Monday 30 March 2015

Audiobook Review: Final Catcall by Sofie Kelly

In the fifth installment of the Magical Cat Mysteries, kitties Hercules and Owen are helping their owner and librarian, Kathleen Paulson, unravel another mystery. When a theater troupe relocates to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, the locals are looking forward to a performance of Yesterday's Child. However, rumor has it that the production is cursed. The rumors may actually be close to the truth, especially when Kathleen discovers the director has been murdered. With her mom in town to step in as director, and her ex-boyfriend surprising Kathleen with a visit, the last thing Kathleen needs to do is solve another murder. Especially as police officer, Marcus, is still upset at her involvement in the previous murder cases, however Hercules and Owen are scenting out clues and Kathleen has her nose on the case as well.

A long-running cozy mystery series needs to bring something special to each book. While it is the small town and murder that binds each novel, there must be something special about the characters and hidden surprises that keeps readers interested. Sofie Kelly achieves this with her Magical Cats mysteries. In each novel she creates a interesting whodunnit for readers to solve, but it is her characters (and cats!) that have readers coming back for more.

At the end of Cat Trick readers see a separation between Marcus and Kathleen. Marcus believes that Kathleen doesn't trust him, and Kathleen will do anything to protect her friends. I find the turn that Sofie Kelly has taken their relationship very realistic. With a police officer and amateur sleuth dating there certainly has to be give and take. I know that I'm not sure how I would take it if my spouse nosed around in my job everyday! I like that Sofie Kelly is taking these characters through the many turns of the road that make up relationships, and I was eager to see if they could solve their differences.

Of course the cats are back! I love Hercules and Owen so much. They are very much like my cats in their little antics. Although my cats can't walk through walls like Hercules or disappear like Owen. Even so, many pet owners will find they can relate their own cats to the always mischievous and fun Hercules and Owen.

Kathleen's mom makes a visit to Mayville Heights to replace the murdered director, and it was interesting having her in town and watching the mother and daughter relationship. Her mom is not conventional, but definitely a delight. 

I could write 100 pages on how wonderful these characters are! This series is full of small town charm, and the characters are charming as well, but also real. Kathleen and her friends have formed a solid friendship, and the kind that when found is something to treasure. Together there is nothing that they can't overcome.

I'm looking forward to taking another visit with these characters in A Midwinter's Tail and seeing what murder and mayhem is to follow.

I listened to Final Catcall as an audiobook and it was narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Cassandra Campbell is a seasoned narrator and I've listened to her quite a bit. She narrates everything from popular literary fiction to science fiction and always brings a flawless narration. I really enjoyed listening to Final Catcall. She narrates the characters perfectly, including Hercules' little meows! I plan to keep listening on audio to this series.

Check out Final Catcall by Sofie Kelly at Amazon, Audible.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Book Review: Meow If It's Murder by T.C. Lo Tempio

T.C. Lo Tempio's debut mystery series features one highly intelligent amateur sleuth and one adorable, and handsome dark stranger. That dark stranger would be Nick, the tuxedo cat. One day Nick walks into Nora's life, when he walks into the deli she owns. From there they have a adventure, as Nora discovers that Nick belonged to a PI that was investigating a high profile case of accident death. Lora Grainger drowned while on a ship, and the case seems open and shut but Nora's crime beat reporter intuition are rising up again and she's certain something fishy is going on. With Nick at her side she sets to investigate and find exactly what happened to Lora.

As a fan of both cats and classic mysteries I have to say there was an absolute lot to love about T.C. Lo Tempio's debut. She hits the ground running with this first series, that has both a classic and modern mystery vibe.

The reader starts by peeking in on the victim just moments before her death. Lola Grainger is aboard a boat on a business "pleasure" trip with her husband, when she suspects someone is black mailing him. These early scenes reminded me very much of Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, with murder most foul on the seas. The classic mystery comparisons continue when we meet Nora Charles and a tuxedo named Nick walks into her life. For those that are fans of both classic mystery books and movies will remember Nora and Nick Charles from The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. From there T.C. LoTempio blends classic and modern together in an unforgettable mystery.

I really enjoyed the fact that Nora isn't just your regular run-of-the-mill nosy amateur sleuth trying to solve a crime. Being an ex-crime beat reporter now turned deli owner she has a natural instinct for crime, and it was enjoyable watching her use her high intelligence to solve the crime. Of course has a "lot" of help from Nick.

Nick absolutely stole the show for me. I'm the pet owner (sorry I mean, bossed around) of a tuxedo myself and I just adored Nick. While most people seem to think that the tuxedo is just a color description of a cat, I've learnt that there is definitely a personality to tuxedos and Nick personifies that greatness that is the tuxedo. Nick isn't just there to look pretty either. He helps supply Nora with clues along the way, with his handy use of scrabble tiles!!

I absolutely adored Meow If It's Murder from start to end. From both me and the felines in my house it gets five high paws, and we are excited to see what kind of adventures Nick and Nora get up to next!!

Check Out Meow If It's Murder by T.C. LoTempio on Amazon.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Book Review: Murder in the Middle by Diane Weiner

In Diane Weiner's second book in the Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries, retired music teacher Susan finds herself investigating the disappearance of the school bookkeeper, Sophie Bartolo. Despite her daughter, police detective Lynette's reluctance Susan delves into the mystery and becomes neck deep in a tangled web of clues, involving a disappearance and a very suspicious death. 

There was a lot to like in Diane Weiner's first two novels, as she introduced us to the life of retired teacher Susan Wiles. I found her third adventure as enjoyable, if not more so, as Susan tries once again to track down a murderer, and keep the rest of her life together.

Diane Weiner throws the reader right into the mystery, with the disappearance occurring within the first few pages. I love when an author does this, as I find a slow lead-up to the mystery can quite often bring about boredom and a reluctance to continue with a story. Never fear of getting bored with this one, from the first action packed pages to the end, Murder in the Middle kept me on the edge of my seat as I tried to solve it alongside Susan.

Part of what will keep readers coming back to this series is Susan herself. She's vividly written, as she tries to to solve the mystery and deal with real issues as well. Diane Weiner doesn't gloss over the life of a retired teacher, and Susan comes across as a real person.

I had a splendid time reading Murder in the Middle. It has a Murder She Wrote vibe to it, and as a long time fan of the show this is certainly a good thing. If you're looking for a good mystery series with a mature amateur sleuth, I strongly recommend this series.

Check out Murder in the Middle by Diane Weiner at Amazon.

Monday 23 March 2015

Book Review: Murder Ties the Knot by Christy Fifield

Murder Ties the Knot takes us on a trip back to Keyhole Bay, Florida, where Glory is preparing for her friend, Karen's wedding. While the wedding preparations are proceedings Glory manages to tangle herself in a murder mystery again, when Beth, the lady who is making Karen's wedding quilt, goes missing and is accused of murder. Contending with a bridezilla and her own shop, Glory must find the time to find a killer too, before Beth and her husband spend a long time behind bars!

Snow is still falling in the great north of Canada, and I'm dreaming of a warm, sunny Spring. Taking a journey to Keyhole Bay, Florida, in Christy Fifield's latest book was the perfect adventure to get me in the mood for Spring.

I've enjoyed this series right from the beginning and I always love another adventure with Glory and her friends. However, I have to admit I rather have a soft-spot for her resident ghost, Uncle Louie, who speaks to her via the store parrot, Bluebird. It's always a hoot and a half joining the residents of Keyhole Bay on an adventure and this time it was no exception!

A wedding brings the best and worst out of everybody, especially with eclectic and interesting family visiting. Combine the double murder with this, and I absolutely couldn't put this story down. It was a thrill a minute as everyone gets ready for the big day and Glory tries to find a killer!

I think readers will be hard pressed to not like this series. It really does have something for everyone, from the ghost Uncle Louie to the strong friendship that binds Glory and her friends, the subtle, sweet romance and a thrilling mystery to solve. If you haven't taken a trip to Keyhole Bay take one today, because I'm sure, like me, you will be wanting to visit again and again.

Check out Murder Ties the Knot by Christy Fifield at Amazon.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Book Review: How to Catch a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale

How to Catch a Cat is the sixth book in the Cats and Curios Mysteries and see's Oscar's niece preparing for America's Cup race as her role as administrative assistant for the interim Mayor of San Francisco. Meanwhile Oscar is hunting down a killer, with a penchant for killing city workers, particularly interns, with deadly knitting needles. As Oscar sold the killer the antique needles he feels guilty and is determined to hunt her down before she strikes again! 

I like this series because it is a little unique and different. Oscar's niece is very rarely named, but that doesn't stop her being an integral part of each mystery, and doing her part to help solve each mystery! Of course she is "owned" by two cats, Isabella and Rupert, and they clearly steal the show as every cat is known to do!!

The mystery itself was very fascinating as being a knitter myself I found the murder weapon of choice quite disturbing, and the killer definitely re-defines the word "creepy". 

Part of the mystery entails a story going back to the 1700s, aboard a Spanish ship, with two cats very similar to Isabella and Rupert. I found this part of the story very fascinating and I liked how Rebecca M. Hale brought the two stories together.

How to Catch a Cat was a splendid, thrilling mystery, in what is already a enjoyable series. I would highly recommend this series to cat lovers, as the antics of Isabella and Rupert (and their Spanish counterparts) will keep you smiling right up until the last page.

Audiobook Review: One Potion in the Grave by Heather Blake

Carly Bell Hartwell lives in Hitching Post, Alabama, a town with the unique reputation of being the number one place couples go to get married. Her mama runs a local wedding chapel, and there is a lot of activity in town as a wealthy senator is in town for his son's upcoming wedding, due to take place at her mama's chapel. However, there is also plenty of activity at her own potions shop, when a old friend stops by. Carly hasn't seen Katie Sue (now Katherine) since she left town many years ago. However it seems that Katie Sue is back to cause trouble for the wealthy Calhoun's. When Katie Sue turns up dead Carly is determined to find a killer and let her friend rest in peace.

I've been a fan of Heather's writing since my days of reading the Lucy Valentine books. It's been a joy to watch her develop her writing range, and move onto the magical mysteries, by the way of the Magic Potion Mysteries and the Wishcraft Mysteries. Up until now, I've favored the Wishcraft Mysteries slightly more. With already four mysteries in the Wishcraft Mysteries (and a new release coming in May), I've been reading that series longer. However, after finishing One Potion in the Grave, I don't think I could pick a favorite between the two series anymore.

While I certainly enjoyed A Potion to Die For, One Potion in the Grave made me really love this series. Narrated by Carly Sue, we hear a story of a woman with a troubled past, that certainly didn't deserve to die before her time. Carly Sue is determined to find the killer, at all costs. For me, Carly is so real. She has a on-and-off again relationship with police officer, Dylan. Not all love is black and white, and Carly and Dylan certainly have a colorful history, including a burning chapel! She's passionate about her friends and family and confused about her relationship with Dylan, and one of the most delightful amateur sleuths I've read.

I loved the mystery in this story. While I did guess several aspects of the mystery, I was surprised by the final denouement. Heather Blake writes human nature and emotions and in this story she really taps into the dysfunctional family very well. 

One side story line that I loved was Carly's relationship with her cousin, Delia, who is the black to Carly's white, and they are a odd couple, but it is a joy watching them get closer. More than this, I loved Carly's relationship with her Aunt Margie. Margie is a riot. She shoots people for trespassing and uses a pitchfork to ward off unwanted guests. After an injury she ends up staying with Carly and it was fun watching them interact and their relationship grow stronger and closer.

With such an eclectic range of characters, readers will adore this series. It is full of characters that you will remember long after you've turned the last page, and fondly be looking forward to another visit to Hitching Post.

I listened to One Potion in the Grave on audio and I loved Carla Mercer-Meyer's narration. While I don't live in the south, her southern accent sounded authentic and she brought all the necessary emotion required to Carly, as she hunts down a killer, while mourning the loss of her friend. I hope she continues to narrate this series as I'm really enjoying the extra enjoyment she brings for me to this series.

Check out One Potion in the Grave by Heather Blake on Amazon, Audible.

Friday 20 March 2015

Giveaway: Win a Set of 6 Cozy Mysteries

It's Friday and it's time for another fabulous giveaway! This time I have six cozy mysteries to send off to someone's shelves.

One lucky winner will win: 
  • A First Date with Death by Diana Orgain
  • Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan
  • Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass
  • Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer
  • AND two bonus March New Releases
What are the bonus books you ask? A surprise! I will say both bonus books were released in March by Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime and both feature cats on the covers!!

To enter:
1. Comment below with your email address
2. Giveaway is open to US/Canada and ends on March 25, 2015 at midnight.
3. The winner will be contacted via email.

Book Review: A Bird in the Hand by Dane McCaslin

Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a mystery writer to solve an actual crime? Do you think mystery writers would be nosy and throw themselves head first into a murder mystery, right in their town? Well Dane McCaslin answers that with a resounding "yes!" in her new book, A Bird in the Hand. 

In Dane McCaslin's debut series, readers get to dive into the world of a mystery writer that finds herself right in the middle of a real-life crime! Caro Layton-Browning and her husband, Greg, are British ex-Pats, navigating life in New York. When they stumble across a body in the park it spikes Caro's curiosity. Soon another dead body is discovered, that of a fellow resident in picturesque Seneca Meadows, and Caro and Greg get investigating, determined to find a killer before he strikes again.

Plain and simple, Caro is awesome! Right from the first page, I found myself enjoying Caro's "quirks" as she spies on her neighbors, and rallies against her neighbor, the "Cat Lady", who she accuses of allowing her cats to use Caro's yard as a giant litter box. She has adorable quirks, like not wanting to walk in the rain!, and did I mention she's nosy? I loved that about her. 

Caro is determined to unravel this mystery, and she pulls her husband, Greg, right into the mystery too!!  In Caro and Greg, Dane McCasslin has created a happily married couple, that work together to solve the crime. In many ways Caro and Greg remind me of Tommy and Tuppence from the series written by Agatha Christie, and they were truly as enjoyable to read and spend time with, as Tommy and Tuppence are. 

With a gang of ecclectic and unforgettable characters, A Bird in the Hand is a fast-paced mystery that will have you turning the pages faster and faster, trying to solve the mystery alongside Caro and Greg. I soaked up this mystery, like a caffeine addict that hasn't had a cup of coffee for a week!, and I'm eager to find out what kind of fun and adventure Caro and Greg will get up to next!

Check out A Bird in the Hand by Dane McCasslin at Amazon.

Thursday 19 March 2015

Book Review: A First Date with Death by Diana Orgain

In Diana Orgain's new series she transports readers to the set of a reality tv show, as ex-cop, Georgia Thornton, nurses a broken a heart and is set to find a new love on the show "Love or Money". What Georgia doesn't bank on is being caught in the middle of a murder investigation, This is exactly what happens when one of the male contestants dies suddenly, and is replaced by her ex-fiance! Paul Sanders, the ex-fiance in question, is undercover and trying to find a killer before they strike again. Now Georgia must put her life in the hands of Paul, the one man who may be able to save her from being next, but the one man she's never been able to trust!

Diana Orgain sets the perfect tone for this first book in a new series, reeling in readers and getting them hooked on the reality tv concept. She gives the readers the view behind and in front of the camera, and it's not all glamour and roses for these reality tv stars. 

Love or Money is very similar to The Bachelorette, with the twist that if Georgia guesses which men are there for the love, she wins a prize. She could walk away with money and a new love, or nothing. Of course what she isn't banking on is walking into a murder scene! The added twist with the murder kept things very interesting, as I was trying to guess who wanted to kill the contestants.

I like Georgia. She clearly doesn't want to do the show, and is more doing it as a favor to her friend, Becca, who is Assistant Producer on the show. She's comes across as a strong female lead, who, despite having many men around her, doesn't need the men to come in and save her. She kept me interested in the mystery and I was very interested in finding out more about her relationship with Paul, the undercover cop, who left her at the altar.

A First Date with Death kept me interested from the beginning to the end, and it was splendid whodunnit. Diana Orgain has created a series that readers will enjoy for a long time, and I can't wait to see where she takes Georgia in her adventure.

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Giveaway: Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs

Today we have giveaway for the 15th book in the Tea Shop Mysteries, Steeped in Evil. Thanks to the publisher we're giving away one (1) paperback of Steeped in Evil. Check out our review here.


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below with your email address. 
2. Giveaway is open to US only and ends on March 20, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winners will be announced on Facebook/Twitter and contacted by email.

Audiobook Review: Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs

It's time for another visit to my favorite tea shop in the fictional world... the Indigo Tea Shop. In Theodosia's latest adventure she is spending some time away from the tea shop, at a wine tasting. A local winery, Knighthall Winery, is owned by Jordan Knight, a friend of Drayton Conneley, Theodosia's co-worker and fellow tea expert. When disaster strikes on the night of the tasting, with Jordan's son being killed in a most gruesome way, Drayton and Jordan beg Theodosia to step in and find a killer. With a Downtown Abbey Tea to plan, a tea shop to run and catch a killer, Drayton and Theodosia find themselves very busy!! Will they be too busy to catch a killer before he/she strikes again?

I am absolutely head over heels smitten with the Indigo Tea Shop and Drayton and Theodosia. Laura Childs writes engaging, compelling mysteries, but it's her characters that make her stand out above the crowd. I love how Drayton and Theodosia fit together as friends and co-workers. There is not a love angle between them, they are great friends and they fit together. Drayton can be quite stuffy and Theodosia is more fun, and they make a great pair to solve a crime!

The actual mystery was very intriguing. It starts with quite a gruesome killing, with Drew Knight being found dead in a barrel of wine!! The path to find the murderer is a tangled web of local and even international intrigue, that leaves Drayton and Theodosia running about town to solve it before the killer strikes again! I was kept on my toes, willing the audiobook to read faster and faster, so I could find out what happens!!

I listened to Steeped in Evil as an audiobook and I have to say that Barbara McCulloch has won me over on listening to future installments as audios. This is my second audiobook in the series and I really enjoy her narration. She builds on the characters that Laura Childs has created, and it's a joy to listen on audio. I listened with a cup of tea at my side, and knitting needles clicking away, and I had a fabulous time enjoying the latest Tea Shop Mystery.

The Tea Shop Mysteries are interesting and timeless mysteries.If you haven't picked this series up yet, I highly recommend giving them a read or a listen.

Check out Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs at Amazon, Audible.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Giveaway: Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan

Today we have giveaway for a fabulous new book, Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan. Thanks to the publisher we're giving away one (1) paperback of Horse of a Different Killer. Check out our review here


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below with your email address.
2. Giveaway is open to US only and ends on March 19, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winners will be announced on Facebook/Twitter and contacted by email.

Book Review: Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan

Grace Wilde is an animal behaviorist with a special skill. She has the psychic ability to hear animals thoughts. However this skill doesn't carry over to hearing human thoughts, just animals. Being able to hear human thoughts would be mighty handy for Grace, especially as she's investigating a murder. That is the murder of her sister's abusive ex-husband, and the police have arrested Grace and are accusing her of murder!! In an attempt to clear her sister's name, Grace ends up hot on the trail of not just a killer, but also a missing horse. This is one mystery that is going to take all of Grace's sleuthing skills and psychic ability to solve.

One of my biggest reasons for enjoying this series, besides my natural love of cozy mysteries, is that I really like reading about Grace's abilities. I'm a huge animal lover, and growing up I always wished I could understand my pets. As a kid I thought it would be really fun. Now as an adult, and the human servant to three felines, I'm not sure I want to know what they are thinking about!! However, it's Grace's abilities as a animal psychic that makes this series different to all the cozy mysteries released every month, and I really enjoy this aspect.

I enjoyed the mystery aspect of Horse of a Different Killer, and I had a hard time untangling the clues that were laid about by Laura Morrigan for Grace (and myself too!) to solve. This was definitely a mystery that kept me guessing right until the end.

This series is such a perfect fit for me, with my love of animals and mysteries alike, and I think many animal lovers and readers will simply fall head over heels for it. When a mystery starts with a cute, cuddly koala that Grace is trying to rescue, the cute factor is at a all-time high and you know it can only get better!

If you haven't read it yet, pick up the first book in the series, Woof at the Door.

Check out Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan at Amazon.

Monday 16 March 2015

Giveaway: Audible & Paperback of Dying for a Cupcake by Denise Swanson

Today we have a super special giveaway. Thanks to the publisher and Denise Swanson we're giving away one (1) paperback of Dying for a Cupcake and one (1) Audible download of Dying for a Cupcake. Check out our review here


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below with your email address and which copy you'd like to win. 
2. Giveaway is open to US only and ends on March 18, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winners will be announced on Facebook/Twitter and contacted by email.

Audiobook Review: Dying for a Cupcake by Denise Swanson

Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair's Dime Store is taking part in a cupcake contest to end all cupcake contests. Kizzy Cutler is the famous Cupcake Queen, and she's returning home to be a part of the contest, and award the grand prize. Not everyone is happy to see Kizzy Cutler though. When her assistant is killed, and attempts are made on Kizzy's life, it is clear that someone wants the Cupcake Queen dead. With Noah and Jake out of town, Dev and friends, along with the help of the sexy new fire chief, Coop, get on the case to find out who is trying to kill Kizzy.\

I have to say Denise Swanson sure knows how to pack a punch with her cozy mysteries. With 21 cozy mysteries published between her two series, she certainly has the experience and this shows in her latest offering, Dying for a Cupcake.

It's a action-packed time for Dev, as she helps with the Cupcake Contest. This isn't the taste-testing, which surely Dev would prefer, but keeping her Dime Store running, keeping Kizzy under control with her infamous short-temper, and more importantly, keeping Kizzy alive! From High School Queen to Cupcake Queen, Kizzy has a natural ability at annoying people, and it turns out she's annoyed one person so much that they want her dead.

Noah and Jake are both absent in this story, with Noah providing medical aid overseas and Jake on the trail of the man who kidnapped his ex-wife, leaving Dev alone to sort through this mess. She's more than capable... after all she's solved three other cases!! However, we have a newcomer on board in the form of the new fire chief, Coop. Sexy as all get up, Coop isn't shy to show his interest for Dev, and I think it will be interesting to see how that storyline plays out in future books.

What I enjoy the most about Denise Swanson's books is she provides a fun adventure, with adorable and obnoxious characters alike, but she touches on some real issues as well. In Dying for a Cupcake, she touches on the tender subject of bullying and does it in a way that is subtle but to the point. I always turn the final page of her books, feeling like I've had satisfied of a great read and a great adventure. 

Whether it's a visit to Scumble River or to Shadow Bend, you can't go wrong with a mystery by Denise Swanson.

I listened to Dying for a Cupcake on audio, and I loved it. I whiled my weekend away knitting, while I soaked up to atmosphere in Shadow Bend, and it was a fantastic listen. I've listened to all four books on audio, and I love Maia Guest's narration. For me, she is the voice of the inhabitants of Shadow Bend, and I'm hoping she will continue to narrate the books in this series.

Check out Dying for a Cupcake by Denise Swanson at Amazon, Audible.

Listen to a Sample of Dying for a Cupcake by Denise Swanson, narrated by Maia Guest:

Sunday 15 March 2015

Book Review: Chef Maurice and the Rather Fishy Tale by J.A. Lang

When Chef Maurice uncovers a wooden fish inside the day's fresh bass, with a plea written on the fish, he's not sure what to make of it. His friend, food critic, Arthur Wordington-Smythe, insists there is something fishy going on and wants to investigate. Together they start to investigate, and head all over in attempt to find the person, that has written the message on the wooden fish.

I read Chef Maurice and the Rather Fishy Tale as a prequel introduction to J.A. Lang's first full-length novel, Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle, and it was just the perfect short story to whet my appetite for this new-to-me series.

The friendship between Chef Maurice and Arthur was a fun one, as Arthur gets Chef Maurice into interesting situations, in an attempt to solve this mystery. I had a fun time with this duo and it will be definitely be entertaining to watch them get into more mischief in their next adventure.

It's clear this series will be a culinary delight for fans of culinary mysteries. With the mouth-watering descriptions of the seafood, y the time I turned the last page I was ready to seek out some fish and chips for myself!

With a good mystery, and delicious culinary delights, this was a perfect short story to introduce readers to the series. I'm looking forward to starting the next book in the series.

Check out Chef Maurice and the Rather Fishy Tale by J.A. Lang at Amazon. At the time of posting this review, this book is free for Kindle.

Saturday 14 March 2015

March/April Audiobook/Audible Round-Up!

Looking for a good mystery to read in March & April? Check out these audiobooks coming to Audible soon!

Killer Gourmet by G. A. McKevett 
Book 20 in the Savannah Reid Mysteries
Available March 31, 2015

The Cat, the Vagabond and the Victim by Leann Sweeney
Book 6 of A Cats in Trouble Mystery
Available April 14, 2015

The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett
Book 2 in the Victoria Square Mysteries
Available March 17, 2015

Killer in the Kitchen by Donald Bain
Book 43 in the Murder She Wrote Mysteries
Available April 7, 2015

No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie
Book 9 of a Ghost Hunter Mystery
Available April 7, 2015

One Potion in the Grave by Heather Blake
Book 2 of the Magic Potion Mysteries
Available March 17, 2015

Friday 13 March 2015

Giveaway: Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass

Today we're giving away Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass. Check out our review here.


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below with your email address. 
2. Giveaway is open to US only and ends on March 16, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winner will be announced on Facebook/Twitter and contacted by email.

Book Review: Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass

In Laurie Cass' third book in the Bookmobile Cat Mysteries, Eddie the cat and his human, librarian Minnie Hamilton are cruising the streets in their bookmobile. It is almost winter, and Minnie is concerned with funding in keeping her pet project, the bookmobile, running. Things take a turn for the worst when a volunteer on the bookmobile is shot. 

When it comes to cozy cats there are some really cute, intelligent cats. My favorite cozy cats include Diesel from the Cats in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James, Hamlet in the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries by Ali Brandon and of course Koko & Yum Yum from the Cat Who Mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun. So needless to say Eddie has a lot of stiff competition when it comes to making it into my top group of adorable and smart kitties residing in the pages of cozy mysteries. Eddie, with his "mrr"s and his way of having a conversation with Minnie and her Aunt, has wormed his way into my heart, and I love watching his antics on the bookmobile and how he reacts with all the librarian patrons. He truly is adorable!

Together with Minnie, Eddie gets down to the business of detecting in this latest Bookmobile Cat Mystery. Our poor deceased is a sweet, pleasant man, who Eddie adores on first sight, so why would he be the victim of a senseless crime? As Minnie starts to investigate it appears that there is more than meets the eye. 

I liked getting to know Minnie, her Aunt and Eddie, and all the other patrons in the library and town. Laurie has created a eclectic mix of characters, that are fun to watch as they interact, and some going out their way to make her life difficult, like library director, Stephen. It all adds up to a very enjoyable setting for this mystery, and one I enjoyed immensely.

I have a preference for mysteries with a library setting and cats, so naturally this was a home run for me. However, I think with Eddie's adorableness, penchant to try to get more snacks, and Minnie's determination to solve the crime, this duo will win over even those that don't like cats. Borrowed Crime is a first-class mystery and one that readers will enjoy immensely.  If you haven't picked up this series, I strongly recommend starting with Lending a Paw, book 1. However, these read so well as a standalone as well, that it would be quite okay to start with her latest book, Borrowed Crime.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Giveaway: Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer

Today we're giving away Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer. Check out our review here.


To enter:
1. Leave a comment below with your email address.
2. Giveaway is open to US only (sorry international folks, but we will have a international giveaway soon!) and ends on March 15, 2015 at midnight EST.
3. The winner will be announced on Facebook/Twitter and contacted by email.

Book Review: Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer

Connie Archer is back with another Soup Lover's Mystery with Ladle to the Grave. In Snowflake, Vermont, it's May and the residents are looking to welcome Spring in. However, Spring begins with a big bang, when a few locals participate in a Pagan festival, and one lady ends up dead! When the police determine the cause as poisoning from some herbs in a wine she drank, they start to point their finger at Lucky Jamieson's grandfather, Jack. Now Lucky will have her hands full between managing her soup shop, finding a killer and making a dress for her best friend's upcoming wedding!

Ladle to the Grave was my first trip to Snowflake, VT, but it certainly won't be my last. Living in a country that has six months of winter I'm a big soup person. There is nothing better than curling up with a book and a big bowl of warm, hearty soup in the middle of winter!! That warm, cozy feeling is how I felt reading Ladle to the Grave.

I really liked that Connie Archer started this book off with a murder. There was no slow opening chapters. No, she throws you right into the murder, leaving you to decide who could have wanted to kill this poor lady. Was it someone against the Pagan festival? Or was it something else? From there is a action packed story, as another death drops down on Lucky, and she races against time to figure out the killer before Jack ends up in jail!

Ladle to the Grave was a fun read. As this was my first introduction to the series, I liked that I could read it without feeling lost. Connie Archer sets up the characters nicely for those new to the series, without repeating facts from previous mysteries. I liked the ecclectic mix of characters in Snowflake, and certainly loved the virtual smells of the soups Sage makes in Lucky's soup shop, By the Spoonful.

All in all Ladle to the Grave was a very enjoyable mystery. With a tasty mystery, mouth-watering recipes to try, and even a wine to brew, it hit all the right spots, and I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Giveaway: Win a set of 4 Cozy Mystery March Releases Books

As many readers may know, I generally don't re-read mysteries, so I try to pass these onto others readers. Today I'm passing on four mysteries I've read (and enjoyed!) and I'm passing these onto one lucky person. Each book has been read once, no creased spines, no dog-eared pages. 

One reader will get Assault & Pepper by Leslie Budewitz, Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs, Dying for a Cupcake by Denise Swanson and Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford.

Be on the lookout for more giveaways like these: next up with be Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer, Borrowed Crime by Laurie and many more!

To enter:
1. Comment below, along with an email to contact you if you're the winner.
2. Giveaway is open to US/Canada
3. Giveaway ends at Saturday March 14, 2015 at midnight.
4. The winner will be contacted via email.

Book Review: Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford

Suspendered Sentence is the fourth book in the Amish Mysteries by Laura Bradford. Claire Weatherly, owner of Heavenly Treasures, lives amongst the Amish and English in the town of Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She loves the quiet life in Heavenly, but it certainly isn't dull and boring. During the raising of a new barn, human bones are discovered and they are believed to belong to a Amish teenager, who ran away many years ago. With police officer, Jakob, and Claire on the trail, they try to piece together this cold case, and figure out who the killer is.

I live in a town, where there are no Amish about, but that doesn't stop my curiosity about them and the lifestyle they lead. In some ways they have a simple, beautiful life, where they help each other when help is needed. Of course when it comes to crimes they are reticent about having police involvement, and this makes Jakob's job more difficult.

The lastest installment in the Amish Mysteries is certainly a page-turning, unputdownable read. Laura Bradford beautifully describes the ups and downs of Amish life, in a almost lyrical style, and as her words drew me in, I found myself stepping alongside Claire, her Aunt, Diane, and police officer, Jakob, trying to solve the murder with them.

The events that lead to this murder surround the rumspringa. For those that aren't family the rumspringa is a rite of passage available to Amish youth around the age of 16 when they are allowed to see the world outside the closed Amish community. It ends when the youths return to the community to be baptized into the Amish church or decide to remain outside it. It's a interesting time in the life of the young Amish and I like how this rite of passage was weaved through the mystery, letting readers learn more about this.

As with the other books in this series, Laura Bradford doesn't disappoint with Suspendered Sentence. As befitting someone living in a Amish town, she is moving the relationship between Claire and Jakob at a perfect pace, and I enjoyed several toe-curling moments between them, and I look forward to seeing where the path leads for both of these characters.

I had a wonderful time visiting the fine folks of Heavenly, and I absolutely cannot wait to tag along for another adventure, when the next book is released.

If you are looking for a first class mystery, pick up the Amish Mysteries today. They are written so that you can pick up any book in the series, and just read, or to really do this series justice, pick up Hearse and Buggy, and enjoy four of the best mysteries on the market today.

Check out Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford on Amazon

Giveaway: A Wee Murder in My Shop by Fran Stewart

Today we're giving away A Wee Murder in my Shop, a new series by Fran Stewart. Check out our review here. 


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below. 
2. Giveaway is open to US only (sorry international folks, but we will have a international giveaway soon!) and ends on March 14, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winner will be posted on the sidebar on Sunday March 15, 2015 and announced on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Review: A Wee Murder in My Shop by Fran Stewart

In Fran Stewart's debut series she introduces readers to Margaret "Peggy" Winn. Peggy lives in Hamelin, Vermont, a town that is like a mini Scotland in America, and owns the Scotshop, a darling little store selling Scottish items. On a trip to Scotland, to purchase more items for her store, she brings home with her an unwanted gift in the form of a 600+ year old ghost, who she names Dirk. With a ghost following her around, marveling at all the changes in the last 600 years, Peggy is determined to carry on with her life, and put the heartbreak of finding her boyfriend in bed with her best friend, behind her. However, this proves difficult when her ex-boyfriend is found dead in her shop and her cousin is accused of murder. With the help of her "wee ghostie" Peggy and her friend set out to clear her cousin's name, and try to find a murderer.

Fran Stewart has done something so incredibly right with this new series. She whisked me away to the land of Scotland right from the beginning, and the magic of Scotland carried through, even when Peggy returned back to Hamelin. Of course this was helped with the Scottish atmosphere of Hamelin, where kilts are aplenty, and of course thanks to Dirk, her wee Scottish ghostie.

Dirk is the perfect gentleman, and everything about the 21st century is a surprise to him! Peggy tries to explain to him, but of course she's talking to a ghost, so at times Dirk has to fumble along for himself, lest Peggy looks like she's talking to thin air!! Dirk was a delight, and at times I found myself copying his old Scottish account, and delighting in his every action and word!

The mystery in this debut book is very interesting, because Fran Stewart doesn't give us many suspects. With a mystery that involved hidden rooms, secrets codes and only a handful of suspects, I certainly had a hard time trying to solve it before Peggy and Dirk!

Fran Stewart's debut is a strong start to what is going to be a fabulous series. She's created very memorable characters, full of charm and mischief, and readers will be fondly recalling this adventure long after they turn the last page. If you haven't picked up this first book in the Scot Shop Mysteries yet, go grab a copy today, because it is going to be one series you don't want to miss!

Purchase A Wee Murder in My Shop by Fran Stewart at Amazon.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Book Review: A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber

When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity—even if it means enduring the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers. But avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she teams up with her boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. They must solve the crime before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime—behind bars.[summary via Amazon]

I know that a 5-star rating means the best rating possible in these categories, however, sometimes it doesnt seem like enough.

This second book by Tracy Weber is as expected a terrific book !! If you didn't fall in love with Kate and Bella in the first book, Murder Strikes a Pose, you definitely will in A Killer's Retreat.

Even though you are reading a book about a murder and its investigation, with Kate's fingerprints all over the evidence, you will find yourself completely relaxed when you read the yoga sections. You will feel like you are there on the mat with Kate as she relaxes and breathes through the yoga moves.

Add her best friend, Renee, her husband Sam, and Kate's boyfriend Michael in a one bedroom cabin, the employees at the Retreat resort and the crazy family of the owners and you will forget that you are sitting on your couch all alone.

Weber has a unique talent of pulling you into the story that your own life seems to be on hold, surroundings forgotten and you are right next to Kate trying to clear her name.....yet again.

Monday 9 March 2015

Kindle eBook Giveaway (1)

Today we are kicking off a regular, weekly giveaway. Each Monday we will be posting a new giveaway to win up to $10 in Kindle eBooks. Want to buy a new release? Or perhaps you're looking to grab a couple of indie mysteries? The choices are endless!

Here's how to enter:
1. Enter with the rafflecopter below.
2. If you don't want to use the rafflecopter you can also leave a comment. We will add the entries together on Friday morning, and draw a winner.
3. The winner will be announced on Friday, just in time for you to get some weekend reading done!
4. The winner can select any ebook/s under $10, any genre.
5. Giveaway is open international. Books will be electronically delivered via

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: Assault & Pepper by Leslie Budewitz

Today we're giving away Assault & Pepper, a new series by Leslie Budewitz. Check out our review here.


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below. 
2. Giveaway is open to US only (sorry international folks, but we will have a international giveaway soon!) and ends on March 11, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winner will be posted on the sidebar on Thursday March 12, 2015 and announced on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Review: Assault & Pepper by Leslie Budewitz

In Leslie Budewitz's new series, she's spicing up the Seattle scene with a delectable culinary mystery to appeal to all the senses!

After a corporate crash leaves Pepper Reece jobless, she opens up a spice shop, called Seattle Spice Shop. All is going well with her somewhat relationship with local restaurant owner, Alex Howard, and running her store. That is until she finds a dead body on her front step, and the dead person looks to be connected to one of her employees. With her nose to the ground, she's soon trying to catch the scent of a killer, that is if she can stay out of the way of her ex-husband, police officer, Tag Buhner.

I really enjoyed the first book in Leslie Budewitz's debut series, the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries with Death Al Dente, and I was excited to hear that she was also releasing a second series, surrounding a spice store.

Assault and Pepper is certainly a book for all the senses! Right from the first chapter I felt like I could almost smell the delicious scents that must waft in and out of the Seattle Spice Shop. The way the different spices, and recipes, are described I was practically racing to my local stores to try out lots of new spices!! With an atmosphere like this to begin with, the mystery that followed could have only made this debut novel better.

I found it interesting that Pepper starts off with a boyfriend of sorts, especially as in in most cozy mystery debuts we see the sleuth as single and looking for the love of her life. I won't spoil this story line for readers, but I thoroughly enjoyed the direction that Leslie Budewitz takes Pepper, in both her business and her personal life, and I absolutely can't wait to see what kind of adventure she has in store for her next.

The mystery was first class and it kept me guessing until the end. Leslie Budewitz certainly delivers in this new series: a first class mystery, delightful characters and when the mystery is all finished, there are mouth-watering recipes for the reader to try.

Check out Assault & Pepper at Amazon.

Sunday 8 March 2015

Book Review: Lease on the Beach by Jennifer L. Hart

Jackie Parker, with her Damaged Goods Property Management crew, are back for another adventure. Reeling after the near death events in Final Notice, things aren't going smoothly for Jackie and her ex-marines husband, Luke. Especially not with the sexy Logan, Luke's brother and Jackie's one-time fling many years ago. However business is business and together they are off to evict to another dead beat in their jobs as property managers.  What begins with evictions leads to "furries", drug labs and murderers on the loose for the Damaged Goods team.

I simply can't get enough of the Damaged Goods Mysteries. I really enjoyed the first book, Final Notice, and when I finished it I was eager for a second story. I patiently waited for a sequel and I was rewarded with "Lease on the Beach". 

Lease on the Beach was definitely worth the wait. Jennifer L. Hart has created a very intense relationship with Jackie and Luke, throw in the mix the sexy brother, Logan, and there is definitely drama aplenty. Jackie is not the usual airhead running into situations without warning, and I like that she does think about the situations before diving in. She is definitely a amateur sleuth worth following!

Lease on the Beach was full of adventure on every page, and I loved every second of it. This is not a series that you will be bored with, and one that you will get thoroughly addicted to. 

I give Lease on the Beach five sparkling stars (if I could give it a trillion stars I would!) and I am very eager to visit with Jackie and the Parker boys again to find out what is in store for them next.

Friday 6 March 2015

Feature & Giveaway: Murder Ties the Knot by Christy Fifield

Christy Fifield is back with a new mystery in her Haunted Souvenir Shop Mysteries.

A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery from the author of Murder Sends a Postcard--featuring Down-Home Dinner Menus.

It’s winter in Keyhole Bay, Florida, and while the tourist trade is slow, souvenir shop owner Glory Martine is busy with her best friend’s wedding. But between managing preparations, the bride’s in-laws, and a haunted parrot named Bluebeard, Glory makes plans to catch a killer.

As her friends Karen and Riley approach their wedding day, Glory could use a break from the nuptial madness. She takes a peaceful drive to Alabama’s piney woods to pick up the wedding quilt she ordered from a supplier. But the supplier, Beth, has disappeared along with the quilt and her husband, Everett.

Glory learns that two men were found murdered near Beth and Everett’s home and that the couple is wanted for questioning. Believing they are innocent, Glory convinces them to cooperate with authorities. But when they’re thrown in jail, Glory vows to catch the real killer before one happy couple walks down the aisle and another gets sent up the river.

Check back into our blog later this month as we will be sharing a review for Murder Ties the Knot. In the meantime, we have a chance for one lucky reader to win a copy. 


To enter: 
1. Leave a comment below. 
2, Giveaway is open to US only (sorry international folks, but we will have a international giveaway soon!) and ends on March 9, 2015 at midnight EST. 
3. The winner will be posted on the sidebar on Monday March 10, 2015 and announced on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Feature & Giveaway: A First Date with Death by Diana Orgain

Diana Orgain has a brand new series, the Love or Money Mysteries, and the first book is A First Date with Death.

Reality TV meets murder in the first in a new mystery series from the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and co-author the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries.

When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose—apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life…

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancĂ©. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on…

Check back into our blog later this month as we will be sharing a review for A First Date with Death. In the meantime, we have a chance for one lucky reader to win a copy.


To enter:
1. Leave a comment below.
2, Giveaway is open to US only (sorry international folks, but we will have a international giveaway soon!) and ends on March 8, 2015 at midnight EST.
3. The winner will be posted on the sidebar on Monday March 9, 2015 and announced on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.