Dec 28, 2023

Murder at the Blarney Bash by Darci Hannah

Hello my cozy friends, 

Today I am reviewing “Murder at the Blarney Bash” by Darci Hannah the 5th instalment in the "A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery" series.  I loved visiting Beacon Harbor, Michigan again and still really want to go to Michigan now …Brandi M here I come!

Follow the aroma of shamrock sugar cookies to the Beacon Bakeshop, a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan where amateur sleuth Lindsey Bakewell is busy preparing for Beacon Harbor’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities – with a little help from her adorable Newfoundland, Wellington, of course!

Lindsey is baking up a storm—shamrock sugar cookies, Guinness chocolate cupcakes, Irish soda bread—for the well-timed grand opening of the Irish import gift shop, the Blarney Stone, owned by her boyfriend’s uncle, Finnigan O’Connor, recently relocated from the Emerald Isle.

But it’s Uncle Finn himself who seems full of blarney when he gleefully reveals a pot of real gold he claims he stole from an actual leprechaun. And Finn’s fortune takes a turn for the worse when he’s arrested for the bludgeoning of a small unidentified man dressed as a leprechaun—the murder weapon alleged to be his now-missing shillelagh.

Eccentric Uncle Finn may enjoy believing he’s outwitted a leprechaun, but he would never be so deluded as to clobber one with his walking stick. Now Lindsey will need more than the luck of the Irish to seize a golden opportunity to catch the real killer . . .

I absolutely love this series,  Lindsey, Rory, Kennedy, Tuck, and her co-workers at the Beacon Bakeshop are lots of fun to hang out with and now we have uncle Finn and Colleen from Ireland.   I enjoyed seeing how the characters of Lindsey, Rory and Kennedy have progressed since the last book and am glad she came back to Beacon Harbor.

I love Wellington the big Newfie who loves everyone and now Bailey the Great Pyrenees .  I also love the idea of living along the lakeshore in a haunted lighthouse where the ghost is watching over you and seems to have your back.  

It was entertaining, full of twists and turns and I didn’t completely guess whodunnit until Lindsey did.  Plus all the descriptions of the Irish themed baked goods made my mouth water. ( recipes included in back of book)

I highly recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends and I can’t wait for book 6

I requested and received an advanced readers copy from Kensington and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.

Please join the conversation and comment below.  Have you read… If so what did you think/like

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Dec 19, 2023

Deadly to the Core by Joyce Tremel

Hello my cozy friends, 

Today I am reviewing “ Deadly to the Core” by Joyce Tremel the 1st instalment in the "A  Cider House Mystery" series.  I enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for book 2!
Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Julie Anne Lindsey, when Kate Mulligan inherits her great uncle’s fruit orchard, she quickly realizes that apples aren’t the only thing that can have rotten cores.

After losing her husband in a terrible car crash, thirty-five-year-old Kate is left to pick up the pieces of her life alone. Although she has physically recovered, she worries her spirit never will. But when she learns that she has inherited a fruit orchard in a small town just outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from her great uncle Stan, she takes this as an opportunity ripe for the picking. Kate knew immediately what to do with it: open a cider house. Her hopeful plans fall far from the tree when she finds the body of the orchard manager, Carl Randolph, leaving her to figure out who is at the core of this murder.

She had been in correspondence with Carl, who had agreed with her brilliant idea of opening a cider house. But not everyone is so quick to buy what she was selling—Uncle Stan’s lawyer, Robert Larabee, paints a less rosy financial outlook of the orchard’s past, present, and future. 

Kate discovers that Carl had large, unexplained deposits to his bank account and it becomes clear that either he was blackmailing someone, or someone was paying him to keep quiet. Meanwhile, Kate and her neighbors receive offers to buy their property from a mysterious buyer. And there’s more than meets the eye with the neighboring orchard owner, Daniel Martinez, although Kate can’t quite put her finger on if it’s sweet or sour.

Will she be able to pick out the bad apple among the bunch before it’s too late?

I found the story to be a promising start to a new series. I liked Kate and her childhood friends, and it will be interesting to see how things develop in book 2.

It was entertaining, full of twists and turns and I didn’t completely guess whodunnit until Kate did. 

I recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends and I can’t wait for book 2 to come out!


I requested and received an advanced readers copy from Crooked Lane and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.

Please join the conversation and comment below.  Have you read… If so what did you think/like

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Dec 18, 2023

The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing “The Sign of Four Spirits” the 9th instalment in "A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop" Mystery series by Vicki Delany. It can easily be read as a standalone but I recommend reading in order.  

Gemma Doyle won’t be spooked when a body shows up at the psychic fair in bestselling author Vicki Delany’s ninth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

When a psychic fair arrives in West London, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, wants nothing to do with it. But somehow, at the urging of Donald Morris, an enthusiastic Sherlockian, she finds herself talked into attending a séance, along with baker and best friend Jayne Wilson, store assistant, Ashleigh, and former pop star Bunny Leigh.

But to her surprise, Gemma finds herself banned from the séance and shown the door. Curious, she listens in from outside the room. The medium informs a disappointed Donald that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be able to make it tonight. Then, Gemma hears a voice cut off, a cry for help, a scream. Gemma bursts into the library to see that someone has collapsed on the table--dead. The windows are all locked, and Gemma was guarding the only door. Someone in this room is a murderer. But who?

The game is once again afoot for Gemma Doyle, as she hunts a killer. But, this time, is the killer of flesh and blood or had the medium summoned doom from beyond the veil?
I enjoyed this mystery, thought it flowed well and kept my attention.  The setting of West London in Cape Cod is idyllic and this time the action is centred around a seance. 

The mystery is interesting and well plotted, with enough twists to keep you interested.  I kept guessing and second-guessing myself on whodunnit right to the very end.   I recommend this book 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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Dec 16, 2023

Murder at a Scottish Castle by Traci Hall

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Murder at a Scottish Castle” the 5th instalment in the Scottish Shire Mystery series by Traci Hall.  This has become one of my favourite Scottish cozy mysteries!  I absolutely loved this instalment and can’t wait for book 6
Sweater shop owner Paislee Shaw never feels more at home in Scotland than when she hears the bagpipes. But a murderer is about to introduce a sour note . . .

With the summer days getting shorter in the seaside village of Nairn, the annual bagpiping competition at Ramsey Castle promises to be quite the end-of-season blowout. Paisley has snagged a special invitation from the dowager countess, who wants to showcase her cashmere goods in the castle gift shop, and she’s brought her son Brody, Grandpa, and their black Scottish terrier Wallace.

There’s a fierce rivalry between Robert Grant, the Earl of Lyon, and last year’s winner Jory Baxter, with Grant loudly vowing to show up the blowhard Baxter and claim clan bragging rights. But the reigning champion has barely put the reed to his lips when he turns red and collapses, soon to take his dying breath. DI Zeffer suspects foul play.

With a possible murderer in their midst, the rest of Nairn won’t breathe easy until Paisley applies her sleuthing skills to make sure justice is served and the killer pays the piper . . .

I find the characters to be wonderful, full of Scottish pride and small village life, I wouldn’t mind living there myself and attending the Sip and Stitch.  I love visiting Nairn and Paislee, her son Brody, grandpa Angus and of course Wallace the dog. 

The mystery is interesting, well plotted, full of lots of twists and kept me guessing on whodunnit right to the reveal.

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


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

Please join the conversation and comment below.  Have you read… If so what did you think/like

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my little blog!
I always love reading comments and getting to know my fellow cozy lovers.

Hugs,

Dec 12, 2023

Deep Fried Death by Maddie Day

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Deep Fried Death” the 12th book in the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day. I just love this series! 
In the latest Country Store Mystery by Agatha and Macavity Award-winning author Maddie Day, a killer strikes - with a cast iron skillet - during South Lick, Indiana's annual Outhouse Race festivities, landing Pans 'N Pancakes-owner Robbie Jordan on the suspect list...

Many residents of South Lick, Indiana, claim the Outhouse Race, in which competitors push old-timey outhouse replicas on wheels at the annual Abe Martin Festival on Memorial Day, is the best thing since indoor plumbing. Just because country store and restaurant owner Robbie Jordan has too much to do managing her new deep fryer as well as an old lover reappearing, she’s not going to miss out on the fun. Plus, it’s good for business.

But when a dead body and a cast-iron skillet tumble out of the Pans ’N Pancakes outhouse entry on the race route, it seems someone is trying to frame Robbie—in a most unconventional way. Now she’ll need to be privy to the townsfolks’ secrets as she races to flush out a killer . . .
I love the setting of South Lick, Indiana and I love Robbie and her staff at Pans N Pancakes they are like one big family. Now that she’s pregnant and been married to Abe for a year what could go wrong …

But when a dead body and a cast-iron skillet tumble out of the Pans ’N Pancakes outhouse entry on the race route, it seems someone is trying to frame Robbie—in a most unconventional way. Now she’ll need to be privy to the townsfolks’ secrets as she races to flush out a killer . . .

There were enough twists to keep me intrigued and wanting to know how it ends. The plot and story were good and seemed to flow at a good pace.  

I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a cozy filled with down home characters and a small town atmosphere.

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

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my little blog!
I always love reading comments and getting to know my fellow cozy lovers.

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Dec 6, 2023

Love Letters on Hazel Lane by Jennifer Page

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing “Love Letters on Hazel Lane” by Jennifer Page.  This is the second book I’ve read by this author and what can I say other than I loved it and read in one day. 
Scrabble fan Jo always seems to pick the wrong guys. Now she’s moved to the Yorkshire village of Hebbleswick, and decided to give dating one last chance. This time, there’s a catch: she will only date men whose names would score highly in her beloved word game.

After Tarquin (16 points) proves just as disappointing as the rest, she meets low-scoring local doctor Ras (3 points). Her rules mean she can’t date him – but when he asks her to organise a Scrabble festival with him, she can’t say no.

As the event draws nearer and Jo and Ras grow closer, will Jo ignore her rule and let true love blossom over the triple letter scores?
The setting of a tiny village called Hebbleswick sounded like just my cup of tea, I could picture it especially as I have visited small villages in England.  It had everything you could want in a story friendship, community and love. I adored Razz and how he seemed to really like Jo but they both had insecurities getting in the way. 

I found the characters to be well developed, and multi-dimensional. It’s a great follow up to The Boardgame Cafe , and I can’t wait to pick up the authors next book! 

I will definitely read other books by this author.

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


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my little blog!
I always love reading comments and getting to know my fellow cozy lovers.

Hugs, 

Dec 5, 2023

Chasing Dreams at Wagging Tails Dogs' Home by Sarah Hope

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "Chasing Dreams at Wagging Tails Dogs' Home" by Sarah Hope.  What can I say other than I enjoyed it and read in one day.  Who doesn’t want to escape to a small Cornish village by the sea and a dog rescue…
The Cornish sea air, old friends, and cuddles with a cute pup...

Sometimes you're just where you need to be...

After a difficult break-up, Poppy is keen to put the past behind her and what’s better than some relaxing time with her aunt in the picturesque Cornish village of West Par?

But life at her aunt Flora’s Dogs’ Home is anything but relaxing. When a poor little pup is stranded at the gates, Poppy takes them for a check up at the local vet, hoping against hope they'll be fine.

And there she meets Mack: the vet who is so charming and experienced with the dogs, but selfish and – dare she say it – money-grabbing with his clients.

But underneath that cold exterior, she's sure there's more to the story. If only she could convince him to open up. Because without him, the future of Wagging Tails isn't so assured...

The setting of a tiny village called West Par sounded breathtaking, I could picture it especially as I have visited small villages along the coast of England.  It had everything you could want in a story love, family, community and second chances.

I found the characters to be well developed, and multi-dimensional. There were multiple sub-plots like the Mr Thomas’ dogs and the fate of the rescue to keep you engaged and interested in the outcome. 

I will definitely read other books by this author.
I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Boldwood Books and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I always love reading comments and getting to know my fellow cozy lovers.

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Nov 30, 2023

Death at a Scottish Wedding by Lucy Connelly

Hello my cozy friends, 

Today I am reviewing “ Death at a Scottish Wedding” by Lucy Connelly the 2nd instalment in the " A Scottish Isle Mystery" series.  What a great follow-up to book one! 
Dr. Emilia McRoy is back on the case in the second book in the Scottish Isle mystery series, perfect for fans of Sheila Connolly and Charlene O’Connor.

Something old, something new, something borrowed and someone’s blue…

Finally feeling like Sea Isle, Scotland is becoming her new home, American doctor Emilia McRoy is delighted when she is invited to a wedding at Morrigan's Castle. Her friends have warned her that it's a three-day party and it's bound to get wild, not to mention the impending snowstorm. Constable Ewan Campbell, owner of the castle, ensures their safety with the blizzard. What he didn’t ensure, is that all of his guests would survive the night alive. When Emilia explores the impressive castle, she finds a dead man in one of the turrets.

The snowstorm hits and the local police can’t reach the castle until it lets up. With no one able to leave, the family insists they carry on with the wedding, which makes Emilia's job as the coroner a bit easier—the suspects are in one place­––and complicated because the killer has Emilia in his sights. The fact no one claims to know the victim isn't helping. Why would someone no one knows be murdered at a castle in the middle of nowhere?

It’s up to Emilia to uncover the mystery who the victim is, so the killer doesn’t get away Scot free.
I really enjoyed visiting Sea Isle, Scotland again, and seeing how Em has fit in on the island.  Another thing I enjoyed was the relationship between Em, Mara, Abigail, Angie and of course Ewen. I’m still hoping something romantic develops between Ewen and Em maybe in book three…

It was entertaining, full of twists and turns and I didn’t completely guess whodunnit until Em did.  

I highly recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends and I can’t wait for book 3 to come out!
I requested and received an advanced readers copy from Crooked Lane and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.

Please join the conversation and comment below.  Have you read… If so what did you think/like

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my little blog!
I always love reading comments and getting to know my fellow cozy lovers.

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Nov 26, 2023

Murder in a Cup by Lauren Elliott

Hello my cozy friends, 

Today I am reviewing Murder in a Cup by Lauren Elliott the 2nd instalment in the "A  Crystals & CuriosiTeas Mystery " series.  What a great follow up to book one! 

As the descendant of an Irish witch and the owner of a New Age tea shop, intuitive gemologist Shay Myers has been living her most authentic life since moving home to California’s scenic Monterey Peninsula. But in the latest Crystals & CuriousiTEAS Mystery from USA Today bestselling author Lauren Elliott, not even her heightened senses can predict how to run a business—or catch a killer…

Self-taught “seer” Shay has much to learn as autumn hits the quaint coastal town of Bray Harbor. Since attempting the art of blending herbs at her popular shop, Crystals & CuriosiTeas, she’s set on growing ingredients in the mysterious greenhouse on the second floor—if only she can separate the medicinal plants from the deadly ones. Her new skills are put to the test when she meets pub owner and ex-detective Liam Madigan’s Gran. A psychic from Ireland known for interpreting tea leaves and people, Gran encourages Shay to build upon her natural talents and hold her own group reading . . .

Despite Shay’s reservations about putting herself in the spotlight, the evening goes off without a hitch. At least, until she does a reading and a customer goes from chatty to dead in a flash, poisoned after sipping a toxic substance recently grown in the greenhouse. Worse, Shay’s assistant is suspected of intentionally serving the lethal brew and committing cold-blooded murder. Now, aided only by Liam and her dog Spirit, Shay must exonerate her employee and save the future of Crystals & CuriosiTeas. But when clues start lining up like leaves in a teacup, she’ll need to understand the signs right in front of her to catch the manipulative murderer before it’s too late . . .

As with Lauren’s other series, I’m now a huge fan of this one and just as invested in the characters.

Another thing I enjoyed was the ongoing close relationship between Shay and Tassi.  I love the introduction of Gran from Ireland and can see her playing a big part in helping Shay.

The story is well-written and I found it entertaining, full of twists and turns and I didn’t completely guess whodunnit until Shay did. 

I highly recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends and I can’t wait for book 3 to come out!



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

Please join the conversation and comment below.  Have you read… If so what did you think/like

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Nov 25, 2023

The Curse of Penryth Hall by Jess Armstrong

Hello my cozy friends, 

Today I am reviewing “The Curse of Penryth Hall” by Jess Armstrong .  I loved this book and totally added it to my favourite series list!

An atmospheric gothic mystery that beautifully brings the ancient Cornish countryside to life, Armstrong introduces heroine Ruby Vaughn in her Minotaur Books & Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning debut, The Curse of Penryth Hall. 

After the Great War, American heiress Ruby Vaughn made a life for herself running a rare bookstore alongside her octogenarian employer and house mate in Exeter. She’s always avoided dwelling on the past, even before the war, but it always has a way of finding her. When Ruby is forced to deliver a box of books to a folk healer living deep in the Cornish countryside, she is brought back to the one place she swore she’d never return. A more sensible soul would have delivered the package and left without rehashing old wounds. But no one has ever accused Ruby of being sensible. Thus begins her visit to Penryth Hall.

A foreboding fortress, Penryth Hall is home to Ruby’s once dearest friend, Tamsyn, and her husband, Sir Edward Chenowyth. It’s an unsettling place, and after a more unsettling evening, Ruby is eager to depart. But her plans change when Penryth’s bells ring for the first time in thirty years. Edward is dead; he met a gruesome end in the orchard, and with his death brings whispers of a returned curse. It also brings Ruan Kivell, the person whose books brought her to Cornwall, the one the locals call a Pellar, the man they believe can break the curse. Ruby doesn’t believe in curses—or Pellars—but this is Cornwall and to these villagers the curse is anything but lore, and they believe it will soon claim its next victim: Tamsyn.

To protect her friend, Ruby must work alongside the Pellar to find out what really happened in the orchard that night.


I must start off by saying I have been in a reading slump and unable to stay focused but not anymore! I started this book I. Morning and finished before nightfall. I really enjoyed this mystery, Ruby, Owen, the Pellar and Mrs. Penryth.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, I did not realize who it was till Ruby did.

The ending leads you to believe that there might be a book 2 set in Scotland this time. I’m crossing my fingers there is.

Highly recommend this debut mystery to all my mystery loving friends, I know I will be adding Tess Armstrong to my favorite author list.
I requested and received an advance readers copy from St. Martin’s and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Please join the conversation and comment below.  Have you read… If so what did you think/like

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Nov 19, 2023

The Fatal Folio by Elizabeth Penney

Hello my cozy friends,

Today I am reviewing "The Fatal Folio” the 3rd instalment in The Cambridge Bookshop Mystery series by Elizabeth Penney set in Cambridge, England.   I love this series and always preorder Elizabeth’s books.

In the third in Elizabeth Penney's delightful Cambridge Bookshop series, The Fatal Folio, Molly Kimball is learning that every killer has a story…

After moving to Cambridge, England, Molly Kimball has found a lot to love, including—of course—her family’s ancestral bookshop, Thomas Marlowe—Manuscripts and Folios. And though she’s not quite ready to use the “L” word when it comes to her boyfriend Kieran, she’s definitely fallen for his intimidating family’s library.

His family is paying her handsomely for an updated catalog when Molly discovers the original manuscript of a Gothic novel, A Fatal Folio by the pseudonymous Selwyn Scott. Kieran’s cousin Oliver, a professor specializing in Gothic literature, is eager to publish a paper on the mystery—especially because a troublesome student, Thad, is threatening to file a complaint against him and prevent his long-awaited promotion.

On Guy Fawkes Night, Molly, Kieran, and her friends set out to enjoy the costumes, fireworks, and fun—at least until a stray firework starts a panic, and the group stumbles upon a prone body, their face covered by a mask. It’s Thad, and he’s been stabbed to death.

It soon becomes clear Oliver isn’t the only one with a motive, and Molly must once again put on a few masks of her own to sleuth out Thad’s killer, prove Oliver’s innocence, and discover what Selwyn’s novel might have to do with this most atmospheric mystery…
I absolutely loved this story, and read in one day!  I liked seeing how Molly and Kieran’s relationship has progressed and seeing her working at Havonhurst to update the libraries catalog.  I really like Molly, Kieran, her mum, aunt Fiona, Daisy and Tom it’s enough to make you wish you were part of their little community or street.

The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and had plenty of twists to keep engaged right to the very end.  I kept guessing and second-guessing myself but I was right on who the killer was.     

I highly recommend this book to all my cozy lover friends. I can’t wait for book four!


I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from St. Martins Press and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my little blog!
I always love reading comments and getting to know my fellow cozy lovers.

Hugs,

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 ...