Summer Semester 2019 Challenge

I saw this challenge on a blog too. Here is where you can sign up and from that link, there’s a link to see the original post with how it’s done. I’ve never done this particular challenge, and thought it sounded easy enough to do just the summer semester.

I’m choosing Professor AuthorLuv’s Beginner Class for one credit and will commit to reading three books by Tonya Kappes over the three months of the challenge. I have lots of fave authors, but this will help me catch up a little in one or two of her many series. If this works for me, I might just do the fall semester challenge with a different author.

June–A Killer Latte, #6 Killer Coffee

July–Christmas, Criminals and Campers–#4 Campers and Criminals

August–Motorhomes, Maps and Murder–#5 Campers and Criminals

Sconed to Death–review

Sconed to Death is the fifth book in the Cat Latimer series by well-known cozy author Lynn Cahoon, and it has definitely become one of my favorite series. I’m actually up to date in reading it. I liked that this book was as Ms. Cahoon had described, more Shauna-centered, since Shauna has finally gotten interested in publishing a cookbook, and she’s planning a trip to meet up with her estranged brother. Shauna is an awesome character and with Cat and Seth, they really make the best working team.

My Goodreads review:

Sconed to Death (A Cat Latimer Mystery Book 5)Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love visiting the Warm Springs Writers’ Retreat in this series! Cat always gets involved somehow in a murder, but this time she was lucky enough not to have found the body. However, her natural curiosity and wanting to help people took over and she did end up stopping a killer in their tracks.

I liked that this group of writers were cozy mystery authors. It was fun to hear them toss around their ideas and enjoy being at the retreat. The side story about Shauna planning to go visit her estranged brother in NYC was good. I wasn’t sure if she’d be able to pull it off, since she does enjoy cooking for Cat even when there’s not a retreat. It was cute to see her being a mother hen and wanting to make sure that both Cat and Seth had enough food in their houses and food made ahead for the week after the retreat. I wasn’t totally sure about who the killer was, and I didn’t have the reason down, but the showdown was pretty good. Cat seems to be getting a little cleverer and more careful with each case. It was pretty awesome when she took down the killer. I saw that the next book is scheduled for February and I’m happy that at least this is one series that I’m caught up in.

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Read on Arrival–review

This is the second book in the Bookmobile Mystery series by Nora Page. I just love the idea of an old school bus refurbished into a bookmobile and had read the first book last year. I loved both of the books and can definitely say that Cleo and Henry are two of my favorite cozy couples. Mary-Rose is a great bestie. She’s not quite the ride-along type of sidekick some besties are, but she keeps Cleo informed. Gabby the deputy and Cleo’s favorite neighbor is a sweetheart, who wouldn’t love her for a neighbor? I had a great time reading this one and just like before, I’m really looking forward to the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Read on Arrival (Bookmobile Mystery #2)Read on Arrival by Nora Page

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just loved this book! Cleo and Henry have got to be the most adorable couple, and Cleo is the most loyal and brave friend that anyone could want. The library’s grand opening was coming soon when the library board president brought in a lady named Belle with crazy and outrageous ideas–like that books were clutter (this woman really bugged me, I was hoping she’d be offed or the perp lol). I’d say the author did her job well, because I could not stand Belle and her Airstream flashing-lights bookless-mobile. When the town diva and the patron with the longest overdue book was found dead in her home by Cleo and Henry, Cleo was one of the suspects. She did manage to get to the bottom of everything and restore her good name. I guessed the killer because of cleverly-placed clues by the author, but it was a lot of fun to see Cleo track the perp down. I have to hand it to Cleo, because she doesn’t do anything alone, and she’s very good about alerting the local deputy, who happens to be her neighbor, Gabby. I can’t wait for the next book!

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Dead with the Wind–review

This is the second book in the Southern Ladies series written by Miranda James, the pen name for Dean James. He also writes the Cat in the Stacks series, and sometimes the two overlap with Diesel visiting the sisters (like he did in the first book, Bless Her Dead Little Heart which one of my online book clubs will be discussing soon.) I love these sassy Southern sisters who took in young Benjy who is like a grandson to them now. His pets, Peanut the Goldendoodle and Endora the Abyssinian cat, are pretty awesome too. My favorite part of this book was the showdown and what happened right before it.

My Goodreads review:

Dead with the Wind (Southern Ladies Mystery, #2)Dead with the Wind by Miranda James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had read the first book in this series last year and had been wanting to continue the series, because I’d enjoyed my first trip to Athena MS so much. This book took place mostly in Louisiana with the sisters An’gel and Dickce traveling with Benjy and the pets to a wedding of An’gel’s cousin’s daughter. When the bride died under suspicious circumstances, An’gel and her sister started investigating. There was an a really cool and unexpected twist toward the end which led to an even better and more satisfying showdown with a killer.

I just love these two ladies! And Benjy their ward is the sweetest guy ever. Peanut and Endora are pretty special too. Endora was good at warning people and Peanut was always good for a hug or doggie snuggle when a little girl who just lost her mama needed it. I’ll look forward to when I can read the next in the series.

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Pies and Prejudice–review

This is the first in the Charmed Pie Shoppe series by well-known author Ellery Adams and was one of her older series that I wanted to work on and try to finish, maybe even this year yet. I love the whole idea of a pie shop, but pies that give people just the perfect joy or hope that they need are even more awesome. Then if the pie maker channels her own feelings, sometimes the results can be pretty funny depending on what her feelings were when she made the pie. 😉 I had read the fourth book last year sometime, but I had definitely wanted to come back and start at the beginning.

My Goodreads review:

Pies and Prejudice (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery, #1)Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d been wanting to start this series from the beginning ever since one of the book clubs I’m in had a discussion on the fourth book in the series. I love anything by this author to begin with, and I wanted to know every character’s story from the beginning. I love how her books are not just mystery driven, but they’re also character and family-driven. Sometimes the characters are a little broken and help each other heal, and sometimes they’re family in the togetherness sense, maybe not related. In this series, the family is all related. Ella Mae had come back to Havenwood, Georgia to open a pie shop and be with all her beloved aunts, mom and long-time friend, Reba (who is such a hoot and by far my favorite character! She reminds me of the actual singer/actress Reba from her TV show).

I wasn’t sure of the killer, but once the reveal came, it made a lot of sense. Ella and Reba were both at the showdown, and it was amazing. I always enjoy that the author doesn’t just stop when the murder is solved. We always get to learn more about the characters and see every little thing neatly finished. Ella learned something about herself and now I’m anxious to read more just to see how she works through all this new knowledge.

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A Deadly Feast–review

This is the 9th book in the Key West Food Critic written by well-known author Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib. Being a Key West resident herself, she’s an awesome storyteller when it comes to all things Key West. Her writing style is fun even if she’s not talking about Key West. I’m not exactly caught up yet in the series, but I’ve read enough of it to really think of these characters as friends.

My Goodreads review:

A Deadly Feast (Key West Food Critic Mystery #9)A Deadly Feast by Lucy Burdette

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The long-awaited wedding of Nathan and Hayley has a pretty exciting few days prior to it. Hayley was worried sick about Nathan who was on a secret sting operation along with most of the police force in town. A woman on a foodie tour she’d attended ended up dying from a stroke, and a local chef named Martha was hiding a huge secret and feeling guilty as well. Hayley had to rely on her intuition once again, and this time it was for something even more important. Topping all of that off was the fact that their houseboat contractor had basically bailed on them, and now Hayley and Nathan wouldn’t be able to move in until it was finished once she found another contractor.

These characters are like old friends to me now even though I’ve not read most of the beginning books–I’m still intending to do that though. Probably my favorite characters aside from Nathan and Hayley themselves would be Miss Gloria (what a hoot! I want to be like her when I’m 80!) and Steve, Nathan’s fellow officer who is also an ordained minister. He always seems to have just the right thing to say to make the situation better. There are some awesome-sounding recipes at the end of the book, lots of them! Of course, I’m always partial to how the desserts sound!

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Prologue to Murder–review

I really enjoyed this second book in the Beyond the Page Bookshop series by Lauren Elliott and loved the whole pirate and ghost walk theme they were having for their Greyborne Founders Day festival. The next one has to do with Christmas, so I’m even more anxious to read that one.

My Goodreads review:

Prologue to Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #2)Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one book that was very hard to put down! There was always something going on that I just had to keep reading to find out. Addie Greyborne had become comfortable with her sort-of boyfriend police chief Marc Chandler who happened to be her bestie Serena’s brother when his ex-fiancee showed up in town acting like she wanted to pick up where they’d left off. It was awfully coincidental that Lacey’s arrival also had started some awful rumors about Addie floating around town via a gossip column in the paper by a Miss Newsy.

When the body of a local librarian was found, Miss Newsy managed to hint that Addie may have had something to do with that, so of course Addie wasn’t going to stand around not defending her name. There was a new handsome guy tossed into the picture in this story too, a doctor who was now the new coroner, and Addie felt herself liking both him and Marc. Despite all their ups and downs, Addie and Marc solved the case, and he had to admit that her gut instincts were correct. I didn’t really guess the killer until some clues started pointing that way. There were a lot of great red herrings to be distracted by too. I’m not sure where Addie’s love life is headed, but it’ll be interesting to see which guy she eventually ends up with. Each one is good for her in their own ways. I enjoyed the preview given at the end of the book for the next book coming out in October.

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

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