Saturday 28 May 2022

Seaside Café Mystery Books 1-7 by Bree Baker

Live and Let Chai (Seaside Café Mystery #1) by Bree Baker 

The first book in a delightful new beachside cozy mystery series!

Trouble is brewing in Everly's new café. Can she bag the culprit?

Life hasn't been so sweet for Everly Swan over the past couple of years, but now that she is back in her seaside hometown and the proud owner of a little iced tea shop and café right on the beach, things are finally starting to look up--until a curmudgeonly customer turns up dead on the boardwalk. With one of her hallmark glass tea jars lying right next to him and an autopsy that reports poison in his system, it doesn't look good for Everly or her brand new business.

As the townspeople of Charm, formerly so welcoming and homey, turn their back on Everly, she fights to dig up clues about who could have had it in for the former town councilman. With a maddeningly handsome detective discouraging her from uncovering leads and a series of anonymous attacks on Everly and her business, it will take everything she's got to keep this mystery from boiling over.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Live and Let Chai by Bree Baker is the first book in her Seaside Cafe Mystery series and I am HOOKED !!!  As soon as you open this book, you are swept away to the seaside town of Charm, North Carolina and you will not want to leave !!

In Live and Let Chai readers meet Everly Swan who had left Charm for a few years but returned home after her cowboy boyfriend threw her out to pasture.  She moved home and purchased her dream house and was gearing up to open her dream shop, Sun, Sand and Tea, which specialized in flavored iced teas that are long family recipes.  Unfortunately before she can have her grand opening Everly stumbles across the body of a resident of Charm on the boardwalk and the new detective in town voices that he was poisoned and one of Everly's glasses was found near his body with the poison in it !!  Now Everly has to prove her innocence so that she can live the fairytale life she dreamed about.

Een though the new detective, Grady Hays, has Everly on the top of his suspect list, Everly knows that it wasn't her.  Why would she kill someone with one of her ice tea glasses when she is just starting out ?  Even though Benedict Paine could be a pain, he didn't deserve to die and to die by poison.  And even though Everly was away for a few years, she still knows a lot of the residents in Charm and if she doesn't her great-aunts Clara and Fran can fill in the blanks.  Unfortunately trouble seems to follow Everly.... as soon as she thinks she uncovers a clue, something happens to her to throw her off.....and the new detective wishes she would stop looking into the case and let him do his job.

Readers will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Live and Let Chai and will want to move to Charm even if there is a killer running loose.  The residents and the seaside town are definite pluses !!!  As soon as you start reading you will easily be able to picture Everly, her home, the shop, the boardwalk and the rest of the town and people.  You may even feel like you can smell the ocean air and feel the sand in your toes.......

No Good Tea Goes Unpunished (Seaside Café Mystery #2) by Bree Baker 

Don’t marry into murder...

Catering her childhood friend’s beachfront wedding was a dream come true for Everly Swan—and, with hundreds of guests in attendance, great exposure for her new iced tea shop and café. But when the well-to-do groom is found floating facedown in the surf, the locals of Charm, North Carolina turn their suspicions on his new bride. Could she have been so desperate to lay hands on his fortune that she arranged for his murder even before they set off on their honeymoon?

Everly knows her lovestruck friend couldn’t be behind the murder, but with clues pointing in several directions, she can’t decide which wedding guest is the most likely culprit. Meanwhile, the frustratingly handsome Detective Hays has made it clear that Everly should stay out of the investigation altogether. But with a killer on the loose and a feeling that someone is watching her café very closely, Everly knows that if she can’t solve this murder soon, her cake might be iced for good.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Once you open a book in the Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker you are swept away to a quaint seaside town and you will never want to leave !!

No Good Tea Goes Unpunished is the second book in this amazing series and boy is there a lot going on !!!  Main character Everly Swan has her ice tea shop, Sun, Sand and Tea, up and running and she is hosting the reception of a childhood friend Judy who just married her rich knight in shining armor.  And everything is going according to schedule until the photographer cannot find the groom......unfortunately Everly and her best friend Amelia find him floating face down in the ocean.  The two get him to shore and begin performing CPR until they realize he is dead and the cause of death is not from drowning.

All of the wedding guest are ordered to stay in town while they are interviewed so Everly insists on Judy staying with her above the shop.  It was already planned that way but it would be without the groom and moods were a lot different.

Everly again takes the murder and the case personally even though she is warned away from Detective Hays but when it involves someone close to her she cannot help it.

And to make things worse, if possible, Everly's ex shows up in town with a traveling rodeo circuit to perform during the towns annual Summer Splash....and he has decided that he wants Everly back and will do whatever it takes !!  Luckily she has gotten over him and readers will kind of feel sorry for Wyatt as he crashes and burns in his attempts.

The Seaside Cafe Mystery series is an all out fun series for readers to get lost in.  One you start reading you will want to pack a bag and head on out to Charm, North Carolina and grab a sweet tea and walk the boardwalk. 

Tide and Punishment (Seaside Café Mystery #3) by Bree Baker 

No one dreams of a killer Christmas...

It's Christmastime in Charm, North Carolina, and while Everly Swan would prefer to focus on decorating her iced tea shop for its first holiday season, Great-Aunt Fran has decided to run for mayor against her long-time nemesis. But when the other candidate turns up dead just before the first scheduled debate, all eyes turn to Fran as the suspect with the most obvious motive.

Everly knows her sweet, elderly Aunt Fran couldn't have murdered anyone, but as she struggles to find the real killer, it begins to seem like this may be the last merry Christmas her family may ever have.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Tide and Punishment is the third book in the Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker and I just LOVE the direction she is taking this series !!!

In the Seaside Cafe Mystery series you are introduced to Everly Swan, her business Sun, Sand, and Tea, her family, her seaside town and its residents and you will want to move there instantly... even though Everly seems to attract murder.

In Tide and Punishment the seaside town of Charm, North Carolina is preparing for the Christmas holiday and everyone is in good spirits.  Everly is kicking off the celebrations with a Christmas party at Sun, Sand, and Tea and everything is going well until Everly's great aunt Fran is found leaning over the body of Mayor Dunfrees outside holding the murder weapon !!!   The timing also couldn't be any worse as Aunt Fran had just announced that she was planning to run for Mayor in the fall election and Mayor Dunfrees announces that he plans to run again with a partner.

Everly, as well as the entire town of Charm, know that Aunt Fran would never hurt anyone let alone kill them but Detective Grady Hays has to look at the evidence and it's all pointing towards Aunt Fran.

Detective Grady does everything in his power to pursuade Everly to stay out of the investigation and let him do his job but we all know that she will do ANYTHING for her family and town so we know she will do the complete opposite of what he asks.....she cannot help it, it's in her nature.

Readers will fall instantly in love with this series and as you read each book, you will fall deeper and deeper in love with it.  And now that Everly's old flame, Wyatt, has moved to Charm to try to win her back, you know it's going to be explosive !!  And the chemistry between Everly and the detective is so hot you will need a cold beverage to cool yourself off !!  Readers may find themselves torn as to who they are rooting for...Wyatt or Grady..... I know who I'm rooting for but I'm keeping that to myself for the time being.

Baker has an incredible talent in introducing new characters into the story as well as providing readers with a few possible suspects in the murders and she will have you guessing until the very end as to who the guilty party is......and you will always end up in shock !!!!

A Call for Kelp (Seaside Café Mystery #4) by Bree Baker

It's sink or swim for Everly with her most bizarre case yet!  

Everly Swan is busy as a bee running her beachside iced tea shop, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is abuzz-Mitzi Calgon, an iconic Hollywood actress, is in town! Everly's great-aunts are making a documentary about beekeeping and Mira has agreed to help. But when the actress turns up dead, reporters and fans swarm the island, muddying the water and disrupting the peaceful lives of the townspeople.

Everly's never been good at minding her own beeswax, so she starts following her own leads and combing through the evidence. Then there's the mystery of Detective Hays-ever since their kiss under the mistletoe, he's been acting distant. And he's annoyingly determined to keep Everly away from the case. But when she receives a cryptic warning to "Bee Careful", Everly realizes that she's gotten herself into a really sticky situation...

The fourth book in Bree Baker's Seaside Café Mystery series, readers of Joanne Fluke and Kate Carlisle will love A Call for Kelp!   (Summary via Goodreads)

The Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker is such a treat for readers and an awesome way for readers to escape to a charming town without leaving the comforts of their own home.  Readers will instantly fall in love with Everly Swan, her family and friends, her hometown, her business and even the way she inserts herself into murder investigations.....and you will surely fall in love with the chemistry she has with Detective Grady Hays !!!

In A Call for Kelp, the fourth book in this series, there is a lot going on  !!!  Everly's ice tea shop, Sun, Sand, and Tea is doing so well that she has hired a part time employee, an old friend of her grandmother's is coming to town to help her great-aunts with their beekeeping documentary, Everly is still trying to figure out what is going on between her and Grady since their kiss at Christmas time and a few other things that I don't want to say to spoil the reading.....

Unfortunately before Everly can talk to Mitzi Calgon, her grandmother's old friend who is also a retired actress, Mitzi is found dead in front of an alarming number of people !!  Everly was hoping to talk to Mitzi to learn more about her grandmother when she was younger and maybe even learn something about her grandfather who has always been a mystery to the family.

Even though Everly isn't investigating Mitzi's murder, she somehow gets herself in trouble.....she cannot help it when someone she knows is looked at as a suspect and she knows they could never hurt she has to do some research and ask questions....anyone else would do the same thing.  Right ??

There is so much more that I could write about and tell you but that is only preventing you from opening up the book and getting yourself lost in the seaside town of Charm, North Carolina.  Once you start reading you will not want to will fight with yourself to try to slow down your reading so that you can stay there longer.  But you can read at whatever speed you want and when you get to the end you can rest easy knowing that the fifth book, Closely Harbored Secrets is ready for you........

Closely Harbored Secrets (Seaside Café Mystery #5) by Bree Baker 

In the fifth book of the popular Seaside Café Mysteries, Closely Harbored Secrets, Everly Swan just wants to make Halloween-themed treats and specialty teas for her customers. But when it seems that she's being haunted by the phantom of a sailor straight out of a ghost story, her plans are capsized. Could this be the bitter end for Everly?

It's almost Halloween, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is decked out for the festivities. When Everly Swan agrees to close her iced tea shop early to help her aunts host their annual haunted historic walking tour, she expects some good-natured spooks. But the night turns grave when one of the ghostly actors is found dead. To complicate matters, the victim scratched Everly's name into the ground before she died, making her a key suspect.

The murder mystery heats up when Everly's potential boo, Detective Grady, takes the case―and he definitely doesn't want her getting involved. Will their seaside romance be threatened by all the ghostly drama? But when a phantom sailor straight out of local legend starts leaving Everly threatening messages, she has to get involved... With a local election under way, ghosts on the loose, and a search for long-lost buried treasure, Everly can't help but stir the pot!  (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE the Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker and so glad that I am taking the time to read the entire seven book series all at once.   I'm also a little sad that I have just finished Closely Harbored Secrets which is the fifth book in the series.....which means that I only have two more to go until my time in Charm, North Carolina comes to an end.

Normally I would focus on the murder that occurs in the story, and I will talk about that, but I wanted to go in a different direction on this review....

When reading a series all of the books will repeat some things so that readers get to know the characters and town and don't feel lost.  In the Seaside Cafe Mystery series as you get to know main character Everly Swan, you are introduced to a seagull Everly named Lou and a white cat she names Maggie.  Everly believes that they are the reincarnation of two people that had history with her house many years ago.  Lou and Maggie have great importance in the stories as they tend to "help"  when Everly gets in trouble,  Readers will also learn that Everly and her great-aunts Fran and Clara come from a very long line of strong Swan women who actually came from Salem and were the first to establish themselves in Charm.  It is also rumored that the Swan women are witches....and there are times throughout the series that you may agree.  You will also get to know Amelia and her father Mr. Butters, who own and run the bookstore, Charming Reads.  One thing that is mentioned in most of the books, besides Everly and Amelia's friendship, are Amelia's Little Libraries that are scattered around town and all decorated can take or put a book in so you can enjoy as well as others.

Also mentioned in most of the books is the online news site called the Town Charmer which in the beginning Everly was opposed to because for a while she was the center of attention on the site and not in a flattering way.  She eventually comes around to the site and you will see her going to it more and more.  And lastly it is believed that the Swan women are cursed in love and that if they do fall in love and get married, their husband dies or will die at an early the women are cursed in love !!

Okay now that you are familiar with the similarities in the books, I will talk about the other thing that is in all of the books......murder !!

 In Closely Harbored Secrets, the fifith book in this series, it is Halloween time Everly is helping her great-aunts with the annual Ghost Walk.  The Ghost Walk is just that....they have people dressed up around town and Aunt Clara takes people along a path through the island telling stories and stopping at designated places.  Unfortunately at one of the scheduled stops the woman playing the character of Mourning Mable misses her cue and when Everly goes to check on her, she finds her dead.  Upon further checking the deceased, Dixie  Wetherill, had started to write Everly's name in the dirt.....but as to why is unclear because the two women did not know each other.  It is soon rumored that Everly was the murderer and that is why Dixie started to write her name.  Whatever the reason it is not going to go over well with Detective Grady Hays as he hates when Everly gets involved in his cases and knows that she will do anything in her power to clear her name or anyone else that is wrongly accused.

As I've said I love this series and everything about it and know that readers will enjoy it as well.  I cannot stress enough for you to go grab your copies and get lost in Charm for a while.  You will love hanging out with Everly at Sun, Sand and Tea, with her great-aunts at Bee Loved or at Charming Reads with Amelia and her father.  And also in this book Aunt Fran is riunning for Mayor along with an old classmate of Everly's who was kind of a bully to her, and Grady's mother-in-law who was big in will want to see who wins !!

Partners in Lime (Seaside Café Mystery #6) by Bree Baker 

Everly will have to go against the tide to crack this case!

It all seems to be smooth sailing for Everly Swan. The island of Charm, North Carolina is hosting tons of fun summer events, her iced tea shop is a hit, and best of all, she's finally dating the handsome Detective Grady Hays. But their romantic bubble bursts when tragedy strikes: a surf-pro is found murdered on the beach, killed with a theater prop.

Grady follows the evidence, all of which points to Matt, Everly's friend and one-time fling. As Grady does his job, so does Everly—her unofficial chef-turned-sleuth-job, that is. She's determined to clear her friend's name but the arrival of a fancy new teashop and The Town Charmer, a gossip blog determined to rock the boat, complicates things. As Everly tries to keep rumors at bay and investigate the murder (and her new tea rival), the killer leaves a message in the sand...

Partners in Lime, the sixth book in Bree Baker's critically acclaimed Seaside Café Mystery series, is sure to make waves among fans of cozy mysteries!

"A smart and likable protagonist, a vividly rendered setting, a suitably twisty plot, and some colorful supporting characters are the ingredients for a concoction as appealing as any of Everly Swan's specialty sweet teas."—Livia J. Washburn, national bestselling author, for Live and Let Chai.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Partners in Lime is the most emotional book in the Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker.  It is the sixth book in the series and if you've read the previous five I'm sure you will agree when you get to the end of this one.

Partners in Lime, like the previous books, follows main character Everly Swan as she runs her iced tea shop, Sun, Sand, and Tea, on the beach in Charm, North Carolina.  Even though she has all she can handle running the shop and spending time with her great-aunts Fran and Clara as well as her best friend Amelia but now FINALLY she and the sexy Detective Grady Hays have decided to stop fighting thier feelings and have begun to offically date !!!  Goosebumps !!

Unfortunately there is another murder and Everly cannot help but get involved with the main suspect is Matt Darning.  Matt is an EMT and has patched up Everly on more occasions than he should and also they went out on one date until Everly and Grady admitted thier feelings.  Luckily Everly and Matt stayed friends so when she finds out that Matt is the suspect in s surfers murder, she knows she has to help him.....even if she continually gets the stink eye from Grady.

While Everly begins her investigation, against Grady's wishes of course, she realizes that Matt is being set up and the list of people that could be doing it is long....especially when Everly uncovers a few secrets from Matt's past that she knew nothing about !!

I cannot help but sound like a broken record when talking about the Seaside Cafe Mystery series....there is so much to draw readers in and you are going to want to move to Charm as soon as possible ....if you could.  And Partners in Lime will have your emotions going when you get towards the end of the story and see what direction Baker is taking Evely and Grady....but can it be a happily ever after when the Swan family has a love curse against the women ????   You will have to read on to see and that is exactly what I plan on doing.  I am picking up Pleading the Fish and continuing on with the story.....bittersweet as it is the last of this amazing series.  Sadly all good things must come to an end.....

Pleading the Fish (Seaside Café Mystery #7) by Bree Baker 

In the seventh and final book of Bree Baker's critically acclaimed Seaside Café Mystery series, Pleading the Fish, Everly Swan's wedding plans are upended by a dead body. She'll have to run her teashop, find a dress, and catch a murderer all before she can walk down the aisle!

Café owner and amateur sleuth Everly Swan, like every Swan woman before her, is cursed in love. The only problem? Her fiancé Detective Grady Hayes has something to say about it—he doesn't believe in magic and is determined to prove the curse wrong so they can spend their lives together. Everly wishes it could be so simple!

It feels like a sign when a historian looking into Swan history is found dead in an antique wishing well, and Everly fears the curse is spreading. Grady takes the case, looking to find justice and prove the curse wrong, while Everly does a bit of investigating on her own. Big change is coming for Everly and her friends, but with mysterious strangers lurking about and someone leaving increasingly threatening messages for the happy couple, Everly's not sure she'll get her happily-ever-after!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Reading Pleading the Fish, the seventh and final book, in the Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker was bittersweet to me.  After having read the entire series and to get to the last book knowing it is the last book, was quite emotional to me.  When you read a series you come to love the characters, the town and everything else involved, even the murders in a way......and Baker makes it very easy to fall for everything and everyone in the seaside town of Charm, North Carolina.

In Pleading the Fish Everly and Grady are getting ready for their big day.....yes Everly is going to marry Grady even though she thinks her family is cursed and should not marry.  It is well known and documented that the men who get involved and marry a Swan woman will die an early death.  So before they walk down the aisle, Everly has her team, herself, Grady, and her great-aunts Clara and Fran, researching the curse.  She has also hired the island's top researcher and historian, Susan Thames, to look into her family's history.  Unfortunately before Everly can take possession of the file Susan had been working on, Susan is found dead at the bottom of a well on the grounds of the historic Northrop Manor during a fish fry dinner.

Grady knows that Everly is going to look into Susan's death even though he tries to persuade her not too.  Everyone knows that she cannot stay out of his investigations even knowing he "is good at what he does".  But Grady has been teaching her self defense moves so she will be fine if she comes across the killer.....

I cannot emphasis enough that you should read this series !!  You will love the characters, the town, the jobs introduced, the stories behind the characters, the boardwalk, Everly's activity bracelet, Maggie the cat, Lou the seagull, Charming Reads, Sun, Sand and Tea, Bee Loved and any other shops mentioned,  the relationships and even the murders.......  

Ugh I am so upset that my time in Charm is over but I hope you will start yours or continue on your journey with whichever book you are on.  I must say that author Bree Baker is an amazing story teller.  I really felt like I was sitting on the deck at Sun, Sand, Tea hanging out with Lou......

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