Mitzy Moon Mysteries Books 2 and 3 by Trixie Silvertale – #BookReview – #paranormalcozymystery

Mitzy Moon Mysteries Books 1-3 by Trixie Silvertale

“Welcome to Pin Cherry Harbor where Mitzy Moon serves up the guilty!

“Mitzy Moon Mysteries revolve around Mitzy’s blossoming psychic powers and her uncanny amateur sleuthing skills in Pin Cherry Harbor (a fictional town on the shores of a great lake in almost-Canada).
“A wonderful cast of supporting characters, including an entitled feline and a skilled alchemist, help uncover clues and solve cases.”

Tattoos & Clues-Book 2

Book Blurb:

A beachside stroll. A deadly discovery. Will this psychic sleuth swim or sink?
Mitzy wishes she could turn a blind third-eye to her hit-or-miss powers. Instead, while taking her fiendish feline for a walk, they make a stomach-churning find on shore. Despite her loss of appetite, she can’t help but get a closer look at the unique ink etched into the corpse…

Before she can track down the killer, Mitzy must sweet-talk her way off the sexy sheriff’s suspect list. And once again her meddling Ghost-ma is dying to interfere with the case. But when the trail leads to dangerous smugglers who shoot first and don’t ask questions, she could end up in over her head…

Can Mitzy uncover the truth, or will hers be the next body to float to the surface?

My Review:

An interesting second book went right into the Mitzy as a suspect thing (again—one of my least favorites), although obviously no reason in the world she would be. It does, however, promote the “Sheriff Too Hot To Handle” Erick who steadfastly refuses to recognize Mitzy as anything but an interloper.

Tattoos & Clues by Trixie SilvertaleThe “Ghost-ma” is a major support character as is Silas, Mitzy’s attorney (also an alchemist) and an old friend of her recently deceased grandmother. Mitzy was an orphan after her mother died and she spent the remainder of her childhood in foster homes. The experienced honed a street-smart, independent, and savvy early twenty-something who was shocked to discover she had a father, much less a grandmother. She left Sedona, Arizona, without a backward glance and is beginning to earn a reputation in the fictitious far northern village of Pin Cherry Harbor.

Okay, enjoyed it, some further character development of both main and support characters as well as the people of the village. Twiggy, the eccentric bookstore manager and Odell, owner of Myrtle’s Diner, are beginning to come to the fore. There are characters here everyone can identify with, including the latter, and of course, Odell strongly reminds me of that old TV show with Linda Lavin and Vic Tayback as the fry cook, in “Alice.”

There is enough growth that it leaves you wanting to read Book 3 and that’s where the whole series really takes on a life of its own.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Ghost Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Sittin’ On A Goldmine Productions LLC
ASIN: B07YR6RSSH
Print Length: 286 pages
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Source: Local Library

Title Link(s):
Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo (audiobook)

Wings & Broken Things

Book Blurb:

A crime with no eyewitness. A determined psychic sleuth. Will her search for clues take her where angels fear to tread?

Mitzy Moon is eager to test her expanding abilities. She’d love to look into the hit-and-run that struck down her favorite veterinarian while everyone was at the Yuletide Extravaganza. But before she can suss out a single tip, the advances of a charming green-eyed stranger offer a dangerous distraction…

Desperate to put her investigation back on track, she goes undercover at the high school and lands on the wrong side of the law by lunch. And her “get out of jail free” card comes with the help of her meddling Grams, an interfering feline, and her alchemically inclined attorney. But when a curse puts her powers on the fritz, she may not be able to save everyone…

Can Mitzy juggle dating and sleuthing, or will a hex knock off more than her halo?

My Review:

Love this series already, the lightheartedness and sense of humor, great characters, and Pyewacket—not your average kitty!

Also delighted to read of the Swedish background (influence), since that is where my grandmother’s people are located (six miles from the North Sea actually). (My mother was very blonde although my grandmother was redheaded.)

Glögg–Swedish – means ‘to burn or mull’ which then evolved to become ‘glowing-hot wine’, and glögg by the late 1800s.

Wings & Broken Things by Trixie SilvertaleIt is through her Ghost-ma and now Silas as well that she is discovering she has “gifts” of which she was previously unaware. The problem is the discovery of just which gifts and how to use or interpret them. Quite possibly there are those out there with unusual gifts of their own that have a history with her grandmother. Oops.

In this novel, Mitzy will seek to find the person responsible for the hit-and-run of the surviving favorite town veterinarian and a missing angel statue. No bodies, not a lot of blood, but the introduction of a new and interesting character that might provide the dreaded romantic triangle.

Book 3 works heavily on character development and advances the series into the must-read category. It’s an easy read, although I’d love to get my hands on an audiobook. Books 2 and 3 further atmospherics but with a quantum leap in main character Mitzy. I’m loving the way she is being introduced to the paranormal possibilities but do tire of the trip and falls. Lots of quotables, snarky dialogue, and sense of humor keep the well-paced storyline spellbound. (Pun intended.)

“Questions are free; answers could cost you.”

I received a physical copy of the hefty compilation of Books 1, 2, and 3 from an inter-library exchange that in no way influenced this review. I’d previously read Book 1, Fries and Alibis, gleaned from a promo in October that totally fired my imagination and set up an affection for Pyewacket. But I couldn’t stop there and went on the hunt for Book 2. Glad I ended up with Book 3 as well for the character development. Those first three of the series sealed an amazing cast of characters, seated her position as owner of the bookstore, and created a salty air north Atlantic atmospheric village setting in “almost Canada” that’ll carry me through the rest (I think). Prolific author, now there are 21 in this series and I’ve already put in a request for another two. (If you’re a fan of audiobooks, they are available and my first choice.)

I’m a fan of paranormal mysteries and this pushes a number of buttons on my must have for a cozy. I could possibly do with a little less of the dreaded romance triangle and skinny jeans, but the dialogue (geared for a younger crowd), characters, and Pyewacket is endlessly entertaining. If you haven’t already discovered this author and series, I’d heartily recommend as too much fun! Trust me.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Ghost Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Sittin’ On A Goldmine Productions LLC
ISBN: ‎ 0999875833
ASIN: B07ZK32Q69
Print Length: 286 pages
Publication Date: December 13, 2019
Source: Local Library 

Title Link(s):
Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo (audiobook)

 

Trixie Silvertale - authorThe Author: USA TODAY Bestselling author Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lilian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Visit her online at:
http://www.TrixieSilvertale.com
Instagram @trixiesilvertale

©2022 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday

Fries and Alibis: Paranormal Cozy Mystery by Trixie Silvertale – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Mitzy Moon Mysteries Book 1

Book Blurb:

A gift that’s too good to be true. A murder she didn’t commit. A barista in a latte trouble…

Fries and Alibis by Trixie SilvertaleMitzy Moon believes she’s an orphan, so she’s dumbstruck when a special delivery to her low-rent apartment reveals a family. But her shock turns to awe when she discovers her grandmother left her a fortune and a bookshop of rare tomes brimming with magic.

No sooner does she set foot in the quirky village of Pin Cherry Harbor to claim her inheritance, than the handsome sheriff catches her standing over a corpse. Desperate to prove her innocence, she’s forced to accept help from her granny’s entitled cat and a spirit from beyond the grave.

Can Mitzy and her otherworldly helpers uncover the real killer before the long, sexy arm of the law hauls her to jail?

Fries and Alibis is the first book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries. If you like amateur sleuths, small town intrigue, and a dash of the supernatural, then you’ll love Trixie Silvertale’s twisty whodunit.

My Review:

For Mizithra Moon (Mitzy), an early twenty-somethings circumstances couldn’t get much worse. She’s a barista behind on her rent and not eating well. She was orphaned young and bounced from one foster parent to another. She’s learned to tough it out—she’s had to—(“…corollary to the first rule of foster care: never show weakness)” but present circumstances are really getting on her nerves.

When she gets the word that she’s inherited a bookshop (AND money!) from a grandmother she didn’t know she had, it’s hard to believe but doesn’t take a second to pack her few items and hit the road for Pin Cherry Harbor. She’s learned to keep it light.

Fries and Alibis by Trixie SilvertalePin Cherry Harbor will introduce Mitzy to a whole cadre of characters—most of which the reader will love: Silas the attorney, Odell the owner of Myrtle’s Diner, Twiggy the bookstore “manager,” Pyewacket the caracal (her grandmother’s pet), and shockingly enough, her said deceased grandmother (Ghost-ma). Yes, of course, there is the touch of romance, “Sheriff Too Hot To Handle” Erick.

dance “…leave room for the holy spirit” respectable partners hold.”

Yes, I love the cat—well, sorta kitty—an African lynx. Mitzy is the quintessential feisty female, keeps her thoughts and emotions buried, sketchy history. The town description, location, and people all evoke that great small homey town vibe. Good people, iffy climate location at the northern end of the Great Lakes.

I’m a fan of paranormal mysteries and I don’t think this is a typical cozy. Local law enforcement immediately tags her as a suspect in a murder though—really? Scratching my head trying to find one real reason they’d even look at her twice. I also had a little problem believing the character of Mitzy could so quickly love her long-lost dad, though maybe that’s good as it provides a subplot.

The snarky, snappy dialogue was at times a little over the top—geared toward a younger audience—and I quickly tired of her skinny jeans. With that said, I enjoyed the character-driven well-paced narrative. There was a fascination with the storyline that kept this reader reading and looking for the next in the series following the expected conclusion.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Ghost Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Sittin’ On A Goldmine Publications LLC
ISBN: ‎1734022108
ASIN: B07XB6MG8G
Print Length: 302 pages
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Source: Author and Publisher

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Trixie Silvertale - authorThe Author: USA TODAY Bestselling author Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lilian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Visit her online at: www:TrixieSilvertale.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

The Wedding Plot: A Mercy Carr Mystery by Paula Munier – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier

Mercy & Elvis Mysteries #4

Book Blurb:

The Wedding PlotUSA Today bestselling author Paula Munier’s fourth Mercy Carr mystery, finds Mercy and Elvis at a deadly Vermont wedding.

Love never dies a natural death…

The Wedding Plot by Paula MunierWhen Mercy’s grandmother Patience marries her longtime beau Claude Renault at the five-star Lady’s Slipper Inn, it promises to be the destination wedding of the year. Just as the four-day extravaganza is due to begin, the inn’s spa director Bodhi St. George disappears—and Mercy’s mother Grace sends Mercy and Elvis to find him. But what they discover instead is a stranger skewered by a pitchfork in the barn on the goat farm where St. George lived.

As Mercy tries to figure out who the victim is and where St. George is hiding, the bride and groom’s estranged relations gather for the first of the pre-wedding festivities. Long-buried rivalries and resentments surface—and Mercy realizes that they’re all keeping secrets that could tear both families apart. When Elvis interrupts the escalating melodrama to alert Mercy to an intruder on the estate, she finds a wounded St. George in the cottage where she and Troy are staying. St. George is not who he says he is—but when he escapes from the hospital and disappears again, Mercy thinks he’s gone for good. With the wedding imminent and the families at each other’s throats, she decides finding St. George will have to wait.

The big day arrives—but the danger is far from over. With the families and the festivities still under threat, it’s up to Mercy and Elvis together with Troy and Susie Bear to stop the killer and save the bride and groom—before death do they part.

My Review:

I really like Mercy Carr, formerly an Army MP and her bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois, Elvis—a promise to his former handler to care for him. Highly trained and intelligent, Elvis is the star of the series, as well as her love interest, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Game Warden Troy Warner. He has a rescue Newfoundland Retriever mix, Susie Bear, who you just want to hug.

The Wedding Plot by Paula MunierThis entry to the series has Mercy participating (unwillingly) in her grandmother’s destination wedding at the luxurious Lady Slipper Inn, an over-the-top lavishly restored historical resort in the “Live Free or Die” state. Of course, the whole family is there and that is the problem, beginning with her mother, Grace, who is orchestrating the entire affair.

Mercy is thrown into the position of instructor for the wedding party’s yoga session, filling in for the missing spa director who is the manager of the adjacent goat farm, producer of award-winning artisan Cruyére cheese. But meeting Annie, owner and operator of the creamery, discovers with Elvis far more than a missing yoga instructor—a dead body. And it’s not the yoga instructor.

Nor will it be the only body Mercy and Elvis discover and as the wedding plans advance and guests begin arriving, complications set in.

I wouldn’t really call this novel a cozy mystery. I read the first and third (The Hiding Place), but still struggled with the sheer amount of characters. The main support character, Annie, was well fleshed and we did get additional background on Mercy. The Vermont descriptions were both delightful and terrifying, the storms enough to drive any Sunday driver into another state.

While the canines had an integral part of this narrative, it was the families of the wedding party and the clashes between them and their problem with Mercy and her chosen life path that took center stage. Finding and discovering ever-deepening and disturbing minutiae had the plot going in different directions, but always coming back to the next family conflict. Honestly, I thought the wedding would never happen.

The conclusion satisfies but the storyline bogged down for me this time to the point where it became slow going. No problem—Book 4 being a one-off for me. I’ll be looking for Book 5. I like the series and Mercy, Troy, and those amazing dogs.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Animal Mystery, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: ‎ 125082236X
ASIN: B09CNF3X3W
Print Length: 342 pages
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Paula Munier - authorThe Author: PAULA MUNIER is a literary agent and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A BORROWING OF BONES, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was recently named the Dog Writers Association of America’s Dogwise Book of the Year. The second, BLIND SEARCH, pubbed in November 2019. The third, THE HIDING PLACE, will debut in March 2021.

Paula was inspired to write the series by the hero working dogs she met through Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescues, Newfoundland/retriever mix Bear, Great Pyrenees/Australian cattle dog mix Bliss, and Malinois mix Blondie, and a lifelong passion for crime fiction.

Paula also written three popular books on writing: PLOT PERFECT, THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO BEGINNINGS, and WRITING WITH QUIET HANDS, as well as the acclaimed memoir FIXING FREDDIE: A True Story of a Boy, a Mom, and a Very, Very Bad Beagle, and HAPPIER EVERY DAY: Simple ways to bring more peace, contentment and joy into your life.

She lives in New England with her family, her three rescue dogs, and a rescue torbie tabby named Ursula.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Death by Didgeridoo (Jamie Quinn Mystery Book 1) by Barbara Venkataraman – #BookReview – #cozyanimalmystery

Book Blurb:

Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman Attorney Jamie Quinn is on a six-month hiatus from practicing law to deal with her beloved mother’s death. Rarely leaving the house, she shares most of her days with her late mother’s cranky cat.

But soon, Jamie is forced into action by a frantic call from her Aunt Peg, whose autistic son Adam is in police custody and suspected of murdering his music teacher, a once-famous rock star named Spike.

It’s up to Jamie to find the real killer. The problem is, Spike seems to have had more enemies than he had friends, and Adam had confessed to the murder already. Can Jamie piece together the evidence and bring the murderer to justice before it’s too late?

A delightful, light mystery set in the small town of Hollywood, South Florida, Death By Didgeridoo is the first book in Barbara Venkataraman’s Jamie Quinn Cozy Mysteries series.

My Review:

That’s a fun word—Didgeridoo—of course, a wind instrument originating and common to Australia. But, yeah, so both the title and the cover are a serious draw.

Fortunately, the short story following delivers the implied promise. It’s both unique and vaguely familiar.

Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman A cozy mystery with an attorney protagonist (shudder), practicing family law until her mother’s death leaves her devastated and almost literally unable to function. Six months has not seen her return to her former active lifestyle, now barely capable of leaving the couch long enough to feed her mother’s cranky cat. The cat is on a formidable mourning period of its own.

When she receives a hysterical call from her Aunt Peg about her son, Adam, Jamie is forced to get up and deal with it—it’s family—and Adam cannot handle being pulled in and suspected in the murder of his music teacher with his own musical instrument. Adam has Asberger’s Syndrome. He is shutting down–and this trauma could make it permanent.

Jamie is forced to swing her focus on her cousin and her aunt—she is not a criminal attorney—but is smart and resourceful and it doesn’t take too long (this is a short story after all) to first, get her cousin calmed, and then invoke the help of her best friend and a PI.

The storyline necessarily moves at a good pace and along the way develops the characters sufficiently that the reader becomes invested in a positive outcome. The victim of the didgeridoo was not particularly viewed with love but the numero uno suspect is entirely innocent and naïve and almost becomes victim number two. It’s easy to become invested in the characters.

A quick read, engaging, and entertaining. I received a (now permanently) free review copy of this book as an introduction to the series after a request from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Animal Mystery, Women Sleuths, Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Next Chapter
ISBN: ‎ B099KZ3XX8
ASIN: B00GVJ4WOY
Print Length: 102 pages
Publication Date: November 13, 2013
Source: Author request

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Barbara Venkataraman - authorThe Author: Award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of the Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery series, as well as: Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person; The Fight for Magicallus; If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place; Quirky Essays for Quirky People; and the Flash Fiction Shorts series.

She has won the Indie Book of the Day award twice, the Book of the Day Award, a gold medal for memoir in the Readers’ Favorite Competition, was a finalist in the Kindle Book Awards twice, and won first place in the Amateur Detective category of the Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Mystery Writing Competition.

Her popular Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery Series includes: Death by Didgeridoo, The Case of the Killer Divorce, Peril in the Park, Engaged in Danger, Jeopardy in July, and Malice in Miami.

Her recent non-fiction: Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four, a memoir she co-authored with her son about lessons he learned while working to exonerate four men falsely accused of a terrible crime in the Jim Crow South.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Songbird (Jax Diamond Mysteries Book 1) by Gail Meath –#BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Book Blurb:

Songbird by Gail MeathMeet Jax Diamond, a sharp, sophisticated, skilled, no-nonsense private detective. Or is he? Glued to his side is his canine partner, Ace, a fierce and unrelenting German Shepherd whose mere presence terrorizes criminals into submission. Well, maybe not.

But the two of them are a whole lot smarter than they look. And they have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.

Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it. Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.

Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.

My Review:

I was absolutely taken by this gorgeous book cover and I love the period of the twenties. Women were just beginning to break out, jazz, blues, and the Charleston were the rage, prohibition in 1920 caused the rise of “speakeasies” (illegal taverns). A very colorful time in American history. And, of course, I enjoy historical fiction.

Songbird by Gail MeathLaura Graystone is the songbird, rising quickly in the musical theatre. She has the opportunity of filling the limelight when the production’s leading lady is mysteriously murdered.

Jax Diamond (what a perfect name!) is the PI, former detective, who is sure that the death of a playwright who has written a musical especially with her talent and voice in mind dies with what looks like natural causes. Not.

The first book in the series, we are gradually introduced to their backgrounds and the twenties atmosphere of New York. Jax has a formidable looking GSD he named Ace and the dog figures prominently in the storyline (which, of course, I also enjoy). Jax is multi-talented and mysterious—not revealing all about himself.

The author has tried to keep the authentic feeling of the period with both the speech (vernacular), and the sights and sounds of the prohibition era, including historic Coney Island. There are subtle sub-plots and twists and turns that keeps the reader pursuing justice.

There is a romance between the two with a cautious exploration of their relationship. Jax, however, lost his usual cool persona when there was a perceived threat to Laura, which seemed an over reaction to the situation.

The copy I received from NetGalley seemed to be an uncorrected proof as there were so many edit misses it sometimes slowed the read to visually correct either missing words, punctuation, or words used incorrectly. Otherwise, I found the storyline interesting, well-plotted and fast-paced, the characters well on their way to development, and the conclusion fitting.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
ASIN: B09HMRCVCL
Print Length: 212 pages
Publication Date: November 11, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Indie Bookstore

Gail Meath - author The Author: Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.

The subgenres of her books vary from action-packed westerns, plot twisting murder mysteries and biographies of powerful women who defied the strict rules of society fighting for the freedom of their countries. Her romances may exclude steamy sexual scenes, yet the intensity between heroine and hero will satisfy your deepest fantasies.

Outside of writing, she spends loads of time with her husband, children and grandchildren. http://www.gailmeath.com

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Hemlock for the Holidays (A Fine Art Mystery Book 3) by Paula Darnell –#BookReview – #cozycrafts

Book Blurb:

Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula DarnellAs Lonesome Valley kicks off the holiday season with its annual parade, artist Amanda Trent embraces the Christmas spirit, happy that her family will be coming to town to celebrate the season with her and her loyal pets, Laddie, a friendly golden retriever, and Mona Lisa, an independent calico cat.

Amanda has just one nagging concern: her art sales have stalled, so her checking account is starting to look a bit puny. Her financial woes pale, though, in comparison to her concern when several people eat carrot bars laced with hemlock at the high school’s arts and crafts fair, resulting in one unlucky man’s death. Was the poisoning an accident, or did someone with evil intent deliberately spike the sweet baked goods?

Leads the police follow don’t pan out until Amanda puts the puzzle together. But, sometimes, knowledge can be a dangerous thing. . . 

My Review:

Amanda Treat is getting ready for the Christmas season in Lonesome Valley. She is a fairly new resident, divorcée, and starving artist. She is expecting both her parents and her children for the holidays and looking forward to a high school arts and crafts fair, in which she participates with her co-op Roadrunner Gallery. A slump in her sales, she is sweating having enough income to get through the next couple of months.

Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula DarnellAmanda has a golden retriever named Laddie and a “mercurial” calico cat named Mona Lisa and interaction with her animals, their feeding, playing, and pet sitting is featured in the narrative as well as the struggles for sales of both her landscapes and pet portraits, with the mystery the other third of the novel. I’m thinking that was part of my problem with this one, the third in the series. My first.

Several high school students are poisoned at the art fair and a few days later there is a death, which becomes her focus when not dealing with the other two. I could not relate well to Amanda and felt few of the support characters stood out. Dialogue was awkward at times, but worse (for me) was the excessive description of minutia.

While the novel was well-plotted, I found the pace slow and had difficulty retaining interest. I just couldn’t get immersed sufficient to care which character was dog-sitting and I’m not a person looking for recipes at the end. Not a cozy for me, but I’m sure there are many who will enjoy.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating:  Three point Five Stars

3 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press
ASIN: B09645DYV5
Print Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: August 5, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Paula Darnell - authorThe Author: An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications.

She is the author of the cozy mystery series, DIY Diva Mysteries, and a historical mystery, The Six-Week Solution. Her new cozy mystery series, Fine Art Mysteries, is in the works for 2021.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Goodnight Moo (A Buttermilk Creek Mystery Book 2) by Mollie Cox Bryan – a #BookReview – #cozymystery

“… when a mysterious tractor accident looks suspiciously like murder, Brynn suspects someone is up to no-gouda.”

Book Blurb:

Goodnight Moo by Mollie Cox BryanWelcome to Shenandoah Springs, Virginia, the bucolic small town where Brynn MacAlister keeps cows, churns cheeses—and is sharper than the ripest cheddar when it comes to solving mysteries . . .   With a foster cow in her corral and a new calf on the way, Brynn MacAlister has a lot on her plate. Especially since her micro-dairy farm is hosting the first annual cheesemakers contest at this year’s summer fair. A relative newcomer, Brynn’s hoping the contest becomes a tradition, bonding her even more strongly to the community. But when a mysterious tractor accident looks suspiciously like murder, Brynn suspects someone is up to no-gouda . . .   Some folks say the lead suspect was just defending his underage daughter from a suitor more mature than a vintage provolone, but Brynn isn’t buying it. Especially when another dead body turns up and Brynn’s top cheesemaker falls under suspicion. It’s enough to make a girl bluer than her best Stilton. But not enough to stop Brynn from getting to the bottom of things. What she discovers is the small town harbors some pretty unsavory characters. And the closer Brynn gets to the killer, the deeper she gets into danger . .

My Review:

Having read Book 1 of the series, I snatched this one up when it became available as an ARC as I really enjoyed the rural farm setting and the animals. In Book 1, protagonist Brynn MacAlister moved to the bucolic Shenandoah Springs property with funds from her grandmother’s passing. Buttermilk Creek Farm includes the main house, guest house, and barns with three resident Red Devon dairy cows, Petunia, Marigold, and Buttercup. Unfortunately, Petunia gave birth to a stillborn calf and went into an extended mourning period. Now one of the other cows is pregnant.

Goodnight Moo by Mollie Cox BryanWes stayed to live with her in the guest house after his grandmother died in a fire in an adjacent property and brought with him youthful skills and enthusiasm as well as being media savvy. There is a resident kitty in the main house and Freckles, the dog, was a rescue from one of the main support characters, the local vet, Schuyler. This time Schuyler arrives with a Highland cow, orphaned when his elderly owner passed away. Brynn promises to “foster” the cow until the vet can find a forever home, but you know what will happen with that one.

They are excited about the county fair in which Brynn has organized a cheese competition until an accident on a local farm turns out to be one of murder. The owner’s tractor went all AI on him and it ran over a summer worker. He is the first person of interest but then Wes takes the honor when it appears his gun is involved in a second murder. Now it gets nasty, with Wes being Pakistani, taking on racist overtones. Ransom ware begins to hit after Brynn has a severe accident of her own and the cheese competition turns real blue.

Brynn’s sister, Becky comes to help her after she’s out of the hospital and there is strong support to help with the cows. But what is going on in the community? Small town, southern attitudes harbor sides she hadn’t previously seen and she’s determined to clear Wes even as his father and brother come to his aid as well. She and Becky have a loving, supportive relationship, and Jewel the Highland cow while terribly shy is slowly becoming acclimated.

Sifting through the twists and red herrings, it’s still hard to grapple with who might be behind all the mayhem. Is it all even connected? While they keep negating the role that Chelsea plays as a sixteen-year-old, she certainly isn’t an innocent. And while she presents one major theme, the racist theme falls heavily throughout the narrative.

“There was nothing worse than the disappointment in people who turned out not to be who you thought they were.”

I really enjoy Brynn, the support characters, and the appealing locale. Brynn is compassionate and fiercely loyal. She has an affinity for the animals that is a delight and her passionate approach to artisan cheeses and the farm to table movement is inspiring. My quibble would be the rehashing and overhashing of the major plot points. There is a darker overtone to this well-plotted novel with topical arguments behind the main plot (mostly resolved in conclusion) that I found a bit disturbing. And, of course, there are a number of recipes which have appeal. A strong mystery, engaging characters, and only periodic sagging in pace, recommended as a fun, cozy mystery. Looking forward to Book 3.

Add to Goodreads Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Cozy Animal Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B082WRM3L6
Print Length: 290 pages
Publication Date: To be released August 25, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

 Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars 4-stars

Mollie Cox Bryan - authorThe Author: Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge and romances with slow, sweet burn. The first book in her new mystery series, “Cora Crafts Mysteries.” is DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES, which was selected as “Fresh Fiction Not to Miss” and is a 2017 Finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award. The second book, NO CHARM INTENDED, was named a Summer 2017 Top 10 Beach Read by Woman’s World. She also wrote the Agatha-award nominated Cumberland Creek Mysteries. Several of the books in that series were short-listed for the Virginia Library People’s Choice Award. She’s also penned a historical fiction: MEMORY OF LIGHT: AN AFTERMATH OF GETTYSBURG and historical romance: TEMPTING WILL MCGLASHEN. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Va.

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