Amateur Sleuths E to Z


April 6, 2020

Euliano, MD Tammy. FATAL INTENT. Oceanview Publishing. March '21. $26.95. Is it a case of assisted death? Dr. Kate Downey, an anesthesiologist, begins to question what is going on in the hospital when her elderly patients start to die after having minor surgery. When the surgeon brushes her questions off and blames her for the deaths and the chief of staff sides with the surgeon, Kate must prove her innocence and find the answers. With her husband in a coma, Kate goes all out to save her career. She receives help from her a medical student, her eccentric Great Aunt, and the son of one of the victims who is a lawyer. When her investigation starts to uncover the killer's identity, she begins to receive threats, her home is invaded, and somebody close to her dies under suspicious conditions. Can she uncover the murderer before anybody else dies?

Fluke, Joanne. TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE MURDER: An Entertaining & Delicious Cozy Mystery with Recipes. Kensington Press. February '21. $27.00. A Hannah Swensen Mystery. "Spring has sprung in Lake Eden, Minnesota, but Hannah Swensen doesn't have time to stop and smell the roses - not with hot cross buns to make, treats to bake, and a sister to exonerate! Hannah's up to her ears with Easter orders rushing in at The Cookie Jar, plus a festive meal to prepare for a dinner party at her mother's penthouse. But everything comes crashing to a halt when Hannah receives a panicked call from her sister Andrea - Mayor Richard Bascomb has been murdered...and Andrea is the prime suspect. Even with his reputation for being a bully, Mayor Bascomb - or 'Ricky Ticky,' as Hannah's mother likes to call him - had been unusually testy in the days leading up to his death, leaving Hannah to wonder if he knew he was in danger. Meanwhile, folks with a motive for mayoral murder are popping up in Lake Eden. Was it a beleaguered colleague? A political rival? A jealous wife? Or a scorned mistress? As orders pile up at The Cookie Jar - and children line up for Easter egg hunts - Hannah must spring into investigation mode and identify the real killer...before another murder happens!" Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Recorded Books.

Lush, Tara. GROUNDS FOR MURDER: A Coffee Lover's Mystery. Crooked Lane Books. December '20. $26.99. First in a new series. "Barista Lana Lewis's sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries." It all starts when Lana's top employee not only leaves suddenly, but jumps ship to work for the competition right before a big contest. As if that's not enough, her employee is found murdered the following day right behind her shop, making her the prime suspect. But, there are plenty of other suspects in the beach town. Lana, previously a reporter, has to find a way to clear herself. Can she accomplish that and also still win the contest? She gets some help from her hippie father, her dog, and a new barista, but can they solve the crime? Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Dreamscape Media.

Priest, Cherie. GRAVE RESERVATIONS: A Novel. Atria Books. October '21. $26.00. Leda Foley, a travel agent trying to get her company, Foley's Flights of Fancy, into the black is also a sometime psychic. Not sure why, she changes Seattle Police Detective Grady Merritt's flight and ends up saving his life when the plane he was supposed to be on blows up. Grady, believing that Leda does have some abilities, asks her to help him on a cold case he was never able to solve. Leda agrees, partly because her fiance was murdered several years prior and she wasn't able to help and that case was never solved either. She enlists some bar patrons and friends to help solve Grady's case. As they work together they realize that the two cases have a lot in common.

Shelton, Connie. DEADLY SWEET DREAMS. Secret Staircase Books. October '20. $13.99. A Sweet's Sweets Bakery Mystery."Samantha Sweet is back at Sweet's Sweets, her bakery with a magical flair, while husband Beau is now a full-time rancher. When he hires a young cowboy to help out, no one suspects that Danny Flores comes with a lot of baggage until Lila, the girl he left behind, shows up. She says she has romance on her mind, but Danny finds her manipulative and domineering. He changed his number and moved out of state, but she has managed to track him down. Beau and Sam wish Danny all the best, but there isn't a lot they can do. But then Lila is murdered and the most damning clue, the words Sweet Dreams, point to Danny. Sam doesn't want a mystery to solve - she's ready for cozy time with her young granddaughter. Plus, she and Kelly have been cooking up some new mischief, discovering that the strange book with the rune-like writing actually contains something magical. As Danny's situation gets worse, Sam realizes no one else, except maybe Eliza the calico cat, is going to help her solve the murder. Plus, Sam is more than a little involved, since it might have been a potion she and Kelly brewed up from the magic book that got Danny into this jam in the first place."

Shelton, Connie. HOMELESS IN HEAVEN. Secret Staircase Books. July '20. $13.99. Fourth in the Heist Ladies Caper Mysteries. "Who would dare steal from homeless people, especially at Christmas! Mary Holbrook and Sandy Warner are volunteering at Heaven Sent, a homeless shelter, and discover it has been the scene of some thefts. The Heist Ladies decide to investigate. At the same time there are some strange doings at the New Age establishment next door. The Temple of the Rising Moon is run by gurus Orion and Sunshine, a husband and wife team living in a converted school bus, who claim to be raising money to build homes for poor people. As the Ladies dig deeper, they discover the charity is suspect and the hippies aren't exactly who they claim to be either. In their usual fashion, the dauntless Heist Ladies set out to track the money and chase down the perps. All in the name of justice!"

Shelton, Connie. SWEETHEARTS CAN BE MURDER: A Girl and Her Dog Cozy Mystery. Secret Staircase Books. February '21. $13.99. A Charlie Parker Mystery. "Charlie is alone in the office when a teen girl comes in, wanting to hire RJP Investigations to find her mom, who vanished without a trace years ago. The clues were sparse at the time, and the old police file doesn't have much that can help Charlie with the search. The problem for young Cassie is that the grandmother who has raised her is now dying and Cassie's life is about to be upended. All that's holding her together is the belief that her mom is out there somewhere. Meanwhile, Charlie's neighbor Elsa may have a boyfriend! Or not. Iris, a friend from her church is trying to set her up with a buddy of the new hunk she's dating. But Charlie smells scam all over this deal. Now she just has to keep an eye on both Elsa and her the same time she's on the clock with her new missing persons case. Charlie sees so many parallels to her own teen years and her heart goes out to Cassie. Knowing she has mere weeks to find answers the police couldn't uncover in years...well, the pressure is on!"

Thompson, Victoria. MURDER ON TRINITY PLACE: A Gaslight Mystery. Berkley Books. May '20. $7.99. Twenty-second in the series. "The devil's in the details when a man is found murdered near Trinity Church in the latest installment of the national bestselling Gaslight Mystery series... The year of 1899 is drawing to a close. Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to celebrate the New Year at Trinity Church when they notice Mr. Pritchard, a relative of their neighbor's behaving oddly and annoying the other revelers. Frank tries to convince Pritchard to return home with them, but the man refuses and Frank loses him in the crowd. The next morning Sarah and Frank are horrified to learn Pritchard was murdered sometime in the night, his body left on Trinity Place, the side street near the church. The police aren't too interested in the murder, and the family are concerned that the circumstances of the death will reflect badly on Pritchard's reputation. To protect the family from scandal, Nelson asks Frank to investigate. Frank and Sarah delve into Pritchard's past and realize there may have been a deadly side to the dawning of the new century."

© 1996-2021 Bill Palmer.