Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recreational Reading

Writers are encouraged to read as much as they can, in a wide a variety as they can, so that they have something to put into their own writing. I am going to use today’s blog to chat about a few cozy mysteries that I have read. I chose them for the pure joy of reading, and no other reason. These are just my thoughts, and are not intended to be taken as reviews of any kind.

“Dying To Read”, Lorena McCourtney, Revell (Baker Publishing Group

I loved this book for so many reasons! The main character is indeed a character – an unemployed twenty-something who goes to work for her uncle as a PI. (He even prints her up an Assistant PI license!) She falls in love, has all kinds of trust issues. Finds a dead body while trying to confirm the location of a young woman who looks just like her, and adopts the dead woman’s deaf cat (who then proceeds to take over her house and her life!). Aside from a great storyline and well defined characters that work, McCourtney adds the spice of religion. Real life religion – the main character prays, and truly believes in a Higher Being. Her belief is woven into the story, and never overshadows it.

“The Big Cat Nap”, Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown, Bantom Books.

This is Rita Mae Brown at her finest! (Athough, I must say, I have never seen her not at her finest!) We are in Crozet, Virginia, seeing life through the eyes of Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen, and her crew of talking animals – her Corgi, Tee Tucker, her cats, Pewter and Mrs. Murphy, the opossum Simon, the large blacksnake Matilda, and the Owl Flatface. They are investigating the deaths of mechanics working for the ReNu auto shop, and how they might or might not be connected to the robbery of expensive tires from a local tire dealership, and an up and coming local racetrack. Plenty of local color, with interesting information on life itself woven in. Great reading, and enough reality to make the reader stop and think.

“The Body In The Boudoir”, Katherine Hall Page, William Morrow (Harper Collins).

This is the type of book that I really like – a series with an established character (Faith Fairchild) that takes a trip back in time. In this case, a trip back to the time of her wedding. Based in New York City, Faith owns and runs her own catering business, and leads quite the glamorous life. She meets her future husband at one of the events that she is catering. Then come the issues of his family (not all of whom seem to like her), her great-uncle Sky, who offers the use of his mansion on Long Island for the wedding, her assistant, who seems to be harboring a few family secrets of her own, and Faith’s sister Hope’s up and coming financial career … a career that someone may be trying to derail. Well written, and quite sophisticated for what I would place as a cozy mystery. (I love cozy mysteries!)

“Murder By Mocha”, Cleo Coyle, The Berkley Publishing Group (The Penguin Group).

I love a murder mystery, and I love mocha, so this book was a no brainer! The primary character, Clare Cosi, is manager and head barista, at the Village Blend coffeehouse. In a very avant garde storyline, Clare’s Village Blend beans are being used to create a new java love potion being promoted as an aphrodisiac. (Whatever floats your boat – I just love my coffee!)

Expected to make millions of dollars, the potion will be sold exclusively through Aphrodite’s Village, a popular online destination for women. Slight pause in the process … one of the web site’s editors is found dead at the launch party! Unfortunately, more deaths are to come to the Sister’s of Aphrodite.

Logical conclusion – Clare thinks someone is trying to steal the recipe! I loved this book, and its up to date, realistic nature. It didn’t hurt that Coyle included coffee making tips and recipes too!(Amongst the recipes is one for European style hot chocolate!)

“No Way To Kill A Lady”, Nancy Martin, Onsidian (New American Library, Penguin Group).

We get not one, but three main characters – the Blackbird sisters. Nora, a former debutante that is now a well known society columnist, Emma, very pregnant with an unknown gentleman’s love child, and Libby, divorced and on the make. Then there is Nora’s best friend, Lexie, who is serving time for pushing a man out of a window, and Nora’s mobbed up boyfriend, Mick.

Then there is her great Aunt Madcap Maddie, who may have recently died in a volcano eruption in Indonesia … or she may be the body that was found in the elevator of Madeline “Maddy” Blackbird’s neglected house, Quintain … located on an estate that is supposedly worth millions, and has been left to the three sisters.

Of course, MadcapMaddie’s stepson, the society rogue Sutherland Blackbird, is threatening to put in a claim for the estate. And Maddy’s little black book – something her questionable lawyer searched for, but never found. However, Nora did find it, with her sister’s help.

Who was Madeline Blackbird, exactly what is her little black book all about. And where have all of her famous jewels, paintings and other artwork gone to?

This book is part comedy, part mystery. Not something that would generally draw me in, but it is v ery well written, and I love the east coast society background!

This is my destress book list … what is yours?

© October 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

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