Baby Daddy Mystery: Shady Hoosier Detective Agency (Book 2) by Daisy Pettles | Review

About The Book

It’s Spring in Pawpaw County, Indiana. Everybody has a bad case of hanky-panky pants. Senior sleuths Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens are on the run, chasing down cheating heart jezebels and shaking child support out of deadbeat baby daddies.

Everybody in the small town of Knobby Waters, Indiana, knows Avonelle Apple, cantankerous bank president. After Avonelle’s husband, esteemed dentist, William Apple, passes away, she receives a child support letter from his self-proclaimed mistress. Suspicious, she hires Ruby Jane and Veenie, of the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency, to determine if her late husband was a philandering baby daddy.

The case seems simple until one of Avonelle’s sons, Bromley, heir to his father’s dental empire, and well-known king of the Pawpaw County Hanky-Panky Husbands Club, pops up dead in a scarecrow costume.

No sooner do the crime-cracking duo get sucked into solving Bromley’s death than Fussy Jones, Chief Commander of the White River Boat and Gun Club, is found with a gig in his chest, literally dead in the water. Chief suspect: Sassy Smith, husband-hunting cougar who’s back in town searching for husband #4 after her last mate won a lifetime timeshare at the state prison for a real estate con.

When a mysterious new Romeo rolls into town and begins seducing the ladies out at Leisure Hills Retirement Village Veenie’s father, Pappy Sneed, calls for help to retain his reputation as an oldster stud puppy.

Ruby Jane bemoans that no one in Pawpaw County can keep their pants on or their skirts down as her own grown daughter, Joyce, begs for help chasing down her philandering husband.

The mounting romantic mysteries come to a surprise head as the senior sleuths outrun shotgun showers to close in on the answers (and the cheating heart Romeos) at the Moon Glow Motor Lodge, the Original Home of Hillbilly Hanky Panky.

Veenie and Ruby Jane have to buy an extra case of Ben Gay and a butt load of BBs just to keep up with all the romantic excitement.

My Thoughts

Wild & Zany Cozy Mystery

This is the second book in the ‘Shady Hoosier Detective Agency’ series. The first book is the ‘Ghost Busting Mysteries’, although I haven’t yet read it. This second book, named “Baby Daddy Mystery: Shady Hoosier Detective Agency” was such a quirky, mad and crazy read and I did not feel disadvantaged in any way not having read book one first. 

There was so much fun and hilarity packed into this cozy mystery that I was never bored and I wanted to continue reading. The characters’ antics were highly amusing, especially those of Veenie. Apart from the mystery, the book had underlying themes of companionship and love that greatly complemented the story for me.

Although the conclusion of the story was no great surprise, it was still a very fulfilling ending to a wonderful book that regularly had me laughing-out-loud.  

If you like cozy mysteries with a large helping of craziness and humour then you can’t go wrong with “Baby Daddy Mystery: Shady Hoosier Detective Agency”. The third book is due to be released shortly so I will be looking out for that one. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Hot Pants Press, LLC and the author, Daisy Pettles, for my free ARC of Baby Daddy Mystery: Shady Hoosier Detective Agency (book 2) in exchange for an honest review.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

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The Secret Life of Mac by Melinda Metz | Review

Book Synopsis

Inspired by the true story of a kleptomaniac cat who stole his way into America’s heart . . .

HE’S THE CAT THIEF OF LOVE

MacGyver the tabby is feeling very pleased with himself. His human, Jamie Snyder, has found the perfect packmate—and it’s all thanks to Mac. By stealing personal items from the home of Jamie’s handsome neighbor David, the matchmaking cat brought these two L.A. singles together. Now, while the newlyweds are off on their honeymoon, MacGyver is ready for a well-deserved cat nap. That is, until he meets his cat sitter Briony. Like most humans, she’s hopeless when it comes to romance. And Mac can’t resist a challenge . . .

SHE’S FOUND THE ESCAPE CLAWS

Briony feels terrible about leaving her fiancé at the altar. When her cousin Jamie offers her the chance to cat sit MacGyver, the runaway bride leaps at the chance to cuddle up with the only male creature she trusts herself around. But MacGyver has other plans. He lures Briony to a friendly neighborhood retirement community—run by a charming young hottie named Nate. Briony and Nate hit it off instantly. But Briony’s still not sure she’s ready for a relationship. And Nate’s got problems of his own—someone is sabotaging his community.

Crazy humans. Why can’t they follow their instincts and go after the love they deserve? MacGyver is on the case. And this time, he’s not pussyfooting around . . .

RAVES FOR TALK TO THE PAW

“Filled with romance and adorable kitty antics . . . a light and cozy read!”

—Modern Cat

“Surpassingly cute story of a matchmaking cat determined to pair off his human with a neighbor through the power of stinky laundry.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Whimsical . . . fans of cozy romances will root for these . . . appealing characters.”

—Publishers Weekly

My Thoughts

THE SECRET LIFE OF MAC by Melinda Metz appears to be a sequel to the ‘Talk to the Paw’ which was published last year. This quaint little romance story is something slightly unique as it is told from the point of view of a tabby cat called McGyver (Mac), alongside two other characters, Nate and Briony. Mac is on a mission to make the people in his life happy, either romantically, generally or where there are friends involved.

This was an easy, light read so I did not feel disadvantaged in any way not having read ‘Talk to the Paw’ first, though it would have been preferable to me if I had read them in sequence.

This book is a romantic comedy where Mac acted as the matchmaker. As well as being wildly humorous and funny, it is also a tale about personal development and self-discovery. There’s even a mystery linked to the retirement home which added to the interest of this sweet tale.

Most of this story was told from the viewpoint of Briony and Nate.  Nate had some personal issues that he needed to deal with, helped along by Briony who had woes of her own. All of the characters had something to offer and the mystery was concluded very well.

All in all, THE SECRET LIFE OF MAC by Melinda Metz was a charming, sweet and worthwhile read.  

Thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books and the author, Melinda Metz, for my free ARC of The Secret Life of Mac. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

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Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

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Keep Walking Rhona Beech by Kate Tough | Review

Book Synopsis

‘Incredibly insightful, funny and poignant’ Helen Sedgwick

I get up. I go to work. I spend the whole day waiting for the words on my screen to make sense. In the commuter broth of the carriage home, tears run in hot lines to my jaw and for a minute or so, I let them.

Nothing has turned out quite how Rhona Beech thought: she’s been swapping one so-so job for another on an annual basis . . . and now her nine-year relationship has ended abruptly. When her lukewarm efforts to adjust to the changes in her life are thrown entirely up in the air by some unwelcome news, Rhona has to think again.

Her sardonic, funny, poignant attempts to find an answer to the questions she’s facing are helped by a cast of friends, strangers and trained professionals. Funny and tender, Keep Walking, Rhona Beech is a beautifully written and brilliantly observant satire on relationships, friendship and life

Previously published as Head for the Edge, Keep Walking by Cargo Publishing.

My Thoughts

I am always slightly uneasy when I look at a book and I ask myself “What ‘type’ of a novel is this?” The answer here is “A gratifying, moving and very comical one,” in more or less equal measures.

Although I would say that “Keep Walking Rhona Beech” is extremely amusing and, at times, positively hilarious, this is qualified by a feeling of great sadness, too. It’s a journey of loss, companionship, love and needing to be happy with your life, with or without a Significant Other. I am sure that most of us could identify with the protagonist, Rhona on some level, at least. I certainly know that I could, so much so that I found myself wanting to help her to break out of her life of monotony and dreariness. “Keep Walking, Rhona Beech” gives out the message that there is a need to be happy with yourself otherwise there may never be a happy ending.

In the novel, the reader is taken on a journey to experience, along with Rhona, her everyday struggles with her current life, as in her purpose, friendships, love and even her very identity. Rhona and her pals are just like the rest of us – likeable, flawed and sometimes perplexing. The journey ranged from the mundane to the downright outrageous that had the effect, at times, that I was Rhona. There were instances where this was a very difficult read for me, however, it was always convincing, credible and extremely worthwhile. 

I enjoyed “Keep Walking, Rhona Beech” so much and I’m hoping to read more by Kate Tough soon…

[Thanks to #NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group UK and the author, Kate Tough, for my free ARC of #KeepWalkingRhonaBeech in exchange for an honest review.]

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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Double Fudge and Danger | Erin Huss | Review

Double Fudge & Danger (Cambria Clyne Mysteries Book 3)

Double Fudge & Danger by Erin Huss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


“Double Fudge & Danger” is book three in the series of the Cambria Clyne Mysteries of which I look forward to reading more. It is a delicious mixture of mystery, romance, family, and friends and a fun, fast and interesting read. I haven’t read the other books in this series yet, however, I don’t think that this spoilt my enjoyment of this novel. That said, there is nothing more exciting than picking up a book that is the first in a new series.

Since taking the job of an on-site apartment manager, single-mum Cambria Clyne’s life has been one wild ride.

When the manager of the apartment building next door, Violet Pumpkin, goes missing, Cambria steps in to help run the property development and can’t resist helping with the police investigation. However, the more Cambria digs, the more she discovers Violet had been anything but honest in her dealings and more suspects than Cambria could imagine start to surface – the stressed property owners, a dodgy pizza delivery guy, the drunken rooftop walker, the mysterious Clint Eastwood look-alike lurking around, or one of the angry residents who received rental increases the day before Violet vanished. Then there’s still the business of doing her own job, parenting a lively three-year-old and choosing between the two men in her life. Cambria has a lot to deal with – not that that’s ever stopped her before! 

Who is telling lies? Can anyone be trusted? Will Cambria find Violet before it’s too late, or will she be the next apartment manager to go missing? 

Erin Huss’ delightful writing style is well-paced and complemented by clever, witty opening phrases introducing each chapter. She has created an eclectic and quirky group of residents in this apartment complex some of whom were annoying but helped to make the story as good as it was. However, it was great that they all pulled together and relied on each other as good friends do. Cambria’s two handsome love interests add some romantic and spicy entanglement. Written in the first-person narrative and sharing Cambria’s innermost thoughts, Erin Huss includes some wonderful witty banter and vivid descriptions. Although being disorganised and a bit of a worrier, the extremely likeable Cambria demonstrates admirable inner strength and her desire for eating copious amounts of double fudge or any other flavour of ice-cream was astounding, as were her attempts at mothering her feisty and outspoken daughter.

The book had a natural, steady pace and I was kept guessing right until the surprising reveal. Delightful and entertaining, “Double Fudge & Danger” is a quick, light, highly recommended read for all cozy mystery fans.

{Thank you to Hidden Gems for the free copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}



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Review | Birds of a Feather | Vanita Oelschlager

Book Synopsis

Children are innately curious about words, especially phrases that make them laugh (“Ants in your pants!”), sound silly (“Barking up the wrong tree” or “Goosebumps”) or trigger images that tickle a child’s sense of the absurd (“Like a bull in a china shop”). Birds of a Feather introduces children to the magic of idioms – words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different. Birds of a Feather introduces idioms with outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally. The reader then has to guess the “real” meaning of the phrases (which is upside down in the corner of each spread). At the end of the book, the reader is invited to learn more about these figures of speech.

My Thoughts

This is a wonderful way to teach children about idioms. Every page has an idiom not only listed but also beautifully illustrated and giving its literal meaning. The illustrations are hilarious and sweet, especially as they all feature birds or animals. My favourites were ‘Bring home the bacon,’ ‘No spring chicken’ and ‘Let the cat out of the bag.’

The meaning of the idiom, along with an example of its usage in a sentence, is written at the bottom of each page, inverted, and in minute lettering, so that it can be referred to only when you really try to read it. Unfortunately, the writing was so small that I had problems reading it at all.

“Birds Of A Feather” concludes with an explanation of how a particular idiom originated, and encourages readers to find the origins of other idioms, as the words that are used in an idiom are generally not meant literally, however, neither are they a random group of words thrown together.

{Thank you to NetGalley, VanitaBooks LLC and the author, for a free copy and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

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The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green

The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green by Erica Boyce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was such a great, unusual read! I hadn’t known what to expect from this novel but I know that I loved its title and the alluring front cover, both of which caught my attention.

This sweet and engaging story begins with Daniel Green who has a fascination with crop circles. He, along with other members of a secret organization, travels across the country creating strange works of art that leave communities mystified. But when a dying farmer hires him in a last-ditch effort to bring publicity to a small Vermont town, loner Daniel finds himself at odds with his heart. It isn’t long before he gets drawn into a family struggling to stitch itself back together, and the consequences change his life forever.

“The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green” by Erica Boyce explores the unexplainable bonds of family, the everyday wonder of love, and the strange mysteries life provides that help humanity light up the dark.

The story is told through multiple viewpoints and peppered with characters’ back-stories. The characters themselves were richly portrayed and the way that their stories were interwoven was a credit to this début author. There were moments of difficulties in the tale when I felt close to most of them, however, for me, there was no recognisable plot to the story, as such. Even so, I still very much enjoyed the novel and I was interested to see whether the crop circle would be finished.

The ending was both fulfilling and satisfying. Overall, this was a great read for me and one that I would definitely recommend, especially if you are looking for something a little different!

{Thank you to #NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the free copy of #Fifteenwondersofdanielgreen and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}



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Rain Town

Rain Town by Andy Donaldson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This novel is a wonderful and exciting debut from author, Andy Donaldson!

The plot was intriguing and exciting and very well paced with no slow parts and I particularly liked the author’s portrayal of the characters. The interaction between the three school-friends, twelve-year-old Stanley Rain, Chloe Scott and Billy Bathurst was a delight. Also worth a mention was the way in which Sidney Rain, (Stanley’s dad,) Bobby Bathurst (father of Billy) and Terry Funk bonded when they all found themselves in the same situation as one another.

As well as being rich in wit and humour, “Rain Town” highlights some important issues for the reader about communication, morals and friendship in the modern world.

I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to both adults and older children and I hope to read more of Andy Donaldson’s novels in the future.

Thanks to #NetGalley, Troubador Publishing, and Andy Donaldson for my ARC of #RainTown in exchange for an honest review.



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The Rosie Result (Don Tillman, #3)

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the third in a series of books written by the author, Graeme Simsion. I must confess that I haven’t read either of the previous two novels,‘The Rosie Project’ or ‘The Rosie Effect’, however, this – “The Rosie Result” – proved to be a fantastic read. Whilst I may well have benefited from reading the other two first, for me, it worked fine as a stand-alone story.

Don Tillman is a genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. However, he’s about to face a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations…

Graeme Simsion’s portrayal of Don was exceptional with regard to his autistic tendencies and higher than average intelligence. There are many wry and witty moments, however, there is very little in this novel about Rosie’s personality.

This humorous tale about living with autism was a great and hilarious read with lots of special moments and touching scenes. It is particularly poignant if you know anyone with autism, as you’ll certainly recognise some of the scenarios!

Having read and enjoyed “The Rosie Result” I will make sure to get to the other books in the series.

{Thank you to #NetGalley and Penguin UK/ Michael Joseph for the free copy of #TheRosieResult and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}



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