The Rocky Road to Ruin review

This is the first book in a brand new series, Ice Cream Shop Mysteries by Meri Allen who I thought was a newcomer, but I was super happy to find out on Facebook that she’s none other than Shari Randall, another one of my favorite authors who wrote the Lobster Shack series which I absolutely loved. I’ve found I can always rely on her for some awesome and interesting characters no matter which persona she writes under. I felt so at home reading Rocky Road, and now I can’t wait for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

The Rocky Road to Ruin (Ice Cream Shop Mysteries #1)The Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading about Riley’s backstory but moreso liked that she was a good friend who needed a change in her own life, so she came through when her bestie Caroline needed someone the most. I was never quite sure throughout the book whodunit and wavered among a few of the characters. Maybe this dog wasn’t all that likable, but I sure loved that little MacGillicuddy was a dachshund! Hilarious to give a German dog a Scottish name too. I really liked little Rocky the black kitty who sort of adopted Riley as his favorite human. He was awfully intuitive in other things too.

It was a good twist for once to have the bestie attracted to the detective. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen that yet. Sometimes the bestie is already attached/married or going with the main detective, but this was a fun switch. There wasn’t quite the typical showdown. It was more of a discovery of a series of events and some crucial evidence. Everything was well-explained at the end and what a sweet surprise Caroline found hidden in an unlikely place. You’ll have to read the book and find out. Now I’m really looking forward to the next book and wondering if some new friends in this book will show up there too.

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

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Murder in a Teacup review

This is the second in the Tea by the Sea series, the newest by Vicki Delany who’s also known as Eva Gates, author of the Lighthouse Library series. Under Vicki Delany, she also has Year-Round Christmas and The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop cozy mystery series. I’ve found in any of these series I’ve read (I’m up to date in Tea, Sherlock and Lighthouse) that you get lots of great characters, most being very endearing that you’d like to meet in real life. Then some are like Rose, not a huggy person but still a pretty awesome lady.

My Goodreads review:

Murder in a Teacup (Tea by the Sea Mysteries Book 2)Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Never underestimate the power of an eighty-year old, lol! At least Rose Campbell proved it over and over so far in this series, and this book was definitely not a disappointment. I just love Rose’s character and how she’s always getting out of working the breakfast at the tearoom. She loves Lily fiercely, but she just not the soft and cuddly granny we sometimes see in these books. Rose and Bernie always make for a great sleuthing team, but sometimes I feel bad for Lily who usually gets left out due to having to work the tearoom.

The families staying at the B&B this time for a so-called reunion would give the Ewings of Dallas and the Channings of Napa Valley a real run for their money in the drama department, lol. I guess I basically pictured the Ewing clan only upgraded with phones and tablets. I’m glad that Det. Redmond got to play an important part eventually. That Williams, well let’s just say the author’s done a great job creating a character no one likes! On the other hand, Simon’s such a sweetheart that I really hope Lily lets him closer into her life sometime in the future. Matt turned out to be a good person for Bernie to hang with-maybe being a writer, he’ll help her overcome some of her writing issues she always has.

That was some awesome showdown! At least part of Lily’s plan worked out. And they finally got peace from this crazy bickering family when they left. I can’t wait to see what Lily, Rose and Bernie get into in 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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A Hex for Danger review

This is the second book in the Enchanted Bay series, one of my personal fave new series out there, and it’s by Esme Addison. I loved this series when I first read it last year, and now I can’t wait for the third book. As you’ll see in my review, I highly recommend that if you haven’t read the first book, it’s best to start with that book before moving to this book. I just love Alex’s sweet German Shepherd, Athena and wish she was in the book just a little more. What a cutie, as you can see from both this book cover and the first.

I liked that everything was well-explained for the mysteries going on in the book too. There may be a character carryover which is always why I recommend reading book one first. Thanks to Kensington Books for providing the ARC to NetGalley!

My Goodreads review:

A Hex for Danger (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #2)A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so happy to get to read this second book in the Enchanted Bay series before it comes out next Tuesday. I really enjoyed the first book, and this book was definitely not a disappointment. We got to learn even more about the key characters. I’ll caution anyone who hasn’t read the first book though: do yourself a favor and read it before reading this one, because there are a few mentions of things that happened in the first book that you may not want to know before you read said first book. This is a series that I can see will be building on each book as far as the history of the families involved, so starting from the beginning is a very good thing!

There were a couple of different cases, and it was interesting to see if they’d be related. Without giving too much away, let’s just say I didn’t guess anything all that well. Lots of surprises and secrets were kept and shared. Alex was left with the sense of family though that she’d longed for all the years she was without, and we did get to find out the particulars behind her memory being erased as she was talking about in the first book. I really enjoy Alex’s character and her amazing aunt and cousins too. This book publishes July 13, 2021.

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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Dogged by Death review

This is the first cozy mystery I can see in author Laura Scott’s works as well as being the first book I’ve read by her. I’m loving what I read in this new series called Furry Friends Mysteries, named after main character Ally Winter’s veterinary clinic. Ms. Scott’s written mysteries and romance books, and I think she’s done an amazing job of combining those talents and creating this cozy series. It’s got just the right elements a cozy needs along with a little bit of suspense but not the super scary kind. I just love Ally’s Gramps! He’s such a great character, and I can’t wait to read more about all these characters in the next book. Yep, I have the ARC already for the next book and might be tempted to dig in when I get a little bit better caught up on ARCs.

PS: The various little entries about Ally’s clients bringing their pets in were a lot of fun. I was especially happy that the little dachshund named Lola wasn’t one of the dogs who misbehaved, lol.

My Goodreads review:

Dogged by Death (A Furry Friends Mystery #1)Dogged by Death by Laura Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! It pulled me in from the first page and kept my attention until the very end. Gramps is the most awesome character, and I got such a kick out of how he managed to investigate and get information out of people, especially the women in town, since anyone over 60 was usually swept off their feet by him. Gramps wasn’t a player though and said no one would ever replace his Amelia. The three ladies in the assisted living house with him were such a hoot! They always heard the gossip almost before the police knew about it.

I loved how the story was so smooth and easy to read with natural-sounding conversations and very likable characters. That sweet Boxer Roxy had my heart from the first time she was mentioned! And she played a big part in the showdown (I love it when a pet can do that!). I actually enjoyed hearing about some of the cases Ally took care of. There were quite a few of them, and that made the story flow nicely with mixing those along with Gramps and Ally investigating.

I’m sure Noah and Ally will become lots more than friends eventually, but it’s sweet to see them reconnecting, and he only teased her a couple of times about her old high school nickname, lol. I really was happy about how Ally’s vet practice grew just from a few things she did herself like followup calls. It’ll be interesting to see if Lydia ever gets to work as receptionist in the next book. And I can’t wait to see what Gramps gets into with the next case.

The showdown was awesome, short and effective. I enjoy it a lot more when help or reinforcements come quickly! (less nerve-wracking haha) I’d started suspecting whodunit after the clues started falling in place, so it was just a matter of time as to when Ally had the same person in mind.

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

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Death of an Italian Chef review

Can you believe this is the fourteenth book in the Hayley Powell series? I hope it goes on for a long time because I’m having such a good time reading it. I’m keeping up with new releases via ARCs from NetGalley while still having some of the previous books to read. With this fun series, I’m surprisingly okay with that though. This clever series is the brainchild of brother/sister writing team Lee Hollis aka Rick Copp and Holly Simason. Guys, please keep writing about Hayley!  Just a weird thought I had. I wonder if some of the awesome Hayley/Randy or Gemma/Dustin moments came from things they remembered doing as kids.

This book was just as hilarious as I’ve come to expect from some of my most favorite cozy mystery characters. The guy who died was in the book just long enough that I actually felt bad about someone killing him. I guess I was picturing him as a favorite old Italian comic actor. I’m sure most everyone is too young to remember Dom DeLuise, but Chef Romeo made me think of him which was why I hated to see the chef get murdered. But there were tons of secrets that a lot of people had, including the chef, so you’ll just have to dig into this book when it’s published next week and find out what was up with all those great side stories in the book as well as the main mystery. You won’t be disappointed! And if you like Italian food, you’re going to be hungry for that too.

My Goodreads review:

Death of an Italian Chef (Hayley Powell Mystery Book 14)Death of an Italian Chef by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh boy, the trouble a brother and sister can get into when their loved ones are out of town, lol. Hayley and Randy were on their own, and since crazy stuff always follows our awesome Hayley, she found herself involved in a murder investigation of a chef who she’d been helping with his restaurant while he was in the hospital. The worst part was that Sergio was in Brazil, and a no-nonsense skeptical-of- anything-Hayley-told-her sergeant was in charge.

One hilarious part was Donnie and Earl following her around like lovesick puppies. Bruce was on a story in New York, but he still helped with the investigation by researching for Hayley, while she saw herself coming and going with the restaurant and a very demanding Randy recovering from surgery. That led to another funny scene when Mona babysat him. Mona was also a hoot as a waitress at the Italian restaurant, kind of a similar performance to when she subbed in a play last Christmas.

I love this series so much because we’re always presented with a fun rollercoaster of an investigation with so many madcap situations Hayley and crew find themselves in. From wild side stories about the mob and someone’s affair to the actual heart and reason of the murder, I know I’m always guaranteed a good exciting showdown. And there was a pretty awesome twist to this one which led to a great ending and new adventure coming for Hayley and her friends and family. Don’t miss this when it comes out next Tuesday!

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

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Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer review

This is the third (and I think best) in the Desert Flowers series written by one of my favorite authors Lee Hollis, who is actually brother/sister writing team of Rick Copp and Holly Simason. I just love their Hayley Powell series, and this one is quickly becoming a favorite series as well. In this third book, it’s like the characters just clicked into place for me. I liked them all to begin with, but by this book, I’d really wanted to visit more with them after the book was done.

My Goodreads review:

Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer (A Desert Flowers Mystery Book 3)Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best book in the series yet! The characters are now like old friends to me, and I love that Poppy and Sam were becoming closer. I never thought in the first book that Matt would become a favorite character, but I just love the guy! He’s amazing and so good to Poppy and her friends. It was cool that Wyatt had an even bigger part in this book doing online investigating

What a wild mystery with tons of secrets! I liked that there was a tie-in to a series of murders that Poppy remembered when she was acting in the 80s. It was interesting to read the flashbacks and hear some of my favorite shows mentioned too. After reading this book, I desperately wish I could open YouTube and find Jack Colt reruns lol! It sounds like just the kind of show I would have watched back then.

I absolutely loved the showdown and rescue that followed, it was epic! Everything was explained, and there was a very sweet ending that makes me really 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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Under the Cover of Murder review

This is the sixth book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore series by Lauren Elliott which has quickly made its way to one of my favorite series. Maybe it helped that I felt the need to binge books 4 and 5 to be ready for this one? I don’t know, but I know these characters have worked their way into my heart, and I don’t want to let them go at the end of the book! Luckily for all of us fans, the next book in the series comes out in October, so unlike some other of my favorite series, we don’t have to wait a whole year.

My Goodreads review:

Under the Cover of Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #6)Under the Cover of Murder by Lauren Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you think a series can’t possibly get better, it manages to do that thanks to a talented writer. Addie has grown and changed so much over the series, but her same annoyingly endearing snooping hasn’t changed, or the police would be in trouble without her insight, lol. I seem to really be liking her a lot better now that she’s with Simon. Maybe they just go together better than she and Marc did, since all they ever did was bicker.

This was one mystery that I had no clue whodunit, so I just read and cruised along on the yacht (well it didn’t actually cruise-it was docked for Serena’s wedding and reception…and an unexpected murder.) I loved how Catherine and Paige were Addie’s sleuth buddies this time. They really got into using the makeshift murder board that Addie came up with. There were literally tons of suspects and great red herrings. I knew who I wanted to be guilty, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Secrets were everywhere and changes were in store for some of the staff, guests and even law enforcement. But the absolute sweetest thing happened toward the end after the cruise was finished, and everything was explained/wrapped up. You’ll just have to read the book to find out, but I have to say I couldn’t have agreed more with the outcome! I’m just happy to only have to wait until October for the next book!

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Ink and Shadows review

This is the fourth book in the Secret, Book and Scone Society series by another of my favorite cozy writers, Ellery Adams. The series is much more than a cozy mystery as it tells the story of some really awesome friends who came together as women who were a bit broken with secrets they’d never told anyone else. They formed a book club, but they’ve been known to have emergency meetings if anyone in the town needs help, particularly one of their own or someone they’ve taken under their wing.

Nora’s extreme love of books helps her in just about every situation. I’d be proud to call any of these women a friend! Oh yes, and their new friend Sheldon too. He’s pretty cool!

My Goodreads review:

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #4)Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great to catch up with Nora and her friends again. I’ve absolutely loved Sheldon’s character since he came on board as Nora’s friend and employee. There was lots of intrigue which made me want to keep reading, but there’s always some lighthearted moments especially now that they have Sheldon as a new friend.

The murder mystery wasn’t so much of a whodunit but “when will the killer strike next” and how they’d go about catching said killer. The showdown was really awesome, and finally Nora felt like her friend was at peace. Nora and Jed had a little rough patch along the way, but I think they’ll be fine. As always, I look forward to 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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