Peridale Cafe 4 – 6

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Barker is still on leave when a funeral wreath was left on his doorstep. He reaches out to a friend on the force to look into it. However, when a body of a man who looks similar to Barker is found the next day, Julia’s worst fears are confirmed. Since Barker is still on suspension, Julia must work harder as neither of them can get any information from the police.

I really enjoyed this story, it wasn’t as straightforward as you would expect. Though I probably should have seen it coming because the story was really focused on making one of the characters the bad guy. I will be honest, I didn’t see the twist coming until Julia did which is really rare for me. I’m not sure if it was because I wasn’t paying attention, or it was just really well written.

This book did give a lot more background to Barker then we had before. We learnt a lot about his past and everything that happened before he came to Peridale. Since they get to spend so much time together, we really get to see Barker and Julia’s relationship grow. It was nice to see them working to see them working together on the case.

Peridale also expanded with the addition of the Ferne Moore Estate and the people that live there. We got to find out more about the kids who are always getting in trouble and their lives.

I really enjoyed this book.

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Dot managed to win a trip for the family together to have some bonding time. However, just the day after they arrive, the owner of the castle that they are staying in, is shot to death. Now, in another country, Julia is stuck in the middle of another murder investigation. Meanwhile, her grandmother and sister are pestering her to relax and enjoy the trip.

Though the mystery was interesting, it was a little hard to follow. There was actually 3 stories going on and they were all intertwined. Though once an important tidbit of information was given you can figure out who the murderer is. However, with so many storylines going through the book, it gets really muddled. I did figure it out a little before Julia, or where I assumed Julia figured it out.

We actually learnt a lot about the characters in this book. You get a really good background to the castle’s staff. We got to learn more about Sue in this book before she was just this character that existed in the book series but didn’t have any good background. I normally really enjoy Dot, however, in this book I really disliked her in this book. Dot was just so annoying and I really want her to go back to normal. We don’t really get to see Barker and Jessie in this book, however, I really do enjoy how close Barker and Jessie had become. It seems like Julia’s little family is coming together.

I really enjoyed this book.

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When a big box coffee shop has opened up in Peridale and it’s causing strain on Julia’s business. However, when Julia finds the owner dead in the middle of the night, all fingers point towards Julia. Barker can’t even help Julia out with this case, as it’s not his course, as he is too close to the prime suspect. Now Julia will need to work hard to clear her name.

It was a really interesting mystery that wasn’t completely straightforward. It was, however, very interesting. If you don’t pay attention it could be very confusing, similar to the last book. It was interesting how Julia worked the case without Barker as she doesn’t want to get him in trouble again.

This book was filled with character development and character building. Brian actually comes into play in this book as the murder victim is his old business partner. We get to see him actually trying to show Julia that he does actually care and love her. We met Jerrad after hearing so much about him in the previous book. I don’t really get Barker’s reaction to Jerrad’s appearance after all the information that Julia has told him over the few months. Sue is in this book again and we get to see the insecurities that she has when it comes to Katie and her father. Though we could say she is just being over emotional, however, it was obvious in the previous books as well.

I really enjoyed the book, and it is a great continuation of the series.


Peridale Cafe 1-3 (Peridale Cafe Mystery #1-3)

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Full Speed (Full, #3)

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After everything that happened in Beaumont, Jamie leaves town with Max to start on a new adventure. Ok, really she’s just going to track down the person who shot up her news office and made multiple attempts on Max’s and her lives. However, she has to somehow try not to kill Max during this little trip together.

This book was a little harder to get into than the first 2 books, but I think that might have just been me. Before the book even begins Jamie and Max have a fight and we don’t find out what happened until later in the book. I don’t particularly like books that do that. Once we get over the hissy fit, I started to enjoy the book more. I like how that character plays off of each other and the banter between them is quite enjoyable.

The plot of this book is heavily based on the prior book. I don’t feel like you could have stopped reading the series after the second book as it didn’t have an end. However, this book does end nicely. I like the book in a series to be connected but not dependant on each other like these 2 books were.

I love the characters that were introduced into the universe and how much feistier Jamie got in this book. She was already an enjoyable character, and I feel like she became even more so throughout this book. Max is still egotistical but the reader can see his emotions, even though he can have trouble showing them at times.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I did listen to the audiobook so I enjoyed Lorelei King’s voice as always. I don’t know if I’m a bigger fangirl of Lorelei King or of Janet Evanovich.


Full Tilt (Full #2)
Full Blast (Full #4)

When Magic is Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #4)

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While delivering some desserts to the Crescent Creek Lodge, Kate is the first respondent to a suspicious death. While working with Diane, Kate tries to figure out why the apparently accidental death seems soo off. What makes matters worse, is that the victim is completely anonymous and no one seems to know him in town. Things just got a little bit harder.

I really enjoyed this book. We got to see Kate work more as an investigator and less like a chief in this book. We see Kate and Dina working together and sharing information without any contention. I could see how they would have been friends in school now, the characters have grown so much over the last few books.

I enjoy how much of the shop I get to see in the book. My constant complaint in cozy mystery baker books is that we never get to see the staff in their store. This book definitely includes the staff, and since they are lovable characters it is quite nice.

The mystery is interesting a hits a little close to home when it comes to how the person was murdered. I must say that it is a very easy way to kill someone like myself. It is really interesting to see what the plan was and how the characters interacted.

I really enjoyed the book and look forward to the next book.


Red Velvet, Dead Velvet (Sky High Pies Mysteries #3)
A Zest for Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #5)

Frosted Love Cozy Mysteries 21 – 26

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Echo is having a hard time settling into her life in Florida, she just feels like everyone around her is moving on, while she’s being left behind. When she meets up with a young man who is down on his luck and left homeless. Echo, the bleeding heart, takes him in and gets Missy to help out. After a neighbour was murdered, everyone at the inn gets pulled into another mystery, and with Echo’s new lease on life, she’s ready to take on the world.

Ok, I’m really starting to like Spencer and all of his quirks. We get to see him in action again in this book, and I love reading about it. We are really starting to get to understand Spencer as he grows as a character throughout the series.  All of the characters are growing into their roles into the book, and I’m glad that Echo is getting her sea-legs again. We only see Clara at the end of the book, and I’m kind of wondering how Prescott is going to be using her in the future. I enjoyed her at the beginning but she doesn’t seem to fit anymore. Unless something changes, she might turn into a throwaway character. 

This mystery was interesting, but a little too obvious. I didn’t really enjoy the fact that I could figure it out so quickly and so close to the beginning of the book. I still enjoyed the characters looking into the murder and trying to figure out who did it. I figure that Chas had an idea of who it was relatively quickly, as near the end he did leave town to check something out.

I enjoyed the book, however, I feel like they’re getting shorter but I really like settling into this book series.

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A triple homicide rocks the small town of Calgon, and Chas is on the case. With a young girl suddenly becoming an orphan, and someone who seems determined to harass Missy and her friends. With everything going on, Missy also has to plan a party for 100 guests, life is getting very interesting.

We get to see Clara more in this book, and I’m not sure whether or not she’s going to stay but we did see her trying to move on past her husband’s and son’s deaths. The fact that she became an alcoholic wasn’t surprising, but she does show the will to get past it. I wonder if Echo and Clara will ever be civil towards each other because I don’t see why it’s still going on after so long. Also, I feel like Echo and Kel’s relationship should be developing more than it currently has. Maybe it’s the issue of being on the outside looking in, but I feel like they need to get together soon. 

The murder was a little intense, especially with the little girl who we meet at the beginning of the book. Clara’s reaction was perfect to that little girl, she also seemed to be very motherly towards her. I enjoyed the way that Spencer was used in this book in this murder investigation. I know that it wasn’t in the vain of the police investigation, but his marine training paid off. I also enjoyed how Chas and Spencer kept Missy in the dark about what had potentially happened in Spencer’s apartment.

This was a fun little read.

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A newlywed couple book into the inn and Missy rolls out the red carpet for them. Everyone around the inn starts noticing some worrisome signs. Echo confides in Missy that she may have had a slightly less savoury relationship in that past that reminded her a lot of the newlywed. When the wife goes missing, the occupants all turn their attention towards the husband, but is there more going on than meets the eye?

This isn’t my favourite book in this series. I have all of the things that I normally love, a bait and switch, new characters and a lot of character development. However, the plot just falls flat for me which was really sad. I could see the plot twist coming from a mile away and it wasn’t really handled that well. It had so much potential to be more enjoyable for me.

I enjoyed getting to know more about Echo’s neighbour and a little more about Spencer in this book. Spencer is a lot like a nice mix between Chas and Missy. He is definitely written to be their adoptive son that they take care of. The relationship between Kel and Echo, though they work day in and day out together, is still very static. Even if it doesn’t develop into a romantic relationship, there should be some development in the friendship department.

It was still a relatively enjoyable book, I just wish it was better.

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Christmas is coming up and Missy couldn’t be more excited planning a Christmas get together with her friends. However, when some weird occurrences start happening to Clara and Echo, everyone’s a little on edge. With a stalker following them and a murder just a town over, things turn dangerous for the unlikely duo.

After the last book, I’m super happy with this book. I was a little worried, but Prescott used a new element in her book with the introduction of a serial killer. Having a serial killer in a book is always hit or miss, as they can feel a little too much like a crutch. However, this killer was used excellently.

Prescott managed to make Clara relevant again and made Echo and Clara realize how much they actually have in common. Clara’s character has finally expanded a little more and grown. She is still a little awkward in the book, however, I can see it getting better. We get to find a little more about Kel’s feeling for Echo and I really want something to happen between those two at one point in the series. We also get to see Spencer open up more to Missy, which was trigger by seeing a fellow marine living the way that he could have ended up.

I found that the mystery was a little obvious, but I’m going to blame it on how many mystery books I’ve read. *hides my GoodReads account* It was a little obvious that there was something off about the character of the killer, however, I still liked how it was expanded on.

I enjoyed this book, and it was a nice after the last book.

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The Christmas season has started and on the coattails of a large crime wave. While Chas is working around the clock, Spencer is helping around the inn. When Spencer finds something out about the recent crimes, it’s now a race against time to catch the people who are committing the crimes. Meanwhile, Spencer wants nothing more than to keep Missy in the dark of everything.

We really get to know a lot more about Spencer in this book. Though we still don’t know a lot about his past, we do get to know more about his psyche throughout this book. Missy has definitely become like family to him, as she does with many people. I also enjoy the slowly blooming relationship between Clara and Echo. We don’t see much in this book, but enough to see some development.

The mystery in this book was really short and I felt like it was sped up. I know that this book was really focused on character development and to given Spencer more depth, however, it still felt too rushed. The mystery took about ½ this book, but there was a little more she could have expanded on. What I did like was that we got to know more about the bad guys in this book than previous. A few chapters and sections of chapters were dedicated specifically to the bad guys.

The town was expanded and was given a little more history in this book. We got to meet a family in town that tries to live off the land who have been around for awhile. We learn a little more about Kel this book and his network of people throughout the town.

I really enjoyed this book.

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New Years is here, and all is quiet around the inn. With everyone back home and Spencer on vacation, it leaves Missy all alone to set up the New Year’s Eve Gala at the inn. When things start happening, the inn doesn’t seem like a safe place anymore. On High alert, Missy tries to continue getting everything on, despite the number of dead animals appearing near the inn.

Missy getting a little more forward in this book, to the point that she visits someone in prison. Though it’s not very dangerous, it’s definitely something that she should have talked with Chas about. I do enjoy her being a little more brazen, however, I think that Kel is rubbing off on her. Echo and Kel have a little moment in this book, but I’m not certain if anything will come of it. Though Spencer was not really in the book this time around, what till he was in the book allowed us to see how much he cares for Missy and Chas.

I really enjoyed this mystery, we get to learn more about Kel’s vast knowledge on murderers (of all things), as well as his gym workout. It also gave depth to the world outside of Florida. They go to Illinois in this book which allows us to see a bit more of the world. I do love how Missy figures out the mystery a little before Chas.

I really enjoyed this book.


 

The Murderer’s Son (DI Jackman & DS Evans #1)

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When a murder happens in suburbia, to police start looking into it. However, when Daniel Kinder confesses to the murder, it seems like a closed case. Daniel doesn’t remember the murder and claims to be having a fit when it occurred and has a blank in his memory at the time. Suffering from a mental disorder, Jackman and Evan’s agree that he probably didn’t commit any murder. This lays the question, who actually killed the victim and how can they prove it to Daniel that he did nothing wrong.

This book was a long read, and I really had to feel like wanting to read it. It was dense and filled with details. It’s really good, and I enjoyed it. It’s very different from most of the books I read, but in the realm of the police procedural genre, it was very good.

The story was interesting, and we got a feel for the world as well as the chemistry between the characters. There were actually multiple storylines that were weaved together throughout the book. The descriptions of the murder and thought process of the police were very well written. They way that they used Daniel in this book to add another layer to the mystery. It provides the right amount of doubt and empathy throughout the book.

As this is the first book, it allowed us a peek into the past of the main characters and their relationship. Though it didn’t take up much time, it did enrich the understanding of the characters. All the characters seem to have soo much history together, I’m interested in seeing if they expand on their history in later books, or if they just build on it.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.

Red Velvet, Dead Velvet (Sky High Pies Mysteries #3)

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Crescent Creek might seem like a quiet town, and on most days that is not wrong. However, when the head of the library comes to Kate with a suspicious letter addressed to the known scammer in town. Kate works through the death threat and finds out that there is much more going on that what it appears on the surface.

Well, this is a fun book. We get to see the budding relationship between Zack and Kate which is nice. I was afraid that they were going to see high school exes be put back together again. As fun Trent is, and they do make a nice pair, I am enjoying Kate getting to know Zack and starting her life over again in Crescent Creek.Well, this is a fun book. We get to see the budding relationship between Zack and Kate which is nice. I was afraid that they were going to see high school exes be put back together again. As fun Trent is, and they do make a nice pair, I am enjoying Kate getting to know Zack and starting her life over again in Crescent Creek.

I enjoy seeing Kate work as a PI even though she is adamant that she isn’t working as a PI but she has worked in the field for 10 years so it’s hard to break the habit. I also like how, though he doesn’t completely agree with it, Zack doesn’t try to change her. Though Trent does belly ache about Kate putting herself in danger, he also doesn’t try to change her but just asks her to be careful. He feels a lot more like an older brother than an Ex-boyfriend.

The mystery was interesting, as was the character development throughout. Though the victim was treated like one, he wasn’t all that innocent. We still felt for all of the characters, which I really like in a book.
Overall, this book was really enjoyable.


Chocolate Most Deadly (Sky High Pies Mysteries #2)
When Magic is Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #4)

Oceanside Cozy Mysteries #1 – 5

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Heather and co. have finally made the jump and moved to Key West. While preparing the opening for the new store and settling in, the owner of the neighbouring restaurant is found dead. Tensions are already high as the people on the street don’t like newcomers, but after someone points in their direction, it gets even worse. Looks like Heather and Amy don’t get a slow introduction to key west, instead they are thrown into another murder investigation.

So at the last book of the other series all of Heather’s friends decide to follow her to Key West and leave Hillside. I have never seen a more noped out of making the lead character make brand new friends. I get the resituating the characters of a story can be difficult, but I hope that the characters can be used properly and they don’t just live in their own little bubble.

The storyline in this story does allow the reader to situate themselves in the new surroundings. We didn’t meet a lot of characters in the book, which was a little weird as they are in a new city. Apparently, hey only have 5 neighbours on this street, now I’m assuming that this is a very short block on a street because I’ve never lived somewhere that a street only had 6 shops.

The mystery was a little obvious I felt. I feel like it was more about getting a feel for the city rather than the actual mystery itself. We got to know the police a little more, one that Ryan will be replacing and the other will be his partner.

It was an ok book, I’m hoping the book will get better in the future.

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Amy finally convinces Heather that they should learn how to scuba dive. On Bernadette’s suggestion, they decide on Shelly’s diving school. However, when something goes seriously wrong leaving one of the employees dead, Heather and Amy are pulled back into another murder. They help the police with the case while trying to also hire new staff for the store.

So… where is everyone in this book? We get to see Lilly, Heather, Amy, Digby and a little Ryan. I know in theory the Jamie should be working to set up his own business, I’m just surprised that no one is even mentioning it. I feel like the characters that were brought over from the last book to make things easier, are being left out.

Though the mystery was relatively easy to figure out. I feel like, similar to the last book, Heather is being cut out. This causes a simple investigation to take longer than absolutely necessary. I feel like it has become less about the mystery and more about the tension between Heather, Amy and Detective Smith. This makes the story a little more trying than the previous book.

Given that this book series is set in a new place, I feel like they could use the location a bit more. I felt like there was a little disconnect between the characters and the location. As someone who has never been to Key West, I would be interested in finding out more about the location.

I really want this book series to hit its stride.

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Eva and Lelia have been keeping busy and have met a new friend at the senior centre. However, when her son is found murdered the duo turn to Heather. In the midst of her opening week, Heather delves into the past of the group’s newest acquaintance to track down a killer.

We got to meet a few more standard characters. I enjoyed how we got to get some character development with the new characters. However, due to her being in the middle of the investigation, it is a little bit if a cheat. I feel like Betty will be a good addition to the golden age girls. Yes, I have given them a nickname.

This mystery was a little tricky, but if you notice some clues and have random knowledge about gambling, it’s quite simple to figure out. I do enjoy the trick that was used in this book to add some dimension to the case.  This is the first time that I’ve seen it be used in such a way in a book recently and it was refreshing.

We get to see the family go out and play tourists, however, I really wish that there was more description of their surroundings. Hillside became so vivid in the last series, but now I can’t even imagine the street that they work on.

It was a fun little read.

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Heather is invited to the local bed and breakfast to work out a potential business agreement to supply them with doughnuts. The owner invites them to stay the night to see how breakfast works. Heather and Ryan agree right away if only to get out of the sweltering heat, that is their house. However, their stay is elongated when one of the guests is murdered at breakfast, and Detective Smith asks them to look into it as the guests might open up to them. So much for a nice relaxing evening at the bed and breakfast.

We got to see a little more of Key West in this book, well by a little bit more, I really mean the bed and breakfast. We didn’t get any descriptions of the surroundings. I feel like the area where Heather and the gang moved too is very flat. I don’t mind if writers use a place they’ve never been, which I don’t know if Gillard has or has not been to Key West, however, it just feels like a set rather than part of the story.

The mystery was something that we’ve seen before. Someone at the Inn murdered another guest very publicly, however, no one knows who did it. There are plenty of misleading lines of questioning that Heather and Amy track down. They eventually figure everything out on with some help from the police and the owner of the B&B.

This wasn’t my favourite book in this series by far.

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Halloween is one of Amy’s favourite time of year, so when the local Halloween cruise asks for them to provide the sweets for the cruise, they jump at the chance. Along with providing deserts, they are invited on the cruise for one night. However, when the guest of honour is murdered while out at sea. Heather, Amy and Ryan must figure out who did it before reaching land and losing all of their suspects.

So we got to see Ryan and Heather working together again. This is very similar to their one-day investigation from the last series, however, this time it’s on a boat. The way that the murder was carried out was interesting and used the surroundings and events well. I did like seeing Ryan investigation again.

I enjoyed seeing Jamie being used a little in this book than the other books. I wanted to see some character growth in this book, however, it was sadly not evident in this book.

I really want this series to get better in the future.


Donut Hole Cozy Mystery 58 – 60
Oceanside Cozy Mystery 6 – 10