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.

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Devil’s Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #14)

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The Reverend and Claire leave on their much-deserved honeymoon leaving a visiting reverend in charge. Reverend Matthew had grown up in Lake Eden, so he accepted the role without a second thought. However, when he’s found dead in the office, Hannah is on the case trying to figure out why anyone would want to murder a reverend.

Ok without spoiling the end of this book…. umm WTF is going on with Norman. This is the second book that ends with a cliffhanger that has to do with him. This is an interesting twist, however, I don’t approve. Hannah is snooping like always in this book and we can see that she’s getting really good at it. We get to meet more characters from around the parish and town of Lake Eden is becoming richer with the more characters.

Mike is starting to treat Hannah with more respect during this book. Though we don’t see him much in this book, he does seems to respect her abilities as an investigator. This book was primarily focused on her relationship with Norman, and I must say that I don’t like where this is going. Still, I need to keep an open mind going into the next book.


Gingerbread Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen #13.5)

Culinary Cozy Mystery Box Set 2: Books 6-10 of the Frosted Love Series

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When a customer of Echo’s drops dead in her story, there isn’t much anyone could do but be surprised at this. Echo is such a quiet girl, but now she’s a prime suspect in the murder investigation. Missy can’t stand by as he best friend is being framed for murder. She also has to deal with someone defacing her property, and she tries to find the culprit.

This is the first book in the series that I could see the culprit from a mile away. The murder and the reasons for the murder seemed obvious from the start which made it a little sad. The relationship between Missy and Chas in this book was a little strained but they talked it out like adults, which I liked. Though not completely realistic, being able to talk to each other about their feelings is a refreshing concept.

I did like how Safflower gave more background to Echo that we were given a few books before. I really did like the interaction and the first fight between Echo and Missy. Though they made up like old friends would.

Though Chas wasn’t in the book much when he was, it was fun and quirky. He has become a lovable character that definitely had to grow on me. He has done a complete 180 when it comes to Missy which I adore. He’s random thoughts popping into the story is a little distracting but fun.

Overall I like this book.

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Echo and Missy join forces to expand both of their businesses. However, when a mutual client of their two stores is found dead, they are once again under investigation for yet another murder. However, nothing is adding up with this case, and it all seems like Echo’s past might be catching up with her again.

I swear Echo’s past won’t stay where it needs to, in the past. She once again goes through a beating when she’s in the middle of a murder investigation as a suspect. However, Missy is right there with her in the hot seat. Though Missy tries to let the police do their work, she does voice her opinion on the case.

The murderer was an easy guess about 1/2 through but most mysteries are. The characters in this book negate me disliking the fact that I figured out the murderer quickly.

All the characters were front and centre in this book which is nice. I kinda wished that we learnt more about them, or even got to see them interact with each other more. However, this was a good book to add to the series

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While helping out with the children’s fundraiser, Ben went missing and a dead man was found in his clown suit. With Ben nowhere in sight, he becomes the first suspect in the crime. When the man is tied to Cheryl, there are a lot more complications that sneak into the case. Missy can’t sit on the sidelines when one of the staff is a murder suspect.

For once Missy isn’t the suspect, however, it is someone on her staff. Finally, Cheryl has finally gotten some backstory which I felt was lacking. This is a very interesting finding out what happened before she came to Missy’s Muffins. However, everything felt a little forceful throughout the story. I felt like the story was put together just to give her a backstory and wasn’t really planned.

The murder mystery itself was well thought out and interesting, even though they kinda shoehorned Ben and Cheryl into the storyline. I also enjoy how they worked in more history to the victims in the story which makes you relate to them more.

Overall this was a very good book.

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After the high school baking contest, a judge is murdered and a losing student is suspected of being the murder. As Missy knows the student she is highly sceptical that she committed the crimes. She goes after the truth even though the police seems certain they know who the killer is.

Well, that’s one way of getting out of planning a wedding. We get to meet the Mayor’s daughter and might I say that she was written to be a piece of work. She gets along with Missy as well as oil and water combine. I must say though that the murderer wasn’t terribly difficult to figure out. However, they were well thought out and explained. There were a few things that were left hanging at the end that I hope are explained more in the next book.

I did enjoy the way that they used the high school’s bake-off to jump off into the mystery. Given that Missy is a known baker it makes complete sense that she would be present at that event. This book again does not have Missy in the hot seat, and for once her staff aren’t being checked into.

I did enjoy how the relationship between Chas and Missy has grown over this book, and how cute they are together. This was a really fun little book to read.

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After a little prying, Chas finally opens up to Missy about his past. Given that it’s his father’s birthday, they agree to go to his estate in New York. However, when someone is murdered at the party, Missy is once again a suspect even though she never met the man. Chas is determined to make sure the actual murderer is caught so that they can go home together.

Chas’ background was quite a shocker I feel. I suspected that he probably had a secret or two, but that is big. Missy finally meeting his family was interesting, as they come from a very different upbringing. I will say though, given what they’ve been through you would think that Missy would have more confidence in their relationship but she’s the first person to jump ship.

I enjoyed the storyline and mystery, it was interesting to see the Beckett family dynamic and how Missy fit into it. Though I found that murderer was a little obvious I still liked how it played out in the story.

This book went into Chas’ past up until parts of his high school. I am hoping that the trend to develop characters continues into future books.


Frosted Love Cozy Mystery 1 – 5
Frosted Love Cozy Mystery 11 – 15

Ouna Bay Cozy Mystery (Ouna Bay #1-4)

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So I read an Omnibus of this series, so instead of writing 4 posts because each story is only about 65 pgs long. I’m only going to write one. Sorry but this is going to be long. Also I’ve noticed that my mystery of choice recently seems to always involve sweets… I sweat I’m on a diet.

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After repeatedly refusing offers from the Heyes company to buy out her Café, odd things start happening. The odd coincidence it that it starts the day her new man comes into town. As he is the nephew of the owner of the Heyes company she is a little suspicious that he could be the one behind it.

This is a fun little short story, or maybe it’s a novelette. Though the story is set up as a mystery, I wouldn’t call it a mystery myself. There isn’t really a who done it, and you never meet the culprit until the end of the book. There is no plot for you to follow, so it’s more of a light romance with a hint of mystery. You become more invested in the characters’ relationships rather than the ‘mystery’.

Houston and Becky have great chemistry together. Though I do have to admit that the reason that Houston claims that he came to Ouna Bay for is a little creepy. All and all it’s a cute little quick read.

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Rosalie has finally quit her job at the bank and has decided to come work for Becky. However, when they go to pick up Rosalie’s last pay check, they find the bank director dead with Rosalie’s check in his hand. Now with her best friend as a murder suspect and Houston out of town, Becky starts snooping around to find out who killed the Bank Director.

Ok, so this is the type of story that I like. Though again, we don’t have any hints of who could have done it, it was really fun. Also, through out the book we start to get a feel about the other people in town other than those directly involved with Becky on a regular basis. There is an undisclosed amount of time since the first book, but we can assume that it hasn’t been long because Becky doesn’t comment that she hasn’t been dating Houston for very long.

Becky and Rosalie do get to play a bit more of amateur detectives in this book, and the romance does take a back seat. However, I must say Becky and Houston are very cute together.

I much prefer this book over the first as it expands the city more.

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When Ada was murderer in cold blood at the baking contest, the entire town is ho

Man I really, like this book. Though it was death at a food fair and that isn’t exactly the newest idea. However, the way that it was incorporated into the murder was an interesting spin. The characters have been growing and the chemistry is excellent.

Though Becky is reluctant when investing most if the cases, she goes all in when Rosalie starts investigating. Houston is the first male partner that isn’t out right trying to stop using his girlfriend from investigating. However, its not a bad idea when you’re looking into a murder case.

Overall, I really enjoyed the novella.

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After one of her peanut butter cupcakes is used to kill a local at a charity event. Suddenly, Becky is under the microscope and is worried about how it’s going to affect business. Suddenly, Rosalie is on the case to track down the killer and clear Becky’s name.

Ok, so this is a fun little book to finish off the series. I kinda wish there were more books, but alas that is it. But I can hope.

In this book, Becky and her relationship with Houston is in the forefront as he has a relatively hot assistant working with him at the company. She gets pushed to her limits in order to ignore the jealousy of the working conditions. Also, once one of the blue bay cafe’s cupcakes were used as a murder weapon, Becky is a little on edge the entire time. Rosalie is a little more adventurous than Becky and does push her quite a bit more in this book.

I do like how they some how got a dog in this book, but I find it very cute, and enjoyed how they used his in the story. It’s a really good book.

Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #10)

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Hannah gives Lisa a day off to be part of her family reunion. Everyone was happy when Lisa’s long-lost uncle, or were they. When Gus is found dead the day of the reunion, Hannah has a long list of suspects to go through. As no one has heard from him in over 25 years, Hannah has to dig into the past of some of the Lake Eden citizens to figure out who would have had the motive to kill him.

I loved this story. It adds a lot of depth to some of the characters in the Lake Eden universe. Jack, who I’ve come to love, has finally gotten a love story past having Alzheimer’s and being Lisa’s father. Through this book, Lisa has also gotten more of a background and history, we also get a glimpse of what kind of person her mother was. This book really built up the world of Lake Eden more and makes it feel like a more real place. I enjoyed the teamwork between Lisa and Hannah in this book, though they always have great chemistry, I enjoyed seeing Lisa get her hands dirty in this case. All in all, this was a great addition to the series.


Candy Cane Murder (Hannah Swensen #9.5)
Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen #11)