Holly White is starting to settle into Mistletoe, Maine. She’s back home working at her parents Christmas tree farm, Reindeer Games, while making her own jewelry on the side. Her closest friends, Cookie and Caroline, have opened a cupcake shop and all seems blissful… until a dead body is found and suddenly Caroline is the primary suspect. Holly is determined to help her friend, even though the local sheriff and her maybe-boyfriend, Evan Gray, insists she stop investigating. Will Holly’s investigating put her in harm’s way yet again?
‘TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is the second book in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. While it can easily be read as a standalone, I can’t imagine wanting to miss one moment of this fun new cozy mystery series! Jacqueline Frost provides sufficient background information on the characters and the Christmas festivities of the Reindeer Games so new readers can easily jump right in. However, please note that a few spoilers from the first book, TWELVE SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS, are mentioned.
I absolutely love everything about Mistletoe, Maine. What a gorgeous, fun town Jacqueline Frost has created! I just discovered this series recently and it’s exactly the sort of read to get you in the Christmas spirit as Mistletoe is full of joy and quite Christmasy. However, it is the Reindeer Games that really put the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series over the top! Who doesn’t want to participate in one of the seasonal games, whether it’s the gingerbread house decoration or the sleigh rides. And oh, the scrumptious desserts! I think my blood sugar rose and I gained 15 pounds just reading about the yummy sounding food and drinks available all around Mistletoe.
‘TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is a heck of a lot of fun! Whether you are in the mood for a Christmas read or not, don’t let Jacqueline Frost’s engaging cozy series, Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series, pass you by. Highly recommended!
Violet Daugherty’s death seems an accident, a case of drowsy driving. Meanwhile, a comment made during the funeral planning for Frank Fiore has Funeral Director and reporter Desiree Turner questioning if something more sinister is going on in Verbena. Unfortunately, the rumor mill runs rampant in the small town and soon Desiree is faced with losing business, as everyone is worried they too will be accused of murder. Will Desiree risk the family business and defy her family’s orders or will she ignore her reporter’s instincts and sit this one out?
IF THE COFFIN FITS is the second book in Lillian Bell’s A Funeral Parlor Mystery series. New readers to the series can easily jump right in and enjoy the series. Lillian Bell provides enough of the history on the characters that it’s easy to follow the mystery.
I was a little concerned about how I would enjoy a story featuring a funeral parlor and the funeral director but Lillian Bell pulled me right into her story line. Heck, Desiree has her own reservations about working for the family business and it is that edge that helps make IF THE COFFIN FITS so enjoyable. I like that Desiree is also a reporter as it also makes her amateur sleuthing far more believable.
IF THE COFFIN FITS is an entertaining cozy mystery coupled with some fascinating side stories. The conclusion of the book leaves me with so many questions that I can’t wait to see answered in the next book! If you love cozy mysteries with unconventional jobs (like a funeral director), then IF THE COFFIN FITS may just be your cup of tea as well.
Julia Bonatti makes her living as a professional astrologer but sometimes the unreliable income makes her budget a bit tight. Her former boss and current astrological client, attorney David Meyers, has begged her to fill in for a week at his firm while his secretary is on vacation. Julia agrees, only to become embroiled in a murder mystery her very first day. However, the first murder won’t be the last and Julia will need to utilize every skill to solve this murder mystery.
TAIL OF THE DRAGON is the third book in the Zodiac Mystery series and wow, this series only keeps getting better and better! Connie di Marco’s unique approach to the cozy mystery genre continues to intrigue me as I love how astrology plays a crucial role in the series. I also appreciate that Connie di Marco explains the more complex aspects of her astrological reasoning so that people like me who aren’t familiar with astrology are able to both comprehend and enjoy it.
Julia is a great heroine! I love her loyalty to her friends, even when murder is thrown into the mix. Her bravery coupled with her quick intelligence make her the perfect amateur sleuth. I look forward to visiting with her in future books to see what troubles find her next!
Connie de Marco integrates Julia’s love for astrology with her amateur sleuthing skills to craft one heck of a good mystery. TAIL OF THE DRAGON is another stunningly good tale in a series that only gets better with each installment. If you like unique cozy mysteries with lots of twists and turns, then TAIL OF THE DRAGON is just your cup of tea. Easily recommended!
A wedding is supposed to be a time of joy and Julia Bonatti hoped the wedding would be all that and more for her best friend from college, Geneva Leary, despite the Moon-Mars-Pluto connection. Little did any of the wedding participants expect the evening would end in murder. When Geneva begs Julia to help her uncover the truth about the murder, Julia can’t refuse- but will the murderer come after her in the process?
The Zodiac Mystery series offers readers an unusual approach to solving mysteries. The heroine, Julia, is an astrologer and uses astrological charts to help guide her as she tries to solve the mysteries. Connie di Marco does a great job at providing readers unfamiliar with astrology enough details so that we can understand Julia’s reasoning based on the various conjunctions and signs she sees in the astrological charts.
Conni di Marco does a great job at creating a whole plethora of characters without overwhelming the reader. Julia is a fun heroine, despite her penchant for wandering into sticky situations. I love her quick thinking and her willingness to help her friends, even at her own peril. One of the things that makes ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER so much more fun than the first book is that the potential villains are much better fleshed out.
ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER is the second book in the Zodiac Mystery series but readers can jump right in and enjoy the characters. In fact, Connie di Marco is really hitting her stride with ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER as I enjoyed it even more than the first book, THE MADNESS OF MERCURY. ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER is hard to put down as there was nary a dull moment and plenty of red herrings to keep readers guessing who was behind the murder. Easily recommended!
Published May 30th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
ISBN13: 9781496706546 Series: A Constance Piper Mystery #1
London’s East End, 1888 – When Jack the Ripper roamed the streets London’s Whitechapel district had become the a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper. No one was safe especially the women of the night who sold themselves. Why even the young flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to the dread of being singled out by the Ripper even though she is more concerned with the strange feelings and dreams that seem to haunt her sanity.
During all this hullabaloo over Jack – clairvoyants were coming out of the walls claiming to have been contacted by the victims. Constance’s mother is certain they’re real and wants to contact her dead husband in a seance. Constance herself is beginning to think that she herself is having these powers. Her dreams seem to be coming true, and she longs for her teacher and friend Miss Emily Tindall, but to all intents and purposes Miss Tindall seems to have disappeared.
*** Set in that turbulent time as Jack the Ripper roamed the streets of London, the author tells the tale of the mood and terror the East Enders lived in while Jack roamed the streets, committing horrendous and brutally depicted slayings of the prostitutes that lived during that period. However it brings to mind that possibly not all the grotesque murders were committed by Jack.
Told thru the eyes of Emily Tindall, and musings of others we examine the changes that were coming to life in Constance, who wasn’t quite able to understand the changes she was going through but was given glimpses of things that she knew she was meant to look into. Not until a lady of means came to Constance asking her to help her find her missing sister did the messages Constance was receiving begin to make sense.
Bottom Line: The mystery was actually quite good and even as I rather guessed at what was going on, I still had to read on to make sure my guesses were correct. However, if the reader is expecting to discover the identity of Jack – this is not going to happen – that is still the mystery for the ages.
Cam Flaherty is embarrassed to see her mother, Deb, protesting outside of Westbury’s newest hydroponics greenhouse. After all, Cam has contracted with Nicole Kingsbury, the owner of the greenhouse, to start some of the seedlings Nicole will use. Unfortunately, Cam’s irritation soon turns to dismay when she finds Nicole dead. Even worse, the death isn’t accidental and now Deb is hiding secrets. Cam knows her mother isn’t guilty of murder… but can she prove it?
MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER is the fifth book in A Local Foods Mystery series but can easily be read as a standalone. Edith Maxwell does a great job at providing readers with enough background information to jump right in and thoroughly enjoy the story. However, each and every book in A Local Foods Mystery series is enjoyable so I suspect readers will find themselves wanting to read the rest of the series after getting a taste.
MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER provides us with some insight into Cam’s childhood as we get to know Cam’s parents, Deb and William. It took me a while to warm up to Cam’s parents, as Deb especially is quite secretive and almost cold at times. It’s easy to see why Cam’s Great-Uncle Albert and the farm are so important to Cam. Edith Maxwell does a wonderful job at bringing the storyline full circle, however, as Deb and William grew on me. In fact, I hope we see more of them in future books.
Edith Maxwell is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. I love the insight she gives into the ups and downs of an organic farmer’s life almost as much as I enjoy the mysteries themselves. However, it’s the wonderful characters and relationships that make A Local Foods Mystery series such a hit. MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER is yet another great entry into the series and I look forward to what the next installment has in store for us!
Professional Organizer, mom, and regular school volunteer Ellie Avery has her hands full managing all of the end of the year activities for her two children. The annual Mother’s Day breakfast is always a nice treat, however, even if she has to deal with her only work competition, Gabrielle Matheson. In an unexpected twist, Gabrielle swears she’s seen a dead body- and yet there isn’t one to find. Later, the body reappears and now everyone is mistrustful as no one knows why the murder occurred. The ending of a school year is always chaotic, but never as much as when a murder is involved. Can Ellie uncover the murderer while juggling both her job and the activities of her children?
How could I resist a book that features the end of the school year and murder? Sara Rosett perfectly captures the mayhem that ensues at the end of the school year. Ellie is a great heroine, balancing her inquisitive nature with a respect for the privacy of others. Ellie is a very likable character and I can’t wait to read the earlier mysteries in the series as I want to spend more time with Ellie!
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a professional organizer as the heroine but I quickly grew to enjoy the change from my usual culinary cozy mysteries. I love the Organizing Tips for PTA women featured at the end of many of the chapters as they give a glimpse into the incredible tasks that face parents who want to be successfully involved in their children’s schools. I particularly love that the tips recognize that saying no is a perfectly acceptable answer as well.
MOTHER’S DAY, MUFFINS, AND MURDER is the tenth book in the Ellie Avery Mystery series but it’s easy to jump right in and enjoy the story. I hadn’t read Sara Rosett before but I have now downloaded the first book to my Kindle and can’t wait to see what other troubles Ellie has had. Highly recommended!
*A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*
Maggie McDonald is a Certified Professional Organizer and she hopes the upcoming holiday event scheduled to occur at Professor Lincoln Sinclair’s home will jumpstart her business. Unfortunately, Maggie finds more than just disorganization in the professor’s home- she finds the dead body of Linc’s fiancée. Evidence points to murder rather than an accident and now Maggie is determined to find the murderer. Will Maggie become a target in the process?
SCHEDULED TO DEATH is the second book in the Maggie McDonald Mystery series but can easily be read as a standalone. Mary Feliz does a marvelous job at introducing new readers to her characters and her world. I haven’t read the first book, ADDRESS TO DIE FOR, but have already added it to my ever-growing TBR list.
And oh the characters! I can’t help but love the vitriol directed at the aptly nicknamed “Detective Awful”. I’m almost sorry we won’t get to see more of this over-the-top ridiculous menace, as he provides quite a bit of humor. Maggie is a great heroine, full of spunk and determination. I love her willingness to do the right thing, even when it involves helping others in the middle of the night. She’s fearless and organized, which is a deadly combination.
SCHEDULED TO DEATH is a fast paced, entertaining cozy mystery. Each chapter starts with a piece of organizing wisdom from Maggie before we set off on the next segment of our adventure. I can’t wait to see what Mary Feliz has in store next for Maggie and her friends. Easily recommended!
Pepper Reece’s hands are full, as she’s busy making her Spice Shop profitable. Pike Place Market offers lots of opportunities for collaboration and inspiration, but a recent newcomer to the Market is causing some division. Bonnie Clay’s pottery is exceptional, but what is her tie to Pepper’s mother? Pepper’s mother, Lena, won’t divulge her secrets, but did those secrets lead to murder?
KILLING THYME is the third book in Leslie Budewitz’s Spice Shop Mystery series, and each new book is just as charming as the prior books! KILLING THYME can easily be read as a standalone story, particularly since Leslie Budewitz provides us with a helpful “Market Roll Call” of all the various characters in her story. The first two books in the series focused more on Pepper’s immediate issues (both with her store and her love life) while KILLING THYME digs deeper into Pepper’s past.
I love the setting of KILLING THYME, as we see Pepper experimenting with various scrumptious sounding blends. Leslie Budewitz offers readers tantalizing recipes, even as Pepper samples other delightful wares in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. In fact, a large part of the appeal of the Spice Shop Mystery series is the delightful atmosphere Leslie Budewitz crafts for the readers. Her world is one I want to visit time and time again.
KILLING THYME is yet another fun installment in the Spice Shop Mystery series. Pepper’s feisty personality coupled with phenomenal world building make KILLING THYME and the rest of the Spice Shop Mystery series a definite hit. Easily recommended!
*Copy received from the author*