Murder at the Races by Carmen Radkte and Weddings & Whodunits by Amanda M. Lee – Mini Reviews

Two very different settings but two awesome cozy mysteries!

Nothing is a dead-cert in a race against a cold-blooded killer …

1931. Frances Palmer is overjoyed when her brother Rob returns to Adelaide as a racecourse veterinarian. But all is not well on the turf, and when a man is murdered, there is only one suspect – Rob.

Frances and her boyfriend, charming night club owner Jack Sullivan, along with ex-vaudevillian Uncle Sal and their friends have only one chance to unmask
the real murderer, by infiltrating the racecourse. The odds are against them, but luckily putting on a 
dazzling show where everything depends on sleight of hand is what they do best. But with time running out for Rob, the race is on …

If you love sparkling dialogue, glamorous settings and the charm of the Golden Age mysteries, you’ll enjoy Carmen Radtke’s cozy whodunnits, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Rhys Bowen and Carola Dunn.

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

Jack and Frances are such a cute pair! This time they join forces to prove that Frances’ brother, Rob, is innocent of a killing at the racetrack.

The murder plot is quite well-done. I like how several suspects are laid out and we get clues at a regular pace. The sleuthing team is a great mix of personalities and they are very methodical in their plans to catch a crook. To make things even more interesting, the point of view changes from character to character as we follow along the overall investigation. The big reveal is fairly dramatic with a splash each of emotion and humour!

The only area I wish was more developed was the romance between Jack and Frances. We see them meet and fall in love in Book 1 and that relationship deepens so far as to consider marriage in this one. However, we don’t really see much of that transition, instead going from Frances’ concerns about the relationship to a proposal.

I’m not complaining too much though as they are such a sweet pair. I look forward to reading more books about them as a couple; and to continue enjoying this historical Australian setting.

I give Murder at the Races 4/5 espresso shots.

Avery Shaw never saw marriage on the menu – and when she did, she avoided it like liver and onions – but it appears her life is about to change. She simply can’t decide if it’s for better or worse.

With matrimony barreling down on her, she needs a distraction, and she gets it in the form of a warning. Apparently, she’s on the hit list for a local dealer who is trying to move in on turf she’s responsible for cleaning up, and news that she could be marked for death has her fiancé Eliot Kane in a tailspin.

Avery likes it when things line up her way. Unfortunately, very little is going how she envisioned in her life right now. Between her archnemesis Tad Ludington being fully recovered and back to his old tricks and her mother demanding a say in wedding preparations, Avery has her hands full.

The drug trade in Macomb County runs deeper than anybody anticipated, and the more Avery digs, the more she realizes that the case she thought was closed up tight is still open and ongoing. With an intern on her tail demanding attention, Avery is determined to uncover a secret so big it could blow up certain political circles within the county.

Eliot is by her side but his fear regarding the new people in Avery’s life is palpable … as is Sheriff Jake Farrell’s annoyance when he realizes what Avery is chasing. He wants her cut off from information, which isn’t something she will just sit back and accept.

It’s a war of the worlds this go-around for Avery, and the only chance she has to walk down the aisle is to figure out exactly what is going on. That’s easier said than done when she’s got a price on her head and people actively trying to thwart her every move.

She wants her happily ever after, and she’s determined nothing is going to stop her … not even death. Strap in and get ready, because Avery Shaw is taking no prisoners. Not this time.

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

This was a good one again! The Avery Shaw Mystery series has definitely been keeping me well entertained.

Perhaps one of the best elements is that Elliot and Avery’s engagement was not prolonged. In fact, they got engaged in one book and then married in the next. It’s possibly some kind of record, although we’ve had about 16 books to build up to the engagement. It just works well with these two characters. The whole reason it happens and how it plays out are ideal to the nature of those two. The full mix up of mystery and secondary character drama makes for super entertaining reading… best suited to regular series readers.

The mystery to be solved is who is behind gang murders in Avery’s part of town. As she digs into the story she finds herself butting heads with old nemesis, Tad, and a new batch of politicians. The motives behind this one are murky and tied to a previous story. Avery even ends up at odds with Sheriff Jake, not uncommon but this time the stakes are higher and the fall out more intense. The pacing of the story is perfect and the clues and red herrings keep coming. Although I had my suspicions about the culprit, I couldn’t quite piece it all together until the end when a couple key details were revealed.

Overall, I had fun reading Weddings and Whodunits and give the story 4.5/5 espresso shots.

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