Theater Nights Are Murder by Libby Klein

Book 4 of the Poppy McAllister Mysteries

Theater Nights Are Murder

If you want a series of shenanigans, this is the series for you. There are several Laugh Out Loud moments. Libby Klein has very detailed plots and characters in her stories. Poppy is a very relatable character for me, as I too have felt her struggles with weight, love, and self esteem issues.

In the start of this series, a widowed Poppy McAllister returns to her home town to attend her high school reunion. While there and staying with her whimsical Aunt Ginny, she learns that social services is investigating Aunt Ginny for more than just being a little whimsical. After reconnecting with her high school best friend and realizing Aunt Ginny really can’t be on her own anymore, Poppy decides to stay.

In this installment of the series, Aunt Ginny’s high school boyfriend has retired from Broadway and is returning home to play the male lead in the senior center’s theater production of Mamma Mia. When one too many accidents start happening in the theater, one has to wonder, is someone trying to put a stop to the play or is someone trying to stop a player. Can Poppy and the Biddies get to the bottom of this case before another accident takes center stage?

It was fun to see the biddies investigate more and to see their romantic troubles too. I am not a huge fan of love triangles, but I understand that it works here. However, I picked my side early on in this series.

I received an advanced digital copy of the book from NetGalley as well as a print copy from the author and Kensington Books in return for my honest review.

I am looking forward to the next … Are Murder shenanigans in the future.

Sell Low, Sweet Harriet By Sherry Harris

Book 8 of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

Sell Low, Sweet Harriet 5 STARS

This was one of my most anticipated new releases for the new year. However, you may read that many times in my reviews, as this list is quite long. Definitely in my top 10 Cozy Mystery Series, Sherry Harris did not miss a beat with the latest installment. The plot, characters, and even the crimes are so relatable. The books in this series fly by, like a visit with old friends.

In this installment, there is more mystery than any other book yet. There are several unrelated crimes in this book but, of course, Sarah has her hand in all of them. Between a murder on base, a garage sale for former CIA members, and her favorite mobster moving in next door again, Sarah is on super sleuth mode. While the authorities have become more accepting of Sarah’s abilities to solve the crimes, people on and around the Air Force Base are not very welcoming. With multiple tasks on her agenda, can Sarah get to the bottom of everything before she becomes the next victim?

Like I said, reading the new installment is like catching up with old friends. I am delighted that the end of this novel has some joyful news (I won’t spoil it). Although I wish Carol and Stella were more involved in the sleuthing this go around, I enjoyed meeting some of the characters introduced in this book.

I have both the digital and audio versions of this book. Hillary Huber, who is one of my most favorite narrators, does and phenomenal job with this series. I was awarded the digital ARC via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Now to impatiently wait for the next book…..

An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox

Book 2 of A Literary Pub Mystery Series
Release Date is 11/26/19

An Ale of Two Cities (Literary Pub Mystery #2) 4.5 STARS

I love Sarah Fox’s Pancake House Mysteries so I had no doubts that I would enjoy this series, and of course I was correct. How much fun would it be to have a literary pub to hang out in?!?!?! Ms. Fox has a great way of making you fall in love with the characters, the town, and the story.

Sadie leaves her life in Boston with her gambling addicted boyfriend and moves to the small town of Shady Creek, Vermont. 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.

After dealing with a murder and a murderer after her in the first installment, she has settled down in her new life in a great town with great people, including her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the handsome brewery owner Grayson.

Its winter in the town of Shady Creek and what better way to celebrate than with a Winter Carnival and ice sculpture contest? Everything is going perfect until one of the contests is found dead. To make matters worse, Mel, one of Sadie’s employees, has had her tools from the competition stolen and it turns out one of them was the murder weapon. With Mel being Suspect #1, Sadie is out to prove her friend’s innocence. Although the police have their eyes set on Mel, it seems everyone in town had a grudge against Freddy, including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame, and even his half-brother.

With the help up Grayson, who has some interesting secrets and sleuthing skills, Sadie is heating up the search for the killer…. and heating up her emotions for Grayson.

A very fast paced read, I didn’t want to stop. I am totally on board with Sadie and the gang and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sadie and Grayson. I am highly anticipating book 3.
I was humbly awarded an advanced copy of the book, signed by Sarah Fox, as well as a digital copy from Kensington Publishing and NetGalley.

Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey

Book One of A Cider Shop Mystery
Release date is 10/28/19

Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery #1) 5 STARS

Amazing start to what I hope will be a long-lived series!!

Winnie Montgomery was raised by her beloved grandmother and late grandfather, whom own the Smythe Orchard. With the future of the orchard in jeopardy, Winnie wants to do everything she can to save the orchard and continue her family’s legacy. Her goal is to open a Cider Shop and Party Hall to bring in more revenue and to give the small town better options.
All that seems to come crashing down on her and Granny. While showing the investor the property plans, they stumble across the dead body of Granny’s nemesis. It also seems that someone may be sabotaging the orchard. With everything on the line, including clearing Granny’s name, Winnie, her BFF Dot, and Granny’s pals set out to get to the bottom of this. When things start to hit too close to home and their safety becomes an issue, dreamy detective Colton is there for Winnie. Can they solve the crimes before the orchard and family legacy is ruined? There seems to be a lot of secrets in this small town and a lot of players in the game. Can Winnie and friends get to the bottom of it before someone else is hurt, or worse, murdered?

I adored this book so much… the plot, the setting, the characters, EVERYTHING!! I also have a new book crush in Colton!! I am impatiently waiting for the next installment, Pulp Friction, which is set to release April 28, 2020.

I received an advanced physical copy of the book from the amazing and talented Julie Anne Lindsey and Kensington Publishing. I was also awarded a digital copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

There are also Cider recipes in the book that I will definitely be trying come the cooler weather.

Claws of Action by Linda Reilly

Book 4 of the Cat Lady Mysteries

Definitely a one sitting book; quick but thoroughly entertaining. This series grips you, not just the mystery, the bond between Lara and Aunt Fran. This series starts off as feel good coming of age/coming home again story. It is so great to see Lara with her roots planted and relationships made.

In this installment, a health inspector shows up at the house/cat shelter just when they are finishing up on the remodel. Because they offer potential adopters beverages and snacks, the inspector deems them to be a “cafe” and unsanitary. When the said inspector is found dead the next morning, Lara and Aunt Fran are the primary suspects. With everything to lose, Lara sets off to solve the case.

What I always enjoy about the books in this series, there are secondary mysteries to solve too. There are many with secrets in the small town, and some will do whatever they have to for them to stay hidden. Things are definitely not what they seem.

In the remodel of the house/shelter, Lara has a reading room set up for children to come and read to the cats. I adore this idea and am very thankful that more rescues are starting to participate in activities like this.

There were a few small cliffhangers in this book; wedding plans, budding romances, etc. I cannot wait for more from Whisker Jog!!

I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Bark If It’s Murder by V.M. Burns

Book 3 of A Dog Club Mystery

Bark If It’s Murder (Dog Club Mystery #3) 5-STARS

I cannot say enough about this series. It is sweet with a slight romantic element, family oriented, female empowering and of course, MURDER!!

Lilly has put her past behind her and started a new life in Chattanooga. With the help of her best friend, Dixie, she is settling in well in her new surrounding. Looking to purchase a new home and doing well at her job, everything seems to be falling into place.

In this installments of the series, Lilly is helping Dixie out at Dog Show. While there, she meets the owner of Pet Haven, a posh doggie daycare and boarding facility. A last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction, so Lilly decides to leave Aggie in the hands of Pet Haven. While watching the live feed of the facility to check in on Aggie, Lilly witnesses something that she surely believes is a murder in progress. Upon investigation, there is no crime scene and no body. Lilly, determined not to be deemed crazy, sets off to find out what happened and to whom.

What I love most about this series is that the protagonist, Lilly, is a middle aged woman with real life problems that we can relate to. She does her investigating but unlike many mystery protagonists, she doesn’t throw herself into extremely dangerous situations. In my opinion, these would be realistic if it was realistic for middle aged women to go around solving crimes.

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I highly recommend this series, and cannot wait for an announcement on book 4.

Tide and Punishment by Bree Baker (aka Julie Anne Lindsey)

A Seaside Cafe Mystery

Tide and Punishment (A Seaside Cafe Mystery, #3) 5 Stars

To be Released on September 24, 2019

Southern Charm on the Carolina Beach, sweet tea, boardwalks, tourist shops, and murder, what’s not to love??? Throw in Christmas, well I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that makes it!! My favorite thing about this installment was the sense of community, charity, family, and love that is shown. There is nothing more heart warming than coming together as a whole to help those less fortunate.

In A Seaside Cafe Mystery Series, Everly Swan moves home to small town Charm, North Carolina where she opens her dream tea shop, Sun, Sand, and Tea.

She has been under the microscope since moving back to Charm. The Swan women of the island are said to be cursed in love; falling in love and losing their mate at a young age. Swan women don’t leave the island either. Well, Everly did and returned after suffering at love but since she has been back, death has followed in her wake. Since her return, the easy life of Charm has seen one too many murders, and the town is starting to think there is something to this curse of the Swans. With an amazing core cast (the eccentric aunts, handsome detective Grady, and the best bestie Amelia), Everly has the support team she needs to run her dream business and solve murders.

In this installment, It’s Aunt Fran that finds herself in the police investigation after finding the body of the mayor, whom she is running against in the next race. Everyone knows that Aunt Fran is not capable of committing murder but someone is going out of their way to make it look like she did. I had my suspicions from dooms day of whom the killer may be. Turns out, I was correct but finding out the why was a shock.

I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley. I am so thankful and yet so disappointed that I got to read it early…. now I have to wait longer for BOOK 4!!!!!

This has quickly moved up to the top of my list of favorite series. Julie Anne Lindsey is an absolute doll and a very talented, humble and gracious author. She writes several other series. You can find her under the names Julie Anne Lindsey, Bree Baker, Julie Chase, and another one of my favorites, Jacqueline Frost. Psssssss….. she has a first book in a new cozy series set to release in November. Be on the look out for the release and a review from me for Apple Cider Slaying, book one of the Cider Shop Mysteries.

Please visit her website to keep up with all of Julie’s books.

http://julieannelindsey.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JulieAnneLindseyAuthor

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.

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young

A Review and Interview with the Author

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown #1) 5 STARS

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings, book 1 of the Marygene Brown Series, is not only the first in an amazing series, but the first Cozy Mystery by Kate Young. I am blown away. Kate Young hit a Grand Slam with this book (homage to the Braves references throughout the book).

Marygene Brown leaves her abusive relationship in Atlanta to return back her hometown of Peach Cove, a small island town of Southern Georgia. Marygene’s plan is to join forces with her sister, Jena Lynn, and run the beloved Peach Diner, passed down by generations of family. What Marygene did not plan on, was a regular customer dying in the restaurant and her sister being lead off in handcuffs. She also didn’t bargain for having her mama show up to guide her through it all. Did I mention mama is dead??

With the help of her mama and others in town, Marygene sets out to prove her sister’s innocence and find out what is going on in her small town. Can she find the killer before the killer finds her?

The character development, setting description, and story line are phenomenal. I instantly fell in love with the characters. There were moments of shock, laughter, intrigue, and emotion throughout the entire book. The mystery was great, I did have my suspicions of the killer from the get go but the road getting there was worth the trip. I laughed many times at the shenanigans of Marygene and Betsy. And somehow, Kate Young adds in the emotional issues of domestic violence. Marygene Brown is one of the strongest Protagonists I have seen in long time.

I cannot wait to continue my journey with Marygene and the Peach Cove Gang.

I read the digital copy awarded to me by NetGalley as well as the audio version of the book. The narrator, Tiffany Morgan, does a fantastic job.

INTERVIEW WITH KATE YOUNG

1. After writing paranormal fantasies, what made you decide to dive into the Cozy Mystery genre? Will you continue to write in other genres?

Mysteries have become my favorite genre to read. I love everything from cozies to heart pounding thrillers. I decided a couple of years ago to try my hand at writing one. I had to learn to write differently. Panster style wouldn’t work in this genre. I took several classes offered through Sisters in Crime and learned that writing a mystery took skill. A skill I had to learn and am still learning. I have great respect for long term writers in the genre. The plan right now is to focus on writing more mysteries.

2. They say write what you know. Being from a small town in Georgia, is Peach Cove based on a real town?

The inspiration for Peach Cove came from both Savannah and Seaside, Florida. The quaintness and beauty of Seaside and the old southern charm of Savannah.

3. Are any of your characters based off of people you know?

The Yvonne character is loosely based on my childhood best friend. The character has her likeness some of her mannerisms, and charm that merged beautifully with the character she became.

4. When can we expect from Marygene Brown and the town of Peach Cove?

There is a lot to come from Marygene and the Peach Cove gang. In book two, Southern Sass and A Crispy Corpse, our heroine is pushed to the limit and finds that her southern sleuthing grit is her saving grace. It’s a wild ride for sure.

To learn more and keep up with Kate Young…

https://www.kateyoungbooks.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Young/e/B0094KQZSS

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateYoung/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527572.Kate_Young

https://www.instagram.com/kateyoungbooks/

Sadie by Courtney Summers

“Forgettable people in fly over states”

Sadie (Hardcover) 5 STARS

I am not sure where to even start. Not many books leave me speechless, but this one….

I listened to the audiobook and I HIGHLY recommend it. Although its an excellent books, I feel like the audio version gives it that extra boost to smack it out of the park. Especially for those who enjoy pod casts, this is a must for you.

Forgettable people in fly over states… this is Sadie’s life in a nutshell. No one cares about a dead or missing girl from the trailer park in Nowheresville, USA. No one cares until a reporter and pod caster brings this story to life for the world.

A dead body and then a missing girl a year later. Could this be a serial? It may be thought to be, until the trail shows Sadie out for vengeance for the death of her sister. Will she ever find the answers that she is looking for? More importantly, will she survive on the road she is taking to find the answers?

This was excellent. I haven’t really listened to pod casts but I think I may start. This book touches on addiction, mental illness, love and loss, regret, molestation, poverty, and predators. I have read a few novels in the past by Courtney Summers and have enjoyed them, but this, this one just had IT. I felt like I was with Sadie every step of the way and felt every figurative and literal punch in the gut she did. This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long, long time. #bookhangover