Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dru's Cozy Report: June Reading List

Welcome to Dru's Cozy Report. This month we're visiting a fabric store and ice cream shop owner, a tattoo artist and a curator.

Dire Threads by Janet Bolin is the first book in the new "Threadville" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2011

Newly minted shopkeeper Willow Vanderling is anxious to see her embroidery store succeed. And while In Stitches is a hit with the tourists, the town's zoning commissioner, Mike Krawbach, isn't exactly a fan. After denying Willow's plan to renovate the charming cottage behind the shop, Mike attempts to trick some tourists into signing a petition to knock it down to make way for an ATV trail. Furious over Mike's trickery, Willow picks a fight with the corrupt commissioner. When Mike later turns up dead in her yard, Threadville's newest outspoken resident becomes the prime suspect. With the evidence stacked against her, Willow will have to find the murderer, or else the next thing she embroiders may be an orange prison jumpsuit.

A harmless threat in front of several people and then his subsequent death marks Willow as the one and only prime suspect in his murder. Fearing the local police will not look for the killer, Willow and her friends begin their own investigation and what follows is hilarity fit for a queen. The situations they encounter and escape from will have you in stitches as they try to seam all the pieces together to find a killer and bring justice and of course, clear Willow’s name. This was a good mystery that kept me guessing as the clues diverted my attention from the real killer. This story boasts a delightful cast of characters, crisp writing, entertaining dialogue and a bonus for this quilter, envisions of crafting projects. I got so caught in the town of Threadville and their residents that I’m looking forward to my next adventure. This is a great debut in this welcoming series.

Visit Janet at

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

A Parfait Murder by Wendy Lyn Watson is the third book in the “A La Mode” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, June 2011

Life has been good for Tallulah Jones, and nabbing a spot on the judging panel at the Lantana County Fair puts the cherry on top. But when Tally's cousin Bree spots her deadbeat ex-husband strolling the fairground with a vixen on his arm and a fat wallet in his pocket, all the fun goes cold. Bree immediately files for back child support, but then her ex's attorney is found dead at the fair, and things look more than a little sticky because Bree is standing over the body with a gun in her hand. She pleads her innocence and begs Tally to clear her sweet name. Will Tally prove Bree's innocents or will she find her cousin has committed the "parfait" crime? Either way, trouble is certain to be churned up.

What a delicious read. When Bree is found with the smoking gun in her hand, it doesn’t look good, especially when all the evidence points to her, but Tally is determined to scoop out the killer before Bree is put on ice. This fast-paced, non-stop action was a delightful read filled with romance, quirky characters and mysteries left to be uncovered. With a surprising twist that I didn’t see coming, the appeal of the characters will keep you entertained as you enjoy the life that is known in Dalliance, Texas. With a small town feel and great dialogue, this book is delectably appealing with tasty and yummy recipes included.

Visit Wendy at

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

Ink Flamingos by Karen E. Olson is the fourth book in the “Tattoo Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, June 2011

Dee Carmichael, lead singer of the hot pop sensation, The Flamingos, has been one of Brett's most dedicated customers—or was. Dee has been discovered in her hotel room, surrounded by ink pots and needles. And a tall redhead matching Brett's description was seen leaving the crime scene. Now Brett has been branded the prime suspect. This can't be good for business. Meanwhile, a blog has been showcasing Dee's deadly tattoo. Things get worse when pictures of Brett start appearing on the site. Turns out, someone isn't merely following Brett, but impersonating her all over town. Now she must act fast to find out who's out to get her before the killer puts the dye in dying once again.

Conspiracy; Impersonation; Friendship or not, this is what confronts Brett as someone is going around town pretending to be her and left in their wake, a dead ex-client with tattoo supplies near her body and witnesses seeing “Brett”. Who wants her dead? Who is framing Brett? What is going on? An unlikely alliance comes to Brett’s aid as they track through Vegas looking for clues to stop this charade and bring a killer to justice. What a great mystery with non-stop action from the beginning to the end. The engaging storyline kept me on my toes and had me quickly turning the pages as I couldn’t put this book down. With an avant-garde cast of characters and sparkling conversations, this was the best book in this colorful series.

Visit Karen at

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of this book

Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy is the second book in the "Manor of Murder" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2011

Civil war re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especially when the unrest spills out of the barracks and inside the sumptuous mansion. Grace manages to settle a minor squabble, but loses the war when actor Zachary Kincade is found stabbed to death. Jack Embers, the groundskeeper, falls under suspicion when he’s linked to the death of Zachary’s brother years ago. But there were others out for Zachary, actors who can be very convincing when the coveted role of “General” is on the line. Grace feels responsible for finding the murderer…and for the sweet tuxedo kitten found on her doorstep, Bootsie. Can she come to the rescue of her friends without putting herself in danger's way?

A member of a civil war re-enactment party who became involved with two skirmishes on Marshfield Manor property leads to murder when he is later found dead. When the past comes back to haunt Jack, the groundskeeper, we wonder are the two incidents connected, especially when Jack becomes the primary suspect. Believing in his innocence, Grace yet again, begins an investigation. What a great read. The mystery of the murder opens up wounds of a past murder and we watch Grace pull it all together with help from an unlikely source. The steady-paced, action-filled story had me quickly me turning the pages as I had to know what happens next and I was doubly rewarded. This well-crafted mystery, likeable characters and fascinating dialogue was very enjoyable and I look forward to my next adventures at Marshfield Manor.

Visit Julie at

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of this book

Click here to see my other reads.