Christmas Cupcake Murder
Hannah Swensen Series, book 26
A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery
While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .
The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!
It has been a long time since I have dipped into a Hannah Swensen novel. I enjoyed the Christmas Cupcake Murder was a bit of a step back into time and allowed me to see these wonderful characters beginning to come into their own and getting to know them all over again.
Lake Eden, Minnesota is all in gear for the festivities that come along with the Christmas season. The baking is a foot at The Cookie Jar while a homeless man, suffering from memory loss stumbles upon Hannah’s bakery step willing to work in exchange for food. Hannah does what she does best, Offers a cozy environment, a sweet treat, something warm to drink and a bit of conversation and companionship. Days later while inspecting a building that could possibly become an antique shop, Hannah and her mother stumble upon the same homeless man in dire straits. They spring into action getting “John Doe” The help he needs and begin to unravel the mystery of who he is and where he’s from.
Christmas Cupcake Murder was a fun and entertaining read allowing me to get reacquainted with these characters. The story shows the beginnings of the good characteristics and qualities that readers have come to love within these characters. When it came to finding John Doe’s past , It was like a needle in the haystack yet they never gave up, persisted and slowly were able to put the pieces in place. Honestly the mystery was an OK part of the story, I really loved the family drama between Hannah, her mother and her sisters, all the delectable recipes that I am trying to figure out a way to make gluten-free and Revisiting a small cozy town that I haven’t been to in a while. revisiting a small Coseytown that I haven’t been to in a while. If you’re looking for something pretty high on mystery this unfortunately is not going to be the right for you but if you’re a long time fan of this author and series It was one of those little treats the authors like to drop us every once in a while.
For Whom the Book Tolls
Laura Gail Black
An Antique Bookshop Mystery, Book 1
In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna–his primary beneficiary–becomes the prime suspect.
Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle’s gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she’ll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle’s body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore.
Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she’s inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy…which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna–bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna’s status as the prime suspect in both deaths.
Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle’s killer. On the one hand, she’s made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address–and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna’s story.
Jenna Quinn seems to have this black cloud following her. After an unfortunate incident leaves Jenna in a low place she takes up the offer of a change of scenery from her uncle and makes her way to Hokes Folly, NC. Jenna has barely made her way into town when she stumbles across the fallen body of her gracious uncle. In what should be a time of healing and getting her life back together, has become a roller coaster ride Jenna was not expecting. Now she has a business to figure out what to do with, a dead relative and has found her way as one of the prime suspects in the murder. Will this woman’s day get any better or is all about to go down the drain.
I very much enjoyed For Whom the Book Tolls. Jenna is a fantastic character. She was down on her luck, at the bottom of her rope and needing a breath of fresh air. She shows determination, adaptability and forgiveness. I found her to be an exceptionally strong and willful character for cozy mystery. The more I got to know her the more I enjoyed her. I very much enjoyed the story and plot line. There are many twists that keep the story interesting in going. It’s fast paced and even has a touch of romance. I was able to figure out our culprit before the end of the story, however it wasn’t much before the end. The setting was perfect and the town was charming. The characters definitely drive part of the story giving the reader entertaining antics to go along with this twisting mystery. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a good start to what I feel will bring many entertaining cozy reads in the future.
Mums and Mayham
A Magic Garden Mystery, Book 3
A famous fiddler has been kilt. A magic garden’s left to wilt. Does Fiona Knox’s father hold the guilt? Will florist Fiona’s blood be spilt?
World-famous fiddle player Barley McFee arrives in blustery Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for a grand homecoming concert organized by jeweler Bernice Brennan. Fiona Knox, owner of the Climbing Rose Flower Shop, is starting to regret volunteering to help with the concert. Bernice is an exacting taskmaster, and Fiona has enough tension dealing with her parents, who have traveled from Tennessee to visit Fi and her younger sister, Isla, and to reveal a secret about Fi’s birth. But when Barley is found dead in his trailer during the concert’s intermission, and his death is shockingly tied to Fiona’s father, Fiona discovers there are more secrets surrounding her family than she realized.
Much to the chagrin of handsome Neil Craig, Chief Inspector of the County Aberdeen Police, Fiona delves into the case to clear her father’s name. To make matters worse, Fiona learns that Duncreigan, the magical garden that she inherited from her godfather, is dying. At some point during the concert, someone broke into the garden and cut the centuries-old climbing rose–the source of the garden’s magic–from the standing stone.
The stakes are higher than ever and Fiona could lose all that she’s grown unless she’s able to dispel this terrible curse and dig up the truth–fast.
A sweet touch of romance, some family drama,a bit of magic and a twisted mystery wrapped all in one. Mums and Mayhem is an entertaining read.
Fiona Knox has more than a little going on. She’s part of the merchant Society preparing for a major concert in their little town, dealing with a dead body in her garden, someone trying to sabotage her garden and family secrets that she can’t seem to find the answer she needs. A flower shop owner who has a knack for solving mysteries and the holder of a legacy that she doesn’t quite understand. Fiona is smart, funny and just beginning to see what this new life of hers in Scotland is all about. Yet dead bodies have a tendency to fall within her path.
As the mystery unfolds this one hits a little too close to home as the family secrets unfold and answers Fiona has been waiting for our revealed. The characters drive the story with their charm, personality and charisma making it very difficult for the reader to guess who done it on this one. Author Amanda Flower adds just enough of a magical touch to keep the story very interesting without making it a full-blown paranormal. The magical garden series is quite magical and this latest installment of Mums and Mayhem it’s a wonderful addition to this cute and sweet series.
The Key Lime Crime
A Key West Food Critic Mystery, Book 10
National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery is piping hot with pie-enthusiasts and murder suspects.
When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef’s murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.
During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn’t help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.
Meanwhile, Hayley’s home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley’s new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan’s crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island’s holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim–Au Citron Vert’s controversial new pastry chef–was a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.
It’s bad enough that Hayley’s too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer’s kitchen?
Holidays, key lime pie and murder, The Key Lime Crime is a deliciously entertaining cozy mystery.
As if life isn’t crazy enough for food critic and newlywed Hayley Snow with it being Christmas in the beautiful Key West, there is a Key Lime Pie contest that every baker in town is trying to win and she is a judge. All the while trying to finish out her articles for the remainder of the year. Toss in a surprise visit from her new mother-in-law that turns her into a tour guide that has them stumbling upon a dead body. I believe the day just got worse.
Key Lime Crime is a funny and entertaining cozy mystery. If you are not craving several slices of key lime pie by the time you’re reading then somethings just not right. Hayley is a wonderful character that readers can relate with. She smart, charming, in love and a good person. She’s still becoming comfortable in her new married life, as many readers can relate to. Hayley navigates the reader through an interesting and twisting plot that keeps you guessing. You see significant character growth within one book. As being a primary romance reader that is something I see frequently within romance but not quite so much in cozies. I definitely enjoyed that factor of the book. This is a long going series that fortunately I stumbled upon and was able to pick up at book 10 and didn’t feel like I was left out from anything of previous books. Author Lucy Burdette twisted a fantastic mystery well giving you fantastic descriptions of every possible Way of having Keylime pie. I very much enjoyed Key Lime Crime. I look forward to going back to previous books in the series and truly getting to know these characters.
Georgia B&B Series, Book 2
To die or not to die? Georgia B&B proprietor Nina Fleet struts and frets to bring the curtain down on a Shakespearean actor’s killer.
It’s nothing short of inevitable that Cymbeline, GA, hosts an annual Shakespeare festival. But stage-struck Nina Fleet is about to learn that putting on an amateur theatrical production can be murder. Nina’s anticipating showbiz glamour and glitz when a community Shakespearean troupe arrives for a two-week stay at her B&B. But the lights dim when she learns the company’s director is her nemesis, struggling actor Harry Westcott–who still claims to be the rightful heir to Nina’s elegant Queen Anne home.
Meanwhile, the troupe members are not content to leave the drama upon the stage. Accusations of infidelity and financial malfeasance make a shambles of rehearsals. And then, two days into the troupe’s stay, the lead actor is found dead in Nina’s formal Shakespeare garden. Murder most foul!
Worse, it seems every member of the amateur troupe has a motive–including wealthy construction company owner Marvin Jeffers, who seems to have a personal interest in Nina. But when the sheriff arrests the supposed boyfriend of the slain actor’s widow, Nina suspects that the wrong troupe member is in jail. She and her trusty Australian Shepherd, Matilda, join forces (none too happily) with Harry to sleuth out the murder plot.
Will they find the real killer before someone else shuffles off this mortal coil? Find out in Anna Gerard’s delightful second Georgia B&B mystery.
Peachy Scream has the most diverse cast of characters that contribute to the every twisting plot of this tale. A very entertaining read.
Nina Fleet has started over in life with a wonderful and cozy B&B that is as charming as she is. Geared up for the Local Shakespeare festival Nina’s hands just got full as the Theater group that is performing the play will now be using her B&B for their accommodations. A wonderful windfall that she cannot refuse yet comes with a bit of baggage in the form of the troop leader Harry, the newest nemesis in her life. Then to make things worse one of the guests is found dead. Nina is not having the best of weeks. Determined to figure out who the killer is and remove the tarnishment on her business his reputation, Nina is one tough cookie with some gutsy ideas that down to the bottom of the mystery.
With as much drama as a Shakespeare play itself, Peachy Scream is a very entertaining read. This is definitely a character driven story. There are so many personalities and interesting people that draw you into the story. Just wait until you get to meet the Reverend. Author Anne Gerard has done something extremely unique with the story. In retrospect the plot is really quite simple however her talented writing will constantly keep the reader guessing as to who and why. The B & B is truly charming and I’m sure I’m not the only reader that would enjoy a visit. The setting is spot on, the story is engaging and I guarantee you’ll love the way these characters interact with one another. A wonderful cozy mystery with a wonderful helping of humor add it in.
Tea and Treachery
Tea By The Sea Mysteries, Book 1
In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam . . .
As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.
Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.
Tea and Treachery is a charming and funny start to the Tea by the Sea Mysteries.
Lily Robert is the owner and Confectionery goddess of Tea by the Sea. An amazing re-creation of a traditional English tea room. She also provides her culinary skills to her grandmother’s B&B, Victoria by the Sea. Keeping up with her grandma is a full time job in itself. Lily is a hardworking and her favorite place to be is in a kitchen backing. Her best friend Bernie is a bit undecided about life but she is trying to work her way through it. She’s loyal, willing, larger than life and funny. Grandma Rose is a hysterical riot. She is on the brass side but somehow that just works for her. An elderly english woman who’s set ih her ways, not afraid to speak her mind, has an opinion for just about everything and can cause trouble like a teenager. I can see many more entertaining moments coming from Grandma Rose. Being a romance fan first and foremost, I really enjoyed the playfulness of the English Gardner Simon.
Tea and Treachery is an entertaining, well plotted fantastic beginning to what is going to be a fun and charming series. The setting of Cape Cod It’s brought to life on the page through beautiful descriptions that allow the reader to transport themselves to another place. The characters are entertaining and charming. Each character throughout the story has a distinctive personality that contributes to the enjoyment factor overall. The mystery was well plotted and very believable. I love the way Lily and Rose go about getting to the truth of the matter. Tea and Treachery will keep you on your toes guessing and really wanting some tea with a scone.
A Colorado Wine Mystery, Book 1
A young winery owner won’t let one sour grape ruin the bunch in the first installment of this exciting cozy mystery series.
Parker Valentine has always dreamed of opening her own winery in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. But she gets more than she bargained for when a food and wine critic unexpectedly shows up at Vino Valentine on opening day. A negative review could be fatal for her business, and not only does he seem to hate her chardonnay, he also collapses and dies shortly after drinking it.
Although Parker hoped that the attendees would put a cork in it, soon her winery is at the center of a social media firestorm. With #killerchardonnay trending online, Parker’s business is in danger of closing, and she has no choice but to investigate the murder herself.
To restore her reputation, catch a killer, and keep her struggling business open, Parker needs only one thing: some good proof.
Parker Valentine is about to see her dream come true. Her winery Vino Valentine, is opening its door. The wine is ready to flow, allowing Parker’s talent shine through grapes and fruits she blends. Opening day is not quite what Parker envisioned when a local food and wine critic unexpectedly stumbles into Vino Valentine. Not being too found of Parker’s Chardonnay, Mr. Critic doesn’t manage to stumble his way back out of the winery when he ends up dead on the floor. Creating the hashtag #killerchardonnay. Parker is caught in the middle of a hot mess as she instantly goes from a new business owner to one trying to save her business.
Parker rocks! I love how she approached everything that was happening around her. She was smooth, just like her wines. She could’ve fallen apart at many points in time yet she held her head high and made it her mission to get to the bottom of it. The descriptions of the wines alone make me wanna run to my local vineyard and see if I can find something even remotely close. I could totally see myself hanging out at the Vino Valentine. The mystery is well written. The story flows easy and just when you think you have it figured out, nope. Kate Lansing throws that twist that changes the game. The story flows so easily and the characters entertain and intrigue before you know it you have become fully invested in Parker. Killer Chardonnay is a mystery, with a good deal of suspense and a great heaping of romance added in. We all know I love the romance, Ms. Lansing blended it perfectly making it an enjoyable part of the story.
Killer Chardonnay is an easy lighthearted enjoyable cozy mystery that is just the beginning to what I’m sure is going to be a fantastic series.
The cat, Zin!!!! That cat, any cat owner will completely understand.
A Spell For Trouble
The Enchanted Bay Mystery Series, Book 1
Alexandra Daniels hasn’t set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother’s tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.
Bellamy Bay doesn’t look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.
Alex’s investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex’s own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.
An enjoyable cozy paranormal mystery.
The new Enchanted Bay Mystery Series introduces readers to the small, corky town of Bellamy Bay and Alexandra “Alex” Daniels. Alex is a former risk manager from New York returning to see family that she hasn’t seen in two decades, and to help with the family Apothecary. Little does she know, but is soon to find out that there are reasons that Alex’s father kept her away.
A Spell for Trouble is a light, entertaining and fun paranormal cozy mystery with lots of twists and spunk. From the picturesque descriptions of this beautiful town, to the way the magic is woven through the plot and the way the characters charm their way into your liking. The world building is off to a fantastic start and within one book you really get a feel for the personality of the characters. Alex may have made some not so great choices at times but I did love her tenacity and will do what she needs to do to achieve her goals. Esme Addison has caught my attention and I’m eager to see what she has in store for The Enchanted Bay Series.
Pumpkin Spice Peril
A Cupcake Bakery Mystery, Book 12
In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who’s anything but cookie-cutter.
Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers–Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.
Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery’s signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it’s up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.
Pumpkin Spice Peril is an entertaining and light read that brings out the laughs.
Mel’s life is surrounded by sweetness on so many levels. She has a bakery that produces the best cupcakes in town, her best friend and business owner is happily married and Mel herself is riding the wave to the happiness that is wedded bliss. Life just may be on the verge of perfect for our lovely cupcake baker.
Mel’s cake goes flat when her good friend and client, Rene is in a state unlike she’s ever seen before and becomes a victim of murder. Now Who could think the delectable goodness that is cupcakes or their maker could be anyway responsible for this tragedy has lost her mind.
Mel and her gang at Fairy Tale Cupcakes bake up a few laughs while a few of them find themselves asking questions, causing questions or chasing after answers. Mel has once again found her way smack in the middle of a murder investigation and no lack of sweetness will slow her down to figure out the who and why.
Jenn McKinlay’s Pumpkin Spice Peril is like walking into your local neighborhood bakery and visiting with friends that you’ve known forever. Even if you’ve just met them. Ms. McKinlay gives readers wonderful characters blooming with personality and charm, in a fun, warm and welcome setting. Pumpkin Spice Peril is a light hearted read yet the plot is solid and will make you think. Not to mention if you don’t want a cupcake by chapter 3 you probably don’t like sweets. I have not read this entire series and the titles that I have read were in no sense of order whatsoever, Pumpkin Spice Peril is a treat for the new reader or those that have been following for a while.