Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!

Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.

Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: A Dangerous Woman by Debra Lee

Fay Cunningham is a newspaper reporter taking a break from her stressed-out life.  After her good friend Joe's brother suddenly dies, she goes to visit him only to find a mysterious young woman who won't allow her to see him.  One thing Faye is though is determined.  After eventually finding Joe, she is not satisfied with the role that Angel plays in his life and does some digging.  Only then Fay is implicated in the murder of Joe's housekeeper Ethel and she feels her life is spinning around her.

This was a really good story with interesting characters, but not I am afraid, the best mystery. Very little misdirection or shady alternative suspects. Still, I did enjoy it for the story it was. 

I also have to say, I loved the cover!

Terri

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: Pride v. Prejudice by Joan Hess

Title: PRIDE v. PREDJUICE

Author: JOAN HESS
Hardback cozy mystery series
ISBN:978-1-250-01195-4

Claire Malloy has once again attracted trouble. This time it's trouble that comes with jury duty. She was willing to do her part but
the prosecutor doesn't like Claire's husband (Peter Rosen), and by his way of thinking Claire will not serve on the jury.

The worst part is that Sarah Swift, will not have a fair trial. Prosecutor Wessell is convinced that she in cold bloodshot her husband. Her husband Tuck was shot in the barn and while others heard the shot from the shotgun Sarah did not hear it. She had a book club meeting that night (this wasn't much of a book club. The women got together to drink, snack and complain about their husbands.

She had a lot to drink and says she didn't hear a thing. Her lawyer ha only been out of law school for two years. Claire knows the woman needs  her, as does her daughter, husband because his mother is coming to visit for the first time. This is just the beginning of trouble on all fronts and a full plate.

I loved PRIDE v. PREJUDICE , Claire has landed herself into a current murder case that in turn leads to a most wanted retro murder case. This doesn't include a church group like no other, blueberries, a dog chasing her up a tree, which leads to her taking off more clothing than the local protect and serve would rather not shine a light on. Peter is kept busy with the FBI, Caron and her best gal pal (Inez) are arrested for breaking and entering (they like good teens didn't rat out their mother), and the list goes on an on. Did I mention that Sarah Swift is no angel?

I have to say this mystery is filled with nary a dull moment. I wanted refrain from answering my door because I might find a kooky character or a deranged mom of a teen on the other side. It truly is filled with laughs and I enjoyed every page.

Joan Hess is once again the best of the best and the series is delightful not to mention in this case quite educational. ********
nine out of ten stars.

Pam

Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: Hello, Love by Karen McQuestion



  • File Size: 2159 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 16, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J8U1H3M

Dan and his daughter Lindsay are grieving over the loss of Christine (wife and mother), when their dog Anni is stolen from in front of their house. They struggle through more loss while trying to maintain hope.  All this, while Dan's friends try and get him to resume living and get out and meet people.

Meanwhile, Andrea finds a dog being abused in one of the properties she manages and steals her from the abusers. Also, after a messy divorce, she is struggling to find her own voice and place in life.  After a attending a spiritual retreat with a friend, where she sent out a message requesting love in her life, she wonders if the unconditional love of Anni is what she received instead.

Yes, we all know this is the same dog and all the players' paths indirectly cross until the time comes when they realize Andrea's Anni is Dan and Lindsay's Anni.

It is a fun book though - A bit of Comedy of Errors and hints at future romance. Still, a feel-good story that is quite enjoyable!

Terri



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Guest Blog - Alice Duncan


Two Books, a Book Cover, and a Crash


April will be a banner month for two of my heroines. Daisy Gumm Majesty will make her eighth (it’s actually her ninth, but who’s counting?) appearance in SPIRITS ONSTAGE, which will be available for all e-book formats and in trade paperback on April 4. In this outing, Daisy is more or less forced to take a part in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, The Mikado. She’s not happy, and she’s even more unhappy when folks begin to drop dead. SPIRITS ONSTAGE is already available for Kindle, so I’ll give that link:




Then Mercy Allcutt spends a challenging almost-week with her parents in their new mansion in Pasadena. Mercy is horrified that her ghastly Boston parents have actually bought a home in Pasadena, but she’s more horrified when her mother commands her attendance at the family Thanksgiving dinner. Daisy Gumm Majesty puts in an appearance in THANKSGIVING ANGELS. Even before Thanksgiving arrives, someone falls from the Allcutts’ fancy wrought-iron balcony railing and lands, splat, on the parquet flooring below. Mrs. Allcutt demands that Mercy call Ernie Templeton to solve the crime.









I also received the charming cover art for Daisy’s next adventure, UNSETTLED SPIRITS, which will be available in December (providing I can finish it. Naw. I can finish it):






And then, as sort of a last gasp to the month of March, 2015, since there hadn’t already been enough excitement in my life, someone driving a blue Hyundai drove (probably drunk) into my fence. Just try getting people to give you estimates for fixing fences if you live in Roswell, New Mexico. Go ahead. I dare you. Sigh. Oh, and we know it was a blue Hyundai because great big parts of it were left behind in the rubble.



April will be awash in medical stuff for me, which I’m kind of looking forward to because I want to know what’s wrong with me and how to fix it.

Winners of last month’s contest for SPIRITS REVIVED are Ella N. Strattis and Shirley Orio. Congrats, ladies. I’ll send your books ASAP.

If you’d like to be entered into this month’s contest, during which I’ll be giving away Kindle or Nook copies of SPIRITS ONSTAGE and hard copies (two of them) of THANKSGIVING ANGELS, just send me your name and home address at alice@aliceduncan.net

If you’d like to visit my woefully out-of-date web site (gotta get on that!), the URL is http://aliceduncan.net/ and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925


Thanks!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates

Title: By BOOK or by CROOK
Author: EVA GATES
First in a new cozy series (A LIGHTHOUSE LIBRARY
MYSTERY)

Lucy Richardson left her cushy job of rare literature at the Harvard Library in Boston. Boston happens to be where most of her family lives which was more the reason why she needed to leave Boston and her future husband is the last reason she left Boston. She didn't want to marry him so she visits her Aunt Ellen in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the rest is history.
She is now assistant librarian at the Bodie Lighthouse Library on Bodie Island.

This month they are honoring Jane Austen Novels and have the rare books locked up in a cabinet. All manners of events are happening but the books are priceless. When one of the books is stolen at the grand opening of such an event this is a tragedy. When the library board president is found murdered it becomes all too real that someone might be a bit too much of a Jane Austen fan and not enough of a library fan.

Lucy lives on the second floor of the lighthouse library in her small apartment. She loves her career, her apartment and the best thing about the library is Charles the cat.  When strange things start happening Lucy isn't as spooked but when another Jane Austen Book is stolen then she gets downright mad.

This beautifully written cozy mystery with a setting to die for and any mystery lovers dream job is perfect reading for a summer, spring rain afternoon, deep in winter or the swirl of fall leaves.
A compelling mystery with interesting characters and I look forward to reading the next book in this delightful new series.

Eva Gates has penned a beacon of fun and I can't wait to read how te next plot thickens in this series.

Pamela *********

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review - Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsey




On Valentine's day 1900, young women from an Australian boarding school go on a picnic at the Hanging Rock.  3 Girls and a teacher disappear mysteriously.  A week later, a young man finds one of the girls on a ledge with no memory of the events.  

I had originally seen the movie based on this novel a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  It was a great mystery with no resolution and a hint that maybe something otherworldy may have occurred.  A pink mist, what may be visions or dreams, lack of any sign of the girls...these are all things that provide an atmosphere of the possibility of paranormal goings on.

And yet, the place was full of caves and crevices and certainly could have had a natural explanation for the disappearances.

The author says in the book that it doesn't matter whether it is based on a true story or not which I thought was amusing.  And the truth is, it doesn't.  The tale itself is very satisfying.

Terri

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review - You by Caroline Kepnes

This is a pretty disturbing book - a story of obsession, stalking and murder.  Joe is a seemingly innocent man to the outside world, but internally he is obsessive and delusional.  His obsession with college student, Beck is overwhelming.  You get a great insight into his thoughts and how they drive his actions in a way that is terrifying.  His manipulation of social media to spy on her and cover traces of his crimes makes you realize how vulnerable we are in the digital age.

The thing is, he presents himself well and normal to the world, covering up how incredibly dangerous he actually is.  The problem I had though, is that I didn't like ANY of the characters and that detached me from caring about his actions.  As much as he despised the pretentiousness of the people in Beck's life, he also was pretentious.  As a result, this book was much slower going than I expected and I am not sure I will read the next - Love.

Terri

  • File Size: 2845 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (September 30, 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IGVH9LI

Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: A Proper Tea by Johanna Isles

I love tea! And this book was a lot of fun. There was a lot of interesting history of tea, its' discovery in the West, how it came to be a tradition in England and other fun tidbits.

It was great at explaining different types of tea and how best to serve them. 

There was a story of the legend of the Willow Plate pattern china which is so popular. 

And BEAUTIFUL watercolor illustrations!  It is based on themes such as A proper tea, a nursery tea, a picnic tea, Tea in bed etc...  and each section is illustrated accordingly and has appropriate recipes for the theme.  Many traditional, some unusual -- A Black and White Tea and a Bizarre Tea for example.

Then of course, some great recipes -- it is a cookbook after all.

My favorites to try: Elegant Sugar Thins, Banana sandwiches, Cherry cake, Bengal Sandwiches and Cold Spiced Tea


Terri

  • Hardcover: 95 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (October 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312651422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312651428

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: Diners, Drive-Ins, and Death by Christine Wenger

Title: Diners, Drive-ins, and Death (A Comfort Food Mystery Series)
Author: Christine Wenger

Paperback Series
ISBN: 978-0-451-41510-3
US Price:7.99

Trixie Matkowski owns the Silver Bullet Diner, plenty of lake front property and cabins, a big Victorian home which she calls the "Big House", and what she doesn't own her best friend Antoinette Chloe Brownelli (ACB) for version of her name.

Anyway ACB has  bought some land to open a drive-in movie theater.

What the surprise was is that her missing beau Nick Brownelli is found murdered there. The worst happened an ACB is arrested for murder.

Trixie is trying to take care of her diner, the Miss Salmon Contest to which ACB set up but with her in jail there is a problem of hands on trouble. You see all the Miss Salmon contestants are staying at the (Big House), and on her land is also The Rubbers the Motorcycle Chefs that Nick rode with and are there for the services.

Topping all of this Sandy Harbor, New York, has laid claim to good looking Ty Brisco a Houston transplant and is the top local law enforcement. Trixie's ex-husband cheated she is not interested in Ty, he may be good looking, has a cute dimple, knows how to wear a pair of jeans and cowboy hat but no Trixie hasn't noticed.

Anyway when threats start happening, shady business deals, murders and eccentric characters chime in to this week Trixie thinks what more could go wrong? As it turns out plenty could and does go wrong.

This is a very entertaining series and the characters will make you die of love an laughter. I will read the series as long as Christine Wenger writes it. I give this book eight out of ten.


Pam

Monday, March 9, 2015

Daylight Savings Time

Good Morning,

Spring forward has begun. It has effected me in so many ways and here are but a few. I don't know when to get up and when to go to bed. Eating seems to lack luster since it feels too early or late to a meal at the proper time. I can't feel settled in and all the sudden I want to live in the past because the present is too difficult.


This is only day two of DST and I want to stop not knowing if I am coming or going. I know it will stop in a week or two and I'll laugh about how much I was upset over DST. You know this year is the worst year for this to affect me so badly. I feel it's because I have had such a bad health winter with being sick almost all winter that one more change is one too many.

Last week I had vertigo so bad I could get off the couch and out of my pj's  it was scary. Don't know what brought it on and I couldn't make it to the doctor as it was that bad.

So I am hoping all these things will work themselves out and will be doing better as soon as the spring is here and the flowers bloom. LOL... I know allergies and sinuses but at least I can get out and walk etc...
.
What is everyone reading? What was your favorite book you read in February?

Happy first Monday of daylight savings time.


Pam