Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Murder With Lemon Teacakes and Better Dead

Better Dead
A B&B Spirits Mystery
by Pamela Kopfler
Genre: Cozy Mystery

As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality—but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .

Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected—before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she's feeling a lot more relief than grief.

Until Burl's ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly’s human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he’ll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly’s former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .

You may laugh so hard you are sputtering when you read the beginning of this wonderful cozy paranormal mystery. It is a delightful set up for what is to come. 
Not only is Burl a deceitful husband in life, he is also a challenge in death. The best thing he did was die before Holly could serve him with divorce papers. Although even then he refused to leave.
This is definitely not your typical murder mystery cozy.

A man who did leave was Holly's former boyfriend, from earlier in her life. He returns to town when she is at her most vulnerable and could really use a friend. Can she hope for more from Jack?

The characters are wonderful and I enjoyed time spent with them. The author does a superb job of setting the scenes and keeping us curious. Who doesn't love Southern hospitality, gossip and eccentricities?
Pamela Kopfler is a novelist, Southern-fried and sassy. She writes award-winning humorous mysteries with a kick of Southern sass. Her debut novel, BETTER DEAD, is the first in her B & B Spirits mystery series, to be followed by DOWNRIGHT DEAD, and HOG WILD DEAD. (Kensington Books) She is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist and a Daphne du Maurier award winner.

She can stir up a roux, mix a cocktail, and loves swapping stories. Putting words on the page keeps her alligator mouth from overloading her hummingbird heinie in real life. She marks her time on earth by the lives of the dogs she has loved–who often show up in her stories. 

Pamela lives in South Louisiana where the spirits are restless, the food is spicy, and the living is divine.

Murder With Lemon Teacakes
A Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery
by Karen Rose Smith
Genre: Cozy Mystery

In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals--but a murder in their garden has them in hot water . . .
"... readers are immediately drawn to main character, Daisy Swanson, and her beloved Aunt Iris."

Suspense Magazine

Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective--so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite-divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried . . . especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy's Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey's grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn't want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart--but she never expected Iris to wind up a suspect in Harvey's murder.

Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene--and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt's name and bag the real killer before things boil over . . .

Includes delicious recipes for Iris's Lemon Tea Cakes and more!

I am so excited that Karen Rose Smith is gifting us with another exciting cozy series.
I love the way she portrays families, loyal yet not always seeing eye to eye, and the beautiful way she writes about places I may only visit in my mind's eye. She makes me feel as if I am there amidst the scenery and action. Not that I want to be at a murder scene, but I can feel the emotions the main characters and those closest to them are expressing in Karen's words. She has a wonderful way to turn a phrase and write descriptive passages.
This murder was not as simple to solve as one might first think. The victim has disinherited his children and was going through a contentious divorce. With any rise to financial success a person makes enemies. There are motives and suspects from different directions and areas of his life.
Along with the murder aspect, this series has an under current of romance and some family drama. Besides being widowed, heroine Daisy has an adopted daughter going through those teenage years of angst and doubt, and an older daughter adjusting to college life. Stressful times regardless of any mother's personal situation. Add in a murder - and at one's own place of business - and you can understand how poor Daisy feels life may be heading out of control.
I am looking forward to more books in this series.
We also receive bonus recipes at the back.
After writing romances for twenty years, Karen Rose Smith is excited to see her Caprice De Luca home-stager mystery series published. Her sleuth reflects many of her interests: ¬interior decorating, cooking, retro fashion, gardening, and, most of all, taking in stray animals. Married to her college sweetheart, Karen has convinced her husband that felines can make purr-fect housemates. They share their home in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania with their three rescued cats. For more about Karen, please visit her website.

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  1. I loved both books. The sunny yellow is cheerful and cozily elegant! The BD cover is intriguing.

  2. I love the bright yellow cover of Karen's newest book. Usually anything with Tea makes the cover interesting for me. Thanks for the chance.


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