Book Review: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (Pampered Pets Mystery #3) by Sparkle Abbey

Caro Lamont—pet therapist—and her cousin Melinda Langston—owner of The Bow Wow Boutique—pamper the kitties and pooches of Laguna Beach’s elites. Unfortunately, their human clients keep turning up dead.

“We were at an art exhibition at The Montage,” I told the detective, “and Kitty asked me to take her cats home because something had come up. Something urgent. It seemed strange, but then the whole evening was strange with dogs and cats. Ones that paint, I mean. And Kitty would never leave her cats, but she did, so it must have been really urgent . . .”
Detective Judd Malone looked past me. “Are those the cats?”
I nodded.
“What kind are they? They’re huge.”
“They’re Bengal cats. Bengals are a hybrid. A cross between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard Cat. It’s a relatively new breed. Most have . . .” Malone’s face said TMI. Fair enough, more info than he’d been looking for.
“I imagine you know I’m here about Ms. Bardot?” Malone was suddenly all business.
“Yes.” I held my breath and hoped for good news.
“Caro.” He paused. “She didn’t make it.”
“She—” I felt my throat close, and I swallowed hard trying to get control of my emotions. “Too many injuries?” I finally asked. Whatever her emergency had been, it had seemed to upset her. She’d been shaken, and Kitty was never shaken. I remembered her voice as she’d asked me to take care of Tobey and Minou and get them home. The cats. What would happen to the cats now? “Was she driving too fast?”
“Not exactly.” Malone’s voice was serious and grim. “We won’t know until we have a lot more information from the crime lab. It’s too soon to tell, but it may have been a case of road rage. Kitty Bardot was shot.”

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The Pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets – Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). They reside in central Iowa, but if they could write anywhere, you would find them on the beach with their laptops and depending on the time of day, with either an iced tea or a margarita.

This is a fun read and even though I have not read the whole series I really enjoyed it and the overall fun romp. There was danger but like the style of cozy suggests there was nothing to dark. The cats really makes me giggle you can’t help but smile when they appear especially if you are a cat lover like me.

The book itself is well written and there are some interesting stories. While I did have the idea of who the killer was longer before the reveal gave it I enjoyed it. The book was fun and it did not take me long to get through.

toop style=”text-align: center;”>My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Blood and Roses by A.K. Alexander

Someone is torturing and killing high-stakes players in the horse-racing world, deliberately mimicking equine injuries. Legs shattered, knees hobbled, shot point-blank between the eyes, all signs point to an animal activist gone rogue. But San Diego CSI Holly Jennings knows better. She’s seen enough violence in her time to know the difference between a killer bent on revenge and a killer seeking sheer destruction.

To stop him, Holly must venture beyond the gleaming facade of jockey silks and Derby hats into the seedy underbelly of the racing world, where ambition and greed trump ethics and fair play, and people will do anything—even kill—to win. But just when she thinks the killer is within her reach, a ghost from the past returns to threaten it all: her case, her job…and her life

It has been a while again since I have read a dirty and gritty crime novel, but what can I say I love anything in the horse racing area so I thought I would give this one a try. I love the idea behind this book and the writing pretty much carries that out. There were a few parts that for me dragged a little and could have either been cleaned up more, or left out all together.

Other than that this really is a win if you are a lover of mystery and thriller genre. It has everything you could want for that and set in the horse racing world. I will be looking for some more by this author when I am in the mood for a good thriller again.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Yip/Tuck (Pampered Pets Mystery #4) by Sparkle Abbey

A killer has been unleashed.
Book Three in the bestselling Pampered Pets Mystery Series

One of Laguna Beach’s best-known plastic surgeons may need a new leash on life. Unless he’s just taking a very long nap on the bench outside Melinda Langston’s Bow Wow Boutique . . .

This was a short, fun and enjoyable read for me. It was actually the first book I have read by this author, and I plan now to go back and read the other books in the series. I really enjoyed this as a cozy it was fast, fun and I finished it really fast. If you are new to the cozy mystery genre I think this would be a good place for you to start. If you are not new you are going to enjoy it anyways. I think I smiled the whole way through this one if that gives you any idea of the fun I had while reading it.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Buyer Beware by Diane Vallere

Release Date: March 5th 2013

Out-of-work fashion expert Samantha Kidd is strapped. But when the buyer of handbags for a hot new retailer turns up dead and Samantha is recruited for the job, the opportunity comes with a caveat: she’s expected to find some answers. The police name a suspect but the label doesn’t fit. Samantha turns to a sexy stranger for help, but as the walls close around her like a snug satin lining, she must get a handle on the suspects, or risk being caught in the killer’s clutches.

Buyer Beware by Diane Vallere is the second book in her Style and Error series of mysteries. Samantha Kidd is an out of work fashion expert who is like many who are unemployed struggling to make ends meat. It would seem her prayers have been answered when she is recruited to be the buyer for a hot new retailer, but all is not as it seems. The person in the position before her has been murdered and while she is offered the job it is expected she find some answers. So a girl has to do the job, help solve the murder and try not to be murdered herself.

The first thing I can say about Buyer beware is that for the Kindle version there were some serious formatting issues. I am sure (or at least I hope) these will be addressed before the publication date because when you are reading a book it can be very distracting and take you away from the story with such glaring issues. That aside the book itself was okay.

It had good pacing and the character of Samantha Kidd is likeable. The writing style in using Samantha’s point of view makes it an entertaining read and it is a fast one too. I would have liked some of the plot pieces not to be quite so predictable. Even as someone who is just getting back into mystery books I was able to figure out several pieces of the story well in advance. It is a good read if your looking for something fast and fairly entertaining, if you liked the first book a lot you will probably like this one as well.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Davinci Code by Dan Brown

An ingenious code hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe. An astonishing truth concealed for centuries . . . unveiled at last.

While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever

The best parts of the book remind me of the first and third Indiana Jones films (Temple of Doom sucked). Dan Brown builds his fictional story on just enough truth about Christian history to spark imagination and plant in his readers a kernel that will lead to conversations, research and a deeper understanding of the life of Christ, the Church and the role mankind has played in muddying up the religion. We shouldn’t read his book as “The Gospel According to Dan”, and I would bet Mr. Brown would say the same thing. But it is a wonderful starting point for someone unfamiliar with the formation of the early church and the political/social choices of the first leaders that have shaped the evolution of the faith. I have yet to talk to any reader of the book who did not immediately locate a copy of The Last Supper and look for the clues the book suggests exists amid its scene.

But with all that highbrow content is a very lowbrow narrative, full of melodramatic mysteries, knock-you-over-the-head-clues and prose that at times sounds like it belongs in a dime store. The arch of the story is a common mystery (despite the very uncommon content), and is not unlike the plot of an episode of Scooby-Doo (a crime takes place, suspects are identified, people aren’t who they say they are and our heroes figure it all out). At the very end, I half expected the main villain to really be Old Man Withers of the Amusement Park and our two protagonists to enjoy a nice meal of Scooby Snacks.

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