The Time for Murder Is Meow review

If you follow the author T.C. LoTempio aka Toni, you’ll already know that this book is technically the same book that came out two years ago in August. But the difference is a new publisher which will allow her to continue the series now. And I love this cover soooo much more than the old one! The artist did an amazing job of catching the personality of the little pet supply store Shell inherited. The series name has also been changed to Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries. And I enjoyed the story even more the second time around (yes, I’d actually forgotten whodunit, but remembered at about the same spot where I started suspecting the first time!)

My Goodreads review:

The Time for Murder Is Meow (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries Book 1)The Time for Murder Is Meow by T. C. LoTempio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fun town and group of characters! I was expecting not to like Gary much, and while it did take a while to warm up to him, I think he and Shell really have some good sleuthing vibes going on–naturally, since they acted together on a show. But I was happy she didn’t hide her feelings about Josh, and I’m pretty sure the feelings were mutual from the beginning.

There was a fairly early clue that set me on the trail of who the killer was, but it was a lot of fun to read as Shel and her three new friends from town along with her former co-star Gary all sleuthed together. If Gary hangs around town now that the case is solved, I can see a lot of fun possibilities for Shell sleuthing with him…and I think it would be cute if he got together with Olivia. But only the next book can tell us all that, and I’m definitely anxious to read it!

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Deadly Delights review

This is the second in the Bookish Baker series by Laura Jensen Walker and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Lots of mystery, cute dogs, quirky/likable characters and yummy desserts to be had when you visit Lake Potawatomi. I love Teddie and her little trio of besties investigating. One scene with Teddie and Char was pretty hilarious, but someone didn’t end up thinking so! Not gonna spoil it, have yourself a fun read and good cozy time in Lake Potawatomi!

My Goodreads review:

Deadly Delights (A Bookish Baker Mystery #2)Deadly Delights by Laura Jensen Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed visitng Lake Potawatomi again. The timeline of the story was the same summer as the first book. Teddie’s a great main character and so open about having had breast cancer along with all the decisions she made with it. I love that she’s got a sassy or funny comeback for pretty much everything and won’t take lip from anyone. Her dog is a total sweetheart too. I really like her two besties, Char and Sharon. Char is such a hoot, and it doesn’t hurt matters that she dates the chief of police. Sharon tends to take on the mom role of the trio, since she’s the only one with kids. Another character Astrid, the older artist friend of Teddie’s cracks me up too!

There were some good side stories going on, one which involved Teddie’s mom. I think it might have helped bring them a bit closer. After the murder at the baking contest, Teddie and her friends set out to investigate, mainly to clear Teddie and Sophie’s names and give blabbermouth Wilma something else to talk about. There was a twist I sure never saw coming, very clever though. The showdown was quick but awesome. A couple more sweet things happened once everything was cleared up. What a great ending!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. This book publishes tomorrow, June 8, 2021.

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Ruby Red Herring review

This is the first in a brand new series, Avery Ayers Antiques by Tracy Gardner who also wrote a three-book cozy mystery set for Hallmark, The Shepherd Sisters. I talked about the people characters in the review, but I sure loved that sweet senior Afghan Hound, Halston! He was such a good boy and an amazing watchdog too! I found a picture that made me think Halston would like chilling in the yard like that.

I absolutely loved this book from the very start, and now I’m going to be impatiently waiting for the next one!

My Goodreads review:

Ruby Red HerringRuby Red Herring by Tracy Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my gosh this book grabbed my attention right off the bat and didn’t let go until the end! It was cozy mystery meets a cozy version of National Treasure or a modern but cozy Indy Jones or possibly Night at the Museum. Not that anyone was running through caves or museums (although the setting was an antiquities museum), but the mystery kept building around a couple of different points. And one of those points led to an amazingly happy ending.

I loved the genuine friendship Avery had with her business partners and how they treated her like a daughter after having lost her dad, their good friend. Tilly and Avery’s relationship was great! It was silly, fun and sometimes serious if needed. Avery was an amazing older sister, and Tilly was surprising with some of the insight she had at times. And who wouldn’t love Aunt Midge! She wasn’t a cuddly type aunt, but she loved the girls so much she’d given up living in Manhattan to stay with them when their parents died. Art should get an award for detective of the century or something for not giving up on his cases. I hope eventually that can include boyfriend of the century! 😉

The dynamics between Avery and Art were great and I loved how even if she didn’t listen to him, he didn’t make her feel bad but did show his displeasure with whatever it was she did. But he also respected her and didn’t just tell her that her ideas were silly when she came to him with a crazy one. The ending was amazing and well-wrapped up as you’ll see when you read it–the whole book was just hard to put down and nearly impossible to find a suitable stopping point for things like sleeping or eating, lol. I’m super excited for the next book in this series! Keep ’em coming, Ms. Gardner!

The book releases on June 8. 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 in Bloom review

This is the first book in a new series just released called Flower House, and it’s written by Jess Dylan, a pen name for author Jennifer David Hesse. I definitely would like to read her other series now! I really enjoyed getting to know these characters, especially Granny Mae! I love the setting of Tennessee too, since it’s one of my favorite states to visit. I can’t wait for the next book Petals and Poison, but the good thing is, we don’t have to wait a year, because it comes out on November 30 of this year.

My Goodreads review:

Death in Bloom: A Flower House MysteryDeath in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery by Jess Dylan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed getting to know Sierra, Granny and friends. Deena and Sierra made for an unlikely friend/sleuth duo, but the worked out pretty well. I liked that just because they didn’t hang out in high school, they were still able to be friends as adults. Granny was cool–for some reason I always like the granny or quirky aunt characters, lol.

The murder was almost a closed door type, since it happened during a flower arranging class. The author did a great job of making me suspect nearly everyone. Just about everyone at the class had a motive, but Sierra and Deena were determined to find out who offed the most despised man in town. As a side story, Sierra’s boss left, and she was trying to solve that little mystery as well as wonder if the cute new tenant Calvin who rented the apartment upstairs from the flower shop was to be trusted.

The showdown was a really good one, and several people and a super cute dog got to have a hand in catching the killer. I’m really eager to read the next book now!

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

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Four Cuts Too Many review

This is the fourth book in the Sarah Blair series by Debra H. Goldstein. I just love Sarah’s cat RahRah and her rescue dog Fluffy. Fluffy belonged to Cliff’s uncle, her old neighbor across the street, George Rogers. Until he went into assisted living, that is. But he was doing really well at the assisted living place, especially now that he and Sarah’s mom seemed to be an item–even though Maybelle probably wouldn’t admit it, lol.

My Goodreads review:

Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery Book 4)Four Cuts Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Between paying attention to what Southwind nemesis Jane was up to and investigating a murder that Chief Gerard seemed satisfied to pin on Emily’s sous chef, Sarah was kept hopping this time. I love how cute her mom and George Rogers have become together. As I said after the last book, if someone told me in the first book or two that I’d end up liking Maybelle’s character, I would have thought they were nuts, lol. But she and George are two of my faves now. I like Grace’s character a lot too, so I was really pulling for her, and I knew as Sarah did that Grace wouldn’t kill anyone. Now Jane…if she ever turned up as a victim or the killer, I would never be heartbroken, lol. The turmoil she can cause for Sarah and her sister is just endless. The author did an excellent job of creating someone detestable, that’s for sure.

The showdown was pretty scary, and I hadn’t really guessed the killer until Sarah did. I wanted to shake Sarah for even going alone, but her heart was in the right place, since she heard someone vulnerable was with the killer. Sarah’s heart for others is gold, but she really needs to start thinking of her own safety once in awhile. It’s been so weird between her and Cliff and hard to tell where they were going in their relationship or if they either one even wanted said relationship. But I think they’ve ironed things out now in a good way.

It was great how the ending told all the little details of the wrap-up. Harlan is one of the kindest and most generous characters in any of the books I’ve read, and this book was no exception. He never does these good things for personal gain either, and I love that about him. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book. I’m eager to see what adventures face the crew of Southwind next.

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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Fresh Brewed Murder review

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, Ground Rules by Emmaline Duncan who also writes YA as Kelly Garrett. From what I can see, this is her first cozy mystery venture, and I do like what I’ve read. Being from Portland, the author really painted a good picture with descriptions of the area, so for someone like me who’s only ever been to California (briefly) on the west coast, I was still able to visualize these food carts and the different people, crowds and bands. It made a big city seem more like the little communities I’m used to in cozy mysteries.

My Goodreads review:

Fresh Brewed Murder (Ground Rules Mystery, #1)Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This seemed like a nice solid start for a new series. It was very easy to picture this little area of a larger city, and the camaraderie among the different cart owners (or tension as it was with some) was well-established as the story progressed–and I’ve never even been to Portland or seen an area with food carts as opposed to food trucks. The key characters were likable, and I just loved Sage’s dad! He had the boundaries of dad and cop clearly defined and didn’t hesitate to always be a good dad and be there for Sage. Her mom was sure a piece of work, and I’m actually glad she wasn’t physically in the story. I enjoyed Uncle Jimmy, Jackson (Sage’s brother) and Miles’s (Sage’s cousin) characters a lot too! This was one bunch of guys I’d be proud to call my family.

I was surprised by who the killer was and enjoyed the showdown. It was great how there were some of the other cart owners around to help. Sage now has her pick between two guys who really seem to care for her, but I can’t blame her for just having fun and casually going out with each of them at different times. She’s young and has plenty of time! It’ll be interesting to see what Sage’s next adventure brings.

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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Bodies and Bows review

This is the third book in the Apron Shop series by Elizabeth Penney, and I always love the newest one best! It’s just a picture-perfect cozy mystery with a cute little coastal town and some of the best characters I’ve come to know and always want to go back to see what they’re up to. It was cool how Grammie and Iris’s shop was doing well enough to have them looking for a part-time worker and seamstress. The search was um, interesting lol. I can always picture this series as a Hallmark mystery movie!

My Goodreads review:

Bodies and Bows (Apron Shop Series Book 3)Bodies and Bows by Elizabeth Penney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The series just keeps getting better! And it was very good to begin with! Iris and her friends were defending one of their own again when Bella was the prime suspect for the murder of a guy she’d been dating. The problem was, a number of the women in town had dated this player, so any one of them could have run him down. There were also plenty of guys who didn’t like him!

After a couple of murder attempts on another friend happened, Iris knew they were getting close. I loved how she got the upper hand in the showdown, and another friend of Iris’s was getting a chance at a happily ever after. The last chapter was the sweetest ever! I don’t want to give away any of this awesome side story, but maybe have a tissue or two handy!

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Farm to Trouble review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Farm to Table by well-known cozy mystery author Amanda Flower. I’ve mostly read her Ohio-based mysteries that also take place in Amish country, so this was a fun little change. I absolutely loved main character Shiloh’s little Pug named Huckleberry, what a sweetie! 

My Goodreads review:

Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries #1)Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this new series kickoff book and the various characters in the small town of Cherry Glen. I think Quinn’s daughter Hazel was my favorite, Shiloh’s dad despite his being a little grumpy kind of grew on me, but her cousin Stacey needs to grow on me a little more. I liked the little side mystery that Shiloh found that appears to be an ongoing thing for the next book.

I wasn’t exactly sure who the killer was until nearly the end. The showdown was a good one, and I liked how everything was wrapped up and explained. I’ve found I like everything I’ve read so far that Amanda Flower writes, and I think she’s got a winner in this series!

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A Tourist’s Guide to Murder review

This is the sixth book in the Mystery Bookshop series by one of my favorite cozy authors, V.M. Burns (Valerie). I know I probably say this every time, but this latest book is my favorite now in the series. The only thing I wish we could have seen was Irma with the Royal Guards! If you’re a fan and know good ole Irma, can you even imagine how funny that would be? I think it was alluded to that it was good to keep her away. It would definitely make for a fun short story anyway! I did miss Oreo and Snickers being part of the story and can’t wait for the next book, because I’m sure I’ll get my virtual poodle fix that way!

My Goodreads review:

A Tourist's Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #6)A Tourist’s Guide to Murder by V.M. Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Sam innocently asked, “What could possibly happen?” about her upcoming trip to England with Nana Jo and the girls, she had to have some inkling that craziness and murder would follow. From the airport in Chicago to the airport in England and beyond, this was a roller coaster trip you don’t want to miss! Irma was at her hilarious best again, and sweet Ruby Mae seemed to be related to someone everywhere she went just when they needed a friend. And they met a new friend in England that I’d love to see come visit them or at least keep in touch with her.

After a couple of murders, the Mystery Lovers’ Tour was turning into the real deal. I was glad that Sam was able to find an ally in the female Detective Sergeant, because her DI co-worker was worse than good old Det. “Stinky” Pitt back home! I didn’t really know whodunit, so I enjoyed the ride with my favorite characters. The showdown was exciting–boy, if only Nana Jo had her peacemaker with her! I kind of hope the next book recaps their trip with friends at home. That alone would be hysterical! Love, love, love this series!

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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Grounds for Murder review

This is the first in a debut series by Tara Lush, a new cozy author, and I’m looking forward already to the next in this Coffee Lover’s series. I really love the setting she’s made for her characters here, and the characters themselves are just a mixed bag of fun! I’m crazy about little Stanley, the Shih Tzu that Lana took under her wing after his owner was killed. A fun and warm read for a cold December day!

My Goodreads review:

Grounds for MurderGrounds for Murder by Tara Lush
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Lana’s barista was killed right after he quit and she was questionably looked at all over the island, the reporter in her couldn’t stand leaving it alone. She even managed to get her newspaper friend to let her do an article on the dead barista who was hit with all the ladies and an Insta sensation. With the help of a new friend and the handsome police chief (who actually didn’t want her help, but he liked her), Lana made it to a showdown with the killer that was pretty nail-biting. I’d suspected this person after picking up on some clues and was wondering how it’d play out.

Even thought Erica is light years from anyone I would probably want to hang out with, I absolutely loved her character! She was hilarious and sometimes really good for Lana’s confidence. Lana’s dad was a hoot too without actually meaning to be one. It’ll be interesting to see what these three get into in the next book which I’m definitely anxious to read. This was a nice strong start for a new beach mystery series, and I’m definitely a sucker for mysteries set at the beach! I liked Lana and Noah being together and hope they stay that way without fighting or bickering. He was a pretty patient guy to have to deal with her, but he could see the frustration she had with her need to be on a case like she’d been as a journalist in her previous life.

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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