Tag Archive | mystery

Spatzle Speaks: Christmas Extravaganza Novellas (Book Reviews)

My mom was out of commission with shoulder surgery for a few months and in spite of my name on this part of her blog, I still can’t type. I find it appropriate that I give you a few books in one post to celebrate Christmas.  These three novels seemed like a great place to start.

Christmas Passed by Anita Klumpers is the first novella, a bit of a Christmas mystery. Dinah is slated to do the promotional photos of a 1930’s home in Milwaukee decked out for Christmas. She runs into the boy-now-a-man, Mick comes back to annoy her and become her partner in figuring out why bad things keep happening… and why there are strange ornaments in the attic as well as other surprises. There is a dog in this story too which of course, I liked. Not sure how a dog can be that well-trained but I feel sorry for it. Ms. Klumpers assembles a colorful cast of characters and surprises for the reader in this fun Christmas story so I recommend it with five bones.

 

Meow Mistletoe by Lisa L. Lickel is another Christmas mystery that also serves as a prequel to a series of books due to release next year. Ivy is at the Christmas party for the Cat Association Titlist group when a cat goes missing and she attempts to help find the feline. I may be a dog but I love cats. They are fun to chase. I won’t tell you what all happens but there is a puzzle to be solved and it’s a fun journey with a smattering of romance sprinkled in. Definitely another five bones from me. 

 

The Doctor’s Daughter by Susan M. Baganz was written by my mom and she took a character from her Black Diamond Regency series, Dr. Bruce Miller and gave him a romance. Silvia’s father died and was the doctor who trained Bruce. She arrives at the home of SIr Michael & Katrina Tidley and hopes to rekindle a past romance with the good doctor. Obstacles and illness emerge to thwart them on their journey to love. This is another book I enjoyed even though she failed to include any animals beyond carriage horses in her story.  Another five bones.

All three of these novellas make a great holiday read, cozied up warm in your favorite chair. They are only available in e-book formats. I give them all five bones, because I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs.

 

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

 

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Spatzle Speaks: Threes, Sixes & Thieves (Book Review)

Threes, Sixes & Thieves is Julie Cosgrove’s third novel in the Bunco Biddie’s Mystery series.

Janie and her Bunco buddies are at it once again. They see a pattern in the robberies that are occurring in their neighborhood and are determined to figure out just who is doing this. Her son-in-law, a local detective is less convinced, but when they stake out a possible house and one robber is arrested and found later hanging in his jail cell, finally the police are more interested in her theories. The only question is could there be a dirty cop on the force in Alamoville? And how would they find out.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries you’ll enjoy the antics of Janie and her Bunco Biddies as they stir up trouble while solving crimes. Retirement doesn’t mean they can’t help out the police every once and a while does it? I give this book five bones because it is a lighthearted mystery that will leave you grinning.

I give this five bones just because it’s a fun book to read.

 

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

 

Spatzle Speaks: Baby Bunco (Book Review)

babybunco-300-w200-oJulie Cosgrove has emerged with book two of her Bunco Biddie’s cozy mystery series: Baby Bunco and it does not disappoint.

Living in a retirement community known as Sunset Acres, what could be more surprising than finding an abandoned baby in the bathtub of an empty condo?  But that’s exactly the kind of thing that sends Janie and her friends back into their mischievous sleuthing, much to the dismay of her son-in-law, a local detective.

When a woman is also found sliced apart behind a local convenience store the plot thickens and the Bunco Biddies are fresh on the scent to discover just who the baby belongs to, why it was abandoned and what a local maid service might have to do with it all. Of course, you’d think these women were more tenacious than bloodhounds when they get an idea in their heads. Personally I’m not fond of blood hounds but as a dog myself, I am aware that our sense of smell is strong…and in that way I can relate to these sweet ladies (even though Janie has a cat. I think I’d like to get to know her better because I think cats are fascinating).

If you want a lighthearted mystery filled with twists and turns as well as loaded with sweet relationships, then you’ll enjoy this book. I’m not much for hunting myself but any book that makes my mom slow down to read and snuggle with me is aces and that’s why I give this book five bones. Because I’m a dog and I don’t do stars and don’t have thumbs either.

5 bones for blog

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.

 

Spatzle Speaks: Evidence Not Seen (Book Review)

This fabulous tell of mystery and family secrets by Carlene Havel is a great addition to the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group. Evidence Not Seen beautifully illustrates “love keeps no record of wrongs.”

Jeff Galloway grew up with his father in prison and his mom single-handedly raising him. A grown man and a successful attorney he comes to a crossroads when his girlfriend dumps him for greater fortunes in another town. A chance encounter brings Melanie Clark into his path and the soft-hearted social worker stretches his faith in fresh ways while helping come to grips with the past as his father is released from prison.

Did his father commit the crime? if he is as innocent his mother claims, why would he go to prison for it? Where was the proof? As he investigates he is forced to learn to let go of the past as he realizes the truth of all that happened 27 years ago and start afresh to learn the integrity of the father he’d long disdained.

This story looks at our own perceptions and beliefs and the associated emotions that can knock us off stride and away from truth–and love. Melanie becomes a force to help him realize the truth and let go of the past, and forgive. This beautifully told story deserves five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

5 bones for blog

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.

The Secret of Pembrooke Park (Book Review)

I’m typicaly a prolific reader but struggled with Julie Klassen’s latest Regency-era historical fiction, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. Typically in cases like this I wouldn’t even post a review but as I received a free copy from Bethany House, I am obligated to do so.

Abigail Foster is trying to save her family from financial ruin. Ever practical, and in search of inexpensive housing they agree to travel and live at Pembrooke Park, a home abruptly abandoned eighteen years past. Mysteries abound including the story that there is hidden treasure in the mansion. Abigail hopes to find it and restore her family’s fortune.

The local curate is welcoming and as much as his family knows the history of the place. His only warning is that strangers might come to search for the treasure. Mysterious letters and hidden rooms provide diversion in her quest as does the handsome pastor. Maybe she’ll find both love and treasure. . . or danger.

This book is indicative of some others from this publisher which contain far more detail than necessary to tell the story. I found myself bored and easily setting it down for days on end with no real desire to pick it up again. I love Regencies but this is not a traditional light, sweet, Regency. It is a historical novel. While well-written it was not what I anticipated and coming in at 456 pages seemed too long of a book for the story to be told.

Winter Watch (Book Review)

WinterWatch_Ebook (2)It’s been chilly up in the midwest, and Anita Klumper’s new romantic suspense novel, Winter Watch, is what the doctor ordered to get my heart pumping. (well, that and a cozy chair by the fireplace and a cup of something warm!)

Claudia finds herself stranded in northern Wisconsin when she travels there to uncover the true owner of a watch with age old secrets. She meets up with a bevy of characters from the local dog-catcher to the and old, yet sage, blind man and a fun husband and wife team who own the B&B while home schooling their cheeky teenage son. Throw in a slobbering dog, an eccentric restaurant, an old boy friend, winter storms and mysterious happenings that culminate in murder. Claudia needs to decide whether the watch is worth losing the lives of the people she comes to care for.

I really enjoyed this story and the unusual romance that develops between Claudia and Ezra. The bookends to the story add another dimension of depth to the entire tale of this mysterious watch and its elusive fob and just who the real owner is. Who would have thought something so old would create such chaos? Anita’s research and attention to details in this story is riviting and fun. It is a story I highly recommend. I look forward to reading more from this author!

 

The Love Thief (Book Review)

TheLoveThiefThe Love Thief is a novella by Daisy Jerico and is her debut work out by Prism Book Group

Sandra has overcome a difficult past and is on the cusp of realizing her dream of being a jewelry designer while she manages a jewelry store for her boss.

A break-in and theft at the store, however, threatens that dream when she comes under suspicion. The problem is, Sandra didn’t steal the jewelry which included her own design that she had sunk every last penny into. Now her job is in jeopardy as well as her freedom. On top of her life falling apart, a mammoth dog has chosen her to be his owner. How much more can one girl take?

She’s not given much of a choice but to work with an ex-thief to try to trap the real culprit, her former boyfriend, a Svengali type of guy who still thinks that Sandra would want him back after he set her up for a fall five years ago.

Throw in a mammoth dog and some mishaps and you have one humorous yet suspenseful love story.

Will Sandra catch the thief and live to tell about it? Could love flourish in the midst of this? Spoiler – the real love thief is Viking, the dog. Thoroughly loved this story and the cover makes me grin.

This is a novella and available as an e-book only.