Murder on the Poet’s Walk (A Book Retreat #8) by Ellery Adams


Publisher: Kensington

Publishes: September 27, 2022

Available Formats: Print and Digital

Source: Digital Copy from NetGalley

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review: Ellery Adams is my go-to person when I need a comfort read so this fit perfectly for this week.

In book 8 we join Jane and her book retreat crew as they host a poet competition for a greeting card company. Unfortunately, the competition turns deadly for two competitors. Can Jane and crew find the killer or will they get away scot-free?

One of my favorite things about this series is all the book recommendations. I learn many new authors from this series. There is a combination of poets and fiction authors mentioned. I like poetry but in small doses.

This series is best read in order but honestly, Adams does a great job in giving just enough background that if you started with any book you would be fine.

Look at your favorite book dealer (retailer) for pre-ordering options.

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

NetGalley: For bibliophiles who want to get away from it all, Virginia’s book-themed resort Storyton Hall offers the perfect escape. And in the latest witty installment from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, a killer inspired by Lord Alfred Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot” doesn’t stanza chance when resort manager Jane Steward is on the case!

When corpses clutching poems begin turning up around Storyton Hall, resort manager Jane Steward is on the trail of someone exercising poetic license to kill…

As Jane eagerly anticipates the wedding of her best friend Eloise Alcott, Storyton Hall is overrun with poets in town to compete for a coveted greeting card contract. They’re everywhere, scrawling verses on cocktail napkins in the reading rooms or seeking inspiration strolling the Poet’s Walk, a series of trails named after famous authors. But the Tennyson Trail leads to a grim surprise: a woman’s corpse drifting in a rowboat on a lake, posed as if she were “The Lady of Shallot.”

When a second body is discovered,also posed as a poetic character, a recurring MO emerges. Fortunately, Jane is well versed in sleuthing and won’t rest until she gives the killer a taste of poetic justice…

Peanut Butter Panic (An Amish Candy Shop #7) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 270

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 23, 2022

Available Formats: Print, Digital, and Audio

Source: Print Copy from Author

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My Review: Of all the wonderful Amanda Flower series, the Amish Candy Shop series is my favorite. I am so invested in Bailey and Aiden’s relationship that I won’t be content until they are married. Plus I want to continue to follow Charlotte’s decision to go from Amish to English.

In Peanut Butter Panic, we join Bailey and crew as Harvest prepares for the first-ever town-held Thanksgiving meal on the square. Happiness and fellowship are in the air until word gets around that a hated ex-judge is returning for the holidays. Can those wronged in the past by the judge forgive or will someone makes sure she suffers like they did?

I know the mystery should and did take center stage but I was more interested in the relationship turmoil between Bailey and Aiden. I had to resist the temptation to flip to the back to see the outcome. I never want to do that but oh my heart!

The murder mystery was well thought out with plenty of red herrings. I didn’t guess the murderer. When it was revealed and why I was shocked. I didn’t expect the turn it took. A cozy mystery that takes me by surprise like that is a highly rated mystery.

My reason for not giving a full 5 stars is a personal peeve of mine…there was only one recipe included. I expect my culinary cozies to have several. There were so many opportunities for more recipes being a Thanksgiving-themed cozy. In no way did it distract from the entertaining Murder mystery and romance between Bailey and Aiden.

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

Goodreads: Thanksgiving is Bailey King’s busiest holiday weekend. This year promises to be even more hectic, since Bailey’s candy shop, Swissmen Sweets, is providing desserts for Harvest, Ohio’s first village-wide Thanksgiving celebration. Yet, even with a guest list close to seven hundred people—Amish and English alike—the event’s organizer, Margot Rawlings, is unfazed . . . until she discovers her mother, former judge Zara Bevan, will be in attendance.

Zara’s reputation as a harsh critic is matched only by her infamy as a judge who has actively harmed the Amish community. So no one is prepared when Zara arrives with much younger boyfriend Blaze Smith and reveals their impending nuptials at dinner. That should have been the day’s biggest news, except shortly after the announcement, Blaze suffers an allergic reaction to something he’s eaten and dies on the spot.

Now, Bailey’s desserts are prime suspects, along with Margot and nearly everyone who attended the meal. With such a cornucopia of possibilities, Bailey must dig in and get to the bottom of this murder, before the killer goes up for seconds…

Home is Where the Body Is (The Wannabe Sleuth #1) by Jody Holford

Pages: 261

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Published: August 23, 2022

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Digital Copy from the Author

Available Formats: Digital

My Review: A great start to a new series. Murder and romance come together to make a fun and fast read.

Annie moves to her parents’ home in coastal Rainbow Falls while they go on a tour of the world. She expects a quiet life of coffee shops and beach walking. She gets a cranky cat, a murder, an overwhelming neighbor, and a hunky vet.

Annie is a protagonist I think all readers will enjoy. She has a small-town charm that draws others to her like a moth to a flame. She is a lover of junk food, a cozy mystery reader, and has a penchant for fainting at the sight of blood. The fainting gets her in the crosshairs of two bumbling detectives that couldn’t find the nose on their face.

Home is Where the Body Is kept me interested from beginning to end and I’m ready for book two, Homecoming and Homicide.

Goodreads: The coastal Oregon town of Rainbow Falls might be sleepy, but it’s definitely not innocent…

When graphic designer and true crime fan Annie Abbott agrees to house sit her parents’ home for a year, she’s convinced that even though the small town has ten coffee shops, nothing exciting will happen. But that’s before a seemingly feral cat gives birth in her garage, prompting a call to the very handsome, very single town vet. It’s a dream meet-cute, but just as their romance blooms, Annie discovers the bloody body of her grumpy neighbor. And despite the fact that she passes out at the sight of blood, the police suspect her.

To clear her name, Annie will need to put her years of watching police procedurals and reading mysteries to good use. She’ll also need to rely on her new friends who have welcomed her to Rainbow Falls, but is one of them the killer?

Three Shots to the Wind (Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery #3) by Sherry Harris

Pages: 296

Publisher: Kensington

Published: March 29, 2022

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Source: Digital Copy from NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Print, and Audio

My Review: I fell in love with the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon series from book one page one. I’m finally getting to book 3 of the series I have had on NetGalley. Book 4 is already up on NetGalley.

Chloe is settling in as a homeowner and partial bar owner and has found herself in a good relationship. All that is turned upside down when her ex-fiancé from Chicago shows up. Unfortunately, before confronting him she finds him floating near her home…dead. Why was he in Florida and who wanted him dead?

Chloe is the friend we all want. She is sweet and caring and will do anything for those she cares about. She tries to find the good in everyone even when they are mean and rude to her. These qualities are what also get her in trouble. Even her visiting brothers can’t keep her out of trouble.

A series set around Destin, Florida in a beach bar. Perfect series for a staycation.

NetGalley: The third installment in Sherry Harris’s Agatha Award-nominated series finds former Chicago librarian Chloe Jackson loving her new life as a bartender in Florida…until a surprise visit from her Windy City ex-fiancé ends with him blown away in the Panhandle!


Saloon owner Chloe Jackson appears to have a secret admirer. She’s pouring drinks at the Sea Glass Saloon in Emerald Cove when an airplane flies by above the beach with a banner reading I LOVE YOU CHLOE JACKSON. She immediately rules out Rip Barnett. They are in the early stages of dating and no one has said the L word. Then a bouquet of lilacs—her favorite flower—is delivered to the bar, followed by an expensive bottle of her favorite sparkling wine. It couldn’t be…

Sure enough, her ex-fiancé from Chicago has flown down to Florida for an accountants’ convention. But is he trying to mix business with pleasure and win her back? Unfortunately he’s not in a hotel conference room, he’s floating facedown in the lake next to her house, clutching a photo of Chloe. Who murders an accountant on a business trip—it just doesn’t add up. When Rip becomes the prime suspect, Chloe is determined to find the secret murderer. But if she isn’t careful, it may be closing time and lights out for her…

Shucked Apart (Maine Clambake Mystery #9) by Barbara Ross

Pages: 231

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 23, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Digital Copy from NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Print, and Audiobook

My Review: I have read bits and pieces of this series and have enjoyed every book. I should slap myself for not reading this series in its entirety.

This was a little different than the ones I’ve previously read as it takes place more in the neighboring town than on the clambake island. I enjoyed learning about oysters and how they start out and grow.

I cried at the ending. My heart hurts for Julia.

Recipes are included such as Banana Bread, Oyster Stuffing, and Baked Oysters.

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

NetGalley: In the ninth installment of the award-winning Maine Clambake Mystery series, Julia Snowden and the Snowden Family Clambake Company return for another case of mystery and murder in Maine–this time, Julia must uncover the murderer of an oyster farmer.

When oyster farmer Andie Greatorex is robbed of a bucket of oyster seed worth $35,000, she comes to Julia Snowden for help. Who wants to sink Andie’s successful business? Is it a rival oyster farmer, an ex-employee, a neighbor who objects to the oyster cages floating on the beautiful Damariscotta River, a lobsterman who feels pushed out by the farm leases, or someone from Andie’s personal life?

Then Andie turns up dead, floating by her dock in the SCUBA gear she wears when harvesting her oysters. Julia’s head start puts her in a perfect position to help her friends in the Maine State police major crimes unit with the investigation. But can Julia make sure the right suspect gets sent up the river before she ends up in a watery grave?

A Cowboy in Amish Country (Book 2 in the Amish Country Haven series) by Patricia Johns

Pages: 384

Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming Larger Print

Published: July 26, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Print copy from the author

Available Formats: Digital and Print

Review: A delightful lighthearted read that touches on serious subjects but doesn’t weigh the reader down.

A Cowboy in Amish Country is book two in the two-book series (book 1: A Deputy in Amish Country) but can be read as a standalone. I have not read book one (yet) and had no problem. Book one is waiting by my side.

Wilder is taking care of the ranch he and his brother inherited and needs to hire a part-time ranch hand until his brother returns from his extended honeymoon. The perfect ranch hand applies and he soon finds out it is ex-Amish Sue whose family lives right next door. In fact, her niece is a regular visitor to the ranch. Sue is hiding a secret from everyone until she can’t hide it any longer. She is pregnant and trying to decide how she should proceed. Return to the Amish fold or continue as a single Englisch mom. Will love find a way to give Sue and her Amish family their wishes?

Romance stories like this one are a balm to crazy, stressful days. Once you open the book you are transported and calm returns to your soul.

This book touches on addiction and how it affects those around you and the struggle for the addicted to staying on the right path after coming clean. This touched me personally due to a current family situation and helped me understand addiction more. Authors that can help readers make sense of real-world problems through fiction are ones to read. That is a gift indeed.

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

Goodreads: His new ranch hand…

Has a little secret

Ranching in Amish Country is both a challenge and a joy for Wilder Westhouse. Though he’ll never be fully accepted, he relies on his neighbors. Hiring Amish runaway Sue Schmidt as a ranch hand could cause problems, especially since her family lives next door. And falling for the beautiful and pregnant cattlewoman will strain relations further and complicate both their lives. Unless love can mend fences…and families.

His Amish Sweetheart (Petersheim Brothers #3) by Jennifer Beckstrand

Pages: 352

Publisher: Zebra Books

Published: June 28, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Digital Book through NetGalley/Audiobook through Hoopla

Available Formats: Digital, Print, and Audiobook

Review: I read this book when it was to be originally published during the pandemic but waited to write my review. Well, I wanted to read it again and ended up listening to the audiobook which was phenomenal.

I have yet to read a Jennifer Beckstrand book I didn’t like. Each series warms your heart and finds a way to stick with you. Even though this series is about the three older brothers the twins make it, Alfie and Benji are two little imps that you can’t help but love.

Austin and Hannah have been friends for years and he is too smitten with another Amish girl, Scilla, to see the love Hannah has for him. Through ups and downs in building a business, Austin questions his feelings for Scilla. Will he see where his true love belongs before Hannah walks away for good?

Even though His Amish Sweetheart can be read as a standalone I suggest reading the series in order. This will give you the best experience with the twins. I hope one day we get another book(s) or a novella on the twins when it comes time for them to fall in love.

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

Goodreads: Fondly nicknamed “The Peanut Butter Brothers,” Andrew, Abraham, and Austin Petersheim skillfully run one of Wisconsin’s most cherished family businesses. But their mischievous younger twin siblings have a talent all their own—for matchmaking . . .

Between work and keeping his little brothers out of trouble, Austin Petersheim barely has time to think, much less court the most popular maidel in town. But if he can establish a local market to direct-sell his family’s goods, he’ll stand out as a potential husband. He’s so grateful for the help of his longtime friend, Hannah Yutzy, who has such practical ideas—and is so easy to talk to . . .

While Austin embarks on his plan, his siblings have a plan of their own: to give Austin and Hannah a little nudge to show them they’re made for each other. When their antics wreak havoc with a rival family emporium, Hannah must help Austin set things right. And as she does just that, Austin is stunned to realize his best friend could be his perfect wife. Now he’ll just need the courage and faith to find out if she agrees . . .