Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery #2) by Maria DiRico

Pages: 288

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: February 23, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

We are back with Mia and her Nonna in Queens. This time Mia is working and attending her BFF’s baby shower but instead of opening cute little baby rompers her BFF opens a priceless stolen painting. As she unwraps the painting the stepmother of the BFF faints and is later found floating in the marina attached to Belle View. Can Mia find out why the stepmother was killed and the connection to the painting before a new little sleuth joins “the family?”

This series is a fun series to read. I find myself reading with what I envision is an Italian Queens accent. Mia is an amateur sleuth that you feel is your friend. You cannot help but want to rush through the book to find out what is next. Nonna is a dream Italian grandma. No matter what ails you food is the cure! You will laugh your socks off when you get to the part regarding a funeral and shoes. That is all the clue I am going to give. Read the book to find out.

The recipes included are mouthwatering. I really want to try and make the cannoli cake.

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

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pages: 320

Publisher: Revell

Published: February 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Lucy has never forgiven herself for not paying attention to her little sister and allowing her to be kidnapped. Now as an adult she moves from Lexington, KY to Morehead, KY to help the superintendent of schools, Cora Wilson Stewart. While in Morehead Lucy learns more than being a secretary, she learns about love, God, and forgiveness.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an author that I read without even looking at what the book is about. I was ecstatic to learn The Moonlight School was set in my home state of Kentucky and was based on the real Cora Wilson Stewart. I laughed, cried, and cheered as reading. This book is sure to touch everyone’s hearts especially educators. Can you imagine taking up the task of organizing a way to teach all the illiterates in a county with no internet, phone, or funds?

I plan on gifting this book to several friends that I believe will get a lot of encouragement from Cora.

Triggers: Kidnapping, poverty, death of a parent

Seduction in Death (In Death #13) by J. D. Robb

Pages: 354

Publisher: Berkley

Published: September 2001

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

Love in cyberspace. Is it safer than finding love at the local bar or park? Unfortunately for several women in NYC, it is not and it is up to Eve to find the killer or killers. Is it the work of one very creative man or two working together?

I am enjoying reading this series almost back to back. Yes, they all involve murder with some type of sexual perversion but the main story is the love story between Roarke and Eve. In Seduction in Death, we get to see a vulnerable side of Eve that is beautiful.

Triggers: Murder, Graphic sex scenes

Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen #1) by Tina Kashian

Pages: 312

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: March 2018

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Lucy finds herself unemployed and decides to spend a few weeks at home to decide what she wants to do. As soon as she enters her family’s restaurant her parents are pushing her stay, reconcile with her college boyfriend, and have babies. After sampling the restaurant’s hummus bar, the health inspector drops dead outside in the parking lot. Can Lucy figure out what happened before she is not the only family member unemployed?

This series has been on my TBR list since it was first released. I am so glad I finally read it. It was a fast-paced read full of energy. I loved how Lucy embraced her situation and ran with it. I was surprised by the murderer. I was sure it was someone else entirely. There is the beginning of a love triangle but I sure hope it doesn’t drag out. Both gentlemen have potential.

Whether you like hummus or not you will find your mouth watering. While in law school I ate a small Greek restaurant in Lansing several times a week because the food was good and lots of leftovers for those late-night study sessions so the descriptions of the food brought back good memories. It makes me want to find one here local in my hometown for some delicious stuffed grape leaves.

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

Pages: 377

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Published: January 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Overdrive (Libby) via Public Library

What would you do to stay safe and survive one of the most horrific wars in history? Antonina, an Italian Jew, must follow her father’s wishes and leave Venice with her new “husband” for a life she has no clue how to live. We follow Nina and she learns how to survive.

Our Darkest Night was a powerful and moving read. I am a sucker for historical fiction especially ones set in World War 2. I finished this earlier this month and I am still thinking about everything Nina and Nico experienced. I am ashamed to admit I did not much about what the Italians experienced in World War 2. This book gave me an insight.

I suggest reading this with a box of tissues.

Triggers: Rape, Murder, Genocide, Physical Violence, Death of family

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Pages: 624

Publisher: Avon

Published: April 1977

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

An epic family saga set in the wilds of Australia from early 1900s to the late 1960s.

My mom tried to get me to read this book for many years. I remember when the TV miniseries came out and it was all the rage with her friends and coworkers. I finally sat down and read this book at a slower pace than I normally read a book. I wanted to drink it all in and let myself process the beauty of the landscape and the depth of family and forbidden love.

I would definitely say this is a book for the adult reader due to language and sexual content.

A worth while read.

Triggers: Sexual scenes, language, death of a parent, death of a sibling, death of a child

Get Lucky by Katherine Center

Time: 8 hours and 15 minutes

Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.

Published: 2011

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Hoopla Digital via Public Library

What would you do to change your life? Would you help your sister achieve her dream of becoming a mom? Would you move to another state? These are all questions Sarah is asking herself when she finds a situation at work that has made her unemployed. What will Sarah decide?

If you follow my reviews, you know I am a huge fan of Katherine Center but with that being said Get Lucky is not a favorite of mine. I finished just because. I don’t know if it was the narrator or if Sarah was really as bratty as she sounded. Her character was very off-putting for me.

I would definitely recommend her other books before recommending this one.

Triggers: Sexual content, Suicide Attempt, Infertility

Buttercream Bump Off (Cupcake Mystery #2) by Jenn McKinlay

Pages: 212

Publisher: Berkley

Published: January 2011

Rating: 4 out of stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

Angie, Mel, and Tate are back just in time for Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air but not everything is chocolate and roses. Mel’s mother’s first date in years ends with her amour floating in the pool. Can the trio solve the murder before her mother spends time in jail?

I read the first book in this series a few years ago and always wanted to read more but other shiny new series waved their sparkly covers at me and off I went. I love the trio and the banter they have with each other. The movie references are spot on.

Buttercream Bump Off was just the book I needed. I found myself laughing many times. It was a fast-paced read that kept me turning pages long into the night.

I am now craving cupcakes and want to bake every recipe included.

Triggers: Murder, Death of a parent is mentioned, Unmarried sex alluded to

Click’d (Click’d #1) by Tamara Ireland Stone

Pages: 5 hours 51 minutes

Publisher: Recorded Books Inc.

Published: September 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Hoopla Digital via Public Library

Allie spent the summer at a STEM camp and created an app that pairs users together by interests. While trying it out on her classmates she learns of a few glitches that create unkindness among the users. Can Allie fix it in time?

This was an enjoyable middle-grade book. Allie’s character was not always likable in that she could be a tad selfish but what middle schooler is not selfish at times?

Click’d is a good book to teach about the importance of being kind to one another especially on social media.

Egg Shooters (Cackleberry Club #9) by Laura Childs

Pages: 304/7 hours 41 minutes

Publisher: Berkley/Dreamscape Media, LLC

Published: January 26, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley/Hoopla Digital via Public Library

While taking dinner to Sam, Suzanne is the crossfire of a masked man stealing drugs from the hospital pharmacy. She manages to hit him with a thermos of chili but not before he kills one and injures another. Can the Cackleberry ladies figure out who is stealing pharmaceuticals before it is too late?

If you have been following my review you know I have binged most of this series in the past month. I really enjoy this series. Is it a favorite? No. Is it one I will keep coming back to? Yes. The recipes alone are worth it. I am not a big egg eater but these recipes, have made eating them interesting and fun.

I alternated between reading my copy from NetGalley and listening to the audiobook from Hoopla through my public library. The narrator has been the same and while she is good she is not my favorite. She makes Toni seem very dumb and Petra very mean. I don’t get that feeling as much if I read the characters. Maybe they really are like the narrator makes them sound and I am just more forgiving as I read.

Definitely a series for cozy mystery readers who like culinary cozies.

Triggers: murder, drugs

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