March Mystery Madness

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March Mystery Madness Video

I started my Booktube Channel and Blog for two reasons. One: To talk about my love of reading with others who have the same love. Two: To keep a journey of my reading life alive for me to come back and see how I have changed and grown as a person and reader. I have been slowly focusing on my favorite genre as the books that I talk most about and take pictures the most of, Cozy Mysteries. I know, you’re shocked! You had no idea, right?! Ha!

In January I was asked by, LizziefayeLovesBooks to be a host for March Mystery Madness! How cool is that?! I have started to make a name for myself in the Booktube world as a Cozy Mystery reader! Yay! I have even pulled some people to the Cozy Side with Coffee/Tea, a comfy blanket, and promise of adventure. All while never leaving your couch.

March Mystery Madness was started by Lizzie and Tori. They have challenges and Mystery related videos and blogs coming out all through March! How amazing is that?! It is right up my alley!

This year the theme of the challenges are going to focus on SIX different words. The way you interpret the words are all up to you, but I will let you know how I am going to interpret them for my Month of Mystery!

March Mystery Madness

The first word is NEW,  I am taking this as buying the 1st book in a new series that I have never read before. I am normally very good at picking up new books and authors, but there have been a few that have been suggested to me so many times that I haven’t picked up. I am hoping to pick up something new in March.

March Mystery Madness (1)

This is going to be a little harder for me to do. Normally I would just borrow a book from one of my friends, but none of them read mysteries like I do. So I am going to borrow a cozy mystery from Kindle Unlimited. You can only borrow up to 10 books at a time. I am hoping to borrow the newest London Lovett book that is coming out in March!

March Mystery Madness (2)

There was talk about picking up a book that was first written in another language, but I think I am going to take this as read a book where the series is based in another country then your own!

March Mystery Madness (3)

This one is probably going to be the hardest of all of the challenges. I read mostly Cozy Mystery books. I love the way they make me feel. Cozy. Warm. And like an ametur sleuth. I am going to try and go outside of my comfort zone and read something that is still a mystery but not a Cozy.

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I have bought quite a few new books recently. I can’t help it, those damned PUNNY titles and cute covers just make my heart melt. This is going to be an easy challenge for me. I am going to pick one of the books on my own Cozy Mystery shelves!

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And last, but certainly not least, we have the last challenge, HISTORICAL.  This is another challenge that shouldn’t be too hard for me! I am planning on reading an Agatha Christie book for this challenge! If that isn’t historical I don’t know what is! Plus, she is the Queen of Cozies. The person who created them!

March Mystery Madness Hosts (1)

Kady is a blogger who will be a Twitter host

 

Top 5 Cozies: Bookish Themed

Cozies for Beginners
Hey hey you guys! I hope that you are having a stupendous week! I know I am! Here in Oklahoma the weather is driving me insane! One minute it is below freezing and the next it’s almost 70°F. My allergies would SURE LOVE IT if the weather decided to make up it’s mind! How’s the weather where you are at? Let me live vicariously through you!
I don’t know about you but I am LOVING making these Top 5 Cozies blogs/videos! They are so much fun to try and find books and series that match up with the theme I have chosen. That is one of the things I love about the Cozy Mystery genre. There are so many different themes, places, animals, and elements that go into the different types of mysteries that you find within this sub-genre of Cozy Mysteries.
One of my MOST favorite themes/subjects to read about in a Cozy are books themselves. This could be a person that is a librarian as the protagonist, a book club, or even an author. I love it when the characters have the same love and passions as myself. Today I am bringing you my Top 5 Cozies that are Bookish Themed.

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One of my most favorite Cozy Mystery series would have to be A Magical Cats Mystery series By: Sofie Kelly. This series, starting with Curiosity Thrilled The Cat, gives me everything that I need when it comes to a library fix and  kitty cat needs.

Kathleen Paulson is leaving her live in Boston to help breath life back into Mayville Heights’ Library which has seen better days. You follow her on her journey of forgetting her past and living for th present. She is trying to become the happy person that she knows she can be.

She didn’t know that with this new start to her life that she would be adopting some fiesty and very humanlike cats, Hercules and Owen. She might have bitten off more than she can chew when she comes to the realization that her cats have powers that are beyond those of jumping from great heights and landing one all fours, or having nine lives.

That isn’t all murder seems to become part of her life, where in the first book she finds herself as a prime suspect. With the help of her fine felines she tries to prove her innocence.

This is such a fun series. I love watching Kathleen grow into her new home, making friends, falling in love, and seeing her make decisions that need to be made in the face of danger. I love how when she is working in the library she really does try and get everyone the book that is best for them. She is changing the way that the library is viewed and people are flocking to it. Makes my dream of owning a bookstore or being a librarian even more powerful.

She also writers under Sofie Ryan, Pam Whitty, and Karen Davidson.

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The next book series is A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by: Ali Brandon, the first book is Double Books for Death. This series is based inside a bookshop. And AMAZING bookshop, by the way. Darla Pettistone is tired of her life in Texas, all of the southern expectations of a girl have pushed her over the edge. When her Great-Aunt Dee has past away and left her New York Bookshop to Darla she is ready to high tail it out of Texas.

As the new owner of Pettistone’s Fine Books Darla is bound and determined to show that she can run the shop and make it successful. Even when it comes to dealing with prima-donna authors who think that they are better then the average peon. However, since the author is the hottest, most popular Young Adult writer at the time Darla is willing to look past her shirtiness and have her at the shop for a signing.

It seems that karma has reared its ugly head at the affluent author when she is killed in what appears to be an accident. However, the police seem to be looking into the wrong clues. Hamlet, Darla’s Aunt Dee’s shop cat, who is more well read then most adults, finds a clue to point at the fact that the author wasn’t killed in an accident, that it was premeditated.

This is such a fun series to read. I have read the first 3 and have the 4th one in my TBR pile for this year. I will have to say that Hamlet is actually my favorite character. It is highly unlikly to like a side character more than the main character, but he is just so sassy and puts Darla in her place that it cracks me up everytime.

She writes under other names, such as, Dian A.S. Stuckart, Alexa Smart, and Anna Gerard.

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Another sub-genre of the Bookish themes that I love readng are Book Club Mysteries. One of my favorites would have to be An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery Series by: Erike Chase. The first book in the series is A Killer Read. I love how the author mixes a mystery bookclub into a Cozy Mystery series. It is like a world within a world. I know that if I ever found myself in the middle of a murder investigation that I might act like some of the members of the book club. There are so many different types of people in the club, which I love. Teenagers, teachers, high socialites, middle class, upper class, lower class. They all join each other every meeting and talk about the book that someone from the club had chosen. I LOVE IT!

Another reason why I love this series so much is that I can relate to the main character’s occupation, Lizzie Turner is a reading specialist for her school district. As a teacher, I can relate to a lot of the things that she talks about during her work day. She also tries to tutor the students who are at risk for dropping out and not graduating. She is a girl of my own heart.

Other than the fact that I love this character as a real person. I love how the book club gets pulled into a real murder mystery during their first meeting as the Ashston Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society at Molly Mathew’s Southern Mansion. A stranger shows up asking to use the telephone. Molly, and her Southern Manners, obliges. After hearing arguing on the phone, the book club pretends to be interested in other things as the stranger leaves.

Later the strangers body is found with a very interesting clue, an antique pistol that belonged to Molly’s late husband. This puts her as the prime suspect. Molly, who is like a mother to Lizzie, is questioned. Lizzie cannot allow this to happen. She can’t lose another parent…the plot thickens as Lizzie finds a manuscript in her mailbox sheding light on something in the Mathew’s past.

This is such a fun series. I have read the whole series and have loved it. Apparently Erika Chase also writes under the name Linda Wiken and writes the Dinner Club Mystery Series. 

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Another series, that I can’t put down is A Booktown Mystery series,  by: Lorna Barrett. There are 12 books in this series starting with, Murder is Binding.  Stoneham, New Hampshire is the home of the Booktown. Stoneham was hit pretty hard with resession and needed a new make over. The owner of the town’s main street decided to make Stoneham a tourist destination by having bookshops of all different genres up and down both sides of the street.

This is perfect for Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t Got a Clue, it is a wonder place to find a great mystery to read! Tricia loves it in Stoneham. Away from the busy city and the past that she is trying to forget. She is met with welcoming faces, fun competition, and the challenge of running her very first business.

However, a fellow bookshop owner, Doris Gleason is found murdered in her own Cook Book Shop with a knife sticking out of her body. Being the newcomer, Tricia is looked at as the killer. “To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book.”

This is such a fun series, I love all of the chararacters including Tricia’s sister Angelica. Watching their relationship grow throughout the books has been so much fun!

Lorna Barrett also writes under the pen names, L.L. Bartlett and Lorraine Bartlett.

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And last, but certainly not least is the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book of the month for February, Lending A Paw,  by Laurie Cass. This is part of A Bookmoblie Cat Mystery Series. 

I will admit, that I haven’t finished this book yet! But I am super excited about it. Has anyone else ever had the dream of opening their own book store *RAISES HAND HIGH*? My best friend, Bre, and I were talking about opening up a Bookmobile in our home town. Maybe a lending library or something along those lines. That way we can dip our feet in the book owner’s water and see what we think. I can’t wait to dive more into this book and see what that might be like!

Minnie Hamilton is our protagonist and librarian in the tourist town of Chilson, Michigan. She is starting out her maiden voyage of the bookmoblie. However, she will not be going at it alone. Try and she might Minnie can’t seem to shake her rescue cat, Eddie, from joining her. It looks like she has a copilot, whether she wants one or not!

She believes that the day is going out pretty well! People are enjoying the ease and convience of the bookmobile. Thinking that their day is over she heads to her last stop. Eddie darts out of the van and straight into a dead body. Minie believes that she is going to leave the crime stopping to the local police, but Eddie seems to turn up evidence that points to murder. “Together, they’ll work to find the killer–because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.”

I am super excited to finish reading this book. I just know I’ll love it, I already have the first four in the series!

January Wrap Up!

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January Wrap Up! Video

Trouble Is Brewing (A Bakeshop Mystery #6.5) 

Rating: 5/5
Series: A Bakeshop Mystery
Author: Ellie Alexander
Number: 6.5
http://amzn.to/2DHB1u7
This was such a fun and quick read. Two of my, now, favorite amateur sleuths meet as kindred women. I love that they had a mystery to solve as well! It wasn’t enough for me though. I craved more. Which is what I think was Ellie’s thought process. Leaving us wanting.

If you haven’t read Death on Tap, Sloan’s first Mystery, I highly suggest it. I love getting anything and everything that Ellie puts out into the world.

A fun short read. You do need to know that the story is finished at 35% and the rest of the book is a sneak peek into Death on Tap.

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Pumpkin Smoothie Murder (Harmony Cafe Cozy Mystery Book 4)
Rating: 2/5
Series: A Harmony Cafe Cozy Mystery
Author: Anna Lakewood
Number: 4
http://amzn.to/2BzJkGp
This was the fourth installment of the Harmony Cafe Series. Trouble has hit Autumn’s town again. This time, it’s aliens. Or is it?

I feel like this book was filled with so much potential as most of this series is, which is why keep reading it.

However, I feel like Autumn and her ex-husband’s rivalry is childish and isn’t well written. I also feel like the author is telling me things and not showing them to me.

The characters need to have more depth. I need to feel for the characters. Which isn’t the case in this series.

I will continue to read the next book to see if as the series advances maybe so does the author’s writing. I really do like the idea of this series which is why I picked it up. But I was not shocked by the ‘whodunit’ aspect. The plot was rushed and sort of everywhere.

I know that this is supposed to be a short story type of Cozy, but I still need a little bit more detail and twist.

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Charms and Chocolate Chips (Magical Bakery Mystery #3) 
Rating:
4/5
Series: A Magical Bakeshop Mystery
Author:Bailey Cates
Number:3
http://amzn.to/2DS3Bw6
If you follow my blogs, the reviews, or my YouTube channel, I have a slight addiction to Cozy Mysteries. Okay, maybe not SLIGHT…a HUGE addiction to Cozies. But more specifically, I have a weakness for cooking and magical mysteries. They just tickle my fancy. My waist and my imagination expand while reading these types of books.

Bailey Cates’ Magical Bakery Mystery does this to me every time. I crave what ever it is that Katie and Lucy are making in the Honeybee Bakery and I want to know more about the magic that Katie is learning about herself. Especially since I’ve dabbled in it as well.

This is the third installment in the series and it was just as amazing as the first two. You dive more into Declan and Katie’s relationship. What it means to Katie to be a white witch, a pure witch. Is she a catalyst? So many questions.

While trying to put extra karma out in the world for herself Katie volunteers at with a conservation group trying to save extinct or endangered animals. She loves it even though she is working basically two jobs. Unfortunately, whether it was just a happenstance or if she really does cause these things to happen, someone from the conservation is killed.

Katie, surround by her coven, feels responsible to figure out the ‘whodunit’, especially when it is not just her that is being threatened, but members of her Spell Book Club as well.

This was a delightful read. I love getting to know all of characters a little more as well as the AMAZING recipes at the back of the book. I can’t wait to try out the peanut butter cookies.

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Some Enchanted Éclair (Magical Bakery Mystery #4) 
Rating: 4/5
Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery
Author:Bailey Cates
Number: 4
http://amzn.to/2DIO4LX

As you can see I was on a Magical Bakery kick this month. Does anyone else get this way?! You fall in love with a town, a character, the way the writer portrays the mystery!?! That is how I feel with all of the books I read. I mostly read series because of this. I don’t like not being able to know more about a world.

In this addition to Katie Lightfoot’s life she is being brought outside of her comfort zone. Both in her business life and in her personal life as well.

A movie crew has shown up in town with some pretty high-profile actors and actresses. Some how the Spellbook Club gets brought into the hectic life of show business. One of them is supplying the wine, the other the flowers, Katie and her Aunt are asked last-minute to cater the event. This is a test on how much the Honey Bee Bakery can handle when it comes to clients and the future of the bakery.

However, this doesn’t seem to be the only challenge that is put on Katie. Some one on the set is murdered and a psychic on the set states that someone told her that Katie would be the one to solve it. So now, not only is she extending herself in her job with catering, but she is also extending herself further then she ever has with her magical abilities.

Will Katie be able to keep the bakery a float? Will she be able to find the murderer before the final cut? GO CHECK IT OUT!

34909427Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery #1)
Rating: 4/5
Series: An All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery
Author:Lena Gregory
Number: 1
http://amzn.to/2EifVDr

This was such a fun book to read! I was actually given the ARC from Net Galley for an honest review. I think I have found one of my new favorite series.

This follows Gia Morelli, she knows it’s time to get out of New York, when her marriage falls apart.  Her husband was a scam artist, a liar, and a cheat. He swindled millions of dollars from the wealthy in New York and slept with anything that walked and had money. 

People were constantly harassing her in New York, from phone calls to stalking. Gia can’t take much more of it. The only person that is sticking by her side is her college roommate and best friend Savannah. Savannah cons her friend into moving and starting her life long dream, opening an All-Day Breakfast Cafe in a small town in Central Florida. 

Gia is in a cultural shock. Everyone is kind and open to her in Florida. She is living in a house backed against a beautiful forest. And she braves snakes, bears, and SPIDERS to live there. She couldn’t be happier to maybe, have a place to call home for the first time in her life.

However, life from New York seems to follow her when the morning she opens her restaurant she takes the trash out to find her ex-husband in the dumpster. Looking like a murder she is considered the prime suspect.

While she was looking for an over easy kind of life, it looks like it might be scrambled. Can she save her new life or is her past catching up to her?

Gia and Savannah are #bestfriendgoals. I loved this book so much. The characters, the story, and trying to guess the #whodunnit was so much fun. This was a great start to the series.

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Dead in the Water (Scarlet Cove #1)
Rating: 
4/5
Series: A Scarlet Cove Seaside Cozy Mystery
Author: Agatha Frost & Evelyn Amber
Number: 1
http://amzn.to/2roQHR4

As you may know from my previous blogs, I love Agatha Frost and her Peridale Cafe series. I have read ALL 10 that are out so far.

When I stumbled onto another series by her and one of her best friends I couldn’t help but squeal with excitement. Another Cozy Mystery series!?!?! Yas please!!!

This is the first book in the Scarlet Cove Seaside Cozy Mystery series. It follows Liz Jones, formally retired as a detective from Manchester, I believe, at the age of 42.

She is wanting to start fresh, opening up her own Craft Store, and to paint to her hearts desire. She finds all of the citizens in Scarlet Cove to be quirky but enjoyable. She makes fast friends with a few. Bad impressions with some. And realizes that it might be harder to kick the habit of sleuthing then she thought.

While painting on the sandy beach she hears the desperate calls from a dog on a boat. Realizing that there seems to be no one steering the boat, her and the owner sail out and find a dead body.  Will Liz be able to leave her past behind and be open to her creative side? Or is she going to slip back into her past career choice and find the killer.

36349274Castle on the Hill (Scarlet Cove #2) 
Rating: 4/5
Series: A Scarlet Cove Seaside Cozy Mystery
Author: Agatha Frost & Evelyn Amber
Number: 2
http://amzn.to/2Fr87yT

One of the reasons why Scarlet Cove is so popular for tourists is the legend that follows the Castle on the Hill. The rumor that the Lord of the castle cut the heads off of everyone under the roof, making the castle bleed blood.

The second book in the series starts on Halloween and the festival that the town throws in honor for this sordid history. Of course, there are those that are excitedly waiting to see the ghosts of the headless.

Liz believes that all of this is just humbug. A way to bring tourists to the town. Something that is just for fun. Except when she takes a walk around the castle that same night and her foot shoots an object across the floor. A squishy head shaped object. Is the castle really haunted? Are the ghosts fed up with being seen as a joke? Or is something else going on? It looks like Liz is going to have to put her detective hat on again!

This was a fun and quick read! I loved getting to know Liz more. I am eagerly awaiting the third book in the series coming out later this month.

34050839Dark, Witch & Creamy (Bewitched by Chocolate #1)
Rating: 
3/5
Series: Bewitch By Chocolate
Author: H.Y. Hanna
Number: 1
http://amzn.to/2EZPuSl

This is the first in the Bewitched By Chocolate series by HY Hanna. I have actually read all of her Oxford Tearoom series and have LOVED it. I was super surprised and excited to see that she had another series on Kindle Unlimited and wanted to give it a try! I am so glad I did.

This series is about Caitlyn, her mother, a famous singer, recently passed away in a car accident. She leaves Caitlyn a letter divulging that she is not her actually daughter. She was found on the side of a road in England.

She flies halfway across the world to follow her past and try to find any trace of her family that let her go. She ends up in the quaint English village of Tillyhenge where she finds out a man has been murdered by what people are assuming is magic.

Tillyhenge seems to be encompassed with a certain feeling. Cell phones don’t work. The internet is sketchy at best. Caitlyn finds herself staying with the local “old witch”, rescuing a kitten, and meeting Lord James Fitzroy. “Not to mention discovering that she herself might have magical blood in her veins!”

When she’s dragged into the murder investigation and realises that dark magic is involved, Caitlyn is forced to choose. Can she embrace her witchy powers in time to solve the mystery and save those she loves?

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Marigolds and Murder (Port Danby #1) 
Rating:4/5
Series: Port Danby Cozy Mystery
Author: London Lovett
Number: 1
http://amzn.to/2FY5i9x

I actually just finished the book today (Sunday, Jan. 28th), and I am sooo glad that I pick this series up! Pink cracks me up! The beautiful colors of this series’ covers are what reeled me into world of Port Danby.

This series follows Lacey ‘Pink’ Pinkerton. She has decided that after a bad break up she was going to quit her six figure job as the ‘million dollar nose’, move across the country, and open up her own flower business. She moved to Port Danby with her pet crow Kingston and her cat Nevermore. She is ready to start fresh.

She has a keen sense of smell. So much so that she can pick apart the different ingredients in a slice of pumpkin bread. She never thought that her overly powerful nose would get her stuck in the middle of a murder investigation. Will her heightened sense of smell be able to track down the killer for detective James? Or is she going to be smelling roses as another victim? You’ll have to read it and find out.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STOPPING BY MY BLOG! IT MEANS THAT ABSOLUTE WORLD TO ME. PLEASE CONSIDER FOLLOWING MY REVIEWS! I HAVE NEW CONTENT COMING OUT EVERY WEEK. YOU CAN ALSO GO TO MY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIAS WHERE I PUT OUT TONS OF COZY MYSTERY GOODNESS! IT’S SO MUCH FUN TO TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT ALL OF THE BOOKS THAT I LOVE READING! LEAVE SOME COMMENTS DOWN BELOW IF YOU HAVE READ ANY OF THESE. All of these reviews are of my own thoughts and opinions. They are not influenced by anyone else.
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Cozy Mystery Releases: February

61C7VlQe9vLCozy Mystery Releases: February Video

Series: Pen & Ink Mysger
Author: Krista Davis
Number: 1
Date Released: Feb. 27th
http://amzn.to/2Ef1HmR
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

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Series: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop
Author: Vicki Delaney
Number: 3
Date Released: Feb. 13
http://amzn.to/2DHulfz
Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot. The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.

Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

 

518CyoJRrLLSeries:Amish Candy Shop
Author: Amanda Flower
Number: 2
Date Released: Feb. 27
http://amzn.to/2Bzbnpu
Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

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Series: Cat Rescue Mystery
Author: T.C. LoTempio
Number: 2
Date Released: Feb. 13
http://amzn.to/2Bz2pIT
Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker.
51xBgKyD3qLSeries: Irish Village
Author: Carlene O’Connor
Number: 3
Date Released: Feb. 27
http://amzn.to/2nm2Elj
It’s official! Siobhán is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant.

Then one night the local priest summons Siobhán to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard—aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.

A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin—Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.

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Series: An Auction Block Mystery
Author: Loretta Ross
Number: 4
Date Released: Feb. 8
http://amzn.to/2Eg2RP3
Next on Wren and Death’s Appraisal List:

Item #1: An Old Family Feud.

Item #2: A Missing Woman.

Item #3: A Body in the Rosebushes of their Dream House

Auctioneer Wren Morgan and her private eye fiancé Death (pronounced “Deeth”) Bogart are ready to meet each other’s parents and settle down together. But their sleuthing days are far from over. While Death and Wren are helping prepare auction items at an old supper club, a Viking reenactor nearly dies at the historical settlement next door. The cause? Seeing the ghost of his daughter, who went missing twenty years ago.

As Wren looks into what happened to the Viking’s daughter, Death is hired to investigate the theft of historical items that have high sentimental value. When their respective investigations turn out to be connected, the couple gets caught in a deadly conflict.

My Cozy Reader Manifesto

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As a lot of you know I am new to blogging. Sometimes I have a problem with words. A big problem. Like I can’t form a coherent sentence. I word vomit all over the place. A lot of the time I don’t even finish full thoughts. HA! This is a problem if you are wanting to read a well thoughtout and beautifully written review, tag, or post.
So, I was looking into different topics that I could talk about on here. As an educator there wasn’t anything better than prompts! I loved giving my students creative writing prompts in the morning to get their brains going! I stumbled on the prompt about a Reader’s Manifesto. I mean, how cool is the word manifesto?! I feel smarter just typing out the word.  So, without further ado, here is the writing prompt. Whew, 500 words or less. I’ve totes got this.
Summarize your identity as a reader, your challenges and personal missions, values, and where you see yourself in the reading world all in the space of 500 words. (1)

A manifesto is the declaring your goals and aims to yourself and your audience. I have never thought about a creating a manifesto for my reading goals. Quite a few people create reading goals on Goodreads or a TBR for the month. It is always harder for me to create a TBR then it is for an overall goal for myself. I don’t like being tied down as a reader. I am, what you might call, a ‘mood reader’. I fly by the seat of my pants.

Am I in the mood for a library themed cozy?

Yes?

I’ll read Sofie Kelly.

Am I craving some amazing baking?

Totes!

I’ll read Bailey Cates or Ellie Alexander.

Do I want to read about creative people?

YAS!

I’ll read Elizabeth Lynn Casey or Melissa Bourbon.

I don’t like promising to you all that I am going to read a specific book or series and then my mind is in the mood for the complete opposite.

That being said I still believe that you as my reader deserve to know what kind of books, goals, and missions I have set for myself here in the reading world.

I have actually created a very specific Cozy Mystery reading goal for myself this year. I plan on reading 52 Cozies in 2018! Whew. I know that is pretty intense. *puts hands over head to make a tent*….Get it? I’m in a tent…HAHAHAHA. IN TENTS?!?!  I’m funny…..

*coughs awkwardly* This is a pretty big goal. My goal last year was to read 65 books total. I managed with 68, but not all of those were Cozies.

Why Cozies you ask? Short answer? I love them.

Long answer? They are a way for me to escape the word. With the world full of sorrow and hate I need something that will leave me laughing, push my mind, and make me feel cozy. This is what this genre does for me. I love getting the feel of a small community and sleepy town.

I love getting to know all of the different characters. Their quirks. Their flaws. Their passions. They start to feel like family to me.

I love that Cozies are in series. I can grow with the characters. I want to read books that bring me joy.

I am not going to read books that are just hyped to be hyped. This year, I’m reading ALL the books that peak my interest!

My mission this year is to respect my time. Read when I can. Read when I want. Read what I want. Our time as human beings on this world is limited and valuable. I am going to make sure that I am as conscientious of my time as I can.  

This is the year of Cozy Mysteries for me. I am going to step outside of my box. I am going to read all the different themed Cozies. Cooking. Baking. Bookclubs. Witches. Magic. Southern. Western. Older Protagonists. Younger Protagonists. Male Protagonists. YES!

 

Top 5 Cozy Mysteries for Beginners

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Top 5| Cozy Mysteries for Beginners Video
Hey hey everyone! I hope you all are curled up where you love to read, a glass of wine or cup of tea/coffee next to you, and maybe a furchild curled up at your feet while you are reading this blog. Here in Oklahoma it is currently 26˚F or -3˚C. In some places that isn’t too cold, but here it is freezing. This is the perfect time to wrap myself in my coziest blanket into a burrito and read. As I was sitting here on my couch I started thinking about cozies, as I do, and I wanted to start some Top 5 content for you. Without further ado…
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*Nebula*-My Sister’s Puppy

I asked you all on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram what you would like me to vlog/blog about most for tomorrow’s Booktube video.

The most popular topic was the best cozy mysteries for beginners. There are so many Cozy Mysteries out in the subgenre that it can be overwhelming on what book to choose, what theme, what type of protagonist, and so much more. I am going to give you my top five from different themes.

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Meet Your Baker-Ellie Alexander

Theme: Baking 

http://amzn.to/2Dl8URY

As most of you know this is actually the Cozy Mystery Club’s January pick for the Bookclub this month. This is for a very good reason!

The Bakeshop Mystery series is a wonderful series to start on if you haven’t read a Cozy before. The characters are complex, have their own backgrounds, and are extremely relatable.

Reading this series you don’t feel as though you are missing anything. Everyone has eaten a baked good, made cupcakes, or have seen them in movies. It is something that is common and most of the time brings happy thoughts to a person.

The first book has Juliet Capshaw coming home from her life as a head pastry chef with a broken heart. You feel for Jules and how she is licking her wounds and starting back home.

She has moved home to one of the most breathtaking small towns I have ever seen, Ashland, Oregon. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is starting to bring in lots of visitors and that means more customers for Torte, Jules’ family bakery ran by her mom, Helen.

One of Torte’s customers and newest board member for the festival is found dead. Jules’ ex-flame Thomas is the investigator on the murder. It seems that even though the customer is dead, the love between Thomas and Jules might not be.

*self promo plug* If you want to join us for the Live Stream on “Why We Love Cozies” on January 17th @ 7pm CST that would be amazing! We are also having a wrap up on Meet Your Baker on January 31st @ 7pm CST -link coming-

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Curiosity Thrilled The Cat- Sofie Kelly    *in picture Tom Cat*

Theme: Magical Cats/Librarian

http://amzn.to/2D24cuG

This is probably one of my absolute favorite cat series. One thing you will probably notice if you go looking into the Cozy Mystery section of a bookstore is that there are a lot of furchildren that follow our protagonists.

I love kitties, if you couldn’t tell by my lovely Tom here. He looks JUST LIKE Hercules on the cover!

Hercules, the stocky tuxedo cat, and Owen, the tabby with a cat-nip addiction are feral cats that Kathleen Paulson found when she moved to the small town Mayville Heights, Minnesota to help remodel and build onto the local library.

Kathleen has left her life and broken heart in Boston. During the Wild Rose Summer Music Festival a murder occurs and Kathleen finds herself as the Prime Suspect. She also finds that her kitty cats are more special then she thought. I mean, I’m pretty sure that walking through walls and becoming invisible aren’t normal traits for felines. Am I riiight?

However off putting it may be to watch her one of her cats walk through a wall, she finds herself depending on their special abilities to help solve the crime and save her new reputation. Isn’t this just purr-fact?

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Pleating for Mercy-Melissa Bourbon

Theme: Sewing/Magical

http://amzn.to/2D5o28w

Harlow Cassidy is a special woman. When I mean special, I mean SPECIAL. All of the Cassidy women are special, they possess gifts. Gifts to help others. Harlow Jane Cassidy’s gift you ask? Creating beautifully stunning dresses. Not just aesthetically, but ones that help the owners grant their deepest desires.

When Harlow’s Great-Grandmother passes away and leaves her house to her, Harlow moves home from Manhattan to Bliss,Texas.

She was an extremely popular fashion designer and decides that she is going to turn her Grandmother’s old farmhouse into a custom dressmaking boutique! She feels as though she can feel her Great-Grandmother’s presence in the house with her, the memories are so strong.

One of Harlow’s very first customers is a childhood friend, Josie. She is needed a wedding dress and bride’s maid dresses, and quickly. However, things aren’t starting out like a Happy Ever After.

The bride, Josie’s, boss and maid of honor is found dead outside of the farm house and it looks like the bride-to-be is the prime suspect. It looks like Josie is going to need a lot more from Harlow then the perfect wedding dress, she needs this to be solved.

I love that this series has little elements of magic, ghosts, and a little bit of history mixed into it. If you love reading about powerful strong women, this is the Cozy for you!

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A Killer Read-Erika Chase

Theme: BookClub/Teacher

http://amzn.to/2DmMQqa

This series surrounds the members of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society Book Club. Haha! I know, that is a mouth full! That’s what I thought when I read that. But it intrigued me.

Another thing that made me want to read this was the fact that the main character, Lizzie Turner, is a Reading Specialist and LOVES mystery books!

Does that sounds like anyone else?! I am a Digital Learning Specialist and I love Cozies. Erika Chase was pretty much writing this book for me. Am I right? Am I right?!? Whew. Okay, lets get back to it.

Lizzie is part of the ACMRaCSS (yup…) and they are having their very first meeting. A stranger knocks on the door to ask to use the phone of Molly Mathew’s whose southern mansion is the meeting place for the book club.

After making a ruckus and not being a very good guest the stranger leaves. Only to be found killed later with an antique gun that belonged to Molly’s late husband. Of course this makes Molly, the elderly woman, the lead suspect. Lizzie’s high school crush appears to be the police chief in charge of the investigation.

Not only does that make Lizzie even more determined to find out what happened to the strange but a chapters from a mysterious manuscript start showing up in her mailbox. Detailing things about the stranger that was murdered, Molly’s name surfaces in the chapters.

Is Lizzie prepared to find herself in the midst of a REAL mystery or would she rather be reading fiction?

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Double Booked for DEATH-Ali Brandon

Theme: Bookshop

http://amzn.to/2DnBMca

One of my biggest dreams is to own my very own bookstore/cafe. I know, that is most avid readers dream.

Raise your hand if you would love to be paid to read and drink coffee? Yup. Me too. I know it’s more than that, I ran my Nonnie’s shop for ten years, but I still think it would be cool.

Darla Pettistone left Texas and moved to Brooklyn to do just want I want to do. However, she didn’t have to build the bookstore from the ground up. It was left to her by her Great-Aunt Dee. The bookstore came with its very own ornery and stubborn mascot, Hamlet. *He is the most entertaining and deep character of the series…seriously…I love him so much.*

Darla is setting to prove to herself and her family back in Texas that she can run Pettistone’s Fine Books and keep a tight leash on Hamlet all while hosting the stores very first event since her Aunt Dee’s passing.

The hottest bestselling Young Adult author of the moment is coming to Pettistone’s Fine Books for a signing of her new book. Lines for this signing are wrapping around the corners and down the streets even the night before the signing. Fan and protesters alike. This even could bring big business to the new owner. I mean there is no such thing as bad publicity right? Right?!

Unfortunately, the author meets an unsavory end. This is not good for business. Even though it is ruled an accident loyal fans are blaming the bookstore and writing nasty reviews as well as picketing the store. Hamlet, on the other paw, finds a clue that points Darla to the conclusion that the death of the author wasn’t an accident.

Darla fears that the killer is out there watching her every move. “Can the interfering Hamlet point the paw at the culprit without losing one of his own nine lives?”

Well my Cozy Friends, those are the Top 5 Cozies for Beginners! I hope that you enjoyed them. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these series, you have other suggestions, or if you are going to order them! I would love to talk with you about these amazing series.

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*All Links to books are affiliate links. If you click them and order the books I get a very small commission from it. If that makes you uncomfortable but you still want to read the books, please go to your local bookstore or online shop.

January Reading…|So Far

Good afternoon everyone! I am just stopping by to let you know how much I have read so fafr this month! I still can’t believe that it is 2018! Seriously, that is mind boggling to me. Well, let’s get to it!

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This was the fourth installment of the Harmony Cafe Series. Trouble has hit Autumn’s town again. This time, it’s aliens. Or is it?

I feel like this book was filled with so much potential as most of this series is, which is why keep reading it.

However, I feel like Autumn and her ex-husband’s rivalry is childish and isn’t well written. I also feel like the author is telling me things and not showing them to me.

The characters need to have more depth. I need to feel for the characters. Which isn’t the case in this series.

I will continue to read the next book to see if as the series advances maybe so does the author’s writing. I really do like the idea of this series which is why I picked it up. But I was not shocked by the ‘whodunit’ aspect. The plot was rushed and sort of everywhere.

I know that this is supposed to be a short story type of Cozy, but I still need a little bit more detail and twist.

 

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This was such a fun and quick read. Two of my, now, favorite amateur sleuths meet as kindred women. I love that they had a mystery to solve as well! It wasn’t enough for me though. I craved more. Which is what I think was Ellie’s thought process. Leaving us wanting.

If you haven’t read Death on Tap, Sloan’s first Mystery, I highly suggest it. I love getting anything and everything that Ellie puts out into the world.

A fun short read. You do need to know that the story is finished at 35% and the rest of the book is a sneak peek into Death on Tap.

 

16000243If you follow my blogs, the reviews, or my youtube channel, I have a slight addiction to Cozy Mysteries. Okay, maybe not SLIGHT…a HUGE addiction to Cozies. But more specifically, I have a weakness for cooking and magical mysteries. They just tickle my fancy. My waist and my imagination expand while reading these types of books.

Bailey Cates’ Magical Bakery Mystery does this to me everytime. I crave what ever it is that Katie and Lucy are making in the Honeybee Bakery and I want to know more about the magic that Katie is learning about herself. Expecially since I’ve dabbled in it as well.

This is the third installment in the series and it was just as amazing as the first two. You dive more into Declan and Katie’s relationship. What it means to Katie to be a white witch, a pure witch. Is she a catalyst? So many questions.

While trying to put extra karma out in the world for herself Katie volutneers at with a conservation group trying to save extinct or endangered animals. She loves it even though she is working basically two jobs. Unfortunately, whether it was just a happanstance or if she really does cause these things to happen, someone from the conservation is killed.

Katie, surround by her coven, feels responsibile to figure out the ‘whodunit’, especially when it is not just her that is being threatened, but memebers of her Spell Book Club as well.

This was a delightful read. I love getting to know all of characters a little more as well as the AMAZING recipes at the back of the book. I can’t wait to try out the peanutbutter cookies.

Welp, that’s what I have read so far!!! What have you read so far? Make sure to follow my youtube channel and my instagram page for more bookish stuffs!