Amish Christmas Twins by Shelley Shepard Gray, Rachel J. Good, and Loree Lough

Pages: 273

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 29, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A fun read for Christmas and Amish genre readers. I made sure to take my time by reading a story a night.

Fans of @shelley.s.gray ‘s Walnut Creek series will be thrilled with The Christmas Not-Wish as we get to revisit the gang.

New Beginnings by @rachelj.good was a tear-jerker for me.

Two Times Two by @loree_lough was a fun read with the 4 little imps.

NetGalley: In these heartwarming, faith-affirming stories, three Amish families face the joys, and challenges, of the holidays—with fruitful results . . .

THE CHRISTMAS NOT-WISH
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Shelley Shepard Gray
When the foster parents they’ve cautiously grown to love discover they’re expecting, orphaned Roy and Jemima Fisher, ages six and seven, are secretly devastated by the certainty they’ll be given up. With Christmas around the corner, their only wish is for new foster parents as nice as Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz. Meanwhile, the Kurtzes have wishes of their own—and with faith, they all may be gifted with twice the blessings . . .
 
NEW BEGINNINGS * Rachel J. Good
Still grieving the loss of her husband and unborn baby in an accident several months ago, Elizabeth Yoder is oblivious to her neighbor Luke Bontrager’s deepening affection for her. But while she bleakly faces Christmas alone, it’s Luke who reminds her it’s the season for giving. And when Elizabeth donates her handmade baby clothes to New Beginnings, a home for teen moms, she soon finds her gifts repaid beyond measure, with Luke’s love—and new beginnings of their own . . .

TWINS TIMES TWO * Loree Lough
What happens when two secretive, stubborn people find themselves thrown together to help four rascally youngsters—twins times two!—create a Christmas surprise for their parents? Mischief and mayhem, and just maybe . . . love!

Killer Kung Pao (A Noodle Shop Mystery #6) by Vivien Chien

Pages: 288

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: August 25, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: Another great visit to Asia Village in the sixth Noodle Shop Mystery. Once again Lana finds herself involved in a murder inside Asia Village but it is one of the most disliked people of the village. Will Lana let bygones be bygones and help or will she finally listen to her boyfriend Adam and stay out of it? If you know Lana, you know the answer.

In Killer Kung Pao we get to learn more about the Majong Matrons that visit Ho Lee Noodle House every morning. I found that interesting as I am always curious about them. Hopefully, we get more info on them in the future as well.

I think one of my favorite things about the series is the covers. They are so detailed and downright beautiful. Every time I look at them I find something I did not see the first time.

Grab your favorite Asian dish, some hot tea, and be ready to dive into a delicious mystery.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. Any opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Vivien Chen’s Lana Lee returns for Killer Kung Pao, another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio!

Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle?

Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able to catch her breath before the weekend—which she’s eager to spend with her equally overworked boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau—Lana witnesses a car accident in the parking lot. And now she has no choice but to get involved.

June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is a serious businesswoman well-known for her heartlessness. But June meets her match when she rear-ends the Cadillac belonging to Mah Jong lover Mildred “Millie” Mao. As each woman curses—and threatens—the other, it becomes clear to Lana that trouble lies ahead. Still, who could have imagined that Millie would end up dead at the beauty salon? The evidence suggests that she was electrocuted while having a foot bath, and all eyes are on June. Can Lana find a way to solve this case before another fatality occurs in Asia Village?

Christmas Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swenson #26) by Joanne Fluke

Pages: 282

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 29, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A delicious addition to the Hannah Swenson series.

This takes place early in the series. We learn a bit more about side characters in this book like Doc and Carrie, Norman’s mom.

I enjoyed that it centered around a man with amnesia rather than a murder. It was refreshing to read how a town came together and was kind and wanted to help the man find himself.

As always there are many recipes I want to try and bake. I’ve had to stop myself from jumping up and starting one now. It’s almost midnight as I write this and I have lots to do tomorrow so I need sleep. Cookies or cupcakes…

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

NetGalley: As December turns Lake Eden into the North Pole, the heat is on in Hannah Swensen’s kitchen to honor two Christmas promises: baking irresistible holiday cupcakes and preventing murder!

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michelle’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .
 
The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

15 Minutes of Flame (A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #3) by Christine Brecher

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 25, 2020

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

My Review: This is my favorite yet in this wonderful series set in Nantucket.

We have humor, history, and hope. Brecher was very creative by setting the mystery of the bones around Halloween. How exciting to try and solve not one but two murders over 100 years old.

I loved getting that small town feel with having the Girl Scouts involved in the haunted house. They added fun to the book.

I’m very interested in Stella’s romantic future. It could get very interesting.

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

NetGalley: As Stella Wright’s Nantucket candle store thrives, her knack for solving mysteries burns equally bright—especially when a Halloween haunted house uncovers evidence of a centuries-old murder . . .

When Stella’s friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it’s the perfect setting for the town’s annual Halloween fundraiser. A deserted, boarded-up building on the property—once used as a candle-making shop—adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack’s dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth . . .

While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket’s intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching 18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed—leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe . . .

Dead-End Detective (A Piper and Porter Mystery #1) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 227

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Published: August 25, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

A cozy mystery filled with familial love. I agree with another reviewer that in most cozies the murdered character was often disliked but in Dead-End Detective, the murdered Samantha was well-loved by many and her murder is felt deeply. I didn’t cry but my heart ached for those left behind.

Darby Piper is going to be a fun sleuth to follow and Nate will keep her on her toes. In a way, it reminded me of series I fell in love with over the summer, The Liz Talbot series by Susan M. Boyer. Both are private investigators with a loving but nosy family. I love the fact that one is set in upper New York and the other in South Carolina.

I was shocked when the killer was revealed. I missed the clues pointing to the killer. The red herrings were perfectly placed throughout. Let me know if you were quicker to the draw in finding out the killer.

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

NetGalley: Starred Review on Library Journal!

USA Today bestselling author and Agatha Award winner Amanda Flower brings charm and intrigue to her first cozy mystery for Hallmark.

Darby Piper is in shock. A seasoned female detective, she worked with Samantha Porter at the Two Girls Detective Agency. Now, Samantha is dead, and it doesn’t look like an accident. In fact, evidence is pointing toward Darby.

Darby had expected to inherit Samantha’s half of the agency, but Samantha had recently changed the will to leave it to Tate Porter, her nephew, who returns to town.

Tate is no private eye. He’s a world traveler and a veteran whose military past is also something of a mystery. But as he helps Darby delve into secret histories and real estate development plans, he proves to be a talented amateur sleuth. Will the agency have a future…even if Darby can solve this murder mystery in time?

This first in series cozy mystery includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Berry Trifle.

An Amish Christmas Wedding (4 Amish Novellas) by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Vannetta Chapman

Pages: 400

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: October 6, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I enjoy reading the novella anthologies that seem very popular with Amish fiction/romance. Why do you ask? One I get to revisit some of my favorite characters or towns briefly and learn more about side characters. Two I find new to me authors or series that I might not normally gravitate towards. Three I can read a story a night and fall asleep happy.

I tend to suggest these novella anthologies to readers who want to dip their toes into the Amish genre. This selection of novellas will be on my heavily suggested list. Each story is full of love and Christmas cheer. How can you go wrong?

Don’t ask me to pick a favorite as that would not be right. Each story was heartwarming and written well. A perfect book to put you in the Christmas cheer.

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

NetGalley: From bestselling authors of Amish fiction come four delightful stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the everyday miracles Christmas brings.

Evergreen Love by Amy Clipston

Ryan Lapp had promised to marry Lorene Bontrager as soon as he was able to build them a house, but the day never came. Ryan moved away. Five years later, Lorene has settled in to her old maid role, and she’s shocked when her younger sister announces her quick engagement to Ryan’s younger brother. As they rush to plan the wedding, Lorene is constantly around the family she almost joined. Worse, she’s forced to face Ryan himself, who has returned to town. As both Ryan and Lorene examine their own feelings, they must decide if they can find grace with each other—and the young people they once were—this Christmas season. There just might still be love in their future.

Holiday of Hope by Kelly Irvin

Henry Lufkin is one of four bachelors who lived in the West Kootenai, Montana, cabins that were destroyed by wildfires. He’s the only one of them who hasn’t since married, but he likes his solitude. Then an old friend asks him to care for his son, and Henry has to share his small cabin and his life with bewildered and rebellious ten-year-old Tommy. When the child encounters trouble at school, Henry reaches out to Tommy’s teacher. Leesa Yoder never expected to find herself single and teaching sixteen young scholars, and she certainly didn’t anticipate an inexperienced bachelor telling her how to do her job. Amid the flying sparks, can Henry and Leesa see that there might be hope and love in this unexpected situation?

Wreathed in Joy by Kathleen Fuller

Mary Wengerd and Jakob Mullet have been best friends since childhood. Pressured by friends and family, they decided to date—with disastrous results. When they break up, their friendship is ruined. A year later, Mary is baking her Englisch friend’s wedding and groom cakes for a Christmas Eve wedding. Mary loves the Christmas season, and had always dreamed of marrying during that time. Now she wonders if she’ll ever marry. After she and Jakob form a tenuous new friendship, Mary breaks her arm. As he steps in to help her with the cakes, Mary is inexplicably and suddenly falling for him. But they’ve already dated, and that ended so horribly. Could it be better this time?


A Christmas Prayer
 by Vannetta Chapman

Widower Micah Miller runs the Amish Tour Company, offering Englischers a glimpse of a simpler life as well as tea at Rachel King’s. Rachel has never married and has recently lost her parents. When Micah comes across an abandoned and injured dog, he gives it to Rachel for company. As Rachel is charmed by the dog and shocked by news of the existence of family she never expected, her heart and mind bend toward the possibilities of change in her life—even toward the possibility of love.

Boston Scream Murder (A Deputy Donut #4) by Ginger Bolton

Pages: 254

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 25, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I will admit when I first started this series, I was on the fence if I would like it. I am happy to admit I love this series. Each book amazes me more than the previous one. Boston Scream Murder is my favorite yet. I finished it in one day I was so enthralled by it. You have donuts, murder, a smidge of romance, and kids at Halloween. What more could you ask for?

Be prepared while reading that you will constantly be craving donuts and chocolate bars. It is not fair to set a donut book at Halloween. I am not a fan of Boston Cream but I was craving one mightily.

There would be no issues reading this series out of order if you chose to do so.

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

NetGalley: Halloween in the small town of Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is the perfect season for Deputy Donut owner Emily Westhill to unmask a killer.

October 31 is just around the corner and Emily Westhill’s Boston cream donuts, carved with a scream, have made an indelible impression on local eccentric Rich Royalson. So much so that he’s ordered three dozen, with no screaming faces and twice the fudge frosting, for his seventieth birthday—a special event in more ways than one. It’s to be held on fog-shrouded Lake Fleekom where, twenty years ago, his wife mysteriously drowned.
 
But the next day, when Emily arrives with her Boston cream donuts, she stumbles upon Rich’s corpse. The poor guy wanted a unique birthday bash—just not one to the side of his skull. With a guest list of possible perpetrators left at the scene, Emily soon discovers that the Royalson closet is rattling with skeletons. As the fog thickens, motives mount, and the tricks outnumber the treats, Emily fears that Rich may not be the last one in Fallingbrook to go out screaming.

Digging Up the Remains (A Garden Squad Mystery #3) by Julia Henry

Pages: 222

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 25, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A great entry in the Garden Squad series.

For the most part, this series feels pretty real. The main character, Lilly, is not afraid to say she doesn’t like someone but does try to be kind. Something we all could strive to be better practicing. I enjoy she is a lady of a certain age but shows that age is only a number.

I want you that reading this series will have you looking at your own backyard and thinking of improvements. If I had Lilly’s backyard and three seasons room I’m not sure I would ever leave the area.

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

NetGalley: A festive fall is in full swing in Goosebush, Massachusetts, but when a snoopy reporter is felled by foul play, it’s up to Lilly and her Garden Squad to spook out a killer . . .

Between hosting a haunted house on her lawn, serving on the town’s 400th Anniversary Planning Committee, and prepping for the Fall Festival’s 10k fundraiser, Lilly’s hands are full. She doesn’t have time for prickly newspaper reporter Tyler Crane, who’s been creeping around town, looking for dirt on Goosebush’s most notable families . . . until he’s found dead on the race route moments before the start.
 
An unfortunate accident? Or did Tyler unearth a secret that someone in Goosebush is willing to kill to keep? By planting nasty rumors and cultivating fear, Tyler sowed a fair share of ill will during his brief time in town. Weeding through the suspects will be thorny, but Lilly and her Garden Squad are determined to root out the autumnal assassin before the Fall Festival flops . . .

A Death Long Overdue (A Lighthouse Library #7) by Eva Gates

Pages: 297

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: October 6, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: Even with a little bit of paranormal activity, it is a very enjoyable series to read. The characters feel real and so do the storylines. I cannot believe we are already up to book seven. I already know we have a book eight coming according to Amazon. Yay!

There was a little surprise in this book that has me plotting and thinking of what we will see in Lucy’s future. Hmm…

Although this is not a Halloween themed book it is perfect for the season. It can be read as a standalone but I always think reading cozy series in order are the best. I’ll let you be the judge.

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

NetGalley: When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale.

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.