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Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Lethal Weapon [Blu-ray][Region Free]
Lethal Weapon [Blu-ray][Region Free]
Dvd ~ Mel Gibson
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars “You Ever Met Anybody You Didn’t Kill?” “Well, I Haven’t Killed You Yet.”, 30 July 2016
When I first got out of college and started watching some of the movies that I’d heard about but never seen, I added the Lethal Weapon franchise to that list. This was about the time the fourth film came out, so it’s been a few years. When I found the films on TV, I decided to rewatch the franchise, and of course, I had to start with the first in the series.

Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a 50-year-old detective in the homicide department at the LAPD. He’s got a family, but he doesn’t have a partner at work.

Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is cop for the LAPD as well, but he works in the narcotics division. He’s widower who has lost the will to live. He can’t quite bring himself to commit suicide, so he takes huge risks with his life. And he also doesn’t have a partner at work.

When a young woman takes a swan dive out of her hotel room, Murtaugh and Riggs are teamed up. She was high on a new drug, but the drug was also poisoned. Furthermore, this young woman was the daughter of one of Murtaugh’s friends from his days in Vietnam. With Riggs’s huge risks, Murtaugh is certain that they will both wind up dead. Will they survive working together and bring down the killer? Where will their investigation lead?

The first thing that struck me is that the movie is set in the days leading up to Christmas. Like Die Hard (which came out the next year), it’s hard to truly classify it as a Christmas movie, but the decorations and music definitely infuse the film.

I definitely remember the franchise getting lighter as it goes along, and viewing this movie again confirmed that. Yes, there are a few funny lines, but this film is pretty dark. This is especially true when dealing with the depressed Riggs. A couple of his scenes are hard to watch even though we know the outcome. Yet, that makes him very real. Murtaugh’s family does the same for him. Yes, it’s easy to like the two leads.

The movie is equal parts mystery and action. No, there are not the major stunt filled spectaculars we think of now when we think of an action film, but there are some decent action sequences for the time. This is the 80’s after all. And the plot does plenty to get the adrenaline flowing as we reach the final third of the film. There are some slow patches early on, but they never last for too long.

The stunts are all well done and very believable. Of course, this was the days before green screen effects were so popular, but they truly do hold up today.

Likewise, the acting is great. Danny Glover and Mel Gibson make it easy to care for the leads, and the supporting cast is just as real.

I’m glad I’m refreshing my memory of the Lethal Weapon films. I’m looking forward to watching all of them again soon.

Silence of the Library, The: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery (Cat in the Stacks Mysteries)
Silence of the Library, The: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery (Cat in the Stacks Mysteries)
by Miranda James
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Teen Sleuth Leads to Murder, 30 July 2016
If you read my reviews regularly, you’ll notice that I love the Trixie Belden series. While my love for that series has lasted well into adulthood, as a kid, I devoured the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown as well. All of that made me really look forward to reading The Silence of the Library, the fifth Cat in the Stacks mystery. Why? Because a fictional teen sleuth series plays a huge part in the book.

As a child, Charlie Harris was introduced to Veronica Thane one day by his aunt. As a result, he has long loved this lesser known series from the golden days of the teen detective series books. The Athena Public Library is setting up a display about the various teen sleuths for National Library Week, and Charlie is lending his expertise to help Veronica get the spotlight.

No one has heard anything from the author, Electra Barnes Cartwright, in years, so Charlie is a bit surprised to learn that she is not only still alive but living not that far from Athena. She is almost 100 years old, but she has agreed to make an appearance during the week to meet her fans.

But the news of this rare appearance brings out the crazies among her fans – collectors who will do anything for a rare copy of a book or an autograph. Charlie is beginning to think that this author appearance might be a bad idea when someone dies. Can he figure out what happened?

Over the course of this book, we are treated to the first few chapters of the very first Veronica Thane mystery. I must say that “Miranda” James (really a pen name for Dean James), has perfectly captured the flavor and style of the old series. It’s a little over the top even for the genre, but it is a hoot. There are many references to other, actual, teen series books as well, mainly Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys but the others get mentioned as well, so mystery readers who grew up reading the genre will be delighted.

Another thing I loved about this book was how the modern day story incorporated elements from the teen sleuth genre into the plot. Oh, it is a murder mystery, but the plot brings in enough other elements, sometimes as red herrings and sometimes as real clues, that it provides a nice change of pace for a cozy. Of course, things do lead up to a logical climax, which isn’t a surprise for this series.

Unfortunately, we don’t see quite as much of the series regulars as I would have liked. Still, that’s a minor complaint since we get some wonderful new characters here. They keep Charlie confused and us turning pages until the end.

Diesel, Charlie’s Maine Coon cat, is as much a fixture as ever, of course. He’s a real charmer and continues to be a fantastic scene stealer.

You don’t have to have fond memories of series books from your childhood to enjoy The Silence of the Library. Any fan of cozies mysteries will enjoy it. But hours spent in the company of Nancy or Trixie or any of the others will give this book an added boost that will leave you smiling.

Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid (Commander Toad (Paperback))
Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid (Commander Toad (Paperback))
by Jane Yolen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Not Reading This Book Would be a Dis-Asteroid, 30 July 2016
There aren’t many genre picture books, or at least they aren’t super popular. One of the rare exceptions in the science fiction genre is Commander Toad. I’ve been enjoying rereading these books recently, and Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid proves to be another fun addition to this series.

Commander Toad and his crew on board the Star Warts are about ready to leave the headquarters of Star Fleet when they are given their new mission. It seems that Star Fleet has received a distress call from an asteroid somewhere between Jupiter and Mars. However, the distress call doesn’t quite make sense. The call seems to be requesting beans. Armed with many kinds of beans, Commander Toad heads out to see what is happening.

They arrive to find the asteroid completely covered in water with pigeons flying over the surface. One of them lands and tries to communicate the problem, but he is speaking Pigeon Toad. Will Commander Toad be able to understand and fix the problem?

This is such a fun book. While there is definitely some danger and a real problem that needs to be solved, this is the least scary problem the crew has encountered to date. So if you have a little one who is super sensitive, this might be a good book to read. The story moves along at a decent pace as well, with the detours being lots of fun.

As always, this is a book full of puns. Even if kids don’t get them all, their parents will love them. One or two are even explained for the kids.

Bruce Degen once again provides wonderful illustrations. His pictures provide some laughs all on their own, especially with some hidden gags early in the book.

These are classified as easy reader books, and outside a few names or titles (Lieutenant springs to mind), I don’t see any of the words in this book being a problem. And if parents are helping their kids read, there will be no problem at all.

So be sure to pick up Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid. You and your kids will enjoy this science fiction tale.

The Sound of Murder: Volume 2 (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
The Sound of Murder: Volume 2 (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
by Cindy Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Like Another Winner to Me, 30 July 2016
When I tried the first Ivy Meadows book a few months back, I loved and I couldn’t wait to start the next one, so I’m a little surprised it took me until now to get around to reading The Sound of Murder, her second mystery. The wait was worth it, however, because this was another fabulous read.

Ivy Meadows is trying to divide her time between two interests, acting and learning to be a PI. On the acting front, she has landed a gig in The Sound of Cabaret, a new musical that combines The Sound of Music with Cabaret as Mary, a postulant nun, helps a bunch of Jewish dancers flee the Nazis while falling in love with the Captain Vaughn Katt, the owner of the club where they dance. This show is at a dinner theater in the community of Sunnydale, outside of Phoenix proper and large enough to really be its own town.

Unfortunately, Ivy has just had a small fire in her own apartment, and she is looking for a place to live while it is being renovated. Fortunately, she lands a housesitting gig for a resident of Sunnydale. But she’s barely arrives when one of her new neighbors dies in his garage, an apparent suicide. The man’s daughter doesn’t buy the suicide angle and hires Ivy’s uncle, a licensed PI, to learn the truth. Ivy takes on the case as her very first assignment and is determined to do a good job. But is there more to the suicide than meets the eye? Can she balance the investigation with her acting schedule?

Now if you didn’t figure it out from the description of the play, this is definitely a humorous cozy. I dare you to read the description of the scenes and the songs without getting a smile on your face. There is plenty of humor from the characters and situations as well.

And yet this book has a depth to it. While we may be laughing at certain things, the death that starts the investigation is treated very seriously. There are also things that Ivy is facing that are serious as well. This is never awkward; the book finds the perfect balance between the funny, the sometimes absurd, and the serious.

This results in some fantastic characters. There is a richness and depth to them and makes them truly shine. While I already knew I loved the series regulars, there were some great new characters in this book, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them pop up again in the future.

There are several sub-plots in this book, and at times they push the murder investigation to the back stage. But you know what? I didn’t mind because I was having a fabulous time hanging out with the characters. As the book progressed, some of those sub-plots actually did begin to tie in to the murder, and the mystery took center stage more and more. The climax brought us a logical and fun solution to the mystery.

I’m thrilled the third Ivy Meadows mystery is already out and you’d better believe I plan to read it soon. If you are looking for a fun mystery set in the world of theater, The Sound of Murder is definitely for you.

The Pursuit (Fox & O'Hare 5)
The Pursuit (Fox & O'Hare 5)
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Fans Will Pursue This Book, 30 July 2016
While I can usually handle cliffhangers on the TV shows I watch, I find them frustrating in books. I have no idea why that is – maybe it’s because I know it will be nine to twelve months before I get resolution? However, they certainly make me want to pick up the next book, which is why I couldn’t wait to read The Pursuit.

If you haven’t read this series yet, it stars Nicolas Fox and Kate O’Hare. After years of FBI Agent Kate O’Hare pursuing con man Nick Fox, she finally caught him, only to watch him turned loose as part of a deal. Now, the two are teamed up for some very, very off the books opps as they take down dangerous criminals that no one would be able to stop via traditional means.

This book opens moments after the last one had ended. Nick has been kidnapped. When Kate arrives where she is supposed to meet him in Hawaii, she finds signs of a fight, but no Nick. She quickly sets to work trying to figure out just what happened to him. The criminals have left some clues for her to follow, and she begins tracking them down as quickly as possible.

Which is fortunate since Nick is being held by Dragan Kovic, an ex-Servian military officer who has made a fortune stealing diamonds. He has “requested” Nick’s help for a seemingly impossible robbery. Can Kate find Nick? Will the two be able to bring this mad man down?

Now if you are worried that I’ve spoiled too much for you, my teaser just covers the first few pages of the book. Once again, the plot of this book twists in some fun, surprising, and unexpected places before we reach the fantastic ending. In fact, I felt like the pace of this book was a little faster than normal for the series. There were certainly a lot of great twists along the way.

While the focus on the action, the characters are a little flat here, but that’s been my constant complaint over the course of the series. We get to know them enough to truly care about them, but they aren’t as developed as many series I read.

Having said that, the fun and humor of the series is in fine form, and much of that comes from the usual crew that Nick and Kate once again bring together to help them take down the bad guys. Two in particular always make me laugh, and it is a joy to see them in action again.

So yes, the time spent waiting to see how the climax would be resolved was time well spent. I enjoyed every page of The Pursuit and can’t wait to find out what happens next to Kate, Nick, and their crew.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia De Luce Mystery 6)
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia De Luce Mystery 6)
by Alan Bradley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Strength in Mourning, 30 July 2016
Since I started the Flavia de Luce series last year, I knew the basic set up of the sixth entry, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, a long time ago. That didn’t stop me from being intrigued by the way the topic was introduced at the end of the last book, and I was looking forward to seeing how things paid off here. The result was the best book in the series to date.

“You’re mother has been found.” As this book opens, it’s been a week since Flavia’s father has made that shocking announcement. Flavia’s mother, Harriet, went missing in Tibet a decade ago and has been presumed dead, but no proof has ever been found. Now, her body is coming back on a special train into their village of Bishop’s Lacey.

There is a crowd on the platform when the train bringing Harriet’s body arrives, including not only friends from the village but people that Flavia doesn’t know. One of them comes up to Flavia and starts to give her an important but cryptic message to pass on to her father. A moment later, this stranger is dead, crushed under the wheels of the train as it is departing. Who was he? What did his strange message mean? Does it have anything to do with Harriet’s death?

I have complained in the past that the mystery often gets swallowed by other going ons in the book, and that certainly happens again here. There are pieces and clues to the mystery scattered throughout the book, so when Flavia does piece things together, it all makes sense. I will say one aspect of the climax seemed a bit abrupt to me, and I’m still wondering why the characters behaved in that manner, but it’s a minor issue for me.

Since the mystery takes a back seat, this book is really about the mourning that the characters go through. Since Flavia is our narrator, her conflicted emotions are the easiest to see. She never knew Harriet since her mother died when she was just a baby, yet she worries that she should be feeling something. Her father clearly still loves Harriet deeply, and Flavia’s sisters try to deal with the confirmation of the loss in their own ways. It makes for a fascinating read as each of the character’s reactions is genuine and perfect for them.

As a result, I don’t recommend jumping in here. To fully get the impact of this book, you need to know the characters. But if you take the time to get to know them, you’ll be very glad you did.

Just in case this is sounding like a dark book, it is and it isn’t. Flavia’s antics help keep things light, and she gets a new foil in this book that is entertaining. There was one scene that had me welling up with tears one minute and laughing out loud the next. The book walks a very fine line, letting us experience the character’s grief without overwhelming or depressing us.

There are some developments in several ongoing sub-plots. I called part of what happened here, but I was still shocked by the rest of it.

This novel does shift our understanding of the characters in a big way, filling in backstory on some of them. I actually bought what the author did in this respect based on some of the conversations and bits and pieces we’ve seen in earlier books. I’m quite curious to see what if anything is done with this in future books.

The mysteries continue to be weak here, so I can’t give the book my full endorsement, but fans of Flavia and her family will be enthralled by the character study that is The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.

Kernel of Truth (Popcorn Shop Mystery)
Kernel of Truth (Popcorn Shop Mystery)
by Kristi Abbott
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.09

5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Is I Loved This Debut, 15 July 2016
Who doesn’t love popcorn? Okay, so I’ll admit I’m not usually a fan of flavored popcorn, but I do enjoy plain popcorn with just a tad of butter and salt. Naturally, that means that the first in the Popcorn Shop Mysteries was on my radar as soon as I heard about it. And the more I heard about Kernel of Truth, the more excited I was to read it. I just finally read it, and I only wish I’d read it sooner.

Rebecca Anderson did not expect her morning to start with a scream. Yet that’s what happens when a scream interrupts her as she is preparing caramel sauce for her breakfast popcorn bars. Investigating, she finds Jessica James standing over the body of Coco Bittles, who owns the chocolate shop next door to Rebecca’s popcorn shop. Jessica was Coco’s niece and worked part time in the shop.

It looks like Coco’s death was a case of wrong place, wrong time since her cash for the day is missing. Rebecca’s best friend and brother-in-law Dan, who also happens to be the sheriff, doesn’t seem to be making much progress in the case. Since Coco was a mentor to Rebecca, she cares about the outcome and starts poking around herself. Can she figure out who killed Coco? Was it a simple robbery gone wrong? And will Rebecca alienate the entire town before the case is closed?

That last question proves to be an important one since this is the town where Rebecca grew up, and she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder for how she was treated in the past. Her actions here don’t necessarily help, and even I got frustrated with her a time or two.

And yet….

I actually liked this aspect of the book because by the time the story was over, we got to see some real growth in Rebecca. This made her a richer, deeper character that I enjoyed getting to know and could really feel for.

Part of that growth comes from Rebecca’s group of friends and relatives. I absolutely loved them! They are strong, fun characters in their own right, but they lovingly whack Rebecca upside the head when she needs it.

The plot is certainly strong as well. As the book unfolds, we learn more about Rebecca’s relationship with Coco, and that helps us understand her drive to solve the murder. It also lends a bit of gravity to the book, which is offset by some fun humor. There are a good number of developed suspects that keep us guessing until we reach the great climax.

Of course, we get some gourmet popcorn related recipes at the end of the book. As I said, I’m not normally a fan because I find gourmet popcorn too sweet, but these three recipes certainly do sound tempting.

If this book hasn’t popped onto your to be read pile yet, you need to fix that today. The many elements come together for a wonderful series debut in Kernel of Truth.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in hopes I would review it.

Murder Under the Covered Bridge (A Bucket List Mystery)
Murder Under the Covered Bridge (A Bucket List Mystery)
Price: £4.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Place, Wrong Time Thanks to a Photo Shoot, 13 July 2016
One of my favorite books last year was the first Bucket List Mystery by father/daughter duo Elizabeth Perkins. I was so happy to get to revisit the characters in Murder Under the Covered Bridge.

The series focuses on a group of sixty-something friends who have created bucket lists and then help each other fulfill these items. They developed a certain level of nationwide notoriety after they found a dead body while skinny dipping in the first book, and it’s not looking like they will be curbing that notoriety that in this book.

See, the group are taking advantage of the covered bridge festival in Indiana to knock off an item from Charlotte’s list – be a sexy calendar model. Francine and her husband are taking some pictures based on an old family story on one of those covered bridges when they hear gun shots. Moments later, a man stumbles out of the nearby fields, slides down under the bridge, and collapses.

The man turns out to be Francine’s cousin William, and his injuries are life threatening. While he lies in the hospital, Francine begins to poke around to find out what happened to him. As she does, she starts to learn more about her own family. However, when a fire breaks out, Francine begins to wonder just what is going on.

While I’ve just mentioned Francine and Charlotte, trust me, all of the members of the group are back. Still, Francine and, to a lesser extent, Charlotte are the main characters here. I love them. They may be older than the normal main character in a book I read, but they are feisty and resourceful. In fact, I like them because they are a break from the normal main character. The rest of their group are just as fun. And, naturally, we get to meet some great new characters as well.

The book takes a little time to reintroduce us to the characters and set up the book, but once it does, the story is off and running. There are plenty of twists and surprises before we reach a perfectly logical solution. I read most of the book on a plane ride home from a business trip, and I was glad I could sit down and immerse myself in the plot because I didn’t want to stop reading. I did have a small niggle with part of the end of the book, and I’m certainly wondering how it will impact the next book in the series.

And the humor of the first book is back. While there weren’t as many of the top funny scenes, there were still plenty of laughs at the situations the characters got into as well as their interactions with each other. Honestly, I just love watching the friendships between these women and how they support each other in their goals and the new ventures their goals have gotten them.

While you could certainly read Murder Under the Covered Bridge without reading the first in the series, why would you? Both books are fun, and you’ll wind up wanting to read both of them anyway. Let these Grandmas show you how to have a great time while solving a murder today.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Mystery of the Antique Doll (Trixie Belden Series)
The Mystery of the Antique Doll (Trixie Belden Series)
by Kathryn Kenny
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Plot Drives Book More than Logic, 12 July 2016
We are getting further into the reaches of the final five Trixie Belden books. Most fans of the series hate them. I’m not sure I hate them, but I can certainly see their weaknesses. Take The Mystery of the Antique Doll. It’s not the worst of the series, but it certainly isn’t the best of the series.

Dr. Ferris has asked Trixie Belden and her best friend Honey Wheeler to help out a neighbor who broke her arm. Always willing to help others, they quickly agree. Mrs. De Keyser. happens to live next door a new business in town, an antique store. After their first afternoon helping Mrs. De Keyser, Trixie and Honey stop by and start admiring the antique toys only to have the owner, Carl, snap at them and ask them to leave.

Naturally, this sets off Trixie’s radar that something is suspicious. However, she is soon distracted by a long weekend trip to Paris with Honey and her parents. When Carl overhears the friends talking about their trip, he asks them to do him a favor and pick up a fragile antique doll and bring it back to Sleepyside with them. Only when they do, they find themselves being followed by a stranger. What is going on?

This is one of those books that sounds great in concept but needs some help in execution. The clues that Trixie gathers rely more on coincidence that any actual sleuthing on her part. In fact, one turn late in the book relies on something completely silly happening. This didn’t bother me at all when I read it originally as a kid, but it is obvious as an adult. Things do come together for a logical and exciting climax, however.

Then there are the characters. Trixie and Honey have a group of friends called the Bob-Whites, and there are seven members of this club overall. Jim, Di, and Dan hardly get anything to do in this book. Heck, Dan only shows up for the climax, while Jim and Di do get to be part of a couple of group scenes. Trixie’s brothers Mart and Brian definitely fair better. They aren’t a huge part of the action, but they are around. Still, the characters are mostly in character…until the final chapter. As we learn about the Christmas presents that the Bob-Whites are making for friends and family, we learn that Trixie is knitting scarves. Really? Sorry, but it is well established that Trixie wants nothing to do with anything remotely like sewing. Then there’s the Inspector Clouseau inspired character we meet along the way. He’s supposed to be funny, but I found him annoying even reading this as a kid. Having seen (and not liked) the original Pink Panther movies since then, I haven’t changed my mind on the character.

Honey’s parents are very rich, and they are always jetting away for work or pleasure. They’ve included the Bob-Whites in the past, and that’s formed the basis of some of the earlier books in the series. This is the first time they’ve included them for just a quick trip that lasts for a couple chapters. Some fans have an issue with this, but I don’t mind as much. Yes, it is just driven by the plot, but it’s a fun plot point.

When I originally read the books, I read them in random order. I was still a kid, and I lapped up any adventure with the Bob-Whites in it. If you look at it that way, this book is still good. Looking at it as an adult, it is easier to see that the characters are a little flat and the plot has some holes. Many of the fans who dislike this book read it for the first time as an adult. I can see their point, but there are still things I enjoy about it, like getting to spend time with Trixie.

So if you are new to the series, don’t start with The Mystery of the Antique Doll. This will never be one of the best of the series, but it isn’t the worst either.

Murder on a Silver Platter (A Red Carpet Catering Mystery Book 1)
Murder on a Silver Platter (A Red Carpet Catering Mystery Book 1)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Big Breaks Can Be Murder, 9 July 2016
I love movies (just in case you haven’t noticed), so when I heard about the Red Carpet Catering Mysteries, I was immediately interested. After all, this is a chance to spend some fictional time behind the scenes on movie sets. The series kicks off with Murder on a Silver Platter, which is as much fun as I hoped it would be.

Penelope Sutherland is living her dream. She’s managed to get her company, Red Carpet Catering, up and running while still living with up and coming actress Arlena Madison. While Penelope serves as Arlena’s personal chef, the two have also become friends. Arlena has just landed the lead role in a movie that could very easily launch her acting career from the B films she’s been doing to becoming a major movie actress, and Penelope has been hired to provide the catering for the project.

The movie is being filmed near their New Jersey home. After a major snow storm comes through the area, the duo find a dead body near their mansion. And then the accidents start. It appears that someone is targeting Arlena. With each new accident, Penelope is more determined to find out what is happening. But can she do it while still serving great food?

With a book set in the world of filming, an author can go one of two directions with the characters. Either they will stay realistic or they will become over the top, demanding people. Here, author Shawn Reilly Simmons kept them realistic. Oh, there are a couple that are larger than life, but every single character has a human side. While I certainly would have enjoyed the humor of seeing divas in action, I found the more realistic characters wonderful, and it helped keep the tone more serious.

Because things are certainly serious when it looks like someone is out to kill a friend. That’s what Penelope faces here. While the plot does seem to stall a couple of times, it isn’t long before something happens that makes Penelope suspicious again. I also liked the fact that she keeps going to the police for help as the situation develops. Okay, so it might help that Penelope is seriously crushing on the detective assigned to the case, a man who turns out to be an old friend. Things build to a logical and suspenseful climax that kept me turning pages.

While this is definitely a culinary cozy, it breaks from tradition for the sub-genre by not offering any recipes. Personally, this is just something to note in passing since it’s been a decade since I tried a recipe from any of the books I’ve read. This isn’t the only culinary mystery series I’ve read that didn’t have recipes, either.

This book does include a smattering of foul language, something that is normally missing from the cozies I read. This seems to be a feature of Henery Press books, the publisher here. While I prefer my books without it, again, it is worth noting only in passing.

There is lots of promise of more wonderful adventures to come in Murder on a Silver Platter. I will definitely be visiting Penelope again to see what other danger she can find while catering to the stars.

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