Saturday 13 April 2024

Molten Death (An Orchid Isle Mystery Book # 1) by Leslie Karst

A glimpse of a quickly melting corpse at the foot of a volcano has amateur sleuth and food enthusiast Valerie Corbin shocked. But how can she investigate a murder, when there's no evidence the victim ever existed?

The first Orchid Isle cozy mystery, set in tropical Hilo, Hawai'i, introduces a fun and feisty LGBTQ+ couple who swap surfing lessons for sleuthing sessions! Retired caterer Valerie Corbin and her wife Kristen have come to the Big Island of Hawai'i to treat themselves to a well-earned tropical vacation. After the recent loss of her brother, Valerie is in sore need of a distraction from her troubles and is looking forward to enjoying the delicious food and vibrant culture the state has to offer. 

Early one morning, the couple and their friend - tattooed local boy, Isaac - set out to see an active lava flow, and Valerie is mesmerized by the shape-shifting mass of orange and red creeping over the field of black rock. Spying a boot in the distance, she strides off alone, pondering how it could have gotten there, only to realize to her horror that the boot is still attached to a leg - a leg which is slowly being engulfed by the hot lava. Valerie's convinced a murder has been committed - but as she's the only witness to the now-vanished corpse, who's going to believe her?

Determined to prove what she saw, and get justice for the unknown victim, Valerie launches her own investigation. But, thrown into a Hawaiian culture far from the luaus and tiki bars of glossy tourist magazines, she soon begins to fear she may be the next one to end up entombed in shiny black rock . . .The amiable characters, stunning backdrop and culinary delights make this the perfect cozy of fans who enjoy a tropical vacation with a twisty murder mystery and compelling Hawai'ian culture - paired with an added bonus of recipes of local Hawai'ian dishes!  (Summary via Goodreads)

Molten Death is the first book in the new Orchid Isle Mystery series by Leslie Karst.  And if you know Karst, I know her via Facebook, you shouldn't be surprised that she is centering this new series in Hawaii.

In Molten Death Valerie and her wife Kristen are vacationing in Hilo, Hawaii at Kristen's friend Isaac's house.  They are there to relax and allow Valerie to grieve the death of her brother Charlie which she lost in a horrible accident.  Unfortunately when they go to visit the site of an active volcano flow, Valerie sees a boot and part of a leg being covered by the hot lava and disappearing.  And sadly Kristen and Isaac were no where near her when she witnessed this so they do not believe her when she tries to explain.  Because this traumatic siting is so close to the way her brother died, Valerie cannot stop thinking about it.

So instead of having a nice, relaxing vacation taking in the sites of Hawaii, Valerie is unable to stop thinking about the boot and when she learns of a local reported as missing, she goes full force into learning everything she can about the missing person.  Unfortunately Kristen and Isaac do not believe her and think that she is wasting her time and vacation looking into something that didn't happen.  This puts a lot of tension on their relationship and Valerie knows that she cannot stop with things until she gets to the bottom of everything.  This makes things difficult as Valerie doesn't know anyone and when she begins asking questions about people she doesn't know, people become on edge.....

Readers will love this series and luckily Karst has a glossary in the back of the book defining all the Hawaiian words and slang she uses throughout the book so readers can use slang as well.

Readers will thoroughly love this story and for once this book does not have the main character fighting with the police or detectives throughout the "investigation" which is a nice change but doesn't take anything away from the story,  And knowing how familiar the author is with Hawaii makes the readers feel like they are there along for the ride.  Happy traveling readers !!!

Thursday 28 March 2024

'Bout to Dye in Birmingham (A Cousins Cozy Mystery series ) by Beth Hamer Miles

From author Beth Hamer Miles comes a hilarious take on the worst year of your life...It’s March 2020 in Birmingham, Alabama, but Maggie Baxter and her cousin Hugh Lee Pinkston are facing problems even bigger than the quarantine. While navigating her home health job, along with shutdowns, face masks, and toilet paper shortages, Maggie stumbles upon a dead man—snipped in the bud with his own set of monogrammed scissors!It's a salon scheme gone south, and now, Maggie and Hughley are in the midst of a murder investigation. Missing hair salon owners, disappearing patients, destructive raccoons...and why does everyone have purple hair? It’s a mystery fit for Shear-Lock Combs! Can Maggie and Hughley find a killer and survive 2020...or will this be their last bad hair day?

"Realistic dialogue, good character development and interesting setting. Looking forward to reading next one! 5 Stars!"~ So Many Books  (Summary via Goodreads)

I love when authors make the story as real as they can or throw some real life things into make believe stories and Beth Hamer Miles does just that in her new Cousins Cozy Mystery series !!

In 'Bout to Dye in Birmingham main characters Maggie and Hughley, who are cousins, are about to test their relationhip and friendship ... and Maggie is going to test her sanity a bunch of times !!  It is March in the year 2020 and it's the beginning of when the coronavirus begins to affect people in the United States.  The colleges have closed forcing Maggie and Sam's twin daughters, Anna and Jenna, to move back home.  Now they will have all three kids, Anna, Jenna and their son, Evan all under one roof along with Sam who already works from home.  The only one that will be impacted the most will be Maggie who is an at-home speech therapist so she will continue to visit clients in their homes.

But right before everything closes down Maggie is going to get one more luxury treatment and get her hair done.  She is referred to Lula's Locks by one of her client's who is Lula's mother.  Unfortunately Maggie takes the back entrance to the salon which is a long dirt road with a dead naked body in the way.  Little does Maggie know that she will be getting herself and Hughley in the middle of everything !!

Not that finding a dead body isn't bad in itself but Maggie and Sam are going to have to move everyone into Hughley's house when their house ends up having a lot of problems and issues where they are unable to continue staying there.  Luckily Hughley has a huge house and doesn't mind the company.  Plus the house next door to Hughley becomes a project for him when he becomes friends with Dean who is going to be staying there and fixing it to put it on the market.

Readers will fall in love with this book instantly !!  This was one story that I did not want to end.  I was having so much fun staying at Hughley's huge house hanging out with Maggie and crew.  It was also interesting to read a story that included the coronavirus ... as horrible as that was, it is a part of our lives and knowing that it affected everyone helps.  I think readers will really feel for this story and will be on the lookout for future books for sure !!!

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Murder Marks the Page (Tomes & Tea Mystery series Book # 1) by Karen Rose Smith

The first in a new series spun off from the Daisy Tea Garden Mysteries, Daisy’s daughter Jazzi Swanson has opened her own book and tea shop, providing a variety of literature and flavored beverages for a rural New York community. But Jazzi has not only inherited her mother’s gift for brewing tasty drinks—she also has a nose for sniffing out murder.

New York State’s Belltower Landing is a lakeside resort town where tourists spend their summer days boating, floating, and paddle-boarding on the water. It’s also the perfect place to cuddle up with a good book and enjoy a cup of tea, courtesy of Tomes & Tea. Owned and operated by Jazzi and her best friend Dawn Fernsby, the book bar is beloved by vacationers and locals alike, but browsers grabbing brews in the off season aren’t enough to help them make ends meet.

Between brainstorming social media publicity ideas for the shop and fending off flirtatious men she has no interest in or time for, Jazzi befriends a woman named Brie who has recently made contact with her biological father. As an adopted child herself, Jazzi is more than happy to give Brie emotional support, especially as her wealthy father’s wife and children see her as a threat.

But Brie is also looking to start a family of her own. Unfortunately, all the potential princes she’s met through a dating app turn out to be frogs. Then, when Brie is found murdered, Jazzi finds herself playing detective. With a list of suspects ranging from jealous half-siblings to less-than-suitable suitors, Jazzi may need to consult some of her shop’s bestselling mysteries to help her uncover a killer . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Right after I finish writing my review for Murder Marks the Page by Karen Rose Smith, I am going to go pack because I am moving to Belltower Landing immediately ... as soon as I find out where this fictional town is located.  Murder Marks the Page is the first book in the Tomes & Tea Mystery series by Smith and boy does she set the stage beautifully !!!

In Murder Marks the Page readers are introduced to Jazzi and Dawn who are longtime friends having met in college at a group for adoptive children.  They bonded over the fact that they were both adopted and became roommates and then moved back to Belltower Landing where Dawn is from and where Jazzi would spend her summers.  Now they are business owners as well as roommates.  They own Tomes & Tea where they sell tea, baked goods and books.

Jazzi and Dawn are introduced to Brie by their friend Delaney who knows about their adoptive pasts and feels that Brie, who is looking for her adoptive father, will benefit from their experiences.  Unfortunately shortly after they meet, and before they can begin to help her with her quest, Delaney finds Brie's body.  This was right after Jazzi had dinner with her and was getting to know her so her and Delaney are questioned by the police.

Jazzi knows that she should focus on the shop and not murder but she is drawn to Brie's case because that is what Jazzi's mom would do.  And even though she needs to convince Dawn not to share her part of the business and this is the time of year that the town relies on tourists, Jazzi can not say no the Brie's mother when she asks for help.

There is a lot going on in the town of Belltower Landing and readers will love every part of it.  Getting to know a new town, the businesses, the people and the relationships is always fun with a new series and Karen Rose Smith does not disappoint !!  She is spot on with this debut book and you will become a fan as soon as you open the book.  You will want to move there also ... and if you find Belltower Landing, please let me know .... we can be roommates !!

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Chilled to the Dog Bone (A Samantha Davies Mystery series Book # 5) by S.A. Kazlo

It's Saint Patrick's Day weekend in chilly upstate New York, and Samantha Davies, children's picture book author and sometime sleuth, is excited to attend the annual outdoors games put on by the local Wings Falls fire company. It will be a weekend filled with fun activities such as a skillet toss, four-wheeler race, and the ever-popular decorated wooden outhouse race across the ice. Sam is looking forward to dancing the night away with her beau, police detective Hank Johnson at the Firefighter's Ball. Sam's rug hooking group, the Loopy Ladies is sponsoring one of the outhouses and their senior member, Gladys O'Malley, will have the honor of riding on the "throne" to the finish line.

Only not all goes as planned when the neighboring fire company's chief is found in Gladys' place—frozen solid and dead as a doornail! To make matters worse, both Gladys' and Sam's fingerprints are all over the evidence at the murder scene, taking them from attendees to suspects. Now it's up to Sam to clear their names and get to the truth. The only problem is the victim had disagreements with almost everyone in town, from the Wings Falls fire chief to a sexy blonde named Sunny Foxx—with two xx's—and a slew of other suspects. Can Sam find the killer before the Luck of the Irish runs out for her? Or will she become chilled to the bone when the killer catches up to her...

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

Chilled to the Dog Bone is the fifth book in the Samantha Davies Mystery series by S.A. Kazlo and boy is this series a HOOT !!!  

Samantha and her lovable dog, Porkchop, are just trying to enjoy life.  Sam just published her first book, a children's book about Porkchop, titled Porkshop the Wonder Dog, and they are going to be doing their first appearance promoting the book at the local library.  Sam is also enjoying her relationship with Police Detective Hank Johnson as well as her time hanging out with her cousin, Candie, and their friends in the Loopy Ladies rug hooking group.  

Unfortunately another murder is going to take time for her to try to solve when the outhouse races at the local Firemen's Convention are postponed when a neighboring fire department's chief is found dead in the Loopy Ladies outhouse .... and Sam and her neighbor (also Hank's aunt) Gladys are on the suspect list !!!  And when Hank is taken off the case, Sam knows it's just a matter of time before her childhood enemy Joe "Sandy" Peters will try to put the cuffs on her whether she is innocent or guilty.

Sam and Candie begin their investigation even though they have been warned off by Hank.  They know that they have to do whatever they can to prove that Sam and Gladys are innocent, however, this will not be an easy case to solved as the suspect list is longer than they imagined.  It seems like nobody liked Ivan Kline and the more they dig, the deeper they get ....

Readers cannot help but fall in love with this series !!  There is so much to love, even the murders are interesting !!  You will love Wings Falls, the businesses, the people, and the relationships and friendships.  There are plenty of times that I have read a book and wanted to jump into the story and live in the town and the Samantha Davies Mystery series is one on the top of that list !!  I know you will love it as much as I did.  The only sad part is when you close the book when you get to the end .... but hopefully a new one will be coming out soon and we will be happy again !!!

Saturday 9 March 2024

Cirque du Slay (Hayden & Friends Book # 2) by Rob Osler

In the rollicking mystery, perfect for fans of Steven Rowley and Elle Cosimano, the circus becomes the stage for a high-profile murder investigation.

With quirky LGBTQ+ amateur sleuths, Cirque du Slay will delight readers looking for a madcap mystery with high-flying excitement!

Pint-sized Seattle middle school teacher and gay dating blogger Hayden McCall and his best friend Hollister are invited to a fundraiser for Bakers Without Borders. The celebrity performer, Kennedy Osaka, is the artistic director of Mysterium, an upscale circus arts show combining magic, acrobatics, and a Michelin-star dinner. But Kennedy is a no-show—until she’s found dead in her hotel suite.

When frenemy Sarah Lee is discovered in the room with the body, Hayden and Hollister are on the case to find the real culprit before Sarah Lee is charged with the crime.

The suspects for the murder are as unique as Mysterium a Russian trapeze artist, a cowgirl comedian sharp-shooter, an over-cologned operations director, a feisty, green-haired costume manager, and Adrenalin!, a sexy troop of Romanian male acrobats...If Hayden and Hollister are to clear Sarah Lee of suspicion, they’ll have to outsmart a killer for whom trickery is art.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Readers will love the Hayden & Friends Mystery series by Rob Osler.  This is a very unique series and with the second book just released, you have plenty of time to catch up if you aren't already a huge fan !!

Cirque du Slay has main character Hayden and his best friend Hollister again working to solve a murder and uncover the truth ... except this time Hayden has to struggle with the fact that Sarah Lee is not one of his favorite people.  

In Cirque du Slay a circus like show, Mysterium is in town and Sarah Lee grew up with one of the performers so she asks her to come perform at a fundraiser being held at a friends bakery.  When Kennedy does not show up or return her calls, Sarah Lee storms out saying that Kennedy is a dead woman.  Kennedy goes to the hotel where a number of the performers are staying and is found by the police standing over Kennedy's body holding the murder weapon.  Unfortunately Kennedy does not remember entering the room or the events until the police arrived.  Because Kennedy works for Hayden and Hollister's other close friend, Burley, the group know they must look into the murder and clear Sarah Lee's name.  

Hayden and Hollister begin investigating at the big tent and surrounding trailers of where Mysterium is set for a month-long performance.  In order to get in and have access to everyone, they have to go undercover.  This is all well and good until they get in hot water and need to rethink everything !!  

Readers will love this series.  It is a fresh look at cozy mysteries in a lot of ways !!  First the main character is a male, a gay male.  His best friend is a black woman who wears black, has a mohawk hairstyle and is as sweet as can be.  Hayden often seeks the help of his aunt's neighbor who is an elderly man.  Throughout the story Hayden shares posts from his Mates on Dates blog.  And there are a lot of other unique things regarding this series but I will leave some of the mystery for you to uncover as you dig into this amazing series !!!

Friday 23 February 2024

Crime and Cherry Pits (Farm to Table Mysteries Book # 4) by Amanda Flower

Head back to snowy Michigan just in time for the annual cherry pit spitting contest. It's all fun and games until the local drama professor chokes on more than just his pride.

Shiloh Bellamy can hardly believe it—for the first time in her family farm's seventy-year history, she has managed to score a highly-coveted booth at the Cherry Farm Market in Traverse City, Michigan. It's a huge win in her master plan to bring the rundown farm back to life… and the fact that her coup has sent her next-door neighbor and organic farming competitor into fits of jealousy doesn't hurt, either. But the festive atmosphere at the farm market takes a dark turn when a man entered in the famous cherry pit-spitting competition chokes and dies right in front of Shiloh, who is standing near the sidelines as a spectator.

When the death turns out to be more suspicious than a cherry pit down the wrong pipe, Shiloh finds herself under local law enforcement's microscope—she has developed something of a reputation for being unwittingly involved in local murders. And when they discover her cousin Stacey had been secretly dating the man in question—and that he was married to someone else—Shiloh begins to worry that everything she has worked so hard to accomplish with her family's farm is about to be taken away. It will take all her investigative skills, a tenuous friendship (or is it something more?) with the local sheriff, and some help from Shiloh's trusty pug, Huckleberry, to prove the cops are barking up the wrong cherry tree and put the real killer behind bars for good.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Crime and Cherry Pits is the fourth book in the Farm to Table Mystery series by Amanda Flower and it will make you hungry, feel tired, and determined to find a murderer !!!

Crime and Cherry Pits has main character Shiloh and her assistant, Chesney, manning their booth at the annual Cherry Farm Market in neighboring Traverse City.  Shiloh moved back home to Michigan to turn her family's farm organic and participating in the Cherry Farm Market will help get the word out about the farm.  Unfortunately at the first cherry pit-spitting competition, one of the male contestants looks like he's choking on a pit so Shiloh jumps in to save him .... only to find out he was poisoned !!  And to make matters worse Shiloh's cousin, Stacey, turns to her to find out who killed him to clear her name.  Turns out Stacey was dating the deceased, Dane Fullbright, but had just found out he was married !!

Even though Shiloh has a lot on her plate with still doing chores at the farm morning and night, baking for the Market every night, and working the Market all day, she still finds time to snoop and question people.  Even though everyone tries to warn her to leave it alone, she will do whatever she can to help her cousin, even though there is family drama going on as well.  

Shiloh will have readers tired and wishing they were as energetic and focused as her.  Plus reading about all the cherry related foods as well as other foods will have you hungry.  I know at the mention of tacos, I was hooked !!  

Flower knows how to grab the readers attention immediately and you will be hooked until the end !!  And Flower also knows how to end a story teasing readers with the possibilities of what is to come ....

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Double Grudge Donuts (Deputy Donut Mystery Book # 8) by Ginger Bolton

The countdown is on as Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill gets ready for married life. But before she takes the plunge, she’ll need to poke a hole in a deadly criminal’s plans . . .

When the Fallingbrook Arts Festival rolls into town weeks before she’s set to tie the knot, Emily expects talent and friendly competition at the week-long summer series to go together like coffee and double fudge. But the fun crumbles fast after a lively bagpiper takes first place on day one and turns heads for the wrong reasons—all before Emily and her tabby cat find him dead in a clear case of murder. Along with a distinctive weapon at the crime scene, several strategically placed items leave disturbing clues about the killer’s identity, including a broken piece of a Deputy Donut mug . . .

While detectives aren’t sure who silenced the bagpiper’s music, they don’t trust Emily or her family to tell the truth. With her nuptials and career on the line, Emily launches an unsettling investigation to save herself from trouble and bring a dangerous figure to justice. The search not only brings too many suspects into the picture, but also leads to a strange discovery on Deputy Donut’s rooftop. A discovery that tells Emily she better get cooking, because someone may be watching her every move . . . and carefully plotting to turn a wedding into a funeral!  (Summary via Goodreads)

When you start reading Double Grudge Donuts, the eighth book in the Deputy Donut Mystery series, by Ginger Bolton you are going to have a HUGE suspect list.  

In Double Grudge Donuts the Fallingbrook Arts Festival is starting and it will go on for a week.  During the festival entertainers will first walk around town stopping at specific businesses to perform their acts.  Then they will perform at night and get judged.  During one of the performances, Kirk MacLean will interrupt playing his bagpipes.  Kirk will continue playing his bagpipes throughout town for the next couple on days until he is found dead by Emily Westhill on her way to her shop, Deputy Donuts.

Before Kirk was murdered Emily learned that no one liked him and all of them had reason to murder him .... including Emily's parents who are staying with her for the week to attend the festival and help her get ready for her upcoming wedding.  Unfortunately with this new murder, Emily's fiance Brent, who is a detective, is going to be very busy solving the case.

Readers will love that Bolton allows you to get to know Emily, her parents, friends and the town before throwing the murder into the mix.  This also provides you with a long list of suspects to weed through.  And when you learn of one very vital part of how part of the murder was handled, you will be amazed and most likely, never would have thought of it.  Bolton has a very creative mind that will have you loving this series and counting down the days until the next book.  

Thursday 15 February 2024

Sprites and Scuttlebutt (Magical Mystery Book Club Book # 6) by Elizabeth Pantley

This book club is hooked on traveling into books to become the amateur sleuths! In this journey, the club travels to the Kingdom of Everglow.

The royal family is rocked to the core when a key staff member falls dead at a community event. In the turmoil that follows, any evidence of what happened is destroyed, so they must go by the recollection of witnesses who were too busy enjoying the celebration to offer any valuable testimony.

The royal family is further distressed when they return to the castle to see signs of a break in that somehow defied their complex security system. They wake the next day to discover that one member of the royal family has fallen into a deep, deathlike sleep.

Can the Snapdragon Inn Book Club uncover the plot behind this attack on the royal family? Can they find the antidote to wake the sleeping royal from a supernatural slumber? Can they bring peace back to the worried royal family and the frightened community?

Let’s hope they can, since they must solve the mystery and reach The End to get out of the book and back to their home in Colorado.

"You can’t 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

“I guarantee you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it !!!!”… Goodreads  (Summary via Goodreads)

When you have a favorite author and/or series, you cannot wait for the latest book to be released ... you may even do a countdown of days until it will be in your hands.  That is something I do with the Magical Mystery Book Club series by Elizabeth Pantley.  I am sure that I am not the only one either !!

Sprites and Scuttlebutt is the sixth book in the series and it lives up to the hype of this series.  In the Magical Mystery Book Club series Paige and her select members of the magical book club get together every so often and have a "magical" meeting.  They grab snacks and venture down to the library in the basement of the Snapdragon Inn and scatter and pick out a book for their next jounrey.  Once they have picked out and agreed upon the book, one of the members starts reading the book out loud.  After a few minutes the room gets foggy, the globe in the library starts spinning ... when the room clears and settles down, the group finds themselves characters in the book and have to solve the case and write "The End" on the whiteboard in order to return to the original Snapdragon Inn in Colorado.

Luckily for the group the Inn always travels with them and is filled with whatever they need to make their time there as comfortable as possible and with Sprites and Scuttlebutt, the sixth book, they will need to have some normalcy and calm.

In Sprites and Scuttlebutt right before the group picks their journey book, they uncover a huge secret .... Frank the Inn's feline resident was a King in a previous life but a spell was cast upon him turning him into a talking cat.  This will help the group as they will be traveling to Everglow and solving a murder within the Royal Kingdom.

Once the fog settles they find themselves in a very colorful area that is full of sprites who are mythical fairy like creatures with coloful hair and small wings.   At an outdoor concert someone from the Royal family, the Queen's advisor, is killed.  Then one of the Queen's daughter becomes ill !!! Luckily for the book club members the Snapdragon Inn has become a suite in the castle allowing them complete access to the castle and all the people that could possibly be involved in the crimes.....

I could go on and on and on about this series and everything in the books but I think this is a good spot to stop and encourage you to go grab your copy, if you are caught up in the series or go grab all the books, so that you can get lost and enjoy everything that Pantley shares.  The Magical Mystery Book Club series is guaranteed to become one of your favorites !!!  Mark my words !!!  

Friday 9 February 2024

Easter Basket Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, & Barbara Ross

Put on your springtime best and grab a basket, because Easter egg hunting is to dye for in this delightful new collection of Easter-themed capers set in coastal Maine and featuring fan-favorite sleuths from the long-running, bestselling cozy mystery series by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross!


Tinker’s Cove businesses are clashing over a new Easter Basket–themed promotion to boost in-store sales, with tensions boiling over the grand prize—a mysterious golden egg crafted by a reclusive Maine artist. When the one-of-a-kind art piece is stolen, it’s up to part-time reporter Lucy Stone to investigate three struggling entrepreneurs who stick out in the local scene. But a huge town scandal comes into focus when a harmless shopping spree turns deadly, leaving Lucy to stop a murderer from springing back into action . . .


As Bar Harbor’s annual egg hunt approaches, Island Food & Spirits columnist and restauranteur Hayley Powell is thrilled to introduce her grandson, Eli, to local springtime traditions. Turns out, keeping up with a rambunctious toddler isn’t always sunshine and rainbows—especially when a decadent peanut butter treat kills the Easter bunny himself during the festivities! Now, with a clear-as-cellophane case of murder on her hands, it’s up to Hayley to crack the clues and scramble deadly plans before it’s too late . . .


Julia Snowden’s Easter Sunday at Windsholme, a sprawling mansion tucked away on a remote Maine island, looks like it’s been borrowed from the pages of a lifestyle magazine. But when a dead body is discovered in the garden—then vanishes soon after without any explanation—an innocent hunt for eggs becomes a dangerous hunt for answers. With no clues beyond a copy of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit , Julia must find out if April Fool’s Day came early or if she’s caught in a killer’s twisted game . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

I love reading novellas ... it's like an entire story written within a hundred pages or so.  And Kensington Publishing publishes a few books a year with three novellas in one book.  This is great when you don't have a lot of time but still want to feel like you accomplished reading a story.  And Easter Basket Murder not only will help with your book reading but get you into the Easter and Spring seasons.  And another thing I like about this concept is that it allows you to maybe read authors that you haven't read before and allows you a glimpse into their books.  The only times I have read books or stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis are in other three novella books, however, I am a huge fan of Barbara Ross.


Easter Basket Murder says it all !!  It is just before Easter in Tinker Cove and the Chamber of Commerce is trying to get more business to the local businesses during the off season.  They decide to host a shopping spree to get more locals shopping and the prize is a huge Easter basket full of goodies with a golden egg sculptured by local artiist Karl Klaus donated.  Unfortunately while on displayed at the bank, the egg is stolen.  Main character of this series, Lucy Stone, who is a reporter for the local newspaper, jumps on the case.  But everyone that she interviews points the finger at someone else so the suspect list is longer than Santa's naughty list.  

At another local fundraiser the egg is uncovered but the person who is arrested is the last person you would suspect !!  Lucy, who is always on the case, keeps digging.  But her investigating and digging digs up more secrets and one turns deadly.....


Hayley Powell has a very hectic life and that is exactly how she likes it but this Easter may be just a little more than she bargained for.  Hayley's son, Dustin, his girlfriend MacKenzie and their son Eli are in town to spend Easter with her and her husband Bruce.  But Hayley did not know that there was going to be a theft at the bank and the Easter Bunny dying during the annual Easter egg hunt. The gentlemen dressed up as the Easter Bunny, Raymond Dobbs, is also the security guard at the bank and has been since Hayley can remember and everyone knows that Raymond was allergic to peanuts so when it is discovered that he died from eating chocolate eggs stuffed with peanut butter and his basket was switched so he didn't have his epiPen, it is ruled a murder.  Hayley needs to find out who killed Ray because she found Eli with the switched basket, Ray's real one.  

HOPPED ALONG by Barbara Ross

I just love the Maine Clambake Mystery series and anytime I can escape to Busman's Harbor or Morrow Island and the Windsholme estate, I will go in a heartbeat !!  Julia Snowden is the main character in this series and in Hopped Along the Snowden family and friends are having their first Easter celebration at the newly renovated Windsholme estate.  Things get a little wierd when Julia's nephew Jack finds an unconscious man dressed in a suit laying in the garden.  But when Julia goes back with her boyfriend Tom who is a detective, the man is gone !!  

Julia being Julia cannot get the wierd encounter out of her mind and when she goes to check on her friend Quentin's house while he is vacationing elsewhere, she finds the man from the island making soup in Quentin's kitchen.  Things turn even wierder when she goes back to the house after confirming with Quentin that the gentlemen should not be there and she finds a dead body.  It looks like the same man from the island but something doesn't feel right to Julia.....

I LOVE when you can read three short stories and feel like it is an entire book.  Even though these stories are around one hundred pages each, you can enjoy them in one sitting if you wanted to.  I am always amazed when I read novella's and marvel at the author's ability to write such a captivating story in a novella size .... especially when a murder needs to be solved.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Murder She Meowed (Bookshop Kitties Mystery Book # 2) by Ruth J. Hartman

From author Ruth J. Hartman comes the next purrrrfectly fun Bookshop Kitties Mystery...

Children's book author Christy Bailey is thrilled that her aunt Betty is finally marrying the man of her dreams!  The small wedding is a family event, right down to Christy’s cats and subjects of her books, Milton and Pearl, who are dressed in wedding attire and pulled down the aisle in a wagon.  After the reception, Christy and her boyfriend-hopeful, Micah, agree to help her friend and wedding caterer, Janie, clean up at her pastry shop. But when they arrive at the shop, they're not greeted by Janie but Janie’s ex-husband—who’s dead on the floor, cold as a frozen muffin!

Suddenly the murder is all anyone is talking about in the small town of Green Meadow, Indiana, and it's clear the local police detectives have Janie squarely in their sights. But Christy believes in her friend’s innocence and with Milton and Pearl pawing for answers, Christy will stop at nothing to give Janie a happy ending.

"Meow-velous! Ruth Hartman has penned an engaging mystery. Compelling & Clever!"~ Kings River Life Magazine

"Readers will wish Green Meadow and the people and animals were real so that you could visit!"~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews  (Summary via Goodreads)

Head on back to Green Meadows for a ton of fun and excitement in the second book in the Bookshop Kitties Mystery series by Ruh J. Hartman.  Murder She Meowed follows Dial M For Murder which set the stage beautifully for readers making them devoted fans instantly.  

Murder She Meowed opens with Christy's Aunt Betty wedding to her boyfriend Wallace and after the reception, the newlyweds going away for their honeymoon.  Christy and Micah, who Christy is crushing on, help their friend Janie clean up after the reception and help her return things back to her shop, Dreamy Sweets.  Unfortunately when they get to Dreamy Sweets, they find a dead body .... and things get worse when it is discovered to be an unwanted guest at the wedding and Janie's ex-husband Tad.

Everyone in Green Meadows knows that Janie wouldn't hurt a fly let alone kill a human, even if it was her ex-husband.  And Christy will do whatever she can to prove that.  While Christy is looking into Tad's murder, she finds the suspect list continually growing as she learns more about Tad and his life.

Not only does Christy have her hands full with working at the bookstore, Words to Read By, while Aunt Betty is on her honeymoon and looking into Tad's murder but she ends up finding some torn up papers in the backyard that warrants the police to start digging up the yard ... stories about an ex-con having buried a pile of money years ago just might have been right ? 

There is so much to love about the Bookshop Kitties Mystery series that a few paragraphs cannot even touch the surface.  I can guarantee that you will fall in love with Green Meadows, the shops, the people and the history.  I know that if I could I would be taking vacation there, and I hate traveling but I would to go there, so that I can hang out at Dreamy Sweets and Words to Read By and venture around town !!  

Tuesday 6 February 2024

A Pie to Die For (Lucky Pie Mystery Book # 1) by Gretchen Rue

For fans of Sofie Kelly and Joanne Fluke, it’s the end of the tourist season in Split Pine– but a murder at the Lucky Pie Diner stirs up trouble for the sleepy town in this series debut. 

Este March runs the family-owned Lucky Pie Diner on Split Pine Island in Northern Michigan. The pies at Lucky Pie aren’t just good, they’re magical, with a family recipe that grants certain customers their greatest hopes and dreams when they eat the pie. The remote island is closed to outsiders over the winter months, but on the last day of the season, the unpopular new produce vendor, Jeff, turns up dead on his boat, and Split Pine Island’s peace goes up in smoke. 

Tom Cunningham, the local sheriff, casts suspicion onto Este, who may have been the last person to see Jeff alive. Not to mention several people witnessed her getting into an argument with the rude vendor in some of his final hours. Este decides to clear her name and her diner’s reputation by launching her own investigation, which means she must turn suspicion on her friends and neighbors, because only a local could have murdered the victim.

As Este investigates, she uncovers a deeper web of secrets, finding that many of the locals had reason to either frame her, or kill the victim. The clock is ticking to figure out the killer, and the clues in the case are flakier than an apple pie. Este will have to uncover the killer before her future crumbles.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Lucky Pie Mystery series by Gretchen Rue is going to be a HUGE success !!!  It is apparent when you read the first book in the series A Pie to Die For.

The Lucky Pie Mystery series takes place on a island on Michigan Lake called Split Pine Island.  The island pretty much closes on November first to only locals until the spring.  Luckily, even though, it is a slower time for the businesses, some are able to remain open throughout the winter months ... one of them is the Lucky Pie Diner.  The Lucky Pine Diner is a family run diner which is currently being run by Este March, after her mother and grandmother.  The only family member still on the island is Este's grandfather, Grampy.  Este lives in a small cottage on Grampy's property and she has full control over the diner.  This includes making the pies and knowing which ones are magical.

Iin the first book in this adorable series, A Pie to Die For, Este meets Jeff who informs her that he is the new produce supplier and he has increased the prices out of this world as well as shorted her planned order ..... and shortly after this encounter, Jeff is found dead gripping Este's emourmously overpriced invoice.

Tom the local Sheriff who is also the owner of a local bar and Este's best friend's brother has his sights on Este and not in a good way.  Unfortunately Este needs to know who killed Jeff and why ... and she thinks she knows who but trying to prove that will be dangerous.  

The Lucky Pie Mystery series is going to be one of your favorite series to keep track of.  Everything in this series is lovable and addicting that you will want more and more.  Come on, the island people have a dog as the mayor and his name is Mayor !!  And if you could eat a piece of pie that might be magical, wouldn't you be there to buy one daily ??

Friday 26 January 2024

Murder at the Blarney Bash (Beacon Bakeshop Book # 5) by Darci Hannah

Follow the aroma of shamrock sugar cookies to the Beacon Bakeshop, a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan where amateur sleuth Lindsey Bakewell is busy preparing for Beacon Harbor’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities – with a little help from her adorable Newfoundland, Wellington, of course!

Lindsey is baking up a storm—shamrock sugar cookies, Guinness chocolate cupcakes, Irish soda bread—for the well-timed grand opening of the Irish import gift shop, the Blarney Stone, owned by her boyfriend’s uncle, Finnigan O’Connor, recently relocated from the Emerald Isle.

But it’s Uncle Finn himself who seems full of blarney when he gleefully reveals a pot of real gold he claims he stole from an actual leprechaun. And Finn’s fortune takes a turn for the worse when he’s arrested for the bludgeoning of a small unidentified man dressed as a leprechaun—the murder weapon alleged to be his now-missing shillelagh.

Eccentric Uncle Finn may enjoy believing he’s outwitted a leprechaun, but he would never be so deluded as to clobber one with his walking stick. Now Lindsey will need more than the luck of the Irish to seize a golden opportunity to catch the real killer . . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

I admit that I am quick to say that a book is fun to read, which I'm not lying when I say it, but with Murder at the Blarney Bash everyone is going to agree with me !! How can you not think it's fun ....  it has St. Patrick's Day, green beer, a group of great friends, a bakery, and leprechauns !!!

Murder at the Blarney Bash is the fifth book in the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah and even though I have only read this one and the first book in the series, Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop, I was able to catch on real quick and immediately start enjoying the story.

Beacon Harbor is a little village in Michigan right on the shores of Lake Michigan and main character Lindsey Bakewell's lighthouse bakery is perfectly located there.  And new to the little village is The Blarney Stone which is set for its grand opening on St. Patrick's Day.  Lindsey's boyfriend's uncle and cousin are the owners, Uncle Finn will be manning the bar section while cousin Colleen will be working in the gift shop portion.  Rory, Lindsey's boyfriend, is very excited to have them living and owning a business in town .... as well as most of the residents and store owners in Beacon Harbor.

Unfortunately the day before the grand opening Fred Landry, who works at City Hall, is attacked and eye witnesses say it was by a leprechaun !!!  Lindsey can't even dispute that when she has one run into the side of her car by City Hall.  That thought is pushed aside very quickly as there is no such thing as leprechauns and it was during the time of the grade school kids Leprechaun Parade.

Everything changes when Uncle Finn starts telling everyone that he trapped a leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day evening and followed him and stole his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow .... and when that "leprechaun" is found murdered shortly after and Uncle Finn's walking stick could have been the murder weapon, everyone is dumbfounded to say the least....

Everyone in Lindsey's circle of friends get together to discuss the case and put their heads together to figure out what is going on and to prove Uncle Finn's innocence.  Unfortunately Uncle Finn is not helping his case as he refused to turn in the gold or tell anyone where he hide it.

Readers cannot help but love this story and the way thatr Hannah has crafted this tale is amazing !!  You will want to drink green beer and have a plate of corned beef and cabbage at the ready.  The story, the characters, the shops and the village will make readers instant fans !!  I cannot say enough good things about this series !!

Monday 22 January 2024

Showdown at the Saloon (A Ghost Town Mystery Book # 3) by Jamie L. Adams

From author Jamie L. Adams comes a cozy mystery that fans of Yellowstone will fall in love with! 

Lily Cranston couldn’t be happier with the way her life has turned out thus far. Managing the Calico Rock Mine and Ghost Town in her hometown of Grady, California is a dream come true. Employed by the city she and her sisters grew up in gives her a sense of belonging and stability. Like a well-oiled machine, the work of her faithful and dedicated staff allows her to spend more time with her hunky boyfriend, CSI Cody West. Life is finally looking up...until the night she finds the body of an apparent hitman on the side of the road! As if that weren’t bad enough, in his pocket is her sister’s name and address.Has someone really put a hit out on sweet, lovable Ava? To keep her sister safe, Lily must once again use her sleuthing skills to unlock the mystery. Her search for answers takes her on a journey filled with family secrets, ghost seekers, organized crime, and more suspects than she can count. As the possibilities mount without any clear answers, time may be running out for more than just one of the Cranston sisters. 

"The Ghost Town Mystery book series is going to be a favorite of mine!"~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews "

Murder at the Mine Earns 5/5 Calico Bonnets … Clever Cozy Fun!"~ Kings River Life Magazine.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Showdown at the Saloon is the third book in the Ghost Town Mystery series written by Jamie L.  Adams.  The Ghost Town Mystery series is such a treat to read that it will become one of your favorite series to keep track of.

In the Ghost Town Mystery series readers are introduced to the Cranston sisters .... Lily, Ava, and Pat.  Lily and Ava live together in the family farmhouse while Pat who is married lives with her husband Jack, who is the local Sheriff and their two kids.  Lily is dating Cody who is also in law enforcement and Ava who is widowed recently started dating Parker who works at the Calico Rock Mine and Ghost Town with Lily and Ava.

In the Showdown at the Saloon Lily comes across a dead body on the side of the road on her way home from work one night.  The deceased man does not have any identifaction on him but does have Ava's name and address on a sheet of paper in his pocket.  Once the man is identified it is learned that he is a hitman.  This puts everyone on high alert with Pat, Jack and the kids moving into the farmhouse to look after Ava.

Even though Jack and Cody tell Lily to leave the investigation alone and let the professionals do their jobs, there is no way she can ignore the fact that her sister could be in danger.  Lily, Ava and Pat do one of the things they do best and stay up late into the night discussing the case after Lily has done her own investigation and talking to people they suspect.

The police determine that the hit and run accident was just that an accident and Ava is not in any danger so everyone lets down their guard .... until it is almost too late for Ava and Lily.

The Ghost Town Mystery series will become a favorite for readers !!  You will love everything about this series and be on the look out for the next installment so that you can dig in as soon as it is published !! 

Thursday 18 January 2024

My Old Kentucky Homicide (A Bourbon B&B Mystery ) by Gin Jones

From USA Today bestselling author Gin Jones comes three sisters, one corpse, and a whole lot of trouble...Kentucky native Jess Walker's big-city career has kept her too busy to visit her sisters and hometown. However, she relents when she's invited to celebrate her nephew's third birthday at the newly established Three Sisters B&B in the heart of bourbon country. The nostalgic bubble is quickly popped however when Jess realizes her family hasn't been entirely honest with her. She was invited not so much for a family reunion, but to help them impress some VIP guests for inclusion in a tourism co-op on the bourbon trail. Old resentments arise, and the sisters are at loggerheads immediately. But when one of the VIP guests is found dead, things only get worse. The sheriff is intent on treating the death as an accident, blaming it on unsafe conditions at the B&B. But the sisters know this was murder. Jess has always been the fixer of the family, so she jumps in to protect her sisters and their B&B's reputation. With the remaining guests and the attractive—and single—owner of the nearby whiskey barrel factory all suspects, Jess has her work cut out for her. And it turns out, she can't do it alone. All three sisters will need to work in perfect harmony in order to find the perpetrator of the Old Kentucky Homicide."Gin’s writing style and wonderful characters made an entertaining page-turner."~ Kings River Life Magazine.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Gemma Halliday Publishing has a new amazing series out .... A Bourbon B&B Mystery series by author Gin Jones with the first book, My Old Kentucky Homicide, out now....

In My Old Kentucky Homicide Jess Walker is returning to her home state to help her two sisters out with their new B&B.  Jess has not been home in ten years as she was building her career in Washington DC.  But when her sisters, CJ and Em, reach out that they need her, she gets in the car to go help them ... with none of them knowing just how much help they will need.

CJ and Em have opened up the Three Sisters B&B and are trying to get into the local tourism co-op and have found out that members of that group are going to be staying at the B&B and doing a surprise inspection and they need Jess to be there so that the Three Sisters image is true.  Little did they know that one of the members of the group was going to die and the cause of death means that any one of the rest of the group could have killed him.

The three sisters have to come together to find out who killed Mark Pleasant and save the B&B's reputation.  Unfortunately while they get to know the other members of the group, they soon learn that everyone disliked Mark and all of they could have killed him.  This does not make it easy for the sisters as they try to work together to solve Mark's murder as well as work out their own family issues.

Readers will thoroughly love reading My Old Kentucky Homicide.  You will want to move into the B&B so that you can be a part of the experience.  Jones knows how to paint the picture for readers so that you will feel like you are right there with the guests sitting on the front porch or the veranda ... you will also be able to picture the barn where the three sisters are camping in style.  And I can almost bet that you will not believe who the guilty party ends up being.  I'm sure you will have your own ideas on who killed Mark and why and I'm almost certain you will just as shocked as I was when they are discovered !!!

Monday 15 January 2024

Dogged Pursuit (A Veronica Kildare K-9 Mystery) by Tracy Carter

Gold Medal winner in the 2023 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest in the Fiction-Animals genre! The debut book in the Veronica Kildare K-9 Mystery series opens with escalating suspense and intensifies into a resilient fight for survival. With its engaging combination of canine and human personalities, thrilling plot, and gorgeous Colorado backdrop, "Dogged Pursuit" will appeal to dog lovers, outdoors enthusiasts, and mystery lovers alike.Veronica Kildare cannot believe her luck – being shot at, again, by the bad guys. The sound, the feel of the bullet, and the hatred resonate for more than just the transitory moment of impact. She has relocated to a new state, but brutality has rampaged into this life as well. As the survivor of a senseless act of violence in her former life, Veronica struggles to recover from the lingering physical and emotional scars by working as a dog handler near Boulder, Colorado. Empowered by her intense bond with her search and rescue and drug detection dog, Leda, she finally begins to shake off the pain of her past. Then Veronica is drawn into the puzzling search for a scientist who has vanished near Rocky Mountain National Park. Dr. Randy Jeffers has inexplicably disappeared on the eve of his testimony in the high profile murder trial of a pro basketball player and the police are baffled. As Veronica and Leda traverse rugged Roosevelt National Forest in a desperate search testing the limits of their abilities, it is not initially clear who has targeted Dr. Jeffers, or why. But it becomes shockingly obvious that someone will stop at nothing to silence him forever. The kidnappers with murder on their mind have guns, but Veronica has Leda and her own blossoming resilience as her weapons in their struggle for survival.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Dogged Pursuit by Tracy Carter will have readers on the edge of their seats.  I very seldom want to jump ahead to the end of the story to see what happens, I like to enjoy everythng the story and author have to give, but boy, was I tested with this story !!!

In Dogged Pursuit readers are introduced to main character Veronica Kildare.  Veronica had a very traumatic experience in Ohio so her father moves them to Colorado and helps her set up their new lives.  Veronica starts her own dog handling and obedience training business and is doing real well.  Her and her dog, Leda, are being called for more and more cases and their latest will test them to their limits !!

Veronica's friend Tim, who works for the Boulder County Sheriff's Department asks Veronica and Leda to assist in a missing person's case.  A scientist, Dr. Randy Jeffers, has gone missing after talking to his wife and telling her he is going for a hike in the Rocky Mountain Natonal Park.  Dr. Jeffers is scheduled to be a witness in a high profile case regarding a famous basketball player who is accused of murdering his wife.   Veronica and Leda are asked to try to locate him in the park.

Not only does Veronica have her own business to run, dogs to train, but she has also taken on a new employee.  Michael came into her life when she saw a dog being attacked and he helped save the dog.  When Veronica learns that Michael is sleeping in a cot in the back of a business because he aged out of foster care, she immediately takes him home and sets him up in the apartment in the training building.  Michael becomes a great asset for Veronica so that she can focus on the Jeffers case. 

Readers will fall in love instantly with everything in this book and story !!  You will love the relationships, Veronica's business and what she and Leda do.  You will also love the suspense of the story and will be shocked at the outcome of parts !!!  I highly recommend grabbing your copy and getting lost in this book ... I also recommend having a mug of hot cocoa on the table next to you and a furry companion by your side.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

The Sign of Four Spirits (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery Book # 9) by Vicki Delany

Gemma Doyle won’t be spooked when a body shows up at the psychic fair in bestselling author Vicki Delany’s ninth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

When a psychic fair arrives in West London, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, wants nothing to do with it. But somehow, at the urging of Donald Morris, an enthusiastic Sherlockian, she finds herself talked into attending a séance, along with baker and best friend Jayne Wilson, store assistant, Ashleigh, and former pop star Bunny Leigh.

But to her surprise, Gemma finds herself banned from the séance and shown the door. Curious, she listens in from outside the room. The medium informs a disappointed Donald that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be able to make it tonight. Then, Gemma hears a voice cut off, a cry for help, a scream. Gemma bursts into the library to see that someone has collapsed on the table--dead. The windows are all locked, and Gemma was guarding the only door. Someone in this room is a murderer. But who?

The game is once again afoot for Gemma Doyle, as she hunts a killer. But, this time, is the killer of flesh and blood or had the medium summoned doom from beyond the veil?  (Summary via Goodreads)

I am a huge fan of Gemma Doyle and would love to be her best friend !!  She knows how to lead a fun life ... unfortunately she is not real.  Gemma Doyle is the main character in Vicki Delany's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series.  This series is such an entertaining series to read and you cannot help but fall in love with Gemma and everything else within the books.
The Sign of Four Spirits is the ninth book in this series and Gemma and her best friend Jayne are roped into attending a seance by Gemma's employee, Ashleigh.  Ashleigh is going with her mother, Bunny, but wants reinforcements there to help.  Unfortunately Madame Lavalier has Gemma leave the room before starting because of Gemma's bad energy.  So Gemma being Gemma sits right outside the room so that she can hear as much as she can. 
Even though Gemma was not present when Madame Lavalier was murdered, she is able to help piece together some things for her boyfriend, Detective Ryan Ashburton and his partner Detective Louise Estrada.  Considering someone inside that room killed Madame Lavalier and then sat back down and acted like they didn't know or see anything takes a lot of guts !!  Unfortunately Gemma doesn't know most of the members that were at the seance so this case may be difficult for her, I mean the police, to solve.  
If there is one thing you know about Gemma is that she loves to solve cases and loves a challenge ... and this case will be a challenge .... especially when someone else from the group ends up dead also.
Readers will love this series and everything there is within the books.  You will love the characters, the shops, the town, and the murders and the way that Gemma can work through the cases.  She can walk into her shop, Sherlock Holmes Bookshop after having tea with Jayne at Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room and look around the store and know what was missing off the shelves and sold.  I highly encourage you to dive into this series if you haven't already started .....