Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Pawprints & Predicaments by Bethany Blake


Title: Pawprints and Predicaments
Series: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #3
Author: Bethany Blake

Goodreads Summary: 
The Tail Waggin' Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who's filming the festivities. She's critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake--and as a matter of fact, that's exactly what they're both going to do . . .

It's the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore--with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard--but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation--whether he wants her to or not . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
Could someone please make the Tail Waggin' Winterfest real? Minus the murder, it sounds like a wonderful festival, and it is a beautiful setting for the mystery. There are some amazingly quirky characters and pets. I found the mystery to be a bit surprising.

My Manicure: I went for a Winterfest look today. I started with a base of KBShimmer Ink Again. To me, this represents the lake that kicks off the plot. I stamped the snowflakes with Bundle Monster H02 and So Metal.


Monday, February 26, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Color Me Murder by Krista Davis


Title: Color Me Murder
Series: Pen & Ink Mysteries #1
Author: Krista Davis

Goodreads Summary: 
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.
When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
My creative side absolutely adored this book. The idea of Florrie sketching out clues and ideas was simply amazing. I wish that the carriage house really existed - it sounds absolutely stunning. The mystery was great with a nice amount of humor in it.

My Manicure: I went for a coloring book feel today. This unicorn image felt like one you would find in a coloring book, and the bright colors look like ones I would use for coloring. I started out with Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I used a variety of Bundle Monster stamping polishes and P101.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Hummus and Homicide by Tina Kashian


Title: Hummus and Homicide
Series: Kebob Kitchen Mystery #1
Author: Tina Kashian

Goodreads Summary: 
When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she's getting--the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family's Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn't on the menu . . .
Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn't mind. She doesn't even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It's fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who's married to a cop now.

She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she's just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen--where she's tallied up a whole list of bogus violations--she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it's homicide, and Lucy's the number one suspect . . .

Recipes included!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This was a fun start to a new series. I loved how there was a strong focus on family. The setting was a little "standard cozy setting," but it felt like a nice place (minus the murder of course). The mystery was well written and kept me guessing until the end.

My Manicure: My inspiration is a bit screwy on this one. I wanted a Mediterranean feel, and my first thought (baklava) wasn't going to work. So I ended up going with a leafy theme since grape leaves are big in Mediterranean cuisine. I started with Sinful Colors Pistache, which I then topped with Green Ocean. The leaves were done with Pueen 55 and Bundle Monster Bam! White.


Monday, February 19, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower


Title: Lethal Licorice
Series: Amish Candy Shop Mystery #2
Author: Amanda Flower

Goodreads Summary: 
Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .

Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

Recipe Included!

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
A great addition to a wonderful series. The setting is beautiful. I love the contrast of the Amish views and Bailey's modern views. I also enjoyed how this naturally caused some conflict throughout the story. The ending wasn't my favorite, but I really enjoyed the rest of the book.

My Manicure: Today, I was inspired by two themes in the book - candy and Amish simplicity. I went for a simple black and white color scheme with stamped candies. I started out with a base of Sinful Colors Black on Black. Then I stamped the candies with Bundle Monster 306 and Bam! White.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - I Know What You Bid Last Summer by Sherry Harris


Title: I Know What You Bid Last Summer
Series: Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #5
Author: Sherry Harris

Goodreads Summary: 
Sherry Harris presents the fifth installment of this charming, bestselling cozy mystery series! One man's junk is another man's treasure. But finding that treasure can be murder. As Sarah Winston discovers, someone is always ready to kill someone else for seemingly worthless pieces of junk.FOUL PLAY IN THE GYM
When it comes to running a successful garage sale, Sarah Winston believes in doing her homework. She also believes in giving back. But when she agrees to manage an athletic equipment swap, she doesn't bargain on an uncharitable killer. The day of the event, the school superintendent is found dead in the gymnasium.

Suddenly the murder suspects are the school board members--including the husband of a very difficult client who's hired Sarah to run a high-end sale and demands she do her bidding. In between tagging and haggling, Sarah studies the clues to see who wanted to teach the superintendent a lesson. But as she closes in on the truth, the killer intends to give her a crash course on minding her own business . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This series gets better and better with each book. There is so much going on in this book, but it never gets overwhelming. I was a little sad that there wasn't really a focus on the military this time. I really liked the balance of humor and mystery.

My Manicure:  For today's manicure, I was inspired by the sports equipment swap. Then I realized that I am severely lacking sports images. I started with a base of Great Lakes Lacquer Kanaloa, mainly because I really didn't want to take it off of my nails. I stamped my vaguely soccer ball like image with Bundle Monster 408 and So Metal.

Monday, February 12, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - Death by a Whisker by T.C. LoTempio


Title: Death by a Whisker
Series: Cat Rescue Mystery #2
Author: T.C. LoTempio

Goodreads Summary: 
Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter's newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
I really enjoyed this book, but I did feel that it had some minor pacing issues. The mystery was well-written, and I was surprised by the ending.

My Manicure: Meow! I was inspired by calico cats today. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Kovet. Then I dabbed on Zoya Dove and KBShimmer Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana. Sort of abstract, but it sort of resembles a cat pattern.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany


Title: The Cat of the Baskervilles
Series: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #3
Author: Vicki Delany

Goodreads Summary: 
The show is coming to town on Cape Cod. The West London Theater Festival is putting on a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Gemma Doyle is excited and participating with her friend Jayne Wilson, whose mother, Leslie, just happens to be volunteering with the company. Leslie arranges a fundraising tea party at the home of the festival organizer, catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a rousing success, but Sir Nigel Bellingham, the famous star cast as the lead of Sherlock, goes missing. And Gemma finds him at the bottom of the cliff. Dead.

Before the tea, Sir Nigel had come by the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, only for Gemma to realize that he’s not at all suited to the role. But as Gemma and Jayne investigate, the list of suspects just grows longer. Long past his prime, Sir Nigel was second to a younger actor who had first been given the role. The festival’s executive director also expressed that he had been hired over her objections. Then there are the slew of people to whom Sir Nigel was rude. They all have motive, but then a scrap of Leslie’s apron caught on a bush by Sir Nigel’s body is found. And the police are set to pounce as she becomes suspect #1.

It’s up to Gemma and Jayne to team up again and clear Jayne’s mother’s name in The Cat of the Baskervilles, the delightful third Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
This series is definitely growing on me. Gemma is a strong, yet flawed character who also knows that she has flaws. I really enjoyed the mystery and the backstory that was given with it.

My Manicure: Tea time! Since tea is such a big thing in this series, I went for a simple tea time look. I started with Vapid Catch Me If You Can because, well, look at it. It is such a gorgeous color. My tea image was stamped with Bundle Monster XL156 and So Metal.


Monday, February 5, 2018

My Nails and My Book Review - A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell


Title: A Grave Issue
Series: Funeral Parlor Mystery #1
Author: Lillian Bell

Goodreads Summary: 
After an on-air gaffe goes viral and jeopardizes her career, journalist Desiree Turner retreats home to Verbena, California for some peace and quiet. She begins working one of the quietest jobs around: presiding over funerals for her great-grandfather’s funeral parlor. But the action seems to follow her as a fistfight breaks out between neighbors Rosemarie Brewer and Lola Hansen at one of the first funerals she’s in charge of running. It exposes a nasty dispute and Rosemarie’s husband, Alan, is found murdered shortly after.

Lola’s husband, Kyle, is immediately arrested. Desiree, whose own father’s death was devastating, has always viewed Kyle as a second father. Determined to clear his name, Desiree jumps head first into the investigation and quickly discovers that Alan had several unsavory habits at his job and in his personal life, including putting assets into his mistress’s account to hide them from Rosemarie. People murder for money and love all the time, and there’s no telling who he offended just enough to push them over the edge.

Desiree is looking in all the right places, but she better catch the killer fast before they come for her next in A Grave Issue, the clever series debut by Lillian Bell.

My Review: **I voluntarily read this ARC**
A fun start to a new series. I really enjoyed reading the "newspaper articles". It was a fun way to have new information introduced. The mystery was well written with some great suspects. I'm really looking forward to reading more of this series.

My Manicure: Today, I was inspired by the newspaper articles. I started with three coats of ILNP Mega (L). Then I stamped the writing with Bundle Monster S241 and Straight Up Black.