Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: PLATEFUL OF MURDER by Carole Fowkes

As a girl, rather than play with dolls, Claire played “get the crook,” always believing that justice should prevail and the good guys should win. That’s why she became a detective.

What started off as merely taking incriminating shots of sleazebag cheats soon becomes too much to bear when murder gets involved. But the desire for justice and desperate need for money provokes her to pursue the case, even though she has no idea what she’s doing. No question that Claire was scared, which is why this book is part of the Terrified Detective series. She has fears—fear of going blind with too much hair spray, fear of not paying her debts, fear of getting big hips like her aunt, fear of getting killed on an investigation she has no business in.

I liked Claire’s witty side, especially with her metaphors. For example, “the case was like a puzzle, where you had the border pieces only but none of the inside ones, which made it impossible to make out the picture.”

Story was simple and witty, but it lagged sometimes and there were too many characters. What could be so interesting about investigating a pharmaceutical company? And the worst part was that even though Claire was an expert at crime shows and has wanted to catch the criminals since she was a kid, she was not a good sleuth. She had no experience, no clue, and no way to protect herself. Still, the book had charm, but the case wasn’t what I thought it would be. It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

My rating: 2.5 star

Review: DOOMED BY DESSERT by CeCe Osgood

Abby Little has always wanted to be normal, to fit in. But it all changed when she turned 35…

Now a grown woman with a teenage daughter, Abby loses her boyfriend and her father’s pastry show in one flaming night. How could her ex forget to mail in the insurance payment? Left with no income, Abby was at a loss and full of anger, so she goes to confront that old boyfriend only to find him dead on the kitchen table. The worst part was that the cops think she had something to do with it because one of her pastry boxes was found near the body. In order to prove her innocence, she must find the killer. On top of it all, a strange sense is coming over. But what was it? And how did her daughter know about the fire that night? How could she smell the smoke? This then prompts Abby to realize that she had a similar experience as a child. What was going on here?

One would obviously come to the conclusion that both Abby and her daughter come from a long line of witches. I mean, there’s a witch on the cover for god sakes. But it just seems to take a long time before the book proclaims them as witches (if it ever does that is.) Although quirky at times, story was pretty slow. Not really quite what I expected.

An ok mystery.

My rating: 3 stars

Review: CUPCAKES, LIES, AND DEAD GUYS by Pamela DuMond

Annie Rose is an empathy that’s kind of psychic. One day, at the gyno, she receives a random envelope containing pictures of her naked husband with another man. Yikes!

At the same time, a dead “I Promise” guru turns into a ghost seeking help from the empathy, whose husband he was cheating with. This definitely opened up the forum for snarky wit, which there was plenty of; however, story tended to be fast and sporadic.

And where did Annie’s ability play in here? She was an empath, right? It was just pages and pages of mundane narrative. It was weird how we got the POV of the dead guy, too.

Such a long mystery.

My rating: 3 stars

Review: CABS, CAKES, AND CORPSES by Jennifer Joy

Jessica has gone to Baños, Ecuador, after experiencing a helluva journey to get there. At first, I could relate to Jessica’s traveling woes. I thought she’d be a quirky, witty character. However, story just kept on lagging and not going anywhere.

Apparently, the cab driver that picked her up from the airport is found dead in her cab. And, of course, everyone in town is a suspect because, evidently, nobody liked her and everyone thought she was mean. Not ever her own husband is showing any remorse.

This mystery just didn’t get going because the constant yack from the viejitas was getting in the way a lot. I wished they would shut up already.

My rating: 2 stars

Review: A BITTERSWEET MURDER by Cindy Bell

I love chocolate!

Ally Sweet is a professional chocolate-maker and is looking to expand by contracting with a hotel to distribute them on pillows.

On the way back from a meeting, she finds a dead body in her trunk. What? How did it get there? Suddenly, she and a friend are suspected in the death. Good thing she has a good friend that’s looking for a little more as a detective, even though the police think that he may have been involved, too.

With her trusty old granny and this hunk of a detective, Ally will stop at nothing to figure out this mystery.

A quick, easy mystery read!

My rating: 4 stars

Review: MURDER SHE TYPED by Sylvia Selfman

Izzy is a modern-day aspiring writer. Then one day a Marilyn Monroe type saunters into her writing group and steals the show—maybe even her man, too.

Then the woman disappears and Izzy suspects foul play. Funny how she can get so wrapped up with her well-being, while, at the same time, she can’t stand the perky little broad with her perfect figure, perfect hair, perfect face, perfect writer.

Izzy is just a crazy old lady with too much time on her hands. It was sickening how these old geezers can think they can still get it on at their age.

Izzy and Flo were the sleuthing duo—the Lucy and Ethel with their cockamamie, harebrained schemes. It was funny, but also asinine! I mean, these broads are like in their 60’s!

Witty and humorous; relatable with whole writer’s dream and wanting to lose weight, which Izzy relishes with in half-hearted and snarky quips.

A cozy, quirky, little mystery.

My rating: 3 stars

Review: GOOD CLEAN MURDER by Traci Tyne Hilton

Jane is a goody-goody, God-lovin’ Christian housecleaner. A nice and naïve girl, she thinks that God can make everything perfect. Oh, Puhleeze!

Going to college for a ministry certificate was definitely wasteful. Seriously, who does that? Who believes in God that much? As you may have guessed it, I don’t. But that’s okay. I don’t have to believe in God to enjoy a good story, which this fell short of.

Jane’s struggle to make ends meet and pay her tuition is relatable. She’s a good girl, albeit annoying, with a compassionate heart.

The plot was slow to the point and there was too much talk on the bible. When Jane got evicted, I wondered if that was God’s “plan.” But when a successful burger mogul and his wife are found dead, she deems it her fate to help the grieving family and moves into their mansion. It was a heart attack that killed them, right? But what Jane hears behind closed doors may speak otherwise. Jane meekly listens and, in her introverted and prudent manner, follows the clues. She was no detective; she’s just a silly girl. Plus, the mystery was complicated and boring.
My rating: 2 stars