Margot Durand Series 5 – 7

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When Margot is invited to spend the weekend with her friend at the Blue Ridge Mountain Resort. When she arrives she finds out that her friend is being stalked and she’s worried that it’s her ex-husband. With that, Margot is going to figure out that what is going on and protect her friend. Thankfully, it helps that she’s dating a detective.

This is one of my favourite series currently. Margot is a very well-rounded character who, though she is strong, is not shy about asking for help. She has a supportive relationship between herself and Adam. However, unlike most other cozy mystery books, their relationship is actually well fleshed out. My biggest issue with this book is Adam just always manages to get time off when Margot needs him, but I also find that a little sweet.

This story is interesting for not only the character development but the mystery as well. We get even more background to Margot, and with that CeCe is also well fleshed out. As CeCe is the centre of this story, we get to find out a lot about her. Margot is looking into her stalking and it is an interesting case.

I really enjoy the writing style of Collins and the storyline was interesting. Overall, I really enjoyed the story.

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Now that Margot is back, she is more than willing to relax and spend some time with her boyfriend. When they find a dead body during their romantic getaway things take a turn. Now with only Margot believing that there was foul play involved, she has to work behind Adam’s back to get to the bottom of it.

So we’re back in North Bank. After travelling for the last book it’s nice being in the bakery again. Dex is still MIA in this book, however, we do get to hear from him in this book. I do miss seeing him as he was an interesting character. I would love to see more of him in future books, or at least have Margot find out what he’s up to.

I enjoyed the way that Margot and Adam worked together in this book. With Adam’s hands being tied in this book created an interesting dynamic in this book. Margot took the lead in the investigation this time which was fun. It wasn’t a straight-forward mystery which I really liked.

I love the relationship between Adam and Margot and how it’s developing. Something that happened near the end came a little too fast for me, but I still really liked the book.

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When Margot gets a call from Dex needing her help, she agrees right away. With his sister missing and things not going right in Maine, she was the first person he thought of to help. Though Adam isn’t thrilled, Margot goes to Maine to try and find Dex’s missing sister and maybe bring him home at the same time.

Yeah, we got to see Dexter again, I missed that character. I enjoy it every time that Margot spoke with him on the phone or by email, but he’s actually back for the entire book this time. We have Margot travelling to Maine this time so we continue the trend of Margot not being in her hometown when things go wrong. I may have mentioned it before, but many cozy mysteries will fall into everything happening around the same town, thereby making that town really dangerous. However, I enjoy how Collins jumps to different cities dispersing the mystery around America.

I enjoyed the characters interaction within the story, including all of the new characters that were introduced in this book. Though I’m sure that not many of the characters in this book will reappear in the future, however, I did enjoy it throughout this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book like the previous book in this series.


Margot Durand Series 2 – 4

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I’m the Vampire, That’s Why (Broken Heart #1)

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One second she’s taking out the garbage and the next she’s taking blood from Patrick’s femoral artery. From a single mother to a vampire in one night. Now Jessica is handed even more issues when it comes to her life… or after-life in her case. Welcome to the face life that Broken heart wasn’t ready for.

This was a fun little book and it took a slightly different spin on Vampires and their politics. It is also a romance book, as Jessica quickly realizes that Patrick is her soulmate thanks to her family ring. I swear I feel like a broken record, but no one jumps into bed that quickly, however, ancient faerie rings help.

The fact that Jessica is a mother is addressed in this book and isn’t glossed over like it would have been in other books.  They make a plan for the children as she is asleep all day and would have problems being a mother that way. Jessica is also depicted as a strong woman and even though her situation is not ideal, she is ready to face life. Even after reading so many books about vampires and the supernatural communities, it’s nice to find a book that looks at them in a slightly different way.

I enjoyed this books, and if you’re looking for a urban-fantasy romance book, this might be for you.

Chocolate Chip Custard Murder + Mint Creme Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #46 + #47)

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When the only other private investigator in Hillside is murdered. The last person who was known to have a fight with him was Amy. Now with her in the hot seat, Ryan and Heather are working as hard as possible to clear her name. Which is a little hard as Amy can’t help out this time around.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book a lot more than the previous books. Though I don’t like Kelly, his character was well used in this book. This book gave him more of a background than previous books. He turned out to be more than Kate’s lap dog.

Though Clarke made an appearance in this book, it wasn’t overwhelming… well until the end. I am starting to not mind him as much, but I feel like that is just due to repeated exposure.

It was kinda nice seeing one of the main characters in the hot seat again. I normally don’t like it, but it’s been a while so it’s a nice throwback to the beginning of the series.

I still want more with the bakery staff but I’ve almost given up on that.

Overall it was a fun book.

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After the arson at Eva’s house, Heather hires a designer to figure out how much it would cost to repair their house. However, when the interior designer is found dead, everything is on hold again. Now that they have to figure out who wanted this designer down. They have to work through her iffy business practices and have to find out who would want to kill the interior designer.

This was a mildly interesting book. We got to see the bakery staff a little but not as much as I would like, but it was nice to have them in the story. We did get to meet another character that I feel will probably fit in well with the other characters and will be making an appearance in the future books.

The mystery was a little odd, and you couldn’t figure it out until later in the book when they had more information. I enjoyed the role reversals of who called who to the crime scene.

Overall it was a fine book to read.


Cotton Candy Fluff Murder + Cherry Dream Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #42 + #43)
Banana Fudge Murder + Blueberry Stars & Stripes Murder

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.

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.