Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review by Amanda. The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh. 4 Tea Cups!

The Missing HoursThe Missing Hours
By: Emma Kavanagh
Genre: Mystery

A woman disappears

One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.

A woman returns

Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.

What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?

‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’

Review by Amanda
4 Tea Cups

Emma Kavanagh is one heck of an author! There is something about her novels that are so different and feel so real. 

The Missing Hours is about a woman, Selena Cole, who vanishes. She returns the next day, the same as she was, but she doesn't remember what happened during those missing hours. During the same time, solicitor Dominic Newell was found murdered. The two cases don't seem to have anything in common, but DC Leah Mackay thinks differently. 

Most of the novel in either Leah's perspective or her brother's, DS Finn Hale. You connect a lot more about the siblings then those involved in the disappearance and the murder. I really liked Leah and Finn, they seem like normal, good people who really devote themselves to their jobs. 

Selena Cole is a whole other mystery. You learn about Selena through cases that her and her dead husband use to work on. Selena and Ed Cole seemed to be an unstoppable power couple. They ran their own kidnapping and ransom negotiation agency, which is to work with families and the police to negotiation with those who have kidnapped their loved ones. They seemed unstoppable. That was until Ed Cole was killed during an earthquake. Selena has never been the same since and she is having problems raising her two girls and being committed to her company. 

I really enjoyed reading the cases written by Ed Cole. I haven't read too much about how to negotiate with the kidnappers, so I found it really interesting. Each case was also a mini story inside of the novel, so I found myself getting a connection with those inside the cases. 

Overall, I just loved the novel and how it came together. There was so many different pieces and it was amazing how they all connected. 

My only problem with the novel was the ending. The novel just ended! I had thought that my copy was missing the last chapter. I really like it when novels wrap up nicely (unless there is a series). However it doesn't look like there will be a sequel, so I'm left with that unfinished ending. 

I would highly recommend The Missing Hours and Emma Kavanagh's novels to those who want a different style of mystery with different perspectives that come together at the end. 

Thank you Netgallery for the ARC!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review by Amanda. Mug Shot by Caroline Fardig. 4 Tea Cups!!

Mug ShotMug Shot
By: Caroline Fardig
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there's always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete's snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don't always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia's dead body on the morning of the race.

When Pete is arrested for Cecilia's murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She'll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn't enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville's high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete's bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.

Review by Amanda
4 Tea Cups

If you are a fan of mysteries, the Java Jive Mystery series is a must read! The Mug Shot is the 2nd novel of the series, however it works as a stand alone. 

Quick summary of the first novel (you can also check out my Book Cafe review here: Review by Amanda- Death Before Decaf): Juliet took over as the owner of the Java Jive, a coffee cafe that she worked at when she was in college. She is now back in close contact with her best friend, Pete, which she has amazing chemistry with. Juliet has to work out her feelings between Pete and a new guy. There is also a mystery of who killed the cook that works in the cafe. 

In short, Juliet is amazing. Look at the cover above. She is a fiery redhead, who will protect those who are closest to her. She will not back down from a fight against anyone which gets her in a bit of trouble. 

Mug Shot continues the story of Juliet and Pete. Pete's girlfriend is found dead and of course Pete is the prime suspect, especially after some key evidence was found against him. Juliet needs to uncover the truth and save her best friend from jail time against a crime that he didn't commit. 

I love Juliet and Pete's friendship. They aren't afraid to say anything to the other and will both protect one another. It's pretty obvious that they are in love with each other, but I'm guessing that they won't get together for a few more books. In the meantime, Juliet is in a love triangle with Cecelia's (Pete's dead girlfriend) brother and a detective on the case. Juliet can more than handle herself and it's hilarious to see the interactions with her and the guys. 

I also love how the book has flashbacks. Juliet and Pete have been friends for years and it's interesting to read about their conversations from when they were younger. 

The mystery aspect was also excellent! I kept switching my opinion on who the murderer was multiple times and I was still surprised. 

Check out this series and you won't be disappointed!

A note to those cozy fans, there is more language and sexual content than a typical cozy, but it's not over the top! 

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review by Amanda. The Ex by Alafair Burke. 4.5 tea cups!!!

The ExThe Ex
By: Alafair Burke
Genre: Mystery

Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.

Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancĂ©, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why?

For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

Review by Amanda
4.5 Tea Cups

OMG I may have a new favourite author!!

I was first introduced to Alafair Burke with the Under Suspicion series, that she co-writes with Mary Higgins Clark. I am really enjoying that series and knew that I wanted to read more books by both authors. It was a huge bonus that I really liked the summary on Goodreads for The Ex. I knew I had to read it. 

After a long wait at the library, I finally got my hands on The Ex. A few chapters in, I knew it was going to be really hard to put down. 

The Ex is told from the point of view of criminal defense attorney Olivia Randall. Olivia gets a phone call from her ex's daughter, Buckley Harris, who needs her help since her father (Jack Harris) was just taken in by police for a local shooting. Olivia feels that she needs to make it up to Jack since she broke his heart 20 years ago and they haven't spoken since. 

Jack is one of the good guys. He has had a rough go, but he has found strength in his daughter. He is too naive at times, but he has a good heart. Olivia and his close family and friends believe that he is innocent from the start. However as more clues and secrets come to light, Olivia starts to question if she even knew Jack and if he is capable of murder. 

This novel has everything. Drama, suspense, and tons of mysteries. It takes a while, but the reader learns more about Jack and Olivia's relationship and what lead to their break-up. I had changed my mind so many times if Jack was actually the shooter and then it was changed more times on what the motives were. 

I would highly recommend this novel and I am super excited to read more from Alafair Burke. Recommendations are welcome :)

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