Murder at an Irish Bakery (An Irish Village Mystery Book 9) by Carlene O’Connor – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog @KensingtonCozies

Book Blurb:

The picturesque village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, is the perfect backdrop for a baking contest—until someone serves up a show-stopping murder that only Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan can solve.

Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O'ConnorIn Kilbane, opinions are plentiful and rarely in alignment. But there’s one thing everyone does agree on—the bakery in the old flour mill, just outside town, is the best in County Cork, well worth the short drive and the long lines. No wonder they’re about to be featured on a reality baking show.

All six contestants in the show are coming to Kilbane to participate, and the town is simmering with excitement. Aside from munching on free samples, the locals—including Siobhan—get a chance to appear in the opening shots. As for the competitors themselves, not all are as sweet as their confections. There are shenanigans on the first day of filming that put everyone on edge, but that’s nothing compared to day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie.
The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently . . .

My Review:

It’s so nice to revisit the atmospheric Irish Village again where I can enjoy the countryside and people. I always look forward to the author’s sense of humor, spicing the dialogue, particularly between herself and Macdara with wit and couple spark.

“Drop the attitude and answer the question,” Macdara said. Siobhán’s insides warmed up. She was going to bring him breakfast in bed for the rest of his life. Or at least once.”

Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O'ConnorThis addition to the series is perfect for foodies in that there is to be a reality baking show just outside the town of Kilbane where the locals are expecting to sample the specialties of the contestants of a show held in the old flour mill. More than that, they are expecting to rub elbows with the well-known top contestant soon to release a memoir.

Garda Siobhán O’Sullivan is just slightly distracted by all the delightful smells, the beauty of the confections, and the heavenly tastes she manages to wrangle. And there is another distraction—that of a sugar protestor “sugar kills!” Not until the second day when a very suspicious “accident” happens to the lead contestant does it begin to look as if they have a murderous baker in the group, although to be fair, there are the judges as well as the camera crew.

Garda O’Sullivan must decide if she should shut it down (and watch her suspects split) or keep it going and risk another fatal mishap. Garda Flannery joins the fray and they begin bouncing off all the possible scenarios, which at first flush doesn’t seem to get them very far.

It seems Garda O’Sullivan is still leading the posse with speculation but defers somewhat to hubby than she has before—building consensus. It’s easy to draw your own assumptions among the theories, but not so the culprit this time so I just let it roll out to the conclusion and reveal.

I began this series with Book 4 and have read each now, including Book 8 Murder on an Irish Farm, and Book 7, Murder in an Irish Bookshop; one of my favorite go-to series. Currently on pre-order for a February 2023 release and recommended.

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: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mysteries, International Mystery & Crime
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
ASIN: B0B358YLW7
Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: February 21, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Carlene O'Connor - authorThe Author: Carlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

http://www.carleneoconnor.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Autumn at Rosepoint Pub

Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart

Long Scarf Syndrome – The entanglement of the scarf’s free-floating end into moving machinery

Book Blurb:

Stocking stuffers like handknit scarves make the coziest of Christmas gifts—unless they’re used as accessories for murder!

Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart CHRISTMAS SCARF MURDER by CARLENE O’CONNOR
When grinchy thefts steal the good cheer at a local nursing home, Siobhan O’Sullivan manages to identify one missing item before Kilbane, Ireland’s Christmas tractor parade—a hideous shamrock scarf wrapped around a very dead body. Now, with her holiday farmhouse bash approaching, Siobhan must dash to stop a deadly Secret Santa from gifting another unwanted surprise.

SCARFED DOWN by MADDIE DAY
It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas at Pans ‘N Pancakes, as twelve days of menu specials dazzle hungry locals. But the festivities go cold the instant a diner dies while knitting a brilliant green scarf. With Aunt Adele tied into a murder investigation, it’s all on Robbie Jordan to find out who’s really been naughty or nice in South Lick, Indiana.

DEATH BY CHRISTMAS SCARF by PEGGY EHRHART
Suspects pile up faster than New Jersey snow when frosty-tempered Carys Walnutt is found strangled by a handmade scarf auctioned at Arborville’s tree-lighting ceremony. Between a winning bidder hiding behind the alias “S. Claws” and a victim who deserved coal in her stocking, can Pamela Paterson and the crafty Knit and Nibble ladies freeze a killer’s merry murder plot?

My Review:

Fun, fast, and easy book to kick off the Christmas reading holidays! This anthology is headlined by Carlene O’Connor, whose Irish Village Mystery series feature Detective Sargeant Siobhan O’Sullivan and hubby Garda O’Sullivan in this offering, Christmas Scarf Murder. Always a treat with the Irish countryside-themed mysteries. This storyline covers the death of a tractor parade participant and triggered my short research into Long Scarf Syndrome—it’s a real (and deadly) occurrence. The O’Sullivan’s are entertaining their very large family for the Christmas holidays with the goal of solving this one by Christmas Eve.

Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart The second, Scarfed Down by Maddie Day is part of her Country Store Mystery series set in South Lick, Indiana (fictional, French Lick is not), of course, the proximity caught my attention. I greatly enjoy her writing style as well.

“Boy, howdy, Robbie, it’s colder than a bullfrog’s hind leg out there and darker than a pocket.”

“That would definitely slot me into the Too Stupid to Live category.”

She’s always busy tending her restaurant/country store and hosting a knitting group. It’s the latter that’s key to this novella, entertaining a lively bunch of knitters along with Christmas-themed dishes for the diner end of the business.

I’m not familiar with Peggy Ehrhart who included her Death by Christmas Scarf in the Christmas scarf-themed compilation. The third story features Pam Paterson who engages with her Knit and Nibble group in an interesting use of knit one, purl one during WWII (Spy-Craft: The Knitting Spies of World War II…”). The ingenious methods of communication during that war never ceases to amaze me.

These Christmas scarf-themed cozy mystery novellas are a lovely way to kick off the season, expected to release late September and currently on preorder. Love the Irish setting and the husband/wife team in O’Connor’s books and the location and sense of humor in Maddie Days’ books.

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: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystery Anthologies, Holiday Fiction
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
ASIN: B09PJ228LB
Print Length: 351 pages
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

The Authors:

Carlene O’Connor is the USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Irish Village Mysteries, the County Kerry Novels, and the Home to Ireland Mysteries. Born into a long line of Irish storytellers, her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland filled with tales in 1897 and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places she’s wandered across the pond, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork, the setting of her Irish Village Mystery series. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and currently divides her time between Southern California and the Emerald Isle. Please visit her online at CarleneOConnor.net.

Maddie Day is the Agatha Award and Macavity Award-winning author of the Cozy Capers Book Club Mystery series and the Country Store Mysteries, as well as other series written under the name Edith Maxwell. A member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, she is a regular contributor at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and belongs to The Wickeds, a group of six bestselling authors who blog at WickedAuthors.com. Day lives with her beau north of Boston, though she knows both Indiana and Cape Cod intimately. She is a talented amateur chef and gardener and can be found online at MaddieDayAuthor.com. 

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who lives in Leonia, New Jersey, where she writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Illinois and taught writing and literature at Queens College, CUNY, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she was a tenured full professor. Her short stories have appeared in Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, Crime and Suspense, Flashing in the Gutters, Spinetingler, Crime Scene: New Jersey 2, and Murder New York Style. A longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Peggy served on the board of MWA New York as head of the Mentor Committee. She was president of Sisters in Crime NY/TriState from 2013 to 2015. Peggy regularly attends mystery-writing conferences and participates in conference panels and gives talks on mystery fiction at libraries in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door (A Jane Darrowfield Mystery Book2) by Barbara Ross – #BookReview – #cozymystery

Book Blurb:

Jane Darrowfield is using her retirement years to work as a professional busybody, with most of her business coming from her West Cambridge, Massachusetts, community. This time her client is right next door . . .

Jane Darrowfield and the Mad Woman Next Door by Barbara RossJANE DARROWFIELD AND THE MADWOMAN NEXT DOOR

Megan, who’s purchased the house next to Jane’s, needs some help from her snooping neighbor. Megan’s been having blackouts, hearing voices—and feeling like someone’s following her. Are these symptoms of an illness—or signs that she’s in danger?

Considering the extensive security system in Megan’s house, it seems like she should be safe—yet she soon vanishes into thin air. Some think she’s run away, but would this ambitious young lawyer on the partner track really miss a meeting with an important client? And where’s Megan’s cat?

The mystery is about to deepen when the cat is finally located in a hidden panic room—and as Jane and the police look into Megan’s friends, family, and past, it may be time to sound the alarm . . .

My Review:

I’m one of those who read and enjoy the Maine Clambake Mysteries so jumped on the chance to start with Book 1 (an audiobook) in the author’s new series, Professional Busybody. Book 2 takes a slightly different tack in that she is asked by Megan Larson, her mid-thirties single lawyer neighbor next door to ascertain if she is having mental problems or there really is someone out to drive her off the rails. She’s been seeing things, having lights turned on or off, hearing things. Or is it just the “smart” house that is running amok?

Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door by Barbara RossNo prob. Jane is on the job and shortly comes up with a theory just about the time the woman goes missing. Oh, yes, this one doesn’t take long to go from 0 to 60.

Jane is an independent woman, fully capable, intelligent, and solid with Detective Alvarez as well as a new and developing love interest, Harry. Both the support characters are looking pretty good and I’m hoping all three will see further developing as the series progresses. Jane is also working on another little conflict in the neighborhood, that of Roo the cat.

This is a slightly more serious cozy, following the basic formula, and switching it up with twists. Not too difficult to figure out the culprit, but the deepening mystery pushed some tension and made for an engaging and entertaining read.

I enjoyed Book 1 and thought this one was a great sophomore effort sure to cement some old as well as new fans to the series and author. I like the theme of a capable and caring senior, connected but subtle in her methods. An easy and well-paced novel.

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: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
ASIN: B091M9PPQS
Print Length: 250 pages
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Barbara Ross - authorThe Author: Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at http://www.barbararossauthor.com

©2021 V Williams

Hypnosis Is for Hacks (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery Book 4) by Tamara Berry – #BookReview – #psychicmysteries

Book Blurb:

Hypnosis Is for Hacks by Tamara BerryThough Eleanor is delighted that her brother, Liam, is visiting her in England, she must reluctantly agree that her quiet village lacks something when it comes to sightseeing—namely: sights. True, there’s nearby Castle Hartford, belonging to the family of Ellie’s boyfriend, Nicholas. But even Nicholas’s mother is eager to ditch sleepy, sweltering Sussex for a vacation in Brighton, taking Ellie and a relieved Liam with her. Yet hopes of a breezy seaside holiday quickly turn stormy, in every sense . . .

The ominous change in weather is accompanied by the reappearance of Ellie’s former partner-in-crime, Armand Lamont. Back when Ellie earned a living as a phony medium, Armand’s hypnosis skills helped the pair persuade many gullible marks to hand over their savings. Ellie assumes that Armand has resurfaced with blackmail in mind, but before she can figure out his angle, she and Liam witness a man being pushed from a boat by two shadowy figures who then vanish into midair.

Phantoms? Demons? Though Ellie doesn’t believe in either, the recovered body is real enough, as is a string of thefts plaguing their luxury hotel. Ellie has a theory, and it requires inviting Nicholas to join them under a fake identity. Their evolving relationship is as complex as this case, and Ellie’s authentic supernatural abilities too are developing in surprising ways. But as for whether the outcome will be good or bad, not even her witchy powers can say . . .

His Review:

A couple is walking along a beach during an extremely stormy night. The couple looks out into the tempestuous storm to see two men fighting and throwing a third man off the boat whereby he drowns. Thus begins an investigation by a very renowned psychic and medium! A bit of a bitter pill to swallow as the novel begins.

Hypnosis Is for Hacks by Tamara BerryEleanor is a gifted psychic with a group of ghosts who help her unravel the mysteries she seems to keep getting. She is surrounded by a group of never-do-wells, cats, and an ugly doll named Brunhilde. She also has a highly respected investigator named Armond Lemont who continues to question her investigation and appears more of a hindrance than a help.

She struggles through the investigation with Armond questioning every assumption. It seems he may have more than a passing interest in Eleanor and her future. Meanwhile her apparitions continue to guide and help her through the investigation. She has another suitor who is hanging in there hoping to win her heart. He is Nicholas Hartford III.  Even his name evokes status and wealth. His mother will have to expire before this becomes a reality though.

I found it very difficult at times to believe the narrative. Who can walk on a beach during a stormy night and witness a crime on the water in the dark? Having lived on an island and been out in bad weather, I can assure you something happening in the dark on a stormy night wouldn’t be observed, especially someone fighting in a small boat on the open water.

CE WilliamsThe story was a fun frollick, however, and featured some interesting concepts and characters. It is a romp into the shadowy world of make believe. 4 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars 4 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Psychic Mysteries, Witch & Wizard Mysteries, Ghost Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
ASIN: B08VF957XH
Print Length: 197 pages
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hypnosis Is for Hacks [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Tamara Berry - authorThe Author: Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture.

 

 

 

 

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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