A Perilous Pal (A Friend for Hire #2) by Laura Bradford

Pages: 304

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Published: July 5, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Print, and Audiobook

My Review: This was the perfect book to read while being laid up with a serious respiratory infection. It made me forget how bad I felt.

In book two of the Friend for Hire series, we meet Kim. Kim is experiencing the empty nest syndrome coupled with her husband of 30 years leaving her for a younger model. She has come to realize she doesn’t know what to do with herself as she gave all to her family. She contacts Emma to hire her as a friend. While getting to know one another, Kim’s husband is murdered. Can Emma free Kim before the real murderer gets everything they want?

There is so much going on with this series that makes it wonderful. You have Emma, a young lady, learning about life in ways we don’t often take time to explore. She befriends Big Max who is challenged but she sees the love he offers everyone. Dottie, the curmudgeonly octogenarian, is the seasoned grandma she didn’t know she needed who keeps her on her toes. Stephanie is the sister that is more her style than her own. And then you have lovely Jack, the love of her life who offers a ready-made family. I always feel happy when I finish a book in this series.

There has to be a third one. The ending was a bombshell in many ways. I need answers! Like now!!!

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

NetGalley: Entrepreneur Emma Westlake’s new business is booming until her latest client is arrested for murder in this new Friend for Hire Mystery by USA Today bestselling author Laura Bradford.

Emma Westlake, proprietor of A Friend for Hire, finds a heart-wrenching email from a prospective client in her inbox. The email is from Kim Felder, a woman struggling with empty-nest syndrome and an out of left field divorce. Determined to help get Kim in a better headspace, Emma suggests she draft a bucket list of things she has always wanted to do in life but has put off in favor of taking care of everyone else.  

Together, they fill that list with fun baking classes, traveling, and dancing in the middle of the street for no reason. Kim also adds in some hilarious items about getting even with her ex. But all laughter ends when Kim’s ex winds up dead via one of the ideas Kim proposed. Now, Kim is Deputy Jack Riordan’s lone suspect in a murder Emma knows she did not commit. Emma will have to put her budding relationship with the deputy on the line to corner a cunning killer.

Concession Stand Crimes (A Ballpark Mysteries Book 2) by Nicole Asselin

Pages: 231

Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing

Published: June 29, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Digital Copy from Author

Available Formats: Digital and Print

My Review: Are you a cozy mystery fan? Do you love baseball? If you answered yes to both questions then Concession Stand Murder is the book for you. It is book two in the Ballpark Mystery series.

I have been a baseball fan since I was a wee little girl. Here in Louisville, KY we have a minor league team called the Riverbats (which used to be the Redbirds) and there is nothing better than watching a game with a breeze blowing off the river and eating a hot dog.

In Concession Stand Murder, Madeline is trying to move past the scary murder and kidnapping at her family’s ballpark (book one) when unfortunately a beer heiress is found dead in their craft beer concession stand. Will Madeline find the killer or will she be watching baseball from the heavens above with her beloved grandpa?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have already downloaded book one to catch up. The Armadillos (a great team name) are a Massachusetts independent team who looks up to the Boston Red Sox (being a Yankees fan this was hard). While reading you get the fun of little league night and an 80s night. By the end of the book, you will be ready for a hot summer night of beer and baseball.

Thank you to the author for a copy to read and review. All opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

Goodreads: MADELINE BOUCHER is still reeling from her first few weeks of working for her family’s Independent League Baseball Team, the Abington Armadillos. She found a dead body and survived a kidnapping before finally clearing her brother of a murder. She didn’t think anything could be as dramatic as that, but she was wrong.

Her parents have given her more responsibility in running ballpark events in the hopes that they could retire and leave the team in her hands. Her brother is moving on to the big leagues, so this is her time to shine. Her first task? Deal with a concession stand kerfuffle. Redmond Brewery heiress, Alaska Redmond, storms her way into the ballpark making demands.

The next day, the son of the concession’s manager finds Redmond’s body in one of the beer stands along the ballpark concourse. Again, Madeline finds herself immersed in an investigation. While the suspects start piling up, including a promising young player on the team, Madeline knows she must get involved. With the help of Davis, her new love interest and head of the security department, she delves deeper into the death of the heiress.

Trying to run team events, solve a murder, and have a normal life take their toll as Madeline comes to depend on those in her baseball-loving community, including Bronia, her old family friend who runs a garden center and helps her make sense of things. She even chances a psychic for advice while at a Salem Warlock’s away game. Will anyone help her untangle the mess of suspects including the victim’s family?

Can she clear the name of the Abington Armadillos and start focusing on the season?

A Totally Killer Wedding (Totally 80s Mysteries) by D. A. Wilkerson

Published: April 11, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Author

Available Formats: Digital and Print

My Review: Who is old enough to remember the 1980s? I sure am! I was in elementary and middle school during this time and I will admit I loved the 80s. The fashion was interesting, the music was fun, and the cars were loud. T-top Trans AM anyone??? A popular shoe was Jellies. I owned many colors of Jelly shoes. Talk about sticking to your feet in the heat! Plus they were hard plastic and did not give. My favorite fashion statement: is the neon colors. My favorite shirt was a Body Glove neon pink crop shirt. Come home from school and throw that baby on and dance to some Material Girl and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Oh, let me stop before I embarrass myself talking about spiral perms! 😱

In A Totally Killer Wedding, Beckett has moved back home after a breakup with her fiancé and works as a church secretary. The local Don Juan is in the wedding at her church and par for the course he is making eyes with the bridesmaids. While looking for him after the ceremony to finish pictures she slips right onto his dead body in the church kitchen. Seems there are more ladies than not who have a reason to see him dead. Her Aunt Star is one of them. Will Becky find the killer before her Jelly shoes go out of style?

Put on some classic Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, grab an iced cold beverage, and settle in for a fun afternoon of 80s murder.

Thank you to the author for a copy for my reading pleasure. Available on Amazon (digital and print).

Goodreads: This clean cozy mystery is the first book in the Totally 80s Mysteries series.

The year is 1985, and Beckett Monahan is on the cusp of her twenty-eighth birthday. Her job as a church secretary in her small hometown of Cherry Hill isn’t glamorous, but it’s about to get more exciting. When she stumbles onto a dead body at a wedding, she quickly involves herself in the investigation. People she cares about are being accused of the crime, so she must clear their names and help bring closure to the victim’s family.

While investigating, Beckett has to deal with the reality that someone in Cherry Hill—likely someone she has known her entire life—is a killer. She is also forced to hide her efforts from the local police, who have told her not to interfere in their investigation and who are sincerely concerned for her safety.

With the assistance of some friends and family members, Beckett uncovers clues, debates suspects’ motives, and makes clandestine outings to confirm her suspicions. In the process, she strengthens long-time bonds and builds some new and surprising relationships. But none of that matters if she can’t find the killer before they take her out of the picture. 

Crimes and Covers (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #5) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 304

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: January 11, 2022

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital and Print

My Review: A beautiful ending to a lovely series.

I’m not much on paranormal or mystical reading or I didn’t think I was until a few cozy mysteries changed my mind. This series was one of them. I love thinking about a bookstore that knows the right book to put in your path as you browse.

I’m sorry to see this series end but the ending was beautiful. Violet married the perfect man and the shop will continue.

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

NetGalley: Violet Waverly sleuths a Thoreau-ly puzzling Christmastime murder in Agatha Award-winning, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s fifth Magical Bookshop mystery.

Christmas is coming to the Western New York village of Cascade Springs, and so is the long-awaited wedding of Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly and police chief David Rainwater. Grandma Daisy and Violet’s best friend, Sadie, go all out to make the nuptials the event of the season–whether Violet likes it or not. But the reception becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons when a woman’s dead body floats by on the frigid Niagara River.

Violet is shocked to recognize the deceased as a mysterious woman who visited Charming Books two days before the wedding, toting a rare first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Well aware that a mint condition copy could be worth more than $14,000, Violet told the woman she would have to have the book appraised before she could consider buying it. Most displeased, the woman tucked the precious tome under her arm and stormed out of the shop. Now she’s dead, and an enigmatic message scrawled in pen upon her palm reads, “They stole my book.”

It’s a confounding case, indeed. But fortunately, Violet can draw on the resources of her bookshop’s magical consciousness, which communicates clues to Violet via quotes from Walden. With Emerson the tuxedo cat and Faulkner the crow at her side, Violet sets out to recover the priceless book by solving a murder most transcendental.