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.

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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! πŸ™‚

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.

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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.

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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. πŸ˜‰

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!

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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!Β  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.

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Dial M for Maine Coon review

This is the second book in the Furever Pets series by Alex Erickson, and it releases next week on August 25, 2020. Like the first book, it’s going to be a paperback exclusive through B&N for a year. I received a paperback ARC from Kensington to read ahead and make my review.

I like how the characters became a little more developed in this book. Ben sort of had the spotlight in the first book as a murder suspect, but Amelia got more of it this time, since she was working toward her private investigator license with a couple of local PI people. This is such a good family series meaning it’s kind of refreshing to see a family in it that actually gets along for the most part (usual young adult issues). I guess the crazy neighbor and annoying nemesis make for the conflict parts, lol. Enjoy!

My Goodreads review:

Dial M for Maine CoonDial M for Maine Coon by Alex Erickson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was good to get back to Grey Falls and see what Liz and her family were up to. I loved reading about her pet rescue services in the first book. Of course, nasty neighbor Joanne was the same old grouch, and two-faced Courtney Shaw, Liz’s nemesis was up to no good as always. But hey, if it wasn’t for the nemesis, there wouldn’t be the adorable Chihuahua on the cover. This author is super talented in creating loathsome people! There were some others as well, but they got justice–I don’t want to say too much and spoil it.

On the other hand, the author is also great at writing about super likable people in Liz, her family and now Maya and Chester. I’m glad that Chester got a bigger part in this book. Erik was a good character, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him pay a visit to town again or even settle there. I love that Amelia and Ben both had seemed to find what they wanted to do, and Amelia became such an awesome sleuthing buddy for Liz. Poor Liz just couldn’t wrap her head around sleuthing with her daughter instead of instinctively protecting her, but when all was coming to a head, Amelia proved that she was learning a lot and ended up helping save her mom’s life.

Both the murder and the cold case were interesting, solved in the end during a nail biting showdown and the bad guys punished. I was especially glad to see someone pay for what they did to and said about some good people!Now if we could just get rid of that pesky Courtney….lol.

This book releases August 25, 2020, and it’s going to be an exclusive at B&N for a year. I received a paperback ARC from the publisher, and my opinions are my own.

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The Key Lime Crime review

This is the tenth book in the Key West Food Critic series by Key West resident and author Lucy Burdette. I love that she always includes real names of locals that she knows in Key West, for example, David Sloan who was a character in this book is an actual author. In one of her blogs or guest appearances she told how she actually did take a pie class at Key West Pie Company and knew she’d need to include it as a scene in this book.

My Goodreads review:

The Key Lime Crime (Key West Food Critic Mystery, #10)The Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love visiting Hayley and her friends in Key West. This took place about three weeks after she and Nathan got married. Her mom and Sam lived close by working their catering business and now that it was between Christmas and New Year’s, the island was especially crowded and crazy while everyone was getting ready for the key lime pie competition as well as the new year.

Hayley had always been a little afraid of Helen, Nathan’s mom, but Hayley being the good sport she was known to be, showed her around the island. Much to her surprise (and I think sort of delight) Helen took to sleuthing like a pro and even had the same types of intuitions or gut feelings that Hayley got sometimes. Helen’s character made me think of a cross between Leonard’s mom and Castle’s mom, lol. She kind of grew on me as a character and turned out to be a good sleuthing buddy for Hayley. And I always just love Miss Gloria and get the biggest kick out of her!

I was just as surprised as Hayley and Helen when the killer was revealed. The showdown was exciting and once again showed how good Hayley was at getting out of messes. Helen was no slouch either! The wrap-up at the end was awesome as it always is in this series. I’m still not quite caught up, but I’ll be anxiously waiting 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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Death of a Wicked Witch review

This is the thirteenth book in the Hayley Powell series by brother/sister team Lee Hollis, comprised of Rick Copp and his sister Holly Simason. I’m not caught up in the series yet, but seeing Hayley and Bruce married didn’t ruin it for me in the least. I think this one has to be the most fun I’ve had reading the columns that are included at the end of some of the chapters along with some of Hayley’s food and drink recipes that relate to the column. I liked it that Gemma and her boyfriend came around, and we got to see what she’s been up to.

As with any series, I always recommend starting from the beginning (like I obviously haven’t done, but to be fair, I did read the first book before reading any of the later ARCs.). It gives theΒ  background of the characters and how different relationships came about. Liddy and Mona took a little backseat in this book, although each one did get a fairly important scene. Their best part was in one of the columns though–definitely don’t miss reading those in this book.

My Goodreads review:

Death of a Wicked Witch (Hayley Powell Mystery Book 13)Death of a Wicked Witch by Lee Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome book for the Halloween season! Not only does Hayley love Halloween, Bruce hates it and so does Liddy which made Hayley’s columns that always appear between chapters even funnier! I really loved reading those this time, and normally they honestly don’t do much for me, but these were different. I laughed out loud at the columns where she told about different Halloween pranks, then there was a bet with Bruce was pretty funny too. I like that she kept them recent.

The mystery itself was a good one! It’s always sad when a nice person gets killed especially one with a yummy food truck. Hayley and Bruce made a great team checking out clues, and even Gemma got in on the act, since she was home from New York with her boyfriend Conner. Gemma had whole issue of her own to deal with, but the outcome was a good one as you’ll see at the end of the book. I hadn’t guessed the killer at all, and Bruce was impressed by his wife during the showdown. The running theme was Hayley trying to get Bruce to stop smoking after he’d quit for a long time before that. The way it was worked into the showdown was great!

I’m still not completely caught up with the series, but it’s one that since I did start out reading the later books as ARCs, I don’t seem to mind going back and reading about how Hayley and Bruce came to be and what the kids got into when they were younger. Liddy and Mona weren’t in the main story much, but Mona got to star in one of the columns which to me was the funniest of any of the columns I’ve read. Super fun and I highly recommend this!

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Tea & Treachery review

I was excited to read the new book that Vicki Delany has out now in a new series called Tea by the Sea. I’m not a tea fan, but I still absolutely love the tearoom and the Cape Cod setting on a cliff overlooking the sea. The main character is Lily who also works for her English grandmother’s B&B which is located close to the tearoom. I loved how her friend Bernie’s book kept changing throughout the story. I’m super anxious for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries Book 1)Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew I’d love this book as much as I do the author’s other series, and it didn’t disappoint. The setting is amazing, and I really enjoyed the main characters. Rose is another grandmother character I’ve read recently that isn’t quite the loving or huggified grandma that we’re all used to in cozy mysteries–she’ll take some getting used to, but she’s growing on me already because she’s clever and likes to use the old lady card to her advantage sometimes–but she knows her limits and doesn’t abuse it.

Rose had a tremendous love for Lily that she expressed just by looking at her. It was fun that Lily’s bestie, Bernie just moved to Cape Cod to write a book, and she provided a lot of the comic relief by her constant outbursts of how she was changing the book. I got such a kick out of her final decision! She and Rose made the best sleuths, while Lily tried to attend to her tearoom. More than a few times though, they wrangled her into their sleuthing circle. Lily and Bernie had a couple of cute guys interested in them as well, so I hope that progresses well. I liked how Lily evolved in her thinking regarding guys. I could tell she was mellowing πŸ˜‰ Simon was a sweetie.

I hadn’t guessed the killer, and I liked the little twist dealing with the detectives toward the end. The showdown was great with everyone pitching in to help and catch the killer. I’m really anxious for the next book whenever that happens.

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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From Beer to Eternity review

This is the first book in a brand new series by Sherry Harris of Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries fame. I hadn’t gotten around to reading that series yet, but after reading this book, I’m anxious to finally get to that series. I just love her characters in Emerald Cove on the Emerald Coast of Florida. I had honestly not known there was such a place and now looking at pictures of it, it’s absolutely gorgeous and does look like a sea of emeralds. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

My Goodreads review:

From Beer to Eternity (Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery #1)From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this book’s awesome setting and could just picture all those little shops and the marina where Chloe slept. Vivi wasn’t quite the loving grandmotherly person I might have expected, but I think by the end of the book, she was definitely coming around. She could just be someone who isn’t into warm hugs, but she does seem to be fond enough of Chloe seeing how Chloe’s reason for even being there was keeping a promise to her best friend who was Vivi’s grandson, killed in battle. I think my fave character was Joaquin who was the bartender. He’s such an awesome new friend to Chloe. I also hope there’s a future for her of some kind with gorgeous Rhett! I loved the little references comparing the Emerald Coast to Emerald City and how Joaquin was like one of those beloved characters.

There were definitely a lot of suspects and some great red herrings. I got a little sneaky feeling about one of them, and I ended up being right. I enjoyed this author’s fun style so much that now I’m determined to get around to the other series she wrote (which I’ve been collecting-all part of the too many books, too little time thing.) I liked the showdown and how Chloe was able to use something she’d learned in basic self-defense as a librarian. She was very fortunate she was used to running the beach! I’m super 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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