Amateur Sleuths G to Z


September 14, 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. 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. 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!"

© 1996-2021 Bill Palmer.