Strangers on a Skein review

This is the twelfth book in the long-running Black Sheep & Company series by Anne Canadeo. I’m not really caught up in the series and really want to get back to the early books, but I read enough to get a good handle on the characters when I started seeing these new books pop up in NetGalley. Yup, I couldn’t resist. I really love these friends and how they’re really more like sisters with their love and care for each other and each other’s loved ones. I hope it continues for a long time.

My Goodreads review:

Strangers on a SkeinStrangers on a Skein by Anne Canadeo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d missed reading about these friends, so I was happy to grab this ARC when it came to NetGalley. I loved the title and kind of based some of my guesses on it. Phoebe, the youngest of the knitting friends was in the spotlight this time. I felt so bad for her having waited a long time for a spot at the farmers’ and crafters’ market then having all kinds of issues. Her sales did great, but her other luck went down the drain. There was a lot of unfriendliness going on at the market, and unfortunately (or maybe not) Phoebe’s only friendly face was her ex-boyfriend Harry in a neighboring stall.

There were tons of secrets and layers to this mystery, and I had a hard time putting it down. Intrigue was everywhere at one point, but we always got a good taste of what this series has always been based on, the friendship of these knitting women. Boy, was the showdown and car chase a good one! I was proud of Phoebe for taking control when she did. I had my suspicions about someone, but I can’t say a whole lot due to it being a more complex mystery. Just enjoy, lol.

I loved the epilogue which was probably long-awaited by fans. A sweet piece of news makes me very eager to read 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.

View all my reviews
 

Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas review

This is book #2.5 of the Kitchen Witch series by Lynn Cahoon who also writes the Tourist Trap Mysteries, Farm-to-Fork Mysteries and Cat Latimer Mysteries, all of which are among my favorite cozy mystery series. I really enjoy the novella idea to sort of tide us over between main books, and since Christmas is my fave season, I was definitely eager to read this and not disappointed at all!

My Goodreads review:

Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas (Kitchen Witch Mysteries, #2.5)Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas by Lynn Cahoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a sweet Christmas story and mystery! Mia’s ghost friend Dorothy needed her help, and with a deadline attached to it, being the good friend she is to everyone, Mia squeezed time in between her Christmas party/open house and tons of delivery orders. Dorothy might’ve been just a ghost, but she’d always been pretty nice to Mia-and we know our girl can’t resist a puzzle, right?

Lots of secrets came to light, but a happy ending was enjoyed by Dorothy and someone else who was very deserving of a merry Christmas. I had slightly suspected the perp, but it was great how Trent and Mia sleuthed it out together. I love these novellas in between the main stories of the Kitchen Witch series. (The author also does it with some of her other series). Even though we aren’t seeing a full-size Christmas mystery, the author packed it with festive fun, and I never felt like anything was missing. Can’t wait for the next book whether it’s regular or another novella. I’m really loving these characters!

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

View all my reviews

Mistletoe Cake Murder review

This is the sixth book in the All-Day Breakfast Cafe by Lena Gregory who also writes the Bay Island Psychic series. Both of these are two of my very favorite series, and right now I’m caught up in both of them just waiting for more fun adventures to come along. I can’t believe it’s been six books since I first read about Gia and her bestie Savannah helping her get used to life in Florida after living in NYC.

This is the first Christmas that Gia’s acctually counting as having in Florida since she’s feeling way more at home with tons of great friends who are probably better to her than some family would be. Gia does still get creeped out by the thought of creatures in her woods near her house–can’t say I blame her for that at all because we both share an intense dislike of snakes, bugs and stuff like that as well as that eww factor! (We’re in good company though, think of Indy Jones!) Oh, I found a picture that made me think of  inside Trevor’s mansion and how he’d have decorated.

My Goodreads review:

Mistletoe Cake Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery, #6)Mistletoe Cake Murder by Lena Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my favorite book in the series yet! The mystery leading up to Savannah and Leo’s wedding was a good one and if anything, it kept Savannah busy instead of worrying about details which their awesome friend Trevor had covered anyway. I’m with Gia, I hope we see wedding bells between him and Zoe sometime soon! He’s one of my favorite characters and needs a happily ever after.

I kind of had a feeling all along of whodunit, but falling for the red herrings was still fun and seeing Gia and Savannah in sleuthing action’s always worth it. The showdown was great and featured our two fave couples.

I loved how nearly the whole town was gathered in Trevor’s magical setting for Savannah and Leo’s wedding. All our favorites were there like Earl and his family, Cole and Cybil as well as Willow and her mom Skyla. Trevor had gone all out, and with the author’s gift of just the right amount of description, it was so easy to picture this amazing Christmas Eve wedding. Get a tissue ready, because the ending is sweet, funny and absolutely perfect!

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

View all my reviews

In Hot Water review

This is the first book in a new series called Misty Bay Tearoom by Kate Kingsbury who some might know from her Pennyfoot Hotel House or Merry Ghost Inn series. She was a new-to-read author to me since I do have some of those series but just haven’t had a chance to dig in yet. After reading this book, what am I waiting for? She’s got a good blend of sweet cozy, tense moments, snarky characters (when needed), a li’l romance, humor and just an overall good mystery and fun characters. I’m eager to read the next book in this new series.

My Goodreads review:

In Hot Water (Misty Bay Tea Room, #1)In Hot Water by Kate Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an awesome mystery featuring three otherwise unlikely friends who were coworkers to begin with at Vivian’s tearoom. Vivian was settled into life as a widow but still missed her husband a lot. Jenna was divorced and somewhat jaded, but she was overall an awesome friend and worker for Vivian. And Gracie was like the bubbling-over, super happy little sister, who I guessed was about twenty-something. (and Jenna maybe thirty-something with Vivian around ten years older than Jenna.) I loved Gracie’s character, and when they started investigating the murder, she reminded me of Scrappy Doo with her enthusiasm lol! All three ladies had each others’ backs and would’ve done anything for the others.

I really enjoyed Vivian’s friendship with Hal, a super sweet, somewhat-older-than-her, man who had the pet store. He was so kind to her and gave her friendship and platonic companionship when she needed it. I have a feeling they’d both like to explore a more serious relationship though, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the next book. The usual trope switch-up was Jenna and the detective seeming to like each other. And Gracie was cheerleader for both of them. She had a fun little side story going on that turned out very sweet.

It was easy to be torn between some good suspect candidates as the threats ramped up and the ladies got closer to the answer. When Vivian had the answer, it was a race to the showdown. I enjoyed this book so much and can’t wait now for the next to come along.

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

View all my reviews

A Brush with Murder review

This is the first book in the brand new series Paint by Murder by Bailee Abbott, a new-to-me author even in her other persona of Kathryn Long who started a cozy series called Sierra Pines B&B. I have the first book and now that I’ve read her work as Bailee, I want to read Boarding with Murder she wrote as Kathryn.

I loved how the sisters, Chloe and Izzie in this book had such an awesome relationship as well as fairly normal parents who loved them to the moon and back. Katy their mom was a great cook who loved experimenting with all kinds of fads and trendy food, but she knew what her kids and friends liked. I’m really looking forward to the next book. I might already be Team Hunter. 😉

My Goodreads review:

A Brush with Murder (A Paint by Murder Mystery #1)A Brush with Murder by Bailee Abbott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another awesome new mystery by a new-to-me author with a great sense of humor that shines through to her characters. Her main character Chloe isn’t as funny or snarky as Chloe’s sister Izzie or some of the others, but Chloe did have some great one-liners and knew just what to say.

Gotta say, I was really ready to loathe Ross’s character being that he was the ex-boyfriend, and everyone knows how those guys are usually jerks in books, am I right? But Ross turned out to be a decent and likable character. I’m not sure I’d want Chloe back with him (I’m Team Hunter already, lol), but he’s a super good friend to have and promised he’d always be there for her. That cute ball of fluff on the book cover is Max who’s just a good little friend to Chloe and not a crime fighter, yet anyway. The sisters had a great relationship, and their parents, while sometimes a little flaky and out there, were good people who loved both their kids unconditionally.

At one point in the book, I started suspecting the person who ended up as the killer, but this clever author eventually steered me off course. The showdown was a good nail biter one. There were a couple of side mysteries that got cleared up as well, so there are no hanging storylines in this series. I’m awfully eager now to read the next book and am hoping it comes out more than once a year like some series.

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

View all my reviews

Digging Up Trouble review

This is the first in a brand new series by a new-to-me author named Kitt Crowe who has a great sense of humor in her writing, right up my alley! At least we don’t have to wait a whole year for a book because the next is scheduled for June of 2022, and I’ve been approved by #CrookedLane Publishing to read it. I loved some of the TV and pop culture references these friends tossed around along with their crazy and fun banter.

My Goodreads review:

Digging Up Trouble (A Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mystery Book 1)Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this author’s wicked and fun sense of humor! It comes out in the form of her main character Lexi of course, and that girl cracked me up so many times! I loved it when she got together with besties Cat, Teri and two members of their bookclub for sleuthing. Stefanie was such a hoot, and her bestie Alison was a quiet but super knowledgeable lady having been an librarian before she retired. I liked that the run-ins Lexi had with Det. Berg were never to the point where he actually yelled or got overly angry. I thought the man was really pretty darn patient with Lexi and her snooping, lol.

There were so many possible suspects and just as I thought one person did it, I changed my mind. Lots of great red herrings and boy, what a showdown! Cookie, Lexi’s adorable dog (with klepto tendancies) ended up being a hero–I always love when the pet saves the day! There was a good twist I’d definitely not guessed although I wasn’t terribly surprised by something else. I did like this so much I requested the next book as an ARC that comes out June of 2022. Now that the book club has one case under their belt, I’m eager to see what they do with another.

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

View all my reviews

Slashing Through the Snow review

This is the long-awaited third book in what’d quickly become a favorite series of mine, The Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries by another fave author, Julie Anne Lindsey writing as Jacqueline Frost (aka Julie Chase, Bree Baker). All the fun stuff we’d come to know in the previous two books was there including Reindeer Games (that now Libby was determined to beat Ray at!), and sweet little goat Theodore was getting his pictures taken for another year’s worth of calendar pages. Then along came a killer, and we pretty much know how that always goes! I’m really going to miss this series if this is definitely the last book, but the author did such an amazing job, I feel like it’s a series I could read over and over (if I had that kind of time lol!).

My Goodreads review:

Slashing Through the Snow (Christmas Tree Farm)Slashing Through the Snow by Jacqueline Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was absolutely the best Christmas mystery! No one can beat Mistletoe, Maine for their festive Christmas spirit, awesome decorations and…who could forget Reindeer Games! I was happy to see that Evan’s sister Libby was officially dating reporter Ray (yeah, he was a real nuisance in the first book lol), and Ray’s mom was getting married.

With the latest murder evidence pointing to everyone’s favorite friend Cookie, Holly was letting nothing get in the way of proving her friend innocent. I love, love what the author did in this book with some of the characters! Let’s just say if you’re a cozy mystery fan and are on Facebook, you’ll probably recognize a few names!

I’d heard a while back that this book was the last which would wrap up the series, and while I’m always hopeful for more books in a favorite series, the author did an outstanding job of making this the most memorable book yet! Don’t miss this book, but definitely do yourself a favor and read the other two first to get to know everyone better. Hint: You might experience a little happy eye leakage at the end of the book, so be ready with a tissue. 😉

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

View all my reviews

Once Upon a Seaside Murder review

This is the second book in a newer series by Maggie Blackburn, a pen name used by Mollie Cox Bryan who’s written three series, the most recent being the Buttermilk Creek series. I’ve enjoyed what I read of two of those series, and I’ve been wanting to read the other one.

Once Upon a Seaside Murder took place at Christmastime on Brigid’s Island, but it just didn’t seem very Christmasy to me, so I wanted to point that out if you’re hoping for a super seasonal read with lots of Christmas cheer, this isn’t really it. Everyone was too busy and focused on cold case murder and missing person to have much ho-ho-ho going on. But you do get an awesome mystery along with the camaraderie of the town working together–and a changing Summer who really did become more likable.

My Goodreads review:

Once Upon a Seaside Murder (Beach Reads Mystery, #2)Once Upon a Seaside Murder by Maggie Blackburn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d read a GR review when I first started the book and now that I’ve finished it, I have to say I do agree with that person. I admit I didn’t like Summer very much at all in the first book and even for some of this book, so when I read the review that stated that person began to like her better in this book, I was kinda “We’ll see.” But…by the end of the book, Summer had definitely undergone some good changes that made her a little more tender and a lot more likable as a character. I’ve always loved the characters of Agatha, Piper and Mia! Those three are probably what’s helped shaped Summer’s disposition a lot. The love of family is definitely a driving force!

And I know it takes a talented writer to come up with a character that successfully isn’t too well-liked even by readers. Then bit by bit, that character emerged into a pretty darn nice human being! I’m excited now to see what the future holds for Summer and possibly even Cash after we’ve learned he’s free again. I can’t describe how I felt knowing that Summer, by the end of the book, felt so much different herself with a burden lifted, and I can’t go into it for risk of spoiling something. I guess I just wished at that point she was real and that I could hug her and tell her, “Well done, welcome home.” Note: Another character who seemed to change for the better was Cash’s dad, Ben who was the police chief needing to retire.

The murder in the story was a cold case, and the main focus was a missing person which got weirder and seemingly colder as the days passed. I had an idea of who might be behind it, but I was off base somewhat. I really enjoyed this book so much more than the first one and can honestly say I’m looking forward to the next!

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

View all my reviews

Well-Offed in Vermont review

This is the first book in a newly-released and named series by Amy Patricia Meade. She’s a new-to-me author as well. The series of two books was originally released starting in 2011 with the first of the same title, and the second was released in 2017. I love what was done to freshen and brighten up the cover to this book! It’s truly an autumn read now even on the cover.

Since the original series only had two books, I’m wondering if the author’s hoping to do more than two this time around. I guess we’ll find out eventually!

My Goodreads review:

Well-Offed in Vermont (Vermont Country Living #1)Well-Offed in Vermont by Amy Patricia Meade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a revised edition of the same title that was originally published in November of 2011. I really like the new cover so much better! It’s brighter and way more inviting to read with elements of what’s super important to the story itself.

I enjoyed reading about Nick and Stella and them both being main characters. For one thing, I’ve never read a book that featured the entire married couple as the sleuth. They sleuthed as one, in other words and their banter was sometimes hilarious. They behaved themselves with said banter a little more when they were talking to who they thought were suspects. I had to chuckle at their good cop/bad cop antics during questions they asked, but the sheriff seemed to respect them. I mean, what else do you have to do with your time when a body was found in your new house’s well, and you can’t live in the new house yet? The whole time I was reading I thought of the light innuendo that was always fun with Hart to Hart’s Jennifer and Jonathan (as a married couple example) or with Castle and Beckett.

The characters were quirky and all over the place. I especially liked Alma, sweet shop owner and good neighbor extraordinaire who loved taking care of Stella and Nick when they couldn’t get into their house. I got a kick out of how the sheriff always had a crush on her.

I was sure I knew who the killer was, but it was a surprise with a quick but exciting showdown. It’ll be fun to explore the next book and see if the sheriff and Agnes make any progress toward a relationship that’s more than just friends!

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

View all my reviews

The Cure for What Ales You review

This is the fifth book in the Sloan Krause series by Ellie Alexander who’s also the author of the Bakeshop series. Under her pen name of Kate Dyer-Seeley, she’s written some equally awesome cozy mysteries.

The way the Sloan Krause series played out with the side mystery thread that was progressing a little in each book made me think of her Pacific Northwest series that ended after six books. I’m hoping she doesn’t have any plans to end Sloan soon, but as I said in my GR review, the ending was really awesome and if it was the last book, it’d be a perfect ending (maybe not THE perfect ending). But as a reader, I definitely would love to read more about Sloan and her friends. 

My Goodreads review:

The Cure for What Ales You (Sloan Krause, #5)The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, this was an awesome and suspense-filled book that pretty much brought all the other books together as far as answers Sloan had been looking for. I don’t want to say too much or take a chance spoiling something, so all I’ll say is, don’t miss this one! But do read the other books first! I feel like that’s really imperative with a series like this because each book builds a little on the one before it even though the main murders were always solved. I really, really hope this isn’t the last book, but if it was, I think the ending was perfect.

The search for an elusive killer was what most of the book was spent doing along with a short search for someone else close to Sloan. And this was all happening in the middle of a super busy Maifest. The comic relief of course, was always April, the hugely-overboard cheerleader for the town that no one really wanted to claim as its official representative, lol. But anyone would admit she did have the town’s best interests at heart however extreme or weird her requests were! There was a scene before the parade that just cracked me up! And it was only where April was mentioned.

You might need a tissue for the last few pages of the book, but it’s the happy kind of eye leakage. Whatever happens next and if there’s another book, I’m always eager 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.

View all my reviews