Monday 28 March 2022

No Grater Crime (Country Store Mystery #9) by Maddie Day

Robbie Jordan's Pans 'N Pancakes boasts delicious eats and the best vintage cookware finds in South Lick, Indiana. And now, for a limited time, there's a new special featured on the menu--murder!

Ever since meeting the wary owners of an antique shop opening across the street, Robbie has been scrambling to manage weird incidences plaguing her café and country store. Pricey items vanish from shelves without explanation, a fully equipped breakfast food truck starts lingering around the area each morning, and loyal diners mysteriously fall ill. When an elderly man dies after devouring an omelet packed with poisonous mushrooms, Robbie must temporarily close down Pans 'N Pancakes and search for the killer with a real zest for running her out of business--or else. (Summary via Goodreads)

Robbie is getting married !!!  That is if she doesn't get in trouble before the wedding date .....  

Robbie Jordan is the owner of Pans 'N Pancakes which is a cafe and small store selling antique kitchen gadgets with a few rooms that she recently renovated and started a bed and breakfast.  Luckily for Robbie in No Grater Crime, the ninth book in the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day, she has no one staying in the bed and breakfast.  

In No Grater Crime a new business is getting ready to open across the street from Pans 'N Pancakes, an antique store.  Robbie is only slightly concerned because her antique section is only a small portion of her livelihood but when a food truck parks in front of the antique store, that is a whole different concern.  And when a handful of customers get sick after eating at Robbie's and one of them dies, Robbie is shut down by the Department of Health.  Even though she should be finalizing her wedding plans and looking forward to marrying Abe, she is again caught up in a murder investigation trying to save herself and her town.

Robbie cannot help but think someone from across the street is involved in her customers getting sick and one dying....after all the owners, Francis and Hattie, have a long standing dislike for Robbie's aunt, Adele, well mainly Francis does, Francis' daughter, Krystal, is the owner of the food truck and Krystal's husband, Orland, is the owner of the company that provides the food to Robbie for the cafe.  While Robbie tries to work out the who and what of the investigation someone else dies while attending the grand opening of the antique store and this one is way to close to home to sit well with Robbie.....

I LOVE the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day and seeing as No Grater Crime is the ninth book in this series, I know the little town of South Lick, Indiana pretty well and also feel like I know the residents just as well so all I want is for Robbie, Buck, or whoever to solve this latest crime so that I can attend Robbie and Abe's wedding....who doesn't love a wedding ? Especially after solving a murder.....

 If you haven't starting reading this series, I highly encourage you to get on board.  This is one series you will love and not be able to get enough of !!!

Review by Missi M.

Monday 21 March 2022

Hippie Wagon Homicide (Twister Sisters Mysteries Book 1) by Mildred Abbott

Cordelia Davis lives with no regrets, despite her life changing drastically a half century ago when a tornado altered the destiny of the little Ozark town of Willow Lane. The town grew back stronger and more beautiful, and Cordelia, her sister, Pamela, and her best friend, Wanda, built a life to treasure.

As Willow Lane honors the memory of those lost and celebrates all that has been achieved, tragedy refuses to remain in the past. News of murder rocks the pastoral countryside when Cordelia discovers a body on her farm, beneath her beloved willow tree. And while the police make an immediate arrest, Cordelia finds herself untangling a web of lies and long-ago secrets.

With suspects in every nook of her cozy town—and an old flame knocking on her door—it will take all Cordelia’s tenacity to face the past and to weather the mysteries of Willow Lane.  (Summary via Amazon)

You know how when talking about real estate, everyone says location, location, location.....  Well when people discuss the Twister Sisters Mysteries series by Mildred Abbott the main word they should be using is secrets, secrets, SECRETS !!!

Hippe Wagon Homicide is the first book in this series and it sets the stage beautifully !!!  Before you even start reading this book Abbott has provided family trees for the three main characters, Cordelia, Wanda and Pamela as well as a map of the main part of the town and where this first book focuses on.

In Hippe Wagon Homicide the town of Willow Lane is getting ready for the 50th year anniversary of the tornado that damaged the town and left 22 residents dead.  The town is getting ready to remember that time as well as the people they lost and and have a gathering at Cordelia's farm.  Unfortunately the next morning when Cordelia goes to the area by the willows where the party was held she finds youth pastor Jim Asher pinned between her favorite willow tree and her volkswagon hippie van and hes dead.  It is obvious that someone murdered Jim but who would have wanted to kill a youth pastor and so violently ?  

Cordelia starts asking a lot of questions.....mainly because it happened on her property and included her vehicle but also because this was her community and she loves her town and its residents and could not tolerant a murderer walking around freely.  Little does she know that by asking questions she is about to uncover a town full of secrets and it looks like some secrets are so deep they are worthy of killing over !!

As you follow Cordelia around town and get to know the people of Willow Lane you will find yourself drawn to them and want to find Jim's murderer also.  You will become protective of the town and people as much as Cordelia is and you will turn those pages as fast as you can to resolve things.

Another aspect of Hippe Wagon Homicide that readers will love is the rekindling love story that Cordelia and her childhood boyfriend Charlie dance around when he returns home after being away for 50 years.  And you will giggle like a sixteen year old when you read about them getting to know each other again and realize that they still have feelings for each other.  

Hippie Wagon Homicide is the perfect first book in the Twister Sister Mysteries series as it introduces you to the town and people of Willow Lane and allows you to fall in love with them and want to return to the town as soon as you can.  Abbott provides a nice arrangement of people with just the right amount of mystery and intrigue to insure that you will be a fan !!!

Review by Missi M.

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Antique Auctions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #7) by Libby Klein

When vintage items go up for auction, gluten-free baker and B&B owner Poppy McAllister discovers some people will pay the ultimate price. . .

It’s peak summer season at the Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, with tourists fluttering in and out and wreaking enough havoc to rival a Jersey Shore hurricane. Also back in town is Courtney Whipple and his family of antique dealers for the annual Cold Spring Village antique show. Courtney’s son Auggie has a unique piece he believes will fetch them a fortune if he can get it authenticated in time—a piece rival dealer Grover Prickle insists was stolen from his store.

Poppy and her Aunt Ginny attend the auction, hoping to bid on an armoire for the B&B, and discover a veritable armory for sale—everything from ancient blades and nineteenth century guns to such potential killing devices as knitting needles and a blacksmith hammer. Strangely, they don’t see either Auggie or Grover—or the mysterious item they both claim to own. Then during the auction, a body falls out of the very armoire Poppy was hoping to acquire, stabbed through the heart. Now, surrounded by competitive dealers and makeshift weapons, she must find out who turned the auction house into a slaughterhouse.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Poppy McAllister Mystery series by Libby Klein is a must read !!  Readers will fall in love with everything in this series and will count down the days until the next book in the series comes out.  If you haven't started this series yet, I highly encourage you to get started.  You have some catching up to do but believe me it will go fast....

Antique Auctions are Murder is the seventh book in the series and boy, oh boy are you in for a fun and crazy ride !!!  But first let me give you a little introduction of the series and characters.

Main character Poppy McAllister has returned to her hometown Cape May where she has opened up the Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast with her Aunt Ginny.  They live there and run it with Poppy's loveable cat Figaro.  Poppy's ex mother-in-law, who is a handful, is partly invested in the B & B and returns at the worst possible times and expects Poppy to cater to her every needs.  Also Poppy's high school bully, Joanne, helps out at the B & B in the kitchen and the chambermaid, Victoria, is the worst possible maid on the planet ...... but they all have their charm and add so much to the story that you have to love them !!  Oh and probably the best part is Poppy's boyfriend is an Italian GOD who owns a coffee shop but his mother who owns a restaurant nearby tries to do everything to break them up.  And lastly Poppy has a way of stumbling across dead bodies and gets herself in the middle of the investigation no matter how hard she tries to stay away.

In Antique Auctions are Murder Poppy and Aunt Ginny meet the Whipple family who own an antique business.  Unfortunately while attending an auction where Poppy wants to bid on an armoire for the bed and breakfast, a dead body falls out of the armoire she is looking at.  When they find out that the deceased is Auggie Whipple and he was stabbed with an ancient vampire stake, a lot of questions arise.....

Courtney Whipple has two children from his previous marriage, Auggie and June, and they have been given the antique business to run so that Courtney can focus on his garden.  His current wife, Josephine, has her daughter, Tildy, from her previous relationship.  Unfortuately Courtney doesn't acknowledge Tildy as a daughter so there is tension there.  Tildy wants to have a baby in the worst way but her husband Spencer only wants to do whatever it takes to hit it rich.  June and her ex-husband also have a lot of tension and Auggie has a lot of secrets.  And there is also the rival antique dealer, Grover Prickle, that needs to be mentioned.  

After Auggie's body is uncovered Poppy cannot help but want to look into his murder.  Unfortunately the family has so many secrets and no one is telling the truth that she cannot possibly figure anything out.  Also she has an electic group of people staying at the B & B that are pulling her in so many directions that you will need a road map to stay on course.  Luckily Poppy is a somewhat pro in what she does so you just have to tag along and try not to get too close.

Readers will love, love, love, love this series !!!  There is so much more that I could tell you about, like Aunt Ginny's pack of friends or Victoria's crazy behavior, or the other cats that stay at the B & B who drive Figaro crazy but that is preventing you from grabbing your copy and digging in !!  You will really want to thank me for recommending this series but all the thanks I need is for you to get on board and grab your copy......

Review by Missi M.

Friday 11 March 2022

Moonstones and Murder (Cozy Crystal Mysteries, #1) by Michael Lynes

Real murderers need a Heart of Stone: Meet Maggie and Mike Hartstone - parents of twin boys, entrepreneurs, and now empty-nesters. Mike is retired - not by choice- from his position as Chief of Police in the picturesque resort town of Hamilton. And now his wife Maggie, and her shop the Cozy Crystal, are their only source of income. When a mysterious killing interrupts Hamilton's famous Springfield Park Rockshow, the townsfolk, the Cozy Crystal, and their lives are rocked to the core. Can Mike and Maggie figure out who is behind the murderous deeds - before the town comes crashing down around them? A touch of romance, a little mayhem, and a whole lot of suspense, along with plenty of comedy, and thrills galore! Get your crystal magnifying glass out - it's time for some Moonstones and Murder!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Readers are going to want to grab their copy of Moonstones and Murder by Michael Lynes.  This is the first book in his Cozy Crystal Mysteries series and the rollercoaster ride you will go on will be unforgettable !!  As soon as you think you know what is going on there will be a curve thrown and you will be somersaulting out of control....and loving every minute of it !!!

In Moonstones and Murder readers are introduced to a quaint town that you will want to move to and start getting to know the town and the people.  And the couple that you will want to live next door to are Maggie and Michael Hartstone.  Michael has just retired as the Chief of Police in Hamilton but not by his choice and his wife Maggie owns the Cozy Crystal store.   They are attending the semi-annual Springfield Park Rock and Gem Show when the mayor is about to make a big announcement but before she can do that, another local shop owner also attending the show crashes into the crowd with a stab wound....and this is right after Maggie's employee is arrested at their booth !!  And things just seem to go downhill from there.....

The town of Hamilton is full of secrets and Maggie and Michael are just starting to scratch the surface....and they have no idea how deep it will go.  They will do whatever it takes to save their friends and neighbors and bring the town back to the place they love.

There is no way for readers to know what is going to happen as they read this story.  Lynes imagination and way with words will blow readers minds !!  There is no way to solve the cases that develop in the story so you are better off sitting back with a snack and drink and enjoy the journey.  And you will be in complete shock when you get to the last page....and you will want more and more from Lynes and this series.

Review by Missi M.

Wednesday 9 March 2022

Argyles and Arsenic (Highland Bookshop Mystery #5) by Molly MacRae

In the latest novel in the beloved Highland Bookshop Mystery Series, a murder at a baronial manor leads to a poisonous game of cat and mouse—with the women of Yon Bonnie Books playing to win.

After 93 well-lived years, Violet MacAskill is ready to simplify her life. Her eccentric solution? She’ll throw a decanting and decluttering party at her family home—a Scottish Baronial manor near the seaside town of Inversgail, Scotland. Violet sets aside everything she wants or needs, then she invites her many friends in to sip sherry and help themselves to whatever they want from all that’s left.

Janet Marsh and Christine Robertson, two of the women who own Yon Bonnie Books in Inversgail, enjoy themselves at the party. Not everyone who attends has a good time, though. Wendy Erskine, director of the Inversgail museum, is found dead, and rumors swirl about food poisoning from a local food truck. Then Violet tells Constable Hobbs that a tin of rat poison is missing. And when Hobbs’ own grandmother comes under suspicion for murder, he enlists the women from Yon Bonnie Books, and the race is on to find the murderer.

But where do they begin? Are there clues in the “Shocking Stockings” exhibit at the museum? Will the antique scrapbook pasted full of trivia about arsenic and bygone poisoners offer a solution? Or does the answer lie closer to home—is one of Violet’s friends truly toxic? Poisonous games are afoot in Inversgail and the women of Yon Bonnie Books are playing to win.   (Summary via Goodreads)

The description on the front inside cover of Argyles and Arsenic by Molly MacRae gives readers a very detailed and accuate description of the story but I will try to give you some more insight of my own findings.

Argyles and Arsenic is the fifth book in the Highland Bookshop Mystery series and follows four women and their lives.  They have all moved to Inversgail, Scotland and own and run a bookstore and tearoom.  These women are Janet and Tallie Marsh, mother and daughter, and they run the bookstore while Christine Robertson and Summer Jacob run the tearoom.  Christine grew up in Scotland, moved away but returned to take care of her parents.  She brought the other three back with her for reasons of their own and have been working together in the business as well as amatuer sleuthing on the side.

In Argyles and Arsenic people are invited to a rather curious party.  Violet MacAskill is looking to declutter her big mansion, Fairy Flax Hall, and decides to invite people over to take whatever they like that is out in the designated areas. Unfortunately during the party Christine and her mother Helen go into an unauthorized room and find a dead body.  When the body is confirmed to be the woman who ran the museum, Wendy, there are a lot of questions as to her death and why she was in a locked room that was off limits to the party goers.

Readers will enjoy the storyline and the Scottish words thrown in here and there causing you to stop and look up the word to add to your vocabulary.  And the way that MacRae draws the reader in will have you on the edge of your seat.  You will feel like you are right there with the fabulous four as they discuss the case and add notes and comments to the documents that they draw up to keep track of the list of suspects.  And when their normal police contact is taken off the case, they dig in deeper to try to bring justice to their town.  Unfortunately every time they think that they are ahead of the murderer something happens to make them go back to the drawing board and start all over again.

Review by Missi M.