Monday, January 4, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Welcome to the premiere edition of Mystery Monday!

Over the course of 2015 something rather tragic happened. While trying to read and review books on a very strict schedule, I began to lose the joy that I've always found in reading. It started to feel like a chore, like an obligation.

I can't allow that continue, so each Monday I'll be sharing with you what I've been reading and a short Tortie Shorties review. After a brief hiatus "Mudpie Interviews" will be returning too!

From the publisher: The dog days of summer have arrived in the small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, and business is booming for Kristan "Stan" Connor. Her Pawsitively Organic pet food has even caught the attention of celebrity pastry chef Sheldon Allyn, who helps Stan open a fancy pet pastry shop in Frog Ledge. A partnership is born, and Sheldon invites Stan to Newport, Rhode Island, for an appreciation weekend he's hosting for all his independent chefs. But the gourmet getaway turns sour when one of the chefs turns up dead, and a second one goes missing. . .

As Stan tries to figure out who had a recipe for murder, the pool of suspects expands. And if she can't sniff out the culprit soon, this killer may just serve up a second helping of murder. . .

Tortie Shorties: Being blindfolded and tossed in the back of a van isn't the best way for Stan to begin her weekend retreat with celebrity chefs, but that's exactly the predicament she finds herself in when her eccentric business partner Sheldon invites her to Newport to help plan a five-course dinner for a group of investors and one of the investor’s cats, a finicky Siamese. When she arrives at Sheldon's mansion she stumbles upon the body of pastry chef Pierre LaPort, and then fellow chef, Kyle McLeod, goes missing and becomes a prime suspect. Then the chef tapped to replace Pierre also goes missing! Stan is ready to bow out and return to her quiet life in Frog Ledge when the murder becomes personal: her sister Caitlyn has been having an affair with Kyle and begs her to help clear his name.

Loads of plot twists and turns had me suspecting every quirky character at some point, and I was kept guessing until the final reveal. I did miss Stan's day to day encounters with her friends back in Frog Ledge, but did enjoy that she teamed up with Jesse Pasquale, her boyfriend's cop sister, to help with the investigation. Animal lover extraordinare Stan is one of my favorite fictional heroines, so I'm always looking forward to reading her next adventure!

From the publisher: Springtime in Chilson, Michigan, means it's librarian Minnie Hamilton's favorite time of year: maple syrup season! But her excitement fades when her favorite syrup provider, Henry Gill, dies in a sugaring accident. It’s tough news to swallow...even if the old man wasn’t as sweet as his product. 

On the bookmobile rounds with her trusty rescue cat Eddie, Minnie meets Adam, the old man's friend, who was with him when he died. Adam is convinced Henry’s death wasn’t an accident, and fears that his own life is in danger. With the police overworked, it's up to Minnie and Eddie to tap all their resources for clues—before Adam ends up in a sticky situation...

Tortie Shorties: In this fourth book in the series, while busy organizing an upcoming book fair, Minnie is saddened to hear of the death of one of her bookmobile regulars, Henry Gill, in a maple sugaring accident. Henry's friend Adam, who was with him at the time and suffered a heart attack at the scene, is convinced that it was murder and someone is out to get him too. During a visit to Adam's home she witnesses a car almost run him down, and Minnie begins to feel he may be right. While making a major decision about her love life (which I couldn't agree with more!) and steering clear of a shotgun-toting senior citizen, Minnie and Eddie team up to sniff out a killer.

If you're like me and find your bliss in cats and books, this is a series that will make you purr with delight. The "conversations" between Minnie and Eddie are just priceless.


  1. Never in lose your joy in reading!! I get tired of reading, too, sometimes and need to take a break. I always go back to it after a while. Those books look really interesting. Thanks for your reviews!!

  2. Thanks for the great review. One of my new year's resolutions for 2016 is to find more time for reading. I love to read, too, and need to make more time for it.

    Wishing you much happiness, good health, and lots of fun in 2016!

  3. These are the last two books I've read, Melissa. Just finished Pouncing on Murder, yesterday. Best wishes for happy reading in 2016.

  4. I'm glad that you're doing this, so that you don't lose that zeal for reading. That being said, thank you for these great reviews! I look forward to hearing your views on any and all books you decide to read. Purrs!

  5. Those sound like great stories and we are glad you are doing this too just to see what books are out there and we love mysteries, so it is right down our allies. Thanks.

  6. Mystery Monday is a great idea. I hope you get your joy of reading back.

  7. We enjoy many animal books and appreciate someone reading them and letting us know which ones are pawsome!

  8. Sadly, you are preaching to the choir. After having reviewed books on both blogs for over six years (last year being our heaviest year), we are cutting waaaaaaaaaaaay back and hope to almost entirely wipe them out from the blogs. My reasons? Pretty much the same as yours.....they have become obligations....and take up way too much time. I need my life back. They are also super low traffic drivers, not that that is what ultimately matters, but they aren't worth the time. catchatwithcarenandcody

  9. Great reviews! Thanks for exposing readers to awesome authors. 🐱📚