A Totally Killer Wedding (Totally 80s Mysteries) by D. A. Wilkerson

Published: April 11, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Author

Available Formats: Digital and Print

My Review: Who is old enough to remember the 1980s? I sure am! I was in elementary and middle school during this time and I will admit I loved the 80s. The fashion was interesting, the music was fun, and the cars were loud. T-top Trans AM anyone??? A popular shoe was Jellies. I owned many colors of Jelly shoes. Talk about sticking to your feet in the heat! Plus they were hard plastic and did not give. My favorite fashion statement: is the neon colors. My favorite shirt was a Body Glove neon pink crop shirt. Come home from school and throw that baby on and dance to some Material Girl and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Oh, let me stop before I embarrass myself talking about spiral perms! 😱

In A Totally Killer Wedding, Beckett has moved back home after a breakup with her fiancé and works as a church secretary. The local Don Juan is in the wedding at her church and par for the course he is making eyes with the bridesmaids. While looking for him after the ceremony to finish pictures she slips right onto his dead body in the church kitchen. Seems there are more ladies than not who have a reason to see him dead. Her Aunt Star is one of them. Will Becky find the killer before her Jelly shoes go out of style?

Put on some classic Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, grab an iced cold beverage, and settle in for a fun afternoon of 80s murder.

Thank you to the author for a copy for my reading pleasure. Available on Amazon (digital and print).

Goodreads: This clean cozy mystery is the first book in the Totally 80s Mysteries series.

The year is 1985, and Beckett Monahan is on the cusp of her twenty-eighth birthday. Her job as a church secretary in her small hometown of Cherry Hill isn’t glamorous, but it’s about to get more exciting. When she stumbles onto a dead body at a wedding, she quickly involves herself in the investigation. People she cares about are being accused of the crime, so she must clear their names and help bring closure to the victim’s family.

While investigating, Beckett has to deal with the reality that someone in Cherry Hill—likely someone she has known her entire life—is a killer. She is also forced to hide her efforts from the local police, who have told her not to interfere in their investigation and who are sincerely concerned for her safety.

With the assistance of some friends and family members, Beckett uncovers clues, debates suspects’ motives, and makes clandestine outings to confirm her suspicions. In the process, she strengthens long-time bonds and builds some new and surprising relationships. But none of that matters if she can’t find the killer before they take her out of the picture. 

Crimes and Covers (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #5) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 304

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: January 11, 2022

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital and Print

My Review: A beautiful ending to a lovely series.

I’m not much on paranormal or mystical reading or I didn’t think I was until a few cozy mysteries changed my mind. This series was one of them. I love thinking about a bookstore that knows the right book to put in your path as you browse.

I’m sorry to see this series end but the ending was beautiful. Violet married the perfect man and the shop will continue.

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

NetGalley: Violet Waverly sleuths a Thoreau-ly puzzling Christmastime murder in Agatha Award-winning, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s fifth Magical Bookshop mystery.

Christmas is coming to the Western New York village of Cascade Springs, and so is the long-awaited wedding of Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly and police chief David Rainwater. Grandma Daisy and Violet’s best friend, Sadie, go all out to make the nuptials the event of the season–whether Violet likes it or not. But the reception becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons when a woman’s dead body floats by on the frigid Niagara River.

Violet is shocked to recognize the deceased as a mysterious woman who visited Charming Books two days before the wedding, toting a rare first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Well aware that a mint condition copy could be worth more than $14,000, Violet told the woman she would have to have the book appraised before she could consider buying it. Most displeased, the woman tucked the precious tome under her arm and stormed out of the shop. Now she’s dead, and an enigmatic message scrawled in pen upon her palm reads, “They stole my book.”

It’s a confounding case, indeed. But fortunately, Violet can draw on the resources of her bookshop’s magical consciousness, which communicates clues to Violet via quotes from Walden. With Emerson the tuxedo cat and Faulkner the crow at her side, Violet sets out to recover the priceless book by solving a murder most transcendental.

Pleading the Fish (A Seaside Cafe Mystery #7) by Bree Baker

Pages: 336

Published: 3.31.2022

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audiobook, and Print

My Review: I can only think of one series finale that was as impressive as this one. Most of the time I’m left with the feeling the writers tried too hard but that was not the case here. I would have tissues ready as I blubbered at the beauty of love and life.

If you haven’t read this series binge it now. If you are on the last one what are you waiting for? Go read!!!

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

NetGalley: In the seventh and final book of Bree Baker’s critically acclaimed Seaside Café Mystery series, Pleading the Fish, Everly Swan’s wedding plans are upended by a dead body. She’ll have to run her teashop, find a dress, and catch a murderer all before she can walk down the aisle!

Hitting all the sweet-tea spots, this series is:A delightful Tea Shop and Café Culinary MysteryThe ideal cozy beach read. Perfect for fans of Laura Childs and Kate Carlisle

Café owner and amateur sleuth Everly Swan, like every Swan woman before her, is cursed in love. The only problem? Her fiancé Detective Grady Hayes has something to say about it—he doesn’t believe in magic and is determined to prove the curse wrong so they can spend their lives together. Everly wishes it could be so simple!

It feels like a sign when a historian looking into Swan history is found dead in an antique wishing well, and Everly fears the curse is spreading. Grady takes the case, looking to find justice and prove the curse wrong, while Everly does a bit of investigating on her own. Big change is coming for Everly and her friends, but with mysterious strangers lurking about and someone leaving increasingly threatening messages for the happy couple, Everly’s not sure she’ll get her happily-ever-after!

“A smart and likable protagonist, a vividly rendered setting, a suitably twisty plot, and some colorful supporting characters are the ingredients for a concoction as appealing as any of Everly Swan’s specialty sweet teas.”—Livia J. Washburn, national bestselling author, for Live and Let Chai

INCLUDES DELICIOUS FOOD AND DRINK RECIPES

The Vanishing Type (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #5) by Ellery Adams

 

Pages: 303

Publisher: Kensington

Published: April 26, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Digital, Audio, and Print

Source: Physical Print Copy from Author

My Review:

Ellery has done it again. Made me cry for hours with just a chapter starter.

chapter 16 sentence starter is 100% true. When my mama passed at the beginning of C*v*d they weren’t allowing visitors in the hospital. I politely but forcefully told the doctors and nurses my mama wasn’t dying without me holding her hand. If I had to handcuff myself to her bed, I would and afterward, they could arrest and charge me with whatever. Finally, one nurse with the biggest heart got my mama moved to hospice so I could be with her. I held her hand for almost 24 hours straight.

The Secret, Book, and Scone Society series is my favorite series ever. The feelings you experience while reading is worth the tears that fall. Sheldon is my person with his fibromyalgia. I would like to think we’d be the best of friends.

Book 5 The Vanishing Type released today. Get your copy. If you’ve not read any in the series that is ok but trust me you will want to go back and read from the beginning.

Thank you @elleryadamsofficial for always saying the right things at the right moment when I need them.

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

Amazon: While January snow falls outside in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, Nora Pennington is encouraging customers to cozy up indoors with a good book. Even though the shop and her bibliotherapy sessions keep Nora busy during the day, her nights are a little too quiet—until Deputy Andrews pulls Nora into the sci-fi section and asks her to help him plan a wedding proposal.
 
His bride-to-be, Hester, loves Little Women, and Nora sets to work arranging a special screening at the town’s new movie theater. But right before the deputy pops the question, Nora makes an unsettling discovery—someone has mutilated all her store’s copies of The Scarlet Letter, slicing angrily into the pages wherever Hester Prynne’s name is mentioned.
 
The coincidence disturbs Nora, who’s one of the few in Miracle Springs who knows that Hester gave up a baby for adoption many years ago. Her family heaped shame on her, and Hester still feels so guilty that she hasn’t even told her future husband. But when a dead man is found on a hiking trail just outside town, carrying a rare book, the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society unearth a connection to Hester’s past. Someone is intent on bringing the past to light, and it’s not just Hester’s relationship at stake, but her life. . .
 

Foundation of Love (An Amish Legacy Novel #1) by Amy Clipston

Pages: 341

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: February 1, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, and Print

My Review: The older I get the more I enjoy stories of older adults falling in love under tougher circumstances. While Crystal is still young (early thirties), Duane is a few years older (50) and has lived a married life with children. My parents were seventeen years apart and had almost 45 wonderful years of marriage. This story made me think of their beautiful love story.

A clean romance that is suitable for almost all romance readers.

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

NetGalley: Get swept away in the first installment of Amy Clipston’s Amish Legacy series.

They were “only friends” . . . but they wanted so much more.

Crystal Glick is grateful to live with her brother’s family since her father died and her fiancé, Owen, broke their engagement. Crystal loves her bruderskinner and cheerfully helps her sister-in-law through a difficult pregnancy with babies number seven and eight, but she yearns for a husband and children of her own.

Duane Bontrager is mourning the recent death of his wife, Connie, after twenty-four years of marriage. He and his grown sons have a thriving roofing business but can’t get used to life without her. As the young men prepare to launch out on their own, Duane can’t imagine life alone—nor with anyone but Connie.

When a roofing job at the Glicks introduces Duane and Crystal, they’re attracted in spite of their fourteen-year age difference. But their bishop thinks Duane is better suited for the sweet widow Tricia, and Duane’s sons object to his interest in any woman. Crystal’s family fears losing her indispensable help. If she must go, they’d rather she be reunited with Owen in spite of his betrayal.

They’re the only two who believe they’re a match made in heaven, can Duane and Crystal overcome the obstacles to love?

The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

Pages: 352

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: January 11, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, and Hardback

Source: NetGalley

My Review: Wow! I stayed up way too late to finish this last night. The ending blew me away. I am still digesting it.

I admit when I first started I wasn’t sure. It flips between 2010 and 1965 in almost every other chapter. The 2010 storyline at first felt unnecessary but I was wrong. It was so needed.

Some readers may take offense to words used and situations that occur but one must remember it was 1965 in the South. Not the South’s most beautiful moment in history. It happened and we must read to learn how not to repeat.

Definitely, a must-read for 2022.

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

NetGalley: A community’s past sins rise to the surface in New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain’s The Last House on the Street when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.

1965

Growing up in the well-to-do town of Round Hill, North Carolina, Ellie Hockley was raised to be a certain type of proper Southern lady. Enrolled in college and all but engaged to a bank manager, Ellie isn’t as committed to her expected future as her family believes. She’s chosen to spend her summer break as a volunteer helping to register black voters. But as Ellie follows her ideals fighting for the civil rights of the marginalized, her scandalized parents scorn her efforts, and her neighbors reveal their prejudices. And when she loses her heart to a fellow volunteer, Ellie discovers the frightening true nature of the people living in Round Hill.

2010

Architect Kayla Carter and her husband designed a beautiful house for themselves in Round Hill’s new development, Shadow Ridge Estates. It was supposed to be a home where they could raise their three-year-old daughter and grow old together. Instead, it’s the place where Kayla’s husband died in an accident—a fact known to a mysterious woman who warns Kayla against moving in. The woods and lake behind the property are reputed to be haunted, and the new home has been targeted by vandals leaving threatening notes. And Kayla’s neighbor Ellie Hockley is harboring long buried secrets about the dark history of the land where her house was built.

Two women. Two stories. Both on a collision course with the truth–no matter what that truth may bring to light–in Diane Chamberlain’s riveting, powerful novel about the search for justice.

Batter Off Dead (A Country Store Mystery #10) by Maddie Day

Pages: 288

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: February 22, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Available Formats: Digital, Audiobook, and Mass Market Paperback

My Review: I just love this series. It is set in fictional South Lick, Indiana outside of the real Bloomington, Indiana. The author does a great job of adding in real places. Bloomington is one of my favorite places to visit. A beautiful college town.

In book 10, we find Robbie and Abe settling into married life, and during a local fireworks display, an elderly lady is murdered. The deceased was the late-in-life love interest of the local policeman Buck’s dad. The investigation centers around the Stitch in Bitch knitting club that has been around for decades.

I enjoyed getting to know more about Buck and his family. He is a character. You can’t help but love him.

The murder plot was well spaced out and interesting. I figured out who but not the why. That was a shock. I didn’t quite follow Danna’s (Robbie’s employee) story. I keep wondering what I missed.

Recipes are included at the end of the book and I for one am excited for warmer weather to get here to try them out.

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

NetGalley: In Agatha Award-winning author Maddie Day’s tenth Country Store Mystery, Pans “N Pancakes owner and part-time sleuth Robbie Jordan must untangle the clues to find the killer of a knitting circle member…

In South Lick, Indiana, fine foods and classic cookware can be found at Robbie Jordan’s Pans ’N Pancakes. Unfortunately, her country store also seems to stock up on murder…

Robbie and her new husband Abe O’Neill are enjoying a summer evening in the park with fellow townsfolk excited for some Friday night fireworks. In attendance are senior residents from Jupiter Springs Assisted Living including Grant Bird, father to South Lick’s very own Police Lieutenant Buck Bird. Despite his blindness, Grant is a member of his group home’s knitting circle, spending quality time with some lovely ladies.

But when the light show ends, one of the knitters who sat with Grant is found dead, a puncture wound in her neck. The poor woman’s death echoes that of Buck’s mother and Grant’s wife—an unsolved homicide. To help find the killer, Robbie’s going to have to untangle the knotty relationships deep in the victim’s past…

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (Lakeside Library Mystery #2) by Holly Danvers

Pages: 304

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: February 8, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, and Hardcover

My Review: I enjoyed the second book as much as the first. There is something about how the series is written that it feels real and inviting. The friendship between Rain and Julia keeps you coming back for more.

We join Rain and crew during an ice fishing tournament where a local is murdered. Unfortunately, Julia’s husband is on the hook for the murder. Will a brutal start to winter keep Rain and Julia from fishing out the killer?

In my review for book one, Murder at the Lakeside Library, I had hoped for more in Rain’s parents in book two and that did not happen but that was ok. We do have an addition of a romantic interest for Rain and so far he seems steamy hot (when you read the book you will understand why I said this). Does he beat out Jace? Only time will tell.

Both books are perfect curl up by the fire and read until the wee hours of the morning reads.

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

NetGalley: An icy cold murder and a library patron collide in Holly Danver’s second Lakeside Library Mystery.

A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree. 

After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.

As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?

With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?

Hot and Sour Suspects (A Noodle Shop Mystery #8) by Vivien Chien

Pages: 320

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: January 25, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Available Formats: Digital, Mass Market Paperback

My Review: I absolutely love this series and stalk NetGalley until the newest one is available. Lana Lee is a hoot and makes me wish I could really visit her in her Cleveland restaurant. I always want to take my book and eat noodles all day long while reading.

In the newest addition, Lana and her BFF Megan host a speed dating event at Ho-Lee Noodle House on a slower Friday. All goes well until much later when one of the Asia Village Shop owners is found with a dead body. Can Lana and Megan figure out the killer before their friend is speedily put in jail?

Lana is a bit more reflective in Hot and Sour Suspects but if you follow the author’s cancer journey you completely understand why. Personally, I enjoyed that Lana’s sister, Anna, was not shown in the most perfect light. I don’t wish her troubles on her but it does show she is human and makes errors just like the rest of us. There are a few LOL moments when Lana’s mom enters the picture.

You must read this series and start from the beginning. You will thank me later. The covers alone are worth buying the books. They are beautiful!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. All opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

NetGalley: Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Vivien Chien’s Hot and Sour Suspects.

Pair your noodles with this steaming mystery, and you have the perfect chilly night combination!”—PopSugar

At the Ho-Lee Noodle House, murder is on the menu.

When Lana Lee’s best friend, Megan Riley, asks her to help host a speed dating contest at Ho-Lee Noodle House, she doesn’t see the harm in lending a hand. The night goes better than anticipated, and both Lana and Megan are beyond thrilled with the results. But before they can break out the champagne, Rina Su, fellow Asia Village shop owner and speed dating participant, calls to inform Lana that the date she’s just matched with has been murdered. Under suspicion of foul play, Rina enlists Lana’s help in finding out what really happened that night.

Without hesitation, Lana begins to dig into the man in question. To her dismay, she quickly finds that Rina’s date has a rather unsavory past. There’s a long line of slighted women, angry neighbors, and perturbed co-workers—all of whom seem to have a motive.

As Lana continues to spiral down the treacherous path of scorned lovers and mistreated acquaintances, she can’t help but dwell on how quickly an innocent evening filled with hope and positivity could turn so sour. When the media gets in on the case, Lana must rush to find the killer before more dates turn deadly.

Renewed for Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #6) by Victoria Gilbert

Pages: 352

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: December 7, 2021

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Available Formats: Digital, Hardcover, and Audio

My Review: For me, the mystery was interesting but the cast of suspects always seems to involve a lot of the same people. Plus it felt very drawn out.

I was a bit put off by Richard’s neediness with missing Amy when he left for town. They are mature adult newlyweds, not early twenty-something newlyweds. I’m not a fan of clingy men.

It is not a favorite of mine in the series.

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

NetGalley: Librarian Amy Webber dances with death in critically acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s sixth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

August in Taylorsford, Virginia finds library director Amy Webber and her new husband, dancer Richard Muir, settling into married life–and a new project. Richard and his dance partner, Karla, are choreographing a suite based on folk music and folk tales, while Amy scours the library’s resources to supply background information on the dance’s source material. But the mellifluous music comes to a jarring halt when an unknown woman’s body turns up in Zelda Shoemaker’s backyard gazebo.

Chief Deputy Brad Tucker puts Zelda at the top of his suspect list, thanks to a blackmail letter he finds in the dead woman’s pocket. Zelda’s best friend, Amy’s aunt Lydia Talbot, begs Amy to use her research skills to clear Zelda’s name. But the task is confounded by Zelda’s very out-of-character refusal to reveal why the victim might have blackmailed her.

Complicating matters further, Amy unearths records of a long-ago tragedy that casts doubt on Zelda’s innocence. She enlists hubby Richard, Aunt Lydia, art dealer Kurt Kendrick, Mayor Sunny Fields, and sundry other quirky townsfolk in a quest to exonerate Zelda. But will revealing the truth end up forcing Zelda to spend the rest of her life behind bars?

Meanwhile, the killer is still out there. Amy had better be fleet on her feet, because death is on her dance card, and her number may be up.