Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Book Review: Murder on the Poet's Walk by Ellery Adams

As Jane eagerly anticipates the wedding of her best friend Eloise Alcott, Storyton Hall is overrun with poets in town to compete for a coveted greeting card contract. They’re everywhere, scrawling verses on cocktail napkins in the reading rooms or seeking inspiration strolling the Poet’s Walk, a series of trails named after famous authors. But the Tennyson Trail leads to a grim surprise: a woman’s corpse drifting in a rowboat on a lake, a crumpled copy of “The Lady of Shallot” in her lifeless fist.
When a second body is discovered, also holding a page from a poetry book, a recurring MO emerges. Fortunately, Jane is well versed in sleuthing and won’t rest until she gives the killer a taste of poetic justice . . .[summary via Amazon]

Our favourite resort manager, Jane Steward, is back for a new adventure! This time she is playing host to a poetry competition, where one lucky poet will win a greeting card contract! However, the contest starts to turn deadly when a contestant turns up dead. Who is determined to narrow the playing field? And, will Jane find the killer before they strike again!

I absolutely love Ellery Adams' stories! Her Charmed Pie Shoppe mysteries are in my top 5 favourite series! She crafts delightful, interesting mysteries that bring in the reader like no other. Her new novel, Murder on the Poet's Walk, is no exception.

The series always delivers a great mystery, but it is the characters and interesting facts about other authors that keeps me coming back. This one centres around poetry, and in particular Walt Whitman. As an Australian, who now resides in Canada, I found the history of American poets really fascinating!

The mystery itself was top-notch and I didn't manage to solve it before Jane and her friends. I sure had fun trying, though! At every dead end, I had to look at the rest of the never-ending suspects! It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, until the final denouement!

I cannot recommend this series enough. Whenever I suggest it, I always say "come for the mystery, and stay for Storyton"! Storyton is a delight, and one cozy town you have to visit!

Friday, September 2, 2022

Book Review: Murder of a Pink Elephant by Denise Swanson

When Skye Denison's brother forms a band called Pink Elephant, the town goes wild-maybe too wild. First, a groupie turns stalker, seducing the band members one by one. Then, one of the Pink Elephants winds up murdered. Who's to blame? Everyone seems to think it's the drummer-and now Skye has to clear her brother's name.[summary via Amazon]

I recently picked up a copy of Murder of a Pink Elephant at a book sale, and I thought I would dive back into the world of Scumble River, and guess what? I had the very BEST time!!

Skye Denison gets caught up in the world of drugs and rock 'n roll, when her brother, Vince, is fingered for a murder of his fellow bandmate. What follows is a tantalizing tale as Skye tries to clear her brother's name.

Picture it... it's 2009 and I've just re-discovered cozy mysteries, after making my way through the Agatha Christie mysteries while I was on bedrest with my twins [who are now 14!]. What followed was an intense love of cozies, where I sampled so many series. One of those fictional places I visited was Stumble River. I loved it, but as usually happens I read a few and another shiny series caught my attention. Fast forward to last month when I picked up Murder of a Pink Elephant and now I've fallen in love with Scumble River all over again, and pondering why I didn't continue on with them! 

It was like I had never left, I quickly got caught up with Skye and all her family and friends, and got carried away with the mystery. While I solved the mystery before Skye, I loved all the side stories involving her love interest, Simon, and police chief, Wally. Not to mention Skye's family! 

This series is the epitome of small town cozy. It delights from the first page to the last, and will leave you wanting more. Lucky for me, there is lots more in this series to read!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Book Review: The Modiste Mishap by Erica Ridley

Miss Sybil Stamper is the least fancy member of the reading circle known as The Heist Club. To her friends, bespectacled Sybil is the Queen of Lists, but she’d rather be belle of the ball. When she finally acquires an evening gown, her life looks like it’s falling into place. But when a client’s valuable objects go missing, not only is Sybil’s happy ending in jeopardy—so are the futures of other young ladies just like her! 
With the help of the Wild Wynchesters—a uniquely talented family of caper-committing siblings who don’t let “laws” stop them from righting wrongs—Sybil and her club of delightfully bookish spinsters take on the heist of the Season.[summary via Amazon]

Prepare yourself for a "squee" alert, because I absolutely LOVED The Modiste Mishap, the second book in the Heist Club series!

Over the winter I read all the Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn, and fell in love with regency romances all over again. Fast forward to the summer when I spied The Modiste Mishap, and I knew I had to give it a try. This book combines my love of romance and mystery, and was a unputdownable read. I literally finished it in a day!

Miss Sybil is a devoted reader and part of a reading circle called The Heist Club. When she is re-stocking one of their lending libraries, she falls right in the middle of a mystery, involving miss ball gowns! With the help of The Heist Club, she must recover the gowns before it's too last.

Love, love, LOVE! This was such a fun mystery! While there were no dead bodies, although Elizabeth Wynchester might have wanted one, it was an interesting mystery, and kept me glued until the end!

Up until now, Penelope Featherington has been my favourite regency heroine, but I think Miss Sybil might have beaten her to the number one spot. She is plucky, loves to read and loved to organize with lists! What's not to love?

I cannot recommend this mystery enough. If you like romance with your mysteries, then this series is for you! If you love Bridgerton and Pride and Prejudice, then you need to read this series! This one is a great introduction to the Wynchesters, and I'm planning to pick up the other series next.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Book Review: Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron

Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?[summary via Amazon]

As readers of this blog will know, I absolutely love "book-themed" cozy mysteries. There is just something about books within books that is so tantalizing. Which is why Ellen Byron's new series, the Vintage Cookbook Mysteries, are perfect for me!

Ricki James-Diaz is originally from New Orleans, and after a disaster of a relationship in L.A., she decides to get back to her roots when she opens a vintage cookbook shop. However, not all is smooth sailing when a local curmudgeon is found dead and the police are determined to pin it on someone at "Bon Vee". Ricki quickly steps in to investigate and clear her new family!

I enjoyed this book so much! I've never been to New Orleans and the author instantly transports you through the pages. From the mouth-watering food, to the places and sounds, it was a festival of delight with every page!

The mystery surrounding Franklin's death was first class! Over the years I've gotten pretty good at guessing who the killer is, and with this one I had no clue! It was a mystery wrapped within a mystery, and the bibliophile in me was very fascinated!!

I simply loved everything about Bayou Book Thief. When the last page was turned, I was disappointed that I would be leaving Bon Vee. Although I know I will be back there very soon! If you're looking for a book-themed mystery that combines a culinary mystery, this should be right on the top of your list! I can't wait to visit with Ricki and her friends again!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Book Review: The Persian Always Meows Twice by Eileen Watkins

Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie’s Comfy Cats in Chadwick, New Jersey, knows that professional cat grooming isn’t all fluff. She handles her feistiest four-legged clients with a caring touch and nerves of steel. And she needs all the nerve she can muster on her latest house call—when she finds the murdered body of her favorite client, millionaire George DeLeuw, and his newly orphaned Persian, Harpo.
Cassie wants to do whatever she can to help the local police find George’s killer. Taking temporary custody of Harpo seems simple enough—until it becomes clear that someone is desperate to get their claws on the cat. Could the feline be the key to untangling a felony? As cat at whisperer Cassie tries to coax out deadly secrets, she better tread lightly. After all, she gets one life, not nine.[summary via Amazon]

Recently, I have been completely gushing over new series. Of course, the gushing is not about to stop, because I absolutely fell in love with the Cat Groomer Mysteries!

Cassie McGlone is starting her life again in Chadwick, after a disastrous relationship. She's using her pet grooming skills and opens up Cassie's Comfy Cats. However, when her wealthiest client turns up dead, she's going to have to use different skills to solve the murder!

I took to this series like a cat to cat nip! Being a Crazy Cat Lady myself, I just loved all the details the author puts into the cat grooming aspect. I have a Maine Coon cat, and I definitely appreciate the author sharing the ups and downs of owning a long haired cat. Of course, I wouldn't trade my floofy cat for the world. Perhaps this is why I just adored Harpo, the Persian cat, that the story centres around.

The mystery centres around a wealthy client, George DeLeuw. It was interesting as Cassie delves into George's past life, and tries to untangle the mystery. Of course, all the while trying to keep Harpo safe! The mystery was first rate and the final denouement was a surprise, as was the way it came about! I just love a good edge-of-the-seat mystery, and The Persian Always Meows Twice definitely delivers.

If you love cat-themed cozies, and maybe your first cozy mystery [like me] was The Cat Who books, then I suggest picking up this series. I already have the next one, waiting to be started!