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

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


City of Time and Magic by PAULA BRACKSTON

City of Time and Magic (Found Things #4)

Book Four in the Found Things Series finds our Xanthe still upset about Liam who was snatched in time by Mistress Flyte. She is determined to find a way to get him back in his own time and by her side.

I was thrilled that Xanthe gets to meet Elizabeth from Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter!

Out of the blue, she is summoned to a home where not one but three things are singing loudly to her. But which one will take her to Liam? The writing slope is definitely loud but the mourning brooch and a beautiful hat pin are vying for her attention.

, Unable to take all three, she chooses the writing slope and ends up in the home of a Time Stepper and Elizabeth! From there, things get very complicated. By finding Liam, Xanthe also finds out that Lydia may have stolen Liam, but it was for a good reason. There are Spinners who are using their gift to enrich themselves and others. They are a ruthless group that has plans for Liam to help make more money.

This was such a good one! Elizabeth crossing over to Xanthe and the story of her life with Erasmus intersects nicely with Lydia’s story. Which is a shocker. For this case, she needs to bring in the big gun. Harley! Oh my, what a time I had with Harley in Regency England!

Brackston’s vivid descriptions are spot on and her attention to detail is exceptional. I can honestly say this is my favorite Historical Fiction/Time-Slip Series.

NetGalley/November 16th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

THE DARK HOURS by MICHAEL CONNELLY

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35)

Ballard and Bosch Novel

It’s New Year’s Eve and LAPD Detective Renee Ballard is sitting under an overpass waiting for the traditional rain of bullets at the stroke of midnight. Paired with another female officer on loan from the Hollywood sex crimes unit. They are trying to catch a duo of rapists before they strike again. Only Lisa seems more interested in her boyfriend.

At midnight someone is using the noise and confusion to murder a former gang member gone straight. Called out Renee goes to the scene. This isn’t a case of bullets raining down. This shot came from close up. And the bullet leads her to one of Bosch’s cases.

As they team up to find a killer, the killer is making plans for them.

Who doesn’t love Bosch? And Connelley kept it very real. With everything from Black Lives Matter to defunding the police and the pandemic as well. There is a lot of distrust of the police by the community and he gives us all of that. We get a lot of Ballard and she really won me over in this one.

Suspenseful and solid all the way!

NetGalley/November 9th, 2021 by Little, Brown and Company

SCANDAL IN BABYLON by BARBARA HAMBLY

Scandal in Babylon

The year is 1924. Emma Blackstone was barely married to her husband when he was shipped off to war and was killed. Followed by her brother and more tragedy with her parents deaths. So young for so much death.

Emma is a curious and scholarly sort. She cringes at the inaccuracies in the Roman piece they are filming.

While Emma is getting an education in America and Hollywood in particular, she has nothing to go back to in England. And things could be worse.

Such as Kitty’s first husband, Rex showing up unexpectedly in her dressing room with a bullet through the head. Kitty may be flighty and naughty but a killer she is not.

This being the twenties in Hollywood, there are gangsters, slick movie producers, shady cops and insane competition for the title of IT girl. Is that what this is about? A frame? Or has Kitty dallied with the wrong man?

I loved all of the old Hollywood gossip and petty jealousy. These women were so young and vulnerable. They worked hard hours and partied the rest of the time.

I enjoy Hollywood Historical Fiction. I liked Emma, although there was a bit too much quoting of Latin phrases. And I just didn’t feel we really knew her. I am sure she will grow and entertain us as the series goes on.

NetGalley/ September 7th, 2021 by Severn House Publishers

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Two Wicked Desserts by LYNN CAHOON

Two Wicked Desserts (Kitchen Witch Mysteries, #2)

The second in the Kitchen Witch Mysteries.

Things are coming along nicely in Magic Springs. Mia Malone, kitchen witch, is getting used to her new home and doing well with her catering and the cooking school. While Mia teaches the locals to cook, her own grandmother is teaching her all she can about her gift.

Mr. Darcy is still carrying around Dorian’s spirit, while Gran tries to find a spell to help him move on. And while Dorian may be here in spirit, his magical spell book is already in the questionable hands of his daughter, an actress, who is hoping the spell book will help her career.

Unfortunately for her, there are rules to be followed in magic and Cindy has messed up once already when she heads to town to seek help from Gran. And when the dead body of a hitman is found on her property, Cindy is suddenly a viable suspect.

In the background is the dastardly real estate/criminal who wants to buy Mia out and kind of got away with almost murder. He is the prime suspect for Mia. So she sets out to find a killer, which is already becoming a part-time job.

Ms. Cahoon is an expert at nailing characters. She is also a good recipe finder!

I can’t wait to see what Mia gets up to next!

NetGalley/ July 27th, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

A GOOD DAY FOR CHARDONNAY by DARYNDA JONES

A Good Day for Chardonnay (Sunshine Vicram, #2)

Ms. Jones is back with our bigger than life heroine, Sunshine Vicram. In this second mystery we see Sunshine is still running a small-town police force in New Mexico.

You would think that would be pretty cush, but for Sunshine, not so much. She hasn’t had a day off in forever and her diet of coffee, donuts and wine aren’t cutting it. She needs a break.

Alas, that isn’t going to be happening any time soon. Called out for a bar fight that ends badly, Sunshine is face to face with the love of her life. Levi. Levi comes from trouble. But oh is he a looker. The boy your momma told you to stay away from. But when has Sunshine listened to anyone?

With daughter, Aurora, getting together a teen detective service with her friends, Sunshine is about to have her hands full at home and at work. Also, throw in the mix her memories are beginning to return. Who was the man who rescued her?

This cast of characters are hilarious. Even her smart-mouthed daughter! “Snitches get stitches”. Not to mention all the horrible people in town. And there are some sketchy folks. All suspects.

There are more sub-plots as well, which I like. I laughed so hard with this one. Can’t wait for the next.

NetGalley/St. Martin’s Press July 27,2021

 

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.

The Art of BETRAYAL by Kate Hamilton

The Art of Betrayal (Kate Hamilton Mysteries #3)

A Kate Hamilton Mystery #3

In Connie Berry’s third Kate Hamilton mystery, American antique dealer Kate Hamilton’s spring is cut short when a body turns up at the May Fair pageant.

Antique Dealer, Kate Hamilton, is still in England looking after Mr. Tweedy’s shop while he is recuperating. It isn’t much of a hardship spending May in Long Barston with her hunky DI Tom Mallory. The May Fair is in full swing with the pageant based on an old folktale about to take place.

Kate is horrified when a woman she recently met rushes the stage with blood pouring and mumbling about getting something right as she drops dead. She is more horrified when she returns to find the murder that took place in the shop and the priceless Chinese jar the woman had asked her to see is gone. Insurance isn’t going to cover this.

As Tom and his crew are busy tracking down who was where when the murder took place, Kate is sticking her refined nose in as well, which just could get her killed.

It’s always a good time with Kate and Tom. This is one of my favorite series. This truly was much like a Celtic knot and I loved unraveling all of it.

NetGalley/ June 8, 2021 Crooked Lane Books



WOLF KILL by CARY J. GRIFFITH *A Sam Rivers Mystey*

In this outdoors thriller, the investigation of a bizarre wolf attack leads to evidence of murder, conspiracy, and shocking family secrets.

Things on the Iron Range of Minnesota are hard. The cold is hard, the terrain is hard and the men are extremely hard.

Sam Rivers ran from his family farm 20 years ago and changed his name and became a wildlife biologist specializing in wolves. He’s very well respected and has found peace working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He knows predators. He was raised by one.

Now he is getting cryptic e-mails from someone taunting him. But he’s not ever returning home. Until his father dies.

Which happens suddenly. Called a hunting accident, the old man has blown his head off. But as Sam decides to return to his hometown and he wants to see the old man dead and he needs to retrieve something his mother has kept hidden for him in her own house.

The time to face demons has come. The only problem is can he trust anyone in this town. So when a bizarre wolf attack happens in his fathers’ barn, things become very interesting.

I really enjoyed this book. Writing from a wildlife expert’s view. Looking at nature in an entirely different way. How it can nourish us and how it can kill us.

I’m very glad I read this one and can’t wait for the next one.

Adventure Publishers Re-release on June 15, 2021