Death of a Blueberry Tart review

This is the twelfth book in the Hayley Powell Food & Spirits series by brother/sister team, Rick Copp and Holly Simason, known as Lee Hollis. I knew the minute that Hayley’s mom Sheila arrived in Bar Harbor that hilarity would reign, especially when she reunited with her old friends who were Mona and Liddy’s mothers, Jane and Celeste. It was a fun treat to watch these ladies sleuth together!

My Goodreads review:

Death of a Blueberry Tart (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery #12)Death of a Blueberry Tart by Lee Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is always funny, but with Hayley, Mona and Liddy’s mothers all together (since they were longtime friends like their girls were), it was extra hilarious. I absolutely loved the showdown which was just too good.

I’ve been reading the series from the beginning but had honestly started it by reading ARCs of the later books. Reading the older books is really funny too, and it’s a wonder that Bruce and Hayley ever got together. Now married, they were dealing with Hayley’s mom who moved in temporarily due to a romantic breakup. Sheila ended up with a sweet ending as did everyone else. I’m anxious to get back to the early books and eventually get caught up, but I’m not holding my breath to be finished before the next book comes out in July lol.

I did preorder the book but voluntarily read this ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Revenge Is Sweet review

I really enjoyed the first book of this new series, Vintage Sweets Mysteries. It’s written by Kaye George who is also known as Janet Cantrell who wrote the older Fat Cat series.  The other series that Ms. George pens appear to be more of a suspense nature. I liked the premise for this series, and a Texas location is always fun (since I’ve never been there.) I thought it was pretty cool too that Fredericksburg, TX is a real town. The second Vintage Sweets comes out on June 2, 2020.

My Goodreads review:

Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries #1)Revenge Is Sweet by Kaye George

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really fun setting and idea for a main character’s job, making vintage candies and sweets from scratch. I did get a little bit confused with the switching back and forth of third person narrating about Tally then Yolanda. (I have no problem with third person though). Sometimes I’d get the information mixed up and wonder why one person didn’t already know this, but I think the idea was for their actions to be very close or nearly simultaneous results. It was better as I got into the book more and switching between the two girls came more naturally.

I had an idea of who the killer was, then I changed my mind due to some clever red herrings along the way. I had it all built in my mind as to why the person I thought was the killer did it and everything, but I was wrong. It’s fun to be wrong though. The showdown achieved its purpose of making me nervous for Tally, but the killer was caught and all was well. I enjoyed reading a little bit of the next book’s first chapter at the end. The recipe given was for Tally’s version of Twinkies. I’m anxious for the next book that’s being released in June, and I’m glad we don’t have to wait a year.

View all my reviews

Death on the Page review

This is the second book in Essie Lang’s newer series, Castle Bookshop mysteries. Essie Lang is the pen name for author Linda Wiken who also wrote the Dinner Club mysteries. I really enjoyed this book and getting to know the characters a little better. We got another book club meeting with some of the older readers in the community where Shelby was privy to some great gossip. It’ll be interesting to see how much time elapses when the next book comes out. I’m hoping to read about Christmas in Alexandria Bay! The castle would be amazing all decorated. And I’m curious to see what Taylor’s baby ends up being as well as reading about Shelby’s first Christmas at the Bay and with Zack!

My Goodreads review:

Death on the Page (Castle Bookshop Mystery #2)Death on the Page by Essie Lang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun visit to a new place that I had first read last year, and it was great catching up with Shelby and her aunt Edie. I love the character of Edie to begin with and the sweet but tough caretaker Matthew who really liked Edie. I’m sure the feeling was mutual.

After the police found a visiting author dead in one of the castle’s secret passageway staircases, Shelby couldn’t help but get involved. She’d met and liked this author, but the more she snooped and ended up hearing that suspects were cleared, the more confusing it got. The showdown with the killer was exciting, especially when Shelby noticed that someone hiding had her back during it. I had been suspecting the person but wasn’t really sure why. I’m definitely happy with where Shelby and Zack are in their dating life and the sweet ending the book had. Here’s to the next book!

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

View all my reviews

Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut-review

This is the third book in Sarah Graves’ Death by Chocolate series, which I’ve been enjoying since the first book. It’s genuinely wacky in some parts, think Lucy and Ethel in the twenty-first century with a lot of action. But the characters are good, and I enjoyed that Jake’s husband Wade played a bigger part in this book than I’d remembered him playing before. It seemed like he was always out working. He was good to have on a sleuthing mission, and he was all for Jake proving her innocence.

My Goodreads review:

Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut (Death by Chocolate Mystery #3)Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut by Sarah Graves

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From practically the beginning of the book, Jake and Ellie were pitched right into a lot of action and adventure. Some of it was pretty funny like the snake and the caterpillars that Jake somehow met up with. After finding the dead body of a hateful TV foodie in her basement, Jake was eyed as a suspect, since the whole town had heard and seen her arguing with him and threatening him. With Ellie’s help, Jake set about proving her innocence. Did she let a concussion or a bunch of scrapes stop her? Naaaaaa. Jake wasn’t real great about following instructions or rules when it came to proving something.

This was a real roller coaster ride of a mystery. I had an idea of who was behind it and possibly why, but it was fun to read and see how much was going to happen before they got caught. Jake really managed to get into some crazy scrapes this time, but she and Ellie always came out as winners.

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

View all my reviews

Murder Makes Scents review

This is the second book in Christin Brecher’s Nantucket Candle Maker series, and I really loved it. It was an exciting book with a spy vibe to it. I don’t want to give anything away, but Stella got to investigate something big and important. The problem was, she couldn’t tell anyone about it. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book. Peeking at the blurb of it on Amazon, I can’t wait. It’s at Halloween, there’s a creepy old house, need I say more?

My Goodreads review:

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #2)Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow this was good! What did a murder in Paris and international secrets and spies have in common? Stella’s mom Millie, who was unwittingly involved in having something top secret. This got really exciting, and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t say a whole lot for fear of giving away the good stuff, but Stella once again was on the trail of a killer after witnessing a man dying in Paris before she and her mom left. They thought they’d left those troubles behind…

I like where Stella and Peter are in their relationship, they’re really sweet together but haven’t really had much time in just four short months to get to know each other very well. The worst part was having to leave Peter as well as Stella’s police friend Andy out of what she was investigating. The adventure played out like a fast spy movie and kind of incredible at that. Who knew that she’d face the killer at the most unlikely place.

Millie was never one to stay put long, so she was back at another destination after Stella and all her friends and Millie had celebrated Stella’s thirtieth. I’m so anxious now to see what kind of adventure Stella gets into next and whether her mom will be in it. She’s kind of a crazy lady, but I like her!

View all my reviews

Coconut Layer Cake Murder review

It’s hard to believe that this is the twenty-fifth book in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke, a native of Minnesota herself. I’ve always loved the firsthand descriptions given of the various seasons in Minnesota. It sometimes makes me want to be there in the winter, but only if I could get hauled around and not drive in the snow lol. I don’t know how she comes up with all the deliciousness or great titles, but I always pretend I’m enjoying whatever goody Hannah is cooking up. There are plenty of amazing recipes in this book. Maybe one of these days I’ll getting around to making some of them!

My Goodreads review:

Coconut Layer Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #25)Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the latest books in the series from about 22 on as arcs, I’d started thinking that someone else might have been doing the writing, because it wasn’t really up to how it used to be in the earlier Hannah books–the conversations were too simple and they used each other’s names way too many times to be natural. But since I just finished book 3 not even a week ago, I felt like it was recent enough to make a good comparison, and honestly this one was almost back to the style of the older books. There was still lots and lots of cookie talk and conversation…but hey this is Lake Eden, a small town that when I started reading these books, I’ve just learned that we get a lot of the people’s personal lives. It might not read like a regular cozy which focuses mostly on the mystery, but it’s awfully typical of small towns where there really isn’t much to talk about except someone’s health, the latest gossip, the weather or yummy food.

Speaking of yummy food, there were tons of great sounding recipes in the book. I have yet to make any of them in the series, but they sure sound good while I’m reading. It’s like I’m eating them in my mind and not gaining weight lol. The mystery did seem a little dragged out with how they had nearly half the police force sitting out the case, since it involved one of their own. But I wasn’t completely sure about who the killer was until Hannah came up with it. There was no cliffhanger ending to this book and to be completely honest, I hadn’t even remembered that there was one. I’m hoping that the future books are taking this path toward being more like the older ones.

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

View all my reviews

Here Comes the Body review

I really enjoyed this first in a brand new series, the Catering Hall mystery series. Ellen Byron wrote it under her new pen name of Maria DeRico, and I’m loving it as much as I do her Cajun Country series.

Mia was a fun and sassy main character, not unlike Maggie Crozat from Cajun Country…except Mia’s dad never did anything as innocent as making gumbo. Even though he was ex-mob, I did really like Ravello’s character a lot. He loved his daughter fiercely, but he was trying very hard to be a legit businessman now. Ravello was secretly dating a local woman which gave his character a softer side as well.

My Goodreads review:

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery #1)Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mia is different from any main character that I’ve come across yet in cozies, and I think that’s why I like her so much! I love her sass but good attitude toward things. She managed to survive being a suspect in her still-missing husband’s death and was happy to be living with her Nonna again in Queens.

I loved seeing Mia and Jamie together even though she tried to make everyone think she didn’t have strong feelings for him. Guadalupe and Nonna were two of my favorite characters. It was cool that Guadalupe and another employee Cody were former military which seemed to make for a smooth running catering hall, well until the murder happened. I didn’t have any idea who the killer was, and the showdown was really exciting. Being a former mobster’s daughter definitely had prepared her for taking care of herself in every emergency. The most unlikely person came to her assistance, and I wonder if this person will be back as a new friend.

The way the book ended (no cliffhangers, no worries) made me anxious to read the next one. I loved that Mia seemed to be embracing everything stereotypical about her dad’s former life if people wanted to buy into that. If it sells the banquet space….;)

View all my reviews