by Sunny Frazier
We’re all a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and lucky that I am to announce two new series for your reading pleasure!
It’s Purr M for Murder in T.C. LoTempio’s latest. You may know the author from her Nick and Nora cat mysteries, but this is a cat rescue series. Sydney McCall, a nice Irish name, left New York City, an ex-fiancé, and an advertising job to return home to Deer Park, NC, and help her sister run an animal shelter, Friendly Paws. They organize a cat café fundraiser at a local coffee shop. Things go well until their landlord threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery, she finds her sister with the man’s body. The local homicide detective, Sydney’s high school crush, is suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. To clear their names, Sydney and shelter cat Toby start poking their noses into other businesses whose owners may have benefited from the murder.
Fans of Vicki Delany will be excited to learn she is starting a new series called the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery. English woman Gemma Doyle returned to West London on Cape Cod to manage her great uncle’s bookshop. This is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When she finds a rare magazine containing the first Sherlock Holmes story, she and a friend, who runs Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, set off to find the owner and instead find a dead body. Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her deduction powers to work. She discovers a family of greedy people who want to cash in on their inheritance. But when the women find themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth. Elementary, She Read will be followed by the next one in September.
When a series is only on the second book, it’s not too late to add it to your TBR pile. Laura Bradford’s Emergency Dessert Squad is back. Baker Winnie Johnson is the owner with a soft spot for lost causes. When her business professor and boyfriend has to fail one of his students, she offers extra credit in exchange for help at her business. But when his first dessert delivery poisons a student journalist, the publicity threatens to destroy her. She must uncover the ingredients behind the recipe for murder. Silence of the Flan is the follow-up to Éclair and Present Danger.
Eva Knox and her quirky Southern family are back in the second of the Olive Grove series. It’s time for the annual Farm Family Fare in Abundance, Georgia. The residence of the Knox Plantation, makers of olive oil, are excited about the celebrity chefs doing cooking demonstrations. But then one of the chefs goes missing and is found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck. Eva’s sister spent the night with the victim right before he died, making her the prime suspect. It’s up to Eva, with the help of her other sister and her best friend, to track down the real killer. Cold Pressed Murder is Kelly Lane’s follow up to One Foot in the Grove.
It’s tourist season in the seaside town of Wildwood Cove. Marley McKinney, another Irish surname, couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side pancake house, Marley McKinney’s made friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. But there’s a woman who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. She’s making crank calls and vandalized the restaurant. Marley sets out to bury the hatchet, but someone’s beat her to it. After stumbling across the body, Marley’s the number-one suspect. She’s not about to let the woman keep ruining her life, especially from beyond the grave. Sarah Fox, the author of The Crepes of Wrath, brings us For Whom the Bread Rolls. And she includes recipes inspired by the Flip Side’s menu!
In the second Destination Wedding Mystery, Marla Cooper follows Terror in Taffeta with Dying on the Vine. Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna, yet another lass, just signed on to be the coordinator at the Higgens Estate in California’s wine country. But the wedding was originally planned by the Queen of Wine Country Weddings but was fired by the father of the bride. Kelsey decides to clear the air and make sure there are no hard feelings, but she discovers the woman dead. The assistant not only points the finger at Kelsey but cancels all the vendor contracts. It’s time to salvage the wedding while dodging gossipy wedding planners, grumpy winemakers, and a cold-blooded killer. (this one now has a release date of April 4)
Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table is the third outing for Kelly Jackson, manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast and the Silver Sentinels. When a local woman begins searching for a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, the group is quick to help out. But the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival, she and her sleuthing posse must solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making. Author Janet Finsilver keeps us guessing.
Laura Childs entertains with Pekoe Most Poison, the eighteenth Tea Shop Mystery. When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses to a “Rat Tea,” she is intrigued. Servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer finger sandwiches and fine teas. Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor teas to promote city rodent control and better public health. But the party goes from odd to chaotic, when a fire starts at one of the tables and the hostess’s husband drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat. As a bonus we get recipes and tea time tips.
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