In Peppermint Peril (A Tea and Read Mystery) by Joy Avon

peppermint

Pages: 285

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: November 27, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Callie has moved back to Maine to help her Great Aunt with Book Tea. A fun tearoom that is filled with sweet bookish clues from beloved mysteries. They’ve agreed to cater a small party at Haywood Hall for Dorothea so she can make an announcement regarding her will. Unfortunately, several things occur, one of which is murder, that prevents the announcement from happening. Callie has taken it upon herself to find the killer. Will she succeed?

My favorite part of the book: Daisy, the Boston Terrier. I wish she had made the cover of the book. As a Boston Terrier owner, I am a sucker for books with one on the cover or as a character. Daisy doesn’t do much but eat and sleep but alas that is the life of a Boston.

As a debut cozy this series has a lot of potentials. I am curious how the town will progress, the direction of Callie and Deputy Falk’s friendship and Callie’s job at Book Tea. I was disappointed no recipes were shared at the end of the book. As a culinary cozy mystery, I have come to expect them. I would have enjoyed learning more about Iphy’s “The Duel”. It sounded yummy to eat and look at.

I will definitely be reading the second book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

If the Coffin Fits (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #2) by Lillian Bell

coffin

Pages: 296

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Published: September 11, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

I want to start my review off explaining the three stars. I did not like this book very much and I cannot pinpoint why. I personally think it was just not the right time for me to read it (too many deaths in our family this year). I heavily suggest you read the first book as there is a lot of back story and another mystery that continues from book to book. Not knowing the background of either did not help me like the book. There were explanations of both but I still felt a little lost and confused at times.

I have bought the first book and will read it when I am in a better frame of mind and will re-read the second book. I honestly do think this can be a series I will like and will enjoy to read. Stay tuned to see if reading the series from the beginning and re-reading the second book changes my mind.

Desiree definitely dances to her own tune. Her newly acquired dog, Orion, stole the show for me. He is the reason I kept reading. I love the idea of the possibility of him becoming a therapy dog. I wish more funeral homes would look into this as special needs kids and adults would find these dogs extremely helpful during a time most cannot understand.

In “If the Coffin Fits” Desiree starts out helping the Fiore sisters plan their father’s funeral. A death that is not unexpected and is merciful as Mr. Fiore has suffered years under the care of hospice. Desiree hears the sisters arguing quietly and one accuses the other of something but she is not sure what. Tact may not be in Desiree’s realm of running a funeral home. She comes right out and accuses a sister of murdering their own father. Before Desiree can correct her gaffe, Violet Daugherty is brought in after she faints behind the wheel of her car. When the medical examine turns up some questions, Desiree finds herself in more hot water. Not only with the Fiore sisters but the town itself when they start cancelling and going to other funeral homes. Will Desiree survive this round of questionable deaths in order to continue on her search for her own father who has mysteriously disappeared?

Thank you to the author for a copy of the book for an honest review. Any and all opinions are entirely my own.

‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #2) by Jacqueline Frost

twas

Pages: 309 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: November 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Holly White has barely recovered from her almost death last Christmas while investigating a murder when another murder finds her this Christmas. The town lothario winds up stabbed to death and left in the town square’s gigantic peppermint candy bowl. Unfortunately Holly’s best friend and town cupcake maker, Caroline, is the main suspect. Can Holly solve this murder before becoming a repeat customer of the “almost dead” club?

This series is my guilty Christmas pleasure. Holly and her family are what you think of when you think of Christmas. First, they live in Mistletoe, Maine where the twelve days of Christmas is celebrated with the Reindeer Games. You have blindfold gingerbread house building and snowman building contests. The town plays Christmas music and every store is decorated. A little murder is thrown in to make things even more interesting.

You will laugh, scream and cry with Holly at every turn. Her love life is interesting. She is kind of dating the local sheriff but they have yet to get on the same page at the same time.

In book two, Holly’s family is building an inn at the Christmas Tree Farm and I am interested to see how the dynamics change in future books with this addition.

If you love Christmas and murder together you need to get this series ASAP.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Read and Gone (A Haunted Library #2) by Allison Brook

read gone

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: September 11, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Carrie does not really know her dad as he has always been running from the law for as long as she can remember. She feels so disconnected from him that she calls him Jim and not dad. When she catches him breaking into her cottage she doesn’t know whether to hug him or call the police. She really doesn’t know what to do when he asks her to help him recover some stolen gems from the local jeweler and library board member, Benton Parr. Shortly after her refusal to help him, Parr is found dead and her father the main suspect. Now it is up to Carrie to prove her father is innocent and find the real killer before the killer strikes again. Will Evelyn, the resident library ghost, be of help in Carrie’s latest quest?

I’ve been surprised how much I have enjoyed this series being that it is of the paranormal theme with having a library ghost of a past librarian. Evelyn, the library ghost, is a great to help Carrie whether learning her way around the library or finding a killer. The second book starts a bit slow but picks up quickly. It really picks up when Carrie is torn between her dad and the love of her life, insurance man, Dylan. You find yourself having a hard time deciding who to be mad at, her dad or Dylan. Poor Carrie goes through every emotion. Luckily Smokey Joe, her cat, is there to comfort her.

I am curious to know if Carrie’s dad, Jim, will be a regular character or one who visits from time to time. He adds some interest to the story with his questionable background but I can see he may be a nuisance in the romance between her and Dylan.

I like that this library is trying to evolve with the times by mentioning a coffee shop inside and having so many programs. Our main library has recently allowed you to bring in drinks. Yes, it scares me to think of how many books could be damaged but we bring the books home and we know we all read as we eat lunch or are drinking a cup of tea. Allowing drinks gives you the option to stay longer and take advantage of the library offerings such as programs like a Christmas carol singing. I know myself I wish I could visit Carrie’s library and pet Smokey Joe and have a cup of tea while reading.

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

Death and Daisies (A Magical Garden #2) by Amanda Flower

death

Pages: 248 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: November 13, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Fiona is putting the finishing touches on her Climbing Rose Flower Shop and working on making Duncreigan her own cottage. Her baby sister has flown over from Nashville to “find herself” after college. Fiona is also learning that not everyone in town is welcoming her with open arms. Minister MacCullen thinks she is trouble like her godfather and wants nothing to do with her or her business. After one of worst storms to hit the area in decades the minister is found washed up on the beach. Will Fiona’s new love, Chief Inspector Craig, suspect her once again?

In book two of the Magic Garden Mystery series we seem to jump right back in to Fiona’s life. I love when you can open a book and feel like you never left. Just as the first book, it was a fast-paced read that you do not want to put down. Fiona is still strong and a take no prisoners kind of gal. My judgment is still out on the addition of her sister Isla. She adds to the story but she can be whiny to the point I want her to go back to Nashville.

There is some magic in the book with the garden and Fiona being able to see visions but the magic is more background. It doesn’t overshadow the mystery.

I would definitely suggest you read this series in order so you don’t ruin the surprises each book offers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

In Cold Chocolate (A Southern Chocolate Shop #3) by Dorothy St. James

chocolate

Pages: 263 (ebook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: September 11, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Penn” is still making her place in Camellia Beach, SC and finding her inner chocolatier. It is the season of sea turtle hatching and Penn wants to become a turtle volunteer. In order to do so she joins Althea and the other turtle volunteers to watch a nest for possible hatching. As they are watching they notice a house has left outdoor lights on. Althea goes to get cardboard to cover the light and Jody, Penn’s nemesis, shows up with guns a blazing, truly. Unfortunately, Jody finds herself on the wrong end of the law when all signs point to her in the murder of the beach’s playboy, Cassidy. Can Penn prove Jody’s innocence?

I have really enjoyed this series this year. Penn has grit and determination of a Southern lady even though she is from Wisconsin. She has her mother’s blood in her that is for sure. I enjoy her spars with the police chief and detective. Detective Gibbons is one of my favorite characters. I believe he has a crush on Penn. I’m not a big love triangle kind of person but I hope something starts to happen in the love arena between Penn and Gibbons. Harley needs a run for his money.

This is the perfect book for all sea turtle lovers and cozy mystery fans. An enjoyable read for any time of the year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4) by Eva Gates

spook stacks

Pages: 309 (Hardback)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publisher: June 12, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Loved!

Lucy loves working as a librarian in Outer Banks, NC but is not a fan of Halloween. She knows she must suck it up and roll with the flow until she finds the body of Jay Ruddle during one of the library’s Halloween celebrations. Jay had narrowed it down to the library and a local college to leave his extension collection of historical documents pertaining to NC. Can Lucy find the killer and save the donation before the spirits of the holiday take over?

This is book four in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series but the first for me. I enjoyed reading about Lucy and all the library staff. I have already downloaded that first book in the series to my kindle so I may get caught up. I was able to pick right up with who was who even though I came in the middle of the series. Eva Gates does a great job in giving background info on important characters.

I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed and that I appreciate as it means the author did a great job in keeping the info under wraps until it was time. She also does a great job in not having too many characters.

A series I am definitely going to catch up on. If you love libraries, librarians and books this is the series for you. It is clean with no foul language. Being that it is Halloween themed there are mention of ghosts and it is questionable if the marsh ghosts make an appearance. You will need to read to find out.

I received a complimentary copy from the author. Any and all opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.

Flowers and Foul Play (A Magic Garden Mystery #1) by Amanda Flower

flowers.jpg

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: May 8, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Fiona left Nashville, TN behind and all the memories, good and bad, of her rotten ex-fiancé. Her godfather left her his cottage in Scotland and she travels there to see what life has in store. Finding a dead body in the cottage garden within an hour of arrival is not what she was expecting. Fingers point to her because she is not Scottish but as clues start being pieced together the list of suspects is long and intriguing.

I adored this book! Fiona is one of the best female sleuths out there in cozy mysteries. She pulls herself up by her bootstraps and keeps on trucking. After being jilted by her fiancé for the cake decorator she flies by herself to Scotland, rents a car, drives and finds a dead body and she still does not run home and hide. Instead she starts investigating not knowing anyone in her new home. I am not sure I would have been brave enough to travel to a foreign country by myself much less investigate a murder on my own. She is caring, loving and genuine. You will find yourself a little in awe of her.

I am so excited for this new series. I usually do not read cozy mysteries set outside of the USA as I find them sometimes filled with too much detail explaining the customs and beliefs of the country it takes place in but Amanda Flower puts just the right amount of detail in the story not to be overwhelming. I am enchanted with the beauty she describes of the countryside in Scotland.

Magic is touched upon lightly throughout the book and makes it very interesting to see how it will unfold. I love the idea of a garden that blooms and rejuvenates on its own. Can you imagine watching such beauty unfold?

I don’t think you will be able to put this down once you start. I am interested to hear your thoughts once you grab a copy and lose yourself in the beauty of Scotland.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Playing with BonBon Fire (A Southern Chocolate Mystery #2) by Dorothy St. James

playing with bonbon fire

Pages: 349 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: March 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Penn is finding her way as the owner of her grandma’s chocolate shop as well as organizing a beach music festival to bring in the crowds. As a favor, her sister has asked music star Bixby Lewis to perform and with the fame comes the crazy fans. Was the murder of the local a mistaken identity for Bixby as Bixby claims or is there something deeper going on? Can Penn solve the crime before damage is done?

This is the second book in A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery and it has proven to be a winner for me. I feel in love with Penn’s character right away. She has already proven she is strong with overcoming her background of a loveless childhood. She moves to a new town and new state and starts overcoming adversity with trying to find out who her mother is and fighting family members left and right for the knowledge she is seeking.

I have not read the first book in the series (I think I am seeing a pattern for me) but I was able to follow along with who the characters were and how they related to each other. I really want to see how the friendship/relationship between Penn and Harley progresses. Harley seems like a real sweetheart but is he too soft for Penn who has a wall up around her heart?

Thank you Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy to read in exchange for an honest review based on my own thoughts.

Death by a Whisker (A Cat Rescue Mystery #2) by T. C. LoTempio

death by a whisker

Pages: 318 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: February 13, 2018

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Since returning to Deer Park, NC, Sydney has been helping her sister run the Friendly Paws Animal Shelter. They are in need of money to keep the shelter running and provide much needed upgrades. A fundraiser has been planned with a famous author at the local bookshop. Unfortunately, the author experiences a nasty accident and is unable to attend. They decide to turn to Ulla Townsend, a local girl who made it big. While at the fundraiser, Ulla falls victim to a fatal accident. Can Sydney solve the crime without upsetting someone who is close to her?

This is a fast-paced cozy mystery that can be read quickly. I thought it was good but not one of my favorites as it did not hold my interest exclusively. I cannot pin point why as the writing and plot were good. Maybe my interest was not as keen since it was not a culinary cozy, which are my favorite.

I have not read the first book in the series but I did not feel as if I missed anything nor did I feel lost as I was reading. The author did a great job giving brief backgrounds of the characters. It does appear there could be a love triangle brewing for the main character, Sydney. I’m not sure Will is her “ride or die”. It would be interesting to follow this particular story line.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a copy to read in exchange for an honest review in my own words.