New Releases For The Week OF February 5th, 2023–Part 1

Catnip and cadavers in the care home.

Cat blogger extraordinaire Emily Lickenson falls into a mystery when the head cook at the local care home unexpectedly dies.
As curious as a cat, Emily can’t resist investigating exactly what happened. She recruits her snoopy Aunt Mattie (who herself is half-convinced she used to be a spy) to hunt for clues in the midst of more red herrings than at a fish market..
The clever duo soon discover evidence of murder and a gaggle of suspects, a ditzy sous chef, grumpy cleaner who wanted the less than friendly chef sliced and diced.

Of course, Shakespeare, the cat is along for the ride, both sweet and sassy, and with nine lives!
In this quirky whodunnit you’ll find twists and turns, red herrings served with a slice of puzzle pie, and surprises that’ll have you turning the pages to find the killer before they find Emily. Perfect for those who love cozy animal mysteries with a pinch of humor, lots of clues, and a fun small town feel. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Fans of Hannah Dennison and Carlene O’Connor’s mysteries are in for a treat with Ellie Brannigan’s captivating debut cozy mystery, complete with a sharp and endearing protagonist.

Rodeo Drive bridalwear designer Rayne McGrath expected her thirtieth birthday to start with a power lunch and end with champagne, lobster, and a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé. Instead, flat-broke and busted, she’s on a plane to Ireland where she discovers that she’s inherited a run-down family castle. Uncle Nevin’s will contains a few caveats—for example, if Rayne doesn’t turn McGrath Castle around within a year, the entire village will be financially destroyed.
With the fate of the town in her hands, and rumors that Rayne’s uncle’s death wasn’t actually an accident, she can’t possibly go back to her old life in L.A. As the devastating truth about her uncle dawns on Rayne, it’s not just her reputation that’s on the line, it’s her life.

Featuring a sharp and endearing protagonist, a colorful and quirky locale, and replete with twists and turns befitting an old Irish village, the first in Brannigan’s mystery series transports us to a milieu as romantic as it is deadly. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook

An elderly couple were found dead in their living room, leaving their cat, Ralphy, to fend for himself.

It appears to be a murder-suicide and the wife’s actions in the days leading up to their demise were suspicious.

Is the death of Ralph and Janet Shelby as cut and dry as it seems? Or will Barbara Sandosa uncover something that no one would have ever suspected about her warm and loving neighbors?

Series overview:

Barbara Sandosa, a pastry lover and avid cook, works in her small town’s most reputable law firm.

And although she’s been hired to do a particular job, she finds herself prying into the private lives of her boss’s clients, unbeknownst to them and drags young Harry Buford along for the “rocky” ride. What she uncovers in some cases shocks the innocent minds of those in her community, including her level-headed boss who’s being handsomely paid to defend all who have retained his services.

Will Barbara’s curiosity literally save the day or will it get her into deep trouble – possibly costing her her job? (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Juniper Holiday’s annual Valentines Day party is all about love and romance… and this year, it’s also about murder.

When the grand prize winner is found dead in the bathroom, there are very few clues as to who did it. With a house full of guests, there are plenty who had means and opportunity, but who had motive?

Detective Mallard is already in trouble with his boss, so he needs to solve this one fast… even if that means getting some help from the mansion ghosts.

And just when Juniper thinks she has it all figured out, she discovers that making the wrong assumptions can be deadly. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

When Avery comes face-to-face with a killer, it starts a chain reaction that could change her life forever.

Avery’s used to finding dead bodies, but apparently the universe doesn’t think that’s enough. This time, she’s right there when Simone, a local hairdresser at A Snip in Time, is shot and killed in cold blood. After Simone dies, her ghost tells Avery that her name is really Mandy, and that the man who murdered her is her abusive ex, and he’s after her son. Before Mandy can explain further, she’s sucked into the light.

When Sergeant Bellamy questions Avery, she tries to explain what she knows, but he initially discounts her information because he can’t find evidence of Simone having changed her name. He’s also less than forthcoming when she probes him for clues, quickly shutting her out of his investigation.

With little to go on, Avery has a hard time coming up with leads, and all the while, she’s worried about the victim’s missing mother and son. Just when she’s despairing of ever getting somewhere with the investigation, another ghost turns up in front of A Snip in Time. This new ghost was slain on the same morning as Mandy, and she begs for Avery’s help.

Armed with vague information and spurred by a promise she’s made to two ghosts, Avery tries to ascertain if both murders are somehow connected. Her hunt for the killer or killers is messy and confusing, and she soon learns they might have their sights set on her too. But no matter what, she’s not backing down. All she needs is one break. Just one.

Yet again, her living and dead friends are ready to help. Will their assistance be enough for her to untangle this crime before she becomes the next victim, or has her luck finally run out?

For lovers of suspense, crime, humour and paranormal mysteries. A fun read for teens and adults alike. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Mounds of chocolate and plenty of sampling are all but guaranteed when covering the Firefly Chocolate Festival. Sunni Taylor is happy to oblige. The main event of the whole cocoa-y affair is a chocolate sculpting contest. Soon after opening, the festival is marred by accusations of cheating and sabotage, intrigues that take a back seat to something much more disruptive—murder. Sunni has to put down the chocolate salted caramels and chocolate covered toffee and find out who killed the chocolatier. Oh, and here’s an interesting tidbit, dear reader. She won’t be working with her usual favorite detective on this case.

Book 16 of the Firefly Junction Cozy Mystery series
More in the series:
1. Death in the Park
2. Killer Bridal Party
3. Murder at the Inn
4. A Humbug Holiday
5. Calamity at the Carnival
6. Double Trouble
7. Havoc at Wildwood Manor
8. Fatal Feud
9. Trick or Trouble
10. A Crafty Killing
11. Death at the Museum
12. Murder at the Pumpkin Patch
13. Founders’ Day Fiasco
14. Heat Wave Homicide
15. Terror at Thornbridge Hotel
16. Chocolate Festival Felony
17. TBA (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Jill still has to locate the final compass stone before she is ready to face her nemesis, Braxmore, but finding the guardian is proving more difficult than she expected. An unexpected series of events means that Jill & Jack must make a decision about Florence’s future much earlier than they’d expected. And as if all that wasn’t enough, she has to solve one of the strangest cases she’s ever come across. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Murder in a remote island parish ought to be rare …

Knee-deep in offerings for the harvest festival and battling the bellringers who appear to be on strike, another mystery is the last thing Jess needs.

However, when the latest body is discovered, it coincides with the arrival of a film crew looking to make a documentary about the now-famous sleuthing vicar. Worse yet, the TV people are led by an old flame.

Unexpectedly at the center of her own true crime story, all she really wants to do is hide away with a pumpkin-spiced latte. Her cosy night by the fire will have to wait though. There’s a killer at large.

Add to the mix some clumsy attempts at courting from the school headmaster and more convincing romantic overtures from the handsome blast from the past and Jess is going to have her work cut out solving this one. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

Preparations for the first Taste of Harmony have been underway for months, but the food festival’s success is threatened when the chef of a featured restaurant falls ill!

Is it food poisoning? The committee breathes a sigh of relief as things quiet down when tests of festival foods prove negative, no one else is getting ill, and Chef Pierre stays out of sight. All seems harmonious once more as Jackie and her friends gather to enjoy the summer evening.

But in the early morning hours of the festival’s final day, trouble rears its ugly head again! The body of local bad boy Mitch Carter is discovered behind the tent of Miquel’s Brazilian Steakhouse. He’s been stabbed through with one of the restaurant’s long skewers. Who would want to see Mitch dead? Or is a better question who wouldn’t? Was the culprit a stranger in Harmony’s midst, or one of their own?

Where is Pierre? Who stabbed Mitch? Police Chief Mathis has his hands full as rumors and innuendos swirl. Fearing that dear friends could be involved in both situations, Jackie pushes her reluctance to get involved aside and helps to uncover the truth.

Hugging the banks of the Wisconsin River and rising into the wooded hills and bluffs, the community of Harmony invites you to be whisked away on another cozy mystery escape. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Bean Around Town, the coffee truck extension of Hazel Hewitt’s family business in Pine Lakes, Arizona is killing it. In fact, she and her best friend have been hired to cater a fancy holiday party with hot cocoa and treats from Lexi’s bakery. She thought the biggest surprise of the night would be discovering Detective Nico Baretti was one of the guests, but boy was she wrong!

First, a record-breaking blizzard threatens to keep everyone inside, so Hazel rushes her coffee truck delights into the home to make the best of this Claus-trophobic situation. And then, the unthinkable happens. The power goes out, and one of the guests turns up dead.

With her big brother and the rest of the Pine Lakes PD unable to help due to the storm, it’s up to Hazel and the resting-Grinch-faced detective to solve the case. But the family drama surrounding the guests makes it hard for Hazel to sniff out the suspect, especially while being a tad distracted by the effects of being snowed in with Nico.

This isn’t the first time Hazel has had to play cop, but this locked-room mystery might be her toughest one yet. Can she wade through the family’s web of lies to find the killer before someone else turns up dead?

Homicide and Hot Cocoa is a fast-paced holiday murder mystery in the Coffee Truck Cozy Mystery series. Inside you’ll find the perfect blend of family bonds that will warm your heart and whodunit adventures as strong as the coffee. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle

The second in a fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.

It’s hurricane season in New Orleans and vintage cookbook fan Ricki James-Diaz is trying to shelve her weather-related fears and focus on her business, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbook and Kitchenware Shop, housed in the magnificent Bon Vee Culinary House Museum.
Repairs on the property unearth crates of very old, very valuable French wine, buried by the home’s builder, Jean-Louis Charbonnet. Ricki, who’s been struggling to attract more customers to Miss Vee’s, is thrilled when her post about the discovery of this long-buried treasure goes viral. She’s less thrilled when the post brings distant Charbonnet family members out of the woodwork, all clamoring for a cut of the wine’s sale.
When a dead body turns up in Bon Vee’s cheery fall decorations, the NOPD zeroes in on Eugenia Charbonnet Felice as the prime suspect, figuring that as head of the Charbonnet family, she has the most to gain. Ricki is determined to uncover the real culprit, but she can’t help noticing that Eugenia is acting strangely. Ricki wonders what kind of secret her mentor has bottled up, and fears what might happen if she uncorks it.
In the second Vintage Cookbook Mystery, Ricki has to help solve a murder, untangle family secrets, and grow her business, all while living under the threat of a hurricane that could wipe out everything from her home to Bon Vee. (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook

From author Rosalie Spielman comes a clever small town mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end…

Retired US Army officer Tessa Treslow has settled in with her Aunt Edna in her hometown of New Oslo, Idaho. After the disasters of the previous fall, Tessa and her family are back on their feet as they start a new dream venture: a vehicle restoration business, “BOSS—Band of Sisters Services, call the She-canics.”

Tessa and the enticing local math teacher, Nick Hunt, are also working together to organize a charity run during the New Oslo Pioneer Days festival. All seems to be going well… until Tessa finds a dead body in the town park!

The murder victim is a stranger to their small town, who claimed that she was the illegitimate cousin of Tessa’s best friend, Deputy Petunia “Freddie” Frederickson. The victim’s bloody finger is pointing to a mark on the veterans’ honor roll sign, circling the names of Freddie and her grandfather. Complicating matters, Freddie was witnessed in an altercation with the woman just before her death, and it was Freddie’s knife found at the scene.

In order to help her best friend, Tessa and Aunt Edna search for the real identity of the victim. Was she actually a long-lost family member? Who would want her dead? And what was she doing in New Oslo? Tessa is determined to find out… even if the answers lead her straight into the crosshairs of a killer!

“Brilliant! The mystery was clever, well-developed to a surprise ending, but it was the characters that had me hooked!”
~Kings River Life Magazine

“You will also fall in love with New Oslo and its residents and businesses. You will want to pack a bag and jump in your car and head there as fast as you can!”
Cozy Mystery Book Reviews (Amazon)

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback