The Museum Murder by Katie Gayle

Thanks to Sarah Hardy of Bookouture Books-on-Tour for the invitation to read and review the second book in the Epiphany Bloom mystery series. Regular readers of my blog may remember that I reviewed The Kensington Kidnap in December 2021 (see review at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/12/04/the-kensington-kidnap-by-katie-gayle/). This book was published in the UK yesterday by Bookouture, who kindly supplied a digital review copy for me to read and review.

Synopsis:

Epiphany ‘Pip’ Bloom, would-be detective and London’s unluckiest woman, finds herself in a real costume drama when she unearths a theft at a fashion museum.

The missing dress is a proper piece of Hollywood history, worth a fortune. And as Pip investigates, she finds the museum staff all had reasons to want the garment gone. From fancy boutiques to sketchy back alleys, Pip discovers the fashion world is not all glitz and glamour as she hunts down her prize.

As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Pip also has her growing feelings for her housemate Tim to contend with, a family of cats to feed and her mother keeps phoning about a shipment of llamas arriving any day now from South America.

But there’s no time for distractions because Pip’s not the only one after the dress. And for the most dedicated collectors, a piece like this is worth any price – even murder…

A laugh-out-loud, light-hearted cozy mystery for fans of M.C. Beaton, T.E. Kinsey and Joanne Fluke, that will have you reading late into the night.

My thoughts:

After over two months in lockdown in the winter in the UK, it was good to meet Pip again. When we left her at the end of The Kensington Kidnap, she was working for Boston Investigations. However, in true Pip style, she is now looking for another job so that she can pay her rent and continue living with her flatmate Tim.

As the synopsis above mentions, this time Pip finds herself looking for a missing iconic dress with a number of suspects to chat to and a suspicious death. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is a cosy mystery with comedy moments, as we hear from Pip’s mother and find out more about why Pip has been asked to leave previous jobs.

Pip’s sister makes a reappearance, with her mixed up phrases, as do other characters from the Kensington Kidnap. However it would be possible to read this without reading book one because they are separate mysteries.

This book was a fun read, escapism from the real world and we all need that at the moment. Happy to recommend to all fans of cosy mysteries and amateur detective novels. Available in ebook and paperback formats now.

Author Bio:

Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet.

https://www.facebook.com/KatieGayleWriter
https://twitter.com/KatieGayleBooks

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3chaM1l

Apple: https://apple.co/3qzldlV

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3mTY1MV

Google: https://bit.ly/33QqdsO

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald #TheStonebridgeMysteries

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my thoughts about the first in the series of The Stonebridge Mysteries by Chris McDonald, a novella published recently by Red Dog Press. This is a no spoiler review. Thanks to Meggy for the invitation to read and review.

Synopsis:

Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.

Armed with an encyclopaedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.

Buy links:

Amazon Link: mybook.to/Stonebridge

Red Dog Press: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Chris McDonald and I’m already looking forward to reading more of the Stonebridge series. I have seen great reviews for Chris’s DI Erika Piper Series but must admit that I prefer a cosy mystery at the moment (I also enjoyed reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as a teenager).

This is a book I read in one sitting. Adam and Colin are determined to prove that Daniel’s death wasn’t an accidental alcohol induced death. Channelling their inner Sherlock and Watson, they work together to piece together the events of the previous evening and night, to see who may want to harm the best man the night before the wedding.

Loved the story, the humour and the friendship between Adam and Colin. This book was a welcome escape from the reality of 2021 and I’m happy to recommend it to fans of cosy mysteries.

Author Bio:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021.