Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: September 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Whoa what a tumultuous read.

In a small town that America has forgot, is a young girl trying to raise her little sister Mattie wit little help from those around them. Sadie’s life is shattered when Mattie is found in a local orchard violently murdered. Sadie takes it upon herself to find the murderer and bring vigilante justice to him. As Sadie works her way across the miles she finds herself closer to the murderer but does she also find herself closer to her own death as well?

National radio personality, West McCray, hears Sadie’s story and finds himself unable to not get involved. The investigation he launches starts taking over his life and his hope is he finds Sadie before it’s too late.

I had no idea while reading Sadie that it was labeled as a YA read. Any fan of thrillers and mysteries will enjoy this book no matter their age. WARNING: there is plenty of violence, foul language and sensitive subjects (child abuse, child sexual abuse, drug use) throughout the book but all that is what makes this book unable to put down. I almost expected to look up from the book and her my West on the radio talking about a true case.

The book is written in two forms: a narrative when reading Sadie’s thoughts and actions and a podcast transcript when reading West’s thoughts and actions. The podcast transcript reading was different but fit this book.

You will be thinking about this book long after you have finished. It will keep you up at night even if you aren’t up reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed above are completely my own.

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

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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.

Geared for the Grave (A Cycle Path Mystery #1) by Duffy Brown

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Pages: 288 (Paperback)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: December 2, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Welcome to Mackinac Island, the land of a slower lifestyle with no cars allowed and bicycles are the way to get around. Evie has volunteered to help her boss in Chicago by coming to Mackinac Island and assist Rudy, her boss’ father, in his bicycle shop. Rudy has broken leg and it is the height of the summer season. Evie walks in to the shop and witnesses an argument between Rudy and Bunny, a wealthy resident who would love for his shop to be shut down. Unfortunately during a delivery Evie finds Bunny as dead as road kill on the side of a Chicago highway. Can Evie solve the murder before having to call her boss to come get her father out of the slammer?

Oh my goodness, I have never laughed so much and so hard reading a book before. It seemed like I was constantly stopping and reading a snippet to my hubby. Evie is a pure delight. The entire book was a delight. You have a Detroit cop volunteering his time on the island, a Chicago girl who is used to creature comforts, and the mob. Can a cozy can any better? I enjoyed it so much I have already ordered the second book and am on pins and needles for it to get here.

My one complaint: there are only TWO books in the series so far. I haven’t researched yet but I really hope the author continues the series.

 

Dim Sum of all Fears (A Noodle Shop Mystery #2) by Vivien Chien

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Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lana is still working in her parents Chinese restaurant in Downtown Cleveland even though she would rather be working as a manager in the corporate world. Just as she thinks she has found the break she has been looking for her parents must fly to Taiwan to take care of her grandmother and have left her in charge of the restaurant with the Chinese New Year right around the corner. Everything is running smoothly until one morning she finds the owners of the shop next door brutally murdered. Can Lana leave the investigation to the police or will she find herself facing the murderer on her own?

This book was very enjoyable. I have already bought the first book in the series to take with me this weekend to read while traveling. Lana, amateur sleuth, is the reason we have cozies. Even though she lives in Cleveland, her community is Asia Village. A small village of Asian stores, restaurants and businesses. She may wish to work in corporate America but she is the force that keeps this little village alive. Her relationship with local law enforcement officer Adam is hilarious but serious at the same time. He wants her to stay safe and she just can’t help herself getting into trouble. I get this picture in my head of him just shaking his head in defeat but smiling at the same time out of love. I can’t wait to learn more about him as the series progresses.

This is the perfect series to begin if you are looking for a culinary cozy mystery series in a different setting. Be prepared to be craving everything Chinese as you are reading. I had to keep myself from drooling as I was reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Poisoned Pages (Booktown Mystery #12) by Lorna Barrett

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Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Berkley

Published: July 10, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

One of the best cozy mystery series out there. Lorna Barrett has written another 5 star Booktown Mystery.

In book twelve of the Booktown Mysteries, Tricia has finally moved back in her apartment over her bookstore after a terrible fire gutted the apartment. During her housewarming party, where she fixed all the delicious nibbles (a feat for Tricia), a guest dies from a poisoned stuff mushroom. Unfortunately Tricia finds herself trying to prove it was not her cooking that killed the guest. As Tricia tries to solve the mystery of the dead guest she also finds herself running for the president position at the Chamber of Commerce and putting the trial of the murder of her ex-husband to rest. Will Tricia find herself successful on all three accounts or be the next murder in Stoneham, NH?

This is my favorite cozy mystery series and I have a lot of them I love. Every summer I find myself barely able to contain my excitement for my annual visit with Tricia and friends. In Poisoned Pages, we start with Tricia listening to the sentencing of her ex-husband’s killer. The opening pages of this is heartbreaking. I found myself tearing up and wanted to comfort Tricia. I cannot imagine the emotions Tricia has had over this time. I hope the killer does truly rot in jail. I am not going to name the killer just in case you have not read this series or are not up to date.

To say I was shocked at who the perpetrator was in Poisoned Pages is putting it mildly. I would have never believed this person would turn out to be such a jerk and so evil. Well played Ms. Barrett, well played.

You can read these as a stand alone but I would NOT recommend it. You would lose the element of surprise in each beautifully crafted mystery.

For fans of cozy mysteries, mysteries and suspense this series should definitely be on your radar. It is time to be thinking of Christmas shopping and if I was you I would be asking Santa for this entire series under my tree.

Purrder She Wrote (A Cat Café Mystery #2) by Cat Conte

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Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In the second book of the Cat Café Mystery series, Maddie has opened her cat café with her Grandpa Leo and close friend Ethan. On the opening day, a catfight between a volunteer and a customer disrupts the happy harmony. Later that day the customer is found dead with a catnip toy stuffed down her throat. As the police coming slinking around the café can Maddie find the killer before he or she gets away?

I want to start my review off with this announcement: I was not a fan of this book but please read other reviews before making a decision if this book is for you. There are plenty of reviews praising this book. I think it was just not for me, which happens. I would suggest you start the series with the first book, Cat About Town.

The mystery was good as there were a lot of red herrings to keep you guessing as to who the murderer was but there was too much going on and too many characters. I had to keep flipping back and reminding myself who was who. Especially in Maddie’s love interests. I found the love interests to be distracting to the story.

Let’s talk about Maddie’s father…a self-centered jerk! I know I am not the only one who thought this about him. He cared more about his precious job on the hospital board than two of his own daughters. I am thankful I have a dad who would have told the snobby board to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!

If you love cats and mysteries give the Cat Cafe Mystery series a try, you may love it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Death Over Easy (A Country Store Mystery #5) by Maddie Day

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Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Robbie, Adele, Buck and crew are back! In the next town over, the yearly Bluegrass Festival is going full force. Pan’s ‘N Pancakes is busier than ever with the opening of her bed and breakfast upstairs and all the festival goers. Unfortunately, one of the musicians is found dead in the beautiful covered bridge outside of town. Will Robbie help catch the murderer before tragedy strikes her once again?

I am so ecstatic to find this series set in Brown County, Indiana which is a scant two hours away from me. It’s fun to read about places I know and have been to when visiting Brown County. I wish I could visit Pans ‘N Pancakes the next time I am in Brown County. The dishes discussed are very appetizing to read about so I am sure they are delicious in real life. The author shares the Asian Noodle salad at the end of the book that I am excited to try.

I did appreciate the author cleaning up the language/grammar used by the locals. The story flowed much easier. A lot of the sayings used I have heard before so that was interesting to see an author use them appropriately.

Robbie and Abe’s relationship continues to progress nicely and takes a little more precedence in this book than the others. Thank you to the author for not having a love triangle for Robbie. So refreshing and enjoyable.

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

Against the Claw (Lobster Shack Mystery #2) by Shari Randall

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m in love with this series. Allie is moving right up there in the top five of my favorite amateur sleuths. I love her sweetness, spunkiness and doggedness to find the killer. Even a bum ankle does not slow her down.

In book two of the Lobster Shack Mystery series we join Allie, Aunt Gully, and friends as they prepare for the Fourth of July. The Lazy Mermaid has more customers than ever and Lorel, Allie’s sister, agrees for the Mermaid to cater “THE” Fourth of the July party for Stellene Lupo. Before that can happen a Jane Doe is found by Allie as she lobsters with a family friend. Can Allie find out who she is and what happened before she ends up sleeping with the fishes?

The Lobster Shack series is a pure joy to read. The description of Mystic Bay, CT is so real that you feel like you are right there with Allie. You can taste the lobster rolls, smell the salt from the ocean and feel the sand under your toes. This is a place I wish I could visit and meet Allie. She seems like a great person to have in your corner.

Her sister, Lorel, was not so frustrating this book. In the first book, Curses, Boiled Again, I did not like Lorel and was hoping she was going to be a minor character with little interaction. She was needed and added a lot to the second book.

If you are a new fan of cozies and like the beach, you should grab the first two books in the series and block out a weekend (preferably on the beach) and read, read, read. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed n the review are entirely my own.

Murder at the Mansion (Victorian Village Mystery #1) by Sheila Connolly

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Pages: 328 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: June 26, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kate left her hometown of Asheford, MD after high school graduation and never really looked back until she received a call from her high school best friend asking her to help save the town. The only thing the town has going for it is the Victorian mansion owed by Henry Barton. One town council member, Cordelia “Cordy” Walker wants to rip everything out and turn it into an upscale hotel and run it herself. As Kate tours the mansion and starts putting together a plan, she finds Cordy dead on the mansion’s front steps. Who would want Cordy dead or maybe the question should be who doesn’t want Cordy dead? Can Kate solve the murder and save the town?

An excellent first book in a new series by Shelia Connolly. I am very excited to see how the series progesses. The premise of building the town into a Victorian Village is very interesting. Normally I am not a huge fan of American Victorian literature, classic or modern, but this series may just change my mind. The history that is woven in throughout the book is given to the reader in a knowledgeable way but so filled with boring facts that you get lost. I learned a lot about Clara Barton and her work outside of the Red Cross that I had no clue about. I want to read more about it but at the same time I don’t want to ruin any future plot lines of the series.

There is a little bit of a romance but it plays very lightly in the background. It in no way distracts from the murder mystery. I hope it stays that way for a couple more books in the series so we can continue to build up the characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Kappy King and the Pickle Kaper (An Amish Mystery #2) by Amy Lillard

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Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: June 26, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kappy King had been living a quiet life on the edges of her Amish faith until Edie returned home to care for her special needs brother. Since then Kappy and Edie have been in the midst of murder investigations. This time it involves a young Amish girl who was killed in an auto accident delivering pickles to the store. Can Kappy and Edie find the killer before angering everyone in the town?

This is the second book in The Amish Mystery series from Amy Lillard and it is a treat to read. Each book reads as a stand alone but you get a lot of the back story in the first book, Kappy King and the Puppy Caper. Each book is a clean read with a light romance in the background. I would have no problems letting a teenager into mysteries read these books.

Edie is ex-Amish and is hilarious in her outfits. She is a great friend for Kappy in that she makes Kappy come out of her shell and be apart of the community. Kappy is a great friend for Edie in that she makes Edie think about her life decisions. You could not have two better friends for each other.

Grab yourself some pickles (white church pickles or green) and go to town reading about the latest adventures for Kappy King.

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