Monday, August 15, 2011

Dru's Cozy Report: August Reads




Welcome to Dru's Cozy Report. This month we have three new and one returning series for your reading pleasure.

Pleating For Mercy by Melissa Bourbon is the first book in the new "Magical Dressmaking" mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, August 2, 2011

When her great-grandmother passes away, Harlow Jane Cassidy leaves her job as a Manhattan fashion designer and moves back to Bliss, Texas. But soon after she opening Buttons & Bows, a custom dressmaking boutique in the old farmhouse she inherited, Harlow begins to feel an inexplicable presence. One of her first clients is her childhood friend Josie, who needs a gown for her upcoming wedding. But when Josie’s boss turns up dead, it starts to look as if the bride-to-be may be wearing handcuffs instead of a veil. Suddenly Josie needs a lot more from Harlow than hemming a dress. Can Harlow find the real killer—with a little help from beyond?

What an exciting debut! Harlow Jane comes back to Bliss, Texas and is soon pulled in as an amateur sleuth when her client and friend Josie pleads with her to find the person responsible for the dead body found on Harlow’s property. With time running out, Harlow will have to work quickly before a killer hems her in. I love this book. This was a great mystery that had me guessing throughout most of the book. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the direction took another turn and I was surprised when the killer was presented. I like the tone of this story and the setting is a perfect stage to display the wonderful characters that will cross its path with amusing and engaging conversations. This is the first book in a blissfully enchanting and entertaining series that I hope is here to stay.

Visit Melissa at www.misaramirez.com

Melissa also writes the “Lola Cruz” mystery series as author Misa Ramirez.

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


Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio is the first book in the new "Mall Cop" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, August 2011

An average day at Fernglen Galleria can get weird pretty quickly—especially when someone decides to liberate the reptiles from the Herpetology Hut. But after a local developer is found dead in a boutique window, E.J. discovers that the most dangerous creature on the loose isn't a reptile at all...it's a cold-blooded killer. When the arrogant homicide detective dismisses her as "only" a mall cop, E.J. sets out to solve the case. With her grandpa Atherton, a retired CIA operative, spying on customers, and a night guard named Weasel playing "I've got a secret," E.J. has plenty of leads. But can she piece them together before she finds herself on the killer's list?

On regular mall patrol, ex-military E.J. is alerted by screams to the sight of a dead body in a window display. When E.J. offers up her assistance, she is rudely ignored, so she makes it her mission to solve this case in spite of the opinion of the local detective. This was a good read that kept me on my toes. This steady-paced mystery filled with constant action quickly became a page-turner that kept me guessing and I was surprised when the killer’s identity was revealed. E.J. is a strong, determined and likable character and the antics of her adoring grandfather will have you laughing. This is a fun and entertaining read and I look forward to the second book in this delightful series. The introduction of E.J. and her cohorts are a welcome addition to the cozy mystery genre.

Visit Laura at www.lauradisilverio.com

Laura also writes the "Charlie Swift" mystery series.

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


Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend is the first book in the new "Fortune Teller" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, August 2011

Leaving the Big Apple for the quaint town of Divinity, New York, Sunny is determined to make it on her own as a psychic. With an ancient Victorian house as her place of business, Sunny uses various psychic methods to aid the town's residents. But when she uses tea leaves to give a reading for a frazzled librarian, w hat she finds at the bottom of the cup is anything but helpful. Sunny informs the police of her deadly vision, but her warning is too late. And with hard-nosed, ruggedly handsome Detective Mitch Stone denying her abilities and naming her prime suspect, the situation is dire. Now Sunny has to use her visions to clear her name, before the killer can put an end to the psychic's future.

What an enjoyable debut! This well-written novel was action-filled, entertaining and fun. Any book that has me laughing out loud while on the subway is definitely a keeper. The banter between Sunny and Mitch kept me turning pages as I wanted to know what they were going to say and do next. The mystery kept me guessing but it was the relationship between Sunny and the secondary characters (friends and parents) that made me smile, waiting for their next adventure. Sunny can read my tea leaves any time she wants and I predict a long and fabulous future with Sunny and the gang in this charmingly enchanting and delightful series.

Visit Kari at www.karileetownsend.com

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


Hot, Shot and Bothered by Nora McFarland is the second book in the "Lilly Hawkins" mystery series. Publisher: Touchstone, August 2011

TV news photographer Lilly Hawkins is on the biggest assignment of her career. A deadly inferno is racing through the California mountains toward the town of Elizabeth Lake. After barely slipping in ahead of road closures, Lilly has her hands full photographing the massive evacuation and approaching wildfire. She has no time to cover the accidental drowning of a reckless party-girl in the lake...until she learns the victim’s name. When Lilly knew her thirteen years ago, Jessica Egan was a principled environmental activist and not a bit reckless or wild. Could she have changed that much, or is a killer exploiting the chaos surrounding the fire to disguise a murder? Soon Lilly’s juggling the story she should be covering with the story she can’t let go. What could have been the motive for Jessica’s death? Was it sexual jealousy, long held grudges, or just plain old-fashioned greed that got Jessica killed? Meanwhile Lilly has to contend with her station’s low-budget technology, the antics of her dodgy uncle Bud, and the alarming job offers her boyfriend is fielding from big city competitors. Lilly is racing against the clock to get answers. If only the murderer—or the fire—doesn’t get her first.

The past comes to visit Lilly when a friend’s body is found dead during a wildfire. When Lilly learns the circumstances, knowing what she knows, Lilly believes her friend has been murdered and since no one is taking her seriously, she begins looking into her friend’s past and present to unearth a killer before she finds herself ablaze. Oh man, what an exciting ride. This non-stop, action-filled and lighthearted tale kept my attention from the first chapter to the fulfilling conclusion and I couldn’t put this book down. The wildfire setting set the tone as the backdrop to the mystery at hand that had me guessing throughout most of the story. Lilly’s doggedness to find the truth puts her in harm’s way, but not before learning more about herself as well. With a strong cast, interesting factoids about fires, great dialogue and some added comic relief, this was an amazing read in adrenaline-rush series.

Visit Nora at www.noramcfarland.com

FTC Full Disclosure – I bought my copy of this book