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Review: Tea and Treachery by Vicki Delany

 

Tea and Treachery 

Vicki Delany

Tea By The Sea Mysteries, Book 1

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam . . .

As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.

Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

 

Tea and Treachery is a charming and funny start to the Tea by the Sea Mysteries.

 

 

Lily Robert is the owner and Confectionery goddess of Tea by the Sea. An amazing re-creation of a traditional English tea room. She also provides her culinary skills to her grandmother’s B&B, Victoria by the Sea. Keeping up with her grandma is a full time job in itself. Lily is a hardworking and her favorite place to be is in a kitchen backing. Her best friend Bernie is a bit undecided about life but she is trying to work her way through it. She’s loyal, willing, larger than life and funny. Grandma Rose is a hysterical riot. She is on the brass side but somehow that just works for her. An elderly english woman who’s set ih her ways, not afraid to speak her mind, has an opinion for just about everything and can cause trouble like a teenager. I can see many more entertaining moments coming from Grandma Rose. Being a romance fan first and foremost, I really enjoyed the playfulness of the English Gardner Simon.

 

 

Tea and Treachery is an entertaining, well plotted fantastic beginning to what is going to be a fun and charming series. The setting of Cape Cod It’s brought to life on the page through beautiful descriptions that allow the reader to transport themselves to another place. The characters are entertaining and charming. Each character throughout the story has a distinctive personality that contributes to the enjoyment factor overall. The mystery was well plotted and very believable. I love the way Lily and Rose go about getting to the truth of the matter. Tea and Treachery will keep you on your toes guessing and really wanting some tea with a scone.

 

 

 

Review: A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber

 

A Sprinkling of Murder 

Daryl Wood Gerber

A Fairy Garden Mystery, Book 1 

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: June 30th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

 

Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she’s starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

A Sprinkling of Murder is an enchanting beginning to the magical new Fairy Garden Mystery. 

 

Open Your Imagination is Courtney Kelly’s wonderfully popular fairy garden shop. A place that allows one to believe. Courtney is a charming woman who is creative and a bit nosy. With an ex cop for a father, a fairy on probation on her shoulder and a ragdoll cat in tow, Courtney will make you a believer in fairies without even trying. When a neighboring business owner is found dead In Courtney’s shop, she finds herself at the top of the suspect list and a non stop determination to find out who the real killer is. Maybe a little fairy magic is just what she needs. 

 

A Sprinkling of Murder is a fun and whimsical cozy that will keep you thinking. The plot is a puzzle that seems like the pieces change as they are trying to fit in place.  Courtney is a very likable character and I love that she carries her cat, Pixie, with her as if she were a dog. I love the way her mind thinks up scenarios and she tries to figure out if they are feasible or not.  Courtney’s persistence never falters even though she’s a prime suspect.  The mystery is just one of the great elements of the story.  The setting is cozy and has plenty of charm. The love that we learn about the fairies as Courtney does. I love that there’s just enough paranormal to make you think but not so overwhelming that you can’t believe it.   

 

Daryl Wood Gerber has a unique and entertaining beginning to her Fairy Garden Mystery series with A Sprinkling of Murder. I can’t want for the next magical mystery.

 

Review: Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse

Kate Young

Marygene Brown Mystery Series, Book 2

Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 26th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

On Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, a killer is serving up a two-for-one special . . .

After their mama’s passing, Marygene Brown returned to Peach Cove Island to help her sister Jena Lynn run the family diner, renowned for its homemade peach desserts. But Mama is never too far away–her sassy spirit haunts the island, and more specifically Marygene. Lately Mama has been warning her that the dead will seek her out to solve their murders, an idea Marygene is far from peachy keen on.

But that prophecy appears to be coming true when she goes skinny-dipping off the island and swims right into a woman’s charred corpse floating in the waves. And when Marygene and her brother Sam come upon a second burned bodSoury in a wine cellar at an event they’re catering, it appears they have a double homicide on their hands. It soon turns out the victims have more in common than their charred remains, and Marygene will need to double down to find a killer who has no aversion to playing with fire. Good thing Mama has her back . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

 

 

4 Stars

A highly enjoyable small town cozy with a paranormal twist.

Marygene Brown is a strong woman, who has seen and been through a lot. She has returned home to take her place in the family business while the ghost of her mother guides her in an unknown family legacy. Still feeling the effects of a divorce and settling into a new way of life Marygene takes on the task of helping departed spirits pass on and bring justice to the crimes committed upon them. Willingly or not.

It’s one thing to stumble upon a body while swimming in the ocean but stumbling upon another while doing your job makes you think a bit harder. Marygene finds herself right in the middle of a decades-long mystery. With two dead bodies, her father being the local law, a new officer that she can’t quite figure out in the spirits of those departed knocking on her door, while reluctant when it comes to the spirit side Marygene proves to be a fantastic amateur sleuth in her own unique way. She learns Quickly that the little town she lives in has more secrets than she could’ve known.

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse is a fun and unique cozy mystery. Marygene and her sister Jena Lynn are a fun and entertaining pair. Along with Eddie(father), good friend Besty who is hysterical, the cast of characters alone are entertaining. The story is filled with southern charm and a lot of sass. The mystery has some twists that definitely keep you thinking yet add to the entertainment value of the story. Kate Young made a fan of me with just one read.

 

Review: Pies before Guys by Kirsten Weiss

Pies Before Guys
Kirsten Weiss
A Pie Town Mystery, Book 4
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Kensington

 

Val’s crime-solving club digs into a piping hot new case!

A poetry slam at a bakery? Why not! Even though Pie Town proprietor Val Harris would rather be spending time with her newfound half-brother, she knows her employee, Abril, is beyond excited to be hosting the event. Especially since it stars the apple pie of Abril’s eye, poet and professor Michael Starke. But the evening ends on a sour note when Professor Starke is found murdered mere moments after being accused of plagiarism.

Just like that, Pie Town is at the center of another criminal inquiry. At Abril’s request—and much to Detective Carmichael’s consternation—Val and Charlene decide to investigate Starke’s death. But the case is as tough as an overworked crust and the Baker Street Bakers are only coming up with scraps. If they don’t pinch the cultured killer soon, Pie Town’s reputation could crumble.

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

If the title doesn’t get you the story will.

 

Do poetry and pies go together? Well maybe if the poetry was a little bit better and we didn’t end up with a murder on the plate. Val and her lovely and delicious pic shop host a poetry slam that gives readers a not your typical cozy.

 

Val and Charlene are coworkers and friends and have this thing for solving crime. Charlene is an instigator and likes to have fun with people. Val has a way of going along with what Charlene suggests. These two get themselves into trouble easier than they can make a pie. And when you think they can’t get any deeper into the crust, yes they just did. They are over the top and hysterical to boot.

 

Pies Before Guys is a laughter out loud, jaw dropping, outside the norm of cozy mystery. It did take me a bit to really get into the story but the comical content sure than made up for it. Kristen Weiss twisted this mystery right and I was shocked when the who done it was revealed. Pies before Guys is an enjoyable read.

 

Review: Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut by Sarah Graves

Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut

Sarah Graves

A Death by Chocolate Mystery, Book 3

Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
When a pirate festival blows into their small town, bakeshop owners Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie White expect they’ll be busy baking up a storm, but instead they find themselves marooned in a new murder investigation after someone kills a well-known food writer and TV personality . . .

Everything is shipshape at Jake and Ellie’s new waterfront bakery, The Chocolate Moose, especially now that the annual Pirate Festival is dropping anchor in their quaint island village of Eastport, Maine. Jake and Ellie are ready for the bounty of tourists sure to flood their shop. But their plans quickly sink when the body of celebrity foodie, Henry Hadlyme, is discovered in the Moose’s basement.

Jake and Ellie are horrified, but their shock turns to dismay when Jake is pegged for the murder. Now, to clear Jake’s name and save the shop, Jake and Ellie must swashbuckle down and figure out who among Henry’s numerous enemies scuttled him in the cellar. Was it a long-ago jilted sweetheart’s vengeful relative? His long-suffering personal assistant? Or perhaps some bitter-as-dark-chocolate unknown enemy, now aboard the mysterious ship lurking in Eastport’s harbor?

Alas, dead men tell no tales, so Jake and Ellie will have to get to the bottom of the case on their own and find the real killer before anyone else is forced to walk the plank . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

Sarah Graves kept me guessing until the end.

Jake and Ellie are quite the pair. Not only can they bake the goodness of good, they are quirky and fun. The pair seem to have no problem finding themselves in the deepests of troubles. When a TV foodie makes his way into their sweet little town, Jake has no issue standing up for her fellow townspeople when Henry starts talking trash about the food of their town during the pirate festival. When the body of this not so nice food he turns up in the basement of the girls shop, The Moose, the trouble these two get into so well just started up all over again.

Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut is the third book of the Death by Chocolate mysteries and my first read of the series. Sarah Graves grabs readers attention with a well written story, a twisting, keep you guessing plot and fantastic characters. I liked how the author weaved in Jake’s background for new readers without overdoing it for already established readers of the series. Ms. Graves keeps a fast pace and a good bit of adventure within the unwinding of this twisted mystery. From the quaint setting of the town, to the wonderful and charismatic characters and all the yummy goodness described within the pages it’s a good read no matter how you look at it. This is new to me Author got a new fan with Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut.

 

Review: A View to a Kilt by Kaitlyn Dunnett

A View to a Kilt

Kaitlyn Dunnett

Liss MacMrimmon Mysteries, Book 13

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington

A series of blizzards have kept tourists away from Moosetookalook, Maine, and shoppers out of Liss MacCrimmon’s Scottish Emporium. But as warmer weather brings promises of tartan sales and new faces, melting snow reveals cold-blooded murder . . .

Liss has suddenly found herself in charge of the March Madness Mud Season Sale, a town-wide celebration created to boost the local economy during the slushy weeks of early spring. With businesses ailing after a rough winter, the pressure is on to make this year’s effort the can’t-miss-event of the season. But before Liss can get her hands dirty, her husband makes a horrifying discovery. There’s a dead man on their property, and he didn’t die of natural causes . . .

Stunned by the murder mystery developing in her own backyard, Liss receives another shock. The victim is identified as Charlie MacCrimmon, an uncle believed to have died eleven years before Liss was born. No one has seen or heard from Charlie since he went off to fight in Vietnam. What secrets could he have been hiding for so many years, and who would want to kill a man long thought to be dead?

Enlisting the help of her family, Liss uncovers more questions than answers as she delves into her uncle’s murky past. One thing is clear—before he met his end, Uncle Charlie was desperately trying to warn her about something sinister. And unless Liss can soon track down a maniacal criminal as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster, she just might be the next MacCrimmon to disappear . . .

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Liss seems to find herself tangled into trouble whether she is trying or not. She’s a fun and strong woman that has a caring streak that runs deep. Lover of cats and amateur sleuth, she will make you laugh while getting the information she wants.  She’s a small town girl will a mind that thinks outside the box. A wonderful main character.

 

A View to a Kilt was a fun cozy read. Ms. Dunnett keeps the reader going with a well developed, keep you thinking plot.  You can tell this was part of a long going series, however new readers like myself are easily about to jump right in and not feel lost. I love when the town or setting of the book is almost like a character. Moosetookalook is an interesting town with personality and flair.  The residents are even more so. Small towns are always full of secrets and sometimes they end up in your own backyard. The backyard is Liss’ this time and hits close to home. From the quaintness of the town, to the colorful personalities of the people within it, to a plot that spins an excellent tale, Ms. Dunnett’s A View to a Kilt was a one sit read for me.

 

 

 

Review: The Book Of Candlelight by Ellery Adams

The Book Of Candle Light

Ellery Adams

Secret, Book, & Scone Society Series, Book 3

Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington

In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixtysomething Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

The Book of Candlelight is a wonderfully written cozy mystery with a big helping of romance add in.

 

Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, has made a few mistakes of which she is not proud of, yet owns up to. She is a book whisperer. Her able to connect a person with a book of their liking is a very nice trait to have. Nora is complex in all the right ways. Learning from her mistakes and moving on with life through new friendships with other holding secrets of their own and her love of pastries and books.

 

When the death of a local potter during a monstrous storm goes from appearing to be an accident, Nora has other thoughts. With her eye for detail, a newcomer that makes fabulous Cuban coffee and her friends in the Secret, Book and Scone club, Nora takes a few steps into the past to figure out what is happening with someone’s future.

 

The Book of Candlelight is a highly enjoyable mix of romance and cozy mystery. The characters are Thoroughly developed and you can tell the author spent a lot of time and effort on all things pertaining to those characters. The plot is solid and kept the story moving along nicely. I loved the atmosphere of Miracle Books.  The author has easily transported the reader into the pages of The Book of Candlelight giving them a cozy place to settle and take it all in. I enjoyed getting to know and see Nora in action. Ellery Adams made a fan of this reader in one book.