An Ale of Two Cities review

This is the second book in Sarah Fox’s Literary Pub series, and I was excited to return to Shady Creek, Vermont when it was almost Christmas. I could just picture the town and all the shops with the snowfall and the Winter Carnival that was underway. The side story about the hockey game was kind of fun. Poor Cordelia, she gave it her best, lol. I’m hoping as the series progresses that Sadie and Grayson get closer. I know that Joey the reporter likes her, but I’ve been Team Grayson since the first book. 😉 I never guessed the killer at all.

My Goodreads review:

An Ale of Two Cities (Literary Pub Mystery #2)An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had really been looking forward to this second book and I was definitely not disappointed! The mystery of the murder was a good one, and I was totally surprised by the killer reveal which was pretty exciting. Thinking about Christmas and wintertime in Vermont was so cool. I’m not a fan of being out in the cold, but looking out at the scenery would be awesome. The town of Shady Creek sounds like an adorable little Hallmark town, especially during Winter Carnival that had an ice sculpture contest.

I just love Aunt Gilda! She’s just what Sadie needed–and who wouldn’t love an aunt like her. Shontelle was the kind of bestie any girl would be glad to have, and the various employees at Inkwell were all good people. The trivia night that Sadie had was fun, and I even caught some cozy mystery name dropping which is always super fun to read about. Hopefully Sadie will eventually think of Grayson as more sweet than annoying, but I think she got a good start in this book by talking about spending Christmas with him. I definitely can’t wait for 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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Invitation Only Murder review

First of all, since I’m writing this on Thanksgiving, I’d like to wish all my readers and friends here in the states a blessed and safe Thanksgiving weekend. Now, on to the book.

This was the twenty-sixth book in the long-running Lucy Stone series by Leslie Stone and it was a pretty exciting one. Set on an island, it reminded me of an Agatha Christie book or a movie where everyone suspected everyone.

#Kensington Publishing was kind enough to provide me with a paperback ARC of the book, and my honest opinions are my own.

My Goodreads review:

Invitation Only Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #26)Invitation Only Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lucy sure had no idea what she was getting into when she volunteered to visit and do a story about a remote island off Tinker’s Cove that was owned by Scott, an eccentric billionaire with paranoia issues. He didn’t believe in any modern conveniences aside from hot water and limited electricity..and he thought everyone was out to get him because he was so rich. When Lucy stumbled onto the dead body of one of Scott’s daughters followed shortly by a mysterious disappearance, she must have felt like she was in the middle of And Then There Were None. I know that I would have thought that! I’m pretty sure that I would have holed up in my room. The whole story had kind of an eerie feeling about that did remind me of reading an Agatha Christie set on an island.

Determined to get to the bottom of the murder and disappearance that she felt sure were connected, Lucy ended up injured, partly by the perp who got away into the woods. There was eventually quite the showdown, since the perp knew that Scott kept a private arsenal of weapons at his disposal. It was survival of the fittest toward the end which definitely kept me on the edge of my chair!

The whole book had more of a suspense feeling and compelled me to keep reading. I liked the twin 8-year-old boys. They weren’t really brats but very smart for their age, and their love of books came in handy for them. If I had been Lucy, I’d have probably kissed the ground when I stepped off the boat and back to Tinker’s Cove! This was a little different than the usual Lucy Stones that I’ve read, but it was a good kind of different and I really enjoyed her adventure on the island.

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A Murderous Tangle review

This is the third book in the renamed series Seaside Knitters Society. It’s basically an extension of the original series and had a different name when publishers were switched–that’s the story I read anyway. Like all the books I’ve read so far in the new series, there’s more than just a murder mystery. It’s a story of people and relationships and sometimes unfolds a little slower than a typical cozy, but I’m used to that formula now and love the cozy feeling that this series brings.

My Goodreads review:

A Murderous TangleA Murderous Tangle by Sally Goldenbaum

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how she does it, but this author always manages to come up with just the perfect knitting situations to create the perfect cozy atmosphere in this series. I’ve really grown to love all these main characters, and yes, even though there are a lot of them, I don’t get confused. I wasn’t sure what to think about their new friend Tess at first, but she eventually fit in with the group.

I eventually guessed who the killer was, and that’s another thing I’ve liked about this series in what I’ve read. Maybe it’s what makes it so peaceful and leaves me thinking about the characters, but it’s a nice break sometimes not to have a main character have a dangerous standoff with the killer. Sometimes the killer is even one of their own and not normally a bad person. I absolutely loved the last scene in the book! It was the perfect cozy Christmas!

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Bookmarked for Murder review

This is the fifth book in the Mystery Bookshop series by one of my favorite cozy authors, V.M. Burns or Valerie as she’s known on social media. I love her Dog Club series as well. This book was another winner, and even though I guessed the killer, that doesn’t mean I didn’t temporarily fall for some of the red herrings. Nana Jo is one of my all-time favorite cozy characters, and she really shone in this book.

My Goodreads review:

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #5)Bookmarked for Murder by V.M. Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam had finally agreed to take a mini vacation from the bookstore and went with her Nana and the other senior sleuths to Chicago. Before they could return home, the guy that Irma was seeing was found dead on the bus. There were plenty of suspects, but somehow I managed to guess the correct one. Of course, as usual, I didn’t know any of the reasoning behind why I picked. It just seemed to be the right person.

The showdown was very exciting…how else would it be with Nana Jo involved? The ending was so heartwarming as everyone was together for the New Year celebration. I loved how Irma was featured in this book, since she always cracks me up, but the attempt on her life wasn’t too funny. I’m enjoying where Frank and Samantha are in their relationship, it’s just very sweet and believable. As always, I’m anxious for the next book in the series!

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Stamped Out review

This is the first book in a brand new series by one of my favorite cozy mystery authors, Tonya Kappes. The series is called Mail Carrier Cozy Mysteries and features a mail carrier in her forties named Bernadette Butler. I just love the front porch ladies, a group of four older friends who wait every day for Bernadette to show up with the mail. They’re always a great source of gossip too! I’m really anxious to read the next book when it’s out. Isn’t the cover adorable? That’s Rowena, Bernadette’s cat and Tonya’s real life kitty who always wins employee of the month.

My Goodreads review:

Stamped Out (A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery #1)Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun cozy and a different occupation for the main character. It had everything I’ve come to love about this author’s books…great small town in Kentucky, nosy but caring neighbors and just the whole family thing going on. Bernie was in her forties, so that made for a little change of pace too. I loved how everything turned out for her, Mac and her friends. I had definitely not guessed the killer, and the showdown was quick but exciting. It was great how Bernie was able to think of what she did to disable the killer, despite the obviousness of being with a killer and what was going on at that moment (which is something I won’t spoil).

I think Vince and Harriette were my favorites on Bernadette’s route. I hope that Vince and Bernie team up again in upcoming books. I think it was awesome how he used his skills after being retired, and he made quite the sleuth. I won’t give away some of the background stories because they’re just fun. Harriette cracked me up how she’d always appear when Bernadette thought she was sneaking quietly around investigating. I’m really anxious for the next book! I think the series is going to be another winner for this author!

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Apple Cider Slaying review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Cider Shop Mysteries by Julie Anne Lindsey who also has written as Julie Chase, Jacqueline Frost (The Christmas Tree Farm mysteries) and Bree Baker, the Seaside Cafe series. I really love everything I’ve read by her, and this book was definitely no exception to that. The characters were amazing, and I was drawn in right from the start.

My Goodreads review:

Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery #1)Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a such an awesome beginning for a new series! I just love the characters of Winnie, Granny, Dot and Colton! What’s not to love about Granny, a feisty lady who’s not afraid to protect herself, and Dot is just an amazing best friend. I was happy to see that Winnie and Colton eventually hit it off and will be interested in seeing their friendship and hopefully more develop. I could tell that he was interested in Winnie, since he seemed to have incredible patience with her investigating.

I loved how everything came together by Christmas. I definitely hadn’t guessed the killer and was fairly surprised at who it was. It was really cool how a little ginger kitten helped save the day! Maybe Dolly was giving back to her new owner for adopting her! 😉 I’m super anxious now for the next book in the series, but was happy that this was set at Christmas and came out just now.

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Three Widows and a Corpse review

This is the third book in the Food Blogger series by Debra Sennefelder who used to be a food blogger herself. It’s quickly become a new favorite series of mine, and I was happy to return for a late summer visit to Jefferson, CT and visit with some of my favorite cozy characters. Drew always cracks me up! He’s like Hope’s pesky little brother, but he’s really a true friend, and she’s one to him as well. Hope and Claire got some sister moments in. I won’t spoil the second book if you haven’t read it, but Claire had an epiphany about her career future.

My Goodreads review:

Three Widows and a CorpseThree Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stumbling onto another dead body again put Hope in the cross hairs of a killer, but she wasn’t going to let that or Det. Reid stop her from investigating. The case was a crazy one with three women claiming to be the dead guy’s wives. I liked the side story of Claire coming to a decision about a new career path and Hope attempting to help guide her. But like all sisters, they usually managed to disagree where good sense was concerned sometimes. It’s a good thing that Claire was at Hope’s house at the particular time she was though!

Another enjoyable side story was Hope’s assignment working at a magazine that was collaborating with her blog. There was a definite connection to the case though. I love that Hope and Ethan’s relationship has grown and gotten better, and even though he stayed fairly busy with the investigation in this book, he took time out to come and see her. Since this book has it heading toward Labor Day and fall, I’m really hoping to see a Christmas season book out next. I have no idea what the next book in the author’s mind is, but I’d sure love it if it was a Thanksgiving-into-Christmas and covered both seasons. I could picture Hope doing some pretty awesome Christmas trees in her old house!

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