For Whom the Book Tolls (An Antique Bookshop Mystery #1) by Laura Gail Black

Pages: 264

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: September 8, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: A great start to a new series. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing up to the revealing of the murderer.

I liked the fact that the amateur sleuth has a questionable past. I am hoping we have a future book where she solves what really happened in Charlotte.

I only have two not really complaints but wish it was different. I did not like her being so weak in her relationship in Charlotte. Her boyfriend/fiance was a JERK! Good riddance. Her new romance was very quick. Too quick for my liking.

I am ready for book two and have high hopes this will become a “must-read” series for me.

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: In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna–his primary beneficiary–becomes the prime suspect.

Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle’s gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she’ll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle’s body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore.

Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she’s inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy…which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna–bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna’s status as the prime suspect in both deaths.

Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle’s killer. On the one hand, she’s made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address–and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna’s story.

Christmas Charms by Teri Wilson

Pages: 280

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Published: October 6, 2020

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My Review: A fun, sweet, feel-good read that leaves you warm and fuzzy ready for Christmas.

Teri Wilson is quickly becoming one of my go-to Christmas authors that are a must-read. I love the whole idea of a magic charm bracelet. For me it made the story of boy-girl meet up again after a disastrous breakup into something fun and new. I really hope a movie is in the future.

Is the cover not beautiful??? It drew me in immediately and made me want to dive right in and experience Christmas in Owl Lake.

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

NetGalley: She never dreamed her holiday would include her hometown, a dog, or a firefighter. But a mysterious charm bracelet predicted it all…

Ashley’s supposed to be having the Christmas of her dreams. After four years of working at an upscale jewelry store in Manhattan, she’s finally going to get a little velvet box of her own—from her boyfriend Jeremy, who’s taking her on a romantic trip to Paris. What could go wrong?

Well, everything.

Ashley heads home to Owl Lake instead, falling asleep on the train ride there…and waking up with a beautiful antique charm bracelet on her wrist. Soon, she realizes that each silver charm predicts an event that happens in real life. What does this mean for her and Jeremy…or her and Aidan, her former high school boyfriend, who’s now a local firefighter? Is there still a chance that she could have the perfect Christmas?

This small town Christmas romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Spiced Walnut Crust Cookies with Chocolate Ganache and Sea Salt.

Cold Conviction (An Aspen Adams #3) by Daryl Wood Gerber

Pages: 242

Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing

Published: October 27, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: I am addicted to this series. Finding a new book in the series is like finding a Christmas present you forgot to open.

In book three we get to learn more about the night Aspen’s parents were killed and how it affected Aspen and her sister. I never expected the killer to be who it was. My mouth dropped to the floor when revealed.

I am very ready for the next book and cannot wait.

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

NetGalley: Agatha Award–winning author Daryl Wood Gerber returns with private investigator Aspen Adams taking on a cold case that has haunted her for years . . .

When her parents were murdered fourteen years ago, Aspen Adams coped as best she could as a college freshman and numbly moved on when the case was never solved. Living since then with almost daily reminders of how the tragedy shaped the lives of her and her sister, she’s always known that someday she would launch an investigation of her own. And now, with her sister in crisis, she draws on all her experience as a private investigator to untangle a case that left the police baffled and her family in ruins.

Interviewing the detectives who worked the case, scouring endless pages of their notes, and even tracking down the original suspects, Aspen discovers aspects of the crime and her parents’ lives she never knew about—and ignites a menacing series of events that threaten to engulf everyone near her. Certain she’s on the trail of the killer and unwilling to be deterred, Aspen faces down her own fears about what she’ll find in her search for answers—and justice—before a killer who scarred her life can resurface to wreak havoc on her family once again . . .

Candy Cane Crime (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #5.5) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 84

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 26, 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review: I know Bailey is the main character but I really think it should be Charlotte. I love her character. This quick novella really highlights Charlotte and shows her character growing. I am already itching to read the next book to continue with Charlotte’s big decision (no spoiler here as the blurb from the publisher mentions she has a decision to make).

Whether you have read the series from the beginning or are thinking about reading it I would hurry and pick up a copy of this novella. It is perfect for a cold night of staying in.

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

NetGalley: A candy-striped caper . . .

Christmas is coming all too quickly for Harvest, Ohio’s famous chocolatier, Bailey King. Thanks to her new cable TV show, her shop has more candy orders than she can handle this holiday season. Fortunately, her beloved Cousin Charlotte is happy to take the Candy Cane Exchange off Bailey’s to-do list. After all, Charlotte has come to Harvest from her conservative home district to find her future outside of her family’s influence. What better way than by taking on the Englisch task of pairing the sweet notes everyone is exchanging with a peppermint treat, just in time for Christmas Eve delivery? But when Charlotte discovers some of those delicious missives are for her, suddenly she’s staking out the festive postbox, hoping to catch her secret admirer in his intriguing tracks . . .

When Charlotte sees something underhanded going on beneath the merrymaking, she enlists the help of Sheriff Deputy Luke Little to find out if her unknown correspondent is none other than the town’s biggest suspect. And the surprising truth about her suitor’s identity has her contemplating leaving her Amish roots behind forever . . .

Booked for Death (A Booklovers B&B Mystery #1) by Victoria Gilbert

Pages: 317

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: August 11, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: An enjoyable start to a new series. I liked the twist of the past of Charlotte’s Aunt and the neighbor. Truthfully that is what pulled me into the story.

I am anxious to see if Charlotte warms to the idea of being a B & B owner. A few times I felt a little put off by her backhanded whining and it made her appear a tad ungrateful. Then I would remind myself she has been through a lot of changes and needs time to work them out and find herself again.

Currently, book two is scheduled to be released Summer of 2021 and I will definitely be reading it.

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

NetGalley: A book lover’s B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder–and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader’s paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It’s the perfect literary retreat–until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim’s daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt’s name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer’s death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer–or end up writing her own final chapter.

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 . . .

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 . . .
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 . . .

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.