Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Review: TOMES AND TERRIERS by Hilary Avis


5 ++ Cozy Stars

Magic Library Mystery Book 1

I absolutely adore this Cozy! Here's proof: I read an ARC, but quickly pre-ordered because this story is just so good and I can't wait to continue the series! While reading,  I saw an email question "What is your favorite Cozy?" TOMES AND TERRIERS might just be that!


The story [only the first in a new Series!] is suffused with dogs and a magical memory Library and some really wonderful characters,  including our middle-aged protagonist,  her husband, and the dedicated, heartfelt, nurse at the assisted living home. Of course,  not everyone is perfect: there are a couple of grumps, some smartypants, and an eight-year-old con artist. But the combination is heartwarming,  the plot is super-intriguing, and the difficulties are almost insurmountable.  Can't wait for the Sequel!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Review: KILLER CHARDONNAY by Kate Lansing


5 Cozy Stars

Vintner Parker Valentine just wants her new vintage and new wine shop in Boulder,  Colorado,  to open to success. That shouldn't be too much to ask! Yet Grand Opening sees an ugly breakup of a customer couple, dismay of a famous wine critic (there goes the ratings), corked by the sudden unexpected demise of the critic.

This is the Grand Opening that should never have occurred!

Includes recipes and wine-pairing, plus lots of gentle no-fuss education on the art and science of wine-making. 

Review: A CALL FOR KELP by Bree Baker



5 Cozy Stars

Working for saving Bees is a worthwhile environmental cause, but murdering is not an acceptable volunteer option! On tiny barrier island Charm, North Carolina,  excitement and adulation turns to dismay when the star attraction of a Bee documentary is discovered deceased. But intrepid amateur sleuth and tea shop proprietor will find who killed her last link to her beloved late grandmother, or die trying.

Review: MAIN LINE IS MURDER by Donna Huston Murray


5 Stars

First in the Ginger Barnes Cozy Mystery Series,  MAIN LINE IS MURDER is a Philadelphia-setting edgy Cozy. As you read you will discover why I use the term "edgy." Gin Barnes' husband is the newly appointed Head of School at a nearly-failing Main Line private academy,  determined to make the school a success.  Gin does her part by organizing rummage sales (which in this case requires creative thinking) but then discovers a much-disliked staff member,  deceased--in the School.  Before parents withdraw their children en masse,  Gin determines to investigate without letting husband Rip or the police detective realize.

I found this Cozy quite enjoyable [and at times heartwrenching] and anticipate the Series. 



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review: THE LOSS OF A GRANDPARENT TO COVID-19, Gramps


4 Stars 

Be prepared to weep copiously.  A mother and her small son grieve for the beloved grandpa lost to Covid-19, especially  [for the child] because of the quarantine preventing the family's presence.  As they both recall verbally their favorite memories of Gramps, a little peace begins to settle in. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Review: HOUSE FULL OF LLAMAS by Melissa Winn


4 Stars

This is designed as a bedtime story for young children.  I found it creative, but I think too lengthy for bedtime reads and a little too complex for pre-readers or young (early elementary) readers.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Review: TEENY WEENIES: THE EIGHTH OCTOPUS AND OTHER STORIES



5 Stars
Children's

Twelve ventures into the delightfully and gently bizarre for youngsters up through middle grades. Good lessons wrapped in "could that really happen?" types of situations.  My favorite of course was "The Eighth Octopus," but all are good!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Review: THIS BOOK JUST ATE MY DOG


5 Stars

Children's 

Hilarious! Laugh out loud--I can't wait to share with my younger grandchildren.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Review: LEAVE ME ALONE by Vera Brosgol



5 Stars of Delight!

This short Children's book was so delightful.  40 pages of heartwarming,  hilarious,  "yes! That's exactly me!" [No I don't have as many grandkids as this beleaguered Grandmother does, but I can relate. Believe me! 

Grandma only wants to knit in peace. But in a tiny home, with lots and lots of small grandchildren, peace is irretrievable. So Grandma packs up her knitting and her Samovar and steals away [loudly], embarking on a series of exciting (and potentially frightening) adventures,  till she gets life just the way she wants it...for now..

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Review: A ROOST AND AN ARREST by Hilary Avis



5 Cozy Clucks

Life Is Good. Flourishing chicken farm, promising relationship, staunch friendship, being part of a close-knit community.  What could possibly go wrong?

Ohho! What indeed! Try murder, and the suspect is a Friend? Oh no.

The best aspects of this Series for me are the older, life-experienced, protagonist; her first-person narrative; and of course that cozy small-town "maybe you really can go home again--sort of" perspective. 

THE EASTER STORYBOOK by Laura Richie



5 Stars

Impressively illustrated and collected, this artistic storybook appropriate for children and families spans the Lenten Season,  beginning with Jesus in childhood teaching in the Temple and completing at the Resurrection on Easter. Although the stories may be too complex for very young children,  they can certainly enjoy the accompanying paintings,  and THE EASTER STORYBOOK is ideal for family sharing of one entry per day.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Review: SHAKE DOWN by Kendel Lynn


4 Stars 
SHAKE DOWN is a comfortable cozy mystery, Book 5 in the Elliott Lisbon Series about the upscale South  Carolina island P.I. in training who moves readily among the upper-class set on Sea Pines Island. Ideal for fans of Julie Mulhern's Kansas-set Country Club Murders series,  Elli polishes her investigative skills while polishing connection with her reunited love interest,  away for two decades in the FBI.


Friday, February 21, 2020

Review: THE ICE MAID'S TALE by Mandy Morton



5 PAWS

The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency #8.

THE ICE MAID'S TALE is the first I have read of this delightful "all cat" series. What could be more entertaining than anthropomorphized felines, with all the recognizable human attitudes,  foibles,  and failings? Well, even better is a sequence of tremendous Winter storms plus a set of puzzling mysteries! This Series ought to delight cat lovers and Cozy Mystery aficionados alike. 

Review: BEYOND THE GRAVY by Mandy Morton




5 PAWS

The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency #7

Cats--cozy mystery--ghosts!! Sheer delight. If you don't love cats, then enjoy the Mystery,  the Spooky aspects,  and the lovely anthropomorphic examples of Felines displaying all-too-human foibles. 

Delightfully humorous and a fun, entertaining,  read.