Two Magical Mysteries

steeped-jacket      Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue

Phoebe is ready for a life change, and happily moves from Seattle to Raven Creek, Washington after she inherits a house and business from her Aunt Eudora. The house comes with Bob the cat, and the bookshop/tea room has an upstairs apartment that unexpectedly has a tenant she used to know. When a local woman demands that Phoebe sell her house and a body turns up behind the shop, Phoebe quickly realizes she needs to learn more about the town and her aunt. Some of Eudora’s teas seem to have magical properties. Also, Phoebe really should pay more attention to the cat. This was a fun, light read. More books featuring Phoebe are planned.

Whiskers and Lies by Sofie Kelly whiskers-jacket

Several previous books, beginning with Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, have shown librarian Kathleen Paulson settling into life in Mayville Heights, Minnesota. She runs the library, and is busy helping plan the Halloween party for the library’s Reading Buddies program. Kathleen is also hoping to discover the identity of the prankster who keeps leaving items in the library’s gazebo overlooking the river, from a small pool filled with jello to a headless horseman. In the past, magical cats Owen and Hercules have helped her investigate crimes in town, and they’re ready to assist when a visitor to town is found dead near the river. A visit to Mayville Heights always makes for very enjoyable reading.

Readalikes include:

Interview with a Dead Editor by Shanna Swendson

Brownies & Broomsticks by Bailey Cates

In Peppermint Peril by Joy Avon

Live and Let Chai by Bree Baker

Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

Enjoy! Brenda

Lady Takes the Case

Lady Takes the Case by Eliza Casey

An enjoyable historical mystery set in 1912, suggested for fans of Downton Abbey. A house party at Danby Hall in Yorkshire is planned to introduce Patrick, Lord Avebury’s son, to young American heiress Annabel Clarke. A poisoning during a formal dinner party casts suspicion on Patrick, an amateur botanist. Patrick’s sister, Lady Cecilia, teams up with Annabel’s maid Jane and her inquisitive cat Jack to help solve the mystery. Very likeable main characters, a picturesque setting and a clever mystery make for a satisfying cozy, although the pacing is rather leisurely in the beginning. This is the first book in the Manor Cat series by a pseudonymous award-winning author, with Lady Rights a Wrong to be published this June.

Brenda

 

Chilling Effect

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

In this entertaining debut space opera, Eva Innocente, captain of the small cargo ship, La Sirena Negra, has a cargo of psychic cats but no buyer. Then Eva learns that her sister Mari has been kidnapped by an intergalactic crime syndicate known as The Fridge and she is being blackmailed in a piracy scheme that might be connected to an archaeological find. Her crew, including attractive engineer Vakar, wonder what Eva’s got them into, with each mission more dangerous than the last. Full of adventure and humor, yet often poignant, this science fiction novel is a good readalike for Becky Chambers. The audiobook is very well narrated by Almarie Guerra, especially when Eva, who has Cuban roots, swears eloquently and often in Spanish. Ultimately, Eva has to decide what she stands for, and whether her crew or her family are more important. Intriguing aliens and a variety of planets make for a fast-paced and fun read. Eva’s next adventure, Prime Deceptions, will be published in September.

Brenda