Action/Adventure · Book Review · Cozy Mystery · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery

Teaching is Murder

I was gifted this book by Cozy Mystery Review Crew and author Monique Bird in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Claire. She has just purchased a home in Fairview, Colorado and loves the life she has. She has also been teaching 7th grade science for 5 years. Although Fariview is a small town that appears to be a tranquil little town, Fairview is anything but tranquil.

Claire is out running one night when she spots a stay kitten run into and empty home. Concerned for his safety, Claire follows the kitten into the empty home and stumbles across the body of a murdered jewelry thief. As if that isn’t enough, the next day Claire receives a cryptic message from a student that she taught last year.

As Claire begins to try and contact the former student to inquire about the strange email, the more dangerous her life becomes. Suddenly someone is after Claire and the missing jewels. As the killer’s attacks escalate, Claire decides to take matters into her own hands. With an old friend who’s now a detective and his handsome older brother, they pursue the murderer. Claire has a plan. It isn’t perfect, but anything is better than becoming the next victim.

Review

This was a nice quick read that I really enjoyed. Monique Bird has a unique way of writing that keeps that story light an airy, while still weaving the scariness of a murder and someone’s life being in danger. In addition, Monique Bird had a way of writing that allowed me to walk along side Claire, and be “a part of her life.” It was so much fun to read and see what kind of trouble Claire got into. Monique Bird also did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing. Every time I thought they had captured the killer and Claire’s life was now safe, there was a twist that Monique through in to push you off the right track. These twists added such fun to the story that you could not help but laugh at Claire and her bad luck. This was a great cozy mystery and I really enjoyed discovering Monique Bird as an author. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series and other books of Monique’s.

Review

About the Author

Monique Bird grew up on an orchard in Utah. She had a favorite spot high in a cherry tree where she would sit, make up stories, and daydream. Now, as a survivor of stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she is actively pursuing those dreams. She also has two cats, Tod and George, who keep her entertained. 

Book Review · Cozy Mystery · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery

A New Place, Another Murder

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Tour Hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours

Thank you to Silver Dagger Tours and Christa Nardi for the gifted copy of A New Place, Another Murder. This book was provided to me for an honest review and all opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Sheridan. She has pretty much every thing she has every wish for. She has recently settled into her new home in Appomattox with her husband Brett and his daughter, but longs for something to help keep her busy. That is, until Maddie, her stepdaughter, and her friend are framed for theft and murder. While this is not quite the distraction she had in mind, Sheridan will do anything she can to prove their innocence. Will the truth come out before the person calling the shots takes Sheridan and Maddie out of the picture?

Review

I was really looking forward to reading this book, as I love a good mystery as much as the next person; however, this book just didn’t live up to my expectations. While the synopsis and the over all story were good, I felt like the build up of this story was really slow for my tastes. It took a long time to learn all the information related to the murder, and for me, the way the information was presented was a bit on the confusing side. I did love the characters that were created and I enjoyed the relationships between the characters.

The one thing that bothered me just a little, was that I had never picked up a Christa Nardi book before, and it without a little back history on the characters, some of the information presented in this book was confusing to me. It took me a long time to figure out how all the characters and their backgrounds fit together. I would have wished for just a bit more information on Brett, his daughter, and their relationship with Sheridan as well as a little background on why she had left her previous teaching position. Although this book is the start of a new series, and you should be able to start a series without reading the author’s previous books, I felt that I should have read the author’s Cold Creek Series books first.

Rating

About the Author

Christa Nardi is an accomplished author of cozy mysteries. Christa’s background is in higher education
and psychology, much as her protagonist, Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek mystery series. She has
always loved mysteries – reading them, writing them, and solving them. Christa is a member of Sisters in
Crime.

Author Links

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Book Review · Contemporary · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery

Come Join the Murder

This month I had the pleasure of working with BookSirens and was gifted a copy of the book Come Join the Murder by Holly Rae Garcia.

Synopsis

Meet Rebecca Crow. Rebecca’s four-year-old son is dead, and her husband is missing.

When Rebecca’s son and husband don’t come home after calling Rebecca to say they had a flat and AAA was there to assist, Rebecca begins to worry. Police are contacted. Divers find her husband’s car at the bottom of a canal with their son’s small, lifeless, body inside. The police have no suspects and nothing to go on but a passing mention of a man driving a van. 

Rebecca, although grief stricken, only has one thing on her mind…REVENGE!!

Meet James Porter. James knows exactly what happened, but he’ll do anything to keep it a secret.

James didn’t plan to kill Rebecca’s son, but he’s not too broken up about it, either. There are more important things for him to worry about. He needs money, and his increasing appetite for murder is attracting the wrong kind of attention.

Will Rebecca get revenge? Will James continue to murder or get caught?

Review

This is my first time reading a book by Holly Rae Garcia. Overall, I thought the book was good. I enjoyed the story, however, I felt like the story was a bit too unbelievable. I don’t want to give too much away, but as the events of the book played out, I did not feel like they could happen without someone being seen or caught. In addition, while I thought the book was good, I was a bit confused as the story of what happened when her son when he died was repeated over and over and the story changed every time. It was not until the end that I figured out that these were the stories that Rebecca had told herself about the incident. I wish that would have been a little clearer from the beginning. Like I said, the book was good, and I enjoyed the read, I just wasn’t lost in it.

I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book that was given to me by BookSirens and Holly Rae Garcia.

Rating

About the Author

Holly is a corporate photographer by day. When she’s not shooting or editing, she writes short stories and novels and runs a local book club. They meet at the pub. Okay, they’re a wine club that talks about books. Semantics.

She’s worn a lot of hats over the years, working as a waitress, bartender, 911 dispatcher, wedding photographer, lab technician, and a handful of soul-crushing roles at soul-crushing companies. But not her current role, that job is fantastic (in case her boss is reading this).

Holly loves the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Daniel Keyes, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King. Dark stories with sad endings are her jam. In her own writing, she leans towards the horror, sci-fi, and dystopian genres.

Holly lives on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery · Suspense · Thriller

The Family Upstairs

This month I had the pleasure of participating in a buddy read with We Be Book’N. This book club gets me into so much trouble…turning me on to new books to read and sucking me in to buddy reads, but I would not have it any other way!!! 🙂

Synopsis

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets. 

Goodreads.com Synopsis of The Family Upstairs

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

Meet Libby Jones. Adopted as a young child, Libby has always wondered who she is. Days after her 25th birthday, Libby receives a letter in the mail that she has been waiting for her entire life. The letter not only tells her the identity of her birth parents, but also tells her that she has inherited her parent’s abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames Rive. The home is worth millions!!! Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. Little does she know that others have been waiting this day as well…

Review

The only way to describe this book is weird…the kind of weird that you can’t keep but reading!! This is the first book that I have read by Lisa Jewell, even though I have several of her books on my shelves! And while weird, this book did not disappoint! When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a nice story about Libby and her inherited home and how she fixes it up (I have a bad or good habit of not reading the synopsis of a book before I read it). Boy was I wrong!! This book flips back and forth between the present and 25 years ago. It describes Libby’s life now, but also the disturbing life going on at 16 Cheyne Walk. As I read the descriptions of the lives that were being lived at 16 Cheyne Walk, I was in awe and a little mad about what was happening at the home. I was frustrated with the things that the kids in the house were going through (enter my social work background). This book was like an accident scene…you know, the kind that you know you should look away from, but at the same time, can’t bear to turn away form. Lisa Jewel tells a fantastically haunting story that captured me early on. The story was intriguing and you could not help wondering what was going to happen next. Lisa Jewel‘s writing is wonderfully descriptive and I could imagine the home and the experiences in my mind’s eye. This book was full of suspense and mystery that kept me guessing to the very end. The only thing about this book that I didn’t like was that it wrapped up too quickly…I felt there was more story to tell and more to wrap up. This book left me wishing for more!!

I am so glad that I finally read a book by Lisa Jewell. I am also glad that I read this book as a buddy read as we all had fun sharing our theories of what was happening in the book. It was wonderful to be able to share frustrations with the book and know I was not the only one feeling that way!!! Lisa Jewel is definitely on my list of authors to continue to read. I am excited to get my hands on the other books that she has written!!!

Rating

About the Author

Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.