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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

A Grave Issue–review

This is the first book in the Funeral Parlor Mysteries series by Lillian Bell which is a pen name for author Kristi Abbott of the Popcorn Shop Mystery series. This is one of the most unusual jobs I’ve run across for a cozy mystery sleuth, but it’s pretty cool! I think you’ll really enjoy it.

My Goodreads review:

A Grave Issue (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #1)A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m getting ready to read the second book of this series, so I thought since I had the first book on my Kindle that I might want to read it first. This book does well as a stand alone, but I think it might be a little more enjoyable to read this book first. I love that there’s a side mystery concerning Desiree and Donna’s father that will go on into the next book.

Kyle, the man that Desiree had relied on as a second father, had been arrested for his neighbor’s murder simply because his gun had been used. Setting out to clear her good friend’s name, Desiree found that the dead banker might not be the pillar of society that he was made out to be. There were a lot of secrets that people had which made for plenty of suspects. I know that I didn’t guess who it was.

The side mystery was that someone was leaving little gifts for Desiree and Donna, only gifts that their dad, who had been presumed dead and lost while surfing, would know. Desiree even bought a little security camera to attempt to catch the person on video while they brought their gifts. Was their dad really still alive? If so, why had he hidden from them for the last sixteen months–and why did he have a storage locker that was prepaid for two years? I can’t wait to dig into the next book, no funeral pun intended there at all!

I do like the main characters a lot. Uncle Joey is the funeral director, and Desiree is the assistant. We really didn’t get to have Joey “on screen” much, but could still learn a lot about him from context and what people said. Desiree also has not two but three guys interested in her, although Officer Luke Butler didn’t really pursue her as much as Nate and Rafe did. I’m anxious to spend some more time with these characters and this slightly unusual profession for a cozy amateur sleuth!

View all my reviews

The Trouble with Truth–review

It didn’t take me long to finish this second installment in the Gourmet Cat mystery series by Kathy Krevat, that’s how good it was! Trouble got to be on TV in this book and she took full advantage of living up to her name. 😉 The mystery was interesting and compelling. I think you’ll agree if you decide to read this series that it’s a lot of fun.

My Goodreads review:

The Trouble with Truth (Gourmet Cat Mystery #2)The Trouble with Truth by Kathy Krevat

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this second book in the series so much I could barely put it down. Just like the first one, it was well-written and plotted. The story moved along at a good pace, not too slow or fast. I always like that everything gets wrapped up at the end and good explanations are always given, especially since Colbie and Det. Norma are friends.

Since Colbie’s cat food was accepted into a chain of stores, she had to step up production and had hired an 18-year-old girl named Mira, who had grown out of foster care. Mira had written a play about the abuse she and others had experienced while in foster care. Then the guy who was one of her foster dads turned up murdered, and the police had no choice but to think it was her. Everyone was asking Colbie to look into it since she had helped solve a murder a couple of months ago. When another body turned up and some vandalism was done against Colbie, she figured the killer must be feeling threatened. The showdown was great, and Mira got to be hero of the day.

I was glad to see that Quincy Powell returned to the story. He’s officially an investor in Meowio cat food and rents out a nice larger commercial kitchen to Colbie for a good rate. He’s the kind of amazing friend that every small business would be very lucky to have. His PR person, Indigo, was an interesting character. She made sure the biz was posted, tweeted and televised to ensure Colbie’s success. I’m still on the fence about Richard. I hope he doesn’t try to get Colbie back in his life, just Elliott. I like Colbie and Joss together, even their kids approve of the match!

Everything was wrapped up nicely, even with Elliott and his estranged dad who was now interested in being part of his boy’s life, but not in an intrusive way since he had a baby of his own on the way. Colbie had started officially dating Joss and Hank was dating his neighbor Annie (which was so cute). The cat food biz was booming too. I can hardly wait for the next book!

View all my reviews

The Trouble with Murder–review

This is the first in a newer series that came out last December called Gourmet Cat Mysteries, by Kathy Krevat aka Kathy Aarons. She wrote The Chocolate Covered mysteries under that name. There were three in the series. I just love the cat in this series, Trouble. She’s only moody to people who seem to deserve the attitude, lol.

My Goodreads review:

The Trouble with Murder (Gourmet Cat Mystery #1)The Trouble with Murder by Kathy Krevat

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an awesome new series! I’ve had this book since it came out, but since the second book was released today, I wanted to be sure I read this one first. There’s another really awesome cat in this story. I just love when the cats like people loving on them, and they do cute or even heroic things. Trouble, the cat in this story, was definitely a hero!

Colbie Summers and her 12-year-old son Elliott had moved to Sunnyside CA to be with her dad who had never totally recovered from pneumonia. Colbie was in a moms’ business group and when their leader was killed after a trade show they had and all the signs pointed to Colbie being the killer, she knew she had to clear her good name as well as her business’ name. With her good friends Lani and Piper on the sidelines cheering her on, Colbie did manage to come up with some information, and she even gained the respect of Detective Norma. There wasn’t exactly a showdown with the killer, but it was still exciting. With the killer confessing and behind bars, Colbie, her friends and family were able to enjoy the musical that Elliott’s summer theater camp was presenting.

I really came to like the detective on the case. She wasn’t so quick to judge Colbie and decide that she did it just because the (planted) evidence pointed that way–unlike her jerk of a partner. I was glad to see him reprimanded for the stunt he pulled, and another detective put on the case. I knew there was a strained relationship with Colbie and her dad, but now that he was living with his grandson and daughter, he was just an old softie. It was really cute when he decided to give Elliott guitar lessons. Colbie’s friend Lani is the type of friend anyone would be grateful for. She just took control when she needed to, with a heart as big as all outdoors. Her wife Piper was in it quite a bit and was also a friend of Colbie’s along with being a doctor. I liked how she could look in on Hank to see how his lungs were healing up and he wouldn’t mind it.

I liked Quincy Powell the minute Colbie met him. Anyone that would wear crazy sneakers because their granddaughter liked them is one good sport. I’m looking forward to him being in the next book more since he’s advising Colbie on her business and is now an investor. And sweet little Trouble–she’s not really a trouble maker unless she doesn’t know or like someone. She sure knew which of the detectives she liked and didn’t like! She’s really a good sport to let Colbie take her to the farmers’ market and sit there with a little chef hat on her head. Just like the cover!

I hadn’t guessed the killer in this, never really saw it coming. There were so many possible suspects, good clues and little twists. Since I have the second book, I’m going to read it right away so all these characters are fresh in my brain!

View all my reviews