Scorched Eggs (Cackleberry Club #6) by Laura Childs

Pages: 320 (book) or 8 hours and 23 minutes (audiobook)

Publisher: Berkley (book)/Dreamscape Media LLC (audiobook)

Published: December 2014

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Hoopla via Public Library

As Suzanne is getting her hair dyed she smells smoke. At first, she thought a customer in the salon hair was on fire but she quickly realizes that the County Services building next door was on fire. She soon learns that the fire was intentionally set and a friend of Petra’s was killed. Can Suzanne find the arsonist before she becomes scorched?

Overall, I enjoyed book six of the Cackleberry Club. My biggest issue was with Petra. She was very unlikable. She was bossy and grouchy. It could have been because her friend was murdered or maybe I am just now noticing her bossiness.

It was interesting to learn the history behind scorched eggs and to learn in current times we call them scotch eggs. I have never had one and the next time we go to our local Irish restaurant I will have to try one.

Scorched Eggs is a solid addition to the series with a beautiful surprise at the end.

Stake and Eggs (A Cackleberry Club #4) by Laura Childs

Pages: 273

Publisher: Berkley

Published: November 2012

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

Winter has its grip on Kindred and the Cackleberry Club is focusing on the annual Fire and Ice Festival. That is until Suzanne finds the local banker beheaded behind the cafe. Can the Cackleberry Club solve the murder before they find themselves on ice?

I am finding myself getting hooked on this series. I can’t wait to see what Suzanne, Petra, and Toni are up to. The beheading of the local banker threw me for a loop as I believe it is the first time I’ve read about a beheading in a cozy. There was very little gore but it made for interesting reading.

Stake and Eggs was a fast-paced read that kept my interest. There was plenty of red-herrings to keep me guessing. Along the way there plenty of laughs when it comes to Toni’s husband Junior. As frustrating as he can be he brings some good laughs.

I highly recommend this series to fans of culinary cozy mysteries. Recipes are included.

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, and Scone Society #4) by Ellery Adams

Pages: 304

Published: January 26, 2021

Publisher: Kensington Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

It’s Halloween time in Miracle Springs, NC. A time for festivals, pumpkins, and trick-or-treating. Although it appears there are more tricks than treats happening. A local mom group has made it their passion to target all shops that do not meet their strong moral code. Unfortunately, Nora’s bookstore has made that list along with a new shop specializing in CBD oil. Before the CBD shop can celebrate its opening both the owner and her daughter have been murdered. Can Nora book the murder into the local jail before becoming the next victim?

Please tell me I am not the only reader who purposely slowed their reading pace down in order to stay in Miracle Springs longer. This series has been a joy to read even though it tackles some very tough and series issues. Nora feels like a friend and I really want to meet her.

Ink and Shadows made me cry and leap for joy before the end of Chapter 3. I suffer from fibromyalgia and very few people get it. They like to shake their head and murmur what they think is the correct murmurs but you can look in their face and see the scorn of disbelief. EA got it! She made me feel seen and understood. She got the days where getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other is all you can do. She got the days that even someone breathing on you brings you to your knees. Thank you, EA for Sheldon’s character.

I would think you could pick up this series at any point and fall right into the story but you really should read from the beginning. I suggest this series to anyone I can get to listen to me. It is one I can re-read and never get tired of reading.

Another top ten for me!

Warnings: witchcraft, murder, out of wedlock pregnancy, slight cursing, a hint of sex

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington Books, through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5) by Dani Pettrey

Pages: 325

Published: February 2015

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Recorded Books via Hoopla via Public Library

Join Kirra and Reef as they work the Iditarod. Kirra’s uncle disappears during a leg of the race and Kirra and Reef join forces to find him. Danger lurks around every corner. Can they survive the cold to find a loved one?

Sabotages is the fifth and last book in the Alaskan Courage series. A series I found exciting to read. Following the McKennas as they find love amidst danger made for good reading. I liked how the author waited until the last book to tackle the hardest of the siblings, Reef. He had the most to gain but he had to want it.

As with each book, Sabotaged is a clean Christian suspense. Easy to read. All five books are also available on Hoopla from your local library if they participate.

Life with Lily (The Adventures of Lily Lapp #1) by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pages: 277

Published: October 2012

Publisher: Revell

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Kindle Book I Owned

Follow along with six-year-old Lily as she navigates learning the importance of watching her younger siblings, the first day of school, and making friends (some nice and others not so nice). She will have you laughing and feeling compassion at any moment.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish and getting to read about their life from a child’s point of view was refreshing and interesting. I like how the series is based on the real-life adventures of Mary Ann Kinsinger.

My favorite scene in the book is when Lily’s Grandma Miller shows her how to make the Lily of the Valley flower change colors and compares it to the making of friends. A wonderful lesson for kids and adults.

Life with Lily is a perfect read-aloud book for your younger kids especially those interested in the Amish life.

Bedeviled Eggs (A Cackleberry Club #3) by Laura Childs

Pages: 302

Published: December 2010

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

Are two murders, a dogfighting ring, and a prison break all related? Leave it to the ladies of The Cackleberry Club to figure out just in time for the town to have fun at the Halloween party.

This is a series I have dabbled in for several years and really enjoy. I am always left with the wish I could hop in the car and visit The Cackleberry Club for some breakfast and leave with a book or three. Who knows I might even take time to learn knitting.

As with most cozies, Bedeviled Eggs is a clean read with no cursing and no violent murder scenes. There is an allusion to sex between an unmarried couple.

A solid read leaving me wanting to grab the next book.

Witness in Death (In Death #10) by J.D. Robb

Pages: 338

Published: 2000

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Physical Book I Own

Roarke has convinced Eve to take a night off and attend a live theater production but unfortunately, before the final curtain, it turns into a night of work. The lead actor was killed live on stage. Will Eve find the killer or will the killer exit stage left ready for the next production?

I started this series many years ago with my mom. She bought the first book solely based on the fact it was written by Nora Roberts alter ego. With her recent passing in 2020, I decided to start reading the series again in order to feel closer to her. At one time I thought 2059 was a lifetime away and now it is closer than I want to admit.

Witness in Death held my attention and I did not guess the killer until the big reveal. I am still trying to figure out which clues I missed. I am liking how we are getting more of Eve’s background and seeing a softer side of Eve with Peabody, Nadine, and Dr. Mira. Eve is still one tough cookie but she does have a heart.

Warnings: Incest, Rape, Sexual Scenes, and Cursing

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Pages: 399

Published: February 4, 2014

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sources: Kindle Book and Hoopla Digital Audio

4.5 stars

A story centered around a scarf that withstands more than 100 years and shows us how love can overcome anything. A Fall of Marigolds is set in 1911, 2001, and 2011. Clara is a nurse on Ellis Island after losing the love of her life in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City. She becomes the keeper of a scarf with marigolds when an immigrant becomes sick with scarlet fever. We follow her as she tries to return the scarf to the rightful owner and in turn starts the healing process of grief. Fast-forward 100 years and we join Taryn, a survivor of 9/11. On September 11, 2001, she was to meet her husband in the North Tower but a client asked for a meeting to discuss copying the scarf with marigolds. The scarf saves her from a terrible fate that day but it did not save her from losing the love of her life. Does the scarf have healing powers?

I was entranced from page one and found the world melted away while I listened/read. I went from listening to the story on Hoopla and reading on my kindle as I could not wait to find out what was next. The prose was beautiful and poignant.

I had never heard of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 in New York City. I took the time to look up information regarding and could not imagine the horror. But again, I could not imagine the horror of 9/11 either. How can one city have such horror and heartache and still be so resilient?

Tissues are a must.

Warnings: death, 9/11

The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia

Pages: 341

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Published: December 1, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Public Library

The Chicken Sisters is a tale of two estranged sisters competing against each other to win $ 100,000 for those they love.

Overall I enjoyed the book. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of each sister, Amanda, or Mae. I really liked that as it let me get to know each sister more intimately. It was easy to keep track of whose viewpoint we were getting as the chapter is titled with the name of the sister. We get to really understand how a situation can be seen and understood in many different ways. How our past experiences play a role in our reaction to the situation.

I had a strong reaction to one scene with Mae’s children. The goldfish scene caused me to fume in frustration. Such little brats.

The Chicken Sisters read at an easy pace. There is very mild cursing and no detailed scenes (a heavy petting/kissing scene). I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys fiction, contemporary women fiction, and romance. Although the romance was a very small part of the book.

Taken Too Soon (Quaker Midwife #6) by Edith Maxwell

Pages: 236

Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing

Published: September 8, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I admit I have not made a point to read many historical cozy mysteries like I do historical fiction. I accidentally found this series not long ago and have fallen in love with Rose. Her tenacity is admirable.

I keep saying I need to back and read the ones I have missed and have yet to do that. I’m very interested to see how Rose started out.

Taken Too Soon has quite a bit of romance but one would expect that with Rose getting married. I am excited to see how the marriage progresses.

Reader beware it is written with a lot of “thee” and “thou” but once you get used to it you don’t notice the antiquated way of speaking. I appreciate the author in keeping with the time period. It makes the story real.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: A new book in the Agatha Award-winning series by Edith Maxwell!

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must turn her investigative skills on her own family when a young woman’s murder stuns a New England community . . .

Following a long betrothal, midwife Rose Carroll and her beloved David are finally celebrating their marriage with friends and relatives, when a most disturbing telegram interrupts the festivities: the young ward of Rose’s aunt has suffered a mysterious death, and Rose’s help is needed urgently on Cape Cod. Reluctantly agreeing to mix her honeymoon plans with murder, Rose embarks on an investigation that will expose family secrets and a community’s bigotry.

As Rose does her best to comfort her aunt in her loss and also learn as much as possible about the poor young victim’s death, she discovers that each new clue points to a confounding list of suspects: a close friend of the victim who may have harbored secret resentments, an estranged brother of David’s with an unsavory reputation, and the son of a Native American midwife who supposedly led the young woman astray. And as Rose grows closer to identifying the perpetrator, the solution will rattle her assumptions about her own family and faith . . .