Staging is Murder by Grace Topping

A debut novel and first in series

Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery #1) 4STARS

Laura Bishop is a home stager. She is currently staging a 19th century mansion with the help of her assistant, Tyrone. The one thing Laura could not have dreamed of, a murder of the home owner, and no, it was not staged. Due to an accident, Tyrone becomes suspect number one and is locked in jail. With the help of her best friend and Tyrone’s grandmother, Laura sets out to solve the crime and clear Tyrone’s name. However, the murderer is on to Laura. Can she solve this crime before she becomes a victim.

This was a great debut novel and start to a new series. I am looking forward to seeing what Laura gets into next along with the help of her new employee. I am also hoping for a romantic relationship for Laura and Doug.

I listened to the audible version of this novel narrated by Emily Durante. She did a fantastic job.

Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris

Book One of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

Tagged for Death (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #1) 5 STARS

I have no idea why it took me so long to start this series but I am so thrilled that I did. I am behind on posting my reviews so to give you perspective on how much I love it, I finished this book, book 1 on 9/13 and I am on book 4 today on 9/25, plus everything else that I have read along with this series.

Sarah Winston is a New England transplant from California. She moved with her now ex-husband, CJ, and his military career. Having a hard time in her newly single and lonely life, Sarah takes to hitting up garage sales again. Content, well as content as she can be, Sarah seems to be finding some stability in her life…. that is until she finds a bloody shirt and uniform in one of the bags from a garage sale. Not only is this a disturbing find, the bloody shirt seems to implicate her ex-husband. Putting her feelings on the side, Sarah sets out to solve the case and prove CJ’s innocence.

This book has everything; heartache, laughter, and murder. Many times in the story, I stopped and reflected on my past. I love mid-aged protagonists that have real life, daily problems that I can relate to. This series is up in my top overall favorites. And again, as much as I can kick myself for waiting so long to read it, I am loving being able to binge read it.

I have both the digital and audio versions of this book. Hillary Huber, who is one of my most favorite narrators, does and phenomenal job with this series.

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young

A Review and Interview with the Author

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown #1) 5 STARS

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings, book 1 of the Marygene Brown Series, is not only the first in an amazing series, but the first Cozy Mystery by Kate Young. I am blown away. Kate Young hit a Grand Slam with this book (homage to the Braves references throughout the book).

Marygene Brown leaves her abusive relationship in Atlanta to return back her hometown of Peach Cove, a small island town of Southern Georgia. Marygene’s plan is to join forces with her sister, Jena Lynn, and run the beloved Peach Diner, passed down by generations of family. What Marygene did not plan on, was a regular customer dying in the restaurant and her sister being lead off in handcuffs. She also didn’t bargain for having her mama show up to guide her through it all. Did I mention mama is dead??

With the help of her mama and others in town, Marygene sets out to prove her sister’s innocence and find out what is going on in her small town. Can she find the killer before the killer finds her?

The character development, setting description, and story line are phenomenal. I instantly fell in love with the characters. There were moments of shock, laughter, intrigue, and emotion throughout the entire book. The mystery was great, I did have my suspicions of the killer from the get go but the road getting there was worth the trip. I laughed many times at the shenanigans of Marygene and Betsy. And somehow, Kate Young adds in the emotional issues of domestic violence. Marygene Brown is one of the strongest Protagonists I have seen in long time.

I cannot wait to continue my journey with Marygene and the Peach Cove Gang.

I read the digital copy awarded to me by NetGalley as well as the audio version of the book. The narrator, Tiffany Morgan, does a fantastic job.

INTERVIEW WITH KATE YOUNG

1. After writing paranormal fantasies, what made you decide to dive into the Cozy Mystery genre? Will you continue to write in other genres?

Mysteries have become my favorite genre to read. I love everything from cozies to heart pounding thrillers. I decided a couple of years ago to try my hand at writing one. I had to learn to write differently. Panster style wouldn’t work in this genre. I took several classes offered through Sisters in Crime and learned that writing a mystery took skill. A skill I had to learn and am still learning. I have great respect for long term writers in the genre. The plan right now is to focus on writing more mysteries.

2. They say write what you know. Being from a small town in Georgia, is Peach Cove based on a real town?

The inspiration for Peach Cove came from both Savannah and Seaside, Florida. The quaintness and beauty of Seaside and the old southern charm of Savannah.

3. Are any of your characters based off of people you know?

The Yvonne character is loosely based on my childhood best friend. The character has her likeness some of her mannerisms, and charm that merged beautifully with the character she became.

4. When can we expect from Marygene Brown and the town of Peach Cove?

There is a lot to come from Marygene and the Peach Cove gang. In book two, Southern Sass and A Crispy Corpse, our heroine is pushed to the limit and finds that her southern sleuthing grit is her saving grace. It’s a wild ride for sure.

To learn more and keep up with Kate Young…

https://www.kateyoungbooks.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Young/e/B0094KQZSS

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateYoung/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527572.Kate_Young

https://www.instagram.com/kateyoungbooks/