Irish Coffee Murder review

This book’s coming out just in time for St. Patrick’s Day this year, a little switch-up from the usual Halloween or Christmas anthology by some favorite Kensington cozy authors. I love the central theme and how the authors used it in their stories. It’ll be available to everyone tomorrow, January 24, 2023.

My Goodreads review:

Irish Coffee Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #28.5)Irish Coffee Murder by Leslie Meier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was pretty cool getting a collection of short stories for St. Paddy’s Day. We usually see a collection around Halloween or Christmas, so this gave the stories a different spin. The main theme was Irish coffee having something to do with murder, but I liked how Barbara Ross differently incorporated it into her mystery. She has a little about that and some other interesting things in her acknowledgements at the. end. We even got a couple of Sergio-isms in the Hayley Powell story, so that was an added plus especially for a novella! Overall a fun way to celebrate your Irish or someone else’s this coming St. Paddy’s Day.

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

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Rum and Choke review

This is the fourth book in the Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mysteries by Sherry Harris, and I’ve followed this series from its beginning. I love the setting and all the town characters that helped make Chloe’s transition to Florida a little nicer for her. Vivi’s even come around a lot in the four books and is more like a friend as well as a business partner. Joachim always cracks me up, and I love the pairing of Chloe with Rip. They’re such a cute couple! Can’t wait to see what happens in the next book! 

My Goodreads review:

Rum and Choke (A Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery Book 4)Rum and Choke by Sherry Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great going back to Emerald Cove to hang out with Chloe and her friends. She and Vivi have come a really long way in their strange friendship since book 1 at least. At least Vivi knows how much Chloe thought of her grandson and that she’d been grieving almost as much as Vivi had. Chloe had her plate full with training for the Barback Games as well as going with the mysterious Ann Williams. We got to see a lot more of Ann in this book than before. She was actually a main person of interest when she found a body, but I think Chloe found out that she could definitely trust this security-minded woman with her life even though she did have pirate ancestors lol.

I hadn’t really seen the whodunit coming and I can see why Ann and Chloe could consider this a gray area. The very ending was so darn sweet and just what I’d been waiting for!

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

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Bookclubbed to Death review

This is the eighth book in one of my fave cozy mystery series Mystery Bookshop by V.M. Burns (aka Valerie). I’ve followed this series since its beginning and absolutely love all these key characters. It’s always so fun how Nana Jo and her friends get with Sam to solve murders and each one has their own part they play in researching. And no meeting of the sleuths is complete without Irma nearly saying something unsavory and the group going, “Irma!” I laugh every time! We got some good ones this time! And I love those sweet pups, Oreo and Snickers (modeled after the author’s own poodle babies.) I just wanted to scoop ’em up and cuddle those babies when I read this book, well Oreo probably wouldn’t like that lol. Can’t wait for more in this series!

#KensingtonCozies #VMBurns #ValerieBurns

My Goodreads review:

Bookclubbed to Death (Mystery Bookshop #8)Bookclubbed to Death by V.M. Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as Sam was gearing up for her big book launch, a nasty book reviewer was killed in her shop. And I just gotta thank the author for ridding the story of such an awful person, especially because she was so mean to poor little Oreo and Snickers. I seriously saw red at that point in the story! Good old Stinky Pitt was still on medical leave from being shot in the last book, and he actually decided to be of some help in the investigation when Sam just knew she’d be arrested instead of celebrating her book. That replacement detective really had it in for her for some reason.

I loved all the new “Irma!” moments too! (If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll know what I mean by that!) That woman’s such a hoot! I really enjoy Nana Jo and all her friends. The showdown was pretty awesome as we got to see the famous lawyer aka pit bull in action (Jenna, if you’re wondering!). The ending party was just great and I felt so happy for Sam for realizing two of her big dreams. Don’t miss this book when it releases on December 27, 2022.

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

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Steeped in Secrets review

This is the first in a new series by Lauren Elliott called Crystals and CuriosiTEAS Mysteries. I knew I’d enjoy it since I’ve read all her Beyond the Pages mysteries to date and really liked those a lot as well as the characters. The new series definitely didn’t disappoint! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for book two! 

#KensingtonCozies #LaurenElliott

My Goodreads review:

Steeped in SecretsSteeped in Secrets by Lauren Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this a lot more than I first thought I would when I started reading it, but the characters just came to life and drew me in! I liked Shay’s character a lot and her backstory was interesting–and about to become even more interesting. It was cool how she and Tassi became friends despite their age difference, but as they were to find out, they had quite a bit in common. Jen was a good big sister but sometimes seemed a touch unreasonable even though she meant well.

I was never really sure whodunit and what a good twist at the end along with a kickin’ showdown followed by a full explanation and wrap-up. I just love that dog Spirit and I’m so happy he’s got Shay to live with now. He was super in tune to clues and what he knew he wanted people to do to find answers.

When the book was ending, I just didn’t want it to. I wanted to stay there and read more about the town and people, especially Shay and Liam. I was extremely happy about one thing in particular that happened after the showdown, and now I can’t wait to go back and visit with Shay and all her friends again. Don’t miss this new series especially if you like a little magic (there’s not a bunch of woo-woo stuff going on if you’re worried about that, give it a chance) with your cozy mystery. It releases Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

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

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Dead Men Don’t Decorate review

This is the first of a brand new series called Old Town Antiques Mysteries by Cordy Abbott who some may know she’s also Lane Stone, cozy mystery author of the Pet Palace Mysteries from a few years ago. I didn’t feel quite like I was breaking in a brand new author because I really loved the Pet Palace series and found this one to be just as description, pet and detail driven. I’m hoping there’ll be more in this series–there’s so much that could happen with these friends!

My Goodreads review:

Dead Men Don’t Decorate (Old Town Antiques Mystery #1)Dead Men Don’t Decorate by Cordy Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew when I found out that Cordy Abbott is really Lane Stone whose books I read in the Pet Palace series that I’d like this book, and there’d be plenty of cute dogs and great local descriptions. I wasn’t wrong, and I enjoyed both a lot. The shout out to the Pet Palace was cool and all I could think was “Yay for Sue, she’s expanded into another location.” lol.

Camille and Opal are a good match in friends. Opal’s crazy and outspoken sometimes but she pairs well with her buddy’s quieter nature. I wish things could’ve worked out for Camille and Brennan though since Opal’s got her David. But maybe it’ll happen in another book because the ending did sound hopeful in that regard.

Boy was that one exciting showdown! I’d sorta guessed whodunit or had a good idea of it. Camille really had to keep her head about her but luckily Rizzoli (unluckily for her since Rizzoli was a rambunctious puppy!) was along and sniffed out her missing daddy. What followed was some great action with a good dose of tenseness, but with some teamwork, the perp was caught.

Once everything was solved, it was easy to relax and know that some of the characters I wondered about could definitely be trusted. I really hope there’s another book coming soon because there’d seem to be no end to mysteries you could find in an antique shop! And I loved the budding romance between Paul and Pepper as well as Janie and Nick. I’ll be curious to see if little Rizzoli girl ever gets some puppy training!

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

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A Doomful of Sugar review

This is the first book in a brand new series, Maple Syrup Mysteries by well-known cozy mystery author Catherine Bruns. One of my fave series of hers is the Cindy York Mysteries, but one thing’s for sure, she always writes about likable and fun characters you end up wanting to be friends with. Now that I’ve read this first book, I’m super eager to read the next one! This book releases next Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

#St.MartinPaperbacks #CatherineBruns

My Goodreads review:

A Doomful of Sugar (Maple Syrup Mysteries Book 1)A Doomful of Sugar by Catherine Bruns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This author never disappoints, so I really loved this first in her new Maple Syrup series. I felt so bad for Leila coming home under the circumstances she did and could see why she was more determined than ever to find her dad’s killer. When more bodies started falling, I’m sure she wondered if she’d gotten involved a little too much, yikes! But she was hurting and ready to lash out at everyone at first as far as making them part of her suspect list. It was pretty sweet what changed her mind about one of the people on her list! 😉

There were a couple of really good twists toward the end and I hadn’t really seen either of them coming, maybe one more than another one. But Leila handled things well with a little help from a new friend. I loved how everyone gathered to celebrate Leila’s dad at the end and get all the loose ends explained from the case. There were a couple of side stories that made for great red herrings! I really can’t wait now for the next book since things progressed pretty much like I’d hoped! Don’t miss this fun new series releasing October 25.

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

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Murder on the Poet’s Walk review

This is the eighth book in one of my favorite series, the Book Retreat Mysteries by Ellery Adams who’s written all kinds of great cozy mystery series. I really love the Book Retreat series because every time I visit Storyton Hall, there’s usually a trip through the mysterious Hall itself. There’re always secret passages that only the staff or Jane and the Fins know about, and that just makes it extra fun. I’m sure whenever she’s sleuthing, Jane probably feels like a grown-up Nancy Drew when she explores creepy and secret places. I probably always say the current book’s my favorite, but this one is super special! Don’t miss its release on September 27!

#KensingtonCozies #ElleryAdams

My Goodreads review:

Murder on the Poet's Walk (Book Retreat Mysteries #8)Murder on the Poet’s Walk by Ellery Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when she thought a bunch of poets might be on the quiet side, Jane had to deal with a couple more Rip van Winkles at Storyton Hall. It seemed clear who the killer was at some points…until it didn’t. I’ve always enjoyed Jane’s sons as characters. They’ve never been bratty just little boys who’ve now grown into middle school age young guys who seem to be taking the care and well-being of the Hall very seriously as they’ve been taught all along.

There’s just something so awesome and comforting about Jane being surrounded by all these men who love her and would die for her. Her Fins have all been like father figures to her aside from Lachlan who’s marrying her bestie, Eloise–he’s more the age of a brother. Jane’s been trained to hold her own, so she’s no shrinking violet or overly dependent either. It’s just a good mix. I loved hearing where the poodle pups came from, another fun little crossover mention from Books by the Bay which ended but I like it that Oliva can somewhat live on once in awhile here.

Jane’s pals in her book club work out awesome as extra sleuths sometimes like in this book. Mrs. Pratt sure seemed to love sleuthing! The showdown was absolutely epic! You might just leak some happy tears as well because if you’re a longtime fan, you’re gonna be so proud at this showdown you won’t be able to stand it.

And the ending after the wedding was just magical! More happy tears tissue alerts here, lol. I was smiling long after reading this book and still smile thinking about the ending. Don’t miss when it goes up for sale September 27!

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

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Last But Not Leashed review

This is the second book in the Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries by real-life veterinarian cozy author Eileen Brady. I love that a real vet writes this series, and you know there’s probably some firsthand experiences that somewhere along the line might’ve made their way into the books. The dogs were all so awesome, and I fell in love with the pit bull that Mari named Mr. Pitt. He did get his happy ending though, so eventually Kate went back to her usual one dog, Buddy. I should actually mention how much I love Gramps’s character! Kate did have her dad who apparently she’s not close to, so it was really cool that she could call Gramps and talk over her issues.

I want to read the first book now so I’m caught up for whenever the next book comes out. It’s a new to me series that pretty much puts the cozy in cozy mystery! On Goodreads, I looked Dr. Brady’s other series written in 2014 which was called Kate Turner, DVM. I’m not sure if this series is supposed to continue exactly from those books, but reading the blurbs especially the one for books 3 and 4 of that series, it does seem as if that’s the case. The covers of the older series seem a little darker while this newer series definitely has cozy covers. I’d love to get the time to dig into the older series once I read the first book in this one.

#PoisonedPenPress #EileenBrady

My Goodreads review:

Last But Not Leashed (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries #2)Last But Not Leashed by Eileen Brady
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love a good cozy mystery where animals play a big part, especially in the showdown! This one was especially epic! Dr. Kate was a great main character but unlike you’d think at a vet office, the receptionist Cindy seemed to be the one in charge which made sense since she’d been there twenty years and the vet who owned the practice had only contracted Dr. Kate for a year. But Kate, Cindy and Mari made for a fun work trio and seemed even to be friends outside of work. They had the advantage that the police chief was her brother-in-law and sometimes she could sneak in tidbits of a case. Cindy was like an older sister who kept them all on track but loved some good gossip!

I loved how Kate’s dog Buddy got along with newcomer Mr. Pitt, a poor pit bull that someone rescued from fighting and left at the vet office. Kate suspected the shy teen that was hanging around and knew he or whoever left the dog had saved the dog’s life.

Another quirky little stinker of a dog was Little Man, a chihuahua that was being boarded at the vet and Dr. Kate being the softie she is, well I figured she’d give in on some of the stuff his mom told her he liked! Mari insisted that since there was a killer on the loose that Kate keep her other Rottweiler, Desi who had Schutzhund training. I’m pretty sure Kate was super glad she decided to keep Desi for a few extra days! But never underestimate a chihuahua either! When the perp needed taken down, these dogs were perfect for the job! Add to that a vet who’d had enough and a kind but intimidating-looking neighbor, and that perp didn’t stand a chance! What an incredibly satisfying showdown/takedown!

Since I have the first book in the series which I never got around to reading before this one came up, I do intend to go back and read it. I’ll definitely be reading more in this series as it comes available.

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

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Dewey Decimated review

This is the sixth book in the Haunted Library Mysteries by Allison Brook aka Marilyn Levinson. I’ve loved this series and enjoyed it from the beginning when we first met Evelyn, the friendly library ghost who only Carrie and her little kid cousin can see.

When a body was found and Uncle Alec joined the library as a ghost, I wondered at first if Evelyn thought it was a little fun to have someone like her. She was really good to him since he was pretty depressed, and Carrie needed him to not get too excited or he’d scare everyone without meaning to. But part of me thinks Evelyn was a little relieved knowing that hopefully her charge would get to where he was destined once his murder got solved. I’m glad we’ve been getting these books more often than just once a year because I’m always eager to read the next!

#CrookedLaneBooks #AllisonBrook

My Goodreads review:

Dewey Decimated (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #6)Dewey Decimated by Allison Brook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought it was pretty awesome that the library acquired another ghost when a body was found during renovation of the building next door the library bought for expansion. It was especially cool that the ghost turned out to be Dylan’s Uncle Alec, an uncle he’d idolized as a kid but drew distant from as an adult. Anyone following this series knows that Dylan was told about Evelyn already, but was he ready to hear about his own uncle being a ghost? You might wanna read and find out! Evelyn’s job was to herd this ghost and keep track of him, but he was pretty depressed. Was he a temporary visitor or what?

Poor Alec was stuck there until Carrie could solve this. As always she was torn in every direction especially with the pesky reporter who wanted to go full-out Sherlock Holmes with Carrie as her sidekick. Carrie handled everything the best she could and I was proud of her for not letting that reporter walk all over her at one point.

The showdown brought on by the reporter was a good one and I gotta say the woman had guts to do what she did. Carrie did help too but wanted no part of the recognition. I hadn’t for sure suspected this person due to so many great red herrings.

The ending was so cute when Steve and Angie got their puppy which sort of helped nudge Carrie in the right direction to talk with Dylan about their own future (which I was happy to hear might include a couple dogs! Smokey Joe’s a cool cat, he’ll adjust great I’m sure!). I feel like she was much more peaceful in her mind and felt ready to move toward setting a wedding date soon.

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

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Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder review

This is the first in a brand new cozy series called Baker Street Mysteries by Valerie Burns or V.M. Burns as she’s known in her other cozy series, Mystery Bookshop and the Dog Club Mysteries. Her V.M. Burns Goodreads page gives more of a bio and her other series.

I’ve loved all the characters she’s created and knew I was gonna enjoy meeting these characters as well. I absolutely love that book cover–isn’t Baby the cutest? There were times I couldn’t read fast enough just to see what happened next, but of course, once I got to the end, I was wishing the book wasn’t finished. I really can’t wait for the next one now!

#KensingtonCozies #ValerieBurns

My Goodreads review:

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (Baker Street Mystery #1)Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this! Maddy might’ve been a spoiled daddy’s girl, but I had to hand it to her for her determination to break that mold and prove she could take over Aunt Octavia’s bakery. Once I learned who all I could trust, I was totally drawn into the key characters along with Maddy. And that sweet, slobbery dog Baby! He was such a good boy and like Maddy, I trusted him to ferret out the killer. Baby did end up playing a heroic part in the showdown too.

The Baker Street Irregulars group was too cool and it reminded me of Nana Jo’s friends’ group in the author’s Mystery Bookshop series. Miss Hannah was one of my faves! She didn’t let dementia stop her one little bit and was sharp as anything most of the time while being one of Maddy’s best advocates. It was great how Maddy’s new friends took her under their wing and tried to make her feel more at home. And Maddy sure did a nice job of promoting the shop even when they needed to be closed after the murder.

That showdown was a tense one and I wasn’t sure how Maddy was gonna get herself out of this mess! But with some friendly help, the perp definitely wouldn’t be bothering anyone again.

The ending of the book was great, and I loved how Maddy didn’t waste time in going after what she wanted! If you’ve read and love this author’s other cozy series, you’re in for another treat! I can’t wait for the next book! This one releases this coming Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

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

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