Christmas Scarf Murder

This is the 2022 Kensington Cozies compilation of three short Christmas stories by three of their well-known cozy mystery authors, (in order of appearance in the book) Carlene O’Connor (Irish Village Mysteries), Maddie Day (Country Store Mysteries), and Peggy Ehrhart (The Knit & Nibble Mysteries). There’s usually three different authors every year, but I know Maddie and Carlene have done this more than once. Super enjoyable and a fun little bit of Christmas!

My Goodreads review:

Christmas Scarf Murder (Irish Village Mystery #8.5)Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another fun Christmas short story compilation that I’ve come to look forward to reading every year. I’m up to date on the Country Store series, have read one or two in Irish Village and read the first one or two in Knit & Nibble, so I was already familiar with characters. Although someone could read these and not be lost.

Christmas Scarf Murder was a fun reunion with Siobhan and her big Irish family. I was suspicious of someone from the get-go, so it wasn’t too far of a stretch to find they were the killer. I got a kick out of the elder home residents too and Siobhan and her hubby’s cute banter while working the case. The showdown was planned a really good. And the ending was so darn sweet!

In Scarfed Down, it wasn’t a huge surprise who the killer was even though there were several to pick from. I always enjoy a good Christmas story with Robbie and crew though and had fun reading about the investigation. Wanda and Buck always crack me up! The showdown was tense at first but no one was hurt at least. I loved this ending as well, lots of Christmas togetherness with family and good friends.

Death by Christmas Scarf took us to Arborville NJ with Pamela and her group of knitter friends. I haven’t read in the series for a while, so I was happy to read about these folks and might just need to get out my next in series soon where I left off. I really enjoyed this mystery too and liked the twist toward the end. As with all good cozies, there were some fun Christmas parties but ended with the friends gathering for the big explanation. Even Nell couldn’t get on them too much for gossiping after all this! 😉

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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Seams Like Murder review

This is the first book in a new series called the Sewing Studio Mysteries by Dorothy Howell who writes another cozy mystery, the Haley Randolph Mysteries. I really liked these characters and can’t wait to see what Abbey, her aunt and her new friends get into in the next book. I had a feeling when I saw that sewing was involved in this book that I’d really take to it. It was definitely lotsa fun!

#KensingtonCozies #DorothyHowell

My Goodreads review:

Seams Like MurderSeams Like Murder by Dorothy Howell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On one hand, coming home to having your car accused of being used in a possible homicide was pretty awful for Abbey, but the possible friendship with Zack the handsome deputy would’ve been the saving grace, at least for me. But Abbey couldn’t bring herself to be even halfway nice to him until it was well into the book and he’d done what he could to prove to her he didn’t think she killed anyone. Poor guy having to work for that grumpy sheriff though! He was a piece o’ work for sure!

I loved how Abbey and Caitlin were able to resume the bestie friendship they’d only enjoyed for summers and how the rest of the businesses kinda pitched in to help with the investigation. Everyone had the interest of getting a killer off the streets once they started believing said killer wasn’t Abbey. There were enough cars in town that looked similar to hers it could’ve been anyone driving the car that killed the librarian. I know one person I was hoping might be the perp, but there were lots of good distractions and other possibilities too.

The showdown was pretty epic and as a seamstress I can totally laugh and say yep, that’s just what a bunch of people who sew or craft (or want a killer off the streets) might do with a wily killer! I loved how an embroidery machine was included in the story too probably because I really like using mine and it’s just fun to find something I can actually relate to in a book. This book releases tomorrow, September 27, don’t miss it! It’s pretty much everything I could want in a cozy mystery.

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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Murder in a Cape Cottage review

This is the fourth book in the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries by Maddie Day aka Edith Maxwell who also writes the Country Store Mysteries as Maddie. I just love Mac’s super close-knit family and their interactions. She and Tim make a great couple and now that she’s wrapped her very orderly mind around marriage and subsequently having kids, Mac seems much better adjusted than she did in those first couple books. You won’t wanna miss this fun story of a mystery before the wedding!

I just had to include a note that if you’ve not read acknowledgements that authors write, you need to at least start reading the ones this author does. She’s always got something interesting or some back info included in it. This time it was a bittersweet mention of one of the characters being named after a lady’s sister. It was a charity auction with the winner getting to name a character in this book, and the lady who won chose to have the character named for her sister. I’m not gonna spoil the rest, you’ll just need to dig into those acknowledgements and find out what it was so sweet. I’ve always been a sort of acknowledgements nerd and try to always read those even if they’re short.

#KensingtonCozies #MaddieDay

My Goodreads review:

Murder in a Cape Cottage (A Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #4)Murder in a Cape Cottage by Maddie Day
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mac sure never expected to have a mystery to solve so close to her wedding day, but one sorta just fell in her lap as she and Tim worked on gutting a closet in their cottage. I guess Mac felt a little indebted to get justice for this pathetic skeleton that’d been walled up eighty years ago since the remains were found in her and Tim’s cottage. Even though Bella the parrot was moved to Mac’s parents’ house during the renovation, we still got our bookish dose of her silliness and begging for snacks.

As Mac investigated, there was a current day someone who didn’t like her digging into a murder from long ago. The only actual murders were the cold cases but there was an attempt on someone’s life and by that time I was pretty sure who might be behind all this. The showdown was awesome with Mac herself preventing a killing, but for this cozy sleuth it’s all in a day’s work. And she lived to get married which was basically what her friends and family were all worrying about. The friends and Mac’s toast at the end was pretty sweet. This book releases a week from today, 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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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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Murder Out of Character review

This is the second book in the Peach Coast Library Mysteries by Olivia Matthews who wrote a couple other cozy series as well before working on this one for Hallmark Publishing. I sure hope they want her to do more because I’m more than ready to keep reading about these characters! They just really pulled me in extra hard in this second book.

I love the closeness Marvey has with her parents even though they’re still living in New York while she’s in Georgia. And her friends are just so amazing with how they’ve welcomed her into their various circles. It’s cool how she’s got her close circle of friends (Jo, Nolan and Spence) for sleuthing, but she can also call on her librarian friends for some after-hours sleuthing as well. What an awesome entourage, right? I know they’ve gotta have plenty more stories to tell! (Oh and a total side note: there’s no way I’d be able to only enjoy Anna May’s peach cobbler once a week! I admire Marvey’s self-control!)

#HallmarkPublishing #OliviaMatthews

My Goodreads review:

Murder Out of Character (Peach Coast Library Mystery #2)Murder Out of Character by Olivia Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked this so much better than the first book, and I liked the first book a lot. The characters drew me in but in this book it was just different. Somehow it just all came together and these characters became friends I was visiting. The mystery did seem more compelling in this book too, and at times I had a hard time putting my Kindle down. I couldn’t read fast enough toward the end lol. A clever clue led me to guessing the killer.

The book had probably my most favorite type of showdowns (meaning it was fairly safe for all involved), and I sure hope there’s another book because it’s about high time that Jo lets Nolan know how much she likes him. And Marvey needs to do the same with Spence. There at least were some better hints toward that as the book progressed and especially at the end. I really loved how everyone gathered at the end for a sort of debriefing then a party to see Marvey’s folks off which was actually a little bit more than just that! I really hope Hallmark Publishing wants more of this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Hallmark Publishing 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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A Vacation to Die For review

This is the fourteenth in the Tourist Trap Mysteries by Lynn Cahoon who writes several cozy series, all of which I’m crazy about. Tourist Trap is the longest running of the series, and I gotta admit I wasn’t exactly caught up yet when I started getting the ARCs to read and review, but I’ll get there someday. From reading blurbs ahead, I already knew about Jill and Greg being engaged anyway, so now I’m just looking forward to the book that has their wedding!

#KensingtonCozies #LynnCahoon

My Goodreads review:

A Vacation to Die For (A Tourist Trap Mystery #14)A Vacation to Die For by Lynn Cahoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was hard to believe, but Greg and Jill actually got away on a little vacation before he got called back, probably a record of some kind for them, lol. I wondered if the slight weirdness of seeing various people in their vacation getaway of Apple Valley might turn around and be connected to the current case Greg got called to.

I love the crossovers going on with this series and the author’s other two. I decided to review this one first but I did also finish another one where Deek went to a writer’s conference, although the one he attended in this book probably wasn’t that since this book’s taking place in spring. And I’d read the first with her new MC Eddie in it a while back and learned Esmerelda was girlfriend to one of the guys. He got a mention in this book but not by name or location, just that he’s halfway across the country. It’s just fun when authors plan those little surprises for readers.

I honestly had trouble trusting some of the newer characters in the book this time but now that I know who can be trusted, I’m eager to read the next book and find out more about them. Jill did once more find herself as the blurb said, in the crosshairs of a killer but she always thinks of something smart to do. I enjoyed the ending and can’t wait to read about Greg and Jill’s wedding hopefully the next time around.

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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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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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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Death on the Argyle review

This is the fifth book in the Black Sheep Knitting Society which never got linked on Goodreads, so I can’t provide a link to the other four books. They were additions to the original Black Sheep Knitting series and I believe it just changed names slightly when another publisher picked it up. I guess in other books I always felt like Maggie Messina was the main character, but in this book it’s clearly her younger friend Lucy who’s leading the show as far as the mystery goes. The ending was super sweet with Lucy and Matt’s baby being born and officially welcomed to the knitting shop. It also hinted at Lucy starting a new (additional) career, so it’ll be interesting to read about that next time.

#KensingtonCozies #AnneCanadeo

My Goodreads review:

Death on the Argyle (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery Book 5)Death on the Argyle by Anne Canadeo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was fun to visit with some of my favorite knitters in cozy series just as Lucy was ready to bring her little baby into the world. The ladies had a new friend to add to their group, for a while anyway and a new case to sleuth out. Poor Maggie found herself dragged along but was mainly going to keep an eye on Lucy since they all knew how she could be when sleuthing!

I had a feeling of whodunit and why which turned out to be right, but it was sort of a sad showdown in a way with no one in any real danger. It was sweet to read about the baby visiting the shop a couple months later, then a little more was mentioned in Maggie’s knitting newsletter that always follows the story. That’s always a treat and not to be skipped. 😉 It’ll be interesting to see if Baby Binger-MacDougal gets broken in right as a mini investigator in the next book!

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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