Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Murder, She Wrote: Aloha Betrayed"

New in the USA Today bestselling series—Jessica Fletcher finds herself in a tropical paradise where “aloha” means both hello and goodbye. But sometimes, the goodbye is permanent… 

Jessica is on the Hawaiian island of Maui, giving a lecture at Maui College on community involvement in police investigations—a subject she knows well. Her co-lecturer is legendary retired detective Mike Kane, a behemoth of a man who shares his love of Hawaiian lore, legends and culture with Jessica.

Sadly, all the talking stops when the body of a colleague is found at the rocky foot of a cliff.

Mala Kapule was a botanist and popular professor at the school, known for her activism and efforts on behalf of the volcanic crater Haleakala. The high altitude crater is already the site of an observatory, but plans to place the world’s largest solar telescope there split the locals, with Mala fiercely arguing to preserve the delicate ecology of the area. Was someone trying to muffle the protestors? Or was Mala’s killer making a more personal statement?

Now, it’s up to Jessica, along with Mike, to uncover who was driven to silence the scientist…and betray the true meaning of Aloha.

My Thoughts...

In the 1980s I was a fan of the TV show, Murder, She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury. It came on each Sunday evening and I tried never to miss it. Now years later when I get a hankering for a visit with Jessica Fletcher I reach for a book. Therefore, I chose this book to get to visit Hawaii through Jessica's eyes. It was a fun two day visit to Maui. I had visited the Islands in 1973, and this story brought back many fond memories.

As always I was never in doubt that Jessica would get to the bottom of the case. However, the fun is trying to catch the clues that leads Jessica to solving the case. I caught some of the clues to the puzzle, which is why I like cozy mysteries. The story kept me on my toes until the very end.... Another case solved by the renowned Jessica Fletcher.

This book is a part of my personal library and I enjoyed it enough to award it 4 'Aloha' stars.

P.S. Just a side thought, I now watch "Murder, She Wrote" on Netflix.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Ming Tea Murder"

It’s scones and scandal for Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Steeped in Evil…

Normally Theodosia wouldn’t attend a black tie affair for all the tea in China. But she can hardly say no to her hunky, handsome boyfriend, Max, who directs public relations for the Gibbes Museum in Charleston. Max has organized an amazing gala opening for an exhibit of a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse, and the crème de la crème of Charleston society is invited.

In the exotic garden staged in the museum’s rotunda, a Chinese dragon dances to the beat of drums as it weaves through the crowd. The guests are serenaded by a Chinese violin as they sample an assortment of tempting bites. And to give them a memento of the occasion, there’s even a photo booth. But Theodosia makes a grim discovery behind the booth’s curtains: the body of museum donor Edgar Webster.

While Theodosia prefers tea service over the service of justice, this case is difficult to ignore—especially after Max becomes a suspect. Now she must examine the life of the fallen philanthropist and find out who really wanted him to pay up…


My Thoughts...

Even though this book is #16 in the series A Tea Shop Mystery, it is also a stand-alone book.

From the first page to the last page I was drawn right into the story, I love a good cozy...It only took a few pages until Theodosia Browning found a dead body in a photo booth...  Now starts Theodosia's investigation to try to find who would do such a dastardly deed.

Since this is a Tea Shop Mystery, I loved the Afternoon Tea Party with the theme: "Titanic Tea" (if you are a Titanic fan you will understand) Served at the tea were some of the delights that the first class passengers enjoyed as their last meal... (Asparagus vinaigrette, Sautéed chicken lyonnaise, Poached salmon with cucumbers on a bed of rice. Desert was Waldorf pudding and Chocolate eclairs.) 

As I read these Tea Shop Mysteries, I like to imagine who Theodosia looks like...This time I imagined her looking like Reese Witherspoon. It's my imagination so I can imagine whatever I want...

The story moved along quickly keeping me slurping my tea as I was trying to figure out who was the guilty person of all the many suspects. But, again I was caught by surprise when the guilty one was discovered.

And that ending! Wowser! I enjoyed the 'jouncing' ending.

A great big THANK YOU to the author, Laura Childs, for providing this book for me to read and review. Thank you for a few days of fun reading, and visiting some old friends from Charleston, South Carolina. What can I say except it was my cup of tea, and I enjoyed it so much I am awarding it 5 star shaped tea leaves. 

I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors I am under no obligation to write a positive review.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"File M for Murder"

Athena College's new writer in residence is native son and playwright Connor Lawton, known for his sharp writing- and sharper tongue. After an unpleasant encounter, librarian Charlie Harris heads home to a nice surprise: his daughter Laura is subbing for another Athena professor this fall semester. It's great news until he hears who got her the job: her old flame, Connor Lawton...

Fearing competition for Connor's affections, one of his admirers tries to drive Laura out of town. And then, before Connor finishes the play he is writing, he is murdered- and Laura is the prime suspect. Knowing she's innocent, Charlie and his faithful sidekick, Diesel, follow Connor's cluttered trail of angry lovers, bitter enemies, and intriguing research to find the true killer before his daughter is forever cataloged under "M"- for murderer.

My Thoughts...

I always know I can depend on James to satisfy me when I am in a cozy frame of mind. And he didn't disappoint me this time. He hit another ball out of the park with this one. It is Book #3 in the "A Cat In The Stacks Mystery" series.
He is now on my list of favorite authors, and if you like cozy mysteries, James books are the best....there is humor and plenty of Southern charm to go around...Anyone for a glass of Sweet Tea? This cozy mystery makes for a leisurely and enjoyable read.

I enjoyed it so much that I awarded it 4 "Hair Ball Kitty" stars. I own this book and it is a part of my personal library.