This or That: Modern vs. Traditional

This or That_ Modern vs. Traditional Mysteries

So I have been thinking, what is the difference between Traditional Mysteries and Modern Mysteries? What author jumps out at you for a traditional mystery writer? If you said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie I would have to agree. Though they are from somewhat different timelines aren’t they?

Untitled design (3).pngI mean, Doyle started writing his first story about Sherlock Holmes in 1887. Whereas Christie wrote and published her first story about Hercules Poirot in 1920 right after World War I. That is a little over 30 years between the two.

I have read quite a bit about Sherlock Holmes! I even wrote my Junior English paper comparing Sherlock and Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! It was a pretty awesome read if you ask me. It helped that my English teacher was a HUGE Buffy fan! I loved how eloquently Doyle wrote about the crimes, Sherlock’s personality, and even Watson.

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Though, it is not entirely relatable now is it? I mean some items stay the same when it comes to a mystery. There is always going to be the murder, the sleuth, and the red herrings along the way. But the way women are viewed in series like Sherlock Holmes and even in some of Christie’s Poirot series they are seen as almost weak in a sense. They do grow as time goes on, but there are certain stereotypes that stay within the tradition mysteries that you don’t seem much of in the modern mysteries we read now.

The main characters in Christie and Doyle’s work around surrounded by the murder, right? They aren’t growing as characters very much. We see the flaws in the characters, but for the most part even the secondary characters, besides Watson, aren’t given much thought. This is something that is extremely different from Modern Mysteries, especially Modern Cozy Mysteries that are apart of a series.

You do need to know, that this is just my thought process and I wanted to write it out. I have not read very many Agatha Christie novels, but I plan to. I have read quite a few Sherlock Holmes adventures, but it has been about 11 years since I was fully immersed in the series.  Untitled design (5).png


Now, let us fast forward to the present. When I am talking about Modern Mysteries I am mostly talking about the type that I read the most of, Cozy Mysteries. I am not an expert in any shape or form nor do I claim to be when it comes to the Mystery or Thriller Genre.

However, there is something that I have noticed in the Modern Mysteries that I read. Women are predominately the amateur sleuths in the mysteries. They are also starting their life anew after a terrible accident, divorce, or something else entirely. They are needing to be in control of things within their lives. The secondary characters are almost as important and the primary characters. Also, the mystery is part of the book, but watching the protagonist grow is more important if you ask me.

As a reader if the protagonist isn’t relatable I am not going to read it. This is quite different with my expectations with Traditional Mysteries. For some reason I am able to over look the sometime harsh and cocky nature of Sherlock and Poirot. Whereas if any of the characters in my Cozy Mystery series showed those characteristics I would push away from reading it.

There is a difference however in Agatha Christie’s writing when she started the Miss Marple series. She is what I would call the Mother of the Cozy Mystery Genre. Miss. Marple took crap from no one! She was able to use her sweet demeanor and get into the mysteries and solve them. I think she is the one character that bridged the gap between Traditional and Modern Mysteries.

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I am thinking to myself, Why? Why am I okay with the way characters were written 100 years ago, but if my modern characters had the same opinions or thoughts about certain topics I would be put off by them?

It makes me wonder to myself. Am I allowing of that “behavior” because that is just how it was in the past? Women weren’t going to be considered sleuths or viable witnesses during that time and so I am more able to understand it and forgive it? I’m not sure.

This blog post has actually turned into something that I didn’t really expect it to turn into. I was wanting to know which one was better to read. I am now questioning why I allow myself to read somethings but then have a double standard for a more modern version of it.

Do I have high expectations for Modern Authors? I think so. I think the Modern Authors should, in essence, get with the times. Be as liberal and accepting as I am. I know this isn’t something that I should put on authors but for some reason I do. I have been unconsciously judging Modern Authors on a scale to which I do not judge Traditional Authors.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off kilter when it comes to that? Let me know in the comments down below. I really want to know what you think!

March Wrap Up!

March

Holy cow! I can’t believe it! March is BASICALLY over…seriously! How did this happen? We are a QUARTER of the way complete with 2018. This is pretty scary and fun all at the same time. I have been loving growing my channel, my blog, and my group of friends. It has been an absolute blessing and so humbling.

I thought that I would share this collage of pictures I took during March. This has been one of my favorite months. Being asked to be a host for March Mystery Madness has been super amazing and so much fun. Creating all different kinds of designs and for the Instagram Challenges and the Twitter page has been great!

I know you normally stop by my blog to read up on what I’ve read, what I suggest, and even just to get more in-depth on what I put on my Youtube channel, but I thought that I would give you a quick update on what’s going on in the world of me!

I have been loving creating templates, thumbnails, pictures, and videos so much that I have been wanting to learn more! I have applied and been accepted into a Graphic Design Certification program at a local college where I live. I am going to be starting classes this summer and I can’t wait. I am going to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and so much more. I have always been known as a person who is addicted to school! I finished my Masters in December of 2016, so it didn’t take long for me to want to start something new!

This year has been a whirl wind of reading for me. I can’t believe how much I’ve read the past three months. This month I read 9 books! I think that is pretty amazing considering how busy this month was with March Mystery Madness, Twitter Sprints, Spring Break, and family time.

Silenced in the Surf

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So, I basically sped read through the whole entire Pacific Northwest Mystery series by Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander. As most of you know, she is one of my most favorite authors.
Of course, I fell in love with this series as well. This is the third in the series and we are following Meg into another adventure. This time she is following a competition for water sports.

Justin Cruise, an extremely popular and cocky surfer, is found killed after showing off to Meg’s surfboard lesson. Of course, the person who found him was Meg, she seems to have a knack for it.

While, trying to stay away from the investigation, she is trying to figure out her relationship with Matt and helping her best friend Jill open herself to the person that she is. They have joined her on this work-cation and have even jumped on the band wagon on trying to find out what happened to Justin.

This newest book also dives deeper into the mystery of what happened to Meg’s dad. I can’t say it enough about how much I love the fact that there is a mystery within a mystery in this series.

Silenced in the Surf (1)

29429250This is the fourth installment of the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. I told you, I was having a HUGE READING BINGE for this series.This time we are running along with Meg in planning for the 5K Mud, Sweat & Beers! She has decided that she is going to get some real outdoor training for Northwest Extreme!!!! Finally, something she doesn’t have to be too scared about. And hey! She is trying to get outside of her comfort zone and take the audience of the paper with her on her fitness journey! Plus, beer. Yep. Enough said.

I love the name of the training business, Mind over Mudder. Ya get it?! Mudder?! Because it is a MUD RUN! *I’m dying*

Of course, training isn’t going to be easy. The two men that own the 5K camp are two very opposite gentlemen. One is very zen, while the other is a former drill sergeant. Meg doesn’t quite know what to make of them, but she does make a good friend in the camp who seems to be losing weight very quickly.

The macho ex drill sergeant suddenly kills over during a drill in what looks like a heart attack, but Meg doesn’t believe that was the case because of how healthy he was and how persistent he was about being good to your body. Meg decides that she is going to figure out what happened to him. This was such a fun book! I highly recommend it!
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This was such a fun book! I read this for March Mystery Madness for the New Challenge. This was not only a new series for me but also a new author.

This series follows baker Hannah Swenson and her hectic life back at home with her business, her snotty sister, and pushy mother.
Hannah starts her day like normal. Getting up, drinking coffee, cuddling with her kitty, and getting ready for work. She starts to drive to work and sees the delivery man who normally comes to her shop every morning for rounds.
Hannah thinks that the most pertinent and pressing matter is making her mother realize that she doesn’t need a man to make her life any better. She does not want to be set up on a blind date. However, her mother is very persistent and tries to set her up with a dentist.

Hannah is in for a rude awakening when she finds the delivery man she just waved at killed in the alley at the back of her shop and is thrown into an investigation that shakes her whole entire world. Her brother-in-law is the cop on the scene and asks for her help in solving the case.

I really liked this book as a start of a series, there were somethings that I feel needed to be better in the set up. For example, Hannah and her brother-in-law’s relationship seemed kind of weird. That he asked her to help solve the case seemed unprofessional and almost unbelievable. It didn’t stop me from wanting to finish the book or keep going with the series, but I hope it becomes more believable as the series goes on.

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This book is fantastically wonderful. I chose this book for March Mystery Madness. This was for the Opposite Challenge. As you know the main sub-genre that I read in Mystery is the Cozy Mystery genre. So reading a Thriller was outside of my comfort zone, but this was a 4 Cleo Read for me. Or a 5 star on Goodreads.
As you see above, Series and Punniness are Not Applicable. This is a standalone series and it doesn’t have punniness as a rule.

This follows two different time periods in Vermont. 1950 and 2014. Technically this follows five different points of view. In 1950 it follows four girls at the Idlewild Girl’s School for troublemakers, illegitimate, and too smart for their own good girls. The school is said to haunted by Mary Hand who makes girls go a little bit crazy. In the past one of the students goes missing and is presumed a runaway.

Fast forward to 2014, you are following Fiona Sheridan a journalist who is stuck in the past of 20 years ago. Her sister was found brutally murdered in the field of the shut down and decrepit Idlewild School. Fiona is trying to get over the death of her older sister when someone purchases Idlewild and is intending to open it back up as a girls school.

Fiona starts interview people about the past 20 years ago when her sister was killed and then stumbles upon the mystery of the missing girl from 1950. She uncovers police corruption and a sleepy town’s buried secrets.

This was such an amazing book to read. I loved the characters, the mystery, and the relationships within the story. I wish there would be more in world but I love the way it ended. I actually made a reading Vlog for this book, if you want to watch it click here.

Silenced in the Surf (4)

IMG_9567This is the first in the Firefly Junction Cozy Mystery series by London Lovett. She also writes one of my absolute favorite series The Port Danby series as well.
I had really really high hopes for this series because I love Pink and all of the people in Port Danby. I am not saying that this wasn’t a great start to a series because it most definitely was!

This is series is about Sunni Taylor with her social life and writing career in tatters at the ripe old age of thirty-five, she decides to pack up her things and join her sisters, Lana and Emily, in the small town of Firefly Junction.

She has gotten a journalist job at the local newspaper for the town to keep money coming in while she renovates the rundown Cider Ridge Inn. She is wanting to turn it into a bed and breakfast for the town.

Her very first assignment is SUPER interesting, she is interview people about the High School janitor’s early retirement. This is the biggest story in the town until the janitor is found killed in the town’s park. A dull human interest piece becomes incredibly interesting to Sunni when she rushes to the crime scene. Unfortunately the newspaper’s editor takes Sunni off of the story and gives it to the inept senior journalist.
This of course does not stop Sunni from investigation.

So while investigating the murder, trying to avoid the irritating, pushy, and cocky Dectective Jackson, and wondering if her Inn is haunted, Sunni is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life.

This was a good start to a new series by London Lovett. I really did enjoy it! I am looking forward to the next book in the series and seeing how the story grows.

Silenced in the Surf (5)

34488843Again, I told you that I binge read this whole entire series. This was, I believe, the finale to the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series. That is what I gathered from Kate. I think that, if it is the last, it perfectly wraps up the mystery within the mystery of what happened with Meg’s dad and the whole drug ring that was going on within Oregon.

During this adventure Meg is asked by Matt to pitch a story to Northwest Extreme to do a piece on the Bend, Oregon’s Caves and the new legislation that is being considered to allow the public into the caves and the public lands surrounding it.

Little did Meg know that she was going to be pulled into another murder of a local ranger and a drug ring happening right under the noses of politicians and police within the state.

This was such a fun and quick read. I loved watching Meg grow and mature as the books continued. Her relationship with Matt was left hanging, I want to know if she decided to move to the Bend with Matt or stay with Northwest Extreme. I could do with one more book in this world and with these characters. Even if Kate doesn’t write another one, I am perfectly content with the way it has ended!

Silenced in the Surf (6)

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This was the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book of the month for March. We actually just had the Live Stream last night, here is the link if you wanted to go watch it! Kate Carlisle herself even stopped by and said Hi! How cool is that?!?

This was one of my most favorite books that I read this morning. I loved it as a first book in the series. Getting to know the fiery Irish Contractor Shannon was so much fun! I loved her whole attitude the relationships that were being built between her and her best friend, and her and her father.

Shannon is finally ready to open herself back up to a potential relationship when one of her friends sets her up on a blind date. It was going extremely well during dinner that when Jerry, the date, asked her to walk on the beach after dinner she was more than willing. However, he decided to make a pass at her and when she denied him he went into a rage. He tore her shirt, bruised her, and tried to force himself on her all while people were watching from the pier. Shannon, not to be forced to do anything and was taught by the men on the construction crew to protect herself, got in quite a few jabs and kicks! She threatened to kill him if he came around her again.

Little did she know that she would find his body in a house that she was refurbishing. She immediately becomes a suspect and finds herself fighting to clear her name. After her date she swears off men and yet two unexpectedly fall into her lap.

This was such a marvelous beginning to a new series! I am so excited to dive more into this series to see what other adventures Shannon and her friends get into in the next book!

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Aaron and I started Ready Player One on our drive down to Texas to get on our cruise. I love that it seems to be a tradition for long road trips. We have been picking books that we want to read together. Since we both read at different speeds and this is the best was to do it via Audiobook.

Aaron and I are actually seeing the movie this weekend and I will be do a chat with The Lawn Gnome on Youtube comparing the book and the movie. I can already see many differences between both of them, but I am going to try to enjoy both of them as they are.

This book follows a kid named Wade Watts. It is the year 2045 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The world has become impoverished in many areas. People are no longer living life outside in the real world. The new world that most people live in is the Oasis.

“Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”

Aaron and I really enjoyed this book. It was one of his favorites before I even knew about it and he was really excited that I was willing to read it. I loved all of the 80s fun facts with the movies, music, and pop culture! It was so much fun to remember all of those. Aaron and I have even been watching movies now that we are home that were talked about in the book and I have loved it! I love that a book has brought us closer when I didn’t know that we could get any closer. It was just such a fun book to read! I highly recommend it!

Cozy Mystery Review

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This is one of my favorite Cozy Mystery series that I started at the beginning of me finding this series. It is the Booktown Mystery Series by Lorna Barrett. It follows Trish and her sister Angelica and their amazing friends on the main street that is themed after different types of genres of books.

Tricia’s shop is called Haven’t Got A Clue and she sells antique mysteries as well as new releases. Angelica started a cookbook shop but also has her hands in different businesses throughout the town.

This time around the booksellers of Booktown are going on vacation, a cruise. Not just any cruise though. This is a themed cruise, a book themed cruise! Famous authors, editors, and different types of goodies are all on the cruise. This is a time where everyone can make new business contacts, get some reading in, and relax a little before the tourist season starts again!

However, the town jinx Tricia, seems to have brought the bad luck with her, or so others from Booktown believe. When a hateful and self involved thriller writer turns up dead and Tricia is the one who finds the body. Tricia has promised her sister that she will try and stay out of the investigation, but the security on board are trying to pass off her death as a suicide. Trish disagrees.

It was great to be back into the world of Booktown. I loved getting more involved with Trish and Angelica’s past. Understanding why they are the way they are. Seeing their relationship grow even more warmed my heart, which is why relationship got four Cleo’s. This was a pretty good book over all!

Top 10 Coffee Flavors

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Hey my Cozy Companions! I hope you are having an amazing day! Today I am bringing you something a little bit different from my normal blog post about my favorite books, releases, and wrap ups! Today I am introducing you to my 10 Favorite Coffee & Tea Drinks. I was asked to be apart of this by The Lawn Gnome and I thought that it would be a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy it!

breakfastblendMy very first and second coffee flavors that I drink EVERY SINGLE MORNING would have to be Starbuck’s Breakfast Blend. I get all of my coffee in Whole Bean form and then grind it in my personal grinder.
It is technically rated as a shade lighter than most of their offerings—more toasty than roasty—it was the result of playing with roast and taste profile together for a flavor that appealed to a wider range of palates. Perfect if you want to wake up to a less intense coffee but still want a lot of character, its lively with a citrusy tang that gives way to a clean finish.
The reason why it is my FIRST and SECOND is because I drink it with two different creamers give it TWO totally different tastes. So that totally counts!

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I recently became vegan. I knew that I still needed coffee in my life. I changed to Vanilla Almond milk coffee creamer and it is amazing. But I was talking to one of the barista’s at Starbucks and I was wanting to try a new coffee that would fit my new diet. She suggested a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (choice 3) and Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte (choice 4). Instead of using regular milk we replaced it with coconut milk and it is freaking amazing! I love it so much. Of course, this picture has it with whipped cream, but I get it without.

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My 5th & 6th choice for coffee would have to be a Caramel Macchiato or an Iced Caramel Macchiato. Totally not vegan, so I haven’t had it in a while. But this is an amazing and refreshing coffee. I feel like it is not too heavy with the coffee flavor that some people don’t like.

 

Alright choices 7-10 are actually teas, but I can’t help it. I drink coffee every morning but I don’t actually very or stray too far from what I normally drink. But I do drink a wide variety of tea. I love Teavana tea. I used to go to the store in our local mall all of the time, but unfortunately Starbucks bought and then shut them down. I’m still salty about it too.

c7e5da48b64244d21deea731fac5f1c2I love Early Grey Tea. Earl Grey tea makes me think of Captain Jean-Luc Picard! Am I right? Earl Grey Tea. Hot. But seriously, I love black tea. It has just enough caffeine to wake me up in the morning, but not too much to make me feel jittery. I also love it when they add Creme to the tea! Like with Good Earth Tea!

“The world’s favorite Earl Grey Crème tea gets a marvelously creamy makeover in this classic tea with a twist! We’ve kept the traditional bold, savory tea base with natural bergamot flavor, and mellowed it with coconut and cornflower petals. Black or with milk, it’s a delightful reimagining that will become a tea lovers’ classic in its own right.”

downloadEnglish Breakfast Tea is another tea that is amazing to drink in the morning when you are wanting to start the day off slow. It is so smooth, calming, and wakening.

“Like Earl Grey, English Breakfast is made from black tea, but a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas. It has a full taste and richness that works well with hearty foods. The flavor has some light floral undertones, and when blended with milk, it produces an aroma similar to warm toast and honey. English Breakfast tea can be enjoyed with milk or lemon. It is a heartier tea than Earl Grey, but still incredibly versatile. ”

Avatar-Irohs-Tea.jpgJasmine Tea is a kind of tea that I love drinking when I need to relax. This is something that has no caffeine. This I sweeten with a little bit of rock sugar or honey. It is also perfect by itself with its amazing flavors.

Good Earth Tea says that theirs is, “Hand rolled into tea pearls in China; this light tea features the moonlit marriage of green tea with the fragrance of the beautiful white jasmine flower. Enjoy the fresh aroma and delightful, gentle flavor over ice to bring a timeless, peaceful pleasure to any time of day.” It is a lot of fun watching the pearls unfold under the heated water.

GettyImages-589916923-58e80a505f9b58ef7e6ce890Last but certainly not least is my love for Chai tea. I used to get a hot chai tea every weekend when I was studying for my Masters degree. But I have slowly moved away from buying cups of it from Starbucks, but I have loved the spicy chai tea with cinnamon! It is amazing!

So those are my 10 favorite coffees/teas/beverages. I love each and every one of these for what they give me, for the way they make me feel.
I hope that you enjoyed this blog. I know that it is a little bit different from my normal blog, but I almost always have a hot beverage to drink while I am reading. What about you? Do you have a favorite drink that you must have every time you sit down for a long night of reading? If so, let me know below!

A Cozy Rating System

I have recently revamped my Cozy Mystery Rating System. There are just some things that are required when there is a Cozy being read. I have created this Rating System, if you will. It consists of five main categories: Characters, The Whodunit, Relationships, Series, and Punniness. Each of these are rated with 1-4 Cleo The Cat’s, as shown below, and then the total is averaged!

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Why did I choose Cleo The Cat, you ask? Well, for one, I do have a cat named Cleo. She is extremely feisty, curious, and highly photogenic. It helps that A LOT of Cozies have fur children in the series. I thought that it would be fun to use Cleo as the mascot.

I mean look at how cute that kitty cat is!!! How can you not want to rate with her?! The only thing that would make her cuter is if she had a bow!

 

Characters is the first category that I rate. If the main protagonist isn’t likable I don’t care how much potential the story has, I can’t get into it. I have to feel close to the characters, like they can be my friends.

The Whodunit is the next category. Was the author actually able to fool me to a reasonable degree on who the antagonist/killer was? If they were they would get 4 Cleo’s. For how many mysteries  have read it is sometimes hard for an author to trick me or lead me astray. I love it when they can!

Relationships is the third category that I rate. This is the relationship or romance that is within the story line. I love the secondary characters just as much or sometimes more than the main character. If there are not well written and drawn out relationships within the series then it is not worth reading to me.

Series is the fourth category. There are two different ways that I rate with this. If it is the first book in the series than I would rate this as whether or not I am going to want to continue with the series. If I am in the middle of the series I will rate it to the degree in which the series is progressing. Is it getting better? Are the characters growing?

Punniness is the last category. I know, I know, Punniness technically isn’t a word. BUT it is a word to me. One of the reasons why I picked up Cozies in the first place are the amazing titles. Curiosity Thrilled the Cat?! Meet Your Baker?! A Killer Read?!? Yes, this is amazing. I am buying a book by its cover and title. You do too. Don’t tell me you don’t. I want to see how fun and funny a series is.

Look below at a visual for the Cozy Mystery Rating System!

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Cozy Releases| March 2018

Cozy Releases
Hey hey my Cozy Companions! I hope that you are having an amazing day! I can’t believe that it is almost March! You know what that means!! We are going to be starting March Mystery Madness and I have some awesome Cozy Mystery Releases for the month as well! Super duper excited to be sharing the with you!

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1st in the Series
By: Lynn Cahoon
A Farm-to-Fork Mystery Series
Release Date: March 6th
http://amzn.to/2GMCXT7

Angie Turner hopes her new farm-to-table restaurant can be a fresh start in her old hometown in rural Idaho. But when a goat dairy farmer is murdered, Angie must turn the tables on a bleating black sheep . . .

With three weeks until opening night for their restaurant, the County Seat, Angie and her best friend and business partner Felicia are scrambling to line up local vendors—from the farmer’s market to the goat dairy farm of Old Man Moss. Fortunately, the cantankerous Moss takes a shine to Angie, as does his kid goat Precious. So when Angie hears the bloodcurdling news of foul play at the dairy farm, she jumps in to mind the man’s livestock and help solve the murder. One thing’s for sure, there’s no whey Angie’s going to let some killer get her goat . . .

615HL8Rm7bL3rd In the Series
By: Linda Wiken
A Dinner Club Mystery Series
Release Date: March 6th
http://amzn.to/2ClcCxq
The third in a delicious series featuring a dinner club that tries out new recipes–while trying to catch a killer

The Culinary Capers Dinner Club is planning a fall picnic for their next meeting. What could be better than sharing delicious food with friends under a beautiful autumn sky? But when club member Alison Malkovich opens the back of her SUV to load in the picnic supplies, she finds a dead body. To make things worse, it’s the body of her ex-husband, and now she’s the prime suspect. Because Alison is a police officer, she is suspended and warned not to do any investigating of her own. That’s not about to stop J.J. and the Culinary Capers gang though. They know that Alison is innocent, and after all, they do have some experience solving crimes.
51W1A1l-8YL2nd in the Series
By: Dorothy St. James
A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Release Date: March 13th
http://amzn.to/2F1ch3X

Chocoholic Charity Penn must smoke out the killer to stop her newly inherited beachside chocolate shop from going up in flames in Dorothy St. James’ decadent follow-up to Asking for Truffle.

Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is finally settling into life in the quirky South Carolina seaside town of Camellia Beach cooking up chocolate treats. She’s even helped organize the town’s lively beach music festival which has brought rollicking crowds eager to dance the Carolina shag. That is, until one of the band’s lead singers is found dead beside a beach bonfire.

While also trying to balance the amorous attention of music star Bixby Lewis, in town for the festival, and her quest to perfect a new hot flavored bonbon, Charity dives into the investigation. Though it’s more spice than sugar when she discovers a threatening note, comes across decades of age-old secrets, and Bixby comes into the line of fire when a gas grill explodes on the deck of a beachfront house.

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By: Cynthia Baxter
A Lickety Split Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery
Release Date: March 27th
http://amzn.to/2ERZNMu

Kate McKay had doubts about swapping her high-powered life in Manhattan for Wolfert’s Roost, the quaint Hudson Valley village where she grew up. But when she moves back to care for her ailing grandmother, Kate decides to start fresh and indulge her dream of running an ice cream shop. All goes smoothly—until she’s reunited with old acquaintances nuttier than a vat of rocky road . . .

Kate should be thrilled about opening Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe in the heart of town. Instead her spirits melt like soft serve in the summer when she learns that her childhood frenemy, Ashley Winthrop, has started selling frozen treats in the bakery across the street. Turns out, Ashley hasn’t sweetened since high school. And, once again, she’s game for some very unfriendly competition . . .

But before Ashley can kill Kate’s new business, someone kills Ashley—stabbing her to death inside the bakery. Worse, the murder occurs right after the two rivals drew crowds with a heated argument, leaving half of Wolfert’s Roost speculating that Kate was finally pushed over the edge . . .

With rumors swirling and her reputation in serious trouble, Kate is determined to get the real scoop on the crime—even if it means joining forces with a former flame. As she pieces together clues to a chilling scandal, Kate soon realizes that she’ll need way more than a sprinkle of wit if she wants to expose the killer and live to see another sundae . . .

51nhLLEvJ9L1st in the series
By: Kate Dyer-Seeley
A Rose City Mystery
Release Date: March 27th
http://amzn.to/2GIyvVn

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

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1st in the Series
By: J.C. Eaton
The Wine Trail Mysteries
Release Date: March 27th
http://amzn.to/2ERWchy

Norrie Ellington is a successful screenwriter living in New York City. She’s also been a silent partner for her family’s winery upstate—until her sister and brother-in-law take a year-long sabbatical. With an experienced staff doing the work, Norrie figures Two Witches Winery will run itself while she enjoys the countryside and writes in peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, there’s a sour grape in the town of Penn Yan who doesn’t care for vineyards. Bed and breakfast owner Elsbeth Waters complains to everyone who’ll listen that the local wineries are bad for her business. But when Elsbeth’s body is found on Norrie’s property, the victim of foul play, the screenwriter-turned-vintner dons a sleuthing cap to uncover the identity of a killer who told the B&B proprietress to put a cork in it—permanently . . .

 

Those are the books that are coming out in March 2018! I am super excited about these! Let me know if you are planning on getting any of these!!  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

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.
*AMAZON LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. IF THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE PLEASE DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO USE THEM.

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.