The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (Paws and Claws Mystery #2) by Krista Davis

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Welcome to Howloween in Wagtail, Where spooky things are afoot!

In the second book of the Paws and Claws mysteries, finds Holly Miller just moved back to Wagtail to take up shared running of The Sugar Maple Inn with her grandmother (Oma) Liesel Miller.

With the Inn full up with ghost hunters to record sighting at the allegedly haunted creepy old Wagtail Springs Hotel, making a fly-on-the-walk ghost sighting programme.

When Holly finds a young woman floating in the spring in the gazebo, the doctor pronounces ‘death by drowning’, but Holly and Dave, the sheriff are convinced it was murder!

With her terrier Trixie and her cat Twinkletoes, they start to sniff out the clues to the identity of the killer…before she become the next victim!

Love this fun series and can’t wait to read more!  With a great set of characters, well plotted and written, it a must read series.

5 Stars*****

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Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly getaway in the United States, is gearing up for a howling good Halloween—until a spooky murder shakes the town to its core . . .

Holly Miller doesn’t believe in spirits, but the Sugar Maple Inn is filled with guests who do. The TV series in development, Apparition Apprehenders, has descended on Wagtail’s annual Halloween festivities to investigate supernatural local legends, and Holly has her hands full showing the ghost hunters a scary-fun time.

But the frights turn real when Holly’s Jack Russell, Trixie, and kitten, Twinkletoes, find a young woman drowned in the Wagtail Springs Hotel’s bathhouse—the spot of the town’s most infamous haunting. The crime scene is eerily similar to the creepy legend, convincing Holly that the death wasn’t just accidental. Now she’ll have to race to catch a flesh-and-blood killer—before someone else in town gives up the ghost . . .

Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis & Barbara Ross

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Published by Kensington Books via NetGalley.

3 cozy authors with 3 novellas to their series, with Christmas, eggnog and Maine themes, to keep you curled up and entertained in front a roaring log fire this Christmas.

If you have never tried any of these authors series before, this is a great way to introduce yourself to them and get to know their characters.

Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone Mysteries have been going for a long time, with 23 full books to the series.

Lee Hollis, is a brother and sister team of Rick Copp and Holly Simason, with their Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries, now totalling 9 books in the series.

And Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mysteries, featuring her character Julia Snowden, totals 5 books in the series.

3 great authors with 3 great novellas.  Well plotted and written.  An enjoyable read to set you up for Christmas!

What more could you possibly want.

Loved all three novellas.  The only author that I had read before was Barbara Ross’s Clambake Mysteries, but I have got most of Leslie Meier’s books on my TBR pile and have started to get the Lee Hollis books.

5 Stars*****

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With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .
 
EGGNOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.
 
DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbour’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

NOGGED OFF by BARBARA ROSS
Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbour. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yuletide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .

 

Dangling By A Thread (Mainely Needlepoint #4) by Lea Wait

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Published by Kensington Books via NetGalley.

Someone’s trying to kill two birds with one stone…

When Angie is sitting at the wharf early one morning drinking coffee, she sees a man row in, someone she has never seen before.  When she enquires about him, she learns that most people call him the ‘Solitary Man’ and he lives out on King’s Island.  Later she learns his name is Jesse Lockhart and he’s a friend of Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry.

King’s Island is a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants where Jesse lives, which he jointly owns with his cousin in Chicago.

But trouble breaks out when a wealthy family want to buy and build a house on King’s Island.  And will not take No for an answer.

So the Mainely Needlepointers take up the cause to “Save the King’s Island Cormorants” to help preserver the birds nesting area and Jesse’s home.

Then Jesse is found murdered.  Angie starts nosing around to find the killer, she could end up….dangling by a thread!

This is the fourth instalment of the Mainely Needlepointers mysteries, and keeps getting better and better as the series progresses.  With a great set of characters, well plotted and written.  A series well worth reading.

4 Star****

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The Mainely Needlepointers are about to learn that no man is an island—especially when greedy developers want his land . . .
 
Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King’s Island, three miles east of Haven Harbour, Maine, where he’s created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jesse’s cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered.

Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defence. Angie Curtis and the group stitch “Save the King’s Island Cormorants” pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse’s legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie and Dave find Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer . . .

 

Saddle Up For Murder (A Carson Stables Mystery #2) by Leigh Hearon

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  Published by Kensington Books via NetGalley.

The second book in the Carson Stables mystery series, finds stable owner Annie Carson juggling her jobs from the stables and sheep pens to being a member of the board of a new trust being set-up.

When a young lady comes to ask for a job, Annie turns her down as she still thinks of herself as a ‘one woman’ operation.

The following day she finds the young woman hanging from a beam in her new barn!

Is the young woman’s death due to being turned down by Annie?  Or was there something else in young woman’s life the cause of her death?

When suicide becomes murder, and is linked to the death of an old lady.  Plus there is a predator stalking the neighbourhood.  Annie can’t help poking her nose in to find the answers…and danger is closer to her than she would like!

With this second book read, I find that I’m enjoying this series more and more as they come out.  A good set of characters, well plotted and written.  I can’t wait for the next instalment!

5 Stars*****

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At first, horse trainer and Carson Stables owner Annie Carson blames the random losses of local livestock on feral animals stalking Olympic Peninsula county’s farms and ranches. But when one of her own flock is found savagely slaughtered, it gets personal. Then it turns dangerous, when Annie discovers the body of a young woman hanging in her new hay barn. Suddenly, she’s up to her neck in complicated mysteries—one involving her private life. But her sleuthing skills aren’t exactly welcome by the sheriff. And as she uncovers a clue to the killer’s identity, Annie fears she’s leading a deadly trail straight to her door.

Dying for Strawberries (A Berry Basket Mystery #1) by Sharon Farrow

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  Published by Kensington Books via NetGalley.

First in a New Series.

Marlee Jacob returned to her childhood home of Oriole Point, Michigan three years ago, after she was involved with a murder case of one of the chefs on the show she produced.  Now she owns and runs the Berry Basket, a berry emporium to suit everyone’s tastes.

The only problem is that every June the murder case is dragged up on tv…only this time the murdered man’s mistress has written a book and is hell bent on seeking revenge on Marlee!

On top of that is the fight her friend Irina has with her husband, smacking him on the nose with an instrument from their shop, and then her disappearance.  Plus at the Oriole Point Business forum that evening it comes to light that someone has brought up the Strawberry Fields and zoning has been passed for commercial businesses, and it’s the same people that own her shop.  And it’s Irina’s disreputable husband Cole and he’s going to make sure Marlee is going out of business!

On the night of the Strawberry Moon Bash, someone bashes Marlee on the head and pushes her into the water to drown.  After being resued, no one believes that she was attacked, thinking that she was drunk and fell and hit her head before entering the water.

When the man causing all the planning upheaval is murdered.  When a couple of Marlee friends are accused, she must sift through the secrets people are hiding to expose a murderer and her attacker…before they try to get rid of her again, permanently!

I really enjoyed this first outing of the Berry Basket mysteries, with it’s crazy cast of characters, and well plotted and written story.  Hope to see more of these books.

5 Stars*****

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With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.
 
Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . .

But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Irina disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Irina, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.

Lowcountry Book Club (Liz Talbot Mystery #5) by Susan M. Boyer

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  Published by Henery Press Books via NetGalley.

The fifth book in the Liz Talbot Lowcountry mysteries.

Liz and Nate are asked to take over an investigation on the murder of Shelby Poinsett, as the previous investigator had spend 4 months and a trip to London, England and had nothing to show for the time and money spent.

The prestigious law firm of Rutledge and Radcliffe are retaining them, as they do not believe that Shelby’s husband Clint Gerhardt killed his wife, but need answers within the next couple of weeks before the jury selection can begin.

Shelby was a very rich woman, from an old Charleston family, with a passion to help others and volunteered at a homeless shelter.  She was also the leader of a one-hundred-year-old book club for the elite ladies of Charleston.

Was she murdered because she was having an affair?  A target because of her involvement with the homeless shelter?  Because of the changes she wanted to make within the Book Club?  Or something else completely?

Liz and Nate have a to race against time to find the answers…before the killer targets them!

Love this fun series.  Great set of characters, well written and plotted.  A joy to read.

5 Stars*****

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Somebody pushed Shelby Poinsett out her second-floor library window, and it wasn’t her husband. At least that’s what Charleston’s most prestigious law firm wants Liz Talbot to prove. Liz must run the spectrum of Southern society, from the local homeless shelter where Shelby volunteered to the one-hundred-year-old book club where Charleston’s genteel ladies are dying to join, to bring a killer to justice.

Murder, She Barked (Paws and Claws Mystery #1) by Krista Davis

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The first book in Krista Davis’s Paws and Claws mystery series.

When Holly gets an urgent call for her to come to her grandmother up in Wagtail, Virginia.  She drops everything and borrows her boyfriends car to race up there.  When on a stop to fill up with gas, she finds an abandoned scruffy Jack Russell terrier who decides that she wants to go with Holly.

While driving up the mountain in the fog, Holly has to slam on the brakes to miss someone in the road.  But when she goes to check…no one is there.  But minutes later an explosion shatters the night from down the gully and she puts a 911 call out and awaits their arrival.

When Holly finally arrives at The Sugar Maple Inn, her grandmother’s hotel.  She finds that a lot of changes have gone on since her last visit 5 years before.  Wagtail has become the premiere pet vacation spot, with The Sugar Maple Inn being the top spot to stay.

She finds her grandmother has a sprained ankle from jumping out of the way of a speeding car that kills one of her hotel employees.  It wasn’t an accident, as no cars are allowed in the pedestrian only area.  So was the driver after Sven…or Holly’s grandmother?

There is a lot of uneasy things going on in Wagtail and Holly needs to get to the bottom of it all, before she can return to looking for a new job back in Washing DC…or die trying!

5 Stars*****

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The Sugar Maple Inn in Wagtail, Virginia, is the country’s premiere vacation hot spot for pet owners who can’t bear to leave their furry friends behind. But this tourist town smells trouble when a killer goes on the prowl….

Holly Miller’s life has gone to the dogs. She has no job, her boyfriend’s former flame is sniffing around, and a scruffy but loveable Jack Russell Terrier is scattering crumbs all over her borrowed car. Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse, a troubling phone call about her grandmother sends her rushing home to the family inn on Wagtail Mountain.

The staff—and a frisky Calico kitten named Twinkletoes—adopts Holly and her new dog on arrival. But someone in this friendly town is bad to the bone. One of the employees at the inn has been killed in a hit-and-run accident—which is looking anything but accidental. Now Holly and her furry companions will have to nose out the murderer before someone else gets muzzled.

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!

Fatal Frost (A Dewberry Farm Mystery #2) by Karen MacInerney

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  Published by Thomas & Mercer  via NetGalley.

Lucy Resnick has her hands full with more trouble, and just before Christmas too!  She not only has an escape artist cow called Blossom, but has now taken on 2 goat called Hot Lips and Gidget, who are equally as bad!  And someone is out digging up her farm in the dead of night!

On top of that she and Peter (the goat herder and her best friend Quinn’s boyfriend) rush to a house fire and discover the body of a young woman, who has been dead some time before the fire started.

Rumours are abound about Civil War treasure.  A New church is protesting at the Christmas Market, and a new incomer is trying to gain the votes for the mayors post…oh, and Lucy’s parents arrive unannounced to spend Christmas with her.

With Sheriff Rooster Kocurek up to his normal tricks of doing nothing but sitting on his 42″ polyester butt and arresting the wrong person.  It is up to Lucy to match wits with a killer…or die trying!

All the normal antics that you will find in a Karen MacInerney book, with well rounded characters, crazy critters and a well written and plotted story…not to be missed!

5 Stars*****

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Lucy Resnick’s nerves are as tight as a tea cozy. Her new goats, Hot Lips and Gidget, keep making a break for the town square, her truck is dying, and her boyfriend’s gorgeous ex-wife is in town for the holidays. Worse, someone’s digging holes on her land…and uprooting her peach orchard and dewberry patch in the process. Lucy needs additional holiday stress like she needs a blow to the head—which she receives one night, courtesy of the mystery digger.

When the dim-witted sheriff arrests one of Lucy’s best friends, the former reporter puts her own problems on the back burner and starts investigating. What she finds is a patchwork of clues—an injured puppy, a sapphire necklace gone missing, and a string of poison-pen letters—that draws her deep into a web of small-town secrets.

Word travels fast in Buttercup. When the killer learns Lucy’s on the trail, Lucy finds she needs more than her reporting skills to save her friend—she needs a Christmas miracle.

Michelangelo’s Ghost (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery #4) by Gigi Pandian

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I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  Published by Henery Press Books via NetGalley.

This was my first introduction to the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, and must say that I found the experience most enjoyable.  Jaya is the modern female version of Indiana Jones.

After visiting a professor who had taught her, Jaya is given a set of 3 note books containing drawings from an artist that might have a connection to Michelangelo and India.

When the professor dies mysteriously, Jaya is determined to follow the clues to find the artist’s lost studio near the Park of Monsters in the hills of Italy .

With plenty of twists and turns, this adventure/mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!

I really enjoyed this book.  It was well plotted and written, with a good set of characters.  I will be going back and reading the earlier Jaya Jones mysteries in this series.

5 Stars*****

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A lost work of art linking India to the Italian Renaissance. A killer hiding behind a centuries-old ghost story. And a hidden treasure in Italy’s macabre sculpture garden known as the Park of Monsters…

Filled with the unexpected twists, vivid historical details, and cross-cultural connections Pandian is known for, Michelangelo’s Ghost is the most fast-paced and spellbinding Jaya Jones novel to date.

When Jaya’s old professor dies under eerie circumstances shortly after discovering manuscripts that point to a treasure in Italy’s Park of Monsters, Jaya and her brother pick up the trail.

From San Francisco to the heart of Italy, Jaya is haunted by a ghost story inexorably linked to the masterpieces of a long-dead artist and the deeds of a modern-day murderer. Untrustworthy colleagues, disappearing boyfriends, and old enemies—who can Jaya trust when the ghost wails?

Death Crashes the Party (A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery #1) by Vickie Fee

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First in a New Series.

While planning a Moonshine and Magnolia bash for some clients, party planner Liv McKay finds the bodies of 2 guys in Civil War uniforms in her clients freezer!

It soon becomes clear that the young men, who worked for her husband and father-in-law had been involved in smuggling drugs using their trucking business as the means of transport.

Liv and her friend Di step up to investigate and clear the family name.

They need to move fast, before a killer gets them within their sights…and pulls the trigger!

Great start to a new series!

Love the tongue in cheek series title Liv and Di in Dixie (Live and Die in Dixie).  With a good set of characters and well plotted mystery, it had me laughing all the way through to the startling end!

Can’t wait for the next book in the series…It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To.

5 Stars*****

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In the quirky, close-knit town of Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay has a knack for throwing Southern-style soirées, from diamonds-and-denim to black tie affairs, and her best friend Di Souther mixes a mean daiquiri.

While planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for high maintenance clients, Liv inconveniently discovers a corpse in the freezer and turns her attention from fabulous fêtes to finding a murderer.

Together, Liv and Di follow a trail of sinister secrets in their sweet little town that leads them from drug smugglers to a Civil War battlefield, and just when they think they’re whistling Dixie, Liv and Di will find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of the least likely killer of all. . .