Book Review

Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Dead as a Door Knocker by Diane Kelly

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BOOK INFO

Title: Batten Down the Belfry

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin

Publish Date: March 1, 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: House-Flipper Mystery #4

My Rating: 4/5

Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

Here is the church, here is the steeple…

Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck have successfully flipped houses, but this is the first time they’ve attempted to renovate a house of worship. Still, the colorful stained glass in the country church has caught Whitney’s eye, and she’d love to breathe new life into the abandoned building. What’s more, the place has perfect acoustics. Could the worship hall be reborn as an entertainment venue with its parsonage repurposed as a pre-show bistro?

Open the doors, and see all the trouble.

The owner of the horse farm next door has asserted a legal claim to the church property, rendering their title uncertain. If that’s not bad enough, while rehabbing the church, Whitney’s cat Sawdust discovers a bombshell in the bell tower—the body of the man who’d delivered their beautiful new replacement windows. What transpired in the spire? Who rang the man’s bell and why?

The steeple is keeping its secrets and, when a second body turns up, things become even less clear. Can Whitney help Detective Collin Flynn solve the crimes before someone else is sent to meet their maker?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Whitney and her cousin Buck have flipped houses before, but now they’re renovating an old church. When two murders take place near the old church, Whitney wants to help solve the cases. Her boyfriend is the homicide detective, so she soon is looking for clues.

Batten Down the Belfry is the fourth book in the House Flipper mystery series. This book can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with the first book in this series, Dead as a Doorknocker.

Whitney and her family and friends are likable characters. The setting is charming. The mystery is entertaining. Batten Down the Belfry is an enjoyable cozy mystery, and I look forward to reading more of this series.

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

Books in the House-Flipper Mystery Series:
  1. Dead as a Doorknocker
  2. Dead in the Doorway
  3. Murder With a View
  4. Batten Down the Belfry
Book Review

To the Tome of Murder by Lauren Elliott [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: To the Tome of Murder

Author: Lauren Elliott

Publisher: Kensington

Publish Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #7

My Rating: 4/5

To the Tome of Murder by Lauren Elliott

BOOK BLURB

Three weeks before Thanksgiving, bookshop owner Addie Greyborne already has a full plate—and a killer on her case . . . 

Addie’s determined to turn a seemingly ordinary November in coastal Greyborne Harbor into one for the books. The windows of her shop display carefully curated works by American writers, including a rare selection of traditional holiday recipes from the influential 19th-century publication Godey’s Ladies Magazine. And then there’s the town’s Civil War-era themed cooking and baking competition, with a hefty cash prize and free publicity going to the winning dish . . .

But when she finds her cousin’s boyfriend murdered, a stunned Addie reluctantly realizes she may be the only person who can blow the cover off a grisly crime. With so many unanswered questions surrounding the victim’s death, Addie must figure out the strange connection between a mysterious vintage briefcase, the disappearance of a first edition copy of Sarah Josepha Hale’s famous nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and a dangerously well-read culprit . . . 


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

To the Tome of Murder is the seventh book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore mystery series. Addie Greyborne owns the successful bookshop Beyond the Page. Addie is a bibliophile who occasionally helps solve crimes. As everyone in town prepares for Thanksgiving, Addie finds herself involved in another mystery. Her cousin’s boyfriend is killed, and Addie jumps in to help clear her cousin’s name from the suspect list.

As a fan of this series, I have enjoyed watching the characters grow. While To the Tome of Murder can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading this series in order. The characters and setting make this a delightful cozy mystery series.

One of the things that I like about this series if that the mysteries have a connection to books. Addie is drawn to help because of her knowledge of books. Plus, she often knows the victim and/or the suspect.

To the Tome of Murder is a charming cozy mystery. This cozy series is one I enjoy keeping up with, and look forward to each new addition. A great read 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
  7. To the Tome of Murder
Book Review

Getaway With Murder by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Getaway With Murder

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin

Publish Date: October 26, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Mountain Lodge Mystery #1

My Rating: 4/5

Getaway with Murder by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

As if hitting the half-century mark wasn’t enough, Misty Murphy celebrated her landmark birthday by amicably ending her marriage and investing her settlement in a dilapidated mountain lodge at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the old inn teetering on both a bluff and bankruptcy, she must have lost her ever-loving mind.

Luckily, handyman Rocky Crowder has a knack for rehabbing virtual ruins and for doing it on a dime, and to Misty’s delight, the lodge is fully booked on opening night, every room filled with flexible folks who’d slipped into spandex and ascended the peak for a yoga retreat with plans to namastay for a full week. Misty and her guests are feeling zen—at least until the yoga instructor is found dead.

With a killer on the loose and the lodge’s reputation hanging in the balance, Misty must put her detective-skills to the test. Only one thing is as clear as a sunny mountain morning—she must solve the crime before the lodge ends up, once again, on the brink.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Getaway With Murder is the first book in Diane Kelly’s new series, Mountain Lodge. Recently divorced Misty Murphy has invested in a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The place needs work, but she finds a handyman who can get it done quickly. Her first booking is a group of guests on a yoga retreat. Everything seems to be coming together, until the yoga instructor is killed. Misty wants to solve the case, so her new investment doesn’t suffer any more.

I have read other books by Diane Kelly, including her Paw Enforcement and House-Flipper mystery series. Since I have enjoyed both of those series, I was happy to see a new series available. As expected, I found Getaway With Murder to be a charming book with likable characters and a lovely setting.

Getaway With Murder is a delightful cozy mystery. The characters are relatable, and the story is fun. I look forward to reading more of this series.

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

Books in the Mountain Lodge series:
  1. Getaway with Murder
Book Review

The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Secret Staircase

Author: Sheila Connolly

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: August 21, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Victorian Village #3

My Rating: 4/5

The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly

BOOK BLURB

Kate Hamilton is feeling good about her plans to recreate Asheboro, Maryland as the Victorian village it once was. The town is finally on her side, and the finances are coming together.

Kate’s first goal is to renovate the Barton Mansion on the outskirts of town. Luckily, it’s been well maintained in the century since the wealthy Henry Barton lived and died there. The only substantial change she’s planning is to update the original kitchen so that it can be used to cater events in the building. But when the contractor gets started, he discovers a hidden staircase that had been walled in years earlier. And as Kate’s luck would have it, in the stairwell is a body.

After her initial shock wears off, Kate is relieved when the autopsy reveals that the man had died around 1880. Unfortunately, it also reveals that his was not a natural death—he was murdered. And serious questions remain: who was he and what was he doing there?

Kate begins a hunt to identify the man and figure out what he was doing at the Barton Mansion. But when a second body is found—this time from the present day—Kate realizes that real dangers lie in digging up the past…


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

The Secret Staircase is the third book in the Victorian Village mystery series. Kate Hamilton returned to her small hometown to help revitalize it and improve tourism. Along the way, she’s been involved in solving some mysteries.

Kate’s latest project is to renovate the Barton Mansion. During the renovation a secret staircase is found. Unfortunately, there’s a dead body in the stairwell. While the death was not a recent one, it is unknown who the deceased. Kate’s interest is peaked, and she’s on the case.

I have read the first two books this series, and enjoyed them both. The mysteries for each book are standalone stories, but Kate and the other character’s personal story arcs progress through the books. I recommend reading the series in order.

Realistic characters in a charming setting. An enjoyable 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 Victorian Village mystery series:
  1. Murder at the Mansion
  2. Killer in the Carriage House
  3. The Secret Staircase
Book Review

Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Cajun Kiss of Death

Author: Ellen Byron

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publish Date: August 10, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Cajun Country #7

My Rating: 4/5

Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron

BOOK BLURB

In Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine’s Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe–in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant–perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat’s dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.

Did JJ, proprietor of Junie’s Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie’s mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?

Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer–or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe’s murder?

Blood may be thicker than water, but this case is thicker than gumbo. And solving it will determine whether Maggie gets hearts and roses–or hearse and lilies–this Valentine’s Day.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Cajun Kiss of Death is the seventh book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron. Maggie Crozat and her family and friends in Pelican, LA, are back in another delightful book. Maggie, a B&B owner in Cajun Country, has a new mystery to investigate.

In Cajun Kiss of Death, a new chef is in town to open a restaurant. He immediately starts making enemies, and ends up dead. Since the chef was not a likable man, there is no shortage of suspects. Maggie wants to find the killer to help clear her mother and friend from the suspect list.

I have read all of the books in this series, and have enjoyed each one. The mysteries for each book are standalone stories.

Southern charm with quirky characters in an inviting setting. 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

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
  7. To the Tome 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

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
  6. Under the Cover of Murder
  7. To the Tome of Murder
Book Review

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

The Body from the Past by Judi Lynn

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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.


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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