Monday, September 18, 2023

Book Review: Sugar Plum Poisoned by Jenn McKinlay

It's the Christmas season at the Fairy Tale Cupcake Bakery, and that means a lot of seasons tidings and a little mayhem! When Angie's friend, Shelby Vaughn, comes to play a residency at a local hotel, Mel isn't expecting any mayhem, but that is exactly what follows when Shelby's manager, Doc, is found dead. It's up to Angie and Mel to clear Shelby's name and save Christmas.
I LOVE this series! It was one the first cozy mystery series I discovered, and I've faithfully read every release. I'm pleased to report that Sugar Plum Poisoned, the 15th book in the series, is just as good [if not better!] than the first book.

Back to help solve the mystery is, of course, the DeLaura brothers! Angie's brothers always bring trouble in their wake and it's no exception here as they try to help with the holidays, with disastrous results! Even if mysteries aren't your thing, you NEED to read this series for the DeLaura brothers! They will definitely convince you that mysteries are cool!

Sugar Plum Poisoned is the perfect book to get you into the holiday spirit, and I simply cannot wait to see what Mel and Angie get up to next!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Book Review: Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day

Welcome to picturesque Cape Cod, where it's all sunshine and trails.... that is until Mackenzie "Mac" Almeida discovers a dead body on the trail.  When her brother looks to be pegged with the crime, Mac, along with the help of her "cozy capers", sets about to find a killer and clear her brothers name!

I first discovered Murder on Cape Cod thanks to the Audible Plus catalogue. I was browsing through, looking for my next great listen and this one popped up! Within a chapter I was absolutely hooked! It had all the elements I love in a cozy, with one added extra.... the main character LOVES cozy mysteries and is part of a book club [the cozy capers] that just read cozy mysteries! This made my cozy heart soar!

The mystery of who killed Jake Lacey was thrilling! Right up until the murderer revealed themselves I had no clue who it was. There were so many elements to the mystery and I tried to pick up the pieces but even I [a very seasoned cozy reader] didn't put the pieces together before Mac and her friends. I absolutely love it when an author stumps me!

If you like mysteries about mysteries, you need to add this one to your list! There are more books in the series, and I'm excited to get to know more of the locals of Cape Cod!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Book Review: Starter Villain by John Scalzi

Okay readers, prepare yourself. This is the BEST book I've read this year! I know it's not a cozy mystery and I usually review cozy mysteries, but I make an exception for John Scalzi's novels.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good mystery. I also love comic fantasy and science fiction, with Discworld and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy being among my favourites. A couple of years ago I discovered John Scalzi and he's quickly risen up my list of favourites. Last month I read Scalzi's The Kaiju Preservation Society and absolutely loved it. Well let me tell you Starter Villain is even better. Why? Sentient cats and a$$hole dolphins! That's why!

Charlie's life isn't going too good. His parents are both dead, he is barely surviving as a substitute teacher and he's about to be evicted from his childhood home. When his Uncle passes away, and he's asked to attend his funeral, what could possible go wrong? A lot! Suddenly Charlie is thrust into a world of villains, and not the cute kids movie kind! What follows it the adventure of a lifetime, as Charlie tries to survive a world of villains, and a pod of the sweariest dolphins you will ever meet.

Doesn't this sound awesome? Well guess what? It was. It is an absolute delight a second. It's action packed and shows the best and worst side of being a villain. With many wrong turns, Charlie tries to navigate the villain world and every mis-step is absolutely hilarious! 

With an ending you won't see coming, John Scalzi's newest novel simply delights. It will have you rooting for the underdog and hoping Charlie doesn't get thrown into volcanic lava! Whether you are new to comic fantasy or you're a seasoned reader of the genre, you must pick up Starter Villain.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Book Review: Foul Play at Seal Bay by Judy Leigh

It's time for a new cozy adventure and this time it's a brand new series from Judy Leigh, the Morwenna Mutton Mysteries.

Morwenna comes from a family of wild and independent women. She loves her life as part-time librarian, part-time working at the family tea shop, and wild swimming enthusiast! However her quiet life in the Cornish village of Seal Bay is about to take a turn for the worse when local entrepreneur, Alex Trescott, is found murdered, just mere metres from her daughter's engagement party on the beach. With the local police determined to pin the crime on one of the Mutton women, it's up to Morwenna, with a little help from her friends, to investigate and find the real killer.

I love British books. Growing up in Australia I was raised on Agatha Christie and British comedies and that's where my reading tastes tend to go. I was thrilled to discover a new mystery series set in Cornwall. Let me say.... this one is an absolute delight!

With a very Cornish feel, it is easy to imagine yourself next to Morwenna, enjoying the picturesque landscape and trying to solve the mystery. This book is so authentically Cornish! The author provides a glossary at the beginning of the book to help with the Cornish terms, and after finishing the mystery I definitely felt like I wanted to escape to Cornwall for a weekend of mystery and mayhem!

The mystery itself was wonderful. Alex Trescott was not well liked in Seal Bay. Before his death he was trying to buy the tea room, and given how much the Mutton women didn't want to sell, they naturally became prime suspects in his death. However there was a lot of people that had a grievance against the victim, and it was fun trying to pick up the clues and solve the murder.

If you're looking for a little seaside escapism you can't go wrong with Foul Play at Seal Play. It has all the mystery and intrigue that I've come to expect from British mysteries and it's a delight from the first page to the last.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Book Review: Mischief Nights are Murder by Libby Klein

Are you ready to ditch the hot temperatures, and settle into Fall, with a side of spooky Halloween vibes? Then you NEED to read the latest mystery in the Poppy McAllister Mysteries by Libby Klein.

Poppy and her Aunt Ginny are back for more shenanigans in Mischief Nights are Murder. This time Aunt Ginny has roped Poppy into a Haunted House Tour. The only problem is their B&B isn't haunted! Before they know it they have a pet psychic, a paranormal researcher and a undercover tabloid reporter staying with them, all hoping for a piece of the paranormal action. When one of them dinner guests turns up dead, it is up to Poppy to do the impossible and find the killer!

I love visiting with Poppy, her boyfriend Gia [fictional crush alert!] and Aunt Ginny! Ginny is always causing strife. Right from the first book she's been making Poppy's life more interesting, but also full of murder and trouble! Mischief Nights are Murder is no different. This time Aunt Ginny has roped Poppy into hosting a week of Haunted House Tours and Dinners! Naturally with Poppy's bad luck of finding dead bodies, she strikes again with a cheating professor!

The mystery itself was intriguing, and I wasn't able to solve it before Poppy, despite trying to pick up clues along the way! However, I come back to this series again and again for the relationships. Not just Poppy and Gia's, but the shenanigans that Aunt Ginny and her biddies get up to! And of course Gia's family... especially his mama!

If you love a Halloween-centric mystery, you can't miss this one! It's simply delightful and perfect to curl up with and imagine we are in the cooler climates!