Rhubarb Pie Before You Die review

This is the second book in the newer Garlic Farm series by well-established author Gin Jones. I found myself liking it so much better than the first book, which was entertaining and while I could identify with Mabel on a couple of things, I had found myself not liking her character a whole not. At least not until this book came along. It’s definitely a good idea to read the two books in order and get to know the Mabel who first came to the garlic farm as opposed to how she’s changed for the better as far as being a nicer, more human person. I’m really anxious now for the next book!

The little jam jars picture made me think of Betty from the farmers’ market bringing Mabel some rhubarb jam samples.

My Goodreads review:

Rhubarb Pie Before You Die (A Garlic Farm Mystery, #2)Rhubarb Pie Before You Die by Gin Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book so much more than the first one. I liked the first book, but I didn’t like Mabel very much until more toward the end. In this book, she was continuing to become more human and actually interact with people in person. Before, she seemed like a clone or a robot just going through her app work. I believe Rory and Emily had a lot to do with transforming her into someone a lot more likable, and now I can say I do like her a lot better. She was much warmer this time to her friends and even let a feral cat have kittens at her house. Maybe someday she’ll realize that letting Charlie into her life wouldn’t be such a terrible thing either! 😉

I definitely hadn’t guessed the killer, and the showdown was pretty exciting. I think Mabel was finally coming to realize she didn’t hate it so much on the farm because during the book, she seemed to really focus herself on the crops and getting the place sold. With her logical thinking, Mabel was turning into quite the amateur sleuth. Now if she’d just realize she needs a sidekick!

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A Deadly Edition review

This is the fifth book in the Blue Ridge Library series by Victoria Gilbert, and I’m so happy that there are at least two more books coming to the series. I absolutely loved this book, and the wedding was pretty awesome too.

This series is really best read in order to help build on character knowledge and previous happenings. But the author does a great job of catching readers up without spoiling anything.

My Goodreads review:

A Deadly Edition (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #5)A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be the best of this series yet! Richard and Amy’s families came together for their wedding, and it was fun getting to know Scott, her brother a little bit better. We always knew he had a super secret job, but in this book he even surprised his sister with what he does.

Eventually the clues fell into place for me, and I figured out someone’s identity. I don’t want to say too much or spoil it, but this series had mentioned the person in an earlier story. The showdown was great, and everyone involved had a small part. Kurt Kendrick is definitely the JR Ewing of this series–you gotta love him, and I think he’s an awesome character, but sometimes he really can be a stinker. Amy was never sure if she should trust him or not, but I think he proved himself a good ally in this book, past shady deeds or not.

The wedding was beautiful to read, and it seems as though for now everyone in the book had someone or something to make them have a happy ending. I was really happy to read on the author’s blog that there will be at least a couple more books 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.

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Grounds for Murder review

This is the first in a debut series by Tara Lush, a new cozy author, and I’m looking forward already to the next in this Coffee Lover’s series. I really love the setting she’s made for her characters here, and the characters themselves are just a mixed bag of fun! I’m crazy about little Stanley, the Shih Tzu that Lana took under her wing after his owner was killed. A fun and warm read for a cold December day!

My Goodreads review:

Grounds for MurderGrounds for Murder by Tara Lush
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Lana’s barista was killed right after he quit and she was questionably looked at all over the island, the reporter in her couldn’t stand leaving it alone. She even managed to get her newspaper friend to let her do an article on the dead barista who was hit with all the ladies and an Insta sensation. With the help of a new friend and the handsome police chief (who actually didn’t want her help, but he liked her), Lana made it to a showdown with the killer that was pretty nail-biting. I’d suspected this person after picking up on some clues and was wondering how it’d play out.

Even thought Erica is light years from anyone I would probably want to hang out with, I absolutely loved her character! She was hilarious and sometimes really good for Lana’s confidence. Lana’s dad was a hoot too without actually meaning to be one. It’ll be interesting to see what these three get into in the next book which I’m definitely anxious to read. This was a nice strong start for a new beach mystery series, and I’m definitely a sucker for mysteries set at the beach! I liked Lana and Noah being together and hope they stay that way without fighting or bickering. He was a pretty patient guy to have to deal with her, but he could see the frustration she had with her need to be on a case like she’d been as a journalist in her previous life.

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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A Wicked Yarn review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Craft Fair Knitters by Emmie Caldwell who some of us cozy mystery readers might also know better as Mary Ellen Hughes. Mary Ellen wrote the cozy series Pickled and Preserved series, Craft Corner and most recently, Keepsake Cove, each series being three books long. The first series listed in her bio is Maggie Olensky, which from the covers looks to be a little more edge-of-your-seat than a normal cozy, but the descriptions are interesting. That was a two-book series.

I’ve read and enjoyed the Keepsake Cove series and have been wanting to dig into the other two cozy series now for a long time. Anyone who’s ever been in a craft fair will definitely appreciate this Craft Fair Knitters series, and now I can’t wait for the next book. By the end of A Wicked Yarn, Lia, Hayley and Belinda felt like old friends.

Daphne was such a sweet ragdoll kitty, but I couldn’t find a free image of a white one. I imagine her tail looked a lot like the picture I did find above.

My Goodreads review:

A Wicked Yarn (A Craft Fair Knitters Mystery #1)A Wicked Yarn by Emmie Caldwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a longtime craft fair participant myself, I really enjoyed the setting for this mystery. How cool would it be to have a venue for doing a nice show every weekend? And the best part was it was inside away from the weather. Although if Belinda the manager’s ex had his way, that barn was going to be torn down once he bought it. Luckily, the crafters never had to find out, because someone offed the guy, and all eyes turned to his ex, Belinda. Main character Lia was a good friend of hers, so with the help of her twenty-something daughter Hayley, they decided to clear their pal’s good name…and bring back their customers due to the pesky detail that the dead guy was found in their barn.

Lia and Hayley were such a fun and likable mom-daughter duo, and they made a good sleuthing team. I like that Lia wasn’t portrayed as someone who was tech-scared (as characters her age are often described in books–I’m older than Lia and I love tech!). The roles were almost reversed from the typical cozy which was fun. Hayley went off on her own while Lia sleuthed online. An added plus was that Hayley started seeing her old friend Brady who was now a police officer who came in handy more than once.

I had a sneaky feeling most of the way through the book of whodunit, but I had no idea why, so it was fun following along and seeing if I got taken by any of the red herrings. The showdown was really good, and just as I was worried the killer was getting away, the police got them. There were a few places where the story went a little slow, but usually it kept my interest due to the craft fair subject. I’m really very 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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2021 Library Love Reading Challenge

Angela at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures is once again hosting this challenge along with Books of My Heart, so you can just use the linked name to join if you want. Then hop over to the link-up page and enter the drawing then keep it bookmarked for the next three months to add your links as you read library books, or in my case or most cases right now, books borrowed from your library via Overdrive/Libby.

I’m going for the 12 level again. Here are the levels:

Levels:

  • Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
  • Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books
  • Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books
  • Library Addict: Read 48 books
  • Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books 

Sit, Stay, Slay review

This is the fifth and sadly, the last book in The Dog Club Mysteries, a series by one of my fave authors V.M. Burns that quickly became one of my favorites. I’ve followed it from the very first book, and somehow I feel like I’m losing an old friend, but I was so happy with how the author wrote this last book, I can use my imagination on how my book friends’ lives will continue. I have to admit to leaky eyes several times throughout this book, but the happy kind of leaky eyes!

I thought the poodle picture I found represents both Aggie and Rex’s personalities. Maybe not the right color but I love the eye expression!

My Goodreads review:

Sit, Stay, Slay (Dog Club Mystery #5)Sit, Stay, Slay by V.M. Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this book was bittersweet to me, because I know it’s the last book of this series, which makes me really sad, but I thought the author did an incredible job of creating nice endings for all my favorite characters. I would absolutely love it if the series could be revisited down the road a few years. I won’t give anything away, but my statement will make more sense after you’ve read it too!

The showdown was like the mother of all showdowns! Lilly faced one of her worst fears and came through like a champ! I was so proud of her, I wanted to hug her myself! And those awesome, sweet dogs…well I just can’t say enough good things about her and Dixie’s dogs, but they’re all heroes. That’s something else you’ll see when you read the book. Every good thing I could have wanted in a last in series was there!

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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2021 NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge

This year, Yvonne from from Socrates’ Book Reviews is taking over this challenge from Tina (thanks for being an awesome host in the past, Tina!). If you want to sign up, it’s Socrates’ Book Reviews-NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge – Sign Up.

I’m going for the 75 Platinum level, since I only went over it by a little this year. I’ll post a list of what I read at the end of 2021. I’m waiting to see if I get one more book done that I’ve started. That’ll make 79 if I get it read (which I’m pretty sure I will.)

Image above was on the Socrates’ Book Reviews site and was created for Yvonne’s use by GadgetGirl71. I didn’t want to miss crediting her and hope it’s okay to post it here, so people will know that’s the image to look for on Socrates when they sign up.

A Big Fat Greek Murder review

This is the second book in the newer Goddess of Greene St. mystery series by Kate Collins who’s well-known for her Flower Shop mysteries that became the basis for a series of Hallmark TV mystery movies. I liked this book even better than the first, and I have a feeling I’ll probably end up saying that about each one. I can’t wait for the next book and loved how this one ended.

My Goodreads review:

A Big Fat Greek Murder (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery Book 2)A Big Fat Greek Murder by Kate Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book with its sometimes-funny scenes and great characters! Athena’s sister ended up in jail for a murder she didn’t commit, and it was pretty hilarious picturing her mom going to the jail with food then getting into it with the warden over said food.

I loved that Case was interested in Athena and thought they made a pretty good investigating team. He was amazing at how he could think on his feet and hide, just what a great investigator would do. There were quite a few suspects, and I got sucked into believing every one of them was guilty whenever they were discussed, but I apparently guessed whodunit before Athena did. The showdown was suspenseful and exciting, and everyone got to be a little bit of a hero. The ending of the book was really awesome (and a touch funny too!). I’m really excited to read the next book!

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2021 Craving for Cozies Challenge

Once again, I’m going to take part in Lori’s Craving for Cozies Challenge, mainly because reading the lists of what people have read in the Facebook group is a lot of fun–and my TBR has grown, but that’s half the fun too. Although I got really behind posting in the group this year and didn’t post anything after I hit the goal. (I kinda wish the group wasn’t a public group–my family already thinks I’m nuts LOL!).

Anyway to sign up for the Escape with Dollycas 2021 Craving for Cozies Challenge, just follow the blue linked words in this sentence.

Since I only read cozy mysteries, my entire Read shelf will serve as how I’m keeping track of this year’s challenge. If I made a specific Craving for Cozies shelf, I know I’d forget to tag the book when I was done with it. 😉 (Maybe I should make a shelf for any possible books that aren’t cozies. It would honestly be easier to keep track of that.)