Ice Cold Heart By P.J. Tracy

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The Monkeewrench gang is hired to track down how someone hacked into a Bitcoin company. Magozzi and Gino are called into a twisted murder scene which has links to a similar murder in Los Angeles. And Roadrunner meets a woman who is looking for a war criminal. Before too long, links between these diverse events begin to appear. This is another great addition to the Monkeewrench series. You can read this as a stand-alone, but do read the rest of the series and learn the back stories of these characters. The characters are complex and very real and the action will keep you reading past your bedtime!

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Claws of Action By Linda Reilly

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Lara and Aunt Fran are excited and looking forward to a grand opening of their cat reading room at their cat shelter. But when Evonda Fray, the new health inspector, shows up and threatens them with a cease-and-desist order, declaring they are a cat cafe because they serve lemonade and cookies on adoption day, their happiness quickly turns into despair. Evonda is found dead the next morning, and Lara and Aunt Fran are on the list of possible suspects. Lara really doesn’t plan to get involved in the investigation, but her spirit cat, Blue, keeps prompting her with new clues. This is a fun addition to a lovely cozy mystery series. Grab your kitty and a glass of iced tea, and enjoy.

Silent Night, Deadly Night By Vicki Delany

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Merry lives in the town of Rudolf where Christmas is in season all year long. Merry’s mom invites her old college roommates to visit, but has forgotten that they really didn’t get along very well. The women are very different and spend most of their time insulting each other. When one of the women is killed, there is no shortage of suspects. To make matters worse, Merry’s father (who always plays Santa Claus), is ousted from the role by a conniving newcomer. Silent Night, Deadly Night is a fun, cozy read with delightful characters and a true Christmas spirit…no matter the time of year.

The Dreaming Tree By Matthew Maher

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The Dreaming Tree is a medical science thriller centered on transplants. In this case, Roy wakes to find he was in a car accident and his head has been transplanted onto a donor body. For two years, his nervous system forms new connections to the donor body, but it still feels alien to him. Who was his donor? How did he die? Why does he keep dreaming of a little red-headed girl and her mother? Roy is from one of the wealthy Hamptons families, and the extremes they go to for extending their youth is definitely creepy. One of my favorite parts was the Delta Devlin character, a police detective who is a tetrachrome and sees colors in a whole new way. As always, Maher has written a story that will leave you thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.

A Killer Edition By Lorna Barrett

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Tricia’s assistant manager, Pixie, is doing such a great job that Tricia feels unneeded in her own store and bored. She wants to be on the board of Pets-a-Plenty, the local animal rescue, but the head of the board doesn’t like her. She decides to enter a cupcake bake-off for charity. Meanwhile, Tricia witnesses an altercation between Joyce and Vera in a neighboring shop, then later finds Vera murdered in Joyce’s yard. Tricia isn’t sure what to believe…is Joyce the killer? Or does Vera’s death have something to do with the pets at the pet shelter being sent to an animal testing group? The Booktown Mystery series has wonderful characters, but this story centers around Tricia finding a balance in her life and trying to stay out of the murder investigation. Overall, this was a good, cozy light mystery.

The Body in the Wake By Katherine Hall Page

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I haven’t read a Faith Fairchild book in a while, and it was like catching up with old friends. Faith’s daughter Amy is working at the local resort as a chef. Faith’s friend, Pix, is alone most of the time for this summer, and is planning her daughter’s wedding. When the groom’s mother shows up, unannounced, totally self-absorbed, and planning to change all the plans, no matter what the kids want, the summer seems doomed. Top that with her new neighbors cutting trees and ruining their privacy and being disagreeable in the extreme, and Pix is not having a good time. The island is not the pleasant place it has been in the past; there is more tension, crime, and even drug problems. Mini lectures about the drug (opiod) problem are a little heavy-handed. While the problem is very real, I would have liked to see the information more integrated into the story line rather than feeling like mini-lectures. I still enjoyed the mystery and the characters were very entertaining.

A Whisker in the Dark By Leighann Dobbs

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Josie has purchased an old guesthouse (in need of repairs) from her aunt and, with the help of her mom, her aunt and two smart cats is trying to learn the business…and learn to cook. Her guests are a family who create cheese sculptures and they are a disagreeable group. A skeleton is found in the wall and it turns out to be the ancestor of her guests and involves a lost treasure. Soon the whole town is digging in her yard to search for the treasure, but the only thing found is another body…this time it’s one of Josie’s guests. The cats, Nero and Marlowe, are trying to train Josie and help her with the mystery, but they find it a tough job. And Josie finds learning to bake a tough job. After several failed attempts, she’s finally getting the hang of both baking and working with her cats. A fun read and a good mystery with lots of red herrings, the real stars of the book are Nero and Marlowe, the cats!

Bark of Night By David Rosenfelt

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In Bark of Night, Andy is consulted by his vet about a healthy dog he has been asked to euthanize. The dog’s real owner has been murdered, and Andy is once again defending the suspect. Andy never wants a client, but he just can’t say no when someone really needs his help, especially with the influence of his wife, Laurie. The smart-aleck, sarcastic style, the zany crew of characters, and the true warmth of the friends and the dogs always make the Andy Carpenter books a pleasure to read. Added to all of that is a great mystery to be solved! Enjoy this with your best furry friend by your side.

Murder in the Fens By Clare Chase

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This is the first of the series I have read, and I loved it! A Cambridge student is found murdered, and Tara is part of the team investigating. The student (Julie) was studying to be a journalist, actively demonstrated for causes, and was involved with a fellow (instructor) at Cambridge. Was she killed by her lover, her college boyfriend, her obsessed friend…or someone else? The story flows smoothly and mixes the personal lives of the characters seamlessly with the mystery. I will definitely be reading the first three books in this series as soon as possible!

 

Almost Midnight By Paul Doiron

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Mike is on vacation when he receives an urgent call from his friend Billy, who is in prison. Billy is worried something bad is happening at the prison, but won’t give Mike any details. After an attack on the guards in the prison in which Billy saves a guard, the governor announces he will pardon Billy. Meanwhile, Mike hears that the wolf-hybrid he saved once before has been shot and may not survive. Mike is determined to find out who shot him and look for the wolf’s mate. In this book, Mike is older and beginning to mature. He tries to curb his impulsive nature and wants to reach out to his friends. I love the people and the wild Maine settings of this series. The mysteries are well-crafted and it’s nice to see Mike’s growth through the series. You could read this as a stand-alone, but do yourself a favor and read the series.