Read and Buried review

This is the sixth book in the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates who is also known as Vicki Delaney, author of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series as well as the Year Round Christmas series. The latter series just had a new release this summer. I made it my goal to have the Lighthouse Library caught up by the time this book was coming out, and I’m happy to say that it did happen. I had read Spook in the Stacks and Something Read, Something Dead as ARCs but only in that order, so I had definitely wanted to start at the beginning. I hope there are many more books in this series, because I have a feeling there’s still a ton of historical and book connections that could be made to upcoming mysteries.

My Goodreads review:

Read and Buried (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #6)Read and Buried by Eva Gates

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m completely caught up in this series after reading this book and as always, I’m really anxious for another book in the series. It’s always fun how the book that the library book club is reading goes along with the mystery, and there’s some type of Outer Banks historical tie-in as well. This book had all of the above as well as a happy historical ending for the family that it affected.

The showdown was pretty exciting and oddly enough it was out among everyone at the Settlers’ Day event. Lucy found out that sometimes the biggest pests can come in handy by saving a person’s life. The whole story had revolved around a mysterious map and page of lettering that had been found under the library, so it was interesting to see everyone working together toward the end to decipher the code and find out what exactly had been hidden there for 150 years. Charles the cat may not have caught himself a killer this time, but he was very useful in getting rid of a library intruder. I really hope that another book in the series will be coming now that the series has a new publisher home.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. This book publishes on October 15, 2019.

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Hounds of the Basket Stitch review

This is the third in the renamed Black Sheep Knitting series, which is now called Black Sheep & Company. The author had to switch publishers, but the series had eight books published as Black Sheep Knitting. No worries, it’s the same great characters you knew in the original books, and they’re just as good in these later books. I’m not nearly caught up, but I’ve read the first two in the Black Sheep Knitting and can never resist getting an ARC of  the latest Black Sheep book coming out.

You’ll enjoy this mystery a lot. Each book has seemed to focus one one of the core characters, and this was Dana’s turn. Dana is one of the knitters who definitely joined Maggie’s group as a stress release, because she’s a psychologist. What I love most about the group is their camaraderie in good times and bad. There’s always food, fellowship and of course, knitting! Pick it up at your favorite book dealer or ask your library to get it for you. It comes out on October 29.

My Goodreads review:

Hounds of the Basket Stitch (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery Book 3)Hounds of the Basket Stitch by Anne Canadeo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hadn’t read a book in this series since last December and couldn’t resist going ahead with this ARC copy even though it doesn’t publish until October 29. I hadn’t realized how much I missed visiting Plum Harbor and the Black Sheep knitting friends. I really enjoyed the characters of Rose and Holly and hope that they show up in another book. This mystery was a bit different with the murder happening much later, but the actions toward the beginning were a little more important than the later murder, since it was an attack on Dana’s goddaughter who spent a lot of the book in the hospital. I always love how these characters, as different as their personalities are, always work great together especially when it comes to solving murders.

There were some great plot twists, and I was really surprised at the showdown which was short but great. Everything was wrapped up just right as usual and ended with the friends being together. One of them even welcomed a cute furry pup into their family.

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

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Beyond a Reasonable Stout review

This is the third book in the Sloan Krause series by Ellie Alexander who also writes the Bakeshop series. The Sloan Krause series is set in the picturesque Bavarian style village of Leavenworth, Washington, and ever since I started reading this series, I thought this would be a fun place to visit. Until that happens for real, I’m enjoying reading this series. Sloan’s had a tough life so far, but she doesn’t let it get her down. She’s kind and always willing to help someone. Sloan’s search for her birth parents is the side mystery in this series, sort of how in the Pacific Northwest series (by Ellie’s other name, Kate Dyer-Seeley) Meg Reed was searching for information on her father’s death. A side mystery with a bit of a cliffhanger is kind of fun, and it definitely makes me look forward to the next book.

My Goodreads review:

Beyond a Reasonable Stout (Sloan Krause #3)Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been over a year since I read the second book in this series, so I was really ready to go back to Leavenworth, WA and see what Sloan and her friends were up to. An incumbent city council member was going around saying that when he got re-elected, the town was going to become dry. Everyone was up in arms at that, because beer was their livelihood, so they were happy that a woman named Valerie was running against him and from the looks of popular opinion, would win. When the town’s most pesky woman, real estate agent April, was arrested for the murder, Sloan couldn’t believe that April could murder anyone. Pester them to death maybe, but not literally kill someone. Before she knew it, she was involved with another case, but like before, Chief Meyers asked for her input. I like the chief and that she has been recognizing that Sloan’s people skills can be useful.

I had a sneaky feeling early on that I knew who the culprit was going to be, but I didn’t know why of course, so I had fun reading along and letting myself be pulled in by the red herrings. The showdown and take down were quick, but it was definitely satisfying to see the killer in custody. Sloan’s own little mystery about her birth parents intensified some more, and there is a bit of a cliff hanger on that subject, so I’m very anxious for the next book. Each of these books has had a little something similar at the end, and it reminds me a lot of the ongoing side mystery that was in the Pacific Northwest series that this author wrote under another name.

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Two Bites Too Many review

Today marked the release of quite a few cozy mysteries including this book which is the second in the Sarah Blair series by Debra H. Goldstein. I enjoyed getting to know Sarah, a complete failure in the kitchen and her twin sister Emily, an accomplished chef in the first book. This one continued about four months after the first story ended. I loved the addition of another pet and the fundraiser for the animal shelter in this story. Harlan seemed a little more open with his feelings toward Sarah, and I think she realized that maybe he likes her more than just a boss. If it comes to that, I’ll be Team Harlan.

I would really recommend reading the first book before diving into this one just to get an idea of the backstory and what all happened the last time. The author does a great job of keeping everything nice and secret as far as spoilers from the first book, and there is a good amount of explanation given for the characters that it could be read alone. But I always like to recommend starting at the first book. (Sometimes I don’t take my own advice if I grab a book #4 that looks interesting from NetGalley, but now I’m trying to curb that.) 😉

My Goodreads review:

Two Bites Too Many (Sarah Blair Mystery #2)Two Bites Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this second book for this newer series, maybe even more than the first book. Readers got to know Sarah and Emily’s mom, Maybelle, a lot better, especially since she was the prime suspect in the murder of the bank president she’d just argued with. There was a little more about George Rogers’ life in this book too, and how he’d been taken in by a sweet little white fuzzy dog. Despite everyone’s warnings, Sarah wouldn’t back down for a minute when it came to defending her mom and sister. She was worried that Emily had gotten into a bad deal with a hotel owner who promised her the moon, but Sarah smelled a rat, and it wasn’t the rat she’d been married to either.

Even though I had my eye on someone from the get-go as the killer, it actually turned out to be someone else. The original person wasn’t without guilt though, so at least that person was taken care of in the end. Sarah found herself with a fuzzy white boarder named Fluffy eventually while her neighbor recovered from an accident. The killer showdown and the last chapter summed everything up very neatly, and now I’m excited to see how Marcus and Emily’s new place will succeed. I was proud of Maybelle for seeming more like a normal person in this book and actually being sympathetic to Sarah’s neighbor.

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

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Tide and Punishment review

This is the third book in the Seaside Cafe series by Bree Baker (also known as Julie Ann Lindsey or Julie Chase), and I think it’s my favorite one so far. I had read the first two books earlier in the year, then at a book discussion online with the author, I was sure that she said there would be another book after this. I hope I’m remembering correctly! Even though this had a sweet ending, I’m not ready to give up my visits to Charm, NC, so I’m definitely looking forward to any fourth book that might be in the works.

My Goodreads review:

Tide and Punishment (Seaside Café Mysteries Book 3)Tide and Punishment by Bree Baker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the perfect cozy island Christmas! Well minus the tons of snow they were getting, because that’s not something that Charm, NC normally saw for Christmas. Or as Mr. Waters told Everly, he hadn’t seen snow there for forty years. It didn’t stop the Christmas bustle though, and the tea shop business was booming. This time Everly had to clear her aunt Fran’s name of murder when her opponent in the mayor’s race was killed outside the tea shop during their Christmas party.

I kind of had a feeling for most of the book who the killer would be, but a couple of times thanks to good red herrings, I was thrown off the trail. The killer showdown was exciting, and I think Everly would probably give the following advice: Never underestimate the power of peppermint when fighting off a killer! I loved how Everly’s Giving Tree wish came true which meant that all the island families would also have a very Merry Christmas, at least dinnerwise. I’m happy with where she and Grady are right now, and I hope the series will continue as they get even closer.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. This book releases tomorrow, September 24, 2019.

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Fudge Bites review

This is the seventh book in the Candy-Coated series by Nancy Coco (aka Nancy J. Parra). I absolutely love this series and was happy to actually visit Mackinac last September. It’s so cool to be able to picture the main spots that are described in the book, like the lawn of the fort where they were holding the art show in the book. I wonder if the Zombie Walk is really a thing at Mackinac? Might have to Google that one! I’m anxiously waiting for book 8!

My Goodreads review:

Fudge Bites (A Candy-coated Mystery #7)Fudge Bites by Nancy CoCo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun look at one of my new favorite places in the fall. I’d love to see Mackinac at Halloween. During the Zombie Walk for charity, Allie found herself in the middle of another murder again. This time her cat Mella had found the body. After the man’s mother, a friend of Frances’s, begged Allie to help, how could she say no. Allie didn’t have her usual sidekick with her, because Jenn was at a new job in Chicago, but she and Liz from the newspaper did a little sleuthing together. I’ve always liked Liz and was glad to see her in more of friend role than just a snoopy reporter.

In the meantime, Allie’s ex-boyfriend Trent was in town trying to entice her to go to Chicago for the winter. He’s nice, but I’m just not a fan of his. Allie made her decision at the end, and I was proud of her. Little Mella was a big help in fighting off a killer in the show down. I wasn’t quite sure who the killer was but the real one was on my radar at least. I love the tie-in with something in the past, this time concerning one of the churches, having something to do with the main case. I’m never ready to leave magical Mackinac and can’t wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a paperback ARC provided by the publisher Kensington, although sometimes I went back and forth between it and the NetGalley digital copy. I’ve preordered this, but it was fun to read it ahead of time. Release day is next Tuesday the 24th.

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Christmas Cow Bells review

Here’s another new series releasing September 24, the Buttermilk Farm Mysteries by Mollie Cox Bryan who writes the Cora Crafts cozy mysteries. I love to read about Christmas any time of the year, and it wasn’t hard to get into the spirit with reading about the snow they were getting in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia in this book as well as going to the Christmas tree farm. Brynn had three very docile dairy cows for cheese making and ended up adopting a dog (that seemed to prefer the barn) along with eventually her neighbor’s cat. She ended up with a sweet deal of a cheese making student who would live on premises, so I can’t wait to read the next book and see how her business progresses.

My Goodreads review:

Christmas Cow Bells (A Buttermilk Creek Mystery #1)Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is going to be such a fun new series! Even though Brynn hadn’t lived in her house for too long, she’d already made some friends in Willow and Schuyler. I liked how those three worked together, sort of a Nancy-Bess-George type of friendship. I enjoyed her neighbor’s family especially the college guys and thought it was a great idea to have them stay in her guest cottage, especially with some weird things that had been happening on Brynn’s little farm. Someone wanted to drive her away, and someone had set a fire that ended up killing her neighbor. Brynn wasn’t going to back down, and for the most part, she was fairly sensible about calling the police or keeping the fire marshal in the loop if she found things. I didn’t like the sheriff very well, as he came off as condescending, but Mike the fire marshal was nice. I don’t think I caught if he was near Brynn’s age or not but it seemed as if he liked her or could like her. It seemed best and more real to keep any romance out of this first story though. Brynn had enough on her plate!

I loved how Brynn adopted a sweet dog that had been making rounds with the local vet. Brynn had this attitude of Christmas just being another day since she’d had a relationship end badly, but I could tell that she was really lonely and loved Christmas. I had to hand it to her for decorating and making her place as cozy and Christmasy as she could. Having her neighbor’s grandsons around helped with that. A side mystery with another neighbor’s teen tied in with the main one, so I won’t say anything about that, but for the most part, I was satisfied with the wrap-up and very Hallmark-like Christmas ending. Brynn ended up having a good family Christmas after all in her new home.

This releases in a week, but I have several more ARCs to get through, so I’m letting the review out now. 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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