Book Review: Foul Play on Words by Becky Clark

Foul Play on Words by Becky Clark

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BOOK INFO
Title: Foul Play on Words
Author: Becky Clark
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publish Date: April 8, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.64

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Between a kidnapping, a double booking, and a crew of hapless volunteers, Charlee worries the writing conference will go to the dogs.

Mystery author Charlee Russo agrees to speak at a Portland writers’ conference organized by her friend Viv Lundquist. When Viv picks her up at the airport, she frantically tells Charlee that her daughter Hanna has been kidnapped.

Charlee takes over the conference preparation so Viv can search for her daughter, but the situation gets tense when the hotel double-books the event with a dog show. Despite this, Charlee is compelled to investigate after she learns shocking secrets about both Hanna and Viv. Can she find Hanna in time, or will a plot twist lead her to a ruff ending?


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MY REVIEW
Charlee Russo heads to a writer’s conference to be a speaker. When she arrives, she finds out her friend Viv’s daughter has been kidnapped. Since Viv is organizing the conference, Charlee steps in to help so Viv can search for her daughter. It ends up being more than Charlee bargained for, including a double booked hotel and food poisoned volunteers.

The second book in the Mystery Writer’s mystery series by Becky Clark. I recommend picking up the first book, Fiction Can Be Murder, before reading this one. Personally, I enjoyed the first one more, but the second book is a good addition to the series.

In this book, Charlee is dealing with the chaos around the writer’s conference. Of course, Charlee also wants to investigate the mystery of her friend’s missing daughter. There is a lot going on in this book. Too much.

Charlee is a quirky character with a nice combination of paranoia and humor. An entertaining read. Good for fans of humorous cozy mysteries.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton

The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Loch Ness Papers
Author: Paige Shelton
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.15

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Bookseller Delaney Nichols befriends a Loch Ness monster enthusiast; when he stands accused of murder she’ll do whatever it takes to learn who the killer is—and whether Nessie herself is really lurking in the Scottish waters.

Delaney Nichols is delighted with her life in Edinburgh, working at The Cracked Spine—a shop that specializes in hard-to-find books and artifacts. With a job she loves, and her fast approaching marriage to devastatingly handsome Scottish pub-owner Tom Shannon, Delaney’s life could be straight out of a fairy tale—at least it would be, if the pastor meant to perform the wedding ceremony hadn’t recently passed away. Outside the church where Delaney is searching for another reverend, she stumbles across Norval Fraser: an elderly man obsessed with the Loch Ness monster. Always attracted to the interesting and unusual, Delaney befriends Norval. But when his nephew is found dead, the police decide Norval’s obsession has moved from monsters to murder.

With a wedding to plan, her family arriving soon from Kansas, and the arrival of an over-the-top Texan with a wildly valuable book, Delaney’s plate is full to bursting, but she can’t abandon her new friend. Determined to help Norval, she sets out to learn the truth. The Loch Ness buries its secrets deeply, but Delaney is determined to dig them up—whether Nessie likes it or not.


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MY REVIEW
Delaney Nichols is living the good life in Scotland. She’s engaged to a man she loves and she enjoys her job at The Cracked Spine. She also occasionally acts as an amateur sleuth when mysteries pop up around her. In this book, a local Loch Ness monster enthusiast, and recent friend of Delaney, is accused of murdering his nephew. Of course, Delaney steps up to help find the killer. Though Delaney is curious with the mystery, she has other things going on… she is getting married, and her family is in town for her wedding.

The 4th book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series by Paige Shelton. Delaney moved from the US to Scotland to work at The Cracked Spine, a rare books shop. Soon after moving to Scotland, she met Tom, and they fell in love. In each book, Delaney has a new mystery to solve. A light and entertaining series for fans of cozy mysteries. I recommend reading them in order, as it helps understand the characters better.

This book has Delaney helping a new friend… who is obsessed with the Loch Ness monster. Lots of talk about Nessie. Not much talk about The Cracked Spine, which, from previous books, sounds like an amazing book shop. Even though Delaney’s family is visiting from Kansas, she mostly focuses on the mystery, and not on her family and upcoming wedding.

I’ll admit, this is not a very exciting book. Personally, I like the characters and can handle the mostly predictable stories. If you like easy reading cozies, and Scotland appeals to you, then it’s worth picking up. A delightful addition to the series.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Murder at the Marina by Janet Finsilver

Murder at the Marina by Janet Finsilver

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Murder at the Marina
Author: Janet Finsilver
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publish Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.67

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
She’s got to solve this—or her friends are sunk…

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is fond of the Doblinsky brothers, Ivan and Rudy, members of the Silver Sentinels, a crew of crime-solving senior citizens in their Northern California seaside hamlet. After she discovers a jewel-encrusted dagger—with what appears to be dried blood on the blade—on their fishing boat, they share their family history with Kelly, and she learns that the knife may be part of a set from their long-ago childhood in Russia. Its sudden reappearance is eerie, but the mystery grows much more serious when a body is found on the boat. The victim was a member of the community and part of the Russian Heritage Festival, and some of the organizers were clearly harboring some bitterness. But the story behind this murder seems as layered as a nesting doll—and Kelly’s feeling completely at sea…


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MY REVIEW
The 5th book in the Kelly Jackson Mystery series by Janet Finsilver. Kelly Jackson is the manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. With her job, she has had the opportunity to meet many of the locals and get involved with events in the community. Some of her favorite people are members of the Silver Sentinels, a group of crime-solving senior citizens. Kelly has has gotten to know the members when she was also sleuthing in various local crimes.

In this book, a mystery first arises when a jewel encrusted knife is found aboard the boat belonging to two of the Silver Sentinels, brothers Ivan and Rudy. As Kelly helps the brothers, she learns about their family history. Also, the mystery gets more complex when a dead body is found.

A delightful cozy mystery series. Charming setting. Interesting characters. Entertaining plot. A nice addition to this series.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Mother’s Day Mayhem by Lynn Cahoon

Mother's Day Mayhem by Lynn Cahoon

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Mother’s Day Mayhem
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publish Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.19

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Picturesque South Cove, California, is the perfect place to celebrate Mother’s Day, but not everyone is feeling motherly…

Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More is almost out of Mother’s Day cards. She has a few more in stock, but she’s set them aside because she needs Greg’s help choosing one for his mother. It’ll be Jill’s first time meeting her boyfriend’s mother, and she’s understandably nervous.

Turns out Jill isn’t the only one having feelings about mothers. Kyle, who works at the antiques store next door, needs to find the perfect card for a mother he hasn’t seen since he was five—when she went away to jail. But her arrival in South Cove isn’t exactly celebratory, her behavior toward her son unexpectedly restrained. Piqued, Jill discovers that a mother can never be replaced…


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MY REVIEW
It’s almost Mother’s Day in South Cove, California. Jill’s boyfriend has asked her to meet his mother on Mother’s Day, signifying a big step in their relationship. That’s not the only story involving a mother though. Kyle, an employee at the antiques store, is looking for his mother. He hasn’t seen her since he was five years old, and, unfortunately, she is not all that eager to reconnect with him.

A novella in the Tourist Trap mystery series by Lynn Cahoon. This book follows book 10 in the series. This was my first Tourist Trap mystery. I feel like I would have enjoyed this story a lot more if I had read the previous books in the series. So, I plan to go back and read the earlier books. This seems like a good cozy mystery series.

The mystery in this novella was very light. It focused on locating Kyle’s mother. The characters were all likable. The setting and story were charming. I look forward to reading more of this series.

I won a free Kindle version of this book in a Goodreads Givewaway.

Book Review: Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Chocolate Cream Pie Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: February 26, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.13

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Not even Lake Eden’s nosiest residents suspected Hannah Swensen would go from idealistic newlywed to betrayed wife in a matter of weeks. But as a deadly mystery unfolds in town, the proof is in the pudding…

When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery—not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom. Now, swapping the crime scene in her condo for her mother Delores’s penthouse, Hannah and an old flame team up to solve a case that’s messier than an upended chocolate cream pie. As suspects emerge and secrets hit close to home, Hannah must serve a hefty helping of justice to an unnamed killer prowling around Lake Eden… before someone takes a slice out of her!


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MY REVIEW
The 24th book in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanna Fluke. I haven’t read all of the books in this series. I’ve read six or seven books, and hopped around in the order. I do plan to go back and read the entire series. Anyway, this book is best read after reading the others in the series.

Hannah’s personal life is front and center as the truth about her marriage to Ross is revealed. As her scoundrel of a (fake) husband makes a reappearance, Hannah is trying to get on with her life.

These books usually start with Hannah finding a dead body within the first couple of chapters, then going on to play amateur sleuth to solve the murder mystery. In this book, the murder doesn’t happen to really late in the book. So late, I was beginning to think one would never happen. I know these books are mostly formulaic, but I like them and was disappointed in how this book was going. So, this one is more focused on Hannah’s personal life, than a murder mystery.

While I didn’t find this one as enjoyable as others in the series, it was nice to see Hannah getting back on track. Since this is a series, these books sometimes end on a cliffhanger, and this one is a doozy. Hopefully, the next one goes in a good direction.

This is a good series for fans of cozy mysteries and food. The main character own a bakery, and recipes are included throughout the book. Honestly, I skip over the recipes because I’m not much of a cook, but this one seemed to include more dinner recipes than dessert recipes.

A quick, light read for cozy mystery fans. Delightful and entertaining.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: A Cold Brew Killing
Author: Lena Gregory
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publish Date: November 6, 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.31

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts…

Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something’s very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man’s troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice…


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MY REVIEW
Trevor shows up at Gia’s diner in a state of shock after discovering a dead body in his ice cream parlor’s freezer. Trevor soon becomes suspect number one in the case, and Gia sets out to prove her friend is innocent.

The third book in the All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery series by Lena Gregory. This is the first book in the series that I have read, but it was easily read as a standalone. Gia runs the local diner in a small Florida town. A light and fun cozy mystery series.

This book opens with the discovery of a dead body, and the mystery gets started. Gia, amateur sleuth, wants to clear her friend’s name and find the real bad guy. Things aren’t as clear as they may seem, making this a fun read. The setting is quaint. The characters are likable. The mystery is entertaining.

A typical cozy mystery with a small town setting, quirky characters, and a murder mystery for the local amateur sleuth. I enjoy these types of books, so this one was right up my alley. A good read for fans of cozies.

I won a free Kindle copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

Book Review: Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw

Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Murder at the Mill
Author: M.B. Shaw
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: December 4, 2018
Genre: Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.86

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
A picture hides a thousand lies… And only Iris Grey can uncover the truth.

Iris Grey rents a quaint cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighboring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer.

At the Wetherby’s Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow – but so are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime?

With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets, and murder.


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MY REVIEW
Iris Grey rents a cottage in Hampshire village. Her marriage is struggling, and she wants to go somewhere to regroup and work on her painting. The cottage is owned by the Wetherby family, and Iris is soon captivated with the family. On Christmas Day, the youngest Wetherby discovers a body in the water. A mysterious death, that leads to Iris playing amateur sleuth.

This book is classic crime mystery. The story has a great start with describing the setting and characters. Then a crime occurs. A murder. There is no shortage of suspects, and village newcomer Iris gets involved with discovering the killer’s identity.

This is the first book in a new mystery series by M.B. Shaw. I look forward to seeing what mysteries are in Iris’s future.

Lovely setting in an idyllic village. Interesting characters. Solid mystery with twists to keep the reader guessing. A great start to a new series.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Review: Dead as a Door Knocker by Diane Kelly

Dead as a Door Knocker by Diane Kelly

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BOOK INFO
Title: Dead as a Door Knocker
Author: Diane Kelly
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Publish Date: January 29, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.11

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
The first in a brand-new cozy series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville—where the real estate market is to die for.

WILL THIS KILLER DEAL LEAD TO A DEAD END?
Meet Whitney Whitaker. A hopeless romantic when it comes to real estate, she knows what it takes to find—and flip—the home of one’s dreams. A fixer-upper is like catnip to Whitney: she can’t resist the challenge of turning an eyesore into a priceless work of art. So when one of her clients decides to liquidate a crumbling property, Whitney seizes the opportunity to purchase it for a song. But soon a curious incident of the cat in the night-time leads to a change in tune. . .

Sawdust is the name of Whitney’s cat—of course. Whitney’s passion for gut-renovation may be a mystery to him but one thing Sawdust knows for sure is this: Dead bodies don’t belong in flower beds. So why is there one in this new, albeit old, house? Now it’s up to Whitney, along with the help of hot-and-cold Nashville Police Detective Collin Flynn, to find the truth about what happened before the mortgage property forecloses and Whitney loses her investment. . .and maybe her own life.


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MY REVIEW
Whitney Whitaker is a property manager with dreams of making it big in real estate. When she gets the chance to buy a property to flip it, she thinks it might be too good to be true. And it is. Especially when a dead body is found buried in the flower bed.

The first book in a new cozy mystery series. Whitney is a likable character. She is single, living in her parent’s guest house, and working all the time. She’s a hard-worker with good relationships with her family and friends. In addition to her family and friends, Whitney has a cat, Sawdust. The reader gets insights to their relationship, since a few chapters are from Sawdust’s point of view.

A cute and entertaining cozy mystery. With this being the first book in a series, a lot of the story is spent getting to know the characters. The murder mystery doesn’t get started right away, but when it does, it’s clear Whitney needs to investigate on her own to find the killer.

A fantastic start to the House-Flipper mystery series. I look forward to reading more about Whitney in future books.

I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Lie Like a Rug by Donna Huston Murray

Lie Like a Rug by Donna Huston Murray

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Lie Like a Rug
Author: Donna Huston Murray
Publisher: Self-published
Publish Date: January 18, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.07

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
While escorting Bryn Derwyn Academy’s most infamous student downtown to be scared straight by a Federal judge, Ginger Barnes is shocked to find her childhood babysitter, textile professor Charlie Finnemeyer, on trial for fraudulently aging an Oriental rug. Even more alarming, Gin learns that two witnesses against her beloved “Uncle Wunk” suffered suspiciously convenient heart attacks.
Eager to assist the professor’s attorney, the veteran amateur sleuth pries secret information from a university president and uncovers past transgressions of a TV craft show host—all while acquiring an overnight education in early American textiles from experts at Winterthur and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Others guilty of questionable behavior: two antique dealers, and Charlie’s overprotective wife.
Still, damning evidence can’t be swept under a rug. Before Gin can persuade anyone else that Charlie is innocent, she must first convince herself.


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MY REVIEW
The seventh book in the Ginger Barnes mystery series by Donna Huston Murray. Ginger Barnes is a wife and mother, who occasionally acts as amateur sleuth to solve mysteries. Her husband is headmaster at a private school, and she often helps out at the school. This novel opens with Gin escorting a troublemaker student to the courthouse, and ends up spotting a familiar face in a courtroom.

Gin discovers an old family friend is on trial for antiquities fraud. She doesn’t believe him to be guilty of the charges, so Gin uses her amateur sleuthing skills to help. Unfortunately, the evidence seems to be against her friend, and the dead key witnesses are not helping his case.

This book is in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. I have read book 1 of the series, The Main Line is Murder, but not the other books. This book was originally published years ago (2001), but has been updated by the author.

An entertaining cozy mystery with some humor. Likable characters in an enjoyable, light mystery.

I received a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: A Wrench in the Works by Kate Carlisle

A Wrench in the Works by Kate Carlisle

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BOOK INFO
Title: A Wrench in the Works
Author: Kate Carlisle
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: November 6, 2018

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon
Shannon Hammer’s younger sister Chloe left Lighthouse Cove after high school to make it big in Hollywood. And she did it! For several years now, Chloe has been the co-host of a popular home repair show on the Do-It-Yourself Network. Now, after ten years, Chloe returns to Lighthouse Cove with her crew and co-host to film several shows featuring her sister Shannon, along with some special mini-segments on Victorian style and design.

But Shannon realizes quickly that things are not exactly blissful in TV land. Her sister’s handsome co-host is being stalked by someone who turns out to be his estranged wife, Erica–who also happens to be the executive producer of the show. Erica’s got a knack for stirring up sticky situations and when she’s found dead, Chloe and the entire crew are under suspicion.

Shannon soon discovers the real reason why Chloe was so eager to move away from Lighthouse Cove all those years ago. Can Shannon figure out if that ten-year-old secret is connected to Erica’s death? And can she track down the real killer before her beloved sister becomes the next victim?


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MY REVIEW
Shannon Hammer’s sister Chloe is back in town, and they’re getting to work together. The sisters both work in home improvement. Shannon’s specialty is Victorian houses and Chloe works on a home makeover show. Chloe’s show is scheduled to renovate a house in her hometown of Lighthouse Cove, and Shannon is excited to help her sister work on a local Victorian house. Shannon is proud of her sister for doing so well with her show, but soon realizes not all is great in the entertainment business. For one thing, the executive producer is a bit of a nightmare to work with. When the executive producer of the show is found dead, the crew, including Chloe, are all under suspicion. While in town, Chloe also reveals part of the reason she left town right after high school, and why she rarely visits.

A wonderful light read. The characters are entertaining, though sometimes a little immature. Shannon and Chloe are both likable. It is refreshing to read a story where the sisters get along and there is not a lot of family drama. The mystery is well plotted. Good for fans of cozies. I have some of Kate Carlisle’s books on my TBR, and I plan to read some of the earlier books in this series.

This is the sixth book in the Fixer-Upper mystery series by Kate Carlisle. I haven’t read the previous books in the series, but this one was easily read as a standalone. I don’t think Chloe was in the previous books, so she was introduced in this one.

A fun cozy mystery that combines home improvement and a television show. Delightful and charming.

I received a free eARC of this book from Penguin’s First to Read in exchange for an honest review.