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Review: Under the Cover of Murder by Lauren Elliott 

Under the Cover of Murder

Lauren Elliott 

Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series, Book 6

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 30th 2021 by Kensington

 

Bookshop owner and maid of honor Addie Greyborne vows to catch the killer who crashed her best friend’s wedding…

It promises to be Greyborne Harbor’s wedding of the year. The impending nuptials of Serena Chandler and Zach Ludlow will take place aboard his family’s luxurious super-yacht, currently moored in the harbor and the talk of the town. But on the day of the wedding, a man’s body washes up on the beach with no ID, only a torn page from a book in his pocket. As owner of Beyond the Page Books and Curios, bibliophile Addie is called in to identify the book, but she cannot.

The morning following the extravagant ceremony, a second body washes ashore and Addie has a sinking feeling that the two deaths are connected. While the guests are held on the yacht as the police investigate, at least Addie can peruse Zach’s father’s rare books library on board. A copy of Agatha Christie’s first Hercule Poirot novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, provides a clue that the killer may still be on the ship—but narrowing down the suspects without becoming the next victim may prove a truly Herculean task…

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Cover of Murder is an entertaining story within a good mystery and wonderful characters that keep reader coming back the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mysteries. 

 

When a dead Body with only a book page, washes up on the beach next to where her best friend is getting married, Addie gets called in to help.  When another soon follows she can’t help to get herself involved. Every guest on the yacht is a suspect and with everyone sequestered on board. When the possible motive is as long as the guest list Addie does the thing that she does best, put on her charm, listen really well and ask just the right questions. 

 

Addie is a great character and I enjoy every visit with her.  Under the Cover of Murder is a wonderful cozy mystery, set in a beautiful little town with a nice touch of romance. Addie’s friends are like family and she does what it takes for any of them.  Family and friendship with a bit of murder.

 

Review: Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle by Sarah Graves

 

 

Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle

Sarah Graves

Death By Chocolate Mystery Series, Book 4

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2021 by Kensington Books

 

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 . . .

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

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.

 

 

Review: Triple Chocolate Murder by JoAnne Fluke

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder 

JoAnne Fluke 

Hannah Swensen Mysteries Series, Book 27

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 3 Stars

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.

 

 

Review: A Pairing to Die For by Kate Lansing

 

A Pairing to Die For

Kate Lansing

Colorado Wine Mystery Series, Book 2 

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2021 by Berkley Books

 

 

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! 

 

 

 

Review: A Curious Incident by Vicki Delany

A Curious Incident

Vicki Delany

Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 6

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

It’s up to Gemma and Jayne to root out the killer in national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s sixth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery when the winner of a garden tour trophy is left pushing up daisies.

“I am not a Consulting Detective,” Gemma Doyle reluctantly tells 10-year-old Lauren Tierney, when the little girl comes to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium to beg Gemma to find her missing cat, Snowball. Gemma might not be able to follow the clues to find the cat, but her dog Violet follows her nose to locate the missing kitten in a neighbor’s garden shed. Gemma and Violet proudly return Snowball to her grateful owner, and Gemma basks in praise for a job well done. But a few days later Lauren is back with ten dollars in hand, wanting to once again hire a consulting detective, and this time for a far bigger job: Her mother has been accused of murdering her garden club rival.
Sheila Tierney’s garden, which everyone said was the one to beat for the West London Garden Club trophy, had been vandalized the night before the club’s early summer tour. Sheila confronted her former friend and gardening partner Anna Wentworth in a towering rage, and the women nearly came to blows. Later that night, after having won the trophy for best garden, Anna is found murdered and Sheila Tierney is the police’s prime suspect.
Despite herself, and despite the disapproval of her police detective boyfriend Ryan Ashburton, the game is once again afoot, and Gemma finds herself and Jayne Wilson using their powers of deduction to ponder yet another curious incident.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

 

From missing kittens to trashed gardens. having the garden club up in roits to rivalry and murder, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, finds herself knee deep in yet another curious mystery that she tries really hard not to be involved in. She really does try to stay out of it. 

 

I really enjoyed Gemma. She is a fun take on Sherlock Holmes. I loved her use of logic, her straightforward manor and her ability to put it all together. Gathering all the informal and extracting the facts then coming to the correct conclusion. Gemma’s got a gift for sure even if she is blunt and abrupt at times. Lauren is a fun addition to the cast of characters. She adds a lot of humor and fun to the story.  Her curiosity is something to smile at while dealing with a very serious situation. She is all over the place, but that is a pre-teen for you.  

 

A Curious Incident is a curious mystery indeed. A fun Sherlock Holmes themed cozy mystery with an enjoyable cast of characters. Well plotted and well developed, being my first read of the series I didn’t feel as if I was missing a thing. Vicki Delany gets the reader engaged with fun characters and well timed Holmes antidotes. I love how the book and tea shops go hand in hand together. The mystery and plot are solid, however this is a fully character driven book.  There’s a lot going on but it all curiously fits together making an entertaining story.

 

 

Review: Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush

Grounds for Murders 

Tara Lush

A Coffee Lover’s Mystery, Book 1 

Hardcover
Expected publication: December 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

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.

 

Review: Without a Brew by Ellie Alexander

Without a Brew

Ellie Alexander

Sloan Krause Series, Book 4

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 10th 2020 by Minotaur Books

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.

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

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.

 

 

 

Review: A Page Marked for Murder by Lauren Elliott

 

A Page Marked for Murder

Lauren Elliott

Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery Series, book 5 

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2020 by Kensington Books

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

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.

 

 

Review: A Crime of Different Stripe by Sally Goldenbaum

 

A Crime of Different Stripe

Sally Goldenbaum

Seaside Knitters Society, Book 15

Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2020 by Kensington 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

 

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.

 

Review: The Body From the Past by Judi Lynn

The Body From the Past

Judi Lynn 

A Jazzi Zanders Mystery, Book 5

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: September 22nd 2020 by Lyrical Underground

A closed room in her newest fixer-upper leads Indiana house-flipper Jazzi Zanders to reopen a chilling cold case involving a high school girl . . .

Jazzi, her cousin Jerod, and her husband Ansel are preparing to renovate a charming house that reminds her of an English manor. Before purchasing it, they had inspected the house for structural issues, but now when they do a more thorough walk-through, they discover a teenage girl’s bedroom that clearly hasn’t been touched in years. Dust covers the pink canopy bed, clothes still hang in the closet, and a hope chest remains full of journals and memorabilia. They’ve stumbled on a shrine to a dead girl.

They learn Jessica was killed in the middle of her high school graduation party. The murderer was never identified, but the brother-in-law of Jazzi’s friend, who went to school with Jessica, was suspected and never lived it down. He implores Jazzi to review the cold case and finally prove him innocent. Now it’s up to the house-flipper to nail a killer who will do anything to close the door on the past . . .

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

 

Jazzi, her other half Ansel and her cousin Jerod are back at it, flipping their latest house in the town of Merlot. The home is not overflowing with wine but contains a lock room with the belongings of a murdered young lady. Feeling it’s wrong to throw out the contents of a chest Jazzi discovered within the locked room, she soon become to the go to woman on a murder case that the killer is still running free. With the cooler weather approaching Jazzi and Ansel try to get the renovations done on the flip house, do some renovations on their own home. They themselves deep in a murder investigation, new murders occurring just as they’re finding answers and they have to find Halloween costumes for their party.

The Body From the Past is a good mystery that unfolds layer by layer. I love how the story started as a cold case and added to the complexity of the plot line throughout the story. It was different and a bit refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed this twist to the plot. The characters are well developed but yet you can see growth within the story. Ms. Lynn balances the story extremely well with mystery, renovation and cooking. I love the large family that Jazzi and Ansell are part of. They bring another level of humor and the ability to relate with a larger group of readers. I did figure out the who done it but yet I was second-guessing myself until the end when the mystery was revealed.

A visit with Jazzi Zanders is like visiting a friend with all the best gossip and even better food. Not only do readers get a good mystery, this book just may have you looking for things to improve in your own home or you’ll definitely be figuring out what kind of soup you will be making now that you are craving soup. The Body From the Past is a great seasonal read and wonderful edition to the series. Author Judi Lynn delivers an entertaining story.