Thursday, October 31, 2019

Review: The Halloween Onesie Spell: Witch Cozy Mystery

The Halloween Onesie Spell: Witch Cozy Mystery The Halloween Onesie Spell: Witch Cozy Mystery by Morgana Best
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m still making my way through this series so I read this one out of order. It’s Halloween and what better time to read a Halloween story? I enjoy the characters in this series very much. They are a fun group. This book has Amelia performing the annual Halloween Spell for Marina. It’s a task that proves to be dangerous for Amelia every year. This year, though, Marina has an idea. Will it work? Meanwhile the house is playing Ghostbusters. I love this! The author even gave The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man a part! Could anything be more fun? It certainly entertained me. On the serious side, there is a murder. With loads of suspects and a variety of reasons, it’s not easy to figure out who did it. It all comes together to be a fabulous read for Halloween, (any time really but absolutely a treat at Halloween).

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Review: Mocha and Murder

Mocha and Murder Mocha and Murder by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in A Killer Coffee Series. This is my second time reading this. I don’t know what happened with my review so I’ll write this one.
I enjoy the character of Roxie and many of the others. The boardwalk setting in the small town of Honey Springs is well described. There is a visitor’s map included though in case you need it. I love that pet adoption is part of the story and the series. As a rescue dog owner, I am aware of how often these pets are the rescuers. I’m also aware of how many don’t find a forever home. I’m grateful for the author bringing awareness to this issue. In this book a chicken from the pet palace plays a part in the mystery. Yes, a chicken! I love it. You can find all kinds of animals at my local shelter. It’s good to know it’s a thing in other shelters, too. When the owner of Pet Palace finds a body, and is implicated in the murder, the future of the shelter is in jeopardy. Roxie does not believe her friend did it. And the shelter cannot be in danger of closing! Those animals deserve a good place to stay until they find their family. Roxie decides to investigate but then her Mama shows up and brings her own complications. Will Roxie be able to save the shelter or will her Mama distract her?
I highly recommend this book. As far as the mystery goes, you can read this book as a stand-alone. The greatest pleasure, though, will be gotten by reading it in order. You will understand the relationships between the residents so much better. The books are very entertaining and easy to read. Once you start a book you will devour it. So it won’t take long to catch up.

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Review: The Middle Sister

The Middle Sister The Middle Sister by Jesse Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first book by Jesse Miles. I thought it was the first in the series. I know now it is the third. It’s impressive to me that I didn’t realize it was third in the series. I read a lot of series and they tend to give you clues that a previous book or books were written. Looking back, this one had them but they were so well written they blended in to me. I liked Jack Salvo. He does questionable, sometimes outright illegal things to get the puzzle pieces. He knows when to pick fights and when to hold his cards close, keep his head down and dance. I also found him to be intelligent, fair and compassionate yet pragmatic. It’s a good mix, and a realistic one, for a PI. I’m not going into the mystery because there would be no reason for you to read the book then. The mystery was well done, with a few suspects and convoluted enough to keep me guessing. The author knew the area the story was set in and I had no problem in mapping it in my head. The book left me interested in the other Jack Salvo books. I would say go for it.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: They Are Watching You: A Horror Thriller Bundle

They Are Watching You: A Horror Thriller Bundle They Are Watching You: A Horror Thriller Bundle by Christopher Coleman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book is a short read. It held my attention. It was scary. The second book was much longer and terrifying for me. There is a lot to think about in this story. I am interested to see where the author takes it.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Review: Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery by Trixie Silvertale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will admit I wasn’t certain about this book at first. I thought Mitzy was abrasive. Okay she is but I understand it now. It took me a minute to warm up to her. She has built up a shield. Life was not easy for her. Once you realize her choices and her personality were shaped from a life of protection and a bit of fatalism, you can get past her shield. Now I’m friends with her. Not cautious friends either but fast friends. The ones you keep and protect.
Mitzy has bounced around in foster care since losing her mom. She didn’t know her dad or anyone in his family. You can imagine her shock at finding out she inherited a bookshop from the grandmother she never knew. But it was good timing so, used to adapting to where the wind blows her, she gets a bus ticket and is on her way. She finds herself in a small town. If you have ever been the outsider in a small town you know what that is like. But, below the surface, this isn’t your average small town. For one thing, instead of an old married sheriff we meet Sheriff Hottie. No explanation needed. Another thing, the grandma Mitzy never got to know is hanging around the bookshop. Mitzy can see and hear her! The guy at the diner was friendly and she has help at the bookshop. Things would be looking up if it wasn’t for the dead body and accusation of murder.
I started out wondering what the heck and ended up reading until early morning hours because I couldn’t put it down. Now I want the next book. The mystery wraps up but the backstory keeps flowing. If you wanted it could be a standalone. My advice to you would be to give this one a chance. It definitely grows on you. I ended up loving Mitzy and invested in her. I enjoyed the mystery because it kept me guessing and questioning. And tell me, who doesn’t dream of owning a bookstore?

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Pooches, Pumpkins, and Poison: A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery

Pooches, Pumpkins, and Poison: A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery Pooches, Pumpkins, and Poison: A Pooch Party Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoy cozy mysteries with dogs. I also enjoy Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s writing. I figured I was going to like Pooches, Pumpkins and Poison. It went beyond my expectations though. I am already invested in this series. I adore the main character, Missy. She is down to earth, smart and caring. The love she has for her dogs, and the shelter dogs, can be felt through the pages. I loved how much of the dogs, their care and training the author put into the story. I was never a fan of shock collars but after reading this, I understand their use and place better. I absolutely love when a book I’m reading teaches me something! I actually learned a few things while being entertained. That is the bonus with this author’s writing. She has a way of imparting knowledge that is wrapped well into the story. You don’t even realize you are being schooled while you read. The mystery was well done with several suspects and red herrings. I was surprised by the villain. There was some romance, too. Missy isn’t ready yet but there is the future, right? Her daughter has an interest, too, and as a mother of grown daughters, I was relating to Missy a lot. I think this cozy mystery may be the first that had me shedding a few happy tears. It is definitely a book that offers something in a couple of genres.
I was gifted an ARC. My review is based on my thoughts and feelings while reading and my reflection afterwards. I highly recommend this book. It is one of those books you wish you could give more than five stars to. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Review: Stamped Out: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery

Stamped Out: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery Stamped Out: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stamped Out is the first book in a new series by my one of my favorite cozy authors, Tonya Kappes.

For this series, we are taken to Sugar Creek Gap. I love how the town is described in the book. I easily pictured it. Our sleuth is a mail carrier! What an awesome job. You can get all sorts of clues while delivering mail. Bernie, (Bernadette), is a widow with a grown son. I love that she is an older character and one that I have a bit in common with, (I was a single mom who returned to the workforce to support my children). I was comfortable with her right away. I didn’t realize how quickly I was attached, though, until I got about halfway through the book. There is a part where Bernie is talking with her son and daughter in law and something gets said that just hurt my heart. That was the moment I knew I was securely invested. I just felt Bernie’s pain like my own. Two characters I just can’t wait to read about again are Vince and Harriette. Lord, what fascinating characters they are! Harriette just about stopped my heart in one scene! They are just a small part of engaging characters in this community. I love small towns because the community is so interesting. Everyone is so caring but, as always can be found, gossipy. There’s always a few people who have all the tea that needs to be spilled. I felt welcomed from the start and by the end, felt right at home.
The mystery was a compelling one with various characters as suspects. It took a few turns and come up with a surprise that had my mouth open wide. Just wait until you read that!
The book has a few recipes in it, including one from my younger years that I hadn’t eaten in awhile. You’re right if you guessed I made it. I had me some Pecan Bread with my coffee and, Lordy, but it was tasty! It took me right back to sitting around the table with my girlfriends working on our sewing. There was also a sneak peek at the next Killer Coffee Mystery, Holiday Roast Mortem. Y’all, we are in for another holiday treat with that! Get ready!

*I received an unedited arc for review purposes. Minor changes may happen in the final edition. The opinions expressed are my thoughts and feelings while reading this book.*

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Review: Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom

Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom by Nancy Atherton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing book! I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. Being the first Aunt Dimity book I read but the twenty third written, I was hesitant to start it. I felt certain I wouldn’t be able to enjoy as I would if I knew some about it. I set it aside with the intention of reading a couple of earlier books. Then life took over as it tends to do. I came across recently and knew I must read it without the planned earlier books and hope for the best. I’m delighted to report that I believe wherever you are when you pick up an Aunt Dimity book, it is where you can start! Twenty two books before mine and I wasn’t lost at all! I’m not even going to attempt a lie and say I don’t care about the other twenty two. I do care. I care, though, because this book thrilled me so that I must read the others! If you have never read Aunt Dimity books, whichever one you come across, read it. Immediately! Don’t be foolish as I was and wait.
For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t read any of Aunt Dimity, she is a ghost! Our main character is Lori a wife, (to Bill), and mom to three children. Lori is an American living in England. Aunt Dimity was her mom’s closest friend. Now she watches over Lori extending her friendship to the daughter of her best friend. Isn’t that amazing? What a testimony to the power of friendship. In the King’s Ransom, Lori and Bill are off on a small getaway. However things don’t go as planned. Mother Nature had plans of her own. Lori and Bill are forced to spend their getaway, apart. Lori spends hers as a guest at The King’s Ransom Inn and it is there the adventure begins.
I love the characters and the world building. I was swiftly taken from my chilly, windy and rainy Juneau home to a chilly and wet Shepney. How delighted I was that my weather matched, somewhat, the weather in the book! It made it so much easier to slip into place. I spent the most delightful time there! I do so want to tell you all of it but the fear of telling too much, and spoiling it for you, is great. You simply must read this book! Do make time to read it properly. Perhaps start it on a weekend when you’ve nothing planned or are on a long vacation ride. Once you begin, you will lose track of time as you are transported to England. As for me, I’ll be looking for the beginning of these books. I must know how Aunt Dimity and Lori came to be acquainted. I have so many questions that no doubt will answered by the beginning. Read, dear friend, whichever Aunt Dimity you have picked out but expect to be left wanting to go back to the beginning. Aunt Dimity and The King’s Ransom is a most tantalizing choice. Enjoy it!
*Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways and Penguin Books for the opportunity to become acquainted with Aunt Dimity. It has be delightful. I am not required to leave a review. I leave my thoughts because I want you to be transported as I was. I want you to enjoy a deliciously spooky yet immensely entertaining vacation in Shepney at the King’s Ransom Inn. Tell the Hancocks hello and I hope you enjoy some of Steve’s delicacies. I do hope you enjoy the Bishop’s company!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Review: Sugared Suspect

Sugared Suspect Sugared Suspect by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book as part of a boxed set. I recommend getting the box set and reading them in order.
Sugared Suspect finds a new bakery has opened up across the street from Claire’s bakery! Not only that but there is a connection to Claire. There is a body in this, (I’m trying so hard to stay vague when I really want to tell), several suspects and surprises. One of the things that I absolutely love about this series is that all pets, and ghosts, are taken care of in real ways. The second is the love between Claire and Nick. *sigh* I have come to really love Claire, Nick, Milo and the regulars.
This book, as well as the others in the boxset, is a short, quick read. It is absolutely wonderful for those times when you want a complete story but are short on time. I’m looking forward to more.

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Review: Spirited Sweets

Spirited Sweets Spirited Sweets by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this boxset! Mine actually contains four complete books, not three. These books revolve around Claire, a baker, and her spirited husband Nick. I have reviewed the books individually on each books page. The boxset is a super awesome way to devour all the books. I was so happy that I could keep going on to the next book without leaving the world I was in. And I did want to read each one immediately. If you are debating getting the books one at a time or getting the boxset, I highly recommend getting the boxset. These books are delightful reads. They are quick making it a wonderful addition to have on hand to read while waiting on an appointment, or if you’re like me, waiting in the car for someone to finish doing something. The saddest part is that coming to the last book means a wait for me. Book five? Yes, please.

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Review: Red Velvet Revenge

Red Velvet Revenge Red Velvet Revenge by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Red Velvet Revenge is the third book in the boxset.
It is New Years Eve and Claire is throwing a party at London Manor. She, along with Milo, has moved into the Manor. Ellen, Amelia and her son are also living there. Things are going as well as they can when Claire discovers a dead body! With Nick off chasing an interesting clue things take a surprising turn.
So far, this one is my favorite in this surprisingly excellent boxset. I enjoy boxsets but, with so many books vying for my attention it can take me awhile to complete them. I have ADD so the competition between books is a real thing. Usually I say I’m a mood reader, (while true it is somewhat a nice way of saying I get interested in a book when -oh look, a squirrel!- happens). The books in this boxset are quick reads. You might think that is why I am devouring this boxset. It is but, it isn’t. The fact that they only take an hour or so to read means I can usually get the book read and then I’m off to a new one. Which may or may not be the next in the boxset. I’m choosing to stay in the boxset, which is where my surprise comes in. I am devouring these books because they are capturing my attention. Each one draws me in, entertains me and leaves me excited for the next. So excited that I don’t look at all the shiny covers filling my Kindle screen. I’m telling you, get this boxset. If you do, let me know what you think, especially of Nick’s clue. I’m dying to begin the final book, so I’m off. Read this book either as a stand-alone or in order.

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Review: Decadent Demise

Decadent Demise Decadent Demise by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reading the boxset. This is the second of four books in the set.
Claire and Nick are back and it’s Thanksgiving. Claire is living over the bakery, not having decided what to do with London Manor. A real estate developer is interested in buying it, along with other properties. Anyone who has ever loved a small town knows this is not good news. The developer has plans to build condos with a shopping center. The town is against this idea. The county commissioner approved his plans, though, so it looks like a possibility. The good news in this is that Claire has her baking mojo back.
I am truly enjoying this boxset. I enjoy the characters. I adore Nick. The stories are pretty fast reads. I find them just right for me at this time of the year. I’m busy with so much that sitting down time can be hard to come by. I’m loving the fact I can sit down with this series and finish the book in one night. Being in a boxset means if I have additional time, I can move right on to the next book. The books are complete though there is the life of Claire that continues from book to book. It is her life that makes me recommend reading this in order, (though absolutely not necessary). I think you will find her relationship with Nick to be interesting. I want a love like that.

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Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...