Can’t Judge a Book by Its Murder review

When I saw this book on NetGalley and that it took place in a bookshop, I just had to request it to review. It’s set in a fun little town in Mississippi with some great new characters. The book club ladies made me laugh with their sleuthing plans and antics. It was amazing what a former teacher could say to get a favor from a former student who happens to be police chief. 😉 I’m anxious to read more in this series!

Photo was found searching on Google under “licensed for reuse.” This is the book that the ladies were supposed to be discussing but wanted to talk about the murder instead.

My Goodreads review:

Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder (Main Street Book Club Mysteries #1)Can’t Judge a Book By Its Murder by Amy Lillard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really enjoyable bunch of new characters, and I got such a kick out of the book club ladies wanting to do their sleuthing in such a way that Arlo must have felt like she was herding cats trying to keep them under control and out of danger. I liked Arlo and her bestie Chloe. They worked well together at their business, and Arlo was a fierce and faithful friend when Chloe was charged with murder. She was relentless at trying to prove her best friend’s innocence, and I know Chloe and her little boy truly appreciated it. Mads, not so much, but he seemed to have an incredibly large amount of patience with Arlo–possibly because they dated in high school, but maybe because he’s just a nice guy to begin with. I also enjoyed the character of Frances, the seventy-something woman who worked the desk at the police station. She was a great source of info and gossip.

I loved how when Arlo realized who the killer was, she raced to where she needed to be but managed to get Sam to call the police for backup. Both men who liked Arlo were her exes from high school, and for once I’m a little stumped as to which guy I like for her, although I always tend to lean toward the law enforcement officials in a case like this. Not sure why, but I don’t get tired of that theme of the sleuth liking the cop. Sam does seem nice, and he’s well-liked by the book club ladies. I’ll definitely be interested in reading more in this series and visiting this sweet southern town again.

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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Deadly Ride by Jody Holford review

This is the third book in the newer Britton Bay series by Jody Holford, and it’s quickly become a favorite series with a sweet town and familiar, comfortable characters. I like the addition of Sarah who has the art shop in town as Chris’s girlfriend now. I think Sam may have felt like he was being left out, since Sam and Molly are so close. Sam was definitely in his element in this book with the mystery surrounding a car show that his garage was sponsoring. I really hope there’s a Christmas book in store for this series!

(photo found on Google search, courtest of Wikimedia Commons, came up under licensed for reuse).

My Goodreads review:

Deadly Ride (Britton Bay #3)Deadly Ride by Jody Holford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another very sweet installment in one of my favorite new cozy mystery series! I love how Molly and Sam are growing closer in each book, but it doesn’t take anything away from the mystery to hear about their romance. I can definitely handle this type of romance along with my cozy mysteries.

I had a feeling of whodunit, but as usual, I had no idea why other than an obvious reason, which all of the suspects had obvious reasons for wanting the car show co-owner dead. Molly has always been very impulsive and doesn’t do well listening to authority, so it’s a good thing that Chris the detective is also a friend of Sam’s. I think that gives him a higher tolerance of her. Chris did give her a cute birthday gift at the end. I enjoyed the part where Sam went with Molly to stake out Sarah’s art shop. She’d been having some break-ins, but barely anything had gone missing. Sam was so sweet to tag along and not ask a million questions. I’m hoping that before too long we get to hear some wedding bells for these two sleuths!

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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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