Mrs. Morris and the Sorceress review

This is the fourth book in what’s become one of my favorite series, Salem B&B by author Traci Wilton. the pen name for the writing duo of Traci Hall and Patrice Wilton. My favorite character of course, is the hilarious and lovable ghost Dr. Jack Strathmore. Charlene’s a great character who just wants to help, but her nosiness and impulsive plowing forward with ideas sometimes get her into hot water. The Salem B&B is definitely someplace I’d stay if it was real though (possibly just for Minnie’s amazing food she makes!).

My Goodreads review:

Mrs. Morris and the Sorceress (A Salem B&B Mystery #4)Mrs. Morris and the Sorceress by Traci Wilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I read one of the books in this series, I’m more in love with Dr. Jack the ghost, lol. As if he couldn’t get any more awesome or funny, he sure proved it in this book! Then there’s that human cutie named Sam. I can honestly see why Charlene has such a hard time and loves each one of them in their own way. Although Sam believes in tough love and learning things the hard way, as Charlene was going to find out later in the book.

I had a feeling about midway or more toward the end of whodunit, but boy was I wrong! The showdown was pretty epic, and a happy ending was had by all…except for the perp and dead woman that is. I really love Avery’s character and how she’s changed and grown. I’m willing to bet that Charlene wishes she could have adopted the girl had she known her when she was younger, but at least they got some good quality time together outside B&B working hours. It was fun to see Charlene kick back and actually go somewhere with her girlfriends too for a change. I always hate for books in this series to end, because it means I have to wait patiently on the next one!

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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Fresh Brewed Murder review

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, Ground Rules by Emmaline Duncan who also writes YA as Kelly Garrett. From what I can see, this is her first cozy mystery venture, and I do like what I’ve read. Being from Portland, the author really painted a good picture with descriptions of the area, so for someone like me who’s only ever been to California (briefly) on the west coast, I was still able to visualize these food carts and the different people, crowds and bands. It made a big city seem more like the little communities I’m used to in cozy mysteries.

My Goodreads review:

Fresh Brewed Murder (Ground Rules Mystery, #1)Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This seemed like a nice solid start for a new series. It was very easy to picture this little area of a larger city, and the camaraderie among the different cart owners (or tension as it was with some) was well-established as the story progressed–and I’ve never even been to Portland or seen an area with food carts as opposed to food trucks. The key characters were likable, and I just loved Sage’s dad! He had the boundaries of dad and cop clearly defined and didn’t hesitate to always be a good dad and be there for Sage. Her mom was sure a piece of work, and I’m actually glad she wasn’t physically in the story. I enjoyed Uncle Jimmy, Jackson (Sage’s brother) and Miles’s (Sage’s cousin) characters a lot too! This was one bunch of guys I’d be proud to call my family.

I was surprised by who the killer was and enjoyed the showdown. It was great how there were some of the other cart owners around to help. Sage now has her pick between two guys who really seem to care for her, but I can’t blame her for just having fun and casually going out with each of them at different times. She’s young and has plenty of time! It’ll be interesting to see what Sage’s next adventure brings.

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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Under the Cover of Murder review

This is the sixth book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore series by Lauren Elliott which has quickly made its way to one of my favorite series. Maybe it helped that I felt the need to binge books 4 and 5 to be ready for this one? I don’t know, but I know these characters have worked their way into my heart, and I don’t want to let them go at the end of the book! Luckily for all of us fans, the next book in the series comes out in October, so unlike some other of my favorite series, we don’t have to wait a whole year.

My Goodreads review:

Under the Cover of Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #6)Under the Cover of Murder by Lauren Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you think a series can’t possibly get better, it manages to do that thanks to a talented writer. Addie has grown and changed so much over the series, but her same annoyingly endearing snooping hasn’t changed, or the police would be in trouble without her insight, lol. I seem to really be liking her a lot better now that she’s with Simon. Maybe they just go together better than she and Marc did, since all they ever did was bicker.

This was one mystery that I had no clue whodunit, so I just read and cruised along on the yacht (well it didn’t actually cruise-it was docked for Serena’s wedding and reception…and an unexpected murder.) I loved how Catherine and Paige were Addie’s sleuth buddies this time. They really got into using the makeshift murder board that Addie came up with. There were literally tons of suspects and great red herrings. I knew who I wanted to be guilty, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Secrets were everywhere and changes were in store for some of the staff, guests and even law enforcement. But the absolute sweetest thing happened toward the end after the cruise was finished, and everything was explained/wrapped up. You’ll just have to read the book to find out, but I have to say I couldn’t have agreed more with the outcome! I’m just happy to only have to wait until October for the next book!

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Bodies and Bows review

This is the third book in the Apron Shop series by Elizabeth Penney, and I always love the newest one best! It’s just a picture-perfect cozy mystery with a cute little coastal town and some of the best characters I’ve come to know and always want to go back to see what they’re up to. It was cool how Grammie and Iris’s shop was doing well enough to have them looking for a part-time worker and seamstress. The search was um, interesting lol. I can always picture this series as a Hallmark mystery movie!

My Goodreads review:

Bodies and Bows (Apron Shop Series Book 3)Bodies and Bows by Elizabeth Penney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The series just keeps getting better! And it was very good to begin with! Iris and her friends were defending one of their own again when Bella was the prime suspect for the murder of a guy she’d been dating. The problem was, a number of the women in town had dated this player, so any one of them could have run him down. There were also plenty of guys who didn’t like him!

After a couple of murder attempts on another friend happened, Iris knew they were getting close. I loved how she got the upper hand in the showdown, and another friend of Iris’s was getting a chance at a happily ever after. The last chapter was the sweetest ever! I don’t want to give away any of this awesome side story, but maybe have a tissue or two handy!

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Murder by Page One review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Peach Coast Library by Olivia Matthews who also writes the cozy mystery Sister Lou series. I really enjoyed meeting Marvey and all her friends and library co-workers. What a great setting and fun groups of people. I’ll definitely be watching for when the next book comes out!

My Goodreads review:

Murder by Page One (Peach Coast Library Mystery #1)Murder by Page One by Olivia Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this start of a new series and the idea of the main character having two strong sets of friends. She had her bestie Jo of course, and their other good friend Spence. What was so cool about Spence was that despite the fact he was super rich, he didn’t flaunt it or act all stuffy about it. He dug in and investigated with his friends like any regular guy who might have had an in with the coroner’s office, and he kept a presence and job at the local paper his family owned. It was great that he had the means it took to get people together for questioning purposes aka dinner party too. Jo was very blessed to have a determined friend like Marvey trying to keep her from going to prison for a murder she didn’t commit. Marvey was someone I could quickly become friends with.

The other group of friends was Marvey’s library co-workers. I really liked all of them, especially the ol’ curmudgeon Floyd who wasn’t really such a crusty guy after all. And Corrinne was such a nice boss which was really refreshing. I read so many books where the boss is a jerk, but Corrinne was genuinely a good person to her employees. I got the feeling that she’d never ask them to do anything she wouldn’t do. They did a good job presenting a united front for their budget increase request as well as helping Marvey with her sleuthing.

I had sort of guessed the killer once the clues fell into place. It was a great showdown with Jo and Marvey working together on it. The detective and his sidekick weren’t painted in too bad of a light. Kind of a good balance where I could picture the conversations between them as not too heavy or light if it was done as a Hallmark mystery movie.

Great setting for a mystery series, and it was interesting to have a New York transplant come into town. I got a kick out of Marvey’s notebook on Southernisms and their translations, lol. I thought the Cobbler Crawl sounded pretty cool and was glad to see Marvey as Spence’s partner in it. Gotta admit, I’d be there for the cobbler not the race part! I’m anxious to see what this fun group gets into in the next book! The key players were definitely people I came to care about and would like to visit with again!

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 Deadly Chapter review

This is the third book in the Castle Bookshop series by Essie Lang, who might be better known as Linda Wiken (Dinner Club series) or Erika Chase (Ashton Corner 5-book series) depending on which of her cozy series you’ve read. I’ve read one book in each of her other series and liked them very much, but anything having to do with books always appeals just a little bit more to me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I definitely love this castle bookshop setting and think the area would be an interesting vacation spot.

My Goodreads review:

A Deadly Chapter: A Castle Bookshop MysteryA Deadly Chapter: A Castle Bookshop Mystery by Essie Lang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another fun visit to the Alex Bay area which I think would be interesting to go visit someday. I just love Aunt Edie and Matthew, they’re so darn cute together, and Matthew is just the most amazing and loyal friend anyone could have. Shelby and Zack were at a point in their relationship where she found she cared so much for him, it was a real dilemma for her when he announced he got a promotion that would put him in Boston.

There’s a lot more than just a mystery going on in one of these books like dinner with good friends and Aunt Edie, as well as a lot of going over the case between Shelby and various friends. In some places, it did tend to drag a bit, and I started wondering if anyone would figure out who killed the guy Shelby found in the water by her houseboat. The side mystery which involved his search for a mystery woman also had Shelby intrigued and asking the usual too many questions.

The showdown was a little tense, but Shelby got things under control to save herself. It was a good little twist toward the end too. Then the actual ending was very sweet and made me happy to read it.

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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Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle review

This is the fourth in the Death by Chocolate series by Sarah Graves. A lot of people have had the fun of knowing Jake and Ellie’s characters from the Home Repair is Homicide series, but I only just started reading about them when this series came out. I keep saying I want to start on that other series sometime…then sometime always gets filled up! I do enjoy this series a lot and didn’t really feel like I’d missed out when I first started it, but there were a few things I remember being implied or carried over from the other series although nothing major.

My Goodreads review:

Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle (A Death by Chocolate Mystery, #4)Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle by Sarah Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s always a fun and suspense-filled roller coaster ride when Jake and Ellie are on a case! I’m always sitting there reading as fast as I can as they get into one investigating scrape after the other, but most of the time they get away without being seen. Although their friend and police officer Bob’s watchful eyeballs usually do see them or had a report of them doing something, and they have to answer to his lecture later. At least he’s never gone through with his arrest threat…yet lol.

I know who I desperately wanted to be the killer, but things don’t usually work that way. At least I had the real killer in my radar. The showdown was quite the hair-raising experience for the girls, followed by everything being explained with a nice wrapped-up ending.

I liked that they addressed Mika’s issues after having her second child. I’ve heard it ‘s a very real thing to have brain fog trying to take care of a toddler and an infant. The solution couldn’t have been better though, and it helped several people by ending up that way. I liked Helen and Anna’s side story too, and that ended well for all involved. I’m always looking forward to the next book and what adventure one of my favorite bestie sleuth pairs will get into next!

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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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder review

This is the twenty-seventh book in this series, one of the longest-running cozy mystery series that I’ve read. Joanne Fluke had a real winner on her hands when she started the Hannah Swensen series, that’s for sure along with more yummy recipes than anyone could ever imagine. For awhile, the later books didn’t seem to have the right feeling, vibe or even the right-sounding conversations to them, but this book was right back there where I’ve always felt like Hannah books should be. Just comfortable, not stilted dialogue and still all the usual neighborly town things going on.

When you read one of the Hannah Swensen series, it’s like the old “don’t go to the grocery store hungry” thing, only it’s “I wouldn’t read one of these books while hungry if I were you.” ::wink::

My Goodreads review:

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen #27)Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s always great to get back to Lake Eden and characters I’ve come to think of as old friends. This time, the most unlikely person was the suspect in the mayor’s death…Andrea! And of course, that made Bill have to step away from it leaving Mike and Lonnie to investigate with their now-asked-for help from Hannah. Michelle sometimes stepped in to help, since she’s involved with Lonnie.

I loved that this book started with some real interest and action too. Usually (and I adore that silly Moishe kitty, don’t get me wrong) it’s Moishe waking Hannah and Hannah thinking it’s someone in her dream. It started off with a stronger than usual story and kept it all the way through. You have to be used to this series to realize that along with a little mystery, you get a heaping helping of neighbor talk and some of the yummiest-sounding recipes you’ll ever come across. It’s all part of the charm though, and this book had the feel of the earlier books that I came to love so much.

There was a really good twist that I had started suspecting at one point. As always, it was well-explained by everyone with a wrap up at the end. The showdown was rather peaceful although it could have taken a bad turn. I’m sure Bill and Andrea were two of the most relieved people when the mystery was solved.

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 Game of Cones review

This is the second book that was just published today March 2, 2021 in the Ice Cream parlor series by Abby Collette, an Ohio author who’s also known as Abby L. VanDiver. Under that name, she’s published several different series, the longest being the Logan Dickerson series. I love her writing in this series, and I really want to explore her other books too. I just love Win and her crazy friend Maisie and of course, Riya who’s definitely a threat to any perp out there. These three besties got to team up this time with a friend of Win’s from New York who surprisingly fit right in. I’m super anxious for the next book and would like to thank @Berkley Publishing for approving me to read this book from NetGalley.

My Goodreads review:

A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 2)A Game of Cones by Abby Collette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m really enjoying this series and Win with her big wonderful family and crazy but fun-to-sleuth- with friends! She had a visit from a good friend named Rory from when Win worked at an ad agency in New York, and Rory’s job was to persuade Win to come back to New York while tempting her with a nice fat pay increase and an office. I love what Win advised her friend later on toward the end. Poor Rory got a little tangled up in the murder that happened to be a guy representing a firm wanting to put a mini mall right in the downtown triangle of Chagrin Falls.

There were lots of secrets and mostly people were against this idea which would take away several of the small businesses. Maisie was about to burst from wanting to sleuth and coming up with about 800 conspiracies–that girl absolutely cracks me up and makes me laugh when she’s around, what a hoot and genuinely nice person! The usual trio with the addition of Rory became a foursome (not quite all fearsome, although Riya is a force to be reckoned with!) for sleuthing. The showdown was very cool, and Rory’s reaction was so good! I really liked Rory’s character and would love to see more of her in future books. Who knows, maybe she’ll change her mind about small towns someday?

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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Long Island Iced Tina review

When I first heard about this book sometime last year, I thought it was just the cleverest pun title for a cozy, and after reading it, it’s even better! This is the second book in the Catering Hall mysteries by Maria DiRico, who’s actually well-known cozy author Ellen Byron. She tells on her site how the real Maria is her grandmother (or great-grandmother). I can’t find it on her site, but I’m thinking she mentioned it on herย  Facebook author page.

I had the best time reading this book from Mia’s sleuthing, the bumbling retail manager they hired as a favor to one of Mia’s dad’s friends, and good old Nonna on a mission going to funeral visitations dragging her neighbor Phillip along. Great stuff and so funny sometimes!

My Goodreads review:

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery Book 2)Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love this series, and Mia has to be one of the funniest main characters I’ve read about. This is another character I can so easily close my eyes and hear Fran Fine the Nanny speaking as Mia. (And somehow, Val’s voice was coming from Nicole lol). I enjoy all these key characters so much, even Donny Boldano Senior has some endearing qualities. Donny Junior is just hilarious without meaning to be. And Jamie’s just plain adorable, but even though he’s taken, he’s a really good and faithful friend for Mia aka someone her dad hopes can keep her out of trouble!

At least Mia and her dad weren’t being blamed for the latest murder, but they might as well have been, since the body was found in the bay next to their venue. Once more at the showdown, Mia found herself facing down a crazed killer, but she did okay! Seems she’s a lot better driving on the water than on land! Just when Jamie appeared to be taken and happy with no one on the horizon for Mia to even be remotely interested in…well, I’m going to leave it at that and let readers find out for themselves what happens. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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