7 Followers
23 Following
LisaK

LisaKsBookReviews

Reviews for Cozy Mysteries.

And Death Goes To...

And Death Goes To... - Laura Bradford

AND DEATH GOES TO…

Book 3 in the Tobi Tobias Mysteries

By Laura Bradford

 

What a joy to get to read another Tobi Tobias Mystery!

 

Just when you think author Laura Bradford can’t possibly outdo herself, she does! AND DEATH GOES TO… is the best book in this series so far. All outside distraction was a mere whisper in the background as I lost myself in this wonderful tale.

 

The more I read of these characters, the harder it is to leave them and their world once the story is over. Protagonist Tobi is brilliant. I could spend time talking with her all day. Grandpa Stu is my guy. I simply adore him. I got to see a different side of him in this book, and just wanted to give him a hug.

 

Ms. Bradford always manages to bring so many levels to her stories. Laugh out loud moments, the tenderness of romance, and of course, the drama of murder. And speaking of murder…Wow! From the unique way the victim was killed (haven’t seen it in a cozy before), through the following investigation, AND DEATH GOES TO… was nonstop twists and turns, with new suspects popping up all over! I honestly had to remind myself to keep breathing.

 

If you’re a fan of the Tobi Tobias mysteries, or a fan of Laura Bradford’s, you can’t miss, AND DEATH GOES TO… And, if you haven’t read anything by this author, it’s time you do!     

VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL

Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries) (Volume 3) - R.L. Syme

VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL drew me in with its fast moving plot, and interesting characters.

 

Death by rice pudding! Or was it? Protagonist Vangie sure looks good to the police for this murder. Of course, she knows she didn’t do it, and struggles to find the killer, while trying to clear her name.

 

Author R.L. Syme really kept me on my toes during this fast moving read. The story kept me guessing from the beginning to the reveal. And the ending was one I certainly didn’t see coming.

 

This was my first book in the Matchbaker Mysteries, but I don’t see VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL being my last last!

THE FIESTA BURGER MURDER

The Fiesta Burger Murder (A Burger Bar Mystery) - Rosie A. Point

For the first in a series, this book by Author Rosie A. Point, got off to a good start.

 

I’ve had THE FIESTA BURGER MURDER in my TBR for way too long. I should have read it back when it first came out, but lost it in a file of eBooks I keep. Anyway, I’m happy to have found it, and finally read it.

 

It took me just about half the book to warm up to lead character, Christie Watson. She’s not someone I think I could have easily become friends with. However, the more I read, the more I came to like her. I look forward to seeing her grow in future installments.

 

THE FIESTA BURGER MURDER moved at a brisk pace, but enjoyable pace. And even though this book is a novella, it read as strong and solid as a full length book would. Although fast moving, as I mentioned, it didn’t feel like the storyline suffered to get it to a quick ending. The main mystery was well done, and a secondary mystery within the book will carry over to the next.

 

Give THE FIESTA BURGER MYSTERY a read. And don’t miss the recipes at the end of the book. They have you wanting to throw a Mexican dinner party!

SCONE COLD KILLER

Scone Cold Killer - Lena Gregory

Author Lena Gregory has served up a wonderful first course in her All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery series.

 

I was hungry for this series the moment I heard about it! I mean, an All-Day Breakfast Café? That’s my kind of place to eat! So, I had very high hopes going into SCONE COLD KILLER. I wasn’t disappointed.

 

I enjoyed the setting, and could vividly picture the café in my mind. The eclectic cast of characters made for an interesting read. I enjoyed most of them. There is one character that I’m still unsure about, but am withholding judgment until the next book in the series. I look forward to seeing how all the characters grow, and how author Gregory fleshes them out.

 

An easy, flowing read, I flew through this tale quickly in one setting. The mystery was tight, and well done. I thought I had it figured out, only to find I had missed an important clue, and guessed wrong. So, that made for a surprising ending for me.

 

SCONE COLD KILLER is story cozy fans are sure to love. And the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries will certainly be on your must read list!

PEKOE MOST POISON

Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery) - Laura Childs

Eighteen books in and the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs are still strongly brewed and refreshing!

 

What can I say about PEKOE MOST POISON that hasn’t already been said about the other seventeen books in this series? I think all of the positive adjectives have been used, and rightly so. The one thing I can say . . . the very fact that this is book eighteen speaks to the brilliant writing talent of Laura Childs. Her middle name must be diversity, because she always manages to make each book in this series unique.

 

One thing for sure that I can say about this book is, rats! Yes, like the rodent. Author Childs introduces us to the tradition of a Rat Tea. It’s a fascinating piece of history that I knew nothing of. (You’ll learn about it when you read this book!) It also happens to be where the victim in this book is murdered. Very original idea!

 

This excellent installment of the Tea Shop mysteries had a wonderfully complex plot. With more than a few suspects surfacing in the murder investigation, and business at Indigo Tea Shop being as brisk as ever, protagonist Theodosia “Theo” Browning, and her friend and tea sommelier Drayton really had their hands full trying to solve this murder, and keep things at the shop running smoothly. By the end of the book I was breathless from all the perfectly planned twists in the plot.

 

And as always, the fun isn’t over after the story is. The back of the book contains recipes, and Tea Time Tips!

KNIT TO KILL

Knit One, Kill Two - Maggie Sefton

I was thrilled when I heard this series was to live on through a new publisher! KNIT TO KILL is the first book in the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, but a continuation of the Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, which makes this the ninth book with these characters.

 

It always amazes me when an author has a long running series, but can keep their stories fresh, and unpredictable. But it is something Anne Canadeo does, and does well with each new book. KNIT TO KILL is such a book.

 

With one of their own about to wed, the ladies of the Black Sheep Knitters go on a girls’ getaway. Hey, maybe getting out of their normal environment will keep the ladies out of trouble, and away from those pesky murders! Nah. It’s just not meant to be. Once again they find themselves in the middle of a mystery. But things aren’t at all what they seem to be. And before all is said and done, there’s another twist. One I sure didn’t see coming.

 

KNIT TO KILL, as with all books by author Anne Canadeo, was a fast, easy to follow read that made turning each page a joy, which made coming to the last page a real bummer. Now I have to wait for the next book! However, Canadeo did leave us with a knitting project (by way of a link), and a yummy recipe. So, we can stay busy with those until the next book is out!

DIAL M FOR MOUSSE

Dial M for Mousse (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery) - Laura Bradford

911! I’ve fallen for the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries!

 

Since the first book, ÉCLAIR AND PRESENT DANGER, I have been hooked on this deliciously tasty series. Having enjoyed my previous visits to Silver Lake, Ohio, I couldn’t wait to get back to visit with Winnie Johnson, and the wonderful characters of the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries. It was worth the wait!

 

Author Laura Bradford has one again delivered a mystery treat that I couldn’t put down! DIAL M FOR MOUSSE was a fast moving, full-flavored read that made me hungry for more with every page I read.

 

A first class murder mystery in every way, I was completely enthralled as I tried to figure out the who in the dunit, as well as the what, and why.  I was so lost in the story, I found myself at the surprising, and brilliant conclusion before I knew it! 

 

DIAL M FOR MOUSSE was the last book I read and reviewed for 2017, and I couldn’t have picked a better book to end the year with!

GINGER SNAPPED

Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery (Spice Shop Mystery Series) - Gail Oust

Author Gail Oust has created another mouthwatering mystery with, GINGER SNAPPED!

 

I’m always so excited to read a new installment in the tasty Spice Shop Mysteries. Spending time in Brandywine Creek with Piper Prescott, Reba Mae Johnson, and the rest of the quirky Southern cast is one of my favorite ways to escape the real world.

 

I am such a fan of the Spice Shop Mysteries! And this fifth book in the series has only served to solidify that. In GINGER SNAPPED, Oust has penned another top notch mystery filled with secrets, murder, and fun! Once started on this story, I couldn’t set my book down. Between her smooth, fluid writing, and talent for building a tale to a thrilling conclusion, I was the author’s willingly captive audience.

 

 GINGER SNAPPED has left me hungry for more stories in this wonderful series. After all, when it comes to cozy mysteries like this one, you can’t have enough of a great thing!

BISCUITS AND SLASHED BROWNS

Biscuits and Slashed Browns (A Country Store Mystery) - Maddie Day

I’ve loved this series from the very first page of book one, FLIPPED FOR MURDER. The characters, the location, and of course author Maddie Day’s writing, continue to bring me back again and again.

 

BISCUITS AND SLASHED BROWNS was a fast paced tale, with a well plotted mystery that left me hanging onto my seat through all of the twists and turns. When the action packed reveal came, I was really taken by surprise.

 

Another delightful installment of the Country Store Mysteries, BISCUITS AND SLASHED BROWNS is one mystery fans will want to add to their ever growing TBRs.

 

As always, you’ll find some amazing, tasty recipes at the back of the book.

ESCAPE CLAWS

Escape Claws - Linda Reilly

Linda Reilly is one of my very favorite authors. And her newest book, the first installment of her Cat Lady Mysteries, ESCAPE CLAWS, was one of my most anticipated books of 2017. On. My. Goodness. It completely lived up to my expectations! Purrfection! ESCAPE CLAWS opens with an introduction to the Cast of Feline Characters. With a dozen cats in the story, this list is a wonderful and welcomed addition to the book. And Kudos to author Reilly for managing to give each cat its own distinct personality. From page one, I knew this was a tale I wanted to read. Not just the mystery, but the story of protagonist, Lara Caphart, coming back to her hometown of Whisker Jog (love it) to help her Aunt Fran not only with her eleven cats, but with herself. With bad knees, Fran Clarkson is moving slow, and not able to do as much for herself and her kitty kids. There is tension at the very beginning when Lara doesn’t get greeted very fondly by her aunt. However, both characters grow immensely from the first page to the last, and I can’t wait to see them grow even more throughout the series. The murder mystery in ESCAPE CLAWS is expertly handled by the author. Ms. Reilly truly knows how to keep her readers on their paws. From the discovery of the body, to the surprising reveal, I didn’t come close to guessing the killer. There is also a second mystery mixed into the story. Between the two of them, I was so entranced, reading for a couple of hours turned into “I’m not getting out of this chair until I’m finished”. Starting a new series is both thrilling and exciting. You go into it with high hopes. Well, worry not with the Cat Lady Mysteries. Once you start reading ESCAPE CLAWS, you’ll know you’ve found a series you’ll want to follow for many years to come!

COME HELEN HIGH WATER

Come Helen High Water: A River Road Mystery (River Road Mysteries) - Susan McBride

COME HELEN HIGH WATER was my first book by author Susan McBride, but the fourth in the River Road Mysteries series, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Happily, I didn’t feel lost at all. I quickly got to know to all of the small town characters, flaws, quirks, and all.  

 

I was pulled in for a ride on an emotional rollercoaster. There were so many things happening in this story. A missing person, murder (?), rising flood waters, the subject of Alzheimers. So much packed into one tale, that I’m not sure which storyline intrigued me the most.

 

With so much going on, I wasn’t sure how it would end. I had so many questions. However, author McBride did a great job pulling everything together for a satisfying conclusion.

BARKING UP THE WRONG BAKERY

Barking up the Wrong Bakery (Happy Tails Dog Walking Mysteries) (Volume 1) - Stella St. Claire

A tail waggingly good start to this new dog centric cozy.

 

I had such a fun time reading, BARKING UP THE WRONG BAKERY. The dogs featured made for some moments of levity that were pleasant breaks from the mystery portion of the story.

 

I related so much to protagonist, Olivia Rickard. Totally hooked on mystery novels, a dog lover, and someone who doesn’t do well with change, I could have been reading about myself in some scenes. Though I will say, Olivia can get a little too intense with how she handles things. 

 

All around, BARKING UP THE WRONG BAKERY was a good, solid mystery. A quick moving read, this story held me attention until the end. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

CLAWS FOR CONCERN

Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

Murder in a cozy mystery doesn’t always happen on page four. Author Miranda James offers readers a cold case twenty years old. This made for an even more thrilling case to try and solve for series lead, Charlie Harris, and for readers!

 

With CLAWS FOR CONCERN, there’s not much I can say other than what I say each time I read a book in the Cat in the Stacks mysteries. Author James has created an excellent plot that draws the reader swiftly into the story. With the same consistent style, the author’s writing held me spell bound as I joined Charlie and Diesel in their investigation of the decades old case.

 

A fun addition to the series for readers is the presence of Charlie’s new grandson, and his and Diesel’s interaction with the baby. Charlie is such a proud Grandfather, I could feel the love oozing of the pages. And Diesel’s fascination with the baby brought a smile to my face.

 

A great addition to this series, CLAWS FOR CONCERN is written proof of why readers continuously return to the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries.

Diamond Girl (A Country Club Murder Short) - Julie Mulhern
"You would think writing a short story, especially a mystery, would be very difficult thing to do. However, author Julie Mulhern did so flawlessly. She pack all of the aspects of a full sized mystery into one amazing short story.

I thought everything was wrapped going to be tied up in a nice, tidy bow when a suspect is named early on. I should have known it wouldn’t all be so easy. Mulhern did a twisty turn that took me completely by surprise!

DIAMOND GIRL has great relationships among the characters, a cunning mystery, and as always, Julie Mulhern’s writing is nothing short of perfection.
"
Macaron Recipes: The Ultimate Guide - Bridgette Conners
"I love to bake. I’m mainly a cupcake girl. But I have always loved the look of macarons. They’re so beautiful. The colors alone are tempting. But, I have to be honest. I’ve never tasted one let alone make one. So I was thrilled when I saw this book!

Once the title, and subject of a cookbook draws me in, the next thing I look for are photos. There are no photos in this book. That totally bums me out because the photos could have been so colorful, and beautiful. Now, I have the book on Kindle copy. It also sells in paperback, so maybe the print book has photos.

Once I got over my lack-of-photo disappointment, I got into the recipes. 99 recipes to be exact. It starts with a basic batter recipe. What follows are macaron combinations that I never expected. Along with your typical flavors like chocolate, you’ll find Salted Pretzel with Chocolate Ganache, Banana and White Chocolate, Violet with Violet and Vanilla Bean Buttercream, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese, Cracked Pepper, Mint and Strawberry, Lime and Basil, Pear and Elderflower, Lychee, Champagne and Roses, Dandelion, Candy Corn, Ketchup, Cayenne Pepper, Tomato Vanilla and so many more! There are also recipes for many different fillings!

MACARON RECIPES: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE, has taken away my fear of baking macarons. And knowing that any flavor combination can be made, will, I’m ready to get the flour flying!
"

Dangerous Alterations

Dangerous Alterations - Elizabeth Lynn Casey

I've kept it no secret that I love this series. Elizabeth Lynn Casey is a superb story teller. Not only does she have a perfect knack for writing a well thought out mystery. Not only does she have the perfect knack for writing a well thought out mystery, she creates brilliantly real characters that jump off the pages. Indeed, she has created a group of women that I want as life long friends, and a town that I would pack up and move to today if I could.

 

I also love the humor in this one. (All her titles) I mean, how can you go wrong with laugh out loud lines and scenes like these....."So, we just wanted to be here in case you needed reinforcements." "Reinforcements?" "That's what I said,"... skip to........ "....hold your hand when your knees are a-clackin', help dig the hole when you're spittin' mad...that's what friends do." (The dug hole of course for burying a body.) Forward to the outside of a car window where an argument is taking place.........the sight of Leona and Paris peeking in the passenger window. Motioning over her shoulder, Leona stepped to the side to reveal a simmering Rose and a shovel-wielding Margaret Louise........ See? Laugh out loud fun!

 

Now, don't let that take away from the mystery element of the book. Ms. Casey's stories always have a great mystery and leave me guessing on the Whodunit front. There are twists and turns, and enough suspects to go around, that it will have you changing your guess at least every chapter.

 

If you haven't yet treated yourself to the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, it's about time you do! And, while wonderful sewing projects do take place, you don't have to know a thing about sewing to read these. But if you do love to sew, there are great sewing tips included as well as the directions for the project in the book.

 

This book and the entire series, has a little something for everyone!