This month, I read three more cozy mysteries and one romance. Regular visitors to the blog will recognize these authors.
The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson
Goldy Schultz Mystery, Book Three
After her frightening experiences as a live-in chef in book two, Goldy and her son are back in their own home, along with a boarder – one of the students at the exclusive high school her son attends. When she’s hired to cater a College Advisory Dinner with seniors and their parents, she discovers just how serious these parents are about getting their kids into the right colleges. After the dinner is over, she cleans up and heads to her van, only to discover the class valedictorian has been beaten to death and left in a snowbank. Detective Tom Schultz is on the scene, but Goldy is soon conducting her own investigations, since scary things start happening to her, as well as to her son Arch and their boarder Julian. Lots of non-stop action, and the heat is rising on Goldy’s relationship with Detective Schultz!
Frightfully Fortune by Jana DeLeon
A Miss Fortune Mystery, Book Twenty
Since I’ve read and reviewed the first nineteen books in the series, I purchased this book as soon as it was available, and finally had the chance to read it during a recent road trip with a friend. Fortune and her friends Ida Belle and Gertie are at the annual Halloween Festival in Sinful, Louisiana, when a horseman rides up to them – and literally loses his head! The headless rider is identified as Gil Forrest, a local insurance salesman who performed in a New Orleans theater troupe. Gil’s very young wife is a prime suspect but something about that seems off to Fortune, and she leads the Swamp Team 3 in an investigation that kept me reading far into the night. As usual, the ending is so unexpected, yet so logical. This is storytelling at its finest.
Murder in the Belltower by Helena Dixon
Miss Underhay Mystery, Book Five
I am so enjoying this series, set in the southwest part of England in the 1930s. Kitty Underhay has been invited to spend the Christmas holiday with relatives at Enderly Hall in Exeter. Matt Bryant, Kitty’s significant other, has been invited as well. And since Kitty is a proper Englishwoman, Alice, one of the maids at the Dolphin Hotel, is sent along to serve as lady’s maid to Kitty. An assortment of other guests have been invited as well: an American couple, an Austrian count and his sister, a botanist who’s been granted the use of and the vicar, who has a sordid reputation. Tempers flare at the Christmas Eve party when one of the guests spills wine on two other women, and one of those with wine on her dress is found dead the next morning. Kitty’s inquisitive nature has her studying the other guests for clues, unaware that Matt has already been tasked with a secret mission involving these people. There were some clever red herrings, story had me guessing until the very end! I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Gray Hair, Don’t Care by Karen Booth
Never Too Late, Book One
One of my writer support groups on social media is called Seasoned Romance. It’s part of an RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter called Aged to Perfection, and the focus is on romance stories featuring main characters who are more mature. The Facebook group does a monthly book club chat, and this was the chosen book several months ago. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to read it in time for the book club discussion, but last week I finally made the time to read it.
Lela Bennett, aged 47, is at a crossroads. She’s newly divorced and making good money as a makeup artist, but her dream is to own a line of beauty products. When Donovan, her college crush, appears, she wonders if this is a second shot at happily-ever-after, but then he disappears, and she finds a new resolve to launch her business. Three years later, fate brings them back together when Lela’s company partners with one owned by Donovan’s daughter. This is a fun read – quite a bit spicier than what I write and usually read, but it’s a nice second-chance romance story.