Monday, August 24, 2009

Review: Hail to the Chef

TITLE: HAIL to the CHEF
AUTHOR: JULIE HYZY
PUBLISHER: BERKLEY PRIME CRIME
PUB DATE: DECEMBER 2008
PAGES: 328

Ollie Paras is the new excutive White House Chef, and it's the Thanksgiving Holidays. Added to the ususal holiday bustle, the daily on the job stress and a bomb scare that puts the First Lady, the First Lady's nephew and Ollie together in a secure room complete with makeshift kitchen and soon chaos starts to seem like a way of life.
But to Ollie's dismay her favorite electrician is electrocuted and Ollie doesn't think it was an accident. She thinks it is murder, but before she can truly investigate his death another murder happens. One they are calling suicide and the First Lady isn't buying it. The First Lady's nephew wouldn't kill himself and she enlists the aid of Ollie to help her prove it wasn't murder.
Now if you think your family is dysfunctional then you're in for a treat because the First Lady's family is anything but soically nice. To top this off Ollie is asked to rig the gingerbread man contest for children. None other than a Senator's assistant wants a certain family to win.
To top this off Ollie and her staff are asked to attend safety classes and everyone's schedule has to be worked around these classes.
Needless to say can't even think about her own personal holiday or needs with so much chaos and murder surrounding this holiday season.
HAIL TO THE CHEF is a combination of humor, sadness and true courage. But more than that it's full of flavorful recipes, a tightly woven plot and characters that round out a truly remarkable mystery.
HAIL TO THE CHEF is the second book in this wonderful mystery series and that will be a delight to the palette of every mystery reader. You can't go wrong with a Julie Hyzy Mystery and if you love holiday myseteries don't miss this feast because Ollie Paras is the sweetest, smartest and most sensational sleuth on today's market.
Pamela James **********

Review: Needled To Death

Title: NEEDLED to DEATH
Author: Maggie Sefton
Hard Cover
ISBN:0-7394-6076-5
Mystery SeriesPublisher: Berley Prime Crime


Kelly Flynn loves her new life in Fort Conner, Colorado. She has her work and she has her friends. Life is good and she even has her hobby of knitting. So when Kelly volunteers to take a group of tourists to visit Vickie Claymore's Alpaca Farm to see these special sheep. The last thing on Kelly's mind is that she would find Vickie Claymore's lifeless slain body splayed on the beautiful hand woven rug. The suspects could be anyone from a soon to be ex-husband, close friend or relative but one thing is for sure Kelly has busy hands and a sharp mind. She may not be able to knit her sweater without frogging a few rows but when it comes to murder she can try to right a wrong.

NEEDLED TO DEATH by Maggie Sefton, includes a recipe and a knitting pattern but the most clever part of this book is the plot. Complete with charming characters and a wonderful setting this book is sure to please any mystery reader. ***********

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Subject is Murder

BLOG:

The SUBJECT IS MURDER:

Today suppose you tell us how you like your murder served to you between the pages of a book, on the small screen or the big screen.
Is strangulation your cup of coffee? Is poison your cup of tea? What about a good old fashioned stabbing, maybe you like your murder to end with a souffle gone bad or does your taste of choice end with a big bang?
Here are some movies and books that satisfy my taste for murder.
1. WHOSE KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE?
2. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
3. MIDNIGHT LACE
4. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
5. ROPE
6. MURDER IS EASY
7. HOSTILE MAKEOVER
8. NOTORIOUS
9. PRESUMED INNOCENT
10. DEATH TRAP
11. The PELICAN BRIEF
12. SUSPECT
Now these are all good movies and I love the ones with a twist ending. Moving on to books here are a few that I thought had clever plots.
1. THREE BEDROOMS ONE CORPSE by Charlaine Harris.
2. FATAL FIXER UPPER by Sarah Graves
3. The BODY IN THE IVY by Katherine Hall Page
4. POISONED PINS by Joan Hess
5. CRY WOLF by Tami Hoag
6. THIS OLD MURDER by Valerie Wolzien
7. MURDER BETWEEN the COVERS by Elaine Viets
8. DEAD MAN'S ISLAND by Carolyn G. Hart
9. DEADLY VALENTINE by Carolyn Hart
10. NEEDLED TO DEATH by Maggie Sefton
I also really like culinary mysteries. You never know what will be served and they always have great recipes that you can try after satisfying your taste for murder. Nothing goes with murder like food except maybe a good bookstore mystery, a library mystery or an historical mystery. Needless to say when it comes to murder everyone's palette is different but it's great we can sample all types......

Until next time........
Learn to make your own fortune cookie!

Pamela's Pen has struck again....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Guest Blogger - Lea Wait




Living in a vacation area (the coast of Maine) has both advantages and disadvantages. I’ve learned to keep clean sheets on the guest beds, hamburger in the freezer, and pots in which to make chowder, cook pasta, and boil lobsters, at the ready. My husband knows every farmers’ market within twenty miles. I try not to have book deadlines between June and September.
But this summer has offered special challenges. It has rained. Almost every day.
Any moment now (yes; it’s raining) we may break the 139 year record for “wettest recorded summer in Maine history.” I’ve had guests who stayed two weeks and never saw the sun.
Now, there are alternatives to outdoor Maine. One of my guest rooms is also my “mystery and suspense room” – two walls of floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with mysteries. I have VHS and DVD movies. Maine boasts art galleries, craft shops, museums, outlet stores, and innumerable places to buy souvenirs and lobster rolls.
I encourage folks “from away” to partake of all of Maine’s largesse, not just its (now) sodden beaches, foggy cliffs and muddy trails.
Luckily, many of my guests are readers, and curling up with one of the many books in our home – or making a stop at a nearby independent book store for the latest of whatever the particular guest’s literary tastes call for – is not a bad way to spend a vacation, especially if you add a glass of wine (or juice, for younger guests) and the prospect of a lobster salad or some of my husband’s garlic-steamed mussels.
By and large, all have coped well.
But one day two weeks ago -- perhaps it was magic -- the sun appeared. A decision was made quickly. Whale watching! A telephone call. An hour later we were off to sea.
The afternoon was perfect. Just warm enough. Blue sky. And – whales? Two pods; some within yards of the boat. It was magical.
I turned from searching the horizon for yet another whale. A woman was sitting on the deck, leaning against the boat’s cabin, totally oblivious to those excitedly pointing out whales and seals and glorying in the perfect day.
She was reading.
I’m an author; I had to know what the book was. So I peeked. It was a fantasy, Graceling. I’ve read it. And, yes, there is magic there.
I didn’t speak to the woman. But what I wanted to say was, “Sometimes reality is magical, too. The story will be there when this hour is over. The whales, and the scent of the sea, will not. Put down the book, and don’t forget to live your own life.”
But I didn’t. Because there have been times when, I, too, have needed the comfort of a book more than I wanted views of wild waves and the horizon.
And I suspect that’s true of many readers. You, too?

Review: The Golden Peacock by Lauren B Grossman

Rainee is an award winning novelist who has writer's block.  After finding an ID card from the Holocaust museum, she intrigued by a woma...