Giveaways 5/31: Buh-Bye May!

May is over!
Here’s to a winning June! Hope it’s a start to a very lucky summer!
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Hand Tossed Murder: Patti Benning

(Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria #8)

In the midst of everything going on with the restaurant’s renovations, Ellie’s Grandmother has informed her that they’ll be having company. Old friends of hers are staying with them for a short-term visit. Initially, all is well with Kat & Norman. Nonna enjoys having old friends around.

But, soon after they arrive, a murder occurs. The victim is an acquaintance of Kat & Norman. As Russell begins investigating, it starts to look as if Nonna’s friends aren’t the same people she once knew. Are they really murderers?

‘Hand-Tossed’ continues our series with a bit of a far-reach for a mystery. Initially, everything made sense. Towards the end, things got muddled and felt as if the author rushed to wrap it up. That said, it certainly isn’t a bad read. It just wasn’t the best one in the series.
I gave it 3 stars.

Careful Little Eyes: Willow Rose

Book #4 in the 7th Street Crew Series

Book #3 left us with a cliffhanger ending. Mary & Joey’s son, Salter, had been abducted by Mary’s psychotic brother, Blake. Here, Book #4 picks up right where we left off. However, in true Willow Rose style, we see multiple stories intertwine and are told together until they meet up in the present.

The first storyline is, of course, Salter’s kidnapping. Mary & Joey have embarked on a road trip to New Orleans. Internet guru & friend, Chloe, has picked up Blake’s picture from a security camera. She gives all the help she can and the ex-spouses are determined to find their son.

Next, we have a ‘ghost’ story. New Orleans in the early 1900s was terrorized by a murderer known only as the Axeman. Now, in the current time period, murders are occurring via the same M.O. Initially, residents attribute it to the original killer ‘returning’ to kill some more. Regardless, the city is again in the grips of terror as victims stack up.

A more recent yet still blast from the past story involves a woman trying to do the right thing. Robyn is childless & lonely. Little Suzy is an abused, neglected child. When they meet, they are a help to one another. But, Robyn’s kindness & Suzy’s volatile home life are on a crash course. How this connects to the other 2 will be up to curious readers to discover.

Book #4 is a great read. It is almost impossible to guess the ending. Very few clues are given to the reader. With many authors, that would’ve been a disaster. Willow Rose made it work just as she does with all her 2 to 3 plot books.

Unlike many of her works, this one isn’t as gory/graphic. Yes, there’s violence, but it’s not distracting and it isn’t over the top, either. The plot was more of an in-depth mystery than straight horror. I really liked that although the Axeman is attributed by some characters as a paranormal fiend, it doesn’t match the reality. It would’ve ruined the book for me if it had been.

Not all the members of the 7th Street Crew play a role this time. Mainly, it’s all Mary & Joey with a little Chloe. There’s a lot of character development for these two. Blake remains every sister’s nightmare & the mega-villain that he’s meant to be.

All told it’s a fantastic mystery & a definite 4 star read.