May 31, 2019

Little Girls Sleeping (Detective Katie Scott Book 1) by Jennifer Chase

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Little Girls Sleeping" (Detective Katie Scott Book 1) by Jennifer Chase. It is a great beginning to a new series.
Print Length: 335 pages
Publisher: Bookouture (May 31 2019)


He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever.

An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.

But as Katie starts to investigate, accompanied by her loyal ex-military dog, Cisco, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.

Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.

And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home.

Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late?




The description of this book is what made me want to read it and I was not disappointed! I havent read a thriller in awhile and I am glad I chose to give this a try.

The Protagonist Katie is well developed, likeable and her uncle, aunt and Chad, a childhood friend were all likeable side characters. Templeton is a jerk as he tries to undermine Katie throughout the story.

I found that the beginning was slow but half way through I couldn’t put the book down as I wanted to know who the killer was. The description of the setting and crime scenes are strong and really drew  me in. The ending was shocking and totally unexpected. 

Highly recommended. A fabulous first book for an author I will definitely follow in the future.

I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington and NetGalley. 
 All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.


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May 30, 2019

A Plain Vanilla Murder

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "A Plain Vanilla Murder" the 25th installment in the long running mystery series featuring amateur sleuth China Bayles." by Susan Wittig Albert.  I enjoyed visiting Pecan Springs again .

Length: 296 pages
Publisher: Persevero Pr (June 4 2019)
Genre: Cozy Mystery


From Susan Wittig Albert, the New York Times best-selling author of Queen Anne’s Lace, comes an intriguing new addition to her widely-acclaimed China Bayles Mysteries. 

China and Ruby Wilcox are presenting their annual “Not Just Plain Vanilla Workshop,” always a huge hit with customers at Thyme & Seasons Herb Shop. But someone involved with the workshop is driven by a deadly motive, and China soon finds herself teaming up with the very pregnant Pecan Springs police chief Sheila Dawson to solve a vanilla-flavored murder.

Sheila, happy to get out from behind the chief’s desk, is investigating the death of a botany professor, a prominent researcher specializing in vanilla orchids. China is trying to help a longtime friend: the dead professor’s ex-wife and a prime suspect in his murder. 

However, there’s no shortage of other suspects: a betrayed lover, a disgruntled graduate student, jealous colleagues, and a gang of orchid smugglers. But the lethal roots of this mystery reach back into the dark tropical jungles of Mexico, where the vanilla vine was first cultivated. At stake: a lucrative plant patent, an orchid that is extinct in the wild, and the life of an innocent little girl.

A Plain Vanilla Murder is a flavorful blend of mystery and herb lore, present sins and past secrets, and characters who are as real as your next-door neighbors—stirred together in an absorbing novel that only Susan Wittig Albert could create.



I have been a fan of China Bayles Mysteries for over a decade.  But must admit I haven't read any in a few years. I do love the way Susan Wittig Albert weaves a story with history and natural history so that you end up learning something as well as escaping for a few hours.  

I was thrown off by the fact that the story didn't focus much on China’s family, Ruby, per previous books but tended to really focus on the very pregnant Police Chief Shelia and how she manages to jump into the thick of things, despite her late stages of pregnancy. With that said it still was a good  story. 

There are twists and turns and red herrings throughout the story and it moves at a steady pace.  I had a hard time putting it down.  

I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Persevero Press and NetGalley.  All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.


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May 29, 2019

A Patchwork of Clues by Sally Goldenbaum

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "A Patchwork of Clues" by Sally Goldenbaum the second book in the A Handcrafted Mystery series.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have purchased the first one so I am properly caught up.

Length: 228 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (June 4 2019)
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Small-town quilters look for a killer's pattern in this delightful new series by the national bestselling author of the Seaside Knitters mysteries . . .

On her morning jog, Portia Paltrow comes upon the dead body of antiques store owner and college professor Owen Hill, sprawled across the back doorstep of Selma Parker's fabric and quilt shop on Elderberry Road. The site of their Saturday morning quilting bee just became a crime scene. Violent crime is rare in the charming village of Crestwood, Kansas, and rumors are soon circulating of a burglary gone wrong. But who would rob a quilt shop? No, Owen Hill has been murdered.

Selma and her assistant manager Susan are understandably at loose ends over the crime. So while the tightly knit covey of quilters—who range from a new mother to a wise octogenarian—work together on a Crystal Pattern quilt for Selma's store's anniversary, they also get busy stitching together a patchwork of clues. But they'd better work fast—before a crafty killer bolts . . .

Previously titled Murders on Elderberry Road




I love a mystery that has a crafty theme, "A Patchwork of Clues" is the first book in the Queen Bees Quilt Shop Mystery series by Sally Goldenbaum.  This is my first book by this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed it.

The story was a little slow to get started as murder was in first chapter but wasn't till 2/3rds of the way through that they decide to sleuth. (only reason why I gave  3 stars)

But with that said the mystery is interesting and I loved the characters which are well developed. The Queen Bees are a mixed group of eight women of different ages and lives who gather together at a local quilt shop to work on quilting projects. (Made me think of my relative Barbara in Maine who quilts much like this)

There are just enough twists and turns, suspicions to keep you to keep you guessing and second-guessing on whodunnit.  I feel like I would still give it a chance as  I am interested to see what the future holds for the Queen Bees.  

I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from the Lyrical Underground and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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May 27, 2019

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys

Hello my friends,

Today I am reviewing "Fatal Inheritance" by Rachel Rhys a story of dysfunctional families and long-hidden secrets, set against the decadence of the Côte d’Azur.  Great summer beach read.
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press (June 11 2019)
Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.


Get swept away to the enchanting South of France with this “exquisite and shimmering” (Lisa Jewell, New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone) suspenseful historical novel, where perilous secrets lurk under the glitz and glam of seaside wealth. 

She didn’t have an enemy in the world…until she inherited a fortune.

London 1948: Eve Forrester is stuck in a loveless marriage, isolated in her gray and gloomy house when out of the blue, she receives a letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mysterious inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.

There, Eve discovers she has been bequeathed an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous. But while she rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, challengers to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge—challengers who would love to see Eve gone forever.

Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest—before her unexpected twist of fate turns deadly…



Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys is set mostly in 1940's French Riviera in the aftermath of war, I found the authors descriptions transferred me and it pulled me in right away!

Wonderful characters that are well developed and I found I wanted to know more about them and their story.  The mystery, intrigue, glamour and danger make for a great mix to keep you intrigued and turning the page.

This historical mystery is interesting and well plotted. The story moves at a steady pace, and I had a hard time putting it down. 


I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Canada and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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May 25, 2019

Into the Frying Pan (A Ditie Brown Mystery Book 2

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Into the Frying Pan" by Sarah Osborne is book two in Ditie Brown Mystery series. I haven't read book 1 yet but it is in my kindle TBR pile.

Publisher: Lyrical Underground (May 28 2019)


 
Mabel Aphrodite Brown has quickly learned that motherhood can sometimes be a real skirmish. But when death visits a Civil War reenactment, it’s murder that’s a battlefield . . .

In the thick of a hot, muggy Atlanta summer, all Ditie Brown wants to do is keep her kids occupied and get them ready for school in the fall. When her ex-boyfriend, Phil Brockton, shows up for a Civil War reenactment, she thinks it might be fun and educational for the kids. Plus, her best friend Lurleen wants to put on the costumes and get in on the action, and Ditie isn’t one to rebel.

But things go south after a cannon misfires, resulting in the death of Phil’s med school rival. Was it an accident or something more sinister? Ditie soon realizes the past rarely stays buried, and her digging reveals longstanding enemies, killer motives, and new jealousy. When another reenactor is “accidentally” shot, the pressure is on for Ditie to solve the murders—or else her friends may be history . . .

Includes Family-Friendly Recipes!




I enjoyed this book and found protagonist pediatrician Ditie Brown who works at a refugee children's clinic in Atlanta, GA came across as wishy washy and easily manipulated (I could relate though) and from what I have read she wasn't this way in the first book so lets hope she will return as the strong independent woman in the next. I did like how Ditie interacted with the children in the clinic as well as Lucie and Jason though, she was thoughtful and caring towards them all.  The side characters are wonderful as well, and you become invested in them, like Lureen her BFF who wouldn't want her as a friend.  

There are twists and turns and red herrings but I guessed whodunnit fairly quickly. The story moves at a steady pace, and I had a hard time putting it down.  I cant wait to return to Atlanta, Georgia and see how things are going...

There are recipes included for the dishes featured in the book. If you like a lively Southern cozy mystery with death and destruction you will enjoy this series.


I requested and received a Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher and NetGalley.  All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.

Sarah Osborne is the pen name of a native Californian who lived in Atlanta for many years and now practices psychiatry on Cape Cod. She writes cozy mysteries for the same reason she reads them—to find comfort in a sometimes difficult world. TOO MANY CROOKS SPOIL THE PLOT is the first novel in her Ditie Brown Mystery series. Her second book in the series INTO THE FRYING PAN will be released in May 2019. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at doctorosborne.com.




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May 24, 2019

Something Borrowed, Something Mewed

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Something Borrowed, Something Mewed" by Bethany Blake the fifth book in the  Lucky Paws Pet Sitting Mystery series.  I enjoyed this book and have purchased the previous four books so I can start at the beginning and be all caught up.

Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (May 28 2019)
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Daphne Templeton's sister Piper is getting married--and their mother is getting carried away. She insists on hiring Sylvan Creek's top event planner, Abigail Sinclair, who proposes an Independence Day theme complete with Statue of Liberty-inspired bridesmaid dresses. With all the bickering among the families, Daphne's glad her only duty right now is pet-sitting for Abby's cat, Ms. Peebles. But there are some fireworks coming that aren't part of the ceremony. The Poconos will never be the same . . .

At a tension-filled dress fitting, the abrasive wedding planner is found strangled by a garter--a weapon both borrowed and blue. Now Daphne's services are required not just for organizing the big day, but for figuring out whether one of the in-laws is an outlaw . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!



Even though I haven't read the previous books in this series, it didn't cause a problem as this can be read as a stand-alone.  I must admit it did take me awhile to get into this book but that could be because I haven't read the previous books but about halfway in I was snagged and couldn't put it down.

I like the Protagonist Pet sitter Daphne Templeton as she has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek in the Poconos Mountains. Her sister Piper, Moxie and Fidelia are great friends to have and realistic.  The characters are well developed and very likeable, and who doesn't love Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and her tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston.  As a pet lover I really enjoyed the inclusion of all the dogs and cats.

There are plenty of red herrings, twists, turns to keep me wanting to find out what will happen next. 
I cant wait for the sixth installment in this series, I recommend this to cozy lovers.

I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington and NetGalley. 
 All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.



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May 23, 2019

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing a new author and series to me "Southern Sass and Killer Cravings"  a Marygene Brown Mystery series bKate Young.   

Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington (May 28 2019)


Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits . . .

For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother's passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama's presence.

But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man's been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama's spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!


This is  a great start to a new mystery series.  Protagonist, Marygene, has moved back home after leaving an abusive relationship. The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and I enjoyed the quirky, loveable characters which are well developed and who doesn't love a small southern town setting like Peach Cove Island. 

There are plenty of twists and turns in this story, a few red herrings but I guessed whodunnit fairly soon in the story. The story moves at a steady pace, and I had a hard time putting it down.   I cant wait to return to Peach Cove Island and the Peach Diner!


I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking. 

Website         http://www.kateyoungbooks.com
Twitter          KAYoungBooks
Goodreads    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527572.Kate_Young





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May 22, 2019

Spirited Away (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery Book 4)

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Spirited Away" (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery Book 4). Lena Gregory is one of my favourite cozy authors, I love her All Day Breakfast Day Cafe series. I have not read the earlier books in the Bay Island Psychic mysteries yet although I did receive them for christmas. 

Print Length: 310 pages
Publisher: Beyond the Page (May 21 2019)



With the summer tourist season on Bay Island in full swing, shop owner Cass Donovan barely has a minute to breathe, and things at Mystical Musings become even more hectic when a fight breaks out at one of her psychic readings. Shaken by the fracas and discouraged that her sixth sense seems to be on the blink, Cass is even more dispirited to learn that one of the men involved in the altercation was later found dead—and that a close friend of hers is the main suspect.

Desperate to help her friend prove his innocence and consumed by haunting visions, Cass follows the clues from one possible culprit to the next, including some very mysterious tourists and not a few questionable locals. And when the police turn to Cass to help them find out who committed the ghoulish deed, she knows she’ll have to tread carefully, because her next grim premonition may be her last . . .


The book has likeable characters that are all well written and developed. I enjoy a series with a bit of the paranormal and this one fits in as Cass' abilities seem to be either returning or growing. 
I loved Cass, Bee and Stephanie's friendship (Lena is great with writing characters that you want to be friends with). I am also a sucker for dogs in books and I loved her dog Beast and his antics. 

The mystery flowed nicely throughout, keeping me intrigued that I read in one sitting. There were enough plot twists and turns to keep me guessing almost till the end.

I highly recommend this book to all my cozy loving friends.

My Rating

I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Beyond the Page Publishing and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.


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Come Rain or Shine by Sarah Bennett

Hello my cozy friends, Today I am reviewing "Come Rain or Shine" by Sarah Bennett.  What can I say other than I loved it and read ...