Category Archives: Cozy

Book Review: “While My Pretty One Knits” by Anne Canadeo (Black Sheep Knitters Mystery #1)

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Title:  While My Pretty One Knits

Author:  Anne Canadeo

Series:  Black Sheep Knitters #1

Synopsis (from bn.com):  The Black Sheep Knitters—Maggie, Lucy, Dana, Suzanne, and Phoebe—meet once a week without fail, sharing the varied and colorful skeins of their lives as much as knitting tips, recipes, and small-town gossip, and creating an intricate, durable pattern of friendship. Now a shocking murder has peaceful Plum Harbor, Massachusetts, in knots —and the Black Sheep women must herd together to protect one of their own from a scandalous frame-up.

Maggie Messina, beloved owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, is thrilled to be hosting a workshop for one of her former students, now a celebrity in the knitting world. But the celebration is upstaged when Amanda Goran, the owner of the rival Knitting Nest, is found dead in her shop on the other side of town.

Maggie had reasons to dislike Amanda, a thorn in her side ever since Maggie’s shop surpassed Amanda’s in popularity. Then again, it wasn’t hard to dislike Amanda—the contentious woman, whose marriage was on the rocks, seemed to specialize in causing misery all over town. But the pointed evidence has a detective casting a suspicious eye on Maggie. She may be a whiz at knitting, but can she keep the police from needling her before her shop, her reputation, and her circle of friends become unraveled?

 

My thoughts:  This first book in the Black Sheep Knitters series offers some hope for another great cozy mystery series.

I must admit I’m not going to label this my favorite new cozy series by any means at this point.  I of course will read the rest of the series – because well that is the kind of reader I am, I can’t leave my characters hanging even after one book, and let’s face it I already have the rest of the series on my bookshelves 🙂

This series is going to take me a little while to get into.  I am just starting to know the characters, but they seem a bit blah and dull to me.  None of them stand out – they need a bit more kick at this point.  I am certain reading further into the series will correct this issue for me.

I did have the mystery figured out long before the end of the book which is a huge problem since I am NEVER the type to do this when I read.

I am going to continue to give this series a chance – it just doesn’t seem to have the cozy spirit and wonderfully memorable characters as some other series I’ve read.

Overall, an ok cozy series that needs some more memorable characters and a little bit more spunk.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “Beach Bags and Burglaries” by Dorothy Howell (Haley Randolph Mystery #7)

 

beachbagsandburglaryTitle:  Beach Bags and Burglaries

Author:  Dorothy Howell

Series:  Haley Randolph Mystery #7

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Part-time sleuth and full-time fashionista Haley Randolph just won an all-expenses-paid vacay at the Rowan Resort. The island has everything Haley imagined: pristine beaches, posh accommodations, and possibly Brad Pitt. But trouble soon looms on the horizon when Jaslyn Gordon, a maid at the island resort, goes missing. And while practically looting the resort for a Sea Vixen beach bag, Haley of course finds the maid—on the beach. . .and clearly dead.

Everyone at the resort says Jaslyn’s death was just an accident, but Haley thinks there’s a lot going unsaid. Haley’s faced down clever criminals before and always come out on top, but this malicious murderer might be too crafty. And though she’s dying to get her hands on a Sea Vixen, she also wants to live long enough to be seen with it. . .

My thougths:  Ok, I’ve mentioned before that this isn’t my favorite cozy mystery series and I hate, hate giving badish reviews to books . . . but I have to admit openly that parts of this book just bugged me.  It’s not the writing, nor the story, nor the supporting characters . . . it is the main character herself, Haley Randolph that is just over the top to me, particularly in this book.  Wow – there were times I simply wanted to smack her across the face.  I know she is to be characterized as a young, 25 year old fashionista that is finding her way in life, but this book really brought out the selfish person this girl is.  And this time it really got to me.  I just got sick of the selfish statements from this character like god it’s good to be me, I’m great, etc etc.  Gag!

On a positive note however I enjoyed the setting of this book. The main characters were on a vacation at a luxury resort which overall was a fun location for a book.

I don’t like giving up on series . . . and I haven’t fully committed to letting this one go, but let’s just say I’m not rushing out to get the new releast.

Onward and upward,

And remember,

Books are Life

Heather

 

 

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2017 Reading Challenge: Foodies Read 2017

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I’m glad that I found this Foodies Read Challenge for my 2017 reading adventures!

We all know I love reading cozy mysteries and some of my absolute favorites are those that are food based such as coffee shops, tea shops, spice shops, bakeries, cafes, and the list could go on and on and on . . .

For this challenge I am putting it all out there and going with the level of CORDON-BLEU CHEF More than 19 books!!

Looking forward to this one.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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2017 Reading Challenge: Craving for Cozies 2017 Challenge

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Given that I’m a huge cozy mystery reader I always choose at least one cozy challenge each year.  This year I have chosen the Craving for Cozies 2017 Challenge sponsored by Escape with Dolly Cas Into a Good Book.

All of the details of the challenge are available here . . .

http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/reading-challenges/craving-cozies-2017-reading-challenge/

For this year I have chosen the level FAMISHED 11-20 Cozy Mysteries

Happy reading Cozy Lovers,

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review: “Swag Bags and Swindlers” (Haley Randolph Mystery #11)

swagbagsandswindlers

Title:  Swag Bags and Swindlers

Author:  Dorothy Howell

Series:  Haley Randolph Mystery #11

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Haley Randolph’s 25th birthday is just around the corner, and the full-time fashionista is ready to quit her credit card-paying job at Holt’s Department Store. All she has to do is make sure nothing goes wrong with the big party she’s planning at the Hollywood Haven retirement home. But when Haley finds the home’s assistant director sprawled on his bloody office floor, she sees her hope of keeping her job—not to mention the dream of owning a Sassy, the season’s hottest handbag—vanishing before her eyes.

Finding the killer is Haley’s only hope . . . but it turns out the list of suspects is longer than her last credit card statement. To make matters worse, Haley’s kind-of-ex-boyfriend Ty is now a suspect in a different murder. Solving two murders while planning the perfect party—and always keeping her sights on a Sassy—won’t be easy . . . especially now that there’s more than one killer ready to select Haley’s final outfit!

My thoughts:  I found this cozy mystery series completely by mistake a number of years ago in my library and needless to say have been following it ever since.

This is by far not my favorite cozy mystery series but it is a cute, fun series.  Picture Sophie Kinsella’s series . . . with a much less annoying main character.

The characters are fun and overall it is just a nice, simply series.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

 

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Book Review – “First Degree Mudder” by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pacific Northwest Mystery #4)

first-degree-mudder

Title:  First Degree Mudder

Author:  Kate Dyer-Seeley

Series:  Pacific Northwest Mystery #4

 

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .

 

My thoughts:  I love, love, love this series.  I couldn’t wait until the publication date for this one and sure enough I pre-ordered it and had it delivered to my door on the date it was out.

This cozy mystery series truly has it all . . . humor, great characters, a little intrigue, and a great continuing storyline from book to book.

The first couple books in this series definitely had a bit more humor that the ensuing ones – it was hilarious seeing the main character trying to fit into this outdoor world and conquer mountains and ski slopes.  As Meg starts to gain more “experience” in her outdoor pursuits, I guess I see why the author has backed off on the humor and gaffes of her outdoor adventures – but I certainly wouldn’t mind some more of that in the next books.

I love that the author  has kept a couple underlying storylines not only going but growing and getting more and more intriguing throughout the series – what is happening with Meg’s relationship with Matt?  What is the true story about Meg’s dad?  And the Sheriff?

 

I of course can’t wait for the next one – and now I will have to wait a year – sniff, sniff,  . . .

A great cozy mystery series that everyone should get their hands on . .

And remember,

Books are Life,

Heather

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Book Review: “Slayed on the Slopes” by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pacific Northwest Mystery #2)

slayedontheslopes

Title:  Slayed on the Slopes

Author:  Kate Dyer-Hernandez

Series:  Pacific Northwest Mystery #2

Synopsis (from bn.com):

After talking her way into a job writing for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine, Meg Reed may now really be in over her head. Actually, about 8,000 feet over her head. . .

She’s at Mount Hood’s remote Silcox Hut, covering the the seriously hardcore Ridge Rangers— Oregon’s elite high-altitude rescue team—during their four-day winter training. Sure, Meg beefed up her outdoor skills over the summer . . . but she’s still hoping to cover the event with some hot chocolate by the cheery fireplace. Then, during a sudden blizzard, she swears she hears gunshots. No one stranded in the hut believes her . . . until self-absorbed Ridge Ranger Ben Rogers is found outside in a pool of frozen blood. Meg’s now got to find this killer quickly . . . before cabin fever does them all in!

 

My thoughts:  If you have read my review of the first book in this series, Scene of the Climb, you know that I absolutely love this series and let’s face it, I’m reading the first 3 back to back – I can’t put them down.

Book #2 in the series takes us back to the beautiful Oregon scenery, Mount Hood, and the Columbia River Gorge in the middle of a winter storm as our dear main character Meg sets off to write a story about the Ridge Rangers – a rescue team.  Needless to say, things don’t go as planned, a winter storm traps her and the Ridge Rangers in the Silcox Hut with yes – a dead body!

Again, I loved the descriptions of the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest.  It really makes this series for me – as a lifelong Midwesterner.   I was so intrigued by the places this author writes about I looked them up and read up on some of the history of the area.

If you are a nature lover and a lover of great cozies – get yourself into this series.  You won’t regret it.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

 

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