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.

Murder By the Book (Bookstore Mystery #1) by Lauren Elliott

murder

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 30, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Addie has moved to a little New England town to open a bookstore after her aunt’s death. The best present of all is the numerous first editions her aunt owned. Unfortunately, not everyone in town is appreciative of a Greybourne continuing the Greybourne legacy. One woman, in particular, the bakery owner next door, is trying to run Addie out of town. As Addie tries to figure out why the woman does not like her strange things start happening to Addie. A car tries to run her down, her new friend is arrested for murder, and “friends” from her past start acting strangely. Will Addie be able to prove her new friend is not a murderer before Addie is run out of town?

I cannot decide if I like the book or not. The mystery was very interesting but it felt very drawn out. I think because the author tried to give so much background into Addie and surrounding characters that eventually things started to get a bit muddled. Reflecting on what I have read now there are items I can’t remember and I know they are important.

I enjoyed learning about the world of rare first editions and the high theft of rare first editions. I guess I never really thought about books being a high ticket item for thieves. Early editions of the Bible yes but Alice in Wonderland, nope.

Will I read the second book? The jury is still out. I will reevaluate when it publishes.

Please do not take my opinions as a reason NOT to read this book. Just use my opinion as a caution. Please read the book and make up your own opinion.

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

 

The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1) by Judi Lynn

body

Pages: 220

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 27, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jazzi lives in River Bluffs, Indiana flipping houses with her cousin and smokin’ hot contractor Ansel. Their current house belonged to Cal, the ex-fiance of Jazzi’s aunt. Problem is they find Jazzi’s aunt stuffed in a trunk in the attic. Jazzi is on a mission to find out who killed her aunt. During the investigation, more secrets are dug up. Will Jazzi find the killer before the off button is flipped on her life?

I originally thought to give this book 3.5 stars but the mystery warranted 4 stars. What did I not like about the book? The constant bashing Jazzi did of Ansel’s girlfriend. Every time the girlfriend was mentioned she bashed her and it began to feel like bullying. I got it, Jazzi did not like her and she did have some unsavory qualities.

Jazzi’s romance moved way too quick. I don’t care she knew him already. I just don’t think good romances move that fast. The romance overshadowed the mystery unnecessarily at times. I almost feel as if there is nothing left to discover in additional books between Jazzi and her boyfriend unless they get married very quickly.

What did I like about the book? George the Pug! George is a very cute and spoiled pupper. The visual you get when reading Ansel carrying George up and down the stairs is precious. I liked the Sunday family dinners. The dinners added a good reality touch and showed how everyone is connected in some way. The mystery was excellent even if overshadowed.

I will read the second book in the series to see how the story progresses.

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

Santa Puppy (Tourist Trap #9.75) by Lynn Cahoon

santa puppy

Pages: 90

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 11, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This Christmas, Jill is hosting an adopt-a-pet event at her coffee/bookstore. When bathing a sweet pup whose owner has recently passed away reveals a safety deposit box key Jill is on the hunt to find out what is in the box and to find the pup a “furever” home for Christmas.

For me, this was the perfect introduction to the Tourist Trap cozy mystery series by Lynn Cahoon. I was captivated by Jill and her love for reading and animals.

You can read this novella out of order as your first introduction with no problems at all. There are plenty of mentions of things in the past but all the mentions do is make you want to drop everything and read the series from the beginning.

This is not your typical happy ending so you will find yourself a tad teary at times. Unfortunately, I think there are more stories like this in the real world.

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

Deadly News (Britton Bay Mystery #1) by Jody Holford

deadly

Pages: 184

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 30, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One of the best debuts I’ve read in a while. Love the series already.

Molly is used to a life of moving from place to place with her dad being in the Army. After walking in on her now ex-boyfriend sizzling the sheets with his ex, Molly has decided to expand her horizons and work and live in a small town as the new editor of the local newspaper.

Molly pushes Vernon, to be the reporter he used to be and write with passion and dig deeper for the story. When he does not show up to work for the second day in a row, Molly takes her new position seriously and goes to his home to check on him. Unfortunately, she finds more than she bargained for with Vernon on the floor in a pool of his own blood. She realizes he was not a favorite of the town but who would want him dead? As Molly investigates she finds there is someone who doesn’t like her as well and the threats against her are mounting up faster than the heat between her and Sam, the local mechanic. Will Molly survive long enough to test the flames that Sam ignites?

I am always a little hesitant and guarded when I start a new series with an author I am not familiar with. First books in a series can make it or break it for me and this series was a pleasant surprise. I feel in love with the characters and the town from the beginning. I am disappointed that I cannot automatically start reading book two.

The mystery was one of the best I’ve read lately. Plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. When the killer was revealed I was shocked. It was well hidden.

The language and romance were clean. An easy read, meaning you can stop at any point and be able to pick right back up without having to review. A perfect book to introduce someone to the cozy mystery club.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington/Lyrical Underground through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Forever Fudge (Candy-Coated Mystery #6) by Nancy CoCo

fudge

Pages: 352

Publisher: Kensington

Publisher: September 25, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Allie is getting ready for the official end of the tourist season with her Labor Day weekend guests. Her two employees are on their honeymoon so things are little busier for Allie. The last thing she needs is a TV crew and a egotistic actor invading her space. As Allie and Mal go for one of their daily walks around town, Mal does what she does best, finds a dead body. What is different and most frightening this time is a note to Allie is left with the body. Can Allie figure out what the notes are saying before someone close to her is killed?

The Candy-Coated series is a fun series that keeps you entertained from the beginning to the end. Allie’s grit and determination to keep her grandfather’s hotel and fudge shop going is commendable. Her love for the island and the people of the island is very heartwarming and something we don’t see very often. Nany CoCo’s writing is so believable that I expect to be able to walk right into Allie and the fudge shop if I visited Mackinac Island.

This is book six of the series and it is still going strong. I have not read all the books in the series but the writing is so good you can pick up any book and understand what is happening. As soon as the new year gets here I am going to catch up on this series.

Yummy fudge recipes are included in each book and some are only two or three ingredients and are very easy to fix. The perfect series to read around the holidays when fudge is a popular gift.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington 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.

The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White

glass

Audiobook: 14 hours

Publisher: William Morrow

Published: September 8, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A story of romance, illicit affairs, espionage, and tragedy.

It’s 2013 and Sarah Blake needs to find inspiration for her next best-selling book. At her wit’s end she opens her great-grandfather’s chest and discovers information that could be history changing regarding the sinking of the Lusitania.

Go back 98 years to April 1915 and we meet Caroline, a first-class passenger, who is married to Gilbert. Gilbert is very pre-occupied and Caroline hopes this cruise ignites a spark in their marriage. What she did not expect was to run into her first love, Robert Langford.

Tessa Fairweather, a second-class passenger, is working with her sister to obtain the music composition that is in the hands of Gilbert. Tessa does not understand why she is to get this music but one thing she does understand is that she is falling for Robert.

What does Sarah learn and how does each passenger above affect the outcome?

I opted to listen to the audiobook and let me state it is FOURTEEN hours of listening. I enjoyed the audiobook as the narrator did an excellent job with all the characters. My issue was I did not have a lot of time lumped together to listen to a good chunk at one time.

The story jumps between Sarah (2013), Caroline (1915) and Tessa (1915) so you do need to keep track of who is talking and what year it is. It is pretty easy since the majority of Caroline and Tessa’s time is on the Lusitania.

I knew very little about the sinking of the Lusitania and The Glass Ocean has whetted my appetite for more.

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book and Scone Society #2) by Ellery Adams

whispered

Pages: 292 (Paperback)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 27, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Another five star visit to Miracle Springs, NC with Nora and the Secret, Book and Scone Society.

Summer is ending but visitors to Miracle Springs is still going strong. One such visitor has made Nora and her group of friends really think about their own pasts. Nora finds “Abilene” curled up in her stock room in a too large dress and flip flops, hospital ID bracelet and bruises with a story to tell. Abilene does not want to talk but is willing to work for exchange of food and place to lay her head.

A new shop has opened as well that seem like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for a town hit hard by the closing of the local bank (read the Secret, Book and Scone Society to learn more). Virtual Genie will appraise your family heirlooms and any other treasures you may have and offer to sell them online for a 60/40 split.

Nora and Society has decided to help those affected by the bank closing and put together Secret Kindness bags and leave them on the doorsteps. One particular person has been on Nora’s mind, Amanda Frye, a not so nice visitor to the bookstore but Nora is trying to see the good behind the pain that makes Amanda so tough to deal with. Unfortunately, Amanda never reaps the benefit of the kindness bag. The Society finds her floating in the pond in front of her house. at first it looks like suicide but Nora sees flaws in the plan.

Can Nora and the Secret Society find out the truth of Amanda’ death while helping out Abilene? Is Virtual Genie everything is appears or are they trying to steal what is left of the people in Miracle Springs?

I absolutely LOVED the first book in the series and the second did not disappoint. In fact it was even better. When I enter the world of Nora and the Society, I get lost and do not want to return. I am perfectly happy being lost in Miracle Springs. Particularly the bookstore. My copy of The Whispered Word looks like a post-it note factory exploded on the pages. I have marked every page where a book or author is mentioned. I would love to be able to read every book mentioned in both books of the series.

As I was reading this book it hit me that Hester has similarities to Ella Mae (Charmed Pie Shoppe series), another wonderful character from Ellery Adams. I truly believe in the cooking with feeling and others will feel it. Imagine being able to sit outside on a lovely park bench with fall swirling around you, a comfort scone from Hester next to you, a book recommended by Nora in your hands and maybe a pair of stress relief socks knitted by June on your feet to keep you warm. Are you interested in a visit yet?

If the answer is yes you have two chances. You can run to your favorite bookseller or library and grab The Secret, Book and Scone Society now and on November 27 you can buy The Whispered Word. While you are at it you may want to buy copies for your best friends as well. No sense in keeping your visits to yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.