Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody Review/Release Day

This is the big day for author Barbara Ross and her new Jane Darrowfield series. She’s releasing it exclusively on Barnes & Noble for a year, then like some others that I’ve bought there first, it’ll come to other booksellers.

I had received an advance paperback copy from the publisher, so I read it earlier this month, but I didn’t think I should blog about it that early. Jane Darrowfield has always had a skill of fixing things for people, not the illegal kind of fixing but the friendly and helpful kind. Or as her new friend Harry put it so well, “professional busybody.” I really enjoyed getting to know Jane and her friends. She had quite the adventure living at a retirement village trying to patch things up among some of the residents, and she definitely didn’t expect to find out that one of those residents was murdered. There were more fun twists and turns along the way.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a paperback ARC of this book providing by @Kensington Publishing, and my opinions are my own. Thanks to my contacts there for letting me read this awesome book ahead of time!

My Goodreads review:

Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody (Jane Darrowfield #1)Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane is a new 55+ age sleuth and I really like her! She’s a widow, misses her husband a lot but is strong and independent and doesn’t feel like she absolutely needs a guy in her life–although it would be nice. Jane was known as a fixer of lives, or as a new gentleman friend (yes she actually helped her friend with online dating and ended up taking the man for herself lol) called her, a professional busybody. Her reputation was locally known, so it came as no surprise to her when a man named Paul who was in charge of a retirement community called on her to hire her for her services (hence, the professional in professional busybody). The residents acted like they were in high school with their lunch room cliques and gangs. Paul hoped that she could fix that by talking to people which was pretty much her superpower.

Jane didn’t expect to have a murder occur during her stay at the retirement village, but she was determined to figure that one out, which wasn’t easy in a place where nearly every person had secrets, including the employees. There was a good twist in the mystery and eventually when the killer clues started coming, I realized who it was. There were so many different characters that really the only ones I feel like we got to know were Jane, her new friend Harry and Jane’s friend Det. Alavarez. I liked them all and hope that the guys will follow her into another book.

This book releases later in June. I received an advance reader paperback copy from the publisher, but my opinions are my own and have no bearing on receiving the free book.

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Ditched 4 Murder–review

This is the second book in the Sophie Kimball series by J.C. Eaton aka Ann Goldfarb and Jim Clapp, a husband and wife writing team. I had such fun reading the first one and if it’s possible, this one was more fun than that book was. I love humor in cozies and this book has plenty–and it’s so easy and fun to picture it!

My Goodreads review:

Ditched 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery, #2)Ditched 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was even funnier than the first one, especially the ending with the showdown and wedding reception. I could really picture this happening in a funny mystery movie!

Phee Kimball was settled in, living in Arizona and working for Nate Williams, a retired police detective, who had opened his own investigations company in Arizona. Life was never dull in the first book with Phee’s mom Harriet around. Now toss in Harriet’s sister, Ina, who was getting married to a guy named Louis. It was one madcap thing after another with the crazy wedding plans that Ina had dreamed up. Add two murders to this mixture, and you end up with a great mystery that has a fun twist at the end, as well as a very different but funny wedding reception. Shake well after adding a bat for extra hilarity.

It was fun and different to get to a certain point in the book and be fairly sure of who was doing what. All that needed to be done was go after the perp and hope that all the puzzle pieces fell into place and that the sheriff arrived in time. Nate has to be a saint to put up with Harriet causing Phee to need to leave the office or hysterically call him at all hours. He seems like a great guy to work for. I like the new character of Augusta, the office assistant too. Ina was Harriet…on steroids. Even Harriet got fed up with her phone calls and worrying about the wedding details.

This series is just so good that I will be moving along to book 3 next.

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Booked 4 Murder–review

This was such a fun book! It’s the first book in the Sophie Kimball series, written by husband and wife team of Ann Goldfarb and Jim Clapp aka J.C. Eaton. I just the first in their new Wine Trail series and already knew I loved their writing style. This book starts with Minnesota and Arizona in September, a super warm month yet for Arizona and Phee at times probably wondered what she was thinking when she told her mom she’d look into her book club problem for her by coming out for a visit.

I loved the idea of Phee’s mom having a little chiweenie as her companion–this is the best unlicensed picture I could come up with. I wish Phee liked little Streetman better than she currently does!

My Goodreads review:

Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery, #1)Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book! I was sucked in from the very beginning and could barely put it down. Phee and her mom were such great characters together, yeah maybe her mom is a tad annoying but isn’t everyone’s a little that way? The person I guessed was not the perp, and I even went for a kind of obscure person.

Sophia “Phee” Kimball got a call from her mom, frantically saying that the book their book club was reading was cursed since three people had already died after reading it. Phee tried to reason with her mom but she knew early on she’d end up down in Arizona from Minnesota. Phee’s good friend, Nate, a detective with the police department where she was in accounts receivable, encouraged her to go. He said she always did such a good job of tracking down receipts and things like that, she’d be a natural for investigating. Phee didn’t really know where to begin, but with Nate’s guidance, she soon had a lot of good information, including what her mother had written down for her before she got there.

I loved how Nate and Phee would share info and how he’d get the tech guy helping her. It was kind of refreshing not to have the main character worrying about which guy she likes, and instead have the male character she’s interacting with be 20 years older and more her mentor. That gave her time to be more concerned with finding out the answer to what ended up being a whole trail of secrets and puzzles that led to the senior ladies’ deaths. Was it murder or was someone using the supposed-curse to their advantage? Who would want to off these sweet old ladies? You’ll have to read and find out. You’ll be surprised and pleased with the ending. Phee somewhat got to Miss Marple and Poirot her findings, but that final book meeting/reveal was pretty hilarious at times.

I really like what happened at the very end of the book when she returned to her office job. You’ll know if you read book blurbs, but I don’t want to be responsible for spoiling it for someone. All I know is, book 2 here I come.

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