Witch Hunt review

This is the first in a new series by Cate Conte who writes the Cat Cafe series, a series that I really love (although I admit, I’m a couple of books behind in it, oops!). I knew I’d like this series too, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Violet aka Vi was trying to come to grips with an information overload from her witch mother and sister who popped in while Vi was trying to clear herself of being the prime person of interest in a murder. Vi’s sister Zoe turned out to be my favorite secondary character. She’s just fun! And it was cool to see who else in town was actually magical that in the beginning the readers (and Vi) had no clue that they were.

As Liz Mugavero, this author has written the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries series, and I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in that one.

My Goodreads review:

Witch HuntWitch Hunt by Cate Conte

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome start for a new witchy series (I’m still not sure what the series is called though, since I can’t find it on the GR or Amazon page) by Cate Conte, the author of another favorite series of mine, the Cat Cafe. Violet aka Vi was a great main character and I absolutely loved her mom and sister when they came into her life. I wasn’t thrilled at all with her boyfriend Todd, and I think Syd her bestie could grow on me, but since she was having issues of her own, it wasn’t like the usual sleuth and bestie go sleuthing together.

I hadn’t guessed the killer–there were some great red herrings, and the showdown was very low key, but then it wasn’t like it was a beloved person who they killed or that Vi had been up in this person’s face a lot. Vi had her own suspicions and worries that it could have been some of her friends. Once she learned about the witch world, she was surprised and probably pretty happy that some of her favorite people were witches. This is going to be a great series, and I can’t wait for the next book!

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Still Knife Painting review

This is the first book in a new series by author Cheryl Hollon of the Webb’s Glass Shop series. I thought the whole painting adventure package sounded like a cool business for a cozy mystery main character and very different from any that I’ve read. I really felt bad for Miranda just getting started in this business and having a murder occur in her own farmhouse right away. I’m definitely going to keep reading in this series, and now I really want to start the author’s other series that I’ve been collecting but just haven’t started yet.

My Goodreads review:

Still Knife PaintingStill Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked the idea of someone doing trails, painting and Southern cooking as a type of adventure tour. I’m not sure I’d be thrilled with the trail idea or the moonshine tasting (I’ve tried it in Tennessee and don’t care for it), but the painting sounds fun along with the authentic Southern meal. I liked Miranda a lot but at times, I wondered if she was thinking straight. Her little pup sounded adorable, and I liked the secondary characters of Austin (oh yeah!), Mrs. Hobb–and Sheriff Larson grew on me after a little bit.

I thought I guessed the killer but it was just another red herring. I kind of figured the showdown might happen when it did. It was short but very good. I always enjoy when there’s a wrap-up at the end which in this book took place after the murdered woman’s funeral. There was a little side mystery that got its answer at this time too. I’ll definitely be interested in reading the next book. I think this idea has lots of potential, and what a great setting for lots of different mysteries.

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A Fatal Fiction review

This is the third book in the Deadly Edits series by Kaitlyn Dunnett. I’ve really enjoyed this series and getting know Mikki and her friends. Mikki was on the case this time to clear herself from a murder frame-up, but her nephew Nick was being a helicopter nephew and worried she’d get hurt.

My Goodreads review:

A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits #3)A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve really enjoyed reading about Mikki and her sleuthing in this series. As her nephew who came to make sure she was okay after she was being framed for murder found out, Mikki was one lady who could take care of herself. She was always touched by Nick’s kindness, but she made sure he knew who was in charge at her house. Her friend Darlene wasn’t in the book quite as much as previous books, but she always came in handy for online research.

I knew who I wanted to be guilty and was pretty happy when it happened! The showdown was exciting, and once again, Mikki proved that she wasn’t some goofy old lady who walked blindly into a killer’s trap.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. The book releases June 30.

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Booked for Death review

This is the first books in a brand new Booklovers B&B series by Victoria Gilbert who also writes the Blue Ridge Library series, one of my personal favorite series. I found these characters to be just as fun, especially Ellen Montgomery, a neighbor to Charlotte who runs the B&B. They made good sleuthing buddies, so I hope they keep going on adventures together.

The book comes out August 11, but it was too tempting to wait that long to read it!

My Goodreads review:

Booked for Death (Booklovers B&B Mysteries #1)Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome theme for a B&B setting. I really enjoyed meeting these characters and have decided that Ellen is my favorite. When you read the book, you’ll see why! The aunt that Charlotte had inherited her B&B from was kind of a mysterious lady, and Ellen helped Charlotte discover the truth about her after a guest who ended up dead in the carriage house had threatened to reveal certain truths…although we eventually find out that the guy’s version of the truth was way off.

The killer’s identity definitely caught me by surprise. I liked how Charlotte had gathered all her suspects just like in her favorite classic detective books. The police were in on the showdown, but it still could have gone sideways. I’m anxious to keep reading this series and see what other adventures Charlotte and Ellen get into. I’m sure Julie is a good bestie to Charlotte, but for some reason, I just couldn’t warm up to her like I do the sleuth’s usual sidekick. Probably because in this case, the sidekick turned out to be the very cool 70-something Ellen.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. The book is scheduled for release on August 11.

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A Sprinkling of Murder review

This is the very first book in a brand new series coming June 30 by Daryl Wood Gerber. She writes several other series, and I always love reading her work. This book was so much fun with a main character who had a fairy who helped her sleuth. There are a lot of amazing-looking recipes at the end of the book…and a preview of the next book!

My Goodreads review:

A Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery #1)A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the first book in this brand new series so much! I just love Courtney’s playful and sometimes mischievous fairy, Fiona. She really was trying to be good in order to earn her complete adult wings. It was so cool how some people could see her, and others either just didn’t want to believe or were totally ignorant. The whole magical feeling of the story was so much fun. I enjoy the author’s other series and feel that she did a great job with a fantasy mystery and her fairy garden-making research.

I had sort of guessed the killer but their reason was very hidden. I always enjoy a book more when the killer gets caught in a way that doesn’t cause any nail biting or harm to the main character. And it’s great when there’s a wrap-up afterward. It’s going to be hard to wait till next year for the next book, but there was a little preview after all the recipes. And the recipes…they all sound amazing especially those brownies with the salted caramel sauce!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book, and my opinions are my own. The book publishes June 30, 2020.

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No Filter review

When I had seen this book for pre-sale on Amazon, it sounded so intriguing, and I’m really glad now that I got it and decided to read it right away. I just had to write a post about it and am so anxious now to read the next book.

The new series is called Barks & Beans which is also the name of the cafe where customers can get coffee and go hang out with some shelter dogs. The author is Heather Day Gilbert who from what I can tell, isn’t normally a cozy mystery author, but she definitely did a great job with this first entry.

My Goodreads review:

No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery, #1)No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh do I love this new series! Siblings Bo and Macy Hatfield were such awesome characters who definitely used their brains before proceeding into possible danger. Most of the time Macy was very good about keeping her brother in the loop about her investigating until she found out a reason why it was extra dangerous, even to him. I don’t want to give away any of the fun details, but after learning more about the brother and sister duo, I kind of suspected there would be an ongoing story line which was actually a mini cliff hanger, but that makes me all the more anxious to read the next book.

Dogs and a cafe, win-win to me, and it ended up helping the local animal shelter so much that they nearly ran out of dogs to adopt out. I really liked the character of Summer, the girl who ran the shelter and was glad to see that she and Macy hit it off as good friends. Hopefully she’ll get together with Bo. Macy had a couple of possibilities for guys who seemed to like her, so it’ll be interesting to watch that play out in future books. There were some great red herrings, and I hadn’t guessed the killer. The showdown was absolutely awesome with Coal, the Great Dane saving the day. Macy couldn’t have adopted a cooler more intelligent dog!

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Red Hot by Dana Dratch-review

This is the third book in the Red Herring series by Dana Dratch, and I think they just keep getting better and crazier. Some of the stuff that happens to Alex is so nutty, but she always gets her killer.

My Goodreads review:

Red Hot (A Red Herring Mystery Book 3)Red Hot by Dana Dratch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this has been my favorite so far of this series! I loved that it took Alex away from her home turf for a while to Miami, Florida, and that we got to know her sister Annie a lot better. I really like Annie, and she made an excellent sleuth and interrogator. She could question people, and they never realized it. Of course, with Alex’s luck, the trip turned into a murder investigation but not at first. It was more of a “where did the dead woman hide the money she took” investigation. Lucy, Nick’s dog that came along on the girls’ trip was adorable as always. Trip, being the good friend that he was, had managed to snag a writing gig that Alex was able to work on during the time in Florida, and it was going to feature Lucy.

A Vlodnachek vacation wouldn’t be complete without the ENTIRE family. That itself gave a little comic relief due to Baba (Grandma) showing up. I loved the showdown and how everyone worked together to trap the killer. Another favorite character, Gabby, made a good appearance and used her special skills to help with the sleuthing. This series has yet to disappoint me.

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Secrets of the Past review

This is the fifth book in the Whodunit Antiques series written by Shelly West. I’ve read and loved this series from the very beginning, but I think this book has been my favorite so far. Even though there was no murder, there were still some mysteries to be cleared up, and readers even got to meet the enigmatic Mrs. Applebaum. Actually, she was the energetic Mrs. Applebaum even though Abigail thought she looked  lots older than her Granny. She was definitely a character! My suggestion for fully enjoying this series is to start at the beginning. Characters will make more sense to you too, and you’ll get to read about all the past cases that Abigail and Granny have helped solve.

I found the photo of a greyhound (Google search, labeled for reuse) to celebrate James’ adopted dog, Zippy.

My Goodreads review:

Secrets of the Past (Whodunit Antiques #5)Secrets of the Past by Shelly West

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best book yet and answered a lot of family type questions readers have had over the course of the last four books. I even found myself not caring that there was no murder, I was so into the whole story about Abigail’s real father and the hilarious Mrs. Applebaum! I kept hearing about her in the other books and was calling her in my mind “the elusive Mrs. Applebaum” lol. She’s really a hoot just like Granny had told Abigail, and I thought it was really cool how she got to play the part of a sort of fairy godmother for Abigail and Granny. Will we ever find out where she goes when she’s not visting Granny?

There was a super happy ending with appropriate amounts of smiles and tears (yes a little eye-leaking on my part too!). I can’t wait for the next installment!

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

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A Study in Murder review

This is the first book in the Victorian Book Club series by Callie Hutton who’s no stranger to writing, but from her bio I read that this is her first venture into cozy mysteries, technically historical cozy mysteries since this takes place in 1890. All I know is, she certainly entertained me with her sense of humor coming through the characters. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’m not normally a historical cozy reader but occasionally I’ll read one. I was pleasantly surprised by these fun characters, especially William and Amy. I’m definitely up for reading the next book!

My Goodreads review:

A Study in Murder (A Victorian Book Club Mystery #1)A Study in Murder by Callie Hutton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really well-written and plotted, I love the sense of humor and the budding relationship with Amy and William. They made the best sleuthing buddies, and with the little hint of some things yet to come in the next book, I’m definitely going to have to check it out. The killer was a total surprise to me with a quick but efficient showdown where both Amy and William were able to shine.

I loved the idea of Lady Amy being a mystery writer who was incognito and going to book clubs where they were discussing her book that everyone thought was written by a man, because in 1890 women weren’t considered much of anything let alone writers. Amy was a a nice strong personality for that era and more than one time I was cheering her on or sharing eye rolls with her when someone would make a snarky comment. I liked Margaret a lot too. She was more like an older sister than an aunt, because mainly in those days some aunts were stuffy and no fun, lol. Just as the running joke of someone saying “your fiance” followed with Amy saying, “…my EX-fiance” was wearing a little thin, the author did the funniest thing with it toward the end. Just read it, you’ll know when you see it and hopefully laugh as much as I did. I definitely liked this book a lot better than I thought I would when I first started 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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A Spell for Trouble review

This is the first book by Esme Addison in the new cozy series called Enchanted Bay, and I absolutely loved it! The characters, the setting, just everything including the magical aspect. As we all know from a certain teen wizard’s books and movies, there’s always good and bad magic, so Alex and her cousins had a plateful trying to figure out who was behind framing aunt Lidia for a murder. I can’t wait for the next book! What a fun virtual beach vacation!

My Goodreads review:

A Spell for Trouble (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #1)A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is going to be such an awesome series! I just loved this first book with all the unique magical characters, and I can’t wait to visit with them again. The setting was awesome and I could just picture the gorgeous beaches. I just loved Minka who was probably my favorite character. Alex was a good strong main character and I have some high hopes for her and Jack the police lieutenant.

The killer was a total surprise to me, what a great twist! I love how so many things are possible when it’s a magical world. The story about Alex’s mom seems to be one that might stay around for awhile until it’s completely resolved, but that’s fine. The main mystery was solved, and the side mystery gives us a little something to look forward to.

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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