Wined and Died in New Orleans review

This is the second book in the Vintage Cookbooks Mysteries by one of my all-time fave cozy authors, Ellen Byron who wrote the hugely successful Cajun Country series that I was so sad to see come to an end. But she started writing this series and it’s an awesome alternative to it, so I do hope it goes as long or even longer than the other one. The same sense of family and friendship is there in both the Vintage Cookbook Mysteries, and I hope there’re lots more stories to tell with this set of amazing and dynamic characters.

I love Ricki and Virgil’s dogs so much and little Thor holds a special place in my heart since my friend always had chihuahuas, so I found a picture to represent Thor.

#BerkleyPublishing #EllenByron

My Goodreads review:

Wined and Died in New Orleans (Vintage Cookbook Mystery #2)Wined and Died in New Orleans by Ellen Byron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m absolutely loving this series and this book might’ve been better than the first! Poor Eugenia seemed to have relatives coming out from every woodwork wanting to contest Aunt Vee’s will. One might be the real deal, but are the others fakes? And one relative wasn’t even interested in the will, just having a little shell shock at the moment.

Speaking of relatives (legit ones that is!) I just loved Olivia’s character as Eugenia’s granddaughter and hope she hangs around for the rest of the series (which I hope is at least as long as Cajun Country was). She’s fresh and funny and even taught Ricki and her Grams a thing or two. It’s hard to not spill secrets while I gush over loving this book, so I’ll just say to let the good times roll and read this awesome book to learn some fun secrets. It’s super satisfying when the ones set out to do wrong get what they deserve! In true NOLA style, family and friends celebrated with all their fave foods and drinks.

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

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A Book Club to Die For

This is the third book in the Beloved Bookroom Mysteries by Dorothy St. James, and I’ve loved reading this series from its very beginning. It’s horrible to even imagine a bookless library, but I what I’ve loved most was Tru and her friends’ determination to see real books survive by rescuing the discards to the basement secret library. To make matters even worse, this time the story featured a LIFU (librarian of the future, um no thank you!) robot unit that didn’t do much to prove its worth.

I’m definitely hoping for more books in this series because I’d love to see Jace and Tru get their happily ever after! And I’ll always hope the real books can come back to the library and live in peace along with the awesome technology (which hopefully wouldn’t include LIFU!). But for now it’s fun to see how people really love using the secret bookroom.

#BerkleyPublishing #DorothyStJames

My Goodreads review:

A Book Club to Die forA Book Club to Die for by Dorothy St. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you thought a bookless library couldn’t get any worse, the Cypress library was now testing a robot librarian which definitely had its glitches! I mean face it, nobody can get after you in a whisper quite like Lida Farnsworth, Tru’s boss, lol.

There were several secrets that came to light while Tru was sleuthing the latest murder that took place right in Jace’s parents’ house. Since he couldn’t be involved in this investigation, Tru was even more determined to help his mom. At the point where Tru gathered quite a few clues, I was starting to get an idea of whodunit, and I was right, but it wasn’t until later in the book.

The showdown was planned and worked out as well as they could expect. I love it when the main sleuth works with the police and keeps any possible damage to a minimum! I hope more books are planned for the series–I’d really love for the books to come back out and coexist with the technology like all the normal libraries I’ve ever seen. I think I could live without the LIFU though! 😉

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

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A Good Dog’s Guide to Murder review

This is the eighth book in the Paws & Claws Mysteries by Krista Davis who writes three awesome cozy series. Isn’t this just the cutest book cover? You can tell right away Trixie and her kitty pal Twinkletoes are up to no good, lol. Trixie has such a cute and sneaky look! Yep, there’s a scene to go with this picture too!

I love that Holly and Holmes are in a good place in their relationship and not to sound like her mom or anything, I kinda hope they gravitate toward something a little more permanent soon!

#BerkleyPublishing #KristaDavis

My Goodreads review:

A Good Dog's Guide to MurderA Good Dog’s Guide to Murder by Krista Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! From Trixie and Twinkletoes’ mischief at the gingerbread contest to Twinkletoes’ assistance with the showdown, it was everything I’ve come to love in a cozy AND about the town of Wagtail itself. It always makes me wish it was real and I could visit there with my dog!

There was an old murder case to solve but it wasn’t long before another new one popped up as well as attempts on a few people’s lives. It had everyone including Officer Dave wondering who the heck this crazy killer was, and did all these present day shenanigans have anything to do with the body in the tree?

I really like Holly’s mom and the fact that the two of them get along great together. She seemed interested in moving to Wagtail, so it should be fun for Holly to have her around–as long as she doesn’t bug her too much about hurrying up and giving her some grandbabies! 😉 Nina did seem pretty happy with her furry grandkids for the moment.

Speaking of grandbabies, the sweetest couple in town (aside from Holmes and Holly) got the best surprise. I’m not gonna say a word about what it was, but I thought it was so darn awesome with how things turned out for their little family. And what better time for something good to happen for a family than at Christmas.

The body in the tree did get some closure as well as someone was caught for the present day murder. I can’t wait to see what my fave characters get into in the next book! Always such a fun visit that I never want to come home from!

I couldn’t possibly leave out the cute excerpts written from Trixie’s viewpoint, hence the guidebook to murder reference. She has a few paragraphs every several chapters or so and it’s just cute and hilarious how she lets her fellow pets in on all her expert tracking secrets. After eight murder adventures, I’d say Trixie’s pretty well qualified to write a little guide like that! Even Officer Dave admits her corpse-sniffing nose works like nothing else. It’s not always corpses though. She can detect pretty much any trouble.

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

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A Perilous Pal review

This is the second book in the A Friend for Hire Mysteries by one of my fave authors, Laura Bradford who’s managed to incorporate now two of her older series in this particular book. I always think it’s especially cool when an author does that, and now I’m really hoping a future Friend for Hire book has that road trip in it that Emma and Kim were talking about!

And the other series written by this author that Dottie loves so much is always in the background because it’s the basis of her amateur sleuthing. I enjoy Dottie’s character so much. She’s not a huggy-huggy grandmotherly type, but she’s a fiercely loyal friend who cares about Emma a lot even though she never really comes out and says it. They make an unlikely but still well-matched pair of friends, and I sure love their banter!

You could probably still read and enjoy this without reading the first book, but why deny yourself that fun? I recommend reading it and getting to know the characters, then they’ll feel like old friends!

#BerkleyPublishing  #LauraBradford

My Goodreads review:

A Perilous Pal (Friend for Hire #2)A Perilous Pal by Laura Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved the first book, but I think I like this one even better! It’s so awesome how all of Emma’s clients so far still play an active part in her life, and that she’s come to care about all of them even to the point of being besties with Stephanie. When her newest client was tossed in jail for killing her husband, it didn’t seem like the poor woman had any chance of getting out. But with Dottie and Steph’s sleuthing help, Emma finally gave way to another investigation.

I get such a kick out of sassy senior Dottie! I wanna be her when I’m eighty! I already have the “only reads cozy mysteries” part down, but I’m not real sure I’d make a very good sleuth. Although I did randomly guess whodunit! 😉 I loved the visit with John and Andy and how Emma was trying to matchmake Steph and Andy. I started suspecting something that could end up to be a sweet reunion if it was true…

And Big Max’s character is so awesome! He’s such a sweetheart, and I love that Steph got to meet him this time. Emma’s relationship with Jack was growing, and it was sweet when Scout got to visit with his son Tommy.

This was a mystery full of twists and surprises, and the only thing I was pretty sure of was that Kim wasn’t guilty despite her journal ramblings about ways to kill her husband. It was pretty clever how Emma went about proving whodunit then was safely visiting Kim while the police picked up the perp.

The very ending was just awesome! I absolutely can’t wait for the next book and what might unfold in it!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. If you liked the first book, don’t miss this one which releases next week on July 5.

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Murder Is no Picnic review

This is the third book in the fun and deliciously food-centered Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries by Amy Pershing. I love her descriptions of the area and had decided after reading the first book that Cape Cod was definitely gonna be somewhere I’d like to visit. This series has some good humor, good food and of course the all-important thing…good friends.

#BerkleyPublishing #AmyPershing

My Goodreads review:

Murder Is No PicnicMurder Is No Picnic by Amy Pershing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summer at Cape Cod sounds really awesome, and the author’s descriptions of the scenery and food almost make me feel like I’m right there with Sam and her friends. I loved how Jillian organized a sleuthing team and everyone did a little something toward figuring out why their local famous chef was killed in a fire when she clearly wouldn’t have been so careless with her stove and food.

Diogi continues to crack me up in this series! What a sweet, goofy dog who wuvs Helene and boat rides. I always giggle when I see what he wuvs, so funny! It was weird with Jason being on a job out in California although he did pop back home a few times. I could tell Sam missed him like crazy. I thought it was kinda cool that Vivvie the detective was treating Sam more like a peer now and not being snarky. Seems the good detective was a natural at sailing and loved taking lessons from Sam. It definitely came in handy for apprehending a killer!

I liked that the showdown wasn’t necessarily life-threatening this time, although what happened right before was pretty exciting. The festive Fourth of July clambake and ending was the perfect thing to top off the mystery as families and friends gathered to have some fun. Jason and Sam just enjoyed the time together.

I’m so eager now to read the next book, but I don’t think I better spill why, lol. You’ll know when you read it, but I was just happy that Jason and Samantha at the end felt like they were comfortable in their relationship. Sam’s grown quite a bit from the very first book and she’s actually starting to behave more like an adult…but still have fun! 😉

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. This book releases June 7, 2022.

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The Proof Is in the Poison review

This is the second book in the Southern Homebrew Mysteries by Diane Kelly who’s written several other cozy series as well. I recently read the first book and was very eager to get my hands on the second book and definitely wasn’t disappointed. I can’t say I’m a model railroad fan, but I can appreciate the level of enthusiasm people have for that particular hobby since I’ve always been some sort of collector. I can’t say I was ever as diehard a fan of my hobby as ole Bert was though! Find out what happens in this fun installment available on June 7, 2022.

#BerkleyPublishing #DianeKelly

My Goodreads review:

The Proof Is in the Poison (Southern Homebrew Mystery, #2)The Proof Is in the Poison by Diane Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another fun adventure with Hattie and Granddaddy! I recently read the first book and enjoyed it so much, I was happy to be able to get hold of this ARC for this book releasing next Tuesday. I get such a kick out of Granddaddy and his enthusiasm for pretty much everything. I could just picture him zipping around that model train show on his scooter. And the whole idea of a model train convention, let’s just say Sheldon would be in paradise. (actually so would my husband lol).

I was definitely wrong in my guessing whodunit and didn’t really think about this person much until Hattie started suspecting them. I love how ideas just come to her no matter where she’s at, even on horseback with her boyfriend Marlon. Although what a great guy to have around when she got a case idea, right? I really like Det. Ace now and how she included Hattie in the investigation–although her reasoning for letting Hattie help was totally spot-on, I still had to giggle at it and thinking yep, perfect reason for strong-willed Hattie.

When the three besties got together, we met little Colton who was probably cutting his teeth on solving a mystery with his auntie Hattie. I like that Kate didn’t let being a mom slow her down in wanting to be with her buddies and sleuth a little. It was just pack the kiddo and take off. And I just thought, a baby in a stroller makes a great cover. Who’d suspect a baby of being a little sleuth?

There was a pretty exciting chase before the actual showdown which was pretty peaceful, the showdown not the chase, lol. Hattie and Marlon’s date at the end took them past some posters that highlighted the next event that I look forward to reading about in the next book!

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

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Honey Roasted review

This is the nineteenth book in the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries by author Cleo Coyle who’s actually married writing couple Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. I also love their other series, The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries have been around since 2003 and are still going strong! I always enjoy the author acknowledgements that include something about buildings in New York or something else fun. It’s especially an interesting read for this book where it explains about the rooftop beekeeping aspect of the book as well as talking about the small neighborhood in New York known as The Hole.


My Goodreads review:

Honey Roasted (Coffeehouse Mystery, #19)

Honey Roasted by Cleo Coyle My rating: 5 of 5 stars There wasn’t a current murder going on in this book, but there was definitely an almost-murder with a woman now in a coma, and since the woman was a friend of Madame’s, Clare made it her priority to get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile, Mike was very involved in a case of a string of dead OD/homeless bodies showing up in New York’s The Hole neighborhood. Side note: Every time I read one of this series, I learn a little more about something interesting in New York. Not that The Hole is now on my bucket list or anything, but I did Google it just to get a feel for the type of area Mike was having to deal with. Yep, saw some pics of the perfect body-dumping spots, and it’d definitely be extra creepy at night, but on the other side just bording it, things looked very normal.

Anywho, I hadn’t guessed who the main perp in all of this was at all! I was surprised at who it was when Clare confronted them in a pretty awesome showdown. For a while there, the side story of Mike getting so involved in his case and the extra animosity he was showing toward Franco (young undercover cop who’s dating Clare’s daughter), that I was a little worried about the engagement. But I trusted the authors, and they came through in a really nice way. And…I had to giggle at all the bee puns well-sprinkled through the book in the dialogue! Loved it! I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. View all my reviews

A Plus One for Murder review

This is the first book in a brand new series that releases this coming Tuesday, December 7, 2021. The series is called Friend for Hire Mysteries, and the author is longtime cozy mystery writer Laura Bradford. She has two other cozy series she’s written as Laura Bradford, The Emergency Dessert Squad and Amish Mysteries.

As Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she wrote one of the most beloved and long-running series among cozy readers, the Southern Sewing Circle. I forgot to mention this in my GR review, but I loved, loved loved the nod she gave to that series in this book! She even mentioned a colleague’s series too, since Dottie, the older lady Emma had weekly tea with was a huge cozy mystery fan. I absolutely can’t wait for the next book in this series and want to give a huge shout-out and thanks to @BerkleyPublishing for approving me to read this early copy. I really hope to be able to do the same with the next book.

My Goodreads review:

A Plus One for Murder (A Friend for Hire Mystery #1)A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was excited to see that Laura Bradford was doing another cozy series and even more excited to be approved to read an ARC of it! The book definitely didn’t disappoint. What a cool and different kind of job for main character Emma, being a paid friend to people. I got such a kick out of her clients too especially Big Max, a sweet senior man who was trying to impress a lady by having Emma take him places. I loved how Emma’s friendship with Dottie had grown from what was the start for her new business-except at that time she didn’t realize it. Then eventually, Emma, Stephanie, another client and Dottie made quite the sleuthing trio! And Emma’s sweet dog, Scout always seemed to be pointing out clues to her. I love it when a pet’s just a bit more than a simple pet.

There was a nice assortment of suspects, and I wasn’t expecting the perp to be who it was. The showdown was a good one, and the three sleuths were happy with their work. Deputy Jack, well I don’t think he was too thrilled with their sleuthing, but I could tell he really liked Emma from the beginning especially from his line at the very end. 😉

It was well-written mystery that I’ve always come to expect and know from this author, and now I can’t wait to read more about the characters in the next book! Don’t miss this book which releases Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

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

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An Eggnog to Die For review

This is the second book in the Cape Cod Foodies series by Amy Pershing who appears to be a newer cozy mysteries writer, but I’d say she has being a cozy writer nailed. Both books so far have been fun, funny and filled with new character friends to get to know…or some you’re kinda glad got offed…as well as a picturesque location. And don’t forget sweet Diogi, Sam’s dog that she first was telling people came with her inheritance, but now she’s been referring to him as her dog. I’m eager to read the next book now that comes out in June 2022. Thanks again to @Berkley Publishing for letting me read and review this book!

My Goodreads review:

An Eggnog to Die For (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Book 2)An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam Barnes is definitely an acquired taste as far as main characters go, but now that it’s the second book, I’m finding I like her much better now than in the first book. I’ve always enjoyed her sense of humor though. Sam’s realized she’s where she belongs now and is even getting her sweet Diogi to listen better, well maybe a little better. It’s hilarious how the pup responds and learns from Helene though.

It was fun (for us readers) having her parents in town although Sam didn’t seem to enjoy it much until closer to Christmas. Her mom was in her element again, and Dad was just being secretive about something. The mystery was complex and really good. I like how Sam and an old acquaintance worked on the last part of the case, and I sure didn’t realize who it was until Sam said their name. The showdown was a really good one with some surprising help from someone I never would’ve expected to be there.

All in all, Sam survived her first Christmas in Cape Cod. The ending was pretty hilarious since it ended on New Year’s Eve which was supposed to be a nice quiet romantic evening for Jason and Sam. But this was Sam, of course it couldn’t be the way she hoped things would go. I was laughing while picturing the scene and I think others will too!

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

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