Feb 24, 2020

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Child

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing Lavender Blue Murder the 21st instalment in the ”A Tea Shop Mystery” series by Laura Childs. I love this series and have been reading from the very beginning, I have missed a few books recently but they are in my tbr pile.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading about Theo,  Drayton, Haley and Earl Grey.


Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.
I have said this before and I will say it again everything about this series enthrals me! The story had me wrapped up in the goings on of protagonist Theo, the Indigo Tea Shop, Drayton, and Haley once again, it was like visiting old friends. The authors description of Charleston has made me want to live in the South. If I had a dream job it would be to own my own quintessential tea shop/book store just like Theo. As for the mystery itself I found it intriguing, and well thought out.

We not only had a Gone With the Wind tea and a Lavender Lady tea in this story we were teased by Haley’s menus! Good thing we are blessed with wonderful recipes from the tea shop at the end of the book.

If you are looking for a light, fun read then this series fits the bill.


I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Berkeley Publishing Group and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Feb 19, 2020

Crystals and Criminals by Lily Webb

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing Crystals and Criminals the 8th instalment in the Magic and a Mystery series by Lily Webb. I think this series is my favourite paranormal cozy mystery ! Lily Webb writes a tantalizing story that grabs you from the very beginning! The latest instalment did not disappoint, and it has left me wanting to know more ...


Head Witch Zoe Clarke has never believed in fate. She’s sure she's gotten all she has through her own hard work and determination… until a traveling psychic sets up shop in Moon Grove and superstition sweeps everyone in town.

But when the seer accurately predicts the death of a prestigious client, Zoe snaps out of her spell and wonders if there’s more to the mysterious mystic than meets the eye.

From the psychic’s shadowy past to her parade of paranormal patrons, Zoe’s certain the soothsayer has something to hide — especially when her crystal ball goes missing and more of her clients meet unfortunate fates.

Will Zoe divine the identity of the culprit before they strike again? Or will this be her last case for the foreseeable future?
Any time I get to spend with Zoe and her friends is time well spent. Lily is very talented in her descriptive writing and because of this your pulled into the story right away.  

I like how the characters keep evolving and I am enjoying seeing Zoe’s relationship with Beau grow into something special.   There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

I highly recommend this series to all my friends.


I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.


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Feb 17, 2020

A Novel Way to Die by Tamra Baumann

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing A Novel Way to Die by Tamra Baumann book 2 in the Cozy Mystery Bookshop series.

 Sawyer Davis, a chef who inherited her mother’s mystery bookshop, is hosting her first book signing for the world’s biggest diva. Between juggling the author’s lofty demands, learning how to be a surrogate mother to a fifteen-year-old, and dealing with the Sheriff who once broke her heart, Sawyer’s menu is full. She longs for the good old days when the worst thing that happened was a flopped soufflĂ©. 

But when the author’s husband ends up dead in Sawyer’s best friend, Renee’s, ice cream shop, things really heat up. Sawyer believes her friend is being framed. With the help of her book club members and her adorable goldendoodle, Sawyer sets out to save Renee. Will Sawyer and her friends help serve up justice on a platter, or will they all find themselves in a pickle?
 

A Novel Way to Die is a great follow-up to book one Plotting for Murder. I had been waiting impatiently for the next instalment and was so happy when I saw it.  I really enjoy the family dynamics between Sawyer, Brittany and Cooper the golden doodle.   I was happy to visit Sunset Cove, California again, a small coastal town full of quirky characters.  I loved Sawyers tenacity, loyalty to her family, friends and her natural curiosity and of course this time she had to try to figure out who the killer was to save her friend Renee.

The story held my attention from the beginning and, read it in one sitting. There were lots of twists and turns and few red herrings thrown in for good measure. I highly recommend this book to all my cozy mystery friends, I really enjoyed it! I cannot wait for the next instalment as I want to know what happens next.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.


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Feb 15, 2020

Sealed Off by Barbara Ross

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing Sealed Off“ is the 8th instalment in the “A Maine Clambake Mysteries” by Barbara Ross. It can be read as a stand alone but I do recommend reading from the beginning.


Early October is “winding down” time in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but there’s nothing relaxing about it for Julia Snowden. Between busloads of weekend leaf peepers at the Snowden Family Clambake and a gut renovation of the old mansion on Morrow Island, she’s keeping it all together with a potentially volatile skeleton crew—until one of them turns up dead under the firewood.

When the Russian demo team clearing out the mansion discovers a room that’s been sealed off for decades, Julia’s baffled as to its purpose and what secrets it might have held. Tensions are already simmering with the crew, but when one of the workers is found murdered, things come to a boil. With the discovery of another body—and a mysterious diary with Cyrillic text in the hidden room—the pressure’s on Julia to dig up a real killer fast.

But she’ll have to sort through a pile of suspects, including ex-spouses, a spurned lover, and a recently released prisoner, to fish out one clammed-up killer.

I really enjoyed this story, being the first one I have read in the series I didn’t know what to expect. I really liked the main characters of Julia, Chris and the rest of the Snowden family. The setting of Busman Harbor, Maine was enchanting and made me want to visit the coast of Maine even more than I did. The island with the big summer mansion intrigued me and the history, I like how there was 2 mysteries going on in the story the murder but also one from the past.

There were plenty of twists and turns throughout and I was kept guessing right till the end. I highly recommend this series and can’t wait to find out some answers in the next instalment. With that said I do own a few of the early books but I now plan on completing the set so I can binge read the first seven books. 

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Kensington Books and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Feb 13, 2020

In Cold Chamomile by Joy Avon

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "In Cold Chamomile " is the 3rd instalment in the “A Tea and Read”  Mysteries by Joy Avon.   I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have now purchased the first book Peppermint Peril! 



Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid's arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf.

Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid's arrows can be deadly when a Valentine's Day soiree ends in murder.

Callie Aspen can't think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine's Day than her adopted hometown of Heart's Harbor, Maine. When she's not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy's vintage tearoom, Callie's adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine's event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who's slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance--one she'd hoped she'd never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead.

When Iphy's old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn't want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy's anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie's budding relationship with Ace--and, quite possibly, her own life.

Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted.

The third book in the "A Tea and Read Mystery" series is a quick and entertaining read.  I still haven't read the first book "In Peppermint Peril" but I have added to top of my tbr pile.  I was able to follow along easily so it can be read as a stand alone but I do recommend that you read from the beginning.  I really enjoyed this instalment and read on a cold, snowy Sunday, curled up with a hot cop of tea and fresh made oatmeal raisin cookies.

I was excited to visit Heart’s Harbor, Maine again is and Book Tea! Both seem like my kind of place and I could quite happily settle in for a spell.


The protagonist Callie seems like a strong, independent woman but does tend to have a lot of internal dialogue going on which almost contradicts this.  I especially love the relationship she has with her aunt Iphy and was happy to learn more of her back story this time. The side characters are well rounded and seem real as I could relate to each of them to some extent.

The mystery was interesting and well plotted, and I suspect the killer but there were good red herrings and plenty of twists to keep me guessing.  The one surprise was the why... 

I had a hard time putting it down and I cannot recommend this book any higher to all my cozy lover friends.


I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  
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Feb 10, 2020

Dead to the Last Drop by Tonya Kappes

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing Address for Murder by Tonya Kappes.




Dead to the Last Drop by Tonya Kappes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dead to the Last Drop is the 8th instalment in the A Killer Coffee Mystery Series by Tonya Kappes.

This go around Roxy’s aunt Maxine is the lead in the community theatre, or at least she thought she was .. Loretta has called in some favors, which has brought an off Broadway actress and director to Honey Springs. Roxy had a feeling something bad was going to happen with everyones tempers ya boiling point but she didn’t expect the Producer to be murdered ...

As always a Tonya’s stories are filled with humour, wonderful characters and a mystery to solve.
I love visiting Honey Springs and the Bee Hive and looks like there will be some exciting things happening in future instalments...

The mystery is interesting and well plotted. I loved the interaction with Roxy’s aunt and Loretta, right down to how everyone seems to be quirky in their own way making for loveable characters which are well developed. I also like the inclusion of fur-babies into the story, this time there is a rescue kitty named Mocha.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this story, and I kept guessing and second-guessing myself on whodunnit right to the very end. The story moves at a steady pace, and I had a hard time putting it down.

Please note you could read as a stand alone, but you will want to read them all.

Did I mention Tonya includes recipes in the back and I am definitely wanting to try the Pecan Balls!

I cant wait to take another trip to Honey Springs, Kentucky, to see whats new with Roxy and her friends. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading cozy mysteries.



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

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Feb 7, 2020

A View to a Kilt by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing ”A View to a Kilt” the 13th instalment in the “Liss MacCrimmon Mystery“ series by Kaitlyn Dunnett.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am in the process of  purchasing  the previous books.

A series of blizzards have kept tourists away from Moosetookalook, Maine, and shoppers out of Liss MacCrimmon’s Scottish Emporium. But as warmer weather brings promises of tartan sales and new faces, melting snow reveals cold-blooded murder . . . 


Liss has suddenly found herself in charge of the March Madness Mud Season Sale, a town-wide celebration created to boost the local economy during the slushy weeks of early spring. With businesses ailing after a rough winter, the pressure is on to make this year’s effort the can’t-miss-event of the season. But before Liss can get her hands dirty, her husband makes a horrifying discovery. There’s a dead man on their property, and he didn't die of natural causes . . .

Stunned by the murder mystery developing in her own backyard, Liss receives another shock. The victim is identified as Charlie MacCrimmon, an uncle believed to have died eleven years before Liss was born. No one has seen or heard from Charlie since he went off to fight in Vietnam. What secrets could he have been hiding for so many years, and who would want to kill a man long thought to be dead?

Enlisting the help of her family, Liss uncovers more questions than answers as she delves into her uncle’s murky past. One thing is clear—before he met his end, Uncle Charlie was desperately trying to warn her about something sinister. And unless Liss can soon track down a maniacal criminal as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster, she just might be the next MacCrimmon to disappear . . .
Even though this is only the second or third book I have read in the series I was able to follow along easily so it can be read as a stand alone. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish, there was so much happening with the March Madness Mud Season Sale, dog sitting, family secrets and a little murder. I liked how it was all woven together so neatly that nothing seemed out of place. We got to know the characters their feelings , relationships and care about the outcome of 
Moosetookalook, Maine and the 
Merveilleuse International Water company deal.

Amongst all this there were plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing on the identity of the killer.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series and book 14 when it comes out.

requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Kensington Publishing and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own


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Feb 5, 2020

Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies

Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies by Carmen Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bears Make Best Writing Buddies by Oliver, Carmen

Adelaide loves writing. Bear loves writing. But Theo does NOT love writing. Thankfully, Adelaide and Bear are ready to team up and persuade the entire class, including Mrs. Fitz-Pea, that Bears make the best writing buddies. After all, who better to teach you how to fish and forage for new ideas than a bear? This third picture book in Carmen Oliver's Bears Make the Best...series is sure to encourage even the most reluctant writer to write a story.

As a young child I often struggled when it came to creative writing, for school or even in my diary! This is a great story for elementary students who are just beginning to read and write. I found it full of inspiration and encouragement to keep on writing even when you are stumped for ideas to put on the paper.

The illustrations are beautiful and really help bring the whole story together.

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from the Publisher and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Feb 3, 2020

Do Animals Believe In God? by Carl Solomon Sr.

Hello friends,

Do Animals Believe In God? by Carl Solomon Sr.


Is a wonderful book that poses a question a lot of us ask ourselves and if animal lovers such as myself like to think they do too.

I read this book with my young niece and nephew in mind, and I think they would love the illustrations along with the message that animals love God and that God loves them in return.

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher 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 ...