Monday, December 24, 2018


Christmas at the Cat Cafe (Cat Cafe, #2)Christmas at the Cat Cafe by Melissa Daley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sequel to MOLLY AND THE CAT CAFE, this cozy mystery is seen from Molly the cat's point of view. Molly and her offspring are extremely happy in their Cat Cafe, named for Molly, and with the humans they own, but when Debbie's flashy sister Linda moves in, and brings her dog! Molly and kittens are suddenly NOT at all pleased. Then Linda appears to be settling in, rather than seeking a hotel or returning to her husband. Worse occurs when Debbie, the cafe owner, decides to foster a Siamese! Something will have to be done--but what's a cat to do?

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Review_WAGGING THROUGH THE SNOW by Laurien Berenson

Wagging through the Snow (A Melanie Travis Mystery)Wagging through the Snow by Laurien Berenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WAGGING THROUGH THE SNOW is a genuine cozy delight! It is #21 in Laurien Berenson's wonderful Melanie Travis series, starring a hardworking teacher, mother, wife, and sister of a "Mr. Spontaneous." In fact, it's that same brother who spontaneously and without thinking it through, bids on a now-deserted Christmas tree farm, offered in an estate sale. The farm had once been a popular holiday-time destination; but its owner's death much earlier in the year has left the property in poor repair. Now Melanie, her husband and sons, her brother, and his business partner, troop out to explore the new acquisition, only to discover a purebred Maltese--and a frozen, outdoor, corpse. All is not as it seems, of course, so Melanie will be honing her talents as an amateur sleuth. Don't forget dogs!

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Thomas Wildus and The Book of SorrowsThomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully lyrical, engrossing contemporary fantasy, THOMAS WILDUS AND THE BOOK OF SORROWS is first in a new series (yay!) about a boy turning 13, raised by his mother since his father inexplicably disappeared one evening when Thomas was but five. His dad's last words told him "Magic Is Real." Thomas has always believed, and despite rejection and mockery, he has continued to search for the meaning of true magic. On his way to the bus stop from his Kung Fu lesson, a couple of odd events occur, the second of which finds him in a bookstore he's never seen before, acquiring a book that will, literally, change his life. This novel is encormously entertaining and very well-written. I anticipate with glee the sequel.

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review_SANTA PUPPY by Lynn Cahoon

Santa Puppy Santa Puppy by Lynn Cahoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SANTA PUPPY is a true delight! A California Christmas Cozy mystery with dogs and cats, in prolific and wonderful author Lynn Cahoon's TOURIST TRAP MYSTERY Series, SANTA PUPPY warms any heart, even my own Scrooge-ish one. Jill is an admirable protagonist: she owns a book-and-coffee-shop and encourages reading at work! She is also a dedicated amateur sleuth (despite that her boyfriend is police chief), and a dog-owner. When she offers to host a shelter adoption party for the nearby no-kill shelter, she discovers a ten-year-old terrier whose owner died of a heart attack on the beach; and wouldn't you know it, there's a decades-old mystery attached?

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Monday, December 17, 2018


Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case by Rosalind Barden


About the Book

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case

Young Adult Mystery

Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)

Paperback: 216 pages

ISBN-10: 1949281027

ISBN-13: 978-1949281026

Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most. There may be something to this 13th business.

That's my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

About the Author

Over thirty of Rosalind Barden's short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.'s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President's Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis' award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children's book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at

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Little Sparky is one unique heroine. On the streets since her tenth birthday, today she turns 11, wants to celebrate with a candy pig-out, and instead discovers a dead child and is wanted for murder. She had nothing to do with it! Well, except for dropping her candy stash box. It's hard to preserve friendships when the cops are after you, and even harder to find a place to hide out till her name is cleared--if it ever is. But Sparky is a feisty, nearly fearless individual, braver even than a lot of boys she knows. She'll find her way to resolution and freedom--somehow. This endearing novel is set in Los Angeles' Bunker Hill neighborhood, in 1932.


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Review of WINTER WRITERLAND by Beatrice Fishback

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Winter Writerland: A Daisy McFarland Mystery" src="" /></a><a href="">Winter Writerland: A Daisy McFarland Mystery</a> by <a href="">Beatrice Fishback</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
WINTER WRITERLAND is a totally enjoyable, relaxed, cosy mystery set in England, which I adored from start to finish. Protagonist Daisy McFarland is an American expat, a retired teacher, not quite "feckless heroine" but very close to it. Her psychology, which the author cleverly and subtly delineates, very much resonated with me. Daisy is just fifty-three, and has made herself a home in a terraced house in a small English village, with her enormous (and enormously egotistical) cat, Pillow. <br /><br />Daisy attends a special crime writers' retreat annually, held at an immense country manor house. This year the teachers are three female specialists (a videographer, a forensic scientist, and an expert in pharmaceuticals), and a rather hunky and kind-hearted police Detective Inspector who flutters more than a few hearts among the writers, including Daisy's. All is spiffy until one of Daisy's friends loses out in the Play to Stage competition (in which authors submit stage plays ahead of time, and then the attending writers audition to play the parts). Fiona blames the new woman who is selected for the part she wanted; and when later Daisy inadvertently discovers a body in the adjacent lake, of course Fiona is the Person of Interest. Daisy won't stand for that, though; she trusts Fiona implicitly, and is tasked by the DI because of her background in teaching.
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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review_CRIME CHOWDER by Hilary Avis (Death Du Jour Book 1)

Release date: Dec. 13 2018 Crime Chowder (Death Du Jour Mystery, #1)Crime Chowder by Hillary Avis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

CRIME CHOWDER is Book 1 in the new DEATH DU JOUR series, starring a feckless but endearing protagonist, who for a change is female (in the sense that feckless protagonists are in my experience usually male). Bethany Bradstreet aspires to be a chef, with her own establishment. That shouldn't be a problem; but it does require a certain number of years of experience, preferably as a sous chef rather than as a fry cook in a chain seafood restaurant. But Bethany is determined to be patient, at least until unforeseen circumstances throw her straight into the figurative lobster pot. Her roommate/best friend's aunt's house is burned down, leaving the lady and her (in this case, really aggravating) dog homeless for safety's sake, so they move in with Bethany and company. Even more unfortunately, the house-burning was no accident, but arson, and as all too often happens, one crime escalates, and soon there is a murder--and guess who is the suspect?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018


To Fetch A Thief by Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, and Rosemary Shomaker

About the Book

To Fetch A Thief

Cozy Mystery Anthology

Light, humorous, dog-themed mysteries.

Bay Breeze Publishing, LLC (November 8, 2018)

Paperback: 278 pages

ISBN-10: 1732790701

ISBN-13: 978-1732790704

Digital ASIN: B07K97ZYY6

To Fetch a Thief, the first Mutt Mysteries collection, features four novellas that have gone to the dogs. In this howlingly good read, canine companions help their owners solve crimes and right wrongs. These sleuths may be furry and low to the ground, but their keen senses are on high alert when it comes to sniffing out clues and digging up the truth. Make no bones about it, these pup heroes will steal your heart as they conquer ruff villains.

About the Authors

Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sister’s in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet. Website:

Connect with Teresa on Facebook, and Twitter

Heather Weidner, a member of SinC – Central Virginia and Guppies, is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. Heather lives in Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers, Disney and Riley. She’s been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. Some of her life experience comes from being a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. She blogs at Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Website and Blog:

Pens, Paws, and Claws Website and Blog:




Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of the Blonds at the Beach Mysteries, The Blond Leading the Blond, and Blond Luck. She has contributed seven short mysteries to various anthologies to include joining with the other To Fetch a Thief authors in Virginia is for Mysteries, Volumes I and II, and 50 Shades of Cabernet.



Rosemary Shomaker writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes women’s fiction, paranormal, and mystery short stories, and she’s taking her first steps toward longer fiction, so stay tuned. She’s an urban planner by education, a government policy analyst by trade, and a fiction writer at heart. Rosemary credits Sisters in Crime with developing her craft and applauds the organization’s mission of promoting the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

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To Fetch a Thief: Four Fun To Fetch a Thief: Four Fun "Tails" of Theft and Murder by Teresa Inge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I love animal cozies more than any other kind of cozies (and I really love the cozy subgenre), so to discover To Fetch a Thief: Four Fun "Tails" of Theft and Murder (Mutt Mysteries #1) was a delightful find. Four very different tales, each employing our furry friends, and in each case not only does the human not sleuth alone, but the pet sleuths prove themselves instrumental. Settle in for excitement, enjoyment, and intrigue, as those with tails do indeed "fetch" the wrongdoers to justice.


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Saturday, December 8, 2018


A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) by Dianne Ascroft


About the Book

A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery

1st in Series

Self Published (October 25, 2018)

Print Length: 245 pages


A small town, a big party, a stolen gift. When an artefact from the Titanic is stolen before her town's 150th anniversary celebration, it's up to Lois Stone to catch the thief.

Middle-aged widow Lois has moved from bustling Toronto to tranquil Fenwater and is settling into her new life away from the dangers of the city. Then two events happen that shatter her serenity: her house is burgled and an antique watch belonging to a Titanic survivor is stolen from the local museum. Her best friend, Marge, was responsible for the watch's safekeeping until its official presentation to the museum at the town's 150th anniversary party, and its disappearance will jeopardise her job and the museum's future. Lois won't let her friend take the blame and the consequences for the theft. She's determined to find the watch in time to save her best friend's job, the museum's future and the town's 150th anniversary celebration.

And so begins a week of new friends, apple and cinnamon muffins, calico cats, midnight intruders, shadowy caprine companions and more than one person with a reason to steal the watch, set against the backdrop of century houses on leafy residential streets, the swirling melodies of bagpipes, a shimmering heat haze and the burble of cool water.

About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.

A Timeless Celebration is the first novel in the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series.

Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.


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A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries Book 1)A Timeless Celebration by Dianne Ascroft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A TIMELESS CELEBRATION is truly a "Cozy's Cozy." Book 1 in the new series Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, it is a heartwarming delight with really well-developed characters and such a beautiful setting. I wasn't sure what a "Century Cottage" was, but now I'm certain this is a concept often occurring in Canada and the UK (and why not America too?), a cottage that has stood for 100 years or longer. Lois Stone, a most engaging protagonist, is a widow of three years. Formerly of Toronto, she is eager to move after her husband's unexpected and untimely demise (a heart attack consequent to a mugging). She finds herself fearful of her own urban neighborhood, and when her best friend Marge moves to Fenway to care for her mother, Lois buys a century cottage in the lovely small community and quickly moves also.

Lois is empathetic because she is vulnerable, honest, unafraid to admit when she's fearful or lonely, readily admitting how much she yearns for her husband James and how unsettled she was while she remained in the city. I didn't warm up as much to her best friend Marge, as I found her standoffish; but certainly the mystery of what happened to the historic artifact (a watch owned by a Titanic survivor) which was to be donated to the local museum where Marge is employed as an archivist kept my attention throughout. Too many suspects, too little time to solve the mystery; but Lois is diligent and determined and unflinching.


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Friday, December 7, 2018


With a Little Bit of Blood (The Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mysteries) by D.E. Ireland


About the Book

With a Little Bit of Blood (The Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery

4th in Series

Grainger Press (April 15, 2018)

Paperback: 352 pages

ISBN-10: 0998180939

ISBN-13: 978-0998180939

Digital ASIN: B07BSV486T

In the fourth book from the Agatha Award nominated writing team of D.E. Ireland, famous literary characters Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins find they may have brought trouble with them when they attend a country house party in With A Little Bit of Blood.

Eliza is not happy when Higgins buys a snazzy roadster. Her misgivings prove correct when he becomes injured in a motor car crash. Forced to play nursemaid, Eliza is thrilled to accept an invitation to a house party from Lord Ashmore and his bride, the former Clara Eynsford-Hill. But upon their arrival at Banfield Manor, Eliza is dismayed to see her sweetheart Freddy arm in arm with a beautiful actress. Higgins is shocked to learn the woman who once stalked him is also attending the party. Things grow even worse when spiritualist Madame Evangeline arrives and warns of impending danger. Her prediction comes true when someone is killed during the following day's shoot in the forest.

Higgins and Eliza suspect it wasn't an accident, but murder. Every guest hides a dark secret that involved the dead man. But who hated him more? The French aviator, the American cinema actress, a lady novelist, the Austrian count, or a knighted explorer of the Amazon? Madame Evangeline's séance may reveal what is really going on. But her cryptic words deepen the mystery, especially after another guest turns up dead.

Who is behind these murders? And has Higgins himself been targeted? As the day of the fox hunt begins, it seems likely that more than the fox will die. Before that happens, Eliza and the Professor must discover who may have a little bit of blood on their hands.

About the Authors

D.E. Ireland is the pseudonym of long time friends and award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. In 2013 they decided to collaborate on a unique series based on George Bernard Shaw's witty play Pygmalion, which also inspired the classic musical My Fair Lady. At work on Book Four of their Agatha nominated series, they also pursue separate writing careers. Currently, both of them write cozy mysteries for Kensington under their respective pen names: Sharon Farrow with her Berry Basket series, and Meg Macy with her Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear series. The two Michigan authors have patient husbands, brilliant daughters, and share a love of tea, books, and history.




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With a Little Bit of Blood (The Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mysteries Book 4)With a Little Bit of Blood by D.E. Ireland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery #4

Once again, the author duo D. E. Ireland bring to life early 20th century London, both the upper class (Henry Higgins and the Colonel, and recently, Eliza) and the poorer classes (Eliza's upbringing, and exemplified by her most recent stepmother, Rose). Higgins gets the same motorcar bug that earlier bit Emily's father Alfred, injuring Alfred, and now injuring Higgins and Emily's detective cousin Jack as well. So it's off to the country for recuperation, of course, with a side dish of murder.


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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tour_LOVE ON THE ROCKS by Debbie De Louise

Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery) by Debbie De Louise

About the Book

Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

4th in Series

Solstice Publishing (October 17, 2018)

Paperback: 241 pages

ISBN-10: 1625268505

ISBN-13: 978-1625268501

Digital ASIN: B07JHV9FJC

It’s February in the small town of Cobble Cove. Love is in the air . . . but so is murder!

When Alicia helps plan a Valentine’s Day Party at the Cobble Cove library that also includes a surprise for her newlywed friend, Gilly, things go wrong when a mysterious box of chocolates addressed to the director turns out laced with poison.

Clues Lead to A Dead Suspect

Although Alicia promised John she’ll no longer meddle in crime investigations, she and Gilly set out to find the person threatening Sheila who murdered the courier of the deadly candy. The three people they suspect include the professor from California who’s been romancing Sheila while she assists him with research for his book; the obnoxious patron Rhonda Kleisman who threw coffee at the director after refusing to pay for a damaged book; and a visiting widow staying at Gilly’s inn who’s unnaturally curious about Sheila and earns the nickname of Madame Defarge for her interest in knitting.

New Cat in Town

While Alicia and Gilly are trying to solve this new Cobble Cove mystery, Sneaky is introduced to Gilly’s new kitten, Kittykai, a calico she brought home from her honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s not like at first sight, but the two cats eventually become friends. They also both play a part in foiling the killer’s murder attempts, but will Alicia and Sheila survive unscathed?

About the Author

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove mystery series: A Stone’s ThrowBetween a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a standalone mystery thriller, Reason to Die, and a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and cat Stripey.

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Free Offer from Debbie DeLouise

The characters from Debbie De Louise's Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone's Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

It will be free from Thursday, December 13 to Monday, December 17!


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Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery Book 4)Love on the Rocks by Debbie De Louise
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LOVE ON THE ROCKS is Book 4 in the delightful Cobble Cove Mystery series. I love any cozy set in libraries or bookstores (any fiction period in those settings) and any animal cozies, so I loved this novel; plus it was so well-written I just couldn't turn away!

The Library characters are just delights: Alicia, Sheila, Nancy, Gilly (Abigail), Donald, and more, including the lovely Siamese Sneaky, who sometimes "moderates" Storytimes. Real-life issues occur, such as weddings, elopements, congratulatory parties; and even a nasty Library patron who spills food on books and then doesn't wish to pay the fine, even becoming aggressive to the point of assault. Then the Library Director is poisoned, obviously intentionally, at a gathering; and Alicia and Gilly can't avoid being drawn into the amateur sleuthing in order to protect their friends and their respective families. The danger comes really close to "home" as well.


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