action packed fast! Like I couldn’t keep up with it fast! Could be a good thing or bad thing. I leave it up to you to decide.

Also in this series:

  • Hollywood Ending (August 2018)

The Socialite ChicK

DEATH CRASHES THE PARTY (A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery)

By Vickie Fee

4 of 5 stars

Good but wanted more

I really wanted to get more into the characters. Why they were the way they were. I wanted to get to know them. The main character seemed a little ballsy for a small town, especially since she grew up there. I could see this as a big town gal come home, or having a rough job in the past. A little backstory might have explained why she was that way.

It was an easy read. The descriptions I thought were very good. Not ones I jumped past, which is a surprise for me.

There were enough clues, but nothing really pointing me in the wrong direction. Nothing really pointing me in the right direction either. Cozies aren’t supposed to have lots of depth, but a little more would have been good.

On the other hand, the humor in it was awesome, just the right amount of this type of story. It really helped with the pacing.

Also in this series:

  • It’s Your Party, Die if You Want To
  • One Fete in the Grave
  • Til Death Do Us Party (March 2018)

The Intellectual ChicK

THE SEMESTER OF OUR DISCONTENT (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)

By Cynthia Kuhn

4 of 5 stars


I got schooled in this story

This was an interesting read. The wording fit the characters. What I mean is, the story takes place in a college, so there were big words used throughout (dialogue). Not so obscure they couldn’t be understood, but it made me think the characters wrote the story.

I loved the characters. They were all stereotypical of a college, but unique at the same time. And I loved Nate. I thought Would have liked to see a little more of the main character’s job actions in this. It might have given more insight to why Lila Maclean seemed so timid. She seemed a little subdued for an amateur sleuth, so Nate’s strong personality was a good balance. Lila’ s subtleness brought in extra helpings of red herrings.

I thought the reveal was complete, but a few sentences here and there were confusing.

Good descriptions, not sure if more were necessary or not.

Looking forward to the next adventure. Less give a little more backbone with the intelligence. Bring it on girl!

Also in this series:

  • The Art of Vanishing

The Clown ChicK

CARDIAC ARREST (The Ladies Smythe & Westin)

By Lisa Q Matthews

4 of 5 stars

A fast, fun read with quirky characters

This was a fast read. Interesting characters. Didn’t understand why Dorothy Westin was so conservative with her opinion. Considering her age, I thought she might be a tougher broad. I would have liked a bit more backstory explaining why she was so conservative. Loved Summer Smythe’s antics, she felt real to me. Dash was new to me. The gay character is becoming more popular, almost too popular (I wonder why?), but to see a committed one is fresh.

The descriptions were pretty good. I could almost see the places. Almost. Since this was a first book, odds are the descriptions will get much better.

I liked the twists and turns in the story. I wonder if there was a bit of conflict between the two mains was missing, since they had just met. Considering their age, and the antics of Summer, it seems like there should have been a bit of conflict. Again, maybe some tiny flashbacks showing why they immediately got along?

But overall a delight.

Also in this series:

  • Permanently Booked
  • Fashionably Late

The Serious ChicK

PLANTATION SHUDDERS: A Cajun Country Mystery

By Ellen Byron

4 of 5 stars


Cozy history at its best

Even though it’s fiction, I like the faux history about this book. It’s fun to learn while reading fiction. Louisiana bayou country came alive in this book. Makes you want to learn about the real history of some of these towns.

I will say some of these characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, but there wasn’t anything deceiving about them. I would have liked a touch more background between the non-household main characters, but I get this is the first in the series. Maybe we will learn more as we delve into the series. But people like Maggie and Bo were definitely full developed. I liked that each character was different from the others, no cookie cutter ones here.

The descriptions are not too much, which can be overbearing in a cozy. Ellen did just the right amount. You could feel the place, see the place, without feeling the urge to skip pages.

The red herrings were plentiful, but not falsely misleading. I thought I had the killer nailed. I was wrong. But the character I had chosen was suspicious of something, so that was a good sign for me.

I will be reading more of this series when I get time.

Also in this series:

  • Body on the Bayou
  • A Cajun Christmas Killing
  • Mardi Gras Murder (coming in October 2018!)

And Last, But Certainly Not the Least ChicK

Terror in Taffeta: A Mystery (Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries)

By Marla Cooper

4 of 5 Stars

Very twisting

This book had lots of twists and turns in it.

A fast read, which is what cozies are supposed to be.

I felt like Kelsey McKenna was a bit wishy washy, wanting to yell at her to make up her mind already. I wasn’t sure if that was a mistake by the author, or if that’s how she is supposed to act. If so, I like it, but maybe mention in the story why she acts the way she does. Put it in my face?

Loved the character Mrs. A. She was well developed. Got to love to hate her, the perfect MOB (Mother Of the Bride for those not in the know). And I’m in love with Brody. He’s exactly what I want him to be.

The only thing I felt a little odd for a cozy was there didn’t seem to be enough visual descriptions for me. I didn’t get the feel of the places. Especially since this is supposed to be about destination weddings. But some don’t like that, so that’s a personal preference of mine.

A definite light mystery that kept me saying “What?” “No!”  “Now I get it!” “No, wait!” “Now what!” Can’t wait to get the next one.


Also in this series:

  • Dying on the Vine


I highly recommend reading as many of these books as possible. Chicks On The Case is a wonderful blog, full of talented individuals, that are willing to share not only their own writing, but other mystery writers as well.




  1. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for reviewing our books, Hestia! Loved the comments. And thanks also for letting your readers know about all of us at Chicks on the Case!!

  2. Thank you so much for reviewing our books, Hestia! Loved the comments. And thanks also for letting your readers know about all of us at Chicks on the Case! We always look forward to your posts.

  3. Cynthia Kuhn says:

    You are so sweet to have read all of our books! Thank you for that and for sharing your thoughts and for the kind words about the blog. We love chatting with you over there! xo

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