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Friday, April 30, 2021

Murder in the Cookbook Nook (Book Retreat Mysteries #7) by Ellery Adams

 



Murder in the Cookbook Nook

(Book Retreat Mysteries #7)

by Ellery Adams 


Paperback, 336 pages

Published April 27th 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation






Synopsis: 

The witty new story from the bestselling author of The Secret Book & Scone Society series is perfect for bibliophiles who love a A Bookish Cook-Off with a little murder on the side…


Six chefs are preparing to compete in an outdoor tent at Storyton Hall in Virginia for prizes that will boost their careers—but is there someone who can’t stand the heat? It looks that way when one of the contestants is found dead in a pantry packed with two centuries’ worth of cookbooks, among other treasures and rarities.


Could there be a connection to other recent events in town, like tampering with the costume of a local mascot? Jane isn’t sure, but after someone serves a second course of murder, the kitchen must be closed and the killer must be found . . .


***


4 stars


This is the seventh book in the Book Retreat mystery series by Ellery Adams.


This book is reality show meets cozy mystery. I wish there had been a bit more reality tv show in here. Seems like they were walking around the subject most of the story. Oh, we got to interact with all the Chefs and newcomers but I never really felt invested in the storyline. Even Jane and her significant other didn’t really connect for me. It was almost like everyone was just going through the motions. I think Butterworth really stood out for me the most.


The mystery was nice and the pacing good but I just couldn’t get into it like I have other books by Ellery Adams. Maybe it was just me and my mindset at the time of reading that skewed it all. Who knows.


Definitely pick this up if you are a cozy mystery lover.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title. Opinions are completely my own.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lemon Drop Dead (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #6) by Amanda Flower


 


Lemon Drop Dead

(Amish Candy Shop Mystery #6)

by Amanda Flower


Paperback, 320 pages

Published April 27th 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation





Synopsis: 

Murder always leaves a sour taste . . .


Although baby showers aren’t an Amish tradition, Bailey King wants to celebrate Emily Keim’s forthcoming bundle of joy. It’s the least she can do for her hardworking assistant at Swissmen Sweets, especially with Emily being estranged from her siblings. Everyone in Harvest, Ohio has gathered at the town gazebo—decked out in lemon-themed décor to add some of Emily’s favorite flavor to the festivities—including Juliet Brook, Jethro the Pig, and in a last-minute invite, Emily’s sister Esther Esh.


But Esther isn’t the only surprise guest. A mysterious Amish woman confronts Emily claiming to know about her secret shame—the child she had as a teenager who was given up for adoption. The stranger vanishes before Bailey could find out who she was and if she knew what happened to Emily’s first baby. Later that evening, the woman reappears—dead in Esh Family Pretzels, with a threatening letter written by Esther found on her body.


Emily knows her sister is not a murderer and convinces Bailey to help clear Esther’s name and put the squeeze on the real killer . .


***


4 stars


This is the sixth book in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries by Amanda Flower.


Bailey King is back and has gotten herself into a bit of hot water. She is unabashedly investigating the death of a woman and discovers that her young child is not only deaf but the daughter of one of her good friends, Emily.


The best part of this book was the discovery of the little deaf girl, Hannah and that cute pig, Jethro. I was kind of abhorred by how the Amish treat adoption and no one is really documented when they are born. I couldn’t believe that anyone would call that cute girl dumb or stupid and it just angered me more. It was a great concept for a plot and would probably make a really good non-fiction read if they wanted to dig further into the whole Amish adoption angle of that religion.


The plot was a roller-coaster ride and you will have to pay attention to the clues. There is quite a plot twist before all is discovered. I didn’t know whodunit until nearly the end. 


Overall it was much better


Definitely pick this up if you are a cozy mystery lover.

Blood, Sweat and Tiers (Great Witches Baking Show #5) by Nancy Warren

 



Blood, Sweat and Tiers

(Great Witches Baking Show #5)

by Nancy Warren


Kindle Edition, 188 pages

Published January 20th 2021 by Ambleside Publishing






Synopsis: 

The Earl of Frome gets a shock when a gaggle of nosy bird watchers gang up on him. When one of them winds up dead, it doesn't look good for the Earl. Amateur baker Poppy Wilkinson gets embroiled in yet another murder mystery. It's a good thing she's got witchy powers as she has to solve a murder, try and learn more about her own mysterious beginnings and turn out a winning cake, because it's cake week in the competition tent.


From USA Today Bestselling author Nancy Warren comes the 5th book in the witches baking series. Each book can be read alone. They feature no sex, gore or bad language but lots of clues, some quirky humor, and recipes. "Just my cup of tea--with cake!"


***


4.5 stars


This is the fifth book in the Great Witches Baking Show series by Nancy Warren.


I am totally hooked on this reality show type cozy magical mystery. This week is cake week and Poppy can’t get too comfortable with any wins she gets. Since she has split her focus, her cooking has suffered at times during the competition. Now she learns she may have a new Hawk spirit guide who might be manifesting as her father’s ghost. She continually gets the “leave this place, you are in danger,” threats but she is determined to discover why these loving people abandoned her at birth in an apple crate.


Animal activists are all over this book and breaking the Earl of From’s concentration. Poppy isn’t the only one who isn’t focused. These bird watchers don’t want to lose the rights to traverse the land that was meant for the public even though it is now owned by the Earl and his family. Then the lady leading the animal activist charge is found dead and Poppy is yet again in the middle of another murder investigation. She and Detective Lane do get closer in this one and I am hoping for a full on love connection at some point.


The mysteries are always compelling and the cast is just so fun to read about and follow, even the obnoxious former contestant, Gerry who won’t crossover kind of grows on  your after awhile.


Can’t wait to dig into the next book in the series! 

Broken Bones and Botany (Midlife Medicine, #3) by Amorette Anderson




Broken Bones and Botany 

(Midlife Medicine, #3)

by Amorette Anderson



Kindle Edition, 197 pages

Published August 12th 2020 by Ambleside Publishing





Synopsis: 

Brrr… this case is cold!


Eight months into her new life in Covenstead, Vermont, Nurse Grace Littleton still can’t manage to use magic to make a sunflower grow. In between attempts, she uncovers a cold case that chills her to the bone.


A crime that occurred in town years before remains unsolved -- someone in the quaint little village got away with murder!  Who did it? And why?


A group of friends in town are intent on keeping the secrets buried deep. With the sugar on snow supper fast approaching Grace sets her magical studies aside, and braves the howling March winds to track down clues. Her trusty companion, Lucky, is right beside her. Can they infiltrate the bonds of friendship and get the facts, or will the truth remain hidden?


And is it possible that a bit of botany might help them out along the way?


***


4.5 stars


This is the third book in the Midlife Medicine series by Amorette Anderson.


Grace Littleton is back and taking on her hardest case yet. It is the only case that the older sleuth who had the job before her, Maude, couldn’t solve.


She has also been doing some reading and what she learns really helps her at the climax of the story. I am so enjoying this series. The main character is right around my own age and she is learning all sorts of new things along the way. It is all we can ask for in life, right? Totally resonating with this series.


This is quite an unputdownable book. Dig into this series for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. This is a magical type cozy mystery that features a midlife main character.

A Bundt Instrument (Great Witches Baking Show #4) by Nancy Warren

 


A Bundt Instrument

(Great Witches Baking Show #4)

by Nancy Warren 


Kindle Edition, 197 pages

Published August 12th 2020 by Ambleside Publishing





Synopsis: 

A cozy English village, a baking contest...and Murder!


I can remember a time when I baked for fun. I loved dreaming up new recipes, trying different combinations of flavors. Sharing my creations with friends and family.

Now? I have nightmares where the TV cameras are on me and I’m baking naked. Or I open my oven and my cake pans are empty. You don’t need to be Freud to figure out I’m freaking out. This week on The Great British Baking Contest could be my last. I am one bad bake away from being waved good-bye.


Sure, I’d get my weekends back, but I’d lose the excitement of being part of a popular reality show, of spending time with the other bakers who’ve become my friends, and, most important, of having time to snoop around Broomewode Hall for secrets about my origins.


When a heated argument breaks out in Broomewode village pub, I put it down to nerves. Until someone winds up dead.


How am I supposed to concentrate on European Bakes when I’m in the middle of a murder investigation?


With witches, ghosts, an energy vortex, a black cat and an ancient manor house that holds its secrets tight, this isn't your typical English village.


***


4.5 stars


This is the fourth book in the Great Witches Baking Show.


Poppy gets called earlier in the week imploring her to make a wedding cake for a lady's best friend's wedding. She is hesitant to take on this challenge since she needs to practice her cooking skills. but Poppy knows the extra money will help and so she relents.


Before the wedding, they discover the dead body of the groom. Now Poppy finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation.


This series is very readable and addictive. I am greatly enjoying it and find that Nancy Warren is one of my new favorite authors. The mystery keeps your attention and the community has grown so much that you feel like you are reading about real people.


This is quite an unputdownable series.



Surgery and Spells (Midlife Medicine #2) by Amorette Anderson

 



Surgery and Spells

(Midlife Medicine #2)

by Amorette Anderson 


Kindle Edition

Published March 26th 2021





Synopsis: 

After fifty years of struggle, Grace is ready for a new way of life… a way that’s a bit more magical.


After a midlife crisis that involved a bad break-up and a void within that just didn’t seem possible to fill, Nurse Grace Littleton finds herself living a charmed and enchanted new life.


Her job as an RN in the rural village of Covenstead, Vermont, is fairly easy -- until it’s not.


In addition to tending to the town’s ill and injured, she’s also responsible for investigating death.


So, when a body turns up in the local cemetery, Grace’s job suddenly becomes much more challenging.


She feels out of her element -- she’s a nurse, not a trained homicide detective for goodness sake!


But the townsfolk are looking to her for answers... A local teen’s surgery seems to be involved, covens aren’t getting along, and a graveside spell may have gone wrong.


Can Grace and her pit bull Lucky dig up the truth?



***


4.5 stars


Grace has a new mystery to solve in this new magical cozy mystery when a local caretaker is found dead and locked in a vault on the cemetery grounds. When Grace discovers a broken bracelet near the vault belonging to a local good girl, we know this mystery is going to be a complex one to solve.


I enjoyed getting to dig back into this series. This world has to be one of my new favorites. Plus, the mystery is compelling with a lot of suspects to consider. I was perplexed. I couldn't wait to find out whodunit, but I wanted the book to last longer. Covenstead is my new favorite world. I hope this author is a prolific -- I can't wait to read anything written in this world.


Loved so much about it. If you like magical cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

See Me After Class by Meghan Quinn

 



See Me After Class

by Meghan Quinn


Kindle Edition, 430 pages

Published November 12th 2020 by Hot-Lanta Publishing, LLC





Synopsis: 

"Did you have relations with my brother . . ."


Good question.


I’d like to preface this by saying it was never my intention to ever get involved in a workplace romance, let alone get involved with the most surly, agitating, and pompous man I’ve ever met who just so happens to be my new friend’s brother.


My intentions were to show students how English and reading books could actually be fun and make a new life for myself in the suburbs of Chicago.


But so far, I’ve managed to be called into the principal’s office.


Coerced into participating in the teacher's badminton league.


And instigated into passionate fights with Arlo Turner over education and decorum while losing my underwear at the same time.


Known as Mr. Turns Me On, he’s the reason I might get fired from my first ever teaching job.



***


5 stars


This was a great, steamy enemies-to-lovers romance that totally hooks you from the first chapter. Greer is a new teacher at a prestigious school and she butts heads almost immediately with the school's most popular teacher, Arlo Turner. He is a successful educator using a normal lecture style while Greer is relaxed in her efforts using movies and cliff notes to assist her students.


Greer decides to prank her rather uptight colleague and enlists the help of his friends to accomplish her aims. That section has to be one of the best and funniest parts. But this book isn't all fun and games. The slow burn romance in this book will keep you reading. Arlo has issues that keep him from accepting love or pleasure from another. But he is not the type to let his partner go unfulfilled. At the end when you know the boy loses girl part is coming -- that is such a shocker!! I didn't figure the two of them would ever get together. This book was so well written. It is quite an unputdownable page-turner.


I have definitely found a new must read author in the romance genre!


Loved so much about it. If you like contemporary romance, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (Marygene Brown Mystery #3) by Kate Young

 



Southern Sass and a Battered Bride

(Marygene Brown Mystery #3)

by Kate Young


Paperback, 352 pages

Published April 27th 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation




Synopsis: 

At a murder mystery-themed wedding reception on Georgia's picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead...


Marygene Brown always figured she'd marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up--although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn't have to hold her peace--especially since only Marygene can hear her mother's ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.


So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride's body simply vanishes, it's up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery--with a little help from Mama's sassy spirit...



***


5 stars


This is the third book in the Marygene Brown mystery series by Kate Young.


Wow, Young just knocked it out of the park with her newest Marygene Brown mystery! This one is truly a gem! I have read other books in this series but this one really captured my heart.


The mystery made me really question Alex’s integrity. He seemed like he was jumping into marriage with this new bridezillatoo quickly. Shet had a great dislike for Marygene from the get go and Marygene’s previous relationship with Alex which had been over long ago was one of the things that bothered her the most. The story is very layered and full of twists and turns. It is just my sort of thing. I could not for the life of me figure out who could have committed such a crime. Lots of breadcrumbs here.


Quite a big twist happens at the end which made me happy since I was fearful that one of the regular cast might have been fingered for the crime. Whew! Bullet dodged there. 


Loved so much about it. If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


Each book gets better and better with this series.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title. Opinions are completely my own.