Steeped in Secrets review

This is the first in a new series by Lauren Elliott called Crystals and CuriosiTEAS Mysteries. I knew I’d enjoy it since I’ve read all her Beyond the Pages mysteries to date and really liked those a lot as well as the characters. The new series definitely didn’t disappoint! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for book two! 

#KensingtonCozies #LaurenElliott

My Goodreads review:

Steeped in SecretsSteeped in Secrets by Lauren Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this a lot more than I first thought I would when I started reading it, but the characters just came to life and drew me in! I liked Shay’s character a lot and her backstory was interesting–and about to become even more interesting. It was cool how she and Tassi became friends despite their age difference, but as they were to find out, they had quite a bit in common. Jen was a good big sister but sometimes seemed a touch unreasonable even though she meant well.

I was never really sure whodunit and what a good twist at the end along with a kickin’ showdown followed by a full explanation and wrap-up. I just love that dog Spirit and I’m so happy he’s got Shay to live with now. He was super in tune to clues and what he knew he wanted people to do to find answers.

When the book was ending, I just didn’t want it to. I wanted to stay there and read more about the town and people, especially Shay and Liam. I was extremely happy about one thing in particular that happened after the showdown, and now I can’t wait to go back and visit with Shay and all her friends again. Don’t miss this new series especially if you like a little magic (there’s not a bunch of woo-woo stuff going on if you’re worried about that, give it a chance) with your cozy mystery. It releases Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

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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Gone for Gouda review

This is the second book in the Cheese Shop Mysteries by Korina Moss. It’s got lots of twists and fun red herrings as Willa chases down yet another wily killer, but if she’s not careful she might get herself and her pals taken out in the process. I love her friendship with Baz and how she’s always trying to help him get a girlfriend. This time his heart was set on Ginger who was dating someone else. And of course, he wasn’t having it that Ginger just might be one of the many suspects. See what happens in this newest installment that just came out yesterday.

If you’ve finished this and you’re eager for the next book, we don’t have to wait a year because the next book, Curds of Prey looks to be scheduled to release March 28, 2023. That’s the Goodreads link by the way, but you can go from that page to pre-order.

#StMartinsPaperbacks #KorinaMoss

My Goodreads review:

Gone for Gouda (Cheese Shop Mystery, #2)Gone for Gouda by Korina Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was fun visiting with Willa and her employees/friends as they investigated the death of a visiting chef author who turned out to not exactly be what she claimed (and everyone who met her soon found out she over-praised people to get them to do stuff for her). Poor Willa was counting on the extra income and publicity she’d get from hosting the woman, but all she ended up with was a bunch of extra food and expense she’d gone to.

At times the storyline seemed to drag a bit, but then something a little more exciting happened. I guess it’s kinda like real life cases that just from reading these books anyone can learn they don’t go as fast as on TV, lol, so maybe it’s just a dose of reality when it gets a touch slow.

Willa’s got an awesome bestie in Baz (who only lets Mrs. Schultz call him Basil lol), but I honestly don’t know which I prefer for her, Roman or Heath. I guess I’m not over the moon about either guy so maybe that’s why. But we don’t have to wait super long for another book because Curds of Prey, book 3 comes out March 2023.

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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Seams Like Murder review

This is the first book in a new series called the Sewing Studio Mysteries by Dorothy Howell who writes another cozy mystery, the Haley Randolph Mysteries. I really liked these characters and can’t wait to see what Abbey, her aunt and her new friends get into in the next book. I had a feeling when I saw that sewing was involved in this book that I’d really take to it. It was definitely lotsa fun!

#KensingtonCozies #DorothyHowell

My Goodreads review:

Seams Like MurderSeams Like Murder by Dorothy Howell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On one hand, coming home to having your car accused of being used in a possible homicide was pretty awful for Abbey, but the possible friendship with Zack the handsome deputy would’ve been the saving grace, at least for me. But Abbey couldn’t bring herself to be even halfway nice to him until it was well into the book and he’d done what he could to prove to her he didn’t think she killed anyone. Poor guy having to work for that grumpy sheriff though! He was a piece o’ work for sure!

I loved how Abbey and Caitlin were able to resume the bestie friendship they’d only enjoyed for summers and how the rest of the businesses kinda pitched in to help with the investigation. Everyone had the interest of getting a killer off the streets once they started believing said killer wasn’t Abbey. There were enough cars in town that looked similar to hers it could’ve been anyone driving the car that killed the librarian. I know one person I was hoping might be the perp, but there were lots of good distractions and other possibilities too.

The showdown was pretty epic and as a seamstress I can totally laugh and say yep, that’s just what a bunch of people who sew or craft (or want a killer off the streets) might do with a wily killer! I loved how an embroidery machine was included in the story too probably because I really like using mine and it’s just fun to find something I can actually relate to in a book. This book releases tomorrow, September 27, don’t miss it! It’s pretty much everything I could want in a cozy 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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Simmering with Resentment review

This is the eleventh book in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries by Daryl Wood Gerber. I’ve enjoyed all the series I’ve read by her and her pen name of Avery Aames (The Cheese Shop Mysteries). This series is probably my favorite since it’s such a long-running one and has the most books meaning the most opportunity to spend time with some favorite characters.

If you love this series like I do, then you won’t be able to resist this latest offering. Are ya ready for a wedding? Let’s go!

#BeyondthePagePublishing #DarylWoodGerber

My Goodreads review:

Simmering with Resentment (A Cookbook Nook Mystery #11)Simmering with Resentment by Daryl Wood Gerber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this newest installment in a favorite series! When a beloved restaurant had an explosion, Jenna couldn’t help thinking it was the person who’d blown up the other restaurant where Rhett worked and wondered if they’d been targeting her and him since they were having their private dinner at the time. I just knew Rhett was gonna be okay, but I still worried a little, lol.

There were plenty of suspects to consider, and Jenna had a whole bridal expo to do sleuthing in. Along with being a bride herself and wanting to enjoy part of the expo, Jenna had an agenda despite Cinnamon’s usual warnings. I thought Cinnamon was especially nicer to her in this book. I know they’ve become friends, but probably since things were aimed at Jenna and her sweetie, Cinnamon felt a little more protective/sisterly of her.

It was like I knew but I didn’t know whodunit and that’ll make sense once anyone reads it. The showdown was exciting but not drawn out too long to make readers overly nervous lol. And the ending was just perfect!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Beyond the Page Publishing via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own. I usually end up buying the book eventually since I do love this series.

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Cheddar Off Dead review

This is the first book in a brand new cozy series, The Cheese Shop Mysteries by new cozy author, Korina Moss. I think she did a great job on her first book and was really happy to see we don’t have to wait a whole year for another book. Gone for Gouda releases September 27, 2022, and I know I’m pretty excited to read more about these characters I’m already thinking of as friends.

My Goodreads review:

Cheddar Off Dead: A Cheese Shop MysteryCheddar Off Dead: A Cheese Shop Mystery by Korina Moss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this new cozy author’s first book offering! I did make a point of reading a short cozy mystery she wrote that was in an anthology, and I really liked her writing in that, so I knew I’d enjoy this book. The characters grabbed me from the beginning, and I just loved how Willa and her three new friends sleuthed together. It was especially fun to read about her and Baz sleuthing together. He apparently reminded her of her brother. Baz was protective of her just like her brother would’ve been if he lived there.

I found the book hard to put down at times and just kept reading. To me it didn’t seem to drag or go too slow. There were just the right amount of details and description, although I gotta admit I’m not really interested in the ins and outs of the cheese biz, but that was easy to skim through. I’m really invested in these characters though. They make me smile!

The showdown was an exciting one, and I didn’t really know until Willa did whodunit. It’s amazing how an inanimate object can help in a showdown, lol. I absolutely can’t wait for the next book!

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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Under Lock and Skeleton Key review

This is the first book in the Secret Staircase Mysteries by a new-to-me and very talented author Gigi Pandian. Her storytelling is amazing, and I could actually picture the places and secret rooms she described. It’d be so cool to have a room like Tempest’s that was secretly accessible and super private. I’m looking forward to visiting with Tempest and her family again!

My Goodreads review:

Under Lock & Skeleton Key (Secret Staircase Mystery, #1)Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a such a cool mystery and I loved what the Secret Staircase Construction company did with buildings. I thought Tempest’s secret quarters in the house were especially awesome. I was glad to see she was able to make amends with an old friend now that she was home, and I just loved her grandparents. Grandpa was so funny how he was always wanting to feed people, must be a grandpa thing! I could definitely see why Nancy Drew was one of Tempest’s favorites since all Nancy did was find mysterious staircases, attics and rooms similar to what Tempest’s dad’s company built. Tempest’s former occupation of illusionist was a unique one for a cozy main character too.

The characters were great, and I enjoyed the whole search for the killer. It took a lot of winding paths to finally get to the answer which was something I sure didn’t see coming. I loved how Tempest came to her decision at the end and can see this being a fun and cool series I’ll want to read more in!

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

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Wining and Dying review

This is the tenth book in the Cookbook Nook series by Daryl Wood Gerber, and I was definitely happy to return to Crystal Cove and see what my book character friends were up to. It was murder as usual, since it wouldn’t normal if Jenna wasn’t investigating and getting snarked at by Cinnamon. I just love all these characters and can’t wait for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Wining and DyingWining and Dying by Daryl Wood Gerber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great going back to visit Crystal Cove to visit some of my favorite book characters. This was definitely a roller coaster ride of a mystery! There were all kinds of secrets, and I wasn’t sure who could be trusted, except for the key characters, of course. I’m really enjoying that Jenna has made a good friend out of Pepper and even police chief Cinnamon. But Cinnamon always gets to get in her snarky comments, because it just wouldn’t be the same without lol.

I was never sure until Jenna figured it out as to whodunit. And what a showdown! Luckily, the killer was outnumbered. All the pieces of the mystery either fell into place with an explanation or from the killer personally. I’m hoping the next book will be featuring a wedding!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book, and my opinions are my own.

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Hope, Faith and a Corpse review

This is the first book in the Faith Chapel Mystery series by Lauren Jensen Walker who also writes another new series I really like, the Bookish Baker mysteries. I really loved this book and Pastor Hope’s super fun sense of humor. Her snark was the friendly kind and most of it was said in her mind (shown by the italics in the book). She’s such a great character, and I also really like Father Christopher as her mentor and boss at the church. Her sister-in-law Virginia was pretty awesome too. I hope she sticks around town. She, Susan and Hope would make quite the team of sleuthing besties!

I’m so anxious now for the next book!

My Goodreads review:

Hope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel MysteryHope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery by Laura Jensen Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a fun and different cozy mystery! I really liked Pastor Hope as a main character. She’s absolutely a hoot, and I got the biggest kick out of her quoting movies, dancing around her house while she cleaned (much to the shock of the older congregation members, namely Marjorie!) and just her overall sense of humor. I enjoyed the little italics that indicated her thoughts to herself, those were so funny and spot on. I figured when a book started with someone getting bopped on the head with an Elvis garden gnome, the rest is going to be just as much fun!

Father Christopher was a great boss, and I loved how sweet and fair he was when it came to hiring a new office assistant, a high school senior who the older ladies didn’t approve of simply because she had a tat. What an assortment of crazy and interesting characters in this town though! There were so many that I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I’d ever get them sorted out, but it wasn’t a problem. They all started having their separate moments with Pastor Hope, so it was easy to get to know them that way. Her pastoral visits (where she could do her investigation as well) were a great way to hone in on the various congregation members.

I definitely didn’t see it coming with who ended up as the killer! It was a very refreshing non-nail biting showdown, or maybe I should say the killer had a come-to-Jesus moment. There was a side mystery that tied in with one of the families in town, but didn’t have anything to do with the current murder. It was still interesting and revealed even more about some of the characters. I’m very anxious to read the next book!

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

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For a Good Paws–review

This is the fifth book in the Barkery and Biscuits series by Linda O. Johnston who also wrote a series called Pet Rescue. Her bio shows that she’s also a romance writer, and I do like what she wrote for Carrie and her boyfriend Reed in this book, especially the ending. I got to know these main characters from reading the fourth book in this series a year or so ago. I wish that Barkery & Biscuits and Icing were places I could really visit!

My Goodreads review:

For a Good Paws (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Book 5)For a Good Paws by Linda O. Johnston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve only read one other book in this series (book 4) but I quickly got acquainted with Carrie and all her very likable friends in Knobcone Heights, so a return there was really enjoyable. This was a good mystery that involved one of Carrie’s own employees and the death of a man she’d argued with, but somehow the detectives have come to expect Carrie to come to bat for people she knows and cares about–even though they enjoy giving her a little grief sometimes about investigating.

The two characters that really grew on me from the last book were Billi, who is a councilwoman and runs the animal rescue in Knobcone, and Arvie, the sweet older vet that Carrie works for at her vet tech job…when she’s not at her bakeries or chasing clues. I definitely didn’t see it coming about who the perp was until the clues started coming together. I like that Carrie is smart about investigating and keeps her phone on her at all times–it could just save her life someday! 😉 I have the best of intentions to start this series from the beginning, but there are so many cozy mysteries out there that distract me. I’ll keep trying though.

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

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If the Coffin Fits–review

This is the second book in the Funeral Parlor Mysteries by Lillian Bell. It was just released yesterday, which is when I was finishing up the first book so I could lead into this one. I think I really appreciated this book more by reading the first book first. I am so not going to be able to wait until the next book comes out, they just get better! Oh and I encourage you to read the acknowledgements at the end of the book. It was really interesting to hear about the author’s research on funeral parlors and how Orion is someone to her in real life!

Note on the dog picture: This is as close as I could find in the free-use pictures Google showed me of what Orion, a Malamute-Shepherd cross might look like when he’s a little older.

My Goodreads review:

If the Coffin Fits (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #2)If the Coffin Fits by Lillian Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This. Was. So. Good. I am so glad that I requested this from NetGalley to voluntarily read and review. I’m also glad I read the first book, not that this book gives any spoilers because it definitely doesn’t. But I still had the fun of getting to know the characters from the beginning, and even though jumping in at book 2 wouldn’t be bad, I really enjoyed reading them in order so much!

When Desiree suspected one of the funeral home’s clients of murder, she was pretty much on her own to figure out why and how she’d done it. She did have her sorta-boyfriend Nate’s help since he was county ME, but Luke at the police station was used to looking at her like she was just crazy. Desiree found evidence that one of their deceased clients had been blackmailing quite a few of the community members, which just had to tie in with that client’s own death, she hesitated bringing that evidence to Luke for fear he’d just laugh at her. Being shot at made Desiree realize she was getting close…could she solve this without causing her sister to go into premature labor or get killed herself?

I never thought a series set in a funeral parlor would be this good and so interesting! It’s really not much about the place itself but the clients they serve and how some of the deaths can end up being murder. I loved that in this book Desiree found a dog to adopt, Uncle Joey found a lady friend and more about Desiree’s dad was revealed. Now I really can’t wait till the next book!

I actually did figure this one out! There was a tiny clue very early on that I picked up on and remembered. It was fun to see how this played out and the perp got caught. The showdown wasn’t physically exciting, but it was more calm excitement worthy of any that I’ve seen on TV crime/cop shows.

I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book which was released this week.

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