Wining and Dying review

This is the tenth book in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber, and I was definitely happy to return to Crystal Cove and see what my book character friends were up to. It was murder as usual, since it wouldn’t normal if Jenna wasn’t investigating and getting snarked at by Cinnamon. I just love all these characters and can’t wait for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Wining and DyingWining and Dying by Daryl Wood Gerber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great going back to visit Crystal Cove to visit some of my favorite book characters. This was definitely a roller coaster ride of a mystery! There were all kinds of secrets, and I wasn’t sure who could be trusted, except for the key characters, of course. I’m really enjoying that Jenna has made a good friend out of Pepper and even police chief Cinnamon. But Cinnamon always gets to get in her snarky comments, because it just wouldn’t be the same without lol.

I was never sure until Jenna figured it out as to whodunit. And what a showdown! Luckily, the killer was outnumbered. All the pieces of the mystery either fell into place with an explanation or from the killer personally. I’m hoping the next book will be featuring a wedding!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book, and my opinions are my own.

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Murder 101 review

The newest novella, #1.5 just published April 27 in the Kitchen Witch series by Lynn Cahoon. As with all her series, I fell in love with Mia and Gran’s world when I read the first novella. Each book alone is pretty self-explanatory, but I think it’s a lot more fun to read in order whenever possible.

My Goodreads review:

Murder 101 (Kitchen Witch Mysteries #1.5)Murder 101 by Lynn Cahoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the setting for this series being in an old private school, and it just the right kind of spookyish vibe for a murder set at a class reunion. Even readers who’ve not read the first novella or first book could easily follow along, since there’s enough brief explanations, but I think it’d be lots more fun to start with the first novella, then the first book before this.

The murder was solved fairly quickly due to this being a novella, and the whodunit wasn’t a huge surprise once someone else was cleared. I liked that Mia’s mom came to the reunion and even though she didn’t get along with Grans, it seemed as if they might have actually been talking. It did leave it open for something to happen though, so now I’m anxious as to when this something is actually going to happen.

I read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the author, and my opinions are my own.

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Murder in the Cookbook Nook review

This is the seventh book in the Book Retreat series by Ellery Adams, another favorite series and author of mine. I loved the surprise guest who was staying in one of the cottages, because her restaurant’s chef was in the cooking competition. It’s a lot of fun escaping to Storyton Hall, since it’s just one of those places I wish I could really visit, minus any murders, of course!

My Goodreads review:

Murder in the Cookbook Nook (Book Retreat Mystery 7)Murder in the Cookbook Nook by Ellery Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was way too long since my last visit to Storyton Hall, and it was good to return to read about people I’d love to be friends with. Jane and all the Fins are just so awesome, and the boys are growing like crazy! I got a kick out of them wanting to make and sell jam. Those two, even from the get-go of the series have never gotten on my nerves as far as kids can do in a story. They’re sweet, intelligent and very non-annoying lol. I enjoyed having Jane and Edwin in a good place with their relationship. They’re awfully sweet together.

Speaking of characters, it was just so cool to have Olivia and her dog Captain Haviland from Books by the Bay come to visit and interact with Jane! It was a really fun surprise, and now I do want to make more of an effort to read more in Books by the Bay-so far, I’ve only read the first book. It’d be great to see Olivia guest again sometime.

There was a lot of dangerous stuff going on surrounding the filming of a cooking reality show with book themed challenges, and there were quite a few suspects, secrets and twists. The showdown was partially planned out (I always love how the Fins and the book club spring into action to help Jane), but it still went well as far as catching the perp. As with all this author’s books that I’ve read, it’s so character-driven and so much about people who care about one another that I just didn’t want it to end. But she does do a really nice wrap-up at the end, which gives readers more of that book euphoria that can last quite sometime.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Whole Latte Murder review

It’s release day for the fifth book in the All-Day Breakfast Cafe by Lena Gregory. This series quickly became one of my favorites, and I’ve followed it from the get-go. The characters are likable and realistic. Gia got on my nerves in the beginning, but the more I got to know her, I realized it was just her fiercely loyal and helpful nature coming out, not to mention her curiosity when it came to cases. At least she’s been in a good relationship place with Hunt, but I’d like for them to at least state they’re officially a couple, lol. She always calls him her sort-of boyfriend. Savannah’s always a hoot and the more adventuresome of the two. It’s absolutely hysterical when Savannah teases Gia about the creepy crawlie things she doesn’t like (snakes, scorpions, but I definitely share Gia’s opinion on creepy crawlie things!).

If you love this series (and really, anything by this author), you definitely won’t be disappointed in this book! It’s very hard to put aside as you’ll see from my review.

My Goodreads review:

Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery Book 5)Whole Latte Murder by Lena Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As this story got underway, I found that I couldn’t put my Kindle down and even read with an extra long charger cord. Yep, it was that good. This mystery was very Savannah-focused and just showed how close she and Gia have always been as friends. They’d literally do anything for the other and consider each other the sister they never were born with. Something was off with one of Savannah’s brothers after she was abducted, and no matter what the danger was, Gia was determined to find her bestie.

I love that Trevor had a nice bigger role in this book too, and we did get some insight into one of Savannah’s brothers and a little more visting with her dad–I like her dad a lot! Another fun character that I don’t quite remember how he came into the previous stories (and I’ve read them all), but I really like him too is Alfie who has some mad hacking skills and loves electronics. I was thinking he was a lot like Sebastian on NCIS: NOLA and it’d be fun to see Alfie again sometime. I might have to cruise through the previous books and refresh my memory on him!

I had my suspicions about who was behind the abduction, but wasn’t quite sure who the killer was. That was some showdown though, and both girls were extremely brave (and actually crazy to have gone there to begin with but hey, there’d be no plot if they didn’t do stuff like that) during the showdown. That was another time when Alfie was pulled in to help.

Just reading about where and when Savannah’s wedding might be makes me excited to read the next book when it comes out. From what I saw, it’s definitely a Christmas theme and comes out in October. I can’t wait!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Lemon Drop Dead review

It’s release day for the sixth book in the Amish Candy Shop mysteries by one of my fave authors, Amanda Flower. I absolutely loved this book and yes, the reviews are right saying there’s a little conflict going on, but I still feel Bailey and Aiden are strong enough in their love for each other that they can overcome this. That and I trust this author, because she’s never steered us wrong before in this department. The long-awaited decision Charlotte’s been stewing over for the last several books was finally made by her, and I was super happy for her. These characters just feel like old friends now, and I care what happens to them, so I’m really stoked for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Lemon Drop Dead (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #6)Lemon Drop Dead by Amanda Flower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just loved this book even though after reading some of the reviews, I was a little worried about what might happen. But after reading it, I feel confident enough in Bailey and Aiden themselves as characters created by an author I totally trust, that I know things will eventually straighten out for their happily ever after. Their love seemed as strong as ever, and speaking of that, you definitely need to read #5.5 Candy Cane Crime before you read this book, because it’ll make this book so much better!

There were sure a lot of suspects in this mystery, and secrets long-hidden were brought out, so there were a couple of people with very happy endings as shown by the party thrown at the end of the book. I really liked the new character of Hannah–but you need to read it and find out who she is! It was fun to have Lois and Millie from the Amish Matchmaker series show up. That Lois is such a hoot, and I just love her character!

I hadn’t suspected whodunit, and there were some other satisfying arrests made along with that person. All the characters were just at their best, and I’m super excited for the next book!

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A Tale of Two Cookies review

This is the third book in the Cookie House series that started in 2019 by Eve Calder who lives in Florida and does a fabulous job of describing her home state and all its awesomeness to readers. I fell in love with the setting and the characters from the very first book and am always glad when another book follows. Now I’m anxiously waiting for the next book which if it follows the current pattern will be probably next year at this time (but we can always hope for sooner!)

My Goodreads review:

A Tale of Two Cookies: A Cookie House MysteryA Tale of Two Cookies: A Cookie House Mystery by Eve Calder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A missing person mystery that’ll have readers guessing the whole time “Is this person dead or not?” It was an interesting case as Kate and her friends sleuthed along with Ben and the police. One of her good friends was in town and her fiance disappeared right before their wedding, so Kate felt like this woman had taken her under her wing in a previous career, and being the awesome friend Kate is, she didn’t want to let Desiree down. I really like all Kate’s friends (especially that fun and crazy Maxi!) and it’s so cool how Sam’s character changed for the better from the very first book. He always does a little something in each book to let Kate know he completely trusts her now.

I love how the whole town always works together during a case. The cookie lessons at the Cookie House turned into a sleuthing session or a session where Ben would give them the lowdown on the case progress. The perp was a very sneaky and convoluted planner that was for sure, but there were a lot of someones who were equally smart and able to figure things out. The showdown was great!

The very ending of the book was really good, because it did the complete wrap-up of anything that wasn’t explained along the way. I’m always looking forward to the next in this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. This book releases tomorrow, April 27, 2021.

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A Matter of Hive and Death review

This is the second (and for me at least, eagerly-awaited) book in the Oregon Honeycomb mysteries by Nancy Coco who also writes the Candy-Coated series set on Mackinac Island, as well as having written some other cozy series under Nancy J. Parra and Nell Hampton. (Her Nancy J. Parra Goodreads page contains the most info which is why I didn’t even link the Nell Hampton page.)

This book is an exclusive Barnes & Noble edition until 3/29/22. (Not an affiliate linkl; just here for your convenience).

My Goodreads review:

A Matter of Hive and Death (An Oregon Honeycomb Mystery, #2)A Matter of Hive and Death by Nancy CoCo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this visit with Wren, Aunt Eloise and Porsche, not to mention Jim who Wren might be letting get a bit closer. She kind of annoyed at me times when she’d get mad at Jim just for doing his job and not being able to share info with her. But I loved her passion for the bees and the cats her aunt loves so much. Wren, Eloise and Porsche make good sleuth buddies, and I did have to hand it to Wren for asking Jim to come along on trips that otherwise could have been dangerous.

I had no idea whodunit and was totally surprised at the reveal. There was a side mystery as well, and that perp didn’t surprise me much at all, lol. I got the biggest kick out of Aunt Eloise holding her rifle over a perp and not budging until Jim got his gun drawn and held on the person. She cracks me up, and I just love her character!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC paperback from Kensington Publishing, and my opinions are my own.

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Laid Out in Lavender review

This is the third (and to me, so far the best) in the Garlic Farm series by Gin Jones. I’ve really come to enjoy these characters and setting. The way Mabel has grown, changed a little and actually made friends was the biggest thing of all. I like that she now considers Rory and Emily her besties, because I know they’d do anything for her as well. They’ve already done something amazing by changing a girl who seemed like a robot or computer at first into a human who actually cares about others and cute little animals now.

My Goodreads review:

Laid Out in LavenderLaid Out in Lavender by Gin Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series just keeps getting better! Mabel is still her very methodical self which I think makes for quite a bit of repeating in the story which iis like she’s turning things over in her mind. She’d teamed up with neighbor Emily who was going into the catering business after her nasty divorce, and the two were going to host weddings on the farm. Easier said than done!

I had an idea early on of someone not to trust, but I wasn’t totally sure about whodunit until the very end. The showdown was great with Pixie and a barn cat getting to have an important part in it. I really liked that Mabel concentrated on the farm this time. She wasn’t interrupted by her tech job boss or having to worry about any deadlines, since I know last time she told him not to send anything her way.

It was sort of refreshing to have that break from her old life. I think she really came to an epiphany in this book about a lot of things (including finally hiring a farm manager) as she became more and more human and less like a machine, at least to me she did. I don’t think Mabel in the first book would have defended her barn cat Jonesy like she did in this. And she definitely wouldn’t have gone to someone deliberately for a comfort hug. I’m so glad I stuck with the series after getting over my original annoyances with Mabel lol. I can say with enthusiasm that I’m very anxious for the next book! (Maybe she’ll finally give Charlie a chance at a real date!)

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Death at the Salon review

This is the second book in the Daisy Thorne series by Louise R. Innes who actually lives in Surrey, England where she’s set the fictional village of Edgemead. You can read about her in her Goodreads bio I’ve linked. Subscribers to her newsletter can get the prequel for this series sent to them when they sign up. (I have it and keep meaning to read it!)

I’m really getting more into the series now with the second book. Daisy got to interact with more of her work friends/employees, and maybe Paul’s gonna eventually see that she can really be of some use. I liked that the story was village-centered this time which gave a look into some of the other businesses.

My Goodreads review:

Death at the Salon (Daisy Thorne, #2)Death at the Salon by Louise R. Innes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was even better than the first! By the time it was done, I felt like I knew Daisy and her employees so much better. She got to interact quite a bit more with Penny and Krish one-on-one this time around which always helps to build up more good background for the characters and made me see that Daisy was not only an awesome employer, but she was a good friend to her people she worked with.

I had absolutely no idea whodunit, but I was happy enough to read along and fall down each rabbit hole investigating right along with Daisy-and actually toward the end, Paul let her in on it a little more. I think the two could work really well together, and I’m wondering if he’s caving a little on that. Stay tuned, right? I’m definitely looking forward to the next book which comes out in September, and it’s a Christmas theme!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer review

This is the third (and I think best) in the Desert Flowers series written by one of my favorite authors Lee Hollis, who is actually brother/sister writing team of Rick Copp and Holly Simason. I just love their Hayley Powell series, and this one is quickly becoming a favorite series as well. In this third book, it’s like the characters just clicked into place for me. I liked them all to begin with, but by this book, I’d really wanted to visit more with them after the book was done.

My Goodreads review:

Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer (A Desert Flowers Mystery Book 3)Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best book in the series yet! The characters are now like old friends to me, and I love that Poppy and Sam were becoming closer. I never thought in the first book that Matt would become a favorite character, but I just love the guy! He’s amazing and so good to Poppy and her friends. It was cool that Wyatt had an even bigger part in this book doing online investigating

What a wild mystery with tons of secrets! I liked that there was a tie-in to a series of murders that Poppy remembered when she was acting in the 80s. It was interesting to read the flashbacks and hear some of my favorite shows mentioned too. After reading this book, I desperately wish I could open YouTube and find Jack Colt reruns lol! It sounds like just the kind of show I would have watched back then.

I absolutely loved the showdown and rescue that followed, it was epic! Everything was explained, and there was a very sweet ending that makes me really anxious now for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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