Christmas Scarf Murder

This is the 2022 Kensington Cozies compilation of three short Christmas stories by three of their well-known cozy mystery authors, (in order of appearance in the book) Carlene O’Connor (Irish Village Mysteries), Maddie Day (Country Store Mysteries), and Peggy Ehrhart (The Knit & Nibble Mysteries). There’s usually three different authors every year, but I know Maddie and Carlene have done this more than once. Super enjoyable and a fun little bit of Christmas!

My Goodreads review:

Christmas Scarf Murder (Irish Village Mystery #8.5)Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another fun Christmas short story compilation that I’ve come to look forward to reading every year. I’m up to date on the Country Store series, have read one or two in Irish Village and read the first one or two in Knit & Nibble, so I was already familiar with characters. Although someone could read these and not be lost.

Christmas Scarf Murder was a fun reunion with Siobhan and her big Irish family. I was suspicious of someone from the get-go, so it wasn’t too far of a stretch to find they were the killer. I got a kick out of the elder home residents too and Siobhan and her hubby’s cute banter while working the case. The showdown was planned a really good. And the ending was so darn sweet!

In Scarfed Down, it wasn’t a huge surprise who the killer was even though there were several to pick from. I always enjoy a good Christmas story with Robbie and crew though and had fun reading about the investigation. Wanda and Buck always crack me up! The showdown was tense at first but no one was hurt at least. I loved this ending as well, lots of Christmas togetherness with family and good friends.

Death by Christmas Scarf took us to Arborville NJ with Pamela and her group of knitter friends. I haven’t read in the series for a while, so I was happy to read about these folks and might just need to get out my next in series soon where I left off. I really enjoyed this mystery too and liked the twist toward the end. As with all good cozies, there were some fun Christmas parties but ended with the friends gathering for the big explanation. Even Nell couldn’t get on them too much for gossiping after all this! ūüėČ

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Gone for Gouda review

This is the second book in the Cheese Shop Mysteries by Korina Moss. It’s got lots of twists and fun red herrings as Willa chases down yet another wily killer, but if she’s not careful she might get herself and her pals taken out in the process. I love her friendship with Baz and how she’s always trying to help him get a girlfriend. This time his heart was set on Ginger who was dating someone else. And of course, he wasn’t having it that Ginger just might be one of the many suspects. See what happens in this newest installment that just came out yesterday.

If you’ve finished this and you’re eager for the next book, we don’t have to wait a year because the next book, Curds of Prey looks to be scheduled to release March 28, 2023. That’s the Goodreads link by the way, but you can go from that page to pre-order.

#StMartinsPaperbacks #KorinaMoss

My Goodreads review:

Gone for Gouda (Cheese Shop Mystery, #2)Gone for Gouda by Korina Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was fun visiting with Willa and her employees/friends as they investigated the death of a visiting chef author who turned out to not exactly be what she claimed (and everyone who met her soon found out she over-praised people to get them to do stuff for her). Poor Willa was counting on the extra income and publicity she’d get from hosting the woman, but all she ended up with was a bunch of extra food and expense she’d gone to.

At times the storyline seemed to drag a bit, but then something a little more exciting happened. I guess it’s kinda like real life cases that just from reading these books anyone can learn they don’t go as fast as on TV, lol, so maybe it’s just a dose of reality when it gets a touch slow.

Willa’s got an awesome bestie in Baz (who only lets Mrs. Schultz call him Basil lol), but I honestly don’t know which I prefer for her, Roman or Heath. I guess I’m not over the moon about either guy so maybe that’s why. But we don’t have to wait super long for another book because Curds of Prey, book 3 comes out March 2023.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by St. Martin’s Paperbacks via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Seams Like Murder review

This is the first book in a new series called the Sewing Studio Mysteries by Dorothy Howell who writes another cozy mystery, the Haley Randolph Mysteries. I really liked these characters and can’t wait to see what Abbey, her aunt and her new friends get into in the next book. I had a feeling when I saw that sewing was involved in this book that I’d really take to it. It was definitely lotsa fun!

#KensingtonCozies #DorothyHowell

My Goodreads review:

Seams Like MurderSeams Like Murder by Dorothy Howell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On one hand, coming home to having your car accused of being used in a possible homicide was pretty awful for Abbey, but the possible friendship with Zack the handsome deputy would’ve been the saving grace, at least for me. But Abbey couldn’t bring herself to be even halfway nice to him until it was well into the book and he’d done what he could to prove to her he didn’t think she killed anyone. Poor guy having to work for that grumpy sheriff though! He was a piece o’ work for sure!

I loved how Abbey and Caitlin were able to resume the bestie friendship they’d only enjoyed for summers and how the rest of the businesses kinda pitched in to help with the investigation. Everyone had the interest of getting a killer off the streets once they started believing said killer wasn’t Abbey. There were enough cars in town that looked similar to hers it could’ve been anyone driving the car that killed the librarian. I know one person I was hoping might be the perp, but there were lots of good distractions and other possibilities too.

The showdown was pretty epic and as a seamstress I can totally laugh and say yep, that’s just what a bunch of people who sew or craft (or want a killer off the streets) might do with a wily killer! I loved how an embroidery machine was included in the story too probably because I really like using mine and it’s just fun to find something I can actually relate to in a book. This book releases tomorrow, September 27, don’t miss it! It’s pretty much everything I could want in a cozy mystery.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Dark and Snowy Night review

This is the sixteenth book in the Seaside Knitting Society (formerly known as Seaside Knitters when they were with another publisher) written by Sally Goldenbaum. I’ve loved every one of these that I’ve read and I’m nowhere near being caught up, but for some reason I can’t resist getting the newest ARC when it’s available. #NetGalley¬† This group of friends is definitely a bunch of ladies I could get along well with, especially their love of awesome food and camaraderie. I’d be worse than Cass at knitting but knowing me, I’d try it, lol.

#KensingtonCozies #SallyGoldenbaum

My Goodreads review:

 A Dark and Snowy Night (Seaside Knitters, #16)A Dark and Snowy Night by Sally Goldenbaum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s always super enjoyable to join this group of four friends who’re basically like sisters of various ages. I love how they gather to talk about the case at hand and compare sleuthing notes while they’re knitting or talking. Their guys are pretty incredible too, and I love Cass’s description of having Ben, a retired lawyer by your side if you need to talk to the police (probably not the exact quote): “It’s like taking your favorite teddy bear to the principal’s office.”

The more I got into the book, I had a feeling I knew whodunit and was right. Toward the end with more clues coming together was when I guessed what else was going on in a couple of mixed-up people’s lives. Izzy’s a real champ at calling and getting info from people, lol.

The side story with town curmudgeon-but-brought-cookies lady Luna was really good! She was one lady you didn’t wanna cross, yet she had some incredible patience going on with new knitters or just anyone who needed her. She was one of those surprising and interesting characters that crop up in books sometimes. I wouldn’t mind her popping in again–she’s a real character!

As sideways as the showdown could’ve gone, at least it didn’t and Nell was able to calmly talk with the involved. I love how everything’s always explained over fellowship and food and the end! It’s like their supreme reward for having another killer put away. I always leave one of these books wishing I didn’t have to and with the proverbial book hangover. Don’t miss its release on September 27! When there’s not a murder in Sea Harbor, it’s pretty darn magical at Christmastime!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Murder in a Cape Cottage review

This is the fourth book in the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries by Maddie Day aka Edith Maxwell who also writes the Country Store Mysteries as Maddie. I just love Mac’s super close-knit family and their interactions. She and Tim make a great couple and now that she’s wrapped her very orderly mind around marriage and subsequently having kids, Mac seems much better adjusted than she did in those first couple books. You won’t wanna miss this fun story of a mystery before the wedding!

I just had to include a note that if you’ve not read acknowledgements that authors write, you need to at least start reading the ones this author does. She’s always got something interesting or some back info included in it. This time it was a bittersweet mention of one of the characters being named after a lady’s sister. It was a charity auction with the winner getting to name a character in this book, and the lady who won chose to have the character named for her sister. I’m not gonna spoil the rest, you’ll just need to dig into those acknowledgements and find out what it was so sweet. I’ve always been a sort of acknowledgements nerd and try to always read those even if they’re short.

#KensingtonCozies #MaddieDay

My Goodreads review:

Murder in a Cape Cottage (A Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #4)Murder in a Cape Cottage by Maddie Day
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mac sure never expected to have a mystery to solve so close to her wedding day, but one sorta just fell in her lap as she and Tim worked on gutting a closet in their cottage. I guess Mac felt a little indebted to get justice for this pathetic skeleton that’d been walled up eighty years ago since the remains were found in her and Tim’s cottage. Even though Bella the parrot was moved to Mac’s parents’ house during the renovation, we still got our bookish dose of her silliness and begging for snacks.

As Mac investigated, there was a current day someone who didn’t like her digging into a murder from long ago. The only actual murders were the cold cases but there was an attempt on someone’s life and by that time I was pretty sure who might be behind all this. The showdown was awesome with Mac herself preventing a killing, but for this cozy sleuth it’s all in a day’s work. And she lived to get married which was basically what her friends and family were all worrying about. The friends and Mac’s toast at the end was pretty sweet. This book releases a week from today, September 27.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Murder on the Poet’s Walk review

This is the eighth book in one of my favorite series, the Book Retreat Mysteries by Ellery Adams who’s written all kinds of great cozy mystery series. I really love the Book Retreat series because every time I visit Storyton Hall, there’s usually a trip through the mysterious Hall itself. There’re always secret passages that only the staff or Jane and the Fins know about, and that just makes it extra fun. I’m sure whenever she’s sleuthing, Jane probably feels like a grown-up Nancy Drew when she explores creepy and secret places. I probably always say the current book’s my favorite, but this one is super special! Don’t miss its release on September 27!

#KensingtonCozies #ElleryAdams

My Goodreads review:

Murder on the Poet's Walk (Book Retreat Mysteries #8)Murder on the Poet’s Walk by Ellery Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when she thought a bunch of poets might be on the quiet side, Jane had to deal with a couple more Rip van Winkles at Storyton Hall. It seemed clear who the killer was at some points…until it didn’t. I’ve always enjoyed Jane’s sons as characters. They’ve never been bratty just little boys who’ve now grown into middle school age young guys who seem to be taking the care and well-being of the Hall very seriously as they’ve been taught all along.

There’s just something so awesome and comforting about Jane being surrounded by all these men who love her and would die for her. Her Fins have all been like father figures to her aside from Lachlan who’s marrying her bestie, Eloise–he’s more the age of a brother. Jane’s been trained to hold her own, so she’s no shrinking violet or overly dependent either. It’s just a good mix. I loved hearing where the poodle pups came from, another fun little crossover mention from Books by the Bay which ended but I like it that Oliva can somewhat live on once in awhile here.

Jane’s pals in her book club work out awesome as extra sleuths sometimes like in this book. Mrs. Pratt sure seemed to love sleuthing! The showdown was absolutely epic! You might just leak some happy tears as well because if you’re a longtime fan, you’re gonna be so proud at this showdown you won’t be able to stand it.

And the ending after the wedding was just magical! More happy tears tissue alerts here, lol. I was smiling long after reading this book and still smile thinking about the ending. Don’t miss when it goes up for sale September 27!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Murder Out of Character review

This is the second book in the Peach Coast Library Mysteries by Olivia Matthews who wrote a couple other cozy series as well before working on this one for Hallmark Publishing. I sure hope they want her to do more because I’m more than ready to keep reading about these characters! They just really pulled me in extra hard in this second book.

I love the closeness Marvey has with her parents even though they’re still living in New York while she’s in Georgia. And her friends are just so amazing with how they’ve welcomed her into their various circles. It’s cool how she’s got her close circle of friends (Jo, Nolan and Spence) for sleuthing, but she can also call on her librarian friends for some after-hours sleuthing as well. What an awesome entourage, right? I know they’ve gotta have plenty more stories to tell! (Oh and a total side note: there’s no way I’d be able to only enjoy Anna May’s peach cobbler once a week! I admire Marvey’s self-control!)

#HallmarkPublishing #OliviaMatthews

My Goodreads review:

Murder Out of Character (Peach Coast Library Mystery #2)Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked this so much better than the first book, and I liked the first book a lot. The characters drew me in but in this book it was just different. Somehow it just all came together and these characters became friends I was visiting. The mystery did seem more compelling in this book too, and at times I had a hard time putting my Kindle down. I couldn’t read fast enough toward the end lol. A clever clue led me to guessing the killer.

The book had probably my most favorite type of showdowns (meaning it was fairly safe for all involved), and I sure hope there’s another book because it’s about high time that Jo lets Nolan know how much she likes him. And Marvey needs to do the same with Spence. There at least were some better hints toward that as the book progressed and especially at the end. I really loved how everyone gathered at the end for a sort of debriefing then a party to see Marvey’s folks off which was actually a little bit more than just that! I really hope Hallmark Publishing wants more of this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Hallmark Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Steeped to Death review

This is the first in a brand new magical cozy mystery series, Witches Brew Mysteries by Gretchen Rue.¬† It was fun following Phoebe on her search for whether or not her aunt Eudora was a witch and whether she was one herself. The surprises were good ones though, and I’m super eager to read more in this series! I just love the key characters and setting. All those little shops sound amazing. I can’t wait to visit Raven Creek, WA again!

#CrookedLaneBooks #GretchenRue

My Goodreads review:

Steeped to Death (Witches' Brew Mystery #1)Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the first in this new series! It had just the right balance of magical things going on and cozy elements for the cozy mystery part. Phoebe’s newfound ability was a pretty cool one that she couldn’t just call on, but it sure knew when she needed it! Aunt Eudora definitely left her everything she needed, even a sweet cat named Bob who didn’t appear to be magical, at the moment anyway.

I know who I wanted to be guilty, but there were a few other suspects out there too. I liked how the detective didn’t automatically think Phoebe was guilty because the body was found behind her store. The stakeout she mentioned would’ve been awfully cool, but other things happened instead that you’ll just have to find out when you read it.

The showdown was exciting and could’ve gone a lot worse had Phoebe not been who she was. I liked the revelation at the end and how someone she’d suspected actually turned out to be an awesome protector and true friend.

It’ll be interesting to see who exactly Phoebe ends up being sleuthing besties with and if she and Rich ever officially date. Honey seemed like a like-minded fellow business owner that might make a good sleuth, so I’m eager to see what all Phoebe and her new town of friends gets into next time. I hope there’s another book planned for sooner than a year away!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Bound by Murder review

This is the third book in the Antique Bookshop Mysteries by Laura Gail Black. These characters and the setting are just about as cozy of a cozy mystery as you’ll find! As you’ll see in my review I didn’t get a chance to read/review the second book but I do intend to go back and read it. I really loved this one and remember liking the first one a lot too! Can’t wait to see how Keith and Jenna’s story continues!

#CrookedLaneBooks  #LauraGailBlack

My Goodreads review:

Bound by Murder (Antique Bookshop Mystery #3)Bound by Murder by Laura Gail Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some reason, I never got around to reading book 2 of this series, but I did read the first book in 2020. Everything as far as characters started coming back to me, and I love how Rita’s taken Jenna under her wing like a mom or big sister. Add Keith to that (they had a few ups and downs in here but nothing that can’t be remedied!) along with a new friend and business owner named Shelby, and you’ve got an unstoppably cozy quartet of friends. I loved how they all talked about the case and supported each other, mainly the ladies since Keith most of the time couldn’t talk about it.

Oh there was the funniest part when the subject of Det. Sutter came up. I know he really had it in for Jenna in the first book, but he was so close to retirement in a couple weeks, he didn’t dare step outta line. It was hilarious what Keith told him he’d make him do if he pulled anything like wrongly accusing people. I’m pretty sure Jenna might want a frow row seat to that if it happened!

Now I really have this need to go back and read the second book because that sweet little Eddy pup stole my heart and I want to know his whole story. The author did a great job of catching readers up but not to the point of being repetitive or letting any spoilers out. If you’ve read neither first or second books, I think you’d enjoy this, although I do recommend at least reading the first book to get a firsthand experience of just what a jerk Sutter was as well as how Keith and Jenna got together and Jenna’s friendship with Rita started. Another great character was Jenna’s employee Mason who’d come a super long way from the first book! He was so cute with the girl Lily he wanted to date!

I started suspecting whodunit eventually and wow what a showdown! Even little Eddy pup got in on it. I can’t wait for the next book, so in the meantime, I’m definitely planning to read that second book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Last But Not Leashed review

This is the second book in the Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries by real-life veterinarian cozy author Eileen Brady. I love that a real vet writes this series, and you know there’s probably some firsthand experiences that somewhere along the line might’ve made their way into the books. The dogs were all so awesome, and I fell in love with the pit bull that Mari named Mr. Pitt. He did get his happy ending though, so eventually Kate went back to her usual one dog, Buddy. I should actually mention how much I love Gramps’s character! Kate did have her dad who apparently she’s not close to, so it was really cool that she could call Gramps and talk over her issues.

I want to read the first book now so I’m caught up for whenever the next book comes out. It’s a new to me series that pretty much puts the cozy in cozy mystery! On Goodreads, I looked Dr. Brady’s other series written in 2014 which was called Kate Turner, DVM. I’m not sure if this series is supposed to continue exactly from those books, but reading the blurbs especially the one for books 3 and 4 of that series, it does seem as if that’s the case. The covers of the older series seem a little darker while this newer series definitely has cozy covers. I’d love to get the time to dig into the older series once I read the first book in this one.

#PoisonedPenPress #EileenBrady

My Goodreads review:

Last But Not Leashed (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries #2)Last But Not Leashed by Eileen Brady
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love a good cozy mystery where animals play a big part, especially in the showdown! This one was especially epic! Dr. Kate was a great main character but unlike you’d think at a vet office, the receptionist Cindy seemed to be the one in charge which made sense since she’d been there twenty years and the vet who owned the practice had only contracted Dr. Kate for a year. But Kate, Cindy and Mari made for a fun work trio and seemed even to be friends outside of work. They had the advantage that the police chief was her brother-in-law and sometimes she could sneak in tidbits of a case. Cindy was like an older sister who kept them all on track but loved some good gossip!

I loved how Kate’s dog Buddy got along with newcomer Mr. Pitt, a poor pit bull that someone rescued from fighting and left at the vet office. Kate suspected the shy teen that was hanging around and knew he or whoever left the dog had saved the dog’s life.

Another quirky little stinker of a dog was Little Man, a chihuahua that was being boarded at the vet and Dr. Kate being the softie she is, well I figured she’d give in on some of the stuff his mom told her he liked! Mari insisted that since there was a killer on the loose that Kate keep her other Rottweiler, Desi who had Schutzhund training. I’m pretty sure Kate was super glad she decided to keep Desi for a few extra days! But never underestimate a chihuahua either! When the perp needed taken down, these dogs were perfect for the job! Add to that a vet who’d had enough and a kind but intimidating-looking neighbor, and that perp didn’t stand a chance! What an incredibly satisfying showdown/takedown!

Since I have the first book in the series which I never got around to reading before this one came up, I do intend to go back and read it. I’ll definitely be reading more in this series as it comes available.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher Poisoned Pen Press, and my opinions are my own.

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