The Game Is a Footnote review

Happy 2023 to all! Glad to be back with my first review of 2023, the eighth book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries by Vicki Delany (aka Eva Gates who writes Lighthouse Library series.) This one was a fun puzzler for sure! Gemma got her sleuthing game on and even got a little assistance from her visiting sister. There were some crazy and seemingly unexplainable things going on at the museum, so grab the book when it’s released this coming Tuesday and enjoy!

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My Goodreads review:

The Game Is a Footnote (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #8)The Game Is a Footnote by Vicki Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Readers who enjoyed the spooky-ish elements in this author’s Lighthouse Library series she writes as Eva Gates will love the idea of a haunted museum…or is it haunted by a flesh and blood perp? I also loved the little nod to the Lighthouse Library given in the text of the book–see if you can spot it!

Gemma sure had her hands full with Jayne’s mom begging her to help out with the supposed haunting and ever-patient Gemma went along with it while attempting to explain she wasn’t a ghost chaser. When an innocent bystander was killer, it was pretty clear that someone was trying to get rid of the museum people, and Gemma’s always-inquisitive mind wouldn’t rest until it was solved. I enjoyed how Gemma’s sister somehow got involved in the case and the fun innuendos around who her esteemed boss was. It was a sweet nod.

There was a good side story featuring Gemma’s shop assistant Ashleigh which slightly tied in with the main mystery. I liked the outcome and how Ashleigh handled things. I wasn’t too surprised at the whodunit for the main mystery and as always, explanations were shared with friends and food, a super fun way to end the story.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Streetcar Named Murder review

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series called A New Orleans Mystery by T.G. Herren, a new-to-me author. I enjoyed meeting Valerie and her two besties, one of which was crazy, the fun kinda crazy though. That was Lorna who’d pretty much say or do anything to help someone out, and boy was she good at telling people how it was gonna be, lol. But in a nice way, of course. I think Valerie would’ve loved her friend’s gift of schmooze! 

My Goodreads review:

A Streetcar Named Murder (A New Orleans Mystery, #1)A Streetcar Named Murder by T.G. Herren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked the whole premise of Valerie inheriting a business and not having known her husband’s uncle and I liked the key characters a lot. Her friend Lorna cracked me up! Who wouldn’t love a bestie like her, right? Dee was a good character too and she made for a nice workplace companion for Valerie. Val’s sons were such characters, they were so funny in places.

I did feel in parts of the book that it got overly wordy and maybe a bit too descriptive of past events to the point that I had to hunt for the dialogue that was presently going on. Then I found a few name discrepancies and minor plot discrepancies, none of which I made a note of and none of which terribly affected the outcome or my enjoyment. But it’s something I felt I needed to point out. Maybe it was just to set the tone for this first book and give tons of backstory. The description of the town and shops was just about right, and I could almost feel like I was right there in NOLA. And that’s my favorite way to travel, by reading. 🙂

I was right about something that turned out to be a good plot twist. There were a few people I didn’t want to be the killer, so I was happy at that outcome but the person I guessed wasn’t right. That was one hairy showdown with Lorna right there in the thick of it with Val, so they both succeeded in outsmarting the perp. The book releases Dec. 6, 2022.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.



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Death in the Margins review

This is the seventh book in the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries by Victoria Gilbert, and I’ve loved this series since its very beginning. Amy and Richard getting married a couple books ago just sweetened the whole thing even more. These characters are like going back home and hanging with friends.

I was thrilled when I first found out there’d be a book 8 and 9. I tracked that post down so I could leave you guys a link to it. Anyone who follows the author probably knows this, but her blog’s article called New Book News is linked to that little announcement so you can read it at her own blog and sign up for updates.

My Goodreads review:

Death in the Margins (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, #7)Death in the Margins by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was definitely a mystery with lots of twists and turns along with some good action. Richard even got in on the showdown with Amy, and not from the standpoint he’s usually at which is with the reinforcements coming to assist said showdown. He was in the thick of it right along with her. And he’ll have even more of a reason to worry about her sleuthing in the near future. 😉

I was never really sure whodunit and kept changing my mind. I didn’t trust any of those suspects, lol. After a couple incidents that Amy took as a personal threat, she could tell she was getting close. That was one exciting showdown that was fairly lengthy but I couldn’t read fast enough! A gorgeous horse got to be the hero (I LOVE when that happens!) and got some sweet revenge along with it. You’ll find out what all that means when you read this latest installment in the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries. I’m super happy that the author was contracted to do books 8 and 9! Yay, more time with Amy, Richard, Aunt Lydia and all these people I call my book friends in Taylorsford, Virginia. Don’t miss this book coming out on December 6, 2022!

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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Dead Men Don’t Decorate review

This is the first of a brand new series called Old Town Antiques Mysteries by Cordy Abbott who some may know she’s also Lane Stone, cozy mystery author of the Pet Palace Mysteries from a few years ago. I didn’t feel quite like I was breaking in a brand new author because I really loved the Pet Palace series and found this one to be just as description, pet and detail driven. I’m hoping there’ll be more in this series–there’s so much that could happen with these friends!

My Goodreads review:

Dead Men Don’t Decorate (Old Town Antiques Mystery #1)Dead Men Don’t Decorate by Cordy Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew when I found out that Cordy Abbott is really Lane Stone whose books I read in the Pet Palace series that I’d like this book, and there’d be plenty of cute dogs and great local descriptions. I wasn’t wrong, and I enjoyed both a lot. The shout out to the Pet Palace was cool and all I could think was “Yay for Sue, she’s expanded into another location.” lol.

Camille and Opal are a good match in friends. Opal’s crazy and outspoken sometimes but she pairs well with her buddy’s quieter nature. I wish things could’ve worked out for Camille and Brennan though since Opal’s got her David. But maybe it’ll happen in another book because the ending did sound hopeful in that regard.

Boy was that one exciting showdown! I’d sorta guessed whodunit or had a good idea of it. Camille really had to keep her head about her but luckily Rizzoli (unluckily for her since Rizzoli was a rambunctious puppy!) was along and sniffed out her missing daddy. What followed was some great action with a good dose of tenseness, but with some teamwork, the perp was caught.

Once everything was solved, it was easy to relax and know that some of the characters I wondered about could definitely be trusted. I really hope there’s another book coming soon because there’d seem to be no end to mysteries you could find in an antique shop! And I loved the budding romance between Paul and Pepper as well as Janie and Nick. I’ll be curious to see if little Rizzoli girl ever gets some puppy training!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Death on a Deadline review

This is the second book in the Homefront News Mysteries by Joyce St. Anthony, better known to cozy mystery fans as Joyce Tremel who wrote the three-book Brewing Trouble Mysteries. This is probably the only historical mystery I can honestly say I enjoy reading. I’m not sure why I haven’t enjoyed others but maybe it’s because 1942 is modern enough that people don’t seem that much different or uppity like they can seem when it’s the 1800s. It’s like a very grown-up Nancy Drew if you ever read the ones from the 1940s, and surprisingly I don’t miss the characters being able to use their phones to research suspects, etc. Or sometimes it’s actually fun to imagine what they’d have done with tech back then and how differently things could turn out. They seemed to do just fine though when what they had at the time was all they knew.

I’m really hoping for more books in the series so we can welcome home everyone from the war especially Bill and Pete!

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My Goodreads review:

Death on a Deadline (A Homefront News Mystery Book 2)Death on a Deadline by Joyce St. Anthony
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I fell in love with this series with the first book and was eager to get into the second one which was set in summer during fair time when the rally was on to buy war bonds. Since they didn’t have any huge name stars coming, they did get a few what we might call B or C listers now. When one of said stars was found dead, the obvious thoughts were that one of their own did him in. The guy had lotsa secrets he was keeping and what’s this…he was blackmailing for some of those secrets.

There were plenty of suspects although one of those I never really considered as a suspect, but I did keep wavering on which of the others was the killer. The person whodunit was on my list though. I loved the showdown and what Irene was able to do to the perp. They had the whole story explained by Walt eventually or at least the parts they didn’t all already know. I get a kick out of Peggy and Irene sleuthing, but it was fun that crazy Sylvia from the first book was included too. She was always a hoot! One of her particular talents was really useful for this case.

I’m not sure how many more books are planned but the war went on plenty long enough for maybe a few more. I’d love to see Bill and Irene’s Pop get home! The story about the hometown boy shot down in the battle of Midway was pretty sad especially when his good friend (one of the stars, another hometown guy) gave a little memorial speech about him at a bond rally. Hoping for a next book to look forward to!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Canter With a Killer review

This is the first book in a brand new series, A Horse Rescue Mystery by new cozy mystery author Amber Camp who as you can see from her Amazon page (which I linked because it’s way more interesting than the one GR has for her– she’s in a picture with her horse) loves horses and all kinds of creatures just like her main character and works as a nurse like Mal did as well. She’s definitely writing what she knows about and loves, which is evident when you read this book. After the very sweet ending of this book, I’m eager for the next one!

Since Biscuit the donkey was a hero of sorts, I just had to search out a cute donkey image for this post.

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My Goodreads review:

Canter With a Killer (A Horse Rescue Mystery, #1)Canter With a Killer by Amber Camp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun start for a new series by a new cozy author! I loved the idea of a horse farm and rescue. I’ve never actually been around horses but I sure like them a lot (especially my niece’s awesome horse,) so to me, it’s a unique job for a main character for a little change-up. Mal was a good main character and seems to have come a long way since her divorce. I was proud of how she didn’t take any lip from one of the business owners who’d been said to be spreading rumors that she was who killed her grouchy neighbor.

I really liked Mallory’s bestie Lanie a lot, what a hoot! She and hubby Bill were two of the nicest people, and anyone would be proud to call those two friends! Bill was such a big ole teddy bear and so sweet to back Mal in her quest for doing business with someone who didn’t think she was a killer. Mal’s two college-age volunteers were just the best in what they did. I can totally see how Ashley and Tanner filled the void in Mal’s life that her daughter occupied when she was home. It’ll be interesting to see Mal and Ginny work together when Ginny completes her vet degree.

I hadn’t honestly suspected whodunit but it was a different twist for sure. What a great showdown, go Biscuit, you cute li’l bodyguard donkey! I loved the very ending and now I’m eager for more in the series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Crime for the Books review

This is the third book in the Jane Doe Book Club Mysteries by Kate Young, and I especially liked this mystery since it was fun Halloween month reading. I’ve always loved Lyla’s Gran’s character! She’s such a hoot and a real force to be reckoned with. It’s so cool how she always seems to know just when Lyla needs her around. I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next book in the series!

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My Goodreads review:

Crime for the Books (Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #3)Crime for the Books by Kate Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was crazy good with its combo of Halloween creepy and a twisty, compelling murder mystery. At times I wasn’t sure who to trust, but there were definitely a couple people on my radar, and I was right about one of them. When it got to be over halfway through the book, I couldn’t read quick enough as the clues and theories started coming fast and furious.

I absolutely love it when a group of friends orchestrates a trap with the police, so to me, this showdown was pretty darn epic. And who doesn’t love it when a wily killer gets bested right? And busted too. 😉

The dynamics of the book club ladies and their camaraderie is just awesome. There’s really nothing these girls wouldn’t do for each other since they all feel like sisters who can discuss or do anything. From commiserating over breakups to breaking down a killer to confessing, these ladies were unstoppable! The side story of Amelia and her hubby adopting a little girl was so sweet! I liked the fast-forward at the very end to include their new addition as well as a super comprehensive wrap-up of the case. Can’t wait for the next installment!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Live and Let Grind review

This is the third book in the super fun A Coffee Lover’s Mystery series by Tara Lush. By this third book, I’m really enjoying and getting to know these characters even better and see how Lana and her friends all connect as a team and friends. I liked the addition of a new friend in this book and hope she visits again in the upcoming books. I’m eager to read the next book when it comes out, probably in about a year.

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My Goodreads review:

Live and Let Grind (A Coffee Lover's Mystery #3)Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was so good in so many ways! It’s funny to the point of hilarious at some points, then it’s just sweet in other places. The mystery was a super good one and while there was someone I hoped was guilty and someone I hoped wasn’t, I’m not sure I was ever 100% sure until the showdown. Lana and Joey zooming off on a jet ski just cracked me up! These friends were unstoppable when it came to proving their buddy Erica’s innocence. If a person ever needed to be proven innocent of something, they’d definitely want a friend like Lana!

I got the biggest kick out of Lana’s hippie dad, but when he’s not off on one of his crazy missions or agendas, he’s an awesome dad and café worker. Lana’s done a lot of growing and maturing since the first book and since she’s such a workaholic, I was happy to see her finally come across something she enjoyed doing just for the fun of it as you’ll see at the end. I loved how everything was explained at the end. I never feel like there’s a loose thread in this series. It’s all always really well-explained. Can’t wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley and my opinions are my own.

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Kill Them with Canvas review

This is the second book in the Paint by Murder series by Bailee Abbott, another pen name for Kathryn Long who wrote the 2-book cozy mystery Sierra Pines B&B series along with other mysteries. I haven’t read either in that series, but I’ve liked both books in this one so far and thought this second book really made a fun Halloween time read. There was even a spooky local legend, lol. I liked the direction this book ended in so I’m eager for the next in series!

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My Goodreads review:

Kill Them With Canvas (A Paint by Murder Mystery #2)Kill Them With Canvas by Bailee Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Halloween and its ghost tales were scary enough, but the scariest thing for Chloe and Izzie was the idea of their aunt getting hauled back to jail for murder, so the girls knew they needed to sleuth this one out just like last time. I love little Max whose sniffer comes in handy sometimes for finding evidence. He ended up with a sweet little houseguest, but since said houseguest had an owner, he had to go back eventually. But sometimes with cute dogs come handsome owners…for unattached sisters, as I could tell Chloe’s brain was working toward. It did help that Izzie seemed to be interested!

During the case itself, Chloe did seem to be getting closer to Hunter like she wanted to. She’s just kinda scared to commit but he seems like a sweetheart who’s willing to take things slow if needed–and he’s there for her a lot more than Ross had time for. I was proud of Chloe for finally telling Ross how it was gonna be now. Ross wasn’t an awful person or anything and his attorney skills definitely came in handy for Constance’s case, but Chloe already knew life with him was fairly lonely since he worked so much. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Chloe and Hunter in the next book!

There were lots of good red herrings as far as suspects went, but I kept going between two of them and I don’t think I was ever sure who I picked, so I just enjoyed the showdown and reveal. Aunt Constance was safe from any prison threat now, and Hunter was just happy Chloe was safe from any killer lurking around. A crazy case and a fun lakefront Halloween celebration made for the perfect read for this time of year.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Christmas Candy Killing review

This is the first book in a brand new series, Killer Chocolate Mysteries by new cozy author Christina Romeril. She’s definitely got the right idea of what a cozy mystery’s all about, and I really loved her first offering. Her descriptions really made it feel like Christmas! I was pulled in from the beginning and really enjoyed all the different characters in the town that made up the interesting village of Harriston, Montana. I can’t wait for the next book now!

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My Goodreads review:

A Christmas Candy KillingA Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a fun Christmas read! I’m a summer fan who’s simply ready for Christmas once summer’s all over. I could ideally skip fall aka allergy season lol, and this helped put me in a good Christmas mood. I really liked these sisters who were different enough but still enjoyed sleuthing together, although it was usually Alex doing the legwork since Hanna was the chocolate maker and felt she needed to stay put. The people making up their circle of friends were just so awesome it made me wish I could be friends with them too, like Maggie and Drew, bless his li’l hypochondriac heart anyway lol. The store was so cool too with the poison-named chocolates and the bookstore selling just mysteries.

That sweet doggie Miss Watson reminded me so much of the adorable boy who looked just like a Staffordshire that we fed over Labor Day, and her adoption story was similar. (Happy ending: the dog we helped has his forever home with someone now). Watson was super gentle but boy, when Alex needed her in action, Watson made her proud!

I’d sorta suspected someone from when clues just started to click, but it was definitely before Alex had the idea. She and Watson were holding their own in the showdown, but the help from a couple friends was very appreciated too. Hopefully one of said friends might be thinking in terms of being more than friends with Alex.

And the end was a little bit funny and a little bit sad for Duncan who’d broken up with Hanna a while back but still liked hanging out with her. He realized he might not be the only guy interested in her now! And a refreshing change from the MC getting a triangle–I think I could handle it better for a secondary character. I’m definitely eager to read the next book which does have a GR title listing only, but I’m waiting until there’s a cover picture to add it to my WTR. I’m just weird like that lol. Don’t miss this awesome embodiment of all things expected in a cozy mystery when it releases October 11!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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