Category Archives: Book Reviews

A fun to read cozy murder mystery

Death of a Blueberry Tart (Hayley Powell Mystery Book 12)

By: Lee Hollis

Rating: 4 of 5

This is the first book that I have read in this series. I’ve been reading another series by Lee Hollis and this book was exactly what I would’ve expected from this author team.

The story picks up shortly after Haley has married. She and her husband are about to embark on their delayed honeymoon when her mother shows up out of the blue. They are still planning on going on their cruise but have worked out having her mother stay and take care of their pets.

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Latest entry in cozy mystery series set in Ireland

Execution in E (A Gethsemane Brown Mystery Book 5)

By: Alexia Gordon

Rating: 4 of 5

I have read almost all of the books in the series. It is a series that I have enjoyed. In this most recent book, the story is told a little bit differently than previous books. In this book, there is more dialogue than description. While that is not one of my favorite book devices, it does work for the story.

The lighthouse, which is by the cottage that Gethsemane Brown rents, has been taken over by a wedding entourage. The bride and groom-to-be are both social media influencers and are aiming to get the best photos for them to post. Although the bride is quite wealthy, she is still looking for sponsors to pay for much of her wedding and to get lucrative sponsorship deals for the future.

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Wedding plans go awry

Shake Down (An Elliott Lisbon Mystery Book 5)

By: Kendel Lynn

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve read a couple of books in this series and have enjoyed them. I plan on going back to the first book and filling in all the continuing plot points that I have missed by not having read them all.

Still, this is a book that can easily be read stand-alone. It doesn’t rely on previous books and does give brief information of things that went before without giving spoilers for the earlier books.

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A slice of life story about five different individuals

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

By: Rachel Hauck

Rating: 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this slice of life story about five individuals who were invited anonymously to a story society. The people in the book are quite different from each other except for one thing: they are each in the midst of a struggle. There are past struggles and current ones but they each are looking for something.

They get together and aren’t thrilled to begin with. There is a wealthy businesswoman, an Uber driver, an elderly man who wants to write about a book about his life with his late wife and a man and a woman who were divorced a couple of years before.

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Coffee, Movies and Murder, who could ask for more?

My Fair Latte (A Cafe Cinema Mystery Book 1)

By: Vickie Fee

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a really great start to a new fun mystery series. It is set in an old-time movie cinema in the town of Utopia Springs, Arkansas.

Halley Greer has just inherited the cinema from her uncle who she just barely remembers from a visit when she was quite young. She is both shocked at the bequest and then shocked again at the the condition of the cinema and the apartment she moves into which is on the upper floor of the cinema.

Let’s just say that Uncle Leon was the best housekeeper on the block. Maybe the worst but certainly not the best.

Halley doesn’t have much choice as she is unemployed and her former roommate had left her in the lurch without paying two months of rent.

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Hi-jinks abound in San Nicholas at the Pie Town bakery

Pies before Guys (A Pie Town Mystery Book 4)

By: Kirsten Weiss

Rating: 5 of 5

This series has quickly become one of my favorites. It is crazy funny with lots of characters who hi-jinks are outrageous. Each book is better than the last and since they are all great, that is saying something.

In this story, Val (the owner of Pie Town) has allowed one of her employees the use of Pie Town after hours for a poetry slam. There are a number of poets present, including Professor Starke. After the event, the professor is found murdered just a few steps away from the bakery.

Val and her fantastic pie crust specialist and landlord, Charlene are on the case. They are the Baker Street Bakers and usually solve much smaller crimes. However, when a murder threatens Pie Town, they gear up for the case.

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Maggie’s life has been turned upside down

The King’s Justice: A Maggie Hope Mystery

By: Susan Elia MacNeal

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the ninth book in the Maggie Hope mystery series. In this story, Maggie has turned her life upside down. Because of her spying efforts in the War, and because of her near miss at being one of a serial killers victims, she has turned to something other than fighting the war.

She is still doing her part by diffusing unexploded bombs that litter the landscape in London. It is a hard job and one that is generally filled by conscientious objectors. A number of these are the British citizens of Italian descent. Rather than fight their families in the war, they turn to other ways of helping.

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It’s the holiday season in this funny mystery series

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery Book 6)

By: J.C. Eaton

Rating: 5 of 5

It’s the holiday season in Sun City West, the retirement community where most of the action in this series takes place. It starts with Halloween, moves rapidly to Thanksgiving and finishes off with Christmas.

What better way to celebrate the season than dressing up your dog to be a contestant in the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza costume contest? At least, that is what Sophie Kimball (know to most as Phee) finds that is her mother’s way of celebrating the holidays.

Streeman, the dog in question, throws everything for a loop when he finds a dead body in the backyard of the house just behind his owner’s. Phee is brought in to investigate even though she is just an accountant at a private detective agency. That doesn’t make a bit of difference to her mother who insists Phee must have some investigative skills that rubbed off in the course of her work.

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Another great book; a transitional story in this long-term mystery series

Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery Book 11)

By: Annelise Ryan

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a series that I started mid-way through and had no problems picking it up. I did go back and read a couple of the first books as well. Having said all of that, I believe that this book is more transitional and it would be helpful to read some of the earlier books first. You can read it stand-alone but some of the nuances of the relationships might be better understood with a background of the storyline.

Mattie is medicolegal death investigator (medical examiner) who assists the forensic pathologist in figuring out cause of death. In her case, she is also responsible for assisting the police with forensic evidence found at the scene if a crime has been committed.

Mattie teams up often with her husband, Steve, who is a homicide detective. In this story, she doesn’t work with him as much as previous books. She is more or less out there on her own and it proves to be a serious issue.

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Amusing look at murder and mayhem at a family gathering at Christmas

Murder at Melrose Court: A 1920s Country House Murder (Heathcliff Lennox Book 1)

By: Karen Baugh Menuhin

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book I have read by author Karen Baugh Menuhin. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I am glad I took the chance with the book.

It was both funny and a good whodunnit cozy mystery. I laughed out loud many times during my reading and, while I figured out the whodunnit, I wasn’t quite so sure of the whydunnit.

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