Tag Archives: crime

Mambo and Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #6 by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

 

Three ballroom dancers had been murdered over forty-years ago. Wow, that’s one old cold case. What’s more, the murderer thought to have been killed during a police chase has resurfaced in Pittsburgh. Yikes! How can that be?Worse, ballroom dancing simply isn’t Detective Nathan Landry’s forte. After weeks of practice, Nathan still has two left-feet. Can Fiona step in to guide Nathan through this dancing debacle or will it take forty-years for the detective to find his footing? Double yikes!Join Fiona and Detective Landry in this high-stepping whodunit!

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Right out of the gate (Prologue), we had a crime on our hands! While Nathan was investigating the burglary, secrets buried long ago came forth. Did Vincent Di Volante really die 40+ years ago in a fiery car wreck? If not, who did?
 
If these two questions were enough to wet your whistle, Fiona and the people in the neighborhood have been getting mail postmarked back in the 70s. I know mail runs slow, but that gives a new definition to “snail mail.”

I think it’s worth noting, Mambo and Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery (book #6 in the series) by C.S. McDonald is NOT just adults. Since there are no curse words or suggestive scenes, it’s perfectly acceptable for teens and young adults to read it. As a family who loves playing clue, this book is right up our alley, and I’m thrilled to share it with my teen. 

Oh, and BTW, I love the cover! 
 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
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Meet the Author: 
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
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The ‘Annie Oakley Mystery Series’ by Kari Bovee (Book Series Spotlight)

Book 1
GIRL WITH A GUN (an Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee

2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: finalist in historical fiction
2019 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards: first place in the mystery/crime category
2019 Hillerman Award for Southwest fiction
 
 

She’s on the rise to fame and fortune, but her sudden notoriety comes with some deadly consequences.

Annie Oakley thrives as a sharpshooter in the Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm—and make her dreams come true.

But her act misfires when she discovers her Indian assistant dead in her tent. Uncovering a shocking secret from her assistant’s past, the girl with the gun believes it’s murder. Determined to find the truth, she ruffles some horse feathers, making enemies along the trail.

​But, when her prized gelding is stolen, Annie realizes she might have been the target all along.

Can Little Miss Sure Shot save her equine friend and find the killer before everything she’s worked for is destroyed?

​If you like a cunning mystery, a feisty heroine, and a fast-paced plot that keeps the pages turning, you’ll love this wild ride with the iconic Annie Oakley in the saddle.

 
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Book 2

Shoot Like a Girl (a prequel to the Annie Oakley Mystery Series) by Kari Bovee

She would do anything for her loved ones, even if it meant she’d be lost to them forever.

Young Annie Oakley never expected to be saddled with responsibility so soon. Following her father’s sudden death, the spirited girl finds herself shipped to a nearby county working for a couple promising a good wage. But when she discovers they are not what they seem, Annie suddenly fears her life may be in peril.

Determined to help her mother and siblings, she endures the hardships and mistreatment from the couple. But when that cruelty is targeted at the beautiful Buckskin horse who is her only friend, Annie decides to take matters into her own hands.

Will the spunky teen return to her loved ones, or will her decision land her in jail?

Shoot like a Girl is the prequel novella to the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like a fiercely loyal heroine who won’t be anyone’s victim, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s thrilling story of America’s best-loved sharpshooting sensation.

 

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Audible ~ Amazon
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Book 3

Peccadillo at the Palace (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee

She’s outgunned her opponents at every turn, but will it be enough to solve a royal case of murder? Annie Oakley can’t believe her good fortune at an imperial invitation.

Queen Victoria wants Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to perform for her Golden Jubilee. But during the voyage to England, a royal escort is murdered and the gun-slinging star finds herself at the center of an assassination plot against the crown.

Determined to catch the killer, Annie tracks down the clues. And by the time they reach London, she thinks she’s right on course. But when her husband falls mysteriously ill, and an assassination attempt is made on the queen, the sharpshooting amateur sleuth may find herself out to sea before her ship comes in.

Can the clever markswoman solve the double-barreled mystery before it’s too late?

Peccadillo at the Palace is the second novel in the Annie Oakley Mystery Series. If you like a fast-paced mystery with unexpected plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end, you’ll love this riveting historical mystery featuring America’s favorite sure-shot.

 

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Audible ~ Amazon
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Book 4

FOLLY AT THE FAIR (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee

She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one…

Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent.

Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive.

Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer?

Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s fast-paced whodunit.

 

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 Meet the Author:
Autor Kari Bovee

 
When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Bovee writes the award-winning Annie Oakley Mystery Series and the Grace Michelle Mystery Series, and has more ideas than time for many, many more.

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The ‘Cowboy Confidential’ Series by Lori Wilde and Kristin Eckhardt (2 Book Showcase)

When opposites collide…

Cowboy Nick Holden distracts himself by taming wild horses on the family ranch after a scandal up-ends his career as a police detective. He thinks he’s put the past behind him until…

Spunky librarian Lucy Moore hires Nick to prove her brother innocent of a serious crime, and this cowboy cop finds himself in for the wildest ride of his life.

Click HERE to read an excerpt! 

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Book 2

Country vet Hank Holden is used to wrangling cattle, but wrangling a date with the feisty therapist he’s been secretly hired to protect may prove too much for this cowboy.

Rachel Grant doesn’t believe she’s in serious danger from a stalker, despite warnings from her friends. The only man making her shiver is Hank, but Rachel is convinced he can’t heal her broken heart.

 

Click HERE to read an excerpt! 

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Lori Wilde is the New York TimesUSA Today and Publishers’ Weekly bestselling author of 85 works of romantic fiction. She’s a three time Romance Writers’ of America RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Readers’ Choice Award. She has won numerous other awards as well. Her books have been translated into 26 languages, with more than four million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her breakout novel, The First Love Cookie Club, has been optioned for a TV movie.

Lori is a registered nurse with a BSN from Texas Christian University. She holds a certificate in forensics, and is also a certified yoga instructor.

A fifth generation Texan, Lori lives with her husband, Bill, in the Cutting Horse Capital of the World; where they run Epiphany Orchards, a writing/creativity retreat for the care and enrichment of the artistic soul.

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Smoke Before Fire by A.M. McKnight (Book Review)

Assaults, petty thefts, robberies—it’s all in a day’s work for Detective Tessa Leonard, a veteran with Reid County, Virginia PD. The detective is committed to her busy work life but not so much to a love life. Once disappointed after rushing into love, Tessa is in no hurry to pursue romance again.

Prosecutor Renee Hamilton is just as busy trying bad guys just as fast as Tessa and her fellow officers can arrest them. Long hours in the courthouse are more appealing to the dedicated attorney than anything offered by the County’s social scene. She, too, was once let down by love and is now reluctant to open her heart again.

But when simple vandalism escalates to arson and attempted murder involving ex-cons, drug dealers, and a bookie, things quickly heat up in Reid County. And to their surprise, the detective and the attorney find themselves in a slow-burn romance as Tessa and Renee discover there’s more to life when it comes to love.
Follow Tessa and Renee as they take down tough guys while taking on each other.

A.M. McKnight is also the self-published author of County Vices (2017) and Goslyn County (2015), both available at Amazon.com.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Television shows give us the impression that cases are solved rather swiftly. Smoke Before Fire by A.M. McKnight depicted what I would consider a real-life scenario of the highs and lows in a case. Smoke Before Fire is a work of fiction, but events that occurred could be taken straight out of the headlines — much like Law and Order does weekly. 😀

Smoke Before Fire didn’t have a happy ending for the criminals, but Tessa (detective) and Renee (lawyer) did get theirs. Their relationship was a slow-burn romance. Most lasting relationships fall into this category. 

I enjoyed Smoke Before Fire; however, I think I gained 5 pounds reading it. All the delicious mentions of food made me crave one snack after another. I even ate a couple of donuts in honor of Tug. 😀

 

Heart Rating System:
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Score: 

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A.M. McKnight is a writer of fast, crime-action black lesbian fiction and lots of other cool stuff. 

Twitter: @wordmc46

Website: ammcknight.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ammcknightbooks

 

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Darkness Hides by J C Gatlin (Book Review)

Someone she knows is watching.
Someone she knows is stalking.
And something hides in the darkness.

With a Category 4 hurricane about to make landfall, boat safety instructor Kate Parks is running out of time. Bodies are piling up–and they’re not from the raging storm. An injury may have ended her career as a Fish and Wildlife officer, but nothing can keep her away from the investigation.

And it doesn’t take long for her to see that the clues have one thing in common: a connection to the recent death of her five-year-old nephew.

In a brewing storm of rage, guilt, and family secrets, Kate fights to protect her grieving sister just as the hurricane threatens everything she knows and loves. But before her world is completely ravaged, she must uncover one final truth:

Run from the water.
Hide from the wind.
Flee from the shadows where a weeper seeks revenge.

Buy the Book:
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Sun Bury Press
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Rarely do I stumble across a book that hooks me right from the start, but that’s precisely what occurred with Darkness Hides. I had a suspicion, early on, that this story was going to be a home run hit, and I was correct. 

Multiple people met their untimely demise courtesy of the elephant man. Yes, you read that right…an elephant man. Their journey to the hereafter was brutal, painful. The first notable victims were targeted for obvious reasons. It all centered around a death of a six-year-old boy named Noah. 

Then, when the hurricane made landfall, J C Gatlin, the author, really stepped up his game, dropping one bombshell after another. At one point, I remember saying aloud, “Holy crap, that was a nice twist.” 

I love stories that keep you guessing because who wants to read a mystery novel where you solve the plot (who and why) in the first several chapters. You WON’T have that problem with Darkness Hides. This story left me speechless. 

While I have much love for Darkness Hides, I wish J C Gatlin gave us some backstory regarding how Kate was shot. It altered her life drastically, so I wanted a brief recap of the incident. Who done it? Why? What happened to the shooter? Besides that, it was a solid read. 

On a final note, related to the book but not the plot: MAYO is delicious, and the flying poop-filled diaper scene was disgustingly funny. 😀

I can’t wait to read more books by J C Gatlin!

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤1/2

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Sun Bury Press
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Meet the Author

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JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes mystery novels that include sunny Florida locales and quirky locals as characters. His last novel, H_NGM_N: Murder is the Word, won the coveted Florida Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Mystery in 2019. He is active in the Florida Writer’s Association and is a board member on the Florida Writer’s Foundation, a charity organization that fights illiteracy.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ linkedin ~ goodreads

 
 

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