Friday 1 December 2023

Stalking Around the Christmas Tree (Christmas Tree Farm Mystery Book # 4) by Jacqueline Frost

Tis the season to solve a murder—and innkeeper Holly White knows she’ll have to make her list and check it twice if she wants to catch the killer in the fourth Christmas Tree Farm mystery from bestselling author Jacqueline Frost.

For inn keeper Holly White, Christmas time in Mistletoe, Maine, is the ultimate holiday gift. Business at the Reindeer Games Inn is booming, her wedding to Sheriff Evan Gray is nearly here, and the annual parade is about to begin. The town is lucky to have another gift this year with the state’s ballet company staying for several performances of The Nutcracker. But disaster strikes when Tiffany, the lead ballerina, shows up dead on a float during the parade, the Rat King’s mask nearby. Holly will have to spruce up her sleuthing skills if she wants to catch the killer before Christmas—and her wedding day.

Immediately, Holly discovers that Tiffany had more than a few secrets. She finds out that the star of the show had a super fan that no one knows anything about. And the show’s understudy slips some other intriguing information Holly’s way: not only was Tiffany secretly seeing someone romantically, but there seems to be more than one rat in this company. When Holly discovers a secret passage leading to Tiffany’s dressing room, with footprints leading out; she wonders if this is evidence of a secret lover—or a stalking killer.

With an impending snowstorm and the ballet company on the way out of town, Holly must act quickly if she wants to find the person responsible for this terrible murder. Will she be able to save Christmas—or will her investigation turn cold like the weather?  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series by Jacqueline Frost is something for readers to look forward to every year ... like kids wait for Santa Claus.  The latest book usually releases between September and November and it will get you in the holiday season faster than seeing holiday decorations in the stores before Thanksgiving.

Stalking Around the Christmas Tree is the fourth book in the series and this series follows the White family, their Reindeer Games Tree Farm, and their quaint town of Mistletoe in snowy Maine.  In Stalking Around the Christmas Tree Holly White is planning her wedding to Sheriff Evan Gray on Christmas Eve in one of the barns on the tree farm property.  But before they can tie the knot they have a lot to do ..... and one of those things is solve a murder !!

One of the newest staples on the tree farm is the Inn that Holly oversees and the week before Christmas a ballet company is staying in town to perform The Nutcracker with many of the performers staying at the Inn.  Unfortunately the top ballerina is found dead on the float of the Christmas parade.  Holly knows that Evan is more than capable of solving the murder but everyone also knows that she cannot help but look into the murders.  And this one needs to be solved so that her perfect wedding does not get ruined !!

Not only will readers be drawn into the story for the murders but you cannot help but love the town and everything in it !!  As you read you will feel like you are a part of the story and wish that you were sitting at the counter in the Hearth drinking a yummy hot cocoa and eating a Christmas cookie made by Holly's mom.  You will also long for the friendships and relationships within the story and the LOVE between Holly and Evan is electric !!!

I wanted to read Stalking Around the Christmas Tree as soon as I received it in October but also knew that I wanted to wait until we had our house decorated and I could have the Christmas tree lit while I read .... I highly encourage you to grab your copy and a hot cocoa and get lost in Mistletoe, Maine ......

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Death in a Nutshell: An Anthropology Whodunnit Roxanne Varzi

Alex is on the verge of dismissal from her anthropology doctoral program when her luck turns and she lands a fellowship with a dioramist at the Museum of the Rockies. Only problem is, Alex hasn’t a clue about dioramas or dinosaurs, and, as she will soon find out, she’s not the only one faking it in this frozen landscape.

From New York City to Yellowstone National Park, we follow Alex, a whip-smart dyslexic-ADHD Margaret Meade cum Ms. Marple, and her friends—a Nature photographer, a Ranger, a Polish guest worker, paleontologists, poets and Iranian-elite dot-commers—as they explore friendship, identity, climate change, globalization, and a murder against the stunning backdrop of the Rockies in winter. An engaging read for adventurous mystery lovers.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Death in a Nutshell by Roxanne Varzi is an Anthropology Whodunnit and a very unique story.  This is a first for me .... while you are reading a story about a murder, the author is also educating the reader in between chapters with her Field Notes.  In the Disclaimer in the beginning of the story she tells readers that you can skip over the Field Notes as they have nothing to do with the story but offer the reader more insight in the field of Anthropology.  I, however, read all of them as I wanted to make sure I was getting everything I could out of the story and understanding as much as I could .... I will admit some things were over my head but I was still able to enjoy the story.

In Death in a Nutshell main character Alex is about the be kicked out of her doctural program.  Luckily she is accepted into a grant in the Rockies for a project studying new residents in Bozeman where she will make a diorama of the people she interviews.  She will make a little house in details after getting to know her subjects.

Alex's first diorama is going to be on Marta who is from Poland working at the Museum of the Rockies as an all around helper.  This will be an easy starting point for Alex seeing as her and Marta are the only ones living on the property, each in their own cabin.  Unfortunately before Alex can really get to know Marta, she finds her in another building on the property with a head injury.

Alex has also become friends with Will who is a Park Ranger and she tries to get his help in finding out who would want to hurt Marta.  But when they are at an event at the Museum and a photographer, Pete, is found dead in the center of the exhibit, they have more questions that answers.  Alex doesn't know who she can trust oer what to do but she knows she wants to stay and find out what is going on.

Readers will enjoy reading Death in a Nutshell and you may even come away having learned something also.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Beneath the Surface (Sam Lawson Book # 2) by David K. Wilson

Sam Lawson returns in a gripping mystery you won’t be able to put down.

When Detective Sam Lawson arrives in a sleepy East Texas town to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, he soon discovers everyone has something to hide. And the more he digs, the more questions he uncovers.

Are the scratch marks on the face of the woman’s arrogant husband really from a construction accident? Why is the rich investor suddenly so interested in the investigation? Who had been hiding in the woods behind the woman’s house? Why did one of the woman’s friends leave town the same day she went missing, and what was their real relationship?

With the help of a tough-as-nails sheriff’s sergeant, Liz Garcia, and his estranged girlfriend, medical examiner Carla Davenport, Sam must navigate the tangled relationships of this small community to find the truth before it’s too late.

Beneath the Surface is an exciting new addition to the Sam Lawson Mystery series. If you like colorful dialogue, surprising plot twists and page-turning suspense, then you’ll love this fast-paced whodunnit from David K. Wilson.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I did not want Beneath the Surface to end !!  Beneath the Surface is the second book in the Sam Lawson Mystery series by David K. Wilson and it is so good that as much as you love reading it, you will hate when you finish it and there is no more to read ... if that makes sense.

In Beneath the Surface Detective Sam Lawson is sent to Big Creek in Hawkins County to assist on a missing person's case.  Unfortunately the missing woman is the daughter of his old police chief who was forced into early retirement when he was involved in a case that Lawson uncovered and solved.  Neither Lawson or Ed Kaster are happy about this but they put personal feelings aside in order to work together to look for Jamie.

Nothing is adding up on the case and everyone is very frustrated.  Jamie's husband, Gary, being the spouse, is on the top of the suspect list but his alibi's for the day that Jamie went missing are tight.  However the list of suspects starts to grow as Lawson and his partner on the case, Deputy Garcia, start talking to friends and business associates of Gary.

Once there is a BIG chance in the case, Sheriff Monroe tells Lawson he is no longer needed on the case and that he can return home.  But when Jamie's father asks Lawson to stay on the case, there no way that he can say no.  Unfortunately he is only allowed to work on it for a very short time period and the clock is ticking.....

Readers will fall in love with Lawson and this series.  You are instantly pulled into the story as soon as you open the book and will not want to stop until you get to the end.  It feels like Wilson puts a magicla spell on you and you are powerless ..... all in a very good way !!!! 

Friday 17 November 2023

Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock (Girl Friday Book # 3) by Emily J. Edwards

New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine and Tommy Fortuna have a lot of resolutions for the new year—whether it’s continuing to build up their detective agency or planning their wedding, the two are looking forward to the future. On their way to Times Square to celebrate, the two witness a brutal stabbing. When Tommy tries to chase down the culprit, Viviana tries her best to save the man. She’s unsuccessful, but Viviana hears his final words: a whispered apology to an unknown friend.

Clues are hard to come by, with the only leads being the fraught last words and a few nondescript matchbooks in the victim’s overcoat. Their investigation is halted when Detective Jack Lawson of the New York Police Department arrives, immediately ruffling Viviana’s feathers and bumping chests with Tommy, who he nearly arrested for murder just months earlier. The two know there’s more to the story, but there are other pressing matters at hand.

Clients are clamoring to get the detectives to work on their cases: a man is being blackmailed by a criminal who only writes in code, Tommy’s old friend needs his fiancée tailed, and an investment banker has mysteriously vanished. To add to their work load, Viviana knows something strange is happening at her boarding house. Will of all this—plus planning for a wedding—be too much for one Girl Friday?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock is the third book in the Girl Friday Mystery series by Emily J. Edwards and Edwards knows how to whisk readers away to New York City in the 1950's with ease...

Viviana Valentine works with her fiance, Tommy, in his private investigation office.  She started off as his secretary and worked her way up to private investigator then fiance.  Betty, Viviana's one roommate at the woman's boarding house where they live is currently taking time off from being a nurse and is working for 
Tommy and Viviana as their secretary.

In Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock Viviana and Tommy are on their way to Time's Square on New's Year Eve to partake in the festivities but do not make it there when they witness a stabbing in an alley.  Viviana stays to try to save the stabbed victim and Tommy takes off after the man who did the stabbing.  Unfortunately Tommy loses the guy in the crowds and Viviana cannot save the victim.  The victim has no identification and mumbles an apology to Frankie.

Even though this isn't their case, they know that they are going to look into the murder as it is a bit personal to them as they witnessed it.  But they do have bills to pay so they take on other cases.  Mr. Floristan has hired them because he received a message in code and he cannot figure it out....this will lead them down a crazy path that will require assistance from Dottie, another roommate at the boarding house.  Then Mr. Bowen who works at a bank hires them to find an employee who hasn't shown up for work for a while and the outcome of that will be nothing that they could have imagined.  And then the last case is a friend of Tommy's, Mort, who wants them to trail his fiance when she goes out to see who she is meeting as he thinks she is cheating on him ... this one will make readers laugh.

Viviana and Tommy have their hands full trampsing around New York City in the cold winter weather trying to solve the cases they are hired for as well as the stabbed victim they witnessed.  And things at Mrs. K's boarding house are unsettling as well as they are working on the third floor apartment to turn it into something that Viviana and Tommy can live in once they are married and Mrs. K's brother is trying to get her and her son Olek to move somewhere safer.  And Viviana is trying to figure out the wedding and meeting Tommy's family......

Readers will love this latest book in this series as well as the previous two books.  Readers will totally want Viviana's energy and spunk !!  And you cannot help but LOVE all of the relationships and even the cases are entertaining in their own way.

Monday 6 November 2023

In the Shadow of the Bull (An Ancient Crete Mystery Book # 1) by Eleanor Kuhns

In a world of Goddess worship, sacred snakes and sacrifice, human jealousy, resentment and betrayal still run wild . . .

Ancient Crete, 1450 BC .   When her sister Arge drops to the floor in convulsions and then dies at her wedding, fifteen-year-old Martis, a young poet and bull leaper in training, is certain she was murdered. The prime suspect is the groom, Saurus, a barbarian from the Greek mainland, but when Arge’s Shade visits Martis, swearing Saurus is not her murderer, Martis vows to uncover the truth.
As Martis begins asking questions, she discovers that while her sweet sister Arge may have had no secrets, many of the people around Martis certainly do… but if the murderer is not Saurus, then who is it? The Egyptian lady who frequents the docks, one of Martis’s other sisters, her father, or someone entirely different?
Martis is in a battle against time to save her sister’s Shade from eternal unrest and uncover the killer before they strike again . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

In the Shadow of the Bull is the first book in the Ancient Crete Mystery series by Eleanor Kuhns and it is centered around Ancient Crete in 1450 BC .... I have not read a book from that time period before and I was thoroughly surprised at how captivating it was !!

In the Shadow of the Bulls follows Martis and her family.  Martis is preparing to be a bull leaper and entertain the High Priestess as well as everyone in her town ... unfortunately things shift after her sister Arge dies right before she is to be wed.  Arge is about to marry Saurus, a barbarian sailor, when Martis says a quick prayer to the Goddess trying to prevent the marriage from happening.  Martis believes that her prayer to the Goddess is what caused her sister to die.  Everything changes when Martis is visited by Arge's shade (ghost) insisting that she was poisoned and that Martis must find out who killed her.

Even though Martis did not like Saurus, she doesn't think that he should be executed for Arge's murder if he is innocent.  And after talking with him, she believes that he genuinely loved her sister and wouldn't harm her.  But who would want to kill her and how did they do it ?

When Martis finds out that Arge was poisoned, she has a lot to figure out.  Then when another sister, Nuia, helps Saurus escape and they flee on his boat, Martis is left with more questions than answers.

Martis continues to be visited by Arge's shade insisting that she will haunt the family if her murder is not solved and the murderer dealt with.  And when Nuia and Saurus are brought back and held in the caves until they will be executed, Martis knows her time is running out.

Readers will be on the edge of their seats reading this story.  It is so different from any other stories I have read and it was so fun getting down and dirty with Martis and her life.  Reading about how things were so different and difficult for her was quite a refreshing story.  It was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in a new series and look forward to more books to follow to see what will happen next for Martis and her family.

Thursday 2 November 2023

Syrup to No Good (Maple Syrup Mysteries Book # 2 ) by Catherine Bruns

Only a sap would try to ruin a bride's special day… Spring has finally come to Sugar Ridge, Vermont, and with it the end of syrup-making season. But Leila Khoury, new owner of Sappy Endings Farm, won't be making like molasses any time soon. Her best friend Heather's wedding is coming up, and Leila will do anything to make sure it lives up to all her sweetest dreams. Even with Leila's own romantic past stirring up trouble, everything is going to plan until the bridal shower ends up with a body count. Heather's rich and backstabbing aunt had a whole orchard of enemies, so Leila will have her work cut out for her. Can she tap the killer before Heather's dream wedding becomes a nightmare? Includes delicious Middle Eastern recipes!  (Summary via Goodreads)

In Syrup to No Good the second book in the Maple Syrup Mysteries series by Catherine Bruns readers are in for a treat !!  Not only are you going to have a nail biting, fast paced, on the edge of your seat story but you are going to be left with some yummy recipes to try yourself.  Throughout the story readers will find themselves hungry reading about the yummy foods that main character Leila's mother makes .... so I recommend having a tasty snack while you get lost in this book.

In Syrup to No Good Leila's best friend Heather is about to get married !!!  Leila is the maid of honor and has planned the best bridal shower .... one fit for the princess that Heather is.  Unfortunately at the end of the shower they discover someone left their purse behind.  When they look inside and find out it belongs to Heather's aunt, they cannot help but groan.  Heather's Aunt Monica, aunt only by marriage to Heather's father's brother Grant, isn't a very nice person.  She also has no filter on what comes out of her mouth and no one at the party really liked her.  Now Leila has to track her down to return her purse to her.  Luckily she notices that Moncia's car is still in the parking lot so she goes over to the car to see if she is in it.  Sadly Monica is in the car dead with a knife in her back !!!

As if things couldn't get any worse Heather finally admits to Leila that Monica and Grant had loaned her parents money so that she could have the elaborate wedding that she's always dreamed about.  Heather feels like she has to find out who killed Monica so that they don't have to call the wedding off.  So Heather asks Leila to help her look into who killed her ..... little did they know that the list would be long and a lot of secrets would be uncovered.

Leila decides that the best place to start is with Monica's family, mainly her husband Grant, her son from a previous marriage Devon, Devon's long-time girlfriend Lexi, Monica's store manager Jason, and Monica's best friend Belinda.  So with Heather's help they try to talk to all of them without causing suspicions.

All Leila wants to do is run the maple syrup farm her father left her, Sappy Endings, spend time with her boyfriend Noah and his daughter Emma and see Heather get married and live happily ever after.  Unfortunately she has to find a killer, deal with her ex-boyfriend Mark who returns and decides that he wants her back after their break up five years ago, and try to convince her mother that she is happy with her life as it is currently.  Gee that shouldn't be hard.

Even though Syrup to No Good is only the second book in this new series by Catherine Bruns, readers will fall instantly in love !!  The Maple Syrup Mystery series will be a series to watch for new releases and you will want to grab them as soon as they are released !!!  I promise !!!


Monday 30 October 2023

Murder Uncorked (Cece Barton Mystery Book # 1) by Maddie Day

Raise a glass to Cece Barton, a widowed single mom and recent L.A. transplant to California wine country, who suddenly finds herself at the center of a murder investigation in this sparkling new mystery series from Agatha Award–winning and national bestselling author Maddie Day.

As the manager of Vino y Vida Wine Bar in Colinas, Cecelia “Cece” Barton’s first Alexander Valley harvest is a whirlwind of activity. Her twin sister, Allie Halstead, who owns a nearby Victorian bed & breakfast, is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. But Cece barely has a moment to enjoy her new home in between worrying about her estranged college-age daughter, juggling her responsibilities at the bar, and navigating the sticky politics of the local wine association. Just when it seems things can’t grow any more intense, Colinas is rocked by a murder within the wine community . . . and Cece is identified as a possible suspect!

With her reputation and her livelihood on the line—and the Sonoma County deputy sheriff breathing down her neck—Cece has no choice but to open up her own murder investigation. Tensions are already high in the valley, as a massive wildfire creeps toward Colinas, threatening homes, vineyards, and the vital tourist trade. And now, with a murderer on the loose, and Cece’s sleuthing exposing the valley’s bitterest old rivalries and secret new alliances, Colinas feels ready to pop! But with Allie’s help, Cece is determined to catch the killer and clear her name before everything she’s worked so hard for goes up in flames . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder Uncorked is the first book in Maddie Day's new series, the Cece Barton Mystery series.  However readers can learn how main character, CeCe Barton, was instrumental in solving a murder where her twin sister was the main suspect in the novella Murderous Mittens.  Murderous Mittens is the third novella in the holiday book Christmas Mittens Murders. The stories in that book all occur around the Christmas holiday and have mittens as a main denoninator.  Cece is visiting her twin sister and family in Colinas and with the help of a new friend solves the case.  This also leads CeCe to moving to Colinas and taking a job as a manager of a wine bar.

Now onto Murder Uncorked.....It is perfectly okay if you head right to reading this book and not the novella as Day brings you up to speed immediately.  

Main character CeCe is enjoying her new life in Colinas.  She has her adorable little cottage next to elderly Richard who she enjoys coffee or wine with, she is close to her sister and her twin boys, she has a nice job managing the Vino y Vida wine bar, she is making new friends and getting to know the area.

Unfortunately while working one night she overhears two gentlemen arguing at the bar.  She knows the one, Vincent Sardo, as they have been emailing each other regarding an event Vincent would like the wine bar to host and supply free wine for.  CeCe doesn't think the wine bar should supply the wine for free seeing as the organization is the Vineyard Valley Association.

When Allie, CeCe's twin sister, calls and tells her that Vincent Sardo was found dead in his apartment, her mind goes into overdrive .... and then the detective in charge of the case comes knocking on her door wanting to know about their relationship and wants copies of all of their correspondence, she again feels the need to solve the case .... this time to clear her name.

This case is not going to be easy to solve as it seems everyone that CeCe comes in contact with seems to have a reason to dislike Vincent and may have wanted his dead....including his wife, friends and the strange hot guy staying at the B & B that Allie owns.

I can already tell you that this is going to be a long running series for readers to get hooked on !!  Day knows how to hone into her craft and capture readers attention instantly and keep it engaged until the end of the story.  And she will always keep readers wanting more and more.....

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Cold Turkey (Tish Tarragon Book # 7) by Amy Patricia Meade

Tish Tarragon is catering for Hobson Glen's annual Turkey Trot, and soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly race to the finish line . . .

Literary caterer Tish Tarragon is looking forward to opening the new Cookin' the Books cafe the day after Thanksgiving, but before then she has the small matter of catering for the Thirty-First Annual Colonial Springs Turkey Trot, a highlight in the Hobson Glen calendar.

With her food stall ready to go, Tish, the spectators and participating 'trotters' are eagerly awaiting the starter's pistol when they are confronted with the sound of rifle shots from the woods. Deputy Mayor Behrens is dead. But was he really the intended target, or could it have been Tish's ex, Mayor Schuyler Thompson? As Tish and Reade investigate, it seems there are no shortage of residents with an axe to grind against the town council their controversial policies. Can Tish finish first in her race against the killer?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Cold Turkey is the seventh book in the Tish Tarragon Mystery series by Amy Patricia Meade and even though this is a cozy mystery and someone gets murdered, I want to shift things a bit first.

The Tish Tarragon Mystery series is a series that enhances the friendship and relationship components in the story.  Main character Tish Tarragon owns a literary cafe where everything is book related, from the decorations to the names of the food dishes.  She has two amazing women that work for her, Celestine is the amazing baker and Mary Jo (MJ) helps with everytrhing else.  Mary Jo and Tish went to college with Jules who is a television weatherman.  The three are inseparable and readers LOVE their relationship !!  Celestine lost her husband of over thirty years and has started hanging out with an old high school sweetheart, Daryl, to which her adult children are not happy about.  Tish is finally dating the Sheriff in town, Clemson Reade, after a rocky past.  Mary Jo has two children, Gregory who is away at college and Kayla who is still living at home and in high school.  Jules, in Cold Turkey, has a steady boyfriend, Maurice, who has an infant son, Cassius.  Readers will love the relationships and how they flow and overlap and everyone, for the most part, get along.

Now ..... onto the murder ....  In Cold Turkey the town of Hobson Glen is getting ready for Thanksgiving and the story starts with the annual Turkey Trot.   The Turkey Trot is being held in Colonial Springs which has a lot of paths for people to enjoy.  The Turkey Trot has been moved to the week before Thanksgiving so that the Rod and Gun Club could host their event that day.  Tish and Celestine are providing sandwiches and soup with all proceeds benefiting the local food pantry.  At the start of the race the Mayor, Tish's ex-boyfriend, and the Deputy Mayor will both run into the woods where the race is to begin. Unfortunately right after they enter the woods and are unseen by spectators, shots rings out and when Sheriff Reade gets to the scene, the Deputy Mayor, Royce Behrens, is found dead by gunshot wounds to the chest.

Unfortunately it is unclear as to if Behrens was the intended target or the Mayor.  It is no secret that the Mayor, Schuyler Thompson, wasn't like by some but it is all about politics and not many politicians are liked.  So Reade and his assistant Officer Clayton begin the investigation.  Luckily they have Tish along as a consultant for the department to help.  (As a side note it should be mentioned that Tish is working on re-opening her cafe in a new location after being evicted from her old location by the Mayor after they broke up ..... and no I do not believe that she is the murderer .... but you never know.)

As they investigate the case it is clear that Behrens wasn't a nice person, personally and professionally.  Reade, Clayton and Tish have a lot of people to talk to and try to eliminate from the suspect list ..... and try to determine what is truth and what is lies.  Luckily they are able to go home and over take-out food take with the rest of the group to bounce ideas and theories off of.

Meade knows how to spin a web and branch off from it .... especially with this murder.  There is no way for readers to determine who the guilty party is ... you will need to turn a room in your house over to this case, with every wall space used for notes which will branch off.  And when the case is solved and the guilty is taken away in handcuffs, you will be left scratching your head is disbelief !!!  I know I was .....

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Murders of a Feather (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries Book # 3) by Eileen Brady

It's February in the Hudson Valley and Oak Falls veterinarian Dr. Kate is once again up to her galoshes in corpses Hudson Valley winters can be brutal…and deadly!

Dr. Kate is once again on the case (not to mention thin ice) after discovering a young engaged couple frozen to death in the lake. To make matters worse, her temporary receptionist appears to have overdosed from a recreational sedative used at the animal hospital.

Kate barely has time to dread Valentine's Day (and the fact that she's alone on this holiday, once again) as the police investigation shows that all three fatalities are in fact homicides.  But who would want the young couple dead, just as they were embarking on a new life together? And who pumped the temp employee full of enough animal tranquilizers to drop an ox?

Kate doesn't know where to begin until she stumbles upon a connection between the three victims and decides she needs to investigate further. But will her investigation leave her any time to get to know the handsome large animal vet she's just met on a house call? And is the injured wild crow she's taken under her wing in fact an omen of more bad things to come?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murders of a Feather is the third book in the Dr. Kate Vet Mystery series by Eileen Brady and I sure hope that you are a fan ..... if not, I hope you will be soon !!!  There is a lot in this series for readers to fall in love with !!

In Murders of a Feather Dr. Kate and her assistant Mari are getting ready to work a whole week without their rock of an office manager, Cindy.  Cindy and her family which included Police Chief Bobby Garcia who is her brother-in-law are heading to Florida for a week.  Luckily Cindy has secured help from a friend.  Babs has worked in the animal hospital before as well as others so she was use to the way things worked.

Unfortunately while Dr. Kate and Mari were out on a house call, they noticed a man on the side of the road looking for help ..... he claimed to find a body in the woods.  So Dr. Kate and Mari, with their medical knowledge went to see if they could help the person.  Unfortunately the man was dead and when they looked around, they found another body trapped under the water on the nearby lake.

Then to make matters worst, when Dr. Kat and Mari return from being out on a house call they could not find, they find Babs dead in the surgery room ..... and it was not suicide like some thought. 

Dr. Kate being the person that she is starts asking about the couple and Babs. She learns that Alicia and Jose were engaged to be married soon.  Alicia and Jose did not deserve to die in the manner that they did and when Cindy and family returned from vacation, her brother-in-law deemed that they were murdered.  However it took a bit of convincing before Chief Garcia would agree about Babs.

Cindy is left mourning a close friend as well as seeing to Babs estate while a living relative is located.  Dr. Kate offers to help but also wants to find out who killed these three individuals.  So Dr. Kate talks to anyone willing to discuss the deceased as well as dives into their online presence .... sadly it is like not getting her anywhere.

Readers cannot help but feel pulled by this series.  You will love the characters, the town, the businesses and everything else involved.  You begin to feel like you belong there just like Dr. Kate and when you get to the end and hear the NEWS and bombshell that Brady gives readers, you will fall in love all over again !!!!

Sunday 8 October 2023

A Killer Market (Cindy York Mysteries Novella # 0.5) by Catherine Bruns

After spending years as a stay-at-home mom, Cindy York is excited to begin a new career in real estate and hopes to make a killing in the red-hot housing market.

But her first day on the job doesn’t go exactly as planned when she’s threatened with a gun and then makes a chilling discovery at a client’s home.

With new friend and fellow agent Jacques Forte by her side, Cindy decides to investigate the cold case on her own. But things aren’t what they appear, and the dynamic real estate duo quickly find themselves in too deep. If they aren't careful, they might find themselves six feet under as well!  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Cindy York Mystery series by Catherine Bruns consists of five books currently and in this series you follow main character Cindy York as she returns to the work place as a real estate agent and works along side her best friend Jacques Forte as they sell houses and solve murders.  This is a very addicting series to read and fall in love with.

A Killer Market is a novella which you can read in less than an hour if you choose to.  In A Killer Market you see how the series began with Cindy going to Hospitable Homes and being interviewed by the owner Donna Cushman.  While there Donna receives a call that someone would like to see a house that is listed with Hospitable Homes.  Unfortunately Donna is too busy so after Cindy signs the paperwork as a new hire, she is sent to the house for the showing.

Unfortunately the interested party does not show up but Cindy meets Jacques and they walk through the house and find a hidden room in the study and when they go in to look around they find a skeleton head.... the two become instant friends and decide to work together to find out what is behind the hidden room and who the shull head belongs to.

No matter if you have read all of the books in this series, a few, one, or just finding out about it, A Killer Market will provide you with the building blocks of the series and make you want to read more.  It is also nice seeing how it all began with Cindy and her real estate selling journey and how her and Jacques met.  As a fan of the series, you have to know that their initial meeting would be DRAMATIC .... 

Saturday 7 October 2023

RSVP To Murder (A Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery Book # 4) by Carol Pouliot

RSVP TO MURDER - A new twist on the English country house mystery.

Embarking on their most daring time-travel experiment to date, Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and his 21st-century partner-in-crime Olivia Watson travel to the Adirondack Mountains for a Christmas party at one of the legendary Great Camps. Their host, a wealthy New York publisher, has planned a weekend filled with holiday activities, but, as the last guest arrives, temperatures plummet, and a blizzard hits. Before long, the area is buried in snow, the roads are impassable, and the publisher is poisoned.

Unwilling to wait until the local police arrive, the victim’s widow convinces Steven to launch an unofficial investigation. Soon, a family member goes missing, and Steven and Olivia discover a second victim. Trapped with a killer, Steven and Olivia race against the clock before the murderer strikes again.  (Summary via Goodreads)

When you are a fan of a book series, you cannot wait for the latest book to be released....and when it does, you ignore life and everything around you so that you can dig into the new book.  And I cannot express how much waiting for the latest Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery book by Carol Pouliot was a nightmare !!  And then when I did have it in my possession, I had to still wait a bit because I had another book to finish.  But when I did finally open RSVP to Murder I was bouncing from 2014 to 1934 like a pro..... 

In RSVP to Murder Olivia, who lives in 2014 and Steven, who lives in 1934 are going to test their time traveling abilities drastically.  When they found out about each other and the house they both live in, but in different times, they found they could travel to the others time by holding hands and crossing the doorway of what is Olivia's bedroom.  Then they began to venture out into each other's lives and began spending the night with each other....hence the relationship grew.  Now in RSVP to Murder Steven has been invited to a Christmas party at a family friends camp.  They will be traveling farther than they have even dared and attempting to spend numerous nights in Steven's time.

Luckily for them it works and they have no trouble keeping Olivia in 1934 with Steven to enjoy the Christmas party with the Racine family.  Unfortunately on the first night there while signing Christmas carols around the piano, the head of the family, Gil, drops dead.  They soon learn that he was poisoned and his death is labeled a murder.  Sadly the weather has turned and they are stuck at the Great Camp in the Adirondacks with the Racine family, their few servants and a murderer.

Steven being out of his jurisdiction, called the death into the local police department but they are unable to get there until the roads are cleared and the weather turns.  So Margery, Gil's wife and now head of the family, asks Steven to investigate until the local police can arrive.  Steven with Olivia's help begins to interview everyone and look into Gil's death...... Steven also gets his partner, Will, back home to assist with things on his end.  However, without anyone's knowledge Will is looking into Olivia and what she had told them, thnking she is hiding something.....

So much is going on and you cannot help but LOVE it.  And to have the story centered in one place with all the characters trapped due to the weather adds to the drama.  And as you get to know the Racine family, you will be torn as to who you think the murderer is because you will begin to like everyone.  Lucky for you Steven and Olivia have to bring the murderer to justice and you just get to sit back and read about it.

I am a HUGE fan of the Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery series and the way that Pouliot thinks !!  I cannot imagine how she comes up with these stories and how she draws you in deeper and deeper and when you get to the end of RSVP to Murder there is no way that you won't be counting down the days until the fifth book in this series is released.....and I have the pleasure of being able to contact her and even see her in person a few times to make sure she stays on track.......

Thursday 5 October 2023

Overdue or Die (The Haunted Library Mysteries Book # 7) by Allison Brook

Carrie Singleton has a wedding to plan, a killer to catch, and a conspiracy to uncover in this charming seventh novel of Agatha Award-nominee Allison Brook’s Haunted Library mysteries.

Carrie Singleton has more than her fair share on her plate: her job at the Clover Ridge Library, preparing for her wedding to Dylan Avery, and hoping that the local art gallery doesn’t steal away one of her part-time employees. Her fiancé Dylan accompanies her to the beautiful home of Victor Zalinka—art collector and successful businessman—to select paintings for an art show at the library. While Carrie muses that Victor's home would be the perfect wedding venue, Dylan spots a forgery among the paintings in Victor's collection.

Then Martha Mallory is found murdered in her art gallery. With the assistance of Evelyn, the library ghost; the resident cat, Smoky Joe; and the office manager of Dylan’s private investigation company, Carrie comes up with a suspect list long enough to rival the size of an encyclopedia. During her investigation, Carrie stumbles across a terrible truth: Martha’s murder was part of something far bigger and more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. And it all leads back to the art gallery.

How far will Carrie go to find the killer and uncover the truth? If the killer finds her first—will Carrie finally be taken out of circulation?  (Summary via Goodreads)

WOW !!  Overdue or Die by Allison Brook has so much going on that you will not want to stop reading it !!  Overdue or Die is the seventh book in the Haunted Library Mystery series and there is so much to love about this series !!  First you have main character Carrie Singleton who lives in an adorable cottage on the property where her fiance, Dylan, owns the main house.  Carrie has an adorable cat, Smoky Joe, that she is able to take with her to work.  Carrie has an adorable aunt and uncle that she and Dylan are very close to.  Carrie has an amazing job working at the Clover Ridge Library where she oversees and plans all the activities there and now that the newly renovated addition has been completed, they are gearing up for many more activities.  Carrie has two part-time assistants to help her and her best friend also works at the library....and she is visited by Evelyn, the library ghost.  Evelyn is stuck there but seems to be okay with that and she is there for Carrie to help her work through things going on in her life as well as the murder investigations she gets in the middle of.

In Overdue or Die Carrie's great-uncle Bosco is recovering from a heart attack and Carrie is very scared that she is going to lose him or her great-aunt Harriet....but Dylan is there to help her center herself so that she can focus on the things she has control planning her and Dylan's wedding !

Unfortunately Martha Mallory is murdered in her art gallery one night which shifts Carrie's attention.  Martha was close friends with Evelyn and when Evelyn asks for your help, you feel you cannot say no.  So Carrie begins to look into Martha's murder not knowing that she will be going down a dangerous road.  Martha was in the witness protection program until recently.  She helped put away a dangerous man.  So it is no wonder that he and his family are the first ones on the top of the suspect list.

Unfortunately as Carrie looks into Martha's death, someone else dies and she wonders if the two are connected.  And when a new friend, Victor, is taken in for questioning Carrie and Dylan are asked to prove his innocence.

There is a lot  more going on in Overdue or Die but I cannot tell you everything !!  I hope that I have given you enough enticing tidbits that you will go and grab your copy and dig in !!  I cannot say enough good things about this series, the town, the people, and everything else.....go grab your copy ASAP !!!!

Thursday 28 September 2023

Bake, Batter, and Roll (Cookies & Chance Mystery Book # 13) by Catherine Bruns

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next deliciously delightful Cookies & Chance mystery!

Full time baker and part time sleuth Sally Muccio has witnessed many bizarre events during her lifetime. But one thing that she never expected to see was her sensible grandmother on a dating show.

Senior Moments, the popular reality TV dating show featuring the aged sixty-five and older, has come to Colwestern, New York, giving the mature community a chance to find their soulmate. In an attempt to keep peace with the cranky and cantankerous Nicoletta Gavelli, Sal's Grandma Rosa agrees to become a contestant along with Mrs. Gavelli on the TV show. But things take an even weirder turn when the show’s host, Smiley Jones, is found dead in Sal’s bakery, beaten to death with her rolling pin.

The last thing Sal wants, or needs is to get involved in another murder, but she soon discovers that Smiley Jones's life wasn’t all champagne and cookies. From an estranged wife with dollar signs blinding her vision to a dressing room full of debts, Smiley had many issues to keep him from grinning. Between the calamitous contestants, the stacks of suspects, and the danger mounting, Sal is worried this is one Hollywood production without a happy ending. Can Sal find his killer before she winds up battered as well?

Recipes Included!

What critics are saying:

"A fantastic cozy mystery!"
InD'Tale Magazine

"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

"The Cookies and Chance Mystery series is more than just a's a family !! Once you read the first book, you are hooked and feel like a member of the crazy Muccio family."
Cozy Mystery Book Reviews   (Summary via Goodreads)

As Grandma Rosa might say "Goosepimples" to which Sal would say "Goosebumps Grandma?"  And Grandma Rosa would reply "I like that too."...... that is the first word I can think of after reading Bake, Batter, and Roll, the thirteenth book in the Cookies & Chance Mystery series written by the fabulous Catherine Bruns.

The Cookies & Chance Mystery series has got to be my favorite series to read.  There is so much to fall in love with instantly....the main character Sally, her crazy and loving family, her best friend and business partner, Josie, the business, Sally's Samples, that they run together, the town and last but not least the murders that Sally gets in the middle of !!

And in Bake, Batter, and Roll the story hits very close to business....Sally's Samples.  Grandma Rosa's best friend and neighbor is going to be a contestant on the elderly dating show called Senior Moments and when Mrs. Gavelli scares off the other two contestants Grandma Rosa steps in to help as well as Sally's part-time employee, Dodie.  The person picked gets to go on a trip with the bachelor and the trip is to Italy....and Grandma Rosa would love to return to her borth place.

Unfortunately Mrs. Gavelli is picked by the bachelor who faints when he sees who his date to Italy is and later than evening Sally finds the host of the show, Smiley Jones, dead in the kitchen at Sally's Samples.

Even though Sally and Josie "try" to stay out of investigating murders, they have a number of reasons for looking into Smiley's death.  Sally will do anything for Grandma Rosa and until Smiley's murder is solved, her Italy trip is off and the episode they were on is on hold as well.  Also the murder occurred in Sally's bakery and business has become nonexistent and Sally has a new house to pay for and Josie's four sons will be going off to college before you know it.  And everyone would love for Mrs. Gavelli to be gone for ten days !!!

So Sally and Josie begin to look into Smiley's life and who would want him dead....and they even have the blessing of newly appointed Detective Brian Jenkins which you know he will soon regret.  

Readers cannot help but LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this series !!!  Bruns knows how to write a story that readers cannot get enough of and the way that she ends Bake, Batter, and Roll will leave you with goosebumps or goosepimples, whichever you prefer, and you will be totally looking forward to the fourteenth book to see where things will be heading for certain people in Sally's life.......and I can only imagine that it will be EXPLOSIVE !!!!!  (in a good way !!!)

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Hexes and Hooligans (Magical Mystery Book Club Book #5.5) by Elizabeth Pantley

Would you join a book club that gets sucked into their cozy mysteries? These people did, and now they are hooked on traveling into books to become the amateur sleuths!
The book selection of the month takes the club into a charming and idyllic world of gnome-like people who love the earth, celebrating, and honey. What they don’t like is the mysterious ailment that is turning students at the local college into hideous versions of themselves.

The timing is terrible, as it coincides with the upcoming Honeybee Moon Festival, the community’s biggest celebration of the year.

The event is only a week away. Can the motley group determine what’s causing the students’ transformations, stop it from spreading, and get them back to normal? They better, since it’s the only way they can exit the book and get back home to Colorado.

"You can’t get enough of this series! It will blow you away!"
… Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

“One of my go-to series. The quality and enjoyment are guaranteed.”
… All and Any Books

“I adore this series, and it just keeps getting better with each book!”
… Fiction Vixen    (Summary via Goodreads)

Hexes and Hooligans by Elizabeth Pantley is a novella in the Magical Mystery Book Club series.  It can be a stand alone story that is short enough for you to read in one day, like I did, or you can take your time reading it.  It is considered a novella because it is shorter than a regular novel and is about half the size.....however it is probably more story because of the size the author gets to the point quicker and the pace may be faster as well.  Regardless of the size and number of pages Hexes and Hooligans will grab your attention immediately !!

In the Magical Mystery Book Club series there are a group of eight people ranging from a mother and young son to Zell who was one of the originals with Gee-Gee, Paige's great-grandmother. Paige and her Aunt Glo inherited the book club and along with the other members go down to the basement where there is a magical library.  They decide on a book and start reading it out loud and then they are magically placed inside the book and have to solve the case before they can return to Colorado.  Luckily the Snapdragon Inn, their home and base, travels with them and adapts to the time frame that the story takes place.  Oh and I forgot to mention that among the members of the group are Frank, a talking cat and Mollie who is a ghost that returned with them when they solved a case in the Wild West.

In Hexes and Hooligans there is one significant difference in that there are no murders for the book club to solve.  However the book that the group chooses has a unique storyline.....  They pick Beauty is in the Eye of the Hexer and start reading the story out loud.  They then find themselves in a beautiful little town that is adorable !!  They come across three young and beautiful girls who are very upset thinking that they are ugly.  The book club members soon learn that they are in a town of gnomes and the three girls have had a curse or something placed on them to make them look "different and ugly".  

The group then learns that they are in the book as visiting professors to the college where the girls are students and they are to work with the detective to find out what is happening.  As they are trying to get to know the area and the people, more students are placed under the spell and the only thing they have in common besides being students are that they are all in the pageant in the upcoming Honeybee Moon Festival. 

Readers will love not only this story but all the previous books in this series.  Pantley knows how to hook you in immediately and you are whisked away with the book club.  This is such a unique series that you will want more and more and luckily Pantley has no problem providing readers with books regularly.  So if you haven't read any of the books in this series, I cannot stress it have got to get reading this series !!!  I guarantee you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it !!!!

Sunday 24 September 2023

Pups, Pumpkins, and Murder (Samantha Davies Mysteries Book # 4) by S.A. Kazlo

Autumn has arrived in the small town of Wings Falls in upstate New York, and children's book author Samantha Davies couldn't be happier. She's excited to attend the town's annual Taste of Wings Falls craft and food festival with her boyfriend Detective Hank Johnson. The fair features several booths, like the one Sam's rug hooking group, the Loopy Ladies, have set up as a fundraiser to send underprivileged children to summer camps, as well as home-grown vegetables, like the 2,000-pound pumpkin grown by Farmer Scooter that he's proudly displayed on the back of his truck. But maybe the biggest draws for the fair is the barbeque cook-off. Samantha is friends with the owners of the three restaurants participating, but she is betting on Franny Goodway, the owner of Sweetie Pie's Café, taking home this year's coveted first place prize.

But things take a stomach-churning turn when several fair goers become ill after chowing down on Franny's pulled pork delight. Franny insists it's not her fault... but when Sam sees Franny vehemently arguing with the new loan officer at the town's bank, she knows something is wrong.

Little did Sam know how wrong.

That evening as Sam takes her dachshund, Porkchop, for a stroll, she finds the body of the loan officer...crushed under a 2,000 pound pumpkin and deader than the fall leaves covering the ground! Franny instantly becomes the number one suspect, and it's up to Sam to prove her friend innocent of the man's murder. Can she find a killer, and navigate her relationship with her detective boyfriend, and save Sweetie Pie's Café?

"A doggone entertaining mystery filled with small town scandals! Funny and entertaining!"
~ Fresh Fiction   (Summary via Goodreads)

The best advice that I can give readers when picking up Pups, Pumpkins, and Murder by S.A. Kazlo is to just sit back and enjoy the story and murder because trying to solve the latest murder in this series will be impossible !!!  Unless,of course, you are Nancy Drew...then I say go for it !!

Pups, Pumpkins, and Murder is the fourth book in the Samantha Davis Mystery series and the series is full of great characters, a charming little town with quaint stores and restaurants and yes murder !!

In Pups, Pumpkins, and Murder the town of Wings Falls is celebrating the town with their annual Taste of Wings Falls Fair.  Three local restaurants will be competing for the Best Barbeque Prize, local vendors will be selling their homemade goodies and everyone will be checking out Scooter Dickerson's 2,000 pound pumpkin.....unfortunately no one knew that Scooter's pumpkin was going to roll off of the truck and kill the new local bank loan officer, Edgar Jensen. Also people become ill after eating one of the competing restaurants pulled pork sandwiches.

To say local Detective Hank Johnson was going to have his hands full with this case is stating it lightly.  The suspect list for both instances is long and unfortunately Hank's younger brother, Aaron, is on both lists as a suspect.  Hank's girlfriend, Sam, does not believe that Aaron would do anything to jeopardize his girlfriend's aunt's restaurant and put something in the pulled pork and also Sam doesn't believe he is capable of murder.

Sam along with her cousin Candie put on their investigator hats and start looking into both cases.  As they look into Edgar's death they find out that he was giving members of the community a hard time when they applied for loans as well as charging a "special fee" along with the interest if they were to receive the loan.  After talking to some people they find out that all of the contestants in the barbeque contest had applied for loans and were unhappy with Edgar's behavior, Edgar and his wife were seen arguing the day of the fair and Sam's childhood enemy, Police Officer Joe Peters and his wife had bad dealings with his also.  But were any of them capable of pushing a 2,000 pound pumpkin on the man ??

Readers will have their hands full reading this tasty tale and will love everything about it.  The Samantha Davies Mystery series will become of favorite for sure, if it hasn't already.


Thursday 21 September 2023

Dead Spread: A House of Cards Mystery by Bethany Browning

From the author of Sasquatch, Baby!, this cozy mystery is a twisty page-turner filled with tarot tips, raven shenanigans, strangers to lovers and MURDER.

When tarot card reader Carrie Dettwiler stumbles across the mayor’s dead body on a random Tuesday, town gossip reaches a fever pitch—and everyone’s convinced she and her rescue raven Waggery have performed a deadly dark ritual. Carrie deals with the cards she’s dealt, turning over every clue, only to be blown off course by her gale-force feelings for tattoo artist Stormy Portwood, who breezes into town at the same time people start dying. Determined to divine the criminal who’s terrorizing the citizens of Prosperity, Carrie must rely on her dangerous knowledge of the town’s secret history to reveal the killer.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Dead Spread by Bethany Browning is the first book in her House of Cards Mystery series and it is like no other book I have ever read...and I have read a lot of books !!

In Dead Spread readers are introduced to a very nice, quaint town called Prosperity where Carrie Dettwiler is taking after her Aunt Inez and running the tarot card reading business out of the cottage her aunt left her.  Sadly the tarot card reading business isn't making enough money to keep the debt collectors off her back but she is doing the best that she can.

Unfortunately after doing a reader for one of her regular clients, things turn dark with the mayor, Carrie's friend, turning up dead in his office and it looks like he is holding one of the cards from Carrie's deck.....and Carrie is the one to find him.  Everyone in town believes that Carrie is the one that killed him so she decides to look into his death to clear her name.  However, she ends up going down a dark tunnel, like the ones under the town of Prosperity that have been there since Prohibition.

While Carrie is looking into Mayor Preston Brix's death, she meets Stormy Portwood who is full of secrets which Carrie wants to know all of them and would like nothing more that to put the mayor's murder behind them so that they can get to know each other better.  But when Carrie's uncle is attacked, the team up to solve the murder and the attack.  

Readers will fall in love with Dead Spread and really enjoy the uniqueness of the story.  Readers will love the town of Prosperity and it's history as well as all of the characters ... and Carrie's pet is a talking Raven ... how more different can one get ?  I highly recommend grabbing your copy and heading to your comfy reading spot with a beverage and a snack.  And the way that Browning ends the story ensures that you will be keeping an eye out for the second book in this series.

Friday 15 September 2023

Death by a Thousand Sips (Witches' Brew Mystery Book #2) by Gretchen Rue

Phoebe Winchester is back on the case in Raven Creek when a body is discovered at an estate sale in Gretchen Rue’s second book in the Witches’ Brew mystery series, perfect for fans of Laura Childs and Cleo Coyle.

Ever since she moved to Raven Creek, Washington, Phoebe Winchester knew she would have to grow accustomed to having a lot on her plate. She’s beginning to make the Victorian manor she inherited from her dear and adventurous Aunt Eudora feel more like home, successfully running the bookstore and tea shop, The Earl’s Study, and learning to harness her recently discovered magical powers. But when she discovers a dead body at an estate sale—even Phoebe wonders if this is simply too much.

Rumors of Phoebe’s involvement force her to take action; she needs to find the killer and clear her own name, once again. She enlists Rich Lofting, the handsome private detective and her childhood friend, in her investigation, all while she sorts out her unresolved feelings for him. Is there something more sinister lurking in the shadows of this small tight-knit town? And does Phoebe really want to find out?

With a dash of magic, a pinch of sleuthing skills, and a spoonful of friendly assistance, Phoebe needs to uncover the killer to keep Raven Creek safe once again. But if she doesn’t—will she find herself in even more hot water?  (Summary via Goodreads)

Death by a Thousand Sips is the second book in the Witches' Brew Mystery series by Gretchen Rue.  Unfortunately I did not read the first book, Steeped to Death, which I am sure was just as entertaining as the second book.  Even though I did not read Steeped to Death I was not lost at all reading Death by a Thousand Sips.  Rue has a way of bringing the reader up to date in a very easy manner and you breeze through the story.

In Death by a Thousand Sips main character Phoebe Winchester is still getting use to her new life in Raven Creek, Washington.  Recently divorced Phoebe moves to Raven Creek after her Aunt Eudora dies and leaves her with everything.  Phoebe is left the mansion, Lane End House, her cat Bob and the tea shop / bookstore, The Earl's Study.  Phoebe also learns that her Aunt Eudora was a witch and Phoebe is also learning that she has powers.  Unfortunately she is not able to hone in on her abilities but with the help of her friend Honey she is working on them.

Phoebe learns of an estate sale in another town nearby and they are auctioning off a huge lot of books that she could sell in the bookstore so she goes to the sale to bid on them.  Unfortunately she finds that Bob hid in the back of the car so she has to take him with her.  She thinks that he will be safe and sound in the car but somehow he escapes the car and shows up in the mansion where the sale is being held and ends up finding a dead body.  It turns out to be the woman in charge of the auction, Madeline, and Phoebe had overheard her arguing on the phone shortly before she was found dead.

Even though Phoebe didn't know Madeline she feels like she should do something for find out who killed her.  Luckily one of her childhood friends, Rich, was a police officer but is now a private investigator so she tries to get him to help her.  Rich does to a point but when Phoebe is threatened, Rich as well as the detectives in charge of the case tell her to leave it to the professionals.

Readers will love Death by a Thousand Sips !!  A cozy mystery with a hint of witchery is a great combination and Rue makes it impossible to put down.  I can only recommend that you grab a nice snack and beverage and sit back and will be there for a while once you crack open the book.