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Newsletter #97 March May, 2012

Mystery Reviews
by Gerri Balter


        Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck ($7.99) begins when Suzanne Hart comes to work at Donut Hearts coffee shop only to see someone dump a dead body in front of her shop. The murdered man is a friend. Angry that someone would kill a man and dump the body at her shop, she decides to find out who is responsible. She ignores the advice of George Morris, a friend and retired police officer, to stay out of it. In spite of her increased business, she begins to investigate the case. Her friends help her find out more than she cares to know about the suspects in the case. Then there’s Jake Bishop, a state police inspector, who is also investigating the case and becomes interested in her. By the time Suzanne finds out the truth, it’s too late. The killer has seriously wounded Jake and is now going to finish the job by killing her.

        In Red Delicious Death by Sheila Connolly ($7.99), Meg Corey, new owner of an apple orchard, is getting ready to have her first apple crop picked. It constitutes more work than she realizes. She needs to find pickers to pick the apples, places to sell the apples, and has to figure out when to pick the apples. Lucky for her, she has help. When her friend, Lauren, calls and asks her to help some young chefs who want to open a restaurant, she agrees, not realizing what that would mean. She calls her real estate friend and they find the young chefs a place they could turn into a restaurant. She brings in Seth, a local plumber, to help them. She assumes that will be enough. When one of the chefs is murdered, she finds herself drawn into the case. The young man didn’t know anyone in town. He was friendly and outgoing. Who would want to kill him? She finds out that only a local could have committed the crime, something she would rather not think about. The remaining chefs find they are running out of money. Meg finds a way to help them find a way to open the restaurant. While she drums up support for her idea, she figures out who the murderer is, too late to avoid another tragedy.

        I just finished reading two murder mysteries about women who are having wedding planning problems. Although both take place in England, one takes place in the late 1800s, the other in the present. Both mysteries kept me up late at night to finish them.
The first one is A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander ($13.99). Lady Emily Ashton wants nothing more than to marry Colin Hargreaves. Unfortunately, her mother and the Queen of England as well as his job as a spy keep pushing back the date. When a man who threatens her future with Colin is murdered, she doesn’t shed any tears. When her best friend’s husband is arrested for the crime, she is determined to prove his innocence. The trail brings her to Venice where Colin is on a mission with a beautiful woman who warns Emily that she wants Colin and will do what’s necessary to keep her from marrying him. It’s hard for her to remember why she’s in Venice when both her life and Colin’s are in danger from people who want to stop Colin from doing his job and try to use her to do it. In spite of everything, she finds the killer and learn more than she wants to know about Colin.
The second one is Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie ($13.99). Scotland Yard detective Gemma Jones wants to be married to detective superintendent Duncan Kincaid. She just doesn’t want a wedding, not the wedding her mother who is suffering from leukemia, wants her to have. So when her best friend’s estranged husband calls her about a missing person, she becomes involved even though the case is given to Duncan. The missing man is a Pakistani lawyer. His wife disappeared three months earlier. They leave behind a beautiful child named Charlotte who is less than three years old. Gemma bonds with Charlotte and wants to make sure the right person gets custody. The child’s father has no living relatives. The child’s maternal grandmother and uncles are undesirable as guardians. While Gemma tries to get help from the suspects in the case to keep Charlotte from going with her grandmother, Duncan investigates the murder. Their investigations come together on the happiest day of their lives and they find the truth which leads to finding the murderer.
        Do you believe that there are those who commune with the dead? Sarah Brandt doesn’t in Murder on Waverly Place by Victoria Thompson ($7.99). She reluctantly goes to a séance with her mother because her mother asks her to. Both Sarah and her mother feel guilt over the death of Sarah’s older sister. Sarah’s mother needs to feel that her older daughter will forgive her for not helping her when she was alive. Nothing at the séance makes a believer out of her. Her mother does believe. In spite of promising Sarah she won’t go back, she does and someone at the séance is murdered. Sarah’s mother draws Sarah into the investigation when the medium is accused of committing the crime. There are plenty of suspects. The woman who was killed had been the one who employed the medium. She took what she found out about the others and blackmailed them.



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