Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off review

This is the second book in the Beacon Bakeshop series by Darci Hannah, and I absolutely loved how it embraced the spirit of the Christmas season. Poor Lindsey had never really accomplished her dream type of Christmas, but I had to hand it to her for not giving up. Maybe this year would be better…

It was a lot of fun imagining what a town like this with a lighthouse would look like decorated for Christmas. I just love the book’s cover and think the artist couldn’t have captured it better! Three days and counting, then this book goes live September 28, 2021

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off (Beacon Bakeshop, #2)Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what an awesome Christmas mystery! If you don’t count the murder, lol. But the whole magicalness surrounding the lighthouse bakery sometimes was just the perfect Christmas spirit from the lights and decorations to the spirit of everyone working there. I can’t say too much, but I had my suspicions about something else (not the killer) and was super happy to find out I was right. Now the killer was another story, and I changed my mind as much as Lindsey and Crew changed theirs.

I loved the sleuthing dynamic that Lindsey, Rory, Kennedy…and get this, even Ellie Montague, ex-super model and mom to Lindsey wanted to join in. She did have a good idea that was right up her fashionista alley, and it started chipping away at the answer.

The showdown was wild, full of confession, and reinforcement arrived just in the nick of time. Honest, that wasn’t a Christmas pun! I loved how the book ended with the magic of Christmas, good friends, family and of course where Lindsey and her dad were involved, good food! One caution: Make sure you’re not hungry when you’re reading, ’cause you’ll want to eat your book or drool on your Kindle! There were so many yummies mentioned and not just dessert. The main dishes sounded awesome too.

At the end of the book, you’ll find everyone’s bake-off recipes, but there’s a link to the author’s website for more recipes. Hmm I should go there, ’cause maybe some of those main courses that Lindsey and her dad made are there!

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

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Farm to Trouble review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Farm to Table by well-known cozy mystery author Amanda Flower. I’ve mostly read her Ohio-based mysteries that also take place in Amish country, so this was a fun little change. I absolutely loved main character Shiloh’s little Pug named Huckleberry, what a sweetie! 

My Goodreads review:

Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries #1)Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this new series kickoff book and the various characters in the small town of Cherry Glen. I think Quinn’s daughter Hazel was my favorite, Shiloh’s dad despite his being a little grumpy kind of grew on me, but her cousin Stacey needs to grow on me a little more. I liked the little side mystery that Shiloh found that appears to be an ongoing thing for the next book.

I wasn’t exactly sure who the killer was until nearly the end. The showdown was a good one, and I liked how everything was wrapped up and explained. I’ve found I like everything I’ve read so far that Amanda Flower writes, and I think she’s got a winner in this series!

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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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