September is cozy mystery month here at Carla Loves To Read. I am also participating in Read a Series in a Month challenge over on Because Reading. I am working on two series, A Garden Shop Mystery (1 more to go) and Deadly Edits (2 more to go). Here are three cozies I read this past week, 2 to fulfill the challenge.

The Cider Shop Rules: Cider Shop Mystery Series, Book 3

The Cider Shop Rules (A Cider Shop Mystery #3) by Julie Anne Lindsey, Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)

Published July 27th 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation, August 17th, 2021 by Tantor Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Blossom Valley is in the middle of their Fall Festival, corn mazes, apple cider and civil war reenactments are all part of the festivities. Jacob Potter’s pumpkin farm is a huge draw with hay rides, piglet races, pumpkin picking and a corn maze enjoyed by locals and tourists. When Winnie arrives from picking up supplies and decorations at the farm, she and everyone else are shocked to find Jacob’s dead body wrapped in a tarp in the back of her truck. Who put him there? Who wanted to harm this man? Can Winnie help solve the crime?

The Cider Shop Rules (A Cider Shop Mystery Book 3)

Winnie is a great character. She moved back to her grandmother’s apple farm to help her keep from losing it. She is very caring of everyone in the town and when a young man is in danger of losing his job due to the death, she does what she can to help him and his mother. People like Winnie, so they tell her things. She is also smart and is able to put facts together to solve puzzles, just not quite in time. I enjoyed this mystery story. There is a bit of quirkiness that I enjoy, some good characters, a developing romance, and a good mystery. I thought I had the culprit figured out and I did, but is was enjoyable to see how Winnie and the others solved the case as well as to see what the motive was. Although this is the third book in the series, you can read it as a standalone, but I have enjoyed all the books in this series and certainly recommend you start at the beginning to get to know the characters and their stories. Once again, I did a read/listen with Amy Melissa Bentley narrating this story. She has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed her performance. The publisher provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Tilling the Truth (A Garden Squad Mystery #2)

Tilling The Truth (A Garden Squad Mystery #2) by Julia Henry

Published August 27th 2019 by Dreamscape Media, LLC, Kensington

3.5 Stars:

This is the second book in the Garden Squad Mystery series, and I enjoyed it a bit more than the last one. In this outing, Lilly’s friend and real estate agent, Tamara, is having a hard time selling a beachside property. Every showing and open house is sabotaged with smells, rodents and insects. She is sure that grumpy Gladys who is a neighbour, is behind it. After having an argument about the property, Gladys ends up dead and Tamara is the one who finds the body. Of course, Tamara is the prime suspect, so Lilly and her friends in the Garden Squad work on finding out who killed Tamara and why? Throw in a ruthless real estate agent who wants to open her own agency, questions surrounding her friend Harmon’s death and greedy relatives and Lilly has more on her plate than most people. Thank goodness for the garden squad, as they are ready to help.

This mystery has a lot going on and Lilly is kept hopping. She is smart and has a lot of friends, so is able to get some help as well as having people talk to her. If you have not read the previous book in this series, Lilly Jane is an older sleuth, a widow and a lifelong Goosebush native. The secondary characters are her friends and neighbours, who share her curiosity and need for the truth. The addition of Lilly Jane’s new neighbor, Roddy, adds a small bit of romance and another interesting characters. The murder has a lot of suspects and clues were dropped along the way. I thought I knew who the culprit was and I had some of it right, but not all. This was a relatively fast moving story and it was nice to get to know some of the other characters a bit better. I am looking forward to seeing what is next for The Gardening Squad.

A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits, #3)

A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits #3) by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Published June 30th 2020 by Kensington

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed this third book in the Deadly Edits series. Sixty something Mikki Lincoln is doing her job editing a memoir of local resident, Sunny Feldman. Sunny’s family owned and operated a Catskills Resort for years and Sunny is planning to tell all. When the resort business in the Catskills fell off, she sold the resort to local developer, Greg Onslow. Greg is not a very nice person. He is known to get investors to invest in his projects then sell his shares before the projects fall apart. He is also a known womanizer, so not very well liked. When he is found dead on his resort property, there is now shortage of suspects. He and Mikki had a very public argument the day he is shot, so of course she is a suspect. Because the body was found outside of town, it is a different detective on the case, and he doesn’t know Mikki or her family and friends. They are on the case, who killed Greg Onslow?

Once again, the mystery is quite interesting. As Mikki investigates, she realized that someone is framing her, which gets her even more determined to solve the case. There are a lot of leads to follow, dead ends and another direction to go. With help from her research buddy, Darlene, she finds information others might not have. I liked meeting her nephew Nick who shows up in town to protect her. Her cousin Luke is also involved, but not is a good way, he is a possible suspect. Mikki is feisty, stubborn, independent and smart. She had no intention of sitting back and letting her nephew look after her. I had my suspicions of who the culprit was, and when the showdown occurs and the suspect was on on my radar, I was cheering that Mikki was right. Unfortunately, she was in a bad spot for a bit, Mikki proved that she can take care of herself. This was another interesting mystery with great characters. I will be reading more to see what crime Mikki stumbles onto next.