Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sleuthing Women Anthology - #review #giveaway

Sleuthing Women is a collection of 10 full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by 10 critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in this set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries.

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…

MURDER AMONG NEIGHBORS, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.

SKELETON IN A DEAD SPACE, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

IN FOR A PENNY, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

THE HYDROGEN MURDER, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends’ funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn’t realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

RETIREMENT CAN BE MURDER—A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

DEAD AIR, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME’s On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A DEAD RED CADILLAC, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

MURDER IS A FAMILY BUSINESS, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

MURDER, HONEY, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.


Anthology Links:



Whoever decided to put these ten full-length novels together in an anthology and sell it as one item is a genius!  And, for those who don't mind e-books, getting one book for $2.99 is great, instead of the often more expensive print counterpart.  Getting 10 books for $2.99 total?  (I'll try to keep my inner reader in control for the rest of the review.)

To mention everything I like about each of these novels would be a gargantuan task.  So maybe I'll do one thing for each book?  Here goes:

That Anastasia Pollack gets out alive with her sanity intact in "Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun" is a testament to the resiliency of women and the writing of Lois Winston.

Jonnie Jacobs does a great job in "Murder Among Neighbors"  with Kate Austen's angst at having an absentee husband, the murder of her next-door neighbor, and the handsome detective in charge.

.To set a novel in a place with which a reader is familiar can be dicey.  I lived in Ft. Worth for 8 years (and had two of my children there).  Judy Alter 'nails' (small renovation pun there) Ft. Worth in "Skeleten in a Dead Space".  Judy also made Kelly O'Connell's troubles with her ex-husband very believable.  Again, speaking from experience.

You have to wonder what Cleopatra Jones's parents were thinking when they gave her that moniker in "In for a Penny".  (It is even further out there than Anastasia!) *lol*  But Maggie Toussaint gives us a warm main character whose heart is even bigger than her name is long.  She defended her friend and took in the victim's dog (which could have very easily gone to the pound).  If I was forced to choose one thing I did not care for, it would be the golf.  Ugh.  Can't stand the game. ;)

Kudos to Camille Minichino for taking cozies into a scientific realm, in "The Hydrogen Murder". We women are complex creatures with many and varied talents and interests.  Now, I had several chemistry classes, but never physics.  I doff my chapeau to Gloria Lamerino, retired physicist.  I think it's very clever (in the best possible way) how Ms. Minichino worked the element into the story as well.  There are several other books in the series so far, and the author seems to be following the periodic table.  (I can't wait to see what she does with Praseodymium!)

I was a bit worried in "Retirement Can Be Murder" that Carol and Jim would be heading for a divorce regardless of whether or not Jim retired soon or not.  But then, Jim is accused of murder and the Andrews family closes ranks and tackles the problem en masse.  Carol and Jim can't seem to agree on anything and argue frequently.  But that makes them human (if volatile).  Susan Santangelo gives us a 'first couple' who have their flaws, but we pull for them anyway because they are so well conceived.

The head detective on Maggie's case, literally and figuratively, Rafe, seems to think psychology is rather 'froo-froo' (my term) in terms of solving crime.  In spite of his contrary stance, Maggie can hardly stop herself from fantasizing around him.  I could feel the ocean breezes in "Dead Air" by Mary Kennedy.  And extra points for the name of the radio station, WYME, (why me?) ;)

It all goes on in Lalla Bains' neck of the woods in "Dead Red Cadillac".  RP Dahlke  shows us that lots of things can happen anywhere, not just in 'those' neighborhoods.  And Lalla has two men in her life, one a sheriff who may be more than a best friend, but separated from his wife;  the other is nephew of the victim and definitely not what he shows himself to be.  A fine tension in this whodunit.

In "Murder is a Family Business" Liliana 'Lee' Alvarez is a PI working for the family agency.  Even though she has  a fondness for designer clothing, her street smarts are not always equal to the task.  I mean, who wears designer clothes on a stakeout at Fisherman's Wharf?  Despite that, Heather Haven gives us a well-rounded heroine who often speaks two languages at a time, given she is half-Latina, half-WASP (her words).  I love that.

Carol Sabala is a baker in a restaurant in "Murder, Honey" by Vinnie Hansen.  The head chef falls face first into Carol's cookie dough, having been murdered.  The author cooked up (yeah, I know) a striking victim-villain;  he must have been something awful 'in real life' to have so many people mad at him.  He was the kind of person who got "I could just kill you" verbally thrown at him on more than one occasion.

Don't miss this anthology.  The price is good, the writing great!


Jonnie Jacons –
Judy Alter –
Maggie Toussaint –
Camille Minichino –
RP Dahlke –
Susan Santangelo –
Mary Kennedy –
Heather Haven –
Vinnie Hansen –




Click the banner to go to the tour site where you will find links to more reviews, as well as guest posts, character guest posts and an interview with one of the authors!  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this anthology from the authors and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.)


  1. Thanks for your review! We love it!

    1. Thanks for writing such a great book, and for allowing it to be included in this anthology!

  2. A great collection of books from great authors. Can't wait to read.

    1. There are many hours of wonderfulness to be had in the anthology, Dianne! :O)

  3. Sounds like an amazing collection.

  4. Such a detailed review of the short stories here! I love reading anthologies because I love seeing how stories can share a theme that connects them all but can still be pretty unique from one another.

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