Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dru's Cozy Report: November Reading List


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

Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab is the first book in the new "Mind For Murder" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, November 2011

When Liz Cooper's friend Robin Bloom finds an unusual tarot card tacked to her front door, Liz writes it off as a prank. Robin refuses to ignore the omen—her late husband drew the same card, the three of swords, in a reading the night before he was killed in a car accident. As more cards and darker threats appear, Liz realizes someone very dangerous is upping the ante. Liz turns to her brother's ex-college roommate, occult expert Nick Garfield. As Nick leads her into the voodoo community to locate the origin of the deck, she can't ignore their attraction to each other. Then a woman is found murdered and Robin becomes the prime suspect. Determined to clear her friend, Liz joins forces with Nick to unravel otherworldly secrets and seek help from beyond—or risk being outwitted by a cunning killer.

What a great debut! Tarot cards, spells, mystical illusions are what non-believer Liz faces when her best friend is accused of murder. Working with an occult expert, Liz determination to clear her friend exposes her to an unknown entity. This well-crafted mystery was a fun read that snagged my attention from the first sentence to the delightful end. The page-turning and could not put down book kept me engaged in the mystery as it unraveled to reveal the killer. The burgeoning friendship and banter between Liz and Nick was entertaining and I can’t wait to see how their relationship progresses. The supporting casts are lovable and the snippets of movie dialogues woven into the story were enjoyable. The cards have been played for a long and terrific future for this charming and appealing entry into the cozy mystery genre.

Visit Rochelle at www.rochellestaab.com

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


Desperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey is the first book in the new "Pampered Pets" mystery series. Publisher: BelleBooks, November 2011

When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn't expect is that two hours later the police will find Kevin dead, his dogs impounded; and that as the last person to see Kevin alive (well, except for the killer) she is suddenly a person of interest, at least according to Homicide Detective Judd Malone.

What a good read to a debut series. Caro begins an investigation when at first she is a suspect in a client’s murder but later someone dear to her becomes the prime suspect and she’ll have to find a killer before their dog days are over. This was a joy to read. The tone was light and the mystery of who and why kept me turning the pages. Set in sunny California among the pampered set, Caro has to delve into her client’s past to find a killer who will stop at nothing to keep a secret buried. I liked how evenly this story flowed between Caro searching for clues and getting to know Caro and her friends. With amusing banter and comedic antics, this is a wonderful beginning and I hope this enjoyable series continues.

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors, Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter and you can visit them at www.sparkleabbey.com


Well-Offed in Vermont by Amy Patricia Meade is the first book in the new "Pret' Near Perfect" mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, November 2011

In bucolic small-town Vermont, Stella Thornton Buckley feels out of her element—and not just because she’s fresh from Manhattan. Mere hours after moving to maple syrup country, she and her husband, Nick, find a dead man, Allen Weston, in their well. The police investigation forces the couple out of their lovely farmhouse and—since the motels are packed with leafpeepers—into a less than luxurious deer camp. Instead of mourning the loss of electricity and running water, Stella and Nick drive their Smart Car all over the Vermont hamlet to question the quirky locals about Weston, a shrewd businessman who rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way. Stella and Nick may never shed their flatlander reputation, but they just might be able to make a few friends and help Sheriff Mills solve a murder.

What a great start! Stella and Nick are excited to move into their new home until a ghastly discovery and now they are homeless. At a loss, this husband and wife team decides a little sleuthing will help free their home, but will it find a killer? This was a fun-filled, fast-paced and nicely-written who-dun-it that I did not want to put down. This was a good mystery that had me involved in following the clues, but I also enjoyed the relationship and witty repartee between Stella and Nick that kept me turning the pages. I love the eccentric and lovable secondary casts and the small-town atmosphere of this charming and delightful series and I look forward to a very long visit with the Buckleys.

Visit Amy at http://amypatriciameade.com