From Publishers Weekly
When an elderly friend of Thomas Martindale is found murdered, the vacationing journalism professor and amateur sleuth turns to a manuscript a WWII memoir of her youth in occupied France that the woman had given him. Murder at Yaquina Head, journalist Ron Lovell's debut mystery, follows the sardonic Martindale as he prowls the Oregon coast on the trail of former Nazis. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
This is the debut novel but it's not the first book in the series. You find out many things that will happen in the next book which was very disappointing for me.
I very much enjoyed his descriptions of Newport and the surrounding areas. I've spent many weekends down there prowling the beaches and recognized many of the places he describes.
This is 81/100 Mystery Authors
In her seventh adventure, Denver's intrepid dry-cleaner/sleuth, Mandy Dyer, encounters a baffling case of mistaken identity---or is it? After dining at a local mountaintop restaurant, Mandy's friend Laura discovers that someone has taken her coat and left another in its place. The only clue to the owner's identity is an unfamiliar dry-cleaning mark. Mandy's casual inquiries turn serious when a dead body is discovered dressed in Laura's missing coat. An investigation of the remote and forbidding crime scene puts Mandy right in the path of a mysterious mountain ambush and a very slippery foe.
An enjoyable continuation of her cozy mystery series.
This is 80/100 Mystery Authors.
Mandy Dyer, owner of Dyer's Cleaners, is horrified when she discovers bank loan-officer Ardith Brewster has been murdered. Ardith had recently shared with Mandy the fact she met her new, mysterious boyfriend at the Dyer's Cleaners open house. When Mandy discovers that a second woman, murdered in a similar manner, was also a customer of the cleaners, she searches her records, trying to find a link between those attending the open house and the men who were at her cleaners when the two women were there. With the help of her plant manager, Mack, who feels it is his job to protect Mandy, and a formerly homeless, eccentric employee named Betty, Mandy tracks down the killer. In the midst of her investigation, Mandy must also deal with her mother, who has come into town to orchestrate her stepcousin Laura's wedding, much to Laura's dismay. Details about the dry-cleaning business, family relationships, humor, and well-developed characters add to this amiable cozy, the eighth in the series. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
This is the eighth and final book in the series and just as humorous as the first seven.
It's also 80/100 Mystery Authors in the last two years.
From Library Journal
Although set in Paris in the early 1990s, Black's new series start harks back to World War II crimes. Private investigator Aimee Leduc becomes involved when she discovers the body of an elderly Jewish woman whose forehead has been inscribed with a swastika. With the arrival of a German trade delegation, meanwhile, the existence of a powerful covert group comprising former SS officers becomes clear. Aimee's subsequent investigation exposes the connection between a war-time romance gone wrong and the modern-day murder. Literate prose, intricate plotting, and multifaceted and unusual characters mark this excellent first mystery. Strongly recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I enjoyed the first and second books on my way through the seven books in this series.
This is 79/100 Mystery Authors.
Once, Kendra Ballantyne was a litigator with a high-powered L.A. law firm - until scandal forced her resignation. At wit's end, desperate, and broke, she's now rented her Hollywood home to strangers, moved into the maid's quarters, and jumped at a new job offer - as a free lance pet-sitter. Her life has gone to the dogs - who'd have guessed it would be so dangerous?
One of Kendra's first clients has been found stabbed to death in his upscale Toluca Lake home. The only witness to the apparent break-in is the mutt in mourning. But when another client suffers the same fate, Kendra fears she's being set up to take the rap. With the help of sexy Jeff Hubbard, she's got to find out why - and she'd better do it fast. Because this killer's bite is a lot worse than his bark...
A good cozy with a nice main character. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.
This is 78/100 Mystery Authors
All year round, retired schoolteacher Phyllis Newsom is as sweet as peach pie-except during the Peach Festival, whose blue ribbon has slipped through Phyllis's fingers more than once...
Everyone's a little shook up when the corpse of a no-good local turns up underneath a car in a local garage. But even as Phyllis engages in some amateur sleuthing, she won't let it distract her from out-baking her rivals and winning the upcoming Peach Festival contest.
She and all the other contestants guard their secret, original recipes with their lives-and talk a whole lot of trash. With her unusual Spicy Peach Cobbler, Phyllis hopes to knock 'em dead. But that's just an expression - never in her wildest dreams did she think her cobbler would actually kill a judge. Now, she's suspected of murder - and she's got to bake this case wide open.
An enjoyable cozy with likable characters. The second book in this Fresh-Baked mystery series is due out in Oct. 2007 and I'm looking forward to reading it.
This is 77/100 Mystery Authors.
For sassy food columnist Angelina Amalfi, life's a banquet--until the man who's been contributing unusual recipes for her column is found dead. Suddenly Angie's being stalked by a killer. Not one to simper in fear, instead she simmers over the delectable homicide cop assigned to the case. When two more deaths follow, Angie is on the run.
Ever resourceful, Angie cooks up a scheme to catch the murderer. The stakes are high, for she's up against deadly arms smugglers and lethal food fanatics. Although it's a case that looks too hot to handle, if anyone can keep her cool, Angie can.
This started out as a very good cozy mystery but about halfway through it degenerated into a romance novel. I'm not talking about relationships between characters because that's one of the things that keep me follow a long running series but the pages and pages of sex I can definitely do without. And my definition of languorous must be different from hers 'cause that sure didn't fit in with the picture she was trying to portray! The mystery part was okay and I'll read the second book before deciding if I want to continue reading the series or not.
This is 76/100 Mystery Authors.
Invitation to Murder is the first book in A Card-Making mystery series by Elizabeth Bright. All three books in the series so far has a great opening hook that definitely gets your attention.
"You've got to tell her I won't stop it! She'll believe you. Please, you're the only one who can save me."
I frowned at the telephone, wondering if someone was having some fun at my expense. "Who is this?"
"Don't you know? Donna, you're my last chance. She's going to kill me if you don't tell her the truth."
"I'm sorry, but my name's not Donna, I'm Jennifer."
"Oh, no, she's here." There were a few choked sobs, and then she added in a whisper, "It's too late for me, isn't it?"
Just before the line went dead, I heard a scream that will haunt me till the day I die.
Now who could stop reading after that? Not me! Elizabeth Bright is a pseudonym of Tim Myers, whose other series I'll be looking forward to reading too!
This is 75/100 Mystery Authors.
Murder on Ice is the first book in A Figure Skating mystery series by Alina Adams. Easy to read, easy to figure out, and not so easy to like the characters. I had a few problems with Bex forgetting things she'd recently learned just to make the story more dramatic or humorous. It didn't work, I just got annoyed.
Figure skating is a cutthroat world. Just ask Rebecca "Bex" Levy, figure-skating researcher for the 24/7 network. In just one season, she's seen her share of meltdowns, bitter rivalries, and spoiled ice princesses. No one has to draw Bex a figure eight to prove that murder is a small price to pay for a gold medal. Let the games begin...
From the skate-sharpeners to the coaches, everyone's patience is wearing thin by the time the World Figure Skating Championships in San Francisco roll around. And on the final night of the Ladies' competition, Bex learns that a triple-triple combination turning into a triple-double isn't the only tragedy. The Russian skater wins the gold over America's sweetheart - and everyone starts screaming fix. When the judge who cast the deciding vote is found dead the next day, Bex is hounded by her producer to get the scoop. But it will take some fancy footwork to find this killer...
This is 74/100 Mystery Authors.
From Publishers Weekly
Enthusiastic blurbs even from luminaries such as Tony Hillerman, Les Standiford and Loren Estleman can sometimes leave readers feeling as if they must have read a different book altogether. Not this time. Box's superb debut, the first in a series introducing Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, should immediately make him a contender for best first novel or even best novel awards. Young Joe is struggling to fill the shoes of his mentor, legendary Vern Dunnegan, as warden of Twelve Sleep County, and trying to support his wife and growing family on the meager salary he makes. The hours are long, the work hard but satisfying, and Joe's honesty and integrity would pay off if he could avoid "bonehead moves" like ticketing the governor of the state for fishing without a license, for instance, or allowing a poacher to grab Joe's firearm from him. When that very same poacher turns up dead and bloodied in Joe's woodpile with only a cooler containing unidentified animal scat, his life, livelihood and family will never be the same. Upping the excitement are a couple of murders, local political and bureaucratic intrigue, a high-stakes pipeline scheme and an endangered species that Joe's eldest daughter "discovers." No one has done a better job of portraying the odd combination of hardy and foolhardy folk that make their homes in Wyoming's wilderness areas, or of describing the dichotomy between those who want to develop the area and those who want to preserve it. Without resorting to simplistic blacks and whites, Box fuses ecological themes, vibrant descriptions of Wyoming's wonders and peculiarities, and fully fleshed characters into a debut of riveting tensions. Meet Joe Pickett: he's going to be a mystery star.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The review I read compared this series favorably with Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series which I really enjoy. I didn't care for this book. The characters seemed flat and cliched to me. I knew who and why before getting halfway through, just a matter of when Joe figured it out and what he did about it.
This is 73/100 Mystery Authors