A more serious story in this cozy mystery series

Ripe For Vengeance (A Greenhouse Mystery Book 5)

By: Wendy Tyson

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the fifth book in this series which I have read. It is the story of Megan, a lawyer turned organic farmer who moved from the big city to a quieter life and who also owns a grocery/cafe in her small town.

This particular tale is a little darker and has a less humor than other books in the series. It involves a sadder tale and humor is not really easy to insert, though there are sparks of it here and there.

Megan’s boyfriend, veterinary Denver, has college friends visiting who are part of a group which is mentoring children with issues. When one of his friends turns up dead and a young man who is associated with Denver becomes the suspect, Megan becomes involved in solving the crime.

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Another murder in Amish country and Kate Burkholder investigates

Shamed: A Kate Burkholder Novel

By: Linda Castillo

Rating: 5 of 5

The Kate Burkholder mysteries are one of my long-term favorites. Kate is the Chief of Police in Painters Mill. A murder occurs, per usual, and Kate is drawn into an investigation involving the Amish community.

Kate is former Amish and left the community and while not exactly shunned, she is not generally welcomed either. This causes issues when she is investigating and she has to work her way around more problems than the police ordinarily have (which is still a lot as the Amish do not like to involve the police in their community affairs.)

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Second in a mystery thriller series involving a FBI specialist studying psychopaths

Buried: A Novel (Agent Sayer Altair)

By: Ellison Cooper

Rating: 4 of 5

I will say right off, if you are interested in this as part of a new series, you should start with the first one, which is called “Caged”. There are many clues and downright spoilers included in “Buried” that going back later and reading the first book would be anti-climatic.

Having said that, this is a book which can be read stand-alone easily. I haven’t read the first book but am trying to convince myself to go back anyway as I really enjoyed this book.

FBI agent Sayer Altair is just coming back from an injury from the previous book. She is not top-notch yet physically but is itching to get back to work. She is pulled into action a tad earlier when another FBI stumbles upon human bones while he is out at a national park walking with his cadaver dog.

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A lovely read with a slice of life view of two women

Window on the Bay: A Novel

By: Debbie Macomber

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the story of two women who are starting over in life as middle age approaches.

Jenna is an intensive care nurse who divorced her surgeon husband decades earlier. She has spent her life, since then, focusing on raising her two children, Paul and Allie. Now, both children are off to college, though her ties to both are still deep.

Maureen is a librarian and married while still in college when she she became pregnant with her daughter, Tori. The marriage didn’t work out and she has been single ever since.

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First book in the funny Vicky Bliss mystery series by Elizabeth Peters

Borrower of the Night: (Vicky Bliss Mysteries Book 1)

By: Elizabeth Peters

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve read most of the novels written by Elizabeth Peters. Ms. Peters wrote her fiction under several pseudonyms, of which, Elizabeth Peters is arguably the most well-known.

While the Amelia Peabody books are the series that many people have read, one of my favorite series by this author is the Vicky Bliss mysteries. There are many less books in the series but I recommend that you start reading with this, the first one.

In this book, Vicky Bliss is introduced. Vicky is an art historian and, when confronted with the chance to solve a art mystery, she jumps in with both feet.

She is also in competition with her sometimes boyfriend as well as others. She heads off to the small town and castle Rothenburg in Germany. There, the competition heats up and then whodunnits are added into the fray.

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A funny mystery that made me very hungry for biscuits

Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)

By: Mary Lee Ashford

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the second book in the Sugar and Spice Mystery series. I started reading this book first, got a couple of pages in, then went and bought the first book because I could tell just that quickly that I was going to enjoy this series. This book can be read stand-alone, but I recommend reading the series in order so you can understand how the characters developed and where it all began.

Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer have a fairly new business which publishes community cookbooks for special groups. They are always hustling for the next job with Sugar the business end and Dixie the blue ribbon cook.

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A good summer read with a focus on teenage years

Surfside Sisters: A Novel

By: Nancy Thayer

Rating: 4 of 5

This is a story about two childhood friends. Keeley and Isabelle. Keeley was middle class and Isabelle was from a rich family. The two things they had in common was that they lived in the same Nantucket town and they both wanted to be famous writers when they grew up.

Their common interest kept them together until a romantic interest tore them apart. At that point, the lives moved apart rapidly and for what seemed like forever.

Keely managed to make her dream come true and is a famous author. When events in her life turn her in circles, she retreats back to Nantucket to help her mother.

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A funny new mystery series including some great recipes

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery Book 1)

By: Mary Lee Ashford

Rating: 5 of 5

I started to read the second book in this series (in a pre-release format) and got only a couple of pages in and decided, because it was so good and so funny, I had to read the series in order.

This is the first in the Sugar & Spice Mystery series. Sugar (aka Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway) and Dixie Spicer (aka Spice) have opened a new business in publishing local focus cookbooks.

Sugar has the business smarts and worked for a larger publishing firm until the business ran into problems and had to cut many employees, including Sugar. Dixie is a first class book and has won many blue ribbons. She is also a widow of one year.

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Such a funny murder mystery – with Amish and candy – lots of candy!

Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Book 4)

By: Amanda Flower

Rating: 5 of 5

This is such a fun mystery series. Bailey King is the granddaughter of an Amish family. Her father left the faith but Bailey has come back to Harvest, Ohio, to help her Amish grandmother run the family sweets shop.

Bailey is a chocolatier of the first notch but is glad to have left the fast city life of New York City behind her for most of the year.

This is the fourth full length book in the series (there is also a 3.5 short length novel as well.) I started by reading a few pages in this book and enjoyed it so well, I went looking for the earlier books in the series before reading any further.

I’ve now read the prior books in order and recommend doing that as the characters and their relationships build slowly over the course of the books. It can be read stand-alone, however, I think you would find the most enjoyment out of getting to really know Bailey and crew.

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A heart-pounding thriller that involves a parent’s worst fear

Wherever She Goes: A Novel

By: Kelley Armstrong

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first novel I have read by Kelley Armstrong. As soon as I finished it, I went looking to see if she had other books in a similar genre. It appears that she generally writes paranormal books, which is why I had never heard of her before. My hope is that she will write more urban-style thrillers as this one was so compelling and well-written, I can hardly wait to read more of books that are similar in style. As I don’t read paranormal books, I will have to wait.

In this book, which is a thriller mystery, Aubrey Finch (aka Bree) is working part-time at a library. She is newly separated from her husband, Paul, who is a well-to-do lawyer. She has left her daughter with her husband until she is able to provide a better living space for her.

She misses her daughter and often takes her run through a park which includes a children’s play area. One day, she happens across a young mother and her son and chats with them a bit.

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