📚Set In The 1990s. @LizanneLloyd Reviews Cosy #Mystery The Finding Machine by Lucy Lyons for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading The Finding Machine by Lucy Lyons

Going back to the late 90s when life was simpler and very few people had mobile phones is so relaxing and as this intriguing mystery adventure features two delightful main characters, The Finding Machine is a feel-good novel to escape into. Alex may be working in a dead end job and her mother may worry about her lack of an appropriate partner but actually there are good factors in her life. She enjoys living in Hertfordshire with her handsome, easy-going house-sharer, Anthony and occasionally she finds time to devote to painting.

But she is soon shaken out of her apathy by the delivery of a small machine invented by her deceased father.  Apart from a few old family photos the machine has nothing but a green light. Eventually her investigations are aided by Anthony’s technical knowledge. It appears to be a Finding Machine which locates animals or people who have mysteriously disappeared. Alex is a brave investigator whose attempts to find missing cats and dogs have positive results but she tends to find herself in dangerous situations. Once she tries to find out about the little girl who disappeared 70 years earlier the story becomes more serious.

I really enjoyed following the trail with Alex, grateful that she sometimes allowed Anthony to help. It was heart-warming to see the prospect of a happy future and I wonder if she will use her father’s invention for more adventures.

Orange rose book description
Book description


It’s 1998, and Alex Martin’s life is falling apart. She’s fast approaching the big 3-0, with her dreams of making it as an artist in shreds. Her handsome housemate Antony’s moving on to better things while she’s stuck in a dead-end job, touch-typing for a living like a 1950s pool secretary.

Then, one grey winter morning, Alex inherits a mysterious invention from her late father that changes everything. The Finding Machine solves mysteries. But the biggest mystery of all lies deep within its wiring — the unsolved disappearance of a little girl, dating back seventy years.

What happened to the girl, all those years ago? Who was she?

Alex is going to need Antony’s help if she’s to join the dots and solve the case. But as dark family secrets are revealed, will the Finding Machine bring them together…or push them further apart?

Full of twists and turns, the Finding Machine is an unputdownable mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Buy now, and join Alex on the adventure of a lifetime!

Lost your loved one? Lost all hope? You need… THE FINDING MACHINE!

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

📚Murder In The Swimsuit World. Fiona Reviews Death By Pins And Needles by Susie Black For Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Fiona.

Fiona blogs here https://fionaforsythauthor.co.uk/blog/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Fiona has been reading Death By Pins And Needles by Susie Black.

There’s a lot about the swimsuit world I didn’t know, and now I know never to get involved. Too many murders…

The setup for the Holly Swimsuit series is a close-knit set of people all operating out of one building, all members of the same profession, which is an ideal murder mystery scenario. I found that there were many people to get my head around at the start. I also felt that as a Brit I didn’t get many of the in-jokes and cultural references, but this didn’t really matter. 

Holly has her gang of girlfriends, who all let her bounce ideas around and do some of the donkey work for her. They are way more efficient than the police at this, so I hope LAPD’s finest were taking note. Holly is the most gung-ho amateur sleuth I can remember reading, and her inability to let go leads her into some serious danger. There are times when her obstinacy is irritating, as is her refusal to let the police do their thing – but then, the police move a snail’s pace and Holly doesn’t have much patience! The police are depicted realistically, hampered by procedure and lack of funds. At one point a piece of evidence cannot be retrieved from the body for several days because the coroner has to send off for a special pair of tweezers, and this rings as all too likely. No wonder Holly has to step in. 

Holly’s technique is unsubtle: having drawn up a list of suspects she visits each of them in turn and badgers them until they throw her out. It doesn’t get her very far, but she’s nothing if not a trier. Her insistence on putting the Iranian refugee at the top of her list for no good reason that I could see – apart from a tenuous argument that he would be more likely to be familiar with a typewriter because he comes from another country – was a little uncomfortable. Fortunately the suspect himself pointed this out to her and she was honest enough to back down.

Occasionally the wise-cracking is overwritten, and I feel that the editing process was not sufficiently tight to benefit the author. Typos happen to the best of us, but the “discreet/discrete” problem should be picked up as should the repetitions. Compare the lawyer described as “diminutive octogenarian criminal defense attorney extraordinaire” with a neighbour “prickly, independent octogenarian sailor extraordinaire”. A tendency to change tense in the middle of the sentence also jarred with me: “The Boat Doctor couldn’t say how long my poor girl will be out of commission, let alone if saving her is possible.” If they don’t interrupt the reader’s flow, these things don’t particularly matter, but these did interrupt the flow for me.

This story has energy and pace, but for me, is let down by by poor editing and a hero I didn’t really warm to.

Orange rose book description
Book description

The last thing Mermaid Swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected to find when she opened the closet door was nasty competitor Lissa Charney’s battered corpse nailed to the wall. When Holly’s colleague is wrongly arrested for Lissa’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth sticks her nose everywhere it doesn’t belong to sniff out the real killer. Nothing turns out the way she thinks it will as Holly matches wits with a heartless killer hellbent on revenge.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

🔎Vintage Cosy #Mystery. @OlgaNM7 Reviews Murder At Buckskin Joe by @jvlbell, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Olga.

Olga blogs here https://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Olga has been reading Murder At Buckskin Joe by JVL Bell

Book cover for cosy mystery Murder At Buckskin Joe by JVL Bell, set againsta a background of a scene with a pond, green fields and snowy mountains from a free photo from Pixabay
Murder At Buckskin Joe by JVL Bell

Cozy mysteries can be a bit hit-and-miss for me, but this one, with the added attraction of the historical gold-mining background setting and the fabulous cast of characters worked wonderfully for me, and I loved it. Even though this is the third book in a series, it can be read and enjoyed in its own right, as it does provide readers with all the relevant details needed to follow the story, although I confess I wouldn’t mind reading the two previous ones.

The description of the book is quite apt, although it can’t reflect the full catalogue of adventures and characters included in the novel. We have the fabulous background of the gold mining town (already running out of gold at the time of the story), with plentiful but well-integrated historical detail; we have the day-to-day drudgery of living in an outpost of “civilization” (a term I use fairly loosely here); we have the animals (I love Buttercup, the fainting goat, and don’t ask me to explain, but I am also fond of the burros [donkeys in Spanish], and even the bear… No, I’m not explaining that either); we have a sheriff who is a gifted baker (the characters aren’t the only ones drooling over his confectionery); we have secret and newly found relatives all around; we have ill-fated love stories, and others that seemed impossible but work out; we have Dom and Millie’s children, Rachel (oh, she is infuriating but such a fabulously realistic character, and I love her to bits), and Hosa (who wouldn’t worry about a Navajo boy who lost his family but only wants to go back and fight against the white men?)… And, of course, we have Dom and Minnie. Minnie is the main character, and although the story is told in the third-person, we see everything from her point of view, and it is impossible not to like her. I particularly enjoyed the fact that she is not a modern heroin transplanted to the past. Although she has her own ideas, she also hesitates, tries her hardest to conform to the norms (down to using etiquette books and all), feels conflicted about her desire to investigate and what she feels is her duty towards her husband and children, and she is not perfect. She is daring and determined, rushed at times, but she can also be frightened and even phobic about certain situations. She doubts her own skills as a mother and questions herself, and that made her a true character rather than a caricature for me. Dom, her husband, is again not perfect. He supports her, is patient with her and understands her, but he is not beyond making mistakes, trusting people he shouldn’t, and even turning on her when he gets anxious or scared. Yes, they do fight, and yes, they do love each other. It feels like a real marriage, with two people trying their hardest to make everything work in their highly unconventional family.

I have already mentioned some of the things I really liked about this novel. I enjoyed the way the characters are created, because even those who don’t play big parts are not simple cut-outs. They all have their personalities, their distinctive features, and they all keep us guessing. I also like the historical note the author includes at the beginning of the novel. I have read historical novels where I spent most of the time wondering how much of what I was reading was based in fact and how much was creative license. Here, the author covers that at the very beginning, before we start reading, and although in her acknowledgments she talks about her sources and her process of creation in more detail, we are in no doubt as to what we are reading.

I also enjoyed that, despite the many things going on throughout the novel, the actual investigation is never too far away from the centre of the action, and although, evidently, this is not a police procedural novel where everything is highly scientific and all the details are accounted for, if we take into account the era and where the action takes place, the murder mystery works well, and I loved the slightly bittersweet ending as well.

The writing is dynamic, flows well, and it combines inner reflection and observation on the part of Millie with plenty of action scenes, which keep us turning the pages. There are many amusing moments, some scary ones as well, and the dialogues bring the characters to life and make them jump out of the page truly realised. We also learn about gold mining and about the era, its social mores and the way daily life was organised, and the knowledge and research the author has done and her talent in combining a cozy murder mystery with a historical novel portraying the life in the second half of the XIX century in the Territory of Colorado shines through. It’s a winner.

I don’t really dislike anything about the book; I can only say that I hope there will be further adventures, and we’ll get to know what happened to some of the other characters we’ve met here. I am happy there are previous novels I can catch up on as well.

In summary, this is a fantastic novel. It is funny, it is informative, it is full to the brim with unforgettable characters, it has plenty of adventures, it contains historical information about gold mining that never impedes the flow of the story, and it includes adventures and action scenes to satisfy those who prefer stories that keep moving along at a good pace. And a fairly solid, if cozy, mystery. There are threats, scary moments, and even violence, although not extreme, and I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a good yarn. It’s solid gold.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Territory of Colorado, 1865

Millie knows the raucous mining town of Buckskin Joe is no place for children, but when Dom’s Uncle George shows up needing help, the whole family reluctantly heads to South Park. George has been accused of murdering his mining partner, Wandering Will, and although Millie questions his innocence, she finds there are many suspects who wanted Will dead.

There’s fancy-girl Queeny, Will’s ex-wife, and dancehall-girl Kate, who wanted to be Will’s next wife—until he dumped her. Mountain man Kootenay despised Will enough to have dispatched him and the Odd Fellows have seized George and Will’s mine, claiming the gold inside for themselves.

Millie’s investigation heats up when Dom volunteers to visit the local saloon for some hands-on investigating of Queeny and Kate. Interruptions from hostile Utes, the children’s devilment, and the local schoolmistress chasing after Dom make this Millie’s most difficult investigation—especially when the killer decides she is getting too close.

Murder at Buckskin Joe weaves a cozy murder mystery with fascinating South Park mining history and lovable, unforgettable historic characters.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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

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

#RBRT Review Team

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

55976700. sy475

This book introduces you to Jane Chasen, art lecturer, recently widowed. Still trying to get her social footing in the Winding Bayou community, Jane and her friend Kim stop by an artist’s house; an artist who later turns up dead. Jane teams up with police detective Jesse Singer who needs her expertise.

With “Jane in St. Pete”, Cynthia Harrison has created an entertaining mystery with a hint of romance. Jane Chasen is complex; it took me a while to warm up to her as her life choices differed vastly from what I would have done. As I learned more about her, I understood and started to like her. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with sufficient depth and interesting interactions until the last page. After warming up to Jane, I had a great time reading “Jane in St. Pete” – it is an intriguing and enjoyable read. I was soon drawn into the story, eager to solve the case. For me, it is more mystery than romance which is good for me; the romantic part enhances the story nicely, though. A story to read again.

This is for you if you like mysteries with well-elaborated twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of romance, and if you think something like “I would not mind reading more of this”.


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

55976700. sy475