No Filter review

When I had seen this book for pre-sale on Amazon, it sounded so intriguing, and I’m really glad now that I got it and decided to read it right away. I just had to write a post about it and am so anxious now to read the next book.

The new series is called Barks & Beans which is also the name of the cafe where customers can get coffee and go hang out with some shelter dogs. The author is Heather Day Gilbert who from what I can tell, isn’t normally a cozy mystery author, but she definitely did a great job with this first entry.

My Goodreads review:

No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery, #1)No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh do I love this new series! Siblings Bo and Macy Hatfield were such awesome characters who definitely used their brains before proceeding into possible danger. Most of the time Macy was very good about keeping her brother in the loop about her investigating until she found out a reason why it was extra dangerous, even to him. I don’t want to give away any of the fun details, but after learning more about the brother and sister duo, I kind of suspected there would be an ongoing story line which was actually a mini cliff hanger, but that makes me all the more anxious to read the next book.

Dogs and a cafe, win-win to me, and it ended up helping the local animal shelter so much that they nearly ran out of dogs to adopt out. I really liked the character of Summer, the girl who ran the shelter and was glad to see that she and Macy hit it off as good friends. Hopefully she’ll get together with Bo. Macy had a couple of possibilities for guys who seemed to like her, so it’ll be interesting to watch that play out in future books. There were some great red herrings, and I hadn’t guessed the killer. The showdown was absolutely awesome with Coal, the Great Dane saving the day. Macy couldn’t have adopted a cooler more intelligent dog!

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Red Hot by Dana Dratch-review

This is the third book in the Red Herring series by Dana Dratch, and I think they just keep getting better and crazier. Some of the stuff that happens to Alex is so nutty, but she always gets her killer.

My Goodreads review:

Red Hot (A Red Herring Mystery Book 3)Red Hot by Dana Dratch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this has been my favorite so far of this series! I loved that it took Alex away from her home turf for a while to Miami, Florida, and that we got to know her sister Annie a lot better. I really like Annie, and she made an excellent sleuth and interrogator. She could question people, and they never realized it. Of course, with Alex’s luck, the trip turned into a murder investigation but not at first. It was more of a “where did the dead woman hide the money she took” investigation. Lucy, Nick’s dog that came along on the girls’ trip was adorable as always. Trip, being the good friend that he was, had managed to snag a writing gig that Alex was able to work on during the time in Florida, and it was going to feature Lucy.

A Vlodnachek vacation wouldn’t be complete without the ENTIRE family. That itself gave a little comic relief due to Baba (Grandma) showing up. I loved the showdown and how everyone worked together to trap the killer. Another favorite character, Gabby, made a good appearance and used her special skills to help with the sleuthing. This series has yet to disappoint me.

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Secrets of the Past review

This is the fifth book in the Whodunit Antiques series written by Shelly West. I’ve read and loved this series from the very beginning, but I think this book has been my favorite so far. Even though there was no murder, there were still some mysteries to be cleared up, and readers even got to meet the enigmatic Mrs. Applebaum. Actually, she was the energetic Mrs. Applebaum even though Abigail thought she looked  lots older than her Granny. She was definitely a character! My suggestion for fully enjoying this series is to start at the beginning. Characters will make more sense to you too, and you’ll get to read about all the past cases that Abigail and Granny have helped solve.

I found the photo of a greyhound (Google search, labeled for reuse) to celebrate James’ adopted dog, Zippy.

My Goodreads review:

Secrets of the Past (Whodunit Antiques #5)Secrets of the Past by Shelly West

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best book yet and answered a lot of family type questions readers have had over the course of the last four books. I even found myself not caring that there was no murder, I was so into the whole story about Abigail’s real father and the hilarious Mrs. Applebaum! I kept hearing about her in the other books and was calling her in my mind “the elusive Mrs. Applebaum” lol. She’s really a hoot just like Granny had told Abigail, and I thought it was really cool how she got to play the part of a sort of fairy godmother for Abigail and Granny. Will we ever find out where she goes when she’s not visting Granny?

There was a super happy ending with appropriate amounts of smiles and tears (yes a little eye-leaking on my part too!). I can’t wait for the next installment!

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

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A Study in Murder review

This is the first book in the Victorian Book Club series by Callie Hutton who’s no stranger to writing, but from her bio I read that this is her first venture into cozy mysteries, technically historical cozy mysteries since this takes place in 1890. All I know is, she certainly entertained me with her sense of humor coming through the characters. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’m not normally a historical cozy reader but occasionally I’ll read one. I was pleasantly surprised by these fun characters, especially William and Amy. I’m definitely up for reading the next book!

My Goodreads review:

A Study in Murder (A Victorian Book Club Mystery #1)A Study in Murder by Callie Hutton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really well-written and plotted, I love the sense of humor and the budding relationship with Amy and William. They made the best sleuthing buddies, and with the little hint of some things yet to come in the next book, I’m definitely going to have to check it out. The killer was a total surprise to me with a quick but efficient showdown where both Amy and William were able to shine.

I loved the idea of Lady Amy being a mystery writer who was incognito and going to book clubs where they were discussing her book that everyone thought was written by a man, because in 1890 women weren’t considered much of anything let alone writers. Amy was a a nice strong personality for that era and more than one time I was cheering her on or sharing eye rolls with her when someone would make a snarky comment. I liked Margaret a lot too. She was more like an older sister than an aunt, because mainly in those days some aunts were stuffy and no fun, lol. Just as the running joke of someone saying “your fiance” followed with Amy saying, “…my EX-fiance” was wearing a little thin, the author did the funniest thing with it toward the end. Just read it, you’ll know when you see it and hopefully laugh as much as I did. I definitely liked this book a lot better than I thought I would when I first started it!

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 Spell for Trouble review

This is the first book by Esme Addison in the new cozy series called Enchanted Bay, and I absolutely loved it! The characters, the setting, just everything including the magical aspect. As we all know from a certain teen wizard’s books and movies, there’s always good and bad magic, so Alex and her cousins had a plateful trying to figure out who was behind framing aunt Lidia for a murder. I can’t wait for the next book! What a fun virtual beach vacation!

My Goodreads review:

A Spell for Trouble (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #1)A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is going to be such an awesome series! I just loved this first book with all the unique magical characters, and I can’t wait to visit with them again. The setting was awesome and I could just picture the gorgeous beaches. I just loved Minka who was probably my favorite character. Alex was a good strong main character and I have some high hopes for her and Jack the police lieutenant.

The killer was a total surprise to me, what a great twist! I love how so many things are possible when it’s a magical world. The story about Alex’s mom seems to be one that might stay around for awhile until it’s completely resolved, but that’s fine. The main mystery was solved, and the side mystery gives us a little something to look forward to.

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 Deadly Inside Scoop review

This is the first book in a brand new series by Abby Collette, who some may recognize as Abby L. Vandiver who writes the Logan Dickerson, Tiny House and Romaine Wilder series. Having not had a chance yet to enjoy these series, I was very happy to get the chance to read this book where I discovered some new favorite characters. Ice cream in winter time? Bring it on! Thanks to Abby herself and Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book from NetGalley!

My Goodreads review:

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 1)A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome first for this new series, and I really love these characters! I think my faves were Maisie and PopPop. It was hilarious to read about Win and Maisie sleuthing together with sensible, non-risk taking Win trying her best to keep Maisie out of trouble. When their other bestie Riya joined in and beat up a guy, sleuthing was just taken to a new level with them. PopPop made a good ice cream shop helper, since he’d founded the place to begin with, but he was also a pretty good snooping partner and drove Win to where he felt like she needed to ask questions.

A few clues toward the end led me to think about guessing who the killer was, and I was on the right track. The showdown was a good one, and PopPop got to help too. I was so happy to see the ice cream shop’s success under Win’s new management and that a sleuth came home for once just because she wanted to be with her family, not to escape some loser guy she’d broken up with or divorced. I’m anxious to see what other adventures Win and her friends and family get into.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. The book releases this Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

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Murder in the Wine Country review

This is the sixth book in the Kelly Jackson series by Janet Finsilver. I remember the first book being one of the first cozies I read and borrowed from Overdrive. The series has continued to be awesome, and I can’t say enough about how I love the Silver Sentinels, the mystery-solving group that adopted Kelly as a member even though she’s quite a bit younger than they are. Book 6 definitely didn’t disappoint and had quite a few exciting scenes.

My Goodreads review:

Murder in the Wine Country (A Kelly Jackson Mystery #6)Murder in the Wine Country by Janet Finsilver

This was one of the most exciting books in the series with several places where I just couldn’t read fast enough to see what happened. Needless to say, reading this book makes a person not want to budge and do anything else. I really enjoyed that Kelly’s boss Michael got a much bigger part in this book than I ever remember from before. His work with the veterans especially those with PTSD was so admirable, and being the nice guy that he was, he never tried to talk up his own achievements.

I had the killer pegged fairly early on, but my reason was completely off. It was really cool how three couples may have been brought together by this whole ordeal. And as always, I just love the seniors who make up the Silver Sentinels, the group that welcomed Kelly into their meetings and enjoyed a good investigation. They definitely had their hands full this time with a murder, missing persons, someone being framed and plant poaching.

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