Review: Witch Upon a Star by
Witch Upon a Star
Angela M. Sanders
Witch Way Librarian Mysteries Series, Book 4
304 pages, Kindle Edition
Expected publication May 23, 2023
Big things are happening in small-town Wilfred, Oregon! The retreat center is open for its first workshop, the local caf� is done remodeling, and librarian and witch-in-training Josie Way is hosting her sister–and a few suspicions about the new killer on the loose . . .
Josie is eager to show off Wilfred’s delights to her visiting sister, Jean–even though Josie must conceal her magic from her. In any case, Jean is excited to attend Cookie Masterson’s trademark “Ready-Set-Go!” workshop on becoming a life coach. Then there’s the grand reopening of Darla’s Caf�, where the doors are thrown open to reveal . . . a dead man, stabbed in the back. That was definitely not on the revamped menu…
Even more worrisome, the sheriff receives a report of a fresh corpse at the retreat center. Maybe murder isn’t so uncommon in Wilfred anymore, but two unfamiliar bodies within an hour certainly is! Josie’s willing to let law enforcement take the lead–after all, she’s gotten into some trouble from the hints the library’s spellbound books keep feeding her about the patrons. But when her sister receives the killer’s chilling calling card, she’ll use everything within her otherworldly powers to divine just who in town has homicide as his new slogan . . .
Witch Upon a Star is a fun and entertaining read. It was much more than I expected it to be.
Josie is a librarian and a witch in training. I love how much her powers are intertwined with books. To be able to touch a book and know if they can give you the knowledge you need within seconds. That’s a pretty nifty ability to have. The books give her a lot of advise, whether she wants it or not. In Witch Upon a Star Josie has tasked with showing her sister Jean around her, cozy little town while she’s there for a retreat, so to speak. And then to keep her safe from a killer on the loose all while keeping her witchy secrets, a secret.
A self-help promoter is doing one of their seminars and Josie‘s little town and Jean, her little sister is all about this opportunity. Although it does not look to be the best opportunity, and when murder comes hand-in-hand with what’s going on around this seminar, has Josie on full alert. Josie is trying to keep her sister safe while twist interns thrown at her within this mystery, keep her on her toes. During the course of this novel, Josie is able to build bonds with her sister and help solve a murder. I enjoyed Witch Upon a Star. It is a unique subject collaboration for a cozy mystery. I love the fact that her powers are connected through books, and that makes it even more exciting.
I look forward to going back and seeing how the series started. And to see wants to become for this witchy librarian.
Review: The Ghost Goes to the Dogs by Cleo Coyle
The Ghost Dogs Goes to the
Haunted Bookshop Mystery Series, Book 9
336 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published May 2, 2023
A stray dog leads bookseller Penelope McClure and her gumshoe ghost on a chase for a clever killer in this brand-new entry in the “utterly charming” (Mystery Scene) Haunted Bookshop Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.
Pet Mystery Week brings brisk business to Penelope’s Rhode Island bookshop, but a real mystery comes barking at her door when a lost dog turns up in a panic. Pen and her son Spencer follow the furry fugitive to a wooded area where the dog’s owner lies unconscious. Mrs. Cunningham is a warm-hearted widow who volunteers at the animal shelter and runs Buy the Book’s pet lovers book club. Why would anyone shoot such a sweet soul?
The police believe it’s an accident, a shot by a careless deer hunter, but Pen remains skeptical. To straighten out this doggone mess, she whistles for the ghost of PI Jack Shepard, an expert in hounding as well as haunting. Jack has a dog story of his own, a case from the 1940s that may help Pen sniff out clues to her present predicament. Yet even with Jack’s hard-boiled help, Pen may not be able to stop the killer from striking again or letting this whole case go to the dogs…
Penny and Jack are not your average team but they get it done.
It’s pet mystery week and business has picked up for pennies Rhode Island book shop. However, the real mystery comes in the form of barking when a lost dog turns up at her door. Penny and her son hop on the case and follow the dog to where its owner is laying on the ground and unconscious. The dog’s owner, Mrs. Cunningham is a wonderful volunteer and animal lover. Now they have a mystery on their hands of who would want to hurt the sweet, wonderful woman. Penny calls on the help of her ghostly PI friend Jack Shepard, who has a story of his own involving some dogs from the 1940s. Together in the past, and in the present, they put together the clues to figure out who the culprit in his doggy caper is.
Cleo Coyle has put together another fine masterpiece in the haunted bookshop mystery series. Penny and Jack are something very unique, and the way the story unfolds through the past, and the present is something truly special. Penny is too smart to think that this was just an accident for Mrs. Cunningham. She is determined to find who tried to hurt this wonderful and sweet woman. While hunting down clues and trying to figure out who is behind this mass, Jack shares with Penny, his own doggy caper from back in the 40s that Jess may have left its mark on her present. This is a fun and entertaining, cozy mystery. When that truly keeps you turning the pages. Whether you’re in the past tense or the present you’re entertained on all fronts.
Review: Baked Offed by Maya Carrigan
A Five Ingredient Mystery Series, Booke 8
When the Deadly Desserts bake-off lives up to its name, Val and Granddad turn up the heat on a killer . . .
The Maryland Mystery Fan Fest sounds like exactly the fun getaway cafe manager Val Deniston and her grandfather could use. Granddad will even compete in a dessert competition in which contestants assume the roles of cooks to famous fictional sleuths. Playing Nero Wolfe’s gourmet cook Fritz is an exciting challenge for Granddad. A restaurant manager is playing Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet and cook Bunter. But Granddad is steamed to learn who will be playing Sherlock Holmes’s landlady, Mrs. Hudson–his nemesis Cynthia Sweet, who he believes ripped off his five-ingredient theme from his column “Codger Cook” to use in her own recipe column.
Apparently, he isn’t the only one who has beef with his not-so-sweet competitor. When she’s found dead in her room with the teakettle whistling, it’s up to Val and her grandfather to sort through the festival goers to find out who was most definitely not a fan of Cynthia Sweet . . .
What a fun, creative and unique, cozy mystery.
The Five Ingredient Mystery series is offering up Baked Offed for our reading pleasure. Café manager, Val, Denison and her grandpa are attending the Maryland mystery fan fest. Both of them are lucky enough to be taking part in events that are happening within the conference. Val will be taking part in the mystery trivia contest, and grandpa will be taking part in a dessert cooking contest based on recipes from old books. Which should be a fun event turns into a big mystery that some people aren’t even sure is actually a real event. Sometimes that’s what you get at a mystery conference. Val and Grampa put their skills to the test to figure out why a woman ended up murdered.
This was a different type of cozy mystery at that I thoroughly enjoyed. Val and her grandpa are great characters. I love how thorough they were trying to get to the bottom of the mystery that turned into a couple mysteries. I love the homage to the classic mysteries that we have all come to love. I love that what could be an insignificant clue became something that actually made a major part of the puzzle come together. There was lots of personality and charisma in the pages of Baked Offed. Also, I should mention I love it when a book is based in my home state. This was my first read in the unique series and it definitely won’t be my last.
As someone who goes to book conventions, Baked Offed give the reader all the fun of going to the book conference, minus the murder. It is a very fun experience to be able to get to spend time with the authors that you enjoy reading and partake in different fun activities with them. I really love how this book showed that experience.
Review: A Trip with Trouble by Diane Kelly
A Trip with Trouble
The Mountain Lodge Mysteries, Book 2
When the ladies of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club take over the Mountaintop Lodge for their annual autumn ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Misty Murphy couldn’t be more thrilled. Every room is full and the adventurous women even invite Misty and her assistant Brynn to join them on a ride to admire the colorful fall foliage. Hotel handyman Rocky Crowder is happy to keep an eye on the lodge for the day, and the ladies set out for a fun ride on the scenic road.
The skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the leaves are gorgeous. But what starts as a perfect ride turns worrisome when the tail gunner – the last rider in their group – fails to show up at the Craggy Gardens overlook. Cell phone service is spotty in the remote, mountainous area, and the group is unable to connect with their friend. Might the missing woman have simply run out of gas? Or is something far more sinister afoot?
The ladies are determined to locate their ride or die, and Misty is equally determined to help them. But will they be able to solve the mystery when the scenic route seems intent on hiding its secrets?
Diane Kelly combines the beauty of the outdoors, a cozy and comfortable lodge, and a good heaping of mystery to keep you entertained with A Trip with Trouble.
Returning to the Mountaintop Lodge is going to be a wild ride. Misty is sold out for the week. Dangerous Curves, a lady’s motorcycle group, has reserved every room in the lodge for a week. Misty can’t be more excited. Upon checking in the group of ladies seems to be nice, charismatic and genuinely a good bunch of people looking to have some fun. Misty and her assistant Brynn even get asked to accompany the group on a ride, which to my delight they did indulge in. However, things go south when one of the members does not show up at an overlook where everyone has stopped. Misty helps the ladies look for their friend and unfortunately find her dead. Was it an accident or was it foul play? Misty with the help of Brynn and her handyman Rocky, try to get to the bottom of what’s going on with this mystery
I love when I’m reading a book and a place that pops up in the story. The tail of the dragon is a fun and beautiful ride although I have never done it on a motorcycle I understand the thrill behind it. Now, with that being said, Diane Kelly knows how to bring the loveliness of the outdoors into the story. I love the fact that the majority of the story does take place outside. From fires and roasting marshmallows to fun motorcycle rides there is atmosphere all over this book. Now, there is kind of a twofold mystery within the story, and I enjoyed both of them. At one point I wondered if they were connected and was surprised when I realized the answer. The story told primarily from Misty’s point of view, but those few chapters that we get from Yeti make me laugh every single time. and I love every single one of them. Diane Kelly knows how to draw the reader into the story, keep them entertained all the while, making them laugh and enjoy the experience all in one.
Review: Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush
Live and Let Grind
A Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series, Book 3
Laid-off journalist Lana Lewis is thriving as the proprietor of Perkatory, a coffee shop on quirky Devil’s Beach island, Florida. She’s juggling a relationship with police chief Noah Garcia, enjoying the company of her best friend, Erica, and relishing the companionship of her golden Shih Tzu, Stanley. Only problem is her neighbor, Gus, who incessantly uses his leaf blower, disturbing everyone in the neighborhood. Lana has learned to tune it out, but Erica’s rage boils over and she confronts Gus.
Then Gus is found dead, killed when his leaf blower explodes. Erica immediately becomes suspect number one. But there are plenty of other candidates as well: Gus’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Honey Bailey, who thinks she’ll be written out of his will; Mickey Dotson and Doug Beck, who were scalded financially after purchasing a pirate-themed tourist cruise business from Gus; and plenty of angry neighbors who’ve had run-ins with him.
As the clock ticks down will Lana get someone to spill the beans on the killer so she can clear her friend’s name, or will Erica go to jail for a crime she didn’t commit?
Live and Let Grind takes readers back to Devil’s Beach with our favorite barista Lana Lewis and her fun yet quirky friends for another fun filled mystery adventure.
It’s no secret that I love coffee and coffee related cozy mysteries are what got me started reading the genre. I have been fortunate enough to read every book in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. I am happy to say each one gets better as we go. Live and Let Grind has Lana and Erica rooming together, while repairs are happening on Erica‘s houseboat. Things that purgatory are fine and Stanley is as cute as ever. However things get shaken up when Lana’s neighbor, Gus is found dead. Gus has made a reputation for himself for being a nuisance amongst the neighborhood. Erica recently, having had a confrontation with Gus finds herself in the hot seat as a suspect. Lana does all she can to help clear Erica’s name and discover more suspects are popping up then she realizes.
Oh my latte. Live and Let Grind is a fun and entertaining, cozy history. With each book in the series is just getting better and better. Lana is a natural snoop, it comes with being a reporter. It’s kind of funny when she gets upset that she can’t do more than what she does. The cast of characters for the series is top notch. With a hippie father and a Goth for best friend it says it all right there. Tara Lash gives us another fast paced, caffeine infused entertaining read.
Review: The Paper Caper by Kate Carlisle
The Paper Caper
Bibliophile Mystery Series, Book 16
Joseph Cabot is a very popular wealthy San Franciscan who owns the main newspaper in town, as well as radio stations and TV. Years ago, Brooklyn’s husband Derek and his security team rescued Joseph from an assassination attempt and now the man and his wife are friendly with Derek and Brooklyn. The friendship is helped along by the fact that Joseph is a big book lover and contributes lavishly to the Covington Library. His favorite author is Mark Twain (another newspaperman) and he’s underwritten the first annual Mark Twain Festival at the Covington.
As part of the festival activities, Brooklyn will spend a few hours every day at the Library, giving demonstrations of her work at re-binding an old copy of The Prince and the Pauper. There will be events all week, all around town, celebrating the time Twain spent in the city. But the biggest event is being run by Joseph’s newspaper: a citywide contest based on The Prince and The Pauper—they want to find someone who looks like Joseph! The two men will trade places for a week as part of a huge publicity campaign to raise money for the Covington Library. But the fun turns frantic when a murder occurs right before Brooklyn’s eyes! Now Brooklyn and Derek will have to chase clues all over their beloved city to solve the murder before another death becomes front-page news.
What a fun read.
It’s time for the first annual mark twain festival and Brooklyn Wainwright could not be more excited. Joseph Cabot, The local newspaper man is sponsoring the event with many contests and lots of prizes. What should be an amazing event with lots of literary fun, has gone a bit to the dark side with a murderer too. Brooklyn and Derek seem to be right in the middle of things. With lots of questions and just as many suspects, Brooklyn does all she can to get to the bottom of this caper.
The Paper Caper was my first read of the Bibliophile Mystery Series. Brooklyn is amazing. Not only is she smart and intuitive, the passion that she has involving books. Makes her a gal after my own heart. I loved reading about the restoration process and how passionate she is. I really enjoyed the Mark Twain Festival and the switching of positions for two different people to see a different side of life. With this being a well-established series there is a core group of characters that mesh well together and truly make the story come alive. Kate Carlisle has something very special with this series. It intrigues the reader with a good mystery, has characters that are relatable and fun. There is a great bit of humor mixed in with this mystery which I truly loved. The Paper Caper is a great rate for any cozy mystery lover.
Review: A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert
A Fatal Booking
Booklover’s B&B Mysteries, Book 3
The victim – an opinionated busybody whose jewelry store sold original designs, along with some possibly “hot” merchandise – had plenty of enemies, spurring Charlotte and Ellen to offer their well-honed investigative skills to assist the local police. But as they delve deeper into the each of the guest’s stories, they realize all of them had a motive, and the means, to close the book on the unfortunate victim.
Enlisting the aid of a few local residents, as well as their new ally, agent Gavin Howard, Charlotte and Ellen vow to reveal the truth, even if the path to any sort of happy ending is strewn with deadly danger.
Review: Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library by Holly Danvers
Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library
Lakeside Library Mystery Series, Book 2
A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.
After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.
As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?
With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?
The Lakeside library is gearing up for a new tradition of being open during the winter months. Rain is already to get cozy down in her Lofty Pines cabin with a good book through the Wisconsin winter. The start of the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree brings excitement to the town as the ice shanty’s start going up, all trying for those coveted spots and chili cooking begins. What should be a festive and fun time turns into mystery and murder of the coldest proportions. Rain Is smart, able to put the clues togetherand will sometimes forget reasoning or logic to help out those she cares about.
Rain is a helper by nature. She generally cares about people. Whether it’s the desire to help them find that perfect book they’re looking for or to solving a murder. She does get herself into the thick of things. There were a few times I wanted to grab the girl by her shoulders and ask her what you are thinking. But then we wouldn’t have a story. What when one of your good friends it’s a suspect you will go above and beyond to prove his innocence. Rain allows her best friend, Julia, to talk her into some rather peculiar situations. Even if they are for the good of figuring out the truth, they may not always be the best decisions. But you get a good laugh.
Holly Danvers gave us a second installment that was just as enjoyable as the first. Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library was an entertaining read. This is a charming town and I love the inhabitants of it. As much as I say I just like winter weather I do love a book that has a good winter element to the story. You could feel the cold seeping through the pages and just made you want to cuddle up in a blanket as you were reading. That is high praise from me. The one thing I wish is that we see a little bit more personal character development within Rain. I enjoy her very much, but I feel she can be led astray very easily. However, that does give us some of our most laughable scenes of the book.
Review: Honey Roasted by Cleo Coyle
Coffeehouse Mystery Series, Book 19
One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend’s chimney, and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide. But Clare doesn’t believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary startups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung?
What fun and cozy return to the Village Blend.
Claire Cosi is trying to plan her honeymoon which is not going as wonderful as she would have expected. Just as she is debuting a new honey roasted coffee blend and highly anticipated honey cinnamon latte to her staff a swarm of bees decides to make the Village Blend their new home. Come to find out these bees belong to none other than Claire’s honey supplier and close friend of Madame. Claire takes it upon herself to go and visit the Queen bee Bea Hastings to find that someone has tried to murder her. Upon finding Mrs. Hastings’ body on her balcony, Claire has no choice but to get to the bottom of the sticky situation.
The Coffeehouse Mystery series was one of the first cozy series I dived into. From book one I was hooked. How could I not be? Mysteries and coffee. Over the years I have read many books in this series, but not all. Coming back at book nineteen was like walking back into my favorite coffee shop and not missing a beat. Honey Roasted was a fun welcome back.
Honey Roasted gives a lesson in honey, more fantastic coffee knowledge and an intricate mystery that keeps you very involved. Clare is as sharp as always when it comes to putting the clues together, even though her mind is focused on other things. She’s tenacious in her sleuthing abilities and I love that she allows a little bit of danger to fall in the game but yet really lets her sense of danger go out the window if needed. I love how she sought out advice and then acted to smooth the riffs in her relationship. The Village Blend clew is always a delight and can count on them for a laugh. I love how not only has Claire been their boss she has been their friend through this crazy coffee and mystery adventure. Honey Roasted was an engrossing read that I absolutely enjoyed.
Review: Murder by the Seaside by Julie Ann Lindsey
Murder by the Seaside
Julie Ann Lindsey
Patience Price, Counselor at Large Series, Book 1
Cozy Queen Publishing LLC January 8, 2022
Armed with a new counseling degree, Patience Price is eager to move back home to Chincoteague Island to help folks with their problems. But she finds the streets awash in more than East Coast charm. There’s been a murder, and Adrian Davis, the town golden boy who once stomped her heart into a zillion pieces, is the main suspect. Now he’s on the run, claiming he’s innocent. Patience finds this…poetic. Not that she holds a grudge.
Adrian’s mom is sure that with her FBI background Patience can find the truth. Yes, she was at the FBI–in human resources. Still, she looks into it, but not everyone is happy with her snooping. Either that, or the welcome wagon has some bold new policies involving drive-by shootings.
Things really heat up when a hunky former coworker, an actual FBI agent, arrives to help. But he may be too late; the quaint island harbors deadly secrets–and Patience is running out of time.
Patience Prince has returned home to try and restart her life. After being downsized from the FBI’s human resource department she has decided to use her degree in counseling. Although starting a counseling business on her little island hometown has proven to be more difficult than she had thought. She is home five minutes when life starts to become crazy. An ex is accused of murder, someone keeps egging her property and she’s involved in a drive-by. And that’s in just the first couple of days. Patience Prince is now on a mission to find out who the true murderer is and who is after her!
Murder by the Seaside it’s not your average cozy Mystery and I say that in the best way possible. Patience Prince is one of those people that cares and likes to help. Which seems to be able to get her into trouble easily yet she’s willing to do anything it takes. She’s a strong woman, daring and maybe doesn’t quite understand the concept of sense of danger. But I will tell you it does make her very funny. With hippies for parents and an ex-boyfriend’s meddling mother it’s no wonder she is the way she is. Pony island is colorful and fun. The inhabitants are unique and will definitely have you laughing. Julie Ann Lindsay pens one heck of a story here. Murder by the Seaside action packed, fast paced with a pretty intricate mystery. We have a cast of wonderful characters that definitely catch your attention. I loved the romantic elements within the story. Being a romance reader first and foremost, I always love it when there’s a little bit of romance added into the mysteries. this book was definitely a ride but I would absolutely love to visit pony Island again.