Trouble on the Books–review

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the Castle Bookshop series by Essie Lang, which is a pen name for author Linda Wiken. When I get intrigued by a tourist spot mentioned in a book, I always think it’s fun to Google it, and I was able to find pictures of Boldt Castle in the real Alexandria Bay, Thousand Islands area of New York. Hmm, maybe yet another bucket list destination. I loved the idea of a bookstore in a castle and was definitely not disappointed in this book. I’m really looking forward to the next one!

My Goodreads review:

Trouble on the Books (Castle Bookshop Mystery #1)Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This first in a new series was every bit as good as I’d hoped for when I first heard about it. A bookstore in a castle sounds like just about the coolest thing ever. I could really picture it and the surrounding areas from the descriptions in the book. I quickly grew to like the main characters of Shelby, Aunt Edie, Trudy and Matthew–and of course, agent Zack. Just as I thought I knew who the killer was, there was a twist at the end.

The showdown was really good, and even though Shelby had done something that I thought was a little foolish, she redeemed herself by doing something smart. I liked that the murder was solved, but there were still a couple of other things to continue into the next book, which I’m really anxious to read now.

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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Murder in Tranquility Park–review

This is the second book in the Ferrara Family Detective Agency series by J.D. Griffo. Even though I haven’t read the first book yet, I was never lost or confused about the events or characters. I liked that there were no spoilers about the first murder too. I haven’t come across many authors that do that, but sometimes I know I’ve been glad that I read the previous books. I love the overall family feel of this series and I really hope it continues for many more books in the series.

My Good reads review:

Murder in Tranquility Park (A Ferrara Family Mystery)Murder in Tranquility Park by J.D. Griffo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, but I had no trouble at all getting to know the characters and the brief rundown on their lives, who they were, etc. I have to say I’m anxious now to read the first book just to read Alberta and crew’s first case. They were such an awesome family, and I love how Alberta’s granddaughter Jinx isn’t just a granddaughter, the two are really good friends, even running buddies. Which was conveniently a good way to nearly trip over a dead body.

I love how Alberta, her sister Helen, sister-in-law Joyce and Jinx all work together when there’s a murder. They even got Jinx’s boyfriend Freddy and Alberta’s boyfriend Sloan involved. The police chief was a friend of Berta’s from school, so he was good about putting up with the amateur sleuths. Berta’s line to him at the end was pretty cute, you’ll have to read it. I was surprised in the twist at the end, because I was really sure one person had done this. Hadn’t seen that coming at all, and the showdown was an exciting one. I hope this series continues, and in the meantime, I definitely want to read the first book.

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Eggs on Ice–review

This is the eighth book in the Cackleberry Club series by Laura Childs. I had never read any in the series before, but I think someone could easily pick up this or maybe any of the other books and not be lost. It would be nice to know the back stories of the characters, so I definitely plan to start reading this series from the beginning. I felt like I could the main characters by friends by the time the book was finished. I love the idea that the Cackleberry Club diner has an adjoining book store and a yarn shop too.

My Goodreads review:

Eggs on Ice (Cackleberry Club, #8)Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even though this was the first in the series that I have read, I felt like I was quickly able to know who was who among the regular characters, and definitely by the time the book ended, I felt like I knew them and wanted to visit again. I definitely want to start reading from the beginning, but this shiny, new copy at the library just tempted me so much, I had to borrow it. The Cackleberry Club diner and its adjoining book store and knitting store sound so cool!

I actually did figure out who the killer was, but when that happens (few and far between lol), I enjoy reading along and seeing how soon the characters will pick up on it. The showdown was really good. Toni’s husband Junior had lost his trailer in a fire and was storing all his tools in Suzanne’s car. I think Suzanne was probably very thankful she still had those tools in her car when it came to confronting the killer. This was a Christmas themed book, but I can read about Christmas any time of the year. Kindred sounds like a fun place to be at Christmas, minus the murders of course!

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Murder Once Removed–review

This is the first book in the brand new series released in March by S.C. Perkins. It’s called the Ancestry Detective series, and after reading what all is involved in completely tracing someone’s family history, I do agree that the genealogist has to be part detective. This took place in Texas, so of course the two families at odds with each other reminded me of the Ewings and the Barnes families from TV’s old Dallas series. I’m anxious to read the next one.

My Goodreads review:

Murder Once RemovedMurder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an exciting beginning for the Ancestry Detective series. While I don’t do genealogy myself, I can appreciate when someone looks up family trees and ancestors. I definitely had no idea just how much work was entailed. It was interesting to see how Lucy went about her research and when she got interested in the death of a man in 1849, I definitely wanted to know how that connected to the current day conflicts between two families, one of which was a senator’s family. The other was her wealthy client. I could see how her loyalty could be torn between the two as she worked to find out the truth behind the 1849 man Seth’s murder. The two battling families reminded me a little bit of the Ewings and the Barnes families in the old Dallas show. Gus definitely made me think of J.R. and the senator could easily have been good ole Cliff Barnes.

The showdown with the killer was kind of a nail biter, because I didn’t really see how Lucy could get herself out of this mess. Her condo manager’s cat NPH (Neil Patrick Housecat who became dubbed Herocat) had something cool to do with it as well as Lucy’s own quick thinking. I liked how her annoyance with FBI Agent Ben Turner turned to a sort of friendship and maybe even more than that in coming books. He did seem to tolerate her fairly well, even though just like every amateur sleuth she had her too-daring moments that made him worry. I’m anxious to keep reading 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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Lending a Paw–review

This is the first book in the Bookmobile Cat series by Laurie Cass and published in 2013. I was glad to hear that a new one coming out later this year, although I won’t be surprised if I’m not caught up by then. I really enjoyed this first book and plan to continue the series. The characters are all interesting, but I hope we get a little more fleshed-out versions of them in future books. I’m sure we will, although at this point, I can’t really say I know any of them well enough yet to want to be friends. Well, except for Eddie the cat, lol. He is really the star of the book, so I guess it makes sense that he’s the one I feel closest to at this point. I love the idea of a bookmobile cat, and I sure hope that Minnie’s grouchy boss doesn’t find out!

My Goodreads review:

Lending a Paw (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery, #1)Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m so glad I finally started this series that I’ve heard so much about. I’ve fallen head over heels for Eddie the bookmobile cat. He definitely has a way with people, and his intuition came in handy a few times for his human, Minnie Hamilton. Minnie is an awesome and interesting character. She lives on a houseboat and drives a bookmobile three days a week. Eddie stowed away the first time, and the people at the book stops loved him so much, Minnie couldn’t disappoint them by leaving him behind the next time.

When the murder of the library’s most generous donor rocked the community, Minnie felt she needed to bring closure to this, because even though Stan was known in the town as a miser, he was always nice and generous to the library and had purchased the bookmobile for them. There were plenty of suspects, and I had no idea who was the killer until the clues started falling into place, and Minnie had a good idea of who it was too. There wasn’t really a showdown, just an escape from an old musty barn, but Minnie lived to tell the story and was thanked for her tip she’d given the police. Even though Stan’s money that he wanted to leave to the library would be tied up indefinitely, a couple of new donors came through. I would never have thought either of these people would donate from how they were at first. It’ll be interesting to know what kind of adventure Minnie and Eddie get into next–and if her boss ever finds out about Eddie!

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A Pattern for Murder–review

This is the first book in the Bait & Stitch series by Ann Yost, which centers around the Finnish-American community life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan aka the Yooper, specifically a peninsula known as Keweenaw, which is actually a real place. I always turn my inner search nerd on when I come across a place that’s a real vacation destination in a book. I found more info on Keweenaw Peninsula on the official Michigan vacation site. When we visited Mackinac Island last September, we thought it would be fun to go even farther north. Maybe Keweenaw needs to be soon on our vacation list.

My Goodreads review:

A Pattern for Murder (The Bait & Stitch Cozy Mystery Series, #1)A Pattern for Murder by Ann Yost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a nice start for the series. I’ve had this book and been meaning to read it since it came out. Even though some of the names aren’t easy to pronounce, I thought it was cool that the people on the peninsula were of Finnish descent and continued some of their ancestors’ traditions. That was what made Hatti, the main character, decide that she wanted to open a knitting store inside her stepdad’s bait shop. Since he and her mom were away on a second honeymoon, I’m guessing that the shop will open in the next book.

As a couple of the characters mentioned, this book did seem like “And Then There Were None.” Was someone killing off the older people who lived in the Lighthouse Retirement Home? The first body was the man whose mother had left the lighthouse and a trust fund to the county for taking care of the older lower-income residents. How many more would die before Hatti and her friends could figure this mystery out? I actually did guess the killer fairly early on and kept wondering when the people–especially Hatti– would realize–then I had to remember that I’m a reader of these mysteries and the main character was new at all of this mystery-solving. Of course she might end up trusting the wrong people. 😉 I really liked all the main characters and definitely found myself caring about what happens to them next, so I do plan to read on in the series.

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Cat Got Your Crown–review

This is the fourth book in the Kitty Couture series by Julie Chase, who is also known as Julie Lindsey and Bree Baker. I hadn’t read the other three books, since I got this as an ARC, and at the time I thought for sure I’d be caught up. Nope. But it wasn’t a problem, because this book can work as a standalone. There are no spoilers to worry about, in fact, I’m kinda happy about what I know now when I’ll go back and start reading the series from the beginning. 😉

The San Fermin pic I found was from searching licensed for reuse pictures and it’s from Wikimedia Commons.

My Goodreads review:

Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture MysteryCat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery by Julie Chase

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read in this series and now I am definitely making a point of reading from the beginning. I love books about New Orleans anyway, because it just seems like a magical and fun place. I think I’ll enjoy knowing some of the things I know now from this book when I start the series 😉

The murder of the Pet Pageant MC had Lacy investigating, getting threats, almost run down by bulls and nearly killed during the showdown with the killer. I had briefly thought about the person who was the killer, but I dismissed it. I was really surprised at the reveal, but I’m not sure who else I would have come up with. I was just reading and having fun watching it unfold. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with these characters, especially who Lacy ends up with. Imogene was a hoot–I thought it was sweet of Lacy’s former nanny to be working for her at her pet boutique now. All along Lacy was trying to make time to hire an employee, and during her big party at the end, the perfect person was revealed. I’m really looking forward to more books in the series, but I do want to have some time to get caught up with the first three books. This book did work as a standalone, since no spoilers were given for any of the other mysteries.

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

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