Melody Bittersweet & The Girls Ghostbusting Agency – Kitty French

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Life’s tricky for Melody Bittersweet

She’s single, she’s addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers and … she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one’s swiping right on Tinder? 
Waking up lonely on her twenty seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change. 

Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency – kind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her sexy enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat. 

Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there’s the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job… 

Welcome to Chapelwick, home of the brand new and hilarious Girls Ghostbusting Agency series, where things really do go bump in the night.

Take some Janet Evanovich, mix it up with some classic Scooby-Doo mysteries, throw in some Ghostbusters, some of M Knight Shyalaman’s Sixth Sense along with a pair of devilishly handsome but totally inappropriate suitors, and you’ve got your next funtastic read.  If anything can take a grey, miserable time and turn in on its head into one filled with smiles and laughter, this book can do it

Melody Bittersweet is a hilarious narrator, and absolutely adorable, you can’t help but fall for her charms as she converses with ghosts, translates their thoughts and words to the “I-don’t-see-dead-people” folks, and solves mysteries, all while caught between an outrageous ex-boyfriend and an all too desirable complete non-believer out to discredit her at all times.

Her sidekick’s are just as much fun, and I’m really struggling to decide who I like the most.  Feisty Italian descended Marina, loyal and innocent Artie, Melody’s interfering family or LeStat the pug, there’s so much to look forward to from this interesting bunch that I’m already keen to find out what’s next.

With an interesting and tragic family mystery to solve, there’s plenty in here to keep the cosy crime fanatic in you enthralled, just enough romance to spice it up, and some great wisecracks, and while you let yourself go in the company of Melody Bittersweet, I will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment…..

 

Death At The Seaside – Frances Brody

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Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

I’m a big fan of cosy mysteries, so it’s quite surprising to note that this was the first Frances Brody novel I have read, despite the fact that this is the eighth book in her series featuring Kate Shackleton. With that in mind it was no hinderance to my enjoyment of the novel. As far as I could tell there are no spoilers in here for previous books, and I felt no need to have read any of them before this one, although there are plenty of references to past events that have given me a keen interest in catching up with some of the earlier books.

It’s a great read that’s ideal for snuggling up in a cosy armchair on a wet miserable afternoon and transporting yourself to the beautiful seaside resort. I loved the genuine sense of time and place I felt when reading Death at the Seaside, falling completely for the 1920’s atmosphere, of this truly British seaside mystery.

There are delightful characters, and a an intriguing plot line to ensure you keep turning the pages, which you will clearly want to keep doing.  If you love some good old fashioned escapism, this is definitely the book for you.

Lightening up, with cooking, craziness, chaos, cosiness, and con jobs…

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I’ve had a tiring few weeks, with the last one being particularly exhausting, so I took some time off from the deep, dark, psychological thrillers I usually read and I went to my comfort corner, keeping with crime but going as wacky, crazy, and cosy as I could.

These were my choices…

CRAZY, CRACKPOT AND IMPOSSIBLE CONS…

All pulled off like the perfect A-Team plot.  Let go with an enjoyable read and challenge yourself to see how many of Lee’s TV references you can spot!

FBI agent Kate O’Hare’s covert partner has been kidnapped. But she is in hot pursuit…

Nicolas Fox, con man, thief, and one of the top ten fugitives on the most-wanted list, has been kidnapped from a retreat in Hawaii. The kidnapper doesn’t know that Nick Fox has been secretly working for the FBI and that his partner, Special Agent Kate O’Hare, is on their trail.

The pursuit leads to Belgium, France and Italy, and pits Nick and Kate against a deadly adversary: Dragan Kovic, an ex-military officer from Serbia. He’s plotting a crime that will net him billions… and cost thousands of lives.

Nick and Kate have to mount an audacious con to avert catastrophe. The pressure’s on for them to make this work – even if they have to lay their lives on the line…

GRANNY’S GOT A GHOSTLY NEW PARTNER IN CRIME! 

If you like Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur, you’ll love Agnes Barton

Ever since Agnes’ car accident, things have changed drastically for her. When she wakes up in the hospital, not only is her son Stuart there, who she hasn’t seen in years, but a ghostly apparition!

Instead of getting ready for the loony bin, Agnes and Eleanor help ready the Butler Mansion for a grand opening as a bed and breakfast on Halloween, except they find the body of Katherine Clark. It’s game on, as usual, for Agnes, except she now has a new partner, one who has remained silent and is—well—a ghost.

Agnes now struggles to keep her wits, keeping her ghostly companion a secret from Eleanor, not such an easy feat since Eleanor is sharp as a tack. Not only that, but where has Stuart been all of these years and what is he up to?

HERCULE POIROT MEETS AGATHA RAISIN…..

“They say one should never trust a thin chef. By this measure, Chef Maurice was very trustworthy indeed.”

Take one sleepy Cotswold village, mix in one Poirot-esque murder mystery, add a larger-than-life French chef with an appetite for solving crime, and season with clues and red herrings galore . . .

It’s autumn in the Cotswolds, and Chef Maurice is facing a problem of mushrooming proportion. Not only has his wild herb and mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows, missed his weekly delivery—he’s missing vital signs too, when he turns up dead in the woods near Beakley village.

Soon, Chef Maurice is up to his nose in some seriously rotten business—complete with threatening notes, a pignapping, and an extremely well-catered stake-out. Can he solve Ollie’s murder before his home-made investigation brings the killer out for second helpings?

 

Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well – Nancy Atherton

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The sleepy Cotswold village of Finch is filled with curiosity when young Australian Jack MacBride arrives to wrap up his late uncle’s affairs, but when Lori Shepherd volunteers to help Jack clear out his uncle’s overgrown garden, they discover something even more surprising.

After making a wish in the newly uncovered well, Lori is later baffled to find it seems to have come true, and as word of this granted wish spreads though the village, locals begin to turn out in droves in order to make their own wishes.

The village soon descends into chaos however, as one man’s wish can be another’s worst nightmare, and it’s up to Lori, together with some otherworldly help from Aunt Dimity, to find out what is really going on.

One of the great things about bookbridgr from Headline is that it is a brilliant way of discovering new authors. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I discovered Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well was actually the 19th book in its series, as it was one I had never heard of before and I love cosy crime mysteries and suspense novels.

I personally felt that Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well falls somewhere between two of my favourite writers MC Beaton and Paul Magrs, so if you enjoy either of them you will love these. It was a thrilling read with an intriguing supernatural side that will keep you turning pages until you suddenly realise that several hours have passed, and you’ve been unable to put the book down.

It has charming, well thought through characters, and an enchanting setting. As someone who lives on the outskirts of the Cotswolds and likes to visit villages much like the fictional Finch it’s well drawn. I also found that I had no need to have read any of the previous 18 novels in order to enjoy this one. To me, Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well was a delightful tale that left me feeling light-hearted and with a pleasant smile on my face as I closed the book. By the time I have sourced the rest of these novels, as I now surely must, my book shelves will be groaning!

The Missing Ink – Karen E Olson

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Murder leaves a mark

Brett Kavanaugh is a tattoo artist and owner of an elite tattoo parlor in Las Vegas. When a girl makes an appointment for a tattoo of the name of her fiancé embedded in a heart, Brett takes the job but the girl never shows. The next thing Brett knows, the police are looking for her client, and the name she wanted on the tattoo isn’t her fiancé’s…

Sometimes when I need a break from heavy action and violent crime I turn american cosy crimes. They are like my guilty little pleasure. There are lots of great series out there, from coffee shop and tea shop mysteries, to bakery and vineyard mysteries, and everything you can think of in between.

The Missing Ink is the first in the Tattoo shop mysteries, and I was intrigued to see how it would work. I am pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised, it worked really well.

As is usual I read it in less than a day because it had enough going on to keep you curious and involved all the way through.

If you like the cosy crimes of MC Beaton, and haven’t tried any American cosy’s yet then this is as good a place to start as any.

Enjoy