The first couple of weeks of January found me reading and listening some fun cozy mysteries. I enjoy a good cozy and two of these are from series that are favourites of mine. Vinyl Resting Place is the first in a new cozy mystery series and I enjoyed all three of them. Once again I had both an ebook and audiobook, so I was able to listen while exercising in the pool and read while laying out in the sun. A win/win for sure.

Vinyl Resting Place (Record Shop Mystery #1) by Olivia Blacke, Nicol Zanzarella (Narrator)

Published December 27th 2022 by St. Martin’s Press, Tantor Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Vinyl Resting Place is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, Record Shop Mystery. Three sisters, Juni, Tansy, and Maggie pool their money and talents to open Sip & Spin Records, a record-slash-coffee shop in Cedar River, Texas. After their opening night party, they find a body of a woman in their supply closet. When their Uncle Calvin is suspected of the murder, they dive in to find out what really happened, as well as to locate their missing uncle. With all of this putting their store at risk, Juni steps up her investigating. Will she find Uncle Calvin and figure out who the murderer is?

Vinyl Resting Place is a great start to this series. I really enjoyed getting to know the main characters in this series, especially Juni. It turned out that Juni knew the victim and her family, which added to her desire to find the real killer. Juni is a smart cookie and with her skills at deduction, she was able to follow clues, put pieces together and interview people to find answers. I love books with quirky characters and this book has them. Calvin and his ex-business partner/buddy Samuel were a hoot. They were two old curmudgeons who helped each other, and knew how to keep secrets. Juni had her hands full with those two. Tansy and Maggie were not as involved with the mystery, but I hope they will be in the next story and we will get to know them better. Beau is Juni’s ex and is the local police chief, so I am thinking some romance down the road. He was constantly trying to keep Juni out of the investigation, but she didn’t listen. This was a well written, plot driven cozy mystery with several red herrings that kept me guessing. The showdown was a good one with a lot going on and the final nail in the coffin of the guilty party was wonderful. If you enjoy a good cozy mystery, I recommend you pick up Vinyl Resting Place and get in on this series at the first book. Nicol Zanzarella narrated this book and did a great job. I have not listened to any books she has performed, but I did like this one. I hope she continues to narrate this series.

Muddled Through (Maine Clambake Mystery #10) by Barbara Ross, Dara Rosenberg (Narrator)

Published June 28th 2022 by Kensington, September 27, 2022 by Tantor Audio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

In this tenth book of A Maine Clambake Mystery, there are some changes in Busman’s Harbor. Julia and Chris have split up, Julia has been asked to vacate the apartment above the restaurant and she has returned home and is living in her childhood bedroom. Her sister is working in a pottery shop off season and the old mansion on Morrow Island is well on it’s way with the renovations. Lupine Designs, the shop Livvie works is vandalized and the owner, Zoey Butterfield, is an advocate of a pedestrian mall that many are opposed to, including the owner of the business that shares her building. When he ends up dead in their shared basement, Zoey is the main suspect. Julia is sure that Zoey is innocent and sets out to prove her innocence and find out who the real culprit is.

Once again, Julia uses her skills to solve puzzles, follow clues, use friendships to gather information and work with the police to find answers. I liked the addition of Zoey to Busman’s Harbor. She is a smart and talented businessman, but I also like that she is becoming Julia’s friend, something she sorely needs. The first thing Julia needs to do is figure out the motive for the murder. Who would want to see the old man dead? With some connections to older residences, sheltered companies and properties that need to be beautified there are a lot of questions. As Julia begins to unravel all the twisty clues, we learn who the culprit is. With Julia in danger adding to the excitement of the showdown, I really enjoyed this story. There were twists, red herrings and a great plot that made this another excellent addition to the Maine Clambake Mystery series. I did a read/listen with this book and enjoyed both formats. Once again, the audiobook was narrated by Dara Rosenberg. She has a great voice and I could easily distinguish between all the different characters including the male voices, which were well done. I always enjoy her performance and recommend either format depending on your preference.

Peanut Butter Panic (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #7) by Amanda Flower, Rebecca Mitchell (Narrator)

Published August 2022 by Tantor Media, Inc. Kensington Books

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I thoroughly enjoy the Amish Candy Shop Mystery and Peanut Butter Panic was a great addition to this series. In this book, we meet Zara Bevan, the mother of Village organizer, Margot Rawlings. Zara was previously a judge in the area and she had treated the Amish that came before her in court very severely. She was not well liked and it was surprising that she chose to return to Harvest Ohio in such a public way, attending the town Thanksgiving Dinner. When Margot goes to pick her up at the airport, she finds her dragging along her boy toy, a man younger than Margot herself. At the dinner Zara announces that she and her boyfriend Blaze Smith, are going to get married. At the dinner Blaze suffers an allergic reaction, and his epi-pen is nowhere to be found. He dies and suspicions abound. Will Bailey be able to help find the culprit before the local police once more bumble the case.

I enjoy all the talk of chocolate, festivals and life with the Amish in this series. It is a very busy time for Bailey and the employees of Swissmen Sweets. Learning about Margot’s mother reminded me that prejudice abounds in our world against people of all races, cultures, religion and more. Blaze is after Zara’s money and everyone knows it, including Zara. He is also deathly allergic to peanuts and even brought his own Amish Spread without peanuts, so how did peanuts get in his food. Bailey’s boyfriend, Aiden is now working for the Ohio Bureau of Investigation, so he isn’t around much, although he is called in for this case. I was worried that their relationship might not last, but fortunately, Amanda Flower has a twist for us. As usual, all the pets are there including Jethro the pig. This was another well written and plotted cozy mystery with lots of suspects, some red herrings and some big twists. I definitely recommend Peanut Butter Panic to cozy mystery lovers, better yet, read the whole series if you haven’t already. I was fortunate to be able to do a read listen with the audiobook narrated by Rebecca Mitchell. She does a great job giving individual and recognizable voices to the main characters and adding expression and emotion. I recommend either format depending on your preference.