Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: Vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has agreed to help her sister clear out the house of a deceased older neighbor, and she’s thrilled at the prospect of discovering antique kitchenware and other treasures—until she opens a vintage trunk in the cellar and finds the remains of a teenage girl with a cleaver buried in her skull. When the body of a second girl is found just days later in a nearby river, the clues all indicate that the crimes are connected—and that the culprit’s motives are hidden in the past.

Jaymie just wants to cut and run, but the victims were both high school classmates of her sister when they disappeared, and that makes Jaymie the perfect person to help the local police investigate the killings. As she dredges up old memories and even older rivalries and jealousies, her list of suspects grows. But Jaymie knows she’ll have to whittle it down to just one, and fast, because someone has decided to cut their ties to Jaymie—in the most fatal of ways . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: This has been a favorite series of mine from the very beginning, and I was heartbroken to learn it was one of the victims of it's publishing company's recent purge of cozy mysteries. I couldn't have been more delighted when the author announced that she'd be continuing the series on her own. It's been an agonizing wait for Leave It to Cleaver, but a wait that was well worth it because this is my favorite in the series so far!

I always love with a mystery delves into the past, and the fact that this one took me back to my childhood years of the 1980's made it even more special. The back and forth from modern-day to decades ago is seamless and the story flows at a fast pace. I found myself completely engrossed in the characters' lives, both those I've come to know and love over the course of the series and the new ones we're introduced to, especially the tragic teenage victims. I had my suspicions about the killer before Jaymie did and enjoyed watching the clues stack up that proved I was right.

The other central theme of Leave It to Cleaver is sisters Jaymie and Becca's double wedding which leaves the series wide open to new adventures. I'm not usually a fan of weddings taking place in cozy mysteries but this was different because it was the central characters getting married. It brought happiness and hope to a story of lives taken too soon and so much lost promise. In short, one of the best cozies of 2017.

From the publisher: Ten-month-old Keiki thrives on each test of her growing abilities, but strange new yearnings mystify and distract her. What's a good-dog to do? She doesn't want to let the girl down.

Lia Corazon has only three days left to prepare Keiki for the police dog test. There's more than the dog's future at stake. Success will save Lia's dream of rebuilding her North Texas dog kennel. Failure means a lifetime of living her grandparents' dreams.

When a training exercise takes a deadly turn, Lia sends Keiki to protect a young girl, but who will protect Lia? There's a killer on the loose and he'll burn anybody who gets in his way.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is the second prequel to the popular Lei Crime Series focusing on Rottweiler pup Keiki's training for her future as a police dog. In this installment Keiki stumbles upon a dead body during a training exercise. A young witness runs off in fear when the police are called and Lia gives Keiki the command to go find and protect her. Then a fire breaks out and puts all their lives in danger while a killer still runs loose.

This is a novella but it's more action-packed than some full-length books I've read! Told alternately from Keiki and Lia's points of view, I enjoyed a glimpse inside the mind of a puppy during training. Lei, the star of the Lei Crime series, makes a brief appearance, and the revelation of a connection between Lia and Lei was a twist I look forward to seeing play out in the next novella. A short, suspenseful story perfect for summer!

Disclaimer: As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank! I received review copies of both of these books from the authors in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.


The Menagerie Mom said...

These sound fantastic! Leave it to Cleaver sounds like a fun cozy with a blast from the past (and the name is perfect!). And I just love that there are stories like Trained to Serve that have an intriguing focus on puppy training. As always, thank you for sharing such fun reads with us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa (and Mudpie). I'm so glad Victoria Hamilton continued her series and look forward to reading Leave It to Cleaver.

Eastside Cats said...

It's always great fun to read a good page-turner!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Good review friend
Lily & Edward

Three Chatty Cats said...

That is some high praise for Leave It to Cleaver! I'll have to check out the series.

Mickey's Musings said...

Great reviews.
Leave it to Cleaver sounds really good
We wish the author well too.
Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

Sweet Purrfections said...

Nice reviews! Mom Paula loves to read the books by Amy Shojai. We'll check out the other series.

pilch92 said...

Great reviews. Leave it to Cleaver looks really good.

AmyShojai said...

Leave it to Cleaver sounds wonderful, will have to check it out. And delighted to have such a lovely mention for Keiki's second story. *s*