Archive for the 'Cozy Mysteries' Category


The Book Club Murders by Leslie Nagel

Friday, October 14th, 2016

the book club murders
Charley Carpenter has poured heart and soul into her clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. She’ll do anything to make it a success—even join the stuffy Agathas Book Club in order to cultivate customers among the wealthy elite of Oakwood, Ohio.

Although mixing with the most influential women in town has its advantages, Charley finds the endless gossip a high price to pay. But after two women with close ties to the Agathas are brutally murdered, everyone falls under threat—and suspicion. When key evidence indicates that both murders are the work of the same hand, Charley realizes that the killer has arranged each corpse in perfect imitation of crime scenes from the Club’s murder mystery reading list. She uses her membership in the Club to convince Detective Marcus Trenault to use her as an inside informant. Not that he could stop her anyway.

Intelligent, fearless, and every bit as stubborn as Marc is, Charley soon learns the Agathas aren’t the only ones with secrets to protect. Passions explode as she and Marc must race against time to prevent another murder. And if Charley’s not careful, she may find herself becoming the killer’s next plot twist.

My Comments: This was an engaging read, however, the idea does not seem new to me. I have either read it before or seen it on a Hallmark Mystery story. However, having said that, I enjoyed it a great deal and look forward to more books in this series. The main character is likable (I also like her love interest). Secrets abound, the characters interest me, and there are many twists and turns. I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

egg-drop-dead

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…

Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.

But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.

Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…

My Comments: I have had several Laura Childs’ books in my TBR pile for a while now, but never got around to reading them. That has ENDED. this was a great book – very engaging and well written. I love the characters, and the twists and turns. I like the writing, it feels “full” and rich. This is also a Halloween-type book and captures that well. I love the main character, Suzanne, her friends who work in the cafe, and her boyfriend, Sam. I highly recommend this book to fans of cozies.

I received this book free from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

Death by Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson

Monday, September 26th, 2016

death-by-pumpkin-spice

Bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock would rather spend Halloween serving pumpkin goodies than wearing costumes with Pine Hills’ wealthiest at Yarborough mansion, especially when the soiree shapes up to be more trick than treat . . .

As if a run-in with an old flame and a failed marriage proposal weren’t enough to horrify Krissy for one night, a woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o’-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion—but when the hostess’s jewelry disappears, malevolent intentions seem way more likely . . .

With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy must help Officer Paul Dalton investigate each nook, cranny, and guest for answers—while also confronting a few demons of her own. Someone has lots of skeletons in the closet, and Krissy better tread lightly to expose them . . .

My Comments: I found this to be a sweet and easy read. I love reading books corresponding with the holidays, and this one does a great job with Halloween. I enjoy the love triangle as well as the mystery. The story moves a little slowly, but it is a good traditional cozy mystery.

I received a free copy of this e-copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

British Manor Murder (Lucy Stone Mystery) by Leslie Meier

Monday, September 5th, 2016

British Manor Murder

It’s a nippy spring in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and so Lucy Stone can’t wait to join her friend Sue at the Earl of Wickham’s manor in England for the “Heads Up!” hat exhibition—even if she has to spend her entire holiday curtseying. But at Moreton Manor, privileged life isn’t always tea and crumpets . . .
Although Perry, the earl of the house, and his sister, Poppy, are surprisingly accommodating to their jetlagged guests, Lucy feels uneasy after a fallen portrait sparks talk of a deadly family omen. The bad vibes come in quickly—snobby Aunt Millicent and her handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly drop by for the exhibition, and meals with the family are consistently tense. But real trouble begins when a body, bludgeoned by the chapel’s gold-plated reliquary, is found in a hidden, sealed off room. Stranger still, the corpse is identified as Harrison’s son, Cyril.

Considering the weapon and the clandestine location, Lucy wouldn’t be shocked if the murder was an inside job. Cyril wasn’t exactly a gentleman, and it’s unclear what business he had on the property. Was the victim trying to make off with the family riches before meeting his end? Or was a scorned country squire looking to settle an ancient indiscretion for good? One thing’s for sure—the criminal is privy to Moreton Manor secrets . . .

To end the reign of terror, Lucy must keep her ear to the ground and mind time-honored traditions—no matter how unusual. Because Lucy has a hunch that the killer has been in her company all along, just waiting for a chance to make blueblood run red . . .

My Comments: I love Lucy Stone mysteries. I feel like as I’ve read the series that I’ve watched this family grow up, because they do grow up in the stories. I think in the very first one I read, Zoe was a nursing baby. Now she’s getting ready for college.

In this story Lucy and friend Sue go across the pond to England for a hat show. Although it’s not exactly like they expected (Downton Abbey), the scenery is beautiful and there is plenty to keep sleuth Lucy busy and to help her forget how much she misses her grandson, Patrick, who is now in Alaska with his parents.

The story is engaging, has a few twists and turns and interesting characters. Of course, there is a murder to solve.

I recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries. This is a clean, entertaining read. Thank you Leslie Meier – keep the books coming!

Address to Die For by Mary Feliz

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

address to die for
For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .

Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn’t confined to her clients’ closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she’s shocked to discover the house’s dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it’s the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large-exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can’t help but clean up . . .

My Comments: Interesting concept—a professional organizer moving into a mess! Not only a mess, but a murdered body! Great beginning to what looks to be an engaging series! Thank you Ms. Feliz, this was a delightful read.

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

wedding cake murder

Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married!
Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler—before he’s even had a chance to taste Hannah’s Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she’ll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake…

My Comments: What a great read! I love Hannah and her family. I have to say though I will miss Norman and Mike. Ross is a relatively new character, but I guess that is what it took for Hannah to tie the knot, and he has already endeared himself to me. The food cooking contest was a great idea for this story–something a little different. All of my favorite characters were present and accounted for. I wonder what direction these stories will go in now that Hannah is married?.? I can’t wait to find out!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

 

A Picture-Purrfect Christmas by Patricia Fry – A great holiday read!

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

a picture purrfect

About the book: Rags, the klepto cat, performs a Christmas miracle. A spellbinding story of love, hope, and a child’s innocent Christmas dreams. When Savannah Ivey agrees to teach photography to a group of at-risk children, she doesn’t expect a sweet-spirited little crippled girl to steal her heart and become an important part of her family. Even Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, is captivated by the child named Marissa. When she goes missing, everyone, including Rags, experiences the pain of loss. Detective Craig Sledge fears that Marissa’s unscrupulous, non-custodial father may be behind her disappearance and the search escalates into high gear. When even a pack of rescue dogs can’t find the child, the detective turns to Rags and everyone prays for a Christmas miracle. Can Rags succeed where the others have failed? While this story involves some intense drama, it will also make you smile and even laugh out loud. Bring out the tissues for the beautiful ending. A Picture Purrfect Christmas is one of those feel-good holiday stories you’ll want to read over and over again.

My comments: This book appealed to me on many levels: the mom in me, the teacher in me, the kid-lover in me, and the animal lover in me! If you are looking for a great holiday read, may I suggest this book? The story includes enough mystery to keep you going as well. The characters are very likable and sweet. A mystery solving cat is a little bit of a different twist which is intriguing. If you love animals, this would be a good book for you – if you love cats, dogs, and horses, especially. Patricia Fry is a new author to me, but I will be looking for more of her books in the future!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

candy corn murder

 

Halloween is coming to Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and local reporter Lucy Stone is covering the town’s annual Giant Pumpkin Fest for the Pennysaver. There’s the pumpkin-boat regatta, the children’s Halloween party, the pumpkin weigh-in…even a contest where home-built catapults hurl pumpkins at an old Dodge! But not everything goes quite as planned…
Lucy’s getting very annoyed that her husband Bill and his friend Evan have been working seemingly nonstop on their potentially prize-winning pumpkin catapult. But when the day of the big contest arrives, Evan is nowhere to be found…until a catapulted pumpkin busts open the trunk of the Dodge. Amid the pumpkin gore is a very deceased Evan, bashed in the head and placed in the trunk by someone long before the contest started.

Bill is on the hook for the Halloween homicide—he was the last one to see Evan—so Lucy knows she’s got some serious sleuthing to do. The crime’s trail seems to always circle back to Country Cousins, the town’s once-quaint general store that’s now become a big Internet player. Though the store’s founder, Old Sam Miller, is long gone, his son Tom and grandson Trey now run the hugely successful company. But whispered rumors say things aren’t going well, and Lucy finds that this case may have something to do with an unsolved, decades-old Miller family mystery…

With each new lead pointing her in a different direction, Lucy sees that time is quickly running out. If she wants to spook the real killer, she’ll have to step into an old ghost story…

My Comments: I normally enjoy Leslie Meier’s books and have read each one. This book, however did not keep me on the edge of my seat. The side story about Patrick Lucy’s grandson left me underwhelmed as well. I DID finish the ebook and enjoyed it, just not as much as previous books. I love Fall and this time of that time of the year, but the book did not give me a feel for it. I look forward to the next book hoping it will be better.

Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

simply brewed

When the coffee shop manager is murdered in Middlebury’s Amish Artisan Village, two women from different walks of life must join together to solve the mystery.

Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright is optimistic about the growing profit from her collection of Amish shops—until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a solitary hole in the front window and the store manager lying next to the espresso machine, dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register.

When Amber hires a young Amish woman, Hannah Troyer, to take over the shop’s duties, the two women become fast friends—as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death is a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren’t convinced.

Clues that don’t add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and a blossoming romance—all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to reveal answers to the mysteries around them.

My Comments:   Vannetta Chapman weaves together an interesting mystery full of romance, faith, and friendship. I love the mix of Amish and English characters working together. The characters believe that the coffee shop manager is murdered and seek to find evidence to prove it. The two main sleuths, Hannah and Amber, stop at almost nothing to find the truth and to discover who killed Ethan. There are hints a long the way and the ending is not too shocking, but the story flows well, and I’m glad that I didn’t have to wait until the end to find out “who done it.” If you enjoy mystery and Amish fiction, you will like this book! I did!

Plain Killing – Emma Miller

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

 

plain killing

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  I have a special giveaway gift for you!! The publisher has given me some Advanced Copies of Plain Killing –

a great mix of Amish fiction and cozy mystery! I have two copies to give away this Thanksgiving weekend. If you are interested in a copy of this book, fill out the form below. The contest will run until Sunday evening about 6 PM PST and I will choose TWO winners via Random.org.

I haven’t even finished this book yet, but I love it so far. Here is a short synopsis:
When the Amish community of Stone Mill, Pennsylvania, refuses to discuss a murder with the police, it’s up to Rachel Mast to bridge the cultural gap and stop a killer from striking again. . .
While swimming in a local quarry, Rachel and her cousin Mary Aaron discover the body of an Amish girl, fully clothed in her white bonnet, floating face down in the water. The drowned young woman, Beth Glick, had left Stone Mill and her Old Order Amish life a year ago, causing her to be shunned by her family and her people.

But if Beth had joined the English world, why was she found dressed in Amish clothing and strangled? Rachel’s boyfriend, police detective Evan Park, is getting nowhere with questioning Beth’s family. He’s also troubled over the fate of three other Amish girls who left Stone Mill in the last two years. As someone who gave up the Plain lifestyle herself then returned to operate a B&B, Rachel is able to use her ties to the community to learn more about the missing girls. But when her search eventually leads to the dark underbelly of the secular world, Rachel finds her own life in dire jeopardy. . .