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

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Banana Fudge Murder + Blueberry Stars & Stripes Murder

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Amy, Jamie, Ryan and Heather all go for a double date together. However, they are called away after their waiter was murdered. Jamie now has to come to terms with knowing the victim and Amy being pulled away at any time due to her job. While they are working the case, Amy has to not only has to help Heather find the murderer but also has to work out the issues that she is having with her relationship.

This book has a little more character building, specifically with Amy and Jamie. We get to see them work through their issues throughout this book. Ok well not throughout, just quickly at the end. I would really like to see much more character development and see more realistic conversations between 2 characters who aren’t Heather, Amy and Ryan.

I enjoyed the story and also liked how we got to meet the victim before they were murdered. It’s an interesting little story, it still has Lyle Clark as a suspect near the end. I feel like the Character is running its course and hopefully will be gone soon. I do like how Kate isn’t anywhere in this book or the past few one.

Overall, it’s a fine book, but I really want to get longer stories.

 

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While out with the family for the 4th of July, Heather notices something’s odd about a house nearby. When she discovers the occupant of the house was murdered, Ryan and Heather start work quickly on the new crime scene. With a messy divorce to sift through Ryan and Heather have to figure out who in the victim’s family would have wanted to kill her.

This was an interesting little book. I was a little surprised that mystery was a lot easier to solve than previous books. However, we did get to see Jamie more in this book which was a little nice. We get to see some development between Jamie and Amy which is lovely, as to this book, we’ve only really seen hear-say.

Like I said, is an easy murder to figure out so when you read it don’t be surprised. I did like the mystery and how seamlessly it went together even if it was a little easy. This might be the one time that the doughnut doesn’t sound too appealing, and that is for someone who likes jalapenos.

Regardless, this was a fun little book to read.


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

Raspberry Mojito Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #20) + Banana Coconut Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #21)

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Heather finally has a week off before the new and improved Donut Delight is re-opening. However, when Ryan finds Quick Paul dead in his office, she gets pulled into the case. With a long list of shady business deals, it’s a surprise that he wasn’t knocked off sooner.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. It was interesting, and finally the murder has nothing to do with doughnut delight. I don’t like the aspect that Heather as a character has taken. I prefer her as an amateur detective rather than it being the only purpose of the book. Geoff is still weird but thankfully he only appeared for a very short amount of time.

I really enjoyed Lilly in this book. I haven’t every mentioned her, however, she is a really sweet girl. The character has been built to be very similar to Heather with the instinct to investigate. That character as a whole is fun and works well in this series. It was an ok book, but nothing really wowed me with it.

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After the lead ballerina is found dead right before the performance in Hillside. Heather gets brought in because there are more suspects then there are leads and they all have reason to want her dead. Between juggling donut delight and the investigation, Heather looks into the murder to make sense of the madness.

This is an interesting book. Though it seems that there are a lot of suspects but if you think about it for a second the murder is clear. It was well plotted and the pace was nice. Sometimes, I feel like the coincidences are a little exaggerated in the books but it’s sort of par for the course.

Hannah is flourishing into a good investigator, however, I feel like it would be nice to have her in the shop a bit more. I really wanted this series to turn into something similar to the Hannah Swensen series, but it is fun in its own rights.


Chocolate Pomegranate Glaze Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #18) + Caramel Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #19)
Oreo Sprinkled Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #22) + Spooky Choc Orange Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #23)