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Review: Cold Brew Corpse by Tara Lush

Cold Brew Corpse 

Tara Lush 

A Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series, Book 2 

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: December 7th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

Espresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in Tara Lush’s second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.

Tara Lush combines humor and mystery for a highly enjoyable cozy tale .
Lana Lewis has all kinds of things going on in Cold Brew Corpse . Between getting settled in at the coffee shop Purkatory, puppy classes for Stanley, writing an article for the local paper, sleuthing the murder of the yogi next door and her cold brew is somehow tainted. Maybe a little romance percolating. When said yogi has a darker side than most know, Lana sees returning to journalism brewing in her future.
Cold Brew Corpse is a fantastic follow up and continuation of A Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. Tara Lush Stepped it up and followed through with this cozy Mystery. Lana is finding her place in Devil’s Beach. I feel she’s beginning to gain some of the confidence she lost after her divorce and loss of career. Although she does get so wrapped up in journalism again, she does truly understand why it can’t happen exactly the way she’s wishing. Lana is surrounded by colorful and humorous characters that truly help keep the story going. Lana‘s dad is hysterical. That man is a riot of happiness and every time he is on the page will make you laugh. There are some true laugh out loud moments through the pages of the story. Candlelight yoga anyone? Erica is a girl you want on your side.
Cold Brew Corpse has a twisting mystery, well several mysteries and a lot of humor. I feel we learned a lot about Lana in this book and I love the cool weird facts about Florida. The mystery was twisty and kept me guessing. And of course all the coffee. How can you not love the coffee.

 

Review: An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing

An Eggnog to Die For

Amy Pershing 

Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series, Book 2 

Paperback, 320 pages

Published November 9th 2021 by Berkley Books

 

 

Christmas has come to Fair Harbor, but when the town’s Santa is murdered, it will be up to Sam Barnes to find a killer in this newest installment of the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries.

It’s Santa Claus, she says tonelessly. Santa Claus is dead.

Food writer Sam Barnes wants a lot of things: a quiet Christmas at home with her dog and the town’s handsome harbormaster, to never be in a viral video again, and to stop finding dead bodies. Unfortunately for Sam, her parents are coming to visit, she’s often around cameras for work, and she just found the town Santa dead in the storage room of the cocktail bar she was profiling.

Although she was only interviewing the owners of the Ginger Jar in hopes of getting the recipe for their Coquito Eggnog cocktail for the friends and family Christmas Eve dinner she’s hosting, Sam quickly finds herself taking on the role of investigator once again. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa–but with holiday stress already building, will Sam be able to pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Foodie Sam Barnes has quite the to do list this holiday season.  However finding a dead Santa was not one of the things to be scratched off.  An Eggnog to Die For is a laugh out loud and twisty cozy mystery. 

 

With videos to make and articles to write, her parents visiting, wondering what going with that man of hers and a big dinner to prepare Sam Barnes doesn’t have time to investigate a murder but somehow she manages to fit it in her schedule. Between writing articles, taking part in holiday festivities, making decorations for her Christmas tree, entering the three things, and being a chauffeur for her parents she found a way to get herself tangled up in helping to solve this mystery. With more suspects than clues Sam manages to ask the right questions to get her thought process rolling. With a few crazy ideas and some good deductive reasoning Sam narrows down the suspect list even though sometimes she allows her feelings to get in the way. She’s a smart woman, sometimes unconventional but yet extremely funny. 

 

I very much enjoyed this foodie mystery. An Eggnog to Die for is a good mystery with a touch of romance and a lot of humor. Amy Pershing caught my attention with this entertaining holiday read.

 

 

Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing

Mulled to Death 

Kate Lansing

Colorado Wine Myteries Series, Book 3 

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 19th 2021 by Berkley Books

A Valentine’s Day getaway is on the rocks when a young winemaker discovers a body at an alpine resort in this delightful cozy mystery.

When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip seems like the perfect choice. Between hitting the slopes and persuading the resort’s wine director to sell her mulled wine, Parker is eager to mix business with pleasure. But her plans are muddled when she finds the resort owner’s body on a treacherous portion of ski trail near the resort.

As a result, not only is Parker’s romantic weekend thrown into chaos, but now that the owner has died, her business deal is due for a frosty reception, and her life might be in danger as well. After a series of unfortunate mishaps befall Parker, she realizes that whoever killed the resort owner might want to tie up loose ends. Parker’s going to need all of the investigative skills at her disposal to catch a killer before they put her on ice.

4 Stars

Mulled to Death is an entertaining and adventurous edition to the Colorado Wine Mystery Series.

Parker is mixing a bit of business and pleasure with Valentine’s weekend getaway. Nestled away in the mountains of a beautiful Alpine ski resort Parker and her boyfriend Reid have plans of a romantic time in between hitting the slopes and Parker pitching her wine to the Director of the resort. On what should be a fun day of hitting the slopes Parker comes across the resort owner’s body dead on a ski trail. What should’ve been a fun and romantic weekend is thrown into chaos. Not only does Parker find a dead body but little things keep happening that have her looking a bit over her shoulder.

Mulled to Death was fantastic. Each book in the series gets better and better. Parker takes sleuthing to a whole other level. She wants to get to the bottom of it and she goes full tilt. Even if sometimes it’s not the best choice. She’s very passionate about finding out who and why. I love seeing Parker‘s romantic side come out a bit more. As a romance lover I love seeing a bit of romance with my cozy mysteries. As for the mystery part this one is twists and turns and has the reader doing some thinking. I also love how the author is able to incorporate things about wine in just about every aspect of the book that does not involve winemaking. The description of the spices for the mulled wine makes me want to try and make a batch myself.

Kate Lansing’s Mulled to Death is what you want in a cozy mystery.

Review: The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander

The Cure for What Ales You

Ellie Alexander 

Sloan Krause Mystery Series, Book 5

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 5th 2021 by Minotaur Books

 

 

Amateur sleuth and brewer Sloan Krause contends with her past–and a murder related to it–in The Cure for What Ales You, another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander.

After a long cold winter, spring is beginning to bloom in the alpine village of Leavenworth, Washington, where craft brewer Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are putting the finishing touches on their bright and refreshing Lemon Kiss ale. They’ll be debuting their new line at the Maifest celebration, which will bring visitors from near and far to dance around the Maipole and shop at the outdoor flower markets.

Despite the festive spirit in the air, Sloan is brewing over her past. She’s spent months following leads that have turned into dead ends. But when she spots a woman who strongly resembles Marianne—a long lost contact who may be her only connection to piecing together her story—she hopes that things might be taking a turn in her favor. That hope is quickly smashed when Marianne is involved in the murder of a local housekeeper. To make matters worse, Marianne issues a dire warning that Sloan and her entire family are in danger. If Sloan can’t figure out who the killer is and what happened in her past, she won’t find any hoppy endings.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

 

It’s Mailfest in the charming and cozy town of Leavenworth! Sloane and the crew of Nitro are eager to start slinging pints of their newest craft beer, Lemon Kiss for the town festivities. Ready for a busy but fun weekend Sloane gets wrapped in more than beer and brats.  The woman from past that Sloane has been looking for shows up at the festival, a local housekeeper is murdered and now she and Alex are in danger too.  Sloane does why she does best….. brews and clues!!! 

 

Wow! What a powerhouse of a story with The Cure for What Ales You.  Ellie Alexander is a Fascinating writer and it definitely shows within the story. Sloane has done a lot of growing over the last few months and learning to live life a new way. Also trying to find out who she is. A lot of those questions are answered in this almost double mystery.  Sloane never gives up or in and has become a stronger person for it.  The Cure for What Ales You is fun and festive, a well plotted mystery and long time fans will have some long time questions answered.  A very entertaining cozy. 

 

 

Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Miranda James

What the Cat Dragged In

Miranda James 

Cat in the Stacks Series, Book 14

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 31st 2021 by Berkley Books

Librarian Charlie Harris and his faithful feline companion, Diesel, have inherited Charlie’s grandfather’s house, along with a deadly legacy: a decades-old crime scene, in this all-new mystery in the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series.

Charlie has always believed that his grandfather had sold his house to his longtime tenant, Martin Hale. So when Martin dies, Charlie is surprised to discover the house was not left to Martin but instead belongs to Charlie. As he and Diesel check out the house he remembers fondly from his childhood, he is pleasantly surprised that it is in better condition than expected. That is, until they find a literal skeleton in a closet.

While the sheriff’s department investigates the mysterious remains, Charlie digs deeper into the past for clues to the identity of the bones and why they are there. But the cold case heats up quickly when Martin’s grandson is found dead on the farm.

As Charlie delves into his own family history, he encounters many people who might have been motivated to take a life. But Charlie and Diesel know that things are not always what they seem, and that secrets seemingly lost to time have a way of finding their way back to haunt the present.

4 Stars 

Look What the Cat Dragged In is a thoroughly enjoyable cozy ministry. This was my first adventure with The Cat in the Stacks series and will definitely not be my last. 

Charlie Harris has just gotten some very surprising news. A house and land believed to be long gone from the family has just surprisingly come back to them.  With the ownership of the land reverting back to Charlie it also opens a big mystery along his family lines. The past and the present collide to unravel The mysteries along the family line.  

I really enjoyed getting to know Charlie Harris and his two furry and lovable companions, Diesel and Ramses.  I really enjoyed how Charlie tried to stay out of the mystery but yet kept himself within it.  I love the complex genealogical history that flows through the story allowing the reader to have that much more interest in what was going on. The mysteries piled up but the research and a few hidden family secrets help pave the way to finding the answer.  I love the family connections and the strong friendships that have obviously been well developed through this series. I love that jumping in at book 14 I was able to navigate my way easily through the story and know what was going on. Author Miranda James has a unique talent for writing I thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery.

Review: Deadly Ever After by Eva Gates

Deadly Ever After

Eva Gates

Lighthouse Library Mystery Series, Book 8

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: May 11th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

Librarian Lucy’s wedding is at stake when a murder interrupts her engagement celebrations. To make it down the aisle, she’ll have to find the killer to save the date in the 8th book in the Lighthouse Library mysteries.

They’re getting married! Lucy Richardson and Connor McNeil have announced their engagement. Their friends throw a party for the couple at Coquina Beach, close to Lucy’s beloved Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.

As they’re packing up the presents and the (few) leftovers from Josie’s Cozy Bakery, who should arrive, but Richard Eric Lewiston III, Lucy’s former almost-fiancé and his overbearing mother Evangeline. Push comes to love when Evangeline makes no secret of why she’s here: to get Lucy and Ricky back together.

Lucy isn’t temped in the least, and Ricky is nothing but embarrassed at his mother’s desperate ploy. Before returning to Boston Evangeline throws a dinner party at Jake’s Seafood Bar for a reluctant Lucy and her family. Lucy hopes to get the dinner over with and see Evangeline and Ricky returning to Boson. But when a body is found at the restaurant’s kitchen door, Lucy is again forced to unwillingly put on her detective’s hat and do what she can to save her family and her engagement. Meanwhile, the classic novel reading club is reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, and open war breaks out in the Lighthouse Library when Lucy agrees to temporarily take care of a dog named Fluffy, but Charles the library cat has other ideas.

 

 

 4 Stars

Just when Lucy starts to feel a calmness coming into her life, everything starts to hit the fan.

Deadly Ever After is a fun and entertaining edition to the Lighthouse Library Mystery Series

Lucy and Connor are happily Celebrating their engagement with family and friends when out of the blue the ex and his mother show up, uninvited, to join in the festivities. When the intentions of the visit are unveiled, Lucy wants no part of this plan whatsoever. Agreeing to what should be a farewell dinner ends up having Lucy stumble upon a dead body that hits a little too close to home. And the icing on the cake is when Charles is not happy, to put it mildly, about the visitor release he brings home has his tail on edge.

I absolutely adore The Lighthouse Library Mysteries. Deadly Ever After is fun and entertaining. The atmosphere in which the book takes place is breathtaking and somewhat calming. Even with all the chaos that goes on within the story. Eva Gates does extremely well keeping her readers attention with an interesting and well plotted mystery and characters I have come to love over several books. She is able to keep us guessing and second-guessing with the turn of a page. I love that Lucy and Connor are finally getting together and I look forward to see what their future brings.

 

 

Review: Purrfectly Dead by Dixie Lyle

 

 

Purrfectly Dead

Dixie Lyle

, Book 5

Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 27th 2021 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster is back―with her supernatural sidekicks Tango and Whiskey―to unlock the mysteries of life and death…and murder.

When zillionairess Zelda Zoransky throws a party, she means business. Foxtrot knows she’s in for a night when anything can―and will―happen. The festivities include a high-stakes showdown between two escape artists locked in a bitter rivalry. Meanwhile, Zelda is stuck in handcuffs… Can Foxtrot, her telepathic cat Tango, and her shapeshifting pooch Whiskey collectively channel their inner Houdini and make it out of the soirée alive?

PURRFECTLY DEAD

The magic turns tragic when one of the escape artists ends up dead. This is no disappearing act―it’s murder. The suspects include a scientist with a 3D printer that creates pop-culture clones, a psychedelically-impaired rock star, and a ghostly snake with a secret agenda. Now it’s up to Foxtrot, Tango, and Whiskey figure out which guest commited the crime before they reach they end of this deadly game of Clue. How will this tail end?

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

A fun, fresh and interesting cozy mystery.

Purrfectly Dead was my first experience with Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot and will definitely not be the last. Dixie Lyle has something very unique with this series and she has this reader very intrigued.

Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster is an assistant for a

super rich social life with a short attention span and extravagant tastes. Foxtrot never knows what could possibly happen when ZZ throws a party. She can never say she is lacking for excitement. Foxtrot has an unique ability to communicate with Whiskey and Tango, who are departed animals and her companions. Foxtrot is very interesting. She has the ability to get things done, smart and funny.

Purrfectly Dead is extremely interesting. I have to admit I read through the book twice before I could even try to make anything into a review. I don’t wanna say that I was confused but I need to go slower and realize what was going on. Foxtrot it’s hysterical and I love the way that she interacts with everyone. From humans to the animals to the departed animals. A different take on a who done it murder mystery but one that has you guessing with the turn of every page. I very much enjoyed the world building within the story. The Thunderbirds that control the weather is a very interesting concept and I look forward to going back and reading previous books in the series just to be a little bit more informed of what’s going on in this vast world. I will admit I was not able to figure out the who done it on this one and with the paranormal and magic aspect it made it very interesting to conclusion at the end.

From concept to completion Purrfectly Dead is an all around entertaining read.

 

 

 

Review: A Tale of Two Cookies by Eve Calder

 

A Tale of Two Cookies 

Eve Calder 

A Cookie House Mystery Series, Book 3 

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 27th 2021 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Pastry chef Kate McGuire is loving life on the laid-back island of Coral Cay, Florida. As junior partner in a bakery renowned for luscious desserts–especially her cookies–life is pretty sweet. So when an old friend arrives and announces a spur-of-the-moment beach wedding, that’s just the icing on the wedding cake.

But the groom vanishes right as a television crew descends on the town to film a hot, new realty show. Is there a connection? Is her friend Desiree somehow involved? Or did groom Judson simply get cold feet? The bride and groom were paired better than warm cookies and cold milk, so Kate doesn’t buy it.

As the show’s cast runs amok on the island and the investigation into Judson’s disappearance heats up, Kate and her pal Maxi, along with town dog Oliver, will brave the rambunctious world of reality TV and a wedding weekend gone awry, in an all-out effort to find the missing groom.

4 Stars

A visit to the Cookie House is like going home.

A Tale of Two Cookies finds Kate McGuire nicely settled into her own new home of Coral Cay. The Cookie House is doing well and Oliver is as friendly as ever! The beautiful and slow pace of the resort town it’s just what a former New York pastry chef truly needed. With cookie baking classes with the locals and her mentor and friend visiting from New York for her wedding, Kates got plenty of good times I’ve had. Until the day of the wedding when the groom is a no-show and the pieces just don’t add up. Mix in a reality TV show filming within the small town really shakes things up for Kate and the Cookie House gang.

I absolutely adore this series. A Tale of Two Cookies is like a vacation with a mystery. Author Eve Calder truly transports the reader to the gorgeous island of Coral Cay. Kate and Maxi’s friendship has developed into a strong bond and I love their interactions with each other. The townsfolk are colorful and charismatic and truly help bring the series together. Kate has a way of picking up the crumbs and putting the pieces together with the help and wisdom of the Coral Cay Irregular‘s. Kate never doubted her friend Desiree even though pieces of the puzzle would have made her look like the crazy one. I love how it seems like most of the town comes together to get to the bottom of the craziness that happens in their town. A Tale of Two Cookies is a fun and twisting Mystery that had me reading from beginning to end in one sitting. You can gobble up the story just like you can Kate’s delectable cookies. This is a fine addition to the Cookie House Mystery series and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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.