cat latimer

Book Review: Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon

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Sconed to Death (Cat Latimer Mystery #5)Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I am an avid cozy mystery series reader. Last fall, I began reading the Cat Latimer Mystery series by Lynn Cahoon, beginning with the 4th book that had been recently published at the time — also when I’d won a giveaway copy or participated on a blog tour (can’t remember!) and needed to read it ASAP! I enjoyed it so much, I went back to the beginning and caught up on the series. This 5th book comes out in a couple of months, but NetGalley generously approved me an ARC to read. I am a lucky guy for that reason as well as it having been quite a good book. 4.5 stars from me.

In this caper, the writer’s retreat group is all normal / fun. No one is mean and trying to hurt each other, at least as far as we know. A few old friends pop up to visit Cat, and her relationship with Shauna and her Uncle Pete is really put to the test. Dee Dee, a rival baker, has it out for Shauna. Too bad a famous chef winds up dead and gets between them. Was it Dee Dee? The chef’s brother or sister-in-law? A college employee with a vengeance? The health inspector? A mysterious fan? So many to choose from… the story kept me interested from start to finish. I was glad we saw Dante for a few pages, too, as I want him to come back from and center soon.

Sometimes you read a series for the mystery, other times it’s due to the setting and characters. For me, this book’s mystery was a little too easy to solve but it did have merit on many levels. On the flip side, the side stories and the everyday happenings in the main characters’ lives were superb. Overall, I’m very happy with this new release and glad to see the series continues to shine. What’s even better, in the back of the book, the title and publication date for the 6th book has been made available. It’s not even listed on Goodreads, but I’ve got 10 months to wait, so maybe I should check out her other series, right?

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Of Murder and Men by Lynn Cahoon

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Of Murder and Men (Cat Latimer Mystery, #3)Of Murder and Men by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’ve completed reading the four books currently published in the Cat Latimer mystery series by Lynn Cahoon. Today’s review is for Of Murder and Men, the 3rd in the series; I read the 4th one first because I’d won it in a giveaway and then went back to read them in order. I wish I started properly, but overall, this series keeps getting stronger and stronger. I think this is my favorite thus far, and it earns 4.5 stars.

Cat is a late 20s widow who inherited her ex-husband, Michael’s, house when he died. At this point, we know he was somehow involved with the mob who has ties to the small town outside Denver, Colorado where they lived. What Cat didn’t know was that he’d been sucked into the accounting issues with a mob-related property, and before long, he had to pretend to be doing bad things in order to survive. Unfortunately, he couldn’t extricate himself quickly enough and was killed. We finally learn in this book who likely killed him, and how the killer’s family may or may not still be be after Cat. Instead of ignoring it, Cat has been trying to solve Michael’s death while using the house he left her as a writer’s retreat. Her high school boyfriend (and new love interest), Seth, and her best friend, Shauna, help run the retreat, where 5 writers show up for a week each month to finish their current WIPs. Almost always, one of them is a murderer, dies, or has a connection to the victim.

In this one, it’s Shauna who suffers. Kevin, her distracted boyfriend-turned-fiance, is found dead in his barn. Cat, Shauna, Seth, and Uncle Pete find connections between Michael’s death and Kevin’s death. One of the writers, Shirley, an ex-cop, helps investigate while she warms up to Pete. Ah, romance is brewing… the other writers are busier than usual and not as involved in the plot, but one of them turns up to have a connection with Kevin. Shauna’s battling it out with Kevin’s two ex-wives and their children for his estate, too. She doesn’t want the money, just a few things to remember him by. At the same time, Cat finds out Michael left her another building and never closed their joint account. Except… there’s WAY more money in it than he could have ever earned. Someone’s play games here, and Cat is determined to find out before Dante, the hot guy from the mob family who turns out was Michael’s childhood best friend, gets her all excited and bothered in a good way. No, poor Seth!

I’m quickly falling hard for this series. Cahoon has created some magic with the setting and action surrounding a writer’s retreat. Add in the mystery of Cat’s friends, and the mob-connections about town, there’s story in abundance. I love the clues Cahoon’s dropped in each book about future stories, too. I can already see plots formulating and know what might happen to certain characters. She’s a strong planner author (like me) which may be why I really like her writing style and these books. I need to read her other series next, especially since I’m now fully caught up with the four in this one. The 5th book won’t release for a few months, so I have time to start another of hers. Anyone else tried the Tourist Trap series?

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About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Fatality by Firelight by Lynn Cahoon

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Fatality by Firelight (Cat Latimer Mystery, #2)Fatality by Firelight by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fatality by Firelight is the second book in the Cat Latimer mystery series written by Lynn Cahoon. It was published in 2017 and takes place in a small town a few hours outside Denver, Colorado. The series focuses on Cat, a late-20s former English professor who’s ex-husband, Michael, passed away (probably murdered) and left her his house and a few secrets to unravel. She’s turned the charming Victorian into a writer’s retreat to help aspiring and struggling authors finish their books, but somehow something dastardly always ends up happening. In this caper, one of the writers is flirting with a local at a nearby inn even though he’s engaged. Although she rejects him when he wants to take the evening a bit further, the police still suspect her when the guy turns up dead overnight — killed by a knife while sipping on champagne near a fire. Whodunit?

Cat and her friends are relatable characters. Shauna runs the daily operations of the inn and Seth is Cat’s part-time boyfriend, part-time repairman / chauffeur. She’s not completely ready to date after Michael died, especially now that his journals are revealing new information she hadn’t been aware of. When Dante, a sexy mob-connected man enters her life, she’s thrown even more. Is she attracted to him or afraid of him? Or possibly both! While she helps try to clear her young writer from being jailed for the murder, Cat realizes the victim has ties to Dante, who might have been the one to order his death. Something’s not quite right and Cat’s determined to figure it out alongside her uncle, the chief of police. Throw in fun cooking recipes and excerpts from the author’s books and you’ve got lots of side stories to enjoy, too.

Cahoon’s books are a good example of a cozy mystery. They have a bit of an edge to them given there are mob connections (like my own cozy mystery series!) and writers coming in from all over the country (maybe world one day?) to demonstrate variety. They’re easy to read in 3 to 4 hours depending on your reading speed and style. The theme and characters stay with you from book to book. I enjoy diving back into this world and have completed 3 of the 4 published. I plan to read the next one in February (maybe sooner) and then I’ll be ready for the 5th one when it’s published later this year. The author also has another series which might be something to consider reading, too, once I’m caught up here.

View all my reviews
About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon

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A Story to Kill (Cat Latimer Mystery #1)A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Last year, I won an ARC of a later book in the Cat Latimer series by Lynn Cahoon. I didn’t have the time to start the series from the beginning, so I broke my own rule and read mid-series… it worked out and now I’m giving the whole series a fresh look from the debut, A Story to Kill. I enjoyed the book more than the later one, but I suspect it’s a case of this is one of those series it’s better to read in order. While Cahoon does a good job catching up readers on the basics, we learn so much more about the characters and begin to invest in them after what happened in the year leading up to the first book and the story in it, too. I’d suggest reading them in order if you’re new to the series.

Cat Latimer married her college sweetheart after leaving her high school sweetheart, Seth, when he went into the army and they lost touch. When her husband started to cheat on her and grow distant, they divorced and she was distraught for a while. Before book one opens, he’s passed away and left his home in Colorado to her. Cat decided to open a writer’s retreat house (she had become an English professor and moved around a bit) before settling back in Colorado. Her first set of guests includes a famous author who ends up being strangled in his bedroom one night. Was it the kooky sisters who seem very at odds? A young college girl with a crush on him or someone else? A supposedly grieving widow? An angry writer who claims the guy stole his work? Or a former friend whose girlfriend went missing years ago and suspected the late author of foul play? Cat feels obliged to investigate alongside her Uncle Pete, the police chief, and best friend and chef, Shauna. She figures it out just a bit too late when the killer shows up to take care of her, too! But luckily someone steps in to save her at the last minute.

I love the concept of the writer’s retreat. Cat is a sympathetic character who learns the death of her ex-husband, and what she thought he had been doing might not actually be the truth. The book ends on a cliffhanger making readers anxious to pickup the next one to find out the truth about the past. The mystery in this book was closed up nicely, but 50% of it was too easy while the other 50% was a challenge. I enjoyed the writing style and the setting, and the potential is strong. I look forward to continuing the series this year, as there are 4 currently with one on the way in the next year. Kudos to Cahoon for making this a wonderful reading retreat, too!

View all my reviews

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Slay in Character by Lynn Cahoon

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Slay in CharacterSlay in Character by Lynn Cahoon

I’ve wanted to read a novel by Lynn Cahoon for years, but it never crept high enough in my TBR– no clue why, perhaps I was just overwhelmed with options in the cozy world. Then I was given an opportunity to read and review her latest book, Slay in Character, in the Cat Latimer mystery series. Yikes, why did I wait so long! 4.5 stars to this fantastic story. To start with, the premise of the series is about a writer who runs a writing group where various authors visit and conduct workshops. It’s a great concept as different characters can easily come and go without feeling too overwhelming. But there’s also a bevy of recurring ones who appear in all the books which keeps the series grounded in its sub-genre. I like the balance and opportunity for future plots.

In this caper, one of the girls in the writing retreat is being stalked. Her friend and roommate is murdered in a similar way a few girls have been in the past ~10 years at an Old West town that’s mostly for tourists. Are they connected, is someone playing games, or is it just a coincidence? As the plot unravels, we learn more about the other writers, the girls at the college who knew the victim, and the townspeople who keep the Old West image running. Something seems quite unusual, but it isn’t clear until the end. Along the path, we meet the girl who was supposed to die! :O And that throws a monkey wrench into all the suspicions and investigations.

Cat and her crew are likable. At first, I was a little thrown off because it’s the type of series where it’s much better to read in order. Some don’t require you to, but I feel like this one is a lot stronger if you do read in order. Once I got past that aspect (my fault, not the writer’s), I had a few other small items that made it hard for me to connect with some of Cat’s friends, but it didn’t distract from the story. I have a feeling the other books might easily earn 5-star ratings from me, but this one as my first intro wasn’t totally there yet. Overall, the plot was strong, the setting was very elaborate and interesting, and the characters had lots of personality in a positive way.

I look forward to reading more from the author, and I plan to read this series from the beginning and order the first in one of her other series at the end of the year. Oh yeah, she might also win the poll on my blog’s upcoming November readathon for cozy mysteries. Come check it out and maybe we’ll be reading a Cahoon series together!

View all my reviews

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.