For a Good Paws–review

This is the fifth book in the Barkery and Biscuits series by Linda O. Johnston who also wrote a series called Pet Rescue. Her bio shows that she’s also a romance writer, and I do like what she wrote for Carrie and her boyfriend Reed in this book, especially the ending. I got to know these main characters from reading the fourth book in this series a year or so ago. I wish that Barkery & Biscuits and Icing were places I could really visit!

My Goodreads review:

For a Good Paws (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Book 5)For a Good Paws by Linda O. Johnston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve only read one other book in this series (book 4) but I quickly got acquainted with Carrie and all her very likable friends in Knobcone Heights, so a return there was really enjoyable. This was a good mystery that involved one of Carrie’s own employees and the death of a man she’d argued with, but somehow the detectives have come to expect Carrie to come to bat for people she knows and cares about–even though they enjoy giving her a little grief sometimes about investigating.

The two characters that really grew on me from the last book were Billi, who is a councilwoman and runs the animal rescue in Knobcone, and Arvie, the sweet older vet that Carrie works for at her vet tech job…when she’s not at her bakeries or chasing clues. I definitely didn’t see it coming about who the perp was until the clues started coming together. I like that Carrie is smart about investigating and keeps her phone on her at all times–it could just save her life someday! 😉 I have the best of intentions to start this series from the beginning, but there are so many cozy mysteries out there that distract me. I’ll keep trying though.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Catered St. Patrick’s Day–review

I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by reading this eighth book in the Mysteries with Recipes series by Isis Crawford. I like how it’s a little different from a typical cozy mystery, since it has a dad who sleuths with his daughters–and they’re bakery owners/caterers in their day jobs. The dialogue is fun and kind of reads like a TV show would. I plan to start the series from the beginning eventually.

My Goodreads review:

A Catered St. Patrick's Day (A Mystery with Recipes, #8)A Catered St. Patrick’s Day by Isis Crawford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this mystery featuring an ex-police chief father and his two daughters as a sleuthing team. I really want to start this series from the beginning to fill in a few recurring character holes and to find out what exactly happened to Sean to make him unable to drive. Out of context, I got the general idea, but it’s always good to read from the beginning. I wanted to read this for one of my challenges and thought it was cool to actually finish on St. Patrick’s Day.

I had read one of the later books in the series, but somehow I think I liked this one better. I really love the banter between Bernie and Libby when they’re questioning a suspect on behalf of a client. The book was very dialogue-drive, but some of it was really funny! There was no shortage of suspects here, and I didn’t guess who the killer was until the clues started falling in place, basically I knew because Bernie and Libby had figured it out.

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Christmas Cake Murder–review

This is the twenty-third book in the Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke. This is one of the first series that got me started reading cozy mysteries, and I also love the movies on the Hallmark Mystery channel that were based on the characters.

This one starts in the past when Hannah was first opening the Cookie Jar. It was fun to read about Andrea and Bill when they were nearly first married and expecting their first child, and before Andrea became a real estate agent. The mystery was quite a bit different from usual, but not in a bad way.

My Goodreads review:

Christmas Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #23)Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this little trip back in time to when Hannah Swenson made the decision to open her bakery. It was interesting to see what her life was like before she had the Cookie Jar, or her cat Moishe.

To bring Delores out of her depression over her husband’s death, her friends asked her to put together a Christmas Ball for one of the community’s most beloved members, Essie Granger. In going through Essie’s things, Hannah found some notebooks that told an interesting but unfinished tale of a young woman on the run from a hit man. She had been pregnant and the story ended abruptly as the baby started to come. At the ball, when an attempt on Essie’s life was made, Hannah knew they had to put the pieces of this puzzle together and find out who wanted to kill the sweetest woman in town…and why. Did it have anything to do with those notebooks?

The story was quite a bit different from the usual Hannah Swenson I’m used to reading. It did move a little slowly at first when there wasn’t much action going on, but at least the story was interesting enough and filled to the brim with the most delicious-sounding food and desserts! I keep saying I’m going to try one of these recipes some day! I liked the side story that Essie wrote too. It ended up with a very sweet ending, just like this book had! Even though Christmasy thing told about in the book was the Christmas Ball, the book was still very heart-warming and perfect for the magical holiday season.

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Raspberry Danish Murder–review

This is the latest book, #22, in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke. I have to say that this book makes it evident that this author truly loves her readers. I won’t say anymore and I’ll advise like I did with my previous post that if you haven’t read any of the later books, only the older books, you might not want to read the review because it’s hard to talk about a book if certain things can’t be mentioned at all, make sense?

My Goodreads review:

Raspberry Danish Murder (Hannah Swensen, #22)Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! The ending was just what I was hoping for! I’m trying not to give anything away but even the book descriptions of these last few books in this series are sort of spoiler-like if all a person has read has been the first books. I had only read books in the beginning but I knew what was coming and I was just curious to find out! So I didn’t mind knowing. Now I can go back and read the rest of the series.

If you have not read any later books in this series (from about 18 or 19 on) you might not want to read this review. I promise not to give away the ending but the book can’t be talked about unless I well, talk about it. 😉

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It was two weeks after Ross had left and the police had nothing as to why. Hannah was trying to go about life as usual with her sister Michelle staying at the condo with her and her good friends, Mike and Norman keeping her sanity intact.

The Ross mystery continues through the end of this book but something is revealed then that will explain why he’s gone. Hannah’s trip to the bank reveals that she is now a very wealthy woman who is also the new owner of Ross’s car.

When Ross’s assistant eats drugged candy that came from Ross’s desk, both Hannah and Mike start wondering if the candy went to its intended victim or was Ross the intended victim. Was he tipped off that someone might be trying to kill him so he left? Only Ross knows for sure!

In the meantime Hannah and Michelle with the help of Norman and sometimes Andrea continued to look into the murder.

Since Thanksgiving and Christmas were getting closer, the Lake Eden Inn is having a holiday gift convention and Hannah is invited to take a booth (for free) plus be able to keep her profits so that ended up being a win-win for the Cookie Jar, which seems to have plenty of regular help.

In this book we get to see more of Andrea’s daughter Tracey, a 7-year-old who is working on her career path to be a baker like her Aunt Hannah. Cute kid and smart too! Norman is as sweet as ever and I always get a kick out of Mike and his food-dar as the girls call it since he seems to have a 6th sense as to when to show up at the Cookie Jar or the condo for meals or new baked items.

The take down scene was epic and also very funny. I could totally picture it happening since I happen to be a fan of TV movie Hannah as well so it’s easy to picture the on-screen characters doing the scenes in the books. PK’s murder got wrapped up nicely, the perp got hauled to jail and the cookie booth at the convention did extremely well in three days. At the very end, Mike came with some important news for Hannah about Ross.

If you’re as big of a Hannah fan as I am, you’ll do a happy dance, I promise! It’s very apparent that Joanne Fluke loves her fans! I can’t wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance e-copy of this book.

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Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron-review

This was an interesting mystery by R.L. Syne, #1 in the Matchbaker series. Matchbaker is someone who matches people to food by observing them or reading them. Since the main character, Vangie, is a minister, she has a pretty good handle on what makes people tick so she’s usually right. It wasn’t actually her idea to do the matchbaker thing. Her sister thought of it for marketing purposes in selling to tourists.

I really enjoyed reading the Afterword in this book and I think you will too. Right after the end of the book is the yummy macaron recipe but if you keep reading, you’ll see some notes and insight from the author herself, who is actually a minister. Not many books have Afterwords. This one’s is worth reading. Now onto my Goodreads review:

Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron (The Matchbaker Mysteries #1)Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron by R.L. Syme

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vangie is a part time minister who has a bakery cafe…and a secret so she needs to keep her nose clean and stay out of the news. She also lives next door to the sheriff who can’t seem to stand her because she uses one tiny little part of his property for making cell phone calls since she can’t get any coverage inside her house.

When a local murder is somehow linked to her bakery, Vangie sets out to investigate what turns out to be a fairly complicated case with lots of suspects and twists. I know I never saw it coming when I found out who the killer was.

It never came out and said what infraction Vangie had against her from her old assignment but whatever it was, she is in Saint Agnes parish in Montana on a sort of probationary period. It was imperative that this murder and any link to her bakery be kept out of the media and press.

This was a well written mystery although in some parts I was getting a little lost in details. There were a lot of interesting characters and the one that hits me as most interesting was biker Derek because it just seemed such a comical mismatch in a way to have a minister and a biker sidekick who was totally comfortable with the whole breaking and entering part of investigating. But just because he’s got a record, doesn’t mean Derek is a totally bad person. I ended up liking him quite a bit and I hope he appears in the next book.

The main murder and mysteries were solved but there was one thing left hanging so I hope it gets wrapped up in the next book. I won’t spoil it by saying what it is.

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