Sunday 30 December 2018

Murder on Cape Cod (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #1) by Maddie Day

Murder on Cape Cod (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #1)
A Cape Cod shop owner and her book club must find a crafty killer in this charming new series from the Agatha-nominated author of the Country Store Mystery series.

Mackenzie Almeida's only experience with murder investigations is limited to the cozy mysteries she reads on Cape Cod with her local book group, the Cozy Capers. But when both she and her brother become suspects in a murder, Mac summons help from her Cozy Capers co-investigators and a library's worth of tips and tricks. This is one mystery where Mac is hoping for anything but a surprise ending...
   (Summary via Goodreads)

I totally knew who did it ...... no only kidding !!!  I had NO idea.  And that is what makes a GREAT cozy mystery and Maddie Day knows how to capture the reader from the first word on the first page until the very last word and the reader has closed the book for the last time.  And she doesn't waste any time.....

In Murder on Cape Cod, the first book in her new series A Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery, you have the murder taking place immediately.  By the time you have read 5 pages, you are already invested in the story.  You have met the main character Mackenzie "Mac" Almeida and her book group.  You have already witnessed a confrontation between Mac and Jake....the murder victim and you are ready to solve the case. Lucky for you Mac and her book group are ready also !!

In Murder on Cape Cod there is so much that will appeal to will love the town and all the cute shops, you will love Mac, her boyfriend Tim, her friends, family and we cannot forget her bird, Belle.  You will admire Mac for being a strong independent take charge woman who will do anything for family, friends and her community.  And the way Mac and her Cozy Capers Book Group take charge and investigate Jake's murder is quite inspiring.....but I, myself, will just read cozies and leave the investigating to the police.

I fell in love with this new series by Maddie Day and look forward to many more great books in this series.  I now have another great place to visit and amazing people to hang around with.  One of the many things I love about reading books and especially books in a ALWAYS have a place to go and people to hang around with.....and you don't have to pack or leave the comforts of home.

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Steamed Open (Maine Clambake Mystery #7) by Barbara Ross

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #7)

It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I am a HUGE fan of the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross !!  I am a HUGE fan of the state of Maine so it makes sense that I would love this series as it is set in Maine !!  But there is so much to love about this series !

You cannot help but fall in love with the main character Julia, her family and the neighbors, her family business and the fact that when there is a murder Julia jumps right in with both feet to "help" the local police department solve the case.  Even though Julia has her hands full running the family's clambake business and its summertime which is when they are at their busiest, when there is a murder Julia is off and running......even if the murdered person is basically a stranger.

Ross knows how to capture the readers attention as soon as you open the book and keeps your attention until you have read the last word and even after you close the book, Busman's Harbor will stay with you for a while.  How can it not ?  The way the story is written, you feel like you are a part of their community and not just someone passing by.  You feel like you have a seat at the counter at Gus's and you feel like you are enjoying lunch with everyone employed at the Snowden Family Clambake....but the best is hanging out with Julia as she solves another murder in her close knit town.

Steamed Open is the seventh book in this wonderful series and I cannot help but hope that there are many, many more books in this series.  I need to return to Busman's Harbor as many times as I can......  Thank you Barbara for allowing me and all your other faithful readers the chance to take a vacation while sitting in our own living rooms !!!

Review by Missi S.

Monday 24 December 2018

Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge (A Jaine Austen Mystery #16) by Laura Levine

Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge (A Jaine Austen Mystery)
Freelance writer Jaine Austen is feeling festive about spending Christmas house-sitting at a posh Bel Air mansion, accompanied by her friend Lance and her cat, Prozac. But when a grumpy neighbor gets himself iced, she’ll have to find the culprit or she may spend the New Year in jail . . .
Scotty Parker is a former child star who once played Tiny Tim, but now he’s grown up into the role of neighborhood Scrooge. He cuts the wires on his neighbors’ Christmas lights and tells local kids that Santa had a stroke. And his miserly, bah-humbug attitude lasts year-round—a fact known all too well by his current wife, his ex-wife, his maid, and many more. 
Scotty thinks he can stage a comeback with the screenplay he’s working on (The Return of Tiny Tim: Vengeance Is Mine!), and Jaine’s been reluctantly helping him edit it. So when Scotty is bludgeoned with a frozen chocolate yule log and the police start making a list of suspects and checking it twice, Jaine’s name is unfortunately included. True, she’s been under some stress, with Lance trying to set her up on dates and her fickle feline taking a sudden liking to someone else—but she’s not guilty of murder. Now she just has to prove it, by using her gift for detection and figuring out who committed this holiday homicide.  (Summay via Goodreads)

I cannot believe that Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge by Laura Levine is the sixteenth book in the Jaine Austen Mystery series and the first one that I have read !!  I instantly fell in love with Jaine, her adorable friend Lance, her cat Prozac and the craziness that follows them !!!  Of course some of the craziness is all of Lance's doing but you gotta love him for it !!

In Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge Jaine and Lance are house sitting for one of Lance's rich customers while she is away for the holidays.  Jaine cannot believe their luck....a massive mansion in Bel Air ... unfortunately no pets are allowed but Jaine is saved by the neighbors.  Scotty, who had his 2 minutes of fame starring in a remake of The Christmas Carol when he was a child and his trophy wife, Missy jump at the chance to watch Prozac while Jaine and Lance house sit next store.....on one condition..... Jaine help Scotty edit his screenplay.  The screenplay is a horrible piece of work where Tiny Tim gets revenge on everyone which makes sense that Scotty wrote it because he is a horrible person.  He is a modern day Scrooge all year long !!

So when Jaine finds Scotty dead in his office the list of suspects is longer than Santa's nice list and sadly Jaine is on the top of the list !!!  So while Lance is off working and daydreaming about the hunky mailman he met, Jaine is lying her way into peoples homes in order to clear her name !!

From the fake profile Lance wrote for Jaine of to the emails Jaine receives from her parents who are away on a cruise to the grenn smoothies that Lance whips up each morning, to Jaines obsession with Chunky Monkey ice cream, to the neighbor Missy adoringly turning Jaine's cat against her, to the way Jaine will NOT be able to put this book down.  

I fell in love with everything about this book ....the only thing upsetting is that I missed the first 15 books.  Well maybe I'm on Santa's nice list and he will help me out with resolving that issue.

Review by Missi S.

'Twas the Knife Before Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #2) by Jacqueline Frost

'Twas the Knife Before Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, #2)
A Christmas delight, ’Twas the Knife Before Christmas will charm the stockings off readers of Joanne Fluke and Leslie Meier. 

It’s out of the cupcake tin, into the fire for Holly White’s best friend, Caroline. Can Holly clear Caroline’s name in time to go caroling?

When a body turns up in the dumpster behind Caroline’s Cupcakes, Holly White is horrified to learn her best friend Caroline is the main suspect. Everyone in town, including Mistletoe, Maine’s sheriff, saw Caroline fighting with the victim on the night of his death. Worse, Caroline’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a custom-designed marble rolling pin. 

Now, just ten days before Christmas, Holly’s up to her jingle bells in holiday shenanigans and in desperate need of a miracle. Juggling extra shifts at her family’s Christmas tree farm and making enough gingerbread jewelry to satisfy the crowd is already more than she can handle—and now she has to find time to clear her best friend of murder. Add in her budding relationship with the sheriff, and run-ins with an ex-fiancĂ© looking to make amends, and Holly’s ready to fly south until springtime. 

But her Sherpa-lined mittens come off when Caroline is taken into custody. Can Holly wrap up the case in time for Christmas…even after she gains the true killer’s attention? Find out in ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s second pine-scented Christmas Tree Farm mystery.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I fell in love with Twelve Slays of Christmas, the first book in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series by Jacqueline Frost and I couldn't wait for the next book in this series !!  I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve !!!
And 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas did not disappoint !!!

In Twelve Slays of Christmas we are introduced to Holly White, her friends and family and her adorable hometown of Mistletoe.  And if that wasn't enough we got to hang out at her family's tree farm business and everything is all about Christmas !!  The stage was lit for an amazing series.

However in 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas Holly and her parents are in the process of building an inn that Holly will take on the responsibility of running and while it is still under constuction, Holly's best friend, Caroline, is arresteed for murdering an unpleasant date.  Of course we all know that Caroline is innocent and Holly will do everything in her power to prove that.  Even though Holly's "kind of" boyfriend, local Sheriff Evan tells her over and over to stay out of the investigation....what fun would that be ??  (For the reader that is....)

The Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series is a can't put down series !!!  Frost knows how to capture the readers attention and keep in throughout the entire story....even when the last word is read, she leaves the reader counting days until the next book.  I for one cannot wait until the third book.....Holly takes on her roll as innkeeper and we know its going to be AMAZING !!!!

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

The Peppermint Mocha Murder (A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery #5) by Colette London

The Peppermint Mocha Murder (A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery, #5)

It’s beginning to look like a merry Christmas for Hayden Mundy Moore. On vacation from providing her sought-after expertise in all things chocolate, Hayden heads to snowy New England with her friend and financial advisor, Travis, for the opening of his pal’s highly-touted holiday musical. But when the show’s producer is murdered, Hayden trades sampling Chocolate Santas for finding the killer—especially since this time, Travis is the one asking for her help . . .

Soon Hayden discovers there’s more to Travis’s chic hometown than mulled wine and cocoa cookies. But that’s just the beginning. Almost no one, including Travis, is quite what they seem. Did the show’s lead have more savage motives than stardom? Could the dead producer’s husband have felt a murderous envy for his successful wife? Getting behind the mistletoe and jingle bells will take all of Hayden’s savvy—along with some super caffeinated Peppermint Mochas—if she hopes to catch a killer with a heart more bitter than the darkest truffle . . .
   (Summary via Goodreads)

A chocolate whisperer.....what fun that must be !!!  And this chocolate whisperer has a trust fund that stipulates that she has to travel a lot, she works with people to create chocolate wonders, has a financial advisor, Travis and a bodyguard, Danny who are her closest friends, and she solves murders !!!  The Chocolate Whisperer Mystery series by Colette London is a GREAT series to get lost in and The Peppermint Mocha Murder, the fifth book in this series, is AMAZING !!

Even though this was the first book in this series that I have had the pleasure of reading, it felt like it could have been the first.  London has a way with her writing to make the reader comfortable as soon as you open the book and start reading.  And The Peppermint Mocha Murder has such a comforting setting.  You travel with Hayden, the choocolate whisperer as she goes to a quaint little town which happens to be Travis's hometown right before Christmas.  Hayden is there for the opening of Travis's friend's holiday musical but before she even gets settled into her room at the B and B she is staying at, she comes across a dead body.....the body of one of the producers for the musical !!

As you read The Peppermint Mocha Murder and get to know Hayden and get aquainted with the people and the surroundings in this adorable little town, you soon realize there is more to the musical and the people it portrays......  But don't worry Travis and Danny will always have Hayden's back and you cannot help but love them for it !!

So grab a copy of The Peppermint Mocha Murder, a nice cup of hot chocolate, your comfy blanket and settle won't want to stop reading it !!

Review by Missi S.

Thursday 13 December 2018

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder (Ryli Sinclair Mystery #3) by Jenna St. James

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder (Ryli Sinclair Mystery #3)

The madcap duo of Ryli and Aunt Shirley have teamed up for yet another heartily humorous adventure in the town of Granville in the latest rollicking tale by author Jenna St. James. 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Ryli Sinclair is in need of a front-page story for the Granville Gazette. Thankfully, it looks like Oak Grove Manor, the assisted living facility where Aunt Shirley lives, is just the hot bed of activity Ryli needs for a great story. Unfortunately, before Ryli can dig in too deep, Aunt Shirley is kicked out of the Manor for typical Aunt Shirley behavior. Now Ryli has no choice but to let Aunt Shirley stay with her. 
When the discovery of a dead body at the Manor leads to a murder investigation, there is a silver lining for Ryli. Aunt Shirley will be allowed back at Oak Grove Manor when the murder gets solved. Between being chased by killer Chihuahuas, jumping out of two-story windows, and getting schnockered with the old ladies across the hall, Ryli and Aunt Shirley must track down the killer before bodies start to pile up at Oak Grove Manor. Can Ryli and Aunt Shirley apprehend the killer and get Aunt Shirley back in the Manor, or will Aunt Shirley’s time be up…in more ways than one?     (Summary via Goodreads)

Ryli Sinclair is an amazing person !! She has to be to constantly have to deal with her great-aunt Shirley.  Ryli is the main character in the Ryli Sinclair Mystery series by Jenna St. James and she is always teaming up with her Aunt Shirley whether she wants to or not and whether she likes it or not !!   Either way it always ends up being very entertaining and always ends far.

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder is the third book in this series and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I read it within 24 hours.....once you start reading you will relax and get lost in the story and before you know it you will feel like you are riding along side Paige (Ryli's best friend and brother's wife) in the back seat of the Falcon.  Sorry Aunt Shirley will not let you ride in the front.  

Just an Old-Fashioned Murder introduces you to Oak Grove Manor, it's residents and workers.  Oak Grove Manor is the assisted living facility that Aunt Shirley was forced to move into when it was ruled that she couldn't be trusted to live alone any more.  Yes ruled by Ryli's boyfriend Garrett who is the Chief of Police.  However Aunt Shirley doesn't obey rules very well and gets "temporarily" kicked out of the Manor.   So Aunt Shirley moves in with Ryli and before anyone can fix Aunt Shirley's behavior for getting kicked out one of her neighbors is found dead !!  

Of course Ryli and Aunt Shirley have to get to the bottom of things even though Garrett constantly tells them to stay out of it.  Aunt Shirley and Ryli have different reasons for wanting to solve the case and even though Aunt Shirley drives her crazy, Ryli and her work good as a team when it comes to murder !!

I LOVED getting to know the residents at the Manor and always love hanging around Ryli and her crazy aunt....  St. James has written this series so well that its hard to believe they are not real.  When you finish reading any of these books, you will feel like you have a whole new set of friends and a new place to go visit.....even if its just sitting on your couch reading.

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #4) by Vicki Delany

A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #4)
Sherlockians will delight at the latest charming installment of national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned out museum—but a killer wants a piece of the auction.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately no one is inside, but it’s too late to save the museum’s priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street’s shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear

Cape Cod’s cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, owned by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne’s delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups—a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson’s. Gemma’s boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy’s killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago? 

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma’s methods and he isn’t happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet, Vicki Delany’s shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series by Vicki Delany !!!  The only thing that I don't like is that it is not real !!

A Scandal in Scarlet is the 4th book in this series and if you are like me and have read all four, then you are a true fan of Gemma, her boyfriend Ryan, her best friend Jayne and the rest of the crew and you are a lifetime resident of their quaint little town in Cape Cod.

Delany has such a knack of drawing the reader is so deep that you will feel like you are right there and a part of everything !!! And in A Scandal in Scarlet you are introduced to the rich and snobby members of 2 yacht clubs and not only is there a murder but two women are murdered and they are both linked by sharing a husband ( not at the same time of course ) !!!  

You cannot help but love the way Gemma thinks and works things out in her head.....even though Ryan who is a detective wishes she would just sell books and stay out of trouble.  But we all know that Gemma can do everything !!!  I wish I could figure things out like she does and she makes it look so easy !!

I HIGHLY recommend the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series.....there is no way for you to be disappointed.....well....only when you get to the end of the book and have to close it and return to your every day regular activities.  But I am sure that Delany will keep us entertained with more books in this series....I sure hope so !!!

Review by Missi S.