Top 5 Multicultural Sleuths

Video Review

51dddysniml._sx303_bo1,204,203,200_A.L Herbert writes the Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery

https://amzn.to/2VGtgOv

African American

Welcome to Mahalia’s Sweet Tea–the finest soul food restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In between preparing her famous cornbread and mashed potatoes so creamy “they’ll make you want to slap your Momma,” owner Halia Watkins is about to dip her spoon into a grisly mystery. . .

Halia Watkins has her hands full cooking, hosting, and keeping her boisterous young cousin, Wavonne, from getting too sassy with customers. Having fast-talking entrepreneur Marcus Rand turn up in her kitchen is annoying enough when he’s alive–but finding his dead body face-down on her ceramic tile after hours is much worse.

Marcus had his enemies, and the cast iron frying pan beside his corpse suggests that at last, his shady business deals went too far. Halia is desperate to keep Sweet Tea’s name out of the sordid spotlight but her efforts only make Wavonne a prime suspect. Now Halia will have to serve up the real villain–before the killer returns for a second helping. 

Features delicious recipes from Mahalia’s Sweet Tea, including Sour Cream CornBread and Sweet Corn Casserole!

 

51usyrrbhbl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_V.M. Burns (Mystery Bookshop #1)

African American

https://amzn.to/2FlWvjN

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . .

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

 

51-nqhfhpqlAnne R. Tan (Raina Sun Mystery #1)

Raining Men and Corpses

Book 1 of the Raina Sun Murder Mystery series.

https://amzn.to/2AEp0pM

Asian

A contemporary humorous mystery set in the fictitious small college town of Gold Springs, California. Raina Sun is a typical graduate student trying to keep her head above water as the bills roll in from a lawsuit disputing an inheritance from her dysfunctional family. Then her dashing college adviser cons her out of several months of rent.

Her quest to get her money back sets into motion a streak of bad luck. First, she finds the dead body of an ex-lover and becomes the prime suspect to his murder. The only man she ever loved reappears as the lead detective to the case and wants to reignite their passion (or at least he’s sending out smoke signals).

Her life careens out of control as her best friend does whatever it takes to get the inside scoop for the town’s newspaper. And her grandma moves into Raina’s postage-stamp-sized apartment, dragging a red suitcase and trouble. The family secret Raina has been running away from is now staring at her across the dining room table every morning.

Raina must figure out how to extract herself before things get dicey. There is no place for an amateur when it comes to murder.

The eclectic cast of characters in this amateur sleuth mystery will have you scratching your head and laughing until the end.

519emabsb3l._sx303_bo1,204,203,200_Death by Dumpling

https://amzn.to/2SLAMWq

(A Noodle Shop Mystery #1)

by Vivien Chien (Goodreads Author)

Asian

Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead―after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy―to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out―it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up.

 

51nzr8+31klThe Christmas Carol Murders (Dickens Junction)Paperback – September 25, 2012

https://amzn.to/2M1vLq5

LGBTQ+

by Christopher Lord

It’s the holiday season in Dickens Junction, Oregon. Local bookstore owner Simon Alastair is getting ready for the community’s annual celebration of Charles Dickens’s well-known story. But when a mysterious stranger shows up in the Junction and is murdered hours later, Simon begins to suspect that his little community has been targeted for destruction by a shadowy organization. With the support of Zach, a dashing young magazine reporter, Simon decides to investigate the crime himself. When a second murder follows, Simon must confront the worst questions of all: which of his friends and business associates is a ruthless murderer? And why is everyone suddenly reading Ayn Rand?

The Christmas Carol Murders is the first of an exciting new cozy mystery series combining the atmosphere of a classic Agatha Christie puzzle, the deft touch of Charlotte MacLeod, a hint of Oscar Wilde’s humor, and the literary spirit of the great Charles Dickens.

51wrqirtyql._sx311_bo1,204,203,200_The Eagle Catcher (A Wind River Reservation Myste)Paperback – December 31, 2012

https://amzn.to/2CdXEGK

NATIVE

by Margaret Coel  (Author)

On the windswept plains of Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation, Arapahos have gathered for the Ethete powwow. It is a sacred time to reaffirm the balance and harmony in life. But these feelings of unity quickly give way to fear when tribal chairman Harvey Castle is found murdered—and every bit of evidence points to his nephew, Anthony.

There are two people who don’t believe the young man capable of murder: Father John O’Malley, history scholar and pastor of St. Francis Mission, and Vicky Holden, an attorney who has recently returned to the reservation to help her people. Their investigation draws Father John and Vicky across the high plains of the Wind River Reservation—from the intimate Arapaho community centers to a byzantine world of incalculable corruption and finally into the past. It is here, in the “Old Time,” where Father John catches a rare glimpse into the Arapaho life few outsiders ever see—and a crime fewer could imagine.

2019 Reading Goals

Notifications:

Changing Uploading Schedule: M & W

  • I put polls on Youtube, Instagram, and on Twitter. Most of the votes were for a new schedule of Monday and Wednesday!

Subscriber Goal: 3,000

  • This is a goal that I have for my youtube channel. I would love to grow my Cozy Companion group! If you know anyone that loves Cozy Mysteries, great chats, and even a little bit of cooking then share my channel with them!

Follower Goal: 1,500

  • Another one of my passions that I hope to get more practice and have more fun with is my Bookstagram account.  I would love to GROW my follower count and find more amazing accounts to follow. If you aren’t following me on Instagram you should! You’ll see stories of my reading, new book purchases before my haul videos, and I get to chat more with everyone on there!

Collaborations & Buddy Reading

  • Watch more booktubers
  • Reach out more in the community
  • Buddy Read more with others!

Reading Goals:

  • 52 Cozy Mysteries- I surpassed my 52 Cozy Goal for this year and I want to do it again!
  • 100 Books for Goodreads- I’ve almost made it to 100 books for 2018, let’s hope that I can do it again this coming year.
  • Beat the Backlist 2019- Reading Books that were published before 2019, basically going through my backlog of books on my TBR shelves.

October 2018| Wrap Up!

October Wrap Up!

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A Potion to Die For
Magic Potion Mystery #1
By: Heathe Blake
*****
This was the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book for the month of October. I really did love it. I loved getting to know Carly Bell Hartwell and her Little Shop of Potions.  She is known as the potion maker who creates potions to help all sorts of ailments. Though the one ailment she can’t fix is death. When she walks into her shop one morning she finds a local lawyer killed on her floor. Of course he has a bottle in his hand that is the specially made potion bottles Carly has made for her shop. She has to figure out who did this. She has the ability to be empathic and feel what others are feeling. She uses this, the towns knack for gossip, and good old intuition to figure out how this man ended up in her cafe. I loved this book, though there were other characters like her cousin that I wish had more of a role, maybe even their own book series!

61L5gcYezDLCupcakes & Casualties
Peridale Cafe Mystery #11
By: Agatha Frost
****
This is one of my most favorite Kindle Unlimited Cozies. If you haven’t signed up for Kindle Unlimited but you love ebooks and finding indie authors you should look into it. I only pay $9.99 a month to read TONS of books! You can cancel anytime and sign up again when you want!

This is the 11th book in the Peridale Cafe Mystery series. The people of Peridale do not like change. But when a famous washed out actress decides to build a very modern house where Barker’s cottage used to be a lot of people are upset about it changing the feel of the town.

Of course this is a Cozy Mystery and it wouldn’t be right if Julia didn’t have a murder to solve before the local police. A body is found at the construction site and Julia may have been one of the last people to see him alive. Not only does she have that on her plate but she also finds one of the construction crew eerily familiar!

517G6OLNUzLBlueberry Muffins & Misfortune
Peridale Cafe Mystery #12
By: Agatha Frost
****
I really was on a Peridale Cafe Mystery kick this month! It really helps that these are short and sweet cozies. I don’t think many of them are over 35,000-50,000 words. Which is really nice for me. Sometimes I want to be able to sit down in one sitting and get through a whole entire story!

This is the 12th book in the Peridale series and we start getting more into Dot,Julia’s Grandmother’s past. Barker has a huge premier for his new book coming out at the Peridale local library. Everyone from near and far have come to see the good-looking retired cop/new author.
Julia is running late because he oven broke and she was supposed to make Blueberry Muffins, Jess however is there for the rescue with store-bought muffins. Julia doesn’t feel quite right about this but there isn’t much they can do.

They arrive at the book event only to walk in and a body fall from the ceiling. It ends up being Dot’s best friend who ran away to Mexico 10 years before. Julia has to figure out who has done this for her Grandmother, she also has to keep Barker’s publicist off of him, and try to make Jess realize that it’s not okay to pass store-bought off as homemade, but that’s hard when everyone loved them so much!

 

51kfCTlUBMLIce Cream & Incidents
Peridale Cafe Mystery Series #13
By: Agatha Frost
*****
This is probably one of my absolute favorite of the Peridale Cafe Mystery series. Julia, Barker, Jess, and her brother all have tickets to spend the weekend in Blackpool! They are excited to spend time together as a family when they realize that the inn they are staying in for the weekend is actually a drag in! This was probably one of my most favorite parts of the story.

There is a drag show one night and Barker is dragged up to the stage and dressed up. I couldn’t stop laughing. However, the laughter turned into mystery when a very flamboyant drag star is up on stage doing her famous number and a huge lighting element falls from the ceiling almost killing her. Julia tries to ignore the urge of finding out the ‘whodunit’, but is pulled by her budding friendship with the owner. Who tried to kill the dramatic drag queen? Why? And is it worth trying to figure out?

 

51XxYd1OIZLChampagne & Catastrophes
Peridale Cafe Mystery #14
By: Agatha Frost
*****

This is the newest of the Peridale Cafe Mystery series and I loved it! Julia and Barker have finally set a date for their wedding. They are a little overwhelmed by the whole process of planning it out, paying for everything, and trying to figure out what is right for them.

Thankfully a new neighbor moves in across the way. She happens to be not only a wedding planner but an old high school of Julia’s! This is super exciting for Julia because now all of her friends have moved back to Peridale. She called Roxy and Johnny up excited about Leah’s return but is faced with anger and bitterness from both people.

Not understanding what is going on but too polite to ask Julia decides that they will come around to what ever happened 20 years ago and still hires Leah to do her wedding. They walk into a local dress shop and Leah is attacked by the owner.

Not knowing what to do Julia decides that night to confront Leah about what happened but her a Barker find the door open , the living room a mess, and Leah missing. Julia makes it her mission to figure out what happened to Julia. Her mission digs up some open wounds, a shady past of a trusted citizen, and maybe brings some friendships back together.

This was my favorite book of the whole series so far. I really loved getting to know all of the characters more. I also loved that Julia didn’t know everything and that we had to learn along with her.

 

81VcRVeUX0LBook Love
By: Debbie Tung 
Releases: January 1, 2019
ARC from NetGalley
*****

If you are a book lover this is the comic for you. I don’t know how many times I laughed, groaned, and nodded my head as Debbie Tung went through all of the different scenarios, events, and thoughts us book lovers have. The drawings are quirky and fun and I love the fact that they are all in black, white, and grey. Some of the aspects really hit home as what it means to have books change your life and the way you view the world after joining the world of readers! I highly recommend this book!

61g+JwqLpfLLoading Penguin Hugs: Heart Warming Comics from Chibird
By: Jacqueline Chen 
Releases: November 13, 2018
*****

This was the cutest book in the whole entire world of cute. This would be a perfect book to put in the restroom, the doctors office, or in your classroom. Sometimes we need to know that we aren’t perfect, but that its okay. I couldn’t have smiled more or been more happy after reading this book. Oh my goodness. Cuteness alert!

 

Cozy Releases: August 2018

Tea Talk Episode

Hello everyone! I hope you are having an amazing Summer! My Summer Vacation has been wonderful! Full of reading, filming, and reviewing! I have absolutely loved it! All of these wonderful books will release on August 28th and they are all the 2nd in their series!

AugustCozy Mystery Releases.png

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Goodbye Cruller World
A Deputy Donut Mystery
Author: Ginger Bolton
https://amzn.to/2LOMlIX

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner—the former police chief of Fallingbrook—she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

51yn6vJ8n8L._SY346_Dim Sum of All Fears
A Noodle Shop Mystery
Author: 
Vivien Chien
https://amzn.to/2JZezPg

Lana Lee is a dutiful daughter, waiting tables at her family’s Chinese restaurant even though she’d rather be doing just about anything else. Then, just when she has a chance for a “real” job, her parents take off to Taiwan, leaving Lana in charge. Surprising everyone—including herself—she turns out to be quite capable of running the place. Unfortunately, the newlyweds who just opened the souvenir store next door to Ho-Lee have turned up dead. . .and soon Lana finds herself in the midst of an Asia Village mystery.

Between running the Ho-Lee and trying to figure out whether the rock-solid Detective Adam Trudeau is actually her boyfriend, Lana knows she shouldn’t pry into the case. But the more she learns about the dead husband, his ex-wives, and all the murky details of the couple’s past, the more Lana thinks that this so-called murder/suicide is a straight-up order of murder. . .

51A0V2D5bOL._SX300_BO1,204,203,200_Died in the Wool
A Knit & Nibble Mystery
Author: 
Peggy Ehrhart
https://amzn.to/2LCApNl

Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest . . . Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern.

51M551g8XzL._SY346_Stabbed in the Baklava
A Kebab Kitchen Mystery
Author: 
Tina Kashian
https://amzn.to/2LLIPPj

Lucy Berberian has taken over her family’s Mediterranean restaurant on the Jersey Shore after an unsatisfying stint at a Philadelphia law firm. It’s great to be back in her old beach town, even if she’s turning into a seasoned sleuth . . .

Catering a high-society wedding should bring in some big income for Kebab Kitchen—and raise its profile too. But it’s not exactly good publicity when the best man winds up skewered like a shish kebab. Worse yet, Lucy’s ex, Azad—who’s the restaurant’s new head chef—is the prime suspect. But she doesn’t give a fig what the cops think. He may have killer looks, but he’s no murderer. She just needs to prove his innocence, before he has to go on the lamb . . .

51YsGGvDSeLSupport Your Local Pug
A Pet Palace Mystery
Author: 
Lane Stone
https://amzn.to/2uPQtls

When a break-in at the Pet Palace robs Sue Patrick of more than her beauty sleep, she intends to tidy her ransacked doggy daycare and spa before making any rash decisions. But after Sue abandons her better instincts to rescue a petrified pug stranded at a lighthouse in the Delaware Bay later that morning, she’s lured off mainland Lewes long enough for a freshly murdered body to get dumped in her driveway . . .

 Aided by Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, her practically royal business partner from across the pond, Sue sniffs out clues about the yappy pug with a complicated history and the old car spotted at both crime scenes in hopes of IDing the culprit. As the investigation leads them back to the bay, the ladies soon find themselves immersed in a case trickier than a canine agility course—and chasing after a well-groomed killer who will do anything to maintain a perfect reputation . . .

 

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ARC Review| A Souffle of Suspicion

download-3A Souffle of Suspicion was the second installment in the French Bistro series! I loved every single second of it! I loved getting to know the characters in this book!

It is Crush Week in Napa Valley as well as a Sweet Treats Festival at Mimi’s Restaurant and Inn! This is wonderful word of mouth for her new businesses. It is even more exciting that she was able to help her head chef Camille’s sister Rene in helping with a place for her festival to be.

Rene seems to be ahead of things when it comes to the festival, even though she has left her husband and is staying with her sister. Though she seems to rub a few people the wrong way even her sister. This wouldn’t seem unusual in the slightest if Rene wasn’t found murdered in Camille’s kitchen. It looks as if she was in the middle of making a chocolate souflee, Camille’s boyfriend’s favorite dessert. However there was trouble in paradise as well when Rene’s husband shows up and seems pretty sketchy.

This was a fantastic read and it kept me on my toes the entire time! I am normally quite adept at figuring out the ‘whodunit’ when it comes to Cozies, but this one had me on the edge of my seat the whole entire time! I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves recipes, fun characters, and a great mystery!

****Thanks to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew and Crooked Lane Books for a complimentary ARC of this book. My review is voluntary.

ARC Review: Unwritten

cover138733-mediumBook: Unwritten
Author: Tara Gilboy
Release Date: October 16th, 2018
Pre-Order: https://amzn.to/2Noqg4b
Star Rating: 3/5
This is a Middle Grade book perfect for grades 4th-6th grade. I love that the main character Gracie is a female and someone who is not perfect. She will be a great influence on little girls around the world.

I really loved the idea of this story within a story. Gracie wants to meet Gertrude Winters, an author that has written a world that has come to life. Gracie and her mom were part of the world but had escaped to live their lives the way they see fit, not how Gertrude wrote them.

However, 12-year-old Gracie wants to know what Winters wrote about her and her family. Gracie has flashes of fire and sees a beautiful woman standing over her. Despite her mother’s warnings Gracie went the author’s book signing at their local bookstore and sets in motion a chain of events that bring her, her mother, and other characters from the storybook into the story world.

“Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her. As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realizes she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy-tale ending.”

I loved the idea of this story but I do wish that the characters had more growth. They seemed a little one-dimensional. I feel like this could be a great series, but I am not sure if there will be a second book.

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review: The Pint of No Return

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Pre-Order It HERE

The Pint of No Return is the next installment of the Sloan Krause Beervaria Mystery Series. I loved every single aspect of this book. From learning about the brewing process, to understanding more about Sloan’s childhood, and falling in love with the different characters within the story.

Ellie has an uncanny ability to teach her readers about what her protagonist is passionate about This brings a hint of realism and probability to what she writes. Having a Cozy Mystery or a Mystery in general be believable is the first step in getting the readers to fall into the world and be open to the murder and the ‘whodunit’ aspects of the storyline.

In this book Sloan is still trying to figure out her feelings for her soon-to=be ex-husband, her new boss, and what she wants to do with her life after the divorce happens. This however has to be put on hold as Oktoberfest has now come around and this is the biggest and more important time for the town.

An added pressure is the fact that there is a film crew who are there to make a documentary about the brewing process, how the brewers interact with each other, and everything in the World of Beer. Of course with most documentaries you must have a a host. And a host they have. An old child star here to revamp their stardom. He is a pompous jerk who everyone seems to hate.

After being as to leave Nitro from drinking too much Sloan finds him dead in an alley way. Hoping that it wasn’t alcohol poisoning from their bar Sloan calls the police to get to the crime scene. Sloan is asked my the chief of police to keep an eye our since they are shorthanded due to the Oktoberfest going on.

Sloan wants to make sure that Nitro doesn’t get a bad name and she makes it her duty to figure out what is going on with the film crew, who doesn’t seem too distraught about their star’s death, her estranged husband, and keeping everything together when she learns about her past.

This is a wonderful addition to the Sloan Krause Beervaria series and I highly recommend it if you love Cozy Mysteries!

This was an ebook sent to me by the publisher on NetGalley for an honest review. Everything in this review is my honest opinion.