Chocolate with a Side of Murder (Daley Buzz Mysteries #1)

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There is something weird happening in town, and it only just got worse when the owner of the local chocolate shop is found dead. Sabrina discovers the body, and due to her past trauma, she is determined to find out who did it. With her boyfriend, David, on the case, she has her finger on the pulse of the investigation.  

Sabrina is a little too bold and far too aggressive when questioning the murder suspects. She would never get any of the information needed if she spoke to anyone that way. It is a natural human reaction to clam up. Much over, David should not be sharing so much information with Sabrina while the case is still open. That goes so far against protocol that he could have gotten into a lot of trouble if any of the suspects had reported Sabrina’s visit to the police. Even when David finds out, he doesn’t have the appropriate reaction to her snooping.

The mystery is pretty cut and dry, and there wasn’t much to the mystery. I wish it would have had a little more dimension to it. Once a certain clue was given, relatively early on in the book, it was easy to figure out. 

I did however like David, his protocol-breaking and all. He is very caring and supportive… just maybe in the wrong way. Sabrina does have an interesting back story, so that was interesting. It made it understandable why she couldn’t walk away from the murder. 

It was an ok book but I’m not sure that I’m going to continue the series.

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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)

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

Chocolate Most Deadly (Sky High Pies Mysteries #2)

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When Kate’s next door neighbour’s brother goes missing, she has no one else to turn to but Kate. Her past as a PI comes in handy as she drives to Denver and tries to find out what happened. However, suddenly he is also a person of interest in a murder that happened in the apartment. Not only does Kate have to find the brother but also the person who is trying to kill them.

Man, I’m so happy that I picked up with series. This book was so good. We get to see Kate working as a PI this time. There isn’t much reacting in this book like the last time, but rather it’s a chase and her actively looking through the case.

The characters were fleshed out a bit more, the town was expanded, and we even got more backstory to Kate. This time she deals with a detective from Denver and he gives Trent a little more backstory. Though Trent didn’t play a big role in this book when he did appear he was depicted being sensitive towards Kate and looking out for her back. Though it is obvious that author wants to get Trent and Kate together, she through another character in.

I am no happy that a second romantic lead has been introduced into the book series. I am over this specific trope in mysteries. That isn’t how people are in real life, so I don’t like how it’s incorporated into the story.

Overall I enjoyed it.


Murder by the Slice (Sky High Pies Mysteries #1)
Red Velvet, Dead Velvet (Sky High Pies Mysteries #3)

Frosted Loved Cozy Mysteries 16 – 20

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After coming back home after their honeymoon, Chase and Missy start debating the whether or not to buy the little inn in Florida. When Missy decides to take the plunge into the hotel ownership and management. That, however, means that they have to move and leave what they know behind. However, when a young boy goes missing Chas and Missy are thrown right into a new mystery.

This is a really fun little pick up from the last book. Though I didn’t really like that the last book ended with a cliffhanger, but it worked well for this book. I enjoyed the beginning of the book where Chas and Missy were just living their lives without any murders. Missy takes a back seat in this book, however, we do get to follow Chas at work, which I really liked. It’s a nice meld of cozy mystery and cop book. The new writing style is really fun and interesting.

The mystery didn’t start until partway through the book, and it wasn’t too hard to figure out, however, Prescott did throw a couple of curveballs with the story. What is common with this book, as it is mainly focused on Missy and not Chas, is that the reader doesn’t always get enough information to completely figure out the mystery completely. I think that’s on purpose, however, it is a little annoying.

There is a lot more character development than other books as they have just moved to a new place so Prescott had to introduce all of the new characters.

There was a slight lack of consistency throughout the book. I noticed mistakes in the name of a character in the book, mainly the wrong last name. Also, the length of time between everything happening in the book. It just felt like it was on fast forward.

Overall it was still a really enjoyable book.

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Chas’ new boss invites everyone over to his home for a Halloween party. However, when a murder happens at the party, all fingers are pointed at Clara, Missy’s new friend in town. With no real evidence, Missy tries to figure out a way to clear Clara’s name with help from a few other friends from around the town.

I really enjoyed the way the Prescott mixed new friends with old. With Echo making an appearance, and Kel being a heavy part of this book, it’s really fun. Kel is an interesting character, and he melds perfectly with Echo, they are both quirky and got at their own speed. Though they get along really well, they also have differences that make them but heads.

We get to find out more about the town and its surroundings in this book. We also get to meet more of the townsfolk. This book felt like it really expanded the town for future books, as I believe there are 30 books at the inn.

The mystery was fun, but with so many people pointing their fingers at Clara, it was a little hard for Missy to prove her points. Also, Clara’s personality was a little all over the place in this book and it was a little inconsistent which was annoying. However, I really did enjoy the way that Missy was used much more in this book to investigate the murder. It does make sense as Carla is her friend after all. I do enjoy the new way that we see Chas at work, however, I enjoyed the throwback to Missy. 

I still really enjoyed the book and enjoyed learning about Missy and Chase’s new town.

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When the inn is booked out completely for a wedding party, Missy is super excited. Missy has only ever had positive experiences with marriage and wedding bells, however, when the clients arrive she is starting to be unsure about this time. With a very temperamental mother-of-the-bride and a feud between the father-of-the-bride and the father-of-the-groom. When the father-of-the-bride is found dead in the corn maze, now Chas must figure out what really happened.

I must say, the mother-of-the-bride is one witch of a woman and the sad thing is that I have met people like her. She was really well written and written to be so easy to hate. I did enjoy learning more about Spencer in this book, and he was really interesting. I would love to learn more about him, however, I feel like with the friendship blooming between Chas and Spencer. We also have confirmation that Echo will be staying a while in Florida which is going to be interesting to see how she gets used. 

We got to see what Missy is like when she gets really angry which added some dimension to her. Chas and Missy have to deal with a lot throughout this book and work really well together. The change in the writing style has allowed us to see them more as a couple in the past few books which allows them to feel more real.

The mystery this book was interesting, and though she tried to throw some curveballs this book, however, they weren’t very effective. Trying to paint Spenser in a slightly bad light isn’t really effective as he’s such a lovable character. I really did enjoy the little digging that Kel and Echo did during the book. I feel like Kel is going to be a very useful in the future books.

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While on one of his much deserved days off, Spencer spots a young woman walking straight into the ocean. The marine runs after her and brings her to the inn. Missy and Spencer get pulled into the mystery around this poor girl, while Echo is dealing with everything around Kel

I am really enjoying the focus on the characters and their development in this book. I feel like we get to really know the characters in this book, and though there is still a murder and mystery, it isn’t the only thing that is focused on in the book. I have always been a big fan of character development, not only throughout the book but also the series. We got to see Echo’s feelings for Kel develop and she becomes aware of what Missy has always seen. We got to see another side to Spencer that we haven’t seen before which was interesting and fun. I really enjoy seeing him grow as a character.

My murder didn’t take place until about ½ through the book, which seems to be normal now, Chas was still working on a case earlier on in the book. I enjoyed how seamlessly the two mysteries flowed into each other. I also enjoyed how Prescott managed to introduce a character that seems just as broken as Spencer in this book to match with him.

This wasn’t a who done it book really. It was all taken care of by Chas. We did get all the hints of the conversation between Chas and the murderer but none of the additional information the Chas gets off of the page until he tells Missy. If you’re looking for a who done it I feel like this book series is turning into much more of the cozy side of cozy mysteries, not that I’m complaining as I still am really enjoying the series.

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Missy is getting ready for Thanksgiving and a surprise birthday party for one of her guests. However, when one of the guests turns up dead suddenly everyone is on high alert. Chas must track down the killer while Missy tries to appease her guests and calm the staff.

Ok, I love Kel I always have, however, I feel like he took a few too many liberties in this book in compared to the previous books. I draw the line to breaking and entering into anyone’s house, including a dead man’s. I did enjoy Missy finally standing up to Clara in this book, at first I liked that character, but now she’s just wearing on my nerves. Having a little follow up with the old characters was really fun and interesting to see them.

The mystery was interesting and different. I didn’t suspect the murder until the end, which was nice and rare. I did enjoy seeing Missy being interrogated by the police in this book as it proves that Missy isn’t immune to police procedures. I still really enjoyed the work between Missy and Chas during this book, and the help that Kel provided was excellent, even if it was very illegal.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of this book series.


Frosted Love Cozy Mystery 11 – 15

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

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.