Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder review

This is the twenty-seventh book in this series, one of the longest-running cozy mystery series that I’ve read. Joanne Fluke had a real winner on her hands when she started the Hannah Swensen series, that’s for sure along with more yummy recipes than anyone could ever imagine. For awhile, the later books didn’t seem to have the right feeling, vibe or even the right-sounding conversations to them, but this book was right back there where I’ve always felt like Hannah books should be. Just comfortable, not stilted dialogue and still all the usual neighborly town things going on.

When you read one of the Hannah Swensen series, it’s like the old “don’t go to the grocery store hungry” thing, only it’s “I wouldn’t read one of these books while hungry if I were you.” ::wink::

My Goodreads review:

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen #27)Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s always great to get back to Lake Eden and characters I’ve come to think of as old friends. This time, the most unlikely person was the suspect in the mayor’s death…Andrea! And of course, that made Bill have to step away from it leaving Mike and Lonnie to investigate with their now-asked-for help from Hannah. Michelle sometimes stepped in to help, since she’s involved with Lonnie.

I loved that this book started with some real interest and action too. Usually (and I adore that silly Moishe kitty, don’t get me wrong) it’s Moishe waking Hannah and Hannah thinking it’s someone in her dream. It started off with a stronger than usual story and kept it all the way through. You have to be used to this series to realize that along with a little mystery, you get a heaping helping of neighbor talk and some of the yummiest-sounding recipes you’ll ever come across. It’s all part of the charm though, and this book had the feel of the earlier books that I came to love so much.

There was a really good twist that I had started suspecting at one point. As always, it was well-explained by everyone with a wrap up at the end. The showdown was rather peaceful although it could have taken a bad turn. I’m sure Bill and Andrea were two of the most relieved people when the mystery was solved.

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

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A Game of Cones review

This is the second book that was just published today March 2, 2021 in the Ice Cream parlor series by Abby Collette, an Ohio author who’s also known as Abby L. VanDiver. Under that name, she’s published several different series, the longest being the Logan Dickerson series. I love her writing in this series, and I really want to explore her other books too. I just love Win and her crazy friend Maisie and of course, Riya who’s definitely a threat to any perp out there. These three besties got to team up this time with a friend of Win’s from New York who surprisingly fit right in. I’m super anxious for the next book and would like to thank @Berkley Publishing for approving me to read this book from NetGalley.

My Goodreads review:

A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 2)A Game of Cones by Abby Collette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m really enjoying this series and Win with her big wonderful family and crazy but fun-to-sleuth- with friends! She had a visit from a good friend named Rory from when Win worked at an ad agency in New York, and Rory’s job was to persuade Win to come back to New York while tempting her with a nice fat pay increase and an office. I love what Win advised her friend later on toward the end. Poor Rory got a little tangled up in the murder that happened to be a guy representing a firm wanting to put a mini mall right in the downtown triangle of Chagrin Falls.

There were lots of secrets and mostly people were against this idea which would take away several of the small businesses. Maisie was about to burst from wanting to sleuth and coming up with about 800 conspiracies–that girl absolutely cracks me up and makes me laugh when she’s around, what a hoot and genuinely nice person! The usual trio with the addition of Rory became a foursome (not quite all fearsome, although Riya is a force to be reckoned with!) for sleuthing. The showdown was very cool, and Rory’s reaction was so good! I really liked Rory’s character and would love to see more of her in future books. Who knows, maybe she’ll change her mind about small towns someday?

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

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Long Island Iced Tina review

When I first heard about this book sometime last year, I thought it was just the cleverest pun title for a cozy, and after reading it, it’s even better! This is the second book in the Catering Hall mysteries by Maria DiRico, who’s actually well-known cozy author Ellen Byron. She tells on her site how the real Maria is her grandmother (or great-grandmother). I can’t find it on her site, but I’m thinking she mentioned it on her  Facebook author page.

I had the best time reading this book from Mia’s sleuthing, the bumbling retail manager they hired as a favor to one of Mia’s dad’s friends, and good old Nonna on a mission going to funeral visitations dragging her neighbor Phillip along. Great stuff and so funny sometimes!

My Goodreads review:

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery Book 2)Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love this series, and Mia has to be one of the funniest main characters I’ve read about. This is another character I can so easily close my eyes and hear Fran Fine the Nanny speaking as Mia. (And somehow, Val’s voice was coming from Nicole lol). I enjoy all these key characters so much, even Donny Boldano Senior has some endearing qualities. Donny Junior is just hilarious without meaning to be. And Jamie’s just plain adorable, but even though he’s taken, he’s a really good and faithful friend for Mia aka someone her dad hopes can keep her out of trouble!

At least Mia and her dad weren’t being blamed for the latest murder, but they might as well have been, since the body was found in the bay next to their venue. Once more at the showdown, Mia found herself facing down a crazed killer, but she did okay! Seems she’s a lot better driving on the water than on land! Just when Jamie appeared to be taken and happy with no one on the horizon for Mia to even be remotely interested in…well, I’m going to leave it at that and let readers find out for themselves what happens. 😉

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Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop review

This is the first in a new cozy series by Darci Hannah who also wrote the two-book cozy series Very Cherry. I have to say, I think I’m going to like this one a lot better. The characters seemed more mature, and there was some good comedy in the form of mainly dialogue coming from Lindsey, but some funny scenes as well. I liked the side story of Lindsey looking into the death of the old lighthouse keeper being curious as to whether it connected to the modern murders.

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the Beacon BakeshopMurder at the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this whole adventure from Lindsey’s buying the dilapidated lighthouse to the awesome showdown with the killer. There were some fun and well-developed characters that I came to really like a lot, and sweet Welly the Newfoundland definitely helped save his mom’s life at the end. A lot of people had secrets, some of which were good, and others weren’t so good. It was so funny in some parts, and I got to the point where I could hear Fran Fine the Nanny speaking for Lindsey, lol.

The showdown ranks up there with some of the best I’ve read, and the ending was just as awesome. Just from the first book, I know I’m going to like this series a lot! I have to admit, I like it a lot better than the Very Cherry cozy series by the same author.

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

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Farm to Trouble review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Farm to Table by well-known cozy mystery author Amanda Flower. I’ve mostly read her Ohio-based mysteries that also take place in Amish country, so this was a fun little change. I absolutely loved main character Shiloh’s little Pug named Huckleberry, what a sweetie! 

My Goodreads review:

Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries #1)Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this new series kickoff book and the various characters in the small town of Cherry Glen. I think Quinn’s daughter Hazel was my favorite, Shiloh’s dad despite his being a little grumpy kind of grew on me, but her cousin Stacey needs to grow on me a little more. I liked the little side mystery that Shiloh found that appears to be an ongoing thing for the next book.

I wasn’t exactly sure who the killer was until nearly the end. The showdown was a good one, and I liked how everything was wrapped up and explained. I’ve found I like everything I’ve read so far that Amanda Flower writes, and I think she’s got a winner in this series!

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Murder with a View review

This is the third book in the House-Flipper series by Diane Kelly which quickly became another favorite series. I think this might be my favorite though. I loved where it took place and how Whitney and Buck were fixing up an old 60s-70s motel to become high-priced condo units. I can’t wait to see what their next job brings, and I always like seeing when the book is over that they briefly mention what their next flip will be. Church, anyone?

My Goodreads review:

Murder With a View (A House-Flipper Mystery Book 3)Murder With a View by Diane Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this might have been the best book in the series so far. What made it even better for me might be that I read it right after I read the second book, so things were super fresh in my mind. I loved the idea of them renovating an old motel into a building of condo units with really cool retro colors. The best thing was that Whitney and Buck were having such success at this, they were a little more equipped for a loan with a good but unlikely partner.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Jimmy at first. Since he was a veteran, I definitely wanted to think the best of him. He turned out to be a great friend, and I do hope he comes back to visit sometime. It was cute to see Buck and Colette together kind of dancing around the dating thing. Whitney and Collin were much closer which was great. I had a feeling I knew whodunit, but then I got lost in a red herring and wasn’t sure. It was really an exciting showdown though! I love how all the books have had a complete explanation at the end which wraps up the renovation as well as the case.

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

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Ink and Shadows review

This is the fourth book in the Secret, Book and Scone Society series by another of my favorite cozy writers, Ellery Adams. The series is much more than a cozy mystery as it tells the story of some really awesome friends who came together as women who were a bit broken with secrets they’d never told anyone else. They formed a book club, but they’ve been known to have emergency meetings if anyone in the town needs help, particularly one of their own or someone they’ve taken under their wing.

Nora’s extreme love of books helps her in just about every situation. I’d be proud to call any of these women a friend! Oh yes, and their new friend Sheldon too. He’s pretty cool!

My Goodreads review:

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #4)Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great to catch up with Nora and her friends again. I’ve absolutely loved Sheldon’s character since he came on board as Nora’s friend and employee. There was lots of intrigue which made me want to keep reading, but there’s always some lighthearted moments especially now that they have Sheldon as a new friend.

The murder mystery wasn’t so much of a whodunit but “when will the killer strike next” and how they’d go about catching said killer. The showdown was really awesome, and finally Nora felt like her friend was at peace. Nora and Jed had a little rough patch along the way, but I think they’ll be fine. As always, I look forward 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.

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A Tourist’s Guide to Murder review

This is the sixth book in the Mystery Bookshop series by one of my favorite cozy authors, V.M. Burns (Valerie). I know I probably say this every time, but this latest book is my favorite now in the series. The only thing I wish we could have seen was Irma with the Royal Guards! If you’re a fan and know good ole Irma, can you even imagine how funny that would be? I think it was alluded to that it was good to keep her away. It would definitely make for a fun short story anyway! I did miss Oreo and Snickers being part of the story and can’t wait for the next book, because I’m sure I’ll get my virtual poodle fix that way!

My Goodreads review:

A Tourist's Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #6)A Tourist’s Guide to Murder by V.M. Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Sam innocently asked, “What could possibly happen?” about her upcoming trip to England with Nana Jo and the girls, she had to have some inkling that craziness and murder would follow. From the airport in Chicago to the airport in England and beyond, this was a roller coaster trip you don’t want to miss! Irma was at her hilarious best again, and sweet Ruby Mae seemed to be related to someone everywhere she went just when they needed a friend. And they met a new friend in England that I’d love to see come visit them or at least keep in touch with her.

After a couple of murders, the Mystery Lovers’ Tour was turning into the real deal. I was glad that Sam was able to find an ally in the female Detective Sergeant, because her DI co-worker was worse than good old Det. “Stinky” Pitt back home! I didn’t really know whodunit, so I enjoyed the ride with my favorite characters. The showdown was exciting–boy, if only Nana Jo had her peacemaker with her! I kind of hope the next book recaps their trip with friends at home. That alone would be hysterical! Love, love, love this series!

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

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Hope, Faith and a Corpse review

This is the first book in the Faith Chapel Mystery series by Lauren Jensen Walker who also writes another new series I really like, the Bookish Baker mysteries. I really loved this book and Pastor Hope’s super fun sense of humor. Her snark was the friendly kind and most of it was said in her mind (shown by the italics in the book). She’s such a great character, and I also really like Father Christopher as her mentor and boss at the church. Her sister-in-law Virginia was pretty awesome too. I hope she sticks around town. She, Susan and Hope would make quite the team of sleuthing besties!

I’m so anxious now for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Hope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel MysteryHope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery by Laura Jensen Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a fun and different cozy mystery! I really liked Pastor Hope as a main character. She’s absolutely a hoot, and I got the biggest kick out of her quoting movies, dancing around her house while she cleaned (much to the shock of the older congregation members, namely Marjorie!) and just her overall sense of humor. I enjoyed the little italics that indicated her thoughts to herself, those were so funny and spot on. I figured when a book started with someone getting bopped on the head with an Elvis garden gnome, the rest is going to be just as much fun!

Father Christopher was a great boss, and I loved how sweet and fair he was when it came to hiring a new office assistant, a high school senior who the older ladies didn’t approve of simply because she had a tat. What an assortment of crazy and interesting characters in this town though! There were so many that I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I’d ever get them sorted out, but it wasn’t a problem. They all started having their separate moments with Pastor Hope, so it was easy to get to know them that way. Her pastoral visits (where she could do her investigation as well) were a great way to hone in on the various congregation members.

I definitely didn’t see it coming with who ended up as the killer! It was a very refreshing non-nail biting showdown, or maybe I should say the killer had a come-to-Jesus moment. There was a side mystery that tied in with one of the families in town, but didn’t have anything to do with the current murder. It was still interesting and revealed even more about some of the characters. I’m very anxious to read the next book!

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

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One Poison Pie review

This is the first full-length book in the new Kitchen Witch Mysteries by well-known cozy mysteries author Lynn Cahoon. Even if you’ve never read any of her other books, I think you’ll love this series. If you’re already a fan of the series from reading the prequel…or haven’t read it, you’re going to absolutely love what happens in this book!

My Goodreads review:

One Poison Pie (Kitchen Witch Mysteries #1)One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an awesome start for this series! I’d already read the prequel to this, which isn’t completely necessary, but I’d highly recommend it to get a feel for the characters and what happened with Mr. Darcy, the cat. There was a good plot twist later in the book, and I honestly didn’t know which suspect was the killer. There were some other threats Mia got, but some came from other sources. I think I’d be scared to pieces living in that old school she bought!

I love how Mia and Trent were getting closer then let her ex know that he was definitely not welcome around there, especially after a recent rotten thing he did. Christina may have found her special guy which I thought was so sweet. There were a couple of things went missing which were left hanging, but knowing this author, I know they’ll come up again and be explained, similar to another of her series, so I’m not really worried about it.

I’m really glad the next book comes out in July, because it would be way too hard waiting longer than that!

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