Monday, September 12, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Meows from Mudpie!

This week's Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday might look like Mommy and I have been on a reading frenzy, but that's not the case. During the month of August we participated in several blog tours which didn't allow us to post our regular book reviews, so we're playing catch-up just a bit! 

Today we've got a cat mystery, a Halloween mystery, and a Christmas mystery, so we hope you enjoy our choices!

Petectives: Stalking Horse by Robert J. Smith

From the publisher: A horse in danger. A farm full of suspects. A cat detective is on his own and out of element.

When cat detective Gatsby is called out to the Blue Moon horse farm to investigate a possible murder attempt on an ex-racehorse, he finds that the farm is a hotbed of new rivalries and old grudges.

With no help from his housebound partner Yoshi, Gatsby finds himself out of his element and in the line of fire.

For the first time in Petectives history, Gatsby’s on his own and can’t rely on Yoshi to unravel a deadly mystery. Or can he?

Tortie Shorties Review: Each story in the Petectives series gets more adorable than the last. Feline detectives Gatsby (the impulsive risk taker) and Yoshi (a black cat scared to leave his house who uses his superior brain to solve mysteries in between naps) are asked by Gatsby's little girlfriend Molasses to investigate the attempted murder of a former racehorse at Blue Moon horse farm. A hole was dug in the pasture where Jupiter eats breakfast each morning and then covered with straw. If he'd stepped in that hole and broken his leg it would have been a certain death sentence. Since Yoshi refuses to leave home, Gatsby is flying solo on this one, but it doesn't take long before he feels in over his head. Will Yoshi arrive in time to solve the mystery and save the day???

We've been huge fans of the handsome boys in the Petectives series since the beginning, and were so excited to also see a sneak peek of the next story at the end of Stalking Horse. A couple years ago Truffles got to interview Yoshi and Gatsby. If you missed it you can read it here!

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

From the publisher: For Hayley Powell, food and cocktails columnist for the Island Times, Halloween is all about costume parties and holiday treats—until a killer crashes the party...

This Halloween, Hayley can’t imagine a worse trick than her ex-husband Danny returning to Bar Harbor. Her kids may be happy to see their dad, but Hayley’s determined not to be taken in by his charms, and suspects he’s in financial trouble—again.

Still, the haunted holiday is about to get a whole lot scarier after Danny’s moonshine-making uncle is found lying dead next to a tombstone in a cemetery—and Danny quickly becomes the prime suspect. To prove her ex is innocent, Hayley will have to dig deep into her own bag of tricks to unmask the real culprit . . . before anyone else—including her—ends up in the graveyard...

Tortie Shorties Review: I haven't read every book in this long-running series but I've read several and enjoyed each a great deal. Set in Maine and with a Halloween theme, this is one of my favorites so far.

In Death of a Pumpkin Carver, Hayley's ex-husband Danny has returned to town and is winning everyone over with his charm once again. She's determined not to fall for it, but when Danny's moonshine making uncle is found murdered in the cemetery next door to a famous horror writer and his stolen money is found in Danny's possession, she has no choice but to help the father of her children.

The mystery is light and fun, but a total page-turner, and the ending is quite chilling as the action takes place in a gothic mansion straight out of Psycho. Hayley and Danny's love lives come into play too, from Danny's crazy girlfriend coming to town to Hayley's ongoing friendship with the local vet who her daughter now interns for. And the multitude of pumpkin recipes will have you itching to start baking once you're finished the book!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

From the publisher: Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father’s vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality—and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.

The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz’s business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who’s playing for keeps.

Now, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled for the neighborhood kids if Liz can't wrap up the case in Barbara Early's delightful debut Death of a Toy Soldier.

Tortie Shorties Review: As a bit of a toy collector myself I spent the entirety of my time reading this book wishing I could crawl inside the pages and browse the shelves of Well Played, the fictional vintage toyshop in East Aurora, New York.

Liz McCall runs the shop with her father Hank, retired police chief who still enjoys patrolling the streets any chance he can. When he doesn't tell her about a scheduled appointment to appraise a box of toys, Liz must meet with the gentleman herself. Later that night the man is found dead inside the shop, Hank has been whallopped upside the head and doesn't remember a thing, and the box of toys is missing. It doesn't take long before Liz and Hank are plunged into the investigation, tying the dead man to a local collector/hoarder who recently passed away. His family is anxious to get their hands on his treasures...until his young bride arrives on the scene claiming the house is hers. Is she a greedy gold digger who sped up the old man's passing or does she have ulterior motives? Does his death have anything to do with the murder at Well Played? The twists and turns keep coming until the reveal of a killer I never saw coming.

Taking place during the Christmas season (perfect for a book set in a toy shop!), I instantly grew attached to these characters: from the special father/daughter relationship Hank and Liz share, to elderly sisters Irene and Lenora, to shop kitty Othello who has unnatural feelings for a particular pull toy. Add a little romance in the air and even a touch of the paranormal, resulting in one of the best debuts of the year!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.


CATachresis said...

Goodness! You have been busy! These look like fun reads! :)

The Menagerie Mom said...

Books for my two favorite holidays?!? These sound purrfect! Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful reviews with us, Mudpie and Melissa! (I've been looking forward to your next review, and these really hit the spot.)

Unknown said...

Those sound like fun books. Plus pumpkin recipes? Oh yes, please!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa. I'm looking forward to Death of a Toy Soldier.

Three Chatty Cats said...

Wow, you sure do a lot of reading! These sound like some good books!

Colehaus Cats said...

Those are some great sounding mysteries! Awesome reviews!

Unknown said...

Great mysteries!!! Thanks for the reviews!!

Mickey's Musings said...

These books sound really good :)
Thanks for the pawsome review :)
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ

pilch92 said...

These sound great, I love holiday themed books.

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

A little something for everyone in this post, right? :)