‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas–review

This was just the perfect cozy mystery to read a few days before Christmas! If someone wasn’t in a Christmas mood, this book would definitely put them in one. I loved returning to Mistletoe, Maine a year later while Holly investigated yet another murder. With the whole idea of the series being Christmas, it’s so hard to wait for the next book because I know it’ll be a year away. But…it’s always worth the wait!

My Goodreads review:

'Twas the Knife Before Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, #2)‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All I can say is this was the most magical Christmas book I’ve read this season! I love that Holly and Evan are growing closer. Now Ray, the guy from the first book who has been puppy-dog friendly to Holly but she made it clear she didn’t want to date him, has finally found someone a little closer to his own age. And so has his mom, but he’s less than thrilled over that.

It was getting close to Christmas and a guy that Holly’s friend Caroline was seen with arguing at a benefit dinner was found dead in the big bowl of peppermints by the town’s Christmas tree. With Caroline as the prime suspect, Holly couldn’t help but investigate this one. But the killer apparently knew she was on to them, since Holly had a few close calls herself, and the showdown to end all showdowns!

I loved the side story with Evan’s sister but the magical part came closer to the end of the book. I think Holly truly believed that Santa Claus had granted her and her family the perfect Christmas! I highly recommend this book (and the first in series) as just the perfect Christmas cozies!

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

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Death of a Lobster Lover–review

Once again I’ve hopped line and didn’t continue in order so I could take part in a book discussion. It’s not really so terrible. I just have to keep convincing my brain of that, since my brain likes things orderly. I have actually read the first in this series and will get back to book 2, sooner than later, I hope.

This is the ninth book in the long-running Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails series by Lee Hollis, a brother and sister team made up of Rick Copp and Holly Simason. Another great series set in Maine, which is on my list of places to-see!

My Goodreads review:

Death of a Lobster Lover (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, #9)Death of a Lobster Lover by Lee Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I honestly couldn’t put this down and read it just today. I had only read the first book in the series, but I was happy to see there were no mystery spoilers in this one about any of the previous books.

Hayley and her two best friends, Mona and Liddy, were going on a girls’ weekend trip to nearby Salmon Cove. The cabin they were to stay in turned out to be not much more than a rustic shack with no indoor bathroom. A cute reporter that Liddy had just met was murdered at the lobster bake and despite the nasty mannered Sheriff Daphne, Hayley felt like they needed to find out just why this man was murdered. Little did she know what kind of a hornet’s nest of secrets this would turn into, especially after another man was found dead and Liddy went missing! Mona had taken up with her former friend Corey who lived in Salmon Cove. He was so cute and nice that she was afraid she’d forget she was married.

The case was finally solved and finally the sheriff gave Hayley some little approval for helping bring down a killer. The book has some of Hayley’s newspaper columns and recipes sprinkled at the ends of some of the chapters. I thought it was a nice touch to use the very last one as an epilogue for this story, which turned out a little sad, but it brought true closure to the case.

This book was so hilarious in places! Liddy is an absolute hoot without meaning to be one when she goes on one of her rants and tirades. All three of them are so different from each other but these girls are true blue friends.

I thought the plot was really well written and complex enough to have a lot of stuff going on, but I wasn’t confused about it like I can be when there’s a lot going on. I hadn’t picked out the killer(s) either and I loved the little sting operation at the end with Hayley and the sheriff. I jumped out of order (as usual) in this series for a discussion on the book, lol. I hope to get back to the second book soon!

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Death and a Pot of Chowder–review

This is the first book in a brand new series that launched earlier this month. I had requested the advance reader copy from NetGalley and voluntarily read and reviewed it. The series is written by Cornelia Kidd, which is the pen name for author Lea Wait who also writes the Mainely Needlepoint mysteries, which I’ve been wanting to read. I really loved this first book and hope that she’s got lots more in store for these awesome characters!

My Goodreads review:

Death and a Pot of Chowder (A Maine Murder Mystery #1)Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the first book in this brand new series! I love that it takes place in Maine. I have never been there but I love reading about it and hopefully will get to go someday and see some real Maine lighthouses. The author is also known as Lea Wait but I haven’t read any of her other series yet but I know I really am liking this one so far.

Anna Winslow was happily living with her husband Burt and 14 year-old-son Jake. Out of the blue, she got a letter from Izzie Jordan who said she was her half-sister. Anna was delighted to have a sister so she brought her to stay with them at Quarry Island and they really hit it off. They got their first chance at really working together when Burt’s brother Carl was found at sea but hadn’t drowned, it was murder. Since Burt had motive, means and opportunity, he was arrested for the murder. Izzie and Anna were determined to get Burt out of jail. After that they’d talked about owning a restaurant together but I thought it was really awesome on Izzie’s part to put Burt as a priority.

Izzy was really an amazing sister that anyone would be proud to have. She was generous and loyal, pitched right in when she started staying with Anna. I loved Mamie as well. She was everything you’d expect a sweet grandmother to be–she cooked, she fussed over people but she also listened.

There were a couple of side mysteries going on and I guessed one of them at least. I had the killer wrong but I wasn’t too far off. It was fun seeing how Izzie, Anna and their friend Rob, a retired detective would handle the showdown. Everything wrapped up really well. There was one interesting clue that wasn’t addressed, as in someone said oh yeah, that’s why that was. I don’t want to say what it was but it had to do with Burt’s tablet. That clue told me part of what I guessed.

I think it’s so cool that two sisters found each other and worked together to solve a murder. Now they want to be business partners and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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