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.
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.