Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door review

This is the second book in the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries series by Maine Clambake author Barbara Ross. I haven’t heard any additional plans for Jane Darrowfield and really hope there’s going to be more. This particular book came out previously as paperback only and exclusive to Barnes & Noble, but now that it’s past that contract, it’s available December 28, 2021 as a Kindle book and paperback on Amazon as well.

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next DoorJane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door by Barbara Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane Darrowfield was on a strange case where her neighbor thought she was going crazy, but Jane’s research showed otherwise. I loved how she went about her research doing both online and some old-fashioned legwork. Jane still reminds me of a twenty-first Jessica Fletcher who I’m pretty sure would’ve embraced all the technology available to her right now. Although I’m not sure being compared to her would make Jane all that happy, lol. I loved it when Jane and Harry got together. They were just so cute!

There were enough suspects that I didn’t really trust anyone except Jane herself and Det. Alvarez. I was suspicious of someone early on, and while my attention was caught by all the other distractions, I was right to be suspicious of the person. The question eventually was whether there was a murder now or not? What happened to this neighbor who thought she was going nuts?

Jane’s discovery led to a good ending as well as a nice little ending for her and Harry. I hope there’re going to be more books in the series, but if not, I feel like this did end in a place I can live with. 🙂 Don’t miss it–the book comes out Tuesday December 28th.

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

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How to Book a Murder review

This is the first book in a new series by well-established cozy author Cynthia Kuhn. It’s called Starlit Bookshop Mysteries and I gotta say I love the play on the family name Starrs + Lit = Starlit, pretty clever name. And it was a bookshop that was well-known and loved around the town, so it was natural for the daughters Laura and Emma to run it. I really liked their aunt Nora. She was gutsy and wouldn’t let herself get walked on, but she had the biggest heart when it came to her family. No wonder she’d stayed in the family home, and the three of them were now a family.

My Goodreads review:

How to Book a Murder (Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1)How to Book a Murder by Cynthia Kuhn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow I really enjoyed this author’s writing! I know she’s pretty well-known in the cozy world, but I just hadn’t had the pleasure of reading any of her works until I found this on NetGalley. I’m so glad I did, because I got right into the story from the start. I really liked Emma and Laura, the two sisters who ran their family’s bookstore. I enjoyed the interaction of Emma with a guy she went to school with who was now a detective along with the leader of a writers’ critique group she’d joined. The author did an amazing job of creating a character I absolutely loathed! I think you’ll know who I mean once you read the book and probably agree.

Aunt Nora was having some internal issues at the college where she taught, so that was an interesting side story that was wrapped up well but still showed that college professors weren’t exempt from workplace drama.

I was completely surprised by the whodunit, and the showdown was pretty epic. I was proud of Emma for thinking to do something she did. I think she and Jake might just have a future friendship and maybe beyond now that they were getting along. I can’t wait to see what the girls come up with next for their bookstore that thanks to a successful author event seemed to be doing well now.

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

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Cold Brew Corpse review

This is the second book in the newer series called Coffee Lovers Mysteries by Tara Lush, and I’m really enjoying getting to know these characters. I found myself giggling at what was going on more than once! Great humor and dialogue among the characters is what I really appreciate about a good cozy. I can’t wait to read the next one!

My Goodreads review:

Cold Brew Corpse (A Coffee Lover's Mystery #2)Cold Brew Corpse by Tara Lush
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I liked this book even better than the first one! It just had more of a regular cozy vibe which I remember not getting as much with the first book. I can’t really explain it, but I just liked this book so much better. The two main characters of Lana and Noah seemed a little more mature and comfortable together. I loved that they were at least on a “we need to date” basis, but it was mainly his crazy hours that kept them from it. That and another case. Lana was awesome as a first person narrator, and I enjoyed the author’s sense of humor coming out in her–and some of the other characters. The dialogue was just so good, and I love how natural-sounding it is!

I’m pretty sure Peter Lewis aka Dad was my fave character in the first book, and that’s definitely not changed. And Erica’s the best bestie a girl could ask for. There was a little side mystery of the cold brew batch going wonky on them. I had my suspicions, and you might too once you read the book!

I was completely surprised by the whodunit, and the showdown was a good one. Lana didn’t get by unscathed though, but by the time she was okay, she was ready to hit the workplace once more. I’m eager to read more in this fun series! That little Stanley pup has stolen my heart!

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

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Renewed for Murder review

This is the sixth book in the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries by Victoria Gilbert. She also writes a newer series as well called Book Lovers B&B Mysteries. Anything that’s related to books and mysteries, I’m there! I’ve come to think of the Blue Ridge characters as old friends, and I’m always happy to see a new installment in this series.

My Goodreads review:

Renewed for Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #6)Renewed for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t say this was my favorite in the series so far, but it was definitely a good mystery and fairly complicated (and admittedly slow in spots), so I just took the advice Brad always gives Amy (but she never follows lol) to let them take over solving it. I kinda just sat back and read wondering what was going to happen next. I never really had one person in mind. At one point, the person whodunit did cross my mind, but I never could come up with a good reason.

The showdown was really exciting though and had Zelda and Amy running around with a killer in an old building in the dark, wow talk about suspense! Everything ended great, and Kurt had a big hand in getting them some much needed help from the authorities. I loved the line he gave Brad when Brad gave his approval for Kurt helping out. But I won’t spoil it. It’s just typical Kurt, and I’ve honestly come to love his character a lot! I don’t think I could’ve said that early on. Yep, he skirts the law, but I remember how everyone always loved ole JR Ewing every Friday night doing that same thing. This guy isn’t much different lol! He’s also very good to have as a friend rather than an enemy, lol.

I’m loving the married Amy and Richard! They’re the cutest couple and despite having their normal share of disagreements, they always end each day on a good note and have lots of respects for each other. I’m definitely looking forward to more adventures in this series!

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

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Beauty and the Deceased review

This is the fourth book in the Resale Boutique Mysteries by Debra Sennefelder who also writes the Food Blogger Mysteries. I really enjoy both these series with two differently-aged main characters but each having her own lovable charms. I’m especially eager for the next Resale Boutique to come out due to an ongoing storyline that got ramped up in this book.

The cat photo made me think of what Howard might look like if his nap was interrupted.

My Goodreads review:

Beauty and the Deceased  (A Resale Boutique Mystery, #4)Beauty and the Deceased by Debra Sennefelder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murder hit a little closer to home this time for Kelly, so she was beyond determined to figure out whodunit even despite a couple of threats. If that wasn’t enough, a secret that was eating at Kelly came to light, and she had to deal with those repercussions. On a bright note, she met a couple of cute guys she didn’t appear opposed to getting to know better. (Keeping fingers crossed this won’t be a triangle, lol).

Pepper’s always been my favorite character, and she came through especially well this time around as a mom figure. Kelly really needs a dedicated snooping partner although she seems to prefer being a loner. Liv’s great as a bestie and support system, but she’s kinda-sorta dating Gabe the police chief, so of course, she’s going to discourage Kelly’s investigating. Kelly just needs a sidekick of some kind, and Howard the cat doesn’t quite fit that bill. He’s great for her as a sounding board when she’s home.

I’m super eager now to read the next book with how an ongoing side story turned out. I’d purposely gotten caught up in the series prior to reading this installment which is out today, so if you’re a fan, don’t miss this one which releases today! The usual advice of reading in order stands with this series. I can’t really think of exact spoilers, but part of the storyline is progressive and some things are mentioned that make me think it’s best to go in order with this series.

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

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Murder at the Bake Sale review

This is the second book in the Maya and Sandra series written by one of my favorite writing teams, Lee Hollis (Rick Copp and his sister Holly Simason). The talented duo also writes the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails series as well as the Desert Flowers Mysteries.

I enjoyed getting back to the Maya and Sandra series after what seemed like a long time. Hopefully, it’ll be back on their once-a-year rotation they have with their other series. I’m curious to see what happens next to these two clever ladies!

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the Bake Sale (A Maya and Sandra Mystery Book 2)Murder at the Bake Sale by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d forgotten how much fun the first book of this series was since it’s been a while since I read it. These two very opposite friends made a heck of a good sleuthing team! And Sandra had grown a little since the first book too seeming more confident and after finding out something in this book, she was more determined to prove she could be a worthy PI partner for her pal Maya who was a former cop and knew exactly how to play things to stay by the book and out of trouble.

Maya cracked me up with her kitchen efforts always backfiring. But just as Sandra was trying very hard at sleuthing, Maya gave it a shot for her daughter’s bake sale. Collectively, these two ladies had some pretty cool kids, two of which were dating (Maya’s Vanessa and Sandra’s Ryan). I know I was suspicious of someone throughout the book for something but never really thought about them being the killer.

The showdown was good with the police getting there in time to haul off the perp. Both Maya and Sandra had a couple of life-changing moments in their individual lives, so it’ll be interesting to see how any future books play out.

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

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Christmas Candy Corpse review

This is the third book in the Courtney Archer series by Rosemarie Ross, and maybe I’m just a Christmas nut, but I think it’s the best book so far. I really enjoyed the side mystery involving a very different version of Shannon than we’ve been used to seeing in this series. She’s usually super sunshiny and sweet, but what’s turned our Southern cook into a Grinch? You’ll just have to read and find out!

My Goodreads review:

Christmas Candy Corpse (A Courtney Archer Mystery #3)Christmas Candy Corpse by Rosemarie Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is really getting better. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about it at the beginning or if I even liked Courtney that much. But after three books of seeing how she interacts with her friends/coworkers, she’s really grown on me, and she’s grown as a character as well. I feel she’s gained some maturity (finding dead bodies does that to ya, I guess), and I was happy to see her and Eric in a good place with their relationship.

I had a little sneaky feeling earlier about the killer in the book, and it ended up being the right whodunit and for the reason I thought as well. It was well-plotted and executed though. That was some exciting showdown too! Once again, Courtney’s kitchen set had something handy! The ending was very sweet and Christmasy.

Shannon had her own side mystery going on and I thought I’d guessed what it was. It was interesting to see that play out into the happy ending everyone in the cast had. I can definitely say I’m looking forward to reading the next book!

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

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Bear a Wee Grudge review

This is the fifth book in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear series by Meg Macy. It quickly became one of my favorite series. I mean, who doesn’t love an adorable teddy bear, right? I’m not sure I’d want to be in on the making and sewing of said teddy bears, but I’d sign up for testing them for cuddling!

There was such a sweet surprise toward the end of the book, and now I can’t wait to read the next!

My Goodreads review:

Bear a Wee Grudge (Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery, #5)Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No festival in Silver Hollow would be complete without the seemingly-requisite murder. (At least it was of someone mean and nasty!) But the worrisome part was the detestable detective Hunter zoning in on Sasha’s dad as his only suspect. Call in the reinforcements, Sasha’s back on the case!

This was really a wild and confusing case with any number of people who’d have wanted to kill the dead guy. The man’s widow was a real piece of work! At least the detective that Sasha knew from a previous case, Mason was around this time and available to relay information to. She really didn’t have to deal with Hunter much. The showdown was super exciting, and a couple of people had a good hand in helping.

Toward the end, there was the sweetest surprise, and now I absolutely can’t wait to read the next book!

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

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Big Trouble in Little Greektown review

This is the third book in the Goddess of Greene Street series by Kate Collins who was first known for her Flower Shop series that went on to be the inspiration for a series of Hallmark movies. I’m really enjoying this series featuring Athena and her big Greek family. She even managed to snag a non-Greek boyfriend and still has her mama’s approval. There was a cute side story in this book about Delphi trying to do the very same thing but being afraid to face Mama. Really loving all these characters! Oscar the raccoon sounds pretty adorable, but I know from a relative who owned one once that you really have to be careful, although Niko seemed to have him under control as an outdoor pet.

My Goodreads review:

Big Trouble in Little Greektown (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery Book 3)Big Trouble in Little Greektown by Kate Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love visiting with Athena and her big crazy Greek family (described that way by her and her sisters lol). Case was just about to get his private eye license and open a new office, and I was actually surprised that Lila who I never liked very much at all in the previous book, really came through for them when needed. Lila got a nice surprise toward the end too. She’s actually a good piece of comic relief when they go on an interrogating mission. Athena’s son Nicholas/Niko had a new friend who was part of a side mystery that developed. Niko was quite the sleuth just like his mom!

I hadn’t really figured out whodunit although there was definitely someone I wanted to be the perp, but lots of suspects fit the bill. The showdown was really exciting, and once again the town was rid of a culprit.

I’d only read the first in the Flower Shop series that this author wrote first and really enjoyed it, but I know that series was ended. I was happy to see a little nod to it in this book. I love when authors do that! You’ll have to read it yourself to see just where this little mention is!

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

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A Plus One for Murder review

This is the first book in a brand new series that releases this coming Tuesday, December 7, 2021. The series is called Friend for Hire Mysteries, and the author is longtime cozy mystery writer Laura Bradford. She has two other cozy series she’s written as Laura Bradford, The Emergency Dessert Squad and Amish Mysteries.

As Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she wrote one of the most beloved and long-running series among cozy readers, the Southern Sewing Circle. I forgot to mention this in my GR review, but I loved, loved loved the nod she gave to that series in this book! She even mentioned a colleague’s series too, since Dottie, the older lady Emma had weekly tea with was a huge cozy mystery fan. I absolutely can’t wait for the next book in this series and want to give a huge shout-out and thanks to @BerkleyPublishing for approving me to read this early copy. I really hope to be able to do the same with the next book.

My Goodreads review:

A Plus One for Murder (A Friend for Hire Mystery #1)A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was excited to see that Laura Bradford was doing another cozy series and even more excited to be approved to read an ARC of it! The book definitely didn’t disappoint. What a cool and different kind of job for main character Emma, being a paid friend to people. I got such a kick out of her clients too especially Big Max, a sweet senior man who was trying to impress a lady by having Emma take him places. I loved how Emma’s friendship with Dottie had grown from what was the start for her new business-except at that time she didn’t realize it. Then eventually, Emma, Stephanie, another client and Dottie made quite the sleuthing trio! And Emma’s sweet dog, Scout always seemed to be pointing out clues to her. I love it when a pet’s just a bit more than a simple pet.

There was a nice assortment of suspects, and I wasn’t expecting the perp to be who it was. The showdown was a good one, and the three sleuths were happy with their work. Deputy Jack, well I don’t think he was too thrilled with their sleuthing, but I could tell he really liked Emma from the beginning especially from his line at the very end. 😉

It was well-written mystery that I’ve always come to expect and know from this author, and now I can’t wait to read more about the characters in the next book! Don’t miss this book which releases Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

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

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