Category Archives: Cozy

Book review: “Scones & Bones” by Laura Childs (Tea Shop Mystery #12)

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Title:  Scones & Bones

Author:  Laura Childs

Series:  Tea Shop Mystery #12

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is attending the Heritage Society’s Pirates and Plunder show when a histroy intern is murdered amidst the gold earrings and doubloons. Even with that on her plate, Theodosia still has to attend Charleston’s Food and Wine Festival, where she’s hosting a tea and cheese tasting. But as her thoughts keep drifting to the victim, Theodosia knows she’ll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a schooner of suspects.

My thoughts:   This is a very popular, well known cozy series indeed.   I’m working my way through the series oh so slowly, with stops at other books along the way.   This wasn’t my favorite in the series by any means . . . mostly because I just wasn’t a fan of the whole Pirate theme, but that is just me.   This one seemed to move really slowly . . .

Overall, a charming cozy mystery series . . . likable characters, warm cozy locations, one can learn quite a bit about the culture of Charleston . . . a win for me.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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

Book Review: “By Cook or by Crook” by Maya Corrigan (Five-Ingredient Mystery #1)

9781617731389_p0_v2_s550x406Title:  By Cook or by Crook

Author:  Maya Corrigan

Series:  Five-Ingredient Mystery #1

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Take one burned-out city girl. Add a crusty codger, a pinch of gossip, and a dash of romance. Stir in a generous helping of murder and you’ve got the ingredients for one truly delicious mystery. . .

Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys working at the Cool Down Café at the local fitness club, and she finally has time to work on her long-planned cookbook. But when one of the club’s patrons is found dead, she’ll have to cook up a scheme to find the killer. As the number of suspects rises like crabs in a bucket, it’s out of the pan and into the fire for Val. If she can’t find the culprit soon, she might as well be chum in the water. . .

My thoughts:  Well . . . I was doing some shelving in my personal library the other day and was looking for a new series to read . . . alas I found this long lost book on my shelf and it fit the bill.

I want to say I loved this cozy mystery, but I just didn’t love it.  Yes, it has all the hallmarks of a cozy mystery – a cozy, beach location, a heroine who is trying to get over some devastating past, a murder that everyone gets involved in . . . but I just didn’t love or feel connected to the characters right away.   I particularly don’t enjoy the curmudgeon grandfather character – it is fine, he just strikes me the wrong way and I get irritated.

And it sounds odd, since this book is really only from 2014 but it is amazing in the last 6 years – how aged the book really seems – it struck me a couple times talking about a landline in the house and such.   Didn’t make or break the book for me, but I definitely noticed it.

I believe I have the second book in this series on my shelf already so I may go back for one more to see if I can connect with the characters . . . but that may have to be it.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

 

 

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Book Review: “Tide and Punishment” (Seaside Café Mystery #3)

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Title:  Tide and Punishment

Author:  Bree Baker

Series:  Seaside Café Mystery #3

Synopsis (from BN.com): 

No one dreams of a killer Christmas…

It’s Christmastime in Charm, North Carolina, and while Everly Swan would prefer to focus on decorating her iced tea shop for its first holiday season, Great-Aunt Fran has decided to run for mayor against her long-time nemesis. But when the other candidate turns up dead just before the first scheduled debate, all eyes turn to Fran as the suspect with the most obvious motive.

Everly knows her sweet, elderly Aunt Fran couldn’t have murdered anyone, but as she struggles to find the real killer, it begins to seem like this may be the last merry Christmas her family may ever have.

 

My thoughts:  I absolutely love this cozy mystery series.  I found the series “by mistake” if you will during a trip to the bookstore and perusal through the cozy mystery section – everytime I see the words “First in a New Series” chances are its coming home with me.   And this series ended up being a big winner.

What is not to love – great engaging characters, a seaside Iced Tea shop (man why don’t these cozy locations exist in my real life), descriptions of a beachside town,  . . . it is all just good and makes for a great cozy read.

And like any good reader . . . man now I have to wait until May 2020 for her next book in the series . . . A Call to Kelp!

Great read . . . go get it today 🙂

And remember . . . Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “A Finely Knit Murder” by Sally Goldenbaum (Seaside Knitters Mystery #9)

9780451471611_p0_v2_s550x406Title:  A Finely Knit Murder

Author:  Sally Goldenbaum

Series:  Seaside Knitter’s Mystery #9

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Seaside Knitter Birdie Favazza is thrilled that her granddaughter Gabby will be visiting for the fall and attending the Sea Harbor Community Day School. Gabby loves the school, with its newly-adopted progressive curriculum, and she loves that the Seaside Knitters are teaching knitting as part of the enrichment program. It’s a huge success, and on crisp autumn days, girls camp out on the terraces, knitting up hats for charity.

But not everyone is happy with the direction the school is taking. Outspoken board member Blythe Westerland has sparked tempers with her determination to unravel the current administration. Then, on the evening of an elegant school event, Blythe’s body is found near the school boathouse.

With a killer on the loose, Birdie is determined to keep Gabby safe. Working together, the Seaside Knitters carefully unravel the layers of Blythe’s complicated life, bringing faculty members and town residents under scrutiny. Before the cast-off rows are made on the students’ projects, the knitters will need to stitch together the evidence to see if a murderer has been walking beside them all along.

 

My thoughts:   Alright, bear with me as I make this confusing statement – this book is a typical cozy and not a typical cozy all in one.   Ok, what do I mean?  Cozy lover’s know that cozy mysteries follow a bit of a formula (heck, that is why we like them) – cozy, quaint location, there is murder, a group of normally women get somehow involved in solving the crime normally with a cast of characters including local law enforcement of some kind . . . happy ending.

This cozy is typical – in a good way (please don’t get me wrong) – in the cozy location . . . in fact that is one of the primary reasons I LOVE cozies, is spending time in these locations  . . . and yes I believe they are all real places in my mind 🙂  Well this series is set in a quaint beach town, overlooking the ocean, quaint restaurants which everyone always goes to, charming markets and locations . . . and classic in this series is the Friday night dinner on the deck – always featuring local seafood on the grill, a myriad of homemade dishes, wine . . . yummmmm.  When the heck am I invted?

This cozy was really not typical in that the characters didn’t really start jumping into “solving” the mystery if you will until about 80 pages before the end of the book, which makes this series a bit slow and drawn out at times.

Of course I will continue the series simply for the great location and will continue to hope for more sleuthing by these great characters.

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

 

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Book Review “The Book Supremacy” by Kate Carlisle (Bibliophile Series #13)

book supremacy

Title:  The Book Supremacy

Author:  Kate Carlisle

Series:  Bibliophile Series #13

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Newlyweds Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying the final days of their honeymoon in Paris. As they’re browsing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect gift for Derek, a first edition James Bond novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. When they bump into Ned, an old friend from Derek’s spy days, Brooklyn shows him her latest treasure.

Once they’re back home in San Francisco, they visit a spy shop Ned mentioned. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop’s first anniversary celebration. Before they agree, Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff—turns out, the unassuming book is worth a great deal more than sentimental value.

Soon after, Derek is dismayed when he receives a mysterious letter from Paris announcing Ned’s death. Then late one night, someone is killed inside the spy shop. Are the murders connected to Brooklyn’s rare, pricey book? Is there something even more sinister afoot? Brooklyn and the spy who loves her will have to delve into the darkest parts of Derek’s past to unmask an enemy who’s been waiting for the chance to destroy everything they hold dear.

My thoughts:  This was just a wonderfully delightful, fun book-themed cozy!   I already loved this series . . . but this one really knocked it out of the park for me.

What was super fun about this one for me was that much of it was set in a Spy shop complete with café, Escape rooms, a book nook and the works!  What a great setting.

Love the solid characters in this series . . .

If you are a book lover, a cozy lover, . . . then get your hands on this series.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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2020 Book Challenge: “Calendar of Crime”

Calendar of Crime Challenge

This year I am going to try a new reading challenge I found sponsored by the lovely readers at The Reader’s Block.

Please visit the following link to check it out and join the fun.

https://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2019/10/calendar-of-crime-2020.html 

Calendar of Crime Checkoff Sheet

Happy New Year and happy reading!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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2020 Book Challenge “Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies”

Cruisin Thru the Cozies 2020

 

It’s that time of year to refresh, renew, relax . . . and most importantly start new with fresh Reading Challenges!   One of my favorites is the Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge sponsored by the wonderful folks at Socrates Book Review.

Check out more information at:

https://socratesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2019/11/cruisin-thru-cozies-reading-challenge.html  

Given that I tend to read many other genres as well . . . I think I will go for the Snoop Level where I read 10 cozy mysteries of my choice!

Here is to a successful and fun 2020 reading year!!!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under book challenges, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Uncategorized