Saturday 15 November 2014

Book Review: A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell

For the last two months I’ve had an unplanned absence from the blog and from reading. I got back into things this week by reading A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell. I am head over heels in love with Lily, Oscar and the gang at Aunt Cora’s Closet from her Witchcraft Mysteries. A Haunting is Brewing pairs up Lily with Mel, from Juliet Blackwell’s other series, Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries. Together they work side by side to solve a mystery surrounding a haunted house, life size dolls and a ghostly magician!

I loved watching Lily and Mel team up. This is the first story I’ve read with Mel, but I know it won’t be my last. Lily and Mel work well together, with Lily’s witchy powers and Mel’s ability to communicate with ghosts. With a small appearance from our favorite pot-belly pig, Oscar, it was a great little story to get me back into cozy mysteries.

Furthermore, I like that no spoilers were given for either series. The story was self-contained, and even if you haven’t read either of these series you won’t be lost by reading this novella.

A Haunting is Brewing was a fun, little story to be enjoyed by fans of both of these series, especially while we wait for the next release. If you haven’t discovered either of these series I suggest picking them up today. They are some of the best cozy mysteries on the shelves.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House

I love Agatha Raisin! She makes life in the country seem very exciting and she's always up to something. This time Agatha and her new neighbour, Paul, are investigating a haunted house. When the mean old lady that owns the house ends up dead, Agatha and Paul are sure it is murder and start to investigate.

Agatha has such spirit, but she is also a romantic and looks to Paul to be her next love. Of course Paul is married and is just toying with her. She deserves so much better, and I was happy to see Sir Charles Fraith also get in on the action too. When it comes to her love life I know she is not suited for James Lacey and I hope maybe Sir Charles will continue to be in her life.

Romance aside this was a really fun mystery, that delved into the history of the Cotswold. Agatha continues to bumble along until she has the case solved and her never-ending spirit and determination kept me interested.

I love Penelope Keith's narration. She's one of my favorite narrators and the true voice of Agatha Raisin. I'm looking forward to picking up the next Agatha Raisin mystery. 

Purchase Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House by M.C. Beaton at Audible, Amazon.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Book Review: Marked Down For Murder by Josie Belle

It's almost Valentine's Day and life for the Good Buy Girls is good. Joanne is expecting her first baby, and the girls are excited for their friend, even if Claire is more than anxious to find out if Joanne is having a boy or a girl. Maggie is happy that she is finally together with handsome police detective, Sam, and everything looks like it is coming up love hearts and roses. That is until Maggie's nemesis, Summer, mom rolls into town. If anything Blair Cassidy is more bossy than Summer and she's determined that her daughter should be with Sam, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to break up Maggie and Sam. Her plans go awry when a dead body turns up, and it looks like Summer is the prime suspect. Even though Summer is the last person that Maggie would defend, she is certain that Summer is innocent and sets out to prove it.

This is the fourth book in the Good Buy Girls mysteries. I've been reading this series since 50% Off Murder hit the shelves in 2012. With my love of shopping and especially discount shopping, I warmed to this series instantly, when I first started it. With each new mystery it keeps getting better and better.

The Good Buy Girls are four friends that love to shop and find a good deal and have been there for each other through thick and thin. With Joanne about her to have her baby, they are about to hit another milestone together. I love the closeness of this group. They are all very different personalities, and in different stages of their life, but they are incredibly close and I love the feeling of "friendship no matter what" amongst them.

I liked this mystery. It involved a visitor to town, so I had a hard time trying to figure out whether it was someone from town with a grudge against him or someone else entirely. Jenn McKinlay crafts complex mysteries and I had a hard time trying to figure it out before the Good Buy Girls did.

Marked Down for Murder was another fantastic mystery from the master of small town mysteries, Jenn McKinlay. If you haven't read this series yet what are you waiting for? Whether you pick up the first or the most recent in the series you are sure in for a great afternoon of cozy sleuthing with the Good Buy Girls.

Check out Marked Down for Murder by Josie Belle on Amazon.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Audiobook Review: Murder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson

I can’t imagine anything worse than going on your honeymoon with your MOTHER! Okay maybe going on your honey with a murderer on the same cruise ship! Well in Skye Denison-Boyd’s latest adventure she has both on her honeymoon. Her mother is on the same cruise ship as Skye and Wally and there is also a murderer on board.

I liked Denise Swanson’s new book for a number of reasons. Firstly I love Scumble River and Skye and Wally. I’ve been reading these books for a long time and I’m glad to see Skye getting her happy ever after with Wally. Even if there honeymoon did include her mom, Mae. There is more interactions with Skye, Wally and her parents, Mae and Jed, then I’ve ever seen before. This of course happens when you’re stuck on a ship together. I love how Wally stands up for Skye, and we all know Mae is the kind of woman that it can be hard to get a word in!!

I’ve also wanted to take a crochet cruise. It looks so relaxing to crochet on the water and visit new places. Mae and Jed are part of a knitting cruise group and it is anything but relaxing, especially with one of their own meeting her death. It turns out not all knitters are the peaceful, grandmotherly type!

Murder of a Needled Knitter was a great adventure on the seas, and I liked watching Skye and Wally working together to solve the mystery! It was a tangled web and it left me guessing right until the end.

I chose to listen to Murder of a Needled Knitter in audiobook format. It was my first time listening to Christine Leto narrate and it was a really enjoyable experience. I definitely will pick up future books in this series on audio. I love being able to knit and crochet while I listen, and Christine has a great voice to tell the ups and downs of a cozy mystery.

Murder of a Needled Knitter was a great listen and I can’t wait to find out what is in store for Skye and Wally in their married life, when they return to Scumble River.

Purchase Murder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson at Audible, Amazon.

Book Review: To Fudge or Not To Fudge by Nancy Coco

Fudge meets reality tv in the latest installment in the Candy-Coated Mysteries. Fudge extraordinaire, Allie McMurphy, is busy working at her fudge shop and hotel and preparing for the Lilac Festival. When her old culinary school teacher asks her to fill in a spot on a reality tv show she hopes for some publicity for her hotel, but what she doesn't bank on is murder. With random bones turning up in mulch around town and another dead body on set, this is one mystery that Allie and her friends will have trouble untangling.

I really, really liked All Fudged Up. I love finding new fudge recipes and creating my own fudge recipes as well, and I love the concept of a mystery series surrounding a fudge shop. Allie, her dog "Mal", short for Marshmallow, and all the people in town are so fun to visit with! If you love mysteries with dogs you will love Mal. With Mal's love of digging up bones it seems like she's almost got this mystery solved before the police!! Imagine the police chasing a dog with a human bone in its mouth and you will see the hilarity in the pages of To Fudge or Not to Fudge.

I like Allie McMurphy and not just for her ability to make my mouth water as she makes fudge, she's also a fun heroine, who has a taste for adventure. Between cooking on the reality tv show and running the McMurphy it is amazing that Allie has time to solve a murder, but between Allie and her friends, and Mal too!, they sure do give this one their best shot.

To Fudge or Not to Fudge was as enticing and tasty as a pan of fudge! The mystery kept me on the edge of the seat, and I love visiting with Allie's friends and family. I know I will be counting down the days until the next mystery with Allie McMurphy.

Check out To Fudge or Not to Fudge by Nancy Coco at Amazon.

Friday 29 August 2014

Book Review: Christmas in Paradise by Kathi Daley

Christmas in Paradise is the fourth book in the Paradise Lake mysteries featuring TJ Jensen, and definitely my favourite to date. Alike to most cozy mystery series each book builds on the previous books. Each book in this series can be read as a standalone, but I'm glad I've read them in order. I've loved watching the relationships and friendships of TJ Jensen and her family and friends grow and develop, and Kathi Daley's skill at great character development is more than evident in Christmas in Paradise.

TJ Jensen has a wonderful and unique family. She's the guardian of her two sisters and has a extended family of "uncles" and "aunts" for her sisters, made up of her delightful friends. It's the holiday season and I loved seeing this big family settle down for a Thanksgiving meal, that included four turkeys!! It would have been picture perfect, except for the dead body...

I really enjoyed the mystery. I don't want to give too much away but I love how deep the mystery went. Kathi Daley clearly plots out her mysteries carefully and they always keep me guessing.

Christmas in Paradise was another great installment in the TJ Jensen mysteries. This is a fun, suspenseful series and I can't wait to see what TJ Jensen gets up to next.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Book Review: Death of a Dog Whisperer by Laurien Berenson

For dog lovers and mystery fans, there is a new mystery on the shelves and it is one from a long-running and much cherished series, the Melanie Travis mysteries. To those that haven't met Melanie yet she loves dogs. She's also pretty good at solving mysteries, especially given that this is her 17th mystery!!

With any long running mystery series, there has to be something beyond the mystery to continually hold my interest. Laurien Berenson writes engaging mysteries, but it's her characters that have me coming back for more. I love Melanie's sarcastic dialogue, her love of animals and her sense of adventure. Alike to a blood hound once she's on the investigation she doesn't stop until she has her man (or woman!).

I enjoyed the mystery immensely. Melanie meets Nick, a "dog whisperer". At first Nick is suspicious and not believing the hype surrounding Nick, but she soon learns that Nick knows dogs very well and when Nick turns up dead, she gets involved and helps to solve his murder.

For readers that love this series for a interesting mystery, adorable dogs (of all breeds and sizes, like Barney, the basset hound on the cover) and engaging, relatable characters, then you're going to want to pick up this one. It was a really enjoyable read and even my family of cats give it four paws up!!

Check out Death of a Dog Whisperer by Laurien Berenson on Amazon.

Monday 25 August 2014

Book Review: Murder Al Dente by Jennifer L Hart

Andrea “Andy” Buckland has come home. After nearly poisoning a live audience on what was supposed to be her big break as a tv chef, she’s returned to her hometown and to the family restaurant, Bowtie Angel. As she tries to sort out her life and come to terms with her ex-boyfriend now engaged with her mortal enemy, she stumbles upon the dead body of tv chef, Chef Zoltan Farnsworth. Chef Zoltan waa unfortunately one of those that she nearly poisoned in Atlanta and it looks like the police are seeing Andy as a “person of interest”. In order to clear her name Andy starts to investigate with the help of sexy newcomer, Malcolm Jones, half-brother to her enemy, Lizzie.

I’ve read two of Jennifer Hart’s other books (Skeletons in the Closet and Final Notice) and have enjoyed her combination of mystery, humor and romance immensely. In her newest novel, she shows why she is one of the best new cozy mystery authors. She introduces readers to the Buckland family, an Italian family that loves to cook pasta so much that they run a Italian restaurant. This family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional and they are a laugh a minute. I particularly loved Andy’s Great Aunt Cecily, whose answer to everything is “we make the pasta”! Add in a murder to the mix and the result will be a cozy mystery that you will be remembering fondly long after you turn the last page.

As with most cozy mysteries there is a subtle romantic element. In between solving the murder, Andy has her hands full with the sexy Malcolm Jones, a photographer with a interesting history and complete with a sexy New Zealander accent. The only catch is Malcolm is the half-brother of Lizzy, who Andy has been in not-so-friendly competition since their school days together.

Murder Al Dente was a fabulous debut in this new series. It hit all the right notes with me, and the pasta recipes are “to die for”. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and see if I can “make the pasta just like Great Aunt Cecily and Andy! If you’re looking for a new series to read this summer, I highly recommend this one. Murder Al Dente was a delectable mystery and I can’t wait to return to another adventure with the Bucklands to see what they are up to next.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Book Review: Panty Raid by Lorraine Bartlett

I’m a fan of Lorraine Bartlett’s other mysteries, including the Booktown mysteries she writes as Lorna Barrett, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a new book to devour. Then along came Panty Raid. Panty Raid was a super fun introduction to Tori and Kathi, our sleuths in the upcoming Lotus Bay Mysteries.

Tori and Kathy are best friends from college that have drifted apart but come back together to help Tori solve the mystery of a panty thief. The outcome was utterly hilarious and I didn’t see it coming. Let’s just say when the final culprit was culprit was caught I’m glad I wasn’t drinking or I may have spit liquid all over my kindle screen!!

I really liked Tori and Kathy and I could relate to them a lot. As life with jobs, children and blogging has gotten in the way my own best friend from school days and I have drifted apart then together again, and the way Lorraine wrote the relationship between Tori and Kathy was just perfect.

I loved Panty Raid and I’m super excited for this new series. I have enjoyed everything Lorraine Bartlett has written so far and I’m sure this new series will be no different.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Book Review: The Colony Cat Caper by Patricia Fry

Here at Cozy Mystery Book Reviews the one thing we all have in common is our love of cats. We have a soft spot for dogs too, but we really LOVE felines! So when a new book crosses our desks we all clamor to be the first one to read it. After all mysteries and cats just go hand in hand. Patricia Fry’s mysteries definitely have a cat as their focus… a klepto cat named Rags. Together with Savannah, Rags provides plenty of enjoyment in this fifth book in the series.

The mystery focuses heavily on the Hammond Cat Alliance and their involvement in helping with the feral cats in the area, which of course brings in the mysterious old building. I really enjoyed the way Patricia Fry has weaved the elements of mystery with the serious side of animal welfare, and the care of the feral cats. The Hammand Cat Alliance warmed my heart with all they do to help cats.

The Colony Cat Caper was my first introduction into the lives of Savannah, Rags and the other folks in town. I was able to quickly pick up the story, and I was glued to each page with intrigue as the mystery unfolded. For me, the Klepto Cat mysteries is a hidden gem, and I’m glad I’ve now got four other books in the series to go back and enjoy. I can’t wait to find out what other adventures Rags has gotten up to!!

Book Review: The Moonglow Cafe by Deborah Garner

Prior to reading The Moonglow Cafe, I read Above the Bridge, Deborah Garner’s first novel in this series. Above the Bridge gave me a insightful look into this series and into the life of Paige MacKenzie as she arrives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I enjoyed the mystery and I was excited to see what adventure Deborah Garner would take the characters on next.

In The Moonglow Cafe, Paige and cowboy, Jake, are back with another mystery to solve. This time Paige is in Manhattan to write a story on sapphire mining. With Jake nearby in Jackson Hole, she’s not expected murder and mystery, but that is exactly what she finds. Paige finds a hidden diary and with her natural reporter instincts she’s soon on the trail of this mystery.

I really love Deborah Garner’s writing style. She paints a vivid picture of the isolated mining town and the quirky characters in the town. The mystery kept me on the edge of the seat, madly flipping the pages faster, eager to find out how it would end.

I read a lot of indie cozy mysteries and The Moonglow Cafe is definitely one of my favourites this year. I enjoyed letting Deborah Garner whisk me away to Montana for an afternoon of adventure and I can’t wait to see what Paige gets up to next.

Book Review: Pies & Peril by Janel Gradowski

I love delving into new towns and new characters with a new series. In Janel Gradowski’a debut mystery she introduces us to two cook exrtraodinaire’s… Amy Ridley and the reigning pie queen, Mandy Jo. Amy thinks she finally has a pie to beat Mandy Jo but little does she know Mandy Jo is already dead!!

Pies and Peril drew me in like the sweet smell of a fresh apple pie and I didn’t want to stop until the very end.

I was drawn to the charming Amy. Alike to myself, she’s passionate about baking, but not always clear headed. In the opening chapter she illogical thinks her pie has been stolen from her house and the way ahe reacted to the situation would’ve just been like me. Her reaction had me laughing and smiling, and the warm cozy feeling of reading a good mystery never left me.

For readers of the blog will know I’ve been on a bit of a reading slump lately. Well Pies and Peril pulled me right out of it. This delightful debut mystery stole my heart with its charm and wit and not to mention Amy’s dog, Pogo.

Pies and Peril is a beautiful debut and I know I will be eagerly awaiting the second book in the series.

Book Review: Sex, Lies & Snickerdoodles by Wendy Delaney

Mmmm. Snickerdoodles. I want to start this review by saying Wendy Delaney totally sold me with Snickerdoodles. I love Snickerdoodles, and I figured a book that has the word “snickerdoodles” in the title is bound to be a winner! Luckily for me, I was right. Sex, Lies and Snickerdoodles is more than just a yummy title, it’s also a fabulous mystery.

Charmaine Digby is Assistant to the Prosecutor, and had a secret love life with long-time friend, Detective Steve Sixkiller. That ought to be enough to stay out of trouble, however she manages to walk into more trouble with the death of bad boy, Russell Falco. What unfolds is a suspenseful and enjoyable mystery that had me on the edge of my seat, trying to figure it out before Charmaine and Steve.

An essential element of a good cozy mystery is the setting and I loved the seaside setting of Port Merritt. As I was reading I swear I could smell the fresh fish and salt air, or maybe that was my own wishful thinking of wanting to be transported to Port Merritt with these interesting characters.

Sex, Lies and Snickerdoodles was my first mystery by Wendy Delaney, but it sure won’t be my last. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I intend to go back and read the first book in the series, Trudy, Madly, Deeply to find out what else Charmaine and her friends have been up to.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Book Review: Ill-Gotten Panes by Jennifer McAndrews

In her debut series Jennifer McAndrews delivers a stunning mystery, with a flaming red-headed heroine that readers are not going to forget in a hurry...

Georgia Kelly has packed up her life in New York City, complete with a job loss and departing fiance, and is heading home to Wenwood, New York, to live with her grandfather, until she figures life out. In Wenwood she finds a quiet life. That is until a local is killed and the police point their finger at Georgia's grandfather. With Grandy about to be arrested for murder, Georgia and her new friend, Carrie, set about trying to find the real killer.

I love new series and as a reader, I'm lucky in that many new series are published every month for me to try. I instantly warmed to this new sleuth, Georgia Kelly, within the first few pages of Ill-Gotten Panes. She has fiery red uncontrollable hair and her hair certainly matches her personality. In no time at all she's getting herself buried deep within a murder investigation.

In this first mystery we meet Georgia, her grandfather, Grandy, and her new friend, Carrie, who owns a antique store. She enlists Georgia to help her repair a Tiffany lamp, and through this we learn more about Georgia's hobby of stain glass. It's not a hobby that I know much about it and I found it fascinating. Alike to Georgia I use craft as therapy, and I it's nice to read that I'm not the only one. Crafting can be very therapeutical!

The mystery was a great whodunnit. While I did guess early on who the murderer was, it wasn't until the last minute that I had tied everything up together. It was cleverly crafted and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Wenwood was such a delight to visit. Between the locals, Georgia's new companion in the form of a cute, little, white kitten named Friday and the adventure of a murder mystery I had a splendid time with this first mystery and I can't wait to see what Jennifer McAndrews has on offer next.

Friday 4 July 2014

Book Review: Silence of the Lamb's Wool by Betty Hechtman

Casey Feldstein has her hands full yet again with baking, yarning and solving a murder. Casey is continuing on with yarn retreat business she inherited. While she didn't begin as a knitter nor crocheter she's learning more about yarn and enjoying the retreats. This new retreat will be fantastic as she plans to even include sheep shearing and spinning!! However when the retreat's teacher is found dead, and the death is declared a suicide, the retreat looks like it might just fall apart. It's up to Casey to pick up the pieces and solve the crime. With Casey at the helm it's going to be one yarn retreat no-one will forget.

I love to crochet so early on I picked up Betty Hechtman's crochet series and instantly became a fan for life! I like the way she weaves elements of crafting with the mystery so seemlessly. I always finish one of her mysteries satisfied that I've not only enjoyed the mystery but picked up for a tips for the crafter in me too!!
In this new series Casey is as beginner of a knitter as you can get. She doesn't even have a yarn stash (yet!)! She is enjoying running the retreats and learning along the way. She also has a insatiable curiousity! Part of the reason I enjoy following Casey's adventures is because I really like reading about each retreater's journey into knitting and crochet. They are all at different skill sets and through the story I almost feel like I'm right there, alongside them, taking part in the projects and building friendships in only a way that yarn can.

Yarning aside, Betty Hechtman delivers a delightful mystery in this latest instalment. What first appears to be suicide, clearly is murder and I enjoyed watching Casey put her "detective shoes" on and solve the crime. Fans of Betty Hectman's earlier mysteries won't be disappointed with this one. In my opinion, it's one of her best and I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes Casey and her friends next.

If you haven't read this series yet I highly recommend giving it a go. The mystery will delight you and afterwards you'll be itching to start a knitting or crochet project of your own!

Book Review: Cozy Food, edited by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

If you are a cozy reader (and especially those of the culinary variety) then you know how delectable those recipes at the end of the mystery are. Almost every culinary cozy mystery I buy I end up trying out the recipes at the back. It’s the perfect way to make the mystery last just a little bit longer. Well Nancy Lynn Jarvis has helped fans of those recipes and compiled an awesome cookbook with lots of cozy mystery recipe goodness!!

With a star studded list of contributing authors this cookbook has everything from main courses and desserts, with over 220 recipes! Each recipes contains an introduction to the author and their books, followed by a mouth-watering recipe. I’ve already wowed my family with several recipes, including Jenna Bennett’s “whoopee pies” and Annie Knox’s “Hot Grudge Sundae Cake with Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce”!

If you buy one recipe book this year make it Cozy Food. After I finished browsing the recipes I was pleased to see that Nancy Lynn Jarvis includes the Cozy Mystery Author’s Biographies, and includes book lists. I will definitely be checking out all the books by these authors. I’m pretty sure there is enough cooking and reading to last me a full year!

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Book Review: Some Enchanted Eclair by Bailey Cates

Hollywood has come to Savannah with the shooting of a film called Love in Revolution. Katie and her Aunt Lucy are called in to step in as caterer, when the previous caterer was fired. However what starts as just another job turns out to be a deadly murder mystery when Simon Knapp, the Production Coordinator, is found killed – stabbed with a knife from the Honeybee Bakery! Katie and the gang at the Honeybee Bakery start to investigate and try to unravel the mystery.

I’ve really enjoyed the previous mysteries in this series. They are simply spellbinding with mouth-watering recipes after the adventure. This latest adventure, however, tops the previous mysteries and provides a page-turning mystery, that is one of the best I’ve ever read.

With each book Katie Lightfoot is finding out more about her witchy powers. She’s a lightwitch and also a “catalyst”, meaning she seems to attract trouble! She, nor the members of her spellbook club (coven), are surprised when the victim Simon, reveals via a psychic, that it will be Katie that will find his killer! It was enjoyable to read the subtle blend of magic and mystery, with Katie heading the adventure and solving the mystery.

My favourite thing about this series is that it evolves at a realistic pace. From the start I was captivated by the spark between Declan, fireflighter, and Katie, and I really enjoyed the twist that Bailey Cates put into their relationship in Some Enchanted Eclair. Fans of Declan and Katie will certainly enjoy this sub-plot, as much as I did.

If you haven’t discovered the Magical Bakery Mysteries I highly encourage you to race to your bookstore and pick them up today. While you are there pick up all four because you are going to want to read them back-to-back and fall head over heels for these spellbinding witches!

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Book Review: Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett

In the 8th mystery in the Booktown Mysteries Lorna Barrett takes readers on a new suspenseful adventure. It’s winter and all is quiet in “Booktown” Stoneham, New Hampshire. However, with Tricia’s sister, Angelica, running two businesses and being newly-appointed President of the Chamber of Commerce her life is anything but dull. Particularly since her Chamber of Commerce receptionist, Betsy Dittmeyer, likes to stir things up by constantly reading everyone the riot act and causing trouble. When Betsy is found dead, crushed under a bookcase, Angelica and Tricia are sad but not surprised. However there was more to Betsy than met the eye, and Tricia is intrigued enough to investigate and see if she can hunt down a killer!

The Booktown Mysteries were one of the first modern cozy mysteries series I ever discovered. Each year I settle in to enjoy the latest offering and every time I’m not disappointed. With the release of Book Clubbed, Lorna Barrett has kept up this wonderful tradition of keeping me thoroughly entertained.

From the first book, Murder is Binding, to this book I’ve enjoyed watching Tricia adapt to life in Stoneham. Her life has had many ups and downs, especially in her romantic life. Her ex-husband, Christopher, has now taken up residence in town and she’s no longer dating Police Chief, Grant Baker. She seems to be enjoying life on her own. Just her and her darling cat, Miss Marple. However there is one relationship in her life that is blossoming and that is the one between Tricia and her older sister, Angelica. When we were first introduced to Angelica I wasn’t sure about her. She seemed to rub Tricia up the wrong way and they didn’t get along at all. I’ve really enjoyed watching the two get closer, and in Book Clubbed they share some wonderful, close moments. Anyone with a sister or a brother in their life that is also their best friend, will appreciate the direction that Lorna Barrett has taken these wonderful sisters. It is heart warming and beautiful, and I’m so glad that Angelica is not just a part of Booktown, but a big part of Tricia’s life too.

Lorna Barrett never fails to offer a suspenseful cozy mystery. The mystery certainly kept me on my toes and right up to the denouement I was holding my breath, waiting to see how it would all my play out.

Fans of this series will rejoice at another wonderful instalment in their favourite cozy mystery series. Lorna Barrett provides a entertaining, highly enjoyable new mystery for readers to solve, and I can’t recommend Book Clubbed enough. If you haven’t read this series yet I recommend picking up Murder is Binding and beginning what will quickly become one of your favourites.

Monday 30 June 2014

Book Review: Death in Perspective by Larissa Reinhart

Since Larissa Reinhart introduced the world to Cherry Tucker in Portrait of a Dead Guy she has been tantalizing and enthralling readers with this sweet and sassy heroine. Her latest installment is no different. Cherry is back and ready to take on the world, by solving a mystery and keep her own love life out of trouble!

I’ve enjoyed watching Cherry not just solve mysteries, but the interactions in her personal life as well, both with Deputy Luke and also the ups and downs of each of their families. With Cherry’s brother missing there is sure a lot going on with Cherry’s family and I glued to each page wondering how it would all play out.

I always enjoy the mystery elements of the Cherry Tucker mysteries. As someone that reads a lot of mysteries I find it easy to solve my fair share of mysteries. However Larissa Reinhart has me stumped every time!! In the case of this one I liked the realism Larissa Reinhart adds with the real world elements of cyber bullying and suicide. While this is a fictional story readers will recognize elements of life that we hear about on the news, far too often.

Death in Perspective is another thrilling adventure in this series and I’m sure, like myself, readers will fall in love with Cherry Tucker all over again, reminding us all why she is one of our favourite sleuths!

Sunday 22 June 2014

Book Review: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile is a short story featuring Parker Pyne. Parker is on holidays and even though his holiday has been previously interrupted by clients, he's hoping that it won't be interrupted even further. However the other occupants on his cruise have other ideas. One Lady Grayle asks him to find out if she is being slowly poisoned by her husband. He sets out to investigate but before he can uncover the truth Lady Grayle ends up dead.

I find the title of this short story amusing because Agatha Christie has a full length novel under the same title. The full-length Death on the Nile is of course widely popular, having been made into several movies, featuring Hercule Poirot. This short story was unknown to me until I picked it up. The short story was published three years before the novel. I do wonder if perhaps the short story was inspiration for the novel.
In any case it was a good, little story. Parker Pyne doesn't usually solve murders, so it was interesting watching him try his hand at this one. With limited suspects and evidence aplenty, Parker managed to solve it in time.

Another good Parker Pyne mystery.

Saturday 21 June 2014

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance by M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin, amateur sleuth extraordinaire, has decided to start up her own detective agency. At first things are slow going with lost cats. However soon she hires her new neighbour, Emma Comfrey, as her secretary and her friend, Sir Charles, refers a case to her. A Mrs Laggart-Brown wants her to investigate the death threats her daughter has received. As Agatha and her detectives investigate they discover a tangle of relationships and murder, as they try to get to the bottom of it.

I’m smitten with Agatha Raisin. She’s sassy, funny and I love that she is now a detective – officially! Cozy mystery series with their amateur detectives poking their nose into things can sometimes get very long-winded, so it’s refreshing to see a series that has gone from amateur to official detective and thus gives Agatha a reason to poke her nose into things!!

I enjoyed the mystery a lot, but perhaps what I enjoyed more was Sir Charles Fraith being around, and James Lacey not. James Lacey is Agatha’s ex-husband, who went off to be a monk and then disappeared. He’s barely even mentioned in Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance and as I’m firmly on Team Charles I was completely fine with this! I have a feeling that M.C. Beaton will be making him pop up sooner or later though.

Penelope Keith is the voice of Agatha Raisin for me. I really enjoyed Penelope’s acting career, being such a big fan of british tv, and I’m glad she’s voicing these audiobooks. I love the voices she provides, especially the caring tones she puts in her voice for Mrs Bloxby, who is perhaps Agatha’s greatest friend. I hope Penelope Keith continues to provide the voice for these audiobooks for many years to come, because both Penelope and Agatha herself are the reason I keep coming back to listen to more.

Purchase Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance by M.C. Beaton at Audible, Amazon.

Friday 20 June 2014

Book Review: Organized for Murder by Ritter Ames

Kate McKenzie is a organizing expert. With 6-year-old twin girls and her ex-goalie and now sports anchor husband, she has plenty of time to put her organization skills to good use. Now she is starting a new business helping others organize. Her latest client requires her to organize and inventory her late husband’s many collections. All is going well until her client ends up dead, poisoned to death. With all the heirs pointing their fingers at her, Kate and her friend, Meg, must try and clear her name.

I related to this book so much. I’m a mom to twin boys and a hockey-loving sports fan. It certainly was right up my alley from the start. Add in the organizational tips and the suspenseful mystery and I was completely sold on my first Ritter Ames mystery.

I liked how competent Kate is. Some air-head sleuth, who blindly stumbles through a murder she is not. I like how she was constantly writing lists to keep herself organized and enable her to solve the mystery. At her side was her new friend, Meg. With the history of snarky hockey wives she’s not used to having a lot of friends, and it was enjoyable to see her friendship with Meg blossom and grow. I’m definitely looking forward to watching these two solve another mystery together.

Organized for Murder is a very enjoyable first in a new series. Ritter Ames really hit it out the park with this debut, and with her organizational tips included (throughout the book and at the end), I know this is one book I will be hanging onto. Not just for a re-read, but also to refer to the organizational tips. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, I highly recommend picking it up.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Book Review: The Pearl of Price by Agatha Christie

The Pearl of Price is a short story featuring Parker Pyne. Parker is on holidays and the last thing he expects is to get involved in a mystery. However this is exactly what happens when one of the tourist’s pearl earring goes missing and she asks him to solve the mystery.

Given her background in archaeology a lot of Agatha Christie’s stories featured digs, tombs or tourists visiting such places. This is another one in this setting. I haven’t got bored with this setting, so I was glad to another story featuring this. This time it is Parker Pyne visiting and getting involved in a mystery with a wealthy tourist.

I easily picked up the clues and solved this one before Parker. From my experience with the short stories they are a lot easier to solve than the full-length novels, which I rarely am able to solve. There is no murder, as Parker Pyne is more about “finding things” and “making people happy” then a actual murder investigation. It was a fun mystery though and I plan to read more mysteries featuring Parker Pyne.

Audiobook Review: Tarnished & Torn by Juliet Blackwell

Lily Ivory is a witch and owner of a vintage store called Aunt Cora’s Closet. In her time in San Francisco she’s gotten into plenty of trouble. However trouble is heading her way like never before. This time in the form of her father and what could likely be a fire demon!! It all starts innocently enough when she goes to a fair and meets a German lady selling antique jewellery. She’s interested in what she has to offer and suspects that she might also be a witch. Her suspicions are confirmed when the lady turns up dead, pressed between wood with cinder blocks on top. The “pressing” is a old form of torture against witches, which Lily has only heard of. Due to the nature of her death, Detective Carlos calls on Lily to help out and this starts one adventure that Lily nor her friends will forget in a hurry.

I fell in love with this series when I first read Secondhand Spirits. I love Lily as she not just tries to solve mysteries, but also learns what it is like to live in San Francisco and have friends nearby. She was shunned from her own mother and her hometown for being a witch. However her life in San Francisco is pretty great… well except for the murders and the fact that her one-time lover, Sailor, has disappeared.

What I love the most about Tarnished and Torn and this series as a whole, is it is never dull and boring. There is always a lot happening but Juliet Blackwell doesn’t leave readers lost and unable to connect the dots. It is more than just a cozy mystery, with the paranormal elements and more-than-meets-the-eye characters. In Tarnished and Torn we finally meet Lily’s father, who abandoned her as a baby. We discover more about their relationship (or lack there of) and perhaps more about how Aidan feels about Lily. Fans of this series will definitely enjoy some of the sub-plots that have continued on from the previous books.

For me, Xe Sands is the voice of this series. Her portrayal of the characters is beyond amazing. I particularly love the depth she gives to Lily’s familiar, Oscar. Oscar is part gargoyle, part goblin and appears a pot-bellied pig. His suggestion on how to solve the case was to hire Miss Marple, and is aghast to find out that she doesn’t exist and is made up! This scene alone had my laughing until I cried!! After having experienced the previous books as audiobooks I know I will definitely be continuing on with the series in audiobook format only. I wouldn’t hesitate recommend this series to mystery fans and also paranormal fans. It’s not one to be missed!

Check out Tarnished & Torn by Juliet Blackwell on Audible, Amazon.

Listen to a Sample of Tarnished & Torn by Juliet Blackwell, narrated by Xe Sands:

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Book Review: Drizzled with Death by Jessie Crockett

Welcome to Sugar Grove, New Hampshire. Dani Greene is a fourth-generation maple syrup maker. Her family has always made maple syrup and she’s trying to take the family business even further – with not just maple syrup, but organic maple syrup and other products. Her grand plans are disrupted when at a pancake breakfast, Alanza Speedwell falls dead in her pancakes. When Dani learns that the syrup, supplied by her farm, was poisoned, suspicion falls onto her family. With her ex-boyfriend investigating the case, Dani is determined to clear her family’s name.

Being an Australian-Canadian I love maple syrup. In Canada, we put it on everything! A cozy mystery series featuring maple syrup… well I’m all over that!!! I lapped up Drizzled with Death like a tall stack flowing with syrup! It was sweet, enjoyable and I loved every minute of it.

Dani Greene is the youngest, and her older brother and sister sure don’t think she has it in her to grow the family business, and she’s determined to prove them wrong! Even if it means finding a killer first! I love her dogged determined attitude and how quirky she is!! She certainly gets into some funny situations…. including wrestling camels, cassowaries and kangaroos!!

The mystery was well put together and had my inner amateur sleuth working overtime, trying to solve it before Dani. I was in suspense, right up until the end, while I watched the mystery unravel before me.

I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in this series, Maple Mayhem. Dani and her family were a hoot and I can’t wait to see what trouble Dani is going to get into next!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Book Review: Cookie Dough or Die by Virginia Lowell

Best friends, Olivia and Maddie, own The Gingerbread House, a cookie shop that specializes in not just cookies, but cookbooks, cookie cutters… everything cookies! When Olivia learns that her dear friend, Clarisse Chamberlain, has passed away, she’s devastated. Clarisse was her mentor and close friend. When the circumstances surrounding Clarisse’s death don’t add up, Olivia and Maddie take it upon themselves to investigate and find out what happened.

COOKIES! I love cookies, everyone loves cookies. Discovering a new-to-me series that features cookies is like discovering cookies in the cupboard you forgot about! Reading this first book was just like that… devouring a mouth-watering cookie.

I loved everything about The Gingerbread House. The way Virginia Howell describes the shop with all it’s cookie paraphernalia and the close friendship between Olivia and Maddie really drew me in. I enjoyed every minute and didn’t want to put it down until I had turned the last page.

The mystery was fascinating, especially since originally the police rule the death as accidental, not murder. Of course all of us cozy readers know how often the police are wrong! It was interesting watching Olivia, with the help of Maddie, untangle the mystery.

With a sweet, cozy small town, and lots of small town gossip surrounding the death of Clarisse, Cookie Dough or Die was a home-run for me. I liked all the characters, from the snoopy mailman, Sam, to the gossipy reporter, Binnie, and especially Olivia’s dog, Spunky! I’m happy that this is already a long-running series and intend to spend time catching up with what Olivia and Maddie are going to get up to next.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Audiobook Review: In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell

Witch and vintage clothing store owner, Lily, has a knack for getting herself into "interesting situations". For what starts out as a lovely evening out with fellow witch, Aidan Rhodes, ends up in a mystery when a lady at the Art Deco Ball collpases and Lily thinks foul witchy play is involved!! When Detective Carlos asks for Lily's help with the death of a witch, Tarregan Dark Moon "Tara", Lily thinks the two may be connected. As she delves further into another coven she discovers some very evil magic at play.

I like the Witchcraft mysteries because they are always unexpected!! Lily's life is never boring. Besides the main mystery there is always a lot going on and I never finish reading one of these and think it was dull. For all the things that Lily is, she certainly isn't dull. In this one Lily gets to go to a fancy ball, try to untangle a murder case and help Miriam, who collapsed at the ball and is in a coma!! If that isn't enough there is also her love life. Definitely not dull.

Lily is a interesting character. She was chased out of her hometown by witch hunters and hasn't gotten close to anyone. Even her own mother doesn't like that she's a witch. But she's settling into a good life now, with her vintage clothing store and making friends with fellow witches. I like watching her life evolve, as she becomes happier with herself and her place in San Francisco.

The Witchcraft Mysteries are truly magical. They are everything I love about magical cozy mysteries are more than just a murder mystery! I'm excited to start the next one.

I listened to In a Witch's Wardrobe with the narration by Xe Sands and I can only use one word to describe her narration... flawless. She is the voice of Oscar, Lily's familiar, to me and her narration is part of the reason I love this series so much. If you like audiobooks I suggest trying this series on audio.

Check out In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell at Audible, Amazon.

Friday 13 June 2014

Book Review: Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate by M.C. Beaton

Agatha is at a loose end. Her ex-husband, James Lacey, is gone and her friend and some-time lover, Sir Charles Fraith, is in Paris. When the vicar’s wife, Mrs Bloxby, advises that a new curate is coming to Carsley, Agatha doesn’t realize that this is going to be the start of a new adventure. Everyone in Carsley is smitten with the handsome, new curate. However not everyone shares that opinion, and when the curate ends up dead, it seems the police are ready to pin the murder on Mr Bloxby, the vicar. Could the vicar have been jealous and killed Tristan, or did someone else want him dead? To ease herself out of boredom Agatha and her neighbour, John, investigate.

I’m a big fan of Agatha Raisin. She’s stubborn, fun and sometimes crazy! She’s definitely never boring, as indicated by this adventure. However, on the outside it seems like she is bored. She pretends to not be interested in the murder. She’s not attracted to her neighbour, John, and since Charles and James are off elsewhere, there is no-one else to spark an interest. For all her faults, Agatha really is a romantic at heart and I hope one day in between all these murders she does find that someone special.

The murder in this one was quite interesting because Tristan wasn’t a local. It seems he’s gone from church to church, charming the patrons at first, but there is something sinister under that charm and it’s his sinister actions that look like the reason he has been killed. It was a tangled web and I enjoyed trying to unravel it before Agatha.

In The Case of the Curious Curate I really missed the lack of Sir Charles and to a smaller degree, James. I love Agatha’s interactions with Sir Charles and I really hope he makes an appearance in the next adventure.
This is Agatha’s 13th adventure and I still enjoy them as much as I picked up the first one (Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death). I enjoy watching Agatha solve murders and the trials of her love life. I can’t wait to read more!

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Book Review: Final Notice by Jennifer L Hart

Jackie Parker is a process server, who is now out of a job when she has had enough of her boss’ grabby hands!! Together with her husband, Luke, and his brother, Logan, they decide to go into the business of property management. With Luke and Logan’s brawn and her brains, their new company Damaged Goods Property Management can’t go wrong. Well that is until they discover a dead body at the first job! Now they are hunting down a killer and discovering the ups and downs of going into business with family!

I really enjoyed the first book I read/listened to by Jennifer L Hart (The Misadventures of a Laundry Hag: Skeletons in the Closet) and I was looking forward to a new series by this author. I simply loved Final Notice. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard to the point of being close to tears from a cozy mystery in a long time!!

Final Notice is a barrel of laughs with so many zany, hilarious situations as Jackie, Luke and Logan battle trying to evict tenants in their business of “property management”. Jackie certainly has a knack for getting in trouble and in this first mystery she manages to get herself in smelly situations, including a fight with a female wrestler in baby oil, and some not-so-sweet smelling adventures! From beginning to end I couldn’t stop laughing at all of their sticky situations! Who knew property management could be so funny… and dangerous!

I enjoyed the mystery part of Final Notice. At first it seemed straight forward in that it appears that the previous tenant had murdered the girl and left, but as Jackie investigates further she finds it is anything but simple. The “Jane Doe” girl reminds Jackie so much of herself in her younger years that she’s determined to find out what happened to her.

Final Notice has so many memorable characters and moments that I think it will appeal to all cozy readers. Under all the comedy there is a family that will do anything for each other, and the family values shines through on the pages. Jackie Parker and the hunky Luke and Logan won my heart over with this first mystery and I can’t wait to see what is in store with the next book, Lease on the Beach.

Monday 9 June 2014

Book Review: Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman

Casey Feldstein isn't really the kind of girl that sticks to anything. Medical school, law school, working in a PI office, they all only lasted a short time. Now she's a dessert chef, living in the guest house of her Aunt Joan's house. However, when Joan is accidentally killed in a car accident, she must also add something else to her list - running a yarn retreat! Joan ran "Petite Retreats", fun weekend-long yarn retreats, and she had one all booked and now Casey must step in. She's not a knitter, but she does her best to honour her aunt's memory. With a dark cloud already over the weekend, especially with the accidental death of a knitter at the last retreat, Casey must not just step in, but also turn her hand at solving a crime too when one of the knitters if found dead.

I'm a knitter and a crocheter and I love reading mysteries that centre around yarn. This mystery was fun in many ways, but mostly it was fun seeing my favourite hobby through Casey's eyes, being that of a newbie. All the abbreviations and code names that I take for granted, like my "stash", ie. my yarn stash, are new to her. She soon learns a lot more than she ever though she wanted to know about yarn.

There are two deaths that have occurred even before I got into the first chapter. Those being Casey's aunt and Amanda Proctor, a knitter that died at the end of the last retreat. As they say accidents go in threes, and soon another dead body is added to the list. I guessed early on who the killer was and the motive behind it. This didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of the mystery at all. I really liked Casey and the other ladies and gents (yes even men knit!) who attend the retreat, and it was fun to experience the yarn retreat with them.

Yarn to Go was a very fun first-in-a-new-series for me. I enjoyed this small town of Cadbury by the Sea. With Casey's love of baking and her growing interest in knitting, I know this is one series I will be keeping up with.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Audiobook Review: Skeletons in the Closet by Jennifer L Hart

Maggie Phillips is your run of the mill housewife. She's a stay-at-home mom to two adventurous boys and wife to ex-Navy SEAL and all-around hunk, Neil. Apart from her disastrous in-laws she has a great life. That is until her best friend volunteers her to clean the mansion of the new neighbours. Douglass Kline is creepy and his wife, Alessandra,... well let's just say she gets around!! All goes well until Alessandra ends up dead and Douglass looks like the number one suspect. With friend, Sylvia, egging her on to dress in black and investigate, the pair give it a go at sleuthing!

I love funny cozy mysteries! I'm a huge fan of the zany antics of Stephanie Plum (as published by Janet Evanovich) and along with a good mystery, I love a mystery that keeps me giggling as well. The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Skeletons in the Closet definitely falls under the zany and funny category. I laughed and laughed at all the antics that Maggie and Sylvie get up to. For example, who knew that when you go in the middle of the night to investigate a suspect's house, that you will get held up by the suspect's elderly mother and rip your pants open and end up in jail! Yes this happens to Maggie. She's a walking disaster and her antics sure made for more than just a few giggles.

The mystery itself was very good. While Douglass is very creepy with the torture devices he keeps around for show, he is also very hapless and it's clear he isn't guilty of murder. This left me with many suspects and trying to figure out who killed Alessandra before Maggie.

There is a great cast of characters in this first book in this series. I really enjoyed the relationship Maggie and Neil have, and it's refreshing to have a sleuth that has a husband a family, as many that I've read lately have been single. Together with the unpredictable brother, Marty, I know the characters are definitely going to have me coming back for more. I need to know what kind of trouble Maggie is going to get up to next!!

I listened to Skeletons in the Closet as an audiobook with the narration provided by Suzanne Cerreta. This was my first time listening to Suzanne and I definitely will listen again. She provides the perfect voice for Maggie and I liked how you can hear the laughter in her voice, at all of Maggie's misadventures!

If you're looking for a fun audiobook for a car trip I recommend giving The Misadventures of a Laundry Hag: Skeletons in the Closet a go. At just six hours, it is the perfect length for car trips and it will keep you laughing and recalling Maggie's adventures with a smile.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Book Review: Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley

In Kate Dyer-Seeley's debut mystery we meet Margaret Mary Reed, "Meg" to her friends. She's newly out of college and still trying to deal with the recent accidental death of her father, the top-notch journalist, Charlie Reed. Following in her father's footsteps she hopes to be a journalist, that is if she can find a job. When she discovers a journalist job at adventure magazine, Northwest Extreme, she decides to tell a small lie about her outdoor experience. After all a job is a job right? Little does Meg know that this job will mean scaling cliffs after contestants on the Race of the States outdoor adventure race. During a trip out with the contestants Meg witnesses the death of Lenny Ray, one of the contestants, and is horrified to find a killer in their midst. She does what any good journalist would do and starts to hunt down who killed Lenny!

Since I'm more the indoors type I wasn't sure about an adventure-style cozy mystery. I could see how they would appeal to those that love that mysteries and also love to climb cliffs. However, I'm more the climb-into-my-bed-with-a-good-book kind of person. However, within pages of reading Scene of the Climb I discovered Meg was more like me than I thought. Meg is an mocha-full-fat-with-extra-whip kind of girl and she's clearly out of her depth with all the adrenaline junkies at Northwest Extreme. However with her tenacious "fake it until you make it" attitude she's more than happy to try and fit in.

With a murder that takes place on a trail, amidst the beautiful rocky terrain of Oregon, this mystery was thrilling from the start. While I may not have been outside on the trail, my adrenaline sure was pumping as Meg witnesses the murder and then has to dodge bullets and cougars to try and avoid being the next victim. I loved the mystery. It took just the right turns to keep me interested and I didn't want to put the book down, not even for a second!

Friday 6 June 2014

Book Review: Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper

Sophie Taylor is returning to Gracious Grove, the place where her grandmother lives and she spent her holidays as a child. When her restaurant goes belly up in New York she decides it's time to move from the big city, back to Gracious Grove and lick her wounds! In Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House, run by Nana, she finally feels like she's healing and ready to move onto the next stage of her life. However, before that can happen she has a murder to solve! One of her friend's fiance's mother dies at a nearby tea house and Sophie is called in to help find a murderer!

When it comes to caffeine I'm a big tea drinker. I start each day at 5:30am with a cup of Earl Grey tea and I couldn't imagine not drinking tea. A mystery series featuring not just one tea house, but two? Well I'm all over that!

I had high expectations going into this series. I really enjoy mysteries with cats (notice the adorable Birman on the cover) and tea and I was hoping that Tempest in a Teapot would live up to my expectations. I'm happy to report that Tempest in a Teapot far exceeded my expectations. This story had the air of the feeling of settling into your favourite chair, with a cup of tea and a good book. Complete and utter comfort, especially with the surroundings of Gracious Grove.

Gracious Grove is a little different from other cozy towns I've read about. It is a "dry" community, in that no alcohol is allowed. Naturally some locals would like to see this changed, especially Cissy's brother, Pete, who does his best to smuggle in alcohol! With Gracious Grove being a dry town, I felt like I'd almost gone back in time to prohibition, with tea-sipping ladies gossiping about everyone in town.

With this lovely setting, it was easy to picture Sophie wanting to return to Gracious Grove, and form a new life there. As she had spent her summers there, she already knew many of the locals and she enlists their help to assist with the investigation.

I liked Sophie. Even though her restaurant has gone belly up, she seems determined to brush herself off and help her Nana with Auntie Rose's Victoria Tea Room. Along with Sophie, there is a whole host of interesting, secondary characters that grabbed my attention. Cissy, her good friend from her days of spending her summer in Gracious Grove, is the same as ever and depicts perfectly the "little lost girl" and comes across as very naive. Even as I'm reading the story I wanted to wrap Cissy up in a hug and protect her, just like Sophie tries to do.

Amanda Cooper writes an engaging mystery in her first book in this new series. With intriguing characters and a delightful setting, I can already tell this series is going to be a firm favourite. For tea drinkers all across the world I highly recommend this series.