Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday

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

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: For residents of Salem, Massachusetts, the day after Halloween brings empty candy wrappers, sagging pumpkins, and a community-wide identity crisis. That is, until Lee Barrett’s TV production class suggests extending the spooky season with the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Los Muertos. But when the students discover not all of Salem’s dead are resting in peace, the post-October blues don’t seem so bad after all . . . 

As if a series of haunting graveyard visits isn’t disturbing enough, Lee and her policeman boyfriend connect the crime to an unsolved missing person case. Driven by a series of chilling psychic visions, Lee calls on her cleverest allies—including her shrewd cat, O’Ryan—to go underground and dig up the evidence needed to put a lid on a cold case forever . . . before the latest headstone in town has her name on it!

Tortie Shorties Review: Lee Barrett is the widow of a NASCAR driver who has made her home in Salem, Massachusetts with her beloved Aunt Ibby and their cat O'Ryan. This fifth book in the series takes place at Halloween, but Lee's TV production class which is studying investigative reporting, has decided to focus on the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). One of her students has recently moved to Salem from Alaska with the hopes of finding out the truth about what happened to her sister, whose death has been ruled a suicide but she believes was murdered. Lee runs the idea past her cop boyfriend Pete who dismisses the idea until Lee starts have some revealing "visions". During a cemetery visit she stumbles upon the body of a person related to the case, which ends up resulting in the entire class attempting to solve both mysteries.

I love this series - the characters, the setting, just a touch of the paranormal without being over the top. This particular book spotlights the history behind Dia de los Muertos (a holiday I've become very fascinated in) and the Howard Street Cemetery where Giles Corey was pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials. Wonderfully creepy stuff! The identity of the killer isn't a huge surprise, but if you're looking for a book to get you into the upcoming fall and Halloween season, look no further!

From the publisher: Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble...

Tortie Shorties Review: You simply can't go wrong with anything Amanda Flower writes, and the debut of her Amish Candy Shop mystery series is no exception. The entirety of Assaulted Caramel takes place in the 48 hour period following a phone call from Bailey King's Amish grandmother about her grandfather's failing health. Bailey puts her life in NYC on hold to return to Harvest, Ohio, and on her first night back home she finds the dead body of a man her grandfather had been arguing with earlier in the day in the candy shop kitchen. Both she and her grandparents become the main suspects and Bailey has no choice but to remain in Harvest to clear their names. She takes on the task of providing desserts for the wedding of the dead man's son which puts her in contact with a plethora of suspects, and the killer ends up being someone I never would've suspected.

The cast of characters in this series is wonderful, with just the right mix of Amish, small town residents and big city people. Bailey isn't perfect and her return home forces her to face the changes she needs to make in her life, BFF Cass is a hoot, and potential love interest deputy Aiden has his own ties to her beloved grandparents. Aiden's mother Juliet's black & white spotted pig Jethro just might steal the show (and more than a few hearts), and Nutmeg the cat saves the day when Bailey finds herself in a sticky situation. Tears are shed at the end, and Bailey makes a decision about her future that has me very excited to read Lethal Licorice, on store shelves in January!

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 these books from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.


  1. These sound like good reads.
    Mum loves to read.
    Her current favourite series is the "Magical Cats Mysteries" featuring Owen and Hercules.
    (written bu Sofie Kelly)
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  2. These both sound fantastic, but you really made my day by sharing Grave Errors. I love Halloween and Halloween stories, and I cannot wait to read this!

  3. I love the Witch City series, so I just cannot wait to read this one. And the Amish Candy Shop book sounds good too! :)

  4. Thanks, Melissa (and Mudpie)!

  5. I want to read Grave Errors in October. Nice reviews.

  6. YAY - new authors to add to mom's list