New Releases For The Week Of January 30, 2022–Part 2

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead: A Mystery by [Elle Cosimano]

From Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano, comes Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead—the hilarious and heart-pounding follow-up to Finlay Donovan is Killing It.

“A funny and smart, twisty and surprising series.”—Megan Miranda

Finlay Donovan is—once again—struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish.

On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.

Meanwhile, Vero’s keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay’s first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes… and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.

With her next book’s deadline looming and an ex-husband to keep alive, Finlay is quickly coming to the end of her rope. She can only hope there isn’t a noose at the end of it… (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

Totally Pawstruck (Second Chance Cat Mystery Book 9) by [Sofie Ryan]

Secondhand store owner Sarah Grayson and her inquisitive rescue cat, Elvis, will need to close the book on a killer in the newest installment of this charming New York Times bestselling series.

Although Sarah Grayson is often tending to the contained chaos of her delightful secondhand store in North Harbor, Maine, plus dealing with the quirky personality of her rescue cat, Elvis, she still takes an occasional night off. But her evening out comes to an abrupt end when Sarah discovers Stella Hall, a member of the library board, standing over a body in the street.

Although Stella admits that she and the victim had fought about several things including library funding, she is adamant that she is innocent and the real killer is on the loose. Sarah is eager to help, but even with the assistance of Charlotte’s Angels, the senior citizen detectives who rent out part of her shop, there is still a vast amount of circumstantial evidence linking Stella to the crime. The odds may be stacked against them, but Sarah and Elvis, along with the Angels, will work hard to check out the suspects and catch a killer. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Honey Roasted (A Coffeehouse Mystery Book 19) by [Cleo Coyle]

“Coyle’s latest Coffeehouse mystery is a honey of a tale….A primer on bees, coffee, and some of New York’s most unusual and exciting areas make for a fascinating and mysterious read.”—Kirkus Reviews

Clare Cosi is busy as a bee planning her honeymoon when murder buzzes into the Village Blend in this all-new mystery in the beloved New York Times bestselling Coffeehouse series by Cleo Coyle.

While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new Honey-Cinnamon Latte at her spring wedding to her longtime honey, NYPD detective Mike Quinn. The culinary world is also abuzz about the amazing honey that Clare was lucky enough to source for her shop’s new latte. Produced by Madame’s old friend “Queen” Bea Hastings, the rare, prize-winning nectar from Bea’s rooftop hives commands a premium price, and top chefs compete for a chance to use it in their signature seasonal dishes.

One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend’s chimney, and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide, but Clare does not believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary start-ups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

Out of Temper (Bean to Bar Mysteries) by [Amber Royer]

Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand has been the scene of two murders – both of which she has been instrumental in helping solve. So when she gets invited to demo her chocolate skills aboard a cruise ship sailing out of the local port, she’s excited at the chance to get away from the shop long enough to regain her equilibrium. She even brings her best friend along, and makes plans for time at the spa. But when she gets on board, she finds out that she’s been booked for a mystery-themed cruise, and said best friend, Autumn, has to finally deal with the real reasons she quit writing mysteries. Only – if that wasn’t stressful enough – it doesn’t take long before there’s a real murder on the cruise, and someone Felicity knows becomes the prime suspect. When said suspect asks her for help, she can’t exactly say no, can she?

Felicity finds herself surrounded by cruise goers who all had connections to the victim – and finds that both Logan (her business partner, whom she recently kissed) and Arlo (the cop who was once Felicity’s first boyfriend, before she moved away from Galveston) are dealing with the case until more official help can arrive. How will Felicity survive the ensuing awkwardness?

One thing that helps: the retired police dog turned therapy dog she meets on board. Satchmo helps Felicity deal with being back on the water after tragedy in her past – and also helps her uncover a vital clue to the case. Can Felicity unmask the killer and keep a friend from being framed before all the suspects leave the ship? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

The Ursulina by [Brian Freeman]

In this gripping prequel to his Edgar Award finalist and New York Times bestseller The Deep, Deep Snow, Brian Freeman takes us on Rebecca’s dark journey to reveal the truth about the Ursulina … a journey that ultimately leads to an excruciating choice that will change her life forever.

The mythical beast goes by many names. Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Yeti.

In Black Wolf County, he’s called … the Ursulina.

But to Deputy Rebecca Colder, the beast is no myth. A serial killer has taken on the identity of the monster — and with each body left behind, there’s a chilling message written in blood: I am the Ursulina. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

Evil Under the Tuscan Sun (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery Book 3) by [Stephanie Cole]

Nell Valenti is at ease when managing a farm to table cooking school in sun-dappled Tuscany, but begins to feel the heat when tasked with catching a killer, in this engaging Italian-set cozy mystery series.

When a wealthy New York philanthropist pays top dollar for a private, four-day ziti workshop, Nell Valenti wants everyone at the Orlandini cooking school focused on the task at hand. But complications abound when Nell’s boyfriend Pete Orlandini rushes to Rome for an unexpected business trip, Chef Orlandini is more preoccupied with a potential spot on an American cooking show than preparing for the workshop, and an uninvited woman sneaks into the villa to inspect Pete’s olive grove. The last disturbance proves deadly, and when the woman’s body is found in the grove, Nell must investigate before her hopes for the workshop, like the olives, are crushed.

Nell now has another item on her checklist–keep the Orlandinis out of trouble and the wealthy ziti-lovers happy while she looks into the stranger’s past. When Nell discovers that for one of the Orlandinis, at least, the murder victim was not such a stranger after all, she’ll learn that when a detective goes digging in Italy, she’d better be ready for truffle. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

New Releases For The Week Of January 30th, 2022–1

Going, Going, Dead: A Light Paranormal Mystery (A Paranormal Museum Cozy Mystery Book 6) by [Kirsten Weiss]

At an auction, competition can be deadly…

When Maddie attends an estate auction of artifacts from America’s spiritualist era, it’s just another day in the life of a paranormal museum owner…. Until she discovers the body of the murdered auctioneer.

Her mother is convinced the murderer is after a mysterious statuette that once belonged to the town’s Ladies Aid Society. With the holidays approaching, Maddie and friends dive into the mad world of obsessive collectors to find the missing statuette… and a killer.

Maddie tracks her suspects through a secluded gothic estate, in the wineries of Central California, and along the streets of small-town San Benedetto. But this clever criminal is determined to win at all costs. Will the killer use Maddie’s friends as the ultimate weapon against her?

If you love laugh-out-loud mysteries, witty heroines, and a touch of the paranormal, you’ll love Going, Going, Dead, book 6 in the Paranormal Museum mystery series. Read this twisty cozy mystery today! (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Death Steals A Kiss: A clean mystery with a touch of sweet romance (A Taylor Texas Mystery Book 4) by [Vikki Walton]

Charming Hill Country Comfort. An Upcoming Gala. A Disastrous Death.

When pie-baking sleuth, Christie Taylor, now director of Horse Haven rescue, is confronted with a deadly accident at the rescue, she must confront the incident head-on. Was the man’s death a tragic mishap or is someone out to sully the rescue’s reputation, or worse, cause it to shut its doors? In order to protect the nonprofit, Christie’s thrust into finding out what happened but when another incident occurs, can Christie uncover the truth before another tragedy occurs?

Clean cozy but with a hint of romance and a smattering of faith, enjoy the latest look into the residents of the Texas Hill Country. As always, a yummy pie recipe included!

Death Steals A Kiss is the fourth book in the down-home Taylor Texas mystery series by Vikki Walton. If you enjoy sassy sleuths and clever clues along with light-hearted humor and country values all tied up in a clean cozy mystery, grab this book today. Plus, each book includes a yummy pie recipe!

Each book is a stand-alone mystery but if you enjoy getting to know the characters, you may want to read the books in order to follow their friendships and romantic journeys. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Murder Through an Open Door: Book 3 in the Book Magic Mystery Series: A Book Magic Mystery (A Book Magic Mystery 4) by [Melissa Bourbon]

“Filled with quirky characters and atmospheric descriptions of the quaint town of Devil’s Cove, Bourbon hits all the right notes for a cozy: amateur sleuthing, several possible suspects, bookstores, and a touch of romance.”
~Elena Taylor, Author

To stop the curse that has plagued her family for centuries, Pippin Lane Hawthorne has enlisted the help of authors Tolkien, Homer, and Dickens. How? Through bibliomancy, a practice by which passages in books speak to her in cryptic code that only she can decipher. When she finds a message from her mother in an old copy of The Secret Garden, she hopes this book might hold the answers she so desperately seeks.

The book leads Pippin to a vital clue, but before she can figure out what it means, she stumbles upon a dead body. Though the authorities deem the death is from natural causes, the books found scattered around the body tell Pippin a different story—the victim was murdered. And the death is connected to her family and the curse. Now, to solve a murder in the present, Pippin must dig deeper into her family’s troubled past, even if it means staring danger in the face.

“This series had me at ‘book magic’ and wrapped me up in its unique plot from start to finish!” ~Carrie Schmidt, ReadingIsMySuperPower.org (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Loose Screw (Nailed It Home Reno Mysteries Book 2) by [Barbara Barrett]

All Rowena Summerfield wants to do is finish her latest home renovation with her daughter, Valerie. And it seems like all building inspector Mortimer Fonseca wants to do is get in her way. His refusal to help Ro’s Nailed It company meet his impossible expectations has her fuming, and she’s not the only one — as she learns when Fonseca turns up dead, run over in a parking lot in the middle of the night.

His colleagues say he was a loose screw, even if he was wound too tight. But Ro and her former colleague on the police force, Detective Hercules Morgan, soon discover he was a lot more than that. And a lot of people might have wanted to wrench the life out of him, from disgruntled builders to his sneaky co-workers to a relative who stands to inherit everything.

The more Ro, Val and Herc interview suspects and other persons of interest, the less they are able to hammer down a motive. But as the case takes an unexpected turn and becomes doubly complex, can a voice from beyond the grave be just what they need to nail down the guilty party?

All Rowena Summerfield is seeking is a sense of accomplishment as she and her thirty-five-year old daughter, Valerie, build their fledgling home reno business. However, circumstances and her former partner keep pulling her back to investigating homicides. But as she approaches her sixth decade, she discovers she’s no longer the physically fit young woman she once was, especially after a near fatal auto accident injured her back, prompting her to seek early retirement. Chasing murderers proves not only challenging mentally, but it also takes its toll on her relationship with Val and the new love in her life. Can she continue to juggle the new with the old and maintain her balance? Join Ro in this new cozy series as she struggles to nail down the challenges of both worlds. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Murder in the Mountains: A Destination Murders Short Story Collection by [Karen Cantwell, Gretchen Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Barb Goffman, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Tina Kashian, Shari Randall, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Cathy Wiley]

Whether you love spring, summer, fall, or winter in the mountains, you’ll be elevated by nine new stories from award-winning and bestselling cozy mystery authors Gretchen Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Karen Cantwell, Barb Goffman, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Tina Kashian, Shari Randall, Shawn Reilly Simmons, and Cathy Wiley.

With mountainous murders galore around the world, this anthology is full of peaks and valleys!

Climb every mountain, search low and high
For clues to a murder, and try not to die

Second in the DESTINATION MURDERS series, Murder in the Mountains follows the well-reviewed Murder at the Beach.
SPECIAL PRE-SALE PRICE of .99 cents

Four seasons of Murder:
Spring
DOUBLE BLUFF by Gretchen Archer. A new short story in the Davis Way series. Two trophy wives and one dead body equals a trip to Lookout Mountain, Tennessee for Davis Way and her co-worker.
FIVE DAYS TO FITNESS by Barb Goffman. A visit to a fitness camp in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains was supposed to be a new beginning for Bree Winterbourne. Instead, it’s a final ending for one of the attendees.
Summer
THE SOUND OF MUZAK by Karen Cantwell. Another short story in the Barbara Marr series. When Barb and friends take a trip to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, they are asked to help uncover the owner’s dark past—one that may involve murder.
THE PICTURE OF GUILT by Leslie Budewitz. A new short story in the Food Lovers’ Village series. Erin Murphy loves her town of Jewel Bay, Montana, which attracts artists, foodies, and other tourists. But one artist’s visit turns deadly.
Fall
THE LYIN’ WITCH IN THE WARDROBE by Eleanor Cawood Jones. Lorrie George and friends visit the Land of Oz theme park on Beech Mountain, North Carolina, filled with celebrities and jealousy and murder, oh my!
A KILLER POCONO HIKE by Tina Kashian. A short story in the Kebab Kitchen series. Lucy Berberian is desperate for a break from the stress of wedding planning, and the Poconos should have fit the bill. But finding a body in a sinkhole leaves Lucy with a sinking feeling.
Winter
A PERFECT CLIMB by Shawn Reilly Simmons. A skiing trip in the Australian Alps was supposed to be the perfect start for Caroline Cabot’s perfect marriage. Unfortunately, everything quickly goes downhill, as sore muscles, fighting couples, and a murder ruin the perfection.
THE EDELWEISS EXPRESS by Shari Randall. A new short story in the Lobster Shack series. Allie Larkin was looking forward to her trip to Austria: the snow, skiing, and a Sound of Music Tour. But she wasn’t expecting that the hills would be alive with the sound of…murder?
ONE FLEW OVER THE COCOA’S NEST by Cathy Wiley. A new short story in the Food Festival Fatalities series. Former celebrity chef Jackie Norwood was invited to judge a Hot Cocoa festival at a Utah ski resort. Instead, thanks to a blizzard and a murder, she ends up judging the guilt of her fellow guests. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

A Game of Fear: A Novel (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries Book 24) by [Charles Todd]

In this newest installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge is faced with his most perplexing case yet: a murder with no body, and a killer who can only be a ghost.

Spring, 1921. Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Rutledge to the sea-battered village of Walmer on the coast of Essex, where amongst the salt flats and a military airfield lies Benton Abbey, a grand manor with a storied past. The lady of the house may prove his most bewildering witness yet. She claims she saw a violent murder—but there is no body, no blood. She also insists she recognized the killer: Captain Nelson. Only it could not have been Nelson because he died during the war.

Everyone in the village believes that Lady Benton’s losses have turned her mind—she is, after all, a grieving widow and mother—but the woman Rutledge interviews is rational and self-possessed. And then there is Captain Nelson: what really happened to him in the war? The more Rutledge delves into this baffling case, the more suspicious tragedies he uncovers. The Abbey and the airfield hold their secrets tightly. Until Rutledge arrives, and a new trail of death follows…  (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook

Review Of Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past

Synopsis:

Salem, Massachusetts B&B owner Charlene Morris is looking into a holiday hit-and-run, with a little help from her ghostly housemate . . .

Charlene’s parents are in town for Christmas, and her mother is driving her up a tree. Her bed-and-breakfast’s resident ghost, Jack, isn’t fond of her either–and he’s showing it with some haunting high jinks. But when Charlene takes her mom and dad out for dinner, the less-than-seasonal spirits take a deadly turn.

David Baldwin has just won a fortune in the lottery–and it adds a lot of drama to the charity auction he’s hosting at his restaurant. When he caps off the evening by playing Santa and handing out checks to some of the attendees, the mood shifts . . . and Charlene observes mysterious tensions between David and his flashy, bleached-blonde wife, his neglected teenage son from a previous marriage, and his hostile business partner, among others. And they’re only a few on the long list of potential suspects when David runs into the road and is mowed down by a fleeing motorist. Now it looks like it’s going to be homicide for the holidays . . . (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well rounded and well developed.  Charlene is getting ready for Christmas and her parents are coming for a visit.   But all is not merry and bright when someone is killed in a hit-n-run.  Now Charlene has to figure out who the murderer is.  She will have help from Jack, her resident ghost, whether she wants his help or not.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place.  The mystery is well plotted and not easily solved.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  The fact that there was a ghost was just icing on the cake.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past (A Salem B&B Mystery Book 3) by [Traci Wilton]

A Ghostly Demise

A Ghostly Demise
Ghostly Southern Mysteries, Book #3
Tonya Kappes
5 Stars

Synopsis:

The prodigal father returns—but this ghost is no holy spirit

When she runs into her friend’s deadbeat dad at the local deli, undertaker Emma Lee Raines can’t wait to tell Mary Anna Hardy that he’s back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, after five long years. Cephus Hardy may have been the town drunk, but he didn’t disappear on an epic bender like everyone thought: He was murdered. And he’s heard that Emma Lee’s been helping lost souls move on to that great big party in the sky.

Why do ghosts always bother Emma Lee at the worst times? Her granny’s mayoral campaign is in high gear, a carnival is taking over the town square, and her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is stuck wrestling runaway goats. Besides, Cephus has no clue whodunit…unless it was one of Mrs. Hardy’s not-so-secret admirers. All roads lead Emma Lee to that carnival—and a killer who isn’t clowning around. (Goodreads)

Review:

The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. Emma Lee has a big heart and she is a giving person. She is willing to help whatever ghost show up in need of assistance, although she may not like doing some of the things that she has to do. Emmy Lee’s sister drives me nuts, she is not a very nice person. Granny is so funny and wild and I enjoy reading about her a lot.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place around me. The small town setting is perfectly depicted: the gossip, the neighborliness, the nastiness and helping others when in need. The mystery is carried on throughout the entire book and there are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I did not figure out the killer until it was revealed at the end of the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted paranormal cozy with great characters, humor, a great small town setting and a hard to solve mystery. I enjoy this series very much.

A Ghostly Demise: A Ghostly Southern Mystery (Ghostly Southern Mysteries Book 3) by [Tonya Kappes]

Review of Vistas, Vices & Valentines

Vistas, Vices & Valentines

Camper & Criminals, Book #24

Tonya Kappes

5 Stars

Synopsis:

Welcome to Normal where nothing is normal!

Join Mae West and the Laundry Club Ladies as they cha cha and twirl their way around Happy Trails Campground as they put on some sleuthing dance shoes to bring closure to this southern and fun cozy Valentine’s mystery.

When I begged Hank Sharp to take dance lessons to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I knew I was getting more than I had bargained for. But when a dancer’s dead body shows up at the height of the competition and Hank is hired to investigate the murder, I had no idea what we were in store for when he had Dottie Swaggert and Henry Bryant go undercover as a dance competition couple to get insider information.

After a little snooping around, we discovered there were deep running feuds and passions behind those sequins and smiles that gave motive and opportunity to kill for the desires to win the most coveted dancing title.

Time is running out and we fear Dottie’s life is in danger. Let’s face it, she has a hard time keeping her mouth shut. And NO ONE puts Dottie in the corner. (Goodreads)

Review:

Get your dancing shoes on and join the Laundry Club Ladies in their latest adventure.  When there is a dance competition, someone kills a dancer and it is up to Mae and her friends to find out who the killer is.  Dottie and Henry go undercover to help figure it out.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning and took me on a wonderful journey.  The writing style flows smoothly and the writing style flows smoothly.  The mystery was well plotted and there were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider.  I was surprised by who the killer was.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  Whenever you read a book in this series, you know that you are going to be entertained and you are in for a real treat.

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

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Review of Show Me The Bunny

Show Me The Bunny

A Melanie Travis Mystery Book #29

Laurien Berenson

5 Stars

Synopsis:

Melanie Travis is gifted at raising prize-winning Standard Poodles, not standing in as the Easter Bunny. But when March in Connecticut brings daffodils and dead bodies, she’ll need to hop into action—and fast . . .

Aunt Rose already has a strike against her for not being too fond of dogs—or Aunt Peg. But Melanie still agrees to organize Easter festivities at Gallagher House, the new women’s shelter opened by the stern former nun, even if it takes all the jellybeans in Greenwich to sweeten the arrangement. No sooner does Melanie arrive to dye multicolor eggs and stuff baskets, than she learns devasting news about Beatrice Gallagher, the respected benefactor of the estate. Beatrice has fallen to her death, and the circumstances are shocking . . .  

No one can say why or how charitable Beatrice got pushed into an early grave. Yet for a supposedly warm and generous philanthropist, rumors have her pinned as an overbearing manipulator who used money to control the unfortunate few trapped in her inner circle. Facing an uncertain future as danger lurks around Gallagher House, Melanie and Aunt Rose must tolerate each other’s company long enough to discover the truth about Beatrice’s true nature and identify a vengeful killer—before another person’s idyllic spring break becomes a serious nightmare . . .(Amazon)

Review:

The characters are well rounded and well developed.  It is Easter time and Melanie has agreed to organize the Easter activities for a women’s shelter, including an Easter egg hunt.  Her Aunt Rose has opened the women’s shelter with her husband. The benefactor of the shelter is found dead and Melanie has to find out who the killer is.  She has her work cut out for her.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and it took me on a fantastic journey.  The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.   The mystery was well plotted and there were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider.  I was surprised who the culprit was.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I just love reading about Melanie and her family and all the dogs.  

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

New Releases For The Week Of January 23rd, 2022–Part 2

Up to No Gouda (Grilled Cheese Mysteries Book 1) by [Linda Reilly]

The first in a delicious new culinary cozy series featuring a grilled cheese eatery owner who must solve murders in her small town before she is put under lock and brie

Back in Balsam Dell to heal after the death of her husband, Carly Hale is finally pursuing her lifelong dream—opening Carly’s Grilled Cheese Eatery. After only five months, business is booming as Vermont vacationers and townspeople alike flock to lunch on her Party Havartis and other grilled cheese concoctions. All but Lyle Bagley, Carly’s one-time high school boyfriend and now town bully who just bought the building that houses her eatery and wants Carly out. After a muenster of a fight, Carly’s forced to put her nose to the rind and find a solution to keep her business afloat.

That is…until Lyle is discovered dead behind the dumpster of Carly’s shop, and one of her employees becomes the prime suspect. In order to save her eatery and prove her friend’s innocence, Carly must sleuth out the killer before she’s the one who gets grilled.

With a delightful cast of characters, an inventive amateur sleuth, and a whole host of cheesy hijinks, Up to No Gouda is the perfect cozy murder mystery to melt into. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback Audiobook

Resort at Castaway Bay: Now and Then by [Kathi Daley]

Sydney Whitmore, a forensic psychologist, moves to Shipwreck Island and renews her relationship with Ezra Reinhold, a reclusive billionaire who enjoys poking around in cold cases and has the means to hire the best people to find the answers no one else has been able to.

In book 4 in the series, Syd has settled into her new home at the resort just in time for a good old fashion Thanksgiving but before she can leave the stress of her old life behind she must first complete one final interview relating to Conrad Baker, the serial killer whose actions sent her running to Shipwreck Island in the first place. The problem is that the interview turns into a bit of a disaster throwing the entire case built by the district attorney into doubt. Syd knows Baker is guilty in spite of the fact that the case against him seems to be crumbling so she decides to take a second look at her assumptions and ends up with a realization she never expected. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback

Easter Bonnet Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Book 28) by [Leslie Meier]

Part-time reporter Lucy Stone isn’t about to put all her eggs in one basket during a frantic Easter in Tinker’s Cove—especially when it comes to cracking a deadly mystery . . .
 
Known for its cheerful staff and elaborate annual Easter Bonnet Contest, the Heritage House senior center regularly attracts new residents and positive press. But once the town’s retired librarian, Miss Julia Tilley, checks in to recover from an illness, Lucy sees a side of the facility that isn’t quite so perfect and pristine. And the place may soon be making headlines for different reasons following an unexplained disappearance . . .
 
Lucy can’t fathom how Agnes Neal could go missing from assisted living over a silly Easter bonnet contest, or why few seem concerned as signs point to foul play. A retired journalist with an independent mind, Agnes had an eye for details and little interest in conforming to catty cliques or rules set by her caretakers—traits that threatened some and angered others . . . 
 
While police stall the investigation without answers, Lucy realizes backstabbing has no age limit when alarming parallels bloom between her daughter’s college frenemies and social circles at Heritage House. Gathering clues as flimsy as a half-eaten milk chocolate bunny, Lucy must discover what happened to Agnes—before her own story becomes another springtime tragedy left unsolved. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

Something's Guava Give: A Tropical Island Cozy Mystery (Trouble in Paradise! Book 2) by [Carrie Doyle]

Nothing ruins an ocean view like a body on the beach!

Plum Lockhart went out on a limb when she ditched her corporate job in New York City and moved to the Caribbean island of Paraiso. Now the head of her own villa broker agency, Plum spends her days chasing down clients and lounging on white sand beaches.

But the sweet life turns sour when a publishing heiress is found dead at the mansion of an eccentric tycoon, Dieter Friedrich. Even worse, Plum’s old colleague cashes in a favor and asks her to investigate. It looks like she’ll need to fit a murder case into her already jam-packed schedule!

Friedrich is known for his shady dealings, but he’s not the only bad apple on the island—Plum will have to contend with a scheming millionaire, a sleazy rockstar, and devious B-list celebrities. And joining Plum once again is Juan Kevin Munoz, the distractingly gorgeous Director of Security. Despite the sparks between them, they’ll need to stay focused on the case—there’s a murderer hot on their heels! (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook

The Accomplice: A Novel by [Lisa Lutz]

Everyone has the same questions about best friends Owen and Luna: What binds them together so tightly? Why weren’t they ever a couple? And why do people around them keep turning up dead? In this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Passenger, every answer raises a new, more chilling question.
 
“Masterfully plotted, The Accomplice is both a keep-you-guessing mystery and a keenly and tenderly observed character study.”—Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird and Heaven, My Home


ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—PopSugar, CrimeReads

Owen Mann is charming, privileged, and chronically dissatisfied. Luna Grey is secretive, cautious, and pragmatic. Despite their differences, they form a bond the moment they meet in college. Their names soon become indivisible—Owen and Luna, Luna and Owen—and stay that way even after an unexplained death rocks their social circle.

They’re still best friends years later, when Luna finds Owen’s wife brutally murdered. The police investigation sheds light on some long-hidden secrets, but it can’t penetrate the wall of mystery that surrounds Owen. To get to the heart of what happened and why, Luna has to dig up the one secret she’s spent her whole life burying.

The Accomplice brilliantly examines the bonds of shared history, what it costs to break them, and what happens when you start wondering how well you know the one person who truly knows you. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

Murder at a Scottish Social (A Scottish Shire Mystery Book 3) by [Traci Hall]

Sweater shop owner Paislee Shaw puts the yarn in Nairn, but a killer has put poison in some Scottish shortbread cookies . . .

Opening her shop Cashmere Crush and making a new home for herself, her son Brody, Gramps, and their black Scottish terrier Wallace in the beautiful Scottish village of Nairn is a dream come true. So Paislee is happy to give back by donating a luxurious cashmere sweater for an auction to raise money for the Nairn Food Bank. She’s less happy to make the acquaintance of a clique of competitive moms at the charity event, who treat a baking contest like it’s life or death. It turns out to be the latter for Queen Bee Kirsten Buchanan when a peanut-laced shortbread cookie triggers her fatal nut allergy.

Who would poison Kirsten? How about half the town? But when Paislee’s pal Blaise is suspected, the sweater-selling sleuth leaps into action to unravel the mystery. Along with gruff but handsome DI Mack Zeffer, she has to sort through a batch of suspects without becoming this cookie-cutter killer’s next target . (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

New Releases For The Week Of January 23, 2022–Part 1

Death and the Diva: A fun and Quirky Cozy Mystery with Pets (Grave Theatrics Book 2) by [Sam Cheever]

May was determined that it would be a cold day in a very hot place before she let herself be drawn into a confrontation with her high school drama rival again. Funny thing though, when she wasn’t getting all up in May’s grill, the woman was really rocking the whole “playing dead” thing. Surely, May’s old nemesis has been taking acting lessons. Otherwise, she could never perform the role of corpse so realistically. Wait…

Asked to take part in a play for charity at her high school alma mater, Maybell Ferth thought it was a fun way to do something she loved while helping kids in her home town. But, she’d forgotten one really important thing. That thing’s name was Patrice Reynolds, and she’d been the bane of May’s existence in high school drama class. May had promised herself she’d never let the woman get under her skin again. But she hadn’t realized Patrice was in charge of the charity play. And when the woman ends up dead, May’s very public battles with her shine a light on May as the number one suspect.

The only way to clear her name is to put her professional mourning skills into practice at the funeral. With a murder to solve, and her own future at stake, May’s acting chops are going to be sorely tested. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Tabby or Not Tabby (A Whiskers and Words Mystery Book 2) by [Eryn  Scott]

For a town that’s as cute as a button, there sure is a lot of murder.
 
Louisa Henry’s dream bookshop is up and running. On a trip to deliver a book to one of her customers, Lou stumbles upon the man’s dead body. The police are sure it’s a suicide, but Lou has questions. Clues at the scene as well as details about the man’s life just don’t seem to add up.
 
The fact that the dead man was the town bully is only one of many things that gives Lou pause. Are the police jumping to suicide so they don’t have to arrest the person who did everyone a favor?
 
Lou’s also busy helping her best friend, Willow, with preparations for the high school’s annual Spring Fling. But during her time up at the drafty old building, Lou finds secrets hidden away no one was meant to see, and she learns her new town might be hiding more than she first thought.
 
Dear reader, if you love rescue cats, goats who wear pajamas, and a cozy bookstore, you’re going to love this new series by Eryn Scott. Hold on to your hats. The town of Button is as cute as they come, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of murder. These books are clean with no foul language or gore. Curl up under a cozy blanket, cuddle with a cat (or two), and come join Lou as she solves mysteries in the town of Button. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Show Me the Bunny (A Melanie Travis Mystery Book 29) by [Laurien Berenson]

Melanie Travis is gifted at raising prize-winning Standard Poodles, not standing in as the Easter Bunny. But when March in Connecticut brings daffodils and dead bodies, she’ll need to hop into action—and fast . .
 
Aunt Rose already has a strike against her for not being too fond of dogs—or Aunt Peg. But Melanie still agrees to organize Easter festivities at Gallagher House, the new women’s shelter opened by the stern former nun, even if it takes all the jellybeans in Greenwich to sweeten the arrangement. No sooner does Melanie arrive to dye multicolor eggs and stuff baskets, than she learns devasting news about Beatrice Gallagher, the respected benefactor of the estate. Beatrice has fallen to her death, and the circumstances are shocking . . .  
 
No one can say why or how charitable Beatrice got pushed into an early grave. Yet for a supposedly warm and generous philanthropist, rumors have her pinned as an overbearing manipulator who used money to control the unfortunate few trapped in her inner circle. Facing an uncertain future as danger lurks around Gallagher House, Melanie and Aunt Rose must tolerate each other’s company long enough to discover the truth about Beatrice’s true nature and identify a vengeful killer—before another person’s idyllic spring break becomes a serious nightmare . . . (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover

Framed for Murder: A Parker Photography Cozy Mystery by [Suzanne Bolden]

Harmony’s hoarder is discovered at the bottom of his basement stairs with a key clutched in his dead hand!

Norman Schott is at risk of his home being condemned. The residents of Harmony quickly make plans to help the hoarder clean and repair his house. They hope to save Norman from being homeless. But on the first wintery morning of the cleanup, finding his body changes all that!

The good-hearted townsfolk soon discover things are missing. Squares of colorful wallpaper, where framed pictures used to hang, is the first clue. Whatever that key was meant to open is missing too. Searches for family to claim the property and pay back taxes, reveal cryptic correspondence suggesting things were not as they appeared to be. A stranger arrives proclaiming herself a long-lost relative. But is she?

Stories of Norman’s past begin swirling round the village and Jackie’s curiosity antenna goes on high alert. What really happened in the house on Lilac Lane that cold winter night when Norman fell down the basement stairs?

Hugging the banks of the Wisconsin River and rising into the wooded hills and bluffs, the community of Harmony welcomes you! Be whisked away on a cozy mystery escape in every book in the series.(Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Sewn At The Crime (Stitches In Crime Book 6) by [ACF Bookens]

Salvaging old books is one thing. Finding bones is entirely another.

Salvager Paisley Sutton has been wanting to go inside the old two-room school for years, but when she finally gains access, just before a local community group begins a full restoration, she finds far more than great old desks and vintage textbooks. Soon, she’s preoccupied with the hunt for a murderer who is trying to hold three decades of crime.

How much is the truth worth? Is it worth Paisley’s life? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Last Seen Alive: A Mystery (Ellery Hathaway Book 5) by [Joanna Schaffhausen]

Last Seen Alive is the fifth book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s heartpounding Ellery Hathaway mystery series.

Boston detective Ellery Hathaway met FBI agent Reed Markham when he pried open a serial killer’s closet to rescue her. Years on, their relationship remains defined by that moment and by Francis Coben’s horrific crimes. To free herself from Coben’s legacy, Ellery had to walk away from Reed, too. But Coben is not letting go so easily. He has an impossible proposition: Coben will finally give up the location of the remaining bodies, on one condition—Reed must bring him Ellery.

Now the families of the missing victims are crying out for justice that only Ellery can deliver. The media hungers for a sequel and Coben is their camera-ready star. He claims he is sorry and wants to make amends. But Ellery is the one living person who has seen the monster behind the mask and she doesn’t believe he can be redeemed. Not after everything he’s done. Not after what she’s been through. And certainly not after a fresh body turns up with Coben’s signature all over it. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Vivien Chien’s Hot and Sour Suspects.

Pair your noodles with this steaming mystery, and you have the perfect chilly night combination!”―PopSugar

At the Ho-Lee Noodle House, murder is on the menu.

When Lana Lee’s best friend, Megan Riley, asks her to help host a speed dating contest at Ho-Lee Noodle House, she doesn’t see the harm in lending a hand. The night goes better than anticipated, and both Lana and Megan are beyond thrilled with the results. But before they can break out the champagne, Rina Su, fellow Asia Village shop owner and speed dating participant, calls to inform Lana that the date she’s just matched with has been murdered. Under suspicion of foul play, Rina enlists Lana’s help in finding out what really happened that night.

Without hesitation, Lana begins to dig into the man in question. To her dismay, she quickly finds that Rina’s date has a rather unsavory past. There’s a long line of slighted women, angry neighbors, and perturbed co-workers―all of whom seem to have a motive.

As Lana continues to spiral down the treacherous path of scorned lovers and mistreated acquaintances, she can’t help but dwell on how quickly an innocent evening filled with hope and positivity could turn so sour. When the media gets in on the case, Lana must rush to find the killer before more dates turn deadly. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Review of A Ghostly Grave

Synopsis:

There’s a ghost on the loose—and a fox in the henhouse

Four years ago, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home put Chicken Teater in the ground. Now undertaker Emma Lee Raines is digging him back up. The whole scene is bad for business, especially with her granny running for mayor and a big festival setting up in town. But ever since Emma Lee started seeing ghosts, Chicken’s been pestering her to figure out who killed him.

With her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, busy getting new forensics on the old corpse, Emma Lee has time to look into her first suspect. Chicken’s widow may be a former Miss Kentucky, but the love of his life was another beauty queen: Lady Cluckington, his prize-winning hen. Was Mrs. Teater the jealous type? Chicken seems to think so. Something’s definitely rotten in Sleepy Hollow—and Emma Lee just prays it’s not her luck. (Goodreads)

Review:

Emma Lee now has a new ghost to help. This time is is Chicken Teater, who has been dead for four years. He keeps insisting that someone murdered him and he has a pretty good idea that it was his wife. Since Emma Lee is the only “betweener” that she knows, it is up to her to help Chicken. But it will not be easy trying to solve the four year old mystery while trying to keep her granny in check and not aggravate her sheriff boyfriend with her snooping.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The writing is descriptive and many time I felt like I was there, listening to Emma Lee and Chicken talk or watching granny on her moped avoiding running into people. There is a lot of humor in this book and many times I was laughing out loud. I especially liked the bickering and bantering between Emma Lee and Chicken. The mystery is carried on throughout the entire book and there are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I did not figure out the killer until it was revealed at the end of the book, which I always like when that happens.

The characters are well developed and well rounded and are people I would like to hang out. Emma Lee has a big heart and will do whatever it takes to help the ghosts that come to her for help. Granny is a hoot and I really enjoyed reading about all her crazy antics.

I cannot recommend this book (and series) enough to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy. And if you enjoy paranormal cozies, then this book is a must read.

A Ghostly Grave: A Ghostly Southern Mystery (Ghostly Southern Mysteries Book 2) by [Tonya Kappes]

Review of Dead Messages

Dead Messages

Texts From Beyond, Book #1

Kristen Brand

5 Stars

Synopsis:

She texts dead people…

Sydney Farina, full-time baker and cynic, is having a bad enough week when her boss forces her to go into work on her day off. When 

she arrives to find her boss’s corpse on the floor, her week gets a whole lot worse.

She’s shocked to learn it was murder—though maybe not too shocked. Her short-tempered boss, Glenda Whitaker, made more enemies than she did sprinkled cupcakes.

Then the texts start coming.

They’re from Glenda’s number, demanding Sydney find out who murdered her. Sydney thinks the messages are a bad joke at first, but when they reveal things only Glenda would know, she’s forced to accept the truth:

She’s getting texts from a dead woman.

Glenda’s ghost wants justice, but Sydney doesn’t know the first thing about solving murders. As she investigates her coworkers, can she find out who killed Glenda? Or will she join her grouchy boss on the other side of the grave?

Dead Messages is a cozy mystery novella with a touch of the paranormal. If you like quirky characters and fun whodunits, then dive in and start reading today

Review:

I am always looking for a cozy mystery that involves ghosts and this one was a good one.  Receiving texts from a dead person is a very clever way of doing things and I really enjoyed it.  

Sydney is a baker who likes her job but does not like her boss.  She and her coworkers are tired of working for her.  It seems like someone else was tired of her too because she is murdered.  If that is not bad enough, she begins getting texts from her dead boss, asking for her help finding her killer.  How can you ignore texts from beyond the grave? 

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story from the very beginning.

The writing flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The mystery was well plotted and not easily solved.  

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I cannot wait to read the next one, I hope the author writes fast.

Dead Messages (Texts From Beyond Book 1) by [Kristen Brand]