Theater Nights Are Murder review

Happy New Year everyone! And on to this year’s awesome reading!

This is the fourth (and funniest, to me) book in the Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein. She does such a good job of making her readers laugh most of the way through the books in this series! I just love these characters and how some of our favorites from the previous books make their way into the most recent one. If you haven’t started this series, you should treat yourself this year.

My Goodreads review:

Theater Nights Are MurderTheater Nights Are Murder by Libby Klein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series more every time I read the newest book and I always think that book is the funniest one so far…only because imho it is! I was laughing out loud at Aunt Ginny and her “biddies'” antics during the senior center’s production of Mamma Mia. From going all out spy complete with two-way radios to conning some bikers in a pool game, these ladies while absolutely hilarious were determined to find out how their friend really died during the theater production. And for that I say, “You go, girls!”

Even though I didn’t care much for the character of Fiona, I have to admit I got a kick out of her always talking about her precious son Iggy’s many master’s degrees. It was sort of a running joke through the book (like how Georgina had come up with a bunch of wrong names for Smitty in the previous book). I think Aunt Ginny will always be my favorite character, but we got to know the biddies a lot better in this book and I completely enjoyed that. Even Smitty made a visit. Poppy’s friend Sawyer had a sideline mystery going on, and there was another side mystery that completely threw me when I found out who was behind it. I’d never have guessed.

Officer Amber seemed to be mellowing just a little bit. She didn’t seem nearly as mean as she was in the first book even though I doubt she’ll ever get over getting a little satisfaction out of trying to make Poppy squirm. Poppy gave it right back though–her character has grown a lot since the first book too. As always, I’m anxious for the next in this series!

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

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Deadly Vows–review

This is the second book in the newer Britton Bay series by Jody Holford who is normally a romance writer, but I love what she’s done with these cozy mysteries! The romance between Sam and Molly is just so sweet and right. Then there’s the murder investigation that always follows. With both of these first two books, I wasn’t able to put the book down for very long. And I was really happy to find out that the next book, Deadly Ride, will be out on October 22, 2019.

My Goodreads review:

Deadly Vows (A Britton Bay Mystery #2)Deadly Vows by Jody Holford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Molly Owens had no idea she’d be dumped into a murder investigation after the last one was only a few months ago. Since then, she’d started dating Sam, and they were pretty much inseparable. When the celebrity chef at a wedding being held at the B&B fell over dead at her hotel room, Molly was more curious at first, but as always for someone who is a career reporter by trade, things weren’t adding up, then they started adding up.

I just love Sam’s mother. She has to be the kindest lady on the planet, since she was such a gracious host to the wedding party, especially the bride’s mom who was being a momzilla at the time. Sam’s cousin Jill is a fun addition too, and I was happy to see that Hannah had stuck around the paper as well. I love that Sam and Molly might have their little moments of unrest, but they always apologize and make up instead of letting it eat at them. The scene where Sam was telling her about wanting to surprise her by grooming her dog Tigger for her just cracked me up. I could see that slippery little dog racing around soaking everything.

It was great to be able to read an excerpt of the next book which will be set in October, and according to an Amazon search I did, it looks like it’ll be coming out this October.

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A Tale of Two Biddies–review

This was the second book I read during our road trip and vacation last week. I read a total of six books, and I will be posting them here during the next few days. This was another fun installment in this series, League of Literary Ladies by Kylie Logan. I wanted to be caught up before our book discussion on the third book next month.

My Goodreads review:

A Tale of Two Biddies  (League of Literary Ladies #2)A Tale of Two Biddies by Kylie Logan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the first book of this series that I read earlier this spring. When I found out one of the book groups I’m in on Facebook was going to discuss the third book in October, I thought that while I was on vacation last week I’d read the second book. I had already felt like I knew these ladies and they were friends I was going back to visit.

When Bea Cartwright found the body of a local guy named Richie, everyone wondered if he really had been killed as he’d feared ever since a few days before when he said he was pushed into the water. The town was having a Bastille themed festival, and that included a heavy-metal band named Guillotine. It turned out that Richie had a few secrets he’d been keeping, one which most likely led to his murder.

I was really surprised when the killer was revealed. It was a great plot twist! I can’t wait to read the next since it’s a Halloween theme!

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Midnight Snacks Are Murder–review

This is the second book in the Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein, and it might even be funnier than the first one! I finished the first one just about a month ago and finally got a chance to read and review this one. It was another awesomely fun read!

My Goodreads review:

Midnight Snacks are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #2)Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was awesome going back to visit Aunt Ginny and Poppy at Cape May. I think this may have been even funnier than the first book. I know I spent plenty of time snickering or laughing out loud as I read. There was no shortage of suspects, even though they focused on Aunt Ginny. I definitely hadn’t guessed who the killer was.

Poppy’s B&B was slowly making it into reality as her crew worked on fixing up the old Victorian of Aunt Ginny’s. She ended up with more than house repairs on her hands when Ginny started sleepwalking and stealing food and little trinkets from the neighbors while taking her prescription sleeping pills. When she thought it was taken care of by switching to alternative medicine, Ginny was accused of killing a local humanitarian, and once again, Poppy felt she needed to investigate and prove her aunt’s innocence. Not only did she have that to juggle, but toss in her deceased husband’s mom showing up and barking out commands (since she was an investor in the B&B) and her two handsome boyfriends who finally met.

I could picture this all playing out, all these crazy things Aunt Ginny was getting into. At one point, she was on house arrest with an ankle bracelet and it was just so comical to read about her escape attempts. As much as I can’t stand Georgina (Poppy’s mother-in-law) it was hilarious to see the different names she called Smitty (the contractor) because she didn’t seem to be able to remember his name. The mystery was a good one, lots of people weren’t what they seemed on the outside, but finally the killer was taken down, literally, by of all people, Aunt Ginny herself.

For anyone that needs to bake gluten-free there are some recipes from Poppy’s own kitchen in the back of the book, along with a little sneak preview of the next book, “Restaurant Weeks Are Murder” which, according to Amazon, releases in February.

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Death Over Easy–review

This is the fifth book in the Country Store series by popular author Maddie Day aka Edith Maxwell. Country Store quickly became a favorite series of mine and I’m always anxious to read the latest addition. It’s always well-written and lots of down home Indiana fun!

The picture I chose because of Mayor Corinne and her female bluegrass group. I have no idea who this group actually is, only that it came up under free-for-use pictures.

My Goodreads review:

Death Over Easy (Country Store Mysteries #5)Death Over Easy by Maddie Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know I’ve said it before but this series just gets better and better! Every time I read one, it’s like going “back home…to Indiana” and I’m not even from there! But that’s how good of a job the author does in painting the hometown feeling for the small fictional town of South Lick, IN in the very real Brown County.

Robbie Jordan and her team were gearing up for the Bluegrass Festival and all the awesome business it would bring to her little country store and restaurant–and now her B&B. She’d succeeded in turning the upstairs into three B&B rooms, which were filled for the festival. One room was her very own Italian father, Roberto, and his wife. Robbie had recently found out that she had a living father and had previously visited him and his wife in Italy (this wasn’t in one of the books, just mentioned.) When not one but two murders of locals hit the small town during the festival, Robbie hasn’t really got time for physical investigating, but she still does a lot of questioning and dutifully reports everything she finds to the detective on the case, Anne Henderson. This detective is all business but she does show appreciation for tips that Robbie passed along to her.

I saw that someone else called the showdown with the killer “heart stopping” and I do have to agree! It was definitely exciting and I just couldn’t tap that Kindle fast enough to get the pages turned! I wasn’t happy until the exact end when I read the final outcome–ahh relief that everyone was now safe and the killer or killers were put away for a long time.

It seems like we got a really good sampling of all the favorites in this book. Adele and Samuel made several appearances and Phil brought in his yummy desserts, even staying to make brownie ice cream sandwiches. We got to see a lot of Abe and Robbie together, and the mayor herself even made an appearance with her very own bluegrass band. From what I’d read of the mayor before, this really seemed out of character and I could just see her 20-old-daughter, Danna (Robbie’s employee) cringing from embarrassment, lol. The festival seemed a lot of fun when there wasn’t a murder going on and I was glad to see Robbie got her B&B up and running. I’m pretty sure there’s another book coming and as usual, I can’t wait!

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Murder Most Howl–review

In one of the Facebook book clubs I’m in, we’re discussing an entire series, a month at a time. The series is Paws and Claws by Krista Davis. I adore this series! The whole town of Wagtail is based around dogs and cats so that would be a fun place to go visit if it was real. For May, we are reading the third book in the series, Murder Most Howl, which happens to be the name of the murder mystery weekend game that the guests at the Sugar Maple Inn in the book are playing. I may just hang around Wagtail and read the fourth book. That way I’ll be a little bit ahead for our June discussion!

My Goodreads review:

Murder Most Howl (Paws and Claws Mystery, #3)Murder Most Howl by Krista Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another fun visit to one of my favorite fictional towns, Wagtail! As usual, this one didn’t disappoint at all. It was a murder mystery weekend in January at the Sugar Maple Inn and Holly’s friend Val who owned the pub Hair of the Dog, was one of the people planning it. Val had come up with 100 clues to be placed in the inn and around various businesses. Players collected fake weapons which allowed them to find out secrets about their fellow players. This was a great idea to boost business in January but no one counted on a real murder, later followed by an attempted murder to complicate things!

I loved how the weekend also included letting people interact with various dogs from the Wagtail If the Dog Fits program. Three dogs got their forever homes that weekend and Trixie, Gingersnap and some of the guest dogs and cats got extra playmates for a few days.

As with the previous books, this one was a page turner and had me guessing the whole time who the killer was. I was pretty surprised at the end and the interesting reasoning/plotting. The take down was great, assisted by who else, one of the soon to be adopted dogs, Rooster, whose name got changed to Duke.

I missed the presence of Holly’s grandma Oma and her good friend Rose (Holmes’s grandma) but I do love Mr. Huckle who did an amazing job of filling in. At the beginning it explained Oma and Rose were on a two week relaxation cruise. When Oma returned, she was super proud of Holly and how she’d managed to keep her cool despite a murder, power outages, blizzards and everything else that happened that weekend. I’d like to stay in Wagtail awhile so I might just start the fourth book soon!

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Mayhem at the Orient Express–review

This is the first book in the League of Literary Ladies series by Kylie Logan which takes place on South Bass, an island in Lake Erie. I’d been wanting to start this series for a long time so when it was chosen for an online book club, I was happy to dive into it. The book discussion never happened since the club was discontinued but I wanted to read it anyway and I’m so glad I did!

My Goodreads review:

Mayhem at the Orient Express (League of Literary Ladies, #1)Mayhem at the Orient Express by Kylie Logan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome start to a series I’ve been wanting to read for quite awhile. Who knew that three unlikely women could actually become friends? I really loved how reading was what brought them together, even though one of them started out by watching the DVD of the book. It was fun how parts of the mystery paralleled the Agatha Christie book “Murder on the Orient Express the ladies were reading.

Bea Cartwright, owner of a B&B on South Bass island in Lake Erie has just about had it with two of her neighbors. They all have mutual complaints and since they can’t get along, the court magistrate sentences them to one year of book discussions which he hopes will force them to get along. Toss in a murder investigation and the three women along with one woman, Luella, who actually wanted to be in the library’s book club, learn how to work together in a peaceful way to uncover a murder plot and the perp. There was no shortage of suspects and clues as well as some laughs along the way.

I really enjoyed the different characters in the book and thought it was cool how their life after the murder mirrored the book the group was reading. The murder happened in town but since a snowstorm started, no one had left the island. That told them that there may just be a murderer in the B&B since it’s been the safe haven from the storm since there’s a generator for power.

It’s interesting that Bea had a secret past as well, some of which she looked back at and explained. Bartender Levi had figured out part of it and I’m hoping that in future books we get to hear a little more about Bea’s past and that maybe she and Levi will become friends. I loved how the characters changed as the mystery went on. They learned to care about each other and of course due to the snowstorm, everyone had to come together and make the best of the situation.

This was a fun, well-written book and I am definitely going to continue reading this series.

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Better Dead–review

This was a really awesome paranormal cozy. It wasn’t the scary type at all (trust me, I’m a chicken and can’t read anything seriously scary) but just a cozy that happened to have the ghost of a woman’s husband or had he lived he would have become her ex-husband–she’d caught him cheating on her and she wanted a divorce. He couldn’t get to heaven until he got his wife to help him with some unfinished business. She finds out you just can’t divorce a ghost!

Here’s  my review from Goodreads:

Better Dead (A B&B Spirits Mystery #1)Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holly Davis owns a bed and breakfast in Delta Ridge LA. She’d just been getting ready to serve her husband with divorce papers when he was killed in a plane crash. Easy out? Think again. Burl appears to her now as a ghost with a favor. If she can’t help him out then he’s doomed to stay in the B&B forever.

Holly figures she should make the best of it while she tries to come up with a way to help Burl. He had been involved with drug smuggling and she figures if she can bust their operation, Burl will be free and clear to go to heaven like St. Peter had told him. She convinces Burl that if he learns how to haunt the house, her B&B will become popular and she’ll get the reservations she needs to make ends meet.

In the meantime, Holly’s former boyfriend, Jake McCann is in town working at the Gazette and he needs to stay at the B&B for awhile. This could get interesting with her dead husband’s ghost and her very real current interest. As much as she doesn’t want to admit it, Holly still has feelings for Jake. Can Jake help her help Burl without Holly having to tell her about Burl and risk Jake thinking she’s nuts? Read it and find out!

Oh my goodness, I haven’t read a good fun ghost story in awhile so this is just what I needed! It was funny, a little sad, very exciting and hard to put down. Once the action started I just kept on reading and boy what a good twist. This cozy was a little bit different in that there was no murder, well aside from Burl dying before his time.

The main characters were all so real (aside from the Burl being a ghost thing) and likable and yes, even Burl grew on me. I can’t wait to visit Delta Ridge again. I’m kind of hoping that Burl turns up in the next book, but since I’m not familiar with ghost protocol, and it’s all in the hands of the author anyway.

There was plenty of suspense along with plenty of suspects, a very satisfying take down and ending that was a touch sad. I just about devoured the first chapter provided for the next book. I pre-ordered that book but yikes, I have to wait until September to read it!

This book was a paperback ARC provided by the author. I was thrilled to read and review, which I did voluntarily.

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