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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A Wicked Yarn review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Craft Fair Knitters by Emmie Caldwell who some of us cozy mystery readers might also know better as Mary Ellen Hughes. Mary Ellen wrote the cozy series Pickled and Preserved series, Craft Corner and most recently, Keepsake Cove, each series being three books long. The first series listed in her bio is Maggie Olensky, which from the covers looks to be a little more edge-of-your-seat than a normal cozy, but the descriptions are interesting. That was a two-book series.

I’ve read and enjoyed the Keepsake Cove series and have been wanting to dig into the other two cozy series now for a long time. Anyone who’s ever been in a craft fair will definitely appreciate this Craft Fair Knitters series, and now I can’t wait for the next book. By the end of A Wicked Yarn, Lia, Hayley and Belinda felt like old friends.

Daphne was such a sweet ragdoll kitty, but I couldn’t find a free image of a white one. I imagine her tail looked a lot like the picture I did find above.

My Goodreads review:

A Wicked Yarn (A Craft Fair Knitters Mystery #1)A Wicked Yarn by Emmie Caldwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a longtime craft fair participant myself, I really enjoyed the setting for this mystery. How cool would it be to have a venue for doing a nice show every weekend? And the best part was it was inside away from the weather. Although if Belinda the manager’s ex had his way, that barn was going to be torn down once he bought it. Luckily, the crafters never had to find out, because someone offed the guy, and all eyes turned to his ex, Belinda. Main character Lia was a good friend of hers, so with the help of her twenty-something daughter Hayley, they decided to clear their pal’s good name…and bring back their customers due to the pesky detail that the dead guy was found in their barn.

Lia and Hayley were such a fun and likable mom-daughter duo, and they made a good sleuthing team. I like that Lia wasn’t portrayed as someone who was tech-scared (as characters her age are often described in books–I’m older than Lia and I love tech!). The roles were almost reversed from the typical cozy which was fun. Hayley went off on her own while Lia sleuthed online. An added plus was that Hayley started seeing her old friend Brady who was now a police officer who came in handy more than once.

I had a sneaky feeling most of the way through the book of whodunit, but I had no idea why, so it was fun following along and seeing if I got taken by any of the red herrings. The showdown was really good, and just as I was worried the killer was getting away, the police got them. There were a few places where the story went a little slow, but usually it kept my interest due to the craft fair subject. I’m really very 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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Sit, Stay, Slay review

This is the fifth and sadly, the last book in The Dog Club Mysteries, a series by one of my fave authors V.M. Burns that quickly became one of my favorites. I’ve followed it from the very first book, and somehow I feel like I’m losing an old friend, but I was so happy with how the author wrote this last book, I can use my imagination on how my book friends’ lives will continue. I have to admit to leaky eyes several times throughout this book, but the happy kind of leaky eyes!

I thought the poodle picture I found represents both Aggie and Rex’s personalities. Maybe not the right color but I love the eye expression!

My Goodreads review:

Sit, Stay, Slay (Dog Club Mystery #5)Sit, Stay, Slay by V.M. Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this book was bittersweet to me, because I know it’s the last book of this series, which makes me really sad, but I thought the author did an incredible job of creating nice endings for all my favorite characters. I would absolutely love it if the series could be revisited down the road a few years. I won’t give anything away, but my statement will make more sense after you’ve read it too!

The showdown was like the mother of all showdowns! Lilly faced one of her worst fears and came through like a champ! I was so proud of her, I wanted to hug her myself! And those awesome, sweet dogs…well I just can’t say enough good things about her and Dixie’s dogs, but they’re all heroes. That’s something else you’ll see when you read the book. Every good thing I could have wanted in a last in series was there!

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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