Category Archives: Mystery

First Chapter Friday

It’s finally time for First Chapter Friday!!! This week something different:  what happened is this:  I receive emails every day from authors requesting Big Otter Books to read and review their books.  That’s the cool part about having a blog!!  Sometimes the books are exactly right for us and sometimes they are a bit …not…  Either the genre is not what we read or the content is too much not what we read etc.

The bad thing right now is my time.  There is literally not enough in the day to read all the books I want to read.  Sadly, that means I have to send these wonderful people an email that says, sorry, can’t read your book right now.  It just breaks my heart!!

That’s partly why I blog; because I don’t have that ‘thing’ to write fiction. I’ve tried & tried and the words just don’t flow.  Somebody famous once said the way to write is to sit in front of  your typewriter until blood drops form on your forehead!!  I’ve done that, too and it doesn’t work for me!  But these authors who contact me DO have the ‘thing’ and quite possibly bloody foreheads as well!!

So, even though I don’t have time to read their entire book, I read the first chapters.  These are just two that I think some of my blog followers might enjoy reading; so, I’m featuring them on First Chapter Friday.  Maybe they will be an “OTTER” read for you!!

 

The Valentine Circly, A Silas de San Michel Mystery by Reinaldo DelValle

The Valentine Circle is set in Boston 1885.  A mystery man has been found on board a ship.  He has no memory and there are odd weapons near him.  This first part was pretty good as the characters were introduced and we got some great descriptions of the ship & area.  The next part got a bit weird for me. The mystery man, now named Silas, joins the police force!  Yep, he’s now a cop with no memory. There is a strange kidnapping of a child and Silas works the case.  This was actually a pretty good first chapter.  A bit convoluted and the author got a bit mixed up on present day & 1885 so an editor would have helped.  But all in all, if you don’t mind taking your time to go through this, it looks like a good book. Based on just this first chapter, I would read the entire book if I just had the time!!  This is a 3 star read.

 

 

Final Notice by Jennifer L. Hart

I’ve read Jennifer L. Hart before.  She’s the author of the hilarious Laundry Hag series.  She also has new book out called Murder al Dente, a Southern Pasta Shop Mystery.  In this Final Notice first chapter, Jennifer introduces the reader to Jackie Parker.  Jackie is a process server who quits her job following too much touchyfeely by her boss.  She joins her husband & brother in law in their property management company where she of course finds a body!!

If you enjoy a more adult book (not porn or too vulgar) just a very ‘real’ book about real characters, then you “OTTER” be reading Jennifer L. Hart books!!  This is another one I wish I had time to read the whole thing.  4 stars.

Have a wonderful reading weekend!!

REVIEW: Dead Drop by Jesse Miles

Dead Drop by Jesse Miles

Detectives. Investigators. Finder-outers of stuff! From Sherlock Holmes to Scooby Doo, everyone can find some type of mystery solver that they enjoy reading about. You do enjoy detective-y books, don’t you? I certainly do! This week I’m reading one of the best ones I’ve seen in a while. It’s called Dead Drop by Jesse Miles and was just released last month.

Jack Salvo is a private investigator in Los Angeles, he also teaches philosophy at the community college. Wait a second-a P.I. teaching philosophy, now that is a new twist to the old hard-boiled detective stories! This book starts out with Jack taking on an embezzling case that morphs into a whole ‘nother thing real quick. The whole story just keeps spinning and going while the reader is hanging on for a great ride!

I really liked the sparse writing style-there isn’t that much ‘extra stuff’, it’s all very pared down and we get the meat of the story without all the filler. The philosophy is woven into the plot in a very believable way that enhances the story and gives us a much better idea of Jack and what makes him tick.

This was a good book and I hope there will be more from the author. I received a copy of the book-the review is my own opinion.

Cozy Mystery Monday

Welcome to Cozy Mystery Monday!! There are so many books coming out all the time, it’s easy to miss something good.  So, instead of pounding out more NEW NEW NEW books, this week I thought we should revisit some cozies you don’t want to miss.

 

Number 10 in the Zoe Donovan series has been released.  I was given a copy by the AWESOME author, Kathi Daley, and I am now elbow deep in the antics of Zoe and a bachelor auction and a ‘cat lady’ and a murder!!!!  This is one of the best cozy series out there-the characters are so well written and ‘real’, the mysteries are interesting and there are dogs & cats!!  You cannot resist this book!!

 

Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James

Oh, my!!  Get your pre-orders in!!!  Bless Her Dead Little Heart comes out TOMORROW!!!  This is the first in a new series and it is popping up all over the internet.  It seems like all the cozy bloggers are going crazy for this book.  The plot is two sisters are cat sitting when their old sorority sister shows up and is then murdered!  Need more?  There is also a family & a will!!  We’ve read enough cozies to know where this is going and I can hardly stand to wait to get started reading!!

 

Groomed For Murder (Pet Boutique #2)

Groomed for Murder by Annie Knox

 

Nightmares Can Be Murder

Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary Kennedy

Groomed for Murder and Nightmares Can Be Murder were released last month and they have 22 5-star reviews on Amazon!!  Everyone is talking about these books and how good they are-plots, characters and the various mysteries to be solved.  Don’t let great books get lost in the shuffle!!  These are all super good cozies that you “OTTER” be reading!!

 

Cozy Mystery Monday

OOOH!!! Some great new Cozy Mystery books this week. You “OTTER” be reading these!!!

Stirring The Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber

This is the 3rd in the Cookbook Nook series. I’m still 4th in line at the library for the first book in this series so it will be a while before I get to read this one. It looks SO good!! Jenna moves back home to open the Cookbook Nook and of course cozy mystery ‘stuff’ starts to happen! This is being released tomorrow 9/30.

 

 

Death Is Like a Box Of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons

I am seeing this book EVERYWHERE! Every blog, every newsletter, some serious buzz is being generated for this book. It was released 9/2 and is the debut novel for author Kathy Aarons. The plot is super: Michelle & Erica are best friends who open a Bookstore/Chocolate shop-can there be anything more perfect 😉 Things go awry as they usually do in cozies and a local photographer is dead of possible CANDY poisoning!! OH, NO!! Whatever will our heroines do? Why, solve the mystery of course! It will no doubt be wrapped up before they lose their store and ruin the Memorial Day Arts Festival. I’ve put this at the top of my to-read list.

These Haunts Are Made For Walking by Rose Pressey

A librarian by day and ghost tour guide by night-what a combination! Ripley (Rip) discovers a dead body, then a ghost who communicates via text messaging. Add in a cute cop who is also a ghost hunter and you have another great Rose Pressey book; the first in a new series. It was just released on 9/22 and has all 5-star reviews on Amazon. Pressey is always an enjoyable read with quirky characters in zany situations. Another top of the pile book!

 

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry

Another cozy/paranormal mix. Lee returns to Salem, Massachusetts to interview for a TV reporter job. When the call-in psychic for the late horror movie show is murdered, Lee takes the job. Is she becoming psychic for real? What is she really seeing in her crystal ball? Will she solve the murder? There is a cat on the book cover so I’m already a fan of the series before I even read it!!

 

Two new cozies and two new cozy/paranormal for this week.  They are all at the top of my to-read list, I need to study some physics or at least watch more episodes of the Big Bang Theory-maybe Sheldon could explain how ALL my books are #1 on my list!!

REVIEW: Malled to Death by Laura DiSilverio

Malled to Death A Mall Cop Mystery by Laura DiSilverio

This is book 3 in the series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. EJ is a likable character and her family is a total hoot! Grandpa is back in this one and up to his usual mysterious shenanigans. He is helping EJ solve yet another Fernglen Galleria murder-this has to be the worst place to shop ever! Also on scene is EJ’s movie star dad, filming an action movie in the mall. When the props master is found murdered, EJ must figure out who wanted her dead and why-before her family become the next targets.

The mystery in this one totally fooled me! I was sure about 1/3 of the way in that I knew the answer, I kept telling the book why doesn’t EJ know that it’s *, then I got to the end and wow, I did NOT see that coming!! So good!!

There are some interesting subplots including one that deal with FINALLY a love connection for EJ-this is book three, it’s about time! That’s really my only criticism of this series-it moves sloooooowly.
The writing is very good, the characters are fully developed and believable, there is even a cat! But at times it’s like molasses wading through all the extra angst & scenery chewing to get to the meat of the story.

I do like the inclusion of EJ’s injury from Afghanistan and how she is dealing with not just the physical but also her mental recovery. She is such a believable character and her disability is part of the character: her leg gets tired and her knee gives out etc. EJ also acts like a mall cop most of the time-staying out of the way, calling the regular cops in when something happens and not snooping too much. There is a tantalizing thread left dangling that has to do with super secret spy type stuff that I can’t wait to read about in the next book. I recommend this series.

Cozy Mystery Monday

Oh, dreary Monday is here again. There is nothing dreary about these great new cozy mysteries being released soon. All of them are part of a series and should be on your “Otter” read list!!


Double Strike by Gwen Archer

Book 3 of the hilarious Davis Way series. Super funny and perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich. Davis is a sort of spy for a casino. She used to be a cop so there isn’t as much ineptitude as you would think but there is still quite a bit of slapstick and wild predicaments. Oh, and her family is nuts! Lots of fun stuff happens in the series and Archer gives tons of behind the scenes casino details. I really like this series! Release day is October 21st.


Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies by Kathi Daley

Zoe Donovan is at it again in book 10! Another great series that just keeps getting better and better. This one has a bachelor auction and a dead “cat lady”!! That’s all I need to know-I’m ready to read!! Releases on October 1st.


A Plain Malice by Amanda Flower

Amanda Flower wrote one of my boys’ favorite books: Andi Unexpected. We all read it and it was so good that when I found out this book was coming out I couldn’t wait to read it. Then I realized it’s #4 in the Appleseed Creek series!! Oops, I haven’t been paying attention-there are three other Amish mysteries out with the same characters. This book deals with an old-fashioned milking demonstration on an Amish family dairy farm that leads to death and some good old fashioned undercover investigation. From what I’ve read about the series it’s pretty wholesome and Christian so I need to get these on my to-read pile right away! A Plain Malice will be released on September 16th.

 

Three new books in great cozy mystery series you really “Otter” be reading!!

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