Book Review

Beyond the Headlines by R.G. Belsky [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Beyond the Headlines

Author: R.G. Belsky

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Publish Date: May 4, 2021

Genre: Amateur Sleuth

Series: Clare Carlson #4

My Rating: 4/5

Beyond the Headlines by R.G. Belsky

BOOK BLURB

She was a mega-celebrity—he was a billionaire businessman—now he’s dead—she’s in jail

Laurie Bateman was living the American dream. Since her arrival as an infant in the U.S. after the fall of Saigon, the pretty Vietnamese girl had gone on to become a supermodel, a successful actress, and, finally, the wife of one of the country’s top corporate dealmakers. That dream has now turned into a nightmare when she is arrested for the murder of her wealthy husband.

New York City TV journalist Clare Carlson does an emotional jailhouse interview in which Bateman proclaims her innocence—and becomes a cause celebre for women’s rights groups around the country.

At first sympathetic, then increasingly suspicious of Laurie Bateman and her story, Clare delves into a baffling mystery which has roots extending back nearly fifty years to the height of the Vietnam War.

Soon, there are more murders, more victims, and more questions as Clare struggles against dire evil forces to break the biggest story of her life.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Beyond the Headlines is the fourth book in the Clare Carlson series by R.G. Belsky. Clare is a journalist who has worked on several high profile investigations. In Beyond the Headlines, Clare is asked to do a jailhouse interview with a woman arrested for her wealthy husband’s murder. The woman proclaims her innocence, but Clare does some digging to discover the truth.

Clare is a flawed character. She is intelligent and witty, but she also makes some bad decisions. She does have some great investigative skills though, and the determination to find truth.

I’ve read the previous book in this series, and recommend reading this series in order. However, Beyond the Headlines can be read as a stand-alone.

Beyond the Headlines is a gripping mystery. Engaging, interesting, and suspenseful.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Clare Carlson series:
  1. Yesterday’s News
  2. Below the Fold
  3. The Last Scoop
  4. Beyond the Headlines
Book Review

Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Deadly Editions

Author: Paige Shelton

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: April 6, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #6

My Rating: 4/5

Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton

BOOK BLURB

A treasure hunt through Edinburgh gives way to a search for a villain terrorizing the city in the sixth Scottish Bookshop Mystery.

It’s a quiet, snowy morning at The Cracked Spine bookshop, when bookseller Delaney Nichols receives a mysterious visitor, a messenger. He presents her with a perplexing note: an invitation to a meeting with eccentric socialite Shelagh O’Conner, who requests Delaney’s participation in an exclusive treasure hunt. Delaney is intrigued, but also cautious: Shelagh, while charming in person, has a reputation for her hijinks as a wealthy young woman in the ’70s. She was even once suspected for the murder of a former boyfriend, though ultimately cleared of all charges.

But Delaney is enticed by the grand prize at the end of the treasure hunt: a highly valuable first edition copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The winner is also to receive the contents of Shelagh’s vast library, and all participants will earn a large sum of cash.

The night after the first meeting of the treasure hunters, however, several homes in Edinburgh are robbed in a manner reminiscent of Shelagh’s old tricks. And when a man connected to Shelagh is killed, suspicion builds. Except Shelagh herself has disappeared from her home, seemingly kidnapped by the villain.

Terror mounts throughout the city as Delaney attempts to solve the mystery, while trying to evade the killer’s clutches. But it’s hard to know who to trust when around every corner, a new monster could be lurking.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Deadly Editions is the sixth book in the Scottish Bookshop mystery series. The main character, Delaney, is an American woman who relocated to Scotland to work in a unique bookshop, the Cracked Spine. Delaney occasionally helps solve mysteries. Deadly Editions starts with Delaney on a treasure hunt, but leads to her looking for a killer.

I recommend starting with the first book in this series, The Cracked Spine. Each book in the series has a unique mystery, but the relationships between the characters grows throughout Delaney’s time in Scotland.

Deadly Editions is a delightful cozy mystery. The characters are likable and the story is entertaining. Light, fun, and quirky. A good read for fans of cozies.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Scottish Bookshop series:
  1. The Cracked Spine
  2. Of Books and Bagpipes
  3. Lost Books and Old Bones
  4. The Loch Ness Papers
  5. The Stolen Letter
  6. Deadly Editions
Book Review

Under the Cover of Murder by Lauren Elliott [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Under the Cover of Murder

Author: Lauren Elliott

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publish Date: March 30, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Beyond the Page Bookstore #6

My Rating: 4/5

Under the Cover of Murder by Lauren Elliott

BOOK BLURB

Bookshop owner and maid of honor Addie Greyborne vows to catch the killer who crashed her best friend’s wedding . . .

It promises to be Greyborne Harbor’s wedding of the year. The impending nuptials of Serena Chandler and Zach Ludlow will take place aboard his family’s luxurious super-yacht, currently moored in the harbor and the talk of the town. But on the day of the wedding, a man’s body washes up on the beach with no ID, only a torn page from a book in his pocket. As owner of Beyond the Page Books and Curios, bibliophile Addie is called in to identify the book, but she cannot.

The morning following the extravagant ceremony, a second body washes ashore and Addie has a sinking feeling that the two deaths are connected. While the guests are held on the yacht as the police investigate, at least Addie can peruse Zach’s father’s rare books library on board. A copy of Agatha Christie’s first Hercule Poirot novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, provides a clue that the killer may still be on the ship—but narrowing down the suspects without becoming the next victim may prove a truly Herculean task . . .


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Under the Cover of Murder is the sixth book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery by Lauren Elliott. Beyond the Page Books and Curios is owned by Addie Greyborne, a bibliophile who occasionally helps solve crimes. In this book, Addie is a bridesmaid in her best friend’s wedding set on a yacht. When an unknown man is found washed ashore, and then a wedding guest is killed, Addie is on the case to catch the killer.

I’ve read the previous books in this series, and have enjoyed watching the characters grow. While Under the Cover of Murder can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading this series in order.

I liked the yacht setting for this mystery. It makes it more of a locked room mystery, which is one of my favorite types of mysteries to read. One of the things that makes this series fun is the connection the mysteries have to books. Addie is drawn to help because of her knowledge of books.

Under the Cover of Murder is a delightful cozy mystery. This is a cozy mystery series that I enjoy keeping up with. Good for fans of cozies who enjoy bookish themes set in a small town.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Beyond the Page Bookstore series:
  1. Murder by the Book
  2. Prologue to Murder
  3. Murder in the First Edition
  4. Proof of Murder
  5. A Page Marked for Murder
  6. Under the Cover of Murder
Book Review

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle [Book Review]

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle

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BOOK INFO

Title: Premeditated Mortar

Author: Kate Carlisle

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: December 1, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Fixer-Upper Mystery #8

My Rating: 4/5

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle

BOOK BLURB

Contractor Shannon Hammer gets tangled up in murder at a spooky old asylum in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle. . . .

Shannon Hammer is about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located on a bucolic hillside two miles northeast of Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a small luxury hotel complete with twenty ocean-view rooms, a spa, and a restaurant.

Shannon is raring to get started on the enormous project and is shocked when a group of unruly protesters shows up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreaks havoc. She’s even more freaked-out when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room of the asylum. Despite her close call, Shannon wants nothing more than to get back to work . . . until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. Now Shannon is determined to get to the bottom of the goings-on at the Gables even if it kills her. . . .


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Shannon Hammer is back in this 8th book in the Fixer Upper mystery series. Shannon is a contractor who specializes in Victorian homes. Also, she occasionally come across a mystery to solve. In this book, Shannon takes on a renovation project of an old state insane asylum. She is excited to take on the new project, however, protesters and a dead body are hindering her progress.

I previously reviewed A Wrench in the the Works, which was the sixth book in the Fixer-Upper series and the first one I read. However, I have now read most of the books in this series, and the books continue to be enjoyable cozy mysteries. As with most series, it helps to better understand backstories if the series is read in order. That said, Premeditated Mortar can be read as a standalone.

An engaging and entertaining cozy mystery. With likable characters and a charming setting, this was a wonderful light mystery. I liked the renovation aspect of the story, especially the renovation of an old asylum. In short, a recommended read for fans of cozies. Delightful and fun.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Fixer-Upper Mystery Series:
  1. A High-End Finish
  2. This Old Homicide
  3. Crowned and Moldering
  4. Deck the Hallways
  5. Eaves of Destruction
  6. A Wrench in the Works
  7. Shot Through the Hearth
  8. Premeditated Mortar
Book Review

Murder Is a Must by Marty Wingate [Book Review]

Murder Is a Must by Marty Wingate

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BOOK INFO

Title: Murder Is a Must

Author: Marty Wingate

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: December 1, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: First Edition Library Mystery #2

My Rating: 4/5

Murder Is a Must by Marty Wingate

BOOK BLURB

Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling’s collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She’s even made progress with Lady Fowling’s former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling’s life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning.

Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. Oona feels this book could be the focal point of the exhibition and becomes obsessed with finding it.

When they find clues that appear to point to the book being somewhere in the First Edition Library, Oona is certain she’s unraveled the mystery and texts Hayley the good news, but upon arriving back at Middlebank, Hayley finds her old boss dead at the bottom of the stairs. Did her discovery of the rare book get her killed or was it some angry shadow from her past? Hayley must read between the lines to catch a malicious murderer.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Hayley Burke is the curator at Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. The library is a mystery lovers dream, especially since it contains many Golden Age mysteries. Hayley and her former boss, Oona, are preparing a new exhibit. They plan to showcase Lady Fowling’s life and letters. During their planning, they learn a rare, signed book may be in the library. Of course, Oona wants to locate it. However, before the book is located, Oona is found dead. In addition to the murder investigation, Hayley also needs to find the missing book.

Murder Is a Must is the second book in the First Edition Library Mystery series. This book can be read as a standalone. However, I recommend reading the first book, The Bodies in the Library, before this one. A fabulous cozy series. Cozy readers, especially fans of Golden Age mysteries, are sure to enjoy.

The cast of characters is quirky and relatable. Hayley is a likable protagonist. She contains traits I enjoy in main female characters, such as being smart, witty, and hard-working. In addition to entertaining characters, the setting is charming. A delightful story with a light mystery, but it also includes other things happening in Hayley’s life.

A delightful cozy mystery. Recommended for fans of cozies, especially ones that feature books and libraries.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Bibliophile Mystery Series:
  1. The Bodies in the Library
  2. Murder Is a Must
Book Review

The Well of Ice by Andrea Carter [Book Review]

The Well of Ice by Andrea Carter

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Well of Ice

Author: Andrea Carter

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Publish Date: November 10, 2020

Genre: Amateur Sleuth

Series: Inishowen Mysteries #3

My Rating: 4/5

The Well of Ice by Andrea Carter

BOOK BLURB

A cold—and terrifying—Christmas holiday on the Inishowen Peninsula

December on the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal—and solicitor Benedicta “Ben” O’Keeffe is working flat out before the Christmas holidays. While on a trip to Dublin to visit her parents, she runs into Luke Kirby—the man who killed her sister—freshly released from jail. On the surface he appears remorseful, conciliatory even, but his comment as she walks away makes her realize he is as evil as ever.

Back in Glendara, she finds chaos. The Oak pub has burned down and Carole Kearney, the Oak’s barmaid, has gone missing. And then, while walking the dog up Sliabh Sneacht, Ben and her partner, Sergeant Tom Molloy, make a gruesome discovery: a body lying face down in the snow. Another brutal attack in the small town and Ben plunges into full discovery mode.

Who could be behind this vicious attack on Glendara and its residents? And why disturb such a charming town at Christmas? As Ben delves in to find answers, she comes face to face with the reality that all this evil could be swirling around her as her past confronts her present—and future.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Well of Ice is the third book in the Inishowen Mysteries series by Andrea Carter. Ben (Benedicta) O’Keeffe is a local attorney in Glendara, a small town in northern Ireland. She has been involved with a couple of mysteries, and is drawn into a new one in The Well of Ice.

Glendara is a very close-knit community, where everyone knows everyone else’s business. For instance, everyone seems to know about Ben and her “secret” boyfriend Sergeant Tom Molloy… so, it’s a surprise when no one knows anything about the local pub burning down and the missing barmaid. Fortunately, Ben has a talent for uncovering secrets and solving mysteries.

I recommend reading the first two books in this series (Death at Whitewater Church and Treacherous Strand) before this one. While the mystery and some of the characters are new, the recurring characters have a history that progresses between books.

An atmospheric mystery with an isolated and wintry setting. The Well of Ice has similarities with cozy mysteries – small town setting, quirky characters, and an amateur sleuth, but it is darker than most cozies. Intriguing mystery that has me looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Inishowen Mysteries series:
  1. Death at Whitewater Church
  2. Treacherous Strand
  3. The Well of Ice
  4. Murder at Greysbridge
  5. The Body Falls
Book Review

A Page Marked for Murder by Lauren Elliott [Book Review]

A Page Marked for Murder by Lauren Elliott

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: A Page Marked for Murder

Author: Lauren Elliott

Publisher: Kensington

Publish Date: October 27, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #5

My Rating: 4/5

A Page Marked for Murder by Lauren Elliottt

BOOK BLURB

A murder and a missing book have Addie Greyborne running around her Massachusetts town trying to read the clues…

January isn’t the season for the seaside, but the big Fire and Ice festival is keeping bookstore owner Addie busy. Amid the plans for a fireworks display and an ice-carving competition, she’s also dog sitting for a friend in the hospital. When Addie goes to her friend’s house to gather supplies, she notices an interesting item on the nightstand which belongs to her shop assistant, Paige: a very valuable copy of the beloved children’s book The Secret Garden.

But Addie’s blood runs cold when she finds something else: a dead body behind the bakery next door to her shop. Martha, the bakery owner, has no alibi—and has been seen in a heated argument with the victim. And the next thing Addie knows, that first edition has gone missing. Is there a connection between the body and the treasured tome? If there is, it’s up to Addie to find a killer with a motive as hidden as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous garden . . .


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Addie is back with another murder mystery in the quaint town of Greyborne Harbor. In addition to a murder to solve, Addie also looks for a stolen book.

A Page Marked for Murder is the fifth book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series by Lauren Elliott. I have read the other books in this series, and reviewed Book 3 (Murder in the First Edition) and Book 4 (Proof of Murder) on this blog .

I’ve enjoyed each book in this series, and was happy to see Addie was back for another mystery. The small town setting is great, and I especially enjoy Addie’s bookstore. The characters are wonderful and a joy to read about. A series worth checking out for fans of cozies.

An entertaining cozy mystery. Well paced, delightful, and fun.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series:
  1. Murder by the Book
  2. Prologue to Murder
  3. Murder in the First Edition
  4. Proof of Murder
  5. A Page Marked for Murder
Book Review

The Body from the Past by Judi Lynn [Book Review]

The Body from the Past by Judi Lynn

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Body from the Past

Author: Judi Lynn

Publisher: Lyrical Underground

Publish Date: September 22, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Jazzi Zanders #5

My Rating: 4/5

The Body from the Past by Judi Lynn

BOOK BLURB

A closed room in her newest fixer-upper leads Indiana house-flipper Jazzi Zanders to reopen a chilling cold case involving a high school girl . . .

Jazzi, her cousin Jerod, and her husband Ansel are preparing to renovate a charming house that reminds her of an English manor. Before purchasing it, they had inspected the house for structural issues, but now when they do a more thorough walk-through, they discover a teenage girl’s bedroom that clearly hasn’t been touched in years. Dust covers the pink canopy bed, clothes still hang in the closet, and a hope chest remains full of journals and memorabilia. They’ve stumbled on a shrine to a dead girl.

They learn Jessica was killed in the middle of her high school graduation party. The murderer was never identified, but the brother-in-law of Jazzi’s friend, who went to school with Jessica, was suspected and never lived it down. He implores Jazzi to review the cold case and finally prove him innocent. Now it’s up to the house-flipper to nail a killer who will do anything to close the door on the past . . .


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Jazzi is back for the fifth book, The Body from the Past, in the Jazzi Zanders mystery series. Jazzi, her husband Ansel, and her cousin Jerod renovate homes. The house they are working on has a locked door that hasn’t been opened in years. When they get into the room, they discover it belonged to a teenage girl who died. The girl’s murderer was never found. Jazzi is curious about the case, and looks into finding who killed the girl.

This book is part of a series. I’ve read the previous books, and recommend reading this series in order. That said, this can be read as a standalone. I have some reviews for earlier books on the blog – The Body in the Wetlands (book 2), The Body in the Gravel (book 3), and The Body in the Apartment (book 4).

The Body from the Past is an enjoyable cozy mystery. Jazzi works as a house flipper, and sometimes finds herself with a mystery to solve. The reason I like this series is because I enjoy reading about the remodeling jobs the crew take on. The mysteries are light, and the characters are likable. A good read for fans of cozies. Delightful and fun.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Jazzi Zanders Mystery Series:
  1. The Body in the Attic
  2. The Body in the Wetlands
  3. The Body in the Gravel
  4. The Body in the Apartment
  5. The Body from the Past
  6. The Body in the Beauty Parlor
Book Review

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron [Book Review]

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

Author: Ellen Byron

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publish Date: September 8, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Cajun Country Mystery #6

My Rating: 4/5

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron

BOOK BLURB

Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard is the sixth book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron. Maggie Crozat and her family and friends are back in another delightful book. When mysteries happen in Pelican, LA, Maggie, a B&B owner in Cajun Country, is quick to help investigate and find the guilty party.

In this book, Halloween is coming up, and some local B&B owners put together the “Pelican’s Spooky Past” package to draw visitors to town. The package included fun events for the visitors. It’s all good until someone spots a rougarou. More sightings start scaring off the visitors. Then someone dressed as a rougarou stumbles onto stage during a play… and dies. Maggie jumps in to solve the mystery.

I have read all of the books in this series, and have enjoyed each one. A couple of my reviews are on the blog – Mardi Gras Murder (book 4) and Fatal Cajun Festival (book 5). The mysteries for each book are standalone stories, but the personal events happening with the characters is a continuing storyline.

Quirky characters in an inviting setting. I love the Southern charm of Pelican and its residents. An entertaining read for fans of cozy mysteries.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Cajun Country Mystery Series:
  1. Plantation Shudders
  2. Body on the Bayou
  3. A Cajun Christmas Killing
  4. Mardi Gras Murder
  5. Fatal Cajun Festival
  6. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
  7. Cajun Kiss of Death
Book Review

Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook [Book Review]

Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Checked Out for Murder

Author: Allison Brook

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publish Date: September 8, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: The Haunted Library Mysteries #4

My Rating: 3/5

Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook

BOOK BLURB

Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook’s fourth Haunted Library mystery.

Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she’s a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there’s more to Daphne than she lets on.

The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne’s brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie’s overbearing mother hits town. Mom’s much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that’s lensing locally, and she’s there to keep an eye on him: Tom’s costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fiancée, and there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.

Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne’s mean ex-husband? Carrie’s sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Checked Out for Murder is the fourth book in The Haunted Library Mysteries series by Allison Brook. In this latest book, Carrie sleuths to solve two murders. There is also some family drama when Carrie’s mother comes to town.

I’ve read the previous three books in this series and have enjoyed each one. My reviews for Read and Gone (book 2) and Buried in the Stacks (book 3) are on this blog. I recommend reading this series in order, since it helps to know everyone’s backstory. Still, this could be read as a standalone if you don’t get the chance to read the previous books.

Charming setting with the haunted library and plenty of quirky characters. Recommended to readers of cozy mysteries. Delightful and fun.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in The Haunted Library Series:
  1. Death Overdue
  2. Read and Gone
  3. Buried in the Stacks
  4. Checked Out for Murder
Book Review

Handbook for Homicide by Lorna Barrett [Book Review]

Handbook for Homicide by Lorna Barrett

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Handbook for Homicide

Author: Lorna Barrett

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: July 21, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Booktown Mystery #14

My Rating: 3/5

Handbook for Homicide by Lorna Barrett

BOOK BLURB

Tricia Miles must swim against the tide to catch a killer when Haven’t Got A Clue’s assistant manager is accused of murder in the latest entry to Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling Booktown series.

Haven’t Got A Clue bookshop owner Tricia Miles’s relationship is on the rocks. After a not-so-fun vacation with her on-again-off-again lover, Marshall Cambridge, Tricia’s hoping for smooth sailing back in Stoneham. Unfortunately Booktown greets her not with blue skies but with another body.

When Tricia’s assistant manager, Pixie, finds homeless vet Susan Morris’s body behind Haven’t Got A Clue, Pixie’s checkered past makes her the prime suspect. Tricia sets out to clear Pixie’s name armed with only an anchor insignia earring found at the scene of the crime.

As Tricia digs deeper she discovers Susan was involved in a scandal right before retiring from the Navy—but since nobody in the village knows Susan, even Tricia’s one lead is in danger of drying up. With family drama brewing in the background and all of Stoneham convinced her manager is a murderer, Tricia knows she has to get to the bottom of the case soon before Pixie’s life is sunk.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Tricia Miles and the residents of Stoneham are back! Handbook for Homicide is the 14th book in the Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett. Tricia lives in the small town of Stoneham and runs a mystery bookstore. The town has several specialty book shops and book themed businesses that bring in visitors to the town. Tricia also has a habit of stumbling across dead bodies. She uses her love of mysteries to sleuth and find the real killers.

In this book, it’s not Tricia who finds the dead body, but her assistant manager, Pixie. The body is discovered behind the bookshop, and Tricia gets involved when it looks like one of the suspects is Pixie. The dead woman was a homeless vet, with few ties to the area. Tricia’s questions lead to wondering if the woman was killed from something in her military past or if a local was behind it.

An enjoyable cozy mystery. This book is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone. That said, I recommend reading the earlier books to better understand the relationships between the characters. A good read for fans of cozies. Delightful and entertaining.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Booktown Mystery Series:
  1. Murder is Binding
  2. Bookmarked for Death
  3. Bookplate Special
  4. Chapter and Hearse
  5. Sentenced to Death
  6. Murder on the Half Shelf
  7. Not the Killing Type
  8. Book Clubbed
  9. A Fatal Chapter
  10. Title Wave
  11. A Just Clause
  12. Poisoned Pages
  13. A Killer Edition
  14. Handbook for Homicide
Book Review

The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle [Book Review]

The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Grim Reader

Author: Kate Carlisle

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: June 2, 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Bibliophile Mystery #14

My Rating: 4/5

The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle

BOOK BLURB

San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright was hoping for a fun, relaxing weekend at a local book fair, but a murderer made other plans in the latest in this New York Times bestselling series.

Brooklyn and her new hunky husband, Derek, are excited to be guests at Dharma’s first annual Book Festival. The entire town is involved and Brooklyn’s mom Rebecca is taking charge. In addition to all of her other event related duties, she’s got Brooklyn doing rare book appraisals and is also staging Little Women, the musical to delight the festival goers. If that wasn’t enough, she and Meg—Derek’s mom—will have a booth where they read palms and tarot cards.

Brooklyn couldn’t be prouder of her mom’s do-it-all attitude so when a greedy local businessman who seems intent on destroying Dharma starts harassing Rebecca, Brooklyn is ready to take him down. Rebecca is able to hold her own with the nasty jerk until one of her fellow festival committee members is brutally murdered and the money for the festival seems to have vanished into thin air.
Things get even more personal when one of Brooklyn’s nearest and dearest is nearly run down in cold blood. Brooklyn and Derek go into attack mode and the pressure is on to catch a spineless killer before they find themselves skipping the festival for a funeral.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Brooklyn is back in The Grim Reader, the 14th book in the Bibliophile mystery series. Brooklyn is a book-restoration expert who occasionally gets involved with a murder mystery. In this book, Brooklyn and her husband are visiting Dharma, a small town in California’s wine country. They are gearing up for Dharma’s first book festival, and Brooklyn’s mother is organizing the event. Everything seems to be going well… until someone on the festival committee is murdered. Brooklyn is on the case to find the killer.

Likable characters in a charming setting. I haven’t read all of the books in this series, but it is one I try to read in order. As with most series, it helps better understand backstories. Still, The Grim Reader can be read as a standalone.

An engaging and entertaining cozy mystery. I enjoy cozies that involve books, so I usually like the books in this series. In addition to books, there is also a lot of talk about wine in The Grim Reader. A recommended read for fans of cozies featuring books and wine. Delightful and fun.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Bibliophile Mystery Series:
  1. Homicide in Hardcover
  2. If Books Could Kill
  3. The Lies that Bind
  4. Murder Under Cover
  5. Pages of Sin
  6. One Book in the Grave
  7. Peril in Paperback
  8. A Cookbook Conspiracy
  9. The Book Stops Here
  10. Ripped From the Pages
  11. Books of a Feather
  12. Once Upon a Spine
  13. Buried in the Books
  14. The Book Supremacy
  15. The Grim Reader