Wednesday Reads

Hello fellow book lovers and sleuths! So I am back from taking a week off to celebrate my birthday and share with y’all what I’ve read, what I’m reading and what’s next on my summer reading TBR.

Happy reading!

Currently Reading:

Smile Beach Murder (Book 1-An Outer Banks Bookshop Mystery) by Alicia Bessette

What better book to read while you’re enjoying your birthday at the beach than a mystery that takes place at the beach! I just started this book but I am enjoying it so much!

Blurb from back of book

When Callie is laid off from her reporting job, she returns to her hometown of Cattail Island and lands a gig at the local bookstore — the same one where she found comfort after her mother died. In fact, the anniversary of her mother’s infamous death is approaching. Years ago, Teri Padget tumbled from the top of the lighthouse. As islanders are once again gossiping about the tragedy, devestating news strikes: the lighthouse has claimed another victim — Eva Meeks, of Meeks Hardware. The police are calling it suicide, but Callie does not believe Eva jumped any more than she believes her mother did — especially because Callie knows that before her death, Eva had dug up a long-forgotten treasure hunt that could have put a target on Eva’s back. In Callie’s search for answers, she enlists the help of some beloved books and several new friends, including the handsome local martial arts instructor, Toby Dodge. But when another death rocks Cattail Island, Callie must face her fears alone. As she earns enemies in pursuit of the truth, Callie knows she will either uncover the killer or become a victim herself.

Finished Reading:

A Side of Murder (Book 1-A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing

When I finished this book I immediately went on Amazon and ordered the other books in this series! So far there are three books in this series, the third one came out this month, and I am hoping this series has a long run!

I loved Samantha Barnes who is or was an up and coming chef in the NYC food scene until that unfortunate YouTube video that costs her her job and her marriage and now she finds herself back home after inheriting her great aunt Ida’s house. Instead of getting her aunt’s house fixed up to sale and then back to NY she finds herself reviewing a restaurant for the local paper that was formerly run by her parents and on top of that she stumbles across a body! It doesn’t help that the new harbormaster is her teen crush Jason Captiva.

The author did a great job keeping the plot moving and a big plus for me is there were not too many suspects! I loved Samantha and her friends back story it was just enough to know them and to look forward to getting to know them. There was not too many red herrings.

What didn’t work for me was I felt it was too long and I was not a fan of two different murderers and one of the culprits didn’t technically commit a murder. It just got really complicated at the end.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars

Pint of No Return (Book 1-Shake Shop Mystery Series) by Dana Mentink

This has been on my TBR pile for months so what better time to move it from TBR to read than summer time! I’ve heard so many rave reviews about the new series so I was really excited to read this book. I finished reading this book at the beach.

Trinidad Jones fines herself starting over after her divorce from her criminal husband Gabe in his hometown of Upper Sprocket, Oregon instead of Miami because Gabe left her one of his businesses in her name. Upper Sprocket is also home her ex’s two other ex-wives who he left businesses and property to. Trinidad along with her senior canine sidekick Noodles is working to have Shimmy & Shake Shop’s grand opening for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations. Of course there is the murder of the Popcorn Palace owner and Juliette one of the ex-wives is arrested for the murder. Trinidad along with her new friends and new love interest Quinn who own the nut farm with his brother Doug set out to prove Juliette’s innocence and find out who’s the real killer.

There is also a second mystery that involves a priceless artifact going on at the same time that is connected to the murder that at times kinda took away from the actual murder.

Anytime you read a book that makes you constantly crave milkshakes then the author has done their job!

I give this book 4 stars!

Next Read:

Tea and Treachery (Book 1-Tea by the Sea) by Vickie Delaney

This is the Cozy Mystery Book Club’s June pick and I am excited to re-read this delightful book again. Vicki Delany is one of my favorite authors.

Blurb from back of the book

As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Lily Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.

Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.

All Fudged Up (Book 1 — A Candy-Cody Mystery) by Nancy Coco

I also belong to a Facebook book club and the first book of Nancy Coco’s Candy-Coated mystery series All Fudged Up is the June book for this book club. There are ten books in this series. This series has been on my to buy list forever and so I am so glad this is the June pick and I have high hopes for this book.

Blurb from back of the book

Welcome to the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop — where life is sweet, revenge is sweeter, and murder is here to to stay…

You Can’t Fudge An Alibi

Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in renovations at the grand old hotel that’s been in her family for generations. With its quaint Victorian charm — and world-famous fudge shop — the place is one of Mackinac Island’s most beloved landmarks.

Sure, every family has a skeleton or two in the closet. But Allie didn’t expect to find an actual corpse inside hers, especially one Joe Jessup, who had a long-running feud with her dear departed grandfather. Which makes Allie the number-one suspect.

Can she sniff out the culprit before another victim checks in?

Wednesday Reads

Happy Wednesday fellow readers! Ya girl has been on a reading roll…YES! Not only did I finish Put Out to Pasture by Amanda Flowers but I also read Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delaney and I am now reading No Good Tea Goes Unpunished by Bree Baker

As I already stated I finally finished reading the second book in Amanda Flower’s Farm to Trouble mystery series Put Out to Pasture and I loved it! I was lukewarm towards her debut novel Farm to Trouble the first book in the series but I live by personal rule of not dismissing a series based on the first book. Often times the next book in a series is better than the first and you find yourself a new cozy series or it you don’t.

That is the case with Put Out to Pasture I loved this second book in the series so much. Shiloh finds herself solving another murder when her best friend Kristy is accuse of murdering Minnie Devani who she has a very public fight with at Shiloh’s Fall Daze event she is hosting at Bellamy Farm to try and raise much needed funds and recognition of her fledgling organic farm business. But things go sideways when Minnie is found murdered later that day in the corn maze and Kristy is the prime suspect!

I liked Shiloh much more than I did in the first book but I much confess that I really wish she would have some serious heart to hearts with her father, cousin, and possible love interest Quinn. The author does a great job of character development, world building, and plot but she still leaves a lot of loose ends when it comes to family and possible romantic relationships and I am hoping that will not always be the case with this series.

Overall I give this book 4 stars!

My Reading Buddy

Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) Book 1 by Vicki Delany

Vicki Delaney is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. She is the author of several cozy series that I love and read and I’ve been wanting to read her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery for awhile and it has been on my virtual TBR (to be read) pile for a long time so I was so happy this was picked as the May of my Facebook book club.

This is another winner from Vicki! Gemma Doyle is a transplant from England to West London, Massachusetts in Cape Cope and co-owns Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium with her great uncle Arthur and the adjoining Mrs. Hudson Tearoom with her best friend Jayne but Gemma is not a Sherlock Holmes fan her great uncle Arthur and friend Jayne are the Holmes fan. While Gemma may not be a fan of the fictional detective she has the same observational skills as the great detective so much so that nothing gets past Gemma. I really enjoyed this first book in this series and I loved the Sherlock Holmes Easter eggs all through the book. If you are a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective you really should give this book a read.

When Gemma finds a possibly valuable Strand Magazine signed by Arthur Conan Doyle tucked among her bookshelves she remembers the lady that came in when she was in the mist of a rush of tourist and realizes she much have put it there. Gemma finds out where the lady is staying and along with her friend Jayne goes to the hotel she is staying at to let the woman she know she found her magazine but instead finds the woman dead. Now its up to Gemma and Jayne to find out who killed this mystery woman and remove themselves as suspects no matter how many times the police tell them to stay out of the investigation.

When I first started reading this novel I started out not liking Gemma very much but as I read I began to warm up to Gemma and found myself liking her very much!

I’ve just started reading the second book in Bree Baker’s Seaside Cafe Mystery Series No Good Tea Goes Unpunished and wow what a great book so far. If you’re looking for some great beach reads I highly recommend this series.

Such a Fun Read!

My Favorite Cozy Mystery Podcasts

Hi Southernistas! Well we are 14 days into 2022 and I hope it’s going great for y’all and that y’all are being a fruitful and productive but most of all haven’t broken your resolutions (if you make one)!

Like many of you I love a good podcast mostly true crime and Christian podcasts but between the true crime and Christian podcasts I’ve discovered some great book podcasts. I am an avid reader of cozy mysteries in fact the last three posts were a wrap up of my favorite mysteries I read in 2021. So now I want to share some of my favorite cozy mystery podcasts. You can listen to these podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Goggle Podcasts or whatever platform you listen to podcasts.

Happy listening y’all!

  1. The Cozy Corner with Alexia Gordon — Alexia Gordon is the author of the Gethsemane Brown mystery series and the host of this podcast. I love this podcast and her interview style. It’s always great to hear an author interview another author about their writing process. New episodes every Wednesday. For more information you check out the podcasts website www.thecozycornerwithalexiagordon.com

2. Cozy Ink Podcast — Leah Bailey is the host and she is also a author. What I love about this podcast is that there are not only author interviews but Leah also has several authors on to discuss different aspects of publishing and writing. They give great advice and tips for aspiring authors. You can learn about Leah and the podcast on her website www.leahbaileyauthor.com. New episodes are not out yet but when she does they will come out every Tuesday.

3. Get Cozy Podcast with Krysti Meyer — Krysti discovered cozy mysteries at the beginning of 2021 and fell so in love with this genre of mysteries she decided to do a podcast and TA DAH…the Get Cozy Podcast is born. Krysti brings a millennial view point with her podcast and you clearly hear her love of cozy mysteries as she interviews the authors. Every episode deals with a particular topic in cozy mysteries the she talks with the authors about and I love it! At the end of every episode Krysti gives book recommendations. New episodes every Wednesday. You can follow the show on Instagram @getcozypodcast

4. Sister in Crime Writer’s Podcast — This podcast is hosted by Sisters in Crime Executive Director Julie Hennrikus. Julie interviews members and past presidents of Sisters in Crime about their writing journey. The authors are from every genre of mystery and don’t let the title of the podcast fool you male mystery authors are interviewed also. If you want to learn more about this organization check out their website www.sistersincrime.org.

5. Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast is produced by King’s River Magazine that features actor’s reading the first chapter of a mystery or a short story. For more information www.mysteryrat.com or http://www.kingsriverlife.com

My Favorite Cozy Mysteries of 2021 — Part 3

Merry Christmas Southernistas! I know it’s Christmas Eve but I still want to wish y’all a very Merry Christmas!

We’ve made it to week 3 of my list of favorite cozy mystery series I read this year. For those of you who are wondering what is a cozy mystery? The best definition of a cozy mystery is mystery that usually takes place in a small town with an amateur sleuth (librarian, baker/chef, teacher, etc.) that has not graphic violence, profanity (although some do), and no sex scenes. An example of a cozy mystery would be Murder, She Wrote.

Now that I have defined, my definition, of what what a cozy mystery is I have been sharing my favorite of all the cozies I read this year and while I could list a lot I decided to post 3 each post because I don’t want y’all to get bored and stop reading or unfollow me because I go on and on. I will end the last post with my top pick of 2021 and I can’t wait to share it with you.

You can purchase these books from your local independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Good Reads, and where ever books are sold. If you would like more information about the series or to check out the other series by these talented authors I have linked their webpage just click on their name

Murder in G Major (A Gethsemane Brown Mystery) by Alexia Gordon

I discovered author Alexia Gordon, who is a physician also, listening to a cozy podcast, another blog for another time, and her Gethsemane Brown mystery series which is set in Ireland! This is the first book in the series and we find Dr. Gethsemane Brown stranded in Ireland after she looses the position as assistant conductor with the Cork Philharmonic to the music director’s mistress which is how she ends up in the village of Dunmullach as the music teacher at St. Brennan’s School for Boys where she is expected to turn the boy’s orchestra into an award winning orchestra. The upside is the charming cottage, Carraigfaire Cottage, the home of famed classical musician and composer Eamon McCarthy what she didn’t know is that she would be sharing the cottage with a ghost, Eamon McCarthy. I absolutely loved this book and I hope this series has a long life. Gethsemane is tough and hard drinking which is something you don’t see in amateur sleuths.

Spying in High Heels (A High Heel Mystery) by Gemma Halliday

As a stiletto wearing girl this is a mystery series I have been dying to read forever and I finally, FINALLY did it! And I am a better person for it now. I love this first book in the series and I’ve purchased the 2nd book. The 13th book if this series came out this month so I’ve got a lot of binge reading to do…lol. Unlike the majority of cozy mysteries this series is set in Los Angeles, CA and not a small town which is a nice change. Aspiring shoe designer Maddie Springer is a funny amateur sleuth who is a girl after my own heart. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the entire series!

Murder with a Cherry on Top (A Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery) by Cynthia Baxter

I love Cynthia Baxter and was sad when her Murder Packs a Suitcase mystery series ended after two books in her series. She also wrote the Reigning Cats & Dogs mystery series which ended after 9 books. I loved both of these series so when she debuted a new series after a long break and it takes place in an ice cream shop I was beyond excited. The series is set in Wolfert’s Roost, NY in the Hudson Valley where our amateur sleuth Kate McKay grew up and is now back home after leaving a high powered career in Manhattan. I enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed how the murder was solved by Kate. I found myself sacrificing a lot of sleep because I just could not put this book down which is a trademark of all of these author’s books. I loved the characters and found myself wanting to visiting the Hudson Valley.

Honorable mention: Live and Let Chai (A Seaside Café Mystery) by Bree Baker

I know I said I said three books but this series by Bree Baker aka Julie Anne Lindsey is a must read. There are 6 books in this series and I was so sad when the author announced book 6 was the end of the series. This series is set on the coast of my home state North Carolina in Charm where Everly Swan has opened up Sun, Sand, and Tea Ice Café. She is trying to make a success of it but the town curmudgeon comes in everyday asking for a list of the ingredients Everly uses in her teas which she refuses to give but always gives him a free sample which he. And as a member of the city council he has never been in favor of Everly opening her café on the beach and fought her every step of the way. When he is found dead with one of her cups from her business in his hand Everly knows it’s up to her to find the killer before she looses her precious café and house and have to move back in with her aunts.

My Favorite Cozy Mysteries of 2021 — Part 2

Hello Southernistas! I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of my favorite cozy mysteries and that you checked them out. I realized that the first post were all about new mysteries (new to me) I discovered this year. I always like to read the first book in a new mystery series I never start with the most recent release. Also if I didn’t enjoy the first book in the series I always remind myself that this is the first book in the series so I don’t dismiss the series but I read the next book in the series. In my experience most cozies get better with each book and it depends on your personal taste as well.

This list features my favorite cozies of 2021 of long running series that I am a devoted fan and when I say devoted I mean I pre-order the books when they become available for pre-order and them I devour as soon as they arrive.

You can purchase these books from your local independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Good Reads and everywhere else books are sold. I’ve linked the author’s website just click on the author’s name.

I accept all book recommendations!

Pup Fiction (Melanie Travis Mystery Series) by Laurien Berenson

I have been a fan of Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis mystery series from the first book A Pedigree to Die For. This book is the 26th book in the series and once again Melanie and her Aunt Peg (who remains incorrigible) find themselves in the middle of a mystery when the owner of Graceland School summer camp ex-husband if found dead on the property. Melanie can’t believe Grace murdered her ex-husband and when she is asked by Grace to investigate how can she say no. Between being a wife, mother of two boys and five standard poodles Melanie always seems to find time to solve a mystery of two.

Dying in a Winter Wonderland (A Year Round Christmas Mystery) by Vicki Delaney

I love the Year Round Christmas Mystery series by Vicki Delany. I look forward to visiting Rudolph, NY whenever I can to see what murder Merry Wilkinson has gotten herself mixed up in and in this 5th book in the series Merry’s brother is the prime suspect in the death of his old high school girlfriend’s fiancé Jeff Vanderhaven. Merry knew it was a mistake to even agree to help Luanne Ireland with her wedding but after much begging and pleading Merry found herself roped into doing the decorations for her wedding which Luanne moved up from July to February. Vicki Delany is also the author of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, Tea by the Sea series, The Lighthouse Library Series, and her newest mystery series The Catskills Summer Resort mystery series

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery) by Joanne Fluke

I’ve saved the best for last! This is the 27th book in the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series or as I like to refer to it also as the Lake Eden mystery series. From her first book, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, to Triple Chocolate I have been them for them all in fact I have pre-ordered book 28 and can’t wait to get in my hot little hands. If I had one complaint about this series is the love triangle that has lasted way beyond it’s date which is the complaint of many fans of this series. Hopefully the love triangle will come to an end in the next book!

My Favorite Cozy Mysteries of 2021-Part 1

Hi Southernistas! As we come down to the end of 2021 I want to share my favorite cozy mysteries this year. Some of these are new mystery series I discovered this year, debut mystery series, and old friends that I’ve been reading since the first book hit the shelf. I hope these books will make their way to your TBR (To Be Read) pile or make you curious enough to give cozy mysteries a try.

You can purchase these books from your local independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Good Reads and everywhere books are sold. I have also linked the author’s website just click on the author’s name.

  1. And Then There Were Crumbs (A Cookie House Mystery) by Eve Calder

This cozy stars Kate McGuire a Manhattan transplant who finds herself working as a baking assistant in Coral Cay, FL at the Cookie House after a failed relationship. Coral Cay is a delightful town and Kate finds herself falling in love with the little town and the town’s dog. The owner of the Cookie House is gruff Sam Hepplewhite who Kate persuades to hire her but when Sam is accused of murdering local real estate developer Stewart Lord it is up to Kate to clear Sam’s name. I really enjoyed the plot and the story really moved and didn’t plod and I found myself loosing sleep because I just couldn’t put it down.

2. In the Dog House (A Dog Club Mystery Series) by V.M. Burns

I discovered V.M. Burns this year and she is a writer of color so if you’re looking to read more writers of color V.M. Burns is a must! I was hooked from the first sentence and literally couldn’t put the book down. The armature sleuth is Lilly Echosby and this first book finds her trying to clear her name after the body of her recently divorced husband if found dead and all clues point to you!

3. Class Reunions are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery Series) by Libby Klein

Recently widowed Poppy McAllister finds herself trapped in grief and self pity and what better way to shake things up then to go home to Cape May, NJ for her 25th class reunion which she was looking forward to like you look forward to a root canal. While home she finds out that her Aunt Ginny is in danger of being committed by an social worker and then the most popular girl in school and her bully is murdered and Poppy is the prime suspect. Now Poppy along with help from her best friends and Aunt Ginny to find the real culprit. This is a really great series.