Amateur Sleuths G to Z


November 3, 2021

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. SHOW ME THE MONEY. Secret Staircase Books. May '21. $13.99. A Heist Ladies Caper. "Amber Zeckis has just flown home to Phoenix after a dream vacation with her dream guy in Paris. But things go sour when she is stopped at the airport and US Customs finds a huge amount of undeclared cash in her luggage. The problem is, Amber has no idea where it came from. The authorities don't believe her and it's looking like she could be facing prison time and fines. She calls on her friends for help, and the Ladies are faced with their trickiest case yet."

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!"

Shelton, Connie. THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS SWEET: A Sweet's Sweets Bakery Mystery. Secret Staircase Books. October '21. $13.99. "Samantha Sweet is back at Sweet's Sweets, turning out her amazing cakes and pastries for the busy holiday season, when Emily Plankhurst, the new young librarian in town, stops in. Emily tells Sam a strange story involving a hidden niche in the library revealed to her in a vision, supposedly, by her dead grandmother. Would anyone believe this farfetched story? Possibly not anyone but Sam, who has had more than a few unexplained occurrences in her own life. It turns out the hidden space contains a rare painting, The Ghost of Christmas, which was believed to have been destroyed in a fire twenty-five years ago at the luxury home of a hedge fund billionaire. A young man died in the fire and the insurance company paid the claim for the valuable painting. But now that the painting has turned up, how can Emily prove that her own grandfather wasn't the one behind the arson? It's a sticky situation when she approaches Sam with the case. If she turns the painting over to the authorities they will almost certainly believe that her grandfather was involved in the theft of the piece and most likely complicit in insurance fraud as well. Would the police actually take him out of the Alzheimer care facility where he now resides and throw him in jail? Emily's only chance of saving her grandfather's life, and the reputation of the family-founded library, is to investigate the old crime and find out who really stole The Ghost of Christmas. And Samantha is the only person she can trust to help her, one of the few who remembers when the fire started and the insurance claim was paid. It's a Christmas mystery with a lot of twists and turns!"

© 1996-2021 Bill Palmer.