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

The Marlow Murder Club

marlow murder club jacket

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

At 77, Judith Potts is perfectly happy with her solitary life. She lives in a cluttered mansion along the Thames in Marlow, creates crossword puzzles, has a nightly scotch, walks through her neighborhood in a cape, where she thinks her age makes her invisible, and enjoys swimming nude in the Thames. While swimming one evening, she hears a gunshot in her neighbor Stefan’s garden. The police find nothing, not even the body she discovers the next morning, complete with a medallion inscribed Faith. Soon, Judith connects with two other Marlow residents, vicar’s wife Betts and dog walker Suzie, to investigate. After another murder with a different medallion, the trio look into whether the victims are linked by a fondness for rowing or a valuable modern painting sold cheaply many years ago. Their favorite suspect, smug auction house owner Elliot Howard, unfortunately has a solid alibi. The women become friends, though not sharing all their secrets with each other, or with DS Tanika Malik, heading the investigation due to budget cuts. I look forward to a return appearance with The Marlow Murder Club. Readalikes include The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton, Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie, and The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman.

 

Brenda

Interview with a Dead Editor

Interview With a Dead Editor by Shanna Swendson

The day Lexie Lincoln is laid off from her job as a newspaper reporter, she’s invited to interview for a job as a reporter and assistant editor for a small town newspaper. Unfortunately, she finds the editor’s body before she even gets to interview. An ice storm strands her in town, and police officer Wes Mosby is having trouble confirming her alibi. I enjoyed the small town Texas setting with good food and quirky characters, including a ghost. The cozy mystery with a paranormal twist was well-plotted, and Lexie is pleasant company with a plausible reason to investigate a suspicious death. If she can clear her name, Lexie just might be interested in moving to Stirling Mills, especially as the job includes a cozy Art Deco apartment. I’m looking forward to the second Lucky Lexie mystery, Case of the Curious Crystals. Readalikes include books by Sophie Kelly, Joanne Fluke, Donna Andrews, as they are cozy mysteries with appealing characters, some humor, and small town settings. Shanna is the author of the Enchanted, Inc. series. This ebook is available from Libby/Overdrive/MediaonDemand.

Brenda