Murder in Connemara review

This is the second book in the Home to Ireland series, which is exclusive to Barnes & Noble for a year from its publication of July 28, 2020. It’s written by Carlene O’Connor who most cozy fans know from her Irish Village series. She always has some good characters to share in her books, and this one was no exception. It had been a while since I’d read the first book, but the author did a good job catching readers up if this was the starting point for anyone–and without giving any spoilers, which is always a plus.

Thanks to #Kensington Publishing for the paperback ARC to review. Clifden Castle picture found at Wikimedia Commons.

My Goodreads review:

Murder in ConnemaraMurder in Connemara by Carlene O’Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first one. I loved the settings of the two castles and just the whole description of Ireland itself. Being an armchair traveler, I feel like I got a nice vacation in without all the fuss and bother. This author always has a nice assortment of characters, some likable and some not so much.

There were all kinds of suspects to pick from while the body count kept rising. Tara hadn’t really expected to run into a murder when she was trying to get ready for her shop’s grand opening, but things worked out for her in the long run. Even DS Gable asked for her help this time around. Danny wasn’t happy about it, but they still ended up in a good place. I didn’t realize who the killer was until right before Tara figured it out. There was a good showdown and escape scene along with the killer getting outed. I liked how everything was wrapped up and explained if not along the way, it was explained at the end. I’ll be anxious to read the next book that comes along. I’ll have to read in the author’s other series in the meantime.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC paperback of this book provided by Kensington Publishing, and my opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

For Whom the Book Tolls review

This is the first book in a new series called Antique Book Shop mysteries by Laura Gail Black, and I think she’s definitely got a hit on her hands with the series. I felt like Jenna and Rita were my old friends by the time the book ended, and I really can’t wait to read the next book. I hope Jenna eventually gets a dog or cat for the bookshop. At least in my opinion, I’ve enjoyed cozies about bookstores that have pets.

My Goodreads review:

For Whom the Book Tolls: An Antique Bookshop MysteryFor Whom the Book Tolls: An Antique Bookshop Mystery by Laura Gail Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this new mystery! It’s a great concept for a cozy and pretty much everything I want in a cozy mystery as well. Rita was such a great new friend for Jenna and so was Mason, the young guy she hired for the shop who used to work for her Uncle Paul. I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to come to a new town all hopeful to reconnect with a fun and goofy uncle just to find him dead.

This of course put Jenna in the cross hairs of an ambitious detective who wanted to wrap up the murder in a nice neat package. His partner wasn’t downright mean like this guy was, so that was a definite plus for Jenna. I loved how she and Rita got along together, and once Mason joined them, they made quite the trio of friends. I definitely hope Keith makes the trio a foursome!

I hadn’t completely committed myself to guessing who did it, but it honestly didn’t surprise me much. The showdown was pretty exciting, and if I was Jenna, I’d be thanking my guardian angel for the help that arrived! I really enjoyed how the book went on a little more after the showdown and explanation. At that point, it was important to me because it showed how Jenna had cemented her friendship with new people in this new town. I’m so anxious now 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

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard review

This is the sixth book in the Cajun Country series by Ellen Byron, another of my favorite authors. I’ve been reading this series since its beginning and have fallen in love with this sweet Louisiana town and the Crozat family. And yup, even ol’ Rufus has grown on me, since he’s changed a lot since the very first book. Now first book Ru, I didn’t like him at all! Halloween at Crozat and the neighboring B&Bs was an adventure, to say the least!

My Goodreads review:

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country MysteryMurder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pelican at Halloween time was pretty awesome! I never completely guessed the killer, because all the red herrings and clues were so good and leading in all different directions. I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. I got a kick out of Gran and her wedding plans right in the middle of a murder. I love that little Xander has come such a long way, and I can’t help but feel that Maggie can claim some credit for that with giving him art lessons ever since she met Bo. Xander also taught Maggie that Halloween can be fun again.

That picture of Gopher on the cover is so darn cute! I think it might be my favorite cover so far! And yes, he did get to wear his costume along with his other dog friends. I’ve absolutely loved this series since the very first book, and I hope it runs for a very long time. Trips to Pelican, Louisiana are always a lot of fun. The baddies get theirs, and the wrap-up always gives that extra closure readers like. As always, I 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.

View all my reviews

Murder Most Sweet review

This is the first book in a brand new series that just came out several days ago. It’s called the Bookish Baker and is authored by Laura Jensen Walker who has quite a bit in common with Teddie St. John, the main character in this book. I absolutely love Teddie and her friends…and her sweet little dog Gracie. When Teddie retired from her government job after her cancer diagnosis and treatment, she only thought she’d be involved in the kinds of murder mysteries that lived in her books. I’m so anxious now for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Murder Most Sweet: A Bookish Baker MysteryMurder Most Sweet: A Bookish Baker Mystery by Laura Jensen Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this book and the unique main character! Teddie’s sense of humor was so awesome in light of her being a breast cancer survivor and making little jokes about herself. She was a strong lady who knew what she wanted and didn’t want. The cozy mysteries she wrote sounded really good, maybe a little like this series 😉 From reading the author’s bio, I feel like she’s adding some of her own experiences to Teddie’s life, and it was all so interesting. I enjoyed the characters of Char and Sharon a lot too! The three of them really were like the 3 Musketeers. I couldn’t put the book down at all during the time Char and Teddie went on a road trip to sleuth. Gracie was just the sweetest dog ever and definitely played a good part during the showdown with the killer.

I’d had some suspicions about the person who ended up being the killer but fell for the red herrings along the way. I was happy to see my suspicions were right though. I’m so anxious to read the next book 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.

View all my reviews

Checked Out for Murder review

This is the fourth book in the Haunted Library series written by Allison Brook, pen name of Marilyn Levinson. I absolutely love this series and Evelyn, the library ghost that presented herself to Carrie in the first book. Evelyn always has some good insight to whatever murder that Carrie finds herself involved in solving. Carrie did use more control this time and actually enlisted some help. I enjoyed that her mom and dad were both in this book. I really like her dad’s character, especially now that he’s reformed and has a legitimate career. I’m always anxious for the next book in this fun series!

My Goodreads review:

Checked Out for Murder (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #4)Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always enjoy reading the newest of this series when it comes out! I just love Evelyn, the library ghost and was just a little worried when she didn’t seem to pop in a whole lot, but her appearances got to be a little more normal later in the book. I like where Dylan and Carrie were in their relationship and continue to be. It was interesting to spend more time with Carrie’s mom, since she was in this book quite a bit more than any others. She and her current husband Tom were in town for a movie he was acting in.

I was proud of Carrie for being more cautious and trying to do a good job of staying safe by taking someone with her whenever she went someplace that could end up dangerous. I was surprised by who the killer was. Because of some very clever red herrings, I had my sights on someone else. The showdown was nice and peaceful. After one murder attempt and some threats, that was a nice change of pace. And everything was wrapped up at the end with Carrie’s dinner she had. I’m already anxious for the next book!

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

View all my reviews

Boston Scream Murder review

I always look forward to the newest book in this series (like I do soooo many others!), and of course, this Halloween-themed addition to the Deputy Donut series definitely didn’t disappoint! It’s the fourth book of what I hope will be a nice long series for author Ginger Bolton who’s also known as Janet Bolin, author of the 5-book cozy series Threadville. I’ve been wanting to get back to that series, because I really enjoyed the first book.

Deputy Donut became one of my favorite series the minute it came out. I really enjoy all the various characters in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin especially that of Tom Westhill, main character Emily’s father-in-law. If anyone is new to the series, I highly recommend reading it from the beginning. The author is good about catching readers up and not giving spoilers, but it would be better to get to know the characters from the ground up. Dep, the little cat that the Deputy Donut shop is named for, is a total sweetheart, well except when she needs to get into her carrier. She got a good part doing something to the killer toward the end, go Dep! (Nope, she’s not the type to tear their head off or chomp their leg, she’s much more clever!)

My Goodreads review:

Boston Scream Murder (A Deputy Donut Mystery Book 4)Boston Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It had been about a year since I went book tripping to Fallingbrook, Wisconsin during their July Fourth celebration. I loved how the town did up Halloween. It was the perfect Halloween cozy from the decorations and kids’ Halloween parade to the murder case itself set on an eerie-at-night lake.

There was a decent amount of suspects in this case, but I got a weird feeling about someone kind of early although going down all the red herring paths is always fun. My gut feeling came true but the reason was something I couldn’t have known. I always have loved it when Emily’s best friends all got together, and since she’s been hanging out with Brent in a non-dating sort of way, there were three happy couples (when Brent wasn’t working a murder, that is), one of which was super happy due to an announcement.

I think Tom will always be my favorite character. He’s kind of the patriarch figure but only offers his expert protection as an ex-police chief when he feels it’s absolutely necessary. I really liked Nina a lot–she fit right in with the Deputy Donut family which still did have Jocelyn, but she was mainly off at college. She did get a small but important role in the book. We got to see a little more of Cindy, Tom’s wife and who knew, she’s a cat whisperer as well as a talented pottery artist. I’m hoping the next book might be a Christmas themed one, and as always, I can’t wait for 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

15 Minutes of Flame review

This is the fourth book in a fairly new series called Nantucket Candle Maker by author Christin Brecher. It’s quickly become one of my favorite newer series where I make sure I get to the next book. The characters have grown quite a bit since the beginning, but Stella still bothers me a little when she plows headfirst into dangerous situations simply because her curiosity can’t stand it. But she’s goodhearted and does have a logical mind for crime solving. She’s pretty darn lucky too as far as getting into and out of places without being seen! I’m really curious as to what’s going to happen in the next book with a little announcement that came later in the book. I can’t even hint at it, so my advice would be to read and find out! 🙂

My Goodreads review:

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker, #3)15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome Halloween story! Sometimes in books it’s hard for me to really get into the historical mystery that exists, but I found myself really intrigued and interested to find the outcome. Stella and Peter were in a good place, but he seemed distracted during the case and didn’t help quite as much as Stella would have hoped. He had a good reason which was revealed at the end, but Stella was able to help Andy even more than usual which I think may have gotten Andy a little more interested in her than longtime childhood friend. I really hope a triangle doesn’t start in full force. For the second time in a cozy, I like both guys equally and would feel bad rooting for either.

I loved the gathering of suspects type showdown and how in some way, the skeleton of the Quaker woman that Stella found got to help take down the killer (not literally, no worries about spookies if that’s not your thing.) The setting of the Morton House and the little shack was so perfect for the Halloween event they planned. It was nice and eerie at times but only in an explainable way. This has quickly become one of my favorite series, and I’m very anxious now to read the next book.

View all my reviews

Death at High Tide review

This is the first book in a new series called Island Sisters Mysteries by Hannah Dennison who’s also the author of the Honeychurch Hall series and another one called Vicky Hall. I’d read the first book in the Honeychurch series, so I knew I’d enjoy this book. But I actually enjoyed it even more than I would have thought. The setting on the island and rock was so perfect, and I thought it sounded so cool to take a sea tractor up to the hotel when the tide was in too high to walk over.

I just had to look up some images of sea tractors and found that there’s a Burgh Island that uses them for transporting guests across. The image I used above was found under Google images > Labeled for Reuse > courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated by this vehicle, but I’m pretty sure if I was the traveling type, Burgh Island might be going on my bucket list.

Since I’m not a fan of traveling (only armchair lol), I won’t ever be visiting physically, but it was a lot of fun to look at the Burgh Island Hotel images when I Googled them. I can’t help but think that this hotel might have been an inspiration for the Tregarrick Rock Hotel in the book. I read an ARC of the book, so obviously there weren’t any acknowledgements or notes from the author, but I’d really be curious to find out. Ok, that’s the extent of my research, but it helped me enjoy this book even more!

My Goodreads review:

Death at High Tide (Island Sisters Mystery #1)Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a great armchair vacation to places I’d never be traveling (mainly because even in normal times, I’m not a travel fan). It even inspired me to look up sea tractors, the vehicle that hauled Margot and Evie across to the hotel on Tregarrick Rock.

There were so many different characters, and I got that really cool Agatha Christie type of vibe reading the book. The setting was kind of eerie at times, and everyone seemed to have secrets they were keeping–or someone knew they were keeping and were being blackmailed for said secrets. Kind of a crazy place for Evie who had just lost her husband, but Margot seemed to fit right in. She was already used to crazy Hollywood, so the island and dealing with its inhabitants didn’t take a whole lot of effort on her part. Margot and police chief Patty were two of my favorite characters. Patty had a wicked sense of humor, but overall, she was good at her job.

I had a person in mind as the killer at a sort of early stage, and I was happy to find out that I was right. Reading and getting thrown off course by the red herrings is always fun though, so I wasn’t too concerned if I didn’t guess right. I had such a good time reading this that I didn’t want it to end, and now I’m really excited to read the next book whenever it comes out.

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

View all my reviews

Peachy Scream review

This is the second book in the newer series Georgia B&B by Anna Gerard, also known in cozy mystery circles as Ali Brandon and Diane A.S. Stuckart. I love the setting for this series and the fellow small businesses in Nina’s town. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t annoyed by the character of Harry this time around. I got a big kick out of him hauling the Yorick skull prop around for the Hamlet production. It was even at the breakfast table lol.

My Goodreads review:

Peachy Scream (Georgia B&B, #2)Peachy Scream by Anna Gerard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d really liked the first book in this series when I read it last year, and this one was a great follow-up. It was set not very long after the first one, and when Nina’s nemesis Harry showed up, I was all ready to be upset with him and wish he’d go away. But he surprised Nina (and me!) by acting fairly normal, well for Harry anyway. It does help if you read the first book first. Then it’ll be easy to understand just why Nina wasn’t a fan of Harry’s and wasn’t happy to see him back.

Once again, they made good sleuthing buddies. I got a kick out of his nickname for their little operation of looking into the death of one of the Shakespeare players. I think eventually Nina decided to cut Harry a little slack. I do like them a lot better when they’re getting along, and who knows, she might even fall for him. 😉

The mystery was sort of a premises mystery with only the people in the troupe as logical suspects. I wasn’t surprised by who did it, but I’d had someone else in mind most of the time. I really enjoyed the showdown, because staged ones are so much more fun and tricky. It’ll be interesting to see what old Wild Hare (Harry’s tour company) Harry gets into in the next book. I’m sure whatever it is, Nina’s going to be right in the thick of it with him!

View all my reviews

Mums and Mayhem review

This is the third book in the Magical Garden series by Amanda Flower, one of my favorite authors who happens to live here in Ohio. I enjoy all her series, but her magical series like this one and Magical Bookshop are really special!  By the time this book ended, it had confirmed something that I’d been hoping for. No peeking at the end though! It’s better if you read it all.

My Goodreads review:

Mums and Mayhem (A Magic Garden Mystery #3)Mums and Mayhem by Amanda Flower

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was just so good! When I got done with it, I didn’t want it to end. Fiona and Isla got the dreaded visit from their parents, but despite a murder and some family secrets coming out once and for all, it ended up being a good visit for all of them.

It was nice to get to know Fiona’s parents a little bit better and some of her dad’s backstory. The side story about the garden helped wrap things up once the killer was caught. I hadn’t really guessed who that was. I was mainly just enjoying the story itself and watching it unfold. I absolutely loved the ending and how things turned out. If I say too much, it’ll give things away that are more fun if you read them firsthand! I’m enjoying this series more and more as each new book comes out, and I think Uncle Ian was pleased with how Fi was being a responsible Keeper for the magical garden.

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