Purls and Poison–review

This is the tenth book in the Black Sheep Knitting series by Anne Canadeo, or to get a little technical, it’s the second one in the renamed series, Black Sheep & Company, which is now with Kensington Publishing. I’d only read books 1 and 2, but I felt like I knew the characters well enough to read this when the chance came up to get it from NetGalley.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

My Goodreads review:

Purls and Poison (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, #10)Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time because of one of the knitters herself being accused of murdering her co-worker. As the story unfolded, it just seemed like poor Suzanne couldn’t catch a break, because the police were uncovering yet more reasons why they thought she killed Liza.

Liza Devereaux was a major thorn in Suzanne Cavanaugh’s side. She’d always been overly competitive in the real estate market, but stealing a $2 million dollar deal right out from Suzanne’s nose made Suzanne really angry. Not angry enough to kill her, but who did and decided that it would be all fun and games if they framed Suzanne? That’s what her knitter friends were going to find out, because clearly to them the police had no one else in their radar except their good friend. Even though Maggie’s boyfriend was one of the detectives, Maggie didn’t let that stop her from being fiercely loyal to Suzanne. How was Charles going to react to that?

I thought the book ended really great! It had an exciting showdown in which Suzanne showed a lot of bravery. I had one person in mind for the killer the whole time until the reveal. There were plenty of suspects and some red herrings along the way as well.

I haven’t read all the books in the series before this one, but I have read the first two and was very quickly swept into their friendship and knitting circle. By the second book, they were old friends to me, so it was great to go back even though quite a few books had passed, and catch up with them. I do still intend to read all the books in between, but I couldn’t resist requesting this one from NetGalley.

Disclaimer: I read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

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Deadly News–review

This is the first book in a new series called Britton Bay by contemporary romance author, Jody Holford. I kind of wondered what a cozy mystery would be like when written by someone who has only written romance. Well, I was happily surprised that I really liked it! It had just the perfect atmosphere and a really good murder mystery! I could picture this unfolding on Hallmark or maybe Lifetime.

My Goodreads review:

Deadly News (A Britton Bay Mystery Book 1)Deadly News by Jody Holford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an incredibly sweet cozy mystery! It was a different touch to have an experienced contemporary romance writer writing a cozy mystery, but I loved the whole atmosphere that gave the book! Kind of like a Hallmark movie. I’ve only read cozies so far by cozy mystery writers or ones who have written some suspense as well. Maybe the biggest difference for me (and this was definitely a good thing) was that Molly and Sam didn’t bicker with each other like the main sleuth sometimes does with the man she’s falling for but somehow doesn’t think she should or doesn’t think she deserves a guy like that. I like that Molly didn’t want to play the martyr and swear off men for good, even though when she first moved there she said she was going to just work. She realized Sam was nice and way different from her ex. This was a fun treat and I am definitely looking forward to the next book!

Molly Owens was just settling into her new town and sweet little rental home when her grumpy reporter turned up dead–she was the one that found him in his home when he didn’t report to work for the second day in a row. Molly felt responsible for sending the man to interview a local woman from the founding family in town. She thought maybe Vernon had stumbled onto something that got him killed, and she wasn’t going to be satisfied till the real killer was caught.

I absolutely loved the main characters in this book. Alan is just the nicest boss, Elizabeth turned out to be a very sweet co-worker, Sam of course is awesome and Cali is such a character! I wasn’t real impressed with Clay, but I don’t think readers were supposed to be impressed with him. Since Molly had no typical best-friend-of-the-main-character, I loved that Sam was such a good sounding board. Although Bella may prove to be a good friend in future books when Molly needs a friend who’s a girl. The little dog Tigger sounded so adorable too!

This book had all the elements I love in a cozy of great characters, sweet small town, an adorable pet, cops who weren’t grumpy–and a more unique job for the guy interest–Sam is a mechanic, not a cop! 😉 I don’t dislike cop boyfriends, they can come in very handy, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up.

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Murder by the Book–review

This was a fun beginning for the new series Beyond the Page Bookshop Mysteries by Lauren Elliott. It definitely has all the elements I like in a cozy mystery. I’m anxious to read the next book, which I noticed on Amazon comes out in April.

My Goodreads review:

Murder by the Book (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #1)Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fairly complex mystery that took place in one of my favorite places, a bookstore! There was even some international intrigue, possible arts/books/antiquities smuggling and everyone seemed to have secrets in Greyborne Harbor where Addie had just opened her used bookstore, Beyond the Page. It was nice that she was able to make a good friend right away that she could count on, because some of the town merchants didn’t seem to trust her and thought she’d brought crime in from Boston when she came to town.

A couple of murders later, one of which is first blamed on Addie’s new friend Serena, who happens to be the younger sister of handsome detective Marc Chandler, and Addie is filling out a murder board with suspects. Marc seemed incredibly patient with her compared to some detectives in stories I’ve read, but that added to the special cozy factor that he really liked her. I think that now she’s gotten closure on her fiance’s murder, maybe she’ll feel she can move on, since by the end of the book, she and Marc were in a little bit better place as friends.

I’d had an idea of who did it, but honestly didn’t know why, it was just a random thought that turned out to be right. In some places there was quite a bit more description or chatty dialogue than I’m used to, but it didn’t really detract from the mystery and it compelled me to keep reading. I’m definitely interested in reading the next book–there was a little blurb at the end of this one that made it sound really enticing!

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Purrfect Slaying–review

This is the eighth book in the Hazel Hart series. Readers get to visit Cedar Valley at Christmas time when everything is snowy, decorated and magical…until Anthony Ray the cat finds another body. I really love these characters and how they’ve developed over time! I hope this series goes on for a long time.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book which releases December 7, 2018, two days from now.

My Goodreads review:

Purrfect Slaying: A Hazel Hart Cozy Mystery Book EightPurrfect Slaying: A Hazel Hart Cozy Mystery Book Eight by Louise Lynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome Christmas installment for one of my favorite series. I received an ARC from the author that I’m voluntarily reviewing. Release date is December 7.

Hazel found herself crazy busy like everyone at Christmas time, but right off the bat she was taking crime scene photos at the home of an old man who had died, of natural causes for once. But the next two deaths of some local older men have another man scared for his own life. Could he be the murderer or is he guilty of some secret that the other two also shared? Anthony Ray the cat was at the top of his game in this book. Not only can he sniff out bodies, but he can find crucial evidence, point out the bad guys, and he can even help defend his human against said bad guys.

I had a feeling about who did it, but not until later and I wasn’t sure about the whole story anyway, so I had a good time following the mystery as it unraveled into a really cool showdown. Just a tip: if you have an old fruitcake hanging around, it may come in handy some day! 😉

I loved the side story of Colton’s parents coming for a visit. Hazel was all nervous, Colton was overworked and uptight, and Violet was worried that they’d make her come back and live with them. We got to meet Violet’s 9-year-old brother Simon who became fast friends with Esther’s little Ruthie. There was a really fun and cozy Christmas ending!

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. My opinions are my own.

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Mardi Gras Murder–review

This is the fourth book in the Cajun Country series by Ellen Byron, and I absolutely loved it! I didn’t want the book to end, but the showdown came a little before the exact ending of the book, which was spent recapping and telling about everyone having fun at Second Mardi Gras. Tug has fussed about his gumbo recipe the whole time and we get to find out who the grand winner of the trophy was. Nope, not going to tell, you’ll just have to read and find out! 😉 There was a fun side story with Maggie restoring a painting and getting to interact with Bo’s son Xander.

My Goodreads review:

Mardi Gras Murder (Cajun Country Mystery, #4)Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this newest installment in the Cajun Country series! It’s always like going back home to old friends in Pelican, Louisiana when I read one of this series.

This time it’s almost time for Mardi Gras and that has Maggie’s dad Tug immersed in the ever-important gumbo cook-off for the Mardi Gras festival, and perfecting this year’s recipe. A few weeks before, the whole area had been badly flooded and a John Doe was found on the Crozat property. When one of the judges for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras pageant was found dead, actually dying (by, you guessed it, Maggie) there was speculation about whether this death was connected to that of the John Doe.

This case took Pelican’s finest, er well Bo being the finest and Ru being the only other detective that could go, on assignment in NYC since the John Doe suddenly had an identity and was from NYC. Oh, it was so funny when Bo would call Maggie with his day’s happenings. If we thought the Pelican PD didn’t think highly of cousin Ru, let’s just say the NYPD really topped them on that. They couldn’t wait to see him leave, lol. Taking Ru to NYC was like taking a kid to a big toy store! All he could think of was food, more food and Broadway shows.

The mystery pulled in some past history regarding orphans that had arrived in Pelican by train. There were plenty of suspects and since I had no idea of who I suspected, I just enjoyed reading how it all turned out. The showdown was awesome and actually fun. And…just wait until you read the book ending. I gar-an-tee you’ll love it!

I really enjoyed all the teen contestant characters, even Belle who proved that she wasn’t as shallow as some people had thought. The bond between cousins Kaity and Allie was pretty awesome, kind of how close Maggie and her cousin Lia are. They weren’t about to let some pageant ruin their family ties. I liked the other new character of Jayden too. Kaity seemed really taken with him, so I really hope that their characters show up again. Maggie was even on good terms now with Whitney, Bo’s ex who was remarried and not having much luck in the baby-having department, but by the end of the book, there was a great solution for her and hubby Zach. I really didn’t want this book to end!

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A Cold Brew Murder–review

This is the third book in the All-Day Breakfast Cafe by Lena Gregory, one of my many, many favorite authors. These characters (and any in her other series as well) always feel like old friends when I read the latest installment. I’m so anxious now for book 4!

My Goodreads review:

A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery #3)A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another of my favorite series that just keeps getting better. One of the Facebook book clubs I’m in had the first book in this series for our November discussion, and since I’d read the second one this summer, I was in the mood to read this one–especially since I had all the characters and situations fresh in my brain! 😉

When a local guy who was running for mayor was found dead in Trevor’s ice cream shop freezer, Gia had the need to help find the killer despite what her sorta-boyfriend (as she calls him) acting-Captain Hunt Quinn says. He is awfully sweet to her and I loved the awesome scenes they had together! He had his few little moments of jealousy over Trevor, but Gia assured him he had nothing to worry about. I liked the side mysteries as well that centered on Harley and Skyla.

A new character introduced was Skyla who was Willow the cafe waitress’ mom, and she had a secret of her own, as did the gentle homeless man Harley that Gia has kept supplied with dinner since the first book. Harley is such an awesome character. He doesn’t say much, but he sure is always there for his pal Gia. Another character that was somewhat new but introduced in the second book was a retired cook named Cole who was now working for Gia and loving it. He said retirement was boring. Earl (my fave since the first book since he makes me think of Columbo) got more page time as well, since he’s also a helper in the cafe when Gia needs him as well as a regular breakfast customer. A really cool character that I liked from the second book was Cybil, a somewhat mysterious woman who always walked in the woods. Gia became closer friends with her and invited her to the cafe. Cybil was a widow that Gia thought might enjoy meeting Earl, a widower.

Savannah is such a hoot! She’s the perfect bestie and she was determined that she and Gia would get a girls’ getaway. It didn’t quite happen the way she planned, but it was still some good adventure. Gia and Hunt are in a really good place right now. I like how their relationship has been a little slow, sometimes shaky but not stormy. I’m anxiously waiting for the next book!

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A Vintage Death–review

This is the second book in the Keepsake Cove series by Mary Ellen Hughes. I absolutely loved it! As you’ll read in my review below, I definitely wasn’t ready for it to end. There was a good surprise at the end too. A lot of people had secrets in this book, and that always makes for some great sleuthing fun.

My Goodreads review:

A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ohhh this was so good, and I didn’t want it to end! I was wishing I could just hang around a bit longer in Keepsake Cove after the really awesome ending this book had.

It was fall in Keepsake Cove, and all the business owners were decorating and getting ready for all the extra business they hoped that author Lyssa Hammond’s book event would bring them. When a local B&B owner was found stabbed with a pair of antique scissors, his estranged wife Dorothy was the major person of interest. Callie was determined that her friend wasn’t going to go to jail, because she knew Dorothy wouldn’t do something like that.

Callie and Lyssa had become fast friends and did a lot of sleuthing together, which I thought was awesome, since up till now, Callie hadn’t really had a girlfriend close to her age. The showdown was really exciting and the ending was super satisfying. I had read the first book, which I really enjoyed as well, but this could work as a standalone. The main characters are the type that you meet and feel like they’re good friends. This book makes me want to go back and read over the first one, just so I can spend more time in Keepsake Cove while waiting for the next book.

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