Gourd to Death: Pie Town Mystery Series, Book 5Gourd to Death (Pie Town Mystery #5) by Kirsten Weiss, Renée Chambliss (Narrator)

Published August 25th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation, Tantor Audio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gourd to Death by Kristen Weiss is the 5th book in the Pie Town Mystery series. Although it can be read as a standalone (each mystery is self-contained) I recommend reading all the books in order as there is a lot of character development throughout the series. This book is a perfect fall cozy mystery. It contains all the things I love about fall such as pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall festivals with baking and so much more. Val, the owner of Pie Town, and her pie crust maker, Charlene are the main characters in this book. They make quite the sleuthing duo, with Charlene being the instigator to trouble in most cases. This time Val has been asked to be a judge in the pie making contest at the annual pumpkin festival where she must remain neutral, but that is overshadowed when Charlene stumble on a dead body under one of the huge pumpkins. Who killed the local optometrist? Can Charlene and Val figure it out before anyone else ends up dead?

This one has Gordon, Val’s boyfriend and detective removed from the case so he actually encourages a bit of the investigating. I laughed quite a few times while reading this one. Yes, there is a murder, but Charlene has a knack of adding humour to any situation, not necessarily on purpose. there is a ton of humor peppered throughout the pages (mainly from Charlene). I like that the crime occurs very soon in the story, so there is a lot of time to figure out what happened. The story is well paced and developed with a wonderful group of characters, many of which are a bit quirky, which I love. If you love pumpkin as much as I do, you will enjoy trying the recipe for pumpkin bread at the end of this book. I did a read listen with this one and it worked well, enabling me to read this one in a day. Narrator, Renée Chambliss has a very pleasant voice which fits this book well. Her voices add to the humor of the rather funny Charlene and the exasperation of Val. She is easy to listen to with good expression and tone which add enjoyment to this book. I was gifted a copy of this audiobook upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Wine and Punishment: A Literary Pub Mystery, Book 1Wine and Punishment (Literary Pub Mystery #1) by Sarah Fox, Eva Kaminsky (Narrator)

Published December 18th 2018 by  Kensington Publishing Corporation, Recorded Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sadie Coleman is starting over in the small town of Shady Creek, Vermont. She was downsized out of a job in Boston and left her boyfriend behind to deal with his gambling addiction. Purchasing and redecorating the old grist mill pub, the booklover in her transforms the Inkwell into a cozy spot to enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail. She also starts up several book clubs, good for the locals and her bottom line. Being fall, it is time for the Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and a pie bake-off. What Sadie was not expecting and had no time for was the appearance of Eric, her ex, with a ring and a proposal prepared. Before the proposal and before Sadie can tell him to leave, he is found dead near the Inkwell. Of course, Sadie is the first suspect. She knows she is innocent, so begins her own investigation to prove it and find the real murderer.

This was a wonderful debut to a new series. I enjoyed a lot about this one. I loved the setting and the business that Sadie owned. Aunt Gilda is also a fun character who supports Sadie along the way. Grayson Blake, a neighboring business owner seems to have a problem with Sadie and she is convinced he might have something to do with the murder. As the story progresses, they actually talk and are able to sort things out. He joins forces with Sadie and it seems like they might become good friends or more. I also liked that the detective was a female (no love interest here), and was good at her job. This was an easy to read or listen to story with nice pacing. The characters are developing nicely and I want to get to know them better. There was more than one mystery or crime to solve and Sarah Fox had me guessing throughout the story as to what exactly was happening. There were enough suspects to keep the investigation moving quickly. The showdown was well done and tied up the story nicely. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Eva Kaminsky. She did a nice job with the story, adding expression and tone to the voices. A nice easy story to listen to.