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Review: Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library by Holly Danvers

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library

Holly Danvers

Lakeside Library Mystery Series, Book 2

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 8th 2022 by Crooked Lane Books
An icy cold murder and a library patron collide in Holly Danvers’ second Lakeside Library Mystery.

A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.

After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.

As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?

With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?

3.5 Stars

The Lakeside library is gearing up for a new tradition of being open during the winter months. Rain is already to get cozy down in her Lofty Pines cabin with a good book through the Wisconsin winter. The start of the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree brings excitement to the town as the ice shanty’s start going up, all trying for those coveted spots and chili cooking begins. What should be a festive and fun time turns into mystery and murder of the coldest proportions. Rain Is smart, able to put the clues togetherand will sometimes forget reasoning or logic to help out those she cares about. 

Rain is a helper by nature. She generally cares about people. Whether it’s the desire to help them find that perfect book they’re looking for or to solving a murder. She does get herself into the thick of things. There were a few times I wanted to grab the girl by her shoulders and ask her what you are thinking. But then we wouldn’t have a story. What when one of your good friends it’s a suspect you will go above and beyond to prove his innocence. Rain allows her best friend, Julia, to talk her into some rather peculiar situations. Even if they are for the good of figuring out the truth, they may not always be the best decisions. But you get a good laugh.

Holly Danvers gave us a second installment that was just as enjoyable as the first. Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library was an entertaining read. This is a charming town and I love the inhabitants of it. As much as I say I just like winter weather I do love a book that has a good winter element to the story. You could feel the cold seeping through the pages and just made you want to cuddle up in a blanket as you were reading. That is high praise from me. The one thing I wish is that we see a little bit more personal character development within Rain.  I enjoy her very much, but I feel she can be led astray very easily. However, that does give us some of our most laughable scenes of the book.

 

Review: Honey Roasted by Cleo Coyle

 

Honey Roasted 

Cleo Coyle 

Coffeehouse Mystery Series, Book 19

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 1, 2022 by Berkley Books
While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new Honey-Cinnamon Latte at her spring wedding to her longtime honey, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn. The culinary world is also abuzz about the amazing honey that Clare was lucky enough to source for her shop’s new latte. Produced by Madame’s old friend Queen Bea Hastings, the rare, prize-winning nectar from Bea’s rooftop hives commands a premium price, and top chefs compete for a chance to use it in their signature seasonal dishes.

One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend’s chimney, and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide. But Clare doesn’t believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary startups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung?

4 Stars

What fun and cozy return to the Village Blend.

Claire Cosi is trying to plan her honeymoon which is not going as wonderful as she would have expected. Just as she is debuting a new honey roasted coffee blend and highly anticipated honey cinnamon latte to her staff a swarm of bees decides to make the Village Blend their new home.  Come to find out these bees belong to none other than Claire’s honey supplier and close friend of Madame. Claire takes it upon herself to go and visit the Queen bee Bea Hastings to find that someone has tried to murder her. Upon finding Mrs. Hastings’ body on her balcony, Claire has no choice but to get to the bottom of the sticky situation.

The Coffeehouse Mystery series was one of the first cozy series I dived into. From book one I was hooked. How could I not be? Mysteries and coffee. Over the years I have read many books in this series, but not all.  Coming back at book nineteen was like walking back into my favorite coffee shop and not missing a beat.  Honey Roasted was a fun welcome back. 

Honey Roasted gives a lesson in honey, more fantastic coffee knowledge and an intricate mystery that keeps you very involved. Clare is as sharp as always when it comes to putting the clues together, even though her mind is focused on other things. She’s tenacious in her sleuthing abilities and I love that she allows a little bit of danger to fall in the game but yet really lets her sense of danger go out the window if needed. I love how she sought out advice and then acted to smooth the riffs in her relationship. The Village Blend clew is always a delight and can count on them for a laugh. I love how not only has Claire been their boss she has been their friend through this crazy coffee and mystery adventure. Honey Roasted was an engrossing read that I absolutely enjoyed.

 

Review: The Mystery of Albert E. Finch by Callie Hutton

The Mystery of Albert E. Finch

Callie Hutton

Victorian Book Club Mystery Series, Book 3 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 11th 2022 by Crooked Lane Books

In USA Today bestselling author Callie Hutton’s third Victorian Book Club mystery, will wedding bells or death knells ring for Lady Amy and Lord William?

Bath, England, 1892. Celebrated mystery author Lady Amy Lovell is set to tie the knot with Lord William Wethington, a fellow member of the Mystery Book Club of Bath. Amy’s great-aunt, Lady Priscilla Granville, has offered to host their wedding at her stately Derby Manor House. But on the eve of the ceremony, the festive air in the drawing room is marred by Mrs. Alice Finch’s argument with her husband, Albert, in another room. The next morning at the wedding breakfast, Alice falls face-first into her breakfast—dead.

When Amy and William’s favorite detectives are summoned to the house, they see two champagne glasses in front of Mrs. Finch and none in front of her husband. Did Albert give his wife a poisoned drink? Always looking for the easiest solution, the detectives charge Albert with the murder.

But Lady Amy is not convinced that Albert is guilty. There are too many things that don’t add up. In the hopes of being able to leave Bath and begin their honeymoon, Amy and William once again take things into their own hands. Suspects begin to pop up, but nothing takes them more by surprise than the discovery of a second body.

Stuck in Bath until the whole poisonous predicament is solved, Amy and William are anxious to collar the perfidious poisoner and be on their way to their honeymoon. If they can’t catch the killer, not only is their newlywed bliss under threat, but they may not live to see happily-ever-after at all.

3.5 Stars

Lady Amy and Lord William should be celebrating the happiest day of their lives. On the day of their wedding, at their breakfast feast Mrs. Alice Finch ends up with her face in her plate and no longer breathing. Not the happiest of things to happen at your wedding. Although they are not suspects, Lord William and Lady Amy can’t even leave for their honeymoon.  As the local police miss so many clues and only think one way,  Amy and William take it upon selves to get to the bottom of this crazy mystery. 

I so love the Victorian Book Club mystery series and the latest The Mystery of Albert E. Finch is the icing on the cake. Amy and William are so perfect for each other. The start of their life together is not the storybook tale they want but it does show what a team Amy and William are together.  The Mystery of Albert E. Finch is one of those mysteries that just as soon as you think you have it figured out another person or piece of information comes into play it makes you re-change the way of thinking.  Amy is an out of the box thinker and with all the research she does for writing her books she makes a naturally good sleuth.  I very much enjoyed The Mystery of Albert E. Finch. 

Review: Crimes and Covers by Amanda Flowers

Crimes and Covers 

Amanda Flowers

Magical Bookshop Mystery Series, Book 5

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 11th 2022 by Crooked Lane Books
Christmas is coming to the Western New York village of Cascade Springs, and so is the long-awaited wedding of Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly and police chief David Rainwater. Grandma Daisy and Violet’s best friend, Sadie, go all out to make the nuptials the event of the season–whether Violet likes it or not. But the reception becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons when a woman’s dead body floats by on the frigid Niagara River.

Violet is shocked to recognize the deceased as a mysterious woman who visited Charming Books two days before the wedding, toting a rare first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Well aware that a mint condition copy could be worth more than $14,000, Violet told the woman she would have to have the book appraised before she could consider buying it. Most displeased, the woman tucked the precious tome under her arm and stormed out of the shop. Now she’s dead, and an enigmatic message scrawled in pen upon her palm reads, “They stole my book.”

It’s a confounding case, indeed. But fortunately, Violet can draw on the resources of her bookshop’s magical consciousness, which communicates clues to Violet via quotes from Walden. With Emerson the tuxedo cat and Faulkner the crow at her side, Violet sets out to recover the priceless book by solving a murder most transcendental.

4 Stars

Crimes and Covers is a roller coaster ride of a mystery!  Charming, funny and twisty. 

It’s Christmas time in the beautiful Western New York village of Cascade Springs! Charming Books is set for a magical holiday season while Violet Waverly is about to tie the knot to the handsome Chief of Police David Rainwater. It should be the most blissful time. Yet when a strange woman visits the bookstore demanding Violet purchase a very rare signed book it begins a string of strange and mysterious events that wrap readers up in this cozy. 

First I wanna say that I love that each book within the series has a classic literary title involved within the story. What a way to pay homage to the classics and maybe revisit an old favorite or discover something new.  Violet is a lovely character. She’s smart, determined and has learned to go with the flow of her magical Bookshop. I believe she has found her perfect partner within Chief Rainwater. I love that he doesn’t try to change her and allows her to be her true self. They are a smart match and complement each other well. I love the way the work together to figure out facts. One of them may be a few minutes ahead of the other but they are definitely on the same wavelength. I absolutely adored Emerson and Faulkner. The shop animals steal the page whenever they’re on it. They add an element to the story along with the magical nature of the story that made it that much more believable. 

The mystery of Crimes and Covers is quite intricately woven throughout the entire story. There are several suspects and I have to admit I didn’t see this one coming. It is like mystery upon mystery and they just get crazier as we go. I will say it as a well written story and I was thoroughly entertained.

Review: Cold Brew Corpse by Tara Lush

Cold Brew Corpse 

Tara Lush 

A Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series, Book 2 

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: December 7th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

Espresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in Tara Lush’s second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.

Tara Lush combines humor and mystery for a highly enjoyable cozy tale .
Lana Lewis has all kinds of things going on in Cold Brew Corpse . Between getting settled in at the coffee shop Purkatory, puppy classes for Stanley, writing an article for the local paper, sleuthing the murder of the yogi next door and her cold brew is somehow tainted. Maybe a little romance percolating. When said yogi has a darker side than most know, Lana sees returning to journalism brewing in her future.
Cold Brew Corpse is a fantastic follow up and continuation of A Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. Tara Lush Stepped it up and followed through with this cozy Mystery. Lana is finding her place in Devil’s Beach. I feel she’s beginning to gain some of the confidence she lost after her divorce and loss of career. Although she does get so wrapped up in journalism again, she does truly understand why it can’t happen exactly the way she’s wishing. Lana is surrounded by colorful and humorous characters that truly help keep the story going. Lana‘s dad is hysterical. That man is a riot of happiness and every time he is on the page will make you laugh. There are some true laugh out loud moments through the pages of the story. Candlelight yoga anyone? Erica is a girl you want on your side.
Cold Brew Corpse has a twisting mystery, well several mysteries and a lot of humor. I feel we learned a lot about Lana in this book and I love the cool weird facts about Florida. The mystery was twisty and kept me guessing. And of course all the coffee. How can you not love the coffee.

 

Review: An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing

An Eggnog to Die For

Amy Pershing 

Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series, Book 2 

Paperback, 320 pages

Published November 9th 2021 by Berkley Books

 

 

Christmas has come to Fair Harbor, but when the town’s Santa is murdered, it will be up to Sam Barnes to find a killer in this newest installment of the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries.

It’s Santa Claus, she says tonelessly. Santa Claus is dead.

Food writer Sam Barnes wants a lot of things: a quiet Christmas at home with her dog and the town’s handsome harbormaster, to never be in a viral video again, and to stop finding dead bodies. Unfortunately for Sam, her parents are coming to visit, she’s often around cameras for work, and she just found the town Santa dead in the storage room of the cocktail bar she was profiling.

Although she was only interviewing the owners of the Ginger Jar in hopes of getting the recipe for their Coquito Eggnog cocktail for the friends and family Christmas Eve dinner she’s hosting, Sam quickly finds herself taking on the role of investigator once again. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa–but with holiday stress already building, will Sam be able to pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Foodie Sam Barnes has quite the to do list this holiday season.  However finding a dead Santa was not one of the things to be scratched off.  An Eggnog to Die For is a laugh out loud and twisty cozy mystery. 

 

With videos to make and articles to write, her parents visiting, wondering what going with that man of hers and a big dinner to prepare Sam Barnes doesn’t have time to investigate a murder but somehow she manages to fit it in her schedule. Between writing articles, taking part in holiday festivities, making decorations for her Christmas tree, entering the three things, and being a chauffeur for her parents she found a way to get herself tangled up in helping to solve this mystery. With more suspects than clues Sam manages to ask the right questions to get her thought process rolling. With a few crazy ideas and some good deductive reasoning Sam narrows down the suspect list even though sometimes she allows her feelings to get in the way. She’s a smart woman, sometimes unconventional but yet extremely funny. 

 

I very much enjoyed this foodie mystery. An Eggnog to Die for is a good mystery with a touch of romance and a lot of humor. Amy Pershing caught my attention with this entertaining holiday read.

 

 

Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing

Mulled to Death 

Kate Lansing

Colorado Wine Myteries Series, Book 3 

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 19th 2021 by Berkley Books

A Valentine’s Day getaway is on the rocks when a young winemaker discovers a body at an alpine resort in this delightful cozy mystery.

When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip seems like the perfect choice. Between hitting the slopes and persuading the resort’s wine director to sell her mulled wine, Parker is eager to mix business with pleasure. But her plans are muddled when she finds the resort owner’s body on a treacherous portion of ski trail near the resort.

As a result, not only is Parker’s romantic weekend thrown into chaos, but now that the owner has died, her business deal is due for a frosty reception, and her life might be in danger as well. After a series of unfortunate mishaps befall Parker, she realizes that whoever killed the resort owner might want to tie up loose ends. Parker’s going to need all of the investigative skills at her disposal to catch a killer before they put her on ice.

4 Stars

Mulled to Death is an entertaining and adventurous edition to the Colorado Wine Mystery Series.

Parker is mixing a bit of business and pleasure with Valentine’s weekend getaway. Nestled away in the mountains of a beautiful Alpine ski resort Parker and her boyfriend Reid have plans of a romantic time in between hitting the slopes and Parker pitching her wine to the Director of the resort. On what should be a fun day of hitting the slopes Parker comes across the resort owner’s body dead on a ski trail. What should’ve been a fun and romantic weekend is thrown into chaos. Not only does Parker find a dead body but little things keep happening that have her looking a bit over her shoulder.

Mulled to Death was fantastic. Each book in the series gets better and better. Parker takes sleuthing to a whole other level. She wants to get to the bottom of it and she goes full tilt. Even if sometimes it’s not the best choice. She’s very passionate about finding out who and why. I love seeing Parker‘s romantic side come out a bit more. As a romance lover I love seeing a bit of romance with my cozy mysteries. As for the mystery part this one is twists and turns and has the reader doing some thinking. I also love how the author is able to incorporate things about wine in just about every aspect of the book that does not involve winemaking. The description of the spices for the mulled wine makes me want to try and make a batch myself.

Kate Lansing’s Mulled to Death is what you want in a cozy mystery.

Review: Once Upon a Seaside Murder by Maggie Blackburn

seaside

Once Upon a Seaside Murder 

Maggie Blackburn

Beach Reads Mystery Series, Book 2 

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 12th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books
As the holidays approach, bookstore owner Summer Merriwether learns a dark secret in this second volume of Maggie Blackburn’s Beach Reads mystery series.

There’s no place like home for the holidays, even if home is sleepy, beachside Brigid’s Island, NC. During this season for giving, the town wakes up to a welcome throng of shoppers–and Beach Reads is no exception. But bookseller Summer Merriwether’s Christmas cheer turns to cringing fear when she uncovers a deadly secret about her late mother–a secret someone will kill to keep.

When the local library hosts a cozy mystery panel discussion, Summer learns that one of the authors on the panel based her book on an actual murder that shook Brigid’s Island thirty-five years before. Worse, she soon learns that her dearly missed mother, Hildy, took a disturbingly deep interest in the case, going so far as to collect clippings and keep a journal of the dark doings. This doesn’t jibe with Summer’s memories of her usually cheery mother at all.

Tidings get worse when Summer learns of her long-lost biological family’s involvement in the crime…and still worse when the life of the book’s author is threatened. With the help of Hildy’s plucky book club, Summer puts her scholarly smarts to work on protecting the cozy author and solving the decades-old murder.

But this ghost from Christmas past may still be deadly in the present, and if she can’t find the killer, Summer’s future will be brief.

4.5 Stars 

As the holidays are getting into full swing in the cozy coastal town of Brigid Island. Summer Meeriwether is all geared for a holiday cozy mystery signing event. When Summer discovers one of the featured authors has written a book about a murder that happened many years ago in Summer’s own town, questions pop up faster than answers can be sought out.  The Christmas season is bringing up ghosts from the past.  Beach Reads is knee deep mystery and secrets this merry season. 

Once Upon a Seaside Murder is a fantastic reads. Piled to the brim with everything that cozy mystery lovers love. You’ve got a great atmosphere and cozy little town. The characters are filled with personality and charisma. The setting is a bookstore, how can a reader not love that. The mystery is quite twisty and many secrets are revealed throughout the pages. Maggie Blackburn really gave it all in this book and it really shows. Summer has grown so much between the first and second book. Once Upon a Seaside Murder Summer discovers her own mystery in conjunction with what’s going on with the cozy mystery event.  So many secrets are found and the answers are jaw dropping. Summer is on A mental and at times physical roller coaster ride. I love how she goes from being uncertain about certain things, having all this craziness happen to realize the things that she really needs are the things that are right in front of her.  Summers’ personal struggles tie into the craziness surrounding the cozy mystery event. Along the way there are some shocking moments, truths you didn’t see coming, a group of friends that have become family and many laugh out loud moments.

Once Upon a Seaside Murder is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read.

Review: The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander

The Cure for What Ales You

Ellie Alexander 

Sloan Krause Mystery Series, Book 5

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 5th 2021 by Minotaur Books

 

 

Amateur sleuth and brewer Sloan Krause contends with her past–and a murder related to it–in The Cure for What Ales You, another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander.

After a long cold winter, spring is beginning to bloom in the alpine village of Leavenworth, Washington, where craft brewer Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are putting the finishing touches on their bright and refreshing Lemon Kiss ale. They’ll be debuting their new line at the Maifest celebration, which will bring visitors from near and far to dance around the Maipole and shop at the outdoor flower markets.

Despite the festive spirit in the air, Sloan is brewing over her past. She’s spent months following leads that have turned into dead ends. But when she spots a woman who strongly resembles Marianne—a long lost contact who may be her only connection to piecing together her story—she hopes that things might be taking a turn in her favor. That hope is quickly smashed when Marianne is involved in the murder of a local housekeeper. To make matters worse, Marianne issues a dire warning that Sloan and her entire family are in danger. If Sloan can’t figure out who the killer is and what happened in her past, she won’t find any hoppy endings.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

 

It’s Mailfest in the charming and cozy town of Leavenworth! Sloane and the crew of Nitro are eager to start slinging pints of their newest craft beer, Lemon Kiss for the town festivities. Ready for a busy but fun weekend Sloane gets wrapped in more than beer and brats.  The woman from past that Sloane has been looking for shows up at the festival, a local housekeeper is murdered and now she and Alex are in danger too.  Sloane does why she does best….. brews and clues!!! 

 

Wow! What a powerhouse of a story with The Cure for What Ales You.  Ellie Alexander is a Fascinating writer and it definitely shows within the story. Sloane has done a lot of growing over the last few months and learning to live life a new way. Also trying to find out who she is. A lot of those questions are answered in this almost double mystery.  Sloane never gives up or in and has become a stronger person for it.  The Cure for What Ales You is fun and festive, a well plotted mystery and long time fans will have some long time questions answered.  A very entertaining cozy. 

 

 

Review: The Moonshine Shack Murder by Diane Kelly

 

The Moonshine Shack Murder 

Diane Kelly

Southern Homebrew Mystery Series, Book 1 

Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 6th 2021 by Berkley Books
In this intoxicating new cozy mystery series, the future for modern-day moonshiner Hattie Hayes looks bright–until death darkens the doorstep of her Moonshine Shack.

The Hayes family has made moonshine in Chattanooga since the days of Prohibition, and Hattie is happy to continue the tradition, serving up fun, fruity flavors in mason jars for locals and tourists alike. All signs indicate her new ‘shine shop will be a smashing success. What’s more, mounted police officer Marlon Landers has taken a shine to Hattie. For the first time ever, the stars seemed to have aligned in both her work and romantic life. But when a body ends up on her store’s doorstep alongside a broken jar of her Firefly Moonshine, it just might be lights out for her fledgling business.

The homicide detective can’t seem to identify the person who killed the owner of a nearby bar. The only witness is Hattie’s longhaired gray cat, and Smoky isn’t talking. When the detective learns that the victim and Hattie had a heated exchange shortly before his murder, she becomes her prime suspect.

Lest Hattie end up behind bars like her bootlegging great-grandfather a century before, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice.

4 Stars

A fantastic new cozy series.

Mystery and humor combined in one. You can’t ask for a better combination and a cozy mystery. The Moonshie Shack Murder is a great start to what I think is going to be an intriguing and humorous cozy mystery series.

Hattie Hayes is carrying on a long family tradition. She’s just doing it the legal way. Hence, The Moonshine Shack! Hattie is thrilled to be sharing her grandpa tradition shine along with her flavorful line of shine. During her grand opening party Hattie believes she has a local pub convinced to sell her shine but later backs out and just a bit later is found dead. On Hattie’s doorstep not less. And with a jar of her shine smashed on the ground next to him. To clear her name and save her reputation before it could even really start Hattie Puts her nose to the grindstone to distill the true culprit.

What a great start to a new series. Diane Kelly definitely has something special with this one. I love the family legacy being revived in a new way. The characters are amazing. Grandpa was a hoot. He was thoroughly entertaining every moment he was on the page. Whether he was strapping himself to his rocking chair or getting rowdy with the young folk he’s a true gem in the story. Hattie is still coming into her own and beginning to let her dreams flourish but she still has a lot to learn. Her determination and tenacity just makes you love her.

A little mystery, a little shine and a dash of romance, that a winner in my book.