Without a Brew review

This is the fourth book in the Sloan Krause series by Ellie Alexander who also writes the long running Bakeshop series as well as books under the name of Kate Dyer-Seeley. I’ve enjoyed that the Sloan Krause series has an ongoing personal mystery for Sloan much like the mystery that ran through the Pacific Northwest series she wrote as Kate. Sloan got hit with quite a bit of information lately about her past, so the next book is going to be interesting to see what she does with it or uncovers.

My Goodreads review:

Without a Brew (Sloan Krause #4)Without a Brew by Ellie Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great to get back to Leavenworth and the Nitro pub for another visit with Sloan, Garrett, Kat and crew. They sure had a disagreeable guest this time while they were only doing a soft opening of their B&B part of the pub, but with the IceFest coming up, they were the only place in town that had any rooms at all. There were actually two mysteries, but they eventually connected. I would never have guessed part of the one or the why of the killer. I had a feeling about who the killer was and who I wanted it to be lol.

Sloan’s own side mystery was really coming together with a visit from Sally who’d already dropped some disturbing news to her last time. This time she had some concrete notes talking about this subject, something that was very devastating to Sloan. I’m not sure what I would have done in her place, because the news was pretty wild. It didn’t leave with a mini cliffhanger as it’s been doing, although we’re still left to wonder what the truth really is about her past and the people involved in it. It’ll be an interesting ride, since the Sloan we all know and love isn’t going to stop until she’s got the answers she’s looking for.

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

View all my reviews

Puzzling Ink review

This is the first book in a new series by one of my favorite authors Becky Clark who happens to also be a fave author of all things ha-ha funny. I just loved this book and can’t wait for the next!

My Goodreads review:

Puzzling Ink (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery)Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the Mystery Writer’s Mystery series from this writer, and this series is starting off a winner just like that series. It was so funny, and I did find myself laughing out loud in parts. There’s just something so fun about her writing style! Quinn was a great character, and I got a kick out of her wanting to help her boss Jake when he was accused of murder. And boy did she go to some lengths to help him, but I couldn’t blame her for wanting that diner to get back to normal.

Oh her parents especially her mom were so hilarious! That woman had no fear of any ingredient in the kitchen and experimented with the weirdest concoctions which made her cooking for the diner that much more hysterical. I loved Loma’s character and hope that despite their age difference, she and Quinn continue to be good friends in the series. I definitely hadn’t pegged the killer, great twist and a nail biting but still funny in places (“Did you just–staple me?”–I was almost on the floor picturing that! Read it and you’ll see!). Loma got to prove just what an awesome pal she was, Jake got his diner back, well sort of, and I’m super anxious to read the next book!

I was excited to win this copy of the book from Goodreads, but trust me, I would have bought it had I not won! It’s that good.

View all my reviews

Christmas Card Murder review

I’m always anxious every year to read the set of three short Christmas stories usually led off by a Lucy Stone mystery. It was #26.5 for Lucy Stone series by Leslie Meier, #13.5 for the Hayley Powell series by Lee Hollis and #6.5 for Knit and Nibble series by Peggy Ehrhart.

My Goodreads review:

Christmas Card Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #26.5)Christmas Card Murder by Leslie Meier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

These compiled short stories are always so much fun in getting a sampling from some fave authors. They always focus on a central theme, this one being of course, Christmas cards. There wasn’t an actual murder in this book, but there was a death. Lucy’s always like a dog with a bone when she’s on a case, and it’s always sweet when Miss Tilley can get involved and help out with her wide knowledge of people, since she’s the town’s oldest resident.

In the Hayley Powell short story, we got to know Sal’s wife a little bit better. I’m pretty sure she’s never been in the story this much. There was definitely a murder, and Hayley, Money and Rosana were each worried their sweeties might be the killer. I was a touch suspicious of someone but still a little surprised at the ending which was a really good showdown.

It was really fun reading about a craft show in the Knit and Nibble short story, since I’m not doing any for the foreseeable future. The next best thing of course, is to read about them. Pamela’s daughter’s favorite high school teacher was killed, and in her sleuthing, Pamela found out secrets that could be worth killing for. I loved how the showdown was set up in this short story.

Some great Christmas season reading, and I always look forward to this compilation usually led by a Lucy Stone mystery.

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

View all my reviews

A Waffle Lot of Murder review

This is the fourth book in the All-Day Breakfast Cafe series by Lena Gregory, and it quickly became one of my favorite series just like her Bay Island Psychic series. The characters are so awesome, and I just love Gia’s big dog Thor! Since Halloween is my second favorite holiday (Christmas being first), I really extra enjoy any book set around Halloween where I can picture decorations and fun spooky community haunted houses.

My Goodreads review:

A Waffle Lot of Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery Book 4)A Waffle Lot of Murder by Lena Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved the whole Halloween in Boggy Creek event! What a cool idea to have individual haunted houses for people to tour and businesses to decorate and make spooky! Except the woods had become complete with a real dead person found by none other than Gia and Savannah. Even though she’s an awesome main character, sometimes Gia seriously gets on my nerves with how darn persistent she is, but she’ll turn around and do something incredibly unselfish for her bestie or another friend, and I always get reminded that she’s very driven and passionate about the people she has in her life. All I can say is Hunt is the most patient man in this entire universe! lol

There were so many good distractions and things to throw readers off the track that I wasn’t sure until the reveal who the killer was. I was so set on it being someone else for most of the book. I just love Earl and Cole! They’ve always stepped it up a notch to help Gia whenever they could with Earl being the most faithful customer ever since day one. Cole was the best thing that ever happened to the cafe cooking scene too. It’ll be interesting to see if he adopts a dog and if Gia ever lets Savannah talk her into being a multi-dog mom! I’m already anxious for the next one which I’m hearing comes out in the spring.

View all my reviews

On Borrowed Crime review

This is the first book in a new series by Kate Young called The Jane Doe Book Club, and it looks like it’s off to a really nice start. I enjoyed the book club ladies for the most part. Patsy was a bit of a downer at times, but I guess since she’d just become a mom, she was losing interest in murder mysteries. I liked the excitement of when Lyla was sleuthing and would actually get away with something–usually sleuths are stopped in their tracks. I’m really anxious to read the next book.

My Goodreads review:

On Borrowed Crime (Jane Doe Book Club Mystery, #1)On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the beginning of this new series and the idea of a book club. It was super creepy (but not overly) in some places like the texting perp who killed one of their members had inside intel somewhere in town, but where were they getting it? Uncle Calvin was pretty cool, and I really hope he stays around town long enough in the next book to get to know him and maybe find out a little more about his background with his sister, Lyla’s mom Francis. I just loved Gran, what a hoot! She added the fun touch when Francis was going off on some social tangent or harping at Lyla that she’d make them look bad by being interested in solving crimes.

I was completely surprised by who the perp was, as I’d been leaning toward someone else for most of the last part of the book, but I was glad it wasn’t who I thought it was. I hope that Lyla grows on me just a little more. She seemed level-headed enough most of the time, but sometimes she came off as immature and stubborn just for stubbornness’ sake. I did have some issues with the ARC’s formatting which I hope got fixed in the final copy. And at times, I was rereading dialogue to figure out which character was speaking–I can’t say the formatting was totally responsible for that. I can appreciate the idea of not repeating the same old “he said, she said, I replied” type of thing, but sometimes I just needed more of a clue as to which person was speaking. Again, maybe that was taken care of in the final copy. I’ll definitely be interested in reading 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.

View all my reviews

A Death Long Overdue review

This is the seventh book in the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates aka Vicki Delany, and it’s been a favorite series of mine ever since the first book. It’s always fun to read and wish that there really was a library inside a lighthouse somewhere. I’ve always loved Charles, the library cat that lives with Lucy in her apartment, but he was extra helpful in this book. The picture I found made me think of how he’d probably sit on guard right outside the lighthouse door if he ever got out.

Something special was in the works, and now I can’t wait for the next book! 

My Goodreads review:

A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library MysteryA Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love visiting the Lighthouse Library. This time we met Bertie’s predecessor who wasn’t a very nice person, so what happened wasn’t a real shocker. The hunt for the killer was a good one with plenty of good red herrings. I think Sam let Lucy help more in this book than any other so far. Louise Jane wasn’t quite as obnoxious as she was once, but she was still a handful that Bertie sometimes had to reign in.

The setup at the end to trap the killer was great and led to a quick but exciting showdown. What happened after that was amazing! It’s great how this series never just solves the case and ends like quite a few other books have done. There’s always closure and plenty of explanations going on even to what might have seemed trivial at the time. I can’t wait for the next book!

View all my reviews

Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past review

This is the third book in what quickly became a favorite newer series for me. It’s called Salem B&B and written by Traci Wilton, a pen name for the writing team of Traci Hall and Patrice Wilton. I fell in love with the ghost of Dr. Jack from the get-go and love how he and Charlene interact and research cases together. Salem at Christmas sounded awesome!

My Goodreads review:

Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past (A Salem B&B Mystery, #3)Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past by Traci Wilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such an awesome Christmas mystery! I just love the cover of this book and could really picture the B&B all decked out for Christmas. I felt sad for Jack knowing how much he’s always liked Charlene that he couldn’t give her a Christmas hug, but he seemed fairly happy. He always came in handy for helping to research during a case, and he made a good silent sleuthing partner for Charlene. This case was dealing with the murder of one of the locals, and it was actually someone who was a good benefactor, so it was a little sad to have them killed.

Charlene was dealing with her parents staying till after Christmas, and her mom wasn’t the most likable person, but I have to admit, she grew on me after a while especially what she helped with toward the end. I wasn’t right about the killer this time, but finding the real one was a good little adventure and showdown. I’m hoping that Charlene is getting a little closer to opening her heart to Sam after this book, at least they seemed to be in a decent place for now. I really liked Charlene’s dad a lot! That man was a saint to put up with her mom lol. And I liked the character of Avery who Charlene hired to help Minnie with housekeeping chores. I hope she sticks around. I’m always anxious for the next book in this series!

View all my reviews

Murder at the PTA review

This is the first book in the Maya & Sandra series by brother/sister writing team Lee Hollis. I love the characters they always come up with, sometimes funny and always memorable. The book spent a year as a B&N exclusive, but for some reason I never got around to reading it even though I do own the paperback. (It probably got buried under some other books I haven’t gotten to yet!) I was going to just order the Kindle version and was pleasantly surprised that I actually won a copy from a recent Goodreads giveaway. I’d also gotten it from NetGalley. Now I’m super anxious to get hold of the second book whenever that might be coming! 

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the PTA (Maya and Sandra Mystery, #1)Murder at the PTA by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book a lot! I knew I’d like anything this author writes, because I love their other two series. It’s great how they can set a different tone for each series they’ve written. Maya and Sandra were the two most unlikely candidates for sleuthing partners, but they worked together really well once Maya adjusted to Sandra being a senator’s wife. She soon found out that Sandra wasn’t the typical prissy trophy wife but someone who was very committed to a new friendship and possibly sleuthing partnership. Sandra was pretty smart and able to read people well too.

Someone had offed the vice principal of the high school the night that Sandra had her first PTA meeting as president, and the woman’s sister hired Maya’s PI firm to prove that it was murder not suicide. What a crazy web of deception and secrets this all led to! I loved it, and the showdown was super exciting, at least to me. The wrap-up was great and whatever wasn’t already explained got mentioned as to the outcome. What a fun ending! Now I can’t wait for the next book!

I won a Kindle copy of this book in the Goodreads giveaway, but that in no way affected my review, and my opinions are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Little Bookshop of Murder review

This is the first book in the new Beach Reads cozy mystery series by Maggie Blackburn, better known as Mollie Cox Bryan who writes the Cora Crafts and Buttermilk Creek cozy series as well as the older Cumberland Creek series. Who wouldn’t love a bookstore right there on the beach that happens to be part of an island?

My Goodreads review:

Little Bookshop of Murder: A Beach Reads MysteryLittle Bookshop of Murder: A Beach Reads Mystery by Maggie Blackburn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this start to a new series and loved the idea of a bookshop right there on the beach. I can definitely say the author did a good job of not making me like Summer very much for a while. She totally came off as a know-it-all who had no use for any books except those that were Shakespeare and scholarly. But the more I read, I did feel a small connection to Summer with my hatred of spiders. True, I don’t spaz out like she did or sleep under netting, but I really dislike them a lot! I felt like during the course of the book, she did start to change just a little. She was always good to her cousins and aunt, but I think the island and her mom’s good friends were starting to get to her and soften that hard outer shell she’d put up. Reading and actually enjoying the book her mom had been reading for book club seemed to help her a lot.

There seemed to be a lot of repeating going on as far as questioning why or who, but hey, Summer was new at sleuthing, so I chalked it up to that. In the end, she came through during the showdown and showed some bravery although a lot of it was built-up anger. I had figured out fairly early who the killer was, but it was interesting to see this unfold and how the characters went about sleuthing.

I really enjoyed Aunt Agatha, Piper and Mia’s characters a lot as well as Glads and Marilyn, Hildy’s good friends. At times I just wanted to shake Summer, but at the end there was a super sweet moment. I think I’m going to like her much better in the next book after all she’s gone through in this one. Change in a character is sometimes a really good thing and helps them grow and develop, so I’m anxious to see what the author continues to do with Summer. I’m definitely interested in reading more in the series.

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

View all my reviews

Murder in Connemara review

This is the second book in the Home to Ireland series, which is exclusive to Barnes & Noble for a year from its publication of July 28, 2020. It’s written by Carlene O’Connor who most cozy fans know from her Irish Village series. She always has some good characters to share in her books, and this one was no exception. It had been a while since I’d read the first book, but the author did a good job catching readers up if this was the starting point for anyone–and without giving any spoilers, which is always a plus.

Thanks to #Kensington Publishing for the paperback ARC to review. Clifden Castle picture found at Wikimedia Commons.

My Goodreads review:

Murder in ConnemaraMurder in Connemara by Carlene O’Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first one. I loved the settings of the two castles and just the whole description of Ireland itself. Being an armchair traveler, I feel like I got a nice vacation in without all the fuss and bother. This author always has a nice assortment of characters, some likable and some not so much.

There were all kinds of suspects to pick from while the body count kept rising. Tara hadn’t really expected to run into a murder when she was trying to get ready for her shop’s grand opening, but things worked out for her in the long run. Even DS Gable asked for her help this time around. Danny wasn’t happy about it, but they still ended up in a good place. I didn’t realize who the killer was until right before Tara figured it out. There was a good showdown and escape scene along with the killer getting outed. I liked how everything was wrapped up and explained if not along the way, it was explained at the end. I’ll be anxious to read the next book that comes along. I’ll have to read in the author’s other series in the meantime.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC paperback of this book provided by Kensington Publishing, and my opinions are my own.

View all my reviews