Pressing The Issue by Daryl Wood Gerber

Pressing the Issue (Cookbook Nook Mystery, #6)

The Agatha Award–winning author of Grilling the Subject returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, where the annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers, damsels in distress, and medieval murder . . .

As the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a winepress, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.

Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived comely wench, or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?

Includes tantalizing recipes!

Oh to be in Crystal Cove at the Ren Fair! The entire town gets into the fun with booths and special faire events. Jenna is busy with her own shop as well as helping Bailey with her wedding which is supposed to take place at Nick’s vineyard.

Love is definitely in the air with more than one couple getting shot with Cupid’s arrow, but some couples aren’t all they appear to be. Could one of them be the killer? There are suspects coming out of the woodwork and everyone is acting oddly, even the cat!

If you haven’t tried this author, please do! The recipes are drool worthy and Crystal Cove is worth dropping in on!

February 20th 2018 by Beyond The Page   NetGalley Review

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the brand new French Bistro Mysteries as well as the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries. 

As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. A DEADLY ÊCLAIR, the first French Bistro Mystery, comes out November 2017. 

Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAY OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. 

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Visit Daryl at www.darylwoodgerber.com

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A GRAVE ISSUE (A Funeral Parlor Mystery) by Lillian Bell

A Grave Issue (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #1)

After an on-air gaffe goes viral and jeopardizes her career, journalist Desiree Turner retreats home to Verbena, California for some peace and quiet. She begins working one of the quietest jobs around: presiding over funerals for her great-grandfather’s funeral parlor. But the action seems to follow her as a fist fight breaks out between neighbors Rosemarie Brewer and Lola Hansen at one of the first funerals she’s in charge of running. It exposes a nasty dispute and Rosemarie’s husband, Alan, is found murdered shortly after.

Lola’s husband, Kyle, is immediately arrested. Desiree, whose own father’s death was devastating, has always viewed Kyle as a second father. Determined to clear his name, Desiree jumps head first into the investigation and quickly discovers that Alan had several unsavory habits at his job and in his personal life, including putting assets into his mistress’s account to hide them from Rosemarie. People murder for money and love all the time, and there’s no telling who he offended just enough to push them over the edge.

Desiree is looking in all the right places, but she better catch the killer fast before they come for her next in A Grave Issue, the clever series debut by Lillian Bell.

Ms. Bell has gotten off to a very good start with this new series, featuring Deisree, an on air news reporter who got caught with a hot mic on. With the added stress of her father presumed dead over a year ago when he went out to surf and never returned. And a pregnant sister who has been placed on strict bed rest.

So Desiree heads home to Verbena to lick her wounds and figure out what she is going to do next. It looks as if bad luck has trailed her home however when one thing after another keeps her name in the paper.

This is a very clever cozy mystery! Part serious, part funny and pretty much exactly what I like in a story. A smart, tenacious, independent woman and a bunch of people keeping secrets, which we all know never stay hidden, especially when Desiree starts pulling on threads. People get a tad touchy! Or dead.

Underneath the story is the tale what really happened to her dad? Who is leaving mysterious gifts for Desiree and her sister? So there is a good bit of layering to this series and I like it.

Well Done Ms. Bell!

Netgalley/CrookedLaneBooks   February 13, 2018

Murder on the Rocks(A Red Carpet Catering Mystery #5)by Shawn Reilly Simmons

Murder on the Rocks (A Red Carpet Catering Mystery #5)

Shawn Reilly Simmons has cooked up something rocky this time, and it’s going to be a delicious read.

After surviving a brazen attack at one of her favorite local cafes, Penelope Sutherland is ready to escape the big city and head to her next film set. She and her Red Carpet Catering crew set up their kitchen on location in the tranquil mountains of Vermont.

But peace and quiet aren’t on the menu.

It starts to get hot when a series of accidents befall the celebrity tennis pro consulting on the film. Then mix in an uptight director, an isolated location, and a quirky bunch of locals with secrets of their own and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Penelope soon suspects a connection between the cafe attack and the incidents on set, and you know what comes next. She must uncover the truth before her goose gets cooked.

After a harrowing experience at her local cafe, Penelope is glad to be leaving for Vermont and catering the filming of her friend, Arlena’s new movie. A movie about a legendary tennis star, and her friend Nadia is the tennis consultant.

What she wasn’t expecting was no internet or cell service and a mile long list of things the directors don’t want. Everything is to be eco-friendly and locally sourced, but the local source is related to the directors and they are not a close family!

With what looks like a family feud building, a whole lot of quirky characters quickly begin to look like suspects, when Nadia is attacked.

This is an easy to read Cozy. I enjoyed the characters very much and they continue to develop and come to life on the page.

Netgalley/Henery Press  February 06, 2018

Funeral Parlors, Emergency Rooms, Drugs and Obsessions with a Merman. So What Are You Reading?

A Grave Issue: A Funeral Parlor Mystery by [Lillian Bell]   A new series by Lillian Bell that is right up my reading alley! A Funeral Parlor Mystery! I’ve just started this one and already I’m hooked!

No One Can Know: A Stillwater General Mystery by [Lucy Kerr] A Stillwater General Mystery is looking interesting as well.

Gods of Howl Mountain: A Novel by [Brown, Taylor] “A fresh, authentic, and eloquent new voice in American fiction.” – Robert Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of Gap Creek

The Pisces: A Novel by [Broder, Melissa] An uproariously funny, gloriously strange, fiercely original tale of love, obsession, sex…and a merman

These are what I’m reading for the next few days. A little bit of everything thrown in there. My Cozy Authors Group tells me I will love the funeral parlor one and they are almost always right.

What are you reading or writing this week? I also read a new book titled EAT YOUR VEGETABLES; BOLD RECIPES FOR THE SINGLE COOK and it sucked. Seriously the only thing in there I would consider eating is the beans. One recipe for beans, as if we don’t know how to run a slow cooker. Very disappointing.

Have yourself a lovely Sunday! Grab a book and go on an adventure!

xx Patricia

The Books Just Keep On Coming!

You never really reach the end of your TBR pile, do you? Just when I think I have a handle on it and don’t need a spreadsheet, Boom, more books. Oh well if I have to keep getting something I guess books are the way to go!

I have read four books in two days all in the same genre so I’m grabbing this cozy mystery to slow things down a bit.

Murder on the Rocks (A Red Carpet Catering Mystery #5)   I personally have never read this author before so I’m excited to see what happens. This is the fifth in the series. Let me know if you’ve read this author!

Early morning eye appointment went well. My doctor made it safely home from Korea. More and more I am realizing this is a journey. It’s been a year since the corneal transplant and I still have a couple of surgeries to go so my  goal is to be patient. Never has that word been used in the same sentence with my name. This may be the longest relationship I’ve ever had with a man!

It is still bone chillingly cold so it’s a hot cup of tea, a book and a bath!

xx Patricia    Be Safe and Be Warm!

 

The Best of My 2017 Awards!

It’s true. Today is your last reading day of the year! Have you met your Goodreads Challenge? All caught up on your Netgalley Reviews? Happy to say yes, I am. And following are some but by no means all of the best in their genres.

Best Debut Fiction:   Jennifer Irwin for A Dress The Color of The Sky. A book about addictions and breaking cycles. Movie rights have already been grabbed by Reese Witherspoon! I admire Jennifer so much for her work ethic and her writing skills!

A Dress the Color of the Sky

Best Historical Fiction: Katherine Arden for the follow-up to her award-winning The Bear and The Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower which was just as brilliant as the first book!

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy, #2)

Best Thriller: Karin Slaughter with The Good Daughter. Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

The Good Daughter

Best Suspense Thriller: J.T.Ellison with Lie to Me. This was such a web of lies and deceit, you won’t unravel it until the spider is ready to jump!

Lie to Me

Best Crime Thriller:  Don Winslow with The Force. Another brilliant contribution by a favorite author! No one does crime like Winslow!

The Force

Best Horror Crime: J.D.Barker with The Fourth Monkey! Fans of the movie Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”

 

The Fourth Monkey (A 4MK Thriller, #1)

Best Cozy Mystery: A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron

A Cajun Christmas Killing (Cajun Country Mystery #3)

Best Non-Fiction: Helene Cooper with Madame President.The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Best Mystery: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night

Best Cookbook:  The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews

The Beach House Cookbook

Best General Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward who blew my mind with this book set in my Mississippi town.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

There could be hundreds more of the over 200 I read this year, but all of these I have read more than once, so that says a lot when you have a TBR list as long as mine.

What were your Best Reads of the Year?

So 2017 all I can say to you is Good bye!

Scones and Scoundrels by Molly MacRae

Scones and Scoundrels (Highland Bookshop Mystery #2)

Book 2 in The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series

Inversgail, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, welcomes home native daughter and best-selling environmental writer Daphne Wood. Known as the icon of ecology, Daphne will spend three months as the author in residence for the Inversgail schools. Janet Marsh and her business partners at Yon Bonnie Books are looking forward to hosting a gala book signing for her. Daphne, who hasn’t set foot in Scotland in thirty years, is . . . eccentric. She lives in the Canadian wilderness, in a cabin she built herself, with only her dog for a companion, and her people skills have developed a few rough-hewn edges. She and the dog (which she insists on bringing with her) cause problems for the school, the library, and the bookshop even before they get to Inversgail. Then, on the misty night they arrive, a young man—an American who’d spent a night in the B above Yon Bonnie Books—is found dead outside a pub.

Daphne did her Inversgail homework and knows that Janet and her partners solved a previous murder. She tries to persuade them to join her in uncovering the killer and the truth. To prove she’s capable, she starts poking and prying. But investigating crimes can be murder, and Daphne ends up dead, poisoned by scones from the tearoom at Yon Bonnie Books. Now, to save the reputation of their business—not to mention the reputation of their scones—Janet and her partners must solve both murders. And Daphne’s dog might be able to help them, if only they can get it to stop howling. . . 

Janet and her daughter Tallie have moved to Scotland with a few friends and opened a tea and book shop. In the Highlands. I will admit to this being my dream job!

To get this out-of-the-way, I wasn’t impressed with the blurb. The Tearoom was never under suspicion, nor were the ladies. I would like to see that adjusted in the blurb.

This story had so many characters I almost couldn’t keep track of who was who.
Some of them were developed but most we didn’t really know much about. There were so many suspects and I have to admit I did not see the ending coming!

Daphne was an easy character to dislike and yet she had secrets that in the end made me feel sad for her.

I will probably read the next one too. This is a cozy mystery series that is intelligent, funny and heart warming. And the atmosphere is pretty spectacular in the descriptions of the area.

Well Done!   Netgalley/Pegasus Books   January 2, 2018