Tuesday, December 19, 2017

THE PEACOCK' S POISON by Ruby Loren_Review

The Peacock's Poison (Madigan Amos Zoo Mystery #5)The Peacock's Poison by Ruby Loren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE PEACOCK' S POISON by Ruby Loren (A Madigan Amos Zoo Mystery)

This lovable series continues to utterly delight and never disappoint. Zookeeper and animal welfare consultant Madigan (Madi) Amos is a warmhearted character who easily elicits both empathy and respect. She totally cares for all animals (and her rescue kitten) but she also cares for people as well, desiring and encouraging their best.

Back at Avery Zoo in Southeast England, after travels to France and Cornwall to consult, Madi is separated from mysterious and secretive boyfriend Lowell (temporarily? She doesn't know). A zookeeper for the nonce, Madi is supporting the new zoo owner, Auryn Avery, in the wake of his grandfather's passing. After a celebratory gathering, a death occurs, and the suspect list quickly stretches farther than an anaconda, as the deceased was prone to "love 'em and leave 'em." Madi is right in the center, as always.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Review_MURDER IS A MONKEY'S GAME by Ruby Loren

Murder is a Monkeys Game (Madigan Amos Zoo Mysteries Book 3)Murder is a Monkeys Game by Ruby Loren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: MURDER IS A MONKEY'S GAME by Ruby Loren
(A Madigan Amos, Zookeeper Mystery)

I reiterate again how much I enjoy this series of cozy mysteries set in different zoos in varying locales! Ruby Loren is a talented writer, readily creating characters with whom I empathize, demonstrating that we all have many aspects; no one is either all good nor all bad, but a combination of traits and motivations.

In this installment, traveling zoo consultant Madigan {Madi} Amos is studying the animal welfare at a small zoo located near a tiny French village tucked away in a mountain valley. With an intriguing reader's hook, Madi and her devoted readers are "off to the races" as murder and other crimes, as well as simple but odd acts, rile the formerly peaceful village.

While Madi persists in investigating, a pair of agents from supposedly a secretive British government agency snoop around the community, with what Madi suspects are ulterior motives, and certainly incivility; and boyfriend Lowell, whom she first encountered during her first "case" develops some potentially odd behaviour. Throughout, Madi' s trademark intelligence and animal devotion shine through.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

DOG-GONE DANGER by Linda Joy Singleton_Review

Dog-Gone DangerDog-Gone Danger by Linda Joy Singleton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DOG-GONE DANGER by Linda Joy Singleton

A delightfully engrossing middle-grade mystery in the Curious Cats Spy Club series, DOG-GONE DANGER brings out serious issues which families may face, as well as focusing on the friendships and burgeoning life skills of three youngsters. When Kelsey's mom, the County Animal Control Officer, fails to meet Kelsey for a promised shopping date, Kelsey is distraught and angry. A concise text from Mom's phone convinces other family members, but not Kelsey, who with best friends Becca and Leo, proceeds to investigate, certain that Mom's absence is involuntary and connected to her work.

Designed for middle-grade readers, this exciting story is a fast read and a lot of enjoyment.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017


The Silence of the Snakes: Mystery (Madigan Amos Zoo Mysteries Book 2)The Silence of the Snakes: Mystery by Ruby Loren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is the second in Ruby Loren' s Madigan Amos Zoo Mysteries, a series I joyfully recommend. The animal lore is enticing, and protagonist Madi Amos Is a delight. She is sometimes indecisive, quite often feckless, but she loves all animals and deeply cares for their well-being, so that makes her a winner in my view. After her stint at Avery Zoo, Madi, with Lucky, her rescue kitten, has become a itinerant zoo consultant, reviewing procedures and animal welfare on contract. At a private safari park near Hull, England, Madi is again confronted with thievery, treachery, and murder, at an ophidiophile' s dream.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

MURDER IN THE MANSION by Penelope Sotheby_Review

Murder in the Mansion: A Daniel Swift MysteryMurder in the Mansion: A Daniel Swift Mystery by Penelope Sotheby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: MURDER AT THE MANSION by Penelope Sotheby [A Daniel Swift Mystery]

Attorney at Law Daniel Swift returns, defending a home health care nurse accused of murdering her wealthy patient, a Key West heiress. The widower, whom his wife wished to cast out, insists the nurse is both a jewelry thief and a killer. The deceased' s cousin, her caretaker, insists the husband--now widower--did the deed. Can Daniel sort out the truth prior to conviction?

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review_MURDER AT THE INN by Penelope Sotheby

murder at the innmurder at the inn by Penelope Sotheby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: MURDER AT THE INN by Penelope Sotheby

Delightfully cosy, generously warm-hearted, this mystery novella has a lovely setting and empathetic characters. The beautiful setting at South Bay on Graham Island, off the Canadian West Coast, of the inn owned and operated by retirees Maureen and Daniel is dimmed when a guest is discovered dead. Maureen had inherited the property from her uncle, and the couple provides a pleasant venture, until this unforeseen and regrettable event. Readers who love cozy mysteries with twists, as for example Agatha Christie's Miss Marple village mysteries, will be attracted to MURDER AT THE INN.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

HONEY MOON DOG DAZE by Sofi Benitez_Review

Honey Moon Dog DazeHoney Moon Dog Daze by Sofi Benitez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HONEY MOON DOG DAZE by Sofia Benitez

HONEY MOON DOG DAZE is the newest in the series created by Mark Andrew Poe featuring siblings Harry Moon and Honey Moon, who live in the small and odd community of Sleepy Hollow. Once upon a time, the town was like other small towns, till a new mayor decided to connect the community to the dark side. Now "every day is Halloween night" and even July air smells like autumn. Harry possesses magic; Honey is ready to help whenever and wherever needed. Both youngsters have a well-developed discernment of right and wrong, strong intuition, and moral integrity. In this story, Honey senses a stray lost dog, and in caring for it, creates a summer business, makes new friends, and as always, helps out.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

DEATH BY PUMPKIN by N. Granger_Review

Death by Pumpkin: The Rhe Brewster MysteriesDeath by Pumpkin: The Rhe Brewster Mysteries by N.A. Granger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by N. Granger

An entertaining and highly intriguing Maine cozy, DEATH BY PUMPKIN is third in a series. Imaginative in premise, this mystery begins with a bang and strongly hooks the reader, and enwraps us with the characters and storyline. Rhe Brewster is an ER nurse, mother of an ADHD son, widow, and sister-in-law of the police chief of her community. She is also a part-time police consultant. The author warmly endears the characters, as murder rears its very ugly head (even though it's performed creatively), and emotions run high (and for some, even higher). DEATH BY PUMPKIN is a mystery delineating the adage “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.” I'll definitely be looking to review other mysteries in the Rhe Brewster series.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Miss Feesenschneezen Is IllMiss Feesenschneezen Is Ill by David Parmelee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of MISS FEESSENSCHNEEZEN IS ILL by David Parmelee

Designed for middle grade readers, but a delightful read for adults who need a humour injection, this story is narrated by a member of a “troubled class,” a class of “misfits” perhaps, who nevertheless admire and respect their beloved teacher, Miss Feessenschneezen. A take-no-nonsense teacher who gives respect and expects respect, she is unexpectedly taken ill, and misses several days of school while physicians and specialists demand expensive testing of what is probably simple bronchitis. Her students' admiration of her doesn't extend to substitutes, who must be summoned from outside the school system, as no enrolled subs will agree to teach this class! In the end, the conclusion is delightful and heartwarming. Even troubled readers ought to warm to this story.

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Friday, March 3, 2017

DINING WITH THE DEAD by Carrie Marsh_Review

Cozy Mystery: Dining With The Dead (A Millerfield Village Cozy Murder Mysteries Series)Cozy Mystery: Dining With The Dead by Carrie Marsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of DINING WITH THE DEAD by Carrie Marsh
(Millerfield Village Cozy Mysteries)

A delightfully tenderhearted “sweet cozy,” DINING WITH THE DEAD is part of the Millerfield Village Cozy Mysteries Series, but functions well on its own, so you needn't have read others in the series to enjoy this. Laura Howcroft had left Cambridge to work as restaurant manager at a village hotel, where she is popularly considered a “foreigner,” an outsider, and mistrusted, especially after another “foreigner,” a hotel visitor, is discovered in the very early morning, deceased in the restaurant Laura manages. Intrepid Laura puts aside her hurt feelings and becomes an anonymous amateur investigator. On the technical side she is aided by Dr. Lucas; she also has her cat Monty, with whom she communicates (an especially pleasant aspect of this story!). As Laura discovers, greed can make a murderer, and her life is on the line as well when she unravels the facts behind the death.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

HOLA! LET'S LEARN SPANISH by Judy Martialay_Review

¡hola! Let's Learn Spanish POD: Visit New Places and Make New Friends¡hola! Let's Learn Spanish POD: Visit New Places and Make New Friends by Judy Martialay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Hola! Let's Learn Spanish
by Judy Martialay

This is exactly the style and content that I would wish for teaching young children a language. This book guides young learners into Spanish, and a similar guide to learning French is planned. Enclosing Spanish vocabulary in a cute story arc, children (and I think adults too!) absorb the Spanish vocabulary by seeing it in context. Additionally, the author provides exercises, music, and a cultural corner, so the book is a neat total experience. I look forward to further language study books from this publisher, Polyglot Kidz Press.

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