Review of Murder To Go


Maeve Kinkaid has inherited her aunt Alice’s food truck after her passing.  Although she does not really know anything about running it, she is willing to give it a try.  She wants to keep her aunt’s memory alive, and besides, it beats sitting on her parent’s couch watching television.

Land, a Basque chef who has worked on the food truck with her aunt, tells Maeve that her aunt had promised to leave the truck to him.  He is not happy that Maeve was given the truck, and he does not try to hide his displeasure.  Maeve does not know if what he says is true, she only knows that the lawyer told her it was bequeathed to her.  But when she finds another  will that shows that Land might be telling the truth, she is not sure what to do.  Her mother tells her to forget about it and burn it, but she decides the right thing to do is to take it to a lawyer and have it checked out.

While she is worrying about the new will, trying to keep the food truck afloat and deal with a hostile employee, a murder takes place at a rival food truck.  This just adds to her concerns.  And when no one can tell her why her aunt wanted the food truck and how she afforded it, she has many more questions than answers.  It is going to take a lot of sleuthing to find the answers she needs and figure out the truth.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author does a great job creating suspense and tension with the written word.  There are numerous twists and turns and a list of suspects that seem to continue to grow.  I did not figure out the killer until it was revealed at the end.  I thought the ending was a surprise and I liked that.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  I enjoyed getting to know Maeve and look forward to getting to know her better in future books.  The author is descriptive and there were times I felt like I was right there watching all the action around me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  This is a new author to me and I am happy to see that she has written other books.  I plan on checking those out.  I love when I find a new author that that I enjoy reading.  It is like finding a gift.

Review of Matrimony Meltdown


Zak and Zoe know what type of wedding they want.  A small quiet affair on the beach with family and close friends in attendance.  They want Ellie and Levi, their best friends, to stand up for them.  They want their dogs and the two young children they love to be ring bearers and flower girls.  But when Zak’s mother shows up a month before the ceremony with a wedding planner and celebrity photographer in tow, their wishes fly right out the window.  Many members of Zak’s family also show up and take over the house.  With Zak out of town with work problems, it is up to Zoe to restore order and still get the wedding that she has dreamed of.  That job will be as hard to achieve as the murder that needs to be solved, maybe even harder.

Almost the first half of the book is dealing with Zoe and her wedding day blues.  But there is definitely a mystery going on in the first half of the book: will Zoe kill or maim her mother, Zak’s mother or members of the wedding planning entourage?   And if so, how will she do it?  It was so much fun reading all about the wedding plans and the troubles that Zoe faced that I am glad the murder happened later in the book.  Having read all of the books in the series, I feel like Zoe and Zak and their gang are people I know and like.  I needed time to catch up on their lives before trying to solve a mystery.  There were times while reading that I was laughing out loud and other times I thought, “Oh Boy, this is not good”.

I think what makes the author’s books and series so good is the characters she has created.  They are everyday people who have unshakeable friendships and for the time you are reading her books, they are your friends too.  She is also very good at describing small town America and transports the readers there with just her written words.  Every time I read one of her book, I feel like I am taking a mini-vacation.  As a reader, this is a great thing.

I really cannot recommend this book (as well as the other books in this series and Kathi’s other series) enough to all cozy lovers. For anyone who enjoys a mystery with small town settings and family and friends, this is a must read.  Do yourself a favor and start this series (Zoe Donovan Mystery series) at the beginning and enjoy your journey.  You will not be disappointed.

Review of To Fudge Or Not To Fudge


Allie is busy making fudge and confectionery sweets for the upcoming Lilac Festival.  She wants to make a good showing from the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop since this is her first year as the owner-operator.  But things always get more complicated for Allie than she expects, and this time is no different.  When her puppy Mal uncovers bone fragments in a freshly mulched area  she knows that there will be another murder mystery to solve.  And when her mentor and friend arrives on the island and asks her to be a last minute replacement on a reality television show, she cannot say no.  Between the late night shooting of the show and her early morning fudge making duties, she is totally overwhelmed and worn out.  When the body of one of the cast members is discovered and her mentor is beaten, she is totally freaked out because she has become a prime suspect.  She now has to try to solve the mysteries, as well as prepare for the Festival and run her shop, before she is thrown in jail for life.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is descriptive with her writing and I felt like I was right there on the Island watching all the action going on.  There were some tense moments and I was afraid to turn the pages because I did not know how things were going to work themselves out.  The mysteries are well plotted and not easy to solve.  There are a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and just when I thought I had it figured out, something else would happen to make me change my mind.  I really enjoy when that happens when I read a mystery.

The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional.  I enjoyed learning more about their personalities and I really enjoyed reading about the interactions between them.   There are still two possible love interests for Allie and I cannot figure out which one she likes best.  Maybe the next book in series will reveal this. Mal, Allie’s little puppy, plays a very big role in the solving one of the mysteries.  I can just picture her in my mind digging and sniffing and then smiling when she presents Allie with the bones.  I love reading about her antics.

I am a big fan of reality television competition shows and I really enjoyed reading about this in the book.  The author presented them in the way I think most of them operate, being more scripted than reality.  I liked reading about how I think the shows are really produced.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  This is the second book in the series and I would recommend reading book one, All Fudged Up, first so that you can watch the growth of the characters between the books.  The third book will be released soon and I will definitely be reading that one too.