Coffee Time Romance & More




ISBN#: 978-1-934041-92-5
July 2009
Swimming Kangaroo Books
297 Pages
Mystery Anthology
Rating: 3 Cups

Murder on the Heartstrings

Pete Shasta is a detective on the Falcon's Bend Police Department. He is very much in love with both his wife and his job, but he knows that his wife needs more attention than she is getting. He appreciates her patience and understanding.

Lisa Shasta is looking forward to some time alone with her husband. Though she fully appreciates the importance of his job, she misses him when he works so much.

A romantic getaway for Lisa's birthday, Valentine's Day, quickly goes wrong. First they are snowed in, then the masseuse is murdered, and a guest goes missing. This vacation seems very like work for Pete Shasta.

This is a classic Christie style mystery with a group of strangers stranded at a murder scene. The author does a good job of presenting the mystery and creates some very vivid and unique characters, though the New Zealander's slang is a bit unintelligible.


Danny Vincent is a Falcon's Bend PD detective. This missing person's case is very intriguing on many levels. He is sensible and reluctant to believe that the devil has had Lucinda Staub for the past seven months.

Lucinda has been missing for seven months. She had a fight with her husband, hit him with a cast iron frying pan and has not been seen since. She suddenly turns up with no memory of who she is or where she has been, and she is eight months pregnant.

A missing woman is found in a mysterious swamp near her husband's farm. She is eight months pregnant and paternity is a mystery as well as what the woman has been doing. The swamp is supposedly the home of Old Scratch.

This is an interesting if bizarre tale. The narrative can be a bit disjointed at times and has some graphicly violent scenes. I did not quite understand it all.

Double Take

Amber Carfi is a Falcon's Bend Police Officer. Her partner is her lover Warren Jensen. She is a bit out of sorts due to a missed period.

Warren Jensen is very much in love with his partner Amber. She has healed him from the loss of his first wife. He is not quite sure how to feel about the possibility that she might be pregnant.

A theft in the gallery of a prominent artist is not the only illegal activity in the area. While searching for an important painting, Amber and Warren discover much more than they expect.

This is an interesting mystery with a few intriguing side trips. I really enjoyed it and the chemistry between Warren and Amber. I also enjoyed reading about their reactions to the possibility that Amber might be pregnant.


Lisa Shasta works at an adoption agency and is unable to have children of her own. Her husband loves her and their life, but Lisa longs for children. She is debating about whether or not to bring up adoption to Pete.

Melody Vincent is very pregnant and feels less than beautiful at the moment. The barely dressed woman that all of the men are drooling over, including her husband, is not making her feel any better.

The disappearance of a beautiful and mysterious young woman is a case for the Falcon's Bend PD. She was not the most popular person among the women of the subdivision but a favorite sight for the men. A much rarer sight is that of her two children.

Lisa Shasta is coming into her own as a sleuth and once again finds vital clues to solve the mystery, nearly costing her her life. Her longing for a child is getting stronger, making her more intuitive in this case.

Up in Smoke

Pete Shasta is in search of the perfect gift for Lisa. He is torn about her desire to adopt a child. He is scared and does not know if his terrible childhood makes him a good candidate for fatherhood.

Mitchell Ferrara is the owner of a Christmas Tree Farm. The whole place goes up in smoke and he is found slightly burned and with a bump on his head.

The fire at Ferrara's Christmas Tree Farm seems pretty straightforward at first, but Mitchell Ferrara's tale of assault, robbery, and arson does not quite ring true.

In this story, Pete Shasta cleverly solves a tricky case, while working on some personal problems. The mystery is well written with a nice twist at the end. This is a quick and enjoyable mystery.

Ghost of the Past

Sixteen years ago, Ericka was a popular teenager with a secret; she was pregnant. She had the baby in secret and dumped it in a dumpster. Mistakes do come back to haunt you.

Amber Carfi is puzzled and a bit disturbed by the strange behavior of her partner and lover Warren. The Barbie-like woman at the diner and her story of being followed are intriguing.

A woman is haunted by a terrible crime she committed sixteen years before. She has been paying every day since, but the past has a way of coming back to haunt you.

Amber solves another intriguing mystery in her own inimitable style. Her relationship with Warren is still going strong, even if he has been acting a bit strange. I am amazed at their closeness. Being together twenty-four seven is difficult. Ericka is a sad and selfish woman haunted by her past and it is hard to find sympathy for her.

This is an excellent collection of stories. I would hesitate to move to Falcon's Bend due to the inordinate amount of violent and bizarre crime, but really enjoy reading about the strange things that happen there.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More



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