The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

The Paper Girl of Paris 5 STARS

I came across this book on a New Releases’ Post for May 26, 2020. I adore novels with dual timelines and I enjoy Historical Fiction, so I was immediately intrigued. This has the typical plot; person of today finds letter or photograph leading to some past unknown. This story sucked me in from the beginning.

A good portion of Historical Fiction novels center around WW II. While I understand the importance and interest, I prefer the stories to be more about the people than the war itself. I found this novel to be more of a “behind the scenes” story. This was more of a coming of age story with a historical past and a dash of mystery. Maybe because it is in the Young Adult genre, I just found it to be refreshing.

Sixteen year old Alice and her parents travel to Paris after finding out her deceased grandmother left her an apartment, an apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years. When she unlocks the apartment, she also unlocks secrets about her family’s past. Alice, along with her new “friend” Paul, set out on a journey to find the missing pieces of her grandmother’s past. Alice finds out a lot about history, her broken family, herself, and a little bit about love.

I would recommend this book to Historical Fiction lovers of all ages or anyone interested in a Coming of Age story with a historical past.

I had the audio version of this book narrated by Liza Seneca. She was a great narrator and did a fantastic job with all the accents.

The Diva Spices It Up by Krista Davis

Book 13 of the Domestic Diva Mysteries

The Diva Spices It Up (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #13) 5-STARS

I have no idea how this phenomenal series continues to get better, but Krista Davis makes it happen. I had binge read this series, books 1-11, and reading each new installment makes me feel like I am reuniting with old friends. I cannot say enough about the core characters of this series. Not only are they extremely well developed but you actually feel like you are a part of their world.

In this installment of the series, Sophie is ready for some R&R until Mars has her hired out as a ghost writer for a cookbook for one of his clients’ wives. In need of a major bathroom renovation, Sophie takes on the job. How hard can it be to write recipes?? This should be a breeze until people around this group begin going missing and dead bodies start popping up. There seems to be many with secrets, the question is, who is willing to kill to keep them buried?

I can never get enough of these books. Once I start them, I devour them, then I am devastated that I have to wait another year for the next one. I strive to be like Sophie in my daily life in the entertaining of family and friends. I adore her friends, Nina, Mars, Bernie, etc.

This is by far my favorite Cozy series and in my top 5 overall. I cannot sing the praises for these books any louder. I recommend them to anyone and everyone, cozy readers or not. If you have never tried audiobooks and don’t know if you would like them, this is the series to do it.

I have a digital copy from NetGalley of this book and the audible version. Hillary Huber, is as phenomenal of a narrator as Krista Davis is a writer.

And now we wait…….

Murder in the Wine Country by Janet Finsilver

Book 6 of the Kelly Jackson Mysteries

Murder in the Wine Country (A Kelly Jackson Mystery #6) 4STARS

I feel like this series is one of those extremely well kept secrets and we need to get the secret out!!

I love everything about the Kelly Jackson Mysteries… the plot, the setting, the characters, and the mysteries. This series has something for everyone. The setting of Redwood Cove is to die for, no pun intended. The characters are all very well developed, likable, and they all play their part in the stories. From Tommy, the child with Asperger Syndrome, and his dog Fred to all the Silver Sentinels, there is definitely a character for you. There is always a new hobby or event to explore in town and Janet Finsilver has a way of making you feel like you are experiencing it with the cast.

In this installment, its a wine tasting event. When an accident and burglary turn out to be more sinister than originally suspected, Kelly and the Silver Sentinels are on the case.

One other thing that really sticks out in the later novels, the charity developed for the aid and care of Veterans. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and the author does a great job bringing awareness.

This series is one of my favorite Cozy Mystery Series, it is carefree and entertaining. I love a series with senior sleuths. These books are easily one sitting reads and I highly recommending binging this series.

I had an advanced digital copy from NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation. I also had this book in audio format. The narrator, Reba Buhr, did a fabulous job.

I am looking forward to a book 7 and more adventures at Redwood Cove.

Staging Wars by Grace Topping

Book 2 of the Laura Bishop Mysteries

Staging Wars (Paperback) 4 STARS

In this second installment, Laura Bishop’s home staging business is really growing even with the competition of her long time frenemy, Monica Heller. When a series of murders seem to be taking place, Monica looks to be holding the knife and caught red handed. Sister Madeline asks Laura to put aside her differences and help Monica out, as she believes she is not a cold blooded killer. Laura and her bff, Nita, decide to sleuth it up with the help of Mrs. Webster and Aunt Kit. Can they figure out the mystery before its too late?

I really enjoyed the roles Mrs. Webster and Aunt Kit played in this installment. I enjoy when there are seniors getting involved in the sleuthing and I hope to see Aunt Kit in future books.

I had an idea of the culprit from about mid book. I don’t know why, it just seemed to fit. This was a quick and fun book that also has some good house keeping and selling tips through out.

There is a slight mystery involving Laura’s father and where he could be. I hope that is revisited in future books. I would also like to maybe see some sparks for Laura and Spangler.

I listened to the audio version of this novel narrated by Emily Durante. She did a fantastic job.

I am looking forward to book 3.

Hems and Homicide by Elizabeth Penney

First in a new series

Hems and Homicide (Apron Shop #1) 4STARS

Iris Buckley decides to return to her hometown, Blueberry Cove, Maine, to help out her grandmother after her grandfather’s death. She is ready to bring her online hand-made apron designs to a real store, Ruffles & Bows. Finding a store front was difficult so there was no shock in finding the space in poor condition with a lot of work to do. What was shocking, finding a skeleton in the basement.

With help of her best friend and her granny, Iris wants to find out what happened to the person and lay these old bones to rest. Iris finds out that digging up the past can bring plenty of problems to the future.

This book has many twists, all the way to the end. I enjoyed the author’s character development. The relationship between Iris and her granny felt real. I also enjoyed the budding romances.

I am looking forward to continuing on with the series and learning more about all the characters.

I had this book in both digital format from NetGalley and audio format from Audible. The narrator, Kim Niemi, did a great job.

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping

A debut novel and first in series

Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery #1) 4STARS

Laura Bishop is a home stager. She is currently staging a 19th century mansion with the help of her assistant, Tyrone. The one thing Laura could not have dreamed of, a murder of the home owner, and no, it was not staged. Due to an accident, Tyrone becomes suspect number one and is locked in jail. With the help of her best friend and Tyrone’s grandmother, Laura sets out to solve the crime and clear Tyrone’s name. However, the murderer is on to Laura. Can she solve this crime before she becomes a victim.

This was a great debut novel and start to a new series. I am looking forward to seeing what Laura gets into next along with the help of her new employee. I am also hoping for a romantic relationship for Laura and Doug.

I listened to the audible version of this novel narrated by Emily Durante. She did a fantastic job.

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Book Two of the Cassidy Blake Series

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2) 4 STARS

I found this series by chance and felt like I just needed a break from my regular reads. It was exactly what I needed. The books are short, one sitting reads but jam packed with entertainment.

Cassidy Blake is just your everyday teenager, well except that her parents are paranormal inspectors who have actually never seen a ghost, they just write about them. The irony of the situation is that ever since her near death experience, Cassidy has been able to not only see ghosts, but communicate with them. As a matter of fact, her best friend Jacob is the ghost that saved her life.

In the first installment of the series, The Blakes have been offered a television deal to visit and report on the most haunted cities in the world. Their first stop, Scotland. While there, Cassidy meets someone with the same abilities who teaches her why she has them and what to do with them.

In this, book two, The Blakes travel to Paris. While exploring the catacombs, Cassidy seems to have inadvertently released a ghost, well not just any ghost, a poltergeist. With the poltergeist getting stronger and causing mayhem throughout the city, she has to find out what she can do to get this ghost to respond to her and move it along.

Very entertaining story. This was written for a younger age group but there is enough history and suspense to keep you entertained at any age.

I enjoyed this story through audiobook format. I am looking forward to wherever Bridge of Souls, book 3, brings us. Expected publication is some time in 2020.

I Know What You Bid Last Summer by Sherry Harris

Book 5 of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

I Know What You Bid Last Summer (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #5) 4 STARS

This is one of those series that I just cannot get enough of. I am binging the series and I never want to catch up. The setting, the characters, the plot… everything about it makes you feel like starting the next book is just like getting together with old friends.

In this installment, Sarah is all on her again. I am not a fan of love triangles but it works in this series. I could never pick, Team CJ or Team Seth. Well now that CJ is gone (I can’t believe he really left, even though I think he will be back), Sarah is keeping busy with her garage sale business. She was asked to head up the school swap and silent auction. What she didn’t expect to sign up for was an attack, theft, and a new murder to investigate. She is also “investigating” who in town has the best lasagna for Angelo.

I found this book to be a little more emotional than the others. I felt Sarah’s rejection and loneliness. I do love that she has so many friends and that everyone seems to be there for her, well except the killers when she is sleuthing around.

I cannot wait to jump right back in; starting The Gun Also Rises, Book 6.

I have both the digital (from NetGalley) and audio versions of this book. Hillary Huber, who is one of my most favorite narrators, does and phenomenal job with this series.

A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake

A Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery

A Midwinter’s Tail (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #4) 5 STARS

If I could go on a winter holiday, it would be to the pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. I love everything about the people and the place. The author makes the town seem so warm and inviting, well I mean yeah they have murders, but they are usually targeted. I wouldn’t feel unsafe there lol.

Daphne Templeton is a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and a stubborn Basset Hound, who has become an amateur sleuth.

In this installment of the series, a former classmate and nemesis returns to Sylvan Creek. She plans on opening a big box discount pet store from her chain that she runs. In a town full of small business owners, especially pet shops, everyone is none to happy about this news. When her body is found soon after, the list of suspects seem vast, but someone has an obvious motive. However, it is very obvious that the suspect did not do it. Daphne, working better with Detective Jonathan Black, is hell bent on solving this murder and clearing her friend’s name.

This novel is just oozing with Christmas and Winter Bliss. As cold as it is in Sylvan Creek, relationships are heating up, both human and canine. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I adore the series but this was my favorite thus far. I am a Christmas enthusiast, so I am quite certain that aspect of the book helped.

This series is a fun way to escape the day or intrigue those who love a good “who dunnit” series. I swear, I have yet to figure it out in this series. I really enjoyed the detail of the story and character development, even all the dogs have great character development. A lot of cozies that I read, I describe as quick and fun, I would not describe this one as such. Ms. Blake is very detailed in her plot and characters, so you really get to dive into the story. I would not say one style is better than the other because I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to continuing on with the series.

I have this book in both digital (NetGalley) and audio versions. The narrator, Elise Arsenault, does an amazing job.

Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox

Crêpe Expectations (Pancake House Mystery #5) 4Stars

This series is up there with some of my absolute favorites. Okay so I have a million favorites, but this series is up there. This series has everything, mystery, romance, sadness, joy, and a few twists that will keep you guessing. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Fox has in store for us next time.

Protagonist, Marley McKinney, inherits an old Victorian home and a Pancake House restaurant on the Pacific Coast when her uncle passes away. Needing a change, Marley uproots her city life to start over and accept her inheritance. Marley makes some great friends and finds love but she also finds dead bodies.

In this installment of the Pancake House Mysteries, Wildwood Cove is hosting an amateur chef competition. When one of the contestants fall suspiciously ill, Marley begins looking into a possible case of sabotage and blackmail. Also, when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored, she discovers a sweet little kitten; oh, and human remains. How old are the remains and were they there due to foul play? Could the case of the old bones and the current competition mishaps be connected? Read the book to find out.

What I love about the last few books in the series, we are presented with cold cases. I often wonder if someone HAS to die in a Cozy. Sometimes a good mystery is all we need. Obviously, someone died at some point, but when it has happened years prior, it is sometimes easier to digest.

Even though this is set outside of Seattle, the main setting is the pancake house. One of my favorite places ever is Gatlinburg, Tennessee which is filled with delicious and beautiful pancake houses. So that was a score with me immediately.

Oh and the recipes in the book are to die for!!

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley as well as having the audio version narrated by Marguerite Gavin. I highly recommend this series.