Bake, Borrow and Steal by Ellie Alexander

Bake, Borrow, and Steal (A Bakeshop Mystery, #14)

A Bakeshop Mystery #14

It’s November in Ashland, Oregon, and Jules is busy with a huge project for Torte. Creating Chocolate sculptures and a delicious feast for the fancy opening of the newest exhibit, Shakespeare’s Lost Pages at the museum.

Everyone is anxious as well as excited to see Double Falsehood and it is being guarded around the clock. Jules and the team will be making an authentic dinner with all the traditional foods of the period.

Everyone is stressed. The staff at the museum are fighting each other and the benefactor bringing in the piece is a royal pain! With everything finally in place and ready to go, Jules is told the manuscript has been stolen! Replaced by a forgery. But how in the world?

When the police arrest Javier, Rosa begs Jules to help her free her uncle. And of course, she jumps right in.

This was so well written that I suspected everyone except Jules! What a twisty read with some very sketchy characters. Loved it!

NetGalley/December 28,2021 St. Martin’s Press

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR by ELLY GRIFFITHS

The Midnight Hour (Brighton Mysteries)

The Brighton Mysteries

Elly Griffiths is also the author of the Dr. Ruth Galloway series,which is one of my favorites.

It’s 1965 in Brighton. Emma and Sam have set up their Detective Agency and have their first big case. Impresario Bert Billington is found dead. When the results return and they learn he was poisoned, his wife, Verity Malone, who was also a theater performer, hires Emma and Sam to find out who did this and keep her name out of it.

Lucky for Emma they have Max Mephisto on the inside to push for information. Interestingly he is in town filming Dracula along with Verity’s son, Seth.

There were so many people who looked guilty! You could tell they were all hiding something, but does that something have anything to do with the case? I am most definitely happy I was not an adult woman in the ’60s. I remember my mother reading The Feminine Mystique and finding it and reading it myself. I didn’t understand most of it,but I knew I did not want to be one of those wives.

I especially enjoyed when Emma would just pop her little boy on her hip and go interview suspects. Although eventually Edgar stepped up and pulled some weight.

I also enjoyed seeing Meg become bolder.

This is Cozy with a Bite! And I loved it!

NetGalley/ November 2nd, 2021 Mariner (formerly HMH)









FROM LADLE TO GRAVE by AMY PATRICIA MEADE

From Ladle to Grave

A Tish Tarragon Mystery #5

Could a body found in a graveyard be linked to a tragic murder twenty-five years ago? Tish Tarragon is plunged into a new case when a fundraising dinner in the local church hall leads to a dark discovery.

Tish is back with another interesting catering event. Heroines of Literature. A fundraiser for St. Jude’s Episcopal Church. Things are humming along well when she notices a woman staring at her. Odd. But soon forgotten in the cleanup.

Walking home through the graveyard to lock up the hall, she literally stumbles over a body. A dead one.

The deceased has a fatal head wound and is lying on top of the Honeycutt plot. Daisy Honeycutt was murdered 25 years ago in a sensational case that shocked everyone.

The hunky Sheriff Reade is back and officially makes Tish a consultant! So off they go to solve a murder and find out why someone now wants this man dead. Could his reopening the case have something to do with it?

With twists and turns galore, I think this is the best one so far in the series. And oh that ending!

Very well done!

NetGalley/December 7th, 2021 by Severn House Publishers

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MARRIAGE CAN BE MISCHIEF by AMANDA FLOWER

Marriage Can Be Mischief (An Amish Matchmaker Mystery #3)

An Amish Matchmaker Mystery

This is the third Amish Matchmaker Mystery. Millie Fisher is a widow. Her husband died long ago and she still mourns for him. But she is also a nosy little thing. Which makes her the go-to person when a body is found. People tell her everything and her friend Lois goes where she can not. Together they are an unstoppable force.

Harvest, Ohio is Millie’s hometown and she loves the town and her life there. She is a spot-on matchmaker and a good listener as well.

When her old friend, Uriah returns to Harvest, Millie is happy to see him. At one time they were sweet on each other but then along came her true love. Uriah married and moved to Indiana. Lately, Uriah has been working in the village as a groundskeeper and when he doesn’t show up for work, Millie and Lois have a bad feeling.

While they are out looking they come across the police and a film crew by the ravine. A skeleton has been uncovered and it looks old. Could it be Uriah’s sister who disappeared years ago? Is that really why Uriah is here?

Long ago his sister, Galilee, disappeared in a snowstorm and her husband was found dead in the buggy with a knitting needle in his neck. The sheriff had assumed she killed her husband and then fell into the ravine.

Millie and Lois are once again sticking their necks out to solve a murder. But someone is willing to kill to keep that secret and Millie may be in danger.

I love this series. Millie is such a fun character and those goats need a story of their own!

NetGalley/November 30th, 2021 Kensington


THE PLAYING FIELDS by STELLA CAMERON

An Alex Duggins Cotswolds Mystery

When two bodies are discovered within six weeks of one another, it would appear that a serial killer is at large in the sleepy Cotswold village of Folly.

DCI Dan O’Reilly is settling in to his new home with boxes still unpacked when a body is found on the old playing fields near the cricket club. The scene looks staged but no one saw or heard anything. Six weeks later another body is discovered in the tithe barn, which is used for plays now. This body is staged as well. It would seem a serial killer is at work.

In due course his investigation lands him at Alex’s pub, the Black Dog. Dan makes it clear to her and her partner, veterinarian, Tony, that he does not want them involved in his case. But have we ever known Alex to keep her cute little nose out of things?

Alex is the person everyone confides in when they don’t want to go to the police themselves. This time she may be on her own as Tony has just received an e-mail from his dead wife. Yes, a dead wife.

So, instead of finalizing their wedding plans, they are investigating murders and ignoring the dead wife.

When Tony himself becomes a victim, Alex forgets her promise to Dan and heads right into the killer’s lair.

This one had some seriously creepy characters in it. It’s always a mystery with this good series!

NetGalley/ Canongate/Severn  November 2nd ,2021 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder (Catering Hall Mystery, #3)

Number 3 in the Catering Hall Mystery Series

Astoria, Queens, is decorated within an inch of its life for the Christmas season, and Mia Carina is juggling her job at the Belle View catering hall with a case of murder…

Can we all just stop and appreciate the clever title on this third installment of the Catering Hall Mysteries?

As we all know Christmas can be stressful. Mia is busy with the business. And the jobs she has lined up are not your typical parties. Sweet sixteen drama queen? Check. First- time parents looking to recreate the nativity scene? Check. Enough said. They are swamped. And to make it even more fun…her mother shows up! Oh my goodness I didn’t foresee that.

When Jamie finds out some news that rocks his world, Mia is there for him. While Jamie sulks and ignores his own family for this guy who is so obviously not his brother, Mia can only be patient and dig for more information.

When a body turns up by the neighbor’s Santa Workshop, Mia and friends go all out to find out who the killer is. Which could end up getting her killed.

This is one of my favorite series. I love every single character. Each one is unique and funny in some way. I hope we will see a new one soon!

NetGalley/October 26th, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

THE LAST GUEST by TESS LITTLE

The Last Guest

I think my favorite character was Persephone. As she didn’t drone on back and forth.

I expected a locked room mystery but the dialogue was just too much. Actress Elspeth has been invited to her ex-husbands birthday party. She has made it clear she will only attend if their daughter is with her. When her daughter is a no-show, things get weird.

There were a whole bunch of odd people invited. Including her ex-husband’s current lover. They were having dinner and then drinks and then, lights out.

Elspeth wakes up to a dead ex and a room of sleeping guests. The police are suspicious of all of them. The story doesn’t make sense. And it really does not.

I honestly only liked the octopus. The rest of them were just self-involved.

If you are a fan of weird things, this is for you.

NetGalley/October 5th, 2021 by Ballantine Books

Well-Offed IN VERMONT by AMY PATRICIA MEADE

Well-Offed in Vermont (Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery #1)

Stella and Nick are making a huge move. From Manhattan to small-town Vermont. To their own farmhouse. Stella isn’t quite sure she is cut out for this life, but Nick’s energy is infectious.

When they arrive they stick out like a sore thumb in their little Smart car. With a U-Haul full of their belongings they open their door to find their real estate agent has laid in some bubbly and a blow up bed. How sweet. Unfortunately it will be a while before they move in. As Stella gets a glass of water she is pretty sure it isn’t supposed to be red.

When they find a body floating in the well, they meet the Sheriff. Sheriff Mills is a good guy but it seems like everyone they meet is nice but a bit sketchy on the dead guy. Allen has rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way and the suspect list is long.

So while they wait to get back into their house they, and I mean Stella, decides they should solve the murder themselves.

Stella and Nick reminded me of the Nick and Nora series my dad used to watch. They were hilarious and so was this. I do hope this is only the first of many as this couple is a hit!

NetGalley/October 05,2021 Beyond the Page Publishing

HALLOWEEN MURDER PARTY by LESLIE MEIER, LEE HOLLIS, BARBARA ROSS

Halloween Party Murder

Small town traditions are celebrated throughout Maine during the holiday season. But when it comes to Halloween, some people are more than willing to reap a harvest of murder 

Sounds like fun. In this one we get not one, but three short stories in one book. The first one is Halloween Party Murder by Leslie Meier.

Back in Tinker’s Cove, journalist Lucy is suspicious of the newest residents. Ty and Heather Moon bought the Victorian and are planning to bring it back to life. But first, wouldn’t it be great for a haunted house for Halloween? When Heather dies of a drug overdose, Ty becomes a suspect. While Lucy is digging for information about the couple she finds disturbing secrets that may affect the town.

But just when you think you know, you do not. Always a pleasure to read Ms. Meier.

DEATH OF A HALLOWEEN PARTY MONSTER by LEE HOLLIS

Hayley’s Halloween party is in full swing. With everyone wearing their favorite movie monster. What better place than at a costume party to commit murder?

When Boris Candy is found dead, Hayley is going to find out who did this dastardly deed and why.

I do indeed love a costume themed party and throw in a murder and everyone is looking sketchy. Hayley is such a fun character and I loved catching up with her.


SCARED OFF by BARBARA ROSS

It’s Halloween and three teenage girls are having a sleepover. Things are good until a group of older kids decide to hold a party at the house.

When the lady on the third floor is found dead in the yard wearing a sheet, her niece is horrified and scared.

Now Julia needs to find out what happened and how poor Mrs. Zelisko end up in the yard dressed as a ghost!

Always a good time with Ms. Ross!

All together they are a sweet treat for Halloween!

NetGalley/August 31st, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation






CAJUN KISS OF DEATH by ELLEN BYRON

Cajun Kiss of Death (Cajun Country Mystery #7)

A Cajun Country Mystery #7

Back in Pelican, Louisiana, Maggie and Bo are setting up house after finally getting married. Bo is detective and Maggie is an artist and also helps her family run the Crozat Plantation B & B. As Valentine’s Day approaches the place is busy with the famous chef, Phillippe Chanson and all of his entourage arrive to open their newest Cajun-themed restaurant. His reputation in New Orleans is a bit sketchy with accusations of recipe stealing and other shady dealings.

He begins making enemies the minute he arrives. Stealing the local chefs recipes, sabotaging the competition. Even Maggies good friend, JJ is under fire. Someone is planting mouse droppings and getting him shut down. Even Ninette, Maggie’s mother has had a recipe stolen from the chef. Which puts them both in the line of fire when Phillippe is killed.

With everyone busy trying to clear their names, Maggie now has a stalker. Someone has been delivering countdown gifts and it could be anyone. Or a killer.

Besides being a really good series, the food descriptions and recipes seal the deal!

NetGalley/August 10th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books