WIDOW’S WREATH by CYNTHIA RIGGS

Widow's Wreath: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery

A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery

It’s a case of cold feet—and cold-blooded murder—as 92-year-old poet/sleuth Victoria Trumbull gets more than she bargained for after hosting an ill-fated wedding.

A wedding on picturesque Martha’s Vineyard promises to be the affair of the season when Penny Arbuthnot asks her cousin, feisty 92-year-old poet Victoria Trumbull, if she can use her property for the reception. Victoria agrees—but she has no idea what’s in store for the hapless couple.

For one, Penny is seriously in debt and desperate to marry money. She thinks she’s on the road to riches when she hooks Rocco Bufano, whose father is a multi-billionaire. But unbeknownst to Penny, Rocco’s been disowned by dad. He’s also in hock up to his ears, and thinks he’s bagged the catch of a lifetime in a wealthy Vineyard native. He also knows that someone is out to kill him. In fact, several guests have a reason to off Rocco, among them an autistic savant with a prodigious knowledge of murder weapons.

Victoria has assumed the reception will be a modest lemonade-and-gingersnap affair—but when a body is found in her cellar, it may be a happily never after in Widow’s Wreath, the fourteenth engaging installment in Cynthia Riggs’s beloved Martha’s Vineyard mysteries.

This series features one of my favorite characters, Victoria Trumbull. And Victoria has no idea what she has let herself get involved in when she agrees to provide her back garden for her distant cousin’s wedding reception.

When a body appears in her cellar, people start popping out of the woodwork and plopping themselves down at Victoria’s home.

There are numerous people who would love to see the groom dead and buried. First among them, the fiancée’ back home having wedding invitations printed while he is marrying someone else. And none of them have a problem with telling Victoria they plan on killing him. But still, who is the body in the basement?

I am not exactly sure what went on with this one. Definitely not a cozy mystery. And what about Elizabeth? She lives with Victoria, we know. She is in the first chapter and then we don’t hear or see her until many chapters later. The house is overrun with  strangers and cops, but where is she?

This one was quite a bit different from the others in the series. Stiff dialogue, not being sure of who was talking when, I’m just not sure but this one did not resonate with me.

We will check the next one however!

NetGalley/CrookedLane

June 12th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books
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This Weeks Pool Reads

The Fifth to Die (A 4MK Thriller) by [Barker, J. D.] In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses: True Stories and Confessions by [Scottoline, Lisa, Serritella, Francesca] In I See Life Through RoséColored Glasses, the bestselling mother/daughter pair is back with another hilarious and heartfelt collection of essays about the possibilities and pitfalls of everyday life.

Believe Me: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]  In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

Grandghost: A haunted house mystery by [Springer, Nancy] A Haunted House Mystery. When she unearths the bones of a young child, Beverly Vernon’s life is transformed in ways she never expected.

I may have jumped the line on my books. As soon as I saw they had dropped The Fifth To Die I stopped everything. From the author of The Fourth Monkey comes the follow-up. And it is so horribly good!!

What is everyone else reading this week? It’s a great day to sit by the pool and read.

xx Patricia

NO CURE for the DEAD by Christine Trent

No Cure for the Dead (A Florence Nightingale Mystery #1)

A Florence Nightingale Mystery

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

It is 1853. Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale has just accepted the position of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Temporary Illness in London. She has hardly had time to learn the names of the nurses in her charge when she suddenly finds one of them hanging in the Establishment’s library. Her name was Nurse Bellamy.

Florence’s mettle is tested by the dual goals of preserving what little reputation her hospital has and bringing Nurse Bellamy’s killer to justice. Her efforts are met with upturned noses and wayward glances except for her close friend and advocate inside the House of Commons, Sidney Herbert. As Florence digs deeper, however, her attention turns to one of the hospital investors and suddenly, Sidney becomes reluctant to help.

With no one but herself to count on, Florence must now puzzle out what the death of an unknown, nondescript young nurse has to do with conspiracies lurking about at the highest levels of government before she’s silenced too.

A Fictionalized version of the famous Nurse Nightingale has her just beginning her career in a Women’s Hospital that is in desperate need of a remodel and probably a good fumigation!

Florence is determined to succeed in her new post as superintendent but she isn’t getting very far, as nurses are not formally trained and viewed on the same level as prostitutes. So she first needs to see them trained and have their own personal hygiene updated as well.

When she finds the dead nurse swinging from the library ceiling, she quickly finds out that if she doesn’t find out who did this and why she will be out of a job.

This was a very grim and hard to get through read. I honestly can’t find one redeeming quality in any of them, including Florence. Not a very flattering look at this fictionalized view of her.

Would I read it again? No. But give it a try to see what you think!

Netgalley/Crooked Lane Books  May 8, 2018

Titles To Look Forward To In May!

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1) Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers.   May 1st

Love and Ruin The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. May 1st

Summer in a Cornish Cove Set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Cornish Riviera, this summer will change their lives for ever! The book to fall in love with this summer – May 1st

The Favorite Sister When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder… May 15th

Fowl of the House of Usher (A Bird Lover's Mystery #7) It really is the dead of winter in Ruby Lake when a party becomes an invitation to murder for Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms . . . May 15th

 

Meltdown A timely thriller illuminating facts regarding the state of the world’s energy crisis, climate change, and the quandary of nuclear energy— May 15th

Beach House Reunion (Beach House #5) Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. May 22nd

A lot of good titles coming in May. Time to start planning those vacation reads! What’s on your May list?

xx Patricia

SIGN of the CROSS by GLENN COOPER

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1)

Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. 

Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest’s condition may be genuine, Cal determines to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds.

But Cal is not the only one. When Giovanni is kidnapped from his church at dead of night, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret: a secret which a shadowy nationalist organization is desperate to control. Teaming up with Giovanni’s sister Irene, Cal must unravel the mystery and track down Giovanni in a perilous race against the clock … before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed.

I do love a good religious conspiracy book! Especially one so well researched.

As a Catholic and a History teacher the subject matter was very interesting. We all know the Nazi’s made off with a lot of holy relics and artifacts. Remember the movie The Monument Men? And it’s quite easy in this day and age to imagine those bad guys are still out there trying to take things that don’t belong to them and they have no problem killing anyone in their way.

Full of suspense, rich in history and fast paced action will draw you in and keep you biting your lip!

Cal is a good character. Funny, a bit of a drinker and yet can still hold his own with the Pope. He is like a Catholic Indiana Jones! And I loved every minute of this book.

Netgalley/Severn House May 01, 2018

 

Lord of the Pies by Nell Hampton

Lord of the Pies (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #2)

A KENSINGTON PALACE CHEF MYSTERY

When Carrie Ann Cole bakes a lemon meringue pie to die for that actually kills someone, she must find out who the real killer is before her time at the Kensington Palace expires.

This is the second in this yummy series! Carrie Ann is a long way from her American home. Having lucked out with a job as personal chef for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. And while Carrie is thrilled, not everyone in the kitchens is happy.

When Carrie is asked to cater a shower for a close friend of the Duchess at The Orangery, she goes all out on a pie theme. Baking late into the night, when she looks up to see a face in the window. When she sees the man again at the Orangery she tries to find out what he is doing snooping on her, and with a camera no less!

When the peeping tom is found face down in one of Carrie’s pies, poisoned no less, she needs to figure out what is going on and who would want pictures of her and her kitchen?

With jealous chefs, cheating spouses, cat fights and murder, the palace is not looking so hot right now. With a plateful of suspects the author had me going and guessing to the very end! Did not see that one!

This is one delicious cozy mystery!

NetGalley/Crooked Lane Books

 April 10th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books

Lost Books and Old Bones by Paige Shelton

Lost Books and Old Bones (Scottish Bookshop Mystery, #3)

A delightful new mystery featuring bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols, set in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at The Cracked Spine in the heart of town. She’s recently befriended a few medical school students after they came into the shop to sell some antique medical tomes. But when one of the students’ friends is found murdered outside in the alley, Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice.

During her investigation, Delaney finds some old scalpels in the bookshop’s warehouse—she finds out that they belonged to a long-dead doctor, whose story might be connected to the present-day murder. It’s all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in danger herself.

This is such a delightful series! This is the third I believe in the series with the lovely Delaney from Kansas. Working in The Cracked Spine bookshop selling rare and old books with a secret room with even more hidden treasure! It’s a book lover’s dream!

When a young lady she had met the night before is found murdered outside of the bookshop, Delaney’s curious mind simply has to be involved!

This Cozy Mystery Series is full of history, intrigue and suspense and really lovely characters! The Scottish Bookshop Series is definitely in my top 5!

Netgalley/Minotaur   April 03, 2018