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

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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.

Peppermint Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #28) + Hot Chocolate Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #29)

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After Amy tries to get Heather to go Skydiving for her birthday, she reluctantly agrees to go look at the airfield but makes no promise of jumping. As she arrives, she spots her husband looking over what seems to be a crime scene. The seeming accident, has all the signs of tempering and murder. With the entire family to look into, as well as the owner and the instructor, this case is a murky as they come. Even after the arrest is made, Heather just can’t seem to shake the feeling that something is wrong.

This book felt a little like a rinse and repeat plot for me, but that might be because it uses a very common plot that is found in a lot of mystery books. The death my Parachute was interesting though. Though I will say that the coincidence that Heather and Amy happened to be going to the air field right after the accident is a bit much.

The victim and her family really wasn’t expanded on much and I felt like had the book been a little longer we could have gotten to know about the family and victim more. After the last book, I was a little disappointed about that aspect. The book was also heavily focused on Heather’s impending birthday which I felt took away from the story.

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After watching her car get stolen, just a few hours later Ryan calls Heather and tells her that it has be used in the murder of Sharon Janis. Sharon isn’t the most well liked in the town, and that’s putting it lightly. However, because it was her car used, she is taking it personal and pours herself into the case more than ever.

This was a fun little book. It took a very interesting spin that couldn’t be figured out in this book. The story didn’t quite follow, and how Heather figured it out, I have no idea. We do get a throw back to the first book in this book however since it was 28 books ago my memory was a little foggy on who the person was until it was explained. This may only happen if you have a horrible memory for names like I did.

The family life of Heather, Ryan and Lilly was definitely looked into and the truth of having a police detective and a PI as parents were brought to the forefront in this book. It added a bit more reality to the book that I felt was lacking in their lives.

It is a good continuation of the book series.


Iced Pumpkin Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #26) + Double Chocolate Pistachio Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #27)
Peanut Butter Fudge Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #30) + Christmas Donut Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #31)

Iced Pumpkin Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #26) + Double Chocolate Pistachio Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #27)

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When Hillside’s local poacher is found dead in his apartment thanks to a poisonous snake bite. Heather is thrown into another interesting case. Though a poacher isn’t exactly someone that anyone will miss, Heather feels the need to find out who placed the snake in his house which led to his death. Sometimes having a moral compass is hard.

Well, this one was a little more interesting than the past books. I enjoyed the take on the new ways of murdering someone that isn’t with a knife or gun. I feel like some of the characters have been lost due to the refocus on the investigation, and I miss that time that Heather spends in the doughnut shop. Though in the series, Geoff has been replaced with Karen and she is a right bitch. There seems to be a bit more meat in that story, even though, she isn’t in the books very much nor is she ever mentioned.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book and the development between Heather and Lilly. I find this series is starting to have a really good flow.

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With the annual Hillside bake-off just around the corner, Heather can’t be more excited because she’s sure her new doughnut will wow the judges. However, when one of the reporters that was supposed to be covering the bake-off is found dead the festivities are postponed. Heather is on the case to find the killer and get the bake off back on again.

I get why Karen has been added, but at the same time I want her to be used more. With the new cupcake shop in town, I don’t know how that is supposed to be competing with the doughnut shop. Introducing the Bake off angle in this book was a fun way to actually make Karen and Heather go head to head, I just which there was more written about it.

The murder in this book was interesting, and I enjoyed how the clues didn’t add up until later on in the book. For the first time in a while I only figured out who killed the victim slightly before the end of the book.

Also, the victim was well fleshed out in this book, much better than previous books which adds to the story. This was probably on of the better books so far in this series.


Coffee Treacle Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #24) + Choc Churro Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #25)
Peppermint Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #28) + Hot Chocolate Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #29)

Chocolate Pomegranate Glaze Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #18) + Caramel Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #19)

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3 days before Heather has her PI license and she finds Cheeky dead in her nail salon. After calling her husband, they work together to try and untangle the lies that  surround the James family. With a ex-boyfriend who loves to pull pranks, and an overbearing mother it’s anyone’s guess who has the better motive. Also, with the bakery still closed and her course coming to an end the stress of studying is also getting to Heather as well.

I know I keep complaining… but I really don’t like Goeff and he feels useless to the plot for me. I want for the character to be used or dropped completely.

This book was a fun little read, but hopefully Heather will no longer be focusing only on crimes that she stumbles on. This series has real started becoming an interesting amateur detective book. The investigations are more in the fore front and Heather’s thought processes is starting to make more sense. Also, I’m starting to enjoy the openness with Ryan and the investigations. This book was a clear cut investigation so I enjoyed that a lot more. I suspected that I knew who was the murderer but there was no concrete evidence till the end.

I’m starting to have high hopes for this series again.

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Heather’s first case as a PI and Ryan pulls her into the murder case of one of Donut Delight’s regular customers. Amy finds herself on the suspect list as she is the last person to see Junior alive. With an estranged, an ex-girlfriend, and a pending trip to a high profile gaming convention, there are too many suspects for Heather and the Police to look into .

Ugh I though Davidson was gone for good…but he’s back in this book and I hate it. This was a little irritated that he’s back with his pompous attitude. I really just want him out of my series, unless he’s going to add anything to it.

Heather works very hard solving this case to prove to the force that Ryan didn’t just bring her in because she’s his wife and that she actually can solve the murder. The character has developed a lot since the beginning of the series, and she is now given more leeway to investigate which helps the story greatly. I find myself wishing that these books were closer to the length of the Hannah Swensen mystery novels so that Gillard can expand the story more.

The story structure has started to get a lot better in the progression of the series. I enjoy this book.


Green Velvet Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #16) + M&M Surprise Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #17)
Raspberry Mojito Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #20) + Banana Coconut Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #21)

Cinnamon Nut Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #14) + Chocolate Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #15)

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When Heather hears about Detective Davidson’s daughter’s death, only hours after meeting her. Little did she realise that Davidson was going on a witch hunt, and he’s after Heather’s head on a platter. Once again she has to figure out who committed the murder as well as clearing her name. All while keeping Davidson in his place with her guns for her.

Heather gets a frantic phone call from Honey, the dancer she became friends with on a previous case. Once she’s found dead on Heather’s doorstep, she is filled with the need to find out who killed her. With Amy’s boyfriend, Kent, as a suspect due to his history with Honey. The worst thing is that Detective Davidson is not making the investigation easy, going after all the wrong leads.

Though Geoff was a little odd in the previous book, in this book, he ramps it up. With his doughnut shop open, he tries to get people to ditch Donut Delight. Though he doesn’t currently have anything to do with the story, I have a feeling he might. With Honey being the murder victim we do get to learn more about Kent’s background. Amy’s and Kent’s relationship is more in the forefront of this book rather than Heather’s. I enjoyed that because we got to see what makes Amy and Kent tick.

One thing I found odd is that Detective Davidson is still there. I don’t particularly like that character but I felt that his character was simply added to make Ryan frustrated because he can’t pursue the leads he wants to. I don’t know if this is going to lead into a larger overarching plot or he’s just a character added to be annoying.

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When the owner of Heather’s favorite burger bar is found dead, and her right hand man is now the primary suspect. As the entire staff knows, Jung wouldn’t hurt a fly so murder is unthinkable. Heather must figure out who actually killed Jung’s friend, and how to clear his name. Meanwhile, multiple investors have shown interest in investing in Donut Delight to help it flourish.

I swear that Heather’s store is the center of all crimes in this neighborhood and either her or her staff are implied in multiple murders. We get to hear more about Jung in this book and it’s very interesting. However, the very public fight that he had does seem out of character but I assume that it was just written to be in the moment. This murder was more realistic in my opinion and I could see it actually happening in the real world. Though I don’t want to spoil the ending at all. Heather’s procedure is getting better but that is to be expected.

I enjoyed this book, but it is a fluffy mystery and a very light read.


Pistachio Lemon Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #12) + Candied Maple Bacon Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #13)
Green Velvet Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #16) + M&M Surprise Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #17)