Reading Challenge 2021, Part Two

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This was mystery month for me! Two mysteries are continuations of series I’ve visited before, and one is new. For a little variety, I included an inspirational historical romance. Here are my Goodreads reviews:

A Nose for Crime by Noel Cash
Rory Harper West Haven Mystery, Book Three
After I reviewed Book One, the question arose as to what exactly Rory’s genetic makeup included. One of the characters in Book Three seemed to answer it when she declared, “You have elf blood. Vampire, troll, and, oh, my, human.” and later she said, “I daresay you have wizard and brownie as well.”

After helping investigators at Myth, Inc solve yet another case in Book 2, Rory quits his job and sets up shop as a private investigator. He pays the bills trailing spouses and other boring cases, but things change when his ex-boss hires him for a personal matter. He’s again pulled into the world of Myth, including the former boss’ sister, Kix. First, she’s found beaten and nearly dead. Her companion is found dead. And then another woman with the same name is killed. Rory looks for clues in a variety of unusual places: a bakery that doubles as a therapy center for magical beings, a tobacco shop, as well as the Myth, Inc headquarters. As with the first two books, familiar West Michigan landmarks and customs make this fun reading, and I enjoyed the way the story unfolded. I’m also intrigued at the slowly developing relationship between Rory and Kix, and I’m looking forward to more. I know there will be at least one more story, because there’s still one case from Book One that needs to be solved.

A Mother for His Family by Susanne Dietze
My local chapter of RWA has an ongoing used book sale as a fund raiser, and I purchased this and two other Love Inspired Inspirational Historical Romances from their selection. I’m unfamiliar with this particular author, but I’m always willing to sample, especially when the publication is from a recognized publisher. This title is set during the regency period, and features Helena, a young woman from a noble family who needs to marry and leave polite London society due to her ruined reputation, and John, a Scottish lord who needs a mother for his houseful of children. This marriage-of-convenience story has an added mystery, as someone starts blackmailing John when he brings the family to London while he takes his seat in the House of Lords. I enjoyed reading this story, as the plot is well-paced and kept me reading. It’s an inspirational romance, so there are souls saved and faith renewed as well as the obligatory happy ending. 

Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon
Miss Underhay Mystery, Book One
Helena Dixon is also known as Nell Dixon, an English romance author I “met” while writing for Astraea Press (now Clean Reads). When I learned that Nell had branched into writing cozy mysteries, I was quite happy for her and purchased her book. Now that Book 6 of the series has been released, I thought I’d better get started reading them! 

The setting is Dartmouth, England, in 1933. Kitty Underhay assists her grandmother in managing the Dolphin Hotel in this tourist town, on the southwest shore of England. When her grandmother leaves to take care of an ailing relative, Kitty is left in charge, just as a well-known jazz singer is due to arrive for a week of special events at the hotel. Kitty is confident in her abilities, so she’s disgruntled when a new Director of Security is hired. But her ire is soon replaced with concern when a series of murders take place, and all clues point to Kitty’s mother, who mysteriously disappeared long ago. I enjoyed this cozy mystery tremendously. There’s a hint of romance, which I’m assuming will grow in succeeding books, and the mystery is a page-turner. I can’t wait to dive into Book Two!

Fortune Funhouse by Jana DeLeon
Miss Fortune Mystery, Number 19
I was so excited when Facebook informed me that there was a brand new Swamp Team adventure! I purchased it right away and couldn’t wait to dive in. This time, Fortune, IdaBelle, and Gertie are at the fair, when a body is discovered in the funhouse. Of course, they have to investigate, and discover another victim – Emmeline LeBlanc, Carter’s mother. Emmaline survives her beating, but temporarily loses her memory, making it difficult for the women and the police to figure out what happened. Since Carter is related to the victim, he’s taken off the case and a totally inept state cop is put in charge, leaving the way clear (mostly) for Fortune, IdaBelle, and Gertie to do their work, aided by their local mob connections. This mystery had so many twists and turns I got dizzy reading! Fortune and her friends certainly had their hands full finding out who hurt Carter’s mother and why. All our favorite Sinful characters make an appearance, making this a welcome reunion.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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9 Responses to Reading Challenge 2021, Part Two

  1. I have to admit that I am really not a regency fan, but the others sound intriguing. You have had me interested in the Miss Fortune books. The Dolfin Hotel seems right up my alley and the Rory Harper books fit in with my next guest’s books, so we have real winners here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I enjoy a good regency, especially if the heroine is strong and not afraid to stand up for herself. This one wasn’t bad. Rory Harper’s Book Four will be out in two weeks, and I have Book Two of the Miss Underhay mysteries, so hopefully I’ll have read those by next month!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Waving to our mutual friend & colleague, Nell Dixon!
    I’m sure I have one or two of her titles on my Kindle, but that’s along with hundreds of others I haven’t yet gotten to. I think the concept of Hotel Dolfin sounds terrific.
    Hard to believe there’s yet another Jana DeLeon book out. I’ve read 2 or 3 and have another couple or so waiting in my stack. Eager to get to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I’ve had Dolphin Hotel on my Kindle library for some time, so I decided it was about time I read it – can’t wait to dig into book two! And yes, Jana’s output is astounding. I can’t imagine writing so much about the same characters, while maintaining quality and keeping it fresh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    The books all sound interesting Thanks for the recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m really interested in the Miss Fortune books.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the great mystery recommendations, Patricia. This is the second time today that Fortune Funhouse was recommended, so I think it’s time to discover this new-to-me series. Nice post.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth! I’ve seen the ads for this book, too – even after I’d purchased it! I’ve read all nineteen books in this series and enjoyed each one. They’re not as gritty as your mysteries, but very entertaining!


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