Bound by Murder review

This is the third book in the Antique Bookshop Mysteries by Laura Gail Black. These characters and the setting are just about as cozy of a cozy mystery as you’ll find! As you’ll see in my review I didn’t get a chance to read/review the second book but I do intend to go back and read it. I really loved this one and remember liking the first one a lot too! Can’t wait to see how Keith and Jenna’s story continues!

#CrookedLaneBooks  #LauraGailBlack

My Goodreads review:

Bound by Murder (Antique Bookshop Mystery #3)Bound by Murder by Laura Gail Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some reason, I never got around to reading book 2 of this series, but I did read the first book in 2020. Everything as far as characters started coming back to me, and I love how Rita’s taken Jenna under her wing like a mom or big sister. Add Keith to that (they had a few ups and downs in here but nothing that can’t be remedied!) along with a new friend and business owner named Shelby, and you’ve got an unstoppably cozy quartet of friends. I loved how they all talked about the case and supported each other, mainly the ladies since Keith most of the time couldn’t talk about it.

Oh there was the funniest part when the subject of Det. Sutter came up. I know he really had it in for Jenna in the first book, but he was so close to retirement in a couple weeks, he didn’t dare step outta line. It was hilarious what Keith told him he’d make him do if he pulled anything like wrongly accusing people. I’m pretty sure Jenna might want a frow row seat to that if it happened!

Now I really have this need to go back and read the second book because that sweet little Eddy pup stole my heart and I want to know his whole story. The author did a great job of catching readers up but not to the point of being repetitive or letting any spoilers out. If you’ve read neither first or second books, I think you’d enjoy this, although I do recommend at least reading the first book to get a firsthand experience of just what a jerk Sutter was as well as how Keith and Jenna got together and Jenna’s friendship with Rita started. Another great character was Jenna’s employee Mason who’d come a super long way from the first book! He was so cute with the girl Lily he wanted to date!

I started suspecting whodunit eventually and wow what a showdown! Even little Eddy pup got in on it. I can’t wait for the next book, so in the meantime, I’m definitely planning to read that second book!

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

View all my reviews

A Dish to Die For review

This is the twelfth in the long running Key West Food Critic Mysteries series by Lucy Burdette, and it’s always a foodie’s paradise to go visit Hayley and see what she orders and writes about. You can always count on some yummy recipes as well at the back of these books! This book releases tomorrow, August 9 and would make a great beach read if you’ve still got a vacation coming up!

My Goodreads review:

A Dish to Die For (Key West Food Critic Mystery #12)A Dish to Die For by Lucy Burdette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another case for Hayley as she gets used to married life, and poor Nathan was agonizing over his dad being in town. Once we met his dad, I didn’t eventually think he was so bad. I could almost picture him as DiNozzo Sr. only less jovial or joking around. He seemed like an acquired taste, lol, but Hayley’s probably one of the easiest and nicest people to get along with, so I didn’t think he’d have any issues with her. She kinda seemed to charm him a little if that was possible.

I like how Miss Gloria got to help out a little with the sleuthing again and after successfully solving the case of “who killed the rich guy on the beach,” she got some good news at work too. Always a yummy time visiting Key West with Hayley and friends!

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

View all my reviews

In Too Steep review

This is the second book in the Misty Bay Tearoom Mysteries by Kate Kingsbury, author of The Merry Ghost Inn and Pennyfoot Hotel cozy mystery  series. I really like Viv and her team. Their work and off hours camaraderie’s a lot of fun, and that Gracie always cracks me up! She’s always so eager to sleuth, just love that girl! Now I can’t wait for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

In Too Steep (Misty Bay Tearoom #2)In Too Steep by Kate Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m really enjoying this series and the fact that Vivian’s finally coming around to having a more than friendship relationship with Hal. Life’s too short to let a good someone go–now if Jenna would take that advice, she’d make Viv a happy camper!

I got a suspicion when a character was introduced that they might be the perp, and I was actually right. But wow what a twisted journey that little model of the Big Ben took! From one owner to another, how could this innocent decorative piece have gotten involved in a jewel heist? Vivian and her pals were determined to find out.

I like the side story with Hal and how this particular incident seemed to bring him and Viv even closer. And I believe there might be hope for Jenna and Tony too! That showdown was tense, but all ended up well with the right help coming along when needed. I’m eager to read more now that all three ladies seem to be in a good place with possible relationships! This book releases Tuesday, August 6, 2022.

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

I

View all my reviews

A Perilous Pal review

This is the second book in the A Friend for Hire Mysteries by one of my fave authors, Laura Bradford who’s managed to incorporate now two of her older series in this particular book. I always think it’s especially cool when an author does that, and now I’m really hoping a future Friend for Hire book has that road trip in it that Emma and Kim were talking about!

And the other series written by this author that Dottie loves so much is always in the background because it’s the basis of her amateur sleuthing. I enjoy Dottie’s character so much. She’s not a huggy-huggy grandmotherly type, but she’s a fiercely loyal friend who cares about Emma a lot even though she never really comes out and says it. They make an unlikely but still well-matched pair of friends, and I sure love their banter!

You could probably still read and enjoy this without reading the first book, but why deny yourself that fun? I recommend reading it and getting to know the characters, then they’ll feel like old friends!

#BerkleyPublishing  #LauraBradford

My Goodreads review:

A Perilous Pal (Friend for Hire #2)A Perilous Pal by Laura Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved the first book, but I think I like this one even better! It’s so awesome how all of Emma’s clients so far still play an active part in her life, and that she’s come to care about all of them even to the point of being besties with Stephanie. When her newest client was tossed in jail for killing her husband, it didn’t seem like the poor woman had any chance of getting out. But with Dottie and Steph’s sleuthing help, Emma finally gave way to another investigation.

I get such a kick out of sassy senior Dottie! I wanna be her when I’m eighty! I already have the “only reads cozy mysteries” part down, but I’m not real sure I’d make a very good sleuth. Although I did randomly guess whodunit! 😉 I loved the visit with John and Andy and how Emma was trying to matchmake Steph and Andy. I started suspecting something that could end up to be a sweet reunion if it was true…

And Big Max’s character is so awesome! He’s such a sweetheart, and I love that Steph got to meet him this time. Emma’s relationship with Jack was growing, and it was sweet when Scout got to visit with his son Tommy.

This was a mystery full of twists and surprises, and the only thing I was pretty sure of was that Kim wasn’t guilty despite her journal ramblings about ways to kill her husband. It was pretty clever how Emma went about proving whodunit then was safely visiting Kim while the police picked up the perp.

The very ending was just awesome! I absolutely can’t wait for the next book and what might unfold in it!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. If you liked the first book, don’t miss this one which releases next week on July 5.

View all my reviews

A Fatal Booking review

This is the third book in the A Book Lover’s Mysteries series by Victoria Gilbert, who also writes another fave series, The Blue Ridge Library Mysteries. I love how her characters are smart and likable yet realistic. She’s great making you love the good guys and very good at hiding who the baddies are! In either series, I feel like I’m visiting old friends, and I can’t wait for the Book Lover’s series to continue!

#CrookedLaneBooks #VictoriaGilbert

My Goodreads review:

A Fatal Booking (Booklover's B&B Mystery #3)A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It seems like the third book of any newer series, at least to me, is the magical number of after having read the first two books, you really feel a strong connection to the characters because their roles and sometimes secrets are already established. I just felt like this was the book where I was going back to visit some old friends. I absolutely love Ellen’s character and now with Gavin as a possible dating interest for Charlotte, the three seemed unstoppable as far as murder investigations. I really like Amber Johnson too, the detective who’s learned to take things that Charlotte and Ellen tell her very seriously. She’s respectful of them, has a decent appreciation of joking and is never purposely mean. Bookstore owner Julie makes a great bestie for Charlotte since she hears all the good gossip when there’s a case.

With a houseful of suspects and no clear leads, Charlotte was getting as tired as the police were of nothing turning up. Gavin did help a lot once he was back since he had resources he could tap into from his agent’s job. I hadn’t actually suspected the one whodunit, and the showdown was a real nail biter especially for Charlotte and Ellen!

The ending party as they’d done in previous books was fun and wrapped up the case along with a few cool announcements. I can’t wait to read 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.

View all my reviews

Tailing Trouble review

This is the second book in the Furry Friends Mysteries by Laura Scott. I noticed some of the books showing up on the page listed for her name in GR aren’t her titles, so I’ve linked her name to her Amazon profile where you’ll see a nice picture of her and the two cozies along with the romance books she’s actually written.

I loved this book as much as the first one and hope the author and publisher have more in store for us! Gramps cracks me up and needless to say, he’s my favorite character. Roxy the Boxer took a bit of a back seat to boarding guest Standard Poodle Domino, but she should be happy Domino was there at a crucial time or her mommy might not be!

My Goodreads review:

Tailing TroubleTailing Trouble by Laura Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I get to the end of a book and tell myself, “Oh wow, that was so good!” I know I’ve found a winner. I remember doing that same thing at the end of the first book in this series when I read it too. I absolutely just love Gramps’ character! Maybe it’s because I’ve been without my own grandpa for so long that I just devour anything that has to do with an awesome grandpa/granddaughter duo. I had to laugh at different parts when he’d make Ally pick him up, or she’d give in going somewhere knowing he’d find a way to get to wherever it was he wanted to investigate anyway. The running joke of him shouting into his cell phone might seem corny, but it makes me giggle! He should probably just get a bullhorn and stand outside to call to Ally, lol.

I get such a kick out of the widows fawning all over Gramps in a friendly competition for his attention. It’s cute how he’s got a different way he interacts with each of the ladies living at Legacy House, like playing cards with Tillie. I think if I was Ally, I’d be eating every meal I posssibly could there, lol. Harriet definitely knows how to feed her guests and seems to thrive on doing that. And Lydia’s a whiz with her knitting.

The stories about Ally’s clients and their pets are always entertaining, and I found out it pays to read carefully and not just skim these as not being related to the mystery. Sometimes someone who’s a client might end up being someone to pay attention to in the mystery–or a client knows a key player in the mystery. Now Gramps, he just seems to know everyone! 😉

The showdown was really exciting and I loved how Ally got the upperhand, and sweet Domino ended up being a hero. I nearly expected Ally to end up with three dogs by the time this was over, but everything worked out great. As to whether she’ll get to enjoy a nice date with “her detective” as Gramps was so fond of calling him, well I’m just hoping the next book will address all that and he doesn’t get called away!

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

View all my reviews

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door review

This is the second book in the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries series by Maine Clambake author Barbara Ross. I haven’t heard any additional plans for Jane Darrowfield and really hope there’s going to be more. This particular book came out previously as paperback only and exclusive to Barnes & Noble, but now that it’s past that contract, it’s available December 28, 2021 as a Kindle book and paperback on Amazon as well.

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next DoorJane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door by Barbara Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane Darrowfield was on a strange case where her neighbor thought she was going crazy, but Jane’s research showed otherwise. I loved how she went about her research doing both online and some old-fashioned legwork. Jane still reminds me of a twenty-first Jessica Fletcher who I’m pretty sure would’ve embraced all the technology available to her right now. Although I’m not sure being compared to her would make Jane all that happy, lol. I loved it when Jane and Harry got together. They were just so cute!

There were enough suspects that I didn’t really trust anyone except Jane herself and Det. Alvarez. I was suspicious of someone early on, and while my attention was caught by all the other distractions, I was right to be suspicious of the person. The question eventually was whether there was a murder now or not? What happened to this neighbor who thought she was going nuts?

Jane’s discovery led to a good ending as well as a nice little ending for her and Harry. I hope there’re going to be more books in the series, but if not, I feel like this did end in a place I can live with. 🙂 Don’t miss it–the book comes out Tuesday December 28th.

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

View all my reviews

A Plus One for Murder review

This is the first book in a brand new series that releases this coming Tuesday, December 7, 2021. The series is called Friend for Hire Mysteries, and the author is longtime cozy mystery writer Laura Bradford. She has two other cozy series she’s written as Laura Bradford, The Emergency Dessert Squad and Amish Mysteries.

As Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she wrote one of the most beloved and long-running series among cozy readers, the Southern Sewing Circle. I forgot to mention this in my GR review, but I loved, loved loved the nod she gave to that series in this book! She even mentioned a colleague’s series too, since Dottie, the older lady Emma had weekly tea with was a huge cozy mystery fan. I absolutely can’t wait for the next book in this series and want to give a huge shout-out and thanks to @BerkleyPublishing for approving me to read this early copy. I really hope to be able to do the same with the next book.

My Goodreads review:

A Plus One for Murder (A Friend for Hire Mystery #1)A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was excited to see that Laura Bradford was doing another cozy series and even more excited to be approved to read an ARC of it! The book definitely didn’t disappoint. What a cool and different kind of job for main character Emma, being a paid friend to people. I got such a kick out of her clients too especially Big Max, a sweet senior man who was trying to impress a lady by having Emma take him places. I loved how Emma’s friendship with Dottie had grown from what was the start for her new business-except at that time she didn’t realize it. Then eventually, Emma, Stephanie, another client and Dottie made quite the sleuthing trio! And Emma’s sweet dog, Scout always seemed to be pointing out clues to her. I love it when a pet’s just a bit more than a simple pet.

There was a nice assortment of suspects, and I wasn’t expecting the perp to be who it was. The showdown was a good one, and the three sleuths were happy with their work. Deputy Jack, well I don’t think he was too thrilled with their sleuthing, but I could tell he really liked Emma from the beginning especially from his line at the very end. 😉

It was well-written mystery that I’ve always come to expect and know from this author, and now I can’t wait to read more about the characters in the next book! Don’t miss this book which releases Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

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

View all my reviews

Murder, She Edited review

This is the fourth book in the Deadly Edits series by Kaitlyn Dunnett who also writes the Liss MacCrimmon series. I haven’t read any of that series, but I’ve been following this one from the beginning reading the ARCs. I really like Mikki Lincoln’s character. She can be a tough softie, lol. At one point in this book she said she didn’t know if she should be flattered or insulted by the Jessica Fletcher comment Luke made. But I always tend to think of her in the persona of Jess who was a real fave with how tough but sweet she could be, kinda like Mikki! 😉 I’m always eager for the next book to see what Mikki gets herself into.

My Goodreads review:

Murder, She Edited (Deadly Edits, #4)Murder, She Edited by Kaitlyn Dunnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mikki’s always getting into the most interesting predicaments or jobs. When she was told she’d have to find and publish some diaries as specified, it did look like she wasn’t going to have any luck finding them. Fortunately, Mikki has never been anyone’s victim or patsy if she has anything to say about it. I love how her relationship with her cousin Luke has grown, and Luke’s own relationship with Officer Ellen has really been coming along.

The murder in the book was an old one that was unsolved, but leave it to Mikki to dig around until she found out the truth. I was a little surprised to even get that killer fingered after all this time. There was also the problem with her new property being used to store stolen goods and recently burned down. She sniffed out the arsonist as well then celebrated with Luke and Ellen. There’d been a side story of a very annoying woman who kept bugging Mikki after she admitted she was friends with the woman’s favorite author who in reality was Mikki’s friend Lenora. Her crazy stalker problem was taken care of at the end as well. Life with Mikki Lincoln is, well definitely never dull!

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

View all my reviews

Dogged by Death review

This is the first cozy mystery I can see in author Laura Scott’s works as well as being the first book I’ve read by her. I’m loving what I read in this new series called Furry Friends Mysteries, named after main character Ally Winter’s veterinary clinic. Ms. Scott’s written mysteries and romance books, and I think she’s done an amazing job of combining those talents and creating this cozy series. It’s got just the right elements a cozy needs along with a little bit of suspense but not the super scary kind. I just love Ally’s Gramps! He’s such a great character, and I can’t wait to read more about all these characters in the next book. Yep, I have the ARC already for the next book and might be tempted to dig in when I get a little bit better caught up on ARCs.

PS: The various little entries about Ally’s clients bringing their pets in were a lot of fun. I was especially happy that the little dachshund named Lola wasn’t one of the dogs who misbehaved, lol.

My Goodreads review:

Dogged by Death (A Furry Friends Mystery #1)Dogged by Death by Laura Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! It pulled me in from the first page and kept my attention until the very end. Gramps is the most awesome character, and I got such a kick out of how he managed to investigate and get information out of people, especially the women in town, since anyone over 60 was usually swept off their feet by him. Gramps wasn’t a player though and said no one would ever replace his Amelia. The three ladies in the assisted living house with him were such a hoot! They always heard the gossip almost before the police knew about it.

I loved how the story was so smooth and easy to read with natural-sounding conversations and very likable characters. That sweet Boxer Roxy had my heart from the first time she was mentioned! And she played a big part in the showdown (I love it when a pet can do that!). I actually enjoyed hearing about some of the cases Ally took care of. There were quite a few of them, and that made the story flow nicely with mixing those along with Gramps and Ally investigating.

I’m sure Noah and Ally will become lots more than friends eventually, but it’s sweet to see them reconnecting, and he only teased her a couple of times about her old high school nickname, lol. I really was happy about how Ally’s vet practice grew just from a few things she did herself like followup calls. It’ll be interesting to see if Lydia ever gets to work as receptionist in the next book. And I can’t wait to see what Gramps gets into with the next case.

The showdown was awesome, short and effective. I enjoy it a lot more when help or reinforcements come quickly! (less nerve-wracking haha) I’d started suspecting whodunit after the clues started falling in place, so it was just a matter of time as to when Ally had the same person in mind.

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

View all my reviews