chez_jae: (Books)
Sunday night, I finished reading Murder Go Round by Carol J Perry. It's part of her "Witch City" mystery series, featuring reluctant scryer Maralee "Lee" Barrett.

Lee's Aunt Ibby convinces her to go to a storage auction, and they end up bidding on and winning the contents of a locker. Among the items are a samovar that Ibby spotted and coveted, some old doll dresses, a carved carousel horse, a Cuckoo clock, and some nesting dolls. Shortly after their win, Lee and her boyfriend Pete take the horse to a local man to restore. That evening, the man's shop is broken into, Lee's horse is broken apart, and a man has been murdered outside of the shop.

Lee can't help but think the murder is related to the contents of the storage locker, but police officer Pete isn't so sure. Aided by her aunt, her cat, her best friend, and her visions, Lee begins putting the pieces together, and what she finds is that the current crime may have ties to a bloody part of Russia's history.

This was a great story. There was so much going on, and I loved how all the clues added up, one leading to another, until the mystery was solved. For once, the identity of the killer was fairly obvious throughout the book, but there was still the matter of proving it and discovering the reasons behind it.

Favorite line: "Books and magazines. Papers and ink. You love the printed word. Kindles and Nooks have their place, but they don't have that smell."

Enjoyable! Five stars:

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
I finished reading Look Both Ways before bedtime last night. It's the third book in author Carol J Perry's "Witch City" mystery series.

Lee Barrett finds herself at loose ends. She no longer has a TV show, nor does she have any classes to teach over the summer. To keep busy, she volunteers to act as property manager for the three plays being put on by the local college. In addition, Lee has a new apartment to furnish. While scrounging for props, she can do a bit of both. When Lee purchases a beautiful old bureau, she learns it belonged to a woman who was murdered several years ago. The bureau has hidden compartments, which yield some fascinating ephemera from its previous owner. However, the woman's missing pink diamond is not one of the objects secreted away in the bureau. Someone seems to think it's there, though, as shortly after Lee buys the piece, the woman who sold it to her is murdered, and Lee's name and address have been stolen from the company that delivered the bureau. When Lee begins to see visions of both murdered women, she must decide whether or not to share her gift with her boyfriend, police officer Pete.

Very good story. I enjoyed how the past and the present paralleled one another. It was fun to read about Lee's adventures in antiquing, and I was happy to see her relationship with Pete progressing.

Favorite line: And why am I holding a conversation with a cat?

Charming! Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Once again, I stayed up too late to finish a book, but I had to know who done it!

I read Tails, You Lose, which is the second installment in Carol J Perry's "Witch City" mystery series.

After losing her job as a TV psychic, Lee volunteers to teach at Salem's Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts. During renovations, a local handyman disappears in the basement of the "Tabby" and is later found dead near the water. As a result, Lee reluctantly taps into her clairvoyant abilities to see if she can help with the police investigation.

In the meantime, Lee involves her students in making a documentary of their building, which used to be Trumbull's Department Store. She's also juggling her budding romance with police detective Pete. As things begin to converge, Lee is afraid one or more of her students may be involved with something other than their classwork, and she still has to figure out the meaning of the vision she had, of a young woman showing her two antique keys.

There was quite a bit going on in the story, but everything came together neatly in the end. The author did a good job of dropping clues without making things either too easy or difficult to discern.

Favorite line: "It's always nice to be welcomed home with purrs and kisses."
Least favorite line: "They seem to be birth dates. Here's John Junior 9/4/1951. And Joseph 11/11/1970..."
Why? Why must even my reading taunt me so?!

Four of five:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
My goal for the year was to read 35 books, so...GO TEAM ME!

Anyway, I stayed up late last night to finish reading Caught Dead Handed, which is the first book in author Carol J Perry's "Witch City" mystery series.

The story features main character Maralee (Lee) Barrett, who has just flown to Boston and traveled to her hometown of Salem for an interview at a local TV station. Lee wants the job of reporter, only to find it was awarded to someone else before she even interviewed. However, the station manager offers Lee the position of call-in psychic, since the previous hostess walked out the night before and never returned. Lee agrees to think it over, and when she leaves the station she discovers the body of the woman who held the job before her. Lee reluctantly accepts the job that was offered to her, but when she begins to experience actual visions in the obsidian crystal ball on the set, she is drawn further into the murder of her predecessor.

This was a charming cozy mystery, and it was just creepy enough not to be too fluffy. I have one more book in the series, and the third installment is already on my Amazon wish list. Can't wait to read more! Five stars:

★★★★★

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