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!

A Blessed Merry Christmas!

To all my cyber friends who celebrate Christmas, I hope yours is blessed and peaceful. Thanks to everyone who has followed my little blog this year, the commenters and just anyone who surfs on in. Merry Christmas to all…God bless us every one!

The Nativity photo above was found on Pexels when I searched free Christmas images.

A few more awesome photos I couldn’t resist adding (immediately below was found on Pexels, and the cookie one after it was from




Verse and Vengeance review

This is the fourth book in the Magical Bookshop series by Amanda Flower. It quickly became a favorite series of mine from the time I read the first book, and I’m always anxious for the next one. Fans of Violet and David will be especially pleased with this installment!

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

My Goodreads review:

Verse and Vengeance (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #4)Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! Everything I’ve been hoping would happen in Violet’s life has come together in a happy way. There were times when she doubted people that she considered friends, but everything worked out and the killer was caught. I was really surprised by the reveal too and had never suspected that person. (Although I can’t say that I’m sorry it was that person lol). I don’t want to say too much, because there are a number of spoilers in the book. Any fans of Violet and David will be well-pleased.

Grandma Daisy has always been a favorite character, and in this book, Richard who was one of Violet’s professors at the college when she was getting her degree, had started working at the bookshop. There was a certain lady he liked a lot, and I was wondering if he’d ever get up the nerve to take her out. It was cool getting to know him a little bit better by reading about his working in the shop during the summer.

I’ve loved this series since the first book I read and always anxiously wait for the next book! The only reason it took me so long to read this book was due to being on vacation. Attempting to read much of it prior to vacation wasn’t working due to all the things needing done before we left.

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NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge 2020

I’m happy to sign up again for this challenge. I didn’t quite make the Diamond level in 2019, but I got a lot more read than I had anticipated. I didn’t do all that great with posting the books here on the blog, but I was pretty faithful about posting my reviews to Tina’s blog, Reading Between the Pages. You can sign up at Reading Between the Pages as well by using the link in this sentence.

You don’t need a blog to participate. I’m going to aim for Platinum this year. I currently sit at around 90 I believe, but I don’t think I’ll make 100 before the year is over. I’ll let you read the challenge details as outlined by Tina on her page, but here are the different levels:

The Levels…

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

An Ale of Two Cities review

This is the second book in Sarah Fox’s Literary Pub series, and I was excited to return to Shady Creek, Vermont when it was almost Christmas. I could just picture the town and all the shops with the snowfall and the Winter Carnival that was underway. The side story about the hockey game was kind of fun. Poor Cordelia, she gave it her best, lol. I’m hoping as the series progresses that Sadie and Grayson get closer. I know that Joey the reporter likes her, but I’ve been Team Grayson since the first book. 😉 I never guessed the killer at all.

My Goodreads review:

An Ale of Two Cities (Literary Pub Mystery #2)An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had really been looking forward to this second book and I was definitely not disappointed! The mystery of the murder was a good one, and I was totally surprised by the killer reveal which was pretty exciting. Thinking about Christmas and wintertime in Vermont was so cool. I’m not a fan of being out in the cold, but looking out at the scenery would be awesome. The town of Shady Creek sounds like an adorable little Hallmark town, especially during Winter Carnival that had an ice sculpture contest.

I just love Aunt Gilda! She’s just what Sadie needed–and who wouldn’t love an aunt like her. Shontelle was the kind of bestie any girl would be glad to have, and the various employees at Inkwell were all good people. The trivia night that Sadie had was fun, and I even caught some cozy mystery name dropping which is always super fun to read about. Hopefully Sadie will eventually think of Grayson as more sweet than annoying, but I think she got a good start in this book by talking about spending Christmas with him. I definitely 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.

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Invitation Only Murder review

First of all, since I’m writing this on Thanksgiving, I’d like to wish all my readers and friends here in the states a blessed and safe Thanksgiving weekend. Now, on to the book.

This was the twenty-sixth book in the long-running Lucy Stone series by Leslie Stone and it was a pretty exciting one. Set on an island, it reminded me of an Agatha Christie book or a movie where everyone suspected everyone.

#Kensington Publishing was kind enough to provide me with a paperback ARC of the book, and my honest opinions are my own.

My Goodreads review:

Invitation Only Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #26)Invitation Only Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lucy sure had no idea what she was getting into when she volunteered to visit and do a story about a remote island off Tinker’s Cove that was owned by Scott, an eccentric billionaire with paranoia issues. He didn’t believe in any modern conveniences aside from hot water and limited electricity..and he thought everyone was out to get him because he was so rich. When Lucy stumbled onto the dead body of one of Scott’s daughters followed shortly by a mysterious disappearance, she must have felt like she was in the middle of And Then There Were None. I know that I would have thought that! I’m pretty sure that I would have holed up in my room. The whole story had kind of an eerie feeling about that did remind me of reading an Agatha Christie set on an island.

Determined to get to the bottom of the murder and disappearance that she felt sure were connected, Lucy ended up injured, partly by the perp who got away into the woods. There was eventually quite the showdown, since the perp knew that Scott kept a private arsenal of weapons at his disposal. It was survival of the fittest toward the end which definitely kept me on the edge of my chair!

The whole book had more of a suspense feeling and compelled me to keep reading. I liked the twin 8-year-old boys. They weren’t really brats but very smart for their age, and their love of books came in handy for them. If I had been Lucy, I’d have probably kissed the ground when I stepped off the boat and back to Tinker’s Cove! This was a little different than the usual Lucy Stones that I’ve read, but it was a good kind of different and I really enjoyed her adventure on the island.

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