REVIEWED ... COZY MYSTERIES




Running Into Trouble (Danni Girl Mystery Book 1) ... by Debra Sue Brice




Danni is just your average college girl; enjoying workouts with hot men and old hangouts with her favorite handsome neighbor. But her life is turned upside down when her best friend is found murdered in her home. With the list of suspects rapidly dwindling, will Danni be able to solve the case before the murderer finds her next?




OUR REVIEW

Who says being in college is all fun and games? Running Into Trouble is the first of the Cozy Mystery Murder series by Debra Sue Brice. Fast pasted with twists and turns will keep you guessing until the end.

  
              Amazon Review



                             SERENITY SPRINGS, OHIO ... by Lillian Duncan

An abandoned bird; an ailing aunt; and an unhappy fiancé. What else could happen? Oh, yeah—a murder! Chief of Police, Matthew Travis moved home to avoid the violence of being a big city police officer, but murder shatters the peace and tranquility of his hometown.

It appears to be an open and shut case. A troubled teenager at the scene covered in blood with the murder weapon in his hand is arrested. Unfortunately, as Matthew ties up loose ends, his once open and shut case unravels.

And the danger escalates!


OUR REVIEW

I must say the cover of Serenity Springs, Ohio by Lillian Duncan attracted me to this book. Not only did it say it took place in the state that I live, but loved the look of the quaint, cozy town where it takes place.


Linda      
Lillian has her finger (and pen) on the heartbeat of a small hometown in Wooster, where people know and care about each other. The first page digs right into the heart of the story, setting up the murder scene that takes on many twists and turns which needs to be solved, or can it?

Besides romantic love that has it's ups and downs, the love Matthew has for his family is truly heart warming. When Emily moves from out of town back to Serenity Springs, she brings along with her a great faith in God, and all that He can do for us. This faith plays a major part in the different outcomes of revealing secrets and finding the murderer. If you love to figure out mysteries and putting pieces together, this is the book for you! Thanks Lillian for a great Christian Mystery.


        Amazon Review




 
              Dumpster Dicing ... by Julie B Cosgrove


As Janie and Betsy Ann go for their morning jog, the city sanitation vehicle follows its normal five-mile Tuesday morning route through their retirement community of Sunset Acres. The two Bunco-playing biddies spot a leg dangling out of the dumpster when the truck lifts the trash container high in the air. Someone diced up one of their newest residents—a grouchy loner named Edwin Newman. Did he unpack too much of his dicey past when he moved in last weekend?

OUR REVIEW

Just the title Dumpster Dicing by Julie B Cosgrove is enough to entice you to dig into this story of three widows residing in a retirement community. But really?  Nothing but retirement for these gals! I felt right at home with these Bunco Biddies as Cosgrove perfectly nailed the lifestyle that they lived in the community. Gal pals always seem to find each other no matter what age.

Linda       
Finding the diced up leg in the trash was only accidental, but it put these gals full speed ahead into investigation mode, as Janie was the widow of a beloved Texas police detective who always "bounced" his hard to solve murder cases off of.

Even though it was a gruesome murder, Cosgrove wove the story with such humor, I found myself laughing out loud at the antics these sleuths got themselves into as they went to great lengths to help in the investigation! Not only dishing out information with each other, but dishing up amazingly delicious comfort food...totally in character with the elderly.

I have to say this is more than just a Cozy Mystery, as it is rich in details, and branches off into a little sub-plot that adds more depth to these ladies personalities. The twists and turns were fun to read, but I'll have to say the wrap up at the end had a couple of surprises that I didn't see coming!  Humor and mystery to satisfy...but wait, a great introduction at the end of the book to Cosgrove's next mystery...can't wait to see what happens next.

                      Amazon Review

 


A Pie to Die For: A Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery by... Stacey Alabaster



Rachael will do anything to protect her bakery from the evil Bakermatic Baked Goods Company. Does that include murder?

Rachael is a pastry chef with a boutique bakery. When a food critic dies after eating a pie from Rachael’s bakery, she is quickly labeled the prime suspect. Faced with a police investigation that doubts her innocence, she has no choice but to find the real killer. With carefree best friend, Pippa, Rachael sets out on a mission to save her bakery, but it could ultimately cost her and her best friend everything.

A Pie to Die For is part of the Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery series. If you like fast paced mysteries full of quirky characters and unexpected twists, you’ll love the Bakery Detectives.


OUR REVIEW

A delightful short cozy mystery, bringing in all the elements that are needed to keep the reader guessing...who done it?

A Pie To Die For by Stacie Alabaster opens with the declining sales in Racheal's Boutique Cake due to the fact that across the street the competitive bakery, Bakermatic, is giving away free samples and cheaper prices. Rachael takes pride in making her pastries and cakes fresh and with natural ingredients.

Linda         
As it turns out, the town invites all the local businesses to participate in the Belldale Street Fair, where not so popular food critic Collen Batters is poisoned! All evidence turns to Rachael and her best friend Pippa, and by trying to clear her name and restore the good name of her bakery, they start sleuthing on their own, to the displeasure of Detective Whitaker who is now on the case.

Twists and turns are plenty, and everyone is a suspect! The reader is kept guessing until the end, and as usual, you haven't guess the right one. Cute and simple book, easy to read...for fans of "guess who".
                    Amazon Review







Action Men with Silly Putty: A Jack Donegal Mystery (Jack Donegal Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition ... by Susan Joy Clark

 Jack Donegal is an engineer, toy inventor and the head of his own toy company but not a detective until he stumbles into a strange situation. While on a business trip, he stops to purchase a 1914 teddy bear at an estate auction. While still on the auction grounds, armed thugs, who mistake him for a Dalton Starks, seem to think he’s in possession of something they want. Although police rescue him from his first encounter with criminals, Jack and Andy Westin, his marketing manager, roommate and friend, begin to think there’s something special about this teddy bear to make it interesting to criminals. They engage in a cat and mouse hunt with various members of the criminal world, but who are the cats and who are the mice? With the help of their combined wits and various technical gadgetry including toy parts and prototypes, Jack and Andy help bring several criminals to justice. With two personalities like those of Jack and Andy, there is bound to be some silliness along the way in this comedy mystery.

Our Review  

I have to say that I love Cozy Mysteries and when I picked up Action Men with Silly Putty: A Jack Donegal Mystery by Susan Joy Clark I was in for a wonderful surprise! This book was more than just a cozy mystery, I felt the author has opened up a new mystery genre with the pairing of guy pals in place of a young adventurous women falling into trouble.

To set the tone of this insanely crazy, but plausible mystery, let me just give you a brief "feeling" of the two main characters...Jack, owner and founder of the Out of the Box Toy Design, a cross between  Mr. Gadget and a brilliant and loveable Maxwell Smart. Jack has the most incredible gadgets and what nots in every pocket, which in this mystery comes in very handy. His manner of dress is edgy cartoon style, which fits his borderline genius personality. Very retro, very svelte.

Side kick, marketing manager, and best friend Andy Westin completes the duo. The combination of these two make for outrages and quirky dialog no matter what event is happening. 

As they stumble upon a mystery that just has to be solved, their adventure just takes on one hilarious turn after another, as they confide in their gal pals who in turn can dish out whatever the guys give, which adds a touch of delightful and fun romantic tension.

I must say I enjoyed the Boot and Scoot chapter and actually laughed out loud while the guys were still getting deeper in the midst of solving the crime, but inadvertently had a Western fun night, complete with  mechanical bull riding, Line Dancing and possibly meeting girls.

Just a teaser from the dance as Andy met his cowgirl ... "Are you here with a partner?" she asked. "Oh I'm alone, I came here with a friend, a male friend...but he's not a partner." Somehow, I felt stupid for the need to explain this. "He may be my pardner as in," I tried my best Southern drawl, "Howdy Pardner! and, we work together, but aside from that, he is not any kind of partner." I realized I was babbling idiotically and possibly blushing. Luckily, my cute cowgirl stayed put.

Honestly, I wish I could just keep on giving excerpts, as this story has so much life to it...every page has current or retro facts that I could relate to and yet many new amazingly interesting new ones. I've even repeated some to my family just to share how smart I got after reading this book.


Linda    

So, to sum up this wild and crazy mystery, I will say the antics of the characters are the endearing draw of this story, as the author pulls out every bell and whistle that will carry you from page to page, and then...the mystery is solved and you are still wanting to know what will these guys get into next!
                
https://www.amazon.com/Action-Men-Silly-Putty-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00Y49AUXU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8     Amazon Review

 




Grilled and Seasoned With Murder (A Josie Rizzo Cozy Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition   ... By JR Pearson                     



Josie Rizzo has a lot on her plate.
(Double bacon cheeseburger not included)

She and her furry companion, Petey, set out to start fresh in the food loving town of Greenville. Josie is excited to introduce the readers of her food blog to the town's delicious creations.
But when a young woman is murdered at a local burger joint, Josie must sacrifice all she has planned to accomplish to prevent a person from her past from being wrongly accused of the woman's death.
And things start to heat up when the killer sets his sights on Josie.
Will she be able to enjoy Greenville's belly-rubbing cuisines and begin a new chapter in her life? Or will the killer cut Josie's dreams short and make sure that basket of onion rings are her last?


OUR REVIEW


    Lisa Lynn
This was a fun cozy mystery which involved a food blogger and her dog.  Josie was trying to be more independent of her family and just wanted to be noticed by a popular food magazine -- she never expected to renew an old friendship and try to help solve a murder while falling for the number one murder suspect.  The book was well-written and was a quick, easy read, but even though I knew it was a 'food' book, I grew tired of the many food descriptions and the blog excerpts.  The mystery itself was very good, and I would have liked to have seen more twists and turns.  Even though I felt like I was skimming over the food references, I enjoyed the mystery so much that the author left me wanting to read the next book to see what happens.
 


        Amazon Review   





Fudge-Laced Felonies (Christian cozy mystery) (A Summer Meadows Mystery Book 1)       

By Cynthia Hickey          


        DIAMONDS, CASH, AND A BLOODY GARDENING GLOVE

While transplanting the rosebush her church's handsome greeter, Ethan Banning, inadvertently killed, Summer and Ethan discover a hidden stash of diamonds, a rusty can full of cash, and a bloody-gardening glove. This discovery sets Summer and her candy-making aunt on a search for a killer.

As Summer gets closer to the truth-not only of the theft but of her true feelings for Ethan-the diamond thief hatches a plan to hush the feisty sleuth.


OUR REVIEW  


Fudge-Laced Felonies by Cynthia Hickey was my first introduction to Christian Cozy Mysteries, and what an amazing impression it left on me!  The story opens with Summer Meadows looking for a murderer in church, of all things! This already grabbed my attention, thinking...really?  

This book was so fun and easy to read, I had a hard time putting it down. I kept thinking to myself, seriously, how can I be enjoying and sometimes laughing at the loveable actions of these characters?  Who ever thought that murders could be woven into a sweet, and wholesome mystery? Summer just opened a candy store in town when she stumbles upon something strange in her rose garden, and the detective side in her pops out and gets her into all kinds of trouble.

Juggling her emotions between two love rivals, a supporting group of friends and family, she digs herself deeper and deeper into this mystery, often calling on God for guidance to help her make the right choices.

I love the innocence of the characters and the plot, as it reminded me of how books could whisk you away for the pure enjoyment of reading and letting your imagination add to the written word.

This was a stand alone book, but can't wait to finish off the series, as the Cozy Mystery genre seems to continue with the main character and her sometimes off beat friends and family, finding and solving crimes to a final and satisfying outcome.


Linda     

As an adult, I loved this book. Sometimes we just need a little simplicity to balance out our real life. Diamonds, chocolate, mystery, and hint of romance...good to the very last drop.
 Amazon Review
                                   







Foreclosed: A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery...by Traci Tyne Hilton



Mitzy Neuhaus is the top selling Realtor in Portland, but even her office is dead in this economy. Foreclosed is the word no homeowner wants to hear and Mitzy is determined to save the incredible mansion on her street from that fate. But with the homeowner desperate to keep Mitzy away from his property and Alonzo, the dangerously hot rival investor trying to snatch it out from under her, Mitzy knows she has to work fast, or the economy won’t be the only thing dead…


A fun cozy mystery. The lead character, Mitzy Neuhause, is what one would get if Legally Blond were about real estate. She is well-intentioned, beautiful, slightly clueless, and really, really good at w

hat she does - which is selling homes in Portland, Oregon.

OUR REVIEW

Mitzy Newhaus, the main character in this cozy mystery, Foreclosed:A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery by Traci Tyne Hilton is a good hearted Realtor, who battles the poor  housing market economy but still tries to keep her employees stable with a steady income.  Her main rival is the heart throb Realtor Alonzo, who happens to be competing for the same Victorian mansion which is almost in foreclosure.

I found this book slow to start, with many facets dealing with the real estate business which didn't keep my interest. The interaction  with the secondary characters was not fleshed out.  By the time the mystery started, I was about half way through the book.


A little bit of flirting, but even the small of amount of romance didn't seem to carry the story. This book has all the right elements for a cozy mystery, but not the pace or the total interaction of all the characters.

I would say that this mystery could fit the bill for some cozy buffs, but for me, a little to slow, a little to late.                              



Amazon Review




Good Clean Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery (The Plain Jane Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition  ... By Traci Tyne Hilton 



 Bible school student Jane cleans houses to make ends meet. She's getting by just fine-until she finds one of her customers murdered in his bed. Enjoy this cozy Christian mystery for free today!                    


OUR REVIEW

Good Clean Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery (Book 1) by Traci Tyne Hilton opens with the main character Jane on her way to her first client of the day. Noticing that something was a bit off from the usual routine of her side job of house cleaning, (which paid for her Harvest School of the Bible education) she continued her house hold duties. Working her way upstairs, thinking about having only one semester left at school before she could quit cleaning and would be able to finally go onto the Mission Field, she opens up the bedroom door and finds her first dead body!

And now the mystery begins and takes off at a rapid pace! Being only twenty years old, Jane has a good head on her shoulders, but is mostly on her own since her parents did not agree on what school she should go to and how she should take care of her finances. She is stuck with a room mate that she found on Craigslist, a car she found online and book money that she still owes to the school. Juggling all this and determined to solve this murder of her beloved employer keeps Jane running into more predicaments at every turn.

Harvest School of the Bible has strict rules about dating, and, well Jane runs into a mess there too. Thinking she is making the right decisions about her life, love, and friends, Jane keeps adding more to her suspect list. Loads of twists and turns that keeps you guessing until the end.




Linda    

I enjoyed this book not only for the "clean" read and how Jane handles her faith, but it also touched on current events that are important to us even now. (you'll have to read the book to find out!) I am really looking forward to the rest of the series. 

Amazon Review

 


 Death by Tiara (A Jaine Austen Mystery Series Book 13)...By Laura Levine
       
                                                                                                                                                            
 For freelance writer Jaine Austen, working behind the scenes at a teen beauty pageant has shown her that sometimes beauty is in the eye of the murderer…

Teen contestant Taylor Van Sant has a talent for singing, but she can't write a song. So her über-pushy stage mom Heather has hired Jaine to pen lyrics the judges will love. Unfortunately, the hotel hosting Miss Teen Queen America is a dump, the cattiness is out of control, and Candace--the
perfectly-coiffed, whip-cracking pageant director--is making even Jaine's life miserable. When Candace's assistant Amy is found bludgeoned to death with a silver tiara, there are more suspects than sequins on a pageant gown--and Heather is first on the list. Taylor begs Jaine to help clear her mom's name, but finding the culprit is going to be trickier than walking the stage in stilettos…
    



OUR REVIEW  

Even though I jumped into the last book of this series, Death By Tiara by Laura Levine, there was no problem finding the rhythm of the story. Jaine is a young woman who leads a regular life with some special writing talents and a very sarcastic cat. It seems like she is the type who just naturally falls into a murder mystery, and with her wit and charm ends up helping solve them.

I enjoyed the Beauty Pageant theme, as it reminded me of my daughter's friend who joined one. The not so posh venue, low rate hotel, and the ever so demanding moms that push their daughters through this whole beauty routine is right on point.

Linda     
Meanwhile, scattered through the story, Jaine's hilarious mom and dad are e-mailing her what's been going on at home, from two different perspectives. Crazy fun is had through out the story, and of course there is a love interest. Twists and turns keeps the reader interested as well as guessing "who done it." Didn't see the very end coming which really surprised me and made me think, good for you!

Cute and lighthearted, a fun read.
Amazon Review