Darcy Sweet Mysteries # 1 – 5

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In a small town, Darcy lives a simple life running her bookstore, Sweet Read, and trying to be as normal as possible. However, when you are connected to the other side with a sixth sense it’s hard to be normal. When her next door neighbour is murdered, her sister’s new partner, who is new to town, zones in on Darcy. She can’t exactly tell him that her six sense told her something was wrong next door, so she must live with his scrutiny while trying to find out what happened to her friend Anne.

I’m so happy I found this book. I have been looking for a good cozy mystery series. Right away, we get a feel for the town and get to know more about Darcy. The town and its residents are well developed through this book and allowed the reader to connect.

The entire situation between Darcy and Jon was a little weird, but that was forgiven as it’s a cozy mystery. We do have the mandatory ex, but he was taken care of relatively quickly.

The mystery was interesting and watching Darcey figure it out was amusing. The added touch of her 6th sense was interesting and well utilized throughout the book. This brings together 2 of the genres that I like, urban fantasy and mystery. This book doesn’t lean too heavily on her powers, however, they are an interesting bonus in this series.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

 

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Everything is calm in Misty Creek, that is until Darcy has a vision about something that happened in Jon’s past. As she is just getting to know him, she doesn’t know how to broach the subject. Together they work to find out who has killed his colleague, as well as solve the one case the still haunts him from his past district.

Excellent follow up to the previous book. The last book we found out about Jon’s past or a little bit about it, but thankfully they didn’t leave us in the dark. We find out a lot more about the murder charge and everything surrounding it.

Jon and Darcy have really grown as characters as well as a couple. Jon’s past feels more like part of him than just something quickly thrown together for the precious book. We get to meet two of his college friends which added more depth. Darcy’s gifts were utilized much more in this book which gives us a better idea of what she can do.

The mystery was a fun delve into Jon’s past, and without anyone dying in Misty Creek we got to have an excellent murder mystery. I did feel like Darcy should have maybe spoken with Jon after the vision but that might be a little outside of her comfort zone right now.

I am really enjoying the series so far, I hope it keeps its momentum.

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When Sue brings her friend to see Darcy, she is shocked to find that they are looking for some more information about her deceased mother. After years of unanswered questions, she’s come to the one person in town who has a reputation for knowing things that she shouldn’t about people. Darcy agrees because she can’t say no to a friend. While looking into the fire that took place years prior, she finds out not all is as it may seem.

I’m really enjoying the books where there is a mystery to solve but no one in the town dies. Jon and Darcy look into the death of a woman that happened many years prior. Due to the mystery, we get to delve into the history of the town. We get to learn so much that it makes the town feel much richer than previously. We get to also expand the character base in the story adding more layers into the town. Misty Creek feels like a city that you could just visit.

Jon and Darcy also work closely together throughout the book which allows them to grow as a couple. With the introduction of Darcy’s mother, we get to see how the family dynamic is between them. They work together very well, however, I feel like Jon still doesn’t really believe Darcy throughout this book.

I really love how everything in this book builds onto the previous books so well. This was a very interesting book.

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When a vengeful ghost comes to visit Darcy, she is pulled into a new mystery. Now Darcy and Jon must look into a murder that happened years before on Christmas. But not only that, but Jon and Darcy have to face the real reason their relationship is in a stall, her powers.

Well, this was a really fun book. We get to see why Darcy is so reluctant to let Jon move in with her and it has everything to do with her powers. Jon is reluctant to accept her powers like so many people would be in this world. We get to see them work it out throughout the book and they even have a fight that makes them seem like a relatable couple.

The mystery, once again, was a cold case that was brought to Darcy by her visions. Similar to the last books, there were no murders in the present day, and they were looking into something that happened years back. This makes a lot more sense for a small town, as in other series there is a murder nearly every other week which doesn’t make a lot of sense in the real world. However, like most people know that even small towns have their skeletons and Darcy is cleaning out the closet.

We got to see an expansion in the town this books, thanks to the Christmas pageant and looking into the past once again. Also, we get to see more of Grace in this book and her thoughts on Jon and Darcy’s relationship. This gives a different perspective on the couple and their fight.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book.

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With Valentine’s Day on the way, the town of Misty Creek has love on the mind. However, while Aaron was out he goes missing. Now Darcy must help Grace find her husband as well as keeping her calm throughout the ordeal. Jon must take the lead while both Grace and Darcy are relatively out of commision.

Just when I thought that there wasn’t another take of no murder in a cozy mystery book, Emrick succeeded. We got to see Grace in the forefront of the book with Jon and Darcy this book which was lovely. With Aaron missing, Grace is beside herself throughout the book. As this is right before Valentine’s Day there is also a heavy emphasis on love throughout the book. I really enjoyed how closely Jon and Darcy worked this case even though Darcy used her powers very little this book.

The characters grow closer in this book, and it was nice to see. We also got to explore a new town in the universe which was nice. Just seeing Jon and Darcy come closer and think about the next step that might happen in their lives.

I really enjoyed this book.

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Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24)

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After Simon Diggery, Trenton’s grave robber, claims to have dug up a zombie portal, he asks Stephanie to take care of Ethal. However, when headless bodies start to show up around Trenton, Zombies seem like a plausible explanation. With Diesel back in town, and Morelli pulling the case, Stephanie finds herself stuck in the middle of the entire mystery.

I was so happy when I saw that this book was ready for me to listen to list on Audible. Lorelei King did an excellent job like always.

Seeing Diesel in a non-in-between the numbers book. It was really fun to see him again. Ranger was a little more relaxed in this book which I enjoyed, I mean he actually laughs multiple times in this book. Morelli was pretty much the same as he always is, however, I felt like he was a little more relaxed in this book.

Since Diesel was in it this book, we all know that there was some type of supernatural-esque occurrences throughout the book. We get to have zombies in this book, well not real zombies, but that was a very interesting storyline. Of course, one of Steph’s skips decides to become part of the whole thing.

Morelli and Ranger seem to be able to work together in this book, along with Diesel. Stephanie is a careless as always which leaves the men in her life to clean up after her.

I really really enjoyed this book like I always so. I enjoyed the chemistry between Ranger and Stephanie like always. Also Lorelei King was perfect like always.

Vanilla Cream Murder + Chocolate Peanut Brittle Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #44 + #45)

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When Heather finds out that Roadkill Rodney has found love, and also found his way to Hillside. However, after only a few hours together, Rodney comes in search for Heather as he has just found his girlfriend dead in her store. Ryan and Heather must no sift through Norma’s past and figure out who would have wanted to kill her.

This was better than the last book. I was not terribly sure how this story was going to play out, however, I did feel like it was a little obvious. Clarke was used a little more in this book compared to the last book, however, not to the point that I would like. We do get to see the friendship between Eva and Leila developing even more throughout the book. They seem to be two peas in a pod in this book.

We got to see Rodney Roadkill in this book. It was a little surprised to see him in this book, though he was an interesting, I’m not sure how else they are going to use the character further in this series.

This book was enjoyable and a good continuation to the series.

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Leila gets Donut Delight one morning, pale and shaking. When she reveals that she’s found a dead body in the entrance of her and Edna’s house. She doesn’t know who it is or how he got there. Heather acts quickly to get Ryan on the case. Now with 2 more adults in the house, Heather and Ryan work together to figure out who committed the crime and get her friends back into their home.

Ok, so this book wasn’t my favourite. It actually took longer than normal to read. Heather’s obsession with Clarke is a little out to left field I find. Though Heather is written as an obsessive character, this is even much even for her level. I get that this businessman is bad news, but the focus on him is a bit much.

The story was interesting, as was the murder mystery. The added aspect that Eva and Leila are caught up in it due to the scene of the crime is interesting. I’m not sure how they are going to continue and finish off that storyline as it might be a little difficult to tie up one week to the the next.

I have my standard complaint of not giving enough time for the story on the victim’s background or the store staff. But these seem par for the course now.

Overall it’s an ok read, just not great.

Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery Boxed Set: Books 1-6

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While trying to get her failing bakery back on its feet again, Rachel works her tail off at the street fair. However, when a local critic that gave her a bad review, she is now suspected of murder. This makes her financial woes even worst. She now needs to figure out who was actually behind the murder and clear her name.

After warming up to the crafting series I really wanted to like this book. I felt like this book was a little disjointed. We got relatively no background to the characters. We get a little background to Rachel but not enough to really connect. Pippa is a character that I wanted to love but we don’t get any meat to enjoy her as a person more than her weird talents.

The link between Rachel and the murder victim was strained a best. From what we find out about the victim anyone could have wanted to kill her.

This series had the possibility for a good start but it fell flat for me. Due to my enjoyment the other series I will read more of this series in hopes it gets better.

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After clearing her name, Rachel’s bakery is busier than ever. Rachel begins the process to expand the shop. However, the stories of a painting being haunted in the antique store next door has gotten Pippa in the tiff. After two murders in the antique shop next door, the deal is now up in the air. To calm Pippa’s nerves, Rachel is determined to prove to her that the killer is actually human and not the vengeful spirits that were trapped in the painting next door.

Ok, this book’s beginning is confusing. There was a murder before the book even starts that Rachel is thinking about. Also, Pippa seems to know she’s buying the shop next door before it was even mentioned in the book. This left me a little confused at first. After about chapter 4, everything evens out in the story.

We meet a new detective in this book who doesn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the established characters. She even seems a little bland next Jackson who is supposed to be the stable character in this book.

If the mystery had a little more meat and maybe with a little more character development, this could have made an excellent book. I’m still hoping they get better.

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Rachel applies for a cooking show, however, when one of the judges turns up dead, the filming is pushed off indefinitely. Now they are looking at the director as the possible murderer. Just reaches out to Rachel, after knowing about her work in the past, to prove that he is not the killer. While working parallel investigations to the police, she tries to track down who actually killed Pierre.

There is a lot of things I don’t understand in this book, but let’s start with what I do like. Something happened while Pippa was away that works perfectly with her character. Though she isn’t completely fleshed out, getting swept up in a romance while on vacation is something she would totally do. I also like how there is a timeline so that we can follow the time progression in the story. It makes it feel like a murder isn’t happening every week.

Now, normally I complain about there being 2 love interests. Well, this book is different, there is only one, however, Jackson is currently dating his partner. Racheal is my age, 28, and if the guy you like is dating someone else, you don’t have to like it but at least don’t be petty about it. Jackson does point it out in the book, so I liked that however, it still annoyed throughout the book.

The mystery was interesting, as well as the expansion of the world and addition of new characters. I almost feel though that some of the new characters feel more fleshed out then the main characters.

I enjoyed this book far more than the previous books. I hope this series is finally on an upward swing finally.

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After everything that has happened back in town, Pippa and Rachel finally take some to themselves. Rachel booked the time away to understand and come to terms with everything that has happened in the last year. While away, the head chef was found dead from an apparent accident. Now Rachel is embroiled in yet another mystery, and she is trying to get the local Rangers to take the murder seriously before she leaves to go back home.

Out of all the books so far I would say that this was the best one by far. We get some character development for Pippa and Rachel which was nice. Though 4 books into the series is a little late for my liking. Rachel feels a little more fleshed out thanks to their “girls only” vacation. They expanded past their romantic affiliations which were nice.

The mystery this time was interesting and could have gone many different ways at any point in the story. I don’t know if the actual murderer makes much sense, but it wasn’t terrible. I’m also not sure if the murderer at the end of the book was the intended murderer, but it worked.

I enjoyed how the world was expanded as Rachel and Pippa were in another town, and we got to hear about another town in the area. We also got to learn a lot more about the secondary characters in this book, this allows the reader to become more invested in the story as they can relate to the characters.

This was actually a fairly enjoyable book. I’m really happy that I’m still sticking with this series.

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The business is not doing very well, however, Pippa has an excellent idea: Catering. While catering an event, Jackson comes to see Rachel to as an important question. Suddenly, Rachel is catering Jackson’s and Emma’s wedding. When Emma’s aunt is found dead and Emma is missing, Jackson and Rachel work together to find out who the killer is.

I actually really enjoyed this book. Out of the previous books, I’d say this was the best. I feel like Alabaster is really getting into her stride with this book. Rachel and Jackson grow into characters that we can connect with. They are much more three dimensional in this book than the previous ones. Jackson and Rachel spend quite a bit of time in this book, and it’s almost reminiscent of the 2nd book but better. Though Emma, as a character, doesn’t really make much of an appearance in this book, she is speaking about quite a bit. She gets more of a back story in this

The mystery this time was really interesting. As the case involves Emma’s family, Jackson has to keep Rachel with him to leave the distance between him and the case. The case becomes very personal for them both, but Rachel manages to keep a level head during the course of the investigation.

I don’t like a couple of things that happen between Jackson and Rachel throughout the book. It just seemed so out of character for the two… Ok maybe no out of character for Rachel as she’s been pinning away after Jackson, but it is really out of character for Jackson.

Overall I still really enjoyed the book.

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With Pippa off sick from work, Rachel’s newest employee has to fill in. When a woman is killed mysteriously in her bakery, Rachel is now under suspicion for murder. Without being able to work with Pippa on this case, Rachel must find out who murdered the woman and how they got the poison in the food at the bakery.

After the last book, I was super excited about this book. However, with Rachel being the prime suspect in this murder, which made little sense, the chemistry between Jackson and Rachel is back to zero. With Pippa acting like an entitled child for most of the book, that was even gone. Like, under the circumstances I get being touchy, but it was a little much. To replace Pippa we have Chloe, who is a fine cookie cutter character who’s good at research, however, she feels like a placeholder throughout the book.

The mystery was a little interesting, I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until nearer to the end of the book. If only everything else in this book was better.

This book was not the best and I wished they had continued with the character development.

Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs (Jane Jameson #1)

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After a freak hunting accident, Jane Jameson wakes up as a vampire. Though her sire tries to explain the basics, she still needs some time to warm up to the idea. Going from unemployed librarian to vampire is already a big step, but when someone is trying to frame her for vampire murders, she knows she’s in really big trouble. She not only has to keep her head low but her eyes peeled for who might be out to get her.

The words librarian and vampire do not seem to be compatible but Harper proved me wrong. Jane is a very interesting and quirky character. She is a fun character, as is Gabriel. I did feel like the relationship between Gabriel and Jane was a little instant, however, it kinda works well on with this story. A little murder mystery mixed in with the getting used to being used to being a vampire.

Each character was given very unique and interesting personality. Not only the vampires were graced with personalities but even the humans too. The world is well developed, as is the vampire world. I enjoyed the interpersonal relations that were developed in this book. I can see this becoming a very good book series.

Cotton Candy Fluff Murder + Cherry Dream Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #42 + #43)

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When Heather is called to a crime scene, she is surprised to find out that it’s the young equestrian star, Fred Nolan, who had been in an accident the week earlier. Now the gang is trying to find out who cut the young man’s life short. The only problem is that the Nolan family might be one of the most dysfunctional families to grace Heather’s door to date.

Now that Amy is a full-fledged investigator, the witty comments in the background have been cut down to a minimum, I believe she’s supposed to have been written to finally understand how inappropriate it is. Amy has advanced and aged a little in this book, which I find is nice, as she is in her 40s, similar to Heather.

This murder was fairly easy to figure out, but like always, I enjoyed that we got to see the background of the victim and his family life. That is always my favourite part of any good mystery book.

This was a good continuation of the book series. Also, now I want cotton candy.

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When Catherine Willard is found dead only hours after Heather and Amy talked with the woman. Between really odd son and the potential link to a new contractor that just got into town, somethings are just not adding up in this case.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I don’t like the way that one of the characters was used in this book. I get that they wanted to add a criminal with a shady past who is living above the law, but the way they used them it was not the best. I don’t mind the character archetype, I just want them used better.

The mystery was a little too obvious, and the method made no sense. I wanted to find out more about the victim and for the above character to be used. I guess I wanted a little more action in this book then I got in the end.

It’s a fine book, but not my favourite in the series.

Frosted Love Cozy Mystery 11 – 15

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Yeah, I don’t know why this image has Book 8 on it, but I swear this is book 11.

When a movie company comes to town to film a movie, Missy is hired to provide cupcakes for the cast and crew. Though her main customer is taxing, she manages to still have fun with the rest of the crew. When her friend is found dead, Missy is pointed at to be the murderer due to a cupcake that was found at the scene of the crime.

It’s been a little while since I read this series and I forgot how much I enjoyed it. This book the mystery was a little overshadowed by the drama between Chas and Missy. It was a fun story with a character you love to hate. The way that Missy is involved is interesting, to say the least.

Missy didn’t really investigate much this book but we say many of our favourite reoccurring characters.

My only real issue with this book was the ending felt a little rushed and I felt like it could have been given a book on its own even if it was a non-mystery book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.

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After the incident with the movie, Missy is called on again because her late friend mentioned to a producer just how good her cupcakes were. So she gets invited to try out for a cooking show. However, not everything is as it seems when one of the judges for the bake-off was found dead. Now Missy is the prime suspect.

I enjoyed this book, even though there wasn’t much Chas in it. I really enjoy how he treats her in this book, it’s so sweet. She gets pulled into another murder mystery while away in New York. She doesn’t really investigate anything as she is the murder suspect and Chas is back home, but she does have her friend to look into what he could while she waited.

Missy is thrown for a loop in this book, and wants to make the situation work. Her strength as a character comes out in this book, which is lovely. Though she gets really close to losing it in this book, she does well to power through.

I enjoyed the end of the book when there was some character development and we got to see the side characters that weren’t present through the rest of the book. It was a nice to see them when there isn’t a mystery to solve.

I am still really enjoying this series.

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Well, this was an interesting book. I must say, Missy gets herself is the oddest predicaments. Her Hollywood adventure it’s quite over at the moment. She is so swamped that we see her hiring new staff. The new staff don’t really get introduced in this book, but there was a lot more going on at the time, so it’s forgiven.

I am enjoying the new things that are happening with the book. Though she does talk about the crime, she doesn’t actively put herself in any danger during the length of the book, however, that doesn’t stop danger from finding her.

I really enjoyed this book, but I swear they are like tic-tacs, they don’t last very long.

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After burning the candles at both ends for so long, Missy finally takes a step back from her stores. She starts letting her employees do more. She finally has time to participate in the book club that comes to the shop on a regular basis. When the leader is found dead, and another member is suspected of being the killer, Missy wonders if she ever really knew the people in the book club.

I really want to talk about the end of the book but I don’t want to ruin it. I will say that Chas was really cute. It was the perfect ending for the book.

Missy was more active in the investigation this time around. We got to meet the book club members and learn a lot about them in this book. I enjoyed their character development throughout the book. Their background gets incorporated so well into the mystery that it was out of place.

This was a fun book and it was a good add-on to the series.

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While working an event, the 2nd candidate is found dead in the back of the van. Now Missy’s employee is being looked at for murder even though there was no proof. Meanwhile, Missy has to come to terms with some major changes that are coming down the pipes.

This was sadly not my favourite book in this series. It focused greatly on character development, however, I felt like it came too quickly. At the end, I could see what was happening but it seemed to come out of nowhere.

The mystery interesting but I am getting tired of the plot being someone actively trying to frame someone else. At least in the last book, it made sense, but trying to frame someone because of tattoos and piercings is a bit of a stretch.

I also don’t like books that end with a cliffhanger like how this one did. I enjoyed the book, but I wish it was better.