ABSENCE OF ALICE by SHERRY HARRIS

Absence of Alice (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #9)

A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #9

Set in Ellington, Massachusetts, this ninth book in the series is in my opinion the best one yet.

Who would have thought that a cozy mystery based on garage sales would have so much intrigue and danger?

Sarah Winston is our MC and she is a garage sale organizer. She is really good at her job and her business is going well. But now a new competitor is in town and seems to be sabotaging Sarah’s work and reputation.

Busy pricing and organizing a sale for Alice Krandle, a crotchety old lady who has a soft center while at the same time planning her own anniversary sale in the town common.

But all of that has to take a backseat when her friend, Stella, is kidnapped from her apartment. Sarah begins receiving phone calls from a creepy man/woman telling her she can’t go to the police or her boyfriend, Seth, or even Mike, upstairs whose family is in a mob type business, but he is also her friend.

This was like a scavenger hunt, with the crazy person having her run all over town doing things and putting herself in danger. She does secretly call in reinforcements, including Harriet, her friend and former FBI agent.

I think I was suspicious of everyone in her circle except for the old mean man. He was just an old mean man to me. But at one time I was sure it was Seth. Was it? You will have to find out!

Sarah is such a good character. I can’t wait to see what trouble she gets up to next.

NetGalley/December 29th, 2020 Kensington Books

THE KEY LIME CRIME by LUCY BURDETTE

The Key Lime Crime (Key West Food Critic Mystery, #10)

Key West Food Critic Mystery Series #10

Back in one of my favorite places! Key West and Houseboat Row! With my favorite food critic, Haley Snow. Haley and new hubby, Nathan, are still living with Miss Gloria and the pet menagerie while the renovations plod slowly on the newlyweds very own houseboat, so it’s crowded, to say the least.

With the busy time between Christmas and New Year, the town is packed with unruly tourists, enjoying all of the local food and drink. The police are stretched to their limits and Haley is participating in the Best Key Lime Pie contest, covering the event and tasting all of the entries for the local magazine.

Add into the chaos a surprise last-minute visit from her new mother in law, her parents slammed with their own catering business and deadlines due now!

Haley is hoping to entertain Nathan’s Mom and still get everything done on time. But her nerves are stretched.

Local, self-appointed Key Lime Pie expert, David Sloan persuaded the city to host the event and it looks like the competition is deadly. Especially since the newest pastry chef in town is told in front of everyone that her pie is not a pie and can not be entered.

And you know there is going to be a body. And that isn’t even the most surprising thing. Her mother in law turns out to be nothing like Haley imagined. She has a new partner in crime-solving.

This is one of my favorite series. In this cozy, you’ll be biting your nails and drooling in the same paragraphs! The recipes are delish and her writing is so effortless. The characters are quirky and fun.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 11th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

Tea & Treachery, A Tea by the Sea Mystery by Vicki Delaney

Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries #1)

In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam
. . .
It was a wonderful surprise to find out Delany had a new series out! And it’s a tea room by the sea.
Lily Robers is one busy lady! As the owner and head pastry chef at her little tea room Tea by the Sea, you can have traditional English Tea and a view of Cape Cod. She is always running between her grandmother, Rose’s Bed, and Breakfast which she helps out in the mornings.
Rose is one great character. She may be elderly but she isn’t dead yet and until she is she will fight with all of her might to not let the sketchy Jack Ford buy the property next door to put up some golf course/resort. For a small old lady, she is not one to mess with.
Everyone thinks there is something fishy about Jack so it seems appropriate that he is found dead on the beach having fallen down the stairs on Rose’s property.
It looks like the police are railroading Rose and not looking anywhere else. But boy oh boy are there a lot of places to look! No one liked this man. NO. ONE. A con man and a slimeball, there are so many suspects Lily may never get her Grandmother out of hot water!
This is the first in a new series. And I loved every minute of it. The characters are so well done and I can’t wait for the next one!
NetGalley Reviews/July 28th, 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

 

THE DEVIL’S BONES by CAROLYN HAINES

The Devil's Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney)

Sara Booth Delaney #21

Spunky southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney tackles a thorny murder while away on a girls’ weekend. 

Another adventure with Sarah Booth and friends. This time Tinkie is hosting a girls’ weekend with Sarah Booth and CeCe in Lucedale, Mississippi at the posh Bexley B & B.

With Tinkie pregnant it will be a while before they can all get together. Here they can have massages and spa treatments and organic meals. But Tinkie’s wish is to be at the Easter Sunrise Service at the Palestinian Gardens, a miniature of the Holy Land created by Daniel Reynolds. It covers 20 acres and has stirred up a bit of controversy with the town’s savior of all species.

Up at dawn to attend the services, a walk through the garden turns in to a crime scene when they find a body laid out by the Mount of Olives.

The body belonged to one Perry Slay. A man generally not liked. Sneaky and underhanded, he won’t be missed.  But when the local pharmacist asks Sarah Booth to find out who the killer is all the girls jump in! It is not looking good for poor Erick when the autopsy says the man was poisoned!

As more bodies turn up in the Holy Land, everyone is looking suspicious and the ladies need to find out who is doing what before they end up in the Holy Land!

These characters are so charming and well done. I love Sarah Booth and all her adventures!

NetGalley/ Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery #1)

A Fairy Garden Mystery #1

Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

The first book in a new series. With fairies and fairy gardens and magical things happening all over Courtney’s shop. Courtney loves fairies. At least she did until her mother died when she was only ten, after that she lost her connection. Now she has left her dad’s landscaping business to follow her own dreams. Running a fairy garden business along with a tea shop. 

Situated in lovely Carmel, Open Your Imagination, sells any and everything one would need to entice fairies into their gardens. She is even teaching classes and at 29 she has found her passion.

Until the dog groomer from across the street is found dead in her space. Courtney is now a suspect! With a little help from a friend or two, she is going to have to clear her own name!

What an enchanting new series! The characters are interesting and the pixie dust has some of them acting oddly. Grab a copy of this one.

NetGalley/June 30th, 2020 by Kensington

 

 

Read or Alive by Nora Page

Read or Alive (Bookmobile Mystery #3)

Bookmobile Mystery #3

Two wrongful accusations have librarian Cleo Watkins and her loved ones booked for trouble.

It’s always a fun time going to Catalpa Springs, Georgia, to visit librarian Cleo Watkins and her friends. And they are all here and quivering with excitement to be at the Georgia Antiquarian Book Society Event. Cleo’s beau Henry will be there with a booth. Henry is a bookseller and restorer and is very well respected in his field.

Everyone is looking forward to seeing old books, manuscripts and hoping to find a treasure or two.

Unfortunately not all book people are in love with books, but money. And there are some unscrupulous dealers at this event that catch Cleo’s eye right away! Is the bookplate in a dealer’s trash one from a book her cousin Dot owns? A first edition Gone With The Wind?

Someone in town is scamming people out of their priceless treasures. Also, unfortunately, the book scout who she has accused is found dead behind Henry’s shop with death by bookbinding hammer!

Who in the world is setting up her friends? It’s obvious to Cleo that the police are headed in the wrong direction so she has no choice but to check out the evidence and find a killer. And as usual her cat, Rhett Butler, will be assisting!

Being a Georgia girl with my own first copy of GWTW, this book was so much fun. The characters are clever and funny and most are way over 50, which makes it all the more fun!!  Who doesn’t love bookmobiles and cozy mysteries?

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 12th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

BOUND FOR MURDER by Victoria Gilbert

Bound for Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #4)

A Blue Ridge Library Mystery #4

Blue Ridge library director Amy Webber learns it wasn’t all peace and love among the “flower children” when a corpse is unearthed on the grounds of a 1960s commune.

Welcome back to Taylorsford! In particular, the library and its director, Amy Webber and her dear friend Sunny, the only two actual employees of the small library.

Amy is actively not planning her future wedding to Richard and Sunny is running for mayor. As Amy is listening to more unsolicited advice about her nuptials, Sunny receives a phone call from her grandparents, Carla and P.J., telling her a digging company has found a full skeleton on their farm! Carla and her husband have an organic farm and in the ’60s for a short while had a commune.

Amy knows this kind of publicity will ruin her friends’ chances at the mayor’s job, so of course, she does what Amy does best. Research. Snooping. Asking questions that could put them all in danger. Because someone wasn’t so hippy happy back then it would seem!

We definitely found out some things we did not know about some of the flower children from the old commune, who are living right there in town! Not all of them, but the main players it would seem.

There are a lot of surprises in this one and I most definitely did not finger the correct suspect! Did you?

Well Done!

NetGalley/ January 7th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

A KILLER EDITION by LORNA BARRETT

A Killer Edition (Booktown Mystery, #13)

Book 13 in A Booktown Mystery Series

Stoneham is the town I want to live in. Tricia and her sister are deeply embedded in the town with her sister owning most of the shops and Tricia owning her mystery bookstore while playing amateur detective.

Now that Pixie is taking on more responsibility in the store, Tricia finds herself with quite a bit of extra time. She really wants to join the board of the local animal shelter/rescue, but that looks like a longshot. Maybe she’ll enter the Great Stoneham Bake-Off, but that looks daunting as well.

Looking to mix things up she wanders into Joyce’s Romance Bookstore, hoping for a little romance herself. What she finds is Joyce and Vera in an awkward argument where Vera is yelling angrily and Joyce is being polite but firm. It would seem there is some bad blood between these two neighbors, but who is telling the truth. And why is the new policewoman holding hands with Joyce?

Things heat up when Tricia stops by Joyce’s house for some veggies and instead, they find poor Vera run through with a pitchfork in Joyce’s backyard. Is Joyce a killer?

There were quite a few subplots going on here and I loved them all! Especially the snarky celebrity Chef! I should warn you that the food descriptions in this book will leave you drooling! I have already made the Walnut Cupcakes and the Lemon ones.

Great Series!  August 13th, 2019 by Berkley

 

 

 

Three Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder

Three Widows and a Corpse

Food Blogger Mystery #3

Hope Early is doing just fine. Her blog Hope at Home is doing very well and she even has a feature in Cooking Now! magazine.

As busy as she is, she still makes time for the annual Jefferson Scavenger Hunt, with her friends And as her winning team rushes to grab the next item instead of a napkin, they find a dead body. A dead body Hope knows! Lionel Whitcomb shot dead by his Jaguar by the dumpsters.

As the other teams show up Lionel’s wife Elaine sees him and is hysterically crying when two other women come running up sobbing that he was married to them.

While her cop boyfriend warns her to stay out of the investigation, it’s hardly Hope’s fault that the widow shows up on her doorstep asking for help. Even if it gets Hope killed in the process.

This was a twisty one. So many nasty, suspicious people. But some simply misunderstood characters which was heartwarming.

I like the mature characters in this cozy. Plus the recipes are to die for!

NetGalley/October 29th, 2019 by Kensington

Read and Buried by EVA GATES

Read and Buried

Lighthouse Library Mystery #6

When we last left Lucy and The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, Lucy and Bertie were thinking of ways to raise money to repair the foundation. Now the work is not far from completion. The Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.  Quite apt with the huge equipment digging all around the library and way down.

Things are humming along when the foreman comes running in demanding Bertie and Lucy follow him to the dig site. They have found something and no one is touching it until they see it. Buried treasure? Civil War relics? They find a box. Inside, a small diary with nothing inside but the tides and the weather for each day. Oh! And 2 pages that have fallen out. One is a marked map with numbers on it and one sheet looks like something written in code.

Everyone from Louise Jane to Diane and Curtis are fighting to see the papers and Bertie is even fending off the other historians who are planning a Settler’s Day soon on the grounds. One in particular. One who wants what he wants now. And when he is found dead in Bertie’s office and the map and coded paper are missing, everyone is intent on cracking the code and finding treasure.

There was a really nice subplot concerning The Freedman’s Colony and the new development the city is fighting. I really enjoyed the history lesson.

Lucy tried so hard not to stick her pert little nose in things but we all know her better than that.  But this time she may end up on the wrong side of history! Unless her arch-nemesis can save the day!

I love this series. A lighthouse and a library? And Charles the library cat? Cuteness overload.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ October 8th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books