Wednesday, May 2, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Pick and Chews by Linda O. Johnston


Title: Pick and Chews
Series: Barkery & Biscuits Mystery #4
Author: Linda O. Johnston

Goodreads Summary: 
Carrie Kennersly tries to help her veterinarian boyfriend when he's under suspicion of murder...Is he a keeper, or should she let him go off-leash for good?
As a technician for a local vet and the owner of the Barkery & Biscuits dog bakery, Carrie Kennersly is excited to host a rescue animal adoption event. She's also excited to be in a relationship with veterinarian Dr. Reed Storme, despite his pleas for her to butt out of the murder cases she keeps finding herself involved with. Yet when Reed is accused of killing his former veterinary colleague, he seems a lot more agreeable to having amateur detective Carrie butt back in. Can Carrie clear Reed, or does she care too much for a killer?

Includes recipes for dog treats and people treats!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
The mystery was decent but it dragged a bit. It took way too long for the victim to be killed, and the pacing never really picked up from there. I was surprised by the killer, but by then I really didn't care who did it.

My Manicure: Ugh, I almost forgot to finish this post. I went for a cute animal themed manicure. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I stamped using Bundle Monster S159, Tranceland, and Monarch Dream.


Monday, April 30, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes


Title: Dead as a Doornail
Series: Kenni Lowry #5
Author: Tonya Kappes

Goodreads Summary: 
Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was a very unique book, including the form of murder. There were a couple of nitpicky research errors, but I only noticed because I know way too much about the subject. I had a lot of fun with the descriptions of how huge Duke is. The ending was definitely surprising.

My Manicure: Ok. I think I managed to get the inspiration correct. I looked up the polish color used in the book and found the closest one I had. I started with a base of Philly Loves Lacquer That Barbie Is Mine! The polish bottles were stamped with Bundle Monster 619 and So Metal.


Friday, April 27, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Magick Run Amok by Sharon Pape


Title: Magick Run Amok
Series: Abracadabra Mystery #3
Author: Sharon Pape

Goodreads Summary: 
The answer to whodunit may lie beyond the veil . . . 
November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved . . .
Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play—especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
My notes on this book are not helping me at all. For example, I wrote down "Amok! Amok! Amok, Amok, Amok!" because every time I saw the title it popped into my head. I really enjoy the humor in this series. It actually comes in two different forms - Merlin attempting to understand the modern world (or not bothering to understand some of it), and Morgana and Bronwyn's constant bickering and awkward timing. The mystery itself was pretty good, but a little overly complicated.

My Manicure: Ugh I am so far behind. This was already supposed to be posted, but I ended up exhausted with a migraine and could not get the energy or focus to post it. Kailyn has a lot of cats, so I went with a black cat familiar theme. I started with ILNP Mega (L). Then I stamped the cats with MoYou London Festive 15 and Bundle Monster Straight Up Black.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Antiques Wanted by Barbara Allan


Title: Antiques Wanted
Series: Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery #12
Author: Barbara Allan

Goodreads Summary: 
Spring lassoes small-town Serenity, as Brandy Borne's crime-bustin' mama Vivian hatches a harebrained scheme to run for County Sheriff--ropin' in her daughter to join the rodeo as campaign manager. As the two-woman posse tracks down voters at a local assisted-living home, Brandy's attempts at corralling Mother's impractical whims make her feel like a tinhorn on a bucking bronco. But sure as shootin', unhappy trails lie ahead. . . .

Shortly after the Borne gals receive a valuable signed photo of an old-timey cowboy actor from the elderly aunt of Vivian's political opponent, a massive explosion sends Brandy to the ER and auntie to the grave.

With a string of unexplained deaths turning Sunny Meadow into Boot Hill, the ditzy duo--aided by their clever shih tzu Sushi--must lay down the law on a deadly outlaw . . . before someone's elected the next victim, with the Bornes headin' toward their last round-up!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
A fun story with an unsatisfying mystery. I honestly love the unique way the series is written. It is quirky and feels like how someone would actually tell a story. The mystery was just weird. It was hard to follow at times and the ending didn't make a whole lot of sense.

My Manicure: So, yeah, this is how I picture Vivian as she runs for Sheriff. It just seems like something she would do. I started with Sinful Colors Leather Loose. Then I stamped the Sheriff with Winstonia 214 and Bundle Monster Heart of Gold.


Monday, April 23, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Read Herring Hunt by V.M. Burns


Title: Read Herring Hunt
Series: Mystery Bookshop Mystery #2
Author: V.M. Burns

Goodreads Summary: 
Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it's not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . . To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcĂ©e Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .

While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson's defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Another fun Mystery Bookshop mystery. I love the stories that Samantha writes, and I would love to see them released as novellas. The mystery was fun but a little bit simple. I love reading about "the girls" and their antics.

My Manicure: Since the series involves a bookshop, I chose a cute little bookworm. I started with a base of ILNP Kings & Queens. I love how bold and holographic it is. Then I stamped the bookworm with MJ JR-2 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Death of a Cookbook Author by Lee Hollis


Title: Death of a Cookbook Author
Series: Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery #10
Author: Lee Hollis

Goodreads Summary: 
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell will be cooking alongside top chefs at a cookbook author's party. But a killer plans to ruin her appetite . . . When Hayley's idol, cookbook author and TV personality Penelope Janice, invites her to participate in a Fourth of July celebrity cook-off at her seaside estate in Seal Harbor, Maine, Hayley couldn't be more flattered. She just hopes she can measure up. With a who's who of famous chefs whipping up their signature dishes, this holiday weekend has all the ingredients for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.

Instead, Hayley gets food poisoning her first night and thinks she overhears two people cooking up a murder plot. The next morning, a body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Tragic accident or foul play? To solve a real cliffhanger, Hayley will need to uncover some simmering secrets--before a killer boils over again . . .

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
The best word I can come up with to describe this book is unexpected. It may be an odd word choice, but every time I was sure of something, it went in an unexpected direction. The mystery was well written and nicely paced. I really like Hayley's column. It adds an extra bit of humor and shows who Hayley is when she isn't in the middle of a murder.

My Manicure: Since the book takes place during a Fourth of July cook-off, I had to go with a patriotic look. I started with a base of Zoya Trixie. Then I stamped my flags with Bundle Monster H25, Red Hot, and Crystalized.


Monday, April 16, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Expiration Date by Devon Delaney


Title: Expiration Date
Series: Cook-Off Mystery #1
Author: Devon Delaney

Goodreads Summary: 
After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking--but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry's latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she's more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school.Today, she's hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone's decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry's dish is deemed suspicious. Now she'll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry's Kitchen!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was an interesting start to a new series. There were a lot of food puns and quirky names. The mystery had a nice twist to it. My problem with the book is that Sherry didn't seem to have common sense.

My Manicure: This is my really bad attempt at free handing an apron. I chose an apron because Sherry likes to collect aprons from the various cooking competitions she is in. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I drew the apron using a Kiss White striping brush.