Tag Archive | mystery

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!

Meander Scar (Book Review)

I happen to be friends with Lisa Lickel, the author of Meander Scar.I’ve read two of her other books and have reviewed them here on my blog (Summer in Oakville and The Map Quilt). When she gave me a copy of her book Meander Scar to read, I felt honored. Always dicey though to review a book by a friend because I want to be honest. But I dug in and read.

Oh. My. Word.

Meander Scar has to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. I couldn’t put it down and when I got to the end I just wanted to cry. I still do as I think of it.

Ann Ballard has been living her life in limbo since her husband Gene disappeared in New York seven years go. Attempts to rule him as dead were constantly blocked by Gene’s mother, Donna.  Ann’s son has been angry and blaming his mother for his father’s disappearance but is now married about to have a child of his own. Oh, and there’s money. Huge amounts of money, held in trust and locked away from Ann so she barely can survive in spite of her missing husband’s wealth.

Then Mark Roth rolls back into town, all grown up from the 19 year old next door neighbor boy – now a man and an attorney and declares his love for the 40 something Ann, it propels them on a journey of towards love and to uncover the truths behind the mystery that has held Ann captive for seven years.

Can Mark prove his love to Ann ‘s heart that has been abandoned and alone for so long? Can they overcome the age differences?  Can Mark find the family and love he has only ever seen from Ann but never experienced in his own family? Can love prevail and faith grow through the twists and turns that life takes?

I don’t want to spoil the surprises in what is a mysterious love story that will twist your heart and raises the bar to what a biblical version of love really is. Lisa writes with raw passion with all the emotions expressed from love to anger to despair and to grief. She takes you there which is wonderful and uncomfortable all at once.

I love  Mark and Ann and wish there were a sequel to their love story. . . it might only have the mystery of how love prevails over time, but isn’t that the greatest mystery of all anyway?

I love this book. If I didn’t have it in ebook form it would be one of the few books that would never leave my possession (I often give paperback fiction books away to our church library). Not because I want to be selfish – but more because it’s one of those rare books I would want to read again. . . and again. . . I need to create a category on my kindle for “keepers” – this would be one of the rare books in there.

Kudos, Lisa Lickel, on a fabulous piece of fiction. And thank you for being a mentor and friend in my own writing journey. You are a jewel.

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.