Audiobook Review: ‘The White Russian Caper’ by Phyllis Entis


Damien and Millie return in the second instalment of the Damien Dickens mystery series, ‘The White Russian Caper‘ is a mystery adventure that takes the reader from Atlantic City to Hollywood— erm… Florida, in pursuit of the answers they are commissioned to find.

As in all good mysteries, there are plenty of viable suspects and some most intriguing complications and twists.

Tom Lennon delivers another excellent detective-noir style narration with clarity, easy pace, and very good characterisations of the various roles in the story.

Like the first in the series, this audiobook comes highly recommended, and has received a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy of the novel or the audiobook

Book Review: ‘Christmas Miracle on Halloween’ by R.M. Gauthier

Another great instalment in R.M. Gauthier’s holiday themed mystery series.

There are more ghosts from the past than Jack can handle in this sixth book in Gauthier’s lighthearted mystery/romance novella series, which is set in Christmas Town at Halloween.  

This instalment in the series sees the mysteries of Jack’s current case heighten as the secrecy about his investigation is revealed. 

At the same time, Jack finds himself in trouble with Charlotte more than once as questions about family, friends and events of the past come to the surface. A sense of foreboding lands heavily on the reader as Halloween arrives, leaving them to wonder if Jack will really prove able to help Charlotte deal with the parts of her past that haunt her still.

Once again, Gauthier has delivered an enjoyable and lighthearted read, loaded with enough questions to make the reader keep going in the hope of finding answers in the next book in the series. 

Christmas Miracle on Halloween has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘February White Lies: A Cat Collier Mystery’ by Carol Ann Kauffman

A great mystery novella – the second in an excellent series

Having thoroughly enjoyed ‘January Black Ice’, the first in Kauffman’s Cat Collier mystery series last year, I started this second instalment feeling a little sorry that I had left it so long. 

‘February White Lies’ picks up the story of Cat and her boyfriend Carter a short while after the end of the first story.  Members of their families and friends return as regular characters, alongside new people of interest in a new mystery. 

Kauffman’s characters are natural and familiarly drawn, and her writing is comfortable and easy to read. The different characters’ stories are interwoven neatly enough to work in a novella, but without the events of the plot feeling contrived or relationships overly orchestrated. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so I’m going to commit to reading ‘March Blues’ in the coming month. 

This excellent little mystery has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Get your copy here

Book Review: ‘The Christmas Will’ by A.S. McGowan

An enjoyable historical fiction with mystery and a hint of romance.

Set in Chicago and Boston in the 1860s, ‘The Christmas Will’ is the story of Ester Woods, who rises above prejudice and discrimination only to have it follow her. It is a story that explores the lot of women in pre-Civil War America, where men made the rules and women bore the consequences, yet it is also a story that celebrates the free thinking women who stood up against such strictures and embraced their intelligence and talents, and who dared to hope for more than just being someone’s wife. 

As an Australian, I found some of the grammar and word choices awkward, although I know that the author has followed accepted patterns of American English, so I was determined to not allow it to detract from the story that was being told.  I would, however, encourage the author to have non-Americans among her editorial team or beta readers, so that matters of local usage are less distracting for readers who are accustomed to more international patterns and usage of English.

 This is an enjoyable read. I do appreciate the way in which the author has blended elements of historical fiction and  mystery to make the story complex and intriguing.


‘The Christmas Will’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

 Find your copy here

Book Review: ‘January Black Ice’ by Carol Ann Kauffman

An excellent little mystery story.

Carol Ann Kauffman Cat Collier 1It is a skilful writer indeed who can captivate a reader, transport them to a new place and situation, introduce them to new people,, and then hold them there throughout the story. Carol Ann Kauffman is one such writer. Having been impressed by her writing style when reading her fantasy novella ‘Red Sarah’, which I enjoyed immensely, I was keen to pick up another of her works.

‘January Black Ice’ is a delightful, feel-good cozy mystery. The story is really well written. It flows easily, has great variation in pace and tone where it’s needed, and maintains a high level of engagement between the readers and the characters through tense and relaxed moments alike.

Kauffman writes lively, likeable characters whose stories intertwine in such a way that the reader thinks it’s going to be a romance until the mystery bursts onto the page in front of them, seamlessly turning the story in a new direction for local journalist Cat and for Carter, the mysterious new guy in town.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I’m pleased to see that there are more titles in the series. I’m definitely looking forward to spending more time with Cat Collier. Acorn Award I Golden

This excellent little mystery has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Cherry Pie or Die’ by CeeCee James

A mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end is always a great discovery to make.

CeeCee James Baker Street 1 Cherry Pie or DieA mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end is always a great discovery to make.

‘Cherry Pie Or Die’ is a cozy mystery with a great cast of characters, each of whom is carrying some relics of their own past while on a tour of historic sites in Pennsylvania. None are immediately obvious suspects, while the clues appear to make no sense at all. Georgie Tanner is a well-crafted and complex main character: likeable, smart, and flawed enough to allow the reader to both empathise with her and want to know more of her own story.

With deft strokes, the author draws the threads of the story together without giving too much away, and the reader keeps puzzling away while looking over Georgie’s shoulder.

By the end of the story, the reader feels right at home at the Baker St B&B, and is keen to return for the next mystery. I will definitely be back for another visit.
Acorn Award II Silver

‘Cherry Pie or Die’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.