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Cozy

Decanting a Murder (A Sommelier Mystery #1)

For one of my Goodreads Challenges, I has to find a book about wine or with wine on the cover. I came across this series. There are already 3 in the series so I look forward to being able to enjoy them all.

Decanting a Murder (A Sommelier Mystery #1)by Nadine Nettmann

Paperback, 264 pages
Published May 8th 2016 by Midnight Ink
4.5 Stars

Continue reading “Decanting a Murder (A Sommelier Mystery #1)”

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Etched in Tears (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #4)

Etched in Tears by Cheryl Hollonby Cheryl Hollon

Paperback
Published November 28th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
4.5 Stars

My Review: Etched in Tears is the fourth book in A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series by Cheryl Hollon. I have read them all, but you can read this book as a stand alone. Savannah Webb is attending the opening of Dennis Lansing’s show at the Dali Museum with her boyfriend, Edward Morris. Savannah received the invitation because she and Dennis had dated in high school. He was also one of the first apprentices in the program started by her father to help troubled youth. They do not get much time to visit at the opening, but have arranged for a lunch as well as a visit to one of her etching classes. Dennis has found a way to etch notes and letters into his projects. Unfortunately before they meet again, Dennis is found dead in the garden of the museum. The police as Savannah for help when they find a letter from her deceased father in Dennis’ pocket. She has a lot going on with a special order, issues with Edward wanting to move their relationship to the next level, a problem with her taxes as well as her classes and studio, but Dennis was her first boyfriend. So, with the help of her friends, Savannah takes the time to investigate and finally go through her father’s old records. Will they find the culprit? How does an enigma machine play into this story? Will Savannah and Edward be able to ride out the latest turmoil in their relationship?

Once again I flew through this story. Cheryl Hollon writes a mystery that is interesting, has a great plot and is easy to read. Her descriptions of the art work (i.e. the Green Bench at the museum), the museum itself, the methods used in her classes etc. enabled you to picture what she was talking about. The characters are such great friends and so well developed, it seems like I know them by now. I love how the character of Jacob (he has aspergers) is trying new things and feeling more confident with the glass shop, his customer service and working with others. Savannah and Edward’s relationship is easy to relate to. Again, it is not rushed and he is able to understand her hesitation, although he is not giving up. The mystery itself was not the easiest to solve. I did figure it out before the reveal, but I really liked how the clues were dealt in the story and how the use of glass was so important to the mystery. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers as well as those who are interested in glass art and who live or visit in the St. Petersburg area. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Etched in Tears (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #4)”

When the Grits Hit the Fan (Country Store Mysteries #3)

When the Grits Hit the Fan (Country Store Mysteries, #3)by Maddie Day

Paperback, 343 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Kensington
4.5 Stars (rounded up on Goodreads)

My Review: When the Grits Hit the Fan is the third book in the Country Store Mystery series and is the best so far. Robbie Jordan is renovating the upstairs of Pan N’ Pancakes in South Lick Indiana. She talks to the old owner and her daughter about finding artifacts in the walls that she is tearing out to add some rooms as a Bed and Breakfast. They would love to see what she has found. Meanwhile business has slowed down a bit so she has closed for a couple of days a week to do the work. Her friend Lou, has set up a dinner for the Sociology department from the University every other Friday. It is at one of these dinners that a couple of arguments break out. The next day, Lou and Robbie are out snowshoeing. Taking a shortcut across the lake, they find the dead body of the professor that was involved in the arguments the previous evening. He is frozen under a light crust of ice in a large fishing hole. Because Lou was on of the people he argued with the night before, and she was one of the people to find the body, she is the number one suspect. Of course, Robbie wants to prove her innocence and begins to investigate on her own. The side story going on is that Robbie finds a hidden ladder and secret tunnels under her property and thinks someone has been using them. Things heat up with accusations, threats, questions and an eventual showdown. This was a great mystery.

Robbie Jordan is a great protagonist. She is smart, capable, loyal and knows her way around tools. She sure knows how to manage time as she cooks and serves at her restaurant, investigates the murder and the tunnels as well as wielding a pry bar to tear out plaster. With all this going on, she still has time to go snow showing, out for dinner and extracurricular activities with her boyfriend, Abe O’Neill. The murder mystery was pretty easy for me to solve, but there were still a lot of suspects, red herrings and some surprises in store. The mystery of the tunnels and secret passage was a different thing altogether, I had no idea who had been in the store and why. I read this book in one day as I wanted to see if I was right about the killer. I enjoyed this book and will definitely keep reading Country Store Mysteries.

Continue reading “When the Grits Hit the Fan (Country Store Mysteries #3)”

Another One Bites the Crust (A Bakeshop Mystery #7)

Another One Bites the Crust (A Bakeshop Mystery #7)by Ellie Alexander

Mass Market Paperback, 313 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
4.5 Stars

 

My Review: Juliet “Jules” Capshaw is back again, bringing with her the wonderful Torte staff and the colorful characters of Ashland, Oregon. In the seventh book in “A Bakeshop Mystery” series, Jules once again showcases her baking skills as well as her sleuthing ones. The Shakespeare Festival is ready to open for the season and the eccentric and over the top Lance wants Jules to create mouth watering desserts from the Shakespeare period. He is trying to show everyone that he can throw the best party to showcase OSF, after the board had their gala at the Merry Windsor on the cheap. He is sure “The Board” wants to fire him. He is also feuding with the leading man in Antony and Cleopatra, who he is sure is behind the Board’s apparent feelings. When “Antony” ends up dead and Lance is the one to find the body, the first time, he is arrested for the murder. The Professor excuses himself due to his friendship with Lance, and brings in a detective from the nearby town. Suffice it to say, Lance wants Jules to investigate and get him off the hook.

I really like Jules as the protaganist in these books. Not only is she a strong character but she is smart, caring, compassionate and an excellent chef and baker. She is dealing with a lot in this story. Her mom is remarrying, but she still feels the loss of her father and her memories are strong and heart wrenching in this book. She is still working on renovations to Torte with her mother and now her friend has been arrested. The other characters that work at Torte also had their own smaller storylines and it was nice to see a bit more of them in other situations. Overall, this was a good addition to this series with a surprising ending that is sure to bring a new dimension to this series. I recommend this book to any cozy mystery lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Another One Bites the Crust (A Bakeshop Mystery #7)”

Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery #6)

Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #6)by Barbara Ross

Paperback, 280 pages
Published December 26th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
4.5 Stars

 

My Review: I have really enjoyed all the books in this series, and Barbara Ross has penned another winner. I loved that this book went back to Busman’s Harbor, Maine. It’s June and the Snowden Family Clambake on Morrow Island is getting ready to open for summer season. When Julia’s mother got her share of the sale of an antique piece of jewellery, she is considering either renovation or restoring Windsholme, the family home that is on the island. Quentin Tupper brings in Architect Wyatt Jayne to look it over and estimate the costs to renovate. A yacht belonging to billionaire recluse, Geoffrey Bower has anchored in the marina and it seems that Wyatt is in a relationship with the owner. Once again, there is a murder and Julia is asked to help investigate to clear certain people.

The usual characters are once again around including the rest of the family, Chris (Julia’s boyfriend), the police investigators that we have grown to know and love and some of the local townfolk. It makes me feel like I have gone home again. This story had Julia, Chris and Quentin opening up and sharing some secrets that give us more information about their backgrounds and how that has affected who they have become. This was a good story that had a lot of surprises that I never would have predicted. I did figure out who the murderer was before the end of the book, but not much before. This was a well plotted story with great pacing and characters. I recommend this story to any and all cozy mystery lovers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. Continue reading “Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery #6)”

Cold as Ice (The Country Club Murders #6)

Cold as Iceby Julie Mulhern

Kindle, Paperback, 268 pages
Published October 17th 2017
4.5 Stars

 

My Review: I love this series that takes place in the 70s. If is so wonderful to see families spend time together without cell phones, video games etc. taking the place of face to face communication. Once again, Ellison and her daughter Grace go back and forth from eye rolling to hugs. Having a sixteen year old daughter brings a lot of angst into her life. When Grace goes out to dinner with handsome detective Anarchy Jones, Grace allows Trip, her newest beau and what he things is god’s gift to women, over with a few friends. It quickly turns into a wild party with kids spilling onto the lawn and in every room in the house. When Grace turns Trip down, he finds Dawn, his old girlfriend, whom he uses for what he wants. When the police are called, Ellison and Anarchy head to the house where Ellison is shocked to see what is going on. She hopes this will wise up her lovely daughter to Trip, but she does not want to forbid their relationship. Fast forward to Ellison finding Trip’s mother dead a few days later at the Country Club. Add in some financial worries, embezzling, the usual partying and drinking of the Country Club set, and you are in for a delightful story.

Ellison has this unique ability to stumble or be in the immediate area when dead bodies are found, and this story has her find two. She is a pretty together lady most of the time. She is taking care of her daughter, trying to date and decide who to date, is an accomplished artist and in this book gets involved in a situation at the bank that was left to her daughter by her dead ex-husband. She has her moments with “Mr. Coffee” her sounding board, but is quite a strong woman. I admire her guts, brains and even her parenting skills. Grace is your typical sixteen year old. She thinks her mother is old fashioned and doesn’t really know what it is like to be a teenager. Between rolling her eyes and slamming doors, she really is listening to what her mother says and makes pretty good decisions for the the most part. The typical first love scenario where her heart is broken then miraculously healed, only to be broken again is well handled. I love how she deals with the attempted suicide of a classmate. Anarchy is wonderful. He cares for Ellison and deals with her foibles well. He worries about her investigating crimes and that she will be injured. He does get frustrated when he feels she is interfering with his investigation though. I really want these two to get together. I think they are real good for each other. This was quick read, I didn’t want to go to bed last night until I finished. This is a mystery with a lot of humor and family drama thrown in for good measure. Thanksgiving Dinner will have you laughing and praying that you never have one like it. This is a wonderful addition to the series and if you are a cozy mystery lover, especially where there is also humor, you will love this one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Cold as Ice (The Country Club Murders #6)”

Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks #9)

Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks, #9)by Miranda James

Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: February 20th 2018 by Berkley Books
4 Stars

 

My Review: This is only the second Cat in the Stacks Mystery I have read, but I really enjoyed it and had no trouble following this story. Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon Cat Diesel are well known for helping the police solve crimes. He receives a letter from Jack Pemberton, a writer of true crime, asking if they can meet to talk about a project. Charlie is not really interested. Meanwhile, Charlie meets a lonely gentleman at the library where he volunteers. It turns out that this man’s father was married to Charlie’s aunt. As more facts come out, Charlie finds out that he was a suspect in a multiple homicide 20 years earlier. It also occurred in the town where Jack Pemberton is from. When Bill Delaney is the victim of a hit and run that appears to be deliberate, Charlie and Jack begin investigating the cold case to see if they can either clear Charlie, or prove that he did it.

Charlie and Diesel are a delightful pair who love people, food, Charlie’s grandson and justice. They work well together as Diesel is an excellent judge of character. I have read many cozies where the amateur sleuth is intrusive and often rude putting themselves at risk, but not so with Charlie and his friend Jack. They work well together and both have good intuition. Will they find out who killed the family? Will Bill be guilty? Is Bill in danger? This is a well paced story with a good plot line. The investigation did not occur until about halfway through the book, but I still very much enjoyed this story and the characters in it. I will definitely look for more books in this series and from this author. I received this book from the First To Read Program, the comments and review is my honest opinion.

Continue reading “Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks #9)”

Oh, Fudge! (Candy-Coated #5)

Oh, Fudge! (Candy-Coated, #5)by Nancy CoCo

Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Kensington
4 Stars

 

My Review: In this fifth trip to Mackinac Island we find Allie McMurphy still running the McMurphy Hotel, making fudge and finding dead bodies. When Allie heads over to the Butterfly Conservatory for a meeting with Blake, the woman who runs it, she finds more than she bargained for. She finds Barbara with a hand spade in her chest and her cousin Tori, with her hands on the spade. Allie has no idea her cousin in on the island but she is sure that she didn’t kill anyone. Once again, she decides to investigate to clear her cousin who is the number one suspect. As she investigates, we meet more of the permanent residents of the island, particularly the older generation. It is funny how the news of the investigation and Allie’s life travel so fast that when she goes to talk to people they already know what is going on.

Of course, the whole book is not about the murder. Douglas Devaney (the McMurphy’s handyman) and Frances Wentworth (the McMurphy’s reception manager) finally plan their wedding. Allie and her cousin Tori have issues about the ownership of the McMurphy, there are smuggled diamonds and Tori and Brent are having problems. Will she finally give Rex a chance? The storyline is well plotted with a cast of relatable characters. The story has enough twists, turns, and suspects to keep the reader involved. I thought I knew who the murderer was part way through but with the final twist, turned out I was wrong. I highly recommend this book to readers of cozy mysteries, those who want a nice clean mystery and of course those who love books that incorporate food into the story and provide great and easy recipes. The pubisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. Continue reading “Oh, Fudge! (Candy-Coated #5)”

Do You Believe in Santa? (Evergreen Lane #1)

Do You Believe in Santa? (Evergreen Lane #1)by Sierra Donovan

Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Zebra (Kensington)
4 Stars

My Review: This is one of those stories that would make a perfect Hallmark movie. There is a small town, a beloved if not eccentric main character, someone new to town, a situation that needs to be overcome and of course romance. The plot in the story was very well paced and I was pulled in right from the start.

Mandy Reese loves all things Christmas. As a child, she saw Santa Claus, the real one, and has been in love with the season ever since. She is jokingly called “Mandy Claus” in the small town of Tall Pine in the mountains of southern California. She works in the local Christmas Shop called The North Pole. Her mother has died so she is all alone. She wants to find a man to fall in love with, but her claim to fame seems to have prevented that from happening. When Jake Wyndham comes to Tall Pine to see if this is a place where the hotel chain he works for might want to locate, he meets Mandy. He feels an instant attraction to her and wants to get to know her better. Mandy wants to get to know Jake without him finding out about her Santa sighting. She and Jake really hit it off and date for the short time he is there. When the town council balks at the thought of a chain hotel moving in, Mandy and Jake work together to make it possible. They have just met, they do not want to lose each other already. What will Jake think when Mandy reveals the truth about herself? This is an imaginative, romantic, sweet, touching story about love, belief and of course Christmas. The characters feel real, they made me root for them. This is a clean romantic read. I enjoyed it and I am sure you will too. Continue reading “Do You Believe in Santa? (Evergreen Lane #1)”

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