The Body in the Attic–review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Jazzi Zanders just released in November. The author is Judi Lynn, and when went to leave the Amazon review, I noticed she’s normally a romance author, it made a lot more sense to me now why there were so many everyday life details given for Jazzi, Jerod and Ansel. Not super long details, just more of a fleshed-out version of what the characters actually do besides trying to solve a mystery. It was fun seeing them gut and fix up a house. I liked these characters and will be preordering the second book due out in April.

Wow this is the 4th book I’ve read recently that features a cute little pug dog. George was so cool, he was like a little human!

My Goodreads review:

The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1)The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a different cozy, but different in a good way meaning it wasn’t the usual formula most people expect in a cozy. Instead of Jazzi bugging the detective for clues, he was very willing to share with her what he found out and almost treated her like a colleague instead of a civilian. And the two murders were technically cold cases…but there was at least one, possibly two killers that were still very much alive.

I loved the house-flipper job that Jazzi had. Working with her cousin was probably a lot of fun. Jerod was like the brother she’d never had. And their contractor Ansel was so handsome that Jazzi couldn’t take her eyes off him. He was in a bad relationship which finally got resolved the way it should. I liked that aside from the threatening phone calls, Jazzi was never really in any danger and she was smart enough to have a security system in place and always lock her doors.

This makes the 4th book I’ve read recently that has a cute and personable little pug in it. This one was named George and he was almost human. He went with Ansel everywhere he went. Everything seemed to work out so well in this book, and for once there wasn’t a bunch of arguing or romantic tension. I’m definitely going to read the next book in the series.

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Peril at the Pawn Shop–review

This was a fun start to a new series called A Walk in the Bark by Mel Faye. She’s a new-to-me author and I really enjoyed the characters and mystery in her first (I think) cozy mystery. Ralph the pug was an adorably well-behaved little guy who helped Annie with her dog training. He was helping her get another dog, Geraldine the Greyhound, used to being around other dogs. He even found a piece of evidence at a crime scene. Ralph is a fairly constant client, since he belongs to Annie’s mom’s boyfriend. I’m anxious to read the next book in this series. By then I’m sure Annie’s store will be ready to open.

My Goodreads review:

Peril at the Pawn Shop: A Cozy Mystery for Pet Lovers (A Walk in the Bark Book 1)Peril at the Pawn Shop: A Cozy Mystery for Pet Lovers by Mel Faye

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This has to be a new record for me. I bought this book today not sure when I’d read it, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to read it because of the adorable pug on the cover. It was such a fun start for a new series, and a new-to-me author.

Annie Hudson loved working with dogs. She trained, walked, pet sat them and had been saving to open her own small shop specializing in something having to do with dogs. She also liked playing amateur sleuth, and after a couple of murders took place in her small Connecticut town, she found herself almost spending as much time sleuthing as she did working for her dog clients. The side story was that a big development company was wanting to buy out a lot of the small shops in town to bring in national chain stores. From the sound of it, Annie had already had run-ins with the CEO of the company. She was sure he was behind at least the first murder.

This was a quick and fun read. I liked Annie immediately and her friend Charlotte, the CSI was a fun character too. Annie met and started dating Hank, so I’m sure something will progress in that direction seeing how they’ve had a couple of dates already. I absolutely loved little Ralph and how he would charm everyone in town with his good behavior and even helped Annie in training other dogs on how to be more social. I didn’t guess the killer and I know I’ll be wanting to read the next book when it comes out.

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Decaffeinated Scandal–review

This iDecaffeinated Scandal: A Cozy Mystery (A Killer Coffee Mystery Series)Decaffeinated Scandal: A Cozy Mystery by Tonya Kappes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is just the funny and lighthearted story I needed after reading a more serious (but awesome) cozy. I mean who doesn’t love reading about an adorable farting Pug named Norman?

The Halloween festival was in full swing in Honey Springs, but Roxy had heard some disturbing news that the owners of the Bee Farm were going to sell part of their land to a resort developer. That would either slow down or close Camey Montgomery’s Cocoon Inn. When Roxy asked the owners, she said they needed to add more bee colonies which was expensive. Right away, Roxy got the town together in collecting donations for them so they wouldn’t have to sell any of their land. In the meantime, the head of the developing firm was found dead in the Inn. As usual, Roxy couldn’t rest until she was checking into things to keep her friend Camey from being charged with murder.

I think this is my favorite book of the series yet since something very special happens. The showdown with the killer was super quick, but absolutely awesome! And little Norman got his forever home as well.

There are some yummy-sounding Bean Hive recipes at the end of the book, including Jean Hill’s Apple Pie Jam which sound deelish! There’s even a recipe for the pumpkin dog treats that seemed to help little Norman get over his gaseous tendencies, along with his special diet dog food.

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s the fifth book in the Killer Coffee series, another favorite series by another one of my favorite authors (I have about 100 each of those!) 😉  If you haven’t read this series, you really need to, and I would really advise not starting with this book. It’s my favorite so far, but you might want to read from the beginning to get to know the characters all better. Roxy always brings in a dog to the shop in the hopes that she can help her friend who runs the shelter to adopt out the dogs and cats she gets. This book had a super cute pug named Norman who had a problem with flatulence, but he found his forever home anyway by the end of the book.

My Goodreads review:

The Whispered Word–review

Ellery Adams has done it again with her second book in the Secret, Book and Scone Society. She really has a way of making the reader care so much about the people in the story that the murders (yes, multiple!) are still important, but as a reader, you just want to find out more about the characters and are interested in their lives, their growth from the brokenness that brought them all together.

The Society started with four women who were damaged and each had a secret that they ended up telling to their new group of friends. Now they are fast friends and even Nora, who usually didn’t like being around anyone, loves to be in the company of her friends–and even the man she’s interested in. They continue to need each other’s kindness and support, but they give back to the community as well. All I can keep saying is, this book is amazing and you just have to experience this series for yourself!

My Goodreads review:

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #2)The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m so glad the two books in this series didn’t end right after the killer was caught and brought to justice. With these characters, there is always just so much more to be learned and time to be spent with them. I love how this book ended after the showdown. There was absolutely no disappointment here! I hadn’t seen this killer coming at all!

At the end of the Secret, Book and Scone Society, a girl had shown up at Miracle Books after Nora had put up a Help Wanted sign. This book started right up telling about her and how she was a huge help to Nora, but moreso to Hester, since she was an accomplished baker. The girl called herself Abilene, and she continued to be a mystery. The four friends realized she was running from something or someone. When three murders struck within just a few weeks, Nora couldn’t help but wonder if their new friend had some connection to them. There was also a new business in town, one that took valuables on consignment. Nora couldn’t help but be suspicious of that as well, since their town had just undergone an economic crisis and people were anxious to sell items they had just to keep food on their tables.

It was great visiting with these four friends again. The interim sheriff was a breath of fresh air compared to the old one and it was sweet that Nora and Jed were becoming a lot closer. I enjoyed the little side stories of Nora doing her bibliotherapy for people. For any book clubs wanting to have a discussion on this book, there are some questions in the back that the author has provided. I have a book hangover now…not sure when I’ll want to start another one, this one was that amazing.

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Pleating for Mercy–review

This is the first book in the Magical Dressmaking series by Melissa Bourbon. I love to sew, and when I saw this series along with the word “magical” in it, I knew I’d really enjoy it. I didn’t steer myself wrong either.

It was a great opening book for the series, and after meeting all the regulars, I’m anxious to read the next one. I had this book in a drawer unit stored with 20 or so other first in series, so I challenged myself to read that drawer of firsts that I’d squirreled away going on a couple of years now. The book will fit into several more challenges, some of which I planned for it to!

My Goodreads review:

Pleating for Mercy (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, #1)Pleating for Mercy by Melissa Bourbon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harlow Cassidy was not only descended from outlaw Butch Cassidy, but her family legend said he had placed a charm on all future generations of Cassidy women. Her mom, grandmother and great-grandmother each had a personal charm that they knew about. Nana was a goat whisperer, something she wasn’t exactly proud of, but Harlow had no idea what hers was, until she came back home to Bliss, Texas. A girl she knew from grade school was getting married and had to have her gown and her bridesmaid’s gowns in less than two weeks, because the shop she’d originally dealt with suddenly went out of business. When the maid of honor was found strangled outside Harlow’s shop, her friend Josie was a person of interest as well as Josie’s fiance, Nate. Josie begged Harlow to help her.

I really enjoyed visiting Bliss, TX and liked the main characters a lot. I got a kick out of Nana the goat whisperer, but I think my favorite was Meemaw–and she wasn’t even physically there, she was dead. But she would make her presence known to Harlow in the form of noises, pointing out words in magazines or moving things around. Harlow’s possible love interest Will was very sweet and his teen daughter Gracie was really cool because she wanted to have Harlow continue teaching her to sew. I never guessed at all who the killer was! By the end of the book, Harlow finally figured out what her special charm or talent was. I’m anxious to read the next book in this series, especially since there was a several page teaser to read at the end of this book.

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Iced Under–review

This is the fifth book in the Maine Clambake series by Maine writer Barbara Ross. I did read the first one, so I at least knew who was who, although I didn’t really remember Julia’s mom’s cousin Hugh mentioned, but in the acknowledgements, it says he was. It gave an interesting history of the family, which according to the author in her notes, was compiled from all the books leading up to this one. Apparently this one had the most comprehensive and detailed history though. The ending was just so sweet! I didn’t feel like it was a spoiler of any kind reading this out of order–I did it because one of the book clubs I’m in online is having a discussion this month.

Even though clambakes are not exactly in season in February (when the book starts), there are still some yummy recipes in the back of the book, including cousin Rose’s amazing-sounding lasagna. Enjoy!

My Goodreads review:

Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #5)Iced Under by Barbara Ross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had read the first book in this series last year, and I had every intention of staying in order, but one of the online book clubs I’m in chose this for their January book discussion, probably because of the snowy, icy theme. I’m looking forward to the discussion later this month, because I absolutely loved this book.

When Julia’s mom Jacqueline received an heirloom diamond necklace in the mail with no return address or explanation letter, Julia kept researching the family until she found a distant cousin living in the area of Boston that Barbara Jean at the PO had told her the package originated from. She was hoping to meet a cousin that her mom said had disappeared on her twenty-first birthday, but when she got there she was too late. He’d died of natural causes…or did he?

This was a really interesting case with a couple of attempted murders thrown in. With the snowstorm the area was getting, Julia did most of her investigating online. The police detective in Boston even said that the police chief from Busman’s Harbor had spoken highly of her, so she did go out on foot to talk to him. It was fun to meet some of Jacqueline’s extended family, and I hope that they might be mentioned or appear in future books. In the meantime, I’m going to have to catch up, since I know the newest book of this series was just released.

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How to Knit a Murder–review

Depending on how you want to keep track, this is the second in the Seaside Knitter Society series (it changed publishers hence the series name change), which is how Amazon shows it. But Goodreads shows it as being #13 in the Seaside Knitters Society. Either sounds ok by me, since I haven’t read any of the early ones.

I read the first one last year as an ARC (then couldn’t resist gifting to myself as a beautiful trade paperback), and it worked perfectly as a standalone. It didn’t take me long then or now to get caught up with who was who. The author provides a very handy character list in the front of the book. Some people have said they don’t like those, but I think they’re kinda cool and handy. I love what I’ve read of this series and I really want to start at the beginning.

My Goodreads review:

How to Knit a Murder (Seaside Knitters Society, #13)How to Knit a Murder by Sally Goldenbaum

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading only my second in this awesome series, I realized what sets them apart, and that is people. These books are more than just a great cozy that is solved by a group of friends. They’re about the people they come into contact with. Sometimes some of the people don’t have much to do with the case itself, but I never have the urge to speed read or read super fast. There’s just a feeling you get afterwards that you want to hold onto for awhile. I feel like I’ve been with some real friends.

Rose Chopra was a newcomer to town, although she’d lived there as a child and young teen. She made friends with the Knitters as well as another newcomer who was their friend, Bree. When Bree’s husband was killed at a house that Rose was doing repairs on for her new boss, Stella, she was the only person of interest the police could come up with for that moment. But after this clever group of friends put their heads together and refused to let go of this case, the truth came out. Rose had a very interesting story which was shared by another person in the town but who had unfortunately died. Getting to that point was bittersweet but led them to their killer.

I do want to start this series at the very beginning and see how these friendships came about and grew. I just love that they always consult with each other. None of them braves out on their own or seems to be in any mortal danger. That’s kind of refreshing. These ladies, along with their two new friends are definitely people that I would want to hang out with! I love the friendship of the older guys in town too. They always celebrated as if their fourth buddy was still with them. They loved life and weren’t afraid to let anyone know. I think I’ll need to visit Sea Harbor again soon!

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

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