Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Mystery JANE IN St. PETE by @CynthiaHarriso1

Today’s team review is from Alison. She blogs here https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading Jane In St. Pete by Cynthia Harrison

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As a woman of fifty-one, it’s nice to read a novel now and then where the female protagonist is someone I can really relate to. Jane is an experienced, intelligent woman, looking to finally live life for herself, to be herself. While I’m not on the verge of leaving my husband and living alone, it’s always good to see woman of a certain age portrayed as having a lot to live for, and with a lot going for them.

This is an entertaining mystery, well-plotted, with an interesting murder case moving the narrative forward. But while the case was important, well-written and held my interest, for me the real story here was Jane and her gradual settling in to her new life and what it could offer her. She’s a fabulous character and I look forward to reading more about her.

I enjoyed the descriptions of Florida too – they made me long for some sunshine!

Well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Book description

Widowed art lecturer Jane Chasen is not an impulsive woman. Why, then, does the formerly methodical workaholic quit her job, sell her house, and move from Detroit to Florida? Instead of pondering her atypical behavior, she takes a closer look at a neighbor’s intriguing outdoor art installation. Days later, Detective Jesse Singer discovers the murdered artist in his studio. With Jane’s help, Singer finds the victim’s bloody shirt, inexplicably located within Jane’s gated community. Singer knows nothing about art, and as he closely questions Jane, she offers to help with the art angle of the case. Singer soon takes Jane up on her offer. Then, Jane begins to receive anonymous threats. Singer, determined to protect Jane, keeps her closer to his side than ever—she’s not complaining.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Mystery JANE IN St. PETE by @CynthiaHarriso1

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs here https://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading Jane In St. Pete by Cynthia Harrison

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When Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey, Harry Bosch, or James Bond get older (or at least the actors playing them do), they just brush back a few (distinguished, of course) gray hairs and carry on carrying on with younger (beautiful, also of course) women. But what happens when female detectives get older? Is there a stop between teenage Nancy Drew and little old Miss Marple with her knitting?

Author Cynthia Harrison gives us a mature woman as amateur detective in her latest cozy mystery, Jane in St. Pete. Following the mostly unlamented demise of her workaholic husband Stan—whose only redeeming feature seemed to be that his unexpected death saved her the time and expense of filing for divorce—Jane left her old job and life in Detroit to move to Florida. She’d spent decades in a loveless relationship for the usual reasons. “She stayed for the kids. For the financial security. For the insurance. For the appearance of a normal family.”

Instead of the divorce she always promised herself, Jane became more like Stan, throwing herself wholly into first raising her two children and then into her career as an art lecturer. When we meet her, Jane is literally standing at the door of her new Florida life, having left job, house, and identity as ‘Stan’s wife’ behind in Detroit. Before her is a vibrant Florida lifestyle in Winding Bayou, an “over-fifties” community in which her mid-fifties age makes her one of the youngest residents.

Although she’s left her art career behind, Jane is instantly captivated by the outsider art created by a local native artist, Waylon Silvercloud. But Jane and her new friends at Winding Bayou are stunned when the artist is found brutally murdered. As more of her new friends are drawn into the investigation, a Jane is asked to help detective Jesse Singer with the art-related aspects to the crime.

And that’s where, for me, this book became interesting. There were plenty of red herrings along the way, including a disconnected and basically superfluous romantic subplot involving a younger neighbor and an FBI agent. But the solution to the crime was fairly obvious, and the motive frankly unlikely. That didn’t really matter beside the gift of seeing Jane slowly unfold like one of the local Florida blossoms. 

When she first arrives in Florida, Jane is almost shocked by how comfortable her new “senior” neighbors are with emotions she’s locked away—attraction, lust, romance, jealousy. It’s interesting to follow Jane’s emotional journey as she opens herself to these soul-shaking feelings of pain mixed with fragile but growing romantic attraction. In addition, we see Jane navigate her archetypal role as mother to her angry daughter, and daughter to her own wise mother. And of course, there’s the fun of seeing fish-out-of-water Jane trying to adapt to her new Florida surroundings. When shots ring out during a trip to a local restaurant, Jane is stunned as everyone around her brings out their gun, from her friends to the waitress and the musicians.

‘I don’t own a firearm,’ Jane said. George and Kim turned amazed faces toward hers. ‘This is Florida, everybody owns a gun,’ Kim said.

If it wasn’t for the pleasure of following Jane’s character change and develop, this would be a far less interesting and entertaining book. But seeing a mature woman step up to help and defend her friends, investigate a crime, and build a new life while slowly accepting herself as worthy of sexual feelings and romantic emotions is what, for me, makes Jane in St. Pete a recommended read.

4 stars.

Book description

Widowed art lecturer Jane Chasen is not an impulsive woman. Why, then, does the formerly methodical workaholic quit her job, sell her house, and move from Detroit to Florida? Instead of pondering her atypical behavior, she takes a closer look at a neighbor’s intriguing outdoor art installation. Days later, Detective Jesse Singer discovers the murdered artist in his studio. With Jane’s help, Singer finds the victim’s bloody shirt, inexplicably located within Jane’s gated community. Singer knows nothing about art, and as he closely questions Jane, she offers to help with the art angle of the case. Singer soon takes Jane up on her offer. Then, Jane begins to receive anonymous threats. Singer, determined to protect Jane, keeps her closer to his side than ever—she’s not complaining.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RomanticSuspense PIVOTAL DECISIONS by Reily Garrett

Pivotal Decisions (Moonlight and Murder, #2)Pivotal Decisions by Reily Garrett

4 stars

Pivotal Decisions is book two of the Moonlight And Murder romantic suspense series.

This story is set in the Florida Everglades and involves virtual reality gaming technology. The book opens with a gruesome murder scene; a man so lost inside the gaming world behind his goggles that he appears not to notice his legs have disappeared. But why is he sitting on a chair in the middle of a swamp and why did the predator take only his legs?

Augee knew his best friend Jinx was worried, so when he received an odd text asking him to meet Jinx at a strange location, he invited wildlife ranger Sabine along too. What they found was horrifying. Concerned that his past might misdirect the police investigation Augee asks his estranged brother for help. Coyote Waylin hadn’t been back to Florida for six years, but he’d always tried to put his family first, even if it meant hurting the ones that he loved.

I liked this story, particularly how the animal life of the area enhanced the murder thread; it made me shudder several times. While you don’t have to know much about virtual reality gaming to follow the narrative, its theme just gives the story a ‘current’ touch. There are a couple of romance threads, one that overlaps from book one and a new one for Coyote. We first met Coyote in the previous book and I already liked his manner and principles; it was good to see him as a main character in this story.

Although this book could be read alone, I believe it would be more enjoyable when read as part of the series. Ideal for those who enjoy a murder investigation and who don’t mind mixing it with a reptile or two.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

She carries a gun for a living…
but never expected to be a target.

Sabine’s early morning hike ends with discovering her friend sitting in a chair by the canal and gazing at the sunrise. Peace and serenity pervade, except, he’s dead.
To discover the how and why of his death, she must first survive the shrewd killer intent on removing human collateral and regaining lost technology.
Coyote Waylin hasn’t set foot in the Everglades for six years, not since the night he broke his brother’s jaw and saved his sister’s life. After receiving a desperate call from his sibling, he rushes south to untangle a web of murder and intrigue.
Together, Coyote and Sabine sort the snarled web of lies and deceit while struggling to maintain their personal space. Failure to thwart the ingenious killer could result in untraceable mass murders.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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That Darkest Place by @MarciaMeara Romantic #Suspense book #3 Riverbend series set in #Florida

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 by Marcia Meara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That Darkest Place is book #3 of The Riverbend romantic suspense series set in Florida. It is the story of Forrest and Jackson Painter, and continues from where we left off in book #2, Finding Hunter.

Jackson is the eldest brother of three, and the book opens with a hospital scene. Left with severe memory loss and an amputated leg, it will take a long time for Jackson to recover.

Forrest is the brother who keeps the family together, and runs the family hardware store. He’s supportive to Hunter, from Book #2, in the past—now he needs Hunter’s support as they pull Jackson through his rehabilitation.

As the book title suggests, this novel deals with its characters’ psychologically darkest moments. I thought the author did a great job describing Jackson—his roller-coaster of recovery followed by deep periods of depression. We see the picture from his point of view and from Forrest’s, who becomes his prime carer once he comes home. Both go through periods of guilt, doubt and discomfort, but with the help of family and counsellors they make progress.

The sinister element built the tension well and I didn’t guess the person behind the threats. This series also has an element of romance in each book and the author writes the intimate scenes with grace and care, using enough description for the reader to use their imagination without it being explicit, so will suit readers who prefer their romance with lower heat levels.

I enjoy this author’s writing style and shall look forward to her next book.

View all my reviews On Goodreads

Book Description

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.

About the author

Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of 30 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order.

At age 69, Marcia wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel, and “Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love.” Nine months later, she published her second novel, “Swamp Ghosts,” set alongside the wild and scenic rivers of central Florida. Since then, she’s published, “A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2”, “Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2,” and is hard at work on “Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3.”

Marcia also has work published in five poetry anthologies published by Silver Birch Press: Silver, Green, Summer, Noir Erasure Poetry, and the May Poetry Anthology.

Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Murder At The Mystery Bay Hotel by Marcia Spillers @mysterywriter2 @BrookCottageBks

33952647My Review.

Murder At The Mystery Bay Hotel is a light hearted, fast paced, amateur sleuth story and Book One in the Mystery Bay series. Set on a small Florida island, Delphie Beauchamp has been asked to help Mystery Bay police chief Em Lander solve a double murder.

Delphie and her red Dachshund, Huckleberry, return to the bay from their home in Texas. Em reveals that she has recently been named as the murderer by an anonymous caller; unfortunately, her alibi is weak, especially when the murder weapon shows up with Em’s fingerprints all over it.

There is damage to several graves in the local cemetery and Delphie’s skills in historical research are called to solve the case. But she’s made to feel unwelcome by several long standing locals, and is attacked whilst out on a late night walk. Salvage diver Josh Porter comes to her rescue, and ends up helping Delphie with her case, especially after the police chief is kidnapped.

Delphie is a reluctant psychic, and finds herself listening to several ghosts who provide clues and help to solve the mystery.

Recommended for those who really like their cosy mysteries to be lightweight and fun.

 

 

Genre:  Cozy/Amateur Sleuth Mystery

Series: Mystery Bay Series #1

Release Date:  January 18, 2017

Can Delphie Beauchamp, a Texas born research librarian fresh from a break-up with her two-timing boyfriend, help best friend and newly elected Chief of Police Em Landry, solve a double homicide in the old Mystery Bay Cemetery? Chief Landry needs Delphie’s help in solving the murders, along with determining why specific graves from the early eighteen-hundreds have been vandalized. Her canine best friend in tow, a twenty-two-pound dachshund named Huckleberry, Delphie heads for the tropical island of Mystery Bay, Florida where she begins a journey that includes a pinch of gold, a touch or romance, and a wallop of ghosts, in a race to solve the mystery, of the Mystery Bay Hotel.

EXCERPT

The smell of the ocean, crisp and briny like a jar of pickles, held just a hint of murder in the air. I picked up my luggage from the small carousel inside the terminal and opened the glass door of the Mystery Bay International Airport. The sultry, mid-October sunshine hit me all at once, along with the sweet fragrance of the red, frangipani trees that bordered the edges of the sidewalk. Amazing how paradise was just a plane ride away.

“God, what a beautiful day.” I dropped my suitcase on the pink-hued coral sidewalk and pulled out my sunglasses. Before I could slip them on, Huckleberry, my twenty-two pound, red Dachshund whined for me to take off his winter sweater. Poor little guy. The outfit worked great for the chilly October weather in central Texas but not the south Florida humidity.

“Sorry, Huck.” I unhooked his leash and pulled off the sweater. Stretching out his long body, Huckleberry trotted over to the nearest hibiscus bush and hunched over.  Seconds later he sighed in relief.

I coughed and fanned the air. Guess he wasn’t that hot in his sweater after all.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

ABOUT MARCIA SPILLERS

Marcia Spillers has been a Librarian/Archivist for more than twenty years.  Currently a school librarian, she lives in Austin, Texas with her two chows, Bella and Susie Bear.  Marcia spent seventeen years in south Florida perfecting her writing skills, along with completing the Writer’s Program at UCLA.

Blog:  http://www.marciaspillers.com/blog/

Website:  www.Marcia Spillers.com

@mysterywriter2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcia.spillers.7

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