Tuesday 31 December 2019

Theater Nights Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #4) by Libby Klein

Theater Nights Are Murder
The last thing gluten-free baker Poppy McAllister needs in her life is more drama--or more murder . . . 

Poppy thought her toughest challenge this winter would be sticking to her Paleo diet and filling all her orders for her gluten-free goodies, but now she has to choose between two suitors. She's not the only one with boyfriend drama. Aunt Ginny's long-ago high-school beau, Royce Hanson, a retired Broadway actor, has returned to Cape May, New Jersey, to star in a Senior Center staging of Mamma Mia. Leaving Aunt Ginny to wonder: What's his motivation?

Slated to open February 13th, the problem-plagued production seems to be cursed--with stolen props, sabotage, and even a death threat. But when a cast member plunges to his death from a catwalk, it soon becomes clear a murderer is waiting in the wings. Now Poppy, Aunt Ginny, and a supporting cast must take center stage to catch the killer--before it's curtains for someone else . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy's Kitchen!

"Fans of Chopped will have fun juggling the complicated set of suspects and following a romantic triangle that has yet to be resolved."
--Kirkus Reviews on Restaurant Weeks Are Murder   Summary via Goodreads)

Sometimes after you finish reading a book, you have to close the book and just sit back and savor what you read.....with books in the Poppy McAllister Mystery series by Libby Klein you have to sit back, close your mouth, check your breathing, rub your eyes, scratch your head and completely recollect yourself before you think about doing anything else !!   And Theater Nights Are Murder, the fourth book in this series is no different except she may have you questioning some things ...... like "What is she thinking ? (meaning the author) or "What the heck is she going to do ? (meaning the main character, Poppy)

I hope, hope, hope, that you are a fan of this series because there is so much to fall in love with !!  (If you aren't a fan yet, hurry up and catch up....) First you have the main character Poppy who moves back to her hometown to help her Aunt Ginny but she does so much more.  She reconnects with her high school boyfriend and she meets a hot Italian love interest who owns a coffeehouse.  Her best friend owns a bookstore and her aunt and her crew of friends are always up to no good !!  

And with Theater Nights Are Murder everyone is involved with a play being put on at the Senior Center and brings back two hometown actors, one Aunt Ginny's old boyfriend and the other is the woman that stole him away !!!  Things are heating up at the Senior Center when someone ends up dead and puts the rest of them on high alert.  Poppy has her hands full trying to get the Bed and Breakfast in top shape as well as baking for Gia's coffeehouse and Tim's restaurant and now she has to keep on Aunt Ginny and friends to make sure no one else gets hurt or worse.......and did I mention that Valentine's Day is coming up and Poppy has to figure out her feelings for Tim and Gia ??

You cannot help but LOVE this series and Theater Nights Are Murder will have you falling in LOVE with everything between the pages and when you think you might know what Klein is thinking....think again !!!  She definitely knows how to keep the reader on their toes and longing for the next book in this series.....

Review by Missi M.

Monday 23 December 2019

Shadows At The Fair (Antique Print #1) by Lea Wait

Shadows At The Fair (Antique Print, #1)
Ignorance is truly bliss for recently widowed Maggie Summer, owner of Shadows Antiques, when she arrives at the prestigious Rensselaer County Spring Antiques Fair. Sadly, she won't remain ignorant of the suspiciously high mortality rate among her fellow antiques dealers for long.

Rumors are everywhere. The most recent victim, John Smithson, died of poison at a show just last week, and many of the same dealers are here at Rensselaer. They make the identical circuit year after year, so they know each other well. Or do they?

Murder is still far from Maggie's mind as she arranges her Shadows booth: some Currier & Ives prints here, Winslow Homer wood engravings on the hack wall, other prints arranged on tables and easels by category. With eleven years' experience, she knows her stock. So far the worst thing that has happened was putting the wrong price tag on a Homer engraving and having to sell it for $170 instead of $1,700.

Maggie doesn't intend for that to happen again, and she doesn't intend to worry about murder. This show's security is tight. But she can't help observing her colleagues with fresh eyes. Some, Eke Gussie White in the booth next door, are dear friends, and Gussie's assistant, her twenty-year-old nephew, Ben, who has Down's syndrome, is a delightful new acquaintance. Others, however, even people she's known for years, suddenly seem suspect.

The opening night wine has hardly stopped flowing when death claims another victim. Maggie will still sell a few antique prints, but she'll spend most of her time looking for a killer and trying to save a vulnerable young friend. Will Maggie herself become a potential victim? The answer may be in one of Maggie's prints, but she has hundreds in her booth. Where should she begin?

With its riveting behind-the-scenes glimpse of antiques shows and its revealing data on antique-print values, Shadows at the Fair introduces a captivating new series that unveils the powerful mysteries of antique prints even as it entertains.  (Summary via Goodreads)

You will never guess who did it !!  Never....never....never !!!  And that is perfectly okay and normal for most readers.  If you are like me, your main focus on reading a good cozy mystery is to just go along for the ride, hoping to not get in trouble, and enjoy the story....some readers are lucky that they can figure out the who and why.....but me, I'm good with letting the story grab me.

And in Shadows at the Fair, the first book in Lea Wait's Antique Print Mystery series, that is exactly what Lea does.....she GRABS you !!

In Shadows at the Fair main character Maggie Summer is participating in a very popular Antiques Fair and being that this is not her first, she has friends and knows quite a few of the other dealers so she is hoping for a good time.  Unfortunately a good time is the farthest thing that she has.  There is a cloud over the dealer circle because there have been a few dealers who have died during a few recent shows so there is a heavy police presence at this fair.  That does not stop someone from killing one of the dealers that Maggie considers a friend......and when there is another suspicious death, Maggie takes it upon herself to find out what is going on !!

Lea will have you on the edge of your seat throughout this first book in this series and boy is it an amazing start to what can only be a memorable series.  I, for one, cannot wait to dive into the next book and I hope you will follow me......

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen's Cozy Mystery Series by Nancy J. Cohen

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen's Cozy Mystery Series
Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes! Bonuses Include:

• Meet the Sleuth
• Introduction by Marla Vail
• Cooking Tips
• Excerpts from Series Titles
• Themed Menu Suggestions
• “A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors.  (Summary via Goodreads)

If you are a fan of cozy mysteries you know that some of them discuss food and offer tasty recipes at the end and Nancy J. Cohen has taken that idea even further with her A Bad Hair Day Cookbook.  This is a MUST HAVE for anyone who likes to read and cook !!!

Not only does her cookbook offer tantilizing recipes, in very neat and organized chapters but each recipe explains why she is sharing it and in between categorizes she gives the reader a look into some of her Bad Hair Day books.  Cohen is the author of 16 books in this series and if you aren't a fan yet, you must look into these books.  And if you are unsure I encourage you to grab the Cookbook and get to know Cohen and her main character Marla Vail.

In her Cookbook, there is something for everyone !!!  She has covered everything from appetizers to drinks to desserts with recipes with fish, lamb, beef and even vegetarians.  She has kosher ideas and she even admits when she "borrows" or "steals" a recipe and she is a firm believer in sharing everything tasty !!

So pick up A Bad Hair Day Cookbook for yourself or a chef or baker in the family !!  Share it with all and sit back and enjoy the GREAT food !!!

Review by Missi M.

Friday 13 December 2019

Amber Dee's Missing Toe (Grandma Bertha Solving Murders Book 3) by Matt Ferraz

Amber Dee's Missing Toe (Grandma Bertha Solving Murders Book 3)
Buying a Christmas present for an old lady should be easy, but Winifred Compson wants to get something special for her best friend, Grandma Bertha. The moment she steps into the store and finds a dead body, Winifred realizes she has found the perfect gift: a holiday murder for Grandma Bertha to solve! Things get complicated when the friends find out that the deceased had a toe removed when she was a baby, indicating a much older crime that must also be solved. Can Grandma Bertha crack the case before it ruins her Christmas celebrations?  (Summary via Goodreads)

During the holidays life can get hectic, however, we all have to remember to take time for ourselves and sometimes that "time for ourselves" is getting lost in a cozy mystery.  Matt Ferraz has exactly what you need !!!  Amber Dee's Missing Toe is the latest in his Grandma Bertha Solving Murders Mystery series and it can be read in one sitting. ( I know because I did !!!)  

There's nothing better than hanging with Grandma Bertha and in Amber Dee's Missing Toe, Grandma Bertha has moved out of the shed in her son's backyard and is living in an apartment with Winifred.  Winifred is a dear friend she met when she helped solve a murder involving Winifred.  They became fast friends and now feel like family.  

When Winifred is out shopping trying to find the perfect Christmas gift for Grandma Bertha, she thinks to herself that the perfect gift for her would be a murder to solve and then she walks into a store to find the sales clerk dead !!!  And if that isn't the best gift ever, the constable, Inspector Shaw, asks Grandma Bertha to help with the investigation !!!

Not only is this the perfect Christmas gift for Grandma Bertha, it also gives her purpose and a goal to have the case cleared up before the holiday !!!  Unfortunately the killer has other things in mind when the case puts Winifred in a bad situation......

Amber Dee's Missing Toe is the perfect break from shopping and wrapping those Christmas presents.  I recommend grabbing your copy and curling up with a cup of hot chocolate, some cookies and sitting in the living room with the Christmas tree on and let Grandma Bertha take you away from it all for a while....

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Verse and Vengeance (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #4) by Amanda Flower

Verse and Vengeance (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #4)
USA Today bestselling author and Agatha Award winner Amanda Flower turns the charm up to ten in her fourth Magical Bookshop mystery.

With the help of Walt Whitman's works, magical bookshop owner Violet Waverly puts her pedal to the metal to sleuth a bicycle-race murder that tests her mettle.

A bicycle race is not Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly's idea of a pleasant pastime. But police chief David Rainwater wheelie wants them to enter the Tour de Cascade as a couple, so she reluctantly consents.

The Tour de Cascade is the brainchild of Violet's Grandma Daisy. The race is a fundraiser to build the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum. But not everyone in this Niagara Region village supports the race. As if the bike race weren't tiring enough, pesky private investigator Joel Redding is snooping around Charming Books. It takes all of Violet's and Grandma Daisy's ingenuity to keep Redding from discovering the shop's magical essence--which communicates with Violet through books.

When Redding perishes in an accident during the race, David discovers that the brake line of the private eye's bike was cut. Worse, Violet tops his list of suspects. As Emerson the tuxedo cat and resident crow Faulkner look on, Charming Books steers Violet to the works of Walt Whitman to solve the crime. But no other names ring a bell as culprits, and as David's investigation picks up speed, Violet will have to get in gear to clear her name.   (Summary via Goodreads)

Verse and Vengeance is the fourth book in Amanda Flower's Magical Bookshop Mystery series and the first that I have had the pleasure of reading.....and let me tell you..... I AM HOOKED !!!  There is so much to fall in love with in this series..... 

You have main character Violet Waverly and her Grandma Daisy, the bookstore they own called Charming Books, Grandma Daisy is the mayor of their little village of Cascade Springs, they are close to Niagara Falls, Violet is dating the police chief, everyone knows everyone and they help each other out, there are a cat and bird in the bookstore, there is a tree in the middle of the store and the bookstore is magical !!!

I know that is a lot to take in and I haven't even mentioned murder yet !!!  And in Verse and Vengeance there are TWO deaths that shake this little town !!!  

Grandma/Mayor Daisy is doing everything she can to raise money for renovations to the village hall and the town is getting ready for a bike race.....unfortunately in the middle of the race, a private investigator crashes his bike.  After police chief David Rainwater investigates it is ruled murder because the brake lines were tampered with.  When a friend and past student, Jo Fitzgerald, becomes a person of interest but is no where to be found, Violet takes it upon herself to try to find her before someone else ends up hurt or dead.

Violet, with the help from the magical bookstore giving her "hints" through putting books in her path, will have you wishing you were in Cascade Springs with her.  And Flower knows exactly what to write to have you turning the pages so fast, it will seem like magic.....and if everything else in the book and story don't grab you, the very LAST page will leave you breathless and on the edge of your seat......

Review by Missi M.