Legacy of Murder

This title is number 2 in the Kate Hamilton mysteries written by Connie Berry. Kate, an antiques dealer, travels to England to visit her daughter Christine, where she is interning at an old English mansion. The woman planning an exhibition at the mansion winds up murdered, and Kate steps in. But can she solve the murder of the young woman before the murderer strikes again? An enjoyable cozy mystery…

The Newcomer

Tanya warned her sister, Letty Carnahan, that if anything ever happened to her, Letty should take Tanya’s daughter Maya and run away with her. She also told her that the culprit would be her ex, Evan Wingfield, a slick real estate developer. So when Letty finds Tanya dead in her apartment, she grabs Maya and escapes to Florida. They find solace in a small motel community, where Letty finds work and daycare help for her young niece. But can she prove that Wingfield murdered her sister? With the help of a local cop and his mom, she sets out to trap him and prove herself innocent. Mary Kay Andrews has written a satisfying summer read; I would recommend this to mystery lovers who don’t mind some romance thrown in as well…

The Disappearing Act

Title: The Disappearing Act: A Novel, Author: Catherine Steadman

Catherine Steadman’s latest mystery did not outdo her previous titles. Steadman (an actress as well as author) has written a mystery set mostly in Los Angeles, CA. British actress, Mia Eliot, is sent to LA from London by her agent to audition for a part that may make her career. Looking for a change of scenery since her boyfriend of 5 years just broke up with her (by text!), Mia is eager for a change. While waiting to be called to read for the part, Mia meets another actress (Emily) in the waiting room who is going for the same part. Emily asks Mia to go ahead of her because she has to ‘feed the meter’ so she doesn’t get a ticket. Instead, Mia offers to go out and feed the meter herself. When she returns, Emily is gone. Mia reads next, but when she finishes Emily still hasn’t shown. This convoluted plot continues to become more mired in unbelievable twists as Mia searches for the missing Emily. While she doesn’t seem very heartbroken over the end of her relationship, Mia is determined to find out what happened to Emily. However, Steadman’s chain of events are bogged down in unimportant details and fail to engage the reader. While somewhat entertaining, The Disappearing Act ultimately is not worthwhile.

A Dream of Death

Connie Berry has set her first novel in the Kate Hamilton series on the Isle of Skye, in the Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland. Kate, an antiques dealer in Ohio, is summoned to Skye by her not so favorite sister-in-law, Elenor, to help ease her fears about something, without giving an explanation. When Elenor is murdered shortly after after Kate arrives, and a local mentally impaired man is accused, Kate decides to investigate. Berry writes a fast-paced thriller, with a bit of romance thrown in, and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Fresh Brewed Murder

Emmeline Duncan has written the first novel in her Ground Rules Mystery series. In case you haven’t guessed, the plot concerns a barista and her partner who operate a food truck in Portland, Oregon. When a man turns up dead right in front of their truck, Sage decides to investigate, especially since she is under suspicion for his murder. The cast of characters includes the other food trucks owners: Zarek, the falafel guy, Macie, the pie lady, and Emma , who runs the jojo stand (a kind of fried chicken tender with a special breading). By the time Sage finally figures out who the murderer is, it might be too late…