Murder at the PTA review

This is the first book in the Maya & Sandra series by brother/sister writing team Lee Hollis. I love the characters they always come up with, sometimes funny and always memorable. The book spent a year as a B&N exclusive, but for some reason I never got around to reading it even though I do own the paperback. (It probably got buried under some other books I haven’t gotten to yet!) I was going to just order the Kindle version and was pleasantly surprised that I actually won a copy from a recent Goodreads giveaway. I’d also gotten it from NetGalley. Now I’m super anxious to get hold of the second book whenever that might be coming! 

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the PTA (Maya and Sandra Mystery, #1)Murder at the PTA by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book a lot! I knew I’d like anything this author writes, because I love their other two series. It’s great how they can set a different tone for each series they’ve written. Maya and Sandra were the two most unlikely candidates for sleuthing partners, but they worked together really well once Maya adjusted to Sandra being a senator’s wife. She soon found out that Sandra wasn’t the typical prissy trophy wife but someone who was very committed to a new friendship and possibly sleuthing partnership. Sandra was pretty smart and able to read people well too.

Someone had offed the vice principal of the high school the night that Sandra had her first PTA meeting as president, and the woman’s sister hired Maya’s PI firm to prove that it was murder not suicide. What a crazy web of deception and secrets this all led to! I loved it, and the showdown was super exciting, at least to me. The wrap-up was great and whatever wasn’t already explained got mentioned as to the outcome. What a fun ending! Now I can’t wait for the next book!

I won a Kindle copy of this book in the Goodreads giveaway, but that in no way affected my review, and my opinions are completely my own.

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Foul Play on Words–review

This is the second book in the Mystery Writer’s mystery series by Becky Clark. According to her bio at the end of the book, she is no stranger to writer conferences and has served as faculty on quite a number of them. She did say that she’s never encountered a hotel being double-booked with a conference and a dog show though. 😉 I was hooked on her writing since I read the first book last year, and I was eagerly awaiting the release of this one.

My Goodreads review:

Foul Play on Words (Mystery Writer's Mystery, #2)Foul Play on Words by Becky Clark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was absolutely awesome and so funny in places! I just love the author’s sense of humor which transfers easily to her characters. I don’t think Viv, Charlee’s good friend, was mentioned in the first book, at least I don’t remember her, but she and the conference were the center of this book. The first one took place in Charlee’s home state of Colorado, and we met her writers’ group. The writers’ conference was being held in Portland, Oregon, and suddenly Charlee found herself in charge, turning more than the kidnapping into a mystery, suspecting everyone of different things. It was pretty comical when she was following different people around and calling the police to report a kidnapping that she had no evidence of ever happening, since Viv swore her to secrecy.

When the perp was caught it was a great showdown. Charlee used her instincts and wits from being a mystery writer to trap that person. After having used the iron to attach conference patches to countless t-shirts, Charlee also found out that the iron came in handy for other things too. I loved that all the little ends were neatly wrapped up at the final banquet, a good happy ending for all. Even though there was no murder, I was so interested in finding out more about the case, that I didn’t really think about it or attempt to anticipate a murder. It was different in a really good way–I already know from reading the first book that the author is also great at a murder mystery, and now I can’t wait for the third book! I may give the first book a reread in the meantime…and maybe this one too. 😉

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