The Broken Spine review

This is the first book in a new series called Beloved Bookroom by Dorothy St. James. I loved the South Carolina setting for her Southern Chocolate Shop series and this new series is set in a town called Cypress, South Carolina.

I really felt like I knew the characters pretty well by the end of the book, and I loved the little cat, Dewey that Tru adopted. Never underestimate the talents of a cute cat! I really liked Tru’s friends Tori and Flossie too. I hope Tru becomes better friends with Jace–it did sound like they were making progress toward the end. There were so many great suspects, it made me not want to trust anyone except the key characters!

The book cover shows the secret library pretty much how I would picture it. And of course, Dewey would have been into the boxes they used like the photo I found.

My Goodreads review:

The Broken Spine (A Beloved Bookroom Mystery Book 1)The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While I definitely hated the idea of a bookless library, I loved Tru’s solution to the problem which resulted in a huge secret and a lot of personal guilt on her part when a guy was killed upstairs in the library while she was downstairs stocking the secret shelves.

Sometimes I was a little confused at what was going on, because a character would ask something, then it wasn’t answered directly and a new thing would come up. But it definitely all got wrapped up neatly at the end. (Maybe I was just excited to find out what happened next and read too fast.) I wasn’t sure about the killer, but it made total sense. There were some great red herrings that fooled me for a bit too. I was just hoping they’d have an announcement they were going back to a regular library, but I guess if that happened, there wouldn’t be any more to look forward to. I’m super anxious now for the next book! This one was very hard to put down!

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 Catered Book Club Murder review

This is the sixteenth book in the long-running Mysteries with Recipes series by Isis Crawford who writes the Robin Light Mysteries under the name of Barbara Block. That series looks interesting too since the MC runs a pet store, so maybe I need to try it sometime.

Bernie and Libby never disappoint with their ongoing banter, mutual love for their retired cop dad Sean and basic curiosity which makes Libby want to be more careful about getting involved in mysteries, but Bernie digs right in. I love the help and advice that Sean gives them and how he gets his old police buddy Clyde to join in on a case.

My Goodreads review:

A Catered Book Club Murder (A Mystery With Recipes)A Catered Book Club Murder by Isis Crawford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fun and crazy adventure with these sleuthing sisters, one the voice of reason and the other completely uninhibited as proven when Bernie found her way into a suspect’s house through a window. I always enjoy their banter with each other that sometimes has nothing to do with the case but after all, they’re bakers by trade, so yeah it’s not weird to hear some food and bakery talk going on either. I love the characters of their dad Sean and his police buddy Clyde. Poor Clyde always gets conned by yummy baked goodness into spilling whatever he can about the case.

I really had no idea until the end whodunit. It seemed like in that whole book club that had the sisters investigating a member’s murder, no one was able to be completely trusted. The showdown was pretty exciting. This is one of the few series I can read out of order but still have it make decent sense. I’m sure there are a few little things that happened along the way. Someday I do intend to start it from the beginning.

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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Bait and Witch review

This is the first book in a new series, Witch Way Librarian, by Angela M. Sanders, and I absolutely loved it! The characters are fun, Josie has some mad witchy skills she wasn’t quite aware of until later, and the cat Rodney is an awesome friend for Josie. I was so happy to see on Amazon that the next book comes out in August. That’s a lot better than having to wait a year, but it’s still going to be hard waiting!

My Goodreads review:

Bait and WitchBait and Witch by Angela M. Sanders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was so good that there were some spots where I couldn’t even put it down! I really liked the key players a lot and feel like Josie, Roz and Darla will become good friends. Rodney was such an awesome cat, and Josie’s powers that she discovered were pretty cool too. I loved what she could do using Rodney’s body to get the job done–it came in really handy saving someone’s life eventually.

At one point there was a random clue that made me start suspecting whodunit, and I was right, but I had no idea about all the reasons involved. The parts toward the end were suspenseful and the showdown was pretty nail biting since it somewhat followed a vision that Josie’s mom had told her she’d had of her, but with her good cat friend and assorted human friends, Josie made it through and caught the real killer. I really loved the ending, and now I’m going to have trouble waiting patiently for the next book.

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

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A Murder Between the Pages

This is the second book in the Main Street Book Club series by Amy Lillard, already known as a romance writer. I’m so glad she’s writing cozy mysteries! I’m not a romance reader (although I enjoy a little romance in cozies), but if I was, I’m sure I’d be reading hers because the covers look very sweet.

It’s so fun to picture Arlo herding her cats, er I mean, book club members around the town trying to keep the 70 and 80-somethings out of trouble and on topic if they’re in the bookstore. I love that these women are all in touch with smart phones and computer usage probably more than some people half their age, lol. Although Helen said she preferred not to use computers, she did know what she was doing.

My Goodreads review:

A Murder Between the Pages (Main Street Book Club Mysteries 2)A Murder Between the Pages by Amy Lillard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some reason, I loved this book even more than the first one! Those book club ladies are a hoot and crack me up! It’s so funny how poor Arlo has to feel like their babysitter or sometimes even cat herder! But she loved each one of them fiercely especially Helen who took care of her from age sixteen. It had been so long since I read the first book that I really forgot so much. The author was great about catching readers up just enough without it getting boring for those who read the first book or giving away anything. I was actually glad for any review.

I had a feeling all along about whodunit and was right, but I hadn’t expected the twist that had come along. I did figure one other thing out too, but usually I do that and have nowhere to go with it, so I just sit back and enjoy the read. At first I was like Arlo and didn’t really want to worry about the past mystery, but like her, I got sucked into it quickly. I mean who could resist with these awesome ladies going on about it all the time? Arlo’s description of them as being like the Golden Girls was pretty much spot-on…if those ladies had been amateur sleuths, that is!

I liked that Chloe and her little boy were included more in the story, since the first book she was basically unavailable most of the book. Just as the current murder and past mystery were solved, another one soon came along. Not actually a mystery, more like a returnee to town. I think I might have to reread parts of book one now!

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Rhubarb Pie Before You Die review

This is the second book in the newer Garlic Farm series by well-established author Gin Jones. I found myself liking it so much better than the first book, which was entertaining and while I could identify with Mabel on a couple of things, I had found myself not liking her character a whole not. At least not until this book came along. It’s definitely a good idea to read the two books in order and get to know the Mabel who first came to the garlic farm as opposed to how she’s changed for the better as far as being a nicer, more human person. I’m really anxious now for the next book!

The little jam jars picture made me think of Betty from the farmers’ market bringing Mabel some rhubarb jam samples.

My Goodreads review:

Rhubarb Pie Before You Die (A Garlic Farm Mystery, #2)Rhubarb Pie Before You Die by Gin Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book so much more than the first one. I liked the first book, but I didn’t like Mabel very much until more toward the end. In this book, she was continuing to become more human and actually interact with people in person. Before, she seemed like a clone or a robot just going through her app work. I believe Rory and Emily had a lot to do with transforming her into someone a lot more likable, and now I can say I do like her a lot better. She was much warmer this time to her friends and even let a feral cat have kittens at her house. Maybe someday she’ll realize that letting Charlie into her life wouldn’t be such a terrible thing either! 😉

I definitely hadn’t guessed the killer, and the showdown was pretty exciting. I think Mabel was finally coming to realize she didn’t hate it so much on the farm because during the book, she seemed to really focus herself on the crops and getting the place sold. With her logical thinking, Mabel was turning into quite the amateur sleuth. Now if she’d just realize she needs a sidekick!

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A Deadly Edition review

This is the fifth book in the Blue Ridge Library series by Victoria Gilbert, and I’m so happy that there are at least two more books coming to the series. I absolutely loved this book, and the wedding was pretty awesome too.

This series is really best read in order to help build on character knowledge and previous happenings. But the author does a great job of catching readers up without spoiling anything.

My Goodreads review:

A Deadly Edition (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #5)A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be the best of this series yet! Richard and Amy’s families came together for their wedding, and it was fun getting to know Scott, her brother a little bit better. We always knew he had a super secret job, but in this book he even surprised his sister with what he does.

Eventually the clues fell into place for me, and I figured out someone’s identity. I don’t want to say too much or spoil it, but this series had mentioned the person in an earlier story. The showdown was great, and everyone involved had a small part. Kurt Kendrick is definitely the JR Ewing of this series–you gotta love him, and I think he’s an awesome character, but sometimes he really can be a stinker. Amy was never sure if she should trust him or not, but I think he proved himself a good ally in this book, past shady deeds or not.

The wedding was beautiful to read, and it seems as though for now everyone in the book had someone or something to make them have a happy ending. I was really happy to read on the author’s blog that there will be at least a couple more books 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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Grounds for Murder review

This is the first in a debut series by Tara Lush, a new cozy author, and I’m looking forward already to the next in this Coffee Lover’s series. I really love the setting she’s made for her characters here, and the characters themselves are just a mixed bag of fun! I’m crazy about little Stanley, the Shih Tzu that Lana took under her wing after his owner was killed. A fun and warm read for a cold December day!

My Goodreads review:

Grounds for MurderGrounds for Murder by Tara Lush
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Lana’s barista was killed right after he quit and she was questionably looked at all over the island, the reporter in her couldn’t stand leaving it alone. She even managed to get her newspaper friend to let her do an article on the dead barista who was hit with all the ladies and an Insta sensation. With the help of a new friend and the handsome police chief (who actually didn’t want her help, but he liked her), Lana made it to a showdown with the killer that was pretty nail-biting. I’d suspected this person after picking up on some clues and was wondering how it’d play out.

Even thought Erica is light years from anyone I would probably want to hang out with, I absolutely loved her character! She was hilarious and sometimes really good for Lana’s confidence. Lana’s dad was a hoot too without actually meaning to be one. It’ll be interesting to see what these three get into in the next book which I’m definitely anxious to read. This was a nice strong start for a new beach mystery series, and I’m definitely a sucker for mysteries set at the beach! I liked Lana and Noah being together and hope they stay that way without fighting or bickering. He was a pretty patient guy to have to deal with her, but he could see the frustration she had with her need to be on a case like she’d been as a journalist in her previous life.

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 Wicked Yarn review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Craft Fair Knitters by Emmie Caldwell who some of us cozy mystery readers might also know better as Mary Ellen Hughes. Mary Ellen wrote the cozy series Pickled and Preserved series, Craft Corner and most recently, Keepsake Cove, each series being three books long. The first series listed in her bio is Maggie Olensky, which from the covers looks to be a little more edge-of-your-seat than a normal cozy, but the descriptions are interesting. That was a two-book series.

I’ve read and enjoyed the Keepsake Cove series and have been wanting to dig into the other two cozy series now for a long time. Anyone who’s ever been in a craft fair will definitely appreciate this Craft Fair Knitters series, and now I can’t wait for the next book. By the end of A Wicked Yarn, Lia, Hayley and Belinda felt like old friends.

Daphne was such a sweet ragdoll kitty, but I couldn’t find a free image of a white one. I imagine her tail looked a lot like the picture I did find above.

My Goodreads review:

A Wicked Yarn (A Craft Fair Knitters Mystery #1)A Wicked Yarn by Emmie Caldwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a longtime craft fair participant myself, I really enjoyed the setting for this mystery. How cool would it be to have a venue for doing a nice show every weekend? And the best part was it was inside away from the weather. Although if Belinda the manager’s ex had his way, that barn was going to be torn down once he bought it. Luckily, the crafters never had to find out, because someone offed the guy, and all eyes turned to his ex, Belinda. Main character Lia was a good friend of hers, so with the help of her twenty-something daughter Hayley, they decided to clear their pal’s good name…and bring back their customers due to the pesky detail that the dead guy was found in their barn.

Lia and Hayley were such a fun and likable mom-daughter duo, and they made a good sleuthing team. I like that Lia wasn’t portrayed as someone who was tech-scared (as characters her age are often described in books–I’m older than Lia and I love tech!). The roles were almost reversed from the typical cozy which was fun. Hayley went off on her own while Lia sleuthed online. An added plus was that Hayley started seeing her old friend Brady who was now a police officer who came in handy more than once.

I had a sneaky feeling most of the way through the book of whodunit, but I had no idea why, so it was fun following along and seeing if I got taken by any of the red herrings. The showdown was really good, and just as I was worried the killer was getting away, the police got them. There were a few places where the story went a little slow, but usually it kept my interest due to the craft fair subject. I’m really very anxious now 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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2021 Library Love Reading Challenge

Angela at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures is once again hosting this challenge along with Books of My Heart, so you can just use the linked name to join if you want. Then hop over to the link-up page and enter the drawing then keep it bookmarked for the next three months to add your links as you read library books, or in my case or most cases right now, books borrowed from your library via Overdrive/Libby.

I’m going for the 12 level again. Here are the levels:

Levels:

  • Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
  • Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books
  • Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books
  • Library Addict: Read 48 books
  • Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books 

Sit, Stay, Slay review

This is the fifth and sadly, the last book in The Dog Club Mysteries, a series by one of my fave authors V.M. Burns that quickly became one of my favorites. I’ve followed it from the very first book, and somehow I feel like I’m losing an old friend, but I was so happy with how the author wrote this last book, I can use my imagination on how my book friends’ lives will continue. I have to admit to leaky eyes several times throughout this book, but the happy kind of leaky eyes!

I thought the poodle picture I found represents both Aggie and Rex’s personalities. Maybe not the right color but I love the eye expression!

My Goodreads review:

Sit, Stay, Slay (Dog Club Mystery #5)Sit, Stay, Slay by V.M. Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this book was bittersweet to me, because I know it’s the last book of this series, which makes me really sad, but I thought the author did an incredible job of creating nice endings for all my favorite characters. I would absolutely love it if the series could be revisited down the road a few years. I won’t give anything away, but my statement will make more sense after you’ve read it too!

The showdown was like the mother of all showdowns! Lilly faced one of her worst fears and came through like a champ! I was so proud of her, I wanted to hug her myself! And those awesome, sweet dogs…well I just can’t say enough good things about her and Dixie’s dogs, but they’re all heroes. That’s something else you’ll see when you read the book. Every good thing I could have wanted in a last in series was there!

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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