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Money, Murder and Mayhem (Cryptic Cove Mystery #1)

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Alexis Danforth’s life was planned out. In twenty-four hours her world is shattered. She loses her parents and her job. Rummaging through the attic she discovers her “dead” grandmother is very much alive. She returns to her hometown; a quiet, sleepy little town perched above the sea. The disappearance and death of an elderly couple sets the town on edge. Accusations fly. Alexis Danforth’s life was planned out. In twenty-four hours her world is shattered. She loses her parents and her job. Rummaging through the attic she discovers her “dead” grandmother is very much alive. She returns to her hometown; a quiet, sleepy little town perched above the sea. The disappearance and death of an elderly couple sets the town on edge. Accusations fly. The past is dredged up. Bodies are found. Some even question her return and the timing of the murders. As she joins the town constable to help solve the case, she finds herself attracted to her main suspect, Jake Donovan. Jake is handsome, charming, and secretive. Is he a threat to her or just a threat to her heart?


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Alexis Danforth’s life was planned out. In twenty-four hours her world is shattered. She loses her parents and her job. Rummaging through the attic she discovers her “dead” grandmother is very much alive. She returns to her hometown; a quiet, sleepy little town perched above the sea. The disappearance and death of an elderly couple sets the town on edge. Accusations fly. Alexis Danforth’s life was planned out. In twenty-four hours her world is shattered. She loses her parents and her job. Rummaging through the attic she discovers her “dead” grandmother is very much alive. She returns to her hometown; a quiet, sleepy little town perched above the sea. The disappearance and death of an elderly couple sets the town on edge. Accusations fly. The past is dredged up. Bodies are found. Some even question her return and the timing of the murders. As she joins the town constable to help solve the case, she finds herself attracted to her main suspect, Jake Donovan. Jake is handsome, charming, and secretive. Is he a threat to her or just a threat to her heart?

30 review for Money, Murder and Mayhem (Cryptic Cove Mystery #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    On Saturday I read Murder & Mayhem by KP Stafford this was an Amazon special I got and it was a not bad read. I was confused when reading it as I knew it was going to be a paranormal cozy but it felt really light on the paranormal. Cryptic Cover is a complicated cozy mystery with a heavy dose of romance. While it was a shorter read it did have some great characters and as a first in series did set the town and the townspeople up to be enchanting. A good cozy to have on your amazon kindle app for On Saturday I read Murder & Mayhem by KP Stafford this was an Amazon special I got and it was a not bad read. I was confused when reading it as I knew it was going to be a paranormal cozy but it felt really light on the paranormal. Cryptic Cover is a complicated cozy mystery with a heavy dose of romance. While it was a shorter read it did have some great characters and as a first in series did set the town and the townspeople up to be enchanting. A good cozy to have on your amazon kindle app for sure.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    The book started out nice enough but it soon went downhill for me. First off, it needed a good editor. All the editing problems made it slow to read. The end would have been interesting if there was some explanation of what happened to the sister. Like how and why. And it's obvious that there's some magic going on with Grams and probably the rest of the town I just wish more was said about it. And way too much corney romance for me. Not my favorite cozy. The book started out nice enough but it soon went downhill for me. First off, it needed a good editor. All the editing problems made it slow to read. The end would have been interesting if there was some explanation of what happened to the sister. Like how and why. And it's obvious that there's some magic going on with Grams and probably the rest of the town I just wish more was said about it. And way too much corney romance for me. Not my favorite cozy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vivian Kinzler

    Very Bad So bad it's like a 14-year-old wrote it. A dim, sheltered 14-year-old with little imagination. I only made it through the first 10 pages. Waste of time! Thank God it was free. Very Bad So bad it's like a 14-year-old wrote it. A dim, sheltered 14-year-old with little imagination. I only made it through the first 10 pages. Waste of time! Thank God it was free.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lise

    3.5 Stars Alexis loses both her parents and her job and returns to her old hometown. Her grandmother who she long believed to be dead, provides both comfort and a chance to rebuild her life in Cryptic Cove. I liked the basic setup (background, setting, characters) but there were a few problems with the story. It was quite jarring that were so many places in the story where the possessive case was incorrectly used (instead of pluralisation). Some of the mechanics were a little clunky - the death no 3.5 Stars Alexis loses both her parents and her job and returns to her old hometown. Her grandmother who she long believed to be dead, provides both comfort and a chance to rebuild her life in Cryptic Cove. I liked the basic setup (background, setting, characters) but there were a few problems with the story. It was quite jarring that were so many places in the story where the possessive case was incorrectly used (instead of pluralisation). Some of the mechanics were a little clunky - the death notification and Alexis' dismissal from her job seemed both heavy-handed and amateurish. I also wasn't particularly impressed with her love interest who was somewhat controlling and condescending. Alexis' schoolgirl reaction to him made me want to cringe. If you are unable to analyse your own romantic relationship without resorting to hormonal impulses, then I have no time for you. Negatives aside, there was a lot to like about this book. Unanswered questions abound that add to the spice of the tale. The characters are, for the most part, likeable and interesting. Hopefully, more depth will be added as the series progresses.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    "No better than OK" As cozy mystery novellas go this was not the best I've read. Too many characters, none of which were more than a thumbnail sketch; a mish-mash of a plot, and a rushed ending. The concept was good, but more time was needed to craft a believable story. "No better than OK" As cozy mystery novellas go this was not the best I've read. Too many characters, none of which were more than a thumbnail sketch; a mish-mash of a plot, and a rushed ending. The concept was good, but more time was needed to craft a believable story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Fairly good mystery, hard to connect with the characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma hulme

    I found this book quite easy to read however the ending and plot was quite boring. The story line concentrated more on the girls life not the murders themselves.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shanelle

    The basic story line was okay. There were huge parts of the story missing though. Parts of the story, or backstory, were missing or glossed over. Nothing was explained. The ending was weird. All in all the story felt very rushed and skipped around.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    The first book in the Cryptic Cove mystery series. Light and fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I enjoyed this book. There was a lot going on and at first I felt lost. There are lot of questions left unresolved and maybe they are for other books to delve into and solve. The characters need more depth- maybe a full novel next time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda Cole

    Good beginning This was a pretty good book. A lot of mysteries involved some were not solved maybe in next book? Characters need more depth

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krystyna

    The missing and the dead A good short story. Okay it's not brilliant as the characters need more work and the plot really could have done with some more twists and turns. But it still a good read although questions still haven't all been answered. Is her Grandmother a witch? Was he really his nephew? Why did no-one find out the truth earlier? She's just coasted along on the wishes of her father but with her parents death and being made unemployed she now has a choice. A choice until she finds out The missing and the dead A good short story. Okay it's not brilliant as the characters need more work and the plot really could have done with some more twists and turns. But it still a good read although questions still haven't all been answered. Is her Grandmother a witch? Was he really his nephew? Why did no-one find out the truth earlier? She's just coasted along on the wishes of her father but with her parents death and being made unemployed she now has a choice. A choice until she finds out that the grandmother she had been told had died was very much alive. She therefore heads back to the town she lived in for the first 11 years, a new job as the local constable's assistant and the disappearance of two long standing members of the community. When she starts helping to investigate she runs into brick walls. First from the manager of the local retirement centre and then from his handsome nephew the local insurance representative. But this quickly turns into a murder investigation when she discovers their bodies. Now the spotlight turns on her Grandmother who had an argument with them shortly before they were killed and her sister also disappeared years ago without a trace. Can she stop the finger pointing at her Gran and find the who, how and why? Will this also lead to closure on her great aunt's disappearance?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Grabas

    Enjoyable read, although I don't usually cotton to idiot women who go off on a tangent without using their head and wind up in serious trouble. But, the one thing that precluded my giving it 5 stars is unanswered questions. I do not like being left to my own scenario in order to answer a question. That is for the author to do. Of course, one question is: Just how did Lexi wind up naked in Jake's condo - and nothing happened? The second question is why the mortician kept Agatha prisoner for 25 yea Enjoyable read, although I don't usually cotton to idiot women who go off on a tangent without using their head and wind up in serious trouble. But, the one thing that precluded my giving it 5 stars is unanswered questions. I do not like being left to my own scenario in order to answer a question. That is for the author to do. Of course, one question is: Just how did Lexi wind up naked in Jake's condo - and nothing happened? The second question is why the mortician kept Agatha prisoner for 25 years. Did she reject him, so he kidnapped her because that is the only way he could have her. The impression I got was that they had a thing going on and she up and disappeared. There was no mention or suggestion that she was not a willing recipient of his affections. I will give this series another go with the next book, but if it leaves unanswered questions again, I am through with this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Cokenour

    For a cozy mystery, it was a likeable, easy read. There was enough information on each character to keep in mind who was who, without getting confused when new characters were introduced. Alexis aka Lexi, loses her parents and job at the same time; then she finds out her beloved grandmother wasn't dead, simply estranged from her parents. So, to Cryptic Cover Lexi returns, to live with her Grams, her a job with the local sheriff, and a mystery lands on the doorstep immediately. A missing senior c For a cozy mystery, it was a likeable, easy read. There was enough information on each character to keep in mind who was who, without getting confused when new characters were introduced. Alexis aka Lexi, loses her parents and job at the same time; then she finds out her beloved grandmother wasn't dead, simply estranged from her parents. So, to Cryptic Cover Lexi returns, to live with her Grams, her a job with the local sheriff, and a mystery lands on the doorstep immediately. A missing senior couple remind the residents of when Grams' sister went missing 25 years ago; whatever happened to Agatha after her much public fight with Grams? Then there is hottie, Jake Donovan, who just might be involved in insurance fraud and murder? Got a Sunday afternoon to just put up the feet and enjoy a light mystery read; this first in the series might be your cup of tea.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ron Lee

    Abused puppy?! It was an ok story, beach read kind of book but the main character is kind of childishly behaving over the love interest in the story. I could over look this until the author has Lexie day that the man makes her feel _ "As fragile as an abused puppy," and she was falling for him! Really? ! Is that how women should be attracted to men? Be attracted to someone who makes them feel fragile and abused? This is worse than some stupid prince charming coming into save the day. What a disse Abused puppy?! It was an ok story, beach read kind of book but the main character is kind of childishly behaving over the love interest in the story. I could over look this until the author has Lexie day that the man makes her feel _ "As fragile as an abused puppy," and she was falling for him! Really? ! Is that how women should be attracted to men? Be attracted to someone who makes them feel fragile and abused? This is worse than some stupid prince charming coming into save the day. What a disservice to mature adult women everywhere and a horrible example for young women learning to navigate the world of relationships.

  16. 4 out of 5

    T.A.

    Cozy mystery or cozy romance? I found the start of the story felt like a blurb with so much information given but at the same time none. It does improve after that but I found I could not connect with the main character myself. She acts like a teenager would over a man and some of her other behaviours are just as impulsive. I know there are adults like this out there (differences are what keep the world interesting) but for me lacking that connection I didn’t enjoy the book so much. At times the Cozy mystery or cozy romance? I found the start of the story felt like a blurb with so much information given but at the same time none. It does improve after that but I found I could not connect with the main character myself. She acts like a teenager would over a man and some of her other behaviours are just as impulsive. I know there are adults like this out there (differences are what keep the world interesting) but for me lacking that connection I didn’t enjoy the book so much. At times the mystery seemed like a sub plot to her romantic drama (caused by her own behaviour) will appeal to those looking for the romance aspect of the cozy mystery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annette Aguilar

    A wonderful mystery, with awesome and wacky characters! Nothing ever happens in their town, at least not in the last 25 years since her aunt disappeared! Now an older couple are missing, and old fears are back! Three murders occur and they suspect her Grams! Who will solve the mystery and clear Grams? Lots of confusion, chaos, and misunderstanding, get in the way of solving the mystery! Is greed behind the murders? Can she solve the mystery before she is the next victim? Is it to late? The story A wonderful mystery, with awesome and wacky characters! Nothing ever happens in their town, at least not in the last 25 years since her aunt disappeared! Now an older couple are missing, and old fears are back! Three murders occur and they suspect her Grams! Who will solve the mystery and clear Grams? Lots of confusion, chaos, and misunderstanding, get in the way of solving the mystery! Is greed behind the murders? Can she solve the mystery before she is the next victim? Is it to late? The story has a surprising ending! Loved ! A fantastic plot!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan Clark

    Holes The storyline is interesting, but OH, the OMISSIONS! For me instance, in a he first few pages the narrator opens a box to discover her grandmother is alive. How? A recent greeting card or letter? Very much disappointed. Also, the emotional level is quite immature and shallow. I truly believe that a professional writing instructor could help author turn this into a much better written book. Try again, please.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellen White

    The death of her grandmother and all that she associated with her died. Fisherman wharf, shacks, the water to cast ones worries off, the magic died with her. Letting Dad take over, and deciding I would be a lawyer. Finding papers of the lies, led me. Life was simple in Cryptic Cove. Overnight, with a couple missing, it had greatly disrupted the town and people. Murder and long ago secrets, weren't as buried as they thought. Enjoyable quick read, about murder and a little romance. The death of her grandmother and all that she associated with her died. Fisherman wharf, shacks, the water to cast ones worries off, the magic died with her. Letting Dad take over, and deciding I would be a lawyer. Finding papers of the lies, led me. Life was simple in Cryptic Cove. Overnight, with a couple missing, it had greatly disrupted the town and people. Murder and long ago secrets, weren't as buried as they thought. Enjoyable quick read, about murder and a little romance.

  20. 4 out of 5

    cindy avelino

    Fun mystery This is a light mystery of a young woman finding her place after tragedy. She returns to her childhood hometown but not all is charming as it was when she was younger. The author keeps you in suspense as you try and figure out who did it...just as you think you have it figured out there's a switch. Good job. Thanks for the romance connection not taking over the whole suspense part. It was a nice fit. Fun mystery This is a light mystery of a young woman finding her place after tragedy. She returns to her childhood hometown but not all is charming as it was when she was younger. The author keeps you in suspense as you try and figure out who did it...just as you think you have it figured out there's a switch. Good job. Thanks for the romance connection not taking over the whole suspense part. It was a nice fit.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth Kaminske

    Torture Well, that was torture! And now I know why it was a free book, no one would waste any money on it. The editing was horrible her fractured sentences were confusing and her time sequence was awful. Not to mention the story, the mystery, and the ending was one big cliche. Superficial and devoid of emotion. If it hadn't been a book club pick, I wouldn't have read the entire book! At least it was short! Torture Well, that was torture! And now I know why it was a free book, no one would waste any money on it. The editing was horrible her fractured sentences were confusing and her time sequence was awful. Not to mention the story, the mystery, and the ending was one big cliche. Superficial and devoid of emotion. If it hadn't been a book club pick, I wouldn't have read the entire book! At least it was short!

  22. 4 out of 5

    pam laporte

    Loved it...keeps you guessing and very surprising ending Lexi lost her parents suddenly in an accident. She found some old papers by accident and learned her grandmother was still alive. She went back to rhe small town to live with her gram, who she hadnt seen since little. A dissapearance takes place and she finds her and her gram on the suspect list. She meets a man whom she suspects. There are a lot of misunderstandings and twists with a little romance. Good book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette Hutton

    Interesting book Arrive in a new but well known town after being lied to and losing a job. The main character came from a law background but gets a job helping out at the local police station were nothing happens. Well except a couple of murders, gossiping townsfolk, suspicious characters and a gran who cannot stop. Well written, maybe a little kookie but definitely worth a light hearted read

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    Small town secrets Alexis goes back to Cryptic Cove and Grams after learning the plane her parents were in had crashed. It was coming home to the small town she grew up in and soon she was known as Lexi her childhood nickname. She takes a job with the town constable as secretary. When a local couple go missing it brings to mind her aunt who disappeared nearly 30 years ago. When the couple is found buried Grams accused of the murder but Lexi will prove them wrong.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sabetha

    Fun cozy mystery true to the genre, well laid out plot and great characters. My only complaints are that it was a bit too rushed. The relationship builds were rushed, and some of the character development was rushed. Also the final"big reveal" was lackluster. It could have been pizzazzed a bit more, and made seem a bit more real. It was almost not even believable as a plot point. Fun cozy mystery true to the genre, well laid out plot and great characters. My only complaints are that it was a bit too rushed. The relationship builds were rushed, and some of the character development was rushed. Also the final"big reveal" was lackluster. It could have been pizzazzed a bit more, and made seem a bit more real. It was almost not even believable as a plot point.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Back where she started Is this just another girl looses everything and returns to her hometown to lick her wounds? Well, maybe. It started that way, but the reality was that it was the hometown that had the wounds, and she was the person who was there to start the healing. Missing people, old secrets, maybe a new love. Ms Stafford pens a good tale. Hope you enjoy it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ivy cook

    Quick easy read For a quick easy read, this wasn't too bad. The author did a good job on creating a loveable main character, though it would be nice to have a little more depth into her and a few other secondary characters. The mystery had great points of interest, but no real complexity to it. If you are looking for an easy quick read, this one will do just fine. Quick easy read For a quick easy read, this wasn't too bad. The author did a good job on creating a loveable main character, though it would be nice to have a little more depth into her and a few other secondary characters. The mystery had great points of interest, but no real complexity to it. If you are looking for an easy quick read, this one will do just fine.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Murder & Mayhem (Cryptic Cove cozy Mystery #1) New author for me. Thought it started as little slow,but as I got into it found a variety of interesting characters and small town living. The author provided a well done mystery and a variety of suspects. Worth the read .Will be looking at #2

  29. 4 out of 5

    tracy pearce

    Absolutely Enthralling I read your book in about 3 hour it had me gripped. I loved every minute of reading it, I'm really not a fast reader but I have notice I read a lot quicker when a book is exciting. So thank you for such a wonderful read especially in these strange and hard to love with times. Looking forward to reading more from you your such an amazing writer. Absolutely Enthralling I read your book in about 3 hour it had me gripped. I loved every minute of reading it, I'm really not a fast reader but I have notice I read a lot quicker when a book is exciting. So thank you for such a wonderful read especially in these strange and hard to love with times. Looking forward to reading more from you your such an amazing writer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frances L. Ehrig

    Cryptic Cove A fast and interesting cozy mystery. Even a 25 year old missing person mystery is solved by our heroine. Even though it was a short read it did keep my attention and finished in two hours.

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