Monday, January 16, 2017

Towhee Get Your Gun by J.R. Ripley

Towhee Get Your Gun
by J.R. Ripley

Series: A Bird Lover’s Mystery #2
Publish Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Source: Netgalley/Book Tour

About the Book:
When Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms volunteers to act in a local production of Annie, Get Your Gun, she finds herself upstaged by a killer waiting in the wings . . .

Who’s got time for birdwatching? Amy has enough to do running her shop, fighting attempts by the town planning commission to demolish her old Victorian house, and rescuing an injured towhee. Yet somehow she allows herself to get roped into performing in the Ruby Lake, North Carolina, community theater’s new musical after some cast members get injured by mysterious mishaps. The production seems plagued by bad luck, but events turn tragic when a member of the company is found murdered in a locked dressing room.

Trading in her binoculars for a magnifying glass, Amy steps into the role of amateur sleuth and soon discovers the victim ruffled a lot of feathers. With a flock of suspects, Amy will need to beat the bushes before the cagey killer takes flight. After all, the show must go on . . .

My Review:
I was excited to continue this series. I always enjoy new cozy themes The author has created a wonderful small town setting that I enjoy with all of its “crazy” townspeople. It was fun to meet some more locals and also the newly moved in. And I mean literally moved in and building a biergarten next to Birds and Bees.

The murder was intriguing and difficult for me to decide who dun it. Lots going on at the local production, many different personalities, it could almost be anybody.

My favorite part of the book was when Amy took charge at the senior living facility. Karl and Floyd are also quite the pair. Plenty of laughs throughout the book!!

I recommend this book to all cozy readers. It’s a great new series.

About The Author:
J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit

January 9 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
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January 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

Monday, January 9, 2017

Fatal Twist by Tracy Weber

A Fatal Twist
by Tracy Weber

Series: A Downward Dog Mystery #4
Publish Date: January 8, 2017
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: Netgalley/Book Tour

About the Book:
Yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s life takes a chaotic turn once she agrees to not only be the doula for her pregnant best friend, but also play foster mother to two puppies. The chaos only gets worse when Kate finds the dead body of a philandering fertility doctor and Rachel, one of her yoga students, fleeing the scene.

Kate is convinced her student is innocent, and she sets out to find the real killer before her testimony condemns Rachel to a life behind bars. But her hands are full with caring for three dogs, teaching yoga classes, and gaining an unexpected crime-solving partner. If she’s not careful, Kate’s next yoga pose may be a fatal one.

My Review:
I was excited to read another installment in this series again. I previously read the first installment and thoroughly enjoyed it!! This book was no different. I thoroughly enjoy books whose setting is in the Seattle area.

The author has created characters that are fun and entertaining. I enjoy their interaction with one another, along with the side story away from the crime. These elements to me make it a more enjoyable book. I also thought the doula aspect was interesting. Not something I would ever entertain myself, but enjoyed learning about it and its purpose.

Kate and Tiffany’s relationship really grows in this book. Since I missed the prior two books, I’m interested to learn exactly what their relationship was before this book. There is mention of how Tiffany came to be working for her so you’re not completely lost.

I highly recommend this book (and series) to all readers!

About The Author
Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and is a 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel.

Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

Author Links:

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Death by the Dozen by Jenn McKinlay

Title: Death by the Dozen
Series: Cupcake Bakery Mystery #3
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Publish Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Source: borrowed from Library

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
Melanie and Angie are determined to win the Challenge to the Chef to promote their Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. Mel's mentor from culinary school, Vic Mazzotta, may be one of the judges, but Mel and Angie will have to win fair and square. But, when Vic's dead body is found inside a freezer truck, Mel and Angie will need to use their best judgment to find the cold-blooded killer or they may lose more than the contest- they may lose their lives.

My Review:
This series has me hooked!! I don’t usually binge read a series because I have a tendency to get bored. Even if the series is totally awesome. I haven’t really binged read these books, as I have read other books in between, but it’s like I couldn’t wait for this to be next on my list.

The author has done an amazing job with the character. Mel, Angie, and Tate being best friends but also complicated relationships definitely has you reading faster to find out what is going to happen. And there are plenty of laughs with Angie’s brothers and their all consuming worry of Angie and remotely inherited to Mel. Oz has me definitely on my seat to see where things go with him and also Roach.

The mystery was twisty and had me guessing, but more doubting my guess until proved otherwise. Loved the food competition and all the back history with culinary school.

If you haven’t read this series yet, then you definitely need to give it a try. It is definitely not just another culinary cozy mystery.

Friday, December 16, 2016

M&M Surprise by Susan Gillard

Title: M&M Surprise Murder
Series: A Donut Hole Mystery #17
Author: Susan Gillard
Publish Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Guardian Publishing Group
Source: free for Kindle

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
When Heather Shepherd discovers that a popular judge at Hillside’s Archery competition has been murdered, she’s alarmed.

Heather soon finds out that the competition will be cancelled if the murderer isn’t brought to justice – and that means Jung won’t get his shot at winning. Heather must use that arrow-sharp wit and investigative skill to solve the crime, with the aid of her besties far and wide. Equipped with her desire to find the truth, Heather hurries to interview the grief-stricken widow. But, as ever, things aren’t as clear as they could be: Geoff Lawless has taken to investigating in his spare time, there’s a long list of suspects and the construction at Donut Delights has everyone reeling to catch up on orders.

Heather has to choose her leads wisely, or she'll risk losing more than just her integrity while she juggles the demand for her newest creation, M&M Surprise Donuts.

My Review:
Took a break from this series, but picked this book up to help break up other series I was reading. These are quick reads and fun, even with the typos.

Here are a few fun things about this installment:
Best Friends
Online orders
Ford Fiesta
Sweaty Coach

A little bit of excitement to quickly read the next installment to see if Heather passes her P.I. exam. And also, I cannot wait for the construction to be done. Not sure what it means for the donut shop and all the antics.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Self Serve Murder by D.E. Haggerty

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Book Blast - Self Serve Murder by D.E. Haggerty

Book Series: Death by Cupcake, Book 3 – can standalone
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor
Published: December, 2016
Word count: 43,000


Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.
Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.
Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.
Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.
  Buy links


Author bio:
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Author links: 
Amazon author page:

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Knit One Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

Title: Knit One Kill Two
Series: A Knitting Mystery #1
Author: Maggie Sefton
Publish Date: June 2005
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Source: borrowed from Library

About the Book:
Despite the fact that her aunt was an expert knitter, Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair knitting needles she liked -- until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt's murder. — Kelly Flynn would be the first to admit her life in Washington, D.C., is a little on the dull side. But coming back to Colorado for her beloved aunt’s funeral wasn’t the kind of excitement she was seeking. The police are convinced that her Aunt Helen’s death was the result of a burglary gone bad, but for the accountant in Kelly, things just aren’t adding up. After all, why would her sensible, sixty-eight-year-old aunt borrow $20,000 just days before her death? With the help of the knitting regulars at House of Lambspun, Kelly’s about to get a few lessons in cranking out a sumptuously colored scarf -- and in luring a killer out of hiding…

My Review:
I know I’m late to this series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great, friendly feel from the moment Kelly entered town and the House of Lambspun. I enjoyed the story of how she made friends with Lizzie, Martha, Jennifer, Mimi and Megan. They were also very quick in helping her get to know Steve.

The mystery was tangled and woven very well. I don’t think I had a clue. Lots of suspects and possible avenues, but I don’t think I was ever able to click them all together until the very end. Burt became a very good friend and I loved how he helped her keep her feet on the ground as she was thinking through the clues.

I also loved the yarn shop. The way the author describes the touching and the feeling of all the yarn was awesome. Made me feel it the same. I definitely am like Kelly and have to feel the various yarns. Looking at them just doesn’t do it justice.

I will definitely continue with this series. So excited!