Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dru's Cozy Report: April 2012 Reading List



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

50% Off Murder by Josie Belle is the first book in the new "Good Buy Girls" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2012

Maggie Gerber-one of the founding members of the Good Buy Girls-loves her quiet life in Saint Stanley, Virginia, but things are about to get complicated. First, Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff. Then Claire Freemont, a librarian and member of the Good Buy Girls, shows up late to a meeting acting utterly strange. When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, everything seems to be back to normal...until they find the body of a very dead man with a knife plunged into his chest. Turns out the man is someone from Claire's past, which makes her the prime suspect. As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it's up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer-while making sure they don't pay too much in the process.

What a great debut series. Three friends band together and go shopping for a killer, when one of their own becomes the prime suspect. Led by Maggie, the trio is determined to hunt down clues to prove their friend's innocence. This was a good mystery and I love Maggie's drive to find other suspects to save her friend. This lighthearted tale boasts lovable characters, great conversations, humor and a blossoming romance. It was fun meeting Maggie, Ginger, Joanne, and Clair as well as the secondary characters in this fabulous and terrifically delightful new series with bonus tips for bargain hunters. This series is a welcome addition to the cozy genre and I look forward to my next fun-filled adventures with the GBG team.

Josie Belle is the pseudonym of Jenn McKinlay and you can visit her at www.jennmckinlay.com

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


A Killer Read by Erika Chase is the first book in the new "Ashton Corners Book Club" mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2012

Reading specialist and mystery book lover Lizzie Turner was excited for the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society hosted in Molly Mathew's old Southern mansion. But she didn't expect the gathering to become the scene of an actual murder. A stranger has been shot-and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly's antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon. As the plot becomes all too real, the police chief-Lizzie's former high school crush-steps in to investigate. Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox, and Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list.

When a stranger is found dead outside their book club meeting, concerned for her friend prompts Lizzie and others to learn more about him and who wanted him dead. When Lizzie starts receiving a manuscript with an interesting plot, Lizzie begins to suspect the two are somehow connected and she'll have to read between the lines to find an elusive killer. I like it. This charming mystery boasts a well-charted and action-filled storyline that I could not put down as the drama moved closer to the killer's identity. I love how each chapter started with a line from books by cozy mystery authors as well as mentions within the pages. With a great cast and good conversation, this is a wonderfully lighthearted and appealing whodunit that I hope it here to stay. I look forward to the next book in this delightful series.

Visit Erika at www.erikachase.com

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


Shore Excursion by Marie Moore is the first book in the new "Sidney Marsh" mystery series. Publisher: Camel Press, April 2012

Travel agents are a vanishing breed, but Sidney Marsh, a New York transplant from Mississippi, is holding her ground-at least on land. She is the tour leader on a cruise through Scandinavia for a group of eccentric senior citizens who call themselves the High Steppers. Sidney expects her days to be filled with long meals, shopping expeditions and visits to museums, churches and fjords. But this cruise is anything but routine. There is a killer on board, targeting the High Steppers and quite possibly herself. After the first suspicious death, the captain and his crew are grimly determined to carry on as usual. Disgusted with their inaction, Sidney decides to take matters into her own hands and launch her own investigation. She enlists the halfhearted help of her friend and business partner, the flamboyant and fun-loving Jay Wilson. Suspects abound. What about those two handsome young men who stay mysteriously aloof? One of them has his eye on Sidney. So does another passenger, far too charming and again too young to fit the "High Stepper" mold. Then there's Captain Vargos, the arrogant ladies' man whose plans to thwart Sidney's investigation might include seduction. Who is that crew member shadowing Sidney? Is the theater really haunted? Even the High Steppers themselves are not as predictable or harmless as they seem. The closer Sydney gets to the truth, the less she understands.

A European cruise turns into more than Sidney expected when one of her group member is found dead and she is puzzled by the authorities' action. Investigating on her own, Sidney uncovers clues that may put her and her group in harm's way. With a well-developed plot, a determined heroine, a great supporting cast and the perfect setting for murder, this was a good read. The author did a good job in keeping me guessing with the many twists and turns in this whodunit and I was doubly surprised with the revelation of the killer's identity. I like the characters and the tone of the story and I hope there are more adventures with Sidney in this enjoyable debut series.

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

Visit Marie at www.mariemooremysteries.com