Mint Chocolate Murder review

This is the second book in the Ice Cream Shop Mysteries by Meri Allen, probably better known as Shari Randall of the Lobster Shack Mysteries. I’m definitely liking this series as much as I did the Lobster Shack. Shari/Meri’s got a real knack for some fun characters! I really liked Maud a lot and didn’t think she was the typical diva since she was gracious enough to hire Riley and let her use her pass to jog at the castle grounds whenever she wanted.

I love how Shari was inspired by the real Gillette Castle located in Connecticut to make a castle part of this book. She told about that in one of her newsletters that you can sign up for. You can see how to sign up for said newsletter along with an outside picture of Gillette Castle on her Meri Allen Facebook page. I happened to find a picture of the interior of it at Wikimedia Commons, and I gotta say it’s pretty much the way I pictured it as I read! Can’t wait for the next book!

#St.MartinsPaperbacks #MeriAllen

My Goodreads review:

 Mint Chocolate Murder (Ice Cream Shop Mystery,#2)Mint Chocolate Murder by Meri Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was fun spending time again in Penniman, CT with Riley and all her ice cream crew and friends. I’d forgotten what a stinker that cat of Caroline’s was, but someone in this story managed to tame the beast or at least make her more tolerable, lol. There were sure plenty of suspects, so I honestly never settled on just one but had random reasons myself for different people.

I really enjoy the Fairweather sisters’ characters! They’re both so different but I like both these ladies who’re fun and crazy in their own ways. Vye was an interesting character introduced and I did find myself hoping she’d stick around town, although you’ll have to read for yourself to see if she did!

The castle setting was so cool with all its rooms and creepiness but not super creepy since Maud was trying her best to get it looking nice again. From reading the author’s newsletter, I know there’s a castle in Connecticut she based this from and of course added some extra fun of her own to it. But it was totally picturable. Now I wouldn’t mind going to see that castle she used for inspiration!

I loved how Riley came to the answer she did and the showdown was as Flo put it, very worth of a Mission Impossible movie! The ending was just so very Riley and now I’m eager to see what happens next! This book releases tomorrow, July 26, 2022.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by St. Martin’s Paperbacks via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Poisonous Page review

This is the second book in the Sweet Fiction Bookshop Mysteries by Kitt Crowe, the pen name of Marie Harte who looks to be a romance author under that name. I’m glad she started writing cozies or I’d have never gotten to know her sense of humor and what fun characters she weaves. I absolutely love Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Elvis! They always crack me up and now that Elvis joined the Macaroons Murder Club, er I mean, Book Club, he’s having to actually do some reading. Well maybe not regular books, but they did accept his suggestion of a comic surprisingly well!

A Poisonous Page (Sweet Fiction Bookshop #2)A Poisonous Page by Kitt Crowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’d been a year since I read the first in this series, but it didn’t take long to catch up with all the hilarious antics and snarky comments/zingers these characters exchange on a regular basis. I love the author’s sense of humor, and that sweet Cookie dog! OMG I just wanted to hug her like crazy. Chad even sorta made friends with her by letting her be involved in a kids’ police safety event.

Boy this was one involved mystery! It was sometimes hard to keep track of who was with what person and when, but I got the general idea. I really didn’t zero in on one specific person but holy cow, at the end I was telling Lexi NOT to go somewhere! I’m totally Team Chad for her and hopefully she’ll realize he’s not really the jerk she thinks he is. Sometimes Lexi herself could be a real jerk to him too, so I felt bad for the guy. Cat and Teri crack me up wanting all the crazy details as every good bestie would, lol. And sweet Abe’s a heck of a lot nice neighbor to Lexi than his grumpy dad who got offed in the first book.

I loved that the whole book club got involved trying to solve the case and it was too funny how they hurried to hide their murder board whenever Chad came around. That showdown was wild, hilarious and super tense! All was explained in the end though, and now I’m eager to see what all these fun and crazy characters find themselves involved in by the time the next book comes out!

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

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A Midsummer Night’s Fudge review

This is the tenth book in the Candy-Coated Mysteries by Nancy Coco and one of the series I always make sure I’m up to date on. If I had time to reread, this series would definitely be one of those I’d read again. It’s just so much fun reading about the real places my family and I visited on Mackinac–and it’s awesome to read the author’s notes about the real places or names she sometimes uses.

My Goodreads review:

A Midsummer Night's Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery Book 10)A Midsummer Night’s Fudge by Nancy CoCo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Allie and her senior friends (yep, she’s got her own posse much to Rex’s dismay lol) had a tough case and as the bodies started piling up with no answers in sight, even Rex and crew might’ve been willing to admit they needed help. Well, never out loud. 😉 I loved how Allie had to ride herd on Carol and Irma, her senior center friends, and it was so funny to hear her telling them the exact same things Rex was always trying to drill into her brain: don’t go out alone when there’s a killer loose! I’ve always liked Carol’s character ever since she became more of a constant in the story line and sleuthing helper along with Irma, her power walking buddy. Allie figured by keeping an eye on the seniors, it was the perfect excuse to go snooping!

I actually had the killer picked out pretty early, stuck with my choice, and I was happy to find out I was right for once! There wasn’t anything in particular early on that made me choose this person, kinda a sheer dumb luck thing, lol.

At least Rex and Allie were at a stage now where he wasn’t always getting on her case, and when he did he was gentler about it–and she didn’t get all defensive like she did in the past. She’s always gonna be Allie and do impulsive and uh yeah sometimes stupid things, but she seems to have more lives than a cat right now since this is the tenth book. Gotta love her for who she is and how much she loves her friends that’re really her adopted island family.

Being the tenth book, there’s been an ongoing theme about where Allie usually ends up tossed by the killer, and I had to giggle when she commented on it in the narrative because I’d just had that same idea!

I haven’t read the teaser chapter at the end, but I’m always eager to do that and keep it as a little treat for when I’m completely done. Even sight unseen, I’m always ready for the next book! Mackinac Island is one of my fave places to visit and I can’t wait to go back both physically and via this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. Don’t miss this book when it releases next Tuesday, May 24, 2022!

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Poppy Harmon and the Backstabbing Bachelor review

This is the fourth book in the Desert Flower Mysteries by another fave author, Lee Hollis aka brother/sister team of Rick Copp and Holly Simason. I just love Poppy and her investigator friends, and that Wyatt just cracks me up with how smart and helpful he is. He sure doesn’t mind working for his grandma and her friends as their ace information-digger-outer. Matt’s character’s just so awesome and I can tell he loves Poppy like he would his own mother. He’s fiercely protective of all the ladies even though they really don’t need it. I think they let him think they do sometimes. In the first book I remember not liking Matt much, but now I’d be just as upset as Poppy and her friends would if he left Desert Flowers.

#KensingtonCozies #LeeHollis

My Goodreads review:

Poppy Harmon and the Backstabbing Bachelor (A Desert Flowers Mystery #4)Poppy Harmon and the Backstabbing Bachelor by Lee Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Poppy and her Desert Flowers friends brought down a ring that was scamming seniors, but Poppy was gonna need to watch her back after the perp yelled threats at her. After a couple near misses, Poppy and the police came up wit a pretty awesome scheme.

With Matt out of the country, the ladies were doing pretty well on their own as far as senior citizens wanting to hire them. He might’ve been the handsome face like Charlie being the man behind the Angels, but these ladies didn’t need anyone to take care of them, lol. Although as their friend and coworker, I think they missed him a lot! He was practically like a son to Poppy, but she’d always told him not to let their little acting gig (where he pretends to be the lead investigator) take precedence over a movie if he could get in one. Poppy got to test out her disguise and acting skills while Matt went on a reality show to flush out a killer.

Boy what a showdown with Poppy not having much time to think about whether she was brave or not. She just had to do something quickly for someone she loved. Finally the annoying killer was hauled away, and Poppy could have her stalker-free sanity back while enjoying some time with her sweet guy Sam.

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Antique Auctions Are Murder review

This is the seventh book in the Poppy McAllister Mysteries by Libby Klein, and it’s always the most fun I ever have reading about some characters and enjoying a good laugh or twenty. I absolutely love Aunt Ginny and her group of friends fondly known as the biddies in Poppy’s mind. I’m sure she feels like she’s trying to herd cats while attempting to keep those ladies out of trouble. And speaking of herding cats, Fig had his share of issues this time. If you remember last time, he had little kitty heart broken by a female cat. Now there’re two female cats visiting, and the poor guy’s constantly having to deal with that. Just part of the three-ring circus known as life at the B&B!

#KensingtonCozies #NetGalley

My Goodreads review:

Antique Auctions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #7)Antique Auctions Are Murder by Libby Klein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, Aunt Ginny and her band of biddies (yes, they don’t mind Poppy thinking of them like that) were in top form in this book. I laughed so many times I lost track of it. The murder of the nephew of one of the ladies, Thelma was the focus of this book. Although it was interesting how the book opened, and how that scene eventually tied back to something in the mystery.

Poppy’s old nemesis Joanne who now works for the B&B hasn’t lost any of her snark and I can’t say or imagine I’ll ever warm up to her (part of her charm, right?), but it did surprise me when she and Poppy did a little sleuthing together. They actually could get along for that long, lol. Poppy’s always the bigger person letting Joanne’s snark slide right off her. After an incident with Victory and a frog, Poppy had some new ammo to use against Joanne if needed. 😉 Speaking of snark, Amber was almost pitiable with her tough new partner. The woman wouldn’t let her have a moment’s peace and was especially interested in how Poppy figured into so many previous murder cases.

I hadn’t guessed the killer since that whole family involved was so dysfunctional and weird, you just never knew who’d do what next. I’m glad the showdown was a bit calmer, and even Joanne was able to help by calling 911.

Oh and I have to mention how Georgina’s stay at the B&B added so much to the comic factor! Ginny just loved making her the butt of jokes, but Georgina gave plenty of reason for that. Lots of laughs to be had at those scenes! And Victory was, well she’s Victory so just imagine her with a sunburn.

While the rest of their world always seemed upside-down during a murder case, at least now Poppy had the stability of knowing Gia was there for her if she needed him. Now if they could only get some alone time! Don’t miss out on the most fun you’ll ever have reading a murder mystery!

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

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A Murder Like No Author review

This is the third book in the Main Street Book Club by Amy Lillard, and each one keeps getting better! Arlo’s senior friends Helen, Fern and Camille always crack me up! I’m sure Arlo feels like their handler at most times, especially when Mads the police chief specifically calls her to come and control them, lol. But the ladies are so full of life and ideas, they just can’t help themselves. I’m always eager to read the newest book and see what they get into next!

My Goodreads review:

A Murder Like No Author (Main Street Book Club Mysteries 3)A Murder Like No Author by Amy Lillard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s always an interesting trip to Sugar Springs, MS to visit with Arlo and her friends. If you ever wondered what it was like to herd cats or toddlers, follow Arlo around town as she tries to ride herd on her three favorite older ladies. I can tell she loves them all like surrogate grandmas, but sometimes they do try her patience, lol. But always in a good way. They’re sharp as can be and can be quite intimidating with their smartphones, cookies and “the look” that only a grandma-like lady can give! I just love those ladies and as a collective unit, they’re such a hoot, especially that Fern!

This time they were all over the murder that took place at the theater where the movie was premiering. I won’t rehash the plot, since you can read that in the blurb. There was a side mystery along with the murder which became solved in a twist toward the end. I hadn’t guessed the killer, and the showdown was a good one.

You can definitely read this book by itself since the author does a very good job of recapping the previous stories. But you might want to start from the first book because sometimes things are mentioned that might be a little confusing otherwise…and you’ll understand more about why there’s a movie premiere and what that book was all about.

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

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Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury review

This is the second book in the newer Desert Flowers series by Lee Hollis. Lee Hollis is the pen name for brother/sister team Rick Copp and Holly Simason. The first series that they did is the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails series, which I also love. There’s a third series called Maya and Sandra Mystery series. I have the book “Murder at the PTA” but unfortunately haven’t read it yet. I hope to do that soon, because I love their writing.

Poppy and her friends along with Matt were awesome in this book! Crazy situations and fun characters made for a really entertaining murder mystery.

My Goodreads review:

Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury (A Desert Flowers Mystery #2)Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury by Lee Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the Desert Flowers series. Maybe because I already knew the characters and was glad to come back and see what they were up to, or maybe the story was better. Whichever it was, it was great seeing the gang together again. Like Poppy in the first book, I wasn’t sure if I liked Matt much, but in this book he definitely won me over. Even Heather’s character was fleshed out a little bit better. And of course Poppy’s crazy friends Violet and Iris were at their shining best. I love that they have a twelve-year-old helping them with the online part of their investigating business. Wyatt is a pretty cool kid!

I wasn’t sure whodunit, but it was a lot of fun reading and finding out. There was plenty of action and humor as well. Some of the scenes were so crazy and I could almost picture Jessica Fletcher along with a couple of the Golden Girls being Poppy and her pals. Poppy’s little side story about her love life was very sweet, and I was happy that it came to a happy conclusion instead of keeping us waiting and wondering. It’ll be interesting to see what these characters get into next!

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Theater Nights Are Murder review

Happy New Year everyone! And on to this year’s awesome reading!

This is the fourth (and funniest, to me) book in the Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein. She does such a good job of making her readers laugh most of the way through the books in this series! I just love these characters and how some of our favorites from the previous books make their way into the most recent one. If you haven’t started this series, you should treat yourself this year.

My Goodreads review:

Theater Nights Are MurderTheater Nights Are Murder by Libby Klein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series more every time I read the newest book and I always think that book is the funniest one so far…only because imho it is! I was laughing out loud at Aunt Ginny and her “biddies'” antics during the senior center’s production of Mamma Mia. From going all out spy complete with two-way radios to conning some bikers in a pool game, these ladies while absolutely hilarious were determined to find out how their friend really died during the theater production. And for that I say, “You go, girls!”

Even though I didn’t care much for the character of Fiona, I have to admit I got a kick out of her always talking about her precious son Iggy’s many master’s degrees. It was sort of a running joke through the book (like how Georgina had come up with a bunch of wrong names for Smitty in the previous book). I think Aunt Ginny will always be my favorite character, but we got to know the biddies a lot better in this book and I completely enjoyed that. Even Smitty made a visit. Poppy’s friend Sawyer had a sideline mystery going on, and there was another side mystery that completely threw me when I found out who was behind it. I’d never have guessed.

Officer Amber seemed to be mellowing just a little bit. She didn’t seem nearly as mean as she was in the first book even though I doubt she’ll ever get over getting a little satisfaction out of trying to make Poppy squirm. Poppy gave it right back though–her character has grown a lot since the first book too. As always, I’m anxious for the next in this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a paperback ARC of this book provided by the publisher, and my opinions are my own.

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Basket Case–review

This is the first book in the Silver Six Crafting series by Nancy Haddock and I absolutely loved it! What an awesome bunch of seniors–I want to be like them when I get older. They had one heck of a great living arrangement in a nice house, their own lives and activities, but they would drop everything if another of them needed something, especially when it came to clearing their own Sherry of possible murder.

My Goodreads review:

Basket Case (A Silver Six Crafting Mystery #1)Basket Case by Nancy Haddock

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I kept hearing what an awesome series this is, and now I get to agree with that! I know just after reading the first book that I’m going to wish there were more than three in this series. I fell in love with all of the seniors and Aunt Sherry, what an amazing group of friends! They were fiercely loyal to one another and would do anything for one of their other housemates. And I really enjoyed the eventually not-so-mysterious 90-something year old lady next door. Overall, I really enjoyed how this series shows how many seniors are after they retire: able, wanting to work and be useful, and they knew their way around technology. No rocking chairs for this crowd. I hadn’t guessed the killer until Nixy herself did, and the showdown was really awesome, since it involved everyone. Nixy had worked tirelessly to clear her aunt’s name when a land developer was found dead in her family cemetery, and her hard work definitely paid off. I’m so anxious to read the next book, but yet I don’t want to hurry through the series, since I’m not sure if there will be any more to it. (I wish there would be!)

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The Novel Art of Murder–review

This is the third book in the Mystery Bookshop series by V.M. (Valerie) Burns. I absolutely loved it. It featured Sam’s grandma, Nana Jo, being accused of murdering a woman who was given Nana’s usual role in the annual Senior Follies at her retirement community. I always get such a kick out of their friend Irma too. If you haven’t read any of this series, now is the time to start! I think they can each stand alone, but you might enjoy them more if you start at the beginning.

My Goodreads Review:

The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #3)The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series was SO good to begin with, but if you can believe it, it keeps getting better! This one had all the senior sleuth friends playing fairly equal parts, along with a new retired judge friend.

When a murder at Nana Jo’s retirement community points to none other than Nana Jo herself, Sam had more than a vested interest in solving this case. She even appealed to Det. “Stinky” Pitt that if they worked together and shared information, she could guarantee him the killer before Thanksgiving. He grudgingly tried to go along with that. I just love when the sleuths all gather at the bookshop or Frank’s restaurant to talk about the case. They each have their assignments, and these tech-smart seniors are forces to reckon with. I liked that Judge Miller was in on it more this time. I’m sure he was consulting on other books (it’s so hard to remember details lol) but it was fun to get to know him a little better. After another murder at the retirement village, the sleuths really had their hands full and Sam’s brain was working overtime.

The showdown was absolutely awesome! It was funny to picture it and let’s just say the perp probably never knew what him them! There’s an excerpt in the back of this book for the next book, and I’ll be reading that excerpt quickly after I leave my reviews and before I dig into the next book I want to read.

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