Thursday, May 19, 2016

#TBT - Yoga Cozy Mysteries

Feeling like some yoga today, I thought I would share some previous book reviews of cozy mysteries with yoga as their theme. These books were a lot of fun, a great twist on yoga.

Kate owns Serenity Yoga in a cozy part of Seattle, Washington. Even though she’s struggling to keep things afloat, she loves the idea of her own business and what it can do to help people. When a homeless man, George, and his dog, Bella, show up outside her front door to sell daily papers, she’s not all that concerned until she notices the dog is very aggressive. While trying to help with finding another location for the dog, Kate gets know George and Bella which makes it even harder when she finds George dead and Bella without an owner. Taking Bella into her home so she doesn’t have to go to “jail”, Kate spends her time finding a home for Bella and solving the murder of George.

Title: Murder Strikes A Pose
Series: Downward Dog Mystery
Author: Tracy Weber
Publish Date: January 8, 2014
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: eARC from Netgalley via Publisher

Another cozy mystery centered around the Yoga theme. While very different from Down Dog Diary, this was definitely a “typical” cozy mystery and I very much enjoyed it.

Characters: Jake was a jerk from the beginning in my mind and I had to agree with everyone else, Why Alicia was even married to him? However, he did appear to treat her well and she never complained once about him. Even though George’s appearance in the book was short lived, I really did like the guy. His back story and why he ended up homeless was very interesting, as well as how Bella came to be in his possession.

Location and Setting: Seattle is not my first thought when I think of cozy, however, when you think of a small section of Seattle, there are plenty. This little cozy street of businesses and how they worked together, and potential for future books just amazed me.

Crime: Kate made a great sleuth and loved the fact that she drew on her previous relationships with those that could help her. This was a murder that I think I had figured out at one point, but then quickly dismissed it and looked for other options. Very well crafted.

Romance: Hot, hot, hot!! Rene was awesome to help this romance take hold. Go Rene!!

Take a drive northwest of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and in less than an hour we will have arrive at Gabriel’s Garden. A quick stop at the Breathe Yoga Studio with Maya on Mondays will sure to be a treat, but don’t be surprised if the group is not in the grove of yoga.
Maya has just become the keeper of the shaman diary after learning her long time friend Tum had passed away. Expecting the book to smell musty and old, when she put hers nose to it, she smells a wide range of wonderful smells. Maya doesn’t know a lot about the book other than Tum kept it hidden away and was very special to him. Soon after receiving the book, things begin to change and she doesn’t wonder if they have anything to do with the book.

Title: Down Dog Diary
Author: Sherry Roberts
Publish Date: October 2013
Publisher: Osmyrrah Pub
Source: eARC from Author

I received this book from the author for a honest review. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I accepted to read the book based on its theme, Yoga. I was pleasantly surprised with the writing and storyline of the book.

Maya’s family reminded me a lot of Dharma’s (on Dharma and Greg old TV show), except Maya has a sister named Heart. Maya calls her parents by their names, Larry and Evie, instead of mom and dad. Maya has a niece named Sadie who absolutely thinks the world of Maya and Heart is always walking on eggshells to protect Sadie and her husband, David.

Maya takes a trip to Whispering Spirit to visit Tum’s place. She was able to visit with a lot of the townspeople, where she grew up and had great memories of Tum. It was very interesting to learn about the beliefs and rituals of these people here and how they still lived.

I loved the descriptions in the book of both Gabriel’s Garden and Whispering Spirit. Both cozy places with an alternative feel. The characters were very well developed. My favorite character is Jorn. While I wasn’t so sure about him in the beginning, he definitely had my liking by the end of the book.

This was not a “typical” cozy mystery. As I started reading, I was scrunching up my eyebrows in wonderment. However, it is definitely a cozy mystery and done very well. I liked the new fresh ideas and the way the story was told, not following a typical plot of a cozy mystery.

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