Tag Archive | murder

Spatzle Speaks: Dumpster Dicing

Julie Cosgrove has written some compelling romantic suspense novels about human trafficking (Hush in the Storm, Legitimate Lies, Freed to Forgive) as well as some delightful novellas (Greener Grass, Navy Blues), but she breaks new ground in her writing with a new series called Bunco Biddies Mysteries.

bunco biddies

 

The core of the group consists of Betsy Ann who used to be a news reporter. Janie is the widow of a police detective and her daughter is married to the current detective of their fair town. Ethyl adores cozy mysteries and catalogues all the who-dunnits she has read and how the murders were committed.

dumpster dicingThe first in this series is Dumpster Dicing and it is a delightful cozy mystery. SO much so my mom snuggled up to me while she read it.

While on their morning walk they spy a dead body parts dropping out of a dumpster being picked up by the garbage truck. Apparently it was a new grouchy neighbor to their community, Edwin Newman. Now they are determined to uncover the truth about just who murdered the poor man and why.  Although he was mean to a dog so that’s reason enough for me to have done it, but I’m a dog and am not capable of that kind of harm. Along the way they get into all kinds of trouble with someone trying to stop them, along with Janie’s son-in-law who, while appreciative of the help, really does care for his mother-in-law and wants her safe.

Dumpster Dicing is filled with colorful characters, sweet moments and a dash of humor as a group of older women in a retirement community seek to help out Janie’s son-in-law who is overworked and she beleives needs to spend more time with his family. I give this five bones. I don’t do stars. I’m a dog.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

5 bones for blog

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Spatzle Speaks: Hounded (Anita Klumpers)

houndedFinally, a book about dogs. Could anything be better? Well, the answer is yes, as author Anita Klumpers writes a fascinating tale about dogs called Hounded.

Mom says that’s not true. It’s about a woman.

Really? 

Okay. So it’s about a widow named Elise. She’s not too sad that her stuffy husband croaked. After all she has to dogs to love her. But this is the second husband she’s lost and this one is filthy rich. (Mom says she wished she could relate to that, but I’m content.) And now they think he was murdered and she is suspect number one.

This book is part of a new series by Prism Book Group called “Love is . . .” which is exploring 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. This one looks at “Love is patient.”

An old friend who happens to be a pastor is really patient with Elise. Oh, boy is he patient. But love makes you do weird things from what I understand. I love my mom and dance for her for a treat so I can relate. But the dogs keep getting into mischief and the last thing she wants is to hear about the God who allowed her first husband, who she loved, to die. Life isn’t fair and she was having nothing of a God who orchestrated that.

This is a fast-paced romantic suspense that will keep the reader turning the pages. Anita has a special way with words and obviously with dogs because I kept panting for more. It’s a tail-wagger for sure. I give it five bones because that’s what I do. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars and I lack thumbs.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

 

5 bones for blog

 

 

 

Shattered (Book Review)

shatteredI needed an actual paperback to read while sitting at the pool and picked up Shattered by Dani Pettrey at the library. Yay for libraries! Shattered is book 2 in Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage Series.

Piper McKenna is the heroine of this tale. When her youngest brother, Reef,  is arrested for murder, she is determined to find out the truth, which means finding the killer.

Heroes don’t come better than Deputy Landon Grainger. He has been an unofficially adopted member of the Grainger family and has known Piper for a long time. He knows that sometimes someone who professes innocence can really be guilty and he’s afraid Piper’s devotion to her brother will be her undoing.

When Piper is almost killed, however, he begins to realize two things. One: He loves Piper as more than an annoying little sister. Two: Someone else has committed the murder Reef is in jail for.

To solve a crime and protect Piper become his primary goals and when feelings begin to surface, life gets even more complicated. Will Piper and Landon get past this danger to confess their love? Can they prove Reef’s innocence? And will Landon resolve his mixed feelings towards God?

This was a wonderful story that was hard to put down. Romantic suspense at it’s best and banter between Piper and Landon as they struggled with their deeper feelings for each other was fun to read. Even with a series and a cast of characters that considerable, Pettrey makes it easy to determine who is who and I think this book stands alone well enough. I am enjoying getting to know the McKenna family and those they have enfolded into their loving arms.

Meow Mayhem (Book Review)

meow mayhem coverI just finished Lisa Lickel’s cozy mystery/romance Meow Mayhem, this morning and still basking in the glow of the sweetness of it. The small town of Apple Grove is dying and it’s mayor, Donald Conklin recruits fellow Egyptian Mau owners, Amanda McTeague Preston and Truesdale Thomson to move their businesses to the town, with incentives, to help stimulate growth.

Egyptian Mau’s are a specific breed of cat, with spots instead of stripes. Valuable and pedigreed.

True liked the idea of moving because he wanted to get to know Amanda. Amanda moved so she could start life afresh after being jilted by her fiancé.

But life, and romance, never runs smooth. When the mayor is found dead, and possibly murdered the town spreads rumors and fights against the new businesses. Amanda and True wonder if this is where they are meant to be, but they believed the mayor’s vision for the town and want to honor him. So they stay and try to uncover the mystery.

This book is unusual as it is written entirely in the first person from only Amanda’s point of view. I’ll admit that this is not my favorite type of POV to read and because of that, not the story, it took awhile for me to really get immersed in the mystery. Partly because Amanda keeps sticking her nose impulsively into trouble and I got frustrated with that!

The mystery is well crafted though and with all the clues and problems that occur in the town there was no certainty of how things would resolve – or if they even would. Would Donald’s murderer be uncovered? What’s up with the chocolate (I even suspected that they might be poisoned and part of an evil plot to undo Amanda)?

mau catAnd those cats. I’m not a cat person and even went to look online to get a better feel for what this breed looked like. I loved the way Lisa Lickel gave each of the three cats in the story distinct personalities and how she beautifully highlighted the unique relationship a pet owner has with the pet they have come to love like family.

I’m allergic to cats and didn’t sneeze once during this book. It was an enjoyable read and “cozy,” although towards the end I did start dreaming and wondering what was next when I would go to bed! Always the sign of a good book when it keeps you thinking about it even when you are sleeping.

Thanks Lisa for this light, cozy mystery and for not making it too easy to solve. You tied it up nicely and even had room for a little bit of surprise at the end. Well done!

The Map Quilt: Buried Treasure Mysteries Book 2 (Book Review)

I’ll admit I did it. I rarely buy fiction, but when my friend Lisa Lickel came out with her e-book, The Map Quilt, I actually PAID to have it on my kindle. I know. I need help.

I’m more of a comedy and/or romance kind of girl. I’m not big on mystery and there is certainly one in The Map Quilt. Murder. Fire. Enemies. Buried Treasure. Midnight visitors. But there was also a sweet romance between Hart and Judy. Lighthearted bantering that made them seem so real. And cupid also decided that one romance just wasn’t enough! Drama, suspense and mystery as well.

So what’s it about? Hart has developed a new technology for the farming industry but before it can reach production a mysterious fire, death of a hostile co-worker and the missing invention raise all kinds of questions. How does that weave in with a mysterious quilt and a missing deed to a property in another state and this unusual speaker who has come to share information as well as seek answers to an age-old mystery?  A skeleton, gold-coins and the smell of gasoline. Lisa ties all these elements together into a beautiful package.

It was also a wonderfully complex book. Lisa really knew her stuff and had obviously researched things well to weave history of the underground railroad as well as current issues with technology into her book against the backdrop of a small Wisconsin community. A cozy mystery.

I enjoyed this book. I got so sucked into it I couldn’t go to bed until I finished it. It is the second book after The Gold Standard, which I have not read (yet). It stands alone though and it is not necessary to have read the first book to fully enjoy this one.

Lisa, I’m blessed to call you a friend and happy to say I loved your book (she knows me well enough that if I didn’t, I would say so – or just avoid posting a review!).

It’s not out in paperback yet, but will be in time. But the e-book is worth the price. So go get it.

Casey Anthony

I did not watch the trial for Casey Anthony. I don’t have TV and don’t like getting sucked into all the drama surrounding legal cases like this. Even with all that – I still heard bits and pieces and knew the exact moment when the verdict had been handed down by the jury.

What has surprised me (although it shouldn’t, I’ve been around long enough) is the amount of vitriol that has been spewed forth on social networking. Casey Anthony has become the poster child for “evil personified.”  Even jurors, who have sacrificially given of their time to serve for this case, have received death threats. They showed up and they did their jobs. They did not say Casey Anthony was innocent. They came to the conclusion that there was not enough evidence to commit her to a death sentence. Justice did its job, even if we disagree with the outcome.

Casey Anthony has to face a higher judge. She will face, someday, the One from whom no one can hide truth. She will have to watch all that happened and it will be evident where true guilt lies and what her crimes really are.  I cannot judge what I do not know or have incontrovertible evidence of. Neither can you. The  case has left many with unanswered questions although some would like to assume they already know the answers. The fact is – only God and Casey REALLY know what happened to Caylee.

It is interesting that in a society that regularly kills babies before they are born, would get so worked up over the death of one child. Accidental or murder, she is gone and safe from further harm. I trust that God has her in His tender care and she does not suffer. Maybe she was saved from something far worse than eternity in His presence? We will never know. She is gone, she is safe.  Our anger and rage should be against the crimes that are perpetrated every hour of every day to kill babies in this country, for the sake of convenience and a woman’s rights. If a woman has a right to kill a child at 8 months gestation, then why is a two-year old different?   I am pro-life. I believe life is sacred from conception to the grave. But the inconsistency in our culture floors me.  All this anger directed at one woman and a jury – when we have a  President, a Supreme Court and doctors around this nation who support killing children?  Doesn’t  the cognitive dissonance of that irritate you?

So, in many ways, I feel sorry for Casey Anthony. At twenty-five years of age, she is an attractive young woman who has been found tried by a fickle society and has lost any chance of a “normal” life in this world because of the notoriety of this case and the high emotions that have been stoked by the media. While freedom from a death penalty, and getting out jail is certainly a bonus for her – what does  she have the freedom to do? She can’t get a job at Wal-mart. Where could she work to support herself and pay all her legal costs? She could write a book, true, but she will still lack the freedom to go to McDonald’s  or Starbucks to enjoy time with a friend. Have any friends even stood by her through this? She has lost closeness with her parents. Who will support her other than her attorneys who get paid to help?

Casey is one of many people in this world who walk around wearing “GUILTY” stamped across their chests. And yet – before God we are ALL guilty of sin, aren’t we? Without repentance and the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and His resurrection, what hope do any of us have of freedom and joy and “life?”

As a Christian, my heart goes out to Casey. God has placed her on my heart and I pray for her:  For her heart, for His plan for her future, and that she will be open to what He may choose to do in and through her life if she chooses to accept his “get out of jail free” card. Without God’s mercy on any of our souls,  we all are under a death penalty with the ultimate destination being hell. No matter what the crime, Casey Anthony was created in the image of God. Whether she acknowledges Him or not, He loves her and desires a relationship with her.  She needs our prayers, not our condemnation.  May God have mercy on our souls for presuming we can do God’s job for Him now that human justice has been meted out. May God have mercy on Casey Anthony’s soul as she steps into her uncertain future. May God have mercy on our nation for our inconsistent views on the value of human life.