A Deadly Chapter
Castle Bookshop Mystery Series, Book 3
Thousand Islands bookseller Shelby Cox is caught between a lethal rock and a hardheaded newcomer in Essie Lang’s third Castle Bookshop mystery, a must-read for fans of Lorna Barrett and Vicki Delany.
Wake up on a houseboat, moored in scenic Alexandria Bay, New York. Ride the gentle waves to work at quaint Bayside Books, where you spend your days supplying literature and conversation to the charming locals and seasonal tourists. Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it? Except bookseller Shelby Cox has already sleuthed two murders from Bayside Books’s home base on Blye Island, one of New York State’s famed Thousand Islands. And this time, mayhem knocks right on Shelby’s waterside door when she finds a body lodged between the side of her houseboat and the dock, his skull shattered.
The victim is no local, but Shelby can’t shake the feeling she’s seen him before. Twice, in fact–that’s how many times he’s dropped into Bayside Books asking about an enigmatic woman who lived on Blye Island many years before. The last time? The day before he was found. But the poor man obviously was killed elsewhere, so who brought him down to the bay, and why?
When the victim’s daughter hits town demanding answers, Shelby takes the case, despite Police Chief Tekla Stone’s usual reservations. But she uncovers more suspects than there are pages in War and Peace, and Shelby can expect no peace–except the peace of the grave–unless she can turn the page on this grisly mystery. (
Living on a houseboat is a calm and serene way of life. Starting your day on the beautiful Alexandria Bay can’t help but to give the beginning of your day the best start it can have. Shelby is living the life. Until a dead body is found floating next to where you live. That definitely changes the outcome of the day.
One can never say that Shelby is not passionate about the small town in which she lives, as she is constantly reminded not to get involved in police business. This one hits too close to home and Shelby can’t help but to get down to the bottom of what’s going on.
A Deadly Chapter is book three of the Castle Bookshop Mysteries. I have come to enjoy Shelby’s way of finding out things that not just anyone could seem to find out. Shelby’s got some personal things happening as this mystery is underfoot. More than just a dead body is going on and Shelby does what she does best and somehow juggles at all and ends up finding the answers in the end. This is such a charming setting with wonderfully written characters. So much personality shines through each and everyone of them. Miss Lang definitely has a way of transporting you to a cozy little town within the pages of the series. I love how every day issues are added in with the mystery to make it seem a bit more real. I very much enjoy the series and A Deadly Chapter definitely stands up to the rest of the series.
Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle
Death By Chocolate Mystery Series, Book 4
Jake Tiptree and Ellie White are fired up for Eastport, Maine’s Great Downeast Snickerdoodle Bake-Off, but when a cunning killer and a devastating fire threaten to ravage the quaint island town, Jake and Ellie must dip into another homemade homicide investigation before all they love goes up in smoke . . .
As co-owners of Eastport’s beloved waterfront bakery, The Chocolate Moose, Jake and Ellie know their customers expect them to cream the competition. But they’re really just in it for fun, hoping to get Jake’s daughter-in-law baking again. Those plans collapse when fearsome local curmudgeon Alvin Brown is murdered, and every crumb of evidence points to Tiptree family friend—and all-around sweet guy—Billy Sewell.
Billy’s sisters beg Jake and Ellie to prove his innocence. After all, lots of folks had gone sour on Alvin–the only thing the retired lawyer liked better than bilking widows was swindling orphans, and several victims of his long-ago schemes still lived in Eastport. But just as the ladies begin sifting through the suspects, a series of grassfires blaze across the island, cutting off access to the mainland. Could someone be trying to hide the truth about Alvin’s murder?
Now, Jake and Ellie will need all their courage—and an extra dash of that down-east Maine stubbornness—to sniff out the real killer before anyone else gets burned . . .
Jake and Ellie don’t need trouble to find them, they go looking for it in the most head shaking, laugh out loud ways you could possibly imagine.
Death By Chocolate Snickerdoodle has Jake and Ellie gearing up for the annual cookie competition. Jake’s daughter in law, Mika is trying to find the balance of work and kids, Jake and Ellie use the contest to help her gain some of herself and confidence back. A grouchy old man is murdered and it hits too close to home as the prime suspect is none other than Billy Sewell. Billy is an employee of Jake’s son and a close family friend. Between baking up their delicious goodies at The Chocolate Moose, Ellie and Jake can’t help but to help and snooping is the name of their game.
Author Sarah Graves makes sure the reader laughs right along with their mystery. Death By Chocolate Snickerdoodle is excellently plotted to keep the reader thinking yet is completely entertained with the antics of Jake and Ellie along the way. There is nothing and I mean nothing these two will not get themselves into. How they just drag each other along is a riot. That’s some real friendships there. I wondered several times if they thought that they had some weird special superpowers only known to them that gave them a no fear approach to their mission. I love Jake and Ellie and their never give up attitude. They push limits and have fun and help while doing it. Death By Chocolate Snickerdoodle it’s fun, entertaining and a very enjoyable read.
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder
Hannah Swensen Mysteries Series, Book 27
In the newest installment of the New York Times bestselling Hannah Swensen Mystery series by Joanne Fluke, spring has sprung in Lake Eden, Minnesota, but Hannah doesn’t have time to stop and smell the roses–not with hot cross buns to make, treats to bake, and a sister to exonerate!
Hannah’s up to her ears with Easter orders rushing in at The Cookie Jar, plus a festive meal to prepare for a dinner party at her mother’s penthouse. But everything comes crashing to a halt when Hannah receives a panicked call from her sister Andrea–Mayor Richard Bascomb has been murdered and she’s the prime suspect.
Even with his reputation for being a bully, Mayor Bascomb–or Ricky Ticky, as Hannah’s mother likes to call him–had been unusually testy in the days leading up to his death, leaving Hannah to wonder if he knew he was in danger. Meanwhile, folks with a motive for mayoral murder are popping up in Lake Eden. Was it a beleaguered colleague? A political rival? A jealous wife? Or a scorned mistress?
As orders pile up at The Cookie Jar–and children line up for Easter egg hunts–Hannah must spring into investigation mode and identify the real killer…before another murder happens!
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder is the latest edition of the long running Hannah Swensen series. Although I have not read every book in the series I always feel like each time I come to Lake Eden it’s like a visit with old friends.
It’s Easter time and The Cookie Jar is hopping. Hannah is crunching her time trying to get through her long list of orders while planning a dinner party with her mom. Hannah’s sister gets put in the hot seat after a few words with the mayor about the treatment of her husband. When a family member becomes a suspect on know Hannah can’t help but to involved. Hannah even strikes to deal with Mike to share evidence and interviews. With Hannah on case and Norman by her side, we are only guess at what could happen.
All in all, Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder is a easy and simple read. The mystery is very easy but the enjoyment of the story is how Hannah gets herself tangled up in all the excitement of what’s going on. As always Hannah will make you laugh and making are you extremely hungry with all the delectable goodness that is described within the pages. Anyone who is a foodie and loves recipes along with an easy story this is definitely a book that you will enjoy.
A Pairing to Die For
Colorado Wine Mystery Series, Book 2
A young winemaker is over a barrel when her new boyfriend is accused of murder in this delightful cozy mystery.
It’s fall in Boulder, Colorado, and the leaves aren’t the only things changing. Parker Valentine, owner of Vino Valentine, is finally settling in to her winery and her new relationship with Reid Wallace, a local chef. But their delicate pairing is endangered when Reid’s estranged family comes into town to celebrate the opening of his new restaurant.
Reid and his family are immediately at loggerheads, given their often acidic temperaments, but Parker still wants to make a good first impression. However, her efforts might be in vain when Reid’s sous chef is found dead in the alley behind the restaurant, and Reid is implicated in the murder. In order to save Reid, Parker will have to find the real killer, even if the truth is difficult to swallow.
Like a good wine, A Pairing to Die For surprises the pallet, leaves a lingering mystery of flavorful thoughts and leaves you nicely cozy in the end.
Parker Valentine is living her dream. Her wine shop Vino Valentine,is picking up in business, people are enjoying her creations and there is a man that makes her heart happy. The opening scene of the book just goes to show you what a woman will do for a man she cares deeply for. This strong and independent woman embraces a snobby family, makes some wine, investigates a murder, cares for a lonely cat and even dangled her toes in a bit of matchmaking. Well really just a push on both sides. Not too bad for a day’s work. Parker is determined and I love how when she sets her mind to a goal, she does her best to follow through.
A Pairing to Die For is a fantastic follow up to Killer Chardonnay. Kate Lansing is a fantastically descriptive writer combining the delicacies of winemaking with the delectable nature of wonderful food, the comfortability of friendship, with a mystery that will keep your mind working. Along with the beautiful descriptions of Boulder and the fantastic cast of characters she has given readers, good stories and entertainment will be had. The Colorado Wine Mystery series is off and running! I can’t wait for more time with Parker and her crew. If you are a lover of cozy mysteries with a bit of romance and wine, you should give A Pairing to die for a try!
Grounds for Murders
A Coffee Lover’s Mystery, Book 1
Barista Lana Lewis’s sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.
When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.
Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.
With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?
A fantastic start to a new cozy series.
Grounds for Murder is the debut book in the new Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series. Lana Lewis as a former journalist who has returned home and is now managing the family coffee shop. Now days before a huge barista competition her best and most frustrating employee quits and leaves her high and dry, only to turn up dead the next day. Said barista has made a name for himself in their small little town and fingers are pointing in all directions when his body is found. Lana’s investigative nature kicks in and starts looking for information and clues, not only to clear her name but to find who did.
A fun, laugh out loud, entertaining cozy mystery. Lana Lewis is a strong enjoyable character who has a few complications to her life but is genuinely a good person. She’s got a quirky and likable personality. Lana knows how to get to the bottom and get her answers. Lana’s home town of Devils Beach is a hoot. From the names of the businesses like the coffee shop, Purgatory, to the characters that dwell within the town. Lana’s hippy of a dad is a riot. The new barista is going to be the best kind of bad influence on Lana!! Lol. And of course to for fill my romance needs there’s a hottie cop who catches the readers attention nicely. Grounds for Murder is a well written mystery with many twists to keep you guessing. I very much enjoyed my trip to Devils Beach and can’t wait to go back.
Without a Brew
Sloan Krause Series, Book 4
Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into a murderous winter wonderland in another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander, Without a Brew.
It’s winter in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, which for local brewmaster Sloan Krause means lots of layers, pine and citrus-flavored craft beers, and getting the new guest rooms at Nitro into pristine condition before visitors flood in for IceFest—a local tradition filled with fireworks, ice carving, and winter games of all varieties. But Sloan and her boss Garrett quickly learn that being brewkeepers turned innkeepers may not be as idyllic as it sounded.
While one couple staying with them seems completely smitten, a flashy group arrives in the evening demanding rooms. Sloan and Garrett are less than impressed, but agree to rent to them anyway. The night takes a turn when brewery patron Liv Paxton finishes her frothy pint and, with no previous plan for an overnight stay in Leavenworth, eagerly takes Sloan up on the offer of sanctuary from the snow—until she has a strange run in with some locals and the other guests. Sloan could be imagining things, but when Liv’s room is found trashed the next morning, a hateful message painted on her car, and Liv herself is nowhere to be found, Sloan is convinced another mystery is brewing. With many of the potential suspects hunkering down under Nitro’s roof, she knows her co-workers and friends won’t be safe until she serves up the killer a hoppy pint of justice.
Without a Brew is a fun and unique cozy mystery that really makes you want to try a craft beer. Even for a non beer drinker.
Without a Brew is my first Sloan Krause and will not be my last. The Bavarian Village Ice festival is all but underway and Nitro is doing a soft open for their B&B tasting experience! Sloan and her boss Garrett learn quickly that innkeeping and beer brewing may not go hand in hand. Nitro’s soft open turns into a full house when a small group has a messed up reservation and a lone woman seek shelter from the cold. Fun in the snow and amazing beer tasting is what should be had but when a body turns up things are not as they seem. Too many suspects and a lot of unanswered questions layer this mystery. Sloan weaves her way through a trail of clues she seems compelled to follow.
Without a Brew was a fantastic cozy mystery. I really enjoyed Sloan‘s character. She’s hard-working and independent. A caring and loyal woman who has seen a hard life. Her heart has been broken by someone she loved but yet she’s picking up the pieces and trying to live on with life. She did a lot of growing in just one book and I find that thoroughly impressive on the authors part. As someone who is just picking up a book within the series and able to understand the challenges that Sloan faces and understand them like they were just introduced in this book is a higher accomplishment in my book. The mystery was interesting and impressive how it came about and with the end results were. I also thoroughly enjoyed this little town. As someone who really doesn’t like the cold or beer for that matter I found both aspects of this book to be truly Intercal parts of the story and we’re interesting to someone who has not found an interest before.
Without a Brew was a page turning mystery that was completely entertaining and thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to go back to the beginning of the series and find out all the wonderful things I’ve missed about this incredibly charming and cozy little town.
A Page Marked for Murder
Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery Series, book 5
In Lauren Elliott’s fifth Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, a murder and a missing first edition of The Secret Garden have rare bookstore owner Addie Greyborne running around her Massachusetts town trying to read the clues…
January isn’t the season for the seaside, but the big Fire and Ice festival is keeping bookstore owner Addie busy. Amid the plans for a fireworks display and an ice-carving competition, she’s also dog sitting for a friend in the hospital. When Addie goes to her friend’s house to gather supplies, she notices an interesting item on the nightstand which belongs to her shop assistant, Paige: a very valuable copy of the beloved children’s book The Secret Garden.
But Addie’s blood runs cold when she finds something else: a dead body behind the bakery next door to her shop. Martha, the bakery owner, has no alibi–and has been seen in a heated argument with the victim. And the next thing Addie knows, that first edition has gone missing. Is there a connection between the body and the treasured tome? If there is, it’s up to Addie to find a killer with a motive as hidden as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous garden…
A Page Marked for Murder is a fun, small town cozy with not one but two mysteries within its pages.
The cozy town of Greybore Harbor is shaken when a dead body is found behind the bakery. That hits close to home with Addie, as the suspect is her assistant mother. Addie does what she does and starts putting her nose to the ground and figures out what is going on. When a rare book goes missing as well, Addie can’t help to think the two are connected.
Addie Grayson as a fantastic lead character. I enjoyed her way of thinking. She thinks things through and uses a good bit deductive reasoning letting her see things for what they really are.
I very much enjoyed A Page Marked for Murder. Author Lauren Elliott crafted a well written mystery. Well paced and plenty of things going on to keep us guessing. Many likable characters throughout the story just add to the enjoyment of the story. Easy to read yet will keep you guessing Ms, Elliott gets a thumbs up from me.
A Crime of Different Stripe
Seaside Knitters Society, Book 15
When a body is discovered at Sea Harbor’s opening reception for the autumn art series, the Seaside Knitters must take a break from stitching baby gear to unravel a series of secrets in Sally Goldenbaum’s 15th Seaside Knitters Society mystery.
While no-nonsense mother-to-be Cass Halloran tries downplaying her pregnancy and her frequent doctor’s visits as an “older” mother-to-be, a softer side of the lobsterwoman emerges as she joins the Seaside Knitters in knitting an abundance of delicate hats and booties. But in contrast to the happy news, terrifying events unfold at the town’s art series that puts a real chill in their New England fall…
Izzy Perry’s husband Sam had reservations about inviting his one-time mentor Harrison Grant to speak at the opening reception, although he never imagined the famed and charismatic photographer would rudely embarrass his hosts that evening. But when a dead body turns up along the wooded shoreline the next day, startling secrets come into focus that could undo the tight-knit community of local artists…
With a mysterious murder pitting neighbors against each other, Izzy, Birdie, Nell, and a vulnerable Cass find themselves entangled in a dangerous hunt for answers. Can four best friends somehow tie together scattered clues and pacify a list of potential culprits before a cascade of fallen foliage buries the pièce de résistance of a ruthless killer?
Welcome to the cozy seaside town of Sea Harbor where four friends come together in the joy of knitting and solving crimes. So when a body is found the day following the Autumn Art Reception, it’s time to purl into action and get some answers.
A Crime of a Different Stripe was my first trip into this well established series, yet they welcomed this new comer with open arms. I loved the bonds of friendship shown all throughout the book. The age differences within friendship was awesome. Well written characters with great personalities, fun and entertaining townspeopleA well plotted and paced mystery to keep readers turning the pages. Author Sally Goldenbaum has something special with this series. From prenatal yoga to egotistical photographers this story was kind of all over the place yet entertaining while providing a good mystery. It took me a few minutes to get everyone figured out but once I did the town of Sea Harbor was like visiting an old friend.
Death by French Roast
Bookstore Café Mystery Series, Book 8
Krissy Hancock runs a bookstore-caf� in Pine Hills, Ohio, but she’ll be setting up shop as a sleuth when she discovers a long-unsolved murder . . .
Krissy’s helping a friend clean out her late mother’s house when she learns that although the deceased died peacefully at an advanced age, her brother did not. In fact, Wade was killed more than thirty years ago, and the case was never closed. What surprises Krissy even more is that she has a personal connection to the story–her friend Rita was seeing Wade at the time, scandalizing the town with the couple’s large age difference.
With an older Rita now part of Krissy’s writing group–and another member with police experience–she starts digging up gossip, talking to the victim’s local coffee klatsch, and trying to find real clues amid the old rumors. But things just seem to grow muddier as she fights to identify whodunit . . .
Death By French Roast is my first visit with the Bookstore Cafe gang and will not be my last.
When Krisy’s neighbor passes on she realizes there was much more to the crabbiness of her noisy neighbor than what she realized. Krissy learns of a thirty year old murder that’s never been solved. Maybe even pushed a bit under the rug. Krissy decides with determination to start digging into this mystery for her neighbor, Eleanor, who’s brother was the victim. Digging into this small town cold case has the natives in a twist and a bit on edge. As the clues start to piece themselves together, Krissy is getting close to the big reveal when the suspect strikes yet again.
I very much enjoyed Death by French Roast. A cozy cold case mix with a touch of romance. That a winner right there. I liked how Krissy showed such concern and wanted a sense of justice for a neighbor who she thought was nosy. I loved Krissy. She’s an amazing character. Likable and smart yet tenacious and determined. It was almost like she had an extra sense when it came to put in close together. Even the people that didn’t particularly care for her or what she was doing she was able to get them to talk to her. She’s a character that looked outside the box and she loves coffee. What was not to like about her. LOL. In all seriousness coming into the eighth book in a series a lot of times a reader will feel that they are missing something. However that is not the case with Death by French Roast. I got to know this entire cast of characters well within one book, it didn’t feel like there were chapters upon chapters of backstory just so you can get to know them. The story flowed well, the mystery kept you guessing and the characters truly made the story. Alex Erickson made a new fan with Death by French Roast.
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.