This is the perfect time of year to curl up with a spooky mystery. Check out these four fun whodunits!
In the fourth book in Julie Chase’s Kitty Couture Mystery series, Lacy Marie Crocker can’t believe it’s been a year since her return home to New Orleans. Since opening her pet boutique last summer, there hasn’t been a dull moment. And thanks to the popularity of her organic pet treats and the arrival of the National Pet Pageant, Lacy definitely could use some help. Everyone seems to be counting the minutes until the night of the pet pageant, and everything is running smoothly until pageant emcee Viktor Petrov takes a tumble off the balcony during dress rehearsal. All signs point to murder, and homicide detective Jack Oliver suspects Eva Little, Lacy’s committee sister and the only other person on the balcony at the time of Viktor’s fall. But when it’s discovered that Viktor was notoriously rude, the list of potential suspects who’d want him dead gets much longer. Lacy is determined to find the killer and exonerate Eva, but when she receives a warning — a plush kitty from her shop with its mouth crudely stitched over, it’s obvious that she’s been found first. Published by Crooked Lane Books.
Liz Denton is an amateur sleuth who also runs a pet rescue for hard-to-adopt animals. While finding homes for these unwanted pets, she also helps solve the occasional murder. In the second installment of Alex Erickson’s Furever Pets Mystery series, Liz is thrilled to have found a forever home for her latest rescue, Sheamus, a Maine Coon cat. But on adoption day, she discovers Sheaumus’ would-be owner murdered in his study. And his death reveals that he was using an alias and was accused of killing his wife 30 years ago. Liz digs in her claws to get clues from both investigations. But she has a stalker sniffing at her heels and a rival going after her business — a combo that could make her curiosity come at a hefty price. Published by Kensington Books.
Verse and Vengeance
In Amanda Flower’s fourth installment of her Magical Bookshop Mystery series, Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly finds herself reluctantly agreeing to participate in a bicycle race, thanks to the insistence of police chief David Rainwater. The brainchild of her grandmother, Daisy, the Tour de Cascade is a fundraiser to build the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum. But not everyone supports the race. On top of that, pesky private investigator Joel Redding is snooping around Charming Books, and Violet and Daisy are trying to keep him from discovering the shop’s magical essence. When Joel dies in an accident during the race, David discovers that the brake line of the private eye’s bike was cut — and Violet is at the top of his list of suspects. With Emerson the cat and resident crow Faulkner looking on, Charming Books steers Violet to the works of Walt Whitman to solve the crime. But there’s no time to lose. As David’s investigation picks up speed, Violet has to put her pedal to the metal to clear her name. Published by Crooked Lane Books.
Dead in the Doorway
The second book in Diane Kelly’s House-Flipper Mystery series finds home-improvement maven Whitney Whitaker scoring the perfect piece of real estate — a ramshackle Colonial on a hill overlooking downtown Nashville. But her dream property has come with a dead body blocking the entrance to the foyer. Luckily, Whitney also happens to be a skilled amateur sleuth. With the support of her wood-working cousin Buck, Detective Collin Flynn and, of course, her feline partner in crime, Sawdust, she intends to find out who the dead woman is and how she got there. Her investigation takes a turn when she discovers that the house’s former owner was a gourmet baker whose secret recipe for peach pie was to die for — literally. Whitney has to learn the truth about what happened before she loses her real-estate deal — and before the killer comes knocking at her door. Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
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