Drawn and Buttered (A Lobster Shack Mystery #3) by Shari Randall

drawn

Pages: 301

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: February 26, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley:
The Lazy Mermaid’s business has slowed to a snail’s pace—until a monster lobster claws his way onto the scene…

With the high season behind them, ballerina on-the-mend Allie Larkin and Aunt Gully are finally lying low. But then an unexpected guest arrives at the lobster shack: a crustacean so huge he’s dubbed Lobzilla around Mystic Bay and on social media. Soon, with everyone showing up for a peek in their tank, Allie and Aunt Gully have more on their plate than they can handle.

Meanwhile, another local establishment finds itself in hot water. In exclusive Rabb’s Point, a strange burglary breaches the elegant home of Royal Parrish. Allie takes it upon herself to help with the investigation but, before she can get to the bottom of the case, another alarm sounds: the Lazy Mermaid’s Lobzilla has gone missing and is on the loose! And bodies are beginning to pile up. . .

My Review:
A delightful read that is full of quirkiness and laughter that you will not want to put down. Aunt Gully is the aunt we all wished we had in our lives. She is supportive, loving and ready to jump into the fray with you.

Drawn and Buttered is the third book in the Lobster Shack Mystery series but you can jump into the series at any time. Beware, once you take the plunge you will never want to leave. The series is your typical cozy mystery series with clean language, no gory detailed violence, and no offense sex scenes.

The vivid descriptions of Aunt Gully’s lobster rolls and chowder will have your mouth watering and your mind convincing you that you need to drive to the Connecticut coast immediately. Pretty soon I think my phone is going to automatically book me a plane ticket.

One of my favorite characters is Bronwyn and I keep hoping she makes more of an appearance that an occasional one. She is a great balance to Allie and Verity.

I hope you take a chance and visit my friends in Mystic Bay, Connecticut. I really think you would enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Previously reviewed on my website:

  1. Curses, Boiled Again (Book 1) January 2018
  2. Against the Claw (Book 2) July 2018

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

rain

Pages: 240

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: October 30, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Linden is in Paris to celebrate his father’s birthday with just the family. Unfortunately, Paris is flooding at a rapid rate due to neverending rain and both parents get sick. As Linden tries to care for his father at the hospital he starts realizing he may not have much time left to bond with his father.

My feelings have run from I did not like the book at all (2 stars) to wow, what a powerful message (4 stars). After sitting here a couple of hours after finishing I have decided on a four-star review. I started this book thinking it was mainly about the flood and how it would bring the family together but it is about so much more. The moral I got out of the book is tragedy makes you see things you gloss over in life or refuse to see due to your own shortsightedness. Instead of assuming what others think or see about you, ask them. It is much better than letting the wrong thoughts fester for years. You may lose out on something remarkable being shortsighted.

There are no steamy sex scenes but there is a gay storyline. I don’t remember a lot of obscene language so if there is any it must be minimal and feel right for the story. Of course, tons of Paris landmarks are mentioned so allow yourself time to look them up if you are not familiar with them.

This was my first book by Tatiana de Rosnay and I have already bought Sarah’s Key to read soon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

sadie

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: September 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Whoa what a tumultuous read.

In a small town that America has forgot, is a young girl trying to raise her little sister Mattie wit little help from those around them. Sadie’s life is shattered when Mattie is found in a local orchard violently murdered. Sadie takes it upon herself to find the murderer and bring vigilante justice to him. As Sadie works her way across the miles she finds herself closer to the murderer but does she also find herself closer to her own death as well?

National radio personality, West McCray, hears Sadie’s story and finds himself unable to not get involved. The investigation he launches starts taking over his life and his hope is he finds Sadie before it’s too late.

I had no idea while reading Sadie that it was labeled as a YA read. Any fan of thrillers and mysteries will enjoy this book no matter their age. WARNING: there is plenty of violence, foul language and sensitive subjects (child abuse, child sexual abuse, drug use) throughout the book but all that is what makes this book unable to put down. I almost expected to look up from the book and her my West on the radio talking about a true case.

The book is written in two forms: a narrative when reading Sadie’s thoughts and actions and a podcast transcript when reading West’s thoughts and actions. The podcast transcript reading was different but fit this book.

You will be thinking about this book long after you have finished. It will keep you up at night even if you aren’t up reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed above are completely my own.

Dim Sum of all Fears (A Noodle Shop Mystery #2) by Vivien Chien

dim

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lana is still working in her parents Chinese restaurant in Downtown Cleveland even though she would rather be working as a manager in the corporate world. Just as she thinks she has found the break she has been looking for her parents must fly to Taiwan to take care of her grandmother and have left her in charge of the restaurant with the Chinese New Year right around the corner. Everything is running smoothly until one morning she finds the owners of the shop next door brutally murdered. Can Lana leave the investigation to the police or will she find herself facing the murderer on her own?

This book was very enjoyable. I have already bought the first book in the series to take with me this weekend to read while traveling. Lana, amateur sleuth, is the reason we have cozies. Even though she lives in Cleveland, her community is Asia Village. A small village of Asian stores, restaurants and businesses. She may wish to work in corporate America but she is the force that keeps this little village alive. Her relationship with local law enforcement officer Adam is hilarious but serious at the same time. He wants her to stay safe and she just can’t help herself getting into trouble. I get this picture in my head of him just shaking his head in defeat but smiling at the same time out of love. I can’t wait to learn more about him as the series progresses.

This is the perfect series to begin if you are looking for a culinary cozy mystery series in a different setting. Be prepared to be craving everything Chinese as you are reading. I had to keep myself from drooling as I was reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Purrder She Wrote (A Cat Café Mystery #2) by Cat Conte

purrder

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In the second book of the Cat Café Mystery series, Maddie has opened her cat café with her Grandpa Leo and close friend Ethan. On the opening day, a catfight between a volunteer and a customer disrupts the happy harmony. Later that day the customer is found dead with a catnip toy stuffed down her throat. As the police coming slinking around the café can Maddie find the killer before he or she gets away?

I want to start my review off with this announcement: I was not a fan of this book but please read other reviews before making a decision if this book is for you. There are plenty of reviews praising this book. I think it was just not for me, which happens. I would suggest you start the series with the first book, Cat About Town.

The mystery was good as there were a lot of red herrings to keep you guessing as to who the murderer was but there was too much going on and too many characters. I had to keep flipping back and reminding myself who was who. Especially in Maddie’s love interests. I found the love interests to be distracting to the story.

Let’s talk about Maddie’s father…a self-centered jerk! I know I am not the only one who thought this about him. He cared more about his precious job on the hospital board than two of his own daughters. I am thankful I have a dad who would have told the snobby board to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!

If you love cats and mysteries give the Cat Cafe Mystery series a try, you may love it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Against the Claw (Lobster Shack Mystery #2) by Shari Randall

claw

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m in love with this series. Allie is moving right up there in the top five of my favorite amateur sleuths. I love her sweetness, spunkiness and doggedness to find the killer. Even a bum ankle does not slow her down.

In book two of the Lobster Shack Mystery series we join Allie, Aunt Gully, and friends as they prepare for the Fourth of July. The Lazy Mermaid has more customers than ever and Lorel, Allie’s sister, agrees for the Mermaid to cater “THE” Fourth of the July party for Stellene Lupo. Before that can happen a Jane Doe is found by Allie as she lobsters with a family friend. Can Allie find out who she is and what happened before she ends up sleeping with the fishes?

The Lobster Shack series is a pure joy to read. The description of Mystic Bay, CT is so real that you feel like you are right there with Allie. You can taste the lobster rolls, smell the salt from the ocean and feel the sand under your toes. This is a place I wish I could visit and meet Allie. She seems like a great person to have in your corner.

Her sister, Lorel, was not so frustrating this book. In the first book, Curses, Boiled Again, I did not like Lorel and was hoping she was going to be a minor character with little interaction. She was needed and added a lot to the second book.

If you are a new fan of cozies and like the beach, you should grab the first two books in the series and block out a weekend (preferably on the beach) and read, read, read. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed n the review are entirely my own.

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

quiet one

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

We all know the saying: you always have to watch out for the quiet ones. Twins Bel and Rose lost their dad when they were very young and their mom recently their freshman year of high school. Rose is the quiet, studious twin who follows all rules and Bel is the wild and adventurous one who thinks rules are meant to be broken. With no one left to take them in, the move to New Hampshire to live with their father’s mother, their grandmother. Their grandmother enrolls them in Odell, a boarding school all Enrights’ have attended for generations. On the outside, the school looks like a dream come true for anyone but on the inside bullying, sexual escapades and drugs run rampant. Bel and Rose find themselves fighting constantly and not talking to one another.

Rose and Heath are teachers at Odell who were once students themselves. They have recently been promoted to house monitors of the Enright twins dorm. Rose is uncomfortable with this new position but will support her husband in his dream to rise to the top. Weird things start occurring that Rose cannot account for and make her question how well does she know her husband and does she truly mean the vows of sticking with your husband through good time and bad.

She Was the Quiet One was a thriller that made me want to keep turning the pages even though I pinned the killer very early on. There were a few times the red herrings made me rethink my decision on who the killer was but I was not deterred. I found myself shaking my head in despair at how blind people with authority can be to what truly is happening. Thank goodness for one female cop who went with her instincts.

Rose was my least favorite main character of the book. She seemed very weak and dependent on her husband, Heath. I felt she truly believed she could not survive without him. I am not a fan of weak female characters.

The novel while predictable does make you think how sad it is what people will do to find satisfaction and be at the top of their profession. Those people do not care who they hurt in the process and see themselves above the rules, laws and morals.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

every time

Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 24, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is the first Beth Harbison book I have read and I was pleased with the book. I am not a huge fan of ghosts or spirits but she did it very tastefully. By the end of the book I was almost wishing my Papaw would come visit me so I could tell him I love him one more time.

Willa’s husband died three years ago of a heart attack while working at their Ocean City, Maryland beach house. This summer she has decided it is time to put the beach house up for sale. She gets there and realizes a lot of work needs to be done on the inside and outside before she can put it up for sale. Not long after she arrives her husband’s spirit visits her. At first she thinks she is cracking up but the more she visits the more she realizes he is there for a reason. As the summer progresses her son, best friend and best friend’s daughter come to help her get the house in order and help her finally deal with her husband’s death. It is a summer of change for everyone.

I am not 100% sure that Willa’s husband’s spirit actually came to visit or her. I think in her grief she wished for a connection to him and conjured him up in her subconscious when she needed the connection to him. I believe there is a bit of Willa in all of us when we lose someone close to us. We want that person to be here with us and look for any sign to show is that they are here with us.

They relationship between Willa and her son Jamie is very believable. I was impressed with how much he grew in a few weeks at the shore with his mom especially when he got rid of the psycho girlfriend. The scary idea is the psycho girlfriend was so real. Sad to say my own son had one of those for a while. I was glad to read a story where the someone was strong enough to break it off and not keep dragging the relationship out continuously.

Every Time You Go Away is a tender, heart wrenching book that will make you think about how short life is and how quickly it can change.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

baby teeth

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 17, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Let me start off saying this book scared the beejeebies out of me. I still have not figured out who was more disturbed the mom, Suzette, or the daughter, Hanna. Alex, the dad, should run very far away from the both of them.

Hanna appears all sweet and angelic to everyone on the surface especially to her never-can-do wrong daddy. When she is alone with her mom she turns into the devil child. What makes this even harder is Hanna is mute. Her form of expressing herself is with screams, grunts and the occasional bark.

Suzette has lived a life of exclusion and loneliness due to her severe Crohn’s disease. She never felt complete until she met Alex. She loved the time when it was just the two of them loving and being each other’s whole world. She loves her daughter but the more her daughter becomes “unnormal” in her eyes the more she longs for it just to be her and Alex again.

This book was totally out of my norm. I like the occasional thriller that makes you think but one with a child who is seriously disturbed had me disturbed. Can a child so young really be as bad Hanna was portrayed? I pray I never meet that child.

If you are a puppy and rainbows kind of reader then I would say this book is not for you. If you want to try something new and want something that makes you think then grab this book when it comes out on July 17, 2018 in the USA.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Murder at the Mansion (Victorian Village Mystery #1) by Sheila Connolly

murder at the mansion

Pages: 328 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: June 26, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kate left her hometown of Asheford, MD after high school graduation and never really looked back until she received a call from her high school best friend asking her to help save the town. The only thing the town has going for it is the Victorian mansion owed by Henry Barton. One town council member, Cordelia “Cordy” Walker wants to rip everything out and turn it into an upscale hotel and run it herself. As Kate tours the mansion and starts putting together a plan, she finds Cordy dead on the mansion’s front steps. Who would want Cordy dead or maybe the question should be who doesn’t want Cordy dead? Can Kate solve the murder and save the town?

An excellent first book in a new series by Shelia Connolly. I am very excited to see how the series progesses. The premise of building the town into a Victorian Village is very interesting. Normally I am not a huge fan of American Victorian literature, classic or modern, but this series may just change my mind. The history that is woven in throughout the book is given to the reader in a knowledgeable way but so filled with boring facts that you get lost. I learned a lot about Clara Barton and her work outside of the Red Cross that I had no clue about. I want to read more about it but at the same time I don’t want to ruin any future plot lines of the series.

There is a little bit of a romance but it plays very lightly in the background. It in no way distracts from the murder mystery. I hope it stays that way for a couple more books in the series so we can continue to build up the characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.