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I am excited to share my thoughts about
Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard today!
Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard
About Peaches and Schemes
Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B08FZLH8HS
In Anna Gerard’s third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet…
Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she’s savvy enough to know that Cymbeline’s tourists aren’t enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town’s two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina’s new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo’s fashion show when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.
Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina’s statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle …but he’s not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.
Certain that Virgie’s only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna’s now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others besides Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she’s putting her own life in danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can’t find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.
To ensure the success of her Fleet House B&B Nina (Nine-A) has decided to add weddings and receptions to the services she will offer. She is hoping members are the wedding parties will want to stay at the B&B too. To get the word out she takes part in the semi-annual Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo sponsored by Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner. Her booth has been busy with brides-to-be asking for information. Nina is about to declare the event a success when the fashion show part of the event takes a deadly turn. During the big finale Nina’s new friend, Roxanna tumbles out of a prop wedding cake. She appears to have been strangled to death, the murder weapon, her own scarf.
There had been tension between the two event sponsors. Nina even overhears Virgie accuse Roxanna of stealing funds from their partnership. When she tells the police they believe that is enough motive to arrest Virgie for the murder.
Nina has a little stress in her life too as she learns her ex-husband is getting married again. Plus, Harry Wescott is still staying at her B&B and he seems to have a new money-making scheme he may soon come to regret. She has also decided to move Roxanna’s dog into the B&B until a new home is found. On top of all that she is of course digging into the murder investigation because while Virgie had the motive, means, and opportunity to kill her partner, Nina doesn’t think she is a killer. The trouble is she knows she is on the actual killer’s radar and that may prove to be a dangerous place to be.
Ms. Gerard has created some wonderful characters. I have enjoyed Nina from the start and in this third Georgia B&B Mystery Harry Westcott really surprised me and in a good way. He is still a schemer but he is really there for Nina this time. They are turning out to be a great team and maybe more . . . I don’t want to get ahead of myself or the author with this thinking. I do love their back and forth dialogue and his “Secret Squirrel” nickname for her. The new characters she introduced for this story are diverse and all brought something interesting to the mystery. As always the animal characters made my heart happy.
Again this author delivers a well-plotted and well-written mystery with multiple possibilities. I was very caught up in all the action and the actual guilty party never landed on my suspect list. The big reveal was full of surprise and suspense. Nina really didn’t know her friend Roxanna as well as she thought she did and that added some really intriguing twists including one that stuck very close to home. The ending was really a melancholy moment but by the final word, things seem to be looking up.
I have to say the author set a great pace with the entire story. There wasn’t a time I ever thought about putting the book down, except to sleep, and I couldn’t wait to get right back into the story the next evening and stay tuned in for a satisfying and exciting conclusion.
Peaches and Schemes was a Perfect Escape. Excellent characters, a captivating mystery, a wedding, a little romantic tension, and humor liberally placed throughout kept me entertained from beginning to end. I am so excited to see where Ms. Gerard takes her characters and her readers next.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About Anna Gerard
DIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries (written as Ali Brandon) and the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries. Her Tarot Cats Mystery series launched in 2018 with FOOL’S MOON. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series (also written as Anna Gerard) debuted in 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED. Kirkus Reviews describes that book as “Filled with Southern charm and enough ditzy characters to keep readers guessing and laughing.” Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES—her 17th published novel—now available.
Great Escapes Praise for Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard
Part of the charm of this series – and it certainly is charming – is in the cast of characters and the setting the author has created to contain them and their murderous ways.
Author Anna Gerard gives the reader a light-hearted story filled with fun Characters and interesting relationships!
~My Reading Journeys
. . . a great read full of interesting characters that you will happy follow as the story progresses. The dogs are an added bonus I must say.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
In addition to the wonderful characters in Peaches and Schemes, the author delivers a charming setting and a dash of potential romance. Not to mention the intriguing plot that kept me guessing!
~Reading Is My SuperPower
Delightfully focused on the mystery, this cozy offers up plenty of suspects to keep armchair sleuths entertained. I also found that the relationship between Nina and her sidekick Harry kept the mystery light and fun.
~Mysteries With Character
Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard is a brilliant mystery with a perfectly plotted crime. The characters are so wonderfully flawed and yet wonderful.
~Baroness’ Book Trove
Wonderful characters, an interesting setting, and a B&B house I’d like to visit, make this a fun cozy to read, and puzzle out.
PEACHES AND SCHEMES is a delightful mystery that had me laughing, commiserating, and gasping in shock. Its characters have wormed their way into my heart and I feel their pain as well as their joy.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
Peaches and Schemes is a lighthearted, humorous cozy mystery with an eventful expo, a maimed mate, Gus the Goldendoodle, a tryophobia terror, a suspicious silver sedan, and a helpful Harry.
~The Avid Reader
A big goofy dog, a wedding expo, two hot romantic opportunities, and a murder to solve! What’s not to love about Peaches and Schemes? . . . If you like your cozy mysteries with some romantic tension, you should pick up this book.
~Diane Reviews Books
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May 3 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
May 3 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 4 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”