Category Archives: Cozy Mystery

Review: Southern Double Cross by Caroline Fardig

 

Southern Double Cross

Caroline Fardig

A Southern B&B Mystery, Book 3

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Alibi

 

A fundraising party goes south in a delightful cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Southern Discomfort and the Java Jive novels

Quinn Bellandini is ready to get back to running her grandfather’s B&B in Savannah, Georgia, with her sister, Delilah—but first, she has to coordinate a fundraising event at the house of local philanthropists, with the help of her boyfriend, Tucker Heyward. Everything is running smoothly until Quinn’s friend, Pepper Fox, frantically calls her with the horrifying news that the lady of the house was found dead, and Pepper’s brother, who was working as a caterer, has been charged with her murder.

Pepper knows her brother didn’t commit the crime and asks Quinn, now a veteran detective with two solved murders under her belt, to prove his innocence. Quinn can’t bear to see her friend upset and enlists Delilah and Tucker to help investigate.

The invite list quickly turns into the suspect list as tensions mount and old feuds are brought to light. Could Quinn have hired the only catering company in Georgia that throws in a murder on the side?

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

Quinn and Delilah are a hoot!

When you are known around town as the solver of murders and your best friends brother is framed for murder he didn’t commit, Quinn can’t help but get her arm twisted into this mess that is as hot as the southern heat.

Quinn is a sweet southern girl with a knack for solving murders faster than the local police. She’s kind to the core with a quirkiness and spunk. She is a guitar player after all. I enjoyed the entertaining banter between Quinn and her sister Delilah. They are so different and that is part of what makes them so comical. Delilah will speak her mind and has a great knack for putting two and two together. Pepper is a hot mess with everything going on but even with her pushiness she’s a grateful and loyal friend. From rubbing noses with the elite to shady meet ups in dive bars and crazy stakeouts Quinn and Delilah walk with their head held high into craziness that their world seems destined to stumble upon.

Southern Double Cross is a fun and twisty cozy in the Southern B&B Series. This is my first read by Caroline Fardig. I enjoyed her fun and entertaining style of writing. A plot that hand me guessing and then double guessing myself. With so many suspects and a lot of personalities going around Quinn uses her good and not so good wits along with her southern charm to peel through the many layers of this mystery.

 

 

Review: Dying to Cruise by Dawn Brookes

Dying to Cruise

Dawn Brookes

Alex Lee (Narrator)

A Rachel Prince Mystery, Book 4

Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Oakwood Publishing
The only thing worse than getting stuck aboard a cruise ship with a murderer, is discovering that your ex is on board…
A ruthless killer intent on revenge. Can Rachel get to the bottom of an intriguing mystery before it’s too late?.

Rachel Prince is drawn to investigate when the body of the leader of a Bucket List tour party is discovered in the library on the first day of her Antipodean cruise. Can this seemingly harmless group of elderly people have a killer among them?

Rachel thinks she is living the dream. Taking a cruise around Australia and New Zealand as a guest lecturer and meeting up again with her best friend, cruise ship nurse, Sarah. The scene is set for the holiday of a lifetime!

Difficulties abound for everyone when an interim chief of security causes countless problems and appears to take an intense dislike of Sarah. Not trusting the new chief to get to the bottom of the murder, Rachel investigates on her own, soon discovering that the dead woman from the Bucket List tour party had been receiving anonymous threatening emails. To make matters infinitely worse, Rachel’s ex turns up on board, and things start to go horribly wrong.

The cruise ship sleuth needs to work fast to find out if one of the gentle elders on the bucket list tour is a murderer while avoiding her ex like the plague.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Rachel is back at sea for another adventure that could only happen to her in Dying to Cruise.

 

Rachel is aboard the Coral Queen to teach a self defense class and for some fun and relaxation but she has once again found herself in the mindless of a murder.  When Florence, travel director for the Bucket List group, dies suddenly, Rachel finds herself in the thick of it again. With Rachel’s charming nature and humorous cast of friends weave readers with their witty banter and smile worthy antics through the twist and turns of Dying to Cruise.

 

I have enjoyed every story in the Rachel Prince Mysteries Series thus far. Dying to Cruise is a fantastic addition to this fun and entertaining series. Rachel is a top notch character with a lot of drive and will. I love how she has developed over the course of the series.  Ms. Brooke balances the humor and suspense nicely giving read a fun. It makes you think read. Dying to Cruise is a quick paced, keep you guessing, laugh out loud cozy read. Narrator Alex Lee truly brings these amazing characters to life. Giving that extra that makes a good story great.

 

 

Review: A View to a Kilt by Kaitlyn Dunnett

A View to a Kilt

Kaitlyn Dunnett

Liss MacMrimmon Mysteries, Book 13

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington

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 . . .

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Liss seems to find herself tangled into trouble whether she is trying or not. She’s a fun and strong woman that has a caring streak that runs deep. Lover of cats and amateur sleuth, she will make you laugh while getting the information she wants.  She’s a small town girl will a mind that thinks outside the box. A wonderful main character.

 

A View to a Kilt was a fun cozy read. Ms. Dunnett keeps the reader going with a well developed, keep you thinking plot.  You can tell this was part of a long going series, however new readers like myself are easily about to jump right in and not feel lost. I love when the town or setting of the book is almost like a character. Moosetookalook is an interesting town with personality and flair.  The residents are even more so. Small towns are always full of secrets and sometimes they end up in your own backyard. The backyard is Liss’ this time and hits close to home. From the quaintness of the town, to the colorful personalities of the people within it, to a plot that spins an excellent tale, Ms. Dunnett’s A View to a Kilt was a one sit read for me.

 

 

 

Review: Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett

 

Murder Ink 

Lorraine Bartlett with Gayle Leeson

Victoria Square Mystery Series, Book 6 

Published December 31, 2019

Berkley Books, 304 pages

 

 

The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

When a tattoo shop plans to open on Victoria Square it shakes up more than the merchants view of what business should be on the square. When the owner of said tattoo shop dies one of their own is the prime suspect.

 

Katie is the owner of Artisans Alley and Tealicious as well as president of the Victoria Square Merchants Association. She is a strong woman, not intimidated and an amazing entrepreneur.  Katie finds herself in the middle of murder, trying to help a friend, playing detective and trying not to second guess everything she sees. There were moments when I thought Katie was overreacting and other when I thought, girl you got this together.

 

Murder Ink is my first read in the Victoria Square and an enjoyable one. It did take me to be to catch up with who was who and how they all worked together but I got it. I enjoyed the mystery that kept me guessing. I’m a romance reader first and foremost so Katie and Andy’s romance and squabbles were a bonus to this read. The writing style of Lorraine Bartlett is fun and keeps the pages turning. I was able to feel like I was right at home with these characters even though this was my first read of the series.

Review: Winter Takes All by M.L. Erdahl

 

Winter Takes All

M.L. Erdahl

Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published October 23rd 2019 by The Wild Rose Press
Crystal Rainey is aghast when she realizes her new year’s resolutions haven’t changed one whit from the previous year. Wanting to escape a future as dreary as a Pacific Northwest winter, she walks out on her dead-end office job, despite her tenuous savings account.
Stumbling across a job opening posted by a wilderness guide outfit, an intrigued Crystal bluffs her way into the position. With handsome fellow guide, the stalwart Conner Oakes, she leads a corporate retreat on a snowshoe hike to a majestic alpine chalet.
But when the company’s detestable owner turns up dead in the snow, she fears her new life and budding romance slipping away. She finally has something worth fighting for and is determined to solve the murder and grab her chance at happiness before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 Winter Takes All is a well written, keep you on your toes cozy mystery with a nice romantic as an added bonus.

Crystal was an awesome character. She made a decision to change her life and totally just a right into it. Leaving her cramped cubicle and talking her way into a job as a wilderness guide. I truly love the tenacity this girl has. On her first assignment Two things happen Crystal realizes she made the correct decision with this job and a dead that shuts down her adventure company.

With sparks flying with her adventure partner Conner, an unexplained death and being stuck in a store until the mess is cleaned up, Crystal ups her game and works to get to the bottom of this crazy up and down mystery. Crystal and Conner are a wonderful couple. They complement each other well. They are funny and attentive and their romance comes naturally. That’s big points coming from an avid romance reader.

I was pleasantly surprised with Winter Takes All. It’s a keep you guessing, fun, humorous and touching story all in one. Author M.L. Erahl ties mystery and romance perfectly to make good story. The characters are fun and OMG that cat!

Winter Takes All could easily be the beginning of a series that I would thoroughly enjoy reading.