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Make, Take, Murder by Joanna Campbell Slan
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Shyanne Kedar isn’t happy when Greyson Dane arrives on board her ship with an offer she can’t refuse. He’s the man who put her father in prison and chased her into exile. But now they need each other to catch a common enemy. With each one guarding a close secret, can they muster enough trust to work together? Star Raiders is a rousing space adventure filled with passion, love, and betrayal. Fans of science fiction romance will enjoy this story. ( )
  NancyJCohen | Jan 5, 2014 |
I love the Kiki Lowenstein mysteries. I'm not a scrapbook person but the hints and tips sound wonderful for someone who likes that kind of thing and the recipes always sound soooo good.

Normally the books are pretty light-hearted, well as light-hearted as you can get in a murder mystery. This one is a little different. The overall theme is pretty dark and there are a lot of serious topics discussed like cancer, infidelity, and domestic violence.

When Kiki discovers a severed leg in her dumpster at work, she is set on a roller coaster ride to find out who it belongs to, and why it was left in her dumpster. When the owner of the leg is confirmed as one of her customers Kiki is determined to bring the killer to justice.

I enjoyed the book a lot and am now looking forward to the next in the series. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
First Line: I was rummaging around in the trash Dumpster searching for my lost paycheck, when I reached down and grabbed Cindy Gambrowski's severed leg.

Finding a severed leg in the Dumpster would be a memorable beginning to anyone's day, and it certainly was to Kiki Lowenstein. The discovery begins a search for Cindy Gambrowski, and while the police are looking, Kiki has to keep on truckin' with her almost teenaged daughter who's an angel one second and a demon the next, with her mother-in-law (who always seems to be the latter), and with her prickly co-owner of their scrapbooking store Time in a Bottle. To put the icing on the cake, it's December in St. Louis, Missouri, and anyone in retail can tell you that the sales figures for this month can make or break a business. But Cindy Gambrowski was a customer, and Kiki can't get her out of her mind-- even when co-owner Bama goes ballistic when the shop is featured on the television news. Kiki searches for clues as best she can during the busiest season of all.

The scrapbooking and retail aspects of this book are very well done. By the time I was finished with the last page, I had an itch to take up scrapbooking-- a craft I'd never had any interest in before. Slan shares ideas and tips that are guaranteed to get any crafter anxious to start a new project. Trying to walk that fine line of supply and demand, a shoplifter who's stealing some of their best items, having enough help in the shop to serve all the customers-- the author made this retail veteran feel right at home.

There were some characters who got on my nerves a time or two. Kiki has a mother-in-law who goes out of her way to be hateful to her. I've said in other reviews that I can do without the obnoxious mother-in-law, and my opinion hasn't changed. Bama, the co-owner of Time in a Bottle, is abrasive to the point of being outrageous. Although the reason for Bama being the way she is is given at book's end, I still wondered why everyone let her get away with her behavior.

Kiki seemed to me to be the type of woman who wants to be liked by everyone... a woman who wants to get along with no fighting and harsh words. Unfortunately, she's not surrounding herself with the right people for her wishes to be a reality. The only time I really disagreed with something she did, however, was when a man walked up to her and her co-workers at 11 PM and asked about a mutual acquaintance because he had flowers to deliver. Come on, Kiki-- what flower shop would spend the payroll to make deliveries at that hour of night?

The search for Cindy Gambrowski is a puzzling one, and although subtle clues are given all along the way, the ending is still a shocker. This isn't your typical cozy mystery. There's more meat on the bone. Yes, the characters are front and center as they should be, and yes, you get a feel for the craft aspect of the book. You also see how difficult it is for a single mother with limited funds to raise a child. But there are even deeper issues-- such as spousal abuse-- that Slan deals with in such a way to make us all stop and think... and wonder what we would do in the same situation.

Did it feel strange for me to begin reading a series with book four? No, the author does a good job of providing enough backstory for things to make sense without bogging down the plot. I enjoyed being in Kiki's world for a while and look forward to meeting her again. ( )
  cathyskye | Sep 27, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738720666, Paperback)

Dumpster diving for her lost paycheck is definitely the low point of Kiki Lowenstein's day—that is, until she finds a severed leg thrown in with the trash. Who'd toss a body part in the garbage outside the scrapbook crafts store where Kiki works?

Accompanying the grisly "gift" is a creepy computerized voice message, a warning to the store's "rich and snotty" female shoppers. Kiki soon discovers that the leg belonged to Cindy Gambrowski, a customer with a tyrannical and violent husband—who's now harassing Kiki. Combing through Cindy's scrapbook projects for hidden clues, Kiki tries to find the killer. Was it a crime of marital malice, or did someone else beat Cindy's husband to the punch?

Includes holiday-themed projects and recipes!




(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:36 -0400)

Dumpster diving for her last paycheck is the low point of Kiki's day -- until she finds a severed leg thrown in with the trash. When she discovers that the leg belonged to Cindy, a customer with a violent husband, she begins combing through Cindy's scrapbook projects for hidden clues.… (more)

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