Sunday, May 15, 2022

Hot and Sour Suspects

 Hot and Sour Suspects in the 8th Noodle House cozy by Vivien Chien.   I always get a smile on my face when reading about Lana Lee and the messes she manages to find herself in.  She's a quirky Asian American woman running her family's noodle shop in a suburb of Cleveland.  But she has a knack of finding her way into the middle of police investigations much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, a detective in the Fairview PD.  This case is even messier than normal since it is his case to investigate.  This actually just meant we see less of him in the story than in others and more of Megan and Kimmy, Lana's friends and partners in investigation.

 The mystery is well written  with plenty of plausible suspects.  The how and the why are clearly explained at the end of the story.  Lana seems to be maturing in this novel and some of her perspectives reflect the author's personal experiences while writing this cozy.   Be sure to read her note at the beginning as I sheds some light on the dialogue and self reflection Lana experiences in this book.  I really enjoy this series and hope to be able to read more of it in the future.  

An added bonus to this book was my discovery that the cover has a bowl of hot and sour soup with mushrooms floating in it, thus I am able to complete a prompt for a challenge that I had NO idea how I was going to accomplish it.  So excited.  


  Hot and Sour Suspects

Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A well written cozy that has the reader guessing throughout. Even as the story is wrapping up there’s still nagging doubts as to who is really responsible. The book has the same quirky characters that are so enjoyable to read about. Lana is her usual stubborn self and we get a deeper glimpse into her relationship with Anna May, her sister. This book has some deeper life philosophies mixed in too which makes sense if you read the author’s note. Lana is a strong woman surrounded by other strong willed women and a supportive boyfriend; a nice change from many cozies where the lead female isn’t always so strong

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #46
  2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2022  Series:25  Book #1
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #56
  4. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #36
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #57
  6. Craving for Cozies  Book #53
  7. Medical Examiner Challenge 1 Toe Tags
  8. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- living room
    • Weapon- push
    • Detectives- Lana Lee
    • Victims- Gavin
  9. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #28  Shot #4
  10. Beat the Backlist #BTB2022  #12 mushroom on the cover
  11. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #14. A book with cutlery on the cover or in the title

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Dead Men Don't Crochet

 Dead Men Don't Crochet


Dead Men Don't CrochetDead Men Don't Crochet by Betty Hechtman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very good cozy centered around a crotchet group at a bookstore. Ms. Hechtman does a wonderful job of keeping the guilty party a mystery until the very end. The characters are mainly the same from the first book with new additions for this plot. It is well conceived on how new members of the crochet group mix into the story and expand the character list. The dynamics of the recurring characters are well developed and engaging. I like the fact there are some real world situations/issues discussed as subplots as well. The charitable focus of the crotchet group is a nice feature to the plots. Seems to be a good cozy series to read the volumes of.

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #44
  2. What an Animal Book #30
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #54
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #44
  5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #35
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #56
  7. Craving for Cozies  Book #52
  8. Medical Examiner Challenge  2 Toe Tags
  9. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene-offices
    • Weapon- poison
    • Detectives- molly pink
    • Victims- 
  10. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #84  Shot #2
  11. Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO  MAY- Book Lovers Unite. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Prologue to Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore #2)

 Prologue to Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore #2)


Prologue to MurderPrologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very engaging cozy. Addie feels like someone you could be friends wife and her emotions and relationships feel life like. I appreciate that not everything goes smoothly for her and their are real struggles in her life. I feel like much of the unfortunate things that happen to her could be feasible if you had a naturally curious personality that encountered criminal activity. If you like well written mysteries set in the northeast sprinkled with history and legends- particularly pirates; you’ll like this book

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #43
  2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2022  Series:24  Book #1
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #53
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #43
  5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #35
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #55
  7. Craving for Cozies  Book #51
  8. Medical Examiner Challenge  Toe Tags
  9. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- basement
    • Weapon- pushed
    • Detectives- Addie Greyborne
    • Victims- June Winslow
  10. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #43  Shot #2
  11. Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO   MAY- Book Lovers Unite. 

Assault and Pepper (A Spice Shop Mystery, #1)

 Assault and Pepper (A Spice Shop Mystery, #1) is a new series for me. I have read some of Ms Budewitz's other series the Food Lovers' Village set in Montana. This one was a bit more social conscience undertone for my liking. I did enjoy listening to the story and the mystery was well constructed it is just that at times it felt too much like it was trying to make the reader feel guilty they didn't live in Seattle and that the rest of the country didn't treat people well. Maybe I am just too sensitive to feeling as though we are constantly made to feel guilty for professional and economic success. I do believe all people should be treated respectfully but I don't need my books which I read for escape to be a constant reminder of the political strief in the country.


Assault and PepperAssault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very well written mystery I did not guess the guilty party u til the absolute end. That being said I just couldn’t give it a 4 star ( I don’t generally give cozies 5 stars). There was something a bit preach about the main character that just didn’t sit well with me. I did listen on audio so maybe it was more in the tone of the narration but I do t think so. I think it was just a bit too much of a feeling like “Seattle is such a progressive and perfect city for how we treat everyone”. As though the no Seattle residents aren’t compassionate. I also found the descriptions of the areas and the Pike Place Market to be confusing rather than providing clarity. This just caused a bit of annoyance and frustration which took away from my enjoyment. As I said, I liked the mystery and I like her Idaho based series so maybe my issue is with the setting

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #42
  2. What an Animal Book #29
  3. Audiobook  #2022AudiobookChallenge  #3
  4. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #33
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #54
  6. Craving for Cozies  Book #50
  7. Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tags
  8. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- street
    • Weapon- poison
    • Detectives- Pepper Reece
    • Victims- Doc Finch
  9. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #14  Shot #3
  10. Nerdy Bookworm  #NerdyBookwormChallengeXO #14  Listen to an audiobook


Thursday, May 12, 2022

What Is the Story of Scooby-Doo?

 What Is the Story of Scooby-Doo? was a book I found while trying to decide what to read for the prompt to read a book based on a screen show that you haven't read previously.  I realized I had watched plenty of Scooby Doo episodes and movies so this would meet that requirement.  I actually really enjoyed reading about the history of the character and the different evolutions of the program.  It was a fun trip down memory lane.  I highly recommend this book for any Scooby Doo lovers out there.



What Is the Story of Scooby-Doo?What Is the Story of Scooby-Doo? by M.D. Payne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

great info for any Scooby-Doo lover out there

This book was full of fun and interesting information about a Scooby-Doo and the gang. I learned a bunch of stuff I didn’t know and the book brought back lots of memories

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #41
  2. What an Animal Book #28
  3. Non Fiction Reader  #ReadNonFicChal    #7  Reference
  4. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub  #39 A middle-grade novel
  5. Beat the Backlist #BTB2022  #37 reading for research, reference, or general interest
  6. Nerdy Bookworm  #NerdyBookwormChallengeXO #5  Read a book based on a tv series or movie adaptation 
  7. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2022 #5 mystery or middle grade
  8. Diversify your reading #DYRC22  May: History & Biography

Hooked on Murder (Crochet Mystery, #1)

 Hooked on Murder (Crochet Mystery, #1) is the initial book in the Crocheting Mysteries by Betty Hechtman. Anyone interested in learning more about the craft will find this book quite entertaining. The mystery itself is well written too. The dynamics between Molly and Adele could be a realistic workplace competitive relationship and is well thought out. I like this first book and plan to continue with the series.



Hooked on MurderHooked on Murder by Betty Hechtman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this to be a very good cozy. It was full of a cast of diverse character personalities. There were some very unlikeable characters but it was well done with how Molly Pink was trying to be accepting of personality differences and reach out to be friendly. The information on the crocheting was mixed in to the storyline quite well and added to the plot without being overwhelming. I look forward to reading the next book in the series

View all my reviews





Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #40
  2. What an Animal Book #27
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #52
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #42
  5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #32
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #53
  7. Craving for Cozies  Book #49
  8. Medical Examiner Challenge  2 Toe Tags
  9. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- living room
    • Weapon- strangled; 
    • Detectives- Molly Pink
    • Victims- Ellen Sheridan; Natalie Shaw
  10. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #84  Shot #1

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Eight Perfect Murders

 Agatha Christie fans will really enjoy this book by Peter Swanson.   Readers beware though, Eight Perfect Murders does give some plot lines away from the stories that appear to be mimicked by the murder in this book.   The main character is an owner of a bookstore in Boston who at one time published a blog post called Eight Perfect Murders.  It seems to an FBI agent that someone is now using that list as a formula to commit murder.  This book is full of suspense and sub plots.  It is hard to tell whether the murder is really the bad guy or actually a vigilante- think Dexter.  If you like twisty stories with lots of plots spinning off the main story then you will definitely like this book.  It is hard to say more without giving stuff away so I will leave it at that.  


Eight Perfect MurdersEight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

quite intriguing

Not easy to write a review and not give plot parts away but I had no idea what to expect in this book and it was jaw dropping. It’s not often you read a book with an MC who’s easy to dislike but that you are still rooting for. This book is one. I will say that the book has spoilers from other classic mysteries so if you are planning to read any of Christie’s
Books in the near future beware
This is quite a psychological thriller and those who like the genre should like this book


View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #39
  2. AtoZ   #2022AtoZReadingChallenge  #AlphabetSoupChallenge  E
  3. What an Animal Book #26
  4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #51
  5. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #41
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #52
  7. Medical Examiner Challenge 10 Toe Tags
  8. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- road; woods; living rm; bedroom; living rm
    • Weapon- car; shot; bike; alcohol poison; heart attack; shot
    • Detectives- Malcolm Kershaw
    • Victims- wife; atwater; nathan; prof; emily; abc; detective
  9. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub  #3 Title starting with the letter “E”
  10. Beat the Backlist #BTB2022  #1 number in the title
  11. Nancy Drew #43. The Mystery of the 99 Steps (1966) - read a book with a number in the title
  12. Reading Randomizer  Yes April


The Honeybee Emeralds

  The Honeybee Emeralds is a brand new 2022 release I happened upon at the library.  I am so glad I spotted this book and read it.  It is a fascinating historical fiction book that spans modern time and goes back through different points in history.  Amy Tector does a wonderful job of connecting various famous people in history through an emerald necklace.  While it is probably a stretch to believe this could have touched that many famous lives it was still a great plot line and well constructed.  

I really enjoyed the mystery aspect to the story line as well as the glimpses into modern history.   This is a fun historical fiction book that has characters with depth and dimensions.  While the necklace and the quest to identify its history are the main focus, there are character history and emotions that are included as well.   It was easy to view myself as a member of the Fellowship searching for information.  

Great read for anyone who likes historical fiction and especially lovers of Paris.  


The Honeybee EmeraldsThe Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an engaging historical fiction book that had a mystery at the center of the storyline. In that sense it reminded me of Where the Crawdads Sing. The mystery is important to the story but the characters and their environments are just as important. The characters flaws and histories become part of the story in a slow reveal. Each character has aspects of who they are that are revealed as the story progresses. Many of their issues and concerns are very relatable to readers as I am sure many have backgrounds enable them to relate to the characters' stories. The mystery was intriguing and fascinating and the different points in the necklace's history, although a bit of a reach, were interesting.

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #38
  2. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #50
  3. 2022TBR  #2022ReadingChallenge  # 1  Historical Fiction
  4. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #6
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #51
  6. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub  #38 Don’t judge a book by its cover! 
  7. BooklistQueen  #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022  #48. Historical Novel
  8. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2022 #24 recommended on social media
  9. OWLS 22  #15 Telescope: A book you spotted on social media
  10. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #11. A #BookTok recommendation

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Death of a Kitchen Diva

 Death of a Kitchen Diva is the first Hayley Powell book by Lee Hollis.  This was on my list to read in 2021 and I never got to it.  I prioritized getting it read in 2022 for this reason.  



Death of a Kitchen DivaDeath of a Kitchen Diva by Lee Hollis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book but I’m not sure if I’m really a fan of Hayley Powell. I admire her balancing single motherhood and a career. Her friendships with Liddy and Mona definitely show the strength of time. I’m just not sure how readily a mom would go charging into some of the situations she put herself into. The guilty party was a bit of a stretch to me as well but I am willing to give the series another try before making a final decision

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #37
  2. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #49
  3. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #40
  4. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #31
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #50
  6. Craving for Cozies  Book #48
  7. Medical Examiner Challenge 1 Toe Tags
  8. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- kitchen
    • Weapon- poison
    • Detectives- Hayley Powell
    • Victims- Karen Applebaum
  9. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #83  Shot #1

Murder by Mocha

 Murder by Mocha is the 10th book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle.  It's always enjoyable to read about Clare Cosi and her staff at the Village Blend.  This installment focused on her relationship with her MIL and a new business venture.  The Aphrodite company was a unique environment and the backstabbing ways set up for a perfect series of crimes.  The whodunit was well disguised and kept me engaged trying to figure it out.  As suspects keep dropping out it eventually becomes clear who the villain is but the suspense is drawn out quite well through the book.  The fact many characters were keeping secrets made it easy to be confused as to who was the person seeking revenge.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book,  I don't generally give cozies 4 stars but this one definitely deserved the rating.

 I look forward to reading the rest of the series now that I have picked the books up again.  


Murder by MochaMurder by Mocha by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Clare and crew find themselves in a big mess while helping launch the new cobranded Mocha Magic. This book has a great mystery that spans across multiple storylines. The non primary characters play bigger roles than many of the other stories. The relationships Clare has with them really develops in this book and makes the characters even more appealing. The mystery is complex and well thought out story of revenge.

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #36 
  2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2022  Series: 22 Book #2
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #48
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #39
  5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #30
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #49
  7. Craving for Cozies  Book #47
  8. Medical Examiner Challenge  4 Toe Tags
  9. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene-warehouse; park; bar
    • Weapon- shot x2; shot; hit
    • Detectives- Clare Cosi
    • Victims- Aphrodite/Minte/Maya/Patrice
  10. Six Shooter Challenge  Target # 82 Shot #2

Monday, May 9, 2022

Jackie and Maria

 Jackie and Maria was a wonderful historical fiction novel written by Gill Paul.  The Jackie in the title refers to the most famous Jackie in history- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  The author did a wonderful job in combining story telling with facts about many famous people in this book.  I would never describe myself as a Kennedy fangirl but I definitely find the family intriguing and their appearances in history of the US fascinating.  

I enjoyed how Paul intertwined much of the Kennedy political/policy legacy into the story without dwelling on those facts too much.  It made me think about the Kennedy Center and how it probably evolved from Jackie's passion for the arts which is woven into this story to tie her storyline to Marie Callas in a manner other than Ari Onassis.   

I'm sure Kennedy purists won't like this book and several reviews confirm that, but I thought the author did a wonderful job of using facts to create a well woven story.  This is actually the second story I read in 2022 that involves the  Kennedy; the other being The Kennedy Debutante about Kick Kennedy who has a brief mention in this story.  

 I have always been intrigued by the Kennedys but had only read Clint Hill's account of life as Mrs. Kennedy's Secret Service Agent and his perspectives on the couple who changed much of America's political story.  I also have Jackie, Janet and Lee on my TBR list this year coincidentally as it is a book from TBR list that was selected for my Randomizer challenge.  I am curious to see  how much of the biography confirms the story line content in this novel.   

Coincidentally if you are doing a challenge where the prompt for a book by a different title is included this book will work as it is also titled the Second Marriage.  


Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria CallasJackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas by Gill Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is very good historical fiction account of Jackie Kennedy and her relationship with JFK and Onassis. It is Interesting to me to learn about parts of her relationships that lead to possible interactions with other famous people in history. The author is very clear in her note on what is based on fact vs her fictional accounts. I didn’t really know much about Onassis except rich Greek shipping magnate that was Jackie’s 2nd husband. I knew nothing about Maria Callas but I am intrigued to learn more. A good read if you like fictionalizes accounts about real historical figures

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #45
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  Greece
  3. AtoZ   #2022AtoZReadingChallenge  #AlphabetSoupChallenge  J
  4. 2022TBR  #2022ReadingChallenge  #2  Controversial 
  5. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #55
  6. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #45
  7. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #7
  8. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub  #19 A book that has an alternate title
  9. BooklistQueen  #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022  #20. Literary Fiction
  10. Beat the Backlist #BTB2022  #31 features royalty
  11. Nerdy Bookworm  #NerdyBookwormChallengeXO #30 Read a book that has the friend's to lover's trope
  12. Nancy Drew #41. The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes (1964) - read a book where the mc plays a musical instrument
  13. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2022 #51 multiple perspectives
  14. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #48. A book with two POVs
  15. Pick your Poison #82 a book about a legendary hero
  16. RAD challenge #aradreadingchallenge #
  17. What's in a Name   #
  18. While I was Reading  #
  19. Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO  
  20. Monthly Keyword #MonthlyKeyWordGXO
  21. Reading Randomizer
  22. Beyond the Bookends  
  23. Book Voyage  #bookvoyagechallenge
  24. Diversify your reading #DYRC22  May: History & Biography
  25. Lifetime of Reading
  26. Uncorked Reader #UncorkedReading2022 
  27. Unruly Reader Bingo  #


Criminal Confections

 Criminal Confections is a new to me series called the Chocolate Whisperer by Collette London.   I was only moderately engaged by the book as I found the character a  bit annoying.  I will give the series another try before discontinuing with it.  Sometimes series take a book or so to get going and engage me with the characters.  The San Francisco setting is always a locale near to my heart as I lived there in HS through college years and spent time visiting the city with friends as I got older.  I even lived in the city proper for a few months when I was an adult as my husband was temporarily assigned to his company's SF office.  I always enjoy the views and tourist attractions as well as the different neighborhoods.  



Criminal ConfectionsCriminal Confections by Colette London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A chocolate lovers dream book. If you want to know the ends and outs of chocolate and what makes them different you will really like this book. I admit I skimmed over some of those parts but still found it interesting.
The mystery was well developed and I really did not see the ending. Hayden is a bit of a flaky character and I’m not sure I’d like her in real life but it will be interesting to see her character and relationships develop over the series


View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #35
  2. What an Animal Book #25
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #47
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #38
  5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #29
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #48
  7. Craving for Cozies  Book #46
  8. Medical Examiner Challenge 2 Toe Tags
  9. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- spa; cliff
    • Weapon- poison; push
    • Detectives- Hayden
    • Victims- Adrienne; Rex

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Roast Mortem

 Roast Mortem is the 9th book in the Coffeehouse Mysteries set in NYC.  Clare Cosi is the now empty nester single mother who is in business with her ex and her ex mother in law while managing the Village Blend in Greenwich Village.   This makes for some interesting dynamics at times in the stories but overall it is a unique and well constructed set of characters that have logical roles and reactions in the different mysteries.   

Those who like coffee or well written mysteries will like this series.  A familiarity with NYC is a bonus for recognizing destinations and neighborhood that are parts of the stories but definitely is not a requirement to enjoy them.  

Clare is a strong woman and her intelligence and logic are well demonstrated in this book.  I appreciate the research and accuracy of the facts in firefighting and NYC history that are included in the story.  I had not read this series in 3-4 years and am happy to have started reading it again and look forward to finishing up the series. 


Roast MortemRoast Mortem by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Coffee lovers will definitely enjoy this book, especially if you are at all interested in how an espresso machine works. Clare Cosi, manager of Village Blends, installs an espresso machine while tryign to solve a mystery. Through this installation and the serving of cafe drinks, there is plenty of description on how the machine and the process works. The possible pitfalls are detailed as well. For those not interested, and I admit after awhile that included me, you can just skim over those parts similar to a recipe description in cooking/baking cozy.
I enjoy this series and hadn't read it in a number of years. Now I am excited to catch up on the books I hadn't read yet. Clare is a more mature sleuth but not a senior citizen. Thus, she is a rarer amateur detective. Another pleasant difference is her civilian meddling isn't met with as much opposition as many books present. The mystery itself is well written and has quite a surprise ending on who the guilty party is.

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #34
  2. AtoZ   #2022AtoZReadingChallenge  #AlphabetSoupChallenge  R
  3. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2022  Series: 22 Book #1
  4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #46
  5. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #37
  6. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #29
  7. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #47
  8. Craving for Cozies  Book #45
  9. Medical Examiner Challenge  2 Toe Tags
  10. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- restaurant; garage
    • Weapon- fire; asphyxiation
    • Detectives- Clare Cosi
    • Victims- Bigsby B; Jamie Noonan
  11. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #82  Shot #1
  12. BooklistQueen  #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022  #15. With a Two Word Title

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Artificial Condition

 This is the 2nd novella in the Murderbot Diaries Series by Martha Wells.   I am not normally a science fiction reader but I really enjoy this series so far.  They are definitely a thriller/suspense style book and I found this one to be a page turner.  The sci fi aspect of the story was fascinating and I found the dynamics between the different bots and characters to be interesting and unique.   If you are looking for a quick suspense read this series is a great choice.


Artificial ConditionArtificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

intriguing series

Not usually a sci fi reader but read the first In The series last year and enjoyed this one a lot. The different entities are intriguing and I found their ability to be compassionate even if they don’t really have emotions fascinating. The book has a bit of a mystery to it and I’m curious to see how the story unravels

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2022  Series: 23 Book #1
  2. 2022TBR  #2022ReadingChallenge  # 17 Award Winning
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #45
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #36
  5. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub  #28 Award-winning book from your country
  6. Around the Year in 52 Books #28. A book that won an award from Powell's list of book awards
  7. Bookworm #10 Read a book from NPR's top 50 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the past decade
  8. BooklistQueen  #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022  #13. Genre You Don’t Usually Read
  9. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2022 #16 YA or SciFi
  10. OWLS 22  #11 Astronomy: A book set in outer space
  11. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #27. A Hugo Award winner
  12. Pick your Poison #26 a space opera
  13. 52 books in 52 weeks  #7 Space Opera

   

Friday, April 15, 2022

Cookie Dough or Die

 Cookie Dough or Die is the first book in the Cookie Cutter Shop series by Virginia Lowell.   This was an interesting story set in Maryland.  There is a mixed focused on retail management and baking as the underlying story points in this book.  I did find the book a bit clunky at times but did enjoy the story overall.  The mystery was well written and the guilty party was definitely a surprise.  I look forward to reading more in the series to see how it develops.

Cookie Dough or DieCookie Dough or Die by Virginia Lowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable first in a series. Quite a complex motive with a well structured crime. The investigation was well conceived and plausible. Look forward to reading more and seeing the characters develop

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #33
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  PA
  3. What an Animal Book #24
  4. 2022TBR  #2022ReadingChallenge  # 
  5. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #44
  6. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #35
  7. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #28
  8. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #46
  9. Craving for Cozies  Book #44
  10. Medical Examiner Challenge 1 Toe Tags
  11. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene-den
    • Weapon- poison
    • Detectives- Olivia Greyson
    • Victims- Clarisse Chamberlain
  12. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #81  Shot #1

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Death by Chocolate Lab

 Death by Chocolate Lab is the first Lucky Paws Petsitting mystery by Bethany Blake.  This is a great book if you are a dog lover.  The book features multiple breeds and their fun antics are sure to put a smile on your face.  Daphne is a bit of a free spirit, she even drives a 70s VW bus,  who is living with her veterinarian sister, Piper.  Her interactions with Piper are clearly ones of a loving relationship but they are certainly portrayed as women who also bicker and get on each other's nerves.  Don't even get them started on how much their mother can drive them nuts.   All very realistic representation of family dynamics in my opinion.

But family is family and Daphne gets involved helping to clear Piper's name when her ex is found murdered at her farm.   Daphne manages to create sparks with the new Detective in town, Johnathan Black-some romantic but mainly ones of irritation. These tensions create additional tensions with Daphne's sort of romantic interest, Dylan, as jealousy rears its head.  Creating some tense moments outside of the mystery solving activities.  This romantic triangle was a bit annoying at times and one fo the reasons I only gave this a 3.  The other factor was the flakiness of Daphne didn't really correspond with her diligence in detecting and I found it a bit irritating as well.  

 The mystery itself is well written with multiple suspects with valid motives.  There are some additional sub plots with mysterious origins as well that help point suspicion along the way.  The actual culprit was identifiable part way through the story but the motive was interesting when it was revealed.  All in all I look forward to reading more about this ensemble of characters and their hometown of Sylvan Springs in the Poconos. 


Death by Chocolate LabDeath by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable first in a series. The MC, Daphne, is a bit of a free spirit but good hearted. Her relationship with her mother and sister, Piper, feel authentic. They love each other but get on each others nerves. If you love dogs this is a great book for you. Daphne is a pet sitter and a foster dog mom. The descriptions of the dogs and their antics are wonderful. The mystery itself is well constructed and although I had a suspicion of the guilty party the motive was quite a surprise. The book has lots of twists and turns in mysterious subplots that lead to many false guilty suspicions. I look forward to trying more in the series

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #32
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  PA
  3. What an Animal Book #23
  4. 2022TBR  #2022ReadingChallenge  # 11 Debut Novel
  5. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #43
  6. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #34
  7. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #26
  8. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #45
  9. Craving for Cozies  Book #43
  10. Medical Examiner Challenge 2 Toe Tags
  11. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- woods; field
    • Weapon- hammer
    • Detectives- Daphne Templeton; Johnathan Black
    • Victims- Steve Beamus; Virginia Lockhart
  12. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #80  Shot #1
  13. Around the Year in 52 Books #21. A book with one of the Monopoly tokens on the cover
  14. Bookworm #23 Read a book about a musician (non-fiction or fiction)
  15. BooklistQueen  #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022  #4. Book with a Twist
  16. Beat the Backlist #BTB2022  #7 debut novel
  17. Nancy Drew #42. The Phantom of Pine Hill (1965) - read a book set in the mountains
  18. Pick your Poison #86 a book that features a classic car

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Mirror Girls

 Mirror Girls is a horror  YA novel by Kelly McWilliams.  This is definitely a book from outside my norm reading selections.  I don't even remember the last time I read a horror book if ever.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book- which I selected purely because the cover intrigued me.  

The author does a wonderful job of centering a book around a difficult topic- Jim Crow in the South without being too preachy about the topic.  There were some references to General Lee that reflected a modern lens being applied to history but for the most part the storyline stuck to the actions of a small town in GA during the 1950s.  It truly demonstrated how far the nation has come even though there are clearly areas we can still learn and improve upon.   

The actual plot of the story was well written and descriptive.  The paranormal aspects were well done and quite interesting.  The existence of spirits and how they came to haunt the area are explained and intriguing.  The book is a nice balance of plot and deeper themes and ideas to reflect upon.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and am glad I read it.  


Mirror GirlsMirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really didn’t know what to expect with this book. The cover captured me when reading a book publication. I am definitely not a normal horror reader. This book was a wonderful read. The story and plot are very good and intriguing but the deeper themes and ideas are amazing. For the most part the book refrains from preaching and guilting about the past wrongs that occurred in this country. I think the stories and the demonstrations of the pervasiveness of Jim Crow laws is much more effective in explaining the past horrors. The symbolism of the mirrors and coming to see herself for who she is and is capable of being adds such depth to Magnolia. I appreciate that this book isn’t all happily ever after but there is hope which is what the world needs to move forward through difficult times and to affect change in a healthy and pervasive way.
This book is a wonderful read

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #31
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes   GA
  3. 2022TBR  #2022ReadingChallenge  # 14 Horror
  4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #42
  5. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #5
  6. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub  #50 A person of color as the main character
  7. BooklistQueen  #booklistqueenreadingchallenge2022  #43. Spooky Read
  8. Beat the Backlist #BTB2022  #23 book written for an age group you don't belong to
  9. Nerdy Bookworm  #NerdyBookwormChallengeXO #28 Read a YA book
  10. Nancy Drew #38. The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (1961) - read a fantasy book
  11. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2022 #52 bipoc author
  12. OWLS 22  #57 Animagus: Includes a shapeshifter
  13. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #33. A social-horror book
  14. Pick your Poison #74 a book about a ghost
  15. Diversify your reading #DYRC22  Mar  Fantasy
  16. 52 books in 52 weeks  #6 Haunted


Monday, April 11, 2022

The Secret, Book & Scone Society

 The Secret, Book & Scone Society is the first book in the  series of the same name by Ellery Adams.  This series is different from the others I have read by her.  In each of her series the protagonist has a secret and they are protecting it.  In this book though the characters are very well developed.  Their flaws and fragility are very apparent.  It feels much more emotional and deeper than the average cozy mystery.  I really enjoyed reading this and learning about the characters and what makes them who they are.   

The mystery itself is very well written and the guilty party was not evident until right as it was revealed to the reader.   I look forward to reading more in this series for sure.  



\The Secret, Book & Scone Society

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This cozy mystery has wonderful characters that truly are the center of the story. The development of their friendship is well constructed and feels very authentic. The 4 women all have past histories that brought them to Miracle Springs, NC as damaged and untrusting women. This book shows their slow growth in learning to trust and depend on each other. Although the timetable is probably a little unrealistically fast, it still demonstrates the struggles each woman goes through in learning to trust and open up to the others. I look forward to reading more about their relationships going forward

The mystery itself was very well constructed and there are plenty of twists and turns. The motive is well constructed and the women unravel it slowly but fairly methodically. There are definitely some twists and the ending has surprises.

View all my reviews


   

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #30
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  NC
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2022   Book #41
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #33
  5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #25
  6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #44
  7. Craving for Cozies  Book #42
  8. Medical Examiner Challenge 2 Toe Tags
  9. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scene- train tracks; bar
    • Weapon- push; poison
  10. Six Shooter Challenge  Target # 41 Shot #3
  11. Around the Year in 52 Books #7. A book related to psychology, neuroscience or the mind
  12. OWLS 22  #2 Deathly Hallows: A book that has a symbol on the cover
  13. Pick your Poison #6 a book by an author whose last name could be a first name
  14. Beyond the Bookends  set in bookstore
  15. Diversify your reading #DYRC22  mystery