Fatal Fried Rice (A Noodle Shop Mystery #7) by Vivien Chien

Pages: 294

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: March 9, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Watch out Cleveland, Ohio Lana Lee has decided to learn how to cook! Rather than ask those close to her she has decided to attend a cooking class at a local community college. What Lana didn’t expect was to find the chef/teacher dead. Can Lana solve the murder before becoming fried herself?

Lana is still a joy to read. She can find herself in trouble no matter what she is doing. One would think learning how to cook Chinese would be safe but oh no it is not. This time Lana finds herself as a top suspect and Detective Hottie aka boyfriend Adam is not able to help her.

I did figure out the murderer pretty quick but that did not dampen my appetite for the book. It was an enjoyable read and I loved seeing if my suspicions were correct.

I believe book 8 is already in the works. YAY!

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

A Perfect Amish Romance (Berlin Bookmobile #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray


Pages: 320

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: January 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley and Hardback through Public Library

What do you get when you have a new bookmobile driver and Amish patrons with secrets? You get A Perfect Amish Romance in more ways than one!

I admit I almost returned this book to the library without giving it a chance. Why do you ask? It was painful to read. Kayla is working through the death of her mom while caring for her dad. I am in the same boat although my caregiving is different. I am happy I stuck with the pain as I have gained so much encouragement and insight. I have written a lot down for future reference when I get overwhelmed.

This is a clean read that is also a quick read. The short chapters are perfect for those who don’t have much time to read in one sitting. I enjoyed the short chapters as they allowed me to stop, digest and reflect on the wisdom imparted.

I originally received a copy from the publisher, Gallery Books, through NetGalley but read a finished copy from my local library. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unexpected Baby (The Amish Quiltmaker #1) by Jennifer Beckstrand

Pages: 352

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: February 23, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Esther has moved to Colorado for a fresh start after her parents’ death. She has settled into her house with her quiltmaking business and has made friends. One day her sister, who has been away from the faith for years, shows up with a baby and leaves the baby with Esther. Esther soon finds herself overwhelmed. Levi, the young man renovating her bathroom, realizes Esther needs help and asks his grandmother to help Esther. Settle in for a wild Amish ride of laughter and tears.

Oh my, I have found a series that is as much fun as the Huckleberry series by Jennifer Beckstrand. I love the quirky characters she creates. This book has its serious moments but plenty of laughing moments as well.

In book one of the Amish Quiltmaker, we meet Esther and Levi. Esther is hilarious between her apricot throwing and the things she puts behind her ears. “You just never know when you are going to need that item!” Levi is the perfect match for Esther in his calm manner and ability to see things from all perspectives. He reminds me of my hubby.

A fun book to read for ages teenage and above. A clean read. I listened to a bit of the audiobook and the narrator is wonderful. She really captures the essence of the characters.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kensington, through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Amish Midwives by Amy Clipston, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kelly Long

Pages: 336

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: March 2, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

I love reading these short story collections as they are comfort reading to my soul.

I always recommend these short stories to readers who want to try the Amish genre. These three stories of midwives and babies are perfect quick reading. My favorite was A Midwife for Susie but all are excellent.

I listened to a bit on my Hoopla app through my library and the narrator is perfect. She grasps the characters beautifully.

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

Farm to Trouble (A Farm to Table Mystery #1) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 288

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Published: February 23, 2021

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Shiloh has returned home to Michigan to help her dad with the ailing farm with the help of an investor. What she didn’t expect was to find the investor dead and her dad the main suspect. Can Shiloh save both her dad and the farm?

I finished Farm to Trouble at 4 am. Since then I have been trying to find a way to spin my full review positively. I have loved everything I’ve read by Amanda Flower until now.

Negatives

  1. The narrator of the audiobook was definitely not for me. Too monotone. I had to stop listening.
  2. Shiloh’s dad’s attitude towards her was horrible. So critical of everything. It was hard to read.
  3. A lot of background information.

Positives

  1. The last 25% of the book was great.
  2. A secondary mystery was introduced that runs into the second book.
  3. Enjoyed learning about bird migration and the dangers of wind farms.

I will for sure try the second book. My issues with the book are mine. You may find this is the best cozy mystery you’ve read and I hope you do.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery #2) by Maria DiRico

Pages: 288

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: February 23, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

We are back with Mia and her Nonna in Queens. This time Mia is working and attending her BFF’s baby shower but instead of opening cute little baby rompers her BFF opens a priceless stolen painting. As she unwraps the painting the stepmother of the BFF faints and is later found floating in the marina attached to Belle View. Can Mia find out why the stepmother was killed and the connection to the painting before a new little sleuth joins “the family?”

This series is a fun series to read. I find myself reading with what I envision is an Italian Queens accent. Mia is an amateur sleuth that you feel is your friend. You cannot help but want to rush through the book to find out what is next. Nonna is a dream Italian grandma. No matter what ails you food is the cure! You will laugh your socks off when you get to the part regarding a funeral and shoes. That is all the clue I am going to give. Read the book to find out.

The recipes included are mouthwatering. I really want to try and make the cannoli cake.

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

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pages: 320

Publisher: Revell

Published: February 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Lucy has never forgiven herself for not paying attention to her little sister and allowing her to be kidnapped. Now as an adult she moves from Lexington, KY to Morehead, KY to help the superintendent of schools, Cora Wilson Stewart. While in Morehead Lucy learns more than being a secretary, she learns about love, God, and forgiveness.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an author that I read without even looking at what the book is about. I was ecstatic to learn The Moonlight School was set in my home state of Kentucky and was based on the real Cora Wilson Stewart. I laughed, cried, and cheered as reading. This book is sure to touch everyone’s hearts especially educators. Can you imagine taking up the task of organizing a way to teach all the illiterates in a county with no internet, phone, or funds?

I plan on gifting this book to several friends that I believe will get a lot of encouragement from Cora.

Triggers: Kidnapping, poverty, death of a parent

Seduction in Death (In Death #13) by J. D. Robb

Pages: 354

Publisher: Berkley

Published: September 2001

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

Love in cyberspace. Is it safer than finding love at the local bar or park? Unfortunately for several women in NYC, it is not and it is up to Eve to find the killer or killers. Is it the work of one very creative man or two working together?

I am enjoying reading this series almost back to back. Yes, they all involve murder with some type of sexual perversion but the main story is the love story between Roarke and Eve. In Seduction in Death, we get to see a vulnerable side of Eve that is beautiful.

Triggers: Murder, Graphic sex scenes

Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen #1) by Tina Kashian

Pages: 312

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: March 2018

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Lucy finds herself unemployed and decides to spend a few weeks at home to decide what she wants to do. As soon as she enters her family’s restaurant her parents are pushing her stay, reconcile with her college boyfriend, and have babies. After sampling the restaurant’s hummus bar, the health inspector drops dead outside in the parking lot. Can Lucy figure out what happened before she is not the only family member unemployed?

This series has been on my TBR list since it was first released. I am so glad I finally read it. It was a fast-paced read full of energy. I loved how Lucy embraced her situation and ran with it. I was surprised by the murderer. I was sure it was someone else entirely. There is the beginning of a love triangle but I sure hope it doesn’t drag out. Both gentlemen have potential.

Whether you like hummus or not you will find your mouth watering. While in law school I ate a small Greek restaurant in Lansing several times a week because the food was good and lots of leftovers for those late-night study sessions so the descriptions of the food brought back good memories. It makes me want to find one here local in my hometown for some delicious stuffed grape leaves.

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

Pages: 377

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Published: January 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Overdrive (Libby) via Public Library

What would you do to stay safe and survive one of the most horrific wars in history? Antonina, an Italian Jew, must follow her father’s wishes and leave Venice with her new “husband” for a life she has no clue how to live. We follow Nina and she learns how to survive.

Our Darkest Night was a powerful and moving read. I am a sucker for historical fiction especially ones set in World War 2. I finished this earlier this month and I am still thinking about everything Nina and Nico experienced. I am ashamed to admit I did not much about what the Italians experienced in World War 2. This book gave me an insight.

I suggest reading this with a box of tissues.

Triggers: Rape, Murder, Genocide, Physical Violence, Death of family