Silenced in Sequins review

This is the second book in Debra Sennefelder’s Resale Boutique series which I like a whole lot more than I thought I would when I first heard the idea of a high-fashion resale boutique. I’m not interested in clothes shopping myself, but it doesn’t really dwell much on that. I came for the mystery and have definitely not been disappointed.

The characters are fun, especially Pepper, Liv and Gabe. Kelly gets on my nerves sometimes with her impulsiveness and extreme refusal to listen, but she makes up for it in her kindness and willingness to help other people. She simply can’t help herself for being a good person and honestly shouldn’t have to worry about trying to do the right thing. But somehow she always ends up with someone upset or killed. She came through and solved this case, which if truth was known probably didn’t sit well with her new date’s sister the detective. 😉

My Goodreads review:

Silenced in Sequins (Resale Boutique Mystery #2)Silenced in Sequins by Debra Sennefelder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed that this book took place from the time right before Thanksgiving up till Christmas Day. I was glad for another visit to Lucky Cove with Kelly and her friends. I hadn’t really remembered the character of Breena until I got a little bit into the book. I do love Liv as Kelly’s bestie and Gabe as her guy best friend. With two friends like that, Kelly was definitely blessed. Pepper is a great character too, the perfect momlike figure for Kelly and her impulsiveness (which always makes me nervous lol).

At least Kelly wasn’t the one blame for a murder this time, but she promised to help the woman who was the prime suspect. The showdown with the killer was kind of nail-biting, and it definitely was a surprise as to the person’s identity. The side story of Granny and a man named Marvin having been married in Las Vegas was cute until someone decided to take advantage of it. But like the murder case, it all worked out nicely and Kelly had a great first Christmas as a business owner. I like that she and Mark have made a little progress on their budding relationship. His sister, the detective, doesn’t approve, but when has something like ever stopped our friend Kelly, right? 😉

Just like before, I’m super anxious for the next installment in this series!

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Death Bee Comes Her review

This is the very first in a brand new series published December 31, 2020 by Nancy Coco (who also writes one of my favorite series set on Mackinac Island, The Candy-Coated Mysteries.) I really enjoyed this new series first mystery, set on the Oregon coast, so much and can’t wait for the next book! She has a great way of describing small towns as well as coming up with fun and memorable characters to live in them. I loved how Aunt Eloise was very in tune to technology and loved the latest gadgets. And she shared that knowledge with other seniors in town by teaching a class, which they didn’t really get into. Her knowledge of old school ways did come in handy one time for her though!

I had never heard of a Havana Brown cat, but Everett sure sounded adorable!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a paperback ARC of this book from Kensington Publishing, and my opinions are my own.

My Goodreads review:

Death Bee Comes HerDeath Bee Comes Her by Nancy CoCo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m loving this new series set in a coastal Oregon town named Oceanview. It sounded like tons of fun being around Halloween and having a whole week for people to get dressed up and let the kids go trick or treating to the shops. Poor Wren’s only problem was that she was practically accused of murder, and the police had to seize a third of her inventory.

Wren wasn’t one to give up easily, so with the help of her awesome aunt Eloise and her sweet cat Everett, she set out to find the person who was the real killer and appeared to be trying to frame Wren for murder. There were so many great red herrings and suspects that I was never sure who I thought did it.

I loved the main characters of Wren, Aunt Eloise, Everett and Porsche! Porsche made a great bestie and sleuthing buddy. I’m always rooting and doing the happy dance when anyone in the cast is into technology, but I especially enjoy it when it’s a senior member of that cast like Aunt Eloise. She had a good healthy knowledge of new and old school knowing that both could come in handy.

An extra treat at the end of the book was the first chapter from the next Candy-Coated mystery! I’m so anxious now for that to come out and for the second book in this series!

Reminder, this is a B&N exclusive for a year, so if you want to read it, you’ll need to get the paperback. I haven’t seen it even there in digital format. I ordered the book but I had received an ARC paperback from the publisher which I voluntarily read and reviewed. All opinions are my own.

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Matchmaking Can Be Murder review

I just love this first book in the Amish Matchmaker series by Amanda Flower who is known for several series, but this is a spin-off on her Amish Candy Shop series. I remember meeting Millie in the last book along with her fun-loving goats, Phillip and Peter. (Although bishop’s wife Ruth doesn’t think they’re much fun!) It’s going to be so hard to wait for the next book to come out, but at least I know that the Amish Candy Shop has a couple of releases coming this spring. Maybe Millie and her friends will be mentioned in there?

My Goodreads review:

Matchmaking Can Be Murder (An Amish Matchmaker Mystery #1)Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love this book! From the adorable goats (ok maybe the bishop’s wife doesn’t think they’re adorable) to the new friendship that matchmaker Millie Fisher built with her childhood friend, Lois. Oh my gosh, they were hilarious sleuths, well Lois was the hilarious one, and they were different as night and day. I loved that she kept calling Millie “Amish Marple”.

It was great to see already-familiar characters from the Amish Candy shop series like Juliet, Jethro and Aiden Brody (the sheriff, his mom and her little spotted pet pig who was as much of a stinker as those goats!), as well as Clara and Charlotte from the candy shop. But I definitely really like the new character of Lois and even her granddaughter Darcy. And Millie makes an awesome main character!

I had a feeling I knew who was behind a lot of things, although it played out a little differently. I was actually enjoying reading about the sleuthing more than I was trying to figure out whodunit. I’m so anxious now for the next book!

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Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury review

This is the second book in the newer Desert Flowers series by Lee Hollis. Lee Hollis is the pen name for brother/sister team Rick Copp and Holly Simason. The first series that they did is the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails series, which I also love. There’s a third series called Maya and Sandra Mystery series. I have the book “Murder at the PTA” but unfortunately haven’t read it yet. I hope to do that soon, because I love their writing.

Poppy and her friends along with Matt were awesome in this book! Crazy situations and fun characters made for a really entertaining murder mystery.

My Goodreads review:

Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury (A Desert Flowers Mystery #2)Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury by Lee Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the Desert Flowers series. Maybe because I already knew the characters and was glad to come back and see what they were up to, or maybe the story was better. Whichever it was, it was great seeing the gang together again. Like Poppy in the first book, I wasn’t sure if I liked Matt much, but in this book he definitely won me over. Even Heather’s character was fleshed out a little bit better. And of course Poppy’s crazy friends Violet and Iris were at their shining best. I love that they have a twelve-year-old helping them with the online part of their investigating business. Wyatt is a pretty cool kid!

I wasn’t sure whodunit, but it was a lot of fun reading and finding out. There was plenty of action and humor as well. Some of the scenes were so crazy and I could almost picture Jessica Fletcher along with a couple of the Golden Girls being Poppy and her pals. Poppy’s little side story about her love life was very sweet, and I was happy that it came to a happy conclusion instead of keeping us waiting and wondering. It’ll be interesting to see what these characters get into next!

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There’s a Murder Afoot review

This is the fifth book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany, and it’s going to be released this Tuesday, January 7, 2020. I’m reviewing an advance copy of it provided by the publisher. I also had a digital copy from NetGalley as I tend to go back and forth if I have the choice. I really loved this installment that takes place 99% in London, England. It was fun to read about Gemma in her old stomping grounds and meet her parents and sister. I felt bad for Gemma’s dad being accused and harrassed by a DI who hadn’t liked him when he was on the force.

I thought at first her sister was going to be snooty and kind of a pain, but she proved to be more of a puzzle as well as a good, but behind-the-scenes sleuthing partner for her sister. We can only guess what Pippa’s job is with the government as the book unfolds. As always, I’m anxiously waiting for the next book now!

My Goodreads review:

There's A Murder Afoot (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #5)There’s A Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was so awesome to read about Gemma and all her West London, MA friends being together in London, England for a Sherlock Holmes event. I really liked her parents and Pippa her sister even grew on me. She was sort of mysterious but she and Grant started liking each other during the course of the trip, which turned into a little longer of a trip due to Gemma’s dad being accused of murder.

Gemma usually investigated cases involving strangers but there was more at stake here, so it made her even more determined to find the real killer. I was definitely wrong about the killer, and there was a good twist at the end. The showdown was exciting, and even Sherlock-obsessed Donald Morris got in on helping out. During the trip, I got some giggles out of the times Ashleigh would contact Gemma about a few little issues they were having at the store. The one with Moriarty the cat and an author’s shoes was really funny. I think this book is my favorite now in this series!

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. The book releases January 7, and my opinions are my own.

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Theater Nights Are Murder review

Happy New Year everyone! And on to this year’s awesome reading!

This is the fourth (and funniest, to me) book in the Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein. She does such a good job of making her readers laugh most of the way through the books in this series! I just love these characters and how some of our favorites from the previous books make their way into the most recent one. If you haven’t started this series, you should treat yourself this year.

My Goodreads review:

Theater Nights Are MurderTheater Nights Are Murder by Libby Klein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series more every time I read the newest book and I always think that book is the funniest one so far…only because imho it is! I was laughing out loud at Aunt Ginny and her “biddies'” antics during the senior center’s production of Mamma Mia. From going all out spy complete with two-way radios to conning some bikers in a pool game, these ladies while absolutely hilarious were determined to find out how their friend really died during the theater production. And for that I say, “You go, girls!”

Even though I didn’t care much for the character of Fiona, I have to admit I got a kick out of her always talking about her precious son Iggy’s many master’s degrees. It was sort of a running joke through the book (like how Georgina had come up with a bunch of wrong names for Smitty in the previous book). I think Aunt Ginny will always be my favorite character, but we got to know the biddies a lot better in this book and I completely enjoyed that. Even Smitty made a visit. Poppy’s friend Sawyer had a sideline mystery going on, and there was another side mystery that completely threw me when I found out who was behind it. I’d never have guessed.

Officer Amber seemed to be mellowing just a little bit. She didn’t seem nearly as mean as she was in the first book even though I doubt she’ll ever get over getting a little satisfaction out of trying to make Poppy squirm. Poppy gave it right back though–her character has grown a lot since the first book too. As always, I’m anxious for the next in this series!

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

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First in Series Challenge 2020

I made a decent dent in that drawer of books I had, but for 2020 I’m not going to set my goal so high. I had twenty-three books I wanted to clear out in 2019, and I did manage to clear out thirteen of them, which is pretty decent. I’m going to challenge myself to read the other ten of them and two more to make for one a month. These are:

A Deadly Grind (Vintage Kitchen)—Victoria Hamilton

A Peach of a Murder (Fresh Baked)—Livia J. Washburn

Beaglemania (Pet Rescue)—Linda O. Johnston

Cookie Dough or Die (Cookie Cutter Shop)—Virginia Lowell

Death on the Cliff Walk (Gilded Age)—Mary Kruger

Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself)—Jennie Bentley

Homicide in Hardcover (Bibliophile)—Kate Carlisle

Kneaded to Death (Bread Shop)—Winnie Archer

Mistletoe Murder (Lucy Stone)—Leslie Meier

Mum’s the Word (Flower Shop)—Kate Collins

It Takes a Witch (Wishcraft)–Heather Blake

The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse (Cats in Trouble)–Leeann Sweeney

As before, I’ll link to my reviews when I read them, or if I get behind like I did in 2019, I’ll probably wait till the eleventh hour to update this page. Here’s my 2019 First in Series page now that I’ve updated it with review links.

This is just a for-fun challenge that anyone is welcome to join if you also have first in series that you’re trying to get read. Since mine are all physical books, they’ll count for other challenges too!

I know that Christina (@TeacherReader1) has been waiting for me to post this, and now that we’re back from vacation and have celebrated half of our Christmases (my family one is this weekend), I had a little window of time to do this. Have fun!