Book Review: “Peril in Paperback” by Kate Carlisle (Bibliophile Mystery #6)

perilinpaperback

Title:  Peril in Paperback

Author:  Kate Carlisle

Series:  Bibliophile Mystery #6

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Rare books and antiquities expert Brooklyn Wainwright is thrilled to be invited to the fiftieth birthday party of her neighbor Suzie’s aunt Grace. A retired founder of a major video game corporation, Grace is a larger-than-life character who’s turned her Lake Tahoe mansion into a fun house, full of everything from pinball machines and giant props to secret passageways and trap doors. Brooklyn is most excited to catalog Grace’s extensive collection of rare paperback pulp fiction.

Part of the fun involves a séance, but after the lights flicker, one guest is dead, poisoned by a cocktail intended for Grace. It seems someone is determined to turn Grace’s playful palatial estate into a house of horrors. Brooklyn suspects the key to the killer’s identity may lie in the roman á clef Grace has written about her life. With Grace in great peril, “must-read” takes on a whole new meaning, as Brooklyn tries to stop a murderer who’s through playing around…

My thoughts:  Another great cozy series that I love.  What book lover doesn’t love a series about book expert and repairer . . . ummm, yes!

I truly enjoyed the fun, humorous spirit in this entire story.  The book is set completely in the Lake Tahoe mansion of Suzie’s very, very, VERY eccentric Aunt Grace.  All of Aunt Grace’s friends and families gather at her mansion for a weeklong birthday party to celebrate her big 5-0!  Yes, the book is a mix of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were Note meets cozy mystery novel!!!

I just truly enjoyed imagining in my mind what the inside of this mansion must look like and more importantly how fun it would be to be in this house for a week . . . book rooms, libraries, game rooms, music rooms, trapdoors, it is like a huge playhouse!  Loved imagining it!

I do admit that the end was quite disappointing to me.  It was as if the last 10 pages or so were simply a mish mash of admissions, betrayals, you name it, but it all didn’t make sense and just felt like it came out of nowhere for me.

Also, after I thought about it, I admit that there were quite a few things that were just downright silly in this book . . .a bit more so than your average fun, silliness in cozy mysteries.  Why did the author portray a person about to have their 50th birthday as someone who should be old, gray, and cuddled up with cats?  She is 50 not 150!!   Also why after the murder did the cops show up to investigate, interview everyone, tell them not to leave the house, and then never show up again for the rest of the week?  I know there was a winter storm, but other people showed up out of the blue!

Oh well, let’s be real . . . cozy mysteries are supposed to be fun, light reading, not to be overthought and picked apart for their logic!

Overall, a great series and I look forward to reading the upcoming books!  Can’t wait.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Book Review: “Eggs in a Casket” by Laura Childs (Cackleberry Club # 5)

eggsinacasket

Title:  Eggs in a Casket

Author:  Laura Childs

Series:  Cackleberry Club #5

Synopsis (from bn.com):  The ladies of the Cackleberry Club are always ready to serve—whether they’re cooking up breakfast or sniffing out a bad egg.

While Petra handles the breakfast rush at the Cackleberry Club, the café’s other two owners, Suzanne and Toni, head to Memorial Cemetery to help prepare for its 150th anniversary celebration. But as they search the winding paths for the historical society tent, they discover something else out of place: the body of ex-prison warden Lester Drummond lying facedown in someone else’s freshly dug grave.

In the small town of Kindred, everyone knows everyone, and Lester was no exception. Suzanne knew him as the creepy guy who made unwanted advances on her friend Missy Langston. But now it appears the man was hiding a few secrets…and at least one of them was worth killing for.

As the case cracks open, there are plenty of suspects to consider—from recent parolees to Missy herself, who Suzanne and Toni saw speeding away just before they found the body. Now, with a cemetery celebration in the offing, and the local authorities in over their heads, it’s up to the Cackleberry Club to unscramble the clues and clear their friend’s name.

My thoughts:  The Cackleberry Club has got to be in my top 5 of my favorite cozy locations in all of the cozy series!  Come on . . . a café specializing in eggs, a book nook, and a knitting corner all in one location . . . it doesn’t get much better than that.  Now if I could just make some of these cozy locations truly come to life and go there . . . oh well, a cozy reader can dream.

I truly enjoy this cozy series.  The main characters and owners of the Cackleberry Club, Petra, Suzanne, and Toni, are just great.  They are each different in their personalities and when put together make for a great mix of characters.

I must say that as the series continues, Toni’s “husband” Junior, has to go . . . it is time, he treats her like dirt and has no relevance to the stories.

As much as I love this series, I will admit that I was a bit disappointed by the ending of this one.  To me at least, the killer came completely out of nowhere.  I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t read it, but the killer played such a minor role in the story that I had to look back to even see who this character was.  Not good!

Overall, a great, fun cozy series set in a great location.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Laura Childs

Book Review and Blog Tour: “A Roux of Revenge” by Connie Archer (Soup Lover’s Mystery #3)

great_escape_tour_banner_large_ROUX_OF_REVENGE_large_banner640

Cover.A_Roux_of_Revenge

Title:  A Roux of Revenge

Author:  Connie Archer

Series:  Soup Lover’s Mystery #3

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Snowflake, Vermont, is known for its skiing in winter—and its soup all year round, thanks to Lucky Jamieson’s By the Spoonful. Autumn brings golden leaves, pumpkin rice soup, the annual Harvest Festival…and murder.

Lucky’s soup shop is busier than usual this October, with groups of itinerant travelers in town to work the Harvest Festival. One newcomer seems to take a particular interest in Lucky’s young waitress, Janie, spying on her from across the street. Is the stranger stalking Janie?

After an unidentified man is found murdered in a van by the side of the road, simmering suspicions about the travelers are brought to a boil. But when Janie is put in harm’s way, Lucky must join forces with the travelers to turn up the heat on a killer…

My thoughts:  The soup shop in this particular series, By the Spoonful, is by far one of my most favorite locations in all of the cozy mystery series.  How much cozier can one get than a nice, warm, cozy soup restaurant in a town called Snowflake, Vermont!  I love it and can picture it every time I read this series.

I really enjoy Connie Archer’s Soup Lover’s Mystery series.  As I am sure that I have mentioned in my reviews of the first two books in the series, Spoonful of Murder and Broth of Betrayal, I truly enjoy the main character Lucky Jamieson.  I love that she is a strong, empowered, female character that has definitely been through some difficult times but has come out on her feet.  She is finding her way in business and in love!  A truly great female lead character.

As I continue to read further and further into this series, I also am enjoying really getting to know some of the other characters in town.  They truly become your family which is why I love series books so much.

This book started out a bit slow for me but I will see really picked up the pace as we got further and further into the story and investigation of the murder.

My only issue with this series, and it really isn’t a problem with the series itself, but rather I guess where I live . . . is that the publication dates of the books in this series always come out off season.  What I mean is that his particular book is set in fall around Halloween and is published in Spring (after a long, hard winter at least where I live).  I know this is a crazy, stupid issue, but I want to be reading about nice, warm cozy soup on a nice, crisp, fall day in the fall not during spring.

That aside, I do love this series and eagerly await book #4!

Go out and start this series, you won’t regret it.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery, New Releases

Book Review and Blog Tour: “Load the Boat” by Rosalee Richland (Darla King #2)

 

great_escape_tour_banner_large_load_the_boat_large_banner320

 

LTB_cover_image_CS    Title:  Load the Boat

Author:  Rosalee Richland

Series: Darla King (Square Dance) #2

Synopsis:  Darla’s life just isn’t turning out the way she planned. Darla King left her position as a Florida investigator hoping to avoid any further involvement with law enforcement—but her curiosity keeps getting in her way. Darla is beginning to realize that what she envisioned as the simple life of a square dance caller is not so simple after all. When she agrees to serve as a
square dance caller on a cruise, she plans on a little work and a lot of fun, sun, and romance. Instead, she and her friends encounter black market porn, a dead crew member, and a mysterious man with a satchel. In addition, another passenger, Mandy, seems to be in the thick of it and getting a lot of Doug’s attention. Darla lands in danger, escaping only with on-the-spot ingenuity. Load the Boat is the second book in the Darla King mystery series.

 

My thoughts:  I was lucky enough to get to read and participate in the book tour for the first book in this cozy series, Right and Left Grand!  So . . . I was ready to jump back in and get right back to familiar characters . . . one of the reasons I love cozy series so very much.

I really enjoy this cozy series, despite the fact that I have limited to no knowledge of anything about square dancing.  As an aside, if you know nothing about square dancing, you will definitely learn a lot about it and have a new appreciation after you read this series.

I really enjoy the characters in this series.  Darla and her friends are fun, engaging, quirky, and all around a delight to spend some reading time with.  I truly enjoyed how we got a bit more depth about Darla and her background and her relationships in this second book.

I must admit (perhaps I get a little too close to the characters in my books) that I was a bit worried or annoyed or both with Darla’s character in this book.  She was extremely stressed, edgy, spent most of the time that she was not working in her room while on a beautiful cruise, and was away from her friends a lot.  I’m not quite sure what is going on with Darla . . . but she needs to get back to herself and I wanted to tell her to snap out of it.  :)

This series does get a bit heavy on the square dancing at times . . . it gets very specific and sometimes repetitive, which in my opinion sometimes takes away from the good mystery story underneath.

Overall, a nice, fun cozy series, with fun characters, a lesson in square dancing, and a good read.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Book Review “A Chorus Lineup” by Joelle Charbonneau (Glee Club Mystery #3)

achoruslineup

Title:  A Chorus Lineup

Author:  Joelle Charbonneau

Series:  Glee Club Mystery #3

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Paige Marshall is back in the spotlight in Joelle Charbonneau’s newest Glee Club Mystery. This time the high school show choir coach is fighting to keep her singers in a national competition despite charges of sabotage…   They have the talent. They have the heart. Nothing can stop Prospect Glen’s choir from taking home the trophy in the Show Choir National Competition. But below the soaring voices, there are murmurs of suspicion. So-called accidents keep befalling the other choirs. Yet Prospect Glen remains untouched.   With their competitors clamoring for them to be disqualified, the group may soon be singing a different tune. If there’s anyone who can restore harmony to the competition, it’s Paige. But this time she’ll needs to stick her neck out to discover who’s behind the sabotage, or she may end up singing her own swan song…

My thoughts:  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cozy mystery series!  The books in this series just keep getting better and as I finished this one (which basically just came out), I was already online looking if I could find info on the 4th book in the series and when it would come out – no such luck, but I will keep a look out!!
Bare with me as I know my reviews on this series may sound the same, but some of these factors bear repeating.
As a musician myself, I was very skeptical about this series when it first came out in the cozy genre.  I was fearful that it was going to be an overly cheesy version of the TV show “Glee” meets cozy mystery genre . . . but hear me that it is NOT, NOT, NOT, this in any way.  It is a well-written, fun, humorous story of a high school show choir in the suburbs of Chicago and one of their directors, Paige Marshall, an opera singer who is waiting for her big break in the opera world.
I love the characters in this series . . . I love Paige’s humor, the relationships between the characters (which in this book get very, very interesting, please tell me more)!  The kids in the show choir are great . . . and overall the mystery plots are well written and just plain fun to read.
As a musician/music therapist living in this very area, I just love recognizing some of the places she describes and feel like I am there.
Keep up the great work Joelle Charbonneau, and I beg of you . . .  write more in this series, faster :)
Overall, a great, fun cozy mystery series that will make you very glad you picked up the book!  Go get them now!  You won’t regret it.
And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Book Review – “Going Going Ganache” by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #5)

goinggoingganache

Title:  Going, Going, Ganache

Author:  Jenn McKinlay

Series:  Cupcake Bakery Mystery #5

Synopsis (from bn.com):

A new Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay is icing on the cupcake!   After a cupcake-flinging fiasco at a photo shoot for a local magazine, Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura agree to make amends by hosting a weeklong corporate boot camp at Fairy Tale Cupcakes.  The idea is the brainchild of billionaire Ian Hannigan, new owner of SWS (Southwest Style), a lifestyle magazine that chronicles the lives of Scottsdale’s rich and famous. He’s assigned his staff to a team-building week of making cupcakes for charity.

It’s clear that the staff would rather be doing just about anything other than frosting baked goods. But when the magazine’s creative director is found murdered outside the bakery, Mel and Angie have a new team-building exercise—find the killer before their business goes AWOL.

 

My thoughts:  I love this cozy series.  I don’t know whether it is the talk of the delicious cupcakes they are baking in their bakery, the cozy space I imagine their bakery to be, or the great, funny characters, I just know I love this series.  I particularly enjoyed this 5th book in the series . . . it was like The Devil Wears Prada meets Hell’s Kitchen meets cozy mystery novel!  It was just plain funny and fun all the way through.

I enjoyed that we get a little more insight into some of the main characters and their relationships . . . particular between Mel and her beau?  Hmmm, what will happen.

This is a great, fun, quirky, tasty cozy mystery series that I highly recommend.  I of course will be all set and ready to read when the 6th book, Sugar and Iced, comes out in April 2014!  Bring it on!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Book Review: “Red Velvet Revenge” by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #4)

redvelvetrevenge  Title:  Red Velvet Revenge

Author:  Jenn McKinlay

Series:  Cupcake Bakery Mystery #4

Synopsis (from bn.com):

It may be summertime, but sales at Fairy Tale Cupcakes are below zero—and owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are willing to try anything to heat things up. So when local legend Slim Hazard offers them the chance to sell cupcakes at the annual Juniper Pass rodeo, they’re determined to rope in a pretty payday!

But not everyone at the Juniper Pass is as sweet for Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Slim—including star bull-rider Ty Stokes. Mel and Angie try to steer clear of the cowboy’s short fuse, but when his dead body is found face down in the hay, it’s a whole different rodeo.

With a vengeful murderer on the loose, the ladies are quickly realizing that while they came to save their business, they may have to save themselves—and that’s no bull.

My thoughts:  Well Mel Cooper and her friend and fellow owner of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, Angie DeLaura are at it again.   Red Velvet Revenge is another great addition to the wonderful Cupcake Bakery Mystery series.

Mel and Angie are just great characters . . . funny, flirty, fierce, and feisty!  Of course, that is a great combination.

The story is fun and just an overall good cozy mystery!  Of course when I read these, I somehow pretend that I am a fabulous baker of cupcakes.  I photocopy all of the recipes in the back of the book and just know they will taste exactly like those of Fairy Tale Cupcakes . . . ok, well maybe not, but a girl can dream . . . after all isn’t that the fun of reading cozy mysteries :)

I strongly recommend this foodie cozy series.  I am going to start book #5, “Going, Going Ganache” even as we speak.

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

 

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction