Deader Homes and Gardens(Claire Malloy Mystery, Book 18) by Joan E. Hess

Book Description

Publication Date: February 14, 2012 | Series: Claire Malloy Mysteries
Claire Malloy discovers that house-hunting can be murder—literally—in the latest entry in Joan Hess’s “wildly entertaining series.” (Mystery Scene)
Back from her somewhat unusual honeymoon, Claire Malloy must face the harsh reality of life with her new husband, police chief Peter Rosen, and her teenage daughter Caron—three people simply can’t fit into her cosy two bedroom apartment. After a week of fruitless looking, she finally finds the perfect place—a well preserved large house on a large plot of land in an area called Hollow Valley. There are only a few problems. Such as the real estate agent disappeared mid-showing and hasn’t been seen since. And the last owner died in circumstances labeled ’accidental’ but were actually both ’mysterious’ and ’dubious’. The family that owned the estate is now suing the lover of the dead owner over the rights to the property. Oh, and it isn’t really for sale. When the previous owner’s lover dies practically at her feet, Claire decides to take matters into her own hands. After all, to get the house of her dreams, first she has to find a killer. And all’s fair in love, war, and real estate.
Review –
This is my favorite so far of all the books I’ve read in the Claire Malloy Mystery Series by Joan E. Hess.   The characters are quirky  and interact well and   Claire’s daughter, Caron, is still talking in Capital Letters ( I love it) and her friend Inez shows up too in all her goofy glory.  This book made a hot summer afternoon bearable.

Out On A Limb ( Claire Malloy Mystery #14) by Joan E. Hess

Product Description:


Faberville bookstore owner Claire Malloy is ruminating over the state of her love life when she gets disturbing news. Elderly Miss Emily Parchester is up a tree. Chained to an old oak, packing a thermos of tea and a gun, the retired schoolteacher is ready to go down with the ship, or rather the tree, before she’ll let another historic piece of Farberville be bulldozed in the name of “progress,” i.e., developer Anthony Armstrong’s condominiums.

With Miss Parchester armed, and therefore dangerous, Claire fears this noble act will end tragically. Unfortunately, it does-when someone murders Armstrong. And suddenly Claire herself is out on a limb: a baby has been left on her doorstep, the child’s teenage mom is suspect number one in Armstrong’s death, and Claire needs to find the real killer fast. Especially when she discovers Miss Parchester knows more than she’s willing to tell….


Review –

Let’s just say that this was a pleasant read for a cold afternoon when  there was nothing on television and my head hurt and I didn’t want to think too much.   I will be so glad when this headache goes away.

Closely Akin to Murder (Claire Malloy Mystery #11) by Joan E. Hess

At first it seems like a prank. How could Veronica Landonwood be the voice on the other end of the phone when she died three decades ago? But as Arkansas bookseller and amateur sleuth Claire Malloy is about to find out, her cousin “Ronnie” is very much alive—and in trouble. And could use Claire’s help…

 Today, Ronnie is a renowned scientist living in Chicago. But when she was a teenager, she had a run-in with a famous Hollywood producer in Acapulco, Mexico. He attempted to sexually assault her—and she killed him. Having served time in prison, Ronnie finally put her this episode behind her…until now. Just when she has a real shot at the Nobel Prize, a ruthless blackmailer is threatening to expose the secrets of her past. Can Claire help to preserve Ronnie’s reputation and keep her out of harm’s way? That will depend on Claire’s investigation—and what really happened on the night of the murder so many years ago…



Review –

First of all, I love the cover of this installment of the Claire Malloy Mystery Series because I’m a big fan of lime green and it just makes this one pop!

Second, I loved this story better than the previous one and finished it in one day. Although it has just as many entertwined characters, the story line was much more enjoyable because of the setting in fun and exciting Acapulco, Mexico(although Claire and company only saw the seedier side) and the dry deserts of Arizona. I get a kick out of Caron, Claire’s 16 going on 30 daughter, who Claire says talks in “capital letters”. To see what she means by that you’ll have to read this one for yourself.  You won’t be sorry.