As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers Village Mystery #5) by Leslie Budewitz


Pages: 288 (eBook)

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Published: June 8, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The snow is falling and the Christmas spirit is rising in Jewel Bay, Montana. Oh so one thinks. Erin, the Merc, manager has befriended the two pariah, Merrily Thornton. Almost twenty years ago her family shunned her when she pled guilty to taking money from her place of employment. She has comeback trying to make amends with her family and finds herself dead on her parents property. Erin cannot resist sticking her nose into the investigation but will she live to see her Christmas dream wedding come true?

This is the fifth book in the Food Lovers’ Village Mystery series but my first and I am hooked. I already want to start looking for the first four books in the series. Erin, the main character, is a perfect amateur sleuth for me. She is feisty, sweet and loves her family. I have been reading a lot of cozy mysteries where the sleuth is not close with her/his family so I found this a great twist for me. I love the Sunday family dinners her family has. Her mother would drive me crazy just popping in and taking over her house but I understand why she does.

One of my favorite things about the book is their is not a love triangle. Erin is perfectly happy with her fiancé and he is not a jerk. Sometimes I find the love triangle over takes the story in cozy mysteries. With the main character already in love and pretty much settled we can focus on the mystery.

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles may be a Christmas book but I believe you will enjoy it anytime of the year. Grab your warm blanket, a hot cup of yumminess and sit back and relax and get to know the residents of Jewel Bay. You will be glad you did.

Thank you to NetGalley and Midnight Ink for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review in my own words.


Carbs and Cadavers (Supper Club Mysteries #1) By Ellery Adams


Pages: 298 (eBook)

Publisher: Beyond the Page

Published: February 20, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

James Henry moved back to Quincy’s Gap to become the librarian when his mom passed away and left his dad with no one to take care of him. He befriends the local high school are teacher and she convinces him to join her diet club she has started with a group of friends. He is excited as maybe this will be a way to make some friends in his hometown. At their first meeting they name the club the Supper Club and get hooked into solving the murder of the local playboy at he town’s best pastry shop. Can James and his friends solve the murder and lose weight or will the murder derail their weight loss plans before they start?

How can you resist a main character that loves cheese doodles? I was craving them by the end of the book and wanted them as much as James did. I felt for James at every turn of the page. I understood how he felt and want he wanted out of life. Ellery Adams writes her characters with such feeling that you feel like you personally know them. You want to hop inside the pages of the book and be James’ and his Supper Club friends friend. You want them to know you understand their feelings but at the same time you want to let them now they are perfect they way they are and real friends see past the chubbiness.

I am excited to read a book about a librarian as the main character as I’m always looking for new things to add to be extensive TBR pile. I get excited thinking “oh, my favorite character has read this”. I cannot wait to read the second book “Fit to Die” and revisit my new friends.

No matter what your type of cozy mystery you like, Ellery Adams has a series you will enjoy.

Thank you to NetGalley and Beyond the Page for a copy to read and review based on my own honest words and opinion.


The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

the family next door.jpg

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: February 6, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What do you get when you mix a little Desperate Housewives with Big Little Lies? You get The Family Next Door! This is a jaw-dropping, twisty tale that will have you gasping at every page.

Ange, Fran, Essie, and Essie’s mom, Barbara all live on Pleasant Court. The ladies are friendly but not too friendly so they know each other’s business. That is until Isabelle moves in the house across the street from Essie. Isabelle is single and gorgeous. The ladies are skeptical at first that she may try to steal their husbands but then they are convinced she is gay. Why else would a single, beautiful lady move onto a street full of families?

As Essie and Isabelle’s friendship deepen the secrets start to unravel and come out much to everyone’s surprise. Is the darkest secret of all the one most hidden or the one hidden in plain sight?

Come for a visit to Pleasant Court and find out for yourself.

I have this on my to-be-read shelf for months and am kicking myself for waiting so long. I found myself up way too late night and getting up extremely early just to finish this book. I’ve heard Sally Hepworth compared to Liane Moriaty and the critics are right. I can see this made into a mini-series for TV.

The story starts out with Essie leaving her newborn baby, Mia, in her pram in the local park. Essie comes home after having coffee at the local coffee shop and her mother Barbara asks where is the baby. Thankfully Mia is ok but Essie is not and spends some time in the hospital healing from post-partum depression. Essie fears this will return when she has her second baby, Polly. The story picks up from here and goes in a direction I never expected. My jaw flopped open at one point of the book and I am not sure I closed it until after I closed the book.

If you are looking for something to read until Big, Little Lies comes back on the air you need to pick up this book from you favorite bookseller or library. You will be happy you did.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy in exchange for a review in my own honest words.



Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Revel

Published: February 6, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Phoebe has been the one to take care of her fortune hunting scheme of a father since the death of her mother several years ago. Phoebe has come to the crude realization that her father will mortgage anything and everything, including the roof over their heads to fund his business inventions and the like. She has always had her eyes set on the handsome, older gentleman Captain Foulger and takes advantage of hooking her line to him and marrying him against everyone’s wishes. What she does not realize is that the Captain is only interested in an old journal that she has just became the owner. The journal is her great-grandmother’s, one of the first settlers of Nantucket. In it there is a secret that could change the life of whomever reads it.

As Phoebe sets sail on the Fortuna with her new husband, the Captain, she tries to avoid a childhood friend, Matthew. He has joined the crew as the cooper but really has joined as a favor to Phoebe’s father to watch over her. AS the days wear on and Phoebe comes to realize that her marriage is not everything she thought it to be, her friendship with Matthew grows deeper.

Will Phoebe be able to save everything near and dear to her or will life play a cruel joke on her instead?

I am a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher and have enjoyed the fresh eyes she gives to Christian fiction. Normally I am not a big reader of Quaker fiction but I opted to try this novel due to her being the author. I almost gave up after reading at it for two days because of the Old English language of “thee” and “thy”. I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not like reading books written in that style. I am so glad I stuck this one out though. The story of Phoebe and her great-grandmother are exciting. You not only get to learn about the Indians that lived on Nantucket in the late 1600s but you also get to learn how Nantucket was settled by the Americans. As you are reading you get to leave the island and sail to the tropical islands and experience life at sea all the while going back to the 1600s.

I was pleased to learn that we do not get to finish reading the journal and that it will make appearances in the other books of this series. I am fascinated to see how it transforms others lives in the family.

I suggest you pick up this book with an open mind to the Old English language and give yourself plenty of time to get into the book during your first read. You might be like me and find that you cannot put it down because you have become so invested in everyone’s story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Revell for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review written in my own words.

His Guilt (Amish of Hart County #4) By Shelley Shepard Gray

his risk

Pages: 265 (Paperback)

Publisher: P.S. a trademark of HarperCollins

Published: March 6, 2018

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Calvin Fisher is caught between a rock and hard place trying to redeem himself after a lifetime of bad decisions. He wants to get out of gang life but the only way to accomplish that is work for the DEA. Either way he still has to hide his life from his family and do things that goes against the faith he was raised. A phone call from home has him rushing to his brother, Mark’s, side.

Alice has lead the life of a good Amish girl after a wild rumspringa and enjoys her life as an Amish preschool teacher even if she feels smothered at times by her family. To have some freedom, she has agreed to housesit for her brother and sister-in-law who live across from Mark. Alice has developed an interest in Calvin as she watches him from afar.

Will Calvin be able to leave his city life behind while in Hart County or will the city life destroy what he has come to love in this quiet community?

This is the fourth book in the Amish of Hart County series but reads as a stand alone book. I was captivated from the first sentence until the last. Gray has written a beautiful work of art set in my home state of Kentucky. I felt myself traveling the roads with Calvin and Alice and seeing the beauty of the rolling hills filled with Kentucky bluegrass.

His Risk is filled with romance and suspense. You have the budding romance of Calvin and Alice and the married romance of Mark and Wanetta that have the reader cheering and crying. My heart is still pounding from a few scenes and I am not talking about “that”. I am talking about suspense that keeps you turning the pages well past your bedtime.

I was so impressed with His Risk that I have already bought the first three books in the series and will read on my Spring Break from teaching. If interested the books in the series are:
1. Her Secret
2. His Guilt
3. The Gift
4. His Risk
5. Her Fear – release 7/24/18
6. His Promise – release 10/23/18

I dare you to give any of Shelley Shepard Gray’s books a read and not find yourself gobbling up all of them as fast as you can.

Lethal Licorice (An Amish Candy Shop #2) by Amanda Flower

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Pages: 353 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: February 27, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Bailey has stayed in Harvest, OH after the death of her Daadi (grandfather) to her Maami (grandmother) run the family candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Her grandfather was to participate in the highly competitive Amish Confectionery Competition and the judges have allowed Bailey to take his place. On the first day of the competition Bailey has a run in with a rival Amish candy shop owner, Josephine Weaver. Also, the town’s beloved polka-dotted pig, Jethro, has gone missing and his owner, Juliet, is distraught with worry. As Bailey looks for Jethro she unfortunately finds the body of Josephine. Will the police, particularly Aiden, be suspicious of her once again?

Whenever I am stressed I like to turn to cozy mysteries and Amish fiction. When you put the two of them together I am one happy reader. Amanda Flower has perfected the craft of writing Amish cozy mysteries. You are instantly transported to Harvest, OH into Bailey’s world as soon as you open the book. The details are rich with beauty and flavor. You can almost taste the candy Bailey and the others are making. It is a guarantee you will be craving whatever Bailey and her grandmother are making. Right now I want licorice and taffy. YUM!

Not only is there a murder mystery going on there is also a young Amish girl that Bailey meets that is trying to decide her path in life, stay Amish or leave or faith. The care and compassion shown from Bailey and her grandmother is the true spirit of helping one another. You will be moved like I was.

There is a small romance between Bailey and Aiden brewing but it does not take over the main story. They are both taking their time until they move to the next step. Aiden seems like the perfect match for Bailey. He lets her explore but is always around to help her pick up the pieces.

I cannot review the book without a blurb about Jethro. Who can resist a polka-dotted pig? This pig lives the perfect life. He is doted on like a king by his mom, Juliet and she just so happens to be Aiden’s mom and one of Bailey’s close friends in Harvest, OH. I found myself worrying about Jethro being lost in the dark and cold even when I was not reading. I absolutely love how Amanda Flower gives true personality to her animal characters. To me that shows she has a beautiful heart.

I am very excited to see the next adventure of Bailey and friends and to see where the romance is headed. Hurry and get your copy today from your favorite bookseller. If you have not read the first book, Assaulted Caramel, you should buy it also. Make it a sweet weekend of reading.