Mango, Mambo and Murder
Raquel V. Reyes
A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery, Book 1
Food anthropologist Miriam Quinones-Smith’s move from New York to Coral Shores, Miami, is traumatic enough without having to deal with her son’s toddler tantrums and her husband’s midlife crisis. Her best friend, Alma, adds some spice back into Miriam’s life when she offers her a job as an on-air cooking expert on a Spanish-language morning TV show. But when the newly minted star attends a Women’s Club luncheon, a socialite sitting at her table suddenly falls face-first into the chicken salad, never to nibble again.
When a second woman dies soon after, suspicions coalesce around a controversial Cuban herbalist, Dr. Fuentes–especially after the morning show’s host collapses while interviewing him. But then, Detective Pullman learns that the socialite’s death resulted from a drug overdose–and an anonymous tip fingers Alma as the pusher.
Pullman persuades Miriam to ply her culinary know-how and her understanding of Coral Shores’s Caribbean culture to help find the killer and clear Alma’s name. While her hubby dallies with his ex-girlfriend, Juliet, Miriam quizzes her neighbors for answers and researches all manner of herbs.
As the ingredients to the deadly scheme begin blending together, Miriam is on the verge of learning how and why the women died. But her snooping may turn out to be a recipe for her own murder
A fun and twisting cozy mystery.
There are so many good things about Mango, Mambo and Murder. First, I absolutely love Miriam. And seeing things through her perspective definitely allowed me to get wrapped up and lost in this book. She is definitely a strong character that is going on a crazy roller coaster ride. Second, the cast of characters for the story. Such a mix of personality and culture. Some will make you crazy and some you can’t help but to love. Third, the cooking and recipes. Being someone who loves to cook, this story helped open my eyes to something new. Miriam goes from the happiest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of chapters. Moving to a new place, reacquainting with long lost family members, a best friend he’s got herself on shaky ground and a husband that she’s not quite sure what is up to. Miriam handles all of this with the cutest little toddler in tow.
Mango, Mambo and Murder is a fun read. Even with the twists I did figure out the who done it. Yet I do feel like author Raquel V. Reyes does a fantastic job letting the reader get to know her characters and setting up the series. Ms. Reyes uses quite a bit of Spanish within the text of the story and does a very good job of giving clues around what is being said. However I did have to translate a few of the phrases because I was not sure yet that did not take away from the story for me. It just took me a little longer to read just so I knew what was going on. This is a fun and unique start so what I’m thinking is going to be a very fun series.
Matchmaker Bay Series, Book 3
From the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a hilarious and heartwarming romance about two enemies whose feud turns red-hot.
Maya Mehta will do anything to save her tiny, beloved community theater. Put on musicals she hates? Check. Hire an arrogant former-pop-star-turned-actor? Done. But what Maya really needs to save her theater is Matchmaker Bay’s new business grant. She’s got some serious competition, though: Benjamin “Law” Lawson, local bar owner, Jerk Extraordinaire, and Maya’s annoyingly hot arch nemesis. Let the games begin.
Law loves nothing more than getting under Maya’s skin, and making those gorgeous eyes dance with irritation. But when he discovers the ex-pop star has a thing for Maya, too, Law decides he’s done waiting in the wings-starting with a scorching-hot kiss. Turns out there’s a thin line between hate and irresistible desire, and Maya and Law are really good at crossing it. But when things heat up, will they allow their long-standing feud to get in the way of their growing feelings?
There is nothing better than an enemies to lovers story. Sandcastle Beach is a fun and witty slow burn romance.
If you have read any of the previous books in the series or even if you are a newcomer, you will soon find that the witty banter and the enemies to no end are just the steppingstones to the beginnings of this romance.
Maya and Law have been going back-and-forth with each other for years. Their witty banter and constant rivalry makes you truly wonder what emotions they have for each other underneath. When a competition for a large amount of money happens within their small town to help out a small business it’s game on for both of them. It’s a fine line between love and hate and these two may have just stepped over the line.
Jenny Holiday will make you laugh and fall in love all of the same time. Maya and Law are riot together. Their constant going at each other built so much tension in so many ways. Crossing that line just maybe the best thing for them. Maya and Law find their way together in a way that only they could do. Jenny Holiday gives readers another entertaining visit to Matchmaker Bay
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder
Hannah Swensen Mysteries Series, Book 27
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!
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.
A Curious Incident
Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 6
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.
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.
Our Italian Summer
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst comes a new women’s fiction novel featuring three generations of Ferrari women who need to heal the broken pieces of their lives…and one trip of a lifetime through Italy.
Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother’s wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. What she never expected was to be faced with the choice of a lifetime. . . .
Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.
Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it’s too late.
A spectacular story…
Three generations of women who love each other dearly yet don’t always see eye to eye. Francesca- a workaholic who hardly has time for herself yet alone her family. Allegra who is in those pivotal years between teenager and adult trying to figure out who she is and what she wants in life. She knows she doesn’t wanna be like her mother. Sophia hates seeing her girls suffer and yet holds a secret of her own. She knows she must take action before it’s too late and her family falls apart. The trip of a lifetime. A tour of Italy. Each of the women agree to go but each with a different reason why. Little did they know their lives would change so much in one short month.
Through beautiful cities, amazing food, breathtaking churches, small villages and a handful of extraordinary people three women, three generations found a way to come together. To solidify a bond that was deeper than they realize they had. Yes, there were some rocky moments and ugly words were uttered yet they each found a part of themselves through their Italian Summer journey. Something life changing that allowed each of them to get outside of their own heads and figure out something deep within themselves. In the process it allowed a grandmother, a mother and a daughter to bond in a way that would not have seemed feasible just weeks prior.
I loved Our Italian Summer. A fantastic story of family, love and adventure. Learning to let go and being willing to take a chance. Knowing it ok to have some fun and it’s ok to shed tears when needed. Jennifer Probst hits you in all the right spots with Our Italian Summer. It was not just a story, but a journey that me completely rooting for these women to find their happiness.
Looking for a Cowboy
Heart of Texas Series, Book 5
A cowboy finds love in the most unlikely place in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s newest Heart of Texas novel, Looking for a Cowboy
A beautiful stranger has come to Clearview, asking questions that are nobody’s business. Cooper Owens also wasn’t born yesterday. He knows that this out-of-towner is hiding a dark secret of her own. Much as he knows he should head in the other direction, he can’t make himself turn away. . .
P.I. Marlee Frampton always wanted to lead a nice quiet life, working as a cop in her local police department. But that dream came to an end when her sister was murdered―and her baby kidnapped. Now Marlee’s come to Texas to investigate the Harpers, who may be linked to shady adoption agencies. Cooper can’t believe that his friends could be involved in anything so sinister…and soon he makes it his mission to help Marlee discover the truth―and keep her safe in his arms.
Have you ever had a book hit you out of left field and hit you like a ton of bricks, in the best reading way of course? I went into reading Looking for a Cowboy with no expectations other than to get lost in a book for a few hours. Did I get lost, you ask? It was so much more. Looking for a Cowboy consumed me in every way that a reader loves to be consumed in a book.
Marlee Frampton is smart, cunning and determined. This woman took the worst event of her life and made it a mission to help right these wrongs. She’s like a wall of glass and steel all in one. The amount of compassion within her is amazing yet what she does is a constant reminder of her own loss. She’s too brave for her own good. Yet that is one of her best qualities. There is not time or room for love in her life yet sometimes a girls got to be good to herself. That goodness just may have become a thing she needs most.
Cooper Owens is a genuine good man. As loyal as they come. He may not be settled into a career but what he does for others more than makes up for it. A man who believes friends are family and would do anything for them. When a PI starts snooping in on his beloved friends, Cooper gets to the down, Only to find out the situation is much bigger than him. But that lovely PI, has got him twisted in a way or two. Cooper calls on the troops to do what they do best and tries to get the girl to believe in love at first sight.
Looking for a Cowboy is an emotionally charged story with subject matter that some will find extremely delicate and dark. Within also lies a story of determination, hope and love. Ms. Grant has given readers a story that I was compelled to read and not stop until I was finished. The suspense and the twist of the story will get you one way and the emotions and romance will get you in another. The loyalty of friendship and family is something unbreakable and a force to be reckoned with. This story will take you from the most brutal of loss to a profound happiness. I haven’t had a book take me like this in quite some time and I have to say it was quite unexpected, and I couldn’t be more happy. Looking for a Cowboy is definitely a recommended read from me.
Dark Protector Series, Book 12
Vampire soldier Adare O’Cearbhaill’s default setting is cranky. Or irritated. Or down-right hostile. Still, as a Highlander of honor and duty he stepped up to save an enhanced and special human female by mating her—with merely a bite and a brand. The last person he wants in his life is a fragile human, yet he can’t get her out of his mind as she regains her strength before taking off for parts unknown. And when he discovers she is in danger, nothing can stop him from hunting her down—whether she likes it or not.
There’s only one way to find out . . .
Photographer Grace Cooper has had it with vampires, demons, and the rest of an immortal world she was happier not knowing about. She also doesn’t believe she’s destined for some great battle because of an old birthmark. Forget the fact that her mate is the sexiest thing on two stubborn feet, or that her brand is fading along with her health. She’ll handle things on her own—until an old enemy reappears and she learns the only way to stay alive is to actually mate, wild sex and all, with that ripped and dangerous Adare—a powerful, captivating Highlander who demands nothing less than everything . .
Grace got thrown into the supernatural world to safe her life. Determined to have nothing to do with that world and way of life, Grace has kept her distance. As iron willed and stubborn as she is, there are things she can’t control and with her life on the line again, steps back through a door that never really closed on her.
Adare is warrior alpha, one of the seven and a protector to the core. Adare saves Grace’s life yet lost a mate. As typical of most men it takes them a long time to be able to express their feelings and he allowed her to walk away years ago. He may have expressed what he did as a sense of duty, but deep down, in my mind, he knew she was for him.
We have a fiercely strong and protective alpha warrior and a highly independent woman who can stand her ground. A duty may have brought them together, yet they have kept themselves apart. Five years pass and Grace finds herself in a predicament and Adare is more than willing to do what it takes to protect her and to convince her give into the bond of matting this time.
Guardians Grace is an action packed, sizzling hot read. Ms. Zanetti gave readers a different kind of story with Adare and Grace. These two Razzle each other up like no other. Their banter was on point. The chemistry was beyond the boiling point yet as stubborn kept them away. Which made me want to slap them both upside the head at different point through out their story. What I can say is this- the battles are intense, the lovin’ is hot and two very strong and hardheaded people were able to find their way back to each other.
Christmas Cupcake Murder
Hannah Swensen Series, book 26
A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery
While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .
The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!
It has been a long time since I have dipped into a Hannah Swensen novel. I enjoyed the Christmas Cupcake Murder was a bit of a step back into time and allowed me to see these wonderful characters beginning to come into their own and getting to know them all over again.
Lake Eden, Minnesota is all in gear for the festivities that come along with the Christmas season. The baking is a foot at The Cookie Jar while a homeless man, suffering from memory loss stumbles upon Hannah’s bakery step willing to work in exchange for food. Hannah does what she does best, Offers a cozy environment, a sweet treat, something warm to drink and a bit of conversation and companionship. Days later while inspecting a building that could possibly become an antique shop, Hannah and her mother stumble upon the same homeless man in dire straits. They spring into action getting “John Doe” The help he needs and begin to unravel the mystery of who he is and where he’s from.
Christmas Cupcake Murder was a fun and entertaining read allowing me to get reacquainted with these characters. The story shows the beginnings of the good characteristics and qualities that readers have come to love within these characters. When it came to finding John Doe’s past , It was like a needle in the haystack yet they never gave up, persisted and slowly were able to put the pieces in place. Honestly the mystery was an OK part of the story, I really loved the family drama between Hannah, her mother and her sisters, all the delectable recipes that I am trying to figure out a way to make gluten-free and Revisiting a small cozy town that I haven’t been to in a while. revisiting a small Coseytown that I haven’t been to in a while. If you’re looking for something pretty high on mystery this unfortunately is not going to be the right for you but if you’re a long time fan of this author and series It was one of those little treats the authors like to drop us every once in a while.
Checked Out for Murder
Haunted Library Mysteries, Book 4
Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook’s fourth Haunted Library mystery.
Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she’s a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there’s more to Daphne than she lets on.
The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne’s brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie’s overbearing mother hits town. Mom’s much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that’s lensing locally, and she’s there to keep an eye on him: Tom’s costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fianc�e, and there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.
Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne’s mean ex-husband? Carrie’s sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?
A psychic, a ghost and a movie cast walk into a library……. Well not really walk into a library but all three are the makings of a good mystery
Carrie is the programs and events director for the Clover Ridge library. Her little town has a lot going on and is filled with excitement and anticipation for the movie about to be filmed. Along with the excitement of the movie, Carrie is approached by a patron who is wanting to give a program on psychic abilities and her mother is in town as her husband is an actor in the movie. If things were already all over the place add in not one but two murders to place the icing on the cake. So to speak. Carrie can’t help but want to help find out who’s wreaking havoc in their small cozy town.
Checked Out for Murder is an engaging and fast paced read with a lot of fun characters. Carrie is a fun lead. She goes out of her way to those she cares for and admits her faults. With a little bit of luck and some ghostly help, Carrie seems to get to the bottom of what is going on. I loved Smokey Joe the cat and Evelyn the Ghost. Both played an important role to Carrie and they just add that extra to the story. The story is well written and entertaining. The plot had layers that unfolded complexities well weaves within the story. I also love that there was a romance within the story.
All in all I enjoy Checked Out for Murder. The Haunted Library Mysteries series is one I can see myself going back and reading previous titles.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
A Cajun Country Mystery, Book 6
Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.
Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.
Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.
When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.
A delightful and fun cozy mystery with a Halloween theme great for kicking off the fall season. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was a Great distraction for a lazy day of reading.
Maggie is not a fan of Halloween, yet goes along with her family along with other B&B owners hosting Halloween theme weekend to help bring more business to their businesses. What should be fun and pleasant weekends turn into mayham and murder. Not to mention some appearances made by fabled, bayou creatures just to spice up the mix a little bit more. If that wasn’t enough Maggie has out of town distant relatives that are just not quite The kind of people she was expecting. Pelican, Louisiana maybe a small town but it sure got a lot going on.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was my first visit with the characters of the Cajun Country Mysteries and will not not be my last. Not only was the story entering, the mystery kept you guessing and the plot was solid. The characters are well developed and fun. The setting is like being transported to a different place. With everything that’s going on in the world right now I feel it’s important for myself to be able to get lost in a book. Author Ellen Byron does just that. I felt like I was right in the bayou with Crozets. The only thing missing was the delectable food that we read about through the pages of this entertaining book.