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.

Sunday 25 November 2018

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15) by Nancy J. Cohen

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15)
Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?

Recipes Included!
   (Summary via Goodreads)

One thing that I love about the Bad Hair Day Mystery series by Nancy J. Cohen is that the main character helps the police in solving the cases and they actually appreciate the help.  Usually in a cozy mystery the main character is an amatuer crime solver who takes on the "case" because they are closely involved or someone they love is involved and they want to clear the person's name.  Also by doing this they but heads with the lead detective and seem to "get in the way" more than help.  However that is not the case in the Bad Hair Day Mystery books.....

Marla is the main character and even though she owns a hair salon and day spa, she still finds time to help the local law enforcement agency with cases.  How can she not.....her husband is the lead detective and usually looks to Marla for insight.

One cannot help but fall in love with Marla and her husband Dalton and even his daughter Brianna.  Brianna has a way, like Marla, of getting into the cases and helps in a way only a teenager can help.  This is a very close, loving, and caring family who make you want to know everything about them.  

And boy does Cohen know how to tell a story !!!  And the way she twists and turns things and relates people and events will have you feeling like you are sitting in the kitchen with the Vail family hashing out the details.

I highly recommend this series to readers.  I especially cannot wait for the next book in this series as Trimmed to Death left you with a big secret revealed !!!

Review by Missi S.

Monday 19 November 2018

Bloody Ham (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery #3) by Brian Kavanagh

Bloody Ham (a Belinda Lawrence Mystery)

The third adventure for Belinda and Hazel continuing the pace and humour that readers have come to acknowledge and appreciate. 
Excitement and tension begin on the first day of filming a Restoration drama on location at the historic Jacobean mansion, Ham House in Surrey when one of the leading players collapses and dies. With the death ruled non-accidental the director, producer and members of the cast are all suspects. 
An award winning Hollywood star is brought in to replace the dead actor and Belinda is employed as her stand-in. When another member of the crew is found stabbed to death, Belinda is forced to prove her innocence. In all this tumult, Belinda finds herself torn between her longtime English lover, Mark and the energetic and exuberant Australian, Brad she met again on a trip to Australia.  (Summary via Goodreads)

After reading books one through three of the Belinda Lawrence Mystery series I have to admit that the third book Bloody Ham is my far.

As Bloody Ham is the third book and I have read it and the previous two I have come to know and love Belinda and her friend Hazel.  I have grown to love the area as well.  However in Bloody Ham the reader is taken away from Belinda's adorable cottage and Hazel's antique business to the setting of a movie.  They are drawn to the movie set because some of Hazel's antiques are being used in some of the scenes.

Bloody Ham also takes the reader away from Belinda's love interest Mark who if you are a fan of the books, you are a fan of Mark and his commitment to Belinda.  We are, however, introduced to an old friend of Belinda's from Austrialia, Brad.  You cannot help by like Brad for reasons different than those of liking Mark.

So much to love about Bloody Ham and I haven't even mentioned murder yet !!

While on the set an actress dies and while at first they think it is an accident, Belinda and crew uncover that it is murder.  But before they can find out who actually committed the crime another member of the crew is found dead.  This time evidence points at Belinda !!!

If you haven't read any of these great books by Brian Kavanagh, I highly encourage you to do so !!!  There are so many things to fall in love with and enjoy !!  One thing is that these books are so easy to read, you can get lost for an afternoon and read an entire book !!  You can get lost in the book but not lose a lot of time !!!

I for one cannot wait to pick up the next book in this series.....especially as Kavanagh leaves Belinda with an answer to a very important question from Mark.... I NEED to know what she says !!!!

Review by Missi S.

Friday 16 November 2018

Ghost Busting Mystery (Shady Hoosier Detective Agency #1) by Daisy Pettles

Ghost Busting Mystery (Shady Hoosier Detective Agency, #1)
When Dode Schneider, rattle-brained Indiana farmer, insists the abandoned Wyatt mansion is haunted by ghosts with big butts who dance in the apple orchard, Pawpaw County Sheriff Boots Gibson happily off-loads the crazy complaint to Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens, senior sleuths in training with the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency. Ruby Jane and Veenie, lifelong gal pals, aren’t afraid of the haunted Wyatt mansion, built by a con artist banker who rowed out of town on the flood waters of 1919, taking the town’s assets with him. The senior crime-cracking duo set out in their smoke-belching 1960 Impala to uncover the truth behind the century-old haunting legend only to find surprise evidence of long ago murder and mayhem. Along the way, Veenie and Ruby Jane chase down a missing drunk wiener dog, earn a lifetime supply of mystery meat sandwiches from Pokey’s Tavern, recover a stolen Harley, and uncover the startling truth about a long cursed buried treasure. The investigation, which involves con artists, bank robbers, and hillbilly hoodlums, doesn’t go smoothly, but Ruby Jane and Veenie, fueled by senior grit and a can-do attitude, engage in crime-cracking hijinks that will leave the reader rolling in laughter in this classic comic crime novel.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Ghost Busting Mystery by Daisy Pettles is so much FUN to read !!!  I loved it !!!  As this is the first book in the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency series, it sets the stage beautifully for future books !!  

You will fall in love with Ruby Jane Waskom and Veenie Goens, the main characters, instantly.  How can you not ?  They are pie eating, go-kart driving, crazy dressing senior citizens and they are "detectives".

In Ghost Busting Mystery when Dode Schneider contacts the agency regarding dancing ghosts in the apple orchard across the street at an old abandoned mansion, the girls rush out to see what is going on.  This takes them back years and years to an old town legendary story concerning a bank robbery, stolen gold, a young married couple and a con artist disappearing with the gold during the flood.  The ladies are introduced to a few shady characters who liven things up for a bit but they soon learn the truth about everything .....  and you do not want to miss out on any of it !!!  

While the ladies are working at solving a murder of a skeleton found in the abandoned mansion and uncover the truth regarding the stolen gold, they will have you not only on the edge of your seat but also holding your gut from laughing !!  This is one book you will thoroughly enjoy and Knobby Waters is a place you will want to visit if only it existed.  I know I would visit just for a piece of pie and a mystery meat sandwich......

Review by Missi S.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Forever Fudge (Candy-Coated #6) by Nancy CoCo

Forever Fudge
"Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery."--Barbara Allan

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .


It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie's help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie's bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head--with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge ma 
ker has to square off against a crazy killer--but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries

"It's probably best not to read this while you're too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen."
--The Oakland Tribune

"The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful."
--RT Book Reviews

"I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series."
--Fresh Fiction
    (Summary via Goodreads)

Forever Fudge is the first book in the Candy-Coated Mystery series by Nancy Coco that I have had the pleasure of reading.....and boy was it a pleasure !!!  

I fell instantly in love with everything about this book....from the main character Allie and her friends to her job owning a hotel and candy shop to it being on an island and even to the murders.....

Allie has it made !!  She owns a historic hotel that she inherited from her grandfather.  The hotel is on an island that she is quite familiar with as she grew up vacationing there.  Allie lives on the top floor of the hotel with her dog and cat and her best friend is staying there helping out.  Allie has 2 men that are smitten with her....Trent who is a rich businessman who spends most of his time in Chicago who she recently broke up with and a local cop Rex who she has grown to know quite well due to being involved in past criminal cases.

Even though this was the first book in this series that I have read and even though it is the 6th book in the series, I was completely at home by the end of the first chapter.  Coco has a way of making sure that the reader does not get lost at all in her story telling.  The story line was so much fun to read and get caught up almost feel like you are right there on the island.  And believe me, you will feel like that the entire time you are reading this book and even for a time after you finish reading.

I am not a fan for life of this series and look forward to reading the next book and I will even try to read the previous books.....anything to return to Mackinac Island.....

Review by Missi S.

Monday 29 October 2018

The Hour of Death (Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery #2) by Jane Willan

The Hour of Death
Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn make sleuthing a work of art. But will they paint themselves into a corner when they investigate the Village Art Society president's death?

As Yuletide settles upon Gwenafwy Abbey, the rural Welsh convent's peace is shattered when Tiffany Reese, president of the Village Art Society, is found dead on the floor of the parish hall. Sister Agatha, whose interests lie more with reading and writing mystery stories than with making the abbey's world-renowned organic gouda, is not shy about inserting herself into the case. With the not-entirely-eager assistance of Father Selwyn, she begins her investigation.

Sister Agatha has no shortage of suspects to check off her naughty-or-nice list, until finally, Tiffany's half-brother, Kendrick Geddings, emerges as the prime suspect. There never was any love lost between Tiffany and Kendrick, and of late they had been locked in a vicious battle for control of the family estate. But if Sister Agatha thinks she has the case wrapped up, she'll have to think again.

As the days of Advent tick by, Sister Agatha is determined to crack the case by Christmas in The Hour of Death, Jane Willan's perfectly puzzling second Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery.
   (Summary via Goodreads)

Jane Willan has an amazing talent for story telling and capturing the readers attention as soon as you open the book and start reading.  And her originality is off the charts !!  A nun with a Father as her sidekick, a Reverend Mother who encourages one of her nuns to write a murder/mystery book and investigate murder for real, a group of nuns working together making Heavenly Gouda cheese......

The Hour of Death is the second book in the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn mystery series and hopefully you became a fan with the first book, The Shadow of Death.  If not, there is still plenty of time.  If there is one thing you take away from these books is that there is plenty of time to sit back and enjoy a good book with a cup of tea.  Although once you begin reading you may turn to coffee as you pick of speed with your reading.  You will get so caught up in the story that you won't want to put the book down.

It also amazes me how authors twist and turn stories taking every thing and bringing it together in the end.  Something so small can turn into something huge and when the realization of it hits the reader, you have to sit back and take it all in and then you have a mind-blowing moment !!!  That is what Willan does !!  

I was amazed and fell in love with all the characters in these books and love the setting and the atmosphere and look forward to more in this series.  I encourage everyone to read these books and get lost for a while .......  you will thank me !!!!

Review by Missi S.  

Thursday 25 October 2018

If the Coffin Fits (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #2) by Lillian Bell

If the Coffin Fits (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #2)
Perfect for fans of Carolyn Haines and Donna Andrews, Lillian Bell makes the return with her second Funeral Parlor mystery featuring funeral director Desiree Turner.

When an unnatural cause of death finds one of her clients, Desiree must get to the bottom of the murder before she’s fitted for a coffin, herself.

Funeral director Desiree Turner deals with death by natural causes all the time. Death by unnatural causes? Not so much. Yet, she and her boyfriend Nate have heard some not-so-dear things about the recently departed. A suspicious remark by the late Frank Fiore’s daughters sparks some concern. And when Violet Daugherty faints behind the wheel of her car, Desiree suspects she’s got a front seat to murder. 

Desiree can’t help but look into Violet’s untimely end, but soon after, rumors begin to spread that she’s accusing her clients of murder, which quickly spurs a mass cancellation and Desiree is on the verge of going out of business. What began as an effort to do due diligence for her client turns into a wild goose chase for Violet’s murderer. Desiree must find her proof before everything she works for is lost. But that’s easier said than done, because while everyone else in town is looking to take their business elsewhere, the killer sets sights directly upon Desiree. 

Now it’s up to Desiree to find the murderer before she becomes the next body her funeral parlor serves in If the Coffin Fits, Lillian Bell’s second charming Funeral Parlor mystery.   (Summary via Goodreads)

WOW !!!  If you thought the first book in A Funeral Parlor Mystery, A Grave Issue, by Lillan Bell was a great read......Hang on to your hats !!!  

Lillian Bell captured the reader in A Grave Issue and left the reader with the best cliffhanger she could.  This cliffhanger made it so you could not wait until the next installment in this series.  I know I was hooked and looking forward to the next book.

And she did not disappoint with If the Coffin Fits.  She actually did it again !!!  Another great story with another awesome cliffhanger !!  Bell makes it so you almost want to skip ahead to the end of the story.....but you won't because then you will miss out on so much more !!!

You cannot help but fall in love with Desiree, her family and friends, and even the story !!  Of course you expect there to be death when you read a book centered around a funeral parlor and, of course, because the book is considered a cozy mystery and these books do not disappoint !!  All Desiree has to do is her job...but when things don't feel right, she wouldn't be her if she didn't look into matter what everybody tells her to do.

One of the reasons that I enjoy this series is the setting.  When I was young we use to visit my father's family at their funeral home.  To some it may be scary or depressing but to me it was anything but.  My great-aunt and uncle made sure to educate my brother and I on the in's and out's of the funeral parlor scene.  Reading this series with this setting takes me back....and even if funeral parlors aren't your cup tea, you will still love this series and the ending will have you counting down the days until the next book in this series.  (Hurry up Lillian.....I got to know what happens next !!!!)

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

In Cold Chocolate (A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery #3) by Dorothy St. James

In Cold Chocolate (A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery, #3)
In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves in Dorothy St. James’s third rich installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries, In Cold Chocolate.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I am a HUGE fan of the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series by Dorothy St. James ..... and it's not because there is chocolate involved !!  There are so many things to love about this series.....from the main character Charity Penn to the chocolate shop she inherited to the sexy lawyer neighbor that she has a crush on to the fact that it all takes place in a seaside town !!  You will also love the relationships among the characters in the story....even the ones that aren't "nice".  

And in In Cold Chocolate one of the not "nice" relationships is the focus of the story.  It's no secret that Penn does not get along with Harley's ex-wife Jody.  But when Jody is found standing over a dead body, Penn promises Harley's son, Gavin, that she will get his mom home in time for his first day of school.  Unfortunately school is scheduled to start in less than a week and Jody was found standing over the dead body holding the smoking gun.

If you have read the previous two books in this series, you know that Penn does not back down from a fight and life has never been easy going for it will be no surprise to see her dig her toes in and start investigating the death herself.   She will do anything and everything to insure that Jody will be there for Gavin on his first day of school even though all the evidence shows that Jody is guilty.

Fall in love with Penn and her a walk on the beach.....check out the turtle nests.....enjoy a milkshake or a piece of chocolate.....while you read these books, you will feel like you are on Camellia Beach....and you will not want the story to end !!

Review by Missi S.

Friday 12 October 2018

Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower

Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3)
Someone’s sweet on revenge . . .

Christmas is Bailey King’s favorite time of year. For her first Yuletide in Harvest, Ohio, the former big-city chocolatier is recreating a cherished holiday treat: peppermint combined with molten white chocolate. But her sugar high plummets when her former boyfriend walks into the candy shop she now runs with her Amish grandmother. New York celebrity chef Eric Sharp and his TV crew have arrived to film an authentic Amish Christmas. Bailey’s not about to let her beloved town—and Swissmen Sweets—be turned into a sound bite. Unfortunately, she gets more publicity than she bargained for when Eric’s executive producer is found strangled to death—and Eric’s the prime suspect. 

With Bailey’s sheriff deputy boyfriend out to prove Eric’s guilt, her bad-boy ex tries to sweet-talk her into helping him clear his name . . . and rekindle their romance to boost ratings for his show. Now, between a surplus of suspects and a victim who wasn’t who she seemed, Bailey’s edging dangerously close to a killer who isn’t looking to bring joy to the world—or to Bailey—this deadly Noel . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flower is the first book in her Amish Candy Shop Mystery series that I have had the pleasure of reading and even though it is the third book in the series, it didn't feel like it.  I was actually surprised to read that it wasn't the first one.  Flower gives the reader some insight into the past and it's just enough for the reader to get to know Bailey, her grandmother, the candy store and the town.

One cannot help but fall in love with Bailey and her town, Harvest....especially during the Christmas Holiday.  The entire town is gearing up for the Christmas Market and Bailey's ex-boyfriend, Eric, shows up with a production crew in hopes of filming a cooking special including Bailey and her Amish grandmother.  But before Bailey can get the approval from the Amish community to film inside the candy store, the executive producer is found dead in the gazebo in the middle of the Christmas Market.....and Bailey finds Eric standing over her body !!

Premeditated Peppermint has more twists and turns than a corn maze during Halloween however it will have you craving snow, hot cocoa and candy canes !!!  I highly recommend reading this book....any time of the year !!

Review by Missi S.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Crumbled to Pieces (Cookies & Chance Mystery, #6) by Catherine Bruns

Crumbled to Pieces (Cookies & Chance Mystery, #6)
From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes another tantalizingly tasty culinary mystery...

In need of some quick dough, full-time baker and sometime sleuth Sally Muccio decides to rent the vacant apartment over the bakery to a friend of her grandmother's. Allegra Fiato is nothing like Sal's darling Grandma Rosa, though. She's mean, dishonest, and harboring a deadly secret.

When the elderly woman is mowed down in a hit and run, it quickly becomes obvious this was no accident. Grandma Rosa asks for Sal's help to find the killer which involves a last minute trip to Vegas crashed by Sal's crazy parents, stolen fortune cookies, and a mysterious missinglocket. To add more spice to the mix, a loved one makes a startling admission to Sal that shocks her to the very core. Suddenly, Sal's world is in danger of crumbling around her. Can she put the pieces back together in time before the killer makes her the next victim?

*Recipes Included!*

The Cookies & Chance Mysteries:
Tastes Like Murder (book #1)
Baked to Death (book #2)
A Spot of Murder (short story in the "Killer Beach Reads" collection)
Burned to a Crisp (book #3)
Frosted With Revenge (book #4)
Silenced by Sugar (book #5)
A Drizzle Before Dying (short story in the "Pushing Up Daisies" collection)
Crumbled to Pieces (book #6)

What critics are saying:

"Catherine Bruns has whipped up another delicious treat with this delightful cozy. If you like your mysteries to taste sweet this one is a good choice."
--Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick!

"I want to visit more with all of the quirky characters just to see what crazy and outrageous things they will do next!"
--Fresh Fiction
   (Summary via Goodreads)

The Cookies & Chance Mystery series by Catherine Bruns is one series that I can not put down once I start reading.  With Crumbled to Pieces being the 6th book in this series, you are already invested in the story, you are a member of the family and you can settle right in and pick up like you never left.

When you read a series you are a fan and there is usually one of two (or more) things about the series that you love.  With this series, I love everything !!  I love Sally and her best friend Josie, I love the bakery that they own and run, even the crazy fortune cookies.....and talk about crazy, we can't forget Sally's mom and dad !!!  You cannot help but love their relationship !!  Even though Sally and Mike have an amazing relationship also, Sally's parents are a "seasoned" kind of relationship a lot of us can only dream of having.  And now Sally's sister Gianna and her boyfriend Johnny are becoming more serious and yes I have to admit I cried during one big scene in the'll know it when you get there !!!

And the most important person in the whole series, of course, is Grandma Rosa.....with her intuition and her quirky sayings.....we all want a grandmother like her.  No matter what is gong on with Sally and the crew, they always have Grandma Rosa in their corner.  She is the backbone and the strength in their lives.  And lets face it when Sally is concerned, she needs it !!!

In Crumbled to Pieces we meet a family crazier than Sally's.....if that is even possible.  But yes it is and we get to see more of Mrs. Gavelli.  Mrs. Gavelli is Johnny's grandmother and Grandma Rosa and Sally's parents neighbor.  She's always been in the stories and her sharp-witted ways and dislike for Sally have always left their mark but when she needs help finding out who murdered her dear friend, she swallows her pride and asks for Sally's help.

The path that they take will have you on the edge of your seat.....they go to Vegas !!!  Okay just the ladies go but boy do you wish you were there !!!  I know I did !!!  

Catherine Bruns does not disappoint in this 6th book in this series !!  Every book gets stronger and stronger and makes you feel like a member of the family and she know how to leave her fans wanting more......  Hurry up book 7 !!!!

Review by Missi S.