Tuesday, February 18

Review: Heartache Motel Anthology

I first discovered LynDee Walker during a book tour, followed by Larissa Reinhart during yet another tour. These were two of the first authors I read from the Henery Press group.  This was quickly followed up by Susan Boyer and finally Terri L. Austin. The tag line at Henery Press is if you like one, you will probably like them all.  They aren't kidding!  Needless to say that when I saw an anthology of three of these wonderful authors, I immediately requested a copy on Netgalley.

In Diners Keepers, Losers Weepers by Terri L. Austin. we catch up with Rose at Christmas time a few months following book 3, Diner Impossible. Ma, the namesake and owner of Ma's Diner, where Rose Strickland works the breakfast to lunch crowd that Ma's caters to. Ma has decided that she wants to visit Graceland and to do it this year and to see it all lit up for the holidays. After all, a woman only turns 80 a few times, right? ;) Needless to say with the crew of Rose, Roxie, Ax and Ma, there is plenty of hi jinx, laughter and adventure.

For Quick Sketch by Larissa Reinhart, we actually go back in time and get the prequel and the backstory that is hinted at in Portrait of a Dead Guy.  Cherry is on a cross country road trip with her boyfriend Todd, as he is headed to Vegas to gamble in a high stakes Christmas poker tournament. They make a short stop in Memphis at the Heartache Motel to help out Todd's cousin Byron.  With Cherry involved you can be assured that there is plenty of Southern Charm and Down Home Attitude to spare.

The final story in this anthology is Dateline Memphis and we catch up with Nichelle Clark on her way home for the Christmas Holidays.  This story picks up about three months after Buried Leads and Nichelle has stopped off in Memphis to visit Graceland on her drive from Virginia to Texas.  Finding an Elvis themed room that takes pets were her only basic requirements. When she gets a text from her editor asking if she is having fun yet and reminding her that crime doesn't take a holiday, she has no idea how true that statement will become. But when she turns out to be one of the few people in-the-know during an unexpected lock down during her tour of Graceland, Nichelle is quick to don her investigative hat and get to work.  Especially when this could lead to a once in a lifetime scoop.

If you have been following my reviews, you already know how much I love novellas. Each of these three stories were well written and stayed true to the character, even in the condensed format.  My only single disappointment was that I kept looking and hoping for some kind of cross over where the characters got to meet or at the very least all take part in some over all grand mystery cross over.  Alas, it was not to be, but there is always hope for a future book.  There were some cross over of the characters at the Heartache Motel and it was fun to read each of the characters take on them and how they reacted. Overall this was a great book and a wonderful addition to the each of the series.  I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Elvis has left the building, but he’s forever memorialized at the Heartache Motel. Filled with drag queens, Rock-a-Hula cocktails, and a vibrating velveteen bed, these three novellas tell the tales of three amateur sleuths who spend their holidays at the King’s beloved home.

A Rose Strickland Mystery Novella (follows DINER IMPOSSIBLE)

When Rose and the gang head to Graceland right before Christmas, they get all shook up: the motel is a seedy dump and an Elvis impersonator turns up dead. Rose discovers missing jewels tie into the death and her suspicious mind flips into overdrive, questioning her fellow guests, the staff, and even a cute impersonator who keeps popping up. Will Rose be able to find the murderer and get home by Christmas day? It’s now or never.

QUICK SKETCH by Larissa Reinhart
A Cherry Tucker Mystery Novella (prequel to PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY)

Sassy Southern artist Cherry Tucker and her poker-loving boyfriend, Todd, pop into Memphis to help Todd’s cousin who’s been hustled out of his savings, right before Christmas. Staying at the shady Heartache Motel, Cherry can’t tell a shill from a mark and fears everyone is playing them for chumps. Cherry and Todd quickly find themselves in a dangerous sting that could send them to the slammer or mark them as pigeons from cons looking for an even bigger score.

A Headlines in High Heels Mystery Novella (follows BURIED LEADS)

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke thinks she’s going home for Christmas. But a quick stop at Graceland proves news breaks in the strangest places. When the King's home gets locked down with Nichelle inside, she chases this headline into the national spotlight—and the thief's crosshairs. Christmas dreams of blue suede Manolos fade, and all Nichelle wants from Santa is to land the story before the thief cuts off her news feed for good.

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN

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