Fatal Cajun Festival review

This is the fifth book in the Cajun Country series by Ellen Byron, and it didn’t take long for it to become one of my favorite series. I feel like these characters are old friends and reading another book in the series is like a long-awaited reunion with them. Even Ru and Vanessa have tamed down and are actually pretty decent characters now (compared to what they were like in the first couple of books!) The books can easily stand alone, but to get the most out of Maggie’s backstory and her journey with dating Bo, it’s advisable to start at the beginning. Enjoy and laissez-les bons temps roulez!

My Goodreads review:

Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country MysteryFatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just like all my book trips to Pelican, LA, I didn’t want this one to end! I love that Bo and Maggie have been planning their wedding (even though they’ve failed at coming up with a date). Vanessa was still able to be snarky, but now she was Maggie’s friend, and she came in handy at giving advice on handling a bully seeing how she was one herself not so very long ago. I like the new and improved Rufus too. He’s been a dad for a few books now and even though he’s not with little Charli’s mom, he is crazy about his baby girl. Maggie’s friend Gaynell got a chance to shine with her Gator Girls band but she was worried about a high school bully named Tammy coming to the music festival. Tammy was a very rich and successful singer, and when she got there, she proved just how mean she could still be by suggesting that Gaynell was the one who killed her manager.

There was a really good twist in the plot which created another little mystery, and just when the killer was taken care of and the murder was solved, there were still more surprises coming. It was an enjoyable roller coaster ride to the finish and I absolutely can’t wait 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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Buried in the Stacks review

This is the third book in the Haunted Library series by Allison Brook, the pen name of author Marilyn Levinson. I just love the library ghost, Evelyn! She’s not a scary ghost at all, just a sweet older lady who was killed before her time. In this book, it’s possible that Evelyn might get to find out what really happened to her and if she was murdered by the same person who killed her niece.

My Goodreads review:

Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #3)Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murder hit very close to the library ghost Evelyn’s heart in this story. Since it was her own relative that was killed, Evelyn promised Carrie that this time she’d be more willing to share things that she knew or could overhear. The side story of a daytime homeless facility was mixed up in the case as well, and Carrie couldn’t help getting involved, especially when her very sad ghost friend asked her to investigate. Evelyn had a soft spot for all her relatives.

I liked hearing from some of the previous characters like Ken Talbot and Gillian. I’ve really grown to like Carrie’s dad a lot, and she had a few good conversations with him, plus he was working for the same agency now as Dylan her boyfriend was. Dylan was coming home for good with a slight change in the original plan. I loved how little Smoky Joe, Carrie’s beloved cat that she shares with the library as their daytime cat, got to have a part in taking down the killer. I had a suspicion as to who the killer would be, but it was still really good seeing when Carrie would catch on and how the killer would get caught. Carrie got a surprise phone call from another relative who would be coming to see her in April, someone that she wasn’t really looking forward to seeing. The next book should be very interesting!

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 Curio Killing review

This this the third book in the Keepsake Cove series by Mary Ellen Hughes, and it’s quickly becoming another favorite series. I thought the addition of author Lyssa Hammond last time as a character was a great move and had hoped she’d return, so I was happy to see that she was around for some sleuthing. Being a mystery writer, she’s pretty well cut out for that job! I’m anxious now for the next book in this series.

My Goodreads review:

A Curio Killing (Keepsake Cove Mystery #3)A Curio Killing by Mary Ellen Hughes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once I got really into the first few chapters of this book, I couldn’t put it down. I had enjoyed the first two books a lot, but I loved this one even more. I kept waiting for Aunt Mel to make her presence known by chiming Grandpa Reed’s music box like in the other books. It came but was definitely not what I would have expected, but it was so sweet. I liked that one part of the last book was explained in this book. I can’t go into detail or it would give away something major. It seemed like all the loose ends were neatly finished off.

I hadn’t guessed who the killer was. I knew it couldn’t be Hank, Callie’s formerly not-much-good-for anything ex-boyfriend. He was tossed into jail for killing the band’s manager and I enjoyed that Callie had her author friend Lyssa from the last book there to help her investigate, at least for awhile. Callie and Brian seem to be in a good place with their relationship. Brian has the patience of a saint. What other man would be so gracious when the girl he likes was trying to prove her ex-boyfriend’s innocence. But Callie has proved that she only has eyes for Brian more times than once, so I guess it’s that mutual trust thing that’s so important.

I’m really anxious to read the next book and will need to snoop around to see if it’s available for pre-order yet.

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Out of the Picture review

This is the very first book in a brand new cozy mystery series called the Shepherd Sisters. It’s being published by Hallmark Publishing and written by Tracy Gardner. If you love a good Hallmark mystery with a budding romance, you will love this book too. I just have to mention that I love the name of Savanna’s little Boston Terrier: it’s Fonzie.

My Goodreads review:

Out of the Picture: A Shepherd Sisters MysteryOut of the Picture: A Shepherd Sisters Mystery by Tracy Gardner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh this was so good! True to being a Hallmark product, the characters were amazing, the town was cute and things worked out great in the end with a few conflicts, scares and bumps along the way. I just loved the character of Caroline, a sweet but feisty lady who was getting ready to turn 90. The Shepherd sisters were so cool–anyone would love to be friends with them. And what kid wouldn’t love to have Savanna as their art teacher?

I was so sure that I knew who the perp was, but it turned out to be someone completely different. It was a good mystery too and allowed Savanna to use her art authenticator knowledge to help the police. It was so sweet that Savanna and Aidan found each other, and I’m anxious now for the next book to see that progress, as well as see these sisters in detective mode again.

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Haunted House Murder review

This is the first compilation I’ve read by these authors, but I’m very familiar with and love all their series. It was fun reading about my favorite characters celebrating Halloween. Any of these stories could be read and a person wouldn’t feel lost if they haven’t read any of the series, especially the Hayley Powell story, Death by Haunted House, which I explain in my Goodreads review below.

I’m a little weird about liking to read books in order, and if you are like that too, Barbara Ross’s website has the numbering for all of her books and short stories showing how they fit into the regular Maine Clambake series. Hallowed Out is book 7.5. It looks like this is the group’s first Halloween compilation. Now I’m looking forward to reading one of their Christmas compilations!

Haunted House Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #25.7)Haunted House Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There were three really fun mysteries in this compilation. I love all these authors’ series to begin with, so I wanted to finally read one of their holiday collections, and since Halloween is my second favorite holiday, (Christmas being my first fave), I couldn’t resist requesting it from NetGalley.

The first one, Haunted House Murder, is a Lucy Stone mystery and is actually a shorter missing person type of mystery, but the other two did have the expected murders, and I didn’t guess the killers in either of one of them. I couldn’t believe that Lucy’s grandson Patrick is already eight years old.

In the Hayley Powell mystery, Death by Haunted House, readers don’t have to be worried at all if they haven’t read any other Hayley Powells, because this one takes place before the series even started. It was fun getting an insight into what Danny was like as a husband (kind of goofy and didn’t think things through a lot.) The first two books definitely had a similar theme: don’t judge your new neighbors by what they appear to be.

In the last mystery, Hallowed Out, by Barbara Ross of the Maine Clambake series, there was a really interesting murder that took place during a ghost tour reenactment. I loved that Le Roi the cat unraveled something that was bothering Julia a little bit. After reading this, I realized that it’s been far too long since I read a Maine Clambake mystery, and that I need to read one soon.

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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Bark If It’s Murder–review

This marks the third book in the newer Dog Club series by author V.M. (aka Valerie) Burns who also writes the Mystery Bookshop series and the R.J. Franklin series. I’ve read two of those series and am up to date in both. I just love the dogs in this series and the camaraderie of Lilly’s dog training club members. This time it was a group of them that got together to solve the murder. We met Dr. Morgan, the county coroner, in the last book, but he got a bigger role in this book, and we learned a little more about his personality. I’m super anxious now for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Bark If It’s Murder (Dog Club Mystery #3)Bark If It’s Murder by V.M. Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love this series and even though it might sound corny to say that each book is even better than the last, it’s true. Lilly and her friend Dixie are two people who I would absolutely enjoy having as friends. Either one of them would do anything for their family or friends, and as Lilly always shows when she investigates, she likes to help even those people that she doesn’t know well. I liked the new character of BJ too, she was such fun and what a hoot! A great addition to the dog club! I laughed so much in the very beginning of the book when Lilly and her dog club were volunteering at a dog show and got put on pooper scooper detail. Their reactions and the descriptions were so funny! A good non-mystery side story was about Lilly’s co-worker Jacob being home with a broken ankle and being coddled to death by his mom. He really wanted out of there lol.

This was a great mystery with a nice twist to it that as always, Lilly figured out. I didn’t really know the whole story until Lilly put it together, but all along there were some things I had doubts about. I like the good place where Lilly and Red are in their relationship. He might even end up with a new canine friend. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next book.

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Jealousy Filled Donuts review

This is the third book in one of my favorite series that I got to start from its beginning. The cover art has always been amazing, and this time was no exception! I’ve always gotten the paperback version of this series because little Dep is such a cutie along with the rest of the scene she’s in. The release date for this book is August 27, but my review was done from an ARC I have. I couldn’t wait to read it ahead and was definitely not disappointed! Now I can’t wait for the next book, but I’m sure it won’t be out for another year if it stays with the schedule it’s had so far.

Jealousy Filled Donuts (A Deputy Donut Mystery, #3)Jealousy Filled Donuts by Ginger Bolton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is getting better and better! I just couldn’t resist finishing the ARC a week early. I fell in love with these characters in the first book and have been waiting a little impatiently for this book to come out. My own copy will come on release day–the cover is so awesome that I just had to order the paperback of it. I could tell right away that Emily and Brent’s friendship was growing, because I didn’t notice one of my favorite lines that he always kinda mumbled, “Mmph”, when he was deep in thought or didn’t want to talk about a case. He was definitely more willing to share with her and accept her help on this case. It was a crazy and fun one too with a side mystery that involved a stalker of Emily and Tom’s new employee, Jocelyn. I hope we see more of Jocelyn, and that she stays working at Deputy Donut. She was the perfect addition to give Tom and Emily a much-needed break during the week.

I didn’t guess the killer, but I knew who I didn’t want it to be. I loved how the book ended with a complete explanation of everything that had been going on, then Emily’s parents who liked to RV around the country, returned home for a marshmallow roast at their home campground. It’s fun to wind a mystery down with some normal downtime for the characters, and this ending was just right!

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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