Buy a Whisker – Sofie Ryan


4/5 KISS Window Displays

On The Back:

Things have been quiet in the coastal town of North Harbor, Maine, since Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, solved their first murder. Sarah is happy running Second Chance, the shop where she sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. But then she gets dragged into a controversy over developing the waterfront. Most of the residents—including Sarah—are for it, but there is one holdout—baker Lily Carter.

So when Lily is found murdered in her bakery, it looks like somebody wanted to remove the only obstacle to the development. But Sarah soon discovers that nothing is as simple as it seems. Now, with the help of her cat’s uncanny ability to detect a lie, Sarah is narrowing down the suspects. But can she collar the culprit before the ruthless killer pounces again?

My Thoughts:

A very good follow-up in what is looking to be a good series, Sofie Ryan did a wonderful job of continuing the consistency of the character’s actions and feelings through this book and the first one.

Sarah was once again a very good character, I loved her shop and the fact that we actually saw her working in it. In some mystery series I’ve read it seems like the MC just abandons their job on a whim to solve a murder, however in this book Sofie works at her job as owner of Second Chance. The Angels were again really fun. I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like older sleuths because they just come out and say what they mean, they don’s mince their words. Mr. P, Charlotte, Liz, and Rose all are wonderful examples of that.

I like Nick, but yet I like Mac better, both character are strong and can stand on their own, however it seems like the author is setting up for a love triangle in future books. Let’s hope not.

The mystery was very good, I didn’t guess the killer until Sarah did.

Really a good book, there were a couple of editing errors that I noticed and the author seems to be setting up for a love triangle, but overall a solid 4 star read!

Thyme of Death – Susan Wittig Albert

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3/5 Herb Shops

On The Back:

China Bayles has it all – a prestigious Houston law practice, money, power – but it’s not enough. She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s confident, and she knows she wants something more out of life than the fast track offers. Something like the Thyme and Seasons herb shop in Pecan Springs, Texas. Realizing that her career is turning her into somebody she doesn’t like, China does what many people only dream of doing: She relocates to a small town to begin a new and, she hopes, a gentler, more fulfilling life. But even in Pecan Springs, evil can occur among ordinary people living everyday lives. China soon learns that while she can move from the city, she can’t escape the world of moral choice. When China’s good friend, Jo Gilbert, apparently commits suicide, China is more than puzzled. Jo had been suffering from a terminal disease, but wasn’t the type to take her own life. And, to a lawyer like China, some revealing letters that Jo leaves behind shout blackmail and murder, not suicide. But why would anybody want to kill a woman who will die soon anyway? And what about the scent of perfume in Jo’s house? When another mysterious death occurs, China is sure she’s dealing with homicide. Helped by her best friend, New-Ager Ruby Wilcox, and with support from lover Mike McQuaid, a former-cop-turned-professor, China follows a trail of greed and fear to discover some unsettling answers. Thyme of Death marks the memorable debut of one of the most original and appealing new female sleuths to come along in years. Readers will identify with China Bayles as she makes the kind of tough decisions that confront us all.

My Thoughts:

I don’t know how many times I’ve checked this book out from my local library, but until this week I’d never read it. I’m sorry to say that I was missing out! I enjoyed this mystery enough to look for the second book.

I liked China, she was a strong, intelligent character, but yet I didn’t “click” with her character, I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t seem to relate with her at all. At times she was also arrogant. However, I immediately clicked with the rest of the characters, from Ruby to Meredith, to Mike.

The mystery was excellent, it was really the highlight of this story. It not only had a well-thought-out ending but it had enough clues and fake clues to throw me for a loop. I really enjoyed it. The setting was also excellent, I loved the herb shop and China’s home in it, it was all very well described and I could picture it easily.

This was a decent book that I enjoyed, however it was on the line between cozy and non-cozy to me, a few scenes didn’t follow the “cozy-mystery” definition of very little sex and/or blood and gore. Not that the book was bad in any way, but I just expected it to be a little bit different.

Overall a very good book with a few small things I didn’t like. I’ll be looking for the next one soon.

A Tough Nut to Kill – Elizabeth Lee


4/5 Pecan Farms

On The Back:

Lindy Blanchard has devoted five years of her life to saving the pecan trees on her family’s farm—but someone is going to deadly lengths to see that she fails…

Riverville, Texas, is pecan country, and the Blanchard family farm is famous for its acres of tall pecan trees and the delicious pies and cookies sold at the Nut House, the aptly named family store. Miss Amelia, Lindy’s feisty grandmother, makes the best pecan pies for several counties and the farm is attracting visitors from far and wide to sample the wares.

Until the day Lindy walks into the greenhouse to find her uncle Amos murdered and her new stock of trees destroyed, with the best of the bunch stolen. Who is out to ruin the Blanchard family? And who wanted Uncle Amos dead? With the sheriff stumped, it’s up to Lindy and Miss Amelia to save the ranch and tree a killer.

My Thoughts:

I was a little bit nervous when I started reading this book, because I’d read multiple reviews where reviewers said that they didn’t “click” with the characters or with the setting, but I was happy to find out that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was full of excitement with a great MC who investigated without throwing herself in people’s faces and a great crew of family and friends.

As I said above, the MC was likeable and investigated without throwing herself out there. In the last book I read, Buried in a Bog, it seemed like the MC did little to no investigating and everything just fell into her lap, however with this book the MC investigates thoroughly and the reader finds out clues around the time she does too. I have to say however, I did guess the killer about 100 pages before the reveal.

The setting was wonderful, honestly I never put much thought into where pecans came from so I enjoyed learning a little bit about them in this book. The mystery was also nice, it wasn’t the best, but the motives were well-planned and I liked the surprise of an old mystery mixing with a new one.

Overall a very good book, I’ll be reading the next one inn the series!

Buried in a Bog – Sheila Connolly


3.5/5 Irish Villages

On The Back:

Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where her Gran was born—though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran.

In the pub, she’s swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of a nearly one-hundred-year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes she may know something about the dead man—and that the body’s connected to another, more recent, death—she fears she’s about to become mired in a homicide investigation. After she discovers the death is connected to another from almost a century earlier, Maura has a sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head…

My Thoughts:

I had bought this book quite awhile ago and had started reading it but found my interest waning at page 40 so I put it back down, however I recently picked it back up and I’m glad to say that this was a very entertaining book that I enjoyed reading!

I really liked Maura and for awhile I was groaning because I thought Ms. Connolly was setting up a love triangle, however by the end of the book that doesn’t happen and in fact I was pleasantly surprised and happy that Maura didn’t have a love interest in this book.

The setting was vivid and perfect, I could perfectly picture Leap and the Irish countryside without ever being there.

The murder plot was well-thought out, however the MC, Maura, did very little sleuthing, in fact the mystery just kind of came out and Maura happened to be in the room. It wasn’t really suspenseful or riveting, but it was pleasant. Also, by the end of the book there’s a huge surprise that blew me away and really had me shaking my head. I don’t want to say it here because it’s a huge spoiler, but it’s really too convenient, in my opinion. I feel like Ms. Connolly could have done a better job with the reveal.

Overall a very pleasant book. I hope to see Maura sleuthing more soon but I’ll be reading the next book!

Murder in the Mystery Suite – Ellery Adams


4/5 Bibliophile Getaways

On The Back:


Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…

My Thoughts:

I needed to do some catching up on my Mount TBR Challenge, because I’ve slacked off on it for the last few months. This book perfectly fit, it’s been sitting on my shelf since October-November of last year, and I must say that it’s a same I didn’t read it before! This is a fast-paced, entertaining read that will have you staying up until the wee hours of the morning finishing it.

I really enjoyed the MC, Jane, she was very knowledgeable about books without being unlikeable. I also adored her twin sons, Hem and Fritz. Th author did a wonderful job of making them believable for young boys without making them annoying. Though there isn’t one in this book, there are hints of a love triangle forming in the next book, which I sincerely hope isn’t true.

The mystery was very-well put together, the author gives ou a big hint before the killer is found but I didn’t realize it was a hint until after the killer was exposed. The book also took a bit longer than I like to get into, but it ended up being fast-paced after the first 50 pages or so.

Overall a very good book. I’ll be looking out for the next one when it comes out later this year!

The Diva Haunts the House – Krista Davis


5/5 Haunted Houses

On The Back:

Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the Halloween spirit- her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it’s scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha’s guests dead in a Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene.Could the killer be a real vampire-the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie’s haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic.

My Thoughts:

This month has been a catch-up month for me, out of the 14 books I’ve read this month 10 have been in series I’ve already started. This book fits perfectly into that, it’s the third book in this series I’ve read this month, but it was an amazing read with just the perfect amount of spookiness to go with the Halloween theme.

Sophie is once again back, and she’s better than ever. Like in her other books she is one of the most knowledgeable MCs I’ve read about recently, but yet she’s one of the most humble, too. All of the normal cast is back except for Sophie’s parents and Hannah, Sophie’s sister, but a whole group of new characters is introduced at the same time. That was probably the largest drawback of the entire book, so many new characters were present that I got them confused quite often.

As I said above, the spookiness factor was right on par with the Halloween theme of the book,and at some points I had goosebumps wondering what would happen next. The author did such a good job of steering me away from the murderer that when they were exposed I was shocked. A bit of superstition is also raveled into the mystery to set you on edge, and oh boy did it work!

Overall a wonderful book, one of the best this month. I hope the next book stays this good!

Last Wool and Testament – Molly MacRae


4/5 Haunted Yarn Shops

On The Back:

Kath Rutledge is about to learn the true meaning of TGIF—Thank Goodness It’s Fiber.…

That’s the name of the spunky group of fiber and needlework artists founded by Ivy McClellan, Kath’s beloved grandmother. Though Ivy has recently passed on, the members still meet regularly at her fiber and fabric shop, The Weaver’s Cat, which Kath has now inherited. But that’s only the first in a series of surprises when Kath returns to the small town of Blue Plum, Tennessee, to settle her grandmother’s affairs.

There’s been a murder, and it turns out her grandmother was the prime suspect. Before she can begin to clear Ivy’s name, Kath encounters a looming presence in the form of a gloomy ghost. It turns out the specter has just as much interest in solving the murder as Kath. So, with a little help from the members of TGIF—and a stubborn spirit from beyond—she sets out to unravel the clues and hook the real killer.…

My Thoughts:

Last Wool and Testament was an exciting glimpse into Blue Plum, Tennessee.

The characters were great, I really liked Kath, hated Clod, which is what the author wanted you to do, and was in-between about Joe.

The mystery was also wonderful, I had a slight inkling of who the killer was, but I didn’t know for sure, but the reason for the murder blew me away, it was a surprise, but fit in perfectly with what the author was trying to convey. The author also left a few loose ends that I’ll enjoy reading about in the next installment.

However, the beginning was a bit slow for my taste, it took like 75 pages before I really got into this book, and the ghost played a relatively minor role for most of the book. When I had picked this up I had expected the ghost to be right there with the MC for most of the story, but that wasn’t the case.

Through those minor faults, however, this book was a good, riveting read that I devoured!

Book Haul — 10 More Books!

I was out in one of the neighboring towns around us today and I went to a few different stores and found 10 more books for the tbr pile!

Total Spent: $5.25

Books Bought: 10

Divergent – Veronica Roth I actually checked this out from the library a while ago but then I found it today and I had to snatch it up

A Royal Pain – Rhys Bowen I was pleasantly surprised when I found this, it is actually the second in the series and I’ve only read the first, so yay.

A Vision of Murder – Victoria Laurie This book looked brand new when I got it from a small thrift store, and I’ve been meaning to start this series.

The Alpine Journey – Mary Daheim I’ve heard this is a decent series, I hope so!

A Death in the Family – Hazel Holt I follow a blog that simply raved over this series awhile ago.

Death By The Light of the Moon – Joan Hess Supposed to be a good series.

The Cat Who Went Into the Closet – Lillian Jackson Braun There were a few more books in this series at the same place I found this one, but this was the only one that really sounded good to me.

One Hot Murder – Lorraine Bartlett I’ve read the first one in this series and I’ve been meaning to get the second one. This is the third.

Margaritas and Murder – Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain Another Murder, She Wrote for the Collection

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie I’ve heard that this is her best book and I’ve seen an old movie that was based on this, so I decided to pick it up.

Overall a nice relaxing day. Review for Last Wool and Testament coming soon!

Peach Pies and Alibis – Ellery Adams


4/5 Charmed Gardens

On The Back:

Ella Mae LeFaye’s Charmed Pie Shoppe is wildly popular in Havenwood, Georgia–which is not surprising since Ella Mae can lace her baked goods with enchantments. The shop’s extraordinary success seems destined to continue when Ella Mae meets an engaged couple who hire her to handle the dessert buffet at their wedding.

But Ella Mae has a lot on her plate. She is also searching for the origin of her magical powers–and hoping to determine if the spark of attraction she feels for the handsome Hugh Dylan is authentic or just her new abilities gone awry.

Then Ella Mae discovers a high-standing member of the community dead, and a wedding guest becomes seriously ill at the event she’s catering. Now she’ll have to use all her sleuthing skills and culinary talents to prove her pies don’t contain a killer ingredient . . .

My Thoughts:

A second outstanding book in this series, this book was filled with excitement and intrigue. This book was a winner.

Ella Mae comes back in the second installment of the Charmed Pie Shoppe Series and is just coming into her gift to affect people’s feelings through her baking. This book shows a lot of character growth with Ella Mae and you learn ore about her family. However this was probably one of the saddest cozy mysteries I have ever read, during one scene the author did such a good job of putting the MC’s feelings on the page that I felt like I could feel her pain.

A really good mystery, however it was obvious, and that was the main reason I took off a star. The killer was easy to pick out and a few other scenes in the book happened obviously. I knew exactly what was going to happen and who was the murderer before those scenes took place and without reading any kind of plot summary online.

However, even with the obvious ending this book was wonderful. The next one’s on the tbr pile!

Dearly Depotted – Kate Collins


5/5 Crazy Cousins

On The Back:

New from the author of Slay It With Flowers Abby has her hands full at her cousin Jillian’s wedding as florist, bridesmaid, and grandma-sitter-all while wearing a hideous dress. Then the groom’s 90-year-old grandmother goes missing from the reception. On her search, Abby finds the corpse of guest Jack Snyder. Now she must find out who killed Jack in the pulpit.

My Thoughts:

Wow, this series just keeps getting better and better! This was an excellent part of what is shaping up to be an excellent series, from crazy cousins to an epic fight scene, this book was wonderful.

Abby is once again back to sleuthing and she’s great at it. I think one of my favorite parts about Abby and this series is the fact that Abby knows that she doesn’t know everything. In this book she makes some mistakes, and when they’re pointed out to her she doesn’t complain of shove the blame on someone else, she fesses up to the  mistakes. She also actually works at her job! That may seem like a given, but in many mysteries the MC supposedly has a job they love, but when they sleuth they never are at the job. This book as a lot of scenes where Abby is actually working, it was a nice change.

This is the first real book where we saw Pryce as he really was, a jerk. Before we’d heard about him and seen him briefly, ut he had never really been in the forefront. In this book, however, he is one of the major supporting characters; I now know why Abby dumped him. You also see character growth in Marco, you learn more about his family and their problems and it shows that he’s an A+ guy.

The mystery was also wonderfully plotted. The killer was never on my suspects list or on Abby’s but they fit in so well that it was great.

Overall an exceptionally well-written and plotted story. Looking forward to the next one!