Saturday, July 14, 2018

Staged 4 Murder + Till Death Do Us Tart - Cozy Mystery Reviews


Blurb:  Sophie “Phee” Kimball wants to get some work done at her private investigation company in Arizona—and she’s distracted already by her old crush, who’s arriving from Minnesota to join the staff. The last thing she needs is constant updates from her mom on the local production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” Practically everyone from Mom’s book club and retirement community, with the possible exception of her chiweenie, Streetman, wants to join the cast and crew. But someone’s playing the role of the killer for real.

After a much-despised cast member is found dead on a catwalk in the theater, Phee has no choice but to be drawn into all the backstabbing and backstage gossip. Especially if her drama-queen mother is right about the vaguely threatening note left on her windshield, which could mean curtains for another victim . . 

My Thoughts:  This has been one of my favorite series from the very beginning and this one didn't let me down.  There's an Agatha Christie play being put on, a murder with more people with motives than not, and a ghost in the theater - oh and just a smidge of romantic possibility!  I loved seeing Phee again and the Booked 4 Murder book club are up to their usual hijinks and hysteria - this time with a theatrical twist.  I enjoyed having the PI firm that Phee works for being up and running and really liked the addition of Marshall to the cast.  The mystery was well done and really had me guessing.  There were all kinds of red herrings and any mystery that involves a background check is a winner for me.  You can jump into the series here without any trouble though I think it would probably be slightly more enjoyable if you started from the beginning just so you can get to know the book club a bit better.  My Rating:  Very Good


Goodreads:  Till Death Do Us Tart (A Bake Shop Mystery #8) by Ellie Alexander

Blurb:  Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate―and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.

My Thoughts:  This is one of those series where you feel like you're visiting old friends.  I loved checking in with Jules, Sterling, Andy, and the rest of the Torte crew and regulars around the town of Ashland.  In the past the mysteries have revolved around the theater scene but this is a little bit different as there's a surprise wedding in the offing and all the town is involved.  That added a bit of fun and hijinks involved as plans are made and secrets are kept.  I enjoyed spending time with Jules and her mother as the addition to Torte is advancing and there all kinds of decisions to be made.  As well, I liked getting a bit more background on Lance.  He's always been a colorful character and a very big presence in the story but I feel like I know him so much better now.  Jules' husband Carlos has never been my favorite character in this series as it feels like there's mostly hand twisting and no progress in that situation but he was a welcome presence and I feel like there's finally some movement there.  The murder doesn't occur for quite some time which honestly I didn't even realize until it happened as I was enjoying my time in Ashland so much.  The mystery was solid and well done and I was really caught up in the whos and whys until the final reveal.  If you're a regular to the series than I think you'll be delighted with the new development.  While I feel like you wouldn't have any trouble jumping in here in terms of following along it is very character heavy and I think you would enjoy it a bit more if you started with an earlier book.  Rating:  Very Good

8 comments:

  1. I have been meaning to try the Ellie Alexander series for quite some time. It's tough to overcome my 'must read it order' compulsion. I might just try to do that here though. Since it's set in Oregon and I've met the author, I know I would like it.

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  2. Staged 4 Murder sound fun, I love it when there's a book club or something like that to add humor or character development to the proceedings! Plus the theater element sounds fun too.

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  3. I thin I'd like both of these books. I love the cover of Staged 4 Murder and the title " Till Death Do Us Tart".

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  4. I think part of a series like these two is following along from the #1 because part of the joy are the characters. I am thinking I just love the title Till Death Do Us Tart! I wonder do they come up with the title first then write the story!!

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  5. I've got a couple of her books. I was holding out to get them in order but it's very common for me to dive into a series anywhere. Summer is cozy time for me so I'll be getting to them soon.

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  6. From the settings to your descriptions you have me wanted to devour some cozy mysteries. Both sound very good.

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  7. I don't read many cozies but I've enjoyed the ones I have. The covers get me every single time!!

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  8. Oh good. I have the Eaton marked at the library :)

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