Wednesday Reads — My Favorite Summer Reads

Happy Wednesday book lovers! Today is officially the last day of summer and tomorrow we will wake up to a new season….Fall! I know many of you started celebrating fall when last month while I have been clinging to summer with all that is in me and trying to make every day count! Last week I shared with y’all the books I will be reading this fall and since today is the last day of summer (sniff sniff) I thought I would share with some of my favorite summer reads!

What did you read over the summer? What were your favorite summer/beach reads?

Image from Google Images

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (A Baker Street Mystery) by Valerie Burns

This new mystery by Valerie Burns but this book was hands down my favorite summer read even if the book is set in winter.

I couldn’t wait to get this book in my hot little hands and it didn’t disappoint! In fact I read this book in less than 24 hours I just couldn’t put it down. I gave this book 4 stars but only because the book ended on a cliffhanger and it is definitely a set up for the next book.

The Beacon Bakeshop series: Murder at the Beacon BakeshopMurder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off, and Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah I could not stop reading any of these books from the first book to the third book I found myself staying up way later than I should have. Darci Hannah is an amazing author and these are all 5 star reads. I connected to Lindsey Bakewell who is starting over in Beacon Harbor, MI after a very bad breakup by opening a bakery. Between baking delicious pastries she is also busy solving murders and will she ever find a baking assistant? All the characters in the book are just delightful and I can’t wait for the 4th book in the series.

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron this is the first book in this series by Ellen Byron who also writes another series that is set in the Louisiana Bayou and another series under the name Maria DiRico. This was my first time reading anything by this author but it want be my last and can’t wait for the second book in this series. I did enjoy the amateur sleuth Ricki James but the real star of is the city of New Orleans and its cuisine. I found myself wanting to make plans immediately to visit The Big Easy and eat my way through the city! Can’t wait read the next book.

Death by Bubble Tea (An L.A. Night Market Mystery) by Jennifer J. Chow is a new series from this author and it departs from several cozy mystery themes: it’s not set in a small town but Los Angeles, there is no cozy companion, and at present there is no love interest but somehow the author still kept the cozy mystery vibe without them. Yale Yee and her cousin Celine who is visiting from Hong Kong are as different as two people could be Yale is quiet, bookish, and anti-tech while Celine is a very tech savvy, outgoing, and she could be called a lot of things but bookish is not one of them. Yale is still dealing with the trauma of her mother’s death which she feels responsible for when Celine comes for a visit. I loved how the differences didn’t pull them apart but was an asset in their sleuthing even if it was a little rocky along the way.

The Trouble in Paradise Mystery Series by Carrie Doyle: It Takes Two to Mango and Something’s Guava Give. If you are a fan of Death in Paradise and Agatha Raisin then this is the series for you! Plum Lockhart finds herself on the Caribbean Island of Parasio when the travel magazine she is editor in chief of folds and she can’t find another job in New York. Plum is pushy, impatient, rude, and arrogant who is finding it hard to adjust in this first book. I almost stopped reading it but the more I read the more I begin to like Plum and the author does a wonderful job drawing you in and giving you a peek into what makes Plum who she is so I am so glad I stuck with this series.

The Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series by Amy Pershing: A Side of Murder (Book 1) and Murder is No Picnic (Book 3) I discovered this series thanks to the online book community who just raved about this series and so I added to my summer reading list and I am glad I did. Samantha Barnes is back home in Cape Cod after going viral for all the wrong reasons but she is settling in and making a life for herself not as a chef but as the Cape Cod foodie, reconnecting with friends old and new, and solving murders. This series is worth your time and as with the majority of culinary mystery series there are receipes.

Pint of No Return (Shake Shop Mystery) by Dana Mentink be prepared to indulge in milkshakes! The whole time I was reading this first book in this series I found myself over indulging in milkshakes but aside from that the character development and plot are very well written and it was just a fun and enjoyable read. The real star is Trindad’s senior dog!

Smile Beach Murder (An Outer Banks Bookshop Mystery) by Alicia Bessett, I took this book with me to the beach and it was the perfect book to sit out on the beach or in my case the balcony of our Air BnB and read this book. I found it a little slow going on at first but it soon picked up the pace a little what I enjoyed most was joining Callie on the start of her healing journey in dealing with the death of her mom who died 25 years ago when she fell from the local lighthouse and when the death of Eva Meeks happens at the lighthouse it is declared a suicide but Callie’s reporter instincts tells her its murder. When Eva’s daughter tells Callie she doesn’t believe her mother killed herself Callie promises her she will investigate. Great read and I figured out who the killer was so yeah for me!

The Proof is In the Poison (A Southern Homebrew Mystery) by Diane Kelly is the 2nd book in this series that I refer to as the Moonshine mystery series and is a great follow up after her debut novel The Moonshine Shack Murder which takes place in Chattanooga, TN where Hattie Hayes is finally living her dream by opening up her own moonshine business but then there’s a murder and Hattie is suspect #1. When the killer was revealed all I had was sympathy and could understand why and was so sad.

Abby Collette’s Body and Soul Food book 1 in the Books and Biscuits cozy mystery and A Deadly Inside Scoop the first book in her Ice Cream Parlor mystery series. In Body and Soul Food the amateur sleuths are reunited twins Koby and Keaton who open a bookstore & soul food restaurant who find themselves sleuthing when their friend is murdered (4 1/2 stars). In A Deadly Inside Scoop Bronwyn Crewse has been given the keys to the family business when her cousin moves to North Carolina. With all the delays of the renovation the ice cream parlor ends up opening the day of a major snow storm! Then that same day Bronwyn finds a body behind her business and her father is the prime suspect. Bronwyn along with her childhood best friends are on the case to clear her father, save her business, and find a killer (5 out of 5 big Stars). You can’t go wrong with either book I promise you once you pick them up you want put them down until the killer is revealed.

Arsenic and Adobo (A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery) by Mia P. Manansala there is a reason this first book in this series won this year’s Anthony Award for first novel. I enjoyed learning about Pilipino culture and loved how the author had such diverse characters too. Lila Macapagal has left Chicago to go back home and help her Tita Rosie save the family restaurant. When Lila’s old high school boyfriend who is now a food critic comes in to cause trouble but instead ends up dying after arguing with Lila things go from bad to worse. With her family restaurant now shut down as a crime scene she is on the case to clear her family’s name and hopefully save the restaurant. This cozy was a fun read that dealt with some heavy topics at times in a respectful way. It is so deserving of this honor! 5 out of 5 big stars!

My Fall TBR

Happy first day of fall y’all! Since fall has officially arrived I thought it would be fun to share with you my Fall TBR.

I’ve been trying to thank of way to tackle my ever growing TBR since me not buying books isn’t going to happen so I borrowed from my bookish online friends who create a themed TBR and I must admit creating a summer TBR helped me read books that had been on my TBR for a while and since it worked so well I decided to create a fall TBR from my stack. If you check me out on Instagram I also did a video of my fall TBR. I left off this list my book club and buddy reads.

With all that being said here is what I will be reading this fall!

What will you be reading? Do you create a seasonal/themed TBR?

The Pine of No Return (A Sloan Krause Mystery Series) by Ellie Alexander

Book 2

About the book:

No other festival compares to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The whole town is buzzing with excitement over this year’s activities and eagerly awaiting Nitro’s latest offering Cherrywizen, made with locally sourced cherries. But local brewmaster Sloan Krause is tapped out. Between trying to manage the pub, her pending divorce with Mac, and her mounting feelings for Garrett, she’s fermenting in internal turmoil.

To complicate matters, dreamy movie star Mitchell Morgan and his production crew have arrived in the village to film during the authentic Bavarian brewfest. Mitchell has his eye on Sloan and a taste for Nitro’s Cherrywizen. Sloan escapes his advances for good when she finds Mitchell slumped over the bar. Is this a case of one pint too many, or has Mitchell been murdered by microbrew?

Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery) by Nikki Knight

Book 1

About the book:

In a fit of anger, radio DJ Jaye Jordan blows a snowman’s head off with a Revolutionary War-style musket. But the corpse that tumbles out is all too human. Jaye thought life would be quieter when she left New York City and bought a tiny Vermont radio station. But now, Edwin Anger — the ranting and raving radio talk show host who Jaye recently fired — lies dead in the snow. And the Edwin Anger fans who protested his dismissal are sure she killed him.

To clear her name, Jaye must find the real killer, as if she doesn’t have her hands full running the radio station, DJing her all-request love song show, and shuttling tween daughter Ryan to and from school. It doesn’t make matters easier that the governor — Jaye’s old crush — arrived on the scene before the musket smoke cleared. Fortunately, Jaye has allies…if you count the flatulent moose that lives in the transmitter shack, and Neptune, the giant gray cat that lives at the station.

If Jaye can turn the tables on the devious killer, she and the governor may get to make some sweet, sweet music together. But if she can’t, she’ll be off the air…permanently.

No Parm No Foul (A Grilled Cheese Mystery) by Linda Reilly (Halloween Theme)

Book 2

About the book:

The second book in a delicious culinary cozy series — the muensters have arrived in Balsam Dell in this Halloween cozy mystery featuring a grilled cheese shop owner turned amateur sleuth

After a long hot summer in Balsam Dell, Carly Hale is ready for crisp Vermont weather and gourmet grilled cheeses at her Grilled Cheese Eatery. And the upcoming Halloween food competition is the perfect way to impress the locals.

But Ferris Menard, the owner of Sub-a-Dub-Sub, is nursing a serious grudge against Carly. Two days before the competition, one of Carly’s employees quit his part-time gig at Menard’s sub shop, sending Menard into a serious snit. In a confrontation at the Eatery, Menard accused Carly of sabotage and vowed to bring her down.

That’s when Menard’s body is found in his kitchen the morning after the competition, a steak knife sticking out of his heart. But Menard had a slew of enemies, and if Carly doesn’t figure out which one is the culprit, she might find herself — or someone she cares about — serving grilled cheese sandwiches under lock and brie!

Pumpkin Spice & Deadly Heist (The Noisy Paralegal Mystery) by Tanya R. Taylor

Book 1

About the book:

Alan Danzabar has been accused of having been involved in a blatant bank robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a security guard.

All fingers are pointing at Alan by others who have been arrested and ultimately confessed to the crime, but Alan insists that he is innocent.

Will he get off the hook with the help of J. Wilfred & Company, particularly an employee there by the name of Barbara Sandosa who takes it upon herself to dig much deeper to uncover the truth in ways that her boss would never dream of? Or will Alan Danzabar be exposed as a liar and a killer?

A Sprinkle In Time (A Shake Shop Mystery) by Dana Mentink

Book 2

About the book:

It’s Alpenfest in Upper Sprocket! Yodelers are congregating in the square, tourists flocking to the town, and Trinidad Jones is scooping up some fall flavors at her Shimmy and Shake Shop.

The cherry on the sundae is her upcoming feature in The Scoop magazine. She’s determined to serve up the perfect interview, but it won’t be easy, thanks in part to her meddling Cuban grandfather Papa Luis who has decided to make Sprocket his home for the foreseeable future. Papa Luis has set himself up as a taxi driver in his classic 1951 Buick.

But things take a turn when Papa Luis tells her he’s found a corpse in his trunk. Upon closer investigation, they realize the body has disappeared. With the assistance of Juliette and Bonnie (her sisterhood of exes) and the way too handsome nut farmer Quinn Logan, Trinidad must solve the mystery of the disappearing corpse, before her father is up to his neck in a murderous mess.

Musseled Out (A Maine Clambake Mystery) by Barbara Ross

Book 3

About the book:

The busy summer tourist season is winding down in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden senses trouble simmering for the Snowden Family Clambake Company. Shifty David Thwing — the “Mussel King” of upscale seafood restaurants — is sniffing around town for a new location. But serving iffy clams turns out to be the least of his troubles….

When Thwing is found sleeping with the fishes beneath a local lobsterman’s boat, the police quickly finger Julia’s brother-in-law, Sonny, as the one who cooked up the crime. Sure, everyone knows Sonny despised the Mussel King…but Julia believes he’s innocent. Proving it won’t be easy, though. It seems there’s a lot more than murder on the menu, and Julia needs to act fast….

Mint Chocolate Murder (Ice Cream Shop Mystery) by Meri Allen

Book 2 — Late Summer so fall adjacent

About the book:

When Udderly Delightful Ice Cream shop manager Riley Rhodes is summoned to Penniman’s Moy Mull Castle, it’s the cherry on top of a successful summer season. The gothic pile built by an eccentric New England Gilded Age millionaire has been transformed into a premiere arts colony by Maud Monaco, a reclusive former supermodel. As part of Moy Mull’s Fall Arts Festival, Maud is throwing a fantasy ice cream social and hires Riley to whip up unique treats to celebrate the opening of an exhibit by Adam Blasco, a photographer as obnoxious as he is talented.

As Penniman fills up with Maud’s art-world friends arriving for the festival, gossip swirls around Blasco, who has a dark history of obsession with his models. Riley’s curiosity and instincts for sleuthing — she was a CIA librarian — are piqued, and she wonders at the hold the cold-hearted photographer has over the mistress of Moy Mull.

But when Adam is found dead behind the locked door of Moy Mull’s dungeon, Riley realizes there’s more than one suspect who’d wanted put the malicious photographer on ice.

Murder at Blackburn Hall (A High Society Lady Detective Mystery) by Sara Rosett

Book 2

About the book:

September, 1923. Despite closing her first case, high society lady detective Olive Belgrave hasn’t found a new client. She’s taken a job as a hat model to pay for her poky boarding house room. But then a job offer comes her way — make discreet inquiries about a famous author who’s disappeared.

Olive travels to the English countryside to hunt for the missing mystery author. But soon after she arrives in the sleepy village, a body is discovered. Then a second murder focuses the police’s attention on Olive, and she must clear her name before the murderer pens a plot that frames her.

Murder at Blackburn Hall is the second book in the High Society Lady Detective series, a lighthearted cozy historical mystery series set in 1920s England. If you love novels that take you back to the Golden Age of detective fiction with interesting plots, posh settings, and twisty mysteries, you’ll love the High Society Lady Detective Series from USA Today bestseller Sara Rosett.

Deserts, Driving, & Derelicts (A Camper & Criminals Mystery) by Tonya Kappes

Book 2

About the book:

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where nothin’ is normal!

Mae West is just getting settled into the RV lifestyle as owner of the local camp ground in Normal, Kentucky. The Happy Trails Camp Ground, located in the Daniel Boone National Park, has started to bring in tourists for the late summer vacationing family that love to hike, swim, fish, and enjoy the outdoor life.

The Laundry Club ladies are still holding court ( better known as gossip sessions) in the local laundromat. They’re spinning more tales than the washing machine spin cycle after there’s a string of burglaries happening in their small, southern town.

Suddenly everyone in Normal is on alert after one of their own is found dead. Even though Mae West tries her best to stay out of it, she can’t. After all, it’s not good for business when a murderer is on the loose. Plus, Betts Hager, one of the Laundry Club ladies and Mae’s good friend, is the number one suspect and now it’s personal to Mae.

Mae has grown to love her RV community and now that she’s found a place to belong, she’s not going to let anyone ruin it, throwing her deep into using her amateur sleuthing skills to bring the real killer to justice.

A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery) by Dianne Freeman

Book 2

About the book:

Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth each year, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting — for birds or a second husband — and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns.

Instead, she’s immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight — along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society’s elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits?

Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all — but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she’ll soon find herself among them . . .

Wine and Punishment (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox

Book 1

About the book:

Booklover Sadie Coleman knows that in life, as in fiction, the right setting can make a world of difference. The small town of Shady Creek, Vermont, seems like the perfect place to start over after losing her Boston job to a merger and her relationship to her ex’s gambling addiction. She’s bought and redecorated the old grist mill pub, transforming the Inkwell into a cozy spot where tourists and regulars alike can enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail, or join one of several book clubs.

Little by little, Sadie is adjusting to the rhythms of her new home. Fall in Shady Creek is bookmarked by the much-anticipated Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and pie bake-off. Unfortunately, the season also brings an unwelcome visitor — Sadie’s ex, Eric, who’s angling for a second chance . . .

Before Sadie can tell Eric to leave, he’s found dead near the Inkwell. When the local antique shop catches fire on the same night, it’s clear the town is harboring at least one unsavory character. Now, with her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the pub’s patrons all in the mix, Sadie must uncover the truth . . . before a killer declares last call.

Wednesday Reads-My Review of Two Parts Sugar, One Parts Murder by Valerie Burns

Book 1–5 STARS

Happy Wednesday Book Lovers! I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Labor Day weekend I certainly did. What better way to kick off the weekend then reading. I thought doing my usual Wednesday wrap up but I felt that this new cozy mystery series by Valerie Burns who also writes several other cozy mystery series as V.M. Burns deserved the spotlight.

Every since I saw the author’s announcement about this series and read the summary I was hooked so I pre-ordered this book and patiently (?) waited to receive my book but all the reviews from the Bookbiosphere were overwhelmingly good. I mean five stars and it made me almost wish I had signed up for an ARC but oh well.

“I researched careers and decided that the fit for someone with my skill set would be a doctor’s wife.”

Madison Montgomery has been left at the altar of her livestream wedding so when she received word that her Great-Aunt Octavia has died and left Madison her house and bakery she packs up her Louboutin’s and Jimmy Choo’s and heads to New Bison, MI to escape. She arrives in the small town to sell the house and business but finds out that her great aunt has stipulated that she must live there and run the bakery for 1 year. The problem is Madison doesn’t know how to cook much less bake and she inherits a 250lb English Mastiff name Baby!

As soon as Madison arrives she begins to get very generous offers for her aunt’s house that sits right on Lake Michigan, the bakery, and Baby who is a Champion dog. Then the mayor who Madison had words with turns up dead and Madison is suspected what a crazy 48 hours! Now Madison finds herself along with her aunts friends and employees known as the Baker Street Irregulars are on the hunt for a killer!

Every review I read about this book didn’t lie! This was a great book plus there is so much more going on in the town of New Bison then murder. There is corruption and it is possible Madison Aunt Octavia was murdered. When Madison arrives in New Bison she is clearly a woman who has lead a very shallow life and has been pampered by her father The Admiral. But Madison is also extremely smart, Stanford grad with honors, but it’s clear that she has suffered not physical abuse but emotional abuse from her father. He has constantly told her she is indecisive, immature, and has treated her that way.

Aside from the murder I love seeing Madison growing and coming into her own as a woman especially when she stands up to The Admiral one Jefferson Augustus Montgomery. There were hardly any red herrings, the characters were very well developed but could there be a traitor in the mist of the Baker Street Irregulars?

My one negative is that the book ends on a cliffhanger. It is clear that Madison’s aunt was murdered but the killer wasn’t revealed and there is so much more going on that is hinted at but again not revealed. This leads me to believe that all the loose threads will be tied up in the next book that I am eagerly anticipating!

GO. BUY. THIS. BOOK!

Fall Fashion — Lane Bryant

Happy September 1st Southernistas! Well September is here and fall is almost here. I’m sure many of you are happily sipping you PSLs now and I have one Instagram friend that has been posting all the fall décor she has been putting up around her home. I sometimes feel like I am the only one sad to see summer go…SIGH!

While I am not a fan of anything pumpkin spice unless the shoes come in that color I do love the fall fashion. Today I am sharing some cute looks from my second favorite brand Lane Bryant. What I love about Lane Bryant is they offer petite sizes which makes my 5″3″ frame very happy because it means I don’t have to get anything altered. I haven’t been especially bowled over with a lot of the fall fashion but I found some gems!

Until Next Time Southernistas!

Ponte Bryant Collarless Blazer
Colorblock Trench Coat
Sweater Dress
Geo Print Dress
Midi Dress — Lane Bryant calls it Caramel Café but I think it is more PSL
Purple and Grey Wide Leg Pants
Plaid Blazer and Signature Fit Straight Pant
Wide Leg Colorblock Pant

September Anticipated Reads

Hello Book Lovers! I am already seeing all the fall memes and can feel your giddiness that September is finally here. I am looking forward to the three day weekend that is upon us spent mostly reading and remember it is still summer.

Today I am sharing cozy mysteries I am excited to read and waiting to receive. If you are not a cozy mystery reader I hope you see a book that will peek your interest and give a cozy a try or if you are a die hard fan of this genre then I hope you see something that makes it way onto your TBR or will move to the top of your TBR.

I didn’t include the newest series from Amanda Flower because it will not come out until the end of September so you will see it on my October anticipated reads.

What are book are excited to read this month?

Until next time!

Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (A Baker Street Mystery) by Valerie Burns

NEW SERIES!

Now I know I’ve already featured this book in my August Anticipated reads but the book release was August 30th so it goes on my September TBR! Valerie Burns also writes under the name V.M. Burns and she is a very talented writer. Every since this new series was announced last year I knew I had to have it so I pre-ordered this book and started the countdown. Those who received an ARC (advanced reader copy) have given this book 5 stars so I am salivating to read this book.

How can you not want to read a book about a social media influencer who gets dumps at the altar, inherits her aunt’s home and bakery and a 200lb mastiff named Baby and oh yeah she can’t bake!

Peg and Rose Solve a Murder (A Peg and Rose Mystery) by Laurien Berenson

NEW SERIES

I have a huge fan of Laurin Berenson’s Melanie Travis mystery series where her Aunt Peg has been the sidekick so I am so glad to see her get a spinoff. Again I know I’ve talked about this book before but it is finally here! I can’t wait to dig into this book! Again every book review has been 5 stars!

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery) by Tara Lush

Book 1

This 1st book in the Coffee Lover’s mystery series came out in 2020 and I’ll admit I didn’t discover this book until this year. I’ve see reviews of this book on Book Tube (YouTube) and read the reviews and before I knew it I ordered this book a few months ago and it has been sitting on my TBR so how happy am I that it is my Facebook Book Club September pick!

A Perilous Pal (A Friend for Hire Mystery) by Laura Bradford

Book 2

I so enjoyed the first book in this series A Plus One for Murder so much I immediately pre-ordered this second book in the series which came out in July. I always love to discover a cozy where the amateur sleuth has a job that is not a librarian, bookstore owner, baker, chef, or crafter and Emma Westlake is none of those. When she has to close up her travel agency she is at a loss what to do until her senior friend suggest she become a friend for hire or a paid companion which is not the same as a sex worker.

Murder in a Teacup (A Tea by the Sea Mystery) by Vicki Delany

Book 2

Murder Spills the Tea (A Tea by the Sea Mystery) by Vicki Delany

Book 3

I love Vicki Delany! I am a huge fan of her Year Round Christmas mystery series and her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery series. So of course when she introduced this series I got the first book. This series is set in Cape Cod, MA and the amateur sleuth Lily Roberts owns a tea shop, helps her grandmother run a bed and breakfast and now serves murder on the side.

Fall Shoe Report

Happy Thursday Southernistas! So for today’s post I thought instead of highlighting fall fashion I would highlight my other great love SHOES!

So with boot/bootie season coming up fast here are a few boots and shoes I’ve got my eyes on for the fall.

Until next time Southenistas!

Just Fab Alma Over the Knee Boot — Available in Wide Calf and Wide Width
Nine West Ihad Combat Booties
Just Fab Classic Bootie — Comes in Red too
Nine West Torrie Dress Bootie
Just Fab Ruby Tassel Heeled Tall Boot (come in black)
Just Fab Alexis Ankle Bootie
Nine West Trendz Pointy Toe Pumps
Nine West Cara Dress Pump

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Wednesday Reads — August Wrap Up

Featured

Hello book lovers! Well we made to the end of August and for many of y’all it is the first week of school so parents congratulations on surviving the summer with your sanity (hopefully) intact.

Didn’t get a lot of reading done this month so while I may not have read a ton of book I definitely some great books. I have to remind myself that it’s not the quantity but the quality that really matters!

How was your August? Did you make a dent in your TBR list? What are you currently reading now?

Death by Bubble Tea (L.A. Night Market Mystery) by Jennifer J. Chow

4 STARS

This is the first book in Jennifer Chow’s L.A. Night Market series that feature cousins Yale Yee and Celine Yee who are totally different but work great together. I loved this book and the cousin despite the fact that none of the cozy mystery tropes are in this series. There is no cozy companion, no small town, no love interest and yet I loved this book and hope this series has a long life.

Murder at the Blueberry Festival (Beacon Bakeshop Mystery #3) by Darci Hannah

5 STARS!

This is the third book in Darci Hannah’s Beacon Bakeshop mystery series and it is another winner! It’s August and Lindsey Bakewell is gearing up the annual Beacon Harbor Blueberry Festival but there is a prankster afoot who is creating havoc during the festival. Then Lindsey and her beau Rory Campbell stumble upon the body in a boat with a goat ( I know) and discovers it is Lars Jorgenson and his pet goat Clara. Now Lindsey and Rory along with her friend Kennedy, Betty Vanhoosen, and Lindsey’s parents are trying to discover who’s behind the pranks and who killed Lars?

This is another winner from Darci Hannah. With every book the character development is wonderful and no one is just one note but fully developed from the major characters to the side characters. The red herrings were perfect since I had no idea who the prankster was or the killer was but when the reveal happened I was so surprised and I related to the reason for the pranks and the murder.

If you are looking for a fun cozy mystery that will grab you from page one the Beacon Harbor Bakeshop mysteries are for you! I can’t wait for the fourth book in this series.

The Proof is In the Poison (A Southern Homebrew Mystery) by Diane Kelly

BOOK 2

This second book in Diane Kelly’s delightful Southern Homebrew mystery series was so good. This series is set in Chattanooga, TN and again I am really hoping this series has a long life.

Mousse and Murder (An Alaska Diner Mystery) by Elizabeth Logan

Book 1–3 STARS

This was my Facebook Book Club August pick and I was really excited to dig into this book since it would be my first cozy set in Alaska. Charlotte “Charlie” Cooke’s chef Oliver has been murdered and she is one of the suspects at first now she is determined to find out who killed the prickly chef and clear her name. I loved all the characters and how the police “deputized” everyone to help with the case and it made me want to book an Alaskan cruise. But I felt the story was just okay.

Something’s Guava Give (Trouble in Paradise) by Carrie Doyle

Book #2

I am back in Parasio with Plum Lockhart and I am really enjoying this second book even more that the 1st book which is as it should be. This book is so good I find myself staying up late because I just can’t put this book down!

I am enjoying the growth of Plum in this second book!

Fall Fashion I’m Loving

Happy Thursday Southernistas! I hope y’all are enjoying August and the weather. This week in North Carolina has been lovely with temps in the 80s and low humidity too!

Well it is that time of year where we are in the waning days of my favorite season Summer! I am already seeing the post of fall lovers that are ready for PSL (pumpkin spice lattes), cooler weather aka sweater weather, and just all things fall while I am bemoaning the fact that there are exactly 35 days 2 hours 25 minutes and 57 seconds (not that I’m keeping count).

But the one thing I am looking forward to is the fall fashion and many of my favorite brands have been introducing their pre-fall collections this month and I am here for ALL…THE…FASHION! Also New York Fashion Week is just around the corner.

So here are some fall fashion fashions from Eloquii that I am loving and ready to claim!

Until Next Time Southernistas:)

Eloquii Sweater and Crop Pant Set
Eloquii Chiffon Ruffled Dress
Faux Leather Double Breasted Blazer (comes in a second color too)
Oversized Faux Fur Coat
Draped Bodice Pleated Dress
Printed Top and Wide Leg Pant
Turtleneck — comes in black & white too!
Faux Leather Pants
Colorblock Sweater
Flare Leg Pant
Square Neck Sweater Dress

10

Wednesday Reads — More Anticipated Reads

Hello Book Lovers & Happy Wednesday! This is a slow month for me and I think it is because Fall is just around the corner and I am literally freaking out knowing that summer will soon be over.

I amstill reading Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah and really enjoying this third book in the Beacon Bakeshop mystery series. I thought I would have finished reading this book over the weekend and start Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan which is the first book in her Alaskan Diner series. I am looking forward to reading my first mystery set in Alaska.

So with September just around the corner I thought I would share several books coming out next month that I am especially excited to read so here are some more my most anticipated reads! Big plus they will also kick off my fall TBR.

What are you reading? What books are you looking forward to reading?

Mrs. Claus and the Evil Elves (A Mrs. Claus Mystery) by Liz Ireland

Book 3

For those of you who have been following me for a while then you know how much I love this series! It is such a fun series and who knew Santaland could be hazardous to your health in more ways than one.

About the book:

April Claus is getting an early gift for her second Christmas in Santaland. Her dear friend, Claire, is visiting from Oregon, and April hopes to show off her adoptive country at its cozy, glittering best. But when the annual ice sculpture contest is derailed by a kamikaze drone-deer, it’s just the first in a series of un-festive events…

Drone-deer, created by inventor elf Blinky Brightlow, are none too popular with the genuine, flesh-and-hoof kind, who are currently on strike. With no reindeer games to keep them in shape, Nick worries they may get too chunky to pull his sleigh come Christmas. Now Blinky is missing, his girlfriend, Juniper, is under suspicion, and between rogue reindeer and conniving elves, all of Santaland seems to have gone sugarplum-crazy. Add a dash of murder to the mix, and suddenly April is battling not just to clear Juniper’s name, but to save herself from being put on ice — permanently…

Because I Could Not Stop for Death (An Emily Dickenson Mystery) by Amanda Flowers

New Series!!!!!

Amanda Flowers is another of my favorite authors. I really enjoy her Farm to Trouble series and she is the author of several other cozy mystery series that are on my TBR! But when this series was announced with Emily Dickenson as a sleuth I just had to pre-order it and I can’t wait to get in my hot little hands when it comes out next month!

About the book:

Emily Dickinson and her housemaid, Willa Noble, realize there is nothing poetic about murder in this first book in an all-new series from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Amanda Flower.

January 1855 Willa Noble knew it was bad luck when it was pouring rain on the day of her ever-important job interview at the Dickinson home in Amherst, Massachusetts. When she arrived late, disheveled with her skirts sodden and filthy, she’d lost all hope of being hired for the position. As the housekeeper politely told her they’d be in touch, Willa started toward the door of the stately home only to be called back by the soft but strong voice of Emily Dickinson. What begins as tenuous employment turns to friendship as the reclusive poet takes Willa under her wing.

Tragedy soon strikes and Willa’s beloved brother, Henry, is killed in a tragic accident at the town stables. With no other family and nowhere else to turn, Willa tells Emily about her brother’s death and why she believes it was no accident. Willa is convinced it was murder. Henry had been very secretive of late, only hinting to Willa that he’d found a way to earn money to take care of them both. Viewing it first as a puzzle to piece together, Emily offers to help, only to realize that she and Willa are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse that reveals corruption in Amherst that is generations deep. Some very high-powered people will stop at nothing to keep their profitable secrets even if that means forever silencing Willa and her new mistress….

Murder on the Poet’s Walk (A Book Retreat Mystery) by Ellery Adams

This is the eighth book in Ellery Adam’s Book Retreat Mystery series and September 27th can’t come fast enough! Everything this author puts out is worth your dollars.

About the book:

For bibliophiles who want to get away from it all, Virginia’s book-themed resort Storyton Hall offers the perfect escape. And in the latest witty installment from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, a killer inspired by Lord Alfred Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot” doesn’t stanza chance when resort manager Jane Steward is on the case!

When corpses clutching poems begin turning up around Storyton Hall, resort manager Jane Steward is on the trail of someone exercising poetic license to kill…

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, posed as if she were “The Lady of Shallot.”

When a second body is discovered, also posed as a poetic character, 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…

Murder at Mallowan Hall (Phyllida Bright Mytery) by Colleen Cambridge

New Series

I am especially looking forward to this mystery because the character works for the Queen of cozy mysteries Agatha Christie!

About the book:

Tucked away among Devon’s rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses…

The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha’s Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor…

A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense — and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands — along with a distracted, anxious staff — but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered — this time, one of her housemaids — Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot’s footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans’ guests is the killer. With help from the village’s handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida’s wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end…

Gone for Gouda (A Cheese Shop Mystery) by Korina Moss

Book 2

I enjoyed the first book Cheddar off Dead so much that as soon as Korina Moss announced her second book was available for pre-ordered I immediately did just that (December 2021) and like all the other books on this list I’ve been in countdown mode.

About the book:

Yarrow Glen’s newest cheese shop, Curds & Whey, has a lot on its plate, but cheesemonger Willa Bauer relishes a challenge. There’s a float to build for the fall festival, plus the French-inspired cheese shop is playing host to celebrity vegan chef Phoebe Winston. But when photos surface that prove this vegan influencer is, in fact, a carnivore, things crumble faster than any cheese on the market: Phoebe is murdered. Willa’s employee, the affable Archie, was the last one to see Phoebe alive and the first person the police suspect. To clear his name Willa must uncover who’s been up to no gouda..

Happy August!

Featured

Happy, happy August Southernistas! It’s by God’s grace we made it through July and here we are in August! For many parents this is a month of celebration as they get ready to send their offspring back to school. My own offspring will be starting Pharmacy School this month and I am so proud I could absolutely pop! I can’t wait to attend her coat ceremony!

August is not just back to school season but it also marks the waning days of summer….big sigh. In just 50 days 5 hours 53 minutes and 38 seconds (but whos counting) summer will be no more and fall will be here in fact many retailers are starting to introduce pre-fall collections which I am loving but not ready for. I’m starting to see all the fall anticipation memes about pumpkin spice and all things fall and I say BLAH! At the same time I am planning my fall closet refresh because I am nothing if not fashionable.

Eloquii Pre-Fall Pants and Blouse yes please

August is the only month in the year in which we celebrate no major holidays unless you want to count back to school as a major holiday and I’m sure there are parents who treat it as such with that being said that means we can celebrate everyday like it’s a holiday.

Until next time Southernistas!