The Hidden Corpse–review

This is the second book in the Food Blogger series started last year by Debra Sennefelder, who interestingly used to be a food blogger herself. You can tell she’s no stranger to the world of blogging and promotion. There are some recipes at the end of the book that actually sound doable and seriously yummy!

I read a paperback ARC of this book from #Kensington Publishing, but that didn’t influence what type of review I would give. After my wrists got a little sore from holding the paperback, I got the ARC from NetGalley as well. But…I did buy a digital copy of the book, since I like to show up as a verified review on the big A whenever I can. 😉

My Goodreads review:

The Hidden Corpse (Food Blogger Mysteries #2)The Hidden Corpse by Debra Sennefelder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was great to return to Jefferson, CT and visit with Hope, her sister Claire (she is such a hoot!), her bestie, reporter Drew, police chief Ethan and of course friends like Merrifield Inn owners, Jane and Sally Merrifield. I especially like Jane of two, because she was a mystery writer and still thinks like one. She never discourages Hope from investigating and might even be an enabler sometimes. I would like to see her go back to writing sometime in the series. She makes a good sleuthing buddy or at least sounding board for Hope.

Hope had her hands full with her sister running for mayor, having to contribute five recipes to a cookbook, still working on remodeling her house, training her dog, and now a neighbor was dead making Hope feel responsible. As the body count increased, Hope was trying to stay a step ahead of the killer, so that she wouldn’t become one of the bodies. The showdown was a nail biter, but everything worked out great, and I hadn’t guessed the killer. I liked how there was plenty of closure and explanation-giving before the book ended. The actual ending was very sweet, and I don’t think I could have wished for better! I’m anxious to see what the next book brings.

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Peril at the Pawn Shop–review

This was a fun start to a new series called A Walk in the Bark by Mel Faye. She’s a new-to-me author and I really enjoyed the characters and mystery in her first (I think) cozy mystery. Ralph the pug was an adorably well-behaved little guy who helped Annie with her dog training. He was helping her get another dog, Geraldine the Greyhound, used to being around other dogs. He even found a piece of evidence at a crime scene. Ralph is a fairly constant client, since he belongs to Annie’s mom’s boyfriend. I’m anxious to read the next book in this series. By then I’m sure Annie’s store will be ready to open.

My Goodreads review:

Peril at the Pawn Shop: A Cozy Mystery for Pet Lovers (A Walk in the Bark Book 1)Peril at the Pawn Shop: A Cozy Mystery for Pet Lovers by Mel Faye

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This has to be a new record for me. I bought this book today not sure when I’d read it, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to read it because of the adorable pug on the cover. It was such a fun start for a new series, and a new-to-me author.

Annie Hudson loved working with dogs. She trained, walked, pet sat them and had been saving to open her own small shop specializing in something having to do with dogs. She also liked playing amateur sleuth, and after a couple of murders took place in her small Connecticut town, she found herself almost spending as much time sleuthing as she did working for her dog clients. The side story was that a big development company was wanting to buy out a lot of the small shops in town to bring in national chain stores. From the sound of it, Annie had already had run-ins with the CEO of the company. She was sure he was behind at least the first murder.

This was a quick and fun read. I liked Annie immediately and her friend Charlotte, the CSI was a fun character too. Annie met and started dating Hank, so I’m sure something will progress in that direction seeing how they’ve had a couple of dates already. I absolutely loved little Ralph and how he would charm everyone in town with his good behavior and even helped Annie in training other dogs on how to be more social. I didn’t guess the killer and I know I’ll be wanting to read the next book when it comes out.

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Read and Gone–review

This is the second book in the Haunted Library series that is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. I love how the author combines different holidays with Carrie’s family and fun things they do, not simply going through the motions. These people know how to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, and birthdays too! I love books that are set around Christmas anyway, and this one includes a big gem hunt as well.

My Goodreads review:

Read and Gone (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #2)Read and Gone by Allison Brook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was just as good and maybe even a little more exciting than the first one since there were different people going after some stolen gems since a huge reward was being offered by the owners.

Carrie Singleton’s dad Jim was back in town, and Carrie was worried that he was still up to no good since his line of worked happened to be stealing things. He was actually back for his half of the gems he helped a friend steal. Only when his friend turned up dead and he happened to be at the scene, Jim was taken in for questioning. He was let go into Carrie’s custody, but with another rough thug in town and a couple more murders, it seemed like no one was safe. Even Carrie herself was whacked on the head while looking for the gems–had she found them, she was going to turn them over to Dylan, her insurance investigator boyfriend who would take them to the rightful owner. In the meantime, Christmas is in full swing at the library with parties, programs and finally the staff party. Smokey Joe, who belonged to Carrie but was the library cat, was having a feast racing through the library since a family of mice had been born.

Everything wrapped up nice and clean at the end with an awesome Christmas Eve feast at Harriet and Bosco’s house. I hadn’t quite guessed the killer this time. This was a really well-plotted and at times seemed like a little bit of a confusing mystery, but it was all explained eventually. I love books that take place at Christmas and I could just picture the library tree and decorations as well as Carrie’s Christmas tree. I can’t wait for the next book since Carrie is in a really good place with Dylan and even in her relationship with her dad.

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A Knit Before Dying–review

I had read this second book in the Tangled Web series in August 2017 as an advance reader’s copy and can’t believe it took me over a year to get to the first one which I posted just before this. Here’s my original Goodreads review below. I’m not sure if re-reads count towards Goodreads’ challenge, but I do want to read this one again. There’s just something endearing about the town and its characters, yep even the “cantankerous old coot” Uncle Eb, as Josie lovingly calls him.

My Goodreads review: (from August 13, 2017)

A Knit before Dying  (Tangled Web Mystery, #2)A Knit before Dying by Sadie Hartwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Josie Blair who owns Miss Marple Knits as well as the store and apartment next to it, is excited when her new business neighbor and tenant starts moving in. Lyndon and his business partner, Harry (still out on a buying trip), are going to run Nutmeg Antiques and Curiosities. Lyndon also rented the apartment upstairs for himself. But there’s a huge problem when Lyndon ends up dead, stabbed with an antique sheep shears and Josie comes into the shop to find Harry standing over the body. So of course poor Harry gets hauled off to jail but hasn’t been charged yet. Josie feels compelled to investigate and she’s lucky that Sharla, the lead officer on the case, is also a good friend so there isn’t any butting of heads. Lyndon’s niece Taylor and a whole cast of extras show up to toss in all the appropriate twists and fun turns that make this a really well-written mystery.

This was a very fun mystery to read because I felt like all the characters, even though I have not yet read the first book, seemed like family. The author does a good job of explaining who is who so that this could be read as a stand-alone. But I do want to read the first one and see a little of the history of Josie coming to Dorset Falls. I always enjoy cozies that have a crafting element. I don’t knit (like Josie) but I wouldn’t be opposed to learning.

All the twists, turns and back stories along with a fun side mention that talks about Josie’s best friend Lorna and her dream of having her own cafe, add to the intrigue. One hint, if you think the story is done, well think again! Oh and the epilogue is epic–very cute and trying to make you think one thing when it’s really something else. I caught on to the something else fairly quickly but I didn’t guess the perp of the story, oh well. I’ll definitely be reading the first one in this series and any others that come out. I want to visit Dorset Falls again!

I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing.

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Yarned and Dangerous–review

This is the first book in the Tangled Web series written by Sadie Hartwell who is also known as Susannah Hardy of the three-book series, Greek to Me Mysteries. I had read the second book as an ARC, but I will go ahead and post my Goodreads review as a blog post after this one, since I’m planning to re-read it. I have no idea if there’s a third Tangled Web book in the works, but I sure hope there is!

My Goodreads review:

Yarned and Dangerous (Tangled Web Mystery, #1)Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh this was so good! This was a series I’d read out of order since I read the second book sometime last year as an advance copy. It wasn’t really necessary to read this one first, but I had been wanting to go visit with Josie and Uncle Eb to see how things got started. I am sooo hoping there’s going to be a third book to this series!

Josie Blair was called to her uncle Eb’s side to help him out while her mom went on a much-needed cruise. His wife Cora had been killed in a car accident a couple of weeks ago, and Josie’s job was to inventory in her yarn shop and get it sold. Eb had broken his leg in the accident and needed help around the house as well. When Josie got to Dorset Falls, CT, she remembered what a nice little town it was, even though a certain few people seemed to have it in for her. The next door neighbor Mitch was easy on the eyes as well as being a huge help with her uncle and give Josie herself some morale support. Josie made a couple of new friends in Evelyn and Helen who were part of a charity knitting group that Cora had started. Some people were keeping secrets and Josie was hoping she could at least find a notebook that Cora had which could point to the killer.

I actually did guess the killer but not right away. Since I’d read the second book, I knew a few people that it couldn’t have been though. 😉 I just love grouchy Uncle Eb, he’s like a grumpy old bear, but I know down deep he loves Josie, and the same way with her. They just needle each other like they did when she was a kid and visited him. I love how the friendship with Josie and Mitch is starting slowly and just developing so sweet. I really do need to reread the second book to find out what characters might have been added. I vaguely remember the case but I think it’s just an excuse for me to go back to visit in Dorset Falls for awhile.

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Death Overdue–review

I absolutely loved this book! Any element you could possibly want in a cozy mystery is right inside this book! Since I have an advance copy of the next book, I will be reading and reviewing it very soon. I can’t wait!

My Goodreads review:

Death Overdue (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #1)Death Overdue by Allison Brook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much that I didn’t want it to come to an end! It had everything I love in a cozy: an awesome small town, loving relatives, a smart and brave protagonist and lots of great supporting characters. The fact that Carrie works in a library and it has a resident (friendly) ghost and a cat, well those were just icing on the cake!

Carrie Singleton had come back to Clover Ridge CT with the intentions of visiting, but when she was offered an amazing job at the library where she worked as a temp, she decided to finally put down roots. She had it awfully good living with a sweet and devoted aunt and uncle, plus she’d met a nice guy since they happened to be investigating a murder together. A retired police detective was investigating a cold case he’d worked on 15 years ago when he was murdered during a presentation at the library. Carrie’s new friend Jared had been friends with the detective since the man was investigating Jared’s mom’s murder and had discovered who it was. Hopefully Jared and Carrie won’t anger the killer into doing away with them!

I just loved Evelyn, the library ghost! What a sweet old lady! She and Carrie made quite the team in looking into the case–and Evelyn was even able to tell her a thing or two about a report she needed to do for her new job. It was awesome how Evelyn helped Carrie take care of an issue between her grumpy niece Dorothy who had a huge grudge against Carrie for getting the job she wanted (never mind that Dorothy wasn’t even qualified for the position). You’ll love it when you read that part! And Smokey Joe, the kitten that adopted Carrie and became the library cat was a huge hit with most of the patrons. Surprisingly even boss Sally liked him and didn’t object.

A lot of cozies have relationship triangles, but I didn’t mind this one at all because it didn’t drag on. It became very clear as to which of the two handsome guys Carrie had in her life that she would decide to date and which one would be a friend. I also liked how there wasn’t an actual showdown with just Carrie and the killer, it was more of a car chase scene. I had only started to suspect who the killer was when the carefully placed clues started adding up.

I can’t wait to visit Clover Ridge again and see what my new friends’ next adventure will be!

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The Uninvited Corpse–review

This is the first in a new series by Debra Sennefelder that was released earlier this year. What a fun start! I hope you’ll like the characters as much as I did.

My Goodreads review:

The Uninvited CorpseThe Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome first book in this new series! I immediately was drawn to the characters and their chemistry with each other. And who doesn’t love it when the pet (a dog in this case) saves the day and nabs the killer? I didn’t guess the killer until the clues pointed that way, great twist.

Hope Early was a lifestyle and food blogger who had just moved back to her hometown of Jefferson, CT. When a local realtor woman was killed in a friend’s home, and Hope’s sister was the main suspect, Hope knew she’d have to work fast to get to the real killer before her fashionable sister ended up wearing orange for the foreseeable future. After another body was found and a couple of attempts were made on Hope’s life, would she even be able to prove her sister’s innocence?

I thought it was sweet that Hope had gone to school with police chief Ethan and had a comfortable friendship type relationship, even though she admitted only to herself she has feelings for him. Although what cozy mystery would be complete without a triangle right? Now there’s also lawyer Matt, who is also handsome as Ethan. Part of me says Team Ethan, but I’m anxious to get to know Matt a little better too. I just loved how Hope, her reporter friend Drew and her mystery author friend, Jane would meet and discuss the case. Jane may have been older, but she had a good head for mysteries and seemed to put them on the right path. Her sister Claire is every bit the fashionista and not one bit crafty like Hope, who makes a living blogging about food, crafts and home. But the two sisters love each other fiercely as Hope showed when she tried to figure out who the real killer was.

I’m anxious to read the next book and spend more time with these delightful characters I’ve just met!

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