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French Pastry Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery)
French Pastry Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery)
by Leslie Meier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63
30 used & new from $13.95

4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable Parisian whodunit, October 1, 2014
French Pastry Murder
Leslie Meier
Kensington, Sep 30 2014, $25.00
ISBN 9780758277046

TV hostess of Women Who Make a Difference, Norah Hemming provides a trip to Paris to four deserving Tinker’s Cove, Maine women (and their husbands) due to their raising money and awareness for two decades for the Hat and Mitten Fund charity. One of the quartet Pennysaver columnist Lucy Stone also looks forward to seeing her daughter Elizabeth who works at the Cavendish Hotel in Paris.

The eight visiting Americans enjoy the City of Lights as they tour the attractions, and Lucy and her husband are thrilled in seeing their oldest though the two females argue somewhat. Lucy and her three friends (Sue, Rachel, and Pam) obtain lessons at Le Cooking School from renowned pastry chef Larry Bruneau. However, at the school, Lucy finds Chef Larry dying from a knife stabbing in his chest. Police Commissaire LaPointe leads the official inquiry starting with taking the passports from Lucy and her companions as they are suspects.

The latest Lucy Stone mystery (see Christmas Carol Murder and Easter Bunny Murder) is an enjoyable Parisian whodunit as the Americans in Paris theme is fun to follow. Although the mystery is over the top of the Eifel Tower, series fans will relish this bon appétit entry.

Harriet Klausner


Murder at Marble House (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Murder at Marble House (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
by Alyssa Maxwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.52
25 used & new from $8.62

5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining historical amateur sleuth, October 1, 2014
Murder at Marble House: A Gilded Newport Mystery
Alyssa Maxwell
Kensington, Sep 30 2014, $15.00
ISBN 9780758290847

In 1895 Newport, Rhode Island, eighteen year old Consuelo Vanderbilt refuses to marry the Duke of Marlborough, the chosen one selected by her mother, Alva. When Consuelo’s poor cousin Emma Cross arrives, Alva warns her to persuade the recalcitrant teen or else.

Not long afterward, Madam Devereaux the psychic is found murdered in the Marble House gardens and Consuelo is missing. Knowing her niece recently solved the Murder At The Breakers, Alva orders Emma to discreetly find Consuelo before the Duke, coming from England to New York before he arrives in Newport. Limited by what she can do without bringing attention to the Vanderbilt family, Emma worries about her cousin’s safety as more homicides occur and clues take her to the underbelly of the affluent city.

The second Gilded Newport Mystery is an entertaining historical amateur sleuth that deftly combines a deep look at the rich and famous with a whodunit. Emma is terrific as she deals with her demanding aunt while her inquiry focuses on finding her cousin, but doing so without anyone learning Consuelo vanished. At the same time a killer is on the loose but seemingly not part of Emma’s increasingly desperate search.

Harriet Klausner


The Perfect Witness
The Perfect Witness
by Iris Johansen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.51
40 used & new from $16.38

5.0 out of 5 stars dark gripping thriller, October 1, 2014
This review is from: The Perfect Witness (Hardcover)
The Perfect Witness
Iris Johansen
St. Martin's Press, Sep 30 2014, $27.99
ISBN: 9781250020055

Her father recognized the advantage of his daughter having the ability to know people’s deepest secrets and used his offspring to help him become the head of the New Jersey Mafia. At her murdered father’s funeral, Teresa Casali saw in the eyes of the new Don Rico Camano that he wants her dead. Henchmen who attended her Sweet Sixteen last month pursue her and shoot her in the arm as she flees into a forest expecting to die before the night ends. A stranger appears out of nowhere and persuades the frightened teen to trust him. Aware of Teresa’s paranormal talent, Andre Mandak takes a hesitant Teresa to safety and provides her with a new identity as Allie Girard and the normalcy of a caring family.

Seven years later, Allie still wonders when her savior collects whatever he wants from her; as everyone one has a scheme. When her past exposes her, Allie is on the run to protect her loved ones from killers. However, she also plans to use her skill to take the fight to her enemies with Mandak’s help; even as he informs her just what he needs from her.

The Perfect Witness is Iris Johansen at her action-packed best as this dark thriller grips readers from the start to the finish. The key players all have hidden agendas, but the heroine keeps the taut storyline focused as she matures from a stunned frightened teen on the run into a still frightened on the run fighting machine with a plan to fight back.

Harriet Klausner


In Your Dreams (The Blue Heron Series)
In Your Dreams (The Blue Heron Series)
by Kristan Higgins
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.78
43 used & new from $1.78

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charming contemporary, September 30, 2014
In Your Dreams
Kristan Higgins
Harlequin HQN, Sep 30 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373779314

In Manningsport, New York, Blue Heron head winemaker Jack Holland rescues four teenagers from drowning after they wrecked their car. The townsfolk rightfully consider the kindhearted Jack the hero of the Midwinter Miracle; but he remains traumatized over the boy in that accident still in a coma.

Police Officer Emmaline Neal needs a date for her former fiancé Kevin Bates’s wedding in Malibu. Friends suggest she ask Jack to be her guest, which he agrees. In California, Emma feels overwhelmed and not just because she is the groom’s ex; as her family resides nearby and she believes she is the lone failure of Dr. and Dr. Neal. When she and Jack share a wonderful evening of love, Emma doubts it is more than just a one-night tryst; as a cop can’t compare to his former wife Hadley who demands a second chance with him. However she doesn’t know Jack; as well as she thought as he wants much more than a SOCAL fling.

The fourth Blue Heron romance (see Waiting On You, The Perfect Match and The Best Man) is a charming contemporary starring two amiable protagonists and ably supported by their families and other bicoastal locals. Kristan Higgins authors a warm droll drama as the self-doubter buries her trepidations in Skittles and chocolate cake, and the PTSD sufferer struggles with the accolades from his heroic act; neither knows how to deal with falling in love.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2014 11:09 PM PDT


Jilted (Hqn)
Jilted (Hqn)
by Rachael Johns
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
38 used & new from $2.45

4.0 out of 5 stars engaging second chance Australian romance, September 30, 2014
Jilted
Rachael Johns
Harlequin HQN, Sep 30 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373779369

A decade ago in Hope Junction, Australia, Elenora Hughes jilted Flynn Quartermaine at the altar to pursue an acting career. When her godmother Matilda breaks her ankle, Ellie returns home after remaining in the big city as a successful soap opera star for years to care for her beloved injured senior citizen.

Ellie and Flynn share in common two things: each fears a second chance and each remains in love with the other. The tabloids stalk the couple and other residents in the small western town; local nurse Lauren Simpson deploys a plan to finally win Flynn’s heart; and Ellie’s show producer pressures her to return to the set. However, as Mat reveals a secret and Ellie finds joy in directing and teaching drama, she explains to the two people she cherishes with all her heart why she left Hope behind ten years ago.

Jilted is an engaging second chance Australian romance due to likable leads and a colorful local cast dealing with the big city invaders. Although the storyline goes as expected, Rachel Johns provides her audience with a pleasant HEA Down Under contemporary.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2014 4:49 PM PDT


Return to Glory (Hqn)
Return to Glory (Hqn)
by Sara Arden
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
64 used & new from $2.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful contemporary, September 30, 2014
Return to Glory
Sara Arden
Harlequin HQN, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373779307

Former SEAL Jack McConnell returns home to Glory, Kansas a broken man. He sits in his dress whites and pulls the trigger of a gun pointed at his head. The click disappoints Jack as the chamber was empty. Jack’s BFF, GPD police officer Caleb Lewis, arrives before the PTSD veteran continues with his Russian Roulette.

When Caleb’s sister Betsy was a tweener, Jack saved her life. Since then he has been her beloved hero. Whereas he assumes he no longer is her idol, Betsy knows she still loves him damaged goods and all; and will do anything to help Jack heal from his emotional injuries. Though he doubts she can reach through his darkness, Jack doesn’t know Betsy; as she remains determined to save her hero from himself.

Return to Glory is an insightful contemporary romance that provides a stunned audience with a timely realistic look at a suicidal vet struggling with mental and physical war wounds, and the beloved woman (and townsfolk) giving her all to rescue him. Character-driven by traumatized Jack, this is not an easy read starting with the opening haunting sequence. As readers wonder if love will prove enough to save a life, Sara Arden brings needed attention on the much higher rate than the civilian population of suicides among returning veterans.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2014 4:50 PM PDT


Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials: A Singaporean Mystery
Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials: A Singaporean Mystery
by Ovidia Yu
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.58
23 used & new from $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars delightful Singapore amateur sleuth, September 30, 2014
Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials
Ovidia Yu
Morrow, Sep 30 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9780062338327

In Singapore, after her husband died leaving Rosie “Aunty” Lee a wealthy widow; she decided becoming the idle rich was not her thing. Instead she opened up Aunty Lee's Delights catering business, which proved popular. Currently she caters a gala at the luxurious home of affluent Henry and Mabel Sung; though Aunty Lee heard rumors on the street the power couple is in financial trouble.

At the house, she overhears the hosts vehemently arguing. Soon afterward, Mabel and her son Leonard are found dead from food poisoning. The police consider a murder-suicide, but soon blame the deaths on Aunty Lee failing to prepare her famous stewed chicken using potentially dangerous buah keluak nuts incorrectly. Rejecting the cops’ accusation as she has made that entrée many times, Aunty Lee looks into the deaths as a murder instead of negligible homicide. She begins to find a connection between the Sung family and the organ donor scandal that has angered the city.

The second Aunty Lee Singapore murder investigation (see Aunty Lee's Delights) is a delightful amateur sleuth starring an energetic gutsy widow. Once again the heroine adapts her recipe-creating skill to her inquiry as she tries to save her cooking reputation with help from her sidekick Nina who warned her about serving the apparently deadly dish. Although the organ trafficking subplot is underplayed and contradictory to the overall brisk tone of the storyline, readers will want to join Aunty Lee’s special tour of Singapore.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2014 11:24 PM PDT


Gutenberg's Apprentice: A Novel
Gutenberg's Apprentice: A Novel
by Alix Christie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.51
58 used & new from $7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating historical fiction, September 29, 2014
Gutenberg’s Apprentice
Alix Christie
Harper, Sep 23 2014, $27.99
ISBN 9780062336019

In 1450, merchant Johann Fust orders his adopted son Peter Schoeffer to come home from Paris immediately. Though he prefers to stay in France as his work as a scribe has been thriving, Peter obeys and takes the three day journey to Mainz, Germany. Johan explains to Peter that he has invested in Johann Gensfleisch’s project. He wants the lad to become Johann’s apprentice in order to help him succeed and to learn a new trade that will leave scribes obsolete. Filled with doubts and misgivings Peter works with Johann on printing the Bible with equipment that fails more than it works. He fixes several of the bugs although his mentor proves difficult to work for; the Church and the scribe guild oppose the devil’s creation; while their family warns father and son of the danger to all of them from this heresy. Still they persevere until they eventually create the Gutenberg Bible, which is further condemned as not anywhere near the art of the scribes.

This remarkable historical fiction describes the obstacles in developing the movable type printing press. Like A & E's Biography: 100 Most Influential People of the Millennium naming Gutenberg number one after five and half centuries of major impact (until the digital print ended its influence), Alix Christie pays homage to the invention that changed information flow to the masses. Peter’s mixed feelings whether to print or not to print anchor the detailed fifteenth century drama with a human impact. Although a romance feels unnecessary and even well written family dynamics that add understanding of the lead trio come across as intrusive; the audience will be enthralled with the fascinating printing press invention main storyline.
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Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2014 12:59 PM PDT


Death Takes a Mistress
Death Takes a Mistress
by Rosemary Mild
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.46
4 used & new from $12.73

5.0 out of 5 stars super cold case mystery wrapped inside a family drama, September 29, 2014
This review is from: Death Takes a Mistress (Paperback)
Death Takes A Mistress
Rosemary & Larry Mild
Magic Island Literary Works, Jul 31 2014, $14.95
ISBN: 9780983859758

In 1982 Bath, England, Wayne Sachs comes home from work to see the door to his neighbor Lainee Cohen's flat open. He mentions it to his wife Janie who is worried about the young single mom as Lainee is running late to pick up her three month old infant Ivy. The couple enters the apartment only to find Lainee's corpse. The Sachs raise Ivy along with their own two children as part of the family while the homicide goes cold with the only vague clue involving a Jewish family in Annapolis, Maryland.

In 2005, Ivy heads to the States seeking to locate her paternal family with one goal in mind: find her mom's lover (her biological father) who killed her. Ivy obtains a clerk position at The Olde Victorian Bookstore owned and run by Dan and Rivka Sherman; and through them a room at the Widow Riley's house, a place where Rivka was held prisoner (see Death Goes Postal). Reluctantly Ivy admits her reason for being in Maryland. Dan's lawyer-friend Joel Wise obtains 1979-1983 records that list families starting a business in Annapolis. Rivka and Dan reduce the potential number to four. However, someone is not just unwelcoming as this person tries to kill the Englishwoman.

The second Dan and Rivka Sherman cozy is a super cold case mystery (it went frozen twenty-three years ago) wrapped inside a family drama as Ivy learns what matters in life, how fortunate she has been with people caring for and about her, and that revenge is insignificant. The keys to this fabulous tale are the amateur sleuthing seems genuine and Ivy keeps the storyline focused as refreshingly the prime player.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2014 1:01 PM PDT


Wicked Nights (Harlequin Blaze\Uniformly Hot!)
Wicked Nights (Harlequin Blaze\Uniformly Hot!)
by Anne Marsh
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
41 used & new from $1.50

4.0 out of 5 stars heated Blaze, September 28, 2014
Wicked Nights
Anne Marsh
Harlequin Blaze, Sep 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798193

On Discovery Island, California (see Wicked Sexy) SEAL rescue swimmer Cal Brennan struggles mentally to dive into the water after his last mission; which he knows is not good for a person co-running Deep Dive. Piper Clark has driven Cal crazy for two decades as an “enemy combatant”. Now the thirty years old naval instructor struggles with his desire for the nutty former internationally ranked diver, whose injured knee cost her, the Olympics.

He knows he must think with his upper head, as his rescue and diving school, and her Dream Big And Dive shop, along with several others, compete for the lucrative Fiesta Cruise Line contract. Knowing he still haunts her as he did when he was older than her growing up, Piper taunts Cal into a bet in which the one who wins the bid owns the loser for a night.

The latest Uniformly Hot! Romance (see A SEAL’s Kiss by Tawny Weber) is a lighthearted, but heated Blaze as two childhood adversaries with traumas to overcome fall in love bidding for the same contract. Although Piper’s behavior is over the top of the Sierras, she and Cal make a fine couple as opposites attracted in the water, on the land and especially in the bedroom.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2014 9:09 AM PDT


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