Toured to Death by Hy Conrad

There are murder mystery weekends where the attendees try to solve the murder well, this was a road rally with the same idea.  Clues were spread throughout 4 countries and islands and the participants have time trials getting from one site to the next.  

The concept sounds like a blast until there is a real murder.  Then everyone is trying to solve the murder to save one of their own.


GENRE: Cozy mystery
SUBJECT: perfect crime, murder mystery rally
Setting: Europe
CHARACTERS: Amy Abel, Otto Ingo, Marcus Alvarez, Jolynn Mrozek, Georgianna Davis
DATE READ: December 27 - December 29
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger

This book was filled with entertainment - Bertha drowning in the Matzoh Ball soup, hiring a burglar to search for evidence and more.
The mystery was light but still full of fun.

GENRE: Cozy mystery
SUBJECT: friendship, old age
CHARACTERS: Hazel Rose, Lucy Hooper, Carlene Arness, Evan Arness, Helen Adams, Vince Castrelli
DATE READ: December 26 - December 27
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King

Belonging to 3 book groups I couldn't resist this one.   Hazel belongs to a Book Group that also has members that include several of her friends as well as Carlene, the current wife of her first husband.  A bit creepy but it gets worse when Hazel finds Carlene dying of cyanide poisoning.

As suspect along with the other group members, Hazel works to determine who killed Carlene.

Fun book, glad it's not my Book Group.


GENRE: Cozy mystery
SUBJECT: jealousy, obsessions
Setting: Richmond, VA
CHARACTERS: Hazel Rose, Lucy Hooper, Carlene Arness, Evan Arness, Helen Adams, Vince Castrelli
DATE READ: December 17 - December 25
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

This installment takes Maisie back to her roots when she is enlisted by some of the men she's known since childhood to investigate the supposedly accidental death of Eddie Pettit.  We see Maisie as she interacts with characters that she has known for years.

A very touching character study.


GENRE: Cozy mystery
SUBJECT: political manipulation
Setting: England
CHARACTERS: Maisie Dobbs, Maude Pettit, Eddie Pettit, Billy Beale, Sandra Tapley, James Compton
DATE READ: December 18 - December 22
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: library Overdrive


Death Checks Inn by Sara Robbins

Lacey Washburn is ready for the grand opening of her Bed and Breakfast but all does not go well especially when a dead body is found at the bottom of the stairs the first night.  Feeling that she needs to solve the apparent murder to protect her investment, Lacey with her sister Charlotte work to find the murderer.
A cute little start for a new series.

GENRE: Cozy mystery
SUBJECT: fraud
Setting: Elkville, CO
CHARACTERS: Lacey Washburn, Charlotte Washburn, Wyatt Graves, Heather Mason, Det. Peterson
DATE READ: December 16 - December 17
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


Twisted Threads by Lea Wait

Angela Curtis is called back to Maine when her mother's body is finally found after 19 years.  On her arrival, she learns that her grandmother started a business with her fellow needlepoint enhusiasts but now she has a problem - the man who was suppose to sell their products is unreachable.  Angela offers to help since she has some skills having worked for a PI previously.

Successfully locating the salesman, Jacques Lattimore, and bringing him back to a meeting of the Mainely Needlepointers, everyone is stunned when he falls ill and then dies.  They are all suspects.  

The investigation and conclusion were interesting and well thought out.

Lots of fun!


GENRE: Cozy mystery
SUBJECT: fraud, embezzlement
Setting: Haven Harbor, Maine
CHARACTERS: Angela Curtis, Charlotte Curtis,Lauren Greene Decker, Jacques Lattimore, Joe Greene
DATE READ: December 11 - December 16
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


About Face by Donna Leon


Commissario Brunetti is caught in two mysteries - one at the office when another officer is found dead (supposedly suicide) and a woman who fascinates Guido because she is not only beautiful with a unique aspect to her face due to plastic surgery but she reads the classics - Cicero and Ovid.

The interwoven story is a page-turner moving along to a satisfactory conclusion for all.


GENRE: mystery
SUBJECT: toxic dumping
Setting: Venice, Italy
CHARACTERS: Guido Brunetti, Paola Brunetti, Lorenzo Vianello, Filipo Guarino, Stefano Ranzato, Count Orazio Falier, Franca Marinello
DATE READ: December 8 - December 13
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: audio stockpile


Tim Cratchit's Christmas Carol by Jim Piecuch

Sequels of great books of the past rarely live up to the original, however, I truly believe that Charles Dickens would have been proud of the portrayal of Tim Cratchit in this book and the revival of the spirit of the redeemed Ebenezer Scrooge.

Tim Cratchit is a grown man, a doctor, who in the past had given his time and talents helping the poor but in the past few years he had gotten away from aiding the unfortunate and concentrated on his wealthier clientele.  Several weeks before Christmas, Dr Cratchit has a impoverished young woman appear at his Harley Street office needing help for her sick child.  We see again the small Tiny Tim and how generosity can cure not just the spirit but the body as well.

The story that continues is worthy of Dickens' character and the holiday season.
I loved the story and the characters and would happily recommend this book to everyone for the holidays!


GENRE: fiction
SUBJECT: generosity, compassion, Christmas
Setting: London, England
CHARACTERS: Dr. Tim Cratchit, Jane Crompton, Ginny Whitson, Jonathan Whitson, Dr. Eustace
DATE READ: December 8 - December 10
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley

A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

The British Secret Service enlist Maisie's unique talents in this installment sending her to teach at a college that stresses pacifism.  Before she is even settled in the head of the college is found dead Maisie is forced to walk a tight line between assignment for the Secret Service and the murder investigation. 

Maisie is also juggling her relationships with her assistant Billy (trying to get him to accept help for his young family), Sandra (a former servant for the Comptons who has been widowed my murder), and her own relationship with James Compton.  The interactions are cleverly woven throughout the story.

I'm ready for the next one!


GENRE: Mystery
SUBJECT: Education, pacificism
Setting: England
CHARACTERS: Maisie Dobbs, Robbie MacFarlane, Greville Liddicotte, Francesca Thomas, Rosemary Linden,  
DATE READ: November 29 - December 7
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: Audio - Public Library


Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

Kate, Michael and  Emma have a special destiny and when their young lives become imperiled they are sent away to an orphanage unknowing what the future holds for them.  10 years later after having being sent from orphanage to orphanage, they arrive in Cambridge Falls and their adventures begin.  

Kate has a unique connection to the "Emerald Atlas"  which allows her to time travel.  The children use this special ability to go back in time to save a town and its people.

Magic, time traveling, dwarfs, hidden tunnels and more made this book a thoroughly entertaining experience and had me running to the bookstore for the next in the series.


GENRE: Young Adult
SUBJECT: magical powers
Setting: Cambridge Falls
CHARACTERS: Kate , Michael, and Emma Wibberly, Dr. Stanislaus Pym, Gabriel, Wallace, Capatain Robbie, Countess
DATE READ: November 29 - December 7
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: Nook stockpile