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.

Kale to the Queen (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #1) by Nell Hampton

kale to the queen

Pages: 288 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: April 11, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Carrie Ann has decided to follow her dream of becoming a personal chef and moving from Chicago to London to become the Royal family’s personal chef at Kensington Palace. In following her dream she leaving the love of her life behind. Once Carrie Ann gets settled at Kensington Palace she accidentally discovers a body in the greenhouse attached to her kitchen. For Carrie Ann this is a shock and a nuisance. Now she has to move to Chef Butterbottom’s kitchen, a chef who dislikes her without knowing her. Will a surprise visit from her love convince her to return home to America or will the murder mystery be enough to keep her in London?

I have totally fallen in love with this series. Books that are based on anything culinary make me a happy reader. What is not to love as you have new recipe ideas given to you as the reader that make you want to jump up and start creating in your own kitchen. You experience the tastes and smells when the writer is great at explaining those tastes and smells. You experience the happiness the recipient of the food experiences. Nell Hampton does all that in each book of this series. I’ve never been one much for wanting to try British food but this series has made me want to experiment.

You do have a small love triangle (not my favorite thing in books) but it is more of a side note at this point than a main story line. I will say I want Ian to win. He makes me swoony reading about him.

I am happy that I did not figure out the murder suspect until it is was revealed. Nell Hampton does an excellent job in not letting clues reveal themselves too soon.

This series is definitely one I am putting high on my list to keep up to date with as they are released.

Lord of the Pies (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #2) by Nell Hampton

lord of the pies.jpg

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: April 10, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Carrie Ann Cole is enjoying her role as Chef at Kensington Palace to Kate, William and the kids. She has been asked to cook for the bridal shower of her best friend’s sister. Unfortunately, someone did not fair so well later that night. The next morning a waiter if found face first in her lemon meringue pie. All eyes look to Carrie. Can she clear her name before another body is found?

I have not read the first book in the series, Kale to the Queen, but you can guarantee that I will be very soon. I have fallen in love with Kensington Palace and the chefs. Carrie Ann is a spunky American who seems to find herself in quandaries quite often. Luckily for her she has Chief Ian to rescue her when needed. Chief Ian is the head of security at Kensington Palace. It is strongly hinted that there may be a romance brewing between Ian and Carrie. Only time will tell. Hopefully by the time the romance does brew the gardener, Jasper, will have blown away with the wind. Yes, as you can tell I am not a fan of Jasper’s.

I was totally surprised at the conclusion as I had guessed who the killer was incorrectly. To me that makes a perfect cozy mystery. I do not like to figure out the who and why too early as it ruins the book for me.

If you are a foodie you will enjoy this book as it talks about the different types of pies between America and Britain. There are recipes in the back of the book if you would like to try cooking some of the food mentioned.

Get you a spot of tea and curl up by the fire and immerse yourself in a warm mystery for a cold night.

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

Survival of the Fritters (Deputy Donut #1) by Ginger Bolton

survival of the fritters

Pages: 256 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: January 30, 2018

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Emily and her father-in-law run a donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin named Deputy Donut. The shop is named after Emily’s cat who was given the name by her deceased husband, a fallen Fallingbrook police officer. One Monday morning, one of her most loyal customers, Georgia, does not show up for her morning of knitting with the Knitpickers. After a fretful day Emily and the Knitpickers go to Georgia’s house and find her dead along side donuts from Deputy Donut. Emily is determined to figure out who murdered her friend since she failed Georgia five years ago. Will Emily find herself on the wrong side of the law?

I liked this book and really wanted to give it four stars but there was too much lacking in the character development. I was left wanting more in the way of how the characters fit with each other and what their importance was to the story and series. I felt like the author wanted us to know everyone in town in the first book but not for us to get to know them. It was like, oh here is so and so and then bam onto something else in the story.

I adore Deputy Donut, the cat, she is a furry character that adds the cozy. Emily, the amateur sleuth, is interesting and I like that her background has some sadness and depth. I think it will play will into any romantic situations that may develop in the series.

I will be giving this series another chance when the second book, Goodbye Cruller World, is released. I am hoping the other characters are more developed and more necessary to the story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for a copy to read in exchange for an honest review written in my own words.

Biscuits and Slashed Browns (A Country Store Mystery #4) by Maddie Day

biscuits and slashed browns

Pages: 292 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: January 30,2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Robbie, the owner of Pans N’ Pancakes, finds herself embroiled in another murder this time a well known and hated professor from Boston who is in town for the National Maple Syrup Festival. Unfortunately, the list of suspects is as long as her menu and involves almost everyone she knows. Can Robbie figure out who the killer is before she becomes the target?

I requested this book on NetGalley on a whim because it takes place in Brown County, Indiana which is where my husband and I spent our first mini-moon. A place we fell in love with because of the small town feel and the friendliness of the community. As I read I could picture Pans N’ Pancakes in this beautiful little community.

This is the fourth book in the A Country Store Mystery but can very easily be read as a stand alone. This was my first book I have read in this series and I had absolutely no trouble understanding who was who. Robbie is your quintessential girl next door. Everyone loves her and she has the town police eating out of her hand. You cannot stay mad at her. I think she makes the perfect amateur sleuth. Sweet enough to get what she wants but strong enough to follow leads on her own.

Another new series for me to add to my already extensive series I want to get caught up on in 2018.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for a copy to read in exchange for my own honest review written in my own words.

 

Curses, Boiled Again (Lobster Shack Mystery #1) by Shari Randall

curses boiled again

Pages: 309 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: January 30, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Allie has come home to her Aunt Gully in Mystic Bay while healing from a broken ankle. While home, she helps her aunt out at The Lazy Mermaid cracking lobsters and serving up the most delicious lobster rolls around. For the first time in the local festival’s history they are partnering up with YUM Productions and hosting the Best Lobster Roll contest. Unfortunately, before the judge’s can get to Aunt Gully’s lobster roll the judge’s are taken sick and one dies. Will Aunt Gully go down for the crime or can Allie prove who is the real killer?

This is a fantastic start to a new series. You will fall in love with Allie and Aunt Gully from the start. Aunt Gully is a hoot. Nothing and I mean nothing gets this women down. She puts on her happy face everyday and thinks of ways to fill people’s tummies with her yummy lobster roll and hot. creamy chowder. I am telling you I wanted to crawl into the book and have some myself.

Allie is spunky and loves her Aunt Gully more than life itself. She will let nothing stop her from proving her aunt’s innocence. As for Allie’s sister, Lorel, the jury is still out on how I feel about her. She got on my nerves always having her head stuck in her phone and constantly thinking of ways to promote The Lazy Mermaid. I understand that is her job but sometimes you have to put the phone down and your job on hold to take care of family.

I am so excited to learn that the second book comes out in July 2018. I have already marked it on Amazon to watch for it to be released.

Hurry, stop by The Lazy Mermaid and see what I am talking about as I think you will enjoy your visit as much as I did.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review in my own words.

Purring Around the Christmas Tree (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery #6) by Liz Mugavero

purring around the christmas tree

Pages: 298 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 26, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Santa’s dead?! This is how the Christmas season starts for Stan, the owner of the pet patisserie in Frog Ledge, Connecticut. Instead of having her grand opening she finds herself smack down in the middle of a murder, two missing persons and vandalism. Will Stan solve the mysteries in her sleepy town before Christmas is ruined along with her business?

A “purringly” good read. I may have started with the newest release but I was able to follow along “purrfectly”. I did not need to start another series but I am glad I found this one. Stan is the main character that you find yourself wishing you were. Strong, confident, and energized. I liked she was not wishy washy with her life decisions. It was great not to read about a love triangle involving the main character. Now I may read the earlier books and find one but it will not bother as bad as some do as I know who she is with eventually.

This book read so real life when discussing and trying to solve the crimes. Very rarely in real life are crimes straight forward and the answer handed to you. This mystery has many layers that need to be peeled and examined.

Purring Around the Christmas Tree is the perfect book to curl up with your favorite four footed friend on a cold winter’s night.

Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon #6) by Nevada Barr

blind descent

Pages: 336 (eBook)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: March 23, 1998 (original published date)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Warning: If you are claustrophobic or even think you are beware you will find yourself breathing heavy while reading. Ms. Barr does such a fantastic job describing the Lechuguilla cave and what Anna Pigeon experiences you become one with Anna. I had to uncurl my fingers and toes while reading many times.

In book six, Anna finds herself called from Colorado to New Mexico to the Lechuguilla cave to help rescue her friend and co-worker, Frieda. Anna must overcome her fear of tight and confined spaces to begin the rescue. Anna soon learns that everything is not as it should be or appears. Can Anna save her friend and herself before evil wins?

I am really enjoying this series and continue to question myself why I stopped reading the series. It may be I had to find the books first. My goal is to complete this series to the current book by the end of 2018. At times I feel there is too much technical description but I later learn it was necessary. These are books you have to give your full attention to or you will miss the key part that ties the book together.

Endangered Species (Anna Pigeon #5) by Nevada Barr

endangered species.jpg

Pages: 305 (paperback)

Publisher: Berkley Publishing

Published: March 1997 (original published date)

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

In the fifth installment of the Anna Pigeon series we join park ranger, Anna, as she works on Cumberland Island off the Georgia coast. While she is patrolling the area with another ranger they see smoke. Cumberland Island is dried timber and vegetation just waiting to go up in seconds. As they race to the source they find a drug interdiction plane has crashed killing both pilot and passenger. They soon learn the passenger is not the passenger that was to be in the plane. Join Anna and her fellow rangers as they unravel this mystery on an island that does not take too kindly to outsiders interfering.

I am a fan of the Anna Pigeon series as the books are based in true national parks. Some I have heard of and many I have not. I get to visit and learn of parks I may never get to visit in real life.

I liked this book but there were a lot of scenes that just felt like filler to me and did not add mush to the story line. I really enjoyed the scenes that discussed the sea turtles and wished they had played more of a role.

Anna Pigeon, the main character, is a strong woman who has had a rough past. Every now and then you will see cracks in her armor but she quickly seals them up. Her current love interest, Frederick, is in the story off and on and well, let’s just say he is a jerk. Read it and see if you agree.

This is one series I plan on getting caught up on in 2018.

Who the Bishop Knows (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #3) by Vannetta Chapman

who the bishop knows

Pages: 352

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers

Published: March 6, 2018

A perfect ending to a great series.

In book 3 of The Amish Bishop Mystery series, a young Amish boy is murdered during the rodeo. Bishop Henry is attending the rodeo with his fiancé and family and was outside the grandstands when the murder occurred so he did not see it take place. As he works with Sheriff Grayson he learns the deceased and many of the Amish youth were involved in betting. A huge no-no for the Amish. Will Henry still be able to use his drawing talent to help solve the crime? Can the murder be solved before more murders occur? Jon Henry and his community in this final installment to find out.

Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone but you get the maximum effect if you read in order.
Book One: What the Bishop Saw
Book Two: When the Bishop Needs an Alibi
Book Three: Who the Bishop Knows

Each book will keep you awake past your bedtime. You will be saying “just one more chapter” repeatedly. I cannot pick a favorite.

In Who the Bishop Knows you will get answers to many questions and many romances are finalized. I will miss my time with Lexi, Bishop Henry’s dog and Katie Ann. I am longing to visit the Monte Vista community.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harvest House Publishers for an advanced copy to read and review based on my own thoughts and opinions.