I am still enjoying cozy mysteries and have recently read and enjoyed the four below. They are all a bit different, but all have that amateur sleuth, small town setting, some quirky characters and a good mystery. These were all provided to me by the publisher, and I did a read/listen with each of them. Scroll down and maybe you will find a series that piques your interest.

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Mocha, She Wrote (A Bakeshop Mystery #13) by Ellie Alexander, Emily Durante (Narrator)

Published June 29th 2021 by Tantor Audio, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoy the Bakeshop Mystery and this 13th book is just as enjoyable as the others. As the series progressed characters have been added and have taken turns to be central to the story. In this outing, Torte’s head barista, Andy, has been selected to compete in the West Coast Barista Cup. He is nervous, especially as he meets the other competitors. Things start going wrong from the start and Jules begins watching and investigating to see what is going on and who is sabotaging various competitor’s entries. When one of the judges dies after drinking one of Andy’s coffees, the investigation heats up as Jules tries to prove Andy has no reason to kill him. As in previous books, Jules and Lance team up to clear Andy’s name and find the real culprit.

This is one of the series that I recommend you read in order. All mysteries are self-contained and solved within each book, but the character development and community itself changes and grows as the series continues. Every book feels like I am getting together with old friends and excited to see what they are up to. I do enjoy stories that are centered around competitions, and this one is fun and interesting. I never thought about who dreams up all the various flavors of those cappuccinos and lattes that I enjoy, so I loved the setting in this book. I thought the mystery was well written, with a few suspects and some red herrings. I did not figure out who the killer was until close to the end of the story. The clues were there and spread throughout the book, with the final one giving me the information I needed. This is a character-driven series and sometimes the mystery is secondary, but not in this one. The mystery drives this book with the ending giving us the comfortable get togethers with family and friends. I definitely enjoyed this one and continue to recommend this series to cozy mystery lovers. This book was narrated by Emily Durante and I have come to recognize her voices for the various characters in this series. She does a wonderful job with expression and emotion to add to my enjoyment of the story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

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A Hex for Danger (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #2) by Esme Addison, Emily Durante (Narrator)

Published July 13th 2021 by Dreamscape Media, Crooked Lane Books

If you enjoy a supernatural cozy mystery, then this book and series will be for you. I probably won’t continue with this series due to personal preference. I have and do read books with a bit of light magic, but this one has a bit more than I enjoy. For that same reason, I am not rating this book as my personal preference of subject matter would definitely lower the rating for this one. Aleksandra Daniels has recently returned to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina and found out a secret, she is a water witch. The town is full of people that have descended from creatures of fairytales and myths such as mermaids and dragons. In this story, they are planning the annual Mermaid Festival and Alex is helping her friend Celeste. The committee has hired renowned artist Neve Ryland to paint a mermaid mural at the local park. She seems to be drawn to Alex as well as Celeste’s boyfriend Jasper, director of Bellamy Bay’s history museum. When Neve is found dead in his office, Celeste is suspected of a crime of passion. As Alex and her relatives begin to investigate, they find out things about Neve that scare them just a bit. Will they find the real killer and can they prove who killed Neve?

I enjoyed the first book in this series and wanted to give this one a try. I found this book had a lot more of the supernatural in it than the first. We learn a lot more about water witches and who descended from mermaids, as well as those who may have some dragon in them. Detective Jack Frazier, Alex’s “friend” is a bit more open in his investigating but he never would have solved the mystery without her interference. There were a few suspects and as Alex gets closer, someone is trying to stop her. She does not give up and her tenacious personality puts her in danger a couple of times. I enjoyed getting to know the characters more, and seeing Alex become a part of the community. There is a lot more magic in this one with some more secrets revealed as this story comes to a satisfactory ending. Emily Durante narrates this audiobook and does a nice job with the story. She uses her voice to add emotion and excitement. I have listened to many books she has narrated and am very comfortable with her narration. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, especially those with magic and witches, then you will enjoy this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

A Time to Swill: A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery

A Time to Swill (Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery #2) by Sherry Harris, Nancy Wu (Reader)

Published July 27th 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation, Dreamscape Media, LLC

4.5 Stars:

This is the second book in the Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mysteries and this second book was better than the first. In the first book, Chloe has gone to Emerald Cove to help out her best friend’s grandmother after his death in Afghanistan. What she found out was that he had left her his home, boat and a half interest in the Sea Glass Saloon. His grandmother, Vivi, was not impressed with her but by the end of the book, she had accepted Chloe as her silent partner. In this story, Chloe finds a boat that is adrift and there is a skeleton on board. It seems the skeleton belongs to the missing wife of friend and patron Ralph. Ralph’s wife and three others disappeared twelve years ago. Ralph has remarried and is now the suspect in the death of his wife. There is also another storyline dealing with Boone’s estranged father that causes some issues with Vivi and Chloe. Can Chloe find out who killed Ralph’s wife, what happened twelve years ago and where are the other two people who were with her when she disappeared?

There is a lot going on in this book that disrupts Chloe’s new life in the Florida panhandle. I love the characters in this story. Chloe and Vivi make a great pair running the bar, and Joaquin, the handsome bartender is a hoot. He gets them going often, yet is such a hard worker and important part of the bar. The mystery was wonderful. Every time Chloe find something out, it leads her down another road. There are a lot of secrets and Chloe needs to get help from her “fixer” who appears right when Chloe needs her. The mystery was well-plotted, with plenty of twists that will keep you guessing until the exciting reveal. There were other plotlines that were an integral part of the story and made me very angry at times, fortunately things work out for the good. I enjoyed this book with its mystery, humor, and beautiful setting and recommend it to cozy mystery lovers as well as those who enjoy books set at the beach. The audiobook was narrated by Nancy Wu. I have enjoyed her performances as she narrates another series I enjoy. She uses her expression and tone to bring suspense and excitement to the stories. She does not really do a lot of voices, but that is okay, she does a wonderful job “reading” this story. I will not hesitate to listen to any further books in this series. The publisher generously gifted me with this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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Murder in the Storybook Cottage (Book Retreat Mysteries #6) by Ellery Adams, Johanna Parker (Narrator)

Published April 28th 2020 by Tantor Audio, Kensington Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoy the Book Retreat Mysteries. I would love to attend a retreat at Storyton Hall, a resort that caters to book lovers. In this sixth book in the series, Jane Steward’s resort and its staff are hosting Peppermint Press’s conference, a publisher for children’s books. Coinciding with this conference, the town is hosting a Fairy Tale Forest and Village with lots of activities for the many children who will be attending the conference with their parents. Taking her family and friends for an early tour of the exhibits, Jane stumbles upon a dead woman dressed up as Red Riding Hood, who appears to have died from anaphylactic shock. All is not what it seems when another victim turns up also looking like she was killed based upon a Grimm’s Fairytale. Jane gets her Finn’s involved to help identify the victims as well as solve the crimes, especially when her boys are threatened.

One thing I like about this series is all the talk about books and this story deals with children’s books, authors and fairy tales. I do recommend you read these books in order, or you might be overwhelmed with the number of characters, but having read them all, I really like how the characters are integral to the mysteries and they have come to feel like friends and acquaintances. The setting is a favourite of mine. The mystery had a few twists and the clues were shared sparingly, but they were there. I really enjoyed how this mystery was tied up and that the book ends on a happy note with the story dealing with family and friends. There is also a romance or two on the go but they are low key, just part of life. I enjoyed this one, especially with all the books from my childhood being front and center. Johanna Parker does a good job with the narration of this audiobook. She has narrated previous books in this series, and I do enjoy her pleasant voice with its expression and tone.