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Series-ously Good Mysteries – October 2015

Ghost to the Rescue by Carolyn G. Hart is the sixth title in the Bailey Ruth mystery series following Ghost Wanted. When you wish upon a star, you get…Bailey Ruth? You do if you’re a little girl whose mom needs help and you touch the soft heart of Supervisor Wiggins at Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions.

Granted it’s not the usual task of an emissary, but then again Bailey Ruth is not your usual emissary. So Wiggins dispatches the spunky spirit to her old hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma, to help a single mother and struggling writer find some creative solutions to her problems. Deidre Davenport is just about broke, trying to support her two children, and has her hopes pinned on getting a faculty job with the Goddard College English department. Jay Knox, who is in charge of the writer’s conference she’s participating in, will decide who gets the job, but he’s more interested in her body than her body of work. Not long after his advances are rejected, Knox turns up dead—and Deirdre’s fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Bailey Ruth knows Deirdre is innocent, and that the professor’s lewd behavior is bound to have rubbed others the wrong way. Now she must find out who really knocked off Knox…if Deirdre and her family are ever going to have a happy ending.

The fifth title in the Maggie Hope mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal is Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante. It follows The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent. December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States’ entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt’s inner circle—as ER herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.

Florist Grump is the sixteenth title in the Flower Shop mystery series by Kate Collins, following A Root Awakening. Stopping to smell the roses should be a must for flower shop owner Abby Knight, but stress has turned her into a major grump. While their house is under construction, Abby and her new husband, Marco, are living with her parents, who are driving her nuts. Not to mention that everyone has babies on the brain, with her cousin Jillian’s bundle of joy popping up in every conversation, and Marco’s mother dropping hints that she expects a new sprout from Abby and her son—as soon as possible! But things get even thornier after a flashy former banker pushes up daisies. With a beloved window washer the prime suspect in the murder, other New Chapel shop owners rally around Abby and Marco to prove his innocence.

The third title in the Magic Potion mystery series is Ghost of a Potion by Heather Blake. It follows  One Potion in the Grave. It’s Halloween in Hitching Post, Alabama, and potion shop owner Carly Bell Hartwell has an especially spooky customer to handle. With all the ghosts that haunt her at this time of year, Carly doesn’t exactly rush to celebrate Halloween.  Even a costume ball organized by her boyfriend Dylan’s mother, Patricia Davis Jackson, holds little allure.  But to please Dylan, who wants peace between the two women, Carly reluctantly agrees to go. Gossip around town is that architect Haywood Dodd plans to make a big announcement at the party. But before he can address the crowd, he’s found dead with Patricia standing over him, holding the murder weapon. Anxious to clear Patricia’s name and perhaps broker a truce with her, Carly would love to use her snooping skills to find the real killer. Only she has bigger problems to deal with—ghosts are flocking to her for help, including a very persistent Haywood Dodd.

Parchment and Old Lace by Laura Childs is the thirteenth title in her Scrapbooking mystery series, following Gossamer Ghost. Scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand couldn’t imagine a finer evening than dinner at Commander’s Palace, New Orlean’s with her beau, Detective Edgar Babcock. The food and the company are equally divine—with the exception of Isabelle Black stopping by to brag about her upcoming wedding. Resuming the romance with a walk in the evening air, the couple is interrupted once again—this time by a terrifying scream from inside the cemetery. Having just seen Isabelle, Carmela and Edgar now find her lying across an aboveground tomb, strangled to death with a piece of vintage lace. Carmela would rather leave the investigating to Edgar, but she can’t say no to Isabelle’s sister Ellie, the tarot card reader at Juju Voodoo, when she asks her to help. As she untangles the enemies of Isabelle’s past, Carmela hopes she can draw out the killer before someone else gets cold feet.

The third title in the Witch City mystery series is Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry. It follows Tails You Lose. When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history–it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place. The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner’s unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer.

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