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 CafĂ© 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!

EASTER BASKET MURDER by LESLIE MEIER

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 . . .

DEATH BY EASTER EGG by LEE HOLLIS

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 . . .


HOPPED ALONG by BARBARA ROSS

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 by LESLIE MEIER


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.....


DEATH BY EASTER EGG by LEE HOLLIS


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 !!