Review of Insects, Ivy and Investigations

Insects, Ivy And Investigations

Campers And Criminal, Book #17

Tonya Kappes

5 Stars


Alicia Becker shows up at the screen door of The Milkery beaten, bruised, and claims to be one of Mary Elizabeth Moberly’s foster children.

Mae West’s suspicion of why Alicia is there turns to an investigation after Alicia is found on a nearby hiking trail standing over the lifeless body of Craig Sutton. Who is Craig Sutton?

Craig Sutton is Alicia Becker’s con-ex-boyfriend.

Mae and the Laundry Club Ladies can’t help but wonder if Craig’s death was self-defense, though Alicia swears she didn’t kill him. Or was Alicia set up?

Grab your bug spray and camping equipment. Mae West and Laundry Club Ladies are ’bout to put their sleuthing skills back to the test. (Goodreads)


The characters are well rounded and well developed.  Mae and the Laundry Club Ladies have another mystery to solve, and this one hits closer to home.  Alicia, one of Mary Elizabeth’s foster children, is found standing over the lifeless body of her ex-boyfriend. She says that she did not kill him and Mary Elizabeth believes her.  It is up to Mae and her friends to prove that Alicia is innocent by finding the real culprit.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the book from the very beginning and took me on an intriguing ride.  The mystery was well plotted and with the red herrings thrown in, it was not easily solved.   

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I am looking forward to reading the next book and finding out what adventure awaits the Laundry Club Ladies.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book and provided my honest review.

Insects, Ivy, & Investigations: A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 17 by [Tonya Kappes]

New Releases For The Week Of April 25th, 2021–Part 5

Poodle Versus The Outlaw (Cottage Country Cozy Mysteries Book 8) by [Anne Shillolo]

An icy lake reveals a horrifying secret – but months later, Rocco, the Nasty Small Poodle, is still chasing his tail! And, Rocco isn’t the only one with spring fever, as romance is in the air for the humans in this story.
Zora Flynn, a 50-something local newspaper publisher, and the staff of The Williamsport Whistle have their first cold case to crack.
By the time spring arrives in Williamsport, the body of the murder victim is still unidentified. Will a video re-enactment give the investigation new life and get the case back on the front page? Zora realizes they’ve been barking up the wrong tree when an unexpected visitor sends the case in a new direction and points to a sinister threat. The dead man’s secret might be about to shake the cottage country town to its core. That’s if Zora and Rocco survive to tell the story!
Click to grab your copy of Poodle Versus The Outlaw, Book 8 in this continuing cozy mystery series. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook

Overboard on the Ocean: A Quirky Cozy Mystery (A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery Book 6) by [Ellen Jacobson]

What would you do if your hubby decided to hand over your life savings to a con artist?

When Mollie McGhie went on a cruise to the Bahamas, she wasn’t expecting someone to fall overboard. Convinced that foul play was involved, Mollie sets out to prove that it was murder.

During the course of her investigation, Mollie uncovers an investment scam that her husband almost got sucked into and discovers exactly how boring maritime law is.

In between tracking down clues and questioning suspects, Mollie also has to help a friend plan her wedding and get her own boat ready to set sail.

Can Mollie discover who the killer is or will she end up in a watery grave of her own?

Overboard on the Ocean is the sixth book in the hilarious Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series. If you like kooky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you’ll love this cozy mystery. Grab Overboard on the Ocean today and laugh out loud from the first page to the last.

Spoiler Alert: You’ll be humming “Here Comes the Bride” by the time you’re finished reading!

The Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mysteries

Prequel – Robbery at the Roller Derby

Book #1 – Murder at the Marina

Book #2 – Bodies in the Boatyard

Book #3 – Poisoned by the Pier

Book #3.5 – Buried by the Beach

Book #4 – Dead in the Dinghy

Book #5 – Shooting by the Sea

Book #6 – Overboard on the Ocean

Book #7 – Murder Aboard the Mistletoe (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Prediction: Murder: The Magician by [Vickie Carroll]

Harper Kagel answered her phone on an otherwise ordinary Friday evening expecting to discuss her day job. When the caller instead related the news that Harper’s cousin had taken a deadly fall, she dropped everything and returned to her hometown of Steepwick, Maine.

Although she only planned to stay long enough for the funeral, Harper never could have guessed that she would inherit her cousin’s home, business, and opinionated Westie named Einstein. Everyone in town welcomed Harper’s return with open arms and even inducted her into their Cold Case Club, a secret crime solvers’ society.

But Harper hardly has time to get settled in her new digs when she becomes the target of her cousin’s killer. Now she and Einstein will have to settle a centuries-old mystery involving her ancestors, and it will take help from everyone in the Cold Case Club–including her ex-flame.

Can Harper, Einstein, and the other Steepwick residents save the town’s reputation and Harper’s life? Or will she follow in the footsteps of her dearly departed cousin?

The Magician is the first book in Prediction:Murder, a quirky cozy mystery from Vickie Carroll. Get your copy and escape into the quaint town of Steepwick today! (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Double Toil and Trouble: Antiques & Mystic Uniques Caravan, A Paranormal Psychic Cozy Mystery, Fantasy Romance and Suspense Novella - Book 2 (The Fortune-Telling Twins Mysteries) by [Bettina M. Johnson]

Rival covens. A missing wand. Two mysterious bottles. And a dark witch with a secret. What can go wrong for psychic Maggie as she tries to keep the cauldrons from boiling over?

Maggie and Ellie Fortune are being haunted by their past. Well, haunted by the specter of the man who turned Ellie into a ghost that is. Despite wanting to hunt him down, duty calls and the team sets up in Knoxville for their next antique show and tell. When Nathara starts acting suspicious it leads Maggie on a wild-goose chase of sorts to figure out what the dark witch has brewing in her cauldron of tricks.

The rest of the team is kept busy by a coven of renegade witches who showed up convinced one of the appraisers stole an item each coven insists belongs to them. An ancient wand metaled down and liquified, its contents poured into two decorative bottles. When tempers flare, fight could break out between the rivals covens, which could turn into a battle of epic proportions! Maggie has her hands full juggling her appraisal duties, and trying to solve the mysteries behind the mayhem that ensues.

This doesn’t leave much time to find the mysterious caller who left a wolf figurine on the steps of her RV….someone who may or may not have the answers behind Ellie’s demise and ghostly conundrum. However it does having her pairing up with a certain male witch who may or may not have a secret side…is Tor a halfbreed vampire or not? Perhaps Maggie is about to find out!
Double the trouble means double the fun! The Fortune-Telling Twins novella – Book 2 (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Murder Also Rises: A Deadly Paradise Mystery (The Deadly Paradise Mystery Series Book 4) by [Kimberly Griggs]

Mallory and the gang are back! And this time, the heart-pounding adventure doesn’t stop!

What happens when divers find a mythical, wooden mermaid at the bottom of the ocean?

Theft, murder, and missing treasure, that’s what.

But when Mallory’s best friend is accused of stealing Princess Isadora’s emerald amulet and a dead body is found impaled on the spear of the Sirena Bella’s deadly siren, she doesn’t trust the police to get it right—even if hunky Luke Beckett is on the case.

Throw in more complications with her love-life, an overbearing mother who’s decided she’s ready to reconnect and is insistent Mallory marry “the right kind of man,” and a missing treasure rumored to be worth millions, Mallory finds herself drowning in the ocean of life.

Will Mallory, Juni, and their pals find the rumored treasure or was it all a myth? And will Mallory find the killer and clear her friend, or will she find herself swimming with the fishes?

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. You won’t want to put it down! (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

The Magical Bookshop: Volumes 1-3 by [Liz Hedgecock]

Books, magic, and a cat with character!

Travel to Charing Cross Road in London and join sales assistant Jemma, bookshop owner Raphael and Folio the cat in three spellbinding cozy mysteries.

Every Trick In The Book

When Jemma James takes a job at Burns Books, the second-worst secondhand bookshop in London, she finds her ambition to turn it around thwarted at every step. Raphael, the owner, is more interested in his newspaper than sales. Folio the bookshop cat has it in for Jemma, and the shop itself appears to have a mind of its own. Or is it more than that?

Gradually Jemma starts to make a difference … and then the anonymous letters start arriving. Who is behind them, and why?

Brought to Book

Business is booming at Burns Books — so much so that Jemma and Raphael hire a new assistant. And that’s when things start to go wrong.

Luke’s helpful, he’s knowledgeable, and the customers like him. So why is the shop up to its old tricks, and a few new ones?

Jemma and Carl take it upon themselves to investigate, and end up finding out a lot more than they bargained for. Will working at the bookshop ever be the same again?

Double Booked

Jemma’s dream of running her own bookshop is becoming a nightmare. She has plenty of ideas, but her assistant Maddy is resistant to change. Come to that, so are the customers.

To distract herself, Jemma gets involved in Raphael’s attempt to recruit a new member of staff — but that doesn’t go entirely to plan either, as his wider team turns against him.

Can Jemma and Raphael work out what’s going on and get their lives back to normal before they run out of time? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle


Faith’s fifty.

…And “enrolled” in Magic School.

The curse claimed another victim.

…Will she learn in time?

She thought by the time she was fifty, she’d have it all figured out. Here she is forced to relearn magic in a crazy mixed-up, supernaturally gifted family while planting two new businesses. The last thing Faith needed on her plate was another investigation. Yet, she’s smackdab in the middle of a murder.

Blake is a cop who knows who he is, what he does and doesn’t want. Problem is, Faith falls in both those categories and challenges his ideas of himself and the way things are.

Can they find love and work together to catch a killer and reverse a curse?

CARNATIONS, CRIME, & CHI is the third book in the enchanting Paranormal Women’s Fiction Cozy Flower Farm Magical Mystery Series set in the rural ghost town of Abracadabra. Dust off your senses and help save Abracadabra.

Get it now. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Saving Grace (Amish Lantern Mystery Series Book 3) by [Mary B. Barbee]

The Amish community in Little Valley is facing big changes, and big threats, with tourism booming. It becomes clear that some of the new businesses want control of the market, and it looks like they are willing to go to great lengths to get it.

With one barn after another set on fire in the middle of the night, it becomes personal, and the community is scared for the well-being of their families and their future in Little Valley.

Anna and Beth are considered the wise women in the community and are equipped with a few solved murder mysteries under their belt. The sisters are ready once again to untangle the clues and find the real story behind the fires. Will they be able to solve the mystery and convince the community to stay?

Diving into the personal and professional lives of both newly introduced characters and some that you’ll recognize from previous books, you’re sure to enjoy this escape into Little Valley. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Secrets of the Dead: A British Crime Thriller (A DCI Pilgrim Thriller Book 3) by [A L Fraine]

An old family, dark secrets, and a murdered woman.

A body is found floating in the local beauty spot known as Silent Pool.
When DCI Jon Pilgrim and his team are brought in, they soon discover foul play.
She was murdered.

The woman belonged to a local aristocratic family, who were gathering at the family’s estate.
Jon investigates with his partner Kate, and soon discovers secrets and rivalries.
The victim was the families black sheep. No one liked her, they all have a motive.

But as Jon works the case, his new boss takes issue with him and the team, causing problems as the case develops.

Jon must sift through the clues, and deal with this haunted family as he searches for the truth and the killer in their midst.

Secrets of the Dead is a new who-done-it thriller from author A L Fraine. Perfect for fans of JD Kirk, JM Dalgliesh, Alex Smith, David Gatward, and Ian Rankin (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Fortune Falls, Felons, and Fudge: A Cozy Contemporary International Crime Mystery (Sadie Silver Mystery #4) by [Kailin Gow]

It is a Purrfect Mix of Romance, Food, and Mystery.

Fashionable Celebrity Pastry Chef Sadie Silver loves mixing travel, food, romance, and crime solving wherever she goes or stays…along with the help of her intelligent cat Orchid and sensitive-smelling-nose dog Biscuit. handsome forensic scientist Palmer, and the mysterious gorgeous man who always places an order directly from her for a dozen red velvet cupcakes.

In this Episode, Sadie returns back to her home in Fortune Falls, NY, with Palmer and her dog Biscuit and cat Orchid for some well-deserved rest and relaxation after a whirlwind trip from Catalina to Paris solving mysteries while baking her well-known desserts. Only there has been a murder committed in her hometown of Fortune Falls that hits too close to home. The handsome Sheriff with an obvious crush on Sadie needs her help to solve this crime, but can she trust him?

** Sadie Silver Mystery is a cozy mystery series appropriate for age 13 and up and features a smart and cool-headed amateur American sleuth name Sadie, who is a woman of Asian descent, and uses science as well as logic to solve mysteries around the world, while helping out the local communities. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Murderous Misprint (Old Bookstore Two-Hour Cozy Mysteries Book 2) by [Isabella Bassett]

In this small Alpine town, reading can be hazardous to your health.

Old Bookstore Cozy Mystery #2

As the English-speaking assistant at an old bookstore in picturesque Ascona, a resort town at the southern tip of Switzerland, famous for its Mediterranean climate, palm trees, and Italianate villas, Anne expects work to be quiet and relaxing.

But when Southern Switzerland’s only pagan festival arrives in town, its costumed attendees disrupt the peaceful repose of the luxurious lakeside resort. And when one, and then a second woman dressed as a witch turns up dead at the festival, the historic town is set abuzz by rumors of a modern-day witch hunt.

When Anne discovers, with a little help from the store’s peculiar black cat, that the first victim was a cosmetic industry executive with a taste for books on witch lore, the irony of a beauty boss interested in magic potions is not lost on her.

But murder is no laughing matter, and Anne’s meddling might just lead to a third death. So she needs to get her nose out of the spell books and put her feet back on solid Alpine ground to stop a killer.

Murderous Misprint is the second installment in the Old Bookstore series of cozy murder mysteries that you can read in about 2 hours. Escape with a quick mystery frolic through the historic towns of Ascona and Locarno, in Southern Switzerland, and up lush Alpine meadows, on the trail of a suspected witch hunter.

About the series:

If you love atmospheric cozy mysteries that lead you on escapades through charming European hamlets, this is the series for you. Follow American Anne as she solves murder mysteries centered around a slightly-peculiar old bookstore in the pretty town of Ascona–a picturesque town in Switzerland’s exotic south, nestled between the foothills of the Alps and Italy, bathed in sunshine, steeped in Italian dolce vita, and enveloped in Mediterranean charm.

Available now:

Book #1 – Out of Print

Available for pre-order:

Book #2 – Murderous Misprint – release date April 15, 2021

Book #3 – Suspicious Small Print – release date May 15, 2021

Upcoming releases:

Book #4 – Reckless Reprint – June 2021

Book #5 – Incriminating Imprint – August 2021

Book #6 – Blackmail Blueprint – October 2021

Book #7 – Counterfeit Carbon Print – January 2022 (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Music City Murder: A Humorous Cozy Mystery (Hollywood Whodunit Book 3) by [Brittany E. Brinegar]

Murder’s Been Committed on Music Row. Spoiler Alert, They Got the Wrong Girl

Becky Robinson is the slacker of the family. A no-name actress. So, when her perfect country music star cousin is accused of murder, she jumps at the opportunity to crack the case. 

The victim is Tommy Wilson. A feared, respected, and despised record producer with more enemies than JR Ewing. He’s found stabbed in his club after a public argument with Becky’s cousin. Talk about bad timing.   

With the stakes higher than ever, Becky’s reckless pursuit into the cutthroat music industry leads to the kidnapping of an ally. 

Can she clear her cousin, impress her family, and find the killer before he takes his next victim?


Music City Murder is the enchanting third installment in the Hollywood Whodunit cozy mystery series.

If you love clumsy heroines, a country music backdrop, quirky suspects, and an adorable rescue puppy this series is for you!

Hollywood Whodunit Series Order

  • Book 1: Prime Time Murder
  • Book 2: Stand-In Murder
  • Book 3: Music City Murder (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Any Last Witches? (Good Cluck Chicken Magical Mysteries Book 2) by [Kathryn Lin]

Welcome back to Windfall, Nevada.

An RV gathering of eccentric characters out in the desert, a crazy new moneymaking scheme that threatens to bankrupt her mom, and a broomstick that refuses to fly. There’s never a moment of peace for Tara Hart.

When a dead body turns up in the middle of the desert, Tara ends up as the main suspect, under the suspicious eye of the town sheriff. With the help of her witchy godmothers and a snarky silkie chicken, Tara sets out to clear her name.

Can Tara put out the multiple fires in her life before it’s too late and everything burns to the ground? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume One: Books 1-3 by [Nancy J. Cohen]

Looking for a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery? Try the first three books in the hilarious Bad Hair Day mystery series!

Sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer. Figuring she’d better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects. Her theory regarding whodunit gels only after she looks for the culprit closer to home.

“A terrific mystery debut for Nancy Cohen. Marla the beautician is a delight!” Tamar Myers, author of the Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries and the Den of Antiquity Mystery Series.

When South Florida hairstylist Marla Shore takes charge of a fundraiser for a coastal preservation society, she has to comb through a knot of suspects to determine who’s sabotaging their gala event. Participating chefs are dropping off the roster like hot rollers, and it’s only through a series of hair-raising exploits that she can tease the truth from a tangle of suspects. Too late to stop a murder, Marla must salvage the grand affair before she’s moussed into oblivion.

“Curl up with Nancy Cohen’s stylishly witty and chillingly suspenseful tale of murder on the Florida coast–Hair Raiser is a cut above.” Joanne Pence, author of the Angie Amalfi mystery series

Hairstylist Marla Shore joins a fitness club to get in shape but discovers a dead body instead of an exercise routine. Jolene Myers–a client at Marla’s salon–has drowned beneath the frothing waters of the whirlpool. When Homicide Detective Dalton Vail determines Jolene’s death was no accident, Marla decides to give her deductive skills a workout and help solve the case.

“Marla Shore is a beguiling, very clever sleuth who teases out every clue. Absolutely delightful!” Jill Churchill, author of the Jane Jeffry & Grace and Favor mystery series.

If you enjoy murder and mayhem with a touch of humor and romance, you’ll love the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Start reading now! (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Butter Luck Next Time (Half-Baked Mysteries Book 2) by [Molly  Dox]

Turtle Shell Bay and Waterfront Dunes are celebrating summer with their annual Seafood Fest. Unfortunately, things turn deadly when one of the prominent judges ends up face down in a bowl of lobster bisque. When all fingers point to a cherished town friend, Penny and Oliver sniff out clues in an attempt to find the truth. 

Splish-splash, they may be on the wrong path. Or are they? Things look fishy. What seemed like an easy answer is anything but. Will Penny get schooled in the art of deception, or can she hook the criminal before they sink her? This kettle of fish has set Penny on edge. In a world of seafood, she’s feeling like a fish out of water. 

Enjoy this fast-paced, family-friendly cozy mystery, and share an afternoon with Penny London. The Half-Baked Mysteries series is a snack-sized series marked with fun, easy reads full of puzzling goodness, a whodunnit, and a whole cast of quirky characters added into the mix.  (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Gone Too Far (Devlin & Falco Book 2) by [Debra Webb]

This second entry in USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb’s Devlin & Falco series proves that sometimes the past is best left forgotten.

As veteran detectives of the Birmingham Police Department, Kerri Devlin and Luke Falco have seen it all. So when the city’s new hotshot deputy district attorney turns up dead as part of a double homicide, the partners immediately get to work.

But this is no ordinary case. Devlin and Falco quickly link the murdered DDA to one of their own: former BPD detective Sadie Cross. But Sadie’s fractured memory is yet another puzzle to decipher, as she only recalls bits and pieces of her violent past…a past that may hold clues to the motive behind the murders.

As the group slowly begins to unearth the truth, they soon discover that the more secrets are revealed, the more fatal the consequences. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook